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

02.19.10

Patents Roundup: America, Europe and Asia Share a Problem with Software Patents

Posted in America, Asia, Europe, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Patents at 6:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

THIS is another quick summary of news about patents, which are harming the field of software.

What is IP?

Well, this new post about Apple’s iPad [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] gives a decent answer to the question, “what is intellectual property (IP)?”

Slaveware companies go even further and use the word IP to confuse users. IP is a stupid bundle of Trademark, Copyright, Patent and much more. You can’t put patents and Trademark in the same basket, especially in the case of software or products which are in the software format. In a lot of countries software patents are not valid, but with the usage of the word IP these companies try to bring software under that umbrella of protection.

This is partly inspired by the FSF/GNU explanation. “IP” is considered a term to avoid because it’s a perception changer that gets embedded in our language.

United States

Is embargo the new innovation? Sometimes it seems so:

US ITC to investigate Apple and RIM

THE US International Trade Commission (ITC) will launch an investigation into technology from Apple and Research In Motion (RIM) that seems to bear close resemblance to an invention claimed by Kodak.

US agency to investigate Blackberry and iPhone makers

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has said it will investigate the makers of the iPhone and Blackberry, over technology used in their handsets.

Masnick adds:

Pretty much all smartphones are made outside of the US, so they can all be barred by the ITC, and with the technology in your average smartphone being covered by hundreds of patents, it’s almost certain that every smartphone infringes on a slew of patents.

Also from Masnick:

Firefox Guys Admit That Competition Is What Drives Innovation

[...]

Imagine if instead of thinking that way, the concept of a browser had been patented way back when? Does anyone honestly think that we’d have as innovative a web world as we do today?

Patents are a fence. Fences do not drive progress; it would be counter intuitive to grasp, too. So who benefits other than huge corporations and their lawyers? As this new document [PDF] exemplifies it, “ADC is a patent holding company founded by a patent attorney”

So the patent system serves lawyers pretty well, at the expense of scientists of course. It’s the “solicitor tax” applied to areas of science and those who exploit loopholes benefit the most.

Europe

Software patents might end up in Europe if lobbyists of companies like Microsoft get their way. The president of the FFII points to this comment which says: “The creation by CreditSuisse and Deutsche Bank of “patent funds” to purchase unused patents also indicates that money is entering the European market to finance litigation.”

He also links to this new analysis of the United Patent Litigation System (UPLS), stating that it’s about “European Patent Law [getting] outsourced outside of the EU.”

The idea of creating a single patent court for Europe in order to improve legal certainty as well as to reduce costs is inextricably intertwined with the idea of creating a unitary trans-national patent which has the same legal effect all over Europe and which goes well beyond the European bundle patent of our days. Without such new substantive patent law, any attempt to bundle the procedural aspects of litigation and nullity matters will surely be futile. When assessing the chances for a unification of patent courts in Europe we will have to look at the history and prospects of both ideas. If there is no unitary substantial patent law in Europe there will also be no European patent court.

And who would that be good for? Lawyers seeking maximal damages? This is similar to the notion of extradition, which means that people receive no protection from unjust or corrupt jurisdictions. How are increased penalties and punishments improving society/science in general? They aren’t, they don’t.

India

In India too there are attempts to formally legalise software patents and patent lawyers in the country already lick their lips.

He explained that he also expected changes in regulations that would soon permit software patent filing without independent of hardware patents, which would be a large growth area.

Software patents are a travesty. They are wanted by patent trolls/lawyers and software monopolies that want to shield their dominant position (i.e. prevent free market competition). Stallman explained the problem one year ago in Germany.

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

6 Comments

  1. The Mad Hatter said,

    February 20, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Gravatar

    Roy,

    Get it right. Patents are a travesty. Doesn’t matter whether they are for hardware or software. Both are deadly.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 21, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Gravatar

    We’re mostly focused on software in the Web site.

  3. The Mad Hatter said,

    February 21, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Gravatar

    There isn’t any difference where patents are concerned.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I think there is. Code has less of a design and manufacturing process, so software patents are relatively unmanageable and thus silly. From an economic point of view, they make no sense.

  4. The Mad Hatter said,

    February 22, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Gravatar

    I know there isn’t. 10 years of working with hardware design, after 10 years of working with software design, tells me that there is no difference.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Fashion copyrights/patents are clearly one of the more ridiculous cases.

What Else is New


  1. Links 28/5/2015: SourceForge Hijack, RIP Marco Pesenti Gritti

    Links for the day



  2. Censorship on Reddit Has Gotten (Condé) Nasty and Silent, Even Actively Silenced

    Condé Nast has turned Reddit into a platform of censorship after the acquisition



  3. The Supreme Court of the United States Helps Patent Trolls

    In an unforeseen kind of ruling, the same court which slapped down a lot of software patents last year is now legitimising the actions of a patent troll



  4. Patent Lawyers Fight Hard for the Future of Software Patents

    Media that is dominated by patent lawyers and targets an audience of patent lawyers refuses to accept the post-Alice reality



  5. Fortune Glorifies Patent Troll Jay Walker (Patent Utility)

    Jay Walker, a patent troll, creates a Web-based trolling/'licensing' service and the corporate media helps him



  6. Stealing Android's Thunder, Making It All About Apple and Microsoft During Google I/O

    Misleading articles and conjoined media/analyst attacks on Android coincide with Google's event where major Android announcements are being made



  7. British Government May be a Step Closer to GNU/Linux (on the Desktops, Not Just Servers)

    The British government stops paying the criminal company that blackmails its members, thereby increasing the possibility of complete escape from proprietary software



  8. Microsoft's Patent Allies LG and Sony Agree to Put Microsoft Inside Android

    LG and Sony (of Rockstar Consortium) follow Samsung and Dell in Microsoft's campaign to turn Android into 'Microsoft Android' using patents-induced pressure/leverage



  9. Yet Another Major Security Deficiency in UEFI

    UEFI is inherently insecure, more so than the alternatives which it strives to replace, including Free/libre ones



  10. Links 27/5/2015: Fedora 22 is Out, Mandriva Liquidated

    Links for the day



  11. Patent Scope at the EPO is Totally Out of Control, UPC Will Make Things Worse

    A look at the practical issues with the EPO, where patent scope and litigation scope have been vastly extended so as to benefit multinational corporations and possibly patent trolls



  12. Links 26/5/2015: Reviews of Kubuntu 15.04, Linux 4.1 RC5

    Links for the day



  13. Süddeutsche Zeitung Says Talking Helps While EPO Management Back-stabs Other Side of the Table

    German media gives the impression that there is peace and harmony now that Benoît Battistelli and his circle of power speaks to staff, but nothing is said about simultaneous (albeit covert) attacks against that staff



  14. Large Corporations Call the Shots in US Patent Reform

    A reminder of where we stand on the issue of patent 'reform' in the US and who is controlling or shaping it



  15. Microsoft Puts Proprietary Windows and Hyper-V Inside the Free Software-Centric OpenStack

    OpenStack, which celebrates rapid growth in this month's event in Canada, is facing a proprietarisation threat from Microsoft



  16. Microsoft's Secret Lobbying, Bullying, and the Long History of Blackmailing Politicians Around the World

    British media covers Microsoft's abuse in the UK, but there are many similar incidents, and not just in the UK



  17. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Benoît Battistelli and Four EPO Suicides

    German press article from April 2015 (with translations)



  18. Links 24/5/2015: CrossOver 14.1.3, NTFS-3G Vulnerability

    Links for the day



  19. Links 23/5/2015: Fedora 22 to May 26th, Netflix in SteamOS

    Links for the day



  20. The Patents Production 'Industry' (Patent Lawyers) Still Fights Hard to Salvage Software Patents

    A review of recent writings about software patents and patents on business methods in the United States, demonstrating that patent lawyers have gotten very vocal and sneaky (trying to evade the rules)



  21. Patents as a Marketing Strategy: USPTO Now Part of the Advertising Industry

    The existence of publicity patents, or patents whose sole purpose is to advertise some products, serves to discredit the US patent office, which was originally set up to promote science and technology



  22. Microsoft Blackmails and Extorts British Politicians Over Open Standards and Free Software-Leaning Policies

    Microsoft's digital imperialism in the UK getting defended using blackmail, reminding a lot of Brits that Microsoft is just as evil as ever before



  23. Microsoft Gives Another Bug a Name, This Time Logjam™

    The Microsoft crowd is good only at marketing, even when it comes to small bugs in software



  24. Links 22/5/2015: Fedora 22 Final Release is Near, Canonical IPO Considered

    Links for the day



  25. More Utter Shame Unveiled at Battistelli's EPO: Intimidation Tactics With Help From 'Control Risks'

    The unaccountable thugs who run the EPO have hired London-based spooks to help silence their opposition and their critics



  26. GNU/Linux Still Under Attack From Apple and Microsoft, Patents Remain the Weapon of Choice

    A timely reminder of the importance of patent matters, for they are being used to eliminate the zero-cost advantage of Free/libre software and make it more proprietary, privacy-infringing, and user-hostile (as a result of blackmail)



  27. Gartner Group and NASSCOM: Will Lie for FUD, on Behalf of Microsoft and Proprietary Software

    Some of the latest arguments against Free/libre software turn out to be arriving from couriers of Microsoft and its agenda



  28. Windows is a Franchise in Demise, Don't Believe the Hype

    Ongoing propaganda about Vista 10, 'cloud', and other buzzwords or brands are put in perspective



  29. Links 21/5/2015: Fedora 22 RC2, CERN Chooses OpenStack

    Links for the day



  30. Microsoft is Again Showing Its Hatred of Free/Open Source Software by Lobbying the Indian Government to Drop a Rational National Policy

    Microsoft decides to attack Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in India, where the corporate media is very much complicit in misleading the public


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