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. US Government Finally Probes Microsoft Over Financial Fraud, Microsoft Then Bullies the Government With a Lawsuit

    Microsoft is finally being investigated -- perhaps properly too -- for its well-known tax abuses that have so far proved that Microsoft is "too big to jail"; Microsoft is suing the investigator, exerting its abusive power to discourage further investigation



  2. Gagging Critics: Micro Focus-Run SUSE Bribes Journalists in Exchange for Positive Coverage

    Amid the takeover by Micro Focus, SUSE pays journahayess (especially critics) who in turn become some kind of advertisements feed of Novell



  3. Links 25/11/2014: Tizen News, Jolla Tablet Past Million

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  5. 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)



  6. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  10. 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



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

    Links for the day



  12. 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



  13. 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



  14. 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



  15. 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



  16. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Many IRC logs



  19. 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



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

    A quick roundup of news of interest regarding software patents



  21. 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



  22. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  25. 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



  26. 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)



  27. 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)



  28. 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



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

    Links for the day



  30. .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


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