Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

“Sent off” for patent abuse.

Filed under
Legal

Zdnet has an interesting article about Microsoft and the patent system. Microsoft recently indicated that they thought the patent system needed serious reform, they then went and patented a heap more obvious or non original ideas apparently to prove their case that the patent system needs reform. I suspect Microsoft’s idea of reform is a system where they get free run, but where people challenging their patents or people suing them for infringement don’t. Microsoft has patented 3000 “ideas” so far this year alone, so I can see why they patent system needs reform, but it’s not until you consider that it costs Microsoft $100,000,000 a year to defend itself in patent cases that you get an idea of why they might think it needs reform.

To reform the patent process isn’t that hard, the problem stems from the overworked and underpaid folks working at the patent office who don’t have knowledge or experience in all the fields they are being asked to rule on. What should happen is an industry consortium of experts in each field should be created. And all patents for their field should have to pass though those experts before being granted. This would ensure that people actually knowledgeable about a field would be making the decision that something is innovative and non obvious. There should also be some sort of period just before approval when applications are made available in a public forum and the public get a chance to show prior art or other reasons why a patent should not be granted. The experts should then have to review any relevant evidence that came up before making the final decision. Zdnet’s idea that frequent offenders be banned from the table is a good one also.

It isn’t perfect, but it would be much better then what we have now. I have no idea if anything I’ve written offends any patents out there and it’s likely that I won’t know until the holder takes me to court and that worries me a lot as I’m just a little guy plodding along in the trenches. This doesn’t discuss the need or implications of software patents directly, I personally think copyright is all that is needed for software, just like print media, movies and music. But the problems detailed above are 100 times worse when applied to as intricate and ill defined a process as “software".

Source.

More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

96Boards SBC showcases Mediatek’s deca-core Helio X20

MediaTek launched the fastest open-spec SBC to date with a 96Boards development board that runs Android on its deca-core Cortex-A53 and -A72 Helio X20 SoC. The “Helio X20 Development Board” is MediaTek’s first 96Boards form-factor single-board computer, and the most powerful open-spec hacker SBC to date. Although we’ve seen some fast 64-bit SoCs among 96Boards SBCs, such as the HiKey, based on an octa-core, Cortex-A53 HiSilicon Kirin 6220, the Helio X20 Development Board offers an even more powerful Helio X20 system-on-chip processor. Read more

Red Hat Financial News

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • New projects, security, and more OpenStack news
  • LibreOffice 5.1.4 Released with Over 130 Fixes
    The first release candidate represented 123 fixes. Some include a fix for a crash in Impress when setting a background image. This occurred with several popular formats in Windows and Linux. Caolán McNamara submitted the patches to fix this in the 5.1 and 5.2 branches. David Tardon fixed a bug where certain presentations hung Impress for extended periods to indefinitely by checking for preconditions earlier. Laurent Balland-Poirier submitted the patches to fix a user-defined cell misinterpretation when using semicolon inside quotes.
  • Open source. Open science. Open Ocean. Oceanography for Everyone and the OpenCTD
    Nearly four years ago, Kersey Sturdivant and I launched a bold, ambitious, and, frankly, naive crowdfunding initiative to build the first low-cost, open-source CTD, a core scientific instrument that measures salinity, temperature, and depth in a water column. It was a dream born from the frustration of declining science funding, the expense of scientific equipment, and the promise of the Maker movement. After thousands of hours spent learning the skills necessary to build these devices, hundreds of conversations with experts, collaborators, and potential users around the world, dozens of iterations (some transformed into full prototypes, others that exist solely as software), and one research cruise on Lake Superior to test the housing and depth and temperature probes, the OpenCTD has arrived.
  • RuuviTag Open-Source Bluetooth Internet Of Things Sensor Beacon Hits Kickstarter (video)
  • Retro gaming on open source 2048 console
    Retro gaming in the open source vein could be on the upswing this season. Creoqode is the London-based technology design company behind 2048, the DIY game console with retro-style video games and visuals that is also supposed to help users learn coding.