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

01.19.13

New Fights Against Software Patents Around the World

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 5:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A roundup of patent news from Europe, the US, and some other places which suddenly let software patents be

Hartmut Pilch, the habitually-involved founder of the FFII, writes in his blog about the group's latest action which strives to tackle software patents in Europe one patent at a time, as a matter of making a point or precedence perhaps.

Meanwhile, the patent has been revoked. The Opposition Division revoked it for the second time. In 2007 it had already revoked this patent, which had been granted in 2003 and filed in 1998. However the Technical Board of Appeal (TBA) revived the patent and remitted it to the Opposition Division, alleging that the Opposition Division had failed to prove that the feature of simplification to a “single action” (one click) was not novel. In today’s hearing, the Opposition Division considered this feature novel. Moreover it also considered novel the process of ordering a gift for a friend without fully disclosing his address. However the Opposition Division doubted, whether the combination of these two features could be considered an “inventive step”.

Defining what makes a software patent is a legitimate debate, unlike what makes “good” software patents. Amazon is doing badly based on grounds of triviality, prior art, and lack of software patenting in the case of Europe. It ought to make this patent quite easy a target for the FFII.

Meanwhile in the United States, the USPTO enjoys protections from corporations and government (virtually the same under corporocracy) and one notable lawyer who is a product of this system advocates yet more patent monopolies, saying that “Patents Boost American Prosperity” (maybe for lawyers). The idea that academia, for instance, would stop innovating if no patents were offered is totally ridiculous. Masnick’s Web site is dismantling the arguments one by one, concluding:

Yes, we agree that innovation holds the key to future prosperity. The problem is that there is no evidence that the patent system actually increases that innovation, and a ridiculous amount of evidence that it does exactly the opposite. It retards innovation, diverting money from actual innovations that hit the market, to lawyers. The costs associated with the patent system far outweigh any benefits. Could you craft a functioning patent system? Perhaps, but today’s system is not it, and if Judge Michel ever spent time with actual innovators who were the victims of patent trolling, he might learn something. But, you know, that would offend his patent lawyer and patent troll buddies.

More patents boosters, again in the form of patent lawyers, debate the scope of patents:

The chart above shows the percentage of published non-provisional patent applications that include the term “means for” at least once in the claimset. Although not the only way of doing so, “means for” is traditionally used by patent attorneys to invoke the doctrine known as means-plus-function claiming allowed under 35 U.S.C. 112p6. [Soon to be renumbered 35 U.S.C. 112(f)]. As the chart shows, the percentage of applications that include at least one means-plus-function term is well under 10% and seemingly in continued decline. A decade ago, about 1/4 of all applications included this type of claim.

At the legal site Groklaw, Pamela Jones responds with: “So topic one the USPTO asks us to address covers “well under 10%” of the applications for patents. Of course.”

Well, the USPTO likes to focus on rigged debates which hardly address the real questions, as we have explained before. Those are easy to find. It’s either a stacked panel, a push polling-like tactic (dancing around distraction and disinformation), or both.

We are rather troubled to see patents on software getting granted in countries that fought them: South Africa, Israel, and New Zealand. See this press release:

Publishing Data Management announced today that five international patents have been granted for the software engine that drives ProofPlus, its trademarked Financial Compliance and Electronic Document system. Patents have been issued in Israel, Russia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa and are pending in China, Europe and additional countries. This announcement underscores the significant commitment a company must undertake to protect its inventive efforts in today’s global marketplace.

Europe is not a “country” actually, not even with the unitary patent [1, 2]. Either way, let us hope that multinationals’ pressure (clients of patents lawyers) to make software patentable won’t spread outside of the United States where, in my humble opinion, corporations already have far too much power over the authorities. Imperialism by corporations never-endingly strives to expand for increased profit. It’s governments’ job to place boundaries and represent people, the digital majority

Corporocracy map

“Geeks like to think that they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won’t leave you alone.”

Richard Stallman

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

2 Comments

  1. NotZed said,

    January 19, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Gravatar

    “It’s governments’ job to place boundaries and represent people, the digital majority”

    Haha ha ha. You neophyte. After all you write on this blog, how can you say such a thing with a straight face?

    It’s always the “governments” role to represent the landed gentry’s interests. Democracy is just propaganda – a plain and cruel joke – used to subjugate the proles. Anyway, software patents are now a “strategic interest” of the US government, and part of the national security agenda. Don’t expect any waffling lawyers to make any meaningful headway against that.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    What I meant was, governments’ job *SHOULD BE* to place boundaries and represent people, the digital majority.

    Clearly this is not happening in most countries which call themselves democratic because elected officials are corruptible and they develop a sixth sense for life after office (how to monetise power).

What Else is New


  1. Site Focus for The Remainder of the Year

    What we plan for the rest of 2014 and why



  2. Links 20/4/2014: EFF FOSS, Easter Drone Strikes, Copyright Industry Fear of Google

    Links for the day



  3. Links 19/4/2014: Slow Easter News Day

    Links for the day



  4. Links 18/4/2014: New KDE, Kubuntu, and More

    Links for the day



  5. Some Perspective on Heartbleed®

    Our views on the whole Heartbleed® bonanza, which seems like partly a PR stunt (for multiple stakeholders)



  6. Microsoft is Leaving Windows -- Including Vista 8.1 -- Vulnerable to Non-Government Crackers, Not Only to NSA

    Microsoft makes it ever more evident that securing users of Windows is not at all a priority, and perhaps not even a desire



  7. Links 17/4/2014: Android RDP, New Ubuntu, RHEL 7 Milestone

    Links for the day



  8. Racing to 1984: Mass Surveillance, Cracking, 'Targeted' Assassinations, and Illegal Torture

    Links for the day



  9. More Microsoft Subsidies to Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures

    Microsoft hands money to Bill Gates' close friend who is the world's largest patent troll



  10. Aiding Microsoft Under the Disguise of 'Pro-FOSS'

    Not everything which is FOSS necessary becomes, by virtue of existence, a positive contribution, as we are constantly reminded by projects that help proprietary software and/or restrictions get a strong grip on FOSS



  11. Links 16/4/2014: Red Hat PR, Ubuntu LTS Imminent

    Links for the day



  12. Links 15/4/2014: Lots of PCLinuxOS Releases, Ukraine Updates

    Links for the day



  13. Apple and Microsoft Actively Lobbying Against Patent Reform in the US

    Apple and Microsoft are reportedly intervening/interfering with US law in order to ensure that the law is Free/libre software-hostile



  14. Lawsuit by Microsoft Shareholder Targets Fine for Crimes Rather Than the Crimes Themselves

    A new lawsuit by a Microsoft shareholder shows everything that's wrong with today's model of accountability, where those who are responsible for crimes are accused of not avoiding fines rather than committing the crimes



  15. Public Institutions Must Dump PRISM-Associated Software

    Another reminder that taxpayers-subsidised services should refuse, as a matter of principle, to pay anything for -- let alone deploy -- proprietary software with back doors



  16. GNU/Linux News: The Opportunities Amid XP EOL

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft Gets Its Money's Worth From Xamarin: PlayStation 4 Now Polluted by Microsoft

    The Trojan horse of Microsoft, Xamarin, is pushing .NET into Microsoft's console competitor



  18. After Brendan Eich Comes Chris Beard

    Having removed Brendan Eich using bullying and blackmail tactics, his foes inside Mozilla achieved too little as we have yet another man (coming from inside Mozilla) acting as CEO



  19. Healthcare News: Free Software in Health, Humanitarian Causes

    Links for the day



  20. Links 14/4/2014: MakuluLinux, Many Games, More Privacy News and Pulitzer Prize for NSA Revelations

    Links for the day



  21. TechBytes Episode 87: Catching up With Surveillance (NSA, GCHQ et al.)

    The first audio episode in a very long time covers some of the latest happenings when it comes to privacy and, contrariwise, mass surveillance



  22. Server News: KVM, ElasticHosts, Other GNU/Linux Items, and Open Network Linux

    Links for the day



  23. Hardware News: Freedom, Modding, Hackability on the Rise

    Links for the day



  24. Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

    Links for the day



  25. GNOME News: Financial Issues, Mutter-Wayland, West Coast Summit, Community Participation

    Links for the day



  26. KDE News: Kubuntu at the Centre Again KDE Applications Updated

    Links for the day



  27. Techrights Rising

    Effective immediately, Techrights will do what it takes to bring back old volume and pace of publishing



  28. Links: Surveillance, Intervention, Torture and Drones

    Links for the day



  29. Mobile Linux Not Just Android: Jolla, WebOS, and Firefox OS News

    Links for the day



  30. Google's Linux Revolution: New Gains for Android, Chrome OS (GNU/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