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07.22.15

Terminology of Patent Lawyers and Pro-Patents Media Serves to Mislead the Public

Posted in Deception, Patents at 11:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: An outline of stories where the language used to describe patents is grossly distorted so as to bias the reality and mislead the audience/readers

TECHRIGHTS often links to articles about patents, including some awkward ones from patent lawyers, but rarely does it nitpick or criticise the warped terminology, which with the art of semantics helps rig the discussion. Just like in politics, language defines the debate, and choice of words can either glorify or demonise an idea. Today we will give some examples that we set aside over the past fortnight.

“Trade Secrets” and Patents (Opposites)

A lot of articles such as this one began to appear some days ago, mixing or mistaking patents for “trade secrets”, which are inherently very different (patents were originally introduced in order to discourage trade secrets and encourage publication). It was very hard to get the story straight based on the large majority of articles (we checked about a dozen). Ford is being sued over some rare combination of reverse engineering/’trade secrets’ but also claims pertaining to patents, according to few of the reports, including this reposted article from Bloomberg, which said: “Ford allegedly began developing its own version of Versata’s software by reverse engineering, according to court papers. The Dearborn, Michigan-based carmaker is also accused of disseminating Versata’s proprietary information to unauthorized users to create “a copycat configuration technology.””

So this is basically a combination of reverse engineering and patents. It’s an attack on Ford over patents and claims of reverse engineering. A lot of the media does an extremely poor job explaining this. the word “theft” or “steal” is used sparingly, subjecting readers to a trial by media (theft is a crime, but patent violation is not the same as theft and reverse engineering should arguably be legal everywhere).

“Stealing”, “Intellectual Property”, and “Innovation”

One of the grossest blogs out there (IP Watchdog, which we sometimes call “Watchtroll”) really beat its record. It not only used a propagandistic photo of a violent/militant bandit but also used three propaganda terms in one single headline: “Does Stealing Intellectual Property Boost Innovation?”

What a loaded, ugly headline (and a question). Patent lawyers who promote software patents really don’t try to come across as professional, do they? See the photo too. It’s worse than the Daily Fail, a notorious UK-based tabloid.

Patent Stacking/Royalty Stacking

There is a practice by which one company or several companies are stacking up patents and working to increase legal costs so as to discourage challenging of the patents, or simply drive a product out of the market. Watch the lawyers’ media framing this ugly strategy as “consolidation”. To quote:

No consolidation was granted where the petitions involved some non-overlapping grounds and arguments. However, the Board used its discretion to coordinate the date of the oral arguments to lessen the burden on the patent owner.

Software Patents by Another Name

Software patents are quite controversial, especially after Alice, which makes them weak. We have seen software patents alluded to in all sorts of ways that dodge the bad connotation, but how about “Behavioral Analytics”?

Patents as Objects

Patents are now sold like fruit and vegetables. Watch this piece titled “Improved Auction and Online Marketplace Patents Available from ICAP Patent Brokerage” or another one titled “Sleep, Temperature Analysis Wearables Patents Available”. They treat these like food. To quote one of these ridiculous pieces: “ICAP Patent Brokerage announces for sale patents disclosing methods for monitoring wakefulness and body temperature, available from inventor Gaby Badre (Bader). This portfolio is offered as part of the Internet of Things IP Auction, with a bidding deadline of July 30, 2015.”

They are truly selling them like some kind of objects, even though the patentor is supposed to be the holder. What has the patent system turned into? They are clearly perverting the logic behind patents when they were first introduced. Are these justified anymore? The meaning of patents has changed profoundly.

Buying Patents Like Products

“We’ve filed over 2,000 patents,” says this piece, “which is actually a lot, and we’re acquiring patents.” The saddest thing? It’s about Hugo Barra, known for his work on Android.

Protectionism

Patents can be a waste of time, money, and effort. “Westerners zealously guard their IPRs with patents and copyrights and so on,” said this piece the other day. What is “IPRs” anyway? Intellectual Property Rights? It’s a meaningless collective term that alludes to many separable things. It’s a bit like “cloud”.

Any protectionism by law (for the rich) can rely on metaphors like “intellect”, “right” and “property”, but just as in the case of that “cloud” buzzword, the reality is very different. It can simply means lock-in, surveillance, entrapment, and financial extortion. Nebulous terms make people oblivious and hence more gullible.

On “Discovering Patents”

IDG thinks that patents are being “discovered” because it says “newly discovered patents”. As if there’s some finite number of patents just waiting to be discovered, like gold buried beneath the ground. How foolish can the author be? Chemical elements can be discovered. Islands can be discovered (or colonised, or attacked). Patents are just an abstract concept, they’re man-made and they’re more like a musical composition. We never say that musicians “discover” a song when they come up with a new song.

Monopoly as “Market Exclusivity”

Monopoly is an ugly thing and a lot of literature exists to explain why monopolies are collectively harmful. So, ProactiveInvestors.com uses the propaganda terms of monopolisers and calls these “market exclusivity”. To quote: “Market exclusivity is a critical component of valuation. Patenting strategies, regulatory data exclusivity and product life-cycle management will give about 10 to 15 years of market exclusivity to most novel drugs.”

In reality this often means that poor people are left to die from curable diseases, just so that few companies that are often subsidised by governments (i.e. taxpayers) get to increase their private profits (going into few private pockets). Watch this new lobbying from the New Jersey press, titled “N.J. biotech companies need patent protection from Congress”. What they probably mean is that they want monopoly and protectionism. Competition is something they cannot tolerate.

Patent ‘Owners’

The patent maximalists, as usual, refer to patent applicants as owners, in the same way that once upon a time men from Africa were considered “property” to be “owned” by white men in the northern hemisphere. This whole notion of “ownership” of ideas is perverse, but given enough repetition in the corporate media people might come to take that all for granted and accept it, just like many people used to happily accept slavery and deem it “just” or “necessary”.

“Intellectual Ventures Combats Malaria” Nonsense

Reddit, which is a horrible Web site (reportedly in steep decline this month), is now grooming the world’s biggest patent troll (and strongly Microsoft-connected, too). Watch this kind of advertisement disguised as discussion. A reader of ours told us that he got banned by the moderator/s for merely questioning such dodgy ‘advertisements’ for an evil, reprehensible firm. It attacks practicing companies while hoarding patent monopolies by acquisition. This non-practicing (and thus by definition not good-doers or even doer) is owned by Nathan Myhrvold from Microsoft.

“The last thing this company needs is another fucking [computer] language.”

Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft (now Intellectual Ventures)

Amid Billions in Losses, Microsoft Tries to Conquer the Competition (Which Already Wins)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 10:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Grabbing GNU/Linux revenue and share

Bank robbery

Summary: The ‘Embrace, Extend, Extinguish’ strategy goes a few steps further as Microsoft looks to dominate developers, devices and servers that are running Free/libre software

AS we have just shown, Microsoft suffers billions in losses because GNU/Linux and Android crush it. Microsoft’s reaction seems irrational as it’s not sure whether to just keep attacking GNU/Linux and Android (as it still does) or pretend to embrace it. Xamarin, the steward of Mono (along with Microsoft), integrates more closely with Microsoft and hopes to make developers (not just Windows developers) dependent on Microsoft. Microsoft wants “developers developers developers developers” (Ballmer’s words) and that’s where Xamarin comes in.

“Perhaps we are seeing the very end of Microsoft these days.”Yesterday we remarked on the latest advertising (in news form) for Microsoft as a GNU/Linux host. Microsoft’s Channel 9 (the last remaining channel) has been openwashing Microsoft quite a lot recently and now it joins the advertising effort:

Corey Sanders, Director of Program Management on the Windows Azure Compute team sits to chat about recent Linux announcements on supportability as well as MOAR stuff on ARM Templates (this time from a partner).

Like we explained yesterday, it would be very dumb to let Microsoft control GNU/Linux instances, but Microsoft’s acceptance of this route is a sign of defeat.

An argument that can never be won when dealing with anti-GNU/Linux trolls is about “year of Linux”. It often goes like this never-ending moving-goalposts list of demands:

2002: “Nobody uses Linux.”

But look, everyone uses Google and many other servers, which mostly run GNU/Linux.

2007: “Nobody uses Linux on the client side.”

Actually, many people’s devices and phones run some form of Linux.

2012: “Nobody uses Linux on the proper screen.”

Android (Linux) is used extensively not only on phones but also tablets.

2014: “Nobody uses Linux on desktops or laptops.”

Actually, Chromebooks are gaining popularity and they have GNU/Linux in them.

2014: “But Chrome OS is not really Linux.”

It’s also simple to install ‘proper’ GNU/Linux on them (my wife did that twice).

2015: “Microsoft does better than GNU/Linux. Windows is so much better!”

Even Microsoft is trying to make money by offering GNU/Linux support and hosting.

And on it goes…

Perhaps Microsoft’s current efforts to become a GNU/Linux host are due to GNU/Linux being a majority market share platform (especially in the back rooms). The same is true for Android on mobile. Perhaps we are seeing the very end of Microsoft these days.

Microsoft Losing Billions of Dollars is Not News

Posted in Finance, Microsoft at 9:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Calculator

Summary: Few remarks on Microsoft’s latest admission that it is losing a lot of money

The latest Microsoft layoffs, which are misleadingly being framed by the corporate media as a “Nokia” thing [1, 2, 3], have financial impact as well. Microsoft has just publicly admitted that it is losing billions of dollars.

“Recall how Microsoft bribed its own staff (a whistleblower) after getting caught in financial fraud…”British media claims this to be “biggest loss in [Microsoft] history”, but the biggest losses are perhaps in the past, as there’s fraud that is many years old. We have written a lot about Microsoft’s financial misconduct for many years. It is not speculative. Recall how Microsoft bribed its own staff (a whistleblower) after getting caught in financial fraud [1, 2] — an often-overlooked issue these days (Microsoft is claimed to have lost $18,000,000,000 in 1998). This may seem like very old news, but it is definitely relevant to today’s massive Microsoft losses. Microsoft has paid millions of dollars to gag several CFOs since then. They must keep up the dodgy accounting.

Nokia is destroyed because of Microsoft, but Microsoft’s losses aren’t to be blamed on Nokia. What kind of a Nokia “CEO” is being appointed with the formalised promise of a $20 million bonus to sell the company? Only Microsoft’s Elop, probably the world’s most famous mole, managed to do this together with Ballmer. Microsoft now pays the price for misguided entryism that has achieved nothing but destruction of Nokia’s Linux efforts.

Links 22/7/2015: Kodi 15.0, MKVToolnix 8.2.0

Posted in News Roundup at 8:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • 6 Things You Learn Preserving America’s Past

    The sheer volume of paper out there means that there’s simply no way that archivists have been able to go through everything. Some boxes haven’t been opened since the 1800s, and we may never have any idea what these things are. See, archivists need permission to go through material like that. To do so, you need to tell the higher-ups specifically where you want to look and what you’re looking for. You can’t simply start randomly spelunking in piles of government papers — the files will get messed up even worse than they are now. Somewhere in our records are papers that could change what we know about the history of our country. Every archivist knows this. But we need to get through everything first, and with mundane governmental papers taking priority (looking at you, Veterans Affairs), archivists rarely get the chance to discover new things.

  • Science

    • Studies find genetic signature of native Australians in the Americas

      The exact process by which humanity introduced itself to the Americas has always been controversial. While there’s general agreement on the most important migration—across the Bering land bridge at the end of the last ice age—there’s a lot of arguing over the details. Now, two new papers clarify some of the bigger picture but also introduce a new wrinkle: there’s DNA from the distant Pacific floating around in the genomes of Native Americans. And the two groups disagree about how it got there.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Monday
    • Why DANE isn’t going to win

      1024 bit RSA keys are quite common throughout the DNSSEC system. Getting rid of 1024 bit keys in the PKI has been a long-running effort; doing the same for DNSSEC is likely to take quite a while. Yes, rapid rotation is possible, by splitting key-signing and zone-signing (a good design choice), but since it can’t be enforced, it’s entirely likely that long-lived 1024 bit keys for signing DNSSEC zones is the rule, rather than exception.

    • RealVNC: more open remote access protocols will increase security

      Yes but RFB 5 is new… and it’s a closed, secret, previously unpublished protocol (unlike earlier RFB 3.x versions).

      Hmm, still doesn’t sound very secure.

      Security in remote access solutions will always be a concern for some it’s true.

    • I worked at #HackingTeam, my emails were leaked to WikiLeaks and I’m ok with that

      Is radical transparency the best solution to expose injustice in this technocratic world, a world that is changing faster than law can keep up with?

      That question became even more relevant to me, a privacy activist, when I found myself in the Wikileaks archive, because I worked at Hacking Team 9 years ago.

      [...]

      This is a leak in the public interest, and I really feel that the personal and corporate damage is smaller than the improvement our society can gain from it. But to reach such an improvement, we have to focus on the bigger picture rather than getting distracted by the juicy details.

    • Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway—With Me in It

      Immediately my accelerator stopped working. As I frantically pressed the pedal and watched the RPMs climb, the Jeep lost half its speed, then slowed to a crawl. This occurred just as I reached a long overpass, with no shoulder to offer an escape. The experiment had ceased to be fun.

      At that point, the interstate began to slope upward, so the Jeep lost more momentum and barely crept forward. Cars lined up behind my bumper before passing me, honking. I could see an 18-wheeler approaching in my rearview mirror. I hoped its driver saw me, too, and could tell I was paralyzed on the highway.

    • 470,000 Vehicles At Risk After Hackers “Take Control & Crash” Jeep Cherokee From A Sofa 10 Miles Away
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Mental Illness Doesn’t Explain Mass Violence–but Neither Does ‘Islamic Extremism’

      With the latest mass shooting in Chattanooga, corporate media followed the usual pattern of being ready and willing to label violence as “terrorism” so long as the suspect is Muslim—e.g., Time‘s report on the shooting, “How to Stop the Next Domestic Terrorist” (7/20/15)—despite questions occasionally raised about whether “terrorism” is the appropriate frame to describe attacks on military installations (e.g., Slate, 7/17/15).

  • Transparency Reporting

    • 800 years post Magna Carta: Why no equal justice for all whistleblowers?

      IN LIGHT OF the Magna Carta’s 800th birthday and what modern democracy is based on today, is there really equal justice for all?

      Whistleblowers Julian Assange and Edward Snowden are wanted. Chelsea Manning and Jeffrey Sterling are in gaol. John Kiriakou recently released from gaol. Thomas Drake and David Petraeus free. Free? If they all leaked classified information why are two free?

      Let’s look at each case pertaining to these whistleblowers apart from the Assange and Snowden cases.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Toshiba CEO quits over accounting scandal

      Toshiba Corp’s (6502.T) chief executive Hisao Tanaka and a string of other senior officials resigned on Tuesday for their roles in the country’s biggest accounting scandal in years.

      Tanaka will be temporarily replaced by Chairman Masashi Muromachi after an independent inquiry found the CEO had been aware the company had inflated its profits by $1.2 billion over a period of several years.

    • Greek Prime Minister Asked Putin For $10 Billion To “Print Drachmas”, Greek Media Reports

      Back in January, when we reported what the very first official act of open European defiance by the then-brand new Greek prime minister Tsipras was (as a reminder it was his visit of a local rifle range where Nazis executed 200 Greeks on May 1, 1944) we noted that this was the start of a clear Greek pivot away from Europe and toward Russia.

    • Prof. Wolff joins The Big Picture RT’s Thom Hartmann: “Is China’s Bubble About To Burst? Look Out US!”

      Prof. Wolff joins The Big Picture RT’s Thom Hartmann to discuss the latest on China. China – the world’s second biggest economy – recently saw its stock market plummet 30 percent in a month. Does this mean that next big economic crisis is right around the corner?

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Five Times Local Media Exposed ALEC’s Secretive Agenda

      On July 22, the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) annual meeting will once again see corporations and state lawmakers gather to discuss and vote on model legislation meant for introduction in state legislatures across the country. On the eve of the three-day conference in San Diego, Media Matters looks back at five examples of great reporting by local news teams who pulled back the curtain and held ALEC accountable for hosting lobbyists and legislators in secret meetings — where they wrote corporate-supported bills blocking minimum wage hikes, attacking unions, and eliminating environmental regulations — and previews this year’s agenda.

  • Privacy

    • High Court Rules UK’s Surveillance Powers Violate Human Rights

      UK’s High Court found the rushed Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA) to be illegal under the European Convention on Human Rights and EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, both of which require respect for private and family life, as well as protection of personal data in the case of the latter.

    • Snowden to the IETF: Please make an internet for users, not the spies

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has urged the world’s leading group of internet engineers to design a future ‘net that puts the user in the center, and so protects people’s privacy.

      Speaking via webcast to a meeting in Prague of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the former spy talked about a range of possible changes to the basic engineering of the global communications network that would make it harder for governments to carry out mass surveillance.

      The session was not recorded, but a number of attendees live-tweeted the confab. It was not an official IETF session, but one organized by attendees at the Prague event and using the IETF’s facilities. It followed a screening of the film Citizenfour, which documents the story of Snowden leaking NSA files to journalists while in a hotel room in Hong Kong.

    • The Biggest Mistake AshleyMadison Customers Made: Using Their Credit Cards

      Digital extortionists are holding the sexual profiles of potentially 37 million adulterers hostage after a breach of infidelity website AshleyMadison.com. In a ransom message published on the site’s homepage today, the hackers threaten to publish reams of private information unless AshleyMadison.com and its peer site, EstablishedMen.com, are taken offline. Among that information, the message states, are “all customer records” including “real names and addresses.”

    • Organizational Doxing of Ashley Madison

      The — depending on who is doing the reporting — cheating, affair, adultery, or infidelity site Ashley Madison has been hacked. The hackers are threatening to expose all of the company’s documents, including internal e-mails and details of its 37 million customers. Brian Krebs writes about the hackers’ demands.

    • Andrés Iniesta loses Instagram account to Andrés Iniesta, Instagram apologises to Andrés Iniesta

      Instagram has apologised after it handed control of a Spanish user’s account over to a Barcelona football player with the same name.

      Andrés Iniesta, from Madrid, is the holder of the @ainiesta Instagram account. Andrés Iniesta, from Fuentealbilla, is the captain of Barcelona football club. The former Iniesta woke up on Wednesday to find that access to his Instagram account was blocked.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • If The UK Wants People To ‘Respect’ Copyright, Outlawing Ripping CDs Is Probably Not Helping

        We had two separate stories late last week about copyright issues in the UK, and it occurred to me that a followup relating one to the other might be in order. The first one, from Thursday, was about the UK’s plan to try, once again, to push a new “education campaign” to teach people that “copyright is good.” We’ve seen these campaigns pop up over and over again for decades now, and they tend to lead to complete ridicule and outright mockery. And yet, if you talk to film studio and record label execs, they continually claim that one of the most important things they need to do is to teach people to “respect” copyright through education campaigns.

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