03.07.11

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BSA (Microsoft Front), MPEG Cartel (Backed by Microsoft and Apple), and Gates Foundation Under Scrutiny for Patent Play

Posted in Apple, Bill Gates, Microsoft, Patents at 6:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patent aggressors fly too close to the Sun

Chase the sun

Summary: A few items of news showing how patents are used by the “usual suspects” to stifle sharing, redefine open standards, abolish freedom, distort competition, and limit access to health

BSA

Andy Updegrove is the latest to respond to the BSA’s lies about royalty-free standards in the UK [1, 2, 3]. He writes:

The BSA position was soon derided as FUD (i.e., an attempt to spread “fear, uncertainty and doubt”) by proponents of openness, including Glyn Moody, who ably assesses the expected impact of the U.K. policy as regards free and open source software vs. proprietary software here.

But what of the BSA’s claim that free and open standards, as compared to free and open source software (FOSS), will “reduce choice, hinder innovation and increase the costs of e-government?”

In fact, such an argument is far harder to make in the case of standards than it is in the case of FOSS. The reasons are several.

First, while there are exceptions, standards generally describe not products, but product elements, functions or characteristics. In the case of information and communications technology (ICT), the most significant group of standards is developed to enable interoperability. Secondly, where standards are more fundamental, they generally exist at a lower level in the stack of technology.

From an antitrust perspective, what this means is that standards typically lock in only so much of a product design, or service characteristics, as is necessary to achieve interoperability. This leaves plenty of room for vendors and service providers to innovate and compete above the layer of standardization by providing value-added functionality, additional services and other differentiating features.

MPEG-LA

The MPEG cartel is under investigation as we mentioned before and The Register has some more details about that (see the Slashdot discussion as well).

The US Department of Justice is investigating MPEG-LA – the patent pool organization backed by Apple, Microsoft, and others – over the organization’s effort to undermine the royalty-free V8 codec Google introduced last year, according to a report citing people familiar with the matter.

Incidentally, patent aggression may lead to embargo like this new situation:

However the case turns out, the short-term impact of this ban could be serious. Right now, most retailers still have a week or two of PS3 units in stores. If the ban lasts beyond that, however, stock could start to run low. That’s got to hurt.

Gates Foundation

While the Gates Foundation keeps promoting more patent monopolies, Bill Gates’ lobbying for patents (for profit) is increasingly seen for what it really is. From an older page we learn that:

Here’s what I’ve found so far :

1. Sure, Bill gives big. But, do you realize that most of those are related to drugs / vaccinations? Here’s one of it. And, do you realize that he has invested quite a lot in medical companies ?
Can we draw a line connecting these ?

* Bill sells MSFT, takes Prozac
* Bill and Big Pharma companies : Bill now own shares on many drug companies.

2. An investigative journalism into Bill’s donations and agendas. Basically, the donations will bring him even more money from drugs, by blocking cheap drugs, therefore potentially killing more than he saved.

3. Just as with Microsoft, Bill staunch support of strict intellectual-property protections for drugs in poor countries. They argued that this is necessary, so they can recoup the R&D costs. However, turned out that Big Pharma’s marketing cost are 2.5 over their R&D cost.

This was found a couple of days ago when someone cited Techrights. Our research into the Gates Foundation is referenced a lot, even in radio shows that we’ve noticed.

Some time later in the year we shall catch up with more recent mischief from Gates’ stunt that exempts him (and Warren) from tax and significantly increases his power over society. Those who lobby for patenting essentially lobby for monopolies.

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