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[News] Software Patents Revisited in Relation to Free Software and Antitrust

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An afternoon among the patent lawyers

,----[ Quote ]
| There was a brief discussion of the practice of not researching patents at 
| all with the hope of avoiding triple damages for "willful infringement." The 
| participants agreed that this was a dangerous approach which could backfire 
| on its practitioners; convincing a judge of one's ignorance can be a 
| challenge. But it was also acknowledged that there is no way to do a full 
| search for patents which might be infringed by a given program in any case.     
| All told, it was a more interesting afternoon than one might expect. The 
| discussion of software patents in the free software community tends to follow 
| familiar lines; the people at this event see the issue differently. For 
| better or worse, their view likely has a lot of relevance to how things will 
| go. There will be some tweaking of the system to try to avoid the worst 
| abuses - at least as seen by some parts of the industry - but wholesale 
| patent reform is not on the agenda. Software patents will be with us (in the 
| US) for the foreseeable future, and they will continue to loom over the rest 
| of the world. We would be well advised to have our defenses in place.        


Innovation in the 21st Century: Harnessing the Power of Intellectual Property
and Antitrust Law

,----[ Quote ]
| Patents Blocking Antitrust Action: Carrier suggests that the existence of IP 
| rights should not grant a company a free-pass to take otherwise 
| anticompetitive actions.  In his post, Prof. Phil Weiser (Colorado) 
| agrees “IPRs should not displace antitrust oversight.”  Weiser argues that 
| this is especially true in the area of software patents: “Given that software 
| patents are controversial to begin with, awarding the recipient of a patent 
| on an application programming interface or communications protocol a 
| get-out-jail free card is hard to justify.”       


CSIRO takes HP to cleaners over Wi-Fi patent - next! 

,----[ Quote ]
| The largest IT company in the world, Hewlett-Packard, has been humbled by 
| Australia's national science agency CSIRO and agreed to settle for an 
| undisclosed sum over a long running Wi-Fi patent infringement suit. The win 
| against the Silicon Valley colossus has given CSIRO ammunition to continue 
| pursuing 13 other technology giants for millions of dollars in licensing 
| fees.     



FFII and EPO announce "Binaries-As-Prior-Art"

,----[ Quote ]
| After years of confidential work, the European Patent Office (EPO) and the
| Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) today announce a
| radical way to improve software patent quality: Binaries-As-Prior-Art, or
| BAPA. BAPA combines a database of billions of compiled computer programs
| ("binaries") with a powerful Cloud search engine that can find any invention
| in microseconds.


Ciaran O'Riordan (LP09)


Ciaran O'Riordan: End Software Patents


Software Patents and Open-Source

,----[ Quote ]
| Does our current system of patents, especially software patents, "promote the
| progress of science and the useful arts?" The answer is obvious. It does not.
| Is it obvious enough for the Supreme Court to go against the wishes of
| the "intellectual property nomenklatura" of this country, with their
| fictitious billions of dollars on their balance sheets? Maybe. We'll see.
| Another interesting question is this. On the day after all those patents are
| invalidated, what will the stock market do? It will be interesting to see....

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