01.10.13

Gemini version available ♊︎

FRAND Quite Likely the First Casualty at USPTO, Not Patents (Directly)

Posted in Patents at 6:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The US Department of Justice takes on FRAND, but systemic patent problems endure

The monopolists’ offices celebrate patent monopolies wherever they may be. Their business of monopoly grants benefits a lot when nations compete over who has more monopolies on more ideas. It’s nothing to do with the public benefiting; the contrary is true when it comes to the public. The EPO too is part of the problem and The Greens funded a group to show this:

In December 2012, M∙CAM, Inc. was tasked by The Greens|EFA in the European Parliament to analyze, on a preliminary basis, certain outputs of the European Patent Office (EPO) that may be problematic in the context of the patentability standards of the European Patent Convention (EPC), Articles 52 and 53. To do so, M∙CAM aggregated a total of 482,102 patent issuances from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in eighteen selected US classification codes, and determined if European equivalents for any of those documents existed.

The duplicates are not a problem for patent offices because the offices around the world gain more money from duplicate applications, irrespective of whether they are accepted or not. Watch the USPTO getting excited about patents sum rather than quality. “The patent system is busted,” says this new article about attempts by USPTO to legitimise software patents as a concept.

Another news site says: “The US Patent and Trademark Office wants to fix the horribly broken US patent system as it pertains to software and the agency is asking for help from the public.”

It already knows what is broken and what the public wants. With strong public (and at times corporate) backlash we can help change things, but changes will be made from within. It’s corporate backlash that antagonises patents in standards, for example, leading to real changes as we’ll show later. Masnick says “Congress So Dysfunctional, It Can’t Even Fix The Errors It ADMITS It Made In Patent Reform” and he also criticises USPTO by writing that “US Patent Office Seeking ‘Partnership’ With Software Community, Hoping To ‘Enhance Quality Of Software Patents’” (also covered in light of motives).

Another class of controversial patents is all about profit disguised as benefit like feeding poor people. Here is Masnick’s response to this:

he Main Problem With Patented GM Food Is The Patent, Not The Fact That It’s GM

[...]

Initially, Monsanto and Pioneer asked to license the gene, but then lost interest for some reason. So eventually Dr Ronald made the GM rice freely available to developing countries, thus allowing them to exploit it for their peoples’ benefit without needing to pay.

Seeding the market with patents, not just metaphorically speaking, is now Monsanto’s business model, aided in part by the Gates Foundation. Going back to the issue of patents in standards, i.e. patents that are requiring payments from anyone wishing to comply with standards, the DOJ/FTC’s action addresses them while Microsoft shows its hypocrisy in a biased Seattle court with ITC (USPTO border enforcement facility) bans being used to sanction import of Android devices. There is a step in right direction as US DOJ steps in to impede FRAND:

The Department of Justice and the US Patent and Trademark Office sent a policy statement [PDF] today, suggesting that the International Trade Commission or ITC back away from enforcing “exclusion orders,” which can kick a product off the US market in cases involving standards-based patents.

It’s an important issue which just came up last week when the Federal Trade Commission closed its 19-month investigation of Google over antitrust issues. A variety of corporate patent battles have been moved to the ITC recently, including some of the biggest struggles over smartphones.

In closing that investigation, the FTC said that Google shouldn’t ask for exclusion orders or injunctions on its standards-based patents.

Andy Updegrove wrote about this as well:

Yesterday the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) and the U.S. Patent Trademark Office (USPTO) united in issuing a rare joint policy statement on Remedies for Standards-Essential Patents Subject to Voluntary F/RAND Commitments. As the title suggests, the policy focuses on those patent claims that would be necessarily infringed by the implementation of a standard (so-called standards essential patents, or “SEPs”), where the owner of the claims has pledged to make the claims available on “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” (or “F/RAND”) terms. More specifically, the policy statement addresses the question of whether, and if so when, the owner of SEPs should be entitled to ask the International Trade Commission (ITC) for an injunction to bar the importation of products implementing the standard in question.

Until recently, the ITC rarely found itself in the limelight, as its purpose is to protect U.S. markets from unfair inroads by foreign commercial interests. One way it can do so is to protect the owners of U.S. patents from unauthorized foreign vendors when they seek to sell products into the U.S. that would infringe the U.S. patents. In such a case, the ITC has the poser to bar the importation of the goods until such time, if ever, as the vendor has acquired a patent license from the owner of the infringed patent claims on terms satisfactory to the owner.

Carlo Piana wrote an article about altogether stopping those patents and his strong opening goes like this:

“Patents are here to stay.” This is the sort of statement that makes me uneasy. I guess in the 17th century the common wisdom was “slavery is here to stay.” In the 18th century giving voting rights to women seemed absurd and foreseeing open borders between France and German was crazy talk in 1945. At a certain point, fortunately, those things changed for the better. Is it time to change the common wisdom on patents as well? Is the time ripe—will it ever be?—to utter the frightening word abolition? I do not have the privilege to know the answer, but I regard the question as a legitimate one. According to some patent experts, however, questioning the very existence of patents seems blasphemous.

In an increasingly-degrading system integrity that’s designed to just suit corporations (like the USPTO does) we ought to expect no real reform, not without some major intervention. Officials who assassinate people against the principle of due process (including their own citizens), torture people and not releasing them when they are found innocent (abroad in order to dodge laws), and use secret services to crush protests against bankers are clearly corrupted by power. At home, FISA is passed to spy on domestic folks, NDAA allows the citizens to to be assassinated, tortured, and be indefinitely detained. So the software patents issue is part of a systemic issue. Here we have another case of ITC going Rambo for some parasite with patents:

InterDigital, known for owning a number of patents related to wireless products, has filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission against several technology firms.

Claiming they infringed seven of its patents, InterDigital has requested the ITC apply a ban on the U.S. import of products created by Samsung, Nokia, ZTE and Huawei.

With many rogue patents from giants like Sony [1, 2] and Microsoft we just know that things won’t improve. Nothing will change unless legal action by the likes of the DOJ is taken. So the news about FRAND being challenged is a step in the right direction.

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. The Demonisation and Stereotyping of Coders Not Working for Big Corporations (or 'The System')

    The war on encrypted communication (or secure communications) carries on despite a lack of evidence that encryption stands in the way of crime investigations (most criminals use none of it)



  2. On the 'Peak Hacker' Series

    Hacker culture, unlike Ludditism, is ultimately a movement for justice, for equality, and for human rights through personal and collective emancipation; Dr. Farnell has done a good job explaining where we stand and his splendid series has come to a close



  3. Links 23/1/2022: First RC of Linux 5.17 and Sway 1.7 Released

    Links for the day



  4. Peak Code — Part III: After Code

    "Surveillance perimeters, smart TVs (Telescreens built to Orwell's original blueprint) watched over our living rooms. Mandatory smart everything kept us 'trustless'. Safe search, safe thoughts. We withdrew. Inside, we went quietly mad."



  5. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 22, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 22, 2022



  6. Links 23/1/2022: MongoDB 5.2, BuddyPress 10.0.0, and GNU Parallel 20220122

    Links for the day



  7. A Parade of Fake News About the UPC Does Not Change the General Consensus or the Simple Facts

    European Patents (EPs) from the EPO are granted in violation of the EPC; Courts are now targeted by António Campinos and the minions he associates with (mostly parasitic litigation firms and monopolists), for they want puppets for “judges” and for invalid patents to be magically rendered “valid” and “enforceable”



  8. Welcome to 2022: Intentional Lies Are 'Benefits' and 'Alternative Facts'

    A crooks-run EPO, together with the patent litigation cabal that we’ve dubbed ‘Team UPC’ (it has nothing to do with science or with innovation), is spreading tons of misinformation; the lies are designed to make the law-breaking seem OK, knowing that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos are practically above the law, so perjury as well as gross violations of the EPC and constitutions won’t scare them (prosecution as deterrence just isn’t there, which is another inherent problem with the UPC)



  9. From Software Eating the World to the Pentagon Eating All the Software

    “Software is eating the world,” according to Marc Andreessen (co-founder of Netscape), but the Empire Strikes Back (not the movie, the actual empire) by hijacking all code by proxy, via Microsoft, just as it grabbed a lot of the world’s communications via Skype, bypassing the world's many national telecoms; coders need to fight back rather than participate in racist (imperial) shams such as GitHub



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

    Links for the day



  11. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 21, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, January 21, 2022



  12. 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."



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

    Links for the day



  14. 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)



  15. 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."



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

    Links for the day



  17. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 20, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 20, 2022



  18. 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



  19. 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



  20. [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



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

    Links for the day



  22. 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



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

    Links for the day



  24. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 19, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 19, 2022



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  28. 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



  29. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 18, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 18, 2022



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

    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