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

01.23.10

Microsoft Takes a Hit at Linux with More FAT Patents; John Ward, John Olivo, and McKool Assist Some More Patent Trolling

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Protocol, Samba, Ubuntu at 4:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Urgent need to put an end to Microsoft and the trolls

Summary: Microsoft’s software patent war on Linux carries on, albeit very quietly; a patent troll represented by McKool Smith and Ward & Olivo strikes (quite massively too)

UBUNTU has been mostly apathetic when it comes to Mono and Moonlight problems, so it is good to see that Canonical’s technical chief gets a lecturing from Dr. Tridgell, whose warnings about software patents we have already mentioned (right after his talk at LCA 2010).

Matt Zimmerman writes

Andrew Tridgell: Patent defence for free software

I missed the start of this talk, but when I arrived, Andrew was explaining how to read and interpret patent claims. This is even less obvious than one might suppose. He offered advice on which parts to read first, and which could be disregarded or referred to only as needed.

Invalidating a patent entirely is difficult, but because patents are interpreted very narrowly, inventions can often be shown to be “different enough” from the patented one.

Where “workarounds” are found, which enable free software to interoperate or solve a problem in a different way than described in a patent, Andrew says it is important to publish them far and wide. This helps to discourage patent holders from attacking free software, because the discovery and publication of a workaround could lead to them losing all of their revenue from the patent (as their licensees could adopt that instead and stop paying for licenses).

Tridgell’s colleague, Jeremy Allison, has just warned about this as well (also at LCA 2010). He previously advised Ubuntu to move Mono and Mono-based applications to the ‘restricted’ repositories [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. His take on OOXML was seen as noteworthy and some would say prophetic.

Dana Blankenhorn wrote about Allison’s talk as follows:

Open source evangelist Jeremy Allison was in New Zealand yesterday, where he issued dire warnings of Microsoft launching a patent attack against open source to win back mobile market share. (Picture from Wikipedia.)

Allison, who famously quit Novell after it announced its patent pact with Microsoft, told a Linux conference in Wellington that Microsoft has to go to court or Windows Mobile is dead. He called a patent fight its “nuclear option.”

Allison is in the business of having no choice but to mimic or comply with a Microsoft protocol. The European Commission is on his side thanks to an exclusive resolution which came after a decade of fighting against Microsoft (which must now comply with the law or heavy pay fines, so it’s not a case of playing nice with Samba).

Let’s remind ourselves that Microsoft sued TomTom over filesystems in Linux. Andrew Tridgell personally suffered from this (he eventually posted a patch enabling Linux to work around the VFAT patents) and the FAT crusade continues as Microsoft signed a patent deal with Funai (for exFAT) a few days ago. Novell’s deal with Microsoft is mentioned in this new article about Funai:

Microsoft inks patent deal with LCD builder

[...]

Microsoft has a long history of signing high-profile patent sharing deals. The company’s landmark 2006 deal with Novell sent shockwaves through the open source industry, and the firm has signed similar deals with Brother, Kyocera and Nikon.

See our posts about Tuxera in order to understand Microsoft’s plan to tax GNU/Linux through filesystems (to begin with). It all started with Novell, which came to Microsoft looking for a deal.

A few days ago Microsoft sued TiVo. Asay (formerly of Novell) writes:

As Red Hat evangelist Jan Wildeboer suggests,

The 6,008,803 patent…looks very broad. Might affect all kinds of media center [software]. So also Linux apps. The real question is, “Which Linux media center app infringes on Tivo patents?

In other words, we’re not out of the woods yet, though it does appear that Microsoft’s interest is in supporting the largest customer of its Mediaroom software, not in undermining Linux. Not this time, anyway.

Microsoft appears to have lied about its interests though. Moreover, as we explained the other day, any attack on TiVo — whether it targets Linux or not — can lessen the usage of Linux by weakening TiVo.

From the comments on this: “More reason to detest Microsoft, just wonderful…. Microsoft needs to be dismantled.”

In other patent news, watch what McKool and Ward are up to:

McKool’s promotional material doesn’t emphasize its work for FotoMedia, a patent-holding company whose only apparent business is filing infringement lawsuits. As part of its litigation campaign, FotoMedia has been demanding royalty payments from more than 60 companies with photo-sharing websites. The McKool lawyer in charge of the FotoMedia cases was not available for interviews on Friday, and FotoMedia has not responded to TPA interview requests in the past. FotoMedia is also represented by John Ward & Olivo, a firm out of New York that frequently represents patent-holding companies.

[...]

FotoMedia is a patent-holding company that claims just about every photo-sharing website you can imagine infringes its three patents. Its lawsuits, covered by TPA last May and June, are notable not just for the audacity of the claims they make, but also because they target dozens of small- and medium-sized software companies that provide various types of photo-sharing services over the Internet.

Disgusting. Patent trolls and parasites, including FotoMedia which we mentioned here before. Their site lists not a single product and their job openings are just “for an experienced candidate to join the licensing team of FotoMedia’s parent company, Scenera Research, as a Patent Analyst/Engineer.”

Got that? It says “licensing team… Patent Analyst/Engineer.”

A “licensing team” is basically a bunch of racketeers like Sisvel [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12] and Microsoft. What the hell is a Patent Engineer? A fancy terminology for a lawyer?

We wrote about McKool Smith in [1, 2, 3]. As for Ward, he is working for patent trolls and suing critics (and their employers [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]). According to this, he’s also pumping money into politics (assuming it’s him). These people should not be allowed in this business if innovation is the real goal. They are leeches and Ray Niro is probably the nastiest of all of them [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8].

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

2 Comments

  1. fi cal said,

    January 24, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Gravatar

    Forgot to comment this earlier on, but here comes:

    I asked in a comment from Mikko Välimäki / Tuxera about exFAT issue after he announced he’s stopping taking in new clients as a lawyer and said he will start as CEO in Tuxera during spring.

    Google seems to translate it quite understandably, so please see this -

    http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.turre.com%2F2009%2F12%2Fkonsultista-tuotefirman-vetajaksi%2F&sl=fi&tl=en

    Original url: http://www.turre.com/2009/12/konsultista-tuotefirman-vetajaksi/

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Thanks, I’ve just read it. Can you please explain what we can infer from it?

What Else is New


  1. More French Politicians Are Complaining That Benoît Battistelli is a Disgrace to France and Urge for Action

    The backlash against Battistelli spills well outside the EPO and is now apparent even at the French National Assembly



  2. Links 3/12/2016: Mageia 5.1 Released, Mozilla Revenue at $421.3M

    Links for the day



  3. Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) Sees Decline in Patent Applications and It May Actually be a Good Thing

    Challenging the false belief that the more patents society has the better off it will be, citing examples and news from north America



  4. Blockchain Domain Infested With Software Patents, MasterCard Among the Culprits

    Worrying signs that an area of Free/Open Source software innovation is getting impacted by the plague of software patents



  5. Dutch Media Covers Latest EPO Scandals, German Media Totally Absent (a Media Blackout of Convenience)

    Our observations regarding the apparent media disinterest in EPO scandals, especially at the very core of the EPO (principal host country)



  6. Relocating the Boards of Appeal to Haar is a Poisonous Priority at Battistelli's EPO

    Revisiting Battistelli's effort to chop off the appeal boards that are necessary for ensuring patent quality at the EPO



  7. Links 2/12/2016: Mint Betas, Chrome 55, KDevelop 5.0.3, PHP 7.1.0

    Links for the day



  8. The Rule of Law and Justice Don't Exist Inside the EPO, Confirms the International Labour Organisation (ILO)

    Further analysis of the latest rulings from the ILO -- decisions that were long expected



  9. A Day in the Life of... Battistelli's Banana Republic

    This is part 5 of a fictional diary from the EPO



  10. Links 1/12/2016: Devuan Beta, R3 Liberates Code

    Links for the day



  11. Two ILO Decisions on EPO Cases Are Released, at Least One Judgment is Considered Good for Staff

    Years later (as justice is too slow, partly because of the EPO, being the principal culprit that clogs up the ILO's tribunal system) there is a couple of new judgments about EPO abuses against staff



  12. Dutch and French Politicians Complain About the European Patent Office, British Media Coverage Regular Now

    Pressure from the political systems, the scientific community and from the media is growing, as it becomes abundantly apparent that the EPO cannot go on like this



  13. Links 30/11/2016: Git 2.11, GOG Surprise Tomorrow

    Links for the day



  14. The UPC Scam Part IV: Bumps Along the Road for UPC, With or Without the UK and Brexit

    A sobering reality check regarding the UPC, no matter what Lucy Neville-Rolfe says under pressure from Battistelli and some selfish law firms that are based in London



  15. The UPC Scam Part III: The “Patent Mafia”

    Bigwigs like Lucy Neville-Rolfe and Benoît Battistelli, together with Team UPC and its tiny minority interests (self enrichment), are conspiring to hijack the laws of Europe, doing so across many national borders with unique and locally-steered patent policy in one fell swoop



  16. The UPC Scam Part II: The Patent Echo Chamber at Work, Prematurely Congratulating Itself in Its 'News' Sites





  17. The UPC Scam Part I: EPO-Bribed Media Outlets Lie to Brits (and to Europeans) About the UPC

    An introductory article in a multi-part series about UPC at times of Brexit and Lucy Neville-Rolfe's bizarre sellout to Battistelli



  18. European Public Service Union Asks EPO Administrative Council “to Re-establish the Rule of Law at the European Patent Office”

    The chinchillas of the Administrative Council are assertively asked to tackle the abusive management of the EPO, which gets condemned not only by CERN but also EPSU, which is working with the Dutch government to end lawlessness at the EPO



  19. Links 29/11/2016: Core Apps Hackfest, MuckRock Goes FOSS

    Links for the day



  20. ILOAT Decisions: Upcoming Publication of Two EPO Cases (Abuse Against Staff)

    Reminder about tomorrow's "exceptional public delivery" from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and a request for additional information



  21. Mixing Politics and EPO: How Battistelli Defies the Very Basic Rules of the Office

    A reminder of the fact that Battistelli was entrenched in French politics even while he was serving at the EPO



  22. EPO DG1 Principal Director “Out of the Muppet Show”

    The ridicule of EPO management is a symptom of a poisonous work environment which now resembles an assembly line of bad patents, where employees are treated unfairly, severely, and in clear defiance of labour laws



  23. Learning From the Mistakes of the US Patent System (and More Latterly China) When Assessing Patent Maximalism

    The warning signs coming both from the East and from the West, demonstrating the pitfalls of a policy too permissive on patents and thus on litigation



  24. The International Labour Organisation Once Again Proves Useless for Labour of the EPO

    The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is once again failing too serve justice, instead just sending complaints elsewhere, in effect into a black hole



  25. CERN Slams the European Patent Office for Abuse of Employees

    The European Organisation for Nuclear Research known as CERN is openly condemning EPO management and the Administrative Council for violation of human/labour rights, not to mention the other abuses that are rampant under Battistelli's notorious regime



  26. Links 28/11/2016: X-Plane 11 Beta, Early Work For C++20, Microsoft Hole in RHEL

    Links for the day



  27. Patents Roundup: Patent Trolls, Patent Quality, and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”)

    A week's roundup of patent news from the United States, where there's a mixture of good news, bad news, good reporting, and misleading (or selective) reporting



  28. Patent Attorney Mark Summerfield: EPO Administrative Council “Members Should be Ashamed.”

    A recent comment about Battistelli's misbehaviour and the Administrative Council's utter failure to get a grip on him



  29. EPO Caricature: Slowing Down Justice and Giving Luxury Cars as Gifts

    The latest cartoon making the rounds is about SLAPP and alleged bribery in Croatia (more on that soon)



  30. Director Lee's USPTO Managed to Drain the Swamp Filled by David Kappos and His Colleagues, But Trump Will Likely Dismiss Her Soon

    Just as the USPTO begins to get its act together and limit patent scope based on reasonably liberal SCOTUS Justices there are many reports suggesting that the Director of the USPTO will be driven out, courtesy of the Trump presidency that will also perturb SCTOUS


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