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Links 17/5/2021: Linux 5.13 RC2 and a Lot About Patents

  • GNU/Linux

    • 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: May 16th, 2021

      This week has been a bit slow in Linux news and releases, but we saw the launch of a new major Bodhi Linux release, Canonical finally enabled the upgrade path from Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) to Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo), and UBports released the Ubuntu Touch OTA-17 software update for Ubuntu Phones.

      On top of that, NVIDIA released a new graphics driver for Linux, BSD, and Solaris systems with support for a bunch of new laptop GPUs, Canonical published the first Linux kernel security update for Ubuntu 21.04, and System76 launched their Launch mechanical and highly configurable keyboard.

    • Linux Weekly Roundup #130

      I hope that you are doing well! We had a wonderful week in the world of Linux Releases with Bodhi Linux 6.0.0, Deepin 20.2.1, Arco Linux 21.05.9, and ExTiX 21.5.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • AMD SEV Code Gets Reorganized In Linux 5.13 Ahead Of SEV-SNP Landing - Phoronix

        While past the Linux 5.13 merge window, some reorganizing/cleaning to the AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) code was merged to mainline today to make it easier for when the SEV-SNP and other feature code is submitted for Linux 5.14 or later.

        While post merge window activity is normally limited to bug/regression fixes for the Linux kernel, some reorganization to the SEV code was merged today ahead of Linux 5.13-rc2. The basis for merging the code now is that it will vastly improve the experience when it comes time to landing new feature code moving forward. Most notably, the SEV-SNP code is out under review and those patches will depend upon this reorganized SEV kernel code.

      • Linux 5.13-rc2
        So a week has passed, and rc2 is tagged and pushed out.

        Things look pretty normal: rc2 tends to be fairly quiet as people start finding issues, and while 5.13 looks to be a pretty big release over-all, the changes in rc2 are if anything slightly smaller than average. But it's well within the noise.

        The fixes here are all over the place - drivers, arch updates, documentation, tooling.. Nothing particularly stands out, although a fix for some VGA text-mode font size issues is funny (as in "strange", not "ha-ha funny") just because so few people presumably use the extended SVGA text modes any more. That's not recent breakage either.

        The appended shortlog shows the details.

      • Linux 5.13-rc2 Released With A VGA Text Mode Fix

        One new item worth mentioning in Linux 5.13-rc2 is some AMD SEV code restructuring in preparations for SEV-SNP feature work to come in a future merge window.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Wanna Help With The 512KB Club?

        Hey there folks. If you’re subscribed to my newsletter, you probably heard that I’m super busy at the moment. So I’ve been thinking about how I can reduce my workload when I’m outside of work so I can focus on producing content.

        As you may know, I have a number of mini-projects, including SimpleCSS, 512KB Club and 100 Days To Offload. I need to reduce some of this, but I don’t want to kill any of them either.

        The 512KB Club is the one that takes most of my time, because people submit their sites, I have to review them, add them to the list, then commit the changes. Doesn’t sound much, but when there’s 20 a week, it can take some time!

      • In praise of the convenience and speed of the editor ed

        I have learned how to use ed and use it almost daily for many small editing tasks. Currently I am feeling totally comfortable in ed.

      • What Is the /etc/passwd File and What Is It Used For?

        Linux is a multiuser operating system. And to facilitate proper user management, the system stores the user information in the /etc/passwd file.

        This guide will help you understand what the passwd file is and the important role it plays when it comes to user management in Linux.

      • Tutorial: analyze redox inactivations/reactivations

        Redox-dependent inactivations are actually rather common in the field of metalloenzymes, and electrochemistry can be an extremely powerful tool to study them, providing one can analyze the data quantitatively. The point of this point is to teach the reader how to do so using QSoas. For more general information about redox inactivations and how to study them using electrochemical techniques, the reader is invited to read the review del Barrio and Fourmond, ChemElectroChem 2019.

      • How to install Steam on Deepin 20.2

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Steam on Deepin 20.2.

      • How To Install Brave Browser on Manjaro 21

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Brave Browser on Manjaro 21. For those of you who didn’t know, Brave is adapted from the Chromium project and runs smoothly on Linux Distributions. One of the most important features of this browser is privacy. It does not track, has a built-in AdBlocker, password manager, etc. The brave reward is one of the great features where you can view private ads, Tip your favorite creators, Contribute monthly to sites, Auto-contribute to sites.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Brave web browser on a Manjaro 21 (Ornara).

      • How to Download Subtitles Automatically in VLC
      • How to upgrade FreeBSD 12 to 13

        On 13th April 2021, FreeBSD 13 had been released. If your system is still 12, and you want to get the benefit of this recent version, you will need to upgrade your current 12.

      • History Command with Examples

        History Command is used to view the previously executed command and it can also list it.

        This feature was not available in the Bourne shell.

        Bash and Korn support this feature in which every command executed is treated as the event and is associated with an event number using which they can also be recalled and changed if required.These commands are saved in a history file. in Bash shell history command shows the whole list of the command.

      • How to install Netbeans on a Chromebook in 2021

        Today we are looking at how to install Netbeans on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

        This tutorial will only work on Chromebooks with an Intel or AMD CPU (with Linux Apps Support) and not those with an ARM64 architecture CPU.

      • Carl Chenet: How to save up to 500€/year switching from Mailchimp to Open Source Mailtrain and AWS SES

        My newsletter Le Courrier du hacker (3,800 subscribers, 176 issues) is 3 years old and Mailchimp costs were becoming unbearable for a small project ($50 a month, $600 a year), with still limited revenues nowadays. Switching to the Open Source Mailtrain plugged to the AWS Simple Email Service (SES) will dramatically reduce the associated costs.

      • How to install LXQt on Linux

        LXQt is a lightweight, lean desktop environment that uses very few system resources. If you’d like to get going with this desktop, follow along with this guide. In it, we break down how to get LXQt working on all major Linux distributions.

      • How To Install Apache Kafka on Debian 10 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Apache Kafka on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Apache Kafka is an open-source distributed event streaming platform used by thousands of companies for high-performance data pipelines, streaming analytics, data integration, and mission-critical applications.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Apache Kafka on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • Baserow: Create and manage databases with this no-code free app

        Creating and managing databases is a critical part for any business or any development process. It also requires fair knowledge of installing, configuring and managing database engines and the managing software.

        While there are some cool management tools like PhpMyAdmin (Adminer) and pgAdmn for PostgreSQL, they also require technical skills to install, run and manage. Furthermore, they are not easy to use by normal users.

      • Module 1: Introduction to SSH [Ed: Paywall]
      • Enabling Linux for your managed Chromebooks

        The Linux container on Chrome OS still feels a bit “Beta” in my opinion but it does offer up some useful additions to the Chromebook toolbox. Apart from giving you a new set of productivity tools, the terminal is a great way to learn your way around the Linux command-line interface. Whether you’re teaching a class on Linux how-to or using the Debian-based container for serious development, Crostini is disabled by default on managed Chrome OS devices and you’ll need access to an IT admin or the Admin Console to enable it.

        If you manage a large fleet of Chrome devices and users, some of this may seem elementary to you and I applaud you for learning the mysterious ways of the Google Admin Console. Should you find yourself new to managed users and devices, you might be fumbling around the Admin Console looking for a way to enable the Linux container for your fleet of managed Chromebooks. Don’t feel bad. The main reason I’m writing this article is that I found myself doing the exact same thing. No worries. Enabling Linux for your users is quite simple once you know where to look. So, let’s get to it.

      • File Browser, a web file manager

        File Browser is an elegant file browser and file manager for the web with the following features...

      • [Older] Tuning the TCP stack in Ubuntu Operating System - Linux Concept

        Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is a standard set of protocols used by every network-enabled device. TCP/IP defines the standards to communicate over a network. TCP/IP is a set of protocols and is divided in two parts: TCP and IP. IP defines the rules for IP addressing and routing packets over network and provides an identity IP address to each host on the network. TCP deals with the interconnection between two hosts and enables them to exchange data over network. TCP is a connection-oriented protocol and controls the ordering of packets, retransmission, error detection, and other reliability tasks.

      • How to install KVM and Virt-Manager on Rocky Linux 8 - Linux Shout

        Vmware Player and VirtualBox are popular ways to run virtual machines on Linux however they are Type-2 Virtualizaer which uses OS to communicate kernel. Whereas to get almost native speed, we can use Linux KVM stands for Kernel-based Virtual Machine. The KVM kernel module has been included in Linux since version 2.6.20 of the Linux kernel.

        Let’s see the steps to install KVM on Rocky Linux, CentOS, or AlmaLinux 8 and Virt Manager a GUI to manage virtual machines running on it.

      • How to install VirtualBox hypervisor on Rocky Linux 8 - Linux Shout

        Opensource Virtualbox is one of the best ways to create and run virtual machines on Linux, Windows, and macOS. Thus, if you are using Rocky Linux 8 and want to set up VirtualBox on it then here are the commands and steps to install it.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Huion and Krita Competition Winners

          We have the winners! We had them yesterday already, but in the excitement of getting her first covid vaccine shot, Halla forgot to make the announcement. Sorry! The jury, consisting of Ramon Miranda, Agata Cacko and Wolthera van Hövell tot Westerflier had a hard time making their choices: the quality of the submissions was just amazing!

    • Distributions

      • Nokia Deploys Data Center Switching Solution for OpenColo

        The Nokia data center switching solution comprises SR Linux, an open Linux based NOS and a NetOps development toolkit that helps automate data center network operations to improve operational efficiency while reducing risk. The services that OpenColo supports using the Nokia data center switching solution include bare metal and managed servers, cloud streaming and data center connectivity. OpenColo is also using the Nokia 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) to interconnect its data centers using dual optical fiber connections running at 100Gbps.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • This App Lets You Tweak Hidden Settings in Ubuntu 20.04 - OMG! Ubuntu!

          ‘Ubuntu First Steps‘ is one of their latest app creations: a utility designed exclusively for Ubuntu. A raft of common post-install tasks are available within the tool, which is free open source software available for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

          Anyone who remembers the legendary Ubuntu Tweaks tool will find Ubuntu First Steps a pinch familiar. It’s kind of like a reincarnation of Ubuntu Tweak, albeit with a less catchy name and a more modern UI.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Artificial Intelligence safety: embracing checklists

        Unfortunately, human errors are bound to happen. Checklists allows one to verify that all the required actions are correctly done, and in the correct order. The military has it, the health care sector has it, professional diving has it, the aviation and space industries have it, software engineering has it. Why not artificial intelligence practitioners?

        In October 1935, the two pilots of the new Boeing warplane B-17 were killed in the crash of the aircraft. The crash was caused by an oversight of the pilots, who forgot to release a lock during the takeoff procedure. Since then, following the checklist during flight operations is mandatory and reduced the number of accidents. During the Apollo 13 mission of 1970, carefully written checklists mitigated the oxygen tank explosion accident.

        In healthcare, checklists are widespread too. For example, the World Health Organization released a checklist outlining the required steps before, during, and after a surgery. A meta-analysis suggested that using the checklist was associated with mortality and complication rates reduction.

        Because artificial intelligence is used for increasingly important matters, accidents can have important consequences. During a test, a chatbot suggested harmful behaviors to fake patients. The data scientists explained that the AI had no scientific or medical expertise. AI in law enforcement can also cause serious trouble. For example, a facial recognition software mistakenly identified a criminal, resulting in the arrest of an innocent, an algorithm used to determine the likelihood of crime recidivism was judged unfair towards black defendants. AI is also used in healthcare where a simulation of the Covid-19 outbreak in the United Kingdom shaped policy and led to a nation-wide lockdown. However, the AI simulation was badly programmed, causing serious issues. Root cause analysis determined that the simulation was not deterministic and badly tested. The lack of checklist could have played a role.

      • Dav1d 0.9 Released With AVX2-Tuned 10b/12b Decode For Big Speed Boost - Phoronix

        The hand-written AVX2-tuned Assembly code was sponsored by Facebook and Netflix to provide significantly better performance for decoding 10-bit and 12-bit AV1 content on modern Intel/AMD processors. AArch64 already enjoyed hand-tuned Assembly for the high bit depth decoding while now thanks to the support of two Internet giants there is this faster 10b/12b decode for AVX2 capable processors, which amounts to Intel Haswell and newer or AMD Excavator and newer.

      • Programming/Development

        • 5 things I learned while developing a billing system

          Figuring out these edge cases one-by-one wasn’t great. I wish someone had created a short guide of what I needed to know. So here it is! My guide. If you’re thinking of building (or even just using) a billing system – pay close attention.

        • JSDB Migrations

          I’m busy working on Basil, the Small Web host, and while it’s nowhere near ready to use yet, I thought I’d try my hand at writing a database migration as they will be necessary once other people start using it.

  • Leftovers

    • Former Hollywood Reporter Editor Matthew Belloni Named Partner of Digital Media Startup

      The unnamed firm is co-founded by Conde Nast and Vox Media veterans, and will focus on the nexus of power and influence in entertainment, finance, politics and tech.

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Inside India's Vaccine Divide

        As the Biden administration announces to lift intellectual property patents on the production of the vaccine to ramp up global production after facing acute pressure, India is dealing with its domestic crisis of limited vaccine supply, uneven coverage and more importantly its differential pricing model for the inoculations which is creating one of the biggest barriers to universal immunisation.€ 

        Only 30 million people have had the complete two doses of a Covid vaccine in India so far, government data shows. That’s a small number (just over 2%) of India’s total population of 1.3 billion people — although around a quarter of that total are under 15 years old and, as such, are not eligible for a vaccine yet Since May 1, anyone aged 18 or over is eligible for a Covid vaccine although this expansion of the vaccination program has been hampered given the shortages of doses that have been reported throughout the country by national media.

      • Herd Immunity Unlikely in U.S. as Vaccine Skepticism Slows Campaign

        Thus far, the U.S. vaccination campaign has been a resounding success. In just five months, 248 million doses have been administered, almost half of all adult Americans have already received a shot, and about 30 percent are fully vaccinated. Starting early next week, adolescents above the age of 12 will also begin receiving shots. It is an impressive campaign against the deadly virus – but it is now beginning to stall. As a result, the goal of attaining herd immunity is receding into the distance, a scenario that could soon repeat itself in Europe.

      • India Protests Bill Gates' Stance Against Vaccine Tech Sharing

        A few days before the Biden administration showed support for India's bid to waive patents for COVID-19 vaccines, Bill Gates publicly opposed sharing such patents with developing countries. His remarks have raised a wave of anger in India, currently battling a devastating second coronavirus wave.

      • UN Study Links Overwork, Death from Heart Disease, Stroke

        A growing number of people around the world are dying from heart disease and stroke because of overwork, a new World Health Organization-International Labor Organization study says. The study is based on data from more than 2,300 surveys collected in 154 countries from 1970 to 2018.

        The study says those working at least 55 hours a week are at higher risk of dying from heart disease and stroke. In 2016, the data show 1 in 10 people around the world, or 450 million, worked excessively long hours, leading to 745,000 heart disease and stroke deaths.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Cyber-crime: Irish health system targeted [sic] twice by [crackers]

          The Department of Health said it shut down its IT systems after a ransomware attack on Thursday.

          A similar attack on the Health Service Executive (HSE) on Friday caused "substantial" cancellations to outpatient services.

          The same cyber-crime group is believed to be behind both incidents, RTÉ has reported.

        • Ransomware Is Getting Ugly

          An industry group called the Institute for Security and Technology (no, I haven’t heard of it before, either) just released a comprehensive report on combating ransomware. It has a “comprehensive plan of action,” which isn’t much different from anything most of us can propose. Solving this is not easy. Ransomware is big business, made possible by insecure networks that allow criminals to gain access to networks in the first place, and cryptocurrencies that allow for payments that governments cannot interdict. Ransomware has become the most profitable cybercrime business model, and until we solve those two problems, that’s not going to change.

        • China removes 90 apps to check 'irregular collection of personal information'

          China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced that the apps were being taken "offline" for an indefinite period. The affected apps include online ticket booking platform Damai, online travel booking app Tuniu, China's biggest LinkedIn rival Maimai, and Tianya, an online community for people to share views and ideas. However, users who already have the apps installed can continue to use them, reported South China Morning Post.

        • Cisco to acquire threat assessment platform Kenna Security

          Networking major Cisco has announced to acquire Kenna Security, makers of a risk-based vulnerability management platform, for an undisclosed sum.

          This is the third acquisition by Cisco this week. The company announced its intent to acquire Sedona Systems and Socio Labs earlier this week, but did not disclose financial details.

          Kenna is the first significant acquisition for Cisco's security business since its $2.35 billion purchase of Duo Security in 2018.

        • Adopting zero trust architecture can limit ransomware’s damage

          Zero trust is relatively straightforward: Organizations shouldn’t automatically trust anything trying to connect to their network or access their data. Instead, they should verify everything before granting access. Zero trust architecture does not need to be costly or complex to implement, as enterprises can implement zero trust with current technology and updated policies and standards. One way is to identify automated systems in the environment and using allow lists to restrict access to those systems.

        • Security

          • 2021-05 Russian IT Security Updates – allegedly Windows source code for sale [Ed: Lousy code from Microsoft -- code you might only wish to have for the back doors exposed by it. So one can engage in ransom against Windows users, including hospitals.]

            The developer of the Salaat First (Prayer Times) app, which reminds Muslims when to pray, recorded and sold detailed information about their location to a data broker without the users ‘ knowledge, who in turn sold the geodata to other clients.

            This was reported by the publication Motherboard.

            The app sends notifications reminding users when to pray, shows them which direction to pray in by pointing to Mecca, and displays nearby mosques for users based on their current location.

            The location data is collected by the French firm Predicio, which was previously linked to a data supply chain involving a U.S. government contractor that worked with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the FBI.

          • Firms Struggle to Secure Multicloud Misconfigurations

            Half of companies had at least one case of having all ports open to the public, while more than a third had an exposed database.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Cloudflare says it’s time to end CAPTCHA ‘madness’, launches new security key-based replacement

              In a blog, Cloudflare says it aims to “get rid of CAPTCHAs completely” by replacing them with a new way to prove you are a human by touching or looking at a device using a system it calls “Cryptographic Attestation of Personhood.” Right now, it only supports a limited number of USB security keys like YubiKeys, but you can test Cloudflare’s system for yourself right now on the company’s website.

            • Humanity wastes about 500 years per day on CAPTCHAs. It’s time to end this madness

              Today, we are launching an experiment to end this madness. We want to get rid of CAPTCHAs completely. The idea is rather simple: a real human should be able to touch or look at their device to prove they are human, without revealing their identity. We want you to be able to prove that you are human without revealing which human you are! You may ask if this is even possible? And the answer is: Yes! We’re starting with trusted USB keys (like YubiKey) that have been around for a while, but increasingly phones and computers come equipped with this ability by default.

            • I Have a Lot to Say About Signal’s Cellebrite [Crack]

              You may have seen a story in the news recently about vulnerabilities discovered in the digital forensics tool made by Israeli firm Cellebrite. Cellebrite's software extracts data from mobile devices and generates a report about the extraction. It's popular with law enforcement agencies as a tool for gathering digital evidence from smartphones in their custody.

              In April, the team behind the popular end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) chat app Signal published a blog post detailing how they had obtained a Cellebrite device, analyzed the software, and found vulnerabilities that would allow for arbitrary code execution by a device that's being scanned with a Cellebrite tool.

              As coverage of the blog post pointed out, the vulnerability draws into question whether Cellebrite's tools are reliable in criminal prosecutions after all. While Cellebrite has since taken steps to mitigate the vulnerability, there's already been a motion for a new trial filed in at least one criminal case on the basis of Signal's blog post.

              Is that motion likely to succeed? What will be the likely ramifications of Signal's discovery in court cases? I think the impact on existing cases will be negligible, but that Signal has made an important point that may help push the mobile device forensics industry towards greater accountability for their often sloppy product security. Nevertheless, I have a raised eyebrow for Signal here too.

              Let’s dive in.

            • Are you aware what you lose by just clicking OK to get started using something?

              The right to privacy, the right to repair and the right to choose your tools for tasks at hand are aspects of the same. A new court ruling in Italy could help us regain righs that we were manipulated into giving up.

            • Extracting Data from Tracking Devices

              Many consumer personal tracking devices seem to have a shelf life of only a couple of years. So if you're interested in keeping a long-term history of your progress, you have to figure out how to work around their apps to get your own data back from their servers. Otherwise, the day their app or servers stop working, your data will simply disappear.

              I've used two tracking devices where data was not easily exportable, the Microsoft Band (shut down May 2019), and the Hello Sense (shut down June 2017, and never sent the data export instructions that they said was forthcoming), so I'm documenting the process I went through to retrieve my own data in hopes it may be useful for others trying to do the same for other devices.

            • As Congress Dithers, States Step In to Set Rules for the Internet

              The moves are the result of an extraordinary legislative blitz by states to take on the power of the biggest tech companies. Over the past six months, Virginia, Arkansas, Florida and Maryland have been among at least 38 states that have introduced more than 100 bills to protect people’s data privacy, regulate speech policies and encourage tech competition, according to a tally by The New York Times.

            • Apple patent filing describes improved Face ID biometrics for masked users

              The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has recently published a continuation patent from Apple showing possible improvements to Face ID biometrics in relation to users wearing masks.

              Specifically, the technology described in the newly published biometric patent would use heat maps to assess the occlusion of landmarks on a user’s face in a captured image.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Since Truman First Backed Israel, US Jews Have Proved They Are Not a Monolith
      • War and More War

        Bases lead to wars, Vine writes. They are also a sneaky form of colonialism. As such, they are resented by the people in whose lands they are located. They are seen, rightly, as aggression. Understanding this response is particularly critical now, with the U.S. surrounding two nuclear powers, China and Russia with military bases. The argument that these bases are defensive in nature is risible, just as the dozens of bases surrounding Iran do little to promote peace.

        This is not an issue Biden campaigned on, but it surfaces from time to time, especially when a soldier or contractor in Iraq or Afghanistan gets injured or killed. Clearly the best way to prevent that from happening, to minimize it, is to close as many bases as possible and withdraw the soldiers. This is just simple self-interest. It sidesteps the bigger, moral question about what on earth the U.S. is doing placing its military in over 80 countries around the globe. The U.S. empire’s planetary network of military bases sends a message of bullying aggression to billions of earth’s inhabitants. It also costs a fortune at a time when funds could be better directed elsewhere, say to rental assistance or public health infrastructure at home. So it seemed timely, at this political juncture, when President Biden has announced a withdrawal from Afghanistan, to discuss with Vine the martial future and past of this very warlike U.S. empire.

      • Opinion | Palestinian Families and Children are Being Killed. Why Is It So Quiet?

        “Many journalists and editors have come to understand that critical coverage of Israel can result at minimum in a professional headache, and at worst in career damage.”

      • Opinion | End Military Aid to Israel

        The United States government sometimes pretends to be an “honest broker” in the Middle East crisis. Truth is, we have our fat thumbs on the scale and everyone knows it.

      • Nigeria's Boko Haram militants: Six reasons they have not been defeated

        The military has managed to retake territory and dislodged the fighters from some of their hideouts. But a recent spike in deadly violence, focused in the north-east, where the Islamist group began its insurgency in 2009, has led many to ask what is at the root of the authorities' failure.

        Already this year there have been nearly 100 attacks, according to one estimate, on both civilian and military targets. Hundreds have been killed and weapons, food and medicines have all been looted.

        There are six main reasons why Boko Haram has not been defeated despite the government claims, experts say.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Beijing Ramps up Fake Social Media Operation Peddling Pro-China Propaganda Overseas

        The survey of journalists' unions in 50 countries found that the CCP activated "existing infrastructure" in the wake of the pandemic, including training programs and sponsored trips for journalists, content sharing agreements feeding state-sponsored messages into news networks in other countries, and ownership of publishing platforms.

        China is coordinating and tailoring domestic and international content for each country in non-Anglophone languages," the report said, adding that vacuums in overseas media coverage are increasingly being filled by Chinese state-approved content.

    • Environment

      • The Hoover Dam Made Life in the West Possible. Or So We Thought.

        Beyond the Southwest, the message of a vast and fast-evaporating artificial lake is that we can’t engineer our way out of this problem. The region is a relic of an era of ingenuity, and promise. Hoover Dam, like its upstream companion that created Lake Powell, demonstrated American engineering muscle at the peak of its powers. The dams were built around the idea that we’re bigger than any obstacle of nature; we can dynamite, dig and fill our way into creating a hydraulic machine.

        And for more than 80 years, things have mostly worked as intended. As it flows for 1,450 miles from snowmelt in the high Rockies to a trickle in the Gulf of California, the Colorado River serves 40 million people. It meanders by fields, forests and cliffs in the upper basin and powers through Grand Canyon and other national parks in its lower half. But over the last century, natural flows have decreased by about 20 percent, largely because of climate change.

        So long as the world continues to warm, no amount of new dams can resuscitate a gasping resource. Doing all the right things — growing more food and building smarter communities with less water — can only go so far.

      • Forked Tongue: Facebook is in News Corp’s league on subverting climate science

        Facebook is up there with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp when it comes to sowing the seeds of doubt about climate science, conducting just six fact checks a month on billions of posts per day. Elizabeth Minter reports.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Do octopuses have souls? "My Octopus Teacher" and the question of octopus consciousness

          This is evident in "My Octopus Teacher." Our protagonist covers herself with various items on the sea floor to escape detection at a moment's notice, uses Foster's own body to capture prey and comes up with a particularly savvy strategy for surviving a shark attack. Nor is this type of behavior limited to Foster's friend: A Roman historian in the third century AD wrote about the octopus's "mischief and craft," and scientists ever since have observed that these creatures can recognize individual human beings, store long-term memories and often behave quite differently from one another in similar situations.

          In other words: They seem to have individual personalities.

      • Overpopulation

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Microsoft Investigated Bill Gates Before He Left the Board (Report)

        Citing unnamed sources, The Journal reported online Sunday that board members looking into the matter hired a law firm in late 2019 to conduct an investigation after a Microsoft engineer alleged in a letter that she had a sexual relationship with Gates over several years.

      • Bill Gates Left Microsoft Board Amid Probe Into Prior Relationship With Staffer

        Microsoft Corp. board members decided that Bill Gates needed to step down from its board in 2020 as they pursued an investigation into the billionaire’s prior romantic relationship with a female Microsoft employee that was deemed inappropriate, people familiar with the matter said.

        Members of the board tasked with the matter hired a law firm to conduct an investigation in late 2019 after a Microsoft engineer alleged in a letter that she had a sexual relationship over years with Mr. Gates, the people said.

        During the probe, some board members decided it was no longer suitable for Mr. Gates to sit as a director at the software company he started and led for decades, the people said. Mr. Gates resigned before the board’s investigation was completed and before the full board could make a formal decision on the matter, another person familiar with the matter said.

      • Microsoft Conducted Probe on Gates’s Involvement With Employee

        The billionaire said in March last year that he was stepping down from the board to devote more time to philanthropy. Gates hasn’t been active in a day-to-day role since 2008, Microsoft said at that time. Gates co-founded the software company in 1975 and served as its CEO until 2000, the same year his foundation was started, and was chairman until February 2014.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Myanmar junta ‘suspends thousands of lecturers’

        Thousands of university staff in Myanmar have been suspended by the country’s ruling junta, according to reports.

        There have been multiple reports of the mass barring of professors and lecturers from teaching positions in Myanmar since a military coup in February and the occupation of campuses in March.

      • Thousands suspended at Myanmar universities as junta targets education

        Protesters daubed "We don't want to be educated in military slavery" at the entrance of a school in the southern town of Mawlamyine last week, a phrase that has been echoed at demonstrations across Myanmar by students.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • "Horrified": AP, Al Jazeera condemn Israel's bombing of their offices in Gaza

        The Associated Press and Al Jazeera on Saturday condemned the Israeli airstrike that destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza that housed their and other media offices.

        What they're saying: The White House, meanwhile, said it had "communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility," according to press secretary Jen Psaki.

      • ‘Shocking and horrifying’: Israel destroys AP office in Gaza

        An Israeli airstrike on Saturday destroyed a high-rise building that housed The Associated Press office in the Gaza Strip, despite repeated urgent calls from the news agency to the military to halt the impending attack. AP called the strike “shocking and horrifying.”

        Twelve AP staffers and freelancers were working and resting in the bureau on Saturday afternoon when the Israeli military telephoned a warning, giving occupants of the building one hour to evacuate. Everyone was able to get out, grabbing a few belongings, before three heavy missiles struck the 12-story building, collapsing it into a giant cloud of dust.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Underage marriages increase in Lebanon during pandemic

        In March, UNICEF put out a statement saying the pandemic could result in as many as 10 million more girls being put at risk of being married over the next decade worldwide. Although some young boys are forced into marriage, this problem mostly affects young girls.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • FTC Affirms Right to Repair is Right for Consumers

        In a comprehensive rebuke of opposition arguments to Right to Repair, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found “scant” evidence that repair should be restricted. The FTC studied the evidence and found next to nothing, except a single report of a battery fire in 2011 in Australia. One cell phone fire among billions for a ten year period is indeed “Scant.” members were asked to testify—and we can all attest the thoroughness of the process. It is pure joy to see that our words were heard and that our arguments were persuasive. With 19 months of silence we’d no expectations of anything positive.

        The most exciting result of this report is the clear endorsement of state right to repair legislation as a suitable path forward. The path to passage in multiple states now appears wide open.

        The next few months will be very telling. OEM arguments against Right to Repair have been obliterated. If OEMS do not change their policies voluntarily, it appears the FTC is prepared to push forward using their existing authority. They may even engage in a formal rulemaking. At the same time, legislation that has been moving slowly in state legislatures has been invigorated. Had this report been available in January, several states with short sessions may have already passed “Right to Repair” laws by now.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • GOP Legislators Write in Opposition to Proposed TRIPS Waiver [Ed: Donald Zuhn continues to show sociopathic tendencies; he's willing to kill millions of people needlessly just so that he and the rest of the patent cartel can make more money, and in the process helping more variants spread, making more "sales" of their products (or patent licensing). This is gross.]

          Earlier this month, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced "the Biden-Harris Administration's support for waiving intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines." One day prior to Ambassador Tai's announcement, a group of Republican legislators sent a letter to the Ambassador urging the Biden Administration to continue the United States' opposition to the request by India, South Africa, and other nations to waive certain portions of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for all members of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The group asserted that "[t]he requested waiver is extraordinarily broad and unnecessary to accomplish the goal of giving as many people as possible access to vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, including in developing countries," and argued that "the waiver would undermine the very innovation that has led to the record-breaking rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines already saving lives around the world, and it would not meaningfully improve vaccine availability." Instead, the legislators suggested that the focus should be "overcoming the real obstacles faced by developing countries in accessing vaccines and treatments, which does not require waiving intellectual property (IP) rights."

        • The Treasurer says his ‘patent box’ will boost innovation. The evidence says it won’t[Ed: Just patents as instrument of tax evasion for and by the rich, albeit disguised thinly as "innovation"; this is a scam]

          On budget night federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced Australia is getting its own “patent box”.

          What is a patent box?

          Despite its odd name, it is a relatively straightforward concept. It means lowering the tax rate on all income derived from patents registered in a nation. About half the members of the European Union, Britain and China are among those to adopt patent boxes in some form.

          Australia’s patent box scheme will initially be limited to medical and biotechnology patents, but with scope to expand it down the track.

        • Opinion | Canada’s Refusal to Waive Intellectual Property Rights on COVID-19 Vaccines Should Be a Crime Against Humanity

          The COVID-19 vaccine production process fails its own capitalist sniff test.

        • It is simplistic and short-sighted to undermine Covid-19 patent rights [Ed: "IP finance" wants to kill millions of people in order to make more money out of this current crisis, potentially setting off yet more crises with variants that help increase "sales"]

          President Biden’s administration is making a major mistake by its top trade advisor, Katherine Tai, advocating a waiver of patent rights for Covid-19 vaccines.

        • Covid: US backs waiver on vaccine intellectual property - Kluwer Patent Blog[Older] Covid: US backs waiver on vaccine intellectual property

          But yesterday, the Biden administration announced it will support the idea. In a statement, US trade representative Katherine Tai wrote: “This is a global health crisis, and the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures. The Administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines. We will actively participate in text-based negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) needed to make that happen. Those negotiations will take time given the consensus-based nature of the institution and the complexity of the issues involved.

          The Administration’s aim is to get as many safe and effective vaccines to as many people as fast as possible. As our vaccine supply for the American people is secured, the Administration will continue to ramp up its efforts – working with the private sector and all possible partners – to expand vaccine manufacturing and distribution. It will also work to increase the raw materials needed to produce those vaccines”, the statement added.

        • Natco Files Compulsory Licence Application for Covid Drug Baricitinib

          In an interesting development, Natco has approached the Controller of Patents for a Compulsory Licence under Section 92 of the Patents Act, for the drug Baricitinib. The 12 page application is available here. Baricitinib is generally used to treat diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and has been “reportedly approved” (as per the application) for such use in EU and India in 2017 and 2018 respectively. The application goes on to quote studies that indicate the Baricitinib in combination with Remdesivir is more effective for patients with Covid 19, as compared to Remdesivir alone, with possibly less side effects as well (see Para 20-23). The application then points to the US FDA’s recent grant of Emergency Use Authorization for Baricitinib in combination with Remdesivir as of 19.11.2020, and that the dosage tends to be 1 tablet a day for up to 14 days.

          Natco was responsible for the first and only successful Compulsory License applicantion in India thus far, when they received one for Bayer’s Nexavar. The patent for Barcitinib is owned by Incyte Holdings Corporation, with a license to Eli Lilly, who markets it under name Olumiant. It is unclear whether Eli Lilly is the exclusive licensee or not.

        • Indian-American chemist€ Sumita Mitra finalist for inventor award- The New Indian Express [Ed: This may look or seem like news, but it's actually paid-for puff piece and EPO propaganda, designed for reputation laundering that keeps investigators at bay]
        • Indian American Chemist Sumita Mitra Named Finalist for European Inventor Award [Ed: Notice how much junk the EPO's management has littered the Web with, using over 10 million euros in media "awards" to help distract from EPO crimes. It's still rather outrageous that when famous Japanese and Spanish scientists died the EPO leapt to exploit their deaths, posthumously, to claim to 'own' them because of some awards given for public relations stunts. They'd even exploit the dead to distract from crimes.]
        • U.S. backs waiving patent protections for Covid vaccines, citing global health crisis [Ed: Those who don't think it's a good thing are either employees/lawyers of the patent holders or people simply misled by them (and media which they pay to lie to the public). The patent cartel around COVID-19 wants none of the risk (e.g. litigation from victims) and only the profits from the monopolies enabled by patents... how much should we pay them? Trillions? Much of the R&D was done at taxpayers' expense.]

          The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it supports waiving intellectual property protections for Covid-19 vaccines, as countries struggle to manufacture the life-saving doses.

          "This is a global health crisis, and the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures. The Administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines," United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai wrote in a statement.

          "As our vaccine supply for the American people is secured, the Administration will continue to ramp up its efforts — working with the private sector and all possible partners — to expand vaccine manufacturing and distribution. It will also work to increase the raw materials needed to produce those vaccines," the statement added.

        • U.S. wants COVID vaccine patent waiver to benefit world, not boost China biotech

          The Biden administration is examining ways to ensure that a waiver of COVID-19 vaccine patents to aid poor countries will not hand sensitive U.S. biopharmaceutical technology to China and Russia, responding to a chorus of concerns, U.S. and industry officials say.

          President Joe Biden on Wednesday backed the U.S. entering negotiations at the World Trade Organization for the waiver of intellectual property rights as a means to boost vaccine supplies by allowing poorer countries to make their own.

          So far, vaccines have gone overwhelmingly to richer nations, which scooped up contracts for them earlier this year. COVID-19 infection rates in wealthy countries have dropped as vaccination rates increased this year, but infections are still rising in 36 countries, with India’s daily cases skyrocketing to nearly 400,000 a day.

          Western pharmaceutical companies, many of which have received government support to develop vaccines, strongly oppose the transfer of intellectual property to make them. They say poorer countries will be slow to set up manufacturing capacity and compete for scarce supplies, hitting production.

        • Key EU countries rebuff Biden on sharing COVID vaccine patents [Ed: EU says, we're even more racist than the US and we'd rather kill many poor people to make ourselves richer (also putting us at risk from variants, which will help sell more "products")

          European countries distanced themselves on Friday from a proposal backed by U.S. President Joe Biden to waive patent rights on coronavirus vaccines, arguing that key to ending the COVID-19 pandemic was making and sharing vaccines more quickly.

          French President Emmanuel Macron said the question of sharing patents was not the issue of the day, and called out Britain and the United States for blocking the export of vaccines and their ingredients to the wider world.

          Leaders of the 27-nation bloc were due to discuss the suggestion to share vaccine intellectual property at a two-day summit that opened in the Portuguese city of Porto on Friday, but they were divided on its usefulness.

          Experts say waivers could take years to negotiate, and would not address the immediate need to manufacture more doses fast.

        • Pfizer Canada vaccine lead says lifting patents isn't solution to inequity [Ed: Pfizer as a bunch of racist sociopaths, eager to kill millions of vulnerable people just to prop up and keep artificially high the price of their stuff, even if it's barely original at all. Greed kills. These people have the audacity to show their cruelty in the media.]

          The vaccine lead for Pfizer Canada says temporarily waiving intellectual property rights and patents isn’t the solution to COVID-19 vaccine inequity.

          “What you want to ensure is that you can produce these vaccines in sites that could do it effectively, rapidly with the resources that are being made available to do it,” Fabien Paquette, told CTV News Channel’s Power Play on Friday.

        • Royalty Rate Determination in Patent Infringement Cases: The U.S. and China Compared

          Intellectual Property is the cornerstone for a thriving economy. Indeed, intellectual property protection is a major determinant of economic growth. One important part of this legal and economic environment is patent. Licensing plays an important role in patent as it is one of the methods by which an intellectual property owner can reap the benefits of his labor.

          This article will focus on determining royalty rates and damages in U.S. and China's patent cases. While the article focuses on court decisions, it also reviews the different laws to see the manner in which these laws have played in the development of methods for calculating royalty rates and damages. There are different factors that may not allow for the adherence to a one-size fits all recipes for calculation of royalty rates and damages. Each country adopts its own methods. The remainder of the article is organized as follows. Section II of this article examines the different methos employed in the U.S. legal system to facilitate royalty rate and damage calculations for patents. This section examines methods such the 25 percent rule, Georgia-Pacific factors, reasonable royalty rate, the analytical approach, and the smallest salable practicing patent unit (SSPPU) method. Section III of this article looks at the Chinese model for damage calculations. The section explores China’s shift from the traditional framework for calculating damages in cases of infringement relying on actual compensation to statutory and punitive damages and the key factors that played in this transition towards. Section IV provides a set of conclusions.

        • The End of Intellectual Property Protections? [Ed: It's called patents, not "Intellectual Property", and patents are not a property anyway]
        • Producing a Vaccine Requires More Than a Patent [Ed: Foreign Affairs goes out there shilling for the patent cartel and pushing the racist lie that poor countries cannot produce vaccines given the knowledge
        • Patents Court upholds validity of second medical use patent for glaucoma treatment [Ed: This is pushing the lie that very simple, trivial ideas are hard to come by and this patents on just about everything ought to exist]

          This decision shows the court assessing patentability in a real-world practical context, recognising the uncertainties of R&D that only later may appear to have been obvious

        • Oppositions by a straw person: what are the benefits? [Ed: As if it matters who challenges a fake patent if such a patent should not have been granted in the first place; patent officers just try to limit/restrict the possibility that their misconduct (it's EPO in this case) will be exposed en masse]

          A straw person opposition allows a European patent to be challenged by proxy without the real challenger’s identity becoming known to the patentee.

          In European patent oppositions, the term “straw person”, is used to describe a person, natural or legal, who files an opposition against a patent on behalf of a third party, with the third party, the real opponent, remaining anonymous throughout the proceedings.

          It was clarified, in the Enlarged Board of Appeal’s decisions G 3/97 and G 4/97, that such oppositions were admissible provided that there was no circumvention of the law by an abuse of process. Examples of such abuses would be the patent proprietor opposing its own patent or someone acting as a straw person in order to circumvent the requirements for qualification to act as a professional representative before the European Patent Office.

        • Pitch perfect: investors reveal what they want in an IP portfolio [Ed: Imagine working for a publication where you refer to extortion with terms like "Pitch perfect"]

          Sources from four Silicon Valley venture capitalist funds share their dos and don’ts for in-house counsel looking to pitch a life sciences start-up company

        • Three IP attachés explain how they help companies abroad [Ed: Charlotte Kilpatrick keeps using misnomers like "IP" (like the employer's site), which are designed to mislead. Maybe speak to people outside the patent microcosm to understand how the world really works, really thinks, and what society really needs]

          US and UK attachés from Southeast Asia and China explain how their offices assist companies and support those looking to protect their IP abroad

        • Clearing the Air: Patent Protection Strategies for Carbon Capture Technologies [Ed: Also here. This debunks much of the greenwashing because patent monopolies on such things only put us at greater risk. If we want clean air, then we need fewer patents, not more of them.]

          Carbon capture technologies generally pertain to the capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) by certain materials or systems. Such materials or systems can then process the captured CO2 in various manners, such as through storage at a remote site, chemical conversion, or secondary uses.

          In view of global efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, carbon capture technologies have found numerous commercial applications. Patent protection can help facilitate and incentivize such commercialization efforts by providing exclusivity.

        • MediciNova Secures European Patent for MN-166 Plus Riluzole [Ed: The picture in this article gives it away; the author does not know or understand that EPO is not EU and isn't even covering the same countries. When you write puff pieces for a living you do not need to understand what you write about (better this way, less guilt) as the goal is to mindlessly print lies and distortions, distracting from the actual facts or information. The latter is in the profitable activity. The lying. Understanding stands in the way of printing lies, so the less clueless the puff pieces writer (e.g. just an English degree and no experience whatsoever in the subject covered), the more adequate the job. No guilt, no challenge. Print, then forgot about it.]

          The European Patent Office will grant MediciNova a patent that covers the combination of MN-166 (ibudilast) and riluzole for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), MediciNova announced.

        • What a DoJ website change means for Biden’s SEP policy [Ed: SEP is a misnomer used of people in the pockets of over-encompassing extortion parties, such as those which fund this publisher]

          The Department of Justice’s antitrust division could be more sympathetic to implementers, but it’s still too early to tell, say industry and law firm sources

        • Discovery of Prior Settlement Agreements and Common Interest Privilege

          The Federal Circuit denied MFA’s petition for mandamus on a discovery dispute, and Chief Judge Prost but wrote an interesting short opinion explaining the panel’s reasoning. In the case, MFA has asserted its U.S. Patent No. 9,886,421 that covers a method of displaying “non-standard fonts” on your handheld device when accessing a network-document.


          In its opinion, the court did not fully decide the issue of common interest privilege in the settlement context, but noted that the Federal Circuit has previously declined to recognize the form of privilege. See In re MSTG, Inc., 675 F.3d 1337 (Fed. Cir. 2012) (holding that pre-settlement communications were not privileged). The court went on to note that even if common interest privilege were adopted in this context, the parties must still show that the withheld documents are “communications by a client to an attorney made in order to obtain legal assistance from the attorney in his capacity as a legal advisor.”

          The outcome here makes sense and also begs the question — why is MFA trying to hide its prior settlement agreements?

        • Fed. Circ. Punts On PTAB Bias Issue, Remands Under Arthrex [Ed: Patent maximalists and their captured publications can't stop pushing the lie or false narrative that panels which throw out fake patents are "biased" or "improperly-appointed" or whatever; the power of lobbying is the power to corrupt and distort perceptions]

          =The Federal Circuit on Thursday chose not to weigh in on whether Patent Trial and Appeal Board judges are biased against patent owners for financial reasons, instead sending a casino game maker's case back to the board for a new hearing under Arthrex.

          In a precedential opinion, the panel said that New Vision Gaming & Development Inc. can get a rehearing at the PTAB, where SG Gaming Inc. had previously shown that two patents were invalid in covered business method reviews. New Vision hadn't waived its argument that the PTAB judges were unconstitutionally appointed under the Federal Circuit's Arthrex ruling, it...

        • 'Concerns became reality', Samsung sued for patents sold by LG [Ed: The patent systems for patents-exploiting parasites that don't actually make anything]

          While Samsung Electronics was recently involved in a patent infringement lawsuit in the United States related to smartphone wireless charging, it was confirmed that the patent in question was bought from LG by a European Patent Troll company earlier this year.

          In the industry, it is pointed out that while LG Electronics officially announced the withdrawal of the smartphone business, concerns that the sale of LG Group's patent portfolio could return to the domestic industrial ecosystem as a boomerang has become a reality.

        • Population of Patents at Risk from Proposed WTO Patent Waiver [Ed: Referring to patents instead of people as "population"; the truly sick and sociopathic minds of patent zealots...]

          Dennis Crouch, our colleague at Patently-O, tweeted last week that there have been 148 U.S. patents granted having disclosure related to (COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2); see Search of U.S Patent and Trademark Office Patent Full-Text and Image Database and

        • Pharma slams Biden waiver support that ‘causes more problems’ [Ed: Sociopaths and their publishers (like Patrick Wingrove) fume at the possibility of saving the lives of millions of people at the expense of massive vaccine profits; sites like Managing IP never bothered speaking to anyone about COVID patent waivers, other than the sociopaths who fund the site. They're not journalists but paid-for propagandists of enemies of society, lacking empathy.]

          Five in-house counsel from generic and innovator drug firms say an IP waiver won’t solve the COVID crisis and will likely undermine vaccine confidence

        • This week in IP: pharma slams waiver, Brazil cuts patent terms retroactively, Beverly Hills loses polo mark case [Ed: The paid-for liars from Managing IP ignore the views of like 95% of this planet and push the self-serving lies of greedy pharmaceutical giants that profit more if more people die from COVID and it mutates further. Some "professional writers" are almost literally in the job or writing loads of lies to kill lots and lots of people for somebody's financial gain. The same somebody that funds those writers.]

          In response to the Biden administration’s backing of an intellectual property waiver for COVID vaccines, five in-house counsel at generic and innovator drug makers told Managing IP this week that such a waiver not only wouldn’t work but would undermine global vaccine confidence.

          “If you open up the IP to the world, you’ll have organisations taking up production that aren’t ready to do it in a quality-focused manner,” said the chief IP counsel at a pharma company that produces generic and branded therapeutics, as well as ventilators.

          “If that happens, people will start to lose confidence in the vaccines.”

          They noted that the industry is already on track to make 10 billion to 12 billion vaccine doses by the end of the year, long before any supposed benefit of an IP waiver would be seen.

        • Sen. Daines Urges Biden Administration to Withdraw Support for COVID-19 IP Waiver [Ed: Donald Zuhn still lobbying to kill millions of poor people in order to boost the profit of companies he is professionally connected to. Cold-hearted patent maximalists only care about money, not people.]

          Yesterday, Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) wrote to President Joseph Biden to share his concerns regarding the Biden Administration's support for waiving intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines and urge the President to reconsider his position on the proposed waiver. In his letter, Sen. Daines (at right) asserted that "[s]uspending World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations to protect IP on COVID-19 vaccines would not only fail to significantly speed up vaccine distribution to the rest of the world, but it would set a dangerous precedent on IP protection at the international level and undermine American innovation." Sen. Daines also argued that the proposed waiver would "provide[] for a technological windfall for adversaries such as China and Russia by giving away IP that has taken years of hard work and ingenuity by American scientists, not to mention billions in American investment, to perfect."

        • Science Does Not Support the Latest COVID Hysteria [Ed: Hysteria is common among patent maximalists like Kevin E. Noonan, seeing that the Biden administration is willing to bin the harmful patents]

          In a time of a global pandemic, with antivaxxer and anti-science sentiments running rife, and when combinations of fear, distrust, and paranoia are rampant, it is easy for important results from basic science to become fodder inaccurately supporting the doomsday memes that abound. This is the story of a scientific paper from two eminent scientists that, properly understood, explains a puzzling aspect of SARS-CoV-2 biology in COVID-19 patients: why can viral genetic information be detected in some patients months after they have recovered from their illness, using sensitive testing (polymerase chain reaction, or PCR; for reference see CSI). As it turns out, it is not evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is manmade, or that the various vaccines against the disease are toxic or disease-causing, or that (as Senator Rand Paul (R-TN) is (in)famous for charging) Dr. Anthony Fauci supported "gain-of-function" research in Wuhan China and then tried to cover it up. There are plenty of websites having that content; here we will strive to stick to the facts.

        • Vaccine platforms and limited global production capacity: what is to be done? [Ed: Pretending vaccines can't be made due to insurmountable shortages of supplies rather than patent cartels that profit when more people die and access to medicine is artificially limited]

          “No one is safe till everyone is safe” was the rallying call of the WHO and EU in April 2020, when the role of international cooperation in the rapid diagnosis and development of vaccines was seen as vital to the fight against the pandemic. Yet today, 47 of the 79 low and lower-middle income countries have yet to vaccinate anyone.

          Recently, poor countries have won the backing of the US for IP waiver on the new vaccines at the WTO, although it does not cover Covid treatment drugs and equipment as originally requested in the TRIPS waiver. Will the waiver help and what might constitute a way forward? In this blog, I will highlight the role of limited global production capacity for the new biological vaccines and argue that reform of compulsory licensing under TRIPS, the key international agreement that covers IP, offers the best way forward to boost vaccine production.

          Traditionally, vaccines are virus-based or protein-based, and the majority of vaccines in use (such as for polio and small pox) are based on inactivated or attenuated viruses. As this technology is well understood, there is widespread production capacity for such traditional vaccine platforms (both the Chinese Sinopharm and Indian Covaxin vaccines are of this type).

        • Damages for patent infringement: the Chinese perspective

          Like the legal approaches in the U.S. and EU, the traditional framework for calculating patent damages in cases of infringement in China is multifaceted and founded on actual compensation. However, in practice, China tends to rely on statutory damages rather than assessed compensatory damages. According to research at Zhongnan University, 97.25% of all patent infringement judgments awarded are statutory damages, thus making it nigh on impossible to properly analyze patterns in judicially imposed royalty rates.

          Despite that US. patent law does not provide for statutory damages in patent cases, the "25% rule of thumb”, [i.e., a fixed ratio of 25:75 for determining a baseline royalty, related respectively to the licensor and the actual or potential licensee and litigation damages] is, in fact, not meaningfully different from a “statutory damages” rule, and the use of statutory damages in China is, for similar reasons, namely simplicity and clarity.


          As a significant further step towards deterrence, the 2021 reforms in China will introduce punitive damages for the first time. Starting June 2021, Chinese law will allow the judge to award up to five times the original compensation (the benefits of the infringer or the losses of the patentee) in punitive damages if he/she deems that the infringement is intentional and serious in terms of size, duration, and geographical location.

          This mirrors the U.S. remedy of ‘enhanced damages’ allowed under the Patent Reform Act of 2009, even if, in the U.S., enhanced damages are based on a multiple of three, not five.

          Picture on right is by Savannah Grandfather and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

          Picture on left is by Mr. priono and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

        • Software Patents

          • EPO: Enlarged Board considers patentability of simulations [Ed: Managing IP is now running sponsored posts for law firms that push illegal software patents, citing a stacked court that nowadays operates in direct violation of the EPC. People may think they read news, but actually this is illegal agenda.]

            The Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) has issued its long-awaited decision in Case No. G1/19 concerning assessment of inventive step of computer-implemented simulation methods.

            The patent application in suit relates to simulation of the movement of a pedestrian through an environment with a view to design a building where a crowd can move efficiently.

          • MySize Granted European Patent For Handheld Measurement Tech [Ed: "MySizeID's proprietary algorithms" means we're talking about software patents here, but the corrupt EPO grants such fake patents regardless]

            MySize, Inc (the "Company" or "My Size") (NASDAQ: MYSZ) (TASE: MYSZ), the developer and creator of e-commerce measurement solutions, today announced the publication of the decision to grant by the European Patent Office for its application, titled: "System for and a method of measuring a path length using a handheld electronic device." The patent issuance paves the way for greater European adoption of MySizeID, which enables shoppers to visualize how clothing will look on them in a much more interactive way, driving engagement and conversions.


            The patent application encompasses the methods and systems for measuring a body part of a user via a handheld electronic device. MySizeID's proprietary algorithms leverage the smartphone's built-in sensors and fuse the data produced with anthropometric data.

          • Fed. Circ. affirms mixed ruling on VoIP patent in Apple-Uniloc fight [Ed: While it's tempting to always antagonise Apple, in this case it's a malicious patent troll with software patents and thus it needs to lose]

            Apple Inc has fended off a challenge at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to a largely favorable ruling from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which had invalidated parts of a patent that Uniloc 2017 LLC had accused Apple of infringing with its FaceTime technology.

            Circuit Judge William Bryson, writing for a three-judge panel on Wednesday, rejected Uniloc's attempt to revive parts of the patent as well as Apple's request to cancel others based on an earlier patent that disclosed a similar system.

            Apple's attorney Kevin Prussia of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr declined to comment on the ruling.

            Jim Etheridge of Etheridge Law Group, who represented Uniloc, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

      • Trademarks

        • Finland introduces administrative proceeding for partial revocation of trade names

          The amendment came into effect on 1 May 2021 and aims to address the problem of overly broad trade name registrations. In Finland it is possible to register trade names for a broad (in fact unlimited) line of business such as “general business line” (“yleistoimiala”) or “all legal activity” (“kaikki laillinen toiminta”).

          As the Finnish Office examines relative rights ex officio, prior trade name registrations are often cited as an obstacle to registration. Until now, it was only possible to revoke a trade name due to non-use when the name was not in use at all for the preceding five years.

          The amendment makes it possible to file an action for partial revocation of a trade name due to non-use. It also introduces of the possibility to file a revocation action due to non-use before the Finnish Patent and Registration Office. Until now, a civil action in the Market Court has been the only option. Administrative proceedings are usually simpler and cheaper.

        • Sherlock Systems C.V. v Apple Inc. [KEYNOTE] – R-2642/2017-1 [Ed: Keynote is a generic word predating Apple as a company]

          In a recent decision by the First Board of Appeal, Gleissner’s Sherlock Systems satisfied the test for abusive practice in its attempted revocation of the mark, KEYNOTE.

          Gleissner is infamous within IP circles for his large portfolio of domain names, companies and trade marks, with seemingly little to no goodwill as a foundation. The strategy begins with an offensive action against a trade mark. Upon a defence from the rights owner, multiple actions across the portfolio are initiated, multiplying the burden on the proprietor for response and evidence submission. Previous cases have shown Gleissner to propose a transfer of the initial mark for a relatively small fee. The end goal being a forcible transfer of the mark from the proprietor to Gleissner.

      • Copyrights

        • Creative Commons, commercial use, and NFTs

          Welcome to this week’s edition of “Weird NFT questions nobody had thought about before last month”. In this week’s edition, we have an interesting development in the interface between NFTs and Creative Commons licences.

        • The Extradition of Megaupload’s People and International Obligations for Criminal Liability for Copyright Infringement [Ed: United States as international copyright police on behalf of its oligarchs. Imagine that...]

          In late 2020, the Supreme Court of New Zealand gave judgment on copyright aspects of the dispute on whether Kim Dotcom and other’s involved in the Megagroup businesses should be extradited from New Zealand to the United States because of criminal copyright infringement. This episode, in a case which has involved multiple legal contests, was focused on whether the copyright causes of action could amount to criminal liability under section 131 of New Zealand’s Copyright Act 1994. If any of the defendants are to be extradited to the United States, there must be “double-criminality”, meaning the possibility of criminal offences in both jurisdictions (at [148]. Six out of the thirteen criminal charges were relevant to copyright and included infringement by “distributing a copyright work being prepared for commercial distribution on a computer network”, “infringement by electronic means” and “aiding and abetting criminal copyright infringement” (at [230]).


          The alleged criminal activities of the Megagroup, broadly, are based on making or dealing with “infringing copies” that are “digital files” (at [288] and [294]-[296]). The Court did not consider that the interpretation of what amounted to a digital file was affected by the introduction of NZ’s WCT compliant communication right (at [302]). There is some discussion in the judgment about the differences between communication and distribution and the “umbrella solution” of the WCT. However, the Court concluded that the WCT does not affect the TRIPS obligation to provide criminal penalties (at [312]). The Court’s approach to treaty interpretation is an unfortunate simplification of an overlapping treaty problem.

          The full complement of exclusive rights and enforcement obligations are not found in a single treaty. The TRIPS Agreement does not include the communication right except in the limited forms of communication that are part of the Berne Convention, which is incorporated into TRIPS. The WCT does not have express criminal enforcement obligations, as the Supreme Court acknowledged (at [312]). The Supreme Court did not analyse whether the TRIPS obligation to have criminal remedies in cases of commercial piracy applies not only to the TRIPS rights, but also to those in the WCT. The Court assumed that the TRIPS obligation extends to the WCT. This appears to be because the Court accepted the US submission that to not interpret the criminal provisions as applying to “digital infringing copies… would put New Zealand in breach of its TRIPS obligations” (at [280]). It is easy to accept that is the case where the digital files violate a TRIPS right, but the path of treaty analysis is different for violating a right that is found and detailed outside of TRIPS, such as in the WCT. There is a strong argument that the TRIPS remedies’ obligations do not extend to post-TRIPS treaty obligations precisely because they were not negotiated for and agreed to in TRIPS. This was not the argument that Kim Dotcom et al made – rather they tried to limit the interpretation of the NZ legislation on the basis that the WCT provided a cap on the application of criminal liability (at [274]-[279]). As a matter of treaty interpretation that argument is wrong, most obviously because, as stated by Article 1.1 of TRIPS, “more extensive protection” at national law is an option.

        • Around the IP Blogs

          International obligations for criminal liability for copyright infringement were discussed from a New Zealand angle on the Kluwer Copyright Blog, especially in relation to whether Kim Dotcom (and others) should be extradited to the US on the basis of providing a platform for copyright-infringing file sharing.

        • YouTube's Takedown Numbers are a Mystery, But Content-ID is a 'Cash Cow'

          Google transparently reports the billions of copyright takedown requests it receives for its search engine. However, finding out how many videos are flagged and removed on YouTube appears to be quite the challenge. We gave it a go nonetheless and can also conclude that the Content ID system is a cash cow.

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