Bonum Certa Men Certa

Patents Roundup: David Hammerstein on Microsoft Lobbying in Europe; Harrison Targets Lobbying on Software Patents in New Zealand, Justice Stevens Leaves SCOTUS

David Hammerstein
Photo by Mara



Summary: News from three continents about patent policy: Microsoft's “revolving door” European Commission officials; New Zealand's AJ Park looking for tax on software; Algebraix Data brags about its software patents

EVERY ONCE in a while we highlight developments that impact patent policy. In this roundup, Microsoft is involved too (it typically uses front groups to hide its role) and Free software is directly impacted.



Europe



We have written quite a lot about David Hammerstein in recent months [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. As a former member of parliament, he helps expose Microsoft's maneuvers behind closed doors in Brussels. Here is his latest: [via André]

Open Standards under siege in the European Union



[...]

Nevertheless, openness still seems to be considered a dirty word in a number of official corridors of Brussels that are probably under the well-organized lobbying efforts of the Microsoft empire (according to some malicious rumours difficult to believe the campaign is being promoted by “revolving door” European Commission officials who returned to public service after a number of years of “leave” on the Microsoft payroll). According to many observers this US IT giant is trying to counter-attack after taking heavy blows and fines precisely from the new Digital Commissioner Nelly Kroes who previously held the post of the EU’s competition czar.

[...]

If this EU programme was put into practice a number of major IT companies would have a harder time at locking out new innovative competitors and millions of internet users would have a much easier time at communicating without technical barriers. EU citizens would for the first time be able to participate in European democratic institutions without being forced to purchase one particular closed brand of software in order to exchange information with their elected representatives. The final “EU Digital Agenda” will be presented at the end of April and the latest news is that the openness agenda is losing the battle within the European Commission while a few narrow business interests are taking the upper hand. If it were published today the term “open standards” would be totally erased from the whole document. In this important fight the positions of the general public interest have hardly been taken into account. Voices in favour of open standards and interoperability urgently need to be heard in Brussels.


For information about EIFv2, see:

  1. European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Corrupted by Microsoft et al, Its Lobbyists
  2. Orwellian EIF, Fake Open Source, and Security Implications
  3. No Sense of Shame Left at Microsoft
  4. Lobbying Leads to Protest -- the FFII and the FSFE Rise in Opposition to Subverted EIF
  5. IBM and Open Forum Europe Address European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Fiasco
  6. EIF Scrutinised, ODF Evolves, and Microsoft's OOXML “Lies” Lead to Backlash from Danish Standards Committee
  7. Complaints About Perverted EIF Continue to Pile Up
  8. More Complaints About EIFv2 Abuse and Free Software FUD from General Electric (GE)
  9. Patents Roundup: Copyrighted SQL Queries, Microsoft Alliance with Company That Attacks F/OSS with Software Patents, Peer-to-Patent in Australia
  10. Microsoft Under Fire: Open Source Software Thematic Group Complains About EIFv2 Subversion, NHS Software Supplier Under Criminal Investigation
  11. British MEP Responds to Microsoft Lobby Against EIFv2; Microsoft's Visible Technologies Infiltrates/Derails Forums Too
  12. Patents Roundup: Escalations in Europe, SAP Pretense, CCIA Goes Wrong, and IETF Opens Up
  13. Patents Roundup: Several Defeats for Bad Types of Patents, Apple Risks Embargo, and Microsoft Lobbies Europe Intensely
  14. Europeans Asked to Stop Microsoft's Subversion of EIFv2 (European Interoperability Framework Version 2)
  15. Former Member of European Parliament Describes Microsoft “Coup in Process” in the European Commission
  16. Microsoft's Battle to Consume -- Not Obliterate -- Open Source


New Zealand



Over in New Zealand, leeches of the software development community are fighting to allow software patenting [1, 2, 3] and the following short new report continues to name Peter Harrison as instrumental in opposition to all of this.

New Zealand Open Source Society is seeking powerful interests for pressurizing the government to turn around its plans of excluding software from patent protection reforms in the country.

Posting his views on NZOSS website, yesterday, Vice President Peter Harrison appreciated the Commerce Select Committee's advice of exclusion of software from patent protection, thereby countering the views of the critics.

[...]

He pointed out the criticism made by Ken Moon of intellectual property specialist AJ Park, arguing that the requirements for resourcefulness in the functionality of patent law are the same as for any other innovation.


We wrote about AJ Park yesterday. It's just a law firm trying to take money away from actual producers. The "patents industry" is even less useful than the "marketing industry"; it contributes next to nothing. Issues like the "penal industry" clearly show that industries can grow where they shouldn't.

As the article above correctly adds, even proprietary software companies would support the exclusion of software patents, unless they are monopolies. Patents harm small businesses, so it's not just an issue affecting Free software (contrary to common belief).

United States



Justice Stevens is leaving the Supreme Court of the United States and as Timothy B. Lee (who has just been hired by Google) puts it, Stevens was an opponent of software patents.

Patents: The explosion of software patents is one of the biggest threats to innovation in the software industry, and Justice Stevens saw this threat coming almost three decades ago. Stevens wrote the majority decision in the 1978 case of Parker v. Flook, which clearly disallowed patents in the software industry. Three years later, Stevens dissented in the 1981 case of Diamond v. Diehr, which allowed a patent on a software-controlled rubber-curing machine. Although the majority decision didn’t explicitly permit patents on software, Stevens warned that the majority’s muddled decision would effectively open the door to software patents. And he has been proven right. In the three decades that followed, the patent-friendly U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has effectively dismantled limits on software patents. And the result has been a disaster, with high-tech firms being forced to spend large sums on litigation rather than innovation.


From ZDNet we learn that a San Diego-based company called Algebraix Data is patenting maths (data manipulation, i.e. strings, matrices, and hashing) in the form of algorithms.

I met with Charles Silver, the CEO of Algebraix Data, a startup based in San Diego. He was telling me about his company’s approach to querying large databases, very quickly, and with no need for prior indexing, or construction of data models.

It all sounded too good to be true, I told him.

If Algebraix can do what it says it can, it is a very hot startup.

Here are some notes from our conversation:

[...]

- We have four patents on the technology. Getting software patents is not as easy as it once used to be.


Well, apparently it's not difficult enough. What is the physical invention here?

Recent Techrights' Posts

Sheriff of Cork & Debian Edward Brocklesby or Brockelsby Street confusion
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Who Is This Backup FOR, the NSA?
As Admfubar put it, "backups for everyone..."
Microsoft's Siege of Libya Coming to an End
One might be tempted to guess the users deleted Windows and installed something else
New Talk by Dr. Richard Stallman Published Two Days Ago By CeSIUM - Centro de Estudantes de Engenharia Informática da Universidade do Minho (Portugal)
The FSF no longer mentions Richard Stallman's talks, but we will
Name the Threats and Threat Actors
Looking back to 2006, there was Novell and gregkh (partly salaried by Microsoft), so these are familiar territories
The "Other" SPLC
You know you're winning the debate when censorship is explored
Microsoft: By Default, Destroy Linux
Here is what the very "polite" Microsoft Boccassi had to say
 
The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is Openwashing, Ben Cotton (Fedora) Acknowledges It, Fails to See How Bribes Led to That
As if... it "just happened"
Microsoft Falling to New Lows in Aruba
Being below 20% in America is the exception, not the norm
Links 25/06/2024: RAM Stress, COVID Graft
Links for the day
Gemini Links 25/06/2024: Hey Hi Punditry and Right to Repair
Links for the day
Links 25/06/2024: Julian Assange Freed From Prison, "AI" Bubble Imploding Some More
Links for the day
Three Points About Julian Assange Plea Deal
There is still a secret problem
[Meme] EFF Became a 'Bunch of Pussies' Working for GAFAM (and Sponsored by GAFAM)
It won't protect people, except very rich people's interests
IBM Does Not Care for the Blind (Wayland Harms Accessibility)
What a punch in the gut
Tux Machines Past 20: Still Thriving
Now 20 years and 2 weeks old
[Meme] Microsoft is Coming /Home
"LOL, REAL SORRY!!!"
Gemini Links 25/06/2024: Old Computer Challenge; An Opinionated GNU/Linux Guide
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 24, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, June 24, 2024
IEEE Computer Society on Andrew Tanenbaum, Winner of ACM Award, Who Also Inspired Linux Development
10 years ago
FSF Looking to Raise Money by Adding 200 New Members by July 19
The FSF is in good shape, according to Alexandre Oliva
Not Only Does It Not Add Security... (UEFI as a 'Bug Door')
SecureCore?
Data From Monaco Should Alarm Microsoft
Just how many people are deleting Windows and installing something else this year?
Linux in Central Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger)
Vast area, vast number of "Linux users" (if one counts Android as such)
[Meme] Gagging One's Own Staff as a Signal of Corporate Distress
Censorship at Microsoft
Staying the Course
censorship isn't easy against sites that understand ways to resist it
The 'All-Seeing' Microsoft Eye
Microsofters are observing us closely
Links 24/06/2024: Long COVID and "How I Write Blogs"
Links for the day
Allegations That Microsoft is Covering Up Employee Dissatisfaction and Using a Survey to Catch 'Risk' to the Cult Mentality
This favours or gradually socially-engineers a company for sociopathy
'Linux Hint' Inactive for Nearly a Month (It Used to be Very Active)
Their Twitter account hasn't been active for a long time and it's not too clear what's going on
An Unexpected GNU/Linux Trend
Burkina Faso is changing and not just politically
Android (Linux) at New Highs in Burkina Faso, Now Measured at 72% (Windows Was Measured at 98% 15 Years Ago)
based on this month's estimates
With 0.76% for ChromeOS and 3.7% for GNU/Linux (4.5% Total) Burkina Faso Approaches 5% for 'Linux'
More if one counts Android as "Linux"
Gemini Links 24/06/2024: Being Dull and OpenSSH Autoban
Links for the day
EPO Issues in The Hague
a report dated 4 days ago about a meeting that took place 12 days ago
[Meme] Garbage in, Garbage Out (EPO Patent Quality)
"Get back to work"
When the Employer Makes You Too Sick to Go to Work (New EPO Document)
"registering when you are sick"
Perens on a Stick
Remember what Novell did and how few (barely anyone) sided with Novell
Andrew Tanenbaum Gets an Award for His Work on MINIX
ACM one week ago
Twitter's Fall to Irrelevancy in Europe
Musk bought a dud
[Meme] 'Useless' Kids of EPO Examiners
malnourished?
Granting Loads of Monopolies in Europe (to Foreign Corporations of Epic Size and Far Too Much Power Inside Europe) is Vastly More Important Than Raising European Kids Properly?
"Efficiency" first? Whose? Corporations or families? No wonder so many young families are hesitant to have any kids these days; that's particularly true in east Asia and also in north America, not just Europe
[Meme] Putin's Red Flags
Firefox ESR or Firefox USSR
The Corporate/Mainstream Media and Even Social Control Media is Distorting the Record About What Mozilla Actually Did (It Originally Surrendered to Vladimir Putin)
Mozilla being avoided for purely technical reasons (sites not being compatible with it) is one thing. Foolishly, Mozilla is giving people more political reasons to also shun Mozilla. This is suicide.
GNU/Linux Up Some More This Morning, Windows Down Sharply Even in Rich Countries
Microsoft is in trouble in the Muslim world
United Arab Emirates (UAE) Rising... Towards 5% for ChromeOS and GNU/Linux
the latest numbers show it growing from about 0.1% to around 2.4% for GNU/Linux, plus 2.01% for Chromebooks (ChromeOS), i.e. about 5% in total.
Techrights in the Coming Decade: The Free Speech (Online) Angle
Free speech is a fundamental tenet of a free society
Links 24/06/2024: New Research, New Attacks on Justices Sceptical of Patent Maximalists, European Commission for Copyright Maximalists
Links for the day
[Meme] 12 Years a Fedora Volunteer
IBM gives me a 'free' Fedora badge as recognition
IBM Slavery: Not a New Problem
When IBM got rid of Ben Cotton it showed the world how much it valued Fedora
Why They Want to Abolish Master/Slave Terminology (Because This is What They're Turned Free Software Into)
It used to be about community; GAFAM turned that into exploitation and worse
Roy and Rianne's Righteously Royalty-free RSS Reader (R.R.R.R.R.R.) Version 0.2 is Released
They say summer "officially" started some days ago
Torvalds' Number Two Quit Linux a Decade Ago and Has Since Then Earned an Honorary Doctorate
Revisiting Fuzix and Alan Cox
GNU/Linux Reaches All-Time High in Tunisia
Based on statCounter
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, June 23, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, June 23, 2024
Edward Brocklesby (ejb) & Debian: Hacking expulsion cover-up in proximity to Oxford and GCHQ
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
You Know the Microsoft Products Really Suck When...
"Qualcomm and Microsoft go 'beyond the call of duty' to stop independent Copilot+ PC reviews"
IBM and "Regime Change"
Change of regime is not the same as freedom
Microsoft Windows in Nicaragua: From 98% to Less Than 25%
Operating System Market Share Nicaragua
Techrights in the Coming Decade: The Community Angle
Somebody needs to call them out on their BS
Techrights in the Coming Decade: The Software Angle
Gemini Protocol has just turned 5 - i.e. roughly the same age as our Git repositories
Techrights in the Coming Decade: The Patent Angle
Next month marks 10 years since we began covering EPO leaks
Wookey, Intrigeri, Cryptie & Debian pseudonyms beyond Edward Brocklesby
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] Choice Versus Freedom
So When Do I Start Having Freedom? Freedom is choice between the GAFAMs
Digital Liberation of Society at Times of Armed Conflicts and Uncertainty
We have technical contributions, not just written output
Links 23/06/2024: More Microsoft Cancellations, Growing Repression Worldwide
Links for the day
Gemini Links 23/06/2024: The Magician and the Hacker, tmux Tips
Links for the day
Links 23/06/2024: Twitter/X Wants Your Money, Google Reports a Billion DMCA Takedowns in Four Months
Links for the day
Digital Restrictions (Like DRM) Don't Have Brands, We Need to Teach People to Hate the Underlying Restrictions, Not Companies That Typically Come and Go
Conceptually, the hens should fear humans, not the farmer who cages them
Going Above 4% Again
Maybe 4% (or above) by month's end?
[Meme] Debian's 'Cannon Fodder' Economics
Conflicts of interest don't matter
Conviction, jail for Hinduja family, Debian exploitation comparison
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
According to Microsoft, It's Not a Code of Conduct Violation to Troll Your Victims Whose Files You Are Purging
The group of vandals from Microsoft think it's "funny" (and for a "nominal fee") to troll Microsoft critics
Microsoft Inside Debian is Sabotaging Debian and Its Many Hundreds of Derivatives With SystemD (Microsoft/GitHub Slopware With Catastrophic Bugs is Hardly a New Problem)
What is the moral of the story about The Scorpion and the Frog?
Links 23/06/2024: Hey Hi (AI) Scrapers Gone Very Rogue, Software Patents Squashed at EPO
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 22, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, June 22, 2024
Gemini Links 23/06/2024: LoRaWAN and Gemini Plugin for KOReade
Links for the day