Posts Tagged: "Electronic Frontier Foundation"

Commercialization of University Research Threatened by Proposed State Legislation 

EFF’s Reclaim Invention Act, Draft Model Statute may seem an odd approach to folks in DC but when lined up with a state-level lobby of IP-uninformed and angry local businesses lobby, state legislators will be impressed. So notwithstanding EFF’s effectiveness on the Hill weakened by its issue multitasking, it will have stronger standing in state legislatures. Its research university troll-targeted sanctions proposal therefor must not be taken lightly. Beyond the law’s ironic fiscal resemblance to patent troll “do what I say or pay” troll conduct, the Model Law’s enactment will add even more uncertainty to private sector investment in early stage innovation. Worse, because of its open-man-hole patent nullification mechanism stationed at costly commercialization’s successful endpoint, pure licensing firms like Qualcomm, and research universities will be exposed to expanded freeloader accessibility as another nail of uncertainty is pounded into the coffin of patent exclusivity.

Research Universities Face Licensing Limitations Sought by Electronic Frontier Foundation

Another incursion into research university governance and operations is now underway. And this time all research universities are affected. Led by the DC Based Electronic Frontier Foundation, a leftist anti-patent activist coalition that has initiated a 50-state legislative campaign to shrink research university patent licensing rights at the state level. (See) The measure’s purported objective is to prevent publicly funded university research patents from being licensed to so-called “Patent Assertion Entities” (PAEs, also known by the pejorative term “patent trolls”). The draft legislation is imprecise, making it even more dangerous than first appears.

Mark Cuban, a software patent troll who hates software patents

While hedging risk is a well known and widely accepted investment tactic, there is something rather bizarre about someone who is such a vocal critic doing exactly what they criticize others for doing.

Patent reform advocate Mark Cuban reportedly threatens Walmart with patent litigation

With so much brash bluster, it was inevitable that Cuban would argue himself into a corner eventually. It finally looks like Cuban’s shoot from the mouth first approach is exposing him as something of a patent hypocrite. More specifically, Mark Cuban recently made threatening comments toward Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT), threatening the retail giant with a patent infringement lawsuit of his own. It would seem that Cuban, like so many others who so loudly want patent reform, have an exceptionally dim view of your patents, but his patents are rock solid and deserve to be respected. Such hypocrisy is not new in the patent reform debate, but it is extremely telling.

Dancing Baby Center of Test Case Over Bad DMCA Takedown Requests

In February 2007, Stephanie Lenz uploaded a 29-second video of her son dancing in her kitchen to the Prince song “Let’s Go Crazy” to YouTube. Universal Music Group, Prince’s publishing administrator responsible for enforcing his copyrights, objected to the otherwise-innocuous video, and sent YouTube a warning to remove the video, claiming that it constituted copyright infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Stephanie Lenz sued, arguing that Universal’s takedown request targeted permissible fair use, which generally permits the use of copyrighted material in limited conditions, such as when used in connection with criticism, parody, commentary or news reporting.

Senate Judiciary divided on PATENT Act even if it is a step in the right direction

Given the collective bias of the witness panel, it is hardly surprising that on the issue of the PATENT Act there was a clear, positive consensus in the witness panel. But there is no such consensus within the industry and those voices were brought to the table by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chris Coons (D-DE), two of the sponsors of the STRONG Patents Act that has been debated in Senate committee as recently as March. Durbin, who pointed out that “this panel is divided between people who love the bill and people who really love the bill,” read part of a strongly worded letter submitted by the National Venture Capital Association who is worried that the PATENT Act, as worded currently, could hurt investment.

The Abandonware Conundrum: Can you modify games if publisher shuts down the server?

The EFF wants an exemption for people who want to modify their purchased games in order to bypass access controls when a publisher shuts down the server. Specifically, the EFF would like for any piece of software with server-based functions that are shut down by a publisher or developer to be considered “abandoned” six months later. This means that someone who owns a copy of a game that no longer has an online play component would be able to modify the game to eliminate authentication checks or access controls in the game itself so they can still play online using a third party server. This may also include reverse engineering and making intermediate copies of the game, which goes well beyond the skill set of the casual user.

The Problem with Software Patents? Uninformed Critics!

Listening to those who code complain about patents is nearly hysterical. They still haven’t figured out that by and large they are not innovators, but rather merely translators. Perhaps that is why they so frequently think that whatever they could have come up with themselves is hardly worthy of being patented. Maybe they are correct, but that doesn’t mean that an appropriately engineered system isn’t patentable, it just means that those who code are not nearly as likely to come up with such a system in the first place because they rarely, if ever, seem to approach a project as an engineer would. Rather, they jump right in and start coding. In the engineering world that is a recipe for disaster, and probably explains why so much software that we pay so much money for today is hardly worthy of being called a beta, much less a finished product.