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

11.23.11

Patents Roundup: Bad System, Clear Symptoms

Posted in Apple, Patents at 11:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Apple is one of those symptoms

Apple with heart

Summary: A mixture of news about patents and software patents in particular

THE EVER-waning patent system gets more and more unpopular as people recognise trolling and entities close to the government have a chance to correct things. Quoting one news item, we have:

Supreme Court case could end costly patent trolling

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case in December that could have major implications for the future of American business and a significant impact on companies in the Rochester area.

And sadly, however, the SCOTUS rarely helps people, it helps corporations [1, 2]. Maybe it will surprise us all for the better this time around. According to the Boston Globe independent studies provide clear guidance, unlike for example all that propaganda from patent lawyers and their clients. Even Amazon’s chief has grown tired of software patents, as we noted the other day. There is big business around taxing technology with unnecessary barb-wire and even promotional evens for those who drink the Kool-Aide. Scientists need to expel this element which is eating away at productive jobs, replacing them with excess bureaucracy.

Over at TechDirt there is realisation that Open Source is again being harmed by patents:

Potential Patent Infringement Threatens To Doom Highly Anticipated Open Source Project

John Carmack, the guy behind the Doom series of games, has alway been a supporter of open source software. He has in the past released the source code for the original Doom and Quake to the open source community. This open access has led to Doom and Quake being used in a variety of ways and has allowed numerous people to learn how to make games. It has really come as no surprise that Carmack has decided to open source the code for Doom 3. What is surprising though is that move has been held up due to an old patent infringement suit.

OSS Watch covered this as well:

Just a quick one on the subject of open source and patents. John Carmack is well known in gaming circles as the lead programmer behind such classic PC and console games as Castle Wolfenstein, Doom (and sequels) and Quake (and most of its sequels). Carmack and his company id software are the originators of the ‘First Person Shooter’ genre of game which has in turn spawned such gigantic franchises as Call of Duty and Halo. As well as being technical pioneers, id has an interesting policy of releasing their old engine technology (the software which renders the game’s video and audio) as open source under the GNU GPL v2. This allows students of gaming software development to look at how real commercial games software is written, and also allows the games to be ported to new hardware platforms by volunteers. As the art and sound assets are not included with the code, this also generates a small market for licences to old id games – games which may well not run on more modern operating systems – in order to get the game data for use with the aforementioned ports.

Coverage about this was consistently negative in the sense that authors are disappointed about patents having this effect. Those who use patents are typically companies that are unable to make decent products. According to news report, Android is kicking Apple’s behind and Apple has “Complain[ed] About “Total War” Apple Started”, which we found rather amusing. According to this:

Apple’s lawyers have accused Samsung of waging all-out patent war in the latest battleground for the world-spanning dispute between the two firms.

The tech giants are now in Paris to argue over Samsung’s attempt to get a preliminary injunction against the iPhone 4S in France, based on alleged infringement of its 3G patents.

Remember who started this. We’ll write more about Apple in a separate post.

Charles tackles some common misconceptions about innovation and patents in a blog post that says:

Innovation is not a mystery and I don’t think that you can track how it works. You can assume that a certain set of circumstances and an environment letting people code start-ups emerge and Free & Open Source Software projects grow will ultimately translate into something that someone, whether a journalist, consultant, politicians or venture capitalists will call innovation. Anything else besides that, innovation sounds more like vapor and magical boxes. This should probably express what I feel about software patents, by the way.

One last thing: Innovation is different than progress. Progress is usually applied to fields that do not necessarily belong to science or technology; it can be more a perception and may concern society as a whole. Yet the interesting thing is that while progress seems to be an even more elusive term than innovation, you can actually tell progress from regression or stagnation: people perceive it almost immediately, however relative it sometimes may be.

Apple is not innovative by the way. It’s all overblown. Patents are not indicative of innovation, either. The same goes for sales. There is that infamous patent which appears in the news again and helps demonstrate what patents really are about. To quote: “The suits were filed in the District Court of Massachusetts, asserting infringement of the ’502 patent.

“The ’502 patent is directed to novel and groundbreaking methods and systems for facilitating interaction between object-oriented software programmes and relational databases. As such, the patented technology has become fundamental to the development of numerous enterprise software applications, including business intelligence and data mining products, Amphion said.”

If this is what precludes innovation, then the word innovation lost its meaning. The SCOTUS needs to do something about it, but it probably won’t.

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

A Single Comment

  1. mcinsand said,

    November 23, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Gravatar

    There are several elephants in the room that defines patents, and I think I’ve figured out how to best sum up the one that really gripes me the most. If we forget for a moment the question of whether granting a temporary monopoly is a good deal, let’s just look at the deal itself; in exchange for publicly documenting an innovation or creative work (design patents), an inventor is granted a temporary monopoly. This really sums up where we, the public, are getting ripped off, and we need a system for charging responsible parties (examiners and patent attorneys) for malpractice. For that matter, inventors and designers have a responsibility, too, or that’s what I’ve been repeatedly told in my time as an inventory; we are not to even start the process if we do not firmly believe that we have created something new and unanticipated.

    A good example is a piece being asserted against Samsung by the company that the mindless lemmings keep hailing as innovative and creative, despite years that show otherwise. Look up Design Patent D618677, and then think about this logically. This goes extraordinarilly beyond the simply issue of prior art. In fact, among compact, portable devices, there is a disctinct paucity of items that are NOT prior art. To go one step farther, especially in the US where ambulance chasers roam unrestrained, try selling something like this with nonrounded corners, and use a stopwatch to see how long it takes for the first injury lawsuit.
    The only innovating thing that Apple has ever demonstrated is to turn a branch of FOSS into an instrument for vendor lock-in by removing choice and hardware support. Anyway…

    This ‘IP,’ MS’s patents being asserted against B&N for imitating mouse actions, the ‘slide to lock’ patent are just some examples of how the public are being ripped off. We are granting temporary monopolies on these ideas but getting nothing in return, since the ideas on so many of these are not new.

What Else is New


  1. Patents on Abstract Things and on Life (or Patents Which Threaten Lives) Merely Threaten the Very Legitimacy of Patent Offices, Including EPO

    Patent Hubris and maximalism pose a threat or a major risk to the very system that they claim to be championing; by reducing the barrier to entry (i.e. introducing low-quality or socially detrimental patents) they merely embolden ardent critics who demand patent systems as a whole be abolished; the EPO is nowadays a leading example of it



  2. Links 10/12/2018: Linux 4.20 RC6 and Git 2.20

    Links for the day



  3. US Courts Make the United States' Patent System Sane Again

    35 U.S.C. § 101 (Section 101), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and other factors are making the patent system in the US a lot more sane



  4. Today's USPTO Grants a Lot of Fake Patents, Software Patents That Courts Would Invalidate

    The 35 U.S.C. § 101 effect is very much real; patents on abstract/nonphysical ideas get invalidated en masse (in courts/PTAB) and Director Andrei Iancu refuses to pay attention as if he's above the law and court rulings don't apply to him



  5. A Month After Microsoft Claimed Patent 'Truce' Its Patent Trolls Keep Attacking Microsoft's Rivals

    Microsoft's legal department relies on its vultures (to whom it passes money and patents) to sue its rivals; but other than that, Microsoft is a wonderful company!



  6. Good News: US Supreme Court Rejects Efforts to Revisit Alice, Most Software Patents to Remain Worthless

    35 U.S.C. § 101 will likely remain in tact for a long time to come; courts have come to grips with the status quo, as even the Federal Circuit approves the large majority of invalidations by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) panels, initiated by inter partes reviews (IPRs)



  7. Florian Müller's Article About SEPs and the EPO

    Report from the court in Munich, where the EPO is based



  8. EPO Vice-President Željko Topić in New Article About Corruption in Croatia

    The Croatian newspaper 7Dnevno has an outline of what Željko Topić has done in Croatia and in the EPO in Munich; it argues that this seriously erodes Croatia's national brand/identity



  9. The Quality of European Patents Continues to Deteriorate Under António Campinos and Software Patents Are Advocated Every Day

    The EPC in the European Patent Office and 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the USPTO annul most if not all software patents; under António Campinos, however, software patents are being granted in Europe and the USPTO exploits similar tricks



  10. Team UPC is Still Spreading False Rumours in an Effort to Trick Politicians and Pressure Judges

    Abuses at the European Patent Office, political turmoil and an obvious legislative coup by a self-serving occupation that produces nothing have already doomed the Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court (UPC); so now we deal with complete fabrications from Team UPC as they're struggling to make something out of nothing, anonymously smearing opposition to the UPC and anonymously making stuff up



  11. Patents on Life and Patents That Kill the Poor Would Only Delegitimise the European Patent Office

    After Mayo, Myriad and other SCOTUS cases (the basis of 35 U.S.C. § 101) the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is reluctant to grant patents on life; the European Patent Office (EPO), however, goes in the opposite direction, even in defiance of the European Patent Convention



  12. EPO 'Untapped Potential'

    "Campinos is diligently looking for ways to further increase the Office’s output without increasing the number of examiners," says the EPO-FLIER team



  13. Links 9/12/2018: New Linux Stable Releases (Notably Linux 4.19.8), RC Coming, and Unifont 11.0.03

    Links for the day



  14. Links 8/12/2018: Mesa 18.3.0, Mageia 7 Beta, WordPress 5.0

    Links for the day



  15. The European Patent Organisation is Like a Private Club and Roland Grossenbacher is Back in It

    In the absence of Benoît Battistelli quality control at the EPO is still not effective; patents are being granted like the sole goal is to increase so-called 'production' (or profit), appeals are being subjected to threats from Office management, and external courts (courts that assess patents outside the jurisdiction of the Office/Organisation) are being targeted with a long-sought replacement like the Unified Patent Court, or UPC (Unitary Patent)



  16. Links 7/12/2018: GNU Guix, GuixSD 0.16.0, GCC 7.4, PHP 7.3.0 Released

    Links for the day



  17. The Federal Circuit's Decision on Ancora Technologies v HTC America is the Rare Exception, Not the Norm

    Even though the PTAB does not automatically reject every patent when 35 U.S.C. § 101 gets invoked we're supposed to think that somehow things are changing in favour of patent maximalists; but all they do is obsess over something old (as old as a month ago) and hardly controversial



  18. The European Patent Office Remains a Lawless Place Where Judges Are Afraid of the Banker in Chief

    With the former banker Campinos replacing the politician Battistelli and seeking to have far more powers it would be insane for the German Constitutional Court to ever allow anything remotely like the UPC; sites that are sponsored by Team UPC, however, try to influence outcomes, pushing patent maximalism and diminishing the role of patent judges



  19. Many of the Same People Are Still in Charge of the European Patent Office Even Though They Broke the Law

    "EPO’s art collection honoured with award," the EPO writes, choosing to distract from what actually goes on at the Office and has never been properly dealt with



  20. Links 6/12/2018: FreeNAS 11.2, Mesa 18.3 Later Today, Fedora Elections

    Links for the day



  21. EPO, in Its Patent Trolls-Infested Forum, Admits It is Granting Bogus Software Patents Under the Guise of 'Blockchain'

    Yesterday's embarrassing event of the EPO was a festival of the litigation giants and trolls, who shrewdly disguise patents on algorithms using all sorts of fashionable words that often don't mean anything (or deviate greatly from their original meanings)



  22. The Patent Litigation Bubble is Imploding in the US While the UPC Dies in Europe

    The meta-industry which profits from feuds, disputes, threats and blackmail isn't doing too well; even in Europe, where it worked hard for a number of years to institute a horrible litigation system which favours global plaintiffs (patent trolls, opportunists and monopolists), these things are going up in flames



  23. Links 5/12/2018: Epic Games Store, CrossOver 18.1.0, Important Kubernetes Patch

    Links for the day



  24. Links 4/12/2018: LibrePCB 0.1.0, SQLite 3.26.0, PhysX Code

    Links for the day



  25. EPO Management Keeps Embarrassing Itself, UPC More Dead Than Before, and Nokia Turns Aggressive

    The EPO’s race to the bottom of patent quality continues, it’s now complemented by direct association with patent trolls and law stands in their way (for they repeatedly violate the law)



  26. The Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) and IBM Are Part of the Software Patents Problem in the United States

    IBM's special role in lobbying for software patents (and against PTAB) needs to be highlighted; even Ethereum’s co-founder isn't happy about IBM's meddling in the blockchain space (with help from Hyperledger/Linux Foundation)



  27. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Not Falling for Attempts to Prevent It From Instituting Challenges

    In the face of patent maximalists' endless efforts to derail patent quality the tribunal keeps calm and carries on smashing bad patents



  28. Links 2/12/2018: Linux 4.20 RC5, Snapcraft 3.0, VirtualBox 6.0 Beta 3

    Links for the day



  29. The Patent Microcosm Hopes That the Federal Circuit Will Get 'Tired' of Rejecting Software Patents

    Trolls-friendly sites aren't tolerating this court's habit of saying "no" to software patents; the Chief Judge meanwhile acknowledges that they're being overrun by a growing number of cases/appeals



  30. 35 U.S.C. § 101 Continues to Crush Software Patents and Even Microsoft Joins 'the Fun'

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) and even courts below it continue to throw out software patents or send them back to PTAB and lower courts; there is virtually nothing for patent maximalists to celebrate any longer


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