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 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  3. 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



  4. 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"



  5. 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")



  6. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  9. 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



  10. 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



  11. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  14. 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



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

    Links for the day



  16. 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



  17. 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



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

    Links for the day



  19. 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



  20. 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



  21. 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?



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

    Links for the day



  23. 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



  24. 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



  25. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  28. Links 9/10/2014: Free Software in Germany, Lenovo Tablets With Android

    Links for the day



  29. Links 8/10/2014: A Lot of Linux+AMD News, New ROSA Desktop Is Out

    Links for the day



  30. Lawyers' Propaganda About Software Patents and a New AstroTurf Entity Called Innovation Alliance

    Patent propaganda and deception from patent lawyers (among other parasites such as patent trolls) continues to flood the Web, intersecting with reports that prove them totally wrong


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