From One Form of Fake ‘Independence’ (‘Exile’) to Another Phony and Shallow ‘Autonomy’ (Webchats)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Meme reference: Napoleon Dynamite (no, not that Corsican who was sent to exile; the one who sent his judges (‘opponents’) to exile)

Working 'from' Munich Over compulsory 'ViCo'

Summary: Earlier today in Daily Links we included about 5 very shallow articles (except this one; see the 17 comments in there; no matter how much the EPO‘s management lies and bribes the media, the “court of public opinion” has made up its mind); Working 'from' Munich over compulsory ‘ViCo’ is hardly regaining one’s independence, it’s all about optics

Slovenia Needs More Courageous Leadership (Like Vesna Stanković Juričić), Not ‘Puppets’ of the Patent and Copyright Cartels

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 388afc6027bde3dc1c163dde96768f61

Summary: Having just published Part 39 (Part XXXX will be about Italy), we take stock of the articles cited in it, along with their English translations that make the information more widely accessible

THE last part (also see further background in Gemini) spoke about Slovenia’s descent into ‘vassal states’ status as far as EPO‘s Benoît Battistelli was concerned. He no longer needed to worry about vocal critics such as Vesna Stanković Juričić.

The video above discusses some of the translations published along with our last part/installment about Slovenia — a country that is nowadays being used as a pawn of ‘Team UPC’ instead of an independent nation striving to safeguard interests of its domestic population.

The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXIX: On the Slippery Slope to Capture

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series parts:

  1. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part I: Let the Sunshine In!
  2. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part II: A “Unanimous” Endorsement?
  3. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part III: Three Missing Votes
  4. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IV: The Founding States
  5. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part V: Germany Says “Ja”
  6. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VI: A Distinct Lack of Dutch Courage
  7. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VII: Luxembourgish Laxity
  8. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VIII: Perfidious Albion and Pusillanimous Hibernia
  9. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IX: More Holes Than Swiss Cheese
  10. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part X: Introducing the Controversial Christian Bock
  11. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XI: “General Bock” – Battistelli’s Swiss Apprentice?
  12. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XII: The French Connection
  13. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIII: Battistelli’s Iberian Facilitators – Spain
  14. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIV: Battistelli’s Iberian Facilitators – Portugal
  15. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XV: Et Tu Felix Austria…
  16. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVI: The Demise of the Austrian Double-Dipper
  17. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVII: The Non-Monolithic Nordic Bloc
  18. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVIII: Helsinki’s Accord
  19. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXX: The Baltic States
  20. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XX: The Visegrád Group
  21. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXI: The Balkan League – The Doyen and His “Protégée”
  22. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXII: The Balkan League – North Macedonia and Albania
  23. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIII: The Balkan League – Bulgaria
  24. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIV: The Balkan League – Romania
  25. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXV: The Balkan League – Fresh Blood or Same Old, Same Old?
  26. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXVI: A Trojan Horse on the Budget and Finance Committee
  27. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXVII: Cypriot Complicity
  28. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXVIII: Benoît and António’s Loyal “Habibi”
  29. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXXX: The EPOnian Micro-States – Monaco and Malta
  30. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXX: San Marino and the Perfidious Betrayal of Liberty
  31. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXI: The Abstentionists
  32. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXII: “Plucky Little Belgium”?
  33. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXIII: Swedish Scepticism
  34. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXIV: An “Extremely Dubious” Proposal
  35. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXV: Slovakian Scruples
  36. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXVI: Serbian Sour Grapes
  37. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXVII: Stubbornly Independent Slovenia
  38. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXVIII: Ensnared in the Tentacles of the SAZAS Octopus
  39. YOU ARE HERE ☞ On the Slippery Slope to Capture

Slovenian delegation captured by Team Battistelli
Stubbornly independent back in 2013, but by 2018 the Slovenian delegation had been well and truly “captured” by Team Battistelli.

Summary: The story of how EPO dictator Benoît Battistelli captured the nation of Slovenia (which has not regained its independence under the reign of António Campinos)

As mentioned in the last part, Vojko Toman was appointed as Director of the URSIL on an ad interim basis in September 2015. His appointment for a five year tenure was subsequently confirmed in September of the following year.

Toman is something of a “dark horse”. It is difficult to find much information about what he did before he was appointed as Director of the URSIL.

“Toman is something of a “dark horse”. It is difficult to find much information about what he did before he was appointed as Director of the URSIL.”All that is known for certain is that Toman obtained a doctorate from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana in 2013. The title of his dissertation was “Creating a vision and its impact on the success of Slovenian companies”.

As Toman was settling down to his new job at the head of the URSIL, the controversy surrounding SAZAS continued to attract significant public attention in Slovenia.

In December 2015, it was reported by the state broadcaster RTV Slovenija, that SAZAS management was under investigation on suspicion of money laundering and abuse of office. According to the report, criminal investigators carried out house searches and seizures of evidence at six locations.

In the course of the following year, the SAZAS affair received regular coverage in the Slovenian media, in particular thanks to the efforts of journalist Anja Hreščak who published a series of critical articles in Dnevnik throughout 2016.

“In the course of the following year, the SAZAS affair received regular coverage in the Slovenian media, in particular thanks to the efforts of journalist Anja Hreščak who published a series of critical articles in Dnevnik throughout 2016.”In an article published in November 2016, Hreščak explained how SAZAS had – by its own admission – collected over €30 million in retransmission fees from cable TV operators. Instead of being distributed to the Slovenian directors and producers who were entitled to receive them, the bulk of these fees were transferred – apparently without any legal authority – to AGICOA in Switzerland. SAZAS itself pocketed around 10% of the amount involved in the form of €3 million attributed to “operating costs”.

The article recalled how Jurij Žurej’s earlier attempts to investigate these matters after he became head of the URSIL in 2010 had led to the premature termination of his appointment in April 2012.

When the new Director, Vojko Toman, was approached for comment, his response was the usual “three wise monkeys” guff:

“According to my information, there were no suspicions of irregularities,” said Vojko Toman , director of the Intellectual Property Office (URSIL), which has supervisory authority – in this case over SAZAS.

This important media coverage prompted the centre-right opposition party SLS to question the incomprehensible lack of action on the part of the URSIL and its supervising minister Zdravko Počivalšek. The SLS vice-chairman Primož Jelševar issued a communiqué asking: “Is the state afraid of SAZAS?”

English here. [PDF]

SAZAS responded by attempting to SLAPP down Anja Hreščak and other journalists who dared to ask awkward questions. However, in February 2020 the collecting society’s claims of defamation were dismissed by the High Court of Ljubljana. The High Court upheld an earlier district court ruling that Hreščak had reported objectively and without the intention of slandering and discrediting. The judgment made it clear that Dnevnik’s reporting was in the public interest and although it was critical in tone, it could not be considered defamatory.

English translations of the article about corruption [PDF] and the lawsuit [PDF] are available.

“This important media coverage prompted the centre-right opposition party SLS to question the incomprehensible lack of action on the part of the URSIL and its supervising minister Zdravko Počivalšek.”More recently in April 2021, it was reported that SAZAS has been trying to cash in on the Covid pandemic by extorting fees for online concerts, thereby attempting to profiteer on the backs of already impoverished performers and organisers.

Meanwhile, over at the URSIL, the installation of Vojko Toman as Director seems to have ushered in a new era of “stability” at the national “IP” office but it hasn’t necessarily been for the better.

One indication of the decline in standards during Toman’s tenure is provided by the state of URSIL’s official website. That website, which used to be well-maintained, seems to have become a bit run-down on his watch.

For example, the “History” page contains detailed information about events prior to 2015, including the appointments of previous Directors. However, there doesn’t appear to have been any update since Toman’s appointment as ad interim Director in September 2015. As a matter of fact, the subsequent confirmation of his appointment for a five-year tenure in 2016 doesn’t even get a mention. Archive here. [PDF]

“One indication of the decline in standards during Toman’s tenure is provided by the state of URSIL’s official website. That website, which used to be well-maintained, seems to have become a bit run-down on his watch.”In addition to this, the English language section of the website doesn’t appear to have been updated during Toman’s tenure. The last annual report posted there is the one for 2011 which was signed off by Luka Novak. It’s necessary to go to the Slovenian section of the website to find a full listing of the annual reports.

Meanwhile, on the Administrative Council of the EPO, the Slovenian delegation under Toman appears to have been well and truly “captured” by Battistelli from 2015 onwards.

Any doubts that may have existed on that front were dispelled in May 2018 when Slovenia was chosen to host the EPO’s 2018 PATLIB conference. (warning: epo.org link) Archive here. [PDF]

Toman was on the ground in Ljubljana to greet Battistelli and to “thank the EPO for organising the event in Slovenia”.

Benoit Battistelli with Vojko Toman
Captured at last… Battistelli with Vojko Toman in Ljubljana in May 2018.

Battistelli used the occasion to pose for photo-ops with Toman and the State Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, Eva Štravs Podlogar.

Amongst other things, they discussed “bilateral cooperation between the EPO and URSIL and recent developments regarding the planned unitary patent system, which is expected to reduce costs and formalities while providing greater legal certainty for European companies and inventors”.

Vojko Toman and Eva Stravs Podlogar
Battistelli posing for a photo-op with Vojko Toman and State Secretary Eva Štravs Podlogar in Ljubljana in May 2018

The official EPO puff-piece published to mark the occasion went on to inform readers that:

“The EPO President also stressed the importance of a full completion of ratification of the UPC Agreement by Slovenia, not least because Ljubljana will host one of the seats of the new court’s Mediation and Arbitration Centre.”

Even if the UPC hasn’t quite managed to open for business yet, it’s nice to know what exactly Toman and his political masters in Ljubljana were promised by Battistelli in return for their support of his shenanigans at the EPO.

Toman’s term of office expired in September of this year and Karin Žvokelj Jazbinšek was appointed as acting director pending the completion of a “special public competition procedure” to select a new “permanent director”.

“Battistelli used the occasion to pose for photo-ops with Toman and the State Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, Eva Štravs Podlogar.”Žvokelj Jazbinšek was formerly a senior official of the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology. She doesn’t appear to have much background in “IP” but she did hit the headlines in Slovenia back in 2017 when she became embroiled in a “conflict of interest” controversy. Archived translation here. [PDF]

At the time in question Žvokelj Jazbinšek headed the “Development Funds Service” at the Ministry of Economic Development. This was the government department responsible for the disbursement of EU development funds. At the same time, together with her husband Miha Jazbinšek, she was co-owner of a private company MK Projekt Ltd., which advised other companies on how to obtain these EU funds.

By a curious coincidence, MK Projekt Ltd. was awarded a lucrative contract by the Ministry of Economic Development for a project to carry out an evaluation on the use of EU funds in Slovenia.

Karin Zvokelj Jazbinsek and Miha Jazbinsek
Karin Žvokelj Jazbinšek and her husband Miha Jazbinšek became embroiled in a “conflict of interest” controversy over their jointly- owned consultancy company MK Projekt.

On that occasion, Žvokelj Jazbinšek was vigorously defended by her supervising Minister Zdravko Počivalšek who proclaimed that as far as he was concerned “the results of her work are excellent”.

“Even if the UPC hasn’t quite managed to open for business yet, it’s nice to know what exactly Toman and his political masters in Ljubljana were promised by Battistelli in return for their support of his shenanigans at the EPO.”Some time later in October 2019, Žvokelj Jazbinšek was appointed as deputy director of SPIRIT Slovenia, a government “business development agency” whose remit includes “Entrepreneurship, Internationalization, Foreign Investments and Technology”.

This was the position that she held immediately prior to her current appointment as “acting director” of the URSIL.

Karin Zvokelj Jazbinsek
The new head of the Slovenian delegation on the EPO’s Administrative Council: Karin Žvokelj Jazbinšek.
Will she be an independent voice or turn out to be just another “captured delegate”?

In the international arena, it remains to be seen what contribution – if any – the new head of the Slovenian delegation will be capable of making to the affairs of the EPO’s Administrative Council.

“In the international arena, it remains to be seen what contribution – if any – the new head of the Slovenian delegation will be capable of making to the affairs of the EPO’s Administrative Council.”In particular, it will be interesting to see whether she will follow in the footsteps of her immediate predecessor Vojko Toman as a “captured” delegate or whether she will attempt to pursue a more independent line like Toman’s predecessor Vesna Stanković Juričić.

That concludes our examination of the Slovenian delegation and how it ended up on the slippery slope to “capture” by Team Battistelli.

In the next part, we will look at the remaining “abstentionist” delegation from Italy.

Links 19/12/2021: Linux 5.16 RC6 and Lots About Patents

Posted in News Roundup at 6:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • ’Useless Gaps’ Adjusts Space Between Snapped Windows in GNOME Shell

      The dev says of their creation that it adds “useless gaps around tiled and maximized windows”. This is similar to the sort of look you get with a tiling-window manager (like i3-gaps, AwesomeWM, etc), but inside of GNOME Shell.

      The ‘Useless Gaps’ extension is designed for GNOME 40 and up. It will work on older versions of GNOME Shell (I used it on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS) but, as is the case with many modern extensions, you’re unable to access its settings window (from which you can adjust the size of the gaps).

    • Linux Weekly Roundup #161

      I hope you are doing well? We had a good week in the world of Linux Releases, with Pop!_OS 21.10, Kaisen Linux 2.0, SparkyLinux 2021.12, MakuluLinux Shift NextGen, Debian 11.2, ALT Linux 10.0 beta, Debian Edu 11.2, ReactOS 0.4.14, and Bluestar Linux 5.15.7.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • 12 Best Linux Distros for Everyday Use – Updated for 2022 – Linux Shout

        No matter how old or new you are, you will always need simple ways to complete your daily tasks. Users can choose from an enormous number of Linux operating systems. Hence, it becomes a bit confusing to choose the correct Linux distro for daily usage. That’s why we have written this blog to give you a brief explanation of the best Linux distros for everyday use.

        On the one hand where Microsoft Windows users can only change the OS interface themes or get some level of customization with the help of some third-party software; Linux can do a lot more. The modular structure of Linux allows the operating systems to be used with different graphical user interfaces. The X Display Manager as part of the X Window System is responsible for this. There are many different desktop environments. Well-known are, for example, KDE, GNOME, Xfce, MATE, or Cinnamon. And a Linux user can choose any of them if he is not happy with the current to enhance experience and convenience on its daily use machine.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • How Every Linux System Should Be Partitioned – Invidious

        I’ve been suggesting for quite a while that every linux setup should have a seperate home and root partition so today I explain why I say this.

      • mintCast 376 – Joe, Do You Copy? –

        1:46 The News
        16:16 Security Update
        23:52 Bi-Weekly Wanderings
        52:38 Announcements & Outro

        First up in the news, Linux Mint monthly news, Europe embraces open source, Debian has browser issues, Fedora goes all in on Wayland, Firefox helps you fight spam, And the Linux kernel gets rusty

        In security, Ubuntu Kernel Security Patches, FGKASLR gets closer to mainline, Data stealing malware hides on Linux servers, Go Daddy data breach

      • MX Linux 21 Review | Why THIS Is The #1 Ranked Linux Distro In The World? (UNDISPUTED) – Invidious

        MX Linux is one of the most powerful Linux distros today and it’s even ranked #1 on DISTROWATCH. Why has NO other Linux Distro beaten it in the last 3 years? Is MX really that good? In this video, we’ll be having a deep dive into the newly released MX Linux 21.

      • GNU World Order 439

        Listener feedback, and a look at Bitkeeper, the version control system that compelled Linus Torvalds to create Git.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.16-rc6
        Things are calming down, and rc6 is fairly small. That's normal for
        this time in the release schedule, but it's also normal for this time
        of year.
        And I expect that the next two weeks will be very quiet, and smaller
        still. But maybe people are bored, maybe people are staying in due to
        covid picking up again, we'll just see.
        Regardless of what happens, I will be making an rc8 - not because this
        release looks particularly problematic, but simply due to the seasonal
        holidays. There's no point in releasing a final 5.16 and opening the
        merge window when people are still on holiday or just coming back. So
        we'll have at least one extra week of rc this release, even if no
        nasty issues appear. And if issues _do_ appear, that can obviously
        delay things further, even if that may look unlikely right now.
        Anyway, on the rc6 front, most of the changes here are drivers (mainly
        networking, usb, and gpu, with some minor noise elsewhere), although
        the bpf seltest additions do show up in the diff quite prominently
        There's the usual arch updates too.  A good chunk of of those are to
        dts files, so maybe they count as driver updates..  But there's some
        other small changes in there: x86 kvm fixes, powerpc, s390 and mips
        fixes, arm soc fixes etc.
        The rest is spread out - filesystems (btrfs, ceph, ciph) and core
        kernel (mostly networking).
        I know most of us are preparing for Christmas, but give it a whirl,
        ok? How important are those presents (and that family) anyway?
        Shortlog appended for people who want to scan the details,
      • Linux 5.17 Bringing New Driver For Some NZXT Lighting/Fan Controls & Monitoring – Phoronix

        Thanks to the reverse-engineering, open-source community there has been mainline Linux driver support for select NZXT all-in-one water cooling solutions while for the upcoming Linux 5.17 kernel is another new NZXT driver for some of their other products.

        Thanks to independent developer Aleksandr Mezin, Linux 5.17 is slated to introduce the “nzxt-smart2″ driver as part of the kernel’s hardware monitoring subsystem.

      • Intel’s Lead Developer Of Their Linux Vulkan Driver Has Left The Company – Phoronix [Ed: Part of a broader trend]

        Coming as a surprise to end out the week is confirmation that the lead developer and architect for Intel’s Linux Vulkan driver has left the company.

        Jason Ekstrand who has been heavily involved with Intel’s Vulkan open-source Linux driver announced on Friday that he is leaving the company. Ekstrand has been the “lead developer” of the Intel “ANV” Mesa Vulkan driver since it was started with fellow developers at the time like Kristian Hoegsberg. Ekstrand has been instrumental to the success of Intel’s open-source Linux Vulkan driver and continued improvements.

      • FUSE Introducing Per-File DAX Option With Linux 5.17 – Phoronix

        Last year with Linux 5.10 FUSE added DAX support for use with VirtIO-FS. Like with DAX for other file-systems, enabling this direct access mode allows bypassing the page cache. For use-cases when running on persistent memory like devices or VirtIO, having this direct access to the storage device can be beneficial for performance. With Linux 5.17 FUSE is expanding the DAX support to allow per-inode control as well.

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD P-State CPU Frequency Control Driver Revised A 6th Time – Phoronix

          The AMD P-State Linux driver is what their engineers have been iterating through the past number of months with cooperation from Valve and other stakeholders.

          Compared to ACPI CPUFreq as used currently across AMD processors, the AMD-Pstate driver for use on Zen 2 and newer processors makes use of ACPI CPPC (Collaborative Processor Performance Controls) for improving AMD CPU efficiency on Linux by being able to make more more informed and accurate performance state decisions.

    • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Find Out How Long it Takes To Boot Your Linux System – buildVirtual

        Have you ever wondered how long it took your Linux system to boot up? You may be looking to try to speed up the time it takes for your Linux system to be ready to use, or you may just be curious. Rather than getting out a stopwatch, let’s take a look at some Linux commands we can use to see how long it took to boot up Linux.

      • GNU Linux Debian 10 – gcc – where has the manpage gone? (gcc-doc) – how to create a man page – how to save export manpage to text file
      • Managing dotfiles with GNU Stow | Bastian Venthur’s Blog

        Many developers manage their user-specific application configuration – also known as dotfiles – in a version control system such as git. This allows for keeping track of changes and synchronizing the dotfiles across different machines. Searching on github, you’ll find thousands of dotfile repositories.

        As your dotfiles are sprinkled all over your home directory, managing them in a single repository is not trivial, i.e. how do you make sure that your .bashrc, .tmux.conf, etc. that life in your dotfile repository appear in the proper places in your home directory? The most common solution is to use symlinks so that the .tmux.conf in your home directory is just a symlink pointing to the appropriate file in your dotfile repository:

      • M8 — Drum and Base – Even a Stopped Clock

        I’ve also been learning the ropes of Blender’s geometry nodes recently. While only scratching the surface, I created this visualizer for the track. The heavy lifting is done with baking the sound to f-curves, which is then somewhat tweaked to acceptable ranges with f-curve modifiers.

      • How to install Pop_OS on Raspberry Pi 4

        Pop!_OS is now available on the Raspberry Pi 4! This guide will go over how you can set up the OS on your Raspberry Pi 4. To get started, ensure you have a speedy MicroSD Card.

      • Deps compiled for video editor
      • LiVES video editor compiled

        EasyOS, like the pups before, has tended to be built with a large collection of applications. I like to see an app to cater for every need, at least for 95% of the users. Obviously there have to be limits to what is builtin, but one app I reckon would be nice to have is a video editor.

      • How to Install VMware Tools on Kali Linux – buildVirtual

        If you are running Kali Linux on VMware Workstation or on a ESXi host you should ensure that the VMtools package is installed and working correctly. Having the vmtools package installed brings a number of improvements to the running of the virtual machine, including helping with the following…

      • How to fix Error loading servers issue on ProtonVPN

        In this tutorial you will learn how to fix the error : “‘UnicodeDecodeError: ‘utf-8′ codec can’t decode byte 0×82 in position 4: invalid start byte”

        If you are getting this error when trying to open the protonvpn app on Linux mint, this means you cannot connect to servers, after some researching for awhile I didn’t find the cause of error but i managed to find the solution.

        It seemed like a package or something got broken when I updated the system and due to the update the protonvpn gui wasn’t working anymore.

      • Ubuntu 22.04 Disables OS Prober by Default, Here’s a Workaround – OMG! Ubuntu!

        I bought a new ‘distro testing’ laptop in the Black Friday sale last month (don’t get carried away, it cost me £200 and a lot of headaches) but I only installed Ubuntu 22.04 on it this weekend — and instantly hit a snag.

        See, normally when I install Ubuntu alongside Windows as a dual-boot system Ubuntu will add the GRUB boot loader — awesome — and populate that boot loader with links to any other operating systems, such as Windows (or technically boot into the Windows boot manager) — also awesome.

        Except, that no longer happens when installing Ubuntu 22.04.

        Instead, after I finished installing Jammy and rebooted I could only boot Ubuntu. To boot Windows I need to use the boot manager menu. While a limp push of the F10 key isn’t exactly hard, it is less than preferable.

      • How to install Gnome Web on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Gnome Web on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • Open source file sharing with this Linux tool | Opensource.com

        In the early days of my Linux experience, I was the technology director of a small PreK-12 school district in the state of New York. Our technology budget was always stretched to the limit. We were a Windows 2000 Active Directory Domain, but we had limited central server disk space and no teacher home directories. In addition, we experienced a dozen or so hard disk failures for staff computers.

      • My favorite MyPaint features for digital painting | Opensource.com

        I don’t practice drawing, so I don’t expect to be able to draw well, but I do sometimes enjoy drawing, regardless of skill. One application I use when attempting to get some imagery out onto a canvas is MyPaint, a digital paint application focusing on a clean interface, appealing brushes and materials, and ease of use. The ease of use part is important for artists and chronic doodlers like myself. When you sit down to do something, you generally want to do the thing, not spend hours learning new software or configuring a complex application. MyPaint manages to make it more comfortable to be in front of a blank canvas and empowering to produce something beautiful.

      • Forget About the locate Command, plocate is a Much Faster Alternative

        plocate finds all files on the system matching the given pattern. It is a locate based on posting lists, giving much faster searches on a much smaller index.

        When you need to search for some files in Linux, you might typically use find or locate commands. So, now you have a new alternative called plocate.

        plocate works by creating an inverted index over trigrams (combinations of three bytes) in the search strings, which allows it to rapidly narrow down the set of candidates to a very small list, instead of linearly scanning through every entry.

        Named for the posting lists that inspired it, plocate was written to be a drop-in replacement for mlocate. While it can still use updatedb to create its database, plocate can also use the plocate-build utility to create an index.

      • Using the chown Command to Change File Ownership in Linux

        In Linux, when a file is created, its ownership is granted to the user who created it. However, there will be situations or scenarios in which we may have to give ownership to some other user.

        We can do this by using the chown command, which stands for change owner. Using this command, we can change the ownership of a file and the directories and symbolic links.

        In this tutorial, we will learn to change the ownership of files using the chown command.

      • How To Install MySQL on Fedora 35 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install MySQL on Fedora 35. For those of you who didn’t know, MySQL is an open-source relational database management system.

    • Games

      • Side-scrolling Game SuperTux 0.6.3 Beta Adds Swimming, Wall Jumping, & More Features | UbuntuHandbook

        2D jump’n’run game SuperTux released 0.6.3 Beta recently with many exciting new features.

        SuperTux is a free open-source side-scroller inspired from the Super Mario Bros. Player may control a penguin called Tux in game to run and jump through multiple worlds, fighting off enemies, and reclaim Penny.

      • Xbox One Controller: A Perfected Xbox 360 Gamepad [Ed: A tad disappointing that a "Linux" blog would publish something such as this, helping the company that's attacking Linux]

        At home, I am mainly using Xbox360 gamepads (I must have 5 of them) and a Dual Shock 4 with my Linux PCs.

      • Gameboy Gets Ridiculously Good Lens | Hackaday

        How do you get better pictures from a 20+ year old Game Boy Camera? How about marrying a DSLR lens to it? That’s what [ConorSev] did and, honestly, the results are better than you might expect as [John Aldred] mentioned in his post about the topic. You can check the camera out in the video below.

        A 3D printed adapter lets you mount a Canon EF lens to the Game Boy Camera, a trick that we’ve seen in the past. [ConorSev] looked at the existing adapters floating around, and came up with the revised version you see here. There was still the problem of actually getting the images off the Camera cartridge, but luckily, this isn’t exactly unexplored territory either.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • GCompris 2 arrives with new activities to improve mental ability – itsfoss.net

          The KDE project today announced the release of GCompris 2.0, the new major version of the educational entertainment software suite aimed at children between the ages of 2 and 10. Its name comes from the French phrase “J’ai compris”, which in Spanish means “I have understood”.

          As a development that falls under the KDE umbrella, GCompris is free software, although its license was changed from GPLv3 to AGPLv3 in March 2021. The suite has taken some important turns throughout its history, since initially It was built with GTK, C and Python to pass in 2014 to Qt, QML and C ++ and to be under the shelter of its current matrix. On the other hand, in 2020 the versions for Windows, macOS and Android became free, so they began to be distributed under the same conditions as the version for Linux.

          Now covering what the suite itself offers at the application level, GCompris provides more than 170 educational activities and games. According to the KDE project, “It is used by teachers, parents and, most importantly, by children from all over the world”, being able to perform the function of “An accessory in classrooms and at home” by giving “children the opportunity to practice a wide range of skills while having fun”.

          GCompris 2.0 comes with some new games and activities that are sure to come in handy for kids during the Christmas holidays that are just around the corner. The first new activity is called Baby mouse (baby mouse) and it’s aimed at teaching the little ones to use a computer for the first time. Once started, the user is presented with a friendly environment with brightly colored ducks in which they can use the mouse or a touch screen to interact.

          With Sort Numbers and Sort Letters, children who already know the numbers and letters can practice their ordering, while in Sort Sentences Reading and grammar are practiced by classifying the parts of sentences. With the Positions activity it is possible to practice reading comprehension and spatial location.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Sam Thursfield: Status update, 19/12/2021

          Its a time to be thankful for what you can do, rather than be pissed off about things that you can’t do because we’re in the 3rd year of a global pandemic.

          I made it home to Shropshire, in time to cast an important vote, and to spend Christmas with my folks… something I couldn’t do last year.

          Work involves a client with software integration difficulties. Our goal is to enable a Python 3 migration in the company, which involves a tangle of dependencies in various languages. The interesting aspect is that we’re trialling BuildStream as the solution. We know BuildStream can control the mix of C/C++/Go/Java/etc. dependencies, in a way which Python-only tools like virtualenv cannot, and we hope it will be less friction compared to introducing a fullblown packaging system like DPKG. The project is challenging for a number of reasons and I am not enjoying working over VPN+SSH to another continent, but I’m sure we will learn a lot.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • MakuluLinux Shift Next Gen is Live !

          We have just made the next Gen of MakuluLinux Shift Live, Please make sure to Read the updated release notes and grab your copy below, or from the Shift section above.

      • Debian Family

        • The film that predicted DebConf19: Wild Orchid, 1989

          Within the trailer lasting barely two minutes, we encounter ominous references to the central themes of the DebConf19 Outreachy tindernship scandal: a woman, her first internship and first trip, coincidentally, in Brazil. Men with power and money. Public exhibition. Humiliation of a woman. This could be a Debian Outreachy tindernship but it is just a movie.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternative to Cisco AnyConnect SSL VPN

        Cisco Systems, Inc. is an American multinational technology corporation that focuses on networking hardware and software. It has over 75,000 employees with its headquarters in San Jose, California.

        Cisco has been participating in open source development for almost 30 years including founding projects like OpenDaylight, FD.io, VPP, PNDA, SNAS, and OpenH264, and contributing to projects like OPNFV, Kubernetes, OpenStack, Ansible, Chef, Puppet, Maven, and many others.

        Cisco has also been a key contributor to the Linux kernel over the years, accounting for about 0.5% of total kernel commits, and is a Platinum Member of the Linux Foundation and Premium Sponsor of the Open Source Initiative.

      • Events

        • OpenSpace on Digitization, skills supply and lifelong learning

          On 8th of this month I attended a full day OpenSpace on “Digitalisering, kompetensförsörjning och livslångt lärande” organized by JobTechDev and Sunet. This was the first in-person event for me after 2020 Nullcon in March. That brought in some extra excitement. Then the night before I tried to look for the place and to my surprise we were having it in Internet Stiftelsen, The Swedish Internet Foundation.

          I managed to the reach the venue around 15 minutes before the event started and talked a few people. At beginning we all sat in a circular fashion and Leif & Greg (from JobTechDev) started explaining the format and the plan for the day. All in Swedish :P Though people moved into English after Leif pointed out that I am the only person in the room (we had 30+ participants) who neither speaks nor understand Swedish.


          During the discussion of Open Source, one thing was super clear that all the people present in the room (both developers and high number of management folks) were all convinced about writing and using Open Source technologies. My organization, Sunet is already into writing only Open Source solutions mode. The rest of the orgs also agreed that they should put that in the organization policy and make sure that they maintain proper Open Source projects. After all we all are being paid by the government using public money.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Jitter is now GNU Jitter

            I am happy to announce that my project Jitter has been officially accepted as part of the GNU Project.

            The new Jitter home page is https://www.gnu.org/software/jitter . The git repository is still at http://git.ageinghacker.net/jitter .

      • Programming/Development

        • The Quickest Way to Install Node.js on Ubuntu

          JavaScript is the most popular programming language among software developers, for three years in a row, according to the yearly survey conducted by Stack Overflow.

          This guide will take a look at how to install Node.js, one of the core technologies that has popularised the JavaScript language. Node.js is a JavaScript runtime environment, that allows you to create server-side or backend JavaScript applications.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Raku Advent Calendar: Day 19 – Let it Cro

            Ah, advent. That time of year when the shops are filled with the sound of Christmas songs – largely, the very same ones they played when I was a kid. They’re a bit corny, but the familiarity is somehow reassuring. And what better way to learn about this year’s new Cro features than through the words of the Christmas hits?


            Cro offers improved latency out of the box for thanks to setting TCP_NODELAY automatically on sockets. This disables Nagle’s algorithm, which reduces the network traffic of applications that do many small writes by collecting multiple writes together to send at once. This makes sense in some situations, but less so in the typical web application, where the resulting increased latency of HTTP responses or WebSocket messages can make a web application feel a little less responsive.

        • Python

          • Stock Charts Detection Using Image Classification Model ResNet

            This tutorial explores image classification in PyTorch using state-of-the-art computer vision models. The dataset used in this tutorial will have 3 classes that are very imbalanced. So, we will explore augmentation as a solution to the imbalance problem.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Your Next Oscilloscope Might Be Optical | Hackaday

        What’s better than a 100MHz scope? How about an optical one? Researchers at the University of Central Florida think that’s just the ticket, and they’ve built an oscilloscope that can measure the electric field of light. You can find the full paper online.

        Reading the electrical field of light is difficult with traditional tools because of the very high frequency involved. According to [Michael Chini], who worked on the new instrument, the oscilloscope can be as much as 10,000 times faster as a conventional one.

    • Hardware

      • OpenDog Version 3 Is Ready To Go Walkies | Hackaday

        We’ve been following [James Bruton]’s open dog project for a little while now, and with his considerable pace of work – pandemic or no pandemic – development has been incredibly rapid. The latest milestone is the public release of version 3 (Video, embedded below.) This upgrade to the system adds 3D printed cycloidal gearboxes, removing the previous belt drives. [James] had immense fun tuning the motor controller parameters for these and admits they’re not completely dialed in yet. He notes that the wider gearbox body means that the robots geometry needed to change a little, and the previous belt-drive version may have a bit of an edge, but he’s confident he can make it work (and given his incredible previous robotics builds, we totally believe he’ll nail it!)

      • Restoring A Vintage IBM I/O Tester | Hackaday

        By now, [CuriousMarc] and his team of volunteers are well versed in 1960s hardware restoration. So when a vintage IBM I/O Tester came into their possession, a full machine makeover was all but inevitable.

        The I/O Tester dates from around 1965, which roughly coincides with the introduction of IBM’s lauded System/360 computer mainframe. In addition to the computer itself, business customers could order a variety of peripherals with their computing system. These included storage devices, printers, additional operator consoles, and so on. Since these peripherals shared the same I/O design, a portable hardware testing rig was a sensible design choice. One portable low-voltage tester could be paired with any number of IBM peripherals, doing away with the need to have unique debugging panels on every piece of computing hardware.

        Fast forward to the present day, and the IBM I/O Tester looks positively antique with its blinkenlight lamp panel and switches. To use the tester, simply connect up one (or both) of its chunky 104-pin connectors to your IBM peripheral of choice, insert the accompanying paper overlay, and voilà. Operators could then observe the status of the many lamps to evaluate the inner digital workings of the connected peripheral. Depending on the connected hardware, the tester could reveal the contents of data registers, printing status, disk and tape transfer status, and probably much more. The purpose of the tester’s ninety indicator lights is completely dependent on the attached peripheral, and the paired paper overlays are essential to comprehend their meaning.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Across the World, Covid Anxiety and Depression Take Hold – The New York Times

        A recent cartoon in the French daily Le Monde featured a bedraggled man arriving at a doctor’s office for a Covid-19 vaccine. “I am here for the fifth shot because of the third wave,” he says. “Or vice versa.”

        His bewilderment as France suffers its fifth wave of the pandemic, with cases of the Delta variant rising sharply along with Omicron anxiety, captured a mood of exhaustion and simmering anger across the world two years after the deadly virus began to spread in China.

        Uncertainty bedevils plans. Panic spreads in an instant even if, as with the Omicron variant, the extent of the threat is not yet known. Vaccines look like deliverance until they seem a little less than that. National responses diverge with no discernible logic. Anxiety and depression spread. So do loneliness and screen fatigue. The feeling grows that the Covid era will go on for years, like plagues of old.

      • Pfizer to allow other companies to make its COVID-19 pill [Ed: The US taxpayer paid for the R&D and we know nothing about the efficacy about this product (they already lied about the efficacy of their vaccines)]

        Drugmaker Pfizer Inc. has signed a deal with a U.N.-backed group to allow other manufacturers to make its experimental COVID-19 pill, a move that could make the treatment available to more than half of the world’s population.

        In a statement issued Tuesday, Pfizer said it would grant a license for the antiviral pill to the Geneva-based Medicines Patent Pool, which would let generic drug companies produce the pill for use in 95 countries, making up about 53 per cent of the world’s population.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security News This Week: Buckle Up for More Log4j Madness

            IT FEELS LIKE the world has a lot of Pandora’s boxes open at once right now. Last week another crisis came into view with disclosure of a vulnerability in the widely used open source Apache logging library Log4j. Since then, system administrators, incident responders, and governments have been scrambling to install patches and reduce the threat. The bug is simple for attackers to exploit and can lead to full server takeover. Patching is on the rise, but Apache has had to release additional fixes that now must be installed. After some preliminary probing and exploitation from attackers around the world, defenders are bracing for a brutal next wave. And they say that vulnerable systems will lurk in networks for years, just waiting to be discovered and exploited.

            Meanwhile, researchers put the surveillance-for-hire industry on blast this week as Meta took down infrastructure on its platforms from seven companies that had targeted more than 50,000 of the company’s users and others. And Google’s Project Zero did a deep technical analysis of NSO Group’s ForcedEntry iOS exploit, underscoring just how sophisticated a private organization’s hacking tools can be. WIRED also took a look at growth tactics of the world’s largest deepfake abuse site that uses AI to generate false nude images.

            With all of this targeted hacking and misinformation floating around, check out WIRED’s guide to defending yourself against “smishing” or SMS phishing attacks deployed by everyone from the most elite hackers down to run-of-the-mill spammers.

            And there’s more. Each week we round up all the security news WIRED didn’t cover in depth. Click on the headlines to read the full stories.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • New delivery rhythm for FOSS Patents emails: post by post, no longer a daily digest [Ed: My suggestion to Florian Mueller is, don't use those spying disservices at all; better yet, get off Google (Gulag) as they're getting worse over time; don't wait till it's too late]

              Many of you follow my blog by means of an email subscription to new posts. I once had a conversation with a reader who had even forgotten that it’s actually a blog, i.e., a website, and thought it was just an email newsletter :-)

              In the summer I had to switch from FeedBurner, whose email notification service Google unfortunately discontinued, to Follow.it.


              Single-post emails would have cluttered people’s mailboxes in the first few years of FOSS Patents, when there were sometimes five or six posts on a given day at the height of the “smartphone patent wars.” Now I typically do only one post on a given day, sometimes two, and only rarely three or more.

            • Amazon doorbell that uses a recognition system to remember callers branded ‘worrying’ [Ed: This is evil not just because of the ridiculously nonsensical patents]

              Tech giant has been granted patent for doorbell that remembers regular callers and alerts residents when a stranger is approaching but privacy campaigners see it is a worrying development


            • Amazon Ring patents dystopian doorbell camera that identifies people by their skin texture and odor [Ed: Ring devices have long been something that ought to be illegal, with legal action taken against people who deploy them without permit]

              AMAZON’s doorbell system, Ring, has just secured 17 new patents and some of the features have privacy campaigners worried.

              Ring’s tentative new features would employ artificial intelligence (AI) and facial recognition systems to identify strangers and perform other tasks that some find dystopian.

            • Apple patent reveals new privacy feature to show iPhone content only through special glasses [Ed: Humour is not dead; Apple and privacy -- yes, NSA PRISM member that treats all its customers as pedophiles by default to justify spying on their files]

              The US Patent & Trademark Office this week published a new patent filed by Apple that reveals a privacy feature designed to show iPhone contents only through special glasses, so that only the owner of the phone can see what’s on the screen.

              As reported by Patently Apple, the patent application refers to a system that can display “vision-corrected graphical outputs and standard graphical outputs on an electronic device.”

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Iran Agrees to Replace Cameras at Nuclear Site but Blocks Images

        Faced with a potential vote of censure by the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the nuclear watchdog of the United Nations, Iran agreed Wednesday to replace surveillance cameras at a key site that manufactures centrifuges.

        But Iran continues to block United Nations inspectors from viewing the video those cameras produce, and from replacing the full memory cards in cameras at other sites.

        Iran’s refusal to grant the United Nations inspectors full access has further complicated talks in Vienna aimed at trying to restore the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, leaving the negotiators without a clear and complete assessment of Iran’s nuclear program. European negotiators said this week that the talks were stalled and that time was running out.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Fading dreams of Minsk and Maastricht [Ed: Lowering the standards of the EU for the sake of money through domination, with patents among the tools]

        Failure to overcome east-west divisions is the key reason why Europe has not become a true global player. In the last 30 years Europe has often been subservient to Washington policies. Europe’s interventions to end genocide in ex-Yugoslavia led to President Bill Clinton’s Dayton agreement which finally ended the conflict. In policies over the euro, trade, banking and financial regulation and relations with China, Europe has frequently had to play second fiddle to America.

        The present crises are more likely to prolong than end disunity. The Covid-19 pandemic has been sufficiently virulent to unhinge economic growth and social cohesion. But it has not been strong enough to generate a unified European response. The most important offspring of Maastricht, the European Central Bank, born in 1998, facing much higher inflation than expected, must decide a post-Covid-19 strategy for asset purchases and (still negative) interest rates. This is not the Europe that the architects of Maastricht and Minsk had in mind. There is still the possibility of a benevolent European outcome – based on successful implementation of Covid-19 vaccination strategies, an ebbing of east-west tension over Ukraine and inspired economic leadership – to make the best of low interest rates and the EU’s Next Generation funding programme. To get there will require hard work, statesmanship and a necessary portion of good fortune.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • When Does Car Hacking Become “Tampering”? The British Government Seeks Guidance | Hackaday

        When a government decides to take a look at your particular field of experimentation, it’s never necessarily a cause for rejoicing, as British motor vehicle enthusiasts are finding out through a UK Government consultation. Titled “Future of transport regulatory review: modernising vehicle standards“, the document explains that it is part of the process of re-adopting under UK law areas which have previously been governed by the European Union. Of particular interest is the section “Tackling tampering”, which promises a new set of offences for “tampering with a system, part or component of a vehicle intended or adapted to be used on a road“.

        They go into detail as to the nature of the offences, which seem to relate to the production of devices designed to negate the safety or environmental features of the car. They’re at pains to say that they have no wish to target the legitimate car modification world, for example in motorsport or restoration, but it’s easy to see how a car hacker might inadvertently fall foul of any new rules. It’s worried the enthusiasts enough that a petition has been launched on the UK parliamentary petition site, making the point that the existing yearly MOT roadworthiness test should fulfill the function of taking any illegal vehicles off the road.

    • Monopolies

      • Odd as it may seem, the name of that Alium patent pool indeed means ‘garlic’ in Latin: even with a single L

        There also is a Wikipedia entry for an ancient city named “Alium” as the Latin translation of the Greek name “Alion.” Even Wikipedia doesn’t have much to say about that city other than it got mentioned in a couple of historical documents. Since it was a Greek city, the endonym is Alion, and Alium is merely an exonym that happens to be a homonym of “garlic.” Place names can have funny meanings, which is why a certain Upper Austrian town was renamed “Fugging” earlier this year, greatly reducing the number of selfies taken before the place name sign.

        I don’t know why the patent pool was named “garlic” in Latin: maybe its founders didn’t care to perform some due diligence on the chosen name (LMGTFY), which is not as critical as technical essentiality checks, or there is a hidden meaning there and they like spaghetti aglio e olio or they’ll eventually relocate to Gilroy, CA, the Garlic Capital of the World where they even serve garlic ice cream–which is presumably not protected by a manufacturing patent licensed by MPEG LA or challenged by Unified Patents before the PTAB.

      • The SPC alphabet: Are combination product SPCs precluded by Article 3(a), (c) and/or (d)? [Ed: AstraZeneca shilling a bizarre system for monopolies 'on steroids'; the public stands to gain nothing from SPCs]

        Article 3 of the SPC Regulation is provided below (*) for reference. Article 3(d) states that an SPC must be based on “the first marketing authorisation” for the product. In Santen (C-673/18), the CJEU interpreted Article 3(d) as ruling out the possibility of an SPC for a product based on a second marketing authorisation of any form, regardless of whether the second authorization was for a new formulation, route of administration or indication.

        Given that many combination products will be based on monotherapies that have been previously approved, it was thought that the courts would interpret Santen as ruling out SPCs for the majority of combination therapies. However, in a decision of the Irish Court of Appeal in Merck v Clonmel [2021] IECA 54, an SPC for a combination product INEGY (ezetimibe and simvastatin) was found not to contravene Article 3(d). This was despite there having been a previous approval for one of the active ingredients, ezetimibe (EZETROL), used in the combination. The decision therefore raised questions over the applicability of Santen and Article 3(d) to combination products (IPKat). However, the SPC was nonetheless found invalid under Article 3(a).


        The continuance of conflicting decisions from the national courts on all three Articles (a), (c) and (d), put pay to any expectation that the decisions in Santen and Royalty Pharma were the end of the matter. Central to the current disputes surrounding the interpretation of Article 3 is whether the same definition of product should be used throughout. Particularly, can the decision of the CJEU on the interpretation of Articles 3(a) and (d) be applied to Article 3(c)?

        Whilst not the subject of the latest CJEU referral, there also still seems to be a need for clarification on how Royalty Pharma should be applied to combination products. Particularly, are the decisions of the Irish and French courts to invalidate an SPC based on Article 3(a) in line with the decision in Royalty Pharma that it is not the inventive concept that matters but whether a product is “specifically identified” in the patent?

        Clarification of the case law on all of these questions is hampered by the interaction with the separate sub-provisions of Article 3. If a SPC for a combination product cannot be clearly invalidated with one sub-provision, it often seems that another sub-provision will often do as well.

      • Indian police’s low IP awareness hinders criminal action: counsel [Ed: Robber barons in India think they can misappropriate cops and turn them into their monopoly (so-called 'IP') enforcers, vigilantes. Insane. We're meant to have police forces to keep the public safe (sometimes from oligarchy), not to keep oligarchy safe from a rightly-upset populations. Of course what the laws say in paper isn't what's being implemented.]

        Counsel say criminal actions have an edge over civil actions, but police inaction and procedural challenges often cause them to opt for civil infringement suits instead

      • Jury’s out on ‘creative’ alliance from LATAM e-commerce king [Ed: Monopolies enforced at whose expense? These mechanisms are not even effective, let alone cost-effective.]

        In-house and law firm counsel say Mercado Libre is more engaged than others on counterfeiting, but that measures such as strict ID checks must come next

      • Robot S A : Multilink technology acquires its first patent in the United States [Ed: A company with just a single US patent has fallen for the illusion that this system protects anything but large corporations that form cartels by cross-licensing]

        The first American patent for Multilink technology consists of an automation device for mounting on a DIN rail, which separates the communication module from the application module.

      • Africa IP highlights 2021 #1: The copyright field

        It’s December and time for what is now an annual ritual for this Africa Correspondent – The Africa IP Highlights! The Africa IP Highlights is an initiative of this Kat and is a series of posts put together to highlight some of the key developments in IP in Africa each year. Interested readers can find the Africa IP Highlights 2020, here.

      • Africa IP Highlights #2: The trademarks arena

        Yesterday, it was all about key developments in the copyright field in the Africa IP Highlights 2021 – the result of collaboration between myself and several IP practitioners and researchers across Africa: Caroline Wanjiru Muchiri (Centre for IP and IT Law, Strathmore University, Kenya); Ekene Chuks-Okeke (Banwo & Ighodalo, Nigeria); Marius Schneider and Nora Ho Tu Nam (IPvocate Africa, Mauritius); Ruth Mulenga Sinkala (PhD Candidate, University of Cape Town), Vanessa Ferguson, Sibongile Dee and Regardt van der Merwe (Von Seidels, South Africa).

      • Africa IP Highlights #3: Patents and reforms in IP policy, legislation and administration

        This post is the third and final installment in the “Africa IP Highlights 2021 series” of posts highlighting some of the key developments in IP in Africa in 2021. The first 2 posts covered copyright and trade marks.

        As previously stated, the series is the result of collaboration between myself and several IP practitioners and researchers across Africa: Caroline Wanjiru Muchiri (Centre for IP and IT Law, Strathmore University, Kenya); Ekene Chuks-Okeke (Banwo & Ighodalo, Nigeria); Marius Schneider and Nora Ho Tu Nam (IPvocate Africa, Mauritius); Ruth Mulenga Sinkala (PhD Candidate, University of Cape Town), Vanessa Ferguson, Sibongile Dee and Regardt van der Merwe (Von Seidels, South Africa).

      • KOL366 | NFTS, Soho Forum Debate, Intellectual Property, Etc. on Repeal the 20th Century

        This is my appearance on the Repeal the 20th Century podcast (Youtube channel). We discussed my IP debate at the Soho Forum, the basic case against IP (both natural rights/Lockean and utilitarian), problems with both, problems with Locke’s proto-Marxian labor theory of property, patent, copyright, and trademark, defamation, plagiarism, attribution, fraud, property rights in “value,” and “ownership” of NFTs and bitcoin.

      • Practicable tips for trade secret protection during litigation in Germany

        The Trade Secret Act (GeschGehG) covers information that has a certain economic value, such as profit and sales figures, but also technical know-how. According to Sec. 2 No. 1 GeschGehG, this information is only protected as business secrets as long as it is, firstly, not generally known or readily accessible, secondly, is the subject of the circumstances according to appropriate confidentiality measures and, thirdly, a legitimate interest in the secrecy exists.


        In copyright law, on the other hand, it can only be proven by submitting the source code to prove that software does not infringe the copyright.

      • Patents

        • The Intellectual Property Office of the United Kingdom Call For Opinions on Standard Essential Patents [Ed: Of course the patent maximalists with big stakes in the outcome will stuff/stack the boxes and buy their policy, just like they 'buy' UK-IPO]

          The Intellectual Property Office has published a Call for views on Standard Essential Patents (SEPs). https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/standard-essential-patents-and-innovation-call-for-views

          The purpose of the call for views is to allow the UK Government to better understand whether the current SEPs framework encourages innovation and effectively promotes competition in markets, or whether there are any barriers to innovation and competition. It will establish whether government intervention is required and understand what intervention could look like.

        • US Department of Justice Seeks Public Comments on Draft SEPs and FRAND Policy Statement

          The US Department of Justice, Antitrust Division is seeking public comments regarding a new draft policy statement regarding SEPs and FRAND.

        • Plausibility – EPO stays proceedings in view of Enlarged Board Referral [Ed: Conspicuously missing is the mention of the massive controversy, as this Enlarged Board lacks autonomy and is basically an invalid patent tribunal at this point]

          The European Patent Office has announced a stay of all examination/opposition proceedings involving applications/patents in which the assessment of inventive step is exclusively based on evidence that was not publicly available before the filing date, and in which the decision depends entirely on the outcome of Referral G2/21 (Plausibility), until after the Enlarged Board has issued its decision.

          The issue of “Plausibility” has become a hot topic at the EPO. It can be relevant to both sufficiency of disclosure and inventive step.

          In the matter considered in T116/18(relating to EP 2 484 209), the patent in question included data showing a synergistic effect of insecticidal compounds against two species of moth.The Opponent submitted evidence that compounds falling within the scope of the claim did not, in fact, have synergistic effect against one of those species.The Patentee then tried to rely upon post-filed evidence demonstrating a synergistic effect against a third species of moth in support of inventive step.

        • Thinking positive [Ed: Patent litigation fanatics don't let a raging pandemic and poverty slow them down; they're as aggressive, dishonest, and exploitative as ever]

          Some IP lawyers feared Brexit and Covid-19 would be bad for business. They could hardly have been more wrong

        • Christmas is coming for the UPC provisional application period [Ed: Convicted corrupt firm Marks & Clerk lies about the UPC to sell a dud; the UPCA isn’t legal and the UPC is promoted based on lies; Paid-for lies]

          As announced by the European Patent Office, Austria has completed its ratification process for the Protocol on Provisional Application of the Unified Patent Court Agreement. Once Austria deposits its instrument of ratification, the provisional application period will start, allowing the important final steps required to create a fully-functioning court to be completed, including the recruitment and training of the technical and legal judges, and the completion of the case management IT system.

        • Judge rejects latest attack on PTAB discretionary denials, but other challenges loom [Ed: What challenges? They’re been trying for over 7 years and got nowhere, creating phony controversies to protect fake patents]

          District court hands setback to NHK-Fintiv opponents, including Apple and Google, but Big Tech is also seeking to undo the Iancu policy on Capitol Hill

        • IP, contested technologies and the freedom to grow [Ed: Pushing meaningless lies and misnomers to falsely associate monopolies with "growth" (it does the exactly opposite)]

          Unfortunately, many in the technology industries often start with a misguided mindset about what intellectual property represents.

        • The Antitruster

          DOJ Proposes New Guidelines on Standard Essential Patents (SEPs). On December 6, the DOJ, the US Patent and Trademark Office, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology issued a Draft Statement on Licensing Negotiations and Remedies for Standards-Essential Patents Subject to Voluntary F/RAND Commitments. The draft statement aims to revise a similarly titled statement from 2019 that one DOJ official observed “has been criticized as favoring patent holders and promoting the use of injunctions or ITC exclusion orders to remedy SEP infringement.” The draft statement says that injunctive relief is rarely an appropriate remedy for resolving SEP disputes and provides guidance for parties on engaging in good-faith negotiations over a F/RAND license. Additionally, the draft statement says that adding conditions to SEP licenses “may also raise antitrust concerns.” This marks a notable change in direction from the 2019 statement, which deemphasized the applicability of antitrust law in F/RAND disputes. The DOJ has requested comments on the draft statement by February 4, 2022.

        • Sen. Tillis Writes to U.S. Trade Representative (Again) Regarding TRIPS Waiver [Ed: Sociopath Sen. Tillis, fronting for the patent cartel as usual, wants to kill millions of human beings by maintaining monopolies on vaccines etc.]

          Earlier this month, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property of the Senate Committee of the Judiciary, wrote to United States Trade Representative Katherine C. Tai to express his opposition, yet again, to the Biden Administration’s support for a proposal by India and South Africa to waive certain provisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) in relation to the prevention, containment, or treatment of COVID-19. In Sen. Tillis’ letter, which was his fifth letter to the U.S. Trade Representative, the Senator called the Administration’s support for waiving international obligations under the TRIPS Agreement “disastrous” (using that word three times in the two-page letter).

        • Acer sues Volkswagen over handful of 4G patents, decries VW’s hold-out tactics against Avanci including ‘licensing negotiation groups’ [Ed: Florian Mueller treats Microsoft’s patent troll Intellectual Ventures with its self-fulfilling prophecy like a thing]

          Intellectual Ventures predicted an “IP reckoning” for the automotive industry and did its part to turn this into a self-fulfilling prophecy (by suing GM, Toyota, and Honda). Just yesterday I reported on Sisvel v. Ford, and now I’ve become aware of the latest SEP enforcement action against a car maker: Acer, a Taiwanese device maker known to be a very reasonable patent holder (as that company is on the receiving end of patent suits all the time), is tired of Volkswagen’s hold-out tactics vis-à-vis the Avanci 4G patent pool that offers a one-stop license to dozens of SEP portfolios. Acer has brought a patent infringement complaint against VW in the Eastern District of Virigina…

        • United States Intellectual Property Organization (USIPO) [Ed: Patent litigation fanatic Dennis Crouch (funded by litigation profiteers) as megaphone of Sen. Thom Tillis, who is the shill for low-quality patents and lots more litigation (follow the money!)]

          I have written a handful of posts over the years suggesting a merger of the USPTO and Copyright Office to form a United States Intellectual Property Organization (USIPO). The current fractured structure means that we lack a coherent administrative approach to treatment of the various IP regimes, even though they obviously overlap in very important ways. Further, although trade secrets are increasingly important to US industry, no federal agency is providing any oversight or guidance. The political difficulty here, I believe, is that major copyright industry insiders feel that they have captured the copyright office and so are concerned that a transformation would harm their lobbying position.

        • Qatent – AI Generated Applications [Ed: Patent fanatics have gone crazy, decided to pretend not to know what the patent system actually exists for in the first place]

          I expect that most folks won’t be satisfied, but in many cases it might be sufficient. And, if the technology is sufficiently mainstream, it suggests that the patent document actually needs less disclosure.

        • The people vs AI: can a machine own intellectual property? [Ed: There is no such thing as "intellectual property" and giving fiction to another fiction, "Hey Hi", is making one joke on top of another]

          The question is dividing opinion among the experts, with potentially serious consequences for the future of artificial intelligence and computing innovation

        • Sisvel becomes third Avanci licensor to sue Ford Motor Company over cellular standard-essential patents [Ed: Patent trolls have become a thing in Europe]

          The ink isn’t dry yet on the Biden Administration’s draft policy statement on standard-essential patent (SEP) enforcement, and an American industrial icon is already facing yet another SEP infringement lawsuit as Ford Motor Company got slapped yesterday with a complaint by Italian (but globally present) licensing firm Sisvel in the District of Delaware (this post continues below the document)…

        • UP & UPC: latest update as Austria progresses towards ratification of PAP [Ed: This is entirely unlawful and void without the UK]

          This is a complex and ever-evolving area of patent law that our UP and UPC experts continue to monitor. We are keeping a close eye on developments and we will provide further advice and updates as the situation changes and in the run up to the commencement of the new system.

        • <$2,000 for Xperi entity Rovi Guides prior art/a>

          On December 14, 2021, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $2,000 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claim 1 of U.S. Patent 11,012,720. The patent is owned by Rovi Guides, Inc., an NPE and subsidiary of Xperi Holding Corporation. The ’720 patent generally relates to providing a buffer time prior to deletion of a media content item.

        • Bolt files patent for new tandem riding prevention system for scooters [Ed: Misses the point that EPO nowadays grants lots of fake patents]

          Bolt, the largest scooter operator in Europe, has filed a patent for its new tandem riding prevention system – the first of its kind in the world – in bid to improve industry safety standards for scooters. Bolt’s patent submission for the system has now been accepted by the European Patent Office, and if awarded it will be valid in 154 countries.

        • $2,000 for Buffalo Patents prior art

          On December 10, 2021, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $2,000 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claim 1 of U.S. Patent 7,187,670. The patent is owned by Buffalo Patents, an NPE. The ’670 patent generally relates to a communication terminal for Internet telephony. The patent is being asserted against ZTE, HTC, TCL, Coolpad Group, and OnePlus.

        • R.J. Reynolds settles e-cigarette patent dispute shortly before trial [Ed: Are patents a cancer? Are there patents on cancer? For cancer-causing businesses? Cui bono?]

          R.J. Reynolds has settled an e-cigarette maker’s claims that RJR’s Vuse line copied its technology four days before a trial was slated to begin, according to a Thursday filing in North Carolina federal court.

          U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles found in May that RJR’s products infringed parts of two Fuma patents. A jury in Greensboro, N.C., was set to consider on Monday whether RJR infringed additional parts of one of the patents, whether the patents were valid, and what damages RJR owed, among other things.

          Fuma sued Winston-Salem, N.C.-based RJR in 2019 for infringing patents related to an e-cigarette design with a cartridge and power source. The complaint said RJR copied Medina, Ohio-based Fuma’s design after meeting with Fuma about its e-cigarette technology in 2010.

        • Three new PPAC Members: Charles Duan, Suzanne Harrison, and Heidi Nebel

          The Secretary of Commerce has announced three new members of the USPTO’s Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC): Charles Duan, Suzanne Harrison, and Heidi S. Nebel. Congratulations! All three of these individuals care deeply about improving the patent system, and now have an official seat at the table.

        • Pepsi plant revocation made for lax prosecution not public interest [Ed: No, Pepsi, you cannot ‘own’ plants and maybe RMS should quit treating you as a valid alternative to Coke]

          Counsel share their views on the revocation of PepsiCo’s potato variety used in Lay’s chips, including what the edict might mean for foreign innovators in India

        • Planned introduction of the new Polish Act on Industrial Property Law [Ed: Poland goes its own way, seeing that UPC isn’t useful and would certainly be rejected, along with the EPO that’s trying to ratify its gross violations of the law; Team UPC has nothing of substance to show, so this past week was just repetition and reiteration of old lies and distortions about the subject]

          With regard to inventions, the draft law introduces the new concept of a preliminary invention application and proposes to consolidate the provisions on patents into one law, thus transferring the solutions to this law and repealing the Act of 14 March 2003 on Filing European Patent Applications and the Effects of the European Patent in the Republic of Poland.


          The bill introduces changes with respect to the manner of proceedings in cases considered under the contentious procedure. Here it is envisaged that the Polish Patent Office, acting under the contentious procedure, will as a rule make decisions during closed sittings, and not at hearings.

        • Global patent disputes shadow the rise of solar energy [Ed: Osborne Clarke’s Tim Harris and Sian Edmonds as megaphone of the EPO’s greenwashing bluff]

          This is reflected in patenting trends. As highlighted in our recent article concerning wind power, the European Patent Office (EPO) and International Energy Authority (IEA) has released a joint report, “Patents and the Energy Transition”, surveying global trends in low-carbon and clean-energy technology earlier this year. The report identified patenting trends across a variety of low-carbon energy (LCE) technologies, using an international patent family (IPF) metric to measure patenting activity. Solar power made up by far the largest volume of LCE technologies-related patents, with 46,500 IPFs filed between 2000 and 2019. The EPO-IEA report noted a number of important innovations, including those relating to manufacturing processes and organic PV cells (which were based on conductive organic polymers or molecules rather than silicon-based devices).

        • [Older] Artificial Intelligence And Intellectual Property Rights [Ed: Many totally misleading misnomers in one headline, striving to push some nefarious agenda using lies and very gross distortions]

          Artificial Intelligence (AI)means enabling machines and computers to imitate the learning, perception, decision-making, and problem-solving capabilities of a human being(IBM, 2020). The examples of the AI application areas are natural language processing (NLP), speech recognition, image recognition, real-time recommendation, healthcare, finance, education, and autopilot technologies.

        • UK: Patents For Plastics Of The Future – Innovations And Trends [Ed: Recycling the greenwashing propaganda from corrupt EPO management]
        • University’s Mouse Gene Patent Suit Headed for Virtual Trial [Ed: Are mice an invention? Where does this monopolistic lunacy end? Not at the publication run by patent boosters who receive a salary from Michael Bloomberg.]

          The University of South Florida’s lawsuit against the federal government over a patent on genetically modified mice is headed for a virtual trial, amid uncertainties over the new omicron variant of the coronavirus.

          USF and the government are scheduled to begin trial Dec. 6 in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington. Both sides previously indicated they intended to be in the courtroom for the trial.

        • What Level of Abstraction? [Ed: Patent litigation firm-funded Dennis Crouch is upset that fake patents on non-inventions are being throw out. He’s paid to make up bogus scandals]

          I really have no idea what to make of this quote from Judge Reyna’s opinion, but the PTAB Judges Appear to love it. More than 600 PTAB decisions have included the full quote over the past few years. The citation appears to come into play in two occasion: (1) when the PTAB makes a slight shift from what the examiner identified as the relevant abstract idea; and (2) when the claims appear to be directed to something very specific, but that still fails the Alice test.

        • Meissner Bolte bolsters team with renowned lawyers in plant-variety protection [Ed: JUVE‘s editor Mathieu Klos posts marketing spam in ‘article’ clothing; this is what I mean when I say that over time more of the Web becomes little but a spamfarm at information’s expense]

          The merger with Würtenberger brings particular expertise in plant-variety protection. Gert Würtenberger and Karin Grau-Kuntz will join Meissner Bolte as of counsel, while Tanja Wittmann joins as senior associate.

          The trio spun off from IP firm Wuesthoff & Wuesthoff in 2012. The team focuses on advice on trademark, design and competition law. This often includes litigation. Name partner Gert Würtenberger is well-known in plant variety protection law and is regularly active in infringement proceedings. Only a few firms in Germany have a focus in this field, and Würtemberger is one of them alongside Wuesthoff & Wuesthoff.

          Gert Würtenberger has also been president of the German Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (GRUR) since 2014.


          The litigation team is based in Munich. The firm has eleven offices in Germany and one in the UK.

        • Boards of Appeal to move back to Munich city centre [Ed: After years of Mathieu Klos sucking up to EPO management he still fails to note how much of a scandal is behind this; For anything resembling independence for BoA Carl Josefsson needs to go because he’s the butlers of the EPO’s president, he cannot challenge him]

          EPO President António Campinos and the President of the Boards of Appeal Carl Josefsson have made a joint proposal to the EPO’s member states to relocate the Boards of Appeal from the current venue in Munich Haar to the city centre. According to the two presidents, the new location should be the EPO building at Pschorr-Höfe VII near Munich’s main railway station. The EPO’s main building is located at Bob-van-Benthem-Platz near the Isar river. This is where the Boards of Appeal had their headquarters until 2017.

          The move back to Munich city centre is expected to be completed in four to five years, even though some of the leases for the buildings in Haar run until 2032.


          For many observers, the announcement by the two presidents comes as a surprise. As to the reasons for this initiative, a spokesperson for the Boards of Appeal explained, “When the EPO building investment program was presented to the Administrative Council in 2019, the President of the Boards of Appeal pointed out that the end of the rental contract for the building in Haar coincided approximately with the completion of the envisaged renovation of the Pschorr-Höfe.” Josefsson also asked the Council to retain sufficient room for manoeuvre with regard to the long-term options for the premises of the Boards of Appeal.

          Moreover, the increase in homeworking in the wake of the corona pandemic is said to have given the EPO greater flexibility. The EPO anticipates that in the future there will be fewer and fewer employees working in the office buildings at any one time. As a result, the Boards of Appeal would again have space available in the EPO’s buildings in the city. Josefsson, however, firmly advised member states “that any new premises had to reflect the organisational autonomy of the Boards of Appeal”.

        • EPO’s Boards of Appeal to Move Back to Munich [Ed: Thorsten Bausch (Hoffmann Eitle), longtime EPO critics, on admission by EPO that it broke the law by sending judges to ‘exile’; of course BoA being brought back to Munich will not address or tackle the rigging fiasco]

          The President of the Boards of Appeal and the President of the Office jointly propose to the Administrative Council to re-locate the Boards of Appeal from Haar to the building Pschorr-Höfe 7 in Munich, owned by the EPO, as of 2025/2026.

          While this pretty spectacular U-turn still has to be confirmed by the Administrative Council in 2022, I have little doubts that the AC will do so (the tail is usually wagging the dog in Eponia). And in this case, it would clearly be the right decision for many reasons, even though we have not yet seen the price tag associated with this planned measure. But it makes little sense at least to me to rent expensive office space outside Munich while leaving EPO-owned facilities empty. It is still amazing and puzzling to me that this simple insight came so late.

        • Alexander Ramsay: “The London question won’t delay the UPC” [Ed: Alexander Ramsay has his lies reprinted by Christina Schulze; it’s a shame because Christina Schulze used to be a journalist, not a media operative of Team UPC]

          Alexander Ramsay: Firstly, Austria needs to formally deposit its instruments of ratification at the depository at the Council Secretariat, which I expect around mid-January. That should then complete the required 13 member states and the protocol should come into force.

        • UPC: The John Doe of Patent Law [Ed: Team UPC’s Matthieu Dhenne (Ipsilon) is once again lying when he says “The Unified Patent Jurisdiction is coming!” He knows he’s lying, but this is part of the method]

          The Unified Patent Jurisdiction is coming! It is announced that the system will be operational by 2022. Great! But no information on its implementation, European governments seem to be barely aware of it, ignoring the issue (not really “European” by the way)… What is the problem?


          We are, according to some, a few months away from a revolution for the European patent system and I have the feeling, perhaps very personal, that I am swimming in the fog with many of my peers (and the governors). Perhaps it is time to bring this debate into the public arena? Otherwise the legitimacy and therefore the success of the future jurisdiction will suffer.

        • December 2021 Legal News Roundup: Law Firm Hiring, Pro Bono & Recognition

          The team will have both dual-qualified lawyers and patent attorneys representing both infringement proceedings and EPO oppositions. Mr. Herr previously worked for Finnegan as a patent attorney trainee.

        • AIkido Pharma Reports Filing for Expanded Worldwide Patent Coverage on Key Assets [Ed: EPO patent quality and validity are awful, say insiders]

          For the Company’s pancreatic cancer drug licensed from The University Texas at Austin, in which the Company currently seeks patent protection in the US, the Company will now also seek protection on the licensed drug formulation in China, India and the European Patent Office, with all member countries designated, which includes all 27 EU member countries plus 11 non-EU countries.

        • Basmati, Biopiracy & The Curious Case Of ‘Texmati’
          [Ed: There is no such thing as "Biopiracy" because biology isn't owned by humans and the term piracy relates to something completely different from this]

          Basmati, meaning queen of fragrance, is a superior grain of rice. It is a slender grain with a distinct aromatic flavour. For centuries, Indian farmers have cultivated Basmati rice along the foothills of the Himalayas. Culturally, it is identified with Indian food.

          However, on September 2, 1997, a U.S. based corporation, named RiceTec Inc., was awarded a patent for Basmati rice. It is interesting that the patent was awarded not to a company belonging to India, Pakistan or Bangladesh but to an American company.

          How/Why did this happen? What are the implications of such patent claims?

          For generations, farmers in the subcontinent studied and experimented with its cultivation, developed it to fit ecological circumstances, culinary demands, and flavours. However, Indian and Pakistani companies or governments did not have patents on Basmati rice.

        • Sigma-Aldrich Joins the CRISPR Interference Fray [Ed: Some people have gone so insane (about money) that they try to tell us hacking on genome somehow makes life itself an "invention" and patent monopolies should be given]

          On June 21st,* the Patent Trial and Appeal Board declared two new interferences involving CRISPR technology. The first, Interference No. 106,132, named Sigma-Aldrich as Senior Party and the University of California/Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier (collectively, “CVC”) as Junior Party, while the second, Interference No. 106,133 named Sigma-Aldrich as Senior Party and the Broad Institute, Harvard University, and MIT (collectively, “Broad”) as Junior Party.


          All claims of all applications and patents of each party in each Interference were designated as corresponding to the Count.

          The PTAB gave CVC a priority date that is the filing date of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/757,640, filed January 28, 2013, and Sigma-Aldrich a priority date of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/734,256, filed December 6, 2012.

          The PTAB gave Broad a priority date that is the filing date of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/736,527, filed December 12, 2013, and Sigma-Aldrich a priority date of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/734,256, filed December 6, 2012.

        • Paris court asserts jurisdiction in Philips and Xiaomi FRAND dispute [Ed: Despite all the openwashing ,ETSI is like a patent cartel]

          Philips and Xiaomi are in dispute in several European countries over UMTS and LTE patents from Philips’ SEP portfolio. Dutch electronics supplier Philips accuses the Chinese mobile phone company of infringing its patents, suing Xiaomi in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. It also prompted action in China and India.

          In turn, Xiaomi accuses Philips of not offering a licence on FRAND terms. Thus, states Xiaomi, Philips is violating the rules laid down by the France-based European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI). Since ETSI contracts are subject to French law, Xiaomi brought an action against both Philips and ETSI at the Tribunal judiciaire in Paris (case ID: RG 20/12558).

        • Open RAN patent pool named Alium appears to be driven by agenda of bringing down FRAND royalty rates for O-RAN implementers [Ed: Openwashing of patent cartels or why the term "open" became more useless than just meaningless]

          Last week, patent pool firm MPEG LA and frequent patent challenger Unified Patents announced a patent pool for 3GPP infrastructure named Alium. I have no idea why they chose the Latin word for garlic as the name for a telecommunications patent pool. If the pool smells from anything, it’s from the apparent agenda of high-volume implementers seeking to devalue patents.

          As I noted three months ago, there are various reasons for which Open RAN is certain to increase SEP licensing costs. At the time, I was not taking a position on the bottom-line desirability of Open RAN, or the O-RAN software interfaces and specification. My focus was narrowly on IP licensing and litigation issues. I later reported on growing unease in Europe over the geopolitical dimension of the push for adoption of O-RAN, and on the security risks identified by a German government agency. It’s a multi-faceted topic. With deep-pocketed organizations beating the drums for Open RAN, the potentialy intriguing aspects of the approach have received far more publicity than the caveats.

        • USPTO Delays Voluntary Continuing Legal Education Certification

          A requirement for continuing legal education (CLE) is on the horizon for US patent attorneys and patent agents, but that horizon has been pushed back once again. The first proposed step was a voluntary certification of CLE attendance. However, Dir. Hirshfeld and OED Dir. Will Covey have pushed that back indefinitely:

          On June 10, 2021, the USPTO issued a Federal Register Notice announcing that the voluntary CLE certification would commence in the spring of 2022 but that implementation of the biennial electronic registration statement would be delayed until November 1, 2024. 86 FR 30920.

        • Benefits of the Invention and Social Value in Patent Law [Ed: Patent law no longer benefits innovation; that's an old or dying myth]

          Traditionally, patent law purports to rely on the market to assess the extent of an invention’s value. The underlying theory is that as long as the basic requirements for the patent are met, the patent is granted and the patentee is given the right to exclude; the value of that right will depend on market valuation of the invention. But in reality, courts do consider the extent to which an invention benefits society in various patent law doctrines, including utility, eligibility, nonobviousness, and damages. This is consideration is generally not openly acknowledged, but occurs in the background, the equities of the case so to speak.

          This article defends and argues for a more open acknowledgement of the role of benefits of the invention in patent law. Courts do have a role to play in assessing an invention’s value, especially where there is reason to think that there may be a mismatch between the invention’s social value and market value. Patent law should embrace the notion that it is not solely concerned with increasing the rate of innovation agnostically as to the benefits of the technology; rather, patent law also plays a role in shaping the direction of innovation. More open acknowledgement of this role would provide better information to the public and allow the development of more consistent and coherent standards. This development could occur gradually through the common law method, without any drastic break from precedent. To this end, this article also explores various doctrinal possibilities, such as a revival and modification of the pioneer patent doctrine.

        • Does Patent Monetization Promote SSO Participation? [Ed: Monetization sounds better than blackmail and extortion, like a Mafia acting all "nice" at first]

          We study the impact of Standard Setting Organization (SSO) intellectual property rights (IPR) policies on standardization and innovation. Specifically, we conduct a pair of event studies for two well known IPR policy revisions: a switch from Fair Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) to Royalty-Free licensing at the World Wide Web Consortium in 2003, and an update of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Standards Association’s IPR policy in 2015. Overall, we find little evidence that these policy changes caused a decline in participation by patent licensors or reduced innovation in patent-intensive parts of either SSO. This pattern holds for both W3C and IEEE, across numerous measures of participation and innovation, and for a variety of different treatment and control group comparisons. We interpret these findings as evidence that any link between IPR policies, innovation, and SSO participation is much weaker than purely theoretical arguments to the contrary often suggest.

        • FOSS Patents: Apple’s new complaint in Texas alleges Ericsson breached its FRAND commitment, but Apple’s allegations have serious plausibility problems

          What Apple wants the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to do is to declare that Ericsson–not Apple–breached its FRAND obligation, and to hold that a couple of Ericsson 5G patents are not standard-essential (nor infringed by Apple for any other reason). If Apple had decided to file an answer to Ericsson’s complaint, it would have brought those claims as counterclaims. But Apple elected to bring a motion to dismiss instead of an answer (though it will have to answer if its motion to dismiss doesn’t make the case go away). Therefore, Apple filed its own separate complaint, though it’s clear that if both parties’ claims survived any motions to dismiss, the two cases would be consolidated.

          Apple is being consistent by saying that most of its own claims should be dismissed just like Ericsson’s claims that they’re modeled after, but should the court let Ericsson’s case go forward, then the related claims by Apple also need to be adjudged.

          I’ve read Apple’s complaint, and have formed an opinion except on the technical questions of whether or not particular patents are essential. Apple’s complaint is more about narrative than facts, more of a blame game than a meritorious action. For example, by alleging that Ericsson filed suit in Texas within six minutes of making Apple a licensing offer, Apple tries to make Ericsson look bad, like saying “look how litigious they are.” But the very same complaint by Apple makes it clear that Apple has rejected, and was always going to reject, Ericsson’s $5G/unit demand. And Apple’s complaint itself states that the relevant licensing offer stated Ericsson’s public position on reasonable royalties, which Apple has clearly disagreed with.

        • FOSS Patents: Acer is not alone: licensing negotiation groups draw ever more criticism from academics, practitioners, and patent holders

          At the start of this year, Nokia v. Daimler was the most significant automotive standard-essential patent (SEP) dispute. Summer had barely started when that one settled out. Now that the year 2021 is drawing to a close, Acer v. Volkswagen is the most “inspiring” automotive patent spat, at least judging by the traffic my previous post gets (though Sisvel v. Ford is a not-exceedingly-distant second).

          Acer’s complaint mentions the proposal of licensing negotiation groups (LNGs) as a pillar of Volkswagen’s alleged hold-out tactics vis-à-vis the Avanci pool. It is the latest criticism of the LNG idea. In recent weeks, there have been at least two webinars on the subject, and I’d like to share some observations on them here.

          The European Commission’s expert group report on SEPs tosses out the idea of LNGs as Proposal 75, but let’s not forget that the entire expert group report is not a Commission communication, as the Commission itself clarified on more than one occasion. Also, a key participant (Ericsson’s Monica Magnusson) distanced herself from the report by means of a published dissent. Still, when a facial absurdity–given that it’s fundamentally at odds with existing cartel law–appears as a “proposal” in something that is not formally but almost an official EU document, I can see why some are concerned, and why webinars are held (or blog posts written, as in this case) to discuss the thing. It’s like people are standing in front of an aquarium and staring at some big sharks inside: in a way you rely on being protected by the thick glass between you and the predators, yet there’s this thought of what would happen if–against all odds, but you never know–the glass broke…

          4IP Council held a webinar on LNGs last month, and a recording is still available. The two panelists were Dr. Igor Nikolic, who is a Research Fellow at the European University Institute, and doctoral student Haris Tsilikas. They looked at LNGs strictly from a competition law perspective, but taking into account an important difference between physical goods and patent rights: while physical goods are simply not delivered to someone unless an agreement on the terms has been reached, implementers are typically already using the patented techniques.

        • Top Trends of 2021: Will Australian ruling on artificial intelligence as inventor be a trigger for others to follow suit? [Ed: No, Australia just made itself like an utterly tactless and patently dumb country, that's all that happened...]

          Australia attracted international attention in July when a Federal Court ruled that artificial intelligence can be named as the inventor of a patent. In Thaler v. Commissioner of Patents, Federal Court Justice Jonathan Beach ruled that under Australian patent law, inventors don’t necessarily have to be human. The decision challenges the assumption that only human beings can be inventors. Beach did rule, however, that an AI system cannot apply for a patent or receive a patent.

        • Sigma-Aldrich and Broad Propose Preliminary Motions in Recent CRISPR Interference No. 106,133 [Ed: Still wasting courts' time dealing with laughable debates like, is life and nature an invention? The patent maximalists think lobbying can defy logic and reason 100% of the time]

          The parties in Interference No. 106,133, namely Senior Party Sigma-Aldrich and Junior Party the Broad Institute, Harvard University, and MIT (collectively, “Broad”), filed their respective lists of proposed preliminary motions four days prior to their August 3rd teleconference with the Board to present their arguments for the Board to grant leave to file any of them.

          Broad InstituteJunior Party Broad proposed Substantive Preliminary Motion No. 1, to change the Count under 37 C.F.R. §§ 41.121(a)(1)(i) and 41.208(a)(2).* The justification here as in earlier interferences (Nos. 106,115 and 106,126) is to provide “a count broad enough to cover Broad’s best proofs, which are directed to CRISPR-Cas9 systems using dual-molecule RNA but not including a donor polynucleotide sequence.”

        • Standard Essential UNITARY Patents [Ed: Gottfried Schüll from this truly awful firm keeps spreading false ‘news’ about UPC, and basing things on a fake assumption; paid-for spin]

          The Unitary Patent may become a standard choice for SEPs – the decision on simultaneous protection in Germany (UP+DE) should already be considered now

          For owners of Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) there is one option that should be considered already prior to the start of the UPC.

        • Priority: A possible new referral to the Enlarged Board of Appeal? [Ed: It really ought to be noted that these tribunals are patently rigged, but Kilburn & Strode LLP does not want you to know it because it profits from the EPO ‘coup’]

          Last week, we observed oral proceedings for consolidated appeals T1513/17 and T2719/19, because a fundamentally important priority entitlement question was at stake. Specifically:

          Is priority valid for a Euro-PCT application if the priority-entitled applicant is applicant for the US only on the PCT application, and there has been no transfer of priority rights to the applicant for Europe?

          The Board of Appeal believes this issue concerns a point of law of fundamental importance that is decisive to both appeals, and, at the hearing, the Board indicated it was very likely to refer questions to the Enlarged Board of Appeal to clarify the correct approach.

        • Recommended Reading: Germain and Sitler, “The Constitution Commandeth: Thou Shalt Not Protect the Same Subject Matter Under Design Patent and Trade Dress Laws” [Ed: The inevitable conflict between design patents and trademarks]

          Kenneth B. Germain and Louise H Sitler provide some pre-Yuletide reading material with their new article, “The Constitution Commandeth: Thou Shalt Not Protect the Same Subject Matter Under Design Patent and Trade Dress Law,” 21 Chi.-Kent J. Intell Prop. 90 (2021). [Download here]. This is not the first time that Ken Germain has raised this issue, as the article points out. Perhaps the solution the authors propose should be called the “Germain De-stacking Doctrine.”

        • Turkey: Permanent Injunction On The Infringing Pharmaceutical Products On The NPP List [Ed: Patents are not rights.]

          Since the court considered the specialities of the exceptional drug supply procedure, the final verdict is an extremely important one serving to the effective protection of patent rights.

        • [Older] Bolivia calls on Canada to waive patent and export COVID-19 vaccines [Ed: On some issues, Bolivia knows best because greed and exploitation aren't the main 'education' curricula]

          The Canadian government is facing mounting pressure to waive the patent on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to allow a Canadian manufacturer to export a low-cost version to Bolivia.

          The Bolivian government struck a deal with Ontario’s Biolyse Pharma to seek a compulsory licence to produce and export COVID-19 vaccines without the permission of the patent holder.

        • BGI Units Lose Appeal Over Illumina DNA Sequencing IP [Ed: There are now companies out there that managed to convince themselves that they 'own' life itself; their lobbyists bought laws to that effect and distorted the USPTO, courts, politicians...]

          The Court of Appeal on Friday rejected a bid by BGI Group subsidiaries to overturn findings that they infringed valid patents for rapid DNA sequencing held by Illumina Cambridge Ltd., holding the inventions were not obvious in light of prior research in the field.

          The patents claim inventions in the field of DNA sequencing, specifically a technique known as “sequencing by synthesis.” Three of the four patents at issue are for modified nucleotides.

          The BGI companies — Latvia MGI Tech SIA, MGI Tech Co. Ltd., MGI International Sales Co. Ltd. and MGI Tech Hong Kong Co. Ltd., formerly BGI Complete Genomics…

        • Policy Statement on Licensing Negotiations and Remedies for Standards-Essential Patents Subject to F/RAND Commitments [Ed: Missing the point that many of these patents ought not exist in the first place and a lot of them -- probably the vast majority -- are also abstract and therefore bunk]

          The USPTO has joined forces with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and National Institute of Standards (NIST) in creating a new draft policy statement on licensing of standards-essential patents (SEP) subject to voluntary F/RAND commitments.

        • Patent Law at the Supreme Court December 2021 [Ed: Marketing ways to undermine the integrity of patent law by broadening scope, to no ends other than enriching lawyers, like those who sponsor this writer]

          The Supreme Court has not yet granted a writ of certiorari in any patent cases this term, and has denied certiorari in several dozen cases. A handful of important petitions are pending whose outcome could be transformative to the law.

        • PTAB Discretionary Denials Are Unpredictable And Illegal [Ed: Is Joseph Matal lobbying now? Like Kappos?]

          The year now coming to a close has seen an unprecedented degree of chaos and uncertainty in the application of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s policy of using “discretion” to turn away patent challenges.

          Under its precedential 2020 decision in Apple Inc. v. Fintiv Inc.,[1] the board considers six factors to decide whether to decline to institute a proceeding because of copending litigation in another forum.

          In practice, the second factor — the scheduled date of a district court trial — has been the most important factor.

          In Fintiv itself, for example, review was refused because of a civil case…

        • Joao entity NavBlazer’s patent held invalid

          On December 13, 2021, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a final written decision in Unified Patents, LLC v. NavBlazer, LLC holding all challenged claims of U.S. Patent 9,885,782 invalid. NavBlazer is associated with patent attorney and prolific inventor, Raymond Anthony Joao. Along with Caselas, GreatGigz Solutions, Joao Control and Monitoring Systems, and Joao Bock Transaction Systems, his companies have launched dozens of lawsuits against technologies ranging from streaming video to financial transactions. The ’782 patent is directed to vehicle navigation systems that provide information about a route and has been asserted against TomTom, Apple, Samsung, LG, Motorola Mobility, and Hyundai for their devices that provide vehicle navigation.

        • The Dawn of the Unitary Patent Era in Europe [Ed: This is false and it’s what they’ve been saying in vain for at least 8 years]

          The Unitary Patent Era is on its way to Europe. Depending how quickly the structures and personnel for the associated courts are established, the Unitary Patent Era should arrive in either 2022 or 2023. After several challenges raised by choice of language, Brexit, and German litigation, the Unitary Patent came one step closer to reality when Austria approved ratification of the Protocol on the Provisional Application (PPA) of the Agreement on a Unitary Patent Court (known in Europe as the UPCA) on December 2, 2021. Accordingly, Austria is soon becoming the thirteenth European Union member to ratify the PPA, which clears the way for the establishment of the UPCA in 16 and up to 24 of the 27 members of the European Union (Croatia, Poland, and Spain will not participate in the UPCA in the near future).

        • The EU’s Unified Patent Court is set to open in 2022 – this is what you need to know [Ed: IAM is once again spreading fake news as headlines; they never get tired because they’re paid to spread these lies]
        • Apple, Google, others lose court challenge to patent review policy

          A federal judge in California tossed a lawsuit brought by big tech companies including Apple and Google over a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office policy that reduced the number of patent disputes it considers.

          U.S. Supreme Court precedent prevents the companies from challenging an internal PTO rule that allows the patent office’s administrative judges to deny more bids for inter partes reviews (IPRs), U.S. District Judge Edward Davila said.

          The IPR process, which allows parties to challenge the validity of patents at the PTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board, is popular with major tech companies and others often targeted with patent infringement lawsuits as an efficient way to head off the claims.

          Rejections of IPR petitions have been rising in part because of an internal PTO rule giving PTAB judges discretion to deny review when related court litigation has made more progress, among other things.

          Apple Inc, Google LLC, Cisco Systems Inc, and Intel Corp sued the PTO last year, alleging the rule undermined the central role IPRs have in “protecting a strong patent system” and violated federal law.

        • Unified Patents Court – News Update [Ed: Team UPC cannot stop peddling illegal and untenable agenda, like Bush trying to sell the Iraq war]

          Since it became clear that Brexit would mean that London was not able to take its place as the Life Sciences base for the UPC, there has been much speculation about the potential location, within the central division, for hearing of cases that would have gone to the London court.

        • Exclusive: Audi licensing chief to leave this month [Ed: Audi’s very own patent extortionist (as some might put it, “patent nazi”… given this firm’s history)]

          Matthias Schneider, Audi’s chief licensing officer since 2018, has been a critical voice in the European SEP debate

        • FOSS Patents: New court filing by Apple makes 5G patent infringement litigation by Ericsson against iPhone maker ever more likely to start in two weeks

          There’s every indication right now that–short of an 11th-hour agreement–Ericsson and Apple are patent litigation-bound.

          In early October, Ericsson brought a FRAND (not infringement) complaint against Apple in the Eastern District of Texas, with a license agreement still in force until the end of the year. While it may seem early to bring a case at that stage, Apple itself surprised Ericsson last time with some pre-expiration moves, and Ericsson just didn’t want to lose the race to the courthouse this time around.

          An anti-antisuit motion by Ericsson in the Netherlands became known shortly thereafter. I subsequently asked the three major German patent infringement courts whether they had any such action pending before them, but the answers were consistently negative (at least at the time I asked; I may soon have to inquire again).

        • PTAB fills-out diaper patent decision: written description and indefiniteness

          The PTAB recently issued an odd opinion in this case focusing on the written description requirement. The application is directed to a “package of absorbent articles.” I.e., a bag full of diapers. These particular diapers are designed to include a higher percentage of “bio-based materials” and fewer petrochemicals. As such, the claims require that the bag contain “a plurality of absorbent articles … wherein the absorbent articles are devoid of lotion, fragrance or perfume, chlorine, and green number 7 dye.”


          In addition, the specification provided no criteria for determining why “green number 7 dye” is “undesirable.” Based upon those perceived failures in the specification, the PTAB concluded that “the term ‘green number 7 dye’ … lacks adequate written description support and is indefinite.” Although I have no experience in this area, I did do a 2 minute Google search and found that Green No. 7 is a term of art for Phthalocyanine Green G.

        • DoJ SEP policy would impede or speed up negotiations: in-house [Ed: Falling short of recognising the obvious: those SEP 'owners' (misnomer) are more like cartels which curtail actual innovation and harm everybody (though they have lobbyists)]

          SEP owners question whether a new draft policy from the US Department of Justice sufficiently emphasises the problem of holdout

        • Change in the electronic retrieval method for priority documents between the USPTO and the European Patent Office [Ed: Sooner or late the EPO will need to retrieve no documents because almost everything is approved fast, without proper scrutiny at all]

          Effective January 1, 2022, electronic retrievals of priority documents between the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the European Patent Office will be managed via the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Digital Access Service (DAS).

          For applications filed on or after January 1, 2022, the applicant must provide the WIPO DAS access code associated with the priority application. The transition to the WIPO DAS will provide applicants with additional security via the requirement of the WIPO DAS access code, which serves as a third validation point for each application along with the application number and filing date. In addition, use of the WIPO DAS permits applicants to better manage and monitor the status of requested certified copy retrievals via the WIPO DAS applicant portal.

        • Bilateral meeting of EPO and CNIPA heads [Ed: Empty talk from corrupt EPO leadership about “improving patent quality” while actively crushing it]

          Earlier today EPO President António Campinos and Commissioner Shen Changyu of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) held their annual high-level bilateral meeting. The two heads of office convened via videoconference to discuss recent developments at both offices and at the global IP level, as well as future co-operation between the two strategic partners.

          The heads welcomed exchanges between experts at both offices. Throughout 2021, EPO and CNIPA shared information on several topics including legal frameworks, practices and procedures, classification, tools and services, academies, and the Boards of Appeal.

        • [Older] How AI helps cut your costs – but not your confidence – during due diligence [Ed: Clueless lawyers would call any computer program "Hey Hi" and lousy propaganda rags of the EPO would print such foolishness in tact]

          Mergers and acquisitions are both exciting and exhausting. Tight deadlines, limited information and large amounts of money at stake mean that there is significant pressure to gain confidence in a deal. This is especially the case when intellectual property is the primary asset changing hands. However, AI and machine-learning software could be set to transform this space.

        • No more Paper Patents [Ed: USPTO as prisoner of Microsoft]

          US courts formerly tossed around the derogatory term “paper patents” in reference to inventions that were thought experiment scribbled down on paper and never actually reduced to practice. Ordinarily, paper patents were given more narrow construction than their more well rounded cousins. But, at least they were still on-paper.

          The USPTO has announced its intent to stop printing patent documents on paper as a matter of course. Rather, the patent grant will remain in electronic storage. Paper versions will still be printable on-demand — informally from the website or formally with a fee.

        • Sareum Holdings Shares Rise After European Patent Notice [Ed: More here; Sareum seems to be unaware of the collapse of patent quality at the EPO; Many of today’s European Patents are fake patents]

          Shares in Sareum Holdings PLC rose on Wednesday after the company said that the European Patent Office has issued an ‘Intention to Grant’ notice for a patent in respect of an invention associated with its proprietary SDC-1802 TYK2/JAK1 Kinase inhibitor program.

          Shares at 0819 GMT were up 0.50 pence, or 10%, at 5.50 pence.

          The U.K. drug-development company said the patent will protect the SDC-1802 molecule and its pharmaceutical preparations as a therapeutic to treat TYK2-dependent T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

          Sareum Holdings said it expects the patent to be formally granted within four months subject to certain formalities being completed.

        • [Older] Patents for Humanity: The USPTO Recognizes Innovation Relating to COVID-19 [Ed: Homage to patent monopolies that needlessly kill millions of humans in the name of greater corporate profits; calling it "Patents for Humanity" must be some sick satire]

          The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced the final deadline for submission of applications for its Patents for Humanity COVID-19 award: The submission deadline is 5 p.m. ET, September 30, 2021.

          Patents for Humanity is the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) awards competition recognizing innovators who use game-changing technology to meet global humanitarian challenges. The Patents for Humanity COVID-19 award category was launched April 5, 2021, for patent applicants, holders, and licensees whose inventions track, prevent, diagnose, or treat COVID-19. The program highlights COVID-19 success stories that will inspire others to harness innovation for human progress.

        • UK court dismisses DABUS – an AI machine cannot be an inventor [Ed: This is just common sense; not blinded by buzzwords and mindless hype]

          As the development of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning accelerates, it was inevitable that the courts would be called to answer the question of whether or not a machine can be an inventor for the purposes of applying for a patent.

          On 21 September 2021, the Court of Appeal handed down its decision in the case of Stephen Thaler v Comptroller General of Patents Trade Marks and Designs [2021] EWCA Civ 1374. By a majority of 2 to 1 the court dismissed the appeal of Dr Stephen Thaler who filed two patent applications naming his AI machine DABUS as the inventor. This judgment affirms the UK’s current position that, under the Patents Act 1977, the right to apply for an invention must originate from a human inventor. An AI system cannot be named as the inventor on a patent application.

        • UK Court of Appeal confirms AI cannot be named as inventor on patent applications [Ed: Trolling the courts repeatedly (for media coverage) will just waste courts' time]

          In a recent judgment, the Court of Appeal has upheld that, within the current legal framework in the UK, an artificial intelligence (AI) machine cannot be named as the inventor in relation to a patent application for an invention which it created. The full decision is available here: Thaler v Comptroller General of Patents Trade Marks And Designs [2021] EWCA Civ 1374.

          Dr Thaler applied for two UK patents in respect of inventions which he claims were created by his AI machine known as DABUS (‘Device for the autonomous bootstrapping of unified sentience’). The applications were considered withdrawn by the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) by failure to identify the inventor and how Dr Thaler derived the right to be granted a patent from the inventor in accordance with section 13 of the Patents Act 1977. Dr Thaler claimed that DABUS was the inventor and that he derived the right to be granted a patent as owner of DABUS. This was first appealed to the High Court in 2020, but was dismissed, and in turn was appealed to the Court of Appeal and came before experienced patent judges, Lord Justice Birss, Lord Justice Arnold, and Lady Justice Laing.

        • Save the date for EPO Tech Day 2022: Technologies of Transformation, 16 February [Ed: Criminals who have hijacked the EPO are greenwashing again (“European Green Deal”); it’s a deflection-type PR strategy]

          Tech Day is an annual celebration of innovation, learning and collaboration that takes place at the EPO. Primarily an internal event until now, Tech Day brings together teams of experts from across the Office to explore a technological theme of special significance.

          The theme of Tech Day 2022 is Technologies of Transformation: those technologies developed in response to the most pressing global crises of our time and with a view to sustaining planetary health – both human health and that of our planet.

        • “Bushy plant growth is not an invention”

          No Patents on Seeds! is filing an opposition against a Nunhems (BASF) patent on watermelons (EP2814316) derived from conventional breeding. The bushy plants were originally discovered in a garden. They argue that the genetic predisposition to bushy growth occurred randomly. Nunhems has, in this case, simply used well-known methods to breed melons with less seeds from these plants. However, the main advantage of the plants is that they need less space to grow. However, these characteristics were detected but not invented. The patent covers the plants, the seeds and the fruits.

          “Bush-type watermelon plants are already known from their countries of origin in Africa. This patent is an abuse of patent law, based on a fake invention, and meant to circumvent the legal prohibitions,” says Christoph Then for No Patents on Seeds!. “While BASF and the EPO are profiting from this situation, the public is being deceived.”

          Patents on conventionally-bred plants are prohibited in Europe. The European Patent Office (EPO), which makes a profit from granting patents, has nevertheless found ways and means to circumvent the prohibitions: in this case, the plants, which were developed with commonly used methods to produce less seeds, are treated as a technical invention (increasing the number of chromosomes). However, this additional technical step is not necessary, not inventive and does not have any impact on the growth of the plants or the quality of the fruit.


          “The EPO has added even more legal loopholes in recent years: random mutations are regarded as inventions in the same way as genetic engineering.” No Patents on Seeds! is warning that an increasing number of patent applications are being filed for fake inventions. “For example, the applicants may try to create the impression that CRISPR/Cas gene scissors are being used, but in reality, the plants are derived from conventional breeding.”

        • Clene Nanomedicine’s Patent Portfolio Grows to More Than 150 Issued Worldwide, including Two Key Patents Now Validated Across Europe [Ed: They've only bothered validating two patents, perhaps knowing the others are likely fake, bogus, invalid]

          Clene Nanomedicine, Inc Inc. (NASDAQ: CLNN) along with its subsidiaries “Clene” and its wholly owned subsidiary Clene Nanomedicine, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on revolutionizing the treatment of neurodegenerative disease, announced it has validated key patents granted by the European Patent Office that protect the Company’s breakthrough processes, devices and methods for treating certain disease indications for its nanotherapeutic drugs.

        • BioWorld by Clarivate Identifies the Top Six Global Biopharmaceutical Stories and Trends of 2021

          BioWorld published by Clarivate Plc (NYSE:CLVT), a global leader in providing trusted information and insights to accelerate the pace of innovation, has announced the six most important biopharmaceutical stories and trends of 2021. BioWorld is a suite of award-winning news services delivering actionable intelligence on the most innovative therapeutics and medical technologies in development. Each year, BioWorld’s team of editors and analysts review and assess the market-moving and life-changing stories and trends of the year. This year, BioWorld found therapeutics for Alzheimer’s, innovation in DNA vaccines and the evolution of Artificial Intelligence among some of the most pivotal stores and trends of 2021.

        • Spotlight: patent enforcement and invalidity procedures in France [Ed: EPO breaks the law to amass and then steal money]

          Contrary to the case law of the European Patent Office (EPO), the patentability of a dosage regime remains unsettled.

        • How Fast is the Patent Prosecution Highway in China? [Ed: What happens when putting litigation and embargo agenda well ahead of science, due process etc.]

          Accordingly to statistics collected by the Japanese Patent Office (JPO), participating in the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) in China will significantly speed up examination and grant of a patent application. Per the JPO data, from January to June 2021, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) on average issued a first office action within 2.2 months of granting a PPH request. This is close to a third of the time it takes the USPTO to issue a first office action from time of grant of a PPH request at 5.6 months per the JPO data.

          The average pendency from PPH request to grant in China was 11 months versus 16.5 for the U.S. The average number of Office Actions was 1 in China versus 2.92 for the U.S.

        • [Opinion] Can an AI system be an inventor ? [Ed: Software patent propagandist who promotes illegal UPC and works for patent trolls is trying to shoehorn fake patents assigned to computer programs, citing Wai Yee Wan]

          There has been much headline ink spilled on the question of AI-inventorship in the IP press and beyond. Kat friends Professor Kelvin FK Low (National University of Singapore), Professor Wai Yee Wan (City University of Hong Kong) and Associate Professor Ying-Chieh Wu (Seoul National University) examine the recent Australian and UK cases and critical analyzes the arguments on both sides in an attempt to answer that question and how (or whether) AI-inventorship incentivizes invention. Over to the Professors…


          It is perhaps most interesting to compare the contrasting fortunes of the Project’s filings in Australia (Thaler v Commissioner of Patents [2021] FCA 879) and England and Wales (Thaler v The Comptroller-General of Patents, Designs And Trade Marks [2020] EWHC 2412 (Pat)/Thaler v Comptroller General of Patents Trade Marks And Designs [2021] EWCA Civ 1374). In Australia, Beach J accepted that Dr Stephen Thaler, the inventor of DABUS, could be said to either be entitled to have the patent assigned to him or be a person who derived title from the inventor, thus overcoming the difficulty that even if DABUS could be regarded as an inventor, it could not itself own a patent owing to its lack of legal personality. The convoluted contortions that Beach J engaged in to arrive at this conclusion was rejected in England. The argument is perhaps best summed up by Marcus Smith J, who described it as “hopeless” because “DABUS would – by reason of its status as a thing and not a person – be incapable of conveying any property to Dr Thaler. In short, the ability to transfer, which DABUS lacks, is fatal to Dr Thaler’s contentions. The same point can be put in a different way: because DABUS is a thing, it cannot even hold property, let alone transfer it.”

        • electroCore Announces New Patent for Stroke and TIA

          electroCore, Inc. (the “Company”), (NASDAQ: ECOR), a commercial-stage bioelectronic medicine company, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. Patent No. 11,191,953 to the Company, relating to the treatment of stroke symptoms.

        • Opinion: ‘These aren’t murder trials!’ Get on with VICO [Ed: Max Walters in mouthpiece of EPO crooks is cheering on illegal and unconstitutional agenda; not the first time he and his colleagues do this]

          An EPO consultation on virtual hearings has concluded that the majority of users are happy with the format – and of course they are, it’s common sense.

        • What does the future hold for patents & trademarks? [Ed: Asking those who stand to profit from patent litigation what they think about the future (in spite of the conflict of interest)]

          We’ve come a long way since dial up modems! With a focus on patents & trademarks, Heather McCann, Partner at EIP, and Julius Stobbs, Founder of Stobbs, look back at how the intellectual property industry has changed since the beginning of their careers and how it will continue to change going forward.

        • [Older] SPCs: Paris court confirms its interpretation of CJEU ‘Royalty Pharma’ test

          The Paris Court of Appeal has rejected a patent holder’s interpretation of EU case law that concerns criteria for obtaining supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) for innovations in medicine.

        • [Older] PTAB “Overlooks” Rehearing Consequences and Swings the Rehearing Door Wide Open [Ed: Patent profiteers looking to scuttle PTAB just because it thwarts lots of fake patents]

          A recent decision by a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) panel in Canadian Solar Inc., et al v. The Solaria Corporation may have opened the door for aggrieved parties to seek rehearing for any reason, rather than the prescribed situation where the panel “misapprehended or overlooked” some issue in an inter partes review (IPR). Acknowledging in its order that the motion for rehearing did not satisfy the requirements for granting rehearing under 37 CFR § 42.71(d), the Board invoked the PTAB’s “inherent authority to reconsider our Decision Denying Institution” and relied on “changed facts” to institute the IPR, despite no statute or rule authorizing such an action. Although perhaps unintended, the consequences of this decision may be that the door to rehearing is now kicked wide open, for both patent owners and petitioners: if PTAB is allowed to ignore Section 42.71(d)’s rehearing requirements in this circumstance, there should be nothing preventing it from ignoring those requirements when deciding other rehearing requests, too.

        • [Older] UK Court of Appeal dismisses DABUS appeal on AI as patent inventor but dissenting judgment leaves room for possible Supreme Court appeal [Ed: The patent extemists and profiteers still hope for computer-generated patents -- a truly ludicrous idea in violation og the spirit of patent law -- will give them more "business" (lawsuits)]

          The latest round in the Thaler/DABUS patent applications story has been fought and lost by Dr Thaler in the UK Court of Appeal, although with one dissenting judgment. An appeal to the Supreme Court is possible but the subsequent announcement of the UK Government’s National AI Strategy which will include a UK IPO consultation on the use of copyright and patents to protect AI, expected to be launched within the next few months may mean that the issues could be resolved via legislation instead. Where will Dr Thaler/DABUS go from here?

        • Software Patents

          • Voice Tech patent held invalid

            On December 13, 2021, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a final written decision in Unified Patents, LLC v. Voice Tech Corporation holding all claims of U.S. Patent 10,491,679 invalid. The ’679 patent relates to remotely controlling a computer’s operating system and applications using voice commands from a mobile device. The patent was asserted against Mycroft AI Inc. for using open source, voice-related technologies.

          • PTAB Axes Voice Tech IP In Win For AI Co. Held In Contempt [Ed: A win for Free software, too]

            The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has nixed one of two Voice Tech Corp. patents involved in its bitter infringement fight with artificial intelligence company Mycroft AI, which was held in contempt in September for violating a court order to take down a threatening blog post.

            The decision, handed down Monday, came in a challenge from Unified Patents, which is not a party to the parallel litigation in Missouri. The PTAB said Unified showed that the eight claims it challenged in U.S. Patent No. 10,491,679 were obvious in light of a 2006 patent application called Wong combined with elements of a…

          • Google and Samsung top the list of applicants for AI-related patents at the EPO [Ed: Stupid and meaningless buzzwords as vehicles for patents on software at the corrupt EPO, which happily violates the EPC for the sake of money (theft)]

            More entities are seeking protection for AI-related inventions at the European Patent Office, but while grant rates are also on the rise they continue to lag the overall rate. In this co-published piece, Frances Wilding of Haseltine Lake Kempner offers a guide to key data points

            The term “artificial intelligence” is sometimes used in European patent applications and patents without further explanation or elaboration, AI apparently being taken to be no more than a known, off-the-shelf option. It is very unlikely that such applications and patents are concerned with developments in AI.

            The International Patent Classification (IPC) helps us here. It has an extensive dictionary in which catchwords are linked to classifications. The catchword “Artificial Intelligence” is linked to only one class: G06N. That at least covers machine learning and neural networks, technologies at the core of developments related to artificial intelligence.

          • Access Advance, Who is Checking Essentiality? — An HEVC Case Study [Ed: HEVC as just another patent cartel of abstract patents with blackmail for compliance]

            Many patent holders and pools designate their patents as relevant or essential to a standard without proper scrutiny or analysis. As part of an ongoing series examining this dubious practice, we highlight U.S. Patent 9,838,714. The ‘714 patent is owned by the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), is purportedly essential to H.265 (HEVC) standard as part of the Access Advance Patent Pool, and is part of a family of at least 29 applications globally. It should not be considered essential.

            The ‘714 patent is directed to the prediction phase of video coding, specifically how to scan the decoded signals during intra-prediction. In this process, there is a specific order in which the values of a block (e.g., a 4×4 or 8×8 transform block) are processed. The ‘714 patent requires that the first row or column is scanned first, before any other column or row. See, e.g., claim 1 (“scanning entropy-decoded signals of a first row with priority so that all of the entropy-decoded signals of the first row are scanned prior to scanning entropy-decoded signals of any other row”).

      • Trademarks

        • Third Circuit Reverses Dismissal in Patent Case

          Addressing the preclusive effect of judgments by tribunals with limited jurisdiction, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that trademark cancellation proceedings before the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board (TTAB) do not have preclusive effect against trademark infringement lawsuits in federal district courts. Beasley v. Howard, Case No. 20-1119 (3d Cir. Sept. 17, 2021) (Chagares, J.)

          In 1969, Beasley started a band named The Ebonys. In the mid-1990s, Howard joined the band, and in 1997, Beasley obtained a New Jersey state service mark for “The Ebonys.” Several years later, Beasley and Howard parted ways. In 2012, Howard registered “The Ebonys” as a federal trademark with the US Patent & Trademark Office (PTO).

          In 2013, Beasley filed a petition with the TTAB to cancel Howard’s mark, arguing that Howard had defrauded the PTO.

        • CAFC Affirms TTAB: “BF-7″ Registration for Nutritional Supplements Invalid Due to Non-Ownership

          In a non-precedential ruling, the CAFC affirmed the Board’s decision (here) ordering cancellation of a registration for the mark BF-7 for “nutritional supplement goods” on the ground that Registrant Sunbio was not the owner of the mark at the filing date of the underlying application because it had not used the mark. The court rejected Sunbio’s arguments that (1) it did not have proper notice of the theory on which cancellation was based, and (2) the Board’s finding of nonuse was not supported by substantial evidence. Biogrand Co., Ltd. v. Sunbio Corporation, Apppeal No. 2021-1433 (Fed. Cir. December 14, 2021) [not precedential].

        • Section 1052(c) of the Lanham Act: A First Amendment-Free Zone? [Ed: Clear abuses of trademark law would lead to trademarks being presumed invalid]

          Can you register a famous person’s name as your trademark without their consent? The Lanham Act seems to say no, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office interprets this to mean no, never, no matter what. 15 U.S.C. § 1052(c) provides, in pertinent part, that the PTO must deny federal registration to a trademark if it “[c]onsists of or comprises a name, portrait, or signature identifying a particular individual except by his written consent….” Unlike registration denials under Section 1052(a), the PTO denies registration without any inquiry into whether the mark suggests a false connection between the mark and the famous person. Nor does the PTO inquire into whether the famous person also sells the goods or services in question, as it does with private individuals under Section 1052(c). Rather, with respect to celebrities and world famous political figures, registration is denied based solely on the determinations that (1) “the public would recognize and understand the mark as identifying a particular living individual”; and (2) the record does not contain the famous person’s consent to register the mark.[1] Under this provision, the PTO routinely denies registration to marks that appear calculated to capitalize on the famous person’s name to sell products. For example, the PTO denied registration under Section 1052(c) to ROYAL KATE as applied to watches, cufflinks, jewelry, and other luxury products based solely on the determination that “ROYAL KATE identifies Kate Middleton whose identity is renowned.”[2] Id. And the PTO denied registration to OBAMA PAJAMA in connection with pajamas based on the examining attorney’s “excellent job marshalling a variety of press excerpts to demonstrate the obvious – namely, that President Barack Obama is extremely well known.”[3]

        • Use trademarks not to lose them [Ed: Lawyers say, pay me money for litigation or the sky will fall]
        • TTABlog Test: Three Recent Section 2(d) Inter Partes Cases – How Did They Come Out?

          Here are three recent TTAB decisions in Section 2(d) inter partes proceedings. Not knowing all the facts, see if you can guess how they came out. At least one of the three was dismissed or denied. Answer(s) in the first comment.

        • Uniloc and Apple unite in licensing case; Key US SEP consultation extended; EPO AI grants climb; Vidal backs Iancu reforms; UPC all set for 2022; plus much more [Ed: Joff Wild is repeating his own fake news in a love letter to crooks and criminals who hijacked the EPO and now try to do the same the courts in the EU; the UPC is untenable and illegal]

          Recent developments mean that the EU’s long-awaited Unified Patent Court and unitary patent are on course to roll-out next year. However, writes Adam Houldsworth, there are still some hurdles to get over before lift-off. Read more here

        • Goldenvoice Sues Live Nation Over Copycat Coachella

          The AEG-owned promoter is accusing its rival of advertising and selling tickets to a new Southern California festival that it says infringes the Coachella trademark.

        • Facebook buys Meta trademarks for $60m [Ed: Facebook takes other firms' names and pays them only later]

          Meta Platforms, Facebook’s parent company, has acquired the trademark portfolio of US bank Meta Financial Group for $60 million, spokespersons for both companies revealed on Monday, December 13.

          The South Dakota-based bank disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that a Delaware company called Beige Key had agreed to acquire the worldwide rights to Meta trademarks.

          “Beige Key is affiliated with us and we have acquired these trademark assets,” a Meta Platforms spokesperson said, according to Reuters.


          The EPO Boards of Appeal are set to return to their old home in Munich city centre, just four years after they relocated to the suburb of Haar.

          EPO president António Campinos, alongside BoA president Carl Josefsson, made the joint proposal last Friday, December 10. A detailed plan is expected to follow next year.

          The BoA relocated to Haar in 2017, during the term of Campinos’ predecessor Benoît Battistelli.

          The plan was controversial owing to Haar’s location 12 kilometres outside Munich city centre, posing what many attorneys saw as an unnecessary burden in terms of travel and expense.

          Under the new plan, the BoA will be located in the EPO’s Pschorr-Höfe 7 premises in the more central Bayerstrasse area from 2025/2026.

          According to Campinos and Josefsson’s proposal, the original rental contract for the Haar building agreed in 2017 lasts until 2032. An additional contract signed in 2019 expires in 2026.

        • Recommended Reading: “Trademark Injury in Law and Fact: A Standing Defense to Modern Infringement”

          Put aside the WYHA?s and the TTABlog Tests. Sink your teeth into this Harvard Law Review note that strikes at the heart of trademark infringement doctrine: “Trademark Injury in Law and Fact: A Standing Defense to Modern Infringement,” 35 Harv. L. Rev. 667 (December 2021). This note posits that trademark law and the law of standing have grown apart. “Trademark law has expanded to recognize infringement in the absence of concrete harm to trademark owners. Meanwhile, the law of standing has contracted to reject claims by plaintiffs whose injuries are not concrete. This Note argues that under current Article III scrutiny, these trademark claims of abstract harm should not survive.”

        • Chinese Firm Banned from USPTO and 15,000 TM cases Terminated [Ed: Trademark maximalists have long welcomed and ushered in this kind of behaviour; now, for potentially political reasons, USPTO barks?

          Over the past several years, the USPTO has been battling trademark applications that use fake specimens to establish a claim. Often these are low-quality photoshopped images, but can be more sophisticated.

          This week, the UPSTO announced a final order for sanctions against the China-based law firm Shenzhen Huanyee Intellectual Property Co., Ltd. and the firm’s director Ms. Yusha Zhang associated with about 15,000 trademark applications many of which included “false and fraudulent submissions.”

        • Precedential No. 34: TTAB Affirms Nonuse Refusal – Service Mark Use Requires Rendering of the Services, Not Just Preparation

          In a somewhat muddled decision, the Board affirmed a refusal to register the proposed mark HAVE SOME DECENCY for various charitable fund raising services on the ground that the mark was not in use as of the applicant’s Section 1(a) filing date. Applicant Suuberg made preparatory measures to use the mark but never rendered the services before her filing date. In re Alessandra Suuberg, Serial No. 88234650 (December 10, 2021) [precedential] (Opinion by Judge Albert Zervas).

        • Precedential No. 34: TTAB Affirms Nonuse Refusal – Service Mark Use Requires Rendering of the Services, Not Just Preparation

          In a somewhat muddled decision, the Board affirmed a refusal to register the proposed mark HAVE SOME DECENCY for various charitable fund raising services on the ground that the mark was not in use as of the applicant’s Section 1(a) filing date. Applicant Suuberg made preparatory measures to use the mark but never rendered the services before her filing date. In re Alessandra Suuberg, Serial No. 88234650 (December 10, 2021) [precedential] (Opinion by Judge Albert Zervas).

        • T-254/20: who owns the Soviet brands?

          The dispute arose when “Krasny Oktyabr”, a Russian confectionary company, registered an EU trade mark (EUTM) in Class 30 for a figurative sign representing a lobster. In the Soviet Union (which included Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia after 1940), “Rakovye Shejki” (“red lobsters necks”) were cheap and popular candies, sold since the late 19th century. Their wrapping prominently featured a lobster, as seen in some archives from Saint-Petersburg, Moscow or Kyiv factories.

          “Roshen”, a Ukrainian confectionary, filed an application for a declaration of invalidity of the EUTM. Rather than arguing that the sign had become customary for the goods in question, Roshen based its application for invalidity on the lack of distinctiveness and descriptiveness of the sign. First the EUIPO, then the General Court, refused Roshen’s application. In essence, the General Court stated that Roshen failed to prove that the goods in question were actually sold and known under that mark during the Imperial or Soviet era in the Baltic States or Poland, this because the evidence relied upon by Roshen only related to Soviet Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The General Court also concluded that Roshen failed to demonstrate that an average consumer in the Baltic States or Poland would perceive the image of a red lobster immediately, without further thought, as descriptive of the type of candy or of one of its characteristics (para. 98). As the result, Krasny Oktyabr’s EUTM was maintained.

        • General Court: no absolute protection for symbols of particular public interest [Ed: Trademarks covered without #trademark paperwork and nuisance lawyers]

          Official symbols are generally protected under articles 7(1)(h) and 7(1)(i) EUTMR. Article 7(1)(h) applies to symbols that are registered with and listed by WIPO, such as flags, state emblems and hallmarks. Article 7(1)(i) applies to signs that are of a particular public interest, but which have not been registered with WIPO. An example of such a sign is the euro sign (€).

          In a recent decision of 1 December 2021, the General Court (10th Chamber) gives an insightful analysis of the rationale behind the two articles and whether a different scope of protection applies to them.


          The BoA secondly assessed whether the mark of Schmid depicted the PGI Symbol and, if so, whether Schmid had received permission by the relevant authority (in this case, the European Commission) to register the PGI Symbol as part of her application. In that respect, the BoA found that the mark of Schmid depicts the PGI Symbol in full, and that the European Commission neither directly consented thereto, nor allowed, such use on the basis of Regulation 1151/2012.

          Having established that Schmid registered a symbol of particular public interest without authorization, the BoA ruled that the mark should be cancelled on the basis of article 7(1)(i) EUTMR. It therefore dismissed the appeal, resulting in the case being brought by Schmid before the General Court

        • Polish IP office launches authenticity verification tool in fight against fraudsters [Ed: EUIPO is a frauster organisation, but they fail to see the hypocrisy here]

          Misleading invoices have become a big problem in both Poland and the European Union. Some trademark owners now receive a deluge of unsolicited mail from companies requesting payment for trademark and design services they never received, such as publication, registration or entry into business directories. Usually these are issued by companies under their own names (a list of such companies can be found on the Polish Patent Office or EUIPO websites).

        • IP specialists, Adamson Jones, increase depth and breadth of experience [Ed: Great new example of Webspam disguised as legitimate article. Almost all coverage in this area (patent and trademark law) is spam.]]

          East Midlands-based patent attorney and trade mark attorney firm, Adamson Jones IP Ltd, has welcomed four new team members in the last twelve months.

          Natasha Walker (neé Hybner) joined the business in November as Associate and Chartered Trade Mark Attorney and specialises in brand protection, trade mark registration and enforcement of trade mark rights.

        • General Court on genuine use: Coffee in Cl. 30, Coffee out Cl. 32

          As you may recall from our post on the ‘Sony Vita’ invalidation case, where a trade mark is registered for a product but only used for something viewed by consumers as a different product, the trade mark right for the registered product for which it is not used is lost, even if it resembles the actual marketed product, or is contained in it, or serves a secondary but commercially irrelevant function. In Monster Energy v. EUIPO / Frito-Lay (joined cases T-758/20 and T-759/20), the GC had the opportunity to reiterate this assumption on 10 November 2021. The GC confirmed the rule that one product belongs to one category under the Nice Classification, the only exception being that it is a composite product.

          Frito Lay had applied to revoke EUTM no. 009492158 for ‘MONSTER’ in cl. 5, 29, 30 and 33 held by Monster Energy under Article 51(1)(a) EUTM Regulation (cancelation decision No 14 861 C), claiming that the trade mark had not been put to genuine use for any of those goods within five years. Having initially (but unsuccessfully) tried to hold on to classes 5 (based on energy drinks being at the same time nutritional supplements) and 30 (with respect to milk and coffee being ingredients of some of their products), the case before the GC only concerned “coffee”. Monster Energy argued that their drinks, and more particularly their “X-PRESSO MONSTER” drink, were both coffee and energy drinks (cl. 30 and 32) at the same time in an attempt to maintain protection in class 30.

        • With New Trademark Application, Chanel is Looking to Register the Number 5

          Chanel is aiming to bolster its robust arsenal of world-famous trademark registrations by way of an interesting mark. According to a newly-filed trademark application for registration, Chanel is looking to register the number 5 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) for use on cosmetics, pointing to its use of the number embossed on shades of eyeshadow inside No. 5-branded palettes as an example of how it has been consistently using the mark since at least as early as November 2021. The application is not necessarily striking because the mark is a numeric one. Trademarks can take the form of a wide array of “symbols” that are capable of indicating the source of a product or service – from words and logos to colors and product packaging, and numbers certainly fall within this pool of possible indicators.


          Beyond that, Chanel maintains registrations for 1932 for use on perfumery, and for 3.55 for use in connection with “downloadable podcasts featuring commentary and ideas in the fields of fashion, art, music, travel, and creative inspirations.” And back in 2002, Chanel sought to register the number 5 for use on handbags and tote bags, but faced pushback from the USPTO and initiated an unsuccessful cancellation proceeding centering on an unaffiliated third party’s use (or lack of use, as Chanel argued in its petition for cancellation) of a stylized number 5 on different types of bags. (Chanel ultimately abandoned that application.) The brand has similarly sought to register 2005 for use on handbags by way of applications that date back more than 20 years.

        • New Guidelines on trade mark examination in China

          On 22 November 2021, the China National Intellectual Administration (CNIPA) issued the new Guidelines on Trademark Examination and Review. Ling Zhao of the MARQUES China Team reports.

          The Guidelines are effective from 1 January 2022. According to the CNIPA, the Guidelines aim to regulate trade mark examination procedures, and to ensure the consistency in the application of laws and regulations.

          The release of the Guidelines is just about in time to accommodate the amendment of the China Trademark Law and the continuing increase in trade mark filings.

          New guiding opinions

          The Guidelines include a whole new section of guiding opinions on formality examination and the procedures for trade mark applications, oppositions, invalidations, reviews, cancellations, classification of goods/services, specifying composing elements of trade marks for trade mark search, formalit

        • Around the IP Blogs

          The China National Intellectual Administration (CNIPA) recently published the new guidelines for trade mark examination procedures. The new guidelines cover topics such as formality examination and procedures for trade mark applications, oppositions, declarations of invalidity, cancellations, classification of goods and services, examination of applications for change of trade mark ownership, trade mark renewal and other procedural issues. Ling Zhao of the MARQUES China team reports here.

      • Copyrights

        • 21 for 2021: Negative Intellectual Property Spaces [Ed: British scholars who are honest ought to quit using misnomers like "Intellectual Property"; they sound like like lobbyists, marketers, and dishonest politicians]

          This post is part of a series of evidence summaries for the 21 for 2021 project, a CREATe project within the AHRC Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC). The 21 for 2021 project offers a synthesis of empirical evidence catalogued on the Copyright Evidence Portal, answering 21 topical copyright questions for the 21st century. In this post, Raffaele Danna (Research Fellow, Institute of Economics of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna), Arianna Martinelli (Associate Professor in Applied Economics, Institute of Economics of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna) and Alessandro Nuvolari (Professor of Economic History and Director of the Institute of Economics at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna) explore the empirical evidence on negative intellectual property spaces.

        • YouTube Copyright Transparency Report: Overblocking is real

          For anyone interested in the discussions about automated content filtering, Christmas came early this week: On Monday YouTube published the first edition of its Copyright Transparency Report. The report that covers copyright enforcement actions on the platform for the period from January to June of this year provides much needed insights into how YouTube’s various copyright management systems function. In publishing this report YouTube is finally bringing some empirical evidence to the discussion about the automated content filtering that is being fuelled by the ongoing implementation of Article 17 of the Copyright in the Digital Single Market (CDSM) directive. In this context it is worth pointing out that the report published on Monday covers a period before the most national implementation of Article 17, which means that the numbers presented in the report reflect the status quo ante and can thus serve as a baseline for assessing the actual impact of Article 17 going forward.


          This number alone makes it very clear that concerns about over-blocking by automated upload filters are very much grounded in reality and underline the importance of strong ex-ante safeguards in national implementation of Article 17. It will be interesting to see how these numbers will change once Article 17 has been widely implemented. For instance, how will these numbers be affected once YouTube has adapted its automated filters to implement ex-ante safeguards such as the German rules on treating fragments shorter than 15 seconds as presumably legal or, more crucially, what will be the impact of limiting permissible ex ante filtering only to “manifestly infringing” content, as partly endorsed by the Commission’s Guidance and proposed by Advocate Øe in Case C-401/19 . In order to better understand the impact of such measures it would be helpful, if future editions of the transparency report would break out the numbers for the EU 27 — unless Youtube implements the required changes globally.

        • It’s No Laughing Matter As Spotify Removes Comedy Tracks

          Comedians and other spoken word authors are seeking the same streaming royalties paid to songwriters, but an impasse has led to the removal of their works from Spotify.

          Do you want to be paid, or do you want to be heard? That’s the predicament hundreds of comedians seem to be finding themselves in following Spotify’s decision to remove their works from the streaming platform amidst a dispute over copyright royalties. Tracks and albums from hugely popular comedians like John Mulaney, Tiffany Haddish, Jim Gaffigan and Kevin Hart were quietly taken down by Spotify right before the long Thanksgiving weekend, leaving comedy fans and even some of the affected comedians scratching their heads.

        • Cloud Services and private copying levy: further developments in the AG Opinion on the Austro-Mechana case

          In a previous post on this Blog, we analysed the EU case law relating to the emerging services of Cloud Service Providers (C-265/16, V-CAST), as well as the impact of the new EU Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market (CDSM). More specifically, in the case between V-Cast and RTI, the CJEU ruled that the Infosoc Directive, in particular Article 5(2)(b) thereof, must be interpreted as precluding national legislation which permits a commercial undertaking to provide private individuals with a Cloud service for the remote recording of private copies of works protected by copyright, by means of a computer system, by actively involving itself in the recording without the rightsholder’s consent.

          Even though that Court’s judgment was very specific to the V-Cast service, it left room, arguing a contrario and subject to certain conditions, to consider the mere provision of Cloud storage services of audio-visual content, with reproductions made on individual requests of end-users, to be covered by the private copying exception. This is since: (i) it is not a necessary requisite that the users possess the reproduction means or equipment, given that such reproduction can be made also via means or equipment made available by third-party operators (§ 35 of the V-Cast judgment); (ii) the provider which merely organizes the reproduction on behalf of the users could be considered within the limits of the private copying exception, where the provider does not play an active role and does not interfere with other exclusive rights, such as the communication to the public (§ 37-38 of the V-Cast judgment).

        • Exclusive: Copyright modernisation reform in the works at Senate [Ed: This isn't an "Exclusive"; that's a lie because people have spoken about it for quite some time; they try to get more clicks by lying about exclusivity ]

          Senators are looking into reviving a 2020 draft bill that was never made public but that sought to modernise the US Copyright Office, say sources

        • Exclusive: Indian Copyright Office issues withdrawal notice to AI co-author [Ed: All these "Hey Hi" nonsense and hype make the system look ridiculously stupid; so there's a retreat]

          The Indian Copyright Office has issued a notice of withdrawal to Ankit Sahni, the man who secured India’s first-ever copyright registration recognising an artificial intelligence tool as the co-author of an artwork, it was revealed to Managing IP today.

          The withdrawal notice, sent on November 25, asked Sahni to inform the Copyright Office about the legal status of the AI tool Raghav Artificial Intelligence Painting App, and invited his attention to Section 2(d)(iii) and Section 2(d)(vi) of the Copyright Act.

          Section 2(d)(iii) sets out that the term ‘author’ in relation to an artistic work means an artist, and Section 2(d)(vi) states that the person who causes an artistic work to be created shall be its author.

        • EU Copyright Directive Transposed Into Irish Law [Ed: Hollywood or the copyright cartel writing Irish copyright law through Brussels]

          The Government has signed a statutory instrument transposing the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market ((EU) 2019/790) (Directive) into Irish law.

          The Directive, which has given rise to extensive debate amongst stakeholders, aims to update copyright legislation for the digital age and to strengthen the rights of copyright owners when their content is used online. The Directive was enacted in April 2019 and EU member states were given until 7 June 2021 to transpose the Directive into their respective national laws. Ireland was one of 23 member states that did not meet that deadline, and following this new legislation now becomes the seventh to transpose the Directive into national law.

          Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar considers that the new law will be part of a broader discussion on the future of media and will be important to ensure that “the rights of our creators, writers, journalists and performers are upheld when it comes to their work being shared online”.

          We are reviewing the detail of the statutory instrument and will publish further updates in the coming days.

          The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

You Cannot Own a Car Anymore…

Posted in Videos at 12:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: 5 months ago we wrote about privacy issues and safety issues associated with today’s (new) cars; it’s getting a lot worse before — if ever — it gets any better, as Louis Rossmann explains

Later today we’ll write about new attacks on car ownership, adding to issues we’ve already covered here before.

As a sort of teaser, consider the new video above, brought to our attention by numerous readers, which means people are increasingly concerned about such rapid erosion of “tech rights”…

The latest outrage concerns a stupid (not “smart”) fob. Rossmann asks, “is it contacting Toyota’s servers?” It basically “uses radio waves”, so Toyota adds no resources of its own; and yes, this “function will not work” if Toyota does not allow it, so it’s about “you not owning anything” (it’s even things inside the car “not being repairable”). It’s a grossly “overpriced service” and this can lead to “every company in every country” working like a price-fixing cartel against the ownership of cars. It became “more common in recent years” (“trial”, “premium”, “pay for subscription” etc.).

“Toyota, as it turns out, spent 4.5 million dollars on lobbying against people’s interests in this one particular domain.”Rossmann notes that Toyota doing this is a wake-up call because people don’t typically expect this kind of company to resort to this. He says, “imagine you buy a house” to be offered a free trial for control over how cold the refrigerator gets and you are eventually left on your own after 3 years, unable to do what you did before even though the functionality is already there. That’s very like DRM on printers and coffee machines. Artificial limitations are turned into an extra profit opportunity. That’s the only purpose of such schemes.

Toyota, as it turns out, spent 4.5 million dollars on lobbying against people’s interests in this one particular domain. The concern is — as Rossmann repeatedly stresses — unless people fight back, all car manufacturers will do this, leaving people with no other choice.

And “that’s how it works on both sides of the Atlantic,” an associate of ours has noted. “That’s one of the reason Louis has collected money to buy his own lobbyists for the Fight to Repair work.”

Unified Patent Court is a Fake Common Court and Violates CJEU’s Jurisprudence of the Last 10 Years, Will Explode at launch, Says Professor Jaeger

Posted in Courtroom, Deception, Europe, Law, Patents at 8:41 am by Guest Editorial Team

Original at FFII

Prof. Dr. Thomas Jaeger

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is a court outside of the design of the European Union, and won’t survive a legal challenge at the European Court of Justice (CJEU), says Pr Thomas Jaeger, legal researcher at the University of Vienna, who has analyzed in a paper “Delayed Again? The Benelux Alternative to the UPC” the jurisprudence of the CJEU for the last 10 years regarding international courts that have to interpret EU law.

Over the last 10 years, The European Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has defined a clear jurisprudence on what consists a “common court” between the Member States, via a series of decisions that all follow the same logic: international courts that have to interpret EU law have to have functional links with the National Courts of the Member States, which the UPC does not have.

Pr Jaeger says in his paper:

“the narrative was invented that the UPC is a court common to the Member States. It is not, of course, because the functioning and jurisdiction of the court remained the same as envisaged for the EEUPC.”

He cites the CJEU’s Miles judgment (2011), which explains why the Benelux court is acceptable, and other models like the UPCA are not (lack of functional links with the national Courts of the Member States):

“‘It is true that the Court of Justice has held, in … Dior, that … a court common to a number of Member States, such as the Benelux Court of Justice, [is] able to submit questions to the Court of Justice, in the same way as courts or tribunals of any of those Member States. … However, the Complaints Board [at hand] is not such a court common to … Member States[.] Whereas the Benelux Court … procedure … is a step in the proceedings before the national courts leading to definitive interpretations of common Benelux legal rules …, the Complaints Board does not have any such links with the judicial systems of the Member States. … Moreover, although the Complaints Board was created by all the Member States and by the Union, the fact remains that it is a body of an international organisation which, despite the functional links which it has with the Union, remains formally distinct from it and from those Member States.”

— CJEU’s Case C-196/09, Paul Miles and Others v European Schools, 2011, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:62009CJ0196&from=EN

In its Achmea decision (2018) to cancel controversial intra-EU ISDS investment courts, the CJEU recalled the same principle as in Miles (2011):

However, the arbitral tribunal at issue in the main proceedings is not such a court common to a number of Member States, comparable to the Benelux Court of Justice. Whereas the Benelux Court has the task of ensuring that the legal rules common to the three Benelux States are applied uniformly, and the procedure before it is a step in the proceedings before the national courts leading to definitive interpretations of common Benelux legal rules, the arbitral tribunal at issue in the main proceedings does not have any such links with the judicial systems of the Member States (see, to that effect, judgment of 14 June 2011, Miles and Others, C‑196/09, EU:C:2011:388, paragraph 41).

— CJEU’s Case Case C-284/16, Achmea, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A62016CJ0284&qid=1639573183575

In a recent interview on Kluwer Patent Blog, Pr Jaeger says the Court design might be challenged by a complaint in front of national courts, of whom the competence was stolen by the Unified Patent Court:

Will the UPC’s legality be tested immediately after its launch, you think? “I have heard from a number of sides that such interest is there, especially since the hurdles for a challenge are low: Any national court whose jurisdiction is removed because of the UPC could put the question of EU law compatibility of that removal of jurisdiction (i.e. of legality of the UPCA) before the CJEU by way of a preliminary ruling. All it takes is a litigant who approaches that court, which would in turn need to ascertain the preliminary question of its continued jurisdiction.”

— Kluwer Patent Blog: ‘Unitary Patent system is an arbitrary and ailing hybrid monster mix’ , Interview of Pr Jaeger http://patentblog.kluweriplaw.com/2021/12/09/unitary-patent-system-is-an-arbitrary-and-ailing-hybrid-monster-mix/


© Copyright 2021, Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure. The content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Links 19/12/2021: Lots of FUD and Scares

Posted in News Roundup at 7:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • 10 popular Open-Source Tools to Secure Your Linux Server in 2022

        Since I started learning about computers I have heard many experienced users saying Linux is impenetrable, Linux offers the best security, and such. It is partly true that Linux offers various security measures which mitigate attacks and stop hackers from breaching your system network. But you should also understand that just by deploying Linux on your server or PC you are not done yet, you have to configure all the necessary tools and apps. As the security features are not enabled by default, and if you are scared of network breaches and security leaks, then this should be the first thing you should be doing after installing the Linux OS.

        Remember your security system always depends on the tools you use, it’s the tools’ features that sniff out any malware in the system, prevent security breaches from happening, and find out vulnerabilities to deploy countermeasures. In short, the cybersecurity for a network or terminal is based on the tools, not on the default security measures of the OS.

        In this article, I am going to discuss the top 10 tools to look at to ensure the safety of your Linux data server and local PCs. The best part is all the tools & apps listed below are 100% free and open-source. To use these tools you just need to be an enthusiast Linux user. However, if you are new to Linux even then also you can set up and configure these tools easily.

    • Applications

      • Blender 3.0: The Most Important Changes

        After over 21 years of 2.x, Blender 3.0 is finally here! Here’s what we think stands out among this new version’s great changes, and plans for the future.

      • Open source advent calendar: The wiki software MediaWiki – Market Research Telecast

        This is an advent calendar for techies. In the fully commercialized digital world, almost everything belongs to a large Internet corporation. Their software is neither open nor free. As an alternative, there is this small island of the open source world: software whose code is publicly visible and can be independently checked for possible security gaps and backdoors. Software that can be freely used, distributed and improved. Often the drive for work is simply the joy of providing something useful to society.

      • Fans of original gangster editors, look away now: It’s Tilde, a text editor that doesn’t work like it’s 1976

        One type of software where the world of Unix-like OSes has a positive embarrassment of riches is text editors. The problem is that too many of them are weird arcane things from the 1970s, with phenomenal cosmic power, but itty-bitty user interfaces. Sad to say, but even supporting WordStar (1978) keystrokes counts as modern and friendly in this world.

        Of course, hardcore Linux types don’t see this as a problem. It’s worth learning some Byzantine editor because it gives you a big advantage editing code. It has even become a badge of pride to be proficient in some of the really complicated ones. But what if you don’t edit code and don’t need syntax highlighting and all that jazz? What if you just need to occasionally tweak a config file?


        It’s significantly harder to install than Tilde, and it only does a little to tame the beast that is Richard Stallman’s personal project. Unfortunately, although its developers occasionally discuss how to modernise the “thermonuclear word processor”, the changes are too much for the old school to ever consider. Anyway, if you want something decadent like on-screen help, GNU offers Nano.

        So in the meantime, if you want the mountain to come to you, try Tilde. You might be pleasantly surprised. If you install GPM as well, it even supports a mouse. Luxury.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install the ConfigServer and Security Firewall combo on Ubuntu Server – TechRepublic

        If you’d like a powerful firewall for your Ubuntu Server, but one that offers a fairly straightforward configuration, Jack Wallen thinks CSF might be the right tool for the job.

      • Run HTTPS on Flask Web Server – TREND OCEANS

        Flask normally has an HTTP protocol while launching the web server. Notification libraries and a few others require to meet HTTPS protocol. Some tweaks and tricks can help us to switch to HTTPS.

        HTTP: Standard protocol to transfer data packets over the internet without any encryption. Tools like Wireshark can easily capture your packets.

        HTTPS: Secure version of the HTTP protocol. It encrypts all of the data packets into cipher, which can be only decrypted using a valid private key.

      • How to Upgrade to Pop!_OS 21.10 from 21.04 – LinuxCapable

        Pop!_OS 21.10 has been released and has seen the introduction of GNOME 40, Linux Kernel 5.15. One of the newest features that the Pop!_OS team has introduced is the Refresh Install Option which will keep user accounts and files but reset the system and applications for a mostly refresh start.

        This release has also seen the inclusion of a New Application Library, and a nicer searchable window has replaced the full-screen application menu.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to upgrade your existing Pop!_OS 21.04 system to the latest 21.10 release.

      • How to Install MySQL 8.0 on CentOS 8 Stream – LinuxCapable

        MySQL is a relational database management system based on SQL (Structured Query Language). It is one of the most widely used database software for several well-known applications that utilize it. MySQL is used for data warehousing, e-commerce, and logging applications, but its most used feature is a web database storage and management.

        CentOS 8 Stream comes with MySQL in its AppStream. However, as many know, it is not the latest release. In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install MySQL 8.0 using the AppStream or the latest Community version RPM from MySQL repositories on CentOS 8 Stream.

      • How to Install Brave Browser on CentOS 8 Stream – LinuxCapable

        Brave is a free and open-source web browser developed by Brave Software, Inc. based on the Chromium web browser. Brave is a privacy-focused Internet web browser, which distinguishes itself from other browsers by automatically blocking online advertisements and website trackers in its default settings.

        Brave has claimed its browser puts less strain on your computer’s performance than Google Chrome. Even with multiple tabs open at once, Brave uses less memory than Google Chrome-like, up to 66% less.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Brave Browser on CentOS 8 Stream.

      • Looking at Linux disk usage with the ncdu command

        The ncdu command provides a useful and convenient way to view disk usage. The name stands for “NCurses disk usage”. This means that it’s based on ncurses which, like curses, is a terminal control library used on Unix/Linux systems. The curses part of each name is a pun on “cursor” or “cursor optimization” and is unrelated to the use of foul language.

        You can think of ncdu as a disk usage analyzer with an ncurses interface. It can be especially useful when looking for disk-space hogs on a remote server for which you don’t have access to a graphical interface.

      • How to install Qubes OS as a virtual machine

        Qubes OS defines itself modestly as “a reasonably secure operating system.” It might actually be one of the safest operating systems, often used by pros who are most concerned with computer security.

      • How to Install and Use LightZone, the Underdog Raw Digital Darkroom

        Darktable, RawTherapee, digiKam are undeniably powerful applications for processing RAW files. But while they offer a plethora of advanced editing and processing tools, using them to get the result you want requires and patience and some effort. But who has time for that?

      • How To Install BalenaEtcher on Debian 11 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install BalenaEtcher on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, balenaEtcher is a free and open-source flashing utility tool famous for writing image files such as .iso and .img files and zipped folders onto storage media to create live SD cards and USB flash drives. It is available to run for all mainstream OS such as Linux, Windows, and macOS.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the BalenaEtcher on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Getting Nostalgic With Common Desktop Environment on a Modern Linux Distro

        CDE was once considered the de-facto standard windowing environment on UNIX systems. Seeing it resurrected as open-source projects was a pleasure and I was able to enjoy reliving a little bit of my early years in UNIX.

        XFCE was an open-source fork of CDE in 1996. It looks, or acts, nothing like CDE today, but it, and other similar projects laid the groundwork for the systems we have today. That’s a good thing.

    • Distributions

      • Debian Family

        • New User Guide for 2022 in The MagPi magazine issue #113

          There’s a brand new version of Raspberry Pi OS, based upon Debian ‘bullseye’. The interface has a fresh look (if your Raspberry Pi has 2GB of RAM or more). The new video driver and updated version of Chromium make video playback better than ever. And Raspberry Pi 4 and Raspberry Pi 400 owners can look forward to a speed boost. There’s a whole bunch of stuff to discover and a few surprises that can trip up regular Raspberry Pi owners. Pick up the new edition to read all about it!

        • You Can Now Install a Legacy Version of the Raspberry Pi OS

          The latest iteration of the official Raspberry Pi OS, based on Debian 11 ‘Bullseye’, adds a lot of new features and improvements. However, some Raspberry Pi users have asked for an option to roll back certain parts of the operating system to restore some functionality required for certain projects.

          Therefore the Raspberry Pi Foundation has made a ‘Legacy’ version of the OS available. Let’s take a look at it and why you might need it.

        • Ben Hutchings: Debian LTS work, November 2021

          In November I was assigned 0.75 hours of work by Freexian’s Debian LTS initiative and carried over 15.25 hours from earlier months. I mistakenly worked 20 hours, which we’ll try to resolve.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Open source advent calendar: the Ubuntu Linux PC operating system – Market Research Telecast [Ed: Automated translation]

          This is an advent calendar for techies. In the fully commercialized digital world, almost everything belongs to a large Internet corporation. Their software is neither open nor free. As an alternative, there is this small island of the open source world: software whose code is publicly visible and can be independently checked for possible security gaps and backdoors. Software that can be freely used, distributed and improved. Often the drive for work is simply the joy of providing something useful to society.

        • Ubuntu Developers Figuring Out Dual-Boot Changes Ahead Of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS – Phoronix

          Due to changes with the upstream GRUB 2.06 bootloader, Ubuntu developers are figuring out how they are going to be managing dual-boot/multi-boot scenarios moving forward with Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

          The issue at hand is GRUB 2.06 has disabled os-prober by default as the feature for GRUB to detect other installed operating systems. OS-Prober is disabled by default upstream now due to security issues over it going through and mounting all partitions on the system when checking them for other operating systems and that could be taken advantage of if making use of file-system vulnerabilities.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • So-called modern web developers are the culprits

          Google Chrome currently dominates the market share of web browsers. This is a problem because Google, being the advertisement company it is, are planing to implement the deceitful and threatening Manifest V3.

          Some people naively look towards Mozilla Firefox as the “savior” and alternative to the Chrome hegemony. Maybe that’s because of the way it previously saved the Internet from the “evil dominance” of Microsoft Explorer. The problem is that Mozilla is extremely mismanaged. In 2018 Mozilla got $435.7 million in revenue from search engines who pay to be the default search option in Firefox in different parts of the world, mainly Google, but also Yandex and Baidu. Still, in 2020 Mozilla cut about 25% (250 people) of its global workforce, blaming the corona virus impact on economies as something that “significantly impacted their revenue”. Yet, Mozilla had received more that enough money. In 2018 Mozilla’s top executive was paid $2.4 million and his payments has more than doubled the last five years!

          Mozilla is NOT the “trusting” organization it used to be. If Mozilla is going to survive, the management needs to be fired ASAP with no compensation what so ever, products that nobody wants need to be stopped and Mozilla needs to be limited to its core competence, not only so that it can survive on less revenue (perhaps by donations only), but also so focus can be where it needs to be.

          Still, we need to pause here for a second!

          We need to ask ourselves why we are having these problems to begin with? Why do we even need these major browser vendors in the first place?

      • Content Management Systems (CMS)

        • The WordPress file system [Ed: Conflating file structure with file system]

          WordPress is, at its core, a web application, and just like every other web application, it requires and uses a labyrinth of folders and files to work. These files and folders include everything from access controls and WordPress’ core code to the plugins, themes, media you upload, and everything in between.

          Posts and pages are not stored in the file system. These are saved in the SQL database in a table titled wp_posts. Keep this in mind when you’re doing WordPress backups.

      • Education

      • FSF

        • Free Software Foundation Adds a Code of Ethics for Board Members

          The Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced it is implementing a new Board Member Agreement and Code of Ethics that is meant to guide members in their responsibilities, decision-making, and activities. The documents, which FSF says were “designed to help make FSF governance more transparent, accountable, ethical, and responsible,” were created as part of a six-month long consultant-led review.

          In March, FSF founder and GPL author, Richard Stallman, announced that he was returning to the board, after resigning as director of the board and president of the FSF in 2019. His resignation followed a series of controversial remarks on rape, assault, and child sex trafficking, along with two decades of behaviors and statements that many have found to be disturbing and offensive. He was subsequently ousted by GNU project maintainers from his position as head of the project.

          Stallman’s controversial return was supported by the majority of FSF’s board, with the exception of board member Kat Walsh who resigned after voting against his reinstatement. The organization’s executive director, deputy director, and chief technology officer also resigned in protest.

        • GNU Projects

        • Licensing/Legal

      • Programming/Development

        • A Brief Introduction to the C Programming Language

          Coding has become one of the most in-demand skills in the modern world. Different programming languages serve different use cases like web and mobile development, VR engineering, or electronics and firmware. Learning a fundamental programming language like C provides you with a foundation in coding practices and a basic knowledge of the other aspects of software development.

          Ready to start your programming journey with C? Here’s what you need to know.

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | If Our Stories Set Us Apart, We Need to Create New Ones

      According to philosopher – historian Yuval Noah Harari, “Homo sapiens conquered this planet thanks above all to the unique human ability to create and spread fictions. We are the only mammals that can cooperate with numerous strangers because only we can invent fictional stories, spread them around, and convince millions of others to believe in them. As long as everybody believes in the same fictions, we all obey the same laws, and can thereby cooperate effectively.”

    • My 2020s Christmas Gift Pledge

      I do not wish to receive bought gifts. Let’s hang out for a bit and do something we both enjoy. If you truly feel an urge to give something tangible, write a poem, make a drawing, bake cookies, print out a picture of us and put it in a (non-plastic) frame.

      Evidently, this isn’t always a realistic expectation. So, a few more guidelines: [...]

    • Education

      • Academic Ideologues Are Corrupting STEM. The Silent Liberal Majority Must Fight Back

        I expected to be viciously mobbed, and possibly cancelled, like others before me. Yet the result surprised me. Although some did try to cancel me, I received a flood of encouraging emails from others who share my concern with the process by which radical political doctrines are being injected into STEM pedagogy, and by which objective science is being subjugated to regressive moralization and censorship. The high ratio of positive-to-negative comments (even on Twitter!) gave me hope that the silent liberal majority within STEM may (eventually) prevail over the forces of illiberalism.

    • Hardware

      • Masayuki Uemura, 78, Dies; Designed the First Nintendo Console

        Masayuki Uemura, an engineer who developed the Nintendo Entertainment System, which helped start a global revolution in home gaming and laid the foundation for today’s video game industry, died on Dec. 9. He was 78.

        His death was announced by Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, where Mr. Uemura led the Center for Game Studies. No other details were given.

      • USB cable that kills your laptop when removed!

        Available via the crowdsourcing route, BusKill wants to expand the portfolio in the future. The project also plans to release triggers that shut down a computer when the magnetic cable is severed.

      • Kamehameha!! PCB Badge | Hackaday

        PCB Art has surely captivated us over the past few years and we’re ever intrigued with the intricate detail the community puts into their work. We’re no strangers to [Arnov]’s work and he has impressed, yet again, with his Kamehameha PCB badge.

        Unfortunately, no 555 timer was used in the making of this project, but don’t let that turn you away. Instead, we have an ATtiny84 microcontroller for implementing the logic to control the LEDs, a MOSFET-based driver for driving current through the LEDs, and, of course, the LEDs to give the “turtle destruction wave” its devastating glow. Pay really close attention to the detail [Arnov] put into the silkscreen as you can see that’s a pretty crucial part of this build.

      • Be Mesmerized By The Latest Time Twister | Hackaday

        [Hans Andersson] has been creating marvelous twisting timepieces for over a decade, and we’re pleased to be able to share his latest mechanical clock contraption with our readers, the Time Twister 5.

        In contrast to his previous LEGO-based clocks, version five of the Time Twister uses 3D printed segments, undoubtedly providing greater flexibility in terms of aesthetics and function. Each digit is a mechanical display, five layers vertical and three segments horizontal, with a total of three unique faces. Each layer of each display can be individually rotated by a servo, and this arrangement allows for displaying any number between zero and nine. The whole show is controlled by an Arduino MEGA and a DS3231 real-time clock.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Opinion | The Dangerous Myth That ‘Natural Immunity’ Is Superior to Covid Vaccination

        One particularly pernicious myth going around in the US is the notion that “natural immunity,” gained from contracting Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, is preferable to getting vaccinated. One prominent politician, Sen. Rand Paul (R.–Ky.), has declared that he refuses to get vaccinated, because of his belief that he has “natural immunity” since he’s “already had the disease” (Slate, 5/23/21).

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Vivaldi: Microsoft is Up To Its Old Tricks Again

          Indie web browser maker Vivaldi has publicly lashed out at Microsoft’s user-hostile and potentially illegal behavior with Microsoft Edge.

          “Vivaldi is not afraid of competing on a level playing field,” Vivaldi founder and CEO Jon von Tetzchner wrote this past weekend. “Why is Microsoft?”

          Mr. von Tetzchner is referring, of course, to the terrible revelations of the past few months, during which Microsoft made it dramatically harder for users to switch to their preferred web browser, quietly made it impossible in some cases even when the user figured out how, and then pledged to block efforts to bypass its onerous restrictions.

          Von Tetzchner points out that Microsoft is also discouraging users that try to download Vivaldi. “There’s no need to download a new web browser,” a message at the top of the search results in Edge reads. “Microsoft recommends using Microsoft Edge for a fast, secure, and modern web experience that helps you save time and money.” I pointed out this a few weeks back as well.

        • Real Madrid fume at UEFA ‘lie’ over Champions League redraw – sources

          UEFA blamed the issue on “a technical problem with the software of an external service provider that instructs the officials as to which teams are eligible to play each other.”

        • ONLYOFFICE Supplies a Comprehensive Office Suite and Versatile Collaboration Platform for Asia Pacific
        • ONLYOFFICE Supplies a Comprehensive Office Suite and Versatile Collaboration Platform for Asia Pacific

          ONLYOFFICE Docs by Ascensio System SIA offers a powerful office suite that comprises online editors for text documents, spreadsheets and presentations highly compatible with Microsoft Office and OpenDocument file formats. ONLYOFFICE Docs provides users with multiple editing tools and collaborative features ensuring greater team workflow, and seamless work with complex formatting and objects within your web solution.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • The [Internet] runs on free open-source software. Who pays to fix it?

            The truth is different: Log4J, which has long been a critical piece of core internet infrastructure, was founded as a volunteer project and is still run largely for free, even though many million- and billion-dollar companies rely on it and profit from it every single day. Yazici and his team are trying to fix it for next to nothing.

            This strange situation is routine in the world of open-source software, programs that allow anyone to inspect, modify, and use their code. It’s a decades-old idea that has become critical to the functioning of the internet. When it goes right, open-source is a collaborative triumph. When it goes wrong, it’s a far-reaching danger.

            “Open-source runs the internet and, by extension, the economy,” says Filippo Valsorda, a developer who works on open-source projects at Google. And yet, he explains, “it is extremely common even for core infrastructure projects to have a small team of maintainers, or even a single maintainer that is not paid to work on that project.”

          • VLC and log4j

            Since its very early days in 1996, VideoLAN software is written in programming languages of the C family (mostly plain C with additions in C++ and Objective-C) with the notable exception of its port to Android, which was started in Java and recently transitioned to Kotlin. VLC does not use the log4j library on any platform and is therefore unaffected by any related security implications.

          • The Log4j security flaw could impact the entire internet. Here’s what you should know
          • This security flaw could impact the entire internet. Here’s what you should know
          • Software Flaw Sparks Global Race to Patch Bug

            Companies and governments around the world rushed over the weekend to fend off cyberattacks looking to exploit a serious flaw in a widely used piece of Internet software that security experts warn could give hackers sweeping access to networks.

          • Software vulnerability expected to persist, possibly for months

            A flaw in a widely used piece of free internet software is prompting companies to rush to update their systems and prevent cyberattacks, but the technology’s ubiquity means the threat could affect businesses for months, security researchers say.

          • A software flaw exposes major companies’ servers
          • Mars helicopter mission (which Apache says is powered byLog4j) overcomes separate network glitch to confirm new flight record

            NASA has revealed that Ingenuity – the experimental helicopter sent to Mars with the Perseverance Rover – has clocked up a whole half-hour of flight in the Red Planet’s meanly thin atmosphere.

            The ‘copter passed the thirty-minute mark during its 17th flight, on December 5, which sets a new record for the space agency.

            But NASA was unsure of the craft’s status because of what the US agency has described as “an unexpected cutoff to the in-flight data stream as the helicopter descended toward the surface at the conclusion of its flight.”

          • Minecraft Log4J bug ‘worst computer vulnerability’ in years, experts warn

            People with the popular internet game Minecraft on their computers could be at risk of having data stolen or even erased by hackers.

            The bug in software known as Log4J is a risk to any internet-connected device, including phones and tablets and it is rapidly emerging as a major threat, WalesOnline reported.

            Adam Meyers, senior vice president of intelligence at cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike said: “The internet’s on fire right now.

          • Serious Security: OpenSSL fixes “error conflation” bugs – how mixing up mistakes can lead to trouble

            As it happens, the above quote comes from the NSCS’s guide for company boards-of-directors, in a section that warns top management to take steps to avoid burnout in cybersecurity teams.

            But we’ve already needed to write this week about Apple’s latest security updates, which apply to all the company’s products, and include fixes for almost every sort of security risk you can think of.


            Apple’s patches don’t deal with Log4Shell, but they do close other holes all the way from kernel compromise (think: spyware implants) to privacy bypasses (think: configuration hacks and data leakage)…

          • US Warns Hundreds of Millions of Devices at Risk Over New Software Vulnerability

            Hundreds of millions of devices around the world could be exposed to a newly revealed software vulnerability, as a senior Biden administration cyber official warned executives from major U.S. industries Monday that they need to take action to address “one of the most serious” flaws she has seen in her career.

            As major tech firms struggle to contain the fallout, U.S. officials held a call with industry executives warning that hackers are actively exploiting the vulnerability.

            For now, cybersecurity analysts told CNN, the pressure is on tech companies to clean up their software code and on big businesses to figure out if they are affected by the flaw. But because the vulnerability is so widespread, and likely present in things like popular apps and websites, consumers could also feel the fallout if those services get hacked.

          • What Is Log4j? The Security Flaw That’s Freaking Out the Internet

            Security pros say it’s one of the worst computer vulnerabilities they’ve ever seen. They say state-backed Chinese and Iranian hackers and rogue cryptocurrency miners have already seized on it.

          • Log4j’s project sponsorship skyrockets after critical bug exploitation

            Demanding work done for free not sustainable.

            The maintainers of the Java Log4j project had only three sponsors, despite the software being a crucial part of large companies’ commercial products and enterprise applications.

            Roger Goers, the intial Log4j coder and member of the Apache Software Foundation now has 58 mostly individual sponsors at the time of publishing.

            Log4j is a popular logging library for Java which, due to insecure handling of directory lookups, allows the remote execution of arbitrary code in its default configuration.

          • Log4j gets a second update as security woes pile up

            Less than a week from the initial disclosure of the high-profile Log4Shell vulnerability, the open source Log4j software has already received a second major update.

            The Apache Software Foundation is now advising organizations running Log4j to update the logging tool to version 2.16.0, rather than last week’s 2.15.0 build. Unlike last week’s update, which limited functions of the vulnerable JNDI (Java Naming and Directory Interface) component, the 2.16.0 build disables the API entirely.

          • How Apache Raced to Fix a Potentially Disastrous Software Flaw

            At 2:51 p.m. on Nov. 24, members of an open-source software project received an alarming email. The contents threatened to undermine years of programming by a small group of volunteers and unleash massive cyberattacks across the globe.

            “I want to report a security bug,” wrote Chen Zhaojun, an employee on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s cloud-security team, adding “the vulnerability has a major impact.”

            The message went on to describe how a hacker could take advantage of Log4j, a widely used software tool, to achieve what’s known as remote code execution, a hackers’ dream because they can remotely take over a computer.

          • Canadian websites temporarily shut down as world scrambles to mitigate or patch Log4Shell vulnerability

            Federal and provincial departments including the Canada Revenue Agency, Employment and Social Development Canada and the Toronto region transportation system Metrolinx took their websites offline over the weekend to deal with the critical log4j2 Java library vulnerability.

          • EXPLAINER: The security flaw that’s freaked out the internet

            Security pros say it’s one of the worst computer vulnerabilities they’ve ever seen. They say state-backed Chinese and Iranian hackers and rogue cryptocurrency miners have already seized on it.

            The Department of Homeland Security is sounding a dire alarm, ordering federal agencies to urgently eliminate the bug because it’s so easily exploitable — and telling those with public-facing networks to put up firewalls if they can’t be sure. The affected software is small and often undocumented.

          • Log4Shell Exploit, Vulnerability Explained: What to do If You’re Hacked

            An urgent warning is being issued about the server-software flaw named “Log4Shell.” Experts refer to it as one of the most severe computer-security vulnerabilities ever discovered. Any user exposed to the Log4Shell vulnerability should expect their personal information, credit card number and online identity to be fully exploited.

          • Massive Log4Shell internet security flaw threatens everyone — what you can do

            The very serious server-software flaw named “Log4Shell” that affected many Minecraft players at the end of last week has, as feared, come to affect the entire internet. In terms of potential impact, it’s one of the most severe computer-security vulnerabilities the world has ever seen.

            “I cannot overstate the seriousness of this threat,” researcher Lotem Finkelstein of Israeli security firm Check Point told ZDNet.

            His firm has seen more than 850,000 attempted attacks on servers since a working exploit for the vulnerability was posted online Thursday (Dec. 9). Antivirus firm ESET said the U.S., U.K., Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands were seeing the most attacks.

          • “Open source” is not broken

            Reading the various hot takes regarding the log4j2 problems has been an exercise in frustration. The fact that the maintainers of this small but important piece of software barely received any donations or other forms of financial support, despite their software being extensively used by some of the largest corporations in the world is not a fault of open source – it’s the fault of garbage corporations only taking, but rarely giving. The issue here is not open source – it’s unchecked capitalism.

            That being said, these maintainers, and other people who contribute to open source projects, know full well it’s most likely not going to make them rich, or even allow them to recoup any investments made. That’s the nature of open source, and it seems like the technology world has become so infested with venture capitalists that even the mere idea of someone working on something not for the money, but for other reasons seems entirely alien to a lot of people, meaning open source must, therefore, be broken.

            Money corrupts anything it touches. I’m insanely grateful for the almost endless number of people contributing to open source projects not because they expect to become rich, but because they enjoy doing it, to show off their skill, for the community of people they love interacting with, for the recognition it sometimes brings, or for the mere secret knowledge that their small project nobody’s ever heard of is a crucial cog in the massive machinery that keeps the technology world spinning.

            Open source isn’t broken. It’s working exactly as intended, and it’s by far the most powerful force in the technology world, and it will outlive any of the corporations so many people bend over backwards to please today.

          • Critical Log4Shell (Apache Log4j) Zero-Day Attack Analysis (CVE-2021-44228)

            An analysis of the Apache Log4j vulnerability and the architecture of zero-day exploits (CVE-2021-44228) from Nozomi Networks Labs.

          • Gumtree users’ locations were visible by pressing F12 • The Register

            UK online used goods bazaar Gumtree exposed its users’ home addresses in the source code of its webpages, and then tried to squirm out of a bug bounty after infosec bods alerted it to the flaw.

            British company Pen Test Partners (PTP) spotted the data leakage, which meant anyone could view a Gumtree user’s name and location (either postcode or GPS coordinates) by pressing F12 in their web browser.

            In both Firefox and Chrome, F12 opens the “view page source” developer tools screen, showing the code that generates the webpage you see. This meant that anyone could view the precise location of any of the site’s 1.7 million monthly sellers.

            PTP claimed it encountered a brick wall of indifference in its first attempts to alert Gumtree to the data breach.

          • Attacking Natural Language Processing Systems With Adversarial Examples – Unite.AI

            The paper is titled Bad Characters: Imperceptible NLP Attacks, and comes from three researchers across three departments at the University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh, and a researcher from the University of Toronto.

          • How Building a Solid Foundation Will Help Grow Your Cybersecurity Program

            Cybersecurity is such a broad subject that many times, an organization can become stifled when trying to develop a full cybersecurity program. Some organizations that have already put a cybersecurity program in place can also unpleasantly discover gaps in their efforts, making the entire venture seem moot. One way to effectively get started, as well as to prevent gaps, is to build a good foundation upon which a cybersecurity program can grow and mature.

            I recently had the opportunity to speak with David O’Leary, Sr. Director of Security Solutions for SHI/StrataScale. David’s experience dates back to the inception of network and cybersecurity, so he has a lot of real-world experience that can be drawn from to assist any organization in starting, scaling, and maturing their cybersecurity program. David, can you tell us a bit about your history and where your journey to cybersecurity began?

          • Cryptominers aren’t just a headache – they’re a big neon sign that Bad Things are on your network

            Cryptominer malware removal is a routine piece of the cybersecurity landscape these days. Yet if criminals are hijacking your compute cycles to mine cryptocurrencies, chances are there’s something worse lurking on your network too.

            So warned Sophos threat researcher Sean Gallagher, in a recent interview with The Register as the antivirus organisation launches a report into the Tor2Mine cryptominer.

          • In The Lab: 6-port $3,000 pfSense Box – StorageReview.com

            We listened to our social media audience and went ahead and configured pfSense on the ThinkEdge SE50 to act as a firewall for our network.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • The Three Laws of Personal Devices

              The Universal Declaration of Cyborg Rights states that we extend our selves using digital and networked technologies and that this extended self must be protected under human rights law.

            • DNA Explainer: What is Personal Data Protection Bill and its impact on social media

              The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the Personal Data Protection Bill, formed in 2019, presented its report in Rajya Sabha on Thursday paving way for the first data protection law in India. The JPC report recommends wide-ranging changes, including widening the scope of the Bill to include non-personal data and pitches for all social media platforms to be declared ‘publishers’.

              India has become one of the biggest internet markets worldwide and so there needs to be clear laws on what’s permissible and what’s not. Congress MP Jairam Ramesh tabled the report in Rajya Sabha which was a result of nearly two years of deliberations.

              The 542-page JPC report is the clause-by-clause examination of the Personal Data Protection Bill of 2019 and contains 81 recommendations for modifications and over 150 drafting corrections and improvements in various clauses of the Bill.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • NY TIMES: US Hid True Toll of Air Wars; Thousands of Dead Civilians, Many of Them Children

        Thousands of previously hidden Pentagon documents show that the US air wars in the Middle East have been marked by “deeply flawed intelligence” and have killed thousands of civilians, many of them children, according to a shocking new report in the New York Times Saturday afternoon.

        The 5-year Times investigation received more than 1,300 reports examining airstrikes in Iraq and Syria from September 2014 to January 2018, more than 5,400 pages in all. None of these records show any findings of wrongdoing on the actions of the US military.

      • Opinion | Threatening War With Iran Won’t Save the Nuclear Deal

        Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept has a good piece responding to a letter published today by Michèle Flournoy, Leon Panetta, General David Petraeus, Dennis Ross and a few others, urging Joe Biden to break the nuclear deadlock with Iran by issuing military threats. 

      • Jihadists Decapitate Pastor, Force Wife to Carry His Severed Head

        According to military sources, suspected Islamic extremists decapitated a pastor in Cabo Delgado last Wednesday, and forced his wife to carry his head to the police station.

        Zimbabwe Daily reported the pastor’s wife told police that “suspected Islamic State-linked insurgents intercepted the pastor in a field, decapitated him and then handed over his head to his wife and ordered her to inform the authorities”.

      • HRW: 600 women, girls kidnapped by Mozambique jihadists since 2018

        The group force young women and girls to “marry” their fighters “who enslave and sexually abuse them” while some have been sold off to foreign militants for between $600 and $1,800, it said.

      • Quebec Teacher’s Removal Reignites Hijab Debate

        The current focus on the issue erupted this month when schoolteacher Fatemeh Anvari was told that wearing her hijab in the classroom ran afoul of Bill 21 and as such she could no longer teach her grade-three students.

        Bill 21 has wide support in Quebec (polls show two thirds of people support it) and Anvari must have known that she was breaking the law when she decided to wear the hijab before her grade-three students.

    • Environment

      • 2021 Arctic Report Card Tells a Human Story of Cascading Climate Disruption
      • Energy

        • BBC Bitcoin mining report used in [cryptocurrency]-scam

          The B2C Mining channel claimed to be part of a company that owned and operated a Bitcoin mine in Russia.

          At the top of the group, pinned to the channel, was my report… only it wasn’t quite my report.

          It had been altered, cutting out anything to do with climate change, and suggesting that the mine I had reported on was in fact the channel’s.

        • China Censors [Cryptocurrency]-Themed Short Videos Shared Online

          The China Netcasting Services Association (CNSA) has recently published a blacklist of 100 topics that online videos posted on platforms similar to Tiktok should not feature. Among them are the usual suspects like questioning China’s official history, imitating its political leaders, challenging the country’s guiding ideology of “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” and discussing fascism.

        • Shocking: UK electricity tariffs are among world’s most expensive

          In a surprise to no bill-payers in the UK, except perhaps those huddling in homes without power for days on end, Blighty has some of the most expensive electricity in the world.

          The findings, from research undertaken by comparison site cable.co.uk, were pulled from six months of looking at 3,883 energy tariffs over 230 countries. The UK, alas, came in at 190th. It also sits at 24 out of 28 states in Western Europe (Germany was more expensive, while France’s average – putting the country into 12th position – was cheaper.)

          Dan Howdle, a consumer research analyst at Cable.co.uk, said: “Almost every European nation is cheaper. Most African nations? Cheaper. There are even island nations where energy production is especially difficult that charge less than we are charged in the UK.”

          For the UK, the researchers looked at 60 tariffs, which resulted in an average of $0.251 per kWh. As ever, the devil is in the detail. The cheapest kWh came in at $0.129, which is a little less scary.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Monarch butterfly numbers are up this year at Mexico’s largest sanctuary

          The black and gold-winged insects migrate thousands of kilometers from Canada and the United States to overwinter in the oyamel fir forests of Michoacán and México state.

          Marino Argueta told the newspaper El Heraldo de México that 130-150 million butterflies have reached El Rosario, located in the municipality of Ocampo.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • US Senate Recesses for the Year Without Build Back Better, Voting Rights

        The US Senate adjourned for the year at 4:02am Saturday morning after Democrats failed to reach agreement on their top legislative priorities: the Build Back Better Bill and voting rights legislation.

        But, at 1:30am, with one of the last few votes of the year, former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was confirmed ambassador to Japan

      • Kshama Sawant Emerges Victorious From Disingenuous Recall Attempt
      • Americans Like What’s In The Build Back Better Act. They’re Lukewarm On The Bill Itself.

        There are certain parts of the bill that are very appealing to Americans, though — namely, expanded health care access. In fact, when Morning Consult/Politico asked respondents to select the five most important provisions in the bill, four of the five top issues were health care-related.1 For instance, the House version of the bill adds $150 billion over 10 years in funding for Medicaid home care for seniors and people with disabilities — the largest increase in funding for this program since its creation. According to Morning Consult/Politico, more registered voters said this funding was an important component of the bill than any other — and a whopping 76 percent of registered voters supported it.

        The second biggest priority in the bill per Morning Consult was allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, which 71 percent of registered voters supported. In addition, 65 percent supported more funding for affordable housing, and 75 percent supported the expansion of Medicaid to cover hearing services.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Facebook bans Delhi-based IT firm for [cracking] accounts of government officials, journalists and others

        Hiding under the radar for some time after its activities were exposed last year, BellTroX InfoTech Services targeted advocacy groups and journalists, elected and senior government officials, hedge funds and multiple industries on the six continents, creating ripples among the powers-that-be.

      • Fox News’ Legal Jeopardy Is Real, but Not for the Most Cited Reasons

        The 52-page opinion from Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis certainly deserves attention, but it’s easy to lose sight of just why it’s important. So before getting to the real issues that should prompt Fox News’ leaders to think long and hard, let’s address a couple of widespread misinterpretations about this latest decision.

      • Govt says has taken several steps to curb harmful content on social media

        Minister of Electronics and IT Ashwini Vaishnaw, in a written reply (starred question) in the Rajya Sabha, also stated the ministry has taken note of reports based on a whistleblower’s statements about Facebook and its alleged role in circulation of hate speech, fake news and misinformation.


        On Friday, Vaishnaw said the government has taken several steps to address the challenges of user harm and hateful information on social media platforms.

        In order to ensure accountability of social media platforms to users and enhanced user safety, the government in February notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 under the IT Act, 2000.

        These rules require that the intermediaries follow certain due diligence as prescribed, he said.

        “MeitY through a program, namely, Information Security Education and Awareness (ISEA), has been creating awareness among users highlighting the importance of following the ethics while using Internet and advising them not to share rumours/fake news.

        “A dedicated website for information security awareness provides all the relevant awareness material,” he added.

      • The war over Chinese Wikipedia is a warning for the open internet

        This past July, before he was banned from Wikipedia, Techyan was one of dozens of volunteers preparing to speak at the free-knowledge movement’s annual conference, Wikimania. Born in China’s northeast, Techyan, as he’s known in the Wikipedia community, had been editing Chinese Wikipedia since his early teens. As one of its three dozen elected administrators, he hoped his presentation would put a more positive spin on what, lately, had become Wikipedia’s ugliest battlefield.

        Rather than the edit wars and personal threats that had come to define some of its hot-button political topics like Hong Kong and Taiwan, Techyan planned to talk about how his three-year-old user group, the Wikipedians of Mainland China, or WMC, had thrived. It had done so in spite of government restrictions, and without official acknowledgment from the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that hosts the site in over 300 languages and hands out millions in grants.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Indonesian Christian Charged for Blasphemy for Offensive Twitter Post

        On December 15, an Indonesian Christan man was charged with blasphemy for posting a comment on Prophet Muhammad comparing him to a Muslim child rapist.

      • Indonesian Christian in blasphemy storm for Twitter ‘insult’

        Indonesian police charged a Christian man with blasphemy on Dec. 15 for allegedly insulting Islam by comparing the Prophet Muhammad with an alleged child rapist in a social media post.

        Joseph Suryadi, 39, from Tangerang, a city near Jakarta, is accused of uploading a caricature of the prophet on Twitter and comparing him with an Islamic boarding school owner called Herry Wirawan.

        Wirawan, from Bandung in West Java, is accused of raping 13 girls at his boarding school.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • YouTube TV loses ESPN, other Disney networks after failing to reach new deal

        The announcement follows a notice shared with subscribers earlier this week that the channels could vanish from YouTube TV on Friday, December 17th if a deal was not reached between the two companies. Should negotiations have failed, YouTube TV said it would lower its price by $15 a month from its normal price of $65 per month to compensate for the change.

      • A reporter risked her life to show the world Covid in Wuhan. Now she may not survive jail.

        In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, when the Chinese government was trying to contain the initial outbreak, reporting by citizen journalists like Zhang questioned the scale of the crisis and the government’s response. But they worried their aggressive reporting wouldn’t be tolerated for long in a country where the news media is strictly controlled.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Ex-Netflix Exec Sentenced to Prison For 30 Months For Taking Bribes

        A federal judge sentenced a former Netflix executive to 30 months in prison Tuesday after he was convicted on several charges of fraud and money laundering back in April.

        A jury convicted Michael Kail, the former Vice President of IT Operations at Netflix, on 28 charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering. The 52-year-old Los Gatos resident must also forfeit $700,000, pay a $50,000 fine, and serve a three term of supervision upon release from prison.

      • Former Netflix Executive Sentenced To 30 Months For Bribes And Kickbacks From Netflix Vendors

        Michael Kail, the former Vice President of IT Operations at Netflix, was sentenced today to 30 months in federal prison for his convictions for honest services wire, mail fraud, and money laundering, announced Acting United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds, Federal Bureau of Investigation Craig D. Fair, and IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Mark H. Pearson. Kail was also ordered to forfeit $700,000, pay a $50,000 fine, and serve a three term of supervision upon release from prison. The sentence was handed down by the United States District Judge Beth Labson Freeman.

        Kail was indicted April 26, 2018, and charged with nineteen counts of wire fraud, three counts of mail fraud, and seven counts of money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1343 (wire fraud), 1341 (mail fraud), 1346 (honest services fraud), and 1957 (money laundering).

        On April 30, 2021, after a three-week trial, a jury returned guilty verdicts on 28 of the 29 counts charged. The jury also made findings to support the forfeiture of property Kail had purchased with the proceeds of his fraud.

      • Federal Judge Gives Ex-Netflix IT Exec 30 Months in Prison for ‘Pay-to-Play’ Scheme
    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Dev loses copyright appeal over forensic software after judges rule suite was owned by his employer

          A Briton has lost an appeal bid to claim copyright over software he wrote for his employer while being handsomely paid for doing so – despite saying he wrote parts of it in his spare time.

          Michael Penhallurick had his case thrown out by Court of Appeal judges in London yesterday following his failed attempt to assert copyright over his Virtual Forensic Computing (VFC) suite in the High Court last year.

          The former South Yorkshire police worker had claimed VFC was licensed to MD5 Ltd and the company infringed that licence when it stopped paying him sums of money he described as licensing fees, two years after he left MD5.

        • YouTube TV Loses ABC, ESPN and Other Disney-Owned Channels After Failed Contract Negotiations

          YouTube TV has lost ABC, ESPN and multiple other Disney-owned channels after the two companies failed to reach a contract on Friday evening.

          As a result, YouTube will be decreasing the monthly price of its TV streaming platform from $64.99 to $49.99 due to the loss of 25 channels, which include the FX networks, Freeform, the Disney channels, the National Geographic channels and eight local ABC stations.

        • Widow Ordered to Pay Thousands for Attempting to Sell Husband’s Eric Clapton Bootleg

          A German woman has been ordered to pay nearly $4,000 after attempting to sell an unauthorized Eric Clapton bootleg on eBay, resulting in legal action from the guitarist.

          Gabriele P., 55, inherited the bootleg Eric Clapton – Live USA from her late husband’s estate; he had purchased the CD decades earlier, around 1987. A day after Gabriele P. listed the item on eBay for €9.95 (or $11) in July 2021, she received a takedown notice from the auction site, and then an affidavit from the Clapton camp, claiming that the recording was illegal and made without his consent.

        • Sci-Hub Founder: Academic Publishers Are the Real Threat to Science, Not Sci-Hub

          Elsevier and other academic publishers see ‘pirate’ site Sci-Hub as a major threat to science and their own multi-billion-dollar industry. Through a lawsuit in India, the companies hope to have the site blocked but Sci-Hub is actively fighting this request in court. According to the site’s founder, the publishers are the real threat to the progress of science.

        • Malaysia Passes Bill to Imprison Illegal Streaming Pirates For Up To 20 Years

          Malaysia’s House of Representatives has passed amendments to copyright law that will boost the country’s deterrent against those who facilitate access to pirate content via illegal streaming. The amendments, which cover both hardware and software, could see offenders imprisoned for up to 20 years.

IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 18, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:44 am by Needs Sunlight

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