Bonum Certa Men Certa

Patents Roundup: Patent Propaganda from the BBC, IBM in the Shadows, and Early Mistakes from David Kappos

Propaganda



Summary: The BBC serves a familiar agenda, Microsoft hype observed, USPTO heads the wrong way, and IBM lurks inside the Linux Foundation

THERE is a lot to go through today because Microsoft is stepping up efforts to spread software patents. We shall start by pointing out that Microsoft's darling [1, 2, 3, 4], the BBC, is spreading patent propaganda with words like "inventor" and the classic example of a "poor" victim (not the monopolies which actually leverage patents to block small companies).



Yesterday alone, the BBC published not one but two articles that glamourise and encourage stronger patent enforcement and broader scope. The first such article states:

Intellectual property rights are both a good thing and a potential obstacle. Imagine you've got a great idea, but part of the idea conflicts with someone's patent. You can propose a licence, but in a lot of cases it can be very difficult to secure the rights for a long period and at a reasonable rate.


The second article is almost worse because it refers to "stealing" of ideas, which obviously cannot be stolen, by definition. It states:

A major British inventor is calling for a change in the law to strengthen protection against those who try to steal ideas.


The Register (also UK-based) has already highlighted this propaganda from the BBC:

The inventor of the wind-up radio is calling on the UK government to toughen its stance on patent law, by making intellectual property theft a criminal offence.


A reader of ours from the UK states that "Patent law and criminal law are two (IMO) completely different things, as is copyright theft. In respect of the latter, the term theft IMO does not apply since [...] According to Sec(1) Theft Act - "To dishonestly appropriate property belonging to the other with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it." Since there is no permanent deprivation of "property" (in this case data), there is no theft....IMO [...] the copyright theft act deals with the "sharing" of the work and the deprivation would be loss of income, that's why the separate offence was created.... the point I was making was Copyright "Theft" is a bad choice of words since theft as outlined in Sec(1) does not IMO apply as per definition....in the case of copyright theft. It is worth noting, that file sharing is what makes the offence complete and the mere act of downloading would (IMO) have a civil remedy not a criminal one if no sharing was taking place although this is all open to argument and interpretation and is merely my interpretation of the criminal side of the copyright laws...."

There is actually a lot more Microsoft advertising in the BBC this week, as is the case most of the time. Maggie Shiels [1, 2] is at it again, advertising Vista 7 and citing other Microsoft shills for corroboration:

Ina Fried of CNET, who has covered Microsoft for over five years, said this issue has, in the past, been something of a hurdle for Microsoft and Intel.


Shiels and Fried make a good pair that seems like Microsoft PR masqueraded as reporters. This is based on a pattern observed long ago -- a pattern that endlessly persists. Sarcastically, says one of our British readers, "maybe the clue is in her name, Maggie Shills.....yep, she does. Names aside, yeah it's pretty blatant again -- links to the windows 7 pre sales, like the other Windows 7 slog posts they do. The keywords are a thing too, in pro-Microsoft posts, there's LOTS of Microsoft keywords, the post is littered with them, which makes them great consumption for the spiders, yet when it's stories which are negative, Microsoft keywords are hardly mentioned, except at the end of the peice as the knight in silver armour coming in to offer customers advice on how to fix the issue under their terms. It'd be funny if it was a normal slog site. What it does do is make a mockery of the BBC's claims of "independent high-quality journalism"."

Speaking of Microsoft hype in the press, there is more sentimental blackmail [1, 2] from this company right now and Apple too is hyping things up (unrelated to this, it has connections with AstroTurf agencies). According to the following review from Ars Technica, Snow Leopard represents a development stagnation at Apple. Here's the part which says:

Many of these same developers applauded the "150+ new features" in Tiger and the "300 new features" in Leopard at past WWDCs. Now they were applauding zero new features for Snow Leopard? What explains this?


There is even a photo.

Since we mentioned AstroTurfing, worth mentioning is also this update regarding Radian6, which we wrote about the other day.

After being angered by yet another Comcast f**kup that led to me being W.O.I. (With Out Internet) for over nine hours one day last week, I noticed that within the next day, a Comcast “representative” under the pseudonym of “Melissa Mendoza” had commented on the post with links to their “support” email address.

As I’ve written about before, Microsoft and other large companies often use the services of large astroturfing agencies. Microsoft uses one called Visible Technologies and apparently Comcast uses one called Radian6.


Moving on to important patent issues, this report suggests that China's patent system is imploding, just as people predicted. It was a volcano of lawsuits waiting to erupt.

When France's Schneider Electric faced a patent battle in a Chinese court recently it had reason to feel confident. It thought it had a solid prior art case for invalidating the patent being used against it by Chinese firm Chint, and foreign companies win 95% of patent cases in the Chinese courts.


As Masnick puts it, "Careful What You Ask For: China's Patent System Causing Trouble."

All those foreign nations who kept pushing China to build up its own patent system and learn to "respect intellectual property" may soon be regretting that, as they're suddenly blocked out of the Chinese market by Chinese firms who fast-tracked cheap utility patents themselves with little to no review. Be careful what you wish for.


The USPTO is not better off, but the approach taken to resolving the issue is totally misguided. A reader from Germany gave us a pointer to this document [PDF} ("fresh from Heise," as he put it). It is "only [the] interim rules," he stressed, "but still a good sign. See p. 3, section I.1 Step 1."

The USPTO is being harshly criticised elsewhere. David Kappos [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] uses the wrong yardstick to measure the success (or lack thereof) of this system and major delays are indicators of too wide a scope for patenting.

The other day we wrote about medical barriers caused by patents and Masnick appears to agree, adding that Kappos is "Suggesting They Want More Patents, Approved Faster." More patents?

Two separate stories concerning statements from those in charge of the patent system suggest that the new administration isn't about to help fix the problems in the patent system, but is eagerly looking to make them worse. It starts with new USPTO Director David Kappos, who some thought would recognize problems with the patent system from his years dealing with those problems at IBM. While IBM is a massive patent stockpiler, over the past few years it's at least indicated some recognition that the system is broken.

[...]

The real problem, which becomes evident in reading the article is that since the USPTO is funded based on patent application fees, it has every incentive in the world, as an institution, to approve more patents. The more patents it approves, the more applications it gets, which means more money as well.


Indeed, this sounds too greed-motivated. The EPO was accused of similar behaviour. To quote Richard Stallman, “Staff at the European Patent Office went on strike accusing the organization of corruption: specifically, stretching the standards for patents in order to make more money."

Tim Lee's warning against software patents has gotten Masnick's attention as well (because they know each other). The important points are being stressed again.

In the original piece, Tim also points out how software patents (contrary to the claims of some defenders of the system) unfairly tilt the balance of power to big companies -- the ones who can stockpile tons of patents to use as a weapon against infringement suits. It's the small companies who are left exposed.


It is worth repeating over and over again that experience suggests small companies are mostly victimised by the patent system. IBM's considerable role in OIN and the Linux Foundation is proof of this because IBM wants software patents and it wants to use them to increase its dominance/control in the area. According to this new exchange of ideas, IBM is partly behind the Linux Foundation's patent policy.

---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Manny W Schecter <schecter@us.ibm.com> Date: Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 12:12 AM Subject: Re: [priorart-discuss] No more software-patents in the us? To: OSS and USPTO prior art discussions <priorart-discuss@lists.linux-foundation.org>

Not exactly. You are citing interim guidelines from the USPTO which are not binding law by their own admission. The USPTO has invited public comment on the guidelines, and there will be plenty I'm sure. The Bilski decision pending before the Supreme Court is what you should be watching. A decision is expected 1H10.

Manny Schecter

From: Jan Kechel <jan@kechel.de> To: OSS and USPTO prior art discussions <priorart-discuss@lists.osdl.org> Date: 09/02/2009 06:09 PM Subject: [priorart-discuss] No more software-patents in the us? Sent by: priorart-discuss-bounces@lists.linux-foundation.org ________________________________

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: RIPEMD160

Hi everybody,

I just found a nice article about changes in the USPTO, seems that there are no more software patents until some other court stuff will be finished:

http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/dapp/opla/2009-08-25_interim_101_instructions.pdf (see page 15)

My source (german:) http://www.heise.de/newsticker/US-Patentamt-vergibt-vorerst-keine-reinen-Softwarepatente-mehr--/meldung/144681 claims that this is based on the following decision:

http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/opinions/07-1130.pdf

What do you people think about that?

cu,

jan

- -- publictimestamp.org/ptb/PTB-7047 ripemd128 2009-09-02 21:00:05 5DBB1B771C93BD9D613377AD58266747

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)

iEYEAREDAAYFAkqe7J0ACgkQ58nJkn8diosxcgCfW0E24NfvCwMaSZlq40/RXIBc 2xsAniUHZxWyM9/rg5knFSQKyABI0Xl7 =XrKR -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----


The above shows the involvement of IBM staff. As we have shown before, IBM is part of this problem because it lies when arguing that software patents have been beneficial to Free software [1, 2]. They take away basic rights and then "donate" or sell them back to us. A lot of people are being fooled, but they don't have to.

"According to Software Magazine, last year we were the 92nd largest software company in the US. My perspective on software patents is simple: stop issuing software patents. Software patents should not exist." —Jerry Fiddler, Wind River Systems

Recent Techrights' Posts

One More (Failed) Attempt to Deplatform the Sites by Harassing and Threatening Webhosts
What we're seeing here is a person who abuses the system in Canada at Canadian taxpayers' expense trying to do the same in the UK, at British taxpayers' expense
12 Days Have Passed Since the Edward Brocklesby Revelations and Debian Project Has Said Absolutely Nothing About That
One must therefore assume they have nothing to say in their defence (covering up severe security failings)
Coercion From the "Consent" and "CoC" Crowd is a Self-Defeating Tactic
Freedom of the press; Nothing less
According to statCounter, GNU/Linux Increased From 3.77% to 3.89% This Month (Worldwide), Windows Now Below 20% in 78 Nations, Below 10% in 27 Nations
Highest since March (for GNU/Linux)
 
[Meme] SPI and 'FSFE': Sponsored by Microsoft to...
women's instincts do not matter to these strongmen
[Meme] Shitburger of an LLM
IBM and the Hololens
Links 17/06/2024: Chatbot Nonsense Thrown Under the Bus (Severe Failure, Pure Hype), How to Finance Free Software 'Hackers'
Links for the day
Debian's Personal Attacks Are Upsetting Women, Too
Female Debian Developer: "I Believe Daniel [Pocock] is On the Right Track."
Microsoft's Bing is So Irrelevant in Moldova (1%) That Russia's Yandex is About 5 Times Bigger
How much longer before Microsoft throws in the towel?
Yes, You Can
Unless you live somewhere like Russia...
[Meme] Listen to the Experts
Bill Gates didn't even finish university]
Roy and Rianne's Righteously Royalty-free RSS Reader (R.R.R.R.R.R.) and the Front-End Interfaces
As the Web deteriorates the availability, quality and prevalence of RSS feeds is not improving, to put it mildly
Algeria Shows High GNU/Linux and Android Adoption, All-Time High and Almost Three-Quarters of Web Requests
GNU/Linux was below 3%, now it is above 3%
Mass Layoffs at Microsoft-owned GitHub (About 80 Percent of the Staff in India Laid Off)
It's not just in India
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, June 16, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, June 16, 2024
Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Scarecrows, Moles, Ham Radio, and No IPs
Links for the day
Africa is Android and Green (Chrome, Not Just Android Logo)
In Africa Firefox is almost below 1% now
Covering Abuses and Corruption
We'll never surrender to blackmail
Ubuntu Running Out of Energy
Its planet too is deteriorating
Links 16/06/2024: In Defence of Email and Why Recycling Symbol Lost All Meaning
Links for the day
Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Computer Science Course Union and Potentiometer
Links for the day
Cross border crime: sale of Swiss insurance in France and European Union without authorisation
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Letting Microsoft systemd Manage /home Was a Terrible Idea All Along
systemd-tmpfiles, deleting /home
Patriotism is OK, But We Need Facts and Reason, Not Blind Obedience to Authority
Very seldom in the history of human civilisation has groupthink proven to be of real merit
When You Touch One of Us You Touch All of Us
We have a principled, uncompromising stance on this matter
Links 16/06/2024: New Sanctions Against Russia, Fentanylware (TikTok) Causing More Problems
Links for the day
Social Control Media in Japan: Twitter (X) Has Collapsed, YouTube Rising (Apparently)
What a genius Mr. Musk is!
Windows Cleansed in South Africa (Already Hovering Around 10% Market Share)
Plus Microsoft's mass layoffs in Africa
[Meme] Satya Nadella's Windows PC RECALLS Not What He Did
Satya got lucky
Usage of Let's Encrypt in Geminispace Has Collapsed (That's a Good Thing!)
Ideally, or eventually, all capsules will sign their own certificates or have their own CA
North Macedonia: Windows Down From 99.2% to 28.5%
Last year it was even measured at 26%
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 15, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, June 15, 2024
Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Hand Held Maneuvering Unit and Hugo Static Files
Links for the day
Removing the Tumour From IRC
looking back
[Meme] The Free(dom) Software Engineer in European Elections
“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”
Vista 11 Was 'Leaked' Exactly 3 Years Ago and This One Picture Says It All
how 'well' Vista 11 has done
A Smokescreen for Brad Smith
Maybe the key point was to say "Linux is not secure either" or "Windows and Linux are equally vulnerable", so don't bother dumping Microsoft
Windows Sinking Below 13% Market Share in the Island of Jamaica
Microsoft's decline continues and will mostly likely continue indefinitely in Jamaica and its neighbours
Links 15/06/2024: Microsoft's Intellectual Ventures Attacks Kubernetes With Software Patents, More Layoff Waves
Links for the day
Gemini Links 15/06/2024: On Lagrange and on YouTube Getting Worse
Links for the day
Edward Brocklesby: hacker received advance notice of zero-day vulnerabilities in MH and NMH email software
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] Code Liberates Kids
Matthias Kirschner: I can't code, but I can write a book
In Armenia, Bing is Measured at 0.6%, About Ten Times Less Than Yandex
Bing will probably get mothballed in the coming years
[Meme] A Pack and Pact (Collusion Against Computer Users)
They never really cared about users, no more than drug dealers care about drug users...
GNU/Linux in Azerbaijan: From ~0.1% to 7%
Azerbaijan is around the same size as Portugal
Women in Free Software (FOSS) Need Action, Not Mere Words
the men who are loudest about women's rights are some of the very worst offenders
Embrace, Extend, Extinguish Minecraft
These folks should check out Minetest
Techrights Statement on Men Who Viciously Attack Women in Free Software
history shows women will win
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 14, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, June 14, 2024
[Meme] People Who Cannot Find Gainful Employment Because of Their Poor Behaviour Online (Not the People Who Merely Call Them Out on It)
Imagine trying to become a lecturer while talking like this in public
You Too Would Get Nervous
countries where Windows is down to 2%
[Meme] The Two Phases (and Faces) of Microsofters
Microsofters: stalk IRC, then troll IRC
The 'Nobody Reads Techrights Anyway' Crowd
Send In the Clowns
Books in the Making
I intend to spend a considerable amount of time explaining what my family and I were subjected to for the 'crime' of promoting/covering Free software
Microsoft is Still Losing Malta
And GNU/Linux is doing well on laptops and desktops
Tux Machines: Third Party Impending
There will be more next week