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Verdict on Microsoft’s Linux Patch: Embrace, Extend, and Assimilate

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 8:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Beyond the blatant PR efforts, assessments suggest the patch is a self-serving Trojan horse

MICROSOFT WORKS for Microsoft shareholders. Microsoft depends greatly on its bread and butter, Windows and Office. The purpose of this latest patch has been evident from the very start, but we waited for others to express their opinions and then show that it is not “zealotry” or “prejudice” that lead only us to this conclusion (stated in the title).

“Microsoft depends greatly on its bread and butter, Windows and Office.”Opinions we have gathered so far can be grossly classified as follows: there are those who consider the patch to be a Trojan horse, those who say it is a sign of victory for Linux, those who must be diplomatic due to their role/job and thus cautiously commend Microsoft, and then there are Microsoft employees and their easily-identifiable journalists who play along with the Microsoft press release and tell the world how wonderful and tolerant Microsoft has become (the “new Microsoft”, which is still extorting companies like Melco [1, 2, 3, 4]).

We shall deal with those strands of analyses in turn and allow readers to judge and see if our independent assessment is reasonably backed by present and past evidence, of which there is plenty. Yesterday we echoed our response to the press (after an approach by journalists), but we did not go deep into details.

“Embrace and Extend”

That is the opinion held by quite a few sources, one of which is from IDG:

Embrace and extend: That has been Microsoft’s competitive mantra for as long as I can remember. So it comes as no real surprise to me that the company would choose to release, via the GPL, device driver code that more closely integrates Linux into the Microsoft virtualization ecosystem. After all, it’s not like Linux will be running the show in this relationship. Rather, it’s making the FOSS (free open source software) community’s fair-haired boy feel more comfortable as it settles into the warm, fatal embrace of Hyper-V that is the Redmond giant’s ultimate goal.

Groklaw’s headline warns: “Remember, folks, what comes after ‘Embrace’”

Microsoft wants Linux to run on Windows, in short. So remember what comes after the ‘Embrace’ part.

In case you had any doubt about the true motive, please note that the Microsoft announcement offers a link to video of Microsoft’s Tom Hanrahan discussing the move with Sam Ramji. But to view it, you have to have or install Microsoft’s proprietary Silverlight. There is no Microsoft Silverlight for Linux.

Jason brings Novell into this because, as Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (SJVN) puts it, “Microsoft’s Linux driver offering [has been] planned for years.” It’s not about Novell, contrary to some reports, but there is this historical relationship, predating a Red Hat-Microsoft virtualisation deal, which we covered in:

  1. Novell the Biggest Loser in New Red Hat-Microsoft Virtual Agreement
  2. Red Hat-Microsoft Agreement Not Malicious, But Was It Smart?
  3. Red Hat-Microsoft: Take III
  4. Summary of the Red Hat-Microsoft Story

Jason writes:

Novell and Microsoft have long stated that virtualization is one of the goals they are working together on. Microsoft wants you to use Windows; but, if you must use Linux, at least run it on top of Windows. So, they are releasing this code to help make that happen.

Customers have told us that they would like to standardize on one virtualization platform, and the Linux device drivers will help customers who are running Linux to consolidate their Linux and Windows servers on a single virtualization platform.

Nothing altruistic here – if one must use Linux (or Open Source in general), Microsoft certainly wants it running on Windows. Of course, you can’t have a truly Free system running on top of Windows; but in general corporations are not interested in Freedom (until they are stormed by the BSA), so they aren’t looking at things that way.

Why they used the GPL

Because they had no option. If they hope to get it close to the kernel, it must be GPL. It’s not like Microsoft chose

Microsoft still hopes to make GNU/Linux just a ‘Windows application’ with Microsoft ‘patent tax’. That vision with Novell goes a long way back, but now its applicability is extended beyond SUSE, provided the other vendors take the bait (bar patent extortion).

Sean Michael Kerner reminds his readers that Microsoft is still a foe of Linux, judging by its very own actions.

Microsoft’s relationship with Linux has been a touchy one over the years. In the past, Microsoft has alleged that open source technology infringes on over 200 of its patents.

To date, Microsoft has signed a number of patent licensing agreements with Linux vendors and users including Novell and most recently Buffalo Technology.

Here is Microsoft speaking about the patent question; there is no word on anything other than its own self-serving patch. In other words, Microsoft racketeering against Linux will continue while the company puts code inside it.

Wonderful, no?

The Microsoft Spin Versus Skeptics

How often is it that Microsoft makes such a fuss about writing 20,000 lines of code? Well, this one is a public relations charade, which attempts to control the debate about Microsoft’s true intentions.

“How often is it that Microsoft makes such a fuss about writing 20,000 lines of code?”The Microsoft-sponsored TechFlash released a huge load of posts about this development, all of which contain pro-Microsoft spin or appearance of sympathisers. It starts with a fairy tale about Microsoft and the GPL (Microsoft ‘chose’ the GPLv2 because they have no other choice), then proceeds to promotional videos and an interview with a Novell employee (yes, Microsoft’s ally, Novell).

Over at The Register, the Microsoft-sympathetic (with track record) Gavin Clarke published not one but two articles about this. He uses some humour to characterise it as a positive thing we must all welcome with open arms. Mary Jo Foley, who runs an audiocast with Gavin Clarke, did the same, whereas Sam Dean at OStatic was a little more apprehensive if not rightly skeptical. Dean’s friend, Matt Asay, was cited by him because he had spun it as great news for Linux.

Microsoft, in short, can’t ignore open source, including Linux, without ignoring its own customers.

The Linux Foundation was a little more ambiguous about it, unlike others.

“Obviously we are tickled about it,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation. “Hell has frozen over, the seas have parted,” he said with a chuckle.

Here is the sobering reality:

It’s clear that this is a business move. Microsoft will stand to profit from turning Windows into a hosting setting for IT shops that want to run both the Linux and Windows platforms.

Lastly, here are the opinions of two GNU/Linux users and advocates:

Based on what we’ve seen, Microsoft’s move was openly endorsed (not just accepted) by Microsoft employees, a Novell-employed developer, and journalists who are always singing Microsoft’s tune (and some of whom are paid by Microsoft). Check whose interpretation you find and question it. Microsoft is a true master of “perception management” [1, 2].

“People everywhere love Windows.”

Bill Gates

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  1. eet said,

    July 21, 2009 at 9:08 am


    As you already dislike the license the Linux kernel is under (GPL v2), and as you now have a perceived patent threat within that kernel, how about you, Roy, and your buddies just move on and use something that’s more politically acceptable for you folks; y’know, like GNU/Hurd.

    This would have the nice side-effect that you would be all alone (especially with Hurd) and undisturbed, and so would we, the Linux users.

    JohnD Reply:

    A few days ago I would have given that as much chance as M$ releasing code under GPL 2……

    Jose_X Reply:

    Microsoft needs FOSS


    zatoichi Reply:

    We know why thet did it, Jose. I told you why they did yesterday.

    I hope you’re not suggesting that pointing to a post that you made on Linux Today, containing a Blunt Assertion, and pointing back to here consstitutes evidence of anything. I am led to wonder why you bothered posting this at all.

    I’ve tried making a perpetual motion machine out of a pair of reciprocal link on different web sites, and it doesn’t work, if you think that might save you any time.

    But never say die! I’ve tried that, too, and it doesn’t work, either. Things won’t die just because you tell them to (I don’t know whether Roy or Mr. Hill or Mr. Malroy might have discovered this independently or not.)

    zatoichi Reply:

    You know, the very best thing about Microsoft doing this is watching the folks here contorting themselves in unnatural and grotesque ways to convince themselves that this is just another horrible plot to destroy Linux, sue us all into bankruptcy, and corral us all into C#-coding slave camps, where we will write .NET applications and subsist on bread and water for the remainder of our short and miserable lives.

    Oh, the humanity!

    The “Four Horsemen” of Roy Schestowitz’s Apocalypse: Steve Ballmer, Nathan Myrvhold, Miguel de Icaza, and me, with any luck.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Moldy bread. Muddy water.

    (“On Sundays, we get something different instead of bread and water: water and bread!“)

  2. zatoichi said,

    July 21, 2009 at 12:59 pm


    Wow. It’s gotten really, really quiet around here since the institution of “Roy’s Rules of Order”. Evidently, Jonathan, eet and I are either among the few who can manage to be polite, or among the few who’ve been able to work out how to register ourselves.

    Don’t know which.

    sabayon.user Reply:

    Don’t worry, just as soon as they’re up to the task, they will. This stuff is hard!

    zatoichi Reply:

    Well, based on history, certainly neither Mr. Mills nor Mr. “Malroy” seem to have much native aptitude for it. But who knows? Maybe they’ll manage to surprise me somehow.

    roadelland Reply:

    I can be polite. I just don’t have anything to say right now. I prefer to read your posts.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Oh, I’ve seen that you can be, Elland. And I was polite back, even before the institution of Roy’s Rules of Order.

  3. zatoichi said,

    July 21, 2009 at 1:00 pm


    I’ll be commenting on the latest bit of paranoia here in a bit, but I’m curious, Roy: into which of your three camps does Greg K-H fall?

    (You do know who Greg is, I hope. Nice guy.)

    zatoichi Reply:

    Evidently no one here has heard of Greg Kroah-Hartman, the extremely energetic maintainer of the kernel’s driver tree, the man who (fairly single-handedly) has been working to chase down and integrate free drivers for as much hardware as he can manage, to the point where he (accurately) claims that Linux supports more hardware than any other OS in existence.

    It seems odd to me that, on a site which devotes itself to FLOSS “advocacy”, people seem to have so little actual knowledge about FLOSS.

    Doesn’t anyone want to tell me that Greg is a “Micro$oft shill”? Come on, guys, don’t make me beg.

  4. makomk said,

    July 21, 2009 at 2:37 pm


    Yeah, this is… basically, Microsoft weren’t left with much choice. They want Hyper-V to become a popular virtualisation platform, which means running Linux well – which requires releasing Linux drivers for the virtual devices under the GPL. (Users are not going to choose the Microsoft solution if it can’t run the OSes they require, and licensing a copy of Windows for every single VM is also really expensive.)

    Apparently, Microsoft had originally released these drivers with closed-source blobs, but someone pointed out that didn’t comply with the GPL and wasn’t going to fly with the Linux community, hence the release under a license that Microsoft normally wouldn’t touch with a bargepole.

    zatoichi Reply:

    I’m disappointed. I was really hoping you were going to sign up for the Secret Patent of Doom theory.

    Given that they made public statements (as Greg K-H reported) that a) the GPL v2 is a perfectly good license for any company to release code under and b) the GPL v2 is the appropriate license under which to release code intended for the kernel tree.

    Nobody requires that they have Mother Teresa-like motives in all this (and there are stories about her, too, for that matter), but this strikes me as a good step forward.

    Folks around here seem to have some sort of big emotional investment in the notion that Microsoft is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hell.

    zatoichi Reply:

    By the way, I hold the copyright on the phrase “wholly owned subsidiary of Hell”. If Roy tries to use it in a story, he owes me money.

  5. JohnD said,

    July 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm


    I’m recovering from the pre rules posting blitz.
    It was amusing though.

    zatoichi Reply:

    That was nothin’, John.

    This politeness stuff rocks.

  6. Jose_X said,

    July 22, 2009 at 6:03 am


    [Without permission..] Quoting Dan Serban’s comment from Jason’s webpage:

    I’d like to go one step further and make an even more refined distinction: not even all of the software patents owned by Microsoft are equally threatening.
    - The patents covering Mono and the .NET APIs are dangerous. These patents are *gratuitously* infringed by the inclusion of Mono apps in live media and default install sets.
    - Any patents owned by Microsoft that touch on interoperability are pretty weak. These are *necessarily* infringed patents that read on file formats and communication protocols.

    See, interoperability has a special place in the hearts and minds of judges, and Microsoft knows that very well. We don’t know what the US legal system would do when push comes to shove, but in the EU there is a precedent of protecting interoperability efforts at the expense of rights holders, in Samba’s case.

    Wine, Samba, and support for MS-owned file formats are all things that sprang into existence as a consequence of people’s naturally occurring requirement to coexist and interoperate with a largely Windows-dominated computing ecosystem.

    Mono? Not so much. Nobody asked for Mono. It is relentlessly being shoved down our throats for the sake of those 6 people worldwide that *may* need it in order to run their legacy .NET apps.
    Imagine being a judge and hearing the following argument:
    “Your honor, the defendant has willfully infringed on my client’s patents by not removing Tomboy and the Mono runtime from the default install set, even when they had the choice of using a feature-by-feature equivalent application called Gnote. We therefore regard this as a gratuitous infringement on my client’s patents and ask to be properly compensated.”
    (Replace Tomboy as needed with any Mono app that Gnome or [insert-name-of-popular-distro] may choose to shove down our throats in the future.)

    I thus hope to have also answered the question that Jo asked of me in another thread on this blog.

    eet Reply:

    Oh, this is utter bull, especially the part about ’6 people wordlwide’ using Mono; I don’t know why you quoted that heapful.

    JohnD Reply:

    I love how everyone refers to GNote when the guy doing it even states he did it out of BOREDOM, not because he has an ax to grind with M$.


    So I will use the above post as “proof” that if M$ tries to pull a fast one with Mono it will be possible to recode FSpot, Banshee, etc using C/C++ thereby diminishing the threat to the FOSS community.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Yes, it might be interesting to write Hub and ask what he thinks about the “Mono wars” in general and of this site in particular. I know Hub well: beyond our FLOSS activities, we both share an interest in photography. I missed him at GCDS, he was unable to attend this year.

    Shall I ask him, Roy?

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> So I will use the above post as “proof” that if M$ tries to pull a fast one with Mono it will be possible to recode FSpot….


    >> What if you maintain a single FOSS app? In this case, you also have to worry about redesigning. Changing programming languages should help on average, but it may still fall short of any given patent attack. Large parts of the plumbing of applications do not change automatically by changing languages. If you depended on system.whatever.something and leveraged this all over the app, then you may have to analyze and rework all of those calls (and you may not be able to find any auto mapping to help you). This could take lots of time for large apps. It means new rounds of debugging and alpha quality code. Extra effort comes in if the original contributors are not there. And since you probably will only try to work around the immediate patents, you can get another round or attacks later on after you thought you were about to leave alpha quality. Now, you will survive and have something, but I’d hate to be pushed into that position. You will lose users/contributors. You will spend time unable to improve the app in various ways (adding new features, debugging further, or optimizing). The larger an app and the larger number of apps you maintain (of mono investment), the larger these headaches would be. This means generally that the more improvements you add, the larger is the pit you are digging.

    Also there are costs to users:

    >> If you are a user and are heavily invested in foss dotnet apps (including things like aspdotnet pages), it is a burden to change apps or to recode (or will cost you third party money to end up back where you were), and, if you don’t deal, they can come after you for past infringement anyway. Users, distributors, etc, paying these tolls is where a lot of the money comes from to support the monopolies. Honestly, either a user doesn’t mind shelling the bucks on royalties repeatedly (and these might be modest sums) or they will change at some point and deal with the headaches. If you anticipate a significantly greater chance of having problems later on, you might simply invest in an alternative technology today (php, java, fairly standard webapps, c++, etc).

    The above related to the “extension patent trap” and also to the “API patent trap.”

    JohnD Reply:

    Just because you code in something other than Mono doesn’t mean you won’t write code that infringes someone’s patent. So choosing Java, Ruby, etc doesn’t automatically make you safe from patent infringement. M$ has already claimed that Linux infringes and unless I’m mistaken, the kernel wasn’t written in Mono. Would using Mono “increase” the chances you’ll infringe? Maybe – it depends on what M$ does down the road.
    As far as your example goes, unless Mono offers functionality that you can’t get in any other language – it’s possible to rewrite the code. Will it be easy? Probably not, but it IS possible to do it. As a programmer I know it’s easier to recreate something then it is to start from scratch. Many times having to rewrite something gives you a chance to fix/change things that you couldn’t or wouldn’t have done otherwise.
    People are either free to use the tools they want , or they aren’t.
    Distros are either free to include things they want, or they aren’t.
    I understand and respect the concerns that have been posted about Mono, but I think the developers should be allowed to decide what tools to use and not have the decision made for them.

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> Just because you code in something other than Mono doesn’t mean you won’t write code that infringes someone’s patent. So choosing Java, Ruby, etc doesn’t automatically make you safe from patent infringement.

    And looking both ways before rushing out into the street doesn’t guarantee I make it to the other side safely either.

    >> M$ has already claimed that Linux infringes and unless I’m mistaken, the kernel wasn’t written in Mono.

    If I have 3 mild chronic sicknesses, do I go vacationing into the heart of the Amazon without any sort of protection, preparation, information, or supplies. I mean, sure, I stand a chance. Sure, I might die of what I already had before.

    >> Would using Mono “increase” the chances you’ll infringe?

    Would tripling my daily calorie intake increases the chances I’ll get obese?

    I think we have a fairly safe “yes”.

    >> Maybe – it depends on what M$ does down the road.

    Sure does.

    Like, for example, if Ballmer stands outside the bank and hands out one hundred dollar bills, one at a time, to anyone (but at most 1 per second) until people get tired of accepting them or until Microsoft runs out of money (we’ll pretend the Directors cleared this already).

    >> As far as your example goes, unless Mono offers functionality that you can’t get in any other language – it’s possible to rewrite the code.

    Well, naturally.

    In fact, I might convince Linus to start rewriting the Linux kernel. This way he can stay young and relive the good old days.

    >> As a programmer I know it’s easier to recreate something then it is to start from scratch.

    And then I’ll convince Bill Gates to do likewise for DOS and then Windows (after they’ve emptied their bank account and open sourced Windows, of course).

    Maybe DOS-Win-ng will be easier to do. I think so.

    >> People are either free to use the tools they want , or they aren’t.

    Look, if I can get Linus and Gates to do an encore, surely they can use mono this time around.

    We can all acquire mono in the United States of America!

    >> Distros are either free to include things they want, or they aren’t.

    I particularly like the distros that come with hours and hours of Pron.

    >> I understand and respect the concerns that have been posted about Mono, but I think the developers should be allowed to decide what tools to use and not have the decision made for them.

    Alright, I’ll get serious.

    Do you understand what I was describing here http://mono-nono.com/2009/07/20/fsf-on-microsofts-empty-promise/comment-page-1/#comment-458 or here http://boycottnovell.com/2009/02/04/the-api-trap-part-1 ?

    The short of it is this:

    You can “patent an API”. This means that using the API will infringe on a patent. In other words, simply using the API will give the application you are building the properties identified in a patent claim as constituting a patented invention. [At least this would be the ideal case for the patent trap setter. Rather than 100% chances of infringement, you can still work towards a high % per use of any part of the API.]

    This is what I call the API patent trap. [The model I am using is the US patent system, based on my layman's understanding of it.]

    A sample scenario would be using mono or java or anything else if the entity that designed the API had applied for patents to parallel the API.

    The risk varies depending on, eg,
    (a) whether the API creator set out to create these patents,
    (b) how skillful they were in creating these APIs and patents,
    (c) how many patent (claims) they were able to create and maintain, and
    (d) what their plans are for the patents.

    These are all important points. These traps don’t fall from the sky. For example, not patenting enough means you might leave many holes behind. Lacking skill means you might not set a trap where infringement would happen with a high probability or where others could code around easily or where you fail to avoid prior art, etc. Lacking premeditated intent means you likely won’t create any traps, period. Lacking a desire to exploit the patents offensively obviously also means the traps might never hurt many (eg, if you pledge the patents to defend FOSS).

    Only the “inventor” can get a patent. Prior art voids a patent. This is one reason why you want to build these traps before you publish the API. [If you don't create (ie, apply for) the patents before publishing the final API, someone else might take out the patents before you (to exploit for themselves) or else at least maybe create some prior art quickly.]

    There is another trap that works differently. I call this the extension patent trap.

    In short, you are led to using a technology thinking you have patent protection, and you very well may. The problem is that once you are using an invention, it becomes much easier to infringe on a patent claim from which you don’t have protection. These patent claims would extend the “core” invention from which you are protected. ..With this intro in mind, you can just finish reading this other comment I wrote yesterday: http://boycottnovell.com/2009/07/22/self-serving-linux-patch/comment-page-1/#comment-71076

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> Oh, this is utter bull, especially the part about ‘6 people wordlwide’

    Are you being honest, eet?

    I’d agree that the “6 people” was intended as a low blow.

    If you can get into the mood to elaborate on the “bull” (and I hope you do), I’ll find it in me to read your views.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Knowing your keen interest in software patents and their deleterious effects on free software, Jose, perhaps you’d like to address SJR’s point, which I mention in a comment below…?

    As the late and lamented Dr. Hunter S. Thompson observed “Why burn the candle at both ends when you can burn it from the middle with an acetylene torch? It doesn’t last very long, but it make a helluva light!”

  7. zatoichi said,

    July 22, 2009 at 10:17 am


    I would like to take the opportunity at this time to point out that if ROy and his fellow zealots were to insist on using no software which is not licensed as being under the GPL v3 or a compatible license, both the operation of this site but also the “advocacy” efforts of its fans (all six of them), would have to be undertaken via the use of abaci.

  8. zatoichi said,

    July 22, 2009 at 12:51 pm


    In reviewing the email thread which led up to the attempt, orchestrated by Mark Fink in collaboration with Roy (that’s my assertion: I feel I have evidence to support it, and I’ve presented it numerous times; I’m happy to debate it with Roy wherever he feels it to be on-topic), and I came across an interesting point from Scott James Remnant (know who he is…?), one relevant to this discussion.

    Let’s stipulate, for the sake of the argument, that Roy is right about Mono, and that there is indeed a good reason to pull it and anything which depends on it out of Ubuntu in particular, or “GNU/Linux” in general, so as not to run the risk of becoming reliant on technologies which might be encumbered by patents which are under the control of Microsoft (or “Micro$oft”, if you prefer).

    SJR comments, “If you are worried about software in Ubuntu that is alleged elsewhere by Microsoft to infringe patents it does hold, and is apparently actively enforcing, I suggest starting a separate thread to discuss removing the kernel from the archive.”


    zatoichi Reply:

    Sorry, misfire: first para s.b.

    “In reviewing the email thread which led up to the attempt, orchestrated by Mark Fink in collaboration with Roy (that’s my assertion: I feel I have evidence to support it, and I’ve presented it numerous times; I’m happy to debate it with Roy wherever he feels it to be on-topic) to interfere with my employment over my suggestion to Mark that he stop flaming the ubuntu-devel list, I came across…”

    zatoichi Reply:

    This could be a great opportunity for the Hurd, you know.

    Unless someone’s inadvertently implemented something in there which violates a patent held by Microsoft (or Nathan Myhrvold)…

    Hey, wait a second. One of the two designers of the Mach microkernel, which is the basis for GNU/Mach, which is at the very core of the HURD is Richard Rashid, who has been employed at Microsoft since 1991. The other is Avie Tevanian, who was in charge of development at NeXT before taking on the job of Chief Software Technology Officer at Apple until 2006! (I know Avie, by the way. I don’t like him, but I know him.)

    Do you realize what this means? Do you see what the implications of this are?

    Microsoft set a trap in the 80s, and in 1995, the FSF stepped right into it. Ballmer’s just biding his time, but I think anyone running GNU/HURD is in big potential trouble. Can anyone show me that the Mach microkernel is not a buzzing hornet’s nest of Microsoft-controlled patents?

    I don’t think anyone can; therefore it must be true.

    Hey, Roy: can I edit a page on this site?

    zatoichi Reply:

    My latest blog entry is relevant to all this. Enjoy.

    Jose_X Reply:

    I guess if you have to pick between removing a wart or removing a tumor, you would probably worry more about the tumor and it likely would be more difficult to remove.

    If the kernel was created with mono, we’d have a tumor. Otherwise, we likely have a wart.

    Worse, if we build GNU/Linux significantly with mono, then we’d be looking at a malignant cancer that was spreading inside.

    See http://boycottnovell.com/2009/07/21/microsoft-linux-v-patch/comment-page-1/#comment-71129

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    Links for the day

  10. SUEPO: “Today May Be Your Last Chance to Demonstrate Against the Seriously Flawed Reforms That Mr Battistelli Has Imposed” on EPO Staff

    Benoît Battistelli will likely remain involved in EPO affairs for a long time to come (even through a fellow Frenchman, Campinos, whom he swaps two chairs with at the Office and CEIPI), but today is the last opportunity for EPO staff to march in protest against the Battistelli regime, which for the first time ever will result in major staff cuts and growing irrelevance for the Office

  11. Links 20/3/2018: GStreamer 1.14.0, Freespire 3.0, Endless OS 3.3.13

    Links for the day

  12. BIO, MDMA and PhRMA Are Pushing the PTAB-Hostile STRONGER Patents Act While IAM and Patently-O Continue to Bash PTAB

    The patent microcosm, which compares the Board to the above (crude analogy from Judge Rader and other patent extremists), is still trying to kill inter partes reviews (IPRs), in effect overlooking its own hypocrisy on the matter (they don’t want patent justice, they just want to metaphorically ‘shoot down’ the judges)

  13. 35 U.S.C. § 101 is Still Effectively Tackling Software Patents in the US, But Patent Law Firms Lie/Distort to 'Sell' These Anyway

    The assertion that software patents are still worth pursuing in 2018 is based on carefully-constructed spin which mis-frames several court decisions and underplays/downplays/ignores pretty much everything that does not suit the narrative

  14. Battistelli's EPO Became Extremely Reliant on China for Distraction and on Endless Supply of Applications (Supply Which Doesn't Exist)

    Discussion about the EPO granting machine (or patent-printing machine) and figures the way EPO management would rather the public won't ever see them; the concept that China means redemption for this patent system is as laughable as always

  15. The US International Trade Commission (USITC) Against Comcast, Courtesy of the Intellectual Ventures-Connected Rovi

    The USITC/ITC, which mostly serves to impose embargoes (sometimes in shocking defiance of PTAB decisions), is being invoked by a firm connected to the world’s largest patent troll, Intellectual Ventures

  16. Tinder/Match Group Uses Software Patents to Sue a Rival, Obviously Choosing to Sue in Texas

    Software patents are being used for leverage, but only those which were likely granted before Alice and only in courts at districts somewhere around Texas

  17. Links 19/3/2018: Linux 4.16 RC6, Atom 1.25, antiX 17.1, GNU Mcron 1.1

    Links for the day

  18. From PTAB Bashing to Federal Circuit (CAFC) Bashing: How the Patent 'Industry' Sells Software Patents

    The latest tactics of the patent microcosm are just about as distasteful as last month's (or last year's), with focus shifting to the courts and few broadly-misinterpreted patent cases (mainly Finjan, Berkheimer, and Aatrix)

  19. Patent Maximalists Keep Coming Up With New Terms and Buzzwords to Bypass the Practical Ban on Software Patents

    The fightback against Section 101 and the US Supreme Court (notably Alice) seems to concentrate on old and new buzzwords, such as "Software as a Medical Device" ("SaMD") or "Fourth Industrial Revolution" ("4IR"), which the EPO recently paid European media to spread and promote

  20. News About Patents is Often Just Advertisements Composed Directly or Indirectly by Companies That Sell Patents and Patent Services

    Infomercials are still dominant among news about patents, in effect drowning out the signal (real journalism) and instead pushing agenda that is detached from reality, pertinent facts, objective assessment, public interest and so on

  21. Blocks and Paywalls Won't Protect the Patent Trolls' Lobby From Scrutiny/Fact-Checking

    Joff Wild and Benoît Battistelli have much in common, including patent maximalism and chronic resistance to facts (or fact-checking)

  22. China Has Become Very Aggressive With Patents

    China now targets other Asian countries/firms -- more so than Western firms -- with patent lawsuits; we expect this to get worse in years to come

  23. UPC/Battistelli Booster IAM Blames Brexit Rather Than EPO Abuses

    While the EPO is collapsing due to mismanagement the boosters of Team Battistelli would rather deflect and speak about Brexit, which is itself partly motivated by such mismanagement

  24. European Commission Again Urged to Tackle Abuses at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Rina Ronja Kari is the latest MEP attempting to compel the Commission to actually do something about the EPO other than turning a blind eye

  25. Links 18/3/2018: Wine 3.4, Wine-Staging 3.4, KDE Connect 1.8 for Android

    Links for the day

  26. TXED Courts Are Causing Businesses to Leave the District, Notably For Fear That Having Any Operations Based There is a Legal Liability

    A discussion about the infamous abundance of patent cases in the Eastern District of Texas (TXED/EDTX) and what this will mean for businesses that have branches or any form of operations there (making them subjected to lawsuits in that district even after TC Heartland)

  27. PTAB Hatred is So Intense Among the Patent 'Industry' That Even Scammers Are Hailed as Champions If They Target PTAB

    The patent microcosm is so eager to stop the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that it's supporting sham deals (or "scams") and exploits/distorts the voice of the new USPTO Director to come up with PTAB-hostile catchphrases

  28. The Patent 'Industry' is Increasingly Mocking CAFC and Its Judges Because It Doesn't Like the Decisions

    Judgmental patent maximalists are still respecting high courts only when it suits them; whenever the outcome is not desirable they're willing to attack the legitimacy of the courts and the competence of judges, even resorting to racist ad hominem attacks if necessary

  29. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Carries on Enforcing § 101, Invalidating Software Patents and Upsetting the Patent 'Industry' in the Process

    A quick report on where PTAB stands at the moment, some time ahead of the Oil States decision (soon to come from the US Supreme Court)

  30. Luxembourg Can Become a Hub of Patent Trolls If the EPO Carries on With Its 'Reforms', Even Without the UPC

    With or without the Unified Patent Court (UPC), which is the wet dream of patent trolls and their legal representatives, the EPO's terrible policies have landed a lot of low-quality patents on the hands of patent trolls (many of which operate through city-states that exist for tax evasion -- a fiscal environment ripe for shells)


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