EPO Does Not Seem to Have Investigators, Only Accusers and Prosecutors (Loyal to the President)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Digression to Napoleonic times

The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer
The Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824–1904)

Summary: The nature of the Disciplinary Committee at the EPO explained, as it’s not quite what it seems on the surface

THE EPO‘s extrajudicial staff purge (not fatal, but dismissal under such circumstances can destroy entire careers) is starting to look a lot worse, and it is rapidly broadening in terms of scale.

Several months ago we showed how one staff representative, a three-decade EPO veteran, was harassed by Team Battistelli. Someone has just leaked to us documents which we believe should be shared publicly (after long and careful consideration). The vicious witch-hunt against staff representatives clearly goes on unabated, in spite of many protests.

The following message has just been leaked to us:

Dear [Anonymised],

A Disciplinary Committee consists of four members, two selected by the Administration and two selected by the Staff Committee. If a case comes up, the Members of responsible Disciplinary Committee are determined by the drawing of lots out of a pool of potential nominees. The rules for nominating for these pools are, however, very restrictive and have become even more so under Mr Battistelli. The result is that in the Disciplinary Committee that will treat my case three out of the four members, including both members selected by the Staff Committee, are Principal Directors whose normal role it is to represent management rather than to represent staff. Note furthermore that Principal Directors are appointed on 5-year renewable contracts to be renewed – or not – by the President.

I have objected against the Principal Director appointed to my committee who was drawn from the pool selected by the Administration. Albeit a former Chairman of SUEPO, he is known to have strong anti-SUEPO feelings, as I experienced on more than one occasion.

Attached you will find my letter to the Chairman of the Disciplinary
Committee and the answer.

Elizabeth Hardon

More interesting, however, are the following redacted documents:

Elizabeth Hardon letter - page 1

Elizabeth Hardon letter - page 2

Elizabeth Hardon letter - page 3

And then there’s this:

Elizabeth Hardon letter - page 4

The harder the EPO tries to crush staff and its representatives, the more it delegitimises itself. When will this insanity end? There are legitimiate criticisms which must be tackled, but the EPO’s management prefers to just shoot the messengers.

“There is a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.”

Oscar Levant

The Media is Already Flooded With EPO Propaganda, Some Likely Paid for With €73,000-Per-Month ‘Special’ New Budget

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Posted by what seems to be an EPO patent examiner (or some other EPO staff)

Joff Wild of IAM

Summary: The EPO’s rotten influence over the media is having unintended consequences, detrimental to a high degree not just to the EPO’s management but also to its media partners

THE Battistelli-led EPO waltzes and dances from one scandal to the next, now shaming Apple in EurActiv despite Apple being a prolific applicant. Apple‘s patent wars against Samsung (or Android/Linux), covered by EPO critic Florian Müller, seems to have just culminated in over half a billion dollars (reluctant payment). At the same time, over at Texas (the trolls' docker), Apple is said to have been sued by a “two-month-old company,” to quote WIPR‘s headline. As the author framed it: “A company that was formed nearly two months ago has sued multinational business Apple for allegedly infringing a patent covering mobile phones.

“Anything one sees in the media regarding the EPO one must suspect could be part of the EPO’s €73,000-per-month reputation laundering campaign (leaked here a week ago).”“In a lawsuit filed at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on Wednesday, December 2, Iris Connex claimed Apple’s iPhone 5 model and all models produced since then have infringed the patent.”

This serves to show just how broken the US patent system that Battistelli increasingly emulates really is, despite growing efforts to thwart software patents there*. This is the type of mess that the unitary patent, or UPC, promises to bring to Europe (a subject we increasingly cover these days). Now that the EPO muddies the media (or pays the media) for positive coverage it is easier to fall for the brainwash (from the likes of IAM) and not get the facts. Google News deems the EPO’s own site a credible source of news (see result number 2 below) and this site is, for the most part, also flooding search results for other EPO-related searches.

UPC news

Anything one sees in the media regarding the EPO one must suspect could be part of the EPO’s €73,000-per-month reputation laundering campaign (leaked here a week ago).
* According to Patent Buddy, “US Pat 7,756,855, Asserted Against Google; Killed by Alice/101;” The Docket Report says: “The magistrate judge recommended denying without prejudice defendants’ motion to dismiss the asserted claims of plaintiff’s data compression patents because claim construction had not occurred and defendant failed to establish that the claims were directed toward an abstract idea.”

EurActiv’s Puff Piece for EPO (Amid High-Budget Media Blitz) Reveals Just How Clueless and Tactless the EPO’s President Really is

Posted in Apple, Deception, Europe, Patents at 6:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EurActiv logoSummary: A bunch of EPO puff pieces served through the Web this week, and they don’t stand up to basic scrutiny based on facts

ALTHOUGH Wikipedia calls EurActiv “independent”, we oftentimes wonder why it promotes corporate interests and all sorts of villainous ‘trade’ deals. Over the years it has also been a platform for Microsoft lobbyists in Europe. In our humble assessment, there was always something dubious if not odious about EurActiv‘s agenda.

“In our humble assessment, there was always something dubious if not odious about EurActiv‘s agenda.”Yesterday we noticed this article (puff piece, EPO-sponsored?) from EurActiv, complete with softball questions for Battistelli, almost staged. Why not just make it a “guest post” of Battistelli, as if he was a journalist using this platform? Questions include loaded ones like: “Will the first unitary patents be granted in 2016?”

Well, UPC is not even a reality yet. Talk about jumping the gun…

The title of the piece is click-bait (probably for more hits/traffic) and a response to it has just been posted in IP Kat, saying:

Have you seen this?

Battistelli: Many Apple patents would not have been granted in Europe

In response to a question regarding “patent war” litigation between tech companies such as Samsung (a closer-contact-with-major-applicants-pilot-project member) and Apple (NOT a closer-contact-with-major-applicants-pilot-project member), Battistelli states that the reason this ‘patent war’ is “happening mainly in the US and not Europe” is “because there are many patents in the US granted to Apple which would have not been granted in Europe because we are more rigorous and more selective than in the US. In my [Battistelli's] view, this ‘patent war’ is largely due to dysfunction of the US system.”

What a remarkable statement!

Battistelli manages – in fewer than 50 words – to appear not only to defame Apple’s patent portfolio, but also manages to pooh-pooh the US system as “dysfunctional”!

I guess Battistelli doesn’t remember that the infamous “slide to unlock” patent (EP1964022) was granted by the EPO, and only later invalidated by the German Bundesgerichtshof…

He probably also doesn’t recall that the reason the Apple-Samsung ‘patent war’ is fought mainly in the US is because Apple and Samsung have agreed to end all patent lawsuits outside the US between themselves.

I wonder if Battistelli would be willing to identify individual Apple patents granted in the US that would-not-be or were-not granted in Europe?

How should Apple feel about such statements..?
How should Apple investors feel about such statements?

We too were surprised that Battistelli can pretend Apple is in no way abusive in Europe (we wrote a lot about it). Has he lived up a tree for the past 3-4 years? Is he willfully misleading or just misinformed? We don’t know what’s worse…

“The whole piece was basically constructed to be a megaphone for Battistelli and be some kind of positive “media presence” for the EPO.”The whole piece was basically constructed to be a megaphone for Battistelli and be some kind of positive “media presence” for the EPO. We kindly ask readers to recall that the EPO is 'planting' puff pieces in the media and spends obscene amounts of money doing so right now (newly-leaked contract), so we can only make guesses about EurActiv‘s motivations. We are seeing some other pro-UPC pieces right now, in lawyers’ Web sites (no mainstream reach though). One of them has just parroted the EPO: “According to a publication on the website of the European Patent Office (www.epo.org), significant progress has recently been made towards the unitary patent. The Select Committee, which was set up by the original 25 member states participating in the unitary patent, has agreed on the distribution of income generated by the payment of the uniform renewal fees to the European Patent Office (EPO).”

We don’t know what motivated the writers to just repeat the EPO’s claims. The EPO has a very poor record on accuracy and honesty. Remember what it told The Register earlier this week about freedom of the press. It was almost hilarious.

Meanwhile, the EPO-sponsored bloggers from IAM are shaming Germany into accepting the EPO’s ambition of making UPC a reality (more injunctions, damages, patent scope), but this does not exactly surprise us. We have come to expect this from IAM, which has written virtually nothing about EPO scandals (lies by omission). It mostly did ‘damage control’ for the EPO amid these scandals.

“The EPO has a very poor record on accuracy and honesty.”Looking at IP Kat for a moment, one new article speaks about a new topic and states that “The Technical Board wanted to know whether a notice of appeal that was filed after the time limit according to art. 108 EPC was to be deemed inadmissibleor not filed (note that this question is different from the one in G2/14, where the notice was filed timely, but the fee was paid late. G2/14 was terminated because the patent in question lapsed for non-payment of the annual fee).”

Another new article speaks about the big scandal regarding discriminatory treatment of applicants. “Merpel is also a bit annoyed,” she said, “because she has heard of European attorneys being asked about the new PACE provisions by applicants in Japan, who apparently heard it from visiting Examiners well before this announcement. Merpel is not against Examiners visiting applicants, but it is unhelpful to say the least to announce changes to users of the European patent system who require representation without representatives having been given the chance to inform themselves.”

Well, imagine what would happen if everyone applied for PACE. This whole system is a sham. It’s designed to eliminate patent neutrality while maintaining the illusion that it doesn’t.

Watch this new comment that says: “Not only letters to applicants are changed.

“Nowadays, Eponia is more concerned about generating, artificially, positive media coverage, not actually correcting its many ills.”“I was involved in a case where the division had decided to grant, and all members had signed. The director went to the second examiner and the chairman and stated that he did not agree, and that they should have consideration for their staff reports.

“He then went to the entrusted examiner and said that the grant would not go out and a refusal should be written.

“When the first examiner went to consult with the other two members they said that the director had already been to see them and please do the refusal (obviously in fear of reprisals).

“So what does the poor first examiner do? Write a refusal (keeping the original signed and dated grant, since Mr. Director was swiftly before pension and the examiner feared a rebuke from DG3 if the file would be appealed). Yes, strange happenings in EPONIA.”

Nowadays, Eponia is more concerned about generating, artificially, positive media coverage, not actually correcting its many ills. Do these people wonder why even politicians took an interest in this wasteful media manipulation?

The protest in Munich is going on right now. We hope to find some press coverage about it as early as Monday, if not in Sunday newspapers (Germany has several of those).

Colonel Battistelli must be feeling like there’s a dire need to brainwash his staff right now.

“Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”

Napoleon Bonaparte

US Patent Lawyers Stressed, Still Complaining About Alice Case and the Potential Sunset on Software Patents

Posted in America, Courtroom, Patents at 5:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: As the dawn of a new, post-software patents era is upon us, those who were making money from conflict are bemoaning the state of affairs

In order to salvage whatever reputation it has left, the USPTO must follow the example of SCOTUS (US Supreme Court) and limit the granting of patents on software. This doesn’t mean that software patents are already dead, but little by little we may be getting there. It’s only bad news for society’s richest people.

“This doesn’t mean that software patents are already dead, but little by little we may be getting there.”According to the bankers’ media, Goldman Sachs now uses patents versus competition from the likes of Bitcoin. “Goldman Sachs,” explains this article, “has made a patent application for a cryptocurrency settlement system in a move that underlines bank hopes that the architecture behind bitcoin can revolutionise global payments.

“The application for a new virtual currency, dubbed “SETLcoin” by the bank, said it would offer “nearly instantaneous execution and settlement” of trades involving assets including stocks and bonds.”

“They are abstract and are therefore not suitable or worthy of patent grants.”We previously wrote many articles here about patents which relate to electronic payments. The challenges are being tackled not with innovation but with patent monopolies. Remember that the famous Alice case too involved a bank (CLS Bank). Patent lawyers are incidentally whining again, alleging that the sky is falling because the Supreme Court did its job and told the public the truth about software patents. They are abstract and are therefore not suitable or worthy of patent grants.

“”Innovators” is what the lawyers basically call monopolists, for the most part.”Here we have another legal firm, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP, calling the possible end of software patents (or the beginning of the end) “wreaking havoc” as if it’s the most terrible thing to even happen (to them at least). To quote their new article: “The Alice Corp. decision and its progeny have been wreaking havoc at the USPTO. In addition to increasing costs, it has cast a shadow on our patent system. Innovators are seemingly unable to get patents without jumping through the ill‑defined “abstract idea/significantly more” hoop. Worse still, if your application ends up classified as a Business Method application, you could face a never‑ending string of § 101 rejections for the time being. Clearly, new approaches are needed to get past perfunctory rejections that dismiss claims as mere abstractions.”

“Innovators” is what the lawyers basically call monopolists, for the most part. In their minds, more patents absolutely imply more innovation. It’s nonsense. By lowering the bar (and the accompanying fees) every patent office can increase the number of patents. This does nothing for innovation. In many cases, innovation can only be retarded by this.

So, after this dramatic opening they say: “Rejections under § 101 generally contain a statement about what “abstract idea” the claims represent, along with a statement that any “additional elements” do not constitute “significantly more” than that idea. It’s quite difficult to get over this first hurdle. The Interim Eligibility Guidance from July asserts that abstract ideas “need not be old or long‑prevalent.” Combined with the Supreme Court’s statement in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, 134 S.Ct. 2347, 2354 (2014), that “all inventions . . . embody, use, reflect, rest upon, or apply laws of nature, natural phenomena, or abstract ideas,” it is clear that the USPTO considers very few claims to not include some abstract idea.”

And rightly so. USPTO is doing what’s long overdue because it must become more harmonious with courts’ decisions, otherwise confidence in patents will decline and almost every patent granted by the USPTO will be viewed as bogus, invalid, incapable of withstanding scrutiny in court.

“Some articles in the media are overwhelmingly dominated by views of profiteers to whom terms like ‘innovation’ mean nothing; they never innovated anything in their lives, they just engineered disputes, threats, and lawsuits, often on behalf of some large and powerful institutions.”At the end, watch how the lawyers are selling themselves to help confuse examiners and get around the rules: “request an interview with the examiner to get clarification as to which elements are abstract. In your next response, argue that the technological elements of the claims are outside of that abstract idea. This will force the examiner to more clearly explain the rejection, which will prepare your application for appeal or – better yet – result in the withdrawal of the rejection.”

Meaning, pay a patent lawyer (i.e. a parasite) to see how you can patent software despite increasingly hostile rules (examination guidelines).

Yesterday at a Christmas party I had a chat with a retired MSP from London (he used to work as a programmer with Fortran before becoming a manager). When I explained to him some of these issues he ended up saying that if patent lawyers end up dried of income, he would very much applaud it. Some articles in the media are overwhelmingly dominated by views of profiteers to whom terms like ‘innovation’ mean nothing; they never innovated anything in their lives, they just engineered disputes, threats, and lawsuits, often on behalf of some large and powerful institutions. Litigation is not production.

“Never confuse motion with action.”

Benjamin Franklin

Microsoft’s Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures Extorts Money Out of Canon Despite a Recent Microsoft Patent Deal

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 5:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

‘Peace’ with Microsoft does not ensure peace with its satellites

Green troll

Summary: An update regarding Canon’s débâcle with Intellectual Ventures, the world’s largest and most abusive patent troll, created and funded by Microsoft and Bill Gates

TECHRIGHTS has been writing about the world’s largest patent troll, Intellectual Ventures, for many years. The strong links to Microsoft are impossible to ignore and the attacks on Linux are not at all surprising.

“…Microsoft continues to attack Linux using software patents, often via its patent troll, Intellectual Ventures.”Last month we wrote about this troll's attacks on Canon (which uses a lot of Linux in its products). We used that to make the case that even with a Microsoft patent deal, one cannot be defended from Microsoft’s trolls. Well, the Microsoft patent troll is said to have just ‘settled’ (means extortion money extracted after Canon thought it had peace with Microsoft). As IP Hawk put it: “Looks like IV and Canon have settled. Seeing stay pending dismissals on the dockets.”

Does anyone other than parasites actually believe that Intellectual Ventures is worth existing?

According to the EFF (as of this week): “It’s easy to file a patent complaint. All a patent owner has to do is say that they own a patent and that the defendant infringed it. The patent holder doesn’t even need to identify which product of the defendant’s they believe infringe the patent, or specify which claims of the patent they’re asserting. It’s an absurdly simple process, and unscrupulous patent tolls routinely take advantage of that fact.

“That might have changed this week—the Judicial Conference of the United States has instituted a rule change that includes eliminating the form that’s been used for patent complaints for decades. We hope that the change makes it harder for patent trolls to hit defendants with information-free complaints, but we’re not breaking out the Champagne yet.”

Well, as we have shown here before, Microsoft continues to attack Linux using software patents, often via its patent troll, Intellectual Ventures. Companies are even sued in bulk, in conjunction, with very broad claims. Anyone capable and eager to defend this status quo with a straight face is either working for Microsoft (if not a similar patent aggressor) or some patent lawyer who profits from patent lawsuits. Monopolising the market by abusing the system is still Microsoft’s expertise.

“Children are often taught “computer skills” that are really “Microsoft Windows skills” – how to use Microsoft’s operating system and its Office suite (its two monopolies) – rather than the possibilities of making computers do what you want. As such, children are being equipped to be uncreative office workers, just as those at the end of the 19th century were equipped for the routine of adding up huge lists of numbers in the accounts departments of big companies.”

The Guardian

Amid EPO Exodus/Brain Drain, Two Options: ‘Gestapo’ Staff and Assistant to Battistelli Have Quit or Battistelli’s Praetorian Guard is Expanding

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Praetorian guard

Summary: Misplaced priorities at the EPO and more evidence either of more exits (resignations) or an expansion to further empower tyranny, not patent examination

SEVERAL sources have independently told us about EPO brain drain. People hand in their resignations in relatively high numbers. The President’s Praetorian Guard, nonetheless, isn’t being shrunk. The EPO’s Napoleonic ‘president’ (fancy job title, more so than in the USPTO) already surrounds himself with bodyguards, some say he wants to have a limousine (we haven’t been able to verify this claim), and even if all talented examiners were to leave the EPO, lavish lifestyle and obscene expenditure for the almighty ‘president’ mustn’t and wouldn’t be compromised.

“They ought to say something about the high suicide levels, the abuse of staff, and violations of European law, human rights, privacy etc.”According to this new job ad (location being Munich and The Hague), there are many vacancies expected, perhaps because many people are leaving. “In 2016,” says this ad, “the European Patent Office plans to recruit more than 200 engineers and scientists to work as patent examiners. Are you interested in joining an international team at the forefront of technology?”

They ought to say something about the high suicide levels, the abuse of staff, and violations of European law, human rights, privacy etc. They should inform applicants also about the ‘gestapo’ (as staff calls it) [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. As this new comment in IP Kat put it yesterday:

The problem at the EPO is the general lack of respect for it employees contrary to the managments [sic] professions to the contrary.

At a meeting of the president with a group of employees, he was questioned on the wisdom of introducing the fully electronic file and paperless office. First of all there are frequent disruptions in the working of the EPOs computer systems at present. This hinders examiners in the processing of files. At present an examiner can pick up on another file, and continue the other file later. With a paperless office the examiner would be fully dependent on the computer systems working. If these were to fail then the examiner would be hindered from working. This would impede production (which would result is a negative personal report) unless the examiner would work overtime to make up for the lost time. Secondly the ergonomics guidelines state that an employee should not work more that 6 hours on a PC (a tool was introduced by the EPO to advise examiners to stop after 6 hours) or risk health issues. Introducing the fully electronic file would mean examiners will be expected to work on a PC for on average 8 hours per day (considering examiners have a fixed 40 hour week). To this Mr Batistelli replied that new computer screens (which do not yet exist) would solve the problem (this would maybe solve eye problems but not RSI risks). He then continued that he would be happy if examiners would really work 8 hours per days. Thank you Mr. Batistelli! So much for respect for employees.

Furthemore [sic], the Head of the Investigation Unit, during a meeting where the workings of this Unit were introduced, was questioned. First of all he was asked whether it was true that an employee being investigated was not allowed legal council. He stated that this was correct. He was then asked if the information would be used in disciplinary proceedings. To this he stated that it was merely to see if a disciplinary proceedings should be conducted, suggesting that the information would not be used. It was then stated that if the information obtained during the investigation were to be used would this information not be illegally obtained evidence because of the lack of legal representation. To this he replied in an agressive [sic] manner that if the employees of the EPO didn´t like it the [sic] could leave, at which [point] a large group left the room. This felt a lot like intimidation. Where do you go to request an investigation of the head of the investigation unit for intimidation? So much for respect.

To then expect EPO employees to treat the management [sic]with respect is maybe a little too much, although it would have maybe been better not to stoop down to come closer to the low level management exemplifies.

The EPO is now hiring even more people for its 'gestapo'. That is perhaps the EPO’s ‘growth area’ right now. More of the above.

Someone has notified us of a curious new vacancy at the EPO — a vacancy which suggests that either Battistelli lost his assistant or is looking to recruit more. Here are the details from the EPO’s site (screenshots shown below to reduce the chances of tracking by the EPO’s ‘gestapo’).

Below is an opening for a personal assistant to Monsieur le Président (http://www.epo.org/about-us/jobs/vacancies/other/int-ext-5918.html):

Battistelli protege

Just as a bit of complementary reference material from the public EPO site: Two separate openings for an investigator are advertised, one in the Hague and the other in Munich (http://www.epo.org/about-us/jobs/vacancies/other.html)

But both entries point to the same URL ( http://www.epo.org/about-us/jobs/vacancies/other/int-ext-5918.html)

This is probably the reason why the Central Staff Committee document states that it isn’t clear how many two investigators are sought. Here is the ad for the ‘gestapo’ career:

Gestapo career

These are, for now, the only jobs publicly advertised in “other” (not in outside Web sites but by the EPO itself):

EPO job openings

Patent examiners? Not in this section, but either way, this isn’t really the focus of the EPO. Not interested. The EPO isn’t about patent examination anymore. It is rubber-stamping at a higher PACE [pun intended] for large corporations because they bring more income.

“History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.”

Thomas Jefferson

With Defend Trade Secrets Act Lobbying, Microsoft Shows That It Remains Incredibly Hypocritical, Evil, and Dangerous

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 10 at 3:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No ‘new Microsoft’…

“In the last several days Microsoft has shown that despite claims of acquiring a newly found respect for open principles and technology, developers should be cautious in believing promises made by this “new” Microsoft. [...] There is one other fact clear from this case. Microsoft does not appear to be a leopard capable of changing its spots. Maybe it’s time developers go on a diet from Microsoft and get the FAT out of their products.”

Jim Zemlin, Linux Foundation Executive Director

Summary: The company which respects nobody’s secrets now openly promotes what some consider the equivalent of SOPA, revealing double standards and malicious ambitions

The so-called ‘new Microsoft’ is still very evil, but usually behind closed doors (secrets). The media strategy of Microsoft has been to portray itself as “open” and reformed, but what is Microsoft really doing?

Well, based on reports such as “Microsoft, US senators want to grease wheels of trade secret theft cases” or “Microsoft promotes the value of trade secrets as senate committee discusses new bill”, not much has changed. Microsoft takes the lead in an assault on society’s collective interests.

“The media strategy of Microsoft has been to portray itself as “open” and reformed, but what is Microsoft really doing?”To quote The Stack: “A spokesman for the Microsoft On The Issues website has expressed the company’s support for new legislation that would reform the legal framework for companies wishing to protect their trade secrets in a cloud-centric world where such information is frequently forced to reside on networks.

“In the post Microsoft’s Assistant General Counsel of IP Policy & Strategy Jule Sigall rallies behind business and academic concerns supporting the proposed Defend Trade Secrets Act 2015 (DTSA), which goes before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee today.”

“Microsoft takes the lead in an assault on society’s collective interests.”The ‘new Microsoft’ is apparently so ‘open’ that it lobbies for an especially nasty pro-secrecy bill. That’s the real Microsoft. There is another article titled “Why legal experts are up in arms over the trade-secrets bill Microsoft loves”.

The article from Noyes says: “At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, lawmakers heard arguments over a bill that has garnered passionate support from Microsoft but been compared by others to the controversial SOPA copyright act.”

“Cortana makes any device with Windows a listening device or a bug.”Microsoft has even gone public with this move: “Their view was echoed in a blog post by Jule Sigall, Microsoft’s assistant general counsel of IP policy and strategy, who described the importance of trade secrets in the development of Cortana.”

Cortana makes any device with Windows a listening device or a bug. It’s a nasty antifeature. Vista 10 in itself serves to prove that Microsoft goes deeper into the surveillance business, amassing people’s secrets (this is apparently what Microsoft’s interest in trade secrets is really about).

“Due to anti-class action clauses, it’s not likely that class action against Microsoft (over Vista 10) would be successful.”According to recent reports, users of Vista 10 (usually just people who were forced to use it because they bought a new computer and Microsoft had pressured OEMs to bundle Vista 10) consider class action over Vista 10 (“others can’t even get the Start menu working after upgrading from Windows 7 and 8.1,” says this article). This so-called ‘operating system’, which is basically a keylogger (sending every single event over the network, broadcasting it to ‘mother ship’) and hence very inefficient too, is a reminder of how much Microsoft respects secrets. Microsoft wants to snoop on everyone while keeping its own secrets. Due to anti-class action clauses, it’s not likely that class action against Microsoft (over Vista 10) would be successful.

There are many other problems with Windows, including back doors. What does that really say about Microsoft’s approach to secrets? There are back or bug doors in all versions of Windows (some say since 1999 when Microsoft first built these back doors, perhaps in order to appease the US government amidst antitrust disputes) and not only governments but all sorts of other groups still take advantage of it, sometimes to extort people using their data. Remember Stuxnet and also note that Conficker is still alive, making botnets out of Windows-running PCs. As The Inquirer put it the other day: “Conficker feeds a botnet, and Check Point said that the malware was found in 20 percent of all attacks anywhere and can enable the smooth passage of other types of infection. Check Point reckons that there were 1,500 malware families in action in October.”

The bottom line is, Microsoft lobbies for secrecy and something which is akin to SOPA, revealing hypocrisy in the sense that Microsoft does not at all respect secrecy. The company has done enormous damage not just because of its back doors (which made Windows easy to remotely take over) but also its extreme data collection practices in Vista 10. How can this company honestly lecture the world on trade secrets or generally about secrets?

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