04.08.08

Patents World: A World Morbidly Obsessed with Money

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Finance, IBM, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 9:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“‘Human Greed Has No Bounds,’ Says MSFT in Fee Dispute”

Wall Street Journal

“During one of those last long nights working to deliver DOS 2.0 in early 1983, I am told that Paul Allen heard Gates and Ballmer discussing his health and talking about how to get his Microsoft shares back if Allen were to die. Maybe that’s just the sort of fiduciary discussion board members have to have, but it didn’t go over well with Paul Allen, who never returned to Microsoft, and over the next eight years, made huge efforts to secure his wealth from the fate of Microsoft.”

Bob Cringely

The quotes above are slightly alarming, but the first one is from 2007, whereas the second is from 2006. For actual information about “the fate of Microsoft”, see this recent roundup. In any event, the purpose of this post is to show you how utterly sick the patent system has become. It doesn’t relate to Microsoft or Novell directly.

Let us begin with this report about an ongoing patent war between ASUS and IBM. This time it’s Asustek’s turn to attack. What a wasteful use of energy.

One of the Asustek patents is for a method for providing remote storage for Internet appliances, while the other relates to servers. Asustek alleges the patents have been infringed by IBM in components, software and hardware related to storage area networking equipment and servers.

Watch people ‘buying’ knowledge. Perfect recipe and setting for patent trolling.

Internet, consumer patents rule at auction

[...]

A woman, taking commands from someone at the other end of her cell phone, had bid $750,000 on the patent portfolio he was selling at the Ocean Tomo IP Auction last week in San Francisco. The patents covered an online authentication system for consumers devised by his old company Catavault.

Gone are the days when people bought physical objects. Now they pay for the permission to use an idea. Speaking of which, this one is rather shocking.

Lawsuit Claim: Students’ Lecture Notes Infringe on Professor’s Copyright

[...]

But James Sullivan, Faulkner Press’ attorney, says the suit isn’t about money for the professors, it’s about protecting its intellectual property.

Last but not least, our good old ‘friend’ (and Microsoft’s intimate lover) Nicolas Sarkozy sees his plans rejected in Sweden.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to disconnect European file sharers from the Internet. The idea is already in the process of being realized in France, and will according to Sarkozy be a step toward “a civilized Internet” where ISPs watch the information that their customers exchange.

More recently we saw President Nicolas Sarkozy interfering with purely technical matters by batting for Microsoft's OOXML. How truly low.

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4 Comments

  1. Logan said,

    April 8, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Gravatar

    Sarkozy is a neo-fascist. He is in the same line of neo-fascists like Aznar in Spain, Berlusconi in Italy. What the Fascist is doing is a violation of very fundamental rights of citizens: Privacy; Law; Due Process. The ISPs are in fact Private Police Systems: They watch (peeping, spy) and interfere with people’s private communications, then condemn and EXECUTE. Without trial!

    French people, that elected this Womanizer, Adulterer and Fascist are for the most fascist and coward: REMEMBER VICHY.

    If this idiot and the like are the future of politics in Europe then Europe’s future is bleak…

    It’s very cynical of EU to say to American search engines to stop spying on their users and then turn around and let France do the same. Hypocrites!

    Remember ALL European countries voted in FAVOR of OOXML. They’re easily corrupted and care very little about FREEDOM, PRIVACY, DEMOCRACY.

    European Union and it’s institutions are a never ending and filthy hole of corruption, constantly moralizing on other countries behaviour but never looking at their own.

    As for Kroes, if you think that what they’ve done to Microsoft has anything to do with Anti-Trust; Anti-Monopoly; Fair Competition and the Rule of Law you’re mistaken. It has everything to do with money.

    The more people notice the EU, the more it stinks.

    The move to disrespect the rule of law; privacy and due process. The move to legalize SOFTWARE PATENTS; BUSINESS PATENTS. The move to tax every media (CDs; DVDs; HDDs; Pen/Flash Drives; Portable Audio Players) just because they can hold music is just another violation of process.

    To those that counterpoint EU’s behaviour to the USA’s don’t really know how bad the situation in Europe is right now and how worse it will become in the coming months when Sarkozy and his fascist cronies climb to power…

    Sarkozy climb to power will be remembered the same way has Hitler’s…

    You’ll see. Remember my words!

  2. Roy Bixler said,

    April 8, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Gravatar

    I think you are going a little overboard here. You may be right about Sarkozy, but you don’t help your position when you make trivially refutable statements like “Remember ALL European countries voted in FAVOR of OOXML.” If you take a look on the “The Last Lap” at “http://www.openmalaysiablog.com/2008/03/the-last-lap.html”, you can see that several European countries did not “approve” OOXML — they voted to “abstain.”

    From what I’ve heard, it is true that France would have voted to “disapprove” if not for Sarkozy’s intervention. A politician can hardly be more corporate friendly than Sarkozy. They don’t call him “Sarkozy l’américain” for nothing. If you haven’t noticed, Sarkozy’s popularity in France has declined sharply in recent times. You don’t need to shout to make your point.

  3. Eric Legrand said,

    April 9, 2008 at 7:16 am

    Gravatar

    Logan, please measure your writings.

    Do you mind that you might shock people that on the side as you apparently are ?

    While I dislike DRM’s, was anti-OOXML (and still is despite its adoption by ISO) and didn’t vote for Mr Sarkosy, I cannot agree with your words, in particular this:

    > “French people, that elected this Womanizer, Adulterer and Fascist are for > the most fascist and coward: REMEMBER VICHY.”

    I know many people, some of them are friends of mine, who voted for Mr Sarkosy and are not fascists nor cowards.

    Vichy is France’s shame and is still an open wound in our collective mind. Any nation all over the world have the same kind of wound that words can reactivate. Such words can mask the overall meaning of the text they appear in.

    With such words you may make ennemies (not only to yourself but also to the cause you are trying to serve) of people that could have otherwise embraced your ideas.

    Always remember that some words have such emotional power that it may completely destroy the meaning of what you intend to say.

    I sincerely do think that your post does more damage to rather than it serves the cause you are willing to defend. Particularly in France.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 9, 2008 at 8:09 am

    Gravatar

    From what I can gather, Sarkozy is strongly pro-intellectual monopolies, but that’s not what I would characterise as “a neo-fascist”. He permits even eduction to be commercialised while at the same time reducing advertisements (commercial messages) in national television, which is somewhat contradictory.

    Logan’s message struck me too as very strong.

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