EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

02.09.08

What Happens When Software Patents Meet GNU/Linux

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, KDE, Microsoft, OIN at 12:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patently discriminatory

Apple is not truly an opposer of software patents if the company’s deeds are anything to go by. We previously showed how this company's software patents caused features in GNU/Linux to be castrated. Out comes KDE’s Aaron Seigo’s with further new complaints about this issue.

Many of Apple’s concepts such as icons stacks, parabolic zooming in panels and (most recently) widgets on media centers that they seem to feel are patentable are either unoriginal or just plain trivial.

[...]

Future society will look back upon us and cluck their tongue at how stupid we were for having let the patent system encroach upon things such as software on the one hand and become so baroque a system as to be generally lacking usefulness on the other.

Meanwhile, the OpenMoko team, which makes open Linux-based phones, expresses similar regrets as it finds itself in need for something like OIN.

We need to file patents for our hardware as well as software designs.
While my personal views on software patents are inline with people like
Eben Moglen, as a company, we are forced to play by the rules of the game.

What I want is for a our company’s patents to be freely available, for
anyone, but for defensive purposes only.

Are there any existing options available to us now? Does anyone know of
existing companies or organizations with a similar strategy that we can
seek guidance or partnership.

Groklaw has already advised him to look into OIN, which will stubbornly defend its members, shall it be necessary. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft refused to join OIN because it wishes to use software patents as a weapon. Amid problems perhaps, this would be the company’s last resort.

Other Software Patent News

Digital Majority cited some good articles that are worth mentioning. Among them:

Electronic Data Systems of Plano claims it holds the rights to U.S. Patent Nos. 7,156,300 and 7,255,268 which generally relate to a system and method for electronic purchase of prepaid telephone services. The plaintiff’s original complaint describes the inventions whereby a customer can purchase a specified amount of telephone service through a personal computer or an ATM machine.

The first patent was provisionally filed in 2000 and has been “in process” for the last 8 years. Yes, I said 8 years. Many think that Software Patents are stupid. I conceptually agree with this statement. Having spent what seems like millions of hours constructing these, baby sitting them, defending them; it is really all wasted time and effort, at least in a conceptual sense. There is no way for a software engineer or system architect to have any idea what exists out there to either copy or avoid (whatever the motivation).

…the Honourable Mr Justice Lewison in the Patents Court has dismissed Autonomy’s appeal against a refusal of their patent application relating to automated computer searching.

As Linus Torvalds recently indicated, software patents should be treated as an obstance. It is not a technical obstance, but a legal one. It’s a case of politics (and law) turned against competition.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. Great said,

    February 9, 2008 at 6:09 am

    Gravatar

    Carry on your good work. We FOSS developers dont have that kind of money or smartness/cunningness of the business world. You are bringing out the truth and may the lord bless you.

    I am pretty shit tired of having to deal with the asshole management, marketing and sales people shoving lies down my throat so that they can get their cut of the deal for the hard work engineers do.

    It is through your site that I came to know about the evil novell have done to the community. I have swore never to download or use or recommend novell products to anyone.

    Big **** to novell.

    I hope novell dies along with M$ and SCO

    Novell has sold out the FOSS community for the sake of money.

What Else is New


  1. Links 16/2/2020: MX Linux 19.1 and MyPaint 2.0

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 15, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 15, 2020



  3. Guest Article: Au Revoir, GNU/Linux

    "Funny how OSI just ended up being another vehicle for their takeover of the computing world..."



  4. Former Microsoft Employee: ZDNet is Owned by Microsoft (and Others) in Some Senses

    A noteworthy message we've received from someone who knows Microsoft from the inside



  5. Links 15/2/2020: Blender 2.82, Qt 5.15 Alpha and NetBSD 9.0 Released

    Links for the day



  6. Microsoft Views 'Open Source' as a Zero-Cost Heist Opportunity (Making Proprietary Software/Spyware Using Other People's Free Labour)

    Making GPL-licensed (copyleft) software and hosting it outside Microsoft’s jaws is the best way to counter the abusive monopolist, which still says it “loves” what it is actually attacking



  7. Did Microsoft 'Buy' ZDNet?

    A look at what ZDNet tells its readers (screenshot from this morning) and a rare look at how its writers are censored/suppressed



  8. Anatomy of a Crime and Protection From Prosecution

    It’s hard to forget what António Campinos hides for his friend



  9. Today's EPO is a Fraud Managed by Frauds

    Beneath the scandals associated with systematic abuse against staff, union-busting (silencing whistleblowers) and en masse granting of invalid patents — the hallmark of grotesque maladministration — lie a bunch of even greater crimes



  10. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 14, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, February 14, 2020



  11. One Need Only Look at ZDNet's 'Linux' Section to Understand It's a Microsoft Propaganda Operation

    A timely new snapshot (or screenshot) that demonstrates what ZDNet became after hiring Microsoft employees as ‘journalists’ and censoring on behalf of Microsoft, defaming Free software figures and so on



  12. Links 14/2/2020: New Release of KStars, OpenSSH 8.2, Rhythmbox 3.4.4, Flatpak 1.6.2

    Links for the day



  13. The Uselessness of Social Control Media and Why We Need RSS Feeds' Resurgence More Than Ever

    Social control media became pure noise or misinformation, usually in pursuit of financial expansion alone, and it is also a censorship machine which discourages not falsehoods but unconventional thinking



  14. Another New 'Clown' for the UPC 'Circus'

    A former writer of IPPro Magazine (which seems to be defunct now) reports another shuffle -- perhaps the fifth in a few years -- of "IP" [sic] Minister for the UK; it doesn't bode well for the Unified Patent Court (UPC)



  15. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 13, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 13, 2020



  16. Links 13/2/2020: Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS, Septor 2020, Endless OS 3.7.7, Wayland 1.18.0, KDE Plasma 5.18 and GTK 3.98 Released

    Links for the day



  17. The Microsoft Propaganda Model

    Classic new examples (real screenshots) of how Microsoft-funded media entraps people looking for information about "Linux" to actually push Microsoft talking points and marketing, cover-up, face-saving lies etc.



  18. What's Evil is Forcing People to Use Something They Don't Want and Typically Dislike

    The difference between Google Search and Microsoft is that many people actually want to use Google (and don't have to)



  19. 2020: The Year Microsoft Became Honest... About Being Corrupt and Criminal

    Microsoft is destroying any past attempts to portray itself as a reformed company or 'recovering criminal'; nothing is really changing and everyone has noticed



  20. Free Software is Being Abandoned by Opponents of Software Patents and It's Being Attacked by Patent Trolls

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is rotting away as an advocate against software patents; Patents on algorithms are still being granted (even when courts repeatedly reject these) and Red Hat's Chief Patent Counsel remains Manny Schecter, one of the loudest proponents of such patents (citing the likes of Adam Mossoff this week, in effect Koch operatives); this is a very big problem because Free software projects come under a barrage of lawsuits, using patents like those IBM lobbies ferociously to legitimise



  21. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 12, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 12, 2020



  22. Links 12/2/2020: KDE Neon 5.18, Tails 4.3 and WordPress 5.4 Beta

    Links for the day



  23. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 11, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 11, 2020



  24. Links 11/2/2020: New Firefox and KDE Plasma

    Links for the day



  25. Sometimes ILO-AT is Good for Nothing But Law Firms in or Around Switzerland

    ILO-AT’s latest judgements are out. But ILO — and by extension the UN — are still morally deficient and they give the impression that don’t care about people (or that ILO is in bed with the same businesses WIPO (UN) serves, i.e. no better than WB/IMF).



  26. The European Patent Office Continues to Violate the European Patent Convention (EPC) With Impunity While the European Commission Lets That Happen

    The European Commission (and Union) can be seen as increasingly complicit in the EPO's abuses; this means that the EPO has become a liability or source of accountability for the integrity of Europe as a bloc



  27. IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 10, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, February 10, 2020



  28. EPO Staff Representatives to Challenge Ridiculous and Unnecessary Austerity Measures

    The EPO's President of Nepotism "is currently finalizing his “package” of financial measures in order to reduce an alleged coverage gap of 5.8 B€ following a heavily biased and flawed Financial Study," according to EPO staff representatives who have already demonstrated it's a fake crisis that distracts from the real crisis and profound corruption



  29. You're Almost Guaranteed to Lose the Argument When You Call People Who Plant Seeds 'Pirates'

    The EPO's patent maximalists are damaging the reputation of the institution and harm its perceived legitimacy (people are getting fed up instead of fed)



  30. Unified Patent Corruption

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is more dead than ever before; but UPC hopefuls — people who lied their way into this fraudulent pact (designed to enrich only themselves by violating many constitutions) — try telling us otherwise and they’re weaponising corrupt media


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts