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

02.09.08

Trivial Questions and Trivial Software Patents

Posted in Courtroom, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Patents, SCO at 11:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The book Patent Failure has just been recommended by Groklaw and its synopsis indicates that it revolves around the issue of property. How does one define it? Can mathematics be a property? An algorithm? Folklore? Can a company sue someone for singing? Over at Glyn Moody’s blog, the following eye-opening bit about imaginary property gets a mention.

If you came across a trash can filled with lawfully made compact discs and DVDs that the copyright owner had authorized to be put in that trash can and then thrown away because it didn’t want to pay the postage to have them returned, do you think you could be criminally prosecuted for selling those copies, and would you think that the copyright owners would be entitled to restitution under the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act? If you answered no to these questions, you would be wrong according to the Eighth Circuit.

It is rather sad, but it is true, in accordance with man-made laws. How about this newly-granted Networks In Motion patent?

The patent, titled “Point of Interest Spatial Rating Search Method and System”, basically describes a situation where a user could pull up third-party reviews, low-price ratings or subcategories based on a local store or landmark, such as a shop or restaurant.

How did we end up this way? Here is a good article from the Huffington Post. [via Digital Majority]

The highwater mark was the notorious 1998 State Street decision, which Rich authored and which summarily eliminated the longstanding exclusion of patents for business methods. (1) Suddenly, patents were no longer limited to technology but available for any form of human activity.

By tying the PTO’s budget to the fees it collected, Congress would inspire a new PTO mission, “to help customers get patents.”

If the goal is to encourage and welcome more and more patents, then it is hardly surprising that:

  1. The number of patents stands at many millions, which makes it impossible for an inventor to keep track of them (and thus develop peacefully).
  2. There is too much duplication and extremely generic things get patented under the guise of (artificially-introduced) complexity.
  3. Patents get approved where they should be rejected. We previously pointed out that there are greater financial incentives for a reviewer to approve a patent application.

In today’s news, it is once again indicated that Alcatel-Lucent will continue to suffer and there is a very negative forecast. Last week we explained how struggling companies resort to using their supposedly-defensive patents when they desperately crave some cash. Remember Alcatel-Lucent’s lawsuit against Microsoft, which resulted in a $1.5 billion question.

It is not just struggling companies that attack. Those who struggle can be knocked completely off their feet (or market) when the wrath of patents looms. Case of point from the news:

Patent court affirms Kodak win over Ampex

[...]

Financially struggling Ampex, which replaced its CEO last February, was founded in 1944 and was once considered a Silicon Valley innovator. It is credited with inventing the commercial video recorder in 1956 and first U.S. tape recorder in 1948.

The share price of Ampex took a considerable tumble. Yet another long-time innovator falls victim to aggression.

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

What Else is New


  1. Censorship on Reddit Has Gotten (Condé) Nasty and Silent, Even Actively Silenced

    Condé Nast has turned Reddit into a platform of censorship after the acquisition



  2. The Supreme Court of the United States Helps Patent Trolls

    In an unforeseen kind of ruling, the same court which slapped down a lot of software patents last year is now legitimising the actions of a patent troll



  3. Patent Lawyers Fight Hard for the Future of Software Patents

    Media that is dominated by patent lawyers and targets an audience of patent lawyers refuses to accept the post-Alice reality



  4. Fortune Glorifies Patent Troll Jay Walker (Patent Utility)

    Jay Walker, a patent troll, creates a Web-based trolling/'licensing' service and the corporate media helps him



  5. Stealing Android's Thunder, Making It All About Apple and Microsoft During Google I/O

    Misleading articles and conjoined media/analyst attacks on Android coincide with Google's event where major Android announcements are being made



  6. British Government May be a Step Closer to GNU/Linux (on the Desktops, Not Just Servers)

    The British government stops paying the criminal company that blackmails its members, thereby increasing the possibility of complete escape from proprietary software



  7. Microsoft's Patent Allies LG and Sony Agree to Put Microsoft Inside Android

    LG and Sony (of Rockstar Consortium) follow Samsung and Dell in Microsoft's campaign to turn Android into 'Microsoft Android' using patents-induced pressure/leverage



  8. Yet Another Major Security Deficiency in UEFI

    UEFI is inherently insecure, more so than the alternatives which it strives to replace, including Free/libre ones



  9. Links 27/5/2015: Fedora 22 is Out, Mandriva Liquidated

    Links for the day



  10. Patent Scope at the EPO is Totally Out of Control, UPC Will Make Things Worse

    A look at the practical issues with the EPO, where patent scope and litigation scope have been vastly extended so as to benefit multinational corporations and possibly patent trolls



  11. Links 26/5/2015: Reviews of Kubuntu 15.04, Linux 4.1 RC5

    Links for the day



  12. Süddeutsche Zeitung Says Talking Helps While EPO Management Back-stabs Other Side of the Table

    German media gives the impression that there is peace and harmony now that Benoît Battistelli and his circle of power speaks to staff, but nothing is said about simultaneous (albeit covert) attacks against that staff



  13. Large Corporations Call the Shots in US Patent Reform

    A reminder of where we stand on the issue of patent 'reform' in the US and who is controlling or shaping it



  14. Microsoft Puts Proprietary Windows and Hyper-V Inside the Free Software-Centric OpenStack

    OpenStack, which celebrates rapid growth in this month's event in Canada, is facing a proprietarisation threat from Microsoft



  15. Microsoft's Secret Lobbying, Bullying, and the Long History of Blackmailing Politicians Around the World

    British media covers Microsoft's abuse in the UK, but there are many similar incidents, and not just in the UK



  16. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Benoît Battistelli and Four EPO Suicides

    German press article from April 2015 (with translations)



  17. Links 24/5/2015: CrossOver 14.1.3, NTFS-3G Vulnerability

    Links for the day



  18. Links 23/5/2015: Fedora 22 to May 26th, Netflix in SteamOS

    Links for the day



  19. The Patents Production 'Industry' (Patent Lawyers) Still Fights Hard to Salvage Software Patents

    A review of recent writings about software patents and patents on business methods in the United States, demonstrating that patent lawyers have gotten very vocal and sneaky (trying to evade the rules)



  20. Patents as a Marketing Strategy: USPTO Now Part of the Advertising Industry

    The existence of publicity patents, or patents whose sole purpose is to advertise some products, serves to discredit the US patent office, which was originally set up to promote science and technology



  21. Microsoft Blackmails and Extorts British Politicians Over Open Standards and Free Software-Leaning Policies

    Microsoft's digital imperialism in the UK getting defended using blackmail, reminding a lot of Brits that Microsoft is just as evil as ever before



  22. Microsoft Gives Another Bug a Name, This Time Logjam™

    The Microsoft crowd is good only at marketing, even when it comes to small bugs in software



  23. Links 22/5/2015: Fedora 22 Final Release is Near, Canonical IPO Considered

    Links for the day



  24. More Utter Shame Unveiled at Battistelli's EPO: Intimidation Tactics With Help From 'Control Risks'

    The unaccountable thugs who run the EPO have hired London-based spooks to help silence their opposition and their critics



  25. GNU/Linux Still Under Attack From Apple and Microsoft, Patents Remain the Weapon of Choice

    A timely reminder of the importance of patent matters, for they are being used to eliminate the zero-cost advantage of Free/libre software and make it more proprietary, privacy-infringing, and user-hostile (as a result of blackmail)



  26. Gartner Group and NASSCOM: Will Lie for FUD, on Behalf of Microsoft and Proprietary Software

    Some of the latest arguments against Free/libre software turn out to be arriving from couriers of Microsoft and its agenda



  27. Windows is a Franchise in Demise, Don't Believe the Hype

    Ongoing propaganda about Vista 10, 'cloud', and other buzzwords or brands are put in perspective



  28. Links 21/5/2015: Fedora 22 RC2, CERN Chooses OpenStack

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft is Again Showing Its Hatred of Free/Open Source Software by Lobbying the Indian Government to Drop a Rational National Policy

    Microsoft decides to attack Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in India, where the corporate media is very much complicit in misleading the public



  30. Links 20/5/2015: Containers, OpenStack, and EXT4 Corruption

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts