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

05.14.10

Patents Roundup: EmDebian Considers OIN Membership, EBoA Makes the Legal ‘Industry’ Happy, Phones Industry Harmed by Patents

Posted in Antitrust, Apple, Debian, Europe, GNU/Linux, Google, OIN, Patents at 3:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hercules

Summary: Teams of embedded Debian users/developers may want a shield from software patents; Europe does nothing to stop software patenting; patent lawyers and the patents they crave prove harmful to development of “best” mobile phones

Benjamin Henrion (FFII) says that “EmDebian [is] considering joining the Open Invention Network,” based on this new message:

OIN is the open innovation network, a patent defence group set up in 2005 by IBM, phillips, Red Hat, Novell, NEC and Sony to create a patent pool for defending Linux.

They are now keen to have proper free-software people and projects join up, especially in the Embedded space which is shaping up for a big fight over the next few years as the incumbents realise Linux has eaten their businesses. This could easily get dirty (i.e. have incumbent vendors resort to their patent portfolios to hang on past their natural time – (in the way that SCO did, although they tried to use copyright rather than patents).

Henrion is trying to tell them that “collective patent pools and shields do not work against trolls” (with special exceptions [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]).

Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) Decision Loved by Patent Lawyers

Wednesday’s disappointment from the EBoA is already being covered all around Europe, especially by the legal 'industry'.

Patent attorneys seem pleased with the outcome, which lets them carry on doing what they did before, including the patenting of software using known loopholes.

To be honest, the decision was pretty much expected: the European Patent Office (EPO) has been taking a fairly consistent approach to computer-implemented inventions and has a growing body of learning materials on the subject.

Another ‘IP’ attorney says that “Enlarged Board of Appeal confirms approach to controversial software patents.” More from patent lawyers:

As many in the ‘FOSS’/anti-patent world would undoubtedly say, perhaps it is now time for the legislator to take over. However, I would have very serious doubts about whether it will be possible to come to any sort of agreement among the member states of either the EU or the EPC that would stand any chance of resolving the issue once and for all.

[...]

6. T 424/03, Microsoft does deviate from a view expressed in T 1173/97, IBM, concerning whether a claim to a program on a computer-readable medium necessarily avoids exclusion from patentability under Article 52(2) EPC. However this is a legitimate development of the case law and there is no divergence which would make the referral of this point to the Enlarged Board of Appeal by the President admissible.

Henrion has just uploaded this English version of the video depicting the European Parliament as it rejects the Software Patent Directive (also available in French/original). Here is an Ogg Theora version of this historical video.


It would be nice to have another such high-profile decision annulling all patents on software. In the United States, In Re Bilski will resume very shortly.

Phones a Patent Mess

“Complex Smartphones Are the Latest Patent Battleground,” exclaims Business Week. It seems like nothing but lawsuits is what patents brought to this lucrative section of the industry (where Linux grows fastest and Microsoft diminishes).

The patent wars are raging in the mobile device market, and they could result in rising costs for handset makers and higher gadget prices for wireless carriers and consumers. So far this year, Apple and HTC—two of the most innovative smartphone makers—have become embroiled in more patent-related litigation than in all of 2007, and they are on track to beat their own 2008 and 2009 records, according to Bloomberg data.

Wired Magazine has the following new article:

Investigation: Apple vs Nokia vs Google vs HTC vs RIM

[...]

The struggle that’s broken out between the tech giants has a certain irony; after all, the prizes they’re disputing — patents — were invented to accelerate and encourage invention, not hinder it. The concept is fairly straightforward: a patent is granted if an invention meets a number of requirements, the most essential being “novelty” and “usefulness”. Once granted, a patent typically gives the inventor a limited monopoly of a minimum of 20 years in which he alone can market the invention or license others to take up his protected work.

[...]

In their 2008 book Patent Failure, Bessen and fellow Boston University law professor Michael Meurer show that, since the late-90s, litigation costs for publicly traded companies (except in the case of pharmaceuticals) have consistently outweighed the profits that companies derived from patents. They show that in 1999 alone, $9.3 billion (£6bn) were made in profits from patents globally. Litigation costs alone, however, reached $16 billion (£10.5bn) for the US. In the last decade, this situation has deteriorated considerably: in 1999, there were 2,318 patent litigation lawsuits filed in the US. By 2008, that number had risen to 2,896.

Yesterday we mentioned the HTC vs Apple case. The New York Times has attempted to get a response from Apple but failed.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

Why didn’t HTC join the OIN and retaliate against Microsoft and Apple this way? Instead, it sold out to Microsoft and harmed the whole of Android in the process.

HTC is using just 5 patents. Had it joined the OIN, it would possibly have hundreds of infringing examples for a more effective artillery in this M.A.D. situation (TechDirt says that a “Patent Nuclear Response [Was] Launched” because it’s the best analogy).

According to the press release, HTC believes Apple infringes upon five of their patents. As to what they are, we don’t quite know. More on this as it develops.

“HTC files patent complaint against Apple, asks for ban on iPhone, iPad, and iPod,” says Engadget. That’s the ITC loophole which often gets abused.

Apple has other problems because of Adobe and invocation of “antitrust”.

Adobe has launched its latest salvo in an ongoing dispute with Apple.

The co-founders of Adobe have published an open letter in which they say that Apple threatens to “undermine the next chapter of the web”.

Actually, it is Adobe which undermines the next chapter of the Web. The Web is about web standards, not proprietary plugins. More companies also need to support Theora, which both Apple and Adobe are a threat to (see the posts below).

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. Links 30/8/2014: Jailhouse 0.1, *buntu 14.10 Beta

    Links for the day



  2. Links 28/8/2014: Many New Games, CTO of Red Hat Steps Down

    Links for the day



  3. We Are Gradually Winning the Battle Against Software Patents

    The once-elusive war on software patents is finally leading to some breakthrough and even the Federal Circuit reinforces the trend of software patents' demise



  4. Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) Companies Versus FOSS Moles (VMware, Sonatype, Xamarin)

    A look at three entities which pretend to be pro-FOSS but are actually FOSS-hostile and very much determined to replace FOSS with proprietary software



  5. Links 27/8/2014: GNU/Linux in Space, China, LinuxCon

    Links for the day



  6. FUD Against Google and FOSS Security Amid Microsoft Windows Security Blunders

    In the age of widespread fraud due to Microsoft Windows with its back doors there is an attempt to shift focus to already-fixed flaws/deficiencies in competitors of Microsoft



  7. Microsoft Spin Watch: IDG Turns to More Microsoft Propaganda, Hires Microsoft Boosters

    Media in Microsoft's pocket is telling Microsoft's lies and deceives the public for Microsoft's bottom line



  8. Microsoft's Massive Tax Evasion Becomes Better Known

    A new report about Microsoft's admission that it plays dirty tricks with tax (sometimes using moles in government) is increasing awareness of Microsoft's criminal aspects



  9. Links 25/8/2014: China's Linux Revolution Imminent

    Links for the day



  10. Links 24/8/2014: GNU/Linux Specialisation and Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  11. Links 23/8/2014: GNU/Linux Growth

    Links for the day



  12. Microsoft-Funded Attacks on Android Security and Patent/Copyright

    A look back at examples of people who smear Android and are receiving (or received) money from Microsoft



  13. Blowback in Chile and Munich After Microsoft Intervention

    Microsoft's attacks on the digital sovereignty of countries involves lobbying, corruption, an attack on standards (e.g. ODF), an attack on FOSS policies, and even an attack on accurate reporting (truth itself)



  14. The End of Microsoft is Nigh

    A look back at a tough year for Microsoft and a not-so-promising future



  15. Links 22/8/2014: Linux Foundation LFCS, LFCE

    Links for the day



  16. UPS Burned by Microsoft Windows, Gives Away Massive Number of Credit Card Details

    UPS is the latest victim of Microsoft's shoddy back door with software on top of it (Windows); attempts to blame FOSS for data compromise actually divert attention from the real culprit, which is proprietary software



  17. Microsoft's Funding of ALEC and Other Systemic Corruption

    Microsoft role in writing of laws by proxy, via groups such as ALEC



  18. Microsoft is Still Preying on British Taxpayers, Playing Politics

    Some news from the UK showing how Microsoft uses politics to extract money out of taxpayers, irrespective of their preferences



  19. Microsoft's Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as 20% of Staff Laid Off

    More good news regarding the demise of patents as Microsoft's leading patent proxy is collapsing more rapidly than anyone ever imagined and software patents too are collectively doubted



  20. Links 21/8/2014: Conferences of Linux Foundation, Elephone Emerges

    Links for the day



  21. Links 20/8/2014: Linux Event, GNOME Milestone

    Links for the day



  22. Corruption Watch: Microsoft Lobbying Designed to Kill Chile's Free Software Policy and Promote Microsoft With Subsidies, More Dirty Tricks Emerge in Munich

    icrosoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always



  23. Vista 8 Such a Disaster That Even Microsoft Cannot Cope With It, Vapourware Tactics Start Early

    Microsoft's Windows-powered services are failing and Windows gets bricked by Microsoft patches, whereupon we are seeing yet more of Microsoft's vapourware tactics (focusing in imaginary, non-existent versions of Windows)



  24. On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

    A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry's new patents apparatus



  25. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  26. BlackBerry -- Like Microsoft Nokia -- Could be the Next Patent Proxy Troll

    BlackBerry is restructuring for patent assertion (i.e. trolling) in the wake of some alliances with Microsoft



  27. After Microsoft's Soft Bribe Some Non-Technical Deputy Does Not Like Free Software, Microsoft-Linked Media Responds to This Non-News by Making Bogus Claims of Munich Leaving GNU/Linux (Updated)

    The subversive forces that have secretly been attacking Munich over its migration to GNU/Linux (Microsoft press, Gartner, and even HP) are back to doing it while China and Russia follow Munich's lead



  28. Gates Foundation CFO Quits and Debate About Revolving Doors Recalled Amid Systematic and Shrewd Bribery of Public Officials

    More officials step out of the Gates Foundation and their destination is not known yet; Gates continues to corrupt the public sector with his money so as to increase personal gain at taxpayers' expense



  29. Links 19/8/2014: GNU/Linux Raves and Alternative to Proprietary Voice Chat

    Links for the day



  30. Links 18/8/2014: Linux 3.17 RC1, Escalation in Ferguson

    Links for the day


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