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

09.04.15

Patents Roundup: Apple Versus Android/Linux, Leigh Rothschild Versus Everyone, Patent Lawyers Versus Patent Reform and Progressivism

Posted in Apple, Patents, Samsung at 6:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Leigh Rothschild
Photo source: Intellectual Ventures

Summary: News collated which pertains to software patents, especially those which affect Free/libre software

TODAY’S series of links is divided based on themes, starting with what we deem most important.

Apple’s Attacks on Free Software

Joe Mullin is flabbergasted by Apple’s vicious assault on the Linux-powered platform that reduced the ‘i’ empire to rubble, with at most 18% market share (depending on the source and the geography).

“All that Apple does is dissemination of DRM, maximisation of (weaponised) patents, and exploitation of public ignorance/apathy to ‘sell’ (actually rent) proprietary software on overzealously locked-down hardware.”Android rose to unbeatable levels of dominance despite Apple’s assault (remember that Apple started it 5 years ago) and in one legal case alone there are now “3,200 documents [...] not including exhibits.” Imagine the cost of legal defence here. Apple and Samsung are still fighting in court and “Koh’s recent orders suggest she is fed up with the intense litigation by both parties,” Mullin notes. “The case docket for the first of two Apple v. Samsung lawsuits now has more than 3,200 documents in it, not including exhibits. Last week, Koh issued an order prohibiting the parties from making any further additions without permission.”

This is, at the very least, deterrence. More importantly, it’s Apple greed (it wants billions of dollars from Samsung). Apple is just hoping that companies with pockets less deep than Samsung’s will simply give up and pay Apple for profits made through distribution of Android (Free software). This is clearly an attack on Free software, so anyone still insisting that Apple likes “Open Source” is about as delusional as people who deem ‘i’ products superior and worthy of the high price tags.

Several years ago we openly and unambiguously called for a boycott of everything “Apple”. The company is malicious and it is dangerous to the future of Free software. All that Apple does is dissemination of DRM, maximisation of (weaponised) patents, and exploitation of public ignorance/apathy to ‘sell’ (actually rent) proprietary software on overzealously locked-down hardware.

Rothschild Connected Devices ‘Innovations’

Joe Mullin, covering and citing the original rant from the EFF, expands on Rothschild Connected Devices Innovations, which is essentially a patent troll. He provides some details on what Leigh Rothschild, whom the world’s biggest patent troll (Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft-connected) glamourises, has been up to:

Patent-holding company Rothschild Connected Devices Innovations (RCDI) owns US Patent No. 8,788,090, which was granted in 2014 and describes a system where a “remote server” “transmits” a “product preference” via a “communication module.” Using those broad claims, RCDI has sued more than 20 companies for making things that connect to the Internet. The company sued ADT (PDF) over its Pulse product that allows for things like adjusting a thermostat.

The patent relates to an application filed back in 2006 that essentially describes an Internet drink mixer. A consumer can customize products by connecting to a server on “the global computer network, e.g., the Internet,” which can then “provide product preferences of a user to a product or a mixing device, e.g., a product or beverage dispenser.”

This is an example not just of patent trolling but also software patents, which are the weapon favoured among patent trolls. If the latter can be eliminated, much of the former too will vanish (go bankrupt). This is why we emphasise the need to combat software patents (scope), not just “trolls”, however one defines them (definitions tend to vary somewhat as some very large companies act indistinguishably from classic patent trolls or patent sharks).

Changes Afoot

There are more new signs of the US patent system tightening. Yesterday for example Foley & Lardner LLP published an analysis of another criterion (not “abstract”) by which patents can be squashed in US courts, even the notorious Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC). To quote the analysis: “As noted in the Federal Circuit decision, Dow Chemical Company asserted selected claims of U.S. Patent No. 5,847,053 and U.S. Patent No. 6,111,023 against NOVA Chemicals Corporation (Canada) and NOVA Chemicals Inc. (Delaware). A jury found the asserted claims to be infringed and not invalid, and the Federal Circuit affirmed, holding, among other things, “that the asserted claims were not indefinite.” The district court then conducted a bench trial for a supplemental damages period through the expiration date of both patents, granted $30M in supplemental damages in the form of lost profits and reasonable royalties, and denied Dow’s request for enhanced damages. NOVA appealed, and Dow cross-appealed.”

Earlier this year we wrote about the Nautilus case. This too is relevant here. “Applying the Nautilus standard,” says Foley & Lardner LLP, “the Federal Circuit held that existence of multiple methods that could lead to different results and the absence of guidance in the patent or prosecution history as to which method should be used rendered the claims indefinite because they “fail to inform, with reasonable certainty, those skilled in the art about the scope of the invention.” The court therefore reversed the $30M supplemental damages award.”

This ought to discourage litigation, filing of new patent applications that are similar in nature to the above, and generally feed back (like in a loop) into the US patent system so as to modify examination guidelines, in very much the same way that Alice has done since last year. See this new article titled “After Alice: A Feedback Loop of Software Patent Invalidity”. The article comes from the pro-patents media (whose audience is patent lawyers) and it’s summarised as follows: “Ever since a major patent decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court last year, patents have seemed to be invalidated right and left. But is that a result of the decision itself, or because of the feedback loop caused by the process by which patents are challenged?”

They are trying to dismiss the legitimacy of the decisions by casting them as an “echo chamber” of sorts. Well, that’s what one might expect from the patent profiteers, even thought some patent lawyers’ blogs already acknowledge that software patents may be on their death throes.

IP Kat, a blog run by patent lawyers (and other monopolies like copyrights, trademarks, etc.), is still openly concerned about voices of reason, or published opinions from people who don’t profit from this corrupt system of protectionism by patent monopolies. Watch this latest dismissal of The Economist‘s pair of articles.

“No,” insist sthe patents proponent, “what these articles are ultimately intended for is to try and set the narrative by which the patent system is discussed. To this end, economics is merely a hand-maiden. In so doing, The Economist joins a long tradition. We have seen the struggle to control the patent narrative played out several times in the recent past.”

OK, so the lawyers are upset at an opposing (not dissenting) view and insist that The Economist is basically trolling (in the Internet troll sense of the word). “No,” continue this particular lawyer (second in this blog this week to write about The Economist‘s articles from one month ago), “this Kat is not an IP Luddite. The patent system and the laws underlying it can certainly be improved. But this is not what the two pieces in The Economist are about.”

It was perfectly clear what The Economist meant to say. Rather than tip-toeing and making decorative, minor changes to a broken system (like all of these proposed ‘reforms’ we keep hearing about) the writers/editors at The Economist wish to just scrap the entire lot, potentially starting from scratch (if at all). Seeing the patent lawyers squirm over this very idea is hardly surprising. Their want their share. They want to tax everything, even if nobody needs them at all.

“We cannot hope to own it all, so instead we should try to create the largest possible market and insert ourselves as a small tax on that market.”

Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft at the time (now a patent troll)

Links 4/9/2015: Acer Predator 8, GNOME 3.17.91 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 5:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • New Cyber Threat Detection Tool Made Open Source

    Lockheed’s move points to the power of open source, particularly when it comes to big overreaching issues such as cybersecurity. Rather than Lockheed keeping their tool as internal proprietary software and requiring others to license or purchase it, they recognized the potential their innovation holds for the greater good. This represents a huge step for both the open source and cybersecurity communities.

  • Why Does the Government Use Open Source Code?
  • Twitter open-sources Diffy, a tool for automatically spotting bugs in code

    Twitter is today announcing the availability of Diffy, a new piece of open-source software that developers can use to spot bugs when they’re making updates to certain parts of code.

    Twitter uses the code internally. Now the social networking company is releasing it to the rest of the world.

  • We wrote an open source bank parser

    Our first project is something I was already working on, an extensible parser to chew bank statements and shit out transaction sheets. We made a gem, made an API and learnt a lot in the process. (We even wrote a java API to unlock pdf files given a password. Whew!). We currently have a meager three bank support, but we’ve managed to build a framework that makes it super easy to add other banks and statement formats.

  • Events

    • Ada Initiative runs out of puff, shuts its doors

      This manifested itself largely in attempts to force conference organisers to adopt draconian codes of conduct. In 2013, Aurora was very much in the public eye when she forced the organisers of the Security BSides conference in San Francisco to cancel a talk that she deemed unsuitable.

      The presenter was well-known speaker Violet Blue and the talk was titled “sex +/- drugs: known vulns and exploits”.

      Though Aurora tried her level best to make out that she had been asked to look over the conference programme by the organisers, it became apparent that she was the one who had poked her nose into the whole affair and tried to muscle the organisers into cancelling the talk.

    • Australian Linux conference back in the black, says Linux Australia president

      The Australian national Linux conference has not made a loss in 2015 after a disastrous 2014, according to the president of Linux Australia, Joshua Hesketh.

      Hesketh said LCA 2015, which was held in Auckland earlier his year, was expected to return to profit once the books were fully closed and audited.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • FossaMail Open-Source Mail Client Launches Update

        FossaMail is built on the Mozilla Thunderbird client but without all the will-they-or-won’t-they of the rumors that Mozilla has done with Thunderbird. Even better, FossaMail is compatible with both Windows and Linux, while offering a 64-bit download in Windows to up the speed, address more memory, and perform other 64-bit operations.

        At the same time, FossaMail looks and feels just like Thunderbird, despite the oval tab fiasco. It still offers a contacts list, calendar, and chat, just like most users have come to expect from their email platforms. It’s so close to Thunderbird, in fact, that the developers didn’t bother with an extensive tutorial or FAQ, but instead just point users to the Thunderbird help section if they have any problems.

  • Databases

    • Five Ways Open Source Databases Are Limited

      Two of the reasons to deploy an open source database are cost and philosophy. Philosophically, the open source movement subscribes to the notion that having community-developed product creates a better product, and/or “contributes to the world in a better way.” The other reason is cost, which usually means “free,” or at least no-charge for the software database license.

  • CMS

    • Proprietary vs. open source WCM [Ed: pro-proprietary]

      As it turns out, open source software is not always so free, proprietary software is not necessarily closed, and help from the open source community isn’t nearly as comprehensive as the level of support you get from a professional vendor.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source-distributions for Romanian public administrations

      Advocates of free and open source have tailored two Linux-distributions, motivating the country’s public administrations to use this type of software solutions. The distributions were presented on 29 August at events in Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca, the country’s most-populous cities. The Ministry of Education is the first to take an interest.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Action Alert: NYT Gives a False Pass to US on Cluster Bomb Sales

      The New York Times‘ Rick Gladstone (9/3/15) has an article on the use of cluster bombs—aptly described as the “widely outlawed munitions that kill and maim indiscriminately”—in conflicts in Libya, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen, five countries that have not signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which banned the production, sale and use of these weapons in 2010.

      [...]

      This is just wrong: The Convention not only bans the use of cluster bombs—which the US military used against Serbia, Afghanistan and Iraq before the treaty went into effect, but did not use subsequently in its air attacks on Libya—it also mandates that signatories are “never under any circumstances to…develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer to anyone, directly or indirectly, cluster munitions.”

    • The New York Times: Diplomats Agree That Iran Deal “Is As Good A Deal As You Could Get”

      Diplomats from the UK, China, France, Germany and Russia told Congress that the Iran nuclear deal is the best deal possible, according to a report from The New York Times.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Web of Secrecy Surrounding Federal Half-a-Billion Handout to Charter Schools

      Secretary Duncan has previously called for “absolute transparency” when it comes to school performance, but that’s just a talking point unless he releases the applications, or even a list of the states that are in the running, before they are given the final stamp of approval.

    • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Calls Out Trump For Bullying The Press

      Kareem Abdul-Jabbar called out Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for the “insidious political crime” of increasingly “attacking the First Amendment’s protection of a free press by menacing journalists.”

      In an essay for The Washington Post’s PostEverything section, Abdul-Jabbar detailed Trump’s increasingly hostile attacks on the press. On two separate occasions, Trump has thrown Hispanic journalists out of his press conferences.

  • Privacy

    • Snowden: Clinton’s email server ‘a problem’

      “If an ordinary worker at the State Department or the Central Intelligence Agency … were sending details about the security of the embassies, which is alleged to be in her email, meetings with private government officials, foreign government officials and the statements that were made to them in confidence over unclassified email systems, they would not only lose their jobs and lose their clearance, they would very likely face prosecution for it,” he added.

      Snowden also set his sights on GOP White House front-runner Donald Trump for calling him a “total traitor” earlier this summer.

      “It’s very difficult to respond in a serious way to any statement that’s made by Donald Trump,” he said of the outspoken billionaire.

      Clinton’s voter support is fading amid controversy over her technology habits while serving as secretary of State. Critics say her use of a personal storage device prevented accountability of her actions and jeopardized national security secrets.

  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

    • There’s still a chance to save WiFi

      You may not know it, but wifi is under assault in the USA due to proposed FCC regulations about modifications to devices with modular radios. In short, it would make it illegal for vendors to sell devices with firmware that users can replace. This is of concern to everyone, because Wifi routers are notoriously buggy and insecure. It is also of special concern to amateur radio hobbyists, due to the use of these devices in the Amateur Radio Service (FCC Part 97).

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 Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts