01.20.21

Links 20/1/2021: LibreOffice 7.1 RC2 and the RHEL Contingency

Posted in News Roundup at 4:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux at Home: Digital Music Production with Linux

      We are told by our governments that in the current crisis the single most important action we can take is to stay at home and minimise the amount of contact with others. The new variants of Covid-19 are much more transmissible than the virus’s previous version. The advice to stay safe is therefore even more important. It’s only with everyone abiding by the law can we protect our health services and save lives.

      In this series, we look at a range of home activities where Linux can play its part, making the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged. The change of lifestyle enforced by Covid-19 is an opportunity to expand our horizons, and spend more time on activities we have neglected in the past.

    • Server

      • Help safeguard your Linux server from attack with this REST API

        CrowdSec is an open source cybersecurity detection system meant to identify aggressive behaviors and prevent them from accessing systems. Its user-friendly design offers a low technical barrier of entry with a significant boost to security.

        A modern behavior detection system written in Go, CrowdSec combines the philosophy of Fail2ban with Grok patterns and YAML grammar to analyze logs for a modern, decoupled approach for securing the cloud, containers, and virtual machine (VM) infrastructures. Once detected, a threat can be mitigated with bouncers (block, 403, captcha, and so on), and blocked internet protocol addresses (IPs) are shared among all users to improve everyone’s security further.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Initial Patches Posted For Bringing Up The Linux Kernel On Apple Silicon M1 Hardware

        Following a very active past couple of days, developers from security startup Corellium have followed through on their word so far of publishing the Apple Silicon patches to the Linux kernel mailing list for possible upstreaming in the future that allow the Linux kernel to boot with Apple M1 hardware.

        Corellium developers sent out their first set of seven patches under a “request for comments” flag this morning. These are the minimal changes needed for getting Linux to boot on the current Apple M1 ARM-based hardware.

      • Ubuntu Now Runs on Apple Silicon, Devs Say It’s ‘Completely Usable’

        Developers at ARM virtualisation company Corellium have managed to get Ubuntu 20.04 up and running on the new Apple Silicon Mac Mini.

        And we’re not talking ‘it boots and prints a load of text’ running here. No, this is the full Ubuntu desktop experience — and it’s already being described as “completely usable”!

      • Linux is now ‘fully usable’ on Apple Silicon M1 Macs

        Security researchers at Corellium have ported a version of Linux to the Apple Silicon M1 chip that will ultimately be released under an open-source license.

        The Linux version is a full Ubuntu desktop operating system booted from a USB, according to Corellium Chief Technology Officer Chris Wade. Although details are scarce, he said that Linux is now “completely usable” on Apple Silicon machines.

    • Applications

      • VirtualBox 6.1.18 Released with Full Support for Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS

        VirtualBox 6.0.18 comes about three months after VirtualBox 6.1.16 and it’s the first release to introduce full support for the latest and greatest Linux 5.10 LTS kernel series, which is available for both Linux host and guests.

        Of course, this means that you’ll be able to run GNU/Linux distributions powered by the Linux 5.10 LTS kernel as a virtual machine inside VirtualBox, as well as to install VirtualBox on a GNU/Linux system running Linux kernel 5.10 LTS.

      • Starting Element Messenger Web, Desktop and Phone

        Element (formerly Riot.im) is a modern all in one messenger for everyone. Featuring basic chat to file sharing as well as video conferencing, it is designed for users of web, GNU/Linux, Windows, MacOS, plus also Android and iOS. In this regard, Element is a great alternative to WhatsApp or Telegram. This basic tutorial will show you, after introducing it (see here and here), how to use it on Ubuntu and your phone. Let’s go!

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Set Up Btrfs RAID – Linux Hint

        Btrfs is a modern Copy-on-Write (CoW) filesystem with built-in RAID support. So, you do not need any third-party tools to create software RAIDs on a Btrfs filesystem.
        The Btrfs filesystem keeps the filesystem metadata and data separately. You can use different RAID levels for the data and metadata at the same time. This is a major advantage of the Btrfs filesystem.

        This article shows you how to set up Btrfs RAIDs in the RAID-0, RAID-1, RAID-1C3, RAID-1C4, RAID-10, RAID-5, and RAID-6 configurations.

      • How to Co-author Documents in Linux with ONLYOFFICE Docs

        Document collaboration as the practice of multiple people working simultaneously on a single document is really important in today’s technologically advanced age. Using document collaboration tools, users can view, edit, and work simultaneously on a document without sending emailing attachments to each other all day. Document collaboration is sometimes called co-authoring. Real-time document co-authoring is not possible without special software.

    • Games

      • YoYo Games developer of GameMaker Studio sold for $10M

        Game Maker and later GameMaker Studio is a very popular game engine with indie developers and YoYo Games just recently sold it off and it appears they did so at a loss.

        Originally created by Mark Overmars, who later teamed up with YoYo Games who have carried it on since 2007. Later in 2015 the YoYo Games studio was acquired by Playtech for around $16.4 million dollars.

        [...]

        For game developers, the game engine you rely on suddenly changing hands with no prior notice and no announcement a week later must be a little frightening. Games often take multiple years to create, so for developers well into the thick of using GameMaker Studio hopefully the result will be a good one. Perhaps though, the time is ripe to check out Godot Engine since it’s free and open source.

      • Aveliana is a beautiful upcoming infiltration-action game mixing 2D and 2.5D styles | GamingOnLinux

        TheFrenchDev have announced Aveliana, what they’re calling an infiltration-action-adventure game that mixes together 2D and 2.5D to create a unique looking style.

        “Embrace Aveliana’s quest to bring back someone she has lost! The game takes place alternatively in an isometric or a 2D point of view and is fast-paced. Guide her through arduous paths watched by monsters, follow the trace of a mysterious fox, and find the powerful artifacts she is looking for at the core of wonderful temples. Will you stealth your way to victory? Seek a forgotten path on the edge of a cliff? Or stand and fight against your enemies? The choice is yours!”

        [...]

        We spoke with the developer behind the project, who clearly stated to us in a message how Linux will be fully supported. In fact, even their early rough work-in-progress demo on Game Jolt has a Linux build available. It’s being built with the Unity game engine, which for the most part has good cross-platform support for games like this.

      • Play the charming co-op construction game Unrailed! free for a few days plus big sale

        Unrailed! from Daedalic Entertainment and Indoor Astronaut released back in September 2020 and now you have a chance to play for free to end your week. Don’t pass up on it either from now until January 25 you can download and play the full game on Steam, and there’s a 50% discount if you decide you like it enough to keep it.

        What do you actually do in Unrailed! and is it fun? You and up to three others need to keep a train going for as long as possible, by constantly building a track. It’s pure chaos once it gets going and an absolute riot to play with friends. Plenty of communication breakdowns, shouting and laughing all bundled in together. The train will get faster as you go too, plus you can upgrade it with new carriages and all sorts.

      • Valve and others fined by the European Commission for ‘geo-blocking’

        The European Commission just announced that they’ve now issued formal fines against Valve, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media and ZeniMax for breaching their antitrust rules. An investigation that has been going on for some time now since early 2017, and certainly not the first fine Valve has dealt with for breaking some rules here.

        What’s the deal? The EU say that Valve and the others restricted cross-border sales on the basis of their location inside the European Economic Area (‘EEA’). To put it simply: Valve allowed certain developers and publishers to block keys being redeemed in one country, that were purchased in another (where it might have been cheaper). Out of all those named, Valve is the only company that did not cooperate with their investigation and so they got slapped a lot harder.

        [...]

        For a company as big as Valve (and the likes of ZeniMax), they won’t be losing any sleep over fines that for them will most likely be a drop in the ocean. Valve especially, as the Steam store pretty much prints money for them.

      • The 25 Best Games for Linux and Steam Machines
      • Linux Games 40 Linux Games That You Must Play in 2021

        It has been 3 years since we compiled a list of games for Unix-like operating systems in The 25 Best Games for Linux and Steam Machines. We are now in 2021 and these games are bound to keep you glued to your computers for a while. So, listed in nor particular order, here are the best 40 games to play on your Linux machine this 2021.

    • Distributions

      • Gentoo Family

        • A farewell to Sabayon Linux

          After a hiatus of ten months in the blog posts on the Sabayon Linux Website, a couple of posts on 20 November 2020 announced that the distribution was switching its base distribution from Gentoo Linux to Funtoo Linux (‘Sabayon and Funtoo Linux Merge Projects’), and that the distribution was rebranding (‘Sabayon project is rebranding to MocaccinoOS’) and moving to a completely different package manager named ‘Luet’. A new Website and forum for MocaccinoOS were started, and the Sabayon Linux forums and Wiki are no more.

          Although my first experience of Linux was Ubuntu in 2006, it was Sabayon Linux in early 2007 that turned me into a full-time Linux enthusiast and got me interested in the Portage package manager and Gentoo Linux, which I have been using as my main OS for many years now. My interest in Sabayon Linux waned when it moved to a binary package manager (‘Entropy’), and later when it switched from OpenRC to systemd.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat introduces free RHEL for small production workloads and development teams

          When Red Hat announced it was switching up CentOS Linux from a stable Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clone to a rolling Linux distribution, which would become the next minor RHEL update, many CentOS users were upset. Now, to appease some of those users, Red Hat is introducing no-cost RHEL for small production workloads and no-cost RHEL for customer development teams.

        • Red Hat Announces No-Cost RHEL For Small Production Environments

          Following the announcement at the end of last year that CentOS 8 will be ending and instead focusing on CentOS Stream as the future upstream to RHEL, there have been many concerned by the absence of CentOS 8 past this year. In trying to fill that void, Red Hat announced today they will be making Red Hat Enterprise Linux free for small production deployments.

          Red Hat has announced an expanded developer program where now the individual RHEL Developer subscription is supported for production environments up to 16 systems. Previously the program allowed free RHEL access only for “development” purposes but can now be used in production up to that 16 system limit.

        • Red Hat introduces new no-cost RHEL option

          As you know, Red Hat recently announced that CentOS Linux 8, as a rebuild of RHEL 8, will end in 2021. CentOS Stream continues after that date, serving as the upstream (development) branch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The news met with a strong reaction from the open-source community and CentOS users. Today, Red Hat released a new option where RHEL developer subscriptions can now be used in production environments. The developers and team can have up to 16 systems. In other words, it is a no-cost RHEL that small groups and developers can use to build packages and in production environments.
          [continue reading…]

        • Red Hat expands no-cost RHEL options

          Red Hat has announced a new set of options meant to attract current CentOS users who are unhappy with the shift to CentOS Stream.

        • CentOS is gone—but RHEL is now free for up to 16 production servers

          Last month, Red Hat caused a lot of consternation in the enthusiast and small business Linux world when it announced the discontinuation of CentOS Linux.
          Long-standing tradition—and ambiguity in Red Hat’s posted terms—led users to believe that CentOS 8 would be available until 2029, just like the RHEL 8 it was based on. Red Hat’s early termination of CentOS 8 in 2021 cut eight of those 10 years away, leaving thousands of users stranded.

          As of February 1, 2021, Red Hat will make RHEL available at no cost for small-production workloads—with “small” defined as 16 systems or fewer. This access to no-cost production RHEL is by way of the newly expanded Red Hat Developer Subscription program, and it comes with no strings—in Red Hat’s words, “this isn’t a sales program, and no sales representative will follow up.”

        • Getting to know Kyeong Sang Kim, Red Hat general manager for Korea

          We’re delighted to welcome Kyeong Sang Kim to Red Hat as a general manager for Korea. In the new role, he will be responsible for Red Hat’s business operations in the country.

          Kyeong Sang is an expert in the field of IT consulting, supporting numerous business innovation projects for more than 25 years. Prior to joining Red Hat, Kyeong Sang served as the CEO of SICC (Ssangyong Information & Communications Corp), where he successfully led the company’s digital transformation to the cloud. He has also held several other leadership roles at global companies, including Accenture.

          We caught up with Kyeong Sang to find out more about his interest in open source and Red Hat, and his insights on leadership.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

  • Leftovers

    • Trump’s Facts-Optional Assault On Chinese Tech Continues With Blocking Of Xiaomi

      All of these statements can be true:

    • When the Painting Has Really Begun

      Critics are not required to be right, merely (as Donald Judd said of artworks) interesting. But part of what makes criticism of new art potentially interesting is that it is, in part, a gaze into the future. Remember Clement Greenberg in The Nation in 1946 predicting of Jackson Pollock’s work, “In the course of time, this ugliness will become a new standard of beauty,” and two years later, venturing that one of the same artist’s paintings “will in the future blossom and swell into a superior magnificence; for the present it is almost too dazzling to be looked at indoors.” Most criticism, of course, doesn’t make its wagers on the future so explicitly, nor should it. Greenberg only unsheathed his crystal ball during those rare moments of highest intensity of feeling, and we should follow that example. Yet still our judgements remain hostages to fortune.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • In Historic First, Biden Picks Trans Woman, Dr. Rachel Levine, to Help Lead HHS
      • Government Mistakes Provided the Breeding Ground for the Mutant Virus, Which it is Now Using as an Alibi for Its Failures

        The new virus mutated during the second wave of the epidemic with the first case becoming known in September, though the danger it posed only became clear in December. The renewed epidemic in late summer was centered on Thanet and Swale, both on the north Kent coast, and was particularly severe in their most deprived districts.

        Government scientists expressed alarm at the steep and unexpected increase in coronavirus cases in Kent, despite the November lockdown. “This variant became of interest because there was an investigation of the increasing case numbers in Kent in early December, despite the national lockdown,” said Professor Peter Horby, the chairman of the government’s New and Emerging and Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG).

      • Flint Residents Still Sick as Former Michigan Gov. Faces “Willful Neglect” Charges in Water Scandal

        Former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and eight other former officials were charged last Thursday in a sweeping criminal investigation into the Flint water crisis. Snyder faces two charges of willful neglect of duty, a misdemeanor. In 2014, Flint’s unelected emergency manager, appointed by then-Governor Snyder, switched the city’s water supply to the Flint River as a cost-saving measure. The move has been linked to at least 12 deaths from an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease and widespread lead poisoning in residents, including children, in the majority-Black city. “It is really important that many of those elected, including the governor, are held to a higher standard,” responds Congressmember Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. She says some children face ongoing side effects from the water crisis, such as learning disabilities, and many residents remain sick and in need of support for their care.

      • Michigan Ex-Governor Charged With “Willful Neglect” in Flint Water Scandal
      • US Reaches Grim Milestone of 400K COVID Deaths Days Before Trump Leaves Office
      • U.S. Rep. Tlaib: “Israel Is a Racist State That Would Deny Palestinians Like My Grandmother a Vaccine”

        Israel has been hailed as having the world’s most vaccinated population, but Palestinians are not included. Human Rights Watch and others have called on Israeli authorities to provide COVID-19 vaccines to the more than 4.5 million Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. “Israel is a racist state,” responds Congressmember Rashida Talib of Michigan, who is Palestinian American and one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress and says her Palestinian grandmother was denied access to a vaccine. “I hope my colleagues, I hope our country, sees what the Palestinians have been trying to tell us for a very long time. … You can see it with the distribution of the vaccine.”

      • When Medicare Helped Kill Jim Crow

        John Holloman was expecting to be disappointed, but he did not expect to be stood up. Dr. John L.S. “Mike” Holloman Jr. was both the president-elect of the National Medical Association, a professional group of Black doctors founded in 1895 in reaction to segregation within the American Medical Association, and the chair of the Medical Committee for Human Rights (MCHR). Informally known as the medical wing of the civil rights movement, the MCHR was a group of physicians and health care workers dedicated to ending segregation and the substandard care Black people faced in the United States. Copyright © 2021 by Mike Konczal. Adapted from Freedom from the Market by Mike Konczal. Published by The New Press. Reprinted here with permission.

      • How Operation Warp Speed Created Vaccination Chaos

        Hospitals and clinics across the country are canceling vaccine appointments because the Trump administration tells states how many doses they’ll receive only one week at a time, making it all but impossible to plan a comprehensive vaccination campaign.

        The decision to go week by week was made by Operation Warp Speed’s chief operating officer, Gen. Gustave Perna, because he didn’t want to count on supplies before they were ready. Overly optimistic production forecasts turned out to be a major disappointment in the rollout of the H1N1 vaccine more than a decade ago, also leading to canceled appointments and widespread frustrations with the government’s messaging.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Opinion | About Suffering: A Massacre of the Innocents in Yemen

        The United Nations estimates the war has already caused 233,000 deaths, including 131,000 deaths from indirect causes such as lack of food, health services and infrastructure.

      • Capitol Insurrection Highlights Increasing Radicalization of Right-Wing White Police Officers

        At least 28 law enforcement officers from across the United States attended the Trump rally in Washington, D.C., on January 6 that led to the attack on the U.S. Capitol, with some even boasting on social media about taking part in the riot that left five people dead. BuzzFeed News investigative reporter Albert Samaha says off-duty police officers’ involvement in the insurrection reflects a growing problem of right-wing radicalization in police ranks — a problem Black officers say has gone unaddressed by higher-ups. Samaha says that while “white supremacist ideology in law enforcement is as old as law enforcement in the U.S.” there was a marked change in tone and attitudes among police officers following the 2014 Ferguson uprising against police brutality. He says that Donald Trump’s loud support for police against claims of misconduct and systemic violence gave officers new license to express bigoted and extremist views. “The top came off, and the rhetoric suddenly became acceptable within locker rooms,” he says.

      • New Charges Derail COVID Release for Hacker Who Aided ISIS

        A hacker serving a 20-year sentence for stealing personal data on 1,300 U.S. military and government employees and giving it to an Islamic State hacker group in 2015 has been charged once again with fraud and identity theft. The new charges have derailed plans to deport him under compassionate release because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

      • “Sense of Entitlement”: Rioters Faced Few Consequences Invading State Capitols. No Wonder They Turned to the U.S. Capitol Next.

        The gallery in the Idaho House was restricted to limited seating on the first day of a special session in late August. Lawmakers wanted space to socially distance as they considered issues related to the pandemic and the November election.

        But maskless protesters shoved their way past Idaho State Police troopers and security guards, broke through a glass door and demanded entry. They were confronted by House Speaker Scott Bedke, a Republican. He decided to let them in and fill the gallery.

      • Biden Can’t Lose Sight of the Nuclear Crisis

        At Wednesday’s inauguration, President-elect Joe Biden is likely to address the “four historic crises” he has repeatedly identified as confronting our country: a global pandemic, a severe recession, climate change and systemic racism. Yet even as so many challenges compete for our attention, we can’t afford to lose sight of a fifth crisis: the continued danger of nuclear annihilation.

      • Trump’s Support Of Cops Pays Off: Multiple Police Officers Under Investigation For Illegal Invasion Of The Capitol Building

        At the beginning of his term, President Trump promised he’d turn regular America into police-loving America:

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Following the money Alexey Navalny’s boldest investigation yet describes a vast network of shell companies and frontmen working to build and sustain Vladimir Putin’s supposed seaside getaway

        Before Alexey Navalny flew home to Moscow and surrendered himself to Russia’s legal system, the anti-corruption activist lit the fuse on what is perhaps his biggest, boldest investigation yet. Navalny’s 14,000-word report (also a two-hour video) about Vladimir Putin’s supposed “palace” in Gelendzhik on the Black Sea coast is packed with drone footage and colorful images, including artistic visualizations of the mansion’s interior. On social networks and in the news media, the investigation immediately attracted significant attention for its detailed descriptions of the residence’s opulence and endless renovations. Navalny says outright that Putin’s apparent obsession with luxury borders on “mental illness.” But Navalny’s investigation also painstakingly chronicles the ownership and management schemes used to disguise how Russia’s long-time president allegedly came to be in possession of the country’s most valuable private home.

      • Navalny’s team releases investigation into Putin’s 100-billion ruble ‘palace’ in Gelendzhik

        Following the arrest of opposition figure Alexey Navalny, his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) has released a new investigation about a “palace” built for Russian President Vladimir Putin in Gelendzhik — a resort town on the Black Sea.

      • Putin’s palace Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation investigates the Russian president’s billion-dollar residence on the Black Sea

        Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation has released a bombshell investigation into a $1.35-billion residence built for Russian President Vladimir Putin near a resort town on the Black Sea. Navalny’s team published the report the day after the opposition figure was put in pre-trial detention at Moscow’s notorious Matrosskaya Tishina prison. In addition to sharing the building’s floor plan and visualizations of the interiors, the anti-corruption activists recount the history of the construction project and dig into how it was financed by companies connected to members of Putin’s inner circle. “Meduza” sums up the highlights from the investigation.

      • Trump Reportedly Abandoned Pardons For Snowden And Assange

        The following was originally published as part of The Dissenter newsletter.Although several long shot campaigns were mounted, President Donald Trump did not pardon any whistleblowers who were indicted or prosecuted under the United States Espionage Act. He also declined to pardon the only journalist ever to be indicted under the World War I-era law.WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden were not offered clemency because Trump “did not want to anger Senate Republicans who will soon determine whether he’s convicted during his Senate trial.”“Multiple GOP lawmakers had sent messages through aides that they felt strongly about not granting clemency to Assange or Snowden,” according to CNN.NSA whistleblower Reality Winner, who was the first to be prosecuted under the Espionage Act under Trump, and former CIA officer John Kiriakou pursued pardons. They were effectively denied as well.On January 17, the New York Times reported that an associate of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani told Kiriakou a pardon would cost him $2 million.

        “I laughed. Two million bucks—are you out of your mind?” Kiriakou told the Times. “Even if I had two million bucks, I wouldn’t spend it to recover a $700,000 pension.”

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • How Does Someone Like Lauren Boebert Get Elected?

        Early Monday came word that an inauguration rehearsal ended abruptly with the evacuation of the US Capitol’s west front, after reports of a nearby fire led security officials to fear a replay of the deadly January 6 riot. The alarm was for nothing, in traditional security terms, anyway: A nearby homeless encampment (sadly, there are many in the nation’s capital) went up in flames, causing the billowing black smoke that rose ominously behind the scene.

      • Ahistorical 1776 Report Issued by Trump Denounced as ‘Racist Garbage’ and ‘Most On-Brand Thing Possible’

        “Releasing the 1776 Commission report on MLK Day is the Trump administration reaffirming its commitment to racism above all else.”

      • Reaching His Peak
      • Opinion | The Rubble of Empire: A Fine Time To Begin Thinking About What Might Be Built in Its Place

        Doctrines of disaster and dreams of security as the Biden years begin.

      • Opinion | ‘It Is Like Satire’: Prince Charles’ Terra Carta Is a Manifesto for the Status Quo

        The ecological crisis demands we protect the Rights of Nature from being watered down.

      • After Four Years, Accountability is Long Overdue

        Even as a candidate, he repeatedly encouraged violence calling on his supporters to “knock the crap” out of protesters, like in the good old days, even telling police “don’t be too nice”. So on January 6th, the day he promised would be “wild”, it was inevitable that when he enjoined his supporters to march on the Capitol to “stop the steal” they followed his not so subtle bidding, to fight and show strength, with violence

        The ugly side of human nature was on display in his “Save America March”, as rioters carrying Trump flags attacked the Capitol, some carrying zip-ties planned to take and possibly execute Congressional hostages. They smashed their way into and looted Congressional offices. Carrying “Back the Blue” flags they beat police officers (one of whom later died) with US flags, pipes and fire extinguishers. Trump’s mob of white supremacists chanted “Our House” and did what the Confederate army in four years of war failed to do, bring the Confederate battle flag into the US Capitol, indicating this riot was also an open demand to continue Americas legacy of systemic racism.

      • Opinion | Don’t Let President Biden ‘Make Us the Dupes of Our Hopes’

        More than being a time of hope—or fatalism—the inauguration of President Joe Biden should be a time of skeptical realism and determination.

      • Opinion | Biden’s Inauguration Gives Us New Hope, but the Movement for Justice Must Continue to Build on Its Own Agenda

        There should be no reluctance to work with Biden to help pass critical reforms, but at the same time, the pressure for outside must continue to build for there to be any hope of change.

      • Hold on to That Fear

        This letter is about that nauseating, trembling fear you felt when the hate exploded at you on January 6. Please don’t forget it. Journal about it before it fades. Tolerate the nightmares. Keep pen and paper on your nightstand to record what woke you from screaming fits. Don’t block it out. Don’t let it go.

        If you can bank those emotions you had as you huddled together and hoped the doors would hold, that day may turn out to be a blessing for you…and even better for our republic. In fact, it may just be the thing that saves our republic if that is still possible.

      • As Senate Reconvenes, Why Isn’t Chamber Immediately Moving to Convict Trump for ‘Inciting Deadly Attack on Our Country’?

        “If the Senate trial was a right-wing judicial confirmation, Trump would have been convicted already.”

      • Opinion | Biden Must Drive a Stake Through the Heart of Dead-End “Centrism”

        There is no middle ground between lies and facts. There is no halfway point between civil discourse and violence. There is no midrange between democracy and fascism.

      • Senate Democrats Prove ‘Democracy Reform Is a Top Priority’ by Putting ‘For the People Act’ First

        “From a violent insurrection at the Capitol to the countless attempts to silence the vote of millions of Americans, attacks on our democracy have come in many forms,” said incoming Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

      • As Guatemalan Forces Beat Back Migrant Caravan, Biden Urged to Reverse Trump Policies of ‘Cruelty and Coercion’

        “The answer is not to continue doing more of the same but to envision a new direction that respects the political and economic self-determination and dignity of our Central American neighbors.”

      • Warnock, Ossoff Officially Certified as Winners in Georgia Senate Runoffs
      • Must Our Billionaires Remain Politically Immortal?

        The great roulette wheel in the sky has most certainly stopped turning for casino king Adelson. He expired earlier this week at age 87. But Adelson’s $33-billion fortune will live on — and distort our nation’s political life for years to come.

        How many years? We can’t, of course, see the future. But we can see how the past impacts our present. Consider, for instance, the current impactful political presence of Timothy Mellon.

      • Trigger Finger for Armageddon: Trump and the Thermonuclear Monarchy

        House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is certainly of the view that Trump and nuclear weapons are not good matches, suggesting her own form of strategic deplatforming.  “This morning,” she writes in her letter to Democratic colleagues in the House, “I spoke to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike.”  She persists with the theme of mental instability, worried about a man she is convinced has gone crackers.  “The situation of this unhinged president could be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy.”

        DePaul University’s Ken Butigan also dabbles in a bit of comparative fancy in worrying that Trump has already engaged in his own version of a “first-strike on the US Capitol on Jan. 6,” having used “what amounted to well-understood ‘launch codes.’”  What was there to stop him “initiating an infinitely more destructive first-strike on a host of nations that have been in his administration’s cross-hairs for four years?”

      • From Reconciliation to a ‘Nuclear Strike on the Filibuster’: Progressive Memo Details Steps Biden Can Take to Defeat GOP Obstruction

        “Biden was elected with a mandate to break gridlock and deliver results. He should use it.”

      • America and the Mob

        Even as the United States fashioned an army, a constabulary, and an evolving rule of law, the mob continued to define what it meant to be an American. It policed the slave economy. It helped push the borders westward. It formed the shock troops that rolled back Reconstruction. A twentieth-century version of this mob rampaged during the long Red Summer violence that stretched from 1917 to 1923. It mobilized against the civil rights movement. And during the Trump era, it has reared its ugly head in Charlottesville, Portland, and last week on Capitol Hill.

        America is motherhood, apple pie…and the mob.

      • Opinion | Trump’s Batty Garden of Heroes: Whitney Houston, Samuel Adams, Alex Trebek, Kobe Bryant, Johnny Appleseed and 200-Plus More Who’ve Done An Amazing Job
      • Trump’s ‘March on Rome’

        Radical journalist John Pilger, for instance, tweeted that “the made-for-media theatrics on Capitol Hill were not an attempted ‘coup’. Coups are what the CIA stages all over the world. Neither was ‘democracy’ in peril. What democracy?”1 Jacobin magazine, the unofficial outlet for Democratic Socialists of America, announced that, appearances notwithstanding, the takeover was a defeat for the ultra-right in the face of growing ruling class unity.2

        Over at Sidecar, a blog site recently unveiled by the New Left Review, the editors airily dismissed the “hysteria over the Capitol Hill occupation”. “Yesterday’s ‘sacrileges’ in our temple of democracy – oh, poor defiled city on the hill, etc – constituted an ‘insurrection’ only in the sense of dark comedy,” wrote Mike Davis, a member of NLR’s editorial committee:

      • Trump May be on Trial, But the System that Produced Him will be Acquitted

        On one side, Trump’s endless stoking of political grievances – and claims that November’s presidential election was “stolen” from him – spilled over last week into a mob storming the US Capitol. They did so in the forlorn hope of disrupting the certification process of the electoral college vote, which formally declared his opponent, Joe Biden, the winner.

        On the other side, the Democratic party instituted a second, unprecedented impeachment process this week, in the slightly less forlorn hope that Trump leaves office disgraced and humiliated, foreclosing any possibility he can run again in 2024.

      • By ‘Force and Fraud’: Is This the End of the US Democracy Doctrine?

        Rumsfeld further alleged that “the idea that we could fashion a democracy in Iraq seemed to me unrealistic.” But the US’ top military chief was being dishonest. Writing in Mother Jones, Miles E. Johnson responded to Rumsfeld’s claim by quoting some of his previous statements where he, repeatedly, cited democracy as the main reason behind the US invasion, a war that was one of the most destructive since Vietnam.

        Certainly, it was not Rumsfeld alone who brazenly promoted the democracy pretense. Indeed, ‘democracy’ was the buzzword, parroted by thousands of Americans: in government, the military, mainstream media, and the numerous think-tanks that dotted the intellectual and political landscape of Washington.

      • Opinion | It Is Biden’s Historic Task to Reverse Reagan’s—and Trump’s—Reckless Radicalism

        Reagan’s failed radicalism has now run its course, and the United States, while culturally as divided as ever, is at an economic and environmental precipice.

      • 10 Bold Moves Biden Can Make Without Congress

        Even with control of the Senate, Democrats’ slim majority means that Republicans can still obstruct Biden’s policy agenda at every turn. Biden can and must wield his presidential powers through Executive Orders and regulations. The problems America is facing demand it. 

      • Opinion | Biden Must Go Beyond Simply Ending Trump’s Barbaric Border Policies—We Need Deeper Change

        An open letter to President-Elect Biden on Central America policy.

      • A Nation Wracked With Illness and Strife Says Good Riddance to Trump Presidency
      • A Slanted Narrative on Slanted Journalism

        Attkisson argues that we live in an Orwellian news environment: The major media outlets carefully filter information to make sure that journalists only present the “correct” view to their audience. Attkisson says reporters are so aware of this condition that they name it The Narrative.

        I wanted to see who Attkisson reveals as the formulator of The Narrative, since she asserts there is a “Big Brother constantly revising ‘facts’ to fit the government’s ever-changing story.” In this book from Attkisson, a five-time Emmy Award-winning investigative journalist and New York Times bestselling author, I was expecting a deep dive into the corporate world to find the culprits. It turns out, Attkisson says, it’s the liberals — not the billionaires.

      • Trump’s Snubbing of Biden’s Inauguration Ceremony Is a Rarity in US History
      • FBI Vetting Leads to Removal of 12 National Guard Members From Inauguration Duty
      • McConnell Admits Trump “Provoked” Jan. 6 Amid Rising GOP Support for Impeachment
      • Chomsky: Coup Attempt Hit Closer to Centers of Power Than Hitler’s 1923 Putsch
      • Insurrection at the Capitol

        His boastful speeches peppered with streams of lies convinced me the man was shallow. He certainly did not take democracy seriously. He acted as if he thought the country was his, merely for looting. His election and the anti-democratic and ecocidal policies of his administration confirmed my misgivings. Trump is impunity.

        I kept asking why Americans voted for him. Trump made clear he only cared for Trump.

      • What Should Go in the Trump Time Capsule?

        If you had to select a few objects to embody the Trump administration — especially, the ways in which its business intersected with the Trump family business — what would you pick? That’s the question posed by the final episode of “Trump, Inc.,” the podcast collaboration between ProPublica and WNYC.

      • Time for Biden to Dial Down the Lincoln and Dial Up the FDR

        Joe Biden has been on the campaign trail for more than 50 years. Now, after decades of speculation, several false starts, and three formal bids for the presidency, he will finally assume the nation’s highest office. To a greater extent than anyone on the American political stage, he has anticipated and prepared for the job he will take up on Wednesday. As such, Biden understands that the address he delivers after being sworn in as the 46th president must be not just the best of his career but one of the best in the 232 years since the first inauguration.

      • Farewell to a Monster
    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • As Beijing Continues To Creep Into Hong Kong, Internet Censorship Begins

        As we’ve written about recently, Beijing’s creep into Hong Kong control has turned into nearly a dash as of late. What started with July’s new “national security” law that allowed the mainland to meddle in Hong Kong’s affairs led to arrests of media members in July, the expulsion and arrest of pro-democracy politicians in November, and then expanded arrests of members of the public who have said the wrong things in January.

      • New OCC Rule Is a Win in the Fight Against Financial Censorship

        For years, financial intermediaries have engaged in financial censorship, shutting down accounts in order to censor legal speech. For example, banks have refused to serve entire industries on the basis of political disagreement, and other financial intermediaries have cut off access to financial services for independent booksellers, social networks, and whistleblower websites, even when these websites are engaged in First Amendment-protected speech. 

        Banks have refused to serve entire industries on the basis of political disagreement

        For the organizations losing access to financial services, this censorship can disrupt operations and, in some cases, have existential consequences. For that reason, financial censorship can affect free expression. As just one example, in Backpage.com, LLC v. Dart, a county sheriff embarked on a campaign to crush a website by demanding that payment processors prohibit the use of their credit cards to purchase ads on the site. The Seventh Circuit court of appeals held that the sheriff’s conduct violated the First Amendment and noted that the sheriff had attacked the website “not by litigation but instead by suffocation, depriving the company of ad revenues by scaring off its payments-service providers.” As EFF explained in our amicus brief in that case, “[like] access to Internet connectivity, access to the financial system is a necessary precondition for the operations of nearly every other Internet intermediary, including content hosts and platforms. The structure of the electronic payment economy . . . make these payment systems a natural choke point for controlling online content.” In that case, the Seventh Circuit analogized shutting down financial services to “killing a person by cutting off his oxygen supply rather than by shooting him.” 

      • Twitter and YouTube Banned Steve Bannon. Apple Still Gives Him Millions of Listeners.

        Late at night on Jan. 5, the day before President Donald Trump was scheduled to deliver a defiant speech before thousands of his most dedicated supporters, his former adviser Steve Bannon was podcasting from his studio near Capitol Hill. He had been on the air several times a day for weeks, hyping the narrative that this was the moment that patriots could stand up and pull out a Trump win.

        “It’s all converging, and now we’re on the point of attack tomorrow. It’s going to kick off, it’s going to be very dramatic,” Bannon said in his fluent patter, on a day that would see four of his “War Room” shows posted online, up from his usual two or three. “It’s going to be quite extraordinarily different. And all I can say is strap in. You have made this happen and tomorrow it’s game day.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • MLK: “Loving Your Enemies” Message for a Political System Based on Hate

        It’s been a liberal mantra for the last four or five years that “Love Trumps Hate”. I’ve always thought that, but it’s become phony. Since the rise of Trump, the “progressive” mantra has been to demonize Trump and his supporters. Recent chapter was “progressives” yucking it up over Trump supporter having a heart attack at the Capitol after they went to town on the false story that he tasered his balls. Very high minded. Pure schadenfreude wrapped in virtual signaling.

        In fact, US politics, both “conservative” and “liberal” is dominated by hatred. It’s the glue of the system. People don’t vote for Trump as much as they vote against Biden and the rest of “the swamp”; people don’t vote for Biden as much as they vote against Trump. Such a hate fueled system is exactly the opposite of what Jesus and his follower King preached.

      • Meduza demands Alexey Navalny’s immediate release from prison

        Alexey Navalny returned to Russia last weekend, despite the near certainty that he would be arrested upon arrival in Moscow and probably thrown in prison.

      • Alexey Navalny’s wife Yulia says she’s under police surveillance

        Yulia Navalnaya, the wife of jailed Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny, says she’s being followed by the police. She stated this in a Instagram post that included a photo of a vehicle (pictured below), which, according to Navalnaya, has been parked near her home for the past day.

      • ‘His cell looks decent’ ‘Meduza’ talks to a human rights monitor who visited Navalny in prison

        Opposition figure Alexey Navalny was taken into custody immediately upon returning to Russia from Germany, and then placed under arrest for 30 days at Moscow’s Matrosskaya Tishina remand prison. Human rights activist Alexey Melnikov, the executive secretary of Moscow’s Public Monitoring Commission, was the first person to visit Navalny in his cell. In conversation with “Meduza,” Melnikov describes the conditions at the prison and the rules governing Navalny’s detention.

      • Alexey Navalny issues statement from Moscow prison

        Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny has written a statement from Moscow’s Matrosskaya Tishina prison, where he is currently being held in pre-trial detention. Navalny published his statement in a post on Instagram on Tuesday, January 19.

      • ‘The Kremlin isn’t afraid’ Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov fields questions about Alexey Navalny’s arrest

        The day after Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny was taken into custody upon returning to Moscow from Germany, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov cancelled his daily press briefing. But this didn’t save him from a barrage of questions about Navalny when he came back to work on Tuesday, January 19. Here’s how he answered journalists’ questions about Navalny’s case, his calls for protests, and the international backlash over his arrest.

      • Russian officials investigate the cop who allegedly leaked the flight data used to identify Navalny’s FSB poisoners

        A senior police officer from Samara is reportedly suspected of leaking the flight records mentioned in recent investigative reporting that tied members of Russia’s Federal Security Service to a plot against opposition figure Alexey Navalny, sources told the news outlet RBC. Detectives apparently studied queries submitted to the “Rozysk Magistral” (Search Highway) database and identified Lieutenant Kirill Chuprov. RBC’s sources did not say where Chuprov supposedly sold these data.

      • Illinois Legislature Sends Massive Police Reform Bill To The Governor’s Desk

        A serious set of police reforms has passed through the Illinois legislature and is headed to the governor’s desk. You can tell it’s a good set of reforms because the police union hates it.

      • Alliance Between Vigilantes and Law Enforcement: A US Tradition

        In 1938, Seth Wheeler Jr. wrote a brief article about the American Protective League (APL)—a short-lived organization of citizen volunteers who helped federal agencies root out radicals—for The Military Engineer magazine. By then, the violent, nativist wave that crested with the first Red Scare and the US entrance into World War I had broken and receded. The APL itself had dissolved. But Wheeler, the former chief of the league’s Albany division, wanted to remind the public of the organization’s historic importance.

      • The Not-So-Strange Death of Right Populism | Dissent Magazine

        A string of pseudo-populist conservative movements have reverted to the same agenda of tax cuts and deregulation. Why should we expect anything different?

        [...]

        Those who took up the banner post-2016 were more swaggering. Soon after the election, Trump’s strategist Steve Bannon was calling for a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill and tax increases on the rich. “If we deliver,” he crowed, “we’ll get 60 percent of the white vote and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we’ll govern for 50 years.” (Aspirations were quickly lowered: when Trump managed to crack 20 percent of the combined Black and Hispanic vote four years later, right populists triumphantly declared themselves the party of the multiracial working class.) Bannon, to his credit, seems to have understood from the beginning that it was all a grift; he is currently awaiting trial for allegedly scamming donors hoping to fund Trump’s border wall. Yet many others continued to foretell the coming victory of right populism in apparent sincerity. The British political scientist Matthew Goodwin’s verdict on Boris Johnson’s electoral victory came to be widely cited: “it is much easier for the Right to move Left on economics than it is for the Left to move Right on culture.”
        Whatever its validity abroad, in an American context such confidence displayed a willful naïveté. It has been obvious for decades that many voters are both socially conservative and economically progressive, and that a Republican Party less rapaciously plutocratic in its policies would have a much easier time winning majority support. And yet the promised move left on economics never comes; the recent history of American conservatism includes a series of pseudo-populist movements (the Gingrich Revolution and Tea Party before MAGA) that unfailingly revert to the same donor-friendly agenda of tax cuts and deregulation. Rather than searching for the sources of this pattern, right populists have mostly been content to assume that this time things will be different.
        To no great surprise, Trump didn’t move left on economics. Workers did benefit from the hot economy of his first three years in office, which MAGA ideologists spun as proof of the president’s unique business acumen (much as Third Way ideologists had once taken the 1990s economic boom as proof of the virtues of Clintonism). But instead of an infrastructure bill, there was a massive corporate tax cut; instead of a family leave plan, there was a failed attempt to strip healthcare from tens of millions of people. Up and down the federal bureaucracy, a familiar cast of industry shills set to work dismantling labor rights and environmental protections. Trump’s most durable accomplishment was the rubber-stamping of scores of Federalist Society judges, each one a devoted steward of the interests of capital.

      • The New Humanitarian | Ten humanitarian crises and trends to watch in 2021

        Our aim is to offer a forward-looking view of current and emerging issues that are likely to drive new humanitarian needs. While we point to some geographically specific crises, we also look at cross-cutting trends, from growing food insecurity to faltering peace deals.

        This list is informed by our reporting from humanitarian hotspots around the globe — more than 70 countries in 2020 — and our editors’ research and discussions with analysts, aid workers, and those affected by conflict and disasters.

        Here’s why the crises and trends listed below (in random order, as this is not a ranked list) have our attention — and should demand yours.

    • Monopolies

      • ‘A Terrible Idea’: Biden Warned Against Picking Big Tech Lawyers to Lead DOJ Antitrust Division

        “Bringing in anybody from Big Tech to a leadership role in antitrust is a political, policy, and managerial disaster.”

      • Parler Attempting to Come Back Online, Still Insisting The Site’s Motivation Is ‘Privacy’ Despite Leaking Details On All Its Users

        Last week, I explained my thoughts on why the Parler takedown from AWS didn’t bother me that much — considering that there were many other cloud and webhosting solutions out there. Yet Parler has quickly discovered that many other providers aren’t interested in hosting the company’s cesspool of garbage content either. As I pointed out, at some point, some element of that has to be on Parler for attracting such an audience of garbage-spewers. Either way, we figured the site would eventually be back up, and now it appears that it’s on its way. The site put up a holding page with a few “Parlezs” (their version of tweets) from its execs and lead cheerleaders.

      • Big Tech Critics Alarmed at Direction of Biden Antitrust Personnel
      • Patents

        • EPO and CIPO make their PPH fast-track programme permanent

          The EPO and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) have announced that the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programme between the two offices became permanent on 6 January 2021.

          The offices have agreed to extend the agreement, following the completion of a pilot programme, which started in January 2015.

          “We are very pleased to announce the continuation of the PPH with CIPO as a permanent service to our users,” said EPO President António Campinos. “This is another milestone in our co-operation, which is aimed at improving the environment for innovation and streamlining the conditions for expedited prosecution at the two offices. We believe it will further promote cross-filing of patents in Europe and Canada, improve market access and bilateral trade, and benefit users of the patent system in both regions.”

          [...]

          The PPH pilot generated over 200 requests at the EPO by 30 September 2020, and more than 1 400 at the CIPO by 31 March 2020.

        • All Hands on Deck: Ensuring Innovation, Not Just Patents, From All

          As the Iancu era at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office comes to a close, one of the USPTO’s initiatives has focused on promoting diversity in patenting. The newly established National Council on Expanding American Innovation, and the associated USPTO request for comments on a national strategy for expanding innovation, focus on having under-represented groups more involved in creating patentable inventions.

          That’s a laudable goal. But we shouldn’t be aiming just to have more under-represented groups receive patents. More patents doesn’t necessarily mean more innovation, it just means more patents. Instead, we need to ensure that those groups are both provided the support to innovate and that their innovation is recognized.

          To do that, we have to change how we talk about innovation. In a recent article, Prof. Anjali Vats notes that the “stories that people tell about invention in the U.S. continue to focus on white men – the Benjamin Franklins, Thomas Edisons and Elon Musks – without affording women and people of color the same larger-than-life status.” Often, those stories focus on lone individuals, not teams. Those failures lead to barriers to innovation by under-represented groups whose contributions may not fit that model.

          As one example, many—including USPTO Director Iancu—like to lionize Thomas Edison as the prototypical heroic inventor. They point to him as a role model. But Edison is a perfect example of the problems with the “heroic inventor” story. Edison employed a large staff who did much of the work of his inventions—without those “muckers”, he’d have gotten much less done. And of course, Edison was neither the inventor of electric light nor the inventor of a practical light bulb. Alessandro Volta, the namesake of the word “voltage”, generated light from electricity 80 years before Edison did. Humphrey Davy invented the electric arc light, which was in wide use in the 1800s, although it was impractical for home lighting.

          [...]

          Instead of focusing on promoting patenting activity and lionizing heroic inventor stories, let’s try to promote innovation and recognize forms of innovation that don’t fit neatly into the patent framework. Collaborative research, open-source and open-science models, and other such forms of innovation are at least as important as patents—let’s give them at least as much priority.

        • The UPC and Democracy

          Today (20 January 2021) seems to be a perfect day to celebrate democracy and the rule of law.

          I will therefore not keep you up for too long, but just wanted to make a short personal comment and a call to all of us discussing the UPCA and the latest events in Germany regarding the ratification process and the two new constitutional complaints. I am perfectly aware that this is perhaps the most controversial current topic in the European IP Community, with passions running high both among the supporters and the opposers of the UPC Agreement. There is a wide spectrum of voices, one part arguing that there is absolutely no need of any Unified Patent Court in Europe, another supporting the view that a supranational Patent Court may be desirable in principle but take issue with its implementation currently provided in the UPCA and a third vocal group that seems to be prepared to happily welcome any kind of UPC, be it with or without the UK, Poland, Spain, Hungary etc. Fortunately, we have freedom of speech in Europe, and everybody is entitled to his or her own views and to make them known to others.

          What I would urge people, though, is some degree of rhetoric deescalation when we are discussing this matter.

          Some comments on this and other IP blogs seem to be trying to paint the Federal Constitutional Court’s decision to ask for another deferral of the UPCA ratification in the darkest possible colors, as if it were an assault on democracy itself. On the respected JuVe blog, an opinion has just appeared under the headline: “A drawn-out UPC process would damage democracy”. It urges the FCC to decide on this matter quickly.

          Why the haste? The article provides essentially two reasons. The first one is, however, hmm… how shall I put it politely? … hearsay…

          [...]

          A pillar of our democratic state is the Rule of Law, which requires and presupposes independent judges. This can at times be inconvenient and can sometimes take painfully long. But if and when our highest Court were accused of acting against the “will of the people” (and against the “majority of the business community”, if the FCC came to the “wrong” conclusion, horribile dictu) or when the speed of a decision on the UPC is stylized as “damaging democracy”, we are entering dangerous territory and start using the language of those whose very intent is to undermine these valued democratic institutions.

          So let’s celebrate democracy today. Whether or not the UPC will come, and whenever, it will not be the end of democracy in Europe.

        • UK High Court appoints James Mellor as IP-specialist judge

          The High Court has appointed its second new IP-specialist judge. Today, former 8 New Square barrister James Mellor (59) joins the UK’s judicial bench in the Chancery Division.

          Mellor joins alongside another recent appointment, Richard Meade, who is also an 8 New Square alumnus. The appointments of both Mellor and Meade have helped close the gap created through various promotions and retirements of the UK’s patent judges.

          [...]

          The UK High Court appointments of James Mellor and Richard Meade are not the only recent update to the UK courts.

          At the end of July 2020, the UK judiciary announced two new additions to the Court of Appeal’s judicial bench. From October 2020, specialist IP judge Colin Birss joined from the High Court alongside fellow Chancery Division judge, Christopher Nugee. The latter also has experience in IP matters.

          With Mellor’s appointment, the UK judiciary has filled all vacancies. At the High Court in particular, for a while it appeared there might be bottlenecks and thus delays in patent disputes. The courts have now solved the problem. For the UK, this an important step in times of the coronavirus pandemic, and given the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

        • Inauguration Day

          The Federal Circuit and Supreme Court are both closed today. Although inauguration day is not a nationwide federal holiday, it is a holiday for non-essential federal employees who work in the Washington DC Area.

        • Pinsent Masons and MS Digitalprint win invalidity action on sealing technology [Ed: Well, these people don't mind the EPO issuing lots of garbage patents if they profit from billing to toss them out, too]

          The Federal Patent Court in Munich has nullified the patent of MB Digitalprint’s competitor, Winwall. EP 2 562 002 protects a procedure whereby double-coated composite aluminium sheets are painted several times in different finishes, which seals them. The sheets allow for customised wall design for all kinds of walls.

          Furthermore, the process ensures the sheets are water-repellent. The sheets are therefore used in wet rooms such as bathrooms, or in outdoor areas such as building façades.

        • The Crown Jewels of UK patent cases [Ed: Referring to patent litigation by patent trolls as “Crown Jewels” (to lawsuits fanatics and profiteers maybe)]

          Unwired Planet vs. Huawei, Conversant vs. Huawei and ZTE or Regeneron vs. Kymab. Over the past year, the UK Supreme Court handed down decision on these three important patent cases. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, numerous patent cases kept the UK High Court and the Court of Appeal in London very busy.

          In particular, cases involving mobile phone patents and pharmaceuticals have dominated events in the UK patent courts. But, in other matters, the landmark Dabus decision of the High Court looks far into the future. In October, the court rejected an appeal on AI inventorship in the debate around the AI system. But now the High Court has granted permission for the parties to appeal under CPR 52.6(1)(b). This is on the basis that the principle at stake is an important one.

          [...]

          The two current market leaders among UK solicitor firms, Bristows and Powell Gilbert, are particularly well-represented as counsel in the major cases of 2020 and 2021. Allen & Overy has an equally strong presence in these proceedings.

          According to JUVE Patent’s UK ranking 2021, Allen & Overy, together with Bird & Bird, EIP, Herbert Smith Freehills and Hogan Lovells, belongs to the group of five litigation teams that are close on the heels of the two leading boutiques.

          Just a little over two years after entering the London patent market, US firm Kirkland & Ellis is also very present in the current UK top cases. If the team of young partners around senior partner Nicola Dagg manages to establish itself still further, the London team – bolstered by a strong US practice – will in the long-term be able to challenge the top London firms for market leadership.

      • Trademarks

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