12.07.15

Gemini version available ♊︎

FRAND Tax, Patent Trolls as Satellites of Large Patent Aggressors, EPO Puff Pieces, and Another Imminent EPO Protest

Posted in America, Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Patents, RAND at 8:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Satellite

Summary: A roundup of patent news from the US and from Europe, focusing on various themes which we have been covering for many years

Unfair, Discriminatory and Unreasonable FRAND (no FRIEND)

POPULAR patent lawyers’ Web site/blog, Patently-O (usually quite subjective on the subject of software patents, although not as grossly so as IAM or Gene Quinn, whom we’ll allude to later on) has just published a piece from Prof. Contreras, who therein remarks on the now-popular subject which is RAND (or FRAND, an even more misleading euphemism because it adds the word “fair” to something which is clearly unfair, never mind unreasonable and discriminatory, definitely no FRIEND). We wrote a lot about RAND/FRAND more than three quarters of a decade ago (perhaps 18,000 articles ago), especially in relation to Europe because there were technical parliamentary debates about it, accompanied by heavy lobbying by Microsoft, very persistently in fact so as to exclude Free/Open Source software as a matter of law. A Microsoft front group is now lobbying on the FRAND front again, using a new livery, “All Things FRAND”. So watch out! This new guest post by Prof. Contreras cites a somewhat popular caselaw, involving Microsoft’s patent war on Android/Linux, fought through Motorola before the Google takeover (see our Wiki page about it).

“We wrote a lot about RAND/FRAND more than three quarters of a decade ago (perhaps 18,000 articles ago), especially in relation to Europe because there were technical parliamentary debates about it, accompanied by heavy lobbying by Microsoft, very persistently in fact so as to exclude Free/Open Source software as a matter of law.”To quote one relevant (to us) part of the piece: “Interestingly, this case represents the second appellate decision this year in which the admissibility of comparable license agreements has been challenged in RAND royalty determinations. In the prior case, Microsoft v. Motorola, 795 F.3d 1024 (9th Cir. 2015), the Ninth Circuit was more deferential to the District Court’s exclusion of potentially comparable license agreements. In Microsoft, the Circuit Court upheld the District Court’s exclusion of three arm’s length license agreements to which Motorola was a party for reasons including the fact that some agreements were entered into to settle or forestall litigation, they included patents other than the patents at issue, they included cross-licenses and they included royalty caps. It will be interesting to see how the Circuits reconcile their interpretations of this key evidentiary standard in future cases.”

Litigation/Extortion by (Patent) Proxy

Now, recall and consider the latest output from other pro-patent maximalism sites (meaning they want more feuds, hence more lawyer income). Right now it’s IAM which, without using the T word (troll), reveals that Panasonic too, not just companies like Microsoft, supports outside trolls for business objectives (Microsoft uses trolls like Intellectual Ventures and MOSAID, which has been renamed in a likely effort to dodge negative publicity). These companies use their patent portfolio in a very mischievous way, passing patents to trolls like Ericsson did. Ericsson’s troll too has changed its name after receiving a lot of negative press. Remember that Ericsson is a European company and take note of new or emergent patent trolls in Europe. This plague is spreading across the Atlantic.

“These companies use their patent portfolio in a very mischievous way, passing patents to trolls like Ericsson did.”Notice the connection of all the above companies to the EPO (we covered all of these before) and recall the special the role of one of them in discriminatory patent granting at the EPO (or closer/special contacts).

EPO is Innovative! According to Shallow ‘Placements’…

Speaking of contacts, we must wonder if this new patent lawyers’ analysis is basically some kind of media placement or presence (this new one from Managing IP also looks similar to classic puff pieces, but not exactly so). It paints the EPO as some kind of a super-advanced system where — gasp! — video conferencing is used. Welcome to the 1990s!

“It paints the EPO as some kind of a super-advanced system where — gasp! — video conferencing is used. Welcome to the 1990s!”“Many of us,” wrote the author, “are familiar with conducting business by video conference. It provides an extra option for talking to remote clients that is much less expensive and time-consuming than an in-person meeting, but can result in a better personal connection than a phone meeting.”

So basically the whole article then hails the EPO for using — gasp! — video conferencing. Wow, the innovation!

EPO Staff Not Gonna Take It Anymore

Well, it’s now increasingly clear that the EPO is desperate for positive publicity because it is widely loathed. Another EPO staff protest will take place this Thursday, as planned quite some time ago. The exact plans are now being outlined by SUEPO in their new update (top of this public page). To quote SUEPO: “The next demonstration will take place on Thursday 10 December, starting from the Pschorrhöfe building at 12h. The demonstrators will march peacefully to the local Palace of Justice.

“Isn’t it funny that the EPO’s management tries to frame staff as the issuer of threats when it’s actually the management doing so?”“With these demonstrations staff protests against the persistent attacks on its staff representatives, culminating in the suspension of and disciplinary procedures against 3 Union officials in Munich.”

Of course there will (as usual) be attempt to crush these protests by all means possible/available, even ahead of time. It’s commonly done using threats directed at organisers. Isn’t it funny that the EPO’s management tries to frame staff as the issuer of threats when it’s actually the management doing so? Well, a French politician who represents French workers abroad (that’s a lot of French patent examiners) rapidly becomes Battistelli’s Nemesis and we hope these protests will help demonstrate to more politicians that not all is well and serious reform is desperately needed.

Software Patents

Longtime readers already know that our main concern about the EPO has always been software patents in Europe. Software professionals universally reject software patents, but they’re not the ones voting on such matters if the likes of Battistelli want to meet so-called ‘production’ goals, meaning, by definition of these goals, granting patents in more domains and granting invalid/bogus patents.

“Europe’s patent system is now having far broader an issue than just patent scope.”Gene Quinn, a “blowhard” (to quote IP Troll Tracker) patent lawyer and longtime proponent of software patents, is still at it. He and I exchanged over a hundred messages in Twitter, only to find out that he never wrote any code that he can point to (he claimed he had written some but was unable to find evidence). He just doesn’t understand how software works and cannot tell the difference between data/input and program code. He is now trying to give people tips for patenting software, even after US courts repeatedly ruled against (many) such patents.

Europe’s patent system is now having far broader an issue than just patent scope. At the end — and we hope or suppose patent examiners will agree — we sorely need a patent policy that represents public opinion and maximises benefit to the public. Over-patenting leads to higher costs on everything (the ‘lawyers tax’) and can also suppress innovation and development, either by means of deterrence/fear or by over-encumbering litigation, sometimes initiated by opportunistic patent trolls (occasionally operating at the behest of larger entities seeking to annihilate rivals, as noted above).

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 4/12/2021: Gedit Plans and More

    Links for the day



  2. Links 4/12/2021: Turnip Becomes Vulkan 1.1 Conformant

    Links for the day



  3. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, December 03, 2021



  4. Links 4/12/2021: EndeavourOS Atlantis, Krita 5.0.0 Beta 5, Istio 1.11.5, and Wine 6.23; International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on December 10th

    Links for the day



  5. Another Gemini Milestone: 1,500 Active Capsules

    This page from Balázs Botond plots a graph, based on these statistics that now (as of minutes ago) say: “We successfully connected recently to 1500 of them.” Less than a fortnight ago more than 1,800 capsules overall were registered by Lupa, almost quadrupling in a single year



  6. [Meme] António Campinos and Socialist Posturing

    Staff of the EPO isn’t as gullible as António Campinos needs it to be



  7. António Campinos as EPO President is Considered Worse Than Benoît Battistelli (in Some Regards) After 3.5 Years in Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    The EPO's demise at the hands of people who don't understand patents and don't care what the EPO exists for is a real crisis which European media is unwilling to even speak about; today we share some internal publications and comment on them



  8. Media Coverage for Sale

    Today we're highlighting a couple of new examples (there are many other examples which can be found any day of the year) demonstrating that the World Wide Web is like a corporate spamfarm in "news" clothing



  9. Links 3/12/2021: GNU Poke 1.4 and KDDockWidgets 1.5.0

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 02, 2021



  11. Links 3/12/2021: Nitrux 1.7.1 and Xen 4.16 Released

    Links for the day



  12. Links 2/12/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.4 Alpha, Qt Creator 6

    Links for the day



  13. The EPO's “Gender Awareness Report”

    There’s a new document with remarks by the EPO’s staff representatives and it concerns opportunities for women at the EPO — a longstanding issue



  14. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 01, 2021



  15. EPO Staff Committee Compares the Tactics of António Campinos to Benoît Battistelli's

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO talks about EPO President António Campinos, arguing that “he seems to subscribe to the Manichean view, introduced by Mr Battistelli…”



  16. Prof. Thomas Jaeger in GRUR: Unified Patent Court (UPC) “Incompatible With EU Law“

    The truth remains unquestionable and the law remains unchanged; Team UPC is living in another universe, unable to accept that what it is scheming will inevitably face high-level legal challenges (shall that become necessary) and it will lose because the facts are all still the same



  17. Links 1/12/2021: LibrePlanet CFS Extended to December 15th and DB Comparer for PostgreSQL Reaches 5.0

    Links for the day



  18. EPO Cannot and Will Not Self-Regulate

    The term financialisation helps describe some of the activities of the EPO in recent years; see Wikipedia on financialisation below



  19. [Meme] Germany's Licence to Break the Law

    Remember that the young Campinos asked dad for his immunity after he had gotten drunk and crashed the car; maybe the EPO should stop giving diplomatic immunity to people, seeing what criminals (e.g. Benoît Battistelli) this attracts; the German government is destroying its image (and the EU’s) by fostering such corruption, wrongly believing that it’s worth it because of Eurozone domination for patents/litigation



  20. EPO Dislikes Science and Scientists

    The EPO's management has become like a corrupt political party with blind faith in money and monopolies (or monopoly money); it has lost sight of its original goals and at this moment it serves to exacerbate an awful pandemic, as the video above explains



  21. Links 1/12/2021: LibreOffice 7.3 Beta, Krita 5.0, Julia 1.7

    Links for the day



  22. Links 1/12/2021: NixOS 21.11 Released

    Links for the day



  23. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 30, 2021



  24. Links 1/12/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and WordPress 5.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  25. [Meme] EPO Administrative Council Believing EPO-Bribed 'Media' (IAM Still Shilling and Lying for Cash)

    IAM continues to do what brings money from EPO management and Team UPC, never mind if it is being disputed by the patent examiners themselves



  26. The EPO's Mythical “Gap” Has Been Found and It's Bonuses for People Who Use Pure Fiction to Steal From Patent Examiners

    The phony president who has the audacity to claim there's a budget gap is issuing millions of euros for his enablers to enjoy; weeks ahead of the next meeting of national delegates the Central Staff Committee (CSC) tells them: "Events show that the delegations’ concerns about functional allowances have materialised. The lack of transparency and inflation of the budget envelope gives rise to the suspicion that high management is pursuing a policy of self-service at the expense of EPO staff, which is difficult to reconcile with the Office’s claimed cost-saving policy, and to the detriment of the whole Organisation."



  27. Video: Making the Internet a Better Place for People, Not Megacorporations

    Following that earlier list of suggested improvements for a freedom-respecting Internet, here's a video and outline



  28. Links 30/11/2021: KDE Plasma 5.23.4, 4MLinux 38.0, Long GitHub Downtime, and Microsoft's CEO Selling Away Shares

    Links for the day



  29. A Concise Manifesto For Freedom-Respecting Internet

    An informal list of considerations to make when reshaping the Internet to better serve people, not a few corporations that are mostly military contractors subsidised by the American taxpayers



  30. Freenode.net Becomes a 'Reddit Clone' and Freenode IRC is Back to Old Configurations After Flushing Down Decades' Worth of User/Channel Data and Locking/Shutting Out Longtime Users

    Freenode is having another go; after “chits” and “jobs” (among many other ideas) have clearly failed, and following the change of daemon (resulting in massive loss of data and even security issues associated with impersonation) as well as pointless rebrand as “Joseon”, the domain Freenode.net becomes something completely different and the IRC network reopens to all


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

Recent Posts