Bonum Certa Men Certa

Patents Kill, So Let's Just Kill Them

"Those who exploit copyright and patent today will be regarded in a few decades as we regard those who exploited slavery." --Crosbie, yesterday

Working hard



Summary: As patents are an inherently problematic phenomenon, they ought to be abolished rather than just tamed or cooperated with (so-called 'pragmatism')

THE world's 'death patents', which are promoted by the Gates Foundation, are an ethical problem and we have many older posts about the subject. The patent dilemma is most pronounced when people are killed by patents or their lives held as hostage by patents. SJVN, whose career involves a great deal of UNIX and Linux (then journalism), gets around to addressing this subject. He writes about "killer patents" as he calls them.



In the computer technology business, we tend to see patents as being bad for developers and business. What we don't realize that the problems we have with Microsoft's bogus patent claims against Linux and Oracle's patent-based attack against Google are nothing compared to the evils that IP patents bring to the pharmacy business.

Take, for example, the assault that the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) is now mounting on Abbot Labs. PUBPAT is formally asking the United States Patent and Trademark Office to reexamine eight Abbot patents relating to the critical HIV/AIDS drug Ritonavir, aka Norvir.

Ritonavir, a protease inhibitor, was one of the early HIV/AID antiviral drugs. Today, as HIV has grown tougher, it is now more widely used to enhance the efficacy of other protease inhibitors in AIDs drug cocktails. In this role, it's still a critical HIV/AIDS drug.


Being a technical person, SJVN understands that he does not really need patents. Copyrights are already there and the GPL too uses copyright laws. Groklaw, on the other hand, is not sufficiently sceptical of OIN and Peer-to-Patent. Groklaw editor Pamela Jones used to be a proponent of patents, but somewhere along the way she is said to have changed her mind. Right now we see the same adherence to accepting patents as a necessary evil, also from Eben Moglen who can make money from it. Groklaw tries to defend its audience [1, 2], which comprises many lawyers, including some who engage in patent lawsuits (also defence of course):

But as Eben Moglen pointed out recently at LinuxCon, the patent crisis in general isn't going away. So it's best that we figure out the very best ways to deal with it. I'm told his talk will be available as video soon, and when it's up, it will be here on the Linux Foundation website.

Linux and FOSS compete on who has the best code, not patent infringement lawsuits, speaking of vision. It's a superior development model. Nobody competes with courtrooms. I'm not saying no one sues. The GPL lawsuits are about copyright infringement, but they are what they say they are, not wolves in granny's cap to fool Red Riding Hood. It's why the code keeps getting better and better.


The title of this post is "How You Can Help Patent Attorneys Help Free Software" (implying that lawyers can solve the problem, usually for a fee). This is one area where Techrights does not fully agree with Groklaw. Using patent lawyers to fight against patents is like forming an alliance with Shell to end wars.

Patents are rarely beneficial to progress, if ever. Let's use a new example. In relation to this article, TechDirt raises the question, "Would Photography Have Been Different If It Had Been Patented Up?"

Reader Murdoch points us to one of Wired's regular "this day in tech" history pieces about how Louis Daguerre revealed all of the "secrets" to making daguerrotypes, which was the basis for photography, in 1839. Rather than a "patent" to lock up the offering, the French government gave Daguerre and his partner, Isidore Niepce, pensions in exchange for freeing the knowledge -- with each receiving the equivalent today of $30,000 per year -- a decent, but hardly huge sum. And with all that information public, suddenly everyone started innovating on the idea and trying to improve it, leading to modern photography.


Companies that make print -- not photography -- possible are keeping the prices high, artificially in most cases. The latest among several lawsuits which prevent real competition comes from HP:

THE MAKER OF EXPENSIVE PRINTER INK, HP has is going after its cheap and cheerful rivals, claiming that they have nicked its technology.

HP has asked the US International Trade Commission (ITC) to have a look at some of the inkjet ink supplies and components that are being shipped to the Land of the Free.


Just like Lexmark last week, they turn to the ITC [1, 2, 3, 4]. How does that improve development as opposed to HP's bottom line? A lot of patents just make no sense to society (they have always made sense to the largest corporations however). They basically elevate prices, encourages price-gouging, and lessen competition. Let's just get rid of patents (especially software patents), not learn how to live with them.

Recent Techrights' Posts

The World Wide Web Has Been Rotting for Years (Quality, Accuracy, and Depth Consistently Decreasing)
In the past people said that the Web had both "good" and "bad" and that the good outweighed the bad
Comoros: Windows Plunges to Record Low of About 6% in Country of a Million People (in 2010 Windows Was 100%)
Many of these people earn a few dollars a day; they don't care for Microsoft's "Hey Hi PC" hype
The Mail (MX) Server Survey for July 2024 Shows Microsoft Collapsing to Only 689 Servers or 0.17% of the Whole (It Used to be About 25%)
Microsoft became so insignificant and the most astounding thing is how the media deliberate ignores it or refuses to cover it
Windows Down From 98.5% to 22.9% in Hungary
Android is up because more people buy smaller mobile devices than laptops
Backlash and Negative Press After Microsoft Tells Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) People to DIE
Follow-up stories
Microsoft Windows in Algeria: From 100% to Less Than 15%
Notice that not too long ago Windows was measured at 100%. Now? Not even 15%.
Microsoft Windows "Market Share" in New Zealand Plunges to 25%
Android rising
SUSE Goes Aryan: You May Not Use the Germanic Brand Anymore (It's Monopolised by the Corporation)
Worse than grammar Nazis
Gratis But Not Free as in Freedom: How Let's Encrypt is Dying in Geminispace
Let's Encrypt is somewhat of a dying breed where the misguided CA model is shunned
Bing Was at 2.6% in Russia When LLM Hype Started. Now It's Down to 0.8% (for 3 Months in a Row Already)
The sharp fall of Bing may mean that exiting the Russian market won't matter to anybody
Antenna Abuse and Gemini Abuse (Self-hosting Perils)
Perhaps all this junk is a sign of Gemini growing up
 
This Should Certainly be Illegal, But the Person Who Helped Microsoft Do This is Still Attacking the Critics of It
perhaps time for an "I told you so post"
Censorship as Signal of Opportunity for Reform
It remains sad and ironic that Wikileaks outsourced so much of its official communications to Twitter (now X)
[Meme] A Computer With an Extra Key on the Keyboard Isn't Everyone's Priority
(so your telling me meme)
Africa as an Important Reminder That Eradicating Microsoft Doesn't Go Far Enough
Ideally, if our top goal is bigger than "get rid of Microsoft", we need to teach people to choose and use devices that obey them, not GAFAM
Billions of Computers Run Linux and Many Use Debian (or a Derivative of It)
many devices never get updated or even communicate with the Net, so exhaustive tallies are infeasible
[Meme] Microsoft is Firing
Don't worry, Microsoft will have some new vapourware coming soon
More DEI (or Similar) Layoffs on the Way, According to Microsoft Team Leader
What happened shortly before Independence Day wasn't the end of it, apparently
[Meme] Many Volunteers Now Realise the "Open" in "OpenSUSE" or "openSUSE" Was Labour-Mining
Back to coding, packaging and testing, slaves
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, July 16, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, July 16, 2024
[Meme] Ein Factory
A choice between "masters" (or "master race") is a false choice that results in mass exploitation and ultimately eradication (when there's little left to exploit)
Links 17/07/2024: Open Source Initiative Lies and Dark Net Thoughts
Links for the day
Media Distorting Truth to Promote Ignorance
online media is rapidly collapsing
Android Rises to New Highs of Almost 80% in Cameroon
How many dozens of nations will see Windows at under 10% this coming winter?
Links 16/07/2024: TikTok Ban in Europe and Yandex Split
Links for the day
Gemini Links 16/07/2024: On Packrafting and on Trump Shot
Links for the day
[Meme] Firefox Users Who Think They Know Better Than Mozilla
Enjoy Firebook
Firefox Used to Have About Half the Market in Switzerland, But It Doesn't Stand a Chance Anymore (Chrome Surging This Summer)
Mozilla has managed to alienate some of the biggest fans of Firefox
Microsoft's Biggest Losses Are in Europe This Summer
Microsoft's ability to milk a relatively rich Europe is fast diminishing
How to Make Software Suck and Discriminate Against People at the Same Time
ageism glorified
[Meme] Microsoft Seems to be Failing to Comply With WARN Act (by Refusing to Announce Mass Layoffs as They Happen)
since when does Microsoft obey the law anyway?
Microsoft Layoffs Are Still Too Frequent to Keep Abreast of and Properly (or Exhaustively) Classify
The "HR" department knows what's happening, but whistleblowers from there are rare
Bahamas Joined the "5% Windows" Club
statCounter only traces back about 1 in 20 Web requests to Windows
Links 16/07/2024: Salesforce Layoffs and Microsoft's DMARC Fail
Links for the day
Possibly Worse Than Bribes: US Politicians and Lawmakers Who Are Microsoft Shareholders
They will keep bailing out Microsoft to bail themselves out
The Software Freedom Conservancy Folks Don't Even Believe in Free Speech and They Act As Imposters (Also in the Trademark Arena/Sense)
Software Freedom Conservancy was already establishing a reputation for itself as a G(I)AFAM censor/gatekeeper
Djibouti Enters the Windows "10% Club" (Windows Was 99% in 2010)
In Africa in general Microsoft lost control
GNU/Linux Share Doubled in the United States of America (USA) in the Past 12 Months
Or so says statCounter
Even in North Korea (Democratic People's Republic Of Korea) Google Said to Dominate, Microsoft Around 1%
Google at 93.26%
[Meme] The Red Bait (Embrace... Extinguish)
They set centos on fire, then offer a (de facto) proprietary substitute for a fee
Shooting the Messenger to Spite the Message
segment of a Noam Chomsky talk
[Video] Boston Area Assange Defense (Yesterday)
It was published only hours ago
Guinea: Windows Down From 99.3% to 2.7% 'Market Share'
Guinea is not a small country
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, July 15, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, July 15, 2024
What's Meant by "Antenna Abuse" (Gemini)
syndication is not a monopoly in Gemini and if one doesn't condone political censorship, then one can create one's own syndication service/capsule
Microsoft Layoffs and Entire Unit Termination: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
What an announcement to make just before Independence Day
Links 16/07/2024: Old Computer Challenge and One Page Dungeon Contest
Links for the day
Microsoft Falls Further and Closer Towards 10% (Windows "Market Share") in Kuwait
more countries entering the "single-digit Windows" (under 10%) club
Gemini Links 15/07/2024: Antenna's Pro-Hamas Bias Revisited and Old Computer Challenge
Links for the day
[Video] Julian Assange, Over One Decade Ago, Cautioning About What the Internet Had Truly Become
video is not new
Homage to Malta
Malta is probably easy for Microsoft to bribe
IRC at 16
Logging has been used for us and against us
In Malta, Android/Linux Has Overtaken Microsoft Windows (According to statCounter)
statCounter milestone?
Links 15/07/2024: China’s Economic Problems, Boeing Under Fire
Links for the day
500 Days' Uptime Very Soon
Good luck doing that with Windows...
Windows Falls Below 20% in Tunisia
A month ago we wrote about GNU/Linux in Tunisia
Links 15/07/2024: Google Wants Wiz and Why "Sports Ruin Everything"
Links for the day
Gemini Links 15/07/2024: Old Computer Challenge and Sending Files via NNCP
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, July 14, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, July 14, 2024