07.15.11

Gemini version available ♊︎

Google Should Invest Wealth in Reformists, Not Patent Lawyers

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents at 11:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

What Google needs is disruption, not compliance and conformity

Christabel Pankhurst

Summary: Google’s newly-found sources of cash should be used to remove software patents rather than make the whole system more toxic for everyone

GOOGLE has just announced that it activates over 550,000 Android devices per day. This pace keeps increasing at an amazing rate and Google’s stock has just jumped through the roof, so it’s easy to see why Microsoft and Apple are nervous. We’re now at a crucial crossroad where Google can either decide to abolish software patents (to the degree possible, and possibly by liaising with others) or start getting “evil” by jumping on the patents treadmill, aka the Patents Cartel (because that’s what it is — a cartel). Apple bounced on this bandwagon a very long time ago and Microsoft only did so years ago. While some prefer tackling this serious issue with satire, others give us less humouring reports that indicate Google is replacing programmers with lawyers, or at least substituting growth priorities. This one article sheds light on the impact of patent lawyers inside Google. As we pointed out before — even years ago — it’s an insidious transformation which put patents supporters at the heart of a company better known for its engineering. This is harming innovation and raising the cost of products everyone buys. We really ought to pressure Google to do the right thing as it will be increasingly tempted to shut the public out; that’s what the lawyers Google is hiring would want. To necessitate their job they need to ensure Google dives deep inside the patent pools.

“We really ought to pressure Google to do the right thing as it will be increasingly tempted to shut the public out; that’s what the lawyers Google is hiring would want.”Microsoft and its patent trolls are suing and extorting for a living now (offence mode, with patents also going to Lodsys to innovatively attack apps with ‘More Apps’ links, owing to support from Microsoft’s former CTO), whereas Google claims to be after patents for “defensive” purposes. That’s what all companies that are winning call their patents. Well, the only defensive patent is one that self-destructs safely. Even Red Hat’s patents are a threat because Red Hat might be sold one day, so the “defensive patent” excuse is rather lame. We have repeatedly asked Red Hat to provide legal assurance for such circumstances, but our suggestions fell on deaf ears around Mr. Fontana (whose loyalty to clients comes before ideology).

By means of deterrence, any patent — whether offensive or not — is an impediment to innovation and a recent study helped show this. Even patent lawyers paid attention rather than ignore it. From Patently-O:

James Bessen, A Generation of Software Patents
Do patents benefit software firms? James Bessen examines this issue through both a survey of existing literature and a new empirical study. Bessen finds that although the number of software-related patents has grown rapidly over the past decade, the share of those patents obtained by software firms has remained relatively small, and is largely accounted for by the activity of a small number of large software firms. In other words, most software patents go to firms outside the software industry. Bessen also provides data that brings into question the value of patents to startup software firms and examines changes in the probability that a software patent will be involved in litigation during the first four years of its patent life.

Richard Waters, a longtime Microsoft apologist from the Financial Times, tries to dare Google into entering the patent wars (rather than abolishing those patents). For Google, any attempt to enter these wars would be foolish as it starts almost from 0. To provide some new numbers from this week’s news:

During the earnings call after Google announced their Q2 2011 earnings today, a question was asked about the patent issues surrounding Google right now. Specifically, Android is under assault from Oracle as well as Microsoft and Apple. This is happening because Google only has roughly 700 patents, and they recently lost a bid to gain Nortel’s 6,000+ patents — with those going to, who else, Microsoft and Apple, among others. So what is Google going to do?

We have urged Google many times before to just put back the money it makes from everyone into defending everyone. Google can help everyone by putting an end to software patents, or at least trying to. The public would participate.

“We have urged Google many times before to just put back the money it makes from everyone into defending everyone.”It is not too late for Google to reform the system and if it fails to do so things might get worse because Microsoft is likely going to send its mole in Nokia to attack Android phone makers (although not only Android is affected) after Nokia did this to Apple. Nokia and Apple are both part of the cartel, and both have been helping MPEG-LA. Watch what Apple is doing thanks to the incompetence of the USPTO: “Apple’s policy of trying to claim the patents for as many Android features as possible has continued with the blessing of the US Patent Office.

“Jobs’ Mob is unhappy that it is losing market share to Android and appears to be applying for as many patents as possible to patent troll the operating system out of the market.

“What is alarming is thanks to the vagaries of the US Patent system it appears to be getting away with it.

“Yesterday the US Patent and Trademark office gave Apple a patent which covers that nifty way that smartphones can turn from a portrait to a landscape by turning.”

“Losing Apple Wants To Ban Competitors,” says Muktware, which furthermore states that the “Court Questions Oracle’s Damage Reports” (Oracle is close to Apple, via the CEOs):

Software patent troll Microsoft’s PR machine is pumping as much mis-information as it can, oracling Oracle’s victory in Android court case. The reality is, Oracle is facing one after other set-backs in the case. After USPTO’s rejection of a majority of Oracle’s patents, the court refused to buy Iain Cockburn’s report and asked both parties (Google and Oracle) to name two experts to verify damages.

The reason Techrights can no longer concentrate on Novell and Microsoft in isolation is that there is a big problem behind all of these embodiments and to personify the problem made sense until some time last year when Oracle and Apple both attacked Android, showing their willingness to derail competition in truly nefarious ways. Google ought to know what the permanent solution will be; it’s not about winning a case here and there or even invalidating a patent here and there. Google needs to end all software patents in one fell swoop. The USPTO has lost the plot, as we shall show in a later post.

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. Links 22/1/2022: Skrooge 2.27.0 and Ray-Tracing Stuff

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 21, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, January 21, 2022



  3. Peak Code — Part II: Lost Source

    "Debian and Mozilla played along. They were made “Yeoman Freeholders” in return for rewriting their charters to “work closely with the new Ministry in the interests of all stakeholders” – or some-such vacuous spout… because no one remembers… after that it started."



  4. Links 22/1/2022: Ubuntu MATE 21.10 for GPD Pocket 3, MINISFORUM Preloads GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  5. Computer Users Should be Operators, But Instead They're Being Operated by Vendors and Governments

    Computers have been turned into hostile black boxes (unlike Blackbox) that distrust the person who purchased them; moreover, from a legislative point of view, encryption (i.e. computer security) is perceived and treated by governments like a threat instead of something imperative — a necessity for society’s empowerment (privacy is about control and people in positions of unjust power want total and complete control)



  6. Peak Code — Part I: Before the Wars

    Article/series by Dr. Andy Farnell: "in the period between 1960 and 2060 people had mistaken what they called "The Internet" for a communications system, when it had in fact been an Ideal and a Battleground all along - the site of the 100 years info-war."



  7. Links 21/1/2022: RISC-V Development Board and Rust 1.58.1

    Links for the day



  8. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 20, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 20, 2022



  9. Gemini Lets You Control the Presentation Layer to Suit Your Own Needs

    In Gemini (or the Web as seen through Gemini clients such as Kristall) the user comes first; it's not sites/capsules that tell the user how pages are presented/rendered, as they decide only on structural/semantic aspects



  10. The Future of Techrights

    Futures are difficult to predict, but our general vision for the years ahead revolves around more community involvement and less (none or decreased) reliance on third parties, especially monopolistic corporations, mostly because they oppress the population via the network and via electronic devices



  11. [Meme] UPC for CJEU

    When you do illegal things and knowingly break the law to get started with a “legal” system you know it’ll end up in tears… or the CJEU



  12. Links 20/1/2022: 'Pluton' Pushback and Red Hat Satellite 6.10.2

    Links for the day



  13. The Web is a Corporate Misinformation/Disinformation Platform, Biased Against Communities, Facts, and Science

    Misinformation/disinformation in so-called 'news' sites is a pandemic which spreads; in the process, the founder of GNU/Linux gets defamed and GNU/Linux itself is described as the problem, not the solution to the actual problems



  14. Links 20/1/2022: McKinsey Openwashing and Stable Kernels

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 19, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 19, 2022



  16. Links 20/1/2022: Linuxfx 11.1 WxDesktop 11.0.3 and FreeIPMI 1.6.9 Released

    Links for the day



  17. Links 19/1/2022: XWayland 22.1 RC1 and OnlyOffice 7.0 Release

    Links for the day



  18. Links 19/1/2022: ArchLabs 2022.01.18 and KDE's 15-Minute Bug Initiative

    Links for the day



  19. When Twitter Protects Abusers and Abuse (and Twitter's Sponsors)

    Twitter is an out-of-control censorship machine and it should be treated accordingly even by those who merely "read" or "follow" Twitter accounts; Twitter is a filter, not a news/media platform or even means of communication



  20. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 18, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 18, 2022



  21. Links 19/1/2022: Wine 7.x Era Begins and Istio 1.12.2 is Out

    Links for the day



  22. Another Video IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    It seems very much possible that IBM (or someone close to IBM) is trying to purge me from Twitter, so let’s examine what they may be trying to distract from. As we put it 2 years ago, "Watson" is a lot more offensive than those supposedly offensive words IBM is working to purge; think about those hundreds of Red Hat workers who are black and were never told about ethnic purges of blacks facilitated by IBM (their new boss).



  23. What IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    Let's 'Streisand it'...



  24. Good News, Bad News (and Back to Normal)

    When many services are reliant on the integrity of a single, very tiny MicroSD card you're only moments away from 2 days of intensive labour (recovery, investigation, migration, and further coding); we've learned our lessons and took advantage of this incident to upgrade the operating system, double the storage space, even improve the code slightly (for compatibility with newer systems)



  25. Someone Is Very Desperate to Knock My Account Off Twitter

    Many reports against me — some successful — are putting my free speech (and factual statements) at risk



  26. Links 18/1/2022: Deepin 20.4 and Qubes OS 4.1.0 RC4

    Links for the day



  27. Links 18/1/2022: GNOME 42 Alpha and KStars 3.5.7

    Links for the day



  28. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 17, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 17, 2022



  29. Links 17/1/2022: More Microsoft-Connected FUD Against Linux as Its Share Continues to Fall

    Links for the day



  30. The GUI Challenge

    The latest article from Andy concerns the Command Line Challenge


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