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. Scanning Patent Troll Implodes; Is the Podcasting Patent Troll Next?

    MPHJ loses and Personal Audio LLC perhaps wins for the last time since software patents are quickly losing legitimacy in the United States



  2. If CAFC is Not Above the Law, Then it Should be Shut Down Now

    A long series of abuses in CAFC may as well suggest that this court has become broken beyond repair



  3. The Latest From Microsoft Patent Trolls and Patent Partners

    Microsoft-linked and Linux-hostile trolls continue their relentless attacks (albeit with little or no success) while patents as a weapon lose their teeth owing to a Supreme Court ruling



  4. Microsoft Proves That Its Massive Layoffs Are Not About Nokia

    Microsoft is laying off a lot of employees who have nothing at all to do with Nokia



  5. Links 19/9/2014: Another Red Hat Acquisition, Netflix Dumps Microsoft Silverlight and Brings DRM to WWW

    Links for the day



  6. Links 18/9/2014: Windows Copying GNU/Linux, Germany Moves to Security

    Links for the day



  7. Web Site 'Patent Progress' Now Officially 'Powered by CCIA' (FRAND Proponent, Microsoft Front)

    After talking a job at CCIA, "Patent Progress" and its chief author should be treated as dubious on real patent progress



  8. Articles About the Death of Software Patents in the United States

    Recent coverage of software patents and their demise in their country of origin, where even proponents of software patents are giving up



  9. The Death of Software Patents is Already Killing Some Major Patent Trolls

    VirnetX seems to be the latest victim of the demise of software patents in the United States



  10. More Microsoft Layoffs

    More Microsoft layoffs go ahead as the company is unable to compete



  11. ODF on the Rise

    Milestones for OpenDocument Format (ODF) and the launch of FixMyDocuments



  12. Links 17/9/2014: CoreOS, ChromeOS, and systemd

    Links for the day



  13. Italy is Cracking Down on Microsoft's Monopoly Abuse While Gradually Moving to GNU/Linux

    Italy is not only moving to Free/Open Source software but also to GNU/Linux while at the same time barring Microsoft from forcibly tying Windows to new PCs



  14. OpenSUSE's 'Assurances' Are Classic MBA School Hogwash

    OpenSUSE is not part of any commitment, except for SUSE's; the impact of the Novell/SUSE acquisition casts uncertainty on the project's future



  15. Links 16/9/2014: Firefox OS Smartphones in Bangladesh, “Treasure Map” of the Internet

    Links for the day



  16. The United Kingdom Should Dump Microsoft For the Sake of National Security

    The UK has issues of Microsoft dependency and Windows viruses; its migration to Free software and GNU/Linux is not fast enough to guard its autonomy in the age of digital imperialism



  17. CBS Hires Even More Microsoft Staff to Cover Microsoft Matters

    CBS continues to be infested with Microsoft staff past and present (this time Dave Johnson) and the bias in output is quite revealing



  18. Microsoft Has Just Killed Minecraft for GNU/Linux and the Possibility of Free/Open Source Releases

    Persson sells out to Microsoft and lets the abusive monopolist destroy the popular cross-platform game that a community has been built around



  19. Another Reason to Boycott Intel UEFI

    More anti-competitive aspects are revealed inside UEFI, which helps merginalise GNU/Linux



  20. Quick Mention: Novell and SUSE Passed to Microsoft's 'Partner of the Year', Microsoft Focus

    Novell is changing hands again, and falling into the hands of even more Microsoft-friendly actors



  21. Links 16/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC5, KDE Frameworks 5.2.0

    Links for the day



  22. Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Patent Office (EPO): Part II

    Part II of our look into the EPO appointment of Željko Topić and other matters showing the dubious integrity of the EPO



  23. Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  24. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day



  25. Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

    Links for the day



  26. Links 10/9/2014: Brian Stevens in Google, Ubuntu 14.10 Expectations

    Links for the day



  27. Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

    Links for the day



  28. Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

    Links for the day



  29. Suspicion of High-Level Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO): Part I

    The European Patent Office (EPO) Vice-President has a background of corruption and his appointment to the EPO too is believed to be reliant on systemic corruption



  30. Links 6/9/2014: Core OS at DigitalOcean, Women in Xorg

    Links for the day


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