03.10.16

A Patent Aggressor, Facebook, is Still Stockpiling Dubious Software Patents

Posted in Asia, Patents at 10:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Monopolising mass surveillance using software patents as weapons which guard its ‘turf’ (walled gardens)

Cannons

Summary: Facebook is being hailed and ridiculed for patents on software that basically data-mines the words of a population under mass surveillance

AT the start of this year we wrote about Facebook's neo-colonialist plot in India (one among many abuses), where poverty is being exploited to digitally imprison people. An article published on the 23rd of February also reminded us of software patents which are verboten in India.

“Readers should remember that Facebook applies for software patents, buys software patents, and uses them to attack companies.”India is increasingly thriving as a software powerhouse and the article’s headline was “The new Guidelines for Computer Related Inventions are a big win for FOSS in India!”

To quote the article, “India is one of the few countries which permits patenting of software – a monopolization that has only benefited established corporations and largely throttled innovation in the software industry, worldwide. CIS has consistently advocated against patentablity of software and in a major victory last week, software patenting in India died a little more. This happened via the newly issued Guidelines for the Examination of Computer Related Inventions, which introduces a new test to restrict software patenting – in essence the same legal test that CIS had been proposing since 2010. This post highlights the new test and other noteworthy changes in the Guidelines.”

Several days ago it became apparent from the media that Facebook is still patenting and also creating hype around software patents [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Among the headlines we have “Facebook Patents Software To Track and Identify New Slang Terms” and “Facebook patents new software that creates a slang dictionary”.

“Facebook is a very big part of many problems, one of which is software patents.”These are software patents. Some in the press treat them like a good thing, which is foolish. Readers should remember that Facebook applies for software patents, buys software patents, and uses them to attack companies. Facebook is an aggressive company which is still patenting software and sometimes using these patents to sue much small companies.

“Like many big tech companies,” said the article above, “Facebook files a lot of patents. But its latest one, which was granted in February, is raising a few eyebrows; it’s a piece of software that scans the social media site for emerging terms and stores them in a “social glossary.””

Well, anyone who still uses (or being used by) Facebook ought to reconsider. Facebook is a very big part of many problems, one of which is software patents.

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