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

01.13.14

Patents Roundup: Bogus Solution to the Problem FOSS Faces and More Litigation via Proxies

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Patents at 1:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rockstar Consortium

Summary: A quick look at some recent patent news and what we can lean from it

THE truth of the matter is that we have, for the most part, neglected patent news for quite a while. It’s not because this matters less now. Patents have become a hot topic in FOSS . Entire sessions in FOSS events are dedicated to this topic [1] and it seems like not only trolls are an issue; patents continue to be devoured by large companies [2]. There is no simple solution to it. OIN can defend from large companies with patents, but not from their troll proxies. DPL is another rather pointless ‘solution’, or a distraction even.

We previously criticised the DPL, which was favoured by people on Microsoft’s payroll. And although this new milestone is celebrated Glyn Moody says it is not of much use and he explains why: “few entities in the club to start with mean that few patents are made available on an royalty-free basis, and so there’s little incentive for more entities to join. Still, it’s nice to see people thinking innovatively in this space as we work towards the ultimate goal of full abolition of software patents everywhere.”

Patents on software are increasingly becoming a problem in standards too. Intel uses UEFI to advance its patent monopolies, Microsoft has been bribing people to vote for OOXML, which is also a patent trap, and both Apple and Microsoft prop up MPEG-LA, which uses standards bodies as a Trojan horse. There is a new article about this practice [3] of using standards as traps. IBM’s Rob Weir, the main force behind ODF over there, has some strong words also [4]. Some standards seem to be more useful for surveillance [5] than for anything else. Standards on their own are not enough; we need software freedom and annulment of software patents.

Last but not least, recall how Microsoft, Blackberry (close to Microsoft) and Apple created a bogus ‘consortium’ to attack Android/Linux. As Christine Hall put it the other day: “In light of their association with the Rockstar Consortium, we already knew that Blackberry was trolling by proxy. Now it appears as if they’re doing a little patent trolling on their own. On January 3 the Canadian firm announced they had filed a patent infringement suite against Typo Products LLC, a company co-founded by “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest. Typo has been taking pre-orders for a keyboard that can be attached to some iPhone models.

“Blackberry, which ruled the smartphone market as recently as five years ago, has fallen on hard times. By most accounts, their phones now lag behind even Microsoft in sales. However, they retain a core customer base of users who prefer a physical keyboard. Evidently the device being marketed by Typo utilizes angled keys that are similar to those found on Blackberry devices.

“The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the northern district of California.”

Android too is one of the targets, meaning that Apple uses a proxy to distort the market along with Microsoft. Over at ZDNet, the Apple boosters pretend Apple is peaceful when it comes to patents — a ludicrous claim which could not be further from the truth (Jobs wanted to go “thermonuclear”). Apple is just unable to get its way, so it’s bailing out.

The bottom line is, patents continues to be a major headache and potentially the sole barrier to FOSS adoption everywhere. Microsoft’s and Apple’s advocacy (and lobbying for) of FRAND proves it.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Legal and policy issues devroom
  2. Nintendo picks up patent portfolio from defunct ‘exergaming’ company IA Labs
  3. Open Standards in Computing: Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

    How companies undermine open standards to advance their own agendas, obscure information, and enforce their patents.

  4. The New Technology Consumers

    I see open source and open standards activists in a similar way. Many consumers care not only in the direct good they receive from technology, but also in how that good was generated, whether from exploitative sweat labor, whether from environmentally invasive methods, and yes, whether by perpetuating software monopolies or damaging the ecosystem of open source and open standards.

  5. Semantic Web Business: Going Nowhere Slowly

    I’ve been a semantic web skeptic for years. SemWeb is a narrowly purposed replica of a subset of the World Wide Web. It’s useful for information enrichment in certain domains, via a circumscribed set of tools. However, the SemWeb offers a vanishingly small benefit to the vast majority of businesses. The vision persists but is unachievable; the business reality of SemWeb is going pretty much nowhere.

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. Patent Scope at the EPO is Totally Out of Control, UPC Will Make Things Worse

    A look at the practical issues with the EPO, where patent scope and litigation scope have been vastly extended so as to benefit multinational corporations and possibly patent trolls



  2. Links 26/5/2015: Reviews of Kubuntu 15.04, Linux 4.1 RC5

    Links for the day



  3. Süddeutsche Zeitung Says Talking Helps While EPO Management Back-stabs Other Side of the Table

    German media gives the impression that there is peace and harmony now that Benoît Battistelli and his circle of power speaks to staff, but nothing is said about simultaneous (albeit covert) attacks against that staff



  4. Large Corporations Call the Shots in US Patent Reform

    A reminder of where we stand on the issue of patent 'reform' in the US and who is controlling or shaping it



  5. Microsoft Puts Proprietary Windows and Hyper-V Inside the Free Software-Centric OpenStack

    OpenStack, which celebrates rapid growth in this month's event in Canada, is facing a proprietarisation threat from Microsoft



  6. Microsoft's Secret Lobbying, Bullying, and the Long History of Blackmailing Politicians Around the World

    British media covers Microsoft's abuse in the UK, but there are many similar incidents, and not just in the UK



  7. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Benoît Battistelli and Four EPO Suicides

    German press article from April 2015 (with translations)



  8. Links 24/5/2015: CrossOver 14.1.3, NTFS-3G Vulnerability

    Links for the day



  9. Links 23/5/2015: Fedora 22 to May 26th, Netflix in SteamOS

    Links for the day



  10. The Patents Production 'Industry' (Patent Lawyers) Still Fights Hard to Salvage Software Patents

    A review of recent writings about software patents and patents on business methods in the United States, demonstrating that patent lawyers have gotten very vocal and sneaky (trying to evade the rules)



  11. Patents as a Marketing Strategy: USPTO Now Part of the Advertising Industry

    The existence of publicity patents, or patents whose sole purpose is to advertise some products, serves to discredit the US patent office, which was originally set up to promote science and technology



  12. Microsoft Blackmails and Extorts British Politicians Over Open Standards and Free Software-Leaning Policies

    Microsoft's digital imperialism in the UK getting defended using blackmail, reminding a lot of Brits that Microsoft is just as evil as ever before



  13. Microsoft Gives Another Bug a Name, This Time Logjam™

    The Microsoft crowd is good only at marketing, even when it comes to small bugs in software



  14. Links 22/5/2015: Fedora 22 Final Release is Near, Canonical IPO Considered

    Links for the day



  15. More Utter Shame Unveiled at Battistelli's EPO: Intimidation Tactics With Help From 'Control Risks'

    The unaccountable thugs who run the EPO have hired London-based spooks to help silence their opposition and their critics



  16. GNU/Linux Still Under Attack From Apple and Microsoft, Patents Remain the Weapon of Choice

    A timely reminder of the importance of patent matters, for they are being used to eliminate the zero-cost advantage of Free/libre software and make it more proprietary, privacy-infringing, and user-hostile (as a result of blackmail)



  17. Gartner Group and NASSCOM: Will Lie for FUD, on Behalf of Microsoft and Proprietary Software

    Some of the latest arguments against Free/libre software turn out to be arriving from couriers of Microsoft and its agenda



  18. Windows is a Franchise in Demise, Don't Believe the Hype

    Ongoing propaganda about Vista 10, 'cloud', and other buzzwords or brands are put in perspective



  19. Links 21/5/2015: Fedora 22 RC2, CERN Chooses OpenStack

    Links for the day



  20. Microsoft is Again Showing Its Hatred of Free/Open Source Software by Lobbying the Indian Government to Drop a Rational National Policy

    Microsoft decides to attack Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in India, where the corporate media is very much complicit in misleading the public



  21. Links 20/5/2015: Containers, OpenStack, and EXT4 Corruption

    Links for the day



  22. The PATENT Act, Distraction of Trolls, and Lobbying for Software Patents by Protectionists

    Only large corporations and their lawyers are able to formally change the US patent system through public officials and politicians, despite recent rulings from very high courts



  23. Corporate Media and Friends of Microsoft Are Still Lying About the Cost of Vista 10

    In a desperate effort to beat operating systems that are Free (libre) and free (gratis), such as GNU/Linux or Android, Microsoft shores up the illusion of 'free' (gratis) Windows



  24. Links 19/5/2015: Linux 4.1 RC4, Thunderbird 31.7.0, OpenStack Event

    Links for the day



  25. Links 18/5/2015: Russia Chooses Jolla, Many New Distro Releases, Meizu Devices

    Links for the day



  26. Even Converting an Image to Greyscale is Now a Patent

    Simple mathematics becoming patented as Fujifilm claims 'ownership' of photographic conversion to greyscale



  27. Grooming of the World's Biggest Patent Troll, Nathan Myhrvold of Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures

    UCLA and Microsoft-linked media are framing big thugs as heroes, doing a great disservice to both academia and journalism



  28. The EPO's Fight to Bring Software Patents Into Europe is One Step Closer to a 'Victory' (for Multinationals)

    Opposition to the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is being crushed and Italy is one of the latest actors to have fallen in the battle



  29. Microsoft's 'Former' Staff Continues With His Anti-Google Rhetoric at CBS

    A Microsoft intern, who has moved on to journalism, is still showing his affinity for Microsoft with apologetics and spin



  30. More of Microsoft's False Claims About Cost of Vista 10 and More Layoffs

    Vista 10 is still being marketed using lies and Microsoft may be going down the same route as Nokia


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