10.03.07

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Patent Abuse Identified, Patent Abuse Comes Under Fire, Patent Storm Ended, and Patents That Kill

Posted in Hardware, IBM, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 6:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Poor patents hurt the poor

Returning to our series of posts which highlight the problem with poor patents, here are some news.

Slashdot has identified a rather disturbing patent from IBM. This patent has prior art written all over it and if only you could count the number of applications that use checkboxes, would you realise the scope of impact.

What do you call it when you drag a pointer over a checkbox to select or deselect it depending on its original state? Answer: US Patent 7,278,116. On Tuesday, the USPTO awarded IBM a patent for Mode Switching for Ad Hoc Checkbox Selection, aka Making an ‘X’.

Meanwhile, in Europe, the Qualcomm case that we repeatedly speak of has attracted the wrath of antitrust action.

The European Commission launched on Monday formal antitrust proceedings against U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm after complaints that its patent licensing for third-generation mobile telephones broke competition rules.

Another case that we recently mentioned used WLAN as an example of cases where patents hurt progress. Fortunately, that issue may have just been resolved.

A roadblock that reportedly could have held up a key wireless LAN standard seems to have been cleared now that an Australian research group has responded to the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) standards body.

Here is Jamie Love talking about situations where patents cost lives.

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