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

04.18.11

Losing the Battle Against Software Patents?

Posted in Patents at 1:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bike

Summary: Signs that the bullies are gradually getting their way by removing small players from the market, using patent thickets

TO ANYBODY who is a programmer, software patents are a curse. It does not matter if one develops Free software or proprietary software, patents are not for the developers, they are for the managers and their lawyers. They are for corporations and those who wage their wars for them. Just watch what Walker is doing right now [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], suing the entire world like Traul Allen, a billionaire, did. Jim Besse spoke about “the Future of Software Patents” a few days ago:

Yesterday James Bessen spoke at Stanford University on “The Future of Software Patents.” Over a decade has passed since US court decisions opened the way for wholesale patenting of software, including patents on finance and methods of doing business. Mr. Bessen looks at what the effect has been on software innovators. He looks at the empirical evidence on how software startup firms use patents and on why firms now face a much greater risk of software patent lawsuits. Exploring the causes behind these trends, he discusses how recent court decisions and legislative proposals might affect the rapid growth in litigation.

Those software startup firms soon discover that to say software patents are a good thing is simply a myth. It is the type of myth which gets spread by patent lawyers and propaganda from lobbyists of companies like Microsoft. The president of the FFII, one of the most active campaigners against software patents worldwide, warns that “Travaux preperatoires of the EPC published by the EPO, many references to software patents” and he also warns about “New Zealand software patents through the backdoor: EU approach is protecting embedded software” (this comes from this patent lawyers’ hive which we wrote about before). It sometimes seems like we, developers, are outnumbered by vocal lawyers. Not enough developers seem to be taking a stance against software patents; instead there is reliance on volunteers. Large companies like Google are not doing enough — if anything at all — to defend the interests of such developers. Roberto Galoppini claims that “Groklaw gave up with software patents”, which is probably not entirely true. Here is what he wrote the other day:

Few days after my blog post about OSI’s possible future, OSI wrote a second statement on the CPTN transaction, somehow reaffirming my concerns about a maybe too narrowed view on software patents. Now that even Groklaw gave up with software patents – rightly in my opinion – leaving it to IT giants and patent-trolls, will OSI fight software patents as a whole?

Here is another new article about the bid for Nortel’s patent portfolio and some background about CPTN:

Until and unless developers start getting involved in the software patents, bogus ‘IP experts’ and fake ‘developers’ (who only pretend to be that) will steer policy, bamboozle politicians, and continue to make life a lot more miserable for SMBs. This is not just a political and technical issue, it is also a class issue. It is the use of law to distort the market.

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

A Single Comment

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    April 18, 2011 at 6:04 am

    Gravatar

    It needs to be said that software patents are about usage and thus a threat to users. Too much of the debate is spent marginalizing and downplaying the threat by focusing only on developers. They are the smallest group affected. The large group consists of the end users.

    Remember the Unysis software patent on parts of GIF. It was the users they went after then. That’s where the money is this time, too.

What Else is New


  1. Links 24/4/2018: Preview of Crostini, Introducing Heptio Gimbal, OPNsense 18.1.6

    Links for the day



  2. Patent Maximalists Step Things Up With Director Andrei Iancu and It's Time for Scientists to Fight Back

    Science and technology don't seem to matter as much as the whims of the patent (litigation) 'industry', at least judging by recent actions taken by Andrei Iancu (following a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee)



  3. Mythology About Patents in the East

    Misconceptions (or deliberate propaganda) about patent policy in the east poison the debate and derail a serious, facts-based discussion about it



  4. Patent Trolls Watch: Red River Innovations, Bradium Technologies/General Patent, and Wordlogic

    A quick look at some patent trolls that made the news this Monday; we are still seeing a powerful response to such trolls, whose momentum is slipping owing to the good work of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)



  5. Holding Benoît Battistelli Accountable After the EPO

    The many abuses and offenses committed by Mr. Battistelli whilst he enjoyed diplomatic immunity can and should be brought up as that immunity expires in two months; a good start would be contacting his colleagues, who might not be aware of the full spectrum of his abuses



  6. Links 23/4/2018: Second RC of Linux 4.17 and First RC of Mesa 18.1

    Links for the day



  7. The Good Work of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Latest Attempts to Undermine It

    A week's roundup of news about PTAB, which is eliminating many bad (wrongly-granted) patents and is therefore becoming "enemy number one" to those who got accustomed to blackmailing real (productive) firms with their questionable patents



  8. District Courts' Patent Cases, Including the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX/TXED), in a Nutshell

    A roundup of patent cases in 'low courts' of the United States, where patents are being reasoned about or objected to while patent law firms make a lot of money



  9. The Federal Circuit's (CAFC) Decisions Are Being Twisted by Patent Propaganda Sites Which Merely Cherry-Pick Cases With Outcomes That Suit Them

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) continues to reject the vast majority of software patents, citing Section 101 in many such cases, but the likes of Managing IP, Patently-O, IAM and Watchtroll only selectively cover such cases (instead they’re ‘pulling a Berkheimer’ or some similar name-dropping)



  10. Patents Roundup: Metaswitch, GENBAND, Susman, Cisco, Konami, High 5 Games, HTC, and Nintendo

    A look at existing legal actions, the application of 35 U.S.C. § 101, and questionable patents that are being pursued on software (algorithms or "software infrastructure")



  11. In Maxon v Funai the High 'Patent Court' (CAFC) Reaffirms Disdain for Software Patents, Which Are Nowadays Harder to Get and Then Defend

    With the wealth of decisions from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) wherein software patents get discarded (Funai being the latest example), the public needs to ask itself whether patent law firms are honest when they make claims about resurgence of software patents by 'pulling a Berkheimer' or coming up with terms like “Berkheimer Effect”



  12. Today's European Patent Office Works for Patent Extremists and for Team UPC Rather Than for Europe or for Innovation

    The International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) and other patent maximalists who have nothing to do with Europe, helped by a malicious and rather clueless politician called Benoît Battistelli, are turning the EPO into a patent-printing machine rather than an examination office as envisioned by the EPC (founders) and member states



  13. The EPO is Dying and Those Who Have Killed It Are Becoming Very Rich in the Process

    Following the footsteps of Ron Hovsepian at Novell, Battistelli at the EPO (along with Team Battistelli) may mean the end of the EPO as we know it (or the end altogether); one manager and a cabal of confidants make themselves obscenely rich by basically sacrificing the very organisation they were entrusted to serve



  14. Short: Just Keep Repeating the Lie (“Quality”) Until People Might Believe It

    Battistelli’s patent-printing bureau (EPO without quality control) keeps lying about the quality of patents by repeating the word “quality” a lot of times, including no less than twice in the summary alone



  15. Shelston IP Keeps Pressuring IP Australia to Allow Software Patents and Harm Software Development

    Shelston IP wants exactly the opposite of what's good for Australia; it just wants what's good for itself, yet it habitually pretends to speak for a productive industry (nothing could be further from the truth)



  16. Is Andy Ramer's Departure the End of Cantor Fitzgerald's Patent Trolls-Feeding Operations and Ambitions?

    The managing director of the 'IP' group at Cantor Fitzgerald is leaving, but it does not yet mean that patent trolls will be starved/deprived access to patents



  17. EPO Hoards Billions of Euros (Taken From the Public), Decreases Quality to Get More Money, Reduces Payments to Staff

    The EPO continues to collect money from everyone, distributes bogus/dubious patents that usher patent trolls into Europe (to cost European businesses billions in the long run), and staff of the EPO faces more cuts while EPO management swims in cash and perks



  18. Short: Calling Battistelli's Town (Where He Works) “Force for Innovation” to Justify the Funneling of EPO Funds to It

    How the EPO‘s management ‘explained’ (or sought to rationalise) to staff its opaque decision to send a multi-million, one-day ceremony to Battistelli’s own theatre only weeks before he leaves



  19. Short: EPO Bribes the Media and Then Brags About the Paid-for Outcome to Staff

    The EPO‘s systematic corruption of the media at the expense of EPO stakeholders — not to mention hiring of lawyers to bully media which exposes EPO corruption — in the EPO’s own words (amended by us)



  20. Short: EPO's “Working Party for Quality” is to Quality What the “Democratic People's Republic of Korea” is to Democracy

    To maintain the perception (illusion) that the EPO still cares about patent quality — and in order to disseminate this lie to EPO staff — a puff piece with the above heading/photograph was distributed to thousands of examiners in glossy paper form



  21. Short: This Spring's Message From the EPO's President (Corrected)

    A corrected preface from the Liar in Chief, the EPO's notoriously crooked and dishonest President



  22. Short: Highly Misleading and Unscientific Graphics From the EPO for an Illusion of Growth

    A look at the brainwash that EPO management is distributing to staff and what's wrong with it



  23. Short: EPO Explains to Examiners Why They Should and Apparently Can Grant Software Patents (in Spite of EPC)

    Whether it calls it "CII" or "ICT" or "Industry 4.0" or "4IR", the EPO's management continues to grant software patents and attempts to justify this to itself (and to staff)



  24. Links 21/4/2018: Linux 4.9.95, FFmpeg 4.0, OpenBSD Foundation 2018 Fundraising Campaign

    Links for the day



  25. As USPTO Director, Andrei Iancu Gives Three Months for Public Comments on 35 U.S.C. § 101 (Software Patenting Impacted)

    Weeks after starting his job as head of the US patent office, to our regret but not to our surprise, Iancu asks whether to limit examiners' ability to reject abstract patent applications citing 35 U.S.C. § 101 (relates to Alice and Mayo)



  26. In Keith Raniere v Microsoft Both Sides Are Evil But for Different Reasons

    Billing for patent lawyers reveals an abusive strategy from Microsoft, which responded to abusive patent litigation (something which Microsoft too has done for well over a decade)



  27. Links 20/4/2018: Atom 1.26, MySQL 8.0

    Links for the day



  28. Links 19/4/2018: Mesa 17.3.9 and 18.0.1, Trisquel 8.0 LTS Flidas, Elections for openSUSE Board

    Links for the day



  29. The Patent Microcosm, Patent Trolls and Their Pressure Groups Incite a USPTO Director Against the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Section 101/Alice

    As one might expect, the patent extremists continue their witch-hunt and constant manipulation of USPTO officials, whom they hope to compel to become patent extremists themselves (otherwise those officials are defamed, typically until they're fired or decide to resign)



  30. Microsoft's Lobbying for FRAND Pays Off as Microsoft-Connected Patent Troll Conversant (Formerly MOSAID) Goes After Android OEMs in Europe

    The FRAND (or SEP) lobby seems to have caused a lot of monopolistic patent lawsuits; this mostly affects Linux-powered platforms such as Android, Tizen and webOS and there are new legal actions from Microsoft-connected patent trolls


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