07.12.08

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Microsoft@SourceForge and More Software Patents Poison

Posted in Courtroom, Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Patents at 4:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft Poisons Free Software from the Inside

SourceForge seems determined to find out just how ‘risky’ Free software is.

Welcome Microsoft, which has been getting cosy with SourceForge lately [1, 2]. Some months ago we warned about it. The old analysis still stands and the The Register took note.

Co-incidentally, or not, Microsoft – who has a schizophrenic relationship with open source when it comes to the subject of intellectual property in free and open source software – is sponsoring the poll.

[...]

One wonders what diamond-level sponsor Microsoft might feel about this, given its own sense of software manifest destiny and, ahem, “concerns” over IP in open source software.

Microsoft is still trying to broadcast the message that users of Free software (e.g. from SourceForge) are at risk. It’s about as bad as those anti-GNU/Linux advertisements Microsoft puts in NewsForge. Is it really sponsorship or a licence to ruin?

“Using the language of money, they try to get FOSS to publicly acknowledge guilt and repel prospective customers.”What an evil yet elegant way of spreading FUD. Instead of coming from the outside to accuse Free software of not honouring intellectual monopolies, Microsoft pays some money for an open source Web site to shoot itself in the foot with FUD directed against itself. Using the language of money, they try to get FOSS to publicly acknowledge guilt and repel prospective customers.

We shall return to this in the future.

More Software Patents

We have already discussed one of the greatest insults to the USPTO. It’s known as the “JPEG on a Web page” patent [1, 2] It’s not just GIF that requires PNG (PNG is Not GIF) and perhaps it’s dangerous to even put a picture — any picture — on a Web page these days. Either way, watch what has happened with this JPEG patent owner.

Owner Of Infamous JPEG Patent Tries To Line Jump The Re-Exam Process

[...]

You may recall the infamous “JPEG patent” we’ve talked about recently. It’s the one that patent attorney Ray Niro, about whom the phrase “patent troll” was initially coined, has used to sue all sorts of critics or companies he doesn’t appear to like.

We wrote about Ray Niro before [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. 8, 9, 10]. He should really be kept behind bars, along with the likes of Carl Icahn. Sadly, the current law is dysfunctional, so these people not behind bars.

Another obscure company called WordLogic decided to attack with a patent that it hadn’t even received. What would make a better target than a wealthy and luxurious Mercedes-Benz?

WLGC: Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Mercedes-Benz USA

[...]

The company through its wholly owned subsidiary 602531 British Columbia Ltd., which holds the Company’s patent and patent pending portfolio, will be seeking damages for patent infringement for use of their car navigation system in certain 2007, 2008, and 2009 Mercedes-Benz models under US Patent No. 7293231 titled “DATA ENTRY FOR PERSONAL COMPUTING DEVICES”. WordLogic believes that this infringement was willful.

“Wholly owned subsidiary”… does that ring a bell [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]? Anyway, let’s move on.

Remember game patents? They are back. It’s Konami yet again [1, 2].

News: Konami sues Viacom over Rock Band

[...]

This jockeying took another step forward this week when Konami, makers of the upcoming Rock Revolution® musical group rhythm game, filed suit against Harmonix, makers of the popular Rock Band® musical group rhythm game, accusing Harmonix of infringing three of Konami’s patents.

The Qualcomm saga that we mentioned here before [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28] has not ended. it’s about video compression patents, which is a classic case of mathematical ownership through software patents. Have a look at this article from Law.com.

The Qualcomm discovery fiasco dealt a blow to the lawyers involved at Day Casebeer Madrid & Batchelder. As the question of sanctions lingers in the courts, another big one remains: How badly will it hurt the highly respected patent litigation boutique?

[...]

The discovery issue arose during the January 2007 trial over video compression patents. A Qualcomm witness disclosed the existence of e-mails that turned out to be highly relevant to the case. In April 2007, Qualcomm’s then-General Counsel Louis Lupin and Batchelder apologized for neglecting to turn over the e-mails to Broadcom but argued that Qualcomm’s trial team had never acted in bad faith.

What a total waste of time and money. Just ask professor Stiglitz, a Nobel Laureate.

“Fighting patents one by one will never eliminate the danger of software patents, any more than swatting mosquitoes will eliminate malaria.”

Richard Stallman

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3 Comments

  1. DOUGman said,

    July 12, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Gravatar

    *sigh*, I just had 15-something kid come to me and explain that MS is ALL-ABOUT open source now and the LIVE technologies are to benefit us all, talk about being delusional.

    D.

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    August 15, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Gravatar

    The Register still has some good stuff sometimes, but they really started to softpeddle on Microsoft after one point. IIRC that was some advertising partnership or something like that.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 15, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Gravatar

    They have a Microsoft Search deal.

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