12.09.09

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Patents Roundup: Peer-To-Patent Australia, Microsoft and ACTA

Posted in America, Australia, Free/Libre Software, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Patents, Wikipedia at 6:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ACTA

Summary: Peer-To-Patent skepticism, ACTA rears its ugly head with Microsoft as an excuse, the effect on the sight-deficient noted

EARLIER ON we wrote about Peer-To-Patent Australia. It was mentioned critically in this new post and others agree that “this [might] do more harm than good by legitimising “good” software patents…”

More staffing around patents is hardly a solution. Abolishment is the best option.

In the same vein of endorsement through expansion, argues Glyn Moody in relation to the news about “ACTA Secretariat”, “just what we need: *another* global intellectual monopolies body…”

The indispensable Jamie Love has posted a much more convenient version of an earlier leaked “non-paper” from Canada which proposes an ACTA “Council”, i.e. secretariat, that would stand apart from WIPO and the WTO.

We previously wrote about ACTA [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13] and about who/what WIPO represents. Here is WIPO expressing skepticism about Wikipedia, which WIPO must absolutely hate because it weakens monopolies (over information). In general, WIPO views Free software as illegitimate.

But going back to ACTA, Moody shows its connection to Microsoft:

Microsoft Gets in on the ACTA

[...]

Now it looks like Microsoft is joining in:

a common tactic of intellectual property holders is to blur the distinction between counterfeit and pirated goods (and even legal generic goods, in the case of the pharmaceutical industry). Microsoft’s press release exemplifies this, talking about “counterfeit Microsoft software purchased at resellers” and the “black market for pirated software” as if the two were synonymous. In fact, most consumers who obtain pirated goods on the black market realise that they are not original. Whilst Consumers International discourages consumers from using pirated goods, in many countries they have little choice, because originals are either unavailable or are priced far beyond their means.

We wrote about this subject the other day. Microsoft is lying.

Moody adds the observation that “Intellectual Monopolists Scorn the Blind”. This is not the first time we see (or fail to see) it.

This, then, is the reality of “modern” copyright: it fails to serve huge numbers of people, many of whom are already suffering from discrimination in other ways.

Given this situation, various organisations are not unreasonably trying to facilitate access to copyrighted works for those who are visually disabled with a new WIPO treaty that would define basic rights for this group. Who could object to such a humanitarian cause? Well, the publishers, of course.

Last but not least, Moody opines that patent power is drifting over to Asia and he uses this news report as proof.

Asian Tech Firms Buy Up Patents

The days of U.S. technology companies wielding patents to block Asian competitors from the market or collect big royalties may be waning. Ron Epstein, the chief executive and co-founder of IPotential, a San Mateo, Calif.-based patent broker, says South Korean and Taiwanese technology companies have been contacting him to purchase patents. Their goal? To ward off potential intellectual property disputes before conflicts flare.

The trend mirrors a path U.S. companies took several years ago when they first began buying patents defensively, say Epstein, who calls patents a “competitive tool.” “Asian companies have seen the success U.S. companies have had with patent purchasing and are doing it themselves,” he says. He estimates that Asian firms are two to three years behind their Western counterparts in this regard.

A wealth of patents is simply the centralisation of monopolies. Nowhere does it say anything about innovation; it’s just a monopoly, it’s a protection.

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