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05.22.17

Great News: While IBM et al Try to Undermine Patent Reform the Supreme Court Deepens the Reform in TC Heartland Case

Posted in America, Patents at 4:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The giant corporations that like to bully competitors with their software patents are losing control of the patent system, thanks in part to the Supreme Court (SCOTUS)

TC Heartland LLC v Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC
Reference: Outcome of TC Heartland LLC v Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC

Summary: In a unanimous decision, with the court ruling 8-0 against TC Heartland, the monkey business in East Texas (beneficial to patent trolls and large businesses that leverage software patents) may have just come to an end

TECHRIGHTS was eagerly awaiting the decision on TC Heartland, not knowing when exactly this decision will be delivered. This decision won’t have a profound effect on the USPTO but rather on the courts. Say goodbye to the Eastern District of Texas as a capital of patent trolls and patent aggression. There’s no room for appeals anymore.

Is this the beginning of the end of patent trolls in the US? Well, it most certainly is a massive leap. Without access to my workstation (11,000KM away) it’s hard to know just how many patent-centric sites already cover it (probably spinning it), but here is coverage from TechDirt, whose views are similar to the EFF’s (which did a lot of campaigning regarding this case). To quote:

Another Supreme Court case on patents, and another complete smackdown of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), the court that is supposed to be the “expert” on patent cases. This morning the ruling on the TC Heartland case came out, and it could help put an end to jurisdiction shopping for patent cases. As you’ve probably heard, for years now patent trolls and other aggressive patent litigants have been filing their cases in East Texas, as it’s become a jurisdiction that is ridiculous friendly to patent holders. The towns of Marshall and Tyler, Texas have practically built up industries around the fact that they are “patent friendly” jurisdictions. In the past few years, a second favored jurisdiction has popped up: Delaware, after a few academic studies showed that the courts there may have been even more friendly than East Texas. The TC Heartland case was about a case filed in Delaware, and raised the issue of whether or not this kind of patent forum shopping was okay. CAFC, in its usual CAFC manner, said “sure, that’s great, we love jurisdiction shopping and have since our 1990 ruling in VE Holding v. Johnson Gas. This was kind of ironic, as one of the key justifications given for setting up CAFC in the first place was to put an end to jurisdiction shopping in patent cases.

Either way, CAFC once again blessed the ability of patent holders to sue in plaintiff friendly locations, and the Supreme Court — which has spent the past decade reteaching patent law to CAFC every chance it gets — has done so again. Once again, the decision was unanimous, with the court voting 8 – 0 that trolls can’t just file over and over again in East Texas (Gorsuch, having just joined the court after the case was heard, did not take part). The opinion, written by Justice Thomas, goes through the history of jurisdiction issues related to where one can bring lawsuits, noting that historically, where a company was incorpor

It is worth reminding ourselves that these courts down in Texas were known not just for affinity towards trolls but also software patents. So this is massive! As the above notes, this case does not yet reveal anything about Gorsuch’s stance on patents.

Meanwhile, in the pro-trolls and pro-software patents spheres, there is a push to overturn another SCOTUS case (Alice), led by the likes of IBM and promoted by IAM, Watchtroll and few others.

The other day IAM did a sort of think tank on the matter, writing about what it called: “Superb panel on [Section] 101 looking at some of differences between software community and other IP owning sectors…”

As one can expect, it’s one of those stacked panels that IAM is so renowned (or notorious) for. That’s how IAM pays the bills; follow the money, they sell influence…

Here it is stating that “HP Enterprise’s Marcia Chang – we’ve had a course correction cleaning up some of mess in software patents & that’s a good thing…”

Here’s Google’s stance: “Puneet Sarna of Google – current situation on 101 is where SCOTUS wanted to go with Alice…”

“Sarna – Now patentees and accused infringers have better idea about how 101 should be applied,” IAM added.

Then came Cisco, another giant corporation: “Cisco’s Dan Lang – if you look at recent Fed Circuit decisions i believe theres a strong convergence between Europe and US…”

Where are the small businesses or actual developers? Well, IAM doesn’t really want a real debate. It’s a think tank after all…

Then came this UPC lobbying from IAM and Cisco: “cautious but hopeful that UPC will lead to a balanced system…”

Who said it would happen at all? The tense in “will” suggests inevitability.

IAM later wrote this post about “big software players” (that’s what the headline says). IAM’s loudest software patents proponent wrote it and left no room for objectivity. Here is the part about Google, which is probably the lesser culprit (Michelle Lee came from there):

“It’s a false narrative, it’s not that Silicon Valley hates the patent system,” insisted John La Barre, head of patent transactions at Google. “In my experience at Google we value strong patents, we just have an opinionated sense of what that means. It’s a question of what does a strong patent system look like, not do we think we need a strong patent system.” La Barre added that meant the search giant supported improvements in patent quality and attempts to reduce litigation.

We can expect the latest SCOTUS decisions to be spun, attacked, nitpicked etc. by the patent microcosm in the coming days. IAM will probably fight this decision for years to come (like it does Alice… even 3 years down the line). We’ll take stock of some of the spin some time next month (when I return home).

Speculations About Battistelli’s End of Term, Campinos at EUIPO, and Failed UPC Ambitions

Posted in Europe, Patents, Rumour at 2:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Rumours and speculations surrounding the fate of the EPO’s leadership now that the UPC gravy train is stuck again and Battistelli’s protector, Jesper Kongstad, is about to leave

IN OUR previous post we cited a blog post titled ‘Successor EPO president Benoît Battistelli to be chosen this autumn’ and as we noted towards the end, Martijn van Dam may be gullible if he is so certain that Battistelli is leaving. In Twitter, people of inner circles have begun wondering if “Battistelli’s henchman” will take over, alluding to Mr. Campinos.

“In Twitter, people of inner circles have begun wondering if “Battistelli’s henchman” will take over, alluding to Mr. Campinos.”“Any other candidates?”

Well, someone will replace Mr. Kongstad pretty soon (about 4 months from now). We understand that he basically got sacked by the Danish government (at least removed from DKPTO; he might still serve in the Administrative Council at some capacity).

Inside sources, however, aren’t so certain that Battistelli is leaving next year. His UPC ‘crusade’ is failing pretty badly because the EU is losing Britain, Spain remains defiant, Poland seems sceptical and so on…

“Inside sources, however, aren’t so certain that Battistelli is leaving next year.”Will Battistelli use the failure of the UPC as an excuse for “needing more time” (as in, another term)? Will he spend some additional millions of Euros bribing and manipulating European media in a desperate effort to lie about the UPC and ram it down everyone’s throats, based on misinformation?

According to this new report (behind paywall), the British “Government quizzed over viability of London’s UPC courts after Brexit” and the body speaks of EUIPO, which Campinos is still heading. To quote: “The UK’s future with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) post-Brexit came under the spotlight this week, after a question on EU-jurisdiction drew a carefully-worded answer from the government.”

“Will Battistelli use the failure of the UPC as an excuse for “needing more time” (as in, another term)?”All the things about UPC are behind a paywall, but the headline suggests that UPC is anything but certain, no matter who wins the election next month.

“Cromwell puts forward queries surrounding EUIPO and UPC,” Benjamin Henrion wrote about this, and “questions will form part of EU negotiations says minister…”

Well, the very fact that UPC is brought up in conjunction with EUIPO (which does not deal with patents) is rather curious and it brings back speculations about Campinos, the EU, the UPC, and various other things.

“…it seems like the sky is the limit when it comes to patent scope at the EPO under Battistelli.”We are truly concerned about the vision laid forth by UPC propagandists, for the UPC would usher in all sorts of crazy patents into nations that currently forbid them. For instance, the EPO is granting patents on life (genome) while almost abolishing the appeal boards that can stop this, citing opposition from the EU, the EPC and so on. “CRISPR patents decided, but cases not closed,” said this new headline a few days ago, but given Battistelli’s assault on the appeal boards it seems like the sky is the limit when it comes to patent scope at the EPO under Battistelli. Dangerous times ahead and critical crossroads…

Martijn van Dam is Wrong to Believe That Battistelli’s Abuses Are Somehow Acceptable or Tolerable Because His Term is Possibly Ending

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Will tolerate abuses provided you’re old and almost retired

Partij van de Arbeid
Photo credit: Partij van de Arbeid

Summary: Coverage of Martijn van Dam’s stance (he is the Dutch State Secretary for Economic Affairs) reveals that economic gain trumps ethics and justice, irrespective of what the law says

THE concept of justice at the EPO hardly exists at all. Even outside the EPO, e.g. when ILO deals with appeals, there is no justice, as we last showed yesterday. When people are allowed to get away with abuses — even incredible violations of the law — that reinforces and cements their immunity and impunity. That’s just what happens at the EPO.

“When people are allowed to get away with abuses — even incredible violations of the law — that reinforces and cements their immunity and impunity.”In between all sorts of puff pieces about the EPO (I am not keeping a close eye while on holiday, but some shallow pieces get picked up, e.g. [1, 2]) there is this blog post from Kluwer Patent Blog, which cites/translates something Petra Kramer told us the other day (we wrote about this two nights ago). Now we have some context: “Last week, in a debate on the situation at the EPO in Dutch parliament, secretary of state Martijn van Dam made clear he is very critical of Battistelli as well. But Van Dam thinks implementing changes in the EPO’s regulations is more important than focussing on an early departure of the EPO president, whose term ends in June 2018 anyway. He expects some improvements to be implemented next month. Hereunder a translation of the most relevant statements in the debate.”

“What kind of world are we living in? Where people in international institutions are untouchable and above the law, even in their host countries?”That’s too bizarre a logic. So van Dam clearly understands that Battistelli is abusive, yet he lets him off the hook purely because of timing? The immunity remains? Imagine the outcry if Dominique Strauss-Kahn was allowed to walk away free simply because he’s already old. Or the same for Sepp Blatter. What kind of world are we living in? Where people in international institutions are untouchable and above the law, even in their host countries?

If the Netherlands and politicians like Martijn van Dam wish to maintain (or earn) respect from the international community, then they’ll need to come up with something stronger than that. Aside from that, some EPO insiders believe that Battistelli will seek extension of his term and may even modify the rules (with consent from his ‘chinchillas’) in order to facilitate this never-ending reign of terror. The EPO not only harms Dutch contractors (financial damage) but also harms the image of Holland. The EPO has become nothing but a parasite to the Dutch people.

05.21.17

Media and Staff Association Elections at EPO and WIPO Are Compromised

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Knocking down two essential pillars of a modern democracy

Separation of powers
“Freedom of the Press,
if it means anything at all,
means the freedom
to criticize and oppose”


–George Orwell

Summary: A campaign of abuse (legal bullying) and gifting to the media, combined with a wide-ranging assault on critics who represent the interests of staff, have led WIPO and EPO down the route to totality

WIPO is a tool of mega-corporations which is neither international nor fair. Its attacks on media recently got the attention of some media that had hitherto more or less ignored WIPO scandals — in the same way that a lot of media still ignores many EPO scandals. It often seems that the media starts caring — at least a little — only when it too comes under attack (basically for doing its job).

The failure of ILO and the EPO (further to our previous post) is part of a broader problem which I first became familiar with half a decade ago. There is no access to justice. People at the UN told me so and shared documents to support these assertions. It has gotten so bad that they now bully the press with impunity (ILO could, in theory, attempt to bully bloggers) and citing all sorts of articles such as this, SUEPO took note of WIPO’s abuses (also UN), citing a several pages long PDF about the latest at WIPO. See the article “WIPO Boss Seeks to Silence Press Critics and Whistleblowers” — a report which starts with some background:

On January 25, 2017 the Staff Association of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) headquartered in Geneva, demonstrated to protest the recent actions of Francis Gurry, the agency’s Director General. Unhappy with the duly-elected Staff Association Council, Gurry organized his own elections and simply replaced the legitimate Staff Council with his preferred slate of officers.

Besides the obvious problem of management selecting candidates for Staff Association elections, there were apparently numerous irregularities manifest in this process, and the duly-elected Council of the Staff Association is pursuing legal remedies. These take time, however, and in the meantime, Gurry’s preferred slate has taken over the offices and functions of the legitimate officials.

The “problem of management selecting candidates for Staff Association elections,” as the above puts it, is already a reality at the EPO. There is veto power for management when it comes to staff representation and even the disciplinary committees are controlled and composed indirectly by Team Battistelli, assuring that justice will be just a mirage. At the EPO, the Central Staff Committee is going to change pretty soon and “most people are too frightened” to stand for election, an insider recently told us.

When the media loses its voice and staff too loses its voice we are left to deal with autocratic entities. When these are disconnected from national laws, i.e. enjoying immunity, what we have is a “toxic mix” or “dangerous cocktail”. That’s what Gurry and Battistelli both pursued separately and actually got at the end. Who will end this? Can ECHR put an end to that?

New Documents Help Demonstrate That ILO Delivers Institutional Injustice to EPO Employees and Cushions Team Battistelli

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ILO overburdens with complaints

ILO slowing down complainants

Summary: The International Labour Organisation Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT) delivers not justice but merely the illusion of justice, probably in defiance of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

THE International Labour Organisation (ILO) has become somewhat of a sham. To many, ILO has become just about as destructive as the management of the EPO. It’s part of the same framework of hopelessness, discouragement, waste of time, and waste of money (legal fees). It is a very sad fact that the supposed safeguard of workers’ rights has inadvertently guarded the EPO‘s immunity rather than EPO staff. In fact, Dutch authorities, having been misled by EPO management, have come to believe that ILO is some sort of independent and effective arbiter, peripheral to Team Battistelli rather than almost submissive to it.

“…Dutch authorities, having been misled by EPO management, have come to believe that ILO is some sort of independent and effective arbiter, peripheral to Team Battistelli rather than almost submissive to it.”The latest two documents, shown above with redactions, are just some among many we have seen regarding a variety of cases involving different individuals. Many people are on the same boat. They cannot, based on the experience of others, believe that ILO tribunals can ever offer real reprieve. Even in the rare cases when they actually issue a ruling (not just the typical deferrals) and when the EPO loses the dispute, Battistelli more or less ignores or works around the ruling. Compliance is not an option. In other words, Battistelli not only snubs European governments but also international bodies that are supposed to govern/supervise/police him. It’s a problem that’s akin to the Administrative Council led by Battistelli’s ‘chinchilla’. It’s truly despicable.

Readers should expect us to examine these issues more closely in the coming months if not years. We also invite readers to send to us material related to their ILO cases. Our publications of material are consensual and are subjected to careful scrutiny.

The understand the importance of the above documents, consider what these demonstrate. 30 days only are given for the complainants to respond (the complainants is also slowed down by a chronic disease and is being overburdened by unreasonable demands, bombarded with piles of papers etc.) and the process is being delayed (+60 days, i.e. 90 days in total) for the EPO. This disproportionate and asymmetric legal spiel obviously is designed — willingly or not — to help the EPO ‘win’, even if by simply exhausting the other side (emotionally if not financially too).

“ILO is not doing its job properly and the Dutch government ought to know this. Its excuses are not valid and immunity needs to be removed.”No reaction by ILOAT, in spite of a chronic disease, says quite a lot. These are insensitive people who are either apathetic/uninterested in tackling EPO cases or simply want the EPO to ‘win’ all of these case. If they are incapable of dealing with EPO-induced workload, then they should not only state so publicly but also make a stronger statement, along with action, to that effect. They could, for example, herald the failure of their own system and pursue remediation at an international level. Instead, they carry on pretending that they can cope with this mess. They would rather mask/hide these failures to protect their own interests.

“My right to be heard and to respond is violated,” told us an involved person, hence “no fair trial under Art. 6 ECHR!”

This is a high priority matter. ILO is not doing its job properly and the Dutch government ought to know this. Its excuses are not valid and immunity needs to be removed. The abuses by the EPO’s management need to be studied by ECHR and people punished accordingly (although the concept of accountability barely exists in international contexts).

Leaked: 2017 European Inventor Award Finalists, or Stooges Whom the Tyrant Battistelli Exploits for PR Purposes and Media Manipulation

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

2017 European Inventor Award Popular Prize

Summary: The stupidest ceremony in Europe (turning serious science into something sketchy such as Eurovision) is disliked among EPO staff and is exploited by the person who destroys the EPO (Benoît Battistelli) to pretend all is fine and dandy, at huge expense to the Office (as extraordinary as about 5 million Euros for a ~2-hour show)

THE EPO is still wasting money on press releases that break patent neutrality and make the institution promotional (not objective) at the expense of stakeholders. We wrote about a dozen articles about this subject before. Looking at some of the very latest press releases, which continue to come (e.g. [1, 2]), we cannot help wondering how much money is spent on this. We know it’s millions, but this year we don’t have the invoices (at least not yet).

“The EPO has turned European media into ‘Turkish media’.”If anybody at the EPO knows that the EPO signed some kind of contract with Shepard Fox Communications (for PR), please get in touch. We could use a leak or at least some information which relates to this. As we noted here before, the PR expenditures of the EPO (to control the media) have gone well out of control. This might also impact coverage of EPO scandal (e.g. self-censorship, gags, retaliation against particular reporters). The EPO has turned European media into ‘Turkish media’. The USPTO has never done anything remotely like that; it didn’t even elevate one patent over another using so-called ‘awards’. Bluntly speaking, the patent offices around the world are rarely run by crooked people like Battistelli. As for Kongstad, we are told that he was ousted from DKPTO (told to step down, by his own government!) but could use material that helps verify that.

“Well, a lot of EPO insiders have great disdain for that silly charade, which is a waste of budget and is typically a photo-op opportunity for Battistelli — the man who abuses his own staff and destroys their employer, thus rendering them unemployed.”The above is intentionally distorted, for the purpose of source protection. “Here is [the] list of the nominees for the inventor award comedy,” told us a source. “I don’t [need to] tell you what it is all about,” the source continues, as “you know better than I do…”

Well, a lot of EPO insiders have great disdain for that silly charade, which is a waste of budget and is typically a photo-op opportunity for Battistelli — the man who abuses his own staff and destroys their employer, thus rendering them unemployed. EPO examiners aren’t gullible; they are very bright people — to the point where it’s unthinkable that they can be ruled by a clueless thug like Battistelli.

“It is time to inform the participants that [this] inventor award puff piece is rather a Battistelli horror show,” our source noted, worse “than the Cannes festival.”

“By exploiting EPO budget and possibly even misusing such budget, Battistelli tries to legitimise himself (and his reign of terror), e.g. by brushing shoulders with EU politicians and associating himself with scientists, including (as the above shows) people whose contribution is software patents that help patent trolls like MPEG-LA.”“Now the names of the nominees are public,” our source continued, “it is a great time to make them aware of the situation and the fact that Battistelli is misusing them for his own promotion. Imagine all the people… NOT attending the show.”

This observation is correct. By exploiting EPO budget and possibly even misusing such budget, Battistelli tries to legitimise himself (and his reign of terror), e.g. by brushing shoulders with EU politicians and associating himself with scientists, including (as the above shows) people whose contribution is software patents that help patent trolls like MPEG-LA. Remember that the EPO was never supposed to grant patents on software in the first place! Not only does it help patent trolls by doing so but it also grants awards to people who do this.

05.20.17

EPO: Can the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) Still Save It?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As with most headlines that have question marks in them, the answer might be “no” (with caveats)

Summary: Genuine concerns about the slow process at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the lack of progress at ILO, which coincide with weakening of the unions and threat to jobs of patent examiners (leaving ordinary Europeans more vulnerable to meritless patent lawsuits)

WE are still on holiday (11,000KM from home), but we continue to receive new EPO leaks. Sooner or later we expect a lot of the ugliness to come out and be made public. But is this enough to save the EPO? Well, that depends on what “saving” means. Battistelli’s policies are going to make a lot of staff redundant and also cause great pain to European businesses (especially the smaller ones, i.e. the vast majority).

“The motion to fire Battistelli,” Petra Kramer wrote some days ago, “has been rejected, the motion evaluate the limits of immunity has been adopted.”

If Battistelli lost his immunity, that might serve to bring some justice, but is it not too late? Time is running out.

As SUEPO noted, workers’ bodies speak out about the European Court of Human Rights, but they never had any concrete/real leverage over Battistelli. He just ignores everyone who does not agree with him and if/when he can, he punishes too (firings, demotions, mental torture etc.). EPO has become like a consulate of Turkey in Bavaria, complete with its own sultan. Nominations for the Central Staff Committee closed about 5 days ago and only the brave ‘dared’ apply. No wonder…

“Two staff unions at the European Patent Agency,” said one statement, “filed a complaint against the Netherlands with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) for violation of article 6 ECHR in combination with articles 10, 11 and 13 of the Convention.”

Another said: “The long-running conflict at the European Patent Office (EPO) over abuses of worker and trade union rights is now heading to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). SUEPO, the trade union at the EPO has filed a complaint against the Netherlands for failing to protect workers. The courts there ruled that Dutch law has no jurisdiction leaving the workers in a legal limbo. The workers have been supported by the FNV trade union and the matter has been taken up in the Dutch parliament.”

There is also this new PDF in SUEPO’s Web site, published several days ago to say:

Amsterdam 8 May 2017 – Today, two staff unions at the European Patent Agency, VEOB and SUEPO, filed a complaint against the Netherlands with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) for violation of article 6 ECHR in combination with articles 10, 11 and 13 of the Convention.

The European Patent Organisation (EPO), which is located i.a. on Dutch territory, is infringing on the right of the unions to take collective action and to enter into collective negotiations. These are internationally recognized rights that are also guaranteed by article 10 (right to freedom of expression) and article 11 (right of freedom of assembly and association) of the ECHR. For years now, there has been a culture of intimidation by EPO-management that has severely affected the work environment. The EPO is making it impossible for the unions to effectively serve the interests of their members. Though an organization like the EPO ordinarily enjoys immunity from jurisdiction, this does not apply if the unions do not have an effective legal remedy through which to (internally) address the problems. According to standard ECtHR-case law, a national court can them assume jurisdiction.

In its judgment of 15 February 2015, the Appeals Court in The Hague held that the unions in and of themselves did not have an effective legal remedy within the EPO. The Appeals Court assumed jurisdiction and then ruled largely in favour of the unions. The EPO filed a cassation appeal, primarily in light of the dismissal of its immunity claim. The State of the Netherlands joined the cassation procedure as a party on the side of the EPO. In its judgment of 20 January 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that EPO enjoys immunity from jurisdiction after all. The consequence of this verdict for the unions is that they do not have a true legal remedy by which to address the violations of their ECHR-rights.

As state party to the Convention, the Netherlands is obliged to ensure that the ECHR is safeguarded on its territory. As this is impossible in the light of the Supreme Court judgment, the Netherlands is violating article 6 ECHR in combination with articles 10, 11 and 13 of the Convention.

The unions are represented by lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld.

There is some additional press coverage from what is typically a SUEPO-hostile site:

The Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) has brought the Netherlands to the European Court of Human Rights amid rising tensions and alleged abuse at the EPO.

In a blog post on 9 May, SUEPO said that it previously sought protection from the Dutch courts in the form of an injunction to prevent the violation of EPO workers’ rights.

But the Supreme Court of the Netherlands upheld the EPO’s immunity, failing to “discharge their duty of care, thereby allowing a breach of fundamental rights on their soil and de facto condoning, if not endorsing, the EPO’s abuses”.

We have some new leaks coming and these ought to demonstrate not only why ECHR should take on the case but also why immunity must be removed and ILO be subjected to greater scrutiny. The deeper we look at this whole situation, the easier it becomes to see that ILO’s Administrative Tribunal is part of the problem. It gives the illusion of access to justice — something that it never delivers. ILO might as well tell the truth to Dutch authorities and ECHR; it has absolutely no control over labour rights at the EPO and at this stage, as a mater of urgency, immunity must be removed and Team Battistelli held accountable for very serious abuses, either as professionals or as civilians.

ECHR cases can take years to deal with (up to 3 years, their Web site states); that’s longer than it will take for Battistelli to totally destroy the EPO, culminating in mass layoffs. We don’t ever know what will be left of SUEPO and VEOB by that stage.

05.19.17

Cloudflare’s Enemy is Software Patents, Not Just One Software Patent or One Patent Troll

Posted in America, Patents at 4:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dark clouds over Cloudflare, but it’s not alone in this

Cloudflare dark logo

Summary: With a bounty of $50,000, which is likely less than the cost of legal defense, Cloudflare looks for help with its own case rather than the underlying issues that need tackling worldwide

THE EPO and the USPTO both grant software patents irrespective of the rules that come from the Parliament/EPC and the Supreme Court, respectively. This means that, unless these patents are challenged in the courts system (at very high cost to the defendant), software patents holders can get away with it, extracting ‘protection’ money using bogus patents.

Citing articles such as “Cloudflare trolls patent troll, offers $50k bounty for prior-art invalidation,” iophk quoted the following passage: “Cloudflare has announced that it will award that amount to anyone to support a search for prior art that can be used to invalidate Blackbird’s patents.”

“Invalidating individual patents does not scale,” iophk told us. “The real problem to attack is software patents themselves…”

We have told the EFF the same thing for over a decade now.

We wrote about this Cloudflare case earlier in the week and so did this trolls expert, whom I spoke to on the phone earlier this year. The article focuses on the stance and the views from Cloudflare (notably from Cloudflare’s CEO Matthew Prince). To quote:

Cloudflare, the Internet security company and content delivery network, was founded more than seven years ago but miraculously hadn’t ever been hit with a patent infringement lawsuit from a non-practicing entity (commonly referred to as a “patent troll”) until this March.

Rather than pay a nuisance settlement, Cloudflare is going all-out to fight Blackbird Technologies LLC, a company founded by two former big-firm lawyers that has amassed dozens of patents and filed more than 100 lawsuits. Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince says Blackbird is a classic “patent troll,” albeit one with a new, and potentially dangerous, twist on its business model.

Cloudflare offers $50,000 to save its own behind and tackle just one single patent. Why not spend this money investing in patent reform which would collectively help all sorts of companies? Right now the giant corporations which advocate software patents are greasing up politicians in a coordinated effort to spread the breath and reach of software patents (more on that later). The problem at hand is much bigger than this one patent and this one lawsuit.

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