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

Linux and Open Source Hardware for IoT

Most of the new 21 open source software projects for IoT that we examined last week listed Linux hacker boards as their prime development platforms. This week, we’ll look at open source and developer-friendly Linux hardware for building Internet of Things devices, from simple microcontroller-based technology to Linux-based boards. In recent years, it’s become hard to find an embedded board that isn’t marketing with the IoT label. Yet, the overused term is best suited for boards with low prices, small footprints, low power consumption, and support for wireless communications and industrial interfaces. Camera support is useful for some IoT applications, but high-end multimedia is usually counterproductive to attributes like low cost and power consumption. Read more

Fedora 24 -- The Best Distro for DevOps?

If you have been to any DevOps-focused conferences -- whether it’s OpenStack Summit or DockerCon -- you will see a sea of MacBooks. Thanks to its UNIX base, availability of Terminal app and Homebrew, Apple hardware is extremely popular among DevOps professionals. What about Linux? Can it be used as a platform by developers, operations, and DevOps pros? Absolutely, says Major Hayden, Principal Architect at Rackspace, who used to be a Mac OS user and has switched to Fedora. Hayden used Mac OS for everything: software development and operations. Mac OS has all the bells and whistles that you need on a consumer operating system; it also allows software professionals to get the job done. But developers are not the target audience of Mac OS. They have to make compromises. “It seemed like I had to have one app that would do one little thing and this other app would do another little thing,” said Hayden. Read more

Today in Techrights

GitHub open-sources internal load-balancing software

GitHub will release as open source the GitHub Load Balancer (GLB), its internally developed load balancer. GLB was originally built to accommodate GitHub’s need to serve billions of HTTP, Git, and SSH connections daily. Now the company will release components of GLB via open source, and it will share design details. Read more