09.02.09

Gemini version available ♊︎

Patents Roundup: Software Patents Seen as Harmful to Innovation, Tuxera Discussion Continues

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 2:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bright idea with clipping path
Lit when software patents are annulled.

Summary: Miscellaneous news and views about software patents

SOME interesting new articles have appeared which can be used as ‘ammunition’ against the false argument that patents promote innovation. The first one is this:

Yet Another Study Shows That Patents Lead To Sub-Optimal Innovation

[...]

A few months back, two professors, Andrew W. Torrance and Bill Tomlinson, published a paper on a simulation game they ran to test out some of these hypotheses. A bunch of folks submitted this back when it first came out, but I wanted to spend some time looking over the details before writing about it. Basically, Torrance and Tomlinson create a nice simulation system that really does a good job simulating the various models for innovation with patents or in a more collaborative world. And, what they found in the simulation they ran supports what has actually happened in the real world, according to the research we’ve discussed in the past:

These results indicate that current patent systems (that is, systems combining patent and open source protection for inventions) may generate significantly lower rates of innovation (p<0.05), productivity (p<0.001), and social utility (p<0.002) than does a commons system. This suggests that current patent systems may significantly deter, rather than spur, technological innovation compared to a commons system.

Specifically, the results compared three separate models: one where everything gets patented, one where it’s a hybrid model with both patents and a common, and one that was pure commons. The results are pretty striking. In the pure commons (no patents) world, they ended up with more innovation, significantly greater productivity and massively more social utility.

Timothy B. Lee, a longtime critic of the patent system, also wrote the following essay:

The Case against Literary (and Software) Patents

[...]

Imagine the outcry if the courts were to legalize patents on English prose. Suddenly, you could get a “literary patent” on novels employing a particular kind of plot twist, on news stories using a particular interview technique, or on legal briefs using a particular style of argumentation. Publishing books, papers, or articles would expose authors to potential liability for patent infringement. To protect themselves, writers would be forced to send their work to a patent lawyer before publication and to re-write passages found to be infringing a literary patent.

[...]

The patent at issue in Bilski is not a software patent; it is a “business method” patent that claims a strategy for hedging against financial risk. But the case is being closely watched for its effects on the software patent issue. Patented business methods are often implemented in software; for example, a key decision on the patentability of software, State Street Bank v. Signature Financial Group, involved a software-implemented business method. And the standard articulated by the Federal Circuit in Bilski, known as the “machine-or-transformation test” has been used by the Patent Office in recent months to invalidate several software patents. The Supreme Court could ratify the Federal Circuit’s mildly restrictive standard, or it could articulate its own standard that is either more or less restrictive of patents on software.

Reiterating that software cannot be patented would be a dramatic step, but it would be the right one. Supporters of software patents insist that barring software patents would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. But it’s not clear there was a baby in there to begin with. Empirical research suggests that software patents are dramatically less effective at promoting innovation than other categories of patents, producing more litigation and smaller revenues for innovators.

The Inquirer covered this too.

Most software companies infringe patents

[...]

In a report, Cato denizen Timothy Lee compared patents on software and business processes to patents on English prose.

[...]

Since patent protection was first extended to software in the 1980s, it is difficult or impossible to create any significant software without infringing one or more patents. With tens of thousands of new software patents granted every year, and no effective indexing method for software patents, there is no cost-effective way to determine which patents cover any piece of software.

Relating this to Free software and Linux, the latest major issue is to do with Tuxera [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. One person raises the point thatThere are numerous open source file systems available, why do they persist with FAT? it’s a horrid file system to begin with.

Another person argues thatIt will be interesting to see how MS will be stabbing these guys in the back, as they are wont to do.

Rainer Weikusat writes:

It has the technical advantage of being really
simple-minded and that’s something many people
from the embedded swamp will be happy about,
because this means they have some chances of
understanding it. At the base of FAT sits a
so-called ‘ressource-map allocator’ which is
one of the oldest and most primitive memory
management schemes in existence, And who
would want to throw all this DOS-code away
for as long as there is still somebody willing
to buy it again?
.
After all, products are sold by devising
innovative marketing strategies, especially
since ‘the customer’ isn’t going to understand
anything about them anyway, not the least be-
cause technical information is usually shot
down by pointing out that anything requiring
more thought than ‘the cavemen interface’
(“point&grunt”, term coined by E. Moglen)
is just to complicated for the average
cavemen (who still spends a sizable amount
of his time with roasting raw meat on open
fires and trying to make sexually useful
contacts while doing so).

In response to this, claims another commenter:

Yes, it appears most technology marketers take Scott Adams’ advice and aim their products at the “Stupid Poor” market segment, with a view to eventually following Microsoft’s lead and breaking into the “Stupid Rich.” What I don’t understand is why they get so annoyed when people from the other two market segments try to buy/use their products. Does the ‘smart money’ have a different exchange rate?

In a more reasonable market, the chosen file system would be something like ext3, which nobody claims (or enforces) patent rights over.

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

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 4/12/2021: Turnip Becomes Vulkan 1.1 Conformant

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, December 03, 2021



  3. Links 4/12/2021: EndeavourOS Atlantis, Krita 5.0.0 Beta 5, Istio 1.11.5, and Wine 6.23; International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on December 10th

    Links for the day



  4. Another Gemini Milestone: 1,500 Active Capsules

    This page from Balázs Botond plots a graph, based on these statistics that now (as of minutes ago) say: “We successfully connected recently to 1500 of them.” Less than a fortnight ago more than 1,800 capsules overall were registered by Lupa, almost quadrupling in a single year



  5. [Meme] António Campinos and Socialist Posturing

    Staff of the EPO isn’t as gullible as António Campinos needs it to be



  6. António Campinos as EPO President is Considered Worse Than Benoît Battistelli (in Some Regards) After 3.5 Years in Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    The EPO's demise at the hands of people who don't understand patents and don't care what the EPO exists for is a real crisis which European media is unwilling to even speak about; today we share some internal publications and comment on them



  7. Media Coverage for Sale

    Today we're highlighting a couple of new examples (there are many other examples which can be found any day of the year) demonstrating that the World Wide Web is like a corporate spamfarm in "news" clothing



  8. Links 3/12/2021: GNU Poke 1.4 and KDDockWidgets 1.5.0

    Links for the day



  9. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 02, 2021



  10. Links 3/12/2021: Nitrux 1.7.1 and Xen 4.16 Released

    Links for the day



  11. Links 2/12/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.4 Alpha, Qt Creator 6

    Links for the day



  12. The EPO's “Gender Awareness Report”

    There’s a new document with remarks by the EPO’s staff representatives and it concerns opportunities for women at the EPO — a longstanding issue



  13. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 01, 2021



  14. EPO Staff Committee Compares the Tactics of António Campinos to Benoît Battistelli's

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO talks about EPO President António Campinos, arguing that “he seems to subscribe to the Manichean view, introduced by Mr Battistelli…”



  15. Prof. Thomas Jaeger in GRUR: Unified Patent Court (UPC) “Incompatible With EU Law“

    The truth remains unquestionable and the law remains unchanged; Team UPC is living in another universe, unable to accept that what it is scheming will inevitably face high-level legal challenges (shall that become necessary) and it will lose because the facts are all still the same



  16. Links 1/12/2021: LibrePlanet CFS Extended to December 15th and DB Comparer for PostgreSQL Reaches 5.0

    Links for the day



  17. EPO Cannot and Will Not Self-Regulate

    The term financialisation helps describe some of the activities of the EPO in recent years; see Wikipedia on financialisation below



  18. [Meme] Germany's Licence to Break the Law

    Remember that the young Campinos asked dad for his immunity after he had gotten drunk and crashed the car; maybe the EPO should stop giving diplomatic immunity to people, seeing what criminals (e.g. Benoît Battistelli) this attracts; the German government is destroying its image (and the EU’s) by fostering such corruption, wrongly believing that it’s worth it because of Eurozone domination for patents/litigation



  19. EPO Dislikes Science and Scientists

    The EPO's management has become like a corrupt political party with blind faith in money and monopolies (or monopoly money); it has lost sight of its original goals and at this moment it serves to exacerbate an awful pandemic, as the video above explains



  20. Links 1/12/2021: LibreOffice 7.3 Beta, Krita 5.0, Julia 1.7

    Links for the day



  21. Links 1/12/2021: NixOS 21.11 Released

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 30, 2021



  23. Links 1/12/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and WordPress 5.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  24. [Meme] EPO Administrative Council Believing EPO-Bribed 'Media' (IAM Still Shilling and Lying for Cash)

    IAM continues to do what brings money from EPO management and Team UPC, never mind if it is being disputed by the patent examiners themselves



  25. The EPO's Mythical “Gap” Has Been Found and It's Bonuses for People Who Use Pure Fiction to Steal From Patent Examiners

    The phony president who has the audacity to claim there's a budget gap is issuing millions of euros for his enablers to enjoy; weeks ahead of the next meeting of national delegates the Central Staff Committee (CSC) tells them: "Events show that the delegations’ concerns about functional allowances have materialised. The lack of transparency and inflation of the budget envelope gives rise to the suspicion that high management is pursuing a policy of self-service at the expense of EPO staff, which is difficult to reconcile with the Office’s claimed cost-saving policy, and to the detriment of the whole Organisation."



  26. Video: Making the Internet a Better Place for People, Not Megacorporations

    Following that earlier list of suggested improvements for a freedom-respecting Internet, here's a video and outline



  27. Links 30/11/2021: KDE Plasma 5.23.4, 4MLinux 38.0, Long GitHub Downtime, and Microsoft's CEO Selling Away Shares

    Links for the day



  28. A Concise Manifesto For Freedom-Respecting Internet

    An informal list of considerations to make when reshaping the Internet to better serve people, not a few corporations that are mostly military contractors subsidised by the American taxpayers



  29. Freenode.net Becomes a 'Reddit Clone' and Freenode IRC is Back to Old Configurations After Flushing Down Decades' Worth of User/Channel Data and Locking/Shutting Out Longtime Users

    Freenode is having another go; after “chits” and “jobs” (among many other ideas) have clearly failed, and following the change of daemon (resulting in massive loss of data and even security issues associated with impersonation) as well as pointless rebrand as “Joseon”, the domain Freenode.net becomes something completely different and the IRC network reopens to all



  30. Jack Dorsey's Decision is a Wake-up Call: Social Control Media is Just a Toxic Bubble

    The state of the World Wide Web (reliability, preservation, accessibility, compatibility etc.) was worsened a lot more than a decade ago; with social control media that’s nowadays just a pile of JavaScript programs we’re basically seeing the Web gradually turning into another Adobe Flash (but this time they tell us it’s a “standard”), exacerbating an already-oversized ‘bubble economy’ where companies operate at a loss while claiming to be worth hundreds of billions (USD) and generally serve imperialistic objectives by means of manipulation like surveillance, selective curation, and censorship


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