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[News] Patently-O Gives In Re Bilski Timetable, Apple Patents Software (Junk Patents), OIN Offers No Real Solution

  • Subject: [News] Patently-O Gives In Re Bilski Timetable, Apple Patents Software (Junk Patents), OIN Offers No Real Solution
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 02 Jun 2010 05:49:02 +0100
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.4.2
Hash: SHA1

Bilski Watch: Timing of Supreme Court Decisions

,----[ Quote ]
| The chart below is based on Prof. Millerâs 
| data and reports the number of days elapsed 
| from the oral argument to the release of 
| the decision for each case.  The average 
| delay is about 90 days (median of 77 days).  
| As seen in the chart, Bilski has the 
| longest delay (and that delay continues to 
| grow).  A decision in Bilski is expected by 
| June 28, 2010.


Apple Submits Patent For On-The-Go Shopping List

,----[ Quote ]
| In this particular software patent filing, 
| Apple describes the ability to create a 
| shopping list on the iPhone OS and the 
| software permitting the user to check out 
| electronically.


Open Invention Network (OIN) demystified

,----[ Quote ]
| Only six companies call the shots
| The OIN's name starts with an utterly 
| misleading term: "open".
| In reality, the organization is owned and 
| run by a closed circle of six companies, 
| some of whom have a terrible background 
| concerning software patents:
|     * IBM (the world's largest patent 
|     holder and one of the most ruthless 
|     ones, recently in the news for 
|     betraying its own "patent pledge" by 
|     infringement assertions made against 
|     open-source startup TurboHercules)
|     * Philips (a company that once 
|     benefited from the temporary abolition 
|     of patents in its country but later 
|     lobbied extremely aggressively for 
|     software patents, left the World Wide 
|     Web Consortium because of the latter's 
|     royalty-free patent policy, and 
|     threatened politicians with killing 
|     software development jobs in Europe if 
|     they weren't going to allow software 
|     patents, even though patents are always 
|     related to a target market in which 
|     they're valid and 100% independent from 
|     where in the world the patented 
|     invention is made)
|     * NEC (a large patent holder)
|     * Sony (a large patent holder)
|     * Novell (which never supported any 
|     serious push against software patents 
|     and instead told EU officials in 2004 
|     that it liked software patents a lot 
|     except that a proposed EU law on them 
|     appeared to limit "customer choice" a 
|     bit too much)
|     * Red Hat (which lobbied to keep the 
|     aforementioned EU bill alive when we 
|     had already formed a majority for its 
|     rejection, and which partners with IBM 
|     on a number of initiatives that appear 
|     to protect FOSS but are either 
|     ineffectual or even potentially 
|     harmful)
| [...]
| So what is the OIN good for?
| The fact of the matter is that today, 
| almost five years after its foundation, the 
| OIN still hasn't proven its ability to help 
| any Linux (or other FOSS) company in any 
| meaningful way. Totally unsubstantiated and 
| illogical claims by propagandists aren't a 
| substitute for a single convincing success 
| story. That success story would have to 
| consist in some company potentially hostile 
| to open source (and with a dangerous patent 
| arsenal) accepting the OIN's licensing 
| terms. That hasn't happened and I have 
| serious doubt that it ever will.
| The OIN continues to buy patents at 
| auctions that might otherwise be acquired 
| by regular trolls. At first sight, that may 
| sound good. But given the intransparent and 
| arbitrary structure of the OIN, it's not 
| clear whether that's actually the lesser or 
| the greater evil than a conventional troll. 
| In the end, the OIN is under the control of 
| those six companies who could decide to use 
| some of those patents against competitors, 
| including FOSS competitors. By controlling 
| the definition of what the OIN calls the 
| "Linux System", they can always ensure that 
| their competitors don't benefit from it, 
| even if they were or became OIN licensees.
| Buying those patents at auctions is really 
| expensive. So far the OIN has spent 
| hundreds of millions of dollars. Given the 
| way businesses operate, that's not the 
| amount of money that one would spend 
| unselfishly. Instead, that level of 
| investment, intransparency and unbalanced 
| rights suggests ulterior motives, if not a 
| long-term hidden agenda.

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