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

09.12.11

Current Patent ‘Reform’ Criticised in the Press, Software Patents Need to Go

Posted in America, GNU/Linux, Google, Law, Patents at 6:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bumps on the road towards freedom

Danger sign

Summary: An overview of coverage about patents and where we are heading without the required reform

SOFTWARE freedom is being jeopardised by the rising influence of patent cartels. One must not take for granted or for certain the triumph of Android, which enjoys an economic advantage. Hardware makers tend to favour Android because it is a free platform which also offers many features. Android can compete with Blackberry, Symbian, and iPhone/iOS not just because of cost but also the growing impact and inertia. Its vast repository of applications, for example, would not have been possible without the cost advantage; it is a chicken-and-egg scenario.

“This illustrates the sort of loophole that exists in the system, allowing big corporations to just harass their competitors without being sued back or even deterred by other patent arsenals.”Realising that they react too late to the growing importance of Android, the oligarchy of Nokia, Apple and Microsoft now holds onto software patents. They are trying to diminish Android’s cost advantage and also make it more expensive than already-pricey proprietary platforms (often tied to particular hardware/phones). Apple has been suing with goal of embargo, Microsoft has been suing mostly with goals of taxation and extortion/intimidation, and Nokia has just had a Microsoft mole installed. This mole has just passed thousands of patents to a patent troll, MOSAID, to attack Android while he spreads yet more FUD about Android. Nokia would like it to look like it is the troll — not Nokia — which is behind the patent attacks. This illustrates the sort of loophole that exists in the system, allowing big corporations to just harass their competitors without being sued back or even deterred by other patent arsenals.

The patent reform which the press speaks about these days is somewhat of a sham because it does not resolve the problems mentioned by those who have been calling for a patent reform. It is not entirely clear why the real problems are getting swept under the rug, unless of course one departs from the supposition that those in charge do not serve public interests. Here is a new AFP article which says about the exiting reform that is misses the point for the following reason (among others):

Endpoint Technologies Associates’ Kay said consideration should be given to doing away with software patents altogether.

“People patent any old thing and they repatent things that are already patented,” he said. “Really we should be going 180 degrees in the other direction and saying ‘How about no patents for software?’”

James Temple, a Chronicle columnist, also expressed scepticism along similar lines. “The real solution is raising the bar on what gets patented in the first place,” he wrote. “Technology industry patents are riddled with “fuzzy boundaries” – broadly-worded business methods and software solutions continually arrived at independently. If anyone can think it up, it ain’t that novel in the first place.”

“Protectionism and monopoly are not good for the public, but it is exceptionally beneficial to some people with a lot of money and power.”James Love, who has been busy in recent days looking at Cablegate cables just as we did, claims that “In #TPPA negotiation, White House wants negotiating text secret from public, but available to governments and big firms” (underlining the problem with the existing process).

According to other sources, patent firm “Jurasoft gives 20.000 EUR to German Pirate Party, while filing for software patents in DE: http://t.co/2Q5CYDY http://t.co/KVUcQCy” (as noted by Benjamin Henrion). Will this influence The party’s policies? It is not unusual for us to see groups that proclaim to represent public interest while in fact doing the opposite.

We remain hopeful that in this anti-competitive mess which puts Linux in danger there will be enough involvement from the public — not large corporations — which will result in elimination of software patents. Protectionism and monopoly are not good for the public, but it is exceptionally beneficial to some people with a lot of money and power. Their lucrative patent market is the embodiment of their entitlement. By crushing it, the public can take more power back from those who influence politics in private.

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

2 Comments

  1. saulgoode said,

    September 12, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Gravatar

    The U.S. Supreme Court has announced that next spring they will hear the case of Mayo versus Prometheus. This case involves a medical “process” but arguments against are closely related to the arguments against software patenting because the “process” is abstract and doesn’t result in any transformation of matter.

    The Cato Institute has submitted a well-written amicus brief (PDF) which attributes much of the problems of medical process, business method, and software patents to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals failing to intepret patent law as it was written by Congress and as it has historically been followed by the Supreme Court.

    The American Civil Liberties Union has also submitted an amicus brief which I presume comes down on the side of abrogating these patents, but I have not yet had the chance to peruse it.

    Hopefully, this time the Supreme Court — especially in light of the recent litigation frenzy taking place — will step up and provide an authoritative decision which abolishes these asinine patent grants.

    Jose_X Reply:

    Thanks for the links.

What Else is New


  1. Links 18/4/2015: ExTiX 15.2, RaspArch

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft Tired of Pretending to be Nice to Free/Open Source Software (FOSS), Microsoft 'Open' Technologies Dumped

    Microsoft dumps its proxy (misleadingly named 'Open Tech') and other attacks on Free software persist from the inside, often through so-called 'experts' whose agenda is to sell proprietary software



  3. More Translations of French Article About the EPO

    German and Dutch translations of the Le Monde article are now available



  4. Links 17/4/2015: Wipro and the Netherlands Want FOSS

    Links for the day



  5. Microsoft's Multi-Dimensional Assault on Android/Linux: Extortion, Lobbying of Regulators, and Bribes

    Microsoft's vicious war on Linux (and Android in its current incarnation) takes more sophisticated -- albeit illegal (as per the RICO Act) -- forms



  6. Microsoft's Plot to Associate Windows with 'Open Source' is Proving Effective, Despite Being Just a Big Lie

    A look at the latest headlines which can lead to a false perception that Microsoft is now in bed with 'Open Source'



  7. Microsoft Windows Remotely Crashed, Remotely Hijacked, But Still No Logo and No Branding for the Bugs

    Windows maintains its reputation as a back doors haven, but the media is still not highlighting the severity of this issue, instead focusing on accidental bugs in Free software, even very old (and already fixed) bugs



  8. Black Duck's Latest Self-Promotional Propaganda (for Proprietary Software) Still Fools Journalists

    Under the traditionally misleading title "Future of Open Source" Black Duck expresses its desire for proprietary software sales, salivating over fearful managers who may get bamboozled into buying the patents-'protected' Black Duck 'product'



  9. Links 16/4/2015: Opera for 32-bit GNU/Linux, New Chromebook Site

    Links for the day



  10. Links 15/4/2015: Plasma 5.3 Beta, Docker's New Funding

    Links for the day



  11. Microsoft is Still Googlebombing the Term Open Source and Fooling Politicians Who Now Think Microsoft is Open Source

    Microsoft's attempt to assimilate (to confuse) bears some fruit and the Microsoft-linked media plays a considerable role in it



  12. Back Doors/Bug Doors in All Versions of Microsoft Windows Need a Name, a Logo, and Branding Too

    All versions of Microsoft Windows are found to have been insecure since 1997, but the bug responsible for this is not named as candidate for back door access, let alone named (with logo and marketing) like far less severe bugs in Free/libre software such as OpenSSL



  13. OnePlus (or OnePlus Customers) Should Wipe CyanogenMod From Existing Devices and Install Something Else

    A call for OnePlus to reconsider any future updates from Microsoft's Trojan horse, Cyanogen



  14. Links 14/4/2015: 3DR Dronecode, Z1/Z2 Tizen

    Links for the day



  15. Links 13/4/2015: Linux 4.0 Released; A Look at Antergos 2015.04.12

    Links for the day



  16. EFF Uses Alice v. CLS Bank Case to Pressure USPTO to Halt Software Patenting

    A look at recent patent policies and actions from the EFF, as well as increasing secrecy at the USPTO



  17. No, Panasonic Did Not Open-Source Anything (Another Example of Openwashing for PR)

    A dissection of media deception (or media being bamboozled) regarding the act of promising not to sue using patents, which in no way relates to Free/Open Source software



  18. Yes, Software Patents Are Dying, But Media Continues to Be Dominated by Those Denying it For a Salary

    The debate about software patents in this post-Alice era parallels the Net neutrality debate, where voices of people with vested interests contribute to confusion and meddle with largely-accepted views/consensus



  19. Links 12/4/2015: Linux 4.0 Imminent, Semplice 7 Reviewed

    Links for the day



  20. GNU/Linux is Crushing Windows, So Microsoft Leaps Ahead to X+2 Vapourware (Two Versions Ahead Into the Future)

    Microsoft continues to pile up bogus claims and empty promises in an effort to stall migrations to GNU/Linux



  21. The ITC's and US Media's Surprisingly Soft Treatment of Patent Bully Apple

    Despite Apple's history of initiating patent aggression against its competition (mostly Android-backing companies), the US corporate media treats Apple like a victim



  22. Microsoft Continues to Attack (and Tax) Linux Using Software Patents

    Microsoft stabs Linux in the back while it continues to insist that it 'loves' Linux



  23. European Unitary Patent Decision Due 5th of May

    The meta-industry of patent protectionism is debating and pushing forth the Unitary Patent Court, with or without endorsement from the European public



  24. Microsoft is Still Googlebombing 'Open Source'

    Microsoft's massive campaign of deception, obfuscation and misuse of the "Open Source" brand is still on, even a week after it was cleverly started by Condé Nast



  25. Links 11/4/2015: elementary OS Freya, Mageia 5 on the Way

    Links for the day



  26. Links 10/4/2015: Linux 4.0 Imminent, ZFS On Linux Improved

    Links for the day



  27. New Article Chronicles Suicides and Nervous Breakdowns at the EPO Due to the Management's Abuses

    Article from Le Monde translated into English



  28. Links 9/4/2015: SalentOS, Semplice Releases

    Links for the day



  29. The EPO is Becoming More Like the USPTO Under Benoît Battistelli's Greed-Driven Reign

    Recent articles about the EPO and the Unitary Patent are bundled together to highlight truly disturbing developments whereby those in power beget power through instruments of state-sanctioned power, such as the EPO (stateless entity within a continent-wide 'island')



  30. More Suicides Reported at the Staff-Hostile European Patent Office

    The EPO has become so rogue that it might as well be renamed the Euthanasia-Prodding Organisation


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