10.18.09

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Novell Has New Products: More Software Patents

Posted in Bill Gates, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 6:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Peace of mind

Summary: Novell carries on obtaining new software patents; the software lobby in Europe revisited and the role of the BSA stressed

SOME people wrongly allege that Novell stopped producing good products. Not fair!

Novell actually produces some new ‘property’ which it may even label “intellectual”. It has just gained ownership of another algorithm.

Adaptive method and system for encoding digital images for the Internet , patent No. 7,602,984, invented by Kasman Ellis Thomas of Wilton, Conn., assigned to Novell Inc. of Provo.

Needless to say, these patents are filed for Novell to hoard, not for employees to keep. Novell’s continued pursuit of software patents is not a new problem, either [1, 2]. Novell would love people to carry on thinking about it as a “Linux company” while quietly it advances an opposite agenda and does even bother with the Bilski case. Linking to this new report from IP Watch, the President of the FFII writes: “Patent lawyers hate the subject matter [Bilski] criteria, push for business method patents and software patents.”

Also from IP Watch, we have this:

Intellectual property rights and their protection will be high on the agenda of the European institutions in the upcoming legislature, representatives from the European Commission, European Council and the European Parliament said at the first European Innovation Summit in Brussels yesterday.

Who else is part of the same agenda and also a Microsoft ally? How about the BSA, for example? The BSA is lobbying for software patents in Europe and discriminating against Free software [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. It should really be called BPSA, where the “P” stands for proprietary. The BSA simply does not represent the software industry, only a portion of it. What about those million or more registered Free/open source developers?

BSA is an example of a friend that pretends to represent you while in fact just working against you. The BSA is to business software what ACT is to small businesses. Can’t IDG see it? Like many other new articles of this kind, IDG’s latest covrage leaves out the relevance of Free software to this debate. Free software provides an escape route from the likes of BSA, but NetworkWorld is fixated on another issue altogether:

I’m concerned about how the BSA bullies small companies that lose paperwork, or are victimized by angry employees who destroy the single piece of evidence the BSA considers acceptable. What evidence is that? Want to guess? If you guess wrong, you pay a fine.

Is the original software packaging enough? Pay a fine. The Certificate of Authenticity on the computer? Pay a fine. The original disks holding the software? Pay a fine.

The problem with the BSA goes deeper than that. The BSA, which is occupied by people who used to work full time for Bill Gates’ father, is also a major lobbyist that attempts to illegalise Free software. A lot of people forget this. The BSA needs to be eliminated not for its bullying of businesses (so-called ‘pirates’) but for its role as a front group against Free/libre software.

“Our patent system was not designed with an eye to the complexity of today’s inventions – particularly computer and software systems.”BSA BSA.org Patents’s page

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