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

02.05.10

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. Weaponising Russophobia Against One's Critics

    Response to smears and various whispering campaigns whose sole purpose is to deplete the support base for particular causes and people; these sorts of things have gotten out of control in recent years



  2. When the EPO is Run by Politicians It's Expected to Be Aggressive and Corrupt Like Purely Political Establishments

    António 'Photo Op' Campinos will have marked his one-year anniversary in July; he has failed to demonstrate morality, respect for the law, understanding of the sciences, leadership by example and even the most basic honesty (he lies a lot)



  3. Links 16/6/2019: Tmax OS and New Features for KDE.org

    Links for the day



  4. Stuffed/Stacked Panels Sent Back Packing After One-Sided Patent Hearings That Will Convince Nobody, Just Preach to the Choir

    Almost a week ago the 'world tour' of patent lobbyists in US Senate finally ended; it was an utterly ridiculous case study in panel stacking and bribery (attempts to buy laws)



  5. 2019 H1: American Software Patents Are as Worthless as They Were Last Year and Still Susceptible to Invalidation

    With a fortnight left before the second half of the year it seems evident that software patents aren't coming back; the courts have not changed their position at all



  6. As European Patent Office Management Covers up Collapse in Patent Quality Don't Expect UPC to Ever Kick Off

    It would be madness to allow EPO-granted patents to become 'unitary' (bypassing sovereignty of nations that actually still value patent quality); it seems clear that rogue EPO management has, in effect, not only doomed UPC ambitions but also European Patents (or their perceived legitimacy, presumption of validity)



  7. António Campinos -- Unlike His Father -- Engages in Imperialism (Using Invalid Patents)

    Despite some similarities to his father (not positive similarities), António Campinos is actively engaged in imperialistic agenda that defies even European law; the EPO not only illegally grants patents but also urges other patent offices to do the same



  8. António Campinos Takes EPO Waste and Corruption to Unprecedented Levels and Scale

    The “B” word (billions) is thrown around at Europe’s second-largest institution because a mischievous former EUIPO chief (not Archambeau) is ‘partying’ with about half of the EPO’s all-time savings, which are supposed to be reserved for pensions and other vital programmes, not presidential palaces and gambling



  9. Links 15/6/2019: Astra Linux in Russia, FreeBSD 11.3 RC

    Links for the day



  10. Code of Conduct Explained: Partial Transcript - August 10th, 2018 - Episode 80, The Truth About Southeast Linuxfest

    "Ask Noah" and the debate on how a 'Code of Conduct' is forcibly imposed on events



  11. Links 14/6/2019: Xfce-Related Releases, PHP 7.4.0 Alpha

    Links for the day



  12. The EPO is a Patent Troll's Wet Dream

    The makers of software and games in Europe will have to spend a lot of money just keeping patent trolls off their backs — a fact that seems to never bother EPO management because it profits from it



  13. EPO Spreading Patent Extremists' Ideology to the Whole World, Now to South Korea

    The EPO’s footprint around the world's patent systems is an exceptionally dangerous one; The EPO amplifies the most zealous voices of the patents and litigation ‘industry’ while totally ignoring the views and interests of the European public, rendering the EPO an ‘agent of corporate occupation’



  14. Guest Post: Notes on Free Speech, and a Line in the Sand

    We received this anonymous letter and have published it as a follow-up to "Reader's Claim That Rules Similar to the Code of Conduct (CoC) Were 'Imposed' on LibrePlanet and the FSF"



  15. Links 13/6/2019: CERN Dumps Microsoft, GIMP 2.10.12 Released

    Links for the day



  16. Links 12/6/2019: Mesa 19.1.0, KDE neon 5.16, Endless OS 3.6.0 and BackBox Linux 6

    Links for the day



  17. Leaked Financial 'Study' Document Shows EPO Management and Mercer Engaging in an Elaborate “Hoax”

    How the European Patent Office (EPO) lies to its own staff to harm that staff; thankfully, the staff isn't easily fooled and this whole affair will merely obliterate any remnants of "benefit of the doubt" the President thus far enjoyed



  18. Measuring Patent Quality and Employer Quality in Europe

    Comparing the once-famous and respected EPO to today's joke of an office, which grants loads of bogus patents on just about anything including fruit and mathematics



  19. Granting More Fundamentally Wrong Patents Will Mean Reduced Certainty, Not Increased Certainty

    Law firms that are accustomed to making money from low-quality and abstract patents try to overcome barriers by bribing politicians; this will backfire because they show sheer disregard for the patent system's integrity and merely lower the legal certainty associated with granted (by greedy offices) patents



  20. Links 11/6/2019: Wine 4.10, Plasma 5.16

    Links for the day



  21. Chapter 10: Moving Forward -- Getting the Best Results From Open Source With Your Monopoly

    “the gradual shift in public consciousness from their branding towards our own, is the next best thing to owning them outright.”



  22. Chapter 9: Ownership Through Branding -- Change the Names, and Change the World

    The goal for those fighting against Open source, against the true openness (let's call it the yet unexploited opportunities) of Open source, has to be first to figuratively own the Linux brand, then literally own or destroy the brand, then to move the public awareness of the Linux brand to something like Azure, or whatever IBM is going to do with Red Hat.



  23. Links 10/6/2019: VLC 3.0.7, KDE Future Plans

    Links for the day



  24. Patent Quality Continues to Slip in Europe and We Know Who Will Profit From That (and Distract From It)

    The corporate media and large companies don't speak about it (like Red Hat did before entering a relationship with IBM), but Europe is being littered and saturated with a lot of bogus software patents -- abstract patents that European courts would almost certainly throw out; this utter failure of the media to do journalism gets exploited by the "big litigation" lobby and EPO management that's granting loads of invalid European Patents (whose invalidation goes underreported or unreported in the media)



  25. Corporate Front Groups Like OIN and the Linux Foundation Need to Combat Software Patents If They Really Care About Linux

    The absurdity of having groups that claim to defend Linux but in practice defend software patents, if not actively then passively (by refusing to comment on this matter)



  26. Links 9/6/2019: Arrest of Microsoft Peter, Linux 5.2 RC4, Ubuntu Touch Update

    Links for the day



  27. Chapter 8: A Foot in the Door -- How to Train Sympathetic Developers and Infiltrate Other Projects

    How to train sympathetic developers and infiltrate other projects



  28. Chapter 7: Patent War -- Use Low-Quality Patents to Prove That All Software Rips Off Your Company

    Patents in the United States last for 20 years from the time of filing. Prior to 1994, the patent term was 17 years from when the patent was issued.



  29. The Linux Foundation in 2019: Over 100 Million Dollars in Income, But Cannot Maintain Linux.com?

    Today’s Linux Foundation gets about 0.1 billion dollars per year (as explained in our previous post), so why can’t it spend about 0.1% of that money on people who write for and maintain a site that actually promotes GNU/Linux?



  30. Microsoft and Proprietary Software Vendors a Financial Boon for the Linux Foundation, But at What Cost?

    The Linux Foundation is thriving financially, but the sources of income are diversified to the point where the Linux Foundation is actually funded by foes of Linux, defeating the very purpose or direction of such a nonprofit foundation (led by self-serving millionaires who don't use GNU/Linux)


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