[A2k] PATNEWS: Apple's new crappy patent on disabling cellphones

JotHal jozef.halbersztadt at gmail.com
Mon Sep 3 05:50:48 PDT 2012

Small correction. Number of amendments in JURI document are 63 and 64.

We need them as plenary amendments.

Jozef Halbersztadt

2012/9/1 Erik Josefsson <erik.hjalmar.josefsson at gmail.com>:
> Greg Aharonian is a dear old opponent from the EU swpat wars. Maybe some of
> you remember:
>    *Gregory Aharonian and Software Patents: Propagating a Disease,
>    Selling a Medicine*
>    http://eupat.ffii.org/players/aharonian/
> Unfortunately the medicine he is selling is prior art. Rant for rant, here's
> one of Hartmut's takes on Greg:
>    https://listes.aful.org/wws/arc/patents/2007-02/msg00000.html
> I'd say that as long as there is no standardised level of abstraction (you
> could say a "standardised patent language") in which you express software
> innovation, prior art discussions are as doomed as discussions on inventive
> step (which is as high, as you know, as twice the length of a rope). Greg
> makes that point exactly in his email below.
> Now, for reasons I don't understand, very few efforts have been made on the
> US side to argue that programs for computers are not inventions, even if
> there is implicit support for that theory in US law (see SFLC's amicus to
> Bilski) and even if that was the EPC language that finally killed the
> software patents directive in 2005.
> It's the subject matter test: innovation expressed in source code and
> performed on a general purpose computer is not an invention.
> It's not difficult legally, and its not intellectually difficult either.
> Patents on software should simply not exist. Actually they normally don't
> since they are cancelled by cross licensing cartels, and they don't exist i
> the GPL stack. So what's the problem?
> Fix that, and you'll fix the patent system, at least for the software
> sector.
> The Greens/EFA retabled some of the swpat directive amendments to the Patent
> Package to reinforce the the subject matter test in EU-law, as it is written
> and used to be understood in EPC countries.
> We'll see how that goes :-)
> Please support the campaign http://unitary-patent.eu
> //Erik
> *Amendment 56
> *
> Article 3b
> 1. European patents with unitary effect shall be granted for any inventions,
> in all fields of technology, provided that they are new, involve an
> inventive step and are susceptible of industrial application.
> 2. The following in particular shall not be regarded as inventions within
> the meaning of paragraph 1:
>    (a) discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;
>    (b) aesthetic creations;
>    (c) schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing
>    games or
>    doing business, and programs for computers;
>    (d) presentations of information.
> /Justification/
> The goal of this amendment is to codify into EU Law, provisions defining an
> invention as set up by the European Patent Convention and other
> international agreements. The wordings of the amendment is compliant with
> the EPC, and moreover is enhancing the EPC own wordings, by clarifying some
> difficulties that have resulted in divergent interpretations by various
> national courts. Hence, this amendment contributes to the goal of having a
> unified enforcement of European patents with unitary effect.
> *Amendment 57
> *
> Article 3c
> 1. A set of instructions for solving a problem by means of an automated
> system consisting only of generic data processing hardware (universal
> computer), also called "program for computers" or "computer-implemented
> solution", is not an invention within the meaning of the substantive patent
> law applicable to a European patent with unitary effect, regardless of the
> form under which it is claimed.
> 2. A claimed object may be an invention within the meaning of the
> substantive patent law applicable to the European patent with unitary effect
> only if it contributes knowledge to the state of the art in a field of
> applied natural science; an invention is a teaching about cause-and-effect
> relations in the use of controllable forces of nature.
> /Justification/
> This amendment defines some rules of patentability in the same way as voted
> by the European Parliament on September 24 2003 on its first reading on the
> software patents. The wordings of the amendment is compliant with the EPC,
> and moreover is enhancing the EPC own wordings, by clarifying some
> difficulties that have resulted in divergent interpretations by various
> national courts. Hence, this amendment contributes to have a unified
> enforcement of European patents with unitary effect.
> On 01/09/12 01:21, Jamie Love wrote:
>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>> From:<patnews at ns1.patenting-art.com>
>> Date: Fri, Aug 31, 2012 at 2:13 PM
>> Subject: PATNEWS: Apple's new crappy patent on disabling cellphones
>> To:
>> !20120831  Apple's new crappy patent on disabling cellphones
>> [RANT ON]
>> After twenty years in this business, I still do not understand why no
>> one, and I mean no one, takes patent quality seriously.  Applicants don't,
>> patent offices don't, legislatures don't, academics can't, patent bar
>> groups could not care less, hedge funds don't waste their time (patents
>> are junk bonds - all you have to assume is that at least one is good),
>> patent brokers don't (same reasoning as hedge funds), and the press still
>> hasn't figured out how to include a patent number in an article about a
>> patent.  Do applicants, beyond rarely, do reasonable prior art searches
>> for their applications?  NO.  Do patent offices actually believe their
>> nonsense about their progress improving patent quality and search tools
>> (sadly, YES).  The system is a big freakin joke when it comes to patent
>> quality.
>> Case in point.  As part of the coverage of the Apple/Samsung lawsuit
>> (a decision ruined by the patent law delusions of the jury foreman -
>> no way is the $1 billion judgment going to stand), some pundits are
>> referencing Apple's stream of patents, occasionally mentioning a few.
>> Slashdot today does so, and mentions an Apple patent so full of dreck
>> to be a classic example of the contempt everyone has for patent system,
>> especially patent quality.
>> Patent:
>>      Apparatus and methods for enforcement of policies upon a wireless
>> device
>>      U.S. Patent 8,254,902
>>      Apple                     (filed 28 June 2008, issued 28 August 2012)
>> (side note: also good example that patent pendency is about four years).
>> The patent cites 18 patents and 3 non-patent prior art items, which for
>> the technology and late priority date is grossly inadequate.
>> What's the invention?  From the abstract:
>>      Apparatus and methods for changing one or more functional or
>>      operational aspects of a wireless device, such as upon occurrence
>>      of a certain event.   ... This policy enforcement capability is
>>      useful for a variety of reasons, including for example to disable
>>      noise and/or light emanating from wireless devices (such as at a
>>      movie theater),
>> You see this at the end of claim 1:
>>      ... the first module detecting that the wireless device is within
>>      the first range and the identified one or more modifiable portions,
>>      and to cause notification for a user of the client wireless device
>>      to be provided via the client wireless device; and wherein the
>>      modification of the at least one of the first set of functions is
>>      performed after said notification.
>> Whoopee shirt. Location-based modification of a device.  As if that has
>> never been done before.
>> Let's spin Greg's one-minute-patent-busting-wheel-of-crap and see what
>> we find (which neither Apple nor the PTO found, or cared to find):
>>      Realtime, location-based cellphone enhancements, uses and
>> applications
>>      U.S. Patent Application 2007/032225
>>      PUBLISHED February 2007 (16 months before Apple filed)
>>  From the abstract:
>>      Enhancements of and to cell phone operations are based in while or
>>      in part on determining the location of the cell phone.  Systems
>>      and methods select and determine locations or areas of importance
>>      or relevance, and based on that information and other programmed
>>      facters affect or alter the operations of the cell phone.
>> How, for example?  Figure 9:
>>      - SUNDAY 8AM to 11AM
>>      - NO CELL RING
>> Because you might be in a church (a religious theater for sake of an
>> obviousness argument).  And the patent application goes on and on and
>> on with pages of applications of this idea of changing a cellphone's
>> behavior based on its location.
>> Worse yet, this patent application itself is crap.  As part of the
>> one minute search (apparently the PTO doesn't allow examiner more than
>> one minute of search time), we stumble across this Microsoft patent,
>> also uncited in the issued Apple patent, because after all, who gives
>> a freakin frack about patent quality:
>>      Context-aware and location-aware cellular phones and methods
>>      U.S. Patent 7,076,255
>>      Microsoft (issued July 2006 - two years before Apple applied)
>>  From the abstract:
>>      ... cellular phones are configured to wirelessly receive
>>      information that pertains to their current context or
>>      location.  The phones then automatically use the information
>>      to modify one or more cellular phone behavior's, e.g., by
>>      turning the phone off, changing the ringer's pitch, or
>>      placing the phone in a vibrate mode.
>> Now, the Apple claims are more server-oriented, while the Microsoft
>> claims are more client (determinations at the cellphone), but moving
>> apps back and forth between clients and servers was long ago not
>> novel, utterly obvious, and idiotic to try to claim.
>> How the heck did the USPTO miss two dead-on prior art patents, and allow
>> this patent to issue?  Answer?  The PTO is making zero progress with
>> regards to patent quality.  The PTO is still using dishonest measures
>> of patent quality, and dishonest standards of contractor perforamce with
>> regards to all things searching at the PTO.  Patent quality is still a
>> joke at the PTO.  And with most applicants.
>> Which means they also view innovation as a joke, because it is mostly
>> the "best" innovation that ends up being patented.  If they don't
>> respect the patents on the innovation, they certainly don't respect
>> the innovation.  No wonder global economies are so screwed up, when
>> the salvation, innovation, is treated as a joke.
>> Large companies should not be clogging the patent system with these
>> non-innovations, and the PTO shouldn't not be issuing them as patents.
>> Quality must mean something, or else let's all become dishonest
>> copyright lawyers (you have to be dishonest to take 17 USC 102 seriously)
>> and have a registration system.
>> Seriously folks, grow up.
>> Greg Aharonian
>> Internet Patent News Service
>> Call for patentability/invalidity/opposition/clearance search services
>>      for infotech/commtech/medtech/greentech/business methods
>> In the United States, call me at:   001-415-981-0441
>> In Brazili (Leao IP), call me at:   011-55-51-3022-5175
>> Client of Article One?  Whatever they overcharge you over $6000 for an
>> invalidity search, I will give you a 20% discount - no questions asked.
>> Article One charging you $25,000?  I will do it for $10,000.  All of
>> my searches are flat fee. Email me the special URL - get a bigger
>> discount.
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