03.03.17

Gemini version available ♊︎

East Asia is Known for Hardware Innovations, Not Software Innovations, and Software Patents Will Do the Latter No Favours

Posted in Asia, Patents at 8:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By granting patents even on abstract concepts such as algorithms, China and Japan (but not Korea, which forbids software patents) leave India all the liberty to develop software without fear of ruinous lawsuits

“The day that the software sector forms a clear front against software patents, as pharma does for a unitary patent system… will be the day our cause comes close to winning.”

Pieter Hintjens, Fosdem07 Interview

Summary: China’s and Japan’s patent systems continue to be liberal on software patents, but this is actually a very bad thing which in no way favours software developers; it actively harms their work

“China’s IP office has released new guidelines that include a reduction in restrictions on software patents. Observers say it is not clear how big an effect it will have in practice,” Shaun Tan wrote from Hong Kong for MIP just hours ago. Hours earlier we had noted that China cannot help shooting itself in the foot with this policy. China’s interests are not served but harmed by this. Can they not see it? Who is advising them on these matters? Probably not software engineers but lawyers…

Published over a week ago, on February 21st to be precise, Adriana L. Burgy from Finnegan (Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP) wrote this piece that mentions China’s patent policy. Prosecutors from Finnegan obviously try to maximise the damage caused by patents because to them it means profit. Who cares about coexistence and open cooperation (like sharing of code) anyway?

Here is a portion from Burgy’s article:

Excess claim fees are not new and are used in many patent offices worldwide. For example, the European Patent Office varies their claim fees for the 16th to the 50th claim and then, again for the 51st and each subsequent claim; when filing a request for examination, the Japanese Patent Office fee is directly proportional to the number of claims; and the Chinese Patent Office charges for claims in excess of ten. Here in the U.S., the basic filing fee includes three independent claims and a total of twenty claims. Today in our post-grant proceeding world, do we need to rethink the number of claims we use to cover an invention?

Another new article, this one about chemical patents, explains how it works in China. We read that with interest as we are trying to better grasp the differences between patent offices rather than rely on lawyers who have their own selfish agenda and belief (like faith, or religion) that more patents are always more desirable.

Here is IAM, part of the the litigation lobby, moaning that “[f]oreign patent owners face big hurdles when seeking to get damage awards and licence fees out of China”. To quote:

One consequence is that for foreign companies that win a court case in China, it has reportedly become very difficult to remit any damages they’re awarded back to headquarters. Normally, Chinese courts collect damage money from defendants and turn it over to the plaintiff’s lawyers. But if the winner is based overseas, its lawyers are going to have a very tough time exchanging the RMB award into a convertible currency. Chinese courts can also give damages directly to plaintiffs – if they are foreign companies, this involves asking currency authorities to convert the judgment into, say, Euros. The problem? “Very few courts are willing to risk gaining a reputation for readily sending money overseas,” says one China-based lawyer with first-hand experience of the issue. “Nobody wants to step out of line, and very soon infringers will be aware of that.”

So perhaps they should quit wasting time with the SIPO, where patent quality is so low that it will become impossible to distinguish between potent patents and waste of paper.

Japan, based on another new article, still grapples with the situation where employers take credit (and ‘ownership’) of employees’ ideas. Changes effective from the first of April 2016 (i.e. exactly one year before the above-mentioned changes in China) address that conundrum and the article explains the scenario as follows: “The Patent Law prescribed that a right to obtain a patent for an invention, which occurs when the invention is made by the inventor, is inherently vested in the inventor, on the grounds that only a natural person (not an artificial person such as a business entity) is eligible as an inventor.”

“That’s just happens when lawyers (or liars) use terms like “Intellectual Property”, lumping together copyrights, trademarks, patents, and even trade secrets.”So basically, there’s not much for mere employees, i.e. technical people, to gain from patents. It’s the lawyers and managers who seem to have an insatiable appetite for plenty of patents. They think differently. They, especially the management, probably don’t even know exactly what patents are and how they work; as for lawyers, they don’t comprehend the process of research and development. They never did any of that stuff!

“Can I protect my trademark through a patent?”

That’s an actual question from this article. That’s just happens when lawyers (or liars) use terms like “Intellectual Property”, lumping together copyrights, trademarks, patents, and even trade secrets. As long as politicians are mostly lawyers (not scientists) change and honest debates are merely a distant dream. Patent lawyers are to debates about innovation what oil companies are to debates about climate.

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. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, November 26, 2021



  2. 38+ Years of GNU and 19+ Years of FSF Associate Membership

    “On November 25, 2002,” Wikipedia notes, “the FSF launched the FSF Associate Membership program for individuals.” As the above video points out, it all started almost 40 years ago.



  3. Gemini as a Platform for Gamers

    Contrary to what people often assume (or are led to assume), even without client-side scripting Gemini can accomplish a great deal; early adopters, many of whom are technical, test the limits of the very minimalistic (by design and intention) specification



  4. Improved Workflows: Achievement Unlocked

    Today we've completed a bunch of small projects that can make us more efficient (e.g. more Daily Links per day, more articles); the above video was recorded many hours ago to accompany the outline below



  5. Links 26/11/2021: New Complaint About Microsoft Competition Crimes in Europe, EuroLinux 8.5, GhostBSD 21.11.24, and Kiwi TCMS 10.5 Released

    Links for the day



  6. Links 26/11/2021: F35 Elections, Whonix 16.0.3.7, OSMC's November Refresh With Kodi 19.3

    Links for the day



  7. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 25, 2021



  8. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 24, 2021



  9. Links 25/11/2021: PHP 8.1.0 Released and Linux 5.15.5

    Links for the day



  10. IBM as Master of Hypocrisy

    Free software projects and Free software developers have long been humiliated by corporations of Western misogynists, falsely claiming that the Free software community isn’t inclusive enough (these are shameless projection tactics; as a matter of public record, the exact opposite is true) and even the eradication of supposedly offensive language isn’t something IBM takes seriously



  11. Links 25/11/2021: LibreOffice 7.2.3 and Mesa 21.2.6 Released

    Links for the day



  12. [Meme] So Desperate That Edge Cannot Even Exceed 4% That They Block Rival Web Browsers

    Linux/Android/Free Software/GNU (they go by very many names/brands) may continue to grow to the point where Windows is as irrelevant as Blackberry; this means that Microsoft’s grip on the Web too has slipped — to the point where Microsoft frantically uses 'bailout' money to hijack LinkedIn, GitHub, etc. (it also rebrands almost everything as "Azure" or clown to fake a perception of growth)



  13. Windows Vista Service Pack 11 (Vista 11) Has Failed to Curb the Growth of GNU/Linux

    Windows market share continues to decrease in spite of billions of dollars spent bribing the media for fake hype, especially in light of a new Windows Service Pack (SP), Vista SP 11



  14. Links 25/11/2021: Proton 6.3-8 and Linux Mint Compared to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  15. 3.5 Years Later the 'Master' of Fedora is Still Microsoft and IBM Cannot Be Bothered to Alter Git Branch Names (Refuting or Ignoring Its Very Own Directive About Supposedly Racially-Insensitive Terms)

    Today we demonstrate the hypocrisy of IBM; years after telling us that we should shun the term "master" and repeatedly insisting it had a racist connotation at least 65 Fedora repositories, still controlled by Microsoft, still use "master"



  16. Changing the Arrangement While News is a Bit Slow(er)

    I've made it easier for myself to keep abreast of things like IRC channels and networks (incidentally, a day ago Freenode reopened to anonymous logins) and I've improved monitoring of the Web sites, Gemini capsule etc. (this video is unplanned and improvised)



  17. Links 24/11/2021: Alpine Linux 3.15 and Endless OS 4.0 Released

    Links for the day



  18. [Meme] Jimmy Zemlin Loves Microsoft

    It’s funny, isn’t it? Lying for a living and sucking up to the liars pays off; you get to plunder actual Linux users while leaving Linux morally and financially bankrupt



  19. Links 24/11/2021: PHP Foundation and Flatpak Criticisms

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 23, 2021



  21. Links 24/11/2021: Rust Crisis and Team UPC Still Faking 'Progress'

    Links for the day



  22. Links 23/11/2021: New GNU Parallel and Memories of David H. Adler (Perl, Raku)

    Links for the day



  23. In Light of Fast-Accelerating Deterioration -- Sometimes Weaponisation -- Getting Off the World Wide Web (to the Extent Feasible) Makes You Saner and Less Susceptible to Manipulation, Lies

    Almost no sites are speaking about it (probably because they have no presence on the Internet except on the Web), but it's time to motivate more people to get off the Web, for their own good and for society's sake...



  24. Black Friday SPAM on the World Wide Web: A Reminder That the Web is a Dying Platform, Languishing Due to Marketing and Misinformation

    The junk that overruns the Web this 'Black Friday' week (consumerism 'on steroids') is a good reminder that the Web isn't healthy for the mind anymore; it's mostly spying on people, trying to compel them to buy particular things or vote a certain way



  25. Microsoft-Led Misinformation Campaign About Germany and Munich Reminds Us That Microsoft Hates and Actively Undermines GNU/Linux Adoption

    Regarding the latest moves to GNU/Linux in Germany we have 3 points to make



  26. Links 23/11/2021: Libreboot 20211122, Deepin Linux 20.3, Amazon Linux 2022, and Mabox Linux 21.11 Released

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, November 22, 2021



  28. Links 22/11/2021: EasyOS Dunfell 3.1.11, Microsoft 'Extends' Mesa for Windows

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft's GitHub is Hugely Toxic and It Censors Critics of Corporations or People Sceptical of Those in Power

    Sociopaths have taken over GitHub and control over GitHub (by Microsoft) is being shamelessly misused, just as we’ve warned all along; GitHub is social control media/network for code, asserting control over projects and developers by means of censorship and other sanctions



  30. EPO Staff Engagement Survey Predates the Pandemic and Provides False Assumptions for EPO Policies or Policy-Setting

    The EPO ticks a box for "surveying the staff", but is it actually listening? Is that done often enough? It was last done almost 3 years ago...


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