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

07.14.08

Another Small Defeat for Software Patents (and Win for Free Software) in the US

Posted in America, IBM, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat, SUN at 1:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Where can Red Hat collect its refund?

Red Hat’s current leader never spoke to Microsoft about patents, but he saw his company surrendering to software patents abuse. Well, guess what? It was all in vain

Mike Dillon, Sun’s general counsel, has put up a weblog entry describing that company’s efforts to invalidate the Firestar patent – the one Red Hat just licensed.

Dillon writes:

Unfortunately, the PTO’s response comes a little over two weeks after Red Hat entered into a settlement with Firestar. Although the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Quanta Computers v. LG Electronics protects downstream Red Hat licensees through the application of the doctrine of patent exhaustion it doesn’t insulate others in the open source community from future actions by Firestar. It’s our hope that the rejection of the patent through the reexamination process will become final in August eliminating this threat for all members of the open source world.

Speculation: could Firestar reduce its claims in order to entice Red Hat to cough out money, knowing that the software patent in question would soon be invalidated?

Also found a couple of days ago in Digital Majority: IBM limits patentability based on criteria that include “tied to a particular machine or apparatus.”

IBM filed an amicus brief in Bilski arguing for a principled approach based on the precedents of the Supreme Court. IBM’s test would limit the scope of patentable subject matter to avoid granting exclusive rights to non-technological business methods while broadly allowing for protection of new technological advances. Under IBM’s proposed test, a patentable process must either (1) be tied to a particular machine or apparatus, or (2) cause transformation or reduction of an article to a different state or thing, and in either instance produce technologically beneficial results. IBM’s approach is not only consistent with the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, it is also substantially consistent with prevailing international standards, including those of the EPO and its member states.

Microsoft too said something along those lines, but perhaps went further:

MR. OLSON [For Microsoft]: The ’580 patent is a program, as I understand it, that’s married to a computer, has to be married to a computer in order to be patented.
JUSTICE SCALIA: You can’t patent, you know, on-off, on-off code in the abstract, can you?
MR. OLSON: That’s correct, Justice Scalia.
JUSTICE SCALIA: There needs to be a device.
MR. OLSON: An idea or a principle, two plus two equals four can’t be patented. It has to be put together with a machine and made into a usable device.

The Inquirer has some new coverage of the Rambus-Nvidia case (“memory controller interfaces” being a good reminder of OOXML’s dangers). it was mentioned the other day.

This is one of the more severe cases where companies are fined billions merely for following industry ‘standards’ or intuition.


Photo from the public domain

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

4 Comments

  1. Linux said,

    July 14, 2008 at 2:08 am

    Gravatar

    Bill Gates has not left Microsoft. He is just gone behind the scene and is now fighting GPL using teh name of Foundation. The charity and all leaving MS is just a eye wash to fool the masses.

    He is going to use all his wealth and power to stop GPL/Linux/FOSS at every place and at every cost using the name of his foundation.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 14, 2008 at 2:18 am

    Gravatar

    Yes, he has already begun using that celebrity status and trust fund, but if you say something about it, you’ll get attacked. “Charity” is a moral shield, just like “donation”. Some would call it sentimental blackmail.

    “There’s free software and then there’s open source… there is this thing called the GPL, which we disagree with.”

    Bill Gates, April 2008

  3. Balzac said,

    July 14, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Gravatar

    I don’t want to be protected from software patent claimants by extortion payments to those claimants which shield me as a user from patent liability for that specific software.

    I read something about all upstream sources and downstream derivatives being protected by the Redhat deal but I still didn’t get any warm fuzzy feelings from it.

    I think the optimal response to software patent claims is organized civil-disobedience.

    Once again, a critical point of view of BoycottNovell.com seems entirely appropriate.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 14, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Gravatar

    http://beranger.org/index.php?page=diary&2008/07/13/20/22/20-sun-fights-to-invalidate-the-fir

    They were simply feeding the trolls — it’s the same as when you simply pay the protection tax to the Mafia instead of calling the police and trying to fight with the evildoers.

What Else is New


  1. Links 19/6/2019: Linux Mint Vs Vista 10, Qt 5.13 Released

    Links for the day



  2. The Linux Foundation's Business Model

    The Linux Foundation's plan, illustrated



  3. Links 18/6/2019: i386 Abandoned by Canonical and a New osquery 'Community'

    Links for the day



  4. Indifference or Even Hostility Towards Patent Quality Results in Grave Injustice

    The patent extravaganza in Europe harms small businesses the most (they complain about it), but administrative staff at patent offices only cares about the views of prolific applicants rather than the interests of citizens in respective countries



  5. Links 18/6/2019: CentOS 8 Coming Soon, DragonFly BSD 5.6 Released

    Links for the day



  6. 'AI Taskforce' is Actually a Taskforce for Software Patents

    The mainstream media has been calling just about everything "HEY HI!" (AI), but what it typically refers to is a family of old algorithms being applied in possibly new areas; patent maximalists in eastern Asia and the West hope that this mainstream media's obsession can be leveraged to justify new kinds of patents on code



  7. Patent Maximalism is Dead in the United States

    Last-ditch efforts, or a desperate final attempt to water down 35 U.S.C. § 101, isn't succeeding; stacked panels are seen for what they really are and 35 U.S.C. § 101 isn't expected to change



  8. Links 18/6/2019: Linux 5.2 RC5 and OpenMandriva Lx 4

    Links for the day



  9. Weaponising Russophobia Against One's Critics

    Response to smears and various whispering campaigns whose sole purpose is to deplete the support base for particular causes and people; these sorts of things have gotten out of control in recent years



  10. When the EPO is Run by Politicians It's Expected to Be Aggressive and Corrupt Like Purely Political Establishments

    António 'Photo Op' Campinos will have marked his one-year anniversary in July; he has failed to demonstrate morality, respect for the law, understanding of the sciences, leadership by example and even the most basic honesty (he lies a lot)



  11. Links 16/6/2019: Tmax OS and New Features for KDE.org

    Links for the day



  12. Stuffed/Stacked Panels Sent Back Packing After One-Sided Patent Hearings That Will Convince Nobody, Just Preach to the Choir

    Almost a week ago the 'world tour' of patent lobbyists in US Senate finally ended; it was an utterly ridiculous case study in panel stacking and bribery (attempts to buy laws)



  13. 2019 H1: American Software Patents Are as Worthless as They Were Last Year and Still Susceptible to Invalidation

    With a fortnight left before the second half of the year it seems evident that software patents aren't coming back; the courts have not changed their position at all



  14. As European Patent Office Management Covers up Collapse in Patent Quality Don't Expect UPC to Ever Kick Off

    It would be madness to allow EPO-granted patents to become 'unitary' (bypassing sovereignty of nations that actually still value patent quality); it seems clear that rogue EPO management has, in effect, not only doomed UPC ambitions but also European Patents (or their perceived legitimacy, presumption of validity)



  15. António Campinos -- Unlike His Father -- Engages in Imperialism (Using Invalid Patents)

    Despite some similarities to his father (not positive similarities), António Campinos is actively engaged in imperialistic agenda that defies even European law; the EPO not only illegally grants patents but also urges other patent offices to do the same



  16. António Campinos Takes EPO Waste and Corruption to Unprecedented Levels and Scale

    The “B” word (billions) is thrown around at Europe’s second-largest institution because a mischievous former EUIPO chief (not Archambeau) is ‘partying’ with about half of the EPO’s all-time savings, which are supposed to be reserved for pensions and other vital programmes, not presidential palaces and gambling



  17. Links 15/6/2019: Astra Linux in Russia, FreeBSD 11.3 RC

    Links for the day



  18. Code of Conduct Explained: Partial Transcript - August 10th, 2018 - Episode 80, The Truth About Southeast Linuxfest

    "Ask Noah" and the debate on how a 'Code of Conduct' is forcibly imposed on events



  19. Links 14/6/2019: Xfce-Related Releases, PHP 7.4.0 Alpha

    Links for the day



  20. The EPO is a Patent Troll's Wet Dream

    The makers of software and games in Europe will have to spend a lot of money just keeping patent trolls off their backs — a fact that seems to never bother EPO management because it profits from it



  21. EPO Spreading Patent Extremists' Ideology to the Whole World, Now to South Korea

    The EPO’s footprint around the world's patent systems is an exceptionally dangerous one; The EPO amplifies the most zealous voices of the patents and litigation ‘industry’ while totally ignoring the views and interests of the European public, rendering the EPO an ‘agent of corporate occupation’



  22. Guest Post: Notes on Free Speech, and a Line in the Sand

    We received this anonymous letter and have published it as a follow-up to "Reader's Claim That Rules Similar to the Code of Conduct (CoC) Were 'Imposed' on LibrePlanet and the FSF"



  23. Links 13/6/2019: CERN Dumps Microsoft, GIMP 2.10.12 Released

    Links for the day



  24. Links 12/6/2019: Mesa 19.1.0, KDE neon 5.16, Endless OS 3.6.0 and BackBox Linux 6

    Links for the day



  25. Leaked Financial 'Study' Document Shows EPO Management and Mercer Engaging in an Elaborate “Hoax”

    How the European Patent Office (EPO) lies to its own staff to harm that staff; thankfully, the staff isn't easily fooled and this whole affair will merely obliterate any remnants of "benefit of the doubt" the President thus far enjoyed



  26. Measuring Patent Quality and Employer Quality in Europe

    Comparing the once-famous and respected EPO to today's joke of an office, which grants loads of bogus patents on just about anything including fruit and mathematics



  27. Granting More Fundamentally Wrong Patents Will Mean Reduced Certainty, Not Increased Certainty

    Law firms that are accustomed to making money from low-quality and abstract patents try to overcome barriers by bribing politicians; this will backfire because they show sheer disregard for the patent system's integrity and merely lower the legal certainty associated with granted (by greedy offices) patents



  28. Links 11/6/2019: Wine 4.10, Plasma 5.16

    Links for the day



  29. Chapter 10: Moving Forward -- Getting the Best Results From Open Source With Your Monopoly

    “the gradual shift in public consciousness from their branding towards our own, is the next best thing to owning them outright.”



  30. Chapter 9: Ownership Through Branding -- Change the Names, and Change the World

    The goal for those fighting against Open source, against the true openness (let's call it the yet unexploited opportunities) of Open source, has to be first to figuratively own the Linux brand, then literally own or destroy the brand, then to move the public awareness of the Linux brand to something like Azure, or whatever IBM is going to do with Red Hat.


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