Bonum Certa Men Certa

No, Software Patents Are Not Poised to Make a Comeback Under New US Patent Office Rules

Condé Nast has lost Joe Mullin (shown below) to the EFF and it shows

Joe Mullin



Summary: Poor understanding of the difference between patent courts and patent offices is to blame for widely-spread misinformation from Ars Technica (part of Condé Nast)

"Software patents poised to make a comeback under new patent office rules," said this headline from corporate media stationed near Wall Street (its parent company anyway). When I first saw that I had to giggle a little; I never saw this author's name before, so I assumed little experience in this particular area. I should probably know the names, having dedicated about a decade of my life studying and writing about software patents in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). I wrote about 5,000 articles about it (more than I wrote about the EPO -- somewhere around 3,000 articles). This site's patent expert actually left and joined the EFF about a year ago, leaving perhaps somewhat of a skills vacuum and lack of understanding.



"By broadening the scope of granted patents to include some abstract patents all he's going to achieve is reduced certainty (presumption of validity) of US patents.""Software patents poised to make a comeback under new patent office rules," says the headline. Sites like Slashdot and BoingBoing have since repeated it verbatim. Even lesser-known sites keep repeating this dramatic statement. Misreporting and misleading headline is what it is; see this explanation from last Sunday. "New rule narrows landmark 2014 Supreme Court decision limiting software patents," says the summary, but actually only a court can impact this decision. Courts go by the rules of higher courts, not some Trump-connected lackey like Iancu, who is serving patent maximalists like himself. By broadening the scope of granted patents to include some abstract patents all he's going to achieve is reduced certainty (presumption of validity) of US patents. This self-harming move is hardly being celebrated even by trolls; they know it's the courts that matter. Courts have changed nothing and Watchtroll has complained about it a lot over the past week.

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