11.19.08

Gemini version available ♊︎

Patents Roundup: Microsoft Sues, Patents Critic Become Nobel Laureate, and More

Posted in America, Courtroom, Europe, Interoperability, Microsoft, Patents at 1:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft Sues in Patent Dispute

Microsoft is already using its patents offensively and business woes might be tied to this strategy. Microsoft is doing it again, but it insists this is done defensively. Readers can judge for themselves based on the following reports:

1. Microsoft Files Suit to Defend Visual Studio Users

Microsoft is not mentioned in any of the three complaints. However, in the suit that Microsoft filed against WebXchange, it says that the charges relate to the companies’ use of Microsoft’s Visual Studio software. By asking the court to declare WebXchange’s patents invalid, Microsoft hopes to defend its customers FedEx, Dell and Allstate and spare the thousands of other Visual Studio users from similar suits, Microsoft says.

FedEx, Dell and Allstate have already sought indemnification from Microsoft, Microsoft said in the lawsuit. Most large software makers like Microsoft indemnify their customers, meaning that if their products are found to cause harm including patent infringement, the software developer will bear the responsibility for the problems.

2. Guess which patents are not infringed in the Microsoft Visual Studio suit?

WebXchange is suing Microsoft–or, rather, three of its customers–for allegedly infringing its patents in Microsoft Visual Studio, as CNET reports. Just desserts? Nah. Microsoft rarely sues anyone, preferring instead to threaten to sue.

3. Microsoft in patent battle over Visual Studio

“Microsoft filed this action to protect our customers and ourselves against spurious patent infringement lawsuits filed by WebXchange,” Microsoft said in a statement. “We will demonstrate to the Court that WebXchange’s patents are not infringed by Microsoft technology and that WebXchange’s patents are invalid and unenforceable.”

Communication

One of the biggest sorts of chaos — cold or nuclear war with IPR — is caused by software patents and can be found in wireless and mobile communication. There are hardly any signs of abatement during this storm, as the following new reports ought to show:

1. Alcatel Lucent Files Contextual Advertising Patent For TV Over IPTV

This should be particular interest to Media companies – Telecom major Alcatel-Lucent has filed for a patent in India, for contextual advertising on IPTV networks. Since advertising will be delivered to the screen over the broadband network, it gives them the opportunity of contextualizing ads based on location, personal TV viewing habits etc. The ads will probably be stored on the Personal Video Recorder (PVR) or Set Top Box (STB), and delivered during specific TV spots, based on selection.

2. Calypso Wireless sues T-Mobile USA for patent Infringement

Calypso says it owns a patent on Automatic Switching of Network Access Points, technology, which helps carriers achieve more efficient allocation of resources by freeing more wide area cellular spectrum space for voice, video and data, and increasing overall bandwidth available to other users.

3. Revenue news boosts Wi-LAN; Patent dispute with RIM settled

Shares of Wi-LAN Inc. shot up more than 25% in trading after the technology licensing company announced it was revising its revenue guidance for the year after the settlement of a pending patent infringement lawsuit yesterday with BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd.

Software Patentability on the Cliff

Yet another opposer of the patent system is made a Nobel Laureate.

The FFII congratulates Eric S. Maskin, an economist who has long criticised the patenting of software, for receiving the 2007 Nobel Prize for Economics. Prof. Maskin and two colleagues receive the Prize for research into the optimal design of economic mechanisms. By applying his theory to the IT sector, Maskin demonstrated “that in such a dynamic industry, patent protection may reduce overall innovation and welfare.”

Stiglitz, another Nobel Laureate whom we mentioned in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], is a renowned vocal critic of the patent system.

Fortunately, as we stressed before, the re Bilski ruling has changed a lot of things [1, 2] and here is another article with text of interest. [via Digital Majority]

Q: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently has been trying to curtail the flood of software and business method patent applications by limiting the interpretation of what constitutes patentable subject matter. What accounts for this deluge of business method applications?

A: The PTO has been deluged, truly, with patent applications on various methodologies that involve the use of a computer. I have applications on … business methods, and we file periodic status reports for the patent office so we can find out when these patent applications are going to be examined. You write one, you file it, and you wait until it gets assigned to a particular patent examiner before it gets reviewed and the overall process starts. I have been getting responses now that say it may be a year or two before it gets to an examiner, and it may be as much as five years. That’s why the patent office doesn’t want any more; they can’t handle what they’ve got. So that’s their natural reaction, is to try to … develop some clearly rudimentary standards for (rejection).

Pointing to this new xkcd cartoon, PJ (of Groklaw) writes: “If you think software isn’t mathematics, take a look at this cartoon. It will help you grasp it, and you’ll smile at the same time, which is the pleasantest way to learn.”

It is new complications such as this that a reform can hopefully resolve for good.

US print procurement company e-Lynxx has been awarded a patent covering competitive tendering of a specified item on an electronic platform, such as print management.

The company plans to licence the business method to users.

William Gindlesperger, patent inventor and chief executive of e-Lynxx, said: “Every organisation with an electronic procurement system… that follows the steps outlined in this new patent, will need a licence to use the patented methodology.”

However, the UK patent office said that merely transferring a process that already existed to an electronic platform was unlikely to result in an enforceable patent.

In this particular case, the producer might choose inferior solutions to get around fences. How on earth is this beneficial to the consumer? Also worth noting is motion from Encyclopaedia Britannica, which returns to pursuing its junk patent.

Last year, we pointed out how rather ironic it seemed that a company like Encyclopaedia Britannica, who is supposed to be in the business of spreading knowledge, would sue GPS makers for patent infringement. However, at the time, we were unaware of the history of the patents in question. Joe Mullin, over at The Prior Art, has the full story, including the fact that the case relied on a rather infamous patent, that gave many folks a preview of future patent battles to come.

The likes of Wikipedia must really be injuring Britannica.

Patent-swatting

A Peer-to-Patent-inspired project — or one that is only akin to Peer-to-Patent — strives to elevate patent quality.

The company hopes to build on the progress being made by Peer-to-Patent, a program run by New York Law School that publishes patent applications online in order to gather prior art to be passed along to the Patent Office during the examination process.

But there is one key difference. Unlike Peer-to-Patent, Article One Partners offers people a financial incentive to donate their time and expertise. “We feel people should be compensated for the value of their information,” Milone said.

Incentives for the assassination of poor patents are finally being offered, rather than incentives to those who pursue more patents.

Information gathered from bounty winners will be used in two ways. It may be sold, either to a patent owner wishing to strengthen or replace a weak patent, or to a competitor.

Europe

“Staff at the European Patent Office went on strike accusing the organization of corruption: specifically, stretching the standards for patents in order to make more money.”

“One of the ways that the EPO has done this is by issuing software patents in defiance of the treaty that set it up.”

Richard Stallman

The Stop Software Patents initiative echoes the sentiments expressed by protesters from the EPO. Those who bear guilt have been milking the system for far too long and it’s time for refreshing changes.

Examiners of the European Patent Office have recently invaded one of the secret meetings of the Administrative Council with chocolate coins, pointing to the conflict of interests between the National Patent Offices (NPOs) and their appetite of “more patents, more money”.

Another threat to Europe’s exclusion of software patents seems to be drifting away.

I am currently at the EPO offices in The Hague for Trilateral Authorities users’ meeting. There are a lot of big names here and, obviously, I could not let that pass without finding out a bit more about the status of the negotiations surrounding the Community patent and single European patent. For those hoping for a breakthrough under the French presidency – which comes to an end on 31st December – things do not look good…

We also wrote about this two days ago. Digital Majority provides information about the European Interoperability Framework, which may be at risk due inclusion of pro-Microsoft and pro-patent 'tax' groups like CompTIA.

The Commission has published on its website the list of stakeholders who contributed to the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) consultation. Even if the European Interoperability Framework is mostly directed to provide open standards to be used by governments when they communicate with citizens, it can be expected that some large industry players wants to put their patents and restrictions on how citizens can communicate with their governments.

There is probably an argument brewing there. Monopolists won’t allow interoperability to be standard-based, free, and genuinely decentralised.

Software patents protest against EPO

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

2 Comments

  1. Jose_X said,

    November 19, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Gravatar

    >> But there is one key difference. Unlike Peer-to-Patent, Article One Partners offers people a financial incentive to donate their time and expertise. “We feel people should be compensated for the value of their information,” Milone said.

    I am against higher quality patents, certainly for patents that should not be patents in the first place judging from the pov of benefit/loss equation for society.

    That these people are now paying only shows just how much others are trying to get us to work for free to value up their antisocial assets significantly for them. Think about it. You are helping to build a monopoly that will withstand a court challenge. I suspect this will have some legs, however, because it offers an opportunity for regular Jacks/Jills to get a cut of the royalty stream depending on how they negotiate. The USPTO couldn’t do the job (naturally), so now patent writers want to tap into the free market “community” to salvage the integrity of the system.

    BTW, the recent groklaw articles covering opinions related to the recent court ruling have a ton of good arguments. Perhaps all FOSS contributors should pour through those comments and consider writing something to their government representatives in support of *no* software patents. In the US, the Obama website invites you to comment on any issue. Look for the technology section. Also write to other reps. Let’s not only have patent trolls lobbying, because they do and will continue to lobby as they stand to gain much at our expense.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 19, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Gravatar

    Another ‘solution’ that legitimises patents is OIN (AKA Maginot line).

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. [Teaser] Meet Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley

    Alex Gravely, a serial abuser, has been protected by Microsoft; what does that say about Microsoft and about Nat Friedman, GitHub’s CEO whom Alex considers his "best friend"? Stay tuned as we have plenty more to show



  2. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 07, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 07, 2021



  3. Links 8/12/2021: FreeBSD 12.3, EasyOS 3.1.13, and WordPress 5.9 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  4. [Meme] EU Assurances

    The EPO‘s staff cannot be blamed for losing patience as elected public representatives completely fail to do their job (with few exceptions)



  5. Clare Daly (GUE/NGL) Does What Every Public Official in Europe Should Have Done About EPO Shenanigans

    There’s another (new) push to hold the EPO accountable, seeing that the overseers clearly do not do their job and instead cover up the abuses



  6. Links 7/12/2021: Firefox 96 Beta and Fedora 37 Abandons ARMv7

    Links for the day



  7. Links 7/12/2021: Plasma Mobile Gear 21.12 and Tails 4.25

    Links for the day



  8. All IRC Logs Now Available as GemText Over Gemini Protocol

    Today we've completed the transition from plain text over gemini:// to GemText over gemini:// for IRC logs



  9. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 06, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, December 06, 2021



  10. [Meme] Rowing to the Bottom of the Ocean

    The EPO‘s Steve Rowan (VP1) is failing EPO staff and sort of “firing” workers during times of crisis (not at all a crisis to the EPO’s coffers)



  11. EPO Gradually Reduced to 'Fee Collection Agency' Which Eliminates Its Very Own Staff

    Mr. Redundancies and Mr. Cloud are outsourcing EPO jobs to Microsoft and Serco as if the EPO is an American corporation, providing no comfort to long-serving EPO staff



  12. Linux Foundation 2021 Annual Report Made on an Apple Mac Using Proprietary Software

    Yes, you’re reading this correctly. They still reject both “Linux” and “Open Source” (no dogfooding). This annual report is badly compressed; each page of the PDF is, on average, almost a megabyte in size (58.8 MB for a report of this scale is unreasonable and discriminates against people in countries with slow Internet connections); notice how they’re milking the brand in the first page (straight after the cover page, the 1991 ‘creation myth’, ignoring GNU); remember that this foundation is named after a trademark which is not even its own!



  13. Links 7/12/2021: OpenIndiana Hipster 2021.10 and AppStream 0.15

    Links for the day



  14. Microsoft “Defender” Pretender Attacks Random Software That Uses NSIS for installation; “Super Duper Secure Mode” for Edge is a Laugh

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  15. Links 6/12/2021: LibreOffice Maintenance Releases, Firefox 95 Finalised

    Links for the day



  16. “Wintel” “Secure” uEFI Firmware Used to Store Persistent Malware, and Security Theater Boot is Worthless

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  17. No Linux Foundation IRS Disclosures Since 2018

    The publicly-available records or IRS information about the Linux Foundation is suspiciously behind; compared to other organisations with a "tax-exempt" status the Linux Foundation is one year behind already



  18. Jim Zemlin Has Deleted All of His Tweets

    The Linux Foundation‘s Jim Zemlin seems to have become rather publicity-shy (screenshots above are self-explanatory; latest snapshot), but years ago he could not contain his excitement about Microsoft, which he said was "loved" by what it was attacking. Days ago it became apparent that Microsoft’s patent troll is still attacking Linux with patents and Zemlin’s decision to appoint Microsoft as the At-Large Director (in effect bossing Linus Torvalds) at the ‘Linux’ Foundation’s Board of Directors is already backfiring. She not only gets her whole salary from Microsoft but also allegedly protects sexual predators who assault women… by hiring them despite repeated warnings; if the leadership of the ‘Linux’ Foundation protects sexual predators who strangle women (even paying them a salary and giving them management positions), how can the ‘Linux’ Foundation ever claim to represent inclusion and diversity?



  19. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part IX — Microsoft's Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot Sought to be Arrested One Day After Techrights Article About Him

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley has warrant for his arrest, albeit only after a lot of harm and damage had already been done (to multiple people) and Microsoft started paying him



  20. The Committee on Patent Law (PLC) Informed About Overlooked Issues “Which Might Have a Bearing on the Validity of EPO Patents.”

    In a publication circulated or prepared last week the Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO explains a situation never explored in so-called 'media' (the very little that's left of it)



  21. Links 6/12/2021: HowTos and Patents

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 05, 2021



  23. Gemini Space/Protocol: Taking IRC Logs to the Next Level

    Tonight we begin the migration to GemText for our daily IRC logs, having already made them available over gemini://



  24. Links 6/12/2021: Gnuastro 0.16 and Linux 5.16 RC4

    Links for the day



  25. Links 5/12/2021: Touchpad Gestures in XWayland

    Links for the day



  26. Society Needs to Take Back Computing, Data, and Networks

    Why GemText needs to become 'the new HTML' (but remain very simple) in order for cyberspace to be taken away from state-connected and military-funded corporations that spy on people and abuse society at large



  27. [Meme] Meanwhile in Austria...

    With lobbyists-led leadership one might be led to believe that a treaty strictly requiring ratification by the UK is somehow feasible (even if technically and legally it's moot already)



  28. The EPO's Web Site is a Parade of Endless Lies and Celebration of Gross Violations of the Law

    The EPO's noise site (formerly it had a "news" section, but it has not been honest for about a decade) is a torrent of lies, cover-up, and promotion of crimes; maybe the lies are obvious for everybody to see (at least EPO insiders), but nevertheless a rebuttal seems necessary



  29. The Letter EPO Management Does Not Want Applicants to See (or Respond to)

    A letter from the Munich Staff Committee at the EPO highlights the worrying extent of neglect of patent quality under Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos; the management of the EPO did not even bother replying to that letter (instead it was busy outsourcing the EPO to Microsoft)



  30. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 04, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 04, 2021


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