Summary: Relative apathy if not complete silence regarding the EPO at Süddeutsche Zeitung following reports of FTI Consulting’s deal expansion (media positioning in Germany), with hundreds of thousands of Euros (EPO budget) thrown at the controversial task
FOR THOSE WHO don’t know this already, Süddeutsche Zeitung is a Munich-based publication, so one might expect it to write about the EPO very frequently (the EPO is headquartered in Munich). There is no lack of EPO scandals to write about; there are — if anything — too many of them to keep abreast of. So where on Earth has Süddeutsche Zeitung gone? Panama? Mind the EPO connection…
Süddeutsche used to do some proper journalism regarding the EPO (e.g. [1, 2]), but as soon as FTI Consulting got involved a judge got defamed by Süddeutsche. It was never the same anymore. Was Süddeutsche ‘sabotaged’ by the Office, to put a spin on their ludicrous (and now infamous) headline? We don’t know for sure, but we heard stories…
A lot of the traditional/objective tone at Süddeutsche changed after the EPO had signed the FTI Consulting deal, later to be expanded specifically in Germany (for reputation laundering purposes, not necessarily at or just at Süddeutsche Zeitung). Around that time I made some private inquiries, as poor reporting gradually turned into silence (unwillingness to cover).
Here is one message that I sent them months ago:
BRINGING FORWARD / WIEDERVORLAGE
I would like to enquire, with humble and good intentions, why you have been silent about the demonstrations at the EPO in Munich, The Hague, and the general situation at the EPO. The media, including the media in Munich, has an obligation to inform the public about such issues.
Has the EPO been in contact or used pressure to affect your angle on this? If so, you are not alone. Please explain why there has been such a silence for a very long time; it’s not reasonable to just pretend nothing is happening at the EPO.
If it’s possible for somebody, e.g. Katja Riedel, to contact me (E-mail or phone) to explain the reasons for not publishing anything, that would be greatly appreciated.
I sent several more messages, but I have not received a response from Süddeutsche. I never did. However, someone told me that something had been going on internally at Süddeutsche. They probably just didn’t want to talk about it. If any of our readers might be willing to challenge their silence and get their explanation for it, please write to
email@example.com. We know for a fact that there is something nefarious therein and we leave it for readers to explore further. Maybe when they received enough such queries they will eventually feel compelled to respond. █
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Article as ODF
Publicado en Europa, Patentes a las 5:48 pm por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz
Un régimen de patentes para las mega-corporationes que pretende ser para los ‘pequeños chicos/chicas’
Sumario: El caradura de Benoît Battistelli prosigue desfilando en los países pequeños que tienen delegados al Consejo Administrativo (CA) y los explota para propaganda barata, no sólo para que lo apoyen en las reuniónes del CA
LA EPO esta en desórden ya que empleados talentosos se van (fuga de cerebros) y basados en lo que hemos estado escuchando (privadamente) la demanda por sus servicios esta también declinando. Más negocios se están dando cuenta de que la cálidad de examinaciónes en la EPO esta por debajo de la norma, ignorando a los voceros de la EPO.
¿Cómo puede Battistelli todavía conservar su trabajo? ¿Es un mago? La gente esta en shock frente a su habilidad a sobrevivir un crisis de su propia creación.
“Ayudaría a aquellos que seguimos observando sus desarrollo si los representantes a el CA son sin propaganda, o simplemente han sido esquivados,” una persona señaló hoy, habiéndo dicho que “sería de alguna utilida si alguien con experiencia personal con las reuniónes del consejo administrativo comente acerca de la otra pregunta que puse (acerca del arreglo de la agenda en las reuniónes en el Consejo Administrativo).”
“Bajo Battistelli y su ‘bebé’, la UPC, las PYMEs están siendo marginalizadas más aún.”
Pues bien, recuérden lo que el CA (Consejo de Administración) es y cómo funciona. Los países pequeños cuentan los tanto como grandes y he aquí es por qué esto es importante; Battistelli puede ejercer presión o distribuir dinero en países pequeños con el fin de “comprar” sus votos, o repeler los delegados que no son perfectamente fieles a él. Sobre la base de las tonterías de hoy (“noticias”) de la EPO (advertencia: enlace epo.org), Battistelli está presionando los países pequeños, esta vez Letonia y Malta. Para citar el sentido: “La EPO firmó dos acuerdos a finales de junio con las oficinas de patentes nacionales de Letonia y Malta para mejorar las condiciones para las pequeñas empresas de estos países que tratan de proteger sus invenciones a través de patentes.”
Incluso hay sesiones fotográficas allí, el sello distintivo de Battistelli. Es todo sobre él. Él debe verse a sí mismo como una especie de regalo majestuoso, atrayendo la atención de algunos de los regímenes más notorios del mundo y nunca de los políticos respetados en grandes naciones europeas. Ellos saben mejor que se asocian con este psicópata.
Enfocándonos en el sentido de la EPO muy brevemente, la EPO no es definitivamente un amigo de las PYMEs, sino un enemigo de las PYMEs. Bajo Battistelli y su ‘bebé’, la UPC, las PYME están aún más marginalizadass [1, 2, 3]. A medida que una persona se pone hoy (para mí y para la EPO [1, 2): “No es permitido el acceso a los servicios públicos en la UE, existe la pérdida de la libertad personal y software cuando Gobierno complace a $$$ grandes empresas multinaciónales $$$ [...] A medida que la informática moderna cada vez ha conectado más y más a nuestras vidas, los trolles/agresores de patentes son los nuevos opresores brutales de nuestra humanidad “(y la UPC los ayuda aún más).
Tal vez deberíamos hacer un post más largo sobre la UPC dentro de poco. Hoy fue un día políticamente nauseabundo en el Reino Unido y parece que las negociaciones Brexit dejarán de las negociaciones de la UPC en el polvo. La pobre Lucy no tendrá más razones para hacer sesiones fotográficas con Benoît.
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The following paper conflates patent strength/quality with patent maximalism (i.e. ease of patenting and suing)
Summary: Strong patents rather than strong patent enforcement (i.e. ease of legal abuse) help discern the difference between successful economies and self-destructive economies
THE Open Invention Network (OIN), which we covered in the last post, is closely connected to (even overlapping at places) IBM. An entity called RPX, which we wrote about many times before (see Wikipedia article), was set up or propped up with help from IBM to counter Microsoft’s patent troll, Intellectual Ventures. “In an interview,” said a Microsoft-friendly site 8 years ago, “RPX founders John Amster and Geoffrey Barker said they left Intellectual Ventures on good terms but had philosophical differences with the firm’s approach. Neither of the co-CEOs would elaborate on those differences, instead highlighting how RPX plans to make inroads in the murky area of patent acquisition.” So one might say that they’re poison from the same pool.
According to Managing IP (MIP), “PTAB grants attorneys fees for first time, to RPX”. To quote:
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has awarded attorneys fees for the first time, ruling that Applications in Internet Time violated a protective order in its handling of RPX’s confidential information
Sanctions in Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) proceedings have been rare. But on July 1 the Board awarded attorneys fees for the first time.
This is a reason for concern because there are many people and companies out there that wish to demolish PTAB by any means possible. PTAB invalidates a lot of software patents these days. “The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has granted a rare motion to amend, in a covered business method review that focused on the construction of the term “meta-rights”,” MIP wrote in a later article.
“Battistelli lowered patent quality at the Office (to make bogus claims about so-called ‘production’), so the last thing he needs is independent oversight/scrutiny over patent quality.”One might choose to think of PTAB as the US equivalent of the appeal boards of the EPO, which Battistelli fights so viciously against. Battistelli lowered patent quality at the Office (to make bogus claims about so-called ‘production’), so the last thing he needs is independent oversight/scrutiny over patent quality.
Patent quality control, or “strong patents” as some might call it, helps determine economic strength in some cases. Regarding this very recent article titled “How Strong Patents Make Wealthy Nations” (actually more like patent maximalism, not quality control) Benjamin Henrion just joked. The article is actually academic (unlike the paper, which is self-serving as one might expect from CPIP) and it comes from George Mason University, more specifically the Antonin Scalia Law School. Scalia, as we noted here before, was not too crazy when it comes to patents (unlike in many other areas) and the article quotes Professor Stephen Haber of Stanford University as saying “there is a causal relationship between strong patents and innovation.” The article itself says in the conclusion: “Given the copious evidence showing that strong patents make wealthy nations, the IP critics have their work cut out for them” (see corresponding PDF).
“That is more or less what happens in China and it has created a patent bubble (false evaluation of patents based on their number, not quality).”It would be easy to just grant a patent for every application and never properly assess or reassess triviality, prior art etc. That is more or less what happens in China and it has created a patent bubble (false evaluation of patents based on their number, not quality). In order for the USPTO to redeem its reputation it will need more of PTAB (hiring of more staff to cope with the growing load/demand) and the same goes for the EPO, which must hire more technical judges rather than drive them to exile and leave a lot of vacant positions while raising costs so as to lower demand). █
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Summary: Free/Open Source software (FOSS) continues to be used as a cover for large corporations (like Google, IBM, NEC, Philips and Sony) to maintain a grip on patent pools and act as gatekeepers with software patents that they openwash (not even cross-license, as Oracle v Google serves to illustrate)
WE were never huge fans of OIN, which is why OIN’s CEO and PR people tried hard to convince us otherwise. I saw first-hand accounts where patent trolls were repelled by OIN, which didn’t quite seem to care (maybe because OIN cannot do anything at all about patent trolls, other than attempt to buy/harvest patents before they’re bought to be used offensively). OIN is basically the world’s biggest legitimiser of software patents. IBM, the main company behind OIN (recall its first head of operations, Jerry Rosenthal from IBM), is a patent bully and a notorious software patents proponent, so how can one honestly expect OIN to be part of a true solution? IBM is demonstrably part of many problems.
“IBM is demonstrably part of many problems.”According to this new article from Fortune, joining OIN makes one “a Patron of Open-Source Software” (what a ludicrous headline). To quote from the article: “It’s called the Open Invention Network, and its other members are Google, IBM, Red Hat rht , NEC nec-electronics , Philips phg , Sony sne , and SUSE (a unit of Britain’s Micro Focus). Fortune is the first to report Toyota’s startling move.
“Formed in 2005, OIN’s mission is to protect and encourage the collaborative development and use of open-source software, like the Linux operating system, which can be freely copied, altered, and distributed, and which no one person or company owns. OIN pursues a variety of strategies aimed at protecting the users and developers of such software against the threat of patent suits by proprietary software manufacturers, like Microsoft and Apple. Such suits, if successful, could deny users the freedoms that make open-source software desirable.
“That Toyota would now join the group reflects the growing importance that software is playing in cars, and the growing number of automakers who believe that open-source software is the best approach to providing many of the needed solutions for its vehicles. Open-source champions say such software is cheaper, more flexible, and of higher quality, because it benefits from the pooled resources of collaborative input.”
Toyota, a very close Microsoft partner (probably more so than any other vehicles maker), claims to have joined OIN, but what good will that do for FOSS? Nothing. Toyota is not even a software company. It’s about as relevant to FOSS as that openwashing campaign from Tesla (and later Panasonic). Total nonsense. It’s about as helpful to FOSS as RAND is and speaking of RAND (or FRAND), this new article from IP Watch speaks about FRAND in relation to Europe, where the term FRAND is typically a Trojan horse (or surrogate) for software patents in Europe.
“Toyota, a very close Microsoft partner (probably more so than any other vehicles maker), claims to have joined OIN, but what good will that do for FOSS?”Going back to OIN, it has done virtually nothing so far to protect FOSS. It’s like bogus insurance plan which does not actually work or cover anything (no matter the circumstances). Where is OIN every time Microsoft blackmails Linux/Android OEMs? Speaking of which, Professor Crouch has this new article about insurance based on patents (or copyright, trademark, and trade secret). He says that “Hammond’s insurance company USLI had refused to indemnify Hammond based in-part upon the intellectual property exclusion found in the policy that specifically excluded coverage for any “loss, cost, or expense . . . [a]rising out of any infringement of copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret or other intellectual property rights.” Agreeing, the court particularly found that the basis for TCA’s attorney fee requests stemmed from the Pennsylvania Uniform Trade Secrets Act as well as the Copyright Act – even though no intellectual property infringement claim had been asserted in the underlying case.”
Look what we have come to. With misnomers like “intellectual property”, which compare ideas to “property” and ascribe physical attributes to them (like insurance traditionally did, covering for damage caused to physical things), no wonder the media says joining OIN is becoming “a Patron of Open-Source Software” (FOSS inherently rejects the notion of patron or owner, except in the copyright assignment sense).
“Fortune is the first to report Toyota’s startling move,” its author wrote, but in reality Fortune is the media partner to peddle Toyota’s marketing/propaganda, along with OIN’s agenda. █
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A mega-corporations’ patent regime pretends to be for the ‘small guy/gal’
Summary: Benoît Battistelli keeps parading in small nations that have Administrative Council (AC) delegates and exploiting these for cheap PR, not just for support in AC meetings
THE EPO is in disarray as talented workers are leaving (brain drain) and based on what we have been hearing (privately) demand for the services too is declining. More businesses now realise that the quality of examination at the EPO is subpar, ignoring the EPO's own mouthpieces.
How can Battistelli still keep his job? People are rather shocked by his ability to survive amid a crisis of his own creation.
“It would help those of us watching aghast at developments to understand whether the representatives to the AC are spineless, or have simply been outmanoeuvred,” one person noted today, having said that “it would still be helpful if someone with personal experience of AC meetings could comment upon the other question that I posed (regarding the setting of the agenda for AC meetings).”
“Under Battistelli and his ‘baby’, the UPC, SMEs are being marginalised further.”Well, remember what the AC (Administrative Council) is and how it functions. Small countries count as much as large ones and here is why this matters; Battistelli can just lobby or distribute money in small countries in order to ‘buy’ their votes, or repel delegates who are not perfectly loyal to him. Based on today’s nonsense (“news”) from the EPO (warning:
epo.org link), Battistelli is lobbying small countries again, this time Latvia and Malta. To quote the nonsense: “The EPO signed two agreements at the end of June with the national patent offices of Latvia and Malta to improve conditions for small businesses from these countries seeking to protect their inventions through patents.”
There are even photo ops in there, the hallmark of Battistelli. It’s all about him. He must be viewing himself as some kind of majestic ruler, attracting attention from some of the world's most notorious regimes and never from respected politicians in large European nations. They know better than to associate themselves with this psychopath.
To tackle the nonsense from the EPO very briefly, the EPO is definitely not a friend of SMEs but an enemy of SMEs. Under Battistelli and his ‘baby’, the UPC, SMEs are being marginalised further [1, 2, 3]. As one person put it today (to me and to the EPO [1, 2): “Disallowed access to public services in EU is loss of personal & software freedom when Govt panders to big $$ companies [...] As modern computing increasingly connected to our lives, patent trolls/bullies are the new barbaric oppressors of our humanity” (and UPC helps them even further).
Perhaps we should do a long post about the UPC some time soon. Today was a politically nauseating day in the UK and it looks like Brexit negotiations will leave UPC negotiations in the dust. Poor Lucy won’t have any more reasons to do photo ops with Benoît. █
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“Reality distortion field (RDF) is a term coined by Bud Tribble at Apple Computer in 1981…” –Wikipedia
Shook, Hardy and Bacon L.L.P. with a slant
Summary: Another new example of software patents advocacy from IAM, with help from Microsoft’s people (or ‘former’ people)
NOT only patent trolls, the PR firm of the EPO and various patent law firms send money IAM’s way. Joff Wild has quite a few hands feeding him and these tend to be ardent advocates of patent wars (they profit from wars). It’s not really a news site, even if Google News recognises it as such. It is agenda. Sometimes it’s marketing.
Earlier today IAM gave readers the impression of software patents resurgence. As we have been showing here for a number of months, this could not be further from the truth and this claim comes (or sourced) from Microsoft’s former Patent Counsel, Bart Eppenauer. Joff Wild previously gave Bart Eppenauer a voice/platform in his Microsoft-powered site for similar reasons. It is not too shocking to find the site once again being composed, by proxy, by Microsoft folks in order to promote software patents, like those which Microsoft uses to continue its war on GNU/Linux, Android, ChromeOS, and Free software in general.
“It is not too shocking to find the site once again being composed, by proxy, by Microsoft folks in order to promote software patents, like those which Microsoft uses to continue its war on GNU/Linux, Android, ChromeOS, and Free software in general.”Wild wants us to believe that just two decisions (among many thousands) at CAFC (a corruptible court by the way), one of which involved Microsoft directly, somehow mean “eligibility nightmare the US software and biotech industries have been going through may – just may – be coming to an end.”
Well, the very opposite is true as SCOTUS refuses to revisit anything that pertains to Alice and litigation fell sharply. Lies by omission, selection, cherry-picking or just wishful thinking? Microsoft, a lobbyist for software patents, is hardly a reliable or objective source regarding software patents (especially in cases that involve Microsoft) and Joff Wild is experienced enough to know this. Does IAM even make an attempt to hide its agenda (and Microsoft’s) any longer? It has been getting pretty shallow.
This is what we often allude to as the problem of patent lawyers dominating if not abducting the media and thus controlling (or distorting) the message. █
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The profit motive poisons everything; impedes peace and calm, distorts facts and reality
Summary: A critical breakdown of recent articles regarding software patents, patent courts (primarily in the US), and what patent law firms are trying to tell us in order to improve sales (of their services)
PATENT systems like the USPTO and EPO make a lot of sense when granted patents are assigned/merited based on innovation and incentive to create. Several domains demonstrated need for patents and we are not disputing patents in general. Software patents, on the other hand, are neither desirable nor needed, as software developers worldwide can attest to (their work is copyrighted at zero cost and without hassle, protecting against plagiarism).
James Nurton, writing about CJEU right now, says that patent licensing deals stand even “if the patent is revoked or found not to be infringed,” which is of course outright ridiculous. When and if patents are asserted and become a cashflow regardless of their (in)validity, how are people expected to respect this system? Moreover, what happens when the plaintiff or the licensor is a patent troll that produces nothing at all? What happens to the premise of “promoting innovation”? Patent trolling is, in some sense, protectionism warped into racketeering and this does nothing but create uncertainty, which in turn depresses investment and reduces innovation.
“Patent trolling is, in some sense, protectionism warped into racketeering and this does nothing but create uncertainty, which in turn depresses investment and reduces innovation.”Tackling the issue of software patents, recall the Enfish case and see some of the latest articles about it [1, 2]. The latter asks, “Are ‘Improvements’ Key to Subject Matter Eligibility for Software Patents?” The notion of “improvement” is so vague that this question is rather meaningless. Improvement over what and in what terms? Performance? Accuracy?
Now consider also the Rapid Litigation case, which we wrote about the other day. This new article about it reminds us that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) is a big barrier to progress. It’s CAFC that brought software patents to the United States in the first place. Several new articles about the Bascom case at CAFC [1, 2] (by Andrew H. DeVoogd and Matthew A. Karambelas from Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.), as well as related CAFC articles about Cuozzo case in lawyers’ sites, show much of the same pattern. Patent lawyers pretty much ignore all the cases where software patents get invalidated and only emphasise the exceptions. One site even produced an article titled “Federal Circuit’s Recent Primer on Patent-Eligibility” in which tips are given for tricking CAFC into acceptance of software patents in spite of Alice, just like in this new case. It was rather clear that SCOTUS does not tolerate software patents, but spin sites like IAM would have us believe that “the pendulum is swinging back”. They rely on CAFC in order to discredit SCOTUS, for instance: “Here’s how’s former CAFC Chief Judge Paul Michel describes the Supreme Court’s recent impact on patent law: “Since eBay [it] has been taking authority away from the Federal Circuit. By rejecting every major decision of the CAFC – except Cuozzo and i4i – the Supreme Court has sharply rebuked the Federal Circuit and upended tests that the CAFC had instituted.” That has led, Michel insists, to a strengthening of SCOTUS’s power at the expense of the CAFC and of Congress.”
“The matter of fact is, calls to abolish CAFC have only grown in recently years.”What’s wrong with the Supreme Court having more power than a corrupt court (with track record of misconduct) and a US Congress that’s inherently corrupted because politicians there are funded by large corporations to do their bidding? “SCOTUS weighs in on Halo/Stryker,” says IAM, and “The CAFC rules in Enfish v Microsoft” (a case whose outcome was virtually overturned in another case only days later), perhaps hoping to distract the readers and give the impression that CAFC will ‘save’ patent lawyers from Alice. The matter of fact is, calls to abolish CAFC have only grown in recently years.
Not only patent law firms but also publishers associated with patent law firms peddle the same nonsense. Now that Huawei is making enemies in the West with its bad policies and its patent aggression IAM uses the “swing” buzzword in the headline again (not the swing that in the US is a patent, a method of swinging a swing) to give false hope of litigation rebound now that it’s down considerably. In the words of IAM:
Huawei has accelerated its patent assertion campaign on two fronts over the past week, launching a new complaint against T-Mobile in the United States and a further suit against Samsung in China.
“Huawei’s IP coming-of-age in full swing,” IAM says, but actually, Huawei as a whole is growing (it’s now one of the biggest Android OEMs) and its growing patent stockpile accompanies this growth. Don’t believe IAM and all those patent law firms (like those that fund IAM) when they tell the public that software patents are fine and patent litigation has great prospects. They’re just trying to invite business. It’s called marketing. █
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Reference: Conflict of interest
Summary: How media has reported (or spun) some of the latest observations regarding patent lawsuits and software patents in the United States
THE world of ‘IP’-centric media is complex. It’s complex because one must track the payments of many entities in order to better understand the bias (some payments are not direct). IAM, an EPO mouthpiece, is probably one of the worst in that regard, with WatchTroll (Gene Quinn) as a close second. MIP (Managing Intellectual Property) is actually pretty okay, as funds appear to be derived from endorsements (of firms) and subscriptions.
Presenting new evidence of patents as bubbles, MIP says that “IPOS has approved the first loan application using a patent as collateral, and is opening its financing scheme up to other IP rights.” There is also this new article about ASEAN (Asia) and it looks informative enough.
Now, compare that to the latest output from IAM (more like agenda/advocacy, not news). Watch how IAM, which is partly funded by patent trolls, spins litigation decline in the US (reported the other day) as no reason for “Asian companies and governments” to lament or deemphasize patents. “This accords with a widely held perception that recent changes to the US system have made this the toughest environment in which to be a patent plaintiff in recent memory,” says the author, whose colleague later groomed the Microsoft- and Nokia-fed patent troll, MOSAID (renamed Conversant). In this article, IAM doesn’t disclosure Conversant’s payments to IAM . These are the predators (the Microsoft-connected anti-Android proxies) that are paying IAM, so IAM cannot really criticise them (without risk to funding or metaphorically biting the hand that feeds).
“When money changes hands and there is agenda to push (or sell), fact-checking isn’t much of a priority.”Does anyone still take IAM seriously? When money changes hands and there is agenda to push (or sell), fact-checking isn’t much of a priority. Even the world’s largest patent troll is habitually being groomed there.
Speaking of patent trolls, they very often use software patents and even heavily rely on those. Patent Progress, which typically bemoans patent trolls, changed its tune this week and proceeded to yet more criticism of software patents (second time in a week). As Matt Levy put it yesterday:
Alice Helps Another Company Stop a Patent Troll
It’s critical to have a way to quickly invalidate bad software patents. Alice and 35 U.S.C. § 101 have been invaluable, as the Capstone case attests. But there are critics who complain about Section 101 and its supposed “incoherence.”
For example, David Kappos, the former head of the USPTO, wants to get rid of Section 101 altogether; but then again, he’s not being sued by patent trolls, is he?
David Kappos is also a lobbyist for large corporations now, putting to shame any remnants of USPTO integrity. The author himself (Levy) is funded by some large corporations (through CCIA), which is how we often explain excessive focus on patent trolls rather than on software patents.
For the record, Techrights never has and never will receive money from corporations. Our only ‘agenda’ or ‘bias’ probably pertains to the interests of software developers (being one myself). █
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