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

10.09.09

Patents Roundup: Microsoft Patents Deactivation, Lisbon Treaty in Midst of Scandal, Eolas Shows Why Software Patents Are Bad

Posted in America, Courtroom, Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 12:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Americana

Summary: Roundup of news, as indicated above

Customer-hostile patents are a recurring theme that we find at Apple and Microsoft. Here is Microsoft’s latest monopoly on limitation mechanisms.

Microsoft patent looks to put a time limit on software licenses

[...]

That raises the possibility of Microsoft charging by the hour, day or month. That’s already a component of many software-as-as-service business models. But the Microsoft patent — dubbed “Time-Based Licenses” — provides more detail on where things may be headed when it comes to the future of software purchasing.

USPTOThis is the type of behaviour that Free software is trying to prevent. But meanwhile, in Europe, Microsoft not only advances anti-Free software laws in the form of software patents; recently we saw Microsoft lobbying in Ireland for the Lisbon treaty [1, 2].

Oh well, there’s a timely little gem in the news, which puts at great doubt the integrity of the authorities over there. From EurActiv:

Irish government on brink of collapse

[...]

The Irish government led by Brian Cowen, which last week succeeded in ratifying the EU’s Lisbon Treaty in a second referendum, could collapse in the coming days following an expenses scandal which has rocked the beleaguered ruling coalition.

Just days after receiving warm congratulations from European leaders for ratifying the Lisbon Treaty, Taoiseach Brian Cowen could find himself facing a general election should his coalition partners, the Irish Greens, this weekend decide to abandon Cowen’s Fianna Fáil.

“[B]ecause of an expenses scandal,” claims Glyn Moody. Sounds like a good atmosphere for gentle bribes, too. Microsoft’s relationship with the Irish government is a subject that we covered here before [1, 2].

Glyn Moody also wrote about the latest Eolas development, namely a patent case which initially targeted just Microsoft [1, 2]. From 2003, Moody extracts grounds for invalidation and proceeds to claiming that the case further justifies abolishment of software patents.

Thanks, Eolas, For Making the Flaws So Patent

[...]

There are two huge problems with the patent system – especially the US patent system. The first is patent trolls – those who patent ideas without any intention of turning them into products, but purely with an eye to extracting money from companies that do make stuff. The second concerns companies that might well intend to create a product, but which are granted patents for ideas inappropriately – because they are not new or are blindingly obvious.

This ought to add weight to the already-growing opposition to software patents in the United States [1, 2]. Simon Phipps from Sun Microsystems writes:

Another “friend of the court” filing in the US Supreme Court in the reconsideration of the case law that makes software patents viable in the US. In this filing, the Free Software Foundation argues that “The Country Needs and Relies on FOSS”. Let’s hope the good sense in these filing together with a very recent “visual aid” of the harm software patents can do sways the court to uphold the rejection of the finding in re Bilski.

Here is TechDirt’s take on the Eolas case and here is a rant from SJVN:

Opinion: Eolas might just sue every last, lousy company in creation

[...]

Eolas, like other patent trolls, has taken an obvious idea, somehow managed to con the U.S. PTO (Patent and Trademark Office) into giving it a patent, and is now suing Adobe Systems, Google, Yahoo, Apple, eBay and Amazon.com. Oh, and it’s also suing Blockbuster, Frito-Lay, Office Depot, Sun, Playboy. (Playboy!?) and 10 other companies.

This hopefully shows how silly the patent system has become. with genome monopolies and monopolies on human life [1, 2] (see some crazy patent comedy), it is disappointing to see Nobel prizes being awarded to the culprits. Even Skype was recently under threat of survival due to software patents. They can breathe out in relief now.

Skype is claiming a victory in one of the many IP suits that are plaguing the P2P phone company at the moment.

Robert Miller, Skype’s general counsel, said in a blog post the other day that the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had ruled in favour of Skype and sort-of-ex-parent eBay, over a brace of patents asserted by Peer Communications Group.

If this is “innovation”, then it is not a positive thing.

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

2 Comments

  1. David Gerard said,

    October 9, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Gravatar

    I will be most pleased if proprietary software companies enforce such customer-hostile patents to the hilt and keep anyone else from using them. Anyone who thinks making your customers hate you is a business model deserves to.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    These patents can be a Good Thing if they act as an implementational deterrent.

What Else is New


  1. Links 24/10/2014: Microsoft Tax Axed in Italy, Google's Linux (ChromeOS/Android) Leader Promoted

    Links for the day



  2. Links 24/10/2014: GNU/Linux History, Fedora Delay

    Links for the day



  3. Links 23/10/2014: New *buntu, Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  4. Links 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

    Links for the day



  5. Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

    Links for the day



  6. Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  7. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  8. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")



  9. The Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past



  10. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  11. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  12. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  13. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  14. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  15. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  16. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  17. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court



  18. Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

    Links for the day



  19. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  20. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  21. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  22. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  23. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  24. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?



  25. Links 14/10/2014: CAINE 6, New RHEL, Dronecode

    Links for the day



  26. Microsoft's Disdain for Women Steals the Show at a Women's Event

    Steve Ballmer's successor, Satya Nadella, is still too tactless to lie to the audience, having been given --through subversive means -- a platform at a conference that should have shunned Microsoft, a famously misogynistic company



  27. SCOTUS May Soon Put an End to the 'Copyrights on APIs' Question While Proprietary Giants Continue to Harass Android/Linux in Every Way Conceivable

    Google takes its fight over API freedom to the Supreme Court in the Unites States and it also takes that longstanding patent harassment from the Microsoft- and Apple-backed troll (Rockstar) out of East Texas



  28. Patent Lawsuits Almost Halved After SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Software Patents

    The barrier for acceptance of software patent applications is raised in the United States and patent lawsuits, many of which involve software these days, are down very sharply, based on new figures from Lex Machina



  29. Links 13/10/2014: ChromeOS and EXT, Debian Resists Systemd Domination

    Links for the day



  30. Links 12/10/2014: Blackphone Tablet, Sony's Firefox OS Port

    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