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. Links 21/4/2018: Linux 4.9.95, FFmpeg 4.0, OpenBSD Foundation 2018 Fundraising Campaign

    Links for the day



  2. As USPTO Director, Andrei Iancu Gives Three Months for Public Comments on 35 U.S.C. § 101 (Software Patenting Impacted)

    Weeks after starting his job as head of the US patent office, to our regret but not to our surprise, Iancu asks whether to limit examiners' ability to reject abstract patent applications citing 35 U.S.C. § 101 (relates to Alice and Mayo)



  3. In Keith Raniere v Microsoft Both Sides Are Evil But for Different Reasons

    Billing for patent lawyers reveals an abusive strategy from Microsoft, which responded to abusive patent litigation (something which Microsoft too has done for well over a decade)



  4. Links 20/4/2018: Atom 1.26, MySQL 8.0

    Links for the day



  5. Links 19/4/2018: Mesa 17.3.9 and 18.0.1, Trisquel 8.0 LTS Flidas, Elections for openSUSE Board

    Links for the day



  6. The Patent Microcosm, Patent Trolls and Their Pressure Groups Incite a USPTO Director Against the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Section 101/Alice

    As one might expect, the patent extremists continue their witch-hunt and constant manipulation of USPTO officials, whom they hope to compel to become patent extremists themselves (otherwise those officials are defamed, typically until they're fired or decide to resign)



  7. Microsoft's Lobbying for FRAND Pays Off as Microsoft-Connected Patent Troll Conversant (Formerly MOSAID) Goes After Android OEMs in Europe

    The FRAND (or SEP) lobby seems to have caused a lot of monopolistic patent lawsuits; this mostly affects Linux-powered platforms such as Android, Tizen and webOS and there are new legal actions from Microsoft-connected patent trolls



  8. To Understand Why People Say That Lawyers are Liars Look No Further Than Misleading Promotion of Software Patents

    Some of the latest misleading claims from the patent microcosm, which is only interested in lots and lots of patents (its bread and butter is monopolies after all) irrespective of their merit, quality, and desirability



  9. When News About the EPO is Dominated by Sponsored 'Reports' and Press Releases Because Publishers Are Afraid of (or Bribed by) the EPO

    The lack of curiosity and genuine journalism in Europe may mean that serious abuses (if not corruption) will go unreported



  10. The Boards of Appeal at the European Patent Organisation (EPO) Complain That They Are Understaffed, Not Just Lacking the Independence They Depend on

    The Boards of Appeal have released a report and once again they openly complain that they're unable to do their job properly, i.e. patent quality cannot be assured



  11. Links 18/4/2018: New Fedora 27 ISOs, Nextcloud Wins German Government Contract

    Links for the day



  12. Guest Post: Responding to Your Recent Posting “The European Patent Office Will Never Hold Its Destroyers Accountable”

    In France, where Battistelli does not enjoy diplomatic immunity, he can be held accountable like his "padrone" recently was



  13. The EPO in 2018: Partnering With Saudi Arabia and Cambodia (With Zero European Patents)

    The EPO's status in the world has declined to the point where former French colonies and countries with zero European Patents are hailed as "success stories" for Battistelli



  14. For Samsung and Apple the Biggest Threat Has Become Patent Trolls and Aggressors in China and the Eastern District of Texas, Not Each Other

    The latest stories about two of the world's largest phone OEMs, both of which find themselves subjected to a heavy barrage of patent lawsuits and even embargoes; Samsung has meanwhile obtained an antisuit injunction against Huawei



  15. The EPO Continues to Lie About Patent Quality Whilst Openly Promoting Software Patents, Even Outside Europe

    EPO patent quality continues to sink while EPO management lies about it and software patents are openly being promoted/advocatedEPO patent quality continues to sink while EPO management lies about it (the article above is new) and software patents are openly being promoted/advocated



  16. SCOTUS on WesternGeco v Ion Geophysical Almost Done; Will Oil States Decision Affirm the PTAB's Quality Assurance (IPRs) Soon?

    Ahead of WesternGeco and Oil States, following oral proceedings, it's expected that the highest court in the United States will deliver more blows to patent maximalism



  17. Links 17/4/2018: Linux 5.x Plans and Microsoft's 'Embrace'

    Links for the day



  18. The European Patent Office (EPO) Grants Patents in Error, Insiders Are Complaining That It's the Management's Fault

    The EPO has languished to the point where patents are granted in error, examiners aren't happy, and the resultant chaos benefits no-one but lawyers and patent trolls



  19. The European Patent Office Will Never Hold Its Destroyers Accountable

    With only one in seven EPO stakeholders believing that Battistelli's pick (António Campinos) will turn things around for the better, it certainly does not seem like people are happy and there's no real hope that Battistelli will ever be held accountable for his abuses after his immunity expires



  20. With Liars Like These...

    The European Patent Office continues to lie about the Unified Patent Court (UPC) amongst other things, still revealing its reluctance to say anything which is truthful or work to repair the damage caused by Benoît Battistelli



  21. Links 16/4/2018: Linux 4.17 RC 1, Mesa 18.0.1 RC, GNOME 3.28.1

    Links for the day



  22. IAM, Patently-O and Watchtroll (the Patent Trolls' Lobby) Try to Stop Patent Oppositions/Petitions (PTAB)

    In spite of fee hikes, introduced by Iancu's interim predecessor, petitions (IPRs) at the PTAB continue to grow in number and the patent maximalists are losing their minds over it



  23. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is Ending Software Patents One Patent at a Time

    At an accelerating pace and with growing determination, PTAB (part of AIA) crushes patent trolls and software patents; the statistics and latest stories speak for themselves



  24. Academics and Think Tanks for Patent Maximalism

    Right-wing think tanks and impressionable academics continue to lobby for patent maximalism, rarely revealing the funding sources and motivations; in reality, however, such maximalism mainly helps large (already-wealthy) corporations, monopolists, and law firms



  25. Killing Patent Quality and Encouraging 'Covert' Software Patents Using the Buzzwords Du Jour

    The epidemic of buzzwords and/or hype waves that are being exploited to dodge or bypass patent scope/limitations, as seen in Europe and the US these days



  26. Crisis of Quality at the EPO Extends to Staff (Notably Examiners) and Management as Institutional Integrity is Severely Compromised

    A rather pessimistic but likely realistic outlook for the European Patent Office (EPO), which seems unable to attract the sort of staff it attracted for a number of decades



  27. The 'Blockchaining' of Software Patents (to Dodge the Rules/Guidelines) Now Coming to Europe

    A lot of software patents are being declared invalid (or not granted in the first place); having said that, using all sorts of hype waves (like calling databases “blockchains”) firms and individuals manage to still be granted software patents and sometimes patent trolls hoard these



  28. Links 14/4/2018: Wine 3.6, KDE Elisa 0.1

    Links for the day



  29. East Asia Should Have Adopted the Patent Strategy of South Asia, Notably India

    China seems to be so interested in patent maximalism that it has lost sight of the effect on foreign investment, e.g. US/European/Taiwanese/Japanese/Korean firms operating/manufacturing in mainland China



  30. Samsung is the 'New IBM', Sans the Trolling With Patents

    The 'relic' company, IBM, loses its patent leadership (as measured using some yardstick) to Samsung, a company which is relatively calm when it comes to patent activity (unless/only when sued, as happens a lot nowadays)


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