Summary: Apple’s software patents harm/distract the Web and Linux; Microsoft’s software patents harm/distract Linux; The Gates Foundation makes more investments in patents
EARLIER THIS year we wrote about Apple's abuse of the Web using software patents (Apple also threatened to sue over Linux devices). What’s troubling is that both Apple and Microsoft have a chair at the HTML Working Group (W3C) and Apple can be quite a bit of a bully, which now leads the W3C to modifying APIs.
The W3C has spent the last three months poring over Apple’s patent on remote updating, and the web standards organization thinks the patent can be avoided by careful wording and tweaking a couple of APIs.
Software should not be patentable in the first place and the above is a waste of the W3C’s time. What is Apple trying to ‘protect’ anyway? It also publicly attacked Ogg.
Seeking fortune and fame, entrepreneurs rushed to create programs for Apple’s App Store. That’s not always what they found.
So basically, there may be no more money contributing to Apple’s ecosystem than there is in helping Free(dom) software. It was similar with Palm OS.
Moving on to some other software patents, our reader Yuhong Bao claims that Microsoft’s loadable module [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], which was originally a GPL violation, completely hid this important item of news about the workaround for Microsoft’s FAT LFN patent. From the summary:
Only hours after Microsoft’s Hyper-V Linux patch, tridge submitted a revised workaround patch for MS’s FAT LFN patents. If you don’t remember, the original patch was in response to MS suing TomTom over these patents. This revised version provides better compatiblity, particularly with Windows 98, portable MP3 players, as well as mtools.
Let’s remember the original purpose of the patent system: to encourage innovation and its broader benefits, not to make people rich.
As Gates and Microsoft grow closer to bankers, worth noticing is this item in the news about JPMorgan and the Gates Foundation hooking up. The Gates Foundation also does more of its notorious investments in patents (i.e. monopolies).
The Gates Foundation funding is for a global decision facility for patents and how they impact on innovation.
This relates rather nicely to what we wrote this morning about Mirosoft and swine flu. The following segment of a talk provides more insight into the real impact of patents. Patents are not what people are led to believe they are. █
“While I recognize the great value and importance of prescription drugs and strongly support a continued U.S. focus on pharmaceutical research and development, our nation’s seniors cannot be asked to subsidize the drug costs of other wealthy industrialized nations any longer.”
–Michael K. Simpson