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 23/5/2015: Fedora 22 to May 26th, Netflix in SteamOS

    Links for the day



  2. The Patents Production 'Industry' (Patent Lawyers) Still Fights Hard to Salvage Software Patents

    A review of recent writings about software patents and patents on business methods in the United States, demonstrating that patent lawyers have gotten very vocal and sneaky (trying to evade the rules)



  3. Patents as a Marketing Strategy: USPTO Now Part of the Advertising Industry

    The existence of publicity patents, or patents whose sole purpose is to advertise some products, serves to discredit the US patent office, which was originally set up to promote science and technology



  4. Microsoft Blackmails and Extorts British Politicians Over Open Standards and Free Software-Leaning Policies

    Microsoft's digital imperialism in the UK getting defended using blackmail, reminding a lot of Brits that Microsoft is just as evil as ever before



  5. Microsoft Gives Another Bug a Name, This Time Logjam™

    The Microsoft crowd is good only at marketing, even when it comes to small bugs in software



  6. Links 22/5/2015: Fedora 22 Final Release is Near, Canonical IPO Considered

    Links for the day



  7. More Utter Shame Unveiled at Battistelli's EPO: Intimidation Tactics With Help From 'Control Risks'

    The unaccountable thugs who run the EPO have hired London-based spooks to help silence their opposition and their critics



  8. GNU/Linux Still Under Attack From Apple and Microsoft, Patents Remain the Weapon of Choice

    A timely reminder of the importance of patent matters, for they are being used to eliminate the zero-cost advantage of Free/libre software and make it more proprietary, privacy-infringing, and user-hostile (as a result of blackmail)



  9. Gartner Group and NASSCOM: Will Lie for FUD, on Behalf of Microsoft and Proprietary Software

    Some of the latest arguments against Free/libre software turn out to be arriving from couriers of Microsoft and its agenda



  10. Windows is a Franchise in Demise, Don't Believe the Hype

    Ongoing propaganda about Vista 10, 'cloud', and other buzzwords or brands are put in perspective



  11. Links 21/5/2015: Fedora 22 RC2, CERN Chooses OpenStack

    Links for the day



  12. Microsoft is Again Showing Its Hatred of Free/Open Source Software by Lobbying the Indian Government to Drop a Rational National Policy

    Microsoft decides to attack Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in India, where the corporate media is very much complicit in misleading the public



  13. Links 20/5/2015: Containers, OpenStack, and EXT4 Corruption

    Links for the day



  14. The PATENT Act, Distraction of Trolls, and Lobbying for Software Patents by Protectionists

    Only large corporations and their lawyers are able to formally change the US patent system through public officials and politicians, despite recent rulings from very high courts



  15. Corporate Media and Friends of Microsoft Are Still Lying About the Cost of Vista 10

    In a desperate effort to beat operating systems that are Free (libre) and free (gratis), such as GNU/Linux or Android, Microsoft shores up the illusion of 'free' (gratis) Windows



  16. Links 19/5/2015: Linux 4.1 RC4, Thunderbird 31.7.0, OpenStack Event

    Links for the day



  17. Links 18/5/2015: Russia Chooses Jolla, Many New Distro Releases, Meizu Devices

    Links for the day



  18. Even Converting an Image to Greyscale is Now a Patent

    Simple mathematics becoming patented as Fujifilm claims 'ownership' of photographic conversion to greyscale



  19. Grooming of the World's Biggest Patent Troll, Nathan Myhrvold of Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures

    UCLA and Microsoft-linked media are framing big thugs as heroes, doing a great disservice to both academia and journalism



  20. The EPO's Fight to Bring Software Patents Into Europe is One Step Closer to a 'Victory' (for Multinationals)

    Opposition to the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is being crushed and Italy is one of the latest actors to have fallen in the battle



  21. Microsoft's 'Former' Staff Continues With His Anti-Google Rhetoric at CBS

    A Microsoft intern, who has moved on to journalism, is still showing his affinity for Microsoft with apologetics and spin



  22. More of Microsoft's False Claims About Cost of Vista 10 and More Layoffs

    Vista 10 is still being marketed using lies and Microsoft may be going down the same route as Nokia



  23. Microsoft Remotely Bricks -- Intentionally -- Xbox One

    Microsoft is showing off its kill switches, kills consoles of people whom it doesn't like



  24. IRC Proceedings: May 3rd - May 16th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  25. Links 17/5/2015: NuTyX Saravane 15.05, Panasonic and Firefox OS

    Links for the day



  26. Links 16/5/2015: MAME Free Software. Rust 1.0, New Wine

    Links for the day



  27. Links 15/5/2015: GNOME 3.16.2, GNU Guix 0.8.2

    Links for the day



  28. Links 15/5/2015: Skrooge Releases, Linux 3.14.42, Linux 3.10.78

    Links for the day



  29. "VENOM" FUD Attack -- Like "Heartbleed" FUD Attack -- Linked to Microsoft

    Why CrowdStrike™ is motivated to smear Free software and establish a stigma of insecurity in Free software-based virtual machines/'clouds'



  30. Spinning Microsoft's Inability to Sell Windows (or Office) as a Strength

    The 'cloud' mindset, which is promoted by surveillance fanatics, increasingly used to pretend that Microsoft has a bright future, despite declining sales


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