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

04.21.13

Patent Trolls and ‘Royalties’: Distracting From the Real Issue Which is Software Patents

Posted in Patents at 9:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A lawyers’ (or politicians’) mindset

Parliament

Summary: A lawyers-led debate neglects to target the core issue, which is patenting of software, instead resorting to attack on the symptom, which most often exploits software patents

Software patents have always been the #1 subject in this Web site. These patents — and by extension the patent system — are the #1 barrier to GNU/Linux domination in the post-Vista, post-Nokia/Symbian, post-x86 era.

Rather than discuss what’s “Fair” and “Reasonable” (to charge innovators) we should start tackling the source of the problem we all face because lawyers and their clients took over. Weak reformists do not advocate the end of software patents, they advance coexistence with them. FRAND is a common line for software patents apologists. As one site put it, “standard-essential patent owner is obligated to enter into binding baseball-style (or “final offer”) arbitration with any willing licensee to determine the royalty rate.”

“Rather than discuss what’s “Fair” and “Reasonable” (to charge innovators) we should start tackling the source of the problem we all face because lawyers and their clients took over.”Why discuss rates for something that might not be valid in the first place, such as the case in Europe? In the USPTO, where Apple is allowed just about any crazy monopoly it asks for (the institutional bias for large corporations), software patents might be acceptable and even enforceable internationally through the ITC (in the latest from the Apple versus Samsung case it likes to block Korean, i.e. non-US, companies). Watch this amazing bit of news, which is part of a bigger picture of Apple versus Android FRAND battles [1, 2]. Here is more on that from patent lawyers’ (hence biased) blogs.

Mark Lemley, an academic lawyer himself, proposes adjustments for FRAND rather than rejection. From his new paper:

Standard Setting Organizations (SSOs) typically require their members to license any standard-essential patent on Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) terms. Unfortunately, numerous high-stakes disputes have recently broken out over just what these “FRAND commitments” mean and how and where to enforce them.

One lawyers’ site says that FRAND disputes start to expand outside the US, meaning that patents on software become enforceable in bulk where those patents, individually, are neither valid nor legal.

Aiming at trolls is another pattern of distraction, for instance with Obama nominating/appointing the problematic people while claiming to address the issue of trolls. Where is the protest? Where it the uproar? SOPA need not have a monopoly on outrage.

Here is some food for thought for Obama. As Pamela Jones notes: “Don’t miss this incredible article, everyone. It’s eye-opening. Mr. Ewing advises WIPO and is the attorney who first coined the phrase “patent privateering”, and this letter is his comment filed, along with many others which he makes available here — scroll down — in connection with a workshop that the FTC held on PAEs, or trolls, in December. The link doesn’t work any more, by the way, the one he includes in his letter regarding the workshop, but the cache is still available if you go to that page and then search for atr/public/workshops/pae in the search box.”

The EFF, not to its credit, left aside its old pitch of “against software patents” and now it is back too focusing on trolls and going after particular patents or players one by one (like the ineffective Patent Busting project). Here is a new example.

“Targeting trolls is not enough. All these reformists are going after the symptom rather than the disease.”Pamela Jones notes that the US government is studying trolls with special powers on its side, but it is not enough. Jones points out the article titled “Patent trolls launched majority of U.S. patent cases in 2012″ and then correctly points out: “That means that if you solve the patent troll problem, you still have nearly half of the problem unsolved.”

Nazer from the EFF is among those who focus not on the real solution to the mess and with phrases like “Crappy Software Patents” in the headline he helps imply that some software patents are “good”.

“Considering that algorithms are mathematics,” writes Jones, “and mathematics is non-patentable subject matter, I can’t see how this proposal will solve the fundamental problem.”

Rackspace, on the other hand, has gotten Jones’ support. With posts like these, the company shows that it wants the system itself fixed. In its blog it says: “When it comes to fighting this particular troll, we believe an IPR is our best option to have this patent abolished at its source – eliminate the root, destroy the weed.”

Watch the response from the troll’s site (it says “monetized to date” at the top). They call patent infringement theft. Here is a Patent Progress guest post from Rackspace, titled “STOP ABUSIVE PATENT LITIGATION, FOR THE SAKE OF OUR ECONOMY”

The site Patent Progress makes some suggestions for the ITC study and cheers for the FTC to shase down trolls as if it’s the only problem these days:

USING THE FULL POWERS OF THE FTC TO COMBAT PATENT TROLLS

A century ago there was a lively debate in Congress over the enforcement of the antitrust laws. Much of the 1912 presidential campaign had focused on the lack of effective antitrust enforcement by the Justice Department and the failure of the Sherman Act to stop growing anticompetitive conduct in the marketplace. In 1913, Congress focused on the urgent need for reform of the antitrust laws and stronger enforcement.

Targeting trolls is not enough. All these reformists are going after the symptom rather than the disease. That’s not to say that patent trolls are not an issue; they are. But if a huge number of people petition President Obama on the subject of software patents and receive a response about trolls, then someone is trolling and distracting them; the trolls will go away when large corporations, which are behind the government, decide that they must go away. Pursuing the end of trolls is leaving all the power in the hands of corporate cartels that use patents to harm everyone, including Android (a notable victim).

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. Links 26/11/2014: Docker Patched, New DragonFlyBSD

    Links for the day



  2. Message to the Corporate Media: Bill Gates is Not an Ebola Expert

    Brainwash in the corporate media, including media that the Gates Foundation bribes in exchange for sheer bias, paints the super-rich as the solution rather than the problem



  3. US Government Finally Probes Microsoft Over Financial Fraud, Microsoft Then Bullies the Government With a Lawsuit

    Microsoft is finally being investigated -- perhaps properly too -- for its well-known tax abuses that have so far proved that Microsoft is "too big to jail"; Microsoft is suing the investigator, exerting its abusive power to discourage further investigation



  4. Gagging Critics: Micro Focus-Run SUSE Bribes Journalists in Exchange for Positive Coverage

    Amid the takeover by Micro Focus, SUSE pays journahayess (especially critics) who in turn become some kind of advertisements feed of Novell



  5. Links 25/11/2014: Tizen News, Jolla Tablet Past Million

    Links for the day



  6. Links 24/11/2014: Linux 3.18-rc6, Qualcomm Eyes GNU/Linux Servers

    Links for the day



  7. Boycotting Micro Focus International

    Microsoft's "Partner of the Year" is taking over the patron of SUSE and all of Novell's remains, except the patents (Microsoft has already grabbed those)



  8. Vesna Stilin's Remarks on Željko Topić: Part XI

    Vesna Stilin speaks about her confrontation with EPO Vice-President Željko Topić, who has criminal lawsuits against him in Croatia



  9. Links 22/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1, Ubuntu MATE

    Links for the day



  10. Links 21/11/2014: Problems at Debian, Jolla Tablet

    Links for the day



  11. Links 18/11/2014: Linux 3.18 RC 5, New DigiKam

    Links for the day



  12. Special Report: Many Criminal Charges Against EPO Vice-President Željko Topić

    The abuses of Željko Topić, who has gained notoriety in his home country, are rapidly becoming public knowledge across all of Europe



  13. Links 16/11/2014: Xfdesktop 4.10.3, GNU Hello 2.10

    Links for the day



  14. Microsoft is Going Into the Anti-Whistleblowing Business, Dodges Criticism Over 19-Year Bug Door in Windows

    With Aorato acquisition Microsoft helps protect the criminals (from whistleblowers) and with lies about .NET Microsoft distracts from a bug that has facilitated remote access into Windows (by those in the know) for nearly two decades



  15. Reaffirming Microsoft's Long-Known Hostility Towards Net Neutrality, Microsoft Crashed Juniper

    Steve Ballmer is ranting against net neutrality and Juniper's business is in trouble after a lot of executives from Microsoft took over most top positions there



  16. Another Massive Step Towards Elimination of Software Patents as Even CAFC Rules Against Them

    After SCOTUS gets involved in the Ultramercial case, the CAFC finally decides to actually serve justice rather than dogma



  17. The GOP's Patent Reform Plan Not Effective Enough to Stop Massive Patent Trolls Like Microsoft/Nokia

    The corporations-serving GOP says that it wants a patent reform, but another reminder is needed of the futility of the suggested changes



  18. How the EPO's Executive Branch (Battistelli and Topić) Banned Scrutiny and Created Authoritarian Model of Control: Part X

    A look at highly dubious moves by EPO President Battistelli and his right-hand man Topić, whose abuses are becoming hard to oversee or even report



  19. Links 15/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1 Release Candidate, Popcorn Time 0.3.5

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: October 26th, 2014 – November 8th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  21. The Terrible Joke Which is Microsoft 'Loving' Linux: Nightmares With UEFI 'Secure' Boot (i.e. Windows Monopoly Imposed) Continue to Affect GNU/Linux Users

    A reminder of Microsoft's sheer hostility towards GNU/Linux and long-reaching sabotage of GNU/Linux installations



  22. Patent Lawyers Worry About Section 101 in 'Alice' (and Other Patent News)

    A quick roundup of news of interest regarding software patents



  23. Will Write for FUD (Against FOSS)

    Black Duck rears its ugly head again, serving to show that it is in the business of changing perceptions and not in the information or analysis business



  24. Debunking Several Days of Never-Ending Lies About Microsoft and .NET

    .NET is not "Open Source", it cannot be forked (there remains patent threat), Visual Studio is still completely proprietary and it is expected to come to other platforms only because Windows has lost its dominance and Microsoft wants to perpetually control APIs (with software patents) and hence reign over developers



  25. Links 14/11/2014: LibreOffice 4.3.4, Ads Now in Firefox

    Links for the day



  26. Links 14/11/2014: GNOME 3.14.2, PulseAudio 6.0

    Links for the day



  27. Microsoft Windows is Still Designed as a Paradise of Back Doors, Intrusion, Wiretaps, and Interception

    At many levels -- from communication to storage and encryption -- Windows is designed for the very opposite of security



  28. Forget the FUD About Bash and OpenSSL, Microsoft Windows Blamed for Massive Credit Cards Heist

    Home Depot learns its lesson from a Microsoft Windows disaster, but it stays with proprietary software rather than move to software that is actively audited by many people and is inherently better maintained (Free/libre software)



  29. Windows 'Update' and NSA Back Doors, Including a 19-Year Bug Door in Microsoft Windows

    The back doors-enabled Microsoft Windows is being revealed and portrayed as the Swiss cheese that it really is after massive holes are discovered (mostly to be buried by a .NET propaganda blitz)



  30. Revealed: Microsoft is Trying to Corrupt the UK in Order to Eliminate Its OpenDocument Format-Oriented Standards Policy

    Microsoft interference with Britain's preference for ODF is now confirmed, thanks to a valuable news report from Computer Weekly; OOXML lock-in is being unleashed by Microsoft on Android users


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