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. Patents Roundup: IAM's Claims About India, Lawyers' Patent Bias, ITC for Microsoft, and PTAB Against Kyle Bass

    Another weekly summary, focusing on issues that pertain to or affect Free software in particular



  2. Microsoft Crowd Rocks the Media With Misleading Claims and Deliberate Lies About GNU/Linux, Vista 10, and Free/Open Source Software

    A roundup of rigged press coverage, intended purely to serve Microsoft's agenda



  3. Links 31/8/2015: Linux 4.2, LXLE 14.04.3

    Links for the day



  4. IRC Proceedings: August 9th, 2015 – August 29th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  5. “Conservative” Site Responds (Yet Again) to Misguided “Conservative” Efforts to Derail Patent Reform in the US

    Patent trolls throw stones in glass houses, contributing to their own unpopularity, but some influential “Conservatives” continue to defend (conserve) them



  6. Increase in Lobbying for Software Patents in Europe and Its Trojan Horse, the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The relentless campaigns to bring software patents into Europe have not stopped and so-called 'unification' -- much like so-called 'trade' deals -- serves to support them



  7. Microsoft Technology Crashes Financial Markets, Again

    SunGard, which is a Microsoft shop, is clearly failing to provide what it calls mission-ciriticaal [sic] solutions



  8. Alice v. CLS Bank (Alice/§101) Comes to Squash Software Patents Even in Eastern District of Texas

    The crackdown on software patents is coming along nicely and the Alice case is now being utilised even in the capital of patent trolls



  9. Apple's Patent Cases Against Android Are Falling Apart, as Acknowledged Even by the Anti-Android Lobby





  10. Links 29/8/2015: NetworkManager 1.0.6, Systemd Merges “su” Command Replacement

    Links for the day



  11. Microsoft Loves Linux to Death and Still Tries to Kill GNU/Linux

    Microsoft's relentless attacks on GNU/Linux and Free software in general (even if it runs on Windows) are so evident that claims of 'love' remain laughable at best (if not infuriating)



  12. Censorship, Self-Censorship and Intimidation Now the Modus Operandi at EPO

    The European Patent Office has ceased even trying to pretend that it respects human rights, including the right to free speech



  13. Patent Practitioners: "The Unitary Patent Might be Able to Open the Floodgates for Software Patents in Europe"

    The EPO-backed Unitary Patent scheme threatens to bring software patents to Europe and along with them a lot of patent trolls from all around the world (especially the United States)



  14. Microsoft Lies About Vista 10 and Increases Microsoft Surveillance (Even Beyond Vista 10 and Into Android, Vista 7/8)

    Windows surveillance expands retroactively, making its way into platforms other than Windows and also expanding to predecessors of Vista 10



  15. Another Suicide at the EPO, Fifth by Our Count

    Yet another EPO member of staff has just committed suicide, leading to the inevitable question: how many people need to die before Battistelli and his minions are out of the Office for good?



  16. Links 27/8/2015: ownCloud Desktop Client 2.0, Red Hat Downgraded

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft-connected Mesosphere Threatens to Eliminate Free Software in the Datacentre

    Hiding behind a misleading 'open' label while actually backed by Microsoft (and based on new rumours may join Microsoft), Mesosphere wishes to eradicate Free and back doors-free software in large datacentres hosting a lot of physical and virtual servers



  18. Microsoft Aggression Against GNU/Linux Amid Vista 10's Failure

    A look at the recent assault on GNU/Linux in Munich and the likely cause for this assault (in such a timely fashion, too)



  19. Message to LinuxCon Regarding Microsoft: “It is Necessary to Get Behind Someone in Order to Stab Them in the Back.” -Sir Humphrey Appleby

    Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, helps Microsoft gain influence in the Foundation after payments are received



  20. Market Share Estimates Confirm That Vista 10 Failed in a Major Way

    Confirmatory evidence that Vista 10 is failing in the market about a month after its much-hyped (paid coverage) release



  21. When Microsoft, the Master of Patent Trolls, Complains About Trolls

    Possibly the world's biggest patent abuser and monopolist, which also creates many patent trolls (including by far the biggest one), takes on a far smaller abuser in Court



  22. Letter Signed by Two German Officials Becomes a Microsoft Weapon of Propaganda

    Microsoft and its minions refuse to leave Munich alone, even though the vast majority in Munich are perfectly happy with Free/libre software



  23. Links 25/8/2015: Linux Kernel 4.2 Final RC, KDE Ships Plasma 5.4.0

    Links for the day



  24. Sabine Pfeiler and Otto Seidl Should Take Note as Russia -- Like China -- is in the Process of Banning Microsoft Windows for Security Reasons

    A look at a strange suggestion, signed by Sabine Pfeiler and Otto Seidl, who suggest going back to Microsoft which is basically a spyware company now



  25. Microsoft Windows Leads to Espionage and Blackmail: Latest Examples

    Another news overview, detailing high-profile examples of high-cost Windows deployments (including the cost of litigation and settlement)



  26. Links 23/8/2015: BcacheFS Benchmarks, Blackphone 2

    Links for the day



  27. Links 22/8/2015: Chromebook Gains, GNOME 3.18 Clues

    Links for the day



  28. Alice v. CLS Bank (the Alice Case/§101) Continues to Crush Software Patents in the United States

    Patent scope in the United States continues to be narrowed down as more software patents get their wings clipped



  29. Company of Hype and 'Fanbois' Continues Its Patent Attacks on Android/Linux

    Apple's attacks on Android (using bogus patents) may be soon be escalated to the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS)



  30. EPO Corruption of Patent Boundaries: Business Methods and Algorithms Patented

    How the European Patent Office (EPO) not only turns a blind eye to European law while patenting or granting patents on software but also openly advocates this now


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