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02.07.09

MAFIAA Enters the United States Government, Pro-Patents Lobbyists Also

Posted in Africa, America, Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 10:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

United States

AS EXPECTED by many outside observers, Biden is putting his significant others in charge of key positions. Some are linked to the MAFIAA and some are linked to Microsoft [1, 2]. This means that Microsoft will have even greater leverage in the already-subverted Department of ‘Justice’ [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], which is a shame but nonetheless normal.

Here is a report confirming that the number of cronies who will promote intellectual monopolies is greater than first imagined. There are at least 4 of them already.

RIAA-fan Biden’s influence in the Obama administration may be larger than anticipated, at least when it comes to file sharing: His good pals with RIAA and BSA connections keep getting Department of Justice’s seats.

In a land of considerable capital, companies and their fronts/lobbyists can become the motors of authority.

Nathan Myhrvold

In other news from the US, Nathan Myhrvold [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] is engineering perception, much like in those sponsored think-tanks and the “Get the Facts” campaign (c/f “Analysts Cartel” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]). It’s about (mis)educating the public, having people believe that patent trolls are a Good Thing™. He is funding a so-called ‘study’ now.

That approach generally defines a firm as a so-called “non-practicing entity,” though within the technology industry a more derisive term is often used — “patent troll.”

Big technology companies such as Myhrvold’s former employer have long complained that many non-practicing entities not only trade in patents without developing products, but also increasingly use them to target deep-pocketed companies with infringement lawsuits.

While Intellectual Ventures has yet to assert its patents in court, it also maintains that litigation “is possible in any business,” according to its Web site.

[...]

Intellectual Ventures would not make Myhrvold available to comment on this story.

South Africa

Over in South Africa, as Digital Majority notes, there is another quiet push for software patents.

Open access is not a mere buzzword in government; it is actually policy, such as the policy on free and open source software use in government. But the Act works against such policies. It promotes software patents so that software can be commercially exploited.

Rens points to the major problem with this: “This requires universities and research councils to obtain software patents; however, SA patent law does not permit software patents.” An oversight, maybe?

So, in the future we could see declines in innovation emanating from publicly-funded research as the focus on profit and IP management stifles research. But, we could see increases in research and development coming from the public domain as public servants view profit from patents as incentives for further innovation. Let’s hope for the latter.

Microsoft is already breaking these laws in South Africa (and also in India for that matter). When will push come to shove?

Antarctica

Another place where intellectual monopolies slide out of control is Antarctica.

50 Years Of Scientific Discovery & Sharing In Antarctica May End Thanks To Patent Greed

[...]

Beyond the rather serious question of why either organisms or molecules can be patented, this is a microcosm of what’s wrong with patents. Patents are supposed to be used to encourage research (promoting the progress, remember). And this treaty has done a great job promoting progress without patents.

There are not only technical issues in this case but ethical ones as well.

Europe

Companies like Microsoft strive to bring similar problems to Europe and there is a chance to stop this although monopolies are hell-bent on ruining the system, which they see as requiring the embodiment of monopolies, by means of law.

The example of software patents – In the case of as “software patents” directive on the patenting of known computer-implemented inventions had a total of two parliamentary readings, a myriad of President conferences, trialogue with the Commission, mediation committees, etc. needed. After 30 months, the parliamentarians of the thread patience finally cracked, and the attempts by the electronics industry, their interests away from programmers and medium-sized enterprises, with a decision by all four groups criticized.

Microsoft already disregards European law by resorting to loopholes that enable it to obtain software patents. Yes, even in Europe.

“[The EPO] can’t distinguish between hardware and software so the patents get issued anyway.”

Marshall Phelps, Microsoft

Man with hat

Beware the Patent Gangsters

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