01.20.09

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Has Microsoft Just Invested in Another Lawsuit Against IBM?

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Servers at 11:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Microsoft hardly needs an SCO source license. Its license payment to SCO is simply a good-looking way to pass along a bribe…”

Bruce Perens

From the BBC this morning:

US computer company T3 Technologies has said it has filed a complaint against IBM with the European Commission.

It accuses IBM, the world’s largest technology services company, of “abusing its monopoly power in the mainframe industry”.

Now, let’s take a look at the homepage of T3 Technologies (http://www.t3t.com/). Here is what’s at the front page.

T3 lawsuit IBM

Anything coincidental there?

Sounds familiar? It should:

Thoughts welcome.

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13 Comments

  1. Shane Coyle said,

    January 20, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Gravatar

    Of course, "the terms of the investment agreement have not been disclosed", as always, but let’s have a look at the gist of the complaint, according to the article.

    T3 also contends that IBM withheld patent licences and certain intellectual property.

    “Only IBM now offers IBM-compatible mainframes and… controls over 99% of all existing IBM-compatible mainframes in use today,” T3 said in a statement on its website.

    In 2007, US software firm Platform Solution filed a formal complain with the European Commission, accusing IBM of refusing to license third parties and refusing to supply interface information on mainframes.

    But the case was dropped when PSI agreed to be bought by IBM.

    Now, tell me that if you didn’t s/IBM/Microsoft/g and s/Mainframe/Desktop/g it wouldn’t sound very familiar, and evil.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 20, 2009 at 11:58 am

    Gravatar

    Yes, I’m no fan of IBM either, but this potential strategy of using other companies to sue your rival has got to stop. Apple is claimed a victim of this too. Maybe Google, as well (I gave loads of evidence here before).

  3. Shane Coyle said,

    January 20, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Gravatar

    I agree, if that is indeed happening, it’s unethical and unfortunate – but, even then, isn’t Justice the point? Justice sponsored by Microsoft seems ironic, but it’s still Justice for all.

    According to a release on their site a few below the MS one, this company was hopping in on the PSI suit against IBM as well in 2007 – before MS gave them any money, and perhaps are now pursuing their own buyout or just are picking up the fight to carry it on.

    It looks like T3 at least has products and customers, and maybe they are legitimately looking for an even playing field. At the same time, the fact that IBM bought out the prior complainant bolsters their confidence that perhaps there is a case here – notice IBM’s complete lack of worry about SCO, in comparison.

    The enemy of my enemy is my friend, this is not a new strategy in any theater of conflict – be it business, or war.

  4. Gentoo User said,

    January 20, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Gravatar

    A quick Google search turns up this from 2007. Perhaps you could find a Microsoft connection to that as well, and draw clever implications from it.

    It really would be amazingly foolish for this company to publish their relationship with Microsoft and the IBM lawsuit on their front page. At the same time. Uncharacteristic for this group of people who are so devious, isn’t it?

    It seems suing IBM over mainframe competition issues is an interesting cottage industry. Who knows what other legal actions have been taken that Google cannot find, or the ones that were settled and under-reported (see what I’m doing here, implying there is “more” when I have no proof whatsoever).

  5. lyle howard seave said,

    January 20, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Gravatar

    The guys at Linux Outlaws podcast are having el senor bullshitter as a guest and are asking listeners to send in questions to Icaza:

    http://linuxoutlaws.com/blog/2009/01/miguel-now-included/
    http://linuxoutlaws.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=1247

    Maybe you can suggest them a few since all points to a slobberfest by a Gnomefanboi.? (“Miguel, what color are your eyes?”)
    Theyre cool guys, big on free software but too nice to ask hard questions.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 20, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Gravatar

    Miguel at Linux Outlaws?

    The puns may never end.

    Will there be a Mexican (patent) shootout? If so, who will be the Outlaw? ;-)

  7. Mar Hyde said,

    January 20, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Gravatar

    LOL……Even more than usual interesting listening then.

    Or are you just that precious Roy?? ;)

  8. Roy Bixler said,

    January 20, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Gravatar

    It’s true that there is no proof that Microsoft is behind this. I also doubt that it’s purely a coincidence. I would liken it to the SCO vs. IBM case, where Microsoft was in the background. First, they bought a licence from SCO that they didn’t really need before any of SCO’s claims were proved in court. They also guaranteed Baystar’s investment in SCO, which gave SCO more time to press its claims in court before bankruptcy. At the least, this is “helping the enemy of an enemy.”

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm

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    As the title says, it invested but did not necessarily initiate this.

  10. The Mad Hatter said,

    January 20, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Gravatar

    Wall Street Journal also has some coverage. This sounds a lot like Psystar. Or maybe T3 wants to be purchased.

    After all, there’s no reason they couldn’t run a BSD or Linux kernel based OS.

  11. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 21, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Gravatar

    Financial Times:

    Microsoft’s money backs an IBM adversary – again

    [...]

    “Take the complaint that has just been filed with the European Commission against IBM’s mainframe monopoly. T3, the Florida company that brought the case, was the recipient of a Microsoft investment just two months ago.

    “The size of that cash injection has not been disclosed, but it will certainly help to support an expensive legal challenge in Europe for a small private company that, by its own admission, has struggled since IBM blocked its mainframe ambitions.

    “Is it paranoia to see a Machiavellian motive behind Microsoft’s investment? There is certainly a pattern here.

    [...]

    “The most famous example, of course, was Microsoft’s financial backing for SCO Group, which brought a lawsuit against IBM over alleged intellectual property infringements in Linux. Though ultimately unsuccessful, the SCO case cast a cloud for years over the potential IP pitfalls in Linux. Who knows how important that was in limiting the damage to Microsoft’s operating system business?”

    http://blogs.ft.com/techblog/2009/01/microsofts-money-backs-an-ibm-adversary-again/

  12. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 21, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Gravatar

    Microsoft and its “talking heads” are already trying to deny this:

    Microsoft on the other end of the EC antitrust stick?

    No, no, it must be a coincidence… did anyone expect Microsoft to admit wrongdoing?

  13. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 22, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Gravatar

    Microsoft denies it is behind IBM anti-trust suit

    http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/571/1050571/microsoft-denies-ibm-anti-trust-suit

    Microsoft Says It’s Not Behind Latest IBM Mainframe Suit

    http://www.crn.com/software/212901760

    Microsoft also said the OOXML corruption process was “fair”.

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