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

07.01.08

Microsoft Proxies and Software Patents in Europe

Posted in Bill Gates, Europe, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 6:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Europe

According to Digital Majority, CompTIA [1, 2] may be joining the push of other Microsoft pressure groups such as ACT. It’s part of a broad push for destruction of the European patent system though assimilation to a broken system — the USPTO. As the Los Angeles Times put it yesterday:

The U.S. patent system is not working. It stands accused on all sides of stifling innovation instead of nurturing it. Some critics say the system is fundamentally wrecked, others that it can be fixed.

In this new book, “Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovation at Risk,” economist James Bessen and law academic Michael Meurer show that the system no longer provides predictable property rights. They go on to offer solutions based on empirical evidence from history, law and economics.

[...]

While making these criticisms, however, the authors ignore that the fault may lie with the appointment of judges who are unfamiliar with patents to hear patent trials.

We previously saw strong criticism over inappropriate appointment of judges, which challenged this system’s integrity in the more severe of ways.

Moreover, Roberto Galoppini writes about the ever-spineless WIPO [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9] that merely serves large corporations which sponsor it. And yes, it’s that notorious “harmonisation” effort (should be called "contamination" really).

After a hiatus of three years, the WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) met for its 12th session on June 23, 2008 to June 27, 2008. Given the collapse of the talks to initiate a Substantive Patent Law Treaty (SPLT) to harmonize patent law with respect to prior art, novelty, inventive step and grace period, even the most prescient of WIPO watchers were at a loss in prognosticating the outcome of the WIPO SCP.

Why the mystery and the secrecy? ACTA comes to mind as an analogous and very recent case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. And speaking of which, mind yesterday’s news about BT becoming a copyrights cop:

BT to cut off file-sharing customers

[...]

This follows a similar move by Virgin, which earlier this year joined forces with the BPI on an ‘education campaign’ aimed at those sharing copyrighted files.

[...]

ISPs have been under pressure from the government to work with the music industry in targeting illegal file sharers this year. Ministers have even threatened to introduce anti-filesharing legislation if a solution is not reached.

What happens if people get disconnected after incorrect judgment? Would there be compensation? Who pays for BT’s additional burden? How can CC-licensed and Free art be set apart from copyrighted one?

Looking ahead, might this be the beginning of something more widespread? Will ISPs ever disconnect people for mistakenly watching copyrighted videos on YouTube? Bill Gates admitted doing so a couple of years ago.

Similar questions are being raised by various critics of the policy. See for example:

America

Acacia and Microsoft are no strangers [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10] and the extortion crusade surely continues. [via Digital Majority]

Acacia Research Corp. announced that its subsidiary, Credit Card Fraud Control Corp., has entered into a non-exclusive patent license and settlement agreement with SPG Solutions, covering a patent that applies to fraud protection technology.

Also of interest is the following nugget of information that cannot be repeated often enough.

Surveys regularly find that computer programmers are opposed to patents on software by a wide margin. In what other field is the class of inventors so opposed to patents?

Yesterday we wrote about the problem with giants banding together against software patents or patent trolls. It’s not a solution but a convenience that applies only to affluent few. This is clearly not the way to go.

You may remember a while back I wrote about Vocaltec selling some of its patents to what appears to be a firm that will become a patent troll.

[...]

The end result of these moves is likely going to be a bidding war for patents. On the one hand there will be VC money fighting to buy patents and on the other it will be Allied Security Trust.

If anything, this environment will make it more lucrative for companies with valuable patents to sell. This new battle will certainly be interesting to watch.

It seems as though intellectual monopolies are therefore elevated rather than buried, especially where they are not worthy of consideration in the first place.

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. Links 27/2/2020: LibreOffice 6.4.1, Collabora Office for Phones and Latte Dock 0.9.9

    Links for the day



  2. The Linux Foundation is Deeply Committed to Diversity and Inclusiveness (as Long as You Have Perfect Vision and Use 'Big Browsers' That Spy)

    The Linux Foundation's message of inclusiveness refers only to a particular kind of inclusiveness



  3. Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF) - Part I: Year Zero

    People behind the ousting of Richard Stallman (or 'leaders of the coup' as some call them) want a fresh start; but they aren't starting what most FSF supporters have been led to believe



  4. Alexandre Oliva on Diversity Hypocrites

    "Some of them purport to be for inclusion and diversity, but won't hesitate to make fun of someone's poorly-disguised handicap."



  5. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 26, 2020



  6. Alexandre Oliva: Courage is Contagious

    Having a proposal rejected at a conference is nothing unusual, but the surrounding circumstances and the conflicting versions are.



  7. Links 26/2/2020: Cosmo Communicator 2-in-1, FSF Outlines Plans for Code Hosting

    Links for the day



  8. Reminder: At Linux Foundation in 2020 Three Board Members, Including the Vice Chair and Director at Large, Are Current or Past Microsoft Employees

    Sometimes the facts speak for themselves (or pictures speak louder than words)



  9. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 25, 2020



  10. Links 25/2/2020: MakuluLinux LinDoz and Manjaro 19.0 Released

    Links for the day



  11. FSF's Interim Co-President Alexandre Oliva on FSF Communication Policies

    Surely I, being acting president and then half-acting president, must suck as a manager. I probably do indeed, but it's not so simple.



  12. The EU's EUIPO Will Later Today Help the EPO (Run by EUIPO's Former Chief) Promote Illegal Software Patents

    Propaganda terms such as "intellectual property rights" and meaningless concepts like "technical effect" are being used to promote so-called 'computer-implemented inventions' (software patents by another name)



  13. Growing Acceptance That There's No Future to the UPC System and the Unitary Patent

    There are growing pains and more signs that even key elements of Team UPC move on, accepting the demise of the UPC



  14. Emulating the Linux Foundation's Business Model (Selling Influence)

    LibrePlanet sponsors are presented with benefits of offering money to the event (or to the FSF)



  15. Guest Article: LibrePlanet Attendees Should Demand a Partial Refund

    What we do know is — that the FSF is no longer “Free as in Speech!”



  16. IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, February 24, 2020



  17. An FSF That Rejects Its Founder Would Not Remain FSF As We Once Knew It

    It's important to keep the FSF focused on its goals; that won't be achieved by expelling those who insist on these goals



  18. Links 24/2/2020: Linux 5.6 RC3, Netrunner 20.01, Google Summer of Code 2020 Mentoring Organisations Announced

    Links for the day



  19. Alexandre Oliva's New Article About a Coup

    Some people try to tell me that the criticism I've got, inside the FSF and outside, since the Free Software Sept 11, are not about my being supportive of RMS, but about my making public statements referencing him at all.



  20. Debian Leadership Should Not be 'Shy' of Politics (and It's OK to Admit Palestinians Are Human Beings Too)

    The contemporary tendency to limit people's freedom of speech (e.g. permission to express political views) means that while people may find software freedom they will lose other essential freedoms



  21. New Series: Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

    In the interest and motivation of exposing the true nature of things, Techrights will turn its attention to internal affairs at the higher echelons of the FSF, founded more than three and a half decades ago in MIT (where Stallman launched the GNU Project, developed the GNU Compiler Collection and a lot more foundational Free software)



  22. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 23, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 23, 2020



  23. Links 23/2/2020: PipeWire 0.3 and Osu!

    Links for the day



  24. FSF's Interim Co-President Alexandre Oliva on Being Cancelled

    It was reading this that I realized I’d been cancelled myself. In my case, I was painted misogynist and transphobic, and for a post in which I supported women but denounced a crowd of men twisting the feminist cause, that I share, to attack rms, as if he wasn’t a feminist himself; and in which I express curiosity as to what pronoun to use to refer to zero women to paint me as someone who disregards gender identities and their pronouns.



  25. Good People Need to Run for Free Software Foundation (FSF) Board Positions After an FSF Coup Threw in the Towel, Pushing Out the Founder

    "I have been hit, but not knocked out, and my campaign for free software is not over." --Richard Stallman, October 2019



  26. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 22, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 22, 2020



  27. Alexandre Oliva's Message About Cancel Culture at the FSF

    Being cancelled is no fun. In my case, it was for standing for a friend who got canceled for defending someone else from an accusation that was later proven false.



  28. Links 22/2/2020: Polish Government Increases GNU/Linux Use, Samza 1.3.1

    Links for the day



  29. Being Rich Does Not Imply Being Smart (Especially When One is Born Into Wealth)

    Presenting the 'genius' (college dropout, but that does not matter when the yardstick of wisdom is wealth alone), with his own predictions overlaid on top of his photo from the show of Bloomberg (another 'genius' whose supposed brilliance is measured using money alone)



  30. The Rise and Fall of Free Software

    "We simply need to make the movement less corporate, and more grassroots."


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