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The IPEG blog quotes patent specialist Jochen Pagenburg on the European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA). Pagenburg suggests that, with discussions having been "fruitless" so far, unless there are big movements forward in 2008, discussions on both EPLA and the Community Patent (talks on which EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy earlier this year described as being "stuck in the mud") might as well be dropped.
by: zoobabzoobab
04 Dec 2007 11:38
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AuctionHelper, a provider of eBay and online-auction management tools since 1997, announced it has been issued a new patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). According to the press release, the patent, No. 7,296,033, covers the basic technology behind the AuctionLynxx tool offered by AuctionHelper, including the fundamental cross-selling methodology that was "pioneered by AuctionLynxx and subsequently copied by others in the industry." AuctionHelper announced that it is one of a series of patents it expects to receive on its fundamental concepts in online auction management.
by: zoobabzoobab
04 Dec 2007 11:34
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Just when the last thing anyone would expect to hear about Apple Inc. is something involving the Newton PDA, the long-gone handheld device is playing a supporting role in a new lawsuit launched Monday against the company and its iPhone.
by: zoobabzoobab
04 Dec 2007 11:33
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Klausner Technologies, Inc.—a patent holding company founded by the "inventor of the PDA" Judah Klausner—today filed lawsuits against Apple, AT&T, Comcast, Cablevision, and eBay's Skype service for infringing on patents related to voice messaging and visual voicemail services. [...] The patents in question are 5,572,576 (cited in all the suits) and 5,283,818 (cited against Apple and AT&T); they both cover systems offering a visual display for selecting and managing recorded audio messages.
by: zoobabzoobab
04 Dec 2007 11:32
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Klausner Technologies files patent lawsuits under its visual voicemail patents against Comcast, Cablevision and eBay Inc.’s Skype with damages and future royalties estimated at $300 million. The lawsuit asserts that the above companies’ VOIP voicemail products and services infringe Klausner Technologies’ U.S. Patent 5,572,576.
by: zoobabzoobab
04 Dec 2007 11:29
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As industry moves from hard engineering to software, it surely is only sensible to carry forward the patent system into this new sector so that new software designs can be protected as the old hardware ones were. Patents underpin progress in all industries. Software is not special. Without software patents, the very existence of large technology firms is at risk.
by: zoobabzoobab
04 Dec 2007 11:26
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Sun Microsystems Inc., the world's fourth-largest maker of server computers, sued business-software maker Trilogy Inc. and its Versata and Nextance units, accusing them of infringing on four U.S. patents. Sun contends that the companies are wrongly using its data-processing systems technology protected by patents awarded since 1998, according to papers filed Nov. 30 in federal court in Wilmington, Del.
by: zoobabzoobab
04 Dec 2007 11:23
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It’s no secret that the patenting system, for software at least, is a mess. I have talked to a number of entrepreneurs, CEOs, CTOs, and even Intellectual Property lawyers and have yet to come across any credible examples of where software patents have had a positive effect.
by: zoobabzoobab
03 Dec 2007 13:09
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In 1965, Marty Goetz filed the first software patent in history -- sparking a 15-year controversy about whether that should even be allowed. In the 1960s, he led a challenge against IBM's monopoly, in particular its bundling of various software programs as part of its operating systems. That business practice, in which all the major hardware vendors of the day engaged, had the result of locking out software innovators. [...] "Hardware was patentable, so why not software?" Goetz says.
by: zoobabzoobab
03 Dec 2007 12:57
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A company that was just awarded more than $140 million from Microsoft in a patent-infringement suit has sued the software giant again, this time for alleged infringements in Windows Vista and Office 2007. Z4 Technologies claims Microsoft has only made "an insignificant change" in Vista and Office to product-activation technology that has been found by U.S. courts to violate patents z4 hold
by: ggiedkeggiedke
01 Dec 2007 11:57
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TiVo appears to have won a decisive victory in its patent infringement lawsuit against satellite TV provider EchoStar. Today, the US Patent and Trademark Office issued a final and unappealable decision on TiVo's patent 6,233,389 for a "multimedia time warping system," ruling that the patent was valid and enforceable.
by: ggiedkeggiedke
30 Nov 2007 07:56
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Google is facing a patent infringement lawsuit from Northeastern University over the use of distributed databases in its search products. The lawsuit, filed (not surprisingly) in the Eastern District of Texas, claims that Google is violating patent 5,694,593 and that the company is causing "irreparable injury" to the plaintiffs.
by: ggiedkeggiedke
29 Nov 2007 20:07
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Virtual Worlds, with their own economies and political systems, have become commonplace.1 This report summarizes the history of the Free Beer debate, which occurred some years ago in Wasted Life, the first virtual world to feature a patent system. For those unfamiliar with Wasted Life, suffice to say that its countries and institutions are closely based on those of our own world, though the many colourful personalities are, of course, entirely fictitious creations of the players themselves.
by: ggiedkeggiedke
29 Nov 2007 18:33
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In the 1980's the Australian Government commissioned a study of the patent system. The patent system in general, not software patents. This study concluded that Australia would be better off abolishing the patent system because it did very little good for society and cause a lot of trouble. The only reason they didn't recommend is that international pressure. So one of the things they cited was that patents which was supposed to disclose information so that they would no longer be secret or in fact useless, for that purpose, engineers never looked at patents to try and learn anything because it's too hard to read them. In fact they quoted that an engineer saying "I can't recognize my own inventions in patents".
by: zoobabzoobab
29 Nov 2007 14:41
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Software Patents ... are the biggest roadblock to IT development. No entity, not even non-commercial open source, is safe from being sued to oblivion for the crime of not only having an idea, but implementing it. The risk is still low enough, that most of us are still taking it. But it is building like an epidemic. The only defense is a policy of Mutually Assured Destruction backed by a massive portfolio of your own asinine software patents.
by: zoobabzoobab
29 Nov 2007 12:06
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The problem with this patent, like many others in a misguided flood of new filings, is that it describes an obvious process to solve a naturally occurring problem. Translating a phone number into an IP address must be accomplished by any provider offering Voice Over IP. Not only is it a common problem, it is a relatively simple problem to solve with multiple natural solutions -- not that that was apparently made clear to the jury. So simple, a first-year computer science student could do it as a weekend homework assignment.
by: zoobabzoobab
29 Nov 2007 10:48
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Charles Babbage is famous as the inventor of the programmable computer. Less well-known, he was also a fierce critic of the British patent system. He wrote that patent law creates “factitious privilages of little value,” where “the most exalted officers of the State in the position of a legalised banditto . . . stab the inventor through the folds of an Act of Parliament and rifle him in the presence of the Lord Chief Justice of England” (Quarterly Review 43, 1830, 333).
by: zoobabzoobab
28 Nov 2007 17:34
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(Q) Are patents incompatible with open-source software? (A) No. For example, several patent holders have announced that they will license their patents to open-source software developers. Other vendors offer open-source software alongside patented software or service offerings. Suppliers and customers can choose on a case-by-case basis whether to use an open source business model or a proprietary business model, or a combination of both.
by: zoobabzoobab
28 Nov 2007 16:24
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A Europe-wide patent litigation system is firmly back on the EU agenda following a meeting of the Competitiveness Council last week – and the elusive Community patent is also up for discussion again.
by: zoobabzoobab
28 Nov 2007 15:24
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PJ: I think software and patents need to get a divorce. They hold back innovation and hence they damage the public and do the exact opposite of what patents are supposed to be for. If you absolutely must have patents on software, then at least enforce the law that says that if you get a patent, you have to disclose fully. At the moment, there really is absolutely no way for a developer to know if what he is developing is or isn't violating someone's patent, no matter how hard he tries. So it's a trap. Any time someone wants to create trouble for you or kill you off as competition, they can. That isn't what patents are supposed to be for. Proprietary vendors may assert that they can't disclose, because then their software will be revealed. OK. But then you should rely on trade secret protection instead, not patents, because the whole point of patents was to induce inventors to reveal their inventions, so others could build on them.
by: zoobabzoobab
28 Nov 2007 14:17
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