Bonum Certa Men Certa

Software Patents Are Core Issue, But New Obsession Names Just Patent Trolls as the Issue

It's about scope, not scale

Equilibrium



Summary: New examples from Internet news sites which show how the debate on software patent is being warped to focus on small players (trolls) and not large ones whose parasitical existence resembles that of trolls

THE DEBATE regarding patent reform is being derailed somewhat. It got reshaped by stakeholders with lobbyists. We addressed the subject several times recently, in posts such as:



  1. Regulators Target Patent Trolls But Lose Sight of Patent Cartels
  2. Patent Trolls Increasingly Recognised as an Issue, Taking Attention Away From Software Patents as Key Issue
  3. Patent Trolls and 'Royalties': Distracting From the Real Issue Which is Software Patents
  4. The Notion of "Software Patent Trolls"




An unnamed author in Rupert Murdochs' press ran a poll on patentability of software. Well, two thirds say "no" to software patents, but the total number of votes is low and thus it is easy to rig (real public opinion may be more hostile towards software patents). Is this a fair introduction?

The first patent for software in the U.S. was awarded in 1968. The question of whether patents should be granted for software has been debated ever since. In recent years, with the numbers of software patents and lawsuits involving those patents both growing rapidly, the debate has intensified.


Fair enough. It is worth adding that much of the world deviates from the US on this and suffers far less litigation such as troll atacks. Here is yet another article which focuses on trolls rather than software patents. It says:

Most of us are familiar with the famous Norwegian fairy tale, “Three Billy Goats Gruff.” where three hungry goats must cross a bridge to find more grass to eat. The problem is, underneath that bridge is a ferocious troll who wants to eat each one as it passes by.


This is not the main issue though; scope is the root of this issue. The Microsoft-run Nokia is still fighting to ban Android in Europe using patents which are probably invalid. Remember that Nokia is not a patent troll but a zombie patent portfolio currently exploited by Microsoft.

Nokia will have to start legal processes in each country as there is no such thing as a worldwide enforceable [patent] injunction.


See the article "Nokia could get the HTC One banned in Europe" and this one too. There is no injunction but a lot of intimidation, typical Microsoft FUD. Nokia is being used like a patent troll in this case, it is not just being used to arm patent trolls. So why talk about patent trolls as the principal or only issue? Perhaps because the government is still run by and funded by large corporations. It's them who call the shots.

The FTC has been notified by Linux and Android players, spoiled by misplaced focused and with further idiocy from Google which just strengthens software patents. B&N says the patent system is "broken" (more on that another day), whereas Google continues to liaise with the USPTO and dodge criticism of software patents.

Here is one wiser suggestion from a US Senator who at least identify the root issue correctly:

A U.S. senator has announced plans to introduce legislation that would expand patent law to create a method to challenge software patents, much like the one currently available to review covered business method patents.

It is a move welcomed by some members of the technology community, including Google, Inc, who believe there should be more rigorous review of what software is eligible for patents.

Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, plans to introduce the bill on Monday, his spokesman Max Young said on Wednesday.


Contrariwise, some continue to bicker about trolls. Here is a new example:

In the decade since it was founded in Dallas, IP Nav has established itself as a global leader in the increasingly lucrative business of "patent assertion," offering clients the ability to "maximize the value of their IP assets." Put more bluntly, it's a patent troll, shaking down companies by threatening them with lawsuits over patents that they or their clients are squatting on. They are a big problem in the tech world, and IP Nav is a big part of it. Rackspace, the San Antonio-based cloud computing firm, recently called the company "one of the most notorious patent trolls in America."


Ask what type of patents they use. Therein lies the real issue. It is worth noting that the world's largest patent troll (which spawned from Microsoft) is lobbying with a new 'study' that Mike Masnick covers as follows:

Giant Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures Does 'Study' To Show How Much Everyone Loves Patents



Apparently Intellectual Ventures' attempts to improve its dismal reputation as the worlds largest, most obnoxious patent troll don't seem to involve finding a legitimate business to be in, or actually doing something to help the world, but rather to ask some execs some loaded questions to produce a study pretending that execs really love patents and think they're great for innovation. The thing is, the study also shows that the execs they asked are somewhat clueless about patents or how they're being abused today.


Masnick concludes by saying: "See, next time why not ask them something a bit more accurate, like how they feel about "companies who go out and buy weak, broad patents on obvious things, and then use them to demand cash from companies actually competing in the market?" Or, rather than call them "patent licensing companies" call them by what everyone knows them as: patent trolls."

This strategy is not unique to patent trolls. Some dying companies, Nokia for instance, do something similar. The important thing is to discuss the patents and not those who use them. The patents are the root cause. Their issuer is the key culprit and it is often controlled by large corporations such as IBM.

Recent Techrights' Posts

Washington's WARN Site/Portal (That Excludes Many Microsoft Layoffs) is Now Down for Many Hours, Microsoft Causes Major Outages and Incidents Worldwide (Even Deaths)
The mass layoffs (lots of them in Azure since 2020) probably worsen resilience and security some more
UEFI 'Secure Boot' Once Again Bricking PCs and Fake Security Models Are Perishing in Geminispace
Let's Encrypt has just fallen again
1901 Days in High-Security Prison (and 8 More Years in Severe Confinement) for the 'Crime' of Exposing War Crimes and Corruption
Julian Assange clip
Opensource.org = Microsoft Lobbying (Openwashing)
Here's the latest pair of blog posts
In Northern Mariana Islands, Where Julian Assange Pled Guilty 4 Weeks Ago, Windows Remains Second to Android, and GNU/Linux Still Grows in Oceania
It was the first month ever that statCounter saw more Web requests there from Android than from Windows
Good News About GNU/Linux, Geminispace, FSF, and Backlash Against Microsoft
here are a few quick takes
Backlash and Negative Press After Microsoft Tells Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) People to DIE
Follow-up stories
 
Links 19/07/2024: Microsoft Breaks Down and Amdocs Has 1,500-3,000 More Layoffs
Links for the day
[Meme] Conservative (and Fake) Nuclear Physicist Bill Gates
Didn't even graduate from college, media treats him like a world-renowned expert in nuclear energy
The Gemini Capsule of Tux Machines Turns 2 in Six Days
Many people actually use Gemini, some participate in it by creating their own capsule (or capsules)
GNU/Linux Rises to 4% in Saudi Arabia, Says statCounter, Windows Has Fallen to 11% (Android Exceeds 60%)
Microsoft might soon fall below 10% in KSA (Saudi Arabia)
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, July 18, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, July 18, 2024
GNU/Linux news for the past day
GNU/Linux news for the past day
If GitLab Gets Sold (Datadog and Google Named Among Potential Buyers), It'll Prove Our Point About GitLab
Beware the bait on the hook
Hot Summer: Microsoft Flirting With the "5% Windows" Club in Afghanistan
The share of Windows in Afghanistan has fallen to almost 5% (1 in 20 Web requests)
[Meme] Nothing Says "Independence Day" Like...
Firing DEI on Independence Day period
Links 18/07/2024: Hardware, Conflicts, and Gemini Leftovers
Links for the day
Links 18/07/2024: Retroactively Pseudonymised Litigant and Alberta’s Energy ‘War Room’
Links for the day
Gemini Links 18/07/2024: A Welcome to Gemini and Politics of Assassinations
Links for the day
Red Hat's Official Site Yesterday: Promoting 'Secure' Boot in Machines You Don't Own or Control Anyway
"To be clear, CentOS Linux no longer exist"
Fabian Gruenbichler & Debian: former GSoC student added to keyring
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 18/07/2024: ORG Complaint to ICO About Facebook, Korean Double Agent Unmasked
Links for the day
Joel Espy Klecker & Debian on Joe Biden's health and Donald Trump's assassination
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, July 17, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Links 18/07/2024: Hostname Pedantry and Retro Coding
Links for the day
Fedora Week of Diversity (FWD) 2024 Attracting 0.01% of the IBM Staff "Was a Success"
They expect volunteers (unpaid slaves) to do the PR for them...
African's Largest Population (Nigeria) Approaching 80% Android "Market Share" Amid Steady Monthly Increases While Microsoft Has Mass Layoffs in Nigeria
Microsoft- and Apple-sponsored Western (or English-speaking) media chooses to ignore that or treat it as irrelevant (a racist disposition in its own right)
[Meme] The Warlord's Catspaw
Thugs that troll us
Microsoft Misogyny Will be the Fall of Microsoft (Covering Up for Misogynists is a Huge Mistake and Highly Misguided Short-term Strategy)
Microsoft's undoing may in fact be its attitude towards women
Microsoft's Bing Falls to Fourth in the Europe/Asia-Based Turkey, Share Halved Since LLM Hype, Now Only 1% (Sometimes Less)
Turkey (Eurasia) is another example of Microsoft failing with LLM hype and just burning a lot of energy in vain (investment without returns)
Red Hat Keeps Behaving Like a Microsoft Reseller (for Proprietary Stuff!), Microsoft Employees as Authors in redhat.com
In some ways this reminds us of Novell
Links 17/07/2024: New Attacks on the Press, European Patents Squashed Even at Kangaroo Court (UPC)
Links for the day
Gemini Links 17/07/2024: Proponents of Censorship and New Arrivals at Gemini
Links for the day
Links 17/07/2024: School Budget Meltdown and Modern Cars as Tracking Nightmares
Links for the day
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)
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
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
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
[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
Windows Down From 98.5% to 22.9% in Hungary
Android is up because more people buy smaller mobile devices than laptops
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%.
[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
Microsoft Windows "Market Share" in New Zealand Plunges to 25%
Android rising
[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
SUSE Goes Aryan: You May Not Use the Germanic Brand Anymore (It's Monopolised by the Corporation)
Worse than grammar Nazis
Media Distorting Truth to Promote Ignorance
online media is rapidly collapsing
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