06.01.13

Patent Lawyers Fight to Keep and Facilitate Software Patents Worldwide, Using Misinterpretation, Distraction, and Loopholes

Posted in Patents at 9:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Court

Summary: Why reform addressing patent scope is becoming ever more elusive and who is responsible for this

With software patents in New Zealand not entirely dead yet, some lawyers in the London-based pro-software patents blog try to promote the notion of software patenting, as always. “It all comes out in the wash: New Zealand grapples with computer programs ‘as such’” says the headline. To quote the lawyers’ echo chamber, “[t]his means that a computer program will not be a patentable invention if the sole inventive feature is that it is a computer program, explain Simpson Grierson. It will, though, be possible to obtain a patent for a computer program if the invention’s contribution lies outside of the computer, or if the contribution affects the computer itself but is not dependent on the type of data being processed or the particular application being used.”

Why is this relevant? They lobbied for something similar (“as such”) to enable or facilitate software patents in Europe. It’s becoming a trending topic again. Matthias Kirschner of the FSFE says that “[o]ut of 58 innovations of the most important software innovations only 5 may be subject to patents,” based on a recent paper. He wrote some articles on the subject of software patents recently (those are in German though). He also noted that “#Google gets some more time in the #swpat fight with #Microsoft [link to Microsoft Florian omitted] When will this patent insanity stop?” Maybe when we start identifying where this mess comes from and start getting more active.

Watch another lawyers’ Web site promoting software patents this week, citing David Kappos. They are providing ammunition to overzealous lawyers who keep (even this week) discrediting progress. The microcosm of lawyers continues to discredit those who claim CAFC put software patents in a dark alley, as evidenced here. It is important to recognise that patent lawyers are doing this, knowingly impeding progress.

James Love wrote the other day that “The ideology around patents is so strong that people tolerate extreme inequalities of access to cancer drugs, and access-related deaths.”

These debates are usually dominated by clueless bureaucrats and lawyers (often the same group). Pamela Jones, a paralegal, says that “Finally, Computer Scientists Speak” in the biggest case over Android. She writes: “An amazing collection of the leading computer scientists in the world have joined together to stand with Google and against Oracle in the Oracle v. Google appeal about APIs, and they ask the court to affirm Judge William Alsup’s decision that the Java APIs are not copyrightable. It’s in an amicus brief [PDF] that EFF has just filed.”

Josh Mendelsohn says Public Radio International (PRI) is to “revisit software patents this weekend” in this show, but it seems to involve EFF lawyers who focus on trolls and not software patents like they promised they would. We shall see. We have already criticised the EFF for this. “No mention of the problem patent(s),” says iophk about the latest EFF action (about podcasting). “Also, fighting the patents one at a time is just playing expensive whack-a-mole at $4,000,000 a hit. Better to concentrate the effort on eliminating software patents, that’s a one-time investment, not a subscription activity” (prior to this, the EFF ran the futile patent busting endevaour — a one-by-one effort).

iophk is right. The EFF is just feeding lawyers in a trial and it’s usually lawyers who write for them on this topic, serving as a bit of a distraction.

The real problem with patents is not trolls. Some trolls, such as MPEG-LA, act as a proxy for giants like Apple and Microsoft, doing this for many years despite complaints to the government.

The problem is software patents, which MPEG-LA is all about. To give another infamous example, consider the caller ID patent and its impact. Like podcasting and multimedia patents, it is a software patent.

Lawyers may deliberately lead us down the road of pseudo reform that would achieve too little and legitimise so much of the status quo. Here is another new post which focuses on trolls rather than patent scope. It says: “Retailers are finally fighting back against so-called patent trolls, firms that buy patents and then threaten retailers to get whatever licensing fees they can. These firms generally don’t want to go to court. They’d rather send letters and make a nice living from the checks of chains that can’t be bothered to fight.”

These retails are almost always hit by software patents. The fact that the holders are patent trolls is not so relevant.

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/2013/06/01/misinterpretation-distraction-and-loopholes/

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. Classic: Old EPO Strike

    2008 EPO video, predating the Benoît Battistelli EPO regime



  2. Links 13/6/2021: Linux 5.14 Work, Lots of Patent News

    Links for the day



  3. Update on Gemini, IPFS, and IRC

    "The video which was supposed to be a few minutes long ended up taking a lot longer, but it does cover a broad range of topics that are relevant and very recent (based on recent developments)."



  4. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 12, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, June 12, 2021



  5. Virtual Injustice -- Part 5: Benoît's “Friends” in Budapest

    "Battistelli went to considerable lengths to secure the support of the Hungarian delegation."



  6. Links 13/6/2021: KDE Frameworks 5.83.0 and helloSystem 0.5

    Links for the day



  7. The Story of Techrights, in Banners...

    A look back at site banners from 2006-2021; they help illuminate or show our changing focus over the years



  8. With KDE Plasma 5.22 Having Just Been Released It's Time to Give KDE a Try (or Move to GNU/Linux, Leveraging the Best Features of Any Operating System Out There)

    A quick recommendation of KDE based on a reasonably recent (but not latest) build; there's this myth about KDE being difficult and flaky, but for a number of decades it has been the most advanced desktop (on any operating system) and its developers managed to hide the complexity while offering users all the power they may want/need



  9. Open Letter to the FSF About Taking Control of the FSF's (and GNU's) IRC Channels

    The FSF should have seized the opportunity, in light of self-harming IRC infighting (instability and unpredictability), to create its own IRC network and then help this new (or "GNU") network flourish



  10. EU Already Captured by -- and Lying for -- Corrupt EPO Officials, Team UPC, and Lobbyists of Multinational Corporations

    12 pages of lies; is the European Parliament reduced to a mere marionette of corrupt officials who run the EPO into the ground?



  11. [Meme] Virtual Code of Conduct (ViCoC)

    Cheapening of basic concepts and principles like "right to be heard" or "access to justice" is an international trend; we need to push back in the direction of justice, not fake 'innovation' or 'tech' (where it clearly does not belong)



  12. IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 11, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, June 11, 2021



  13. Virtual Injustice -- Part 4: Mihály Ficsor, the EPO's Hungarian “Fixer”

    One key operative of António Campinos, who is fiercely in favour of software patents, has quite a colourful past and background



  14. Conversation With Richard Stallman in Brazil, May 31st 2021

    At the end of last month Richard Stallman had a 2-hour (and beyond, considering some of the afterthoughts) conversation, which is now available online



  15. Links 11/6/2021: Nginx Rising and SteamPal Rumours

    Links for the day



  16. New Introduction at Gemini

    As part of ongoing improvements to our capsule we have a new introductory text, reproduced below



  17. Links 11/6/2021: A Torvalds COVID Rant and RISC-V Risk of Takeover

    Links for the day



  18. Petition Against Richard Stallman Continues Losing Signatures, Open Letter of Support Reaches 6,750 Signatures

    The latest (if not last) person to garden the anti-RMS petition is an IBM employee. As has been the case for months. Another removal. IBM has a grudge against GNU's founder and by extension the FSF (they want the FSF to be a slave of IBM, just like the Linux Foundation is; we last covered this a day ago). “An open letter in support of Richard Matthew Stallman being reinstated by the Free Software Foundation” has meanwhile reached 6,750 signatures and that number grows by about 50 every 3-4 weeks, so it’s reasonable to expect 7,000 by year’s end. The anti-RMS petition may fall below 3,000.



  19. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 10, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, June 10, 2021



  20. Virtual Injustice -- Part 3: All the President's Men…

    Benoît Battistelli‘s army of minions, combined with former colleagues of António Campinos, team up to participate in the legal fudge of the EPO



  21. EPO ‘ViCo’ Prior Art (or ViCo Going Back to the 1980s)

    A previous post (video from yesterday) gave examples of prior art from the early/ier 1990s, debunking the EPO’s foolish and irrational embrace of this notion that so-called ‘ViCo’ is so absolutely incredible (we’ve kept talking, e.g. in many prior videos, about how the only real ‘innovation’ was connection speeds); MinceR recalls that “when UMTS (“3G”) was new, video calls on mobile was the feature that was supposed to sell the technology” and in the mid-80s you could already see who you spoke to (almost) in real time



  22. The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Needs to Get Its Act Together on the EPO's GDPR Violations

    EU authorities aren't keeping abreast of EPO abuses; as a result, people's basic rights and fundamental sense of dignity erode, with impunity resulting in passage of massive piles of data to foreign corporations and governments that engage in industrial and political espionage



  23. Links 10/6/2021: Raspberry Digital Signage 15.0, NVIDIA Driver 470

    Links for the day



  24. EPO 'ViCo' Prior Art (~30 Years Ago): Barely Innovative at All

    Debunking the EPO‘s Big Lie that ViCo is some sort of incredible and innovative thing that must therefore be embraced fully; the missing ingredient was fast network connections, so there’s no excuse for EPO claiming that we must embrace such stuff irrespective of the law, constitutions etc.



  25. Improvements in the Techrights Gemini Capsule

    Further improvements are being made to our Gemini capsule, which contains all the latest stories sans the graphics; it now has a total of 35,820 pages



  26. Linux Foundation is a Foundation of Mass Surveillance

    Whatever the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation touches turns to dust; they’re already killed the site known as Linux.com and now they scatter the “Linux” brand to the wind (in pursuit of misbranding cash)



  27. [Meme] Lord Justice Sir

    Inspired by an old Internet joke, we present the state of EPO 'justice'



  28. The EPO's Lack of Objective Legal System is No Laughing Matter

    The array of abuses committed by António Campinos and his EPO minions (people who meddle in legal affairs) is mentioned in this new video; we focus on what was shown this morning, i.e. in Part 2 of an ongoing series (to last two more weeks)



  29. Virtual Injustice -- Part 2: The ViCo Oral Proceedings of 28 May 2021

    More than half a day of theatrics and stonewalling by the EBA may have done a damage so enormous to the EBA's credibility that irrespective of the final outcome the case is already seen as compromised



  30. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, June 09, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, June 09, 2021


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