11.30.08

Gemini version available ♊︎

Patents Roundup: Patent Failure, Rambus Ambush, and Death by Patents

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Patents at 3:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s Not Working

THE FOLLOWING new article does not necessarily focus on software patents, but on the whole, the article does address an important issue that leads to patenting by large and wealthy companies whose so-called ‘innovations’ are not actually theirs. A portion of the article that speaks of software specifically tackles the issue of litigation burden, mostly costs.

Quicker, cheaper solutions needed for patent law

[...]

A further possibility, which is being trialled in the US in relation to software patents, is to expose patent applications to comment from those in industry. This would enable interested players to draw prior art to the attention of the examiner, and potentially also to identify ambiguity or lack of clarity. This would presumably assist examiners greatly in dealing with complex and new technologies.

The second major protection for the system is to ensure that those who wish to challenge the validity of a patent have access to a cost-effective dispute resolution mechanism. Typically, running a hotly contested patent case in the Federal Court can cost upwards of $2 million and take over a year to get to trial. On this basis, smaller players and issues that affect smaller markets will be shut out.

A particular district (or two) in Texas continues to be a major loophole and therefore a major part of this issue.

How to Attract Patent Litigation

If you’re a federal district court, that is.

The answer? You need something not every federal district has. The Eastern and Southern Districts of Texas have them. The Northern District of California has them. The Districts of Pennsylvania (Western), Georgia (Northern) and Illinois (Northern) have them. In fact, so many U.S. District Courts have them that its getting difficult to keep up. Like so many things in life, at first its an advantage to have them, and eventually it becomes necessity.

Black Sheep

Digital Majority, by pointing to this slightly older post, shows just how a single company or a minority of a much larger group can stand in the way of a reasonable system.

Except for the few patent holders and Accenture, the tax strategy business community has been largely anti-patent – going so far as to lobby congress to introduce legislation to create a specific exception that would block enforcement of those patents.

Another company that gives a bad name to patenting is Rambus, whose ambush is almost unprecedented and is causing a lot of trouble in several industries.

Judge Ronald M. Whyte of the US District Court, Northern District of California in San Jose, who has already presided over other cases involving Rambus and Hynix, has now reached a number of decisions, which were preceded by a legally and technically interesting 42-page set of findings. According to the court findings, DDR2, DDR3, GDDR2, and GDDR4 SDRAM chips made by Hynix, Micron, Nanya and Samsung infringe claim 16 of Rambus patent 6,266,285, granted on July 24, 2001; where GDDR3 memory is concerned, only Hynix, Micron and Samsung are affected. Rambus had also filed complaints over patent infringements related to nine further US patents, but Judge Whyte denied them for the most part.

If Rambus, which is a struggling and therefore merciless company, gets its way, this will be a serious injury to the integrity of the whole system. It would raise question with regards to the aim of patents and whether or not they are beneficial.

Sick Patents

Back in March we showed that collaboration in the drug-developing industry is seen as preferable by an increasing number of companies that set aside their patents and adopt what they refer to as an “open source” approach. This marks a turning point where science benefits the most and those whose illnesses depend on science likewise.

There is a stream of new articles at the moment which are very critical of patents in the medical field, particularly those that prevent access to vital medicine. Here is the story as told by Reuters.

The Commission said it had found documents during the inquiry, which contained admissions from brand-name companies that they had tried to stop generics, and many examples of obstacles being placed in way of less-expensive competitors.

A catalyst for action here is indeed the Commission, which rarely seems to intervene in this area. It’s nothing to sneeze at when patents kill.

Glyn Moody labels the situation “patently outrageous” and one of our readers, pointing to this interesting story on the BBC, said: “My take from it is what I have suspected all along. At least in the EU (and theoretically in the US), anti-trust law overrides patent protections. The EU is considering anti-trust action against the big pharmacy companies. This is good news especially since I consider that, since Microsoft does so little that is original, the big pharmacy companies have a better case than Microsoft has.”

Other coverages of this include:

1. Commission accuses drug developers of blocking rivals

The inquiry has revived calls for the creation of a single European Union patent, an issue that regulators have struggled with for 30 years due to disagreements over the languages used. Kroes said that the preliminary findings of the sector inquiry supported the case for a community patent, which she argued could help avoid litigation and cut costs.

2. Sick babies denied treatment in DNA row

BABIES with a severe form of epilepsy risk having their diagnosis delayed and their treatment compromised because of a company’s patent on a key gene.

It is the first evidence that private intellectual property rights over human DNA are adversely affecting medical care.

It is true that some patents may result in unnecessary deaths.

Medicals

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.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Microsoft Corporation is Still Protecting a Violent Criminal Who Assaults Women (Employing Him as Manager, Protecting Him From Arrest, Paying Him a Salary)

    Ahead of court and amid arrest warrant Microsoft still deems this a good idea? Then again, this same company works for ICE, helping to kidnap babies from their mothers...



  2. Links 8/12/2021: Linux 5.15.7 Out, Linux Mint 20.3 is Near

    Links for the day



  3. Links 8/12/2021: Zorin OS 16 Milestone and Calculate Linux 22 Released; Kubernetes 1.23

    Links for the day



  4. A Call for Sources and Whistleblowers From Microsoft's GitHub

    Remarks on our publications from this morning and a call for more leakers and whistleblowers, who know GitHub better than anybody else (including lots of fools who still outsource all of their hard labour to Microsoft through GitHub)



  5. [Teaser] Rape is Not a Joke

    Having just uploaded a police report, we’re starting to move the ongoing series to the next phase, which will still be — for the most part — weekly installments on Mondays (for months to come)



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

    Alex Graveley, 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



  7. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 07, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 07, 2021



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

    Links for the day



  9. [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)



  10. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  13. 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



  14. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 06, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, December 06, 2021



  15. [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)



  16. 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



  17. 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!



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

    Links for the day



  19. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  22. 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



  23. 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?



  24. 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



  25. 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)



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

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 05, 2021



  28. 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://



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day


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