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. Links 27/8/2014: GNU/Linux in Space, China, LinuxCon

    Links for the day



  2. FUD Against Google and FOSS Security Amid Microsoft Windows Security Blunders

    In the age of widespread fraud due to Microsoft Windows with its back doors there is an attempt to shift focus to already-fixed flaws/deficiencies in competitors of Microsoft



  3. Microsoft Spin Watch: IDG Turns to More Microsoft Propaganda, Hires Microsoft Boosters

    Media in Microsoft's pocket is telling Microsoft's lies and deceives the public for Microsoft's bottom line



  4. Microsoft's Massive Tax Evasion Becomes Better Known

    A new report about Microsoft's admission that it plays dirty tricks with tax (sometimes using moles in government) is increasing awareness of Microsoft's criminal aspects



  5. Links 25/8/2014: China's Linux Revolution Imminent

    Links for the day



  6. Links 24/8/2014: GNU/Linux Specialisation and Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  7. Links 23/8/2014: GNU/Linux Growth

    Links for the day



  8. Microsoft-Funded Attacks on Android Security and Patent/Copyright

    A look back at examples of people who smear Android and are receiving (or received) money from Microsoft



  9. Blowback in Chile and Munich After Microsoft Intervention

    Microsoft's attacks on the digital sovereignty of countries involves lobbying, corruption, an attack on standards (e.g. ODF), an attack on FOSS policies, and even an attack on accurate reporting (truth itself)



  10. The End of Microsoft is Nigh

    A look back at a tough year for Microsoft and a not-so-promising future



  11. Links 22/8/2014: Linux Foundation LFCS, LFCE

    Links for the day



  12. UPS Burned by Microsoft Windows, Gives Away Massive Number of Credit Card Details

    UPS is the latest victim of Microsoft's shoddy back door with software on top of it (Windows); attempts to blame FOSS for data compromise actually divert attention from the real culprit, which is proprietary software



  13. Microsoft's Funding of ALEC and Other Systemic Corruption

    Microsoft role in writing of laws by proxy, via groups such as ALEC



  14. Microsoft is Still Preying on British Taxpayers, Playing Politics

    Some news from the UK showing how Microsoft uses politics to extract money out of taxpayers, irrespective of their preferences



  15. Microsoft's Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as 20% of Staff Laid Off

    More good news regarding the demise of patents as Microsoft's leading patent proxy is collapsing more rapidly than anyone ever imagined and software patents too are collectively doubted



  16. Links 21/8/2014: Conferences of Linux Foundation, Elephone Emerges

    Links for the day



  17. Links 20/8/2014: Linux Event, GNOME Milestone

    Links for the day



  18. Corruption Watch: Microsoft Lobbying Designed to Kill Chile's Free Software Policy and Promote Microsoft With Subsidies, More Dirty Tricks Emerge in Munich

    icrosoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always



  19. Vista 8 Such a Disaster That Even Microsoft Cannot Cope With It, Vapourware Tactics Start Early

    Microsoft's Windows-powered services are failing and Windows gets bricked by Microsoft patches, whereupon we are seeing yet more of Microsoft's vapourware tactics (focusing in imaginary, non-existent versions of Windows)



  20. On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

    A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry's new patents apparatus



  21. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  22. BlackBerry -- Like Microsoft Nokia -- Could be the Next Patent Proxy Troll

    BlackBerry is restructuring for patent assertion (i.e. trolling) in the wake of some alliances with Microsoft



  23. After Microsoft's Soft Bribe Some Non-Technical Deputy Does Not Like Free Software, Microsoft-Linked Media Responds to This Non-News by Making Bogus Claims of Munich Leaving GNU/Linux (Updated)

    The subversive forces that have secretly been attacking Munich over its migration to GNU/Linux (Microsoft press, Gartner, and even HP) are back to doing it while China and Russia follow Munich's lead



  24. Gates Foundation CFO Quits and Debate About Revolving Doors Recalled Amid Systematic and Shrewd Bribery of Public Officials

    More officials step out of the Gates Foundation and their destination is not known yet; Gates continues to corrupt the public sector with his money so as to increase personal gain at taxpayers' expense



  25. Links 19/8/2014: GNU/Linux Raves and Alternative to Proprietary Voice Chat

    Links for the day



  26. Links 18/8/2014: Linux 3.17 RC1, Escalation in Ferguson

    Links for the day



  27. Gartner Group Advocates Using Defective Software With Back Doors

    Despite strong evidence that Microsoft has been complicit in illegal surveillance, Gartner continues to recommend the use of Windows and other espionage-ready Microsoft software



  28. The Microsoft Patent Trolls: Android Extortion, Vringo Versus Google, and Intellectual Ventures

    Roundup of news about patent aggression by Microsoft and some of its proxies



  29. Links 16/8/2014: Microsoft Linux, US Government Turns to Free Software

    Links for the day



  30. Links 15/8/2014: Reiser4 in Headlines Again, GNOME and KDE Events Finish

    Links for the day


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