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

10.02.10

Signs of Defeat: Microsoft is Suing Linux Again, Using FAT Software Patents

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, OIN, Patents, SCO at 2:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft is throwing gorilla dust again

Salt throwing

“We counted over a million lines of code that we allege are infringed in the Linux kernel today.”Darl McBride (SCO), September 11th, 2003

Summary: Microsoft declares patent war on Motorola, which has a very extensive patent portfolio of its own and may never again partner with Microsoft as a result

MICROSOFT grew out of a culture of aggression and its founders are fiends*. Having heard testimonies about extortionists like Bill Gates we are not surprised to see Microsoft going down the same path as SCO. As an increasingly frail company that fewer and fewer people care about, it just needs to roar a little, due to bad judgment from eccentric managers like Steve Ballmer, who famously said that “Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.”

What Ballmer was trying to say is that he cannot compete against GNU/Linux unless he creates and lobbies for something imaginary which he calls “intellectual property” (that would be deceiving terminology for software patents). Ballmer cannot be too happy to see all those dying Microsoft products which he must drop as the company’s value drops too.

Some years ago we still saw some real announcements coming from Microsoft. Occasionally they announced some new products, but in recent months/years the announcements were often about the death of products and yesterday the main announcement was about Microsoft suing a partner/competitor using software patents. Linux is part of this lawsuit based on the following list of patents from Microsoft Emil (the first few correspond to FAT):

The nine patents in question in the ITC complaint include:

* 5,579,517: Common name space for long and short filenames
* 5,758,352: Common name space for long and short filenames
* 6,621,746: Monitoring entropic conditions of a flash memory device as an indicator for invoking erasure operations
* 6,826,762: Radio interface layer in a cell phone with a set of APIs having a hardware-independent proxy layer and a hardware-specific driver layer
* 6,909,910: Method and system for managing changes to a contact database
* 7,644,376: Flexible architecture for notifying applications of state changes
* 5,664,133: Context sensitive menu system/menu behavior
* 6,578,054: Method and system for supporting off-line mode of operation and synchronization using resource state information
* 6,370,566: Generating meeting requests and group scheduling from a mobile device

There are also comments on this article in LWN.

Microsoft is just suing Linux/Android, which is winning. Apple must be happy to see Microsoft do this. The brutes from Microsoft are now suing the last major hardware company which sells Android-powered phones and does not pay Microsoft for the ‘privilege’. The rest of them, all of which are based in Asia, already pay for imaginary Linux patent infringements (never named, just numbered but not enumerated based on some hypothetical basis).

“After suing another Open Source project, how come M$ say it loves Open Source ? What about Outercurve farce ?”
      –Reader from Brazil
All the major Android-distributing companies — notably HTC, Samsung, and LG — already pay Microsoft for Android (or at least claim to be paying Microsoft for it). All along we kept arguing that the only large distributor of Android which did not pay Microsoft for Linux was Motorola, which has patent prowess just like Nokia. “Guess this time they [Microsoft] went too far,” said to us one of the readers. “Motorola has thousands of patents, covering broad areas(uProcessors, Telco).”

“Nokia could join with Motorola and sue the ASS out of M$. This time they’re not fighting Tom Tom like firms,” said another reader. To quote other responses from Techrights readers: “After suing another Open Source project, how come M$ say it loves Open Source ? What about Outercurve farce ? Shameless face…”

Microsoft’s lawsuit in this case is not so different from the legal action against TomTom (mixture of patents targeting Linux and other areas). HTC appears to have surrendered to Microsoft only after Apple sued them too. Our guess is that Microsoft has been extorting and pressuring Linux/Android vendors for quite a while and Motorola refused to pay for the non-existent/unbacked claims. Here is the coverage from Murdoch’s press

Android has since replaced Microsoft as the mobile operating system of choice for handset vendors that don’t already have their own proprietary software. And while Samsung Electronics Co., LG Electronics Co. and HTC have committed to making Windows Phone 7 devices, all of them have a much larger presence in Android.

In IRC, one reader hypothesises that the timing of this lawsuit was intended to almost coincide with the release of Vista Phone 7 [sic], perhaps in order to ensure that people talk about Android being “not free” while Microsoft keeps waving its lousy new platform, attempting to use half a billion dollars in marketing just persuading carriers/manufacturers to support Vista Phone 7.

Mitchell Ashley remembered quite correctly Ballmer’s words which are analogous to his early laughter at the hypePhone. Ashley chose the headline: “Steve Ballmer: Google Android “just some words on paper”. You can say the same about Windows Mobile 7 today.”

Google Android is winning over customers, whether Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer wants to admit it or not. In a Tokyo press conference in 2007, Ballmer referred to Google’s upcoming Android OS as “just some words on paper right now” and “right now they have a press release — we have many, many millions of customers…”.

We’ve had a very long discussion about what Google and OIN should do about it. gnufreex wrote: “I am now thinking Google should buy some patent troll and go after everything Microsoft makes.”

A complaint could probably be filed by Google because this is racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Microsoft is trying to embargo Motorola phones, using a sort of economic pressure/sanction (International Trade Commission [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]) in hope of making Motorola settle rather than pursue justice in court. Microsoft did the exact same thing to TomTom. It’s vicious.

Microsoft said today that it has filed suit against Motorola for patent infringement related to Motorola’s Android smartphones. Microsoft filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Washington and also filed a complaint to the International Trade Commission.

Here is an example of very poor coverage of the lawsuit

Microsoft says Motorola’s Android phones are patent infringers

Techrights’ inception as “Boycott Novell” about 4 years ago was designed to end Microsoft’s patent attacks on GNU/Linux. These attacks began shortly after Novell and Microsoft had signed their patent deal, which was initiated by Novell in the middle of 2006.

“These attacks began shortly after Novell and Microsoft had signed their patent deal, which was initiated by Novell in the middle of 2006.”Beware the spinners who keep pretending that Microsoft has turned soft on software patents. This lawsuit only provided further justification for avoiding Mono and Moonlight, especially in Android (c/f MonoDroid [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15]).

Microsoft has gotten desperate and its mob/lobbyists are spinning this lawsuit as reasonable.

If the allegations are true and Microsoft Florian is indeed one of the mobbyists [sic] on the company’s payroll (like ACT), then utterly disgusting techniques is all this monopoly abuser has got left, trying to force its way back in by ‘spamming’ blogs and getting told off for it, e.g. in the following comment:

When will you stop spamming the intewebs, Florian? Are you get paid per post?

You anti-FLOSS crusade is so ridiculous that it is not even funny anymore. It is really pathetic that Microsoft sends failures like you to do perception management.

To quote one line of nonsense from this mobbyist, “Google must now act constructively and try to work out amicable arrangements with those right holders.” Amazing!
___
* Bad behaviour descends from above. For example, “we will have to consider the patents they violate,” wrote Bill Gates about Star/OpenOffice some years ago.

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

12 Comments

  1. faltu said,

    October 2, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Gravatar

    Andriod is stomping all over iPhone. Apple cannot match Google pace of development.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It’s not just Google’s pace of development. Google enjoys the work from dozens of other large companies on Linux. Apple is essentially trying to catch up with IBM, Intel, HP, Red Hat, Google, and others. Developers are shown (e.g. in new surveys) to prefer to code for Linux/Android, not iOS.

  2. dyfet said,

    October 2, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Gravatar

    I am writing an article on this topic over the weekend. It will be up on planet gnu first, I think.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Let us know when it’s published and where.

    dyfet Reply:

    Done. http://planet.gnu.org/gnutelephony/?p=10

  3. Agent_Smith said,

    October 2, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Gravatar

    Very upset with all this stuff. The ironic thing, I wrote in Ghabuntu’s blog about the dangers of hostile companies suing Linux/Open Source projects, and, 2 days later, it happens. Seems like I was foreseeing this tragedy.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It was easy to foresee.

    Jose_X Reply:

    Apple was getting beat, but they got a new life by adopting very large quantities of open source (most popularly, a variant from the BSD family of operating systems). Also, they do allow developers to build third party apps. So Apple is most surely not working alone.

    However, their model is more closed than Google’s. This is one reason they are turning so aggressively to tragic patents. They are a significant handicap courtesy of a very broken patent system.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Apple sells to the rich people’s niche. It needs patents to prevent and to kill commoditisation.

  4. Agent_Smith said,

    October 2, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Gravatar

    Actually, it was possible, but I did not think they would DO it, not so fast. I never thought they would go down so low.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The lower MSFT (stock) goes, the lower Microsoft will stoop.

What Else is New


  1. The European Patent Office “is Acting as Though the Law Does Not Apply to It.”

    An article from Nieuwsuur which provides the words of Liesbeth Zegveld (for SUEPO) and Guillaume Minnoye (for the European Patent Office), reaffirming the EPO's bizarre notion that it is above the law, even in the face of human rights violations and a court ruling against the EPO



  2. Microsoft-Connected FRAND Lobbying (Software Patents Against Free/Open Source Software) in Brussels

    Anti-Free/Open Source software (FOSS) talking points and FRAND (anti-FOSS) lobbying groups in Brussels as seen by proponents of FRAND, who also worked for Microsoft



  3. Latest Propaganda From the EPO's Management an Effort to Make the EPO the Tool of Megacorporations

    A quick roundup of some of the latest spin and paid-for (bought) coverage that helps introduce a distorted patent system whose beneficiaries are not European (or even people)



  4. 'Aversion to Change' Propaganda From the EPO Echoes or Parrots Lenin and Stalin

    The out-of-control EPO management is trying to fool the media by blaming staff representatives for getting fired, simply because they stood up to a highly abusive and megalomaniacal dictator



  5. The Gates Foundation Subjected to Criticism, But Over a Decade Too Late

    Reckoning and accepting the fact that even some in the media now openly speak about Bill Gates' corrupting influence in everything, including politics



  6. Links 8/2/2016: Zenwalk 8.0 Beta 2, Q4OS 1.4.7

    Links for the day



  7. SIPO (China's Patent Office) Taken Over by Patent Maximalists

    A look at China's race to the bottom (decline in quality) when it comes to patents, assuming quite wrongly that quantity is more important than quality and severe penalties for perceived infringement will spur innovation



  8. The Alice Case Continues to Smash Software Patents (This Time OpenTV's); Will the EPO Ever Pay Attention?

    The potency or the grip of software patents in the United States is quickly eroding, but the EPO continues to act as though software patents are legitimate



  9. EPO Staff Responds to Team Battistelli's Expansion to Include French Economic Propagandist on the Payroll

    With strings attached (like string puppets of Battistelli in various units including the Investigative Unit), can the new Chief Economist, who is French and paid by Battistelli, ever be trusted?



  10. UPC: To Understand Who Would Benefit From It Just Look at Who's Promoting It (Like TPP)

    The UPC, which is designed to aid patent trolls and aggressors (and their lawyers), is still being advanced by the EPO and some misinformed (but loyal to these former groups) politicians



  11. Trolls Molestos: Rovi (del famoso Angry Birds) Ayuda al Más Largo Troll de Patentes de Microsoft Intellectual Ventures (Corregido)

    Alguna vez conocido como hacedor de juegos y más tarde como vigilancia en masa en jugadores, Rovi ahora se ESTA ALIANDO CON EL MÁS GRANDE TROLL DE PATENTES



  12. Estadísticas de Invalidación de Patentes y Costos de Litigación de Patentes (incluso si son falsas) Muestran que la Esfera de Patentes y los Estándares de Examinación son un Probleman, No Sólo en Los Estados Unidos

    Demasiadas falsas patentes que no deberían haber sido otorgadas en primer lugar y fraudulentes jucios de patentes que terminan en favor del acusado sirve para mostrar el costo externo (o externalidad) cuando set trata de un bajisímo sistema de patentes que se esfuerza en otorgar muchas patentes irrespectivamente de su mérito.



  13. The 'Offenses' of EPO Staff Representatives Boil Down to Truth-Telling

    Dutch television examined the documents of the mock 'trials' against SUEPO leaders and concluded that whistle-blowing (i.e. exposing abuses by EPO management), not misconduct, is the reason for overzealous dismissals



  14. Rumours About Dismissal of Benoît Battistelli and New Letter From Union Syndicale Federale Blasting Battistelli's Behaviour

    hings have been heating up since the dismissal of staff representatives at the European Patent Office (EPO) and some even spread rumours about withdrawal/dismissal of the EPO's President



  15. VirnetX Case Against Apple Shows Not the Problem With Patent Trolls But With Software Patents

    What the media really ought to be talking about after the high-profile VirnetX case, rather than obsess about the status of Apple or patent trolls in the Eastern District of Texas



  16. Diápositivas de Nueva Charla Explican la Connección Entre la Corte De Patentes Unitarias (UPC) y Patentes de Software

    Benjamín Henrion habló el pasado Domingo acerca de las patentes de software europeas -una presentación que habla de la Corte Unitaria de Patentes, por la que la OEP aboga sin cesar y que es lo que significa para las patentes de software.



  17. Las Políticas de Microsoft Alienan Incluso a los Hinchas Más Acérrimos de Microsoft, Incluyendo Pro-Microsoft Web Sites

    El agresivo comportamiento de Microsoft y su BAJA CALIDAD DE PRODUCTOS dejan algunos de sus últimos restos de ´hinchas´ descorazonados y molestos.



  18. Links 6/2/2016: CoreOS Rocket 1.0, Scientific Linux 7.2

    Links for the day



  19. Maybe It's Time for Class Action Lawsuits Against Microsoft for Forced Vista 10 'Upgrades', Which Were Definitely No Accident

    The sheer arrogance of Microsoft, which silently changes the operating system on people's computers (without their consent), makes lawsuits imperative, not just a possibility



  20. Readers' Article: A Strange Conspiracy of Silence in the German Media (Part II)

    Željko Topić's allegedly dark background, which includes a suicide, a retreat of potential witnesses, German funds in Topić's private bank account and several more interesting bits



  21. Links 5/2/2016: Wine 1.9.3, Slackware 14.2 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  22. Links 4/2/2016: Red Hat Upgraded, Ubuntu Tablet

    Links for the day



  23. The Siege Continues: Patent Lawyers Want More Patents, Including Software Patents, In Spite of Alice

    Lawyers who make money from patent disputes make rather apparent their aspirations, which include patent saturation even in domains that are patents-exempt



  24. European Patent Office Pretends It's Business as Usual and Prepares New Vanity Pieces

    The PR strategy of the EPO, whose destructive patent strategy continues unabated (for now), latches onto Colombia and strives to manufacture mythology wherein the public, patent examiners and patent applicants are all very happy with the EPO



  25. The 'International' Trade Commission Imposes/Reinforces Software Patents to Establish Another Embargo

    The International [sic] Trade Commission is meddling in competition and allowing a US giant, Cisco in this case, to potentially block rivals (no imports from abroad) using software patents



  26. Readers' Article: A Strange Conspiracy of Silence in the German Media (Part I)

    The views of some of our readers regarding reluctance in the German media to challenge the EPO's violations of German law, probably because Germany benefits from being a host nation of the EPO



  27. Benoît Battistelli's EPO: From Show Trials and Mock Trials to a Self-Aggrandising Propaganda Event Later Today in Rijswijk

    A headsup from a reader regarding today's highly misleading event in Rijswijk (e.g. to mislead the media or seed positive media coverage in the Netherlands) and how it was set up



  28. Caricature of the Day: EPO President

    New caricature about Benoît Battistelli, his bodyguards, and the assault on free speech at the European Patent Office



  29. Company Known as European Patent Office Provides Tips on How to Patent Software in Europe

    The European Patent Office (EPO) uses its attendance at CeBIT, which is a corporate expo, to promote software patents in spite of the European Patent Convention (EPC)



  30. Links 3/2/2016: Dell GNU/Linux Laptop, Wine 1.8.1

    Links for the day


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