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02.04.08

The CompTIA Proxy Joins IP Front; Microsoft and Alcatel-Lucent Back in Court

Posted in Courtroom, Microsoft, Patents, SCO at 12:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

One of Microsoft’s vilest lobbying arms is CompTIA. There’s no gentler way to put this. In January alone we mentioned CompTIA no less than four times [1, 2, 3, 4] because they join Microsoft in their various crusades, e.g. against ODF.

Digital Majority had this good pointer which shows that not only Microsoft puts greater emphasis on software patents at the moment. CompTIA appears to be getting there too, possibly accompanying its clients.

Well regarded within the intellectual property community, Katopis will work for the interests of CompTIA’ s membership primarily on intellectual property rights, patent reform, and tech-neutrality in government procurement.

In Techdirt, an update on the Alcatel-Lucent vs. Microsoft case is posted and it is actually named a “Patent Nuclear War”.

Part of the conventional wisdom in having tech companies apply for lots of patents is that they’re helpful as a “defensive” mechanism against other companies filing patent lawsuits against you. It’s the nuclear stockpiling argument that suggests (without much proof) that the more patents everyone holds, the less likely actual patent litigation will result.

Last week, Heise Online has a report about several hundreds of new layoffs at Alcatel-Lucent. That’s just when a company — almost any company for that matter — is likely to cling onto the last straw and abuse everyone it can for some much-needed cash. Defensively, the company will claim that it’s in the interest of the investors. Here is a good new explanation of how it works

Patents always start out well-intentioned. Companies tell their employees, “We just need a few good patents for defensive purposes. If someone sues us, we need leverage.” Sadly, there is truth to this.

But patents last for seventeen years and the average start-up does not. So, once the company gets into financial trouble, those innocent ‘defensive’ patents can turn into funding to keep the company afloat for a short while longer, or worse, fall into a lawyer’s hands after the fire sale.

Remember that SCO was using bogus lawsuits as its new business model. It only caused harm to a lot of companies, including SCO itself. But hey! You can always trust Microsoft and SCO when it comes to the truth, right? See the quote below.

“Windows 98 without Internet Explorer 4 is a working operation system and Internet Explorer 4.0 is not an vital part of Windows 98.”

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

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