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

08.28.11

Patents Wrath Escalated to President Obama

Posted in America, Patents at 9:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Obama

Summary: Patents are viewed as anti-competitive and Verizon’s Chief Counsel asks the President of the United States to address the problem

UNHAPPY with the USPTO, more and more companies — not just individuals — rant in public. Novell has been mentioned quite a bit in relation to the Motorola patents (Mobility) sale because in both cases companies were valued not for real property but for monopolies they received from the government. In Novell’s case, the patents went into CPTN, which Microsoft and Apple would use for anti-competitive purposes. In fact, around the time of the Motorola-Google agreement there were several articles from reputable source calling patents “anti-competitive”, referencing Google's allegations including exact quotes [1, 2]. Another large party that engages in this anti-competitive war is Oracle, which Groklaw keeps tracking because of the anti-Android lawsuit. As we have shown here many times before, Microsoft-connected (via IV) patent trolls also launch lawsuits against Android developers, so the EFF organises an event which will inform them. To quote:

As you probably know, we’ve been closely following the Lodsys mess and watching as the patent troll asserts its patents against companies large and small, and — famously and most egregiously — against small app developers. Large companies such as Best Buy, CVS, and the New York Times Company are fighting Lodsys in court (and challenging the validity of its patents). But those lawsuits could take years. In the meantime, app developers all over the world, many of who cannot afford legal counsel, face the uncertainty long-felt by the victims of patent trolls and are left wondering what they can and should do to protect themselves.

Microsoft is meanwhile getting more patents on tablets and the New York Times does its usual thing by batting for Apple’s patents, praising those with Jobs’ name on them. To quote the heading paragraph:

The 313 Apple patents that list Steven P. Jobs among the group of inventors offer a glimpse at his legendary say over the minute details of the company’s products — from the company’s iconic computer cases to the glass staircases that are featured in many Apple stores

A lot of people may not remember it, but Apple’s eagerness to sue iPhone competitors using patents was first seen coming from Cook (Apple’s new CEO), who issued a veiled threat to Palm after they had unveiled WebOS. This was so serious that it later led to a formal complaint to the US government. We do not expect Apple to be any gentler after Jobs’ distancing from the company. Apple cannot compete so fairly anymore. Linux is catching up in terms of market share, having already outpaced Apple features-wise. First it happened in phones and now it happens in tablets.

“Linux is catching up in terms of market share, having already outpaced Apple features-wise.”Here is a good visual overview which shows what has happened in the market due to patents. This has clearly gone out of control and helped the exclusion of small players (or those without many patents). It also became a breeding group for parasitic entities. Well, citing this analysis, a Microsoft-friendly site says that someone “even thinks that we are in the middle of a patent bubble.”

It also says: “Software patents often cover a very broad scope, while they should be more concrete and narrow. This is due to the fact that large organizations are increasingly using them for legal warfare. Such abuse of patents prevents innovation instead of enforcing it. And even worse, smaller companies or indivduals cannot afford the time and money for a patent lawsuit. Eventually, software patents enforce monopolies. To give an impression: An Android phone covers around 250.000 patents according to Google.”

Realising that something is clearly amiss here (too much counter-productive tension and aggression), the Chief Counsel of Verizon is calling for Obama to step in. As one site puts it: “Recently, all of the major players in the smartphone industry have been tied up in patent wars. Apple, Google, Research In Motion (Blackberry), and Microsoft. Even hardware manufacturers like Samsung, HTC, and Motorola have seen their fair share of patent warfare this year. Each small judgement in court continues to highlight the ongoing ‘Google vs. Apple’ battle.

“Google has been a dark horse in the smartphone industry as it is seemingly giving away its Android software for free. Google also holds a huge advantage over its competition with the enormous amount of advertising revenue it brings in from its search engine. Google uses this revenue as a way to create profit from its software inventions. Because of this advantage, most of the smartphone industry looks to Google as an undeniable freight train, patents or no patents. Which brings us to why Apple is putting up the biggest fight.”

Here is another new piece of criticism about the system. It states the following:

The state of Intellectual Property (IP) in general (copyrights, patents, trademarks) has gotten stupidly bad over the last few years. Systems that were created to encourage innovation with the public as the benefactor have got turned completely on their heads; today the systems stifle creativity, benefit big corporations solely, and harm society. As a Linux user this isn’t news to you, I’m sure. But I’ll bet your neighbor doesn’t really know how bad it is, or might even think the system is “working”. How do we wake the general public up?

My goal here is not to explain what is wrong with current IP laws. That’s covered quite well on other sites, like Techdirt and the Deeplinks Blog by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Those are great resources for someone who really wants to delve into the mess that is IP regulation, but is probably a little more than your typical layperson can digest.

With the increasing realisation that patents are just over-hyped and actually quite harmful, change is likely to happen. Will Obama bring it?

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. Michael Glasser said,

    August 30, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Gravatar

    I responded to this post here: http://trw.gallopinginsanity.com/2011/08/28/patents-wrath

What Else is New


  1. Links 23/8/2016: GNOME 3.22 Beta, Android 7.0 Nougat

    Links for the day



  2. The Linux Foundation Gives Microsoft (Paid-for) Keynote Position While Microsoft Extorts (With Patents) Lenovo and Motorola Over Linux Use

    This morning's reminder that Nadella is just another Ballmer (with a different face); Motorola and Lenovo surrender to Microsoft's patent demands and will soon put Microsoft spyware/malware on their Linux-powered products to avert costly legal battles



  3. Not Just President Battistelli: EPO Vice-Presidents Are Still Intentionally Misrepresenting EPO Staff

    Evidence serving to show that EPO Vice-Presidents are still intentionally misrepresenting EPO staff representatives and misleading everyone in order to defend Battistelli



  4. Battistelli the Liar Causes a Climate of Confrontation in French Politics, Lies About Patent Quality (Among Many Other Things)

    Battistelli's lies are coming under increased scrutiny inside and outside the European Patent Office (EPO), where patent quality has been abandoned in order to artificially elevate figures



  5. The Collapse of Software Patents and Patent Law Firms Trying to “Overcome” Alice

    The United States continues its gradual crackdown on software patents (which are viewed as abstract and thus unpatentable), whereas in Europe things are murkier than ever



  6. Apple's Patent Wars Against Android/Linux Make Patent Trolls Stronger

    Apple's insistence that designs should be patentable could prove to be collectively expensive, as patent trolls would then use a possible SCOTUS nod to launch litigation campaigns



  7. Links 22/8/2016: Linux 4.8 RC3, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” KDE Beta

    Links for the day



  8. Links 21/8/2016: Apple and Microsoft Down, Systemd Spreading to Mount

    Links for the day



  9. Links 20/8/2016: Android Domination, FSFE summit 2016

    Links for the day



  10. Patents Roundup: Trolls Dominate Litigation, PTAB Crushes Patents, Patent Box Regime Persists, and OIN Explains Itself

    Another roundup of patent news from around the Web with special focus on software patenting



  11. The Cost/Toll of the 'New' EPO and Where All That Money Goes or Comes From

    The European Patent Office has become a servant of the rich and powerful (including large foreign corporations) and even its own employees now pay the price associated with misguided new policies (or 'reforms' as Battistelli habitually refers to these)



  12. Links 19/8/2016: Linux Mint With KDE, Linux Foundation's PNDA

    Links for the day



  13. The End of an Era at the USPTO as Battistelli-Like (EPO) Granting Policies Are Over

    The United States is seeing the potency of patents -- especially software patents (which make up much of the country's troll cases) -- challenged by courts and by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)



  14. Battistelli's European Patent Office Goes to the United States to Speak About the UPC and Software Patents

    The European Patent Office is showing its utter contempt -- not just disregard -- for the very fundamental rules that put it in its place and brought it into existence



  15. Turkey Subjected to the European Patent Convention (EPC) But Benoît Battistelli is Not?

    The ‘constitutional crisis’ at the European Patent Office in the context of Turkey, which has signed "the EPC and as such recognises the competence and the decisions of the institutions which have been introduced in the convention."



  16. Links 18/8/2016: EFF Slams Vista 10, Linux Foundation Makes PNDA

    Links for the day



  17. Links 17/8/2016: GNOME and Debian Anniversaries

    Links for the day



  18. Personal Audio LLC and Patent Troll Jim Logan Demonstrate the Harms of Software Patents and Why They Must Never Spread to Europe

    Jim Logan of Personal Audio (a notorious Texas-based patent troll) is still fighting with his bogus patent, having already caused enormous damage with a single software patent that should never have been granted in the first place (due to prior art, not just Alice)



  19. The Patent Microcosm Hopes That the Originators of Software Patents Will Undermine the Patent Trial and Appeal Board

    Now that the actions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which have been consistently upheld by the CAFC in precedential decisions, are suddenly being questioned the patent microcosm gets all giddy and tries to undermine PTAB (again)



  20. That Time When the Administrative Council Helped Battistelli Crush Oversight (Audit Committee) and What ILO Said About It a Month Ago

    Things are becoming ever more troublesome at the EPO as the Administrative Council enjoys inaction from the International Labour Organization (ILO), in spite of its role in destroying much-needed oversight at the behest of Battistelli



  21. The EPO's Administrative Council Keeps Postponing Debate About Grounds for Firing the President

    A recollection of events prior to the latest Administrative Council meeting, where Benoît Battistelli's failings and accountability for failing to correct them never even came up



  22. A Surge of Staff Complaints About the European Patent Office Drowns the System, Disservice to Justice Noted

    Self-explanatory graphs about the state of the justice [sic] system which is prejudiced towards/against EPO workers, based on internal reports



  23. Links 16/8/2016: White House Urged by EFF on FOSS, Go 1.7 Released

    Links for the day



  24. Links 15/8/2016: Linux 4.8 RC2, Glimpses at OpenMandriva Lx 3.0

    Links for the day



  25. Clawing Back the Staff Benefits at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Staff of the EPO is leaving (or retiring) in droves as abusive management continues to be the norm and staff benefits are being taken away or gradually revoked



  26. The Patent Microcosm is Panicking and Spinning Alice/§ 101 Because US Software Patents Are Still Dying

    A look at recent developments in the software patents scene in the United States, with increased focus on (or fear of) the Patent Trial and Appeal Board



  27. 21,000 Posts in Techrights in Less Than a Decade

    This post is the 21,000th post and the next one will make it more than twenty-one thousand posts in total. We are turning 10 in November.



  28. Patent Microcosm Shuts Out the Poor: Unified Patent Court (UPC) Promotion by Practising Law Institute (PLI) Only for the Wealthy

    The people who are profiting from patent feuds, disputes, lawsuits etc. are still trying to muscle their will into European law and they keep the general public out of it by locking down (or pricing out of reach) their meetings where they influence/lobby decision-making officials



  29. The United States Has a Growing Patent Trolls Epidemic as Very High Proportion of Lawsuits Filed by Them

    A look at the high proportion of patent lawsuits that are filed by entities that make nothing at all and thus serve no role whatsoever in innovation



  30. Pushers of Software Patents Outside the United States (Which is Belatedly Squashing These Patents)

    How patent law firms are distorting the debate about software patents in hope of attracting business from gullible people who misunderstand the harsh (and worsening) reality of software patenting


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