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

07.29.09

Patents Roundup: Another Attack on Free Software, Blackboard Loses Again, Yellow Beans Patented

Posted in America, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Patents at 5:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Assorted patent news of interest to the Free software community

McKool Smith, which looks like a classic patent troll, has just sued a one-man free/open source project — a decision which is backfiring.

Except, it appears that the lawyers for the patent holder (McKool Smith — a favorite among the patent hoarders) didn’t do much research on at least one of those “companies,” named CitiWare. Slashdot alerts us to the fact that CitiWare was basically just a small open source project from one guy, who hoped to turn it into a business, but couldn’t find any customers and shut it down. That guy has now turned the CitiWare.com website into an angry open letter to the patent holder and to its lawyers, demanding that they drop the case against him.

Some months ago we saw something similar happening to a GIMP plug-in.

Moodle, which has been under similar threats from the Microsoft-backed patent aggressor known as Blackboard [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] (never mind Microsoft's new attempt to exploit Moodle) can finally breathe out and sigh in relief. Blackboard’s junk patent is still declared invalid based on the following report.

A federal appeals court has found all 38 of Blackboard Inc.’s contested patent claims to be invalid in ongoing litigation between the D.C.-based education software company and its Canadian competitor, Desire2Learn Inc.

This is the second time in the course of the three-year lawsuit that courts have poked major holes in Blackboard’s patent.

There are echoes of this in Patently-O and also in TechDirt.

Even as the Patent Office realized it needed to rethink the patent, the lawsuit moved forward, with Blackboard scoring a win. Of course, just weeks later, the USPTO gave an initial rejection of the patent. The original court ruling was (of course) appealed (separate from the USPTO ruling), and the good news is that the appeals court has dumped the entire patent.

TechDirt also writes about a most ludicrous patent attempt:

This one’s a bit old, but Boing Boing just pointed us to the incredible story of a guy named Larry Proctor who was able to get the USPTO to patent some yellow beans he picked up in Mexico.

Here it is from BoingBoing and here is the key page about this sham. See the subheadline:

Controversial Court patent case for simple yellow legume has become rallying point for “biopiracy” concerns

This is amazing. “Biopiracy”. The growing of crops is now compared to raping and murdering innocent people. The Wired Magazine Web site has meanwhile published this report about real piracy that still exists and thrives near Somali shores.

All these propaganda terms need to be dropped. They daemonise people who do perfectly ethical things. “Intellectual monopoly” is still being described as “intellectual property” and there are even many Web sites that use this term in their name. The UK-IPO is an example of an entire establishment that bases itself on a name that’s a propaganda term. From “Intellectual Property Watch” now comes this report about hypocrisy in Europe and also TRIPS, which is related to ACTA provisions that we mentioned before [1, 2, 3].

The European Commission on Monday released a report finding fault with a number of United States practices related to intellectual property rights policy, on copyright, geographical indications, trademarks and patents. The report is an answer, one might say, to the annual US Special 301 report that criticises US trading partners it deems unilaterally to be insufficiently protecting its companies’ IP rights.

[...]

And on patents, the US government frequently fails to comply with Article 31 of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which requires governments that use patents to promptly inform the patent right holders, the EU said. This means the right holders are likely to miss the opportunity to initiate an administrative claim process.

These disputes revolve around limitation and inconveniencing of scientists, who are usually far less interested in all this mess than lawyers and managers. As Barracuda’s CEO put it last year, “I would much rather spend my time and money and energy finding ways to make the Internet safer and better than bickering over patents.”

ACTA

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

2 Comments

  1. Yuhong Bao said,

    July 30, 2009 at 1:39 am

    Gravatar

    “All these propaganda terms need to be dropped.”
    Many of these are listed in FSF’s list of words to avoid:
    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html
    ““Intellectual monopoly” is still being described as “intellectual property” and there are even many Web sites that use this term in their name.”
    Yep, that term and the ideas associated with it is loaded with problems:
    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/not-ipr.html
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080306/003240458.shtml
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080219/014250290.shtml
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090719/0108125588.shtml
    There was even a video added to beginning of DVDs comparing piracy to shoplifting and other things. The developer of the Windows-only VirtualDub complained about it:
    http://www.virtualdub.org/blog/pivot/entry.php?id=204

  2. Yuhong Bao said,

    July 30, 2009 at 1:48 am

    Gravatar

    And I forgot to add a link to a slashdot comment about the propaganda words:
    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1299791&cid=28666659

What Else is New


  1. Links 25/1/2015: Android Wear 5.0, Tizen in Bangladesh

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: January 11th, 2015 – January 24th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  3. Links 24/1/2015: Zenwalk Linux Reviewed, Netrunner 14.1 Released

    Links for the day



  4. The Latest 'Microsoft is Open Source' Propaganda a Parade of Lies

    Microsoft myth makers continue their assault on what is objectively true and try to tell the public that Microsoft is a friend of "Open Source"



  5. Apple -- Like Microsoft -- Not Interested in the Security of Its Operating Systems

    Apple neglected to patch known security flaws in Mac OS X for no less than three months and only did something about that vector of intrusion when the public found out about it



  6. As Battistelli Breaks the Rules and Topić Silences Staff, New European Parliament Petition for Tackling the EPO's Abuses is Needed

    The neglected (by EPO) Article 4a of the European Patent Convention (EPC) and the European Parliament petition/complaint against the EPO's crooked management



  7. Links 23/1/2015: Red Hat on IBM Power, Meizu Leaks With Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  8. Links 23/1/2015: Plasma 5.2, Manjaro 0.9-pre1

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft is Dying Due to Free Software, Tries to Infect GNU/Linux With .NET and to Infect Moodle in Schools With Microsoft Office and OOXML Lock-in

    'Free' drugs (a proprietary software analogy) the new strategy of Microsoft in its latest battle against Free software, especially in schools where choice is a rarity (if not an impossibility), with the premeditated intention of forming dependency/addiction among young people



  10. Microsoft Symptoms of a Dying Company: More Boosters Depart, Back Doors Revealed, Microsoft's Outlook Cracked

    Bad news for Microsoft shortly before the marketing extravaganza served to cover much of it up



  11. The Collapse of European Patent Office Management Culminates With Resignations

    No blood is spilled, but even the management of the EPO is falling apart as the Director of Internal Communication is said to have just resigned



  12. New LCA Talk: Open Invention Network's Deb Nicholson on Software Patents and Patent Trolls

    Deb Nicholson's LCA talk is now publicly accessible



  13. Links 22/1/2015: GNU/Linux Sysadmin Opportunities, TraceFS Introduced

    Links for the day



  14. Links 21/1/2015: Andrew Tridgell, Torvalds Being Baited

    Links for the day



  15. Vesna Stilin Renews Her Fight for Justice in Željko Topić Case (EPO VP)

    Željko Topić's abuses continue to cloud the legitimacy of the European Patent Office, in which he is a Vice-President



  16. Failure of the EPO Can Derail the Trojan Horse of Software Patents and Patent Trolls

    Dazzled by his endless pursuit of infinite money and power, Battistelli pushes for expansion of patent scope (geographically too), but he won't have it without a challenge



  17. Links 20/1/2015: Linux 3.19 RC5, 30 Years of FSF

    Links for the day



  18. Translations of Member of the European Parliament Complaining About European Patent Office (EPO)

    French, German, Dutch, and English translations of the article from Dennis De Jong



  19. Microsoft, the Back Doors Company, is Gradually Dying and Trying to Embrace the Competition

    The world is leaving Microsoft's common carrier (Windows) behind, so Microsoft, which is shrinking, tries to conquer Free software and GNU/Linux



  20. Battistelli's Latest Propaganda War Tries to Convince EPO Staff That Željko Topić's Many Criminal Charges Don't Exist

    Battistelli's right-hand man, Željko Topić, is now facing real danger of prosecution and possibly arrest in his home country, so Battistelli rushes to defend this thug's reputation



  21. Links 18/1/2015: Sailfish OS RoadMap, ownCloud Turns 5

    Links for the day



  22. Strategy of Litigation With Patents Has Collapsed Since SCOTUS Ruling in Alice v. CLS Bank

    The latest figures from Lex Machina show a massive decrease (-18%) in patent litigation last month; lawyers look for ways to spin the data in their favour



  23. Patent Lawyers Can't Help Rewriting Alice v. CLS Bank History

    The league of patent lawyers -- people who profit at the expense of software producers -- keeps brainwashing the public about the patentability of software (both the rationale and the potential)



  24. Myths and Hype About Patents

    Distortion of history and fabricated reports about patents in the corporate media leave many people confused and ultimately unable to make rational judgment



  25. Large Corporations, Including Microsoft Allies, Call for Abolition of Software Patents

    The calls for ending all patents on software are getting louder and patents as a whole are de-emphasised as a business strategy



  26. Links 17/1/2015: Lennart Poettering in Headlines, Mageia 5 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  27. Links 16/1/2015: Chapeau 21, Tails 1.2.3

    Links for the day



  28. Links 15/1/2015: KDE Releases, Ubuntu Phone Delays

    Links for the day



  29. Links 15/1/2015: KDE Plasma 5.2 Beta, Elive 2.5.2 Beta

    Links for the day



  30. Google Has Eliminated Microsoft's Dominance in Operating Systems, Microsoft Resorts to Propaganda, Child Exploitation, and EEE

    As Linux becomes the dominant kernel at Windows' expense Microsoft pulls old tricks including media manipulation, AstroTurfing, co-opting schools (making Windows obligatory for future generations), and EEE (embrace, extend, and extinguish)


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