07.09.10

Gemini version available ♊︎

Patents Roundup: Bosch Security Systems Patents Signals, NetApp Bullies ZFS Providers, New Zealand Infiltrated by Foreign Lobby ‘NZ’ICT

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Computer room

Summary: Software patents continue to cause trouble and New Zealand’s law is under attack by a lobby of multinationals

Bosch Security Systems

IN THE previous post we showed how software patents are being used to suppress innocent developers. Based on this new report, Bosch is also patenting software (not the Bosch which is based in Germany).

The software’s patent-pending digital signal processing technology enhances the performance of receivers when interpreting these signals by more than 75 percent.

This looks like yet another patent on mathematics/multimedia, just like the example we gave half an hour ago. This has got to be stopped. Video is at stake too [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] and based on some new benchmarks/comparison [1, 2], it can probably be resolved by moving over to WebM. From the summary:

Moscow State University’s Graphics and Media lab have released their sixth MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video codecs comparison. Also of note is a recently added appendix to the report which compares VP8, x264, and Xvid. The reference VP8 encoder holds its own against x264 despite the source material offering x264 a slight advantage. The VP8 developers comment in the report: ‘We’ve been following the MSU tests since they began and respect the group’s work. One issue we noticed in the test is that most input sequences were previously compressed using other codecs. These sequences have an inherent bias against VP8 in recompression tests. As pointed out by other developers, H.264 and MPEG-like encoders have slight advantages in reproducing some of their own typical artifacts, which helps their objective measurement numbers but not necessarily visual quality. This is reflected by relatively better results for VP8 on the only uncompressed input sequence, “mobile calendar.”‘

MPEG-LA patents are US patents, so the problem can also be resolved by ending software patents in the US — a task which SCOTUS neglects to achieve for the time being.

United States

An American VC, Brad Feld, recognises that software patents are a travesty and he actively works against them. A friend of his has just explained “Why Bilski Really Means That Software Companies Should Leave the US”:

My friend Sawyer was as disappointed in the outcome of Bilski as he was in the ending to LOST. In fact, he asked if I’d change his pseudonym to Joseph Adama of Caprica but I vetoed this over extreme nerdiness. Nonetheless Sawyer let loose on Bilski and helps clarify both his perspective on why the Supreme Court took such a milquetoast approach as well as what one of the unintended consequences of their action – or lack thereof – will be. And for those of you who have forgotten Sawyer’s background, he’s a patent attorney that is channeling his opinion through me. And we’ve been discussing setting up a very large data center on an island somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Paul Kedrosky has just co-authored (with Brad Feld) the following article titled “Software Patents Need to Be Abolished” (also here):

The U.S. Supreme Court just blinked. In the landmark Bilski v. Kappos decision announced yesterday, the Court had a chance to right a patent wrong. It didn’t. Instead, in a cautious and internally contradictory decision, it further fuzzified the mess that is the U.S. patent system — and it will have sad consequences for innovation in this country. It was terrible timing for a loss of legal nerve.

[...]

Far from encouraging innovation and advancement in the “useful arts,” as the Constitution originally envisioned and Congress wanted, software and business method patents have become a quasi-legal poison pill. Sometime it’s from patents obtained years after application via circuitous paths and bankrupt companies, and sometimes it’s straight-up planned extortion. Either way, these “patent trolls” lurk in the shadows, waiting for someone to unknowingly infringe. Then they sue in patent-plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions (of which there are ranked lists – we kid you not), forcing defendants, often small, unsophisticated companies, to settle rather than face the cost and uncertainty that defines litigating a patent case against a well-capitalized troll.

The costs associated with this are immense, as is the innovation penalty. Software companies now must file defensive patents just to make sure that they are not later submarined by useless patents originating with patent attorneys themselves or at failed software companies. We have officially exited economics and entered Kafka’s courts.

“Patent Office Says No to Supreme Court and Software Patents,” suggests this curious new report:

Under the machine-or-transformation test, a business method (read as software) must be tied to a particular machine, rather than run on a general machine like a computer, or transform something from one state into another. The subject of the transformation can be data, but, as you might expect, transformation can largely be in the eye of the beholder.

The PTO has faced a major management problem for years: the flow of patents in vastly exceeds its capacity to process them. Additional money and headcount haven’t really helped, so over the last few years, the PTO seemed to try raising hurdles to discourage applications. Given the volume of software patent applications, reducing them would clearly help slow the incoming volume, which is something the patent office would love to do.

Yesterday we mentioned the attack of NetApp against the California-based Coraid. What was Coraid’s offence? Distributing free/open source software (ZFS), apparently. Here is a new article that’s dedicated to the subject.

Storage startup Coraid may face legal action from NetApp if the company does not cease plans to sell the Coraid EtherDrive Z-Series NAS appliance based on the open-source Zettabyte File System (ZFS).

Coraid issued a letter to its customers this morning in which CEO Kevin Brown announced the company has temporarily suspended the general availability of the EtherDrive Z-Series.

Software patents have become suppressors of software freedom. They need to be stopped, or at least their expansion ought to be stopped. A predominantly US-based lobby is trying to spread these patents to other countries.

New Zealand

Down in New Zealand it becomes a political debate (we last wrote about this yesterday). “NZCIT [sic] is a proxy for software multinationals, not Kiwi businesses,” emphasises the president of the FFII who also points out that “they will fall into the EPO trap of “as such”…”

Here is the latest report which shows the process being politicised.

The software patent debate is opening old sores associated with the change of government and government’s interface with the ICT industry.

A question that runs through or subtly underlies comments on the controversy in several online forums, is to what extent the NZICT Group represents New Zealand’s ICT industry and customers.

The Labour-led government set up the Digital Development Council (DDC) and Digital Development Forum (DDF) as an umbrella for ICT developer and user communities – TUANZ, InternetNZ, the NZ Computer Society and so on.

Again — NZICT is not representing New Zealand’s ICT industry and customers [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Just because it has the letters “NZ” in the beginning doesn’t mean it’s pro-New Zealand. NZICT is more like an invader. It should be pushed out or at least excluded from debates about New Zealand’s laws.

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. [Meme] EPO Administrative Council Believing EPO-Bribed 'Media' (IAM Still Shilling and Lying for Cash)

    IAM continues to do what brings money from EPO management and Team UPC, never mind if it is being disputed by the patent examiners themselves



  2. The EPO's Mythical “Gap” Has Been Found and It's Bonuses for People Who Use Pure Fiction to Steal From Patent Examiners

    The phony president who has the audacity to claim there's a budget gap is issuing millions of euros for his enablers to enjoy; weeks ahead of the next meeting of national delegates the Central Staff Committee (CSC) tells them: "Events show that the delegations’ concerns about functional allowances have materialised. The lack of transparency and inflation of the budget envelope gives rise to the suspicion that high management is pursuing a policy of self-service at the expense of EPO staff, which is difficult to reconcile with the Office’s claimed cost-saving policy, and to the detriment of the whole Organisation."



  3. Video: Making the Internet a Better Place for People, Not Megacorporations

    Following that earlier list of suggested improvements for a freedom-respecting Internet, here's a video and outline



  4. Links 30/11/2021: KDE Plasma 5.23.4, 4MLinux 38.0, Long GitHub Downtime, and Microsoft's CEO Selling Away Shares

    Links for the day



  5. A Concise Manifesto For Freedom-Respecting Internet

    An informal list of considerations to make when reshaping the Internet to better serve people, not a few corporations that are mostly military contractors subsidised by the American taxpayers



  6. Freenode.net Becomes a 'Reddit Clone' and Freenode IRC is Back to Old Configurations After Flushing Down Decades' Worth of User/Channel Data and Locking/Shutting Out Longtime Users

    Freenode is having another go; after “chits” and “jobs” (among many other ideas) have clearly failed, and following the change of daemon (resulting in massive loss of data and even security issues associated with impersonation) as well as pointless rebrand as “Joseon”, the domain Freenode.net becomes something completely different and the IRC network reopens to all



  7. Jack Dorsey's Decision is a Wake-up Call: Social Control Media is Just a Toxic Bubble

    The state of the World Wide Web (reliability, preservation, accessibility, compatibility etc.) was worsened a lot more than a decade ago; with social control media that’s nowadays just a pile of JavaScript programs we’re basically seeing the Web gradually turning into another Adobe Flash (but this time they tell us it’s a “standard”), exacerbating an already-oversized ‘bubble economy’ where companies operate at a loss while claiming to be worth hundreds of billions (USD) and generally serve imperialistic objectives by means of manipulation like surveillance, selective curation, and censorship



  8. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 29, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, November 29, 2021



  9. Links 29/11/2021: NuTyX 21.10.5 and CrossOver 21.1.0

    Links for the day



  10. This Apt Has Super Dumbass Powers. Linus Sebastian and Pop_OS!

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  11. [Meme] Trying to Appease Provocateurs and Borderline Trolls

    GNU/Linux isn’t just a clone of Microsoft Windows and it oughtn’t be a clone of Microsoft Windows, either; some people set themselves up for failure, maybe by intention



  12. Centralised Git Hosting Has a Business Model Which is Hostile Towards Developers' Interests (in Microsoft's Case, It's an Attack on Reciprocal Licensing and Persistent Manipulation)

    Spying, censoring, and abusing projects/developers/users are among the perks Microsoft found in GitHub; the E.E.E.-styled takeover is being misused for perception manipulation and even racism, so projects really need to take control of their hosting (outsourcing is risky and very expensive in the long run)



  13. Links 29/11/2021: FWUPD's 'Best Known Configuration' and Glimpse at OpenZFS 3.0

    Links for the day



  14. President Biden Wants to Put Microsofter in Charge of the Patent Office, Soon to Penalise Patent Applicants Who Don't Use Microsoft's Proprietary Formats

    The tradition of GAFAM or GIAFAM inside the USPTO carries on (e.g. Kappos and Lee; Kappos lobbies for Microsoft and IBM, whereas Lee now works for Amazon/Bezos after a career at Google); it's hard to believe anymore that the USPTO exists to serve innovators rather than aggressive monopolists, shielding their territory by patent threats (lawsuits or worse aggression) and cross-licensing that's akin to a cartel



  15. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VIII — Mr. Graveley's Long Career Serving Microsoft's Agenda (Before Hiring by Microsoft to Work on GitHub's GPL Violations Machine)

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley was promoting .NET (or Mono) since his young days; his current job at Microsoft is consistent with past harms to GNU/Linux, basically pushing undesirable (except to Microsoft) things to GNU/Linux users; Tomboy used to be the main reason for distro ISOs to include Mono



  16. Dr. Andy Farnell on Teaching Cybersecurity in an Age of 'Fake Security'

    By Dr. Andy Farnell



  17. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 28, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 28, 2021



  18. Links 29/11/2021: Linux 5.16 RC3 and Lots of Patent Catch-up

    Links for the day



  19. 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



  20. 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”



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

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 27, 2021



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

    Links for the day



  24. [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…”



  25. 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



  26. 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)



  27. Is Linus Trolling the GNU/Linux Community?

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



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

    Links for the day



  29. [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



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

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission


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