Summary: Comcast comes to the UK with patent demands; UK-based patent lawyers still cheer for software patents (which they would profit from)
Earlier this month everyone was speaking about patents in the context of the so-called ‘reform’. This reform did nothing to remove or prevent patents on very basic ideas. To give an example from the news: “Comcast, based in Philadelphia, asked for a jury trial and an award of legal fees from London-based BT Telecommunications Plc in a complaint filed Sept. 19 in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware. [...] The patents cover network-traffic management, pricing methods, fault monitoring and other functions, according to court papers.”
“Opposition to patents has grown more popular, with even political parties like the Swedish Pirate Party speaking out against patents, as a matter of fundamental policy.”In other words, poor Comcast (with almost $40 billion in revenue) wants British people to pay it some tax via BT and due to patents — patents on software and business methods to make matters a lot worse. BT is actually not quite the victim here because as we showed some years ago, based on reports from India, BT uses patents in a colonialist fashion as well. It got patents on very controversial ‘inventions’ which were also trivial.
There is this ongoing debate about the meaning of “abstract” — a debate which even the EFF participated in. It has become clear that protectionist measures for taxing one’s competitors have gone too far, especially scope-wise. There is a need for real reform, not lipstick on a pig.
Opposition to patents has grown more popular, with even political parties like the Swedish Pirate Party speaking out against patents, as a matter of fundamental policy. The German Pirate Party is now funded by patent supporters as we noted earlier this month, so as patent lawyers in London help show, one oughtn’t expect a real reform coming from them. There are other patents boosters (usually lawyers with blogs) who seek to discredit critics of this system, trying to paint them as greedy thieves or something along those lines (some use the word “pirates”).
Should one pay attention to them at all? “Don’t feed the trolls” probably applies here. █