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

12.21.08

The Threat of Mono as Basis of Applications (or: “Why GIMP is Different”)

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 9:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GIMP threatened with a software patent lawsuit

FURTHER TO YESTERDAY’S discussion about Mono, it is worth pointing out a comment which was made there about Mono being a threat because it sits at the bottom of candidate applications. This means that removing Mono or changing a feature can have a ‘tidal wave’ effect on many applications that are built upon Mono.

As a case of point, consider news that came up very quietly. Not many people know about GIMP being litigiously threatened, but it’s there in PUBPAT. It’s fairly recent news.

he Public Patent Foundation (“PUBPAT”) announced today that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted its formal request to review a patent relating to photomosaics (large pictures made up of many smaller pictures) assigned to Mr. Robert Silvers, who has been aggressively asserting the patent against many individuals, small businesses, and even against an important open source software program (GIMP).

FFII caught the response to this, which can be found here in a low-visibility page.

The image mosaic plug-in for the GIMP is no longer supported or distributed. Mr. Robert Silvers, the holder of a patent related to the technology that was used in the plug-in, argued that the software would directly infringe his patent rights. It is not clear if the patent is applicable in this case. But I have neither the time, interest or money for legal action. So I complied with the cease and desist request.

PHOTOMOSAIC® is a registered trademark of Runaway Technology, Inc. The photomosaic process is patented (US Patent No. 6,137,498) and protected by the patent, copyright, and other intellectual property laws of the United States and other major countries.

Benjamin Henrion tried to raise the issue in the GIMP IRC channel, without much success.



20:15 < zoobab> hi
20:15 < zoobab> http://www.digitalmajority.org/forum/t-114601/kirchgessner:the-gimp-plug-ins
20:15 < zoobab> mayeb you could add a news about the patent s* on gimp.org?

[...]

20:16 < zoobab> http://www.digitalmajority.org/forum/t-114600/pubpat:government-finds-sunsta...
20:18 < zoobab> does someone has a copyf of this plugin?
20:19 < zoobab> http://www.kirchgessner.net/photo-mosaic.html

[...]

20:35 < rubikcube> zoobab: there's none at registry.gimp.org at least


Going back to Mono, imagine having to change something in its behaviour in order to dodge an explicit patent threat. It would not be merely a plug-in. It would be a whole stack that many other applications depend on. Moreover, the patenter is most likely to be Microsoft, which constantly attacks GNU/Linux. Even a cease and desist request, as in the case above, would be hugely problematic as it would disrupt development of many applications at the same time. Microsoft prefers to choke just one throat .

Ostrich
Keeping one’s head out of the sand

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

9 Comments

  1. aeshna23 said,

    December 21, 2008 at 9:54 am

    Gravatar

    Ostriches actually never put their head in the sand. In this way, they are smarter than mono developers. I just don’t get people who refuse to see obvious threats, the crowds who clapped for Chamberlain at the airport when he returned from selling out Czechoslovakia, or the people who fantasize that George Bush, not the Islamic terrorists, is the enemy of freedom. I just don’t see how denial on this level could be selected in an evolutionary process. Sorry to rant!

  2. Dan O'Brian said,

    December 21, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Gravatar

    If the threats are so obvious, why can’t you provide any patents that Mono actually infringes? You shoot your mouth off daily, yet you are unable to find any patents that Mono might even remotely infringe – and it’s not like you guys haven’t tried.

  3. Diamond Wakizashi said,

    December 21, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Gravatar

    Mono is poison. Novell is a masochistic company, so it’s not surprising that they like it.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    Gravatar

    …you are unable to find any patents that Mono

    We never tried. I once put in “winforms” into Google Patent Search and presented the results page. That doesn’t count as studying the domain.

  5. Dan O'Brian said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Gravatar

    But then you argued relentlessly that it was proof that Mono infringed patents.

    So you admit, now, that you were simply FUDing?

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 21, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Gravatar

    I was showing that patent searches come with some appropriate matches.

  7. Jo Shields said,

    December 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Gravatar

    Except it wasn’t remotely appropriate, and your lack of understand on the actual topic you protest was revealed

  8. England said,

    December 22, 2008 at 4:43 am

    Gravatar

    In the UK, you could ask a judge to provide a “declaration of non-infringement” regarding Mono and all Microsoft patents granted in the UK.

  9. twitter said,

    December 23, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    Gravatar

    Dan, M$ is a company with a record of non specific patent extortion against free software. You have to be crazy to think they won’t pull the same tricks with mono.

What Else is New


  1. The Linux Foundation is Not About Linux

    Linux Foundation (LF) objectives/missions do not resemble what the Open Source Development Labs, Inc. (OSDL) was founded to accomplish; this puts at grave threat the very raison d'être of both GNU and Linux



  2. Guest Post: The Linux Foundation Needs to Define “Support”

    Part of an ongoing series of articles we do about the Linux Foundation



  3. Dimitris Xenos on Unconstitutional Supranational Arrangements for Patent Law: Leaving Out the Elected Legislators and the People’s Participatory Rights

    A new paper from a British scholar proves to be timely because of the EPO's violations of the European Patent Convention (EPC) and failed push to force-feed Europe with the unconstitutional Unified Patent Court (UPC)



  4. The Campinos-Battistelli Strategy is Working: Patent Trolls Are Coming to Europe!

    It cannot be any less obvious that today's European Patent Organisation (and Office) works for patent offices and for those who pay these patent offices (law firms) rather than for science, technology and the public (including the European public)



  5. Links 25/3/2019: Linux 5.1 RC2, Nano 4.0, PyPy 7.1

    Links for the day



  6. Links 24/3/2019: Microsoft Does Not Change; Lots of FOSS Leftovers

    Links for the day



  7. Just Published: Irrational Ignorance at the Patent Office

    Iancu and his fellow Trump-appointed "swamp" at the USPTO are urged to consult academics rather than law firms in order to improve patent quality in the United States



  8. Microsoft Paid the Open Source Initiative. Now (a Year Later) Microsoft is in the Board of the Open Source Initiative.

    The progression of Microsoft entryism in FOSS-centric institutions (while buying key "assets" such as GitHub) isn't indicative of FOSS "winning" but of FOSS being infiltrated (to be undermined)



  9. Jim Zemlin's Linux Foundation Still Does Not Care About Linux Desktops

    We are saddened to see that the largest body associated with Linux (the kernel and more) is not really eager to see GNU/Linux success; it's mostly concerned about its bottom line (about $100,000,000 per annum)



  10. Links 23/3/2019: Falkon 3.1.0 and Tails 3.13.1

    Links for the day



  11. The Unified Patent Court is Dead, But Doubts Remain Over the EPO's Appeal Boards' Ability to Rule Independently Against Patents on Nature and Code

    Patents used to cover physical inventions (such as engines); nowadays this just isn't the case anymore and judges who can clarify these questions lack the freedom to think outside the box (and disobey patent maximalists' dogma)



  12. Patent Law Firms Still Desperate to Find New Ways to Resurrect Dead Software Patents in the United States

    There's no rebound and no profound changes that favour software patents; in fact, judging by caselaw, there's nothing even remotely like that



  13. Links 22/3/2019: Libinput 1.13 RC2 and Facebook's Latest Security Scandal

    Links for the day



  14. Why the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO) Cannot Ignore Judges, Whereas the EPO Can (and Does)

    The European Patent Convention (EPC) ceased to matter, judges' interpretation of it no longer matters either; the EPO exploits this to grant hundreds of thousands of dodgy software patents, then trumpet "growth"



  15. The European Patent Office Needs to Put Lives Before Profits

    Patents that pertain to health have always posed an ethical dilemma; the EPO apparently tackled this dilemma by altogether ignoring the rights and needs of patients (in favour of large corporations that benefit financially from poor people's mortality)



  16. “Criminal Organisation”

    Brazil's ex-President, Temer, is arrested (like other former presidents of Brazil); will the EPO's ex-President Battistelli ever be arrested (now that he lacks diplomatic immunity and hides at CEIPI)?



  17. Links 21/3/2019: Wayland 1.17.0, Samba 4.10.0, OpenShot 2.4.4 and Zorin Beta

    Links for the day



  18. Team UPC (Unitary Patent) is a Headless Chicken

    Team UPC's propaganda about the Unified Patent Court (UPC) has become so ridiculous that the pertinent firms do not wish to be identified



  19. António Campinos Makes Up Claims About Patent Quality, Only to be Rebutted by Examiners, Union (Anyone But the 'Puff Pieces' Industry)

    Battistelli's propagandistic style and self-serving 'studies' carry on; the notion of patent quality has been totally discarded and is nowadays lied about as facts get 'manufactured', then disseminated internally and externally



  20. Links 20/3/2019: Google Announces ‘Stadia’, Tails 3.13

    Links for the day



  21. CEN and CENELEC Agreement With the EPO Shows That It's Definitely the European Commission's 'Department'

    With headlines such as “EPO to collaborate on raising SEP awareness” it is clear to see that the Office lacks impartiality and the European Commission cannot pretend that the EPO is “dafür bin ich nicht zuständig” or “da kenne ich mich nicht aus”



  22. Decisions Made Inside the European Patent Organisation (EPO) Lack Credibility Because Examiners and Judges Lack Independence

    The lawless, merciless, Mafia-like culture left by Battistelli continues to haunt judges and examiners; how can one ever trust the Office (or the Organisation at large) to deliver true justice in adherence or compliance with the EPC?



  23. Team UPC Buries Its Credibility Deeper in the Grave

    The three Frenchmen at the top do not mention the UPC anymore; but those who promote it for a living (because they gambled on leveraging it for litigation galore) aren't giving up and in the process they perpetuate falsehoods



  24. The EPO Has Sadly Taken a Side and It's the Patent Trolls' Side

    Abandoning the whole rationale behind patents, the Office now led for almost a year by António Campinos prioritises neither science nor technology; it's all about granting as many patents (European monopolies) as possible for legal activity (applications, litigation and so on)



  25. Where the USPTO Stands on the Subject of Abstract Software Patents

    Not much is changing as we approach Easter and software patents are still fool's gold in the United States, no matter if they get granted or not



  26. Links 19/3/2019: Jetson/JetBot, Linux 5.0.3, Kodi Foundation Joins The Linux Foundation, and Firefox 66

    Links for the day



  27. Links 18/3/2019: Solus 4, Linux 5.1 RC1, Mesa 18.3.5, OSI Individual Member Election Won by Microsoft

    Links for the day



  28. Microsoft and Its Patent Trolls Continue Their Patent War, Including the War on Linux

    Microsoft is still preying on GNU/Linux using patents, notably software patents; it wants billions of dollars served on a silver platter in spite of claims that it reached a “truce” by joining the Open Invention Network and joining the LOT Network



  29. Director Iancu Generally Viewed as a Lapdog of Patent Trolls

    As Director of the Office, Mr. Iancu, a Trump appointee, not only fails to curb patent trolls; he actively defends them and he lowers barriers in order to better equip them with bogus patents that courts would reject (if the targets of extortion could afford a day in court)



  30. Links 17/3/2019: Google Console and IBM-Red Hat Merger Delay?

    Links for the day


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