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

03.31.09

Patents Roundup: Red Hat, Former USPTO Commissioner on Patent Demise, and WIPO Notes

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, IBM, Law, Oracle, Patents, Red Hat at 10:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Red Hat Revisited

AMIDST AND DESPITE some AMQP controversy [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], Red Hat is inviting people to join an AMQP Conference at the University of California. AMQP made the headlines recently because of software patents that Red Hat obtained in this area.

Regarding the question “did Red Hat lobby for, or against software patents in Europe?” says Simon Phipps from Sun:

Against. I was there & saw it.

“Correct,” says one person from the FFII, “RedHat was always the most supportive company. Sun itself was more in a transition but they were able to defend the Article 6a.”

This is not a resolved issue yet, but Red Hat’s competitors have reasons for skepticism. It makes sense to weigh both sides of this debate.

Bruce Lehman Predicts the Demise of Patents?

A very interesting article that Groklaw has just found states that “Lehman predicts IP will be sidelined under Obama.”

“The age of IP rights being at the forefront of American trade policy is over”, according to former USPTO commissioner Bruce Lehman

What does this mean (the full article requires a subscription)? That things would remain unchanged? That patents would be abolished? The latter is improbable given the source of this tidbit, but then again, he is the former commissioner, not the existing one, so perhaps he saw some ugliness inside and foresaw bad things to come. More here:

As the news about ACTA gets nastier and publishers push to recapture publically funded research, there’s some fresh air from former USPTO Commissioner, Bruce Lehman regarding “intellectual property” and US trade policy:

[During Lehman's tenure at the USPTO] TRIPs Agreement was finalised, the DMCA passed into law and WIPOs two copyright treaties were developed. Lehman said that there was a widespread perception among Democrats that the US lowered its trade barriers in 1994 in the expectation that it would be able to switch to exporting high-tech products but, because IP protection remains poor in many countries, it hasnt been able to do this. “The bargain we thought we made in 1994 hasnt worked out as we expected,” he said [and predicted IP would be sidelined by the Obama administration].

The UK-IPO is meanwhile teaching children not to share, which is an utterly poor strategy for development because only in collaboration will development thrive. Just watch how Wikipedia crushed Microsoft this month.

The Intellectual Property Office-backed exhibit will also feature some of the first ever patented inventions from the Science Museum’s own collection.

Unsurprisingly, the IPO is heavily pushing for youngsters to appreciate ownership, creativity and innovation as well as highlighting what “financial rewards” inventors can expect to receive.

Microsoft actually plays a big role in brainwashing British children in favour of intellectual monopolies. Similar moves are spotted elsewhere in the world and Microsoft told its investors in a quarterly filing that it intends to carry on doing this. It’s about mind control and changing of rules. Microsoft is trying to turn back the clock and restore dying revenue paradigms with imaginary property in an age of broadband.

The farce which is the patent reform (in its current form) is facing resistance based on this report from Reuters while Glyn Moody revisits the “Patent Failure” meme.

Leading senators in the battle over patent reform urged stakeholders on Thursday to reach some sort of compromise that would allow a balanced overhaul of the patent system to win approval.

Why not just scrap it?

The net effect is that patents take away from the knowledge commons, without giving back even the paltry payment they owe. Add it to the (long) list of why patents fail.

Our list here in Boycott Novell is very long and we shall organise this in a Wiki one day.

Novell plate

WIPO

FSFE was seen addressing WIPO's problems the other day. Georg Greve made it into a lot of press in the patents-oriented Web sites. His own notes contain some good conclusions.

As also highlighted in FSFE’s interventions, these criteria allow for an assessment of the usefulness of the patent system for each individual area. It follows that areas in which these benefits do not materialise lack an economic rationale for patenting. An example for such an area is software, which had no innovative market failure prior to the introduction of patents, in which patents are useless for disclosure of new ideas, and in which legal counsels suggest that developers do not study patents in order to avoid claims of intentional infringement. So this study provides an analytical rationale behind statements such as the one by Bill Gates in 1991, which voices concern about the anti-innovative effect of patents in the field of software:

“If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today’s ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today.”

Application of this rationale in the policy setting process would allow to assess which areas can benefit from patents, and where more innovation can be had by excluding an area from the patent system. In parallel to the “Berne three-step test” we have dubbed this the “three step test for inclusion in the patent system” in our oral intervention.

Here is a videocast of Greve.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Standing Committee on the Law of Patents discussed exceptions and limitations to patentability on 24 March. Intellectual Property Watch spoke with Georg Greve of the Free Software Foundation Europe about exceptions on patents and software.

More coverage can be found mostly in IP Watch’s special coverage of the event:

i. Videocast: Georg Greve on Software Patents

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Standing Committee on the Law of Patents discussed exceptions and limitations to patentability on 24 March. Intellectual Property Watch spoke with Georg Greve of the Free Software Foundation Europe about exceptions on patents and software.

ii. Concerns Voiced At WIPO Over Potential Conflicts Between IP And Standards

Government procurement could preference open or interoperable standards, said Latif. Binding obligations to disclose all relevant IP information on standards, as well as the involvement of competition authorities in work on standards to ensure anti-competitive practices are not used, could also help.

Ultimately, said Greve, increasing the transparency of the system is useful.

iii. WIPO Patent Committee To Consider Four New Reports, Global Challenges

iv. Concerns Voiced At WIPO Over Potential Conflicts Between IP And Standards

“Both patents and standards are instruments from the toolbox of innovation policy, but they are different instruments,” said Georg Greve of the Free Software Foundation Europe. “Patents,” he said, “are intended for private, personal use [while] standards are intended for public use.”

“They are diametrically opposed in practice… maximising one instrument invalidates the other,” he added.

v. Statement by the United States on patents and standards at WIPO patent committee

In the United States, antitrust enforcers seek to ensure that our markets are competitive by preventing agreements or mergers that create or increase market power, or unilateral actions that use existing market power to protect or expand a monopoly. Our focus is on preventing harm to the competitive process, not on ensuring competitors treat each other fairly. Therefore, we would strike the use of “fair” wherever it appears before “functioning of the market” and when it modifies “competition” or “market”.

Patently Bound to Fail

Here are a couple of patents one should definitely watch out for: [via Digital Majority]

i. Smith Micro Receives Patent For JPEG Compression Technology

Smith Micro Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: SMSI) today announced that it was issued U.S. Patent No. 7,502,514 “System and Method for Lossless Compression of Already Compressed Files” by the U.S Patent and Trademark Office. The new ’514 patent extends to a system and method for losslessly compressing already compressed files including, but not limited to, archive files like ZIP, and media formats such as MP3 and JPEGs.

ii. IBM tries to patent offshoring

Two years ago, red-faced IBM executives ordered a patent application on offshoring jobs to be withdrawn. Last week it returned, more sophisticated than ever. The latest application, describes how to weigh various constraints, such as lack of a skilled workforce, against incentives such as tax breaks.

IBM is not much of a friend when it comes to software patents. IBM breeds them.

Disputes

There are a couple of new patent disputes which are worth attention. The first involves a monopoly abuser that bribes, colludes, and obstructs justice by destruction of evidence. That company is Intel and Nvidia retaliates with a counter suit against Intel, which attacked first.

Nvidia’s very own Queen of hearts, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, pouted and said, “Nvidia did not initiate this legal dispute,” but added the firm had to defend itself and the rights it had negotiated for, “when we provided Intel access to our valuable patents.”

This is also covered in:

The second case shows Oracle messing about with software patents, but none these relate to Unbreakable Linux (RHEL ripoff).

Oracle and telecom Alcatel-Lucent have settled a patent-related dispute, according to documents filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

“We reached an agreement that is satisfactory to both parties,” Alcatel-Lucent spokeswoman Mary Ward said Monday. Terms of the agreement are confidential, she said.

[...]

The software vendor’s suit centered on a number of Alcatel-Lucent products, including the OmniTouch My Messaging system and the 5350 XML Document Management Server, according to Oracle’s original complaint.

This is also covered here. Alcatel-Lucent is just one example of a dying company that relies mostly on intellectual monopolies for survival. It has harassed Microsoft too [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

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. In the European Patent Office, One Gets Rewarded for Mentally Torturing ('Interrogating') Staff

    Elodie Bergot and her "Gestapo" have both enjoyed spectacular promotions, broadening the reach of Battistelli's "police state" culture



  2. IP Kat Participates in Deletion of Information About EPO Scandals

    IP Kat has just deleted nearly 40 comments (some of them very detailed); we bring these back to life for the sake of history and preservation



  3. Links 23/10/2017: Wine Staging 2.19, GNOME 3.27.1

    Links for the day



  4. SUEPO Has Just Warned That Patent Quality at the EPO is About to Get Even Worse

    The staff union of the EPO (SUEPO) speaks of increasing "production" pressure, which is certain to result in low-quality European Patents



  5. The EPO No Longer Measures Quality of Patents; Instead It Publishes Fake Statistics

    The decline in patent quality at the EPO is a long-known issue and suppression of information about it merely enabled several more years of questionable patent grants, thereby putting at risk the perceived value of EPO services



  6. Speaking of “Social Democracy” While Suffering Extreme Democratic Deficiency

    The EPO represents an even broader assault on democracy in Europe (implicating ILO, Team UPC, national delegates, and national governments), but Benoît Battistelli is unique in the sense that he's disguising it or lying to himself about it



  7. Management by Intimidation Has Caused Deaths at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    An accurate diagnosis of the conditions created at the European Patent Office (EPO) by Benoît Battistelli and his cronies, who have essentially hijacked the Organisation -- not just the Office -- then attacked every 'enemy', either real or perceived



  8. The Difference Between Alain Pompidou and Benoît Battistelli as EPO President

    The different approaches adopted by Pompidou and Battistelli; one pursued amicable mediation and training, whereas the other resorted to vindicative witch-hunts, kangaroo courts, and a culture of terror which resulted in many suicides



  9. The Darker Past of the Next President of the EPO - Part IV: Links Between CGD (Former Employer of António Campinos) and the INPI

    More information about connections between CGD and the Portuguese Intellectual Property Office (INPI)



  10. Links 21/10/2017: Purism Against ME, Pop!_OS Ready

    Links for the day



  11. US Patents Appeal Board Attacked by the Patent 'Industry', Defended by Federal Courts, and Dodged by Patent Trolls

    PTAB, the branch or the 'court' responsible for eliminating bad patents, is coming under attacks from those who rely on poor patent quality and receives praises from everyone else, as usual



  12. In the United States, the Patent 'Industry' is a Dying Breed and China Adopts This Destructive Force

    The decaying patent microcosm, or the pipeline of low-quality patents and frivolous lawsuits these entail, loses its grip on the US; China, much to the astonishment of people who actually create things, is attempting to attract that ruinous microcosm (which preys on real, producing companies)



  13. Microsoft and Nokia's Patent Trolls by Proxy: First Conversant, Now Provenance Asset Group Holdings LLC

    Microsoft's shell game with patents (passing Android-hostile patents to trolls) carries on and publishers funded by these trolls offer the details, albeit vaguely and with obvious spin



  14. Anonymous Professionals Speak of Benoît Battistelli's Destruction of the EPO, But Why Does the Media Turn a Blind Eye?

    Everyone in the circles of EPO staff and EPO stakeholders knows that dysfunction has become the norm; European media, however, remains suspiciously silent about what otherwise would be a major European scandal (bigger than FIFA or Dieselgate)



  15. The Darker Past of the Next President of the EPO - Part III: More Details About Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Former Employer of Campinos

    The side of Campinos which he prefers to conceal, or rather his association with a rather notorious Portuguese bank



  16. UPC Looks Like More of a Distant Dream (or Nightmare) as Germany Adds Another Two Months' Delay

    The likelihood that the UPC will be altogether scuttled is growing as delays keep piling up and more complaints are being filed by public interest groups (as opposed to Team UPC, which hoped to shove the UPCA down everyone's throats behind closed doors)



  17. Patent Trolls Roundup: BlackBerry, Dominion Harbor, IPNav, IP Bridge

    A quick review of recent news regarding patent trolls or entities which resemble (and sometimes feed) these



  18. Battistelli's Destruction of the EPO is Bad for Everyone, Even Patent Attorneys

    The collapse of the European patent system, owing primarily to Battistelli's totalitarian style and deemphasis on patent quality, means that "the war is lost," as one professional puts it



  19. Links 19/10/2017: Mesa 17.2.3, New Ubuntu Release, Samsung Flirts With GNU/Linux Desktops

    Links for the day



  20. Some of the USPTO's Most Ridiculous Patents Are Scrutinised by “Above the Law” While Dennis Crouch Attempts to Tarnish Alice

    Controversies over patent scope and level of novelty required for a patent; as usual, public interest groups try to restrict patent scope, whereas those who make money out of abundance of patents attempt to remove every barrier



  21. Microsoft's Software Patents Aggression in Court (Corel Again)

    Microsoft's tendency to not only abuse the competition but also to destroy it with patent lawsuits as seen in Corel's case



  22. The Spanish Supreme Court Rejects the EPO's “Problem and Solution Approach” While Quality of European Patents Nosedives

    European Patents (EPs) aren't what they used to be and their credibility is being further eroded and even detected as such



  23. Europe is Being Robbed by Team Battistelli and the UPC/PPH Would Make Things Worse

    The European Patent Office (EPO) has put litigation at the forefront, having implicitly decided to no longer bother with proper patent examination and instead issue lots of patents for judges and lawyers to argue about (at great expense to the public)



  24. Team UPC Continues to Promote Illusion of UPC Progress Where There's None

    The core members of Team UPC in the UK spread obvious falsehoods in the media, probably in an effort to attract 'business' (consultation regarding something that does not exist)



  25. António Campinos: A True EPO Reformer or More of the Same?

    More unfortunate reminders that Campinos and Battistelli don't quite diverge on the big issues, they're just more than two decades apart in age (but the same nationality)



  26. Juve Has Confirmed That António Campinos is French

    The relationship between Campinos and Battistelli has a nationality aspect to it, not even taking into account the interpersonal connection which goes a long way back



  27. The Darker Past of the Next President of the EPO - Part II: António Campinos at Banco Caixa Geral de Depósitos

    A look at the largely-hidden banking career of the next President of the EPO and the career of the person who competed with him for this position



  28. SUEPO to the Media, Regarding Campinos: “No Comment, It’s Too Dangerous”

    António Campinos, who is Benoît Battistelli's chosen successor at the EPO, as covered by German media earlier this month



  29. Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) Willing to Work With Campinos But Foresees Difficulties

    New message from SUEPO regarding Battistelli's successor of choice (Campinos)



  30. Links 18/10/2017: GTK+ 3.92, Microsoft Bug Doors Leaked

    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