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

02.26.10

Microsoft’s Software Patents Plot Adds Panasonic; IV Critics Still React

Posted in Bill Gates, Deals, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 4:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Panasonic logo

Summary: Panasonic signs an exFAT patent deal with Microsoft, Amazon continues to abuse, and Nathan Myhrvold’s abuse of the system is still being discussed

ACCORDING to this promotional and self-congratulatory press release (in addition to Microsoft boosters [1, 2]), Microsoft does with Panasonic what it did with Funai earlier this year [1, 2, 3, 4].

Microsoft has made a second intellectual property (IP) licensing announcement this week. After announcing a cross-licensing deal with Amazon.com (which had lots of NDA stipulations), Microsoft revealed on February 25 it had struck a deal with Panasonic for its exFAT technology.

[...]

Maybe Amazon was just licensing exFAT/FAT, some argued. Sure, maybe Amazon licensed those technologies too; it’s impossible to tell, given what Microsoft disclosed and Amazon refused (or was not allowed) to discuss. But as I mentioned to some readers, when Microsoft is simply licensing exFAT/FAT, it calls that out specifically in the release, even if the licensee isn’t talking about how/what they plan to do with the technology.

In Amazon’s case, Microsoft called out the fact Amazon is using open-source technology (Linux, specifically) in the Kindle and on its back-end servers. Some open-source backers said they believed Microsoft did this to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) to hurt Linux.

Regarding Amazon’s patent deal with Microsoft [1, 2, 3], there is another new development justifying boycott of Amazon, which is one of the notable abusers of the USPTO (and patent offices in other countries too, Canada for example). Amazon is clearly part of the problem.

How Hard Is It To Realize That One-Click Buying Doesn’t Deserve A Patent?

[...]

Amazon and Jeff Bezos (who a decade ago was a founder of a project to bust bogus patents) have aggressively fought to keep the patent alive. And so we’ve now entered the fifth year of the review process, which seems to involve some rather annoyed USPTO patent examiners, who are fed up with what appears to be Amazon simply dumping busywork on the examiners to avoid a final rejection of the patent.

In light of Microsoft’s latest intimidation against GNU/Linux (waving of the Amazon deal), one person writes the following, referring to the i4i case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12].

You can imagine my laughter when Microsoft was declared by the courts to have violated a patent in their OOXML file formats. The patent owners, i4i of Canada, asked the courts to have Microsoft remove the features that were found to be in violation of i4i’s patents.

Now, what about all the customers that chose to use Microsoft’s Office product just to get the OOXML feature? If they suffer loss because of this Microsoft compensate them? What about the documents they created with OOXML, will they have to be converted? What about the people that refuse to let Microsoft remove the patent violating code to protect their investments and documents? Could i4i sue them?

Then there is Microsoft's patent troll Nathan Myhrvold, whose extortion racket we explained and shed light on earlier this week [1, 2]. Other people — including patent lawyers — have something to say (well, usually complain) about this patent troll and TechDirt cites a lawyer as follows:

Sawyer also points out that, contrary to claims of the system’s supporters, that “having a patent doesn’t mean that you really invented anything, or that the person you’re suing would actually infringe in a rational world.” Some of you may have seen some of the regular commenters here claim that there the only way to prove you’ve invented something is if you get a patent on it — and that anyone accused of infringing has clearly “stolen” the idea. Neither of those things are true. What Sawyer is pointing out is that getting a patent is just a sign that you were able to convince the USPTO (through a “pseudo-adversarial administrative procedure”) that you deserved such a monopoly privilege. It doesn’t mean you actually invented anything — and it certainly doesn’t mean you’ve done anything to promote the progress or innovation in general.

Summarising the above, the president of the FFII adds that “patent trolls are financed by traditional investment banks and hedge funds,” but even some VCs have no faith in software patents, based on another post from TechDirt (published a day beforehand):

VC Explains How Damaging Software Patents Can Be

Despite claims that no VCs would ever invest in companies without patents, we’ve been seeing more and more VCs moving over to the side of recognizing that patents are more often hindering their portfolio companies rather than helping them — and these are some of the most respected VCs around these days. Brad Burnham, who has already called for an independent invention defense for patents has responded to Nathan Myhrvold’s ongoing campaign to legitimize patent shakedowns.

It is worth emphasising that this whole debate started because of Microsoft’s patent troll who was running amok with an extortion racket. This shows just how much of a problem Microsoft has become to scientists and developers. It retards more than just the field of software right now and so does Bill Gates.

“Software patents have been nothing but trouble for innovation. We the software engineers know this, yet we actually have full-blown posters in our break-room showcasing the individual engineers who came up with something we were able to push through the USPTO. Individually, we pretty much all consider the software-patent showcase poster to be a colossal joke.” —Kelledin, PLI: State Street Overruled… PERIOD

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. Inverting Narratives: IAM 'Magazine' Paints Massive Patent Bully Microsoft (Preying on the Weak) as a Defender of the Powerless

    Selective coverage and deliberate misinterpretation of Microsoft's tactics (patent settlement under threat, disguised as "pre-installation of some of the US company’s software products") as seen in IAM almost every week these days



  2. The Sickness of the EPO – Part I: Motivation for New Series of Articles

    An introduction or prelude to a long series of upcoming posts, whose purpose is to show governance by coercion, pressure, retribution and tribalism rather than professional relationship between human beings at the European Patent Office (EPO)



  3. Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part VII: EPO Hypocrisy on Cancer and Lack of Feedback to and From ECPC

    The European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC), which calls itself "the largest European cancer patients' umbrella organisation," fails to fulfill its duties, says a source of ours, and the EPO makes things even worse



  4. Links 21/2/2017: KDE Plasma 5.9.2 in Chakra GNU/Linux, pfSense 2.3.3

    Links for the day



  5. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's Wall

    Battistelli's solution to everything at the EPO is exclusion and barriers



  6. The 'New' Microsoft is Still Acting Like a Dangerous Cult in an Effort to Hijack and/or Undermine All Free/Open Source Software

    In an effort to combat any large deployment of non-Microsoft software, the company goes personal and attempts to overthrow even management that is not receptive to Microsoft's agenda



  7. PTAB Petitioned to Help Against Patent Troll InfoGation Corp., Which Goes After Linux/Android OEMs in China

    A new example of software patents against Free software, or trolls against companies that are distributing freedom-respecting software from a country where these patents are not even potent (they don't exist there)



  8. Links 20/2/2017: Linux 4.10, LineageOS Milestone

    Links for the day



  9. No, Doing Mathematical Operations on a Processor Does Not Make Algorithms Patent-Eligible

    Old and familiar tricks -- a method for tricking examiners into the idea that algorithms are actual machines -- are being peddled by Watchtroll again



  10. Paid-for UPC Proponent, IAM 'Magazine', Debunked on UPC Again

    The impact of the corrupted (by EPO money) media goes further than one might expect and even 'borrows' out-of-date news in order to promote the UPC



  11. Lack of Justice in and Around the EPO Drawing Scrutiny

    The status of the EPO as an entity above the law (in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and so on) is becoming the subject of press reports and staff is leaving in large numbers



  12. Links 19/2/2017: GParted 0.28.1, LibreOffice Donations Record

    Links for the day



  13. The EPO is Becoming an Embarrassment to Europe and a Growing Threat to the European Union

    The increasingly pathetic moves by Battistelli and the ever-declining image/status of the EPO (only 0% of polled stakeholders approve Battistelli's management) is causing damage to the reputation of the European Union, even if the EPO is not a European Union organ but an international one



  14. Patent Misconceptions Promoted by the Patent Meta-Industry

    Cherry-picking one's way into the perception of patent eligibility for software and the misguided belief that without patents there will be no innovation



  15. As the United States Shuts Its Door on Low-Quality Patents the Patent Trolls Move to Asia

    Disintegration of Intellectual Ventures (further shrinkage after losing software patents at CAFC), China's massive patent bubble, and Singapore's implicit invitation/facilitation of patent trolls (bubble economy)



  16. Links 17/2/2017: Wine 2.2, New Ubuntu LTS

    Links for the day



  17. Bad Advice From Mintz Levin and Bejin Bieneman PLC Would Have People Believe That Software Patents Are Still Worth Pursuing

    The latest examples of misleading articles which, in spite of the avalanche of software patents in the United States, continue to promote these



  18. Patents Are Not Property, They Are a Monopoly, and They Are Not Owned But Temporarily Granted

    Patent maximalism and distortion of concepts associated with patents tackled again, for terminology is being hijacked by those who turned patents into their "milking cows"



  19. SoftBank Group, New Owner of ARM, Could Potentially Become (in Part) a Patent Troll or an Aggressor Like Qualcomm

    SoftBank grabbed headlines (in the West at least) when it bought ARM, but will it soon grab headlines for going after practicing companies using a bunch of patents that it got from Inventergy, ARM, and beyond?



  20. Technicolor, Having Turned Into a Patent Troll, Attacks Android/Tizen/Linux With Patents in Europe

    Technicolor, which a lot of the media portrayed as a patent troll in previous years (especially after it had sued Apple, HTC and Samsung), is now taking action against Samsung in Europe (Paris, Dusseldorf and Mannheim)



  21. Michelle Lee is Still “in Charge” of the US Patent System

    Contrary to a malicious whispering campaign against Lee (a coup attempt, courtesy of patent maximalists who make a living from mass litigation), she is still in charge of the USPTO



  22. Our Assessment: EPO Wants a Lot of Low-Quality Patents and Low-Paid Staff With UPC (Prosecution Galore)

    The European Patent Office seems to be less interested in examination and more interested in facilitating overzealous prosecution all across Europe and beyond; The Administrative Council has shown no signs that it is interested in profound changes, except those proposed by Battistelli in the face of growing resistance from staff and from ordinary stakeholders



  23. Links 16/2/2017: HITMAN for GNU/Linux, Go 1.8

    Links for the day



  24. Yet More Complaints About the European Patent Office in the Bavarian Regional Government

    Some German politicians do care about the welfare of EPO staff, a lot more so than the EPO's management that is actively crushing this staff



  25. EPO Staff Representatives to Escalate Complaint About Severe Injustices to the EPO's Secretive Board 28

    In a new letter to President Benoît Battistelli it is made abundantly apparent -- however politely -- that Battistelli's gross abuses could further complicate things for Battistelli, who is already embroiled in a fight with his predecessor, Roland Grossenbacher



  26. New Survey Reveals That High Patent Quality, or Elimination of Bad Patents, is Desirable to Patent Holders

    A new survey from Bloomberg BNA and AIPLA reveals that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which still grows in prominence, is supported by people who have themselves gotten patents (not those who are in the bureaucracy of patents and self-serving politics)



  27. Open Patent Office is Not the Solution; Ending Software Patents is the Solution

    Our remarks about the goals and methods of the newly-established Open Patent Office and what is instead needed in order to combat the menace that threatens software development



  28. New Scholarly Paper Says “UK’s Withdrawal From the EU Could Mean That the Entire (Unitary Patent) System Will Not Go Into Effect”

    A paper from academics -- not from the patent microcosm (for a change) -- provides a more sobering interpretation, suggesting quite rightly that the UPC can't happen in the UK (or in Europe), or simply not endure if some front groups such as CIPA somehow managed to bamboozle politicians into it (ratification in haste, before the facts are known)



  29. Patent Trolls Update: Rodney Gilstrap Maintains His Support for Trolls, MPEG-LA Goes Hunting in China, and Blackberry Hits Nokia

    A roundup of the latest news about patent trolls and what they are up to in the United States, Europe, and Asia



  30. Guest Post: EPO, an Idyllic Place to Work

    The true face of the EPO as explained by an insider, recalling the history that led to the negative image and toxic work atmosphere


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