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

05.02.10

Patents Roundup: University of Colorado Conference on Software Patents and Free Software; “Patent Absurdity” in Connecticut Film Festival; Amazon’s Absurd Patent; Monsanto’s Meat Patents

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Patents at 2:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Spare rib

Summary: 4 new items covering the absurdity of the patent system and resentment against it

A conference on software patents and free software (Jonathan Corbet went to the University of Colorado to study these issues)

A survey was done back in 2008, with 15,000 surveys sent out to a large number of firms. 1,333 of them – representing over 700 companies – came back. The numbers that came out were interesting, if arguably unsurprising.

According to this survey, 65% of software companies have no interest in software patents; they do not see patents as an important part of doing business. That compares with 82% of non-software companies which said they were working toward the acquisition of patents. It is worth noting that companies with venture capital backing had a higher level of interest in software patents than those without.

Film, new media and music featured at Connecticut Film Festival workshops (the film “Patent Absurdity” was already mentioned in [1, 2 3, 4, 5])

The Connecticut Film Festival will also feature the world premiere of the film “Patent Absurdity,” which explores the case of software patents and the history of judicial activism that led to their rise, and argues that programmers are finding it increasingly difficult to write programs for which they won’t be liable to be sued.

Amazon Patents Selling Used Goods At Starbucks, Barnes & Noble Or Other Locations (we have a new reference page about Amazon)

theodp writes “Having already been burned by Amazon’s 1-Click patent, one imagines Barnes & Noble will be fuming to learn that the USPTO granted Amazon a patent Tuesday covering the use of Barnes and Noble’s physical stores to fulfill orders placed for used goods on Amazon. The e-tailer was awarded U.S. Patent No. 7,702,545 for its System and Method for Facilitating Exchanges Between Buyers and Sellers, legal-speak for arranging a place to meet to exchange cash for used goods ordered online. From the patent: ‘In an exemplary embodiment, buyers and sellers are permitted to designate exchange locations in the system 100. An exchange location may be a location that the user regularly visits. For example, users may designate locations such as health clubs, schools, coffee shops, book stores, and so on, as acceptable exchange locations.’”

Meat claimed as invention by multinational company of Monsanto (we wrote about Monsanto in some of our previous posts because of Microsoft/Gates connections [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8])

*Stop patenting the food chain!

Multinational seed corporations are following a consequent strategy to gain control over basic resources for food production. As recent research shows not only genetically engineered plants, but more and more the conventional breeding of plants gets into the focus of patent monopolies: International patent applications in this sector are skyrocking, having doubled since 2007 till end of 2009. Further on the multinationals expand their claims over the whole chain of food production from feed to animals and food products such as meat. In a pending patent application from Monsanto even bacon and steaks are claimed: Patent application WO2009097403 is claiming meat stemming from pigs being fed with the patented genetically engineered plants of Monsanto. A similar patent is applied for fish from aquaculture in March 2010 (WO201027788). Far reaching patents on food are even already granted: Monsanto received a European patent (EP 1356033) in 2009, which the chain of food production from seeds of genetically engineered plants up to food products such as meal and oil are covered.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks

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

3 Comments

  1. Jose_X said,

    May 2, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Gravatar

    >> According to this survey, 65% of software companies have no interest in software patents; they do not see patents as an important part of doing business. That compares with 82% of non-software companies which said they were working toward the acquisition of patents.

    This ignores the fact (I think) that a great many companies develop software or are so capable yet probably weren’t asked because it is not their line of business, and these likely have about nothing to gain from patents.

    This likely ignores a large number of nonprofits that do develop software that would almost surely say no.

    This ignores the many for whom software development is a hobby (including many who have produced very good pieces of code — after all the Olympics and many from Guinness are hobbyists) or they don’t consider it a main source of income.

    And this ignores services providers, retailers, etc, that are not in the business of developing software but easily could do a lot customizing open source and adding bits here and there.

    This likely ignores as well those that went out of business, who were up against large odds (eg, being sued to death unfairly (even from patents) or a large vendor entered their business or targeted them), but who otherwise had good products and a sustainable business model.

    This didn’t ask those that were pressured to sell out cheaply and now belong to a larger entity (that very likely does support software patents).

    Collectively, all of these that were not asked add up to a lot. Furthermore, many of them are users largely and they don’t gain from software patents as don’t other users. And these groups show that software is not something where we can assume the main producers are for-profit companies focused on software development as their main business.

    Finally, even if everyone in the “official” software business claimed patents were useful, this would only lead to the industry being able to grab more money off users, and wouldn’t imply that progress was promoted.

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> This likely ignores a large number of nonprofits that do develop software that would almost surely say no.

    Well, maybe there aren’t a “large number” relative to the other groups mentioned.

    Um, so a conclusion which was not stated in parent was that the 65% would have been possibly much larger if all who have developed software were asked.

    Also, the VCs, looking to make a lot of money in the short term but who may not be interested in the long term viability of the company and who recognize patents by themselves may have value they might want to tap (eg, to negotiate a favorable buyout or to sue if worst comes to worst), may like patent monopolies. Anyone who looks towards making money from patent attacks, likely has surrendered their realistic changes of producing products in the future because of the almost unavoidable infringements that would come from such products.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    A very recent (but non-scientific) survey from NZ showed that over 80% of developers opposed software patents.

What Else is New


  1. Politically Correct Tech

    This new video entitled “Politically Correct Tech” covers a topic we’ve spoken a great deal about



  2. [Humour/Meme] High on Production, Stoned on Pseudoscience

    All-time high ‘production’ levels at the European Patent Office (EPO) do not mean what they want people to think and what they try hard to hide



  3. Missing From EPO Management: Actual Scientists

    Political figures and opportunists with connections occupy top positions at top European agencies; this assures self-destructive policies that diminish progress and cushion corruption



  4. All Software Should Come With a Cheat Mode

    Cheat modes are useful for developers because they enable debugging, and are sometimes called "Debug mode"



  5. Linus Torvalds Checks If It's Still Inclusive Enough to 'Bash' Bad Technology (of the Company Whose TPM Pusher Has Just Successfully Pushed to Remove Many Words)

    In the age of endless control of language (e.g. large corporations pushing for "inclusive" language whilst earning billions from bombing of 'inferior' countries) we see that it is still possible to condemn corporations on technical grounds (at least if you’re Linus Torvalds)



  6. Even Before Microsoft Paid ('Joined') the Linux Foundation Jim Zemlin Had a Preference for Microsofters

    Even years before the Linux Foundation was receiving money from Microsoft it had a tendency to hire Microsoft’s people for key positions (a lot of people no longer remember that, but it’s still in the public record; it was Jim Zemlin who approached if not chased Mr. Ramji to offer him the job and the colleagues saw no problem with that)



  7. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, July 11, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, July 11, 2020



  8. Links 12/7/2020: KDE Plasma 5.20 Preview and Elive 3.8.14 Beta

    Links for the day



  9. [Humour] The 'Orange One' Does Not Respect Judges Either

    More than two years after taking over the European Patent Office (EPO) António Campinos has done absolutely nothing to restore judicial independence of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO



  10. The Systemd Song

    Speak out about IBM's strategy before we're all using GNU/Linux distros 'barcoded' with systemd



  11. Monopoly (or Vendor Lock-in) is Not Modularity

    IBM cannot totally control the kernel, Linux; IBM's control over GNU/Linux may be worth even more than what it paid for Red Hat as that's the key to overpriced support contracts and the general direction of development (important trends such as file systems and various low-level stacks)



  12. The Internet Archive Doesn't Forget, Whereas the Internet and the Web Forget Very Fast

    World Wide Web history is grossly undervalued and preservation of such history (e.g. by the Wayback Machine) is taken for granted by far too many people; the robber barons of today benefit the most from erosion of collective memory as they get to rewrite the past to suit their present and future interests



  13. Environmentalism and Free Software Can be Viewed as Closely Connected and Help One Another

    Modest lifestyles are an overlapping pattern in the Free software community and green activists; there's room for alliances and collaboration, bettering society by reducing consumption and discouraging voyeurism



  14. Free (as in Freedom) Software + Social Control Media ≠ Free Speech

    Speaking through middlemen and private platforms is bad enough (that gives others unjust power over speech); to claim that because the underlying platform is free/libre software it therefore becomes a non-issue is also dishonest



  15. António Campinos: President or Quasi-Autocratic Corporate Puppet?

    The culture of oppression — and censorship of evidence of oppression — is what today’s EPO is all about; the EPO learned how to better avoid (or block) negative publicity without actually changing its ways; and due to unprecedented speech restrictions you won’t hear that from SUEPO



  16. The Media Continues to Ignore Corruption of António Campinos

    António Campinos has Croatian scandals on his lap; the obedient media, however, refuses to even talk about it (or uses COVID as an excuse to write nothing on the subject, as some journalists have told us)



  17. A Call for Patent Sanity

    The public's call for reform is motivated by improved understanding of today's debased patent system and how out-of-order (detached from its original mission statement) it has gotten; patent maximalism, if it does not completely unravel this whole system, severely discredits it



  18. Declassified US Army Field Manuals Explain Microsoft's Public Relations Strategy (Similar to Selling Imperialism to the Occupied)

    The misuse of public broadcast to brainwash the public is well understood and thoroughly exploited by both Microsoft and the Gates Foundation (which sells this ridiculous lie that the world’s richest people speak for and fight for the poorest, i.e. those impoverished by endless greed)



  19. IRC Proceedings: Friday, July 10, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, July 10, 2020



  20. Links 11/7/2020: Slackel 7.3 Openbox, Kiwi TCMS 8.5, Librem 5 Dogwood Update 3

    Links for the day



  21. Education Without Free Software is Training or Indoctrination

    Kids need to decide for themselves what they want to do and what they wish to use when they grow up; schools need to provide general tools and the mental capacity to make good decisions (rather than make these decisions for the kids, sometimes at the behest of foreign monopolists)



  22. Links 10/7/2020: Wayland-Info, diffoscope 151 and Tor 0.4.4.2-alpha

    Links for the day



  23. European FRAND (Related to SEP) Proponent and Famed Programmer Comes to Realise That It's Actually a “Scam”

    Even people who have long promoted the practice of mandatory "licensing" (in effect patent tax one is unable to work around) are apparently changing their minds and their tune



  24. Not Even a Single Corporate Journalist Has Written Anything About These Very Important Bits of News (Updated)

    Constant propaganda from patent maximalists has long infested the media, which is sometimes controlled and even bribed to set the tone and the agenda; important developments are being tucked away and require very deep digging for ordinary citizens to find



  25. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, July 09, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, July 09, 2020



  26. Racism in Technology (and Who Typically Lectures Us About the Subject)

    Racism is a real problem; some approaches to tackling racism, however, can also be problematic and those who take the lead 'on behalf' of victims tend to be opportunistic and privileged few (piggybacking others' grievances to further advance their financial agenda)



  27. Links 10/7/2020: Debian 8 Long Term Support EOL, Mobian Project, Mesa 20.1.3

    Links for the day



  28. [Humour] COVID-19 is Very, Very Afraid of Human Beings Making More Monopolies Instead of Fighting Together

    The European Patent Office (EPO) to the rescue! Fighting a dangerous pandemic one profitable monopoly at a time!



  29. The News is Never 'Slow', It's Just Journalism That's Slowing Down (and Investigative Journalism Coming Under Attack)

    A mix of censorship and subtle mind control contribute to misinformed societies that shape their perception or misunderstanding of the world based on false measures of authority (where money can determine what is true and what is untrue); many topics remain completely untouched, leading to apathy in a vacuum; it's very much applicable to international organisations, which are presumed benign by virtue of being multi-national or supranational



  30. Social Control Media is About Social Control and If It Doesn't Ban You It'll Shut Down Everyone's Account (One Day)

    It’s time to leave the ‘Internet rot’ which is social control media well behind us; blogging and RSS/XML may seem like a thing of the past, but they may as well become the future (again; if we make the correct and informed choices)


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