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

06.17.10

Bilski Decision Likely Released This Monday, USPTO Urgently Needs a Reform

Posted in America, Law, Patents at 5:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“[Y]ou’re creating a new 20-year monopoly for no good reason.”

David Kappos (currently head of the USPTO) speaking about patents

Tired USPTO eagle

USPTOSummary: In Re Bilski decision is imminent and the problems with the USPTO are meanwhile made more apparent, thanks to Acacia and Amazon

EVERYONE keeps asking where the Bilski decision is. It will definitely be released this month [1, 2, 3, 4] and Red Hat’s Fontana says that “Bilski is only remaining SCOTUS case to be decided from November 2009 sitting. Next day for opinions’s Monday 21 June.”

Jose’s rant about the USPTO is sign of the unrest we’re seeing as patent trolls like Acacia continue to gobble up patents with which to attack companies that actually produce something. Here is the latest from Acacia, which Microsoft paid a lot of money last month.

Acacia Subsidiary Acquires Rights to Patents for Video and Software Technologies from a Leading International Research Institute

[...]

The patented technologies generally relate to the encoding of video and tracking of video objects as well as software covering operating systems and object-oriented development environments.

It’s not innovation, it’s trolling. Microsoft happens to be part of this and VirnetX recently got a lot of money out of Microsoft. Now it “Advances to Russell 3000 Index and Global Index” (yes, parasites are being rewarded in this ill system).

Another new sign that the USPTO needs a reform is this new patent from Amazon which Slashdot describes as follows:

theodp writes “After shelling out a reported $90 million to buy PlanetAll in 1998, Amazon shuttered the site in 2000, explaining that ‘it seemed really superfluous to have it running beside Friends and Favorites.’ But years later in a 2008 patent filing, Amazon described the acquired PlanetAll technology to the USPTO in very Facebook-like terms. And on Tuesday, the USPTO issued U.S. Patent No. 7,739,139 to Amazon for its invention, the Social Networking System, which Amazon describes thusly: ‘A networked computer system provides various services for assisting users in locating, and establishing contact relationships with, other users. For example, in one embodiment, users can identify other users based on their affiliations with particular schools or other organizations. The system also provides a mechanism for a user to selectively establish contact relationships or connections with other users, and to grant permissions for such other users to view personal information of the user. The system may also include features for enabling users to identify contacts of their respective contacts. In addition, the system may automatically notify users of personal information updates made by their respective contacts.’ So, should Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg worry about Amazon opening a can of patent whup-ass?”

Legal firms* are counting patents (per nation) as though counting patents would give some indication of real progress rather than the level of vindictive protectionism. The USPTO ought to take pride in a system that has fewer patents (higher bar), not the opposite. That’s why the Bilski case is important. It is rare to see patentability scope being limited rather than extended at the USPTO.
___
* At the bottom it says “Bird & Bird is a recognised leader in the field of intellectual property law in the UK.” In other words, they make money from patents, i.e. taxing technology.

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

2 Comments

  1. Jose_X said,

    June 18, 2010 at 6:45 am

    Gravatar

    Software patent monopolies, if allowed, will mean these super trolls will decide exactly which companies can do what where and when. They can easily create a bunch of monopolies or preserve past monopolies. Patents are broad by definition.

    These supertroll business leaders will have so much leverage that entrepreneurialism will greatly suffer and software developers will have very little leverage since monopolies by law have little incentive to fear any competition and hence to spend their dollars on quality developers (who can’t challenge them through a start-up).

    That’s right, support software patents and many business leaders and top software developers will lose their leverage to more savvy monopoly horders.

    See http://www.linuxtoday.com/infrastructure/2010061701539OPMSSW “Watch Microsoft megatrolls monopolize Linux” (this one is mostly about mono)

    Also, for humor: http://getnix.com/thetuxproject/?q=node/400 “The Stifling the Progress Weekly announces award winner: the USPTO”

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> Legal firms* are counting patents (per nation) as though counting patents would give some indication of real progress rather than the level of vindictive protectionism.

    Not sure if you got my link message from irc yesterday. In any case, the second of the above links is a little bit of satire focused on how patents are absolutely intended to allow private individuals full tax rights and stifling rights. Too bad it’s not a good intro for people that don’t know too much about software patents. We need lots of new people to see sw patents for what they are and the trouble they will eventually cause, eliminating a lot of no charge software opportunities and small business opportunities, despite the fact those writing the open source intend for everyone to use it freely (and preferably to contribute back).

What Else is New


  1. Links 18/4/2014: New KDE, Kubuntu, and More

    Links for the day



  2. Some Perspective on Heartbleed®

    Our views on the whole Heartbleed® bonanza, which seems like partly a PR stunt (for multiple stakeholders)



  3. Microsoft is Leaving Windows -- Including Vista 8.1 -- Vulnerable to Non-Government Crackers, Not Only to NSA

    Microsoft makes it ever more evident that securing users of Windows is not at all a priority, and perhaps not even a desire



  4. Links 17/4/2014: Android RDP, New Ubuntu, RHEL 7 Milestone

    Links for the day



  5. Racing to 1984: Mass Surveillance, Cracking, 'Targeted' Assassinations, and Illegal Torture

    Links for the day



  6. More Microsoft Subsidies to Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures

    Microsoft hands money to Bill Gates' close friend who is the world's largest patent troll



  7. Aiding Microsoft Under the Disguise of 'Pro-FOSS'

    Not everything which is FOSS necessary becomes, by virtue of existence, a positive contribution, as we are constantly reminded by projects that help proprietary software and/or restrictions get a strong grip on FOSS



  8. Links 16/4/2014: Red Hat PR, Ubuntu LTS Imminent

    Links for the day



  9. Links 15/4/2014: Lots of PCLinuxOS Releases, Ukraine Updates

    Links for the day



  10. Apple and Microsoft Actively Lobbying Against Patent Reform in the US

    Apple and Microsoft are reportedly intervening/interfering with US law in order to ensure that the law is Free/libre software-hostile



  11. Lawsuit by Microsoft Shareholder Targets Fine for Crimes Rather Than the Crimes Themselves

    A new lawsuit by a Microsoft shareholder shows everything that's wrong with today's model of accountability, where those who are responsible for crimes are accused of not avoiding fines rather than committing the crimes



  12. Public Institutions Must Dump PRISM-Associated Software

    Another reminder that taxpayers-subsidised services should refuse, as a matter of principle, to pay anything for -- let alone deploy -- proprietary software with back doors



  13. GNU/Linux News: The Opportunities Amid XP EOL

    Links for the day



  14. Microsoft Gets Its Money's Worth From Xamarin: PlayStation 4 Now Polluted by Microsoft

    The Trojan horse of Microsoft, Xamarin, is pushing .NET into Microsoft's console competitor



  15. After Brendan Eich Comes Chris Beard

    Having removed Brendan Eich using bullying and blackmail tactics, his foes inside Mozilla achieved too little as we have yet another man (coming from inside Mozilla) acting as CEO



  16. Healthcare News: Free Software in Health, Humanitarian Causes

    Links for the day



  17. Links 14/4/2014: MakuluLinux, Many Games, More Privacy News and Pulitzer Prize for NSA Revelations

    Links for the day



  18. TechBytes Episode 87: Catching up With Surveillance (NSA, GCHQ et al.)

    The first audio episode in a very long time covers some of the latest happenings when it comes to privacy and, contrariwise, mass surveillance



  19. Server News: KVM, ElasticHosts, Other GNU/Linux Items, and Open Network Linux

    Links for the day



  20. Hardware News: Freedom, Modding, Hackability on the Rise

    Links for the day



  21. Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

    Links for the day



  22. GNOME News: Financial Issues, Mutter-Wayland, West Coast Summit, Community Participation

    Links for the day



  23. KDE News: Kubuntu at the Centre Again KDE Applications Updated

    Links for the day



  24. Techrights Rising

    Effective immediately, Techrights will do what it takes to bring back old volume and pace of publishing



  25. Links: Surveillance, Intervention, Torture and Drones

    Links for the day



  26. Mobile Linux Not Just Android: Jolla, WebOS, and Firefox OS News

    Links for the day



  27. Google's Linux Revolution: New Gains for Android, Chrome OS (GNU/Linux)

    Links for the day



  28. Free/Libre Databases News: MongoDB, NoSQL, and MySQL Branches/Forks

    Links for the day



  29. Open Access on the Rise: Textbooks, Journals, Etc.

    Links for the day



  30. Finance Watch (Watching What's Not Being Watched): Economic Warfare/Class Injustice

    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