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

09.28.09

Patents Roundup: Richard Stallman Versus Software Patents in NZ, Opposition to Monopolies, and Microsoft Hypocrisy

Posted in Courtroom, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Patents, Protocol at 4:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

New Zealand flag

Summary: Richard Stallman to help New Zealand defeat software patents, which are mathematical monopolies based on the New Scientist; reform suffers setbacks and Microsoft is unable to obey patent law

Resistors

THE father of Free software, Richard Stallman, shall soon speak about software patents in New Zealand. Here is an introduction/abstract.

In this insightful discussion, international Free Software advocate Richard Stallman (RMS) will argue that software patents seriously and significantly obstruct software development.

Software patents are patents that cover software ideas. Stallman will argue that they restrict the development of software to the point that the risk of legal action as a result of design decisions is dramatically raised. Stallman will also make the point that patents in other fields restrict factories, but in IT, software patents restrict every computer user and consumer.

Stallman was giving such talks several years back when European activists staved off attempts to legalise software patents in Europe (Microsoft was among the large forces lobbying for it). Similar attempts are now being made to legalise software patents in New Zealand where Microsoft tries to colonise, not always successfully though.

Software is Mathematics

Here is a very recent article from the New Scientist, which is a distinguished publication. Therein we find a clear, scientific explanation of why software is mathematics (and should therefore not be patentable).

To prove mathematically that the 7500 lines of its kernel’s code were secure, Gerwin Klein of NICTA and his team first had to come up with a mathematical method to express the code. “In the end, programs are just mathematics, and you can reason about them mathematically,” says Klein.

One can join the latest discussion about software patents at Groklaw, where the invaluable finding shown above was first identified and brought to more people’s attention.

Reform

As we mentioned the other day, the Rick Frenkel (aka Patent Troll Tracker) case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] is now settled and Law.com offers some more coverage. The sad thing is that those patent trolls managed to gag and perhaps permanently silence their biggest critic. According to Patently-O, on Obama’s agenda there are more intellectual monopolies, not less (no surprise there). Here are some details.

President Obama’s speech today focused on its newly formed “strategy for American innovation” — his “strategy to foster new jobs, new businesses, and new industries by laying the groundwork and the ground rules to best tap our innovative potential. . . .

[...]

Protect intellectual property rights. Intellectual property is to the digital age what physical goods were to the industrial age. We must ensure that intellectual property is protected in foreign markets and promote greater cooperation on international standards that allow our technologies to compete everywhere. The Administration is committed to ensuring that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has the resources, authority, and flexibility to administer the patent system effectively and issue high-quality patents on innovative intellectual property, while rejecting claims that do not merit patent protection.

There is some very strong language here; it is almost propaganda-inspired, as though it was written by patent lawyers to advance their personal agenda. The Director of the USPTO, David Kappos, says that patents are a “20-year monopoly”, which is not the same as referring to patents as a “property”, a “right”, “protection”, or intellect. It’s more of a blockade, but monopolies love those.

Microsoft

Microsoft still treats Exchange protocols as patents — a practice which is wrongly seen as acceptable (or a “necessary evil”) by some players in the relevant sector; Google is among the victims of ActiveSync, others being Linux vendors which succumbed to Microsoft's patent plot. The funny thing is that Microsoft ignores patent law when it suits its needs. Here is the latest turn of events in the i4i case, as described in the Wall Street Journal.

I4i Inc. doesn’t want to prevent Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) from selling its flagship Word product, it just wants Microsoft to remove i4i’s technology.

And the closely held Toronto company, which won its patent-infringement case against Microsoft in May, doesn’t appear willing to compromise on this point. “You can never say never,” said i4i Chairman Loudon Owen, regarding a settlement with Microsoft, “but we’re here to build our business and we’re here to compete.”

More information about the i4i case can be found in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. It’s an embarrassment to Microsoft and it shows the company’s endless hypocrisy when it comes to software patents.

“The only patent that is valid is one which this Court has not been able to get its hands on.”

Supreme Court Justice Jackson

Software patents protest in India

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. Links 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

    Links for the day



  2. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  3. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  4. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  5. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  6. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  7. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  8. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  9. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  10. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  11. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  12. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  13. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  14. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  15. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

    Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell



  16. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  17. Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

    Links for the day



  18. Microsoft's Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

    Microsoft boosters are preparing 'damage control' pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft



  19. Secrecy Allows British Government to be Manipulated by Microsoft for Spyware Behind Closed Doors

    Dependence on malicious software from NSA ally Microsoft is highly dependent, at least in Britain, on government secrecy and vain refusal to comply with Freedom of Information (FOI) requests



  20. Software Patent Applications Already Being Rejected in the US Owing to SCOTUS Ruling, Some Patent Lawyers Are Fuming

    Good news on the software patents front as the USPTO starts rejecting software patent applications, based on patent lawyers' words



  21. Links 15/7/2014: New Plasma, Google Announces Project Zero

    Links for the day



  22. Interest in Free Software Coverage and 9 Months With Tux Machines

    Thoughts about the level of interest in Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and growth of at least some sites that focus on GNU/Linux



  23. White House Backs Away From Appointing Patents Zealot to Top USPTO Position

    Philip Johnson is no longer poised to become the Director of the USPTO, which is basically an establishment that provides protectionism to primarily US-based corporations



  24. Professor James Bessen Presents the Case Against Software Patents After Important SCOTUS Ruling

    The debate about software patents in the Unites States continues, with academia on one side and greedy patent lawyers on the other



  25. Software Patents Demising in the US as Microsoft Patent Attacks on Android/Linux Suffer a Huge Setback

    M-Cam's assessment of Microsoft's bundle of extortion (using software patents) shows toothlessness, irrespective of the SCOTUS decision to effectively annul "abstract" software patents



  26. Links 13/7/2014: KDE Activity Surge

    Links for the day



  27. Pro-Microsoft Spin in Microsoft-Funded News Networks

    The rogue media (misinformation) campaign of Microsoft benefits from networks which have been paid by Microsoft over the years



  28. Cronyism at Play: European Hostility Towards Free/Libre Software Despite Espionage and Moles

    Europe continues to be held hostage with back doors, lock-in, and massive payments to foreign powers, despite evidence that these powers are destructive and hostile



  29. Wirelessly-Controlled Contraceptives and Other Villainous Bill Gates Initiatives

    Remote controls for people's reproductive systems are now in the making and Bill Gates is a prominent investor in the technology



  30. Links 12/7/2014: CrossOver, New Wine

    Links for the day


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