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2011 Patent ‘Reform’: Change We Can’t Believe in

Posted in America, Apple, Law, Patents at 8:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

David Kappos

Symbolic change at best

Summary: Why the so-called ‘patent reform’ is still somewhat is a sham; Apple continues to exploit the broken patent systems to block Linux sales

So as we mentioned yesterday, there is something called “patent reform” being passed for Obama to sign (all the links we cite by the way also contain a discussion about software patents). Thankfully, nobody in the press seems to be pretending that it really resolves much. Information Week has some details about it and the Washington Post does not say much. From the CNN there is the usual propaganda about “Sweeping patent changes poised to become law”. Sweeping? Really?

This whole thing is more like the hijack of the term “reform” to mean not what everyone means by it.

A paywall-guarded site currently speaks of:

Potential upcoming changes to business method and software patents America Invents Act — H.R. 1249 §18

Congress is currently on the verge of passing patent reform legislation.

As far as we know, no changes has been made to those types of patents. It was a wasted opportunity although no real opportunity was ever given to substantial changes. It’s like asking a stubborn teenager to tidy up a messy room, whereupon the teen just sprays the room and calls it “job done”.

While Apple is fighting for Android embargo using the most ridiculous claims and fake evidence (lots of prior art exists) there is at least a parody which helps show how insane this whole “IPR” system has become:

A German court has banned all TV sets and cars from being sold in Germany. A judge said, “They all look the same.” The Court based this decision on the recent decision made by the Düsseldorf Regional Court. The court said that no other company other than Apple can sell tablets in Germany as it thinks all tablets look like the iPad.

The German court this morning upheld a ban on the Samsung Galaxy Tab stating that it looks too much like the iPad. The media around the globe has been providing evidence that not only Apple’s design patent is invalid as there are examples of prior art, but also that it’s completely different from the Galaxy Tab.

On a more serious note, “German Court Upholds Ban On Samsung Galaxy Tab” is the news, with Slashdot summarising it as follows: “It seems Samsung has finally lost the battle against Apple in Germany. Today the district court in Düsseldorf ruled that Samsung must not sell its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany. Furthermore, it has banned Samsung Germany from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 anywhere in Europe.”

As one USENET poster points out: “Will this stupidity never end? When will Apple fight competition on product value in an open market instead of resorting to bullying tactics in the courts?”

It is being reported that Android is about to beat iOS in terms of application downloads. This is the real reason Apple is suing. “Android to overtake Apple in app downloads” says the headline of the new article which has these numbers :

Android could notch 8.1 billion app downloads this year, compared with 6 billion for Apple’s iOS devices. That marks an explosion of growth for both platforms; Apple had 2.7 billion downloads and Android recorded 1.4 billion last year. The total number of application downloads is expected to grow by 144 percent this year, Ovum said in a report issued today.

No wonder Mr. Jobs is angry. Apple is exploiting a broken system — a system that should be fixed before it causes yet more damage. Cablegate has some useful material on the process of legislation the public is not allowed to know about (sensitive and/or classified “confidential”). Joy ahead thanks to Wikileaks.

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  1. saulgoode said,

    September 10, 2011 at 8:32 am


    The Information Week link has a spurious HTML break tag embedded and thus does not work. Here is a clickable link: “5 Key Facts About Patent Reform Act”.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Thanks. I blame Information Week being hostile towards lesser known browsers without JS enabled. I had to extract that link from page source!

    Michael Reply:

    You blame everyone but yourself for everything. Geeez. You made a mistake and corrected it. Big deal.

    Anyway, amazing how you whine about Apple’s lawsuits but not lawsuits from other companies such as HCI.

    I think Linux is good enough to stand up on its own without the need to spread the FUD you do.

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