07.29.09

Patents Roundup: Another Attack on Free Software, Blackboard Loses Again, Yellow Beans Patented

Posted in America, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Patents at 5:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Assorted patent news of interest to the Free software community

McKool Smith, which looks like a classic patent troll, has just sued a one-man free/open source project — a decision which is backfiring.

Except, it appears that the lawyers for the patent holder (McKool Smith — a favorite among the patent hoarders) didn’t do much research on at least one of those “companies,” named CitiWare. Slashdot alerts us to the fact that CitiWare was basically just a small open source project from one guy, who hoped to turn it into a business, but couldn’t find any customers and shut it down. That guy has now turned the CitiWare.com website into an angry open letter to the patent holder and to its lawyers, demanding that they drop the case against him.

Some months ago we saw something similar happening to a GIMP plug-in.

Moodle, which has been under similar threats from the Microsoft-backed patent aggressor known as Blackboard [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] (never mind Microsoft's new attempt to exploit Moodle) can finally breathe out and sigh in relief. Blackboard’s junk patent is still declared invalid based on the following report.

A federal appeals court has found all 38 of Blackboard Inc.’s contested patent claims to be invalid in ongoing litigation between the D.C.-based education software company and its Canadian competitor, Desire2Learn Inc.

This is the second time in the course of the three-year lawsuit that courts have poked major holes in Blackboard’s patent.

There are echoes of this in Patently-O and also in TechDirt.

Even as the Patent Office realized it needed to rethink the patent, the lawsuit moved forward, with Blackboard scoring a win. Of course, just weeks later, the USPTO gave an initial rejection of the patent. The original court ruling was (of course) appealed (separate from the USPTO ruling), and the good news is that the appeals court has dumped the entire patent.

TechDirt also writes about a most ludicrous patent attempt:

This one’s a bit old, but Boing Boing just pointed us to the incredible story of a guy named Larry Proctor who was able to get the USPTO to patent some yellow beans he picked up in Mexico.

Here it is from BoingBoing and here is the key page about this sham. See the subheadline:

Controversial Court patent case for simple yellow legume has become rallying point for “biopiracy” concerns

This is amazing. “Biopiracy”. The growing of crops is now compared to raping and murdering innocent people. The Wired Magazine Web site has meanwhile published this report about real piracy that still exists and thrives near Somali shores.

All these propaganda terms need to be dropped. They daemonise people who do perfectly ethical things. “Intellectual monopoly” is still being described as “intellectual property” and there are even many Web sites that use this term in their name. The UK-IPO is an example of an entire establishment that bases itself on a name that’s a propaganda term. From “Intellectual Property Watch” now comes this report about hypocrisy in Europe and also TRIPS, which is related to ACTA provisions that we mentioned before [1, 2, 3].

The European Commission on Monday released a report finding fault with a number of United States practices related to intellectual property rights policy, on copyright, geographical indications, trademarks and patents. The report is an answer, one might say, to the annual US Special 301 report that criticises US trading partners it deems unilaterally to be insufficiently protecting its companies’ IP rights.

[...]

And on patents, the US government frequently fails to comply with Article 31 of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which requires governments that use patents to promptly inform the patent right holders, the EU said. This means the right holders are likely to miss the opportunity to initiate an administrative claim process.

These disputes revolve around limitation and inconveniencing of scientists, who are usually far less interested in all this mess than lawyers and managers. As Barracuda’s CEO put it last year, “I would much rather spend my time and money and energy finding ways to make the Internet safer and better than bickering over patents.”

ACTA

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2009/07/29/blackboard-loses-again/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

2 Comments

  1. Yuhong Bao said,

    July 30, 2009 at 1:39 am

    Gravatar

    “All these propaganda terms need to be dropped.”
    Many of these are listed in FSF’s list of words to avoid:
    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html
    ““Intellectual monopoly” is still being described as “intellectual property” and there are even many Web sites that use this term in their name.”
    Yep, that term and the ideas associated with it is loaded with problems:
    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/not-ipr.html
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080306/003240458.shtml
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080219/014250290.shtml
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090719/0108125588.shtml
    There was even a video added to beginning of DVDs comparing piracy to shoplifting and other things. The developer of the Windows-only VirtualDub complained about it:
    http://www.virtualdub.org/blog/pivot/entry.php?id=204

  2. Yuhong Bao said,

    July 30, 2009 at 1:48 am

    Gravatar

    And I forgot to add a link to a slashdot comment about the propaganda words:
    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1299791&cid=28666659

What Else is New


  1. Bashing Free Software and GNU/Linux is a Terrible Business Model for Publishers

    Contrary to unflattering portrayals by hostile media that's sponsored by foes of Free software, the usage of Free software grows, even if things such as DRM and surveillance stand in the way of software freedom (which was wrongly assumed to be ushered in by Free software, irrespective of malicious features like 'telemetry')



  2. Links 8/5/2021: GIMP 2.99.6, Wine 6.8 Released

    Links for the day



  3. IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 07, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, May 07, 2021



  4. [Meme] Outsourcing Audacity Development to Microsoft Proprietary Software and Then Copying Microsoft Tactics (and 'Telemetry')

    They've had the audacity to call it "telemetry" and pretend that surveillance companies (spying giants) cannot figure out who you are based on IP addresses



  5. Links 7/5/2021: IPFire 2.25 Core Update 156 and Diffoscope 174 Released

    Links for the day



  6. The New Microsoft? No, the New IBM.

    Microsoft GitHub and IBM: a strategic alliance between a monopolistic duo



  7. The Audacity Takeover by Muse Group is No Cause for Celebration

    Audacity is now part of an entity called Muse Group and if it doesn’t take or suck freedom out of Audacity, it will certainly deny users rather basic concepts (or anticipation) of privacy



  8. King of Linux

    If the entire operating system is being called "Linux", then we fall for a publicity or misattribution stunt



  9. The Biggest Troll is the Linux Foundation, Still Looking to Provoke and Defame Free Software Communities in Order to Help a Monopolistic Takeover and to Shoehorn Tyrants Into Leadership Positions

    Contrary to what the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation is trying to say, the most toxic element is itself; it’s maligning the real community while protecting abusive and racist corporations that profit from war and tribalism-motivated hatred



  10. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 06, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, May 06, 2021



  11. “The Lolita Express” and Prince Bill

    “The Lolita Express” scandals return to haunt pool old Bill, as it turns out his wife was upset and it's quite likely the reason for their divorce



  12. Links 7/5/2021: GNU/Linux Preinstalled, Plamo 7.3, LibreOffice 7.1.3

    Links for the day



  13. The Latest Reports About Bill Gates Serve to Confirm or at Least Reaffirm Many People's Suspicions

    So, just as many people suspected, Melinda Gates did not appreciate her husband sneaking behind her back to meet someone who had trafficked thousands of underage girls for sexual exploitation and there are high-profile calls right now for greater transparency, seeing the impact on the world’s biggest tax evasion vehicle



  14. Disregard Web Sites That Call Themselves 'News' and Instead Promote Proprietary Software for Companies Like Microsoft

    Publishers like IDG have long been paid-for marketing in ‘article’ clothing, sometimes with the veneer of ‘reporting’ (as if they have some inside knowledge or insight, e.g. speaking with or for the company they secretly coordinate with or market for); but sadly we’ve been seeing some so-called ‘Linux’ sites doing the same thing, in effect acting like de facto Microsoft marketers



  15. [Meme] Who Needs Examination Anyway When There's 'Hey Hi' (AI)?

    The patent production line could do away with 'pesky' and 'opinionated' examiners who actually wish to scrutinise alleged 'inventions'



  16. Europe's Second-Largest Institution Corrupting the Media and Buying Expensive Puff Pieces

    As annual reports reveal, the EPO wastes an extraordinary amount of money on reputation laundering campaigns and it pollutes the signal by paying publishers; we examine this issue using the new 'reports' shown in the video above



  17. Links 6/5/2021: Fedora’s Compiler Policy and Celemony Software GmbH Adopting Free Software

    Links for the day



  18. Free Software Proponents Don't Fall for Bullshit (Same is True for EPO Examiners)

    There are parallels between what happens in the Free Software Movement and the EPO, where well-meaning people — and usually hard-working scientists — are besieged by people who never really contributed anything to society



  19. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, May 05, 2021



  20. Lessons From Another Failed Coup Against the Free Software Movement

    The coup has very clearly failed and we should prepare for future attempts (they go in cycles); the monopolies really dislike software they cannot control fully (e.g. copyleft/GPL-licensed software)



  21. Links 5/5/2021: Mesa 21.1 Released and New Releases of Python

    Links for the day



  22. Links 5/5/2021: StarLabs, GNU Zile 2.6.2, Fedora i3 Spin

    Links for the day



  23. Phony 'Scandals' From Phony 'News' Site ZDNet

    Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols continues the coup against the FSF (trying to separate it from its founder, Richard Stallman), funded by IBM and Microsoft to engage in libel at a marketing company-owned ‘news’ site called ZDNet



  24. Links 5/5/2021: Windows Security Breaches and GNU Pokology Launched

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 04, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, May 04, 2021



  26. Links 4/5/2021: Taiwins 0.3, KDE Plasma 5.21.5 Released

    Links for the day



  27. EPO Already Wasting Money on Media Manipulation Campaigns for European Inventor Award

    An online-only European Inventor Award 'event' is being used as a pretext/excuse to flood European publishers with money they can rightly perceive as 'hush money'; everyone out there with no spine would likely buckle at the sight of EPO euros and just produce mindless puff pieces that serve to distract from EPO corruption



  28. The Timing of This Melinda Gates Tweet Was Always Curious...

    Remarking on her trip to Africa, where the Gates family lobbies for monopolies on seeds (for profit or course, notably through Monsanto/Bayer, which the Gates family heavily invests in), she posted pure fluff and old photos. And it’s hard to believe she had nothing better to do at the time (better than such nostalgia). As we noted last year: “The above tweet of a beach was posted [by Melinda Gates] on the date of the arrest/search of their employee, who was at their residence at the time.” He was arrested around the very same time this tweet was posted. As we wrote last year (based on detailed documents obtained from the police department): “This tweet was posted 2 hours and 40 minutes after the door was breached and incriminating evidence collected.” He was arrested later that morning at the mansion of Bill and Melinda Gates (the police records contain detailed timelines to confirm the chronology). Melinda’s first name was also in the CP 'stash'.



  29. Media Frenzy Around Gates Divorce Helps Distract From Bill's Crimes

    The distraction from many Gates scandals is cushioned by yet another personal fluff; we would rather see investigative journalism pursuing real answers about real scandals



  30. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, May 03, 2021


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts