Cloud Trolls Are Clouding Their Software Patents in the “Cloud Computing” Buzzword

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Posted in America, Courtroom at 6:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bird and cloud

Summary: Cloudflare and Cloudera are under attack from non-practicing entities (trolls) with software patents, exploiting the perception of novelty around the mythical “cloud”

TECHRIGHTS has published a number of articles about the (mis)use of buzzwords to patent things that are neither novel nor patent-eligible. Common examples are “AI”, “Cloud Computing”, and “IoT”. We don’t want to delve into the debate over why those terms as nonsensical as downright marketing; instead we’ll say that in most cases these allude to software inventions that are not patentable after Alice (or would not be enforceable in a court of law or even PTAB).

Kemp IT Law recently wrote: “This blog develops the themes of our February piece on cloud availability risks from software patent claims.”

Well, “Cloud Computing” (in general) does not exist. It’s a buzzword that mostly alludes to servers (the original uses of the term meant something else). The term is poisonous; it’s growingly used as a Trojan horse for fake novelty and software patents that wrongly assume or piggyback this sort of novelty (like running “on a server”, i.e. something physical). Here are some relevant posts on the subject:

Right now, Cloudflare is trying to defend itself from patent trolls. The latest article we saw about it was titled “Cloudflare trolls patent troll, offers $50k bounty for prior-art invalidation” and we wrote some articles about it [1, 2, 3]. Not a word since…

Another company, the FOSS-centric Cloudera, has come under attack from the University of Tennessee. So a publicly-funded institution resorts to attacking a company that’s based on FOSS? Who is likely to benefit from that? “The University of Tennessee has sued software company Cloudera for patent infringement over its use of data processing systems,” WIPR wrote.

Sadly, we expect to hear about more such cases and as long as they say something about “cloud” it may be wrongly assumed to be innovative.

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