02.05.10

Patents Roundup: ACTA Inevitability Claimed, USPTO Patently Failing, China Against Patents in Standards, Monsanto in Court

Posted in America, Asia, Free/Libre Software, Patents, Standard at 11:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Patent news from across the world with limited emphasis on software patents and greater focus on patent globalisation

“ACTA will go through the European Parliament,” says President of the FFII (Benjamin) based on this report which quotes Martin Koehler, whom Benjamin describes as “advisor on International Trade for the Greens”.

But Koehler added that the Parliament will be expected to endorse ACTA as it would be a sign of mistrust in the European Commission if it did not.

“It is crystal clear that ACTA will go through,” Koehler said.

This is the imminent closing of society using intellectual monopolies. The judge behind the EBoA [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] seems to have already made up his mind about software patents in Europe and David Kappos, who we hoped would do better than his predecessor at the USPTO, is already giving signs of endorsement for software patents.

The goal of the Peer-to-Patent Project, which ended its second pilot period in December, is to allow the public to cite prior art to invalidate potential software patents, and in doing so, bring an end to the patent approval gridlock.

David Kappos, co-creator of the project and current under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the UPSTO, said his agency will evaluate all aspects of the project to determine what can be improved upon. Kappos said the agency has not made any decisions, but that he is “disposed” to look for ways to continue working on the project.

David Kappos came from IBM. The USPTO works well for IBM, but since when do IBM et al run the United States? The USPTO is supposed to be a federal body that governs and acts in the interest of citizens but instead it became property of monopolists that use it to block competition. That is utterly shameful and Benjamin from the FFII writes: “Kappos supporting swpats [software patents]“. He quotes the part where Kappos says that non-patent literature “is important in software, where so often it’s not patented prior art.”

“David Kappos came from IBM.”IBM, his former employer, is pro-software patents. Another IBMer, a ‘heavyweight’ manager (now retired), supports software patents and he is advising Obama on the subject. Ironically, that would be the same guy (Irving) who brought GNU/Linux to IBM.

Adding to the embarrassments (or the vanity) of the USPTO, here is a new story that sounds like a hoax or an urban myth: “USPTO Won’t Accept Upside Down Faxes; Demands Resends”

I know, the headline seems like a joke. After all, what do you do if someone inadvertently fed a page upside down into the fax machine? You simply turn the page over or, if you get an electronic version, use the reader software to rotate it. Apparently this is not within the standard operating procedures of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. No, if your fax comes in upside down, they send you a message in return saying that they can’t accept it and to re-fax. Here’s a copy of the letter that a source, who regularly deals with the USPTO, passed along to me…

The USPTO has gone patently insane. As for the Chinese system, it actually seems better in comparison, at least as far as standards are concerned. In China, patents and standards will not go hand in hand. It is mentioned in this Web site called “Talk Standards”, which may as well be called “Talk Patents” or “Talk Monopolies” ("Talk Standards" was cited yesterday in relation to a Microsoft lobby). Benjamin writes that “China [is] pushing for Royalty-Free Standards, [so] it makes the patent guys angry.” To quote those “patent guys”:

The draft regulation includes several interesting proposals that are bound to have substantial consequences. The negative impact on innovators could be severe. This proposal fuels the conflicts of interests between China, on the one hand, and the European Union and the USA, on the other. This development is worrying and could easily spill-over to trade- and investment policy.

[...]

The draft regulation will effectively force IPR holders to accept licensing terms deemed fair by the National Administrative Department of Standardization. This may result in patentees receiving licensing fees significantly lower than market level (i.e. “nominal fees”).

Consequently this implies that the Chinese are attempting to reduce the rewards to foreign IPR holders.

As opposed to ACTA, which is trying to achieve exactly the opposite. Going back to the USPTO, there is a discussion about the criminal company called Monsanto [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] and its patents on life forms. From a new article: [via Richard Stallman]

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear a first-time case about the risks of genetically engineered crops. Named Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, No. 09-475, the case before the high court will be yet another step in an ongoing battle waged by the Center for Food Safety to protect consumers and the environment from potentially harmful effects of genetically engineered (GE) crops.

The modified alfalfa seed at the heart of the dispute has been engineered to be immune to Monsanto’s flagship herbicide Roundup. Monsanto intervened in a 2007 federal district court ruling that the Department of Agriculture’s approval of GE alfalfa was illegal. The Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a 2006 lawsuit on behalf of a coalition of non-profits and farmers who wished to retain the choice to plant non-GE alfalfa. CFS was victorious in this case – in addition CFS has won two appeals by Monsanto in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: in 2008 and again in 2009. Now, upon Monsanto’s insistence, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.

As it turns out, the biggest benefactors right now are patent trolls and litigators:

Profit from patents: sue, don’t produce

[...]

No surprises: the trolls make more from suing than performing entities (manufacturers) do from suing (shorter time to trial, higher success rate, higher damages).

Microsoft is part of the problem because it resorted to racketeering using patents. In 2007 we saw the beginning of such extortion being directed against GNU/Linux, but some companies that are using GNU/Linux are also part of the problem (not just IBM). Here is an example from this week’s news:

Rugged UMPC wins patent for FPGA-centric design

Black Diamond announced it has been awarded a patent for FPGA-related technology found in its rugged, Linux-ready SwitchBack UMPC (ultra mobile PC). In the patented SwitchBack architecture, a Xilinx Virtex 5 FPGA controls the Celeron CPU via a PCI-Express channel, enabling the device to be easily reprogrammed, says the company.

Patents are fences, they are tools for preventing progress by others. To assume that any company that uses Free software is against software patents would be wrong (there are Free software parasites like ACCESS or Black Duck, which we mentioned earlier). In fact, one infamous patent aggressor that we wrote a lot about is TiVo [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Microsoft also sued TiVo.

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/2010/02/05/acta-and-patent-globalisation/

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. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, May 17, 2021



  2. 6,700 Signatures in Support of Richard Stallman's Return to the FSF's Board

    6,700 signatures will be secured any day now (maybe later today); we thought the graph is worth replotting again, even if only to remind people how badly the defamatory hate letter has backfired



  3. [Meme] The Real Gates Scandal is About Connections to Sex Trafficking (Epstein), Not Infidelity

    Some media is still trying to shift attention (some of the very same media that misdirected focus to Richard Stallman when a Gates-Epstein scandal unfolded at MIT), but people aren't gullible enough



  4. Links 17/5/2021: New GeckoLinux and Kdenlive 21.04.1

    Links for the day



  5. Richard Stallman Refers to Intel's Management Engine (ME) -- or a Back Door -- as 'Master', and the Processor Intel Lets Us Use as 'Slave'

    “The president and founder of the Free Software Foundation will speak about pressing issues in free software today, and will present the winners of the 2018 Free Software Awards,” says the summary (this was 3 years ago, i.e. before the purge of language, with a prominent role played by Intel)



  6. Links 17/5/2021: NetBSD 9.2 and Early Look at Bodhi Linux 6.0.0

    Links for the day



  7. Calle Josefsson as Living Proof That Attacking the Causes You Once Proclaimed to Stand for is Very Profitable

    Some thoughts on the situation of the Boards of Appeal in Haar; they're led by someone who receives a huge salary (a four- or five-fold increase) in exchange for an epic sellout and abandonment of principles; as a de facto legal slinger or imposter/poser he has already done incredible damage on several levels



  8. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 10: A Faustian Pact?

    Benoît Battistelli‘s rubber-stamping judge from Sweden saw his salary growing four- or five-fold and he has meanwhile lowered his public profile, fearing that people will see what he sold his soul for



  9. EPO Staff Representatives Not Amused to See an Office That Steals From Staff and Even From Pensioners

    The heist continues; the EPO isn't just a milking cow of Germany but also of EPO officials who keep the 'lid' or the 'cover' on this whole financial instrument, which would enrage member states if they truly understood what's going on



  10. [Meme] Virtual Prisons for Virtual Hearings (Haarings)

    Today’s EPO has a truly twisted notion of the “rule of law”



  11. President of the Boards of Appeal, the Star of the Haar Show

    It’s best in the metal version; burn in Hell, Lesley Gore



  12. Right To Repair: When You Don't Own What You Buy (and Cannot Even Repair It Legally)

    The second part of preliminary background regarding the Right To Repair; our associate who extracted the videos from YouTube says that both are relevant to “Freedom 0″ (as per the FSF’s definition of Free software)



  13. Right To Repair: What It's About and How That Relates to Software

    A short (less than one minute) video that offers some background or sheds light on the intersection between Software Freedom and the Right To Repair



  14. Brand as Distraction From the Core Issues Surrounding the Right To Repair

    Excerpt of a video from Odysee, in which an important point is explained regarding a very actual and relevant case, more so given a recent ruling that indirectly impacts software freedom, mostly in (but not limited to) the United States



  15. Virtual 'Courts' Aren't Courts and Aren't Suitable Substitutes, Either

    The cheapening of the concept of justice, even as the pandemic that serves to justify that cheapening is gradually being brought under control, is the real issue that should be debated in Haar (or from private homes, probably somewhere around Haar); whether it's compulsory or not ought to be a side question



  16. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 16, 2021



  17. Links 17/5/2021: Linux 5.13 RC2 and a Lot About Patents

    Links for the day



  18. (All-Time) Archive of Techrights Videos Contains About 1,000 Videos, All Listed in One Place Now

    We're improving access to old material in the site and right now the focus is ways to improve discovery of old video/multimedia files



  19. Haar Song

    The Office in Munich is overseen by “a municipality near Munich,” according to Wikipedia (not inside Munich, so that in itself is a violation of the EPC)



  20. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 9: Squeezing Out the Lifeblood of Democracy?

    The lack of public discourse at the EPO (where tyrants like Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos make up the rules and then have them rubber-stamped by kangaroo courts) helps explain an atrocious policy and moral abyss, which recently led to acceptance of European software patents and mass surveillance disguised as “access to justice”



  21. Luke Smith on Why Free Software Matters and 'Open Source' is Meaningless

    A video just released by a popular YouTube channel



  22. Links 16/5/2021: ExTiX 21.5, Drumstick Multiplatform MIDI File Player Refresh

    Links for the day



  23. EPO.org is a Really Awful Source of Information

    The site that bears a .org suffix is actually more like a private corporation lying about itself in order to save face and attract more money -- or in other words funds that will be squandered and stolen by corrupt administrators



  24. IBM Has Changed a Lot Since 2018, and Not for the Better

    IBM isn't that much of an ally of GNU/Linux as a community-led or community-centric operating system; IBM is in it all just for IBM and we need to treat IBM accordingly



  25. [Meme] Criticising IBM is Racist and Intolerant

    Systemd is becoming untouchable and its critics are framed as "toxic" or "trolls", no matter the facts and irrespective of the technical substance of their complaints



  26. Combatting Revisionist History (Post From 2015, Years Before IBM Bought Red Hat and Increased Vendor Lock-in)

    Today we republish this forum post from more than 6 years ago; in light of what IBM did to CentOS and its vicious attack on the founder of the GNU/Linux operating system we must understand the systemd agenda, which the FSF can more openly speak about now that there are no financial strings



  27. Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit: Right to Repair

    Uploaded earlier this month was this talk and accompanying slides; summary below



  28. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, May 15, 2021



  29. [Meme] When All That Matters is 'Production' and 'Timeliness'

    The EPO has gone down the same route as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) when it comes to patent quality; as if the goal is to grant 11 million patents (most of them in just a few decades) rather than assess the impact of such patents



  30. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 8: The Radical Student “Brotherhood”

    The latest part in this series explores the roots of Judge Josefsson; that can help explain how Benoît Battistelli constructed his stacked EPO ‘court’, which he and António Campinos basically control to rubber-stamp whatever illegal practices they engage in (in pursuit of money and power, at the expense of the law)


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