06.04.10

Patent Promiscuity is Failure, Patent Selectively is Success

Posted in America, Asia, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 10:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mazes

Summary: For the patent office, “less” should be “more” (“less is more” is a phrase from the 1855 poem “Andrea del Sarto”) as the broadening scope makes the patent maze far more confusing and intimidating to scientists, comprising life in the process

MICROSOFT relies heavily on a patent system that allows software patents. We explained this point and supported this claim with the example of the USPTO versus EPO. In order to promote its cause, the USPTO has begun a self-serving propaganda rally about the number of monopolies it authorises. It’s bad news for science and good news for those who work in litigation (also known as “law”). Here is one new example:

“I can say with some confidence that the bulk of the increase in the number of patents being issued is associated with technology- and software-related patents rather than patents associated with biochemistry or pharmaceuticals,” Crouch said in an interview with TMCnet today.

This is not an indication of success. Science is an attempt to remove barriers and to explain the unknown. What the USPTO is doing here can be described as creation of many new barriers. How would that help? By “help” we mean help science, not help the bottom line of large companies and their shareholders/lawyers.

Anyway, here is the latest barrage of USPTO propaganda (found and collected this morning):

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Thursday unveiled a new initiative aimed at giving patent applicants more control over how quickly their applications will be processed.

The USPO could address the backlog issue by simply readjusting the scope of patentability. But of course it would not do that. The USPTO is in the business of manufacturing more monopolies (patents). The more, the merrier (more income). In its own special way, Google is supporting the USPTO rather than challenging it. One key problem is that this culture of software patents sometimes spreads overseas. In Europe, for example, there are loopholes that allow some companies to gather software patents and the following new lawyer’s tip shows that the same type of loopholes are being used in Thailand:

Fabrice Mattei and Prasit Siricheepchaiyan of Rouse review trends in drafting, filing and prosecuting patents in Thailand

[...]

One way of getting around the medical method claims issue is to rewrite them as Swiss claims such as “use of substance X in the manufacture of a medicament for the treatment of condition Y”. It is permissible under the current Thai patent practice so long as the method of treatment is not a pure treatment method, for instance the method of using a scalpel during surgery.

* iii) Computer software. While it is not possible to obtain a patent on software per se, patents may be granted for inventions requiring the use of software to achieve their purpose. This, however, is conditional on the software having a technical effect when the programme is run. Such effect may, for example, be found in the control of an industrial process or in the internal functioning of the computer itself.
* iv) The Thai Patent Act does not explicitly exclude business methods from patentability and it is debatable whether business methods are patentable under the Thai Patent Act. Arguably, Thai patents for pure business methods would not be granted because they cannot satisfy the meaning of invention under the Patent Act. According to Section 3 of the Patent Act, invention means any innovation or invention, which creates a new product or process, or any improvement of a known product or process. Furthermore, the Patent Act defines process as “any method, art or process of producing, maintaining or improving the quality of a product, including the application of such process”. A pure business method is neither a product nor a process of producing, maintaining, or improving the quality of a product under the meaning of Section 3.

Glyn Moody names the story of Nortel as a cautionary tale about the harms of patents (Novell is mentioned too).

These cases show yet again why patents just don’t do what they are supposed to – encourage innovation – but act as very serious threats to other companies that *are* innovating. As more and more of these software stars die, so the number of patent black holes will increase, and with them the unworkability of the patent system. Time to reboot that particular universe…

How about those patents which prevent doctors from saving lives? Are these really necessary? Here is an explanation of why these patents are not necessary, either (despite lobbying for them from the Gates Foundation).

Publicly-funded science, on the other hand, devoid of the conflict of interest generated by the corporate need for profits, works. The work on the breast cancer vaccine is showing just how. I could find no patent, either, registered for the work on the vaccine. Perhaps, like Jonas Salk, Dr. Vincent Tuohy would view such a patent as the equivalent of patenting the sun. Let’s hope. Meanwhile, this story illustrates how science can work, and why the arguments regarding the necessity of patents to fuel medical breakthroughs is bunk.

Those who refuse to publicly fund such research will eventually pay the high price anyway, due to overpriced drugs which were developed in inefficient, exclusionary ways. Here is another new example of patents going wrong:

Ablaise Ltd. can no longer demand that Dow Jones & Co. pay for its patented technology for personalizing content on websites, the 9th Circuit ruled.

How can that be patented? There are equally ridiculous patents (and worse) in the USPTO database.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

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. EPO Staff Representation Complains That EPO Management Exploits Pandemic and 'House Arrests' to Overwork Staff, Lower Quality

    The EPO keeps breaking its promises to workers; not only are key employees seeing their net salary cut (inflation factored in) but pensioners too are being robbed and in the meantime the total time spent on work is increasing



  2. Fake News is Not a 'Wing' Thing

    The two-party corporate-led system (and media) would have us obsess/bicker about accuracy of news based on some binary/dual system of blind loyalty rather than underlying facts and priorities



  3. Links 25/1/2021: Huawei on GNU/Linux, NuTyX 20.12.1, Whisker Menu 2.5.3, Lutris 0.5.8.3, Linux 5.11 RC5

    Links for the day



  4. Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) in ZDNet is the Norm

    ZDNet continues to emit lots of garbage 'journalism', in effect Microsoft PR and what's known as "black PR" for Linux; just like Bleeping Computer, which ZDNet hired this writer from, there's no adherence to facts, just smears and innuendo



  5. Truth Tellers Aren't an Enemy of Free Software

    There's a perpetual attack on people who speak out against actors and corporations in positions of great power, however subtle and indirect those attacks may seem on the surface (they don't wish to be held accountable for defaming activists)



  6. The Linux Foundation, With Over 124 Million Dollars in Annual Revenue, is in Trouble Because of the Pandemic, So It's Trying to Reinvent Itself as Training and Certifications Outfit

    With mountains of cash and a Public Relations (PR) or marketing business model the so-called 'Linux' Foundation became reliant on travel, lodging, booths and speeches on sale; COVID-19 is a great risk to that business model



  7. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 24, 2021



  8. Our Move Further Away From the World Wide Web, the Browser Monopolies, HTTP, and HTML

    The World Wide Web (WWW) is going down a bad path and a clearly regressive direction; the solution isn't going 'retro' but exploring more sophisticated systems which are robust to censorship (localised or globalised) and downtime (related to censorship) while reducing surveillance by leveraging encryption at the endpoints



  9. Important Issues Not Entertained in the Community, Especially Critics of the Status Quo

    here's corporate infiltration inside communities (for oligarchy hunts volunteer, unpaid labour) and those who speak about that as a threat to our cause and objectives are painted as misguided outcasts who must be ignored



  10. Internet Origins of the Mob

    Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock



  11. When Proprietary Software Users Dictate the Freedom-Leaning Communities

    Fedora doesn't care about software freedom and its steward (or parent company) is sometimes imposing proprietary software on staff; they've quit caring



  12. In 2020 Onwards 'Open Source' is Just a Marketing Ploy of Monopolies, Unlike Free Software

    More people are nowadays seeing or witnessing 'Open Source' for what it truly is; the term has become a misleading marketing term of proprietary software firms looking to rebrand as "ethical" (e.g. by sharing some code with other proprietary software firms, over proprietary platforms such as GitHub)



  13. Microsoft: The Year After We Bought GitHub There Was a Significant Decline in Number of New Projects on GitHub

    Microsoft has just admitted that in 2019 GitHub saw a very significant decline in number of new projects (and users, which it is conveniently miscounting by adding 'phantom' ones) on the site. Just what we had heard before they confirmed it (and they foresaw this effect of the takeover, hence the lies about "loving" Linux).



  14. Social Control Media is a Passing Fad, We Should All Go Back to Blogging and Subscribing to RSS Feeds

    The whole "social control media" phenomenon has been oversold or promoted using lies; in reality, as a mountain of evidence serves to show, it's a way to manage society at a macro scale



  15. As Andrei Iancu Removes Himself From the Patent and Trademark Office All Eyes Are on Biden's Next Nomination

    Patent zealots and their front groups already lobby Joe Biden to put one of them in charge of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; we'll soon see if Joe Biden "means business" or simply means monopoly/large corporations (and their law firms/departments)



  16. Data Point: GNU/Linux Share in Desktops/Laptops Nearly Tripled in the Past Decade, Peaking This Past Month (All-Time High)

    Contrary to what some publishers try to tell us, GNU/Linux is still growing and mostly at the expense of Windows



  17. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 23, 2021



  18. Links 24/1/2021: Nouveau X.Org Driver Release and GhostBSD 21.01.20

    Links for the day



  19. InteLeaks – Part XXX: Harbor Research's Pseudo-scientific 'Research' for Intel, Bizarrely Suggesting a Microsoft Partnership for a Domain Largely Controlled or Dominated by Linux

    The full document that Intel paid for and in turn used to justify cracking down on Free software (obliterating Free software-based workflows inside Intel), instead outsourcing all sorts of things to proprietary software traps of Microsoft



  20. Chromium and Chrome Are Not Free Software But an Example of Microsoft-Fashioned Openwashing Tactics

    It's time to reject Google's Web monopoly (shared with other companies but still an oligopoly); removing its Web browser would be a good start



  21. Links 23/1/2021: Chromium Pains and New Debian Maintainers

    Links for the day



  22. InteLeaks – Part XXIX: Harbor Research Did Not Produce a Study But an Elaborate Hoax for Intel, Suggesting Microsoft Partnership and Outsourcing Based on Zero Evidence and No Solid Rationale

    The pseudo-scientific ‘report’ from Harbor Research is more of the same nonsense we’ve grown accustomed to; unethical if not rogue firms are being paid to lie — or to perpetuate falsehoods which someone stands to gain from



  23. Video: The State of Communities Surrounding GNU/Linux Distributions

    A discussion about the state of volunteer efforts going into the development, maintenance (in the 'maintainership' sense) and support/advocacy of GNU/Linux distros



  24. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, January 22, 2021



  25. InteLeaks – Part XXVIII: Intel Served Report From Microsoft Boosters, Who Provide No Actual Evidence and No Science to Back Their Supposed 'Findings'

    Findings and recommendations from Harbor 'Research' aren't based on any scientific methods, just perceived loyalty, branding, and a bunch of unsourced quotes (from unnamed people with ridiculous job titles like a soup of buzzwords)



  26. Erosion of Communities, Ascent of Corporate-Industrial Fake Communities

    Despite the attempts to manipulate/trick developers (and sometimes users) into becoming unpaid workforce of for-profit companies, there's an exodus back to real communities, which aren't subjected to the fury of wealthy shareholders who utterly dislike or simply don't care for software freedom



  27. The Corporate 'Left' and the Open Source Pseudo 'Movement'

    President Biden may not be as bad as his predecessor, but that hardly means very much; software freedom is still threatened, along with many other things



  28. Links 22/1/2021: pfSense Plus, Endless OS Foundation, and Many Laptops With GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  29. The Linux Foundation is Trying to Obscure Racism Using Microsoft-Inspired Tactics (Vouchers Disguised as Actual Money)

    The Linux Foundation and its PR stunts don’t help combat racism; one might argue that the Foundation is leveraging racism, which prevails in the US, to paint itself as benevolent and caring (offering immaterial things and self-serving press releases)



  30. InteLeaks – Part XXVII: 'Pulling a Nokia' on Intel (Outsourcing to Microsoft)

    The recommendation of an Intel marriage with Microsoft (even in units that deal mostly with Linux) is an insulting slap across the face of developers employed there; we take a look at recommendations made to IoTG (Intel) by a firm with Microsoft orientation


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