01.13.14

Patents Roundup: Bogus Solution to the Problem FOSS Faces and More Litigation via Proxies

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Patents at 1:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rockstar Consortium

Summary: A quick look at some recent patent news and what we can lean from it

THE truth of the matter is that we have, for the most part, neglected patent news for quite a while. It’s not because this matters less now. Patents have become a hot topic in FOSS . Entire sessions in FOSS events are dedicated to this topic [1] and it seems like not only trolls are an issue; patents continue to be devoured by large companies [2]. There is no simple solution to it. OIN can defend from large companies with patents, but not from their troll proxies. DPL is another rather pointless ‘solution’, or a distraction even.

We previously criticised the DPL, which was favoured by people on Microsoft’s payroll. And although this new milestone is celebrated Glyn Moody says it is not of much use and he explains why: “few entities in the club to start with mean that few patents are made available on an royalty-free basis, and so there’s little incentive for more entities to join. Still, it’s nice to see people thinking innovatively in this space as we work towards the ultimate goal of full abolition of software patents everywhere.”

Patents on software are increasingly becoming a problem in standards too. Intel uses UEFI to advance its patent monopolies, Microsoft has been bribing people to vote for OOXML, which is also a patent trap, and both Apple and Microsoft prop up MPEG-LA, which uses standards bodies as a Trojan horse. There is a new article about this practice [3] of using standards as traps. IBM’s Rob Weir, the main force behind ODF over there, has some strong words also [4]. Some standards seem to be more useful for surveillance [5] than for anything else. Standards on their own are not enough; we need software freedom and annulment of software patents.

Last but not least, recall how Microsoft, Blackberry (close to Microsoft) and Apple created a bogus ‘consortium’ to attack Android/Linux. As Christine Hall put it the other day: “In light of their association with the Rockstar Consortium, we already knew that Blackberry was trolling by proxy. Now it appears as if they’re doing a little patent trolling on their own. On January 3 the Canadian firm announced they had filed a patent infringement suite against Typo Products LLC, a company co-founded by “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest. Typo has been taking pre-orders for a keyboard that can be attached to some iPhone models.

“Blackberry, which ruled the smartphone market as recently as five years ago, has fallen on hard times. By most accounts, their phones now lag behind even Microsoft in sales. However, they retain a core customer base of users who prefer a physical keyboard. Evidently the device being marketed by Typo utilizes angled keys that are similar to those found on Blackberry devices.

“The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the northern district of California.”

Android too is one of the targets, meaning that Apple uses a proxy to distort the market along with Microsoft. Over at ZDNet, the Apple boosters pretend Apple is peaceful when it comes to patents — a ludicrous claim which could not be further from the truth (Jobs wanted to go “thermonuclear”). Apple is just unable to get its way, so it’s bailing out.

The bottom line is, patents continues to be a major headache and potentially the sole barrier to FOSS adoption everywhere. Microsoft’s and Apple’s advocacy (and lobbying for) of FRAND proves it.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Legal and policy issues devroom
  2. Nintendo picks up patent portfolio from defunct ‘exergaming’ company IA Labs
  3. Open Standards in Computing: Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

    How companies undermine open standards to advance their own agendas, obscure information, and enforce their patents.

  4. The New Technology Consumers

    I see open source and open standards activists in a similar way. Many consumers care not only in the direct good they receive from technology, but also in how that good was generated, whether from exploitative sweat labor, whether from environmentally invasive methods, and yes, whether by perpetuating software monopolies or damaging the ecosystem of open source and open standards.

  5. Semantic Web Business: Going Nowhere Slowly

    I’ve been a semantic web skeptic for years. SemWeb is a narrowly purposed replica of a subset of the World Wide Web. It’s useful for information enrichment in certain domains, via a circumscribed set of tools. However, the SemWeb offers a vanishingly small benefit to the vast majority of businesses. The vision persists but is unachievable; the business reality of SemWeb is going pretty much nowhere.

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/2014/01/13/recent-patent-news/

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. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, June 13, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, June 13, 2021



  2. Virtual Injustice -- Part 6: Best Buddies With António

    Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos, and the Hungarian link of the EPO



  3. Classic: Old EPO Strike

    2008 EPO video, predating the Benoît Battistelli EPO regime



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

    Links for the day



  5. 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)."



  6. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 12, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, June 12, 2021



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

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



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

    Links for the day



  9. 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



  10. 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



  11. 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



  12. 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?



  13. [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)



  14. IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 11, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, June 11, 2021



  15. 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



  16. 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



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

    Links for the day



  18. New Introduction at Gemini

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



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

    Links for the day



  20. 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.



  21. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 10, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, June 10, 2021



  22. 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



  23. 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



  24. 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



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

    Links for the day



  26. 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.



  27. 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



  28. 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)



  29. [Meme] Lord Justice Sir

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



  30. 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)


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