Summary: Brainwash war is still being waged by Microsoft and its friends to convince people that Windows is universally dominant and that Microsoft is now part of the Free software world
ALONG with the measurable decline of Windows (GNU/Linux is rapidly gaining) comes the "Vista 10" publicity stunt -- an attempt to bury bad news. Microsoft tries to scare and distract the competition, bamboozling the whole world with what is essentially vapourware. It’s just a PR campaign and Microsoft enlisted many boosters to play along. Microsoft even got them to deceive the public into thinking that Vista 10 is ‘free’, but as this new rebuttal puts it, “I had to laugh aloud at Microsoft’s announcement that Windows 10 would be offered as a free upgrade for users of both Windows 7 and Windows 8.”
Vista 10 is not ‘free’ (we already explained why) and it is moreover proprietary. It seems as though even some FOSS bloggers (including FOSS Force above) fell for the lies. There are things even worse than these lies which were perpetrated by Microsoft and propagated by Microsoft-friendly media. Pogson’s “Some Twits Just Are Too Funny To Ignore” and Lynch’s “Windows 10 doesn’t matter to desktop Linux” are basically feeding the latest troll (with a history doing this type of flamebait against Free software). Elsewhere on the Web, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is playing Chamberlain by going along with the latest openwashing of Microsoft and Sam Dean doing some more Microsoft promotion (of proprietary software) in an Open Source news site.
Whatever is happening right now comes to show that Microsoft’s propaganda is so far-reaching that even FOSS people are confused by it and they are eager to sometimes repeat the lies from Microsoft (nonsense like “Microsoft loves Linux”). If Microsoft is allowed to take over the media like this, then we are in serious trouble and Microsoft will be able to infiltrate the competition with Mono, OOXML, etc.
In recent years we have shown many examples where Microsoft and Gates essentially bribed many news sites in order to achieve mind control, revisionism, and demonisation of competing ideologies or companies. To give one new example of this disturbing trend, The Verge makes Bill Gates its editor next month (direct influence with no need to bribe them like the rest of the news outlets). This helps explain why site has become somewhat of a Microsoft mouthpiece.
If people do not stand up for what’s true, the perceived truth will become a reality in the minds of the prey. █
“Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!”
–Microsoft, internal document
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A ‘reformed’ Microsoft just a myth perpetrated and propagated by corporate media
Summary: Microsoft myth makers continue their assault on what is objectively true and try to tell the public that Microsoft is a friend of “Open Source”
Calling Microsoft “Open Source” anything is like calling King Abdullah a proponent of women’s rights or pro-women anything (as some elites already shamelessly claim). Microsoft is a strong opponent of “Open Source” and as with Abdullah, those claiming otherwise are either bribed or on the same boat as Abdullah/Microsoft.
We were disgusted to see a very misleading headline from Condé Nast yesterday. The latest propaganda from a Condé Nast publication reads like a puff piece from beginning to end, truly complete and moreover decorated with a highly misleading headline whose aim is openwashing the most anti-FOSS (Open Source) company in the world. Microsoft is doing nothing FOSS here; quite the contrary in fact, as it locks something behind a so-called ‘cloud’. To quote the opening paragraphs of the propaganda piece: “Microsoft has agreed to acquire open-source software company Revolution Analytics, heavily embracing the R programming language, a data analysis tool widely used by both academics and corporate data scientists.”
Revolution Analytics is not an “Open Source” company (the headline misuses this brand). The term “open-source” with a dash serves to highlight that the author is misusing brands (the OSI controls this brand and can potentially take action if it chooses to). Last night we checked all the new articles other than the afore-linked article and all these article did not use the spin. Not even known Microsoft boosters with a long track record did this. To name all which were published around the same time (mostly from Microsoft boosters):
Going through ~30 articles about Revolution Analytics helps reaffirm suspicions that Condé Nast is now in the Microsoft propaganda business. We already highlighted such a trend before.
Now that Microsoft boosting sites are trying hard to paint Microsoft as “Open Source” the last thing we need is a paper like “Wired” (to Microsoft?) pushing this agenda, carrying water for a serial abuser that bribes journalists and misleads the world’s technical community through journalists.
A roundup from Jim Lynch has responded to another recent propaganda piece from Condé Nast (by Microsoft Peter), citing in response to it this call to destroy Internet Explorer (which Condé Nast is openwashing). To quote Slate: “Internet Explorer has become a liability, and I’m happy to report that Microsoft seems to know that.”
Another article worth highlighting is this piece from Andy Patrizio, who has a long history of shilling for Microsoft although we have not seen much of him in recent years. He now works for Microsoft’s propaganda section of the Microsoft-friendly NetworkWorld, carrying water for the Moodle "embrace extend and extinguish" move by Microsoft.
While we expect this kind of openwashing from allies of Microsoft, bribed authors (publications that are run on Microsoft money), etc. we don’t typically expect it from “Wired” because historically, before Condé Nast acquired “Wired”, the paper had covered Microsoft properly, especially in the antitrust days. Condé Nast basically shattered any illusion of neutrality. “Wired” is now reduced to the churnalism business, as a recent statement from its head of operations served to confirm (this quickly reached the media and went viral).
Microsoft does not “love Linux” and it does not “March Toward Open Source” as “Wired” wants us to believe. Microsoft embraces patent abuse and aggression against Open Source because it’s the company’s last resort. Microsoft also tries to infiltrate (to destroy) Open Source and it’s easy to see why, especially now that Microsoft suffers more layoffs (see context). A report from this week “noted that both HP and Microsoft announced plans to cut payrolls by 59,523, a combined 69 percent increase from the 35,136 job cuts by these companies in 2013.”
Microsoft is going down. Don’t let Microsoft drag FOSS down with it. █
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From documents just released by Der Spiegel, via Edward Snowden (click to zoom)
Summary: The world is leaving Microsoft’s common carrier (Windows) behind, so Microsoft, which is shrinking, tries to conquer Free software and GNU/Linux
Microsoft Windows has been facilitating/enabling GCHQ (like ‘NSA UK’) and NSA with back doors, including — perhaps passively — so-called ‘crash reports’, as revealed by new documents (published over the weekend). Microsoft bug reports are now being used against their reporters, selecting “targets” using this ‘volunteering’ effort. How nice is that? No wonder China is banning Microsoft software while Russia heads down a similar path (abolishing x86 in government).
Recently in the news there was some noise from Microsoft boosters and sympathisers who spoke about giving Microsoft control over GNU/Linux servers. It is a dangerous and dumb idea as it’s more or less like a Linux-to-Windows migration, merely self-serving (to Microsoft) and dangerous to one’s freedom. We already responded to this noise last week, but it carried on until the end of the week. It is clear why Microsoft is so eager to take control over GNU/Linux and Apache. Despite the fact that Netcraft is being gamed by Microsoft, Netcraft still shows that Microsoft continues with its losses on the Web (see January 2015 Web Server Survey) [via], declining to almost single-digit market share. It is also evident that Microsoft as a company is shrinking (people inside Microsoft tell us that) and Gates-funded papers like this one from Seattle help spin staff backlash:
A group of workers employed by a Microsoft contractor successfully organized a union — a rare feat in the tech industry — and is now bargaining with its company over a contract.
A reader told us that Microsoft is basically “still doing the permatemp thing” that helps hide layoffs. The above article from the Microsoft-friendly press does not tell the full story. Microsoft has basically outsourced a lot of its labour and put it on contract, so there is no termination, no layoffs. There is no long-term obligation to such staff.
“Microsoft has basically outsourced a lot of its labour and put it on contract, so there is no termination, no layoffs.”Finally, speaking of Microsoft spin, Adrian Bridgwater calls “Community Service” Microsoft indoctrination of students. We don’t know if he is being deliberately thick or just trying to entertain readers. This relates to what we wrote some days ago about Microsoft preying on children. Microsoft is trying to fill GitHub with .NET projects, even at the expense of CodePlex. There is a charm offensive over this and Microsoft's booster Mr. Anderson wrote that “Program Manager Kasey Uhlenhuth explains that the Roslyn team is not only moving the repository, but also switching to git internally.”
Just wait until propagandistic firms like the Microsoft-connected Black Duck claim that .NET and Microsoft-centric licences are on the rise, based on some figures from GitHub. That’s just a case of Microsoft infiltrating its competition. █
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Patent lawyers now behave like lobbyists of the tobacco giants who fought science
Summary: The league of patent lawyers — people who profit at the expense of software producers — keeps brainwashing the public about the patentability of software (both the rationale and the potential)
The fight against software patents has been a success in recent years, especially last year. Weeks ago we published a long article bemoaning the propaganda from patent lawyers and their sites, including so-called ‘news’ sites (teaching them a biased, echo chamber-like reality with ‘tricks’ for fooling the patent system). These people wish to tell software companies and programmers something like “thank you for smoking” with a slant; “thank you for hiring us to bamboozle the system into granting another software patent” would be their motto.
“Patent lawyers already lost the battle when it comes to rationalising software patents (even software professionals hate patents), so now they resort to a strategy which portrays software patents as easy to obtain, easy to win legal battles with, and hence worth obtaining.”It may come to some as surprising that many patent lawyers actually follow Techrights and some appreciate it for the unique angle. Some really hate it and leave abusive comments with the word “poo-poo” in them (these comments come from patent firms).
Today we wish to highlight this report about Alice v. CLS Bank being used in an attempt to kill a software patent. As Law 360 put it, “Cloud-storage company Box Inc. urged a California federal judge on Wednesday to rule that certain claims of several Open Text SA collaboration software patents that Box allegedly infringed are invalid under the U.S. Supreme Court’s Alice ruling because they simply computerize an abstract concept.”
Another law-oriented site wrote a pro-software patents analysis. They seem to be missing a lot of the recent cases where software patents were successfully thwarted using Alice v. CLS Bank. Well, the lawyers’ Web sites select only/mostly cases where software patents remain standing. To quote National Law Review : “In another hopeful sign that “the exception won’t swallow the rule”, the Central District of California has refused to apply Alice to invalidate a software patent – U.S. Patent No. 8,393,969 – for player tracking in a gaming establishment. In this case, Ameranth_ Inc. v. Genesis Gaming Solutions_ Inc, case number 8:11-cv-00189, the defendants filed a motion for Summary Judgment of Patent Invalidity of the ’969 Patent. Defendants asked the Court to rule that the asserted claims of the ’969 Patent fail 35 U.S.C.§ 101 because they are directed to the abstract idea of a customer loyalty program directed to poker players, without adding significantly more to that abstract idea.”
The bias (by selection) can be seen not just in pro-patents news sites but also the patent ‘industry’. Some new examples all come from the pro-software patents crowd, i.e. patent lawyers. Consider [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].
We have said it before and it is worth repeating. Do not be misled by the pro-software patents propaganda that floods the press these days. They are squirming to turn back time and return to their oasis of easy patent application and litigation using mere abstract ideas (like some action “on a computer” or “over the Internet”). They are losing the battle because practicing entities have gotten fed up and they are now vocal about it (examples from today).
Proponents of software patents are not software professionals. In fact almost always, perhaps more than 90% of the time, this perverted view is promoted by patent lawyers, not by scientists. So it’s a war between makers and the parasites, to generalise just a little. Patent lawyers already lost the battle when it comes to rationalising software patents (even software professionals hate patents), so now they resort to a strategy which portrays software patents as easy to obtain, easy to win legal battles with, and hence worth obtaining. The very opposite is true, as we shall show in the next post about patents and their decreased potential. █
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Summary: Another misleading piece (a puff piece) from Beta News helps Microsoft openwash itself and promote proprietary software, proprietary APIs, etc.
AN OCCASIONAL Microsoft boosting site, Beta News, published a misleading PR piece that reads like it was ghostwritten by Microsoft (not just embedding Microsoft quotes).
Suffice to say, when Microsoft talks about “open source” one need to take a boulder of salt; in this particular case, as in many other cases, it is Windows only, DirectX-dependent, etc. It is more like openwashing than “open source” because without proprietary software this code just won’t run. In other words, you have to be a paying client of Microsoft (paying a bunch of thugs) to use the code and you have to support Microsoft APIs. To quote right from the source: “Version 5.1 Gold runs on Windows 7 or Windows 8, in either 32- or 64-bit mode, depending on your operating system. It also supports native DirectX 11, DirectX 10, and has some support for down-level DirectX 9 hardware running through the DirectX 11 API.”
Yeah, that has “open source” all over it!
Perhaps it’s time for Beta News to give coverage to some real Free software projects rather than drive Microsoft’s agenda. █
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The risk of Microsoft’s interjection into Free/Open Source software (FOSS) persists
Summary: Attempts to put Mono in GNOME still exist (Xamarin behind it) and the openwashing of .NET continues months after the Big Lie
MONO has been a thorn in the side of Free software for nearly a decade, shortly after it had been conceived by a Microsoft fan who used it to promote Microsoft APIs with associated patent risk and lock-in. It wasn’t too shocking to see the Microsoft-tied Novell joining in the ‘fun’. We have spent many years fighting back against Mono, which was an embodiment of Microsoft’s interests and an attempt to assimilate FOSS to Microsoft. The Microsoft proxy now known as Xamarin is still threatening to bring Microsoft APIs to GNOME. We thought GNOME had already salvaged itself from this risk, but the risk persists and it needs to be stopped. It was already defeated before (GNOME was close to becoming Mono-dependent whereupon we wrote many articles to create protests).
The unfortunate thing is that Microsoft bamboozled many journalists into stating that .NET is "open source" (it is not) and a Dice site is trolling again using that same old .NET spin. Do not let the lie be spread so easily. Microsoft’s .NET is proprietary and it still is a patent threat that favours Windows and Microsoft, i.e. proprietary software with back doors.
“It is a propaganda campaign just like “Scroogled” and the goal is to crush software freedom, not just companies like Google.”IDG recently hired a longtime Microsoft booster, Mary Branscombe, letting her spread these lies every week or so. She was openwashing Microsoft the other day as well as several times last month. She used to write in the CBS-owned ZDNet (very poor-quality Microsoft ads disguised as ‘articles’), but now she escapes the boundaries of tabloids and is really doing a lot of damage not only to Free software but to truth itself.
This whole ‘movement’ which tries to ‘sell’ Mono to GNU/Linux, promote the notion that .NET is ‘open’ and Microsoft is wonderfully ethical needs to be crushed. It is a propaganda campaign just like “Scroogled” and the goal is to crush software freedom, not just companies like Google. █
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CBS pleases Microsoft
Summary: CBS’ ZDNet spreads the GNU-hostile narrative which comes from Redmonk, funded by Microsoft and Black Duck, citing Black Duck, which also comes from Microsoft and is a partner of Microsoft
Redmonk has been the subject of both praises and criticism over the years. We often agree with what Redmonk shows, but sometimes the impact of money, e.g. money from Microsoft, seems to be playing a role in analyses. It is difficult to dismiss the role of financial dependence; casting it irrelevant would be rather naïve. Whenever a company says something positive about a paying customer it’s rarely just a coincidence. The company is aware of its sources of income and develops a sort of “sixth sense” in the same way that politicians learn to love and defend their funders, not speaking out about them or voting against these funders’ interests. The Koch brothers, for example, sure have an impact on climate policies through various groups they pay. That it why money is handed out in the first place. Bill Gates does a lot of this too, e.g. bribing news sites, news channels, analysts, politicians, decision-makers etc. What we have commended Redmonk for in the past is the policy of full disclosure (well, not entirely full as proportionate contributions are never mentioned).
Microsoft pays Black Duck, which pays analysts who repeat its claims at face value on the face of it. Black Duck has in fact been paying lots of sources to help legitimise its talking points. Even the Linux Foundation is paid by Black Duck (hard to say how much, but probably enough to buy silence on criticism and free publicity at times). Redmonk has been paid by Black Duck too.
“Open Hub is just a new name for a company created by people from Microsoft.”There was a long discussion about this in Twitter (here is just a portion) in light of an article from ZDNet that relayed Black Duck’s talking points using two data points both owned by Black Duck, including its hires from Microsoft. It should be noted that Black Duck is not the only Microsoft-connected proprietary ‘think tank’ trying to tell us that the GPL is declining (in relative terms, not absolute, wherein lies a bias and spin opportunity). OpenLogic, headed by a man from Microsoft, does it too and we have named other such entities. It’s ugly out there. Analysts sell agenda, not information.
To spare readers the misinformation, the short story is that several days ago Redmonk was spreading Black Duck’s anti-GPL talking points and now it turns out Black Duck had paid Redmonk. As noted in this article, “Black Duck, the parent company of Open Hub, has been a RedMonk customer but is not currently.”
Open Hub is just a new name for a company created by people from Microsoft. Companies tend to change names to evade negative perception/publicity. Some patent trolls and mercenaries do that a lot. Behind closed doors Redmonk is not advising companies that copyleft is dying, not disclosing that its figured are biased by a Microsoft deal from 2009. It also impacts what news sites are reporting, creating a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy/bias against the GPL. Here is what ZDNet wrote the other day, not even spelling Ohloh correctly (so we can assume there’s no understanding that this company came from Microsoft). SJVN wrote: “Berkholz learned, using data from Ohlol, an open-source code research project now known as Open Hub, that “Since 2010, this trend has reached a point where permissive is more likely than copyleft [GPL] for a new open-source project.””
Remember where this entity called Open Hub came from. It’s a bunch of people from Microsoft.
Now see the bottom of ZDNet’s posts, which unlike Redmonk does not disclose the Black Duck and Microsoft connection (financial connection to both). That’s how Microsoft’s propaganda makes it into ZDNet.
ZDNet remains one of the world’s crappiest tech tabloids, especially now that it is owned by CBS. It still employs a lot of Microsoft staff (past and present) to publicly smear, bash, and insult Linux/Android. Here is a new example where a Microsoft employee writes about (bashes and belittles) Android in this very trashy tabloid (that pays him to do this). This is part of a pattern and it’s amazing that ZDNet pretends to be a news site. Under CBS’ wing it just serves sponsors. Watch the disclosure a the bottom: “Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.”
There is a lot more, including links, in the Twitter discussions. Even Redmonk staff weighed in, but has not responded to the rebuttals. Bruce Perens warned that Black Duck's claims about the GPL are "B.S.". There is too much B.S. in today’s news, emanating from people who pretend to be journalists and analysts but are actually agents of propaganda or marketing. Be sceptical and go back to the sources to assess the facts. █
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“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” ~Upton Sinclair
Poster Advertising a Patent Attorney
Record Group 179: Records of the War Production Board, 1918 – 1947
Summary: Patent lawyers continue to distort the reality of software patents’ demise in the United States
The CAFC introduced software patents in the US, but a lot has changed since SCOTUS (the Supreme Court), which is above CAFC, ruled against a software patent and extrapolated from that to potentially invalidate a huge number of software patents. Patent lawyers are furious that even some portion of their business, software patents, is going down in flames and we have already shown them trying to deny it, curse, distort, or resort to blame shifting. Truth be damned! This post presents some more recent responses from them. These saturated the press because opposition to software patents has been inactive as of late.
“Patent lawyers are furious that even some portion of their business, software patents, is going down in flames and we have already shown them trying to deny it, curse, distort, or resort to blame shifting.”A new article titled “Federal Circuit Puts Added Squeeze on Software Patents” shows the far-reaching impact of recent developments as “The courts set a new record for rejecting software patents in 2014″, according to one opponent of software patents. It is not just about SCOTUS anymore because various lower courts, including CAFC, follow the same footsteps of the highest court. They have no choice is they want to obey the law, otherwise appeals will follow suit and be accepted on caselaw grounds.
Over at Managing Intellectual Property, a pro-patents site, is is claimed that “Business method patent issuance has plummeted since Alice”. Another new article from patents-centric media provides a summary of post-Alice rulings on patentability of software. Rosenbaum IP, a law firm, wrote on December 2nd that “drafting narrow claims to ensure software is patent-eligible presents a challenge for patent practitioners. Patent practitioners are trained to draft claims with the broadest possible scope in order to ensnare as many infringers as possible.”
To them, the problem is not software patents but those who are rejecting them. Here is another news article about the post-Alice world, noting: “The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision announcing the framework for determining patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. Section 101 has created a rabbit hole that will require a rethinking of intellectual-property protection strategies.”
No, not really. Developers already have copyrights and that is more and enough (sometimes too much, e.g. copyrights on APIs in the US, which CAFC accepts, the EU rejects, and SCOTUS will hopefully bury soon). Here is a report about a recent case which shows that not all software patents are categorically dead, at least not yet. To quote the report: “For those following the law of patent eligibility in the United States, a December 5, 2014 precedential decision by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that a patent on webpage-display technology is patent eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. A slew of recent court decisions have gone the other way, leaving arguably similar patents invalid.”
Over at patent lawyers’ sites, especially in blogs that do not pretend to be journalism, a different picture is presented to readers. Within the echo chamber of patent lawyers truth is warped. Here is WatchTroll, whom we criticised before for extreme bias, glorifying software patents and those acquiring them with help from patent lawyers. He also calls patent trolling “Patent Monetization” and does some revisionism under the banner of
“The History of Software Patents in the United States”. He mocks opposition to software patents and says: “The first software patent was granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on April 23, 1968 on an application filed on April 9, 1965, Martin A. Goetz, a pioneer in the development of the commercial software industry, was the inventor of the first software patent ever granted, U.S. Patent No. 3,380,029. Several years ago PBS Digital Studios profiled Goetz and his pursuit of the first software patent.”
Martin Goetz is extremely biased in favour of software patents, so he is convenient for what is basically a defence of such patents. It is agenda disguised as ‘history’ (not just ‘news’) and it clearly became a series whose claims we reject. It’s a selective account of history.
There are other pro-software patents ‘news’ sites and there is utterly, overly selective coverage there (any losses for software patents are ignored). We reviewed dozens of these over the past fortnight and it’s very easy to spot to one who knows the facts and keeps abreast of many cases. WatchTroll’s site acknowledges that the “Federal Circuit Finds Software Patent Claim Patent Eligible”, but most of the time he just tries to paint everyone as a supporter of software patents (the opposite is true), thereby trying to pressure judges and mislead colleagues. Totally irresponsible!
In other lawyers’ Web sites there is another type of bias that looks more professional. An article by Adam M. Breier from Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP shows us one a such example where patent lawyers are trying hard to promote software patents, sometimes by only covering what suits their agenda. They usually ignore the bad news (to them) and mislead readers by providing only coverage one half of the half-filled glass. At National Law Review there is an article titled “Section 101 and Software Patents: Abstract or Not?” (published here as well). Therein, an overview is presented by a biased author.
The Alice case is still in the headlines of legal sites (a month later) and words cannot express how disgusting the so-called “legal” press is. Patent lawyers are very much desperate to discredit court decisions which are hostile towards software patents these days. Articles continues to come which paint a deceiving picture, seeking to make it a self-fulfilling prophecy. Such sites are trying to shoot down the messenger and ignore the facts. Such is the case with coverage in patent lawyers’ sites of Ultramercial, LLC v. Hulu, LLC (software patents lost). Here is Lowell D. Yoder from McDermott Will & Emery saying that Post-Alice Federal Circuit Finds Internet Advertising Method Not Patent Eligible” (true, but see the self-serving analysis) and others say in patent lawyers’ sites that “Patent Eligibility [is] Becoming Threshold Question for Litigation”. Not litigation is at stake, but the actual eligibility (including during assessment by patent examiners after issuance of new guidelines). A widely published article phrased is as a question, “Another software patent is ruled patent-ineligible – are business method and software patents at risk?” (also published here and here).
This is a rhetorical question. It hardly needs to be asked at all, except perhaps in patent lawyers’ media. Also see “California district court helps clarify when software claims are patent eligible under Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank” and “Claims that CAFC’s Ultramercial decision could prove a catastrophe for companies that license software patents” (or patent extortion like Microsoft’s). Notice how it’s framed. They make it sound like horrible news despite the fact that the vast majority of software professionals loathes software patents.
IAM, a crude patent propaganda site, is once again relaying Microsoft’s talking points, which promote software patents (see “Software patent owners have nothing to fear from the CAFC’s Ultramercial decision, says Microsoft’s former chief patent counsel”).
Also see the article “Protecting Intellectual Property Rights In Software After Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank” from the lawyers’ press. It is not unusual for a legal firm to characterise monopoly on algorithm as “protecting”. It is just the lingo of patent lawyers with euphemisms and double standards. Above is a loaded headline whose purpose it to appeal to emotion and make rulings against software patents seem like “catastrophe”.
The Ultramercial case shows that beyond copyrights there is no reason to have a government-sanctioned monopoly. That is not so hard to understand, is it?
The proponents of software patents and spinners against Ultramercial of course include WatchTroll, who wrote: “Ultramercial’s Federal Circuit luck has now run out. Gone from the original panel was Chief Judge Rader who retired and was replaced by Judge Mayer, which does not bode well for any patent owner.”
This is the corrupt software patents extremist, Mr. Rader, whom we wrote about in [1, 2, 3]. How convenient a source to lean on!
Legal-centric sites go further by also promoting software patents in Australia (see the article “Australian full court sets new test for software patents – it’s all about the substance”) and in India, which still fights lobbyists who try to legalise software patents in this software giant nation (see “Disclosure Requirements For Software Patents”).
Dr. Glyn Moody has an interesting new article about FRAND (usually about software patents, albeit not always) in hardware superpower China, citing a dispute with ZTE. To quote Moody:
How Should Standard-Essential Patents Be Licensed?
Patents are intellectual monopolies, designed to give the patent-holder control over an invention by excluding others from using it without permission. That’s a problem when standards include patented elements. Anyone who wants to implement that standard must use the invention, which gives the patent-holder the ability, in theory, to demand and obtain any licensing deal it might propose. To limit that power, holders of these standard-essential patents are often required to agree to offer licensing terms on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.
However, when another Chinese company, ZTE, sought a license from Huawei, they were unable to agree on the terms, so Huawei brought an action for infringement against ZTE. According to ZTE, Huawei’s attempt to obtain an injunction against it constituted an abuse of its dominant position, since ZTE was willing to negotiate a license. Here’s the key part of the Advocate General’s opinion.
Incidentally, there is a new report showing just illegitimate the USPTO is becoming. Now it treats patents, which are supposed to be all about publication, as secrets. To quote TechDirt: “The USPTO drops the dreaded b(5) exemption all over its internal emails, withholding stuff seemingly just to be withholding stuff, which is what the b(5) exemption does best. Supposedly this exemption is limited to memos or letters that would not be available to anyone but a “party in litigation with the [responding] agency,” but in this case, seems to cover information otherwise in the public domain.
“Here’s another redacted set of search results, covering variations like MARKY or MARKEY appearing on clothing. Hopefully, the two pages of black ink are covering up images rather than words. Otherwise, it would appear that the MARKY/MARKEY market is incredibly overcrowded.”
How ridiculous is that? The US patent system sure seems like it’s facing a crisis (of patent quality or scope) and it is going to have to cut down on software patents, business method patents, etc. in order to save its credibility. Without credibility it will cease to attract clients, some of whom sooner or later realise that acquiring a patent is not enough to successfully sue a rival in court. █
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