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

08.11.08

It’s Not Innovation, It’s Collusion

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Patents at 7:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Newton's Cradle“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants,” Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

Development thrives in a world without boundaries. Research too can thrive when there is access to a wealth of information. Financial means are another story because people who develop and conduct research require funds, but need any money be earned by robbing peers of the privilege to share information and disseminate simple ideas? What would Newton say? The fathers of the United States too objected the idea of limiting the sharing of ideas.

The notion of an invention typically brings to mind a piece of apparatus. What is an invention if not something physical that the inventor can show? Can someone claim to have invented something, which will only ever exist in one’s mind? Can thought be truly owned and excessive knowledge considered an offense?

In practice, everyone seems to suffer due to artificial (man-made) limitations. Groklaw links to this nice new article that contains an example from the aircraft industry. It’s related to design and physical engineering (there is as much ‘engine’ in software engineering as there is an ‘engine’ in mathematics).

In the second decade of the twentieth century, it was almost impossible to build an airplane in the United States. That was the result of a chaotic legal battle among the dozens of companies—including one owned by Orville Wright—that held patents on the various components that made a plane go. No one could manufacture aircraft without fear of being hauled into court.

While the above relates to components that can actually be visualised, it’s patents like this new one which immediately raise a brow and symbolise ‘ownership’ of very abstract methods. [via Digital Majority]

According to the company, the patent provides customers with a simple technology to communicate with wireless Internet devices via a notification message that orders the device to connect to a server and download specific content and information.

This goes under the heading “Message Delivery System”. It’s about invoking a command remotely. It’s the nature of the command which the company believes has enough complexity (and thus less generality) to merit a patent. But this is insane. At the end of the say, for all those telecom giants, this lenience of the system and its consequent exploitation seems nothing short of collusion. It’s about the giants covering one another and agreeing among themselves that they — and only they — will be permitted to survive in their market.

I find the patent system laughable.

-1- For the small guy it is just a way to publish your technology so it can be used by other bigger fish sans compensation. How many lawyers can you afford to pay full time?

-2- Its a great way for big companies to bully little ones.

By aligning papers under cross-licensing agreements, they establish something which is similar to price-fixing that harms consumers. They can artificially inflate price due to “IPR” and deny new (and more affordable) entrants into a market. Those who want to compete must first obtain heaps of pricey patents. And what for? ‘Innovation’ or just so-called ‘protection’. Where is the benefit to science, as opposed to solicitors?

The system in its current shape seems absurd. This is not competition and this leads to no innovation. It freezes the market, it further empowers a few and it is, in short, a collusion. The patent system serves those who are at the top. They, the ‘elites’, market it as a crucial mechanism for defending ‘the little guy’, using lobbying arms like ACT — all funded by titans, pretending to speak for (of robbing the voice) of small businesses. Such lobbying arms can only be afforded by those at the industry’s pinnacle. They strive to police perception, thereby controlling the law and its enforcement. At times, they take the law into their own hands to fight Free software.

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 15/7/2019: Vulkan 1.1.115 and Facebook Openwashing

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft Office 360 Banned

    OpenDocument Format (ODF, a real standard everyone can implement) and Free/libre software should be taught in schools; it's not supposed to be just a matter of privacy



  3. Microsoft, in Its Own Words...

    Sociopathy, incompetence and intolerance of the rule of law, as demonstrated by Microsoft's top managers



  4. Microsoft's WSL is Designed to Weaken GNU/Linux (on the Desktop/Laptop) and Strengthen Vista 10

    What Microsoft does to GNU/Linux on the desktop (and/or laptop) bears much resemblance to what Microsoft did to Java a couple of decades ago



  5. Links 14/7/2019: Linux 5.2.1, Unreal Engine 4.23 Preview, Linux Mint 19.2 Beta

    Links for the day



  6. 25,500 Blog Posts and Pages

    With our thirteenth anniversary just a few months away we're at a pace of about 2,000 posts per year



  7. With WSL Microsoft is Doing to GNU/Linux What It Did to Netscape

    Embrace, extend, extinguish. Some things never really change even if they become an old and repetitive accusation.



  8. Allowing Bad Guests to Become the Hosts

    Why the so-called 'Linux Foundation', a nonprofit that acts more like a PAC controlled by proprietary software companies and people who don't even use Linux, is increasingly becoming a Linux-hostile front group



  9. Honesty and Collaboration Make Free Software Stronger, Microsoft is Inherently a Misfit

    In spite of all the lies Microsoft and its Web sites spew out on a daily basis, nothing has really changed and Microsoft is still attacking Software Freedom (mostly from the inside nowadays, helped by FUD proxies such as WhiteSource and Snyk)



  10. Patent Certainty Waning, But That's Still OK for Patent Trolls

    Patent maximalism remains a threat to everyone but patent lawyers (and patent office chiefs who measure their own performance only by the number of patents granted); best served are the patent trolls who extrajudicially attack already-impoverished parties behind closed doors



  11. GitHub is Microsoft's Proprietary Software and Centralised (Monopoly) Platform, But When Canonical's Account There Gets Compromised Suddenly It's Ubuntu's Fault?

    Typical media distortions and signs that Microsoft already uses GitHub for censorship of Free/Open Source software that does not fit Microsoft's interests



  12. Canonical is Turning Ubuntu Into a More Proprietary Deviant of GNU/Linux

    Ubuntu is becoming more 'Ubinary'; binaries without their source code available are packed up and cooked up for (or baked into) the ISO; this may be good for widespread adoption, but it's not an advancement of freedom, a capitulation rather



  13. Links 13/7/2019: Librem 5 July Update, Project Trident 19.07, KDE Frameworks 5.60.0

    Links for the day



  14. The Problem Isn't Women or Minorities in Free Software But Particular Corporations That Exploit or Steer or Hijack Their Agenda

    If technical issues are being disguised using colours and genders (among other things), then it's important to highlight who's behind it (what company/ies) rather than fling back insults at people because it makes things worse



  15. There's No Such Thing as Cloud Computing, Serverless and All That Other Nonsense

    Buzzwords. Confronted.



  16. Linux is Doing 'Well' Only for Those Who Dislike Software Freedom and Love Control Over Users

    Linux, the kernel, has become a corporate playground or a sandbox that's used to upsell proprietary software, including surveillance; freedom in Linux is gradually being diminished if not completely obliterated and it does not worry the foundations entrusted to guard against it



  17. Consultation About Direction and Future Focus for Techrights

    We invite ideas and recommendations for the future of the site, notably which topics and aspects are worth covering as a matter of higher priority



  18. European Media Continues to Ignore the EPO Crisis While Law Firms and EPO Management Cover Things Up

    The EPO crisis silently deepens because serious problems are lied about, not acknowledged, and the legitimacy of European Patents is greatly diminished, not to mention the EPO's ability to attract talent



  19. Links 12/7/2019: Alpine 3.10.1 is Out and Red Hat Loses Oliva

    Links for the day



  20. Links 11/7/2019: KDE Plasma 5.16.3 and Verifying Gentoo Election Results

    Links for the day



  21. Campinos is Already Widely Seen as Battistelli the Second, Even Among EPO Stakeholders

    The Frenchmen in charge of the EPO may have a taste (and waste) for wine, but they have no clue how to run a patent office (except into the ground); patent application numbers are meanwhile falling (a reduction in demand)



  22. The EFF Responds to IBM's Liars and Lobbyists for Software Patents Just a Day After Red Hat is Officially Absorbed

    IBM's unacceptable stance and abominable actions on the patent front continue to haunt it; IBM must quickly dissociate and reconsider its patent strategy so as to not alienate thousands of workers (the real asset of Red Hat) it has just spent a fortune on



  23. Microsoft Putting Patent Traps Inside Linux While Blackmailing Companies Using Patents Associated With These Traps

    In an effort to make exFAT (a patent trap) the 'industry standard', even inside Linux, Microsoft now wants exFAT inside the very heart of Linux and people are pushing back



  24. Links 11/7/2019: Cockpit 198, Librem Updates

    Links for the day



  25. More People Are Coming Out: Microsoft Tried to Get Them Fired for Standing in Microsoft's Way (the 'One Microsoft Way')

    Microsoft's bullying tactics aren't "old news"; the same tactics carry on to this date and they're the moral or corporate equivalent of doxing



  26. Links 10/7/2019: Sparky 4.11 and Sculpt OS 19.07

    Links for the day



  27. Links 10/7/2019: Septor 2019.4, Tails 3.15, FreeBSD 11.3 and Microsoft 'Morality Police' (Censorship of FOSS) in GitHub

    Links for the day



  28. EPO Further Harms Justice and Quality by Weakening Processes Associated With the EPO’s Boards of Appeal

    The priorities of EPO management reveal the sheer misunderstanding if not malice; either they do not know how to run a patent office or they intentionally try to make it fail (where it matters most)



  29. Links 9/7/2019: Goodbye Red Hat (IBM Takeover Finalised), Mesa 19.1.2, D9VK 0.13

    Links for the day



  30. IBM Has Just Wiped Clean Red Hat's Position on Software Patents

    Proprietary software giant buying Red Hat is not good news; but now it is confirmed and damage limitation may be in order


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