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[News] McDonald's Makes US Patents on Sandwiches, EPO Can Still be Saved

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McDonald's Sandwich Patent

,----[ Quote ]
| And don't miss the flowchart that explains how to make a sandwich.


USPTO is corrupt. Broadening scope to make more money...

The EPO referrals: what's really going on? 

,----[ Quote ]
| Some people say that the referral of the questions is a feeble surrender to 
| the demand of Lord Justice Jacob in Aerotel/Macrossan that the EPO resolve 
| the contradictions in its earlier rulings -- contradictions the existence of 
| which the previous President of the EPO denied -- or whether it is a resolute 
| defence of the EPO's resistance to such pressures that have led it to ask its 
| own questions of the Enlarged Board rather than those articulated by Jacob 
| LJ. The nature of the questions has itself given rise to plenty of 
| speculation. Are they there simply to remove perceived inconsistencies in EPO 
| practice, or are they posed in order to provide an excuse to send out answers 
| that will seek to bind practice in national offices too?         


“Staff at the European Patent Office went on strike accusing the organization
of corruption: specifically, stretching the standards for patents in order to
make more money.”

“One of the ways that the EPO has done this is by issuing software patents in
defiance of the treaty that set it up.”

                                                --Richard Stallman


Chocolate coins for EPO cash cow

,----[ Quote ]
| Examiners of the European Patent Office have recently invaded one of the
| secret meetings of the Administrative Council with chocolate coins, pointing
| to the conflict of interests between the National Patent Offices (NPOs) and
| their appetite of "more patents, more money".


The Economic Impact of Software Patents

,----[ Quote ]
| The UK's Patent Office – which now goes by the awful name of UK Intellectual
| Property Office, which means it's really the UK Intellectual Monopolies
| Office – is a curious beast. On the one hand, as its name suggests, it's tied
| into one of the biggest confidence tricks around, dressing up conceptual
| mutton as intellectual lamb. On the other, there are odd outbreaks of sanity
| that suggest someone in there understands some of the deeper issues
| concerning software patents.
| [...]
| It's not coincidence that Microsoft still maintains that GNU/Linux infringes
| on some 200 of its sacred software patents – and yet is strangely coy about
| naming them, since it doesn't want its bluff called.


IP advisers agree U.S. patent office needs reform

,----[ Quote ]
| Rai has signed a brief in the case arguing for a broad scope in what can be
| patented. But Obama co-sponsored a patent reform bill in 2007 that would have
| prohibited patents on tax-avoidance strategies, Reines noted. He suggested
| that McCain supports wide patentability on technology, including
| software. “Software is a very important industry, and Senator McCain believes
| we need to support our innovation economy critically,” Reines said.
| The McCain side didn’t take a position on business method patents.



McCain comes out against Net Neutrality; Says would hire Microsoft CEO Steve

,----[ Quote ]
| In another move that was sure to infuriate many geeks, the 70 year
| old presidential hopeful also said that he would ask Microsoft CEO
| Steve Ballmer to serve on his cabinet to deal with technology issues
| if elected. He did not however say what position Ballmer might be
| hired in, but did joke that he might consider him for a diplomatic
| position, such as ambassador to China.


McCain advised by software patent & tobacco lobbyists?

,----[ Quote ]
| McCain is advised by pro-software patent lobbyist Ray Gifford, ex-President
| of the Progress & Freedom Foundation (a Washington 'think-tank' notably
| financed by Microsoft lobby proxy CompTIA). Gifford was speaking in a
| conference Europe about the failed software patent directive with all the
| pro-software patent lobbyists. Progress & Freedom Foundation runs the
| IPCentral blog.


McCain senior advisor Carleton Fiorina

,----[ Quote ]
| But the fact is. A company that wants to invest in patent lawyers can expand
| the number of patents it holds as it likes. Just reallocate resources to the
| legal department. And HP under Carly Fiorina did that, increased the number
| of patents it applied for dramatically. But does it mean more innovation?
| [...]
| I recently noticed that SUN Microsystems announced to abandon its patent
| inflation strategy as over-patenting was not worth the investment. It is
| difficult to assess the strategic value of a mine field and you don't find
| good data how much profit is generated by patents, which patents generate
| profit or benefit for the company and which are not worth the investment. In
| most companies investments in patents follow a rule of thumb. Large holders
| seek profit with patent portfolios like hunters with a shotgun aim for a
| flock of birds.

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