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

10.04.09

Patents Roundup: Uniloc Appeals Microsoft’s Dodge, OpenGL 3 Patent Issues Rear Ugly Head, Apple Innovates Crippleware

Posted in Apple, Google, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 10:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: As the title suggests, this is a mishmash of software patent news

THIS is just a quick overview of patent news we haven’t sufficient time to cover thoroughly.

Uniloc-Microsoft

The Uniloc case was previously mentioned here in [1, 2, 3, 4]. The press marks the overturn of a ruling against Microsoft like it did with Alcatel-Lucent about a fortnight ago, but although Uniloc suffers this setback [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], the situation may be temporary because an appeal from the plaintiff is coming. The story is not over yet and it helps in exposing Microsoft's hypocrisy on the patent issue. To quote this finding from Groklaw:

“A simple comparison of MD5 as a whole to the algorithm Uniloc’s patent discloses clearly reveals non-equivalence,” Judge Smith ruled. “While the existence of additional components or different steps does not per se preclude a structure from being considered substantially the same as another structure, the various non-additive mathematical operations in MD5 demonstrate significant (and undisputed) differences between MD5 and the summation algorithm in the ’216 patent [for Uniloc], which cannot be overstated. For example, the compressive, circular shifting and mixing functions fundamentally create a more secure result compared to an algorithm based in summation as the specification discloses. Indeed, the unchallenged evidence was that MD5′s hallmark is the variety of its logical and mathematical steps to obtain a more secure result. This complexity highlights the advantage of an irreversible one-way function with a fixed output, instead of an algorithm that uses a single type of reversible operation (with no fixed output), such as that disclosed in the patent.”

Will we see software patents as a whole invalidated any time soon? All eyes on In Re Bilski.

OpenGL 3

The FSF has warned about it for quite some time. As Heise and Phoronix put it, the patent issues in OpenGL 3 already affect Mesa.

While work on OpenGL 3.x support in Mesa has been very slow, many have been looking forward to the day when Gallium3D hardware drivers provide fast acceleration and a OpenGL 3 state tracker to provide this support to all Gallium3D users. Intel though has also been wanting to bring some OpenGL 3 support to the classic Mesa stack. However, at XDC2009, Intel’s Ian Romanick has expressed some issues with patents that could inhibit the support.

Not to worry though. A solution is currently being worked out in the mailing lists.

[I]t looks like the Linux Foundation could get involved along with the Open Invention Network (OIN) to hopefully reach a proper agreement with the patent/IP holders. Greg Kroah-Hartman brought this 3D patent issue up with the Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board to see what can be done. At this time they are still setting up a meeting.

Misc.

In other patent news, Apple gets caught patenting yet another customer-hostile idea. Microsoft does this too.

Evil is in the eye of the beholder, but there’s certainly not much to like in the newly-disclosed Apple patent applications for Systems and Methods for Provisioning Computing Devices. Provisioning, says Apple, allows carriers to ‘specify access limitations to certain device resources which may otherwise be available to users of the device.’ So what problem are we trying to solve here? ‘Mobile devices often have capabilities that the carriers do not want utilized on their networks,’ explains Apple. ‘Various applications on these devices may also need to be restricted.’

Here is another new example of a customer-hostile patent.

That Whole Watch An Ad To Get Content Thing? Patented… And The Patent Holder Has Been Suing

[...]

So we were just talking about some new company called Free All Music, which has a plan to let people download free mp3s if they agree to watch a video ad first. I have my doubts about how well it would work… but apparently the company may also need to watch out for another issue: a bogus patent.

Speaking of bogus patents, Patently-O has this post about use of patent reexaminations to remove barriers.

Most patents currently being reexamined at the PTO are also being litigated in parallel proceedings in district court. This rise in importance of parallel reexaminations leads directly to both Constitutional controversies and practical problems. Although the Federal Circuit has nimbly attempted to avoid the problem, the truth is that both the PTO (an Article II executive agency) and the Article III Courts focus on the same question of validity of patent claims. These races to conclusion raise questions of both separation of powers and res judicata.

Google and Adobe get sued by a company called Textscape. It’s a software patent, but not a patent troll.

It looks like at least a few of Google’s lawyers who specialize in patent law are about to get some work to do. Google – along with Adobe – has been sued by a company named Textscape because the search giant allegedly violated a patent Textscape was granted in 1998.

Will this lawsuit be beneficial to anyone other than patent lawyers? Probably not. In its latest essay on the subject, TechDirt insists that patents only ever harm innovation.

There are plenty of reasons why people might believe patents increase innovation — but they’re the same theories of the mercantilists in the 18th century, who believed that monopolies on other products spurred more development in those businesses. That theory was debunked and is considered laughable by pretty much any economist today. And yet, when it comes to patents, why do people automatically reject what economists realized two hundred years ago? Monopolies may temporarily benefit the monopolist, but at the expense of society as a whole.

Also see:

Patents do harm innovation if respectable economists and engineers are asked about it; lawyers and monopolies, on the other hand, are self serving, so the more intellectual monopolies, the more business the former receives and the more protection the latter receives.

“IP is often compared to physical property rights but knowledge is fundamentally different.”

IP Watch on Professor Joseph Stiglitz

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. Battistelli Blocked Techrights at EPO (Banned for More Than 5 Years), So CEIPI Won't Respect Access to Information Either

    The use of censorship to confront people who talk about (not even expose) corruption isn't novel; but the adoption of this approach in Europe (not just places like Russia and China) is definitely noteworthy



  2. IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 17, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, February 17, 2020



  3. Links 18/2/2020: Linux 5.6 RC2, Wine 5.2, GNU Social Contract and Sparky 2020.02 Special Editions

    Links for the day



  4. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 16, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 16, 2020



  5. Links 16/2/2020: MX Linux 19.1 and MyPaint 2.0

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 15, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 15, 2020



  7. Guest Article: Au Revoir, GNU/Linux

    "Funny how OSI just ended up being another vehicle for their takeover of the computing world..."



  8. Former Microsoft Employee: ZDNet is Owned by Microsoft (and Others) in Some Senses

    A noteworthy message we've received from someone who knows Microsoft from the inside



  9. Links 15/2/2020: Blender 2.82, Qt 5.15 Alpha and NetBSD 9.0 Released

    Links for the day



  10. Microsoft Views 'Open Source' as a Zero-Cost Heist Opportunity (Making Proprietary Software/Spyware Using Other People's Free Labour)

    Making GPL-licensed (copyleft) software and hosting it outside Microsoft’s jaws is the best way to counter the abusive monopolist, which still says it “loves” what it is actually attacking



  11. Did Microsoft 'Buy' ZDNet?

    A look at what ZDNet tells its readers (screenshot from this morning) and a rare look at how its writers are censored/suppressed



  12. Anatomy of a Crime and Protection From Prosecution

    It’s hard to forget what António Campinos hides for his friend



  13. Today's EPO is a Fraud Managed by Frauds

    Beneath the scandals associated with systematic abuse against staff, union-busting (silencing whistleblowers) and en masse granting of invalid patents — the hallmark of grotesque maladministration — lie a bunch of even greater crimes



  14. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 14, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, February 14, 2020



  15. One Need Only Look at ZDNet's 'Linux' Section to Understand It's a Microsoft Propaganda Operation

    A timely new snapshot (or screenshot) that demonstrates what ZDNet became after hiring Microsoft employees as ‘journalists’ and censoring on behalf of Microsoft, defaming Free software figures and so on



  16. Links 14/2/2020: New Release of KStars, OpenSSH 8.2, Rhythmbox 3.4.4, Flatpak 1.6.2

    Links for the day



  17. The Uselessness of Social Control Media and Why We Need RSS Feeds' Resurgence More Than Ever

    Social control media became pure noise or misinformation, usually in pursuit of financial expansion alone, and it is also a censorship machine which discourages not falsehoods but unconventional thinking



  18. Another New 'Clown' for the UPC 'Circus'

    A former writer of IPPro Magazine (which seems to be defunct now) reports another shuffle -- perhaps the fifth in a few years -- of "IP" [sic] Minister for the UK; it doesn't bode well for the Unified Patent Court (UPC)



  19. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 13, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 13, 2020



  20. Links 13/2/2020: Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS, Septor 2020, Endless OS 3.7.7, Wayland 1.18.0, KDE Plasma 5.18 and GTK 3.98 Released

    Links for the day



  21. The Microsoft Propaganda Model

    Classic new examples (real screenshots) of how Microsoft-funded media entraps people looking for information about "Linux" to actually push Microsoft talking points and marketing, cover-up, face-saving lies etc.



  22. What's Evil is Forcing People to Use Something They Don't Want and Typically Dislike

    The difference between Google Search and Microsoft is that many people actually want to use Google (and don't have to)



  23. 2020: The Year Microsoft Became Honest... About Being Corrupt and Criminal

    Microsoft is destroying any past attempts to portray itself as a reformed company or 'recovering criminal'; nothing is really changing and everyone has noticed



  24. Free Software is Being Abandoned by Opponents of Software Patents and It's Being Attacked by Patent Trolls

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is rotting away as an advocate against software patents; Patents on algorithms are still being granted (even when courts repeatedly reject these) and Red Hat's Chief Patent Counsel remains Manny Schecter, one of the loudest proponents of such patents (citing the likes of Adam Mossoff this week, in effect Koch operatives); this is a very big problem because Free software projects come under a barrage of lawsuits, using patents like those IBM lobbies ferociously to legitimise



  25. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 12, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 12, 2020



  26. Links 12/2/2020: KDE Neon 5.18, Tails 4.3 and WordPress 5.4 Beta

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 11, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 11, 2020



  28. Links 11/2/2020: New Firefox and KDE Plasma

    Links for the day



  29. Sometimes ILO-AT is Good for Nothing But Law Firms in or Around Switzerland

    ILO-AT’s latest judgements are out. But ILO — and by extension the UN — are still morally deficient and they give the impression that don’t care about people (or that ILO is in bed with the same businesses WIPO (UN) serves, i.e. no better than WB/IMF).



  30. The European Patent Office Continues to Violate the European Patent Convention (EPC) With Impunity While the European Commission Lets That Happen

    The European Commission (and Union) can be seen as increasingly complicit in the EPO's abuses; this means that the EPO has become a liability or source of accountability for the integrity of Europe as a bloc


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