Bonum Certa Men Certa

Canadian Government to Challenge Amazon's Spreading of Software/BM Patents, Which Red Hat Wants Abolished and Microsoft Still Collects

Canadian flag



Summary: Events in Canada may mean that USPTO expansion is hindered somewhat and Microsoft's patent attack on GNU/Linux can be affected

PROFESSOR Michael Geist says that Sookman says that "The Canadian government appeals the Amazon.com decision regarding the patentability of business methods." For those who have not followed this case, see [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. If true, this is good news. But Sookman is one of the 'bad people' when it comes to Canadian copyright law; it makes him harder to trust in some ways. It's what one ought to expect from so-called 'IP' lawyers. To them, there's money at stake. There are hardly any exceptions here. One of the latest examples is Patent WatchTroll, a software patents proponent (because he makes money from them as a lawyer) whining about Europe's unwillingness to become more like the USPTO [1, 2].



One of the few 'good' patent lawyers, Rob Tiller (Red Hat), is now asking: "Is software too abstract to be patented?"

A big challenge for those facing the risk of being accused of infringing bad software patents is how to demonstrate that the patent is an abstract idea. The Bilski decision reaffirmed that abstract ideas are not patentable, but it didn't give a test for how to distinguish such abstract ideas. There are various possible paths on this. The Supreme Court has said that mathematical algorithms are not patentable, and Ben Klemens [PDF] and others have argued that software is at bottom indistinguishable from mathematical algorithms. Others have fashioned related arguments leading toward the conclusion that at least some software is too abstract to be patented. Some of the analysis of PoIR on GrokLaw is particularly interesting: Why software is abstract and An Open Response to the USPTO — Physical Aspects of Mathematics.

This is a discussion that needs to continue. I hope FOSS developers and others with deep knowledge of software technology will get involved. We need to get to a convincing explanation in terms that non-technical people (such as judges and juries) can understand of the nature of software and why it is at bottom an abstract idea. Anyone care to take a swing?


Red Hat was recently hit by the Microsoft-funded Acacia and signed a secret deal. Amazon is now paying Microsoft for Red Hat, due to the secret Microsoft patent deal and Amazon's awkward stance on software patents. Microsoft meanwhile "applies for a patent for [...] verifying a 'safe' operating system," says one Microsoft booster (Mary Jo Foley).

Microsoft has applied for a patent for an “automated, static safety verifier” that will help verify the type- and memory-safety of an operating system.

And why should anyone care? This isn’t the Monkeys coming to Zune, after all. But there are some connections to other Microsoft projects (and potentially, products) worth considering.


This patent is abstract and absurd, but do not expect the author to say it. As a Microsoft employee put it a couple of weeks ago, "Mary Jo does not [do real journalism] and that's why she gets interviews at Microsoft" (she did admit to me that this is the way it works, at least back when she was more gutsy).

Comments

Recent Techrights' Posts

A Lot of Technological 'Progress' Has Been Nothing But Buzzwords
Free software does not try to excite people people over nothing
Proprietary Software: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
Proprietary software has an entirely different mindset, revolving around business models rather than science
Web Hostnames Down to Lowest Number in More Than 7 Years!
the number of hostnames is falling rapidly (they hide this by choosing logarithmic scale)
Over at Tux Machines...
2 days' worth
Stop Begging Companies That Don't Value Your Freedom to Stop Pushing You Around
That's not freedom
The forbidden topics
There are forbidden topics in the hacker community
 
Malware in the Ubuntu Snap Store, Thanks to Canonical Bloatware Mindset
Reprinted with permission from Ryan Farmer
Gemini Rising
There are 3523 capsules
Richard Stallman Gave a Talk Yesterday, Will Give Another Talk Today, and Will Give Two More Talks in Germany Later This Week
Those cover at least 2 different topics
Beware the Microsoft Sharks
We won't forgive and forget
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, September 30, 2023
IRC logs for Saturday, September 30, 2023
Don't be Afraid of the Command Line, It Might Even be a Friend
There's a tendency to think that only graphical interfaces were made to simplify usage, and any declarative interface is by design raw, inherently unfit for usage
One Positive Note About GNU/Linux Coverage in 2023 (Less Microsoft)
GNU/Linux users do not want this, with very rare exceptions
Snaps Were Never Good at Security, But the Media Coverage is Just Appalling
The media should focus on culling Windows, not making a huge fuss over minor things wrongly attributed to "Linux"
Better Footage of Richard Stallman's Talk Last Week: “Freedom in computing, forty years after starting to really protect it”
Richard Stallman speaks about the cancer situation early in his speech
Links 30/09/2023: A Government Shutdown and More Blizzard Layoffs
Links for the day
Links 30/09/2023: Bing Almost Offloaded Due to Failure/Losses, Nvidia Raided
Links for the day
Community is the Lifeblood of Freedom in the GNU/Linux World
Removing or undoing the "cancerd" (systemd) is feasible but increasingly difficult
Richard Stallman Says He Will Probably Live Many More Years
"Richard Stallman has cancer. Fortunately it is slow-growing and manageable follicular lymphona, so he will probably live many more years nonetheless. But he now has to be even more careful not to catch Covid-19."
Quitting 'Clown Computing' and GAFAM is Only the Start
The Web and the Net at large became far too centralised
They Say Free Software is Like Communism When They, the Proprietary Software Giants, Constantly Pursue Government Bailouts (Subsidies From Taxpayers)
At the moment Ukraine is at most risk due to its dependence on Microsoft (inside its infrastructure)
Social Control Media Has No Future, It Was Always Doomed to Fail (Also Promoted Based on Lies)
Recent events, including developments at Twitter, meant that they lost a lot of their audience and then, in turn, sponsors/advertisers
They're Been Trying to 'Kill' Richard Stallman for Years (by Mentally Tormenting Him)
Malicious tongue wanted to do him what had been done to Julian Assange
We Temporarily Have Two Gemini Capsules
They're both authentic and secure, but they're not the same
Consumerism is Lying and Revisionism
We need to reject these liars and charlatans
Links 30/09/2023: Open VFS Framework, CrossOver 23.5, Dianne Feinstein Dies
Links for the day
Security Leftovers
GNU/Linux, Microsoft, and more
Microsoft Down on the World Wide Web, Shows Survey
down by a lot in this category
IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 29, 2023
IRC logs for Friday, September 29, 2023
A Society That Fails Journalists Does Not Deserve Journalism
It's probably too later to save Julian Assange as a working publisher (he might never recover from the mental torture), but as a person and a father we can wish and work towards his release
Almost Nothing To Go With Your Morning's Cup Of Coffee
Newspaper? What newspaper?
Techrights Was Right About the Chaff Bots (They Failed to Live up to Their Promise)
Those who have been paying attention to news of substance rather than fashionable "tech trends" probably know that GNU/Linux grew a lot this year
Selling Out to Microsoft Makes You Dead Beef
If all goes as well as we've envisioned, Microsoft will get smaller and smaller
Curation and Preservation Work
The winter is coming soon and this means our anniversary is near
Mobile Phones Aren't Your Friend or a Gateway to Truly Social Life
Newer should not always seem more seductive, as novelty is by default questionable and debatable
Links 29/09/2023: Disinformation and Monopolies
Links for the day
iFixit Requests DMCA Exemption…To Figure Out How To Repair McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines
Reprinted with permission from Ryan Farmer
Jim Zemlin Thinks the World's Largest Software Company Has 200 Staff, Many of Whom Not Technical at All
biggest ego in the world
Microsoft GitHub Exposé — In the Alex Graveley Case, His Lawyer, Rick Cofer, Appears to Have Bribed the DA to Keep Graveley (and Others) Out of Prison
Is this how one gets out of prison? Hire the person who bribes the DA?
Richard Stallman's Public Talk in GNU's 40th Anniversary Ceremony
Out now
Links 29/09/2023: Linux Foundation Boasting, QLite FDW 2.4.0 Released
Links for the day
Red Hat Does Not Understand Community and It's Publicly Promoting Microsoft's Gartner
RedHat.com is basically lioning a firm that has long been attacking GNU/Linux in the private and public sectors at the behest of Microsoft
A 'Code of Conduct' Typically Promoted by Criminal Corporations to Protect Crimes From Scrutiny
We saw this in action last week
Objections to binutils CoC
LXO response to proposed Code of Conduct
Conde Nast (Reddit), Which Endlessly Defamed Richard Stallman and Had Paid Salaries to Microsoft-Connected Pedophiles, Says You Must Be Over 18 to See 'Stallman Was Right'
Does this get in the way of their Bill Gates-sponsored "Bill Gates says" programme/schedule?
Techrights Extends Wishes of Good Health to Richard M. Stallman
Richard Stallman has cancer
endsoftwarepatents.org Still Going, Some Good News From Canada
a blow to software patents in Canada
The Debian Project Leader said the main thing Debian lacked was more contributors
The Debian Project Leader said the main thing Debian lacked was more contributors
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 28, 2023
IRC logs for Thursday, September 28, 2023
Links 28/09/2023: Openwashing and Patent Spam as 'News'
Links for the day