02.27.10

Gemini version available ♊︎

Facebook and Intellectual Ventures Revisited

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft, Patents at 6:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Facebook

Summary: Facebook is becoming a software patents nuisance and its potential ties with Microsoft’s massive patent troll are worth elucidating

AS WE NOTED last year, Facebook’s Zuckerberg was personally meeting Microsoft's patent troll who runs a patent racketeering operation [1, 2] not far from Facebook. This is becoming interesting because increasingly we find that Facebook pursues software patents that it neither deserves nor needs.

News feeds have just been patented by Facebook [1, 2, 3]:

Facebook has been awarded a patent on displaying news feeds of users’ activities — creating an interwebs stir that basic social network functionality could soon fall prey to Facebook IP rights.

The US patent – awarded February 23 – pertains to “dynamically providing a news feed about a user of a social network.” For example: “Susie has added a photo to her gallery,” or “Johnny joined the Dolphin Sea Mammal Lovers Anonymous Group.”

News feeds go way back, as far as days before Facebook even existed. Making simple extensions to something does not make it patentable (and hardly even merits attribution), the debate about patentability of software aside.

IDG asks: “Does Facebook’s Newsfeed Patent Threaten Social Media?”

Venture capitalist and blogger Fred Wilson decried the patent by arguing that the U.S. Patent and Trade Office should stop awarding software rights altogether. “Software patents make no sense. Like music, art, and other creative pursuits, software is almost always derivative work. There is not a chance in hell that Facebook invented this idea,” Wilson wrote.

As we mentioned at the beginning, the relationship between Facebook and Microsoft’s Myhrvold is one that worries us. As we showed earlier this month, Facebook is also close to Microsoft at a personal level (Ozzie). The Atlantic has just posted this critique of Intellectual Ventures.

Setting aside Myhrvold’s colorful pedigree, his company’s approach has long drawn fire, with critics dubbing it “Intellectual Vultures.”

Amar Bhidé, author of The Venturesome Economy, is a high profile critic of Myhrvold’s vision. Invention, to him, is akin to writing a book: what if authors had to buy licensing rights for every idea they cited, instead of simply giving credit in the footnotes? Many of the best new products, he argues, are combinations of countless ideas, some patentable, some not.

A patent attorney writing under the pseudonym “Sawyer” laments:

“Mr. Myhrvold wants to create an entire economic category based on payments to entities that don’t build, produce, sell, etc, any products, or create anything of value (i.e., that don’t innovate, at least in any useful way that advances human progress), in exchange for not being sued on exclusionary patent rights.”

[...]

Myhrvold assures us the exact opposite will occur: that his system will create a vigorous market in IP rights and solve an epidemic of under-invention. Myhrvold confidently predicts that competition between investment funds to buy intellectual property from inventors, bundle it, and sell it to buyers who know how to exploit it will support increased output from innovators. But in his effort to encourage invention, he might be single-handedly facilitating the unholy genesis of a huge new class of parasitic middlemen.

That last sentence is excellent. With backing from Microsoft, Bill Gates, and Apple, Myhrvold is “single-handedly facilitating the unholy genesis of a huge new class of parasitic middlemen.”

“The genesis of this idea was when I was at Microsoft. We had a problem with patent liability. All these people were coming to sue us or demand payment. And Bill (Gates) asked me to think about if there was a solution.” —Nathan Myhrvold, WSJ: Transcript: Myhrvold of Intellectual Ventures

“Intellectual property is the next software.”

Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft's patent troll

Nathan Myhrvold

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. By 2022 0% of 'News' Coverage About Patents Will Be Actual Journalism (Patent Litigation Sector Has Hijacked the World Wide Web to Disseminate Self-Promotional Misinformation)

    Finding news about the EPO is almost impossible because today’s so-called ‘news’ sites are in the pockets of Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos, and their cohorts who turned the EPO into a hub of litigation, not science; this is part of an international (worldwide) problem because financial resources for journalism have run out, and so the vacuum is filled/replaced almost entirely by Public Relations (PR) and marketing



  2. Trying to Appease Those Who Never Liked Free Software or Those Who Blindly Loved All Patent Monopolies to Begin With

    It’s crystal clear that trying to appease everyone, all the time, is impossible; in the case of the EPO, for example, we hope that exposing Team Battistelli/Campinos helps raise awareness of the harms of patent maximalism, and when speaking about Free software — whilst occasionally bashing the alternatives (proprietary) — we hope to convince more people to join the “Good Fight”



  3. Links 28/11/2021: Laravel 8.73 Released, GitHub Offline for Hours

    Links for the day



  4. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 27, 2021



  5. Links 27/11/2021: Nvidia’s DLSS Hype and Why GNU/Linux Matters

    Links for the day



  6. [Meme] Linus Gabriel Sebastian Takes GNU/Linux for a (Tail)'Spin'

    If you’re trying to prove that GNU/Linux is NOT Windows, then “haha! Well done…”



  7. GNU/Linux is for Freedom and It'll Gain Many Users When (or Where) People Understand What Software (or Computing) Freedom Means

    Software that respects people's freedom (and by extension privacy as well) is an alluring proposition; those who choose to try GNU/Linux for the wrong reasons are likely the wrong target audience for advocates



  8. Amid Reports of Microsoft's Competition Crimes in Europe...

    European companies are complaining, but they seem to overlook the principal aspect of an imperialistic system with bottomless pockets (almost 30 trillion dollars in debt already; US national debt soared again last month); Microsoft is shielded by a political system with military (“defence”) as bailout budget to help cushion international expansion for data grab and technical leverage, as we've seen in the case of EPO (this is all political, not technical, and should thus be treated as a political/corruption issue)



  9. Is Linus Trolling the GNU/Linux Community?

    This new video responds to what many sites have been provoked into amplifying



  10. Links 27/11/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and SeaMonkey 1.1.19 in EasyOS

    Links for the day



  11. [Meme] Keeping Our Distance From Microsoft

    The OSI is the dagger, the Linux Foundation is the knife, and many others are the sword by which Microsoft tries to get into the very heart of GNU/Linux and extinguish the Free software movement



  12. Microsoft Edge Encourages Indebted Americans to Guilt-spend Just in Time for Christmas

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  13. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, November 26, 2021



  14. 38+ Years of GNU and 19+ Years of FSF Associate Membership

    “On November 25, 2002,” Wikipedia notes, “the FSF launched the FSF Associate Membership program for individuals.” As the above video points out, it all started almost 40 years ago.



  15. Gemini as a Platform for Gamers

    Contrary to what people often assume (or are led to assume), even without client-side scripting Gemini can accomplish a great deal; early adopters, many of whom are technical, test the limits of the very minimalistic (by design and intention) specification



  16. Improved Workflows: Achievement Unlocked

    Today we've completed a bunch of small projects that can make us more efficient (e.g. more Daily Links per day, more articles); the above video was recorded many hours ago to accompany the outline below



  17. Links 26/11/2021: New Complaint About Microsoft Competition Crimes in Europe, EuroLinux 8.5, GhostBSD 21.11.24, and Kiwi TCMS 10.5 Released

    Links for the day



  18. Links 26/11/2021: F35 Elections, Whonix 16.0.3.7, OSMC's November Refresh With Kodi 19.3

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 25, 2021



  20. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 24, 2021



  21. Links 25/11/2021: PHP 8.1.0 Released and Linux 5.15.5

    Links for the day



  22. IBM as Master of Hypocrisy

    Free software projects and Free software developers have long been humiliated by corporations of Western misogynists, falsely claiming that the Free software community isn’t inclusive enough (these are shameless projection tactics; as a matter of public record, the exact opposite is true) and even the eradication of supposedly offensive language isn’t something IBM takes seriously



  23. Links 25/11/2021: LibreOffice 7.2.3 and Mesa 21.2.6 Released

    Links for the day



  24. [Meme] So Desperate That Edge Cannot Even Exceed 4% That They Block Rival Web Browsers

    Linux/Android/Free Software/GNU (they go by very many names/brands) may continue to grow to the point where Windows is as irrelevant as Blackberry; this means that Microsoft’s grip on the Web too has slipped — to the point where Microsoft frantically uses 'bailout' money to hijack LinkedIn, GitHub, etc. (it also rebrands almost everything as "Azure" or clown to fake a perception of growth)



  25. Windows Vista Service Pack 11 (Vista 11) Has Failed to Curb the Growth of GNU/Linux

    Windows market share continues to decrease in spite of billions of dollars spent bribing the media for fake hype, especially in light of a new Windows Service Pack (SP), Vista SP 11



  26. Links 25/11/2021: Proton 6.3-8 and Linux Mint Compared to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  27. 3.5 Years Later the 'Master' of Fedora is Still Microsoft and IBM Cannot Be Bothered to Alter Git Branch Names (Refuting or Ignoring Its Very Own Directive About Supposedly Racially-Insensitive Terms)

    Today we demonstrate the hypocrisy of IBM; years after telling us that we should shun the term "master" and repeatedly insisting it had a racist connotation at least 65 Fedora repositories, still controlled by Microsoft, still use "master"



  28. Changing the Arrangement While News is a Bit Slow(er)

    I've made it easier for myself to keep abreast of things like IRC channels and networks (incidentally, a day ago Freenode reopened to anonymous logins) and I've improved monitoring of the Web sites, Gemini capsule etc. (this video is unplanned and improvised)



  29. Links 24/11/2021: Alpine Linux 3.15 and Endless OS 4.0 Released

    Links for the day



  30. [Meme] Jimmy Zemlin Loves Microsoft

    It’s funny, isn’t it? Lying for a living and sucking up to the liars pays off; you get to plunder actual Linux users while leaving Linux morally and financially bankrupt


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