EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

04.06.08

Microsoft Bullies Over Software Patents, Takes a Hit Also

Posted in America, Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 3:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ammunition for more crocodile tears

Yesterday we published somewhat a complaint against rcpmag.com for being part of Microsoft’s mighty media powerhouse, which is self serving of course. Referring to the Avistar situation which we mentioned here before [1, 2, 3], that very same magazine now criticises Microsoft for a change.

Avistar’s Tale: Microsoft Shows Its Dark Side

[...]

Whatever. Sorry, Microsoft, but you’re not looking too good in this scenario. This is the dark side of Microsoft, the side we’ve told you about in the magazine, the side that brings out the critics and the haters and the antitrust hounds. This is Microsoft trying to prey on a struggling company that happens to have some attractive IP and litigate that company into oblivion before draining its lifeblood.

There’s free-market capitalism, and then there’s predatory business practices. Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish between the two, but this falls into the latter category, as far as we can tell. And while we know that Microsoft (along with lots of other big vendors — most others, really) is no stranger to that sort of thing, it doesn’t make it any less disturbing.

Moss said that some of the anti-Microsoft brigade has come to his aid, but mostly with moral support. “We’re in a bar; some guy’s hitting us with a baseball bat, and they’re all going, ‘Come on, Simon! Hit him back!’” Moss said of some of his company’s well-meaning allies. “That’s about it. I’ve got nothing but an ice cream cone.”

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Microsoft’s unpleasant encounters with software patents. Just watch what is coming in Microsoft’s direction.

After a jury verdict that z4’s patent was infringed and not invalid, the Eastern District of Texas district court ordered Microsoft to pay over $100M in damages to the patentee (a small Michigan company) The award was affirmed by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC).

And watch what happened the day beforehand. This was anticipated.

Microsoft Corp., the world’s biggest software maker, was told to pay $368 million after a jury found it infringed two patents owned by Alcatel-Lucent SA for touch- screen form entry and use of a stylus on computers.

The development is also covered in this short bit of text, so in case you want to explore the case further, you can. It will certainly return to the headlines in the near future because the impact is high.

Fortunately enough, the rules in the Eastern District of Texas do not apply to the rest of the world. This district does, however, manage to pull a multi-national Germany company like SAP and give it hell, as we reported only a couple of days back. Meanwhile, over in Germany, the very opposite type of action is taken, as just reported by Heise Online.

The European Patent Office (EPO) has revoked patent number EP1040428 for a procedure for computerised prepress. According to printing news site Beyond Print the verdict is binding, but not yet legally enforceable. The reasoning behind the verdict has not yet been released.

[...]

The three companies took action against VistaPrint because they viewed data exchange as being of vital significance for the printing industry. The EPO started examining the case in January.

The EPO has truly been maintaining some sanity here, but across the Atlantic you now find this report about the Bush Administration antagonising the patent reform. Who pays those people???

Bush Administration Speaks Against Patent Overhaul

U.S. Senate negotiators are getting closer to hammering out disagreements that are holding up a patent system overhaul, but President George Bush’s administration still has concerns about the bill, an administration official said Friday.

[...]

In order for the USPTO to improve the quality of patents granted, “the system must focus on the quality of applications,” Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez said in a letter to senators dated Thursday. “Stated simply, our innovation system can no longer afford the time and the cost of heavily subsidizing poor quality patent applications, which crowd out our most important innovations.”

Each applicant applications costs the USPTO US$4,200, while basic filing fees are under $1,000, Dudas added. “It’s very easy to apply for something while doing only minimal work,” he said.

The decision on patents is probably doomed to remain political. Remember the golden rule: those who have the gold make the rules. It leaves the system in a chicken-and-egg situation, so serious toppling may be needed. Maybe it’s even coming soon.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

2 Comments

  1. Robert said,

    April 6, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Gravatar

    A comment left here: http://www.redhatmagazine.com/2008/03/24/iso-approval-a-good-process-gone-bad/#comments

    Very well put. More evidence, if any was needed, that the ‘one vendor’ (MSFT) is more of a criminal syndicate than a software company and should be prosecuted under the RICO statutes.

  2. CoolGuy said,

    April 7, 2008 at 2:48 am

    Gravatar

    Microsoft has done more harm to the industry than any one else. They have killed a lot of excellent products and companies just to maintain their monopoly status.

What Else is New


  1. The European Patent Office Goes Down a Very Slippery Slope by Promoting and Defending Patents on Life/Nature in Defiance of Parliament and the EPC

    The reluctance to obey the law at the EPO is very much noteworthy; things have gotten so bad that nature and life itself become 'corporate property' or monopoly



  2. Software Patents Are in a Freefall in Courts Worldwide, But the EPO Keeps Granting and Promoting These

    Courts are tearing down abstract patents, but this has neither deterred nor discouraged António Campinos from coming up with new buzzwords and acronyms by which to promote these and grant these to applicants



  3. Team UPC Excited Over Nothing, President Campinos Rarely Even Mentions UPC Anymore

    President Campinos started his term with UPC advocacy, but he has barely even mentioned the acronym since then. In fact, it seems increasingly unlikely that UPC can ever materialise with just month left before Brexit



  4. Battistelli's Bodyguard Has Been Arrested, But Battistelli Should Join Him

    Alexandre Benalla and Vincent Crase end up in prison; will French investigators bother checking Benalla's past with Battistelli as well as other Battistelli scandals (incidents of law-breaking and of corruption)?



  5. Links 22/2/2019: GNOME 3.32 Beta 2 Released and Fedora 30 Flicker-Free Boot

    Links for the day



  6. Links 20/2/2019: digiKam 6.0.0, Cockpit 188, Mesa 19.0 RC5

    Links for the day



  7. How Long Can the EPO Bend the Rules Before the Avalanche of Invalid Software Patents?

    A 35 U.S.C. § 101/SCOTUS moment in Europe will likely squash loads of abstract European Patents granted by the EPO; shouldn’t the EPO foresee this and immediately cease granting such obviously bogus patents, whose main beneficiary is a bunch of patent trolls?



  8. Battistelli Trashed 223 Millions (of Stakeholders' Euros) on a System That Destroyed the European Patent Office and Made Few Private Corporations a Lot Richer

    A quarter of a billion euros later the EPO finally admits in private that this was a massive failure



  9. Links 19/2/2019: Mesa 18.3.4, Cutelyst 2.7.0, Plasma Pass 1.0.0

    Links for the day



  10. What Happened in the United States Now Happens in Europe: Lots of Patents Turn Out to Be Bunk, Fake, Bogus, Invalid and Thus Worthless

    Worthless patents — not opposition to such patents — are the greatest threat to the legitimacy of the patent system, yet bureaucrats fail to heed the warning in the name of short-term profits



  11. Stephen Rowan's and Nellie Simon's Letter to EPO Staff: eDossier Has “Not Reached the Required Quality Levels.”

    We've just commented on it; here is the raw letter in full, explaining that eDossier and related frameworks will be abandoned entirely and indefinitely within less than a fortnight



  12. Search Matters Not at the European Patent Office

    The EPO has found out that "System Battistelli" has been catastrophic for the quality of patents; it stops short of openly admitting it as such and in fact it keeps the message strictly confidential (explained to insiders, who will inevitably notice a system being abandoned)



  13. António Campinos Still Needs to Undo Battistelli's Union-Busting Activities at the EPO

    Solidarity and support for Laurent Prunier are needed because the new French president lacks empathy even for fellow Frenchmen whose sole 'crime' is that they represented EPO staff



  14. Links 18/2/2019: Linux 5.0 RC7, RISC-V Spreading Fast

    Links for the day



  15. António Campinos Still Needs to Hold Team Battistelli Accountable for Illegally Bringing Weapons to the EPO

    It is imperative that, in order to repair the reputation of the European Patent Office (EPO), António Campinos should pursue accountability for the managers who brought Benalla and firearms to the Office (very serious breach of German law, jail sentence included)



  16. Links 17/2/2019: Compiz 0.9.14.0, Geary 0.13.0, GNU FreeDink 109.6, Debian 9.8, Texinfo 6.6

    Links for the day



  17. Amazon's Patent Policy Should be Enough of a Reason to Boycott Amazon and AWS

    There are many things to criticise Amazon and its founder for; but rarely does the mainstream media bring up the company's appalling patent policy



  18. Don't Use Cloudflare Because You Impose This on People Who Least Want It

    Reasons to stop making the World Wide Web so heavily dependent on some dubious companies like Cloudflare, which already has a worrisome track record



  19. How Many/Most EPO Examiners View 'President' António Campinos

    Based on what readers/insiders have told us, there’s a prevalent perception that António Campinos is afraid of (thus controlled/directed by) Bergot, who is still doing Battistelli’s biddings at the European Patent Office (EPO)



  20. Techrights' Priorities Over the Years

    An old priority of ours, eliminating software patents in the United States, is no longer quite so relevant because such patents are perishing in US courts, with or without outside intervention such as activism



  21. Courts in Disagreement: Warning on Wrongly-Granted European Patents and the Looming Collapse of All Software Patents in Europe

    By devaluing patents and reducing their perceived worth (as is happening in China and Europe) patent offices risk decreasing participation in the very system they fundamentally depend on



  22. Computing Will Not Necessarily Make the World a Better Place

    The vision of "happy world" (because each person has a so-called 'smart' 'phone') is a yuppie delusion that overlooks business models and corporate interests



  23. EPO Grants Fake European Patents -- Including Software Patents -- and European Courts Keep Rejecting These

    The demise of the legitimacy or perceived validity of European Patents is measurable and the system isn't the same anymore; the EPO makes no effort to change this for the better, either



  24. Nobody But Patent Trolls and Litigators Will Benefit From the Corruption of the European Patent Office

    IAM, EPO leadership, Iancu and the rest of these raiders are enabling corruption and facilitating or supporting a racket; that money they collect comes at the expense of future victims of their "clients" or "customers" (that's what they call applicants, to whom they grant dubious monopolies as a matter of urgency)



  25. WSL is a Misleading Acronym/Name Because There's No Linux in It, It's Just Windows

    When Microsoft says "Linux" (as in "Microsoft loves Linux") what it actually means is Windows and/or Azure



  26. Links 16/2/2019: Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS, PyCharm 2019.1 EAP 4

    Links for the day



  27. Outline/Index of the Alexandre Benalla/Battistelli Scandal

    Our writings about the scandals implicating Benalla and the European Patent Office (EPO)



  28. Reading Techrights on a Mobile Device Running Android

    A new Android app for reading this site is being tested



  29. Links 14/2/2019: “I Love Free Software Day” and Mesa 19.0 RC4 Released

    Links for the day



  30. “EPO Lawlessness Again”

    Blackberry uses bogus European Patents (on software) for lawsuits; "all of them pure software patents. Patents on programs for computers as such," as Müller puts it


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts