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

09.21.08

ZDNet: “Microsoft Has Turned Into the Biggest Patent Troll in the World”

Posted in DRM, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 6:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nathan Myhrvold

In recent coverage [1, 2, 3] which was centerd on Intellectual Vultures [sic], a clear connection with Microsoft was shown. The company seems to be serving as a tool, inspired and conceived by Microsoft itself. Those who are watching ZDNet closely will find Microsoft being described as “the biggest patent troll in the world.” Legal harassment need not be direct if Microsoft accumulates industry partners and friends who do their ‘dirty laundry’ [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15].

Microsoft has turned into the biggest patent troll in the world. The only thing that makes any sense is that some attorney in their employ is considering that a defensive move to prevent other bottom feeders from suing Microsoft. I certainly hope that is the reason for that patent otherwise it makes no sense. If they try to enforce that patent I hope and it needs to get shut down by the courts.

In any case it puts a new light on the GPL for me.

Over in Europe, Digital Majority drew attention to this talk on the subject of software patents.

It matters which sort of legal protection you take. Felix van Kourten argues why patent law suits software so badly and why we are better off with copyright law. Oct 10 he will speak at the Kiel Linux and Open Source Days.

Software is by all means ‘protected’ (a word better off never used). Work is protected not at the level of simple pertinent concepts but at the level of actual implementation. That’s the way it should be, otherwise we might as well restrict people’s speech because it conveys ideas that may have been heard or expressed somewhere else (but phrased differently).

The recent protest in Europe seem to be making some more headlines right now and it can’t be positive publicity for EPO, which will come under increased pressure and scrutiny. Here is Expatica writing about the strike.

Patent examiners and other staff of the European Patent Office (EPO) demonstrated outside the European Commission offices Thursday, demanding a thorough re-examination of the EPO.

[...]

The staff union, SUEPO, say that lowering the quality of patents will have a disastrous effect on innovation which will affect every consumer. Their ‘Save The EPO’ campaign is not aimed at increasing wages but in reinforcing patent quality.

In the face of ‘treaty man’ McCreevy [1, 2], the EPO absolutely must learn from the sordid mess caused by the USPTO’s lenience. This is probably not related to the economic crisis directly, but it could be part of it. Excessively-lenient patentability guidelines drive research and development to other countries where manufacturing is cheaper, minds are freer, and there is a great deal of reuse.

Restriction of this kind is an artificial limitation, which causes great harm to competitiveness. Much like DRM shows, you cannot enable or spur creativity through disablement, imposition of heavy fines, and reduction of dissemination. You just lock yourself out of the universal market that way. You wake up when it’s only too late and regret is not a valid excuse.

Software patents protest against EPO

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 1/9/2014: Poettering on systemd, ITNews on DBMSs

    Links for the day



  2. Moving Away From Windows to GNU/Linux and the Abandonment of Windows as the Modest Proposal These Days

    Morale of GNU/Linux and an embrace of GNU/Linux is very high, despite recent propaganda from Microsoft MVPs and boosters (primarily security-themed and Munich-themed FUD)



  3. Korean Press Slams Microsoft Over Patent Extortion Against Linux/Android as New Abuses Resurface

    Harsh words from the national press of South Korea as Nokia's role in Microsoft's anti-Linux tactics becomes more apparent



  4. More Good News About Patents and Their Demise in the United States

    A roundup of news about software patents and patent trolls in the land where these thrive



  5. Links 31/8/2014: Linux 3.12.27, Akademy 2014

    Links for the day



  6. Links 30/8/2014: Jailhouse 0.1, *buntu 14.10 Beta

    Links for the day



  7. Links 28/8/2014: Many New Games, CTO of Red Hat Steps Down

    Links for the day



  8. We Are Gradually Winning the Battle Against Software Patents

    The once-elusive war on software patents is finally leading to some breakthrough and even the Federal Circuit reinforces the trend of software patents' demise



  9. Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) Companies Versus FOSS Moles (VMware, Sonatype, Xamarin)

    A look at three entities which pretend to be pro-FOSS but are actually FOSS-hostile and very much determined to replace FOSS with proprietary software



  10. Links 27/8/2014: GNU/Linux in Space, China, LinuxCon

    Links for the day



  11. FUD Against Google and FOSS Security Amid Microsoft Windows Security Blunders

    In the age of widespread fraud due to Microsoft Windows with its back doors there is an attempt to shift focus to already-fixed flaws/deficiencies in competitors of Microsoft



  12. Microsoft Spin Watch: IDG Turns to More Microsoft Propaganda, Hires Microsoft Boosters

    Media in Microsoft's pocket is telling Microsoft's lies and deceives the public for Microsoft's bottom line



  13. Microsoft's Massive Tax Evasion Becomes Better Known

    A new report about Microsoft's admission that it plays dirty tricks with tax (sometimes using moles in government) is increasing awareness of Microsoft's criminal aspects



  14. Links 25/8/2014: China's Linux Revolution Imminent

    Links for the day



  15. Links 24/8/2014: GNU/Linux Specialisation and Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  16. Links 23/8/2014: GNU/Linux Growth

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft-Funded Attacks on Android Security and Patent/Copyright

    A look back at examples of people who smear Android and are receiving (or received) money from Microsoft



  18. Blowback in Chile and Munich After Microsoft Intervention

    Microsoft's attacks on the digital sovereignty of countries involves lobbying, corruption, an attack on standards (e.g. ODF), an attack on FOSS policies, and even an attack on accurate reporting (truth itself)



  19. The End of Microsoft is Nigh

    A look back at a tough year for Microsoft and a not-so-promising future



  20. Links 22/8/2014: Linux Foundation LFCS, LFCE

    Links for the day



  21. UPS Burned by Microsoft Windows, Gives Away Massive Number of Credit Card Details

    UPS is the latest victim of Microsoft's shoddy back door with software on top of it (Windows); attempts to blame FOSS for data compromise actually divert attention from the real culprit, which is proprietary software



  22. Microsoft's Funding of ALEC and Other Systemic Corruption

    Microsoft role in writing of laws by proxy, via groups such as ALEC



  23. Microsoft is Still Preying on British Taxpayers, Playing Politics

    Some news from the UK showing how Microsoft uses politics to extract money out of taxpayers, irrespective of their preferences



  24. Microsoft's Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as 20% of Staff Laid Off

    More good news regarding the demise of patents as Microsoft's leading patent proxy is collapsing more rapidly than anyone ever imagined and software patents too are collectively doubted



  25. Links 21/8/2014: Conferences of Linux Foundation, Elephone Emerges

    Links for the day



  26. Links 20/8/2014: Linux Event, GNOME Milestone

    Links for the day



  27. Corruption Watch: Microsoft Lobbying Designed to Kill Chile's Free Software Policy and Promote Microsoft With Subsidies, More Dirty Tricks Emerge in Munich

    icrosoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always



  28. Vista 8 Such a Disaster That Even Microsoft Cannot Cope With It, Vapourware Tactics Start Early

    Microsoft's Windows-powered services are failing and Windows gets bricked by Microsoft patches, whereupon we are seeing yet more of Microsoft's vapourware tactics (focusing in imaginary, non-existent versions of Windows)



  29. On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

    A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry's new patents apparatus



  30. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    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