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

06.27.11

Software Patents Face New Challenges as FTC Notified, Bilski Case Invoked, and Re-examinations Carried Out

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Oracle, Patents at 10:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In the cave

Summary: Another look at the complaint against MPEG-LA, Oracle’s case against Google’s Android, and Paul Allen’s case against the world

The fight against aggression with software patents is met with some early success, but it is premature to declare victory before final judgments. Moreover, addressing the problem on a patent-by-patent basis would be inefficient and almost impractical.

Patents are hurting standards and the FTC is being informed of that by the good folks behind Ogg (EN | ES).

It was not so long ago that there was federal intervention following bad practices with patents from Rambus, as we explained at the time [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]. For the patent holder/s it is great to have standards which virtually force everyone to pay a tax, but for everyone else it is unfair, unreasonable, and discriminatory.

According to Patently-O (a pro-patents blog), it is possible that more resistance to software patents will soon need to come. To quote their conclusion:

That Federal Circut decision was based on the court’s machine-or-transformation test that was subsequently discredited by the Supreme Court in Bilski v. Kappos (2010). In the wake of its Bilski decision, the Supreme Court vacated the Federal Circuit’s Prometheus decision and remanded for a new opinion. On remand, the Federal Circuit again affirmed that the Prometheus claims are eligilble for patent protection.

The Bilski test or Bilski case keep coming up on occasions and sometimes they become a successful basis for invaliding patents that reach the courtroom. But a step further is needed. Anything short of elimination of all software patents would simply leave Free software in a dubious state, or a state where only a subset of it is approved for use (but not for redistribution). Right now even Java, despite being Free software (supposed to be GPLv2, not v3), is under a patent attack from Oracle. Since Google is willing to go quite far and challenge the allegations, Oracle’s patents (that it bought from Sun) are almost deemed unenforceable (if they become invalid, which is increasingly likely). To quote:

Oracle’s Java infringement case against Google isn’t going exceptionally well for the database giant these days, with another setback delivered by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in the form of a patent reexamination this week.

Historically, things haven’t been rosy for Oracle since their August 2010 lawsuit was launched, accusing Google of infringing on Oracle’s Java software.

Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems’ Java technology when it bought the company in 2010. Instead of licensing Java from Oracle to use in Android, Google developed a “clean room” version of the Java virtual machine, Dalvik, for Android instead. Oracle says that Dalvik deliberately infringes on Java anyway, despite efforts to build Dalvik from scratch.

Another case against Google et al., this one from Microsoft’s co-founder, is weakening. Groklaw reveals that:

In a judicious (pun intended) move, the court has considered the motion for stay filed by the defendants seeking to stay the trial until after the USPTO completes the reexaminations of the Interval patents. Despite Interval’s opposition to this motion, the court has granted the stay [PDF], and the trial will now await the outcome of the USPTO determinations.

So here we have another case where upon filing a lawsuit, the patents in question get challenged and perhaps, just hopefully, they might be declared invalid and the lawsuit which is hinged on them get tossed out.

In its patent extortion escapades, Microsoft (or Apple) typically goes around suing small companies or mere distributors that have little incentive — unlike Google — to go ahead and invalidate patents — a tedious and expensive process.

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

What Else is New


  1. Links 24/11/2014: Linux 3.18-rc6, Qualcomm Eyes GNU/Linux Servers

    Links for the day



  2. Boycotting Micro Focus International

    Microsoft's "Partner of the Year" is taking over the patron of SUSE and all of Novell's remains, except the patents (Microsoft has already grabbed those)



  3. Vesna Stilin's Remarks on Željko Topić: Part XI

    Vesna Stilin speaks about her confrontation with EPO Vice-President Željko Topić, who has criminal lawsuits against him in Croatia



  4. Links 22/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1, Ubuntu MATE

    Links for the day



  5. Links 21/11/2014: Problems at Debian, Jolla Tablet

    Links for the day



  6. Links 18/11/2014: Linux 3.18 RC 5, New DigiKam

    Links for the day



  7. Special Report: Many Criminal Charges Against EPO Vice-President Željko Topić

    The abuses of Željko Topić, who has gained notoriety in his home country, are rapidly becoming public knowledge across all of Europe



  8. Links 16/11/2014: Xfdesktop 4.10.3, GNU Hello 2.10

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft is Going Into the Anti-Whistleblowing Business, Dodges Criticism Over 19-Year Bug Door in Windows

    With Aorato acquisition Microsoft helps protect the criminals (from whistleblowers) and with lies about .NET Microsoft distracts from a bug that has facilitated remote access into Windows (by those in the know) for nearly two decades



  10. Reaffirming Microsoft's Long-Known Hostility Towards Net Neutrality, Microsoft Crashed Juniper

    Steve Ballmer is ranting against net neutrality and Juniper's business is in trouble after a lot of executives from Microsoft took over most top positions there



  11. Another Massive Step Towards Elimination of Software Patents as Even CAFC Rules Against Them

    After SCOTUS gets involved in the Ultramercial case, the CAFC finally decides to actually serve justice rather than dogma



  12. The GOP's Patent Reform Plan Not Effective Enough to Stop Massive Patent Trolls Like Microsoft/Nokia

    The corporations-serving GOP says that it wants a patent reform, but another reminder is needed of the futility of the suggested changes



  13. How the EPO's Executive Branch (Battistelli and Topić) Banned Scrutiny and Created Authoritarian Model of Control: Part X

    A look at highly dubious moves by EPO President Battistelli and his right-hand man Topić, whose abuses are becoming hard to oversee or even report



  14. Links 15/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1 Release Candidate, Popcorn Time 0.3.5

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: October 26th, 2014 – November 8th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  16. The Terrible Joke Which is Microsoft 'Loving' Linux: Nightmares With UEFI 'Secure' Boot (i.e. Windows Monopoly Imposed) Continue to Affect GNU/Linux Users

    A reminder of Microsoft's sheer hostility towards GNU/Linux and long-reaching sabotage of GNU/Linux installations



  17. Patent Lawyers Worry About Section 101 in 'Alice' (and Other Patent News)

    A quick roundup of news of interest regarding software patents



  18. Will Write for FUD (Against FOSS)

    Black Duck rears its ugly head again, serving to show that it is in the business of changing perceptions and not in the information or analysis business



  19. Debunking Several Days of Never-Ending Lies About Microsoft and .NET

    .NET is not "Open Source", it cannot be forked (there remains patent threat), Visual Studio is still completely proprietary and it is expected to come to other platforms only because Windows has lost its dominance and Microsoft wants to perpetually control APIs (with software patents) and hence reign over developers



  20. Links 14/11/2014: LibreOffice 4.3.4, Ads Now in Firefox

    Links for the day



  21. Links 14/11/2014: GNOME 3.14.2, PulseAudio 6.0

    Links for the day



  22. Microsoft Windows is Still Designed as a Paradise of Back Doors, Intrusion, Wiretaps, and Interception

    At many levels -- from communication to storage and encryption -- Windows is designed for the very opposite of security



  23. Forget the FUD About Bash and OpenSSL, Microsoft Windows Blamed for Massive Credit Cards Heist

    Home Depot learns its lesson from a Microsoft Windows disaster, but it stays with proprietary software rather than move to software that is actively audited by many people and is inherently better maintained (Free/libre software)



  24. Windows 'Update' and NSA Back Doors, Including a 19-Year Bug Door in Microsoft Windows

    The back doors-enabled Microsoft Windows is being revealed and portrayed as the Swiss cheese that it really is after massive holes are discovered (mostly to be buried by a .NET propaganda blitz)



  25. Revealed: Microsoft is Trying to Corrupt the UK in Order to Eliminate Its OpenDocument Format-Oriented Standards Policy

    Microsoft interference with Britain's preference for ODF is now confirmed, thanks to a valuable news report from Computer Weekly; OOXML lock-in is being unleashed by Microsoft on Android users



  26. Links 13/11/2014: Ubuntu MATE 14.04.1 LTS, New KDE Plasma

    Links for the day



  27. .NET is NOT "Open Source", But Microsoft's Minions Shamelessly Openwash It Right Now

    The openwashing of .NET continues with yet another publicity stunt that is intended to lock in developers



  28. Links 11/11/2014: GNOME Trademark Dispute Settled, Mozilla Embraces Tor

    Links for the day



  29. Patent Reform Subversion After Republican (GOP) 'Win' in US Senate

    The Grand Corporations Party, or the political party which serves large businesses that are funding it, continues to just focus on a mirage of a 'reform' rather than tackle the real issues where culprits include very large businesses such as Microsoft and Apple



  30. Microsoft-Armed Patent Troll MOSAID (Now Conversant) Wants to Sweep up More Patents for Litigation

    Reports about patent trolls and scope of patents serve to show what the foes of Free software are up to right now


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