01.30.08

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On Microsoft Patents and JVC’s Technical Agreement with Funai

Posted in Asia, Courtroom, Deals, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Law, Microsoft, Patent Covenant, Patents at 8:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

There are many new articles at a moment (e.g. these earlier ones) which talk about Microsoft increasing its patent-filing pace. You are encouraged to keep in mind that Microsoft’s latest strategy against GNU/Linux revolves around software patents. The Halloween Documents considered this an option as an attack plan (among others like SCO other-type action, i.e. copyrights). It is therefore important to keep track of companies that sign patent deals with Microsoft. This includes JVC which, despite the fact that its Microsoft cross-licensing deal mentions nothing about Linux, is helping fuel fear and acknowledge patents. JVC and Funai have just teamed up and that’s worth keeping in mind for future reference.

Japanese consumer electronics makers Victor Co. of Japan and Funai Electric will jointly develop and supply LCD television sets, an industry source said on Tuesday.

Patent TrollTracker has been receiving a lot of attention recently (including hacking attempts) and s/he keeps good track of Acacia and other patent trolls in the United States. There’s little — albeit some — hope on the horizon.

On another note, Michael Martin has a post on the pending patent reform in the Senate. He explains why the proposed reforms could help solve the problem of patent thickets. He even backs off his earlier conclusion that damages apportionment may be disastrous for the emerging market for ideas.

In other patent news (via Digital Majority):

Business Standard: Infosys to increase patent filings

Infosys Technologies Limited, the country’s second largest IT company, expects patent filings to increase with its primary R&D centre, Software Engineering and Technology Labs (SETLabs), expanding the scope of research to new areas.

The patent Armageddon in telecommunications continues: Sprint sues for VoIP patent infringements

Sprint has also gone to court, claiming 15 infringements of their patented VoIP technology by several small providers, Nuvox Communications, BroadVOX Holdings, Big River Telephone and Paetec Communications.

What is the point of these mutual lawsuits (other than lawyers' welfare? Should there not be peace, or the system be trashed for encouraging nothing but mutual destruction? The small guys are being sued also: Sprint sues little guys over VoIP patents

Following up on its $80 million settlement from its Vonage lawsuit last year, Sprint is milking its 115 VoIP patents by suing NuVox Communications, Broadvox Holdings, Big River Telephone and Paetec Communications.

Welcome to the 21st century — the age where own-able knowledge is so organic that everything and everyone can be sued.

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4 Comments

  1. Doug said,

    January 30, 2008 at 11:09 am

    Gravatar

    “What is the point of these mutual lawsuits (other than lawyers’ welfare”

    Yea, the 21st Century, the age of the lawyer …

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 30, 2008 at 11:32 am

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    When I received my Software Engineering degree it was all about programming, not reading through patents.

  3. Doug said,

    January 31, 2008 at 9:08 am

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    Must be what they meant by extreme programming and agile software development, a lawyer sitting to your right verifying that your not violating someones IP.

    So Fred Brooks ‘mythical man month’ should be updated to include a sixth team member in the ideal programming team, the lawyer .. :)

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 31, 2008 at 9:43 am

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    And if it’s a proprietary software company, add 2 MBAs per 1 programmer. It’s like the lightbulb logic.

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