11.03.11

Gemini version available ♊︎

President Obama Ignores the US Population’s Plea to Abolish Software Patents (Updated)

Posted in America, Patents at 3:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Parliament protects the “special interests”, ignores the 99%

Washington

Summary: Inaction in the face of popular demand to abolish software patents, but it’s not over yet

THE other month someone initiated a petition against software patents. We did not have high hopes, but whatever the outcome, we said it would probably help prove and validate a corrupt status quo.

President Obama, a lawyer, did what we expected all along. Stefane Fermigier writes:

Obama administration responds to our petition to reform software patents wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/re… Me = not impressed.

Nobody is impressed. Here is the response from the FFII’s president (who can be more honest than the US president):

Obama ignores the Petition against software patents, issues a pro patent answer, I was expecting such answer

Here is the link to the response. It ironic that in a Drupal/GNU/Linux-powered site they just let software patents be. Shows their hypocrisy really…

Here is the massive Slashdot discussion about it. Timothy B. Lee wrote an excellent article about it:

The Obama administration has started an official petition website called “We the People,” in which Americans can propose and vote on petitions for consideration by the White House. Petitions that cross a popularity threshold (originally 5,000 signatures within 30 days) get an official response from the White House.

This being the Internet, one of the first petitions focused on software patents, asking President Obama to “direct the patent office to cease issuing software patents and to void all previously issued software patents.”

Also see the comments. It seems widely accepted that software patents must go. Consider signing the new petition if you are a US resident. The success of Free software may very well depend on this issue.

“Today many people are switching to free software for purely practical reasons. That is good, as far as it goes, but that isn’t all we need to do! Attracting users to free software is not the whole job, just the first step.”

Richard Stallman

Update: Here is a direct link to the new petition, which has started quite slowly. Well, after they spit on the population they can just claim that this population has no respect for those petitions. The patent lawyers crowd watches from a distance and the FFII’s president writes:

White House answer to the software patent petition was so bad that a new one is created, 20K signs needed in 30 days

We still find it difficult to believe that an administration run by lawyers will make the necessary amendment. But it helps show just who is really being served.

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.

5 Comments

  1. Michael said,

    November 3, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Gravatar

    FUD:

    THE other month someone initiated a petition against software patents. We did not have high hopes, but whatever the outcome, we said it would probably help prove and validate a corrupt status quo.

    No doubt, the status quo is in serious need of help. But the White House did not "validate" it. To the contrary, they acknowledge the need for reform and even spoke of the value of open source software:

    We are committed to reforming the patent system in a way that puts patent quality first and promotes innovation and competitive markets.
    It will help companies and inventors avoid costly delays and unnecessary litigation, and let them focus instead on innovation and job creation. … We will tackle a number of important questions in the coming months, and we invite you to work with us to implement the new law in the most effective way possible.
    We understand that the concern about software patents stems, in part, from concerns that overly broad patents on software-based inventions may stifle the very innovative and creative open source software development community. As an Administration, we recognize the tremendous value of open source innovation and rely on it to accomplish key missions.
    The tremendous growth of the open source and open data communities over the years, for delivery of both commercial and non-commercial services, shows that innovation can flourish in both the proprietary and open source software environments.

    If you want them to do more you need to suggest better solutions – not just whine about theirs. So what your solution – one that is more fair to up and comers while still protecting the work of the established parties. I would love to hear it – and I agree the current system sorta sucks.
    OOPS!:

    if you are a US resident. The success of Free software may very well depend on this issue.

    While open source software is important it is not the same as Free software. The FSF works to reduce choice; the open source movement does not.

  2. mcinsand said,

    November 3, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Gravatar

    If we want this changed in the US, then all of us in the US need to write our senators and congressmen. All the president can do is to cheerlead, since he only has power to approve a law, not to write/change one. Just one of the many problems is that our congress works overtime to shift blame, whether to the president or the SCOTUS. For Obama to make the change, congress needs to provide something for him to sign. As for the SCOTUS, they only interpret the laws, even though they make a convenient punching bag. Judicial ideology, left or right, can only play a role when a law is not clearly defined to leave gray areas. If we don’t like how the SCOTUS has interpreted a law, then, again, we need to be writing congressmen and senators, and we have no business whining if we haven’t written that first letter. Granted, congress wavers between incompetence and prostituting themselves to the highest bidder, so the odds are not as great as we like, but doing nothing guarantees failure.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Groklaw has a new article about this subject:

    The White House has launched a new citizen input process that allows citizens to propose and post petitions to the White House suggesting government action on issues of interest. One such petition calls for the Administration to direct the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cease issuing software patents. The White House has issued a response to the petition, and you will note that it barely responds to what the petitioners are requesting. Why? Because the White House has no direct power to do what the petition asks.

    So what has the public reaction to that response been? Why, another petition screaming even louder for the White House to do something. Right idea; wrong forum.

    We have software patents in the U.S. because Congress has essentially said that “anything under the sun made by man” is patentable. This well worn quote was provided during testimony in the consideration and adoption of the Patent Reform Act of 1952, and since then the U.S. court system has done its best to embrace that concept, giving us patents on software, business method, and the human genome. The administrative branch of our federal government had no hand in either legislating or interpreting legislation. Those activities are the purview of Congress and the Courts. The Administration can only enforce the law of the land (and on occasion, influence legislation or file an amicus brief in a court case), so our right-headed petitioners who want to rid the U.S. of software patents need to shift targets. They need to focus on Congress and the Courts.

    So what are the odds that Congress will actually ever act to revoke software patents? Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, etc., would all probably peg those odds at less than one in a googol, since Congress appears to only answer to those who fund their campaigns with massive contributions beyond the reach of average voters. It is no secret that the largest players in the information technology sector all hold large patent portfolios, and it’s a bit hard to imagine them walking away from the investment in patents willingly.

    This is pretty much why, IMHO, we need to focus very strongly on preventing software patents from spreading to other countries while the US descends into major debt (partly causes by patent trolls) that can have nations without software patents rise. In order to persuade other nations not to accept software patents we need to show them what a sordid mess the USPTO became.

    Michael Reply:

    Given the global nature of so many of these products, having rules which are at least largely the same across countries would be a big step forward.

    What those rules should be… well, here you and I both share a level of ignorance: neither of us has presented a good idea of what should be done.

    Anyone else? I am open to ideas.

    Michael Reply:

    Absolutely correct. To make a bigger impact, though, we should not just complain about the current system, as bad as it is (does anyone think otherwise)? We need to have an idea of how to make things better.

    Roy has a great platform for doing so… but he makes no comment about how to make things better. I do not fault him for that – I admit I am also at a bit of a loss on this one. The current system sucks… it protects things that should not be protected and does not protect some that should. Apple and others use the current system to try to protect that which they have innovated, but they end up focusing on minutia and not the overall system.

    It is like patenting each letter of a language and not patenting the language itself. Just silly.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 27/1/2022: Mabox Linux 21.11 Herbolth and PipeWire 0.3.44

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 26, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 26, 2022



  3. [Meme] EPO: Pursuing an Eastern and Western District of Europe (for Patent Trolls and Software Patents)

    With the EPO so flagrantly lying and paying for misinformation maybe we should expect Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos to have delusions of grandeur… such as presiding over the Eastern and Western District of Europe, just like Mr. Gilstrap and Mr. Albright (political appointment by Donald Trump, ushering in “the swamp”)



  4. Gemini at 2,000: 86% of Capsules Use Self-Signed Certificate, Just Like the Techrights Web Site (WWW)

    As shown in the charts above (updated an hour ago), the relative share of ‘Linux’ Foundation (LE/LF; same thing, same office) in the capsules’ certificates has decreased over time; more and more (in terms of proportion) capsules choose to sign their own certificate/s; the concept of ‘fake security’ (centralisation and consolidation) should be rejected universally because it leaves nobody safe except plutocrats



  5. [Meme] UPC: Many Lies as Headlines, Almost Exclusively in Publishers Sponsored by EPO and Team UPC to Produce Fake News (Lobbying Through Misinformation)

    Lest we forget that EPO dictators, like Pinky and the Brainless Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, have long littered the EPO's official Web site as well as publishers not directly connected to the EPO (but funded by it) with disinformation about the UPC



  6. EPO as the 'Ministry of Truth' of Team UPC and Special Interests

    The 'Ministry of Truth' of the patent world is turning the EPO's Web site into a propaganda mill, a misinformation farm, and a laughing stock with stock photography



  7. Microsoft 'Delighted' by Windows 11 (Vista 11) Usage, Which is Only 1% Three Months After Official Launch and Six Months After Release Online

    Microsoft boosters such as Bogdan Popa and Mark Hachman work overtime on distraction from the failure Vista 11 has been (the share of Windows continues to fall relative to other platforms)



  8. Links 27/1/2022: Preinstalled GNU/Linux (Ubuntu) and Arch Linux-Powered Steam Deck 30 Days Away

    Links for the day



  9. Don't Fall for Microsoft's Spin That Says Everything is Not Secure and Cannot be Secured

    Microsoft keeps promoting the utterly false concept that everything is not secure and there's nothing that can be done about it (hence, might as well stay with Windows, whose insecurity is even intentional)



  10. At Long Last: 2,000 Known Gemini Capsules!

    The corporate media, looking to appease its major sponsors (such as Web/advertising giants), won't tell you that Gemini Protocol is rising very rapidly; its userbase and the tools available for users are rapidly improving while more and more groups, institutions and individuals set up their own capsule (equivalent of a Web site)



  11. Links 26/1/2022: Gamebuntu 1.0, PiGear Nano, and Much More

    Links for the day



  12. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 25, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 25, 2022



  13. Links 26/1/2022: No ARM for Nvidia, End of EasyArch, and WordPress 5.9 is Out

    Links for the day



  14. Why the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is Still Just a Fantasy and the UPC's Fake News Mill Merely Discredits the Whole Patent 'Profession'

    Patents and science used to be connected; but now that the patent litigation 'sector' is hijacking patent offices (and even courts in places like Texas) it's trying to shove a Unified Patent Court (UPC) down the EU's throat under the disingenuous cover of "community" or "unity"



  15. Links 25/1/2022: Vulkan 1.3 Released, Kiwi TCMS 11.0, and antiX 19.5

    Links for the day



  16. Gemini Milestones and Growth (Almost 2,000 Known Gemini Servers Now, 39,000 Pages in Ours)

    The diaspora to Gemini Protocol or the transition to alternative 'webs' is underway; a linearly growing curve suggests that inertia/momentum is still there and we reap the benefits of early adoption of Gemini



  17. [Meme] Get Ready for Unified Patent Court (UPC) to be Taken to Court

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent system that’s crafted to empower EPO thugs isn’t legal and isn’t constitutional either; even a thousand fake news 'articles' (deliberate misinformation or disinformation) cannot change the simple facts because CJEU isn’t “trial by media”



  18. The EPO Needs High-Calibre Examiners, Not Politicians Who Pretend to Understand Patents and Science

    Examiners are meant to obstruct fake patents or reject meritless patent applications; why is it that working conditions deteriorate for those who are intellectually equipped to do the job?



  19. Free Software is Greener

    Software Freedom is the only way to properly tackle environmental perils through reuse and recycling; the mainstream media never talks about it because it wants people to "consume" more and more products



  20. Links 25/1/2022: Git 2.35 and New openSUSE Hardware

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 24, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 24, 2022



  22. Links 25/1/2022: GPL Settlement With Patrick McHardy, Godot 4.0 Alpha 1, and DXVK 1.9.4 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Proprietary Software is Pollution

    "My daughter asked me about why are we throwing away some bits of technology," Dr. Andy Farnell says. "This is my attempt to put into words for "ordinary" people what I tried to explain to a 6 year old."



  24. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XV — Cover-Up and Defamation

    Defamation of one’s victims might be another offence to add to the long list of offences committed by Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley; attempting to discredit the police report is a new low and can get Mr. Graveley even deeper in trouble (Microsoft protecting him only makes matters worse)



  25. [Meme] Alexander Ramsay and Team UPC Inciting Politicians to Break the Law and Violate Constitutions, Based on Misinformation, Fake News, and Deliberate Lies Wrapped up as 'Studies'

    The EPO‘s law-breaking leadership (Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos and their corrupt cronies), helped by liars who don't enjoy diplomatic immunity, are cooperating to undermine courts across the EU, in effect replacing them with EPO puppets who are patent maximalists (Europe’s equivalents of James Rodney Gilstrap and Alan D Albright, a Donald Trump appointee, in the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, respectively)



  26. Has the Administrative Council Belatedly Realised What Its Job in the European Patent Organisation Really Is?

    The "Mafia" which took over the EPO (the EPO's own workers call it "Mafia") isn't getting its way with a proposal, so it's preventing the states from even voting on it!



  27. [Meme] Team UPC is Celebrating a Pyrrhic Victory

    Pyrrhic victory best describes what's happening at the moment (it’s a lobbying tactic, faking/staging things to help false prophecies be fulfilled, based on hopes and wishes alone), for faking something without bothering to explain the legal basis is going to lead to further escalations and complaints (already impending)



  28. Links 24/1/2022: Scribus 1.5.8 and LXLE Reviewed

    Links for the day



  29. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 23, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 23, 2022



  30. [Meme] Team UPC Congratulating Itself

    The barrage of fake news and misinformation about the UPC deliberately leaves out all the obvious and very important facts; even the EPO‘s António Campinos and Breton (Benoît Battistelli‘s buddy) participated in the lying


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