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 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

    Links for the day



  2. Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

    Links for the day



  3. Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  4. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  5. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")



  6. The Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past



  7. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  8. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  9. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  10. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  11. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  12. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  13. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  14. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court



  15. Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

    Links for the day



  16. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  17. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  18. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  19. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  20. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  21. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?



  22. Links 14/10/2014: CAINE 6, New RHEL, Dronecode

    Links for the day



  23. Microsoft's Disdain for Women Steals the Show at a Women's Event

    Steve Ballmer's successor, Satya Nadella, is still too tactless to lie to the audience, having been given --through subversive means -- a platform at a conference that should have shunned Microsoft, a famously misogynistic company



  24. SCOTUS May Soon Put an End to the 'Copyrights on APIs' Question While Proprietary Giants Continue to Harass Android/Linux in Every Way Conceivable

    Google takes its fight over API freedom to the Supreme Court in the Unites States and it also takes that longstanding patent harassment from the Microsoft- and Apple-backed troll (Rockstar) out of East Texas



  25. Patent Lawsuits Almost Halved After SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Software Patents

    The barrier for acceptance of software patent applications is raised in the United States and patent lawsuits, many of which involve software these days, are down very sharply, based on new figures from Lex Machina



  26. Links 13/10/2014: ChromeOS and EXT, Debian Resists Systemd Domination

    Links for the day



  27. Links 12/10/2014: Blackphone Tablet, Sony's Firefox OS Port

    Links for the day



  28. Links 9/10/2014: Free Software in Germany, Lenovo Tablets With Android

    Links for the day



  29. Links 8/10/2014: A Lot of Linux+AMD News, New ROSA Desktop Is Out

    Links for the day



  30. Lawyers' Propaganda About Software Patents and a New AstroTurf Entity Called Innovation Alliance

    Patent propaganda and deception from patent lawyers (among other parasites such as patent trolls) continues to flood the Web, intersecting with reports that prove them totally wrong


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