08.08.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 8/8/2021: GNUnet 0.15.0 and Stable Linux Releases

Posted in News Roundup at 2:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.13.9
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.13.9 kernel.
        
        All users of the 5.13 kernel series must upgrade.
        
        The updated 5.13.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.13.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        
        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...
        
        thanks,
        
        greg k-h
        
      • Linux 5.10.57
      • Linux 5.4.139
      • Linux 4.19.202
      • Linux 4.14.243
      • Linux 4.9.279
      • Linux 4.4.279
    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Color STDERR in output
      • SQLite DB Browser, How to Install and Use it on Linux

        In this article, we’ll show you how to install and use SQLite DB Browser to load a database file, browse the data, and run SQL queries.

        SQLite is is an open source self-contained, lightweight serverless relational database management system. It is a database, which is zero-configured, which means like other databases you do not need to configure it in your system.

      • How to Stress Test Your CPU in Linux | Tom’s Hardware

        A key matrix for determining the vitality of a Linux distro, or the hardware that it runs on, is system performance. Depending on your purpose, you can choose from a variety of dedicated tools to monitor the different components such as CPU frequency, temperature and memory utilisation. But if you favour the CLI, like us, you’ll rather enjoy working with S-TUI.

        With S-TUI, which is an acronym for Stress-Terminal UI, you can simultaneously monitor CPU temperature, frequency, power and utilisation. The utility presents all the information graphically and can even be used to export the data into CSV files. Better still, you can configure S-TUI to automatically launch scripts when the values of any of the components being monitored breaches the defined threshold values. When coupled with stress, another command-line utility, S-TUI can also be used to stress-test your system.

      • How to Install and Configure PostgreSQL on Ubuntu

        Relational database management systems (RDBMS) have proven to be a key component of many websites and applications, as they provide a structured way to store, organize, and access information.

        In this article, we will discuss PostgreSQL in detail, along with a step-by-step guide on installing and configuring PostgreSQL on Ubuntu.

      • How to use PinePhone as a mobile hotspot

        I’ve recently started using my Android phone as a mobile hotspot with mixed results so instead, I’ve switched to using PinePhone as a hotspot with Manjaro Arm Linux with Plasma Mobile instead, and performance seems much more stable now.

        Early this year, I received Pinephone with PostMarketOS beta, and after playing with it a bit I did not do much with it so far. But in recent times, I’ve been staying in various places without WiFi, so I purchased a lost cost SIM card with a one-year cellular data plan to be able to work from any location using my Android 10 smartphone (Huawei Y9 Prime 2019) as a mobile hotspot. It works most of the time, but sometimes I have massive packet loss, and the only way to recover is to turn off and on the hotspot, and in some cases even reboot the phone. Playing with settings on the phone or my laptop did not help, so instead, I decided to make use of my PinePhone and use it as a mobile hotspot to see if things improved.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • GSOC: Second Coding Period; Some Notes on the Catalog Repo. – Hiro’s Stuff

          As promised last time I’ll now go a little into the Catalogs Repository.

          Usually DSO catalogs are pretty static and rarely change due to the nature of their contents. But although galaxies do not tend to jump around in the sky, catalogs still get updates to correct typos or update coordinates with more precise measurement. Our primary catalog OpenNGC for example gets updates quite regularly.

          [...]

          After implementing the framework porting over all the existing catalogs to the new system, I went on to configure the KDE Invent CI to rebuild the catalogs upon changes. The CI artifacts are sync-ed to the KNewStuff data server for KStars periodically and users are able to update their catalogs to the latest version.

          To get the CI working I had to create a Docker image that encapsulates the more or less complicated build process for the KStars python bindings. This container is updated weekly by CI and is also suitable as a quick-and-easy development environment for new catalogs.

          That’s it for today but do not fret. This is not all that I’ve done. There’s still more to come including something that has to do with the following picture.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • This autonomous chess-playing robot will beat its human opponents nearly every time | Arduino Blog

          Almost done with his degree in mechanical engineering, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology student Josh Eckels had the inspiration to put what he learned to the test by creating an AI-powered robot that plays chess against a human opponent. The system is essentially a giant cube fashioned from a series of aluminum extrusions placed at right angles with a large chess board at its base. At the top is a gantry made with a few metal rods and timing belts that slide the X axis and grabbing mechanism to the correct positions.

          Four total stepper motors were used to move the grabber, including one for the X axis, another for the Y axis, a motor that spins a threaded rod to lift the gripper, and a final motor that rotates to open or close it. All of these motors connect to a central Arduino that has a CNC shield on top. This is connected via a USB cable to a Raspberry Pi running the Stockfish chess engine.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Measuring The Fediverse

        Fediverse is what Diaspora, Mastodon, PeerTube and other federated social media altogether being called. These relatively new style of social networking is growing rapidly, as people demand more independence to their own hands, and now everyone of us can overview how large its growth or simply how big one part of it grows with nice statistics and charts. I hope this helps you to find a fediverse you want with either crowded or less crowded population. Let’s see!

      • On the topic of community management, CoCs, etc. [Ed: CoCs are selectively and disproportionately enforced (to suit the enforcers, who make themselves immune), so IME common sense and discussion can achieve a lot more]

        Many people may remember that at one point, Alpine had a rather troubled community, which to put it diplomatically, resulted in a developer leaving the project. This was the result of not properly managing the Alpine community as it grew — had we taken early actions to ensure appropriate moderation and community management, that particular incident would never have happened.

        [...]

        It is not necessarily a requirement to write a Code of Conduct. However, if you are retrofitting one into a pre-existing community, it needs to be done from the bottom up, allowing everyone to say their thoughts. Yes, you will get people who present bad faith arguments, because they are resistant to change, or perhaps they see no problem with the status quo. In most cases, however, it is likely because people are resistant to change. By including the community in the discussion about its community management goals, you ensure they will generally believe in the governance decisions made.

        Alpine did ultimately adopt a Code of Conduct. Most people have never read it, and it doesn’t matter. When we wrote it, we were writing it to address specific patterns of behavior we wanted to remove from the community space. The real purpose of a Code of Conduct is simply to set expectations, both from participants and the moderation team.

        However, if you do adopt a Code of Conduct, you must actually enforce it as needed, which brings us back to moderation. I have unfortunately seen many projects in the past few years, which have simply clicked the “Add CoC” button on GitHub and attached a copy of the Contributor Covenant, and then went on to do exactly nothing to actually align their community with the Code of Conduct they published. Simply publishing a Code of Conduct is an optional first step to improving community relations, but it is never the last step.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Cassandra 4.0 finally out of the gates after being delayed for last-minute bug swat

          After an Apple engineer called an 11th-hour halt to the release, Cassandra 4.0 has finally launched flaunting newfound stability, speed and consistency, according to the open-source project’s users and contributors.

          The code for wide-column database – which has been popular as a distributed system with users including Apple, Instagram and eBay – officially went live today, around six years after 3.0′s debut.

          The developer community is said to have invested the time in wanting to make this the most stable release of the NoSQL system, and ship with no known bugs.

          Speaking to The Register in the run-up to launch, Vinay Chella, engineer and cloud data architect at Netflix, said the new model for streaming data between nodes made it between four and five times faster, accelerating the recovery from failed nodes, and reducing costs.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Week #9 – GSoC Weekly Report – 100 Paper Cuts

          GSoC progress for week #9.

          Diagonal borders now accessible from “Table Toolbar > Borders” tab in Calc

          Calc has diagonal borders feature in Format > Cells… > Borders tab and (Sidebar Tab) Properties > Cell Appearance. However, this feature wasn’t exist in “Table Toolbar > Borders” tab. With commit https://gerrit.libreoffice.org/c/core/+/119685, Calc can draw diagonal left and diagonal right borders from table toolbar. \o/

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNUnet 0.15.0 released

            We are pleased to announce the release of GNUnet 0.15.0.
            This is a new major release. It breaks protocol compatibility with the 0.14.x versions. Please be aware that Git master is thus henceforth INCOMPATIBLE with the 0.14.x GNUnet network, and interactions between old and new peers will result in issues. 0.14.x peers will be able to communicate with Git master or 0.14.x peers, but some services – in particular GNS – will not be compatible.
            The MESSENGER service goes out of experimental to be used by libraries and applications as dependency. It handles decentralized messaging in flexible groups by using the CADET service and messages can be signed with your ego from the IDENTITY service. The service is still in an early stage, so its protocol (currently version 0.1) will likely adapt or change in future releases to some degree.
            In terms of usability, users should be aware that there are still a number of known open issues in particular with respect to ease of use, but also some critical privacy issues especially for mobile users. Also, the nascent network is tiny and thus unlikely to provide good anonymity or extensive amounts of interesting information. As a result, the 0.15.0 release is still only suitable for early adopters with some reasonable pain tolerance .

          • 2021-8: Code Blau GmbH deploys first external Taler auditor

            We received a grant from NLnet foundation with the goal to qualify Code Blau GmbH to act as an external auditor for GNU Taler. To do this, we created a guide that describes how to deploy a Taler auditor and then practiced the steps using the existing Taler exchange deployment at BFH. Code Blau wrote a report detailing all the steps taken. Finally, we have created a draft of the kind of business agreement that Code Blau would enter with banks operating the Taler payment system. We thank CodeBlau for their work, and NLnet and the European Commission’s Horizion 2020 NGI initiative for funding this work.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • What I love about OpenStreetMap

            This month is the 17th birthday of OpenStreetMap (OSM), a community-owned collaborative geographic database of the world. This cool database was inspired by the success of Wikipedia and the (rather annoying) predominance of proprietary map data. With over two million registered users and growing, many collect and provide data from GPS devices or local knowledge of the mapping area. OSM also has established a model for non-governmental organizations to collaborate with international organizations. A notable example of this, during the 2010 Haiti earthquake, OSM and Crisis Common volunteers using available satellite imagery to map the roads, buildings, and refugee camps of Port-au-Prince in just two days built the most complete digital map of Haiti’s roads. This is known as Crisis mapping and is a real-time way to have people contribute and create situational awareness of the surroundings for the citizens and any humanitarian aid groups.

            I find all of that absolutely amazing and interesting, so let’s talk about all the cool ways you can view and contribute to populating information into the database.

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • Brain-inspired highly scalable neuromorphic hardware

        Researchers fabricated a brain-inspired highly scalable neuromorphic hardware by co-integrating single transistor neurons and synapses. Using standard silicon complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology, the neuromorphic hardware is expected to reduce chip cost and simplify fabrication procedures.

      • The Register just found 300-odd Itanium CPUs on eBay • The Register

        In January 2019, Chipzilla issued an advisory [PDF] warning that last orders for the CPU must be lodged by January 30, 2020, and that final shipments would head out the door on July 29, 2021.

        Which was yesterday.

        So concludes an odd story that started in the age of the minicomputer, when the likes of pre-split HP, Data General, Wang, and Prime dominated the server market with machines based on their own proprietary products.

        By the mid-1990s, HP was worried that the minicomputer market was running out of steam because customers feared proprietary architectures would limit their software choices and lock them in to expensive ecosystems. But Sun was still in business, IBM never gave up on proprietary architectures, and DEC was telling anyone who would listen that its leap into the then-exotic realm of 64-bit CPUs with its Alpha platform represented a huge step forward.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Josh Bressers: Episode 283 – When vulnerability disclosure becomes dangerous

        Josh and Kurt talk about a very difficult disclosure problem. What happens when you have to report a vulnerability to an ethically questionable company? It’s less simple than it sounds, many of the choices could end up harming victims.

      • Ordinary salaried Brits: Sweet! Payday! Banking giant HSBC: Oh no it isn’t • The Register

        According to Downdetector, users started reported problems between 8 and 9am BST this morning just as many were starting their day’s work.

        It’s not clear at this stage what’s behind the outage, prompting some to criticise the lack of information from HSBC.

        HSBC’s status page suggests that the bank’s systems are all functioning well. But that doesn’t chime with what some customers are experiencing.

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • MaterialX project starts in the incubation phase at the Academy Software Foundation

                The Academy Software Foundation (ASWF) has accepted MaterialX as its seventh Foundation-hosted project. ASWF was founded to provide a selected set of open source code for content creation. Those technologies are available as open-source resources, meaning they are free to everyone, including source code and can be updated and changed. The ASWF was founded to maintain the code and handle changes through a controlled process. MaterialX is an open standard for the transfer of rich material and look-development content between applications and renderers.

        • Security

          • Got a cheap Cisco router in your home office? If it’s one of these, there’s an exposed RCE hole you need to plug

            Cisco has published patches for critical vulns affecting the web management interface for some of its Small Business Dual WAN Gigabit routers – including a 9.8-rated nasty.

            The two vulnerabilities affect the RV340, RV345, RV340W, and RV345P products, which are aimed at SMEs and home office setups. Attackers abusing them on unpatched devices are able to execute arbitrary code and also force reboots of affected routers, causing a denial-of-service condition.

            CVE-2021-1609, rated 9.8 on the CVSS v3.1 scale, allows attackers to “remotely execute arbitrary code” thanks to improper validation of HTTP requests, according to Cisco’s advisory.

            Similarly, CVE-2021-1610 (advisory also available at the link above) is a command injection vuln allowing attackers to run arbitrary commands as root – again, because “HTTP requests are not properly validated.” This one’s rated at 7.2 on the CVSS v3.1 scale.

          • Google Play puts Android apps on notice: No naughty JavaScript, Python, Lua

            Google’s pending Play Store policy changes are bringing various privacy improvements – but also include a security enhancement and disclosure requirement that deserve mention.

            First, there’s a specific ban on the deceptive use of interpreted languages like JavaScript, Python, and Lua. This is more of a refinement and tightening of prior policy than a new rule.

            Starting October 15, 2021, Google said, “We’re clarifying the Device and Network Abuse policy to prohibit apps or SDKs with interpreted languages (e.g., JavaScript) loaded at run time from violating any Google Play policies.”

          • Das tut mir leid! Germany’s ruling party sorry for calling cops on researcher after she outed canvassing app flaws

            A “left-wing” German infosec researcher was this week threatened with criminal prosecution after revealing that an app used by Angela Merkel’s political party to canvass voters was secretly collecting personal data.

            Germany’s respected Chaos Computer Club (CCC) announced it would stop reporting any weaknesses in the centre-right wing Christian Democratic Union’s (CDU) web-facing infrastructure to the party after it procured a criminal prosecution against Lilith Wittmann.

            “I got an email from the Cyber Security Police of Berlin,” she told The Register. “Could you please provide us your address, so we can send you… legal documents? And then I was like, that’s weird. I didn’t do anything wrong. Let’s tweet about that. Let’s find a lawyer who can look into that.”

            Although the prosecution is due to be withdrawn after an apology from the CDU, the episode shines a light on some German politicians’ attitudes to vulnerability disclosures.

          • Credit-card-stealing, backdoored packages found in Python’s PyPI library hub

            Malicious libraries capable of lifting credit card numbers and opening backdoors on infected machines have been found in PyPI, the official third-party software repository for Python.

            That’s according to the JFrog security research team, which documented its findings here at the end of last month.

          • We can’t believe people use browsers to manage their passwords, says maker of password management tools

            It seems some of us are, in the year of our lord 2021, still reusing the same password for multiple sites, plugging personal gear into work networks, and perhaps overly relying on browser-managed passwords, judging from this poll.

            ThycoticCentrify, formed from a merger between two computer access management firms, said it surveyed about 8,000 people, and reports just under a quarter admitted they reuse passwords across multiple websites – a cybersecurity no-no because it opens you up to credential stuffing.

          • Make-me-admin holes found in Windows, Linux kernel [Ed: Spin attempting to create an illusion of parity on security]
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Remember Google Plus? Remember its privacy blunder? Remember applying for a slice of a settlement?

              Check your bank accounts this month. A settlement payment from Google, regarding a privacy hole in its now-defunct Google+ social network, may be winging its way to you. All $2.15 of it.

              The vulnerability in question was in the Google+ People API. It could have been exploited by third-party apps to swipe people’s personal information, such as their names, email addresses, genders, and ages, even if this data wasn’t publicly visible.

              At first it was thought 438 apps could have siphoned off the records from up to 500,000 users. It was later discovered that actually a whopping 52.5 million accounts were at risk. It’s believed no data was actually stolen by apps.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • Paperless office? 2.8 trillion pages printed in 2020, down by 14% or 450 billion sheets [Ed: Cars cause vastly more damage to the planet. Let people work from home, whenever/wherever possible; reduce production of cars and reduce air pollution (which kills more than COVID-19 does, shows the science)]

        Around 450 billion fewer pages were printed from home and office devices in 2020 as COVID-19 disrupted the world of work.

        The direction of travel has been obvious in recent times: people were printing less even before the pandemic took hold, but the decline was sharper last year as volumes plunged 14 per cent on 2019 levels to a total of 2.8 trillion pages, according to IDC.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • eBay ex-security boss sent down for 18 months for cyber-stalking, witness tampering • The Register

        The former global security manager for eBay was sentenced on Tuesday to 18 months in prison and was ordered to pay a $15,000 fine for his role in the cyber-stalking and harassment of a Massachusetts couple who published a newsletter critical of the internet yard sale.

        Philip Cooke, a police captain in Santa Clara, California, prior to his employment at eBay, was the last of seven former employees of the company charged by the US Department of Justice in 2020 for alleged involvement in a scheme to threaten and silence Ina and David Steiner, who publish the web newsletter and website EcommerceBytes.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • On its 30th anniversary, the Internet now has 1,8 billion websites

        It’s 30 years since Tim Berners Lee, a young English software engineer, launched the world’s first website, while working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

        Most people who search on Google, share on Facebook and shop on Amazon have never heard of Sir Tim Berners-Lee. But they might not be doing any of those things had he not invented the World Wide Web.

        In1989, Berners-Lee began working on ways to identify digital objects and retrieve them through browser software capable of rendering graphics and other images.

        He published a proposal on March 12, 1989, opening the way to a technological revolution that has transformed the way people buy goods, share ideas, get information and much more.

      • Thoughts on the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web [Ed: Avast uses the WWW's anniversary to push proprietary skakeoil]
      • 1.8 billion websites: Internet marks its 30th anniversary | Daily Sabah

        Most people who search on Google, share on Facebook and shop on Amazon have never heard of Sir Tim Berners-Lee. But they might not be doing any of those things had he not invented the World Wide Web.

        It’s 30 years since the young English software engineer launched the world’s first website while working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

        Starting in 1989, Berners-Lee began working on ways digital objects could be identified and retrieved through browser software capable of rendering graphics and other images.

        He published a proposal on March 12, 1989, opening the way to a technological revolution that has transformed the way people buy goods, share ideas, get information and much more.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Tangent Animation Shuts Down Production. As Many As 400 People Laid Off [Ed: Netflix only works for Netflix with DRM for monopoly]

        Tangent Animation, a studio in Toronto and Winnipeg, announced yesterday that they were shutting down production on all projects. The unexpected news came as a likely shock to staffers, who were working on multiple feature film projects for Netflix at the time.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • DABUS: legal team reveals winning strategy and long-term hopes [Ed: Of course the patent propaganda mill is over the moon, seeing that patents are now being granted to bots as well]

          Counsel from South Africa, Australia and beyond explain what recent legal wins mean for AI inventorship

        • If machines can be inventors, could AI soon monopolise technology? [Ed: Crisis of legitimacy for the entire patent system]
        • Conflict of interest: how five firms make close calls [Ed: This publisher fails to disclose its own conflict of interest; it's sponsored by the mass-litigation cartel to become a one-sides propaganda mill in "news" clothing]

          US lawyers weigh whether firms should advise both innovator and generic pharma companies, and whether competitors can be too close to advise

        • Counsel: what the USPTO should do about mass bad-faith filings [Ed: A race to the bottom against China benefits nobody but the litigation cartel; moreover, it looks like such laws are becoming obsolete because of misuse]

          The USPTO could pressure the government on China, introduce expedited petitions and even require narrower filings, say sources

        • What law governs your without prejudice settlement discussions?

          Autostore sued Ocado for patent infringement in England relating to automated storage technology. Ocado denied infringement and counterclaimed that the patents were invalid. As well as in England, proceedings were also taking place in Germany, before the European patent office, in two states in the U.S., and in the ITC. Ocado was claiming in the ITC that Autostore made certain statements about the scope of the invention that Ocado relied on when designing and importing its products to the U.S. market. To rebut this, Autostore wanted to deploy, before the ITC, evidence of settlement discussions that took place in London. Ocado sought an injunction from the English court to prevent this.

        • Judge Albright will Keep the Google and Apple cases [Ed: Texas facilitates gross abuse of the courts for the sole purpose of treating cases like a private business rather than a matter of law]

          Even though Apple has a $1 billion Austin Texas Campus and 8,000+ employees within the district, the company argued that litigating a patent case within the district would be truly inconvenient. In a prior decision, the Federal Circuit held that Apple’s extensive presence within the district should not be given much weight. In re Apple Inc., 979 F.3d 1332 (Fed. Cir. 2020). I would argue that decision was clearly wrong for convenient venue purposes. The real answer here is that the plaintiff (Koss Corp) shopped for Judge Albright and the defendant is shopping for a different Judge (any other judge). In a short opinion, the Federal Circuit has denied mandamus — finding that Apple did not show entitlement to the “extraordinary relief” of mandamus.

        • Lithium Australia subsidiary receives cathode powder patent

          The VSPC process that was granted the new patent is called ‘Method for making lithium metal phosphates’ and will provide the company with 20 years of intellectual property [sic] (IP) rights [sic] in Australia. VSPC plans to get global patent protection of this IP.

        • The Supreme Court Provides a Different Fix to Make APJs Inferior Officers [Ed: Patent litigation firms want the quality of patents to deteriorate so they can profit from more lawsuits and PTAB cannot get in their way]

          On June 21, 2021, in United States v. Arthrex, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Patent Trial & Appeal Board (“PTAB”) Administrative Patent Judges (“APJs”) are unconstitutionally appointed because they effectively wield the power of principal officers while being appointed as inferior officers. 594 U.S. ____ (2021).

          The primary question before the Supreme Court was whether APJs, who have the authority to conduct adversarial proceedings and issue decisions regarding the validity of patents, are principal officers or inferior officers. Under the Appointments Clause, U.S. Const. Art. II, § 2, Cl. 2., principal officers must be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. Inferior officers may be appointed by the President or by a department head, without Senate approval.

          The United States Patent & Trademark Office (“USPTO”) is an executive agency within the Department of Commerce, and the PTAB is therefore an executive adjudicatory body. Only the Director of the USPTO is a principal officer. APJs are inferior officers whom the Secretary of Commerce (a department head) appoints. APJs whose appointments qualify them as inferior officers cannot have the authority of a principal officer without violating the Constitution.

        • Raising the rainbow flag in The Hague [Ed: Shameless pinkwashing by first-class criminals who engage in major corruption (EPO managers).]

          As the summer of Pride continues and the city of Amsterdam marks 25 years of Pride celebrations, the Office expresses solidarity with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) communities by flying the rainbow flag in The Hague (Patentlaan 2, 2288 EE Rijswijk).

        • Taliens gains new partner following second Pinsent Masons departure [Ed: JUVE doing ads disguised as ‘articles’ again. How is the hiring of one person actual “news”? One story a day, they never cover EPO corruption, and somehow this is “news”? JUVE became like a link farm]
        • Gilead warns of coun­ter­feit HIV pills cir­cu­lat­ing in some US phar­ma­cies [Ed: Patents have made some drugs so supremely expensive that the incentive to do this grows]

          Gilead is warn­ing pa­tients and health­care pro­fes­sion­als to be on the look­out for tam­pered and coun­ter­feit ver­sions of its HIV med­i­cines Bik­tarvy and De­scovy, which have made their way in­to some US phar­ma­cies.

          The phar­ma said on Thurs­day that unau­tho­rized dis­trib­u­tors have sold the im­i­ta­tion drugs to phar­ma­cies, where gen­uine Gilead bot­tles have been tam­pered with fake foil in­duc­tion seals — those “lift-and-peel” stick­ers you see on bot­tle open­ings — or la­bels, and con­tain the wrong tablets.

          “The safe­ty of in­di­vid­u­als tak­ing Gilead med­ica­tion is al­ways our first pri­or­i­ty,” Gilead CMO Mer­dad Parsey said in a state­ment. “We are tak­ing ag­gres­sive ac­tion to en­sure that health­care providers and peo­ple who re­ly on our med­i­cines can con­fi­dent­ly dis­tin­guish au­then­tic Gilead prod­ucts from coun­ter­feit drugs.”

        • FOSS Patents: Intel points Judge Albright to developments in Delaware: does the chipmaker have a license defense to the $2.2B patent damages verdict?

          VLSI Technologies won a patent infringement trial against Intel in the Western District of Texas in March, and lost (because it failed to establish infringement) another one in April. A third VLSI v. Intel trial has been pushed back from the summer to December.

          Judge Alan Albright has not yet entered a final judgment further to the March and April jury verdicts. In the first case (the one with the $2.2B record verdict), Intel is fighting hard and has raised a number of issues in its post-trial motions, demonstrating to the trial court that it can easily be reversed on appeal if it doesn’t order a retrial or make similarly impactful decisions now. In the second case, VLSI would like another chance to prevail.

        • No special rules for SEPs: the value in dispute of a patent in German nullity proceedings will usually be tied to the value set in parallel infringement proceedings, also if it is an SEP – Kluwer Patent Blog

          The German Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) confirmed that for setting the value in dispute of nullity actions on standard essential patents (SEPs) the well-established general rule applies, i.e. in the absence of special circumstances the value is 125% of the value of the infringement action(s) on the same patent (Order of May 11, 2021, case no. X ZR 23/21, English translation available here). The value in dispute (Value) is the basis for calculating court fees and the amount of reimbursable attorney fees in German court proceedings according to an statutory tariff. In its order, the FCJ lowered the Value for the appeal to EUR 1,875,000 instead of EUR 30 million (i.e. the statutory maximum) previously set by the Federal Patent Court (FPC).

          In Germany, court proceedings for patent infringement are separated from those for ruling on validity (nullity proceedings). Thhus, a Value needs to be set for each of the proceedings. In patent infringement proceedings, the Value considers the damage that the patentee will suffer if the infringement continues, plus past damages if claimed. For nullity proceedings, it is long-standing case law that the Value should correspond to the patent’s fair market value at the time the action is filed plus the amount of damages incurred up to that time. The established practice is that the Value of a nullity action is usually to be set at 125% of the Value(s) of parallel infringement proceedings. This surcharge of 25% is intended to take into account the patentee’s own use of the patent.

          [...]

          Perhaps – hope dies last – this decision may even prompt the Federal Patent Court to reconsider its previous decision practice where quite frequently pretty high Values were pretty freely estimated by the Court based on factors such as turnover figures (to the extent they are known), assumed prices of goods, assumed royalty rates, estimated breadth of the patent and remaining life time. Particularly the alleged breadth of a patent was sometimes overrated by the court, at least in our opinion. An unforgettable exemplary case was the order in 3 Ni 22/09 (EU) (unpublished), where despite several extraordinary appeals of the plaintiff, who had withdrawn his nullity action, the Value was fixed and maintained at 20 million EUR. The FPC stuck to this calculation even after it had been informed that the entire world-wide family of the patent in suit was acquired by plaintiff for 7 million EUR and the Value in infringement proceedings had been set at around 1 million EUR. Unfortunately, for the plaintiff in this case, no appeal to the FCJ was possible anymore, as the nullity proceedings on the merits had already been terminated.

        • Software Patents

          • Epic Tech, LLC v. Fusion Skill, Inc. (S.D. Tex. 2021)

            In the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas (Houston Division), Plaintiff Epic Tech, LLC (a seller of so-called “sweepstakes games”) sued Defendants Fusion Skill, Inc. and Texas Wiz, LLC for infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 9,589,423 and 8,545,315 with the distribution of gaming systems similar to Epic Tech’s sweepstakes games.

            The two patents at issue are related to the play of sweepstakes games. The first patent (the ’423 patent) is directed to a method of conducting a sweepstakes game in which a computer-based system operating the game immediately determines and credits a player’s account with any prize earned before showing the user the results of the game. According to Epic Tech, this method is beneficial because it “further reinforces to regulators that the prizes are predetermined and that there is no chance or skill involved in the simulated game.”

            [...]

            Again, the Court found that the ’315 patent “flunks” Alice step one. Like the ’423 patent, the ’315 patent expressly describes itself as directed to methods, but does not claim any novel usage or configuration of computer hardware or software.

            Next, under Alice step two, the Court found that the ’315 patent cannot survive. Here, the ’315 patent merely describes a set of steps that could be performed by any computer—or a fast-moving store clerk—without adding any novel or inventive step.

            The ’315 patent claims a method of operating two games simultaneously in which the second game is triggered by certain conditions in the first game. If the ’315 patent described some technologically innovative mechanism by which the second game is triggered, it might well be inventive. But, it does not. Rather, it simply claims the idea of putting two computers next to each other and having the second computer initiate a game if the first computer produces a winning result. That idea is abstract and thus unpatentable.

            Epic Tech contended that the ’315 patent’s processes cannot be performed solely by humans because the patent claims a system that “independently control[s]” the game-in-game and “takes no input from the individual human players playing on the gaming terminals.”

            But the Court found that a human is perfectly capable of independently running a basic game of luck without taking input from a human player—in fact, that is what a casino’s croupiers do every day. In any event, the question is not whether the patent claims a process that cannot be performed by a human, but whether the patent claims a non-ordinary process.

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DecorWhat Else is New


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