04.10.21

USPTO for Monopolies, Keeping GNU/Linux in the Dark

Posted in America, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Patents at 1:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Growing evidence of gross discrimination against GNU/Linux (or Free software, even BSD/UNIX) users at the USPTO is too hard to ignore; some people out there challenge the Office over this travesty

“On Wednesday,” one reader told us after we had published “Conflict of Interest: Microsoft and IBM Controlling the USPTO and Leaving GNU/Linux Users Shut Out (in the Cold),” action was taken. He shared letters with us, adding: “I mailed the report to people in Congress who might be able to do something, or at least might be interested. I also sent it to the Antitrust division of the Department of Justice, and to the Anticompetitive Practices Division of the Federal Trade Commission. Waste of time and money, because they won’t do anything, but did it anyway.”

“It will be interesting to see if they respond at all.”“Adobe is making millions and millions of the US government,” he added, “and forces Americans to use Microsoft or Apple.”

We’ve received and have decided to publish the two letters below; if there’s any follow-up or response, we’ll probably receive a copy and reproduce it at a later date.

April 6, 2021

Mr. Richard A. Powers
Acting Assistant Attorney General
Department of Justice, Antitrust Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear Mr. Powers:
Your webpage https://www.justice.gov/atr says this: “To view PDF files on this website you need the free Adobe Reader.” But, de facto, Adobe is not free, because it does not work with the free operating system: Linux. It requires proprietary software: either Microsoft Windows or the Apple operating system for laptops. See Attachment D in the enclosed 38-page report about the USPTO.

If you look at Attachment F in the report, you will see that the White House and various parts of the military and federal government use Linux; and, if you look at Attachment G, you might think it reasonable to believe that perhaps 7.5% of the computers in America run on Linux.

Adobe is making millions upon millions peddling stuff to the US government, and they discriminate against maybe 7.5% of computer users. And, something is extremely rotten at the USPTO, when IBM and Microsoft takes over and institutes an “Electronic Filing Incentive.”

Why don’t you demand that Adobe work with Linux? Why don’t you demand that the USPTO stop requiring inventors to use Microsoft? And, please don’t suggest they use the much more pricey Apple. If you want more information, you can contact me at ████████████, or at ██████████.

Best regards,

████████████████

The second letter:

April 6, 2021

Federal Trade Commission
Anticompetitive Practices Division
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580

To whom it may concern:
I would like to ask you why I am being punished by the USPTO for using the Linux operating system, and why this sorta-government, sorta-not-government agency – which had people from IBM and Microsoft in its leadership – is trying to force me to use Microsoft.

The issue of Linux and IBM and Microsoft begins at page fourteen in the enclosed report about the USPTO, which I am circulating in DC, so, maybe, somebody might ask you about it, so here’s your chance to read it, and make yourself look informed. And, why don’t you go ahead and act on it, and make yourself look smart and responsible?

I was born in the District of Columbia, and I studied accounting at George Washington University, and I am a self-taught inventor who was in the Patent Office in 1980 when it was in Crystal City, so I know what I am talking about.

If you want more information, please feel free to contact me at ████████████, or at ██████████.

Best regards,

████████████████

It will be interesting to see if they respond at all. I sent several letter to the Federal Trade Commission over the years, but all I got was a generic response saying they had received my complaints. Nothing more, or barely anything of substance (just saying they’re looking into it). No evidence of actual progress, just template-like acknowledgements.

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