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

05.02.10

“Those Who Can, Do. Those Who Can’t, Sue.” (Updated)

Posted in Apple, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 2:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Steve BallmerSummary: Microsoft may have actually threatened to sue HTC in order to sign a patent deal covering Android for unnamed patents

“Those who can, do. Those who can’t, sue,” said Canonical’s COO Matt Asay. Further he said: “This is the clearest indication of MS’s irrelevance: it’s now the hapless litigant” (whose products are being cancelled, Courier being the latest example).

He said pretty much the same thing about Apple when it sued HTC.

Florian wrote about Microsoft software patents in Europe, alluding to the bizarre new decision regarding FAT (at the core of the TomTom lawsuit).

Last week the Federal Court of Justice of Germany upheld a Microsoft patent related to the Windows file system named File Allocation Table (FAT). As H-Online mentioned in this context, European software patent critics dread the notion that rulings such as that one could elevate the status of software patents in Europe, where different national courts have different approaches to how to interpret the European Patent Convention and its exclusion of patents on “programs for computers [as such]“.

So Microsoft has just gone after HTC. Some articles suggest that there was a settlement and therefore a possibility that Microsoft threatened to sue in order to sign a patent deal (like in Melco’s case).

Some more thoughts about the HTC settlement have come from various influential GNU/Linux users, some of whom wait for software patents to be ultimately abolished.

I believe Bilski will be decided this year and software patents may be kicked into the garbage heap where they belong.

The other day we wrote about Klausner's latest round of patent trolling (against HTC). Here is another interesting perspective about what Apple and Microsoft did to HTC (and to Android by inference).

Microsoft claims that the Linux operating system infringes 235 Microsoft patents, and Android, which is Linux-based, violates Microsoft patents, too. Microsoft has convinced HTC to pay royalties for the alleged Microsoft technology in Google’s operating system.

Why would HTC do that?

Well, Apple is suing HTC for violating 20 Apple patents covering a wide range of technologies. One theory is that with both Microsoft and Apple claiming patent infringement, HTC has to pick sides. It chose Microsoft because the company also makes a wide variety of devices that run Microsoft operating systems. Because it has an extensive relationship with Microsoft, and none with Apple, choosing to work with Microsoft solves its Apple problem. In court, apparently HTC will be able to say that it’s already licensing the technology Apple claims as its own, but from Microsoft. That would imply that Apple’s beef is really with Microsoft, not with HTC. Case closed!

Can anyone confirm that Microsoft pressured and intimidated HTC (with a lawsuit) in order to sign that latest extortion deal [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]? Microsoft tried to paint it as something signed in good faith, but it’s beginning to seem doubtful.

Update: Florian wishes to correct that last reference by saying (via E-mail):

The “interesting perspective” you quote from the Datamation article on HTC is actually legally wrong. I’ve already contacted the author of that article and here’s the information for you as well:

Every patent stands on its own. Every patent is a little monopoly. So if Apple has some patents that read on HTC’s software, HTC can’t defend itself in court by saying it has a license from Microsoft. That’s legally impossible as a defense. Not only is it very likely that Apple’s patents read on different features (touchscreen etc.) than Microsoft’s patents (there may be some overlap but it’s just impossible that two such large players would have 100% overlapping patent portfolios), but even if that unrealistic scenario of both patent portfolios covering the same functionality that HTC needs was the case, then that still wouldn’t change anything about the monopoly rights connected to each single patent. If Apple has a patent on, say, selecting a menu on a touchscreen and Microsoft has one as well, and if there aren’t differences in the details of the “methods taught”, the fact that there are two patents on the same thing doesn’t mean you get a license to one of them and don’t need the other. Instead, it would have to be sorted out whether one of those patents is prior art based on which the other (newer) patent could be invalidated. Only in that case would it be sufficient to obtain only one patent license.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Slashdot

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. Reminder: Vice Chair of the Linux Foundation's Board is an Oracle Executive Who Used to Work for Microsoft

    The Linux Foundation issued statements to the effect of opposing Donald Trump, but its current leadership (people from companies like Oracle, Microsoft and IBM) is a strong proponent of doing as much business as possible with Trump (even in violation of international law)



  2. [Meme] How to Hijack Linux and Free Software to Make Them Proprietary and Microsoft-Controlled

    Intel keeps outsourcing almost everything (that's not proprietary with back doors, e.g. ME) to Microsoft's proprietary software prison, known as GitHub; to make matters worse, Intel now uses the Microsoft-hosted Rust to develop in Microsoft servers, along with Microsoft, code that promotes Microsoft proprietary software (e.g. Hyper-V) and non-standard 'extensions'.



  3. DDOS Attacks Against Us Lately

    (Distributed) Denial-of-service attacks or DDOS attacks have slowed down the site, but we treat that as evidence of suppression and fear (of what's to come and what was recently published), or accuracy (in reporting) rather than inaccuracy



  4. [Meme] Windows as Dead Man Walking (Patches Accelerate the Death)

    Microsoft is squeezing whatever life is left in its “burning platform” (which is already exceeded in terms of market share by Android) that has a "burning" (bricked) WSL with barely any users and plenty of critical problems



  5. We Let Them Get Away With Murder, But They Make up for It by Banning Words

    The Microsoft propaganda machines (notably ZDNet this weekend) are busy portraying Microsoft as a “good company” for censoring words, never mind the actual, meaningful, substantial actions of Microsoft, which is boosting authoritarian people who imprison even babies (for the ‘crime’ of being on the ‘wrong’ side of the border)



  6. High-Profile and Invalid (Invalidated) European Patents Harm the Presumption of Validity of European Patents

    The EPO's 'printing machine' (over-producing patent monopolies) is harming the legal certainty associated with such patents, helping nobody but deep-pocketed monopolists and law firms



  7. Epitaph for (Death of) Patent-Centric Media: Litigation Giant Bird & Bird Nowadays Doing Ads as 'Podcasts' in Think Tank Site 'Managing IP'

    Publishers don't hesitate and openly revel in taking bribes as if it's a badge of honour or importance, allowing themselves to be profoundly corrupted in pursuit of quick cash; we discuss what's happening in sites that pretend to cover patent news (but actually drive agenda of litigation giants, to the detriment of actual innovators)



  8. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, September 19, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, September 19, 2020



  9. Links 20/9/2020: 4MLinux 34.0 Released, September Release and EndeavourOS for ARM

    Links for the day



  10. Video: Free Communication With Free Software - Daniel Pocock - FOSSASIA Summit 2016

    The 2016 FOSSASIA talk from Daniel Pocock (Debian) about Free software alternatives to Google, Microsoft Skype and so on (Microsoft started paying Debian in 2016)



  11. [Meme] Microsoft Downtime... Now in 'Linux' (Wait a Month for Microsoft to Restore Uptime)

    Microsoft’s utter failure that is "WSL2" is bringing the failures Windows is so notorious for (loss of work, lack of security, fatal patches) to so-called ‘Linux’; the timeframe for a fix says a lot about just how much Microsoft “loves” Linux…



  12. Coming Soon: Microsoft Leaks (Which Microsoft Pressured Medium to Suppress and Promptly Unpublish)

    Microsoft is no ordinary company; exposing it is like dealing with the Mafia or some drug cartel in Mexico, but we're able to publish truths about Microsoft nonetheless (their notorious intimidation and silencing attempts have always failed against us)



  13. Dishonest Corporations -- Like Smug Politicians -- Pretend to be Something They're Not

    Corporate lies dominate the media, having been crafted by unethical marketing departments with their photo ops and hashtags



  14. GNU is Also a Brand, But It Boils Down to Philosophy and Principles, Not Greed or Corporate Identity

    Why the goal of GNU should be freedom rather than so-called 'world domination' (the objective of large firms with shareholders)



  15. IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 18, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, September 18, 2020



  16. Links 19/9/2020: Taiwins 0.2 and a Call for Ubuntu Community Council Nominations

    Links for the day



  17. One Year Later Richard Stallman Needs to be Un-cancelled and Attention Turned to the Real Perpetrator of MIT Scandals

    The sheer hypocrisy, treating Stallman as the real nuisance to MIT when it was in fact Bill Gates who trafficked money through convicted sex criminals (to MIT); justice needs to be belatedly restored



  18. ZDNet's 'Linux' Section Isn't About Linux But About Microsoft

    ZDNet's so-called 'Linux' section isn't really about GNU/Linux; it's just the site's usual Microsoft propaganda, bought and paid for by Microsoft



  19. Debian's Network of Gossip and Gossipmongering in Debian-Private

    Reprinted with permission from Debian Community News



  20. More EPO Disclosures: An Explanation of How an EPO Survey Plots to Dismantle the EPO's Staff

    Dismantling the Office for the benefit of a bunch of private companies (taking over various duties of EPO staff) seems like the management's goal; included in image form (and text) below is today's publication. There's a PDF with text (not OCR) but it contains metadata.



  21. Forced Confessions and Thought Control in Debian

    Reprinted with permission from Debian Community News



  22. [Meme] You Cannot Elect/Vote Corporations Out of Power (Eternal Vigilance is Required)

    Based on early polls, Biden will be president-elect in about a month and a half; but it’s important to remember that the election (if honoured by the current tenant of the White House) won’t be the end of corporate abuse of power in the same sense that driving Microsoft out of business won’t miraculously mean that Free software ‘won’ (we have a lot more to confront still)



  23. Debian Volunteers Disallowed and Forbidden From Talking About Politics (Unlike Debian's Aristocracy That Handles All the Money From Sponsors)

    Reprinted with permission from Debian Community News



  24. Political Compass for Free Software (and Those Who Attack Software Freedom)

    With RMS (the father of the movement) betrayed from multiple angles (OSI, Linux Foundation etc.) it’s probably important to depict what’s going on, quasi-politically speaking



  25. Richard Stallman Has Not Changed His Tune at All

    Richard Stallman's (RMS) principled views regarding software go back to the days of zeroes and ones; his position 35 years ago was almost indistinguishable from today's position



  26. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 17, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, September 17, 2020



  27. Keith Packard: Richard Stallman Was Right (About the GPL)

    A 2020 video (before lock-downs) from the brain behind X11 and various lesser-known projects



  28. The Quandary of 'Ethical' Sponsors and One's Ability to Criticise Them (Otherwise It's a Potential Bribe in Exchange for Censorship of Critics)

    When Free software advocacy groups are indebted to companies that greatly harm people's freedom (including privacy) we have to ask ourselves questions regarding morality and ethics because money isn't inherently evil, it depends who or where it comes from (on what implicit conditions)



  29. When Attempting to Run for Debian Project Leader (DPL), Only to Realise the Process is Rigged (and Censored) to Protect Past Leaders

    Reprinted with permission from Debian Community News



  30. [Meme] Linux Foundation Does Not Represent Linux Users

    With only one truly technical person inside the Linux Foundation Board (it got a lot worse in 2020) it seems safe to call it 95%+ corporate gerrymandering with no signs of improving any time soon; it’s all about letting hostile corporations change Linux rather than allowing Linux to change the world


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