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

01.19.09

Acacia Bites Dell with Software Patents, Reform Sought at Tilburg

Posted in Courtroom, Dell, Europe, Patents at 3:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“My message to the patent world is: Either get back to the doctrines of forces of nature or face the elimination of your system.” —Hartmut Pilch, Paraflows 06

Acacia, a highly active patent troll that attacked Free software [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11], has just found a new creature to bite. Dell is paying Acacia some ‘protection money’.

Acacia Research Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTG) announced today that its subsidiary, International Printer Corporation, has entered into a settlement and license agreement with Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL) covering a patent portfolio that relates to networkable multifunction printer technology. This agreement resolves patent litigation that was pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against Dell. International Printer Corporation has also entered into a license agreement with Lexmark International, Inc. (NYSE: LXK) covering the same technology portfolio.

This is very disturbing because any conceivable idea that’s implemented in software seems to be assigned to someone. Even if the patent is not granted to a patent troll it can easily have its ownership passed. Patents, i.e. ideas, can be bought and sold, which may seem bizarre to outsider. It makes harvesting of imaginary property (or “bubbles”) possible and even trivial.

Here is another patent troll getting its way:

Global IP network operator Global Crossing has settled a patent suit relating to interactive voice applications with Ronald A Katz Technology Licensing.

It delivers a dangerous message to the world when these musketeers get their way. It demonstrates that patents abuse pays off; it pays, literally.

One reader has just found another genuine, yet horrible, software patent. Even online dating sites are now a patent minefield. (mind emphasis)

The site and its powerful tools are ideal for all types of single parents who want to give online dating a try. The site allows members to remain completely anonymous and safeguards all personal information, letting members flirt and interact freely through the use of their patented technology. They can use comprehensive search tools to find others. Followed then by chats, messaging and or the VOIP phone and anonymous text messaging service to get the conversation started.

Virtual world too have patents assigned to them, which is rather absurd because they are in many ways analogous to real world situations.

$50,000 Reward Offered For Proof Worlds.Com Patent Lawsuit Is Bogus

Virtual worlds — or more broadly, 3D online spaces — have been around for a long time. But last month, worlds.com hired lawyers to enforce a patent for the idea, claiming they invented the concept back in 1995. The first target for lawsuits: NCSoft, the Korean company behind games like World of Warcraft-wannabe “Guild Wars.”

There are many people who want to see the end of this madness. In fact, an entire conference is intended to address the issue of patent reforms.

CONFERENCE ON PATENT REFORMS

26 and 27 March 2009

On 26 and 27 March 2009, TILEC – Tilburg Law and Economics Center – hosts an international Conference on Patent Reforms in Hotel Krasnapolsky, Amsterdam. The conference features internationally renowned speakers and intends to foster discussion on patents, innovation and competition policy between lawyers, economists and practitioners.

How long can a crazy patent system last? Too many people have begun realising what’s going on, so this scam may be short lived.

“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

Software patents protest against EPO

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

5 Comments

  1. Andre said,

    January 19, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Gravatar

    It is against good practice to publish fotos of demonstrators. You know that the staff rules of the EPO are very strict and they put examiners in real trouble. In particular you should not use a demonstration for a certain cause to promote another.

  2. The Mad Hatter said,

    January 19, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Gravatar

    Andre,

    It is against good practice to publish fotos of demonstrators. You know that the staff rules of the EPO are very strict and they put examiners in real trouble. In particular you should not use a demonstration for a certain cause to promote another.

    It would be nice if you made some sense. Instead we have a post that apparently must have meant something, or you wouldn’t have posted it, but that makes no sense at all.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 19, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Gravatar

    Fair point, Andre, but the protesters took it out to the streets with the intention of attracting attention.

    Their criticism of scope of patenting seems like a decent fit in this case.

  4. The Mad Hatter said,

    January 19, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Gravatar

    Actually I’m really happy that Accacia, Intellectual Ventures, etc. are trying to “monetize” their assets as aggressively as they are. By doing this they are making the dangers of an uncontrolled patent system visible, just as the sub prime meltdown made the dangers of an uncontrolled banking system visible. Once the dangers become visible (as with the DMCA) regulation to control those dangers is generally forthcoming, even when the companies in question lobby hard against it.

    I should mention at this point that I am a firm believer that the Patent System needs a total overhaul, that over 95% of all patents should not have been issued due either to obviousness or other issues (Mexican beans anyone?).

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 19, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Gravatar

    Prevention is still better than correction.

What Else is New


  1. Links 13/12/2019: QEMU 4.2.0, GNU Guile 2.9.7

    Links for the day



  2. Links 13/12/2019: Zorin OS 15.1, Vim 8.2

    Links for the day



  3. Linux Foundation Has Outsourced All the Licence Compliance Stuff to Microsoft, a Serial GPL Violator

    OpenChain Specification/OpenChain Project and Automated Compliance Tooling (ACT) are yet more examples -- the latest of many -- of the Linux Foundation being outsourced to Microsoft, not only for code but also documentation and hosting



  4. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 12, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 12, 2019



  5. Copyleft: Keeping Code Free

    Now that news about "Linux" is dominated by promotion of proprietary software we ought to remember what perpetrators of such a strategy seek to eliminate



  6. Plans That Worked, Plans That Failed

    "I am still looking for good news, but the more good I try to find, the more nastiness I uncover. This is by far, Free software's worst year ever. 2019 Sucks!"



  7. Links 12/12/2019: KDE Applications 19.12, Qt Creator 4.11, New VirtualBox

    Links for the day



  8. Brand Dilution in Action

    Microsoft's proprietary software which spies on people and businesses is getting a "free ride" on the "Linux" brand; and nobody seems to care, nobody seems to notice how perverse that it



  9. At the EPO Money -- Not Quality -- is King

    Financiers are ruining quality



  10. The EPO's Strategic Failure 2023

    Potemkin social dialogue



  11. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 11, 2019

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 11, 2019



  12. EPO Promoting Software Patents in Countries Where These Are Illegal

    The EPO's vision of 'unitary' software patents (patents on algorithms in countries that disallow such patents, as per their national laws) won't materialise, but in the meantime a lot of Invalid Patents (IPs) are granted in the form of European Patents (EPs) and this is wrong



  13. We Support GNU and the FSF But Remain Sceptical and Occasionally Worry About an RMS-less FSF

    Richard Stallman (RMS) is not in charge of the FSF anymore (it's Stallman who created the FSF) and there's risk the decisions will be made by people who don't share Stallman's ethics or the FSF's spirit



  14. Links 11/12/2019: Huawei Lobbied by Microsoft (Because of GNU/Linux) and Microsoft Still Googlebombs Linux to Promote 'Teams'

    Links for the day



  15. Links 11/12/2019: Edge Native Working Group, CrossOver 19.0 Released

    Links for the day



  16. Instead of Fixing Bug #1 Canonical/Ubuntu Contributes to Making the Bug Even More Severe (WSL/EEE)

    Following one seminal report about Canonical financially contributing to Microsoft's EEE efforts — celebrated openly by GNU/Linux opponentsclosing bug #1 Ubuntu basically decided not that it was fixed but that it would no longer attempt to fix it (“wontfix”)



  17. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 10, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 10, 2019



  18. Today's Example of Microsoft's Faked 'Love'

    “On 7 September 2017, users began noticing a message that stated “Skype for Business is now Microsoft Teams”. This was confirmed on 25 September 2017, at Microsoft’s annual Ignite conference,” according to Wikipedia



  19. Links 10/12/2019: Kubernetes 1.17, Debian Init Systems GR

    Links for the day



  20. 'Cancel Culture' as 'Thoughtpolice' Creep

    Richard Stallman spoke about an important aspect of censorship more than 2 decades ago (before “Open Source” even existed); it was published in Datamation (“Censoring My Software”) 23 years before a campaign of defamation on the Internet was used to remove him from MIT and FSF (censoring or ‘canceling’ Stallman himself)



  21. Microsoft Still Hates GNU/Linux and Mark Shuttleworth Knows It (But He is Desperate for Money)

    We're supposed to believe that a PR or image management (reputation laundering) campaign alone can turn Microsoft from GNU/Linux foe into friend/ally



  22. Actions Against EPO Corruption and Unitary Patent (UPC) Injustice/Lobbying

    The EPO is apparently going on strike again and an action against the UPC is scheduled for later this week (protest in Brussels)



  23. “The Fifth Freedom as a Meme”

    The issue with systemd (or SystemD) has provoked or at least stimulated discussions about the limits of the famous Four Freedoms



  24. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 09, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, December 09, 2019



  25. Demonstration Against Unitary Software Patents, Thursday 12 Dec in Brussels

    FFII's call to demonstrate against the UPC



  26. Links 9/12/2019: China on GNU/Linux, Canonical Wants Help to Improve Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  27. Links 9/12/2019: Linux 5.5 RC1, EasyOS Buster 2.1.9

    Links for the day



  28. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 08, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 08, 2019



  29. Mandatory Education for Those Who Use and Misuse Buzzwords Would Go a Long Way

    In an age of substitution — where marketing terms replace meaningful words and concepts — it has gotten more difficult to have honest debates, for example about the scope of patents



  30. Once Upon a Time Banter Was Allowed on Mailing Lists

    Hours ago Torvalds announced RC1 of the next Linux (kernel) release; it has been a while since he last said something ‘controversial’ (following his month at the penalty box); free speech deficit can make us weaker, not stronger (advantage to those who work in the dark)


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