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


Microsoft Abuse with Software Patents Carries on

Posted in Courtroom, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Patents, Protocol, Samba at 5:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

European flags at Europe's parliament

Summary: The latest analyses and moves from Microsoft, which increasingly relies on software patents in its eternal battle against Free software

CARLO Piana, who represents Samba on a legal basis in Europe [1, 2], has just published this long post which explains how Microsoft continues to use software patents and other nefarious means to suppress adoption of Free software. This is particularly important right now because Microsoft has an opportunity to do to the Commission what it did to the US Department of Justice, namely putting its friends in charge (Charlie McCreevy may leave, but the FFII shows that a likely replacement is also a supporter of software patents).

The point is that the current Commission is going to step down in a few weeks, and Commissioner Kroes – who has an incredibly good track record on the Microsoft case – might feel the urgency to close everything behind her, leaving the office empty and her case teams without a case. But at which conditions?


The single biggest issue is patents. The current WSPP agreement does not contain any meaningful provision or license or promise or non-assertion pledge or anything that is useful to Free Software projects. Without that clearance, once everything is over, who is going to stop the patents to be asserted or, worse, merely threatened (call it FUD, patent rattling, whatever)? Microsoft has been very clear to reserve this right. If it is home free with a broad undertaking, there will not be any real pressure against the assertion of the patents, apart the reaction of some friendlier companies and of the OIN. We have seen just a small preview with the TomTom case.


And the future will bring Silverlight. And the future will bring OOXML mandated by public authorities as if it was an open standard. And by the way, I am still awaiting the first attempted implementation of ISO/IEC IS 29500 (what the standard is called) because Microsoft Office’s file format is not even close to be that, and it is not even ECMA 376. It is a proprietary, undisclosed file format. To add insult to the damage, I start hearing that even those corrections that were hurried in during the Ballot Resolution Meeting to pass the standard like a square pin into a round hole are now rolled back very quietly in JTC1 SC34 – hijacked by Microsoft – because of lack of interoperability with MS Office. Which incidentally confirms my assessment that the implementation is the standard and the standard is the implementation. The process we underwent to approve or disapprove an international standard was merely a sham.

The Commission falsely promised that it would investigate this, but the complexity of such an investigation (requiring a lot of travel all around the world) is the reason it backed off, leaving Microsoft unpunished for criminal activity such as blackmail and bribery.

We recently showed that Microsoft had attempted to have GNU/Linux vendors sued by patent trolls [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. That was the allegation made by Red Hat and others, including the OIN, which is now releasing details of the patents in question (there are about 20 software patents in total, so this list is not complete). It’s exclusive to The H (London-based apparently) — part of Heise, which is in Germany where software patents are not valid anyway.

What was in this lot of 22 patents that would specifically worry the Linux community? The OIN supplied The H with a list of the patents:

* Encoding a URL into the playback of a media file (5987509, 6499057, 5774666, 6963906)
* Broadcasting video over distributed networks (6005600, 6792468, 7448062)
* Launching a browser and sending it to a URL by clicking an icon (5737560, 5877767, 6072491, 7032185)
* Launching applications through a movie (5745713)
* Colour space conversions (5946113, 6147772)
* Web page annotations (6081829, 6571295)
* Web publishing hypertext (5890170)
* Web publishing and editing with templates (6026433)
* A Method for painting on a computer (5182548)
* Virtual Address Translation (6205531)
* Dynamically generating graphics for the web on the server (6098092)
* Dynamic information clipping service (5649186)

Going back to Samba in Europe, there is absolutely no reason to assume that Microsoft will accept an exclusion of software patents. According to this post, Microsoft may still be working on it. [the emphasis in red is ours]

Basically, the IM mob are desperately trying to con unions into doing their dirty work by pushing out propaganda on intellectual monopolies. I just love the line “The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and IIPA (International Intellectual Property Association) were both very enthusiastic about this proposal”: you bet they are. Their own ham-fisted efforts have backfired so spectacularly that they are desperate for someone else not tainted by their inept approach of punishing consumers to try.

The following is also significant:

The discussion on future work mostly focus on climate change. General Electric and Microsoft were particularly outspoken in highlighting their fear that some current negotiations over green technology and IPR would weaken IPR. They also denounced the inclusion of proposals that limit patentable subject matter and recommend compulsory licenses or licenses of rights.

As well as Microsoft’s usual bleating about not being allowed to patent software in some jurisdictions, it’s interesting to note that both it and General Electric seem to rate the preservation of intellectual monopolies rather higher than the preservation of our planet. Pure evil.

MS and GE are both in MSNBC delivering their own angle on the news and they also cooperate on legalising software patents in Europe, never mind their realisation that the patent system is inherently broken (GE complains about patent trolls, whereas Microsoft deals with embargo threats due to the i4i case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]). Here are some more thoughts about i4i and patents:

Canadian Law Professors Insist Banning The Sale Of Word Is Good For Society & Innovation


Again, beyond common sense, the historical evidence suggests that these law professors are simply wrong. Countries with no or weak patent protection have seen tremendous innovation over time. And it’s because it’s competition that’s the mother of innovation, not a lack of competition.

In other interesting news, the arguably-unconstitutional ACTA [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14] is now being criticised even by the UK-IPO, which is surprising. But it’s not ACTA itself which gets the criticism; it’s the secrecy. Glyn Moody writes:

Cracks in the ACTA Wall of Secrecy


Hitherto, there’s been no suggestion of any dissension within the ACTA ranks; so this comment in a blog post from Jamie Love about a lunch meeting of civil society NGOs held by the UK’s Intellectual Property Office during the WIPO meeting is intriguing:

The UK IP office said it had complained frequently of the secrecy of the ACTA negotiations.

Perhaps if we can get a few more of the insiders moaning about this unnecessary lack of transparency, things will finally start moving.

As pointed out a few months ago, Facebook is flirting with Microsoft's patent troll, Nathan Myhrvold. Now that Facebook is sued for patent infringement (yes, again), one might wonder if Facebook wants the patent troll to act as a shield or an arsenal for counter lawsuits that annul (settle) the originals. It’s only speculation.

Facebook has been sued by a software company in Baltimore that claims the social-networking site is violating a two-year-old patent.


WhoGlue Inc., a Canton company with fewer than five employees, filed the lawsuit Monday in the U.S. District Court for Delaware, where Facebook is incorporated.


It’s unclear whether the patent infringement case that WhoGlue is trying to make against Facebook can be applied to a host of similar social networking sites that use similar technologies for helping their users manage online interactions.

The company which is suing at least has a product, so it is not a patent troll.

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. Puff Pieces of the EPO-IPO (EPO+EUIPO) Have Begun to Appear Amid New Evidence of Brain Drain, Lowered Standards

    The grim vision of the EPO which is losing all its talent (over time), becomes more like a production line (quality does not matter), and produces propaganda for "media positioning" (or "placements") -- all under the guise of 'studies'

  2. Leaked: Minutes From the Administrative Council of the EPO Regarding the 'Reform' (Exile) of the Boards of Appeal

    Details of the relatively secret proceedings back in June (belatedly released only a short while ago), carefully abbreviated to demonstrate which delegations helped Battistelli crush the Boards of Appeal and which ones insisted on maintaining the status quo, as per the EPC

  3. No Promising Future For the EPO Under Battistelli (If Any Future At All)

    Pessimism becomes realism at the European Patent Office as units are being torn apart, patent quality discarded, "unified" patent courts dreamed of (more patent lawsuits, higher damages), and EUIPO (EU-associated, unlike Eponia) gets closer to the EPO

  4. Leaked Minutes From the EPO Reveal That Battistelli is Detached From Reality and Blames Everything on “Union Officials”

    Minutes of the Administrative Council's meeting reveal some truly bizarre rants from Battistelli, who simply refuses to accept that the European Patent Office is burning (without a future direction, only burnout and brain drain) under his poor and abusive leadership

  5. Tata/TCS is Still Pushing for Software Patents in India

    The obnoxious company that is promoting Microsoft and software patents in a country that needs neither makes the headlines again (Financial Express)

  6. Links 25/10/2016: Rackspace's Praise of FOSS, Chain Chooses the GPL(v3)

    Links for the day

  7. Links 24/10/2016: Linux 4.9 RC2

    Links for the day

  8. Battistelli Plans to Expand the Social [sic] 'Study' (Then 'Conference') Propaganda Until Next Month, Under the 'Workshop' Umbrella

    Milking his shameless propaganda (paid-for 'studies'), Battistelli wants to rewrite the record by all means possible, then pretend that EPO staff participates in it

  9. EPO and EUIPO Join Hands to Release Propaganda (for European Media to Parrot) Some Time Tomorrow

    EPO and EUIPO in collaboration for the promotion of the notion that they are both necessary (and reinforced speculations about growing overlap between them)

  10. UPC Preparatory Committee Puts the Brakes on UPC Amid Brexit and Growing Uncertainty

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) preparatory committee recognises that the UPC isn't going anywhere (any time soon) and false job advertisements -- or advertisements for jobs that will never exist -- are withdrawn

  11. Updates Regarding EPO and BoAC: Unrest and Injustice Carry on

    Some of the latest information which is publicly and privately available to us, in particular regarding the case of a suspended judge which represents unprecedented erosion of the appeal boards' independence (and hence lack of justice in the Organisation)

  12. EPO and the “Iberian Connection”: Patricia García-Escudero Márquez - Battistelli's Pet Chinchilla on the Boards of Appeal Committee?

    Why the Boards of Appeal Committee has begun showing prominent signs that it is anything but independent and capable of standing up to Battistelli (or his circle at the Office, which includes the “Iberian Connection")

  13. Links 23/10/2016: Alcatel's New Android Smartphones, Another Honorary Doctorate for Stallman

    Links for the day

  14. Open Letter Exposing the Farce Which Was Battistelli's 'Social Conference' Coinciding With Further (New) Attacks on EPO Staff Representatives

    A detailed letter reveals legitimate concerns expressed by staff representatives at the EPO ahead of the so-called Social Conference, in which we have highlighted severe factual flaws

  15. Translation of Latest Rant From French MP Philip Cordery About Benoît Battistelli's Abuses at the EPO

    Philip Cordery crosses horns with Benoît Battistelli, who has become a source of embarrassment for France with his autocratic tendencies and misguided policies that rapidly ruin the European Patent Office (EPO)

  16. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Leaked Document Shows PwC's Dishonesty and Misrepresentation of EPO Staff

    An in-depth analysis (but not comprehensive, just preliminary) of the so-called 'study' from PwC, which basically did what it was paid for (pay to say)

  17. Links 22/10/2016: Deus Ex for GNU/Linux, Global DDoS (DNS)

    Links for the day

  18. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Survey Comparison Shows Serious Deterioration and Efforts by PwC to Disguise the Truth

    The latest output from PwC turns out to be even worse than initially thought, indicating that not only did it find a degradation in the EPO but also attempted to hide/obscure it

  19. EPO Teaser - The "Iberian Connection" - Some Photos of García-Escudero and His Royal/Government Connections

    A look at the undeniably close connections between Mr. García-Escudero and the most powerful people in Spain

  20. Disruption to Site's Service

    A technical note about why Techrights has not been publishing many articles recently

  21. Links 21/10/2016: MPV 0.21, Mad Max for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day

  22. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's High Five

    Another cartoon about the sad state of the EPO

  23. Battistelli Ruins Not Only the EPO But Also the Whole of Europe By Ushering in Software Patents That Patent Trolls Love So Much

    Battistelli's bad leadership at the EPO threatens to bring to Europe all the ills and menaces of the patent system in the United States

  24. EPO Spokesman Lies to IP Watch in Order to Save Face and Save the King (Battistelli)

    Rewriting history (revisionism) regarding Battistelli and what was demanded amidst abusive behaviour from him

  25. Unitary Patent (UPC) is Dead, But 'Managing IP' and Selfish Patent Law Firms Still Try to Resurrect It

    The latest attempts to shore up the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court and who's behind it other than the usual suspects

  26. Links 20/10/2016: Linux 4.10 Preview, ONF and ON.Labs to Merge

    Links for the day

  27. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC 'Study': The Raw Outcome Shows Distortion of the Facts at the EPO's Notorious 'Social Conference'

    Results of the Staff Survey carried out by PwC, in order to provide some propaganda for Battistelli's expensive Social Conference

  28. Addendum: EPO's Alberto Casado Cerviño, WIPO's Francis Gurry, and EUIPO's Archambeau

    Photos taken as part of an IP event which took place in Riga (Latvia) in March 2015

  29. Worrisome Connections Between EPO VP2 Alberto Casado Cerviño and Patricia García-Escudero Márquez

    Exploring the potential conflicts of interests implicating the EPO's Boards of Appeal Committee

  30. Site's Infrastructure Under Attack and Upgrades Ahead of Major New Publications

    Protections for the Web site have been improved and capacity increased in order to avoid or at least prepare for another week of abusive/spam traffic


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