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. The EPO's Media Partners Like Les Echos Already Produce EPO Puff Pieces (Marketing/Stenography)

    EPO promotion disguised as reporting or journalism, as seen in the media partners of the EPO well before these partnerships even begin



  2. Unitary Microsoft: EPO Excludes People Who Are Not Microsoft Customers From UPC Participation

    The EPO just can't help providing special treatment to Microsoft, not only when it comes to patent applications but also when it comes to rejecting stakeholders/applicants who dare not become Microsoft customers



  3. Links 30/5/2016: Linux 4.7 RC1, Best Linux Distros

    Links for the day



  4. Make Nothing, Sue Everybody: The Reality of Patent Trolls Increasingly Understood by the 'Mainstream'

    New patent stories and even extensive coverage at PBS, which dedicated a whole program to these matters but failed to address the core issue, which is software patenting



  5. [ES] Advertencia: La Vigilancia de la EPO Surveillance Puede Haberse Convertido en Más Intrusiva

    BlueCoat, que la EPO usa para oprimir a sus empleados en sus premisas Europeas, acaba de ajustar más y hacerse más intrusiva y los empleados pueden estar en riesgo



  6. [ES] Tarjeta de Victima Termina en Otra Torpeza para Battistelli Seis de su Guardia Pretoriana

    Battistelli esta destruyéndo lo que queda de la reputación de la EPO (después de las décadas que le costó a ella construírla) mientras los medios continúan escrutinando su desastroso régimen



  7. [ES] La EPO esta Excelente, Dice Sitio de ‘Noticias’ Conectado a Ella

    Los caraduras de la ‘revista’ IAM, viejo aliado de la EPO, da la impresión a la gente de que en la EPO todo esta bien y dandy aunque claramente ese no es el caso



  8. New EPO Caricature: Nouveaux Garde-Vélo (New Bicycle Guards)

    A new cartoon poking fun at Battistelli's bicycles and the perceived threat these are under



  9. Battistelli's 'Special Relationship' With Portugal and the 'Inventor of the Year' Charade

    What makes Portugal rather unique when it comes to Mr. Battistelli, who is allegedly desperate for support from smaller countries whose vote is easier to 'win'



  10. Patent Lawyers' Marketing Dominates and Marginalises Meaningful Analyses of Software Patenting in the US

    In an effort to create demand for software patents again, patent lawyers produce a huge heap of so-called 'analyses' which piggyback just one single decision (the exception, not the norm)



  11. A Mix of Patent Aggression and Sanctions/Raids (Using Controversial Patents) Against East Asian Companies

    New stories that demonstrate patent protectionism and show how Western industry, which barely makes anything anymore, relies on patents (software and design patents included) and this self-serving patent regime perpetuates itself even in Asia, where almost everything is actually being manufactured (and often/increasingly designed/developed too)



  12. Rumour: Battistelli Wants to Extend the Term of Topić's EPO Appointment in Spite of Criminal Charges Against Him

    The EPO's 'ringleader', Mr. Battistelli, is trying to keep his confidants (like Mr. Minnoye and Željko Topić) together for several more years to come, even defying rules regarding retirement age



  13. Links 29/5/2016: NetBSD 7.0.1, Genode OS 16.05

    Links for the day



  14. [ES] La Gerencia de la EPO Bajo Creciénte Estres por las Autoridades Legales Croatas, Políticas Alemanas, y los Medios Italianos

    Las cosas no son color rosa como la calma relativa sugiere, y esperamos en las próximas semanas mayores eventos otros que la protesta en todas las sedes de la EPO a través de Europa



  15. [ES] Los Medios de Comunicación Comienzan a Informar al Público Europeo Acercas de las Desventájas de la UPC Mientras que la EPO Acelera su Cabildeo por Ratificación

    La vergonzósa promoción de la UPC por parte de la EPO da otro paso adelánte mientras que venues de la prensa Europea (incluso canales de televisión) comienzan a explorar el arreglo secreto que es negociado por los abogados de patentes (con clientes corpórativos) y las oficinas de patentes, no el público o cualquier grupo que represente los intereses del público en general



  16. [ES] Algunos Detalles Acerca de ¿Cómo el Presidente de la EPO Es Rumoreado Estar Comprando Votos, y el Porqué es Suficientemente Base Para un Despido Inmediato?

    Algo de información tras las cortinas y una detallada explicación de la dependencia finánciera sistemática, creada por Battistelli a un costode €13 millónes o más, la cuál evita una efectiva supervisión de Battistelli



  17. Mishi Choudhary and Mike Masnick Explain Why India Should Reject Software Patents

    Both an Indian activist-lawyer and a widely-recognised author from the US explain to Indians why over-reliance on patents -- and acceptance of patents on software in particular -- is a very bad idea



  18. Microsoft Boosters Pretend Microsoft Fights for Privacy While the Company Uses Malware Tactics to Put Keyloggers on Everyone's Computers

    In spite of malware-inspired tactics that should land Microsoft in courts of law all around the world (as a defendant), Microsoft-friendly circles pretend that the company fights for people's rights like privacy -- all this when Microsoft installs keyloggers on people's PCs without their consent and obviously against their will



  19. Battistelli's Assault on EPO Staff's Right to Strike in Relation to French Politics and That 'Bicycle' Pretext for Crackdowns

    The latest bicycle 'gossip' and how it's being used, based on expectations from EPO staff, to introduce further crackdowns on human/labour rights



  20. Vice-President of the EPO Under Investigation: Treason, Abuse, Violations, Giving and Receiving Bribes

    An English translation of documents involving the Organised Crime Section of the Criminal Police Department in Zagreb, where the Vice-President of the EPO faces criminal charges



  21. EPO Management Warns People About Scams When the EPO's Management is Itself Falling for Scams

    Jesper Kongstad, the Chairman of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation, helps demonstrate that not even the EPO is intelligent enough to spot an obvious scam



  22. Links 28/5/2016: Wine 1.9.11, New Gentoo

    Links for the day



  23. Links 27/5/2016: Android for Raspberry Pi, Google Beats Oracle in Court

    Links for the day



  24. Warning: EPO Surveillance May Have Just Gotten Even More Intrusive

    BlueCoat, which the EPO uses to enable oppression inside its European premises, has just gotten even nastier and staff may be at risk



  25. Victim Card Ends up in Another Blunder for Battistelli and His Six Bodyguards

    Battistelli is wrecking what's left of the EPO's reputation (after decades it took the Office to earn it) as the media continues to scrutinise his appalling regime



  26. Italian Report About EPO Now Available in English

    An English translation of a TV program which earlier this month documented some of the glaring problems at the EPO



  27. The EPO is Doing Great, Says EPO-Connected 'News' Site

    IAM 'magazine', a longtime ally of the EPO, gives people the impression that all is fine and dandy at the EPO even though that's clearly not the case



  28. Microsoft Has Killed Nokia (and Its Own Mobile Ambitions), But Watch What it Does With Patents

    Microsoft announces many more layoffs, having already caused tremendous damage to the Finnish economy, and patents are left astray for Microsoft's favourite patent trolls to pick



  29. EPO Management Under Growing Stress From Croatian Law Enforcement Authorities, German Politicians, Italian Media

    Things are not as rosy as the relative calm may suggest, and in the coming weeks we expect some major events other than the protest at all EPO sites across Europe



  30. Microsoft, a Dead Company Walking, Resorts to Malware Tactics, Now Truly Indistinguishable From Crackers

    Microsoft is essentially taking over people's PCs and installing on them a large piece of malware, complete with keyloggers, against the will of these PCs' owners


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