Archive for the 'Patents' Category

Google and Patents: When You Don’t Even Get Credit For Being Good

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

I know it’s a category mistake to feel human emotions toward a corporate entity, but I can’t help feeling sympathy for Google when I see articles like this (which come out all the time — this one just happens to be today’s example): “A new patent could position Google as the world’s dominant identity platform” But before […]

Wanted: Patent attorney who cares about software freedom.

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

This notice just went up at the Software Freedom Law Center… Could it have anything to do with Microsoft filing suit against TomTom I mean Microsoft filing suit against the free world? They don’t say, but the timing certainly is interesting: SFLC Seeks Patent Attorney dedicated to Software Freedom The Software Freedom Law Center, a […]

What To Do With That Hundred Dollar Bill You Just Found Under The Couch

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

Imagine you run a non-profit organization that does a lot of good, but you’re not allowed to tell anyone about much of it. That’s the bind the Software Freedom Law Center finds itself in all the time. They do a lot of their work behind the scenes, heading off Bad Things before the programming public […]

A better patent system.

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

I just sent this letter to New Scientist magazine; no idea if they’ll print it or not, so I’m posting it here too, as several people have recently expressed interest in this idea: James Love’s proposal for cash prizes to replace today’s patent monopolies (“Fair prices, fair profit”, page 24, Nov. 10-16 New Scientist Special […]

Answering Augusto…

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

A student named Augusto Pedroza posted a comment here recently, a comment containing such a large and complex question that I’ve decided to use this separate blog entry to answer it. Augusto is a Google Summer of Code student, meaning he’s working in an open source software project this summer. He says that as he […]

Does Microsoft’s Horacio Gutierrez lie, or does he just not know?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Microsoft recently claimed that open source code (in particular the Linux kernel) violates 235 of Microsoft’s patents. It’s not clear they actually intend to sue anyone for infringement, it may instead be some kind of bizarre publicity ploy. But there’s a great quote from Microsoft’s licensing chief, Horacio Gutierrez: This is not a case of […]

How to tell that software patents are a bad idea.

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

I’ve written elsewhere about how software patents harm software development. This article is about how there’s very little corresponding benefit to justify that harm. Ostensibly, our patent system is supposed to stimulate innovation and progress, by granting those who come up with a genuinely new and useful invention a temporary monopoly on that invention, as […]