Bonum Certa Men Certa

When Microsoft and IBM Met Intellectual Protectionism

"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." —Bertrand Russell

Lou Gerstner

Summary: How Microsoft tries to replicate IBM's patent hoard (but for offensive purposes) while the USPTO continues assisting

Microsoft and IBM are poster children to a system which thrives in fostering giants and crushing everyone else. The USPTO, for example, enables former superpowers like IBM (and then Microsoft) to maintain monopolies without offering a lot in terms of value (advancement, innovation, competitive prices). Google, for example of contrast, is too young for 'patent welfare', so unlike Microsoft and IBM it does question the unjust patent system. "The Troll In The Basement" is the title of this silly new article which says things like: "Falling prey to patent trolls (firms that use the nebulous world of software patents) is commonplace for even big names.

"One of the methods of combating the trolls is to turn into a patent mill. IBM and Microsoft are issued several dozen patents ever so often just to combat legal battles waged by patent trolls."

"The USPTO, for example, enables former superpowers like IBM (and then Microsoft) to maintain monopolies without offering a lot in terms of value (advancement, innovation, competitive prices)."That's utter BS (pardon the language). Microsoft uses these patents offensively and cannot use them back against patent trolls as they have no products that can potentially infringe anything. It makes the argument total BS, but this type of BS gets repeated so many times by patent lawyers and the monopolies which they represent. Let us remember that the USPTO is guarded and headed by an IBM veteran (pro-patents person) and just like in the Gates Foundation, Big Pharma bigwigs run things and ensure that monopolies are protected by the USPTO. Mike Masnick reports "Revolving Door Between Gov't And Industry Continues: Pharma Lawyer Goes To USPTO As Gov't Financial Regulator Goes To Wall St."

The level of regulatory capture between the government and industry is really quite sickening these days. There's a revolving door where government officials go work for industry and vice versa, with plenty of back-scratching in both directions. Two separate stories crossed my desk at about the same time, highlighting this in both directions. First up, it's really no surprise that one of the pharma industry's favorite lawyers has just become deputy director of the US Patent Office. Of course, the pharma industry is one of the more aggressive ones when it comes to expanding the power of patents, and abusing them to block innovation in healthcare. Now they have another person on the inside to help.

This is just so typical. Those who run the USPTO are exactly the same people who arrive from companies which are USPTO beneficiaries. The fox guards the hen house, declaring poultry to be a national dietary priority.

The whole situation with regards to intellectual monopolies is truly concerning and it is going further out of control, harming both small contenders and free software. Dr. Glyn Moody has just submitted lengthy feedback to the UK independent review of so-called 'IP' (also inclusive of copyrights, which are related to it). From the summary:

The possibility that non-commercial sharing of digital content actually promotes growth, as reflected in the healthy increase of content sales in recent years, rather than damaging sales as frequently claimed by the content industries in their partial and one-sided reports, is a central issue here. If this dynamic is at work, it would dramatically affect views on whether non-commercial file-sharing should be permitted or not, and have major implications for the implementation of the Digital Economy Act. This suggests that large-scale and fully independent research into this area should be an urgent priority before further decisions and actions are taken.

If such research confirms the preliminary results reported above, one of the best ways of supporting growth and innovation in the UK would then obviously be to allow the free non-commercial sharing of digital content.

Patents and copyrights are both monopolies and to some degree they are exclusionary (although modernising the law can mitigate the issue). People need to decide whether they want to live in a world with supposedly benevolent monopolies or in a world with a lot of competition and many contenders. It is clear what the USPTO's role is.

'“Other than Bill Gates, I don’t know of any high tech CEO that sits down to review the company’s IP portfolio" —Marshall Phelps (the man who built patent walls for IBM and then for Microsoft)

Recent Techrights' Posts

Geminispace Growing and Getting More Free (Independent)
Because self-signed certificates are the way to go
Washington's WARN Site/Portal (That Excludes Many Microsoft Layoffs) is Now Down for Many Hours, Microsoft Causes Major Outages and Incidents Worldwide (Even Deaths)
The mass layoffs (lots of them in Azure since 2020) probably worsen resilience and security some more
Microsoft Has Managed to Make GNU/Linux Users Scared of Updating Their GNU/Linux PCs (Thanks to UEFI 'Secure' Boot's Boosters!)
How many people know who's responsible for this mess?
Today GNU/Linux Broke All-Time Record in statCounter Again
Expect more people to hop over to GNU/Linux after the Windows fiasco
Joab Jackson and "The New Stack" Publishing Microsoft Spam (E.E.E. Against Linux) for a Payment From Microsoft
It's not a real news site
Links 20/07/2024: Patents on Software Squashed, Further Attacks on Independent News Sites
Links for the day
Links 20/07/2024: Shopping Mall in Southwestern China and New Health Crises
Links for the day
Microsoft/Windows Has Fallen Well Below 1% (Now 0.7%) in American Samoa
statCounter Sees Microsoft Windows at Below 1% in American Samoa
The Thelio Mega Is a Dual-GPU Linux Supercomputer
System76 sells many desktops and laptops built to run Linux. The company has now revealed its new high-powered Linux desktop, the Thelio Mega
[Meme] "System of a Down"
The latest international catastrophe kills people
Why Microsoft is Laying Off So Many People in Nigeria
Nigeria is a place Microsoft has lost
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, July 19, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, July 19, 2024
Gemini Links 20/07/2024: Gopher Catchup and Old Computer Challenge
Links for the day
Microsoft Lays Off Half of Its Workforce in Nigeria
Microsoft continues to implode in Africa
Links 19/07/2024: Microsoft Breaks Down and Amdocs Has 1,500-3,000 More Layoffs
Links for the day
UEFI 'Secure Boot' Once Again Bricking PCs and Fake Security Models Are Perishing in Geminispace
Let's Encrypt has just fallen again
[Meme] Conservative (and Fake) Nuclear Physicist Bill Gates
Didn't even graduate from college, media treats him like a world-renowned expert in nuclear energy
The Gemini Capsule of Tux Machines Turns 2 in Six Days
Many people actually use Gemini, some participate in it by creating their own capsule (or capsules)
GNU/Linux Rises to 4% in Saudi Arabia, Says statCounter, Windows Has Fallen to 11% (Android Exceeds 60%)
Microsoft might soon fall below 10% in KSA (Saudi Arabia)
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, July 18, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, July 18, 2024
GNU/Linux news for the past day
GNU/Linux news for the past day
1901 Days in High-Security Prison (and 8 More Years in Severe Confinement) for the 'Crime' of Exposing War Crimes and Corruption
Julian Assange clip = Microsoft Lobbying (Openwashing)
Here's the latest pair of blog posts
In Northern Mariana Islands, Where Julian Assange Pled Guilty 4 Weeks Ago, Windows Remains Second to Android, and GNU/Linux Still Grows in Oceania
It was the first month ever that statCounter saw more Web requests there from Android than from Windows
If GitLab Gets Sold (Datadog and Google Named Among Potential Buyers), It'll Prove Our Point About GitLab
Beware the bait on the hook
Hot Summer: Microsoft Flirting With the "5% Windows" Club in Afghanistan
The share of Windows in Afghanistan has fallen to almost 5% (1 in 20 Web requests)
[Meme] Nothing Says "Independence Day" Like...
Firing DEI on Independence Day period
Good News About GNU/Linux, Geminispace, FSF, and Backlash Against Microsoft
here are a few quick takes
Links 18/07/2024: Hardware, Conflicts, and Gemini Leftovers
Links for the day
Backlash and Negative Press After Microsoft Tells Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) People to DIE
Follow-up stories
Links 18/07/2024: Retroactively Pseudonymised Litigant and Alberta’s Energy ‘War Room’
Links for the day
Gemini Links 18/07/2024: A Welcome to Gemini and Politics of Assassinations
Links for the day
Red Hat's Official Site Yesterday: Promoting 'Secure' Boot in Machines You Don't Own or Control Anyway
"To be clear, CentOS Linux no longer exist"
Fabian Gruenbichler & Debian: former GSoC student added to keyring
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 18/07/2024: ORG Complaint to ICO About Facebook, Korean Double Agent Unmasked
Links for the day
Joel Espy Klecker & Debian on Joe Biden's health and Donald Trump's assassination
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, July 17, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Links 18/07/2024: Hostname Pedantry and Retro Coding
Links for the day