Bonum Certa Men Certa

What (Software) Patents Do in Practice, Plus Why They're Made Permissible in the First Place

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Jan 04, 2024

Very corrupt system that rewards maximisation of monopolies (because those are being sold for money)

Georg Weber caricature

This month we'll publish many new posts about the EPO, seeing that the subject has returned to the media [1, 2] after years of grotesque media apathy (online media is dying; does investigative journalism still exist at all?), resulting in an unaware and uncaring public.

"There's a HUGE barrier to raising any topics related to ICT in the general population," an associate explains. "It often seems easier to talk about any other topic no matter how controversial than to raise the topic of technology policy. It comes across as something which people have been made frightened to even consider talking about."

Patent policy is a very important cornerstone of economic policies and realities. Why does the public not get told about how patents truly work? There were a couple of software patent articles in yesterday's batch. One of them is a couple of years old and speaks of "Plagiarism as a patent amplifier". Now that plagiarism has a new name (even acronym, "G.A.I", if "advanced AI" isn't wishy-washy enough) it might be worth revisiting the story. "Reportedly," it says, "after announcing its experiment, Google was contacted by Jintai Ding, who informed Google that he had a patent covering New Hope and asked them for money.""

"If that's in fact what happened, then suddenly it makes sense that Google's enthusiasm for running the experiment would have rapidly disappeared. Imagine the effect of email saying "A patent holder is asking us for money because of your CECPQ1 experiment" from one of Google's patent lawyers to the managers at Google in charge of TLS."

Software patents were mentioned a lot in the media last month only because of Apple and a risk of embargo (thanks, ITC). Other than that, any media coverage about patents or the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is very, very scarce. 18 years ago there was so much of it that I could not feasibly keep track and many articles were real journalism, not some law firm posting shameless self-promotion in "news" clothing (in other words, advertising, not journalism).

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