09.03.09

Patents Roundup: Patent Propaganda from the BBC, IBM in the Shadows, and Early Mistakes from David Kappos

Posted in Apple, Deception, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Patents at 9:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Propaganda

Summary: The BBC serves a familiar agenda, Microsoft hype observed, USPTO heads the wrong way, and IBM lurks inside the Linux Foundation

THERE is a lot to go through today because Microsoft is stepping up efforts to spread software patents. We shall start by pointing out that Microsoft’s darling [1, 2, 3, 4], the BBC, is spreading patent propaganda with words like “inventor” and the classic example of a “poor” victim (not the monopolies which actually leverage patents to block small companies).

Yesterday alone, the BBC published not one but two articles that glamourise and encourage stronger patent enforcement and broader scope. The first such article states:

Intellectual property rights are both a good thing and a potential obstacle. Imagine you’ve got a great idea, but part of the idea conflicts with someone’s patent. You can propose a licence, but in a lot of cases it can be very difficult to secure the rights for a long period and at a reasonable rate.

The second article is almost worse because it refers to “stealing” of ideas, which obviously cannot be stolen, by definition. It states:

A major British inventor is calling for a change in the law to strengthen protection against those who try to steal ideas.

The Register (also UK-based) has already highlighted this propaganda from the BBC:

The inventor of the wind-up radio is calling on the UK government to toughen its stance on patent law, by making intellectual property theft a criminal offence.

A reader of ours from the UK states that “Patent law and criminal law are two (IMO) completely different things, as is copyright theft. In respect of the latter, the term theft IMO does not apply since [...] According to Sec(1) Theft Act – “To dishonestly appropriate property belonging to the other with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.” Since there is no permanent deprivation of “property” (in this case data), there is no theft….IMO [...] the copyright theft act deals with the “sharing” of the work and the deprivation would be loss of income, that’s why the separate offence was created…. the point I was making was Copyright “Theft” is a bad choice of words since theft as outlined in Sec(1) does not IMO apply as per definition….in the case of copyright theft. It is worth noting, that file sharing is what makes the offence complete and the mere act of downloading would (IMO) have a civil remedy not a criminal one if no sharing was taking place although this is all open to argument and interpretation and is merely my interpretation of the criminal side of the copyright laws….”

There is actually a lot more Microsoft advertising in the BBC this week, as is the case most of the time. Maggie Shiels [1, 2] is at it again, advertising Vista 7 and citing other Microsoft shills for corroboration:

Ina Fried of CNET, who has covered Microsoft for over five years, said this issue has, in the past, been something of a hurdle for Microsoft and Intel.

Shiels and Fried make a good pair that seems like Microsoft PR masqueraded as reporters. This is based on a pattern observed long ago — a pattern that endlessly persists. Sarcastically, says one of our British readers, “maybe the clue is in her name, Maggie Shills…..yep, she does. Names aside, yeah it’s pretty blatant again — links to the windows 7 pre sales, like the other Windows 7 slog posts they do. The keywords are a thing too, in pro-Microsoft posts, there’s LOTS of Microsoft keywords, the post is littered with them, which makes them great consumption for the spiders, yet when it’s stories which are negative, Microsoft keywords are hardly mentioned, except at the end of the peice as the knight in silver armour coming in to offer customers advice on how to fix the issue under their terms. It’d be funny if it was a normal slog site. What it does do is make a mockery of the BBC’s claims of “independent high-quality journalism”.”

Speaking of Microsoft hype in the press, there is more sentimental blackmail [1, 2] from this company right now and Apple too is hyping things up (unrelated to this, it has connections with AstroTurf agencies). According to the following review from Ars Technica, Snow Leopard represents a development stagnation at Apple. Here’s the part which says:

Many of these same developers applauded the “150+ new features” in Tiger and the “300 new features” in Leopard at past WWDCs. Now they were applauding zero new features for Snow Leopard? What explains this?

There is even a photo.

Since we mentioned AstroTurfing, worth mentioning is also this update regarding Radian6, which we wrote about the other day.

After being angered by yet another Comcast f**kup that led to me being W.O.I. (With Out Internet) for over nine hours one day last week, I noticed that within the next day, a Comcast “representative” under the pseudonym of “Melissa Mendoza” had commented on the post with links to their “support” email address.

As I’ve written about before, Microsoft and other large companies often use the services of large astroturfing agencies. Microsoft uses one called Visible Technologies and apparently Comcast uses one called Radian6.

Moving on to important patent issues, this report suggests that China’s patent system is imploding, just as people predicted. It was a volcano of lawsuits waiting to erupt.

When France’s Schneider Electric faced a patent battle in a Chinese court recently it had reason to feel confident. It thought it had a solid prior art case for invalidating the patent being used against it by Chinese firm Chint, and foreign companies win 95% of patent cases in the Chinese courts.

As Masnick puts it, “Careful What You Ask For: China’s Patent System Causing Trouble.”

All those foreign nations who kept pushing China to build up its own patent system and learn to “respect intellectual property” may soon be regretting that, as they’re suddenly blocked out of the Chinese market by Chinese firms who fast-tracked cheap utility patents themselves with little to no review. Be careful what you wish for.

The USPTO is not better off, but the approach taken to resolving the issue is totally misguided. A reader from Germany gave us a pointer to this document [PDF} (“fresh from Heise,” as he put it). It is “only [the] interim rules,” he stressed, “but still a good sign. See p. 3, section I.1 Step 1.”

The USPTO is being harshly criticised elsewhere. David Kappos [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] uses the wrong yardstick to measure the success (or lack thereof) of this system and major delays are indicators of too wide a scope for patenting.

The other day we wrote about medical barriers caused by patents and Masnick appears to agree, adding that Kappos is “Suggesting They Want More Patents, Approved Faster.” More patents?

Two separate stories concerning statements from those in charge of the patent system suggest that the new administration isn’t about to help fix the problems in the patent system, but is eagerly looking to make them worse. It starts with new USPTO Director David Kappos, who some thought would recognize problems with the patent system from his years dealing with those problems at IBM. While IBM is a massive patent stockpiler, over the past few years it’s at least indicated some recognition that the system is broken.

[...]

The real problem, which becomes evident in reading the article is that since the USPTO is funded based on patent application fees, it has every incentive in the world, as an institution, to approve more patents. The more patents it approves, the more applications it gets, which means more money as well.

Indeed, this sounds too greed-motivated. The EPO was accused of similar behaviour. To quote Richard Stallman, “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.”

Tim Lee’s warning against software patents has gotten Masnick’s attention as well (because they know each other). The important points are being stressed again.

In the original piece, Tim also points out how software patents (contrary to the claims of some defenders of the system) unfairly tilt the balance of power to big companies — the ones who can stockpile tons of patents to use as a weapon against infringement suits. It’s the small companies who are left exposed.

It is worth repeating over and over again that experience suggests small companies are mostly victimised by the patent system. IBM’s considerable role in OIN and the Linux Foundation is proof of this because IBM wants software patents and it wants to use them to increase its dominance/control in the area. According to this new exchange of ideas, IBM is partly behind the Linux Foundation’s patent policy.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Manny W Schecter <schecter@us.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 12:12 AM
Subject: Re: [priorart-discuss] No more software-patents in the us?
To: OSS and USPTO prior art discussions
<priorart-discuss@lists.linux-foundation.org>

Not exactly. You are citing interim guidelines from the USPTO which
are not binding law by their own admission. The USPTO has invited
public comment on the guidelines, and there will be plenty I’m sure.
The Bilski decision pending before the Supreme Court is what you
should be watching. A decision is expected 1H10.

Manny Schecter

From:
Jan Kechel <jan@kechel.de>
To: OSS and USPTO prior art discussions <priorart-discuss@lists.osdl.org>
Date: 09/02/2009 06:09 PM
Subject: [priorart-discuss] No more software-patents in the us?
Sent by: priorart-discuss-bounces@lists.linux-foundation.org
________________________________

—–BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE—–
Hash: RIPEMD160

Hi everybody,

I just found a nice article about changes in the USPTO, seems that there
are no more software patents until some other court stuff will be finished:

http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/dapp/opla/2009-08-25_interim_101_instructions.pdf

(see page 15)

My source (german:)

http://www.heise.de/newsticker/US-Patentamt-vergibt-vorerst-keine-reinen-Softwarepatente-mehr–/meldung/144681

claims that this is based on the following decision:

http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/opinions/07-1130.pdf

What do you people think about that?

cu,

jan

- –
publictimestamp.org/ptb/PTB-7047 ripemd128 2009-09-02 21:00:05
5DBB1B771C93BD9D613377AD58266747

—–BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE—–
Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)

iEYEAREDAAYFAkqe7J0ACgkQ58nJkn8diosxcgCfW0E24NfvCwMaSZlq40/RXIBc
2xsAniUHZxWyM9/rg5knFSQKyABI0Xl7
=XrKR
—–END PGP SIGNATURE—–

The above shows the involvement of IBM staff. As we have shown before, IBM is part of this problem because it lies when arguing that software patents have been beneficial to Free software [1, 2]. They take away basic rights and then “donate” or sell them back to us. A lot of people are being fooled, but they don’t have to.

“According to Software Magazine, last year we were the 92nd largest software company in the US. My perspective on software patents is simple: stop issuing software patents. Software patents should not exist.” —Jerry Fiddler, Wind River Systems

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/2009/09/03/ibm-in-the-shadows/

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

What Else is New


  1. The Next Generation of Free Software (or Software Freedom) Activism, Tackling Newer Problems

    New challenges as labour rights and human rights are further eroded, thanks to 'high' 'tech' with its very 'innovative' 'features'



  2. Mass Litigation Over the Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP), Basically an Attack on All EPO Staff, Even EPO Pensioners

    “Importance of a binding and unambiguous erga omnes declaration” stressed by staff representatives of the EPO in a new letter to Benoît Battistelli‘s successor of choice, António Campinos, who has done nothing so far except attacking (or robbing) EPO staff, even EPO pensioners



  3. EPO 'Dialogue' With Staff Representatives is as Dead as 'Dialogue' With the Union

    “Yet another failure of social [sic] dialogue [sic] for Mr Campinos,” according to staff representatives, who rightly bemoan the Office president not giving a damn about staff; things quickly deteriorate in Europe’s second-largest institution, which does even worse things than granting loads of illegal European software patents (harming software producers and users alike)



  4. The FSF Needs to Reject OSI (and Open Source) Along With Much-Needed Rejection of the GNOME Foundation (Not the Same as the GNOME Project)

    Response to a good little speech (unscripted apparently) by Geoffrey Knauth, who explained his position on Open Source about a year ago



  5. Links 11/5/2021: Bodhi Linux 6.0, Coreboot 4.14, and DragonFly BSD 6.0

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 10, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, May 10, 2021



  7. Keynote by FSF President Geoff Knauth and Executive Director John Sullivan

    To quote the source: “FSF president Geoff Knauth became the president of the FSF in 2020, but has served on the FSF board of directors for over twenty years. FSF executive director John Sullivan started work with the FSF in 2003, and has never stopped since, with past roles including the FSF’s first Campaigns Manager and later the Manager of Operations.”



  8. Richard Stallman on Companies That Are “Only Pretending to be American Companies”

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, speaks about US politics being captured and dominated by large and multinational corporations in pursuit of just money and power



  9. Last Night's Talk by Richard Stallman About Software Freedom

    An inspiring new talk reminds many of us why loads of people continue to support the founder of the Free Software Movement



  10. Links 10/5/2021: Huawei's GNU/Linux Laptops and Kotlin 1.5.0

    Links for the day



  11. Richard Stallman on Writing rm, ls, and cp (Also Working on Bison)

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, explains what programs he developed in the eighties



  12. Raise the Roof

    Out comes the taxpayers’ subsidy, assured; with military the sky is the limit (and bailout guaranteed)



  13. Richard Stallman Replatformed 10 Hours From Now

    Link to the talk (when it goes live)



  14. [Meme] Bill Says, Bill Saves

    Bill Gates seems more likely to be indicted than to win a presidential election/term



  15. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 09, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 09, 2021



  16. According to the Wall Street Journal, Bill Gates’s Relationship with Jeffrey Epstein Caused the Bill-Melinda Divorce (While the Media Deflected to Dr. Stallman, Using a Phony 'Scandal')

    It’s becoming rather obvious that there’s real substance to accusations that Mr. Gates was in some sense enabling Jeffrey Epstein; while Gates-funded media told us that he was saving us from climate change and a pandemic (PR stunts for empathy and sympathy) Melinda worked really hard to distance herself from him, the father of her kids



  17. [Meme] Bill, What's Your Opinion?

    While it's ludicrous to insinuate that Mr. Gates somehow "started" COVID-19 he certainly "rode the wave" for reputation laundering purposes, profit, and distraction from scandals that precede the epidemic in China (and caused his marriage to break down)



  18. Links 10/5/2021: SystemRescueCD 8.03, KeePass 2.48 Released

    Links for the day



  19. How We Process and Upload Videos Hosted in Techrights

    With ffmpeg as the Swiss army knife (and various other utilities/programs ‘in between’) it’s possible to automate much of the pipeline associated with video production and self-hosting



  20. Richard Stallman's Free Software Speech in 2020 (FSF Turning 35)

    We've re-encoded (as WebM) the likely sole/only speech Richard Stallman gave about his movement last year; today seems like a suitable time to republish it because tomorrow a British university/group will replatform him (to use their term)



  21. The Chaos Theory

    Making GNU/Linux less stable and less predictable isn't good for GNU/Linux users; but it certainly helps sell Red Hat support contracts and vexation inside the community weakens Red Hat's competitors



  22. Gemini and Techrights: Still Growing in Gemini Space and Always Supporting/Loving the Protocol

    As we continue to expand in Gemini space (where our very large site became a very large and likely the largest capsule) it's worth explaining some of the overlooked merits of the protocol; unlike the World Wide Web (WWW) it does not impose things on the user/visitor, who is more or less in charge



  23. Links 9/5/2021: KDE Frameworks 5.82.0 Release and Patents Related to COVID Subjected to Waivers

    Links for the day



  24. Act More 'Professional' to Appease Mobs

    We should all think alike, dress alike, and like everybody (especially the business overlords)



  25. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 08, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, May 08, 2021



  26. Some Background on the Free Speech Society at the University of Buckingham, Where Richard Stallman is Being 'Replatformed'

    A private British university, the University of Buckingham, will 'host' (virtually) the most-defamed person in the Free software world; the Free Speech Society is only two years old and rationality for its existence is explained by its co-founder James Oliver



  27. Web Sites or News Sites Perish When Their Arguments Are Weak and/or Invalid

    "Just be honest!" is a simple motto for any site; but some sites sell out in pursuit of money or grandiosity, unlike us (we turned 14.5 years old on Friday)



  28. GNU/Linux Turns 38 (in 4 Months From Now)

    Contrary to what the Linux Foundation wants you to think, the operating system turns 38 later this year



  29. Richard Stallman: Steve Jobs Did Some Very Bad Things

    Dr. Richard Stallman told me about Steve Jobs that he had helped digitally imprison computer users



  30. GNU/Linux Founder Richard Stallman to Give a Talk at the University of Buckingham Tomorrow (Live Stream)

    Tomorrow it will be possible to watch this new talk live using Free software


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