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. Links 3/7/2015: KDE Applications 15.04.3, Ubuntu-Flavored Compute Stick

    Links for the day



  2. Patent Lawyers and Their Firms, Still Desperate to Protect the Status Quo, Manipulate the Media

    Patent lawyers are besieged by gradual tightening of patent scope and recklessly fight back (e.g. by saturating the media) to secure their revenue sources, derived from (and at the expense of) actual scientists and true market producers



  3. Amid Controversy, Political Scrutiny and Increased Media Pressure Željko Topić and Benoît Battistelli Allegedly Cancel Today's Trip to Zagreb (Croatia) Where Topić Faces Many Criminal Charges

    The Croatian press comments on the recent declaration from the Council of Europe and Topić's not-so-sterling status in his home country, where he is wanted for alleged crimes



  4. Microsoft Gradually Embraces, Extends, Extinguishes Linux Foundation as a Foundation of GNU/Linux

    By liaising with (or hijacking) existing members of the Linux Foundation, as well as by paying the Linux Foundation, Microsoft turns the Linux Foundation into somewhat of a Windows advocacy group



  5. Microsoft India Still Lobbies and Lies About Free Software in Order to Knock Down Policy That Favours Free Software

    Microsoft continues to bully Indian politicians who merely 'dare' to prefer software that India can modify, maintain, extend, audit, etc.



  6. Patent Lawyers and Corporate Media Nervous About New Patents Barrier/Reality (Less Patents on Software and Business Methods)

    The rich and the powerful, as well as their lawyers (whose job is to protect their money and power by means of government-enforced monopoly), carry on whining after the Alice case, in which many abstract patents were essentially ruled -- by extension -- invalid



  7. Translation of Pierre-Yves Le Borgn' Speech Against EPO Management and New Parliamentarian Interventions

    More political fire targeting the EPO's management, adding up to over 100 parliamentarians by now



  8. Links 2/7/2015: KDE Plasma 5.3.2, antiX 15

    Links for the day



  9. Links 1/7/2015: OpenDaylight Lithium, OpenMandriva Lx 2014.2

    Links for the day



  10. Munich Press, Münchner Merkur, Slams the Munich-based EPO

    Pressure on Benoît Battistelli to leave (or be fired) grows as the cronies whom he filled his office with have become a huge public embarrassment to the decades-old European Patent Office



  11. The Shameless Campaign to Paint/Portray Free Software as Inherently Insecure, Using Brands, Logos, and Excessive, Selective Press Coverage

    Some more FUD from firms such as Sonatype, which hope to make money by making people scared of Free/libre software



  12. National Insecurity and Blackmail, Courtesy of Microsoft

    British members of parliament (MPs) outsourced their communication to the number one PRISM company and they are paying the price for it; The US Navy's systems continue to be unbelievably insecure (Windows XP), despite access to the world's biggest nuclear arsenal



  13. Microsoft Keeps Shrinking

    As the era of shrink-wrapped software comes to an end so does Microsoft, whose effort to become a 'cloud' company with online operations has been miserable at best



  14. They 'R' Coming: More Microsoft Money for the Linux Foundation

    The problem with having Microsoft in a Linux Foundation initiative, the R Consortium



  15. Speculations About the EPO's Possible Role in DDOS Attacks

    Readers' views on who might be behind the attacks on this site amid confirmation that it's on the 'targets' list of the EPO



  16. Links 30/6/2015: Linux Mint 17.2, OpenMandriva

    Links for the day



  17. Techrights Confirmed as a Target of EPO Surveillance, With Help From Control Risks Group (CRG)

    Unveiling the cloak of secrecy from long-term surveillance by the European Patent Office (EPO) and a London-based mercenary it hired, bypassing the law



  18. Google's Fight to Keep APIs Free is Lost, Let's Hope Google Continues Fighting

    SCOTUS refuses to rule that APIs cannot be considered copyright-'protected', despite common sense and despite Java (which the case is about) being Free/libre software



  19. Patent Trolls in the Post-Alice World

    A round-up of news about patent trolls in the United States, some of whom are are doing well and some of them not as well



  20. DDOS Attacks Against Techrights

    Information about some of the most recent DDOS attacks against this Web site and the steps to be taken next



  21. The Patent System Not What it Used to be, Large Corporations and Patent Lawyers the Principal Beneficiaries

    A look at some recent patent stories and what can be deduced from them, based on statistics and trends



  22. After Intervention by the Council of Europe Comes a Detailed Summary of the Situation in the European Patent Office (EPO)





  23. IRC Proceedings: May 31st - June 27th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  24. Links 28/6/2015: Manjaro Linux Cinnamon 0.8.13, VectorLinux 7.1

    Links for the day



  25. Williamson v. Citrix Online (at CAFC) Reinforces Alice v. CLS Bank (at SCOTUS) in Crushing Software Patents

    More patent news from the United States, again serving to indicate that software patents over there are getting weak (harder to defend in court or acquire from the patent office)



  26. Proskauer Rose LLP is Cherry-Picking Cases to Make Software Patents Seem Eligible Despite Alice v. CLS Bank

    Naming and shaming those who are trying to reshape the consensus despite a rather consistent pattern of software patents being rejected



  27. IAM Biased: How IAM 'Magazine' Glorifies Patent Stockpiling

    A look at the bias of one of the most overzealous sites for and by patent lawyers



  28. PATENT Act No Longer in the News... and That's Just Fine

    Putting the PATENT Act aside for the time being, for it has little or no impact on the really problematic patents



  29. The Latest Lies From Microsoft's PR Apparatus/Public Face, Mr. Nadella

    Having spread the outrageous lie that “Microsoft loves Linux” (whilst obviously attacking it in many ways), Microsoft's CEO (essentially Bill Gates' right-hand man) says Microsoft is “one of the biggest contributors to Linux kernel” (because of proprietary software it tries to contaminate it with while violating the terms of the GPL)



  30. Microsoft Jack (Schofield) Promotes Microsoft's Proprietary Lock-in and Calls People Who Recommend Free/Libre Software 'Trolls'

    Jack Schofield, writing for a Bill Gates-funded paper despite claiming to have retired, promotes Microsoft Office and insults all those readers who do not agree with him


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