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

03.16.10

Microsoft Happy About Apple’s Invocation of Software Patents Against GNU/Linux

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Kernel, Microsoft, Patents at 5:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ballmer on patents

Summary: Mobile Linux proceeds from one victory to another while Apple and Microsoft pointlessly attack with software patents

EARLIER TODAY we wrote about news reports which suggested that Microsoft played some role in Apple's lawsuit against GNU/Linux (via Google/Android). Just like in the TomTom case, Apple and its supporters insisted that people should not perceive this as a case against Linux (Microsoft used the same lie to save face while doing the damage).

There is support for Apple’s action coming from Microsoft (Apple’s patent buddy since a long time ago), based on the following new report where Microsoft’s Brad Smith is quoted as saying about the HTC-Apple lawsuit: “the fact that there’s litigation in this area is not necessarily a bad thing.”

Here it is with some more context:

With several Windows Mobile devices named in Apple’s patent suit against HTC, you’d be forgiven for expecting Microsoft to have a few words of quiet support for their hardware partners. However it seems Microsoft are quite looking forward to a general battle; speaking at an IP convention last week, Brad Smith, the company’s general counsel and senior vice president told amassed lawyers that ”the fact that there’s litigation in this area is not necessarily a bad thing.”

Microsoft seems rather eager when it comes to Apple introducing software patents as game changers in phones, as means of harming Linux as a free platform.

Let’s recall the Apple-Nokia lawsuit (it is a two-way battle now [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]) which involved two — not one — proponents of software patents, one of which uses Symbian and Linux (Maemo/MeeGo). Apple accuses Nokia of using “legal alchemy” to hide infringements. IDG covers this, but it wrongly uses words like “IP” (it actually means to say patents) and “theft” (infringement does not constitute taking away from the original) right in the headline.

Nokia last week asked a federal judge to toss out Apple’s antitrust claims, saying the iPhone maker indulged in “legal alchemy” when it tried to divert attention from its “free-riding” of Nokia’s intellectual property.

The filing last Thursday was the latest salvo in a battle that began in October 2009 when Finnish handset maker Nokia sued Apple, saying the iPhone infringed on 10 of its patents and that the U.S. company was trying “to get a free ride on the back of Nokia’s innovation.” Nokia demanded royalties on all iPhones sold since Apple introduced the smartphone in June 2007.

Earlier today we also reiterated the fact that developers for platforms like Mac OS X and iPhone are merely being exploited [1, 2]. This is discussed further by Dana Blankenhorn right now:

“If Apple wants to be a real leader, it should be fostering innovation and competition, rather than acting as a jealous and arbitrary feudal lord.”

Is that a quote from Richard Stallman? From Steve Ballmer? Some dirty hippie blogger like myself?

Nope, it’s Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyer Fred von Lohmann (right), responding to his own “get,” a copy of the iPhone Developer License Agreement, now posted on the EFF Web site.

Tim Bray, who used to be buying a lot of Apple gear, is now comparing Apple to “Evil” (that’s a strong word with somewhat religious connotation) as he joins the Android team [1, 2] (we mentioned this last night). Here is what he wrote:

The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet’s future omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what. It’s a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers. The people who create the apps serve at the landlord’s pleasure and fear his anger.

Bray would be a good asset to Linux/Android/Google. He is the co-inventor of XML (which didn’t really need much ‘invention’). Bray is an opponent of software patents, so hopefully he’ll wake Google up.

The inventor of the cellphone has also just dumped the iPhone and moved to Android (Linux):

It turns out that Martin Cooper, the man who invented the cell phone, is the proud owner of a Motorola Droid! In a story which aired on C-SPAN, Martin discussed the politics of cellphones, as well as his current device.

According to some preliminary figures, Droid alone (that’s just one phone running Android) is beating iPhone’s record:

Did you know that it took the iPhone only 74 days to reach 1 million units sold? Oh you’ve heard that, huh? Well, did you know that the Motorola Droid moved more units in the same time frame? Yeah, you probably didn’t expect that. Frankly, neither did we. The latest report from Flurry shows the Droid pushing 1.05 million handsets in the first 74 days of release, eclipsing the number set by Apple.

No wonder Apple is so nervous. Microsoft is going nowhere too. Matt Asay, formerly a huge Apple fan, has just said the following things about Linux versus Apple (when asked whether “Linux [can] compete with Apple”):

Asay: I’m not sure this is the right question, as Linux already competes with and beats Apple in a huge array of devices. Linux spans everything from HPC to embedded devices and everything in between. Apple cannot compete with that. Could you build a supercomputer using Mac hardware? Sure, but you’d be mortgaging your house to do so and even then, the Mac would likely lose.

Of course, Apple doesn’t want to compete in such markets. It’s famously focused and opts to do a few things very well, like its iPhone and laptops.

Can Linux compete in these markets? Yes. Of course it can. Look at Android as perhaps the best example of effectively competing with Apple in mobile. Apparently Apple agrees with me, as its patent infringement suit against HTC is almost certainly a shot over Google’s bow, as The New York Times recently suggested. Apple is worried. And it should be.

The Source commends Asay for some of his remarks which he made since had joined Canonical.

As a side note, although I expressed strong reservations when Mr. Asay was named Canonical COO, I haven’t heard anything from him yet that I find objectionable.

To summarise, Apple’s action against GNU/Linux is supported by Microsoft while several notable people move away from Apple and directly to Linux. Among them: co-inventor of XML, inventor of the cellphone, and former Apple enthusiast and blogger Matt Asay.

“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.”

(Usually attributed to) Mahatma Gandhi

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

A Single Comment

  1. your_friend said,

    March 17, 2010 at 12:29 am

    Gravatar

    The Microsoft Software Patent Haiku

    One and one is ten
    Microsoft Software Patent
    money and nonsense

    Copyright by your friend, please share.

What Else is New


  1. Süddeutsche Zeitung Says Talking Helps While EPO Management Back-stabs Other Side of the Table

    German media gives the impression that there is peace and harmony now that Benoît Battistelli and his circle of power speaks to staff, but nothing is said about simultaneous (albeit covert) attacks against that staff



  2. Large Corporations Call the Shots in US Patent Reform

    A reminder of where we stand on the issue of patent 'reform' in the US and who is controlling or shaping it



  3. Microsoft Puts Proprietary Windows and Hyper-V Inside the Free Software-Centric OpenStack

    OpenStack, which celebrates rapid growth in this month's event in Canada, is facing a proprietarisation threat from Microsoft



  4. Microsoft's Secret Lobbying, Bullying, and the Long History of Blackmailing Politicians Around the World

    British media covers Microsoft's abuse in the UK, but there are many similar incidents, and not just in the UK



  5. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Benoît Battistelli and Four EPO Suicides

    German press article from April 2015 (with translations)



  6. Links 24/5/2015: CrossOver 14.1.3, NTFS-3G Vulnerability

    Links for the day



  7. Links 23/5/2015: Fedora 22 to May 26th, Netflix in SteamOS

    Links for the day



  8. The Patents Production 'Industry' (Patent Lawyers) Still Fights Hard to Salvage Software Patents

    A review of recent writings about software patents and patents on business methods in the United States, demonstrating that patent lawyers have gotten very vocal and sneaky (trying to evade the rules)



  9. Patents as a Marketing Strategy: USPTO Now Part of the Advertising Industry

    The existence of publicity patents, or patents whose sole purpose is to advertise some products, serves to discredit the US patent office, which was originally set up to promote science and technology



  10. Microsoft Blackmails and Extorts British Politicians Over Open Standards and Free Software-Leaning Policies

    Microsoft's digital imperialism in the UK getting defended using blackmail, reminding a lot of Brits that Microsoft is just as evil as ever before



  11. Microsoft Gives Another Bug a Name, This Time Logjam™

    The Microsoft crowd is good only at marketing, even when it comes to small bugs in software



  12. Links 22/5/2015: Fedora 22 Final Release is Near, Canonical IPO Considered

    Links for the day



  13. More Utter Shame Unveiled at Battistelli's EPO: Intimidation Tactics With Help From 'Control Risks'

    The unaccountable thugs who run the EPO have hired London-based spooks to help silence their opposition and their critics



  14. GNU/Linux Still Under Attack From Apple and Microsoft, Patents Remain the Weapon of Choice

    A timely reminder of the importance of patent matters, for they are being used to eliminate the zero-cost advantage of Free/libre software and make it more proprietary, privacy-infringing, and user-hostile (as a result of blackmail)



  15. Gartner Group and NASSCOM: Will Lie for FUD, on Behalf of Microsoft and Proprietary Software

    Some of the latest arguments against Free/libre software turn out to be arriving from couriers of Microsoft and its agenda



  16. Windows is a Franchise in Demise, Don't Believe the Hype

    Ongoing propaganda about Vista 10, 'cloud', and other buzzwords or brands are put in perspective



  17. Links 21/5/2015: Fedora 22 RC2, CERN Chooses OpenStack

    Links for the day



  18. Microsoft is Again Showing Its Hatred of Free/Open Source Software by Lobbying the Indian Government to Drop a Rational National Policy

    Microsoft decides to attack Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in India, where the corporate media is very much complicit in misleading the public



  19. Links 20/5/2015: Containers, OpenStack, and EXT4 Corruption

    Links for the day



  20. The PATENT Act, Distraction of Trolls, and Lobbying for Software Patents by Protectionists

    Only large corporations and their lawyers are able to formally change the US patent system through public officials and politicians, despite recent rulings from very high courts



  21. Corporate Media and Friends of Microsoft Are Still Lying About the Cost of Vista 10

    In a desperate effort to beat operating systems that are Free (libre) and free (gratis), such as GNU/Linux or Android, Microsoft shores up the illusion of 'free' (gratis) Windows



  22. Links 19/5/2015: Linux 4.1 RC4, Thunderbird 31.7.0, OpenStack Event

    Links for the day



  23. Links 18/5/2015: Russia Chooses Jolla, Many New Distro Releases, Meizu Devices

    Links for the day



  24. Even Converting an Image to Greyscale is Now a Patent

    Simple mathematics becoming patented as Fujifilm claims 'ownership' of photographic conversion to greyscale



  25. Grooming of the World's Biggest Patent Troll, Nathan Myhrvold of Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures

    UCLA and Microsoft-linked media are framing big thugs as heroes, doing a great disservice to both academia and journalism



  26. The EPO's Fight to Bring Software Patents Into Europe is One Step Closer to a 'Victory' (for Multinationals)

    Opposition to the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is being crushed and Italy is one of the latest actors to have fallen in the battle



  27. Microsoft's 'Former' Staff Continues With His Anti-Google Rhetoric at CBS

    A Microsoft intern, who has moved on to journalism, is still showing his affinity for Microsoft with apologetics and spin



  28. More of Microsoft's False Claims About Cost of Vista 10 and More Layoffs

    Vista 10 is still being marketed using lies and Microsoft may be going down the same route as Nokia



  29. Microsoft Remotely Bricks -- Intentionally -- Xbox One

    Microsoft is showing off its kill switches, kills consoles of people whom it doesn't like



  30. IRC Proceedings: May 3rd - May 16th, 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