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

06.29.09

Patents Roundup: OIN Addresses Patent Trolls Issue, Public Patent Foundation Video, and More

Posted in Microsoft, OIN, Patents, Videos at 6:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: News that matters, about intellectual monopolies

THIS is another quick rundown through the news. Included below are only reports that have some relevance to Free software in a land of monopolies on thought and applied ideas.

Patent Trolls

This year’s LinuxTag contains a portion from OIN, which speaks about patent trolls, for a change. [via Digital Majority]

Patent Trolls are an ever-growing threat to global innovation. These IP aggregators purchase low-quality patents and use them as leverage to hijack potential revenue and profits from hardware and software companies, our largest economic driver. This causes entrepreneurs to reconsider launching companies, while CEOs devote more of their time and resources to managing intellectual property. New online and offline tools and services are becoming available to combat Patent Trolls and enable technology companies to focus on their core business.

Also worth a glance are the following new pages, which highlight the impact of patent trolling:

i. Distric Court Warns that ‘Patentee’s Time For Trolling’ Will End Without More Definite Infringement Contention

In June 2008, DSC was given the source code to 8 of the accused software products, along with executable copies and operating manuals for the accused products. Despite having this information, DSC did not elaborate further on the PICs.

ii. Patent Litigation Weekly: PubPat and ‘Patent Troll’ Make Strange Bedfellows

Ravicher acknowledged that it seems strange for a lawyer affiliated with PubPat—even as a volunteer—to have gone so far as to set up his own patent-holding company and then sued a group of major Internet players.

“Dave, if you were to talk to him, he’d say software patents are good, and they incentivize innovation,” says Ravicher. “Some people can’t be friends with people who disagree with them. But I’m friends with lots of people I have strenuous disagreements with.”

Asked whether he surprised by his friend’s involvement in the business colloquially known as “patent trolling,” Ravicher pauses, and then laughs. “Nothing surprises me these days.”

Software Patents

Microsoft is to pay damages for software patent infringement and Blackboard has just made another pledge, this time to “follow open standards more closely.” Blackboard also made pledges regarding software patents, which it is using to injure its competition.

This week Blackboard’s new head of course-management software, Ray Henderson, sent a letter to customers pledging that the company will do more to follow industry software standards, and to participate more actively in their development.

Backed by Microsoft, Blackboard still threatens Free software using software patents [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], so its behaviour is worth keeping an eye on.

Over in the UK, IPKat is “Wondering if the questions the EU Council of Ministers want to ask the ECJ about the unified patent litigation system have been made public” and in New Zealand it is a matter of urgency.

URGENT: Unlimited Software Patents In New Zealand. Act Now!

[...]

NZ government is about to pass a new Patents Act. In the 8-year review, they seemingly forgot to consider the impacts of patents on computer software! Submissions on the bill are being accepted till 2 July, so we need to move fast.

We wrote about the software patents situation in New Zealand about a week ago.

In the pro-intellectual monopolies Web site known as Law.com there is this rare criticism of software patents, which “hinder innovation,” according to Daniel Ravicher.

But meanwhile, as Mullin notes, the former Ropes & Gray partner is also working closely to spearhead a litigation project with an old friend, Daniel Ravicher of the Public Patent Foundation–who has publicly proclaimed that software patents hinder innovation. Garrod is helping Public Patent file suits to block products from carrying false patent markings.

Speaking of the Public Patent Foundation, here is a video about it.

USPTO Madness

Direct link

Patents other than ones pertaining to software are causing unrest. Some lead to unnecessary deaths [1, 2], whereas others obstruct works of art. It turns out that Michael Jackson has a US patent. It’s a patent on motion and dance moves. Shame on the USPTO for going this far with intellectual monopolies. Here is a patent site that has just called In Re Bilski (business method patents) “a Mess”.

Claim: (Ex Parte Borenstein) A method for providing catalog information for presentation to a user of a store in an electronic commerce system, comprising the steps of . . .

BPAI: while the storage of information in independent claim 1 could arguably be done as a mental process, the recitation of a structured relationship between multiple stores that requires “path information” inherently implies that this information must be stored on a computer or database. This “particular” computer or database is sufficient structure to meet the machine prong of the machine-or-transformation test of In re Bilski. As independent claim 15 recites a computer program product, it is not a method claim that must be analyzed under In re Bilski.

Need anything else be said about ACTA, which takes patents to the extreme [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]?

IPWatch has this new report about the ACTA:

EU, US Consumer Groups Issue Resolution On Enforcement; Demand Role In ACTA

An international coalition of consumer groups has issued a resolution calling into question global enforcement policy and offering core principles for policymakers to consider in setting new enforcement standards.

The Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue on 18 June issued the resolution on the enforcement of copyright, trademarks, patents and other intellectual property rights. The TACD is a trade advisory body to the European Union and United States government, and brings together 80 member organisations from those regions, claiming a direct paid-up membership of some 20 million consumers.

Malfunction

As more signs of a system in state of distress (the EPO is already in a limbo [1, 2]), consider the renaissance of patent reexaminations, which are indicative of the granting of patents that should never have been granted in the first place.

Given this, it is certainly no surprise the patent infringement defendants have been using the reexam strategy more and more. The semiconductor field is no different. Two well known patent enforcers in the industry, Tessera and Rambus have seen their patents thrown into reexam by various parties that are the targets of their licensing programs. Furthermore, I have also seen evidence that courts are willing to stay litigation if a quick reexam request is filed in the Patent Office, though obviously this is very judge and district specific.

It speaks about hardware patents, where an ambush harmed the consumer. Nobody wins in this case and the same goes for patent-caused embargoes, such as this latest example:

The U.S. International Trade Commission issued a decision Wednesday that blocks the U.S. import of LCD panels and LCD televisions made by Sharp, ruling that the company violated a patent held by rival Samsung Electronics.

Here is another new example where patents stifle fair competition.

The IEEE is ready to jump into the patent pool game, and it is starting with a call for patents on power over Ethernet.

Via Licensing Corp. will act as administer of the pool. Via announced Monday it will work with the Open Patent Alliance to set up a separate patent pool for WiMax.

Patent pools are a farce and the notion of “call for patents” is ludicrous. What about small companies that have no patents? Can they not participate in the market?

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks

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

2 Comments

  1. Jose_X said,

    June 29, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Gravatar

    Interesting video, but the speaker appeared to leave room for allowing many types of (strong) software patents and royalties for them. He did not state details, but I can see how such details might still leave the public and many many potential inventors being sold quite short. One example that comes to mind is that I don’t remember him questioning the foolishness of giving a patent to one person as if an invention (a) happens all because of one person or even (b) can’t frequently be recreated by others in a time span much shorter than 20 years. However, he did state the Cisco exec and Billg quotes. He also pointed to a great many of the most unfair issues with today’s patents.

    I do worry about compromises that will still leave in lots of hurt for much FOSS and much of the public.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Peer2patent, OIN, and RAND pose similar problems.

What Else is New


  1. Red Hat Betrayed the Free Software Community With Its Software Patents' Stockpiling Drive and Then a Sale to the Biggest Software Patents Lobbyist

    In 2020 Red Hat is little but a shadow of IBM, whose patent policy continues to threaten software freedom and whose lobbying for software patents (under the guise of "HEY HI") persists uninterrupted; this growing problem oughtn't be unspeakable



  2. Politically Correct Tech

    This new video entitled “Politically Correct Tech” covers a topic we’ve spoken a great deal about



  3. [Humour/Meme] High on Production, Stoned on Pseudoscience

    All-time high ‘production’ levels at the European Patent Office (EPO) do not mean what they want people to think and what they try hard to hide



  4. Missing From EPO Management: Actual Scientists

    Political figures and opportunists with connections occupy top positions at top European agencies; this assures self-destructive policies that diminish progress and cushion corruption



  5. All Software Should Come With a Cheat Mode

    Cheat modes are useful for developers because they enable debugging, and are sometimes called "Debug mode"



  6. Linus Torvalds Checks If It's Still Inclusive Enough to 'Bash' Bad Technology (of the Company Whose TPM Pusher Has Just Successfully Pushed to Remove Many Words)

    In the age of endless control of language (e.g. large corporations pushing for "inclusive" language whilst earning billions from bombing of 'inferior' countries) we see that it is still possible to condemn corporations on technical grounds (at least if you’re Linus Torvalds)



  7. Even Before Microsoft Paid ('Joined') the Linux Foundation Jim Zemlin Had a Preference for Microsofters

    Even years before the Linux Foundation was receiving money from Microsoft it had a tendency to hire Microsoft’s people for key positions (a lot of people no longer remember that, but it’s still in the public record; it was Jim Zemlin who approached if not chased Mr. Ramji to offer him the job and the colleagues saw no problem with that)



  8. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, July 11, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, July 11, 2020



  9. Links 12/7/2020: KDE Plasma 5.20 Preview and Elive 3.8.14 Beta

    Links for the day



  10. [Humour] The 'Orange One' Does Not Respect Judges Either

    More than two years after taking over the European Patent Office (EPO) António Campinos has done absolutely nothing to restore judicial independence of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO



  11. The Systemd Song

    Speak out about IBM's strategy before we're all using GNU/Linux distros 'barcoded' with systemd



  12. Monopoly (or Vendor Lock-in) is Not Modularity

    IBM cannot totally control the kernel, Linux; IBM's control over GNU/Linux may be worth even more than what it paid for Red Hat as that's the key to overpriced support contracts and the general direction of development (important trends such as file systems and various low-level stacks)



  13. The Internet Archive Doesn't Forget, Whereas the Internet and the Web Forget Very Fast

    World Wide Web history is grossly undervalued and preservation of such history (e.g. by the Wayback Machine) is taken for granted by far too many people; the robber barons of today benefit the most from erosion of collective memory as they get to rewrite the past to suit their present and future interests



  14. Environmentalism and Free Software Can be Viewed as Closely Connected and Help One Another

    Modest lifestyles are an overlapping pattern in the Free software community and green activists; there's room for alliances and collaboration, bettering society by reducing consumption and discouraging voyeurism



  15. Free (as in Freedom) Software + Social Control Media ≠ Free Speech

    Speaking through middlemen and private platforms is bad enough (that gives others unjust power over speech); to claim that because the underlying platform is free/libre software it therefore becomes a non-issue is also dishonest



  16. António Campinos: President or Quasi-Autocratic Corporate Puppet?

    The culture of oppression — and censorship of evidence of oppression — is what today’s EPO is all about; the EPO learned how to better avoid (or block) negative publicity without actually changing its ways; and due to unprecedented speech restrictions you won’t hear that from SUEPO



  17. The Media Continues to Ignore Corruption of António Campinos

    António Campinos has Croatian scandals on his lap; the obedient media, however, refuses to even talk about it (or uses COVID as an excuse to write nothing on the subject, as some journalists have told us)



  18. A Call for Patent Sanity

    The public's call for reform is motivated by improved understanding of today's debased patent system and how out-of-order (detached from its original mission statement) it has gotten; patent maximalism, if it does not completely unravel this whole system, severely discredits it



  19. Declassified US Army Field Manuals Explain Microsoft's Public Relations Strategy (Similar to Selling Imperialism to the Occupied)

    The misuse of public broadcast to brainwash the public is well understood and thoroughly exploited by both Microsoft and the Gates Foundation (which sells this ridiculous lie that the world’s richest people speak for and fight for the poorest, i.e. those impoverished by endless greed)



  20. IRC Proceedings: Friday, July 10, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, July 10, 2020



  21. Links 11/7/2020: Slackel 7.3 Openbox, Kiwi TCMS 8.5, Librem 5 Dogwood Update 3

    Links for the day



  22. Education Without Free Software is Training or Indoctrination

    Kids need to decide for themselves what they want to do and what they wish to use when they grow up; schools need to provide general tools and the mental capacity to make good decisions (rather than make these decisions for the kids, sometimes at the behest of foreign monopolists)



  23. Links 10/7/2020: Wayland-Info, diffoscope 151 and Tor 0.4.4.2-alpha

    Links for the day



  24. European FRAND (Related to SEP) Proponent and Famed Programmer Comes to Realise That It's Actually a “Scam”

    Even people who have long promoted the practice of mandatory "licensing" (in effect patent tax one is unable to work around) are apparently changing their minds and their tune



  25. Not Even a Single Corporate Journalist Has Written Anything About These Very Important Bits of News (Updated)

    Constant propaganda from patent maximalists has long infested the media, which is sometimes controlled and even bribed to set the tone and the agenda; important developments are being tucked away and require very deep digging for ordinary citizens to find



  26. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, July 09, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, July 09, 2020



  27. Racism in Technology (and Who Typically Lectures Us About the Subject)

    Racism is a real problem; some approaches to tackling racism, however, can also be problematic and those who take the lead 'on behalf' of victims tend to be opportunistic and privileged few (piggybacking others' grievances to further advance their financial agenda)



  28. Links 10/7/2020: Debian 8 Long Term Support EOL, Mobian Project, Mesa 20.1.3

    Links for the day



  29. [Humour] COVID-19 is Very, Very Afraid of Human Beings Making More Monopolies Instead of Fighting Together

    The European Patent Office (EPO) to the rescue! Fighting a dangerous pandemic one profitable monopoly at a time!



  30. The News is Never 'Slow', It's Just Journalism That's Slowing Down (and Investigative Journalism Coming Under Attack)

    A mix of censorship and subtle mind control contribute to misinformed societies that shape their perception or misunderstanding of the world based on false measures of authority (where money can determine what is true and what is untrue); many topics remain completely untouched, leading to apathy in a vacuum; it's very much applicable to international organisations, which are presumed benign by virtue of being multi-national or supranational


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