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08.22.08

The Latest from Microsoft, Its Indian Partners, and Its Patent Trolls

Posted in Asia, Microsoft, Patents at 9:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nathan Myhrvold

As we showed earlier, Bill Gates invests in and/or backs patent trolls, such as Nathan Myhrvold, who is shown above (more examples at the bottom of this new article). But Microsoft too is assembling it own arsenal of software patents, the latest of which seems to be a jaw-dropping patent on PgUp and PgDn. Here are preliminary details:

If patenting the obvious is considered something of an art form in the world of IT, then Microsoft is undoubtedly an old master. The Page Up Page Down patent it has been granted would seem to confirm this…

It’s worth weighing some more information from Mike Masnick and his readers over at TechDirt.

An effective way of ending this madness is firstly to prevent software patent permissions from expanding. India is in the headlines at the moment [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] and now comes this post from GNU India and from this reputed man from Kerla, V. Sasi Kumar Thiruvananthapuram.

There are indications that the government is again trying to bring software patents, possibly covertly. The first indication of this has been in the draft Manual of Patent Practice and Procedure published by the Patent Office, India, in which they talk about “software per se” and software in association with hardware. This was repeated in the meeting held in Mumbai which was a consultation organised by the government with the public. Whether this move has been engineered by the bureaucracy or by the government under pressure from big corporates, this is not good for the software industry, especially the small scale sector, in India.

It is worth remembering that this latest push for software patents in India is spearheaded by Microsoft et al.

Software patents are a nasty new animal. It could be rose though. Certain types of patents are actually killing people — or rather — let ill people die despite the existence of a simple cure. Glyn Moody revives this old moral debate.

Got that? Indonesia releases the sequences, and the US CDC does indeed patent that information, a situation which could then force Indonesia to pay for vaccines based on its own sequence data to protect its citizens. This probably means that fewer vaccines will be bought, more people will die, more mutations in the flu virus, and more deaths globally. So how, exactly, is this particular intellectual monopoly good for the world?

Patents are not a friend. Software patents are an insane friend… to lawyers.

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A Single Comment

  1. p.cole said,

    August 22, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    Gravatar

    Crimes against the people do not only stem from corporations but also their political leaders which have been entrusted to protect its citizens. In the u.s. criminal behavior is often ignored by the politicians when it favors corporations. U.S.P.T.O (who are not technically qualified) granting vague software patents thereby stifling innovation, encouraging a “money for nothing” attitude through theft of ideas, other people’s prior work (plagiarism at-its-best; change one line of code and it’s yours), if you can spin and lie your way through the judicial system.

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