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. The EFF Back to Tackling Software Patents, Not Just Patent Trolls

    Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyers start targeting large companies that exploit patents for intimidation and extortion, not just patent trolling



  2. Microsoft Wants to Devour the Competition (Linux), Devour People's Data

    Refuting the "new Microsoft" propaganda and some ludicrous concept that Microsoft is now "playing nice"



  3. Benoît Battistelli Thinks 'President' is Above the Law, Decides to Ignore the Court's Ruling

    Staff of the EPO is given yet more reasons to protest tomorrow at the British Consulate, for the so-called 'President' of the EPO reminds everyone of the very raison d'être for the protest -- a vain disregard for the rule of law



  4. Links 24/2/2015: Xfce 4.12 a Week Away, GNOME 3.16 Previewed

    Links for the day



  5. Links 23/2/2015: Ubuntu Kylin 14.04.2 LTS, Cinnamon 2.6 Previews

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: February 8th - February 21st, 2015





  7. The EPO's Sham 'Internal Investigation' of EPO Vice-President Željko Topić's Affairs

    The EPO never investigated the Željko Topić affair, it only pretends to have investigated (one small aspect, i.e. cherry-picking) using a Benoît Battistelli-controlled group



  8. Links 21/2/2015: GNOME 3.15.90, Google Wins Android Lawsuit

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft AstroTurfing War on GNU/Linux is Still Going On, But Hidden Better, Uses API as Instrument of Lock-in

    The corruptible press continues to describe blatant attacks (Embrace, Extend, Extinguish) against GNU/Linux and Free software as Microsoft 'embracing' Open Source



  10. Lenovo's Superfish Scandal is Spyware on Top of Spyware (Microsoft Windows), the Problem is Inherently Proprietary Software

    Shifting focus to the root problem, which is neither Lenovo nor its laptops but the non-free programs installed on hardware



  11. Benoît Battistelli Once Again Threatens EPO Staff That 'Dares' to Protest, Battistelli Exploits Terror Attacks to Pretend to Respect Free Speech

    The European Patent Office (EPO) President, Benoît Battistelli, reportedly started threatening -- as before -- staff that decides to exercise the right to assemble and protest against abuses, including the abuses of President Battistelli himself



  12. Links 20/2/2015: Android Studio v1.1, GDB 7.9

    Links for the day



  13. Links 20/2/2015: Bloomberg Joins Linux Foundation, ClearOS Community 6.6.0

    Links for the day



  14. The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys Slams the European Patent Office for Structural Failings

    An important letter which we overlooked while writing yesterday's 4 articles about the European Patent Office (EPO); yet another key stakeholder complains



  15. Links 19/2/2015: Hewlett-Packard on Cumulus Linux, Previews of GNOME 3.16 Beta

    Links for the day



  16. Techrights Under Attack Again, Shortly After Important EPO Articles

    Techrights highlights a pattern that is months old; Site faces availability issues shortly after reports about the European Patent Office and its abuses



  17. EPO Staff Protests Against Benoît Battistelli’s Lowering of Patents Quality (Scope Expansion and Software Patents for Profit)

    A protest in Munich in less than 6 days will target Mr. Sean Dennehey, who has helped Battistelli cover up his abuses and crush legitimate critics, whom he deemed illegal opposition as if the EPO is an authoritarian regime as opposed to a public service which taxpayers are reluctantly (but forcibly) funding



  18. Breaking: European Patent Office Sued by Its Own Staff in The Hague, Must Unblock Staff's Voices

    The crooked management of the European Patent Office (EPO) gets in legal trouble after repeated attempts to cover up abuses and suppress criticism



  19. Željko Topić's History in SIPO Leaves a Legacy of Alleged DZIV Vehicles (Bribes), Authorship Abuses, and Intimidation Against Reporters

    Another deep look at Željko Topić's background in Croatia, preceding his very notorious appointment to the EPO where he now serves as Benoît Battistelli's most controversial attack dog



  20. The Old Obsession With Patent Trolls Continues to Distract From Debate About Software Patenting

    A roundup of recent coverage about monopolies on algorithms in the United States



  21. Links 19/2/2015: 64-bit ARM Linux, Chinese New Year

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/2/2015: Linux Report, FlightGear 3.4

    Links for the day



  23. EPO Scandals: The Story So Far

    An overview of articles about mischief, misconduct and breach of laws at the EPO



  24. Links 17/2/2015: TripleO, Pivotal

    Links for the day



  25. Links 17/2/2015: SystemD 219, Frugalware 2.0 (Rigel) Released

    Links for the day



  26. Željko Peratović Slammed for Whitewashing Željko Topić After Publishing Important Piece on Behalf of Key Sources

    Response from Ivan Kabalin to Zeljko Peratovic's so-called "apology" which is both mysterious and seemingly inadequate as it does nothing to actually explain what was wrong (if anything)



  27. Benoît Battistelli Has Made Oversight of European Patent Office Absolutely Impossible





  28. Microsoft Already Killed Nokia, Don't Let It Kill Android Players Too

    Microsoft's strategy against Android mirrors the company's evil strategy that derailed MeeGo and Nokia



  29. Intel Continues to Attack Software Freedom Through UEFI

    The Trojan horse that Microsoft uses to cement its monopoly on desktops and laptops (making it hard or impossible to install and run GNU/Linux) is also being misused to block Coreboot



  30. Links 16/2/2015: Netrunner 15, Bridge Linux

    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