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

03.12.10

Patents Roundup: Both Apple and Microsoft Use Software Patents Against GNU/Linux, Get Sued for Violation Along With Google and Facebook; Amazon-USPTO Comedy Resumes

Posted in Apple, Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Office Suites, Patents at 3:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rainbow troll

Summary: This week’s latest patent news which has impact on the Free software world

Apple and Microsoft Patent Extortion Against Free Software Goes Almost a Decade Back

PROPRIETARY SOFTWARE companies think alike. Apple’s attack on GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] turns out to be many years old [1, 2]. At Microsoft too, Bill Gates had spoken about a “Jihad” (his word) against Linux at Intel almost a decade ago. They managed to keep it secret for many years. These CEOs are control freaks who let nothing in their way stop them. Schwartz, the former CEO of Sun, says that “for a technology company, going on offense with software patents seems like an act of desperation, relying on the courts instead of the marketplace….[S]uing a competitor typically makes them more relevant, not less. Developers I know aren’t getting less interested in Google’s Android platform, they’re getting more interested.”

Here is an interesting pick from the news:

The concern is that Microsoft’s Windows 7 mobile operating system has the iPhone’s market in its sights and that Microsoft has a deep background in software patents to back it up.

One worry for Google is that Apple’s legal battle with HTC may weaken the momentum of Android-powered phones.

Apple and Microsoft both share an affinity for software patents and they also cross-license. This means that Apple’s bullying of GNU/Linux with software patents is very beneficial to Microsoft, which pools the same patents as Apple’s. In the news we now have (references not listed before):

Former Sun CEO claims Jobs threatened lawsuit in 2003

Apple Tried to Bully Sun With Lawsuit Threats in 2003

Apple and Microsoft “threatened to sue Sun”

Ex-Sun CEO dishes dirt: Steve Jobs as Apple “patent troll”

Former Sun CEO Says Apple’s Jobs Threatened To Sue Co In 2003

Former Sun CEO Schwartz dishes on patent fights with Jobs, Gates

Daily Dose – Schwartz: Apple and Microsoft Tried to Sue Me Too!

Steve Jobs threatened to sue, says former Sun CEO Schwartz

Former Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz describes Steve Jobs showdown

Sun fended off Apple, Microsoft IP lawsuit threats

Former Sun CEO: Steve Jobs threatened to sue us over patents too

Former Sun Microsystems CEO: HTC Isn’t the First Company to Face Legal Threats From Steve Jobs

Ex-Sun boss spills the beans on Apple patent threats

Schwartz on Steve Jobs’ “bullying tactics

Former Sun CEO Takes Tech Titans to Task Over Patent Trolling

Former Sun CEO: Tech Companies Suing Over Patents Is An Act Of Desperation

Schwartz tells the story of Steve Jobs calling him and threatening Sun with a patent infringement lawsuit, to which Schwartz quickly warned Jobs that going down that path would lead to a patent nuclear war, as he pointed out how recent Apple products likely infringed on Sun patents. He then tells another story about a visit from Bill Gates, with a similar threat over patents — and a similar response, pointing out that Microsoft clearly copied certain Sun technology. In both cases, the counterweight made the threats go away. This is the whole “nuclear stockpiling” scenario — and, as such, it creates a ton of waste. You have to keep building up those stockpiles just to make sure the other side is too scared to sue you.

Gates Asked for IP Royalties for OpenOffice from Sun Microsystems

Sometime between 2003 and 2006, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer and Co-founder and chairman Bill Gates visited Sun Microsystems. It wasn’t a courtesy visit, according to Jonathan Ian Schwartz, Former CEO of Sun Microsystems. The Microsoft duo were on a mission to convince Scott McNealy, Sun’s then CEO, to enter into a patent licensing agreement with the Redmond company. Moreover, Gates wanted compensation for the patents that Sun Microsystems was allegedly violating with OpenOffice, a rival product of Microsoft’s own Office productivity suite. Sun resisted.

This ought to make GNU/Linux users who defend Microsoft or Apple think twice.

More Apple and Microsoft

The i4i case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12] is not quite over yet. Microsoft’s defense of software patents is costing it dearly; its cash cow is at stake and it’s still trying to exhaust the plaintiff, as usual [1, 2]. The legal system is built in such a way that it favours those who can endure (afford) more motions, which is why Microsoft manages to get away with many real offences and have charges dismissed. It’s a brute force game.

Two days ago we found out that Apple is getting sued for patent infringement again:

Apple, Research in Motion, and a gaggle of other deep-pocket firms have been slapped with a wide-ranging patent infringment suit by an obscure Texas firm.

The suit alleges that Apple and RIM – plus AT&T, Insight Enterprises, LG Electronics, Motorola, Pantech Wireless, Samsung and Sanyo – are in violation of one or more of seven mobile phone–related patents. The allegedly infringed-upon patents include ones for Bluetooth connectivity, syncing, background processing and other mobile matters.

Here is more about Apple, relating to something that we covered 2 days ago.

More than 100,000 app developers have reportedly signed the iPhone Development Program License Agreement allowing them write software for the iPhone, however few people outside the inner circle of developers have ever seen the documents thanks to a non-disclosure clause included in the agreement.When NASA released the NASA App for iPhone, The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) seized the opportunity to get a copy from the federal government under the Freedom of Information Act.

Google and Facebook Get What They Deserve

Google is not an opponent of software patents and neither is Facebook [1, 2]. This is why the following new lawsuit is probably good news:

Google, Facebook sued on mobile notworking

Google and Facebook have been sued in New York by a company claiming to own software patents that put social networks on mobile phones.

Google, Facebook Sued Over Social-Networking Patent

Wireless Ink Corp., which runs the Winksite service, claims that Facebook Mobile and Google Buzz are infringing a patent issued in October. In a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Manhattan, the company is seeking cash compensation and a court order to prevent further use of its invention.

Let them get sued. Maybe they will eventually learn that software patents are not worth the trouble. They makes this patent system a wasteful farce that does not promote science like it was originally supposed to.

Amazon a Mockery to the USPTO

Amazon’s patent deal with Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4] showed us that Amazon is not an opponent of software patents, but we already knew that. One of the most infamous examples of Amazon’s shameful patent policy is the 1-click patent, which the USPTO is still unable to bin. Here is the latest development. From Slashdot’s summary/description:

Zordak writes “Amazon’s infamous ’1-click’ patent has been in reexamination at the USPTO for almost four years. Patently-O now reports that ‘the USPTO confirmed the patentability of original claims 6-10 and amended claims 1-5 and 11-26. The approved-of amendment adds the seeming trivial limitation that the one-click system operates as part of a ‘shopping cart model.’ Thus, to infringe the new version of the patent, an eCommerce retailer must use a shopping cart model (presumably non-1-click) alongside of the 1-click version. Because most retail eCommerce sites still use the shopping cart model, the added limitation appears to have no practical impact on the patent scope.’”

This is also covered in:

Amazon One-Click Patent Slides Through Reexamination

Amazon.com’s 1-Click patent confirmed following re-exam

US Patent Office Decides That One Click Really Is Patentable

One Click Patent Reexamination over – with claims amended and other Amazon applications rejected in light of my prior art

The failure here is the USPTO’s and the greed is Amazon’s.

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. There is No 'New Microsoft': Under Nadella, Patent Extortion Against Linux/Android Carries on

    Kyocera is again being targeted by Microsoft, using patent aggression, with a secret settlement being reached whose negative impact on Android remains to be seen



  2. Patent Propaganda, Glamourisation, and Erosion of Citizens' Rights in the Process

    An overview of recent coverage about patents, demonstrative of inherent bias in the world of patent practitioners and the journalists whom they misinform



  3. Corporate Media Should Stop Grooming Black Duck by Calling it 'Open Source' and Repeating Its Lies

    Black Duck uses gullible (or easy to manipulate) journalists to spread its marketing talking points, which grossly overstate risks of using Free software



  4. Links 6/7/2015: Linux 4.2-rc1, YotaPhone Picks Sailfish OS

    Links for the day



  5. Microsoft Windows Unsafe at Any Speed, by Design

    More timely reminders that Windows is simply not designed to be secure, irrespective of version, status of patching, etc.



  6. After Moonlight Dies and Even Microsoft Abandons Silverlight, the Abusive Monopolist Keeps Pushing for Other Microsoft Lock-in, Injecting OOXML Traps Into Free Software (Moodle)

    Despite a long history of Microsoft formats being proven guarantee of digital obsolescence, Moodle allows itself to become Microsoft prey and a Trojan horse for OOXML in classrooms (for children)



  7. Links 4/7/2015: Mostly (Geo)Political Catchup

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  9. 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



  10. 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



  11. 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



  12. 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.



  13. 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



  14. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  17. 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



  18. 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



  19. 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



  20. 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



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

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



  22. 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



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

    Links for the day



  24. 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



  25. 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



  26. 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



  27. DDOS Attacks Against Techrights

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



  28. 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



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





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

    Many IRC logs


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