As if distributed storage (the new “over the Internet”) makes everything novel and patent-worthy
Summary: The “blockchain” hype continues to be exploited by those looking to patent some software with storage or with databases, basically substituting that software component with the hype du jour
THE EPO and USPTO both mention blockchain patents, which are a form of software patents (and remember exclusion of software patents in Europe, Alice in the US, 35 U.S.C. § 101 and so on). Why are these silly patents being celebrated so much?
These patents are what we’ve come to refer to as ‘fake patents’, i.e. patents or applications that are just enough to fool the USPTO examiners into granting them (but not enough to fool courts). A few days ago titled “Top 7 Blockchain Patent Owners” was published, starting with: “Patents are tedious and complicated legal documents that protect crucial pieces of intellectual property. When something as revolutionary and widely applicable as blockchain comes along, everyone races to patent it. Today, some of the biggest financial services companies worldwide are working hard on blockchain patents. From Bank of America to Coinbase, these blockchain patent owners are changing—and controlling—the future of distributed ledger technology.”
This article with a copyright (“(C)”) image as the feature image is preceded by “America’s biggest corporations are building our blockchain future.”
It seems clear that the writer doesn’t know what patents are and how the system works.
In addition to this, over at Mondaq, Robert M. Meeks (Ward and Smith, P.A.) used these dirty tactics of calling everything by buzzwords, even “Blockchain Revolution” (like 4IR). Such patent lawyer全民彩票网址s/law firms tacitly admit that they know software patents are bunk and are therefore trying to call these “blockchain”. This :
The Blockchain Revolution: Time To Ramp Up Your Software Patenting Effort?
As you read this article, hundreds of startups and other organizations are working on blockchain applications in such areas as energy trading, data storage trading, peer-to-peer lending, and verifying professional or other credentials.
A lot of these organizations, including tech giants and large financial institutions, are seeking patents on these applications, a rush reminiscent of the one that occurred in the 1990′s and 2000′s with the advent of the World Wide Web and e-commerce. What are the current prospects for this new wave of blockchain-related patent applications?
These would be rendered invalid en masse one day, by means of extrapolation from precedent/s. Wait and watch.
IBM has meanwhile moved on . To quote:
Computing giant and prolific blockchain researcher IBM has applied to patent a system that would use distributed ledger technology (DLT) to address privacy and security concerns associated with the increasing usage of drones in both commercial and recreational applications.
According to documents made public on Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), IBM first applied for the patent, the latest in its growing library of prospective blockchain applications, in March 2017.
“These patents are what we’ve come to refer to as ‘fake patents’, i.e. patents or applications that are just enough to fool the USPTO examiners into granting them (but not enough to fool courts).”These patents are obsolete. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs), sometimes affirmed by the Federal Circuit, have already trashed a lot of abstract IBM patents. Surely IBM knows that all these patents that it’s amassing might impress examiners (who were previously bossed by IBM’s David Kappos), but courts would not be impressed.
Why do these examiners still grant such patents? █
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Still granting software patents (loads of paper), awarding monopolies on mathematics/statistics
Summary: Patents on mathematics/statistics are abstract patents; but examiners at the US patent office ignore this simple fact at their own peril
“Machine Learning” isn’t merely a buzzword, unlike “AI”; but the term is misused by those looking to patent software in Europe through the EPO or receive software patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The concepts behind machine learning (or “Machine Learning” with capital lettersas some call it, glorifying the term) vary and they boil down to statistical analysis.
“Patents on Machine Learning are software patents, so they should be tossed out.”In reality, once assessed by courts, such patents would rarely ‘survive’ (withstand scrutiny). Here for example we have a patent troll when tweeting: “In Blue Spike, LLC v. Google Inc. (N.D. Cal. 2015), the claims were similarly non-specific to machine learning. The patentee argued against the abstractness …” #CAND ignored claim construction & validity ruling in #TXED – key term?”
TXED is the Eastern District of Texas, which . To quote:
Machine learning is more than just a buzzword. It represents a fundamental shift in how problems are solved across industries and lines of business. In the near future, a machine learning library may become a standard part of all operating systems, just like TCP/IP and database technologies have in the past.
For the majority of the existence of computers, programmers wrote functions that were designed to take some input and produce a desired output. Or, if i represents the input and o represents the output, the goal of the programmer was to develop a function f such that o=f(i).
Machine learning inverts this paradigm to some extent. A data set (which in practice usually needs to be quite extensive) of mappings between inputs and their respective outputs is obtained. This data set is fed into a machine learning algorithm (e.g., a neural network, decision tree, support vector machine, etc.) which trains a model to “learn” a function that produces the mappings with a reasonably high accuracy. In other words, if you give the computer a large enough set of inputs and outputs, it finds f for you. And this function may even be able to produce the correct output for input that it has not seen during training.
Machine Learning is not a new thing; I wrote technical reports about it 15 years ago, as it’s basically a branch of several things in statistics, so it’s either software or maths or both, i.e. it’s a collective label for an approach or several abstract (nonphysical) approaches. Patent lawyer全民彩票网址s lie about it.
“Examiners ought to pay closer attention to the courts and reject such patents; otherwise they reduce confidence in US patents in general.”Patents on Machine Learning are software patents, so they should be tossed out. Mind this new press release [, 2] titled “Barkly Awarded Patent for Advances in Responsive Machine Learning” (why was it granted by the USPTO?)
To quote: “Barkly, the company advancing endpoint security by combining the strongest, smartest protection with the simplest management, today announced it has been awarded US Patent #10,078,752 from the USPTO for its unique approach to increasing the accuracy of machine learning-based endpoint security. Leveraging their SaaS management infrastructure, Barkly has developed the capability to automatically and transparently train, test, and deliver tailored protection models for customers.”
Examiners ought to pay closer attention to the courts and reject such patents; otherwise they reduce confidence in US patents in general. █
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Software patents and trolls among the biggest culprits
Summary: Efforts undertaken by Unified Patents are an example of patent justice being taken to PTAB for lower costs (legal expenses) and faster decisions, raising the bar for examiners at the US patent office; this has been effective at disarming patent trolls, too
THE USPTO and PTAB in particular improved things in the sense that fewer patent lawsuits need to be filed. This is bad news for patent law firms, which were never really needed in the first place (provided that technology firms can get along).
“That is good news and Robert Jain (Unified Patents) resumed his regular updates, starting with the patent troll Uniloc.”“For Q1-Q3 2018,” , “the volume of patent litigation at district court and the Patent Trials [sic] and Appeals Board (PTAB) is approximately 15% lower than the volume of new cases for the same period in 2017.”
That is good news and Robert Jain (Unified Patents) resumed his regular updates, starting with the patent troll :
Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winner, Ritesh Jain, who received a cash prize of $1000 for his prior art submission for U.S. Patent 6,661,203, owned by Uniloc Luxembourg, S.A., a well-known NPE. The ’203 patent, directed towards a battery charging and discharging system optimized for high temperature environments, has been asserted against numerous companies in district court litigation. To help the industry fight bad patents, we have published the winning prior art below.
We would also like to thank the dozens of other high-quality submissions that were made on this patent. The ongoing contests are open to anyone, and include tens of thousands of dollars in rewards available for helping the industry to challenge NPE patents of questionable validity by finding and submitting prior art in the contests. Visit PATROLL today to learn more about how to participate.
People can get $2,500 by showing prior art and squashing a bogus patent of , Landmark Technology, LLC. To quote:
On September 24, 2018, Unified added a $2,500 contest to PATROLL seeking prior art for US Patent No. 6289319 which has been asserted on multiple occasions by Landmark Technology, LLC (an NPE). The ’319 patent, generally related to online transaction systems/methods, has been asserted in 65 district court cases (including 15 cases since March 2018). Landmark has been widely criticized for its practice of challenging small and medium-sized companies that lack the resources to defend suit in district court in order to obtain a quick settlement.
This generally improves patent quality in the Office, so why would anybody oppose it? Jason Rantanen and Saurabh Vishnubhakat (patent maximalists) , which patent maximalists generally loathe because it improves quality of patents. Unified Patents is no friend of theirs.
Moving on, Unified Patents then on the patent troll Jay Walker, successfully causing the troll to abandon the patent:
On September 13, 2018, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) granted Certified Measurement’s (a Walker Innovation subsidiary) request for adverse judgment and cancellation of all instituted claims in IPR2018-00548 filed by Unified. This request comes shortly after the PTAB’s decision to institute trial for U.S. Patent 8,549,310, directed to a “method and apparatus for secure measurement certification.” The ‘310 patent has been asserted in multiple cases against such companies as Yokogawa America and Centerpoint Energy.
PTAB then the patents of another patent troll, General Access Solutions.
On September 25, 2018, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board issued a final written decision in Unified Patents Inc. v. General Access Solutions, Ltd., IPR2017-01178 invalidating all 20 claims of U.S. Patent 9,225,555 owned and asserted by General Access Solutions, a well-known NPE. The ’555 Patent, which relates to IEEE 802.11 / Wi-Fi and other wireless communications between a base stations and mobile stations, has been asserted in four district court cases that terminated shortly before this decision.
Remember that this doesn’t always work because “PTAB Upholds Kamatani Cloud Patent Challenged by Unified Patents,” as . An inter partes review (IPR) is no guarantee of anything and that “[t]he Patent Trial and Appeal Board on Wednesday upheld a Philips patent that relates to keypads on mobile devices…”
Another patent troll sees PTAB almost throwing away its patent (it’s not final yet). As :
On September 26, 2018, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 6,232,539, owned and asserted by MOAEC Technologies, an NPE. The ’539 patent, directed to a music organizer and entertainment center, has been asserted against companies such as Spotify, SoundCloud, and Deezer.
PTAB is definitely preventing a lot of frivolous patent lawsuits or behind-the-scenes blackmail attempts. Unified Patents helps crowdfund IPRs. Let’s hope that next year too there will be a decline in patent litigation and more patents will be scrutinised within the Office, making the process a lot cheaper than in courtrooms. █
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Summary: Events set up by a cabal of patent maximalists are perpetuating some of the same old myths about their fantasies becoming reality
THE EPO and USPTO are both being lobbied by AIPPI, a front/pressure/lobby group controlled by patent maximalists, who look to enrich themselves at the expense of everybody else. Team UPC's Wouter Pors is one of the leaders and they actively lobby for software patents in Europe. They’re also connected to António Campinos.
The CIPA/Bristows LLP ‘takeover’ of IP Kat (which we spoke out about several times last year) is worth recalling because earlier today memories of that returned. “First time attendee (and the UK Group’s prize winner),” about colleague “Sarah Blair (Bristows LLP) [who] was at the helm ready to report on the session for the IPKat…”
It’s part of a four-part series, the third part of which has also just been . The patent maximalists of AIPPI don’t seem to be bothered by facts. It’s just personal agenda disguised as “forum” and “information” or whatnot, just like an .
Bristows staff is writing about UPC as if the inevitable outcome of the complaint in Germany will be dismissal of this complaint (that’s not the case at all!). They frame this as a question of time/timing. What incredible lies, albeit the usual arrogant assumptions from Bristows. To quote:
2. Judge Dr Klaus Grabinski (German Supreme Court) discussed the Unitary Patent Court (UPC), Brexit implications and the German constitutional complaint.
So far the UPC Agreement has been ratified by the UK and 16 other Participating Members, but crucially not yet Germany. Judge Grabinski reminded us of the importance of the Protocol on the UPC Agreement which so far has also not been ratified by Germany.
The ratification process in Germany is now stalled with matters stayed ahead of a green light to proceed from the federal court. Although the Complaint is listed as for consideration by the Judge Rapporteur in 2018, there is no guarantee or commitment that the case will be decided this year.
There was detailed description of how the UK could possibly stay in the UPC after leaving, with the takeaway point being that the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and EU regulation 1257/2012 would not prohibit or be incompatible with the UK having a status of Participating Member State of the UPC. Watch this space!
Recall British Team UPC’s biggest two lies about the Unitary Patent (UPC); we’re seeing them above again. We’ve written about 4 articles over the past week regarding the latest developments in the UK in light of ‘no deal’ Brexit (the impact on UPC). Other reports about Grabinski’s speech/discussion at AIPPI (not Bristows’ report) painted things quite differently. █
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Last year: US Patent Trolls Are Leaving and the Eastern District of Texas Sees Patent Cases Falling by More Than Half
It has been getting a lot harder for patent trolls to ‘milk’ Texas after TC Heartland
Summary: Texas and in particular the Eastern District of Texas are no longer attractive to patent trolls and even if these patent trolls file lawsuits in the Eastern District of Texas the higher courts divert them to other, more suitable and less biased courts (less software patents- and trolls-friendly)
THE previous post alluded to TC Heartland — a SCOTUS decision from last summer. It has since then redirected many patent cases (over USPTO-granted patents) away from trolls-friendly litigation venues.
Over the past week we saw some interesting news from or about Texas. This , for example, makes it sound as though the USPTO has just fed another bogus software patent to a highly oppressive company that aids vigilantes. They use some trademarked buzzwords to justify this.
Days prior a blog post by Charles Bieneman . In the United States nowadays software patents are still, in general, dropping like flies (in courts at least, as software patents are quite worthless there). What’s noteworthy about it is the outcome:
Claims directed to “software fault recovery” are patent-ineligible under 35 U.S.C § 101, said the court in Atticus Research Corp. v. MMSoft Design Ltd., No. 4:17-CV-3387 (S.D. Texas Sept. 6, 2018), granting a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss allegations that claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,567,937 were infringed. The court agreed with the defendant that the claims were directed to the unpatentable abstract idea, under the Alice/Mayo test, of taking a corrective default action if a remote user does not specify otherwise within a period of time.
So even courts in Texas are recognising Alice (sometimes). Bieneman also wrote about the Eastern District of Texas (more notorious than others in the state because it is infamously biased in favour of software patents). Here’s :
Patent claims directed to counting steps in an exercise session, including accounting for an incline of a surface on which a user is stepping, have survived a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Uniloc USA Inc. v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:17-CV-00651-JRG (E.D. Texas Sept. 18, 2018). Applying the familiar Alice/Mayo abstract idea test, Judge Gilstrap, “drawing all reasonable inferences in favor of” the patent owner, found that claim 1 of US Patent No. 7,690,556is “directed towards the unconventional use of accelerometers in a step counter in order to measure the incline traveled by the user,” and that “such use is not directed to an abstract concept under AliceStep One.”
So let’s see what the Federal Circuit says about these patent claims (if they dare or if there’s an appeal). Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) typically crush these patents, either before or during cases in district courts.
Matthew Bultman has meanwhile that “[t]he Federal Circuit on Tuesday ruled a patent lawsuit against HP Inc. over its Chromebook laptops should be moved from the Eastern District of Texas, finding California was the more convenient…”
In re HP (nonprecedential order) was also mentioned . It has been getting harder for patent trolls to drag the accused to the Eastern District of Texas where judges boast/brag about being trolls-friendly. The source of this coverage is a patent maximalist, just like the district court. To quote:
The Federal Circuit has granted HP’s petition for writ of mandamus – ordering the E.D. Tex. Judge Schroeder transfer Cypress Lake Software, Inc. v. HP Inc. to N.D. California — HP’s 全民彩票官网下载 district.
Venue must be “proper.” 28 U.S.C. 1400(b). But, even when proper, a district court may order a case transferred to another venue for convenience. Although the law follows the traditional doctrine of forum non-conveniens, it has been codified at 28 U.S.C. 1404(a).
So all in all what we see here is a migration out of Texas, widely supported not just by SCOTUS but also the Federal Circuit below it. █
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…As if ideas are “owned”, life and nature are “discoveries” and patent taxes are “fair”, “reasonable” and “nondiscriminatory”
Summary: A look at potential ethical problems, based on the fact that Colin Birss attends and speaks at CIPA events; there are also similar issues in the United States
THE idea that life is a science and nature is an invention is a rather odd idea. We wrote about this many times over the past year. It’s the sort of delusion that EPO and USPTO officials get carried away by, forgetting that patents should exist for inventions, not mere explorations, explanations and interpretations. We recently wrote several articles bemoaning the term “life science/s” — a rather new concept if not buzzword [1, 2].
The Life Sciences Forum is an event of patent extremism, so things that harm patent quality are celebrated there, whereas much-needed fixes against patent trolling are condemned. As one patent maximalists’ site : “ANDA lawsuit filing spiked last year, TC Heartland is troublesome, and the USPTO’s Vanda memo is promising – these are some conclusions from a session at our Life Sciences Forum…”
How is TC Heartland “troublesome”? As we shall show in our next post, it has been troublesome mostly to patent trolls.
It has meanwhile turned out that, based on , Colin Birss is attending an event of patent maximalists. He’s a judge, so that doesn’t seem so appropriate. It’s just hard to see why a judge would wish to associate with CIPA Congress. CIPA is a bunch of lying bullies that send threats to people. It is also rather odd a thing to see him described by a patent troll (of Ericsson) that he happened to rule on. The patent maximalists refer to him in the headline not by his name but as “Unwired Planet judge” and then say this:
Speaking at this year’s CIPA Congress, Mr Justice Birss said that FRAND disputes will be fought in one place in the future and that the UK’s new doctrine of equivalence may not last in its current form
He probably oughtn’t hang out with these people, otherwise he may risk a Rader-type scandal. He is being emboldened by rather radical elements.
Over at Patently-O, days ago by Dennis Crouch spoke of patent law firms breaking the rules, as law isn’t the goal but just getting richer and richer if the goal. Here are the details:
In a new order captioned In re Violation of Rule 50, Docket No. 2018-9001 (Fed. Cir. Sept 27, 2018), the Federal Circuit has rebuked an unnamed former law clerk and her law firm for violation of the rule.
The basic setup: When the clerk left the Federal Circuit, she handed over a list of no-no cases to her new law firm. (“No-no cases” are those that were pending during the clerk’s time at the Federal Circuit.) Several years later, the firm stepped-in as new counsel to one of the no-no cases and the former clerk appeared as a lawyer全民彩票网址 in the lawsuit (though not lead counsel). Some unidentified time later, the clerk realized the violation and immediately withdrew from the case. The clerk and firm then notified the Federal Circuit of the breach — noting that the clerk never saw any briefs, discussed the case, or heard any discussion of the case during her time at the Federal Circuit.
In its decision here, the court noted that R. 50 “must be strictly followed” and that the facts as explained are “proof of the firm’s negligence.” Still, the court decided not to impose discipline since this was a first offence for the clerk and firm and no harm was shown. I expect that it would be personally difficult for the court to actually impose discipline on its former clerks absent egregious factors.
David Hricik, who typically writes about ethics in Patently-O (he himself is a former worker at the court), , which represents a lot of patent trolls. It’s not too shocking to see them violating laws etc. It is only to be expected. They’re thugs and bullies (even if they wear suits) and Hricik put it:
Almost exactly one year ago (here), I explained that McKool Smith had been accused of violating a prosecution bar based upon a disagreement, or misunderstanding, about when the bar-dated ended.
We have been writing about McKool Smith for many years and almost every time they’re mentioned it’s in relation to some sort of blackmail rather than patent justice. It would be nice and perhaps well overdue to see them disbarred. █
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Guarding the super-rich by pushing new laws that favour their interests
Summary: By actively helping affluent individuals and multinational firms raid the world with patents and helping these individuals and multinational firms get tax exemptions/reliefs the law firms that are shameless about UPC promotion reveal themselves for what they truly are; they’re parasites that take from the poor to give to the rich
THE media has been quiet about the EPO lately (more so than about the USPTO), which left a certain vacuum for law firms that push their marketing as ‘news’. Over the past week this has mostly meant shameless self-promotion in relation to the UPC.
Not everybody played along. “Only 6 months until Brexit on 29 Mar 2019,” . “And the European Unified Patent Court? No German ratification of UPC agreement, no decision of constitutional court yet, no oral hearing scheduled. Time to say goodbye?”
Yes, but Team UPC won’t give up and admit that just yet. Boult Wade Tennant LLP’s Neil Thomson, in addition to Gordon Harris and Kate Swaine (Gowling WLG) and Osborne Clarke’s Arty Rajendra, Robert Guthrie, Clare Robinson and Mark Foreman are the latest to write about ‘unitary’ patents and the UK. Well, their UPC dream is dead. Deep inside they know it, but they keep throwing their ‘analyses’ at Mondaq and Lexology [, , ]. So did Stephen Bennett and Sahira Khwaja (Hogan Lovells) in JD Supra, as did Anita Polott and Robert Smyth (Morgan Lewis) [, ]. For those who aren’t familiar with Mondaq, Lexology and JD Supra, those are basically platforms of lawyer全民彩票网址s, not journalism. That may seem like honest advice, but it’s just a farm in which to advertise (oneself).
UPC has all along been full of mischief and cheating. Lies, manipulation and dirty tricks behind closed doors. This isn’t going to help the reputation of the profession.
Patrick Wingrove, writing from London about the so-called ‘UK Patent Box’, is basically framing as beneficial a tax evasion mechanism; it’s about using patents and dirty tricks by which to ‘hide’ some ‘assets’ and it’s mostly exploited by large corporations with help of law firms. As : “Newly-released statistics from the UK’s HMRC indicate a 25% year-on-year increase in Patent Box claims. Large companies are getting better at using the system, but overheads may still be keeping smaller firms from using it…”
So HMRC and some patent law firms facilitate more tax evasion by the rich, making them even richer. The same goes for the UPC in the sense that UPC is designed to help large companies crush SMEs using patents. They ought to call it what it really is, but those sites are megaphones of the litigation ‘industry’. Here’s how covered it days ago:
Over 1000 companies claimed almost ￡1 billion in relief using the UK’s Patent Box initiative.
According to statistics released by from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) data, 1,025 companies claimed ￡942.5 million in relief using the Patent Box in 2016-17.
HMRC revealed in its annual statistics release that the number of companies claiming relief increased from 2013-14 to 2015-16, although the number of companies claiming relief in 2016-17 decreased compared to previous years.
Over a quarter of claiming companies were classified as ‘large’ and accounted for 96.3 percent of relief in 2016-17, up 0.8 percent on the previous year.
That’s just ‘legalised’ tax evasion by the rich, actively and gleefully facilitated by patent lawyer全民彩票网址s. Are they proud of themselves? Making the poor pay even more tax to make up for these blatant omissions?
Meanwhile, over in the US, there’s about a super-rich individual opposing taxes on one’s patent extortion and the role of SCOTUS in it:
I posted an article earlier on Gil Hyatt’s ongoing disputes with the USPTO. He also has ongoing disputes with the California Tax Board that reach back to his early licensing revenue from his 1990 microprocessor patent. The case is back before the Supreme Court for the third time. See Franchise Tax Board v. Hyatt (Hyatt I), 538 U.S. 488 (2003); Franchise Tax Board v. Hyatt (Hyatt II), 136 S.Ct. 1277 (2016).
The basic issue is that a Nevada jury found that California had used improper aggression in pursuing Hyatt for taxes that were not really owed.
So we get it. Rich people don’t want to pay tax. They want to tax the whole of society using patents while contributing just about nothing in terms of taxes. This is the sort of nefarious agenda actively promoted by patent law firms (perhaps with few exceptions). And later they tell us all sorts of fairy tales about their aim of protecting innovation and so on… █
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They won’t hold water (would be rendered invalid if challenged in courts)
Summary: Patent offices on both sides of the Atlantic are using hype waves to facilitate patenting of software that courts would almost certainly deem unpatentable
THE “AI” hype made a big comeback about a year ago. Suddenly a lot of things got called “AI” — even things that weren’t called that before!
The EPO and USPTO were quick to exploit this hype and actively promote it in conjunction with patents, even software patents in Europe and in the post-Alice/US 35 U.S.C. § 101 U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. How come? Well, all they care about is the number of patents. Quality does not seem to matter and rules can be disregarded if the applicant name-drops something like “AI”. We wrote dozens of articles about it.
“EPO software patent party continues,” Benjamin Henrion (FFII) in relation to a puff piece that the EPO keeps linking to (it’s from Watchtroll). “We need help countering this,” I responded, seeing that not enough groups and people point out this lunacy. The article at hand speaks of “ICT inventions”. “ICT” : “EPO Chief Operating Officer Mobility & Mechatronics: The challenge of ICT inventions in mobility patent applications is that we have to be able to deal with mixed technology & have our examiners trained to handle them.”
Well, “examiners trained to handle them” as in forced to accept these or risk losing their jobs. “AI” is also one of the sneaky terms that the EPO uses for such patents and Friday was no exception. The EPO : “The main challenge for patent offices from AI will be its rapid growth across a range of technical fields. More on how the EPO is well prepared to face this challenge here…”
It’s pretty remarkable how often the EPO promoted software patents since António Campinos had started his term. He is absolutely fine with it.
Over in the US, patent maximalists (mostly the large law firms) still try that we found earlier today:
One of the hottest and most controversial topics in patent law in recent years has been the question of patentable subject matter: Exactly what innovations can be patented?
In the area of software almost nothing — a subject we’ll explore in greater depth (citing new court cases) later this weekend. A by Charles Bieneman (“Overcome Alice by Talking up Technical Benefits”) shows how they try to come up with workarounds (around US 35 U.S.C. § 101). From Bieneman’s concluding words: “Anything you can put in your specification about how claimed subject matter makes hardware bigger, better, faster, or stronger may be very helpful supporting a patent-eligibility argument.”
So it’s the classic trick of trying to make code sound physical — the oldest trick at the EPO.
“Are Database Systems Patentable?” That’s Law.com to this effect after a recent high-profile case (finding database patents invalid). Beyond the headline we just have a patent maximalist dancing around the question to which to short answer is “No!” (and these lawyer全民彩票网址s know it).
This brings us back to the “AI” metaphor or buzz. Watch how, in this new press release [, ], Iveda is disguising abstract patents (which are bunk) using buzzwords like "AI". We are going to see lots more of that in months if not years to come. Sometimes they can’t possibly make claims about the code pertaining to hardware (physical), so instead they speak of mere concepts like “AI” — a concept that can cleverly be spun to refer to just about any computer program. █
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