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

04.24.09

Patents Roundup: Attack on Science, Lobby for Software Patents in EU and India, More Rebellion

Posted in Asia, Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Patents at 7:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO backlash

Summary: Scientists are repressed further by lawyers, so there are new calls to fight back and restore freedom of thought

THIS post is a very quick roundup of stories that are too important to miss, even if most “Linux”/”open source” Web sites totally ignore these peripheral issues.

An Attack on Human Knowledge

Free software is based on a scientific premise. It’s not one of cost; it’s to do with maximising value (measured in terms of productivity), reducing duplication, sharing of ideas, and exchange of output. Over in South Africa, this entire paradigm is under attack at the moment. The culprit? The fiend which is intellectual monopoly rights.

IPR Bill Regulations promulgated – the death knell for open science in South Africa?

[...]

The Department of Science and Technology has published the Regulations for the implementation of the IPR Act of 2008. These have serious implications for researchers and the universities and research institutions they work in and even more dire implications for open access and open innovation in South Africa.

I set out below my preliminary reading of what these Regulations might mean.

Another garbled mess of intellectual monopolies is the ACTA [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14], whose impact on patents is going to be worse than what we already expect. How do we know? It’s coming straight from the European Commission right now:

The EU Commission is “committed to improve the international legal framework for IP protection” and sees “ACTA as one way to reach that goal,” Devigne said. There was no intention to duplicate TRIPS. Rather, “we want to go beyond it,” he said, adding, “TRIPS is the floor, not the ceiling.”

TRIPS is the element of ACTA which is associated with patents.

Sneaking Software Patents Into Europe, India

“Value your freedom or you will lose it, teaches history.” These were the words of Richard Stallman who added:

‘”Don’t bother us with politics,” respond those who don’t want to learn.’

For those who are interested in the reality, it’s worth paying attention to what happens in Europe at the moment. Mega corporations try to legalise software patents without a democracy and Microsoft happens to be among the those who are guilty of it. The Stop Software Patents Web site has just published details about an upcoming conference in Europe: “Conference on ‘Make software patents work for SMEs’”

The European Commission is organising a conference dedicated to “Make IPR work for SMEs” next Monday in Brussels. You can submit your questions by email to me for next Monday on how to “Make software patents work for SMEs”. I might be interested to submit them.

Patents are never for SMEs. They are for patent lawyers, patent trolls (sometimes the same as lawyers), and monopolists who guard their territories using barriers to thought and ideas, not just implmentations.

Over in India, we are seeing what we already see in Europe. Remember Brimelow and her "as such" trap? In India, rather than “as such”, they have “per se”. A Red Hat employee has just explained what he calls “The ‘computer programme per se’ conundrum.”

Under the foregoing definitions, a claim that merely recites software elements without any reference to hardware is per se unpatentable. If a claim recites both software elements and hardware elements, but the hardware elements amount to nothing more than reference to the components of a general purpose computer on which the software is executed, or an information storage medium in which the software is stored, such that the only possibly inventive aspect of the claim resides in the software elements, then the claim is not patentable.

There is an ongoing attempt to push software patents into Indian law [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]; Microsoft and its partners in India are a major force in this reckless, selfish lobby.

Enough is Enough

More and more groups are rising against this abuse from the patent offices. In the recent protests which took place in Germany, Richard Stallman called the EPO "corrupt" and "malicious". If the EPO stands in people’s way, Stallman argues that we should “get rid of it too.” Joining Stallman in the protests were not only activists against software patents but also protesters from Greenpeace, who are sickened by patents around life and animals. Here is another new article about it.

Monsanto Company, already a world powerhouse in biotech crops, is shaking up the swine industry with plans to patent pig-breeding techniques and lay claim to the animals born as a result.

As we mentioned a few days ago, an Op-Ed in The EETimes called upon engineers to go on a patent strike. Mike Masnick agrees and elaborates:

Basically, his argument is that most engineers recognize how harmful the patent system is, but are pushed into patenting by lawyers and management, and the only way to get the message out is to stop assisting with anything having to do with patents.

It’s time to fight for the right to think and to share ideas freely. There is money to be made by a small minority by creating barriers to sharing (i.e. scarcity) and then selling access. This small minority is rarely engineers and it’s very parasitical, naturally.

“On behalf of the Comptroller it is also said that it would be difficult for a third party to search for prior art programs. This is for two reasons. Firstly there is simply not a body of suitable literature about computer programs which can be searched. Secondly much of the prior art will consist of actual computer programs and the outsider will generally find it impossible to understand how these work without the source code – which is normally kept confidential.” —UKIPO, Bailii: Symbian Limited and Comptroller General of Patents

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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  3. 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”)



  4. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 10, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 10, 2019



  5. 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



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

    Links for the day



  7. '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)



  8. 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



  9. 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)



  10. “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



  11. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 09, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, December 09, 2019



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

    FFII's call to demonstrate against the UPC



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 08, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 08, 2019



  16. 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



  17. 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)



  18. Links 8/12/2019: Debian Init Systems GR, NomadBSD 1.3

    Links for the day



  19. Can We Quit Celebrating DRM in GNU/Linux?

    Over the past couple of days various news sites and "Linux" sites expressed great satisfaction [1-5] over the passive embrace of Disney's DRM ploy (Disney+), even when Disney itself rejects DRM, seeing the harms practically caused by it [6,7]



  20. You Know WSL is Bad for GNU/Linux Because Anti-Linux People, Microsoft and Its Propagandists, Want People to Use That

    Microsoft and its boosters (and media partners) haven’t grown tired of spreading falsehoods to stigmatise and take control of GNU/Linux by creating their own versions and traps for it



  21. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 07, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 07, 2019



  22. 5 Years Ago the Linux Foundation Turned Linux.com Into a Non-Linux Site

    One can leverage the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine to better understand how, over time, the Foundation called “Linux” deviated or diverged away from its mission statement for the sole purpose of raising corporate funds and selling influence to corporations (passing the community’s hard work to them — a form of tacit privatisation)



  23. Microsoft Redefining Ownership and Identity of GNU/Linux

    The idea that “Microsoft loves Linux” is as insane as it gets; but the lie which is “Microsoft loves Linux” is a powerful enabler of Microsoft entryism, e.g. if Greg steps down, does a Microsoft employee become the deputy of Linus Torvalds?



  24. Things That Cannot Be Said

    The limits on what we can say are mostly defined by what sources permit us to say publicly (for the sake of source protection)



  25. Fake European Patents (on Algorithms) Leading to Fake Embargoes

    Law firms have gotten their way in Germany; instead of supporting the productive workers the patent system is nowadays promoting the litigation 'industry' and it ought to be corrected



  26. From Moderate Advice to FUD and Misinformation: The Case of a VPN Vulnerability (CVE-2019-14899)

    What should have been a trivial bugfix in a variety of operating systems and bits of software — both proprietary and Free software — somehow became anti-Linux FUD, clickbait and worse



  27. Dangerous Thinker

    Society oughtn't be alarmed by people who say unusual things; it should be wary and sceptical of those corporations ever so eager to silence such people



  28. Unitary Patent (UPC) Died Along With the Credibility of Managing IP and the Rest of the UPC Lobby

    It is pretty astounding that Team UPC (collective term for people who crafted and lobby for this illegal construct) is still telling us lies, even in the absence of underlying supportive facts, and pressure groups disguised as "news sites" latch onto anything to perpetuate an illusion of progress (even in the face of a growing number of major barriers)



  29. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 06, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, December 06, 2019



  30. Links 7/12/2019: Fedora 31 Elections Results, Lots of Media Drama Over VPN Bug

    Links for the day


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