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Gary Edwards

The True Story of How the Patent Bar Captured a Court and Shrank the Intellectual Commons | Cato Unbound - 1 views

  • The change in the law wrought by the Federal Circuit can also be viewed substantively through the controversy over software patents. Throughout the 1960s, the USPTO refused to award patents for software innovations. However, several of the USPTO’s decisions were overruled by the patent-friendly U.S. Court of Customs and Patent Appeals, which ordered that software patents be granted. In Gottschalk v. Benson (1972) and Parker v. Flook (1978), the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals, holding that mathematical algorithms (and therefore software) were not patentable subject matter. In 1981, in Diamond v. Diehr, the Supreme Court upheld a software patent on the grounds that the patent in question involved a physical process—the patent was issued for software used in the molding of rubber. While affirming their prior ruling that mathematical formulas are not patentable in the abstract, the Court held that an otherwise patentable invention did not become unpatentable simply because it utilized a computer.
  • In the hands of the newly established Federal Circuit, however, this small scope for software patents in precedent was sufficient to open the floodgates. In a series of decisions culminating in State Street Bank v. Signature Financial Group (1998), the Federal Circuit broadened the criteria for patentability of software and business methods substantially, allowing protection as long as the innovation “produces a useful, concrete and tangible result.” That broadened criteria led to an explosion of low-quality software patents, from Amazon’s 1-Click checkout system to Twitter’s pull-to-refresh feature on smartphones. The GAO estimates that more than half of all patents granted in recent years are software-related. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court continues to hold, as in Parker v. Flook, that computer software algorithms are not patentable, and has begun to push back against the Federal Circuit. In Bilski v. Kappos (2010), the Supreme Court once again held that abstract ideas are not patentable, and in Alice v. CLS (2014), it ruled that simply applying an abstract idea on a computer does not suffice to make the idea patent-eligible. It still is not clear what portion of existing software patents Alice invalidates, but it could be a significant one.
  • Supreme Court justices also recognize the Federal Circuit’s insubordination. In oral arguments in Carlsbad Technology v. HIF Bio (2009), Chief Justice John Roberts joked openly about it:
  • ...17 more annotations...
  • The Opportunity of the Commons
  • As a result of the Federal Circuit’s pro-patent jurisprudence, our economy has been flooded with patents that would otherwise not have been granted. If more patents meant more innovation, then we would now be witnessing a spectacular economic boom. Instead, we have been living through what Tyler Cowen has called a Great Stagnation. The fact that patents have increased while growth has not is known in the literature as the “patent puzzle.” As Michele Boldrin and David Levine put it, “there is no empirical evidence that [patents] serve to increase innovation and productivity, unless productivity is identified with the number of patents awarded—which, as evidence shows, has no correlation with measured productivity.”
  • While more patents have not resulted in faster economic growth, they have resulted in more patent lawsuits.
  • Software patents have characteristics that make them particularly susceptible to litigation. Unlike, say, chemical patents, software patents are plagued by a problem of description. How does one describe a software innovation in such a way that anyone searching for it will easily find it? As Christina Mulligan and Tim Lee demonstrate, chemical formulas are indexable, meaning that as the number of chemical patents grow, it will still be easy to determine if a molecule has been patented. Since software innovations are not indexable, they estimate that “patent clearance by all firms would require many times more hours of legal research than all patent lawyers in the United States can bill in a year. The result has been an explosion of patent litigation.” Software and business method patents, estimate James Bessen and Michael Meurer, are 2 and 7 times more likely to be litigated than other patents, respectively (4 and 13 times more likely than chemical patents).
  • Software patents make excellent material for predatory litigation brought by what are often called “patent trolls.”
  • Trolls use asymmetries in the rules of litigation to legally extort millions of dollars from innocent parties. For example, one patent troll, Innovatio IP Ventures, LLP, acquired patents that implicated Wi-Fi. In 2011, it started sending demand letters to coffee shops and hotels that offered wireless Internet access, offering to settle for $2,500 per location. This amount was far in excess of the 9.56 cents per device that Innovatio was entitled to under the “Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory” licensing promises attached to their portfolio, but it was also much less than the cost of trial, and therefore it was rational for firms to pay. Cisco stepped in and spent $13 million in legal fees on the case, and settled on behalf of their customers for 3.2 cents per device. Other manufacturers had already licensed Innovatio’s portfolio, but that didn’t stop their customers from being targeted by demand letters.
  • Litigation cost asymmetries are magnified by the fact that most patent trolls are nonpracticing entities. This means that when patent infringement trials get to the discovery phase, they will cost the troll very little—a firm that does not operate a business has very few records to produce.
  • But discovery can cost a medium or large company millions of dollars. Using an event study methodology, James Bessen and coauthors find that infringement lawsuits by nonpracticing entities cost publicly traded companies $83 billion per year in stock market capitalization, while plaintiffs gain less than 10 percent of that amount.
  • Software patents also reduce innovation in virtue of their cumulative nature and the fact that many of them are frequently inputs into a single product. Law professor Michael Heller coined the phrase “tragedy of the anticommons” to refer to a situation that mirrors the well-understood “tragedy of the commons.” Whereas in a commons, multiple parties have the right to use a resource but not to exclude others, in an anticommons, multiple parties have the right to exclude others, and no one is therefore able to make effective use of the resource. The tragedy of the commons results in overuse of the resource; the tragedy of the anticommons results in underuse.
  • In order to cope with the tragedy of the anticommons, we should carefully investigate the opportunity of  the commons. The late Nobelist Elinor Ostrom made a career of studying how communities manage shared resources without property rights. With appropriate self-governance institutions, Ostrom found again and again that a commons does not inevitably lead to tragedy—indeed, open access to shared resources can provide collective benefits that are not available under other forms of property management.
  • This suggests that—litigation costs aside—patent law could be reducing the stock of ideas rather than expanding it at current margins.
  • Advocates of extensive patent protection frequently treat the commons as a kind of wasteland. But considering the problems in our patent system, it is worth looking again at the role of well-tailored limits to property rights in some contexts. Just as we all benefit from real property rights that no longer extend to the highest heavens, we would also benefit if the scope of patent protection were more narrowly drawn.
  • Reforming the Patent System
  • This analysis raises some obvious possibilities for reforming the patent system. Diane Wood, Chief Judge of the 7th Circuit, has proposed ending the Federal Circuit’s exclusive jurisdiction over patent appeals—instead, the Federal Circuit could share jurisdiction with the other circuit courts. While this is a constructive suggestion, it still leaves the door open to the Federal Circuit playing “a leading role in shaping patent law,” which is the reason for its capture by patent interests. It would be better instead simply to abolish the Federal Circuit and return to the pre-1982 system, in which patents received no special treatment in appeals. This leaves open the possibility of circuit splits, which the creation of the Federal Circuit was designed to mitigate, but there are worse problems than circuit splits, and we now have them.
  • Another helpful reform would be for Congress to limit the scope of patentable subject matter via statute. New Zealand has done just that, declaring that software is “not an invention” to get around WTO obligations to respect intellectual property. Congress should do the same with respect to both software and business methods.
  • Finally, even if the above reforms were adopted, there would still be a need to address the asymmetries in patent litigation that result in predatory “troll” lawsuits. While the holding in Alice v. CLS arguably makes a wide swath of patents invalid, those patents could still be used in troll lawsuits because a ruling of invalidity for each individual patent might not occur until late in a trial. Current legislation in Congress addresses this class of problem by mandating disclosures, shifting fees in the case of spurious lawsuits, and enabling a review of the patent’s validity before a trial commences.
  • What matters for prosperity is not just property rights in the abstract, but good property-defining institutions. Without reform, our patent system will continue to favor special interests and forestall economic growth.
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    "Libertarians intuitively understand the case for patents: just as other property rights internalize the social benefits of improvements to land, automobile maintenance, or business investment, patents incentivize the creation of new inventions, which might otherwise be undersupplied. So far, so good. But it is important to recognize that the laws that govern property, intellectual or otherwise, do not arise out of thin air. Rather, our political institutions, with all their virtues and foibles, determine the contours of property-the exact bundle of rights that property holders possess, their extent, and their limitations. Outlining efficient property laws is not a trivial problem. The optimal contours of property are neither immutable nor knowable a priori. For example, in 1946, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the age-old common law doctrine that extended real property rights to the heavens without limit. The advent of air travel made such extensive property rights no longer practicable-airlines would have had to cobble together a patchwork of easements, acre by acre, for every corridor through which they flew, and they would have opened themselves up to lawsuits every time their planes deviated from the expected path. The Court rightly abridged property rights in light of these empirical realities. In defining the limits of patent rights, our political institutions have gotten an analogous question badly wrong. A single, politically captured circuit court with exclusive jurisdiction over patent appeals has consistently expanded the scope of patentable subject matter. This expansion has resulted in an explosion of both patents and patent litigation, with destructive consequences. "
  •  
    I added a comment to the page's article. Patents are antithetical to the precepts of Libertarianism and do not involve Natural Law rights. But I agree with the author that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit should be abolished. It's a failed experiment.
Paul Merrell

German Parliament Says No More Software Patents | Electronic Frontier Foundation - 0 views

  • The German Parliament recently took a huge step that would eliminate software patents (PDF) when it issued a joint motion requiring the German government to ensure that computer programs are only covered by copyright. Put differently, in Germany, software cannot be patented. The Parliament's motion follows a similar announcement made by New Zealand's government last month (PDF), in which it determined that computer programs were not inventions or a manner of manufacture and, thus, cannot be patented.
  • The crux of the German Parliament's motion rests on the fact that software is already protected by copyright, and developers are afforded "exploitation rights." These rights, however, become confused when broad, abstract patents also cover general aspects of computer programs. These two intellectual property systems are at odds. The clearest example of this clash is with free software. The motion recognizes this issue and therefore calls upon the government "to preserve the precedence of copyright law so that software developers can also publish their work under open source license terms and conditions with legal security." The free software movement relies upon the fact that software can be released under a copyright license that allows users to share it and build upon others' works. Patents, as Parliament finds, inhibit this fundamental spread.
  • Just like in the New Zealand order, the German Parliament carved out one type of software that could be patented, when: the computer program serves merely as a replaceable equivalent for a mechanical or electro-mechanical component, as is the case, for instance, when software-based washing machine controls can replace an electromechanical program control unit consisting of revolving cylinders which activate the control circuits for the specific steps of the wash cycle This allows for software that is tied to (and controls part of) another invention to be patented. In other words, if a claimed process is purely a computer program, then it is not patentable. (New Zealand's order uses a similar washing machine example.) The motion ends by calling upon the German government to push for this approach to be standard across all of Europe. We hope policymakers in the United States will also consider fundamental reform that deals with the problems caused by low-quality software patents. Ultimately, any real reform must address this issue.
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    Note that an unofficial translation of the parliamentary motion is linked from the article. This adds substantially to the pressure internationally to end software patents because Germany has been the strongest defender of software patents in Europe. The same legal grounds would not apply in the U.S. The strongest argument for the non-patentability in the U.S., in my opinion, is that software patents embody embody both prior art and obviousness. A general purpose computer can accomplish nothing unforeseen by the prior art of the computing device. And it is impossible for software to do more than cause different sequences of bit register states to be executed. This is the province of "skilled artisans" using known methods to produce predictable results. There is a long line of Supreme Court decisions holding that an "invention" with such traits is non-patentable. I have summarized that argument with citations at . 
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Good News: US Patent Office Now Rejecting A Lot More Software Patents | Techdirt - 0 views

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    "The impact of the Supreme Court's ruling in Alice v. CLS Bank continues to reverberate around the industry. We've already noted that courts have been rapidly invalidating a bunch of patents, and that related lawsuits appear to be dropping rapidly as well. And, now, a new analysis from a (pro-patent) law firm suggests that the US Patent Office is rejecting a lot more software patents as well. "
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Introducing EFF's Stupid Patent of the Month | Electronic Frontier Foundation - 0 views

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    "Here at EFF, we see a lot of stupid patents. There was the patent on "scan to email." And the patent on "bilateral and multilateral decision making." There are so many stupid patents that Mark Cuban endowed a chair at EFF dedicated to eliminating them. We wish we could catalog them all, but with tens of thousands of low-quality software patents issuing every year, we don't have the time or resources to undertake that task."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Finjan, Cisco, JDate and Other Companies Acting Like Patent Trolls; New Threats to Linux | Techrights - 1 views

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    "Summary: News about patents from all across the Web, placing special emphasis on software patents and how these affect Free software projects, including Linux and Android"
Paul Merrell

Open letter to Google: free VP8, and use it on YouTube - Free Software Foundation - 0 views

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    With your purchase of On2, you now own both the world's largest video site (YouTube) and all the patents behind a new high performance video codec -- VP8. Just think what you can achieve by releasing the VP8 codec under an irrevocable royalty-free license and pushing it out to users on YouTube? You can end the web's dependence on patent-encumbered video formats and proprietary software (Flash). This ability to offer a free format on YouTube, however, is only a tiny fraction of your real leverage. The real party starts when you begin to encourage users' browsers to support free formats. There are lots of ways to do this. Our favorite would be for YouTube to switch from Flash to free formats and HTML, offering users with obsolete browsers a plugin or a new browser (free software, of course). Apple has had the mettle to ditch Flash on the iPhone and the iPad -- albeit for suspect reasons and using abhorrent methods (DRM) -- and this has pushed web developers to make Flash-free alternatives of their pages. You could do the same with YouTube, for better reasons, and it would be a death-blow to Flash's dominance in web video. If you care about free software and the free web (a movement and medium to which you owe your success) you must take bold action to replace Flash with free standards and free formats. Patented video codecs have already done untold harm to the web and its users, and this will continue until we stop it. Because patent-encumbered formats were costly to incorporate into browsers, a bloated, ill-suited piece of proprietary software (Flash) became the de facto standard for online video. Until we move to free formats, the threat of patent lawsuits and licensing fees hangs over every software developer, video creator, hardware maker, web site and corporation -- including you. You can use your purchase of On2 merely as a bargaining chip to achieve your own private solution to the problem, but that's both a cop-out and a strategic mistake. Without making VP
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Be Happy: Software Patents Are Rapidly Disappearing Thanks To The Supreme Court | Techdirt - 1 views

  •  
    "from the another-one-gone-and-another-one-gone dept We've written a few times lately about the fact that the Supreme Court's decision in Alice v. CLS Bank seems to have finally broken the dam in getting courts to recognize that most software isn't patentable."
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    "from the another-one-gone-and-another-one-gone dept We've written a few times lately about the fact that the Supreme Court's decision in Alice v. CLS Bank seems to have finally broken the dam in getting courts to recognize that most software isn't patentable."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Free Software, Free Society - Download Here - 0 views

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    "Free Software, Free Society by Richard M. Stallman Publisher: Free Software Foundation 2002 ISBN/ASIN: 1882114981 ISBN-13: 9781882114986 Number of pages: 230 Description: The intersection of ethics, law, business and computer software is the subject of these essays and speeches by MacArthur Foundation Grant winner, Richard M. Stallman. This collection includes historical writings such as The GNU Manifesto, which defined and launched the activist Free Software Movement, along with new writings on hot topics in copyright, patent law, and the controversial issue of "trusted computing." Stallman takes a critical look at common abuses of copyright law and patents when applied to computer software programs, and how these abuses damage our entire society and remove our existing freedoms."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Richard Stallman and Eben Moglen on the Microsoft-Red Hat Deal | Techrights - 0 views

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    "Summary: Founder of Free software and author of the GPL (respectively) comment on what Microsoft and Red Hat have done regarding patents WE FINALLY GOT some feedback regarding the baffling patent agreement which seemingly affects every user of GNU/Linux. We got this feedback from Stallman and (indirectly) Moglen, two of the Free software world's most prominent individuals, especially when it comes to the GPL (GNU Public Licence/License)."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Apple Patents Technology to Legalize P2P Sharing | TorrentFreak * - 1 views

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    "This means that transferring files between devices is only possible if these support Apple's licensing scheme. That's actually a step backwards from the DRM-free music that's sold in most stores today." [* What 'Apple's licensing scheme' -closed source- can hide?]
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    "This means that transferring files between devices is only possible if these support Apple's licensing scheme. That's actually a step backwards from the DRM-free music that's sold in most stores today." [* What 'Apple's licensing scheme' -closed source- can hide?]
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    A business method software patent combining old elements that are all prior art, including DRM. Yech! "... a patent that makes it possible to license P2P sharing" really puts a spin on reality. If the methods were in the public domain, anyone could use them without a license. That's equivalent to to saying "a government-granted monopoly with the power but no responsibility to collect money from anyone who wants to invade the monopoly's protected rights" and presenting that fact as some sort of tremendous philanthropic act by Apple. On software patent claims as prior art and obvious, see my legal memo on that topic here. http://goo.gl/5X8Kg9
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Open Source Initiative, Free Software Foundation unite against software patents | Open Source Software - InfoWorld - 1 views

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    "In rare joint move, OSI and FSF come together to file a U.S. Supreme Court briefing"
Paul Merrell

Supreme Court Will Hear Arguments On Section 101 Software Patent Eligibility | Bloomberg BNA - 0 views

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    U.S. Supreme Court finally to decide whether software patent claims are legal? It looks like this may finally be the case. 
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

MPEG-LA is Preparing New Patent Obstruction (Called DASH) Against Free Software, OIN Grows | Techrights [# ! lead note...] - 0 views

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    "Posted in Patents at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz Summary: A new conspiracy against free multimedia software, set up by the MPEG cartel, is called DASH" [MPEG-LA is technically a troll, one that is backed and funded by Apple and Microsoft, among other giants)]
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Why the software world needs a 'no-fly zone' for patents | ITworld - 0 views

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    "Credit: flickr/Bob Bob Now 10 years old, the Open Invention Network protects more than 2,000 software packages Katherine Noyes By Katherine Noyes"
Paul Merrell

Own Your Own Devices You Will, Under Rep. Farenthold's YODA Bill | Bloomberg BNA - 0 views

  • A bill introduced Sept. 18 would make clear that consumers actually owned the electronic devices, and any accompanying software on that device, that they purchased, according to sponsor Rep. Blake Farenthold's (R-Texas). The You Own Devices Act (H.R. 5586) would amend the Copyright Act “to provide that the first sale doctrine applies to any computer program that enables a machine or other product to operate.” The bill, which is unlikely to receive attention during Congress's lame-duck legislative session, was well-received by consumer's rights groups.
  • Section 109(a) of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §109(a), serves as the foundation for the first sale doctrine. H.R. 5586 would amend Section 109(a) by adding a provision covering “transfer of computer programs.” That provision would state:if a computer program enables any part of a machine or other product to operate, the owner of the machine or other product is entitled to transfer an authorized copy of the computer pro gram, or the right to obtain such copy, when the owner sells, leases, or otherwise transfers the machine or other product to another person. The right to transfer provided under this subsection may not be waived by any agreement.
  • ‘Things' Versus SoftwareFarenthold had expressed concern during a Sept. 17 hearing on Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act over what he perceived was a muddling between patents and copyrights when it comes to consumer products. “Traditionally patent law has protected things and copyright law has protected artistic-type works,” he said. “But now more and more things have software in them and you are licensing that software when you purchase a thing.” Farenthold asked the witnesses if there was a way to draw a distinction in copyright “between software that is an integral part of a thing as opposed to an add-on app that you would put on your telephone.”
  • ...1 more annotation...
  • H.R. 5586 seeks to draw that distinction. “YODA would simply state that if you want to sell, lease, or give away your device, the software that enables it to work is transferred along with it, and that any right you have to security and bug fixing of that software is transferred as well,” Farenthold said in a statement issued Sept. 19.
Paul Merrell

German Parliament tells government to strictly limit patents on software - 0 views

  • Tens of thousands of software patents in Germany and Europe present enormous cost and liability risks, especially for SMEs. Several German SME associations welcomed the Parliament's decision. However they warn against giving all the responsibility to Brussels, as the EU has been consistently incapable of providing software developers with legal certainty. "Germany now has to implement this decision in law, to send a strong signal towards Brussels," says Johannes Sommer of BIKT, one of the associations.
Gary Edwards

What Oracle Sees in Sun Microsystems | NewsFactor Network - 0 views

  • Citigroup's Thill estimates Oracle could cut between 40 percent and 70 percent of Sun's roughly 33,000 employees. Excluding restructuring costs, Oracle expects Sun to add $1.5 billion in profit during the first year after the acquisition closes this summer, and another $2 billion the following year. Oracle executives declined to say how many jobs would be eliminated.
  • Citigroup's Thill estimates Oracle could cut between 40 percent and 70 percent of Sun's roughly 33,000 employees. Excluding restructuring costs, Oracle expects Sun to add $1.5 billion in profit during the first year after the acquisition closes this summer, and another $2 billion the following year. Oracle executives declined to say how many jobs would be eliminated.
  •  
    Good article from Aaron Ricadela. The focus is on Java, Sun's hardware-Server business, and Oracle's business objectives. No mention of OpenOffice or ODf though. There is however an interesting quote from IBM regarding the battle between Java and Microsoft .NET. Also, no mention of a OpenOffice-Java Foundation that would truly open source these technologies.

    When we were involved with the Massachusetts Pilot Study and ODF Plug-in proposals, IBM and Oracle lead the effort to open source the da Vinci plug-in. They put together a group of vendors known as "the benefactors", with the objective of completing work on da Vinci while forming a patent pool - open source foundation for all OpenOffice and da Vinci source. This idea was based on the Eclipse model.

    One of the more interesting ideas coming out of the IBM-Oracle led "benefactors", was the idea of breaking OpenOffice into components that could then be re-purposed by the Eclipse community of developers. The da Vinci plug-in was to be the integration bridge between Eclipse and the Microsoft Office productivity environment. Very cool. And no doubt IBM and Oracle were in synch on this in 2006. The problem was that they couldn't convince Sun to go along with the plan.

    Sun of course owned both Java and OpenOffice, and thought they could build a better ODF plug-in for OpenOffice (and own that too). A year later, Sun actually did produce an ODF plug-in for MSOffice. It was sent to Massachusetts on July 3rd, 2007, and tested against the same set of 150 critical documents da Vinci had to successfully convert without breaking. The next day, July 4th, Massachusetts announced their decision that they would approve the use of both ODF and OOXML! The much hoped for exclusive ODF requirement failed in Massachusetts exactly because Sun insisted on their way or the highway.

    Let's hope Oracle can right the ship and get OpenOffice-ODF-Java back on track.

    "......To gain
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Techright's Roy Schestowitz on All Things Free Tech | FOSS Force - 1 views

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    "Robin "Roblimo" Miller Do you love Microsoft? Dr. Roy Schestowitz doesn't. He also led a "Boycott Novell" movement back when there was a Novell to boycott, and he has crusaded against other tech companies, especially regarding software patents. It is, as they say, "Clean indoor work, but somebody has to do it." And Roy is that somebody."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Canonical Goes to Bed With Company That Sues Linux Using Software Patents and Copyrights (Through SCO) | Techrights - 0 views

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    ""Microsoft hardly needs an SCO source license. Its license payment to SCO is simply a good-looking way to pass along a bribe…""
  •  
    ""Microsoft hardly needs an SCO source license. Its license payment to SCO is simply a good-looking way to pass along a bribe…""
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    ""Microsoft hardly needs an SCO source license. Its license payment to SCO is simply a good-looking way to pass along a bribe…""
Gary Edwards

The new UI wars: Why there's no Flash on iPhone 2.0 « counternotions - 0 views

  • - publishers of Flash apps have to port their apps to native Web apps if they want to run inside a Web browser going forward because the Web has moved off the PC, you can’t accessorize it with PC software anymore, WebKit is so small and light and cross-platform that it is the plug-in now, inside iPhone, iPod, Nokia, Android, iTunes and other Mac and Windows apps - publishers of Flash video have to deploy MPEG-4 H.264/AAC if they want to run inside an audio-video player (on any device) going forward, the decoder chips for this are already in EVERYTHING, from iPod to Blu-Ray to NVIDIA GPU’s Most of the world has already done both of the above, including Google and Apple. This is not the beginning of the end for Flash, it is the end of the end.
  • Notice he doesn’t say at all that Flash is running natively on the ARM CPU inside the iPhone. And once again, as I point out in the article above, technical problems may be solved by Adobe, but cross-platform runtime compatibility and multi-touch UI frameworks remain as serious impediments.
  • the direction Apple is taking in WebKit with canvas, downloadable fonts, SVG, CSS animation, CSS transformations, faster JavaScript, HTML5 audio/video embedding, exposure of multi-touch to JS and so on is precisely to create an open source alternative to the Flash runtime engine, without having to download a proprietary plugin:
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    this article takes the RiA discussion to an entirely new level - the battle between Apple, Adobe and Microsoft to control the future user interface (UI). Adobe Flash extends the aging WiMP model, trying to create a "UI Convergence" across many platforms through the Flash RiA. With iPhone, Apple introduces the patented "gestures UI", running off the WebKit RiA. Microsoft presumably is copying the Flash RiA with the XAML rich WPF Silverlight RiA. Unfortunately, counternotions doe snot cover Silverlight. This incredible discussion is limited to Adobe and Apple.
  •  
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