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

07.09.10

Patents Roundup: Bosch Security Systems Patents Signals, NetApp Bullies ZFS Providers, New Zealand Infiltrated by Foreign Lobby ‘NZ’ICT

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Computer room

Summary: Software patents continue to cause trouble and New Zealand’s law is under attack by a lobby of multinationals

Bosch Security Systems

IN THE previous post we showed how software patents are being used to suppress innocent developers. Based on this new report, Bosch is also patenting software (not the Bosch which is based in Germany).

The software’s patent-pending digital signal processing technology enhances the performance of receivers when interpreting these signals by more than 75 percent.

This looks like yet another patent on mathematics/multimedia, just like the example we gave half an hour ago. This has got to be stopped. Video is at stake too [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] and based on some new benchmarks/comparison [1, 2], it can probably be resolved by moving over to WebM. From the summary:

Moscow State University’s Graphics and Media lab have released their sixth MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video codecs comparison. Also of note is a recently added appendix to the report which compares VP8, x264, and Xvid. The reference VP8 encoder holds its own against x264 despite the source material offering x264 a slight advantage. The VP8 developers comment in the report: ‘We’ve been following the MSU tests since they began and respect the group’s work. One issue we noticed in the test is that most input sequences were previously compressed using other codecs. These sequences have an inherent bias against VP8 in recompression tests. As pointed out by other developers, H.264 and MPEG-like encoders have slight advantages in reproducing some of their own typical artifacts, which helps their objective measurement numbers but not necessarily visual quality. This is reflected by relatively better results for VP8 on the only uncompressed input sequence, “mobile calendar.”‘

MPEG-LA patents are US patents, so the problem can also be resolved by ending software patents in the US — a task which SCOTUS neglects to achieve for the time being.

United States

An American VC, Brad Feld, recognises that software patents are a travesty and he actively works against them. A friend of his has just explained “Why Bilski Really Means That Software Companies Should Leave the US”:

My friend Sawyer was as disappointed in the outcome of Bilski as he was in the ending to LOST. In fact, he asked if I’d change his pseudonym to Joseph Adama of Caprica but I vetoed this over extreme nerdiness. Nonetheless Sawyer let loose on Bilski and helps clarify both his perspective on why the Supreme Court took such a milquetoast approach as well as what one of the unintended consequences of their action – or lack thereof – will be. And for those of you who have forgotten Sawyer’s background, he’s a patent attorney that is channeling his opinion through me. And we’ve been discussing setting up a very large data center on an island somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Paul Kedrosky has just co-authored (with Brad Feld) the following article titled “Software Patents Need to Be Abolished” (also here):

The U.S. Supreme Court just blinked. In the landmark Bilski v. Kappos decision announced yesterday, the Court had a chance to right a patent wrong. It didn’t. Instead, in a cautious and internally contradictory decision, it further fuzzified the mess that is the U.S. patent system — and it will have sad consequences for innovation in this country. It was terrible timing for a loss of legal nerve.

[...]

Far from encouraging innovation and advancement in the “useful arts,” as the Constitution originally envisioned and Congress wanted, software and business method patents have become a quasi-legal poison pill. Sometime it’s from patents obtained years after application via circuitous paths and bankrupt companies, and sometimes it’s straight-up planned extortion. Either way, these “patent trolls” lurk in the shadows, waiting for someone to unknowingly infringe. Then they sue in patent-plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions (of which there are ranked lists – we kid you not), forcing defendants, often small, unsophisticated companies, to settle rather than face the cost and uncertainty that defines litigating a patent case against a well-capitalized troll.

The costs associated with this are immense, as is the innovation penalty. Software companies now must file defensive patents just to make sure that they are not later submarined by useless patents originating with patent attorneys themselves or at failed software companies. We have officially exited economics and entered Kafka’s courts.

“Patent Office Says No to Supreme Court and Software Patents,” suggests this curious new report:

Under the machine-or-transformation test, a business method (read as software) must be tied to a particular machine, rather than run on a general machine like a computer, or transform something from one state into another. The subject of the transformation can be data, but, as you might expect, transformation can largely be in the eye of the beholder.

The PTO has faced a major management problem for years: the flow of patents in vastly exceeds its capacity to process them. Additional money and headcount haven’t really helped, so over the last few years, the PTO seemed to try raising hurdles to discourage applications. Given the volume of software patent applications, reducing them would clearly help slow the incoming volume, which is something the patent office would love to do.

Yesterday we mentioned the attack of NetApp against the California-based Coraid. What was Coraid’s offence? Distributing free/open source software (ZFS), apparently. Here is a new article that’s dedicated to the subject.

Storage startup Coraid may face legal action from NetApp if the company does not cease plans to sell the Coraid EtherDrive Z-Series NAS appliance based on the open-source Zettabyte File System (ZFS).

Coraid issued a letter to its customers this morning in which CEO Kevin Brown announced the company has temporarily suspended the general availability of the EtherDrive Z-Series.

Software patents have become suppressors of software freedom. They need to be stopped, or at least their expansion ought to be stopped. A predominantly US-based lobby is trying to spread these patents to other countries.

New Zealand

Down in New Zealand it becomes a political debate (we last wrote about this yesterday). “NZCIT [sic] is a proxy for software multinationals, not Kiwi businesses,” emphasises the president of the FFII who also points out that “they will fall into the EPO trap of “as such”…”

Here is the latest report which shows the process being politicised.

The software patent debate is opening old sores associated with the change of government and government’s interface with the ICT industry.

A question that runs through or subtly underlies comments on the controversy in several online forums, is to what extent the NZICT Group represents New Zealand’s ICT industry and customers.

The Labour-led government set up the Digital Development Council (DDC) and Digital Development Forum (DDF) as an umbrella for ICT developer and user communities – TUANZ, InternetNZ, the NZ Computer Society and so on.

Again — NZICT is not representing New Zealand’s ICT industry and customers [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Just because it has the letters “NZ” in the beginning doesn’t mean it’s pro-New Zealand. NZICT is more like an invader. It should be pushed out or at least excluded from debates about New Zealand’s laws.

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 22/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1, Ubuntu MATE

    Links for the day



  2. Links 21/11/2014: Problems at Debian, Jolla Tablet

    Links for the day



  3. Links 18/11/2014: Linux 3.18 RC 5, New DigiKam

    Links for the day



  4. Special Report: Many Criminal Charges Against EPO Vice-President Željko Topić

    The abuses of Željko Topić, who has gained notoriety in his home country, are rapidly becoming public knowledge across all of Europe



  5. Links 16/11/2014: Xfdesktop 4.10.3, GNU Hello 2.10

    Links for the day



  6. Microsoft is Going Into the Anti-Whistleblowing Business, Dodges Criticism Over 19-Year Bug Door in Windows

    With Aorato acquisition Microsoft helps protect the criminals (from whistleblowers) and with lies about .NET Microsoft distracts from a bug that has facilitated remote access into Windows (by those in the know) for nearly two decades



  7. Reaffirming Microsoft's Long-Known Hostility Towards Net Neutrality, Microsoft Crashed Juniper

    Steve Ballmer is ranting against net neutrality and Juniper's business is in trouble after a lot of executives from Microsoft took over most top positions there



  8. Another Massive Step Towards Elimination of Software Patents as Even CAFC Rules Against Them

    After SCOTUS gets involved in the Ultramercial case, the CAFC finally decides to actually serve justice rather than dogma



  9. The GOP's Patent Reform Plan Not Effective Enough to Stop Massive Patent Trolls Like Microsoft/Nokia

    The corporations-serving GOP says that it wants a patent reform, but another reminder is needed of the futility of the suggested changes



  10. How the EPO's Executive Branch (Battistelli and Topić) Banned Scrutiny and Created Authoritarian Model of Control: Part X

    A look at highly dubious moves by EPO President Battistelli and his right-hand man Topić, whose abuses are becoming hard to oversee or even report



  11. Links 15/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1 Release Candidate, Popcorn Time 0.3.5

    Links for the day



  12. IRC Proceedings: October 26th, 2014 – November 8th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  13. The Terrible Joke Which is Microsoft 'Loving' Linux: Nightmares With UEFI 'Secure' Boot (i.e. Windows Monopoly Imposed) Continue to Affect GNU/Linux Users

    A reminder of Microsoft's sheer hostility towards GNU/Linux and long-reaching sabotage of GNU/Linux installations



  14. Patent Lawyers Worry About Section 101 in 'Alice' (and Other Patent News)

    A quick roundup of news of interest regarding software patents



  15. Will Write for FUD (Against FOSS)

    Black Duck rears its ugly head again, serving to show that it is in the business of changing perceptions and not in the information or analysis business



  16. Debunking Several Days of Never-Ending Lies About Microsoft and .NET

    .NET is not "Open Source", it cannot be forked (there remains patent threat), Visual Studio is still completely proprietary and it is expected to come to other platforms only because Windows has lost its dominance and Microsoft wants to perpetually control APIs (with software patents) and hence reign over developers



  17. Links 14/11/2014: LibreOffice 4.3.4, Ads Now in Firefox

    Links for the day



  18. Links 14/11/2014: GNOME 3.14.2, PulseAudio 6.0

    Links for the day



  19. Microsoft Windows is Still Designed as a Paradise of Back Doors, Intrusion, Wiretaps, and Interception

    At many levels -- from communication to storage and encryption -- Windows is designed for the very opposite of security



  20. Forget the FUD About Bash and OpenSSL, Microsoft Windows Blamed for Massive Credit Cards Heist

    Home Depot learns its lesson from a Microsoft Windows disaster, but it stays with proprietary software rather than move to software that is actively audited by many people and is inherently better maintained (Free/libre software)



  21. Windows 'Update' and NSA Back Doors, Including a 19-Year Bug Door in Microsoft Windows

    The back doors-enabled Microsoft Windows is being revealed and portrayed as the Swiss cheese that it really is after massive holes are discovered (mostly to be buried by a .NET propaganda blitz)



  22. Revealed: Microsoft is Trying to Corrupt the UK in Order to Eliminate Its OpenDocument Format-Oriented Standards Policy

    Microsoft interference with Britain's preference for ODF is now confirmed, thanks to a valuable news report from Computer Weekly; OOXML lock-in is being unleashed by Microsoft on Android users



  23. Links 13/11/2014: Ubuntu MATE 14.04.1 LTS, New KDE Plasma

    Links for the day



  24. .NET is NOT "Open Source", But Microsoft's Minions Shamelessly Openwash It Right Now

    The openwashing of .NET continues with yet another publicity stunt that is intended to lock in developers



  25. Links 11/11/2014: GNOME Trademark Dispute Settled, Mozilla Embraces Tor

    Links for the day



  26. Patent Reform Subversion After Republican (GOP) 'Win' in US Senate

    The Grand Corporations Party, or the political party which serves large businesses that are funding it, continues to just focus on a mirage of a 'reform' rather than tackle the real issues where culprits include very large businesses such as Microsoft and Apple



  27. Microsoft-Armed Patent Troll MOSAID (Now Conversant) Wants to Sweep up More Patents for Litigation

    Reports about patent trolls and scope of patents serve to show what the foes of Free software are up to right now



  28. When Courts in the US Attack the Right to Reuse APIs

    Challenging the clueless ruling from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the United States (very pro-software patents and anti-computer science), notable programmers write to the highest court



  29. Links 10/11/2014: 2015 GNU/Linux Forecasts, Debian Shakeup

    Links for the day



  30. Links 7/11/2014: War Thunder on GNU/Linux, KaOS ISO 2014.11

    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