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[News] IETF Slammed for Promoting Monopolies

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IETF Involved In Row Over Patent Potentially Covering New TLS Standard

,----[ Quote ]
| In an e-mail message sent to various mailing lists, Mr Richard Stallman 
| argued: 
|     "A patented standard for software is worse than no standard, because it 
|     functions to augment the patent holder's stranglehold over society. What 
|     everyone ought to do is resist it.  
|     As long as the IETF allows patented standards for software, anyone can 
|     argue about any proposed patented standard that it important enough to 
|     excuse the patent. Others can argue that it is not, but since that is a 
|     question of judgment, the conclusion is never inevitable. So the risk is 
|     always broader than it might appear."    
| Obviously Mr Stallman and, with him FSF, are launching an attempt to use the 
| particular Draft standard at stake as a vehicle for launching a broader 
| political debate on CII patenting in the wider context of the IETF.  


Incidence and Growth of Patent Thickets - the Impact of Technological
Opportunities and Complexity



Time to rethink intellectual property laws?

,----[ Quote ]
| Conversely, there is widespread anecdotal evidence that the act created a
| mind-set among many researchers that their knowledge represents a potential
| goldmine not to be shared with potential competitors (i.e. those working in
| other universities) - at least until it has been protected by a patent
| application.
| Similarly, the act has led to a flood of “upstream” patents on basic
| scientific knowledge, leading to what some commentators describe as a
| virtually impenetrable “patent thicket” blocking small-scale inventors from
| marketing their products. For example, restrictive software patents limit
| further development and commercialisation in the field of information
| technology.


Nokia, Qualcomm Move Forward With Non-Patent-Fight-Based Relationship

,----[ Quote ]
| Qualcomm and Nokia have been involved in a long-running series of patent
| disputes over chips in mobile phones. The two companies settled the bulk of
| their disputes last summer, with Nokia throwing a chunk of change at Qualcomm
| and the two making nice.


Patent Hoarding Firms Discover The ITC Loophole

,----[ Quote ]
| We've been discussing the ITC loophole, that allows patent holders to get two
| cracks at charging a company with infringement over the same patent (using
| different rules) for a while now. Patent holders can sue in court and they
| can complain to the International Trade Commission, which has the power to
| issue an injunction, barring the import of any "infringing" products. Even
| worse, the ITC doesn't necessarily need to follow the rules set forth by the
| Supreme Court over what is and what is not infringing.


The Chinese Overlords of Intellectual Monopolies

,----[ Quote ]
| In the 19th century, America was a by-word for piracy of British ideas. In
| the 20th century, as its industry developed, it embraced intellectual
| monopolies, and became the most fervent advocate of maximalist legal regimes.
| In the 20th century, China was a by-word for piracy of American ideas. In the
| 21st century, as its industry developed, it embraced intellectual monopolies,
| and became their stoutest defender. The news story above is but the trickle
| that presages the torrent.
| Soon, America will be deluged with such suits, as China tries to leverage its
| huge industrial power. The consequence? America will become one of the most
| fervent advocates for *minimalist* intellectual property regimes. Yes, you
| read that correctly: just wait.

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