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 4/8/2015: KDE.org Redesign, Point Linux 3.0

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft Admits Vista 10 Not a 'Free' 'Upgrade', Especially If You Upgrade

    Microsoft debunks its own false promises, showing that Vista 10 as 'free' is virtually a mirage



  3. Free Software is Commercial

    orporate media helps stigmatise Free/Open Source software as unsuitable for commercial use and once again it uses the 'security' card



  4. 'Sanader’s Protégé' Željko Topić Slammed by Press in His Home Country

    The mischiefs of Benoît Battistelli and Željko Topić still not forgotten while temporary calm prevails at the EPO



  5. Links 3/8/2015: Linux 4.2 RC5, Korora 22

    Links for the day



  6. The World is Changing and Patent Law Can Change Either for Better or for Worse

    Recent secret dealings (which are being exposed to the public owing to whistle-blowers) show the degree of coordination and collusion against public interests; it's up to us, the majority, to fight back and tackle this injustice



  7. The Latest on Patent 'Reform' in the US: GOP Media Deception, Healthwashing Patents, and SIIA Lobbying

    Techrights looks at the more prominent actors driving patent policy in the US, with budget to absorb and agenda to lobby for



  8. Newegg Uses Its Fight Against Patent Trolls for Marketing

    Comments on Newegg's fight against patent trolls in court, setting an example for other companies



  9. Microsoft Lies, Propaganda, Embedded 'Journalism' and Other Dirty Tricks to Promote Vista 10

    The Vista 10 entrapment is being sold to the public using bogus/unverified figures, Microsoft propagandists pretending to be journalists, and some gullible people who actually believe them



  10. Microsoft -- Like Bill Gates -- Bribes PBS for Propaganda to be Presented as 'TV Programme'

    Microsoft pays the supposedly 'public' network to act as courier of Microsoft marketing, shrewdly disguised as 'information'



  11. Links 2/8/2015: KDE Applications 15.08 Beta, Zorin OS 10

    Links for the day



  12. Links 1/8/2015: Steam Sale, blackPanther OS 14.1

    Links for the day



  13. Vista 10 Inherently Criminal: Vandalising the Competition (Dual Boot, Rival Web Browsers, Online Services)

    Vista 10, the latest incarnation of Windows, takes its anticompetitive aspects to a whole new level, betraying even so-called 'partners' in the process



  14. As Microsoft AstroTurfing/PR Budget Runs Dry, Vista 10 Truths Come Out

    The media manipulation by Microsoft (to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars spent on 'marketing') grows thin as a growing number of growingly angry early adopters of Vista 10 publicly rant



  15. Links 31/7/2015: Lennart Poettering as 'Linux Hero' and systemd Conference Coming

    Links for the day



  16. Links 30/7/2015: Apache Spark on Z System, Elive 2.6.8 Beta

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft's Mouthpiece Mary Branscombe Tries to Shoot Down Free Software, But Fails Miserably

    At the CBS-owned ZDNet, which is Free/Open Source software-hostile, new FUD surfaces, but the FUD is so flawed that a full rebuttal is easy and almost imperative



  18. People of New Zealand Must Rise Up to Defend Sovereignty and Stop Software Patents

    The TPPA serves to override (launder) the law of New Zealand, allegedly legalising patents on software in the process



  19. Microsoft Illegally Evades Billions of Dollars in Tax, Says IRS

    The criminal enterprise known as Microsoft finds itself embarrassingly exposed in the courtroom, for the IRS belatedly (decades too late) targets the company in an effort to tackle massive tax evasions



  20. Vista 10 Very Buggy Upon Release, Just as We Have Repeatedly Warned for Weeks

    Vista 10 is prematurely pushed out the door (to meet a deadline) way ahead of it being stable, even remotely polished, and supported by hardware companies (there is a serious drivers issue)



  21. Surveillance Machine With a Keylogger: Vista 10 Will Spy on the User (Over the Internet) Even While Playing Games

    Microsoft is making it clear that even playing a simple game like Solitaire on Vista 10 will make one subjected to spying (for targeted ads); other serious violations of privacy revealed upon release



  22. Links 29/7/2015: Akademy 2015 Ends, NetBSD 7.0 RC

    Links for the day



  23. MPEG-LA is Preparing New Patent Obstruction (Called DASH) Against Free Software, OIN Grows

    A new conspiracy against free multimedia software, set up by the MPEG cartel, is called DASH



  24. New Zealand's Media Gets History Wrong on Software Patents

    Setting the record straight on the fight against software patents in New Zealand



  25. Not Only Vista 10 Crashes a Lot, Any .NET Application Does Too (Updated)

    Microsoft software is quickly becoming synonymous with crashes as any piece of software developed with Microsoft's tools, not just the underlying platform, crashes chronically



  26. The Government of Bulgaria Sells Out to Microsoft, Again

    Despite some promises and reassurances that Bulgaria will consider Free/libre software, the Bulgarian government hands out a lot more of taxpayers' money to the Mafia



  27. Corporate Media Finally Finds Out That Vista 10 Crashes a Lot

    Stability issues of Vista 10 are belatedly reported to be a major catastrophe, leaving it unusable for many early adopters



  28. Links 28/7/2015: Linux 4.2 RC4, New Logos and Bug 'Branding' for FUD

    Links for the day



  29. Patents Roundup: Technicolor, Alice, Voip-Pal, Fitbit, Marijuana Patents, and JDate

    A look at some of last week's patent news, with imperative responses that criticise corporate exploitation of patents for protectionism (excluding and/or driving away the competition using legal threats)



  30. Corporate Lobbyists Including Koch-Connected Front Groups Attack Real and Perceived Patent Reform in the United States

    Looking at some of the latest propaganda for and against a bill which is already too watered-down to actually fix the US patent system


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