04.21.13

Gemini version available ♊︎

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

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 8/12/2021: Linux 5.15.7 Out, Linux Mint 20.3 is Near

    Links for the day



  2. Links 8/12/2021: Zorin OS 16 Milestone and Calculate Linux 22 Released; Kubernetes 1.23

    Links for the day



  3. A Call for Sources and Whistleblowers From Microsoft's GitHub

    Remarks on our publications from this morning and a call for more leakers and whistleblowers, who know GitHub better than anybody else (including lots of fools who still outsource all of their hard labour to Microsoft through GitHub)



  4. [Teaser] Rape is Not a Joke

    Having just uploaded a police report, we’re starting to move the ongoing series to the next phase, which will still be — for the most part — weekly installments on Mondays (for months to come)



  5. [Teaser] Meet Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley

    Alex Graveley, a serial abuser, has been protected by Microsoft; what does that say about Microsoft and about Nat Friedman, GitHub’s CEO whom Alex considers his "best friend"? Stay tuned as we have plenty more to show



  6. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 07, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 07, 2021



  7. Links 8/12/2021: FreeBSD 12.3, EasyOS 3.1.13, and WordPress 5.9 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  8. [Meme] EU Assurances

    The EPO‘s staff cannot be blamed for losing patience as elected public representatives completely fail to do their job (with few exceptions)



  9. Clare Daly (GUE/NGL) Does What Every Public Official in Europe Should Have Done About EPO Shenanigans

    There’s another (new) push to hold the EPO accountable, seeing that the overseers clearly do not do their job and instead cover up the abuses



  10. Links 7/12/2021: Firefox 96 Beta and Fedora 37 Abandons ARMv7

    Links for the day



  11. Links 7/12/2021: Plasma Mobile Gear 21.12 and Tails 4.25

    Links for the day



  12. All IRC Logs Now Available as GemText Over Gemini Protocol

    Today we've completed the transition from plain text over gemini:// to GemText over gemini:// for IRC logs



  13. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 06, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, December 06, 2021



  14. [Meme] Rowing to the Bottom of the Ocean

    The EPO‘s Steve Rowan (VP1) is failing EPO staff and sort of “firing” workers during times of crisis (not at all a crisis to the EPO’s coffers)



  15. EPO Gradually Reduced to 'Fee Collection Agency' Which Eliminates Its Very Own Staff

    Mr. Redundancies and Mr. Cloud are outsourcing EPO jobs to Microsoft and Serco as if the EPO is an American corporation, providing no comfort to long-serving EPO staff



  16. Linux Foundation 2021 Annual Report Made on an Apple Mac Using Proprietary Software

    Yes, you’re reading this correctly. They still reject both “Linux” and “Open Source” (no dogfooding). This annual report is badly compressed; each page of the PDF is, on average, almost a megabyte in size (58.8 MB for a report of this scale is unreasonable and discriminates against people in countries with slow Internet connections); notice how they’re milking the brand in the first page (straight after the cover page, the 1991 ‘creation myth’, ignoring GNU); remember that this foundation is named after a trademark which is not even its own!



  17. Links 7/12/2021: OpenIndiana Hipster 2021.10 and AppStream 0.15

    Links for the day



  18. Microsoft “Defender” Pretender Attacks Random Software That Uses NSIS for installation; “Super Duper Secure Mode” for Edge is a Laugh

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  19. Links 6/12/2021: LibreOffice Maintenance Releases, Firefox 95 Finalised

    Links for the day



  20. “Wintel” “Secure” uEFI Firmware Used to Store Persistent Malware, and Security Theater Boot is Worthless

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  21. No Linux Foundation IRS Disclosures Since 2018

    The publicly-available records or IRS information about the Linux Foundation is suspiciously behind; compared to other organisations with a "tax-exempt" status the Linux Foundation is one year behind already



  22. Jim Zemlin Has Deleted All of His Tweets

    The Linux Foundation‘s Jim Zemlin seems to have become rather publicity-shy (screenshots above are self-explanatory; latest snapshot), but years ago he could not contain his excitement about Microsoft, which he said was "loved" by what it was attacking. Days ago it became apparent that Microsoft’s patent troll is still attacking Linux with patents and Zemlin’s decision to appoint Microsoft as the At-Large Director (in effect bossing Linus Torvalds) at the ‘Linux’ Foundation’s Board of Directors is already backfiring. She not only gets her whole salary from Microsoft but also allegedly protects sexual predators who assault women… by hiring them despite repeated warnings; if the leadership of the ‘Linux’ Foundation protects sexual predators who strangle women (even paying them a salary and giving them management positions), how can the ‘Linux’ Foundation ever claim to represent inclusion and diversity?



  23. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part IX — Microsoft's Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot Sought to be Arrested One Day After Techrights Article About Him

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley has warrant for his arrest, albeit only after a lot of harm and damage had already been done (to multiple people) and Microsoft started paying him



  24. The Committee on Patent Law (PLC) Informed About Overlooked Issues “Which Might Have a Bearing on the Validity of EPO Patents.”

    In a publication circulated or prepared last week the Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO explains a situation never explored in so-called 'media' (the very little that's left of it)



  25. Links 6/12/2021: HowTos and Patents

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 05, 2021



  27. Gemini Space/Protocol: Taking IRC Logs to the Next Level

    Tonight we begin the migration to GemText for our daily IRC logs, having already made them available over gemini://



  28. Links 6/12/2021: Gnuastro 0.16 and Linux 5.16 RC4

    Links for the day



  29. Links 5/12/2021: Touchpad Gestures in XWayland

    Links for the day



  30. Society Needs to Take Back Computing, Data, and Networks

    Why GemText needs to become 'the new HTML' (but remain very simple) in order for cyberspace to be taken away from state-connected and military-funded corporations that spy on people and abuse society at large


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