Summary: Bezos and Ballmer have more in mind than just Windows preference, ‘Linux tax’, and software patents; they also set dangerous precedence in the EPO
A FEW days ago we showed that Amazon does not care about Free software and that its deal with Microsoft was an attack on GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3]. Amazon — now filled with former Microsoft executives — is helping Microsoft’s cause against GNU/Linux, using software patents. Nick Farrell takes Glyn Moody’s scary headline (which we criticised last week) and turns it into another scary headline that says “Microsoft might be planning a patent attack on Linux” (it’s an exaggeration, but Microsoft has already sued TomTom, which is based in Europe).
“Amazon — now filled with former Microsoft executives — is helping Microsoft’s cause against GNU/Linux, using software patents.”Amazon’s history with regards to software patents is very bleak (not to mention remote deletion, DRM, and SaaS). In particular, Amazon has been accused of making a mockery out of the system by pursuing a monopoly on “one-click shopping” in several countries and continents. It turns out that Europe too is included. The president of the FFII cites this post and says that the “EPO validates the Amazon One-click cousin patent (send as a gift), proof that they grant software patents in Europe”
For those who needed another reason to boycott Amazon, here it is. Microsoft is doing the same thing to the EPO and even brags about it. They found workarounds, so they fool the system and ignore the rules.
In other patent news we have:
UK patents are being declared state secrets more than three times as often as those filed in the US, according to information released to New Scientist.
An average of nine secrecy orders were imposed for every 10,000 patents filed in the UK since 2003, compared with less than three per 10,000 filed in the US, figures released for the first time by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) reveal.
A pair of foreign companies today sued the MBTA, alleging the system it uses to notify passengers of late trains and buses violates two patents they hold for compiling information on the whereabouts of vehicles and then notifying people of their status.
The false patent marking law imposes a fine on companies that label unpatented products as patented “for the purpose of deceiving the public.” Currently, the law allows any citizen to sue false markers on behalf of the federal government and any fine awarded by the court is split between the citizen who brought the case and the government.