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

02.08.09

Patents Roundup: Apple, Microsoft Trolls, and Linux

Posted in Apple, Deals, GNU/Linux, HP, Kyocera Mita, Microsoft, Patents, Samsung at 12:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Apple

ACCORDING TO the following BNet report, companies need not fear junk patents like Apple’s, but who has the money or the means to invalidate patents? It’s notoriously hard and expensive.

When the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued patent number 7,479,949 for a “touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics,” eyebrows shot up throughout the industry. On first glance, it seemed that Apple had locked down the concept of a multi-touch interface, posing problems for Palm and anyone else who might want to compete with the iPhone, iTouch, and future products. But some more careful consideration suggests that the patent may not be as broad as it seems — and Apple may have missed including some seminal prior art, at least some of which was known to the inventors. That could cause spell problems in trying to enforce the patent.

BNet has published some more news picks about Microsoft and Apple patents.

Microsoft Trolls

This was mentioned a few days ago because Nathan Myhrvold is still on a racketeering warpath. Currently, he wants to justify what he’s doing by paying for a ‘study’ which defends the practice.

Former Microsoft Exec to Release Patent Troll Study

[...]

The funny part is that this former executive’s company makes its money by, you guessed it, collecting patents. The firm has yet to assert any of its rights in court, however.

What is he striving to be, “king of the trolls” (a representative)?

To defend against such Microsoft-bred trolls, there is already a drive called “Linux Defenders” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], but it’s not a permanent solution. Nonetheless, it continues receiving some coverage, this time from Heise Online:

Linux Defenders expand initiative against patent trolls

[...]

The Peer to Patent project, an initiative by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, USPTO, is aimed at making the US patenting system more transparent and open to the public. An internet portal is to be jointly created by the USPTO and Linux Defenders to enable the community to provide information to the Patent Office about pending patents that will help clarify whether a patent should actually be granted.

Linux Defenders still gives some validity to these patents. It accepts the broken law and the consequence is unfortunate, as detailed below.

Linux and Big Brother

Microsoft continues to bask in patent deals with companies that use Linux and don’t mind paying Microsoft for nothing of substance. Brother is the latest sellout [1, 2, 3] and the ‘protection’ it bought from Microsoft is allegedly for printers only. Microsoft argues that is has “similar” agreements with other printer or MFP makers and the ones it named are HP, Samsung, Fuji Xerox, Seiko Epson, and Kyocera Mita.

We do not know about Epson and Linux. What about H-P? Are they paying ‘Linux tax’ to Microsoft? It is known that Dell sold out when it “joined” the Novell/Microsoft agreement — whatever this actually mean. According to this article, it’s likely that H-P and Epson did not sign a deal which directly covers Linux.

Since launching its Intellectual Property Licensing program in December 2003, Microsoft has been aggressive about engaging in such deals. Redmond has entered into 500 licensing agreements in a little more than five years. Other licensing deals involving printing technologies include those with Hewlett-Packard, Kyocera Mita, Samsung, and Seiko Epson. Most of these agreements have involved embedded Linux technology.

Microsoft officials believe such agreements will prove to be an integral ingredient in ultimately offering IT shops greater innovation in tying together multiple environments, most notably Linux.

[...]

Many of these companies offer printers based on embedded Linux technology. Microsoft officials say they’ve been active in pursuing licensing agreements with these companies because of the growing popularity of Linux for networked, high-speed office printers.

How can Microsoft charge money for something it does not develop? Does Microsoft not have debt to Linux companies for all those ideas which it copied? Bill Gates once joked about his company’s behaviour when he said: “Hey, Steve, just because you broke into Xerox’s store before I did and took the TV doesn’t mean I can’t go in later and steal the stereo.” Microsoft actually began business with ‘theft’ of many ideas and dumpster-diving for other people’s discarded code. That’s the true story which Microsoft prefers to bury.

Dumpster

Anyway, for future use, this latest development was also covered in:

The patents will cover such subjects as Microsoft Office integration and embedded Linux systems. Financial terms of the deal were not released, but Microsoft said that it would be receiving compensation from Brother.

Why is the Linux Foundation not stepping in to fight this? Can it be that IBM is a pro-software patents lobbyist, so it simply doesn’t care?

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 23/6/2017: Wine 2.11 Released, HPC Domination by GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  2. Primer to the Crisis and Scandals at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    An introduction to the chaotic state of what used to be the world's leading patent office and quickly became Europe's biggest embarrassment



  3. Workers of the European Patent Office (EPO) Are Going on Strike Again, Almost 90% Voted in Favour

    Thousands of brave EPO employees chose to cast a vote and make it known that they are in favour of another strike



  4. Benoît Battistelli Has Lost the Election at the EPO

    FFPE candidates (or moles from the yellow union) failed to enter the Central Staff Committee in spite of Battistelli's attempt to help them get in



  5. Emerging Threat to Patent Reforms at the USPTO

    Our plan of returning to coverage of US patent affairs in the wake of powerful lobbies that pursue patent maximalism



  6. You Know That the Unitary Patent (UPC) is in Huge Peril When Its Biggest Fans Admit It's Unlikely to Happen Even Next Year

    The tactics of Team UPC turn ugly as they personally target anyone who stands in their way, even a professor/judge who is courageous enough to state the obvious



  7. More Than Six Human Casualties Under Battistelli at the EPO, But the Human Toll Can Become a Lot Worse

    The bigger or much broader picture detailing the high cost of autocracy and mental torture at the EPO, where lives are ruined not only when these are ended and some key buildings pose severe threat to a lot of workers



  8. EPO's Elodie Bergot Calls Staff Suicide Just 'Passing Away', Pretends to Care

    How the EPO continues to mislead if not lie to staff, even when staff commits suicide -- a growing problem for Team Battistelli, whom some insiders hold accountable for these deaths



  9. The Administrative Tribunal of ILO Will Deliver EPO Judgments in Six Days

    Despite its old age (nearly a century), ILO's tradition when it comes to enforcing the law is anything but sterling, yet one can hope that it will stop its unproductive cat-and-mouse game with the EPO, where compliance is rare and actual judgments (not deferrals/referrals) are even rarer



  10. Links 21/6/2017: Red Hat's Numbers Are Up, New Debian Being Studied

    Links for the day



  11. Another Suicide Reported at the EPO While the Paid-for Media Focuses on 'European Inventor Award' Charade

    Puff pieces for Benoît Battistelli published aplenty while the European media refuses to deal with the reality -- not paid-for illusions -- at the European Patent Office



  12. Links 20/6/2017: Chuwi Lapbook, Linux 4.12 RC6, Mesa 17.1.3

    Links for the day



  13. At the European Inventor Award Ceremony Benoît Battistelli Lied to a Lot of Scientists and “Media Partners” About the UPC

    The Liar in Chief, Benoît Battistelli, still lives in a fantasy world or simply lies intentionally, which would be worse



  14. Contact Details for the EPO's Administrative Council Delegations

    List of Heads of Delegation and their E-mail addresses (used to be public information before Benoît Battistelli's oppressive regime or coup)



  15. Don't Forget to Vote for EPO Strike This Week (Thursday)

    A reminder that there's a vote on a strike at the European Patent Office later this week, giving an opportunity to rebut the "vocal minority" myth which Benoît Battistelli likes to spread



  16. European Patent Office (EPO) Whistleblowing Guidelines: Motivation and Impact of Leaks

    Advice on when to leak and what to leak for the desired effect, which is reformatory (though transparency and accountability)



  17. Links 18/6/2017: New Debian Release, Catchup With a Lot of News

    Links for the day



  18. Appalling Press Coverage Regarding the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    How the media has lied (and keeps lying) about the UPC, which the European public neither needs nor wants, putting aside serious constitutional issues that are associated with the UPC



  19. The Writings on the Wall at the European Patent Office: Number of Directors May Soon Decline From 150 to Just 65-70

    Battistelli is seizing more direct and indirect control over the European Patent Office (EPO), which is supposed to eject him with a proposal for replacement already formally prepared for publication



  20. European Patent Office (EPO) Whistleblowing Guidelines

    The first part of a series which offers tips for sending us material/evidence, specifically from the European Patent Office (EPO)



  21. General Consultative Committee of the EPO Warns About Battistelli's Plans

    The General Consultative Committee (GCC) issues a long document (176 pages) which explains to the overseer of the Office how internal rule changes make things even worse



  22. Links 16/6/2017: New Atom Release, Firefox 55 Beta

    Links for the day



  23. Leaked: European Patent Office Still Uses Microsoft Windows XP... in 2017

    The EPO continues to rely on inherently insecure (by design) platforms and Mr. Kraft, Battistelli's CIO, bragged that the actions of the Office "prevented any damage to the EPO and its reputation"



  24. Unitary Patent (UPC) Will Start “Real Soon” Now... Said Team UPC For So Many Years

    The Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) is going nowhere fast, but those who spent time and money promoting it for self gain continue to lie to the press with overly optimistic predictions, unrealistic timelines, and Kool-Aid about the supposed 'benefits' of the Unified Patent Court (UPC)



  25. EPO Management Wastes Millions of Euros on a Silly, Gratuitous, Self-Serving Festival While EPO Staff is Planning Another Strike

    Unrest at the European Patent Office (EPO) is growing again, with plans of a strike resulting in a formal vote for a strike next week



  26. Links 15/6/2017: Mir 0.26.3, FreeNAS 11.0

    Links for the day



  27. Software Patents in Europe Are Still Promoted by the EPO, Even in Defiance of the Ban

    The European Patent Office continues to ignore the directive on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions, which had software patents disallowed with an overwhelming majority of 648 to 14 votes at the European Parliament



  28. Leaked: Job Advertisement for Removing Battistelli From the European Patent Office

    In spite of rumours that Benoît Battistelli would pursue elongation of his term, in clear defiance of the rules (again), paperwork is being put forth to replace him



  29. Links 14/6/2017: New BlackArch Linux ISO and Q4OS 1.8.6, Orion

    Links for the day



  30. Even UPC Proponents, Paid by the EPO's PR Firm, Admit That UPC May Never Happen

    Speculations are being floated regarding the cause of the impasse, which is going to result in a very long period of uncertainty and possibly the collapse of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) as it was envisioned by Michel Barnier, Benoît Battistelli and other opportunists


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