The Destruction of a High Tech Economy

By Gene Quinn
September 12, 2014

There was a lot riding on Alice v. CLS Bank, and the Supreme Court got it wrong. There is no point in sugar-coating it, or pretending that everything will be alright. The Supreme Court is openly hostile to patents, and increasingly so is the Federal Circuit. Simply stated, strong patent rights are an absolute prerequisite for a high tech economy.

It is a sad realization, but we are indeed at a point were commercially viable claims worth litigating are virtually assured to be invalid claims. Until this changes the economy suffer in due course. After all, it isn’t the copycats who create new things. Copycats copy and innovators innovate. You cannot infringe patents owned by an innovator and claim that because the product is new to you it is an innovation. NO! It is merely new to you and a rip-off from the true innovator.

When innovators cannot get protection they cannot get funding, they do not form companies, jobs are not created and pretty soon there won’t be anything left for the copycats to copy. Increasingly trade secret protection will be the way forward, and some 235 years ago we made the correct choice that we wanted to discourage trade secrets and encourage public disclosure. That experiment lead to the United States being the most innovative country in the world.

To those who cheer the demise of software patents and think that open source will win the day and the world will be a better place, I can only say WAKE UP!  The reality is that open source software is a cesspool of vulnerability and a nightmare to maintain. As Sun Microsystems proved, the quickest way to turn a $5 billion company into a $600 million company is to go open source. So be careful what you wish for! Open source is no panacea, and after nearly a generation of trying to make it a profitable business model companies struggle mightily because an open source business model is a service model. That means selling your time, but with only so many hours in a day earnings are sharply limited. Hardly a business model that will lift the U.S. economy that largely creates only low paying service jobs already.

With a steep and significant erosion of patent rights and a horribly uncompetitive corporate tax structure the future for high tech companies in the United States is bleak. By some estimates trillions of dollars earned by U.S. companies sit off shore because unlike other nations the U.S. taxes corporate earnings no matter where they are made. The world’s best and strongest patent system combined with good tax policies made the U.S. the dominant force in the world. Now we have an antiquated tax system that ranks us at or near the bottom and many biotechnology and software innovations aren’t patentable, while others are declared obvious de novo. Say it out loud. It makes even less sense when you speak the words. The Supreme Court has struck a significant blow against innovators in two critical sectors that employ millions of U.S. workers.

Appointed jurists are destroying the United States economy by systematically dismantling the patent system piece by piece. Our elected leaders in Washington, DC, have done nothing helpful, although they always tout patent legislation as a jobs bill, which is laughable. How does changing to a first to file system create a single additional job? It doesn’t. We are watching the complete destruction of a once highly favorable business climate in the United States, and that is as unforgivable as it is tragic. Even Warren Buffett, the man who demanded to be taxed more, is helping finance companies moving offshore to escape the U.S. business tax structure. And still our leaders watch and do nothing useful for fear that they might be seen as cooperating with the enemy and face a primary challenge, which for most Representatives is the only real challenge they have to worry about.

In a blog post from March 2104, Marian Underweiser, IBM’s Counsel for IP Law Strategy & Policy, wrote:

Computer implemented inventions, particularly in software, form the basis for innovation not only in the technology products we use every day, such as laptops and smartphones, but in everything from cars to surgical techniques to innovations that increase efficiency and production in factories. Strong and effective patent protection for these innovations in the U.S. has fostered a fertile environment for research and development and, as a result, the US is the undisputed leader in the software industry.

Many won’t believe IBM though because as the most innovative company in the world, a company that spends $6 billion year after year on research and development, they have a vested interest. The Government Accountability Office, however, does not have a vested interest and in a 2013 report they concluded that between 50% and 60% of all patent applications filed seek protection for innovation relate to software in one way or another. That means that at least half of all innovations could potentially be lost due to the Supreme Court’s failure to follow the enacted patent statutes and instead act as a super Legislature that despises all things patent.

Numerous companies each individually collect in excess of $1 billion a year for licensing their patent portfolios, including companies like IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Texas Instruments and many others. With a decision that makes software patent ineligible entire patent portfolios will be severely compromised if not virtually erased, which means many billions of dollars of corporate value will be lost, which means corporate valuations (and stock prices) should substantially be revised downward because the primary assets many companies have will be worthless, or at least worth less.

The real problem is that none of this will be obvious to those outside the industry until it is too late to do anything about it. Without the protection of a strong and vibrant patent portfolio anyone could simply enter the marketplace despite status as a free-rider. Once well funded foreign corporations start marching into the U.S. and high-tech corporations can’t stop them because they don’t have any valid patents the problem will be readily apparent. By then, however, many high paying research and development jobs will be lost.

The Alice decision, like the Myriad and Mayo decisions, will be good for those who don’t innovate and simply copy, but innovation that relies on software and genetics will largely cease because it simply will not make sense to invest anything other than modest sums into development. You cannot invest modest sums and expect to come up with anything worthwhile in the biotechnology sector, and while less cost sensitive the software industry will be squeezed as well given the lingering and lengthy credit crunch that makes it extremely difficult for people even with pristine credit ratings to get loans.

This Supreme Court will have profound and negative impact on many industries and the U.S. economy as a whole. These isolated, Ivy League educated, aristocrats are out of touch and in over their head. But expecting Congress to come to the rescue, which they should, is about as foolish as thinking that this Supreme Court might eventually see a patent with valid claims.

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a patent attorney and the founder and Editor of IPWatchdog.com. He is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and an attorney with Widerman Malek. Gene has worked with independent inventors and start-up businesses in a variety of different technology fields, but specializes in software, systems and electronics. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney licensed to practice before the United States Patent Office and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on IPWatchdog.com do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of IPWatchdog.com. Read more.

Discuss this

There are currently 76 Comments comments.

  1. Donald Grump September 12, 2014 10:00 am

    More hyperbolic blather… you’re really losing it

  2. Anon September 12, 2014 10:30 am

    Mr. Grump,

    What is your background? Are you seeing (firsthand) client’s with applications being rejected on summary cut-and-paste paragraphs that reflect the “hyperbolic”? Or is your response based purely on your own gut reactions?

  3. Curious September 12, 2014 11:31 am

    “More hyperbolic blather… you’re really losing it”
    This isn’t Slashdot, you need to come up with a better response than that.

  4. patent leather September 12, 2014 11:37 am

    There is one man responsible for all of this: Obama. Putting a Google patent attorney to direct the USPTO who is against software patents and appointing five judges to the CAFC who will never save a claim from ineligibility. I can’t wait to see who he appoints to replace Rader. The Alice decision didn’t have to be so bad, the original USPTO guidelines were reasonable (yes it slated patents on “fundamental economic principles” plus a computer to be dead but these were clearly dead under Alice anyway). After those guidelines came out, I called some examiners who told me there is really no change except for a patent claiming a known economic method. These applications would likely be invalid under 102/103 anyway. So I didn’t think much of the whole thing.

    But the USPTO was secretly scheming and is currently reading Alice to say no to software. Nobody but the “Director” would have authority to do this. And with Obama’s appointed judges (when has a president ever had the opportunity to appoint 7 judges to the CAFC?) it will be unlikely to draw a panel that has two judges willing to uphold a claim. It will also be virtually impossible for the CAFC to now agree to review a grant of ineligibility en banc.

    When Alice originally came out, I didn’t think much of it, but I didn’t consider the other forces at play. Gene originally called it that Alice spelled doom for software and he was correct.

    But I’m not stating anything here most readers don’t already know. I suppose what would be more helpful is coming up with things that those of us who care about this can do to help address the current situation.

  5. Gene Quinn September 12, 2014 11:44 am

    Donald Grump-

    Thanks for your insightful commentary. No, seriously. I lay out a perfectly valid case that everyone in the industry knows to be 100% correct and all you can do is attack me personally. I LOVE IT! When that happens I know I’m right and people like you have nothing to debate on a substantive level.

    -Gene

  6. Curious September 12, 2014 11:57 am

    There is one man responsible for all of this: Obama.
    Who gave us Dudas? Who gave us Kappos? Also, the administration’s first proposed replacement for Kappos, Phil Johnson, could hardly be said to be anti-patent.

    Nobody but the “Director” would have authority to do this
    You would be surprised. Kappos left February 1, 2013. Shortly thereafter, the following “informative” opinions were issued by the PTAB: Ex parte Smith, No. 2012-007631 (14 March 2013); Ex parte Erol, No. 2011-001143 (13 March 2013); Ex parte Lakkala, No. 2011-001526 (13 March 2013). All bad law (IMHO) in view of Typhoon Touch and Nazomi, but definitely worth a read. Also, Ex parte Mewherter (storage medium claims) No. 2012-007692 (8 May 2013) was the first precedential opinion issued in ages. Notably all of these decisions are anti-software patents. Interestingly, one APJ was on every one of those panels. Additionally, this same APJ was the former Vice Chief Administrative Patent of the BPAI (now PTAB). Personally, I think there are some career (but high-level) folks at the USPTO that would like to kill software patents and the lack of leadership has given them the opportunity to attempt to do so.

  7. NWPA (Night Writer Patent Attorney) September 12, 2014 1:41 pm

    Patent Leather: I agree it is Obama mostly. And, I think it is Google’s influence. It is interesting that Google has stated that if they were to lose their searching business that they would lose almost all their revenue and their biggest fear is some new innovative way to search that would overnight take their business. And, they state that they competitive advantage is all the servers they own and the software to run them.

    So, they don’t want patents. They want to be able to copy any new innovation to insure they stay on top. And there have been articles about how active Google has been in Washington lobbyist.

  8. patent leather September 12, 2014 1:57 pm

    Curious, I agree that Obama might have been pro patent at first, but after he put patent trolls in his sights (not sure exactly when but between O’Malleys and Reyna’s appointment) his advisors must have recommended that he appoint anti-software judges. My understanding is that Phil Johnson was being vetted and when they found out he opposed the fee shifting bills he was dropped. Thanks for the PTAB cites, when I have more time I will read all of those cases. You may be correct that there are some high level people at the USPTO that want to kill software, but I can’t imagine anything like that can be done without Director approval.

  9. NWPA (Night Writer Patent Attorney) September 12, 2014 2:10 pm

    Curious: I think you are right regarding that there have always been people at the PTO that wanted to kill software patents. What is your take on CJ Smith?

  10. Gary Dell September 12, 2014 2:54 pm

    Sounds like Gene needs a drink.

    I do agree with everything you’ve said. The question is, how long will it take the Sup. Ct. to narrow Alice? We could be in this period for another 3-5 years.

  11. NWPA (Night Writer Patent Attorney) September 12, 2014 3:14 pm

    Of course the great irony is that it may be that “trolls” do well during this time and innovation dies.

  12. NWPA (Night Writer Patent Attorney) September 12, 2014 4:04 pm

    When I was involved in making commercial products I was astounded at how quickly and shamelessly companies would copy our products. It shocked me what some people did. I actually was so shocked by it that I would call them up and sometime go to dinner with them to discuss what they had done. What was so odd to me is that they were exceedingly proud of their copy and had no conscious whatsoever regarding taking our product. And, in one case, a company formed outside the U.S. and exactly duplicated what we did and started a company in foreign country where we did not have patents.

    Unless you have experienced it first hand, you have no idea what we are in for. It happens so quickly and is so pervasive that you wonder where in the world do these people come from. But, they are very happy making a living from watching other develop products and then just copying.

  13. Anonymous September 12, 2014 4:04 pm

    No, “trolls” will not being doing well much longer, either. Trolls need a minimum of nourishment. With all of corporate America knowing that any patent in the software or business method space is invalid and/or impossible to enforce, your average troll is proceeding down a long pathway towards starvation. Within a few more years, there will be no more well-funded NPEs to help small companies and individual inventors obtain value for their patent rights.

    The great irony here is that the only people who are getting paid along the way are corporate defense counsel.

  14. Gene Quinn September 12, 2014 4:28 pm

    Gary-

    It took the Supreme Court 9 years to figure out their mistake in Gottschalk v. Benson. The Court seems extremely arrogant any more and hyper partisan and political. I’m afraid Congress will have to act. They will eventually as employers and job creators in their districts demand action, but that will likely take years.

    -Gene

  15. Kes September 12, 2014 4:53 pm

    No, Gene. Sun did not lose value because of open source. Sun lost value because it was no longer competitive, long before they open sourced Solaris 10. Their advantage in the early 2000s were because you needed an expensive, powerful, system in order to do certain things like e-commerce, and as research into areas like databases continued, it became more cost effective, and improved reliability, to get a lot of inexpensive servers that could do the same, if not better, job. Companies moved off Sun’s hardware and software because Sun was no longer competitive, and thus, Sun lost money.

  16. Gene Quinn September 12, 2014 6:40 pm

    Kes-

    You need to look at the factual record. You will notice that the diminution in Sun coincides with its warm embrace of open source.

    Sun became uncompetitive because they thought the way to success was to give things away for free and they would make up any loses on volume. How ridiculous!

    -Gene

  17. Kes September 12, 2014 9:09 pm

    Gene, I am looking at the record. I am looking at my own decisions related to IT during the period where Sun’s valuation turned downward, especially the decisions I was making in choosing to migrate away from Sun during that time period. The prices Sun was charging for their bread and butter — their hardware — were more than the prices of going with other hardware providers, plus those providers had other advantages at the same time, such as greater server redundancy, better maintainability, and lower downtime. The replacement operating system, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, was under a support contract that cost a good amount of money, because while we could get it for free, the value of having someone we could contact at three in the morning was worth much more than the money saved in the annual contracts.

    Contacts I had in other companies were coming to similar conclusions; the Sun ecosystem just wasn’t worth it anymore. The hardware was expensive, the software was more of a pain to maintain, and the value just wasn’t there any more. It took more effort to apply necessary patches, to update to newer releases, and generally keep the system running compared to Linux-based, Windows-based and other OSes.

    So, yes, Sun had problems at about the time that their valuation dropped. However, the problems caused by them opening the source to their software had little to do with the fundamental issues that they had, and why people no longer bought their products. Plain and simple, the market decided that they were past their prime, and decided accordingly.

  18. Gene Quinn September 12, 2014 9:32 pm

    Kes says: “the problems caused by them opening the source to their software had little to do with the fundamental issues that they had…”

    So moving from charging to giving things away for free had nothing to do with Sun’s demise. Interesting. i thought for-profit corporations actually charged for products and services. I’m still a little confused though. If giving things away for free and making it up on volume works so well for open source then why do any companies ever go out of business? I guess they make the mistake of charging a fee.

  19. foot fetish September 12, 2014 10:27 pm

    It’s fantastic that you are getting ideas from this post as well as from our dialogue made at this time.

  20. Paul Morinville September 13, 2014 4:31 am

    Kes. I worked for Dell during the early part of Sun’s demise. I recall that Sun servers running Unix were the preferred choice in data centers and that they lost that space for two reasons… on was that Wintel systems caught up and then the dot come bubble collapsed. In the crash, a large number of Sun servers were never paid for as the companies using them crashed and demand suddenly disappeared. By the time the market had resurged, most folks were buying Wintel machines.

    I think that much of your point is accurate, but they didn’t make their hardware open source – They made their software open source. With their server business damaged, they needed to improve their software business. Open source was an attempt to compete with Microsoft’s rapidly growing development environment by attracting an army of Java programmers by giving them free software. I guess the hope was that they could speed past Microsoft and gain a techopoly and then find some way to make money on it.

    There’s an good argument for many tech companies to give away their stuff until they gain a technopoly. Google did it. Facebook did it. Unfortunately for Sun, it doesn’t work that way with enterprise software. There are too many moving parts and too many different ways to do something. What Sun needed to stay in business were a few key patents.

  21. Robert September 13, 2014 4:32 am

    Gene, claiming Sun’s business model involved ‘ giving things away for free and making it up on volume’ shows a fundamental misapprehension. The profit is actually expected to come from selling support services. The usual comparison is selling disposable razors. The manufacturers make their profit primarily on the replacement blades, not the base mount they attach to..

    Kes gives a computer industry example above: the open source ‘Red Hat Enterprise Linux, was under a support contract that cost a good amount of money, because while we could get it for free, the value of having someone we could contact at three in the morning was worth much more than the money saved in the annual contracts.’

    Thus, Red Hat could make a profit, despite being an open source company, because people were willing to pay for their support services. They weren’t, as you suggest, employing the obviously unworkable strategy of ‘giving things away for free and making it up on volume”.

  22. NWPA (Night Writer Patent Attorney) September 13, 2014 6:06 am

    I also was in tech in the mid 1990’s when Sun began to have trouble. My take on it was that they did have a problem with their hardware becoming too expensive. It was a very disruptive time as the Internet began to rise. I think the open source thing was just a desperate attempt to change and find a new model. But, in point of fact, it did not help them at all. Their hope of having people take the code and innovate with their open source code was a failure.

  23. NWPA (Night Writer Patent Attorney) September 13, 2014 6:08 am

    >>Google did it. Facebook did it

    Paul both Google and Facebook make almost all their revenue on advertising. Both are like ABC and CBS. That is their business model.

  24. Curious September 13, 2014 11:05 am

    >>What is your take on CJ Smith?

    You are going to have to help me out on that one. I’m not too sure who that is.

    BTW … I am no longer posting on the anti-patent, patent blog. By my count, 12 of the last 13 articles posted had anti-patent slants. The 13th was a plea for everybody to be nice to one another.

    Obviously, your call, but I would hope that you (NWPA) do the same. I had hoped that it would be a fair forum, but the coddling of the anti-patent crowd is beyond belief. I cannot believe the same poster has been allowed to belittle (in the nastiest of terms) his fellow posters, the inventors, the courts, the USPTO, and his profession for 8 years running.

    Gene runs a much tighter ship, and for that I’m glad — although I disagree with him from time to time (although not on much). He is also producing a lot of content, which is good.

  25. Curious September 13, 2014 11:10 am

    >>It took the Supreme Court 9 years to figure out their mistake in Gottschalk v. Benson.

    I always found that decision to be laughable. Written by a justice who thought trees (as in the plant) should have standing and with only 6 justices on the decision. I doubt, at the time, that any of the people in the court room had ever seen a computer or even knew a lick about one.

    The claims of Gottschalk v. Benson, if presented today, would have a good chance of sailing through the USPTO (almost certainly before Alice) untouched by 101.

  26. Curious September 13, 2014 11:22 am

    The usual comparison is selling disposable razors. The manufacturers make their profit primarily on the replacement blades, not the base mount they attach to..
    You should see the patent portfolios on the replacement blades. I actually dipped my toes into that art helping somebody out on a clearance study. The big companies spend a lot of money on intellectual property to make sure that nobody else can sell replacement blades.

    That which is not protected WILL be copied. That which can be copied WILL be copied in China very cheaply.

    A simple business fact is that the price you sell your product has cover the cost to manufacture (if you want to be profitable). If company A designs software B (but gives it away for free) and provides services C for that product, and company X also provides services C for that product, then A has to charge more for the services than company X. A has to recoup both the costs of providing the services as well as designing the software, whereas company X only has to recoup the costs of providing the services.

  27. NWPA (Night Writer Patent Attorney) September 13, 2014 1:14 pm

    @24 Curious: CJ Smith is the chief judge of the PTAB. He is the one that is hiring all the new judges–the death squad. Smith was hired before the Obama turned against patents by firing Kappos so maybe he isn’t intentionally hiring death squads.

    I guess to my mind what is most profound about the changes is Obama appointed 4 judges on the Fed. Cir. that very anti patent along with Lee and the PTAB turning anti-patent, and to my mind fairly ignorant of patent law. Before they had integrity and were the keepers of the knowledge of patent law. I think this damage particularly the judges at the Fed. Cir. and PTAB have doomed us to bad (and anti) patent law for a very long time. My guess is we have reached a critical mass of bad actors.

    That blog has turned very anti patent and it is very hard to post on there as usually you get several posts blasting and insulting you with often vulgar terms used to describe you. I think the blog owner wants to turn it around, but it seems that the poster you mention has driven off so many good posters that it may be hard to turn around.

    One thing about Google and this patent stuff is money. Google has google bucks from advertising and from the federal reserve pumping all the money to get asset inflation. That is another reason that public companies don’t want patents is that money flows for opportunities for them. Only the most inept can’t get money under this federal reserve where money to the rich is free. This effects the patent ecosystem.

  28. Paul Morinville September 13, 2014 1:27 pm

    NWPA, Yes Google and Facebook earn revenue from advertising. The distinction is not the revenue model. It’s the business model. Tech companies all attempt to build on a monopoly of customers who are somewhat trapped by the technology. (think VCR and Beta (???)) I call that a techopoly. Google earned theirs by developing one of the strongest brands around a superior search engine – Google is now a verb. Facebook did it by connecting people so that if you leave, you leave your friends and family. Sun attempted it by generating a large number of Java developers using free software. All three provided free stuff in hopes of greater revenue later.

    Facebook succeeded wildly, as did Google. The problem with Sun’s attempt was that they were trying to monopolize software development tools based on amassing a critical mass of developers in a world already shifting to integrating already developed products. They were one of the most innovative companies of the 90’s. Had they spent more time patenting their inventions and protecting their market, they may have been more successful.

    Google solely has a brand hold on the market. Some yahoo from say Oklahoma could come up with a better algorithm, patent it, put up a search page, advertise a little and then take a significant part of Google’s revenue. Without patent protection, Google can simply reverse engineer it, insert it into their algorithm and squish the Oklahoma yahoo – gone without a trace.

  29. NWPA (Night Writer Patent Attorney) September 13, 2014 1:33 pm

    But, if anyone has any doubts that Obama wants to burn down software patents just listen to Lee. It is like Google is running the patent office.

    The irony for someone like me who works with big tech companies and start-ups is that you see how the patent promote innovation on a daily basis.

    At this point I would recommend radical changes. Probably have to fire the entire PTAB, Fed. Cir., remove Lee, and pass a law to overturn Mayo/Benson.

  30. NWPA (Night Writer Patent Attorney) September 13, 2014 1:39 pm

    @28 Paul

    I agree 100 percent about Google could lose everything with being able to copy. They say as much in a documentary on PBS about Google made about 4 years ago. It is no wonder that they are lobbying to burn down the patent system.

    Paul, I understand what you are saying and I basically agree with you. But, remember that Google and Facebook is ad revenue. So, you give it away free, but you are getting revenue from its use. Also, Microsoft may be a closer analogy to Sun. Windows has consistently been expanding and giving more and more away to keep everyone hooked on the core product so you have to buy the core product. I also agree that Sun was very innovative and had lots going for it. It was odd that they failed so miserably.

    Of course what Sun was trying to do by giving it away was make you buy their hardware. That was their game. I was a graduate student at the time and they gave a bunch of their machines to us and made the code open source, but it was till bound to the Sun hardware so none of us wasted any time with it.

  31. aaron September 13, 2014 1:50 pm

    So, basically 50-60% of the patents being filed are not and should never have been valid. There is absolutely nothing innovative about going up to somebody that says “i made this” replying “you made this?” and then wrenching it out of their hands and declaring “i made this” yourself because you did the same thing on a computer.

    The only thing innovative about software patents was that they created a new way for some business to steal from the public domain.

  32. Paul Morinville September 13, 2014 1:58 pm

    Aaron, How do you get to 50-60%? Please share your analysis.

  33. Thomas Nyberg September 13, 2014 2:10 pm

    Your rant is kind of all over the place, so it’s a little hard to understand most of your thinking, but I wanted to ask a simple question: Do you actually believe that the patent protection in question in Alice v. CLS Bank case should have been upheld? I’m not talking about the lack of clarity of the written decision (which many have complained about on all sides), but simply the question of whether what was described in the patent application was worthy of patent protection.

  34. Curious September 13, 2014 3:12 pm

    There is absolutely nothing innovative about going up to somebody that says “i made this” replying “you made this?” and then wrenching it out of their hands and declaring “i made this” yourself because you did the same thing on a computer.
    What an incredibly naive view of what is being claimed and how the patent system works. First, doing something on a computer is entirely different than doing the same thing by hand, in one’s mind, etc. Take, for example, the act of “cutting and pasting” on a computer. The fact that someone could literally cut out a portion of paper and paste it onto another piece of paper did not teach the invention of performing the same act within a computer.

    Moreover, to the extent that something old (and non-computerized) is easy to implement on a computer, then a claim the computerized version would be rejected under 35 USC 103 as obvious. Anybody who says that there is “absolutely nothing innovative” about the technological revolution that has occurred in computers the last 50 years is being disingenuous.

  35. Curious September 13, 2014 3:33 pm

    the question of whether what was described in the patent application was worthy of patent protection
    Absolutely yes. Neither the US Constitution nor 35 USC 101 put many limitations on what could be protected. It should be new and useful. It should also be claimed as part of a process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof. Under 35 USC 102, 103, it cannot be already disclosed or obviousness. So long as it meets those limitations, then it should be protectable.

    If you come up with a good idea and can implement as part of a process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, then it should be eligible for patent protection — no exceptions.

    Once we start nibbling at the edge of what is patentable (like the courts have), then there will be no stop to it. It used to be that the exceptions were “the basic tools of scientific and technological work” or “building blocks of human ingenuity.” However, I don’t see CLS Bank as falling within that.

    The Supreme Court also used the language that “the concern that drives this exclusionary principle as one of pre-emption … effectively grant a monopoly over an abstract idea.” The Supreme Court stated that the claims in CLS Bank were directed to “a fundamental economic practice long prevalent in our system of commerce.” However, the claims in Bilski did not preempt all hedging and the claims in CLS Bank did not preempt all intermediated settlement. As such, whatever concerns there were over granting of monopoly of an abstract idea or a building block of human ingenuity is just hogwash.

    The recent cases coming out of the Federal Circuit aren’t limited to inventions involving these described concepts of preemption, fundamental economic practices, or building blocks of human ingenuity. Moreover, given the indefiniteness of these terms, there is no preventing their application to just about anything.

    I don’t think there are enough votes at the Supreme Court to support all of this expansive application of the exceptions to 35 USC 101. However, without any clear guidance from them, we’ll be seeing more and more of these types of rejections.

  36. Gene Quinn September 13, 2014 6:50 pm

    Thomas-

    Perhaps you should re-read the article. It is pretty straight forward.

    The patent in the Alice case absolutely should have been patent eligible. Had the Supreme Court actually followed the law as enacted by Congress it would have been patent eligible and the defendant would have had to contest the claims as lacking novelty, as being obvious or as not being supported by a sufficiently detailed specification. The Court instead scrambled 102 and 103 jurisprudence to falsely hold that something that is clearly not abstract is still, nevertheless, an abstract idea.

    Your question about whether the claims should have been patented is impossible to answer because the case was thrown out before any prior art was discussed or evaluated. By using 101 the Court render this innovation patent ineligible even if it is new, non-obvious, useful and adequately described. That is the problem.

    -Gene

  37. Gene Quinn September 13, 2014 6:53 pm

    Robert-

    They are exactly giving things away for free and trying to make up for it on volume. The problem with the open source model is that by giving it away companies have to make up for it with service, and there are only so many hours in a day to charge. Further, in any service business there is a constant race to zero as more entrants enter the marketplace.

    -Gene

  38. AI September 14, 2014 7:00 am

    Guys,

    The simple fact is that the software industry doesn’t need patents. It functioned well enough without them, before their rise to stardom in the 90’s, and it will function well without them going forward.

    The world just does not really need a proprietary model for the majority of this field, a fact which will only become more evident as we will shift towards a “mobile app” economy. An economy in which almost no one pays for the software/app.

    A.I.

  39. NWPA (Night Writer Patent Attorney) September 14, 2014 8:17 am

    @38 AI.

    What was the software industry like in those times? I was a software engineer before patents and after patents. I can tell you it is a lot better after patents. I was a software engineer starting in the early to mid 1980’s. Everything was a secret. I would interview for jobs and they wouldn’t tell me what they were doing.

    So, what was Microsoft like? They wanted a license for everything you did using their compiler. They had levels of secrecy. There were super secret rooms where the people that worked in them weren’t allowed to talk to anyone else. They didn’t have ANY researchers. They just took from everyone anything they wanted.

  40. NWPA (Night Writer Patent Attorney) September 14, 2014 8:39 am

    Actually I forgot to say that the employment contracts were draconian. They put liability on you if you disclosed anything you were doing to anybody, and you had to agree to not do anything close to what you were doing for another company if you left. The term I think was three years which is a death sentence in high-tech.

    That @38 is reality. Look-up, by the way, a hot topic in the early 1980’s. Guess what it was? Think now. Try. It was how to prevent others from decompiling your code to figure out how it worked. They were going to start putting encryption on the chip so that software makers could hide how their code worked. That is reality. We will go back to that without patents.

  41. Paul Morinville September 14, 2014 10:19 am

    A.I @38. So an inventor invents something totally new in enterprise software. Something that changes the industry. He needs investment to get a product built and marketed and importantly to show potential customers his staying power. Those investors hand his business plan to their portfolio companies who incorporate the inventions into their product lines without informing the inventor. The inventor marches on oblivious to the theft putting all of his savings and his career on the line. A few years later (as is often the case in software), the market becomes saturated and begins to consolidate.

    After having shared the invention with the world at great cost, should the inventor get nothing for it? This is a serious question… I hope you answer.

  42. Anon September 14, 2014 11:34 am

    A.I. @ 38,

    I would add to the points already being put to you that the U.S. patent system is explicitly not a “but for” system of Quid Pro Quo and that your comment about “needing” is an inaccurate rendition of this “myth” that the patent system should only exist for those art fields that “need” the bounty of a patent in order to promote the progress.

    “But for” is a valid reason to have a patent system.

    It is not the only reason to have a patent system.

    If we can have that point understood and accepted into the multiple discussions about the patent systems in place – and why we have a (or any) patent system in place – would not the dialogues be richer and more fulfilling?**

    **and yes, this comment is geared to the apparent attempts to have better dialogues around the blogosphere, and serves as my endorsement of Mr. Quinn’s methodology here of improving that dialogue by enriching the discussion with accurate content – not just more of certain selected viewpoint content.

    Just my two cents: politeness should not be an end in itself and language on important topics can – and will be – more than a little rough at times. This country has a rich tradition of fighting for, let alone allowing, such language. Much like I argue on this forum for the rich tradition of anonymous and pseudonymous blogging, I am alarmed at the apparent shutdown of viewpoint on “that other blog.” It is clear to me on the facts presented and the continued posts there steeped in subtle sniping, that an objective view has been lost, if one ever did exist.

    Gene’s method here stands in sharp contrast.

    Gene often invites those with counter views to his own. But demanding that conversations stand in light of the law and in light of facts controls what should be controlled: the content of the conversation, while allowing to a palatable level the snark and ad hominem that can be used as rhetorical tools without a heavy hand on content-driven viewpoints. I understand that some with anti-patent viewpoints will not agree, but if you can voice your view in light of the law and in light of facts, your view will be heard here, even if you also engage in some smack-talk.

    I view the proceedings “there” as decidedly unhealthy and would invite perhaps a different discussion as to why such is unhealthy, and how what remains there should be treated. To my view, labeling one side of a viewpoint as “disruptive” while allowing the continuing tactics of the other side of a viewpoint, while hiding behind a cloak of civility, is a far more pernicious threat that has seen its application in human governance before (and almost never to a good end).

  43. Gene Quinn September 14, 2014 4:24 pm

    Al-

    Simple fact is you are wrong. The tech industry as we know it today did not exist prior to software patents. Apple filed for its first patent within 1 year of the company being founded. Same is true of Facebook and Twitter. IBM relies heavily on their patent portfolio which brings them over $1 billion a year in licensing revenue. Microsoft, which was the only tech giant to initially have an anti-patent position also makes over $1 billion a year in licensing revenue.

    Furthermore, it is completely asinine to even suggest that creating a real and significant piece of software is easy or cheap. the Apple team worked for over 7 years to come up with pinch and swipe. Software takes a great deal of time, money and energy to create and maintain.

    These are the facts. You obviously are not very well acquainted with truth. Please either inform yourself or go elsewhere. There are plenty of places for you to spew nonsense and lies on the Internet. IPWatchdog is not one of those places. Facts matter here.

    -Gene

  44. Gene Quinn September 14, 2014 4:43 pm

    Al-

    By the way… we will NEVER have an economy where “almost no one pays for the software…” Free software is “free” like as in “free puppies.”

    You will always get what you pay for. To inform yourself why not take a look at all the “free” plugins available for WordPress. Then notice how many are actually updated and maintained. The ones that are updated and maintained are those you pay for, while the free ones all eventually fail to be updated and become severe security vulnerabilities. Also look as Apps. The free apps come and go, but the paid apps are the ones that stay.

    What you and so many others in this space fail to understand is that there is only so much time in the day and when people grow up there is only so much that they can do for free while still paying bills.

  45. Joe September 14, 2014 9:42 pm

    Boo f’ing hoo. Your crappy patents on abstract nonsense can DIAF.

    “Furthermore, it is completely asinine to even suggest that creating a real and significant piece of software is easy or cheap. the Apple team worked for over 7 years to come up with pinch and swipe. Software takes a great deal of time, money and energy to create and maintain.”

    Well there’s your first of many problems: APPLE DIDN’T INVENT PINCH TO SWIPE.

  46. A.I. September 15, 2014 7:23 am

    Guys,

    First of all, I’m very happy to read all of your responses and to debate this topic.

    Secondly, you are aware that many countries around the world don’t have patents on software and people and companies there are still making software right?

    Thirdly, I did not say or claim that people should make or will make software for free. What I said was that the economic model is changing and that a proprietary model is no longer an economic necessity. Therefore, the economic justification for software patents has weakened dramatically (even if the legal justification is still there, at least if and when you are basing it on non economic legal justifications such as those who focus on interpreting the words of the law rather than its rationales and justifications).

    Fourthly, the fact that IBM or anyone else for that matter, is making money off patents does not justify patents. It only means that you can make money off patents. You need to take a step back and ask yourself if our economy and the software sector in particular is better off with or without patents. That’s a very complicated empirical question but I can guarantee you that the answer will not be as straightforward as it will be regarding other industries such as the pharmaceutical industry (which will all but die without patents).

    Lastly, whether you like it or not, we are moving towards an economy where companies are giving away their products to end users for free and relying instead on other sources of income, and even when they do charge for it, they are not relying on their patents. Moreover, please remember that the lifespan of most software today is much shorter than that of a patent, therefore it is much more important for companies to focus on marketing and entry lead time in their respective market than fighting competitors with patents. Not filing for a patent also allows companies not to disclose their “trade secrets” 18 months after filing for a patent which they must do if they do chose to file a patent. Think how Google would have looked like if it had to disclose its search algorithm 18 months after filing for its patent.

    P.S. – What do you think about the proposed federal trade secrets acts, how will they affect all of this? Can they function as a replacement for software patents?

    Cheers,
    A.I.

  47. Anon September 15, 2014 9:18 am

    Your second and fourth points still sound in the fallacious logic of “but for” thinking for patent systems.

  48. Anon2 September 15, 2014 9:54 am

    Thank you Gene.

    As our beloved strolls unwittingly toward the edge of a cliff… we need individuals like you to speak loudly… because rescue is possible, barely so, but still really possible.

  49. Gene Quinn September 15, 2014 10:16 am

    Joe-

    Actually, Apple did invent it. But thanks for trying so hard with such a thoughtful comment.

    -Gene

  50. Gene Quinn September 15, 2014 10:26 am

    A.I.-

    You say: “Secondly, you are aware that many countries around the world don’t have patents on software and people and companies there are still making software right?”

    You are aware that Silicon Valley is in the United States, correct? You are aware that the major software developers of the world are in the United States, right? There is a difference between writing Apps and small pieces of code and creating platform software, for example. So you, once again, are wrong.

    You say: “What I said was that the economic model is changing and that a proprietary model is no longer an economic necessity.”

    That is true. You do not need to employ a proprietary model unless you want to be successful. Even Red Hat has hundreds of patents. You need to wake up.

    You say: “Therefore, the economic justification for software patents has weakened dramatically…”

    Said like this it suggests you have offered some kind of factual evidence. Of course, you have not offered anything other than a biased and incorrect viewpoint.

    You said: “the fact that IBM or anyone else for that matter, is making money off patents does not justify patents. It only means that you can make money off patents.”

    How much do you suppose IBM would invest a year in research and development if they didn’t retain any proprietary rights? They spend $6 billion year after year after year. Your position is so childish it almost isn’t worth taking seriously. You and so many others think that for profit corporations will just keep spending billions and billions of dollars a year so that you and all the other lazy copy cats of the world can pilfer their innovative works. Get real.

    You say: “Lastly, whether you like it or not, we are moving towards an economy where companies are giving away their products to end users for free and relying instead on other sources of income…”

    It was clear to me that you didn’t know what you were talking about well before this, but now it should be clear to everyone that you are clueless. Perhaps you should look up software as a service and inform yourself. Software worth using costs money, period. If you use free software you pay someone (or multiple people) to actually make it work and plug all the holes. The reality is open source is a cesspool of security vulnerability and inoperability. People in the real business world require solutions that work.

    Trade secrets as a replacement for software patents. It must seem like an interesting idea for someone who knows nothing about the topic. You see, once the secret is known protection no longer exists. So as soon as you release the software and others can see the code no secret. Even if they hack in illegally and publish the code there would be no protection any more. So trade secrets aren’t a solution, just a head fake offered by people who don’t understand the first thing about software or intellectual property.

    -Gene

  51. NWPA (Night Writer Patent Attorney) September 15, 2014 10:39 am

    @46 A.I. Well, what I’d say is that you ignored all our arguments and just fluffily restated your arguments again.

    The new trade secret rules are obviously going in place to lock down employees once patents are burned down. Salaries will drop way down and you won’t be able to move to another company.

  52. Gene Quinn September 15, 2014 10:54 am

    NWPA-

    Those who protest so much when I correctly say that “the tech industry as we know it today didn’t exist before software patents” obviously were not a part of the tech industry before software patents. They also obviously are engaging in revisionist history. In a world where the only protection you have is trade secret protection employees are locked up, can’t move and companies that might be interested in hiring talent away just don’t for fear of being sued for trade secret misappropriation. That was the tech industry prior to software patents.

    Sometimes I almost think we should give these protesters the world that they want and watch them crash and burn.

    -Gene

  53. Anon September 15, 2014 10:59 am

    A.I.,

    You say that you are willing to debate, but I am not certain that you understand what that term means.

    Debating does not mean that you speak your points and then sit down and ignore what is said in response. You have to take the points said in response and deal with them fully, honestly and accept the discussion as it moves forward.

    If you truly want to debate this topic, I look forward to your response that properly takes into account – and corrects – your errant views of the patent system and I look forward to you rectifying your position based on the corrected premises. I think so far that you are tending to holding (and maintaining no matter what) a rather myopic view across a large swath of topics, from technology specific, to economic and legal theories.

    The choice of your moniker indicates that your views are decidedly limited in this multi-dimensional discussion. I look forward to a vigorous debate with you, if that is something you actually want to have. I cannot help to think, though, that you will sorely disappoint and be unable to incorporate the debate.

  54. t September 15, 2014 11:18 am

    FYI – Bill Nye mentions a strong patent system being one of the leading drivers for technology about 6 minutes in http://www.upworthy.com/the-science-guy-gets-bullied-and-puts-the-bullies-in-their-place?c=huf1

  55. NWPA (Night Writer Patent Attorney) September 15, 2014 11:41 am

    @52 Gene: I wished I’d saved a copy of my employment agreement with one software company that was made in 1985. It was draconian. That is one of the reasons that I would very much like Lemley to tell us how he is protecting his IP with his start-up. Since he has not done so, I’d bet the employees are locked-down tight, which is one of the things that Google desperately wants (as evidenced by the anti-trust violations).

    Also, I note they consistently ignore the fact that Intel was working on putting in encryption into all their chips so that it would be harder to determine how software works. That is the world we will return to.

    The fact is there is so much real evidence of how bad it was in the late 1980’s. Real evidence that they ignore. In fact in 10 years on these boards not once has an anti-patent person addressed the fact that building chips to make it harder to determine how software was operating was a hot topic in the late 1980’s. I even linked to an archived article about it in Dr. Dobb’s journal.

  56. Erik IP September 15, 2014 11:55 am

    I agree in principle and agree that the patent system has been weakened by questionable rulings. However, you are heavily leaning toward absolutes. I have many personal experiences of successfully enforcing valid patents for innovative clients. I do not see this coming to a screeching halt any time soon. Maybe your doom and gloom could come true with 20-30 years of continued poor policy and case law, but I suspect things will swing back more pro-patent in a few years. Take a deep breath and engage in productive change where you can…

  57. Curious September 15, 2014 12:11 pm

    Secondly, you are aware that many countries around the world don’t have patents on software and people and companies there are still making software right?

    8 out of the top 9 largest software companies are from the US:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_largest_software_companies

    7 out of the 10 largest internet companies are from the US:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_Internet_companies

    Hmmm … very curious.

    What I said was that the economic model is changing and that a proprietary model is no longer an economic necessity.
    It is a necessity for companies that rely upon other people’s innovations. Personally, I would rather incentivize innovators over copiers.

    You need to take a step back and ask yourself if our economy and the software sector in particular is better off with or without patents.
    See above. Of course, the same question (and answer) should apply to any other technology. Unfortunately, we don’t have an apples to apples comparison to make because every modern economic nation has had a patent system for at least a century. Why do all these countries have patent systems when they don’t provide a benefit?

    we are moving towards an economy where companies are giving away their products to end users for free and relying instead on other sources of income
    Not necessarily. The fact that some have been successful growing their business on that model (e.g., Google and Facebook) doesn’t mean that this is the wave of the future. There are only so many advertising dollars to go around. Plenty of (successful) software companies charge for their product.

    they are not relying on their patents
    How do you know? I’m sure you’ve bought AMD or Intel processors and have no idea as to the number of patents protecting their products. I’m sure you have no idea as to the number of patents covering the car you bought or your disposable shaver. The fact that you are not aware of the patents doesn’t mean that they are not working.

    Think how Google would have looked like if it had to disclose its search algorithm 18 months after filing for its patent.
    See US Patent No. 6,285,999.

  58. Paul Morinville September 15, 2014 1:11 pm

    Eric IP, It seems to me that things have come to a hard stop from an independent inventors perspective. Sure, it’s possible to bottom fish for settlements that are lower than the cost of litigation, but to assert a patent for its real value in today’s environment is nothing short of foolish. There are no clues providing guidance as to what the courts or the PTO will do – the only clues available are the past decisions that have been hostile to inventors. While there are certainly patents that can be seen to fit outside of current 101 case law (faux legislation), there is no way to know what patent will fit within it. The risk is too high to assert a patent except for those who can afford to lose the millions and years it will take.

    If you are a broke inventor who needs contingency legal help and money, I’ve found that the market has significantly changed in the last few months. Few are willing to take the high and unknown risks without taking the lions share of the revenue if you win. What’s left for the inventor is a pittance and hardly worth doing at all.

    It’s not just the 101 insanity and certainly not just Alice. It’s an aggregate of damaging judicial legislation starting with eBay and continuing through Alice only to be made worse by the lower courts and the PTO since Alice. It is my opinion, as once prolific enterprise software inventor, that it is not worth the enormous cost of time, money, career, etc to file another patent, and I doubt I will.

    Patent lawyers will still be in business as big companies can still use their patents to kill smaller competitors and to artificially inflate the book values of their companies… that is not the case for us little guys.

  59. Curious September 16, 2014 3:33 pm

    If you are a broke inventor who needs contingency legal help and money, I’ve found that the market has significantly changed in the last few months. Few are willing to take the high and unknown risks without taking the lions share of the revenue if you win.
    I’ve seen this first hand.

  60. Rick G. September 16, 2014 7:45 pm

    Are you the same Paul Morinville who filed this claim?

    1. A method for execution of a business process, wherein the business process is an event-driven activity including management and transactional events, wherein the method comprises the computer-implemented automatic steps:

    initiating the management event in response to user input;

    the management event accepting user input defining initial transaction information, maintaining state information, and initiating one or more of the transactional events;

    a first one of the transactional events receiving initial transactional information and state information from the management event, performing a transaction based upon the initial transactional information and the state information, and providing resulting transactional information to the management event;

    the management event completing execution of the business process based upon the resulting transactional information.

    I think I might be infringing it but it’s difficult to tell given the strange language in the claim. Did you hire a foreign patent attorney to write it, or did you use some kind of computer to write it for you?

    Also, if you know any broke inventors out there who need some money, I could use someone to weed my vegetable garden and do some tree trimming. My usual guy is on vacation and it seems like the right thing here is to help those truly in need.

  61. Tom Gallagher September 16, 2014 9:28 pm

    I agree with you completely, Gene. Though, I am not quite as pessimistic.

  62. Paul Morinville September 17, 2014 6:00 am

    Rick G. I use my real name when posting here and in other places. I do this because I own my words. I choose them carefully and stick to the subject as best I can. Like all humans I am not without mistakes, but hiding behind a false moniker and hurling insults, the behavior of a simple minded person who can’t argue with facts against facts, is not one of them.

    Before I answer any question or make job recommendations, I’d like for you to post your name and your firm’s name so we can be on equal footing.

  63. Anon September 17, 2014 8:02 am

    Equal footing is content Paul – not the name behind the content.

    Do not fall to the fallacy of “I use my real name therefore what I say is more important.” It is – and always has been – what is said, not who says it that is important. Choosing not to use one’s real name has no bearing at all on the content that is available.

    A simpler (and to my mind, better) answer would be to instruct Rick G that the claim language that seems to confuse him is – as with any application – to be read by a person having ordinary skill in the art to which the invention pertains, after having been informed by the specification. It is quite possible that Rick G may have a point to make with dragging your seemingly unrelated patent application into the discussion. Likewise, the point may be that Rick G just does not understand the particular art field that your application is directed towards, or that he has not bothered to inform himself of the rest of the application. Truth be told, I have not read the application and make no comments on the merit of the claim.

    I just am not convinced that such is even relevant to this discussion. Certainly Rick G has not invigorated me to spend any time checking it out, as it is indeed obvious that he would rather play the game of insulting the speaker than speaking on the topic (and this is available from Rick G.’s content, regardless of who he actually is).

  64. Rick G. September 17, 2014 12:14 pm

    I’m impressed that you use your real name, Paul. Do you lift weights, too?

  65. Anon September 17, 2014 1:08 pm

    Rick G.

    Would you care to actually submit a comment on the topic?

  66. American Cowboy September 18, 2014 10:20 am

    Gene, I am a bit late in reading comments here. I don’t usually disagree with you, but I can’t seem to agree with your statement: “It took the Supreme Court 9 years to figure out their mistake in Gottschalk v. Benson.”

    I don’t think they have figured out the mistake yet. They continue cite GvB, and now have re-stated and relied on the so-called “pre-emption of research subject matter” rubric that first turned up in the punchbowl in GvB.

    Frankly, I think that GvB’s holding has been the root of enormous mischief for over 40 years.

  67. Anon September 18, 2014 3:59 pm

    Circling back, I must admit both a lack of surprise and some small disappointment with A.I. who had expressed some willingness to debate some issues under discussion here.

    Perhaps he has realized the infirmity of his position and has chosen a course of valor.

  68. Mike September 18, 2014 7:13 pm

    Your tears are delicious.

    Software patents have slowed down technical progress by decades.

    Besides the fact that software is nothing more than a mathematical construct(which are not patentable) they can also be reduced to a single number.

    They are all based on prior art.

    Patents are used by giant companies that have the money to get stupid things that have existed longer than the company that patented it have been in business, like an array of pointer(FAT) or obvious like Amazon’s “one-click”

    You are simply scared because you bottom feeding lawyers are becoming extinct.

    You can always go back to ambulance chasing.

  69. Curious September 18, 2014 11:56 pm

    Software patents have slowed down technical progress by decades
    LOL … all those countries that don’t have patents on software must be light years ahead of the USA when it comes to software.

    Patents are used by giant companies that have the money to get stupid things that have existed longer than the company that patented it have been in business
    You parrot the lines of the big companies pretty well. You do realize that the campaign to rid the US of software patents is driven by the large companies? They already have their established market positions. Nobody is switching their search engine or social networking site based upon a couple improvements. The market has consolidated and now the big guys want to make it tougher on the little guys.

    You are simply scared because you bottom feeding lawyers are becoming extinct.
    There ALWAYS will be a demand for patent attorneys. There are too few engineer/lawyer types around and there is always more work than people. It has been like this for decades and nothing I’ve seen will change it anytime soon.

  70. Tom Gallagher September 19, 2014 12:21 am

    Curious got it right. The whole anti-troll movement is driven by companies that don’t need patents to dominate the market.

    See https://www.dropbox.com/s/ia82kxu0iqzrvl3/Patent%20Troll%20Article%20copy.pdf?dl=0

  71. Tom Gallagher September 19, 2014 12:23 am

    If you think that software patents are invalid because they are obvious, complaint to the PTO, not the patent owner.

  72. Anon September 25, 2014 9:38 am

    Just circling back and noting that – completely unsurprising – A.I. has still not chosen to continue the debate here.

    The frequency with which discussions abruptly end when law and fact are stressed reminds me of Sir Jacob.

  73. Ro October 21, 2014 8:33 pm

    Don’t Ask Alice is how one should preface all Amicus briefs. How and why are the SCOTUS panel judges more qualified than experts to decide software invalidation, prior art, and just dispose of someones lifes work by dismissing it under Alice? Why have a CAFC? Why have a jury? Why pay experts? Why not just kill Technology while your at it?Is this some cruel way of saying “do things the old fashion way”, because we don’t understand technology or code? This goes beyond “Bought Justice”. This ruling has everlasting consequences for generations to come, and needs to be reconsidered. Yes, you made a hash of it, now please FIX IT!

  74. Namma November 17, 2014 11:41 am

    These sort of articles and discussions crack me up.

    No-one discusses the actual root of the problem. Face it, this is about some fat-ass (and I mean FAT) already wealthy people trying to get in on “the next big thing early” in some random, bizarre “game of life” and they use other people, and their efforts, as their tokens to accumulate their “monopoly money”.

    It’s a stupid game and perhaps some folks are waking up to it and adding another parameter to the game that puts some barriers in your way. Big whoop. Put your big boy pants on and play.

  75. Johnson21 November 17, 2014 12:47 pm

    Gene, when someone accuses you of being hyperbolic, maybe you shouldn’t reply with “that everyone in the industry knows to be 100% correct”.

  76. Gene Quinn November 20, 2014 12:26 pm

    Johnson21-

    Perhaps those who accuse me of being hyperbolic should come down from their ivory towers and actually talk to innovators and others in the industry. Those who are actually in the industry know the truth, which is hardly inappropriate for me to recognize. Further, unlike the anti-patent forces or those who engage in drive-by comment without fact or analysis, I write about it over and over and over and over and over again. I provide citation after citation, story after story, case after case, study after study. All the other side seems to have is an RPX survey that is proprietary with the data kept secret. All public data supports me and what I say.

    It seems you would prefer me to respond with 100,000 words to prove them wrong. Let’s not forget that I am the one who provides all the factual support and evidence. Calling me hyperbolic isn’t evidence. It is actually the lack of evidence because rather than offer insight or analysis they mock me and the way I present the truth.

    All the naysayers need to do to educate themselves is read IPWatchdog.com. If they did that, set aside their agenda and talk to innovators and others actually in the industry they would realize I am right and they would apologize.

    -Gene