Category Patents

How Microsoft lost control of VC-1

A two page article on The Register on how excitement over VC-1 waned and H.264 ended up ruling the current generation of video codecs. While I am not keen on trusting Microsoft with any additional power over computer technology and I am quite happy that H.264 seems to have won the battle, what's really interesting here is how patent law, as ludicrous as it is, can even backfire on the mightiest players of the industry.

I dare anybody to [hack into] once a month on the Windows machine.

Absolute BullErrr, right. Despite his --- numerous --- amazingly bad evaluations (e.g. the importance of the 'net in the mid-1990s), his volatile opinions on important matters (e.g. patents), lack of ethics and piss-poor software, Bill Gates has time and again proven to be an important thinker when it comes to technology and its importance in society. It's a shame to see he's lost it. In this latest interview in Newsweek it's actually surprising to see how he can be so off-base. While there's no doubt that Apple is king in catchy marketing and shameless exaggeration of its value and its products' {importance, features} in its marketing campaigns, Microsoft is no spring chicken either ('Get the Facts' campaign anyone?). Its funny how Gates tries to engage in the pompous reality skewing and typical polemic that his once-ideologically-charged-turned-loser-turned-mighty-tech-salesman rival, the mercurial Steve Jobs, is famous for. Unfortunately for him Gates lacks the 'Charisma +834' rating that Jobs seems to possess. :)

Patently Insane

If you’re living in Europe you might have heard of the debate on Software Patents. That is patents regarding software. This essentially equates to patenting abstract ideas, not implementations of these ideas. This is not just dangerous for progress, business…

A recent review of the Community Patent process

Some informative articles by the The Register on the state of the negotiations for establishing a common legal system for establishing patents and governing litigation across the EU. See this. Also on The Reg, this article about how damaging the U.S. system is to FOSS.

Microsoft's JPEG 'replacement': The Unifier?

Microsoft is late in releasing a proprietary, closed, image format, but it certainly got there. Much as with WMA and WMV, Microsoft has long endeavoured a lock-in by virtue of media formats. Is the WM Photo format more of the…

European Union Copyright Directive

It is less than a year since the European Software Patents law was finally defeated in the European Parliament, after a long and troubling history with the European institutions. This article is about the EUCD (European Union Copyright Directive), the…

The EU Patents review process restarts…

Well, go there and read this. Apparently : Brussels, 2 February 2005 – The Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (JURI) has decided with a large majority to ask the Commission for a renewed referral of the software patents…

IBM to open 500 of their patents to the public.

IBM may not be any different to any other corporation --- ironically it used to be the ‘bad guy’ 20 years ago --- they announced that they will be opening 500 of their patents to the open source community, ensuring that open source developers will be free to use their technologies without paying any royalties.