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

03.21.08

Patents Roundup: High Court Imposes a USPTO on the UK-IPO, INNOVA~1 Goes Backwards

Posted in America, Europe, Microsoft, Patents, SUN at 10:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME trashCourtesy of the chaps at Digital Majority there are some interesting updates on the patent situation. In short, it remains a load of rubbish.

United Kingdom

Shortly after discussing Microsoft’s possible (although very indirect) role in interfering with UK law on software patents comes this:

U.K. patent office ordered to accept software patent

A U.K. appeals court decision is causing confusion over longstanding European regulations that generally forbid granting a patent for a computer program.

This is covered here as well.

High Court says UK-IPO was wrong to reject software-related patent

The patentability of software is a controversial area of UK intellectual property law. The question seemed to be settled in a decision by the Court of Appeal in 2006 which outlined how courts should determine whether an invention consists purely of software, and therefore should not be awarded a patent.

That ruling took in two cases, one involving a company called Aerotel and another involving inventor Neal Macrossan.

Sun Con-Con-Patent

Remember the thoughts and insights from Scott Mace? It seems like Simon Phipps kept his promise and a clarification has been put in MySQL’s retired page, which used to protest against software patents. It doesn’t look too exciting and it’s hardly even a protest.

The MySQL patent program is in the process of being integrated into the Sun patent program. In general, Sun uses its patent portfolio to defend communities and indemnify customers. Check back here for further updates.

In the meantime, check out the blogs of Sun’s CEO, Jonathan Schwartz, and CTO, Greg Papadapoulos, for Sun’s view on software patents.

It’s a tad disappointing, overall.

The SCOs of the Patents World

SCO did not engage in confrontations over patents, but similar types of patterns cab be seen in this latest patent harassment, which targets the ‘small guy’, the scapegoat and the scarecrow.

I wouldn’t want to be accused of being anti-IBM but the news that online fruit store Harry & David (H & D) was suing IBM is very worrying. The case concerns patents that IBM did not own, which Harry & David bough as part of IBM’s WebSphere/NetCommerce retail software. H & D alleges that it had to buy a licence from EPOS maker NCR to cover these patent. It is also saying it paid Charles E Hill Associates for patent infringements relating to the IBM software. Whatever the outcome of the case, this looks like a patent mess. First, IBM should not have sold software containing patents that it had not already licensed or owned. Second,

Why did NCR and Charles E Hill Associates go after the customer? Surely if it was IBM’s software that had infringed their patents then they would have a legitimate claim against IBM. Ah, but IBM would be a hard target given how SCO’s patent case against IBM/Novell and the Linux community has played out. Like SCO, these companies have gone after the soft target: the end user business that bought IBM’s software, I presume, in good faith.

The Land of No Winners

A state of patents is a state where ‘innovation’ is self limiting. Imagination is restricted by law and this article from Forbes seems to confirm that the system totally lost sight of its goals.

Software patents, in particular, are performing even worse today. People thought that once the [U.S. Patent and Trademark Office] gained experience in these evaluating patents, then the quality would get better … and the amount of [related] litigation would go down. It hasn’t. We have no opinion on whether USP Office is doing better or worse, but we know for sure that the amount of software litigation has grown over time. The odds that a software patent will be litigated in the first four years of its life have gone up too.

Lastly, to paraphrase the guys from Digital Majority, “is this innovation”?

Qualcomm Chip Ban to Stand

Broadcom Corp said on Wednesday a U.S. appeals court let stand a lower court order barring wireless chip maker Qualcomm Inc from selling chips that infringe on three of its patents.

If embargoes are a sign of innovation, then there must also be human life on Mars. Poor Qualcomm [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20].

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. Don't Kick the Puppy That is Suing Linux Using Patents While Bribing Officials, Threatening Critics and Hijacking the Linux Foundation

    Jim Zemlin is protecting the "puppy" (to use his own analogy), Microsoft, while getting paid about/almost a million dollars per year (about the same amount of money Microsoft pays his PAC)



  2. EPO Gradually Becoming the World's Most Permissive (Low Patent Quality) Patent Office by Consciously Violating the EPC

    Today's European Patent Office is making innovation a lot harder for Europeans; it limits what people can freely do, e.g. what computer code they can implement, and only lawyers are loving it



  3. Tweets Are Not Journalism But Succinct Unverified Hearsay; Time to Treat Them Accordingly

    Childish public discourse can be attributed to SMS-sized nonsense posted in a hurry by career provocateurs, not grown-ups (becoming a waste of time for actual reporters who spend hours/days correcting the record after these go 'viral'); this is killing responsible journalism, necessitating a rethink



  4. The Web is Not JavaScript

    Simple sites respect visitors; rather than and instead of exploiting them or passing burdens to user-end browsers we should focus on text and links — the very core components of hypertext as opposed to bells and whistles



  5. Links 21/7/2019: DXVK 1.3.1, GameMode, Mutter 3.33.4

    Links for the day



  6. Links 20/7/2019: Weston 7.0 Alpha, Nageru 1.9.0

    Links for the day



  7. Companies That Collapse Because the European Patent Office (EPO) Gave Them Fake Patents in a Hurry

    False hopes and false promises won’t do any favours to European Patents, whose legal certainty suffers because Campinos and Battistelli measure nothing but ‘production’ (quantity) rather than quality of patents



  8. Slack Committed a Very Major Crime That Can Cost Many Billions If Not Trillions in Damages for Years to Come

    The inevitable has happened to Slack, which no longer deserves to exist as a company; moreover, the people who ran the company must be held criminally accountable



  9. Demand for European Patents Will Continue to Decrease If a Lot of European Patents Turn Out to be Invalid, Worthless

    The EPO's abandonment of patent justice and quality (in pursuit of so-called 'production' targets) is likely to doom the Office as the whole or render it vastly less relevant to the rest of the world



  10. 35 U.S.C. § 101 Still in Tact in the United States and Software Patents Rot Away

    The United States, where the number of granted patents decreased last year, becomes more productive; there are more signs that patent maximalism (patent litigation, patent scope etc.) has receded



  11. Links 19/7/2019: Deepin 15.11 and GNU/Linux Back on GPD MicroPC

    Links for the day



  12. Violence is Not Free Speech and Laws Exist Against Violence

    Free speech is certainly under attack and the debate is being framed within the context of Nazism; but this overlooks the fact that there are actual death threats and calls for genocide in the mix



  13. Links 19/7/2019: Oracle Linux 8.0, Latte Dock 0.9 Beta and PCLinuxOS KDE Darkstar 2019.07

    Links for the day



  14. Why Does Jim Zemlin Publicly Congratulate Microsoft?

    The signs aren't particularly encouraging when one considers that the leadership of the Linux Foundation is a fan of Microsoft and sometimes connected to Microsoft



  15. 2 Days Later (Case in Progress) and Still Media Silence About G 2/19

    The very legitimacy of years' worth of rulings and the EPO's abusive attacks on judges are under the microscope; but the media isn't paying any attention, perhaps deliberately



  16. The 'Linux' Foundation is Acting Like a Microsoft ISV Now, Commitment to Linux and FOSS Deteriorates Even Further

    The Linux Foundation has just announced a new Microsoft-funded initiative that's pushing GitHub and CLAs (passing copyrights on code to corporations)



  17. Links 18/7/2019: OPNsense 19.7, Krita 4.2.3 and KDevelop 5.3.3 Released

    Links for the day



  18. Index: G 2/19 (Enlarged Board of Appeal, EPO)

    G 2/19 (Enlarged Board of Appeal, EPO)



  19. EPO Looney Tunes – Part 4: G 2/19 - Faites Vos Jeux…

    "Josefsson needs to bring in the “desired result” for his political masters in the Administrative Council if he wants to be in with a chance of reappointment."



  20. Media Not Interested in G 2/19, Which Demonstrates Patent Justice is Nowadays Impossible at the EPO

    The EPO spreads patent injustices to other countries and courts; the media is miraculously enough not interested, almost as though there's a coordinated blackout



  21. Librethreat Database Updated

    Database which keeps track of variants of attack vectors on Free/libre software now includes two more forms of threat



  22. A Look Back (and Forward) at Friendly Programming

    Historical perspective on computer languages and how to do better



  23. Red Hat's Freedom Reduced to Just Online Partner Enablement Network (OPEN) and Microsoft as a Close Partner; Canonical's Ubuntu Just an 'App' for Windows?

    Free software is being snapped up by proprietary software giants and patent bullies that treat it as little more than an 'add-on' for their proprietary offerings



  24. Linux Foundation Apparently Celebrates Sysadmin Day With a Microsoft Windows Site!

    The Linux Foundation shows ‘love’ to actual GNU/Linux (the real thing) by apparently rejecting it and badmouthing it



  25. EPO Looney Tunes – Part 3: The Legal Line-up for G 2/19

    The deck appears to have already been stacked for G 2/19, a decision on EPO judges' exile to Haar (veiled disciplinary action/collective punishment by those whom the judges are supposed to 'oversee')



  26. Links 17/7/2019: VirtualBox 6.0.10 and Mageia 7.1 Releases, Mint Betas

    Links for the day



  27. Links 16/7/2019: Btrfs Gets 'Cleaned Up', Clonezilla Live 2.6.2-15

    Links for the day



  28. EPO Looney Tunes - Part 2: The “Difficult Legacy” and Its Dark Historical Shadow

    Assuming that he was informed, then it seems fair to say that Battistell’s little “joke” at the expense of the Boards was in very bad taste



  29. EPO Noise Machine Turned On as Haar Hearing Kicks Off, Patrick Corcoran Defamed Again

    The EPO does not want people to hear about Haar; it just wants people to hear about how wonderful the EPO is and there are some who have just decided to slander Patrick Corcoran again



  30. Microsoft is 'Doing Kamikaze' (神風) on Linux

    An analogy for what the Linux (only in name!) Foundation and Microsoft mean to Linux — or by extension to GNU/Linux and Free software whose largest repository Microsoft took control of


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