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

07.30.10

Lawyers and Monopolies They Work for Are the Key Threat to Software Patent Policy

Posted in Microsoft, OIN, Patents at 3:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Quentin Massys painting
16th century painting of a civil law notary

Summary: Patent lawyers and software giants whom they are representing (also lawyers that become patent trolls) jeopardise emerging companies, almost all of which do not want software to be patentable

“Microsoft lobbyists [are] pushing for software patents in standards,” alerts the FFII’s president regarding this post from a familiar lobbyist we wrote about in this post and cited in [1, 2]. It’s always aligned with Microsoft’s agenda.

The USPTO is looking for feedback about post-Bilski guidelines and Groklaw rightly warns that solicitors would stuff the box (they have the tendency to do that when it comes to software patents in standards).

You know pro-patent companies’ lawyers in droves will be telling them that their clients should be able to patent God’s method and process for creating the heavens and the earth, so you may wish to comment yourself and let them know politely where you think the line should be drawn on the abstract idea exception to subject matter eligibility as set forth in Bilski, if this is a topic you care about. Otherwise, I can see it now, their report: We got 3,201 comments saying X and only 3 saying Y, so X carries the day.

The truth is, I don’t think anybody knows specifically what Bilski means, including the US Supreme Court. They couldn’t draw a straight line, because they couldn’t agree on enough, so they just didn’t. So what is the USPTO supposed to do with it in the real world? They give it their best shot.

Groklaw’s Pamela Jones used to defend the practice of patenting (maybe because of her background in the legal world), but she changed her mind over time. There is a great deal of indoctrination among lawyers, who are teaching and convincing themselves that patenting is beneficial to society (but they actualise their own meta-industry really). Dana Blankenhorn wrote about Groklaw and he defends/disputes its belief that OIN is necessarily a good thing (OIN is a proponent of patents):

When the subject of patents and cross-patent consortia comes up everyone is a troll.

Pamela Jones is an IBM troll. Florian Mueller is a Microsoft troll. It must be true because their enemies say so.

IBM and Microsoft both have patent consortia. IBM’s is organized as the Open Invention Network. Microsoft’s is a contract, the one first signed by Novell and since by many others.

[...]

Mueller calls OIN a “patent trap” and Groklaw’s acolytes have their own names for Mueller, most of which can’t be repeated on a family blog.

I think both sides are missing the point.

Absent legal clarity, or legislative action, this is the situation open source has to live with. It is a tax on innovation, which the Constitution sought to avoid. Of course, the Constitution also sought to avoid the direct election of Senators.

TechDirt is meanwhile catching up with the new study from Pamela Samuelson et al. [1, 2]. It shows that software firms are against patents and Mike’s interpretation is:

If a firm is venture-backed, it’s more likely to get patents, but this doesn’t appear to suggest that the patents are valuable. It seems to indicate that entrepreneurs still believe the old claim that venture capitalists want to see patents, so they feel the need to get patents just to show to investors.

On the whole, it certainly appears that the vast majority of the software industry isn’t interested in patents, don’t find them useful or important, and certainly don’t see them as creating an incentive. Even those who get patents don’t see much value in them, and appear to only get them because they feel pressured to get the patents for external reasons. All in all, this is a pretty damning bit of research for those who suggest patents help the software industry.

There is no real debate over software patents, not within software companies anyway. The issue was resolved a long time ago when proprietary and free/libre software companies alike decided that they don’t want patents; the exception is software monopolies with armies of lobbyists and lawyers, to whom they pay to continue to misrepresent commercial opinion and facilitate monopolisation through patents.

“Small Software companies cannot afford to go to court or pay damages. Who is this software patent system for?” —Marco Schulze, Nightlabs Gmbh

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. ZDNet Proves Our Point by Doing Not a Single Article About Linux (RC7), Only About Linus and Windows Clickbait Junk

    It seems abundantly clear that nobody wants to cover the actual news about Linux and instead it’s all about which PC Linus Torvalds is using (gossip/tabloid); ZDNet‘s latest two articles are an example of this…



  2. UPC Lies That Make One Laugh...

    IP Kat and Bristows (overlaps exist) are still pretending that the UPC is coming because reality doesn’t seem to matter anymore, only self-serving agenda



  3. Canonical Continues to Help Promote Windows Instead of GNU/Linux or Ubuntu

    Thrice in the past week alone Canonical used the official “Ubuntu Blog” to help Microsoft instead of GNU/Linux and it is part of a disturbing trend which lends credibility to jokes or rumours about a Microsoft takeover; it's not like many people use this thing, either (Canonical helps Microsoft shore up a dying/languishing EEE attempt)



  4. Links 27/5/2020: CoreOS Container Linux Reaches Its End-Of-Life, 2020 GNOME Foundation Elections Coming

    Links for the day



  5. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, May 26, 2020



  6. GNEW Seedlings vs. Free Software Deforestation

    “The idea of the GNEW Project really is about keeping the goals of the GNU Project alive — hopefully, they won’t destroy or co-opt too much of the GNU Project, that people like the Hyperbola devs can’t fix it with BSD.”



  7. Joi Ito Already Admitted on the Record That Bill Gates Had Paid MIT Through Jeffrey Epstein

    An important exhibit for the accurate historical record (because MIT has been trying to deny truth itself)



  8. It's Convenient to Call All Your Critics Nuts and/or Jealous

    Bill Gates antagonists are not motivated by hatred or jealousy but a sense of injustice; spoiled brats who break the law aren’t a source of envy any more than mass murderers are subject of admiration



  9. Real History of Microsoft and How It Became 'Successful'

    New video that contains a portion about the history of Microsoft -- the part paid-for 'journalists' (paid by Microsoft and Bill Gates) rarely or never speak about



  10. Hostility and Aggression Towards Staff That Does Not Use Windows After Windows Takes Entire Hospital Down

    Microsoft Windows, with NSA back doors, continues to take hospitals offline (with records copied by criminals if not stolen by effectively locking the originals out of reach for ransom money); but guess who’s being punished for it…



  11. They Came, They Saw, We Died...

    It cannot be overstated that we're under attack (or a "Jihad" against Linux as Bill Gates himself put it) and failing to act upon it will be costly as time may be running out and our groups are being 'bought off' by Microsoft in rapid succession, as per the plan/strategy



  12. The GitHub Takeover Was an Extension of Microsoft's War on GPL/Copyleft (Because Sharing Code to Anyone But Microsoft is 'Piracy')

    Licences that make it easier for Microsoft to 'steal' (or a lot harder for Free software to compete against proprietary software) are still being promoted by Microsoft; its GitHub tentacles (see GitHub's logo) further contribute to this agenda



  13. ZDNet is Totally a Microsoft Propaganda Machine

    The site ZDNet has become worse than useless; it lies, defames and launders the reputation of famous criminals (that's the business model these days)



  14. When Microsoft's Mask Falls (or When Times Are Rough)

    Microsoft loves Linux in the same sense that cats love mice (they might play with them until they get hungry)



  15. Careers in Free Software Aren't Careers in the Traditional Sense

    With historic unemployment rates and people 'stranded' inside their homes there's still demand and need for technology; these times of adaptation present an opportunity for Software Freedom



  16. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish 2020 Edition

    Embrace, Extend, Extinguish (E.E.E.) is alive and well, but the corrupt (paid by Microsoft) media isn't talking about it anymore; in fact, it actively cheers and encourages people/companies to enter the trap



  17. Links 26/5/2020: SHIFT13mi GNU/Linux Tablet, Linux Kodachi 7.0 and Some Qt Releases

    Links for the day



  18. EPO Propaganda on Steroids (or on EPO)

    What EPO management is saying and what is actually happening



  19. Breton (EU) 'Joins' Team UPC to Help His Buddy Battistelli... Again

    As expected, Breton acts as little but an EPO tool, looking to prop up supremacy of patent litigation over science and innovation



  20. Removing Free/Libre Software as an Inadequate Response to Microsoft Windows (With Back Doors) Getting Compromised, Killing People

    GNU/Linux takes the blame (in a sense) for incidents that are purely the fault of Microsoft and its deficient software with deliberate back doors; it's believed that this boils down to opportunistic retaliation against those looking for a solution to the problem (or merely speaking about the problem)



  21. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, May 25, 2020



  22. Under Distributed Denial of Service Attacks Lately, But We're Too Robust For Those

    Efforts to take Techrights offline have been ramped up lately; but it's not working and it hardly even distracts us from publishing



  23. The Art of Giving: Why Free Software Will Inevitably Survive Attacks Against It

    Societies that share and look after their peers/neighbours will always be better off than predatory societies, which breed exploitation, distrust, discord and eventually systemic collapse



  24. 'Journalism' in 2020: Far More Articles About What Computer Linus Torvalds Bought Than About Linux Releases

    Yesterday's (or late Sunday's) Linux announcement (RC7) is symptomatic of a broader issue we've long spoken about; it restricts people's ability to express an opinion, which can cloud any meritorious and substantial debate about technical matters journalists cannot grasp or comment on (it takes more effort and research)



  25. Links 25/5/2020: Wrapland Redone, DebConf20 Plans, Many More Games

    Links for the day



  26. Media Covers WSL Like People Actually Use This Trash (a Failed Distro Which Only Works With Windows)

    Lots of abundantly redundant puff pieces have appeared in paid-for (by Microsoft) media this past week covering WSL/2, but that's grossly disproportional to the people who care and actually use those types of things (because money talks, not technical substance)



  27. Working From Home on Patent Monopolies Would Lower Their Quality and Perceived Legitimacy

    The patent system wherein people grant monopolies from their sofas and bedrooms isn't helping the already-eroded perception/image of patent offices that mostly grant patents to massive multinationals (and far too many patents overall)



  28. The Attitude of António Campinos Toward Courts and Toward Justice Same as Benoît Battistelli's

    6 years down the road we're still dealing with unaccountable tyrants who laugh at the law, laugh at lawmakers and disregard law enforcers (like the Trump regime across the Atlantic)



  29. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 24, 2020



  30. Asking Microsoft If It Loves Linux is Like Asking Google If It's Evil

    The media keeps bombarding us with lousy, weakly-sourced messages about Microsoft regretting its stance on “Open Source” and loving “Linux” (both are lies that are very easily debunked), so journalism has an existential problem and maybe too much dependence on ad money (a form of bribery) from “Big Tech” that does “clown computing” and “apps”


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