Summary: Monopolies that are protected by controversial laws are mostly supported by super-rich businessmen and the leaders they help appoint
THANKS to Benjamin Henrion (FFII) we learn that the “EPO granted patent on the progress bar to Apple, now claims it is granting high quality patents” (he links to this EPO page which says “G8 leaders support a quality patent system”).
As we explained earlier this week, to refer to the patent problem as a problem of “quality” rather than scope is to distract from the real issue that the EPO too has been having. This is why we do not consider the Wilcox move [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] to be a shrewd one. It can only help validate some software patent including some of Microsoft’s, such as FAT.
“Except for desktop GNU/Linux companies such as Novell/SUSE/Attachmate and Xandros, those who pay Microsoft for Linux are Turbolinux LG, Fuji Xerox, Brother, Melco, Samsung, Kyocera Mita, I-O Data, and HTC.”Using extortion with software patents Microsoft has been mostly successful in Asia. Except for desktop GNU/Linux companies such as Novell/SUSE/Attachmate and Xandros, those who pay Microsoft for Linux are Turbolinux LG, Fuji Xerox, Brother, Melco, Samsung, Kyocera Mita, I-O Data, and HTC. There is also Amazon (server and embedded in Kindle), which decided to pay its state neighbour Microsoft after many of its new managers got appointed from Microsoft Corp.
Whatever goes on in Washington (both the state and DC) matters a lot at the moment because Bill Gates and his buddy Nathan go from the state to DC to lobby a lot in favour of patents (Gates, for his part, rallies G8 leaders to give taxpayers' money to patent holders he invests in, as we explained before). Do not be distracted by the America Invents Act. This whole thing is a bogus ‘reform’ which resembles what we see in Europe — one whose focus is all wrong:
The America Invents Act encourages innovation and promotes job creation. It switches the standard of patent approval from a “first to invent” to a “first inventor to file” system.
Sounds like it’s good for businesspeople, not for scientists. So, of course politicians might support that. They know where campaign contributions come from.
The patent from Nathan (world’s biggest patent troll and former Microsoft CTO) continues to bug Microsoft competitors and Groklaw is striving to shoot down this patent by cooperation within the community:
As we noted in the article yesterday, one of the more effective ways developers (and anyone else who believes Lodsys is overreaching) can respond is by identifying prior art that is relevant to Lodsys’s claimed inventions. Lodsys has taken the position that its patent claims are very broad, and the problem with that position, as they will learn, is that it opens the floodgates wide for prior art that chips away at those broad claims. And that’s where you come in.
More of the latest news about it can be found in the corporate media, which unlike coverage in TechEye and other contrarian sources, does not go far enough. It claims to inform rather than promote, but it ends up choosing cowardice, not just conformism.
What we find encouraging is that regulators have at least begun stepping up to address anticompetitive aspects of patents, even though they miss the real targets and Microsoft pushes them towards fake ones. To quote recently news [1, 2] where CPTN got mentioned:
Patents have become an increasingly potent tool in technology, as small companies sue larger ones for infringement, and large companies pay dearly to accumulate patents to protect themselves from future litigation. In April, the Justice Department forced a group of companies buying patents from Novell, including Apple and Microsoft, to license rather than buy some of the 882 patents and patent applications over worries about the impact on open-source software.
Microsoft has also been crushing companies for patents like those it put in CPTN. We wrote about Microsoft's use of Nokia the other day. “These companies have all essentially become Novell,” writes Sarah Lacy in relation to this sort of sweep-up of smaller companies (not necessarily their patents). Who on Erath would support such patents other than multinationals and politicians who serve their interests? People must stand up and speak out. █