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08.28.10

Microsoft a Major Breeding Ground of Patent Trolls

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft, Patents at 4:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The genesis of this idea was when I was at Microsoft. We had a problem with patent liability. All these people were coming to sue us or demand payment. And Bill (Gates) asked me to think about if there was a solution.” —Nathan Myhrvold, WSJ: Transcript: Myhrvold of Intellectual Ventures

Summary: People who are closely affiliated/associated with Microsoft have a tendency to slow down scientific progress using patent monopolies

A year and a half ago we wrote this concise timeline of Microsoft's patent strategy. Microsoft generates patent trolls, including the world’s largest troll. Is anybody surprised? Bill Gates too has a patent troll and Paul Allen has just joined the club.

How do we know that Nathan Myhrvold, Bill Gates, and Paul Allen are patent trolls? They are all using shells that lack actual products. That’s the hallmark of a patent troll, formerly known by some as a “patent shark”. Paul Allen’s patent troll even chose for itself a very troll-like name, as though it’s not even trying to masquerade as a real company:

The suit has been brought by Interval Licensing, which is controlled by Mr Allen.

Take a look at Google and try to find this company’s Web site. We have not managed to even get an address (probably some lawyers’ office). We do have the addresses which show proximity between Gates, his investment arm (including Gates Foundation), and the patent trolls which he is grooming in Kirkland, Washington. What are these people up to and what is their deep obsession with patent monopolies? In relation to Allen, Robert Pogson points out that:

You can tell a patent-troll by the number of decades of prior art that precedes their invention. 40+ years is close to the record, IMHO. I think the troll feels all the old guys who have seen this before have died or have lost interest. Of course a good troll waits until the patent is about to expire to maximize return on legal fees.

Acacia did the same thing (suing Linux with old patents nearing expiry) and it has some former Microsoft managers in it.

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2 Comments

  1. emacsuser said,

    August 28, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Gravatar

    Interval Licensing Corporation Web Site ..

    http://web.archive.org/web/19971012120741/www.interval.com/about/

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    What has happened to this site since then (and why)?

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