Summary: People who care about GNU/Linux at Novell are not exactly overlooking the reality of Singer’s “vulture fund”
WE have found some analyses that seem to agree with what we wrote earlier today about the bid for Novell [1, 2, 3]. Here is a prominent OpenSUSE user calling Elliott a “Vulture Fund” over in IDG:
The stock market reaction to the offer was predictable: Novell’s stock surged 27 percent right after the news broke, and it should stay strong for a while until the market figures out if this is a Good Thing.
The Linux community hasn’t raised a big fuss, though I suspect they’re still absorbing the news. I know I am, for my part. In particular, I am wondering what will happen to Novell if they accept this unsolicited bid?
Here is what SJVN wrote in IDG:
Some people in the know, like Canonical’s COO Matt Asay think this deal could work for SUSE. In his view, Elliot would do well to sell off Novell’s Linux division.
I wish I could agree with him, but I looked at Elliot Associates’ past history of taking “an activist approach to investing, frequently amassing significant but minority stakes in distressed or under performing companies and attempting to foment change,” and I don’t like what I see.
Elliot Associates is best known as a ‘vulture fund.’ They don’t make investments to turn companies around. They make investments to crush the cash out of them and then leave the picked over bones for someone else to pick up.
Andy Updegrove, a lawyer, calls it a “Game of Cat and Mouse”.
I haven’t seen any article yet, though, that describes in detail how the high stakes game of tender offers is played, and how the usual process maps (and doesn’t) to a high tech company like Novell. So I thought I’d provide an overview for those that haven’t had occasion to follow a tender offer in the past, and also my thoughts on what may happen over the next several months in this particular game of cat and mouse.
So here goes.
The tender offer game: First up, let’s talk about how the standard drama plays out. It starts with the acquiror trying to pick up as much stock as possible on the sly before it comes out of the closet. That’s because once word gets out that the company (referred to as the “target”) is “in play,” the stock will go up. So the acquiror wants to build as big as stake as possible at the cheapest price it can.
But the securities regulators have long realized that this presents two problems: first, the sellers will feel cheated if they later find out they sold at a steep discount to what others get a short while later, and second, the acquiror will vote all the shares it picks up in favor of the acquisition. So the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires any company that acquires more than 5% of the stock in a public company to make a public filing disclosing that ownership and its intentions.
That filing is made on form 14D, and it must be regularly updated as the acquiror’s ownership percentage changes, and as its intentions change. When an acquiror files a 14D, it could affirmatively state that it has no intentions of making a tender offer. Depending on the acquiror, that statement might be credible, or it might be viewed with suspicion. But if it affirmatively states that it intends to make a tender offer, or is keeping its options open, then the word spreads – fast.
Novell’s stock may be rising (the valuation of Novell’s assets is discussed at IDG), but that’s not the point. As Chips B. Malroy explains, “If Singer acquires Novell for 1.8 billion, the causal bid, and Novell has 991 million is cash, Singer is only paying 809 million actually. Singer has lowballed the bid, in hope another company will come in and bid more, so that drives up the price of the 8.5% that Elliot already has, profit, short term, mission accomplished. But if that doesn’t happen, and Novell will surely reject the bid, wait for some minor setback in the SCO case, or the next quarterly results from Novell, something bad, and then, true to form, Elliot will reoffer at a lower bid. That is Singer’s modus operandi. By doing this, he causes the stock to tank, so he can buy more cheaply.”
“Singer has lowballed the bid, in hope another company will come in and bid more, so that drives up the price of the 8.5% that Elliot already has, profit, short term, mission accomplished.”
–Chips B. MalroyWe have already learned that lesson from Carl Icahn. Malroy comments further on “what Singer will do to Novell, should [he] buy it. He will get rid of almost all top management, and most of middle management. Stop all R&R mostly. Stop and or sell any parts of the company not profitable (and transfer the 991 million to Elliot first).”
Perhaps the only positive side is that Mono junk like Banshee can suffer from a takeover of Novell. As we pointed out last week, Novell no longer contributes much to Linux anyway. █
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Summary: Microsoft to be paid for Linux-powered products from I-O Data and Apple wants ‘Linux tax’ (from Android) too
SOFTWARE PATENTS are not illegal in Japan (it’s one of the very few countries that accept them rather than except them), but Microsoft continues to refuse to tell what makes its racketeering justified (see the Amazon deal for example [1, 2, 3, 4]).
Sanyo, which is based in Japan, is one of the companies that fell for exFAT, but what patents does I-O Data think that it’s paying Microsoft for? It will not tell. And so Microsoft’s extortion carries on:
This time it says “Linux” in the title of the press release from Microsoft. They get more and more aggressive all the time, deal after deal.
REDMOND, Wash. and KANAZAWA, Japan, March 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Microsoft Corp. and I-O Data Device Inc. have entered into an agreement that will provide I-O Data’s customers with patent coverage for their use of I-O Data’s products running Linux and other related open source software.
Here is the coverage so far:
• I-O Data takes up Microsoft patent license
• Microsoft In Linux Software Patent Deal
Redmond-based Microsoft Corp. said late Wednesday that it is in a deal with Japanese firm I-O Data Device Inc., where it will provide I-O Data’s customers patent coverage for their use of I-O Data’s products running Linux and other open source software. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, however, the firms said that I-O Data is compensating Microsoft for the IP coverage. Microsoft has been inking a number of deals with companies–many of them network attached storage providers like I-O Data–over possible patent violations in Linux.
• Microsoft Provides Patent Coverage for Linux-Based Devices from I-O Data
• Microsoft embraces another Linux company
• Microsoft, I-O Data in patent deal
• Microsoft licenses Linux software to Japanese firm
• Microsoft’s Linux Patent Scare Trumps SCO
Just this week, Microsoft convinced Japanese hardware vendor I-O Data to sign up for Microsoft patent licensing to protect against Linux patent issues. Over the last three years Microsoft has been successful at getting multiple vendors including Amazon, Novell, Brother International Corp, Fuji Xerox Co. Ltd, Kyocera Mita Corp., LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and TomTom International BV to buy into their argument that they need protection from Linux patent infringement.
SCO was never that successful.
Time and again, people in the open source community have asked that Microsoft lay their patents on the table so that Linux vendors could deal with Microsoft’s concerns. To date Microsoft has not done so.
So why has Microsoft succeeded where SCO failed when it comes to Linux patents?
• Microsoft and I-O Data Sign Linux Patent Deal
This is similar to the deal with Melco, which Microsoft reportedly sued in order to extort.
Microsoft seeks to normalise unthinkable extortion and it needs to be stopped. Where are companies like IBM hiding when this extortion is happening? Don’t they see it as a duty to challenge this? Well, some of these companies like IBM and Google quietly support software patents, but with this conspiracy of silence they continue to hurt Linux, and especially Free software.
Microsoft’s attack on Linux is now joined by Apple’s attack on Android [1, 2, 3]. They both use software patents and make a lot of people very angry, including (former) supporters of themselves. Even Apple enthusiasts are left with a bad taste.
There are two aspects surrounding Apple’s patent litigation against HTC that demand further consideration. First, the severe problems with the U.S. patent system as a whole, particularly with regard to software patents. Second, the strategic implications of Apple’s decision to file suit.
Apple is challenging the whole of Android (and to an extent Linux too), as one member of the FFII put it. “Apple is a public danger that use[s] software patents to suppress competition,” says FFII’s president.
Most software and Internet firms have pledged not to sue unless someone first sues them. Sun, Google, Oracle, Cisco and many more think that patents would have an ugly effect on the market otherwise. Apple appears to have left that defensive ideal by waging patent war with Android using HTC as its proxy.
The problem is proprietary software, which usually goes hand-in-hand with software patents (IBM and Google are predominantly proprietary too). Support Free software and call for the abolishment of software patents internationally. █
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“…Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system. But Microsoft did not want to be seen as attacking IBM or Linux.”
–Larry Goldfarb, Baystar, key investor in SCO
Summary: A detailed analysis of the pseudo-firm (Elliott) that wants to buy Novell and how the bid came about
OVER the past couple of days we have written three posts about the bid to buy Novell, namely:
- Novell May be Going Private, Hedge Fund Has Cash
- Analyst Expects Microsoft Bid to Buy Novell
- Ron Hovsepian Receives Another Large Lump of Cash as Novell Sale Looms
Few people appear to have actually paid attention to the source of the funds. We had a long discussion about this in IRC last night and we append the logs at the bottom (the relevant parts). While Novell’s whitepapers against Red Hat are being bumped up (we mentioned this twice last week and it still happens), there is also a great deal of distraction away from Novell’s trial against SCO. It is almost as though the bid came at a very strategic time, as we shall explain a little later.
First of all, where did the bid come from? It’s a man called Paul E. Singer, who has a shady past; he also engages in some outrageous activities, which in some countries might actually land him in jail. Singer is the man behind Elliott and here is the type of things he is doing:
His other activities do not strike me as exactly praiseworthy, either. Buying up debt from poor countries and forcing repayment may make him rich, but it does not help out the masses in those places, people who are hardly to blame for the fecklessness of their leaders.
Men like Singer, operating under the radar, have distorted our national life and international reputation to such a degree that we are really having trouble figuring out what’s causing our current malaise. They simply do what they please and make the rest of us stick it. It seems like the NYT has finally done its job here of informing the public.
To put a long story short (in a nutshell), this guy probably belongs in prison. He is a parasite to entire nations. In the New York Times, Singer’s firm is described as a “vulture fund”. Here is another item about him, titled “Vulture Economics”
Elliott has done this in strapped developing countries such as Peru, Argentina, and the Republic of Congo where local press reports have labeled the company a “vulture investor.”
Peru, Argentina, and the Republic of Congo are all the countries we were able to identify as victims of Singer’s infinite greed. The word “vulture” in the name fits well also with Intellectual Vultures (another common nym for Intellectual Ventures, which we covered in the previous post). Intellectual Ventures is picking up patents from dead/dying companies, whereas Singer does that with national debt. He also preys on dying companies as we will show in a moment.
Groklaw cites an article that says “Linux finally breaks even” [at Novell] and then it says: “So is that indicating that Elliott Management has it exactly backwards?”
“So… would that mean all the dirt on Microsoft or whoever else is behind the SCO attack on Linux that likely surfaced in discovery in SCO v. Novell would disappear from the planet?”
–Pamela Jones, GroklawNot really. We’ll get to that later. Linking to this article from a Microsoft booster, Groklaw speculates: “Taking profits… is that all this was about, maybe?”
Groklaw explored the background of Singer and his pseudo-firm (they contribute nothing). It links to many reports about Novell’s results and then comes to the realisation that Singer wants to take Novell private. “Private,” asks Groklaw, “They want to take it private? So… would that mean all the dirt on Microsoft or whoever else is behind the SCO attack on Linux that likely surfaced in discovery in SCO v. Novell would disappear from the planet?”
Nice timing, eh?
Here is the press release, which had Groklaw say: “What a coincidence. Just on the eve of trial in SCO v. Novell. Elliott says they own 8.5% of Novell’s common stock.”
The Inquirer links this disruptive news to the SCO trial as well:
JUST BEFORE the trial opens in the SCO v. Novell lawsuit, investment fund Elliott Associates has offered to buy Novell for $2 billion.
While Novell seems fairly likely to win, SCO seems to have a sympathetic federal judge on its side and will certainly try to sway the jury. Since the issue is over whether Novell actually owns the Unix copyrights then it could get messy.
For Elliott to benefit from its offer to buy Novell, it might be gambling either that the share price might increase dramatically after the trial is over and the inevitable appeals are decided, or that the shares might take a real battering during the judicial process, making the company relatively cheap to acquire, or both, in which case it might stand to make a lot of money.
Regarding this coverage from Boston, Groklaw says: “If this is a Microsoft play, I would imagine the antitrust complaints will be filling the sky in no time.”
Well, guess what? “Novell, Inc. Investor Alert: Offer under investigation,” says this new press release.
An investigation on behalf of current long term shareholders in Novell, Inc. (Public, NASDAQ:NOVL) concerning shareholder claims over potential breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations of state law in connection with an alleged unfair takeover was announced.
It’s not too crazy to assume or at least suspect that Microsoft is playing by proxy here. Microsoft did fund SCO in this way, in order to prolong the lawsuit against Linux. As we showed a few days ago, Microsoft is attacking Google by proxy and no longer hides this, either. “So Microsoft admits it is behind the investigations that have been initiated,” wrote Groklaw. “They make it sound like they just answered some questions, but the truth is, I remember very well Microsoft predicting this was going to happen. It *could* be a coincidence, I suppose. Snort. Anyone can lodge a complaint, and when that happens, it has to be investigated to see if it’s legitimate, I suppose, so anyone who wants to harass a competitor certainly can. By the way, would you like to know why more people use Google? I can tell you why I do. Because their algorithms work better and you can find what you are looking for reliably and quickly, and Google Search worked better FROM THE VERY FIRST DAY it was made available to the public, before there was any effect from any numbers of users.”
Watch Steve Ballmer and his buddies being a bunch hypocrites, suggesting that Google did not play by the rules. Who on Earth do they think they are to make such allegations? Wow. Just wow.
Let’s look at Singer again. Groklaw goes back to older articles from months ago. From December it pulls:
“Now the party is truly over,” Paul Singer, founder of the $16 billion hedge fund, wrote in a confidential letter to investors Oct. 15, obtained by MarketWatch. “The current economic and market environment resembles the one for which Elliott was formed.”
To do so, Mr. Singer is looking to to raise money from investors, the report said. Elliott could round up roughly $2 billion next year by inviting existing investors to commit more money, MarketWatch said, citing one investor who’s adding to positions and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Here is that magic number again:
Elliott, which Singer started in 1977, is looking to raise money to take advantage of the situation. The firm could take in about $2 billion next year by inviting existing investors to commit more money, according to one investor who’s adding to positions and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Most investment firms shun large, complicated bankruptcies and other complex situations, but Elliott actively seeks them out. As a former corporate-finance attorney and Harvard Law School graduate, Singer seems to relish the chance to control the outcome of investments through litigation.
The current bankruptcy wave should provide lots of complex situations for Elliott to delve into. Moody’s Investors Service counted 250 defaults by companies it rates, through the end of November. That’s already higher than any previous year.
$2 billion? What an interesting number. Coincidence? It was less than a month later (just after calling for raising of money) that Singer put money in Novell.
Elliott began acquiring Novell stock on Jan. 4 and controls about 8.5 percent of the company.
Almost exactly 2 month later he sent a letter offering to buy the whole of Novell, via someone called Cohn (see details in the log below). From late January we have this:
Hedge Funds Sue Porsche for Billion Lost on VW
A group of hedge funds filed a lawsuit on Monday against Porsche SE and two former executives, accusing the German sports car company of lying and illegally manipulating shares of Volkswagen A.G., thus costing the funds more than $1 billion in trading losses.
The funds — Elliott Management, Glenview Capital Management, Glenhill Capital Management and Perry Partners — say Porsche schemed to secretly corner the market in VW’s stock beginning in early 2008 as part of calculated attempt to eventually take over the company.
“Hedge fund Elliott accuses rival of espionage,” said Reuters on February 26th (less than one week before the Novell bid):
Hedge fund Elliott Management Corp sued Cedar Hill Capital Partners LLC on Tuesday, alleging its rival engaged in corporate espionage by misappropriating its proprietary software used for trading.
In February we find this:
Greenlight and Elliott Said to Help Ross Raise $1.1 Billion
Ross and his partners in the real estate firm Related Companies, Jeff Blau and Bruce Beal Jr., got the funds in a private placement managed by Deutsche Bank, said the person, who declined to be identified because the talks are private.
Here is some more coverage about the bid which came less than a month later:
Elliott said it would pay $5.75 a share in cash for Novell, a price that is 21 percent higher than Novell’s closing stock price on Tuesday. Wall Street’s initial response to the bid, announced after the stock market closed, was to anticipate the possibility of a higher offer
It’s unsolicited, so it’s somewhat hostile. In the logs below we show the connections between Singer and Icahn, who helped Microsoft take over Yahoo! without paying much at all. “Elliott Associates makes $2 billion unsolicited bid for Novell,” says this article.
New York based Elliott Associates manages more than $16 billion of capital for large institutional investors and wealthy individuals, and already holds 8.5 per cent stake in Waltham, Massachusetts-based Novell and has offered to acquire the remaining 91.5 per cent at a premium of 21 per cent over Novell’s Tuesday closing price.
It’s important to remember that Singer only put his tokens in Novell two month ago. The takeover is a recent idea, which dates back to the latest round of SCO-Novell litigation. Here is an interesting new post from Reuters. It’s saying that “Elliot’s Novell buyout [has] approach to making money”.
In fact, Elliott is no stranger to this type of deal, having made similar offers to a handful of small tech companies in the past. Typically, it owns large stakes in the companies it goes after. Last year, it was part of a private equity team that acquired MSC Software for about $360 million.
Elliott also offered to buy Packeteer, another small Nasdaq-listed tech company it owned a large stake in, but it was eventually acquired by Blue Coat Systems in 2008. Another company Elliott went after was Epicor Software, but that bid was unsuccessful.
In 2006, Elliott was part of a group led by tech-focused private equity firm Francisco Partners that took bar-code scanner maker Metrologic private. Two years later, Honeywell acquired Metrologic for $720 million.
Novell and SCO
There is something similar happening in SCO at the moment, amid seemingly-endless litigation. Groklaw has some new articles that include Novell’s objection to Yarro’s proposed loan to SCO. We wrote about it last week. Former SCO executives offer to rescue SCO financially while the company sells whatever it has left, except the lawsuit against Linux. “SCO Proposes Selling its Mobility ‘Business’… to Darl McBride,” reports Groklaw. This is pretty major because SCO fired Darl McBride a while back. Had he not been fired, nothing would be sold to him for a cash infusion to enter SCO’s coffers.
SCO’s Chapter 11 Trustee Edward Cahn not only proposes to let Ralph Yarro “loan” some money to the company at what Novell calls egregiously inequitable terms — inequitable to everyone but Ralph Yarro and the gang, that is — but now he proposes to sell SCO’s “mobility business”, which not long ago SCO said was worth millions, if I recall correctly, to another SCO insider, Darl McBride, for $35,000.
Update 2: Get a load of the assets going for $35,000. Not only do the copyrights and the source code go to the buyer, but there are 12 servers in the deal, 13 domain names, and 10 developer smartphonees. You find the list in Exhibit C Part 6, which begins with a list of the source code products involved in this transaction, but I notice something else.
This has been covered by the British press [1, 2, 3] and by Slashdot. They all cite Groklaw.
BLUSTERING BAD-BOY SCO is the zombie of the IT industry. The outfit keeps getting pummelled in court but it keeps on coming.
For ages SCO and its lawsuits should have died, serveral times. The company has run out of cash and its claims looks deader than Ramesses III without the bandages.
However, according to Groklaw the outfit’s Chapter 11 Trustee, former federal Judge Edward Cahn, has asked the bankruptcy court to let SCO sell off its “mobility business” for just $35,000.
Groklaw then wrote about “Petrofsky’s objection to SCO’s Yarro ‘loan’ motion”
Novell objected vigorously to SCO’s Motion for PostPetition Financing, the proposed Ralph Yarro “loan” to SCO which also involves granting “security interests and superpriority administrative expense status”, and now there’s a second objection, from Al Petrofsky. This will not surprise us. What would surprise us would be the court granting the motion. To give you a taste of the flavor of this filing, here’s the first paragraph of the introduction:
SCO is running out of money (no money to even pay lawyers) and Novell is blocking a cash infusion to SCO. How timely is that takeover attempt by Singer and his new, unspecified funds that he rallied for?
For completeness, we also wish to remind readers that Novell's financial results actually disappointed investors (Groklaw apparently gets it wrong). Here is a report titled “Novell Sales Fall 6% and Disappoint Investors (NOVL)” (also in Fox and in Trading Markets).
Novell (NASDAQ: NOVL) reported fiscal Q1 EPS of $0.07, inline with consensus estimates.
Sales in the quarter fell 6% year-over-year to $202.6 million, and came in short of consensus estimates of $207.6 million.
Here is a video from a financial Web site that covers this and here is the discussion at LWN.
Other coverage of interest:
• Trading Update for Novell Inc
• Stocks Levitating Above Unchanged Mark In Mid-Afternoon Trading – U.S. Commentary
After the markets closed for trading on Thursday, software solutions provider Novell Inc. (NOVL) reported a higher profit in its first quarter, helped by lower operating expenses. Earnings for the quarter were in line with estimates, but revenues fell short. Looking ahead to the second quarter, Novell expects revenues to be flat sequentially.
• Novell Q1 Profit Rises – Quick Facts
Novell, Inc. (NOVL: News ) Thursday reported first quarter GAAP net income of $20 million or $0.06 per share, compared to $11 million or $0.03 per share in the prior year period. Non-GAAP net income for the quarter was $25 million or $0.07 per share, compared to $24 million or $0.07 per share in last year quarter.
• Novell Bids Farewell to NetWare
Novell NOVL reported mixed first-quarter results and our fair value estimate is unchanged. Total revenue fell 6% over the prior-year quarter, as a steady stream of maintenance revenue offset a 25% decline in software licenses.
• Novell says Linux now breaking even
• Novell profits increase in 2010′s first quarter
• Novell reports increase in profit despite sales decline
• Options Activity for Novell Inc
• Novell Q1 net revenues down 6% to $202m
A lot of people mention Novell’s cash reserves but rarely do they mention Novell's huge debt
Here is Novell India’s Country Head speaking about stimulus:
Sandeep Menon. Country Head, Novell India, said the budget reflects the governments confidence in the Indian economy. “I am particularly please to note that there has been no knee jerk reaction to withdrawing the fiscal stimulus, as I don’t think the time is right yet,” he said.
Last year we wrote about the rumour that Novell was selling at least parts of the company, but Novell probably didn’t see the Singer bid coming. Where did the money come from? To summarise the above, Singer sought $2 billion from investors back in December, then he bought part of Novell’s shares in January. He made the bid ($2 billion) just days before the SCO trial was supposed to resume; the funds he received remain secret because it’s a private firm and if he takes over Novell, then Novell’s secrets (including discovery in the SCO case) will also remain secret, unless they choose another route (which Singer et al can veto). █
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Financiers of Intellectual Ventures are Microsoft, Bill Gates, and Apple
Summary: How Intellectual Ventures fuels patent wars with its arsenal of patents that it uses to silently extort companies (concealed with NDAs)
FOR those who know nothing about Intellectual Ventures, here is a good place to start. We shall assume that everyone is already familiar with this huge parasite that turns the patent system into a “a combination mob protection packet + Ponzi monetization scheme,” to quote someone who had personal encounters with the firm. Intellectual Ventures is somewhat of a spin-off of Microsoft, created with financial assistance (capital) from Bill Gates, Microsoft, and later on Apple. Intellectual Ventures uses ‘satellite’ companies (over a thousand of them) to do its work/carry out attacks without tarnishing its own name and Intellectual Ventures also influences the government using millions of dollars.
Law.com has this new article which exposes Intellectual Ventures’ involvement in a lawsuit against TiVo, which uses Linux. Microsoft also sued TiVo back in January, using patents.
The Bellevue, Wash., company that owns around 30,000 patents for the first time assigned one of its members a patent to use as ammunition in a lawsuit. Verizon Communications, which agreed to pay IV as much as $350 million in a 2008 deal, is using one of IV’s patents to strike back at TiVo in a patent fight.
Here is TechDirt’s take on it:
Intellectual Ventures Lending Its Patents To Members To Sue Others
We’ve certainly written plenty about Intellectual Ventures, the giant, incredibly secretive, patent hoarding operation that has convinced a bunch of companies to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in a sort of pyramid scheme protection racket, to avoid getting sued on any of the patents that it holds. But now it’s taken things a step further. Last year, we saw how at least one IV patent had shown up in a patent lawsuit, and now Zusha Elinson is reporting that Intellectual Ventures has effectively loaned out one of its patents to member company Verizon, with which it can sue TiVo, in response to a lawsuit TiVo filed against it.
Several weeks ago we wrote about those ‘satellite’ companies which Intellectual Ventures is using. In the case above, there is something a little different going on. Who benefits from this? The question is rhetorical. “Intellectual Ventures is becoming an arms dealer in patent nuclear war,” wrote the FFII’s president less than an hour ago (he quoted TechDirt).
Now that the patent system is hacked, it is time to reform it or abolish it.
It was only last week that we showed how Microsoft used the patent system to extort Amazon and stifle GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3, 4]. Ken Hess asked, “Is Microsoft the New SCO?”
Earlier this week Microsoft and Amazon signed a patent deal covering Amazon’s Linux-based Kindle and its use of Linux-based server systems. Amazon will pay Microsoft an undisclosed amount as a result of this deal. I know it’s just me but what the hell is up with that? I don’t have a lot of details of this deal but why would Amazon have to pay Microsoft anything for the use of Linux on its Kindle or on its use of Linux-based servers? Your guess is as good as mine.
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act was created to address such situations. It’s time to use this one law which is actually defensible because it protects the little guy (or girl). █
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