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[News] Intellectual Monopolies Go Insane with WIPO

  • Subject: [News] Intellectual Monopolies Go Insane with WIPO
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2009 23:25:42 +0100
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
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WIPO Once Again Sides With Trademark Holder Over Common Sense

,----[ Quote ]
| The phrase "ta ta" is a well known way of 
| saying goodbye. So, it was a cute idea for an 
| Indian online travel site to use the domain 
| name OkTaTaByeBye.com.


Taiwan government aims at 80% global market share for Taiwan-made e-book readers in 2013

,----[ Quote ]
| Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) 
| will be implementing a 5-year project with a 
| total budget of NT$2.134 billion (US$65 
| million) to boost development of digital 
| publication industries in Taiwan, with the goal 
| being to make Taiwan-produced e-book readers 
| reach a global market share of 80% with sales 
| of NT$50 billion in 2013, according to the 
| agency.


Cracks show in music industry over P2P enforcement

,----[ Quote ]
| Divisions inside the music business have 
| prompted its umbrella trade organisation to 
| issue a statement today denying any serious 
| rift, while dodging the issue of whether it 
| will urge the government to cut off persistent 
| pirates from the net.
| The ructions were provoked by last week's 
| statement from the Featured Artists Coalition 
| (FAC), a group of managers and big-selling 
| artists including Radiohead, Billy Bragg and 
| davefromblur. The FAC was sharply critical of 
| Lord Mandelson's proposed anti-copyright 
| infringement measures, especially suspension of 
| internet access.


Stunned film, music sectors react to Veoh decision

,----[ Quote ]
| In the cafes along Sunset Boulevard and the 
| high-rises on Fifth Avenue, executives and 
| lawyers at powerful entertainment conglomerates 
| were talking about Veoh on Tuesday morning.
| They were not joyful discussions. Copyright 
| owners in the film and music sectors were 
| stunned Monday by the news that U.S. District 
| Judge A. Howard Matz ruled that Veoh, an 
| online-video service, is protected by the 
| Digital Millennium Copyright Act's safe-harbor 
| provision and cannot be held liable for acts of 
| copyright infringement committed by users. This 
| was the most significant court victory that the 
| tech sector has won against copyright owners in 
| some time. 



Fresh air at WIPO, but old habits die hard

,----[ Quote ]
| The result of all this was that despite excellent high-level speakers from
| international organisations, the conference ended up mainly representing the
| positions of those who have long been in control at WIPO: Governments of the
| US, the EU and Japan, along with large industrial rightsholders. There were
| hardly any industry stakeholders from developing countries, and no public
| interest NGOs represented among the speakers.
| By not including the broader picture, WIPO has missed out on the best
| opportunity in years to demonstrate that it wants to play a productive role
| in helping humanity to manage its knowledge wisely. There clearly are good
| intentions in the organisation. Now WIPO only needs to act on them.


D Ravi Kanth: A Trips-plus agenda at WIPO

,----[ Quote ]
| Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat itâ is a timely
| reminder for key actors who are bent on pushing failed agendas. As
| governments and multilateral institutions struggle to recover from a
| pervasive crisis of confidence stemming from the current political and
| economic climate, it is important to not make the same mistakes all over
| again. But the tendency is to cock a snook at such warnings.
| [...]
| Internally, the abrupt removal of Ram Kishan Singh, a junior official, who
| worked for nine years in the organisation with an outstanding record and the
| proposed reforms in the staffing pattern raise serious questions whether
| developing country officials are specific targets in the onward march of a
| renewed western IP agenda at WIPO!


Chasing the WIPO representative

,----[ Quote ]
| I think Iâll try to follow up on this on Tuesday. The meeting will be long
| done by then and the treaty proposal probably clobbered, but itâs a worthy
| battle. The problem is, this entire exercise - while taking on 30 minutes -
| was like out of a bad episode of Yes, Minister. Organizations pointing at
| each other, despite best intentions, without anybody actually answering the
| question. In bureaucracies, the concept of democracy gets ignored once the
| elections are up and the bureaucrats take over the reins. I wrote a piece
| about bureaucracy earlier which, I think, illustrates this fairly well.
| The fact that delegates to conventions such as these have almost zero
| accountability to the people they claim to represent is a black mark on the
| idea of democracy. It is one of many things that I aim to fix.


WIPO SCP/13 - some conclusions

,----[ Quote ]
| As also highlighted in FSFEâs interventions, these criteria allow for an
| assessment of the usefulness of the patent system for each individual area.
| It follows that areas in which these benefits do not materialise lack an
| economic rationale for patenting. An example for such an area is software,
| which had no innovative market failure prior to the introduction of patents,
| in which patents are useless for disclosure of new ideas, and in which legal
| counsels suggest that developers do not study patents in order to avoid
| claims of intentional infringement. So this study provides an analytical
| rationale behind statements such as the one by Bill Gates in 1991, which
| voices concern about the anti-innovative effect of patents in the field of
| software:
|     âIf people had understood how patents would be granted when most of
|     todayâs ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry
|     would be at a complete standstill today.â
| Application of this rationale in the policy setting process would allow to
| assess which areas can benefit from patents, and where more innovation can be
| had by excluding an area from the patent system. In parallel to the âBerne
| three-step testâ we have dubbed this the âthree step test for inclusion in
| the patent systemâ in our oral intervention.


FSFE statement at WIPO SCP/13 re/exceptions and limitations


Videocast: Georg Greve on Software Patents

,----[ Quote ]
| The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Standing Committee on the
| Law of Patents discussed exceptions and limitations to patentability on 24
| March. Intellectual Property Watch spoke with Georg Greve of the Free
| Software Foundation Europe about exceptions on patents and software.


Concerns Voiced At WIPO Over Potential Conflicts Between IP And Standards

,----[ Quote ]
| Government procurement could preference open or interoperable standards, said
| Latif. Binding obligations to disclose all relevant IP information on
| standards, as well as the involvement of competition authorities in work on
| standards to ensure anti-competitive practices are not used, could also help.
| Ultimately, said Greve, increasing the transparency of the system is useful.


WIPO Patent Committee To Consider Four New Reports, Global Challenges


Concerns Voiced At WIPO Over Potential Conflicts Between IP And Standards

,----[ Quote ]
| âBoth patents and standards are instruments from the toolbox of innovation
| policy, but they are different instruments,â said Georg Greve of the Free
| Software Foundation Europe. âPatents,â he said, âare intended for private,
| personal use [while] standards are intended for public use.â
| âThey are diametrically opposed in practiceâ maximising one instrument
| invalidates the other,â he added.


Statement by the United States on patents and standards at WIPO patent

,----[ Quote ]
| In the United States, antitrust enforcers seek to ensure that our markets are
| competitive by preventing agreements or mergers that create or increase
| market power, or unilateral actions that use existing market power to protect
| or expand a monopoly. Our focus is on preventing harm to the competitive
| process, not on ensuring competitors treat each other fairly. Therefore, we
| would strike the use of âfairâ wherever it appears before âfunctioning of the
| marketâ and when it modifies âcompetitionâ or âmarketâ.


WIPO patent committee embarks on positive agenda

,----[ Quote ]
| The fact that the WIPO patent committee has decided to request the
| International Bureau studies on âexceptions from patentable subject matter
| and limitations to the rights, inter alia research exemption and compulsory
| licensesâ and âpatents and standardsâ is testament that the WIPO of 2008 is
| not the WIPO that invoked âIntellectual Property as a Power tool for
| Developmentâ.
| Here below is the Annex to the Summary by the Chair which lists the eighteen
| non-exhaustive list of issues for further elaboration and discussion in the
| future. This list includes such topics as âEconomic impact of the patent
| system, Alternative models for innovation, Patents and health (including
| exhaustion, the Doha Declaration and other WTO instruments, patent
| landscaping) and Relation of patents with other public policy issues.â


WIPO will discuss a report on patents and open standards next week

,----[ Quote ]
| (iv) Open Standards
| 121. Among technology standards, there is particular interest for âopen
| standardsâ. While there is no universally accepted definition of that term,
| all open standards have the following common characteristics: (i) the
| specification is publicly available without cost or for a reasonable fee to
| any interested party; (ii) any IP rights necessary to implement the standard
| are available to all implementers on RAND terms, either with or without
| payment of a reasonable royalty or fee; and...



Copyright activists want Canada to avoid WIPO treaty

,----[ Quote ]
| The Canadian governmentâs affirmation for copyright reform in this monthâs
| throne speech could have implications on technological innovation as well as
| the open source community, according to industry activists.  


Batik-Makers Say "Tidak" to Copyright

,----[ Quote ]
| Interestingly, this is very close to the situation for software. The batik
| motifs correspond to sub-routines: both are part of the commons that everyone
| draws upon; copyrighting those patterns is as counter-productive as patenting
| subroutines, since it makes further creation almost impossible
| without "infringement". This reduces the overall creativity - precisely the
| opposite effect that intellectual monopolists claim.


Are Patents Intellectual Monopolies? You Decide

,----[ Quote ]
| Talking of intellectual monopolies, you may wonder why I use this term (well,
| if you've been reading this blog for long, you probably don't.) But in any
| case, here's an excellent exposition as to why, yes, patents are indeed
| monopolies...


What Are Intellectual Monopolies For?

,----[ Quote ]
| We can't possibly have dveloping countries protecting their traditional
| medicine and national lore - "genetic resources, traditional knowledge and
| folklore" - from being taken and patented by the Western world. After all,
| companies in the latter have an inalienable right to turn a profit by
| licensing that same traditional knowledge it back to the countries it was
| stolen from (this has already happened). That's what intellectual monopolies
| are for.


Another Example Of Patents Putting Lives At Risk

,----[ Quote ]
| Given that Shafer refused to live up to the terms of the deal that he had
| never agreed to in the first place, ABL moved forward and sued Shafer
| directly, and that case is now ongoing -- even as Shafer hopes to invalidate
| the patent through the Patent Office itself. The whole thing is yet another
| story of how patents are being used to stifle innovation -- and sometimes put
| lives at risk. It's tragic that we've been seeing so many such stories
| lately.


Do Patents On Your Website Make You Liable For False Marking?

,----[ Quote ]
| One of the things that tends to keep patent lawsuits in check between two
| larger competing companies is the "patent nuclear war" scenario -- which is
| that if one company sues the other for patent infringement, the latter
| company often can hit back with an equal number of infringement charges.
| Thus, the incentives are for companies to stockpile lots of patents, but not
| necessarily use them... though it does happen occasionally.


The Patent Troll

,----[ Quote ]
| Spangenberg predicts a day when corporations and trolls will live in relative
| harmony. He estimates that in the near future, litigation will be taken out
| of the patent equation, and people will buy and sell intellectual property in
| a way similar to the method now used to buy and sell works of art: auctions
| with built-in criteria to determine value.
| He explains: âThe courts are intermediaries for patents right now, and the
| courts are extremely inefficient. Patents will trade as a commodity in the
| next five to six years, and what I do wonât even exist.


What Is A Patent Worth?

,----[ Quote ]
| Often, the value of a patent is not publicly known because parties often
| settle matters out of court.  Other times, the value of a patent becomes
| abundantly clear after a blockbuster court case.  For example, a jury
| yesterday awarded nearly $1.7 billion to Johnson & Johnson, whose patent the
| jury determined was infringed by Abbott Laboratories' drug, Humira.  Abbott
| Labs plans to appeal the verdict.


The Linux Defenders: Stop the Trolls, Protect Linux, Further Innovation

,----[ Quote ]
| Patent Trolls are an ever-growing threat to global innovation. These IP
| aggregators purchase low-quality patents and use them as leverage to hijack
| potential revenue and profits from hardware and software companies, our
| largest economic driver. This causes entrepreneurs to reconsider launching
| companies, while CEOs devote more of their time and resources to managing
| intellectual property. New online and offline tools and services are becoming
| available to combat Patent Trolls and enable technology companies to focus on
| their core business.


Patent Litigation Weekly: PubPat and "Patent Troll" Make Strange Bedfellows

,----[ Quote ]
| Ravicher acknowledged that it seems strange for a lawyer affiliated with
| PubPatâeven as a volunteerâto have gone so far as to set up his own
| patent-holding company and then sued a group of major Internet players.
| "Dave, if you were to talk to him, heâd say software patents are good, and
| they incentivize innovation," says Ravicher. "Some people canât be friends
| with people who disagree with them. But Iâm friends with lots of people I
| have strenuous disagreements with."
| Asked whether he surprised by his friend's involvement in the business
| colloquially known as "patent trolling," Ravicher pauses, and then
| laughs. "Nothing surprises me these days."


Former Microsoft Exec to Release Patent Troll Study

,----[ Quote ]
| The funny part is that this former executiveâs company makes its money by,
| you guessed it, collecting patents. The firm has yet to assert any of its
| rights in court, however.


Inventor says Google settles patent claim

,----[ Quote ]
| Google has agreed to settle an intellectual property claim brought by serial
| inventor Judah Klausner, who has won settlements in the past from Apple,
| Skype and LG Electronics, Klausner said on Monday.
| The dispute concerned patents that Klausner holds covering so-called visual
| voicemail, which makes voicemail work more like email by sending visual
| alerts of voice messages to computers or phones, allowing users to
| selectively retrieve the messages.
| Visual voicemail is a key feature of many of the latest touchscreen phones on
| the market, including Apple's iPhone. New York-based Klausner holds several
| patents relating to the technology in the United States, Europe and Asia.
| Klausner grabbed the attention of the mobile phone industry in late 2007 when
| his company, privately held Klausner Technologies Inc, sued Apple and six
| other companies for $360 million for violating patents on visual voicemail
| technology.

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