06.22.09

Gemini version available ♊︎

New USPTO Director to Be Appointed, Bad News for Freedom

Posted in America, IBM, Microsoft, Patents at 2:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

USPTOSummary: IBM person may be put in charge of an office that grants monopolies on algorithms

It’s almost official now. David Kappos, whom we previously mentioned in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], may become the director of a Free software-hostile establishment, the USPTO. Kappos comes from IBM and here is a reference page from the USPTO’s newly-redesigned Web site:

President Barack Obama on Thursday announced his intent to nominate David Kappos, an experienced patent professional with more than 20 years of experience, as the new Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

IBM may be no foe of Free software, but it is no foe of software patents either, so there is a big conflict here and it proves problematic. TechDirt has the following new information:

theodp writes “The next time IBM CEO Samuel J. Palmisano is late for a big meeting and can’t be reached via his BlackBerry, the other attendees will thankfully have a patent-pending way of finding him. In its just-disclosed patent application for a Method for Exploitation of Location Proximity to Derive a Location of an Employee in a Corporation, Big Blue describes an ‘invention’ of two of its PhDs that could be used to track Palmisano down – call or IM those who sit near Sam’s office and ask if they’ve seen him. By the way, IBM VP David Kappos, who recently lamented the diminished quality of patents in the US, is a frontrunner to be the next Director of the USPTO – perhaps he could comment on the patent-worthiness of this invention.”

FFII’s president says that the “USPTO President [is] recruiting unpaid examiners.” Putting it differently, he claims that “The Peer to Patent project aims to recruit unpaid examiners to legitim[ise] software patents and business method patents.” According to the FFII’s Web site, “Peer-to-Patent” is essentially a pursuit for free labour. In a way, “Linux Defenders” is similar, but Groklaw seems fond of the concept. Maybe it’s better than nothing.

The core of the quality problem was already addressed by Tim O’Reilly and Jeff Bezos with their BountyQuest venture. The reason it failed is the basis for the FFII’s examination reform proposal.

In BountyQuest the examination fee was not paid by the polluter but by volunteering victims. It requires that one victim stands up and pays up on behalf of the public. All the other victims benefit as free-riders.

The FFII proposal shows how the incentives would need to be set straight if “peer2patent” examination is to work:

Privatize Examination, Make Bad Patenters Pay

The system of obligatory patent examination should be replaced by a system where patents are registered free of charge on the Internet, and examination is performed by private parties who, when they find an invalid patent claim, are entitled to charge an examination fee from the patentee

The European Patent Office has taken interest in the Gauss project and is preparing to build a similar wiki-based system.

Here is another new post: “The next USPTO Director & the Peer-to-Patent experiment”

Obama has chosen Patent Attorney David Kappos to be the next Undersecretary Of Commerce For Intellectual Property And Director Of The U.S. Patent And Trademark Office (USPTO). Here is an article related to a US-National Public Radio interview with Kappos (http://cairns.typepad.com/peertopatent/2007/08/david-kappos-on.html) that gives a good introduction as to why we should be excited.

People seem overly excited about this whole Peer-to-Patent scheme, but “The Peer to Patent project is sponsored by patent trolls such as Intellectual Ventures and Microsoft,” warns FFII’s president.

“Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures [will be] lobbying WIPO next 13 July in Geneva,” according to this [PDF]. It did not escape the attention of the FFII. Microsoft’s very own patent troll joins this debate having cooked a ‘study’ that defends the practice of patent hoarding and trolling.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Microsoft Thought Police

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan



  2. Links 08/02/2023: GNOME Smoother Scrolling of Text Views

    Links for the day



  3. Links 08/02/2023: Transmission 4.0.0 Released and Mass Layoffs at Zoom

    Links for the day



  4. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 07, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 07, 2023



  5. When the Pension Vanishes

    Today we commenced a multi-part mini-series about pensions and what happens when they suddenly vanish and nobody is willing to explain where all the money went



  6. Sirius 'Open Source' Pensiongate: An Introduction

    The Sirius ‘Open Source’ series continues in the form of a mini-series about pensions; it’s part of an ongoing investigation of a deep mystery that impacts people who left the company quite a long time ago and some of the lessons herein are applicable to any worker with a pension (at times of financial uncertainties)



  7. Links 07/02/2023: Endless OS 5.0 and Voice.AI GPL Violations

    Links for the day



  8. No Doubt Microsoft Unleashed Another 'Tay', Spreading Bigotry Under the Guise of Hey Hi (AI)

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan



  9. Links 07/02/2023: Fedora 39 Development Plans Outlines

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 06, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, February 06, 2023



  11. Links 06/02/2023: Escuelas Linux 8.0 and Many Political Issues

    Links for the day



  12. Links 06/02/2023: Sparky 6.6 and IPFire 2.27 – Core Update 173

    Links for the day



  13. Taking Back Control or Seizing Autonomy Over the News Cycle (Informing People, Culling the Marketing)





  14. Reality Versus Fiction: EPO Insiders Versus EPO Web Site and UPC 'Churnalists'

    The "official" sources of the European Patent Office (EPO), as well as the sedated "media" that the EPO is bribing for further bias, cannot tell the truth about this very large institution; for proper examination of Europe's largest patent office one must pursue the interpretation by longtime veterans and insiders, who are increasingly upset and abused (they're being pressured to grant patents in violation of the charter of the EPO)



  15. Links 06/02/2023: Linux 6.2 RC7 and Fatal Earthquake

    Links for the day



  16. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 05, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 05, 2023



  17. Links 05/02/2023: Wayland in Bookworm and xvidtune 1.0.4

    Links for the day



  18. Links 05/02/2023: Pakistan Blocks Wikipedia, Musharraf Dies

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 04, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 04, 2023



  20. Links 04/02/2023: FOSDEM Happening and Ken Thompson in SoCal Linux Expo

    Links for the day



  21. 2023 is the Year Taxpayers' Money Goes to War and Energy Subsidies, Not Tech

    Now that a lot of powerful and omnipresent ‘tech’ (spying and policing) companies are rotting away we have golden opportunities to bring about positive change and maybe even recruit technical people for good causes



  22. Getting Back to Productive Computer Systems Would Benefit Public Health and Not Just Boost Productivity

    “Smartphoneshame” (shaming an unhealthy culture of obsession with “apps”) would potentially bring about a better, more sociable society with fewer mental health crises and higher productivity levels



  23. Links 04/02/2023: This Week in KDE and Many More Tech Layoffs

    Links for the day



  24. Dotcom Boom and Bust, Round 2

    The age of technology giants/monopolies devouring everything or military-funded (i.e. taxpayers-subsidised) surveillance/censorship tentacles, in effect privatised eyes of the state, may be ending; the United States can barely sustain that anymore and raising the debt ceiling won't solve that (buying time isn't the solution)



  25. Society Would Benefit From a Smartphoneshame Movement

    In a society plagued by blackmail, surveillance and frivolous lawsuits it is important to reconsider the notion of “smart” phone ownership; these devices give potentially authoritarian companies and governments far too much power over people (in the EU they want to introduce new legislation that would, in effect, ban Free software if it enables true privacy)



  26. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 03, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, February 03, 2023



  27. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 02, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 02, 2023



  28. Links 03/02/2023: Proton 7.0-6 Released, ScummVM 2.7 Testing

    Links for the day



  29. Links 03/02/2023: OpenSSH 9.2 and OBS Studio 29.0.1

    Links for the day



  30. Links 03/02/2023: GNU C Library 2.37

    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