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12.10.18

US Courts Make the United States’ Patent System Sane Again

Posted in America, Courtroom, Patents at 3:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The only patent that is valid is one which this Court has not been able to get its hands on.”

Supreme Court Justice Jackson

Summary: 35 U.S.C. § 101 (Section 101), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and other factors are making the patent system in the US a lot more sane

THE U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the courts aren’t the best of friends these days. The courts often disagree with the decisions of the Office. The higher courts also increasingly resist/anatagonise Office-friendly and trolls-friendly litigation venues. Consider TC Heartland and its application by lower courts.

“Seven Networks LLC on Friday urged the Federal Circuit not to reconsider a ruling that allowed a patent lawsuit it brought against Google LLC to remain” (in Texas), Matthew Bultman (Law360) wrote. Also from Bultman and colleagues we have this: “Verizon subsidiary Oath Holdings Inc. can defend a patent suit over advertisement technology in Delaware, a New York federal judge has ruled, following the Federal Circuit’s decision that the judge failed…”

“The higher courts also increasingly resist/anatagonise Office-friendly and trolls-friendly litigation venues.”Lawyers are trying to find creative new ways to pick courts/judges in patent cases. It’s not working for them. Well done, US courts and judges. When it comes to tackling the Cult of Patents at least. When I say “Cult of Patents” I don’t mean to suggest all patents are inherently evil. The same goes for religion. It’s when people take it to the extreme that the whole broth spoils and the system looks like rubbish. Here is more on this from Watchtroll and from Law360: “A Texas federal court has jurisdiction to hear whether several banks infringe a licensing company’s patents covering electronic banking procedures because the company sent demand letters to the institutions…”

There’s nothing such parasites won’t do to drag victims to patent courts that advertise their bias.

“It’s when people take it to the extreme that the whole broth spoils and the system looks like rubbish.”It has meanwhile been pointed out, e.g. in a couple tweets [1, 2] spotted by Florian Müller, that Makan Delrahim (former lobbyist, consistent with a pattern of corrupt officials) may be having yet more problems [1, 2].

“William Barr,” one said, “who may become the next attorney general, had a serious dispute with Makan Delrahim, the Justice Department’s top antitrust lawyer, implicitly accusing him and his deputy of lying about a meeting on the AT&T-Time Warner Merger https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/12/07/trumps-likely-pick-attorney-general-said-justice-departments-antitrust-chief-gave-inaccurate-account-meeting-with-time-warner/?utm_term=.964435282f54 …”

“Makan Delrahim just backed the Antitrust Division out of the 2013 agreement with the PTO on FRAND remedies,” said the other tweet, “apparently it now takes the position that you can get an injunction even if you’ve committed not to.”

The CCIA’s Josh Landau has meanwhile written a blog post about it. To quote:

This alone threatens to reduce U.S. competitiveness in standardized technologies. But Delrahim goes further, claiming that competitors will be subjected to new antitrust scrutiny for making reasonable commercial decisions about which standard-setting organizations (SSOs) to participate in.

For example, Delrahim threatens to sue companies that choose to avoid SSOs that are too favorable to patent holders. Participation in a standard-setting organization is voluntary.1 Stating that “competitors would come under scrutiny if they orchestrated a group boycott of an SSO with a patent policy that is unfavorable to their commercial interests,” Delrahim appears to suggest that DoJ will use its authority to investigate companies who don’t want to participate in standards that have unfavorable commercial terms and organize competing standards with better terms.

Separately, Landau wrote: “My sympathy for journalists grows in direct proportion to the number of Friday night emails I receive calling me “enemy of the people” for having the gall to post a summary of a paper showing evidence that NPEs don’t promote innovation.”

“There’s nothing such parasites won’t do to drag victims to patent courts that advertise their bias.”I received death wishes for criticising patent trolls. These people bully companies for a living, so why not bully their critics as well?

Landau (in his capacity as CCIA staff) cites the recent work of Colleen Chien and Jiun-Ying Wu on 35 U.S.C. § 101 and says “Increase In § 101 Rejections Due Almost Entirely To Rejected Business Methods” (there are other aspects we covered here, such as fewer people even bothering to sue with weak patents). To quote Landau:

Prof. Colleen Chien, along with her student Jiun-Ying Wu, recently published an analysis of the impact of § 101 on patent prosecution. While their analysis clarifies which art units are impacted by § 101 decisions like Alice and Mayo, the published article doesn’t clearly answer the question of how each art unit contributes to the overall impact on prosecution from § 101. Fortunately, thanks to Prof. Chien and Wu’s decision to publish the code used to derive their data from the Google Patents public dataset for BigQuery, it’s easy to answer that question.

And the answer isn’t surprising. Essentially the entire increase in rejections from § 101 is driven by increased rejections of business method patents.

Another group that combats patent maximalism is Unified Patents, whose CEO was recently interviewed. Watchtroll really, really does not like Unified Patents. This should mean that patent trolls hate Unified Patents. This means Unified Patents is technology’s friend. Here is what Watchtroll wrote 6 days ago: “On Tuesday, November 27th, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a redacted version of a decision to institute an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding petitioned by Unified Patents to challenge the validity of patent claims that have been asserted in district court against at least one of Unified’s subscribing members. The PTAB panel of administrative patent judges (APJs) decided to institute the IPR despite the patent owners’ assertion that the petition should be denied because Unified didn’t identify all real parties in interest (RPIs) including members of Unified’s Content Zone.”

“Unified Patents does a valuable service, whose net effect is removal of bogus patents, using Sections 101-103 typically.”Yes, there’s no reason why Unified Patents, which lowers the costs of IPRs by sort of crowdfunding them, can be seen as ineligible a petitioner. PTAB agrees. Unified Patents does a valuable service, whose net effect is removal of bogus patents, using Sections 101-103 typically. Prior art, for example, has just been found for U.S. Patent 7,050,043. Bad news for this patent troll as the panel will tackle Proximity Sensors with an inter partes review (IPR):

Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winner, Hanhwe Kim, who received a cash prize of $1000 for his prior art submission for U.S. Patent 7,050,043, owned by Proximity Sensors of Texas, LLC, a well-known NPE. The ’043 patent, directed toward a proximity sensor, has been asserted against several companies in district court litigation. To help the industry fight bad patents, we have published the winning prior art below.

We would also like to thank the dozens of other high-quality submissions that were made on this patent. The ongoing contests are open to anyone, and include tens of thousands of dollars in rewards available for helping the industry to challenge NPE patents of questionable validity by finding and submitting prior art in the contests. Visit PATROLL today to learn more about how to participate.

And another patent troll, this time E-Credit Express, was mentioned by Unified Patents on the same day. Prior art found again:

Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winner, Hanhwe Kim, who received a cash prize of $1,500 for his prior art submission for U.S. Patent 8,909,551, owned by E-Credit Express, LLC, an NPE. The ’551 patent, directed toward an electronic credit and loan processing method, has been asserted against several companies in district court litigation. To help the industry fight bad patents, we have published the winning prior art below.

We would also like to thank the dozens of other high-quality submissions that were made on this patent. The ongoing contests are open to anyone, and include tens of thousands of dollars in rewards available for helping the industry to challenge NPE patents of questionable validity by finding and submitting prior art in the contests. Visit PATROLL today to learn more about how to participate.

People can now win $1000 by helping an interception of the patent weaponised by Kojicast, another patent troll. As Unified Patents put it the following day:

On December 7, 2018, Unified added a $1,000 contest to PATROLL seeking prior art for US Patent No. 9749380 owned and asserted by Kojicast, LLC (an NPE). The ’380 patent, generally related to a media streaming method and system, has been asserted against Dailymotion S.A. in the Texas Eastern District Court.

A lot of these are software patents, which could probably also be tackled by Section 101. The legal angle depends on the petitioner’s attorney.

“People can now win $1000 by helping an interception of the patent weaponised by Kojicast, another patent troll.”And speaking of software patents, TechDirt now compares them to pot patents with plenty of prior art.

“This is actually quite reminiscent of the mess that came with software patents,” Benjamin Henrion wrote, citing “What Do Pot And Software Have In Common? Stupid Patent Thickets Based On A Lack Of Patented Prior Art” (originally published in TechDirt and soon thereafter reposted by Above The Law). It’s about the time the Federal Circuit (CAFC) opened the door to software patents (before today’s 35 U.S.C. § 101):

Basically, there hasn’t been that much official prior art because pot was considered illegal for so many years, and no one was rushing to patent anything. And, of course, patent examiners are somewhat limited in what they’re set up to research regarding prior art, and they often rely on earlier patents and scientific articles as the basis for prior art searches. And, with pot, there aren’t so many of those.

Of course, this is actually quite reminiscent of the mess that came with software patents. For a long time, most people didn’t consider most software to be patentable (this is not entirely accurate, as there are software patents going back many decades, but many people considered it limited to a few special cases of software). However, in 1998, we got the State St. Bank case, in which the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit basically threw open the doors on patenting almost any software. And those doors remained completely wide open until the Alice v. CLS Bank decision in 2014 (which hasn’t totally cleaned up the mess of the State Street ruling, but has certainly helped dial back the insanity).

But, for nearly two decades after the State Street ruling, the US Patent Office was patenting software willy nilly — often despite much of it having tons of prior art or being completely obvious. A big part of the problem was that examiners, again, focused on mainly looking at earlier patents and scientific journals for evidence of prior art. But because so many people didn’t think that most software was patentable, there were very few patents to look at, and it’s pretty rare for anyone to write up the details of software in scientific journals (they just make the damn software).

Days ago there was this report titled “Higher Law: Bay State Marijuana Shops Open | Tracking Pot Patent Cases | Plus: Who Got the Work” (litigation work).

“The patent system may be out of control, but there’s still hope that PTAB and the courts above it will correct things.”Welcome the parasites of pot. Who will benefit from people getting high? Yes, the lawyers (they wanted patents everything, making themselves ‘necessary’).

The patent system may be out of control, but there’s still hope that PTAB and the courts above it will correct things. What about European courts?

Yesterday we said there should be no patents on plants (like pot) and people now point out that “On 7 December 2018, the EPO posted a report on its website relating to the decision” (to allow patents on plants at the EPO, even in defiance of the EPC). The next comment speaks of the UPC (which is likely dead): “You seem to forget that the EPC has 38 member states and the EU presently 28 and soon only 27. You might thus have a long time to wait until the EU takes control of the EPO on the pretext of harmony. If the EU could have taken over the EPO, we would not have to do with the UPC, but EPLA would probably be in place now. However, Opinion C 1/09 came in between. I do not think that even the children of my grandchildren will see the EU take the control of the EPO!”

Given the direction the EPO has taken, it might not even survive much longer. Patent maximalism can doom offices (presumption of validity gone).

Today’s USPTO Grants a Lot of Fake Patents, Software Patents That Courts Would Invalidate

Posted in America, Patents at 1:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Trump and Iancu

Summary: The 35 U.S.C. § 101 effect is very much real; patents on abstract/nonphysical ideas get invalidated en masse (in courts/PTAB) and Director Andrei Iancu refuses to pay attention as if he’s above the law and court rulings don’t apply to him

THE current state of 35 U.S.C. § 101 is encouraging and as we noted a couple of hours ago, 35 U.S.C. § 101 isn’t going to be revisited by SCOTUS.

On Sunday we wrote about the European Patent Office‘s obsession with “AI”. We have since then seen similar examples about patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, e.g. “AI-driven” here and “AI-driven network security” here (“BluVector Awarded Additional Patent for Machine Learning in Cybersecurity”). Those tricks are fast becoming rather common, even worryingly so. Those are very obviously bunk, bogus, fake, abstract software patents. Why is the Office still granting these, knowing courts would trash them? Here’s an example of a new patent on video processing and another of an Irish firm that went to the US to patent software on a very trivial ‘idea’ [1, 2]. Based on all these press releases and articles, quality control is lacking. Everything there sounds like bogus software patents that are going to be invalidated based on 35 U.S.C. § 101 in any court (if they reach that far) and should never have been granted in the first place. Here’s an example from exactly one week ago. “The virtual reel of modern machines goes back to a 1984 patent obtained by Norwegian mathematician Inge Telnaes, which brought the industry into the modern age and helped turn it into a “gold mine,” CDC says.

“Based on all these press releases and articles, quality control is lacking.”One thing we alluded to a few hours ago, albeit we prefer not to dwell on it, is the fact that Watchtroll himself (Quinn) is stepping down/out as chief editor at the end of this month (2 decades of patent maximalism must have led to frustration, seeing how things are going). His latest article it titled “Why do you want a Patent?” but it might as well say “Why do you STILL want a Patent?”

Looking at other sites of patent maximalists, they’re doing new ads for the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), a fairly radical organisation that lobbies aggressively for software patents. This same site also advertises USPTO events (example from yesterday) like this “USPTO Patent Quality Chat Webinar Series” (another example from yesterday). The Office does not understand quality, however, it just strives for revenue. To be fair, the EPO under António Campinos also abandoned quality; it’s granting software patents in Europe even if/when courts reject these. They just use or misuse buzzwords.

“Fintech is one of those fast-paced industries,” says this new article. “Currently, there are over 1200 FinTech businesses in Singapore, according to IPOS.”

“What will happen to the Office under Iancu if so many US patents continue to be rejected by courts? People will lose confidence in US patents, the presumption of validity will be lost.”And this is how they justify “IPOS grant[ing] first ever accelerated financial technology patent” (this is the headline); it’s about using the “Fintech” buzzword to get software patents in Singapore. “The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has granted the first accelerated patent under its financial technology fast-track initiative,” it says. They not only grant abstract patents; they even fast-track these.

We have meanwhile noticed Kate Gaudry and Samuel Hayim writing about 35 U.S.C. § 101/Alice rejections at the USPTO. “A concise set of statutes dictate the characteristics that a patent application must have to be allowed to grant as a patent,” they argue. But a grant is not enough; what would actual courts say? We worry that the arrival of Iancu signaled to many examiners that it’s OK to wave away 35 U.S.C. § 101 and pretty much ignore Alice. Just watch these latest roundups of newly-granted patents in the press [1, 2, 3]. I’ve looked through these very quickly and some of these new patents are absolutely absurd. Some are obviously bogus (legally speaking. e.g. Section 101 would bin them). What will happen to the Office under Iancu if so many US patents continue to be rejected by courts? People will lose confidence in US patents, the presumption of validity will be lost.

“A CEO of a company left after they had sued a rival using software patents.”We couldn’t help but notice this report from exactly one week ago. A CEO of a company left after they had sued a rival using software patents. To quote: “The announcement of Pittman as the company’s new CEO comes less than two months after Matterport confirmed to Inman it’s suing GeoCV, a rival 3D tour company, for patent infringement.”

This is neat software, no doubt, but all the patents on it should be voided as they’re bogus software patents on computer vision and visualisation (algorithms/maths). Suing with such patents in 2018 would almost assure loss of the patents, assuming the accused can afford the court battle. What misguided or dishonest law firm prodded for this?

A Month After Microsoft Claimed Patent ‘Truce’ Its Patent Trolls Keep Attacking Microsoft’s Rivals

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, OIN, Patents at 12:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A bird

Summary: Microsoft’s legal department relies on its vultures (to whom it passes money and patents) to sue its rivals; but other than that, Microsoft is a wonderful company!

THE company that spent decades committing crimes and is currently under investigation in the US for “bribery and corruption” nowadays “loves Linux,” according to itself. But does it really love GNU/Linux? Or is it just bribing people (and organisations and publishers) to say so or at least passively accept those who claim so?

About a month ago the Open Invention Network helped spread the "Microsoft loves Linux" lie; days ago it also added another member (“Printing Industry Leader Heidelberg Joins the OIN Community in Support of its Digital Future”) to its pact that is absolutely worthless in the face of patent trolls and other satellite entities. It can do absolutely nothing about those. It even admits so.

We have meanwhile also noticed that the Franklin Pierce Center at the University of New Hampshire School of Law brought in a person from Microsoft. He is still at Microsoft too; he’s Microsoft’s vice president and chief patent counsel, so he’s like an influencer through academia too (Microsoft does a lot of that). To quote these tidbits:

The Franklin Pierce Center at the University of New Hampshire School of Law has announced that Micky Minhas, vice president and chief patent counsel for Microsoft Incorporated, will join the faculty as the Franklin Pierce Distinguished Professor of Intellectual Property Practice. In addition to teaching in both the fall and spring semesters, Minhas will provide strategic guidance on cutting-edge IP curriculum at UNH Law. Minhas will retain his position with Microsoft. For more than six years, he has managed the Microsoft patent group that is primarily responsible for outbound and inbound intellectual property licensing, patent strategy, patent acquisitions and divestitures, and managing patent preparation and prosecution of patents. He is a frequent speaker on patent and patent licensing topics worldwide.

The term “patent licensing” is a euphemism for extortion. Failing that, litigation or other forms of retaliation. This is what Microsoft champions, having done that for over a decade.

Looking at Microsoft-centric news sites (with connections to Microsoft), GeekWire is still grooming Microsoft’s patent troll Nathan Myhrvold, whom Microsoft bankrolled for well over a decade. Intellectual Ventures is being painted as some sort of chef (“Hungry for new art in Seattle? Nathan Myhrvold’s Modernist Cuisine Gallery is a photographic feast”). Rovi, a patent aggressor that is connected to Intellectual Ventures [1, 2, 3], meanwhile brags about taxing Samsung using video software patents. So these trolls are definitely very active. There’s also this report about ongoing lawsuits of Intellectual Ventures. “Attorneys for Intellectual Ventures LLC and JPMorgan Chase & Co. debated a claim of IV’s cybersecurity software patent before a Federal Circuit panel Thursday,” Matt Bernardini wrote.

This “cybersecurity software patent” is just a software patent and it therefore invalid, as per 35 U.S.C. § 101. Just because the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted it doesn’t mean it’s legitimate.

And speaking of cybersecurity software patents, Microsoft’s patent troll Finjan (subsidised by Microsoft, partnered with Microsoft) is at it again. This truly malicious troll is filing its next lawsuit (among many) against Microsoft’s rivals in security. The latest target? Qualys. The press release is now everywhere (e.g. [1, 2, 3]. Finjan brags about it aplenty because its sole ‘product’ is lawsuits.

Microsoft claimed patent “truce” a month ago, but its patent trolls keep striking hard at Microsoft’s rivals. They’re being traded like a real company (latest financial reports disappoint despite higher trading) and the word “Sales” gets used as well as the word “Earnings”. They make a troll sound like it actually makes something. There are also new investors in nothing but these lawsuits; the troll is being propped up by BlackRock and by Seizert Capital Partners LLC. We don’t know if Microsoft is connected to these, but it’s widely known that Microsoft invested in this troll and it has already sued or blackmailed more than a dozen Microsoft rivals in this domain. Coincidence?

How about MOSAID (now known as Conversant), which Microsoft funneled tons of Nokia patents to? As expected, it then went after Microsoft’s rivals with patent lawsuits (as usual). Watchtroll wrote about the latest twist as recently as 5 days ago:

On Tuesday, November 20th, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a nonprecedential decision in Google LLC v. Conversant Wireless Licensing, which vacated a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to uphold the validity of patent claims owned by Conversant after conducting an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding petitioned by Google and LG Electronics. The Federal Circuit panel of Circuit Judges Kathleen O’Malley, Raymond Chen and Kara Stoll found that the PTAB erred in its final written decision by failing to consider the primary argument raised in the original IPR petition.

This is about the Federal Circuit (CAFC) and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). The Microsoft-armed troll attacked Google.

CAFC is nowadays more aggressive against these trolls than PTAB; CAFC epically stops Intellectual Ventures (in cases where Intellectual Ventures also sues Microsoft’s rivals in the security space, notably Symantec).

12.09.18

Good News: US Supreme Court Rejects Efforts to Revisit Alice, Most Software Patents to Remain Worthless

Posted in America, Courtroom, Patents at 11:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: 35 U.S.C. § 101 will likely remain in tact for a long time to come; courts have come to grips with the status quo, as even the Federal Circuit approves the large majority of invalidations by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) panels, initiated by inter partes reviews (IPRs)

2017 and 2018 have been very good years. Irrespective of what the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office grants as patents (more on that in a separate post), courts do a good job. They’re a lot tougher than before.

“Irrespective of what the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office grants as patents (more on that in a separate post), courts do a good job.”As Karl Auerbach put it some days ago: “The supreme court and the IP bar have gotten a lot smarter about software, so they are far more able to recognize that a huge portion of software patents are simply old ideas rewrapped as code and are thus not eligible for patent protection..”

Here’s the full comment (a reply I received):

I do not accept the mantra that “software is math”. Sure, computers operate through the application of the laws of physics, via the emergent properties of electronics and electro-mechanical devices. But so do procedures in chemistry. The act of using a hammer to pound a nail is ultimately “mathematical” in the sense that it is an expression of the laws of force and mass and velocity – all of which are usually expressed in mathematical form. That would make a patent on a novel and non-obvious use of a hammer and nails to be unpatentable.

Some software is, indeed, used to computer mathematical expressions. So are pencils. And pencils are not unpatentable because they are mathematics. (Pencils are unpatentable because they or no longer novel or non-obvious.)

The analogy with gears is to counter the argument that software has no physical reality – which is not true given that once it is reduced to its basic form it consists of charges in electronic circuits that, when combined with electrical time pulses, turns into a very physical machine – but with electrical charges interacting rather then gears meshing.

The main problem that has existed with software patents is that they fail the required test of being non-intuitive to someone practiced in the art of computer programming. The US patent office for decades refused to hire computer people, so it made itself intentionally stupid and thus thought that every chunk of software was non-intuitive. The head of the USPTO during much of that time was a total jerk – he even was booed by a bunch of IP lawyers at a meeting I attended.

The supreme court and the IP bar have gotten a lot smarter about software, so they are far more able to recognize that a huge portion of software patents are simply old ideas rewrapped as code and are thus not eligible for patent protection. But no court has said that a patent, just because it is expressed in the form of a computer programs, is by virtue of that expression, not patentable.

The way things stand, technology companies gained leverage over law firms. It’s still not ideal. As Benjamin Henrion put it the other day in light of this report (“Google, Amazon Invited to Talk Patent Eligibility With Lawmakers”): “Software developers and small companies not invited to discuss software patents, only large companies and patent lawyers…”

The above report comes from a lawyer’s section, too. “If you have no money,” I told Henrion, “then your opinion does not matter. You’re disposable “workforce”…”

The above talk, however, did not deal with courts directly. They’re separate. So what do courts say? The decision to reassess Helsinn v Teva (several days ago) was put in our daily links as it’s pretty irrelevant to us (it’s not at all about patent scope/quality). As proponents of patents on life put it, “Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Helsinn v. Teva” (mentioned here before in passing).

“The way things stand, technology companies gained leverage over law firms.”So SCOTUS will look at Helsinn v Teva, but as expected Carl M. Burnett v Panasonic Corporation goes nowhere. It’s another small victory for us programmers who’ve long campaigned against software patents and now have 35 U.S.C. § 101. The Office cannot bully judges. It cannot force Justices (at SCOTUS) to challenge 35 U.S.C. § 101. Days ago the USPTO published yet another talk of Iancu. He can moan about 35 U.S.C. § 101 all he wants, but courts won’t care.

“Another one bites the Alice dust,” wrote this patent maximalist from Watchtroll, linking to an opinionated Watchtroll report about last Monday’s decision:

On Monday, December 3rd, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for writ of certiorari in Carl M. Burnett v. Panasonic Corporation, declining to take up the case on appeal from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. This is now the latest case involving questions of patent-eligibility for an invention under 35 U.S.C. § 101 declined by the nation’s highest court. In this case, however, the Supreme Court hasn’t addressed the patentability of the relevant subject matter, namely electronic data and electromagnetic analog and digital signals, since 1853.

SCOTUS has also just rejected SSL Services v Cisco and it’s hilarious to see the response from patent extremists who loathe PTAB and love software patents. They’re losing their minds as courts gradually restore/impose sanity on the patent system. Here is what Watchtroll said: “On Monday, November 19th, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a list of orders regarding pending cases where the Court refused to take the appeal. The Supreme Court on that day denied the petition for writ of certiorari to take up SSL Services, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc. on appeal from the Federal Circuit. In denying certiorari, the Supreme Court refused to answer whether the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) erred in instituting an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding in the face of federal statute barring institution of an IPR based on similar arguments and prior art raised in a previous validity challenge.”

“At the end of the day, when it all boils down to Alice, these patents are still unlikely to withstand judges’ scrutiny.”Watchtroll can be hilarious in the sense that it has nothing left but judge-bashing and as we’ll mention again later, the founder and editor steps down. A month later these people still bring up Ancora v HTC. They’re living in the past, cherry-picking rare case outcomes in desperate efforts to somehow revive software patents in US courts. Watchtroll suggests adding “Technical Solutions” and King & Wood Mallesons’s Veg Tran and Esme Wong argue you should say “an improvement in the computer”; anything to hopelessly fool examiners and judges into software patents?

At the end of the day, when it all boils down to Alice, these patents are still unlikely to withstand judges’ scrutiny. That’s just the way it is; there’s no point pretending that adding some catchphrases will help as if it’s all about words. It’s about the underlying claims, not semantics.

“The bottom line is, software patents are bygones; even the lawyers know it, but they still try to attract applicants, i.e. money/legal bills.”James Fussell, Nikko Quevada and Vincent Violago, three people who do ‘patents’ for a living (nothing else actually) say “Alice Must Be Revisited In View Of Emerging Technologies” (published 5 days ago); they just worry they’ll become unemployed as they will need to find a real job. They start their articles with a bunch of meaningless buzzwords: “The increasing convergence of artificial intelligence, the internet of things, robotics and other emerging technologies are expected to generate various novel legal issues that courts will soon have to grapple with…”

Yes, “artificial intelligence” or “internet [sic] of things” and so on. Why not add “cloud” and “smart” and other nonsense?

The bottom line is, software patents are bygones; even the lawyers know it, but they still try to attract applicants, i.e. money/legal bills.

Florian Müller’s Article About SEPs and the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Report from the court in Munich, where the EPO is based

THE writings of Florian Müller have become more frequent lately. He used to write about the European Patent Office (EPO) after he had campaigned — quite famously in fact — against software patents in Europe.

His latest article, which deals with “standard-essential patents” (SEPs), may be of interest to EPO insiders. Here’s a portion:

While “standard-essential patents” (SEPs) is one of the most common terms in the tech sector, it would sometimes be more accurate and inclusive to refer to “standard-essential intellectual property rights” (SEIPRs). That collective term would include both SEPs and SEUMs: standard-essential utility models. Utility models are a German specialty, basically a second-class type of patent with a shorter term but instant registration (no substantive examination). This blog covered a utility model case years ago when Apple asserted a slide-to-unlock utility model against Samsung in Germany; that case got stayed over validity concerns and never went anywhere. Beyond German utility models, the collective term “SEIPRs” would cover any other IPRs that may exist in other jurisdictions and are like patents, but aren’t called patents.

Yesterday I went to the Munich I Regional Court to watch a standard-essential utility model case, Netlist v. SK Hynix and HP, over German utility model no. DE2020100185017, which was derived last year, in preparation of this lawsuit as counsel for Netlist explained, from a pending European patent application, EP2454735 on a “system and method utilizing distributed byte-wise buffers on a memory module.” From what I’ve been able to find out, this patent was declared essential to a JEDEC memory standard.

An EPO patent examiner rejected the application, though Netlist is still trying to persuade the EPO to grant a patent. But in parallel to that effort, they quickly took out a utility model, with claim language drafted specifically for the purposes of the lawsuit against SK Hynix and HP, and sued in Munich.

Wrong patent grants can have devastating effects not just for large companies but also individual engineers/developers. This is why we so aggressively campaign for patent quality at the EPO. Granting patents isn’t the equivalent of growing fruit because patents are essentially monopolies, not products.

EPO Vice-President Željko Topić in New Article About Corruption in Croatia

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Kuterovac Topić WIPO 2010

Summary: The Croatian newspaper 7Dnevno has an outline of what Željko Topić has done in Croatia and in the EPO in Munich; it argues that this seriously erodes Croatia’s national brand/identity

An article about Željko Topić, a Vice-President at the European Patent Office, recently appeared in the Croatian newspaper 7Dnevno. We mentioned it at the time.

Below we’re including an English translation of the part of the article which pertains to Željko Topić.

CORRUPTION AND PEDOPHILIA AS A CROATIAN BRAND

Published by Tomislav KOVAČ – November 30, 2018

The Republic of Croatia has a recognizable tourist and sport brand, but it should be creating its own strong and positive national brand because it offers a key competitive advantage over other countries. Regarding the emphasis of the importance of creating an image and branding, Croatia as a country has not built up a sufficiently recognizable image to strengthen its position either vis-à-vis other states nor within international relations in its entirety. In addition, Croatia does not have a clear and quality system to build and manage a national brand. And, in our country, there is not enough developed awareness of the importance of branding as a tool for strengthening the competitiveness of the Croatian economy within the world context. The words are those recently addressed to the public by Croatian President Kolinda Grabar – Kitarović on the round table under the title “Identity and the Trademark of the Republic of Croatia”.

FIRST SHE BRANDED ONLY HERSELF

What is a brand? The brand is a set of associations that a product or service has in the consumer consciousness, and the branding process makes any product, service or individual recognizable based on its visual identity, the way of communication, and the entire content that is attached to that brand. In the branding process it is most important to define the visual identity (logo, name and typography) and the entire content that will be linked to that brand. When we talk about content, we mean everything that will be published with respect to that brand, from texts, photos, visuals, or video content. However, the visual identity is like a person’s personal identity card of a brand, and the communication message as well as the tone of the communication, are very important and indispensable parts of the brand. Starting from herself, it could be concluded that KGK (Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović), when she arrived in Pantovcak (e.g. the residence of the the Croatian President), began her personal branding, which was observed by the domestic and international media (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30765822) but she did not do much, or almost anything, for the branding of the state of which she is the leader. After all, and judging by her behavior so far, and especially by making a home for a stay dog (Kike), she is purely opportunistic with the intention of gaining sympathy from the general public.

As noted above, the result of today’s recognizability of the Republic of Croatia in the world lies in the individual endeavors and activities of individuals in entrepreneurship or science, i.e. collectively in tourism or sport. In the latter, it is necessary to distinguish the activities and expenditures of state funds available to the parasitic promoter from the HGK (Croatian Chamber of Economy) and safari hunter such as Nadan Vidošević (e.g. former chief of the Croatian Chamber of Economy) in the so-called campaign “Let’s Buy Croatian” or the self-effacing and modest Janica Kostelić (e.g. a famous Croatian skier with several Olympic medals). Based upon these facts, the president has been running around in the wrong wardrobe, in that she doesn’t know, or is unfamiliar with all of the features and charms hidden within the patent community in the Republic of Croatia and beyond, which are in a direct or causal relationship with the person (e.g. Former President Ivo Josipović) whom she defeated in the 2014 presidential election.

THE STATE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE AND THE SYNERGY OF CORRUPTION

Unfortunately as a consequence, the subpar results, in the case of the present-day branding of the Republic of Croatia, can be read in the work of a national patent institution which has a rather nebulous name – the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), and particularly regarding the people in charge of that institution.

The State Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Croatia is a state administrative body that carries out activities in the area of ​​the protection of intellectual property rights. The activity of SIPO in the legislative and professional domain includes the area of ​​copyright and related rights. Apart from the legislative work, an important part of the SIPO’s work is information and service activity, as well as cooperation with other institutions for the enforcement of intellectual property rights and support for innovation activity, as well as cooperation with economic and scientific research entities!? So, any person, like our president or a legal entity, who wants to brand and protect something is directed (whether or not they want to be) to SIPO. Administratively, there’s no dispute that this domestic institution of the last few decades has been handled by suspicious people just based upon their character and professional qualities. This deals with Mr. Željko Topić and his successor (and mistress by the way), Ljiljana Kuterovac, are labeled as highly corrupt people with a judicial dictionary. Mr. Topić is a former director, and Mrs. Kuterovac is the current Director of SIPO, or at least she appears to be, although sources from the Government of Croatia explicitly state that she has never been confirmed by them. So, Mrs. Kuterovac is issuing patents (or branding) on the “black market”. Contrary to her, Mr. Topić, although in the majority of the scientific community, was prominently known for his fake master’s degree, has advanced as the vice-president of the EPO in Munich because of his corruptive services. The duo have an unbridgeable synergy in the corruption of the Republic of Croatia at least in the question of the state foundation of branding which KGK advocates. Randomly or not, both as well as most of the SIPO staff were recruited from ZAMP, which is a phantom company with parafiscal charges, whose former leader was the loser of the election with KGK, the gentleman with the white collar, Dr. Ivo Josipović. According to the declared revenues of ZAMP, it seems that crime in Croatia is profitable. In such circumstances, the long-standing failure and obstruction by the SDP’s (e.g. Social Democratic Party) hawk, Željko Jovanović, former, but also present president of the National Monitoring Council for the Implementation of the Anti-Corruption Strategy (NVPPSSK) of the Croatian Parliament, is of particular significance. Namely, regarding the journalist’s inquiries as to whether the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, as the supervisory body of SIPO for the Republic of Croatia, informed EPO or OLAF regarding criminal charges against Topić, were met with silence from the Ministry of Science for many years. However, former Minister Željko Jovanović and Chairman of the NVPPSSK (http://www.sabor.hr/nacionalno-vijece-za-pracenje-provedbe-strateg-9) used to say that Željko Topić has the protection of former President Ivo Josipović. The EPO, which is based in Munich, is one of the institutions of special importance in the EU, which has offices in The Hague, Berlin and Vienna (e.g. and Brussels) and employs about seven thousand people. The fundamental role of the EPO is to regulate and strengthen cooperation among European member states in the protection of patents. In comparison, the WIPO organization, which has headquarters in Geneva, deals with the protection of brands on the world level.

PATENTED BALKANS GANGSTER

By coming to EPO, Mr. Topić stated in his CV that he worked on establishing a national system of intellectual property, i.e. the Croatian legislation, which is untrue, because it was done by the lawyers of the SIPO, and not by him. He stated that he was the initiator, coordinator and chief contributor to the National Strategy for the Development of the Intellectual Property System in the Republic of Croatia, but this was a document he never respected, which was proved by his ignorance about public lending rights, a new right of importance to writers, which is why they were financially irreparably damaged. He further stated that he was the national coordinator for intellectual property in the EU accession process, but that was Professor Siniša Petrović from the Faculty of Law in Zagreb. He also lied and stated that he was a Croatian patent and trademark agent, but he had no such role in SIPO. The question is whether KGK was informed within the institutions of the Republic of Croatia about the actions of Josipović’s intimates, which resulted in the inaction of the competent institutions in the Republic of Croatia, where Željko Topić has no immunity, and has resulted in 5 suicides of employees within the European Patent Organization (EPO). Željko Topić currently works there (e.g. in EPO) as one of the vice presidents and as a vice president he has immunity, resulting in, among other things, the action before the European Council for the removal of immunity in international organizations such as the EPO, which was extensively written about by Petra Sorge, the award-winning Berlin-based journalist. We also don’t know whether the President of the Republic of Croatia has been informed that Zeljko Topić, Romana Matanovac Vučković and Ljiljana Kuterovac have been charged with jointly committing criminal offenses regarding unlawful changes in the structure of the state administration and the abuse of office and authority. At the same time, the current director of SIPO, which the Government of A. Plenković hasn’t yet confirmed, is currently under the investigation of USKOK (e.g. Office for the Suppression of Corruption and Organized Crime) due to her damages to the state budget. In such circumstances, of particular concern, according to unofficial sources from SIPO, is the possible return of the Balkan criminal from Munich to the position of Director of SIPO in Zagreb.

Croatia’s accession to the EU poses an open question: is there a relationship of corruption between the structures of Croatian state institutions, politics and the domestic public prosecutors’ lobbies? These questions have so far avoided the credible verification from the Ministry of Justice, MUP (e.g. Ministry of Interior Affairs), DORH (e.g. Public Prosecutor of Croatia) and USKOK, the bodies responsible for protection of the legal framework and legal security of the Republic of Croatia which have been provided for within the constitution of the Republic of Croatia. Therefore, it is no surprise that our country is at the top spot for corruption in the world, according to the latest international research, and as one of the major Croatian export-oriented brands we are offering unacceptable and deviant social behavior in the form of intellectual corruption. So, with the proposal of the new rebranding of the Republic of Croatia by the recommendation and on the initiative of KGK, it is ultimately the responsibility of the state, which is not acting responsibly, and because of that we have been brought to where we are now.

Because the rest of this article isn’t relevant to the subject of Željko Topić, whom we focus on, we will discontinue the translation here.

The Quality of European Patents Continues to Deteriorate Under António Campinos and Software Patents Are Advocated Every Day

Posted in America, Europe, Free/Libre Software, Law, Patents at 9:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Even several times per day, as shameful as it may seem

EUIPO outsourcing

Summary: The EPC in the European Patent Office and 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the USPTO annul most if not all software patents; under António Campinos, however, software patents are being granted in Europe and the USPTO exploits similar tricks

DISREGARD for the rule of law is pretty normal at the EPO. There are endless examples of it and a broad range of aspects to it. We spent years covering that. Today, however, we would like to focus on how the EPO (as well as the USPTO) gets to grant software patents, never mind if courts dismiss these.

Mostly illegal software patents that pertain to my research field (computer vision) are being openly promoted and bragged about by today's EPO. This did not happen under Battistelli; this is a Campinos thing. We cannot stress often enough that as far as software patenting is concerned Campinos seems a lot worse than Battistelli; judging by how often the EPO promotes such patents under the leadership of Campinos (as opposed to Battistelli’s). It is a race to the bottom. Just before the weekend the EPO wrote: “The number of European patent applications relating to self-driving vehicles increased by 330% between 2011 and 2017.”

A few days ago a news report was published under the headline “GM Patents the Blockchain Solution for Driverless Cars”.

“We cannot stress often enough that as far as software patenting is concerned Campinos seems a lot worse than Battistelli; judging by how often the EPO promotes such patents under the leadership of Campinos (as opposed to Battistelli’s).”Combining two buzz/hype waves, blockchains and SDV (the EPO’s buzzword/term of choice), these people nowadays facilitate and permit patents on software. Software patents are bogus however. They’re likely worthless too as most judges would laugh them out of court (if it ever gets this far).

And speaking of blockchains, which the EPO promotes patents on (misleadingly-named event, which is actually about patents but doesn’t explicitly say so), mind this new article from Swiss media (in French). The headline speaks of blockchains and “open source”; a French-speaking Free software (“open source”) developer just said: “Software patents, the end of free software…”

By granting patents on blockchains the EPO blatantly tramples/stomps on Free/Open Source software, which is fundamental to the adoption of blockchains.

We understand that the Campinos-led EPO saw a hype wave and decided to ride/surf it, but at what cost? The concept of blockchains is being brought up even by those who don’t understand it; several days ago Forbes published “Blockchain For Business: This Startup Thinks It Solves All Of Blockchain’s Worst Problems” (marketing disguised as an article).

This is eerily similar to the “AI” hype, which resurfaced about a year ago. Everyone started rebranding things “AI”, years after they had rebranded everything “smart” and “cloud” or whatever (more buzzwords to be mentioned below).

“By granting patents on blockchains the EPO blatantly tramples/stomps on Free/Open Source software, which is fundamental to the adoption of blockchains.”Even the lawyers admit it’s just hype/buzz. This new article from a law firm starts with this sentence : “Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a loaded technology buzzword that comes in different forms in various commercial products.”

Yes, it’s a buzzword. So far this month we’ve seen an “Artificial Intelligence Trading Expert” [1, 2] (just using algorithms; nothing new) and this article titled “‘Buzz about AI’ lends to Linguamatics win”. Calling mere algorithms “AI” is now as commonplace as can be. Here is an example from a few days ago: “Artificial intelligence technology has helped build software that can analyze videos for better capturing of events, understanding patterns and surveillance.”

“Everyone started rebranding things “AI”, years after they had rebranded everything “smart” and “cloud” or whatever…”All of these examples (above) mention patents and “AI”. Everything is being called “AI” these days… for marketing purposes. “iCAD Announces FDA Clearance of ProFound AI™ for Digital Breast Tomosynthesis,” says this new press release. Here comes the Allied Security Trust (AST) and the “AI” hype; lots of bogus patents as usual. But… “AI”! So it’s innovative!

Software potentially puts the patent ‘industry’ in the ashtray; so they call software “AI” now, as usual (because they’re technically inapt). “Wave Computing®,” states another new example, “the Silicon Valley company that is accelerating artificial intelligence (AI) from the cloud to the edge…”

All the above are from the past fortnight alone; “AI” and “patents” everywhere. It is intentional. As we recently noted on numerous occasions, even the USPTO has swallowed the “AI” hype and offers it as a route towards software patentability. An article by Sameer Gokhale (Oblon, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, LLP) makes it very obvious. They’re pretty shameless about it.

“As we recently noted on numerous occasions, even the USPTO has swallowed the “AI” hype and offers it as a route towards software patentability.”How about “Smart” and “IoT”? These are two more buzzwords recently embraced everywhere (globally even).

“Smart devices in IoT need a smarter patenting strategy,” IAM’s new headline says. Just keep stuffing buzzwords like “smart” and “IoT” in hope of enabling software patents, right?

“This article provides a comprehensive report on the challenges faced in patenting technology in the Internet of Things domain,” it says. It’s a domain that just means devices with an Internet connection. It’s far too vague, intentionally so.

We are meanwhile seeing European law firms trying hard to find all sorts of ways to patent software. Philip M. Nelson and Ronald J. Schoenbaum (Knobbe Martens), for example, have published [1, 2] “Will New PTO Guidance Be The Antidote to Alice In The Medical Device Patenting Process?”

“We are meanwhile seeing European law firms trying hard to find all sorts of ways to patent software.”Here they go again with “Medical Device”, two cheeky terms combined to associate software with “life-saving” and “physical” (even when it boils down only to code).
Marks & Clerk’s Thomas Prock has just published “A feather in one’s app: why the UK could lead the way for medical app patents” (similar talking point). It adds the buzzword “app”…

Suyoung Jang, Cheryl T. Burgess and Mauricio Uribe (also of Knobbe Martens) are still pushing anti-Section 101 lies. It’s that classic software patents propaganda, spread at all costs (even to multiple publishers that charge for it; it’s cross-posted [1, 2] again). They’re using the fata morgana that is "Berkheimer and Aatrix"; the latter became known for little more than that patent lawsuit (Aatrix is mostly/only mentioned in relation to patents, even when it’s not about patents) and the former became a placeholder for “I don’t like Alice and Alice sucks because fact-finding.”

“Today’s EPO is rotting with corruption and fake patents (that bear no presumption of validity).”António Campinos may not say much on the subject, but his actions in a leadership position are revealing. The EPO’s Twitter account has just quoted Campinos as saying: “In my time at the EPO I’ve been able to rely on the expertise, dedication and commitment of an experienced staff to help in the transition process…”

What transition? Some staff calls him “mini Battistelli” and some claim that he’s even worse than Battistelli; it’s clear that nothing is changing, except for the worse. Today’s EPO is rotting with corruption and fake patents (that bear no presumption of validity). Staff cuts are implemented (he did the same in another agency) by means of limited (with time limits) contracts, longterm hiring freeze and encouragement of early departure/retirement.

Team UPC is Still Spreading False Rumours in an Effort to Trick Politicians and Pressure Judges

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents, Rumour at 7:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The EPO wrote this (below) almost three years ago

UPC

Summary: Abuses at the European Patent Office, political turmoil and an obvious legislative coup by a self-serving occupation that produces nothing have already doomed the Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court (UPC); so now we deal with complete fabrications from Team UPC as they’re struggling to make something out of nothing, anonymously smearing opposition to the UPC and anonymously making stuff up

LAST WEEKEND the person who ratified something that cannot in principle be ratified (or become functional) decided to publicly announce his resignation. There were some reports that mentioned this in relation to the UPC as well (even though there’s more to his decision, primarily Brexit itself). Science Minister (or whatever his job title was at the time; it kept changing) Sam Gyimah wasn’t the first to resign and his predecessor too kept changing job titles until resignation (for similar reasons). We can only imagine how Germany’s constitutional court views this turmoil. Not too favourably…

“The UPCA is dying in its sleep, the EPO already ignores it (the subject is almost never brought up), and Team UPC blogs are more or less dead (no new posts).”With only a couple of weeks left before Christmas it seems pretty clear that the UPC is more “dead” than it has ever been. There will be some more restful weekends soon. As for weekdays? Don’t expect any oral hearings as none are even scheduled. In two or three weeks’ time Team UPC will need to explain why it floated totally false (fabricated) ‘unitary’ rumours. The UPCA is dying in its sleep, the EPO already ignores it (the subject is almost never brought up), and Team UPC blogs are more or less dead (no new posts).

Days after Ramona Livera (Elias Neocleous & Co LLC) published lies and distortions about the UPC in Cypriot press she apparently paid money for more sites to carry these ‘unitary’ lies (self promotion rather). It says more about the integrity and honesty of such firms (than it says about UPC/A itself).

A few days ago Hogan Lovells’ Joseph Raffetto and Steffen Steininger decided to relay some more falsehoods. Perpetuating false rumours of Team UPC is nowadays seen as a virtue, surely?

Here is what they wrote:

While the German Federal Court (FCC) has still not officially announced when it will issue a decision regarding the constitutional complaint against the German law that ratified the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA), rumors about a possible decision in December are circulating the German patent community. The FCC, however, officially has not acknowledged a decision date at this point. Across the channel, in the meantime, two UK patent practitioners argued before the House of Lord’s EU Justice Sub-Committee in favor of a UK participation in the Unitary Patent system during the transitional period agreed upon in a withdrawal agreement following Brexit and beyond that period.

When they say “rumors about a possible decision in December are circulating the German patent community” they don’t cite any sources. Because there are none. There’s no basis for this.

Where are those sources? They’re not even being named. It’s like a self-serving whispering campaign.

“When they say “rumors about a possible decision in December are circulating the German patent community” they don’t cite any sources. Because there are none. There’s no basis for this.”Alan Johnson has meanwhile had nothing to say on the subject. He and his colleagues are among those who spread these false rumours the most. Days ago he wrote in their UPC Blog about SPCs, not UPC (Bristows are big boosters of SPCs). So the UPC Blog is not even about UPC anymore! And on the same day Kluwer Patent Blog (where Bristows often writes) published SPCs under friendly fire (overly dramatic headline).

Why does nobody mention anything of substance about UPC or UPCA? Because there’s nothing.

JUVE, which likes patent trolls (and therefore the UPC as well), still calls patent trolls by a euphemism (“NPE”) and seems happy that they choose to troll companies that actually make something… in the country where JUVE itself is based. JUVE’s subscribers are profiting from these trolls and they hope to profit even more from something like the UPC (which would be inviting to trolls). As JUVE put it: “For NPEs, Germany will continue to be the court location in Europe. This is demonstrated by Data Scape’s lawsuits against none other than Apple, Amazon and Spotify at the Regional Court Düsseldorf…”

More money for lawyers would mean more money for the publisher (JUVE), but the UPC isn’t happening and JUVE isn’t writing about it anymore. It’s almost as if they’ve given up completely.

“More money for lawyers would mean more money for the publisher (JUVE), but the UPC isn’t happening and JUVE isn’t writing about it anymore.”Benjamin Henrion has meanwhile said about UPC that: “Defining how courts are established (130 pages of the rules of procedure) should be the only privilege of Parliaments, not outsourced to biased patent experts like Mr Mooney” (citing an old article from JUVE, which amplifies Team UPC itself).

“Mooney is a symptom of the problem,” I told him, as UPC “is a legislative coup.” It’s a bunch of lawyers attempting to hijack the law and enrich themselves. The constitutional court’s judges can hopefully see that because it’s not difficult to see that and it would be an utter embarrassment to Germany if it ever went ahead; it would also be a political crisis and possibly lead to legal action.

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