jm + swpats   37

Relicensing React, Jest, Flow, and Immutable.js | Engineering Blog | Facebook Code
This decision comes after several weeks of disappointment and uncertainty for our community. Although we still believe our BSD + Patents license provides some benefits to users of our projects, we acknowledge that we failed to decisively convince this community.
facebook  opensource  react  patents  swpats  bsd  licensing 
22 days ago by jm
The React license for founders and CTOs – James Ide – Medium
Decent explanation of _why_ Facebook came up with the BSD+Patents license: "Facebook’s patent grant is about sharing its code while preserving its ability to defend itself against patent lawsuits."
The difficulty of open sourcing code at Facebook, including React in 2013, was one of the reasons the company’s open-source contributions used to be a fraction of what they are today. It didn’t use to have a strong reputation as an open-source contributor to front-end technologies. Facebook wanted to open source code, though; when it grew communities for projects like React, core contributors emerged to help out and interview candidates often cited React and other Facebook open source as one of the reasons they were interested in applying. People at Facebook wanted to make it easier to open source code and not worry as much about patents. Facebook’s solution was the Facebook BSD+Patents license.
facebook  bsd  licenses  licensing  asf  patents  swpats  react  license  software-patents  open-source  rocksdb 
5 weeks ago by jm
U.S. top court tightens patent suit rules in blow to 'patent trolls'
This is excellent news, and a death knell for the East Texas patent troll court (cf https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/the-small-town-judge-who-sees-a-quarter-of-the-nations-patent-cases ):
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday tightened rules for where patent lawsuits can be filed in a decision that may make it harder for so-called patent "trolls" to launch sometimes dodgy patent cases in friendly courts, a major irritant for high-tech giants like Apple and Alphabet Inc's Google.

In a decision that upends 27 years of law governing patent infringement cases, the justices sided with beverage flavoring company TC Heartland LLC in its legal battle with food and beverage company Kraft Heinz Co (KHC.O). The justices ruled 8-0 that patent suits can be filed only in courts located in the jurisdiction where the targeted company is incorporated.


via Brad Fitzgerald
via:bradfitz  patents  swpats  east-texas  law  trolls  supreme-court  infringement 
may 2017 by jm
React’s license: necessary and open?
Luis Villa:

'Is the React license elegant? No. Should you be worried about using it? Probably not. If anything, Facebook’s attempt to give users an explicit patent license should probably be seen as a good faith gesture that builds some confidence in their ecosystem. But yeah, don’t use it if your company intends to invest heavily in React and also sue Facebook over unrelated patents. That… would be dumb. :)'
luis-villa  open-source  react  facebook  patents  swpats  licensing  licenses  bsd 
november 2016 by jm
Ludicrous Patent of the Week: Rectangles on a computer screen
"Chinese internet giant Tencent" have been granted a USPTO patent for drawing a box on a screen.
boxes  screen  tencent  patents  uspto  funny  absurd  swpats  via:markdennehy 
october 2016 by jm
IBM goes full patent troll
Prodigy software patents invoked in suit against GroupOn. Patent troll mode activated :( (via Paul Graham)
ibm  patents  swpats  paul-graham  patent-trolls  prodigy  groupon 
march 2016 by jm
HP is trying to patent Continuous Delivery
This is appalling bollocks from HP:
On 1st March 2015 I discovered that in 2012 HP had filed a patent (WO2014027990) with the USPO for ‘Performance tests in a continuous deployment pipeline‘ (the patent was granted in 2014). [....] HP has filed several patents covering standard Continuous Delivery (CD) practices. You can help to have these patents revoked by providing ‘prior art’ examples on Stack Exchange.

In fairness, though, this kind of shit happens in most big tech companies. This is what happens when you have a broken software patenting system, with big rewards for companies who obtain shitty troll patents like these, and in turn have companies who reward the engineers who sell themselves out to write up concepts which they know have prior art. Software patents are broken by design!
cd  devops  hp  continuous-deployment  testing  deployment  performance  patents  swpats  prior-art 
march 2015 by jm
Software patents are crumbling, thanks to the Supreme Court
Now a series of decisions from lower courts is starting to bring the ruling's practical consequences into focus. And the results have been ugly for fans of software patents. By my count there have been 11 court rulings on the patentability of software since the Supreme Court's decision — including six that were decided this month.  Every single one of them has led to the patent being invalidated. This doesn't necessarily mean that all software patents are in danger — these are mostly patents that are particularly vulnerable to challenge under the new Alice precedent. But it does mean that the pendulum of patent law is now clearly swinging in an anti-patent direction. Every time a patent gets invalidated, it strengthens the bargaining position of every defendant facing a lawsuit from a patent troll.
patents  law  alice  swpats  software  supreme-court  patent-trolls 
september 2014 by jm
How the patent trolls won in Congress: Ars Technica
"We felt really good the last couple of days," said the tech lobbyist. "It was a good deal—one we could live with. Then the trial lawyers and pharma went to Senator Reid late this morning and said that's it. Enough with the children playing in the playground—go kill it."
ars-technica  patents  swpats  patent-trolls  pharma  tech  us-politics  congress  lawyers 
may 2014 by jm
'Monitoring and detecting causes of failures of network paths', US patent 8,661,295 (B1)
The first software patent in my name -- couldn't avoid it forever :(
Systems and methods are provided for monitoring and detecting causes of failures of network paths. The system collects performance information from a plurality of nodes and links in a network, aggregates the collected performance information across paths in the network, processes the aggregated performance information for detecting failures on the paths, analyzes each of the detected failures to determine at least one root cause, and initiates a remedial workflow for the at least one root cause determined. In some aspects, processing the aggregated information may include performing a statistical regression analysis or otherwise solving a set of equations for the performance indications on each of a plurality of paths. In another aspect, the system may also include an interface which makes available for display one or more of the network topology, the collected and aggregated performance information, and indications of the detected failures in the topology.


The patent describes an early version of Pimms, the network failure detection and remediation system we built for Amazon.
amazon  pimms  swpats  patents  networking  ospf  autoremediation  outage-detection 
may 2014 by jm
Actually, Mr. Waxman, Consumers Are Sued For Patent Infringement All the Time | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Patent trolls have sued or threatened to sue tens of thousands of end-users. For example, Innovatio attacked cafes, bakeries, and even a funeral parlor for using off-the-shelf Wi-Fi routers. And the notorious scanner troll, MPHJ, targeted small businesses and nonprofits around the country for using ordinary office equipment. As a recent paper explained: “Mass suits against technology customers have become too common, involving building block technologies like wi-fi, scanning, email and website technologies.”

The growth in patent suits against customers reveals the importance of the Limelight case. A ruling that made it even easier to sue customers (by allowing suits against someone who performs just some steps of a patent) would encourage patent trolls to launch more abusive litigation campaigns. We hope the Supreme Court will restore the sensible rule that only a single entity (or its agents) can infringe a patent.
patents  uspto  swpats  eff  consumer  law  legal  patent-infringement  scanners  wifi  printers 
may 2014 by jm
For world’s biggest troll, first patent case ends up in tatters
Love it. Intellectual Ventures suffers a major bloody nose in IV/Capital One patent-trolling litigation
trolls  patent-trolls  patents  swpats  capital-one  intellectual-ventures 
april 2014 by jm
Difference Engine: Obituary for software patents
The Economist reckons we're finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel where the patent troll shakedown is concerned:
If the use of state consumer-protection laws to ward off frivolous patent suits were to catch on, it could give the trolls serious pause for thought—especially if their mass mailings of threatening letters to businesses were met by dozens of law suits from attorneys general demanding their presence in state courts across the land. One way or another, things are beginning to look ominous for those who would exploit the inadequacies of America’s patent system.
the-economist  patents  swpats  trolls  us  east-texas  law 
december 2013 by jm
Jury: Newegg infringes Spangenberg patent, must pay $2.3 million | Ars Technica
Newegg, an online retailer that has made a name for itself fighting the non-practicing patent holders sometimes called "patent trolls," sits on the losing end of a lawsuit tonight. An eight-person jury came back shortly after 7:00pm and found that the company infringed all four asserted claims of a patent owned by TQP Development, a company owned by patent enforcement expert Erich Spangenberg.


"patent enforcement expert". That's one way to put it. This is insanity.
tech  swpats  patents  newegg  tqp  crypto  whitfield-diffie 
november 2013 by jm
Newegg trial: Crypto legend takes the stand, goes for knockout patent punch | Ars Technica

"We've heard a good bit in this courtroom about public key encryption," said Albright. "Are you familiar with that?

"Yes, I am," said Diffie, in what surely qualified as the biggest understatement of the trial.

"And how is it that you're familiar with public key encryption?"

"I invented it."


(via burritojustice)
crypto  tech  security  patents  swpats  pki  whitfield-diffie  history  east-texas  newegg  patent-trolls 
november 2013 by jm
Intellectual Ventures' Evil Knows No Bounds: Buys Patent AmEx Donated For Public Good... And Starts Suing
The problem with software patents, part XVII.
So you have a situation where even when the original patent holder donated the patent for "the public good," sooner or later, an obnoxious patent troll like IV comes along and turns it into a weapon.
Again: AmEx patented those little numbers on your credit card, and then for the good of the industry and consumer protection donated the patent to a non-profit, who promised not to enforce the patent against banks... and then proceeded to sell the patent to Intellectual Ventures who is now suing banks over it.
intellectual-ventures  scams  patents  swpats  shakedown  banking  cvv  american-express  banks  amex  cmaf 
october 2013 by jm
Patent troll Lodsys chickens out, folds case rather than face Eugene Kaspersky
In Kaspersky's view, patent trolls are no better than the extortionists who cropped up in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union, when crime ran rampant. Kaspersky saw more and more people becoming victims of various extortion schemes. US patent trolls seemed very similar. "Kaspersky's view was that paying patent trolls was like paying a protection racket," said Kniser. He wasn't going to do it.


yay! pity it didn't manage to establish precedent, though. But go Kaspersky!
eugene-kaspersky  shakedowns  law  east-texas  swpats  patents  patent-trolls 
october 2013 by jm
In historic vote, New Zealand bans software patents | Ars Technica
This is amazing news. Paying attention, Sean Sherlock?
A major new patent bill, passed in a 117-4 vote by New Zealand's Parliament after five years of debate, has banned software patents. The relevant clause of the patent bill actually states that a computer program is "not an invention." Some have suggested that was a way to get around the wording of the TRIPS intellectual property treaty, which requires patents to be "available for any inventions, whether products or processes, in all fields of technology." [...]

One Member of Parliament who was deeply involved in the debate, Clare Curran, quoted several heads of software firms complaining about how the patenting process allowed "obvious things" to get patented and that "in general software patents are counter-productive." Curran quoted one developer as saying, "It's near impossible for software to be developed without breaching some of the hundreds of thousands of patents granted around the world for obvious work."
"These are the heavyweights of the new economy in software development," said Curran. "These are the people that needed to be listened to, and thankfully, they were."
new-zealand  nz  patents  swpats  law  trips  ip  software-patents  yay 
august 2013 by jm
Branded to death | Features | Times Higher Education
The most abominable monster now threatening the intellectual health and the integrity of pure enquiry as well as conscientious teaching is the language of advertising, or better, the machinery of propaganda. Any number of critics from within university walls have warned the people at large and academics in particular of the way the helots of advertising and the state police of propaganda bloat and distort the language of thoughtful description, peddle with a confident air generalisations without substance, and serenely circulate orotund lies while ignoring their juniors’ rebuttals and abuse.


Relevant to this argument -- http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/07/the-webs-longest-nightmare-ends-eolas-patents-are-dead-on-appeal/ notes that 'the role of the University of California [was] one of the most perplexing twists in the Eolas saga. The university kept a low profile during the lead-up to trial; but once in Texas, Eolas' lawyers constantly reminded the jury they were asserting "these University of California patents." A lawyer from UC's patent-licensing division described support for Eolas at trial by simply saying that the university "stands by its licensees."'
branding  advertising  newspeak  universities  third-level  eolas  higher-education  education  research  university-of-california  ucb  patents  ip  swpats 
july 2013 by jm
The Web’s longest nightmare ends: Eolas patents are dead on appeal | Ars Technica
Ding dong, the troll is dead! Ars Technica with a great description of the Eolas web patent fiasco, and the UC system's sorry role. I blame Bayh-Dole for creating this insane mindset where places of learning are forced to "monetize" their research.
Under Doyle's conception of his own invention, practically any modern website owed him royalties. Playing a video online or rotating an image on a shopping website were "interactive" features that infringed his patents. And unlike many "patent trolls" who simply settle for settlements just under the cost of litigation, Doyle's company had the chops, the lawyers, and the early filing date needed to extract tens of millions of dollars from the accused companies. [...]

The role of the University of California is one of the most perplexing twists in the Eolas saga. The university kept a low profile during the lead-up to trial; but once in Texas, Eolas lawyers constantly reminded the jury they were asserting "these University of California patents." A lawyer from UC's patent-licensing division described support for Eolas at trial by simply saying that the university "stands by its licensees." (Eolas was technically an exclusive licensee of the UC-owned patent, which also gives it the right to sue.)

At the same time, the University of California, and the Berkeley campus in particular, was a key institution in creating early web technology. While UC lawyers cooperated with the plaintiffs, two UC Berkeley-trained computer scientists were key witnesses in the effort to demolish the Eolas patents.

Pei-Yuan Wei created the pioneering Viola browser, a key piece of prior art, while he was a student at UC-Berkeley in the early 1990s. Scott Silvey, another UC-Berkeley student at that time, testified about a program he made called VPlot, which allowed users to rotate an image of an airplane using Wei's browser. VPlot and Viola were demonstrated to Sun Microsystems in May 1993, months before Doyle claimed to have conceived of his invention.
patents  swpats  eolas  web  patent-trolls  ucb  universities  research  viola  plugins  berkeley 
july 2013 by jm
Newegg nukes “corporate troll” Alcatel in third patent appeal win this year
I am loving this. Particularly this:

At trial in East Texas Cheng took the stand to tell Newegg's story. Alcatel-Lucent's corporate representative, at the heart of its massive licensing campaign, couldn't even name the technology or the patents it was suing Newegg over.

"Successful defendants have their litigation managed by people who care," said Cheng. "For me, it's easy. I believe in Newegg, I care about Newegg. Alcatel Lucent, meanwhile, they drag out some random VP—who happens to be a decorated Navy veteran, who happens to be handsome and has a beautiful wife and kids—but the guy didn't know what patents were being asserted. What a joke."

"Shareholders of public companies that engage in patent trolling should ask themselves if they're really well-served by their management teams," Cheng added. "Are they properly monetizing their R&D? Surely there are better ways to make money than to just rely on litigating patents. If I was a shareholder, I would take a hard look as to whether their management was competent."
patents  ip  swpats  alcatel  bell-labs  newegg  east-texas  litigation  lucent 
may 2013 by jm
Meet the nice-guy lawyers who want $1,000 per worker for using scanners | Ars Technica
Great investigative journalism, interviewing the legal team behind the current big patent-troll shakedown; that on scanning documents with a button press, using a scanner attached to a network. They express whole-hearted belief in the legality of their actions, unsurprisingly -- they're exactly what you think they'd be like (via Nelson)
via:nelson  ethics  business  legal  patents  swpats  patent-trolls  texas  shakedown 
april 2013 by jm
The Patent Protection Racket
Joel On Software weighs in (via Tony Finch):
The fastest growing industry in the US right now, even during this time of slow economic growth, is probably the patent troll protection racket industry.
joel-on-software  patents  swpats  shakedown  extortion  us-politics  patent-trolls  via:fanf 
april 2013 by jm
East Texas Judge Says Mathematical Algorithms Can’t Be Patented, Dismisses Uniloc Claim Against Rackspace
This seems pretty significant. Is the tide turning in the Texas Eastern District against patent trolls, at last? And does it establish sufficient precedent?

A federal judge has thrown out a patent claim against Rackspace, ruling that mathematical algorithms can’t be patented. The ruling in the Eastern Disrict stemmed from a 2012 complaint filed by Uniloc USA asserting that processing of floating point numbers by the Linux operating system was a patent violation.

Chief Judge Leonard Davis based the ruling on U.S. Supreme Court case law that prohibits the patenting of mathematical algorithms. According to Rackspace, this is the first reported instance in which the Eastern District of Texas has granted an early motion to dismiss finding a patent invalid because it claimed unpatentable subject matter.

Red Hat, which supplies Linux to Rackspace, provided Rackspace’s defense. Red Hat has a policy of standing behind customers through its Open Source Assurance program.


See https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5455869 for more discussion.
east-texas  patents  swpats  maths  patenting  law  judges  rackspace  linux  red-hat  uniloc-usa  floating-point 
march 2013 by jm
The America Invents Act: Fighting Patent Trolls With "Prior Art"
Don Marti makes some suggestions regarding the America Invents Act: record your work's timeline; use the new Post-Grant Challenging process; and use the new "prior user" defence, which lets you rely on your own non-public uses.
many of the best practices for tracking new versions of software and other digital assets can also help protect you against patent trolls. It’s a good time to talk to your lawyer about a defensive strategy, and to connect that strategy to your version control and deployment systems to make sure you’re collecting and retaining all of the information that could help you under this new law.
swpats  patent-trolls  patenting  us  prior-art 
march 2013 by jm
How the America Invents Act Will Change Patenting Forever
Bet you didn't think the US software patents situation could get worse? wrong!
“Now it’s really important to be the first to file, and it’s really important to file before somebody else puts a product out, or puts the invention in their product,” says Barr, adding that it will “create a new urgency on the part of everyone to file faster -- and that’s going to be a problem for the small inventor.”
first-to-file  omnishambles  uspto  swpats  patents  software-patents  law  legal 
march 2013 by jm
The Silencing of Maya
software patent shakedown threatens to remove a 4-year-old's only means of verbal expression: 'Maya can speak to us, clearly, for the first time in her life. We are hanging on her every word. We’ve learned that she loves talking about the days of the week, is weirdly interested in the weather, and likes to pretend that her toy princesses are driving the bus to school (sometimes) and to work (other times). This app has not only allowed her to communicate her needs, but her thoughts as well. It’s given us the gift of getting to know our child on a totally different level. I’ve been so busy embracing this new reality and celebrating, that I kind of forgot that there was an ongoing lawsuit, until last Monday. When Speak for Yourself was removed from the iTunes store.'
speak-for-yourself  children  law  swpats  patenting  stories  ipad  apps 
june 2012 by jm
A one-line software patent – and a fix
Just another sad story of how software patenting made a standard useless. "I had once hoped that JBIG-KIT would help with the exchange of scanned documents on the Internet, facilitate online inter-library loans, and make paper archives more accessible to users all over the world. However, the impact was minimal: no web browser dared to directly support a standardized file format covered by 23 patents, the last of which expired today. About 25 years ago, large IT research organizations discovered standards as a gold mine, a vehicle to force users to buy patent licenses, not because the technology is any good, but because it is required for compatibility. This is achieved by writing the standards very carefully such that there is no way to come up with a compatible implementation that does not require a patent license, an art that has been greatly perfected since."
via:fanf  patents  jbig1  swpats  scanning  standards  rand  frand  licensing 
april 2012 by jm
'What Idiot Wrote The Patent That Might Invalidate Software Patents? Oh, Wait, That Was Me' | Techdirt
'So I was thinking - great they invalidated software patents, lets see what crappy patent written by an idiot they picked to do it - then I realized the idiot in question was me :-)

Not sure how I feel about this.

John - inventor of the patent in question.'
patents  swpats  reform  usa  software-development  coding  funny  techdirt 
august 2011 by jm
France To Launch a National Patent Troll
'The operation, called "France Brevets" will buy up patents from small operation and put the French government in charge of [...] shaking down companies for money.' I think the word is: incroyable
france  fail  omgwtfbbq  patent-trolls  swpats  patents  government  innovation  software  europe 
june 2011 by jm
Chromium Blog: HTML Video Codec Support in Chrome
'we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.'
google  chrome  video  webm  h264  open-source  swpats  from delicious
january 2011 by jm
RunwayFinder shut down by patent trolls
“While we appreciate your offer to shut down the website to stop future infringement, we notice that your website is still operation. And without further information from you, our only means to assess the potential damages is the observation that your website had 22,256 unique visitors in July 2010. Each visit represents a potential lost sale of our client’s patented invention at $149 per sale. This damage calculation exceeds $3.2 million per month in lost revenue.”
patents  swpats  patent-trolls  flightprep  runwayfinder  aviation  web  law  from delicious
december 2010 by jm
Fried Androids? :: The Future of the Internet — And How to Stop It
scary stuff. East Texas patent-troll court has ruled that EchoStar must remotely disable customers' DVRs due to patent infringement, which they are (thankfully) refusing to do and are now held in contempt for $200M -- the blog suggests this could happen due to the Google-Oracle suit, to Android phones
google  via:tieguy  law  east-texas  dvr  remote-disabling  internet  oracle  swpats  from delicious
august 2010 by jm
Why We Need To Abolish Software Patents
'Pam Samuelson, one of the co-authors of the report, says that her conclusion from the research is that the world may be better off without software patents; that the biggest beneficiaries of software patents are patent lawyers and patent trolls, not entrepreneurs.' no shit, Sherlock
ip  patents  techcrunch  startups  swpats  via:brian-caulfield  software  from delicious
august 2010 by jm
XOR patent killed Commodore-Amiga
'Apparently Commodore-Amiga owed $10M for patent infringement. Because of that, the US government wouldn't allow any CD-32's into the USA. And because of that, the Phillippines factory seized all of the CD-32's that had been manufactured to cover unpaid expenses. And that was the end'
cd32  commodore  computers  history  ip  patents  software  swpats  xor  amiga  from delicious
july 2010 by jm
Total victory for open source software in a patent lawsuit
yay, Red Hat beat down patent troll IP Innovation, L.L.C. (a subsidiary of Acacia Technologies), in East Texas no less
ip  law  legal  novell  linux  open-source  patents  redhat  swpats  uspto  acacia-technologies  from delicious
may 2010 by jm

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