06.07.10

Gemini version available ♊︎

Patents Roundup: More Regarding Red Hat, Klaus-Heiner Lehne, Patents on Genes, and USPTO Speed Lane

Posted in Europe, Law, OIN, Patents, Red Hat at 2:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Motorway

Summary: Further analysis of Red Hat’s policy regarding software patents, new threat from the European Parliament’s legal affairs commission (JURI), and the fast lane to USPTO distortion

Florian Müller, a campaigner against software patents, wrote a response to our post about Red Hat's take on software patents:

Thanks to your story, I saw that eWeek UK report on Whitehurst’s statements.

Following from public policy, Whitehurst re-affirmed Red Hat’s opposition to software patents. “They are detrimental to innovation, and we do not support them at all.”

=> They also don’t fight them at all. And some of their various areas of collaboration with IBM even run counter to a push for abolition. Most of that was started by Webbink, who has meanwhile left, but still…

For now I don’t plan to blog about Red Hat again too soon, but at some point I’ll probably provide an overview of what I consider unhelpful initiatives, besides the OIN.

It’s interesting to note that Red Hat cooperates not only with IBM but also with Microsoft on the “community patent review” project. There’s nothing wrong with them supporting something good if it’s supported by Microsoft, but there can be no doubt that a patent-related initiative supported by Microsoft isn’t a push for abolition to the slightest degree. At best it would be politically neutral, which is what Red Hat is if one focuses on deeds rather than words.

That community review project isn’t bad at first sight: it’s an application of the “to enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow” idea to the patent granting process. I can’t oppose the idea of throwing out bad patent applications early on, but I do question the efficiency of that approach versus other ways the community could spend time to deal with the problem. The real problem is that it’s a way of supporting the patent bureaucracy not only practically but also politically, although someone really opposed to software patents must understand that the leadership of a patent office will always want a broad scope of patentable subject matter and as much patent inflation as possible. Letting that system implode with respect to software patents and letting the quality problem (which is due to the nature of software, which shouldn’t be patentable in the first place) become as apparent as possible would be much more desirable than giving the (mostly false) impression that community contributions to the review process can improve anything.

I believe that the DPL will, subject to what its final version is going to look like, enable a much more efficient use of community time. Rather than helping the patent bureaucracy, the community should take out its own patents, based on the Fair Troll approach, and assert them against patent holders outside the DPL pool. That would have far more impact than helping the patent bureaucracy with its review process, and if members of the FOSS community come up with really good patents they could even make very significant amounts of money with them, which isn’t possible by contributing to the community review project.

You may quote from this email if you like, but I didn’t mean this to be a “press release”: I’ll blog about those alternative ways for the community to make contributions when the DPL finally gets published. I just wanted you to know in the meantime how I view the situation concerning Red Hat’s action, which I don’t see as a positive contribution on the bottom line…

The FFII more or less succeeded Müller’s initiative and its president says that the “European Parliament’s JURI committee calls for EU patent court, EU software patents via central caselaw” (that’s one of the potential loopholes for legalising software patents in Europe).

According to media reports, the European Parliament’s legal affairs commission (JURI), presided by Klaus-Heiner Lehne, yesterday passed the “Gallo report” in which they ask for more unified and stringent IPR enforcement, in particular a unified crackdown on p2p filesharing but also unified levies, IPRED2 revival, UPLS and more.

We previously showed that Klaus-Heiner Lehne lobbies for software patents because he profits from it. Lehne is a German lawyer and like most lawyers he puts litigation and altercations before advancement of science.

There is a hot debate right now over patents on genes. TechDirt tackles the issue as follows:

This is a very real threat. Venter has long been a strong advocate for patenting genes, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him try to limit this market quite a bit himself. History has shown time and time again that real innovation happens when there’s real competition in the market, as players work hard to one-up each other. Giving the basic building blocks of synthetic biology to one company can lead to a vast decrease in research and development into this emerging field — exactly the opposite of what the patent system intended.

Last week we mentioned a bunch of PR pieces glorifying GlaxoSmithKline (with Bill Gates connections, as we shall show later) for sharing its patents which pertain to living organisms.

When it comes to infectious diseases, sharing is generally discouraged. But recently, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) opened up the designs behind 13,500 chemical compounds, which the company narrowed down from over two million, that may be capable of fighting malaria.

The process of determing which compounds could yield a malaria drug is time consuming and complex, but GSK hopes to inspire other researchers to pool their intellectual property and work together to develop new and better medicines to fight the diseases that are rampant in the world’s poorest countries.

Companies without patents probably need not apply. TechDirt has another new piece about patent "promiscuity" as we called it the other day:

Patent Office Proposes Speed Lane (And Slow Lane) For Patents; Treating The Symptom, Not The Disease

[...]

Of course, none of this will help. It just means that companies with more money to spend will jump to the fast lane, clogging that fast lane, and lengthening the wait times for those who don’t want to spend that much money. It’s difficult to see how that helps. The real issue is vastly cutting back on what is considered patentable. Move way from having companies feeling the need to patent anything and everything and get them back to focusing on competing in the marketplace. If there must be a patent system, let it be limited to the rare cases where there is actual proof that the gov’t granted monopoly makes sense (if those exist) and where there’s no likelihood of independent invention coming up with the same thing at about the same time (a key point that should determine obviousness).

Well, as pointed out some days ago, the USPTO had been taken over by lawyers (including its head) who put profit before science. The more patents they issue, the greater “success” they will claim. Sadly, Google is helping them by legitimisation.

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. 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.



  2. 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



  3. 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



  4. 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



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

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 25, 2021



  7. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 24, 2021



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

    Links for the day



  9. 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



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

    Links for the day



  11. [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)



  12. 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



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

    Links for the day



  14. 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"



  15. 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)



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

    Links for the day



  17. [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



  18. Links 24/11/2021: PHP Foundation and Flatpak Criticisms

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 23, 2021



  20. Links 24/11/2021: Rust Crisis and Team UPC Still Faking 'Progress'

    Links for the day



  21. Links 23/11/2021: New GNU Parallel and Memories of David H. Adler (Perl, Raku)

    Links for the day



  22. In Light of Fast-Accelerating Deterioration -- Sometimes Weaponisation -- Getting Off the World Wide Web (to the Extent Feasible) Makes You Saner and Less Susceptible to Manipulation, Lies

    Almost no sites are speaking about it (probably because they have no presence on the Internet except on the Web), but it's time to motivate more people to get off the Web, for their own good and for society's sake...



  23. Black Friday SPAM on the World Wide Web: A Reminder That the Web is a Dying Platform, Languishing Due to Marketing and Misinformation

    The junk that overruns the Web this 'Black Friday' week (consumerism 'on steroids') is a good reminder that the Web isn't healthy for the mind anymore; it's mostly spying on people, trying to compel them to buy particular things or vote a certain way



  24. Microsoft-Led Misinformation Campaign About Germany and Munich Reminds Us That Microsoft Hates and Actively Undermines GNU/Linux Adoption

    Regarding the latest moves to GNU/Linux in Germany we have 3 points to make



  25. Links 23/11/2021: Libreboot 20211122, Deepin Linux 20.3, Amazon Linux 2022, and Mabox Linux 21.11 Released

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, November 22, 2021



  27. Links 22/11/2021: EasyOS Dunfell 3.1.11, Microsoft 'Extends' Mesa for Windows

    Links for the day



  28. Microsoft's GitHub is Hugely Toxic and It Censors Critics of Corporations or People Sceptical of Those in Power

    Sociopaths have taken over GitHub and control over GitHub (by Microsoft) is being shamelessly misused, just as we’ve warned all along; GitHub is social control media/network for code, asserting control over projects and developers by means of censorship and other sanctions



  29. EPO Staff Engagement Survey Predates the Pandemic and Provides False Assumptions for EPO Policies or Policy-Setting

    The EPO ticks a box for "surveying the staff", but is it actually listening? Is that done often enough? It was last done almost 3 years ago...



  30. Links 22/11/2021: Claws Mail 4 Enters Debian and Catch-up With Legal Matters

    Links for the day


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