Home > Microsoft > Microsoft Advocates for Patent Reform Microsoft Advocates for Patent Reform Submitted by Tudy 2005-03-12 Microsoft 54 Comments Microsoft is commencing a campaign to bring some major changes to U.S. patent system. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 54 Comments 2005-03-12 3:37 pm “Move to a “first-to-file” system, rather a “first-to-invent one,” thus following the patent procedures to which most other countries adhere.” it all makes sense now. 2005-03-12 3:40 pm patent reform as long as it is mostly favors Microsoft of course. If they really cared about patent reform they’d help do away with software patents all together. Just my 2 pence. “Luke, I am your operating system.” — Darth Linux 2005-03-12 4:03 pm That’s the only one that seems like it would particuarly benefit Microsoft, but perhaps their tactic is to make the proprosals sound reasonable so people don’t notice the one that would really benefit them. I was surprised that they are also proposing allowing individual inventors and small companies to file without having to pay the fee. 2005-03-12 4:03 pm Among the patent changes Microsoft proposed: -Halt the diversion of fees for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to other government uses. -Allow third parties to submit “prior art” information during the patent process itself, rather than only after a patent has been issued. -Allow third parties to challenges patents “administratively,” rather than just through litigation -Create a special court that would consolidate and hear all patent cases at the federal district level -Reform the standard used to measure “willful infringement,” via which claimants are currently allowed to collect treble damages. -Increase “harmonization” and collaboration across international boundaries. -Move to a “first-to-file” system, rather a “first-to-invent one,” thus following the patent procedures to which most other countries adhere. “One somewhat surprising proposal by Microsoft would allow individual inventors and small companies to file patent applications without paying the current $500 in filing fees now charged small entities,” These proposals seem to be a good starting point for minimizing the amount of post-patent litigation, while simultaneously creating more avenues for patent validation during the actual patent granting process. Overall the policies seem to be very sensible. The move from first to invent rather than first to file at first didn’t make much sense, however I think its intended help improve the situation for small businesses with limited resources and decrease patent collisions internationally. “”Luke, I am your operating system.” — Darth Linux” While I’m for being entertained by random penguinista eGarbage, please get out of your parent’s basement that just borders on pathetic. 2005-03-12 4:08 pm I don’t think they should do away with patents, but they do need to do something about them. I think a system where you have to bring source code in order to have a patent granted for it. All other patents require a detailed method of how the inventor got his/her invention to work, or how it would work. With software its just some broad statement that has no actual substance to it, and even though some other company/person got to the same place via a completely different method, they can be hit with a patent infringment suite. In short, software patents just need to require some sort of substance rather than a big sweeping statement for an idea, however, they should not be done away with. 2005-03-12 4:10 pm I don’t think IBM is going to like that 2005-03-12 4:10 pm The prior art change would balance out the first to file change. All in all, I think that it’s a pretty good start. 2005-03-12 4:12 pm Here is another article on MS going for patent reform: http://www.infoworld.com/article/05/03/10/HNmicrosoftpatent_1.html Its interesting to note that: “Microsoft, which holds about 4,500 patents worldwide and has another 10,000 pending, has been on the losing end of patent lawsuits. In July, a U.S. court in California ruled that an ergonomic keyboard patent claim against Microsoft by TypeRight Keyboard could move forward. Earlier this month, a U.S. appeals court overturned a $520.6 million patent infringement judgment against Microsoft brought by Eolas Technologies. Eolas had sued Microsoft over a Web browsing patent and won its case in lower court in August 2003.” Here is another patent reform article on ineternet news: http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3489181 “In our global economy, Smith said, countries should have similar standards and laws for patents — and he said that in some cases, the United States should change its laws to mirror those of Europe and Japan. For example, he said the United States should adopt the “first-to-file” standard for granting patents; current law awards the patent to the first inventor.” MS wants the first to file to be awarded the patent, listed in the above article from internetnews. Now who do you think is going to be first in line at the new and improved patent office. Software patents stifle the IT industry, plain and simple. Think about a patent on the trash can icon on your desktop (Apple’s patent). There is no way small business, OpenSource, Colleges and so forth can compete with the corporations pushing for patents. Patents can be a good thing but not on software, the shelf life of software is too short. 2005-03-12 4:23 pm “MS wants the first to file to be awarded the patent, listed in the above article from internetnews. Now who do you think is going to be first in line at the new and improved patent office.” Rather, cynical of you isn’t it. This system has been in effect in the EU and Japan for quite some time. MS can apply for patents in those countries just as easily in the US. They have not always been first in line under this system yet so why do you assume it would any different once first to file was brought here to the US? (Unless you’re trying to be trendy?) 2005-03-12 4:26 pm … but this Microsoft bashing is insane. Microsoft proposed a series of measures to reduce litigation and reduce the number of bad patents filed. In case you haven’t noticed, these are good things. They have also suggested opening up the system to smaller patent holders. While this would undoubtedly help Microsoft (eg. they don’t have to license patents from the competition), it will also help everyone else out there because there will be greater opportunities for competition. Think about it: would you rather have the Microsofts and IBMs of the world hold all of the patents, or would you rather hundreds of small businesses doing the same. The latter creates more space for competition, and encrourages patents to be more competitive than litigation based. Yes, I would rather see patents disappear. This is mostly because I view patents as government enforced monopolies. On the otherhand, let’s be realistic here: businesses have the power here, not little guys like ourselves. So if a powerful corporation will do something to their benefit which would also be to our benefit, we should ride on their coat-tails. 2005-03-12 4:28 pm The main goal here is to defeat as many submarine patents as possible before they get awarded and make the ones that do get awarded less effective. 2005-03-12 4:30 pm Software patents stifle the IT industry, plain and simple. Think about a patent on the trash can icon on your desktop (Apple’s patent). There is no way small business, OpenSource, Colleges and so forth can compete with the corporations pushing for patents. Patents can be a good thing but not on software, the shelf life of software is too short. My thoughts exactly, which is why we should do away with software patents. “Luke, I am your operating system.” — Darth Linux 2005-03-12 4:37 pm Borrowing a complete chapter from the Karl Rove Playbook, Microsoft announced today that they are sponsoring several patent reform initiatives……. 2005-03-12 4:38 pm “Awww, don’t you like my tag line? If not, get over it or ignore my tag line.” You are right, I don’t like your tag line. Mainly because I don’t think you intended for it to be an anti-linux community satire. I have this vague feeling you actually believe it to be a pro-linux slogan and thats what bothers me. 2005-03-12 4:44 pm None of the proposals address the most glaring deficiency in the patent system. Awarding patents for things like Amazon’1 1-click really stiffles innovation rather than encouraging it. The question then comes up, how does anybody judge what is obvious and what is innovative? But just because it if difficult judge, one should shy away from attempting it. Do we shy away from prosecuting a criminal because there is a subjective judgement involved. If the machinery required to judge a patent is elaborate, so be it. It is certainly better than the current system of “award a patent to whoever files one”. 2005-03-12 5:20 pm MICROSOFT WANTS TOTAL PATENT CONTROL 2005-03-12 5:21 pm The combination of first-to-file as opposed to first-to-create and making it easier for anyone to challenge the grant of a patent, and easier for individuals to file for a patent actually mades it harder to get a patent for a stupidly obvious and common invention. Which is good. Just think about it: Easier for little guys to file for patents – more people running out to get them. First-to-file – If your patent is the first to be filed (but not granted yet) BUT a patent filed later produces a patent collision AND was invented earlier, then there clearly exists prior art and the PTO can send the patents out the window. If so many people file for the same kind of invention, then the idea is pretty common and not novel. If you’re lucky enough to be the first to file and first to create of all the filings, anyone can still challenge the patent with prior art without needing an army of laywers. Additionally, first-to-file reduces the administration overhead; it’s much easier for the PTO to verify when a patent was filed than when a patent claims to have something invented. 2005-03-12 5:53 pm Microsoft doesn’t use patents to sue other companies. If you doubt it, show me how many lawsuits that they’ve filed for patent infringement. Nope. Microsoft uses patents to prevent its competitors from suing MICROSOFT. IBM has a similar strategy. It’s very rare for IBM to assert patent rights unless it is sued. 2005-03-12 6:13 pm As much as I’m against software patents, I think patents do have their place, and I think most of these changes would be good ones. The one thing that kind of bothers me though is the “first to file”. I think this is good, because it eliminates alot of the mess of trying to prove who actually invented something first. However, I think that there must be checks to make sure that before a filing is accepted, the party filing for a patent must also show evidence of R&D. That way you don’t have companies ripping off ideas from other companies or individuals and getting away with it simply because they filed first. 2005-03-12 6:29 pm @Vincent The move from first to invent rather than first to file at first didn’t make much sense, however I think its intended help improve the situation for small businesses with limited resources and decrease patent collisions internationally. Rather stupid of you. This move is intended to dispose of the prior art claim threat and nothing else. Problem in hand here is that small companies (or standalone developers) often can’t afford to patent before they make money of the project. As soon as they start making money product is already visible to public, and there is nothing easier than post description claim for your “invention”. And since big companies can afford patenting that would mean that bigger companies could file claims based on the products that smaller companies invented (and couldn’t afford to patent it). “First to file” is nothing but elimination of prior art. Here is a nice example: Virtual desktops are in use on Linux desktops for a decade or more. M$ filled a patent claim in 2003. And is “First to file” would become viable, then all those *X developers that were coding virtual desktops would loose all their rights to claim, just because M$ filled the claim first. Allow third parties to submit “prior art” information during the patent process itself, rather than only after a patent has been issued Yeah, you could argue that this is a viable contradiction to what I said. But then again it colides with the last proposal. And submiting “prior art” during patent process itself??? Who the heck has the time to follow every patent being filed??? It I’m correct it would probably just lead to strengthening the last proposal. If prior art was not submitted during patent process, prior art does not exist. btw. Law can look really presentable in its short form. But law taken and disected in its complete form usualy overturns 99% of its short form @MacTo but this Microsoft bashing is insane. Microsoft proposed a series of measures to reduce litigation and reduce the number of bad patents filed. In case you haven’t noticed, these are good things. No, it is not insane. M$ just proposed to eliminate prior art. And you have to start understanding that “FREE IS NOT ALWAYS FREE” As for opening of the patents you praise so much. Well, you can open patent in more ways than one. One way possible, is restricted opening of your patent. Like Sun did with their patents. They are allowed to use under CDDL license and that’s it. And that is just another wording for even stricter and more monopolised patent rights. Take example of M$ published “FREE” web fonts. Newer downloadable versions contain condition, “Usable with M$ product only”, while older contained “free until distributed in original package provided by M$”, remember Office updates. 2005-03-12 6:44 pm The combination of first-to-file as opposed to first-to-create and making it easier for anyone to challenge the grant of a patent, and easier for individuals to file for a patent actually mades it harder to get a patent for a stupidly obvious and common invention. Which is good. ??? But then again, can you afford it??? First to file is nothing but disregarding of prior art. Just think about it: Ok, lets do it Easier for little guys to file for patents – more people running out to get them. If they can afford patenting, most smaller companies (and developers) are obliged to compensate for development process, before they could afford to file a patent First-to-file – If your patent is the first to be filed (but not granted yet) BUT a patent filed later produces a patent collision AND was invented earlier, then there clearly exists prior art and the PTO can send the patents out the window. If so many people file for the same kind of invention, then the idea is pretty common and not novel. If you’re lucky enough to be the first to file and first to create of all the filings, anyone can still challenge the patent with prior art without needing an army of laywers. Wrong, first to file and not first to invent disregards prior art. If I understand correctly, and probably do this just means “patent filed first has priority over prior implementation, as long as prior art was not submitted during patenting process if the patenting party didn’t mentioned this prior art in their claim” Additionally, first-to-file reduces the administration overhead; it’s much easier for the PTO to verify when a patent was filed than when a patent claims to have something invented. And now you say that this would help finding doubled patents. ???? How? Did you ever see any patent claim in your life. A simple 1+1=2 can be presented in scientific language and look like a rocket science. Or do you believe that AI will do the work for patenting office being able to resolve duplication considering both scientinfic and lawyers language? 2005-03-12 6:49 pm “MS wants the first to file to be awarded the patent, listed in the above article from internetnews. Now who do you think is going to be first in line at the new and improved patent office.” Rather, cynical of you isn’t it. This system has been in effect in the EU and Japan for quite some time. MS can apply for patents in those countries just as easily in the US. They have not always been first in line under this system yet so why do you assume it would any different once first to file was brought here to the US? (Unless you’re trying to be trendy?) __________________________________________________________ Yes Vincent, I am rather cynical of the corportate environment. I have spend all of my professional career involved in boardrooms. And with out specifically saying the words “Anti-Competetive” that was the whole jist of numerous meetings. In essence, what can we get away with, without being caugh/sued. If you haven’t been in boardrooms where the taboo word is “Anti-Competetive” you haven’t worked for: 1) Large enough company 2) Climb high enough in the corporate ladder. Any I being trendy? Hardly. Is there truely a need to broadcast personal attackes? PS: The difference between the US vs Euro/Japan and the first to file is quite simple. Its based on time. Industries in general has been getting even more litigious. As time goes by, the thicker the legal paperwork gets for the average company. Here is another sorry note about the states, the ratio of lawers to engineer is 10 to 1 and it is the opposite in japan. First to file would open up the flood gates. Some food for thought. Enjoy. 2005-03-12 7:31 pm Didn’t they try to sue someone for using the FAT fs? Or did they just threaten to? Anyway, they don’t sue much because they successfully extort companies into paying fees. It’s much cheaper to just pay MS than to go to court, even if you would have won. Anyway, I also think first-to-file would be a disaster, but the rest of the ideas sound pretty good to me. 2005-03-12 7:53 pm Sure, they could find a workaround for the Eolas patent if they had to. Taking the big picture, though, Microsoft has Windows running most of the desktops out there, and many of the servers, PDAs, game consoles, cell phones, etc. That’s a lot of exposure. Some of these IP boutiques or lone “inventors” could conceivably threaten their business. Years ago I heard that the brass at Microsoft was a bit jealous of the money being hauled in by porn sites. They looked into the business briefly but “decided to leave the money on the table”, to protect their main business. I suspect they just made a similar decision with respect to the idea of waging patent wars against their main competitors. 2005-03-12 8:20 pm Compared to the total cost of filing and defending a patent, the fees one has to pay to the patent office are only a minor part. Doing away with the PTO-fees for individuals doesn’t change the total cost of patents very much… 2005-03-12 8:49 pm as long as they are vague enough to threaten to sue. I’m glad Microsoft is interested in adding meaningless crap to confuse the issue. That way, it will distract people from the important issues, and I can continue to threaten to sue and get paid royalties through extortion. Just like the tax system. Reform to make it look nicer, then gut people in front of their children. As Grand Moff Tarkin was fond of saying, rule by fear of force, rather than force itself. 2005-03-12 8:52 pm And where exactly is this hostility coming from? Microsoft is making legitmate suggestions for changes to our patent system, and you do nothing but bash them. If you aren’t going to post something intelligent, then don’t freaking post. 2005-03-12 9:38 pm Yeah patent reform (written by Microsoft)…yuck! 2005-03-12 9:58 pm A big step to reform the system while still allowing for patents would be to only allow actual implementations to be patented, not just broad ideas or concepts. As it is now, you have companies patenting systems which haven’t even been developed. 2005-03-12 10:31 pm I live in Transylvania, Europe, and I hope honestly tht Microsoft will fall into the grave which was dug by them. I know, I am very optimist, but I can’t realize, how the european council is so dumb? They all are like 30 year old VT100 dumb terminals, they do what they are told to do by the mainframe, USA and Microsoft. If the mainframe has a virus, it affects the work of all the VT100’s. Console action (i.e. the protests, the petitions here) are useless, the mainframe will do what it wants to do, or it is programmed to do. And who is the killed one? In this perspective, the user is the most loser. It will pay more for a doubleclick in Windows than a mouse, which can be used for doubleclicking. And if he wants to use OSS, it will be considered illegal… 2005-03-12 10:33 pm That would be the actual English. 2005-03-13 12:31 am hahahah that’s the pot calling the kettle black…oh my god… Quote: “Among the patent changes Microsoft proposed: Halt the diversion of fees earmarked for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to other government uses. Allow third parties to submit “prior art” information to patent examiners during the patent process itself, rather than only after a patent has been issued. Allow third parties to challenges patents “administratively,” rather than just through litigation in order to help weed out questionable patents, as currently is permitted in Europe. Create a special court that would consolidate and hear all patent cases at the federal district level in order to improve consistency and predictability of patent litigation. Reform the standard used to measure “willful infringement,” via which claimants are currently allowed to collect treble damages. Increase “harmonization” and collaboration across international boundaries. Move to a “first-to-file” system, rather a “first-to-invent one,” thus following the patent procedures to which most other countries adhere. “We want the system to be more predictable and efficient,” said David Kaefer, Microsoft director of business development.” Why not just get rid of the damn things altogether? That surely (i’m sure that you can sense the dripping sarcasm in my voice) get rid of the problem? Dave 2005-03-13 12:43 am Quote: “Microsoft proposed a series of measures to reduce litigation and reduce the number of bad patents filed.” No, Microsoft has made some proposed changes to benefit themselves. Ever hear of the trojan horse method? It’s still alive and kicking today. Sender ID anyone? Get rid of patents altogether. It fixes the problem very nicely. Now onto other things. Vincent didn’t like Darth Linux’ tag line. So he bagged it. His post was reviewed and is showing as ‘already reviewed’ – and still standing. Darth Linux replied to his post thus: “While I’m for being entertained by random penguinista eGarbage, please get out of your parent’s basement that just borders on pathetic. Awww, don’t you like my tag line? If not, get over it or ignore my tag line. Cheers! “Luke, I am your operating system.” — Darth Linux” And it gets moderated down. He was neither rude, nor off topic, since his reply was directly in relation to Vincent’s original post. If Darth Linux’ post is off topic, then by logic then so is Vincents original post. Is that so hard to understand? But then – Vincent replies to a moderated down post and doesn’t get moderated down on that? Are you moderators smoking dope? Or do you just favour certain posters? I’m sure you’ll mod down my post as well, because i’ve just logically shown and proven that there is indeed favouritism on osnews.com. Or incompetence, or both. I personally don’t think much of Eugenai or David Adams or their methods of moderation and i’ve publically stated that before, and will continue to do so. If you’re so “American” guys, then you’ll also believe in free speech. Or do you like to censor anyone who doesn’t agree with you, or you methods? David, feel free to email me to discuss further and i’ll shoot down your emails arguments just like I did last time and then you didn’t reply. Dave 2005-03-13 1:56 am My first thought was that this was a Microsoft ploy to “ursurp” inventions by others. However, after some thought, I no longer think this is the case, and think that this policy would be better for everybody. For those of us who frown on software patents in general, it creates an interesting situation where, if someone invents something, and, say, BigEvilCo invents the same thing, and files (therefore being awarded the patent), the other inventor’s only option, if they chose to do anything at all, would be to overcome BigEvilCo’s patent by using their own invention as prior art as opposed to being the basis to file. In the end, this would invalidate the patent, making fewer patents in general, rather than having two companies fight it out for who thought of the “obvious thing” first. In this way the first inventor can at least USE the technology in their own products, and so can the world, if the patent is inobvious. If it was all secret in the first place, so there is no “prior art”, well, you should have filed first. This should have the net effect of fewer patents, and clearer ownership of patents, which means less litigation over patents. Even better is the ability to challenge the patents which still in the larval stage. With an active anti-patent community, this means that stupid, obvious patents will be shot down long before they do damage. Basically, it’s “letting the public into the patent office”, which I think is a good thing, as long as that power is limited to demonstrating that potential patents are invalid. Erik 2005-03-13 4:07 am Probably what they want is a special court that has no public jury in authority to decide claims where a potentially valid claim is challenged on the grounds that the end user technology is being used in a manner detrimental to public welfare or in violation of federal/state fraud and racketeering laws. Insurance, ticket sales, gambling are just a few areas ripe for exploitation when substantially Turing passing technologies for market manipulation are leased or sold to users by these patent holding firms. 2005-03-13 5:01 am Of *course* Microsoft want it to be easier and cheaper for people to file software patents…it continues to maintain the illusion that individuals can compete, while the small trickle of earnings those individuals will see will make them less inclined to criticise Microsoft’s approach. Or hell, just more likely to sell out their patent to one of the many such shops ex-MS employees have been desperate to establish lately. The bias here has become so fucking blatant. Roll on the new conservatism…you’ll get your OSS slaves yet, Eugenia. 2005-03-13 7:30 am Just pass ONE law. “No lawer is allowed to charge ANY FEE whatsoever for any court case involving patents!” Then make it illegal for a lawer to refuse a patent case!! I bet you will see very efficient, quick and very very few patent cases after that! It’s a JOKE son! (nice kid but not too bright!) – Foghorn Leghorn 2005-03-13 2:41 pm > if the patent is inobvious. If it was all secret in the > first place, so there is no “prior art”, well, you should > have filed first Why? SmallGoodCo might not have the resources to file, so it may have kept it a trade secret. Or SmallGoodCo might be a consulting company or an open source company so patents for the idea are inappropriate. Or simply, the idea might have seemed obvious to SmallGoodCo so it didn’t bother patenting the idea. I honestly don’t understand what patents on ideas (software patents and business process patents) are supposed to accomplish. Patents are supposed to help document ideas so as to spur innovation, yet (in the software world) I don’t know a single person or company that does a patent search to get ideas to license. In most cases, people don’t do a patent search afterwards simply because a program is just to complicated with literally millions of moving parts. It would take years or decades to do a thorough patent search and by that time you’re done, your program will be irrelavant. Given this, I would have no qualms if patents allowed independent invention (as copyright does) for the simple reason that if in invention could be independently rediscovered, its a nonobvious as the as we were lead to believe. Alternately, the patent might have simply outlived their usefulness (see diagram below): http://william-king.www.drexel.edu/top/prin/txt/infoch/inf6.html because the idea was ahead of its time but the idea is now commonplace. Twenty years (I believe that’s the current patent length), is an eternity in the software world. Twenty years ago, Amigas and Ataris roamed the world, the first IBM PCs were created, Commodore 64s and 128s were still around (though in decline) and the internet was only known to some academics and the military. If every patentable idea was patented back then, the software world would be at least decade behind where it currently is today. 2005-03-13 2:58 pm Yet You make it sound as if MS can’t change strategy. They have only just recently started their serious patent drive so it seems obvious they may start using the patents they have paid so handsomely for. 2005-03-13 7:39 pm “Rather stupid of you. This move is intended to dispose of the prior art claim threat and nothing else. Problem in hand here is that small companies (or standalone developers) often can’t afford to patent before they make money of the project.” Must be. However large corporations, subsidize part of the initial patent cost. Additionally, Microsoft is suggesting to eliminate all patenting fees for small businesses. So where exactly is this cost you keep insisting is so great to lock out competition? Remember, I’m stupid so I just don’t see it. 2005-03-13 8:02 pm “He was neither rude, nor off topic, since his reply was directly in relation to Vincent’s original post.” I completely agree with you David. I don’t think his reply should have been moderated down either. I didn’t find it abusive at all. However I guess other people did; without seeing who “reported him as abuse” I don’t see a point in attacking the moderators. “If Darth Linux’ post is off topic, then by logic then so is Vincents original post. Is that so hard to understand?” Actually yes it is. The entire intent of my original post was not about Darth’s tag line. I actually posted on topic and then fired off a flame about his tagline at the end. You might find it very similar to how you started your post off with that point about Sender ID, and then moved into your little diatribe. As for your notion that if post 2# deserves to be modded down so should #1, most flames are aimed at individual quotes of text that are taken out of context completely. In effect you’d just make it so every post was moderated down. “But then – Vincent replies to a moderated down post and doesn’t get moderated down on that?” Actually Vincent replied to an at the time unmoderated thread. “I’m sure you’ll mod down my post as well, because i’ve just logically shown and proven that there is indeed favouritism on osnews.com. Or incompetence, or both.” Its usually a bad idea to state you’ve logically proven something when you’re trying to extend a single case, one where you can’t even correctly identify the chronological sequence of events, to apply to a generalized concept. 2005-03-13 8:24 pm Quote: “Actually Vincent replied to an at the time unmoderated thread. ” That section of my post was to the moderators – he know what is moderated down and what isn’t (or they should). Whether or not you posted a reply to that comment (and it wasn’t moderated down at the time of posting) is irrelevant. It should have been picked up on – and then moderated down. I’ve seen comments that have a partially valid post, and trolling/off-topic/inflammatory comment attached to it get moderated down. It happens. I guess it’s ‘if the whole post isn’t on topic then it gets moderated down’ mentality. Either way – it’s not consistent. That was the whole driving jist of my post. Oh – and I do realise that technically my post was off topic as well 😉 I never said it wasn’t. Dave 2005-03-13 8:28 pm “it’s not consistent” No its not. If it was, most threads wouldn’t be anywhere near as interesting… ^^ 2005-03-14 1:06 am The soft wings of the hunting eagle are disturbing your sleep, Microsoft. For in your dreams, you know the eagle draws nearer. You can feel its piercing gaze. And soon you will feel its talons. The talons of justice. 2005-03-14 4:58 am As always, I am outraged but the continued notion that freedom to create and innovate may be purchased by the few and everyone else will be at the mercy of the thought police. It seems to me in this case, Microsoft advocating patent reform is like the Devil advocating a kinder nicer hell! Lesson of [corporate] life: Corporations and business will always advocate laws and regulations that will benefit and profit them most. Human rights and freedoms are a triviality that is OK as long as it does not supercede profit. My advice: put your heart before your dollars. A fair society cannot put business and the privaledged wealthy before the ideal of freedom and equity for all. All the riches is the world will not protect the unjust from eventual judgement. 2005-03-14 12:21 pm Vincent, I guess the moderators can’t see everything 😉 At least no one was offended, that’s the main thing. My apologies to Eugenia and David, maybe i’m just getting paranoid in my old age and assuming the worst… On topic – I don’t think having one company trying to dictate a governmental procedure is a great idea, much like the RFC committee didn’t like Microsofts implementation of Sender ID etc. At least they had the balls to stand up to Microsoft and not take their crap. The EU Commission doesn’t. The easiest way to fix the problems of patents on software is to get rid of them. They are simply not needed, and imho are bad for business, create monopolies, reduce fair competition and discourage quality products to the end users – ie. the customers. As much as some people dislike RMS and the GNU GPL, he has it absolutely *spot on* imho. Dave 2005-03-14 4:20 pm Dave, I especially liked your last paragraph. I really think people should think about patents in terms of a form of supression of free thought, expression, and speech. It is a supression that needs to be abolished like slavery was! NO one asks, is there “really such a thing as Intellectual property?” (well i did read that somewhere) Who erects “private property” signs in the brain? Intellect is a process of nature not a place on a map. I know IP to be the latest emperors garments – like a politicians slogan or a corporate tool to win money and power at all costs. Why can’t more people campaign for and appreciate “Intellectual Freedom”? Lets coin this term to combat IP which is really Intellectual supression and control. SEE IT FOR WHAT IT IS The whole “is it good for business?” or “can we make IP work?” is just a stinking corpse that needs to be buried. I know our american patriarchs would have been shocked that someone could own a pure concept and be sanctioned by the government sworn to protect our freedoms. 2005-03-14 4:37 pm All bullshit! You american people talked too much against patents in EU but not a word about stopping it in US. I rather move to some place that don’t give a shit to software patents than reading all this bullshit. 2005-03-14 4:51 pm Talking against patents is all some of us can do. Sharing your thoughts are the beginning of revolution. sorry you have to read the stuff. Does brazil have patents? 2005-03-14 8:15 pm Quote: “Talking against patents is all some of us can do. ” Well – this sums up my viewpoints that the people are no longer in control. Governments and politicans are public servants, nothing more and nothing less. When the normal populace believes that their government, that their elected officials no longer heed their needs or wishes, then, my friend you have a dictatorship. I mean a georgebuship. Oops! I did it again 😉 Dave 2005-03-14 8:17 pm Quote: “My advice: put your heart before your dollars. A fair society cannot put business and the privaledged wealthy before the ideal of freedom and equity for all. All the riches is the world will not protect the unjust from eventual judgement.” You’ve hit the nail right on the head. Ever thought of being a carpenter? Dave 2005-03-16 8:25 am And this means Brazil will have patents. Brazil is ruled and owned by the banks. Just like pretty much every country on this planet. 2005-03-17 2:23 pm It is possible to get a softwarepatent in EU but it is – at least for now – invalid. You cannot sue anybody in EU for patentinfringements in regard to softwarepatents. However, softwarepatents have been granted – they are just not valid at the moment (and hopefully never will be). 2005-03-17 11:29 pm MacTO. Read the last line in Microsoft’s proposal. And you’ll see that all the other stuff in Microsoft’s proposal is there to lure you into MS-support. Hitler also talked about fairness before he killed 6 million judes. Logically that Microsoft will talk about fairness before they (try yo) kill off FLOSS.