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


Patents Roundup: Patent Propaganda from the BBC, IBM in the Shadows, and Early Mistakes from David Kappos

Posted in Apple, Deception, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Patents at 9:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: The BBC serves a familiar agenda, Microsoft hype observed, USPTO heads the wrong way, and IBM lurks inside the Linux Foundation

THERE is a lot to go through today because Microsoft is stepping up efforts to spread software patents. We shall start by pointing out that Microsoft’s darling [1, 2, 3, 4], the BBC, is spreading patent propaganda with words like “inventor” and the classic example of a “poor” victim (not the monopolies which actually leverage patents to block small companies).

Yesterday alone, the BBC published not one but two articles that glamourise and encourage stronger patent enforcement and broader scope. The first such article states:

Intellectual property rights are both a good thing and a potential obstacle. Imagine you’ve got a great idea, but part of the idea conflicts with someone’s patent. You can propose a licence, but in a lot of cases it can be very difficult to secure the rights for a long period and at a reasonable rate.

The second article is almost worse because it refers to “stealing” of ideas, which obviously cannot be stolen, by definition. It states:

A major British inventor is calling for a change in the law to strengthen protection against those who try to steal ideas.

The Register (also UK-based) has already highlighted this propaganda from the BBC:

The inventor of the wind-up radio is calling on the UK government to toughen its stance on patent law, by making intellectual property theft a criminal offence.

A reader of ours from the UK states that “Patent law and criminal law are two (IMO) completely different things, as is copyright theft. In respect of the latter, the term theft IMO does not apply since [...] According to Sec(1) Theft Act – “To dishonestly appropriate property belonging to the other with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.” Since there is no permanent deprivation of “property” (in this case data), there is no theft….IMO [...] the copyright theft act deals with the “sharing” of the work and the deprivation would be loss of income, that’s why the separate offence was created…. the point I was making was Copyright “Theft” is a bad choice of words since theft as outlined in Sec(1) does not IMO apply as per definition….in the case of copyright theft. It is worth noting, that file sharing is what makes the offence complete and the mere act of downloading would (IMO) have a civil remedy not a criminal one if no sharing was taking place although this is all open to argument and interpretation and is merely my interpretation of the criminal side of the copyright laws….”

There is actually a lot more Microsoft advertising in the BBC this week, as is the case most of the time. Maggie Shiels [1, 2] is at it again, advertising Vista 7 and citing other Microsoft shills for corroboration:

Ina Fried of CNET, who has covered Microsoft for over five years, said this issue has, in the past, been something of a hurdle for Microsoft and Intel.

Shiels and Fried make a good pair that seems like Microsoft PR masqueraded as reporters. This is based on a pattern observed long ago — a pattern that endlessly persists. Sarcastically, says one of our British readers, “maybe the clue is in her name, Maggie Shills…..yep, she does. Names aside, yeah it’s pretty blatant again — links to the windows 7 pre sales, like the other Windows 7 slog posts they do. The keywords are a thing too, in pro-Microsoft posts, there’s LOTS of Microsoft keywords, the post is littered with them, which makes them great consumption for the spiders, yet when it’s stories which are negative, Microsoft keywords are hardly mentioned, except at the end of the peice as the knight in silver armour coming in to offer customers advice on how to fix the issue under their terms. It’d be funny if it was a normal slog site. What it does do is make a mockery of the BBC’s claims of “independent high-quality journalism”.”

Speaking of Microsoft hype in the press, there is more sentimental blackmail [1, 2] from this company right now and Apple too is hyping things up (unrelated to this, it has connections with AstroTurf agencies). According to the following review from Ars Technica, Snow Leopard represents a development stagnation at Apple. Here’s the part which says:

Many of these same developers applauded the “150+ new features” in Tiger and the “300 new features” in Leopard at past WWDCs. Now they were applauding zero new features for Snow Leopard? What explains this?

There is even a photo.

Since we mentioned AstroTurfing, worth mentioning is also this update regarding Radian6, which we wrote about the other day.

After being angered by yet another Comcast f**kup that led to me being W.O.I. (With Out Internet) for over nine hours one day last week, I noticed that within the next day, a Comcast “representative” under the pseudonym of “Melissa Mendoza” had commented on the post with links to their “support” email address.

As I’ve written about before, Microsoft and other large companies often use the services of large astroturfing agencies. Microsoft uses one called Visible Technologies and apparently Comcast uses one called Radian6.

Moving on to important patent issues, this report suggests that China’s patent system is imploding, just as people predicted. It was a volcano of lawsuits waiting to erupt.

When France’s Schneider Electric faced a patent battle in a Chinese court recently it had reason to feel confident. It thought it had a solid prior art case for invalidating the patent being used against it by Chinese firm Chint, and foreign companies win 95% of patent cases in the Chinese courts.

As Masnick puts it, “Careful What You Ask For: China’s Patent System Causing Trouble.”

All those foreign nations who kept pushing China to build up its own patent system and learn to “respect intellectual property” may soon be regretting that, as they’re suddenly blocked out of the Chinese market by Chinese firms who fast-tracked cheap utility patents themselves with little to no review. Be careful what you wish for.

The USPTO is not better off, but the approach taken to resolving the issue is totally misguided. A reader from Germany gave us a pointer to this document [PDF} (“fresh from Heise,” as he put it). It is “only [the] interim rules,” he stressed, “but still a good sign. See p. 3, section I.1 Step 1.”

The USPTO is being harshly criticised elsewhere. David Kappos [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] uses the wrong yardstick to measure the success (or lack thereof) of this system and major delays are indicators of too wide a scope for patenting.

The other day we wrote about medical barriers caused by patents and Masnick appears to agree, adding that Kappos is “Suggesting They Want More Patents, Approved Faster.” More patents?

Two separate stories concerning statements from those in charge of the patent system suggest that the new administration isn’t about to help fix the problems in the patent system, but is eagerly looking to make them worse. It starts with new USPTO Director David Kappos, who some thought would recognize problems with the patent system from his years dealing with those problems at IBM. While IBM is a massive patent stockpiler, over the past few years it’s at least indicated some recognition that the system is broken.


The real problem, which becomes evident in reading the article is that since the USPTO is funded based on patent application fees, it has every incentive in the world, as an institution, to approve more patents. The more patents it approves, the more applications it gets, which means more money as well.

Indeed, this sounds too greed-motivated. The EPO was accused of similar behaviour. To quote Richard Stallman, “Staff at the European Patent Office went on strike accusing the organization of corruption: specifically, stretching the standards for patents in order to make more money.”

Tim Lee’s warning against software patents has gotten Masnick’s attention as well (because they know each other). The important points are being stressed again.

In the original piece, Tim also points out how software patents (contrary to the claims of some defenders of the system) unfairly tilt the balance of power to big companies — the ones who can stockpile tons of patents to use as a weapon against infringement suits. It’s the small companies who are left exposed.

It is worth repeating over and over again that experience suggests small companies are mostly victimised by the patent system. IBM’s considerable role in OIN and the Linux Foundation is proof of this because IBM wants software patents and it wants to use them to increase its dominance/control in the area. According to this new exchange of ideas, IBM is partly behind the Linux Foundation’s patent policy.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Manny W Schecter <schecter@us.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 12:12 AM
Subject: Re: [priorart-discuss] No more software-patents in the us?
To: OSS and USPTO prior art discussions

Not exactly. You are citing interim guidelines from the USPTO which
are not binding law by their own admission. The USPTO has invited
public comment on the guidelines, and there will be plenty I’m sure.
The Bilski decision pending before the Supreme Court is what you
should be watching. A decision is expected 1H10.

Manny Schecter

Jan Kechel <jan@kechel.de>
To: OSS and USPTO prior art discussions <priorart-discuss@lists.osdl.org>
Date: 09/02/2009 06:09 PM
Subject: [priorart-discuss] No more software-patents in the us?
Sent by: priorart-discuss-bounces@lists.linux-foundation.org

Hash: RIPEMD160

Hi everybody,

I just found a nice article about changes in the USPTO, seems that there
are no more software patents until some other court stuff will be finished:


(see page 15)

My source (german:)


claims that this is based on the following decision:


What do you people think about that?



- –
publictimestamp.org/ptb/PTB-7047 ripemd128 2009-09-02 21:00:05

Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)


The above shows the involvement of IBM staff. As we have shown before, IBM is part of this problem because it lies when arguing that software patents have been beneficial to Free software [1, 2]. They take away basic rights and then “donate” or sell them back to us. A lot of people are being fooled, but they don’t have to.

“According to Software Magazine, last year we were the 92nd largest software company in the US. My perspective on software patents is simple: stop issuing software patents. Software patents should not exist.” —Jerry Fiddler, Wind River Systems

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. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's High Five

    Another cartoon about the sad state of the EPO

  2. Battistelli Ruins Not Only the EPO But Also the Whole of Europe By Ushering in Software Patents That Patent Trolls Love So Much

    Battistelli's bad leadership at the EPO threatens to bring to Europe all the ills and menaces of the patent system in the United States

  3. EPO Spokesman Lies to IP Watch in Order to Save Face and Save the King (Battistelli)

    Rewriting history (revisionism) regarding Battistelli and what was demanded amidst abusive behaviour from him

  4. Unitary Patent (UPC) is Dead, But 'Managing IP' and Selfish Patent Law Firms Still Try to Resurrect It

    The latest attempts to shore up the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court and who's behind it other than the usual suspects

  5. Links 20/10/2016: Linux 4.10 Preview, ONF and ON.Labs to Merge

    Links for the day

  6. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC 'Study': The Raw Outcome Shows Distortion of the Facts at the EPO's Notorious 'Social Conference'

    Results of the Staff Survey carried out by PwC, in order to provide some propaganda for Battistelli's expensive Social Conference

  7. Addendum: EPO's Alberto Casado Cerviño, WIPO's Francis Gurry, and EUIPO's Archambeau

    Photos taken as part of an IP event which took place in Riga (Latvia) in March 2015

  8. Worrisome Connections Between EPO VP2 Alberto Casado Cerviño and Patricia García-Escudero Márquez

    Exploring the potential conflicts of interests implicating the EPO's Boards of Appeal Committee

  9. Site's Infrastructure Under Attack and Upgrades Ahead of Major New Publications

    Protections for the Web site have been improved and capacity increased in order to avoid or at least prepare for another week of abusive/spam traffic

  10. Team Battistelli's Conspiracy Theory: SUEPO is Behind Everything, EPO Management is Trying to Tell the Media

    Attempts to blame SUEPO, the staff union of the EPO, even though SUEPO has nothing to do with articles that are critical of the EPO while many thousands of EPO employees are disgruntled

  11. Links 19/10/2016: Canonical Livepatch Service, Plasma Plans

    Links for the day

  12. The 'Sarah Sharps' of Microsoft: Not the Kind of Scandal the Media Cares Enough to Write About

    Another example of the large (industrial) scale of sexual discrimination at Microsoft -- a company that tries to advertise itself as diverse or tolerant and stigmatise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) as intolerant and/or not diverse

  13. EPO Caricature: EQE Questions

    The latest EPO cartoon, this time about European qualifying examination (EQE)

  14. The Long History or Seeds of Control by Fear and Punishment at the EPO

    The latest hogwash from Team Battistelli (Pinocchio), the latest instance of software patents promotion by EPO Principal Director, and an old (decade-old) nugget of information from the Forum for Principal Directors

  15. Subject of the European Patent Office's Abuses Raised in European Parliament by Ulrike Müller (ALDE)

    A local copy of a bunch of questions asked less than a month ago by Ulrike Müller at the European Parliament, regarding the unacceptable state of affairs at the European Patent Office (EPO)

  16. French Article About the EPO "Crisis"

    Le Monde, which covered EPO suicides and nervous breakdowns a year and a half ago, revisits the subject

  17. Battistelli Wants Us to Believe a Patent Office in a Freefall (EPO) is “Stronger and More Sustainable”

    Still in denial (or self-deluding for self indulgence), Battistelli writes about the EPO as though everything is rosy and people are happy

  18. Leaked Documents Shed More Light on What Happened to Alison Brimelow and How Battistelli Rose to Power

    How Battistelli's (almost) all-male (and all-white, mostly French) management came into being, not too long after Ms Alison Brimelow got elbowed out the Office

  19. Leaked: Outcomes of 149th Administrative Council's Meeting at the European Patent Organisation

    The raw details or a summary thereof, based on the above which serves to confirm what we wrote about several days ago, right after the quarterly meeting had ended

  20. Danish Press Coverage of the European Patent Office and the Problems Explored by Techrights

    Jesper Kongstad does virtually nothing to deny the arguments (or "accusations") and instead alludes to the style of the writings about him

  21. Links 18/10/2016: Release Candidate of Leap 42.2, Looking Ahead at GTK4

    Links for the day

  22. Links 17/10/2016: JS Foundation, Ubuntu 17.04 Named ‘Zesty Zapus’

    Links for the day

  23. EPO Updates: Battistelli in Trouble, Grossenbacher and Battistelli Having a Fight, EPO Doubles Down on Željko Topić

    Interesting updates from the European Patent Office (EPO), where things have taken a turn for the worse for Battistelli while Željko Topić secures an extension of his notorious contract

  24. EPO Social Conference Another Example of Astronomical Waste of Money by Benoît Battistelli

    Having paid the media and attempted to scare/intimidate staff into silence (even among one another), Battistelli now pays some firms to lie for him and present the lies while staff representatives are blocked from entering the presentation

  25. As Expected, Benoît Battistelli Puts Longtime Ally Roland Grossenbacher on Top of Boards of Appeal

    Benoît Battistelli's predecessor Roland Grossenbacher, who has a track record of protection and support for Battistelli (no matter the magnitude of abuses), reportedly takes a key position with Battistelli's approval, debunking the notion that the appeal boards will enjoy greater (perceived) independence from the Office

  26. UPC Preparatory Committee Projects Optimism in an Effort to Salvage Its Dying Project, the Unitary/Unified Patent

    Refusing to let the UPC stay in its grave, Team UPC keeps digging up and dishing out UPC misinformation, in front of an audience that need not be preached to as it's already converted (effectively an echo chamber)

  27. Outline of Latest Press Coverage Regarding the European Patent Office (EPO)

    European media is beginning to cover scandals associated with the European Patent Office (EPO), in spite of Battistelli's attempt to silence and manipulate it, at the expense of millions of Euros per year

  28. Links 16/10/2016: Linux 4.9 RC1, Wine 1.9.21

    Links for the day

  29. Links 14/10/2016: 20th Birthday for KDE, Apache OpenOffice 4.1.3

    Links for the day

  30. EPO Administrative Council Meeting Turning Point - Part V: “Siegfried Bross as President of the Boards of Appeal!”

    Retired judge Siegfried Broß is jokingly named as the person who should head the independent Boards of Appeal that keep the Office in check


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