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

02.20.09

Patents Roundup: Linux, Acacia, Microsoft, Samsung and More

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, Google, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat, Samsung at 8:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Linux

IN some of our previous roundups we looked at Red Hat and Acacia [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], whose patent case is reappearing because Red Hat looks for prior art. Someone who goes by the alias “stickster” put it in OSNews and Slashdot:

Didn’t Groklaw garner about 500 comments at the time (towards the end of 2007), some of which suggesting that there was prior art? Readers provided examples. Here is some coverage from around that time [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11] and here is Acacia’s very latest extortion, which it brags about to its investors.

Acacia Subsidiary Enters into Settlement and License Agreement with NetScout

EWPORT BEACH, Calif., Feb 17, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) —-Acacia Research Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTG) announced today that its Diagnostic Systems Corporation subsidiary has entered into a settlement and license agreement with NetScout Systems, Inc. covering a portfolio of patents that apply to rule-based monitoring.

“Enters into Settlement” is an understatement. Those who invest in such a company, which only ever does what’s akin to racketeering with stuff it buys solely for this purpose, should be ashamed of themselves. This is very different from being a company that actually develops a technology or owns its creation, thus making these patents self-derived, e.g. (from the news):

1. CyberLink signs License Agreement for Macrovision’s IPG Patents and TV Guide Data Solutions to Enhance TV on the PC Experience

innovative solutions provider for the connected media lifestyle, announced today that it has entered into an agreement to license Macrovision’s interactive program guide patent portfolio and its TV Guide Data Solutions for use with CyberLink’s TVEnhance and PowerCinema software.

So TV guides are patentable now?

2. IDTELi Announces Agreement with Piedmont Credit Union of Danville VA

IDTELi LLC is an authorized distributor of the GUARDED ID® keystroke encryption software to the financial services industries

That would be keystroke encryption. Patentable? Well, at least they own it.

What’s with this mentality of Acacia then? When will it actually develop something? Or patent something rather than just acquire and coerce?

Need it be said that there is overlap — in terms of staff’s background — between Microsoft and Acacia? Well, they think alike and Microsoft is investing in even bigger 'Acacias'.

Microsoft

Microsoft is a classic hypocrite when it comes to patents. It lies with ‘honesty’ about the need for patents while pretending that dissenters are worthy of labels like “communist”. One person reposts a classic old article from Richard Stallman who rebuts this perception.

Today’s Microsoft is a megacorporation with thousands of patents. Microsoft said in court that the main competition for MS Windows is “Linux,” meaning the free software GNU/Linux operating system. Leaked internal documents say that Microsoft aims to use software patents to stop the development of GNU/Linux.

[...]

Mr. Gates’ secret is out now – he too was a “communist;” he, too, recognized that software patents were harmful – until Microsoft became one of these giants.

A survey of the company’s patenting carries on in Patently-O. It’s part of a series.

However, only about 20% of patents that discuss Microsoft are actually assigned to the company.

In reference to the Brother patent deal (involving Linux), Matt Asay adds that Microsoft intends to force IP into IT talk. He should say “patents” really, not “IP”.

Microsoft convinced Brother recently to license its patents so that Brother can run Linux drivers in some of its devices. Did you catch the oddity in there? Microsoft doesn’t make drivers, Linux-based or otherwise. What intellectual property of Microsoft’s did Brother need to license?

Only Microsoft knows, and it’s not telling, despite repeated requests for Microsoft to open up on the patents it alleges that Linux violates. It’s fine for Gutierrez to claim that intellectual property is the foundation for competition and cooperation, but when Microsoft is only willing to cooperate behind closed doors, it smacks of extortion, not partnership.

That last sentence is key. For prior information about the Brother deal:

  1. Microsoft Distorts the Linux and Virtualisation Markets
  2. Boycott Brother Industries
  3. Microsoft: Deal with Brother Similar to Novell’s
  4. Patents Roundup: Apple, Microsoft Trolls, and Linux

Speaking of extortion, although it’s not directly related to patents, here is an interesting new report.

According to Dilger, Microsoft has orchestrated a behind-the-scenes attack on Android, using its considerable leverage with manufacturers up and down the supply chain to discourage them from promoting Android devices too enthusiastically.

The article above refers to the essay titled “Did Microsoft kill Android at Mobile World Congress 2009?”

Android is clearly a threat to Microsoft’s plans for Windows Mobile. After all, how does one sell an aging mobile operating system lacking the multitouch sizzle of the iPhone and the addictive messaging savvy of the BlackBerry in a world where Google is butting in with a free, open source alternative that allows manufactures to freely customize it as they like?

We don’t fully agree with Roughly Drafted because many Linux-related announcements — Android included — were made at the event (we assembled them among our daily links in Boycott Novell). But there are other things to ponder.

Does Samsung Pay Microsoft for Android?

And what about LG?

Samsung, like a few other companies including Linux phone maker LG, compromised Linux when it signed a patent deal with Microsoft. It was quite similar but not identical to the Brother deal. The news this week says that Samsung is to unleash 3 Android (Linux) phones.

Reuters reports that Won-Pyo Hong, Samsung’s head of product strategy, confirmed at least three Android smartphones and at least a Linux one, which will all be outed by the end of 2009.

This is also covered here

Samsung’s Android Linux Handsets Coming Soon

[...]

Those who thought Samsung was on a mobile phone spewing spree so far at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), here’s more news for you.

Since Samsung pays Microsoft for Linux, what does this mean to Android/Google? Google recently paid Microsoft for patents on a technology, so it’s worth exploring or at least watching more closely. Speaking of Samsung, also in the news we find that this company, which is corrupt, has resorted to an embargo strategy against Bill Gates' latest darling (Kodak).

Samsung asks U.S. panel to ban Kodak camera imports

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd [...] asked a U.S. trade panel to block imports of Eastman Kodak Co’s digital cameras [...] alleging mobile phones and other wireless devices by Samsung and home rival LG Electronics Inc infringed on patented Kodak technology [...]

How does this promote consumers’ needs?

EU Propaganda Watch

One of our readers turned our attention to this new video of the event where, as we noted a few days ago, a Microsoft employee was among people in the panel. It’s a pro-patents forum and the guy in the video says that “whoever speaks against it speaks against Europe.” There is a lot of cronyism — some from Microsoft — inside Europe, comprising maximalisms of centralised (as in personal) wealth and monopolies. They have hired guns. Here is the latest examples where one of Microsoft’s paid shills, Jonathan Zuck [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], is used to further the agenda of illegalising Free software.

The existing intellectual protection (IP) system – under which companies have to file a patent in every EU member state – is “a telling example” of the Union’s fractured regulatory framework, argues the study presented at an IP Summit in Brussels.

To bypass the EU regulatory framework, many innovative companies and especially SMEs end up skipping the European market by applying for a patent in the US. Jonathan Zuck of the Association for Competitive Technology said: “For the EU to even consider catching up with the US and Japan, a single IP-protection must be put in place.”

USPTO Broken

In light of all this chaos, some people call for the dumping of Intellectual Monopolies, altogether. [via Digital Majority]

Time to rethink intellectual property laws?

[...]

Conversely, there is widespread anecdotal evidence that the act created a mind-set among many researchers that their knowledge represents a potential goldmine not to be shared with potential competitors (i.e. those working in other universities) – at least until it has been protected by a patent application.

Similarly, the act has led to a flood of “upstream” patents on basic scientific knowledge, leading to what some commentators describe as a virtually impenetrable “patent thicket” blocking small-scale inventors from marketing their products. For example, restrictive software patents limit further development and commercialisation in the field of information technology.

TechDirt shares a couple more embarrassments for this existing system:

1. Nokia, Qualcomm Move Forward With Non-Patent-Fight-Based Relationship

Qualcomm and Nokia have been involved in a long-running series of patent disputes over chips in mobile phones. The two companies settled the bulk of their disputes last summer, with Nokia throwing a chunk of change at Qualcomm and the two making nice.

2. Patent Hoarding Firms Discover The ITC Loophole

We’ve been discussing the ITC loophole, that allows patent holders to get two cracks at charging a company with infringement over the same patent (using different rules) for a while now. Patent holders can sue in court and they can complain to the International Trade Commission, which has the power to issue an injunction, barring the import of any “infringing” products. Even worse, the ITC doesn’t necessarily need to follow the rules set forth by the Supreme Court over what is and what is not infringing.

So Much ‘Innovation’

Looking at the past few days’ news, we truly find a lot of evidence of the glaring problem, so hereby we present some exemplary stuff to be used as ‘ammunition’ against the status quo.

Here is a company that ‘innovates’ noise cancellation and another which ‘innovates’ mapping barcode to a URL (patent here). Delta is sued by a company that ‘innovated’ Wi-Fi on a plane (for background see this).

Theft protection too was ‘innovated’ (not ‘stolen’, to be a tad sarcastic), with details of the embarrassment for the USPTO right there.

Here is another patent hoarder in action:

General Patent Corporation (GPC), a leading patent licensing and patent enforcement firm, announced today on behalf of its client, Renhcol, Inc., that four additional licensing agreements for the “Web-Based Prediction Marketplace” Patent have been finalized as a result of settlements in a patent infringement lawsuits with patent infringement lawsuits with Pregame, LLC (Las Vegas, NV), 1402487 Ontario Limited (Toronto, ON), IGC Entertainment Corporation (Vancouver, BC) and National Sports Services (IGC), Inc. (Las Vegas, NV)”

“A leading patent licensing and patent enforcement firm,” it calls itself. Nice name for an extortion firm. Look at the actual patent. This is ridiculous.

There are other bizarre picks from the news, e.g.:

When will this end? Or rather, when will the USPTO be ended? With stuff like this abound, it’s only reasonable to demand that it’s reformed or shut down. This current, dysfunctional USPTO does not promote any innovation at all. It’s a marketplace so ripe for abuse where both patent examiners and the abusers make a lot of money, not to mention all which is gained by lawyers.

Some of the big advocates of this state of affairs are lawyers, monopolists, and patent trolls, none of whom are scientists or engineers. They are mooching off other people’s hard labour and brains.

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 22/11/2019: Slimbook’s GNU/Linux Laptops, Kubernetes Hype

    Links for the day



  2. Techrights is Still a Team Effort

    Getting involved in what we do is not difficult and it is even encouraged



  3. Guest Post/Off-Topic: Koalas Caught in Australian Bushfire

    Australian volunteers and rescuers need help to rescue helpless animals facing danger



  4. Global Patent Warming

    The old term "Global Patent Warming" comes to mind when one assesses the neoliberal approach of today's EPO, where the sole goal is making piles of money by granting loads and loads of illegal European Patents



  5. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 21, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 21, 2019



  6. Teaser: “Enriching Exchanges”

    Ahead of the fourteenth part in the Breton series this old tweet seems increasingly relevant



  7. Web Site Which Exposed Microsoft Crimes is Gone From the Web, But Copies Still Exist

    Reputation laundering operations of Microsoft tell us that Microsoft is a 'new' and 'reformed' company; but Comes v Microsoft documents serve to show that little has changed



  8. Understanding Thierry Breton: Socialising With the Elite

    "Bernadette Chirac is not the only Presidential widow with whom Valerie has close connections."



  9. Justice Peter Huber Speaking to a Front Group of Team UPC May Compromise the Integrity of the FCC and Its Outcomes

    The public reaction, even from some legal professionals, isn't too positive, seeing how judges from BVerfG (FCC) speak to the mouthpieces of Team UPC (biased and in the pockets of the litigation 'industry')



  10. Injustice at Every Level Would Simply Doom the Entire Patent System

    Repeated failure to restore the Rule of Law and enforce accountability/oversight in Europe's patent system renders the entire system moot; it is a case of adherence to basic constitutional pillars



  11. Understanding Thierry Breton: Thierry and the $100 Billion Man

    Thierry Breton's connections to the tax avoidance ploy of his friend Bernard Arnault



  12. Links 21/11/2019: Mesa 19.3.0 RC4, Canonical SPS

    Links for the day



  13. Links 21/11/2019: Charmed OSM, Mesa 19.2.5, DXVK 1.4.5, Zorin OS 15 Lite

    Links for the day



  14. Understanding Thierry Breton: Atos Healthcare - “The Ugly Face of Business”

    "...2,380 people died after their claim for employment and support allowance (ESA) ended because a work capability assessment (WCA) found that they were found fit for work."



  15. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 20, 2019

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 20, 2019



  16. Microsoft Tim: Microsoft is Now Defending Linux

    The difference between fiction and reality



  17. Justice Peter Huber of the German Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) Calls 'Bullshit' a Rumour Nobody Really Spreads

    A sort of 'trial by media' (by Team UPC) compromises the integrity of the case (constitutional complaint) and can be interpreted as judges succumbing to lobbying/pressure from those who conspire to violate many constitutions across Europe for personal/financial gain



  18. Understanding Thierry Breton: What Thierry Did Next...

    "Whether by coincidence or not, when Atos announced in 2010 that it would acquire Siemens’ IT unit, it was the 32-year-old Macron at Rothschild who advised Breton on the deal."



  19. Links 20/11/2019: HONOR MagicBook With GNU/Linux, Coreboot 4.11, GNU Health Patchset 3.6.1

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 19, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 19, 2019



  21. EPO Geared Towards Financial Exploitation of Europe Instead of Serving Europe

    For the financial benefit of law firms and patent offices (they profit from processing loads of patents and lawsuits) Europe is being reverted back to Medieval Times when exercising invention and free thought (or free coding) was a luxury of the rich alone



  22. Microsoft and IBM Are the Patent Trolls, They Won't Protect Us From Trolls

    "Microsoft has no taste" and IBM has no taste, either; they're lying to our collective face together with OIN and the 'Linux' Foundation



  23. How Ralph Nader Put It

    Ralph Nader on money in politics



  24. ZDNet (CBS) Associates GNU/Linux Users With ISIS

    Response to "US student was allegedly building a custom Gentoo Linux distro for ISIS," just published by ZDNet and composed by their biggest troll, Catalin Cimpanu



  25. Understanding Thierry Breton: Noël Forgeard and His “Golden Parachute”

    The end of the first half of the Breton series; in this particular part we continue to cover the EADS scandal and the second half of this series will include the EPO connections (the vote in a plenary for Breton's nomination is due 27/11)



  26. Links 19/11/2019: Zswap's B-Tree Search Implementation, WordPress 5.2.4

    Links for the day



  27. We've Already Entered the Era When Patents Should be Presumed Invalid

    The abundance of low-quality patents may mean short-term profits for patent offices and law firms; but we know at whose expense they are profiting and the legitimacy of patent systems suffers as a result



  28. Jean-Luc Breton

    Breton a champion of obstruction and obfuscation



  29. Understanding Thierry Breton: Insider-Trading Scandal at EADS

    Although Breton was not directly implicated in the insider trading scandal itself he did come under fire in 2007 for the role he played in a side-show to the main story, namely the payment of a generous € 8.5m severance package to Noël Forgeard when the EADS co-CEO was compelled to resign in June 2006.



  30. Startpage is Not Denying Its Betrayal of Privacy, It is Just Being Evasive

    They can't call you a liar if you issue a non-denying 'denial'; the "Roll Safe Think About It" meme seems applicable here


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

Recent Posts