06.05.08

Gemini version available ♊︎

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 in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Sirius Not-So-‘Open Source’: Cannot Talk to Colleagues, Cannot Speak About Work

    Cover-up and lies became a corporate pattern at the company where I had worked since 2011; it was time to go in order to avoid cooperation in unethical activities



  2. [Meme] Guilt by Association

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has a history of hostility towards people with disabilities; the company got sued over this, but kept the lawsuit secret



  3. That Time Sirius 'Open Source' Fired a Blind Lady While Gagging Sympathetic Staff

    Sirius 'Open Source' was taken to court after it had wrongly fired a couple of employees, one of whom was blind; this was accompanied by lies about why the staff's communication server was shut down



  4. Links 05/12/2022: Gnoppix Linux 22.12 and Armbian 22.11

    Links for the day



  5. Unified Patent Court (UPC) is “Real Soon Now!” Since 2014

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) lobby is once again forced to admit issues and delays; we've seen this time and time again for nearly a decade already



  6. Unified Patent Court (UPC) 'Delayed' Again, As Usual, as Unitary Patent Boosters Caught Up in Lies and Scandals

    “UPC [is] delayed by 2 months,” a source has told us, dubbing it “good news” and reaffirming what we’ve said this past year; this litigation lobby's 'wishlist' system isn’t legal, it’s not ready, there are yet more scandals, and journalists have been catching up with these scandals



  7. Links 05/12/2022: GStreamer 1.21.3

    Links for the day



  8. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 04, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 04, 2022



  9. Links 04/12/2022: Status of the 15-Minute Bug Initiative

    Links for the day



  10. When a Company Simply Refuses to Talk to Technical and Exerienced Staff Through Internal Avenues

    When companies behave like monarchies where staff has no role at all in decision-making and decisions are made in violation of those companies’ tenets (or mission statements) it is inevitable that staff will issue concerns, first internally and — failing that — in other channels



  11. [Meme] Kings Instead of Open Consultation Among Peers

    In Sirius there’s no room for debate, even among half a dozen or so technical colleagues; decisions are made in the dark by a tightly-knit cabal (with rather childish superhero cartoons as their avatars) and then imposed on everybody else (hardly democratic, not sane)



  12. Sirius Open Source: The Home of Stress and Bullying by Management

    Part 3 of a report regarding Sirius Open Source, which is imploding after bad judgement and misuse of power against employees



  13. Links 04/12/2022: Fosshost Shudown and OpenIndiana Hipster 2022.10

    Links for the day



  14. Links 03/12/2022: pgAdmin 4 Version 6.17

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 03, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 03, 2022



  16. Office Manager in Company Without an Office

    Imagine having an “Office Manager” in a company that does not even have an office. Welcome to corporate posturing.



  17. Dishonest Companies Disguised as 'Open Source' (After Abandoning It)

    A deeper look at the way Sirius Open Source presents itself to the public (including prospective and existing clients); This is clearly not the company that I joined nearly 12 years ago



  18. When the Founder of Your Company Supports Donald Trump the Company Ends up Active in Fascist Platforms

    Politics weren’t allowed in Sirius ‘Open Source’, but there were exceptions for some people (close to management) and it didn’t look good



  19. [Meme] Sirius Actually Used to Promote Free/Libre and Open Source Software

    Before people who reject Free/Libre and Open Source software were put in charge of Sirius ‘Open Source’ concrete steps had been taken to support the wider community (or the suppliers, who were mostly volunteers)



  20. Sirius 'Open Source' When It Actually Understood and Respected Software Freedom

    The company my wife and I joined was (at the time) still Free software-centric and reasonably friendly towards staff; today we examine Sirius of a decade ago



  21. Links 03/12/2022: 4MLinux 41, GNOME E-mail System Melting Down

    Links for the day



  22. Links 03/12/2022: KDE Report and Canonical Lying to Staff

    Links for the day



  23. Sirius 'Open Source' Lists 49 Firms/Organisations as Clients But Only 4 of Them Currently Are

    Sirius Open Source is nowhere as popular as it wants people to think



  24. Sirius 'Open Source' Lists 15 People as Staff, But Only 6 Work in the Company

    Sirius Open Source is nowhere as big as it wants people to believe (like it is a trans-Atlantic thriving firm, the “Sirius Group”)



  25. Storm Brewing Over the Future and Nature of the Internet

    Subsidies for Web giants (and shareholders of such giants) will run out; what will happen to the Internet when this inevitably happens?



  26. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 02, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, December 02, 2022



  27. 10 Good Things That Happened in 2022

    In the technical domain, 2022 saw some positive developments, especially from the perspective of Freedom-centric and environmentalist folks



  28. Rumour: More Microsoft Layoffs (Big Layoffs) Next Month

    TheLayoff.com, a moderated forum for anonymous voices, has a new comment (less than a day old) about more Microsoft layoffs



  29. Engineers Are Too Expensive for Sirius 'Open Source'

    Sirius Open Source has become almost like a one-man operation, occasionally assisted by associates (external to the company, paid as contractors by the hour), and management that neglects basic duties while it lies to the staff in an effort to ‘pacify’ it



  30. A December Series About the Demise of Sirius 'Open Source'

    Sirius has not been functioning properly for years, but this year it got a lot worse and the story ought to be told; there are many aspects in it that may be applicable to other companies, including those that engage in openwashing for marketing purposes (opportunism)


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

Recent Posts