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

10.28.09

Patents Roundup: OIN Grows, Microsoft Ally LG Uses Patent Bullies, Microsoft and Amazon Advance Anti-Free Software Laws

Posted in Africa, Asia, Deception, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, LG, Microsoft, OIN, Patents, Red Hat, SUN at 9:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: As the title suggests, this is an accumulation of patent news that affects Free software

MICROSOFT and its affiliates (or the likes of it) carry on attacking the very foundations of Free software, but a lot of people in the Free software world are still not paying close attention to it. This post about the latest developments will hopefully serve as a reminder.

Open Invention Network (OIN)

OIN recently proved that it serves a real role in defending Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], so credit is given where it’s due. OIN has just added a new member to its pool of patentees and we append the press release at the bottom. Here is the opening paragraph.

Open Invention Network (OIN), the company formed to enable and protect Linux, today extended the Linux ecosystem with the signing of Messaging Architects as a licensee. By becoming a licensee, Messaging Architects has joined the growing list of companies that recognize the importance of participating in a substantial community of Linux supporters and leveraging the Open Invention Network to further spur open source innovation.

LG and Patent Trolls

LG

As an important reminder, LG signed a Novell-type patent deal with Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], which constitutes an attack on the Freedom and price of Linux (and by extension — GNU). LG's criminal activities seem to be followed right now by what the President of the FFII calls “proxying”, akin to the idea of sending thugs and bullies to beat up your competitors or foes. He claims that “LG Electronics [is] proxying lawsuits through patent trolls,” which brings back memories of Sisvel, the ‘patent mafia’ of Philips [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11].

This latest incident (as referred to above) is covered in at least two places; the first is TechDirt, which published: “A Look Behind The Curtain: How A Patent Hoarder Makes Money”

A few months back, someone sent over some details about a legal battle involving Peter Boesen, who is both a convicted felon in jail and a patent hoarder who licensed his patents to a “patent troll” firm to assert against tons of tech companies, and Niro Scavone, the law firm representing the patent company (and the law firm famous for, among other things, having been the inspiration for the term “patent troll”).

In light of the term used by TechDirt, think about Microsoft's own patent hoarder, Nathan Myhrvold. TechDirt links to this post as its source. Here is Johnny Ward again, the troll-loving bully who sued his critic in order to silence him [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8].

Most intriguing is the sum paid by Apple to settle an SPT suit brought over the iPhone in the Eastern District of Texas in 2008: $865,000. Without any motions being filed after the intial complaint or any substantive discovery, a bit more than 30 percent of that amount, $271,817, went to Niro Scavone, which also billed $46,568 in expenses. Nearly $40,000 went to someone identified as “Ward”–most likely Johnny Ward Jr., who served as local counsel to SPT in the case. Of what was left, almost $109,000 went to SP Technologies, then owned by investor Courtney Sherrer, and $311,400 went to Boesen.

Eolas recently attacked a lot of companies using patents [1, 2, 3], having already attacked Microsoft successfully [1, 2]. Damage control from Eolas now comes via Heise:

First they wrestled down Microsoft, now they’re litigating against other big IT players: Eolas intends to enforce its patent on web technologies and plug-ins for integrating interactive content at all cost. However, a partner of the legal firm representing Eolas assured the readers of German Focus magazine that the vendor does not intend to cripple the internet. The lawyer also said that individuals, such as Facebook users or bloggers, using the technologies for integrating, for example, videos into their web pages or profiles, have nothing to fear. Litigation against such individuals doesn’t make sense economically, he added.

Spin and damage mitigation is all that is.

Microsoft

Microsoft is at the moment circulating the following E-mail, which seemingly encourages software patents in Europe. It also has free trips to Redmond as a prize/incentive. This is the type of thing which Microsoft typically does using front groups like ACT.

Microsoft on ICT

Amazon

Amazon, which accepted several Microsoft executives into its higher management, is not a friend of Free software. Amazon may be a user of Free software, albeit an abusive user [1, 2] that is a major part of the software patents madness in the United States. In Canada, Amazon’s notorious “one-click” patent was rightly rejected, but Amazon is fighting back to break the Canadian patent system too, forcibly injecting a most insanely controversial software patents into it. Suffice to say, the Free Software Foundation is against Amazon.

Sun

A few days ago we wrote about how Sun’s attitude towards software patents has actually turned against it, potentially killing the excellent ZFS. K&L Gates, which has worked with Microsoft for many years until very recently when its priority was lowered, is now abusing innocent people on behalf of “SPARC”, using intellectual monopolies. [via TechDirt and Slashdot]

SparkFun is all about open. Whether sharing the pcb design files for our products or posting pictures from the office on flickr, we’re pretty open about what it’s like to work here. Today we’d like to share with you a cease and desist letter we received from SPARC International. Here’s a link to SPARC on wikipedia in case you don’t know who SPARC is.

Red Hat

Although it has nothing to do with official company policy, the following new post comes from a Red Hat employee in India, who strongly agrees with the views expressed by Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi in Africa:

Even slaves were considered property: South African Minister

[...]

It is good to remember this at a time when organizations aim to justify the privatization of knowledge and ideas under the guise that this is essential for promoting innovation.

In the area of software patents, this is nothing but a land grab, a conversion of was in the commons into a private enclosure.

Here is a video of Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi speaking about these issues

Software patents should be rejected by Africans and Indians alike; they are weapons of colonialists and fortunately there are those who understand this and turn against the WTO [via Richard Stallman], not just WIPO.

Ten years ago, citizen activists shut down the World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial in Seattle to protest the devastating impact of the WTO’s corporate globalization agenda on our jobs, wages and the environment. Now, big corporations are back at it, again pushing an expansion of the WTO’s power.

The intellectual monopolies system is mostly about protecting dominant forces in the industry, not facilitating young innovators (“disruption”). To suggest anything else is to sell the illusion marketed by those in industry who benefit from protectionist measures, i.e. the status quo. Incidentally, companies that are wrongly perceived as “friends” of Free software (IBM for example) should be counted among the culprits. IBM is the principal entity behind the OIN*, which mostly defends large vendors (with an extensive patent portfolio) that incorporate Linux into their non-Free products.
_____
* Jerry Rosenthal came from IBM, which still owns a vast number of OIN patents. It turns much of it into a feud between patent coalitions, but an optimal solution for all is the abolishment of software patents.


Open Invention Network Extends the Linux Ecosystem as Messaging Architects Becomes Licensee

DURHAM, NC — 10/27/09 — Open Invention Network (OIN), the company formed to enable and protect Linux, today extended the Linux ecosystem with the signing of Messaging Architects as a licensee. By becoming a licensee, Messaging Architects has joined the growing list of companies that recognize the importance of participating in a substantial community of Linux supporters and leveraging the Open Invention Network to further spur open source innovation.

Patents owned by Open Invention Network are available royalty-free to any company, institution or individual that agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux System. This enables companies to continue to make significant corporate and capital expenditure investments in Linux — helping to fuel economic growth. By developing a web of Linux developers, distributors, sellers, resellers and end-users that license its patent portfolio, Open Invention Network is creating a supportive and shielded ecosystem to ensure the growth and adoption of Linux.

“We are pleased to have Messaging Architects, a leader in Email risk management and compliance, become a licensee as we seek to enable the Linux Ecosystem,” said Keith Bergelt, CEO of Open Invention Network. “Messaging Architects is one of a growing number of companies that recognize the value provided by open source software and the Linux community. We applaud their support for Linux.”

“Globally, Linux drives the vast majority of Email routing and security infrastructure. As such it plays a critical role as the enabler of innovative messaging technology platforms,” said Pierre Chamberland, CEO of Messaging Architects. “By becoming an Open Invention Network licensee, we encourage ongoing Linux development which helps to ensure the continued improvement of our products and services. This relationship will be incredibly beneficial for Messaging Architects, our customers and partners worldwide.”

OIN has accumulated more than 300 strategic, worldwide patents and patent applications. These patents are available to all licensees as part of the patent portfolio that OIN is creating around, and in support of Linux. The Open Invention Network license agreement can be found at http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/pat_license_agreement.php.

About Open Invention Network

Open Invention Network(SM) is a collaborative enterprise that enables innovation in open source and an increasingly vibrant ecosystem around Linux by acquiring and licensing patents, influencing behaviors and policy, and protecting the integrity of the ecosystem through strategic programs such as Linux Defenders. It enables the growth and continuation of open source software by fostering a healthy Linux ecosystem of investors, vendors, developers and users.

Open Invention Network has considerable industry backing. It was launched in 2005, and has received investments from IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony. For more information, visit www.openinventionnetwork.com.

About Messaging Architects

Founded in 1995, Messaging Architects is a global builder of infrastructure for Business Driven Email. Messaging Architects provides software and services that deliver 100% uptime and compliance. Thousands of organizations worldwide depend on the firm’s solutions for risk-free messaging and collaboration. For more information, visit www.messagingarchitects.com.

Open Invention Network, the Open Invention Network logo, Linux Defenders, Linux Defenders 911 and the Linux Defenders 911 logo are the property of Open Invention Network, LLC. All other names and brand marks are the property of their respective holders.

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. Patent Extremists Are Unable to Find Federal Circuit Cases That Help Them Mislead on Alice

    Patent extremists prefer talking about Mayo but not Alice when it comes to 35 U.S.C. § 101; Broadcom is meanwhile going on a 'fishing expedition', looking to profit from patents by calling for embargo through the ITC



  2. What Use Are 10 Million Patents That Are of Low Quality in a Patent Office Controlled by the Patent 'Industry'?

    The patent maximalists are celebrating overgranting; the USPTO, failing to heed the warning from patent courts, continues issuing far too many patents and a new paper from Mark Lemley and Robin Feldman offers a dose of sobering reality



  3. The Eastern District of Texas is Where Asian Companies/Patents/Trolls Still Go After TC Heartland

    Proxies of Longhorn IP and KAIST (Katana Silicon Technologies LLC and KAIST IP US LLC, respectively) roam Texas in pursuit of money of out nothing but patents and aggressive litigation; there's also a Microsoft connection



  4. EPO Insiders Correct the Record of Benoît Battistelli’s Tyranny and Abuse of Law: “Legal Harassment and Retaliation”

    Battistelli’s record, as per EPO-FLIER 37, is a lot worse than the Office cares to tell stakeholders, who are already complaining about decline in patent quality



  5. Articles About a Unitary Patent System Are Lies and Marketing From Law Firms With 'Lawsuits Lust'

    Team UPC has grown louder with its lobbying efforts this past week; the same lies are being repeated without much of a challenge and press ownership plays a role in that



  6. The Decline in Patent Quality at the EPO Causes Frivolous Lawsuits That Only Lawyers Profit From

    The European Patent Office (EPO) will continue granting low-quality European Patents under the leadership of the Battistelli-'nominated' Frenchman, António Campinos; this is bad news for science and technology as that quite likely means a lot more lawsuits without merit (which only lawyers profit from)



  7. What Battistelli's Workers Think of His Latest EPO Propaganda

    "Modernising the EPO" is what Battistelli calls a plethora of human rights abuses and corruption



  8. Links 19/6/2018: Total War: WARHAMMER II Confirmed for GNU/Linux, DragonFlyBSD 5.2.2 Released

    Links for the day



  9. More Media Reports About Decline in Quality of European Patents (Granted by the EPO)

    What the media is saying about the letter from Grünecker, Hoffmann Eitle, Maiwald and Vossius & Partner whilst EPO communications shift attention to shallow puff pieces about how wonderful Benoît Battistelli is



  10. Beware Team UPC's Biggest Two Lies About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Claims that a Unified Patent Court (UPC) will commence next year are nothing but a fantasy of the Liar in Chief, Benoît Battistelli, who keeps telling lies to French media (some of which he passes EPO money to, just like he passes EPO money to his other employer)



  11. Diversity at the EPO

    Two decades of EPO with 16-17 years under the control of French Presidents (and nowadays predominantly French management in general with Inventor Award held in France almost half the time) is "diversity at the EPO"



  12. Orrin Hatch, Sponsored the Most by the Pharmaceutical Industry, Tries to Make Its Patents Immune From Scrutiny (PTAB)

    Orrin Hatch is the latest example of laws being up for sale, i.e. companies can 'buy' politicians to act as their 'couriers' and pass laws for them, including laws pertaining to patents



  13. Links 17/6/2018: Linux 4.18 RC1 and Deepin 15.6 Released

    Links for the day



  14. To Keep the Patent System Alive and Going Practitioners Will Have to Accept Compromises on Scope Being Narrowed

    35 U.S.C. § 101 still squashes a lot of software patents, reducing confidence in US patents; the only way to correct this is to reduce patent filings and file fewer lawsuits, judging their merit in advance based on precedents from higher courts



  15. The Affairs of the USPTO Have Turned Into Somewhat of a Battle Against the Courts, Which Are Simply Applying the Law to Invalidate US Patents

    The struggle between law, public interest, and the Cult of Patents (which only ever celebrates more patents and lawsuits) as observed in the midst of recent events in the United States



  16. Patent Marketing Disguised as Patent 'Advice'

    The meta-industry which profits from patents and lawsuits claims that it's guiding us and pursuing innovation, but in reality its sole goal is enriching itself, even if that means holding science back



  17. Microsoft is Still 'Cybermobbing' Its Competition Using Patent Trolls Such as Finjan

    In the "cybersecurity" space, a sub-domain where many software patents have been granted by the US patent office, the patent extortion by Microsoft-connected trolls (and Microsoft's 'protection' racket) seems to carry on; but Microsoft continues to insist that it has changed its ways



  18. Links 16/6/2018: LiMux Story, Okta Openwashing and More

    Links for the day



  19. The EPO's Response to the Open Letter About Decline in Patent Quality as the Latest Example of Arrogance and Resistance to Facts, Truth

    Sidestepping the existential crisis of the EPO (running out of work and issuing many questionable patents with expectation of impending layoffs), the PR people at the Office choose a facts-denying, face-saving 'damage control' strategy while staff speaks out, wholeheartedly agreeing with concerned stakeholders



  20. In the United States the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Which Assures Patent Quality, is Still Being Smeared by Law Firms That Profit From Patent Maximalism, Lawsuits

    Auditory roles which help ascertain high quality of patents (or invalidate low-quality patents, at least those pointed out by petitions) are being smeared, demonised as "death squads" and worked around using dirty tricks that are widely described as "scams"



  21. The 'Artificial Intelligence' (AI) Hype, Propped Up by Events of the European Patent Office (EPO), is Infectious and It Threatens Patent Quality Worldwide

    Having spread surrogate terms like “4IR” (somewhat of a 'mask' for software patents, by the EPO's own admission in the Gazette), the EPO continues with several more terms like “ICT” and now we’re grappling with terms like “AI”, which the media endlessly perpetuates these days (in relation to patents it de facto means little more than "clever algorithms")



  22. Links 15/6/2018: HP Chromebook X2 With GNU/Linux Software, Apple Admits and Closes a Back Door ('Loophole')

    Links for the day



  23. The '4iP Council' is a Megaphone of Team UPC and Team Battistelli at the EPO

    The EPO keeps demonstrating lack of interest in genuine patent quality (it uses buzzwords to compensate for deviation from the EPC and replaces humans with shoddy translators); it is being aided by law firms which work for patent trolls and think tanks that propel their interests



  24. Grünecker, Hoffmann Eitle, Maiwald and Vossius & Partner Find the Courage to Express Concerns About Battistelli's Ugly Legacy and Low Patent Quality

    The astounding levels of abuse at the EPO have caused some of the EPO's biggest stakeholders to speak out and lash out, condemning the Office for mismanagement amongst other things



  25. IAM Concludes Its Latest Anti-§ 101 Think Tank, Featuring Crooked Benoît Battistelli

    The attack on 35 U.S.C. § 101, which invalidates most if not all software patents, as seen through the lens of a Battistelli- and Iancu-led lobbying event (set up by IAM)



  26. Google Gets Told Off -- Even by the Typically Supportive EFF and TechDirt -- Over Patenting of Software

    The EFF's Daniel Nazer, as well as TechDirt's founder Mike Masnick, won't tolerate Google's misuse of Jarek Duda's work; the USPTO should generally reject all applications for software patents -- something which a former Commissioner for Patents at the USPTO seems to be accepting now (that such patents have no potency after Alice)



  27. From the Eastern District of Texas to Delaware, US Patent Litigation is (Overall) Still Declining

    Patent disputes/conflicts are increasingly being settled outside the courts and patents that aren't really potent/eligible are being eliminated or never brought forth at all



  28. Links 13/6/2018: Cockpit 170, Plasma 5.13, Krita 4.0.4

    Links for the day



  29. When the USPTO Grants Patents in Defiance of 35 U.S.C. § 101 the Courts Will Eventually Squash These Anyway

    Software/abstract patents, as per § 101 (Section 101) which relates to Alice Corp v CLS Bank at the US Supreme Court, are not valid in the United States, albeit one typically has to pay a fortune for a court battle to show it because the patent office (USPTO) is still far too lenient and careless



  30. Buzzwords and Three-Letter Acronyms Still Abused by the EPO to Grant a Lot of Patents on Algorithms

    Aided by Microsoft lobbying (with its very many patent trolls) as well as corrupt Battistelli, the push for software patenting under the guise of "artificial intelligence" ("AI") carries on, boosted by Battistelli's own "Pravda" (which he writes for), IAM Magazine


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