01.12.10

Patents Roundup: i4i Shoots Down Microsoft Office (Online Store Delisting), Joseph Stiglitz Denounces Microsoft, Infosys Harms Indian Patent Law

Posted in Asia, Courtroom, Europe, Finance, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, Patents, Vista, Windows at 6:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft’s online store no longer has Office, due to deliberate patent infringement; Joseph Stiglitz gives talk on intellectual monopolies; Microsoft’s ally Infosys is spreading software patents and more

Microsoft’s OOXML is being further fragmented by the i4i case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12] and Office is now being yanked from Microsoft’s very own online store (while the legal case carries on).

Microsoft has pulled almost every version of Office from its own online store to comply with a court order requiring it to remove custom XML technology from its popular Word software starting today.

Microsoft deserved this because of its hypocrisy and arrogance.

“Stiglitz also alleged that Windows Vista was making things less compatible for rivals to be further stifled…”A longtime opponent of the patent system, Professor Joseph Stiglitz who won a Nobel prize for economics, has given a new talk which is finally up on YouTube. it’s a long talk where he actually mentions Microsoft’s abuses on at least 3 separate occasions. Stiglitz also alleged that Windows Vista was making things less compatible for rivals to be further stifled while insisting that several authorities (he names Europe and Korea) found Microsoft guilty, so it is beyond doubt that Microsoft is an offender.

“Stiglitz says the patent thicket and lawsuits in the software sector shows the failure of the system to promote innovation,” remarks the President of the FFII.

Around halfway through this talk, Stiglitz repeats the point about TRIPS being the cause of mass murder — a point he made in a previous talk. There is new literature on the subject of intellectual monopolies, which seems to be balancing ethics, monopoly, wealth, and people’s lives (maybe innovation and economics, according to propaganda).

The President of the FFII says that “UPLS [Unified Patent Litigation System] question put forward by LaQuadrature.” [article in French]

He also argues: “Karel DeGucht says the Lisbon Treaty will only works if we respect what is in it. I would say especially the access of Parliament on ACTA”

We wrote about the Lisbon Treaty before [1, 2, 3, 4]. It’s more policy laundry, just like ACTA [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14]. It’s globalisation the wrong way — the way that benefits the super-wealthy and marginalises the rest.

Speaking of globalisation, Microsoft’s extension in India “awaits nod for 219 patent applications in India, US,” says the Business Standard.

IT behemoth Infosys Technologies, which today came out with its third quarter earnings, is awaiting approval for 219 patent applications in India and the US.

Infosys has been helping Microsoft in legalising software patents in India [1, 2, 3] (it also helped OOXML [1, 2] and other negative things [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]). The company stands for exploitation of Indian people and its existence (or right to exist) should be questioned among citizens of India.

To name some other new posts, we have:

i. Software Patents: Should the Burden of Proof Be on the Accuser?

When we wrote our year end posts for 2009, we should’ve added patent trolling to our list of trends. In the past year we’ve covered a number of patent disputes including the Word-blocking patent against Microsoft and VoloMedia’s patent on podcasting. Union Square Ventures’ Brad Burnham wrote an excellent piece today on independent invention and how patent reform can minimize trolls.

Said Burnham, “Almost a third of our portfolio is under attack by patent trolls. Is it possible that one third of the engineering teams in our portfolio unethically misappropriated technology from someone else and then made that the basis of their web services? No! That’s not what is happening…Our companies are being attacked by companies that were not even in the same market, very often by companies they did not even know existed.”

ii. We need an independent invention defense to minimize the damage of aggressive patent trolls

Almost a third of our portfolio is under attack by patent trolls. Is it possible that one third of the engineering teams in our portfolio unethically misappropriated technology from someone else and then made that the basis of their web services? No! That’s not what is happening. Our companies are driven by imaginative and innovative engineering teams that are focused on creating social value by bringing innovative new services to market.

Our companies are being attacked by companies that were not even in the same market, very often by companies they did not even know existed.

Regarding the above article, the President of the FFII says that “Patent trolls go after the smaller companies first.” Microsoft does too.

“Asked how small software companies could compete on products that Microsoft wants to fold into Windows, [Microsoft COO Bob] Herbold told Bloomberg News they could either fight a losing battle, sell out to Microsoft or a larger company or ‘not go into business to begin with.’” -Newsweek, March 1998

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