EFF: Keeping Patents Off Public Domain, Opening ACTA 18/06/2009 by Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The United States Patent and Trademark Office has announced that it will revoke an illegitimate patent on internet subdomains that was seen as potentially threatening to the public domain. The US patent, held by a company called Hoshiko, claimed to cover the method of automatically assigning internet subdomains, like “action.eff.org” for the parent domain “eff.org.” USPTO decided to revoke the patent on the basis of evidence submitted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation showing the method was well known before the patent was issued. “This patent was particularly troubling because the company tried to remove the work of open source developers from the public domain and use it to threaten others,” EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn said in a release. This is part of EFF’s Patent Busting Project, which combats the chilling effects that bad patents have on public and consumer interests. This marks the second patent completely “busted” by the project, which has also resulted in the narrowing of another patent and the ongoing reexaminations of three more. USPTO notice here [pdf]. On a related front, EFF recently switched tacks on the secretive Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) under negotiation, and has dropped a lawsuit intended to gain access to the clandestine negotiating documents since the Obama administration opted for a policy undermining the lawsuit. The Obama administration has elected to uphold a Bush-era decision that ACTA negotiating documents are classified as a matter of “national security” (IPW, Enforcement, 27 March 2009). This undermines the lawsuit, as “we’re not going to obtain information before ACTA is finalised,” EFF International Policy Director Gwen Hinze said in a press release. The release also questioned the administration’s approach of allowing industry players access to the negotiations while excluding members of civil society and consumer advocates, who represent critical stakeholders. EFF said it will focus on ACTA by ensuring the public interest is represented within the US Industry Trade Advisory Committee on IP, rather than on a lawsuit, Hinze explained on a listserv. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related "EFF: Keeping Patents Off Public Domain, Opening ACTA" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.