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

01.21.10

Microsoft Attacks Linux-powered Devices with Patents Once Again, Unprovoked

Posted in Courtroom, Deception, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Mono at 7:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

TiVo

Summary: TiVo is preemptively sued by Microsoft for alleged patent violation and Microsoft’s PR puts together some lies to disguise the real cause

Microsoft publicly insisted that it’s not suing anyone with patents, unless that someone happens to sue Microsoft first. Microsoft lied however; we know this because of cases such as Primax [1, 2, 3] and even TomTom, where Microsoft took a direct hit to intimidate Linux distributors.

Now, to be fair, TiVo is a patent aggressor which has been suing with software patents [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], but still, Microsoft was never targeted by TiVo. Nevertheless, Microsoft is suing TiVo, though it has nothing to do with Linux* based on Groklaw’a quick and detailed analysis. To quote portions:

That’s, in my view, Microsoft spin, that it’s doing this to help out AT&T. I would describe it more like this: remember when SCO sued AutoZone for using Linux in its business? AutoZone didn’t write Linux. It just used it. So SCO sued an end user. Similarly, TiVo is suing AT&T. But AT&T didn’t write Microsoft Mediaroom, the implicated software. Microsoft did. So naturally, AT&T has demanded that Microsoft indemnify AT&T, and so here comes Microsoft, essentially defending itself, because if AT&T loses, it’s Microsoft who has to shell out the bucks.

[...]

In short, the PR version is that Microsoft is defending AT&T as a Good Samaritan. The reality as I read this is the Microsoft is defending itself, because if AT&T loses, Microsoft faces having to pay yet another pile of bucks for having infringed someone’s patent, just like what just happened to it in the i4i v. Microsoft patent case Microsoft lost and is appealing. That is what is at stake in this picture. You can see that very clearly in footnote 1 on that same page:

1 If TiVo is willing to state on the record that it is not accusing and will not accuse the software used in the U-verse product and/or service, including any aspect of Microsoft Mediaroom, of infringing the TiVo patents, intervention by Microsoft would be unnecessary.

[...]

So, this isn’t about helping out a friend. This is about Microsoft selling software that someone is claiming is patent infringing. Again. AT&T is just using Microsoft Mediaroom. That’s why when it got sued, it called up Microsoft. So Microsoft is defending itself. You have to hand it to its PR people, though. They get their spin in print.

[...]

In short, friends, this story has absolutely nothing to do with Linux. I knew you’d wonder, because that was my first thought, too, that maybe this was another TomTom. It’s not. And as for TiVo, TiVo may use Linux in its business, but it has not shown any inclination to adopt FOSS values. Linux folks don’t sue people over patents. Some of us remember the GPLv3 discussions, and I’d say we nailed it.

It doesn’t matter if Microsoft lies about the motives; the press blindly believes anything that PR departments are saying, so reality is suddenly an illusion and “war is peace”, as the famous line goes. Almost everyone — including The Register, Joseph Tartakoff and the business press — repeats the same Microsoft talking points:

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is suing TiVo Inc. (TIVO) as part of a broader attempt to provide legal cover for partner AT&T Inc. (T).

Microsoft late Tuesday filed a suit against TiVo in a San Francisco federal court, claiming that the Alviso, Calif., maker of digital video recorders illegally uses technology related to purchasing and delivering video and the ability to display programming information. Both are seen as an attempt to counter an earlier suit filed by TiVo against AT&T, which uses Microsoft’s technology in its television service. Microsoft on Friday requested to intervene in the case on AT&T’s behalf.

Microsoft is standing up for AT&T because the telecommunications company is the largest, and most influential, customer of its Internet video platform. When AT&T chose to go with an Internet-based TV service, it opted to work with Microsoft, which powers the video delivery platform, as well as the digital video recording technology. As a result, it feels the need to shoulder the legal burden for AT&T.

Here is Slashdot discussing this, as well as Microsoft sites:

Microsoft has filed a patent-infringement case against TiVo in one federal court and asked to intervene in a dispute between TiVo and AT&T in another federal court — setting the stage for a legal battle over some of the most popular features used to watch television on digital video recorders.

But they are wrong. That’s just Microsoft’s excuse, for the reasons given above.

In any event, as Microsoft goes patent lawsuits-happy, it is possibly repeating the mistakes of old Apple. TechDirt has a short new essay about it, titled “When Declining To Enforce Your Intellectual Property Rights Strengthens Your Market Position”

Over the years we’ve shown many examples of times when it makes much more business sense not to enforce your intellectual property rights, but reader Jerry Leichter sends in another example.

The fact that Microsoft is suing everyone with patents confirms what Jeremy Allison has just said; Microsoft is in trouble, and like any cornered animal in this type of situation, it is attacking. Only a Microsoft MVP [1, 2, 3] would trust Microsoft at this stage.
_____
* This causes damage to Linux only indirectly, as without TiVo there would be less Linux use. According to Comes vs Microsoft exhibits, Microsoft wants to plant .NET/Mono in devices like TiVo (because of software patent royalties).

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. Web Site 'Patent Progress' Now Officially 'Powered by CCIA' (FRAND Proponent, Microsoft Front)

    After talking a job at CCIA, "Patent Progress" and its chief author should be treated as dubious on real patent progress



  2. Articles About the Death of Software Patents in the United States

    Recent coverage of software patents and their demise in their country of origin, where even proponents of software patents are giving up



  3. The Death of Software Patents is Already Killing Some Major Patent Trolls

    VirnetX seems to be the latest victim of the demise of software patents in the United States



  4. More Microsoft Layoffs

    More Microsoft layoffs go ahead as the company is unable to compete



  5. ODF on the Rise

    Milestones for OpenDocument Format (ODF) and the launch of FixMyDocuments



  6. Links 17/9/2014: CoreOS, ChromeOS, and systemd

    Links for the day



  7. Italy is Cracking Down on Microsoft's Monopoly Abuse While Gradually Moving to GNU/Linux

    Italy is not only moving to Free/Open Source software but also to GNU/Linux while at the same time barring Microsoft from forcibly tying Windows to new PCs



  8. OpenSUSE's 'Assurances' Are Classic MBA School Hogwash

    OpenSUSE is not part of any commitment, except for SUSE's; the impact of the Novell/SUSE acquisition casts uncertainty on the project's future



  9. Links 16/9/2014: Firefox OS Smartphones in Bangladesh, “Treasure Map” of the Internet

    Links for the day



  10. The United Kingdom Should Dump Microsoft For the Sake of National Security

    The UK has issues of Microsoft dependency and Windows viruses; its migration to Free software and GNU/Linux is not fast enough to guard its autonomy in the age of digital imperialism



  11. CBS Hires Even More Microsoft Staff to Cover Microsoft Matters

    CBS continues to be infested with Microsoft staff past and present (this time Dave Johnson) and the bias in output is quite revealing



  12. Microsoft Has Just Killed Minecraft for GNU/Linux and the Possibility of Free/Open Source Releases

    Persson sells out to Microsoft and lets the abusive monopolist destroy the popular cross-platform game that a community has been built around



  13. Another Reason to Boycott Intel UEFI

    More anti-competitive aspects are revealed inside UEFI, which helps merginalise GNU/Linux



  14. Quick Mention: Novell and SUSE Passed to Microsoft's 'Partner of the Year', Microsoft Focus

    Novell is changing hands again, and falling into the hands of even more Microsoft-friendly actors



  15. Links 16/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC5, KDE Frameworks 5.2.0

    Links for the day



  16. Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Patent Office (EPO): Part II

    Part II of our look into the EPO appointment of Željko Topić and other matters showing the dubious integrity of the EPO



  17. Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  18. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day



  19. Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

    Links for the day



  20. Links 10/9/2014: Brian Stevens in Google, Ubuntu 14.10 Expectations

    Links for the day



  21. Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

    Links for the day



  22. Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

    Links for the day



  23. Suspicion of High-Level Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO): Part I

    The European Patent Office (EPO) Vice-President has a background of corruption and his appointment to the EPO too is believed to be reliant on systemic corruption



  24. Links 6/9/2014: Core OS at DigitalOcean, Women in Xorg

    Links for the day



  25. Software Patents 'Quality' Debated in Courts, Microsoft's Biggest Patent Troll Still a Chronic Liar

    Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's and Bill Gates' largest patent proxy, continues to spread lies about its motivations, claiming that patent assessment is among the goals when in fact only the courts and patent offices do this



  26. New Article Explains How Bill Gates Prevents Schools From Moving to GNU/Linux and Free Software

    A new article from Al Jazeera provides details about the role of so-called 'charities' of billionaires inside school systems



  27. Microsoft Sued for Large-scale Copyright Abuses

    Microsoft reveals its disregard for copyright law which it loves so much to wield as a weapon against its competition and clients



  28. Links 5/9/2014: New WordPress, Systemd Debate Continues

    Links for the day



  29. 'Embrace and Extend' at Microsoft: The New Generation

    Some of the latest examples of Microsoft's predatory acts against Free software and against competition in general, disguised as acts of friendliness



  30. Bill Gates' God Complex: Common Core a One-Man Campaign of Greed and Control

    The push for Common Core is overwhelmingly dominated by Bill Gates, who intimidates and even resorts to retribution against critics while bribing those who help him accomplish the goal of privatised (for his private profit) indoctrination in US schools


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