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Software

+ - France to launch a national patent troll-> 2

Submitted by
zoobab
zoobab writes "France is creating a state sponsored patent fund, FranceBrevets, which primary focus will be to sponsor, acquire and license patents in the ICT (read software patents) sector. The patent fund is at the initiative of the minister of Research, Valérie Pécresse, the Ministry of Industry, Energy and digital economy, Eric Besson. The primary target of the fund is to collect licenses on those patents, which is already seen in France as the biggest patent troll of the country. France is also supporting the European Unitary Patent, which is seen by many at the final attempt to validate software patents in Europe."
Link to Original Source

+ - "No Power for the Parliament" warns EPO examiners 2

Submitted by zoobab
zoobab (201383) writes "The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) sent a letter to the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, warning of risks for the European Parliament to be "circumvented" as a legislator when the EU will accede to the European Patent Convention (EPC). The European Patent Organisation is everything except a model of democracy: national patent offices are in power, there is no parliament involved in the decision making process, and diplomatic conferences are held behind closed doors. There are plans to create a central patent court in Europe, which would operate in a democratic vacuum, as it would not be counterbalanced by any legislative assembly, let alone the European Parliament. Such central patent court could also validate software patents via caselaw (as it was recently done with the Microsoft FAT patent by the German Supreme Court), and Microsoft, IBM or SAP are lobbying in Brussels not to reopen the software patent directive."

Comment: Re:what? (Score 1) 304

by bosson (#29387501) Attached to: Facebook Ordered To Turn Over Source Code
/ Apparently prior art doesn't mean anything. / Exactly one of the main problems with software patents in the current system. Michael Masnick writes about this at techdirt: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090814/0439545883.shtml The problem is that obvious mostly only means there exists many hits in search results in USPTO:s database. For information (processing, calculation, business) its to darn easy to use other words in describing ... information. Searching gets silly... hence abstract. Hence mine field.

Comment: Re:Junk patents (Score 1) 284

by bosson (#29304161) Attached to: IBM's Supreme Court Brief Says That Patents Drive Free Software
Patents where never meant for abstract matters. Presenting information and doing calculations can be new in so many ways, easily. There are no heat problems in organizing digits as such. The problem here is that patents are only obvious if there are other patents very like them in the eyes of (US)PTO:s. This makes software patents stupid by default. They are too easy to make "un-obvious" by design.

Comment: Re:WTF IBM (Score 1) 284

by bosson (#29304061) Attached to: IBM's Supreme Court Brief Says That Patents Drive Free Software
Naaaa.. who really reads patents to work around them? Take what is known as the core mp3-patent, http://eupat.ffii.org/pikta/mupli/ep287578/index.en.html for instance. (its not valid anymore now)... Ogg infringed this. But most folks just assumes its clear by not looking at patents or not claiming them in open standards. The patents are still there like land mines scaring people off from publishing source or selling software. Thats a very powerful barrier against innovation. These patents survive because they are too darn invisible, if they would be more transparent we would have removed them from the software market a log time ago. Instead they create uncertainty and risks that make us invent less and stay friends with the giants that protect us.
IBM

IBM's Supreme Court Brief Says That Patents Drive Free Software 284

Posted by timothy
from the corellation-is-not-causation dept.
H4x0r Jim Duggan writes "For the Supreme Court's upcoming review of the Bilski decision, IBM has submitted an amicus brief claiming that software patents 'fueled the explosive growth of open source software development' (!) (p38 of linked PDF). EndSoftwarePatents, for its own amicus brief, is looking for help building a list of free software harmed by software patents, and a list of companies that distribute free software and are taxed by patent royalties."
Patents

+ - IBM says software patents drive OSS development-> 2

Submitted by
zoobab
zoobab writes "In its Amicus Brief to the US Supreme Court on the Bilski case, IBM is arguing that "patent protection has promoted the free sharing of source code [...] which has fueled the explosive growth of open source software development." IBM also argue that the machine-or-tranformation test allow software to be patented, and that "software patent protection provides significant economic, technological, and societal benefits". IBM also "finds alarming decisions in the wake of Bilski concluding that software is excluded from patentable subject matter" making references to the BPAI decisions on Ex Parte Altman. IBM also says thet are "committed to ensuring that such technology [software] is and remains patentable"."
Link to Original Source
Transportation

+ - TomTom Releases Its iPhone Navigation App ->

Submitted by
andylim
andylim writes "Today TomTom released its long-awaited iPhone app that allows you to use your iPhone 3G and 3GS as a GPS navigation device. Recombu.com tested it out on video this morning and concluded that it works well but if you receive a call while you're driving then the app does cut out — it will restart once you've finished the conversation. The app costs £60 for the UK & Ireland version, £80 for western Europe, £45 for Australia and £60 for the US and Canada."
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

US Court Tells Microsoft To Stop Selling Word 403

Posted by Soulskill
from the somebody's-not-having-a-good-day dept.
oranghutan writes "A judge in a Texas court has given Microsoft 60 days to comply with an order to stop selling Word products in their existing state as the result of a patent infringement suit filed by i4i. According to the injunction, Microsoft is forbidden from selling Word products that let people create XML documents, which both the 2003 and 2007 versions let you do. Michael Cherry, an analyst quoted in the article, said, 'It's going to take a long time for this kind of thing to get sorted out.' Few believe the injunction will actually stop Word from being sold because there are ways of working around it. In early 2009, a jury in the Texas court ordered Microsoft to pay i4i $200 million for infringing on the patent. ZDNet has a look at the patent itself, saying it 'sounds a bit generic.'"
Patents

Microsoft Patents XML Word Processing Documents 357

Posted by timothy
from the no-problems-there-nothing-to-worry-about dept.
theodp writes "Embrace. Extend. Patent. On Tuesday, Microsoft was granted US Patent No. 7,571,169 for its 'invention' of the Word-processing document stored in a single XML file that may be manipulated by applications that understand XML. Presumably developers are protected by Microsoft's 'covenant not to sue,' so the biggest question raised by this patent is: How in the world was it granted in light of the 40-year history of document markup languages? Next thing you know, the USPTO will give Microsoft a patent for Providing Emergency Data in XML format. Oops, too late."
Patents

Twitter Faces Patent Infringement Lawsuit 236

Posted by Soulskill
from the stupid-but-predictable dept.
Digital Dan writes "Twitter is being sued for patent infringement. Surprised? OK, probably not, but you'd think the plaintiff would at least wait for Twitter to actually make money before striking. According to TechCrunch: 'Twitter is being sued ... by TechRadium, a Texas-based technology company which makes mass notification systems for public safety organizations, the military, and utilities.' The abstract to patent #7130389 describes it: 'A digital notification and response system utilizes an administrator interface to transmit a message from an administrator to a user contact device. The system comprises a dynamic information database that includes user contact data, priority information, and response data. The administrator initiates distribution of the message based upon grouping information, priority information, and the priority order.' Two other patents are involved as well."
Patents

Company Awarded "The Patent For Podcasting" 202

Posted by samzenpus
from the patent-for-obtaining-patents dept.
Chris Albrecht writes "VoloMedia announced today that it has been awarded what it called the 'patent for podcasting.' According to the press announcement, patent number 7,568,213, titled 'Method for Providing Episodic Media,' covers: '...the fundamental mechanisms of podcasting, including providing consumer subscription to a show, automatically downloading media to a computer, prioritizing downloads, providing users with status indication, deleting episodes, and synchronizing episodes to a portable media device.'"
IBM

IBM Seeks Patent On Digital Witch Hunts 136

Posted by Soulskill
from the everyone-sees-a-unique-version-of-this-story dept.
theodp writes "Should Mark Zuckerberg want to identify a snitching Facebook employee, Elon Musk wish to set a trap for loose-lipped Tesla employees, or Steve Jobs want to 'play Asteroid,' they'll be happy to know that a new IBM 'invention' makes it easier than ever to be paranoid. In a newly-disclosed patent application for Embedding a Unique Serial Number into the Content of an Email for Tracking Information Dispersion (phew!), Big Blue describes how it's automated the creation of Canary Traps with patent-pending software that makes ever-so-slight changes to e-mail wording to allow you to spy on the unsuspecting recipients of your e-mail."

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