EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

07.23.17

STRASBOURG: Representative of Lufthansa Accused of Corruption

Posted in Europe, Fraud, Patents at 6:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[DE] STRASBOURG: Vertreter der Lufthansa wegen Korruption angeklagt

A. Matijevic and Topic by Lufthansa
Topić and Matijević

Summary: According to some international sources, it was on account of the corrupt and criminal tendencies with which he has been endowed by nature and which he used to assist international corporations in protecting dubious patents in the Republic of Croatia that Željko Topić was rewarded with a position at the EPO in Munich, although his skills and mindset indicate that he does not belong there. This is also indicated by the fact that this complex-ridden individual recently changed his place of residence in Zagreb.

On 20 July 2017 an action was submitted to the European Court in Strasbourg against the representative of the international airline, or more precisely against its legal representative in the Republic of Croatia, the lawyer Andrej Matijević. The complaint was dispatched by post, from a small town on the island of Korcula from where Ruža Tomašić, a Croatian MEP in Brussels, comes.

The complaint relates to a series of corrupt actions allegedly committed by the lawyer Andrej Matijević, together with the responsible official of the State Intellectual Property Office (DZIV), the former Director Željko Topić who is now a Vice-President of the EPO in Munich. Because of the lack of legal certainty and due to the ineffectiveness and corruption of the Croatian legal system, especially on the part of the Public Prosecutor (DORH) and the Office for the Suppression of Organized Crime and Corruption (USKOK), after more than 9 years of obstruction of the investigation the plaintiff in the proceedings has now decided to seek legal protection on an international level at the European Court in Strasbourg.

The most bizarre fact in the whole investigation procedure which has been going on for many years in Croatia is that apparently neither the representative of Lufthansa nor the former Director of the DZIV, Željko Topić, were ever summoned to an interview with the police or with the Croatian Public Prosecutor. Perhaps not without reason Croatia has been reported as one of the most corrupt states, according to the latest research from Transparency International.

Sources from the European Court of Human Rights Strasbourg indicate that at least four proceedings relating to corruption and discrimination are pending against the EPO Vice-President Željko Topić. The extent of the high level corruption alleged against the Vice-President of EPO is indicated by the claim that he was able to bribe a well-known Croatian investigative journalist. When this journalist was exposed, he terminated his membership in HND (the Croatian Journalists’ Association) of his own motion because he was afraid of Croatian and international journalists’ associations. For the moment, one small detail remains unknown, that is whether or not the accused journalist received the “black” money personally from Željko Topić or whether he received it from the “caisse noire” of the EPO. The sum is estimated to be of the order of several thousand Euros.

After the legal representative of Lufthansa in Croatia did not succeed in lawfully purchasing the internationally protected Air Plus brand, which had been used in an illegal manner for many years by the Lufthansa subsidiary AirPlus Servicekarten GmbH, a ruthless operation of unlawful expropriation of the trademark proprietor from Zagreb (in plain language: theft) was started by the allegedly corrupt Željko Topić who, as Director of the DZIV, responded to the accused lawyer Matijević and by administrative means attempted to illegally delete the protected trademark from the official database the of Croatian DZIV.

Although this pair of criminal “Siamese twins” were exposed, they were never subjected to any sanctions. In fact, according to some international sources, it was on account of the corrupt and criminal tendencies with which he is endowed by nature and which he used to assist international corporations to protect dubious patents in the Republic of Croatia that Željko Topić was rewarded with a position at the EPO in Munich, although his skills and mindset indicate that he does not belong there.

This is also supported by the fact that this complex-ridden individual recently changed his place of residence in Zagreb. He has moved from the slums of the Croatian metropolis to No. 23 Zamenhofova Street and has now become a member of the recently formed and phony “nouveau riche” class.

The true identity of Mr. Željko Topić is perhaps revealed in the two texts below, which were published in the Croatian media [1, 2]. The reports are titled “Sjedi li u EPO krivi čovjek?” [Translation: Is the "wrong man" sitting at the EPO] and “Hrvatski patent za autorska prava” [Translation: The Croatian patent on copyright].

In any case the company AirPlus Servicekarten GmbH (www.airplus.com), headquartered in Neu-Isenburg, Germany, had an impressive turnover of EUR 14 billion in 2016, while at the same time serving a customer base of 49000 exclusively business class passengers, that is to say, passengers with very high purchasing power.

Therefore, it would hardly be surprising if Lufthansa had decided to take such corrupt step assisted by a dubious lawyer and corrupt banana republic officials such as Željko Topić, and attempted to illegally acquire the protected trade mark instead of purchasing it via civilised business practices according to which it should pay at least 2% of the annual turnover of its subsidiary which had been making unlawful use of a foreign trade mark for almost 20 years. In the end it is a question of large sums of money. According to unofficial information of the German lawyer representing the plaintiff in the proceedings, Mr. Constantin Mascher, it involves a claim for damages of at least 30 million Euros. Furthermore, in order to make things even more interesting, reports have appeared in the Croatia media according to which Lufthansa is rumoured to be a hidden owner of Croatia Airlines.


Constantin Mascher photo
Constantin Mascher


Luft Ponuda I 2008


Matijevic dopis 2007

IBM and Watchtroll, Together With Microsoft, Among the Driving Forces for Resurgence of Software Patents

Posted in America, IBM, Law, Microsoft at 5:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bill Lumbergh: If you could grant me a software patent, That Would Be Great!

Summary: A look at who keeps lobbying against Alice and where/how; also our assessment of why such lobbying won’t be getting them anywhere any time soon

AS PROMISED in our previous long post, here are some details about the lobby against Alice (i.e. for software patenting). The USPTO continues granting such patents, but in our previous post we showed that almost none of these can “survive” the courts. In other words, there’s a great disparity between granting and assertion in this domain. Certainty is extremely low for software patents.

“So he basically frames the rejection of software patents as “discrimination”. Amazing.”IBM and Watchtroll are probably the worst culprits when it comes to the lobbying; even more so than Microsoft. Here is IBM’s Manny Schecter‏ citing Watchtroll/Gene Quinn (quite frequent an occurrence and Schecter‏ also habitually writes for Watchtroll). “The patent system should not discriminate against certain technologies,” he wrote.

So he basically frames the rejection of software patents as “discrimination”. Amazing.

Watchtroll said: “Alice Who? Over Half the U.S. Utility Patents Issued Annually are Software Related!”

“Software is everywhere. But that does not mean that everywhere technology is used it boils down to software.”Terms like “software related” are nonsensical. Benjamin Henrion already responded to them with , “you mean it does not fit some technologies?”

Software is everywhere. But that does not mean that everywhere technology is used it boils down to software. Yet that’s the kind of ‘logic’ software patents proponents are attempting to leverage. The underlying article IBM links to is from a patent attorney, i.e. part of the patent microcosm.

“Microsoft too is among those trying to change the law in the US, in order to allow software patents chaos to resume (Microsoft’s blackmail relies on that).”“It is time to define the term ‘Abstract Idea’,” Watchtroll added. It couldn’t get any more obvious; they want Alice struck down under the guise of “clarity” that IBM pays David Kappos to play with.

It’s despicable. Microsoft too is among those trying to change the law in the US, in order to allow software patents chaos to resume (Microsoft’s blackmail relies on that). As this recent report put it: “The issue’s importance to biopharmaceutical companies was illustrated March 15 by an unlikely source—an executive from the software industry–which often has been at odds with the biopharma sector on Section 101. Speaking on the topic, Microsoft Corp.’s David Jones said, “The people having the hardest time, as much as we complain about software, are the ones with gene patents.””

Further down it refers to the IBM-led IPO initiative by stating: “The IPO proposed three new parts of Section 101. Section 101(a) would read: “Whoever invents or discovers and claims as an invention any useful process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or any useful improvement thereto, shall be entitled to a patent for a claimed invention thereof, subject only to the exceptions, conditions and requirements set forth in this Title.””

“Will all that lobbying manage to warp the debate though?”So it is crystal clear that they are still attempting to resurrect abstract patents, including software patents. Having said that, a lot of the above is from May and June (John T. Aquino’s article is from May) and things have been quiet since then. Back in May there were many articles like “IPO, AIPLA and ABA IP Section Propose Legislative Fixes for Section 101″, “AIPLA offers proposals to alter section 101″ and “AIPLA On Board with Statutory Reform of 101″. A month later there was almost nothing about it and in July there was nothing at all. It’s like they vanished. We should not, however, assume that they stopped trying. Arguably, what they worked on at the time (and to a certain degree did accomplish) is this notorious bill, the “STRONGER Patents Act” which is going nowhere (not even patent extremists like IAM believe it will ever materialise).

Will all that lobbying manage to warp the debate though?

“More reports that Examiners in 3600 are being instructed to conduct less stringent Alice analyses,” Patent Buddy wrote. Have they ‘scandalised’ Alice enough to have it de-emphasised? Well, maybe only at the patent office, but not the courts. The USPTO does not decide what patents will be upheld by judges. Back in May, patent attorney Mark Summerfield wrote about the subject and regarding a particular case, J Nicholas Gross (also patent microcosm) said: “In contrast to PTO, Fed judges continue to rely on principle of “no preemption” to deem patents eligible under 101…”

“The patent microcosm is focusing on exceptions to the norm, i.e. cases where software patents are miraculously upheld (even if by a low court).”Well, they actually do their job correctly. Even if examiners continue to grant software patents, judge will throw these away, merely reducing confidence in US patents and damaging the credibility of the US patent office.

The case at hand is Tecsec Inc. v Adobe Inc. and Mercedes Meyer wrote about it that “EDVA [Eastern District of Virginia] DENIES 12(B)(6) ELIGIBILITY MOTION – claims on 4 patents do not preempt and are inventive; Tecsec Inc. v. Adobe Inc. (5/23/17)…”

So it’s yet another one of many cases where software patents are ruled invalid.

Regarding another Tecsec case, Tecsec Inc. v International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), Docket Report wrote this: “The court denied defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the ground that plaintiff’s encryption patents encompassed unpatentable subject matter because the asserted claims were not directed toward an abstract idea.”

As noted in our previous report, this was the sole case (which we are aware of so far this summer) where software patents were tolerated, and these were only tolerated by a low court. The patent microcosm is focusing on exceptions to the norm, i.e. cases where software patents are miraculously upheld (even if by a low court).

“It seems clear that their last remaining hopes are on this piece of legislation that is already being opposed and condemned even by large corporations…”Is there much of a future (or any) to software patents? Well, that “STRONGER Patents Act” (misleading name) is dead in the water and we expect the momentum of the above lobby to have already been lost in the midst of SCOTUS rulings. We oughtn’t, however, lose sight of the lobbyists. The last thing they want is visibility (when they do their dirty deeds). A vocal software patents ‘lobbyist’, Steve Lundberg, is going mental over the demise of “medical”-washed software patents and other vocal ‘lobbyists’ seem equally perturbed. They can’t seem to get their way. Steve Lundberg is starting to sound like Bill Lumbergh with: “If you could grant me a software patent, That Would Be Great!”

Here is what he wrote:

One of the most disturbing stats related to medical software innovation. Inexplicably, it has been targeted as constituting largely only “abstract ideas” not worthy of patenting. This is another strong indication that the U.S. patent system is sorely in need of a legislative solution to the Section 101 problem that is now a runaway train on course to do major damage to the U.S. patent system and U.S. competitiveness in the technical software arts.

A couple of months later the Bill Lumbergh-like Steve Lundberg wrote in favour of stuff like “STRONGER Patents Act” (promoted also by Bastian Best).

It seems clear that their last remaining hopes are on this piece of legislation that is already being opposed and condemned even by large corporations (except the likes of IBM and Microsoft, which like to shake down companies and extort them for ‘protection’ money).

Alice/U.S.C. § 101 is a Done Deal, Meaning Software Patents Are Effectively Dead in the US

Posted in America, Courtroom, Patents at 4:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The US Supreme Court has meanwhile moved on to tackling patent trolls and won’t revisit patentability of software

1101

Summary: A look back at this summer’s patent cases where software patents are consistently (almost without exception) invalidated by courts, owing to § 101 (U.S.C./SCOTUS/Supreme Court)

THE past few months brought a lot of good news from the US. Not only did the US Supreme Court rule to narrow patent scope; US courts also invalidated quite a few software patents; appeal boards did the same (at record numbers). Patent trolls’ fate seems gloomy, more so after TC Heartland. Even if the USPTO continues to grant dubious patents, the ability to enforce these is vastly reduced now.

We have decided to catalog or document some of the recent news that we previously lacked time to cover. These are clustered by topic/theme below.

Patent Law Firms’ Faked Optimism

Nicola Borthwick from Charles Russell Speechlys recently wrote about “[t]he term “as such” [which] has the effect that an invention is not necessarily excluded from patent protection” (for example in the EPO). Here is what she said:

The term “as such” has the effect that an invention is not necessarily excluded from patent protection just because it contains an element which cannot be patented. So, for example, if the application of the software contains a technical feature which provides a technical solution to a technical problem, then it may be patentable. Likewise, a technical invention which results in an improvement in business efficacy will not necessarily be excluded as a business method.

These are just the classic loopholes we have seen in Europe, India, and New Zealand. In the US too, more so after Alice, applicants will resort to such loopholes. But will these help when judges and technical expert witnesses come forth? We don’t think so.

The matter of fact is, legal firms try to reassure clients that they can still pursue software patents, even if the resultant patents are weak and likely bunk (easily-invalidated).

We have written a lot about this before. Any advice from such firms should be taken with a barrel of salt (if taken at all). Their interest lies in patent maximalism, not potency. They profit either way; even if the patents get invalidated in court proceedings…

In a sense, weak patents are good for patent law firms and especially for prosecutors because those are the patents which would be challenged (by the defendant) in a court, necessitating heavy legal fees (their toll).

Courts in the US Invalidate Software Patents

As noted above, once properly challenged (the higher the court or the greater the number of appeals, the better) software patents are rarely upheld. Even in the US, the original home of software patents.

It’s rather amusing to see how patent lawyers’ sites try to twist or spin stories; Take this new one for example. The headline says “Judge Kills Electrical Monitoring Patents Under Alice,” but judges don’t kill, they simply check the law and say that these software patents are bunk. The patent microcosm has long attempted to associate justice with killing, death, and assassination (even calling PTAB a “death squad”). We responded to these gross mischaracterisations many times before.

Here is what the body of the report says:

A California federal judge has ruled parts of four Power Analytics Corp. patents covering software for monitoring electrical systems are invalid under the Supreme Court’s Alice test, resolving part of a patent infringement and antitrust case it brought against competitors.

In a decision Thursday, U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt granted a motion from Operation Technology Inc., which does business as ETAP, and Schneider Electric USA Inc., finding the asserted claims of four Power Analytics patents were invalid.

No loaded language there like “kills”, so why the dramatic headline? As we shall show later, there’s a theme here; they try to discredit judges who simply do the right thing, equating their ethics to ethics of assassins.

Misuse of language by the patent microcosm is a subject that merits broader debates; the military industry does similar things, especially at times of war, in order to ‘perfume’ the act of murder (with words like “defense”, “stability” and so on). A lot of that is very subtle and it has become so banal that people fail to see through the perception management tactics.

How about this report from 4 days ago? It speaks of “inefficient industry of patent development and focus on building products…”

What do they mean by “patent development”? They mean writing. There is no development of patents per se. There’s development; then there may be an application for a patent pertaining to that development.

How about this recent report about Tesla, which was openwashing using patents 3 years ago? It says this:

The strategy adopted by Tesla was to release all their cutting-edge software patents to the public domain…

It says software patents; Tesla did this around the same time of Alice (summer of 2014), so these patents were probably worthless or close to worthless anyway…

Going back to the “kill” theme, watch Patent Buddy (of the patent microcosm) carry on with his typical tweeting. As noted in the latest tweets from him (he blocked me for merely criticising software patents), software patents are generally “dying” (his term). Here is one example where he says: “US Pat 7988046, Vehicle violation enforcement system; Killed by Alice…”

“Invalidated” is the right term.

This is the new norm.

As this article from the end of May put it, “at the end of the day the validity of a lot of patents is questionable, especially software patents…”

Obviously.

Here is another one from Patent Buddy: “US Pat 7950570, Parking environment management system; Killed by Alice…”

Again that word: “killed…”

These are very bad times for software patents in the US, irrespective of USPTO grants.

Here is another recent example:

Patents Claiming Method for Parking Violation Enforcement Via Self-Release Booting System Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. § 101

The court granted plaintiffs’ motion to dismiss because the asserted claims of defendant’s parking enforcement patents encompassed unpatentable subject matter and found that the claims were directed toward an abstract idea.

Spot the pattern? We aren’t even ignoring cases that are contrary to this; they’re just so rare…

The US Supreme Court won’t be overturning or challenging Alice any time soon, i.e. software patent remain dead in the water for now. It’s a dark territory for a patent holder to explore.

Here is Patent Buddy again: “The S.Ct. [US Supreme Court] Refused to Hear the Broadband iTV Case Seeking a Definition of “Abstract Idea”: https://dlbjbjzgnk95t.cloudfront.net/0926000/926683/052217zor_4gd5.pdf”

Well, it seems safe to say that such cases are only ever upheld in rare circumstances/occasions; it would be a waste of the Supreme Court’s time to reassess them.

Another new example:

Federal Circuit Finds Claims Directed to Encoding and Decoding Image Data Patent-Ineligible

The Federal Circuit recently held in RecogniCorp, LLC v. Nintendo Co., Ltd. (Fed. Cir. 2016) that claims directed to encoding and decoding image data were not patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. This ruling further highlights the evolving analysis of patent eligibility in the post-Alice era. This ruling may further provide guidance regarding the impact of patent claims and the specification when distinguishing between patent-eligible improvements to a computer and patent-ineligible abstract ideas under Section 101.

So why even bother with such patents?

Any news about software patents “surviving” (their term) a high court is put on a golden platter/pedestal by the patent microcosm; that has not happened in a long time.

Patent Law Firms Pay to Dominate the media

In some rare cases (very rare) the appeals staff (PTAB/appeal boards or appeals for short) overturn examiners’ decision to invalidate/reject software patents and watch how the patent microcosm ‘spams’ the media about it. It first pushed it as a paid press release in May and later. In July it did this yet again, spreading the same message as though it was shouting from the rooftops. The title was always the same and it was self-promotional (“Ex Parte Hafner Provides Clarity in Assessing Patent Subject Matter Eligibility for Software Patents”). It was posted again in July, for the third time, this time adding the text “Note: an Addendum has been added to this previously published article.”

“In Ex Parte Hafner,” it says, “the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) reversed the Examiner’s rejection that claims directed to an energy transaction plan were subject-matter ineligible.”

Did they really have to pollute the media for 2 months, with about 5 identical press releases (that we found in news feeds), just to say this? Such is the nature of the patent microcosm.

Back to Alice

As we said above, many software patents are being invalidated these days. Patently-O, a proponent of software patents, rarely writes about those, but here is an exception from May. “In this case,” it said, “the appellate court affirmed summary judgment that all of the asserted claims of five EasyWeb patents are ineligible under the Mayo/Alice interpretation of 35 U.S.C. 101 and therefore invalid.”

Well, good. The Mayo/Alice interpretation (or Section 101) has become so scary to these people that they lobby with full force against it (we’ll cover that in a separate post). Thugs, trolls and liars try to undermine a Supreme Court’s decision in order to bring software patents back and some sites go as far as stating “Alice Under Threat” in the headline.

We don’t think Alice is under real threat. Sure, there are attempts to rub if off from history and as the article notes, IBM plays a major role in this. To quote:

Claiming that patents promote innovation, he calls for legislation to deal with the issue, claiming that patents.

It is worth recalling that when IBM was belatedly granted a patent recently on an “innovation” that was by no means new when the application was made and is now entirely mundane, a system for out of office notification via email, it disclaimed the patent. Discarding Alice would re-open the door to such absurd anomalies and give a field day to patent trolls.

Let’s have some common sense when it comes to patents so that we can avoid litigation.

We intend to cover this lobbying separately as there is plenty that we have to show and say. We don’t think this lobbying will get them anywhere; even patent extremists like IAM don’t think so. They’ll carry on trying nevertheless.

“Patent-Eligible Software Under ‘Alice’” was the title of this recent article from lawyers’ media. It’s paywalled, so most people can only read the title. The title itself (alone) can almost qualify as “fake news” because it biases readers’ perception. That’s like saying “edible air”. Alice makes software patents ineligible, not eligible. This title is akin to “man bites dog”.

Pressing on, a proponent of sofwtare patents (not developer but attorney) says “patent eligibility nightmare under Alice continues…”

Nightmare?

No.

PTAB continues throwing out/yanking away software patents (which should never have been granted after Alice) and sites of the patent microcosm say this:

The PTAB held that the claims in Ex parte Quimby, Appeal No. 2016-004681 (June 2, 2017) were directed toward unpatentable subject matter. Of particular interest given the claim language, the Appellant was unsuccessful with arguments that 1) the claims do not disproportionately tie up the use of any underlying idea, 2) the claim provides an improvement in the technological field of mass spectrometry, and, 3) with respect to dependent claim 3, that the claims tied the mathematical formula with technological field of mass spectrometry analyte detection. (citing Research Corporation Technologies Inc. v. Microsoft Corp., 627 F.3d 859 (Fed. Cir. 2010)).

So that’s another “dead” (or “killed” by their language) software patent. PTAB did the “killing” this time. According to these new figures presented by IAM, large corporations too are enjoying the service of PTAB. To quote:

With almost 100 more reviews filed than its closest rivals, Apple clearly seems to be playing a numbers game – looking to see what it can make stick at the PTAB. It is possible to look at this data and wonder why some of these players, which have the deepest pockets and some of the largest legal teams in corporate America, aren’t performing even better. If the PTAB was simply about eradicating bad patents then perhaps they would as they might more carefully pick the patents they challenged. But as the IPR process has become ever more popular it has become a part of the market maxim that a bad patent is simply one being asserted against you.

CAFC opponent Professor Dennis Crouch belittles all this and when PTAB (together with CAFC for affirmation) ‘junks’ a patent he calls it “precedential, but low quality opinion.”

So CAFC is throwing away utterly rubbish software patents; Crouch continues to whine, as usual, being the patent maximalist that he is; he just hates such rulings and preaches to the choir of patent maximalists.

Crouch, on another occasion earlier this month wrote this: “The Federal Circuit has denied OptumInsight’s petition for writ of mandamus on privilege waiver.”

He is generally focusing (more so nowadays) on the shaming of CAFC into patent maximalism. We therefore need to keep an eye on what he’s writing.

Now watch this recent report that says:

On May 23, 2017, the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (“District Court”) denied a motion for summary judgment that the patent claims asserted in a lawsuit brought by TecSec, Inc. (“TecSec”) are invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101.[1]

District court are generally (statistically) quite software patents-friendly and the patent at hand — a patent on encryption — is definitely a software patent. § 101 should be able to invalidate it so it would not “survive” (as the biased language in the headline puts it) upon appeal to CAFC; judges higher up would almost definitely look deeper into it and quite likely toss this software patent in the trash (not just because of its high rejection rates for such patents).

Patent-ineligible software patents (under Alice/Section 101) are becoming so banal that many don’t bother reporting on them anymore. Instead, sites associated with (or controlled by) law firms prefer to focus on more ‘convenient’ cases.

Looking at PatentDocs, a loud proponent of software patents, here is coverage of Credit Acceptance Corp. v Westlake Services (a new CAFC case). Basically, yet another software patent has been declared invalid upon closer examination and it’s a precedential opinion. To quote:

In a precedential opinion, the Federal Circuit affirmed a final written decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) in a Covered Business Method (“CBM”) review proceeding in which claims were held to be directed to patent-ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101.

Credit Acceptance Corp. (“CAC”) is the assignee of U.S. Patent No. 6,950,807, which includes both system and method claims directed to providing financing for allowing a customer to purchase a product selected from an inventory of products maintained by a dealer. In one embodiment, the products are vehicles for sale at a car dealership. The invention involves maintaining a database of the dealer’s inventory, gathering financing information from the customer, and presenting a financing package to the dealer for each individual product in the dealer’s inventory.

Given all the above, examiners at the USPTO definitely need to start scrutinising all software patent applications, potentially rejecting every single one of them.

Robert Sachs, software patents profiteer (and casual lobbyist for these), actively tries to discourage USPTO workers from doing their job as per Supreme Court instructions. Watch him have a go:

After Alice, the USPTO’s various guidance memoranda included references to non-precedential Federal Circuit decisions, particularly Smartgene, Cyberfone, and Planet Bingo, as examples of patent-ineligible subject matter. Naturally, examiners cited these decisions in support of their Section 101 rejections.

He also wrote this piece about “surviving” [sic] Alice”, as if the Supreme Court is some kind of “killer”.

Such is the bias of the microcosm…

Covered Business Method (CBM) Also in Danger

Going back to Dennis Crouch, not too long ago he wrote about CBM (business methods), which should also be rejected (under Alice).

Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP republished [1, 2] its piece about business methods, stating that: “Despite finding a range of business methods and software patents eligible for CBM review during the program’s early existence, the PTAB subsequently took conflicting approaches to assessing eligibility.”

Alice is Safe, Supreme Court Now Focused on Other Patent Aspects

A lot of the debate has already shifted to other cases, notably those pertaining to patent trolls and the “cheap handle, expensive blades” business strategy (using patents). Corporate media still occasionally writes about those cases. Here is one example:

The case has ominous implications for every business model that relies on selling cheap products but expensive supplies. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation points out, many manufacturers of gaming consoles depend on customers buying games from them and them alone, forever and ever. Many connected household products (the “internet of things”) function only if the consumer purchases a subscription from the manufacturer. Such loss-leader pricing strategies may no longer be viable after the Lexmark decision.

Don’t expect Alice to be overturned. Don’t expect software patents to suddenly become “great again” in the US. The Supreme Court isn’t even interested in revisiting the matter and the lobby against Alice is virtually gone from the news (since June).

In the mean time, don’t waste of money on software patents. They’re a lost cause after Alice.

This fairly new ‘advice’ speaks of “Software-related [patents],” adding that “Computer software has its own patent category.”

But what good are those patents?

The conclusion says this: “To understand how much does a patent cost, it’s important to know how the process operates. The patent system is set up to fuel innovation while protecting inventors from theft of their ideas. By following the proper steps and consulting with an attorney, you can protect your ideas with the appropriate patent. Just make sure to cover all of your bases when filing a patent, and spend the necessary money to file as strong a patent as possible.”

Well, guess who wrote this article…

Patents Roundup: Cisco and Arista, MP3 Liberated, and ‘Phone (Patent) Tax’ Estimated

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Patents at 2:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Phone and USPTO

Summary: Some of the very latest reports about patents in the US and how these impact the market (costs, availability, and viability of Free/Libre Open Source software)

THE patent landscape in the US is changing. It’s changing for the better (for inventors/creators, not for lawyers who prey on them). Today we’d like to share a few of the latest headlines, then go a little further back in time and document the improvements as noted so far this summer.

Cisco and Arista

CRN has just published this article about the latest twist in a case that was mentioned here the other day (we had been covering it for much longer than that [1, 2, 3, 4]).

When patents reduce the choice that exists for people to choose from in the supposedly free market, what does that tell us about those patents? We have long argued that this case demonstrates the pitfalls of the ITC and this article explains why:

The contentious legal battle between networking rivals Cisco and Arista Networks continues to rage on as the International Trade Commission (ITC) Thursday upheld its decision to ban the importation and sale of some of Arista’s networking products into the United States.

Shares of Arista stock traded down more than 3 percent at $151.81 Friday afternoon after the ITC denied the vendor’s request to lift the ban.

Cisco Senior Vice President, General Counsel Mark Chandler said the ITC send “a strong message to Arista that its corporate culture of copying” must stop.

So they exert financial control/pressure over smaller rivals. Using patents that still aren’t fully tested (the ITC’s scope of assessment is limited). See this financial report titled “Arista Sags: Q3 ‘Uncertainty’ Rises with ITC Setback, Says Wells Fargo” and think what would happen if Cisco’s patents turn out to be invalid or inadequate for justifying such an embargo. Would there be compensation? No.

Consequences of giants like Cisco using patents to embargo their rivals’ products may, in some people’s mind, seem justified. But how about going through a proper process in a court, potentially with appeals, before applying such blanket bans? What is happening to due process in this age of ITC gun-jumping?

MPEG-LA Becoming More Obsolete as MP3 Gets Liberated

MPEG-LA is a subject we last tackled yesterday. Having run out of ‘MP3 tax’, MPEG-LA is currently trying to obtain rights to a tax on life (or genome). In the mean time, MP3′s ‘liberation’ so to speak (from software patents) means that browsers add MP3 support as a matter of standard; even lesser-known browsers:

Chromium, the skeletal open-source browser at the core of Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi, Brave and a few other browsers will receive support for the automatic playback of MP3 files.

“We have approval from legal to go ahead and move mp3 into non-proprietary codecs list,” said a project manager tasked with managing Chromium’s multimedia components.

Until now, Chromium — and indirectly Chrome — has supported various audio formats such as OGG, FLAC, Opus, WAV, PCM, and others.

We previously criticised Mozilla for playing along with MPEG-LA; for video compression formats many of the same problems remain.

The ‘Phone Tax’

According to ip.finance [found via Francisco Moreno/Keith Mallinson], “Apple is paying a total of between $12.50 and $25.00 per iPhone in fees for licensing from all cellular patent licensors. That is equal to between two percent and four percent of iPhone prices. Licensing fees as a percentage of consumers’ total cellular expenditures over a smartphone’s approximate two-year service life, including operator service fees averaging around $40 per connection per month in the US, for example, are considerably lower.”

No wonder such phones have become so grossly overpriced.

We rarely come across these numbers. Various figures from Qualcomm and BlackBerry (to be covered separately later today) shed light on how much patent tax is paid for the hardware alone; Another new report (published this morning) speaks of “when licensors come knocking” and there’s a portion of it that deals with Motorola‘s Microsoft dispute as follows:

The issue of standard patent licensing has been litigated heavily in other sectors, with the most notorious case stemming from Microsoft’s use of a Motorola-owned WiFi standard for use in the Xbox 360 gaming console. Motorola demanded Microsoft pay them 2.25 percent of the $399 retail price of the system, which translated to between $8 and $9 per console sold.

When the parties couldn’t reach an agreement, Microsoft sued Motorola in 2010 for breach of contract tied to the patent under requirement that standard patent holders must negotiate with a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory pricing for the license. Three years later, a federal judge ruled that Motorola violated the pricing requirement and determined Microsoft pay Motorola 3.471 cents per unit sold. Microsoft sold 84 million Xbox 360s, paying Motorola roughly $2.9 million for the WiFi license, as opposed to the nearly $700 million they would have owed under Motorola’s initial demand. However, the litigation became so nasty, and international, that Microsoft ended up paying $400 million to move a manufacturing facility out of Germany.

We wrote a lot about that at the time. The main concern was, the supposedly reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) pricing made Free software inadequate a choice. RAND (or FRAND), unlike with a Z (for zero cost) would be inherently not compatible with the endless, cost-free distribution of software among peers. This is especially a problem when it comes to software because software, unlike hardware (device/gadget), need not involve manufacturing and shipping costs. Thankfully, however, software patents are on the demise in the US — a subject we’ll deal with in our next post.

Links 23/7/2017: Wine 2.13, Krita 3.2.0 Second Beta, KDE Applications 17.08 Beta, GNOME 3.25.4, Debian 9.1 and 8.9

Posted in News Roundup at 1:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 5 open source tools for developing IoT applications

    The internet of things is growing at a staggeringly fast pace, and is quickly coming to revolutionize virtually every aspect of modern life. Aspiring developers hoping to hop on board and profit off the growing phenomenon are constantly looking for the right tools to use. So what are the open source tools best suited for working with the IoT, and where can developers find them?

    A plethora of open source tools lay at the disposal of any would-be developer eager and wise enough to use them. By utilizing these five, you’ll find yourself tackling challenges and developing successful applications in no time.

  • FossHub Forced to Pull Google Ads From qBitTorrent Downloads

    FossHub, a download site that hosts free and open-source software, has pulled Google advertising from the whole of its file-sharing software section. The difficult decision was taken after Google persistently flagged the download page of the popular qBitTorrent client as “unauthorized file sharing” and went on to ban the entire FossHub site.

  • Lucasfilm goes open source, DIY lab equipment, and more news
  • Assume Good Faith

    A recent exchange on a user forum caught my eye, one that’s typical of many user interactions with open source communities. Someone with a technical question had apparently had the answer they needed and to help others in the same situation had posted a summary of the resolution, complete with sample code. When they came back later, the summary was gone.

    I’ve no idea why this happened. It may have been a system issue, or an administrative error, or the user himself may have accidentally deleted it without realising. It’s even remotely possible an intentionally malicious act took place. Without more information there is no way to know. For the self-aware mind, responding to this situation is a matter of choice.

    So how did the user in question respond? Well, he decided the only possible explanation was malicious deletion. He posted an angry demand that his account be deleted and assumed more malice when this was “ignored” (after 3 days, including a weekend, having posted the demand at the end of a comment in a user forum…)

  • ProtonMail reassures us that its Android app will be open sourced

    It looks as though the secure email provider, ProtonMail, will open source its Android app in the future at least according to their Twitter account. Reaching out to ProtonMail, we asked whether they would open source their Android app and even work with the maintainers of F-Droid to get the client on the FOSS app store.

  • Scality Launches Zenko, Open Source Software To Assure Data Control In A Multi-Cloud World

    Scality, a leader in object and cloud storage, announced the open source launch of its Scality Zenko, a Multi-Cloud Data Controller. The new solution is free to use and embed into developer applications, opening a new world of multi-cloud storage for developers.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox’s Accessibility Preferences

        Cursor browsing and search while you type, are still available under the Browsing section, as these options offer convenience for everybody, regardless of disability. Users should now be able to find an option under an appropriate feature section, or search for it in the far upper corner. This is a positive trend, that I hope will continue as we imagine our users more broadly with a diverse set of use-cases, that include, but are not exclusive to disability.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • Q. What’s today’s top language? A. Python… no, wait, Java… no, C

      Among developers, Python is the most popular programming language, followed by C, Java, C++, and JavaScript; among employers, Java is the most sought after, followed by C, Python, C++, and JavaScript.

      Or so says the 2017 IEEE Spectrum ranking, published this week.

      IEEE Spectrum, a publication of the The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a technical advocacy organization, says it evaluated 12 metrics from 10 sources to arrive at this conclusion.

    • Benchmarks Of PHP 7.2 Beta: PHP Is Still Getting Faster

      PHP 7.2 Beta 1 was released yesterday as the next step towards this next refinement to PHP7 that is expected to be officially released in November. I couldn’t help but to run some initial benchmarks.

      PHP 7.2 Beta 1 presents the Sodium extension for modern and easy-to-use cryptography, opcache improvements, better JSON decoding of invalid UTF-8 data, and many bug fixes among other improvements since PHP 7.1. The latest release and more details can be found via PHP.net.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Apollo Server 1.0, GitHub’s Internet Bug Bounty donation, and the Google Cloud Platform — SD Times news digest: July 21, 2017
    • Facebook, GitHub, and the Ford Foundation donate $300,000 to bug bounty program for internet infrastructure
    • Internet Bug Bounty Receives New Funding to Expand Internet Safety Program
    • Internet Bug Bounty Raises New Funding to Improve Open-Source Security

      The Internet Bug Bounty (IBB) has raised new funding, in an effort to help reward and encourage security researchers to responsibly disclose vulnerabilities in open-source software. The IBB is backed by Facebook, the Ford Foundation and GitHub, who are now donating a total of $300,000 to help secure the internet with an open-source bug bounty program.

      The IBB was started back in 2013 with the help of bug bounty platform provider HackerOne, which still helps to operate the platform.

    • [Older] GHOSTHOOK ATTACK BYPASSES WINDOWS 10 PATCHGUARD

      A bypass of PatchGuard kernel protection in Windows 10 has been developed that brings rootkits for the latest version of the OS within reach of attackers.

      Since the introduction of PatchGuard and DeviceGuard, very few 64-bit Windows rootkits have been observed; Windows 10’s security, in particular its mitigations against memory-based attacks, are well regarded. Researchers at CyberArk, however, found a way around PatchGuard through a relatively new feature in Intel processors called Processor Trace (Intel PT).

    • [Slackware] OpenJDK 8 security round-up for July ’17

      Sooner than I anticipated, there is an update for OpenJDK 8. Andrew Hughes (aka GNU/Andrew) announced the release of IcedTea 3.5.0. The new icedtea framework compiles OpenJDK 8 Update 141 Build 15 (8u141_b15). This release includes the official July 2017 security fixes.

    • ROI (Not Security) the Most Immediate IoT Challenge

      According to Defining IoT Business Models, a new report from Canonical, the software company behind the Ubuntu Linux distribution, device security and privacy (45 percent) falls behind quantifying the return of investment (ROI) of their IoT projects (53 percent) as an immediate challenge. Canonical drew its conclusions from a survey of 361 IoT professionals conducted by IoTNow on behalf of the company.

    • Apply the STIG to even more operating systems with ansible-hardening

      Tons of improvements made their way into the ansible-hardening role in preparation for the OpenStack Pike release next month. The role has a new name, new documentation and extra tests.

      The role uses the Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) produced by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and applies the guidelines to Linux hosts using Ansible. Every control is configurable via simple Ansible variables and each control is thoroughly documented.

    • Open Source Flaw ‘Devil’s Ivy’ Puts Millions of IoT Devices at Risk

      Millions of IoT devices are vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks due to a vulnerability initially discovered in remote security cameras, Senrio reported this week.

    • SECURITY FOR THE SECURITY GODS! SANDBOXING FOR THE SANDBOXING THRONE

      Last year, probably as a distraction from doing anything else, or maybe because I was asked, I started reviewing bugs filed as a result of automated flaw discovery tools (from Coverity to UBSan via fuzzers) being run on gdk-pixbuf.

      Apart from the security implications of a good number of those problems, there was also the annoyance of having a busted image file bring down your file manager, your desktop, or even an app that opened a file chooser either because it was broken, or because the image loader for that format didn’t check for the sanity of memory allocations.

    • Microsoft’s secret weapon in ongoing struggle against Fancy Bear? Trademark law [Ed: Microsoft should make a start by stopping the addition of back doors to all its software]

      The idea of the lawsuit, which was filed in August 2016, is to use various federal laws—including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), and American trademark law—as a way to seize command-and-control domain names used by the group, which goes by various monikers, including APT28 and Strontium. Many of the domain names used by Fancy Bear contain Microsoft trademarks, like microsoftinfo365.com and hundreds of others.

    • Putin’s Hackers {sic} Now Under Attack—From Microsoft

      Since August, Microsoft has used the lawsuit to wrest control of 70 different command-and-control points from Fancy Bear. The company’s approach is indirect, but effective. Rather than getting physical custody of the servers, which Fancy Bear rents from data centers around the world, Microsoft has been taking over the Internet domain names that route to them. These are addresses like “livemicrosoft[.]net” or “rsshotmail[.]com” that Fancy Bear registers under aliases for about $10 each. Once under Microsoft’s control, the domains get redirected from Russia’s servers to the company’s, cutting off the hackers {sic} from their victims, and giving Microsoft a omniscient view of that servers’ network of automated spies.

    • NHS Trusts are spending £158,000 a day on new PCs

      NHS TRUSTS are splashing £158,000 per day on new PCs and laptops at an average cost of £678 per device, a Freedom of Information (FoI) request has revealed.

    • Twistlock 2.1 Container Security Suite Released

      Twistlock announced the general availability of version 2.1 of their container security product. Highlights of the release include an integrated firewall that understands application traffic, vulnerability detection, secrets management via integration with third party tools, and compliance alerting and enforcement.

    • Security and privacy are the same thing

      It got me thinking about security and privacy. There’s not really a difference between the two. They are two faces of the same coin but why isn’t always obvious in today’s information universe. If a site like Facebook or Google knows everything about you it doesn’t mean you don’t care about privacy, it means you’re putting your trust in those sites. The same sort of trust that makes passwords private.

      The first thing we need to grasp is what I’m going to call a trust boundary. I trust you understand trust already (har har har). But a trust boundary is less obvious sometimes. A security (or privacy) incident happens when there is a breach of the trust boundary. Let’s just dive into some examples to better understand this.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Why We Published the Name of a Covert C.I.A. Official

      In this case, editors decided to publish the name because Mr. D’Andrea is a senior official who runs operations from the agency’s headquarters outside Washington, not in the field. He is also the architect of the C.I.A.’s program to use drones to kill high-ranking militants, one of the government’s most significant paramilitary programs. We believe that the American public has a right to know who is making life-or-death decisions in its name.

      It was also not the first time that Mr. D’Andrea’s name has been mentioned in our newspaper. After his identity was disclosed in a 2015 article, The Times’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, discussed the rationale in an interview with Lawfare, a website that covers national security law, and gave more insight into editors’ decision-making.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Paying people to preserve forests really seems to work

      We’re trashing the world not because it’s fun, but because it pays to do so. People respond to financial incentives. So, how do you provide an incentive to stop trashing the world? One idea is to use cold, hard cash. If people earn more by not trashing, the thinking goes, the incentive flips: it suddenly pays to conserve. Based on this idea, a trial program in Uganda paid landowners to preserve the forest on their land and tracked the results.

      It turned out not to be so simple—people don’t always neatly do what they’re supposed to. What if these landowners were already concerned about deforestation and were already preserving their land? You’ve just forked out quite a bit to pay for something that was already going to happen. Or what if they just cut down trees elsewhere instead? Figuring out whether the benefits of the program are worth the cost requires collecting a lot of data.

      A paper in Science this week reports on the results, which are encouraging: deforestation slowed to about half the previous rate, and it looks as though people didn’t just shift their forest clearing elsewhere. The program benefits seem to have outweighed the costs, whichever way you slice it. In other words, money provides a great incentive to preserve habitats, which is great news for climate change efforts.

    • German energy company wants to build flow batteries in old natural gas caverns

      The technology that the project is based on should be familiar to Ars readers. Two years ago, Ars wrote about an academic paper published in Nature that described “a recipe for an affordable, safe, and scalable flow battery.” German researchers had developed better components for a large, stationary battery that used negatively and positively charged liquid electrolyte pools to exchange electrons through a reasonably priced membrane. These so-called “flow batteries” are particularly interesting for grid use—they have low energy-density, so they don’t work for portable energy storage. But as receptacles for utility-scale electricity storage, their capacity is limited only by the amount of space you have.

  • Finance

    • Understanding Bitcoin’s Scaling Debate: Politics Comes First

      Software programmers are usually collegial and collaborative, but parts of the bitcoin developer community are currently displaying the kind of acrimony familiar to political capitols like Washington, D.C.

      Understanding the nature of the scaling debate then might help the bitcoin community better iterate on the protocol and software in the future. But, what’s behind the strife when amendments to bitcoin’s rules – or stasis – become so controversial? What unrecognized dimensions of the debate allowed it to become so divisive and debased?

    • Corbyn ally warns Labour leadership over party’s Brexit stance

      A key ally of Jeremy Corbyn has warned the Labour leadership not to take the party’s new wave of voters for granted over Brexit.

      Clive Lewis, the former shadow business secretary who was one of the first MPs to back Corbyn to be leader of the Labour Party in 2015, told POLITICO his party could lose support if it is seen to be “too closely aligned to a policy which will see us coming crashing out of Europe.”

      The Norwich South MP, who resigned his position on the Labour front bench in February over Corbyn’s three-line whip on backing the triggering of Article 50, said it would become “more urgent” for Labour to develop “clear positions” and “red lines” on the detail of Brexit negotiations.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • John McCain has brain cancer, his office says

      Veteran US Republican Senator John McCain has been diagnosed with brain cancer and is reviewing treatment options, according to his office.

      The options may include chemotherapy and radiation, his doctors said. The 80-year-old politician is in “good spirits” recovering at home.

    • The media’s war on Trump is destined to fail. Why can’t it see that?

      The people of the respectable east coast press loathe the president with an amazing unanimity. They are obsessed with documenting his bad taste, with finding faults in his stupid tweets, with nailing him and his associates for this Russian scandal and that one. They outwit the simple-minded billionaire. They find the devastating scoops. The op-ed pages come to resemble Democratic fundraising pitches. The news sections are all Trump all the time. They have gone ballistic so many times the public now yawns when it sees their rockets lifting off.

      A recent Alternet article I read was composed of nothing but mean quotes about Trump, some of them literary and high-flown, some of them low-down and cruel, most of them drawn from the mainstream media and all of them hilarious. As I write this, four of the five most-read stories on the Washington Post website are about Trump; indeed (if memory serves), he has dominated this particular metric for at least a year.

      And why not? Trump certainly has it coming. He is obviously incompetent, innocent of the most basic knowledge about how government functions. His views are repugnant. His advisers are fools. He appears to be dallying with obviously dangerous forces. And thanks to the wipeout of the Democratic party, there is no really powerful institutional check on the president’s power, which means that the press must step up.

    • Making fun of Trump – thanks France

      I mean, it is easy to make fun of Trump, he is just too stupid and incapable and uneducated. But what the French president Emmanuel Macron did on Bastille Day, in presence of the usual Trumpies, was just above the usual level of making fun of Trump. The French made Trump watch a French band playing a medley of Daft Punk. And as we know – Trump seemed to be very unimpressed, most probably because he doesn’t have a clue.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Court Rejects Cell Site RF Signal Map In Murder Trial Because It’s Evidence Of Nothing

      The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has handed down a ruling [PDF] on quasi-cell site location info. The evidence offered by the state isn’t being so much suppressed as it is being rejected. The information wasn’t obtained illegally and no rights were violated. Rather, the court finds the evidence to be questionable, as in “evidence of what, exactly?” [via EvidenceProf Blog]

      The defendant in the case is charged with murder. Bashunn Phillips filed a motion to exclude the evidence, which was granted by the lower court. The state appealed. But there’s nothing in it for the state.

    • Family of dead AlphaBay suspect says he was a “good boy”

      “We always thought his wealth was because of his investments in cryptocurrency and not with a dark market,” she said. “And we don’t understand how he could be how the FBI describes him; it’s totally not the personality of Alexandre Cazes!”

    • You still cannot vape on US inbound, outbound flights

      A divided federal appeals court is upholding a President Barack Obama-era regulation that barred e-cigarette smoking—also known as vaping—on both inbound and outbound US flights.

      The US Department of Transportation officially banned electronic cigarettes on flights in March of 2016 to clear up any confusion as to whether they were also outlawed like traditional tobacco cigarettes.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Senator blasts FCC for refusing to provide DDoS analysis

      US Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) criticized the Federal Communications Commission for failing to turn over its internal analysis of the DDoS attacks that hit the FCC’s public comment system.

      The FCC declined to provide its analysis of the attacks to Gizmodo, which had filed a Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) request for a copy of all records related to the FCC analysis “that concluded a DDoS attack had taken place.” The FCC declined the request, saying that its initial analysis on the day of the attack “did not result in written documentation.”

    • Verizon accused of throttling Netflix and YouTube, admits to “video optimization”

      Verizon Wireless customers this week noticed that Netflix’s speed test tool appears to be capped at 10Mbps, raising fears that the carrier is throttling video streaming on its mobile network.

      When contacted by Ars this morning, Verizon acknowledged using a new video optimization system but said it is part of a temporary test and that it did not affect the actual quality of video. The video optimization appears to apply both to unlimited and limited mobile plans.

      But some YouTube users are reporting degraded video, saying that using a VPN service can bypass the Verizon throttling. The Federal Communications Commission generally allows mobile carriers to limit video quality as long as the limitations are imposed equally across different video services despite net neutrality rules that outlaw throttling. The net neutrality rules have exceptions for network management.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • MLB Mulls Over Opposing Trademark For New Overwatch League Logo

        It’s no secret that Major League Baseball has proven themselves to be happy bullies regarding its trademarks. Between thinking it owns the letter ‘W’, forgetting that fair use exists, and its decision to bully amateur baseball leagues, the legal staff for MLB has shown that they can produce some really head-scratching moments.

      • Olive Garden Asks Olive Garden Reviewer Not To Refer To Olive Garden Due To Trademarks

        At some point, even the dimmest of lawyers will understand that parody and fair use are not infringement. There may be all sorts of reasons why big companies send dubious cease-and-desist letters over protected speech. Sometimes it’s because lawyers are misinformed. Sometimes it’s to silence criticism.

    • Copyrights

      • What can the possible implications of the CJEU Pirate Bay decision be? A new paper

        The CJEU judgment builds upon the earlier Opinion of Advocate General (AG) Szpunar in the same case [reported here], yet goes beyond it. This is notably so with regard to the consideration of the subjective element (knowledge) of the operators of an online platform making available copyright content. Unlike AG Szpunar, the Court did not refer liability only to situations in which the operators of an online platform have acquired actual knowledge of third-party infringements, but also included situations of constructive knowledge (‘could not be unaware’) and, possibly, even more.

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 Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts