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Patents Roundup: Patent Curses, Patent Fallacies, Tax Loopholes

Summary: The uglier sides of the patent system laid bear for people to see

Cursing



THE SO-CALLED 'IP' industry is a very delusional one at times. It trades imaginary things for money to be derived from non-existent assets like thoughts, which can be replicated infinitely. Our reader Satipera has just shown us this article where an intellectual monopoly firm from Texas compares file sharing to "money laundering". Here it is:

Rob Holmes, of the Texas law firm IP Cybercrime, which has worked to close down several bulletproof operations, said successful hosts were now starting to get stronger. "Some of the more popular ones have become more strongholds than they were previously," he said. "It's an industry and it always will be. When you think about it, bulletproof hosting is just a data version of money laundering."


Except for attempts to use “child porn” to close down the Web [1, 2], we have often seen the daemonisers of P2P (mostly the copyright cartel) associating file sharing with "terrorism". A few days ago we wrote about "piracy" (rape and murder) as an outrageous analogy for illegal sharing of books. It really has to stop. This industry has gone out of control with its daemonisation words and the only barrier might be Godwin law at this stage. Will file sharers be compared to the Taliban soon?

Fallacies



We are still seeing the misconception of "innovation as patents", which is based on the assumption that any smart idea will be followed by a patent application and could never be found independently. From BusinessWeek we have:

So innovation—at least as measured by patents—seems to fading in the U.S. As I wrote here in the current issue of Bloomberg BusinessWeek, patent applications fell in the year ended Sept. 30, for only the second time in the last 25 years. For the first time, moreover, foreigners obtained more patents than U.S. residents.


So what? Maybe it just means that people do actual development as opposed to paperwork. TechDirt discusses the article as well.

Is this news about innovation?

Seagate may face noise reduction patent payout



[...]

Just as Seagate is getting back to health after a year of recovery, it has been accused of destroying evidence pertinent to a 10-year old noise reduction technology lawsuit instigated against it by Convolve and MIT.


Destruction of evidence is a tactic that Microsoft and Intel are familiar with. They are both accused of doing it and Microsoft got caught deliberately infringing patents

Apple too is a patent violator and Nokia serves it with another new lawsuit (amongst others [1, 2, 3, 4]).

Nokia has beefed up its legal challenge to Apple, filing a second patent-infringement lawsuit against Cupertino in US District Court in Delaware. This time around, the Finnish outfit says that Apple stole patents that make Nokia unique, including patents for a camera phone and a touch-screen display.


Tax Loopholes



The president of the FFII has just shared this fascinating claim that Holland has a "patent box". He argues that Dell and Google are using the same patent box to avoid US taxes.

If true, then the patent systems are increasingly dodgy for lesser-known reasons. This ought to be made public knowledge.



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