02.19.16

Gemini version available ♊︎

Patent Trolls and the Rise of Non-Practicing Parasites Not Just in the US But Also in Europe

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 11:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s already happening right here in the UK…

Carnegie Mellon University

Summary: The role played by patents, increasingly bolstered by self-serving patent maximalists, outweighs actual creativity, innovation and production which patents were, in principle, supposed to encourage and advance

PATENT trolls are a huge problem, but the corporate media, owned and/or influenced by large corporations, does not pay attention to the fact that patent trolls almost always use software patents. Therein lies the bigger problem. It’s the core problem. Software patents should never have existed in the first place, as evidence always served to show that they would be counter-productive.

Here we see a new article from the British mass media, which was summarised this week (just a couple of days ago) as follows: “Apple has been told to pay a hefty fine to a small company for patent infringement. So why aren’t we celebrating the victory of a ‘David’? Because the little guy is a ‘patent troll’, stifling innovation by abusing the system, says Rhodri Marsden” (he says nothing about the nature of the patent/s or Apple‘s own patent aggression, including its 6-year patent war against Linux/Android).

As we put it earlier this month, "VirnetX Case Against Apple Shows Not the Problem With Patent Trolls But With Software Patents."

In other news, as noted here yesterday, “IV [Intellectual Ventures] Invention Fund Teams with Fraunhofer in Europe” (Fraunhofer is a notorious actor when it comes to software patents in Europe).

The EPO-funded bloggers wrote a puff piece for Intellectual Ventures, the world’s largest patent troll. This trolls-funded mouthpiece (also EPO-funded) went with the headline “The Intellectual Ventures invention fund teams up with Fraunhofer in major move into Europe”. UPC would help more such trolls penetrate Europe, giving jobs to patent lawyers who profit from an increase in litigation, or “patent warming” as the FFII’s President calls it.

Who would more likely settle with patent trolls? Take a guess. It’s European SMEs, which make up a lot of the industry here (we don’t have Googles and IBMs here, except for branches of these US firms). It makes SMEs a very attractive bunch of targets for trolls, especially in Europe. To quote United For Patent Reform (from the other day): “Did you know patent trolls are disproportionately hurting smaller, more vulnerable firms?” There is a valuable reference there with additional information and it links to this paper (published less than a year ago by James Bessen et al). Wall Street, i.e. the big businesses well past their IPOs (and with massive legal departments of their own) promotes or at least defends patent trolls in its press. Is anybody surprised by this?

“Software patents should never have existed in the first place, as evidence always served to show that they would be counter-productive.”The Computer and Communications Industry Association, which is funded by big businesses, now focuses on universities — not aggressors like Microsoft or Apple — as the problem.

“‘Innovation’”, wrote in response this one person, “is a piece of paper you can sue others with?”

“Warped mentality,” added this anonymous person.

The context for this misdirection must be reports about CMU, which not only attacked anonymity (undermining Tor for the US government) but also attacks practicing companies using patents. As WIPR put it: “Carnegie sued Marvell at the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in 2009, claiming the company had sold billions of chips using the technology.”

This is likely to become a sort of ‘tax’ on products that almost everyone buys. See parts of a longer discussion with Patent Buddy about the funding of US universities and how it now relates to such legal battles over patents. “Carnegie Mellon,” as it was put at one stage, “has transformed US universities in[to] patent trolls” (link to CMU).

“These days in the US,” Patent Buddy told me, “patent attorneys make about as much as engineers.”

What about the externalities? They’re everyone except patent lawyers.

“It makes SMEs a very attractive bunch of targets for trolls, especially in Europe.”The response to him was that “in a better world they should do another more useful job.” And on it goes (details in Twitter)…

Looking at some press coverage we find that, based on the formal statement, “Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: MRVL), a global leader in integrated silicon solutions, and Carnegie Mellon University, a private research university, today announced that, pursuant to a court-ordered mediation, the Company and University have settled their patent infringement lawsuit. The parties have resolved the case on mutually acceptable terms, including an aggregate payment by Marvell to CMU of $750 million, with no ongoing royalty payments.”

Here is what patent maximalists wrote: “Court-ordered mediation ends in $750m agreement to settle the seven-year-long patent infringement lawsuit between Marvell Technology Group and Carnegie Mellon University” (see CMU background).

“CMU does not actually produce anything.”This is not a software patent, but the issue here is different. CMU does not actually produce anything. The source of CMU’s funding, as noted above, is also relevant to this. From an economic perspective, the public only loses.

Incidentally, as pointed out by the FFII’s President the other day, “Olimex [is] forced to file software patents are required in order to get EU funding,” which is an “insane waste of public money” (it can also be used to tax the public later).

Here is the relevant bit of a blog post published two days ago:

This gives amazing opportunities to Bulgarian companies to become globally competitive.

Unfortunately the most interesting area the innovation is burden with most paperwork and some things which are totally unacceptable with our Open Source way of thinking. For instance one of the requirement is to fill file patents for the innovation, which to protect the EU investment in your company. Looks logically, but this effectively cut off all companies which work with Open Source Technologies.

What is the EU coming to? Is it trying to impede a FOSS spirit and a sharing culture by urging people to get software patented, despite the rules (as per the EPC) not allowing it? Something sure is rotten at the EPO, which urgently needs to be fixed.

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. Taking Techrights to the Next Level in 2023

    I've reached a state of "closure" when it comes to my employer (almost 12 years for me, 9+ years for my wife); expect Techrights to become more active than ever before and belatedly publish important articles, based on longstanding investigations that take a lot of effort



  2. The ISO Delusion: When the Employer Doesn’t Realise That Outsourcing Clients' Passwords to LassPass After Security Breaches Is a Terrible Idea

    The mentality or the general mindset at Sirius ‘Open Source’ was not compatible with that of security conscientiousness and it seemed abundantly clear that paper mills (e.g. ISO certification) cannot compensate for that



  3. Links 30/01/2023: Plasma Mobile 23.01 and GNU Taler 0.9.1

    Links for the day



  4. EPO Management Isn't Listening to Staff, It's Just Trying to Divide and Demoralise the Staff Instead

    “On 18 January 2023,” the staff representatives tell European Patent Office (EPO) colleagues, “the staff representation met with the administration in a Working Group on the project “Bringing Teams Together”. It was the first meeting since the departure of PD General Administration and the radical changes made to the project. We voiced the major concerns of staff, the organization chaos and unrest caused by the project among teams and made concrete proposals.”



  5. Links 30/01/2023: Coreboot 4.19 and Budgie 10.7

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 29, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 29, 2023



  7. [Meme] With Superheroes Like These...

    Ever since the new managers arrived the talent has fled the company that falsely credits itself with "Open Source"



  8. Not Tolerating Proprietary 'Bossware' in the Workplace (or at Home in Case of Work-From-Home)

    The company known as Sirius ‘Open Source’ generally rejected… Open Source. Today’s focus was the migration to Slack.



  9. The ISO Delusion: A Stack of Proprietary Junk (Slack) Failing Miserably

    When the company where I worked for nearly 12 years spoke of pragmatism it was merely making excuses to adopt proprietary software at the expense of already-working and functional Free software



  10. Debian 11 on My Main Rig: So Far Mostly OK, But Missing Some Software From Debian 10

    Distributions of GNU/Linux keep urging us to move to the latest, but is the latest always the greatest? On Friday my Debian 10 drive died, so I started moving to Debian 11 on a new drive and here's what that did to my life.



  11. Stigmatising GNU/Linux for Not Withstanding Hardware Failures

    Nowadays "the news" is polluted with a lot of GNU/Linux-hostile nonsense; like with patents, the signal-to-noise ratio is appalling and here we deal with a poor 'report' about "Linux servers" failing to work



  12. Microsofters Inside Sirius 'Open Source'

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has been employing incompetent managers for years — a sentiment shared among colleagues by the way; today we examine some glaring examples with redacted communications to prove it



  13. Links 29/01/2023: GNOME 43.3 Fixes and Lots About Games

    Links for the day



  14. The Hey Hype Machine

    "Hey Hype" or "Hey Hi" (AI) has been dominating the press lately and a lot of that seems to boil down to paid-for marketing; we need to understand what's truly going on and not be distracted by the substance-less hype



  15. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 28, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 28, 2023



  16. Unmasking AI

    A guest article by Andy Farnell



  17. The ISO Delusion/Sirius Corporation: A 'Tech' Company Run by Non-Technical People

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ was hiring people who brought to the company a culture of redundant tasks and unwanted, even hostile technology; today we continue to tell the story of a company run by the CEO whose friends and acquaintances did severe damage



  18. Links 28/01/2023: Lots of Catching Up (Had Hardware Crash)

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 27, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, January 27, 2023



  20. Microsoft DuckDuckGo Falls to Lowest Share in 2 Years After Being Widely Exposed as Microsoft Proxy, Fake 'Privacy'

    DuckDuckGo, according to this latest data from Statcounter, fell from about 0.71% to just 0.58%; all the gains have been lost amid scandals, such as widespread realisation that DuckDuckGo is a Microsoft informant, curated by Microsoft and hosted by Microsoft (Bing is meanwhile laying off many people, but the media isn’t covering that or barely bothers)



  21. This is What the Microsoft-Sponsored Media Has Been Hyping Up for Weeks (Ahead of Microsoft Layoffs)

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan



  22. [Meme] António Campinos Wants to Be F***ing President Until 2028

    António Campinos insists he will be EPO President for 10 years, i.e. even longer than Benoît Battistelli (despite having appalling approval rates from staff)



  23. European Patent Office Staff Losing Hope

    The EPO’s management with its shallow campaign of obfuscation (pretending to protect children or some other nonsense) is not fooling patent examiners, who have grown tired and whose representatives say “the administration shows no intention of involving the staff representation in the drafting of the consultant’s mandate” (like in Sirius ‘Open Source’ where technical staff is ignored completely for misguided proposals to pass in the dark)



  24. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 26, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 26, 2023



  25. Sirius Relegated/Demoted/Destined Itself to Technical Hell by Refusing to Listen to the Technical Staff (Which Wanted to Stay With Asterisk/Free Software)

    In my final year at Sirius ‘Open Source’ communication systems had already become chaotic; there were too many dysfunctional tools, a lack of instructions, a lack of coordination and the proposed ‘solution’ (this past October) was just more complexity and red tape



  26. Geminispace Approaching Another Growth Milestone (2,300 Active Capsules)

    The expansion of Geminispace is worth noting again because another milestone is approached, flirted with, or will be surpassed this coming weekend



  27. [Meme] Cannot Get a Phone to Work... in 2022

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ wasted hours of workers’ time just testing the phone after it had moved to a defective system of Google (proprietary); instead of a rollback (back to Asterisk) the company doubled down on the faulty system and the phones still didn’t work properly, resulting in missing calls and angst (the company just blamed the workers who all along rejected this new system)



  28. [Meme] Modern Phones

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ is mistaking “modern” for better; insecurity and a lack of tech savvy typically leads to that



  29. The ISO Delusion: Sirius Corporation Demonstrates a Lack of Understanding of Security and Privacy

    Sirius ‘Open Source’, emboldened by ISO ‘paperwork’ (certification), lost sight of what it truly takes to run a business securely, mistaking worthless gadgets for “advancement” while compelling staff to sign a new contract in a hurry (prior contract-signing scandals notwithstanding)



  30. Links 26/01/2023: LibreOffice 7.4.5 and Ubuntu Pro Offers

    Links for the day


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