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

07.30.08

Snapshot of the Software Patents Situation in the US, India, EU

Posted in America, Asia, EFF, Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 1:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

United States

There may be some changes on their way. There’s no telling when/if they’ll be coming to the USPTO, but in the mean time there’s chaos, as well illustrated by today’s picks over at Digital Majority. Here is one such example, which is a junk patent (never supposed to have been granted in the first place) being put up for auction, surely for someone to use it offensively.

Investors will have the opportunity to acquire the patent on a revolutionary personalization system that is set to go to auction in September. The patented system will change the face of targeted marketing and research by offering more accuracy than anything else available today.

The EFF with its patent-busting efforts carry on trying to squash some of the more notorious patents, but as Stallman once said about such strategies, “fighting patents one by one will never eliminate the danger of software patents, any more than swatting mosquitoes will eliminate malaria.” Here is the description of another bad patent.

So just what is this wonderful sales method? In a nutshell, the patent claims ownership over the idea of finding out what a customer wants, electronically finding out what you have that matches that customer’s needs, electronically collecting information about the stuff you have to offer the customer, and putting that information into a pitch to the customer.

Recall those dreadful wish list patents [1, 2]. It’s the verge of granting ownership to ideas that can be implemented in elementary school (while ignoring prior art).

India

The renewed threat of software patents in India was mentioned over the weekend and help is now being sought.

Interestingly, Infosys and TCS are in favor of software patents. Those who followed the OOXML fight on this blog would know that both these organizations had voted in favor of Microsoft’s OOXML proposal. If there are articulate FOSS developers in the Mumbai LUG, I would request them to be present at the 7th August 2008 meeting and explain to the group why software patents are against the interest of the developer community.

There’s some more dissection of this here. [via Digital Majority]

Business aptly seems to drive law; finally, the Murthys and Ramadorais of Bengalooru have spoken up. According to an article in the Financial Express, IT majors Infosys and TCS have reacted strongly to a call made by the open source community, particularly Red Hat India and All India Peoples Sciences Network, for dropping a clause in the draft patent examination manual which according to the latter gives a backdoor entry for software patents.

The fight never ends. When critics fall asleep, monopolies will try to grab control.

Europe

A few days ago, the EPO was praised for its stance on software patents, but Digital Majority is more pedantic. It’s claiming that the EPO uses tautologies and it’s showing some examples of nasty patents.

Maybe the European Patent Office has a different dictionary than I have.

[...]

Nevertheless, their high quality propaganda falls down once you start to mention some trivial software patents, such as the progress bar:

[...]

or the contextual menu granted to Philips:

Here is another nice find from Digital Majority:

Write patents, get tax cuts

As of 1 January 2008, the Belgian government introduced a tax deduction of 80 % with unlimited carry forward under the corporate income tax for income derived from patents licensed by a company based in Belgium.

Now, who said patents are bad? They make you save 80% on taxes. How on earth can it be bad?

Perhaps most significant, however, is the following new development that yet again involves Commissioner McCreevy, the man who loves monopolies. This seems to be another back door to software patents and poor-quality patents in Europe.

The European Commission has proposed creating a single strategy for the protection of industrial property rights in Europe. The Commission wants to integrate its strategy for industrial property rights and encourage smaller businesses to protect rights.

What ever compelled to pass and push for such changes? Is it the endless lobbying in Europe from Microsoft's ACT, whose recent activity in Europe was carefully documented here?

Fresh in the news: watch a State Senator that apparently got bribed to fight ‘the little people’.

US Department of Justice prosecutors have alleged that Stevens received more than $250,000 worth of gifts and services from VECO and its executives, including an extensive renovation of his home in Girdwood, Alaska. That work included a new first floor, garage, wraparound deck, and new plumbing and electrical wiring. They also said he was given a new Land Rover in exchange for an old Ford Mustang, as well as a professional gas barbeque grill, assorted furniture and a complete set of mechanics tools.

It’s rather clear that money needn’t necessarily exchanged hands. Sometimes it can be favours and gifts, such as those that Microsoft showers crtitics with. ‘Soft briberies’ were mentioned here before, as well.

Someone should take a closer look at what’s happening in Europe, especially amid very aggressive lobbying and complaints about it from some [1, 2].

More information on McCreevy and other cronies can be found in:

Since when are Commissioners representing Intellectual Monopolies?

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

7 Comments

  1. self_liar said,

    July 30, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Gravatar

    Hi Roy

    I know this is not a place for this but look this:

    http://go-oo.org/discover/

    A OO fork with a lot of M$ capabilities

    Look the authors ; )

    Novell is a bad company.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 30, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Gravatar

    Novell is a bad company.

    s/bad/mcrosoft/

    This was predictable. Thanks for the headsup.

  3. maerklin said,

    July 30, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Gravatar

    > A OO fork with a lot of M$ capabilities

    The go-oo.org builds are used in Debian, Gentoo and Ubuntu; also the Mac OS NeoOffice is based on it.

    You, too, are probably using it but that doesn’t stop you from bad-mouthing the company behind it, eh?

  4. Sebastiaan Veld said,

    July 31, 2008 at 1:41 am

    Gravatar

    > A OO fork with a lot of M$ capabilities

    Old news. It’s not a fork, it a OO build with patches that are not yet accepted upstream (since accepting patches by Sun seems to be sooo slow).

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 31, 2008 at 3:24 am

    Gravatar

    Do you know why they are not accepted?

  6. David Gerard said,

    July 31, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Gravatar

    Because Sun run OOo like a cathedral, even while talking up the advantages of the bazaar.

    1. Sun are ridiculously slow taking in the patches of others. This is why the Novell fork existed – it started as the Ximian fork, many years ago.
    2. Sun refuse to accept contributions to OOo where you have not signed the copyright over to Sun in such a way that they can proprietise it. I realise this is what Novell do with Mono, but that doesn’t make it a good idea either.

    It’s open source – when a project is being badly hampered by being run as a cathedral, a fork run as a bazaar is just the thing.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 31, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Gravatar

    Yes, and based on what I’ve read, there’s danger that Novell’s buggier fork will incorporate various features that Microsoft wants in it, too.

    With Novell, there’s Microsoft money on the table (Sun is another story). Trust erodes because OOo is a “biggest competitor” to Microsoft (it says so explicitly). I wrote some more bits about it this morning. They shelter Windows, OOXML, .NET/VBA, etc.

What Else is New


  1. Boycotting Micro Focus International

    Microsoft's "Partner of the Year" is taking over the patron of SUSE and all of Novell's remains, except the patents (Microsoft has already grabbed those)



  2. Vesna Stilin's Remarks on Željko Topić: Part XI

    Vesna Stilin speaks about her confrontation with EPO Vice-President Željko Topić, who has criminal lawsuits against him in Croatia



  3. Links 22/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1, Ubuntu MATE

    Links for the day



  4. Links 21/11/2014: Problems at Debian, Jolla Tablet

    Links for the day



  5. Links 18/11/2014: Linux 3.18 RC 5, New DigiKam

    Links for the day



  6. Special Report: Many Criminal Charges Against EPO Vice-President Željko Topić

    The abuses of Željko Topić, who has gained notoriety in his home country, are rapidly becoming public knowledge across all of Europe



  7. Links 16/11/2014: Xfdesktop 4.10.3, GNU Hello 2.10

    Links for the day



  8. Microsoft is Going Into the Anti-Whistleblowing Business, Dodges Criticism Over 19-Year Bug Door in Windows

    With Aorato acquisition Microsoft helps protect the criminals (from whistleblowers) and with lies about .NET Microsoft distracts from a bug that has facilitated remote access into Windows (by those in the know) for nearly two decades



  9. Reaffirming Microsoft's Long-Known Hostility Towards Net Neutrality, Microsoft Crashed Juniper

    Steve Ballmer is ranting against net neutrality and Juniper's business is in trouble after a lot of executives from Microsoft took over most top positions there



  10. Another Massive Step Towards Elimination of Software Patents as Even CAFC Rules Against Them

    After SCOTUS gets involved in the Ultramercial case, the CAFC finally decides to actually serve justice rather than dogma



  11. The GOP's Patent Reform Plan Not Effective Enough to Stop Massive Patent Trolls Like Microsoft/Nokia

    The corporations-serving GOP says that it wants a patent reform, but another reminder is needed of the futility of the suggested changes



  12. How the EPO's Executive Branch (Battistelli and Topić) Banned Scrutiny and Created Authoritarian Model of Control: Part X

    A look at highly dubious moves by EPO President Battistelli and his right-hand man Topić, whose abuses are becoming hard to oversee or even report



  13. Links 15/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1 Release Candidate, Popcorn Time 0.3.5

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: October 26th, 2014 – November 8th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  15. The Terrible Joke Which is Microsoft 'Loving' Linux: Nightmares With UEFI 'Secure' Boot (i.e. Windows Monopoly Imposed) Continue to Affect GNU/Linux Users

    A reminder of Microsoft's sheer hostility towards GNU/Linux and long-reaching sabotage of GNU/Linux installations



  16. Patent Lawyers Worry About Section 101 in 'Alice' (and Other Patent News)

    A quick roundup of news of interest regarding software patents



  17. Will Write for FUD (Against FOSS)

    Black Duck rears its ugly head again, serving to show that it is in the business of changing perceptions and not in the information or analysis business



  18. Debunking Several Days of Never-Ending Lies About Microsoft and .NET

    .NET is not "Open Source", it cannot be forked (there remains patent threat), Visual Studio is still completely proprietary and it is expected to come to other platforms only because Windows has lost its dominance and Microsoft wants to perpetually control APIs (with software patents) and hence reign over developers



  19. Links 14/11/2014: LibreOffice 4.3.4, Ads Now in Firefox

    Links for the day



  20. Links 14/11/2014: GNOME 3.14.2, PulseAudio 6.0

    Links for the day



  21. Microsoft Windows is Still Designed as a Paradise of Back Doors, Intrusion, Wiretaps, and Interception

    At many levels -- from communication to storage and encryption -- Windows is designed for the very opposite of security



  22. Forget the FUD About Bash and OpenSSL, Microsoft Windows Blamed for Massive Credit Cards Heist

    Home Depot learns its lesson from a Microsoft Windows disaster, but it stays with proprietary software rather than move to software that is actively audited by many people and is inherently better maintained (Free/libre software)



  23. Windows 'Update' and NSA Back Doors, Including a 19-Year Bug Door in Microsoft Windows

    The back doors-enabled Microsoft Windows is being revealed and portrayed as the Swiss cheese that it really is after massive holes are discovered (mostly to be buried by a .NET propaganda blitz)



  24. Revealed: Microsoft is Trying to Corrupt the UK in Order to Eliminate Its OpenDocument Format-Oriented Standards Policy

    Microsoft interference with Britain's preference for ODF is now confirmed, thanks to a valuable news report from Computer Weekly; OOXML lock-in is being unleashed by Microsoft on Android users



  25. Links 13/11/2014: Ubuntu MATE 14.04.1 LTS, New KDE Plasma

    Links for the day



  26. .NET is NOT "Open Source", But Microsoft's Minions Shamelessly Openwash It Right Now

    The openwashing of .NET continues with yet another publicity stunt that is intended to lock in developers



  27. Links 11/11/2014: GNOME Trademark Dispute Settled, Mozilla Embraces Tor

    Links for the day



  28. Patent Reform Subversion After Republican (GOP) 'Win' in US Senate

    The Grand Corporations Party, or the political party which serves large businesses that are funding it, continues to just focus on a mirage of a 'reform' rather than tackle the real issues where culprits include very large businesses such as Microsoft and Apple



  29. Microsoft-Armed Patent Troll MOSAID (Now Conversant) Wants to Sweep up More Patents for Litigation

    Reports about patent trolls and scope of patents serve to show what the foes of Free software are up to right now



  30. When Courts in the US Attack the Right to Reuse APIs

    Challenging the clueless ruling from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the United States (very pro-software patents and anti-computer science), notable programmers write to the highest court


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts