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. Links 22/5/2019: Mesa 19.0.5, Huawei and GNU/Linux, Curl 7.65.0, End of Antergos, Tails 3.14, ownCloud Server 10.2, Firefox 67.0

    Links for the day



  2. Quality of Patents is Going Down the Drain and Courts Have Certainly Noticed

    Uncertainty or lack of confidence in the patent system has reached appalling levels because heads of patent offices are just striving to grant as many patents as possible, irrespective of the underlying law



  3. EUIPO and EPO Abuses Growingly Inseparable

    'Musical chairs' at CEIPI and the EPO/EUIPO (Battistelli, Archambeau, Campinos) as well as joint reports never fail to reveal the extent to which EPO abuses are spreading



  4. Links 21/5/2019: China's GAFAM Exit, DragonFlyBSD 5.4.3

    Links for the day



  5. Links 20/5/2019: Linux 5.2 RC1, LibreOffice 6.3 Alpha, DXVK 1.2.1, Bison 3.4 Released

    Links for the day



  6. South Korea's Government Will Show If Microsoft Loves Linux or Just Attacks It Very Viciously Like It Did in Munich

    Microsoft's hatred of all things GNU/Linux is always put to the test when someone 'dares' use it outside Microsoft's control and cash cows (e.g. Azure and Vista 10/WSL); will Microsoft combat its longstanding urge to corrupt or oust officials with the courage to say "no" to Microsoft?



  7. Links 19/5/2019: KDE Applications 19.04.1 in FlatHub and GNU/Linux Adoption

    Links for the day



  8. The War on Patent Quality

    A look at the EPO's reluctance to admit errors and resistance to the EPC, which is its very founding document



  9. Watchtroll, Composed by Patent Trolls, Calls the American Patent System “Corrupt”

    Another very fine piece from Watchtroll comes from very fine patent trolls who cheer for Donald Trump as if he's the one who tackles corruption rather than spreading it



  10. Unified Patent Court Won't Happen Just Because the Litigation Microcosm Wants It

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) hopefuls are quote-mining and cherry-picking to manufacture the false impression that the UPC is just around the corner when in reality the UPC is pretty much dead (but not buried yet)



  11. Links 17/5/2019: South Korea's GNU/Linux Pivot, Linux 5.1.3

    Links for the day



  12. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 4: Happy Birthday to the Kötter Group?

    This year the Kötter Group commemorates the 85th anniversary of its existence. But is it really a cause for celebration or would a less self-congratulatory approach be more fitting? And does it create the risk that a routine tendering exercise at the EPO will turn into Operation Charlie Foxtrot?



  13. Links 16/5/2019: Cockpit 194, VMware Acquires Bitnami, Another Wine Announcement and Krita 4.2.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  14. The EPO's Key Function -- Like the UPC's Vision -- Has Virtually Collapsed

    The EPO no longer issues good patents and staff is extremely unhappy; but the Office tries to create an alternate (false) reality and issues intentionally misleading statements



  15. Stanford's NPE Litigation Database Makes a Nice Addition in the Fight Against Software Patent Trolls

    As the United States of America becomes less trolls- and software patents-friendly (often conflated with plaintiff (un)friendliness) it's important to have accurate data which documents the numbers and motivates better policy; The NPE (troll) Litigation Database is a move towards that and it's free to access/use



  16. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 3: “Ein kritikwürdiges Unternehmen”

    A brief account of some further controversies in which the Kötter Group has been involved and its strained relations with German trade unions such as Verdi



  17. EPO Had a Leakage Problem and Privacy of Stakeholders Was Compromised, Affecting at Least 100 Cases

    The confidentiality principle was compromised at the EPO and stakeholders weren't told about it (there was a coverup)



  18. Links 15/5/2019: More Linux Patches and More Known Intel Bugs

    Links for the day



  19. False Hope for Patent Maximalists and Litigation Zealots

    Patent litigation predators in the United States, along with Team UPC in Europe, are trying to manufacture optimistic predictions; a quick and rather shallow critical analysis reveals their lies and distortions



  20. The Race to the Bottom of Patent Quality at the EPO

    The EPO has become more like a rubber-stamper than a patent office — a fact that worries senior staff who witnessed this gradual and troublesome transition (from quality to raw quantity)



  21. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 2: Meet the Kötters

    An introduction to the Kötter Group, the private security conglomerate which is lined up for the award of a juicy EUR 30 million contract for the provision of security services at the EPO



  22. Links 14/5/2019: Red Hat Satellite 6.5, NVIDIA 430.14 Linux Driver and New Security Bug (MDS)

    Links for the day



  23. Links 14/5/2019: GNU/Linux in Kerala, DXVK 1.2, KDE Frameworks 5.58.0 Released

    Links for the day



  24. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 1: Urgent Shitstorm Alert

    Experts at the European Patent Office's (EPO) weather observation station have just issued an urgent alert warning about a major shitstorm looming on the horizon



  25. Patents That Were Gleefully Granted by the EPO Continue to Perish in Courts

    The decreasing quality of granted European Patents already becomes a growing problem if not a crisis of uncertainty



  26. Links 13/5/2019: ExTiX 19.5 and GNU Radio Conference 2019

    Links for the day



  27. The Microsoft Guide to the Open Source Galaxy

    Thou shalt not...



  28. Microsoft Would Kill the Goose for Money

    Microsoft is just 'monetising' Open Source by using it as 'bait' for Microsoft's proprietary software; those who we might expect to antagonise this have effectively been bribed by Microsoft



  29. Links 13/5/2019: Nanonote 1.2.0, OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 RC, and GNUnet 0.11.4

    Links for the day



  30. Professionally Incompetent EPO Management

    The EPO remains an awful employer, with top-level management largely responsible for the loss of talent and even money


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