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04.19.11

Microsoft is Directly — Not Just Indirectly — Lobbying for Software Patents in New Zealand

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 2:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sheep

Summary: Why Microsoft is the black sheep among technology companies, especially when it comes to the software patents lobby

Microsoft is not a boogeyman, it is a major part of the problem Free software has been having, especially when it comes to particular areas like legislation. Microsoft is a major lobbyist for many of the policies that by their nature marginalise Free/Open Source software and it is the company behind many lawsuits against Linux-powered products (increasingly, Apple does the same thing and it backfires). It’s not a coincidence, it’s systemic. Over in New Zealand Microsoft not only uses proxies like NZICT to lobby for software patents. According to the FFII’s president, “Microsoft pushing for software patents in New Zealand, asking to reject “reject clause 15(3A)”, using the EPO hack”

Here is the evidence right from the horse’s mouth (MSDN):

Many changes in the Patents Bill are constructive and will help to improve patent quality in New Zealand. However, the proposed exclusion in clause 15(3A) is a step in the wrong direction. And, setting aside policy considerations, an exclusion that no one can explain will be bad law.

We think the focus should be on patent quality, not on an arbitrary exclusion. However, if there must be an exclusion, the question must be asked: “How can inventors and investors make decisions about their commercialisation strategy if it is not even clear which inventions are now to be excluded from protection?”

It was only yedsterday that we also wrote about Lehne's agenda in the context of conflicts of interest and now we discover this about the SCOTUS ruling regarding Microsoft’s patent infringement (the i4i case, which is still being covered in the news):

The case was heard by eight justices, with Chief Justice John Roberts not taking part because he owns more than $100,000 worth of Microsoft stock. The court will likely rule on the matter by the end of June.

How many of the judges have investments that they do not disclose? There was recently a major blunder regarding political affiliations and activities of SCOTUS judges (“justices”).

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