Why the US Political Debate About Patent ‘Reform’ is Still Deficient and the Legal System Probably Broken Beyond Repair

Posted in America, Patents at 9:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When the Establishment serves Power rather than Justice

Trump with supporters
Photo credit: Evan Guest, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Summary: As the number of patents granted by the USPTO doubles (in just a few years), lawsuits leap through the roof, small businesses are severely harmed, and the political debate, the corporate media, the patent office and so on are all controlled by predators whose interests align with patent lawyers, patent lobbyists and their large clients (multinationals)

THE USPTO is the world’s most dominant patent system. It issues patents on software even though it’s becoming much harder a thing to enforce in a court of law, especially after Alice. Patent lawyers are still trying to undo or reverse Alice because it hit them where it hurts: patent scope.

Longing for Scalia/GOP Influence

Pro-patents (or patent maximalism) Web sites bemoan what they call “Change Inventorship on Issued U.S. Patent” and even long for corporations-leaning Justices like Scalia (see this new article by Louis Carbonneau), who died earlier this month, leaving SCOTUS more liberal (or leftist) than before.

“Patent lawyers are still trying to undo or reverse Alice because it hit them where it hurts: patent scope.”As of last week, we have begun seeing the debate about patents resurfacing in US politics, even if it’s the same old misguided debate about “patent trolls” rather than about patent scope. Here is the latest lobbying by patent maxlmalists (for USPTO lenience and greed). It says: “The U.S. government has a bad history of taking money from the USPTO. Since 1991, $1 billion has been skimmed from the office’s budget during the appropriations process and diverted to unrelated agencies. This isn’t taxpayer money, but fees paid to the USPTO by patent and trademark applicants (i.e., inventors and brand owners).”

Yeah, whatever…

“It has made a killing by doubling the number of granted patents (innovation did not double at all).”So now USPTO is the poor victim? It has made a killing by doubling the number of granted patents (innovation did not double at all).

“All these conclusions came together,” wrote a respected patents blog the other day, “to confirm a finding that Colvin had intent-to-defraud the USPTO.”

Foxes and Hen Houses

Well, generally speaking, the problem with the USPTO is that it’s run by a lot of lawyers and thus it serves lawyers. The examiners there, who are mostly qualified scientists with practical experience, don’t have much of a say. It more or less mirrors what happens in the EPO in the policy/scope sense. “Join free IP Seminar “Overcoming Alice in Electronic Signal Processing”, March 10, Munich,” wrote European patent lawyers the other day.

“Patent lawyers have a twisted view on things, where laws and rules are seen as obstacles to leap over rather than something that should be respected and obeyed.”Well, “Overcoming Alice” is like “Overcoming the law,” or simply getting around the rules. Patent lawyers have a twisted view on things, where laws and rules are seen as obstacles to leap over rather than something that should be respected and obeyed.

Watch this this article by Nicholas Landau (Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP). After the Alice decision at SCOTUS level (2014) the patent lawyers still struggle as they try to convince the public that software patents are legitimate and potent. They are not. That’s ill advice. “Due to the rapidly shifting requirement for subject matter eligibility,” says the author, “some patent examiners seem to believe that, when it comes to software inventions, they are entitled to assume the invention is not patent eligible subject matter under § 101, and it is the applicant’s duty to prove otherwise.”

Well, “some patent examiners seem to believe…”

“Not too long ago Apple managed to bamboozle EPO examiners into granting it software patents, only to have them invalidated in a court (several times in fact).”So much for respect to examiners. They’re viewed as naive and misguided by patent lawyers.

Apple’s Bogus Software Patents

Not too long ago Apple managed to bamboozle EPO examiners into granting it software patents, only to have them invalidated in a court (several times in fact). These were invalidated only after the defendants had spent millions (in legal fees) and years in the courts defending Android/Linux. See this new article (among many on the subject) titled “Appeals Court Dumps Apple’s Slide To Unlock Patent, Tosses Massive Jury Award Against Samsung In The Trash”. To quote this non-mainstream/non-conformist piece from TechDirt: “Apple may have been able to convince a jury that Samsung violated a bunch of its patents, on concepts like “slide to unlock,” but apparently the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) disagrees. Despite the court’s reputation for regularly expanding the power of patents (and getting smacked around by the Supreme Court for doing so), CAFC has sided with Samsung and tossed out a jury’s $120 million award and with it some Apple patents — including “slide to unlock.”

“This is the outcome of the infamous “thermonuclear war,” to quote the megalomaniac Steve Jobs, who simple could not stand competition.”This is a software patents — a callback functionality on a mock-up/design/UI.

This is the outcome of the infamous “thermonuclear war,” to quote the megalomaniac Steve Jobs, who simple could not stand competition. Watch what people think of this misguided war. Even former Apple proponents are upset at Apple right now. Who is this good for anyway? Patent lawyers of course. As many people consider Apple to be anything but a patent troll (even if it does no manufacturing, mostly branding and design), it ought to be clear that the problem does not boil down only to patent trolls. We wrote about this very recently

More Patent Litigation for Happier (Richer) Patent Lawyers

See this new article from IP Watch. It says: “The United States worked hard over the last five years to reduce patent infringement suits. Congress enacted patent reform, the courts handed down important anti-patentee rulings, and the US Patent and Trademark Office began a campaign of energetically rejecting patents and patent claims. Despite all this, from 2014 to 2015, new patent infringement suits increased 18 percent and the number of defendants sued for patent infringement increased 21 percent. What went wrong?”

“It is an epidemic of feuds which software patents are a large cause of and patent lawyers are beneficiaries of.”MIP also looked into litigation figures from 2015 and any way one looks at it, there’s more litigation, which is hardly a positive development. It is an epidemic of feuds which software patents are a large cause of and patent lawyers are beneficiaries of.

Excessive Focus on Patent Trolls, Not Patent Scope

When it comes to US public policy, only “trolls” are currently mentioned as the problem. Matt Levy (CCIA) focuses on patent trolls, as usual, not on software patents, noting that “Tyler, TX Brags About Its “Friendliness” to Patent Trolls”. Here is what patents do to small companies, as put in the words of United for Patent Reform the other day: “In 2014, 62% of companies sued by patent trolls had revenues <$100M. Ask Congress to protect #smallbiz & #fixpatents http://bit.ly/1FgqNiT ”

“Even when cases are dismissed the legal costs can rarely be recovered by the damaged defendant (except in rare cases, like NewEgg’s recent win).”Remember that this is a matter of life or death to them. To successfully shoot down a patent it can cost millions of dollars. Even when cases are dismissed the legal costs can rarely be recovered by the damaged defendant (except in rare cases, like NewEgg’s recent win). To quote another new tweet: “Patent trolls sued 4000+ companies in 2015, incl. homebuilders & other #smallbiz. Congress needs to #fixpatents”

But not only trolls are the problem. Nevertheless, all the debate is about them. See for instance this new article titled “Bill Designed to Subdue “Patent Trolls” Loses Momentum”. To quote:

Nearly a year after it was reintroduced and met with widespread support from House Republicans, the Innovation Act, designed to subdue “patent trolls,” has lost momentum after various businesses, universities, and conservative groups deemed it harmful to innovators.

Before the bill died in the Senate, the Innovation Act passed the House in 2013 after a substantial bipartisan vote of 325–91. A new bill reintroducing the Innovation Act, H.R. 9, which was formulated last July, has since passed the Judiciary Committee with a 24–8 vote.

Why not tackle the sorts of patents which patent trolls are using? They are not going after some utility companies over use of particular screw and pipe designs. They almost always use software patents. Therein lies the problem. Here is a new press release that says “Knowledge Group’s webcast entitled: “Emerging Issues: Patent Trolls and Deceptive Tactics – Impacts and Implications Explored!””

“What about large companies that act like patent trolls and extort/blackmail small companies similarly?”What about patent scope? Not noteworthy? What about large companies that act like patent trolls and extort/blackmail small companies similarly? The patent propaganda alliance (“Innovation Alliance”) has released this misleading statement on the matter, without even stating who’s funding it anyway. It’s patent maximalists. The patent propaganda alliance pretends to represent SMEs with tweets such as CPIP’s. It says: “Great to see recognition of importance of patents to startups at today’s hearing!” Well, neither entity cares about startups. These are just patent maximalists and they pretend to speak for small businesses, just like Microsoft’s ACT does.

“Get the facts straight,” Gary Shapiro (president and CEO of Consumer Technology Association) wrote the other day. “Patent trolls drain $1.5B a week from the economy…”

Here is his article, “Patent trolls drain US economy,” which says: “To preserve our nation’s entrepreneurial spirit and grow our innovation economy, patent trolls must be driven back under the bridge where they belong. Letting them run amok is, well, patent nonsense.”

“Well, they should work hard to abolish software patents in the US, as that too would contribute a lot to trolls’ demise.”The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) even issued a press release to express opposition to patent trolls, but what about patent scope? Not a word.

Another new article, “What retailers can do about patent trolls,” was published the other day by Beth Provenzano. “We’ve been talking about patent reform for a while,” she wrote, “and for good reason. The number of patent disputes reached a record high last year, and retailers are often the targets of “patent trolls” — companies that own patents for technologies they didn’t invent and don’t use.”

“All that these things are doing is patent tax collection, like a vigilante knocking on every door to collect money for the vigilante that’s supposedly intended to protect from the patent Mafia.”Well, they should work hard to abolish software patents in the US, as that too would contribute a lot to trolls’ demise.

Protection Money and the Vigilante Non-Solution

The solutions proposed by patent maximalists are not solutions but merely additions to the problem. ‘Protection money’ and vigilantes in the patent world don’t make anyone any safer (overall), but this is what IAM is proposing in this article. To quote: “As a network designed to provide coverage from patent suits, Freedom has some obvious parallels with the License on Transfer Network (LOTNet). LOTNet was launched in 2014 by a group of operating companies led by Google. Those that join agree that if they transfer any patents to an NPE then the other members of the network automatically receive a licence to those patents. This is in large part because the vast majority of NPE lawsuits involve patents developed and filed by operating companies.”

There is actually one such patent vigilante that calls itself “Freedom”? All that these things are doing is patent tax collection, like a vigilante knocking on every door to collect money for the vigilante that’s supposedly intended to protect from the patent Mafia. Therein lies exacerbation of the issues/problem, but then again, when you’re a patent lawyer, it’s “mo’ problems, mo’ money.”

After Alice, Patent Trial and Appeal Board is Invalidating Software Patents and Other Abstract Patents

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 8:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: A quick look at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and why patent lawyers, patent trolls (who typically use software patents) and other patent aggressors are afraid of it, more so after Alice (a landmark 2014 case against abstract software patents)

THOSE who are not patent lawyers might not know that PTAB, according to Wikipedia, “was formed on September 16, 2012 as one part of the America Invents Act.”

“Patent lawyers, suffice to say, are growing nervous and comparing PTAB to all sorts of terrible things.”That was less than a couple of years before Alice, which effectively killed many software patents in the US (and shed doubt on the rest). The EPO too has boards of appeal, even though Battistelli seems to be trying to crush them (the unfilled open positions strategy, as the BBC reported on earlier today — the latest round of Tories versus NHS), possibly because of the UPC (some speculations insinuate this). At the same time he opens the door to software patents, which the boards have historically been relatively sceptical/critical of.

According to this new article from the EFF: “Today EFF filed our response brief in the appeal of our successful challenge to Personal Audio’s podcasting patent. Back in April 2015, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) ruled in our favor and invalidated all of the patent claims we challenged. Personal Audio appealed this decision to the Federal Circuit.”

We covered this at the time (April 2015, just under a year after Alice) and we were pleased with the outcome. Patent lawyers, suffice to say, are growing nervous and comparing PTAB to all sorts of terrible things.

“Watch what a tragedy this has become for business method and software patents.”Consider this MIP article titled “PTAB taking a harder line on CBM institution”. It says: “More covered business method petitions are now being denied institution by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board than granted, with the Board seemingly narrowing what qualifies as a CBM patent” (that’s good, but not for patent lawyers).

Also new from MIP is this article titled “Institutional change: PTAB issues to watch in 2016″. To quote: “PTAB petition filing has increased every year since the post-grant proceedings became available in September 2012. According to figures from Docket Navigator, a record 1,797 petitions were filed last year, up 7% on the 1,677 filed in 2014. Inter partes review (IPR) petitions accounted for 92% of the filing last year.”

Watch what a tragedy this has become for business method and software patents. It’s about time. Let the patent lawyers squirm, twist the facts, and whine…

The Latest Failed Push for Software Patents in India Shows That People’s Resistance Still is Effective

Posted in Asia, Deception, Law, Patents at 7:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

While patent lawyers try to create “confusion” about the law in India

MIP confusion
Confusion? Not at all. No software patents.

Summary: One final post about India’s ban on software patents and patent lawyers’ denial or obfuscation of this simple fact (along the same lines of US patent lawyers post-Alice)

THE decade-long (at least) fight over software patents in India recently came to an end again. The foreign lobbyists lost again. It’s mostly a multinational thing (Microsoft, IBM…) and the resistance comes from the Indian population, as was the case with "free basics" (neocolonialism). Look how upset IBM is, time after time.

As The Wire put it the other day: “Multinational software companies are naturally displeased with the Indian patent office’s new guidelines disallowing patents for computer programs.”

“There’s no confusion about it. It’s the law.”IBM’s latest response is quite telling. We wrote a great deal about IBM’s role in the patenting of software in the US and efforts to make it so in Europe and New Zealand too. The above article is one of about two dozen English articles we’ve found about the latest news (here are a couple more which we didn’t cite before [1, 2]). There are of course also some articles from patent lawyers and their biased media. MIP, for example, said in its headline that “Confusion reigns over patenting of computer programs”. Actually, “patenting of computer programs” is not allowed in India. There’s no confusion about it. It’s the law.

Watch how patent lawyers in India (probably working for foreign companies such as IBM or Microsoft) worry and express concerns out in public, even though it’s clear that the Indian population does not agree with them.

“People in India sure need to know who’s who and thereafter discern between innovators and parasites.”We recently saw Singh & Associates writing: “What is the date of grant of patent or in other words on which date the patent is deemed to be granted. This seems to be a simple question with the simple answer, but that is not the case. In this regard, Hon’ble Delhi High Court heard a bunch of petitions where all of the petitions had this common question of ascertaining date of grant of patent. In general sense patent is said to be granted when it is approved by the Controller of Patents and no further objections are in its way. The said petitions raised the question of date of Patent in context to validity of a pre-grant opposition as introduced by the Patent Amendment Act, 2005.”

Well, patent lawyers in India are always looking for business. The more patents get filed, the more money they make. The more patent litigation, the better (for them).

People in India sure need to know who’s who and thereafter discern between innovators and parasites.

Update on Civil Complaints and Criminal Complaints Against EPO Vice-President Željko Topić in Lufthansa/Airplus Case

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Topić on the left, wearing shades in the shade

SIPO article

Summary: Some much-needed transparency in the cases (some among many) against Željko Topić, who is now crushing staff unions at the European Patent Office (EPO)

Benoît Battistelli’s right-hand man, Željko Topić, was said to have faced “a dozen serious criminal charges,” but the exact number may not be known to anyone other than Topić and his highly expensive lawyers whom we mentioned here before. When dealing with EPO scandals, there are many different kinds of scandals. It’s not some singular scandal but a large number thereof. The same applies to Topić in Croatia. One of the scandals which we wrote about several times in the past involved German airliner Lufthansa. This is the most detailed explanation published here thus far.

“For your information,” a reader told us, there is a new article titled “ŽUPANIJSKI SUD ISTRAGU PROTIV ŽELJKA TOPIĆA PROGLASIO NEDOPUŠTENOM” (TOPIĆA being Topić). “The report appeared on the Web site of the Croatian news portal tjedno.hr on 23 February,” said our the reader.

Might anyone among our readers be able to get a quick translation? Our understanding, based on a source, is that this update from Croatia says: “Is everybody equal before the law?”

“According to the report,” the reader told us, “in proceedings before the Municipal Criminal Court of Zagreb, the presiding judge Zoran Luburić dismissed two criminal complaints against Željko Topić as “inadmissible”.

“Mr. Frgačić has filed both criminal and civil complaints against Topić in relation to the Lufthansa/Airplus dispute.”
“It seems that the plaintiff in these cases was Mr. Rikard Frgačić who according to our information has lodged an appeal against the decisions of the Criminal Court.

“The Judge Mr. Luburić apparently rejected the criminal complaints against Topić on the grounds that the matter relates to the Lufthansa/Airplus trademark dispute which is still pending before the SIPO following a decision of the Administrative Court to send Mr. Frgačić’s case back to the SIPO for re-examination.

“Mr. Frgačić has filed both criminal and civil complaints against Topić in relation to the Lufthansa/Airplus dispute.

“So, the matter is still open in civil proceedings. As far as the criminal proceedings are concerned, as mentioned above, Mr. Frgačić has filed appeals against Mr. Luburić’s decisions to dismiss his criminal complaints.”

“So, the matter is still open in civil proceedings. As far as the criminal proceedings are concerned, as mentioned above, Mr. Frgačić has filed appeals against Mr. Luburić’s decisions to dismiss his criminal complaints.”
It’s this kind of cases that led us to actually speaking to the familiar parties directly.

“Mr. Frgačić might be able to provide you with more details about the recent court decisions,” our source noted. We have been in touch with Topić’s victims for over a year and also spoke to Frgačić more than usual lately. The EPO won’t tell its staff anything about it, but Topić is still under a barrage of legal cases, some of them more severe than others. Criminal cases are numerous. We are going to do our best to keep readers abreast of developments in this area, as too few people out there can comprehend Croatian. Lack of information — a vacuum that no doubt the EPO benefits from — only serves Mr. Topić right now. To prove his innocence he will have to win a lot of court cases, some of which he repeatedly loses (and then appeals because he can afford it — unlike his victims — supported by a massive salary from the EPO).


The Simple Truth About What Xamarin Was All Along to Microsoft, Just Like Ximian and Novell (Post-Patent Deal)

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 7:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Now [Novell is] little better than a branch of Microsoft”

LinuxToday Managing Editor

Big caterpillar

Summary: A longer and more detailed analysis of Microsoft’s official takeover of the Mono team (and by extension a so-called ‘company’, whose finances are secret but are linkable back to Microsoft through Ignition Partners)

THERE is a sense of relief now that Microsoft has ‘collected’ its moles; they’re back home (or at the ‘base’) where they belong. Our latest post on this matter (we covered it shortly after this became publicly known, hence composed in somewhat of a rush) is quite a few days old. That post, which focused on Xamarin‘s role and duties for Microsoft, was a little tongue-in-cheek, and it probably lacked context which those who are unfamiliar with these matters may truly need.

“After Novell had purchased Ximian this move was characterised by a Novell executive as a “red carpet” (to a Microsoft deal).”Techrights has spent nearly a decade writing about Novell, which was the previous incubator or ‘host’ (in a sort of embryonic sense) of Mono (see this Wiki page for a detailed chronology). After Novell had purchased Ximian this move was characterised by a Novell executive as a “red carpet” (to a Microsoft deal). See this complete transcript from 10 years ago. A lot of people don’t remember this; nor do they remember the significant role which Miguel de Icaza personally played in Microsoft and Novell coming to their patent deal — a subject which we wrote about many times before (de Icaza’s role was noted by Novell dissenters almost a decade ago).

Michael Meeks (formerly of Novell) wrote the other day: “Pleased to see Miguel & Nat exit to Microsoft” (direct quote).

“It’s like both of them were engaged to Microsoft for a decade but only officially celebrated in a wedding ceremony (and tied the knot as the saying goes) last week.”Nat had worked for Microsoft before he worked for Novell and Miguel too had visited Microsoft and loved them. For Meeks, as their former colleague (at Novell), it’s easy to sympathise, but did they ever “exit”? They were always there. They have only just made it official. It’s like both of them were engaged to Microsoft for a decade but only officially celebrated in a wedding ceremony (and tied the knot as the saying goes) last week.

The news about Microsoft buying Xamarin was mostly covered by the Microsoft side and Microsoft boosters, not FOSS or GNU/Linux sites. This in itself is rather telling and revealing. Oh, how things have changed! Here’s Microsoft’s Mouth and the Microsoft-friendly Tim Anderson covering this, the latter noting: “Remember the Nokia devices acquisition? That went well. Not”

“Microsoft now intends to use Xamarin to further its E.E.E. (embrace, extend, extinguish) agenda inside Android.”Nokia was another case of Microsoft moles, notably Elop. It was designed to tear apart Linux and Nokia.

Microsoft now intends to use Xamarin to further its E.E.E. (embrace, extend, extinguish) agenda inside Android. Why? Because other such efforts, including the Cyanogen plan, are evidently failing. There’s no headway. As Anderson put it in a separate article:

Microsoft has officially scrapped its Android to Windows 10 bridge, codenamed Astoria, but is forging ahead with its Objective C Windows compiler and tools for porting iOS applications.

The Android announcement was expected, as the project was apparently abandoned some months back, but the new post from Windows Developer Platform VP Kevin Gallo adds some background.

Right now Microsoft uses Miguel de Icaza to make developers defect to Windows. When Xamarin was its own company, backed by people from Microsoft, it didn’t quite work out. People — and developers in particular — just weren’t foolish enough. “De Icaza told me in the past that he’s rich,” Stephane Rodriguez told us 9 years ago, so we know that Microsoft pays such moles enough to make them do almost anything. Xamarin was an attempt to infiltrate the development world on behalf of Microsoft. Based on lack of press coverage, we very much doubt it was financially sustainable without all the VC money from Microsoft folks, who were understandably trying to keep it afloat.

“Right now Microsoft uses Miguel de Icaza to make developers defect to Windows.”Overlapping the announcement of the Xamarin takeover was this important news covered in articles such as “Microsoft confirms: Android-on-Windows Astoria tech is gone”, “Microsoft’s plan to port Android apps to Windows is dead”, “Microsoft Confirms Android-To-Windows Tool ‘Project Astoria’ Is Dead”, and “Microsoft is ditching Android app ports for Windows Phone”.

Miguel de Icaza was perhaps Microsoft’s Plan B, much like Elop inside Nokia. As one Microsoft apologist put it the other day (in his headline), “Microsoft: Use Xamarin to port Android apps to Windows” (sounds like the same thing as above, except the above just got axed).

“Miguel de Icaza was perhaps Microsoft’s Plan B, much like Elop inside Nokia.”Microsoft propagandists such as Simon Bisson sure are happy for Miguel de Icaza and other Microsoft saboteurs, whose goal wasn’t to help either GNU/Linux or Free software but to advance Microsoft’s interests and financial gain. “Embrace, extend, eat” is how this article from The Register summed it up (in its seminal report about the takeover). “Strangely patents were not mentioned,” iophk wrote to us, alluding to this analogous report from Wired. To quote: “Given the number of startups that have been purchased by larger companies primarily for their engineering talent, not their products—a strategy called “acquihiring”—developers may worry that Xamarin’s technology could go away after this acquisition. Microsoft insists this isn’t the case. “This is definitely not an acquihire,” says Scott Guthrie, the executive vice president of the Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise group. “There are more than 300 people on the Xamarin team. We very much view this acquisition as an opportunity to take what they’ve built and make it a core part of our strategy.””

It seems quote possible that Microsoft is just “acquihiring” in this case, as we noted in our first post about it. However, let’s not forget that VC money for Xamarin came from former Microsoft staff (Ignition Partners), so if anyone pockets the money here, then it’s them (that’s like Microsoft giving money back… to Microsoft people). Groomed by Microsoft for over a decade, Xamarin is probably the last incarnation of what was Ximian, then Novell, and later Xamarin. Now it’s called what it really is: Microsoft.

“We were right about Mono, Miguel de Icaza, and Xamarin, just as we were right about Novell and Nokia in the patent sense.”According to this report from the New YoRk Times, “Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it was buying Xamarin, a company that helps software developers write applications for mobile devices. The price was not disclosed, but is believed to be more than $300 million.”

As we often point out here, many of these figures are bogus. They’re more like accounting tricks that make both the buyer and the acquired entity look bigger than they really are; it surely fools an already-gullible media when sometimes all that happens is that shares move from place to place, i.e. no money exchanges hands at all.

“Microsoft came first; what’s why he was pushed away by FOSS people.”All in all, the whole thing proves we were right all along. We were right about Mono, Miguel de Icaza, and Xamarin, just as we were right about Novell and Nokia in the patent sense. Miguel de Icaza has, consistently over the years, served Microsoft’s agenda and now it’s payday again. He hardly ever truly worked for FOSS; Now he’s a Microsoft employee. Miguel de Icaza turned to Microsoft not because FOSS people pushed him away. Microsoft came first; what’s why he was pushed away by FOSS people. Bruce Byfield, a longtime Novell (and Mono) apologist, gets it all in reverse in his analysis which begins thusly:

Just before I settled down to write today, I read that Microsoft had acquired Xamarin, the company founded by Miguel de Icaza and Nat Friedman. To many, the news is the logical end to a story that has been unfolding for years now, and if the first cries of, “Traitors!” have not appeared on blogs and articles, then I expect they are only a matter of time.

Perhaps Byfield can finally admit that it was us who were right all along, not him. On de Icaza, one person told me the other day: “I remember him back in ‘the day’ on IRC. he was always considered a crazy compromizer.”

“In summary, Miguel gets money from Microsoft. Again.”He was always like that. He didn’t just magically turn out that way. In fact, a lot of this started when he tried to get hired by Microsoft, way back in the 1990s.

A decent article by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (SJVN) says: “In 2011, Attachmate laid off the Mono team. De Icaza then founded Xamarin with an eventual total of $82-million in venture capital to give it a home.”

“The future of APIs, patents and mobile-centric operating systems is at stake now.”Well, money from Microsoft veterans/retirees (for the most part). It was pretty much back then that Microsoft ‘bought’ de Icaza; it just left him as peripheral/external because it’s easier to use him as a proxy or mole that way.

In summary, Miguel gets money from Microsoft. Again. E.E.E. didn’t work out this time around, but Miguel had his safety net. Now his salaries will come directly from his longtime boss (at Novell too a lot of the money came from Microsoft).

This post is not a personal attack. But since many people out there are too timid to mention names and say things as they see them, someone probably has to. Anything else is self-censorship.

If any of the above is not accurate or not correct, please point out specifically what it is. We welcome an open debate on this. The future of APIs, patents and mobile-centric operating systems is at stake now.

Links 28/2/2016: Raspberry Pi 3, Copyleft Fights

Posted in News Roundup at 5:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Manufacturers start to lock down Wi-Fi router firmware. Thanks, FCC.

    Curious. The FBI wants Apple to open up its own software while the FCC wants wireless router manufacturers to lock theirs down. And both demands are unacceptable, misguided, and will ultimately fail. Why? When it comes to the former, well, we don’t have time to wade through that quagmire, but as to the the latter, we have to go back to 2015 …


    Why is this lockdown a bad idea? Because there are thousands of private users, academic researchers, and developers who rely on having wireless routers that are capable of modification. These modifications are to add functionality, fix bugs in the original product (all too common in consumer devices), and improve performance. However, the new FCC rules as written place a complex technical burden on manufacturers to comply and the only way to comply cheaply, is for the manufacturer to lock down their products completely rather than just the wireless components.

  • TP-LINK WiFi Router Firmware Locked Down Due to New FCC Rules

    Last year the FCC rules issues new rules that would prevent installing OpenWRT, DDWRT, or other firmware, but it went viral, and finally the commission launched a consultation with the community which ended by the FCC issued a statement “Clearing the Air on Wi-Fi Software Updates” last November, making the rules more accurate saying that the rules were now “narrowly-focused on modifications that would take a device out of compliance”.

  • Reading comprehension is a big problem in open-source

    Houston, we have a problem. Linux users can’t read good [sic]. Zoolander reference. Word. What am I on about, and where can you buy some of the stuff, you be asking? You can’t, it’s all au naturale, Dedoimedo freerange extract.

    To be serious, this topic is about the flow of information in the Linux world. After having a rather horrible autumn season of distro testing, I happened to come across commentary about my reviews on various forums and portal. It’s always when the negative is being discussed, because articles that praise products never ever get any reaction from the wider community. To put it bluntly, the message was not coming across.

  • Telecoms Band Together to Virtualize and Open Source their Network Stacks

    A group of telecommunication companies and their software providers have come together to bring Network Functions Virtualization to their data centers. NFV is an industry-developed framework to virtualize telecom networks.

    The group, formed under the umbrella of European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) is called OSM, which stands for Open Source MANO. MANO, which stands for Management and Orchestration, is the part of the NFV framework consisting of orchestrator software, virtualized network functions manager (VNFM) and Virtualized Infrastructure Manager (VIM).

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

  • BSD

    • BSDCan: OpenBSD presentations

      The event will be held on June 8-11th at the University of Ottawa in Canada.

    • The Release Of LLVM 3.8 Should Be Imminent

      While LLVM/Clang 3.8 was supposed to be released last week, its release got delayed but it looks like it should finally ship in the next few days.

      On Tuesday, LLVM release manager Hans Wennborg announced the release of LLVM 3.8 Release Candidate 3. He mentioned, “If there are no regressions from previous release candidates, this will be the last release candidate before the final release.”

    • FreeBSD 10.3 Is Almost Ready For Release

      The third beta of the upcoming FreeBSD 10.3 is now available for testing.

      FreeBSD 10.3 Beta 3 brings updated network drivers, improvements to the filemon device, Hyper-V fixes, a few new commands, and various other minor enhancements and corrections.

    • FreeBSD and ZFS

      For nearly seven years, FreeBSD has included a production quality ZFS implementation, making it one of the key features of the FreeBSD operating system. ZFS is a combined file system and volume manager. Decoupling physical media from logical volumes allows free space to be efficiently shared between all of the file systems. ZFS introduced unprecedented data integrity and reliability guarantees to storage on FreeBSD. ZFS supports varying levels of redundancy for tolerance of hardware failures and includes cryptographic checksums on all data to guard against corruption.


  • Project Releases

    • Cloud Explorer is back with v7.1

      Cloud Explorer is a open-source Amazon S3 client that works on any operating system. The program features a graphical or command line interface. Today I just released version 7.1 and hope that you give it a test drive. Feedback and uses cases are always encouraged.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Denmark to accelerate eHealth technology

      Danish public authorities are promoting the development and use of eHealth solutions. Increasing technology-use in healthcare, care for the elderly, social services and in education will “maintain or increase the quality of public welfare services while at the same time reducing public expenditure”, according to an English introduction to Denmark’s Strategy for Digital Welfare (2013-2020), published by the country’s Agency for Digitisation.

  • Licensing

    • Winning the copyleft fight

      Bradley Kuhn started off his linux.conf.au 2016 talk by stating a goal that, he hoped, he shared with the audience: a world where more (or most) software is free software. The community has one key strategy toward that goal: copyleft licensing. He was there to talk about whether that strategy is working, and what can be done to make it more effective; the picture he painted was not entirely rosy, but there is hope if software developers are willing to make some changes.

      Copyleft licensing is still an effective strategy, he said; that can be seen because we’ve had the chance to run a real-world parallel experiment — an opportunity that doesn’t come often. A lot of non-copyleft software has been written over the years; if proprietary forks of that software don’t exist, then it seems clear that there is no need for copyleft; we just have to look to see whether proprietary versions of non-copyleft software exist. But, he said, he has yet to find a non-trivial non-copyleft program that lacks proprietary forks; without copyleft, companies will indeed take free software and make it proprietary.

    • I’m Part of SFConservancy’s GPL Compliance Project for Linux

      I believe GPL enforcement in general, and specifically around the Linux kernel, is a good thing. Because of this, I am one of the Linux copyright holders who has signed an agreement for the Software Freedom Conservancy to enforce the GPL on my behalf. I’m also a financial supporter of Conservancy.

    • Welte: Report from the VMware GPL court hearing
    • Report from the VMware GPL court hearing

      Today, I took some time off to attend the court hearing in the GPL violation/infringement case that Christoph Hellwig has brought against VMware.

      I am not in any way legally involved in the lawsuit. However, as a fellow (former) Linux kernel developer myself, and a long-term Free Software community member who strongly believes in the copyleft model, I of course am very interested in this case – and of course in an outcome in favor of the plaintiff. Nevertheless, the below report tries to provide an un-biased account of what happened at the hearing today, and does not contain my own opinions on the matter. I can always write another blog post about that :)

      I blogged about this case before briefly, and there is a lot of information publicly discussed about the case, including the information published by the Software Freedom Conservancy (see the link above, the announcement and the associated FAQ.

    • I bought some awful light bulbs so you don’t have to

      Anyway. Next step was to start playing with the protocol, which meant finding the device on my network. I checked anything that had picked up a DHCP lease recently and nmapped them. The OS detection reported Linux, which wasn’t hugely surprising – there was no GPL notice or source code included with the box, but I’m way past the point of shock at that. It also reported that there was a telnet daemon running. I connected and got a login prompt. And then I typed admin as the username and admin as the password and got a root prompt. So, there’s that. The copy of Busybox included even came with tftp, so it was easy to get copies of tcpdump and strace on there to see what was up.

    • SFC: GPL Violations Related to Combining ZFS and Linux
    • The Linux Kernel, CDDL and Related Issues

      The license terms on the Linux kernel are those of GPLv2. This is the unanimous consensus of the extensive community of copyright holders. No other terms, or modifications of those terms, are represented in any document as the consensus position of the relevant parties.

    • Conservancy’s Executive Director Testifies in Favor of NYC Free and Open Source Software Acts
    • Match Donation Extended until March 1st
  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Java finally gets microservices tools

      Lightbend, formerly known as Typesafe, is bringing microservices-based architectures to Java with its Lagom platform.

      Due in early March, Lagom is a microservices framework that lightens the burden of developing these microservices in Java. Built on the Scala functional language, open source Lagom acts as a development environment for managing microservices. APIs initially are provided for Java services, with Scala to follow.

    • documentation first

      I write documentation first and code second. I’ve mentioned this from time to time (previously, previously) but a reader pointed out that I’ve never really explained why I work that way.

      It’s a way to make my thinking more concrete without diving all the way into the complexities of the code right away. So sometimes, what I write down is design documentation, and sometimes it’s notes on a bug report[1], but if what I’m working on is user-visible, I start by writing down the end user documentation.


  • Science

    • These Chicago teens can’t graduate until they learn some compsci

      The Chicago Public Schools district has become the first in the nation to make computer science training a requirement for high school graduation.

      The district, the third-largest in the US, says that starting with next year’s freshman class (graduating in 2020), all students will be required to complete one credit in a computer science class as a core subject alongside other fields such as science, English and mathematics.

      “Making sure that our students are exposed to STEM and computer science opportunities early on is critical in building a pipeline to both college and career,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

    • Kauppalehti: Finnish tire firm manipulated test results

      Finnish tire manufacturer Nokian Renkaat manipulated test results for years, according to a report on Friday in the business daily Kauppalehti. The company’s share price took a dive on the reports.

    • The left half – right half divide in human brains is a myth, scientist says

      The myth is thought to stem from social stigmatisation of left handed people and a misunderstood Noble Prize winning research project

  • Security

    • Thursday’s security updates
    • Friday’s security updates
    • Rewrite Everything In Rust

      I just read Dan Kaminsky’s post about the glibc DNS vulnerability and its terrifying implications. Unfortunately it’s just one of many, many, many critical software vulnerabilities that have made computer security a joke.

      It’s no secret that we have the technology to prevent most of these bugs. We have programming languages that practically guarantee important classes of bugs don’t happen. The problem is that so much of our software doesn’t use these languages. Until recently, there were good excuses for that; “safe” programming languages have generally been unsuitable for systems programming because they don’t give you complete control over resources, and they require complex runtime support that doesn’t fit in certain contexts (e.g. kernels).

      Rust is changing all that. We now have a language with desirable safety properties that offers the control you need for systems programming and does not impose a runtime. Its growing community shows that people enjoy programming in Rust. Servo shows that large, complex Rust applications can perform well.

    • Forthcoming OpenSSL releases
    • Improvements on Manjaro Security Updates
    • What is Glibc bug: Things To Know About It
    • IRS Cyberattack Total is More Than Twice Previously Disclosed

      Cyberattacks on taxpayer accounts affected more people than previously reported, the Internal Revenue Service said Friday.

      The IRS statement, originally reported by Dow Jones, revealed tax data for about 700,000 households might have been stolen: Specifically, a government review found potential access to about 390,000 more accounts than previously disclosed.

      In August, the IRS said that the number of potential victims stood at more than 334,000 — more than twice the initial estimate of more than 100,000.

    • Protect your file server from the Locky trojan
    • Google’s Project Shield defends small websites from DDoS bombardment

      If you want to apply, there’s an online form to fill in here which asks for the details of your site, and poses a few other questions about security and whether you’ve been hit by DDoS in the past. Note that you’ll need to set up a Google account if you don’t already have one.

    • 90 Percent of All SSL VPNs Use Insecure or Outdated Encryption

      Information security firm High-Tech Bridge has conducted a study of SSL VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) and discovered that nine out of ten such servers don’t provide the security they should be offering, mainly because they are using insecure or outdated encryption.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Mini-World War Underway in Syria: The Players

      Various Kurdish forces working with Washington and/or Moscow are taking advantage of the chaos to extend Kurdish territories, in Syria, Iraq and odd bits of Turkey. The Islamic State has snatched land while all the focus was on the other groups, and still holds substantial territory in Syria and Iraq. The Saudis have threatened to invade Syria with ground troops, which the Iranians say they will respond to militarily.

    • Court Considers Releasing Key Documents Governing Secretive Targeted Killing Program

      Yesterday, in one of the three ACLU cases challenging the extreme secrecy shrouding the government’s targeted killing program, a federal judge in New York ordered the government to turn over, for the court’s review and possible release, three crucial documents containing the law and policy that govern the program. The full order is not yet public because, as the judge wrote, she is giving the government “time to vet opinions and orders for classification issues that might escape the notice of a reader of news media in which information that the Government considers to be classified routinely appears.”

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • Chelsea Manning denied EFF articles because US Army cares about copyright

      Apparently the US Army is interested in a zealous interpretation of copyright protection, too.

      According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a Chelsea Manning supporter recently attempted to mail Manning a series of printed EFF articles about prisoner rights. Those materials were withheld and not delivered to her because, according to the EFF, the correspondence contained “printed Internet materials, including email, of a volume exceeding five pages per day or the distribution of which may violate U.S. copyright laws.”

    • Did Twitter’s Exec Censor #WhichHillary in advance of Key Primaries? Twitter users speak out

      Considering the nature of Twitter’s algorithm, it may just be a coincidence that Twitter suspended activist account @GuerrillaDems, at the same time that its massively popular hashtags #WhichHillary & #WhichHillaryCensored were suddenly absent from many users’ trending lists. Twitter now says that the suspension of @GuerrillaDems was a mistake.

      It is entirely natural, and important, for users to be suspicious here. We don’t know whether it was intentional removal, or algorithmic coincidence. However, it is a fact that this past Sunday, Clinton held a political event headlined by Twitter CEO Omid Kordestani. It is also a fact that Clinton’s staff has exerted pressure on members of the media in the past, using its “muscular” influence to promote a certain narrative at the Atlantic, and suggesting experts to rebut Julian Assange during his interview with 60 Minutes. These relationships tend to be mutually beneficial — a journalist gets a scoop — a large media outlet gets favorable treatment by regulatory agencies — in exchange for promoting a certain narrative. It is also no secret that the Clintons have earned $153 million over the past 15 years in legal political graft, much of that coming from the same companies they helped deregulate in the 1990’s. If you would like to know why our media giants are grateful to the Clintons, read up on the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

    • Zuckerberg on refugee crisis: ‘Hate speech has no place on Facebook’

      Speaking in Berlin, Facebook boss calls Germany’s handling of European refugee crisis ‘inspiring’ and says site must do more to tackle anti-migrant hate speech

    • Zuckerberg Vows to Police Hate Speech in German Charm Offensive

      Facebook Inc.Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg vowed to rid his site of hate speech against migrants and lauded Germany’s leadership in the refugee crisis as part of an effort to win over those critical of the social media site’s handling of the matter.

      “We’ve recognized how sensitive this is, especially with the migrant crisis here,” Zuckerberg said to thunderous applause at a town hall event in Berlin on Friday carried live on German cable news channels. “We hear the message loud and clear and we’re committed to doing better, there’s not a place for this kind of content on Facebook.”

    • Someone At UMich Reported A Snow Penis As A ‘Bias Incident’

      Big Member On Campus — is causing a flurry of controversy.

      A University of Michigan dorm official reported a snow penis as a bias incident, according to the student publication The Michigan Review.

      The frosty phallus was erected in a field this week outside a residence hall after a snowfall, apparently leaving the hall director cold. Hall directors are paid non-students who carry some authority.

    • Site-blocking will make internet access more expensive – little else

      oday Laurie has a guest post at iTWire and looks forward to your comments or those of the content creators and distributors. This posting does not necessarily represent the views of iTWire.

      Last week both Village Roadshow and Foxtel finally launched court actions under the eight months old Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Act designed to deal with Internet “piracy”.

      The first thing that needs pointing out is that downloading video and audio content over the Internet is a not a crime as such. It is, however, in breach of the intellectual property rights of the producers and distributors.

  • Privacy

    • EFF Urges Appeals Court to Allow Wikimedia and Others to Fight NSA Surveillance

      San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urged the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Wednesday to permit Wikimedia and other groups to continue their lawsuit against the NSA over illegal Internet surveillance. A ruling in favor of the plaintiffs in Wikimedia v. NSA would follow the lead of the Ninth Circuit, which allowed EFF’s Jewel v. NSA to go forward despite years of stalling attempts by the government.

    • The Government’s Decades-Long Battle for Backdoors in Encryption

      The FBI wants to crack open a mass shooter’s iPhone, and Apple has refused to cooperate. It’s a story for the 21st century, but the roots go back a whole generation earlier, to the 1990s when the FBI and other law enforcement agencies were trying to curb the then-new encryption technologies and create back door access for themselves.

    • Finland to boost its information security industry

      The Finnish government should help to create a competitive information security industry, recommends a report by a task-force at the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The country should attract investments in this area, assess rules and regulations, and make information security a common digital component.

    • More GOP presidential hopefuls now side with the FBI in iPhone crypto fight

      The now five candidates vying for the GOP presidential nomination discussed everything from immigration, health care, and the Middle East during their latest debate, sponsored by CNN/Telemundo and held in Houston on Thursday evening. But what caught our attention was the candidates’ discourse about the Apple-FBI encryption legal fight.

      CNN moderators Wolf Blitzer and Dana Bash actually initiated the topic. Blitzer first mentioned how Apple responded to the FBI’s court order earlier in the day with a formal motion to vacate. Bash then addressed the topic to Florida Senator Marco Rubio, referencing his defense of Apple last week during a GOP candidate town hall in South Carolina.

    • Tens of Thousands Protest Netflix’s Expanding VPN-Blockade

      Netflix is continuing to expand its VPN and proxy crackdown, affecting VPN ‘pirates’ but also those who use such services for privacy reasons. The VPN crackdown is meeting fierce resistance from privacy activists and concerned users, with tens of thousands calling upon the streaming service to reverse its broad VPN ban.

    • Netflix overblocking non-exit Tor relays

      tl;dr: Even paying customers sharing IPs with non-exit Tor relays are now
      blocked from accessing Netflix

      Hello everyone !

      After two very fruitless attempts to get the issue silently resolved through
      proper Netflix support channels, the time has come to make this public. As
      some of you have probably already read in the news, Netflix recently
      announced a crackdown on what they call “VPN Pirates” and what I call
      “paying customers using the same benefits of globalization that global
      companies like Netflix (ab)use for their taxes”.

    • Tor Project Accuses CloudFlare of Mass Surveillance, Sabotaging Tor Traffic

      Tensions are rising between Tor Project administrators and CloudFlare, a CDN and DDoS mitigation service that’s apparently making the life of Tor users a living hell.

      The issue, raised by a Tor Project member, revolves around a series of measures that CloudFlare implemented to fight malicious traffic coming from the Tor network. These measures are also affecting legitimate Tor users.

      The way CloudFlare deals with Tor users is by flagging Tor exit nodes and showing a CAPTCHA challenge before allowing them to continue to their desired website.

    • German government to use Trojan spyware to monitor citizens
  • Civil Rights

    • The U.S. has Gone F&*%ing Mad

      Do you know how a properly functioning society would react to an event like San Bernardino? I do — because I’ve had the misfortune of living through such an event. On the 28th of April, 1996, a gunman equipped with an AR-15 assault rifle — the same kind that the San Bernardino shooters used — opened fire in Port Arthur, in Australia. 35 people were killed and 23 were wounded. It remains one of the world’s deadliest shootings by a single person.

      Within months, the country’s governing party led a bipartisan effort to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again.

      They didn’t do it by focusing on creating backdoors into phones.

    • Liverpool police pelted with stones as right-wing ‘infidels’ clash with anti-fascists (PHOTOS)

      Members of an extreme right-wing group and a rival anti-fascist movement have brought chaos to the center of Liverpool, with Merseyside police forced to intervene in violent street skirmishes

    • Former CIA Director: Trump’s foreign policy “would be in violation of all international laws of armed combat”

      “Real Time” host Bill Maher interviewed former NSA and CIA Director, General Michael Hayden.

      Regarding his thoughts on a President Trump, Hayden said, “I would be incredibly concerned if a President Trump governed in a way that was consistent with the language that candidate Trump expressed during the campaign.”

      Asked to elaborate on what he meant by “language,” Hayden cited Trump’s comments on “waterboarding and a whole lot more — because they deserve it” and killing the terrorists’ families.

      “If he were to order that once in government, the American armed forces would refuse to act,” Hayden added. “That would be in violation of all international laws of armed combat.”

    • Ex-CIA, NSA Head: If ‘President Trump’ Implements Certain Campaign Promises, U.S. Military ‘Would Refuse to Act’

      The former head of the CIA and NSA said that if Donald Trump is elected president and follows through on certain campaign promises, the U.S. military would “refuse to act.”

      “I would be incredibly concerned if a President Trump governed in a way that was consistent with the language that candidate Trump expressed during the campaign,” Michael Hayden told “Real Time” host Bill Maher on Friday night.

    • Stand Up For Whistleblowers — Our Liberty Depends On Them

      The inhumane criminal organization that goes under the name of the United States Government has violated its laws and international laws by refusing to punish torturers and war criminals, instead punishing only those who expose the evil and illegal deeds of the United States government.

      After blowing the whistle on torture and domestic surveillance by the George W. Bush administration, former CIA officer John Kiriakou and former NSA executive Thomas Drake were prosecuted under the Espionage Act — by the same Obama Justice Department that has refused to prosecute a single torturer or any official who ordered illegal mass surveillance.

    • Virginia Wisely Rejects Secret Police

      It’s a frightening, Orwellian scenario that some legislators in Virginia thought was a good idea. Fortunately, a state House of Delegates subcommittee blocked the bill on Thursday, which would have allowed even more government information to be hidden away under the state’s F-rated open government laws.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Germany to fund broadband for underserved areas

      Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is making available funds to bring fast Internet to underserved areas. Municipalities and rural districts (Landkreise) can initially apply for up to EUR 50,000 to plan expansion projects and to complete applications for federal funding of these projects. Approved projects will be funded up to a maximum of EUR 15 million.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Content ID and the Rise of the Machines

        In 2007, Google built Content ID, a technology that lets rightsholders submit large databases of video and audio fingerprints and have YouTube continually scan new uploads for potential matches to those fingerprints. Since then, a handful of other user-generated content platforms have implemented copyright bots of their own that scan uploads for potential matches.

      • Pirates Spend Much More Money on Music, Study Shows

        A new study has shown that music piracy is still rampant in the United States with 57 million people between the ages of 13 and 50 accessing music through unauthorized sources. Interestingly, however, these pirates also spend significantly more money on CDs and paid downloads, more than their counterparts who only consume legally.

Problems of Governance in International Organizations: the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Translation of “Problemas de gobernanza en organizaciones internacionales: la EPO”

Author credit: Francisco Moreno

Translator credit: Eduardo Landaveri


For some years, one is questioning ever more insistently, if appropriate governance and management control of the EPO and WIPO exist.

Both cases have similarities (immunity, harassment of internal and external critics), but also differences (EPO problems seem more serious and closer to Spain).

In this post I deal with the situation in the EPO, leaving for later WIPO.

The EPO has threatened some people with legal action for allegedly defaming in their blogs about the EPO. I therefore ask the reader to be cautious when analyzing the information and do not take as true what they read. Obviously, the allegations that are brought against the EPO do not come from me. In any case, it is not my intention to defame the EPO, but to gather information about problems that seem to exist. I have tried to include the views involved (including EPO).


Like any international organization, the EPO and its President enjoy immunity and the national courts have no jurisdiction on its legal conflicts. Like any embassy, EPO buildings are inviolable and the authorities of the countries where the EPO is installed (e.g. Germany and the Netherlands) cannot enter buildings without the authorization of the President of the EPO.

A great power (immunity) brings about great responsibility. The question is, is immunity being used responsibly?


With this pejorative name, EPOnia, we want to get across the concept that the laws, rights and principles that are common in any European Democracy, do NOT apply in the EPO.

The Unions are not recognized and it seems that some of the workers’ representatives are the subject of investigations, without being able to turn to a lawyer, without being able to tell other colleagues who are under investigation and cannot claim the right not to testify against him (obligation to cooperate). Some of these workers, one of them Spanish, allegedly suffered anxiety attacks after interrogation and needed medical care.

As a result of these investigations, two of the workers representatives were fired. In both cases, the President of the EPO decided to impose harder sanctions than those recommended by the Disciplinary Committee. A National French Deputy has criticized the layoffs.

A Netherlands Court determined that the immunity of EPO could not go against the law, recognized in the European Convention on Human Rights to a fair trial within a reasonable time. Labor disputes can be addressed by employees at the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organisation, but can take more than 10 years to be resolved and can be summarily dismissed.

Another Netherlands Court also pointed out that the EPO has not been respecting the workers right to strike. EPO ignored the ruling. The case is under the Netherlands Supreme Court. In case that this Court confirm the contested judgment, the EPO would seem that it will ignore it again.

EPO installed keyloggers on the computers for anyone to use in the common zones of its building in Munich, to find out who was talking about its highest management. This had quite an impact in Germany, where suspicions regarding espionage are understandable.

As a result, a member of the Board of Appeals, a quasi-court, which handles appeals against decisions of the EPO patent and establish jurisprudence and, in principle, should be independent of the President of the EPO, was suspended by the President of its functions (can not enter the EPO), which only could have agreed by the Board of Appeals itself. The Board of Appeal has determined that it cannot confirm the President’s decision, because it has not been the result of a process with sufficient guarantees. Recall that the Board of Appeal is the only instance to which an applicant may appeal when he is refused a European patent with unitary effect and should therefore have a clear independence of the EPO.

In Ensuring

The EPO President is supervised by the Committee of Administration [Administrative Council] of the EPO, in which representatives of Member States of the EPO, typically the CEOs of their patent offices, sit.

While the Board has maintained a favorable position to the President, it seems that this may change. Thus, the Board may request the President that the dismissal of workers laid off be on hold until there is a review, where investigations are to be regulated, and that the unions be recognized and the Chamber of Resources be reformed formally.

Incluso los Medios Financiados por Battistelli Admiten que Actualmente El Se Encuentra en Problemas

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Publicado en Europe, Patents at 7:00 pm por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sumario: Parece altamente probable y ciertamente una posibilidad de que Battistelli pronto renuncie, dejando a la OEP alguna oportunidad de recuperarse después de su histórico (en un pésimo sentido) periódo

TECHRIGHTS esta optimista acerca de la OEP, ya que es posible que este a punto de cambia a algo mejor por que su Presidente (Battistelli) esta viviendo en tiempo prestado. La próxima semana comenzaremos a debatir su sucesión.

Temprano hoy encontramos un grupo de interesantes tweets de los medios financiados por la OEP, que en vez de repetir la última mentira de sus representantes de relaciones públicas (PR) actualmente reconoce que Pinocho Battistelli esta sumergido en profundos – muy profundos – problemas. Cuando incluso un sitio financiado por la OEP admite eso, existe un problema serio (el departamento PR todavía lo niega y es pagado por hacerlo) uno tiene que reconocer que la situación luce grave. Para citar Iam ¨Si Benoit Battistelli realmente esta en conflicto con el Consejo Administrativo de la OEP, como se rumorea, eso no es una situación sostenible.¨

“Cuando incluso un sitio financiado por la OEP admite que existe un problema serio (el departamento de relaciones públicas todavía lo niega y es pagado por hacerlo) uno tiene que reconocer que la situación luce muy grave.”No hay sentido en negarlo de nuevo (el conflicto). La autenticidad de los documentes y la exáctitud de la información ya han sido verificadas.

¨Es difícil ver a Battistelli acordardo a renunciar,¨ IAM añadió, ¨lo más probable es verlo irse.¨ El ya amenazó hacerlo el año pasado, pero nuevos reportajes sugieren que ahora se resume a dinero. Urgentemente requerimos una traducción de este nuevo articulo (en Holándes) titulado “Franse despoot wil 18 miljoen bij vertrek”. FTI Consulting le ha fallado a Battistelli. No pudo salvar la reputación de la OEP debido a la enorme nariz de Pinocho, significando que él tiró los $1,000,000 (presupuesto oscuro/dinero PR) por el toilet. ¿Quiere el más de 20 millones de dólares ahora (20 veces más de lo que pago a FTI)? ¿Después de todo el daño que ha causado? Sabemos ahora cual es su salario y podríamos revelaro en una fecha tardía (no es algo urgente). Battistelli – según se informa – básicamente quiere unos 30 – 40 años de salario presidencial (!Que tal Concha!) Un plan de ´bienestar’no tan malo para un hombre aproximándose a los 70…

IAM entonces trajo un punto de Battistelli, indicando que ¨Battistelli cree – con alguna justificación – que el ha hecho lo que el Consejo Administrativo quiso que haga: aumente la producción y ganancias.¨

“Battistelli — básicamente quiere unos 30 – 40 años de salario presidencial (!Que tal Concha!) Un plan de ´bienestar’no tan malo para un hombre aproximándose a los 70…”Allá en los Estados Unidos, basado en esta nueva gráfico de ¨Patents Grants 2016¨ (a propósito buen trabajo de Patently-O), número de patentes (y así ganancias que son proporcionales) casi doblaron por causa de su decline en calidad, lo que indica un problema; no es una vara para medir su éxito (ya que no considera externalidades en cuenta).

Fanfarroneándo acerca del crecimiento de patentes otorgadas – lo que Pinocho frecuentemente hace (recuerden la charada ¨Conosca al Presidente¨ a principios de mes) – es engañoso por decir lo menos y mucho de ello es basado en mentiras también. Estan ´cocinando´ los libros. Son astutos con estadísticas y esperan exitosamente engañar a los medios, como ya han hecho frecuentemente, explotando candidez de los no-técnicos reporteros con un grado universitario en un lenguaje en Europa.

“Para aclarar una vez más, apoyamos la OEP, en principio (no hay intención de destruir la OEP), pero la EPO tiene que retornar a la EPC.”Temprano hoy bromee que Battistelli debería pronto aplicar por un trabajo en la SIPO (China), donde hay casi cero control de calidad asi com cero derechos humanos (probablemente negativo, menos que cero en la OEP ahora mismo).

Para aclarar una vez más, apoyamos la OEP, en principio (no hay intención de destruir la OEP), pero la EPO tiene que retornar a la EPC. Vean cómo la OEP está tratando de ‘masajear’ las “Guías para la examinación” en diversos eventos, algunos de los cuales se dieron a conocer o re-anunciaron hace incluso horas. La EPO se pregunta: “¿Cuál es el impacto de las modificaciones en las nuevas directrices para el examen? Discutir con expertos en Oslo el 7 de abril … ”

¿En qué estan basados estos cambios/enmiendas? Definitivamente no la EPC, que definitivamente y inambiguamente PROHIBIÓ las patentes de software (sean estas ¨como tales¨ o no).

Solicitando comentrarios en una última propaganda de la OEP (falsos números de patentes serán compartidos la próxima semana), un lector nos dijo: ¨OK es sólo un estupido desfile de relaciones públicas de nuevo. Han estado haciendo esto por años. No puedo decir cuando empezo (antes o después de Battistelli), pero Pinocho ya había hecho el mismo show cuando estuvo a cargo de la oficina Francesa de patentes. Pensé que podía ser algo diferente, debería aprender a no sobreestimarlos.¨

Regresando a IAM, en su cuente de Twitter dijo: ¨Esta claro que dado los reciéntes titulares acerca de los últimos despidos de representantes de la unión así como el agrandamiénto del Jurado de Apelaciones han asustado a algunos en la AC.¨

“Lo que todo esto significa,” IAM añadió, “es algo que tiene que ceder ante la OEP. Cuando eso pase no será algo bonito.”

“Battistelli no puede tolerar transparencia (ya que él sólo puede escribir/crear entradas en blogs posts titulados “transparencia”) porque la transparencia revelaría graves abusos como los keyloggers, cámaras ocultas (los huéspedes que vienen a la OEP de orientación), y peor aún – todo tipo de CARGOS CRIMINALES GRAVES EN CROACIA.”IAM entonces dijo que ¨la OEP esta en crisis esta tarde. Su estructura gubernamental claramente no se ciñe a este propósito. Es tiempo de transparencia plena.¨ Como le expliqué a IAM, no (falta de) ¨transparencia¨ es el problema. Es lo que el sigilo ha servido a ocultar… hasta ahora. Battistelli no puede tolerar transparencia (ya que él sólo puede escribir/crear entradas en blogs posts titulados “transparencia”) porque la transparencia revelaría graves abusos como los keyloggers, cámaras ocultas (los huéspedes que vienen a la OEP de orientación), y peor aún - todo tipo de cargos criminales graves en Croacia.

El fondo del asunto es este: cuando la gente a quien Pinocho esta pagando reconoce que el pueda estar saliendo realmente significa algo.

Un final (segundo) recordatorio: Por favor urgentemente necesitamos una traducción del artículo “Franse despoot wil 18 miljoen bij vertrek” (link arriba) ya que sirve a confirmar aún más que Battistelli saldrá pronto (es sólo materia de dinero ahora). Cuando escojan o preparen una traducción por favor informenos su intención para asegurarnos que no haya duplicación de esfuerzos (dos o más personas trabajando en una traducción al mismo tiempo). Ya tenemos a alguien trabajando en una traducción de ¨Problemas de Gobernanza en Organizaciones Internacionales: la EPO¨ Hoy recibimos tres traducciones de tres artículos en Holándes, asi que sigan sintonizándonos por más…

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