07.24.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 24/7/2021: Skrooge 2.26.1 and K-9 Mail Release

Posted in News Roundup at 4:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • ARM and NVIDIA Gaming Chromebooks are in the works

        One day soon we will see serious Arm gaming Chromebooks. With realistic ray-traced graphics. Rendered on a NVIDIA graphics card. Pinch me, I must be dreaming!
        A few months ago, our very own Gabriel Brangers reported on an official announcement from NVIDIA about them combining an Arm CPU with an NVIDIA RTX dGPU. This is likely part of NVIDIA’s overall plan of buying Arm (the company) so the synergy here makes a lot of sense. More details have finally been revealed about this work including official development tools being provided for Chromium/Chrome OS, not just Linux. NVIDIA has explicitly stated they have software development kits (SDKs) for Chromium OS.

    • Server

      • What Is Kubernetes and What Is It Used For?

        Thousands of new apps and programs are developed and released every day. Developers are constantly on the lookout for tools that can streamline the development and testing of their apps. A well-developed app that has gone through rigorous testing will end up being successful upon its release.

        Kubernetes is a platform that makes it possible for developers to deploy, schedule and manage their containerized applications. It may sound a bit technical to you right now, and that’s okay. If you find yourself asking: “what is Kubernetes,” or “what is Kubernetes used for?”, keep reading to find out.

      • Microsoft Has Now Its Own Linux Distribution Builder, CBL-Mariner [Ed: This does not imply love and may suggest E.E.E.]
    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Intel To Finally Remove Cannon Lake Graphics Support From Their Linux Kernel Driver – Phoronix

        Intel “Cannon Lake” processors were rare in the first place with being limited to the Core i3 8121U but given that no production SKU ever materialized with the “Gen10″ graphics enabled, Intel’s Linux engineers are finally moving ahead in eliminating the rest of the Cannon Lake / Gen10 graphics support code.

      • New Important Kernel Update Released for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and CentOS 7 Users

        The new kernel security update patches a 7-years-old privilege escalation flaw (CVE-2021-33909) discovered by Qualys Research Labs in Linux kernel’s filesystem layer, which could allow an unprivileged user to create, mount, and then delete a large directory structure of over 1GB in size.

        It also patches two use-after-free vulnerabilities (CVE-2021-33033 and CVE-2021-33034) discovered in Linux kernel’s CIPSO network packet labeling protocol functionality and Bluetooth HCI driver respectively, which could allow a local attacker to crash the system, execute arbitrary code, or escalate their privileges on the system.

    • Benchmarks

      • Loongson 3A5000 Benchmarks For These New Chinese CPUs Built On The LoongArch ISA

        While Loongson has been known for their MIPS-based Loongson chips that are open-source friendly and have long been based on MIPS, with MIPS now being a dead-end, the Chinese company has begun producing chips using its own “LoongArch” ISA. The first Loongson 3A5000 series hardware was just announced and thanks to the company apparently using the Phoronix Test Suite and OpenBenchmarking.org we have some initial numbers.

        Announced this week was the Loongson 3A5000 as their first LoongArch ISA chip that is quad-core with clock speeds up to 2.3~2.5GHz. Loongson 3A5000 offers a reported 50% performance boost over their prior MIPS-based chips while consuming less power and now also supporting DDR4-3200 memory. The Loongson 3A5000 series is intended for domestic Chinese PCs without relying on foreign IP and there is also the 3A5000LL processors intended for servers.

        While the 3A5000 series was just announced, in the past few days some party in China — likely Loongson themselves — have begun uploading benchmark results from the Phoronix Test Suite to OpenBenchmarking.org. The past few days has seen several Loongson-3A5000 benchmarks uploaded. But going back to last month are also many Loongson 3A5000 benchmarks in general.

    • Applications

      • Firewalld 1.0 Firewall Management Tool is Here with Big Improvements

        Ten years after its first release, Firewalld reached version 1.0. The biggest change is removing Python 2 support.

        Firewalld is front-end controller for iptables and nftables used to implement persistent network traffic rules. It provides command line and graphical interfaces and is available in the repositories of most Linux distributions. The name Firewalld adheres to the Unix convention of naming system daemons by appending the leter “d”.

        Firewalld is easier to manage and configure than iptables. It offer a very flexible way to handle the firewall management compared to iptables. There are no long series of chains, jumps, accepts and denies that you need to memorize to get Firewalld up and running. It manages rulesets dynamically, allowing updates without breaking existing sessions and connections. Changes can be done immediately in the runtime environment. No restart of the service or daemon is needed.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install Gnome 40 in Ubuntu 21.04

        Despite Gnome 40 being out for close to 6 months, it still hasn’t made it to Ubuntu, with Canonical deciding to go with Gnome 3 for 21.04. However, thanks to the community it is possible to get Gnome 40 up and running on Ubuntu. Here’s how to do it.

        WARNING: Gnome 40 on Ubuntu is highly unstable. Only install this desktop if you know what you’re doing.

      • Using Pacman on Arch and Manjaro

        When trying out a new Linux distribution, one of the first things you need to familiarize yourself with is the system’s package manager. Arch Linux and other Arch-based distros, like Manjaro, use pacman to install or update packages, remove software, and keep the system up to date. Pacman isn’t related to the classic video game, rather just an acronym of package manager.

        In this guide, you’ll learn how to use pacman on Arch Linux, Manjaro, and other distros based on Arch. It works the same across any of them. Read on to master pacman with commands to install packages, remove packages, update the system, etc.

      • How to enable ALB authentication using Amazon Cognito
      • How to play Outlast on Linux

        Outlast is an FPS survival horror game developed and published by Red Barrels on PC and consoles. The game focuses on an investigative journalist who decided to investigate a remote psychiatric hospital to find monsters living inside. Here’s how to play it on Linux.

      • How to Install and use Maldet on Ubuntu 20.04 – LinuxCapable.com

        Linux Malware Detect (LMD), also known as Maldet, is a malware scanner for Linux released under the GNU GPLv2 license. Maldet is quite popular amongst sysadmins and website devs due to its focus on the detection of PHP backdoors, dark mailers and many other malicious files that can be uploaded on a compromised website using threat data from network edge intrusion detection systems to extract malware that is actively being used in attacks and generates signatures for detection.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to configure Maldet on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. The same principle will work for the newer version Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo).

      • How to Disable ‘Activities’ Overview at Login on Ubuntu 20.10 Gnome 40 | UbuntuHandbook

        Gnome 40 automatically logs into ‘Activities’ overview screen instead of a blank desktop. Don’t like this feature? Just disable it!

        Gnome 40 finally lands in Ubuntu 21.10, brings the new design of its ‘Activities’ overview screen. The workspaces are now horizontal and locate across the center of screen. Along with small boxes under the search box, all running app windows will be there. And it introduces new touchpad gestures to switch between workspaces.

      • How To Use Download Managers on Ubuntu and Android

        Persepolis and Download Navi are two download manager apps for Ubuntu and Android, respectively. They can help the users accelerate download speed and keep track of what files had been saved. This tutorial will explain how to use them to download files from the internet after installing them to desktop and phone. I hope this tutorial helps Ubuntu users who have computer and phone altogether.

      • How to Install VLC on Fedora Linux – It’s FOSS

        If you have just installed Fedora and now wants to install your favorite video player VLC on it, you probably won’t find it in the software center. Not immediately, at least.

        For reasons best known to their developers, Fedora neither ship with VLC nor does it include in the official Fedora repository.

        So, how do you install VLC on Fedora then? Simple. RPM Fusion is your friend here. Let me show you the steps in detail.

      • How to create an Amazon Cognito User pool for ALB authentication
      • How To Install FreeRADIUS on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install FreeRADIUS on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, FreeRADIUS is a free and open-source implementation of the RADIUS protocol. It’s the most popular and widely deployed open-source RADIUS server, is also used by many Fortune-500 companies, telecommunications companies, and Tier 1 ISPs. daloRADIUS on the other hand is an advanced web application for managing FreeRADIUS servers.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of FreeRADIUS on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How To Setup Backup Server Using Rsnapshot In Linux – OSTechNix

        This guide explains what is Rsnapshot, how to install Rsnapshot in Linux , and how to setup backup server using Rsnapshot in Linux.

      • How To Secure SSH Server

        When we talk about accessing servers remotely, the first thing that comes to our mind is SSH. It is a network protocol and a secured version of Telnet and encrypts the connection so others cannot access the information being transmitted.

        With advancements in the technology world, hackers are becoming more sophisticated every day. Even your SSH connection is not secure if you are using the traditional or default installation settings. Therefore, it has become necessary to secure your SSH server from unwanted data breaches and malicious attacks by taking some crucial precautions.

        In this article, we will introduce you to some important security practices which will help you in considerably increasing the level of SSH server security.

      • How To Create a Multiboot USB Drive for Linux | Tom’s Hardware

        There are hundreds, if not thousands of active Linux distributions and although many of the desktop distributions look the same, featuring the same set of applications or even desktop environments, there’s still a lot which separates them. This is why, for most novice Linux users, distro hopping – the practice of frequently switching between Linux distributions, is the only sane course to find one they’re comfortable with. Although many distributions now provide Live-installable images, making it possible to try the distribution without installing it first, constantly formatting USB drives to make room for the next distribution is quite cumbersome.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Skrooge 2.26.1 released

          The Skrooge Team announces the release 2.26.1 version of its popular Personal Finances Manager based on KDE Frameworks.

        • Timezone and Country Lookup by Coordinates

          This is part three of a series of posts describing a potential new API for dealing with countries, country subdivisions and timezones in KI18n, following the previous one country to timezone mapping, covering how we can query the timezone and country or country subdivision information by geographic coordinates.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • What’s New in GNOME 40?

          GNOME 40 has more than a new numbering scheme. Along with its new look comes a new way of working. The old vertical metaphors are gone, replaced by horizontal theming and layouts. Let’s take a closer look.

          [...]

          The GNOME developers aren’t locked into standard desktop norms and conventions. They’ll happily revisit any aspect of the desktop and work through it to solve a problem. That might mean burrowing into the code and fixing the issue at its root, or it might mean replacing that item with something new. There are no sacred cows.

          They’re also against providing too many options and preferences. This might seem to fly in the face of the Linux mantra of choice and flexibility. Tobias calls out to an earlier piece by Havoc Pennington, one of the original GNOME developers and chair of the GNOME Foundation board for its first two years. This describes GNOME’s “fewer preferences is better” principle. You might find some of the things that you want to change are now fixed in place.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Web browser update

          The following web browsers have been updated to their most current versions and are available from the PCLinuxOS Software Repository.

          iridium-2021.06.91-1pclos2021.x86_64.rpm
          firefox-90.0.2-1pclos2021.x86_64.rpm
          basilisk-2021.07.19-1pclos2021.x86_64.rpm
          brave-1.27.106-1pclos2021.x86_64.rpm
          librewolf-90.0-1pclos2021.x86_64.rpm
          waterfox-2021.07-1pclos2021.x86_64.rpm
          waterfox-G3-2.4.1-1pclos2021.x86_64.rpm
          microsoft-edge-93.0.957.0-1pclos2021.x86_64.rpm
          seamonkey-2.53.8.1-1pclos2021.x86_64.rpm
          opera-stable-77.0.4054.277-1pclos2021.x86_64.rpm
          google-chrome-stable-92.0.4515.107-1pclos2021.x86_64.rpm
          chromium-ungoogled-91.0.4472.164-2pclos2021.x86_64.rpm
          chromium-browser-91.0.4472.164-2pclos2021.x86_64.rpm
          palemoon-29.3.0-1pclos2021.x86_64.rpm
          palemoon-gtk3-29.3.0-1pclos2021.x86_64.rpm
          vivaldi-stable-4.0.2312.41-1pclos2021.x86_64.rpm

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora Workstation 35 Looks To Use Power Profiles Daemon By Default

          Fedora Workstation 35 is looking to ship with power-profiles-daemon by default and to have it enabled for benefiting newer laptops.

          The power-profiles-daemon is part of the GNOME initiative around handling ACPI power profiles in conjunction with recent Linux kernel releases that offer a balanced/powersave/performance mode tunable. To date the Linux kernel support around this platform power profile support has been for newer Dell and Lenovo laptops.

        • The Post-Pandemic Future of Work: An Optimistic Outlook

          “The COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdowns and related global recession of 2020 have created a highly uncertain outlook for the labour market … millions of workers have experienced changes which have profoundly transformed their lives within and beyond work, their well-being and their productivity,” said the World Economic Forum (WEF) in The Future of Jobs Report 2020, published in October, 2020. “Comparing the impact of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 on individuals with lower education levels to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, the impact today is far more significant and more likely to deepen existing inequalities.”

          The Economist was considerably more optimistic in a special report on The Future of Work in its April 10 issue, which included several articles on the subject. “A jobs rebound, shifting politics and technological change could bring a golden age for labour in rich countries,” said the overview article. “It might seem premature to predict a wonderful world of work only a year on from a labour-market catastrophe. But America is showing how rapidly jobs can come back as the virus recedes. In the spring of 2020 the country’s unemployment rate was nearly 15%. Now it is already just 6% after a year containing five of the ten best months for hiring in history.”

          The key reason for The Economist’s optimistic outlook is that as labor markets recovers, two deeper shifts are unfolding: a political environment which is becoming friendlier to workers than it’s been in decades; and an accelerated digital economy which promises to bring about faster productivity growth. Let me briefly summarize each of these two shifts.

        • 28 books recommended by open source technologists to read right now

          It may not be the season of summer where you are, but summer reading lists are quintessential and somewhat cozy no matter what part of the world you live in. I love the idea of a cool breeze, a lounge chair, a drink, and a snack… all wrapped up together with a good book to pour over.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 7 Best Free and Open Source Front-Ends for mpv

        Watching TV and films on computers running Linux is commonplace. Most Linux distributions ship at least one media player. But there’s lots of high quality alternatives out there.

        Wondering which media player we recommend? Here’s our verdict on mpv front-ends. To avoid bamboozling readers, we’ve kept the number of featured media players to a sizeable number.

        mpv is a free (as in freedom) media player for the command line. It supports a wide variety of media file formats, audio and video codecs, and subtitle types.

        Here’s our recommendations. All of the front-ends are published under an open source license.

      • 10 Best Free and Open-Source Webinar Solutions 2021

        Tons of options are out there when it comes to webinar platforms, but which one is right for your business, in this article we’ll highlight ten of the top webinar platforms and share information about each one. So, you can make an informed decision about which webinar platform that good for you.

      • PeaZip 8.1.0
      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Stockfish Developers Sue Chessbase Claiming Copyright Violation

            The Stockfish team has filed a lawsuit against Chessbase, claiming that the German chess software company is selling their software without having the license to do so. The lawsuit, filed in a German court, was announced last Tuesday in a blog on the Stockfish website.

            The Stockfish team argues that Chessbase has “concealed from their customers Stockfish as the true origin of key parts of their products,” namely Fat Fritz 2 and Houdini 6. According to the Stockfish team, Chessbase has “repeatedly violated central obligations of the GPL,” which refers to informing software users of their rights. “These rights are explicit in the license and include access to the corresponding sources, and the right to reproduce, modify and distribute GPLed programs royalty-free,” the Stockfish team writes.

          • GitHub Copilot sparks debates around open-source licenses

            A few weeks ago GitHub released its Copilot solution, which uses AI to suggest code to developers. Developers can write a comment in their code and Copilot will automatically write the code it thinks is appropriate. It’s an impressive example of the power of AI, but has many developers and members of the open-source community upset and worrying over what it means for the future of open source.

      • Programming/Development

        • Veena Nagar: Modifying Expectations

          Hey everyone! Welcome to my new blog post. This post will tell you about my mid-point progress and something related to the project expectations, “actual vs. expected.” I am currently working on “Making GNOME Asynchronous!”. If you’re interested in reading more about my project, kindly read this blog post where I explained what my project is all about.

          [...]

          As seen in the “accomplished goals” section, I’m glad that even after modifying the expectations, I completed the tasks till the 8th week according to the expectations set in the timeline. And then came the GUADEC’21 (GNOME community conference). I was very enthusiastic about participating in the “Intern lightning talk” at the GUADEC’21, scheduled for 23rd July ’21. I spent a whole week in preparation, which as a result, affected my timeline, and I had to modify the expectations again. As the first kind of adaptation states, I should have taken the information about GUADEC into account while creating the timeline.

          As for the second kind, the timeline I created with the given information was realistic. Still, software engineering is a constant process of uncovering new information, which we must adapt to. Like in my project, “I didn’t realise that the annotation had to be added to girparser.py as well.” The problem with this kind of adaptation is that one cannot foresee it. So even if I were to start over the project, I would not be able to adapt it in the timeline, which is totally acceptable.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Rakudo compiler, Release #148 (2021.07)

            On behalf of the Rakudo development team, I’m very happy to announce the July 2021 release of Rakudo #148. Rakudo is an implementation of the Raku language.

            This release deprecates Proc.status method (use signal and exitcode instead), improves map performance, improves the cmp routine to support more things and includes some nice fixes. On top of that we now offer an MSI installer for monthly releases!

        • Python

          • Control an HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Sensor With Raspberry PI Pico and Micropython

            Beside being useful for DIY projects, measuring a distance with the HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensor and Raspberry PI Pico is a great exercise for people wanting to understand MicroPython

            In this tutorial, I’m going to show you the steps required to wire and setup an ultrasonic sensor (HC-SR04) and Raspberry PI Pico microcontroller. Please note that if you want to use a Raspberry PI computer board (like RPI Zero W or RPI 2/3/4 Model A/B) you should refer to my Control an ultrasonic distance sensor with Raspberry PI tutorial. Anyhow, I invite you to look at this article as it details how the Ultrasonic Sensor works and it is really useful to understand what our code is going to implement.

          • Openstack RDO && KVM Hypervisor: Assembly of Python External C++ procedure returning the vector of objects of string type

            This post is an immediate followup for the most recent post at Lxer.com regarding return of one string. Consider the task already been treated with 2D vector and dumping the content of vector to disk file. This approach would allow us to solve the same task via to straight forward returning vector of strings from C++ procedure to Python module.

        • Java

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • Loongson’s first LoongArch processors – 3A5000 for computers, 3C5000L for servers – CNX Software

        Loongson has officially launched the first processors based on LoongArch CPU instruction set architecture designed for made-in-China SoCs without the need to license technology made outside of China.

        Loongsoon LS3C5000L (3C5000L) 16-core server processor clocked at up to 2.5 GHz is now official and is apparently comprised of four LS3A5000 (3A5000) LoongArch processors designed for desktop computers and laptops.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • [Old] Stratford EMS helps man suffering from heat stroke [Ed: Mike Battistelli :-) (no connection to him)]

        Quick thinking helped two emergency medical responders in town successfully treat a man suffered from exertional heat stroke on Sunday.

        According to a post on the Stratford Emergency Services Facebook page, paramedic Mike Battistelli and emergency medical technician Michelle Edler were dispatched to a softball field at Short Beach for “difficultly breathing.”

      • Dashed Olympic Hopes Lead to New Diabetes Nonprofit

        The COVID-19 pandemic meant “a new normal” for so many of us worldwide, but for Kate Hall-Harnden in Maine who lives with type 1 diabetes (T1D), it led to dashed dreams of reaching the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. That might be a heartbreaking story, if not for how this champion long jumper turned an unfortunate injury into inspiration to start a new nonprofit to help people with diabetes (PWDs) in need.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Adobe Joins Blender Development Fund, Releases Substance 3D & Mixamo Plugins

          The latest company to jump onboard with Blender’s Development Fund is Adobe, makers of a mind-boggling number of creator tools, many of which perfectly complement Blender in a workflow. The company becomes a Corporate Gold sponsor, meaning the Blender Foundation gets an additional €2,500/mo, and the more full Blender’s coffers are, the better.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Metadata and master data: OpenLineage moves into the sandbox of the Linux Foundation

                The open source project OpenLineage can now prove itself in the sandbox of the LF AI & Data Foundation. OpenLineage goes back to a development by Datakin, a company specializing in DataOps, and is intended to define an open, cross-industry standard that facilitates the acquisition and processing of meta and master data, even in more complex AI and data projects, via an API at runtime.

                OpenLineage defines a generic model of run, job and data record entities that can be identified using a consistent naming strategy, as outlined in the following diagram. The entities of the basic model can also be enriched with further aspects if necessary.

        • Security

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Stand up for whistleblowers: Reporters’ records are not up for grabs

        Starting in the tail end of Donald Trump’s presidency and continuing into Joe Biden’s term, the Department of Justice “waged a secret legal battle to obtain the email logs of four New York Times reporters.” The DOJ was after one piece of information: the identity of the anonymous sources that had leaked valuable information to the press. Top executives at the Times were placed under a gag order, barred from speaking about the legal effort until this summer. Fortunately, Google — the platform the Times uses for emails — refused to pass over the reporters’ logs.

    • Environment

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Warning on damage of microplastics to penguins in Antarctica

          A scientific team warned about the damage microplastics can cause in the feeding of penguins in Antarctica due to the pollution of seas by man, a specialized source reported today.

          Among materials found in analysis of penguins’ feces are cellulose, polyethylene and polyester, the journal Science of the Total Environment said.

        • penguins in Antarctica are eating microplastics

          These pollutants reach the seas and oceans mainly through garbage and waste from anthropic activities ”, explains Andrés Barbosa, scientist at the National Museum of Natural Sciences (MNCN-CSIC) and author of the work. “Given the low human presence in the Antarctic Ocean and Antarctica, low contamination by microplastics would be expected in these areas. However, research stations, fishing and tourist boats and ocean currents make these particles reach these habitats, which can cause a high concentration at the local level ”, says José Xavier, researcher at the University of Coimbra (Portugal).

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Monopolies

      • Developers of free apps seek $200 billion damages, claim Apple restrains trade | AppleInsider

        Two developers, including the maker of “Coronavirus Reporter,” say Apple unfairly promotes certain free apps in the App Store, and want $200 billion in damages for themselves and other similarly-affected companies.

        The long-running legal dispute between Apple and the developer of “Coronavirus Reporter,” came to a head in early July, 2021. The developer withdrew its antitrust case, intending to instead refile it as a class action one alongside other developers.

      • Patents

        • Second Sight Medical Products (EYES) Stock Climbs Amid Receiving Grant From European Patent Office: Golden Opportunity? [Ed: What if this patent was granted in error, as often happens these days in the EPO? What would be the economic damage that corrupt EPO management doesn't care about?]

          On Monday, July 19, EYES’s stock was at $3.49. Nonetheless, it is gaining strong momentum, as the stock is skyrocketing: it is currently at $5.61 in the pre-market, resulting in a 61% gain. What is the reason behind this tremendous growth? The company has recently received a grant from European Patent Office for its patent application Orion Visual Cortical Prothesis System.

        • Denials of Transfer Motions in Western District of Texas and Mandamus Reversals by Federal Circuit [Ed: The latest cautionary tale about courts becoming like for-profit corporations that embrace patent maximalists for "business"]

          It is no secret that the district court in the Western District of Texas (WDTX) in Waco, TX, before Judge Alan D Albright, is currently the most popular court for patent litigation. However, it is not always the most convenient court. Motions to transfer are filed frequently and are almost as frequently denied by Judge Albright. Defendants are consistently petitioning the Federal Circuit and, surprisingly, receiving support.

          Writs of mandamus are exceedingly rare and reserved for “extraordinary causes.”[1] They can be granted only if there is a clear showing that the transferee forum is clearly more convenient, taking into consideration relevant public and private forum non conveniens factors,[2] and that there was a clear abuse of discretion by the district court in denying the motion.[3] Nevertheless, since July of 2020, the Federal Circuit has granted nine of the twenty petitions for writs of mandamus filed on Judge Albright’s denials.

          In one of the earliest granted petitions, In re Adobe,[4] Judge Albright ruled against transfer despite the evidence that Northern California more convenient because both Adobe and the inventor were in Northern California, and Adobe had multiple witnesses were in Northern California. The Federal Circuit determined the district court failed to give appropriate weight to the convenience and willing witness factors, erroneously basing the denial solely on his “perceived ability to more quickly schedule a trial.”[5] The Court pointed out that this factor was explicitly at issue in Genentech, and it was determined that if several factors weigh in favor of transfer, then “the speed of the of the transferee district court should not alone outweigh” the other factors.[6]

        • ITC’s New Pilot Program to Speed Investigations Merely Another Bite of the 100-Day Pilot Program Apple? [Ed: Why even impose patent embargoes before due process? Presumption of guilt for the sake of patents?]

          Over the last decade, patent litigation has exploded at the International Trade Commission (“ITC”), which has caused the ITC to seek out ways to increase efficiency. Several years ago, the ITC introduced an early 100-Day pilot program to dispose of dispositive issues early on in investigations. While now a mainstay, the 100-Day pilot program is rarely utilized. Now, the ITC has announced a new pilot program that if invoked will require the presiding Administrative Law Judges (“ALJs”) to hold an early hearing and issue an early initial determination (“ID”) on “fewer than all issues” in a Section 337 investigation. The goal of this new pilot program is ostensibly in line with the ITC’s continuing goal of enhancing efficiency and judiciously deciding cases.

        • It’s Highlighted and Verified: Reversal of PTAB Non-Obviousness Decision

          In a relatively unusual outcome, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed a Patent Trial & Appeal Board (Board) decision finding non-obviousness in an inter partes review (IPR). Becton, Dickinson, and Co. v. Baxter Corp. Englewood, Case No. 20-1937 (Fed. Cir. May 28, 2021) (Dyk, J.)

          Becton petitioned the Board for IPR of Baxter’s pre-America Invents Act (AIA) patent, directed to a system for preparing patient-specific doses and a method for telepharmacy. The Board decided that the patent claims were not shown to be invalid as obvious, but also found that Baxter’s secondary considerations evidence was “weak.” Becton appealed based on two contested limitations: a verification limitation and a highlighting limitation. The Federal Circuit reversed the Board, concluding that the challenged claims were obvious and explained that weak evidence of secondary considerations could not overcome the strong showing of obviousness.

          First, the Federal Circuit decided that the Board erred in finding that a prior art reference that taught a remote pharmacist may verify a dose preparation did not render obvious a claimed method where a remote pharmacist must verify. The reference made clear that a non-pharmacist could not further process work without the verification step. Baxter’s own expert witness conceded that, in accordance with the teachings of the prior art, a non-pharmacist would be disciplined for continuing to process dose preparation without authorization. The Court concluded there was no significant difference between the teaching in the prior art reference and Baxter’s verification requirement.

        • Caution! Technical Documents Concerning Efforts to Design Around a Patent Are Discoverable — Even When Done at the Direction of Counsel [Ed: Total waste of human effort an time, caused by patent fanatics who disregard logic]

          A recent order from a patent infringement lawsuit in the Northern District of Illinois serves as a good reminder that factual information about attempts to design around a patent is generally discoverable. This case also distinguishes discoverable factual information from privileged opinion and mental impressions of design-around efforts. In addition, the order suggests “exceptional circumstances” that could be established to “obtain facts or opinions” of design-around efforts from a non-testifying consultant under Federal Rule 26(b)(4).

        • Users of Research Tools Take Note

          Are research tools protected from patent infringement under the Hatch-Waxman safe harbor, section 271(e)(1)?[1] While different courts have reached different conclusions on this question,[2] one recent district court decision answered it with a resounding “No.”[3]

        • What You Say Can and Will be Used Against You – Prosecution History and Prior Infringement Arguments

          Noting patent owner’s prior litigation statements, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a district court ruling that a clear and unmistakable disclaimer in the prosecution history affected claim construction of an asserted patent. SpeedTrack, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc., Case No. 20-1573 (Fed. Cir. June 3, 2021) (Prost, J.)

          In 2009, SpeedTrack filed suit against various online retailers alleging infringement of its patent directed to a method for accessing files in a filing system leveraging “category descriptions” to aid in organizing the files. The patent describes associating category descriptions with files using a “file information directory.” A “search filter” then searches the files using their associated category descriptions. A limitation that “the category descriptions hav[e] no predefined hierarchical relationship with such list or each other” was added during prosecution to overcome a prior art reference that leveraged hierarchical field-and-value relationships.

        • Recent Developments Regarding Patent Injunctions In Germany [Ed: A super-aggressive litigation firm, MoFo, says that the German patent system is good for patent aggression]

          The German patent system has repeatedly proven to provide reliable and effective means to enforce patent rights against infringers.

        • China National Intellectual Property Administration to Give Priority to Patent Invalidation Cases Involved in Concurrent Litigation

          On June 21, 2021, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) issued the Letter of Reply from the CNIPA to Recommendation No. 6494 of the Fourth Session of the Thirteenth National People’s Congress (国家知识产权局对十三届全国人大四次会议第6494号建议答复的函) explaining that CNIPA has a fast track channel for patent invalidation cases involved in patent infringement disputes. Currently, Chinese courts will usually not suspend a patent infringement case for a concurrent patent invalidation case.

        • What does the Optis v. Apple case mean for SEP Litigation in the UK? – Kluwer Patent Blog
        • The implementation of 4G mobile communication technology in the UK has become very expensive for Apple in light of the High Court of England and Wales’ decision last month in Optis v. Apple. The court held that Optis’s standard-essential patents (‘SEPs’) were infringed by Apple. The court added that it was willing to decide the value of royalty to be paid by Apple to Optis in the context of Apple being viewed by the court as an ‘unwilling licensee’. The repercussions could extend to claimed damages (approximately $7 billion).

          The outcome of the case is likely to jeopardise Apple’s position in the UK market – the tech giant is threatening to leave the UK market as a result of the damages it would incur, with some commentators even raising the possibility of an end to iPhone sales in UK and a restriction of services and upgrades to current customers. At the same time, the case on the other hand may bolster the UK’s perceived position as a welcoming legal jurisdiction for SEP owners.

        • FOSS Patents: Mannheim Regional Court schedules first three Nokia v. Oppo patent infringement trials for March and May 2022: one patent-in-suit carried the day against Daimler

          Just like the previous post, which discussed a key decision in a standard-essential patent (SEP) case, this one relates to proceedings before the Mannheim Regional Court’s Second Civil Chamber under Presiding Judge Dr. Holger Kircher.

          The court’s press office has been able to provide the case numbers, patents-in-suit, and trial dates of three Nokia v. Oppo cases. Nokia is suing Oppo in–if I didn’t miss anything–seven countries. The dispute broke out three weeks ago after a multi-year patent license agreement expired.

          In Germany, Nokia lodged complaints with three regional courts: Mannheim, Munich, and Dusseldorf. Interestingly, Nokia filed almost as many in Mannheim alone as in the other German venues combined. For three of those eleven cases, I’ve now been able to obtain the following data points…

        • GBT – 3D CHIP and MEMORY Patent Will Be Published in Europe
        • GBT – 3D CHIP and MEMORY Patent Will Be Published in Europe
        • GBT – 3D CHIP and MEMORY Patent Will Be Published in Europe [Ed: Why act so cheerful and gay about a corrupted and subverted patent office where patent validity/quality collapsed making another rushed decision? Courts might throw out such patents...]

          GBT Technologies Inc. ( OTC PINK: GTCH ) (“GBT” or the “Company”), is pleased to report the upcoming publication of its 3D CHIP and MEMORY patent in Europe on July 28, 2021. The application has been allocated the number 19862631.9 and designates all European Patent Convention (“EPC”) states, as of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (“PCT”) filing date.

        • DOJ’s 2015 Business Review Letter for IEEE and 2020 Supplemental Response

          Standard Essential Patents (SEP’s) consist of patents covering technologies that are unavoidable (thus “essential”) in the implementation of new technologies under a standard. Said differently, an SEP is a fundamental piece of an advancing technology that all innovators must use to further develop the technology in accordance with a standard set by the industry. Standard Development Organizations (SDO’s) identify which pieces of an advancing technology will become a SEP. Each owner of a SEP is asked to provide assurance to license the technology under F/RAND (Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory) terms. This assurance commits the owner to provide access to their fundamental technologies so that the advancing technology can be further innovated by other members of its tech sector. This method of standardized licensing contracting hopefully provides an increase in continuity and a decrease in patent infringement litigation.

          In 2013, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office issued a policy statement on the remedies available for SEP’s that are encumbered by a F/RAND licensing commitment. The policy statement focuses on “patent hold-up” by patent holders. Patent hold-up can occur when an owner of a technology included in a standard gains market power. This increased market power can cause delays in licensing negotiations because the patent owner can potentially gouge the licensee for a higher price because alternative technologies are difficult to implement due to the standard. In summary, this policy statement does not specifically attempt to limit or increase the remedies available to patent owners with SEP’s subject to F/RAND licensing commitments, instead, the policy statement attempts to offer guidance on what important public policy considerations govern when an injunction or exclusion order should be granted. The Department of Justice does however give examples of hypothetical situations where injunctions should or should not be given. However, The Department of Justice seems to stray from this sentiment in the future and specifically attempts to limit the remedies available to patent owners involved in SEP’s with F/RAND licensing commitments.

        • Supreme Court Issues Opinion in U.S. v. Arthrex [Ed: A patent litigation giant (profiteers), Fish & Richardson, on the highest court's stance on patents; patent extremists don't want patent quality (e.g. PTAB) as that's an obstruction to their profiteering from frivolous lawyers' fees (applications, lawsuits etc.) and fake patents]

          In U.S. v. Arthrex, Inc. (19-1434); Smith & Nephew, Inc. v. Arthrex, Inc. (19-1452); and Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc. (19-1458), a splintered Supreme Court agreed with the Federal Circuit that there is a problem at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), but disagreed about how to deal with it.

          [...]

          The appeal addresses not just whether APJs are principal officers, but what to do with APJs and their pending cases—mainly inter partes reviews (IPRs)—if there is such a problem.

          The decision is splintered, with Chief Justice Roberts writing 23 pages for the Court. He is joined by Justices Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett for Parts I and II, but Justice Gorsuch drops out for Part III. Justice Gorsuch both concurs and dissents alone. Justice Breyer brings along Justices Sotomayor and Kagan in a partial dissent that concurs with the Chief Justice in the judgment. Justice Thomas dissents in part and carries Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan for his Parts I and II, but not III and IV.

          It thus seems that the vote is 7-2 for forcing the Director to have the ability to review PTAB decisions. None of the opinions discuss the requirements of the review process itself or how to implement the review on remand from the Court. And as to anything actually said in the Chief Justice’s opinion, the counting gets more difficult.

        • The impact of Arthrex on Discretionary Denial of IPR Petitions [Ed: People who attack patent quality by looking to discredit PTAB still aren’t getting their way]

          The institution of the inter-partes review (IPR) process established in 2012 by the passing of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) created tremendous opportunities for post-grant challenges of weak and unused patents.[1] The frequent use of these patents as powerful legal weapons wielded by non-practicing entities in costly infringement lawsuits has resulted in clogging of the Federal court system, huge litigation costs for large and small companies, and disincentivization of technological innovation and development. The passage of the AIA eased the way for third party challenges of patents through an adversarial procedure at the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB), based on defects in novelty (§102) and obviousness (§103) features.[2] To initiate an IPR procedure, a third party challenger is required to show a reasonable likelihood of ability to prevail with respect to at least one claim of the patent, and is subject to denial of the challenge based on merit if this bar is not met.[3] In addition to merit-based denials, the Board can also deny requests based on purely procedural issues.[4] Congress has given the Director of the USPTO complete discretion with respect to institution or denial of an IPR petition,[5] but by regulation, the Director has delegated this authority to the Board itself to which he appoints administrative patent judges (APJs).[6] The Board then determines whether institution or denial of the petition would promote efficiency and fairness in each case, in light of its substantive merits. A recent set of precedential decisions based on the presence of parallel concurrent litigation of the same patents in the Federal District Court system NHK Spring Co. v. Intri-Plex Techs., Inc.[7] and Apple Inc. v. Fintiv, Inc. [8] discussed both the relative timing of the Federal court and PTAB case filings in addition to issue/party overlap and prior investment of the parallel court and parties among other factors. In Fintiv, a procedural hurdle was created for IPR challenges by subjecting petitioners to respond in detail to a 6-factor test upon a request by the patent owner for discretionary denial, which would allow the PTAB to determine whether pending parallel district court litigation of the patent should disqualify the challenger from a concurrent IPR.[9]

        • Software Patents

          • Non-Compliance with §112(b) is More Than a Gamble for Claiming Computer-Implemented Inventions Ed: “Computer-Implemented Inventions” is just a nonsensical term meaning software patents, i.a. bogus patents]

            For those seeking to file applications for computer-implemented inventions, it pays to be aware of some lesser known requirements for such inventions before casting the die. In July of 2000, the United States Patent Office (USPTO) issued a patent for an electronic slot machine designed to appeal to players by allowing the conditions for payout to be selected by the players. Patent 6,093,102 (`102 Patent), assigned to Aristocrat Technologies Inc., comprised of the conventional slot machine set up plus a display screen whereby players can select their own winning combinations. The intended result is a perception of increased winning opportunities incentivizing slot players into preferring to play the machine. However, after filing suit for patent infringement against International Game Technology of `102 Patent in 2006, Aristocrat would find themselves in the position of those who use their alleged invention; the odds not being in their favor.

            On summary judgment the United States District Court for the District of Nevada found the `102 patent invalid for indefiniteness under 35 U.S.C. §112(b). Aristocrat Techs. Austl. Pty v. Int’l Game Tech., No. 2:05-CV-00820-BES (LRL), 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98916 (D. Nev. Apr. 20, 2007). The house would later go bust as the United States Federal Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the `102 Patent’s invalidity. Aristocrat Techs. Austl. Pty. Ltd. v. Int’l Game Tech., 521 F.3d 1328, 1338 (Fed. Cir. 2008). Had the specification’s disclosure contained an algorithm, it may have been sufficient, and appeal would have been a gamble Aristocrat never had to make.

          • Lead Article: The Post-Berkheimer Section 101 Landscape: A Survey of Recent Patent Eligibility Decisions [Ed: Patents on algorithms remain mostly junk in the US courts]

            Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Intern., 573 U.S. 208 (2014) and Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., 566 U.S. 66 (2012), defendants have relied on these decisions to invalidate patents under 35 U.S.C. § 101. To establish the invalidity of a patent under Alice and Mayo, a defendant must meet a two-step test. First, it must show the claims at issue are directed to a patent-ineligible concept, such as a law of nature, abstract phenomenon, or abstract idea. Alice, 573 U.S. at 217-18. Second, the defendant must show the claims contain no “inventive concept.” Id. Under this second step, Alice directs trial courts to examine whether the claim limitations involve more than the performance of “well-understood, routine, [and] conventional activities previously known to the industry.” Id. at 225.

            [...]

            In sum, the past four years of decisions have shown that the early predictions about Berkheimer were not far off: Berkheimer’s holding has made it somewhat more difficult to win patent eligibility challenges. It is also clear, however, that all hope is not lost for defendants. Even under Berkheimer, successful challenges are still possible, including at the motion to dismiss stage.

          • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Inventions and Patents [Ed: Dirty tricks for disguising patents on maths, using buzzwords and mindless hype]

            As new technologies emerge, they challenge traditional legal principles and concepts, which often lag behind technological progress. Though Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a term and a field has been in existence since the 1950s, it did not pose serious legal challenges as its implementability and applicability was limited. Today however, developments in computation, communication, information, data and other technologies have significantly enhanced the implementability and utility of AI for different purposes in different fields. This has set off debates with respect to several well settled legal principles including those governing ownership, protection and enforcement of intellectual property (IP) relating to AI inventions and creations.

            When they finally emerge, the answers to some of the questions might affect the ability of the IP system to promote progress of science, technology, and creativity. Though Courts in some countries have arrived at determinations on AI inventorship and ownership, several questions are still open, and are the subject of legislative activity and/or policy making. Reports of WIPO and different patent offices such as the USPTO indicate that AI techniques have diverse applications across many fields, and are difficult, if not impossible, to track. The ubiquity of AI applications and related consequences, and the rapid pace at which Artificial Intelligence research seems to be progressing makes it very challenging to arrive at a specific policy framework and approach, and the resultant openness/ambiguity is reflected in the response of patent offices to applications involving AI. With that in mind, this article gives a perspective of some AI patent trends and patentability issues with specific focus on India.

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