07.20.12

Perspectives on the USPTO and Software Patents

Posted in Patents at 3:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Companies caught in a mess

Summary: News about the legal system, patent trolls, and problematic bias in the legal circles

JUST when we thought that the USPTO had hit rock bottom it continued to surprise us with existence-threatening lawsuits and embargoes. Judge Posner, who oversaw a case incorporating both aspects, got a lot of exposure after the Reuters report that had him quoted widely as saying that, based on resultant coverage, patents should not cover software and maybe it’s time for reform in the broken patent system because it is out of sync.

“Those who criticise campaigns to abolish software patents are most often patent lawyers…”Ed Burnette complains about the current patent system as well, particularly in light of some propaganda from his colleague “Steven Shaw [who] used to be a litigation attorney at Cravath, Swaine &gMoore, a New York law firm” (how telling). His multi-part propaganda [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] helps show that it’s patent lawyers who want software patents, not practising folks such as technical writers.

Those who criticise campaigns to abolish software patents are most often patent lawyers, this particular example being some legal blog that claims to “explore the nexus of legal rulings”. Some announcements like this one reveal that, at least in this case, a recruit “focuses his intellectual property practice on patents” (the most controversial form of so-called ‘IP’).

Here is the hoarding of patents and accumulation of new ones, as in this case. A lot are explicitly covering software because it is legal in the US.

A “UK Computer Software Law Firm” is advertising itself in the context of patents as well, exemplifying the ambitions of UK-based lawyers to make software patentable in the UK as well. To quote: “Patent and trade mark attorney Franks and Co has been named UK Computer Software Law Firm of the Year by Corporate INTL Magazine.”

The startup parents propaganda which we wrote about recently is being challenged by some data and as hideous patents are being granted we are also reminded of their toll on society.

Acacia, a patent troll, has just extorted MathWorks, which might make some software like MATLAB more expensive (passage of wealth from non-trolls to trolls).

“Acacia, a patent troll, has just extorted MathWorks, which might make some software like MATLAB more expensive (passage of wealth from non-trolls to trolls).”Here is a new report about the impact of patents on society as a whole. To quote: “A patent is an easy way to make money, but these days not so much for inventing things but inventing concepts to patent. To make money from them, usually someone has to get sued. The process involves a considerable amount of money, starting with paying lawyers, paying court costs, paying for transport, hotels, meals, and so on. All these things add up and they account for every cent as to what a trial would and does cost. [...] Judge Richard Posner, who ruled upon a patent dispute between Apple and Motorola, called Apple’s filling “frivolous”. The man has got some character to be able to stand up to Apple, and we have to applaud him to having the courage to do so.”

The only cases where we see the press advocating software patents (and sometimes patents as a whole) is when the writer is part of the patent litigation pipeline. It has become clear what the public wants, but private interest groups continue to distort policy.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2012/07/20/uspto-and-software-patents/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. [Meme] Bill Says, Bill Saves

    Bill Gates seems more likely to be indicted than to win a presidential election/term



  2. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 09, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 09, 2021



  3. According to the Wall Street Journal, Bill Gates’s Relationship with Jeffrey Epstein Caused the Bill-Melinda Divorce (While the Media Deflected to Dr. Stallman, Using a Phony 'Scandal')

    It’s becoming rather obvious that there’s real substance to accusations that Mr. Gates was in some sense enabling Jeffrey Epstein; while Gates-funded media told us that he was saving us from climate change and a pandemic (PR stunts for empathy and sympathy) Melinda worked really hard to distance herself from him, the father of her kids



  4. [Meme] Bill, What's Your Opinion?

    While it's ludicrous to insinuate that Mr. Gates somehow "started" COVID-19 he certainly "rode the wave" for reputation laundering purposes, profit, and distraction from scandals that precede the epidemic in China (and caused his marriage to break down)



  5. Links 10/5/2021: SystemRescueCD 8.03, KeePass 2.48 Released

    Links for the day



  6. How We Process and Upload Videos Hosted in Techrights

    With ffmpeg as the Swiss army knife (and various other utilities/programs ‘in between’) it’s possible to automate much of the pipeline associated with video production and self-hosting



  7. Richard Stallman's Free Software Speech in 2020 (FSF Turning 35)

    We've re-encoded (as WebM) the likely sole/only speech Richard Stallman gave about his movement last year; today seems like a suitable time to republish it because tomorrow a British university/group will replatform him (to use their term)



  8. The Chaos Theory

    Making GNU/Linux less stable and less predictable isn't good for GNU/Linux users; but it certainly helps sell Red Hat support contracts and vexation inside the community weakens Red Hat's competitors



  9. Gemini and Techrights: Still Growing in Gemini Space and Always Supporting/Loving the Protocol

    As we continue to expand in Gemini space (where our very large site became a very large and likely the largest capsule) it's worth explaining some of the overlooked merits of the protocol; unlike the World Wide Web (WWW) it does not impose things on the user/visitor, who is more or less in charge



  10. Links 9/5/2021: KDE Frameworks 5.82.0 Release and Patents Related to COVID Subjected to Waivers

    Links for the day



  11. Act More 'Professional' to Appease Mobs

    We should all think alike, dress alike, and like everybody (especially the business overlords)



  12. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 08, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, May 08, 2021



  13. Some Background on the Free Speech Society at the University of Buckingham, Where Richard Stallman is Being 'Replatformed'

    A private British university, the University of Buckingham, will 'host' (virtually) the most-defamed person in the Free software world; the Free Speech Society is only two years old and rationality for its existence is explained by its co-founder James Oliver



  14. Web Sites or News Sites Perish When Their Arguments Are Weak and/or Invalid

    "Just be honest!" is a simple motto for any site; but some sites sell out in pursuit of money or grandiosity, unlike us (we turned 14.5 years old on Friday)



  15. GNU/Linux Turns 38 (in 4 Months From Now)

    Contrary to what the Linux Foundation wants you to think, the operating system turns 38 later this year



  16. Richard Stallman: Steve Jobs Did Some Very Bad Things

    Dr. Richard Stallman told me about Steve Jobs that he had helped digitally imprison computer users



  17. GNU/Linux Founder Richard Stallman to Give a Talk at the University of Buckingham Tomorrow (Live Stream)

    Tomorrow it will be possible to watch this new talk live using Free software



  18. Then We Take Berlin...

    Homage to EPO, based in Munich and Berlin (and defended by the government in Berlin)



  19. The Right to Assemble, Fundamental Rights of Ownership, and Many Other Rights Are Under Attack

    Techrights will be dealing a lot more with erosion of what people have come to assume were “rights” (real rights, such as human rights, labour rights, not copy “rights” or patent “rights”); when rights are reduced to rubble the long-term consequences are severe, shows history



  20. TechBytes Episode 91: End of Privacy and End of Windows 10X

    Tim and Roy produce their 2nd audiocast since TechBytes returned



  21. The Cancel Song

    People who work for (or receive funding from) Nazi-associated IBM are still trying to turn the work/legacy of Richard Stallman (RMS) into dust/ashes



  22. Pro-Software Freedom Advocates and Free/Libre Software Supporters Face Barriers Due to Domination of Communication Channels (Beyond the Media)

    A carefully-checked assessment of an overlooked aspect surrounding the 'cancel mob', which incites and brainwashes people based on lies; there's an attempt to control channels of communication (e.g. Open and Free Technology Community and Freenode) and to generally suppress people who support the founder of GNU/Linux



  23. Bashing Free Software and GNU/Linux is a Terrible Business Model for Publishers

    Contrary to unflattering portrayals by hostile media that's sponsored by foes of Free software, the usage of Free software grows, even if things such as DRM and surveillance stand in the way of software freedom (which was wrongly assumed to be ushered in by Free software, irrespective of malicious features like 'telemetry')



  24. Links 8/5/2021: GIMP 2.99.6, Wine 6.8 Released

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 07, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, May 07, 2021



  26. [Meme] Outsourcing Audacity Development to Microsoft Proprietary Software and Then Copying Microsoft Tactics (and 'Telemetry')

    They've had the audacity to call it "telemetry" and pretend that surveillance companies (spying giants) cannot figure out who you are based on IP addresses



  27. Links 7/5/2021: IPFire 2.25 Core Update 156 and Diffoscope 174 Released

    Links for the day



  28. The New Microsoft? No, the New IBM.

    Microsoft GitHub and IBM: a strategic alliance between a monopolistic duo



  29. The Audacity Takeover by Muse Group is No Cause for Celebration

    Audacity is now part of an entity called Muse Group and if it doesn’t take or suck freedom out of Audacity, it will certainly deny users rather basic concepts (or anticipation) of privacy



  30. King of Linux

    If the entire operating system is being called "Linux", then we fall for a publicity or misattribution stunt


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