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01.24.10

Patents Roundup: ACTA Xenophobia, Motorola Wants Embargo with Patents

Posted in Europe, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 7:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Patent news of interest

Activist ejected from ‘public’ meeting on secret copyright treaty for tweeting

The latest round of negotiations over the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA — a secret treaty that contains provisions requiring nations to wiretap the Internet, force ISPs to spy on users, search laptops at the border, and disconnect whole households from the net on the basis of mere accusation of copyright infringement) is just kicking off in Mexico, and activists from around Mexico and the world have converged on the meeting to demand transparent, public negotiations of this critical treaty.

‘Public’ Consultation Over ACTA In Mexico Almost Required NDAs, Blogger Removed For Tweeting

The room, then, was mostly industry people, who were apparently concerned as to why everyday citizens were in attendance, and they even booed a lawyer who questioned the human rights angle. As for Geraldine, she tried twittering the event, and the industry folks demanded she leave (and had a guard escort her out). It’s almost like they’re trying to make themselves into a caricature of businesses plotting to harm the public.

Motorola asks ITC to ban BlackBerry imports

Patent litigation between Motorola and Research In Motion is heating up, with Motorola filing a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission.

In the complaint, filed Friday, Motorola alleges that RIM engages in unfair trade practices by importing and selling products that infringe five Motorola patents. The patents cover technologies related to Wi-Fi access, application management, user interface and power management, Motorola said.

Motorola Asks ITC To Ban BlackBerry Imports

Motorola files case against Blackberry owners, RIM

Motorola has asked US regulators to ban Research in Motion (RIM), the Canadian firm behind the Blackberry, from importing its products into the US.

Beltway Issues Poised to Hurt Digital Innovators

Patent reform – Patent trolls are reshaping the patent landscape; their litigation of broad, vague software patents is amounting to a “tax” on innovation.

Petition to Stop Software Patents in Europe

The petition aims to unify the voices of concerned Europeans, associations and companies, and calls on our politicians in Europe to stop patents on software with legislative clarifications.

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A Single Comment

  1. Jose_X said,

    January 25, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Gravatar

    I posted the following to the networkworld site:

    Subj: Patent system useful to slow fast progress — quick, export our laws!

    If enough more people understood how vague and broad most patents are and how much damage some of these patents do to progress, there would be a quick overhaul of the US patent system.

    The larger company has the leverage over the smaller company because they have much more money and many more incentives to file vague patents faster so as to overload and stop new and smaller competitors. Ironically, the small company that doesn’t produce any products at all has the ultimate leverage because their products don’t exist so they can’t be stopped.

    Patents should only be allowed in industries that have very few competitors (boring industries). Otherwise, each 20 year patent monopoly aggregates in large numbers to stifle the heck out of the industry. No one is fast enough or wealthy enough to write down all their ideas and file expensive patent applications for each one before other competitors grab most of these and other ideas.

    Other dirty laundry of the patent system include: (a) frequently, ideas patented have not only occurred to many people before, but are accepted as behinds the scenes standard practice; (b) sometimes ideas get “rediscovered” decades later; (c) the bar for patentability, being “novel and nonobvious”, is mockingly low — if you had to think about the idea for more than a few weeks or sometimes for more than a few minutes, it’s “nonobvious”; (d) the monopoly period of 20 years of preventing others from using the invention is an insult to humanity — most human’s lifespan means they aren’t even that productive for much more than 20 years; (e) some inventions are remarkably cheap to manufacture, modify, distribute, etc, and are even interesting and fun to invent — these absolutely need no monopoly incentive whatsoever and monopolies most definitely stifle advance; (f) there is a fundamental disconnection between what really promote progress, collaboration, and a monopoly grant, defined to suppress collaboration completely; (g) monopolists, having no competition, tend to get very lazy and misuse resources for a full 20 year period; (h) inventors that were working on the same inventions and theories for years have their work go down the drain if they didn’t file many patents and someone else later did; (i) almost any successful product can be stopped from many future improvements by a series of hostile patent filings by competitors; (j) supposedly “open” standards can be patented, so that in order to participate in the market place, you necessarily have to infringe on patents; (k) the cost of patents means it’s a club for the wealthy, and major existing patent players actually want to make it even more expensive so that they have much less competition from other patent filers; (l) you can patent something that you have little clue of how it actually works — this is a failure in the whole concept of the patent system since it allows those with broad general ideas to stop those with specific ideas and detailed knowledge; (m) ….

    We all lose with our current patent system, and the more competitive the industry (like software and business methods), the more damage patents do to it. On the other hand, the US wants to spread our foolish patent laws to other countries. This means everyone else will also be as handicapped as us, so we will be able to compete a little bit better against them. This partly makes up for the fact we will have a lot fewer interesting inventions and will need to get permission and pay a fee to some “Einstein” in order to do a lot more things.

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