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

03.16.13

Ongoing Debate on Software Patents Brings up Trade Secrets, FRAND, and Misguided Targeting of Symptoms

Posted in Patents at 8:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patent maze tackled

Maze

Summary: Some of the latest articles regarding software patents and ways of overcoming patent impediments

Patents are an interesting proposition in principle. In exchange for publication of devices and methods one receives a temporary monopoly. The patent system has, over the centuries, become less about publication or attribution and more about protectionism by litigation, or threats of litigation. There is this new opinion piece which says that trade secrets are better than patents. To quote:

THE conventional way to protect intellectual property is to patent it. This gives an inventor legal protection for his idea: if others want to use it, they must pay him. The snag is that he must publish his idea, making it easy for someone in a less lawful country to steal it.

Nobody can steal ideas. Devices can be copied and ideas shared, not stolen. Semantics aside, we are still seeing how leading products get held back by overzealous players to whom patents are an excuse for banning competition. Watch how FRAND is actively used against Google and as this new article implicitly puts it, Samsung is able to strike back rather than Motorola, which is now used by Google to fight back against FRAND tax. Pamela Jones writes:

I totally didn’t expect this: The ITC has just posted a notice [PDF] that it wants input on the public interest in the case Samsung brought against Apple regarding alleged violations of Samsung’s standards-essential patents. That’s in Inv. No. 337-TA-794, In the Matter of Certain Electronic Devices, Including Wireless Communication Devices, Portable Music and Data Processing Devices, and Tablet Computers.

It has once again extended the deadline to announce its decision until May 31 as a result. It is asking for written submissions “from the parties and from the public” on the issues.

This is rather stunning. The Essential Patent Blog says this may “imply that the Commission could be leaning toward a finding that Apple infringes U.S. Patent No. 7,706,348 – a patent that Samsung has alleged is essential to the UMTS 3G cellular standard — and is now trying to decide what if any remedy it should order.”

One notable example of FRAND as ‘multimedia tax’ is MPEG-LA, which Simon Phipps, OSI President, called a troll. In his latest piece he says:

Google’s settlement with MPEG-LA is a fresh development in a decades-old story of software patents. Will it finally open video codec technology to open source developers?

Probably not. As we wrote before, it helped legitimise MPEG patents internationally, even where software patenting is not legal.

The Business Software Alliance, in the mean time, joins a leading MPEG booster (through Trash Player) in calling to pursue not reform over patent scope but only patent trolls:

Dana Rao, vice president of Intellectual Property and Litigation at Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE), today appeared before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet. Representing Adobe and other members of BSA | The Software Alliance, Rao testified during the hearing on “Abusive Patent Litigation: The Impact of American Innovation & Jobs, and Potential Solutions.” He spoke on the need to end abusive patent litigation and preserve the right of software developers to patent their inventions.

At-times-controversial Michael Risch, who studied trolls, has just been given Wired as a platform in which to implicitly defend software patenting while calling for another type of misguided ‘reform’. “The patent system is flawed, some would say broken,” he wrote. “And patent trolls — less pejoratively known as non-practicing entities (NPEs) — are to blame, no matter how good a case they might make for their role in the patent ecosystem. Or are they? Trolls are an easy target because they don’t make anything, choosing instead to enforce patents against those who do.”

Wired has been having this lawyers-only debate, with few exceptions (this latest man is Associate Professor at Villanova University School of Law). This one says: “Curing the patent problem requires general solutions … not ones targeted just at patent trolls.”

Sounds promising, right? But he never viewed software patents as an issue. Instead he suggests “Improving patent quality and pricing” and “Limiting and controlling damages”, among other things. It sure looks like real solutions are deliberately kept off the table. In fairness to Wired, they did make room at the panel for Richard Stallman, who celebrates his birthday today.

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. 'Financial Director' Publishes Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Response to some of the latest UPC propaganda, which strives to misinform Financial Directors so as to enrich the author and his firm



  2. Independent and Untainted Web Sites About Patents Are Still Few and Rare

    Commentary about news sources that we rely on, as well as the known pitfalls or the vested interests deeply ingrained in them



  3. The 20% Rule: Patent Trolling Suffers Double-Digit Declines and Patent Troll Technicolor is Collapsing

    Significant demise or total catastrophe for the modus operandi (method) of going after companies with a pile of patents and threats of litigation



  4. US Supreme Court Did Not End Apple's Patent Disputes Over Android (Linux), More Cases Imminent

    An overview of some very recent news regarding the highest court in the United States, which has been dealing with cases that can determine the fate of Free/Open Source software in an age of patent uncertainty and patent thickets surrounding mobility



  5. Links 15/1/2017: Switching From OS X to GNU/Linux, Debian 8.7 Released

    Links for the day



  6. Number of New Patent Cases in the US Fell 25% Last Year, Thanks in Part to the Demise of Software Patent Trolls

    Litigation and prosecutions that rely on patents (failure to resolve disputes, e.g. by sharing ideas, out of court) is down very sharply, in part because firms that make nothing at all (just threaten and/or litigate) have been sinking after much-needed reform



  7. America Invents Act Improved Patent Quality, But Right Wingers Threaten to Make It Worse Again

    The past half a decade saw gradual improvement in assessment of patents in the United States, but there is a growing threat and pressure from the patent microcosm to restore patent maximalism and chaos



  8. PTAB -- Not Deterred by Courts -- Continues to Invalidate a Lot of Software Patents

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) continues to make progress reforming the patent system by eliminating a lot of patents and setting an example (or new standards) for what is patent-eligible after Alice



  9. EPO Abuses Come Under Fire From Politicians in Luxembourg

    Luxembourg is the latest nation in which concerns about the EPO's serious abuses are brought up not only by the media but also by politicians



  10. Constitutionality as a Barrier and Brexit Barriers to UPC Keep the Whole Pipe Dream Deadlocked

    The UPC is still going nowhere fast, but the demise (or death) of the UPC as we know it must not be taken for granted



  11. Links 14/1/2017: Wine 2.0 RC5 and AryaLinux 2017 Released

    Links for the day



  12. Links 13/1/2017: Linux 4.9.3 and Linux 4.4.42

    Links for the day



  13. Brexit Means No UPC (Unified Patent Court)

    Now that Jo Johnson, Boris Johnson's brother, is officially declared the new minister for intellectual property in the UK everything that Lucy Neville-Rolfe wrote is as solid as paper bag on a rainy London day



  14. Patent Trolls and Software Patents: CloudTrade, Patent Practitioners Density, and Via Licensing

    Software patents armament from a British company, charted concentration of the patent microcosm in the United States, and US-leaning patent trolls that prey on China



  15. Patent Maximalism -- Like Copyright Maximalism -- Relies on Misconceptions and Mass Deception

    The latest examples of discussions about patent scope, courtesy of those looking to benefit financially by pushing such monopolies to the max



  16. Software Patents Still Promoted by IBM and Its Lobbyist (and Former Employee) David Kappos, in Defiance of Much-Needed US Patent Reform

    While the corporate media celebrates IBM as though it's some kind of 'champion' for hoarding patents that it then uses to attack companies which actually grow



  17. Brexit/Trump Effect: Patent Systems With Institutional Corruption and Nepotism

    Rumours about Britain's head of patents (and copyrights etc.) being the brother of the Brexit campaigner and Foreign Minister; meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, rumours suggest that the corrupt judge Rader might be the next head of patents in the United States



  18. Links 11/1/2017: X.Org Server 1.19.1, GitHub's Atom 1.13

    Links for the day



  19. The Patent Microcosm is Already Sucking up to Donald Trump in an Effort to Enrich Itself at Everyone's Expense

    Four new examples of patent maximalists embracing/adopting the pseudo-populist slogan to advance their goals of increasing litigation (which they profit from) and undermining PTAB (which made patents great in the quality sense)



  20. Patent Quality in the United States Can Only be Assessed at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Courts

    The travesty of patent offices in the US and China, where the goal or the accomplishment is measured in terms of the number of patents rather than their quality



  21. Gradual Collapse of Microsoft's Extensive (and External) Patent Trolling Operations

    The President of Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC (patent troll) leaves and the founder of Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's largest peripheral patent troll, joins Sherpa Technology



  22. No End to Battistelli's Witch-hunts Against the Media, Against Staff, and Against Politicians

    Rumours about the fate of people who are (or have been) criticising Battistelli's reign of terror at the EPO



  23. Links 10/1/2017: Synfig 1.2, Kodachi Linux 3.7

    Links for the day



  24. With Help From the US Supreme Court (Key Cases), Patent Trolls Are Going Away

    The demise of patent trolls in the United States, a trend partly attributable to Alice and other Supreme Court decisions, will likely accelerate soon (later this year) as the future of the Eastern District of Texas courts is at stake



  25. Patent Maximalism on Display: Patent Aggressor IBM Celebrated in the Media

    The patent lust at IBM, which is suing if not just shaking down companies using software patents, earns plenty of puff pieces from the corporate media



  26. FFPE-EPO, the EPO Management's Pet/Yellow Union, Helps Union-Busting (Against SUEPO) in Letter to Notorious Vice-President

    In a letter to Elodie Bergot (as CC) and Željko Topić, who faces many criminal investigations, FFPE-EPO ringleaders reveal their allegiance not to EPO staff but to those who perpetually attack the staff



  27. Links 9/1/2017: Civilization VI Coming to GNU/Linux, digiKam 5.4.0 Released

    Links for the day



  28. Links 9/1/2017: Dell’s Latest XPS 13, GPD Pocket With GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  29. Update on Patent Trolls and Their Enablers: IAM, Fortress, Inventergy, Nokia, MOSAID/Conversant, Microsoft, Intellectual Ventures, Faraday Future, A*STAR, GPNE, AlphaCap Ventures, and TC Heartland

    A potpourri of reports about some of the world’s worst patent trolls and their highly damaging enablers/facilitators, including Microsoft which claims that it “loves Linux” whilst attacking it with patents by proxy



  30. Mark Summerfield: “US Supreme Court Decision in Alice Looks to Have Eliminated About 75% of New Business Method Patents.”

    Some of the patent microcosm, or those who profit from the bureaucracy associated with patents, responds to claims made by Techrights (that software patents are a dying breed in the US)


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