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Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Software Patents

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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And I thought patents encouraged innovation

Not to speak of being essential for start-up firms that wanted support from venture capitalists.

Microsoft patents file rights management

Microsoft obtained yesterday patent 7,617,530, a "rights elevator":
Systems and/or methods are described that enable a user to elevate his or her rights. In one embodiment, these systems and/or methods present a user interface identifying an account having a right to permit a task in response to the task being prohibited based on a user's current account not having that right.

People familiar with UNIX or Linux recognize immediately the file rights management that is inherent in the security that these operating systems offer. In particular, the command line instruction sudo does exactly what this patent claims: it allows a user to see a file or run a command for which it has no privileges. The sudo command dates back to around 1980. The file rights management predates this by many years.

Is somebody asleep at the wheel at the US Patent Office?

Microsoft goes after the weak to assert its software patents?

Ryan Paul writes "Microsoft has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against TomTom alleging that the device maker's products, including some that are Linux-based, infringe on patents related to Microsoft's FAT32 filesystem. This marks the first time that Microsoft has enforced its FAT patents against the Linux platform, a move that some free software advocates have long feared could be disastrous link here."

Such a move has long been expected, and from time to time, MS has made noises about its software patents being infringed but then didn't pursue it. This raises the possibility that MS feels more threatened than in the past by competition from Linux.

The choice of TomTom, a small firm, as the target suggests that MS thinks it is likely to fold and would like to have a precedent. Is it possible that MS also believes software patents may not be solid?

As most of us here believe, software patents are a particularly outrageous creation of the courts among the group of dubious extensions of intellectual property. Some public outrage is needed here.

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Most Recent Comments

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Do we need a law? @ Alexander Baker: So basically, if I copy parts of 'Titus Andronicus' to a webpage without

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Intellectual Property Fosters Corporate Concentration Yeah, I see the discouragement of working on a patented device all the time. Great examples

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Les patent trolls ne sont pas toujours des officines

Les patent trolls ne sont pas toujours des officines

Patent Lawyers Who Don't Toe the Line Should Be Punished! Moreover "the single most destructive force to innovation is patents". We'd like to unite with you

Bonfire of the Missalettes!

Does the decline in total factor productivity explain the drop in innovation? So, if our patent system was "broken," TFP of durable goods should have dropped. Conversely, since

Does the decline in total factor productivity explain the drop in innovation? I wondered about TFP, because I had heard that TFP was increasing. Apparently, it depends on who

Music without copyright I do agree with all the ideas you have presented in your post. They are very convincing and will