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

07.10.10

Patents Roundup: FFII Founder on IBM, Shazam Has No Case, Microsoft Wants to ‘Own’ Page-flipping, and Software Freedom is Hurt

Posted in America, Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, OIN, Patents at 9:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Flipping pages

Summary: Founder of FFII says Florian Müller’s IBM-bashing currently does not have a basis in any existing movement; other new examples of patent news

TODAY we would like to deal with some bits of news about software patents. Much of this was covered before but with different sources at hand.

Hartmut Pilch, the FFII’s founder, has commented on Florian Müller's IBM phobia in the comments section of this post we mentioned a few days ago. He wrote:

I wouldn’t exclude the possibility that Florian M. could once more gain some following, even though some parts of his agenda, such as IBM-bashing, currently do not have a basis in any existing movement.

This is not entirely true because while the FFII remains critical of some aspects of OIN, it is not alone either. Criticism of IBM does have its place, but Müller goes too far and “FOSS” is not a priority of his, based on what he writes at least.

“One software patents story which makes a lot of people angry is Shazam’s action, which is carried out through a litigious proxy.”The patent troll called NTP was mentioned here yesterday and its lawsuit against almost everyone has generated hundreds of English headlines, including this report from AP (there is a load of other coverage [1, 2], which makes it easier for historians to find and there is therefore no need for lists of pointers). NTP has been doing this for years (targeting fewer companies) and this case will help define people’s perception of software patents. In this case, wireless E-mail is the claimed infringement. It’s rather outlandish.

One software patents story which makes a lot of people angry is Shazam’s action [1, 2], which is carried out through a litigious proxy. The story of the victimised Dutch developer has received some wider exposure [1, 2] and as TechDirt puts it, Landmark Digital is a “BMI subsidiary which owns the patents on Shazam’s music recognition technology” (i.e. it’s another front like the RIAA). Michael says:

The story is a perfect example of the ridiculous situation with patents today. Basically, the guy noted that what Shazam does in recognizing music is really not that complicated, and explained how to create something similar yourself, which he did himself in a weekend. He had not released the code, but was planning to do so when the legal threats came in. The guy wondered what patents they were talking about specifically, especially considering that in Europe, the standards to patent software are much higher. In response, he was only told about two US patents (6,990,453 and 7,627,477 — oddly, on that last one, Google still shows it as being patent pending, even though the patent was granted last year).

According to this news report, Roy van Rijn is doing something legal as long as he is in Holland. People should help van Rijn spread his code samples so that Landmark Digital/BMI/Shazam give up their patent bullying. They can fight one person more easily than they can find a whole crowd from all around the world (where their software patents are not even applicable).

Roy van Rijn, a developer based in the Netherlands, last month posted about his plans to release open-source Java code to implement a music matching algorithm similar to that used in Shazam, which lets users identify songs from brief audio samples.

His blog post describes how he implemented song matching in Java, with snippets of code. He said that while the code is not in a releasable state, he might clean it up and release it if there’s enough interest.

[...]

EFF Fellow and patent attorney Michael Barclay agreed that posting code covered by a patent could put van Rijn at risk of a lawsuit, but noted that some critical details need to be determined.

“Merely posting the code on a Netherlands Web site would not infringe any US Patents,” he said.

Landmark’s claim, he said, appears to be overreaching unless the company has patents in the Netherlands. “If there are no issued Netherlands patents, he’s free to ship and deploy all he wants in the Netherlands,” he said. “The really sketchy part, and I don’t know that this has ever been litigated, is he says don’t post the code.”

Some legal experts have gone on the record saying that software developers should consider leaving the United States because it’s too risky to develop there. That’s how Richard Stallman justified rejecting software patents in Europe; it puts Europe in a position of tremendous advantage. Brad Feld, an American VC who is strongly against software patents [1, 2], mentioned the story of van Rijn in a new post of his:

In case you need more evidence around the stupidity of the whole situation, take a look at the crap van Rijn is going through. Or maybe this patent from Microsoft on “how to turn a page in an electronic book.”

Here is an article about this Microsoft patent:

As if to dispell all doubt that innovation is alive and well in Redmond, Microsoft has filed a patent application for – wait for it – the “Virtual Page Turn”.

Yes, with filing number 20100175018 at the US Patent and Trademark Office, Microsoft is seeking to patent the animation of a page-flip when a user makes the appropriate gesture on an ebook’s touchscreen. As the filing reads:

A page-turning gesture directed to a displayed page is recognized. Responsive to such recognition, a virtual page turn is displayed on the touch display… The virtual page turn curls a lifted portion of the page to progressively reveal a back side of the page while progressively revealing a front side of a subsequent page… A page-flipping gesture quickly flips two or more pages.

John Boyd responds to Brad Feld and Paul Kedrosky, who co-wrote an article against software patents a few days ago. Boyd says:

I wholeheartedly agree most software patents are nonsense however and serve neither society, innovation or business.
Given the complications here, is it natural to suggest that the Supreme Court make law here? Should this not be within the realm of are ever capable and cogent Congress to adapt patent law to modern types of innovation and invention? Or do we need to clone Jefferson, grow him in a lab until he can make a new law for us?

For background about Jefferson and patents, see this post. Software patents may in fact be unconstitutional. “Business methods and software still patentable in U.S. following closely- watched Bilski decision,” says this new headline from the Montreal Gazette. It may take years to reverse this troubling trend, assuming it ever gets reversed. In the mean time, Free/open source software like ZFS will continue to be hurt by software patents [1, 2, 3]. The ZFS story is now among Slashdot’s promoted submissions where it is discussed extensively.

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 30/3/2020: Linux 5.6, Nitrux 1.2.7, Sparky 2020.03.1

    Links for the day



  2. The Fall of the UPC - Part IX: Campinos Opens His Mouth One Week Later (and It's That Hilarious Delusion Again)

    Team Campinos said nothing whatsoever about the decision of the FCC until one week later, whereupon Campinos leveraged some words from Christine Lambrecht to mislead everybody in the EPO's official "news" section



  3. Pretending EPO Corruption Stopped Under António Campinos When It is in Fact a Lot Worse in Several Respects/Aspects (Than It Was Under Benoît Battistelli)

    Germany's eagerness to keep Europe's central patent office in Munich (and to a lesser degree in Berlin) means that politicians in the capital and in Bavaria turn a blind eye to abuses, corruption and even serious crimes; this won't help Germany's image in the long run



  4. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, March 28, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, March 28, 2020



  5. Links 28/3/2020: Wine 5.5 Released, EasyPup 2.2.14, WordPress 5.4 RC5 and End of Truthdig

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, March 27, 2020



  7. The Fall of the UPC - Part VIII: Team UPC Celebrates Death, Not Life

    Team UPC plays psychological games now; it is trying to twist or spin its defeat as good news and something to be almost celebrated; it is really as illogical (and pathetic) as that sounds



  8. Links 27/3/2020: GNU/Linux Versus COVID-19 and Release of GNU Guile 3.0.2

    Links for the day



  9. When Your 'Business' is Just 'Patent Portfolio'

    Hoarding loads of patents may seem impressive, but eating them to survive is impossible if not impermissible



  10. LOT Network is a One-Man (Millionaire's) Operation and Why This Should Alarm You

    The ugly story of Open Invention Network (OIN) and LOT; today we take a closer look at LOT and highlight a pattern of 'cross-pollination' (people in both OIN and LOT, even at the same time)



  11. Faking Production With Fake Patents on Software

    The EPO with its illegal guidelines (in violation of the EPC) can carry on churning out millions of fake patents that European courts would only waste time on and small companies be blackmailed with (they cannot afford legal battles)



  12. With the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Out of the Way Focus Will Return to EPO Corruption

    Expect the European Patent Office (EPO) to receive more negative attention now that the ’cause’ of UPC is lost and there’s no point pretending things are rosy



  13. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, March 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, March 26, 2020



  14. Links 27/3/2020: qBittorrent 4.2.2, Krita 4.2.9, pfSense 2.4, Bodhi Linux 5

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, March 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, March 25, 2020



  16. Still Work in Progress: Getting Those 2,851 Pages of Police Report About Arrest for Pedophilia in Home of Bill Gates

    It’s extremely difficult to get those police records, which were requested exactly one day before the media started attacking Richard Stallman (associating him with pedophiles based on a deliberate distortion)



  17. Links 26/3/2020: Plasma Bigscreen, New Kubernetes, Fedora's New Identity and Bodhi Linux 5.1.0

    Links for the day



  18. Guest Article: Window Managers, Github and Software Disobedience

    "Walking away from monopolies is the essence of freedom"



  19. Links 25/3/2020: LLVM 10.0.0 and UCS 4.4-4 Released, WordPress 5.4 RC4

    Links for the day



  20. 'Team UPC' Last Week

    The looks on Team UPC's faces 5 days ago (before and after the 9:30AM announcement)



  21. The Fall of the UPC - Part VII: Lies and Revisionism About the Reasons for the UPC's Ultimate Demise (to Leave the Door Open for More Failed Attempts)

    The media was lying in a hurry, in a coordinated effort to distort the meaning of the FCC's decision or belittle the impact of this decision; Techrights will carefully watch and respond to these lies



  22. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, March 24, 2020



  23. Linux Foundation Became Anti-Linux, Run by Microsoft People to Serve Microsoft's Agenda

    Microsoft is taking over the bodies of healthy projects, infecting the hosts in order for them to become slaves of the proprietary parasite; there's still no (known) cure, but we're familiar with the symptoms



  24. Microsoft Continues to Attack and Steal From the Open Source/Free Software Communities

    Microsoft cannot be trusted and there's no "new Microsoft," as another fairly new story serves to show



  25. Targeted Attack Leveraging FSF Servers

    Targeted by a determined and persist perpetrator, I've received over 20,000 E-mails. And the weapon of choice was the FSF's infrastructure, remotely misused against yours truly.



  26. If We Weren't Silencing Founders, Critics and People We Just Don't Like

    "In the long run, history is rarely very kind to tyrants, especially the ones who did little more than lie to people and demand things that served no real purpose."



  27. The Fall of the UPC - Part VI: Drowning in Material

    We're starting to see few good reports on the subject of UPC being rejected by the constitutional court of Germany; we also have a rapidly-growing 'buffer' of rather blatant examples of disinformation (which we'll tackle as best we can)



  28. FFII: EU Software Patent Court Stopped by Constitutional Court, Patent Industry Will Try Again

    The third attempt to validate software patents in Europe via a central patent court (UPC) has been stopped by the German Constitutional Court. The Unified Patent Court (UPC) would have given the keys of the kingdoms to the patent industry, and the last word over software patentability. FFII predict that the patent industry will continue to push for an UPC v2.0.



  29. Links 24/3/2020: Alpine 3.11.5, MythTV 31.0 and Tails 4.4.1

    Links for the day



  30. IRC Proceedings: Monday, March 23, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, March 23, 2020


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