Bonum Certa Men Certa

Software Patents and Patent Trolls on the Offensive

Here are some unfortunate stories that we have accumulated for the past couple of days.

Patent TrollTracker Gagged, Sued



The most saddening news today is about the assault of the patent trolls. The victim? A protester against them.

Just this morning we were lamenting the fact that the formerly anonymous Patent Troll Tracker had shut down his blog, but now we know why. It appears that two patent attorneys in East Texas have sued him and Cisco for defamation. One of the attorneys happens to also be the son of the judge who helped make Marshall, Texas famous as a favorite for patent holders. The details on the case suggest that this lawsuit may have been the reason that Rick Frenkel outed himself, as it was actually filed back in November and used as a way to unmask the Troll Tracker.


Web Site Patents



Remember the "JPEG on a Web site" patent (or something along those lines)? Well, be aware that you needn't be a software developer to consider risk associated with software patents. If you have a Web site, the trolls could come after you.

GraphOn Corp. said Monday it filed a lawsuit alleging patent infringement against Yahoo Inc., Classified Ventures LLC, IAC/InterActiveCorp., Match.com, eHarmony.com and CareerBuilder LLC.

Santa Cruz-based GraphOn (OTCBB:GOJO) said the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern Distict of Texas, claims the companies infringed its patents covering a method of maintaining an automated and network-accessible database.

The suit alleges the companies infringe the GraphOn patents on each of their Web sites, and seeks permanent injunctive relief along with unspecified damages.


Next time people ask if Amazon's one-click shopping patent (or other similarly poor ones) might get used, consider examples such as the above. Forget about defensive patents. It's more like an ambush.

Telecom Patents



The telecom Armageddon resumes (well, it never truly ceased). But here comes the owner of the 'genius' idea that is transmitting images.

Intellect Wireless Inc. has sued T-Mobile USA Inc., U.S. Cellular Corp., Virgin Mobile USA Inc. and Helio Inc. in federal court in Chicago, accusing the companies of infringing wireless image messaging patents.


Gaming Patents



Gamers hate software patents, not to mention game developers.

The vast majority of the respondents to this Question Of The Week were against the concept of software patents , and those that answered "no" answered with a great deal more fervor then those that said "yes".


Case of point, fresh from the news: Activision's "Guitar Hero" violates patent: Gibson

Gibson said the games, in which players press buttons on a guitar-shaped controller in time with notes on a TV screen, violates a 1999 patent for technology to simulate a musical performance.


Classic. How many past and present games are actually said to be violating ("infringing on") some software patents (renamed "game patents" in this context)?

Software Patents Protest and Poll



In addition to the poll above and this recent other poll which can be found here, consider this testimony. [via Digital Majority]

"What's all the more infuriating about the current patent situation is that many of today's patents go against the original social contract surrounding patents. The original goal of the patent system was to get inventors to share their innovations for the common good. In return for a limited monopoly, you, Mr. Inventor, share your invention so that We, the public, can understand how you did it and can then innovate on top of it. Rather than stifling innovation, patents were supposed to drive it forward.

Unfortunately, many patents, even the ones that are legit, would have been created independently anyway. It's obviously a balance, but at least in the world I live in, I see patents getting in the way rather than helping me. I have never gone and looked at old patents to get new ideas for products. The only time an independent patent, one that I'm not working on filing myself, comes to my attention, it's because somebody is getting sued for infringing it. This tells me that we have lost the original goal that patents were supposed to foster.


Embargo on Patent Trolls



Lawyers are waking up to realise that the poor reputation of software patents is damaging and they respond accordingly. [via Groklaw]

The debate over patent trolls is dividing the IP bar.

In one of the most overt examples of choosing sides, litigation firm Howrey provocatively proclaims in a new brochure for clients that it absolutely won't represent trolls -- and criticizes firms that do.

"As a firm policy, Howrey does not litigate for 'patent trolls,'" the page blares underneath a picture of a crossed-out cartoon troll. "Why support firms that are helping perpetuate this scourge on legitimate businesses everywhere?"


Sadly, there will always be some scummy lawyers around (howdy, Ray Niro [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]), and ones that are willing to ruin the industry for a mere buck.

Recent Techrights' Posts

Microsoft Lacks a Solid Strategic Plan Other Than Buying Its Own Stock (and Paying Staff in Shares)
Beware and be cautious of bubbles
Microsoft's Chatbot Strategy Resulted in Massive Losses, So Now It's Trying to Reinvent Itself as 'Hardware Company' (Once Again, Years After XBox, KIN, Windows Phone and Surface Failed Miserably)
revenues associated with Windows has fallen sharply
 
Microsoft's Pearls of Wisdom: Layoffs Are Growth
Microsoft boss: layoffs are "long-term growth."
[Meme] Hide the Bodies
hiding EPO's role in funding Lukashenko
Josef Kratochvíl and All the European Patent Organisation's Chiefs (at the Administrative Council Too) Notified That Over 1,000 Members of Staff Demand Action on Patent Quality and Compliance (Industry Too is Alarmed That Many Invalid Patents Get Granted)
Huge corruption
Debian trademark canceled
Debian trademark canceled
Links 23/02/2024: Feed Aggregator and 2 Years of Invasion, Alexei Navalny’s Mother Blackmailed
Links for the day
Gemini Links 23/02/2024: Getting 'Sick' of Modern Tech and Deletion of One's Reddit Account
Links for the day
Links 23/02/2024: 227 Microsoft Layoffs Noted in Santa Clara and Disaster in Rivian
Links for the day
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 22, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, February 22, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
[Meme] It's NOT Your PC
losing control of hardware
Gemini Links 22/02/2024: Removing Radio Ads and Being Seen on the Internet
Links for the day
Mark Shuttleworth and the Question of Liability (Debian Volunteers He Pressured Before the Suicides)
Humanity for me
Mark Shuttleworth's (MS) Canonical Running Microsoft (MS) Ads, Mischaracterising Mass Surveillance as 'Confidential' (the Usual Lie)
The money talks, so the facts are absent
Ads as 'Articles'
Money buys perception manipulation (or reputation laundering) campaigns
Abraham Raji & Debian, DebConf kayak death: search abandoned, evading liability
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 22/02/2024: Chatbots Failing 'Big Time' and More Condemnations Appear of Bill Gates
Links for the day
There May be Close to 100,000,000 Laptops and Desktops Running GNU/Linux Around the World in 2024
hard to track the number
Search Engine Market Share Worldwide Shows How Badly Microsoft's Chatbot Strategy (Hopes) and Vapourware Have Failed
Bing, which was marketed as the forefront "product" for chatbots (Microsoft paid the media a lot of money for hype campaigns), gained nothing at Google's expense
[Meme] Demoralising and Putting Down Your Staff
unproductive and dangerous approach
This Week's Letter to António Campinos About Mean-Spirited Line Managers at the European Patent Office (EPO)
Seems like a way to get rid of staff. Some will resign in anger.
Software in the Public Interest (SPI) & Debian obfuscated structure fooled suicide victim's family: the ultimate example of bad faith
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 21, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Gemini Links 22/02/2024: What We Pass On and HTTP Header Viewer
Links for the day
Manuel Estrada Sainz (ranty), Andres Garcia (ErConde) & Debian Deaths overworking
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
GNU/Linux Rising to 8% of Desktops/Laptops in Jordan?
what statCounter shows
[Meme] If Iraq Launches an Investigation Into How Microsoft Bought OpenAI Without Paying for It
fake "money" from Microsoft
Windows Has Fallen to 13% Market Share in Iraq (It was 100% Just 15 Years Ago), GNU/Linux Rose Sharply in Recent Years
In recent years Iraq was developing its own GNU/Linux distro
Springtime is Next, Here's What We Plan for March and April
This month and next month we expect to publish something unique about EPO abuses every day
Studying the Freedom of firefox-123.0.tar.bz2
The "F" in Firefox
Abraham Raji, Jens Schmalzing & debian-private cover-ups after deaths, accidents, suicides
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Microsoft Bribes, Keeping Regulators at Bay
crime and corruption
[Meme] The Quotas Came From Above
EPO targets
EPO Talent Planning & Architecture is Another Attack on EPO Staff and the Central Staff Committee (CSC) Explains Why
ignore the flowery words
[Meme] Just Following Orders From "The Fu**ing President" António Campinos
Salary? OBEY!
Links 21/02/2024: China Working on West-less Tech Future, More Bounties on Patent Troll Leigh M. Rothschild (Which IBM et al Failed to Dismantle at the Root)
Links for the day
Links 21/02/2024: Encryption Backdoors Deemed Not Legal, Decentralised Web Under Attack
Links for the day
Games:Steam Audio as Free Software, Hazard Pay, ChipWits, and More
7 stories for today
Julian Assange, Wikileaks & Debian-private
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 20, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, February 20, 2024
Links 21/02/2024: Microsoft Sued for Monopolistic Policies, More Layoffs Planned for Next Month
Links for the day