05.02.10

Gemini version available ♊︎

Patents Roundup: University of Colorado Conference on Software Patents and Free Software; “Patent Absurdity” in Connecticut Film Festival; Amazon’s Absurd Patent; Monsanto’s Meat Patents

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Patents at 2:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Spare rib

Summary: 4 new items covering the absurdity of the patent system and resentment against it

A conference on software patents and free software (Jonathan Corbet went to the University of Colorado to study these issues)

A survey was done back in 2008, with 15,000 surveys sent out to a large number of firms. 1,333 of them – representing over 700 companies – came back. The numbers that came out were interesting, if arguably unsurprising.

According to this survey, 65% of software companies have no interest in software patents; they do not see patents as an important part of doing business. That compares with 82% of non-software companies which said they were working toward the acquisition of patents. It is worth noting that companies with venture capital backing had a higher level of interest in software patents than those without.

Film, new media and music featured at Connecticut Film Festival workshops (the film “Patent Absurdity” was already mentioned in [1, 2 3, 4, 5])

The Connecticut Film Festival will also feature the world premiere of the film “Patent Absurdity,” which explores the case of software patents and the history of judicial activism that led to their rise, and argues that programmers are finding it increasingly difficult to write programs for which they won’t be liable to be sued.

Amazon Patents Selling Used Goods At Starbucks, Barnes & Noble Or Other Locations (we have a new reference page about Amazon)

theodp writes “Having already been burned by Amazon’s 1-Click patent, one imagines Barnes & Noble will be fuming to learn that the USPTO granted Amazon a patent Tuesday covering the use of Barnes and Noble’s physical stores to fulfill orders placed for used goods on Amazon. The e-tailer was awarded U.S. Patent No. 7,702,545 for its System and Method for Facilitating Exchanges Between Buyers and Sellers, legal-speak for arranging a place to meet to exchange cash for used goods ordered online. From the patent: ‘In an exemplary embodiment, buyers and sellers are permitted to designate exchange locations in the system 100. An exchange location may be a location that the user regularly visits. For example, users may designate locations such as health clubs, schools, coffee shops, book stores, and so on, as acceptable exchange locations.’”

Meat claimed as invention by multinational company of Monsanto (we wrote about Monsanto in some of our previous posts because of Microsoft/Gates connections [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8])

*Stop patenting the food chain!

Multinational seed corporations are following a consequent strategy to gain control over basic resources for food production. As recent research shows not only genetically engineered plants, but more and more the conventional breeding of plants gets into the focus of patent monopolies: International patent applications in this sector are skyrocking, having doubled since 2007 till end of 2009. Further on the multinationals expand their claims over the whole chain of food production from feed to animals and food products such as meat. In a pending patent application from Monsanto even bacon and steaks are claimed: Patent application WO2009097403 is claiming meat stemming from pigs being fed with the patented genetically engineered plants of Monsanto. A similar patent is applied for fish from aquaculture in March 2010 (WO201027788). Far reaching patents on food are even already granted: Monsanto received a European patent (EP 1356033) in 2009, which the chain of food production from seeds of genetically engineered plants up to food products such as meal and oil are covered.

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.

3 Comments

  1. Jose_X said,

    May 2, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Gravatar

    >> According to this survey, 65% of software companies have no interest in software patents; they do not see patents as an important part of doing business. That compares with 82% of non-software companies which said they were working toward the acquisition of patents.

    This ignores the fact (I think) that a great many companies develop software or are so capable yet probably weren’t asked because it is not their line of business, and these likely have about nothing to gain from patents.

    This likely ignores a large number of nonprofits that do develop software that would almost surely say no.

    This ignores the many for whom software development is a hobby (including many who have produced very good pieces of code — after all the Olympics and many from Guinness are hobbyists) or they don’t consider it a main source of income.

    And this ignores services providers, retailers, etc, that are not in the business of developing software but easily could do a lot customizing open source and adding bits here and there.

    This likely ignores as well those that went out of business, who were up against large odds (eg, being sued to death unfairly (even from patents) or a large vendor entered their business or targeted them), but who otherwise had good products and a sustainable business model.

    This didn’t ask those that were pressured to sell out cheaply and now belong to a larger entity (that very likely does support software patents).

    Collectively, all of these that were not asked add up to a lot. Furthermore, many of them are users largely and they don’t gain from software patents as don’t other users. And these groups show that software is not something where we can assume the main producers are for-profit companies focused on software development as their main business.

    Finally, even if everyone in the “official” software business claimed patents were useful, this would only lead to the industry being able to grab more money off users, and wouldn’t imply that progress was promoted.

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> This likely ignores a large number of nonprofits that do develop software that would almost surely say no.

    Well, maybe there aren’t a “large number” relative to the other groups mentioned.

    Um, so a conclusion which was not stated in parent was that the 65% would have been possibly much larger if all who have developed software were asked.

    Also, the VCs, looking to make a lot of money in the short term but who may not be interested in the long term viability of the company and who recognize patents by themselves may have value they might want to tap (eg, to negotiate a favorable buyout or to sue if worst comes to worst), may like patent monopolies. Anyone who looks towards making money from patent attacks, likely has surrendered their realistic changes of producing products in the future because of the almost unavoidable infringements that would come from such products.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    A very recent (but non-scientific) survey from NZ showed that over 80% of developers opposed software patents.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IBM's Lennart Poettering on Breaking Software for Pseudo Novelty

    Recently-uploaded ELCE 2011 clip shows a panel with Linus Torvalds, Alan Cox, Thomas Gleixner, Paul McKenney, and Lennart Poettering (relevant to novelty or perceived novelty that mostly degrades the experience of longtime users, e.g. Wayland and systemd)



  2. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 15, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 15, 2022



  3. Links 15/05/2022: Linux 5.18 RC7 and Calls for More Mass Surveillance

    Links for the day



  4. Audio: Mark Shuttleworth Marketed to Young Males, With Sexy Pictures

    The Web is rotting away, old links become broken links within months or years, so I’ve decided to encode a 3-minute segment of the whole as Ogg



  5. What a Difference Half a Decade Makes (When Linux Foundation is 'Having Fun')

    Media shaming campaigns may have taken their toll on the founder of Linux, who is now bossed by someone who rejects Linux and is married to a Microsoft booster. Like Richard Stallman under FSF guidance (and conditions for return, mostly for fear of further media assaults and attack dogs), he has become a more publicity-shy and private person. The Linux Foundation has in effect reduced the founder of what it’s called after (Linux) into a weekly release manager and mascot, whose brand it is gradually diluting/cheapening.



  6. Links 15/05/2022: GNU libiconv 1.17

    Links for the day



  7. [Meme] Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC) Cannot Be Reconciled With the Law

    Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC)? Impossible. But Team UPC counts on an endless torrent of fake news managing to convince you (and more importantly politicians) otherwise.



  8. Even Team Battistelli is Sometimes Admitting -- Out in Public! -- That Unified Patent Court (UPC) is Neither Legal Nor Desirable

    Daniel X. Thomas and other people who are “too old to punish” (consequences to their career profoundly minimised owing to seniority) are among those who push back against the Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court (UPC); any sane person — not a career-climbing litigation zealot — can identify the pertinent facts and realise that what’s going on here is an injustice of unprecedented proportions in the patent discipline



  9. [Meme] Common Sense at EPO

    The European examiners who deal with patents prefer a system that works for science, for Europe, not for foreign megacorporations that amass millions of low-quality patents and weaponise these to discourage competition



  10. Patent Granting at the EPO Has Collapsed by 24% Owing to Much-Needed Industrial Action

    Seeing that the EPO’s management routinely violates the law and even the very legal basis of the EPO’s existence (it is a monopoly in Europe; no body has the authority to compete against it), the EPO’s examiners have embarked on a ‘Work-to-Rule’ campaign — working in compliance with the rules as defined 49 years ago and revised over the decades — and the European Patent Convention (EPC) takes priority over unlawful demands from middle and upper management; this is proving highly effective so far and it will carry on until demands are met, i.e. until the law is obeyed and staff is treated with respect/dignity



  11. [Meme] Milan is a Suburb in London

    As long as Italy is not the UK and London means London “proper” (not the French town called London) the UPCA is invalid and no matter how much Team UPC (and its puppets in EPO management) may plead, this whole system is bound to implode



  12. The Latest Propaganda Tactics of Team UPC: Pretending Unified Patent Court Already Exists and Unitary Patents Are Default When If Fact None Even Exists

    8 years ago Benoît Battistelli said that the UPC was imminent; now, after 4 years of António Campinos, it’s still not here and Team UPC speculators say it won’t happen this year, either; just like the EPO constantly lies (both to the public and to its very own staff) Team UPC continues to lie to itself (self-delusion) and to us; both also routinely break the law, engage in deliberate violations of longstanding conventions, and scrap constitutions, which in turn becomes a breaking point for the EU’s credibility and the legal profession



  13. Links 15/05/2022: More Azure Shutdowns and Windows Security Blunders Aplenty

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 14, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, May 14, 2022



  15. Links 15/05/2022: Pika Backup 0.4

    Links for the day



  16. Changes in the Site and the Capsule

    A 10-minute explanation of what we've been up to lately and what's changing; hopefully I'll have a lot more free time in months to come and we'll be able to produce about a dozen posts per day



  17. Links 14/05/2022: Alt Linux 10.0 Released

    Links for the day



  18. Links 14/05/2022: Builder GTK 4 Porting and Raspberry Pi Matrix Dashboard

    Links for the day



  19. Elon Musk is Right About Twitter Faking Its Importance and Using Doctored, Manipulated 'Stats' (or Bots) to Boost Valuation Based on Lies

    Today’s empirical proof that Twitter is totally faking its relevance and reach/influence, based on “Analytics” of my long-inactive account; the SEC will once again — quite likely as usual — let Musk get away with it, killing a company for personal gain as a temporary shareholder who amassed a ton of free publicity (he paid nothing at all and sent the company into a death spiral, pretty much in the same way Microsoft and Icahn did Yahoo! or Microsoft and Elop did Nokia)



  20. Who Brings Home the Bacon (Revenue), Sheela or James (Jim)?

    Sheela (yes, wife of the nontechnical Linux Foundation chief, who equates Microsoft critics with people who kick puppies) has a history working with several companies that are closely connected to Microsoft (not just Bakkt); can that be reconciled as not a conflict of interest?



  21. The 'Original' Linus Torvalds on Self-Hosting

    The fast-aging founder of Linux spoke as shown above (2005); so much has changed since then…



  22. IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 13, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, May 13, 2022



  23. Links 13/05/2022: NetworkManager 1.38 and Pseudo-Security

    Links for the day



  24. Links 13/05/2022: GCC 12 Becoming Default Compiler in Tumbleweed

    Links for the day



  25. Links 13/05/2022: End of 'About BSD'

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 12, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, May 12, 2022



  27. Links 12/05/2022: AlmaLinux OS 8.6 and LibreOffice 7.2.7

    Links for the day



  28. [Meme] Yes, Minister, Yes!

    We’re meant to think that patents — not sharing — are going to save the world



  29. Central Staff Committee of the EPO Reminds the EPO's Management, Yet Again, That It is Breaking Laws

    Sinking quality of European Patents, plus a Patent Granting Process that is not compliant with the law, quite likely mean the EPO drives straight into a wall; the Central Staff Committee is still trying to save the institution, but management is uncaring and unresponsive (these people typically serve a term and leave, so they couldn’t care less about the long-term viability of their employer)



  30. Formalities Officers Team Managers at the European Patent Office Consider Stepping Down

    Formalities Officers Team Managers at Europe's second-largest institution face a growing list of issues; some are even "considering stepping down," according to internal documents


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