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. GNU is Open Source

    "The GNU Project is no longer ethical. RMS may care, but he's outnumbered enough by liars and traitors."



  2. Chairman of the Board of Red Hat Explains He Was Introduced to GNU/Linux When It Helped His Regime Change in Haiti

    General Hugh Shelton, Chairman of the Board of Red Hat, explains (keynote in 2011 Red Hat Summit/JBoss World) that he was introduced to the system as part of a military campaign; it basically helped war, not antiwar



  3. The Faces of 'The Cloud' (Surveillance in Clown Computing/Clothing)

    Consolidation of the world's computers/servers and the stories told by photo ops; we're particularly interested in IBM's relationship with Condé Nast, which owns The New Yorker and Wired



  4. Microsoft is Now in the Technical Advisory Board of the Linux Foundation

    Techrights politely takes note of the growing role (or roles) of Microsoft employees inside the Linux Foundation; there are now at least half a dozen people



  5. Two Things IBM and Microsoft Have in Common: Layoffs and Fake Hype Like 'Clown Computing' and 'Hey Hi' (AI) as Perceived 'Opportunity' for 'Growth'

    The infamous pair of monopolists, Microsoft and IBM, are both suffering during the COVID-19 lock-downs (no matter how hard they try to spin it and/or distract from it)



  6. IBM (Red Hat) Lectured FSF That It Needed More Diversity, But Was It Looking at the Mirror? IBM and Red Hat Are Even Less Diverse.

    Techrights examines Red Hat’s (IBM’s) hypocritical claims about the Free Software Foundation, founded by Richard Stallman back when IBM was the “big scary monopolist”; IBM employees were prominent among those pushing to oust Stallman from the GNU Project, which he founded, as well



  7. IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 05, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, June 05, 2020



  8. Guix Petition Demographic Data, by Figosdev

    That old anti-RMS letter, which called for his removal (or resignation) from GNU (RMS is the founder of the GNU Project), as characterised by metadata of signatories



  9. When You Realise People Who Don't Support RMS Do Not Really Support GNU, Either

    The (in)famous letter against Richard Stallman (RMS), which was signed by many Red Hat employees with Microsoft (GitHub) accounts, doesn’t look particularly good in light of recent revelations/findings; it increasingly looks like IBM simply wants Microsoft-hosted and “permissively” licensed stuff, just like another project it announced yesterday and another that it promoted yesterday



  10. The Gates Press (GatesGate) -- Part III: What Happens When You Tell the Truth About Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation

    One might not expect this from a so-called 'charity'; the Gates Foundation's critics are often met with unprecedented aggression, threats and retribution, which make one wonder if it's really a charity or a greedy cult of personalities (Bill and Melinda)



  11. Links 6/6/2020: Bifrost Meets GNOME, Wine 5.10 is Out

    Links for the day



  12. Links 5/6/2020: LibreELEC (Leia) 9.2.3, Rust 1.44.0, and Hamburg's Pivot to Free/Libre Software

    Links for the day



  13. This Article About GitHub Takeover Never Appeared (Likely Spiked by Microsoft and Its Friends Inside the Media)

    And later they wonder why people distrust so much of the media (where paying advertisers set the agenda/tone)



  14. Raw: How Microsoft and/or the EPO Killed an Important EPO Story About Their SLAPP Against Techrights and Others

    Spiking a story about spiked stories about corruption



  15. The Linux Foundation 'Bootcamp' -- Badly Timed and Badly Named in June 2020 -- Only Uses Linus Torvalds Like a 'Prop' (for Legitimacy) While Promoting Militarised Monopolies

    Sometimes a picture says a lot more than words, especially in light of political events in the US and a certain Chinese anniversary we cannot name (Microsoft censors mentions of it)



  16. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 04, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, June 04, 2020



  17. The Gates Press (GatesGate) -- Part II: When Media That You Bribe Calls All Your Critics 'Conspiracy Theorists' (to Keep Them Silenced, Marginalised)

    The assault on the media by Bill Gates is a subject not often explored by the media (maybe because a lot of it is already bribed by him); but we're beginning to gather new and important evidence that explains how critics are muzzled (even fired) and critical pieces spiked, never to see the light of day anywhere



  18. GitHub is Not Sharing But 'Theft' by Microsoft

    Microsoft buying GitHub does not demonstrate that Microsoft loves Open Source (GitHub is not Open Source and may never be) but that it loves monopoly and coercion (what GitHub is all about and why it must be rejected)



  19. The Huge Damage (Except for Patent Lawyers' Bottom Line) Caused by Fake European Patents

    The European Patent Office (EPO) keeps granting fake patents that cause a lot of real harm (examiners are pressured to play along and participate in this unlawful agenda); nobody is happy except those who profit from needless, frivolous lawsuits



  20. Red Hat/IBM Got 'Tired' of RMS. Is It Getting 'Tired' of GPL/Copyleft Too?

    After contributing to the cancellation of Richard Stallman (RMS) based on some falsehoods perpetuated in the media we're seeing the sort of thing one might expect from IBM (more so now that it totally controls Fedora and RHEL)



  21. Links 4/6/2020: Proton 5.0-8 Release Candidate, GNU Linux-libre 5.7

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, June 03, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, June 03, 2020



  23. Social Engineering of Free Software, Based on Corporate Criteria

    What "professional" nowadays means in the context of coding and honest assessment of technical work



  24. Weakening GNU/Linux by Disempowering Its Leaders and Founders, Replacing Them With Microsoft Employees and GNU/Linux-Hostile Moles

    The coup to remove (or remove power from) Stallman and Torvalds, the GNU and Linux founders respectively, is followed by outsourcing of their work to Microsoft’s newly-acquired monopoly (GitHub) and appointment of Microsoft workers or Microsoft-friendly people, shoehorning them into top roles under the disingenuous guise of "professionalism"



  25. Sword Group Violates Its Own Commitment by Working for the EPO

    The European Patent Office (EPO) keeps outsourcing its work to outside contractors (for-profit private entities) to the tune of hundreds of millions if not billions — all this without any oversight



  26. In 2020 Canonical No Longer Fights for Freedom

    Freedom requires a GNU/Linux distro other than Ubuntu, which seems unwilling or unable/incapable of speaking about and promoting the ideals of GNU/Linux



  27. We Need to Use the F Word (Freedom) to Promote Adoption of GNU/Linux

    "People get the government their behavior deserves. People deserve better than that." -Richard Stallman



  28. People Who Want to Explore GNU/Linux With Ubuntu See This Today

    "Wait, am I in a GNU/Linux blog or another Windows blog," a visitor might think... or, is Microsoft 'taking over' messaging at Canonical? (Same with code)



  29. Links 4/6/2020: Septor 2020.3, Nextcloud and Blender 2.83

    Links for the day



  30. Hey, Where's Red Hat (IBM)?

    Red Hat is conspicuously silent at these critical times (in its home country); Must be too busy hailing and cashing in on Trump's military (state) while dishing out shallow and self-contradictory diversity PR/fluff…


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

Recent Posts