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

12.12.09

Patents Roundup: Nokia and Apple Cross Swords, British Patent System Becomes Form of Tax, Israel Besieged by Software Patents

Posted in Apple, Asia, Law, Microsoft, Mono, Patents, TomTom at 6:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nokia logo with Apple

Summary: Patent news from the United States, Europe, and a middle-eastern nation

Nokia and Apple are two patent monsters that we have warned about for years. They are now clashing with one another, so it’s mutual and counter-productive.

Responding to a lawsuit brought against the company by Nokia, Apple® today filed a countersuit claiming that Nokia is infringing 13 Apple patents.

Apple’s response is covered in many news sites [1, 2, 3] and even the Web site of Miguel de Icaza, who refused the see the writings on the wall when Microsoft sued TomTom (and before the FSF made its famous statement regarding Mono).

Over in the UK, the government is doing something rather bizarre with patents:

On the assumption that this is not a practical joke, it now seems that the British government is set to tax the fruits of research and development in order to fund … research and development. What a wonderful incentive to invest, particularly when other countries are encouraging R&D by doing the exact opposite. Merpel says, don’t worry: Britain’s best tax brains will soon find ways of showing that the income in question isn’t derived from patents at all, and the government’s coffers will be none the fuller.

See the comment from Sun’s Simon Phipps (a Brit).

Another Brit, Glyn Moody, has found even more bizarre stuff:

Objectivists: ‘All Property is Intellectual Property’

[...]

In other words, if you take a principled approach to IP, you endorse a system that condemns society to stagnation and death. So most proponents, like Rand, realizing this, start making ad hoc, unprincipled, utilitarian exceptions to avoid the most obvious, harsh consequences of a principled implementation of their confused IP ideas.

“Greed knows no bounds,” claimed Microsoft some years ago. It was referring to lawyer fees.

Over in Israel too, the threat of software patents is now looming.

As I have explained in this blog in earlier articles, I consider the copyright double protection idea is problematic since copyright protects the embodiment of the idea and not the idea itself. Why shouldn’t a software invention be protectable against reengineering? Is a 70 year protection against copying of any value in a field where a generation is usually 2 years? Considering software not technical is ridiculous. software is rightly considered an engineering discipline. Since algorithms can be hard-wired into chips or by a machine with valves, the concept of software being different from hardware is somewhat arbitrary. Nevertheless, Lord Justice Jacobs has presented powerful arguments as to why software patents are not in the interest of promoting progress and there is a large open-source community.

Abolishers of software patents (led by the FSF’s Ciarán O’Riordan) have already built this resource page about the subject.

The Israeli Patent Office (IPO) has launched a consultation on whether or not to allow software patents, with a February 2010 deadline. I’ve put the details at the end of this post, but first some background.

* The IPO consistently rejects software patents and business method patents. Examples:
o The 2005 rejection of the 142049 website patent
o The September 2006 rejection of the 131733 sales coupons patent
* Patent Attorney Ehud Hausman, with the support of international pro-swpat lobby group AIPPI, has been trying since 2007 to change this.
* He claimed in May 2008 to have partly convinced the IPO to grant software patents (but no change on business method patents). I’ve no third-party confirmation of this.

Who is funding these lobbyists? They are working for their own wallets.

“Plager said he regretted the unintended consequences of the decisions in State Street Bank and AT&T. Those rulings led to a flood of applications for software and business method patents, he noted. If we “rethink the breadth of patentable subject matter,” he said, we should ask whether these categories should be excluded from patent protection.” —US. Senior Judge S. Jay Plager, speaking at a symposium at George Mason University

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. Some Perspective on Heartbleed®

    Our views on the whole Heartbleed® bonanza, which seems like partly a PR stunt (for multiple stakeholders)



  2. Microsoft is Leaving Windows -- Including Vista 8.1 -- Vulnerable to Non-Government Crackers, Not Only to NSA

    Microsoft makes it ever more evident that securing users of Windows is not at all a priority, and perhaps not even a desire



  3. Links 17/4/2014: Android RDP, New Ubuntu, RHEL 7 Milestone

    Links for the day



  4. Racing to 1984: Mass Surveillance, Cracking, 'Targeted' Assassinations, and Illegal Torture

    Links for the day



  5. More Microsoft Subsidies to Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures

    Microsoft hands money to Bill Gates' close friend who is the world's largest patent troll



  6. Aiding Microsoft Under the Disguise of 'Pro-FOSS'

    Not everything which is FOSS necessary becomes, by virtue of existence, a positive contribution, as we are constantly reminded by projects that help proprietary software and/or restrictions get a strong grip on FOSS



  7. Links 16/4/2014: Red Hat PR, Ubuntu LTS Imminent

    Links for the day



  8. Links 15/4/2014: Lots of PCLinuxOS Releases, Ukraine Updates

    Links for the day



  9. Apple and Microsoft Actively Lobbying Against Patent Reform in the US

    Apple and Microsoft are reportedly intervening/interfering with US law in order to ensure that the law is Free/libre software-hostile



  10. Lawsuit by Microsoft Shareholder Targets Fine for Crimes Rather Than the Crimes Themselves

    A new lawsuit by a Microsoft shareholder shows everything that's wrong with today's model of accountability, where those who are responsible for crimes are accused of not avoiding fines rather than committing the crimes



  11. Public Institutions Must Dump PRISM-Associated Software

    Another reminder that taxpayers-subsidised services should refuse, as a matter of principle, to pay anything for -- let alone deploy -- proprietary software with back doors



  12. GNU/Linux News: The Opportunities Amid XP EOL

    Links for the day



  13. Microsoft Gets Its Money's Worth From Xamarin: PlayStation 4 Now Polluted by Microsoft

    The Trojan horse of Microsoft, Xamarin, is pushing .NET into Microsoft's console competitor



  14. After Brendan Eich Comes Chris Beard

    Having removed Brendan Eich using bullying and blackmail tactics, his foes inside Mozilla achieved too little as we have yet another man (coming from inside Mozilla) acting as CEO



  15. Healthcare News: Free Software in Health, Humanitarian Causes

    Links for the day



  16. Links 14/4/2014: MakuluLinux, Many Games, More Privacy News and Pulitzer Prize for NSA Revelations

    Links for the day



  17. TechBytes Episode 87: Catching up With Surveillance (NSA, GCHQ et al.)

    The first audio episode in a very long time covers some of the latest happenings when it comes to privacy and, contrariwise, mass surveillance



  18. Server News: KVM, ElasticHosts, Other GNU/Linux Items, and Open Network Linux

    Links for the day



  19. Hardware News: Freedom, Modding, Hackability on the Rise

    Links for the day



  20. Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

    Links for the day



  21. GNOME News: Financial Issues, Mutter-Wayland, West Coast Summit, Community Participation

    Links for the day



  22. KDE News: Kubuntu at the Centre Again KDE Applications Updated

    Links for the day



  23. Techrights Rising

    Effective immediately, Techrights will do what it takes to bring back old volume and pace of publishing



  24. Links: Surveillance, Intervention, Torture and Drones

    Links for the day



  25. Mobile Linux Not Just Android: Jolla, WebOS, and Firefox OS News

    Links for the day



  26. Google's Linux Revolution: New Gains for Android, Chrome OS (GNU/Linux)

    Links for the day



  27. Free/Libre Databases News: MongoDB, NoSQL, and MySQL Branches/Forks

    Links for the day



  28. Open Access on the Rise: Textbooks, Journals, Etc.

    Links for the day



  29. Finance Watch (Watching What's Not Being Watched): Economic Warfare/Class Injustice

    Links for the day



  30. Climate and Ecology Watch: News About a World Being Destroyed

    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