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

03.12.09

Patent Legislation News in Brief

Posted in Europe, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 10:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: If a patent reform resolves nothing, is it time to just scrap the whole patent system?

FACING the immortal question, ““should software be patented, or free to the public?” answers depend on one’s interests and means of leveraging the law. Microsoft, for example, used to dislike patents when it was small but loved them when it became a monopoliser. The company is still pushing for back door to software patents in Europe, as promoted by Microsoft-hired lobbyists.

Digital Majority has netted new evidence of the push for the Community patent, which is an 'harmonisation'-like back door to ills such as software patents. They are trying similar tricks right here in Pariliament and Heise discusses the ‘dispute’ over software patents in Europe and in the US.

Over the next few months, significant decisions will be made, both in the US and in Europe, concerning the patentability of software and of business practices, decisions which are already casting shadows. Concluding at the end of April, the Enlarged Board of Appeal at the European Patent Office (EPA) is conducting a consultation about the patentability of computer programs. The board hopes that the consultation will help with the processing of the referral by EPA President Alison Brimelow to clarify open questions concerning the controversial interpretations of the European Patent Convention (EPC). The questions refer to Article 52, which states that “programs for computers as such” are not to be regarded as inventions and are therefore excluded from patentability.

Hearings about the phony patent 'reform' bill (which is a farce) are being scheduled and Wired Magazine writes about the role of large companies, which seem to be gaining the most here (very much as expected in a corporocracy).

High tech and pharmaceutical companies have expressed unusual agreement on a patent reform bill, including on the most contentious issue: how to determine damages for infringement.

A patent revamp passed the U.S. House of Representatives last year but failed in the Senate largely because the tech and drug industries could not agree on whether damages for infringement should be reduced. Current law calls for damages to be the entire market value of the product, tripled in the case of willful infringement.

There appeared to be some agreement on Tuesday that the judge in a patent infringement trial should act as a gatekeeper, instructing juries on what factors to consider in determining damages.

Washington University researchers are meanwhile warning about this system as a whole. They pretty much call for the abolishment of the patent system based on economical grounds.

Patent and copyright law are stifling innovation and threatening the global economy according to two economists at Washington University in St. Louis in a new book, Against Intellectual Monopoly. Professors Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine call for abolishing the current patent and copyright system in order to unleash innovations necessary to reverse the current recession and rescue the economy. The professors discuss their stand against intellectual property protections in a video and news release linked here.

Two more Nobel Laureates have recently advised similarly [1, 2], based on the same rationale.

A renowned columnist, Thomas Friedman, has made interesting suggestions. See the new essay “Change or Die”:

If this perception is true and well-founded, then there should be no doubt that the patent system will have to follow somehow in due time.

The patent system to will need to change or face revolt that will weaken it considerably. Trust in it has already eroded and the same goes for ISO.

“Small Software companies cannot afford to go to court or pay damages. Who is this software patent system for?” —Marco Schulze, Nightlabs Gmbh

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

What Else is New


  1. Richard Stallman's Controversial Views Are Nothing New and They Distract From Bill Gates' Vastly Worse Role

    It's easier to attack Richard Stallman (RMS) using politics (than using his views on software) and media focus on Stallman's personal views on sexuality bears some resemblance to the push against Linus Torvalds, which leans largely on the false perception that he is sexist, rude and intolerant



  2. Links 16/9/2019: Linux 5.3, EasyOS Releases, Media Backlash Against RMS

    Links for the day



  3. Openwashing Report on Open Networking Foundation (ONF): When Open Source Means Collaboration Among Giant Spying Companies

    Massive telecommunications oligopolies (telecoms) are being described as ethical and responsible by means of openwashing; they even have their own front groups for that obscene mischaracterisation and ONF is one of those



  4. 'Open Source' You Cannot Run Without Renting or 'Licensing' Windows From Microsoft

    When so-called ‘open source’ programs strictly require Vista 10 (or similar) to run, how open are they really and does that not redefine the nature of Open Source while betraying everything Free/libre software stands for?



  5. All About Control: Microsoft is Not Open Source But an Open Source Censor/Spy and GitHub/LinkedIn/Skype Are Its Proprietary Censorship/Surveillance Tools

    All the big companies which Microsoft bought in recent years are proprietary software and all of the company’s big products remain proprietary software; all that “Open Source” is to Microsoft is “something to control and censor“



  6. The Sad State of GNU/Linux News Sites

    The ‘media coup’ of corporate giants (that claim to be 'friends') means that history of GNU/Linux is being distorted and lied about; it also explains prevalent lies such as "Microsoft loves Linux" and denial of GNU/Free software



  7. EPO President Along With Bristows, Managing IP and Other Team UPC Boosters Are Lobbying for Software Patents in Clear and Direct Violation of the EPC

    A calm interpretation of the latest wave of lobbying from litigation professionals, i.e. people who profit when there are lots of patent disputes and even expensive lawsuits which may be totally frivolous (for example, based upon fake patents that aren't EPC-compliant)



  8. Links 15/9/2019: Radeon ROCm 2.7.2, KDE Frameworks 5.62.0, PineTime and Bison 3.4.2

    Links for the day



  9. Illegal/Invalid Patents (IPs) Have Become the 'Norm' in Europe

    Normalisation of invalid patents (granted by the EPO in defiance of the EPC) is a serious problem, but patent law firms continue to exploit that while this whole 'patent bubble' lasts (apparently the number of applications will continue to decrease because the perceived value of European Patents diminishes)



  10. Patent Maximalists, Orbiting the European Patent Office, Work to 'Globalise' a System of Monopolies on Everything

    Monopolies on just about everything are being granted in defiance of the EPC and there are those looking to make this violation ‘unitary’, even worldwide if not just EU-wide



  11. Unitary Patent (UPC) Promotion by Team Battistelli 'Metastasising' in Private Law Firms

    The EPO's Albert Keyack (Team Battistelli) is now in Team UPC as Vice President of Kilburn & Strode LLP; he already fills the media with lies about the UPC, as one can expect



  12. Microsoft Targets GNU/Linux Advocates With Phony Charm Offensives and Fake 'Love'

    The ways Microsoft depresses GNU/Linux advocacy and discourages enthusiasm for Software Freedom is not hard to see; it's worth considering and understanding some of these tactics (mostly assimilation-centric and love-themed), which can otherwise go unnoticed



  13. Proprietary Software Giants Tell Open Source 'Communities' That Proprietary Software Giants Are 'Friends'

    The openwashing services of the so-called 'Linux' Foundation are working; companies that are inherently against Open Source are being called "Open" and some people are willing to swallow this bait (so-called 'compromise' which is actually surrender to proprietary software regimes)



  14. Microsoft Pays the Linux Foundation for Academy Software Foundation, Which the Linux Foundation is Outsourcing to Microsoft

    Microsoft has just bought some more seats and more control over Free/Open Source software; all it had to do was shell out some 'slush funds'



  15. Links 14/9/2019: SUSE CaaS Platform, Huawei Laptops With GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  16. Links 13/9/2019: Catfish 1.4.10, GNOME Firmware 3.34.0 Release

    Links for the day



  17. Links 12/9/2019: GNU/Linux at Huawei, GNOME 3.34 Released

    Links for the day



  18. Links 12/9/2019: Manjaro 18.1 and KaOS 2019.09 Releases

    Links for the day



  19. EPO: Give Us Low-Quality Patent Applications, Patent Trolls Have Use for Those

    What good is the EPC when the EPO feels free to ignore it and nobody holds the EPO accountable for it? At the moment we're living in a post-EPC Europe where the only thing that counts is co-called 'products' (i.e. quantity, not quality).



  20. Coverage for Sponsors: What the Linux Foundation Does is Indistinguishable From Marketing Agencies' Functions

    The marketing agency that controls the name "Linux" is hardly showing any interest in technology or in journalism; it's just buying media coverage for sponsors and this is what it boils down to for the most part (at great expense)



  21. Watch Out, Linus Torvalds: Microsoft Bought Tons of Git Repositories and Now It Goes After Linux

    Microsoft reminds us how E.E.E. tactics work; Microsoft is just hijacking its competition and misleading the market (claiming the competition to be its own, having "extended" it Microsoft's way with proprietary code)



  22. Links 11/9/2019: Acer in LVFS, RawTherapee 5.7 and Qt 5.12.5 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Linux Foundation Inc. Buys Press About Itself and Media Coverage for Sponsors

    Sponsoring so-called ‘news’ sites is bad enough; it is even worse when such media then covers you and your sponsors, such as Snyk (a Linux Foundation sponsor/member, fancier word for client)



  24. Links 11/9/2019: Django 3.0 Alpha, Sunsetting Python 2

    Links for the day



  25. Web Site Called Linux.com Still Exists Only or Mostly to Promote Anti-Linux Firms and Openwashing

    As the Linux Foundation transitions into the Public Relations (PR) industry/domain we should accept if not expect Linux.com to become an extension of PR business models; the old Linux.com is long gone (all staff fired)



  26. Links 10/9/2019: Krita 4.2.6, Ubuntu 19.10 to Boot Faster

    Links for the day



  27. What the Linux Foundation's Jim Zemlin Really Thinks of Desktop/Laptop GNU/Linux

    Interesting words from Ken Starks resonate well with what we nowadays see in the so-called 'Linux' Foundation, whose dedication to Linux is like that of a circus to a monkeys' sideshow



  28. Links 10/9/2019: Kate Planning and GnuCash 3.7

    Links for the day



  29. The Sad Truth That Linux Foundation Staff is Against GPL/Copyleft and Sometimes Against Linux (Unless It's Run Under Vista 10)

    The Linux Foundation works for whoever pays the Linux Foundation and sadly that usually means companies that aren’t dedicated to Linux, to Software Freedom or even to simple truths and to the Rule of Law



  30. Microsoft Uses the Word “Linux” to Promote Privacy-Infringing Proprietary Software and Spread FUD

    The discussion about “Linux” is being saturated if not replaced by misinformation and marketing of Linux’s competition — owing largely to googlebombing tactics that the Linux Foundation participates in rather than tackle


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