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01.24.12

New Disinformation From Patent Lawyers and Microsoft Lobbyists

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Patents at 12:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft passes angry children a bribe (under
the guide of “contract”) to lie along

Boys at the beach

Summary: New developments in the patents arena and what the news sites fail to tell

THE Microsoft lobbyists continue to attack Android and they resort to such ridiculous spin (link omitted on purpose) that the FFII is sharing it for hilarity in the mailing lists. Poor Microsoft cannot come up with a meaningful story against Android, so whenever Google is using patents to defend Android from attacks its lobbyists link to articles like this one and whine senselessly (portraying Google as a patent aggressor). Generally speaking, those types of smears against Android have been muted somewhat because journalists slowly learned who was being paid by Microsoft (Florian Müller, for example, is paid by Microsoft).

Some patent lawyers seek to make a quick buck from the mobile arena, acting as parasites in a thriving market:

Software patent attorney, Steve Aycock today announced the launch of a new law practice which helps people patent their software. The law firm specializes in helping independent inventors, entrepreneurs and start-up companies patent their new technologies including software inventions. Mr. Aycock was a software engineer for ten years before attending law school so inventors will get someone with experience in both software and patent law.

No thanks, Steve, patents are a waste of time for developers. Surely enough this bogus industry of litigation looks to expand by latching onto real industries. From the news we discover that “Venable LLP notably strengthens its patent prosecution and litigation practices with the arrival of three new partners – Michele Van Patten Frank, Toni-Junell Herbert, and Mark Shanks; Of Counsel Therese Finan; and Associate Fabian M. Koenigbauer to the firm’s Washington, DC, office.”

In other words: prepare for more lawsuits. Oh, innovation, surely!

It’s the same in Europe. Patent lawyers (who obviously want software patents in Europe) promote their cause with an analysis that ends with nonsense:

Conclusion. In case of mixed-type invention (such as organisational, commercial or intellectual applications of software), EPO examiners are urged by the problem/solution approach to consider any disclosure of non-technical aspects to the detriment of applicants. Therefore, patent drafters should not at all or only to the absolutely required extent incorporate non-trechnical aspects in the claims or specification.Otherwise non-technical aspects could “devaluate” even important technical claim features.

It is hardly even coherent. Lawyers like to make it sound complicated when in fact the criteria for rejecting a patent can be simple.

Fortunately, more people are able to see past the spin and realise that software patents — if not patents in general — have become a burden on society. Tim thinks that the Tea Party should take on the issue too. In his own words:

The debate over software patents does not unite Silicon Valley the way the debate over SOPA does. Rather, the software patent debate pits the patent bar and large software companies like Microsoft and IBM, which have tens of thousands of patents, against rank-and-file programmers and up-and-coming entrepreneurs for whom the threat of frivolous litigation is a growing disincentive to innovation.

But I think this is precisely what makes it a great issue for Republicans—and especially Tea Party Republicans—to take up. There’s a long-running battle inside the GOP between pro-business Republicans and pro-market ones. The former have supported bailouts, corporate welfare, and protectionist legislation like SOPA. The Tea Party was organized in opposition to those things. And in the last couple of years, the Tea Party has had growing momentum.

Here’s how I’d frame the software patent debate if I were advising a GOP member of Congress: Software patents are a bailout for declining software companies that are better at filing patent applications than producing innovative products and services. For example, it’s been years since Microsoft was a major source of new innovations. That torch has passed to younger companies like Google, Facebook, Dropbox, and a revitalized Apple. But Redmond has so many patents (60,000 of them, according to one estimate) that it’s essentially impossible to write software without accidentally infringing some of them. And this means that Microsoft can force any company that beats them in the marketplace to share their profits with them, as it is currently doing to firms that produce Android phones.

If only there was as much public pressure against software patents as there was against SOPA last week…

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