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

11.30.09

Patents Roundup: Threat of Software Patents in Mexico, Sweden; Microsoft Still Fights with (and for) Software Patents

Posted in Bill Gates, Europe, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 8:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mexican flag

Summary: A collection of news reports and important observations about patent legislation that affects Free software

WITH patents on stage performance (Michael Jackson), it is clear that the USPTO has gone too far. But it wants to go further. FFII’s president says that “Software Patents legislation [is] in preparation in Mexico.” NAFTA, anyone? Let’s remember that Novell’s Miguel de Icaza and his probable idol Bill Gates lobbied for OOXML in Mexico.

Separately, the FFII warns that the Lisbon Treaty [1, 2, 3, 4] which Microsoft lobbies for may be related to ACTA, which is another cornerstone in globalisation that marginalises the majority. There is this ongoing analysis which is still a draft, just like ACTA [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14]. But unlike ACTA, it is actually visible.

On Dec. 1, 2009, the European Union Lisbon Treaty will enter into force. (provisional consolidated text) On this page we present a draft analysis of the EU competence to conclude ACTA and other trade agreements.

Generally speaking, the European Parliament’s role becomes more important, the member states loose some of their veto power.

André Rebentisch has this update about the ACTA’s secrecy.

Let me add that 1st of December Art 15 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the EU is set into force. In my German language “confirmatory application” for an ACTA document access to the European Council I argued recently that this takes effects for the ACTA document access regime as well.

Rebentisch also wrote about Microsoft's patent troll, Intellectual Ventures, which is funded by Bill Gates. Microsoft views patents as the future of software. To quote Nathan Myhrvold, “Intellectual property is the next software.”

Microsoft has just patented viral gaming.

The concepts are all based around the current party system, with the most basic simply allowing invited friends to invite their own friends, whether they are known to the original party creator or not.

User-created games are also being patented by Microsoft, as few news sites reveal. Insane software patents know no boundaries.

The authoring features allow users to capture screenshots and video clips, and to use a digital pencil to mark them. It also may allow for audio commentary and tags, and developers can submit their own guides that will take precedence over user-created guides.

Here is the latest about the Alcatel-Lucent case [1, 2, 3]:

A federal appeals court on Monday rejected Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O) request that it reconsider the way patents are upheld in court cases, as the software maker continues its long legal battle with French telecoms equipment company Alcatel-Lucent (ALUA.PA).

Microsoft, which infringed an Alcatel-Lucent patent, according to a lower court jury last year, asked the appeals court to hear its argument that a patent could be held invalid if evidence is presented in a court case that was not available at the time the patent was granted.

As the i4i case taught [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11], Microsoft does not respect other people’s patents. Here is a new update on this case (there are many ongoing cases):

Microsoft’s Struggle With i4i Sheds Light On Software Patent Process

[...]

Microsoft’s recent trials and tribulations with its Word software patent illustrates the difficulty in granting — and defending — software patents. This fall, Microsoft was briefly barred from selling Word because of a dispute over XML code that i4i claimed infringed on one of the Toronto, Ontario-based company’s patents. That trial is ongoing. While some observers questioned why Microsoft didn’t resolve the dispute early on, others are interested to see how the dispute will play out and how patent rights will be determined.

[...]

The Bilski case could provide the Supreme Court with an opportunity to resolve the ongoing debate over the wisdom of having software patents in the first place. At issue is whether a “process” must be tied to a particular machine or apparatus or transform a particular condition into a different state to be considered as patent-eligible subject matter.

The above speaks of some difficulties associated with software patents enforcement. With Bilski still at the centre of debate, it is bound to get worse. Here is a photo of Mr. Bilski, attached to a new report from the FSF’s executive director, Peter Brown.

The Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in a case that could give the free software community (and software developers everywhere) a huge win in the fight against software patents. Free Software Foundation executive director Peter Brown was on the scene, and reflects on the Bilski case, the oral arguments, and the desperate need for change.

Our reader amd-linux has also informed us of this landmark decision of the British High Court regarding software patents (it’s in German).

Fish & Richardson, whom Patent Troll Tracker wrote about a lot [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], will be cashing in again thanks to frivolous patent lawsuits.

This week: DeepNines collected $25 million when it won an infringement suit against anti-virus software giant McAfee Inc. in the Eastern District of Texas two years ago. But after paying off its Fish & Richardson lawyers and outside investors at Altitude Capital Partners, the small network-security company wound up with less than $800,000 of the $25 million. And now DeepNines is being sued by Altitude, which wants millions more than it’s already gotten. A revealing look at how a leading player in the lawsuit-investment trade does business.

More announcements and news about patents ought to reveal that there are no jackpots here, unless one is a lawyer.

Recently, a jury in a patent infringement case found for the plaintiff, deciding that all three patents-in-suit were “valid” (actually, “not invalid”) and infringed. A happy plaintiff, right? Wrong! The very next day, the Patent Office Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (the B.P.A.I.) ruled that the defendant was actually the first to invent the subject matter of the patents and that rights to these inventions, therefore, belonged not to the plaintiff, but to the defendant.

So why did the patent office attribute these “inventions” to the wrong party in the first place? What a failure.

Last but not least, FFII’s president warns that the “Swedish Presidency conference [is] about UPLS and software patents via the caselaw of a central patent court next 15 and 16 Dec…”

He also alerts his peers about a piece promoting software patents and, needless to say, it is a self-serving placement.

Since the 1960s I have been a strong advocate of the patenting of inventions implemented in software and in 1968 I received the first US patent for an inventive way of sorting data on a digital computer[1].

A man with software patents is defending software patent? No way! How about an impartial point of view from Patently-O? Vested interests invalidate a point of view, as we last explained a week and a half ago.

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 21/9/2014: xorg-server 1.16.1, Linux Kernel 3.16.3

    Links for the day



  2. Links 20/9/2014: GNOME 3.13.92, Android L

    Links for the day



  3. Scanning Patent Troll Implodes; Is the Podcasting Patent Troll Next?

    MPHJ loses and Personal Audio LLC perhaps wins for the last time since software patents are quickly losing legitimacy in the United States



  4. If CAFC is Not Above the Law, Then it Should be Shut Down Now

    A long series of abuses in CAFC may as well suggest that this court has become broken beyond repair



  5. The Latest From Microsoft Patent Trolls and Patent Partners

    Microsoft-linked and Linux-hostile trolls continue their relentless attacks (albeit with little or no success) while patents as a weapon lose their teeth owing to a Supreme Court ruling



  6. Microsoft Proves That Its Massive Layoffs Are Not About Nokia

    Microsoft is laying off a lot of employees who have nothing at all to do with Nokia



  7. Links 19/9/2014: Another Red Hat Acquisition, Netflix Dumps Microsoft Silverlight and Brings DRM to WWW

    Links for the day



  8. Links 18/9/2014: Windows Copying GNU/Linux, Germany Moves to Security

    Links for the day



  9. Web Site 'Patent Progress' Now Officially 'Powered by CCIA' (FRAND Proponent, Microsoft Front)

    After talking a job at CCIA, "Patent Progress" and its chief author should be treated as dubious on real patent progress



  10. Articles About the Death of Software Patents in the United States

    Recent coverage of software patents and their demise in their country of origin, where even proponents of software patents are giving up



  11. The Death of Software Patents is Already Killing Some Major Patent Trolls

    VirnetX seems to be the latest victim of the demise of software patents in the United States



  12. More Microsoft Layoffs

    More Microsoft layoffs go ahead as the company is unable to compete



  13. ODF on the Rise

    Milestones for OpenDocument Format (ODF) and the launch of FixMyDocuments



  14. Links 17/9/2014: CoreOS, ChromeOS, and systemd

    Links for the day



  15. Italy is Cracking Down on Microsoft's Monopoly Abuse While Gradually Moving to GNU/Linux

    Italy is not only moving to Free/Open Source software but also to GNU/Linux while at the same time barring Microsoft from forcibly tying Windows to new PCs



  16. OpenSUSE's 'Assurances' Are Classic MBA School Hogwash

    OpenSUSE is not part of any commitment, except for SUSE's; the impact of the Novell/SUSE acquisition casts uncertainty on the project's future



  17. Links 16/9/2014: Firefox OS Smartphones in Bangladesh, “Treasure Map” of the Internet

    Links for the day



  18. The United Kingdom Should Dump Microsoft For the Sake of National Security

    The UK has issues of Microsoft dependency and Windows viruses; its migration to Free software and GNU/Linux is not fast enough to guard its autonomy in the age of digital imperialism



  19. CBS Hires Even More Microsoft Staff to Cover Microsoft Matters

    CBS continues to be infested with Microsoft staff past and present (this time Dave Johnson) and the bias in output is quite revealing



  20. Microsoft Has Just Killed Minecraft for GNU/Linux and the Possibility of Free/Open Source Releases

    Persson sells out to Microsoft and lets the abusive monopolist destroy the popular cross-platform game that a community has been built around



  21. Another Reason to Boycott Intel UEFI

    More anti-competitive aspects are revealed inside UEFI, which helps merginalise GNU/Linux



  22. Quick Mention: Novell and SUSE Passed to Microsoft's 'Partner of the Year', Microsoft Focus

    Novell is changing hands again, and falling into the hands of even more Microsoft-friendly actors



  23. Links 16/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC5, KDE Frameworks 5.2.0

    Links for the day



  24. Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Patent Office (EPO): Part II

    Part II of our look into the EPO appointment of Željko Topić and other matters showing the dubious integrity of the EPO



  25. Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  26. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day



  27. Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

    Links for the day



  28. Links 10/9/2014: Brian Stevens in Google, Ubuntu 14.10 Expectations

    Links for the day



  29. Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

    Links for the day



  30. Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

    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