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

05.14.10

Patents Roundup: HTC Daemonised for Defending Itself From Apple Bullies; US and EU Patent Systems Still Misguided

Posted in Apple, Europe, GNU/Linux, Google, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 2:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Steve Jobs with patent
Original photo by Matt Buchanan; edited by Techrights

Summary: A look at how the Western press covers HTC’s response to Apple’s attack on the Linux-based Android; new cracks in patent systems worldwide

THE patent system disappoints most parties which are affected by it (but not all parties are created equal). This post takes a look at new examples.

Taiwan

The US press sensationalises HTC’s response to Apple and makes it look like HTC is attacking rather than defending. Items that are liked in the West (notably hypePads, hypePhones, and hypePods) are being used to evoke emotion. We are talking about headlines like:

There are many more examples like that. In this particular case, HTC is not the bad guy; Apple attacked Linux/Android and even Microsoft seems to have extorted it very, very recently.

Some headlines put it in better perspective (there are hundreds of headlines). How about “HTC files lawsuit against Apple, calls for injunction” or even the clarification that it’s a counter-attack and thus really defensive?

Katonda.com, which is a very good Web site, says that “HTC Takes Revenge; Hits Apple” and adds:

Bruce Perens has written in detail about the problems of software patents, “Patents, originally created to stimulate innovation, may now be having the opposite effect, at least in the software industry. Plagued by an exponential growth in software patents, many of which are not valid, software vendors and developers must navigate a potential minefield to avoid patent infringement and future lawsuits. Coupled with strategies to exploit this confusion over patents, especially in standards setting organizations, it appears that software advancement will become stifled unless legal action is taken to resolve the situation…”

He further wrote … “Patent royalties tend to create discrimination against small-to-medium-sized businesses developing any form of software, and especially against Open Source developers.

The largest businesses in an industry generally have patent cross-licenses with their peers, and thus they may ignore each other’s patents while smaller businesses have no choice but to license those patents if they use them. As a result, there is a “tax” upon technology that small businesses must pay while the largest businesses are exempt.”

Software patents have become weapons for companies to fight with each other. This not only wastes valuable resources but also time of courts. Many activists and experts have been raising questions about the legality of software patents.

Many countries including India do no allow software patents.

The United States, Europe, and Japan are trying to change India's laws so as to retard progress in India. Indians should explain to their peers why they need to reject so-called ‘IP’ for their advantage and long-term prosperity. Indian officials are likely to be incentivised (nice word for “bribed”) to serve foreign interests rather than the local population. We saw that before and gave examples. Microsoft is among the culprits.

United States

With the exception of cases like I4i vs Microsoft, we dislike almost everything about the USPTO’s practices. It merely grants monopolies, mostly to large US-based companies, in order to exclude competitors from the market. How is that beneficial to progress, assuming competition drives innovation?

The following new article is perhaps a repetition of old news. Either way, it ought to show why it is also in Microsoft’s interest to lobby against software patents.

Toronto-based i4i said yesterday that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has confirmed the validity of its software patent after Microsoft had asked that it be reviewed.

Throughout the case, Microsoft was accused and found guilty of trial misconduct. A Microsoft lawyer said some months ago that Microsoft “routinely produces and/or condones deficient investigations, covers up alleged misconduct, mischaracterizes evidence, refuses to preserve or provide pertinent facts and data, protects the perpetrators and retaliates against victims.”

To clarify, Microsoft has many other patent cases where it is the defendant, but given that Microsoft has many software patents which it uses to bully rivals, this hardly makes Microsoft a victim of this system.

One area where the USPTO is trying to improve is the requirement of a written description as mentioned quite recently. Here is a patents-oriented Web site covering the subject:

USPTO Director David Kappos recently commented on the March 22, 2010 Federal Circuit en banc decision Ariad Pharmaceuticals v. Eli Lilly and concluded that the written description requirement remains alive and well and is an essential “backstop” against overclaiming. In the case, the Federal Circuit held that Section 112 of the Patent Act has a written description requirement that is separate and apart from the enablement requirement.

We will probably hear more about it in coming days.

Europe

Over in Europe, the major news at the moment is the EBoA decision which we covered and interpreted in [1, 2]. Here is what sites that Google classifies as “news” had to say (some are sites for/by patent lawyers, which makes them biased and unlikely to qualify as “objective”):

i. European Patent Office rules on software

The European Patent Office (EPO) has ended speculation about the extent to which software can be patented under the European Patent Convention with a decision handed down yesterday from its Enlarged Board of Appeal.

ii. Europe clarifies its position on intellectual property

Yesterday, the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) handed down its long-awaited ‘opinion’ on the extent to which software can be patented under the European Patent Convention.

iii. European Patent Office silent on software patent question

No change: That’s the result of an 18-month long appeals process that the president of the European Patent Office hoped would clarify the rules on whether software may be patented.

In October 2008, EPO President Alison Brimelow referred four questions on the patentability of software to the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal, its highest appeals court, on the grounds that a number of patent cases had reached “different decisions.”

From pro-patents Web sites (maximalists) we have:

i. Reactions to the EPO computer program patent decision roll in

ii. Patenting Computer-Implemented-Inventions (CIIs) in the EPO

All in all, the EBoA’s involvement was not at all satisfying, to put politely. The issues that existed ultimately remain. What will European SMBs (the majority) have to say?

“They [EPO examiners] claim that the organisation is decentralising and focusing on granting as many patents as possible to gain financially from fees generated.” —Expatica, European Patent Office staff on strike

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 24/4/2019: Chrome 74, QEMU 4.0 Released

    Links for the day



  2. Supreme Court of the UK, Which Habitually Throws Out European Patents, May Overturn Troublesome Unwired Planet v Huawei Decision

    A lot of European Patents are facing growing scrutiny from courts (Team UPC, including Bristows, publicly complains about it this month) and "greenwashing" of the Office won't be enough to paint/frame these patents as "ethical"



  3. German Federal Patent Court Curbs the Patent Maximalism of the EPO, Which Promotes Patents on Nature and/or Maths Every Single Day

    European courts are restraining the EPO, which has been trying to bypass or replace such courts (with the UPC); it certainly seems as though European Patents rapidly lose their legitimacy or much-needed presumption of validity



  4. Any 'Linux' Foundation Needs to Be Managed by Geeks, Not Politicians and PR People

    Linux bureaucracy has put profits way ahead of technical merits and this poses a growing threat or constitutes risk to the direction of the project, not to mention its ownership



  5. Links 23/4/2019: Kodi 'Leia' 18.2 and DeX Everywhere

    Links for the day



  6. Code of Coercion

    Entryism is visible for all to see, but pointing it out is becoming a risky gambit because of the "be nice!" (or "be polite!") crowd, which shields the perpetrators of a slow and gradual corporate takeover



  7. António Campinos Would Not Refer to the EPO's Enlarged Board of Appeal If He Did Not Control the Outcomes

    António Campinos and his ilk aren’t interested in patent quality because his former ‘boss’, who publicly denied there were issues and vainly rejected patent quality concerns as illegitimate, is now controlled by him (reversal of roles) and many new appointees at the top are "yes men" (or women) of Campinos, former colleagues whom he bossed at EUIPO (as expected)



  8. Links 22/4/2019: Linux 5.1 RC6, New Release of Netrunner and End of Scientific Linux

    Links for the day



  9. USPTO and EPO Both Slammed for Abandoning Patent Quality and Violating the Law/Caselaw in Order to Grant Illegitimate Patents on Life/Nature and Mathematics

    Mr. Iancu, the ‘American Battistelli’ (appointed owing to nepotism), mirrors the ‘Battistelli operandi’, which boils down to treating judges like they’re stooges and justices like an ignorable nuisance — all this in the name of litigation profits, which necessitate constant wars over illegitimate patents (it is expensive to prove their illegitimacy)



  10. IRC Proceedings: January 27th, 2019 – March 24th, 2019

    Many IRC logs



  11. IRC Proceedings: December 2nd, 2018 – January 26th, 2019

    Many IRC logs



  12. Links 21/4/2019: SuperTuxKart's 1.0 Release, Sam Hartman Is Debian’s Newest Project Leader (DPL)

    Links for the day



  13. The EPO's Use of Phrases Like “High-Quality Patent Services” Means They Know High-Quality European Patents Are 'Bygones'

    The EPO does a really poor job hiding the fact that its last remaining objective is to grant as many European Patents as possible (and as fast as possible), conveniently conflating quality with pace



  14. A Reader's Suggestion: Directions for Techrights

    Guest post by figosdev



  15. Links 20/4/2019: Weblate 3.6 and Pop!_OS 19.04

    Links for the day



  16. The Likes of Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA), Team Campinos and Team UPC Don't Represent Europe But Hurt Europe

    The abject disinterest in patent quality and patent validity (as judged by courts) threatens Europe but not to the detriment of those who are in the 'business' of suing and printing lots of worthless patents



  17. The Linux Foundation Needs to Change Course Before GNU/Linux (as a Free Operating System) is Dead

    The issues associated with the Linux Foundation are not entirely new; but Linux now incorporates so many restrictions and contains so many binary blobs that one begins to wonder what "Linux" even means



  18. Largest Patent Offices Try to Leave Courts in a State of Disarray to Enable the Granting of Fake Patents in the US and Europe

    Like a monarchy that effectively runs all branches of government the management of the EPO is trying to work around the judiciary; the same is increasingly happening (or at least attempted) in the United States



  19. Links 19/4/2019: PyPy 7.1.1, LabPlot 2.6, Kipi Plugins 5.9.1 Released

    Links for the day



  20. Links 18/4/2019: Ubuntu and Derivatives Have Releases, digiKam 6.1.0, OpenSSH 8.0 and LibreOffice 6.2.3

    Links for the day



  21. Freedom is Not a Business and Those Who Make 'Business' by Giving it Away Deserve Naming

    Free software is being parceled and sold to private monopolisers; those who facilitate the process enrich themselves and pose a growing threat to freedom in general — a subject we intend to tackle in the near future



  22. Concluding the Linux Foundation (LF) “Putting the CON in Conference!” (Part 3)

    Conferences constructed or put together based on payments rather than merit pose a risk to the freedom of free software; we conclude our series about events set up by the largest of culprits, which profits from this erosion of freedom



  23. “Mention the War” (of Microsoft Against GNU/Linux)

    The GNU/Linux desktop (or laptops) seems to be languishing or deteriorating, making way for proprietary takeover in the form of Vista 10 and Chrome OS and “web apps” (surveillance); nobody seems too bothered — certainly not the Linux Foundation — by the fact that GNU/Linux itself is being relegated or demoted to a mere “app” on these surveillance platforms (WSL, Croûton and so on)



  24. The European Patent Office Does Not Care About the Law, Today's Management Constantly Attempts to Bypass the Law

    Many EPs (European Patents) are actually "IPs" (invalid patents); the EPO doesn't seem to care and it is again paying for corrupt scholars to toe the party line



  25. The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Once Again Pours Cold Water on Patent Maximalists

    Any hopes of a rebound or turnaround have just been shattered because a bizarre attack on the appeal process (misusing tribal immunity) fell on deaf ears and software patents definitely don't interest the highest court, which already deemed them invalid half a decade ago



  26. Links 17/4/2019: Qt 5.12.3 Released, Ola Bini Arrested (Political Stunts)

    Links for the day



  27. Links 16/4/2019: CentOS Turns 15, Qt Creator 4.9.0 Released

    Links for the day



  28. GNU/Linux is Being Eaten Alive by Large Corporations With Their Agenda

    A sort of corporate takeover, or moneyed interests at the expense of our freedom, can be seen as a 'soft coup' whose eventual outcome would involve all or most servers in 'the cloud' (surveillance with patent tax as part of the rental fees) and almost no laptops/desktops which aren't remotely controlled (and limit what's run on them, using something like UEFI 'secure boot')



  29. Reader's Claim That Rules Similar to the Code of Conduct (CoC) Were 'Imposed' on LibrePlanet and the FSF

    Restrictions on speech are said to have been spread and reached some of the most liberal circles, according to a credible veteran who opposes illiberal censorship



  30. Corporate Media Will Never Cover the EPO's Violations of the Law With Respect to Patent Scope

    The greed-driven gold rush for patents has resulted in a large pool of European Patents that have no legitimacy and are nowadays associated with low legal certainty; the media isn't interested in covering such a monumental disaster that poses a threat to the whole of Europe


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