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04.14.16

European Patent Office a Microsoft Stronghold: GNU/Linux and Mac Support Seemingly Just Dumped

Posted in Apple, Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 8:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft is an EPO V.I.P. (a marriage made in Hell)

Microsoft at EPO

Summary: Yet more examples of preferential treatment for Microsoft at the EPO, which merely helps a foreign company, Microsoft, make sales, e.g. of Windows (even spyware!), and launch lawsuits against GNU/Linux in Europe, having enjoyed a fast lane and outrageous tolerance of software patents (Microsoft even bragged about this)

LAST month we wrote about the worrisome technical relationship between the EPO and Microsoft [1, 2], setting aside preferential treatment for Microsoft as a patent applicant (which does a lot of patent aggression against European companies that ‘dare’ to distribute Linux). The EPO has become just as abusive as Microsoft if not a lot worse and moreover, just like Microsoft, it somehow believes that it is above the law and that it can get away with virtually anything, even mass surveillance without consent.

At 34 minutes past midnight (less than two hours ago) the EPO announced this new release. Well, looking at the download page (warning: epo.org link), we find this:

Windows-only EPO

Windows-only EPO text

These self-explanatory screenshots suggest either that the EPO dumped support for any platform other than Windows or it deliberately leaves these ‘bad’ platforms behind, despite Java being cross-platform. Microsoft must be very, very pleased and happy with its lapdogs at the EPO. To quote the page: “BiSSAP version 1.3.6, currently available only for Windows users. Mac OS and Linux versions will not be updated to be compatible with Java 8.” Whose office is this?

04.13.16

New Software Patents From Google, Microsoft and Apple, Plus New Lobbying From David Kappos (Paid by Microsoft and Apple)

Posted in America, Apple, Google, IBM, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 8:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

David Kappos demonstrates that laws are up for sale in the US, even patent laws

David Kappos
Source: David Kappos 2013 interview

Kappos PAI
Kappos-led group, funded by large corporations but conveniently not named Partnership of Megacorporations

Summary: Software patents are not going away just yet because companies such as Microsoft, Apple and IBM (which Kappos came from) use their money for lobbying, essentially buying legislation

THE other day we wrote about patents on driving, the context being (in part) Google’s initiative, which made the news this past week, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4]. Google is trying to patent driving [1, 2], which brings up all sorts of legitimate questions about patent scope and prior art (humans already drive cars and have driven cars for many years). These are undoubtedly software patents. They affect my area of research, which is computer vision/machine vision (purely software/mathematics), not signal processing (hardware slant to it).

“If Kappos has any dignity left, he will go hide under a rock and not reinforce the perception that the patent system he worked for is deeply corrupt.”According to other news (“Microsoft patents end-to-end encryption”), the NSA surveillance pioneer wants a monopoly on encryption [1, 2, 3, 4], in relation to an operating system that’s the antithesis of encryption (mass surveillance in real time).

Meanwhile we also learn that Finjan, a Microsoft-connected patent aggressor, carries on suing Symantec. As a software patents proponent put it: “Finjan Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: FNJN), the parent of wholly-owned subsidiary Finjan, Inc., announced several weeks ago that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) issued the final rulings on attempts by Symantec Corporation’s (NASDAQ: SYMC) to invalidate 8 different Finjan’s patents through inter partes review (“IPR”).”

So, in this particular case, PTAB did not eliminate software patents, for a change. Cause for celebration among patent lawyers, but what does it mean to everybody else? Apple patent aggression with software patents is still, according to this news, a ‘thing’ as “this latest patent is more software orientated.” A lot of the patents Apple has been using to attack Linux (or Android) have been software patents or design patents, which are inherently similar to (or a type of) software patents.

Now that software patents are generally under attack and face an existential threat in the US (SCOTUS already killed many of them with Alice and it might soon do the same to design patents because of Apple’s aggression) the former USPTO Director, David Kappos, rears his ugly head again. He now works as a lobbyist for IBM, Microsoft, Apple etc. and disgraces the USPTO as he currently receives money to change laws in favour of these clients (that’s a form of “revolving doors” corruption, turning/converting his influence/connections into money). As this lawyers’ site has just put it: “The former director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Monday called for the abolition of Section 101 of the Patent Act, which sets limits on patent-eligible subject matter, saying decisions like Alice on the issue are a “real mess” and threaten patent protection for key U.S. industries.” What he means by “real mess” is that it creates uncertainty for clients of his, such as IBM, Microsoft, and Apple. This is a continuation of something that we noted here before. If Kappos has any dignity left, he will go hide under a rock and not reinforce the perception that the patent system he worked for is deeply corrupt.

04.09.16

Patents Roundup: US Patent System/Landscape Disqualified, Corrupted, Saturated With Patent Trolls, and Funded by Microsoft

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Patents at 11:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Still sticking its dirty fingers in many patent pies

HNBA Microsoft

Summary: An all-encompassing (based on our admittedly limited breadth or scope of research) roundup of patent news pertaining to software in the US

THIS article is a summary of recent USPTO news. It’s as comprehensive as possible and it focuses, as usual, on software patents. Those are just most relevant to us.

“Anyone can probably see that USPTO greed (for both power and money) is going way too far.”

Quality Control Out the Window

Patently-O, a decent source of information on the subject of patents (albeit a little subjective at times, which is understandable given the audience it reaches), looked at recent changes related to infringement and invalidity of patents. The latter article said that “the district court rejected the plea for vacatur — finding that the PTO decision does not “displace a district court judgment” and that it would be “against the public interest” to allow a patentee to overcome an invalidity judgment simply by “amending its invalid claims.” [...] What is unclear here is the level of claim & issue preclusion that will apply going forward when Cardpool asserts the patent against some third party.”

“What we deal with here is a patent troll that claims it ‘owns’ scanning activity.”Watch what the USPTO is up to. Basically, as usual, having seen the courts invalidating many of its bogus patents (minimal quality control is to blame here), it now looks to bolster/improve its business by making a mockery of the course of justice. What is this, a third world country? Anyone can probably see that USPTO greed (for both power and money) is going way too far. The USPTO is very plaintiff-friendly because plaintiffs are its ‘clients’ (applicants). The USPTO must be kept out of the legal process altogether. The same goes for the EPO (increasingly abusive in that regard under Battistelli’s regime). Some people are now bombarding the patent system with more automated tools/robots (like DMCA requests that are bogus and served by algorithms, or trading activity in stock markets, also using algorithms). See this new press release about a “Proprietary Patent Application Software”. These help exhaust, fool, mislead examiners. They even say “proprietary” as if it’s some kind of marketing term. “Every bloody unit will be using proprietary software components jealously guarded by patents,” said this article from 2 days ago.

Patently-O noted that in some particular cases even antitrust laws creep in.”In other new blog posts from Patently-O the MPHJ patent troll is revisited (it can come to Europe with UPC hooks perhaps, suing everyone who uses a scanner if all goes as Battistelli foresees). “HP challenged claim 13 on both obviousness and anticipation grounds,” noted Patently-O, after MPHJ had already sued so many people who habitually use a scanner at a business (and often retrieved ‘protection money’ without as much as a legal challenge). What we deal with here is a patent troll that claims it ‘owns’ scanning activity. It’s really about as bad as it sounds. No exaggeration is needed, hence it resulted in plenty of press coverage over the years.

Institutional Corruption in the US Patent System

Another new Patently-O article deals with a patent “case involving both plaintiffs and defendants presenting false expert testimony.”

“When a nation’s patent system mostly serves to protect one’s giant (and often taxpayers-funded) monopoly the perception of corruption will inevitably increase.”Yes, nice to have ‘justice’… whoever has the deeper pockets (or less to lose) tends to win. Who benefits from all this chaos? Patently-O noted that in some particular cases even antitrust laws creep in. To quote this new post about GlaxoSmithKline (GSK): “The question in the case, now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court is whether that license structure can raise a plausible antitrust claim under F.T.C. v. Actavis, Inc., 133 S. Ct. 2223 (2013).”

When a nation’s patent system mostly serves to protect one’s giant (and often taxpayers-funded) monopoly the perception of corruption will inevitably increase. Who’s being served here? The public that will consequently be overcharged and have few (or none at all) alternatives? Going back to the false testimony, Patently-O wrote: “On cross-examination, Rembrand’s technical expert witness Dr. Thomas Beebe “drastically” changed his testimony regarding his methodology for testing whether the accused contact lenses were “soft.” After being called-out by the defense’s expert Dr. Christopher Bielawski, a jury found no-infringement. Post-trial, the district court doubled-down by also granting J&Js motion for JMOL of non-infringement. Bielawski’s testimony may have been particularly damaging – with his statement: “You should not trust Dr. Beebe, and you should throw out his testimony, not in part, but in whole. You should not trust Dr. Beebe.””

“A patent system of secrecy defeats the very purpose (original goal) of the patent system.”Judging any case at all based on written/oral testimony is dangerous and misguided. It’s like using the words of cops or some errand bystanders as evidence in criminal trials. Any such ‘evidence’ is the weakest form of evidence because there is no way to ascertain/verify claims. Moreover, people are often corruptible and when there’s much at stake in a trial (not just prison but a lot of money) there’s plenty of room for abuse, such as bribery. Remember those infamous cases of Apple with jury foreman Hogan? Probably trial misconduct. Don’t forget Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) corruption either.

Pressing on, the EFF celebrates progress in a patent case it intervened in one year ago. It says it “has put significant time and effort into getting this one document in one case unsealed. Unfortunately, it is just one of countless documents that are routinely sealed without good reason in patent cases around the country. Just last week we asked the court in a different patent case to unseal documents that almost surely should not have been completely hidden from public view.”

“It is worth adding that while the number of lawsuits did provably decline it does not tell the full story for more than a single reason and we should generally take with great degree of caution any conclusions that accompany this, e.g. that things are improving on their own, hence no intervention is needed at all.”

Overlooking Patent Trolls in Post-Alice Era

A patent system of secrecy defeats the very purpose (original goal) of the patent system. This kind of secrecy gave rise to shady, secretive operations such as Intellectual Ventures, which boasts thousands of shell companies. This whole kind of system (unaccountable and unregulated) is ripe for abuse by trolls.

“US patent case filing in district courts dropped in the first quarter,” MIP wrote, “down 39% on the fourth quarter and 34% on the first quarter last year, according to Unified Patents. An analysis of Eastern District of Texas filing reveals a disproportionately large drop in the district” (that’s the summary of a paywalled article from MIP).

This echoes several other Web sites which reference the same data and conclude that it’s all about trolls and the Eastern District of Texas. This is a somewhat simplistic view because in reality, as we pointed out the day before yesterday, there are also settlements outside the courts and it might be worth looking at what proportion among these patent lawsuits involved some kind of software patents, hence identifying a correlation between scale of litigation and patent scope rather than lawsuit venue, a plaintiff’s business model and so on. In reality, some of these surveys are politically or commercially motivated, or are set up by academics (or lobbyists) to suit a particular narrative and then push for some particular kind of reform (e.g. a ‘reform’ for more certainty around software patents in the US — something which Kappos lobbies for with money from patent aggressors such as IBM, Microsoft, and now Apple as well).

It is worth adding that while the number of lawsuits did provably decline it does not tell the full story for more than a single reason and we should generally take with great degree of caution any conclusions that accompany this, e.g. that things are improving on their own, hence no intervention is needed at all.

As we found out only earlier this year, one verdict in favour of a patent troll such as VirnetX can cost a great deal of money. VirnetX, according to CCIA’s Matt Levy, now denies that it’s a patent troll, which is of course somewhat laughable a thing to do. “A patent troll is,” Levy explains, “essentially, a company that makes its money by suing companies that it claims are using patents that it has acquired. (For comparison, the FTC said that “The business model of [patent assertion entities] focuses on purchasing and asserting patents against manufacturers already using the technology, rather than developing and transferring technology.” Brian Kahin describes patent trolls as companies whose business is being infringed and whose product is litigation.)”

If one asks IAM ‘magazine’, no such thing even exists and it hardly surprises us that several trolls are paying IAM.

Speaking of payments, Oracle had paid Florian Müller, so it’s not too shocking that he took Oracle’s side in his latest article about Oracle’s war on Android. Müller spent a lot of his life campaigning against software patents and we hope this will precede the desire to make cash with so-called ‘consulting’ contracts.

“On March 22, 2016,” said this new article, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware issued a Memorandum Opinion in a case captioned Treehouse Avatar LLC v. Valve Corp., in which software patent claims survived a patent eligibility challenge.”

Alice does not always kill software patents, but it does most of the time. Another new article speaks of the Mayo/Alice Rule (both SCOTUS decisions). Now that there’s no Scalia at SCOTUS some people wonder what will happen regarding patent cases. Will the “T” word (trolls) come up again in transcripts or even formal rulings/determinations? Those who argue against reform regarding trolls are quoted in this new article which says: “Jessica Sebeok, associate vice president for policy at the Association of American Universities, believes universities will suffer unintended consequences if President Barack Obama succeeds in making it tougher for patent holders to defend their intellectual property.”

“And some people keep telling the world that Microsoft has changed or that there’s a ‘new’, gentler Microsoft…”Well, universities that essentially behave like patent trolls or feed trolls with their patents (we gave many examples here before) might suffer. And if so, that’s a good thing. The article later says: “Business coalition United for Patent Reform – whose membership includes influential allies of the Obama Administration like Google, Amazon and General Motors – and other supporters of HR 9 seek to stop patent trolling by making it riskier to file patent infringement suits and imposing additional costs of plaintiffs, but AAU argues this would put undue pressure on legitimate patent holders.”

Microsoft Licensing Still an Active Patent Troll

In the above, neither side speaks about patent scope. To them it’s just a so-called ‘Turf War’ between producing and non-producing (e.g. universities) entities. A company like Microsoft is both because while one company produces things another one, called “Microsoft Licensing”, is effectively a patent troll and based on this new page, Microsoft not only funds front groups for software patents and conferences that promote software patents, it now also puts its finger in the “2016 Hispanic National Bar Association/Microsoft IP Law Institute” pie, where Microsoft is the sole program supporter.

And some people keep telling the world that Microsoft has changed or that there’s a ‘new’, gentler Microsoft…

‘“Other than Bill Gates, I don’t know of any high tech CEO that sits down to review the company’s IP portfolio” —Marshall Phelps

04.07.16

Samsung to Potentially Challenge Design Patents in the US Supreme Court While Filing Patent Applications for Designs

Posted in America, Apple, Courtroom, Law, Patents, Samsung at 3:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Defensive, offensive, or just outright dumb and unnecessary? Hypocritical for sure.

Gates

Summary: Dumb patents on very dumb/trivial ideas (like gate-locking, or slide to unlock) still a subject which the higher US courts deem worthy of Supreme intervention (while Samsung itself joins the problem with new patent filings)

KOREAN giant Samsung, the market leader in the Android space, is an attractive target for patent lawsuits, even though conventionally Korean companies aren’t combative patent aggressors themselves (they don’t deserve the pricey defendant’s treatment). There’s no escaping the aggressors for Samsung, which even got attacked using EPO patents on software and designs (Samsung won as the EPO patents turned out to be bogus, i.e. erroneously granted).

“There’s no escaping the aggressors for Samsung, which even got attacked using EPO patents on software and designs (Samsung won as the EPO patents turned out to be bogus, i.e. erroneously granted).”Samsung is pursuing design patents of its own now, based on the latest news, e.g. [1, 2, 3] (we found more than a dozen articles about this one) and Apple’s attack on Samsung using design patents is still a subject of discussion, even 2.5 weeks after it was news. This one new blog post says: “Oral argument has not yet been scheduled, but I imagine it will be held sometime in October or November after the Court returns from its summer recess. For now, at least, it seems likely that the Court will still consist of only eight, not the full complement of nine, justices.”

By extension, a lot of design patents will be considered/assessed by SCOTUS, but why were they being granted in the first place? Designs are often covered by laws other than patent law. In the context of patents it’s common for callback functions, i.e. software (behaviour), to be incorporated into the static (visual i.e. plottable) design.

“In the context of patents it’s common for callback functions, i.e. software (behaviour), to be incorporated into the static (visual i.e. plottable) design.”As we pointed out here a long time ago, design patents are in many cases just a subclass of software patents, hence they both need to go away. MIP does not quite agree and in a very recent post about “design rights” (not quite the same as design patents) it said: “After attending the recent INTA/AIPPI conference on “Designs: Into the Future”, James Nurton summarises what there is to love about designs – and also a few reasons not to love them. On the following pages, we also look in depth at the recent Trunki decision in the UK and the pending Apple v Samsung case in the United States”

The Trunki case has been mentioned many times in our daily links. It’s truly dumb and some might call it outrageous. But it’s not about patents. There is hardly a connection/parable here. Either way, to conflate or interject it into the Apple v Samsung would only mislead.

04.05.16

Massive Cases Launched by Patent Trolls in the US Almost Always About Software Patents

Posted in Apple, Google, Microsoft, Patents, Samsung at 9:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Texas map

Summary: A roundup of recent news about patents and stories about patent trolls that use software patents against large companies

TECHRIGHTS is not against patents; it is against particular patents, or put another way, there are types of patents that are exceptionally problematic (because of other protections) and scientific fields (or domains) that should not have patents on them because these are inadequate for technical and economic reasons (technical because they retard development or innovation and economic because there’s insufficient evidence that they bring about overall prosperity or increase/improve competitiveness).

“Samsung fights on because Apple too infringes/steps on a lot of Samsung patents (many of them on software).”Dr. Glyn Moody bemoans patents on genes today (he wrote a whole book on the subject), IAM writes about patents on drones today, and an interesting new article by Joe Mullin speaks about a patent troll, SimpleAir, which attacked Google and wanted $85 million for a stupid software patent. He notes that “a SimpleAir expert said that Microsoft had likely paid $5 million to license the ’914 patent.” (to be fair, it’s not just a Microsoft thing because, to quote Mullin, “SimpleAir used its “push notification” patents to file waves of lawsuits in 2008 and 2013 against companies like CBS, eBay, Amazon, Apple, Yahoo, Microsoft, and MySpace.”)

“It really ought to be widely accepted (it’s increasingly realised in industry) that a lot of the problems stem from software patenting, not just trolls.”Now consider VirnetX‘s case against Apple, which sees Samsung on the same side as Apple, in spite of the Supreme Court level Apple lawsuit against Samsung and other such cases (the EPO‘s clueless President doesn't seem to know what Apple does in European courts). What we deal with here is a software patent used by a troll to amass money at the expense of companies which actually create something. A new article titled “How the Samsung vs Apple Supreme Court battle affects Android” says that “Apple successfully sued Samsung for iPhone patent infringement in 2012, but now the real battle has begun. Despite Apple’s pleadings, the Supreme Court – the highest court in the United States – is reviewing the case. As this is the first patent case taken up by the court in more than 120 years, the outcome would have a massive effect on smartphone design in the future – the Galaxy S8 included.”

When it comes to Apple and Samsung, both companies have a lot of patents. If Apple was purely a patent troll (or relied on trolls as satellites), then for Samsung to retaliate would be virtually impossible and settlement money would be coughed out faster. Samsung fights on because Apple too infringes/steps on a lot of Samsung patents (many of them on software).

It really ought to be widely accepted (it’s increasingly realised in industry) that a lot of the problems stem from software patenting, not just trolls.

04.01.16

Grandes Reclamos de Oracle Contra Linux/Android Demuestra la Futilidad de la OIN

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, IBM, OIN, Oracle, Patents at 2:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

English/Original

Publicado en Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, IBM, OIN, Oracle, Patentes at 4:01 pm por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Una solución que sólo los agresores de patentes y sus proponentes como IBM pueden coexistir

Ginni Rometty

Photo fuente (modificada ligéramente): Las 10 Mujeres Más Poderosas en Tecnología Hoy

Sumario: Oracle (de la OIN) esta enjuciando a Google (también de la OIN) por Android (Linux-based) y buscándo casi $10,000,000,000 en ‘daños’ sirve para mostrar que la OIN no es una atajo/solución al problema clave, que son las patentes de software

La guerra de patentes de Apple contra Android todavía esta en los titulares esta semana [1, 2, 3] y también hay un montón de artículos del caso de Oracle contra Android en nuestras diarias links. No hay duda, dado que Oracle reciéntemente se unió a la OIN, su ataque contra Android comprueba que la OIN está muy lejos de una solución. Oracle quiere recuperárse de la compra de Sun al usar patentes de software por la que los trabajadores de Sun trabajaron, junto a derechos de autor. “El caso tendrá ramificaciones mayores para las patentes de software y licensiamento en todo el mundo,” dijo este reportaje.

Aqui esta un nuevo artícule acerca de la Linux Foundation y la OIN. Para citar las partes más relevantes:

Cumplir con los requisitos legales es uno de los elementos clave que las grandes compañías de software sopesan en sus ciclos de lanzamiento. Tienen equipos que comprueban las patentes de software que puedan impactar en su código, asegúrarse de que todos los derechos de autor sean reconocidos y mirar las cláusulas detalladas de uso en cualquier software de terceros que utilicen.

Una de las razones para hacer esto es para evitar litigios costosos de compañías que se conocen como trolles de patentes. Estas son empresas que han comprado grandes grupos de patentes de software. Su modelo de negocio es como sigue, utilizar estas patentes para demandar a los desarrolladores y en la última década hemos visto una serie de demandas de alto nivel contra compañías como IBM, Microsoft, Google y otros. Algunas de ellas han sido rechazadas por los tribunales, pero otros han sido reafirmadas lo que cuesta cientos de millones de dólares en multas y costos.

Mientras que desarrolladores de código de fuente abierta puedan pensar que ellos están inmunes a este tipo de ataque, lo cierto es que no. Pueda ser que una pieza de software publicada como open source es más tarde presuntamente haber infringido una patente de software. Esto podría significar que alguien usando ese software sea encontrado culpable de infracción.

Para reducir el impacto de reclamo de patentes Google, IBM, Red Hat, SUSE, NEC, Philips y Sony crearon el Open Innovation Network. Su objetivo fue crear una pool (grupo) de patentes defensivas que pudiera ser usada para proteger Linux y a sus desarrolladores. Este ha hecho que más de 1946 compañías se unan a la OIN para usar sus patentes para defenderse así misma de ataques.

Cuando tu trabajas en patentes de software para una compañíá – no importa cuán benigna esa compañía sea – tu nunca sabes quién las conseguirá/usará. Vean la respuesta que recibí de de un trabajador de Red Hat (Alexandre Oliva) después de haber escrito esto, habiendo hecho un llamado a Red Hat detenerse en perseguir patentes de software y descolmillar las existentes. Como Oliva lo puso, “cuando me di cuenta de esto hace 6 años, comenze una campaña para que Red Hat convierta su Promesa de Patentes en una licensia actual, pero hasta hora no suerte. hasta que este problema mayor sea arreglado, no más aplicaciones de patentes de mi…”

Un crítico por largo tiempo de la OIN, Florian Müller, fue uno de los primeros en señalar que la OIN no sería efectiva ya que un miembro de la OIN (Oracle) enjuició a otro (Google). El tiene este nuevo post que dice: “Hay un interesante paralelo entre Apple versus Samsung (quiero decir su primer caso, con respecto al cual la Corte Suprema ha otorgado certiorari) y el Oracle versus Google Android-Java litigación sobre derechos de autor: en ambos casos, la mayoría de los cargos en disputa están basados en la teoría de restitución de los beneficios del infractor, y a primera vista, el monto reclamado por los propietarios de derechos parecen muy altísimos. Hay incluso más similaridades. Por ejemplo, en ambos casos, los acusados son protagonistas claves de Android. Pero también hay importantes diferencias reales, no limitados al hecho que patentes de diseño y derechos de autor son diferentes tipos de propiendad intelectual.

Estos casos de alto nivel sirver para demostrar los peligros de las patentes de software (Novell terminó en manos de Microsoft, Oracle en las manos de Apple y Red Hat podría terminar en cualquier lugar, dependiendo de quién lo compre y cuándo) y la inútil que es la OIN. La verdaderos personaje buscando por una reforma deben hacer campaña para la completa abolición de las patentes de software ellos mismos. El próximo post tratará con otras ideas de reforma/estrategias deficientes.

03.30.16

Oracle’s Huge Claims Against Linux/Android Demonstrate the Uselessness of OIN

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, IBM, OIN, Oracle, Patents at 4:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A workaround that only patent aggressors and software patents proponents like IBM can coexist with

Ginni Rometty

Photo source (modified slightly): The 10 Most Powerful Women in Technology Today

Summary: Oracle (from OIN) suing Google (from OIN) over Android (Linux-based) and seeking nearly $10,000,000,000 in ‘damages’ serves to show that OIN is not a workaround/solution to the key problem, which is software patents

Apple’s patent war on Android is still in headlines this week [1, 2, 3] and there are a lot of articles about Oracle‘s case against Android in our daily links. No doubt, given that Oracle had joined OIN, its attack on Android proved that OIN is far from a solution. Oracle wants to recover the cost of buying Sun by just using patents that Sun workers worked towards, along with copyrights. “The case will have major ramifications for software patents and licensing the world over,” this one report said.

Here is a new article about the Linux Foundation and OIN. To quote the relevant part/s:

Meeting legal requirements is one of the key elements that large software companies factor in to their release cycles. They have teams that check for software patents that may impact their code, make sure that every copyright is acknowledged and look at the detailed usage clauses in any third-party software that they use.

One of the reasons for doing this is to avoid expensive litigation from companies often referred to as patent trolls. These are companies that have purchased large software patent libraries. Their business model is to then use those libraries to bring lawsuits against developers and over the last decade we’ve seen a number of high profile lawsuits against companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Google and others. Some of these have been dismissed by the courts but others have been upheld costing hundreds of millions of dollars in both fines and costs.

While open source developers might think that they are immune from this type of issue they are not. It may be that a piece of software that has been released as open source is later alleged to have infringed a software patent. This would mean that anyone using that software could be found guilty of an infringement.

To help reduce the impact of patent claims Google, IBM, Red Hat, SUSE, NEC, Philips and Sony created the Open Innovation Network. The goal was to create a pool of defensive patents that could be used to protect Linux and developers using Linux. This has been successful with over 1946 companies signing up to the OIN to use their patents to defend themselves from attack.

When you work on software patents for a company — no matter how benign a company — you never know who will get/use them. See the response I got from Red Hat staff (Alexandre Oliva) after writing this, having called for Red Hat to stop pursuing software patents and defang all existing ones. As Oliva put it, “when I realized this, some 6 years ago, I started campaigning for Red Hat to turn its Patent Promise into an actual license, but no luck so far. until this major problem is fixed, no more patent applications from me…”

A longtime critic of OIN, Florian Müller, was among the first to point out that OIN was not effective because one OIN member (Oracle) sued another (Google). He now has this new post which says: “There’s an interesting parallel between Apple v. Samsung (meaning their first case, with respect to which the Supreme Court has granted certiorari) and the Oracle v. Google Android-Java copyright litigation: in both cases, most of the damages at issue are based on the theory of a disgorgement of infringer’s profits, and at first sight, the amounts claimed by the right holders appear very high. There are even more similarities. For example, in both cases, the defendants are key Android players. But there are also some important factual differences, not limited to the fact that design patents and copyright are different types of intellectual property.”

These high-profile cases come to show the dangers of software patents (Novell’s ended up in Microsoft’s, Oracle’s and Apple’s hands and Red Hat’s could end up anywhere, depending on who buys it and when) and the uselessness of OIN. The real reform people should campaign for is abolishment of software patents themselves. The next post will deal with other deficient reform ideas/strategies.

03.28.16

Patentes de Software en los US – Cuando son Propiamente Desafíadase en una Era de Extrema Leniencia de la USPTO – Simplemente Mueren

Posted in America, Apple, Patents, Samsung at 4:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

English/Original

Publicado en America, Apple, Patentes, Samsung at 11:50 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

La sin precedentes barra de baja examinación en la oficina de patentes de Estados Unidos hizo una gran cantidad de patentes de software sospechosas o totalmente falsas

Rubber stamps

Sumario: Sellando unas felices examinaciones en cuanto se trata de patentes de software, esta teniendo su tardío efecto en los aplicantes quienes ven sus patentes o inválidadas or masívamente devaluados después de que la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos (SCOTUSP) las evalúa

“La definición de un Troll de patentes es totalmente simple,” escribió una persona temprano esta semana, haciendo eco a lo que algunos de nostros define “[cref 90921 PAE” estos dias. Es “cualquier compañía que hace la mayoría de su dinero usando patentes al amenazar con litigatión.”

Eso es exactamente lo que el “licensing de Microsoft” esta haciéndo. Microsoft ahora tiene su in-house troll de patentes, or PAE, de lo que escribimos la semana pasada.

“Eso es exactamente lo que el “licensing de Microsoft” esta haciéndo. Microsoft ahora tiene su in-house troll de patentes, or PAE…”Afortunadamente la consecuencias de la mayoría de trolles (or PAES) esta en las rocas por Alice. Las patentes de software no pueden dejar de morir, en ambas PTAB y en las cortes. La USPTO últimamente permite que casi cualquier cosa sea patentada (la EPO tiene que observar esto y tomarlo como algo precaucionador), pero simplemente por que una patente es otorgada, no significa que sea válida si/cuando es desafíáda de la manera apropiada, especialmente si esta patente cubre o se relaciona al software.

“Esta decisión de la PTAB invalidándo los reclamos de la patente IV bajo 101 es transtornada,” escribió un abogado de patentes, linking a esta decisión contra Intellectual Ventures, el TROLL de PATENTES de Microsoft y Bill Gates, así como el troll de patentes MÁS GRANDE DEL MUNDO.

“La única patente buena es la patente muerta.”“La hermana de esta patente,” añadió este abogado (citando la patente #9050977), “Conseguí una Rechazo 101” o como este tweet lo pone: “This reads like an un-patentable mental process that drivers do-just “done on a computer”. http://www.pat2pdf.org/patents/pat9290181.pdf” [patent #9290181]

La única patente buena es la patente muerta. Otro nuevo ejemplo de patente de software muerta es esta. Para citar el blog de Docket Rport:

En una escrita decisión final, el Jurado encontró recmaos de un contenido electrónico de distribución no-patentabje bajo
35 U.S.C. § 101. “La ’patente 464 describe que publicaciones electrónicas fueron comúnmente repeditas en una forma leíble por computadora en storage magnético o óptico diskettes y distribuídos a tiendas o por ventas directas de correo. Así el concepto de distribución de publicaciones (contenido), ha sido conocido mucho antes que la patente ´464. Más aún acordamos con el petitioner que distribución de publicaciones (versus publicaciones electrónicas), han sido conocidas por largo tiempo… [Nosotros] determinamos que los reclamos están dirigidos al concepto ABSTRACTO de distribuír contenido electrónico, o más específicamente, a seleccionar, transportar, guardar y enseñar contenido electrónico.”

Es buenho ver noticias como la de arriba porque no sólo devalúa existentes patentes de software pero también reduce el incentivo de llenar aplicaciones por nuevas patentes. ¿Hará SCOTUS lo mismo con las patentes de diseño pronto?

El Caso Apple-Samsung

“A diferencia de Apple, esta compañía Asiática actualmente produce cosas, no simplemente hacen propaganda y rediseñan sus logos.”Vis-à-vis diseño de patentes and patentes de software at SCOTUS, siguiendo talvez miles de reportajes de los medios en casos como este, IDG sirvió para confirmar lo que Florian Müller había pronósticado, principalmente esto. De la historia de IDG: “la Jueza Lucy Koh está preoucpada que el resultado del juicio pueda ser cuestionado después de una revisión de la Corte Suprema” (extraído por Müller).

¿Habrá alguna vez paz? Bueno, todo eso depende de Apple, quién comenzó toda esta guerra total con sus patentes de software y diseño (usuamente GUI software). Esto es lo que pasa entre compañías Asiáticas como Samsung ahora mismo: “Midea y Toshiba anunciaron la semana pasada que ellos han firmado un memorandum de entendimiento por un tratado el cual vería a la más larga compañíá China fabricante de apáratos para el hogar adquirir la mayoría del gigante Japonés bienes blancos.” A diferencia de Apple, esta compañía Asiática actualmente produce cosas, no simplemente hacen propaganda y rediseñan sus logos. Apple ahora gasta un montón de dinero en abogados de patentes; no nos sorprende el porque sus productos están obscenamente con sobreprecio (costos asociados con propaganda sin fin y abogados de patenes son pasados al consumidor).

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