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03.04.08

Patents Roundup: End[ing] Software Patents and WIPO’s Above-the-law Wishes

Posted in Courtroom, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 12:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I have been absent some of the day (receiving a prize), so here are some quick catchups rather than more detailed and comprehensive posts. We shall begin with patents, software patents in particular.

FSF on End[ing] Software Patents

Mako from the FSF talks about Ending Software Patents, which is a project/movement that we mentioned a week ago (on a couple of occasions in fact).

There are several organizations who are taking on specific bad patents but ESP is unique in that it is activitely working toward the abolition of software patents in the United States. While the organization is focused on work in the US, it’s deeply important globally — much of the world’s patent law is “exported” from the US.

Akamai Again

This case of Akamai was mentioned once before and here is the sad verdict.

Limelight Networks, Inc. today announced that the jury in the case Akamai Technologies, Inc. et al. v. Limelight Networks (United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts) announced a verdict in favor of Akamai Technologies.

“We are disappointed with the jury’s verdict in this matter. We strongly believe that, like other companies that follow long-established Internet standards, we do not infringe the patent in this case. We will continue to remain a competitive choice in the marketplace as we pursue all appropriate legal avenues,” stated Phil Maynard, chief legal counsel, Limelight Networks, Inc.

The gist of it all: junk patents won. Even a company that thrives in Linux clusters resorted to this.

“Extend[ing] Beyond the Organisation’s Mandate”

Remember WIPO? It’s far from a party to be admired [1, 2]. It has new aspirations now to elevate itself above its current privileges set.

The World Customs Organisation is recommending far-reaching new rules on intellectual property rights that some say may extend beyond the organisation’s mandate.

Staff at the WCO’s Brussels headquarters are preparing what they describe as voluntary ‘model legislation’ to provide guidance on how IP rights can be upheld at border posts.

It is something to watch carefully because WIPO will resist change.

Shame on Nokia?

Nokia pulls out its gun, squeezes the trigger, and initiatives yet another seemingly spurious lawsuit. It’s probably not over yet.

Nokia has won another battle in its ongoing patent spat with Qualcomm, though neither side is claiming the war is over.

Lawyers Rejoice, Programmers Fret

Matt Asay comments on the recent controversy surrounding allegedly inflated figures. As he puts it, either way, lawyers are the only winners, whether $30.4 billion or just $11.4 billion are lost in this chaotic mess of patent lawsuits.

No matter how the number is calculated, the results are the same: needless, wasteful patent litigation that helps no one except attorneys.

Microsoft Stung

Microsoft, despite its secret and forbidden love for software patents, appears to be suffering on a regular basis as well. This one is no exception:

Both companies will dismiss all legal claims, Visto said. The case revolved around the alleged infringement by Microsoft on three of Visto’s mobile e-mail patents.

The next posts will look at some more Linux-specific developments.

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