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05.16.08

Software Patents Roundup: EU’s Back Door; Microsoft Sued Again

Posted in America, Courtroom, Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 9:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Software Patents and Europe

It is important to keep an eye on Europe at the moment, especially after the most recent development (also see [1, 2, 3, 4]). Ciaran is doing some legwork at the moment and he explains what has been achieved.

Here’s a report from a breakfast meeting I was at yesterday on the topic of SMEs and the Community Patent. There were 50 seats, all full. The speakers included representatives from the Commission, the Parliament, and the Slovenian EU Presidency.

This counters attempts by lobbyists, including Microsoft, to mess things up for Free software in Europe.

Microsoft (and Nintendo) Sued for Patent Infringement

Repeated punishment might be the most effective way for Microsoft to sober up a little and finally remember where it came from. Here it comes under another patent lawsuit.

Microsoft, Nintendo Hit By Patent Lawsuit

[...]

While Sony is still in the process of appealing a patent infringement lawsuit over technologies utilized in their video game console controllers, Microsoft and Nintendo too have been hit with a similiar lawsuit from Texas-based Anascape earlier this week.

Here is some more background:

In July 2006, Anascape sued both Microsoft and Nintendo, alleging that several sensor patents used by the Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo game controllers violated the company’s patents. The suit also included a patent for a “remote controller with analog buttons.”

Mind the location, which is the now-notorious East Texas. Most patent trolls are stationed there.

Nintendo of America Inc. was ordered to pay a small East Texas gaming company $21 million Wednesday for infringing on a patent while designing controllers for its popular Wii and GameCube systems.

Weird SourceForge Humour

This pet peeve is rather minor, but why would SourceForge offer an award for the project “Most Likely to Get Users Sued”?

You have to like “Most Likely to Get Users Sued” as a category.

This seems to inspire fear rather than promote Free software. The latter was the purpose of this contest.

Such an unusual award might only justify if not urge more businesses to put SourceForge on their banlist. Some already do this because of unsubstantiated concerns and myths, such as security, licence obligations and various forms of proprietary software industry-imposed FUD.

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