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

10.26.11

Patents Roundup: Patent Lawyers, USPTO ‘Thieves’, Apple, and Microsoft

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Patents at 10:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A bootleg video recording

Summary: A variety of this week’s news about patents, including some from Apple and Microsoft

MORE people are becoming aware of the problems with software patents, which nonetheless percolate into new statements, press releases, and other items that we find in the news. The reputation of patents seems to have declined and facilitators of the patent system are becoming somewhat of a laughing stock.

We particularly liked this new example from Blackboard, which for PR purposes claims to be embracing Open Content that is easy to do when one’s code is proprietary and patents encumbered. To quote:

Blackboard.com, which offers “learning management systems,” became a big deal at a time when many schools were still learning how to put teaching in the cloud. Critics called for a boycott of Blackboard in 2006 after it used a flimsy software patent to sue a rival, and raised fears that it would sue universities that were using their own teaching software tools rather than Blackboard’s products. The controversy abated in 2009, however, when a court found that the patent claims were invalid.

Many software patents are invalid in principle (prior art and triviality), but it costs a lot of money for a defendant to challenge them because the process and the system are broken, favouring the claimant (in court) and the applicant (in the patent monopolies office). Look no further than this article from a Mac site. It ridicules Apple’s own patents, which given the site’s bias is saying a lot. To quote the diversion (blaming the system rather than Apple):

Slide to Unlock? Patented

[...]

It’s a bit silly, really, but blame it on the patent system. Be that as it may, nobody now gets to use the popular ‘Slide to Unlock’ without infringing on Apple’s patent unless a court rules it is invalid or prior art. Here’s a video of the 2004-5 Neonode N1m, showing a similar Slide to Unlock that existed before the iPhone (4 minutes in):

We’ve all seen it before. There are more complicated examples which are actually physical and go centuries/millenia back. How could Apple have been granted a monopoly on this? It is an insult to Apple and to the USPTO. Any little kid could independently come up with the same “idea”. A lot of Apple’s patents are artsy and outright ridiculous.

Richard Hillesley has a good new article with a dramatic headline and it goes like this:

All patents are theft

If necessity is the mother of invention, patents are its delinquent offspring, providing stumbling blocks to innovation and progress, inhibiting the free exchange of ideas, and restricting our knowledge of how things work…

Patents are of course a restriction and a monopoly. They do not in any way help professionals move science and technology forward.

Over at Muktware there is this new piece about Microsoft’s self-defeating fight against Linux/Android:

Microsoft is fast earning the reputation of being a troll instead of an innovator in the mobile space. The company dominated the desktop segment purely on the basis of anti-competitive business practices where they forced all competitors out of the market thus creating a monopoly. That monopoly is collapsing as OS is becoming more and more redundant in the era of Web and mobile computing.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone is a massive failure. Instead of pulling up socks and creating better products the company has resorted to the same old anti-competitive business practices which it used for selling its ‘stolen’, as Steve Jobs said, Windows OS.

“Stolen” and “theft” are propaganda terms in this context. But they can be embraced like the word “piracy” (as in Pirate Party and The Pirate Bay) to challenge and ridicule those who initiated or perpetuated the propaganda, including Steve Jobs.

“We are not on a path to win against Linux”

Jim Allchin, Microsoft's Platform Group Vice President

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

4 Comments

  1. Michael said,

    October 26, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Gravatar

    You whine about Apple’s slide to unlock patent. I can see complaining it is “too simple” or something, but to say there is prior art and then show two examples which do not demonstrate that is silly. Neither fit the description of the patent.

    Given your obsession with attacking Apple, if there was prior art you likely would have found it. You did not. Hence it is likely there is none.

  2. walterbyrd said,

    October 26, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Gravatar

    According to PCMag, Apple may be targeting HTC again.

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2395316,00.asp#fbid=spWg_h4Ere8

    According to a commenter there:

    > “The Neonode had a slide gesture to unlock. Also, the Neonode (and others) had user slide gestures WITH visual feedback (such as moving a window, highlighting selections, etc.) for years before. ”

    Apple is mostly just a scam litigation company.

  3. walterbyrd said,

    October 26, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Gravatar

    August 2011:

    Dutch judge considers Apple’s slide-to-unlock patent trivial and likely invalid

    > “The Dutch judge who wrote today’s decision declared the European counterpart of that patent (EP20080903) obvious (as compared to prior art presented by Samsung) and, therefore, invalid.”

    http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011/08/dutch-judge-considers-apples-slide-to.html

  4. Michael said,

    October 26, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Gravatar

    If there is prior art then fine. And calling it trivial – I can see a case for that.

    My question is why Roy feels the need to lie about it?

What Else is New


  1. How to Complain About the EPO to National Delegations in Europe: Part IX

    Contact details for national delegations to whom complaints can and should be made regarding irregularities and bad behaviour at the European Patent Office (EPO)



  2. Microsoft Still Engages in Criminal Activities Against Linux, Openwashing Efforts Continue Nonetheless





  3. Microsoft Openwashing and Hatred of GNU/Linux

    Microsoft's outrageous claim that it really "loves" that which it is constantly attacking gets rejected by Free/Open Source software (FOSS) luminaries; the Microsoft-friendly media continues the charm offensive nonetheless



  4. Links 31/10/2014: Rubin Leaves Google, Neelie Kroes Ends EU Career

    Links for the day



  5. The EPO Is More Corrupt Under Battistelli Than Under Alison Brimelow: Part VIII

    After Brimelow, with all her flaws and her scandals, an even worse President is installed who then abolishes oversight and seemingly brings his old friends to the EPO, creating a sort of subculture that is impenetrable to outsiders



  6. Claiming That Microsoft 'Loves' Linux While Windows Update Bricks Devices With Linux

    The sheer absurdity of claims that Microsoft -- which not only attacks those who distribute Linux and GNU but also blackmails them, takes them to court, or bricks their products without any liability -- 'loves' Linux



  7. Protectionist Reign: Corporations in Complete Control of Everything With Domination Over Patent Law

    How multinational corporations, joined by the corporate press that they are funding, promote a corporations- but not people-friendly patent policy in north America



  8. Links 30/10/2014: GNOME 3.15.1, Red Hat Software Collections 1.2

    Links for the day



  9. Links 29/10/2014: Ubuntu Touch Tablet, Puppy Linux 6.0

    Links for the day



  10. Links 28/10/2014: SUSE Linux Enterprise 12, Canonical OpenStack Distro

    Links for the day



  11. Links 28/10/2014: PiFxOS, The Document Foundation in OSBA

    Links for the day



  12. Microsoft is Bricking Devices With Linux (Yet Again!), So a Microsoft Booster Spins/Paints Linux Devices as 'Fakes'

    Microsoft delivers rogue drivers through Windows Update and they brick Arduino microcontrollers



  13. How Bill Gates Continues to Pass Wealth From the Public to His Own Bank Account

    Having put a universal tax on many things (not just computers) and evaded tax using the classic 'charity' trick, Gates is now buying the media, the schools, politicians etc. and earns as much as 10 billion dollars per year while the public is taught that Gates is a giver, not a hoarder of the worst kind



  14. Links 27/10/2014: Lenovo Unbundling, Linux 3.18 RC2

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: September 14th, 2014 – October 25th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  16. Links 25/10/2014: KDE Mockups, Update on GNOME Outreach Program for Women

    Links for the day



  17. After Infecting Unity -- Successfully -- Microsoft's Partner Xamarin Wants to Infect Unreal Engine With .NET

    Xamarin continues to spread dependence on Microsoft to more gaming frameworks, not just platforms such as GNU/Linux, Android, and even permanent-state devices



  18. Taking Microsoft Windows Off the Grid for Damage to Businesses, the Internet, and Banking Systems

    Microsoft's insecure-by-design software is causing massive damages ([cref 27802 possibly trillions] of [cref 13992 dollars in damages to date]) and yet the corporate press does not ask the right questions, let alone suggest a ban on Microsoft software



  19. City of Berlin Does Not Abandon Free Software, It's Only Tax Authorities

    A Softpedia report that says the City of Berlin is moving to Microsoft Office is flawed and may be based on a poor translation



  20. Nadella a Liar in Chief at Microsoft, Pretending That His Anti-Competitive Practices Are Unfortunately Imposed on Microsoft

    The nastiness of Microsoft knows no bounds as even its assault on GNU/Linux and dirty tricks against Free software adoption are characterised as the fault of 'pirates'



  21. Reuters Writes About the Demise of Software Patents, But Focuses on 'Trolls' and Quotes Lawyers

    How the corporate media chooses to cover the invalidity of many software patents and the effect of that



  22. Links 24/10/2014: Microsoft Tax Axed in Italy, Google's Linux (ChromeOS/Android) Leader Promoted

    Links for the day



  23. Links 24/10/2014: GNU/Linux History, Fedora Delay

    Links for the day



  24. Links 23/10/2014: New *buntu, Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  25. Links 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

    Links for the day



  26. Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

    Links for the day



  27. Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  28. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  29. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")



  30. The Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past


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