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. Links 24/4/2017: Linux 4.11 RC8, MPV 0.25

    Links for the day



  2. Why Authorities in the Netherlands Need to Strip the EPO of Immunity and Investigate Fire Safety Violations

    How intimidation and crackdown on the staff representatives at the EPO may have led to lack of awareness (and action) about lack of compliance with fire safety standards



  3. Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part IX: Testament to the Fear of an Autocratic Regime

    A return to the crucial observation and a reminder of the fact that at the EPO it takes great courage to say the truth nowadays



  4. For the Fordham Echo Chamber (Patent Maximalism), Judges From the EPO Boards of Appeal Are Not Worth Entertaining

    In an event steered if not stuffed by patent radicals such as Bristows and Microsoft (abusive, serial litigators) there are no balanced panels or even reasonable discussions



  5. EPO Staff Representatives Fired Using “Disciplinary Committee That Was Improperly Composed” as Per ILO's Decision

    The Board of the Administrative Council at European Patent Organisation is being informed of the union-busting activities of Battistelli -- activities that are both illegal (as per national and international standards) and are detrimental to the Organisation



  6. Links 23/4/2017: End of arkOS, Collabora Office 5.3 Released

    Links for the day



  7. Intellectual Discovery and Microsoft Feed Patent Trolls Like Intellectual Ventures Which Then Strategically Attack Rivals

    Like a swarm of blood-sucking bats, patent trolls prey on affluent companies that derive their wealth from GNU/Linux and freedom-respecting software (Free/libre software)



  8. The European Patent Office Has Just Killed a Cat (or Skinned a 'Kat')

    The EPO’s attack on the media, including us, resulted in a stream of misinformation and puff pieces about the EPO and UPC, putting at risk not just European democracy but also corrupting the European press



  9. Yann Ménière Resorts to Buzzwords to Recklessly Promote Floods of Patents, Dooming the EPO Amid Decline in Patent Applications

    Battistelli's French Chief Economist is not much of an economist but a patent maximalist toeing the party line of Monsieur Battistelli (lots of easy grants and litigation galore, for UPC hopefuls)



  10. Even Patent Bullies Like Microsoft and Facebook Find the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Useful

    Not just companies accused of patent infringement need the PTAB but also frequent accusers with deep pockets need the PTAB, based on some new figures and new developments



  11. Links 21/4/2017: Qt Creator 4.2.2, ROSA Desktop Fresh R9

    Links for the day



  12. At the EPO, Seeding of Puff Piece in the Press/Academia Sometimes Transparent Enough to View

    The EPO‘s PR team likes to 'spam' journalists and others (for PR) and sometimes does this publicly, as the tweets below show — a desperate recruitment and reputation laundering drive



  13. Affordable and Sophisticated Mobile Devices Are Kept Away by Patent Trolls and Aggressors That Tax Everything

    The war against commoditisation of mobile computing has turned a potentially thriving market with fast innovation rates into a war zone full of patent trolls (sometimes suing at the behest of large companies that hand them patents for this purpose)



  14. In Spite of Lobbying and Endless Attempts by the Patent Microcosm, US Supreme Court Won't Consider Any Software Patent Cases Anymore (in the Foreseeable Future)

    Lobbyists of software patents, i.e. proponents of endless litigation and patent trolls, are attempting to convince the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to have another look at abstract patents and reconsider its position on cases like Alice Corp. v CLS Bank International



  15. Expect Team UPC to Remain in Deep Denial About the Unitary Patent/Unified Court (UPC) Having No Prospects

    The prevailing denial that the UPC is effectively dead, courtesy of sites and blogs whose writers stood to profit from the UPC



  16. EPO in 2017: Erroneously Grant a Lot of Patents in Bulk or Get Sacked

    Quality of patent examination is being abandoned at the EPO and those who disobey or refuse to play along are being fired (or asked to resign to avoid forced resignations which would stain their record)



  17. Links 21/4/2017: System76 Entering Phase Three, KDE Applications 17.04, Elive 2.9.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  18. Bristows-Run IP Kat Continues to Spread Lies to Promote the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Advance the EPO Management's Agenda

    An eclectic response to some of the misleading if not villainous responses to the UPC's death knell in the UK, as well as other noteworthy observations about think tanks and misinformation whose purpose is to warp the patent system so that it serves law firms, for the most part at the expense of science and technology



  19. Links 20/4/2017: Tor Browser 6.5.2, PacketFence 7.0, New Firefox and Chrome

    Links for the day



  20. Patents on Business Methods and Software Are Collapsing, But the Patent Microcosm is Working Hard to Change That

    The never-ending battle over patent law, where those who are in the business of patents push for endless patenting, is still ongoing and resistance/opposition is needed from those who actually produce things (other than litigation) or else they will be perpetually taxed by parasites



  21. IAM, the Patent Trolls' Voice, is Trying to Deny There is a Growing Trolling Problem in Europe

    IAM Media (the EPO's and trolls' mouthpiece) continues a rather disturbing pattern of propaganda dressed up as "news", promoting the agenda of parasites who drain the economy by extortion of legitimate (producing) companies



  22. The Patent Microcosm Keeps Attacking Every Patent Office/System That is Doing the Right Thing

    Patent 'radicals' and 'extremists' -- those to whom patents are needed solely for the purpose of profit from bureaucracy -- fight hard against patent quality and in the process they harm everyone, including individual customers



  23. Another Final Nail in the UPC Coffin: UK General Election

    Ratification of the UPC in the UK can drag on for several more years and never be done thereafter, throwing into uncertainty the whole UPC (EU-wide) as we know it



  24. Links 19/4/2017: DockerCon Coverage, Ubuntu Switching to Wayland

    Links for the day



  25. Links 18/4/2017: Mesa 17.0.4, FFmpeg 3.3

    Links for the day



  26. Patents Roundup: Microsoft, Embargo, Tax Evasion, Surveillance, and Censorship

    An excess of patents and their overutilisation for purposes other than innovation (or dissemination of knowledge) means that society has much to lose, sometimes more than there is to gain



  27. How I Learned that Skype is a Spy Campaign (My Personal Story) -- by Yuval Levental

    Skype is now tracking serial numbers, too



  28. Links 17/4/2017: Devil Linux 1.8.0, GNU IceCat 52.0.2

    Links for the day



  29. EPO Patent Quality and Quality of Service Have Become a Disaster, Say EPO Stakeholders

    Stakeholders of the EPO, in various sites that attract them, are complaining about the service of the EPO, the declining quality of patents (and the rushed processes), including the fact that Battistelli's blind obsession with so-called 'production' dooms the already-up-in-flames EPO and makes it uncompetitive



  30. IAM is a Think Tank for Patent Trolls, Software Patents, the EPO, Microsoft, and Whoever Else is Willing to Pay

    The site where you get what you pay for continues to promote highly damaging agenda, which threatens to disrupt operations at a lot of legitimate companies that employ technical people


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