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

03.04.09

Another Company Affiliated with Microsoft Sues Red Hat Using Software Patents

Posted in Bill Gates, Courtroom, Finance, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat, Steve Ballmer, Windows at 4:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“…Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system. But Microsoft did not want to be seen as attacking IBM or Linux.”

Larry Goldfarb, Baystar, key investor in SCO

Summary: Red Hat’s latest headache and some other news about Microsoft’s aggressive crusade against Linux

THIS latest lawsuit seems like a combination of the Firestar case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] and also the ongoing case of Acacia, whose connections with Microsoft cannot be emphasised strongly enough [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11]. How much can Red Hat trust Microsoft?

Last month we saw a Microsoft partner, T3, attacking IBM and now we find a company whose partners include Microsoft attacking Red Hat using patents.

A small software company on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against open source distributor Red Hat and several vendors that sell Red Hat products, claiming that Red Hat’s JBoss middleware violates one of its patents.

[...]

Software Tree’s partners include Microsoft, IBM, Borland, and Sun, while customers range from Concert Communications to the Los Alamos National Lab and News Corporation’s Kesmai unit.

It is not unusual for Microsoft to attack Linux via any of its partners, allies, or hired guns. There are many examples that we’ve covered over the past couple of years, with victims that include Google. Is it too far fetched in this case? Maybe so, but all possibilities ought to at least be taken into account.

Going Direct

There was a reasonable assumption that Microsoft will only ever attack Linux indirectly, but inclinations to believe this changed about a week or so ago when Microsoft proudly announced to its shareholders that it was suing TomTom. We’ve covered this before, but here is a quote from Keith Bergelt (OIN) which is not worth missing:

When I spoke to Keith Bergelt of the Open Invention Network, he was far more directly critical: “The message that Microsoft has been putting out over the last year to 18 months, thanks to their presence in open source forums and Sam Ramji, is that a lot of that effort is not more than rhetoric, and that their behaviors are the same. The inclusion of patents and the targeting of Linux, whether it’s by design or not, is provocative.

“And it’s unfortunate, because any of the work they were doing to develop a better manner of comportment and integration within the community will be for naught. It also solidifies the resolve of the community to support Linux users and the rights of them to use Lx. Irrespective of whether TomTom has other [patent] issues, this is a separate action. This action, by dragging in those Linux-targeting patents, is just more of Microsoft being Microsoft, and underscores how far they still have to go to be accepted by the open source community.”

Pamela Jones at Groklaw adds: “I can’t resist pointing out that when SCO first sued IBM it told the media that it was not a fight against Linux developers, just a dispute between it and IBM. That proved untrue.

Microsoft: “Come to Haven, Windows”

As we showed earlier today, formal and informal spokespeople of Microsoft (such as Enderle) keep pretending that this is not about Linux, but it is. Microsoft is trying to ‘embrace’ open source while only pretending it has no problems with “Linux”.

Even though some believe that Microsoft’s recent patent lawsuit against TomTom is a prelude to an all-out legal assault on Linux, that doesn’t stop Bob Muglia, the company’s president of Server and Tools Business, to look into the future and state that Microsoft’s products will look more and more to open source software. In fact, he predicts most Microsoft products will have open source in them at some point.

Regarding the above, writes Groklaw in reference to the headline (“Muglia: Open Source To Permeate Microsoft”): “Just not in a good way, I’m guessing. So… is this the embrace part?

Balzac, over at our IRC channel, writes: “Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer want to profit from “open source”, control it, subvert it, marginalize truly free software, never offer a mea culpa or apologize for their years of being belligerent and wrong about everything. All of this in the interest of protecting their egos, because they can’t admit they clung to an archaic business model and licensing approach.

Microsoft Wants to Impose Linux Tax

As asserted by Harald Welte, it’s about cost. Another person makes a similar suggestion, arguing that Microsoft wants to rationalise “Linux tax”.

How can you compete with free ? That’s the question every business publication has been asking to Microsoft lately. Of course priceless software is actractive per-se, so many online journalist and bloggers already foresaw Microsoft’s decline in the OS war.

Well, seems like Microsoft had an answer lately, and a good one.

In the last few days, perhaps taking advantage of me being offline ;-), Microsoft sued TomTom on 8 software patents. Amongst them 3 related to filesystem management. Something as stupid as ‘Common namespace for long and short filenames’.

akf wrote to say that “some already pay”. This point was stressed several days ago and as akf notes, “The really sad thing is, if you read the texts carefully, there seem to be companies, which already do pay Microsoft for Linux! Only TomTom refused to do that.

“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.”

(Usually attributed to) Mahatma Gandhi

Steve Ballmer license

Image from Wikimedia

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

5 Comments

  1. Gentoo User said,

    March 4, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Gravatar

    I noticed the other day you wrote an entire post based on Slashdot comments (some of which I think you later mentioned you had modded up), so here’s an interesting one I noticed on the discussion of this topic over there this morning. To quote (because it’s really good):

    Yay for selective quoting! (Score:5, Informative) … on Wednesday March 04, @08:44AM (#27065889)

    “Software Tree’s partners include Microsoft, IBM, Borland, and Sun”

    Fixed that for you.

    Another, as a reply to that one:

    Only their website doesn’t even mention Microsoft as a partner. IBM, Borland, Sun and Oracle are mentioned as partners, though, with contact details.

    What was the intention of mentioning Microsoft and leaving out those partners? Is Microsoft a business partner at all?

    I hate software patents. But summaries like this blatantly trying to skew facts to weasel in hints of a grand Microsoft conspiracy does the fight against software patents disservice.

    What a crook. Bad! I had to look twice because I fully expected this to be a “kdawson”. Not this time, though.

    I assume these people must work for Microsoft, as you are keen on quickly pointing out in cases like these.

  2. Dan O'Brian said,

    March 4, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Gravatar

    Don’t you know? Microsoft are like the Illuminati, they are everywhere and they are nowhere. They control everything.

  3. David Gerard said,

    March 5, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Gravatar

    Note that this is two competitors for the price of one: Red Hat and Java.

    In real commercial server use, Java is everywhere. .NET faces an uphill battle and no-one takes it seriously.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 5, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Gravatar

    .NET faces an uphill battle and no-one takes it seriously.

    Must you really insult Novell?

  5. David Gerard said,

    March 5, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Gravatar

    I mean, of course, against users ;-p Specifically internal software developers at companies, who are the 95% of developers who *don’t* work on shrinkwrapped software.

What Else is New


  1. New Optimism in the Age of Doubt Over Software Patents

    As the tide turns against software patents, even in their country of origin, their opponents come out of the woodwork to celebrate



  2. Links 28/7/2014: New Linux RC, Plasma 5 Live in Kubuntu

    Links for the day



  3. Links 27/7/2014: KDE 4.14 Beta 3, KDE 4.14 Beta 3 Released

    Links for the day



  4. Apple and Microsoft Are Proprietary Software Companies and the Media Should Stop Openwashing Them

    New examples where proprietary software giants are characterised as FOSS-embracing and FOSS-friendly by gullible or dishonest 'journalists'



  5. Bloomberg's Microsoft Propaganda

    Bloomberg delivers 'damage control' and PR ahead of the layoffs announcement; Microsoft uses Nokia to hide it and Bloomberg helps Microsoft by radically modifying headlines



  6. Frequency of Browser Back Doors in Microsoft Windows is Doubling

    The vulnerabilities which Microsoft tells the NSA about (before these are patched) are significantly growing in terms of their numbers



  7. FUD Entities Entering the FOSS World

    Symantec enters the AllSeen Alliance and Sonatype is once again trying to claim great insecurity in FOSS due to software licensing



  8. Groklaw Back in the Wake of ODF in the UK?





  9. Links 26/7/2014: New Wine, Chromebooks Strong Sales

    Links for the day



  10. Links 25/7/2014: GOG With GNU/Linux, Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS

    Links for the day



  11. Links 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

    Links for the day



  12. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  13. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  14. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  15. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  16. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  17. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  18. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  19. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  20. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  21. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  22. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  23. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  24. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  25. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

    Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell



  26. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  27. Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

    Links for the day



  28. Microsoft's Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

    Microsoft boosters are preparing 'damage control' pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft



  29. Secrecy Allows British Government to be Manipulated by Microsoft for Spyware Behind Closed Doors

    Dependence on malicious software from NSA ally Microsoft is highly dependent, at least in Britain, on government secrecy and vain refusal to comply with Freedom of Information (FOI) requests



  30. Software Patent Applications Already Being Rejected in the US Owing to SCOTUS Ruling, Some Patent Lawyers Are Fuming

    Good news on the software patents front as the USPTO starts rejecting software patent applications, based on patent lawyers' words


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