Bonum Certa Men Certa

Software Patent Trolls Are Dropping Like Flies in the United States


Summary: Colossal losses for patent trolls, who increasingly face challenges for a plethora of reasons including venue, competitive aspects, and 35 U.S.C. § 101 (Section 101)

THE US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has deterred and repelled patent trolls. Nobody would deny that, not even the trolls themselves. The SCOTUS Justices even used the term "patent trolls" (which surprised some observers), so they're well aware of this problem.

"The SCOTUS Justices even used the term "patent trolls" (which surprised some observers), so they're well aware of this problem."Of most interest to us there's 35 U.S.C. § 101 (Section 101), notably the Alice case. Lots of EPO-granted software patents (EPs) are nowadays disguised as "AI" or similar terms. The EPO promotes this. The EPO has done that almost every weekday since António Campinos took over. The same thing is happening in the US. Sometimes they say "ML" instead of "AI". I personally wrote ML code and technical reports a great deal before, since a decade and a half ago, so I'm fairly familiar with the underlying concepts. Those are statistics and maths, i.e. they're all abstract and invalid as per Section 101/Alice . Yesterday an article was published under the headline "What the ML Patent Application Boom Means for Tech". It's tempting to say say that it means bad patents, which are hard if not impossible to enforce in courts, are being pursued. From the article:

There has been a surge in applications of machine learning over the last few years as companies look for ways to leverage big data in their products and services. That has corresponded with a big increase in another type of machine learning application – i.e. those sent to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for protection. But the ramifications of the machine learning-patent uptick are not yet clear.

Statistical and anecdotal evidence suggests we’re in the midst of major upswing in patent protection requests for machine learning inventions. While hard numbers can be tough to come by due to intricacies of the USPTO process (and the fact that it will conceal applications upon request), several researchers have identified what they see as a surge in interest in protecting machine learning products over the past several years.

They're just trying to build/assemble a patent thicket around "AI" or "ML" or whetever, irrespective of the value or validity of the pertinent patents.

"They're just trying to build/assemble a patent thicket around "AI" or "ML" or whetever, irrespective of the value or validity of the pertinent patents."Abstract -- as per Alice/Section 101 -- patents should not be granted. Apple's very latest bunk software patents show USPTO examiners asleep at the wheel again. It's more of that "AI" nonsense.

But in better news regarding Apple, there's something about Wireless Licensing SARL, which is part of Conversant (formerly MOSAID). The case was covered in this relatively new post of ours as well as by Jan Wolfe, who wrote in Reuters about it:

A federal appeals court on Thursday took a step toward throwing out a $7.3 million patent infringement verdict a licensing company won against Apple Inc, saying the iPhone maker did not infringe one of the two wireless technology patents at issue in the case.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed a finding by a California jury in favor of patent holder Core Wireless Licensing SARL. The appeals court did not disturb the jury’s finding that Apple infringed a different Core Wireless patent but asked the lower court to reconsider its enforceability, opening the door for Apple to nix the verdict entirely.

This is going to have far-reaching ramifications because the troll has targeted many companies, including Linux vendors. Apple is just one of the more 'lucrative' targets (more in potential 'damages').

"It's more of that "AI" nonsense."Consider Apple's history with a troll known as Mirror Worlds. We wrote about that before, e.g. in [1, 2, 3] and this troll was also covered here shortly after the decision last week. "Facebook still wasting money on defending itself over software patents," Benjamin Henrion wrote about this report. But Facebook does patent bullying of its own. It makes Facebook part of the problem, its much-appreciated support for the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) notwithstanding. To quote:

Facebook has prevailed in a suit over its iconic news feed and claims it ripped off the idea from a patent troll.

Judge John Koetl granted Summary Judgement [PDF] to House Zuck, approving its motion to dismiss an allegation that the Facebook timeline violated Mirror Worlds' purchased patents on the organization of messages and news items.

Well, that timeline is software-based (arguably "AI") and such patents aren't valid anymore, especially after Alice (Apple didn't enjoy the full benefit of it).

"This is going to have far-reaching ramifications because the troll has targeted many companies, including Linux vendors."We are probably going to see a lot more cases like these in the news. Those are all software patents (very easy to spot based on a succinct description) and it seems like none can endure a court as high as the Federal Circuit.

Recent Techrights' Posts

The forbidden topics
There are forbidden topics in the hacker community
Curation and Preservation Work
The winter is coming soon and this means our anniversary is near
Microsoft GitHub Exposé — In the Alex Graveley Case, His Lawyer, Rick Cofer, Appears to Have Bribed the DA to Keep Graveley (and Others) Out of Prison
Is this how one gets out of prison? Hire the person who bribes the DA?
Richard Stallman's Public Talk in GNU's 40th Anniversary Ceremony
Out now
Proprietary Software: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
Proprietary software has an entirely different mindset, revolving around business models rather than science
They're Been Trying to 'Kill' Richard Stallman for Years (by Mentally Tormenting Him)
Malicious tongue wanted to do him what had been done to Julian Assange
We Temporarily Have Two Gemini Capsules
They're both authentic and secure, but they're not the same
Consumerism is Lying and Revisionism
We need to reject these liars and charlatans
Links 30/09/2023: Open VFS Framework, CrossOver 23.5, Dianne Feinstein Dies
Links for the day
Security Leftovers
GNU/Linux, Microsoft, and more
Microsoft Down on the World Wide Web, Shows Survey
down by a lot in this category
IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 29, 2023
IRC logs for Friday, September 29, 2023
A Society That Fails Journalists Does Not Deserve Journalism
It's probably too later to save Julian Assange as a working publisher (he might never recover from the mental torture), but as a person and a father we can wish and work towards his release
Almost Nothing To Go With Your Morning's Cup Of Coffee
Newspaper? What newspaper?
A Lot of Technological 'Progress' Has Been Nothing But Buzzwords
Free software does not try to excite people people over nothing
Techrights Was Right About the Chaff Bots (They Failed to Live up to Their Promise)
Those who have been paying attention to news of substance rather than fashionable "tech trends" probably know that GNU/Linux grew a lot this year
Selling Out to Microsoft Makes You Dead Beef
If all goes as well as we've envisioned, Microsoft will get smaller and smaller
Mobile Phones Aren't Your Friend or a Gateway to Truly Social Life
Newer should not always seem more seductive, as novelty is by default questionable and debatable
Links 29/09/2023: Disinformation and Monopolies
Links for the day
iFixit Requests DMCA Exemption…To Figure Out How To Repair McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines
Reprinted with permission from Ryan Farmer
Jim Zemlin Thinks the World's Largest Software Company Has 200 Staff, Many of Whom Not Technical at All
biggest ego in the world
Links 29/09/2023: Linux Foundation Boasting, QLite FDW 2.4.0 Released
Links for the day
Red Hat Does Not Understand Community and It's Publicly Promoting Microsoft's Gartner is basically lioning a firm that has long been attacking GNU/Linux in the private and public sectors at the behest of Microsoft
A 'Code of Conduct' Typically Promoted by Criminal Corporations to Protect Crimes From Scrutiny
We saw this in action last week
Objections to binutils CoC
LXO response to proposed Code of Conduct
Conde Nast (Reddit), Which Endlessly Defamed Richard Stallman and Had Paid Salaries to Microsoft-Connected Pedophiles, Says You Must Be Over 18 to See 'Stallman Was Right'
Does this get in the way of their Bill Gates-sponsored "Bill Gates says" programme/schedule?
Techrights Extends Wishes of Good Health to Richard M. Stallman
Richard Stallman has cancer Still Going, Some Good News From Canada
a blow to software patents in Canada
The Debian Project Leader said the main thing Debian lacked was more contributors
The Debian Project Leader said the main thing Debian lacked was more contributors
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 28, 2023
IRC logs for Thursday, September 28, 2023
Links 28/09/2023: Openwashing and Patent Spam as 'News'
Links for the day
Links 28/09/2023: Preparing Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.9 and 9.3 Beta
Links for the day
We Need to Liberate the Client Side and Userspace Too
Lots of work remains to be done
Recent IRC Logs (Since Site Upgrade)
better late than never
Techrights Videos Will be Back Soon
We want do publish video without any of the underlying complexity and this means changing some code
Microsoft is Faking Its Financial Performance, Buying Companies Helps Perpetuate the Big Lies (or Pass the Debt Around)
Our guess is that Microsoft will keep pretending to be huge, even as the market share of Windows (and other things) continues to decrease
Techrights Will Tell the Story (Until Next Year!) of How Since 2022 It Has Been Under a Coordinated Attack by a Horde of Vandals and Nutcases
People like these belong in handcuffs and behind bars (sometimes they are) and our readers still deserve to know the full story. It's a cautionary tale for other groups and sites
Why It Became Essential to Split GNU/Linux Stories from the Rest
These sites aren't babies anymore. In terms of age, they're already adults.
Losses and Gains in an Age of Oligarchy - A Techrights Perspective
If you don't even try to fix something, there's not even a chance it'll get fixed
Google (and the Likes Of It) Will Cause Catastrophic Information Loss Rather Than Organise the World's Information
Informational and cultural losses due to technological plunder
Links 28/09/2023: GNOME 45 Release Party, 'Smart' Homes Orphaned
Links for the day
Security Leftovers
Xen, breaches, and more
GNOME Console Won’t Support Color Palettes or Profiles; Will Support Esperanto
Reprinted with permission from Ryan Farmer