Bonum Certa Men Certa

IP Kat Peddles Patent Trolls and Software Patents Agenda

Stephen Jones of CIPASummary: Patent maximalist agenda at IP Kat makes the blog worse than benign; we take stock of some of the latest examples

THE censorship at IP Kat is bad enough; it's even worse than the self-censorship (unwillingness to ever cover EPO scandals). But few people speak of the site's UPC promotion, advocacy for patent trolls in Europe, and even worse things. Now that CIPA is metaphorically "in the house" (Stephen Jones), this 'Kat' does little to promote moderation (the only "moderation" it understands is a euphemism for comment censorship).



Just the other day, IP Kat posted for Fenwick & West (the software patents boosters). This was placed in the blog by the pro-patent trolls, pro-UPC, pro-software patents writer from Bristows. It's framed as a TC Heartland analysis, but it's actually agenda-setting. And it's clear to see whose agenda. The case of Cray was mentioned here before and there is lots to be said about it other than what IP Kat says. Very disappointing.

"Now that CIPA is metaphorically "in the house", this 'Kat' does little to promote moderation (the only "moderation" it understands is a euphemism for comment censorship)."Around the same time this same clique also acted as a megaphone of AIPPI, speaking of "IP protection for graphical user interfaces (GUIs)." By "IP" they mean patents, not copyrights or anything like that. To quote this post, "the statement that GUIs “should generally be capable of protection by patents” perhaps implies that software should not, per se, be unpatentable subject matter, insofar as GUIs are ultimately embodied in code (sometimes in the broader sense of firmware). The patentability of computer-implemented inventions was, however, the topic of a separate and specific AIPPI resolution at the same conference."

So says a longtime proponent of software patents, such as a patent on progress bars (not a joke!) in Europe. Stop patenting these things. GUIs are already covered by means other than patents. Similarity can be easily demonstrated visually. It's not code (callback functions).

"GUIs are already covered by means other than patents."Just the other day, PC Gamer (popular site) said: "Software patents are controversial in and of themselves, simply because while most agree that creators deserve rights over their ideas, there's often only one way to do things in software and the speed at which things move mean that a patent is more likely to hobble innovation than promote it—which is after all the intended point of the system in the first place. For example, have you ever wondered why game installers don't give you a mini-game to play instead of just a boring progress bar? It's because Namco snagged that in the 80s, preventing anyone else from doing it until late 2015."

It is widely recognised among software developers that software patents are nothing but a nuisance. Why would anyone still promote this? Well, firms like Bristows and writers at IP Kat are not programmers; none of them! Yet they occasionally try to tell programmers what programmers need. That's a problem. To makes matters worse, they obfuscate it using terms like "IP" (including the blogs' name, IP Kat).

"The term "IP" should generally be avoided altogether; the same goes for the blog IP Kat, which we see very little value in nowadays."How about this days-old article from IAM, titled "Non-core divestments in pharma could herald an increase in IP-rich deal making" (by "IP" they just mean patents).

The propaganda term "IP" is intentionally misleading, attributing physical properties and virtues to things that have neither. "Given how central intellectual property is to the life sciences," IAM asserts. What a loaded statement. Copyright? Trademarks? Patents? Secrets? What or which is it?

The term "IP" should generally be avoided altogether; the same goes for the blog IP Kat, which we see very little value in nowadays. IP just means Internet Protocol.

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