Bonum Certa Men Certa

European FRAND (Related to SEP) Proponent and Famed Programmer Comes to Realise That It's Actually a “Scam”

Programmers are badly hurt by these loopholes by which illegal patents are imposed in bulk without scrutiny/challenge

Programmer



Summary: Even people who have long promoted the practice of mandatory "licensing" (in effect patent tax one is unable to work around) are apparently changing their minds and their tune

THIS site has had its 'ups' and 'downs' when it comes to Florian Müller, who at times took money to lobby and mislead. He even set up an event for FRAND some months back, albeit he warned me well in advance that he did not agree with some of the invited speakers (firms that front for Microsoft and the UPC). Müller became well known because of some early books of his, as well as campaigning in the area of patent law. He certainly understands that some companies -- Microsoft being a noteworthy example -- are sneaking European software patents into a package or bundle or "pool" of patents (what Fraunhofer is still doing). He certainly knows what Microsoft did with Nokia's patents. Some of them Nokia was instructed by Microsoft to pass to patent trolls, which would later attack Android with those patents.

"The EPO doesn't care about scientists and science anymore."The links below were originally intended for the next batch of Daily Links, but we thought it's worth a mention aside from the editorial comment that says "patent trolls-funded publisher supports the patent troll Sisvel and the likes of it" [1,2] (that's Managing IP, which in recent days became a megaphone for other patent trolls as well, even InterDigital; "In-house counsel from Sisvel, Nokia" cannot be considered journalists).

The good news is, regarding Müller, he now says that "the S in "SEP" stands for "scam" rather than "standard."" [3] (or so he wonders). Sometimes the "scammers" combine 4 euphemisms (FRaND) to make "SEP" sound 1) fair 2) reasonable and 3) not so bad 4) nor discriminatory. Pure marketing. They used to call it "RaND" (or "RAND") before adding an additional euphemism. Then there's "Z-RAND" and other nonsense (always with many lies stuffed in, like "IP"/"IPR" and "AI", deliberately loaded with misnomers).

If looked at closely enough, one quickly realises the underlying injustices, even if one is a proponent of monopolies. It's worth noting that both António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli, in their capacity as European Patent Office (EPO) presidents, habitually meet "licensing societies" -- which are basically patent collection cartels that are fronting for a bunch of unproductive parasites. Examiners are likely aware of the fact that they're not governed by scientists and their so-called 'leaders' almost never meet actual scientists. The EPO doesn't care about scientists and science anymore.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. This week in IP: Sisvel ruling unpacked, CJEU kicks out Neurim, new PTAB opinion


  2. German ruling levels the FRAND playing field

    In-house counsel from Sisvel, Nokia and a German carmaker explain how the Federal Court of Justice’s decision changes the rules of the FRAND negotiation game

  3. Nokia getting nowhere: two more infringement cases against Daimler stayed as declared-essential patents-in-suit are likely invalid

    Sometimes I wonder whether the S in "SEP" stands for "scam" rather than "standard."

    Everyone who deals with patents professionally knows that, at least with respect to information and communications technologies, the system is broken beyond repair. Patent offices issue far too many patents and treat mass filers as "key accounts" whose "demand" for weapons of extortion they seek to satisfy. Unlike its U.S. counterpart, the European Patent Office isn't run by a trolls' lawyer, but it's also part of the problem.

    But standard-essential patents take the issues facing the patent system to an even higher level. Companies overdeclare (though some have higher "hit rates" than others). No scrutiny is performed. And besides countless patents that aren't essential from an infringement point of view, the vast majority of those who may claim a standard-essential technique are simply invalid as granted.

    Nokia failed to deliver a great smartphone user experience, then increasingly resorted to patent monetization. But it concluded license deals without a lot of patents actually coming to judgment. They monetize a portfolio that contains a huge amount of hot or even not-so-hot air. Where's the substance?

    For a while, everything appeared to be working out according to plan for Nokia with respect to the Daimler dispute. They knew they were facing a 19th-century company that they hoped would cave at some point. Daimler certainly failed to put the necessary pressure behind its EU antitrust complaint, while Nokia found political opportunists of the worst kind in Brussels who were--and potentially still are--perfectly prepared to do lasting damage to the European Commission's reputation as a competition watchdog. After so many years of having been accused of protectionism, the Commission couldn't vindicate its critics more effectively and convincingly than by condoning Nokia's conduct.



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