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


Patents Roundup: ACTA Inevitability Claimed, USPTO Patently Failing, China Against Patents in Standards, Monsanto in Court

Posted in America, Asia, Free/Libre Software, Patents, Standard at 11:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Patent news from across the world with limited emphasis on software patents and greater focus on patent globalisation

“ACTA will go through the European Parliament,” says President of the FFII (Benjamin) based on this report which quotes Martin Koehler, whom Benjamin describes as “advisor on International Trade for the Greens”.

But Koehler added that the Parliament will be expected to endorse ACTA as it would be a sign of mistrust in the European Commission if it did not.

“It is crystal clear that ACTA will go through,” Koehler said.

This is the imminent closing of society using intellectual monopolies. The judge behind the EBoA [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] seems to have already made up his mind about software patents in Europe and David Kappos, who we hoped would do better than his predecessor at the USPTO, is already giving signs of endorsement for software patents.

The goal of the Peer-to-Patent Project, which ended its second pilot period in December, is to allow the public to cite prior art to invalidate potential software patents, and in doing so, bring an end to the patent approval gridlock.

David Kappos, co-creator of the project and current under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the UPSTO, said his agency will evaluate all aspects of the project to determine what can be improved upon. Kappos said the agency has not made any decisions, but that he is “disposed” to look for ways to continue working on the project.

David Kappos came from IBM. The USPTO works well for IBM, but since when do IBM et al run the United States? The USPTO is supposed to be a federal body that governs and acts in the interest of citizens but instead it became property of monopolists that use it to block competition. That is utterly shameful and Benjamin from the FFII writes: “Kappos supporting swpats [software patents]“. He quotes the part where Kappos says that non-patent literature “is important in software, where so often it’s not patented prior art.”

“David Kappos came from IBM.”IBM, his former employer, is pro-software patents. Another IBMer, a ‘heavyweight’ manager (now retired), supports software patents and he is advising Obama on the subject. Ironically, that would be the same guy (Irving) who brought GNU/Linux to IBM.

Adding to the embarrassments (or the vanity) of the USPTO, here is a new story that sounds like a hoax or an urban myth: “USPTO Won’t Accept Upside Down Faxes; Demands Resends”

I know, the headline seems like a joke. After all, what do you do if someone inadvertently fed a page upside down into the fax machine? You simply turn the page over or, if you get an electronic version, use the reader software to rotate it. Apparently this is not within the standard operating procedures of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. No, if your fax comes in upside down, they send you a message in return saying that they can’t accept it and to re-fax. Here’s a copy of the letter that a source, who regularly deals with the USPTO, passed along to me…

The USPTO has gone patently insane. As for the Chinese system, it actually seems better in comparison, at least as far as standards are concerned. In China, patents and standards will not go hand in hand. It is mentioned in this Web site called “Talk Standards”, which may as well be called “Talk Patents” or “Talk Monopolies” ("Talk Standards" was cited yesterday in relation to a Microsoft lobby). Benjamin writes that “China [is] pushing for Royalty-Free Standards, [so] it makes the patent guys angry.” To quote those “patent guys”:

The draft regulation includes several interesting proposals that are bound to have substantial consequences. The negative impact on innovators could be severe. This proposal fuels the conflicts of interests between China, on the one hand, and the European Union and the USA, on the other. This development is worrying and could easily spill-over to trade- and investment policy.


The draft regulation will effectively force IPR holders to accept licensing terms deemed fair by the National Administrative Department of Standardization. This may result in patentees receiving licensing fees significantly lower than market level (i.e. “nominal fees”).

Consequently this implies that the Chinese are attempting to reduce the rewards to foreign IPR holders.

As opposed to ACTA, which is trying to achieve exactly the opposite. Going back to the USPTO, there is a discussion about the criminal company called Monsanto [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] and its patents on life forms. From a new article: [via Richard Stallman]

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear a first-time case about the risks of genetically engineered crops. Named Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, No. 09-475, the case before the high court will be yet another step in an ongoing battle waged by the Center for Food Safety to protect consumers and the environment from potentially harmful effects of genetically engineered (GE) crops.

The modified alfalfa seed at the heart of the dispute has been engineered to be immune to Monsanto’s flagship herbicide Roundup. Monsanto intervened in a 2007 federal district court ruling that the Department of Agriculture’s approval of GE alfalfa was illegal. The Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a 2006 lawsuit on behalf of a coalition of non-profits and farmers who wished to retain the choice to plant non-GE alfalfa. CFS was victorious in this case – in addition CFS has won two appeals by Monsanto in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: in 2008 and again in 2009. Now, upon Monsanto’s insistence, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.

As it turns out, the biggest benefactors right now are patent trolls and litigators:

Profit from patents: sue, don’t produce


No surprises: the trolls make more from suing than performing entities (manufacturers) do from suing (shorter time to trial, higher success rate, higher damages).

Microsoft is part of the problem because it resorted to racketeering using patents. In 2007 we saw the beginning of such extortion being directed against GNU/Linux, but some companies that are using GNU/Linux are also part of the problem (not just IBM). Here is an example from this week’s news:

Rugged UMPC wins patent for FPGA-centric design

Black Diamond announced it has been awarded a patent for FPGA-related technology found in its rugged, Linux-ready SwitchBack UMPC (ultra mobile PC). In the patented SwitchBack architecture, a Xilinx Virtex 5 FPGA controls the Celeron CPU via a PCI-Express channel, enabling the device to be easily reprogrammed, says the company.

Patents are fences, they are tools for preventing progress by others. To assume that any company that uses Free software is against software patents would be wrong (there are Free software parasites like ACCESS or Black Duck, which we mentioned earlier). In fact, one infamous patent aggressor that we wrote a lot about is TiVo [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Microsoft also sued TiVo.

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. Public Protests by European Patent Office (EPO) Staff Weaken the EPO's Attacks on the Media

    Where things stand when it comes to the EPO's standoff against publications and why it's advisable for EPO staff to stage standoffs against their high-level management, which is behind a covert crackdown on independent media (while greasing up corporate media)

  2. Why the European Patent Office Cannot Really Sue and Why It's All -- More Likely Than Not -- Just SLAPP

    Legal analysis by various people explains why the EPO's attack dogs are all bark but no bite when it comes to threats against publishers

  3. How the EPO Twisted Defamation Law in a Failed Bid to Silence Techrights

    Using external legal firms (not the EPO's own lawyers), the EPO has been trying -- and failing -- to silence prominent critics

  4. East Texas and Its Cautionary Tale: Software Patents Lead to Patent Trolls

    Lessons from US media, which focuses on the dire situation in Texas courts, and how these relate to the practice of granting patents on software (the patent trolls' favourite weapon)

  5. The Latest EPO Spin: Staff Protesters Compared to 'Anti-Patent Campaigners' or 'Against UPC'

    Attempts to characterise legitimate complaints about the EPO's management as just an effort to derail the patent office itself, or even the patent system (spin courtesy of EPO and its media friends at IAM)

  6. The Serious Implication of Controversial FTI Consulting Contract: Every Press Article About EPO Could Have Been Paid for by EPO

    With nearly one million dollars dedicated in just one single year to reputation laundering, one can imagine that a lot of media coverage won't be objective, or just be synthetic EPO promotion, seeded by the EPO or its peripheral PR agents

  7. EPO: We Have Always Been at War With Europe (or Europeans)

    The European Patent Office (EPO) with its dubious attacks on free speech inside Europe further unveiled for the European public to see (as well as the international community, which oughtn't show any respect to the EPO, a de facto tyranny at the heart of Europe)

  8. What Everyone Needs to Know About the EPO's New War on Journalism

    A detailed list of facts or observations regarding the EPO's newfound love for censorship, even imposed on outside entities, including bloggers (part one of several to come)

  9. EPO Did Not Want to Take Down One Techrights Article, It Wanted to Take Down Many Articles Using Intimidation, SLAPPing, and Psychological Manipulation Late on a Friday Night

    Recalling the dirty tactics by which the European Patent Office sought to remove criticism of its dirty secret deals with large corporations, for whom it made available and was increasingly offering preferential treatment

  10. The European Private Office: What Was Once a Public Service is Now Crony Capitalism With Private Contractors

    The increasing privatisation of the European Patent Office (EPO), resembling what happens in the UK to the NHS, shows that the real goal is to crush the quality of the service and instead serve a bunch of rich and powerful interests, in defiance of the original goals of this well-funded (by taxpayers) organisation

  11. Microsoft Once Again Disregards People's Settings and Abuses Them, Again Pretends It's Just an Accident

    A conceited corporation, Microsoft, shows not only that it exploits its botnet to forcibly download massive binaries without consent but also that it vainly overrides people's privacy settings to spy on these people, sometimes with help from malicious hardware vendors such as Dell or Lenovo

  12. When the EPO Liaised With Capone (Literally) to Silence Bloggers, Delete Articles

    A dissection of the EPO's current media strategy, which involves not only funneling money into the media but also actively silencing opposing views

  13. Blogger Who Wrote About the EPO's Abuses Retires

    Bloggers' independent rebuttal capability against a media apparatus that is deep in the EPO's pocket is greatly diminished as Jeremy Phillips suddenly retires

  14. Leaked: EPO Award of €880,000 “in Order to Address the Media Presence of the EPO” (Reputation Laundering)

    The European Patent Office, a public body, wastes extravagant amounts of money on public relations (for 'damage control', like FIFA's) in an effort to undermine critics, not only among staff (internally) but also among the media (externally)

  15. Links 27/11/2015: KDE Plasma 5.5 Plans, Oracle Linux 7.2

    Links for the day

  16. Documents Needed: Contract or Information About EPO PR/Media Campaign to Mislead the World

    Rumour that the EPO spends almost as much as a million US dollars “with some selected press agencies to refurbish the image of the EPO”

  17. Guest Post: The EPO, EPC, Unitary Patent and the Money Issue

    Remarks on the Unitary Patent (UP) and the lesser-known aspects of the EPO and EPC, where the “real issue is money, about which very little is discussed in public...”

  18. Saving the Integrity of the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Some timely perspective on what's needed at the European Patent Office, which was detabilised by 'virtue' of making tyrants its official figureheads

  19. A Call for Bloggers and Journalists: Did EPO Intimidate and Threaten You Too? Please Speak Out.

    An effort to discover just how many people out there have been subjected to censorship and/or self-censorship by EPO aggression against the media

  20. European Patent Office (EPO) a “Kingdom Above the EU Countries, a Tyranny With ZERO Accountability”

    Criticism of the EPO's thuggish behaviour and endless efforts to crush dissenting voices by all means available, even when these means are in clear violation of international or European laws

  21. Links 26/11/2015: The $5 Raspberry Pi Zero, Running Sans Systemd Gets Hard

    Links for the day

  22. EPO Management Needs to Finally Recognise That It Itself is the Issue, Not the Staff or the Unions

    A showing of dissent even from the representatives whom the EPO tightly controls and why the latest union-busting goes a lot further than most people realise

  23. Even the EPO Central Staff Committee is Unhappy With EPO Management

    The questions asked by the Central Staff Committee shared for the public to see that not only a single union is concerned about the management's behaviour

  24. The Broken Window Economics of Patent Trolls Are Already Coming to Europe

    The plague which is widely known as patent trolls (non-practicing entities that prey on practicing companies) is being spread to Europe, owing in part to misguided policies and patent maximalists

  25. Debunking the EPO's Latest Marketing Nonsense From Les Échos and More on Benoît Battistelli's Nastygram to French Politician

    Our detailed remarks about French brainwash from the EPO's media partner (with Benoît Battistelli extensively quoted) and the concerns increasingly raised by French politicians, who urge for national or even continental intervention

  26. The Sun King Delusion: The Views of Techrights Are Just a Mirror of EPO Staff Unions

    Tackling some emerging spin we have seen coming from Battistelli's private letters -- spin which strives to project the views of Techrights onto staff unions and why it's very hypocritical a form of spin

  27. Links 25/11/2015: Webconverger 33.1, Netrunner 17 Released

    Links for the day

  28. United They Stand: FFPE-EPO Supports Suspended Staff Representatives From SUEPO

    An obscure union from the Dutch side of things at the EPO is expressing support for the suspended colleagues from SUEPO (more German than Dutch)

  29. Censoring WIPR Article About Censorship by EPO

    A testament to how terrified journalists have become when it comes to EPO coverage, to the point of deleting entire paragraphs

  30. Censorship at the EPO Escalates: Now We Have Threats to Sue Publishers

    Having already blocked Techrights, the EPO's management proceeds to further suppressions of speech, impeding its staff's access to independently-distributed information (neither ordinary staff nor management)


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


Recent Posts