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

04.09.13

Those Who Push for Patent Reform and Those Who Protect Protectionism

Posted in Google, Patents, Red Hat at 11:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hand idea

Summary: Google, Red Hat et al. versus the old guard which is lawyers and ageing companies such as IBM

Following a much-publicised action against patent trolls a lot of awareness is spread about the issue and some “Ask FTC, DoJ To Do The Same” (i.e. take a stand). Being part of the corrupt system which harbuors the monopolies office, the USPTO, they are hardly doing anything, so the negatively-affected corporations are lobbying. The government did take a stand against some other patent practices as of late, why not trolls? There are a variety issues such as FRAND (see this battle which hits Android from numerous directions) that show not only trolls are a problem. Google focuses on the price of trolls because Microsoft uses trolls like MOSAID as proxies in this battle — an issue about which Google has already spoken. One article says that “Google — along with Blackberry and other tech companies — has asked the FTC to pay greater attention to patent trolls, who embroil companies in expensive litigation over bogus claims on the ownership of new technologies.” If trolls are stopped, the litigation-by-proxy strategy too is impeded.

The FTC has not been promising when it comes to justice, but Red Hat is at least helping raise awareness with that aforementioned complaint. The EFF is also involved in this. It wrote:

EFF filed comments today urging the Federal Trade Commission to take action against patent trolls. We have written often about the rise of the patent troll—entities that don’t create products themselves, but instead buy patents and make money from lawsuits—and the serious harm they are causing true innovators.

Here is some coverage from London:

Google, Red Hat, BlackBerry and ISP EarthLink have called on the US Federal Trade Commission and US Department of Justice to take action against patent assertion entities (PAEs), or as they are more commonly known, patent trolls. In a letter to the agencies, the companies point out that PAEs are now filing four times as many cases as they did in 2005 and claims cost US companies at least $29 billion in direct costs in 2011 and $80 billion when accounting for indirect costs. Although large companies face hundreds of PAE lawsuits, the vendors point out that small and medium-sized companies are the most frequent targets. According to the comments, 62% of all recently filed patent litigation is PAE lawsuits.

Make no mistake, this isn’t a one-sided battle in the press. The debate is rigged and there's more. Corporate media has some troll toll apologists with weird lines of logic, as shown in the case of Tim Worstall. Not too long ago the same site’s blogs amplified the arguments of Lundberg, one of the most vocal software patents proponents [1, 2]. There is also IBM which is appearing in a prominent pro-software patents site (run by patent lawyers).Manny Schecter (IBM’s patents chief) is again being borrowed by the patent maximalist, who is latching onto glorified lawyer Rader. Pamela Jones responded by writing: “Judge Rader is describing only one form of abuse, trolls. Companies can abuse the system too, as the smartphone patent wars have so ably demonstrated. Until someone addresses the issues of patentable subject matter, invalid but issued patents, and design patent misuse, none of the above will really help. Trolls are a problem, but they are not the only problem.”

In the midst of all this opposition to patent trolls we find that a very notorious troll is suing many companies again. To quote one report:

Remember Lodsys, the “inventions” firm that started issuing letters to iOS developers’ doors back in 2011, warning them that by using Apple’s in-app payment mechanism they were infringing on patents it owned? Well, as MacRumors notes, Lodsys has now risen from its slumber to take on the might of Disney, and others.

Another article about it says that 10 mobile game makers have been hit by these software patents. There is no lack of examples of the harms of software patents (a troll’s favorite weapon) and the latest nonsensical arguments and flawed analogy from Goetz [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] gets smashed by Jones, who wrote: “Aside from the ridiculousness, and inaccuracy, of his posited example, may I just point out that the Wright Brothers held back innovation in the US aviation industry for years? As Patent Plaques writes: “The Wright’s patent wars were not without consequences. Unfortunately, all of the time spent fighting to protect their patent was time the Wright’s were not spending on innovation and the development of new planes. Their planes became inferior to the planes being produced in Europe.” Neither were they the inventors of airplanes, despite the claims. Many others flew before or contemporaneously, we now know. Nor was the patent on airplanes; it was only on one aspect of it, a method of flight control, and France and Germany refused to grant them a patent there, which is why inventors there bypassed US aviation. The same thing will happen with software, by the way, if no one acts to stop the strangulation of innovation via software patents.”

That spin, unsurprising enough, came from a lawyers’ site, Patently-O. Here is one new column that slams the patent system. No text shows up in this page. It may seem as though software patents are being pushed back, but not enough software developers write about this issue. Lawyers specialising in patents are rigging the public debates, still. It for their own profit — profit at the expense of programmers.

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. 22,000 Blog Posts

    A special number is reached again, marking another milestone for the site



  2. The EPO is Lying to Its Own Staff About ILO and Endless (Over 2 Years) EPO Mistrials

    The creative writing skills of some spinners who work for Battistelli would have staff believe that all is fine and dandy at the EPO and ILO is dealing effectively with staff complaints about the EPO (even if several years too late)



  3. EPO’s Georg Weber Continues Horrifying Trend of EPO Promoting Software Patents in Defiance of Directive, EPC, and Common Sense

    The EPO's promotion of software patents, even out in the open, is an insult to the notion that the EPO is adhering to or is bound by the rules upon which it maintains its conditional monopoly



  4. Protectionism v Sharing: How the US Supreme Court Decides Patent Cases

    As the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) starts delivering some decisions we take stock of what's to come regarding patents



  5. Links 22/3/2017: GNOME 3.24, Wine-Staging 2.4 Released

    Links for the day



  6. The Battistelli Regime, With Its Endless Scandals, Threatens to Crash the Unitary Patent (UPC), Stakeholders Concerned

    The disdain and the growing impatience have become a huge liability not just to Battistelli but to the European Patent Office (EPO) as a whole



  7. The Photos the EPO Absolutely Doesn't Want the Public to See: Battistelli is Building a Palace Using Stakeholders' Money

    The Office is scrambling to hide evidence of its out-of-control spendings, which will leave the EPO out of money when the backlog is eliminated by many erroneous grants (or rejections)



  8. In the US Patent System, Evolved Tricks for Bypassing Invalidations of Software Patents and Getting Them Granted by the USPTO

    A roundup of news about patents in the US and how the patent microcosm attempts to patent software in spite of Alice (high-impact SCOTUS decision from 2014)



  9. “Then They Came For Me—And There Was No One Left To Speak For Me.”

    The decreasing number of people who cover EPO scandals (partly due to fear, or Battistelli's notorious "reign of terror") and a cause for hope, as well as a call for help



  10. As Expected, the Patent Microcosm is Already Interfering, Lobbying and Influencing Supreme Court Justices

    The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is preparing to deliver some important decisions on cases with broad ramifications, e.g. for patent scope, and those who make money from patent feuds are attempting to alter the outcome (which would likely restrict patent scope even further, based on these Justices' track record)



  11. Intellectual Ventures -- Like Microsoft (Which It Came From) -- Spreads Patents to Manifest a Lot of Lawsuits

    That worrisome strategy which is passage of patents to active (legally-aggressive) trolls seems to be a commonality, seen across both Microsoft and its biggest ally among trolls, which Microsoft and Bill Gates helped create and still fund



  12. What the Patent Microcosm is Saying About the EPO and the UPC

    Response to 3 law firms and today's output from them, which serves to inform or misinform the European public at times of Big Lies and fog of (patent) war, revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetric patent warfare and lobbying



  13. Tough Day for the EPO's Media/Press/PR Team, Trying 'Damage Control' After Important Techrights Publications

    In an effort to save face and regain a sense of legitimacy the EPO publishes various things belatedly, and only after Techrights made these things publicly known and widely discussed



  14. Links 21/3/2017: PyPy Releases, Radeon RX Vega, Eileen Evans at Linux Foundation

    Links for the day



  15. In IAM, Asian Courts That Deliver Justice Are “Unfriendly” and Asian Patent Trolls Are Desirable

    Rebuttal or response to the latest pieces from IAM, which keeps promoting a culture of litigation rather than sharing, collaboration, negotiation, and open innovation



  16. At EPO “I Have the Feeling That Lowering Quality is Part of a Concerted Plan.”

    Growing concern about patent quality at the EPO -- a subject which causes managers to get rather nervous -- is now an issue at the forefront



  17. EPO Reduces the World to Just Seven Nations to Bolster an Illusion of Growing 'Demand' for European Patents

    The unscientific -- if not antiscientific -- attitude of the European Patent Office (EPO) continues to show with the arrival of yet more misleading 'infographics' (disinfographics would be a more suitable term)



  18. Letter to Angela Merkel Expresses Concerns About Impact of EPO Scandals on Germany and Its Image

    Dr. Angela Merkel, arguably the most powerful woman in the world, is being warned about the consequences of Germany ignoring (and hence facilitating) the abuses of Benoît Battistelli



  19. EPO Caricature: Low Patent Quality Not an Achievement

    A new cartoon about the legacy of Battistelli, which ruins both inventors and staff (examination) while handing money to abusers



  20. Are Lithuania and Latvia the Latest Additions to the List of Benoît Battistelli's Vassal States?

    Benoît Battistelli's 'back room' deals came at an interesting, strategic time and the Office uncharacteristically kept quiet about these



  21. Links 20/3/2017: Linux 4.11 RC3, OpenSSH 7.5 Released

    Links for the day



  22. Supposedly 'Pampered' Prisoners Are Still Prisoners of the EPO

    Response to those gross and familiar attempts to portray patent examiners, not politicians who trample all over them, as the cause of all the problems at the EPO



  23. Insulting Reversal of Narratives at the EPO: Team Battistelli as the Victim

    At times of great oppression against staff, in clear defiance of the law in fact, journalists are being asked (or expected) to view the oppressor as the victim, even when this oppressor drives people to suicide



  24. Battistelli's EPO Copies China -- Not the US -- When it Comes to Patenting Software and Expanding Patent Scope

    A detailed explanation of some of the latest reports from China and the US, serving to show that one opens up to software patents whereas the other shuts the door on them (and guess whose lead the EPO is taking)



  25. What IAM Says About AST, RPX, Ericsson, and IBM

    IAM, the trolls' mouthpiece (also the EPO's mouthpiece, but that's another story), provides updates on trolls and troll-like entities, but further commentary is needed to clarify and counterbalance the promotional language



  26. Apple and Microsoft, Two Patent Aggressors That Habitually Attack GNU/Linux Distributors, Get Sued by a Patent Troll, Soverain IP

    Putting in perspective the latest high-profile (in the press at least) lawsuits filed by a notorious troll, which this time around chose as its targets two patent aggressors that deserve no sympathy because of their own actions



  27. What's OIN Doing While Microsoft is Siccing Patent Trolls on Azure Competitors' Customers?

    Microsoft's patent litigation strategy has become clearer, and patents-centric efforts such as OIN offer no defence against such a strategy, which attempts to pressure everyone to flock to Microsoft for 'protection' (from Microsoft itself)



  28. “EPO Continues to Grant Software Patents”

    The longstanding concern about the granting of software patents at the EPO (typically disguised as a "device") as reinforced by T 0625/11



  29. Links 19/3/2017: Linux Sightings, What's Wrong With Microsoft, and Death of Docker

    Links for the day



  30. Governance Crisis at EPO Deepens After Latest Meeting of the Administrative Council, Necessitating Urgent Outside Intervention

    he EPO's Administrative Council continues to be subservient to -- and without any authority over -- Team Battistelli with its endless mischief and endless power grab, including unbridled money grab


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