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Google has recently added FFMpeg to Chrome to better support HTML5's video element. FFMpeg is licensed under LGPL 2.1 which states that "if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Library by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Library". Google admits to having obtained a patent license for their use, but still claims they are not violating LGPL. Among the confused we find Håkon Wium Lie and Miguel de Icaza, who wonders what FSF might say. Google doesn't feel like asking FSF for clarification.
by: zoobabzoobab
08 Jun 2009 11:37
1  
How difficult or easy is it to obtain one of the much-touted "royalty-free, reasonable and non-discriminatory" licences for Microsoft patents that are part of a technology like Mono? Judging by the frequency with which references are made to such licences by those who back Novell vice-president Miguel de Icaza's bid to create an open source clone of Microsoft's .NET development environment, it's surprising that no-one has ever ventured to test this claim.
by: zoobabzoobab
08 Jun 2009 11:35
1  
Microsoft may have been a Johnny-come-lately when it comes to parallel programming, but that's not stopping the software giant from trying to patent it. This week, the USPTO revealed that Microsoft has three additional parallel-processing patents pending — 1. Partitioning and Repartitioning for Data Parallel Operations, 2. Data Parallel Searching, and 3. Data Parallel Production and Consumption. Informing the USPTO that 'Software programs have been written to run sequentially since the beginning days of software development,' Microsoft adds there's been a '[recent] shift away from sequential execution toward parallel execution.' Before they grant the patents, let's hope the USPTO gets a second opinion on the novelty of Microsoft's parallel-processing patent claims.
by: zoobabzoobab
08 Jun 2009 11:34
1  
EPOorg: New brochure "Patents for software?" http://tinyurl.com/ls2lz2 06/08/2009 01:17 PM
by: zoobabzoobab
08 Jun 2009 11:31
1  
zoobab: EPO teaches software programmers they have to read and understand 60.000 patents before writing code: http://tinyurl.com/p9lfg6
by: zoobabzoobab
08 Jun 2009 10:35
1  
EPOorg: e-learning modules on patentability of computer-implemented inventions are available http://tinyurl.com/p9lfg6 06/05/2009 10:45 AM
by: zoobabzoobab
08 Jun 2009 10:07
1  
IBM’s position on software patents is definitely very troublesome [1, 2]. However, “IBM was talking about business method patents here,” points out a person with knowledge in this area. “I read somewhere on the net that IBM was behind the Bilski “machine transformation” test.” [...] The nature of software patents is very troubling because to avoid an infringement (willful or not willful) is virtually impossible. Software is written very quickly, without a rigorous manufacturing process. As are result, the patent trolls and aggressors are still having a field day.
by: zoobabzoobab
05 Jun 2009 16:41
1  
I feel I should also say something about the mental act objection that had been raised by the examiner prior to the hearing. The preamble to claim 1 reads "a method of software application development" which could, on a cursory read, be taken to be a method of writing a program which in many instances could constitute a method of performing a mental act. At the hearing I accepted that the invention was more than just a mental act on the basis of the case law on that point existing at that time, notably Aerotel/Macrossan where the court of Appeal expressed the admittedly obiter view that the mental act exclusion did not extend to acts done using computers. However when discussing Fujitsu7 in Symbian, the court expressed the similarly obiter view that the mental act exclusion might indeed extend to acts done on a computer. Thus I think it is fair to say that there remains some uncertainty on this point.
by: zoobabzoobab
05 Jun 2009 14:51
1  
EuroGreens calls for migration of the EPO into the EU, institution out of control of EU citizens: http://i5.be/rE
by: zoobabzoobab
05 Jun 2009 14:17
1  
What Greens want -- Public documents in open formats -- Greens want public documents to be written and conserved in an open format, in order to keep public administrations independent from software publishers and patent holders and ensure document accessibility to all citizens, independent of which software he or she uses.
by: zoobabzoobab
05 Jun 2009 14:14
1  
Even the respondents that promote OSS recognise that its take up, by the private sector as well as public, is inhibited by what OFE and OBOOE call a lack of ‘market confidence’ arising from concerns such as availability of support, skill levels, and understanding of license terms. Although not explicitly identified by respondents, other concerns might include continuity of supply, maintenance, and even liability. OFE and OBOOE also make a case that the application of RAND3 terms for IPR, “particularly when applied to Software Interoperability Standards”, discriminates against OSS. RAND: ‘Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory’ Some respondents suggest measures to facilitate OSS exploitation including measures to address the inhibitions to adoption of OSS and giving preference to OSS licensing of IST R&D. Others, especially CompTIA, argue that any measures that favour OSS (or any business model at all) would distort the market. (It is implicit that this would be detrimental.)
by: zoobabzoobab
05 Jun 2009 13:26
1  
The EPO is already in a limbo and it is appalling to find that the EPO rejects the amicus brief from the former head of the FFII. "Alberto Barrionuevo, CEO of the small spanish software company OpenTIA and ex-president of the FFII, had submitted an amicus brief to the Enlarged Board of Appeal in spanish. The European Patent Office has notified him that they are refusing his letter because it was not written in one of the 3 official languages of the EPO." The EPO is really setting itself for more public embarrassment. Is the EPO for citizens of Europe or is it a private enterprise that only accepts French, German, and English people as “eligible citizens”? The EPO is not so much of a public institute. Like the Federal Reserve, for example, it’s a business.
by: zoobabzoobab
05 Jun 2009 12:50
1  
European Patent Office (EPO) -- Greens want EPO to become a Community Institution, accountable to the Commission and the EP. The EPO shall be publically funded, in order to discourage their practice of issuing high numbers of patents in order to secure EPO financing, which is detrimental to the quality of patents. Greens propose that 5% of the renewal fees of patents are transferred to an independent research and innovation fund.
by: zoobabzoobab
05 Jun 2009 12:38
1  
The Representative of FFII noted that one of its main objectives was to fight software patents. While the European Parliament had given a strong signal in 2005 by rejecting the software patent directive proposal with an overwhelming majority, software patents were still being granted on a massive scale in Europe. He considered that it was a priority for the SCP to address software patentability in the framework of "subject matter exclusions", since new rules for software patents were being developed both by the EPO and by the courts in the United States of America, among others. The Representative observed that the economic benefit of software patents was very controversial, as economists had found that increased software patenting actually coincided with decreased R&D activity, a strong example of the well-known "patent paradox".
by: zoobabzoobab
05 Jun 2009 10:24
1  
The act is intended to stop results from publicly funded research from being misappropriated by foreign multinationals, the project said. It is also meant to measure output from publicly financed research, and to enable technology transfer from research entities to industry, it said. But the negative impact of the regulations far outweigh any benefits, the project argued. The draft rules focus on the use of patenting and other forms of IP protection to commercialise research in the interests of innovation, it said, adding that they are "hostile to, or at the very least suspicious of, open source and open processes."
by: zoobabzoobab
04 Jun 2009 21:07
1  
Alberto Barrionuevo, CEO of the small spanish software company OpenTIA and ex-president of the FFII, had submitted an amicus brief to the Enlarged Board of Appeal in spanish. The European Patent Office has notified him that they are refusing his letter because it was not written in one of the 3 official languages of the EPO. [...] Dear Sir, Any written statement filed to our proceedings should be in one of the official languages of the EPO = German, Enlish or French. [...] Such language discrimination cannot exist at the time we want to build a patent system for Europe.
by: zoobabzoobab
04 Jun 2009 20:36
1  
Alberto Barrionuevo, CEO of the small spanish software company OpenTIA and ex-president of the FFII, had submitted an amicus brief to the Enlarged Board of Appeal in spanish. The European Patent Office has notified him that they are refusing his letter because it was not written in one of the 3 official languages of the EPO. [...] Dear Sir, Any written statement filed to our proceedings should be in one of the official languages of the EPO = German, Enlish or French. [...] Such language discrimination cannot exist at the time we want to build a patent system for Europe.
by: zoobabzoobab
04 Jun 2009 20:23
1  
Accenture (ACN), the big consulting and technology services firm, vigorously supports business-method patents. "Why shouldn't new techniques for managing organizations be entitled to patent protection?" asks Wayne Sobon, Accenture's intellectual-property director, in an interview. "It's exactly like any other engineering field," he says. "Instead of applying science to control electrons, [consultants] apply science and engineering principles to improve how people work better together."
by: zoobabzoobab
04 Jun 2009 19:03
1  
The formula on which the eye recognition system invented by John Daugman is based
by: zoobabzoobab
04 Jun 2009 13:56
1  
If only they had listened to him then! And what a mess the US patent system has become, because they did not listen. Hopefully, Europe will not make the same mistake. You can find the other amicus briefs and letters submitted to the EPO here, and I'll be publishing several of them here on Groklaw in time, to show more reasons why software patents are viewed as so harmful by programmers, those most directly impacted by whatever decision the EPO's Enlarged Board of Appeal reaches. Remember when patent attorney Gene Quinn wrote that software isn't math?
by: zoobabzoobab
04 Jun 2009 13:46
1  
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