When your income comes from (in)famous patent trolls
Summary: Critique of the ‘content’ and angle from sites for (and by) patent maximalists, notably IAM ‘magazine’
THE EPO and EPO-funded media are not a source of information but they are often the target of criticism or ridicule. Now that the EPO promotes monopolies on plants (to increase the number of granted patents, irrespective of the overall impact on society) we wish to highlight CEVA et al with their pro-GMO (i.e. patent monopoly) agenda, as covered in IP Watch the other day . This is a fantastic example of the harms of patent maximalism — something that EPO-funded sites sure love and even take pride in. Let’s look at IAM ‘magazine’, based on the past few days’ articles.
“It glorifies what the site profits from, but at whose expense?”“IP Hall of Fame” is a term like that’s being used by IAM right now. Like “Monopoly of fame” or “Protectionism of the year”, one has to be pretty brainwashed to really ‘dig’ into that. Then again, what can be expected from a site which targets ‘IP’ lawyers? It glorifies what the site profits from, but at whose expense?
According to this article, the patent troll of Ericsson still attacks Android OEMs (impacting Linux, by extension). To quote: “The IPKat has been aware for some time that the Patents Court, in the person of Mr Justice Birss, has been devoting considerable time to a series of cases concerning mobile phone technology (Unwired Planet v Huawei and Samsung).”
“BlackBerry, despite its embrace of Android, will quite likely troll other Android OEMs with patents.”According to IAM, BlackBerry is now acting somewhat like a troll, much as we foresaw and predicted. But IAM uses terms like “monetisation”, which are effectively euphemisms (how about “corporate foodchain” as a euphemism?). To quote: “When BlackBerry concluded a cross-licensing agreement with Cisco last June, with a provision for the Californian company to pay an on-going royalty, this blog stated that the deal could mark the start of the Canadian telecoms and wireless business becoming a major player in the patent monetisation space.”
BlackBerry, despite its embrace of Android, will quite likely troll other Android OEMs with patents. Microsoft, according to this IAM report, is hoarding LG patents that it can later use to extort (or tax) Android devices more than it already does. To quote IAM, “20 US assets covering mobile telecoms assigned to Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC; also 44 assets on 9th April.”
“…there is already patent trolling in China, but the opaque court system changes all the risk equations…”
– James SalsmanThe euphemism “monetisation” again appeared in IAM around the same time, in relation to China’s SIPO. The lenient patent system in China (like USPTO in the US) could bring in the trolls; maybe that’s what what “monetisation” now means in IAM (if not NPE). As Jack Ellis put it, in order to sell the “monetisation” (trolls) agenda in China (shaming tactics): “Protectionist, biased, anti-foreigner: those are kinds of labels that are often attached to China’s IP enforcement system by rights holders from outside of the country.”
As James Salsman put it when asked, “there is already patent trolling in China, but the opaque court system changes all the risk equations [...] I lived in Shanghai working at @EFLabs where patents prevented pronunciation intelligibility remediation software improvements” (the latter, with context, can be found here).
The bottom line is, the Web continues to be saturated with coverage about patent matters composed by people who profit from it. Some even receive money from patent offices. Therein exists a real, profound problem. Public interests are ignored at best and habitually trampled. It’s everyone’s ethical imperative to change that, or else very few people will hoard all the wealth and many productive human activities (such as sharing, trade, invention and manufacturing) will effectively be banned except when permitted by those few wealth hoarders. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
At issue, according to a joint press release (Via Campesina, Grain, and ETC Group), is the agenda, which they find unbalanced as it includes speakers from industry such as, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, CropLife International, and CEVA among others, which they say are promoting GMOs, while they found only one speaker openly critical of GMOs.