EPO Management Flies Halfway Across the Globe for Photo Ops in Country With 0.02% of European Patents

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Maybe the trip (airplane journey and related fares/expenses, not to mention pollution) costs more than those patents

Malaysia European Patents
Those pluses can also be interpreted as decline in patent quality

Summary: In a desperate effort to seem like a leading and influential institution the Office goes to great lengths — even literally — to shake hands over a bunch of nothing (the Battistelli modus operandi)

“Want to know how the EPO assesses evidence?”

So said the European Patent Office (EPO) a few hours ago. If only examiners had the time required to properly do this…

As we explained earlier today, at all levels the EPO is failing to do so. It’s intentional.

António Campinos — just like Battistelli (and their friends and family, they’re like a royal family!) — do not need evidence; they just need lots and lots of patents. Even loads of fake ones. As for evidence from management itself? Well, it fabricates it, just like the so-called ‘studies’ (to justify unnecessary cuts or shutting up those who study patent quality/compliance). Sheer corruption at the very top (management) to get whatever the President wants…

“We already wrote about similar MoUs that Battistelli signed, sometimes in countries without a single European Patent!”The EPO has just announced that it “sign[ed] reinforced partnership agreement with Malaysia” (warning: epo.org link) for more EPO photo ops (even Ernst was there). They sought partnership in a country with barely any European Patents and virtually no human rights as judged by Western standards (almost like the EPO where rulers silence people and ‘vanish’ them as they did Patrick Corcoran). “EPO President António Campinos and the Director General of the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO), Dato’ Mohd. Roslan bin Mahayudin, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Reinforced Partnership,” it said. What does that involve other than the photo ops (marketing)? Not much. We already wrote about similar MoUs that Battistelli signed, sometimes in countries without a single European Patent!

But on goes the charade. Meanwhile, Riana Harvey of the feline blog‘s “Tuesday Thingies” advertises an event of patent trolls and the corrupt EPO — not necessarily the exception from this weekly take (sometimes links to Watchtroll are posted in large volume; this is standard routine from IP Kat in 2019, which says a lot about what IP Kat became). Further down they also advertise for 4iP Council. Here we go:

So, here is a special Tuesday Thingies miscellany post, solely dedicated to events coming up soon!


2. LESI & EPO High-Growth Technology Business Conference 2019, from 4th-5th November 2019, at Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Ireland).
This is the first-ever conference to be jointly organised by the European Patent Office and the Licensing Executive Society International (LESI), and provides a platform for high-growth enterprises and others in their innovation ecosystem to learn about business strategy and IP management, with panel discussions and breakout sessions offered for two conference tracks: business and intellectual property. Full details are available here.


4iP Council webinar – ‘From idea to profit – Learn to leverage your intellectual property’
4iP Council is hosting a webinar presented by Dr Begoña Gonzalez Otero, Senior Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, which aims to provide an insight into the nature of IPRs and the reasons why SMEs and start-ups should integrate them into their business planning at an early stage. Types of IPR will be compared and their strategic value considered from the perspective of a business person with no legal background. The webinar will be held on 17th October 2019, 16:00-17:00 CET (or 3-4pm BST). You can register here, and attendees can explore 4iP Council’s interactive guides prior to the seminar here.

Licensing Executive Society International (LESI) is a front group for a lot of patent trolls and 4iP Council lies about SMEs in an effort to promote things like the UPC.

“Sadly for all of them, however, the judges in Germany watch things closely and they have already stated in the upper echelons of Berlin that there’s no decision or ratification before Brexit’s fate is known (and it doesn’t appear like we shall know by month’s end, either).”Is the UPC still alive? No.

When did we even see any progress associated with it? Years ago?

Max Walters has just made the case for UPC never existing at all, partly because of Brexit; The text below is outside the paywall and it’s almost self-explanatory. (clue: CJEU is one of the main contention points, so to suggest its increased involvement in UPC would further complicate matters)

The EU General Court’s creation of specialist IP chambers should prompt the CJEU to follow suit and capitalise on the UPC if it comes into force, specialists say

What “specialists”? Oh, yes, it’s Managing IP, a rag for and by the litigation lobby. So they mean litigation specialists, i.e. people who profit from litigation…

The likes of LESI and backers of 4iP Council. The likes that EPO management is in bed with and IP Kat gives a platform to. Sadly for all of them, however, the judges in Germany watch things closely and they have already stated in the upper echelons of Berlin that there’s no decision or ratification before Brexit’s fate is known (and it doesn’t appear like we shall know by month’s end, either).

Corporate Disciplining Bad for One’s Health

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel at 11:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Torvalds age

Summary: Losing control over one’s project after nearly 30 years apparently takes its toll on a person

Links 8/10/2019: GNOME 3.34.1, Problems for Atari VCS

Posted in News Roundup at 9:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • An Intro to Mastodon for GNU/Linux Users

      Mastodon is a Twitter-like social network that is free software-based and federated. Being free means society controls the software running behind the server, and being federated means the social network is independent against central authority. In Mastodon, we can follow & text to anybody in same social network but unlike Twitter, there are no ads and we can follow & talk to users in other social networks. Speaking technically, Mastodon is one among today’s so-called Fediverse social networks, it’s based on modern ActivityPub technology, its source code is written in Ruby language, and therefore we can easily host our own Mastodon servers. I wish to support wider adoption of Mastodon in our GNU/Linux community so I tried to write this very short introduction that I divided into only 3 parts. Start with JoinMastodon.org and go ahead!

    • Server

      • 7 steps to securing your Linux server

        This primer will introduce you to basic Linux server security. While it focuses on Debian/Ubuntu, you can apply everything presented here to other Linux distributions. I also encourage you to research this material and extend it where applicable.

        This tutorial presents the bare minimum needed to harden a Linux server. Additional security layers can and should be enabled depending on how a server is used. These layers can include things like individual application configurations, intrusion detection software, and enabling access controls, e.g., two-factor authentication.

      • The UNIX OS – 50 years and counting

        The UNIX OS design elements exist in numerous forms today, and its role in the evolution of computing is evident across entire infrastructures. Having enabled technologies such as cloud computing, security, virtualisation and mobility, it’s integral to the foundation of technologies ranging from cloud function as a service to serverless computing.

        The Internet was built on the UNIX system in the 1970s, with the first world wide web server running on a UNIX system back in 1989. Sectors including manufacturing, government, healthcare and financial services have adopted it in huge numbers and its impact is still evidenced across numerous Fortune 100 companies today.

        Modern-day examples include its use in the Human Genome Project as a platform to decode the human genome and as a render farm of UNIX systems in the first Disney-Pixar full length CGI animated film, Toy Story. Most of today’s ATMs and air traffic control platforms also run on UNIX derived systems, amongst numerous other examples of current implementations.

      • Pogo Linux Launches New Modular Intel Servers to Address IT Evolution in Data Services

        Pogo Linux (https://www.pogolinux.com), a leading supplier of rackmount servers for the modern data center, today announced the immediate availability of a new product line of Intel®-based servers. Based on the newest Intel® server processor platform, Intrepid Modular Server System users can upgrade a single server with forward-compatible technology add-ons instead of buying a new server. The new Intrepid product line are integrated with 2nd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors and are shipping in volume across 1U thru 2U form factors.

        Since 1999, Pogo Linux has delivered custom-built, high-performance server hardware to IT departments of all sizes to process the compute backbone of traditional on-premise and data center applications. To support new business opportunities in the new digital and data services economy, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and predictive analytics, technology departments will need to make new investments in IT infrastructure to stay competitive. As this data transformation touches all aspects of business, modern server hardware must to evolve to help IT users support more connected users.

      • IBM

        • DevNation Live Bengaluru: Sail into cloud — An introduction to Istio

          Our first DevNation Live regional event was held in Bengaluru, India in July. This free technology event focused on open source innovations, with sessions presented by elite Red Hat technologists.

          In this session, Kamesh Sampath provides an overview of Envoy and Istio, two open source projects that will change the way you write cloud-native Java applications on Kubernetes. We’ll show how to download and set up Istio on your local laptop, then deploy Java microservices as part of the Istio service mesh with Istio sidecar proxy.

        • Not your BASIC web experience: Creative for Command Line Heroes Season 3 Episode 2

          Last week, we introduced this series with an overview of Command Line Heroes’ artwork. We hope you enjoyed reading about the details in the images for our first episode of season 3 about Python. Now, we’ll briefly cover how our web designers work to bring that artwork to you in its many forms—and we uncover the secrets of Episode 2: Learning the BASICs.

          Are there considerations beyond the initial design to take into account when putting the artwork online?
          Rachel Ertel, UX Lead: Considerations outside of the initial visual design are largely based on user experience. These include making sure the page’s load time is quick, to thinking through the way that the user would interact with copy, graphics, and actionable links. We want to make sure that the user comes to the right information at the right time, and that the process of getting where they want to go requires minimum effort and provides maximum reward.

        • Enhancing availability of SAP deployments with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 for SAP Solutions

          In August 2019, we announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.7, the latest update to the stable and production-ready RHEL 7 platform. RHEL 7 helps customers meet the modern datacenter demands as well as the next-generation IT requirements of existing and new SAP workloads. On top of that, RHEL 7 for SAP Solutions includes additional capabilities to support SAP Applications across the hybrid cloud, from bare-metal servers to public cloud instances, all on a standard, flexible and scalable operating system platform.

          Both RHEL 7.7 and RHEL 7.6 for SAP Solutions bring new features and enhancements1 to bear that can help streamline operations through improved availability and reduced operating costs. RHEL 7.6 for SAP Solutions is validated and supported for use with SAP HANA on Intel x86_64 and IBM Power 8. Corresponding validation for SAP HANA on RHEL 7.7 is planned. Other SAP applications and database products, like SAP NetWeaver or SAP ASE may adopt and benefit from RHEL 7.7 features right away. Please consult SAP Note 2369910 and 2235581 for the latest information about validated releases and support by SAP.

        • Advanced Ansible variables in Satellite

          Satellite 6.6 beta was released recently, and contains a number of improvements related to Ansible variables. Ansible variables can be used to customize the behavior of Ansible roles. For example, an Ansible role could be configured to install whatever package is specified in an Ansible variable. From Satellite, we can set the value of the Ansible variable so that the package we want is installed by the role.

          Satellite 6.4 introduced the ability to run Ansible roles on Satellite clients, and allowed for parameters to be defined that could be accessed from within the Ansible roles as variables. However, there were a couple limitations to how Ansible variables were supported in Satellite: only string variables were supported, and the Satellite administrator had to review the Ansible role to discover the variable names that should be defined as parameters within Satellite.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #307: Ansible Deep Dive

        Hello and welcome to Episode 307 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts have an in-depth conversation with Jon Spriggs, G7VRI, an Ansible fanatic and guru. We cover the project, its installation, setup and operation from point A to point Z. If you’re deploying multiple machines in your shack, are a systems administrator or just want to automatic some deployment procedures, this conversation is for you. Thank you for listening.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linus Torvalds dismisses ‘anti-Microsoft stuff’, claims Microsoft is now ‘much friendlier’ towards Linux

        The company went further in May this year by releasing a new Windows 10 Insider Preview build featuring the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL2), which includes a real Linux kernel, enabling users to run more Linux software on Windows.

        While Torvalds and several other Linux kernel developers believe that Microsoft may have a desire to control Linux, they also assert that the software giant (or any third-party vendor) is not in a position to control Linux because of the very nature of the operating system, the way it has been developed, and its GPL2 open-source licensing.

      • Linus Torvalds isn’t concerned about Microsoft hijacking Linux

        According to Torvalds, all the various companies showing an interest in Linux and throwing their resources into developing it have their own objectives, with their ultimate goal being to profit in some way from Linux.

        Microsoft is inclined towards Linux because of Azure, Torvalds believes, as over 50 per cent of the company’s Azure workloads are now Linux. With the company expecting Azure to be a bigger business than Windows, it now has a strong interest in making it work better, rather than competing directly against it.

      • Linux Foundation

        • Extreme Gifts StackStorm to Linux Foundation

          Extreme Networks handed over governance of StackStorm, its open source workflow automation platform, to the Linux Foundation.

          It will continue as a standalone project under the Linux Foundation’s governance, said Arpit Joshipura, GM for networking, edge, and IoT at the Linux Foundation (LF).

          “Given the focus of the community and the requirements from the project regarding the neutral governance provided by LF, the current plan is to host the project under the LF,” Joshipura said in an email to SDxCentral.

          StackStorm allows users to automate workflows across data center servers, clouds, and containers using an infrastructure-as-code approach to DevOps. So, for example, after receiving an IT alert in the data center, the open source software kicks in to automate remediation. Other common applications include continuous deployment (CD), ChatOps, and automated security response.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Navi 14 AMDGPU Firmware Lands In The Linux-Firmware.Git Tree

          This easy availability of the firmware bits is the last piece of the puzzle for rounding out their Linux driver support. On the kernel side Linux 5.4 has the initial Navi 14 support albeit is disabled by default unless using the experimental feature bit. Mesa 19.2 also has the preliminary Navi 14 support in the RadeonSI OpenGL and RADV Vulkan drivers, but I would recommend using Mesa 19.3-devel for the best feature coverage and performance. And then there’s LLVM 9.0+ for the AMDGPU back-end, particularly with the RADV ACO back-end not yet having stable support for Navi. Lastly there are these necessary binary blobs now in linux-firmware.git for rounding out the Navi 14 GPU initialization.

    • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Game over: Atari VCS architect quits project, claims he hasn’t been paid for six months

        The architect of Atari’s much-delayed retro console, the Atari VCS, has quit the project, claiming he hasn’t been paid in six months. The departure could put the entire affair in doubt.

        Games industry veteran, one of the founding team members behind the Xbox, and Atari system architect, Rob Wyatt told The Register: “As of Friday, October 4th, I have officially resigned as the architect of the Atari VCS.”

        The techie claimed “Atari haven’t paid invoices going back over six months” to his design consultancy, Tin Giant, which was working on the VCS, adding: “As a small company, we have been lucky to survive this long.”

      • Things are going downhill for the Atari VCS as Rob Wyatt quits

        It’s now confirmed that Rob Wyatt, someone who Atari made a big thing over joining them has quit citing non payment of invoices for at least six months.

        As confirmed by The Register who spoke to Wyatt, things have not been going well. Not only has Wyatt completely left the project, it sounds like Atari don’t exactly know what they’re doing. Originally, Atari said it would have their own Linux-based OS with an easy to use UI and their own store. According to sources The Register spoke to who’ve had direct contact with the VCS project, that might no longer happen. Sounds like it’s turning into a regular Linux box now.

        No game developers have signed up to make original games, which is something I expected after their first announcement about actual games years after the IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign was a retro streaming service. On top of that, they’ve not been able to pull in the big game engines like Unreal or Unity too.

      • OpenTESArena, an open source re-implementation of The Elder Scrolls: Arena

        A fun open source game engine project we’ve not covered here before is OpenTESArena, an open source re-implementation of The Elder Scrolls: Arena and it just had a new release.

        Inspired by other similar projects like OpenXcom and OpenMW, their aim is to have a clean and cross-platform version using the original assets which you can get free from Bethesda. A few days ago a new release was put out to include Wilderness generation, Wilderness automap, City <-> wilderness transitions via city gate, City placeholder in wilderness, Player position in wilderness displayed with F2, CD version support and initial work on inventory slots.

      • Hold onto your humanity as the incredibly stylish Neo Cab is coming to Linux

        After some confusion, it turns out Neo Cab from developer Chance Agency and publisher Fellow Traveller will be coming to Linux.

        What is it? In Neo Cab, you play as Lina, someone making a last stand as a human driver-for-hire in a world increasingly overcome by automation. It’s seriously stylish and has a story that will make you think about the way the world is going.

      • Don’t Starve Together launches another big free update with ‘Return of them – Salty Dog’

        Easily one of the best and most stylish multiplayer survival games available on Linux, Don’t Starve Together has another big free update out with Return of them – Salty Dog.

        Don’t Starve Together is becoming a rather large game now, there’s so much to explore it’s easy to get lost in the world. This is the full release of a recent Beta they did last month.

      • First-person block-based urban sandbox city-builder ‘Voxel Turf’ adds new biomes

        Voxel Turf is such a unique gem that blends multiple types of games together. It allows you to run around in first-person, build a city and fight off gangs. A big surprise update just dropped too.

        More work on performance went into this update, with the developer adding in “more intelligent entity culling”. They say on average you should see an increase of 10% FPS in built-up busy areas which sounds good. They also did some map adjustments for bandits and dungeons not drawing unless you’re in one and sun/moonlight shadows are not drawn while you are underground resulting in a big speedup in certain areas too.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE’s KWin To Still Pursue X11 Composite Unredirect, More Wayland Improvements

          KDE developer Roman Gilg attended the X.Org Developer’s Conference last week in Montreal. At XDC2019 he provided the X11/Wayland developers with an overview of KWin’s architecture as both an X11 window manager and Wayland compositor along with talking of some of the future plans.

          Recent and ongoing work covered includes the night color support for KWin on X11, simplifying the X11 compositor and GLX back-end, redesigning the output management code, and internal clients going through KWin’s own QPA. But where the most exciting work is happens to be out in the future work.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 3.34.1 released

          GNOME 3.34.1 is now available. This is a stable release containing four weeks’ worth of bugfixes since the 3.34.0 release. Since it only contains bugfixes, all distributions shipping 3.34.0 should upgrade.

          If you want to compile GNOME 3.34.1, you can use the official BuildStream project snapshot..

        • GNOME 3.34.1 Released With Latest Fixes
        • First GNOME 3.34 Point Release Goes Live with Oodles of Bug Fixes

          The first GNOME 3.34 point release has been made available for download.

          A post-release patch fest, GNOME 3.34.1 features no new features but does include a shed load of bug fixes, band-aids and (less notably) translation updates.

          “This is a stable release containing four weeks’ worth of bugfixes since the 3.34.0 release. Since it only contains bugfixes, all distributions shipping 3.34.0 should upgrade,” GNOME developers say.

          Although most Ubuntu users are yet to sample GNOME 3.34 ahead of Ubuntu 19.10, due on October 17, they can look forward to knowing that this point release will be packaged and distributed as a regular software update to “Eoan Ermine”.

          Among the changes, GNOME Calendar 3.34.1 regains the Ctrl + N shortcut, fixes first weekday calculation, and improves search results handling.

    • Distributions

      • Top 10 Linux distributions OS most popular in last 6 months of 2019

        It is really difficult to track all available Linux distributions because they are countless, daily some new project is coming in and some going out (dead). That’s why Linux newcomers can easily be confused, although some top options such as Ubuntu, Debian, CertnOS, Linux Mint, Deepin etc. are always there to start. However, if you want to know the top 10 most downloaded and used Linux distros in past six months then here is the list. In it, you will find real popular systems but also one or the other unknown masterpiece. Lately, one new Linux OS start getting much traction and able to rank at the first spot in this top 10 list of Linx distros i.e MX Linux.

      • Fedora Family

        • Fedora 31 Won’t Add An Official POWER Desktop Spin

          While Fedora recently began spinning workstation/live images for POWER (PPC64LE) at least as a work-in-progress, it won’t be made a formal feature of the upcoming Fedora 31.

          Due to the imminent feature deadline and little notice, the Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee on Monday rejected the notion of a PPC64LE desktop variant at least for this current (F31) cycle.

        • CPE Team at Flock – Post Flock

          Flock is behind us, so it will be good to do some recapitulation what happened and how it was. Like every year it was awesome to meet people in person and add a face to a name. There was plenty of talks about IoT, Modularity and Fedora CI. Our team attended most of these talks and learned so many new things, heard so many new ideas and initiatives going on.

        • Flatpak 1.5 released with version pinning and update monitoring

          We finally got to see a significant update to Flatpak, and it also happens to accompany several new features and enhancements.

          Before getting into the details of this release, it only makes sense to first talk about the software itself. Accordingly, Flatbox is an application that assists in deploying software and managing packages. It is a sandbox environment where users can run their applications while keeping them separated from the system files. Now that we’re done with the introduction let’s head on to discussing Flatpak 1.5.0.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu and ZFS on Linux [Status Update]

          Somewhat recently, I posted about Ubuntu enabling ZFS [as the root filesystem] in its operating system installer, alongside other much needed updates. Well, here we are and the Ubuntu 19.10 release is right around the corner. Last Friday, ZFS guided partitioning support was officially merged into the Ubiquity mainline. Ext4 will continue to be the default option.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Haiku monthly activity report – September 2019

        Some initial work for ARM64 was completed by kallisti5. This includes setting up the Haikuports package declarations, writing the early boot files, and in general getting the buildsystem going. Jaroslaw Pelczar also contributed several further patches (some of these still undergoing review), providing the initial interrupt handling support, and various stubs to let things compile

        kallisti5 did some work on 32bit ARM as well, cleaning up some of the code to better match other platforms and preparing the reuse of EFI for ARM and ARM64 (as u-boot now implements an EFI interface, which would make things much simpler for our ARM boot process if we manage to use it).

      • BeOS-Inspired Haiku Making Progress On ARM, Various Kernel Improvements

        Just last week marked the one year anniversary since shipping the Haiku R1 beta release for this BeOS-inspired open-source operating system. The developers remain though as busy as ever with advancing this interesting open-source project.

      • Open source is just OEM software

        Open source software is just fake name used for a trojen horse to destroy Free Software Movement, which is defending the right of users. It is nothing but a new name for the old concept of OEM.

        OEM means Original Equipment Manufacturer. It is a company that produces parts and equipment that may be marketed by another manufacturer. But there are different mode of operations. We have to focus on one particular way of OEM.

        For example, US government spent huge amount of money in telecommunications and electronics. Once the technology was ready the iIdiot company took required knowledge and designed a new product. They then gave all these details to a Chinese company called Foxconn which employs child labour. Because children have delicate fingers useful for assembling components. (Around their office there are nets placed to avoid frustrated employee suicide. I dont know how they avoid other forms of suicide So the fancy gadget you hold in your may has blood all over.) They will manufacturer the equipment. But put sticker of original company. Then it will be shipped to all over the world.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Thunderbird, Enigmail and OpenPGP

            Today the Thunderbird project is happy to announce that for the future Thunderbird 78 release, planned for summer 2020, we will add built-in functionality for email encryption and digital signatures using the OpenPGP standard. This new functionality will replace the Enigmail add-on, which will continue to be supported until Thunderbird 68 end of life, in the Fall of 2020.

            For some background on encrypted email in Thunderbird: Two popular technologies exist that add support for end-to-end encryption and digital signatures to email. Thunderbird has been offering built-in support for S/MIME for many years and will continue to do so.

            The Enigmail Add-on has made it possible to use Thunderbird with external GnuPG software for OpenPGP messaging. Because the types of add-ons supported in Thunderbird will change with version 78, the current Thunderbird 68.x branch (maintained until Fall 2020) will be the last that can be used with Enigmail.

          • Firefox 69 + Chrome 77 On Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu / Clear Linux Benchmarks

            With running some fresh cross-OS benchmarks now that Ubuntu 19.10 is imminent followed by Ubuntu 19.10, a new Windows 10 update coming in the days ahead, and also the release of macOS 10.15, a lot of fun benchmarks are ahead. In today’s article is a quick look at the Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 19.10 vs. Clear Linux web browser performance for both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.

          • Firefox 71 Landing Wayland DMA-BUF Textures Support

            Landing recently into the Mozilla code-base for the Firefox 71 release is DMA-BUF textures support on Wayland. When using Firefox with the OpenGL compositor enabled, the DMA-BUF EGL texture back-end is used that allows for sharing of buffers between the main/compositor process, working directly in GPU memory, and other benefits with this DMA-BUF usage. That code has been merged as another step forward for Firefox on Linux/Wayland.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 6 “Getting started” guide translated into Russian

          LibreOffice has extensive documentation, thanks to our worldwide community of volunteers. Recently, Lera Goncharuk, Alex Denkin and Roman Kuznetsov worked on a Russian translation of the getting started guide – click the image below to read it. If you want to help with a translation in your own language, see this page to get started – and thanks for your help!


        • GNU Project Maintainers Move to Oust Richard Stallman from Leadership

          The Stallman saga has continued to grow stranger in the aftermath of his resignations, as many were concerned that he would be homeless after his website featured a notice that he was “Seeking Housing,” accompanied by a link leading to his specific requirements for a temporary residence. His personal site was also reportedly vandalized nine days ago with a message that he was stepping down from the GNU.

          The defacement with the false GNU resignation message was reverted shortly thereafter on September 30, and replaced with the header saying he continues to be “Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project” with no intention of stopping soon. Stallman has not yet publicly acknowledged the statement from the GNU maintainers. He has also not yet responded to our request for comment.

        • GNU Guix: Guix Reduces Bootstrap Seed by 50%

          We are delighted to announce that the first reduction by 50% of the Guix bootstrap binaries has now been officially released!

          This is a very important step because the ~250MB seed of binary code was practically non-auditable, which makes it hard to establish what source code produced them.

          Every unauditable binary also leaves us vulnerable to compiler backdoors as described by Ken Thompson in the 1984 paper Reflections on Trusting Trust and beautifully explained by Carl Dong in his Bitcoin Build System Security talk.

          It is therefore equally important that we continue towards our final goal: A Full Source bootstrap; removing all unauditable binary seeds.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Programming/Development

        • Ada Lovelace Day: 5 Amazing Women in Tech

          It’s Ada Lovelace day and I’ve been lax in previous years about celebrating some of the talented women in technology I know or follow on the interwebs. So, to make up for it, here are 5 amazing technologists.

          I was initially aware of Allison through her work on Perl, was vaguely aware of the fact she was working on Ubunutu, briefly overlapped with her at HPE (and thought it was impressive HP were hiring such high calibre of Free Software folk) when she was working on OpenStack, and have had the pleasure of meeting her in person due to the fact we both work on Debian. In the continuing theme of being able to do all things tech she’s currently studying a PhD at Cambridge (the real one), and has already written a fascinating paper about about the security misconceptions around virtual machines and containers. She’s also been doing things with home automation, properly, with local speech recognition rather than relying on any external assistant service (I will, eventually, find the time to follow her advice and try this out for myself).

        • 7 Excellent Free Books to Learn HTML

          HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is used to create web pages and other information that is intended for display in a web browser. Each markup code is known as an element or a tag. The web developer uses these elements to describe and define the content of a webpage. The elements tell the web browser how to display the information (both text and images) to the user.

          HTML has seen a number of revisions. HTML5 is the fifth revision of the HTML standard. HTML5 makes for a rich user experience with the canvas and SVG elements, native elements video and audio which allow video and audio to be placed directly in the HTML code. Other important new features include web storage, which offers a more secure and faster alternative than cookies, and geolocation, the heart of every location-based application.

          HTML is the markup language, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) determines how it is rendered, and JavaScript is the programming language. HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript are open, efficient and reliable web standards and allow web designers to create advanced web sites with creative graphics, animations, transitions and typography.

        • Easily hiding items from the legend in matplotlib

          When producing some graphs for a client recently, I wanted to hide some labels from a legend in matplotlib. I started investigating complex arguments to the plt.legend function, but it turned out that there was a really simple way to do it…

        • How I access Microsoft SharePoint in my Python scripts
        • What programming language would you teach a kid first?

          For the 10th year in a row, the Finding Ada Network celebrates Ada Lovelace Day on the second Tuesday of October. It is a global celebration with flagship and grassroots events honoring the achievements and contributions of women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

        • Linting with Flake8

          For so long the word “Linting” meant nothing to me. It sounded like some supercoder leet speak that was way out of my league. Then I discovered flake8 and realised I was a fool.

          This article is a simple one. It covers what linting is; what Flake8 is and has an embarrassing example of it in use.

          Before we get started, I need to get something off my chest. I don’t know why but I really hate the word “linting”. It’s a hatred akin to people and the word “moist”.

        • PyPy’s new JSON parser

          In the last year or two I have worked on and off on making PyPy’s JSON faster, particularly when parsing large JSON files. In this post I am going to document those techniques and measure their performance impact. Note that I am quite a lot more constrained in what optimizations I can apply here, compared to some of the much more advanced approaches like Mison, Sparser or SimdJSON because I don’t want to change the json.loads API that Python programs expect, and because I don’t want to only support CPUs with wide SIMD extensions. With a more expressive API, more optimizations would be possible.
          There are a number of problems of working with huge JSON files: deserialization takes a long time on the one hand, and the resulting data structures often take a lot of memory (usually they can be many times bigger than the size of the file they originated from). Of course these problems are related, because allocating and initializing a big data structure takes longer than a smaller data structure. Therefore I always tried to attack both of these problems at the same time.
          One common theme of the techniques I am describing is that of optimizing the parser for how JSON files are typically used, not how they could theoretically be used. This is a similar approach to the way dynamic languages are optimized more generally: most JITs will optimize for typical patterns of usage, at the cost of less common usage patterns, which might even become slower as a result of the optimizations.

        • Getting Started with Python PyAutoGUI

          In this tutorial, we’re going to learn how to use pyautogui library in Python 3. The PyAutoGUI library provides cross-platform support for managing mouse and keyboard operations through code to enable automation of tasks. The pyautogui library is also available for Python 2; however, we will be using Python 3 throughout the course of this tutorial.

          A tool like this has many applications, a few of which include taking screenshots, automating GUI testing (like Selenium), automating tasks that can only be done with a GUI, etc.

          Before you go ahead with this tutorial, please note that there are a few prerequisites. You should have a basic understanding of Python’s syntax, and/or have done at least beginner level programming in some other language. Other than that, the tutorial is quite simple and easy to follow for beginners.

      • Standards/Consortia

        • The case for XML5

          My XML5 idea is over twelve years old now.


          XML in browsers has much less of a compatibility footprint. Coupled with XML not always returning a tree for a given byte stream making backwards compatible (in the sense that old well-formed documents parse the same way) extensions to it is possible. There is a chance for it to ossify like text/html though, so perhaps XML5 ought to be amended somewhat to leave room for future changes.

  • Leftovers

    • [Tips for remotees 1/xxx] Don’t be Isolated.

      So let’s start by the obvious first tip : don’t stay alone. When I started working remote I had a girlfriend so I was quite occupied, when I wasn’t working and when I was. But I was working from home, so Id’ miss chitchatting with colleagues over a coffee. But I was coming out of a startup that was using skype as it’s main chat tool and there was/(still is) an alumni chat session. So when I had a question or when I wanted to rant or think about something else or just have a pause I would chat with my ex-colleagues. After a few month I broke up with the woman I was with. And was left with almost not physical interaction with humans. The only thing close to it was me going to a swimming pool once a week and seeing people – but hardly interacting with them.After a month or two of that regime I started looking for a new job – a non remote one. Thankfully the 1,5h train ride killed the idea, while I made local friends using the meetup service (I was a Frenchman living in The Nederlands – Met Other people like me , we ended up having a weekly get together – which ended up in me meeting my wife). I also had an ex-coworker not living far from me that was also working on his own venture. We ended up having weekly lunches at the same restaurant were we could both bitch at life work and food :-p.

    • Spreadsheet Regrets

      Fiction writer F. L. Stevens got a list of literary agents from AAR Online. This became a spreadsheet driving queries for representation. After a bunch of rejections, another query against AAR Online provided a second list of agents.

      Apple’s Numbers product will readily translate the AAR Online HTML table into a usable spreadsheet table. But after initial success the spreadsheet as tool of choice collapses into a pile of rubble. The spreadsheet data model is hopelessly ineffective for the problem domain.

    • Science

      • Medicine Nobel honors work on cellular system to sense oxygen levels

        The 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to three scientists for their research into how cells detect oxygen and react to hypoxia—conditions when oxygen is low in tissues. The fundamental physiology work has led to a better understanding of how more than 300 genes in the body are regulated, including the one for the hormone erythropoietin (EPO), which controls the production of red blood cells.

        Oxygen sensing is integral to many diseases and numerous drugs are being developed to alter the response of this system to treat everything from cancer to anemia. “Applications of these findings are already beginning to affect how medicine is practiced,” Randall Johnson of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, who studies hypoxia and was on the prize selection committee, told a press conference in Stockholm announcing the winners.


        Kaelin, a cancer researcher, came into the topic by researching an inherited syndrome, von Hippel-Lindau’s disease, that increases the risks of certain cancers. It’s caused by mutations in the gene for VHL and Kaelin found that cancer cells lacking the protein turn on hypoxia-related genes.

        The cancer connections to this oxygen sensing system have only expanded. Some of the genes controlled by HIF are used by tumor cells to produce blood vessels to nourish themselves, others directly act on cell proliferation or metastasis. Several compounds that inhibit HIF-1alpha or the closely related HIF-2alpha are being tested in clinical trials to treat cancer patients. Another class of drugs inhibits the enzymes that modify HIF (they are called HIF prolyl hydroxylase inhibitors).

      • Who’s won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine this year?

        2019’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded jointly to three scientists for their work understanding how cells adapt to oxygen availability.

        BioTechniques’ congratulations go to William G Kaelin Jr (Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard University; MA, USA), Sir Peter J Ratcliffe (Oxford University and the Francis Crick Institute; London, UK) and Gregg L Semenza (Johns Hopkins University; MD, USA), who have won the 9m Swedish Kronor prize for their work on “how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability.”

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • U.S. And U.K. Governments Issue Update Now Warning For Windows, macOS And Linux Users

        Both U.S. and U.K. government agencies have taken the unusual step of issuing a rare update now warning to Windows, macOS and Linux users concerning a critical cybersecurity threat from advanced persistent threat (APT) attackers. Here’s everything you need to know.

        It isn’t the first time that the National Security Agency (NSA) has released a critical security vulnerability warning but these government agency update now advisories are few and far between. Once again, though, the NSA is making such a warning; this time regarding an ongoing attack from advanced persistent threat (APT) actors. The NSA warns that attackers could remotely take control of affected Windows, macOS and Linux systems. The United States Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has also issued an advisory and is recommending that users upgrade now. Furthermore, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in the U.K. isn’t being left out of the attack threat alert party either. So what is the threat behind this string of critical warnings?

      • Report finds cyberattacks on critical utility operating systems are increasing

        A new study published Friday finds that cyberattacks on the operational technology (OT) involved in running critical utilities are increasing and says these attacks have the potential to cause “severe” damage.

        The report, compiled by the manufacturing company Siemens and the Ponemon Institute, is based on survey responses from 1,700 utility professionals worldwide and focuses on cyber risks to electric utilities with gas, solar, or wind assets, and water utilities.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • What to Expect from Turkey’s Coming Invasion of Syria

        U.S. President Donald Trump told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday, October 6, that the United States troops inside Syria would not defend the Syrian Democratic Forces, which have built an enclave inside Syria along a section of the Turkish border. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are made up largely of Kurdish factions…

      • Massive fight in Novosibirsk reportedly leaves two cars burning, 50 arrested

        Police in the Russian city of Novosibirsk have arrested 50 people following a public brawl, a local source told Interfax.

      • As Impeachment Looms, GOP Revolts Against Trump on Syria

        They may have his back on impeachment, but some of President Donald Trump’s most loyal allies are suddenly revolting against his decision to pull back U.S. troops from northern Syria.

      • Just Hours After Trump Bends to Erdoğan, Reports Indicate Turkey’s Bombing of Kurdish Forces Has Begun

        “The Turkish threats mean that the situation in this region will return to point zero,” warned the SDF on Monday. “There will be chaos once again.”

      • Secretary of Defense, Incorporated
      • What happens when a corporation colonizes a country?

        I think maybe the East India Company military was more like an oil platform, in that it was often [taking labor] from the streets rather than the gentry. And more dangerous. I mean, I think some of the military had a turnover of — about one in three died every year.

        And so your chances of surviving in the East India Company military were very low. So you had to be desperate.

      • The Domino Effect of Trump’s Syria Withdrawal

        U.S. President Donald Trump told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday, October 6, that the United States troops inside Syria would not defend the Syrian Democratic Forces, which have built an enclave inside Syria along a section of the Turkish border. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are made up largely of Kurdish factions, who set up this armed force to defend the mainly Kurdish enclave in northern Syria. When the U.S. began its attack on the Islamic State (ISIS), the SDF became the ground forces beneath the U.S. bombers. Now, the U.S. has decided to betray the sacrifice of the SDF.

    • Environment

      • What Climate Change Will Do to Three Major American Cities by 2100

        According to the research Nexus compiled, St. Louis will see flooding, extreme heat, severe rainfall, and drought in the surrounding farmland. In Houston, on the Gulf of Mexico, hurricanes will grow more destructive and temperatures will soar. San Francisco will witness rising sea levels, fierce wildfires, and extreme drought.

        This timeline is based on interviews with a dozen climate experts and a review of several dozen scientific studies. The projections assume an average sea level rise of six feet by 2100 — a little more in some places, and less in others — and the business-as-usual emissions scenario, which assumes that we will continue to pollute and use fossil fuels at our current rate.

        Rather than a scientific assessment, it is a rigorously researched prediction of what our future could bring unless we come together as a country and as a global community — fast— to address climate change as the crisis it is.

      • Speed Is Killing the Planet. Time to Focus on Efficiency

        Here’s the thing: These ideas for accelerating the future fail to address a far more pressing problem than our stalled speedometers. In the US, transportation accounts for 27 percent of the carbon we release into the air, more than any other sector of the economy. Four-fifths of that comes from cars and trucks. The internal combustion engine is rocketing us deeper into a climate crisis that demands an immediate—and big—reduction in those emissions. Hyperloops might run on clean electricity, but it would take decades for them to become extensive enough to replace a significant number of cars. Supersonic flight requires engines that use much more fuel, and more carbon, than slower planes. These rosy renderings of effortless whooshing hither and yon distract us from what the problem demands: a way forward that prioritizes not thoughtless speed but calibrated efficiency.

      • En Route to Standing Rock, Greta Thunberg Holds Up ‘Struggles of All Indigenous Peoples in Protecting Their Land, Water, and Traditions’

        A day after speaking with Tokata Iron Eyes on a climate panel, the pair led a march in Rapid City, South Dakota.

      • Brazilian Experts Warn in Open Letter to President Bolsonaro a ‘Genocide Is Underway’ Against Uncontacted Tribes

        The experts wrote that they are “extremely worried” about the firing of a top official at the agency that handles policies on Indigenous peoples.

      • Climate Activists Block Roads, March in Global Protests

        Activists with the Extinction Rebellion movement blocked major roads across major European cities Monday, kicking off a wide-ranging series of worldwide protests demanding much more urgent action against climate change.

    • Finance

      • Workers Stuck ‘Paying the Ultimate Price’ as GE Freezes Pensions for 20,000 Employees

        “GE hired a new CEO last year with a pay package worth up to $300 million.”

      • U.S. Using Trade Deals to Shield Tech Giants From Foreign Regulators

        The Trump administration has begun inserting legal protections into recent trade agreements that shield online platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube from lawsuits, a move that could help lock in America’s tech-friendly regulations around the world even as they are being newly questioned at home.

        The protections, which stem from a 1990s law, have already been tucked into the administration’s two biggest trade deals — the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and a pact with Japan that President Trump signed on Monday. American negotiators have proposed including the language in other prospective deals, including with the European Union, Britain and members of the World Trade Organization.

        The administration’s push is the latest salvo in a global fight over who sets the rules for the internet. While the rules for trading goods have largely been written — often by the United States — the world has far fewer standards for digital products. Countries are rushing into this vacuum, and in most cases writing regulations that are far more restrictive than the tech industry would prefer.

        Europe has enacted tough policies to curb the behavior of companies like Facebook and Google and passed laws to deal with privacy, hate speech and disinformation. China has largely cordoned itself off from the rest of the internet, allowing Beijing to censor political content and bolster Chinese tech companies like Alibaba and Tencent. In India, Indonesia, Russia and Vietnam, governments are introducing regulations to ostensibly protect their citizens’ privacy and build domestic internet industries that critics say will stymie the ability of American companies to provide services in those countries.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Feminist activist sues Moscow for implementing facial recognition technology in public cameras

        Moscow activist Alyona Popova has submitted a lawsuit asking for the city’s implementation of facial recognition technology to be declared illegal. Sarkis Darbinyan, an attorney for the free speech group Roskomsvoboda who is representing Popova in court, notified Vedomosti of the lawsuit.

      • Greta Thunberg changes her Twitter bio to mock Putin after he criticised her speech [iophk: KSA-controlled communications channels]

        Now, after Putin’s statements, she’s changed it to “A kind but poorly informed teenager”.

      • The PS4’s Facebook integration comes to an abrupt end, but it should only be temporary

        There was no warning of the change, and Sony’s terse blog post on the subject offered no explanation. Instead, Sony writes, “We apologize for any inconvenience,” and the company suggests using one of its provided video game avatars or uploading a new photo to replace your Facebook profile photo in the event you used that as the image for your PSN account.

        The move abruptly ended a multi-year integration, leading to speculation that Sony no longer wanted to engage in a relationship with the social network or that perhaps there was an issue complying with Facebook’s more stringent policies around third-party developers accessing data on its platform. Neither, in fact, are the case.

      • The Ties That Bind Facebook’s Libra

        But a WIRED analysis finds that 15 of the 27 founding members of the Libra Association are directly or indirectly tied to Facebook. The total includes members that employ former Facebook executives, members whose boards include Facebook board members, and numerous ties through common investors.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Russian and US visitors, targets for the Spanish firm that spied on Julian Assange

        David Morales, the director and owner of Undercover Global S. L., the Spanish defense and security company in charge of protecting the Ecuadorian embassy in London during Julian Assange’s long stay there, called on his team to catalogue “the Russian and North American citizens” who visited the cyberactivist as a maximum priority, according to testimonies and documents to which EL PAÍS has had access. The company allegedly spied on the WikiLeaks founder for the US intelligence services, and in the wake of revelations published by this newspaper is being investigated by the Spanish High Court, the Audiencia Nacional.

        Morales gave written instructions to his employees in London for them to give advance warning of the priority targets from both countries. All of the information collected about these and other visitors was sent to an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) server in Jerez de la Frontera, the headquarters of UCE Global S. L., in southern Spain. This kind of “big brother” was the place were all of the information collected was stored in an orderly fashion, including files from cellphones, profiles by nationality (Russians, North Americans, Germans, etc.), professions, and documents from attorneys, diplomats, journalists, doctors, and so on.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

    • Monopolies

      • Search of evidence in France: the new legal tools offered by the French law on trade secrets

        The transposition of the “trade secrets” directive in France allowed the introduction of new legal tools that apply to ex parte investigation measures and infringement seizures (“saisie-contrefaçon”). We propose here a panorama of the first decisions in this area.

        When it transposed the so-called “Trade Secrets” Directive (EU) 2016/943 of 8 June 2016, French Law No. 2018-670 of 30 July 2018 and implementing Decree of 11 December 2018 introduced a specific trade secrets protection regime. This regime provides new legal tools that apply to ex parte investigations and infringement seizures, with the aim of striking a balance between the plaintiff’s right to evidence and the seized party’s trade secrets, be it before the operations (i.e. in the judge grants the order authorizing the operations) and after them (i.e. when the judge decides what should be done with the seized documents).


        Therefore, when it comes to infringement seizures the provisional escrow is neither mandatory nor systematic, and it can be adjusted by the judge. The degree of discretion of the judge – which already existed before the Decree of 11 December 2018 – should allow to limit the flow of additional summary proceedings to challenge the order. Indeed, if the provisional escrow is systematically ordered, the seized party will be urged to also “systematically” challenge the order within one month after the seizure to protect its trade secrets.

        On another note, it should be mentioned that this “provisional escrow” mechanism does not solve the issue already existing when the seized party is a third party (e.g. for a pharma case, the National Agency for Medicines, known in France as ANSM), the actual holder of the trade secrets (in this case, the generics company) may not be informed that a seizure was carried out and may thus not be in position to challenge the order within one month to protect its trade secrets. The judge who will grant the order and the bailiff who will carry out the seizure will thus have to be vigilant in this regard.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Supreme Court Won’t Revive Suit Against Apple by University

          The U.S. Supreme Court refused to revive a $506 million patent-infringement lawsuit against Apple Inc. by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s licensing unit.

          The court rejected arguments by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation that a U.S. appeals court should have ordered a new trial instead of dismissing the case when it threw out a jury verdict against Apple.

          The foundation said the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which hears all patent appeals, has been inconsistent in deciding which cases warrant a new trial when it throws out a jury’s interpretation of a patent.

          As a result, rulings often depend on which judges are chosen for the three-member appellate panel on a particular case, the foundation said in its appeal. “This court’s guidance is needed.”

          The jury had ordered Apple to pay $234 million in a dispute over microprocessor technology. The judge added more damages, royalties and interest to bring the final judgment to $506 million. That figure would have gone higher if the appeals court had upheld the verdict.

          Apple, in urging the Supreme Court to deny the foundation’s appeal, argued that the Federal Circuit used settled law to decide that “no reasonable juror could have found” infringement in the case.

        • My Take after Oral Arguments: Supreme Court Likely to Affirm in Peter v. NantKwest

          The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on October 7, 2019 in this case involving the question of attorney fees in Section 145 civil actions. I’ll agree with Mark Walsh who identified this as a “a dry, procedural patent case.” But, I really enjoyed the oral arguments — Read some of the drama below.

          Before getting too dramatic: I recognize that the result of this case is basically not going to have much of any impact on patent cases. So, perhaps one benefit is that the court is unlikely to ruin the patent system with its decision here. Depending upon the outcome, Section 145 civil actions will be seen as relatively more/less expensive for the applicant. But, they are already very expensive for an applicant to pay its own expenses. My take is that the added PTO-attorney expense will be a relatively small extension of the already high-costs assuming that the PTO continues to be fairly thrifty in its defense of these cases. On the PTO side, the agency has to pay its attorneys from collected fees somehow. If it doesn’t get the fees from the 145 challenger, then it will collect them from the applicant pool in general (about $1.60 per applicant) as it has done for many years.

        • Peter v. NantKwest: PTO Faces Skeptical Justices over Assessment of Fees

          On the first day of the 2019-20 term, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Peter v. NantKwest, Inc.,[1] a case raising the question of whether a patent applicant should be responsible to pay all of the PTO’s attorneys’ fees in a § 145 “appeal”; it did not go well for the government. With the Supreme Court’s new procedures, the Deputy Solicitor General arguing the case was able to set forth the three main points of the government’s case in two uninterrupted minutes. After that, he was barraged by pointed questions. Morgan Chu of Irell & Manella, arguing for NantKwest, faced less difficult questions and was better able to turn them to his advantage. Ultimately, the argument left the impression that the Justices are very skeptical of the government’s desire to recover attorneys’ fees as “expenses” of a § 145 action regardless of whether the applicant prevails.

          The NantKwest case arose after a patent applicant lost an argument at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. A dissatisfied applicant has two options after an adverse PTAB decision: a routine appeal of the agency decision to the Federal Circuit under the Administrative Procedure Act under 35 U.S.C. § 141, or a civil action the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia under 35 U.S.C. § 145. The § 145 action allows for fulsome discovery, introduction of new evidence, and de novo review of the decision. However, it requires that “[a]ll of the expenses of the proceeding shall be paid by the applicant.” 35 U.S.C. § 145.

The Injustice at the EPO Deepens, From Examination to Oppositions/Appeals and From BoA to Courts (UPC Prospects)

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 6:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The patent system in Europe has been reduced to a litigation pipeline that breaks the law, besieged by law firms that are science-hostile and self-serving

Large gavel
Will private companies get the gavel, too (‘contractor’ judges)?

Summary: The concept of justice at the EPO has become so ridiculous that it’s rather incredible some people view Unified Patent Court (UPC) prospects as reasonable (putting courts at the hands of private companies such as Serco)

IN OUR latest Daily Links we put some links regarding the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Not much has happened there except the usual FRAND-pushing, 35 U.S.C. § 101-bashing Iancu and troll-pushing Gilstrap down in Texas. Seeing that it’s the same old tune (more or less), we’d rather focus on EPO affairs, not just because it’s “closer to home” (to me personally) but because of the urgency associated with software patents in Europe, promoted by both António Campinos and his ‘poppa’ Battistelli. They’re also cozying up and liaising with front groups of patent trolls; it’s perfectly clear what their priorities are (whose financial agenda).

“…this is the sort of causality analysis we’ve come to expect from nontechnical EPO leadership that bribes scholars and media for shameless, unaccountable propaganda operations.”The EPO seemingly ceased caring about its reputation or its scientific credibility because there’s nothing left to guard. Together with EUIPO it has been issuing this infamous pile of lies for a number of years (since Battistelli). They have repeatedly cited, on a daily basis for two weeks now, this pile of lies despite many rebuttals and debunkings showing up. Yesterday they wrote: “Our latest study assesses how industries that make intensive use of intellectual property rights contribute to EU economies.”

So do industries that have toilets. That does not in any way mean that the contributions can be attributed to this one thing. But this is the sort of causality analysis we’ve come to expect from nontechnical EPO leadership that bribes scholars and media for shameless, unaccountable propaganda operations. Notice their use of the term “intellectual property rights” — a term that contains at least two lies in it. There’s no such thing as “intellectual property rights” (it’s a lawyers’ propaganda term), so it’s clear whose side the EPO is on. They’re also collaborating with a front group of patent trolls, as advertised as recently as a day ago, together with the term “intellectual property” (IP). This is what they wrote: “Are you interested in informal one-to-one meetings with IP and business experts at our event for #startups and technology business decisionmakers in Dublin?”

“Did you know that the EPO offers free or cheap access to tools and databases for retrieving and analysing its patent data?”
It’s a LES/I event. They’re actively collaborating if not cooperating with thugs or corporate bullies — exactly what it takes to embolden this system’s critics. LESI is fronting for so-called ‘businesses’ whose sole/principal operations are going after real companies with demands of ‘protection money’ (so-called ‘royalties’).

The EPO then said: “Did you know that the EPO offers free or cheap access to tools and databases for retrieving and analysing its patent data?”

But many of these patents are not valid as courts would throw them out. Focus on improving patent quality instead of scuttling the messenger.

The EPO’s oppositions division or EPO Opposition Division as it’s formally called is buried under a growing load of petitions. Haseltine Lake Kempner LLP published some paper with numbers and graphs; the number of oppositions nearly doubled in a very short amount of time, restricting the capacity and thus quality of reassessment like the quotas do examination (everything is being rushed at all levels, limiting the breadth of prior art search, assessment of triviality and so on). As StreetInsider as just shown in this new press release, here we have a European Patent in the domain of pharmaceuticals. This patent withstands scrutiny for a change (albeit not in a court) — not quite the typical outcome these days because challenged ones often turn out to be fake. To quote:

Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: TNXP) (Tonix or the Company), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced that the European Patent Office’s (EPO) Opposition Division has upheld the Company’s European Patent 2501234B1 with claims covering compositions containing the active ingredient in TNX-102 SL, cyclobenzaprine, for use in treating the development, initiation, consolidation, and perpetuation of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms following a traumatic event. This patent was originally granted by the EPO in September 2017 and an opposition was filed against the patent in June 2018.

The U.S. counterpart to the European patent is U.S. Patent No. 9,918,948, the validity of which is not being challenged. In addition to these patents, Tonix owns patents covering TNX-102 SL and its use to treat PTSD in the U.S., Europe, and other countries. Together, these patents protect the use of TNX-102 SL in Europe and elsewhere.

They basically say something along the lines of, USPTO is OK with this patent, so EPO needs to accept it as well. The patent was granted under Battistelli and the opposition was filed one month before he left. We don’t know the details of this opposition, but it doesn’t take a genius to see that the Opposition Division is being buried under a growing load of oppositions and rising quotas, imperiling individuals’ ability to assess patents as thoroughly as courts would.

Published at the start of the week through/in Mondaq was this Haseltine Lake Kempner LLP piece on EPO oppositions. There should be hundreds of thousands such oppositions, but the EPO cannot handle these and years ago took steps to suppress them (we covered the methods at the time); it’s a patent-granting machine and any oppositions ‘interferes’ with that machine. Here’s what the article said, citing some words from Isobel Finnie (partly responsible for the above-mentioned study):

The seminar began with an EPO case law update which was given by Isobel Finnie and Robert Margue and covered topics including the admission of Auxiliary Requests into the opposition appeal proceedings, insufficiency and the possible “unusual parameter” practice coming to Oppositions and Opposition Appeals.


After a short break in the sun, and time to grab a coffee and pastry, we began the second half of the seminar with a talk on “Strategic opportunities and pitfalls in the interplay of Oppositions with UK litigation” from Richard Kempner and Brian Whitehead, two of our patent litigation experts. They provided an overview of stays of proceedings, what happens to remedies/costs if patent is subsequently revoked/amended by the EPO and inconsistent evidence in EPO and national courts.

The final session of the day was a panel discussion on the new Rules of Procedure of the Board of Appeal hosted by Joe Lenthall and with Christopher Rennie-Smith and David Brown. As someone who helped to draft the current Rules of Procedure Christopher has a great insight into this topic and was able to provide thoughtful and interesting information on the subject.

So they then moved on to the Boards of Appeal — the EPO’s courts that cannot quite do their job because they’re oppressed and intimidated. Some time very soon they’re supposed to deal with the question of software patenting (e.g. simulation in software), but they’re not equipped to make up their minds based on the EPC, only the EPO’s zeal (O as in Office, if not Organisation as well). We’re meanwhile becoming ever more accustomed to seeing the EPO framing software patents as the buzzword du jour. Getting illegal software patents from the EPO by masking them as "hey hi" is a popular trick. The EPO keeps linking to tips to that effect (in its tweets). Just call your algorithm “hey hi” and the job will be done by examiners (whose new guidelines strongly insist on allowing a patent on such ‘innovative’ ‘inventive’ ‘invention’). FRKelly’s Paul Keane has in fact just published an article about it and it was promoted in Lexology. Check this:

When building a portfolio of AI patent assets, one should take a strategic approach with the vision that current legislation in the various jurisdictions may change. Further patent case law may evolve to catch up with the AI revolution, where technological advances are often years ahead of legislative change. A long term patent strategy in the AI field must take account of how the IP5 patent offices (USA, EPO, China, Korea, Japan) are currently examining AI patent applications and, more importantly, consider how they may examine AI patent applications in the future. Whether a patent strategy is focused on building a portfolio of AI patent assets for future cross-licensing deals or a bunker for defensive assets; the same approach applies. It is imperative that AI patent applications are carefully drafted to allow different generations of claimed AI inventions to be harvested from a single application when the time is right. The following discussion considers how such a strategy could be implemented at the EPO.

Notice how many times Keane says “hey hi” (8 times in the above paragraph alone); they typically refer to computer, algorithm, or just automation. Not even machine learning algorithms, which are themselves statistics/maths. How about this new EPO tweet about so-called ‘machine translations’ (fancy name for something else) that have no legal legitimacy and no validity whatsoever?

“In this age of social media and instant gratification and an attention span of not more than 10 seconds, is our precious representative democracy (separation of powers, Rule of Law) more or less, sooner or later, doomed to be etched away to nothing?”
“EPO lawyer Britta Kley talks about machine translations in grant and opposition proceedings,” the EPO wrote. Those have no legitimacy in a court, so opposition proceedings too ought not rely on the gobbledygook that comes out of them. This is hype and buzzwords at play, in the name of “efficiency”. People tend to believe that one language neatly translates into another without nuance and connotation issues because people who know multiple languages usually know closely related ones (like Italian and German, not Chinese and Arabic). My wife speaks 5 languages and can tell the paradigm shift going from one to another. Brits and Americans (as in US, not Canada) can barely speak more than one language. Automated translations are lousy, misleading and sometimes offensive (not intended, due to errors or loss in translation). How can the EPO seriously pretend that examination decisions and oppositions are to be decided based upon some crap spewed out from Google algorithms? What does that say about application of law? Do some lousy algorithms that chew text now replace judges?

It is quickly becoming rather evident that the EPO is rogue and that it’s granting illegal patents using semantic tricks, much to the chagrin of law firms. Thankfully, as far as we’re aware, the FCC in Germany (Bundesverfassungsgericht) takes note. It can see more or less what’s going on; it would be an epic embarrassment to Germany if the EPO 'franchise' was allowed to extend to the court system. As mentioned by SUEPO and Team UPC, Thorsten Bausch (Hoffmann Eitle) has resumed his complaints about lack of independence in the Boards of Appeal — an issue he has been commenting on for years. He now focuses on what that means to the FCC:

Most importantly, the Bundesverfassungsgericht has so far mostly managed to stay above the political trench warfares and is remarkably little politicized, even though many of its decisions have political implications and repercussions. This may be helped by the peculiar mode on how its judges are appointed, which (in the final stage) requires a 2/3 majority in the Bundestag or Bundesrat (each of which elects 4 judges per Senate; there are two Senates each composed of eight judges). Compare that with the way Supreme Court judges are appointed in the USA with very small partisan majorities, and you see the obvious advantages of a system driven by the desire and need to compromise and balance.

Another thing of which no one would dare accuse the Bundesverfassungsgericht is undue haste with its decisions. The most beloved topic on this blog, i.e. the constitutional complaint against the UPC, has meanwhile aged well over two years and is very unlikely to be decided this year. I would expect that the Bundesverfassungsgericht will first decide on the compatibility of the EAPP (Expanded Asset Purchase Programme) with the Basic Law, as it held oral proceedings about this case in July. Which of the other “big” cases pending before the competent department of Prof. Huber will be next is a matter of conjecture. The Court has a choice between the constitutional complaints against insufficient legal protection against decisions of the EPO Boards of Appeal (four cases pending since 2010 (!), 2013, 2015 and 2016), constitutional complaints against CETA (the free trade agreement between the EU and Canada, pending since 2016), a referral decision by the Administrative Court of Bremen whether the Bremen state law prohibiting the transhipment of nuclear fuel in Bremen ports, is incompatible with Article 71, Article 73 (1) No. 14 of the Basic Law and the principle of federal loyalty (pending since 2015), municipal constitutional complaints whether certain obligations of cities and municipalities enshrined in a federal law are compatible with the right to local self-government guaranteed by the Basic Law (pending since 2012), and, last but not least, Dr. Stjerna’s constitutional complaint against the UPCA which was filed in 2017 and thus is a comparatively recent case, though (the only) one where the Bundesverfassungsgericht asked the President not to sign a ratification law passed by Parliament.


I am of course aware of Art 13 EPC stipulating that employees and former employees of the European Patent Office or their successors in title may apply to the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization in the case of disputes with the European Patent Organisation, and I have written about the Boards of Appeal and the problem of their independence before. However, even if legal protection by the Administrative Tribunal of the ILO were perfect (which it is not for several practical and legal reasons – in particular the AT-ILO is not an independent instance of fact) and if the Boards of Appeal were indeed completely independent of the Office President (which they are not), there would still be a lacuna, because the AT-ILO only hears cases in labor law, whereas the Boards of Appeal substantially only hear patent cases, with the exception of the Enlarged Board of Appeal, which also has the competence under Art 23 EPC to propose the removal of an Appeal board member from office if there are serious grounds for such removal, but so far the Enlarged Board never made such a proposal. This leaves most areas of law substantially court-less. It would then be for the Administrative Council to exercise its disciplinary authority over senior EPO employees, which it has under Art 11(4) EPC.

However, there are at least two problems with this oversight function of the Administrative Council (AC). The first is that the AC is ill-equipped to actually perform the function of an independent supervisory body. It consists of two envoyees of each of the EPO member states, who are mostly heads of their national patent office and/or ministry officials. To my knowledge, they have very few expert staff of their own and are as such not well suited to independently check e.g. the EPO’s financial accounts independently or form an informed opinion of whether e.g. the move of a part of the office to Haar makes sense from a financial or organisational point of view, or whether HR matters are managed well within the EPO. On top of that, they are also not really independent of the management of the EPO. Quite on the contrary, they tend to elect the EPO President and Vice Presidents from among themselves. While this may be acceptable in a constitutional system that includes independent courts as a control instance, it is very problematic where there is no such independent third power and where members of the AC who want to improve their own financial situation via an attractive position in the EPO management may be lured into not being too critical with the Office.

Let me give you two (of course, completely hypothetical) examples of the difference between a national patent office and the Eponia world. Assume the President of a national patent office received a bill or a fine due to some personal wrongdoing, such as, e.g. misbehaving in the public under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Assume, furthermore, that this President would then submit the bill to the accounting department of his/her patent office, requesting them to pay it. What would happen? I assume that a President of a national patent office would not get very far with such a request, and if they were, they might encounter pretty serious problems later, if and when the payment is uncovered. In Germany, such a President might even have to face an action for embezzlement and abuse of trust (Sec. 266 DE Penal Code).

To quote one comment:

When one reflects on the immunity vs impunity point urged on us by one commentator here, the current antics of Johnson in London and Trump in Washington DC, the outrageous effrontery of the immediate past-President of the EPO, the spineless behaviour of the AC, and the public opinion pollings that suggest that both Trump and Johnson would get re-elected if they were to stand today for re-election in a General Election, one wonders about the capabilities of ordinary voters in any representative democracy to comprehend even the most simple aspects of what you have written.

In this age of social media and instant gratification and an attention span of not more than 10 seconds, is our precious representative democracy (separation of powers, Rule of Law) more or less, sooner or later, doomed to be etched away to nothing?

“EPO is not responsible in front of a court for its acts,” the subsequent comment said, “this is not compliant with the rule of law principle. This is one of the pending constitutional complaint in Germany, where EPO examiners preferred going to watch the football world cup instead of doing their job.”

“Carl Josefsson explains what is being done to ensure the boards’ independence and says new rules of procedure can help reduce the “untenable” backlog…”
      –Managing IP
They’re actually entitled to holidays. It’s part of their set of rights (except the EPO denies those rights). Surely the higher courts can see that and they can also see that the EPO lacks independence, as this recent case served to show. It’s brought up in the comments and there’s this new interview (this time behind paywall) with Carl Josefsson, whose initial words focused on massive backlogs of cases (that was outside the paywall). Even Carl Josefsson himself does not have independence, so the whole lot is rogue; it’s not the judges’ fault that EPO corruption engulfed the courts, coercing judges who want to keep their job (and not be dragged out of their office at the middle of the day only to face false accusations and years of slander).

“Carl Josefsson explains what is being done to ensure the boards’ independence and says new rules of procedure can help reduce the “untenable” backlog,” says the summary, alluding to over 10,000 impending cases (yes, that number is not a typo!) because no court can deal with such a backlog, especially not when threatened constantly to harm impartiality and intentionally understaffed to make it less potent. From the limited publication:

Carl Josefsson is clear on one thing when we ask about the EPO Boards of Appeal’s new procedural rules: in order to work, they will rely on better case management and a potential increased workload for first instance divisions.

Remember that when this publisher (Managing IP) previously planned to speak to AMBA, i.e. the Boards of Appeal’s representation, it was denied permission from the EPO’s management. So much for separation of powers. What kind of ‘justice’ is it when the subject (or target) of these cases intimidates/silences the judges?

Eric Lundgren in the Media Again

Posted in Courtroom, Microsoft at 5:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz



Microsoft’s Declaration of War on Recyclers

Summary: The “Lundgren story”, which was documented for Netflix publication, is now at Vice (not exactly known for objectivity but for insincerity)

Eric Lundgren was in the news yesterday [1] (yes, again), as pointed out to us by a reader. Will this get the debate reignited again? Oddly enough, it came from the same publication that lied about Richard Stallman, causing his career’s deterioration. This publication later publicly celebrated this ‘achievement’ (in a later article) and that helped distract the media from the Bill Gates Epstein-MIT scandals. That publication is funded by a close friend of Bill Gates, which makes one wonder…

Either way, yesterday we asked a friend of Mr. Lundgren about further information and sent our wishes to Mr. Lundgren. The series is likely not over; we still want to publish court material one day. Microsoft did that selectively just to demonise if not slander Mr. Lundgren. This merits a belated response now that he is out of prison. “I don’t know what I was supposed to learn by going to prison,” he was quoted as saying yesterday. Issues to cover next in the series: Microsoft Silencing Media; Court Mischief; Legal and Financial Ramifications. It may take some time as the man is recovering from over a year inside a cage, for the ‘crime’ of recycling old PCs, harming potential new sales (manufacturing) with ‘new’ copies of Windows.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Meet the E-Waste Recycler Jailed for a Year for Infringing Microsoft’s Copyright

    “I don’t know what I was supposed to learn by going to prison. I just made the most of my time while I was there,” he said. “They try to break you in prison. That’s basically what prison is set up to do…I would say my time in prison definitely emboldened me further towards my goal which is to see that all the e-waste in the country and the world isn’t thrown away but is recycled.”

    In prison, Lundgren sketched out a plan for a new business. When he got home, he hit the ground running. His new business recycles electric vehicle batteries.

    “We’re going to save 47 million pounds of batters from landfills this year,” he said. “It’s going to save billions of dollars in commodity value alone and take away 70 percent of the toxicity in our landfills.”

IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 07, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:42 am by Needs Sunlight

Read #techrights IRC log for 071019

Read #boycottnovell IRC log for 071019

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

Read #boycottnovell-social IRC log for 071019

Read #techbytes IRC log for 071019

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

The Electronic Frontier Foundation Does Good Work, But It Can Do Even Better

Posted in EFF, Patents at 1:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Constructive criticism can only make the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) even stronger

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Summary: We still miss the ‘older EFF’ as there’s a growing perception that it leans towards things that harm Software Freedom in the name of pseudo-novelty

THE EFF was covered here in two separate articles yesterday [1, 2]; it had also been mentioned very briefly two days ago. We generally support the EFF, especially because of its campaigning in the domain of patent law (e.g. defending 35 U.S.C. § 101 from a USPTO coup). Of course we also support its stance on copyright, net neutrality, privacy and so on even though we don’t always agree on approach, the methods and the policy pursued (sometimes it feels like it’s tuned by EFF sponsors). The EFF is, like any nonprofit of that scale, vulnerable to seductive corporate patrons. See what the Linux Foundation became (and no, it wasn’t always this bad).

“The EFF is, like any nonprofit of that scale, vulnerable to seductive corporate patrons.”The EFF in recent years has not been the same as before. It’s not like it was ever perfect (nothing and nobody is perfect), but over the past 2 years it got a lot worse. This saddens me because I liked them a lot. One of our readers explained to us: “I was a member for a while and gave up on them a few years ago. I still have a t-shirt and a pile of stickers.

“If they were doing anything relevant for Digital Liberty then they were not good at communicating it even to their membership. After enough of that, I stopped being a member and eventually even stopped following even their “Deep Links” page.

“Regardless of what their priorities are or aren’t these days, I’d like to see a return to them getting in the news. That might be impossible given the changes to the mainstream media, even Wired is lame now, but it is nonetheless what would help them a lot. Hopefully it would also help digital liberty. Maybe using the conference circuit more or differently would help there. That’s toilsome though.

“I’m not sure what to say about their apparently complete lack of coverage of the software patent situation in Europe. Like I said above, I stopped finding them relevant and stopped keeping track of what they do or don’t do so I have no idea if they have been paying attention to any other European issues either. What is visible and annoying is, last time I checked, their move away from Software Freedom and Open Source in general as they promote closed, proprietary products instead, rationalizing that with a small handful of Microsoft talking points.”

“Doing another article about EFF priorities can hopefully help guide them w.r.t. wants or desires of Software Freedom proponents.”We think it's about money.

Doing another article about EFF priorities can hopefully help guide them w.r.t. wants or desires of Software Freedom proponents. Even prominent privacy proponents like this one responded to us yesterday: “This already happened with the w3c DNT working group where EFF basically did nothing for about 3 years other than take a seat someone else could have had and actually done something with it.”

That sounds like a familiar problem. It’s what some call “controlled opposition”; our reader (above) often speaks of it in terms like “entryism”.

“My comment was mostly negative,” this reader explained almost with restrained sense of remorse. “Despite that I do hope they pick up some of their old priorities again. Sure they can and should do many and varied things along the way, but their overall goals should be clear as they were under Barlow’s time.”

To me, personally, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is still a good organisation whose reputation and direction can be salvaged. Last year the Electronic Frontier Foundation gave me some advice after I had received legal threats (obvious SLAPP) from a patent law firm. The Electronic Frontier Foundation does a good service for troubled bloggers who receive frivolous threats if not lawsuits.

Links 8/10/2019: Intel’s Imad Sousou Steps Down and GNU/FSF Debate is Back

Posted in News Roundup at 12:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Linus Torvalds Shares His Thoughts on Microsoft’s New-Found Love for Linux

        But is this reaction justified? Is Microsoft truly out to wrestle control of Linux? To ’embrace, extend and extinguish’ like the well-worn mantra proclaims?

        Who better to ask than Linus Torvalds, founder of the Linux kernel.

        ZDNet‘s Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (svjn) put the question to Linus at recent Linux developer conference — and the newly-relaxed Finn’s opinion doesn’t deliver what some users might have wished to hear.

        Linus is quoted as saying: “The whole anti-Microsoft thing was sometimes funny as a joke, but not really. Today, they’re actually much friendlier. I talk to Microsoft engineers at various conferences, and I feel like, yes, they have changed, and the engineers are happy.“

        “And they’re like really happy working on Linux. So I completely dismissed all the anti-Microsoft stuff.”

    • Server

      • Decentralizing the Data Center: Hybrid Cloud, Multi-Cloud and more

        But how did we get to cloud computing in the first place? While these are not the only reasons, cost, availability and disaster recovery were a large part of what motivated companies to transition from on-prem [-only] deployments to cloud or hybrid approaches. Now, let us fast forward to the present and we are seeing something entirely new: a complete decentralization of the data center.

        But what does that mean? Once upon a time, companies transitioning or starting their operations in the cloud shopped around and found a public cloud service that best suited their needs. The final decision typically boiled down to cost and services. I would know. I used to work in a division of one of these large cloud providers and we were always going neck-to-neck with the other major players for mainly these key topics.

      • Quarks – New Building Blocks for Deploying on Kubernetes

        At the recent Cloud Foundry Summit EU in the Netherlands, Mario Manno of SUSE and Enrique Encalada of IBM gave a presentation about two popular platforms for deploying your cloud-native applications – Kubernetes and Cloud Foundry. Kubernetes is the great for its flexibility, control over your application and is a great container orchestrator. Cloud Foundry is the go-to platform where you don’t want to worry about your infrastructure, networking, scaling, and routing. It also has the best developer experience in the industry. With Quarks, deployment is simplified using BOSH features, but keeping the flexibility of Kubernetes. Believing that Quarks is the next buzzword for Cloud Foundry conferences, they described and demonstrated the new framework and its building blocks for deploying cloud-native applications which has the best features of the two worlds.

      • SLE 12 SP5 Release Candidate 2 is out!

        This Service Pack 5 is a consolidation Service Pack release.

      • IBM

        • Red Hat Streamlines Operating System Update Cycle

          CentOS is a distribution of Linux based on a fork of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). The team that oversees CentOS operates independently of Red Hat. That team in collaboration with Red Hat is making available an additional distribution dubbed CentOS Stream, through which a continuous stream of content will be updated several times daily.
          Mike McGrath, senior director for Linux engineering at Red Hat, said those innovations eventually will find their way into RHEL, but until then developers who want to build applications using those features as they become available can use CentOS Stream.
          This latest distribution of Linux from Red Hat is intended to act as a bridge between Fedora, a distribution of Linux through which Red Hat makes available experimental technologies, and RHEL, he said.

        • Happy Halloween (Packages Not In EPEL-8 yet)

          It is October, and in the US it means that all the decorations for Halloween are going up. This is a time of year I love because you get to dress up in a costume and give gifts to people. In the spirit of Halloween, I am going to make various packages available in a COPR to add onto the EPEL-8 repositories.

          There are a lot of packages which are in EPEL-6 or EPEL-7 but are not in EPEL-8 yet. Some of these may not be possible due to missing -devel, others may just need someone interested in maintaining a branch for EPEL-8, etc etc. In order to try and get a push on this I wanted to see what packages could be built and made ready at some point. I also wanted to make it possible that if you really needed this package, that they could be available.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Going Linux #378 · Zorin Review

        Our review of of Zorin OS includes a give-away of one copy of Zorin Ultimate.

      • Network Automation At Enterprise Scale With Python

        Designing and maintaining enterprise networks and the associated hardware is a complex and time consuming task. Network automation tools allow network engineers to codify their workflows and make them repeatable. In this episode Antoine Fourmy describes his work on eNMS and how it can be used to automate enterprise grade networks. He explains how his background in telecom networking led him to build an open source platform for network engineers, how it is architected, and how you can use it for creating your own workflows. This is definitely worth listening to as a way to gain some appreciation for all of the work that goes on behind the scenes to make the internet possible.

      • 2019-10-07 | Linux Headlines

        The FSF is looking for some direction, StackStorm joins the Linux Foundation, and GNOME users who like it a little traditional get some good news.

        Plus the Pinebook Pro starts shipping to customers, and more.

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Imad Sousou Steps Down As Head Of Intel’s Open-Source Efforts

          Imad Sousou was the founder of the Intel Open-Source Technology Center that had been leading the company’s open-source efforts now for nearly two decades. Most recently his title was as the Corporate VP and GM of the Intel Open-Source Technology Center and System Software. In his role he guided the company’s many open-source efforts from the open-source drivers through the MeeGo/Moblin days, the numerous virtualization projects, Clear Linux, and much more. One just needs to browse 01.org to see the incredible breadth of open-source projects he oversaw.

        • Intel Readies Another Big Graphics Driver Push With Linux 5.5 – Lots For Tigerlake/Gen12

          While just one week past the Linux 5.4 merge window cut-off and now with XDC 2019 out of the day, Intel’s open-source graphics driver team sent in their first batch of new material they will be targeting for the Linux 5.5 cycle.

          The Linux 5.5 merge window isn’t until around the end of November and there will be several more weeks worth of Intel graphics driver changes destined for Linux 5.5. But already this first pull request to DRM-Next has a lot of new material.

    • Applications

      • Quod Libet review – Sounds of music?

        My music requirements are simple. I have many great qualities, but a refined ear isn’t among them. With an aural sensitivity of a comodo dragon, my needs come down to a simple player that is pleasing to the eye, comes with a semi-modern layout, and most importantly, will not annoy me with badly arranged albums, titles and tags. The last piece has been my chief music-related woe for years.

        When it comes to music players, I’m kind of okay here. VLC does the job, and when you tweak it, it’s quite delightful one must say. Then, when I’m feeling adventurous, there’s Clementine, which features splendidly on the desktop, with a clean interface and tons of goodies. And yet, now and then, I go about testing music applications, because music collections won’t sort themselves, now will they. To wit, Quod Libet.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Amanita Design return to Linux with the surprise new release of Pilgrims

        Amanita Design are the developers of games including Machinarium, Botanicula, Samorost and more. Today, they released Pilgrims, a playful adventure game and it supports Linux. Note: Key from the developer.

        Seems they’ve now moved over to using the Unity game engine, which has likely helped them support Linux again as previous titles used a mix of Flash and Adobe Air. As for Pilgrims, I had honestly not heard of it at all so it was quite a surprise to see it in the GamingOnLinux inbox this morning. Seems they were a bit sneaky and just stealth released it!

      • The survival game 7 Days to Die has a huge new experimental release out

        A day some of our readers have been eagerly awaiting, 7 Days to Die has a big Alpha 18 experimental build available to try. It’s an absolutely massive release as usual, as they leave it a long time before updates.

        Performance has been a bit of a focus for this release. Thankfully. A new Occlusion System made it in, so that a lot of things that are on-screen but not visible to you don’t actually render to improve FPS. However, they said it adds “some minor popping artifacts, where occluded objects may take a moment to appear” and so it’s a setting you can turn off. The Unity game engine was updated to Unity 2019.1 as well, which should prevent a lot of the hitching seen before with better “Garbage Collection”. There’s plenty more performance work that went in, which all sounds pretty great. While the gameplay in 7 Days to Die has been fun for a long time, performance has been a serious weak point for it.

        The item schematic system is back in the game. Meaning on your travels you can now find them and permanently unlock how to craft certain items and entire groups of items. The early game should be a bit more forgiving on encumbrance, as they’ve removed a whole row and there’s pocket mods to craft for clothing to reduce encumbrance early on. HD icons were added for all blocks and items, a new terrain shader, improved reflections, a coyote and mountain lion were added, Zombies can ragdoll when they fall and the list just keeps going on.

      • NVIDIA Begins Funding Blender Development

        NVIDIA is the latest high profile company now contributing significant funds for advancing the open-source Blender 3D modeling software.

        NVIDIA has joined Epic Games at the premiere “patron” level in which they are contributing at least €120k per year. NVIDIA and Epic are the two companies contributing the most to Blender’s Development Fund but also making significant contributions are the likes of Ubisoft, Google, Ubuntu, Intel Software, Valve, and others.

      • The Blender team have secured even more funding, this time from NVIDIA

        Following on from Ubisoft and Epic Games becoming Blender sponsors, NVIDIA have also thrown a bucket full on money into the ring.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Dash to Dock v67 Released, Adds Unity-style ‘Trash’ Icon

          Dash to Dock v67 adds support for the recently released GNOME 3.34. This change wasn’t trivial and is said to have necessitated “significant modernization of the code base”.

          As a side effect, Dash to Dock developer Michele G says support for previous GNOME Shell versions has been dropped with this version.

          Don’t panic unnecessarily though as older versions of Dash to Dock are still available to install from extensions.gnome.org (EGO) for previous GNOME Shell releases.

        • GStreamer Conference 2019 (including GStreamer and PipeWire hackfests)

          Anyway, 20 years later there will be a talk and presentation by GStreamer co-founder Wim Taymans (wearing blue shirt and black pants in picture above) at the GStreamer Conference commemorating 20 years of GStreamer. Detailing taking the project from idealistic spare time effort to the multimedia industry juggernaut it is today.
          Of course the conference is not going to be focused on the past, as there is a long line up of great talks talking about modern streaming with DASH, HDR support in GStreamer, latest developments around GStreamer and Rust, Virtual reality, Vulkan and more. Actually on the ‘and more’ topic, Wim Taymans will also do a presentation on PipeWire, the next generation audio and video server, at the GStreamer Conference this year, hopefully demoing some of the great improvements in things like our pro-audio Jack emulation support.
          So if you haven’t already, make your way to the GStreamer Conference 2019 website and register for the 10th annual GStreamer Conference!

          For those going be aware that there will also be a joint GStreamer fall hackfest and PipeWire hackfest in the two days following the GStreamer Conference. So be sure to sign up for those if interested. They will be co-located with participants flowing freely between the two events.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 599

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 599 for the week of September 29 – October 5, 2019.

        • Five Key Kubernetes Resources for IoT

          IoT workloads are moving from central clouds to the edge, for reasons pertaining to latency, privacy, autonomy, and economics. However, workloads spread over several nodes at the edge are tedious to manage. Although Kubernetes is mostly used in the context of cloud-native web applications, it could be leveraged for managing IoT workloads at the edge. A key prerequisite is lightweight and production-grade k8s distributions like MicroK8s, running on Ubuntu Core. In this blog, we describe the most compelling Kubernetes resources for IoT.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • Linux App Summit 2019 schedule is out!

          We published the Linux App Summit 2019 schedule last week.

          We have a bunch of interesting talks (sadly we had to leave almost 40 almost as interesting talks out, we had lots of awesome submissions!) ranging from flatpak and snaps to how product management is good for Free Software projects with some thought provoking talks thrown in to make us think what’s the future of our platform.

          I am going and you should totally come too!

        • Announcing the All Things Open 2019 lightning talk lineup

          If you’re attending the All Things Open conference in Raleigh, NC this year be sure to check out our Lightning Talk series on Tuesday, October 15 at 12:45 pm EDT.

          This is an amazing line-up of quick talks you won’t want to miss. Speakers have five minutes to enlighten the audience about an open source topic they are passionate about. We’ve got everything from DevOps to Kubernetes, and how open source is used in education, healthcare, government, design, and more. Grab your lunch, find a seat, warm up your Twitter fingers, and get ready for the fastest hour at All Things Open.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla GFX: moz://gfx newsletter #48

            Martin Stransky landed the dmabuf texture work which was at the prototype stage at the time of the previous newsletter. This is only used with the GL compositor at the moment which is not enabled by default (gfx.acceleration.force-enabled pref in about:config). Work to get dmabuf textures with WebRender is in progress.


        • Richard Stallman and the GNU project

          While Richard Stallman has resigned from the Free Software Foundation and MIT, he continues to hold onto his position as the head of the GNU project. Now, the FSF has announced that it is “working with GNU leadership on a shared understanding of the relationship for the future” and is seeking comments from the community on what that should be.

          Meanwhile, a group of maintainers for specific GNU project has posted a joint statement calling for new leadership at GNU. “We believe that Richard Stallman cannot represent all of GNU. We think it is now time for GNU maintainers to collectively decide about the organization of the project. The GNU Project we want to build is one that everyone can trust to defend their freedom.”

        • Industry Watch: Why our industry must admit #metoo

          Richard Stallman, an industry icon who created the first open-source operating system and has spent his career fighting for free and open software, resigned from his positions at the Free Software Foundation and MIT-CSAIL over remarks he made regarding, of all things, the Jeffrey Epstein case.

          The blowup occurred in response to a Facebook event urging MIT students to rally against the university accepting anonymous donations from Epstein, an accused sexual predator of young girls — children, actually. (Our universities are as corrupt as many of our institutions, so looking the other way while money comes in is a matter of practice. See Stanford, Yale, USC and Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin and unnamed others of wealth. But this is beside the point of this story.)

          Stallman’s comments were in defense of another industry thought leader, the late Marvin Minsky, who was a pioneer in artificial intelligence and co-founder of the MIT AI lab. It is reported that one of Epstein’s girls was directed to have sex with Minsky. While some reports called this a sexual assault, Minsky was never charged with a criminal act. But his guilt or innocence also is beside the point of this article.

        • GNU means GNU’s Not U: Stallman insists he’s still Chief GNUisance while 18 maintainers want him out as leader

          On Monday, a group of maintainers of the GNU Project, the free operating system created by Richard Stallman, questioned Stallman’s leadership and emitted a joint statement for rethinking how the project should be managed going forward.

          Late last month, after resigning as president of the Free Foundation in the wake of catastrophically insensitive statements posted to an MIT mailing list, and a social media backlash, Stallman also appeared to resign as the head of the GNU Project.

          A statement saying as much appeared on his personal website. But then it disappeared, leaving speculation that his site had been hacked.

          In an email to The Register, Matt Lee, a free and open-source software developer and one of the 18 signatories of the joint statement, offered support for that theory.

          “Regarding his website being defaced, Stallman’s personal site has been hosted by Positive Internet in the UK for a long time and he has many volunteers who update parts of the site daily,” Lee said.

      • Programming/Development

        • Tutorial: Getting Music Data with the Last.fm API using Python

          APIs allow us to make requests from servers to retrieve data. APIs are useful for many things, but one is to be able to create a unique dataset for a data science project. In this tutorial, we’re going to learn some advanced techniques for working with the Last.fm API.

        • Choosing Python for Web Development: Top 16 Pros and Cons

          One of the world’s most popular coding languages, Python was first conceptualized in the late ’80s, influenced by the ABC and Modula-3 languages. It has come a long way from its first release in 1991 to the 2.0 release when it became an open-source project, and to this day it is gathering a huge, professional community that is constantly improving the technology.

        • Building a Python C Extension Module

          There are several ways in which you can extend the functionality of Python. One of these is to write your Python module in C or C++. This process can lead to improved performance and better access to C library functions and system calls. In this tutorial, you’ll discover how to use the Python API to write Python C extension modules.

        • Quansight Labs Work Update for September, 2019

          As of November, 2018, I have been working at Quansight. Quansight is a new startup founded by the same people who started Anaconda, which aims to connect companies and open source communities, and offers consulting, training, support and mentoring services. I work under the heading of Quansight Labs. Quansight Labs is a public-benefit division of Quansight. It provides a home for a “PyData Core Team” which consists of developers, community managers, designers, and documentation writers who build open-source technology and grow open-source communities around all aspects of the AI and Data Science workflow.

          My work at Quansight is split between doing open source consulting for various companies, and working on SymPy. SymPy, for those who do not know, is a symbolic mathematics library written in pure Python. I am the lead maintainer of SymPy.

          In this post, I will detail some of the open source work that I have done recently, both as part of my open source consulting, and as part of my work on SymPy for Quansight Labs.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • America’s Risky Approach to Artificial Intelligence

        The brilliant 2014 science fiction novel “The Three-Body Problem,” by the Chinese writer Liu Cixin, depicts the fate of civilizations as almost entirely dependent on winning grand races to scientific milestones. Someone in China’s leadership must have read that book, for Beijing has made winning the race to artificial intelligence a national obsession, devoting billions of dollars to the cause and setting 2030 as the target year for world dominance. Not to be outdone, President Vladimir Putin of Russia recently declared that whoever masters A.I. “will become the ruler of the world.”

        To be sure, the bold promises made by A.I.’s true believers can seem excessive; today’s A.I. technologies are useful only in narrow situations. But if there is even a slim chance that the race to build stronger A.I. will determine the future of the world — and that does appear to be at least a possibility — the United States and the rest of the West are taking a surprisingly lackadaisical and alarmingly risky approach to the technology.

        The plan seems to be for the American tech industry, which makes most of its money in advertising and selling personal gadgets, to serve as champions of the West. Those businesses, it is hoped, will research, develop and disseminate the most important basic technologies of the future. Companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft are formidable entities, with great talent and resources that approximate those of small countries. But they don’t have the resources of large countries, nor do they have incentives that fully align with the public interest.

      • Ludwig Oxford’s Sir Peter Ratcliffe Wins Nobel Prize
      • Medicine Nobel goes to discovery of how our bodies sense oxygen levels

        Today’s Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to three researchers who helped figure out how the human body senses oxygen. William Kaelin of Harvard Medical School, Sir Peter Ratcliffe of Oxford, and Gregg Semenza of Johns Hopkins have each been awarded an equal share of the prize for work that spanned decades.

        But the work itself shows how it’s nearly impossible to study a complex pathway like this without relying on information from dozens of other researchers. And the details of how the pathway was teased apart read like a textbook of the methods of modern biology.

      • Hypoxia researchers win the 2019 Nobel Prize in medicine
    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Global DNS Threat Report Shows Businesses Continue to Lack DNS Security

        While we hear a lot about DNS threats, we tend to think of how they will affect us personally and aren’t really looking at everything they could attack. But we need to remember many of these attacks are on businesses which also affect us. Yet, businesses are continuing to not protect themselves against DNS attacks, which costs millions and affects us, the consumers.


        Efficient IP reports that the trends in DNS threats are the worst in the five-year history of the report that examines threats to businesses. The average cost of a DNS attack in the United States is more than $1.27 million. Almost half of the businesses lose more than $500K, and close to 10 percent lose over $5 million. That’s not overall in a year – that’s each time they have a breach.

      • Surprise! Copying crummy code from Stack Overflow leads to vulnerable GitHub jobs

        There’s even a faux O’Reilly-styled book of sorts, “Copying and Pasting from Stack Overflow,” to highlight the practice, which turns out to be not just lazy but also a security risk.

        In a research paper submitted to pre-print service ArXiv, six computer science boffins who hail from Shiraz University, Iran, Polytechnique Montreal University, Quebec, Canada, and Chamran University, Iran – Morteza Verdi, Ashkan Sami, Jafar Akhondali, Foutse Khomh, Gias Uddin, and Alireza Karami Motlagh – say that they looked at more than 72,000 C++ code snippets in 1,325 Stack Overflow posts and found 69 vulnerable snippets of 29 different types.

        That’s not a lot in absolute terms but those 69 vulnerable snippets show up in 2,589 GitHub projects. The researchers say they notified the authors of affected projects and some, but not all, chose to fix the flaws, which consist of known CWEs.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Dying Wildlife on a Warming Planet

          The emaciated polar bear, a sorry remnant of magnificence, raiding garbage cans in an iconic, even infamous photo, is one consequence of global warming. As the September (2019) National Geographic cover story displays depressingly, Arctic ice collected over winter is sparser, thinner, and now disappears completely during summer in parts of Canada.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • Caught in the Middle: WIPO and Emerging Economies

        When the World Intellectual Property Organization was established in April 1970–tracing its origin back to the adoption of the WIPO Convention in July 1967–the organization was at the center of a deeply divisive debate between developed and developing countries on the appropriate design of the international intellectual property system. A few years later, WIPO became a U.N. specialized agency and coauthored the report entitled The Role of the Patent System in the Transfer of Technology to Developing Countries with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. The report’s pro-development views contrasted significantly with the traditional positions of WIPO and its predecessor. The latter aligned more closely with those of inventors and their supportive developed countries.


        How have emerging countries influenced the mandate, structure and activities of WIPO? What are the positive and negative impacts of these countries? Has their arrival transformed this U.N. specialized agency? Tackling these questions in turn, this chapter begins by describing the changing landscape in the international intellectual property regime. It then explores the positive and negative impacts of emerging countries on WIPO and its activities. The chapter concludes by offering insights into the future of this organization.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Apple Sued by App Developer for Alleged Patent Infringement, Antitrust Violation
        • Optimal Standards of Proof in Patent Litigation: Infringement and Non-Obviousness

          We build a model of innovation and patent adjudication under two forms of uncertainty; uncertainty regarding whether the original invention merits protection (non-obviousness), and uncertainty as to whether a particular competitor’s product should be barred (infringement). We find that when it is practical to increase the rewards from innovation by extending patent length, the standards of proof for non-obviousness should be high. The intuition for this is that patent length should be set so that the increase in innovation from extending patent length is balanced by the increase in deadweight loss from extending monopoly pricing. In this situation, the ex-ante cost of failing to protect a good patent is minimal, but there is substantial deadweight loss from protecting a bad patent. In contrast, if non-infringing competing inventions substantially decrease the original inventor’s profits, it might be desirable to have a very low standard of proof for infringement, since the deadweight loss from an incorrect finding of infringement is mostly balanced out by the increased ex-ante incentive to invent.

        • New E.D. Texas Ruling Is Vicarious Victory for Trolls

          Induced infringement liability stems from 35 U.S.C. § 271(b), making it an act of infringement to actively induce someone else to infringe. Active inducement, in turn, has been defined as intentionally causing someone else to take an action that you are aware is patent infringement—i.e., you have to know the patent exists and that the act would infringe it. As the Supreme Court held in 2015, “deliberate indifference to a known risk that a patent exists is not the appropriate standard.”

          But the Court left a window slightly ajar—they noted that “willful blindness” can be sufficient to charge an alleged infringer with knowledge of a patent. Willful blindness, in turn, requires a defendant to “subjectively believe that there is a high probability that a fact exists” and to “take deliberate actions to avoid learning of that fact.”

          HTC allegedly has a policy of instructing its engineers not to review other people’s patents. And that’s what Gilstrap claims is willful blindness.

          In the first week of law school, I learned about the act/omission distinction—and how an omission requires a corresponding duty to act if it is to have a legal implication. And there’s no obligation to search for patents before placing a product on the market—in fact, if the patent owner hasn’t provided notice to an alleged infringer, they can’t recover pre-notice damages even if the infringement is confirmed in court. HTC didn’t take a deliberate act to avoid learning of Motiva’s patents, much less of their infringement—HTC decided not to search for patents, something it was under no obligation to do.

          HTC’s conduct is exactly what the Supreme Court determined was not sufficient by stating that “deliberate indifference to a known risk that a patent exists is not the appropriate standard.” Judge Gilstrap ignores that and in the process creates a no-win situation in which a product manufacturer willfully infringes if it does not search for patents—but also willfully infringes if it does search and finds the patent.

          That’s not what the law requires. And it doesn’t stop there—Judge Gilstrap’s error regarding willful blindness infects another aspect of infringement.


          There’s even a reasonable argument that Judge Gilstrap’s decision could lead to damage awards that violate the Due Process Clause. The Supreme Court has held that an award of punitive damages is only appropriate if “the defendant’s culpability, after having paid compensatory damages, is so reprehensible as to warrant the imposition of further sanctions to achieve punishment or deterrence.” And enhanced damages in patent cases are “punitive, not compensatory.” Given that willfulness is one of the hallmarks of when enhanced damages are appropriate, the creation of a doctrine that would impose punitive damages on a defendant for not doing what it is under no obligation to do raises serious constitutional concerns.

          Judge Gilstrap sees a large portion of the patent cases that flow through district courts each year. Decisions like this are one small part of why his courtroom is sought after by patent trolls.

        • USPTO Director Iancu looking to fix standard-essential patents policy that just ain’t broke

          Four weeks ago, USPTO director Andrei Iancu gave a keynote address at a Brussels conference on standard-essential patents (SEP) strategy. That event, organized by commercial conference organizer Premier Cercle, covered a wide range of SEP-related topics (unlike my upcoming conference, which is focused on the #1 hot-button issue, component-level licensing).

          After explaining the importance of standards, Director Iancu recalled the 2013 joint statement with the USPTO on SEP remedies. Mr. Iancu, without attributing this view to any particular organization or person, said that the 2013 policy statement has been interpreted “as putting the thumb on the scale against injunctive relief for FRAND-encumbered standard essential patents in most cases.” And he then mentioned the recent decision of the DOJ Antitrust Division, under Antitrust Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, to withdraw their agency’s support for that joint statement.

          In that Brussels speech, Mr. Iancu repeatedly indicated that the 2013 policy might not give SEP holders as much leverage as he–a former patent litigator–would like them to have. While the USPTO had not and has not withdrawn its support for the statement yet, he said his agency was “now carefully studying the issue and discussing it internally, with [their] stakeholders, and with other relevant government agencies.” He describes the possibility of a new policy in the hypothetical, but let’s be realistic: he’s not going to stick to the 2013 policy, and the question is just how radical (on a scale from “grossly unbalanced” to “extremist”) its replacement will be.

          Rutgers Law School professor Michael A. Carrier published a reply to Director Iancu’s speech on Law360 (and SSRN) a few days ago. Professor Carrier diplomatically exposes Director Iancu’s quest for balance as unwarranted, given that the 2013 policy statement already struck one between SEP hold-up on the one hand and delay tactics by unwilling licensees on the other hand. As the paper notes, the Federal Circuit even cited to that policy statement in a decision clarifying that injunctive relief was available to SEP owners in more situations than a district court had said.


          I’d love to be wrong on this, but I’d be surprised if Mr. Iancu didn’t simply agree with Mr. Delrahim on virtually every aspect of SEP enforcement, just that Mr. Iancu tries to mislead people to think that he’s open-minded about it. He’s a patent enforcement extremist, the proverbial fox in charge of the hen house, and even Professor Carrier’s strong defense of the existing SEP policy statement sadly won’t change Mr. Iancu’s mind, I’m afraid.

        • Distorted Drug Patents

          Drug patents are distorted. Unlike most other inventors, drug inventors must complete years of testing to the government’s specifications and seek government approval to commercialize their inventions. All the while, the patent term runs. When a drug inventor finally launches a medicine that embodies the invention, only a fraction of the patent life remains. And yet, conventional wisdom holds — and empirical studies show — that patent life is essential to innovation in the pharmaceutical industry, perhaps more so than any other inventive industry. Congress tried to do something about this in 1984, authorizing the Patent and Trademark Office to “restore” a portion of the patent lost to premarket testing. PTO doesn’t restore all of the lost time, though, which raises the question whether the U.S. legal system may steer researchers away from drugs that take a long time to develop. This Article focuses on that question. It examines every grant of patent term restoration for a new drug or biologic from the scheme’s 1984 enactment to April 1, 2018. And it fills a conspicuous gap in the literature: few scholars have considered patent term restoration from an empirical perspective, none has used a dataset of this size and scope, and none has addressed the questions this Article addresses. Two significant conclusions stand out. First, longer clinical programs lead to shorter effective patent life, even after PTO has granted patent term restoration. The results are strongly statistically significant and contribute to a growing body of literature raising the alarm that the U.S. legal system may be systematically skewing drug research incentives away from the harder problems — such as a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease and interventions at the early stages of cancers. Second, Congress decided to allow drug companies to apply patent term restoration to continuation patents, specifically because this would increase the chances of reaching 14 years of effective patent life. Ten years later Congress changed the way patent terms are calculated without considering the effect on patent term restoration. Selecting a continuation patent no longer has the same effect. Today a drug company is most likely to achieve the 14 years of effective patent life by securing a new, original patent that issues late in clinical trials. Policymakers and scholars complain when companies secure these later-expiring patents, but the findings in this Article suggest those patents may be necessary to accomplish what Congress intended in 1984.

        • Trolling the U.S. and EU Patent System: Solved by a Loser-Pays-Attorney-Fees Regime?

          Frivolous litigation over patent issues poses a significant barrier to innovation, especially in United States where so-called “patent trolls” or PAEs are responsible for most legal conflicts on patent issues. In comparison, Europe has far less PAE-activity than the United States, but the number of such cases in Europe has increased in recent years. Although the situation is complex, the differences between PAE-activity in Europe and the United States are most likely caused by the use of different legal frameworks for fee-shifting, i.e. the presence and absence of a loser-pays-attorney-fees regime, respectively.

          In analyzing the arguments for and against moving to a loser-pays system, this paper concludes that the existing troll problem can be reduced by adopting, as a standard practice, a system under which the loser must pay the winner’s attorney fees. It follows that a loser-pays-attorney-fees system disincentivizes PAEs from filing frivolous suits, increases the quality of patents in lawsuits, ensures a more equal bargaining position for defendants in settlement negotiations, and results in lower settlements.

          Nevertheless, this paper also cautions that the benefits of fee-shifting substantially depend on the mechanism chosen. Limiting the reimbursable fees by pre-determined caps might render fee-shifting less effective. However, placing no limits on reimbursable fees might disincentivize innovation and potentially threaten access to justice.

          Therefore, this paper recommends two features to find a right balance between the reimbursable costs subject to fee-shifting on the one hand, and innovation and access to justice on the other. First, legislative and judicial authorities are advised to implement certain procedural safeguards to shift only reasonable and proportionate attorney fees. This can be accomplished through an issue-based approach and/or the adoption of mandatory case management conferences.

          Second, automatic fee-shifting should be limited to “PAE losers” only. In determining which parties should be exempted from automatic fee-shifting, this paper suggests, in line with the never adopted working-requirement, to exempt only those parties that submit proof of adequate patent commercialization.

          Keywords: Patent Troll, Patent Assertion Entities, Cost-Shifting, United States, Europe, Loser-Pays-Attorney-Fees Regime, Troll Problem, Patent Law, Patents, Innovation, Access to Justice

      • Copyrights

        • RIAA Believes The Pirate Bay Blocks US Visitors, But it Doesn’t

          The RIAA came up with a rather unusual revelation this week. The music industry group, widely known for its anti-piracy activities, reported that The Pirate Bay started blocking U.S. IP-addresses this year. This is big news, except for the fact that it doesn’t hold any water. The Pirate Bay has no idea what the RIAA is referring to and the US remains the top traffic source for the torrent site.

        • The Day Shall Come…When Content Companies Address the Streaming Farce

          Convincing pirates to part with their cash is one of the key aims of the entertainment industries. As a result, they’re increasingly running awareness campaigns and offering online tools to help achieve that goal. But if even the most dedicated fans desperate to part with their money leave disappointed, how many bites at the cherry will they get?

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