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. Links 22/7/2016: Wine 1.9.15, KaOS 2016.07 ISO

    Links for the day



  2. Haar Mentioned as Likely Site of Appeal Boards as Their Eradication or Marginalisation Envisioned by UPC Proponent Benoît Battistelli

    Not only the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) is under severe attack and possibly in mortal danger; the increasingly understaffed Boards of Appeal too are coming under attack and may (according to rumours) be sent to Haar, a good distance away from Munich and the airport (half an hour drive), not to mention lack of facilities for visitors from overseas



  3. EPO Attaché Albert Keyack Viewed as Somewhat of a Mole, Reporting From the US Embassy in Brazil Until Shortly Before the Temer Coup

    Public responses to the role played by Albert Keyack on behalf of the United States inside the European [sic] Patent Office



  4. EPO Insiders Explain Why the EPO's Examination Quality Rapidly Declines and Will Get Even Worse Because of Willy Minnoye

    Public comments from anonymous insiders serve to highlight a growing crisis inside the European Patent Office (EPO), where experienced/senior examiners are walking away and leaving an irreplaceable bunch of seats (due to high experience demands)



  5. Patents Roundup: BlackBerry, Huawei, PTAB, GAO, Aggressive Universities With Patents, and Software Patents in Europe

    Various bits and pieces of news regarding patents and their fast-changing nature in the United States nowadays



  6. Glimpse at Patent Systems Across the World: Better Quality Control at the USPTO Post-America Invents Act (2011), Unlike the EPO Post-Battistelli (2010)

    While the EPO reportedly strives to eliminate pendency and appeal windows altogether (rubberstamping being optimal performance as per the yardstick du jour), the USPTO introduces changes that would strengthen the system and shield innovation, not protect the business model of serial litigants



  7. Blockstream Has No Patents, But Pledges Not to Sue Using Patents

    Blockstream says that it comes in peace when it comes to software patents, which triggers speculations about coming Blockchain patent wars



  8. Links 21/7/2016: Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” Xfce Beta

    Links for the day



  9. Links 21/7/2016: An Honorary Degree for Alan Cox, Looks Back at DebConf16

    Links for the day



  10. EPO USA: Under Battistelli, the 'European' Patent Office Emulates All the Mistakes of the USPTO

    Conservative Benoît Battistelli is trying to impose on the European Patent Office various truly misguided policies and he viciously attacks anyone or anything that stands in his way, including his formal overseers



  11. Links 19/7/2016: ARM and Opera Buyout

    Links for the day



  12. Large Corporations' Software Patenting Pursuits Carry on in Spite of Patent Trolls That Threaten Small Companies the Most

    With unconvincing excuses such as OIN, large corporations including IBM continue to promote software patents in the United States, even when public officials and USPTO officials work towards ending those



  13. Battistelli Has Implemented De Facto EPO Coup to Remove Oversight, Give Himself Total Power, and Allegedly Give UPC Gifts (Loot) to French Officials

    Benoît Battistelli's agenda at the EPO is anything but beneficial to the EPO and suspicions that Battistelli's overall agenda is transitioning to the UPC to further his goals grow feet



  14. EPO Social [sic] Report is a Big Pile of Lies That Responsible Journalists Must Ignore

    A reminder of where the EPO stands on social issues and why the latest so-called 'social' report is nothing but paid-for propaganda for Battistelli's political ambitions



  15. Links 18/7/2016: Vista 10 a Failure, FreeType 2.7

    Links for the day



  16. Exploiting Perceived Emergencies/Disasters, Suspending the Rule of Law, and Suspending Judges: How Erdoğan is Like Battistelli, Except the Coup

    Pretexts for crackdown on law-abiding people or figureheads who are remote and independent the hallmark not only of Erdoğan but also the EPO's President, Benoit Battistelli



  17. The Impotence of Gene Quinn

    Attacking the enforcer of Alice v CLS because it's doing harm to his source of income, which makes him angry



  18. After the FTI Consulting-EPO Reputation Laundering Deal's Expansion in Germany Süddeutsche Zeitung 'Forgets' That the EPO Even Exists

    Relative apathy if not complete silence regarding the EPO at Süddeutsche Zeitung following reports of FTI Consulting's deal expansion (media positioning in Germany), with hundreds of thousands of Euros (EPO budget) thrown at the controversial task



  19. Benoît Battistelli and Persistratos

    Reminds you of someone?



  20. Whistleblower Protection Desperately Needed at the European Patent Office

    EPO scandals are not publicly accessible or known to many people and not many such scandals are known at all because people are afraid of Battistelli's Fabius Maximus strategies



  21. Microsoft and Its Patent Minions at Nokia Still Have Patent Stacking Ambitions Against Android/Linux OEMs

    Weaponisation of European companies for the sake of artificial elevation of prices (patent taxes) a growing issue for Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and those behind it are circulating money among themselves not for betterment of products but for the crippling of FOSS contenders



  22. [ES] ¿Que si la EPO Bajo Battistelli Se Arruina Sin Posibilidad de Reparación Como la UPC?

    La última evidencia alrededor del hundimiénto de la reputación de la Epo y su calidad de trabajo, así como la caída del sistema que Battistelli trata forzadamente de imponer (una carrera al fondo)



  23. [ES] La EPO de Battistelli, Quién Quiebra la Ley, Subvierte el Curso de la Justicia y Rechaza Obedecer las Ordenes de la Corte Dice lo Impensable en Medio de los Actos de Terror

    Los terribles ataques hace un dia en Francia están siéndo explotados por el caradura de Benoît Battistelli para comedia negra o un verdaderamente absurda afirmación en la sección de “noticias” de la EPO



  24. [ES] La EPO de Battistelli Continúa Cortejando a Officiales de Países Pequeños y su Propaganda de Beneficiar a las “PYMEs de Aquellos Países”

    El caradura de Benoît Battistelli prosigue desfilando en los países pequeños que tienen delegados al Consejo Administrativo (CA) y los explota para propaganda barata, no sólo para que lo apoyen en las reuniónes del CA



  25. Links 17/7/2016: Lithuanian Police Switches to GNU/Linux, Blockchain on LinuxONE

    Links for the day



  26. This is Why Benoît Battistelli Has 0% Approval Rating Among 'His' Staff at the EPO

    The EPO expresses solidarity regarding (mostly) French people but does so only in English as the real purpose is to manipulate the media and justify the EPO's sheer abuses and unprecedented oppression against staff



  27. Law Professors Try to Put an End to Patent Trolls So Patent Trolls-Funded IAM 'Magazine' Complains

    Many professors suggest a method of stopping patent trolls (restrictions on venue shifting), so patent trolls-funded propaganda sites and think tanks strike back and distract even further, putting forth a wish list or a 'reform' that's designed to give them more money and incredibly protectionist power



  28. The Importance of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and High-Quality Patents (Not Software Patents)

    Strong patents rather than strong patent enforcement (i.e. ease of legal abuse) help discern the difference between successful economies and self-destructive economies



  29. With 'Friends' Like IBM and Its 'Open' Invention Network We Legitimise Software Patents Rather Than End Them

    Another reminder of where IBM stands on patent policy and what this means to those who rely on IBM for sheltering of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) or small businesses (SMEs) in a post-Alice era



  30. Links 15/7/2016: Microsoft Playing Dirty, GNOME Maps Problems

    Links for the day


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