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09.30.11

Phantom ‘Industry’ of Patents

Posted in Patents at 9:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mascarada

Summary: The judging of companies based on immaterial things and some examples from the news

The West does not produce like it once did. It therefore cannot export much, either (it is hardly even self-contained, self-sufficient, or self-sustaining). So it made up this weird system which says that paper-pushers and so-called ‘knowledge workers’ deserve a piece of the pie as long as they use terms like “R&D” or “intellectual property” (falsely implying that they create something tangible). Responsible for perpetuating this system and spreading it to all countries we have institutions like WIPO and WTO. Gradually, as Cablegate cables help show, all nations are being shamed or blackmailed into assimilation. The world is gradually being hijacked by paper-pushers so what’s theirs remains theirs and what’s ours becomes theirs too (their ‘intellectual’ monopolies). We need to fight back against this. News from this year helps show how regions like Africa and even India are pressured to give away resources in exchange for access to knowledge. What kind of an absurd transaction is that?

In other news, there is new litigation in India (where patent trolls were recently named) and Amazon’s 1-click shopping rears that ugly head again: “Amazon’s controversial 1-Click shopping technology does not infringe on patents owned by software developer Cordance Corp., a federal appeals court ruled on Friday.”

“News from this year helps show how regions like Africa and even India are pressured to give away resources in exchange for access to knowledge.”Why should such patents be allowed in the first place? There is nothing physical to actually patent, it is just a concept. If patent lawyers run this system, everything on Earth would be patentable. Without scope, the patent system becomes totally obsolete and it’s stories like this one that help remind us of the ‘phantom’ industry which trades patents rather than products. “Patents included in the Truenames portfolio have already been licensed to numerous companies including Iron Mountain, Skype, Audible Magic and Limewire, and are co-owned in a defined field by Level 3 Communications,” says the article. But what about products? Patents are not products, they are a monopoly certificate of sorts. How about this news about the ‘purchase’ of knowledge [1, 2] or this new ‘licensing’ deal? Again, nothing physical there. Since when can knowledge be traded like it’s an object? This whole morbid system has brought us to the point where Groklaw covers patent issues rather than copyright questions like the SCO case. Here are two of the latest items there:

  • Oracle v. Google – Orders, Orders, Orders

    There have been a significant number of orders issued by the court in Oracle v. Google in the last few days, and the parties continue to do battle over several issues, including the Lindholm emails and the Cockburn Damages Report.

  • Lodsys – Some Interesting New Defenses Arise

    Several of the defendants in the Lodsys v. adidas action have now filed their answers and counterclaims, including Sam’s West, Inc, Vitamin Shoppe, Inc., and CVS Pharmacy Inc. Normally this would not be something in which we would be particularly interested – if you have seen one set of answers and counterclaims to an infringement action, the rest are fairly predictable. But that is not the case in this instance. Some of the affirmative defenses asserted by these parties caught our eye because of what they suggest.

Attempts to impede Linux/GPL through copyrights have repeatedly failed (Psystar failed too, as Groklaw shows in its latest post), so patents are the main problem to watch out for. Phantom enemy is not what they are because they are the true enemy, but they sure thrive in a phantom ‘industry’ comprising mostly parasites. This ought to change.

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