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

07.21.10

Fraunhofer FOKUS and the Software Patents Lobby in Germany

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, Patents, Protocol, Red Hat, SLES/SLED, Standard at 2:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fraunhofer ISE
Photo by Joachim S. Müller

Summary: Fraunhofer continues to do a disservice to software freedom and instead does a service to Microsoft (which is among Fraunhofer’s sources of income)

Yesterday we wrote about Knut Blind from Fraunhofer FOKUS. Jan Wildeboer from Red Hat wrote his name as “Kurt Blind” and quoted him as saying that a software patent “reduces transaction costs”. This was not at all shocking to us given the similarities, intersections, and payments that go between Fraunhofer, Microsoft, and even the Gates Foundation — a subject we previously covered in:

Professor Blind (yes, that’s not a pun) has initiated this survey which led Carlo Piana to writing: “Answer en masse to the questionnaire… or it’ll be slanted twrds royalty-bearing FRAND standard policy.” Blind’s background is in finance, not software development. He is influencing the EU’s legislators, so this is important.

“Answer en masse to the questionnaire… or it’ll be slanted twrds royalty-bearing FRAND standard policy.”
      –Carlo Piana
Florian Müller is meanwhile attacking all of Microsoft’s big competitors (yes, again). He labels them a threat to software because of software patents while so conveniently leaving companies like Siemens (see previous post as well as older ones [1, 2, 3]) and of course Microsoft out. That’s just why we urge people not to trust Müller and we’ll carry on showing his bias.

Unlike Fraunhofer, S.u.S.E. was a big pusher for the end of software patents, but when Novell bought the Germany-based S.u.S.E. (with IBM’s help) it turned SUSE into Ballnux, which is all about paying Microsoft for “IP peace of mind”, meaning software patents in Linux. OpenSUSE 11.3 is here, but does anyone care? There are not even many reviews of this release (here is one). Money from companies like Novell and IBM has shattered SUSE’s views on software patents and Microsoft’s payments to Fraunhofer (Bill Gates pays Fraunhofer too) can’t help Europe, can they?

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

3 Comments

  1. Florian Mueller said,

    July 21, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    Gravatar

    > Florian Müller is meanwhile attacking all of Microsoft’s big competitors (yes, again). He labels them a threat to software because of software patents while so conveniently leaving companies like Siemens (see previous post as well as older ones [1, 2, 3]) and of course Microsoft out. <

    Siemens and Microsoft don't lobby the EU in the name of open source, thus can't be accused of hypocrisy in that particular context.

    I mentioned that Siemens patent ruling, I have already mentioned Microsoft in several software patent contexts and will write about them more (as I also announced in my recent posting on Mono/DotGNU), but at any rate I encourage you to make a distinction between what you call a "bias" and what I have chosen as a "focus". If the focus of an article is hypocrisy about open standards and fake representation of open source in the particular context of Monday's NY Times articles, there's nothing to be said about Microsoft in that context.

  2. Florian Mueller said,

    July 21, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Gravatar

    I’d like to add that you don’t accurately describe the content of the article with the following summary:

    > He labels them a threat to software because of software patents <

    It's about their actual non-openness in their core businesses vs. the openness they demand politically.

    Some of that, such as Oracle charging $90 for an ODF plugin for Microsoft Office, is unrelated to software patents. They don't have to charge that money because of patent royalties.

    OpenForum Europe's lobbying for software patents is mentioned because the author of the Open Source Definition debunked OFE as a fake representative of open source, and so did (in greater detail, actually) the FFII.

    The IBM/TurboHercules issue comes up for the reasons explained in my posting: if IBM wants royalty-free access to interoperability-related patents, it should grant such access when its own patents are concerned. Or it might advocate FRAND, which isn't nearly as good as royalty-free from my point of view but at least they'd practice what they preach. What I criticize is the inexplicable gap between saying "FRAND isn't enough" in the EU context and not even offering FRAND but simply going for a company's destruction with patents in the TurboHercules context.

    Florian Mueller Reply:

    “at least they’d practice what they preach” was incomplete: I meant to say that they could advocate *and* offer FRAND, and then they’d practice what they preach.

What Else is New


  1. More Fake News About the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Based on Lobbying Tactics From Bristows UPC and the Preparatory Committee

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) lobbying has gotten so bad that it now infiltrates general media outlets, where people are asked to just blindly assume that the UPC is coming and is inevitable, even though it's clearly in a limbo and is unlikely to see the light of day



  2. EPO Totally Silent for a Month, But Deep Inside There Are Serious Cracks

    The situation at the EPO seems to be pretty grim, even at the top-level management, and the EPO has gone into permanent silence mode



  3. Links 16/1/2017: Linux 4.10 RC4, Linux Mint 18.1 'Serena' KDE Edition Beta

    Links for the day



  4. 'Financial Director' Publishes Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Response to some of the latest UPC propaganda, which strives to misinform Financial Directors so as to enrich the author and his firm



  5. Independent and Untainted Web Sites About Patents Are Still Few and Rare

    Commentary about news sources that we rely on, as well as the known pitfalls or the vested interests deeply ingrained in them



  6. The 20% Rule: Patent Trolling Suffers Double-Digit Declines and Patent Troll Technicolor is Collapsing

    Significant demise or total catastrophe for the modus operandi (method) of going after companies with a pile of patents and threats of litigation



  7. US Supreme Court Did Not End Apple's Patent Disputes Over Android (Linux), More Cases Imminent

    An overview of some very recent news regarding the highest court in the United States, which has been dealing with cases that can determine the fate of Free/Open Source software in an age of patent uncertainty and patent thickets surrounding mobility



  8. Links 15/1/2017: Switching From OS X to GNU/Linux, Debian 8.7 Released

    Links for the day



  9. Number of New Patent Cases in the US Fell 25% Last Year, Thanks in Part to the Demise of Software Patent Trolls

    Litigation and prosecutions that rely on patents (failure to resolve disputes, e.g. by sharing ideas, out of court) is down very sharply, in part because firms that make nothing at all (just threaten and/or litigate) have been sinking after much-needed reform



  10. America Invents Act Improved Patent Quality, But Right Wingers Threaten to Make It Worse Again

    The past half a decade saw gradual improvement in assessment of patents in the United States, but there is a growing threat and pressure from the patent microcosm to restore patent maximalism and chaos



  11. PTAB -- Not Deterred by Courts -- Continues to Invalidate a Lot of Software Patents

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) continues to make progress reforming the patent system by eliminating a lot of patents and setting an example (or new standards) for what is patent-eligible after Alice



  12. EPO Abuses Come Under Fire From Politicians in Luxembourg

    Luxembourg is the latest nation in which concerns about the EPO's serious abuses are brought up not only by the media but also by politicians



  13. Constitutionality as a Barrier and Brexit Barriers to UPC Keep the Whole Pipe Dream Deadlocked

    The UPC is still going nowhere fast, but the demise (or death) of the UPC as we know it must not be taken for granted



  14. Links 14/1/2017: Wine 2.0 RC5 and AryaLinux 2017 Released

    Links for the day



  15. Links 13/1/2017: Linux 4.9.3 and Linux 4.4.42

    Links for the day



  16. Brexit Means No UPC (Unified Patent Court)

    Now that Jo Johnson, Boris Johnson's brother, is officially declared the new minister for intellectual property in the UK everything that Lucy Neville-Rolfe wrote is as solid as paper bag on a rainy London day



  17. Patent Trolls and Software Patents: CloudTrade, Patent Practitioners Density, and Via Licensing

    Software patents armament from a British company, charted concentration of the patent microcosm in the United States, and US-leaning patent trolls that prey on China



  18. Patent Maximalism -- Like Copyright Maximalism -- Relies on Misconceptions and Mass Deception

    The latest examples of discussions about patent scope, courtesy of those looking to benefit financially by pushing such monopolies to the max



  19. Software Patents Still Promoted by IBM and Its Lobbyist (and Former Employee) David Kappos, in Defiance of Much-Needed US Patent Reform

    While the corporate media celebrates IBM as though it's some kind of 'champion' for hoarding patents that it then uses to attack companies which actually grow



  20. Brexit/Trump Effect: Patent Systems With Institutional Corruption and Nepotism

    Rumours about Britain's head of patents (and copyrights etc.) being the brother of the Brexit campaigner and Foreign Minister; meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, rumours suggest that the corrupt judge Rader might be the next head of patents in the United States



  21. Links 11/1/2017: X.Org Server 1.19.1, GitHub's Atom 1.13

    Links for the day



  22. The Patent Microcosm is Already Sucking up to Donald Trump in an Effort to Enrich Itself at Everyone's Expense

    Four new examples of patent maximalists embracing/adopting the pseudo-populist slogan to advance their goals of increasing litigation (which they profit from) and undermining PTAB (which made patents great in the quality sense)



  23. Patent Quality in the United States Can Only be Assessed at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Courts

    The travesty of patent offices in the US and China, where the goal or the accomplishment is measured in terms of the number of patents rather than their quality



  24. Gradual Collapse of Microsoft's Extensive (and External) Patent Trolling Operations

    The President of Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC (patent troll) leaves and the founder of Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's largest peripheral patent troll, joins Sherpa Technology



  25. No End to Battistelli's Witch-hunts Against the Media, Against Staff, and Against Politicians

    Rumours about the fate of people who are (or have been) criticising Battistelli's reign of terror at the EPO



  26. Links 10/1/2017: Synfig 1.2, Kodachi Linux 3.7

    Links for the day



  27. With Help From the US Supreme Court (Key Cases), Patent Trolls Are Going Away

    The demise of patent trolls in the United States, a trend partly attributable to Alice and other Supreme Court decisions, will likely accelerate soon (later this year) as the future of the Eastern District of Texas courts is at stake



  28. Patent Maximalism on Display: Patent Aggressor IBM Celebrated in the Media

    The patent lust at IBM, which is suing if not just shaking down companies using software patents, earns plenty of puff pieces from the corporate media



  29. FFPE-EPO, the EPO Management's Pet/Yellow Union, Helps Union-Busting (Against SUEPO) in Letter to Notorious Vice-President

    In a letter to Elodie Bergot (as CC) and Željko Topić, who faces many criminal investigations, FFPE-EPO ringleaders reveal their allegiance not to EPO staff but to those who perpetually attack the staff



  30. Links 9/1/2017: Civilization VI Coming to GNU/Linux, digiKam 5.4.0 Released

    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