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

11.27.11

Patents Roundup: Broken System as the News Attests to the Failure

Posted in Apple, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 3:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Brick wall

Summary: Some bits of news that seem relevant to the patent wars which affect Linux and Free software in general

THE US patent system is as broken as it has been since the start of this year (and probably more broken than ever before).

Lodsys the patent troll extorts a company, proving just how ridiculous things have become and The Economist says: “The number of patent applications in the world rose from around 800,000 in the early 1980s to 1.8m in 2009, according to the World Intellectual Property Report 2011, newly published by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).”

This is not a good thing and it also shows that patents are not indicative of innovation. Innovation did not just double in a couple of decades. What we see here is a world that gets increasingly troubled and disturbed by patent monopolies.

When patent trolls like Intellectual Ventures are the ones rising while other companies — real companies that make products — declare bankruptcy, then innovation is truly doomed.

The corporate press continues playing along with this whole “IP” extravaganza and The Register shows Apple trying to get monopolies in the field of Computer Vision, which is a field I work in. According to this article:

Apple secured a patent yesterday on software to create and identify 3D models of faces, animals, aircraft, military vehicles and tumours in one of the more unusual tech patents to be awarded in recent months. This came to light after the US Patent and Trademark Office published a series of newly awarded patents.

Shame on Apple for claiming monopolies on mathematical methods. That’s what Computer Vision is about, mostly manipulation of matrices. There is no excuse for granting exclusive rights on use of geometry. Whose laws of nature are these anyway?

Over in New Zealand the Pirate Party does good work that tackles the patent question (like the Pirate Party in Australia) and in its latest move we find more evidence of that:

Party president Tommy Fergusson said the key issues for the party were the “three strikes” copyright regime that came into force in September, under which people can be fined up to $15,000 for downloading copyright material, software patents and a filtering system set up by Internal Affairs to block access to child pornography sites.

The part relevant to us is about software patents. Other parties do not talk about it. Over in Europe, regulators get involved and one source says that “The European Commission ‘s vice president for competition, Joaquin Almunia, has for the first time publicly voiced his concern about how certain high-tech companies may be using intellectual property rights unfairly to thwart rivals and distort competition, reports Reuters.

“Almunia’s decision to speak publicly could signal that an official investigation is in the works.

“In particular, the European Commission is looking into the spate of smartphone patent battles between Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Samsung Corp. , but it has not yet launched an official probe. The EC requested information from Apple and Samsung, but Almunia said he has not received answers. (See Euronews: Vodafone Guns for UK Govt Deals.)”

How does any of this patent confrontation which Apple started benefit the European buyers? Here is what Murdoch’s press quotes in relation to this:

“The patent system is very seriously screwed up,” says Ed Black

Ed Black was paid by Microsoft and even he is able that the patent system lost its way.

Some of the better examples of the patent system being broken come from the smartphones sector. Here is a new article about this which says:

Smartphone sector in a patent arms race

[...]

Specifically, an eruption of patent lawsuits has occurred between almost every major developer of smartphone hardware and software in the industry. In many respects, companies are buying insurance against future legal action, injunctions, etc.

Microsoft is currently using Nokia as a patents weapon, probably against Android (through MOSAID). The president of the FFII writes: “Nokia patent lawyer gives no solution for SMEs attacked by trolls, left them in the cold by dark software patent system”

The Pirate Party in New Zealand has also just stepped in (yes, again) and gotten involved in the news again. No other party seems to be doing anything substantial about it. Those who do simply struggle to get funding and those who do (like the German Pirate Party) sell out by taking money from supporters of software patents. Here is what happens in New Zealand:

Internet users in Hamilton East and Wellington who are concerned about the “Skynet” copyright regime will have a chance to make a protest vote at the election tomorrow.

The Pirate Party failed to garner the 500 members it needed to contest the party vote in the election, but is fielding candidates in the two constituencies.

What we desperately need in all nation is a political presence that realises what patents are really about. Not some online petitions which give a shallow impression of the public being listened to; we need real action. The Against Monopoly Web site cites a new article that tackles an issue related to software patents and remarks as follows:

The New York Times ran a surprisingly long and tough piece from Reuters titled Making Sense of Patent Law link here. It opens, saying “The United States Supreme Court has a chance to reverse the mission creep in patent law. The system is supposed to reward inventors but not stifle innovation. Fuzzy and overly broad concepts like thought processes generally are not protected. Yet one company, Prometheus Laboratories, reckons it owns a method for interpreting how patients react to a drug.”

It then traces the history of patent law covering ideas which consistently forbade such patents but by 1994, was patenting “any software with a practical purpose.”

What example can be cited of a software patent bringing real progress and lowering costs? Innovation is supposed to be about benefits, not the hoarding of paperwork and legal fees that accompany this.

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 is Collapsing. Attacks on Journalists, Interns as Staff, Patents on Plants, and Bureaucratic Red Tape...

    A look at some of the latest issues surrounding the European Patent Office, whose insistence on denying the problems and instead attacking those who bring up legitimate concerns, will spell its doom



  2. Ignore the Bristows UPC Echo Chamber, the UPC is Not Happening

    Response to some of the latest UPC promotion, courtesy of some of the usual suspects, who stand to benefit financially if the UPC ever becomes a reality



  3. British Media Slams Battistelli for Attempting to Cover Up 2 Years of Juridical Abuses With Help From the Administrative Council of the EPO

    A growing voice of concern about the integrity of the European Patent Organisation, whose management appears to be in cahoots (overseers/regulators included) so as to cover up its own serious abuses



  4. Boards of Appeal Still Under Attack From Team Battistelli While the EPO Proceeds to Granting Patents on Carlsberg BEER!

    The lunacy of the EPO with its patent maximalism will likely go unchecked (and uncorrected) if Battistelli gets his way and turns the EPO into another SIPO (Croatian in the human rights sense and Chinese in the quality sense)



  5. Memo “Deliberately Leaked to Cover up the UPC” With Its Many Associated Issues Amid Brexit

    Some eye-opening updates about the awkward move from Lucy Neville-Rolfe, who made promises (expression of intent) she can neither fulfill nor justify to the British public



  6. Links 8/12/2016: Korora GNU/Linux 25, SparkyLinux 4.5.1

    Links for the day



  7. Links 7/12/2016: ROSA Desktop Fresh R8 Plasma 5, Ubuntu Touch OTA-14

    Links for the day



  8. The UPC Scam Part VII: A Fine Mess in the Making, as Nothing Can be Made of It Amid/After Brexit

    The final part in this multi-part series about UPC, which cannot be implemented in the UK as long as Brexit is on the agenda



  9. The UPC Scam Part VI: The Real Story Which People Missed Due to Puff Pieces Seeded by Battistelli-Bribed Media is That UPC Technically Cannot Come to the UK

    Another long installment in a multi-part series about UPC at times of post-truth Battistelli-led EPO, which pays the media to repeat the lies and pretend that the UPC is inevitable so as to compel politicians to welcome it regardless of desirability and practicability



  10. EPO Spiraling Down the Drain as Experienced Examiners and Judges Are Seemingly Being Replaced by Interns

    Implementing yet more of his terrible ideas and so-called 'reforms', Battistelli seems to be racing to the bottom of everything (patent quality, staff experience, labour rights, working conditions, access to justice etc.)



  11. A Lot of News From the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Today, With Some Important Decisions on Patents Coming Soon

    A roundup of today's outcomes from the US Supreme Court, which intends to review and decide on important patent cases



  12. In Historic Blow to Design Patents, Apple Loses to Samsung at the Supreme Court

    A $399 million judgment against Android devices from Samsung, with potential implications for other Android OEMs, is rejected by SCOTUS



  13. Good Riddance. Ray Niro is Dead.

    The infamous father of patent trolling is dead, so we need to remember his real legacy rather than rewrite his history to appease his rich relatives (enriched by destroying real companies)



  14. EPO Suicides Greater in Number Than is Widely Reported, Unjust System a Contributor to These

    The horrible regime of Benoît Battistelli has an enormous human toll (fatalities), far greater than the Office is willing to publicly acknowledge



  15. Lobbying Disguised as 'Reporting' by the Patent Microcosm, Which Wants More Patents and More Lawsuits (Lawyers Needed)

    A rebuttal to some new articles about patents, especially those that strive to increase patent-related activities (usually for personal gain)



  16. USPTO Echo Chamber That Lacks Actual Software Professionals Deciding on Patentability of Software

    A look at yesterday's "Roundtable on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility," which lacked involvement from those actually affected by patents rather than those who sell, trade, and exploit these



  17. More Examples of Microsoft and Its Patent Trolls Taxing Linux, Even After Microsoft 'Joined' (Paid) the Linux Foundation

    A quick look at the past week's news and clues about Microsoft's (and its broad army of patent trolls) strategy for taxing Linux, or imposing bundling at zero cost (to Microsoft)



  18. Heiko Maas, the SPD “Cash for Access” Affair, and Suspicions of Unwarranted Censorship at IP Kat (Again)

    Unsayable views or just a glitch? Readers of IP Kat express concern about a culture of censorship at IP Kat



  19. Endgame for Battistelli at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Battistelli turns bad into worse by spitting on the very notion of accepting justice (from the highest court in The Hague or even the UN in this case)



  20. Les Échos Chamber: Having Corrupted the Media (With EPO Money), Battistelli Now Uses It for More UPC Propaganda

    The lies about the Unitary Patent are now being broadcast (Battistelli given the platform) by the publication that Battistelli pays



  21. Rumour: EPO in Berlin the Next Casualty of Battistelli's 'Reform' (Organisational Suicide Plan)

    Months after we learned that a former staff representative in Berlin had been dismissed we come across an anonymous claim that Berlin's 'branch' of the EPO will be folded onto Munich's



  22. Caricature: the Maas App

    The failure of Maas to even bother with regulation of Battistelli (among others) earns him this cartoon



  23. Links 5/12/2016: Linux 4.9 RC 8, DeepMind as FOSS

    Links for the day



  24. Leaked: Battistelli Acknowledges Bunk 'Justice' in About 100 Cases at the Internal Appeals Committee of the EPO

    A look at Battistelli's response to the latest from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), exceptionally delivering two decisions at the very end of last month



  25. The UPC Scam Part V: Unitary Patent Regime a Fantasy of Patent Trolls

    "Good for trolls" is a good way to sum up the Unitary Patent, which would give litigators plenty of business (defendants and plaintiffs, plus commissions on high claims of damages) if it ever became a reality



  26. EPO at a Tipping Point: Battistelli Quarrelling With French Politicians, Administrative Council Urged to Act, Staff Unrest Peaking

    The latest messages about Battistelli's regime at the EPO, which faces growing opposition from more directions than ever before



  27. Quality of Patents at the EPO Dependent on the Appeal Boards When Battistelli Assesses Performance Using the Wrong 'Production' Yardstick

    A look at some recent articles regarding patent quality in the US and in Europe, in particular because of growing trouble at today's EPO, which marginalises the appeal boards



  28. Microsoft's Push for Software Patents Another Reminder That There is No 'New' Microsoft

    Microsoft's continued fascination with and participation in the effort to undermine Alice so as to make software patents, which the company uses to blackmail GNU/Linux vendors, widely acceptable and applicable again



  29. Links 5/12/2016: SparkyLinux 4.5 Released, Kondik Exits Cyanogen (Destroyed After Microsoft Deal)

    Links for the day



  30. Software Patents Continue Their Invalidation Process, But Patent Law Firms Try to Deny This in Order to Attract Misinformed (or Poorly-Informed) Clients

    A roundup of news about software patents and demonstration of the sheer bias in the media, which is mostly controlled or steered by the patent microcosm rather than actual inventors


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