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05.28.15

Patent Lawyers Fight Hard for the Future of Software Patents

Posted in Law, Patents at 4:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“People naively say to me, “If your program is innovative, then won’t you get the patent?” This question assumes that one product goes with one patent.” —Richard Stallman

An algorithm

Summary: Media that is dominated by patent lawyers and targets an audience of patent lawyers refuses to accept the post-Alice reality

THE USPTO is a sordid mess. As the previous article served to show, it attracts many opportunists and trolls. However, recent amendment of guidelines used inside the USPTO examination pipeline stopped many software patents, rendering them invalid while citing Alice (a relatively recent SCOTUS ruling). Both the court system and the patent system are now far less favourable or tolerant towards software patents.

“These patents are affecting not only Free software but also proprietary software.”As usual, patent lawyers’ sites are quick to shoot down the message and the messengers. Legal News Line says that a “new study shows first decline in patent litigation in five years”. It of course proceeds to refutation attempts. Other lawyers (McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP in this case) are trying hard to shoot down claims that software patents are being stopped in the US. Here is their abstract: “A recent publication by PricewaterhouseCoopers announced that patent suit filings in 2014 had reduced by 13% from the prior year, and concluded that this “dramatic shift” was “[d]riven by Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, which raised the bar for patentability and enforcement of software patents” (see “2015 Patent Litigation Study: A change in patentee fortunes”). This rather strong attribution has in turn driven a number of news outlets, such as IPLaw 360 and bloggers to pick up the story (see “Patent Lawsuits Took First Dive In Years, Report Says” and “Patent Litigation Study Should Cause Patent Reform Pause”).”

They say that this report “raises questions”, but actually it answers a question and tackles an issue. It’s a step towards the solution.

Another patent lawyers’ site, Managing IP, says that “Rumours of the death of software patents are greatly exaggerated” (well, they sure would hope so) and Gene Quinn (very vocal proponent of software patents, for he is a patent lawyer) asks, “Is there a future for software patents in an age of software innovation?”

What we are hoping to show here, as we did many times before, is that patent lawyers are very concerned about the death of many patents on software, not only at the court level but also, increasingly, at the examination level (where they can make a lot of money at the expense of software developers). These patents are affecting not only Free software but also proprietary software. Even Bitcoin, which strives to reform today’s monetary system, is said to be affected. As this report from the beginning of the month put it: “Bitcoin wallet company BitGo, Inc. is currently being circled by Redditors for its alleged attempts to patent the Bitcoin multisig technology.

“The San Francisco based company had submitted a patent request to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on February 4th last year, a document of which was published yesterday, on April 30th 2015. The document reveals BitGo’s application in which it is seeking a patent for a network device that is “configured to receive public keys, over an electronic network, of two or more second public-private keys,” something that is reportedly identical to the multisig functionality.”

They are patenting cryptological methods now. This is like patenting mathematics. It has got to stop at the examination level, not just at the courts (legal fees are obscenely high).

Fortune Glorifies Patent Troll Jay Walker (Patent Utility)

Posted in Patents at 4:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jay Walker
Photo by Steve Jurvetson from Menlo Park, USA

Summary: Jay Walker, a patent troll, creates a Web-based trolling/’licensing’ service and the corporate media helps him

“Big data is key to disrupting the U.S. patent industry,” said last month’s headline from the plutocrats’ media (Fortune). Let’s put aside the term “patent industry”, which equates patenting to production. This article spoke about a patent troll named Jay Walker– a man whom we wrote about before. To quote what it’s about: “The United States Patent Utility is a newly launched web-based licensing platform offered by Parent Properties. Led by Priceline founder Jay Walker, the Utility (as it’s sometimes called) is a public company that will bring together inventors and would-be users, kind of like a match-making service.”

“It’s like an answer in search of a question or a solution in search of a problem, unless the target audience is patent examiners and trolls.”That’s the sort of vision laid out by patent hoarders who litigate rather than create anything. They treat patents as a product to be sold or rented. Notice that they call it “web-based licensing platform” (trolling sounds almost synonymous), nothing like a “match-making service.” There’s no love in it.

Oddly enough, this article completely neglects to mention that Walker is now a patent toll. “The company’s analytics technology,” it says, “searches the two million-plus patents on file with the U.S. Patent Office, as well as its huge volume of pending patents, and matches companies with any concepts that will help them meet their business goals.”

Companies don’t need patents to tell them what to do and they don’t need to look up patents instead of doing what they do. It’s like an answer in search of a question or a solution in search of a problem, unless the target audience is patent examiners and trolls. The world’s patent examiners already have expansive tools for finding prior art and/or existing patents.

The article goes on and states: “The Utility is designed to open up the world of innovation to companies of all sizes, particularly those with limited resources.”

Actually, this sounds more like a patent trolls’ toolbox. It makes it cheaper for trolls to acquire ‘licensing’ deals or acquire patents, without even a lawsuit.

Stealing Android’s Thunder, Making It All About Apple and Microsoft During Google I/O

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 3:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever. Make the complete failure of the competition’s technology part of the mythology of the computer industry.”

James Plamondon, Microsoft [PDF]

Summary: Misleading articles and conjoined media/analyst attacks on Android coincide with Google’s event where major Android announcements are being made

ANDROID, which runs Linux at its core, is now the world’s most widely used operating system, not just the most commonly ‘sold’ (if that word is applicable to Free software) operating systems. Microsoft is very annoyed by that. Apple is jealous.

Android is expanding from phones to tablets, watches, and even cars. Right now there’s a lot of talk about ​Android Auto (see our upcoming daily links for more information, as well as various links that we posted about Google I/O before) and this means that the reach of Linux is vast beyond imagination. It’s always growing. Devices now outnumber people, especially with all that “IoT” hype. Many of these devices (probably the majority) run Linux.

“Devices now outnumber people, especially with all that “IoT” hype. Many of these devices (probably the majority) run Linux.”Microsoft seems to be trying to crash the event of Google, making it all about Apple and Microsoft in a potentially strategic (and timely) way. Farhad Manjoo, who promoted Microsoft in Slate (we mentioned it here several times before, especially in the IRC channels), is now doing a piece on Android in the New York Times. While acknowledging “Market Dominance” of Android he goes on to say that there is “A Murky Road Ahead for Android”. We’ve heard it all before, usually from Microsoft- and Apple-friendly media. As this article is composed by an old friend of Microsoft, we consider it more of that same. For the second day in a row it’s IDG (parent company of IDC, but without disclosure to that effect) that uses IDC-produced figures to bash Android’s dominance as well. Mikael Ricknäs has spread through a bunch of IDG-owned sites an article titled “Android stutters while iOS shines in Q1″. Two Microsoft-bribed firms, namely the Gartner Group and IDC, are being quoted so as to bash Android. They do this by gaming numbers, making it seem like Apple enjoys huge growth while actually it’s Android that continues to gain (at the expense of mostly proprietary platforms). IDC is grossly overstating Microsoft’s role in mobile, but given the long-term relationship of IDC and Microsoft, this is hardly surprising. IDC previously had us believe (using bogus predictions) that Windows would be dominant in mobile by now. How wrong were they! Android is dying/doomed/terrible, say Microsoft- and Apple-connected firms, so maybe the real observation to be made here is that Microsoft is really afraid of Android. It’s nervousness and response.

The conflicts of interest at IDG are not news to us. We have written about them for nearly a decade. Here you see Roger Grimes from Microsoft and IDG (yes, at the same time!) giving poor advice about security (he often blames users for security issues that are Microsoft’s). “Better solution,” wrote iophk to us, would be “OpenWRT or DD-WRT” (Linux).

Incidentally, amid all that Android FUD (vastly increased while Google I/O takes place), Tony Bradley, a Microsoft mole and booster (professionally connected to Microsoft but pretending to be journalist in IDG, as well as other Web sites/news networks) says that “Microsoft Has Hijacked Android In A Hostile Takeover” (his headline).

Rogue players, including Microsoft, tried this before, with examples that include Facebook, Nokia, and Amazon. They always failed. It’s just a misguided strategy that weakens Windows in the hope that somehow it’ll pay off or gradually sink the competition.

Watch how IDG covered this latest case of patent extortion/shakedown. Microsoft’s abuse of patents is not mentioned even once! It’s all promotional. The opening sentence says: “Tuesday’s announcement means Microsoft is now working with 31 device manufacturers to pre-load applications on Android tablets.”

Here again we see the artificially- and misleadingly-inflated number which we alluded to the other day.

“Microsoft has made a killer move,” wrote Pavithra Rathinavel about patent racketeering while glorifying it as some kind of ingenious strategy. He also wrote: “Many observers say Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is making the right moves to cater to all the major platforms used by customers across the globe.”

No, Microsoft uses extortion and blackmail using patents in order to force companies to exclude the competition. It’s bundling by force. That is nothing worth commending.

British Government May be a Step Closer to GNU/Linux (on the Desktops, Not Just Servers)

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Windows at 2:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The Justice Department also renewed its request that the court fine Microsoft $1 million a day for contempt…”

Barbarians Led by Bill Gates, a book composed
by the daughter of Microsoft’s PR mogul

Summary: The British government stops paying the criminal company that blackmails its members, thereby increasing the possibility of complete escape from proprietary software

SPENDING around $10,000 per Windows desktop per year in the British government (i.e. around the same as a brand new car per year for one single desktop!) is far from reasonable. It’s theft, it’s embezzlement. It shows why Microsoft is so exceptionally desperate to keep its contracts with the British government — to the point of blackmailing British politicians.

According to this new report which relates to our recent writings, no more will our government waste $10,000 per desktop per year and it is definitely getting closer to altogether dumping Windows.

“The UK government has decided,” says The Register, “as foreshadowed by The Reg, that it can do without extended support for Windows XP.

“The nation signed up for Microsoft’s super-special zombie OS support service – aka a Custom Support Agreement – last year, but a recent meeting of government Technology Leaders decided enough is enough. A post on the Government Technology Blog says the Leaders “took a collective decision to not extend the support arrangement for 2015.”

“A support agreement that ended in April was therefore not renewed.”

Microsoft now uses scare tactics to make the government ‘upgrade’ (rent new versions of Windows, Office, etc.) or ‘buy’ extended — and surely overpriced — ‘support’.

Well, just bin Microsoft already; it is a huge security risk and Free software is capable is serving the public a lot better. It would also create jobs in the UK because people are needed to support these desktops. Surely we can be self-sufficient in the software sense. Britain has got some skilled programmers and it is internationally renowned for its services-based industry.

05.27.15

Microsoft’s Patent Allies LG and Sony Agree to Put Microsoft Inside Android

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 6:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Using blackmail and extortion to ‘bastardise’ Android

Rockstar Consortium

Summary: LG and Sony (of Rockstar Consortium) follow Samsung and Dell in Microsoft’s campaign to turn Android into ‘Microsoft Android’ using patents-induced pressure/leverage

THERE is an effort by Microsoft to hijack Android and turn it into a Microsoft platform. Cyanogen is a key Trojan horse in this effort (an embrace extend and extinguish manoeuvre by a Microsoft proxy), but then there are Microsoft-occupied companies like Dell and patent partners like Samsung (patent extortion and lawsuits played a role in this too) which agree to replace Android software with Microsoft spyware. Samsung is now thinking about a Windows-Android mix [1], having learned nothing from Nokia’s Microsoft-inflicted demise.

Venture Beat has this disturbing news. Having spent several years bragging about the number of companies Microsoft bullied into Android ‘patent deals’, Microsoft now starts bragging about the number of companies Microsoft bullied into Android ‘Microsoft deals’ (which relates to the former because the Taiwanese press says Microsoft offers patent concessions in exchange for installation/bundling of Microsoft spyware). This is extortion, plain and simple. It’s based on patent litigation threats and bribes. As Venture Beat puts it: “The news follows Microsoft’s announcement in March that it had gotten Samsung, Dell, and several regional hardware makers to sell Android devices packed with those same Microsoft apps.”

It’s just Microsoft’s patent ally LG and also Sony, which works together with Microsoft when it comes to patents (recall Rockstar). The rest are mostly obscure ‘partners’. “In total,” says the article, “Microsoft has now partnered with 31 global and local OEMs (11 in March and 20 today) to preinstall its apps onto Android devices throughout this year. Only time will tell if Microsoft’s apps end up actually being used more because of these deals.”

The number, 31, sure sounds high, but in reality, only a handful of these have got significant market share. Microsoft is exaggerating here. It’s marketing or even shameless propaganda. A small payment to some of these small companies (a bribe) would be sufficient towards artificial inflation of the number.

Microsoft, an NSA partner, hopes to turn Android into more of a spying platform than it already was, harvesting audio using Cortana, which Microsoft re-announces this week.

“Having spent several years bragging about the number of companies Microsoft bullied into Android ‘patent deals’, Microsoft now starts bragging about the number of companies Microsoft bullied into Android ‘Microsoft deals’ (which relates to the former because the Taiwanese press says Microsoft offers patent concessions in exchange for installation/bundling of Microsoft spyware).”Incidentally, Richard Stallman very recently warned about Android as well as Windows. They are both “malware” according to him. Well, one learns something new every day. This news site says Stallman created Linux, despite him making it quite clear that it all started with GNU [2] almost a decade earlier. Most sites got it right [3-8], responding to his original article (published in The Guardian a couple of days ago).

The article which dubs Stallman “Linux creator” says “Richard Stallman, known for his instrumental role in the creation of Linux, has written an opinion piece arguing that nearly any operating system you might use today can be considered malware, and that goes for popular mobile platforms as well as desktop operating systems.”

Later on it states: “The solution, he said, is to reject software and web services that snoop or track, to support the development of free software that doesn’t track the user, and to design legislation that would criminalize all of these new forms of “malware.””

Microsoft boosting sites don’t agree with Stallman but at least they give his views a mention [1, 2]. It is getting hard to ignore Google’s own privacy violations and even its patents on privacy-infringing things, such as this latest example from the news [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] (widely referred to as “creepy”). Nevertheless, giving Microsoft control of Android, especially using an obscene bunch of moves and criminal extortion, is not OK.

Microsoft is attacking Android from other angles too, including the FUD angle. A Microsoft-bribed firm, , which said Windows will have become dominant in mobile by 2015, bashes Android again. It also praises Windows. To quote IDG (parent company of IDC reporting on IDC without disclosure): “Windows Phone will remain at about 3.2% market share in 2015, shipping nearly 47 million phones, IDC said. Those numbers will increase to 5.4% in 2019, when Windows Phone will surpass 103 million smartphones shipped, IDC predicted.”

Well, there is a lie there about Windows Phone because it’s actually at around 2%, based on some respectable sources. Any predications of huge Windows growth from IDC were previously laughable and utterly wrong now that we look back. Perhaps it’s not surprising that IDC needs IDG (its parent company) to spread out such nonsensical propaganda.

Microsoft’s attacks on Android are becoming more gross by the day. Defending Android is not a case of defending Google but a matter of defending truth and opposing Microsoft’s criminality.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Samsung proposes an Android phone that transforms into a Windows laptop

    Samsung has been thinking up new ways to transform smartphones into laptops. In a patent application filed last week, first spotted by Patently Mobile, Samsung describes a mobile device that runs Android and is able to switch over to Windows when inserted into a dock. Individually, these ideas aren’t new — dual-OS devices and docking smartphones have been tried a number of times over the past several years — but they haven’t been put together in a particularly straightforward way. Of course, this is only a patent application, so there’s no guarantee that Samsung will actually make it.

  2. Richard Stallman Says He Created GNU, Which Is Called Often Linux

    Richard Stallman is the President of the Free Software Foundation and also the founder of GNU or GNU’s Not Unix! operating system that contains only free software. One of his constant claims is that GNU/Linux is a misnomer and that it shouldn’t be used. In fact, he’s now saying that the GNU operating system is often called Linux.

  3. Windows and OS X are malware, claims Richard Stallman

    ‘Resist gratification’, says super-GNU-man freedom fighter

  4. Linux Creator Says Windows, OS X, iOS and Android Are All Malware
  5. GNU Creator Labels Windows And OS X As Malware, Trashes IoT Movement
  6. Are Windows and OS X malware?
  7. Richard Stallman labels Windows and iOS as malware
  8. Richard Stallman: Windows OS is malware

Yet Another Major Security Deficiency in UEFI

Posted in Microsoft, Security at 6:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Another reason to reject UEFI: system compromise before boot sequence starts (e.g. GNU/Linux)

UEFI

Summary: UEFI is inherently insecure, more so than the alternatives which it strives to replace, including Free/libre ones

INTEL’S UEFI has been marketed as ‘security’ because of “Restricted Boot”, which basically gives a bunch of companies like Microsoft control over one’s computer. Microsoft works closely with the NSA and the NSA already spoke about compromise at boot time. UEFI enables remote bricking of PCs — a subject that we covered here before, e.g. in:

There is a post titled “UEFI backdoor allows root exploit in Linux” which UEFI apologist and developer Matthew Garrettresponded to not exactly with refutation, only the insistence that it is not the “backdoor you are looking for”. To quote: “And that’s what Dmytro has done – he’s written code that sits in that hidden area of RAM and can be triggered to modify the state of the running OS. But he’s modified his own firmware in order to do that, which isn’t something that’s possible without finding an existing vulnerability in either the OS or (or more recently, and) the firmware. It’s an excellent demonstration that what we knew to be theoretically possible is practically possible, but it’s not evidence of such a backdoor being widely deployed.”

Maybe not yet. We’re talking about and dealing with imperialistic espionage agencies that go as far as putting back doors in the firmware of just about every hard drive.

We really need to stop referring to UEFI as a security enhancement. This is far from the first time security issues are found in UEFI, which is complicated, proprietary, patents-encumbered and relatively immature.

Computers with UEFI should be appropriately labeled (warning labels), just like foods with genetically-modified ingredients or packets of cigarettes.

Links 27/5/2015: Fedora 22 is Out, Mandriva Liquidated

Posted in News Roundup at 5:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Innovation: What’s In and What’s Out

    Open source innovation has not only revolutionized the software and biotech industries — it’s completely changed the way we think about creativity. To be derivative is now a form of being creative. That is, in order to do something new, we don’t have to build something new — we can use existing and emerging forms, made available through open access, and do something new with them. This promotes a democracy in the innovation game: with open source services, there is no discrimination against persons or groups or against fields or endeavors.

  • 4 steps to creating a thriving open source project

    Andrey Petrov spoke at a Sourcegraph open source meetup about lessons learned from his successes and failures creating open source projects.

  • Google turns its Android font Roboto into an open source project

    Designed by Christian Robinson, the Roboto font files were first released in 2011 under the Apache license. Now, the company is organizing the files and the font production toolchain into a fully realized open source project on Github.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Downgrading to stable

      The system works fine otherwise and can be accessed via ssh, but restarting kdm doesn’t help to fix it, it just changes the pattern. Anyway, as explaining a toddler he cannot watch his favourite youtube cartoons because suddenly the computer screen has become an abstract art work is not easy I quickly decided to downgrade.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Richard Stallman Says He Created GNU, Which Is Called Often Linux

      Richard Stallman is the President of the Free Software Foundation and also the founder of GNU or GNU’s Not Unix! operating system that contains only free software. One of his constant claims is that GNU/Linux is a misnomer and that it shouldn’t be used. In fact, he’s now saying that the GNU operating system is often called Linux.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Researchers to track down obstacles to digital DIY

      An EU-funded research project wants to find regulations and other obstacles that hinder digital Do-It-Yourself companies. A consortium of universities and research institutes in Manchester, Milan, London, Thessaloniki and other cities intends to help small enterprises benefit from digital DIY, help policy makers and prepare teachers and educators.

    • Open Data

      • Open Government and geo-data infrastructures at AGIT 2015

        One of the themes at the AGIT 2015 conference will be Open Government and geo-data infrastructures. According to the organisers, the availability of standardised open government services has increased the importance of government geo-data infrastructures, taking the opportunities for using geo-information to a new level. Discussions will focus on questions like what value can be created by building a European ‘spatially-enabled society’ as part of the European knowledge society, and what are the challenges and prospects with regard to cloud computing.

      • How open data is transforming the business landscape

        Despite pledges by the G7 and G20 to boost transparency by opening up government data, fewer than 8% of countries publish data sets in open formats and under open licences on public sector budgets, spending and contracts.

    • Open Hardware

      • Hubble delivers a more affordable 3D laser cutter

        Hubble is an open source, mid-level laser cutter designed to be affordable, versatile, and hackable. Hubble was created to fill the current gap between amazing, entry-level projects, like MicroSlice, and the expensive, proprietary laser cutters on the market.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Stop Feeding the Troll: The Case for an ISIS Propaganda Blackout

      Now, there’s no actual evidence that any of this is anything more than deranged ranting, yet here we are: Millions of casual news observers who scrolled through western media this weekend came away thinking ISIS is plotting to acquire a nuclear bomb, kill the president and prostitute his wife.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • EU dropped plans for safer pesticides after pressure from US

      EU plans to regulate hormone-damaging chemicals found in pesticides have been dropped because of threats from the US that this would adversely affect negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), according to a report in The Guardian. Draft EU regulations would have banned 31 pesticides containing endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that have been linked to testicular cancer and male infertility.

      Just after the official launch of the TTIP negotiations on 13 June 2013, a US business delegation visited EU officials to demand that the proposed regulations governing EDCs should be thrown out in favour of a further “impact study.” Minutes of the meeting on June 26 show Commission officials saying that “although they want the TTIP to be successful, they would not like to be seen as lowering the EU standards.” Nonetheless, the European Commission capitulated shortly afterwards.

  • Privacy

    • Glenn Greenwald, I’m sorry: Why I changed my mind on Edward Snowden

      I was wrong. So was most of the media

    • New surveillance laws must have full public debate, say top UK academics

      A group of 35 top academics have published an open letter calling on the UK government to ensure “the Rule of Law and the democratic process is respected as UK surveillance law is revised.” This comes in response to the UK government previously turning to draft “Codes of Practice” and “clarifying amendments” to extend its surveillance powers, rather than using primary legislation that is subject to full parliamentary and public debate. Interestingly, the letter includes signatories both for and against such extensions, working in the fields of law, media, policy, and technology.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Last chance for MEPs to save Net Neutrality?

      The negotiations on Net Neutrality comes to the end in June with next and probably final trialogue expected on 2nd of June. Until now, the different documents received from the negotiations1 have shown a very weak position of the Members of European Parliament (MEPs), abandoning the improvement on Net Neutrality that had been brought by the previous legislature. If the MEPs do not take this last chance to save Net Neutrality, it would have a critical impact on the way Internet is functioning, on the citizens’ fundamental rights and on further regulations adopted within the so-called Digital Single Market.

    • How people power took on big business in the fight for net neutrality in India

      At the 2014 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Jan Koum, chief executive of WhatsApp, made an announcement that would cause much unease 4,000 miles away in New Delhi. “We want to make sure people always have the ability to stay in touch with their friends and loved ones really affordably,” he said. “We’re going to introduce voice on WhatsApp in the second quarter of this year.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Court Order Forbids ‘Poor Pirate’ To Use BitTorrent

        A federal court in Oregon has signed off on a highly peculiar judgment against a Dallas Buyers Club pirate. Citing “financial hardship,” the woman doesn’t have to pay the $7,500 in costs and fees as long as she promises not to download any infringing material in the future, and removes any and all BitTorrent clients.

      • Rightscorp Offered Internet Provider a Cut of Piracy Settlements

        Rightscorp, the piracy monetization company that works with Warner Bros. and other prominent copyright holders, goes to great lengths to reach allegedly pirating subscribers. The company offered Cox Communications a cut of the piracy settlements if they agreed to forward their notices, the ISP revealed in court.

05.26.15

Patent Scope at the EPO is Totally Out of Control, UPC Will Make Things Worse

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Staff at the European Patent Office went on strike accusing the organization of corruption: specifically, stretching the standards for patents in order to make more money.

“One of the ways that the EPO has done this is by issuing software patents in defiance of the treaty that set it up.”

Richard Stallman

Summary: A look at the practical issues with the EPO, where patent scope and litigation scope have been vastly extended so as to benefit multinational corporations and possibly patent trolls

TECHRIGHTS has spent almost a decade criticising the EPO for practices that in no way benefit Europeans. Submissions to officials, ombudsman etc. have been prepared as well, usually to no avail because people in power are nearly unstoppable. Sooner or later they get what they want, unless there is some kind of a huge scandal or a revolution.

Dr. Glyn Moody, who focuses on multinationals’ trade agreements these days, spotted this alert about Monsanto expecting to receive 30 European patents on food plants, whereupon he wrote that the EPO had already gone the wrong way again (expansion for the sake of expansion, despite being a public institution, funded by taxpayers). Clearly that’s the case, as just about anyone can see, but here we see not only software patents but also genetics being patented for the sake of monopoly (from abroad) on food, hence taxation of foods consisting of certain basic ingredients. “Last month,” Moody noted, “we wrote about the strange case of unpatentable plants becoming patentable in Europe thanks to a decision from the European Patent Office’s Enlarged Board of Appeal.”

“That cleared the way for companies to obtain such patents, and according to this post on the “no patents on seeds” site — I think you can probably work out where its biases lie — that’s about to happen,” Glyn Moody wrote.

“This can be some products from entering Europe as a whole (continental embargo).”Things are about to get significantly worse when the EPO gains even more power, let alone gets the power to enforce patents through a Europe-wide court which limits the impact of nations’ sovereign law and appeals systems, never mind the interests of individual citizens in each nation (the nations are economically different, so their interests with regards to patents vary a great deal).

Based on some recent bunch of posts from IP Kat, with opposition to the UPC growing weak (e.g. Italy's opposition falling) there are changes underway in the appeals system and the EPO goes ahead pushing for the UPC [1, 2, 3]. It is already presumed inevitable, the only unknowns now are some pertinent details, such as: “will it be more expensive than current litigation before national courts or does it represent value for money?”

“Passage of power to fewer hands (those handling the patent system) is going to facilitate a transfer of power to fewer globalists who are using such systems for protectionism.”The issue with the Unitary Patent is often misunderstood. This isn’t a stance against union or harmony. This isn’t a stance against the European Union. Currently, different member states have their own laws for specific reasons, some being historical or pertaining to the local industry and its interests, based on import/export. The UK, for example, has got UK-IPO. The Unitary Patent Court would take a lot of this away. It would enable litigation to be done Europe-wide, assisting the likes of Samsung and LG from Korea, Apple and Microsoft from the US, Siemens from Germany and Philips from Holland. This can be some products from entering Europe as a whole (continental embargo). Cui bono? Small companies are not going to be able to afford or bear the rising costs of patents and the totality of patents — areas of work where implementation is verboten or subjected to taxation — will only grow. This means that just like globalisation, which cheapens the vast majority for the benefit of the rich minority worldwide, a centralised system would invite abusers, who shall extort more companies in more nations, using just one patent and one single ruling. The myths about innovations and globalisation intersect (or collide); when people wrongly assume the patent system to be about resources rather than monopoly (or restriction on action, resources, etc.) it is too easy to be fooled by rhetoric. Passage of power to fewer hands (those handling the patent system) is going to facilitate a transfer of power to fewer globalists who are using such systems for protectionism. Monsanto is just one of many.

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