02.17.08

Data and Signals Seen as Patentable in the USPTO

Posted in America, Open XML, Patents, Protocol, Standard at 11:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Several days ago, a couple of OOXML patent issues were brought back to the surface. Then first was incompatibility of Microsoft’s promise with the GNU GPL. The second was its incompatibility with small and lesser-known developers. OOXML was made by the rich, to serve the rich (Microsoft Office) and be caught up by the rich (e.g. Apple).

Here is a timely news story which teaches us (yet again) why software patent encumbrances can totally ruin a protocol or a standard. These encumbrances shatter to pieces competitors.

A suburban Philadelphia firm whose sole business is to buy up technology patents is trying to force large cable operators and major broadcasters to pay substantial license fees on the transmission of digital TV signals and Internet services.

What is the ownership here? Signals. Yes, signals can be an ownership of a person, at least based on the USPTO’s definition, as was confirmed very recently.

USPTO calling data ‘tangible’ result

I want to see how data processing is producing tangible result. Mere processing a data produces new data. And data is not tangible.

By no stretch of imagination can this be seen as acceptable. What’s next? Patenting a song? Patenting a singer’s voice?

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