07.16.09

Patents Roundup: Peer-to-Patent Annual Report; FFII, FSFE and IBM Weigh in

Posted in Courtroom, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Patents at 12:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A large load of patent news of importance

THIS is a long roundup of patent news, with the usual focus on software patents.

Peer-to-Patent’s Take

As we noted in an update the other day, Peer-to-Patent had not shut down. In fact, Peer-to-Patent has just released its 2nd annual report and they mailed us an update:

We are proud to announce that Peer-to-Patent, recognized by the White House Open Government Initiative as an innovative social networking program, successfully completed its second year. To celebrate this occasion, the Center for Patent Innovations at New York Law School has today released the Second Annual Report.

The report illustrates the growth that Peer-to-Patent underwent from the first year and details the results from the second year of public collaboration in the patent examination process. As a baseline, the first year data showed that an open network of reviewers could improve the quality of information available to patent examiners by producing relevant prior art for the claimed invention. The second year data, expanded on these results by illustrating that Peer-to-Patent reviewers possessed the time and motivation to voluntarily participate as a community in reviewing more patent applications covering broader subject matter. Most notably, reviewer dedication to the project grew as the project expanded.

This culmination of the second year is bitter sweet for us at Peer-to-Patent. While Peer-to-Patent gained governmental, national and international notoriety, the USPTO has chosen not to extend the program beyond June 15, 2009, so that they can evaluate the program’s success and assess it’s future. In the meantime, we will continue to review applications submitted before June 15th. We hope that further review of the Second Anniversary Report will provide proof that Citizen Experts are ready to participate in the Open Government Initiative.

To view this report in its entirety, please visit: http://dotank.nyls.edu/communitypatent/CPI_P2P_Year… [PDF]

To view the NYLS press release, please visit:
http://www.nyls.edu/news_and_events/releases/pee…

FFII’s Take

The FFII is still trying to reform the system in favor of the Digital Majority.

On the other hand we have the maximalists, such as this. FFII’s president says that “Peter Messerli is vice-President of the EPO and member of the EPOorg EBA.” How can it be both? As Henrion puts it, “where is the [separation] of powers?”

Moreover, based on the same Web site (subscription required), “Microsoft [is] behind the Stockholm Network biased index.” That’s what Henrion claims anyway. He also shows another attempt to push software patents into Europe (Goteborg). “New round table titled “Software patents as a business opportunity” on September 9th at CIP FORUM 2009,” he notes. The original says: “#CF09 New round table titled “Software patents as a business opportunity” on September 9th at CIP FORUM 2009: The Future of Innovation.”

Vigilance is important here.

FSFE’s Take

The FSFE’s founder and former leader visited an event where General Electric (GE), an advocate (with Microsoft) of software patents in Europe, got quoted extensively. When GE does not complain about patent trolls it seems very busy acting as a maximalist. It uses patents as monopoly enforcers.

Georg writes:

[1]

‘#WIPOGC: GE: “All of you who believe in the IP system as I do.” That seems to summarise the issue of faith based policy setting well.’

[2]

‘#WIPOGC: General Electrics counsel http://2tu.us/k6q: If there were compulsory licensing for green technologies it would reduce investment.’

[3]

‘#WIPOGC: GE: Spent 50m USD on hydrogen engine problem to get patents. They failed. So how did patents help? And they won’t recoup elsewhere?’

Also from the same event and person:

‘#WIPOGC: Johnsons claim: No cost to the “IPR system.” As a physicist I am astonished by the invention of the perpetuum mobile by economists.

Glyn Moody shares this article about GE and intellectual monopolies.

Moody also posted a series of short articles where he is blasting these intellectual monopolies. Among the latest: “What Are Intellectual Monopolies For?”

If you still doubted that intellectual monopolies are in part a neo-colonialist plot to ensure the continuing dominance of Western nations…

[...]

We can’t possibly have dveloping countries protecting their traditional medicine and national lore – “genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore” – from being taken and patented by the Western world. After all, companies in the latter have an inalienable right to turn a profit by licensing that same traditional knowledge it back to the countries it was stolen from (this has already happened). That’s what intellectual monopolies are for.

Here is what the FSFE wrote on the subject:

On ‘Intellectual Property’ and Indigenous Peoples

[...]

Consequently the monopolising system is breaking the bond of solidarity, sharing and communication connecting all of humankind. To the Indigenous Peoples it means their language, rituals and heritage will be in danger of becoming extinct along with the last generation that grew up with them.

So in a perfectly working system and world, the price to pay for such expansion of monopolies may be nothing less than the cultural identity of the Indigenous Peoples.

Also, there is this long analysis, which highlights some countries that are negatively affected (exploited and oppressed by intellectual monopolies)

At the heart of the discussion lay a proposal by the African Group which called for the IGC to submit a text to the 2011 General Assembly containing “a/(n) international legally binding instrument/instruments” to protect traditional cultural expressions (folklore), traditional knowledge and genetic resources. Inextricably linked to the legally binding instruments were the African Group’s demands for “text-based negotiations” with clear “timeframes” for the proposed program of work. This proposal garnered broad support among a group of developing countries including Malaysia, Thailand, Fiji, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Cuba, Yemen India, Peru, Guatemala, China, Nepal and Azerbaijan. Indonesia, Iran and Pakistan co-sponsored the African Group proposal.

Patent Critique from Glyn Moody

Few journalists are as vocally opposed to intellectual monopolies as Moody is. Earlier this week, in Twitter, he wrote: “Agreed competition is healthy, but don’t think patents do anything to promote that, because monopolies aren’t helpful

Here is another batch of new blog posts from him. It’s succinct and punctual.

i. Are Patents Intellectual Monopolies? You Decide

Talking of intellectual monopolies, you may wonder why I use this term (well, if you’ve been reading this blog for long, you probably don’t.) But in any case, here’s an excellent exposition as to why, yes, patents are indeed monopolies…

ii. Batik-Makers Say ‘Tidak’ to Copyright

Interestingly, this is very close to the situation for software. The batik motifs correspond to sub-routines: both are part of the commons that everyone draws upon; copyrighting those patterns is as counter-productive as patenting subroutines, since it makes further creation almost impossible without “infringement”. This reduces the overall creativity – precisely the opposite effect that intellectual monopolists claim.

IBM’s Take

Bob Sutor, the IBM ‘Linux’ Vice President, writes to say: “With Microsoft making promises about Mono, they should pledge that they will not assert their necessary patents against the Linux kernel

We meanwhile find out that IBM is being sued for patent infringement by patent troll Mosaid.

Patent licensing firm Mosaid Technologies Inc said on Monday it was taking IBM to court for allegedly infringing on six of Mosaid’s U.S. patents.

Mosaid said the long-running dispute was over IBM’s making and selling of microprocessor and application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) products.

IBM played a role in the Bilski test, which it is claimed to be wholly behind, but the above appears to be more hardware oriented, so Bilski killing software patents might not be of use in this particular case. Here is the official press release where In Re Bilski’s role in squashing a software patent gets a mention:

DealerTrack Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: TRAK), a leading provider of on-demand software and data solutions for the U.S. automotive retail industry, today announced an update regarding its patent infringement litigation against RouteOne LLC and Finance Express LLC.

[...]

DealerTrack also has pending patent applications in the United States Patent and Trademark Office that would not be impacted by the Bilski decision.

Patent Lies

Maximalists continue spreading their lies about software patents. Here they are fraudulently using Google’s name to claim that Google wants software patents:

Software Patent Supporter Tries To Pretend Google Harmed Without Software Patents

There’s a somewhat bizarre and ethically questionable post up on the usually excellent Patently-O blog, hyping up the fact that Google may lose its patent on PageRank (which Google only holds a license to, since Stanford actually owns it). First off, this isn’t new or particularly surprising. It’s talking about the upcoming decision on the Bilski case, which we’ve discussed at length. The decision could impact all software patents, and the author is merely using the Google name to get extra attention.

Patently-O had some decent posts in the past, so it will be losing some big points over this. Here is another short article about the perceived value of patents:

Often, the value of a patent is not publicly known because parties often settle matters out of court. Other times, the value of a patent becomes abundantly clear after a blockbuster court case. For example, a jury yesterday awarded nearly $1.7 billion to Johnson & Johnson, whose patent the jury determined was infringed by Abbott Laboratories’ drug, Humira. Abbott Labs plans to appeal the verdict.

Watch how MPEG-2 claims credit for lowering prices rather than freeing people’s own content, which they helplessly store in patents-encumbered formats. They don’t even understand that they do this.

The MPEG LA, the organization in charge of handing out MPEG patent licenses, said that it will drop the fees for “essential” MPEG-2 patents beginning next year.

Go Away, Daddy

GoDaddy manages our 3 domain names (not my choice), but it is a greedy company that participates in the software patents mess. Here it is doing it again:

Go Daddy Group Inc. has filed a patent for a method of selling equity in domain names and protecting the domain names in which the equity is issued.

This would not be an isolated case because years ago GoDaddy was accused of going on a “patent-filing binge”. From the older article: “One interesting application will allow [...] GoDaddy to ping customer’s computers with alerts…”

How innovative.

Patent Trolls

The father of patent trolls, Ray Niro [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], is finally losing his mojo. Had Niro lost all of his junk patents, maybe he would make a living suing some more bloggers who tell the truth about his unethical business practices.

Lawyer Raymond Niro, for whom the term “patent troll” was apparently first coined, has been known to use the fact that he represents a company called Global Patent Holdings (GPH) to his advantage. GPH owns patent 5,253,341, but looking at it there won’t do much good. You see, Niro and others claimed that the patent covered pretty much anyone running a web server, leading to quite a few legal battles, including one against a guy, Greg Aharonian, who called it a “bad patent.” For claiming that, he got sued for patent infringement. In fighting the patent, it was re-examined, and all 16 of its claims were rejected… but a 17th claim was added and allowed to stand.

Here is another new article which is titled “The Patent Troll”.

Spangenberg predicts a day when corporations and trolls will live in relative harmony. He estimates that in the near future, litigation will be taken out of the patent equation, and people will buy and sell intellectual property in a way similar to the method now used to buy and sell works of art: auctions with built-in criteria to determine value.

He explains: “The courts are intermediaries for patents right now, and the courts are extremely inefficient. Patents will trade as a commodity in the next five to six years, and what I do won’t even exist.

Wallclimber told us that “the guy predicts that someday patents and “IP” will be traded like commodities, bought and sold on the market.” This sounds like the vision of Microsoft's chief patent troll, who says that “Intellectual property is the next software.” These would be the words of Nathan Myhrvold.

Microsoft and Other Patent Abusers

Nathan Myhrvold’s buddy Bill Gates is also totally and insanely obsessed with patents, based on this new interview where he says that “We’re going to make the cows that don’t fart.” No kidding. Read the transcripts below.

And you’ve been doing some stuff with Intellectual Ventures. I know every time you show up on a patent application that, folks get interested in what you’re looking at, whether it’s stopping hurricanes, or beer kegs, or what-have-you.
Gates: That’s right. We’re going to make the cows that don’t fart. You name it, we’ve got it under control.

That’s been really exciting to take this idea of gathering top scientists from a broad set of areas and think about problems that can be solved. And in the case of the foundation, you know, Nathan (Myhrvold) has used that ability to convene great scientists to look at things like how do you deliver vaccines without having to use as many refrigerators, or how do you pasteurize milk in a better way, some very interesting things. And then I also sit down with that group when they’re looking at their rich world applications, including things around energy, and one of those has actually led to creating a company called TerraPower, which is focused on a new, very radically improved nuclear power plant design, which is a hard thing to get done, but extremely valuable if it comes through.

The last time we we wrote about Bill Gates and his patent-trolling firm [1, 2, 3] was four days ago. As part of a broad new strategy, he tries to monetise life and death using patents. He already does that with drug patents that he financially supports. He is well positioned behind the the pharmaceutical cartel. For more information, see:

The EU is finally calling pharmaceutical patents anti-competitive and an antitrust action gets launched. How does Bill Gates always manage to find himself doing anti-competitive things and ending up with antitrust scrutiny?

EU Finds Anti-Competitive Abuse Of Pharmaceutical Patents, Launches Antitrust Action

[...]

Pharmaceutical companies are manipulating the intellectual property rights system and are “actively trying to delay the entry of generic medicines onto their markets,” a top EU official said of an EU inquiry into the pharmaceutical sector released Wednesday. As a result, there has been a decline in the number of innovative medicines getting to the market, it says.

For older information from the press, see:

The short story is that Gates was repeatedly accused of monopolising drug research. He is accused by several prominent people like the chief of malaria at the World Health Organization (WHO). Why does the press not cover this sufficiently? Notice how the EU official talks about business (and uses business terms) to justify antitrust action, but nothing is said about ethics and the loss of lives. It’s business as usual.

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

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2009/07/16/patent-news-of-importance/

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

8 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    July 16, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Gravatar

    The Bill and Melinda Gates scam is interesting. Gates appears to get free money from stock handouts from M$ which he then can sell or exchange for real stock which can be converted to real money. Money for nothing.

    Then it appears that ‘donations’ require significant investment in products that Gates is invested in. Kickbacks.

  2. goneaway said,

    July 16, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Gravatar

    How can you be stuck with a registrar? Unlock and transfer your domain. For the amount of grief you’ve delivered to people re: Mono you should really do the simple couple of steps to move your domain to someone who doesn’t abuse the patent system and isn’t a right wing freak.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, I might do this. Thanks.

    Roy Bixler Reply:

    You may want to look at

    http://nodaddy.com/

    in case you need more incentive to move away from them. It also contains suggestions for alternative registrars.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Thanks. It’s not urgent yet, but I might move it.

    aeshna23 Reply:

    As a gay, environmentalist, pro-choice right-wing freak, I resent your animus against people like me.

  3. Yfrwlf said,

    July 17, 2009 at 1:24 am

    Gravatar

    Can someone please just completely remove all patent laws so the world can get with the 21st Century and let it be the age of community-driven scientific and technological advancement like it’s TRYING to be? kthnxbi.

  4. Yuhong Bao said,

    July 20, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Gravatar

    “Here they are fraudulently using Google’s name to claim that Google wants software patents:”
    That news is actually a year old now, I mention it because not only it debunks this claim, but it tells a little about Google’s position on software patent.

What Else is New


  1. Links 14/4/2021: EasyOS Dunfell 2.7, Tor Browser 10.5a14

    Links for the day



  2. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 17: Jawohl, Herr Minister!

    A French-German co-production of "Yes, Minister!" starring Raimund Lutz, Heiko Maas and Christoph Ernst. Directed by Benoît Battistell.



  3. Over 1,000 EPO Workers Initiate Legal Challenge Against the EPO's Attack on Salaries (in Defiance of Assurances Made to Workers Who Relocate to Another Country With Whole Families)

    The EPO’s attack on workers and pensioners isn’t going ahead without challenge; while the “Mafia” (what EPO workers call the management) loots the organisation it takes away money from the workers — i.e. from besieged folks who do all the work and face growing workloads during a pandemic



  4. Who is Richard Stallman?

    Reproduced with permission



  5. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, April 13, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, April 13, 2021



  6. Links 13/4/2021: FreeBSD 13.0 Final, Slackware 15.0 GNU/Linux Beta Release and OpenMandriva Lx 4.3 Plans

    Links for the day



  7. IBM Stroking the Masters

    IBM continues to diminish its weakly-supported thesis about the word “Master” being inadequate in all contexts and IBM’s front group, the Linux Foundation, has just promoted more of that same self-serving agenda in the corporate media (screenshot below from 5 minutes ago)



  8. The 'Stallman Support' Web Site and How You Can Support Truth, Not Just Software Freedom

    The Stallman Support Dot Org Web site (stallmansupport.org, "In Support of Richard Stallman“), endorsed by Stallman himself, sets the record straight while the corporate media keeps peddling lies and distortions



  9. An Examination of Correspondence Between the Tweedledum-Tweedledee Duo, Lutz and Ernst

    A quick look at the letters and E-mails sent back and forth from the current VP5 and former VP5 of the EPO, Europe’s second-largest institution that the German government has let exist outside the rule/reach of any law



  10. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 16: An Inimitable Duo

    How the efforts to reform the EPO's data protection framework were derailed by the actions of Lutz and Ernst



  11. How the GNU Operating System Really Started (Almost a Decade Before Linux Came Out)

    Later this year Linux turns 30, but Linux is just a component added to the GNU Operating System, developed a very long time earlier based on the design of UNIX (the mainstream media likes to distort that part of history); here’s the creator of the GNU Operating System, telling me his story here in the United Kingdom (we did many clips like these and this one seems very timely)



  12. Richard Stallman: The Other Things I Have to Say I Put on Stallman.org... Reject the Idea That You Have to Accept Something Like Facebook

    Transcript below



  13. An Ode to Dr. Ernst

    THE BUDGET is right...



  14. During Pandemic, With Rising Inflation, Corrupt EPO Management With Its 'Shadow Budget' Cracks Down on Education and Childcare Allowance

    While hoarding and misusing money (by basically granting lots of patents that ought not be granted) the management of the EPO hides it aside, then proceeds to crushing salaries and benefits of staff, even pensioners



  15. IRC Proceedings: Monday, April 12, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, April 12, 2021



  16. In Support of Richard Stallman Normalizing Truth, Reason, Dialogue: Introduction

    Reproduced with permission.



  17. Lunduke: Stallman & The FSF Respond To The Mob!

    A video response in support of RMS



  18. Links 12/4/2021: RSS Guard 3.9.2 and IBM-Funded Hacks Keep Attacking RMS

    Links for the day



  19. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 15: Different Strokes for Different Folks

    Dr. Ernst and Raimund Lutz colluded to protect EPO management from a much-needed investigation; Ernst has since then been rewarded with a do-nothing job by António Campinos



  20. EPO President Campinos Lying to JURI

    Benjamin Henrion recorded today's hearing and uploaded it. “Campinos,” according to him, claims that (to paraphrase) “London [is] irrelevant to get UPCA running” (that’s very obviously a lie), so what we have here is António Campinos lying on behalf of the entire EPO, just as Benoît Battistelli did. Campinos has decided to “have fun,” we’ve been told, speaking of UPCA “upper law” (which is meaningless junk) at around 51:00. He clearly didn’t come prepared and he mumbles a lot. What awful leadership for what was supposed to be the best of Europe’s science…



  21. Supporting RMS With a Meme!

    As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.



  22. If You Want to Support a Real Community...

    We’ve just mentioned the fake 'community' of openSUSE and now it’s time to examine what Fedora has truly become under IBM



  23. OpenSUSE Hates Your Freedom, But It Loves the Proprietary Software Reseller That Is the True 'Master' of OpenSUSE

    OpenSUSE is inclusive of Microsoft and other companies that attack human rights and [cref 141916 enable nationalists]; but apparently what bothers OpenSUSE very, very much is the people who started the operating system SUSE is selling



  24. Links 12/4/2021: Lagrange 1.3.2, Linux 5.12 RC7

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, April 11, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, April 11, 2021



  26. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 14: The Notorious Revolving Door

    The Benoît Battistelli-António Campinos shuffle left some people in the EPO’s upper management better off; they’re being rewarded for complicity, so there’s no incentive to do the right thing but to do the wrong thing



  27. Links 11/4/2021: GnuPG 2.3.0, Linux 5.13 Additions

    Links for the day



  28. All EPO Articles Are Available Over Gemini Protocol

    For lighter and more privacy-preserving access to Techrights use the Gemini capsule instead of the Web site



  29. Judge and JURI

    The Committee on Legal Affairs, a.k.a JURI, meets the EPO tomorrow (in 24 hours); will abuses by António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli be brought up?



  30. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 13: The Failed Promise of a “Good Governance” Guru…

    Before becoming an absent-minded Vice-President of António Campinos Christoph Ernst was posing as the very opposite of what he would become


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