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

05.04.13

Software Patents Are Core Issue, But New Obsession Names Just Patent Trolls as the Issue

Posted in Patents at 3:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s about scope, not scale

Equilibrium

Summary: New examples from Internet news sites which show how the debate on software patent is being warped to focus on small players (trolls) and not large ones whose parasitical existence resembles that of trolls

THE DEBATE regarding patent reform is being derailed somewhat. It got reshaped by stakeholders with lobbyists. We addressed the subject several times recently, in posts such as:

  1. Regulators Target Patent Trolls But Lose Sight of Patent Cartels
  2. Patent Trolls Increasingly Recognised as an Issue, Taking Attention Away From Software Patents as Key Issue
  3. Patent Trolls and ‘Royalties’: Distracting From the Real Issue Which is Software Patents
  4. The Notion of “Software Patent Trolls”

An unnamed author in Rupert Murdochs’ press ran a poll on patentability of software. Well, two thirds say “no” to software patents, but the total number of votes is low and thus it is easy to rig (real public opinion may be more hostile towards software patents). Is this a fair introduction?

The first patent for software in the U.S. was awarded in 1968. The question of whether patents should be granted for software has been debated ever since. In recent years, with the numbers of software patents and lawsuits involving those patents both growing rapidly, the debate has intensified.

Fair enough. It is worth adding that much of the world deviates from the US on this and suffers far less litigation such as troll atacks. Here is yet another article which focuses on trolls rather than software patents. It says:

Most of us are familiar with the famous Norwegian fairy tale, “Three Billy Goats Gruff.” where three hungry goats must cross a bridge to find more grass to eat. The problem is, underneath that bridge is a ferocious troll who wants to eat each one as it passes by.

This is not the main issue though; scope is the root of this issue. The Microsoft-run Nokia is still fighting to ban Android in Europe using patents which are probably invalid. Remember that Nokia is not a patent troll but a zombie patent portfolio currently exploited by Microsoft.

Nokia will have to start legal processes in each country as there is no such thing as a worldwide enforceable [patent] injunction.

See the article “Nokia could get the HTC One banned in Europe” and this one too. There is no injunction but a lot of intimidation, typical Microsoft FUD. Nokia is being used like a patent troll in this case, it is not just being used to arm patent trolls. So why talk about patent trolls as the principal or only issue? Perhaps because the government is still run by and funded by large corporations. It’s them who call the shots.

The FTC has been notified by Linux and Android players, spoiled by misplaced focused and with further idiocy from Google which just strengthens software patents. B&N says the patent system is “broken” (more on that another day), whereas Google continues to liaise with the USPTO and dodge criticism of software patents.

Here is one wiser suggestion from a US Senator who at least identify the root issue correctly:

A U.S. senator has announced plans to introduce legislation that would expand patent law to create a method to challenge software patents, much like the one currently available to review covered business method patents.

It is a move welcomed by some members of the technology community, including Google, Inc, who believe there should be more rigorous review of what software is eligible for patents.

Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, plans to introduce the bill on Monday, his spokesman Max Young said on Wednesday.

Contrariwise, some continue to bicker about trolls. Here is a new example:

In the decade since it was founded in Dallas, IP Nav has established itself as a global leader in the increasingly lucrative business of “patent assertion,” offering clients the ability to “maximize the value of their IP assets.” Put more bluntly, it’s a patent troll, shaking down companies by threatening them with lawsuits over patents that they or their clients are squatting on. They are a big problem in the tech world, and IP Nav is a big part of it. Rackspace, the San Antonio-based cloud computing firm, recently called the company “one of the most notorious patent trolls in America.”

Ask what type of patents they use. Therein lies the real issue. It is worth noting that the world’s largest patent troll (which spawned from Microsoft) is lobbying with a new ‘study’ that Mike Masnick covers as follows:

Giant Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures Does ‘Study’ To Show How Much Everyone Loves Patents

Apparently Intellectual Ventures’ attempts to improve its dismal reputation as the worlds largest, most obnoxious patent troll don’t seem to involve finding a legitimate business to be in, or actually doing something to help the world, but rather to ask some execs some loaded questions to produce a study pretending that execs really love patents and think they’re great for innovation. The thing is, the study also shows that the execs they asked are somewhat clueless about patents or how they’re being abused today.

Masnick concludes by saying: “See, next time why not ask them something a bit more accurate, like how they feel about “companies who go out and buy weak, broad patents on obvious things, and then use them to demand cash from companies actually competing in the market?” Or, rather than call them “patent licensing companies” call them by what everyone knows them as: patent trolls.”

This strategy is not unique to patent trolls. Some dying companies, Nokia for instance, do something similar. The important thing is to discuss the patents and not those who use them. The patents are the root cause. Their issuer is the key culprit and it is often controlled by large corporations such as IBM.

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 29/4/2016: GNOME 3.21.1, Fairphone

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft Says It Will Continue to Extort Companies That Distribute Linux, Using Software Patents As Usual

    Microsoft's war on Linux, a war which is waged using software patents (for revenue and/or for coercion in bundling deals), is still going on in spite of all the PR tactics from Microsoft and its paid partners



  3. Australia Might be Next to Block Software Patents If Commission's Advice is Followed

    Australian advice against software patents, which can hopefully influence Australian politicians and put an end, once and for all, to all software patents in Australia



  4. [ES] ''Si la Forma de Pensar de la EPO fuese Seguida, Guantánamo Sería Posible en Suelo Alemán.”

    La EPO está todavía bajo fuego, pero mucho de ello pasa detrás de las cortinas y envuelve abogados y/o burócratas



  5. The European Copy-Paste Office (EPO)

    This morning's example (not the first) of how the EPO uses 'social' media



  6. Links 28/4/2016: Fedora 24, EE Goes Open Source

    Links for the day



  7. Amid Referendum “the New European Unitary Patent System is Likely to Collapse Before It Started”

    The Unitary Patent Court (UPC) vision seems like it may be just one month away from its gradual death, depending on British voices amongst other key factors



  8. USTR is Trying to Shame and Bully India Into Introducing Software Patents in India

    Lobbying body of the US (corporations-led) is trying its usual dirty tactics against India's sound policy which excludes software/algorithms from patent scope



  9. No, Visual Studio is NOT Open Source and Xamarin Openwashing is NOT News

    The latest example of Microsoft openwashing, courtesy of confidants of Microsoft and those who got bamboozled by them



  10. Latest Black Duck Puff Pieces a Good Example of Bad Journalism and How Not to Report

    Why the latest "Future of Open Source Survey" -- much like its predecessors -- isn't really a survey but just another churnalism opportunity for the Microsoft-connected Black Duck, which is a proprietary parasite inside the FOSS community



  11. If EPO “Form of Thinking Were to be Followed, Guantanamo on German Soil Would be Possible.”

    The EPO is still under fire, but a lot of it happens behind the scenes and involves lawyers and/or bureaucrats



  12. Links 28/4/2016: Tomb Raider for GNU/Linux, Proxmox VE 4.2

    Links for the day



  13. [ES] La Departura de la Readidad de la EPO Y Su Entrada en la Esféra Industrial China de Propaganda

    La deceptiva trampa del maximálism de patentes, donde se asume que artficialmente aumentando el número de patentes otorgadas traerá el resultado esperado



  14. [ES] Una Fársa de Sistema: ¿Cómo la SIPO, USPTO, y cada vez más la EPO se Convierten en Llenado de Patentes (No Se Requiere Propia Examinación)

    Una crítica al decline en la calidad de patentes en algunas de las más grandes oficinas de patentes del mundo, donde aspiración parece ser neo-liberal en el sentido económico



  15. [ES] Microsoft ‘Asalto con Todo’ Contra Android, Java, y GNU/Linux, Usando la Clásica E.E.E. Táctica de Nuevo

    Otro recordatorio de la realidad que Microsoft está muy activo en el frente E.E.E., not no sólo contra GNU/Linux pero también Android y Java



  16. [ES] Más Rumores y Llamadas Acerca de Prospectos de Microsoft Vaya a Comprar Canonical (Ubuntu con todo y Zapatos)

    Teniendo en cuenta los últimos movimientos de Canonical, algunos expertos piensan que es posible que Shuttleworth elija el dinero a Microsoft sobre principios sino también inste para que esto ocurra



  17. Links 27/4/2016: A Lot About OpenStack, Vivaldi 1.1 Released

    Links for the day



  18. A Farce of a System: How SIPO, USPTO, and Increasingly the EPO Too Turn Into Filing Systems (No Proper Examination/Filtering Required)

    A critique of the declining quality of patents in some of the world's biggest patent offices, where the aspiration seems to be neo-liberal in the economic sense



  19. Microsoft's 'Full Assault' on Android, Java, and GNU/Linux, Using Classic E.E.E. Tactics Again

    Another reminder of the fact that Microsoft is very active on the E.E.E. front, not just against GNU/Linux but also Android and Java



  20. More Rumours and Calls Surrounding Prospects of Microsoft Buying Canonical (Ubuntu and More)

    Taking some of Canonical's recent moves into account, some pundits not only think it's possible for Shuttleworth to choose Microsoft money over principles but also urge for this to happen



  21. [ES] El Nuevo Impulso Finánciado por Microsoft Para Reforzar las Patentes de Software en los EE.UU., Apoyado por los Sospechosos Usuales (La Sagrada Familia) Mientras que Microsoft Cada Vez Más Lucha Como Compañíá Productiva

    Una mirada al esfuérzo de trae una resurgencia de las patentes de software en los Estados Unidos (con un clarísimo rol de Microsoft en él) y la fundación/conf ianza de Microsoften las patentes de software como arma contr Linux/Android porque las ganancias de Windows se están secando y el Windows Phone está al borde del colápso



  22. Links 26/4/2016: Firefox 46.0, Thunderbird's Stewardship

    Links for the day



  23. Links 25/4/2016: Kodi 16.1, OpenStack Summit

    Links for the day



  24. New Microsoft-Funded Push to Make Software Patents Stronger in the US, Backed by the Usual Suspects as Microsoft Increasingly Struggles as a Producing Company

    A look at the effort to bring about a software patents resurgence to the US (with clear Microsoft role in it) and Microsoft's reliance on software patents as a weapon against Linux/Android because Windows profits dry up and Windows Phone is on the verge of collapse



  25. Patents Roundup: Marijuana Patents, Patent Satellites, Patent Trolls, Wars, and Merchants (Notably Lawyers)

    Various strands of news about patents, focused on issues raised in the latter half of last week



  26. The EPO's Departure From Truth and Entrance Into the Realms of Chinese Industrial-Grade Propaganda

    The entrapping delusion of patent maximalism, wherein artificially or superficially increasing the number of granted patents is assumed to be a desirable outcome



  27. [ES] La Fundación de Frontera Electrónica (EFF) Continua su Batalla por la Sanidad de Patentes en los Estados Unidos

    Una mirada a las últimas actividades de la EFF en el área de patentes, donde probablemente habrá mayor énfasis en los daños de las patentes de software y la necesidad de eliminarlas completamente



  28. [ES] La Sociedad Regional de Economía Comprehensiva (RCEP) Amenaza Traer las Patentes de Software a la India

    La amenaza que arrastra otro acuerdo denominado de "comercio" cuyo impacto a favor de los MONOPOLIOS contra los intereses del pueblo de la India y por lo tanto debe ser rechazadas por ellos



  29. [ES] Toma Menos de 10 Votos para 'Ganar' una Elección en la Mini Unión (Minion) de Battistelli

    Una mirada al minúsculo tamaño de la Unión apadrinada por Battistelli, la que parece tener una docena de miembros activos



  30. [ES] Di la Verdad Acerca del Sistema de Patentes de los EE.UU., Conseguiras Ser Atacado por la Máquina Propagandistica de Patentes (Disfrazada de Prensa)

    El Sr. Darrell Issa (fotografiado arriba) cae bajo ataque de los proponentes de patentes de software patents, los apologistas de los trolles de patentes (quiénes los financian frecuéntemente), y los máximalistas de patentes porque correctamente insinuó que la (mayoría) de demandantes son como/casi trolles de patentes en los Estados Unidos


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