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

08.05.13

More Patent Lawsuits Target GNU/Linux, Response Includes Calls to End Software Patents

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Patents at 8:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Stallman lectures

Summary: A roundup of patent news affecting GNU/Linux and policy facilitating software patents in the United States

Patents and Free software don’t get along. It’s not surprising to see them colliding more and more as Free software becomes mainstream and even dominant in the operating systems sector.

Patent aggressor/accumulator Amazon has just gotten a taste of its own poison and it is targeting its Linux device, Kindle. 6 patents are involved in this lawsuit, which means that there is another attack vector challenging most Linux-based eReaders (almost all eReaders run Linux, some with GNU).

Linux, GNU, and Android have become common targets for patent aggressors. Apple was first large company to sue Android with patents and it is still going after Google through Motorola (aiming at FRAND with antitrust, just like Microsoft). Apple is also suing Samsung and it initially sued HTC (see Apple vs HTC). Both companies pay Microsoft for Linux, but possibly just for FAT support inside of it. According to this notice [PDF] from the ITC, deterrence against Apple’s litigation might not work as CPTN members lobbied to stop an iPhone 4 ban and succeeded, letting Apple pursue its embargoes of Android devices without facing any risk of its own. Obama is to blame:

Obama vetos iPhone ban, gives Apple unfair advantage

As expected the Obama administration came running to wipe the nose of Apple by vetoing the ban on some of its iPhone and iPads. Samsung had won the ban from the ITC, as a response to Apple’s repeated legal attacks on the company globally. This was one victory which could have forced Apple into settling the patent dispute for good.

Since when do Obama et al. specialise in patent cases? All they do is say they’ll go after trolls while allowing cartels like CPTN to distort the market. Well, there is minor real progress by Google and Red Hat after they disappointed by going after trolls only. As Benjamin Henrion (FFII) put it the other day, “Google, Redhat and al petition US Congress to outlaw business methods, while they are fundamentally software patents” (link). To quote:

“This week, a coalition of more than 40 companies sent a letter to Congress asking for legislation that expands the Covered Business Method (CBM) program, a move some feel would stem patent abuse in the United States. Expanding the scope of CBM—a program that grants the Patent and Trademark Office the power to challenge the validity of certain business methods patents—would expedite the patent review process and significantly cut litigation costs, they say. “The vague and sweeping scope of many business method claims covering straight forward, common sense steps has led to an explosion of patent claims against processes used every day in common technologies by thousands of businesses and millions of Americans,” says the letter, signed by companies like Amazon, Netflix, Red Hat, Macy’s, and Kroger).”

Meanwhile there’s resistance. The USPTO‘s staff is trying to guard against reform. In a paper which is being promoted by patent lawyers (the leeches in this whole system, as the leeches are not those who won’t bother with insulting patents on trivial ideas) it is being claimed that software patents are not a problem. As Gérald Sédrati-Dinet (April) ‏put it, “PTO staff are known academics ? sorry but you’ll need more convincing study” (it’s not even a study, it’s propaganda/marketing).

“I could have made money this way, and perhaps amused myself writing code. But I knew that at the end of my career, I would look back on years of building walls to divide people, and feel I had spent my life making the world a worse place.”

Richard Stallman

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 27/4/2015: Debian 9 Named, Linux 4.1 Reaches RC

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft is Interjecting Itself Into GNU/Linux and Free Software News, Even Events and Foundations

    Microsoft's entryism strategy is proving effective as Microsoft successfully embeds itself inside the idealogical competition, subverting the competition's overall message and diluting the competition's focus on Free software



  3. The Unethical Business of Selling Fear of Free/Libre Software Bugs (Black Duck, Sonatype, and Symantec)

    The spreading of fear of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) is now a growth industry, so proprietary opportunists are eager to capitalise on it, even if by distorting the truth



  4. Patients' Data at Risk as NHS Reinforces Its Microsoft/Accenture Stockholm Syndrome

    The worst privacy violator in the world and the firm behind LSE failures are pocketing as much as £0.35 billion of British taxpayers' money to acquire access to very sensitive data of British people



  5. Links 26/4/2015: Debian 8, OpenMandriva Lx 3 Alpha, Mageia 5 RC

    Links for the day



  6. Links 25/4/2015: Debian LTS Plans, Turing Phone Runs Linux

    Links for the day



  7. Who Kills Yahoo? It's Microsoft, Not Yahoo!

    The media should blame Microsoft, not Marissa Mayer, for what's going on (and has been going on for 7 years) at Yahoo!



  8. EPO Management is Trying Hard to Appease Its Critics While Pushing Forth Unitary Patent Agenda

    The European Patent Office and European Commission promote the agenda of large multinational corporations (at the expense or European citizens) and critics are being kept at bay



  9. Real Patent Reform Will Not Come From Biggest Backers of GNU/Linux, Not Even Google

    A look at the 'new' Google, the company which is hoarding patents (2,566 last year alone) instead of fighting for reform



  10. Microsoft's Troll Intellectual Ventures Loses Software Patents

    Intellectual Ventures is bluffing with software patents, but this time around it doesn't get its way



  11. Links 24/4/2015: Ubuntu and Variants in the News, Red Hat Developer Toolset 3.1

    Links for the day



  12. Links 23/4/2015: Ubuntu 15.04 is Out, Debian 8.0 Out Very Soon

    Links for the day



  13. Links 22/4/2015: Fedora 22 Beta, Atlassian Acquires BlueJimp

    Links for the day



  14. The Dying Debate Over Patent Scope (Including Software Patents) Replaced by 'Trolls' (But Not the Biggest Ones)

    The corporate media and Web sites or people who are funded by large corporations have essentially suppressed any debate about issues in the patent granting process, thereby guarding software patents and preventing criticism of large corporations' power grab



  15. The Patents Gold Rush Continues

    The morbid obsession with monopolising mere ideas still dominates the media, even increasingly in China



  16. 9 Millionth US Patent Tells a Story of Failure and USPTO Misconduct

    The USPTO, much like FISA (notorious court for surveillance/espionage authorisation), has become a rubber-stamping operation rather than a patents examination centre, as new evidence and old evidence serve to show



  17. HBO Helps Shift Debate Over Patents to 'Trolls' (Scale), Not Scope

    More of that awkward shifting of the patent debate towards small actors who are misusing patents, not large conglomerates like Apple and Microsoft which use patents to destroy competitors, crush startups, drive up prices, and so on



  18. Software Patents Are Still Menacing to Free Software: OIN Expands Scope, HEVC Adds to MPEG-LA Burden/Tax, Google and Facebook Give in on Patents

    A look at recent news about software patents and especially Free/libre software, which is inherently incompatible with them



  19. The Latest Developments Around Microsoft's Clever Attack on Android/Linux

    Microsoft's campaign of destruction, extortion, etc. against the most widely used Linux-powered operating system is revisited in light of new reports



  20. The Microsoft 'Community' is Maligning the Free Software Community

    Dishonest generalisations and baseless deductions portray the Free/Open Source software communities as a nasty place that leads to poverty and despair



  21. Googlebombing 'Microsoft Open Source' Even When Microsoft Shuts Down Its 'Open Source' Proxy

    A massive failure by the press to cover the most basic news, which is Microsoft putting an end to a supposedly 'Open Source' effort



  22. Links 22/4/2015: Calculate Linux 14.16, SparkyLinux 4.0 RC KDE

    Links for the day



  23. Links 21/4/2015: Project Photon, Ubuntu Touch Buzz

    Links for the day



  24. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish: How Microsoft Plans to Get Rid of Linux/Android

    Microsoft's sheer abuse against Android is laying bare for everyone to see now that Microsoft has paralysed Google's legal department with potential antitrust action in Europe



  25. Yahoo's Current CEO (Mayer, Formerly of Google) is Trying to End Yahoo! Status as Microsoft Proxy

    There are signs of relinquishing Microsoft's control over Yahoo! after Marissa Mayer worked to end the company's suicidal/abusive relationship with Steve Ballmer's Microsoft



  26. Repeating Microsoft's Lies Without Any Journalistic Assessment

    Poor fact-checking by relatively large media/news sites results in Microsoft's patently false claims being repeated uncritically



  27. Links 19/4/2015: New KaOS (2015.04), Manjaro Linux 0.8.13 Pre1

    Links for the day



  28. Links 18/4/2015: ExTiX 15.2, RaspArch

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft Tired of Pretending to be Nice to Free/Open Source Software (FOSS), Microsoft 'Open' Technologies Dumped

    Microsoft dumps its proxy (misleadingly named 'Open Tech') and other attacks on Free software persist from the inside, often through so-called 'experts' whose agenda is to sell proprietary software



  30. More Translations of French Article About the EPO

    German and Dutch translations of the Le Monde article are now available


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