I am writing to seek advice with regard to a new patent issued to Google Inc (USPTO# 8429103 B1, URL in link). This patent essentially confers upon them the exclusive right to deploy implementations of Machine Learning algorithm on phones.
I believe that this patent is extremely broad, based on poorly defined terms ("Machine Learning services") and totally lacking innovation — Machine Learning is commonly taught in University classrooms, and phones running general purpose OS are commonplace — so the patent-holders are essentially claiming that the spark of genius lies in implementing ML on phones!
However, I have a phone app, Intelliphone (published before the patent was applied) (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=in.lipik.ai_dial), that would serve as prior art disproving claims of innovation in this patent. In fact, my app is pretty much an implementation of the first claim in the patent, which most of the other claims rest on. And based on the very broad language used, I can think of other apps that could also argue that they were doing classification, clustering and predictions on the phone before this patent was applied for.
I suppose what I find insidious about this patent is that future developers would have to depend on Google's continued benevolence to make ML-based apps on all other mobile platforms. And they are taking credit where none is due. Indeed, before I saw this patent, I never considered what I was doing to be worthy of a patent.
I am wondering if there are any avenues through which I could claim to be an interested party in respect of this patent, and try to dispute its validity? I am not a resident or citizen of the United States, so I don't know if I would have a legal standing to mount a challenge. Also, I am lone/hobbyist developer, so am not really in a position to hire a team of attorneys in the US. I am well annoyed by this though!"
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