[clug] [OT] New 'Open' Patent Register: mixed news for Open Source & Hardware

steve jenkin sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au
Tue Jun 23 20:05:12 MDT 2015

It’s worth taking the time to read the “Who Owns the World’s Patents” PDF below:
  you can see the $$$ signs in the eyes of the Corporate lawyers & management, but this issue is a little more complex.

IBM is a cornerstone member - it’s provided a fully open register of its patents for a decade.
They’re obviously a force behind this effort and it was probably deeply informed by their defence of the SCO case.

Bear in mind that IBM are also a major participant in Open Source, making I.P. a complex area for IBM with competing internal interests & views.
A decade ago IBM pledged license-free patents for Open Source Software, a remarkable and unparalleled action, that the Register now complements.

Tridge has written and talked extensively on issues around Software Patents. A couple of random links: [anyone with better links?]
He also testified for the Free Software Foundation Europe in the Microsoft anti-trust case.

While extracting more license fees globally is an explicit goal of the Register, it’s also intended to take on “Patent Trolls” and ‘NPE’s - Non Practising Entities - by creating a high-quality, global database of the ultimate owners of I.P. Stopping these reprobates is A Good Thing (tm).

“Trolls” who deliberately mislead, hide or deceive their ownership of patents within the Register will, possibly, be harshly treated by the courts as not operating ‘in good faith’.
They’ll also not be able to falsely extort firms for I.P. fees because the Register's current ownership data will expose them.

The EFF’s take on a recent (May) US Supreme Court decision.

> Interestingly, the Court briefly acknowledged the patent troll problem.
> In the final part of the opinion, the Court noted the patent troll "industry,”
>  and pointed out that "that district courts have the authority and responsibility to ensure frivolous cases are dissuaded,”
>  by imposing sanctions under Rule 11 or attorney's fees under Octane v. ICON.
>  While we're glad that the Court is aware of the problem,
>  it could have done more by recognizing a good-faith belief in validity as a defense to inducement.



homepage: Open Register of Patent Ownership

‘Report’: Why Big companies need to register their Patents.

> Who Owns the World’s Patents?
> Why patent ownership data accuracy is a problem worth solving
> * One in four records inaccurate
> * $300 billion in untapped economic value



> A number of high-profile companies have combined to tackle the lack of transparency and clear information around who owns what in terms of patents and the protection of intellectual property.
> Firms including IBM, Microsoft, ARM, BAE Systems, Shazam, Patent Properties, Conversant, Aistemos and Finjan have backed the Open Register of Patent Ownership (ORoPO), a group that describes itself as offering "a simple solution to significant problems with the accuracy of patent ownership records”.

Steve Jenkin, IT Systems and Design 
0412 786 915 (+61 412 786 915)
PO Box 48, Kippax ACT 2615, AUSTRALIA

mailto:sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au http://members.tip.net.au/~sjenkin

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