Bonum Certa Men Certa

When Google Used Alex Converse to Raid the Public Domain With Software Patents

Alex Converse

Summary: In its overzealous pursuit of software patents, Google is now turning public domain methods into private 'property' (in defiance of critics)

Google lost its way; it lost its way on patents too. Google is not only pursuing software patents but it is also trying to privatise the public domain. As we had covered this twice already [1, 2] we decided to explore where things stand.



It turns out that the person who first brought up the subject is currently pursuing ways to "find legal help for defending ANS coding," according to him.

"Google is not only pursuing software patents but it is also trying to privatise the public domain.""I have seen your Techrights article mentioning my ANS Goolge patent situation," he told us. "There is also another ongoing patent attempt which is nearly granted by USPTO (second Notice of Allowance), also for basic obvious possibility.

"This defense requires a serious legal help, I have no chance to afford. I have tried asking EFF and EFFE, but there was nearly no response (I wouldn't be surprised if they were supported by Google, like in the Barry Lynn sandal)."

We have decided that the least we can do is raise this subject again (mention it publicly) and name the culprit/s in hope that bad PR alone would discourage him/them from proceeding. Failing that, we shall escalate with patent offices or whatnot.

"We have decided that the least we can do is raise this subject again (mention it publicly) and name the culprit/s in hope that bad PR alone would discourage him/them from proceeding."It was all over the media in Poland, we have been told, but as usual, "Google does not comment."

I have this experience too.

As it turned out, the so-called 'inventor' has fled Google. His name is Alex Converse and people have already noticed that he left. From a comment:

According to his LinkedIn profile he is no longer with Google https://www.linkedin.com/in/al... [linkedin.com]


And another right after that:

The engineer may no longer work for Google, but it is Google that is paying and pushing forward said patent. This shows Google patent team acting out with scum-like behaviour.

If higher levels of management are aware of what is going on and they choose not to drop this from patent submission, then they too are likely showing scum-like behaviour



"If Google would admit the mistake," told us the complainer, "it should be accompanied with some declaration of reparation, emphasizing pathology of software patents and need to fight it...

"Prior art or not, public domain or not, this is a software patent that must never be granted.""While it seems there is no hurry with Google, the first attempt got second "Notice of Allowance" a month ago. It covers ANS with the most basic statistical modeling (Markov) -- what was mentioned in my paper, and much earlier there was other implementation, now it is widely used in CRAM DNA compressor."

As is typical/usual, when one lives in a country not so wealthy, challenging a company like Google in or outside the patent system is far too expensive. It means that, unless there's public scrutiny, those with deeper pockets will get their way.

We shall keep an eye on this and find out if Google (or Mr. Converse) is still willing to go further with this. Prior art or not, public domain or not, this is a software patent that must never be granted.

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