04.13.13

The Notion of “Software Patent Trolls”

Posted in Patents at 3:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Greek lexicon

Summary: Suggested terminology to help distinguish the symptom from the cause of the defunct patent system which facilitates monopolies on algorithms

As most patent trolls use patents on algorithms, it is time to emphasise this correlation by changing the lexicon a bit. A lot of energy these days is directed at trolls, but it is missing the point or the root of the problems. We are not the only ones to point this out. Other notable patent reformists are disturbed by the lack of attention given to software patents because of trolls as a phenomenon.

Over at IDG, Snyder warns about patent trolls rather than software patents, which is a distraction:

The patent trolls are back, and this time they’re after you

Lodsys, Personal Audio, and Project Paperless continue to hit developers and businesses with frivolous lawsuits — and are reaping the rewards

Also at IDG, OSI president Simon Phipps speaks about another type of action — one which defends not from trolls but from patent cartels (OIN is effective at the latter, impotent against the former):

The big companies have armed themselves for the patent wars. Now ordinary businesses have their own defense with the Open Invention Network

Rackspace, having recently defeated software patents and trolls at the same time, targets what’s referred to here as “software patent trolls”:

Why Rackspace Stood Up To Software Patent Trolls

‘Patent monetisation’ firms, better known under the nickname ‘patent troll’, have been plaguing the IT industry for years. A few of these organisations really help innovators to benefit from their work. The rest use legal loopholes and flaws in the US patent legislation to literally extort money from businesses both big and small.

Finally, Rackspace decided it had enough. Last week, Alan Schoenbaum, senior VP, general counsel and the leader of the global legal team at Rackspace, declared an all-out war on these organisations, starting with IP Nav, which he called “the most notorious patent troll in America”.

TechWeekEurope asked Schoenbaum to explain just how much damage patent trolls are doing, and what the industry can do to stop them.

Rackspace deserves credit for this. They don’t pay Microsoft for GNU/Linux, unlike Microsoft, and my experience with them is positive.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

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. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, November 27, 2020



  2. Links 27/11/2020: Jolla is 7, Diffoscope 162, MNT Reform Production

    Links for the day



  3. The Time Coronavirus Helped EPO Management Prevent Staff From Protesting and Going on Strike (March 26th)

    "In view of the spreading of the New Corona Virus, the planned General Assemblies have to be cancelled," the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) wrote in the wake of the crisis across Europe back in March (weeks ahead of a planned strike)



  4. Guarding Your Privacy With E2EE: Primer

    "As with all security, there is assumed risk no matter how careful you are. There are no security guarantees but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try."



  5. Links 27/11/2020: Systemd 247 and Cockpit 233

    Links for the day



  6. A Free Speech Deficit Harms Software Freedom

    Free software and Software Freedom cannot possibly succeed if we keep accepting or even just tolerating systematic censorship of opinionated people in our community; failing to speak out on this matter (for fear of supposedly offending someone, risking expulsion) is part of the problem — complicity by passivity



  7. Perception of Difficulty

    New poem by figosdev



  8. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 26, 2020



  9. Cartoon: After Gambling With Workers' Savings the EPO Can Do Real Estate

    New EPO cartoon from EPO insiders (the one on the right certainly looks a lot like António Campinos and the one on the left can be his EUIPO ‘import’ or Benoît Battistelli‘s INPI ‘import’)



  10. Free as in Freedom Should Not be Associated With Cost

    It's important to remind people that so-called 'free' services (Clown Computing, centralised spaces that 'farm' their so-called 'users') aren't really free; we need to advocate freedom or free-as-in-freedom alternatives



  11. [Meme] UPC's Pyrrhic Victory

    Contrary to what Team UPC says, what happened earlier today is hardly a breakthrough



  12. Many Thanks to Free Software, the Demise of Software Patents (in Europe and the US), and So Much More

    On a positive note we're heading into the end of November, one month before Boxing Day; we take stock of patent affairs that impact software developers



  13. Links 26/11/2020: PHP 8.0, Proxmox VE 6.3, UNIGINE 2.13

    Links for the day



  14. 29,000 Blog Posts and Recent Site Improvements

    Over 29,000 blog posts have been posted here, but more importantly we've made the site a lot more robust and resilient, accessible in more formats and protocols (while improving transparency, too)



  15. [Meme] Trump is Out. Now It's Time to Pressure the Biden Administration/Transition Team on Software Freedom Issues.

    The Biden transition is in motion and tentative appointments are underway, based on news reports (see our Daily Links); now is the time to put pressure, e.g. in the form of public backlash, to ensure it's not just another corporate presidency



  16. Boycott ZDNet Unless You Fancy Being Lied to

    ZDNet's Catalin Cimpanu continues to lead the way with misinformation and lies, basically doing whatever he was doing to land that job at ZDNet (after he had done the same elsewhere)



  17. The UPC and Unitary Patent Song

    On goes the UPC symphony, as the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is almost here, always coming "real soon!"



  18. Open Letter to the German Greens on UPC and Software Patents: Don’t Betray Your Voters and Your Promises, or You Will Regret it

    Dear Members of the German Greens in the Bundestag. By Benjamin HENRION.



  19. [Meme] One Step Away From Replacing Patent Examiners With 'Hey Hi' (AI)

    If it's not legal for 'Hey Hi' (AI) to get a patent, why should it be legal for patents to be granted by those who are invisible (and sometimes in de facto house arrest)?



  20. European Patent Office (EPO) Reduced to 'Justice Over the Telephone' and Decree by E-mail

    The EPO is trashing the EPC and everything that the Office was supposed to stand for, as it wrongly assumes demand for monopolies (typically from foreign corporations) comes before the rule of law and Europe's public interest



  21. Making Free Software Work for Users

    The latest reply to a non-developer concerned about software freedom; guest post by figosdev



  22. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 25, 2020



  23. Links 26/11/2020: AV Linux 2020.11.23 and Blender 2.91 Release

    Links for the day



  24. Links 25/11/2020: GamerOS and Biden Transition in Motion

    Links for the day



  25. An Orwellian December

    With December around the corner and states tightening the screws on the population (or employers on employees) at least we can look forward to spring



  26. The Non-Technical (or Lesser Technical) Software User That Wants Software Freedom

    Assuming that Free software should care about what users — not only developers — really want (and need) it’s important to understand how they view the current situation (with growing waves of corporate takeover and compromises, even expulsions)



  27. The European Patent Office Should be Run by Patent Examiners (Scientists), Not Politicians

    Europe would be better off (and patent quality much improved) had people with an actual grasp of science and reality were in charge of the EPO, not a money-chasing kakistocracy (which is what we have now)



  28. Member of the EPO's Boards of Appeal Explains Why VICOs (or ViCo/Video Conferences/Virtual 'Hearings') Are Not Suitable for Justice

    It's interesting to hear (or see/read) what people inside the EPO have to say about the "new normal" when they enjoy a certain level of anonymity (to avert retribution)



  29. Open Source Initiative (OSI) Co-founder Bruce Perens: Open Invention Network (OIN) is Protecting the Software Patent System From Reform and OSI Approves Faux 'Open' Licences (Openwashing)

    Richard Stallman was right about the OSI and the fake 'movement' that claims to have 'coined' the term "Open Source" (it wasn't a new term at all; it had been used in another context and the Free software community spoke of things like "Open Hardware" years earlier)



  30. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 24, 2020


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

Recent Posts