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

03.15.12

Mozilla and Others Still Lead Opposition to Software Patents

Posted in Patents at 6:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

John Lilly of Mozilla
Photo by Joi Ito

Summary: Software patents disdain as seen in this week’s news

THE backlash against software patents is very clear to see. With matrices as monopolies I am unable to do my work, at least not peacefully or without worries about taking it out there to market. Mike Masnick explains “Why It’s Mathematically Impossible To Avoid Infringing On Software Patents” and he makes some good points, as usual. Mozilla, meanwhile, struggles with codec monopolies, which are also all about maths — some of which controlled by MPEG-LA. Ryan from our IRC channels wrote about the subject in a better way than most did (including another Ryan, from Ars Technica):

Microsoft and Apple, which are also criminal cartels, are also members of the MPEG-LA, and are trying to wipe out the open and unencumbered VP8 and Ogg Vorbis combination known as WebM by refusing to support it in Safari and Internet Explorer.

Mozilla and Opera have so far not implemented MPEG codecs because they would be gouged by the MPEG-LA’s innovation tax.

The problem for the user, which is caught in the middle, is that sites that are out there today and insisting on MPEG-4, such as Vimeo, won’t work in Firefox or Opera in HTML 5 mode, and require the proprietary binary blob with gazillions of security problems known as “Adobe Flash” to play their content.
Mozilla is not proposing to ship the offending codecs themselves, but to just use the ones on the system, if any. On Windows, they can hook into DirectShow, on OS X they can hook into Quicktime, and on Linux they can hook into and use anything Gstreamer can play. Of course Android, iOS, and Windows Phone (with all three people who have one) all have their own media codecs.

Despite recent mistakes, Mozilla’s opposition to software patents and to MPEG-LA (there is adherence to free codecs) was covered here before. Mozilla is truly a proponent of Open Source, unlike Google with Chrome. Here is a new video campaign from Mozilla:

Taking the message to its users, Mozilla launched a user-generated video contest to help educate how its open-source browser, Firefox, differs from the pack.

“Browsers control what’s possible on the Web,” said Mozilla CMO Chris Beard, who joined the company just prior to the Firefox launch about seven years ago. “There is a lot of commercial interest vying for that control.”

Beard called Mozilla’s strategy “grassroots,” noting that the ad campaign should be seen as an extension of the company’s strategy. About 2 million people try Firefox daily around the world. The browser supports about 400 million users.

Tim Lee, another one from the “Open Source”/pro-sharing team, explains the idea of patent reform and addresses misconceptions in a skillful fashion:

But the more important point is that, in fact, the patent office does a really bad job at searching for prior art. In the famous patent episode of This American Life, they ask M-CAM to analyze a particular patent to see if similar concepts had been patented before. As I recall, they found the same concept had been patented dozens of times. Indeed, I’ve read that in the early years of the Internet, patent examiners were actually prohibited from using the Internet to search for prior art—even for patents related to Internet technologies.

[...]

The problem with tracking “the patents owned by your competitors and the trolls” is that you don’t know who the trolls are, or which patents they hold, until one of them sends you a cease and desist letter. There are at least two reasons for this. First, there’s no centralized registry of patent ownership, so while it’s easy to tell who was initially granted a patent, there’s no reliable way to tell if a particular patent has been sold to someone else. Second, legitimate companies regularly sell patents to trolls, or become trolls themselves. And even if you could somehow overcome these two obstacles, there are enough trolls out there now that even searching through troll-owned patents would be a serious burden.

In any event, software firms really do ignore patents when designing new products. You should read Mark Lemley’s excellent paper on the subject if you don’t believe me.

Software patents really need to go away. Nobody wants them except monopolies and patent lawyers.

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. Links 19/6/2018: Total War: WARHAMMER II Confirmed for GNU/Linux, DragonFlyBSD 5.2.2 Released

    Links for the day



  2. More Media Reports About Decline in Quality of European Patents (Granted by the EPO)

    What the media is saying about the letter from Grünecker, Hoffmann Eitle, Maiwald and Vossius & Partner whilst EPO communications shift attention to shallow puff pieces about how wonderful Benoît Battistelli is



  3. Beware Team UPC's Biggest Two Lies About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Claims that a Unified Patent Court (UPC) will commence next year are nothing but a fantasy of the Liar in Chief, Benoît Battistelli, who keeps telling lies to French media (some of which he passes EPO money to, just like he passes EPO money to his other employer)



  4. Diversity at the EPO

    Two decades of EPO with 16-17 years under the control of French Presidents (and nowadays predominantly French management in general with Inventor Award held in France almost half the time) is "diversity at the EPO"



  5. Orrin Hatch, Sponsored the Most by the Pharmaceutical Industry, Tries to Make Its Patents Immune From Scrutiny (PTAB)

    Orrin Hatch is the latest example of laws being up for sale, i.e. companies can 'buy' politicians to act as their 'couriers' and pass laws for them, including laws pertaining to patents



  6. Links 17/6/2018: Linux 4.18 RC1 and Deepin 15.6 Released

    Links for the day



  7. To Keep the Patent System Alive and Going Practitioners Will Have to Accept Compromises on Scope Being Narrowed

    35 U.S.C. § 101 still squashes a lot of software patents, reducing confidence in US patents; the only way to correct this is to reduce patent filings and file fewer lawsuits, judging their merit in advance based on precedents from higher courts



  8. The Affairs of the USPTO Have Turned Into Somewhat of a Battle Against the Courts, Which Are Simply Applying the Law to Invalidate US Patents

    The struggle between law, public interest, and the Cult of Patents (which only ever celebrates more patents and lawsuits) as observed in the midst of recent events in the United States



  9. Patent Marketing Disguised as Patent 'Advice'

    The meta-industry which profits from patents and lawsuits claims that it's guiding us and pursuing innovation, but in reality its sole goal is enriching itself, even if that means holding science back



  10. Microsoft is Still 'Cybermobbing' Its Competition Using Patent Trolls Such as Finjan

    In the "cybersecurity" space, a sub-domain where many software patents have been granted by the US patent office, the patent extortion by Microsoft-connected trolls (and Microsoft's 'protection' racket) seems to carry on; but Microsoft continues to insist that it has changed its ways



  11. Links 16/6/2018: LiMux Story, Okta Openwashing and More

    Links for the day



  12. The EPO's Response to the Open Letter About Decline in Patent Quality as the Latest Example of Arrogance and Resistance to Facts, Truth

    Sidestepping the existential crisis of the EPO (running out of work and issuing many questionable patents with expectation of impending layoffs), the PR people at the Office choose a facts-denying, face-saving 'damage control' strategy while staff speaks out, wholeheartedly agreeing with concerned stakeholders



  13. In the United States the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Which Assures Patent Quality, is Still Being Smeared by Law Firms That Profit From Patent Maximalism, Lawsuits

    Auditory roles which help ascertain high quality of patents (or invalidate low-quality patents, at least those pointed out by petitions) are being smeared, demonised as "death squads" and worked around using dirty tricks that are widely described as "scams"



  14. The 'Artificial Intelligence' (AI) Hype, Propped Up by Events of the European Patent Office (EPO), is Infectious and It Threatens Patent Quality Worldwide

    Having spread surrogate terms like “4IR” (somewhat of a 'mask' for software patents, by the EPO's own admission in the Gazette), the EPO continues with several more terms like “ICT” and now we’re grappling with terms like “AI”, which the media endlessly perpetuates these days (in relation to patents it de facto means little more than "clever algorithms")



  15. Links 15/6/2018: HP Chromebook X2 With GNU/Linux Software, Apple Admits and Closes a Back Door ('Loophole')

    Links for the day



  16. The '4iP Council' is a Megaphone of Team UPC and Team Battistelli at the EPO

    The EPO keeps demonstrating lack of interest in genuine patent quality (it uses buzzwords to compensate for deviation from the EPC and replaces humans with shoddy translators); it is being aided by law firms which work for patent trolls and think tanks that propel their interests



  17. Grünecker, Hoffmann Eitle, Maiwald and Vossius & Partner Find the Courage to Express Concerns About Battistelli's Ugly Legacy and Low Patent Quality

    The astounding levels of abuse at the EPO have caused some of the EPO's biggest stakeholders to speak out and lash out, condemning the Office for mismanagement amongst other things



  18. IAM Concludes Its Latest Anti-§ 101 Think Tank, Featuring Crooked Benoît Battistelli

    The attack on 35 U.S.C. § 101, which invalidates most if not all software patents, as seen through the lens of a Battistelli- and Iancu-led lobbying event (set up by IAM)



  19. Google Gets Told Off -- Even by the Typically Supportive EFF and TechDirt -- Over Patenting of Software

    The EFF's Daniel Nazer, as well as TechDirt's founder Mike Masnick, won't tolerate Google's misuse of Jarek Duda's work; the USPTO should generally reject all applications for software patents -- something which a former Commissioner for Patents at the USPTO seems to be accepting now (that such patents have no potency after Alice)



  20. From the Eastern District of Texas to Delaware, US Patent Litigation is (Overall) Still Declining

    Patent disputes/conflicts are increasingly being settled outside the courts and patents that aren't really potent/eligible are being eliminated or never brought forth at all



  21. Links 13/6/2018: Cockpit 170, Plasma 5.13, Krita 4.0.4

    Links for the day



  22. When the USPTO Grants Patents in Defiance of 35 U.S.C. § 101 the Courts Will Eventually Squash These Anyway

    Software/abstract patents, as per § 101 (Section 101) which relates to Alice Corp v CLS Bank at the US Supreme Court, are not valid in the United States, albeit one typically has to pay a fortune for a court battle to show it because the patent office (USPTO) is still far too lenient and careless



  23. Buzzwords and Three-Letter Acronyms Still Abused by the EPO to Grant a Lot of Patents on Algorithms

    Aided by Microsoft lobbying (with its very many patent trolls) as well as corrupt Battistelli, the push for software patenting under the guise of "artificial intelligence" ("AI") carries on, boosted by Battistelli's own "Pravda" (which he writes for), IAM Magazine



  24. The United States is Far Better Off With the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), So Why Do Lawyers Attack It?

    The anti-PTAB lobby (which is basically the pro-troll or pro-litigation lobby) continues to belittle and insult PTAB, having repeatedly failed to dismantle it; in the meantime PTAB is disarming several more patent trolls and removing from the system patents which were granted in error (as well as the associated lawsuits)



  25. Links 12/6/2018: Neovim 0.3 and Wine 3.10

    Links for the day



  26. Corrupt Benoît Battistelli Promotes Software Patents in IAM's Patent Trolls-Funded Event in the United States

    With less than 3 weeks remaining for Battistelli's term he engages in gross revisionism, lobbying, and even looting of the patent office



  27. The EPO's 'Expert' Georg Weber is Still Advocating Software Patents in Europe (But He Disguises Them Using Buzzwords)

    The EPO's overzealous support for software patents continues unabated while the European Parliament looks the other way; this is part of the plan to expand patent scope in Europe and flood the continent with low-quality patents (causing a ruinous litigation boom like in China)



  28. Battistelli's EPO is Outdoing North Korea When It Comes to Propaganda and Abuses Against Staff

    Battistelli’s ‘scorched Earth’ approach — his sole legacy at the EPO — has left many workers in mental breakdowns (if not dead), but to celebrate the ‘Battistelli years’ three weeks before the end of his term the Office issues new propaganda material (pertaining exclusively to the Battistelli years, 2010 to 2018) while Battistelli-leaning media offers ‘cover’



  29. IPBC, a Patent Trolls-Funded Event of IAM, is Advancing the Attacks on Section 101/Alice

    Andrei Iancu preaches to the litigation 'industry' in an event (lobbying opportunity) organised by the patent trolls' lobby, IAM



  30. PTAB Carries on Undeterred and Unabated, Courts Are Becoming Less Tolerant of Low-Quality Patents

    With the shift away from the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX) and with PTAB applying growing levels of scrutiny to patents the likelihood that abstract patents will endure at the patent office or the courts is greatly diminished


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