The US Patent Office has rejected 17 out of 21 patent claims from Oracle as a result of the reexamination of U.S. patent 6192476. Recently Oracle released information indicating it had asked the court for SIX BILLION DOLLARS. While the claims of Oracle are astronomically absurd their claims are being eliminated as the Patent Office continues to reexamine the patents in question.
James Bessen of the Boston University School of Law has published a paper demonstrating that software patents are not beneficial to the software industry. He finds that a overwhelming majority of software firms do not employ patents, that an overwhelming majority of patents are obtained by a few large corporations, and that both the number of patents and the risk of patent litigation are increasing dramatically.
The NZOSS is pleased to announce that its opposition to New Zealand patent application 536149, filed by Microsoft in relation to XML word processing documents has been successful. Yesterday we were informed by IPONZ that Microsoft has withdrawn their application.
Oracle has announced that it will move OpenOffice.org to a community based open source project. This follows the foundation of The Document Foundation and the start of LibreOffice in September 2010. At the time The Document Foundation asked for the trademarks of OpenOffice.org to be donated by Oracle to The Document Foundation.
The Copyright Amendment Act is now law. Those who opposed the original law which would allow for disconnection of Internet connections without legal oversight are no more pleased with the amendment which while introducing a copyright tribunal to hear cases of copyright infringement they will assume that a notice is positive evidence for infringement.
Red Hat has opened up shop in New Zealand saying it has done so to "further promote open source including Red Hat's Linux, middleware and cloud computing offerings." Heading up the new push into New Zealand will be Country Manager Craig Nielsen. He will be leading efforts to establish stronger links with customers, the open source community and government organisations. He will also be aiming to foster the development of innovative ideas and technologies that can be showcased to the rest of the world.
Google have made a bid for a patent portfolio owned by Nortel. From the official Google Blog they make clear their continued opposition to software patents, saying that "The patent system should reward those who create the most useful innovations for society, not those who stake bogus claims or file dubious lawsuits.". Google and it's partners have been the target of numerous patent lawsuits over the last year, primarily related to Android.
The UK Government has released a strategy for reducing the costs of ICT, with Open Source playing a important role, saying "When used in conjunction with compulsory open standards, open source presents significant opportunities for the design and delivery of interoperable solutions. "
The NZOSS today announced its qualified support for the draft IPONZ guideline on the patentability of inventions containing embedded computer programs.
“There is a fog of misinformation around software patents and the IPONZ guideline,” says Don Christie, NZOSS Government Liaison Officer.
In July 2010, Commerce Minister Simon Power asked IPONZ to “develop guidelines for inventions containing embedded software.”
Due to a change in hosting arrangements, the server that hosts lists.nzoss.org.nz will be taken down at 5pm Thursday 20 January 2011 and physically transferred to a new hosting ISP. This involves an IP address change, and will also disrupt one of the three DNS servers that serves nzoss.org.nz. The others will keep remaining nzoss.org.nz infrastructure running and there should be little or no visible impact outside of the loss of the mailing lists for a brief period.
It's expected to have the server up and running and all consequential DNS changes, etc, completed by no later than 9pm.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this short-notice outage.