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.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks

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 4/7/2020: Grml 2020.06 and diffoscope 150 Released

    Links for the day



  2. [Humour/Meme] Don't Let a COVID Crisis Go to Waste When You're Eager to Find Excuses for Many Layoffs and Shutdowns

    Microsoft business units that were defunct (long-failing, well before COVID-19) are being thrown out and Microsoft exploits a virus to rationalise these decisions while spicing up media coverage with "Hey Hi" (AI) and "virtual" experience or Facebook (to give the false impression that nothing really goes away)



  3. Free Software Tackles Political Issues. Political Tactics Are Also Being Weaponised Against Free Software.

    Divide-and-rule tactics seem to have been exploited to weaken collaborative work on Free/libre software; the response to these tactics needs to start with realisation that this is going on (even if it's done in a somewhat clandestine nature)



  4. Offence and Racism

    o those in positions of power and privilege (financial) you are controllable by guilt; dividing us and causing us to feel guilt and fear (over potential offence) is a powerful social control mechanism and pretext for dismissal, censorship, humiliation



  5. Links 3/7/2020: TrueNAS 12 Beta 1, Librem 13 Product Line

    Links for the day



  6. [Humour] European Patents Only Useful Outside the Legal Framework?

    Patents that aren't valid in the eyes of courts would best serve patent trolls that settle out of courts, en masse



  7. Microsoft's Share in Web Servers Rapidly Falls to Just 4.5% (Falling More Than 5% in a Single Month)

    Microsoft's share as measured at Netcraft (de facto authority in this area) is rapidly declining; expect IIS to go the way of the dodo some time in the coming years



  8. The Lock-downs Are Over and Still Zero Media Coverage About EPO Scandals and Corruption

    The appalling state of journalism in Europe (and to some extent in the world at large) means that the EPO's management can get away with all sorts of horrible crimes and fraud; the silencing of the media is, in its own right, quite scandalous



  9. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, July 02, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, July 02, 2020



  10. “Microsoft's Deadly Love” by Alessandro Ebersol (Agent Smith)

    Full credit goes to PCLOS Magazine for publishing this good piece, which we’re reproducing



  11. Links 2/7/2020: Microsoft Partner Says GNU/Linux Share in Desktops/Laptops at 4% Even After Lock-downs, OpenSUSE Leap 15.2 and Mageia 8 Alpha 1 Released

    Links for the day



  12. Why People Should Never Ever Use DuckDuckGo

    DuckDuckGo is another privacy abuser in disguise; the above forum thread enumerates key reasons



  13. After 2 Years and 2 Days António Campinos is a Perfect Leader, Fostering EPO Abuses While Smiling

    EPO corruption persists, but this time the corruption enjoys better marketing/PR and complicit (or at best silent) media



  14. [Humour] As If Monopolies for Life Will Save People's Lives...

    The mentality of monopoly or the mindset of patent maximalism has been quick to exploit the deaths of half a million



  15. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, July 01, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, July 01, 2020



  16. IBM-Funded FSF Censors Itself on Software Patents

    Donald Robertson’s article bemoaning and openly condemning the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) over software patents, which it illegally grants in some cases, was modified a week later; and why? One can only guess… (but remember that the FSF’s foremost sponsor is lobbying against 35 U.S.C. § 101 and for software patents)



  17. [Humour/Meme] Remember That As Recently as Last Year Microsoft Was Still Shaking Down and Even Suing Companies Over 'Linux Patent Infringement'

    There's no 'new Microsoft' except a (better at) lying Microsoft; its covert actions tell us a lot about its ongoing hatred of GNU/Linux, which it is assaulting in new and more sophisticated ways



  18. Contrary to Common Misconceptions, Free Software is More 'Corporate' or More 'Enterprise-Grade' Than Proprietary Abandonware (All Proprietary Software Will Die)

    Free software can leverage the superficial and bland boardroom lingo/slang to promote itself; it would definitely harm or dilute/weaken the terms which proprietary software giants like to leverage against us



  19. Social Control Media Will Not Exist One Day

    Digital obsolescence and Internet bitrot — that’s what Social Control Media is really good for; as many Google+ ‘users’ (useds) found out, they’re just being ‘farmed’ for their ‘content’, which is neither valuable nor resilient (definitely of no value to Google)



  20. What Freedom of Software Actually Means to Us

    Liberty or libre (freedom) is about more than brands or personalities, as names or institutions or individuals can change or completely perish; but concepts outlast superficialities



  21. [Humour] Thinking Beyond Just the Linux Brand

    We're supposed to believe that because "Linux" is dominant we finally have freedom; but almost all the very big companies that are using GNU/Linux leverage it for freedom-hostile purposes and keep about 99% of their code secret from us, so the fight for software freedom must go on



  22. Corporate Media Blames 'China' and 'Open Source' for Back Doors in Microsoft's Intentionally Flawed Proprietary Software That's Causing Chaos

    'Red Scare' tactics are being used to divert attention away from Microsoft's incompetence and conspiracy with the NSA (to put back doors in everything, essentially making all software inherently vulnerable, by design)



  23. Microsoft Has Infiltrated Authorities and/or Their Consultation Processes

    In the European Union, the United States and just about everywhere else in the world one can find Microsoft officials replacing public officials, as if the decision-making too has been outsourced to the "Good Folks" from Microsoft



  24. Links 1/7/2020: Tails 4.8, Serpent OS

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, June 30, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, June 30, 2020



  26. EPO Management Celebrates the Lowering of Patent Quality While Granting Invalid Patents (IPs) Instead of European Patents (EPs)

    Europe's most autocratic institution continues to cheat and lie to everybody; even twice in one day, together with... the Communist Party of China (through CNIPA)



  27. Links 30/6/2020: OpenSUSE Leap 15.2, 4MLinux 34.0 Beta and IPFire 2.25 - Core Update 146

    Links for the day



  28. [Humour] There's Always a Way... (to Grant Patents on Almost Anything)

    The referral from European Patent Office (EPO) President António Campinos leaves the door open to patents on life, provided one paints those as uniquely clever, e.g. GMO (same tricks for software patents in Europe with “Hey Hi” — an overblown buzz wave)



  29. Crocodiles Can Only Ever Fake Empathy

    Greenwashing, pinkwashing, openwashing and abduction of various authentic civil rights movements (centered around gender, race, and sometimes economic issues) is very easy and cheap relative to the depths of corporate pockets; the problem is, those things help distract the 'masses' from objectively immoral and universally unacceptable acts



  30. [Humour/Meme] History in the Making or History Being Rewritten?

    he idea that history can just totally eliminate particular people and particular views overlooks the very nature of historical studies; banning words impedes the telling of history itself and society cannot tackle the underlying issues without talking about them


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