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

10.06.11

Patents Roundup: Europe Under Pressure, Microsoft Moles in the Press, and More Patent Trolls

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 1:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Medieval window

Summary: An accumulation of news about patents around the world with emphasis on issues that affect Free/open source software or companies that support it

SOFTWARE patents are still #1 on the agenda here. The same goes for Groklaw, where almost every post is about this subject, including this latest post.

It is well understood why software patents are bad and we generally understand the dirty politics that made these legal in the US. But over here in Europe we still see remnants of these dirty politics trying to legalise software patents through the back door. To quote:

Draft Agreement on Unified Court ‘unwise’, concludes EPLAW

PatLit thanks Dr Jochen Pagenberg (President of the European Patent Lawyers’ Association EPLAW and one of the most experienced patent scholars in Europe) for drawing the following highly pertinent criticisms of the proposed Unified Patent Court to its attention [this post will be cited later today on the IPKat weblog, following yesterday's post on the report of last week's Warsaw Conference here].

Bosson’s general response can be found here (FFII affiliated):

Killing EU innovation with a unitary “more patents!” court

[...]

I also got strong reactions from patent attorneys from Stallmans piece in the Guradian. They say that software patents are already established in the EU, why does he not understand that? That debate was over ten years ago! But thats not true. Its happening right here and now while software patents are ever more questioned and tried publicly. What happened ten years ago is coming into the public light – and it shames the patent institutions. Its also a trial of legitimacy. Where monopolist proponents try to establish software patents like MS: “We live in a world where we honor, and support the honoring of, intellectual property,” says Ballmer in an interview. FOSS patrons are going to have to “play by the same rules as the rest of the business,” he insists. “What’s fair is fair.” (see Glyn Moody on techdirt). A European court that protects the “users” of the patent-system would allow MS to litigate for licenses in one strike over all of EU.

According to British patent lawyers, “Halliburton gets simulation patent after all”, which is a dangerous precedence.

It’s not yet available online, but yesterday’s Patents Court for England and Wales decision of Judge Birss QC (taking time off from his busy schedule in the Patents County Court to sit as a Deputy High Court Judge) in Halliburton Energy Inc’s Patent has already been announced, at something approaching the speed of light, as a Hogarth Newsflash. The news-flasher (if that be the correct term) is the IPKat’s friend Richard Davis (Hogarth), instructed by Hoffmann Eitle on behalf of Halliburton. Normally this Kat would not deign to comment on a decision on so mundane and uncontroversial as the patentability of computer software, but this case is an exception. Why? Because it’s the first time since the blog was founded in 2003 that a successful appellant, its instructing firm and the barristerial chambers have all commenced with the letter H.

Glyn Moody responds with:

[R]eally bad UK decision on [software patents]

According to these British patent lawyers, people in the UK are working to get this whole software patents abomination passed. To quote the blog post in question:

By total coincidence, while the Kat was citing Daniel v Lions at the LIDC Conference, a whole group of Daniels was being cast to the lions the other end of Europe, in the lovely city of Warsaw. The cause of this was the Academy of European Law’s conference, The Future Unified Patent Litigation System in the European Union, “organised in the framework of the Polish EU Presidency of the EU Council” which was billed as providing

“… a platform for discussion on the new draft agreement on a Unified Patent Court presented by the Hungarian Presidency on 14 June 2011″.

What, perchance was to be discussed on this platform? The programme explained:

“The objective of the conference is to analyse how issues raised by the Court of Justice of the European Union in its Opinion 1/09 on the previous version of the agreement regarding compatibility with EU law were addressed, as well as to promote an exchange of views between courts and practitioners on the functioning of the European Patent Court”.

The event commanded an all-star line-up of speakers.

This is the type of activity that we need to keep an eye on because there are always attempts to expand the US patent system to more continents. The reality is, a lot of software patents are rubbish and they are quite easily invalidated by prior art, even though it can be a lengthy (and thus expensive) process. Google, for example, is apparently shooting down Oracle/Sun patents, based on a report which says:

Oracle listed more than 130 patent claims in its original complaint against Google for infringing Java patents in mobile operating system Android. The presiding judge felt that this was too many claims for a trial scheduled to last three weeks and suggested reducing it to three.

Four weeks before the trial is expected to start, Oracle has now set out its position. Fifteen claims will be looked at, plus eleven ‘mirrored’ claims. This ‘mirroring’ of claims extends them from the pure method to a combination with an apparatus or a machine-readable medium. The claims are taken from six different patents, but one of the original patents, number 6125447, is no longer part of the complaint.

Look how quickly the numbers drop. But this process is very expensive and laborious. There is so much money at stake (potentially billions), so Google will fight on. There are other new stories of software patents, such as one that says “Facebook [Got] Sued For Patent Infringement For Online Photo Albums”.

The USPTO is largely responsible for this mess and SCOTUS has done almost nothing to help change the principles of patenting. It is said to be part of a pattern based on this new blog post that says:

Supreme Court Decides Software Law By Not Deciding

[...]

Did I hear someone mention software? Yes, though it has been a critical part of the economy for decades now, software remains a stumbling block for the courts. Last year’s patent law decision, Bilski v. Kappos demonstrated some of the stumbling.

Watch this new infographic titled “Patent Evil” and mind the growth of the meta-industry of litigation and extortion, based on announcements like expansions. If this is what counts as progress, we need none of it.

A patent trolls that went to war against a lot of companies makes a statement about the USPTO these days (the patents are like the whole company). Microsoft typically uses this troll to paint itself as a victim, but it is actually Microsoft that has many victims. It is extorting companies that actually produce phones and then spins that as amicable agreements. Microsoft moles are injecting themselves into the press to create Android and Linux misinformation and Bloomberg fails massively by quoting former Microsoft employee and known Android basher for some anti-Google poison (that would be Michael Gartenberg [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15], see this latest “IP” promotion). Some readers told us that NPR quotes Microsoft Florian and Enderle on this subject, That is just sad. Do they not know who those people really are?

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has meanwhile started to tackle this issue more than before by writing about patent trolls and not just Linux. To quote:

Ask not for whom the patent troll sues, he sues you. It used to be patent trolls only bothered to sue large companies. After all, that’s where the big bucks were. Now, however, Innovatio IP, a new company that exists solely to shake money down for its Wi-Fi patents, is targeting individual branches of hotel, coffee shops and restaurant chains. You, with your home Wi-Fi access point, may be next.

None of these franchised businesses, which include Hyatt, Marriott, Wyndham, Ramada Inn, Best Western, Days Inn, Super 8 Hotels, Travelodge, Caribou Coffee, Cosi and Panera Bread, make or develop technology. All they do is offer Wi-Fi services. That’s enough, as reported by Patent Examiner, for Matthew McAndrews, a partner at Chicago-based law firm Niro, Haller & Niro, and the lnnovatio lead litigator, to state, “We want you to continue to use this technology, we just want our client to get his due share. This is not a seat-of-the-pants, fly-by-night shakedown.”

Notice Niro in there. It is the father of patent trolling, who is still out there..

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

What Else is New


  1. Microsoft Loves Linux to Death and Still Tries to Kill GNU/Linux

    Microsoft's relentless attacks on GNU/Linux and Free software in general (even if it runs on Windows) are so evident that claims of 'love' remain laughable at best (if not infuriating)



  2. Censorship, Self-Censorship and Intimidation Now the Modus Operandi at EPO

    The European Patent Office has ceased even trying to pretend that it respects human rights, including the right to free speech



  3. Patent Practitioners: "The Unitary Patent Might be Able to Open the Floodgates for Software Patents in Europe"

    The EPO-backed Unitary Patent scheme threatens to bring software patents to Europe and along with them a lot of patent trolls from all around the world (especially the United States)



  4. Microsoft Lies About Vista 10 and Increases Microsoft Surveillance (Even Beyond Vista 10 and Into Android, Vista 7/8)

    Windows surveillance expands retroactively, making its way into platforms other than Windows and also expanding to predecessors of Vista 10



  5. Another Suicide at the EPO, Fifth by Our Count

    Yet another EPO member of staff has just committed suicide, leading to the inevitable question: how many people need to die before Battistelli and his minions are out of the Office for good?



  6. Links 27/8/2015: ownCloud Desktop Client 2.0, Red Hat Downgraded

    Links for the day



  7. Microsoft-connected Mesosphere Threatens to Eliminate Free Software in the Datacentre

    Hiding behind a misleading 'open' label while actually backed by Microsoft (and based on new rumours may join Microsoft), Mesosphere wishes to eradicate Free and back doors-free software in large datacentres hosting a lot of physical and virtual servers



  8. Microsoft Aggression Against GNU/Linux Amid Vista 10's Failure

    A look at the recent assault on GNU/Linux in Munich and the likely cause for this assault (in such a timely fashion, too)



  9. Message to LinuxCon Regarding Microsoft: “It is Necessary to Get Behind Someone in Order to Stab Them in the Back.” -Sir Humphrey Appleby

    Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, helps Microsoft gain influence in the Foundation after payments are received



  10. Market Share Estimates Confirm That Vista 10 Failed in a Major Way

    Confirmatory evidence that Vista 10 is failing in the market about a month after its much-hyped (paid coverage) release



  11. When Microsoft, the Master of Patent Trolls, Complains About Trolls

    Possibly the world's biggest patent abuser and monopolist, which also creates many patent trolls (including by far the biggest one), takes on a far smaller abuser in Court



  12. Letter Signed by Two German Officials Becomes a Microsoft Weapon of Propaganda

    Microsoft and its minions refuse to leave Munich alone, even though the vast majority in Munich are perfectly happy with Free/libre software



  13. Links 25/8/2015: Linux Kernel 4.2 Final RC, KDE Ships Plasma 5.4.0

    Links for the day



  14. Sabine Pfeiler and Otto Seidl Should Take Note as Russia -- Like China -- is in the Process of Banning Microsoft Windows for Security Reasons

    A look at a strange suggestion, signed by Sabine Pfeiler and Otto Seidl, who suggest going back to Microsoft which is basically a spyware company now



  15. Microsoft Windows Leads to Espionage and Blackmail: Latest Examples

    Another news overview, detailing high-profile examples of high-cost Windows deployments (including the cost of litigation and settlement)



  16. Links 23/8/2015: BcacheFS Benchmarks, Blackphone 2

    Links for the day



  17. Links 22/8/2015: Chromebook Gains, GNOME 3.18 Clues

    Links for the day



  18. Alice v. CLS Bank (the Alice Case/§101) Continues to Crush Software Patents in the United States

    Patent scope in the United States continues to be narrowed down as more software patents get their wings clipped



  19. Company of Hype and 'Fanbois' Continues Its Patent Attacks on Android/Linux

    Apple's attacks on Android (using bogus patents) may be soon be escalated to the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS)



  20. EPO Corruption of Patent Boundaries: Business Methods and Algorithms Patented

    How the European Patent Office (EPO) not only turns a blind eye to European law while patenting or granting patents on software but also openly advocates this now



  21. Who's Obsessing Over Patent Trolls in Latest 'Reform' Efforts? Larger Patent Trolls Such as Xerox

    Response to claims that the patent problem is being tackled by focusing on patent trolls and their favourite courts in the Eastern District of Texas



  22. Links 20/8/2015: Fedora 24 Plans, Ubuntu Phones in India

    Links for the day



  23. Blackmail and Lies From the Press and the Government of New Zealand Attempt to Sell to the Public a Deal That Broadens Patent Scope

    Corporate conquest or takeover of New Zealand culminates in empty promises from government officials and blackmail against citizens of New Zealand, especially the country's dairy industry



  24. Vista 10 Turns PCs Into Zombies: Microsoft to Remotely Delete Software From Windows, Like Amazon Deleted Books From Kindle

    Microsoft allows itself to remotely delete software from Vista 10 (not just Microsoft's software), as revealed by the mainstream media not too long after the failed launch (poor adoption so far)



  25. Black Duck Still Destroying, Lying, Rewriting History

    Black Duck is still carrying water for Microsoft and pretends to be working for 'Open Source', despite doing it much harm and doing nothing that is actually Open Source



  26. Ashley Madison Disaster Apparently the Fault of Microsoft Windows

    New reports serve to show that Ashley Madison's data which got leaked includes complete dump of corporate Windows passwords



  27. After OOXML Propaganda, New Assocham Propaganda Calls for Back Doors, Spyware and Other Malicious, Self-defeating Traps Inside Government of India

    Assocham is showing its true colours yet again, lobbying for the interests of foreign companies and endorsing serious abuse or compromise of India's national sovereignty



  28. Links 19/8/2015: LinuxCon Everywhere

    Links for the day



  29. Links 18/8/2015: Linux 4.2 RC7, IBM's LinuxOne

    Links for the day



  30. Patents Roundup: Patent Reform, Google's 'Startups' Ploy, JDate, Fitbit, Cisco, and UPC in the UK

    A collection of news stories about patents, accumulated over the past week or so


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