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01.17.15

Large Corporations, Including Microsoft Allies, Call for Abolition of Software Patents

Posted in Patents at 2:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Physical patents are being depreciated

Toyota

Summary: The calls for ending all patents on software are getting louder and patents as a whole are de-emphasised as a business strategy

TECHRIGHTS has fought against software patents for over 8 years. Major progress has been made since we started doing this and thousands of articles published about it here alone. We depended on various voices and other (external) articles, but not always were these prominent. Things have changed. As we are going to show today (a series of 4 posts), the push against patents on software and sometimes patents as a whole is measurably effective.

“They are not Free software enthusiasts or some obscure startups or even opinionated anarchists; these are businesspeople.”An article published this week by Hannah Breeze in the British branch of ChannelWeb says that “Pure Storage’s mission to reform the US patent system has gathered speed today as fellow storage firm Avere Systems calls for software patents to be scrapped altogether.”

“Last week, flash newcomer Pure Storage called on the US government to make sweeping changes to the system of granting patents in the US, claiming the 20-year term stifled innovation among startups.

“Pure called on the government to cut the patent term to just five years and to introduce a “use it or lose it” clause to target so-called patent trolls which buy up patents purely to profit from them through legal challenges.

“Today, Avere Systems’ co-founder and chief technology officer Mike Kazar ramped up the pressure and said software patents in general should be axed.”

This good article contains many direct quotes of the top people. They want software patents dead. They are not Free software enthusiasts or some obscure startups or even opinionated anarchists; these are businesspeople.

Over in India, where software patents are still a hot topic. Infosys Chief Vishal Sikka speaks out unequivocally against all software patents (not a ‘soft’ criticism). This is all over the news in India (leading newspapers too) as a top manager, a CEO of a Microsoft partner (one of the biggest partners if not the biggest), says so. Here is some coverage that we found about it:

This was also mentioned less directly in the following articles about a similar event:

There are other large companies that disown patents as a whole. Tesla neutralised a lot of patents recently and as noted last week, Toyota was following a similar route by releasing 5,680 co-called “Fuel Cell Patents” for inspiration and use without fear of litigation (nothing to do with “open source” as a lot of publications put it). Here is some coverage from the news [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. Given the parallels between Toyota and Microsoft, in addition to Infosys slamming software patents, one might wonder where the anti-FOSS camp is heading. Microsoft’s anti-FOSS strategy that relied on patents largely failed. See where Novell and SUSE are today.

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