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

11.18.12

Bogus Correlations for Disinformation on Software Patents

Posted in Deception, Patents at 8:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Silicon Valley

Summary: A Silicon Valley patent office and some Silicon Valley-themed propaganda for software patent are explained

AS readers of this site may already know, I am active in the fight against patents on algorithms; Not as a politician or anything legally-oriented but as a software developer who is affected by them. Software developers do not want these patents, but lawyers run the political system. The other day I noticed someone struggling to rebut common propaganda for software patents. To quote the original message:

We’re putting together notes, talking points, and a media package to begin tackling the software patents side of the unitary patent issue here in Estonia.

However we’ve come across a very valid argument, which has left us stumped. Maybe someone can help?

Basically the argument goes along the lines of: “if the US has software patents and software patents are so bloody bad, then how come so many tech startups are founded in the US?” Or alternatively worded as: “Why is Silicon Valley in the US and not in Germany, France, or the UK?”

Any help in tackling this argument would be much appreciated!

Former Google lawyer Michelle K. Lee is to lead a Silicon Valley patent office, according to this new article:

In what could be a big shake-up for America’s much maligned patent system, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has reportedly named lawyer Michelle K. Lee as the first head of its new Silicon Valley patent office.

Kappos, from IBM, is the head of the USPTO. Those companies are not small players. They do not represent the interests of people; they are massive corporations. Here is Masnick poking fun at the USPTO:

USPTO: “If you think our examiners are not competent, please come and offer to train our examiners.”

This is hilarious because they are totally oblivious to the problem.

My reply the query above was as follows: Silicon Valley has flourished despite of — not because of — software patents. People whom you speak of can be shown several venture capitalists who openly complain about software patents. Some even took activist-type action against US patent laws. In fact, software patents are why they won’t invest.

What in my humble opinion motivated growth in Silicon Valley is the influx of bright individuals from all across the world. They didn’t come because of patents but because of the quality of universities and a great deal of VC that shrank in more recent years (another bubble). Another factor that played a role in Silicon Valley’s growth is the vast market which is the US. They just have a broader reach.

Ask yourself how many British and French companies can honestly argue that they struggle in the market because the government does not grant them software patents. As Stallman said, it’s actually an advantage for them (over US counterparts) to not have the burden, distraction, and cost overhead of software patents.

So anyway, the correlation here is not causal as a patents booster would wish to make it. Gun crime in the US, for example, is the not the result of having no national healthcare coverage, although one could try to portray it as such. You’re up against a bunk argument, and it’s trivial to show it.

Thomas Warwaris, another software person from Austria, quoted a famous saying from Bill Gates: “If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today’s ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today.… The solution to this is patent exchanges with large companies and patenting as much as we can.” Source: “Challenges and Strategy” (16 May 1991).

“By the way,” he adds, “For arguments with patent bullies, they will very often challenge your competence. Patent offices are a valuable source for good and entertaining arguments to overcome this: Their own patents.

“Getting hands on their Patents, so that they can be full text searched – can require some tricks – but can put you in a huge advantage, because you should find a *lot* of granted Patents, that are ridiculous, in a very entertaining way:

“In Austria they range from “the invention of applying a whinch” (no kidding!) to “relaxation of esoteric energy in house building material” (no kidding either, I’ve seen a patent on sort of a voodoo-machine!). It’s not that they are stupid: It is the system: They have to grant.

“With these patent numbers ready, you can easily thank your patent office for promoting the rediscovery of ancient mechanics and tell them that you have your tarot cards with you, to match their level of science.

“Don’t forget to love patent offices: They are so funny!”

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 EFF Back to Tackling Software Patents, Not Just Patent Trolls

    Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyers start targeting large companies that exploit patents for intimidation and extortion, not just patent trolling



  2. Microsoft Wants to Devour the Competition (Linux), Devour People's Data

    Refuting the "new Microsoft" propaganda and some ludicrous concept that Microsoft is now "playing nice"



  3. Benoît Battistelli Thinks 'President' is Above the Law, Decides to Ignore the Court's Ruling

    Staff of the EPO is given yet more reasons to protest tomorrow at the British Consulate, for the so-called 'President' of the EPO reminds everyone of the very raison d'être for the protest -- a vain disregard for the rule of law



  4. Links 24/2/2015: Xfce 4.12 a Week Away, GNOME 3.16 Previewed

    Links for the day



  5. Links 23/2/2015: Ubuntu Kylin 14.04.2 LTS, Cinnamon 2.6 Previews

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: February 8th - February 21st, 2015





  7. The EPO's Sham 'Internal Investigation' of EPO Vice-President Željko Topić's Affairs

    The EPO never investigated the Željko Topić affair, it only pretends to have investigated (one small aspect, i.e. cherry-picking) using a Benoît Battistelli-controlled group



  8. Links 21/2/2015: GNOME 3.15.90, Google Wins Android Lawsuit

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft AstroTurfing War on GNU/Linux is Still Going On, But Hidden Better, Uses API as Instrument of Lock-in

    The corruptible press continues to describe blatant attacks (Embrace, Extend, Extinguish) against GNU/Linux and Free software as Microsoft 'embracing' Open Source



  10. Lenovo's Superfish Scandal is Spyware on Top of Spyware (Microsoft Windows), the Problem is Inherently Proprietary Software

    Shifting focus to the root problem, which is neither Lenovo nor its laptops but the non-free programs installed on hardware



  11. Benoît Battistelli Once Again Threatens EPO Staff That 'Dares' to Protest, Battistelli Exploits Terror Attacks to Pretend to Respect Free Speech

    The European Patent Office (EPO) President, Benoît Battistelli, reportedly started threatening -- as before -- staff that decides to exercise the right to assemble and protest against abuses, including the abuses of President Battistelli himself



  12. Links 20/2/2015: Android Studio v1.1, GDB 7.9

    Links for the day



  13. Links 20/2/2015: Bloomberg Joins Linux Foundation, ClearOS Community 6.6.0

    Links for the day



  14. The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys Slams the European Patent Office for Structural Failings

    An important letter which we overlooked while writing yesterday's 4 articles about the European Patent Office (EPO); yet another key stakeholder complains



  15. Links 19/2/2015: Hewlett-Packard on Cumulus Linux, Previews of GNOME 3.16 Beta

    Links for the day



  16. Techrights Under Attack Again, Shortly After Important EPO Articles

    Techrights highlights a pattern that is months old; Site faces availability issues shortly after reports about the European Patent Office and its abuses



  17. EPO Staff Protests Against Benoît Battistelli’s Lowering of Patents Quality (Scope Expansion and Software Patents for Profit)

    A protest in Munich in less than 6 days will target Mr. Sean Dennehey, who has helped Battistelli cover up his abuses and crush legitimate critics, whom he deemed illegal opposition as if the EPO is an authoritarian regime as opposed to a public service which taxpayers are reluctantly (but forcibly) funding



  18. Breaking: European Patent Office Sued by Its Own Staff in The Hague, Must Unblock Staff's Voices

    The crooked management of the European Patent Office (EPO) gets in legal trouble after repeated attempts to cover up abuses and suppress criticism



  19. Željko Topić's History in SIPO Leaves a Legacy of Alleged DZIV Vehicles (Bribes), Authorship Abuses, and Intimidation Against Reporters

    Another deep look at Željko Topić's background in Croatia, preceding his very notorious appointment to the EPO where he now serves as Benoît Battistelli's most controversial attack dog



  20. The Old Obsession With Patent Trolls Continues to Distract From Debate About Software Patenting

    A roundup of recent coverage about monopolies on algorithms in the United States



  21. Links 19/2/2015: 64-bit ARM Linux, Chinese New Year

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/2/2015: Linux Report, FlightGear 3.4

    Links for the day



  23. EPO Scandals: The Story So Far

    An overview of articles about mischief, misconduct and breach of laws at the EPO



  24. Links 17/2/2015: TripleO, Pivotal

    Links for the day



  25. Links 17/2/2015: SystemD 219, Frugalware 2.0 (Rigel) Released

    Links for the day



  26. Željko Peratović Slammed for Whitewashing Željko Topić After Publishing Important Piece on Behalf of Key Sources

    Response from Ivan Kabalin to Zeljko Peratovic's so-called "apology" which is both mysterious and seemingly inadequate as it does nothing to actually explain what was wrong (if anything)



  27. Benoît Battistelli Has Made Oversight of European Patent Office Absolutely Impossible





  28. Microsoft Already Killed Nokia, Don't Let It Kill Android Players Too

    Microsoft's strategy against Android mirrors the company's evil strategy that derailed MeeGo and Nokia



  29. Intel Continues to Attack Software Freedom Through UEFI

    The Trojan horse that Microsoft uses to cement its monopoly on desktops and laptops (making it hard or impossible to install and run GNU/Linux) is also being misused to block Coreboot



  30. Links 16/2/2015: Netrunner 15, Bridge Linux

    Links for the day


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