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. Samsung Does Not Say Why It's Dropping DeX, But the ASUS EEE Story Might Offer Clues

    It's not at all outlandish or unreasonable to suggest that Microsoft used patents or bribes or kickbacks as incentives for Samsung to abandon GNU/Linux as a desktop platform



  2. EPO: It's Only Getting Worse

    Inhaling Seagull meme for EPO presidents



  3. It Has Begun: EPO Staff Protests Against António Campinos (Starting Wednesday)

    Wednesday marks the resumption of EPO protests; it’s happening for the first time under Campinos and only a year after he took Office. Even Battistelli, the notorious thug, lasted longer before such escalations/actions or — put another way — he did better than that (if one checks the timeline of his presidency)



  4. Links 20/10/2019: GNU/Linux at Penn Manor School District, Wine-Staging 4.18, Xfce 4.16 Development, FreeBSD 12.1 RC2

    Links for the day



  5. Guest Post: Understanding Autism for More Complete Inclusion

    "...assuming that autistic people are all the same isn't only technically wrong, it is misleading and leads to harmful and needless misunderstandings."



  6. Guest Post: Free Software Freedom is Not a Freedom of Choice

    The concept of "Freedom of Choice" and how the ruling class uses it to give a false impression of "Freedom"



  7. Guest Post: Free Software Developers and Pursuing 'Market Share'

    "The only people interested in software freedom are (almost always) free software developers. And users are interested in freedom to a very limited extent: the "free beer" side. Even many free software developers are only interested in the "free beer" part of free software."



  8. The Assertion That Microsoft Uses Communist Tactics Against GNU/Linux and Free/Libre Software

    A study of Taistoism might help understand how Free/libre software is being undermined



  9. European Patent Office and US Patent and Trademark Office Cranks Discovered Buzzwords, Stopped Worrying, Started Granting Patents They Know to be Fake

    The world's patent repositories are being saturated with loads of junk patents or patents that have no legal bearing but can still be leveraged for extortion purposes; the EPO is resorting to lies and artificially-elevated buzzwords to justify granting such fake (yet ruinous) patents



  10. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 19, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 19, 2019



  11. “The True Hypocrite is the One Who Ceases to Perceive His Deception, the One Who Lies With Sincerity,” Said André Paul Guillaume Gide (Nobel Prize in Literature)

    Lies flow like water in the realm of EPO and its publishers, whose sole role is dissemination of deliberate falsehoods, misnomers and misinformation



  12. The EPO Cannot Guard Fake European Patents From Scrutiny (in the Long Run)

    Legal certainty associated with newly-granted European Patents is already pretty low and as long as the EPO refuses to acknowledge that its courts (or boards) lack autonomy the EPO merely brushes a growing problem under the rug



  13. Links 19/10/2019: DeX Discontinued, DXVK 1.4.3 and Wine 4.18 Released

    Links for the day



  14. 'Corporate Linux' Will Not Protect Software Freedom

    The corporate model is inherently not compatible with software that users themselves fully control (or Software Freedom in general), so we must rely on another model of sovereignty over code and compiled code (binaries)



  15. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 18, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, October 18, 2019



  16. 26,000 Posts

    We want to thank those who help spread the word; it gives us moral support and morale.



  17. The Myth of 'Analysts'

    People with exaggerated roles (exaggerated by corporate media and corporations that control them) distort public perceptions about their clients; they're in effect just elevated marketing or Public Relations (PR) operatives



  18. The FSF Has Two Acting Presidents Now

    Alexandre Oliva, who acted as a sort of deputy of Richard Stallman in recent weeks, sheds some much-needed light on the current situation



  19. Should Anybody Dictate the Free Software Movement?

    "There's a great myth, as Jagadees reminds us, that advocacy doesn't produce software. That myth is corporate, and proper advocacy has at times produced the greatest software in the history of computing. If we want great Free software to continue, we need advocacy more than ever."



  20. Links 18/10/2019: More KDE Events and OpenBSD 6.6

    Links for the day



  21. We Don't Know Who Will Run the Free Software Foundation, But We Know Who Will Run the GNU Project

    Software Freedom is under a heavy and perhaps unprecedented attack; some people out there are paid by the attackers to celebrate this attack and defame people (cheering for corporate takeover under the blanket of “Open Source”), but the founder of the Free software movement remains alive, well, and very much active



  22. New EPO Meme: Who Wants to Make Billions From a 'Public' Monopoly?

    What was supposed to be a cash-balanced patent office became a money-making monster that fakes ‘crises’ to attack hard-working examiners



  23. EmacsConf Without Richard Stallman

    Now that emacs is being 'rebranded' this kind of meme seems apt



  24. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 17, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 17, 2019



  25. Guest Article: In the Absence of Richard Stallman OEM Source Software ('Open Source') is Trying to Hijack Even Emacs

    "Now they have to create some fictional history. No need to worry."



  26. Guest Article: Techies Should Not Dictate the Free Software Movement

    "We should start a second phase of the Free software movement that's making good software and putting users at the center."



  27. Links 17/10/2019: Ubuntu Turns 15, New Codename Revealed, Ubuntu 19.10 is Out

    Links for the day



  28. Free as in Free Speech (Restrictions May Apply)

    When limits of speech are not safety-related rules but political correctness or conformism



  29. There Won't be Patent Justice Until Patent Trolling Becomes Completely and Totally Extinct

    SLAPP-like behaviour and extortion/blackmail tactics using patent monopolies are a stain on the patent system; it's time to adopt measures to stop these things once and for all, bearing in mind they're inherently antithetical to the goal/s of the patent system and therefore discourage public support for this whole system



  30. EPO Staff Union and Staff Representatives Ought to Demand EPO Stops Bullying Publishers and Censoring Their Sites

    An often neglected if not forgotten aspect of EPO tyranny is the war on information itself; EPO management continues to show hostility towards journalism and disdain for true information


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

Recent Posts