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

06.05.08

Microsoft Becomes Software “IP Thief” and Hardware “IP Cop”

Posted in Apple, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft, Patents, SUN at 2:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Here is a roundup of patent-related news that may or may not be relevant to GNU/Linux.

Avistar

Microsoft is said to be “losing grip in [the] patent spat” which involves Avistar [1, 2, 3, 4]. You will find some more details about it here.

Avistar Communications Corporation reported today that the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has rejected Microsoft’s requests for re-examination of 29 of Avistar’s US patents pertaining to audio, video and collaboration technologies.

Also here.

Avistar Communications Corp. said Monday the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office rejected requests by Microsoft Corp. to re-examine 14 of the company’s patents, but will look at nine of them.

As a result of this, shares of Avistar rose sharply.

Infosys

Microsoft’s close partners (and OOXML ‘zombie voters’ [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]) are applying for software patents in the United States, which is interesting because they strive to obtain what they probably cannot in their home country. To whose benefit would such a portfolio be?

Infosys awarded 2 patents by USPTO

[...]

Actual 3D dimensional imaging, which includes a representation of depth information along with amplitude of information is not being used in these cases. This patent addresses the issue of 3D in mobile communication.

Alcatel-Lucent

The legal battle between Alcatel-Lucent and Microsoft has gone on for quite some time [1, 2, 3, 4]. Claims and accusations varied as the two sides were firing shots in both directions. Yes, software patents can be ‘fun’ because they are typically about mutual destruction, not reconciliation and peace (often characterised by sharing). We’ll see more of this shortly when we come to consider Sun and NetApp.

Here is the latest about this case that involves Alcatel-Lucent and Microsoft.

The jury also upheld four Microsoft patents, but found that Alcatel-Lucent didn’t infringe them, and found one Microsoft patent invalid. Microsoft had been seeking damages of $9.5 million on five patent claims.

Alcatel-Lucent judged that ruling as a victory. “We believed from the beginning that Microsoft patent infringement allegations against Alcatel-Lucent were without merit and we presented a strong defensive argument. We are pleased that the jury agreed with us on this, and we appreciate the jury’s time and the careful and thoughtful analysis they gave to this case,” the company said in a statement.

The Seattle P-I published its short take as well.

In the latest twist in the Microsoft/Alcatel-Lucent legal saga, a federal jury in San Diego today found that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 didn’t violate an Alcatel-Lucent patent for video-encoding technology.

Apple

When it comes to software patents, Apple is definitely no friend of open source or GNU/Linux. It ruthlessly files away (never mind quality), some say for defense and vanity purposes only. Here comes another mobile-related patent, just like the ones from Infosys.

Filed last September, the application describes “Touch Screen Device, Method, and Graphical User Interface for Determining Commands by Applying Heuristics” – more simply, the gesture-based user interface found on the iPhone and iPod touch.

Artificial intelligence patents are the equivalent of patenting thought. Bilski and the curve ball patent (hypothetical example) spring to mind.

Sun

Sun’s view on patents is rather ambivalent, but in the face of a patent assault it has been fighting to defend itself and its open source portfolio for quite a while. Groklaw has accumulated many of the relevant documents and it brings readers up to date.

The Order tells us that Sun was able to persuade the USPTO to agree to reexaminations on some of NetApp’s asserted patents, three of them (there are four more), but this one, Order Granting Request for Inter Party Reexamination [PDF] on the ’001 patent, is the biggie. Sun asked for inter partes reexamination of the ’001 patent, based on prior art, and the USPTO issued the order granting reexamination of all 63 claims of the patent, finding that a “substantial new question of patentability (SNQ) affecting claims 1-63″ of the ’001 patent exists.

Fashion

Going a tad astray here, mainly for the purpose of showing patent absurdity applies not only to software, watch again this huge problem which is fashion IPR. [via Glyn Moody]

For the fashion industry intellectual property is a complicated web of legislation and cultural norms. The industry practice of “taking inspiration” from other designers is very common. Equally,

[...]

But even if the work is under copyright, a copy of it may not be a breach of copyright. You see, the design or pattern is an artistic work, but since 17 June 2004, the scope of that protection is limited by the operation of the Designs Act 2003 (Cth). Where someone “reverse engineers” the original you can’t sue for copyright infringement. Rather you would move into the scope of the Designs Act.

How long before people ‘own’ drum beats? The possibilities are endless, so limit on scope is a must.

Hardware

For many years, Microsoft has worked to ensure that hardware works better with Windows. It was more about the hardware than about software. Intel played similar games to coerce partners and gain an unfair advantage (Intel has just been convicted of separate charges, according to Tracy at the IRC channel).

There is a new development here because Microsoft once against enlists intellectual monopolies. Just brought to your by Microsoft and unveiled at Computex: The Licensed Contract Manufacturers Marketplace

The Redmond company announced the Licensed Contract Manufacturers Marketplace at Computex Taipei 2008 in Taiwan, an online hotspot aimed to feature its intellectual property licensing program for hardware.

It’s probably self explanatory. Microsoft is trying to taint everything with intellectual monopolies. It’s crucial to its battle against freedom. The last bit is yet another cornerstone.

“One Free Software Foundation-backed group–aptly called the End Software Patents Project–is using the [Bilski] case as a platform to argue that no form of software should ever qualify for a patent. Red Hat also argued that the “exclusionary objectives” of software patents conflict with the nature of the open-source system and open up coders to myriad legal hazards.”

Court case could redefine business method, software patents

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

What Else is New


  1. Links 19/4/2018: Mesa 17.3.9 and 18.0.1, Trisquel 8.0 LTS Flidas, Elections for openSUSE Board

    Links for the day



  2. The Patent Microcosm, Patent Trolls and Their Pressure Groups Incite a USPTO Director Against the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Section 101/Alice

    As one might expect, the patent extremists continue their witch-hunt and constant manipulation of USPTO officials, whom they hope to compel to become patent extremists themselves (otherwise those officials are defamed, typically until they're fired or decide to resign)



  3. Microsoft's Lobbying for FRAND Pays Off as Microsoft-Connected Patent Troll Conversant (Formerly MOSAID) Goes After Android OEMs in Europe

    The FRAND (or SEP) lobby seems to have caused a lot of monopolistic patent lawsuits; this mostly affects Linux-powered platforms such as Android, Tizen and webOS and there are new legal actions from Microsoft-connected patent trolls



  4. To Understand Why People Say That Lawyers are Liars Look No Further Than Misleading Promotion of Software Patents

    Some of the latest misleading claims from the patent microcosm, which is only interested in lots and lots of patents (its bread and butter is monopolies after all) irrespective of their merit, quality, and desirability



  5. When News About the EPO is Dominated by Sponsored 'Reports' and Press Releases Because Publishers Are Afraid of (or Bribed by) the EPO

    The lack of curiosity and genuine journalism in Europe may mean that serious abuses (if not corruption) will go unreported



  6. The Boards of Appeal at the European Patent Organisation (EPO) Complain That They Are Understaffed, Not Just Lacking the Independence They Depend on

    The Boards of Appeal have released a report and once again they openly complain that they're unable to do their job properly, i.e. patent quality cannot be assured



  7. Links 18/4/2018: New Fedora 27 ISOs, Nextcloud Wins German Government Contract

    Links for the day



  8. Guest Post: Responding to Your Recent Posting “The European Patent Office Will Never Hold Its Destroyers Accountable”

    In France, where Battistelli does not enjoy diplomatic immunity, he can be held accountable like his "padrone" recently was



  9. The EPO in 2018: Partnering With Saudi Arabia and Cambodia (With Zero European Patents)

    The EPO's status in the world has declined to the point where former French colonies and countries with zero European Patents are hailed as "success stories" for Battistelli



  10. For Samsung and Apple the Biggest Threat Has Become Patent Trolls and Aggressors in China and the Eastern District of Texas, Not Each Other

    The latest stories about two of the world's largest phone OEMs, both of which find themselves subjected to a heavy barrage of patent lawsuits and even embargoes; Samsung has meanwhile obtained an antisuit injunction against Huawei



  11. The EPO Continues to Lie About Patent Quality Whilst Openly Promoting Software Patents, Even Outside Europe

    EPO patent quality continues to sink while EPO management lies about it and software patents are openly being promoted/advocatedEPO patent quality continues to sink while EPO management lies about it (the article above is new) and software patents are openly being promoted/advocated



  12. SCOTUS on WesternGeco v Ion Geophysical Almost Done; Will Oil States Decision Affirm the PTAB's Quality Assurance (IPRs) Soon?

    Ahead of WesternGeco and Oil States, following oral proceedings, it's expected that the highest court in the United States will deliver more blows to patent maximalism



  13. Links 17/4/2018: Linux 5.x Plans and Microsoft's 'Embrace'

    Links for the day



  14. The European Patent Office (EPO) Grants Patents in Error, Insiders Are Complaining That It's the Management's Fault

    The EPO has languished to the point where patents are granted in error, examiners aren't happy, and the resultant chaos benefits no-one but lawyers and patent trolls



  15. The European Patent Office Will Never Hold Its Destroyers Accountable

    With only one in seven EPO stakeholders believing that Battistelli's pick (António Campinos) will turn things around for the better, it certainly does not seem like people are happy and there's no real hope that Battistelli will ever be held accountable for his abuses after his immunity expires



  16. With Liars Like These...

    The European Patent Office continues to lie about the Unified Patent Court (UPC) amongst other things, still revealing its reluctance to say anything which is truthful or work to repair the damage caused by Benoît Battistelli



  17. Links 16/4/2018: Linux 4.17 RC 1, Mesa 18.0.1 RC, GNOME 3.28.1

    Links for the day



  18. IAM, Patently-O and Watchtroll (the Patent Trolls' Lobby) Try to Stop Patent Oppositions/Petitions (PTAB)

    In spite of fee hikes, introduced by Iancu's interim predecessor, petitions (IPRs) at the PTAB continue to grow in number and the patent maximalists are losing their minds over it



  19. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is Ending Software Patents One Patent at a Time

    At an accelerating pace and with growing determination, PTAB (part of AIA) crushes patent trolls and software patents; the statistics and latest stories speak for themselves



  20. Academics and Think Tanks for Patent Maximalism

    Right-wing think tanks and impressionable academics continue to lobby for patent maximalism, rarely revealing the funding sources and motivations; in reality, however, such maximalism mainly helps large (already-wealthy) corporations, monopolists, and law firms



  21. Killing Patent Quality and Encouraging 'Covert' Software Patents Using the Buzzwords Du Jour

    The epidemic of buzzwords and/or hype waves that are being exploited to dodge or bypass patent scope/limitations, as seen in Europe and the US these days



  22. Crisis of Quality at the EPO Extends to Staff (Notably Examiners) and Management as Institutional Integrity is Severely Compromised

    A rather pessimistic but likely realistic outlook for the European Patent Office (EPO), which seems unable to attract the sort of staff it attracted for a number of decades



  23. The 'Blockchaining' of Software Patents (to Dodge the Rules/Guidelines) Now Coming to Europe

    A lot of software patents are being declared invalid (or not granted in the first place); having said that, using all sorts of hype waves (like calling databases “blockchains”) firms and individuals manage to still be granted software patents and sometimes patent trolls hoard these



  24. Links 14/4/2018: Wine 3.6, KDE Elisa 0.1

    Links for the day



  25. East Asia Should Have Adopted the Patent Strategy of South Asia, Notably India

    China seems to be so interested in patent maximalism that it has lost sight of the effect on foreign investment, e.g. US/European/Taiwanese/Japanese/Korean firms operating/manufacturing in mainland China



  26. Samsung is the 'New IBM', Sans the Trolling With Patents

    The 'relic' company, IBM, loses its patent leadership (as measured using some yardstick) to Samsung, a company which is relatively calm when it comes to patent activity (unless/only when sued, as happens a lot nowadays)



  27. David Barcelou May or May Not be a Patent Troll, But He is Certainly a SLAPPing Bully and Watchtroll is Fine With It

    Like a thin-skinned person/entity (which many in the patent microcosm are), David Barcelou and Automated Transactions (“ATL”) SLAPP their critics and surprisingly enough it's Watchtroll, who has been threatened by WIPO, coming to the bully's rescue (double standards)



  28. Links 12/4/2018: Stable New Kernels, Neptune 5.1

    Links for the day



  29. The USPTO Has a Nepotism and Lobbying Problem That Jeopardises the Rationality of US Patent Law

    The influence games of Washington are spilling over to the US patent office and poisoning/harming its ability to conduct professional operations without corporate influence (from either side, both corporations and law firms)



  30. Patent Trolls in the United States Show the Importance of Stopping Software Patents (Trolls' Favourite) Worldwide

    The abundance of entities that exist for no purpose other than to initiate lawsuits is a contagious threat to real innovation (or science and technology being practiced); a new jury verdict (record-breaking $500,000,000) is a reminder of this


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