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

04.22.11

Steven Lundberg Uses Gymnastics in Logic in Order to Sell Software Patents

Posted in Deception, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 10:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Surrender to software parents or people will die?

Steven Lundberg

Summary: Monopolies on algorithms are advocated by yet another attorney who taxes science using patent monopolies and the associated bureaucracy

Steven Lundberg, somewhat of a lobbyist for software patent policies who has a blog fully dedicated just for this purpose, is still at it. The firm he is in, Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, apparently agrees with these actions of his because its name is put near it. Does that make him, Mr. Lundberg, a representative? “Here’s a Question for Opponents of Software Patents” says his new bit of deception (in the National Law Review), which goes like this: “Ok, here’s a question for the opponents of software patents: If software patents are such a drag on the software industry, why don’t the countries with weak or non-existent software patents, or at least countries with relatively few software patents, have the most innovative software industries? Perhaps they do, but I have never seen any stats supporting that proposition. It is well known and irrefutable that countries that had little or no protection for pharmaceuticals also had virtually no ethical (innovative) pharmaceutical companies. Is not the same true for software patents?”

“Microsoft and the rest of the US software industry had no patents when it was building its empire. So that answers your question right there.”
      –Pamela Jones, Groklaw
Due to matters of scarcity and the process which may be involved in stepping inside a patent, these two are not comparable. Moreover, it’s a disingenuous attempt to compare the question about software patents to a life or death situation/dilemma. Someone asked us to address the subject today and it is probably quite timely, especially because there are Mono thugs who falsely try to suggest that I endorse patents (they spread this lie today); people in academic settings who apply for patents or receive grants from pharmaceutical companies such as AstaZeneca (their role then typically becomes to push the grant giver’s agenda in peer-reviewed journals or corrupt publications like Elsevier’s, where bribe money buys placements, e.g. Merck’s, but that’s another subject) sometimes apply for patents, but I do not and I never will; to attribute to me the preferences of some other academics is absolutely ridiculous and unfair. It’s a gross generalisation. When universities amass monopolies or even funding from companies (I am funded by the ERC by the way, so no such conflict arises), then it’s another matter altogether. It’s really dodgy stuff sometimes and I rarely restrain my scepticism.

But let’s go to the subject matter (pun intended), which is patents on drug-making. We actually addressed this subject on numerous occasions before, especially around 2009 when we also shared videos that debunk these commonly-repeated myths (e.g. patents as life savers). A few hours ago I had a one-hour conversation with a fellow professor who had researched this field for decades and he too is cynical about it. Today he explained how the vast majority of the pharmaceutical companies’ output [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] is not effective or hardly effective but because they stick together like a cartel, they can carry on selling drugs and making massive profits which they then funnel into bonuses and a lot of marketing that affects perception, not effectiveness of treatments. It’s a sure way to make money, which is what they’re all about. Patents to them are often means for excluding competitors (e.g. generics) and hiking/elevating prices to the point where the customer can barely bear it. So these patents too have their room for doubt, as we explained very recently. There is still no justification for comparing these to software development, which someone can do while traveling on the train. It is the old trick of improper analogies to support one’s weak case. Groklaw responds to Lundberg by writing: “First, it’s a mistake to compare pharma with software. The development model is too different. Second, Microsoft and the rest of the US software industry had no patents when it was building its empire. So that answers your question right there. And as for being a drag, Gates himself said if there had been patents allowed on software when he was starting Microsoft, he would have failed. And even Justice Breyer in the Microsoft v. i4i oral argument indicated an awareness that there are problems from issued patents, so it’s too late to pretend that nothing bad happened from allowing patents on software. If you continue to deny reality, you will allow incumbents to destroy Linux and other FOSS software, which is a very foolish economic decision on your part, since it benefits only a convicted monopolist.”

One need not expect Steven Lundberg to be persuaded or to change his mind. He is in it for the money, not the science, but it is important to ensure he cannot bamboozle scientists into thinking he is on their side. Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner is not the voice of reason.

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. twitter said,

    April 22, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Gravatar

    It is interesting but predictable that a patent promoter would make such a vile and wrong comparison. It is impossible to compare pharmacy to software because software is not an invention and does not deserve a patent monopoly. The only reason people would compare a drug to a business method or math is that they have a wrong headed view of law promoted by the people who invented the term “intellectual property“. That entitlement philosophy also leads people to value profits over medicine for their neighbors. People who promote yet more patent power are ignorant of the science they hinder and equally ignorant or indifferent to the social costs.

    If we let these craven people have their way, they will take us all the way back to Patent Medicines, dubious compounds sold under legal authority (the king’s letters patent or modern equivalents) rather than scientific evidence and empirical results. Already they spend more money advertising directly to the public than actual research, so that patients come to doctors demanding pills for made up diseases. More serious corruptions have been alleged aimed at doctors and scientists themselves. Fake journals and intimidation of doctors and scientists represent an attack on science itself. Now watch them swoop in on growing weeds, which like patent medicines of the past at least alleviate symptoms of those unable to find or afford real care.

What Else is New


  1. Links 19/5/2019: KDE Applications 19.04.1 in FlatHub and GNU/Linux Adoption

    Links for the day



  2. The War on Patent Quality

    A look at the EPO's reluctance to admit errors and resistance to the EPC, which is its very founding document



  3. Watchtroll, Composed by Patent Trolls, Calls the American Patent System “Corrupt”

    Another very fine piece from Watchtroll comes from very fine patent trolls who cheer for Donald Trump as if he's the one who tackles corruption rather than spreading it



  4. Unified Patent Court Won't Happen Just Because the Litigation Microcosm Wants It

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) hopefuls are quote-mining and cherry-picking to manufacture the false impression that the UPC is just around the corner when in reality the UPC is pretty much dead (but not buried yet)



  5. Links 17/5/2019: South Korea's GNU/Linux Pivot, Linux 5.1.3

    Links for the day



  6. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 4: Happy Birthday to the Kötter Group?

    This year the Kötter Group commemorates the 85th anniversary of its existence. But is it really a cause for celebration or would a less self-congratulatory approach be more fitting? And does it create the risk that a routine tendering exercise at the EPO will turn into Operation Charlie Foxtrot?



  7. Links 16/5/2019: Cockpit 194, VMware Acquires Bitnami, Another Wine Announcement and Krita 4.2.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  8. The EPO's Key Function -- Like the UPC's Vision -- Has Virtually Collapsed

    The EPO no longer issues good patents and staff is extremely unhappy; but the Office tries to create an alternate (false) reality and issues intentionally misleading statements



  9. Stanford's NPE Litigation Database Makes a Nice Addition in the Fight Against Software Patent Trolls

    As the United States of America becomes less trolls- and software patents-friendly (often conflated with plaintiff (un)friendliness) it's important to have accurate data which documents the numbers and motivates better policy; The NPE (troll) Litigation Database is a move towards that and it's free to access/use



  10. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 3: “Ein kritikwürdiges Unternehmen”

    A brief account of some further controversies in which the Kötter Group has been involved and its strained relations with German trade unions such as Verdi



  11. EPO Had a Leakage Problem and Privacy of Stakeholders Was Compromised, Affecting at Least 100 Cases

    The confidentiality principle was compromised at the EPO and stakeholders weren't told about it (there was a coverup)



  12. Links 15/5/2019: More Linux Patches and More Known Intel Bugs

    Links for the day



  13. False Hope for Patent Maximalists and Litigation Zealots

    Patent litigation predators in the United States, along with Team UPC in Europe, are trying to manufacture optimistic predictions; a quick and rather shallow critical analysis reveals their lies and distortions



  14. The Race to the Bottom of Patent Quality at the EPO

    The EPO has become more like a rubber-stamper than a patent office — a fact that worries senior staff who witnessed this gradual and troublesome transition (from quality to raw quantity)



  15. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 2: Meet the Kötters

    An introduction to the Kötter Group, the private security conglomerate which is lined up for the award of a juicy EUR 30 million contract for the provision of security services at the EPO



  16. Links 14/5/2019: Red Hat Satellite 6.5, NVIDIA 430.14 Linux Driver and New Security Bug (MDS)

    Links for the day



  17. Links 14/5/2019: GNU/Linux in Kerala, DXVK 1.2, KDE Frameworks 5.58.0 Released

    Links for the day



  18. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 1: Urgent Shitstorm Alert

    Experts at the European Patent Office's (EPO) weather observation station have just issued an urgent alert warning about a major shitstorm looming on the horizon



  19. Patents That Were Gleefully Granted by the EPO Continue to Perish in Courts

    The decreasing quality of granted European Patents already becomes a growing problem if not a crisis of uncertainty



  20. Links 13/5/2019: ExTiX 19.5 and GNU Radio Conference 2019

    Links for the day



  21. The Microsoft Guide to the Open Source Galaxy

    Thou shalt not...



  22. Microsoft Would Kill the Goose for Money

    Microsoft is just 'monetising' Open Source by using it as 'bait' for Microsoft's proprietary software; those who we might expect to antagonise this have effectively been bribed by Microsoft



  23. Links 13/5/2019: Nanonote 1.2.0, OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 RC, and GNUnet 0.11.4

    Links for the day



  24. Professionally Incompetent EPO Management

    The EPO remains an awful employer, with top-level management largely responsible for the loss of talent and even money



  25. Links 12/5/2019: Linux 5.1.1, GDB 8.3, KStars 3.2.2 Released

    Links for the day



  26. Did Battistelli 'Steal' ~$100,000,000 Euros From the EPO?

    While enjoying diplomatic immunity the thug from CEIPI (who is back at the EPO as a jurist) passed millions if not billions (over the long run) in liabilities; this was done with total and inexcusable impunity, no effective oversight



  27. The Biased EPO Does Not Want to Hear From Anyone Except Those Who Pay the EPO

    The EPO's corruption and violations of the law are a threat to everyone in the world; the EPO only ever listens to those who pay for "access" or those who embrace the "religion" of the EPO



  28. Team UPC Has Run Out of Arguments, So Now It's Just Writing Anti-Brexit Rants With Testicles in the Headlines

    Nothing has worked for firms that crafted and lobbied hard for the Unified Patent Court (UPC); after necrophilia a new low is being reached



  29. Making the Patent System About Productive Actors (Again), Not a Bunch of Law Firms and Trolls

    The US patent system is going out of shape and out of tune, just like the EPO when Battistelli came to it, dismantling the rule of law and even judges whom he did not like



  30. Links 11/5/2019: Mesa 19.0.4, "2019 the Year of GNU/Linux on the Desktop"

    Links for the day


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