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. Links 22/5/2019: Mesa 19.0.5, Huawei and GNU/Linux, Curl 7.65.0, End of Antergos, Tails 3.14, ownCloud Server 10.2, Firefox 67.0

    Links for the day



  2. Quality of Patents is Going Down the Drain and Courts Have Certainly Noticed

    Uncertainty or lack of confidence in the patent system has reached appalling levels because heads of patent offices are just striving to grant as many patents as possible, irrespective of the underlying law



  3. EUIPO and EPO Abuses Growingly Inseparable

    'Musical chairs' at CEIPI and the EPO/EUIPO (Battistelli, Archambeau, Campinos) as well as joint reports never fail to reveal the extent to which EPO abuses are spreading



  4. Links 21/5/2019: China's GAFAM Exit, DragonFlyBSD 5.4.3

    Links for the day



  5. Links 20/5/2019: Linux 5.2 RC1, LibreOffice 6.3 Alpha, DXVK 1.2.1, Bison 3.4 Released

    Links for the day



  6. South Korea's Government Will Show If Microsoft Loves Linux or Just Attacks It Very Viciously Like It Did in Munich

    Microsoft's hatred of all things GNU/Linux is always put to the test when someone 'dares' use it outside Microsoft's control and cash cows (e.g. Azure and Vista 10/WSL); will Microsoft combat its longstanding urge to corrupt or oust officials with the courage to say "no" to Microsoft?



  7. Links 19/5/2019: KDE Applications 19.04.1 in FlatHub and GNU/Linux Adoption

    Links for the day



  8. The War on Patent Quality

    A look at the EPO's reluctance to admit errors and resistance to the EPC, which is its very founding document



  9. Watchtroll, Composed by Patent Trolls, Calls the American Patent System “Corrupt”

    Another very fine piece from Watchtroll comes from very fine patent trolls who cheer for Donald Trump as if he's the one who tackles corruption rather than spreading it



  10. Unified Patent Court Won't Happen Just Because the Litigation Microcosm Wants It

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) hopefuls are quote-mining and cherry-picking to manufacture the false impression that the UPC is just around the corner when in reality the UPC is pretty much dead (but not buried yet)



  11. Links 17/5/2019: South Korea's GNU/Linux Pivot, Linux 5.1.3

    Links for the day



  12. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 4: Happy Birthday to the Kötter Group?

    This year the Kötter Group commemorates the 85th anniversary of its existence. But is it really a cause for celebration or would a less self-congratulatory approach be more fitting? And does it create the risk that a routine tendering exercise at the EPO will turn into Operation Charlie Foxtrot?



  13. Links 16/5/2019: Cockpit 194, VMware Acquires Bitnami, Another Wine Announcement and Krita 4.2.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  14. The EPO's Key Function -- Like the UPC's Vision -- Has Virtually Collapsed

    The EPO no longer issues good patents and staff is extremely unhappy; but the Office tries to create an alternate (false) reality and issues intentionally misleading statements



  15. Stanford's NPE Litigation Database Makes a Nice Addition in the Fight Against Software Patent Trolls

    As the United States of America becomes less trolls- and software patents-friendly (often conflated with plaintiff (un)friendliness) it's important to have accurate data which documents the numbers and motivates better policy; The NPE (troll) Litigation Database is a move towards that and it's free to access/use



  16. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 3: “Ein kritikwürdiges Unternehmen”

    A brief account of some further controversies in which the Kötter Group has been involved and its strained relations with German trade unions such as Verdi



  17. EPO Had a Leakage Problem and Privacy of Stakeholders Was Compromised, Affecting at Least 100 Cases

    The confidentiality principle was compromised at the EPO and stakeholders weren't told about it (there was a coverup)



  18. Links 15/5/2019: More Linux Patches and More Known Intel Bugs

    Links for the day



  19. False Hope for Patent Maximalists and Litigation Zealots

    Patent litigation predators in the United States, along with Team UPC in Europe, are trying to manufacture optimistic predictions; a quick and rather shallow critical analysis reveals their lies and distortions



  20. The Race to the Bottom of Patent Quality at the EPO

    The EPO has become more like a rubber-stamper than a patent office — a fact that worries senior staff who witnessed this gradual and troublesome transition (from quality to raw quantity)



  21. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 2: Meet the Kötters

    An introduction to the Kötter Group, the private security conglomerate which is lined up for the award of a juicy EUR 30 million contract for the provision of security services at the EPO



  22. Links 14/5/2019: Red Hat Satellite 6.5, NVIDIA 430.14 Linux Driver and New Security Bug (MDS)

    Links for the day



  23. Links 14/5/2019: GNU/Linux in Kerala, DXVK 1.2, KDE Frameworks 5.58.0 Released

    Links for the day



  24. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 1: Urgent Shitstorm Alert

    Experts at the European Patent Office's (EPO) weather observation station have just issued an urgent alert warning about a major shitstorm looming on the horizon



  25. Patents That Were Gleefully Granted by the EPO Continue to Perish in Courts

    The decreasing quality of granted European Patents already becomes a growing problem if not a crisis of uncertainty



  26. Links 13/5/2019: ExTiX 19.5 and GNU Radio Conference 2019

    Links for the day



  27. The Microsoft Guide to the Open Source Galaxy

    Thou shalt not...



  28. Microsoft Would Kill the Goose for Money

    Microsoft is just 'monetising' Open Source by using it as 'bait' for Microsoft's proprietary software; those who we might expect to antagonise this have effectively been bribed by Microsoft



  29. Links 13/5/2019: Nanonote 1.2.0, OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 RC, and GNUnet 0.11.4

    Links for the day



  30. Professionally Incompetent EPO Management

    The EPO remains an awful employer, with top-level management largely responsible for the loss of talent and even money


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