Bonum Certa Men Certa

Patents Roundup: Patent Bully Erich Spangenberg Finally Loses, Europe Still Troubled, Microsoft Bullies With Software Patents, Monsanto Uses Earthquakes to Spread Patent Liabilities

Espiritu Santo



Summary: As indicated in the title, separate topics relating to patents are covered here

Erich Spangenber



"PATENT TROLL Tracker" covered this man's activities quite a lot and we too mentioned Erich Spangenberg for his abuse of the patent system for self gain. According to TechDirt, Spangenberg is finally losing.

Two years ago, we wrote about a patent held by Erich Spangenberg, a notorious patent hoarder who is involved in a ton of lawsuits against companies who actually make stuff, attacked with highly questionable patents. The patent in question (5,367,627) basically described an electronic parts catalog, which Spangenberg used to sue tons of companies.

[...]

After all that effort, the Federal Circuit has dumped the original ruling, noting that the "invention" (if you can call it that) was "anticipated" by earlier inventions. But, honestly, if you want to get a deeper sense of just how messed up the patent system is, you should read the full ruling


The system is seemingly becoming even more messed up as time goes on. Patent lawyers have hijacked this system to enrich themselves at the expense of scientists and they gradually increase the scope of patenting.

Patentability of Software



Digital Majority summarises coverage of the G3/08 (EBoA) referral while over in Germany we find software patents being legalised. Someone from the Pirate Party in the UK has published a long response to it.

German software patents are a sad day for software



[...]

Those members who know me well will be aware that one of the main reasons that I originally got involved with the Pirate Party was because of its support for patent reform, and in particular its opposition of software patents. Today is a sad day for software in Europe; the German High Court has now effectively declared software patentable without any meaningful limits. It's especially bad news for Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).

[...]

As a Free Software developer, I'm particularly worried, because Free Software can only work when anyone can use the software and distribute it to others. Due to software patents in the USA, there is a whole bunch of functionality that was — or still is — impossible for Linux distributions to offer "out of the box." These include such basic features as watching DVDs and Internet video, creating and listening to MP3s, and working with JPEG2000 images. In all these examples the patents cover mathematical algorithms for encoding and decoding data. What makes things worse is that FOSS developers are blamed for the lack of these, even though they've written the code and it works perfectly well.


As TechDirt puts it:

So, as we sit and wait in the US for a ruling on Bilski, hoping (but doubting) that it will greatly curtail software patents, Germany is going in the opposite direction.


Yes, over in the US, a high-level decision on the Bilski case could change a lot for software freedom. Here is some new analysis [1, 2, 3].

Trade Secrets



Originally, the patent office was intended to encourage inventors to publish their ideas; well, now it's the opposite as it suppresses and often restricts people who want to practice ideas. Glyn Moody has a new piece criticising today's regime of intellectual monopolies and trade secrets:

Now, some might say that this retreat into the widespread use of trade secrets to protect products is a huge loss to humanity, and a backward step from the current situation where people patent stuff – which, as the word originally meant, implies revealing to the world your secrets.

I think this is nonsense, and part of the romantic propaganda put about by those that use intellectual monopolies to stifle competition. Indeed, what is striking about so many patents today is that they reveal precisely *nothing*: they are either obvious, in which case they don't tell us anything we didn't already know, or else they are make such vague and general claims (even though patents aren't supposed to work like that) as to be useless for practical purposes.


Companies that use Linux play the same game. The question is, should one's own profit come before advancement as a whole? With state support even?

Microsoft



Here we have a company that held back IT for decades. Microsoft even implicitly admitted that it wanted to slow innovation so that it needn't cope with new forms of technology that may be less profitable (or more challenging to monetise, e.g. SaaS).

Now that SaaS is catching on at companies like Salesforce, Microsoft is bullying and suing [1, 2]. TechDirt states: "Microsoft Decides It Can't Compete With Salesforce.com; Sues For Patent Infringement Instead"

Suffice to say, Microsoft boosters like Paul Thurrott defend Microsoft and even add fuel to the fire:

This week, Microsoft sued Salesforce.com, accusing the latter of violating eight of its software patents. This development has raised hackles in certain circles—"Microsoft is reverting to its old ways!" But these people are clueless: Microsoft has been threatening companies with patent lawsuits for years, and my guess is that Salesforce just declined to roll over, as all those Linux companies have. And just so we're clear, it's not "spurious patent litigation" if it works or is held up in court. Let's see what happens before we decide that Microsoft is in the wrong. It's one thing to take a tiny company to court, but Salesforce.com is huge and can defend itself. Microsoft knows that.


It's nice to know that Microsoft boosters are actually fans of Microsoft's racketeering too. They haven't much dignity, which is probably why they promote Microsoft in the first place.

Monsanto



Monsanto is a major abuser of the world's population and Monsanto uses patents on life to coerce and to enforce. We wrote about the subject in posts such as:

  1. With Microsoft Monopoly in Check, Bill Gates Proceeds to Creating More Monopolies
  2. Gates-Backed Company Accused of Monopoly Abuse and Investigated
  3. How the Gates Foundation Privatises Africa
  4. Reader's Article: The Gates Foundation and Genetically-Modified Foods
  5. Monsanto: The Microsoft of Food
  6. Seeds of Doubt in Bill Gates Investments
  7. Gates Foundation Accused of Faking/Fabricating Data to Advance Political Goals
  8. More Dubious Practices from the Gates Foundation
  9. Video Transcript of Vandana Shiva on Insane Patents
  10. Explanation of What Bill Gates' Patent Investments Do to Developing World
  11. Black Friday Film: What the Bill Gates-Backed Monsanto Does to Animals, Farmers, Food, and Patent Systems
  12. Gates Foundation Looking to Destroy Kenya with Intellectual Monopolies
  13. Young Napoleon Comes to Africa and Told Off
  14. Bill Gates Takes His GMO Patent Investments/Experiments to India
  15. Gates/Microsoft Tax Dodge and Agriculture Monopoly Revisited
  16. Beyond the 'Public Relations'
  17. UK Intellectual Monopoly Office (UK-IPO) May be Breaking the Law
  18. “Boycott Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in China”
  19. The Gates Foundation Extends Control Over Communication with Oxfam Relationship
  20. Week of Monsanto


Monsanto and Microsoft have a great deal in common because they use the "drug dealer" mentality to spread their products and make people dependent on those products. Monsanto -- like Microsoft -- is also trying to make money out of a disaster in Haiti (Monsanto is seeding a monopoly in another nation).

Haitian Farmers Commit to Burning Monsanto Hybrid Seeds



"A new earthquake" is what peasant farmer leader Chavannes Jean-Baptiste of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) called the news that Monsanto will be donating 60,000 seed sacks (475 tons) of hybrid corn seeds and vegetable seeds, some of them treated with highly toxic pesticides. The MPP has committed to burning Monsanto's seeds, and has called for a march to protest the corporation's presence in Haiti on June 4, for World Environment Day.


What Monsanto does here is akin to Microsoft handing out Windows in a nation that already uses GNU/Linux. But to make matters worse, Monsanto is making money out of a disaster, or at least looking to make money in the long term. Monsanto is exploiting Africa and India in the same way with Bill Gates' help (as covered in some of the posts above). What a fine example of misusing patents against impoverished populations. It's even less ethical when it comes to medicine (also covered by patents and prone to addiction).

Recent Techrights' Posts

Microsoft-Connected Sites Trying to Shift Attention Away From Microsoft's Megabreach Only Days Before Important If Not Unprecedented Grilling by the US Government?
Why does the mainstream media not entertain the possibility a lot of these talking points are directed out of Redmond?
[Video] Microsoft's Attack on Education
Microsoft's cult-like activities and overt entryism
Microsoft Windows Used to Have Nearly 100% in China and Now Google Has 50% (With Android)
Will China bring about a faster "fall" for Microsoft?
GNU/Linux Growing Worldwide (the Story So Far!)
Microsoft is unable to stop GNU/Linux
 
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 21, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Attempts to Sink the Free Software Movement (Under the Guise of Saving It)
We can see who's being drowned
Czech Republic: Windows Down From 98% to 43%, GNU/Linux Rises to Over 3%
modest gains for GNU/Linux
Links 22/05/2024: Pixar Layoffs and More Speculation About Microsoft Shutdowns/Layoffs (Ninja Theory)
Links for the day
Gemini Links 21/05/2024: Caesar II for MS-DOS and Reinventing the Assertion Wheel
Links for the day
Internal Memos/Communications Hinting at "a New, But Masked, Round of Layoffs" at Red Hat
A negative outlook heads of a long weekend
Nigeria: Windows Down to 6%, Android at All-Time High of 77%
Google is becoming the "new monopoly" in some places
[Meme] Money In, No Money Out (Granting Loads of Invalid European Patents)
EPO production?
Staff Representation at the EPO Has Just Explained to Heads of Delegations (National Delegates) Why the EPO's Financial Study is Another Hoax
Here we are again 5 years later
Canonical and Red Hat Are Not Competing With Microsoft Anymore
What a shame they hired so many people from Microsoft...
Links 21/05/2024: "Hating Apple Goes Mainstream", Lots of Coverage About Julian Assange Ruling
Links for the day
Gemini Links 21/05/2024: Losing Fats and Modern XMPP
Links for the day
Pursuing a Case With No Prospects (Because It's "Funny")
the perpetrators are taking a firm that's considered notorious
GNU/Linux in Honduras: From 0.28% to 6%
Honduras remains somewhat of a hotspot
Good News From Manchester and London, Plus High Productivity in Techrights
what has happened and what's coming
[Video] The 'Linux' Foundation Cannot be Repaired Anymore (It Sold Out)
We might need to accept that the Linux Foundation lost its way
Links 21/05/2024: Tesla Layoffs and Further Free Speech Perils Online
Links for the day
Gemini Links 21/05/2024: New Gemini Reader and Gemini Games
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 20, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, May 20, 2024
Red Hat Loves Microsoft Monopoly (and Proprietary Surveillance With Back Doors)
full posting history in RedHat.com
[Video] Just Let Julian Assange Go Back to Australia
Assange needs to be freed
The WWW declares the end of Google
Reprinted with permission from Cyber|Show
Gemini Links 20/05/2024: CMSs and Lua "Post to midnight.pub" Script Alternative
Links for the day
Windows Has Fallen Below 5% in Iraq, GNU/Linux Surged Beyond 7% Based on statCounter's Stats
Must be something going on!
Brodie Robertson - Never Criticise The Linux Foundation Expenses (With Transcript)
Transcript included
Links 20/05/2024: Protests and Aggression by Beijing
Links for the day
Can an election campaign succeed without social media accounts?
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Read "Google Is Not What It Seems" by Julian Assange
In this extract from his new book When Google Met Wikileaks, WikiLeaks' publisher Julian Assange describes the special relationship between Google, Hillary Clinton and the State Department -- and what that means for the future of the internet
Fact check: relation to Julian Assange, founded Wikileaks at University of Melbourne and Arjen Kamphuis
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Julian Assange: Factual Timeline From an Online Friend
a friend's account
Breaking News: Assange Wins Right to Challenge Extradition to the US
This is great news, but maybe the full legal text will reveal some caveat
Gambia: Windows Down to 5% Overall, 50% on Desktops/Laptops
Windows was measured at 94% in 2015
Links 20/05/2024: Microsoft Layoffs and Shutdowns, RTO as Silent Layoffs
Links for the day
The Issue With Junk Traffic in Geminispace (Gemini Protocol)
Some people have openly complained that their capsule was getting hammered by bot
Peter Eckersley, Laura Smyth & the rushed closure of dial-up Internet in Australian universities
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Brittany Day, Plagiarist in Chief (Chatbot Slinger)
3 articles in the front page of LXer.com right now are chatbot spew
Guardian Digital, Inc (linuxsecurity.com) Has Resorted to Plagiarism by Chatbots, Flooding the World Wide Web With Fake 'Articles' Wrongly Attributed to Brittany Day
busted
[Meme] Bullying the Victims
IBM: crybully of the year 2024
Ian.Community Should be Safer From Trademark Censorship
We wish to discuss this matter very quickly
Microsoft and Its Vicious Attack Dogs (Attacking Women or Wives in Particular)
Sad, pathetic, destructive people
Upcoming Series About the Campaign to 'Disappear' the Father of GNU/Linux
Today we have Julian Assange's fate to focus on
A Month From Now Gemini Protocol Turns 5
June 20
Colombia: From Less Than 0.5% to Nearly 4% for GNU/Linux
it's not limited to this one country
Rumour: Well Overdue Red Hat Layoffs to be Announced in About 3 Days
we know they've planned the layoffs for a while
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 19, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, May 19, 2024
Gemini Links 20/05/2024: Updated Noto Fontpacks and gemfeed2atom
Links for the day