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

10.03.10

Vista Phone 7 is Dead on Arrival, So Microsoft Resorts to ‘Chill Attack’ on Linux/Android

Posted in Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 8:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Panic

Summary: Microsoft is trying to make sellers of Android phones panic just shortly before its embarrassing competitor, Vista Phone 7 [sic], arrives at the market

IT IS no longer news that Microsoft is suing the last large seller of Android phones for not paying Microsoft for Linux. The FFII calls it:

New #Android stunt, start of #swpat wars or the last defense?

David Sugar from GNU Telephony alleges that Microsoft “can use the mere threat of patent lawsuits to effectively extort payments like a modern day Al Capone.” Here is his excellent (and widely-cited) post titled “Legal terrorism Microsoft style” (also published here):

Many people I think misunderstand Microsoft’s supreme court appeal of the i4i patent case. Some suggest that by focusing on limiting the ability to actually win patent cases that Microsoft is somehow limiting it’s own ability to use software patents against others. Nothing can be further from the truth, and indeed I think this case and their newly launched lawsuit against Motorola represents a milestone in their transformation from a proprietary software vendor into a litigation house.

What I think people fail to appreciate is that Microsoft does not seek the elimination of software patents but only to further limit the possibility of suffering spectacular losses at the end of such cases. This is because they understand well their most effective strategy is not in actually winning large judgments in patent cases against others, but rather simply in being able to financially exhaust others that they choose to sue. Hence, they wish to have an environment that is for them “safer to sue”.

Being a failed software company that can neither produce nor enter markets they are unable to illegally force people to buy their defective products, they clearly see future growth by taxing everyone else’s success. This is made possible by the threat of launching multi-year patent lawsuits that will cost millions of dollars to defend against even if they are entirely groundless, but for which they are far better positioned to financially sustain than their chosen target. They therefore can use the mere threat of patent lawsuits to effectively extort payments like a modern day Al Capone.

Microsoft is trying to deter companies from selling Android/Linux, using software patents. Sugar quotes Benjamin Franklin as saying: “That as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others…”

“To Microsoft, sharing work is a one-way affair (exploiting the work of others).”Microsoft does not understand sharing. To Microsoft, sharing work is a one-way affair (exploiting the work of others). By the way, Sugar’s use of the word “legal terrorism” may cheapen the term “terrorism”, but it is a proper term to use in this context. A few years ago, James Eagleton, the systems product manager for Sun Microsystems, said about Microsoft’s aggressive action: “What we’re seeing though now can be loosely described as patent terrorism, where people are using their patent horde as a threat [...] It’s almost like a cold war stand over tactic; where I have these patents and if you breach these patents, I’m going to come after you and sue you.”

Last night in IRC we showed that the MSBBC’s coverage of the lawsuit against Motorola seemed more like Microsoft propaganda and many other publications fell into the same trap; they describe Motorola like some kind of “thief” and Microsoft as a victim rather than explain to viewers/readers that Microsoft cannot compete, so it is just agitating everyone else around it.

A Microsoft booster from the The Seattle Times wrote a decent piece for a change. It’s titled “Microsoft using anti-Linux tactic against Google’s Android” and it starts as follows:

The lawsuit Microsoft filed against Motorola and its use of Google’s Android phone software is awfully familiar.

Microsoft used the same tactic against Linux when the open-source software reached critical mass in the data center and threatened to derail the growth of Microsoft’s server business seven years ago.

After name-calling failed to slow Linux, Microsoft started warning big companies that the free software wasn’t really free. It also said companies should take into account the potential cost of patent and licensing litigation around open-source products.

Uncertainty increased in 2003, when SCO, a Utah company, alleged that Linux was using some of its technologies. SCO licensed its technology to Microsoft and sought royalties from hundreds of companies using Linux.

That helped Microsoft persuade customers that free software isn’t really free. It even promised to indemnify customers that went with Microsoft products instead, offering a sort of insurance against patent issues.

Microsoft is the new SCO. “Beat The Bully” is the title Pogson chose for covering this development and he said:

The only thing good I see coming from this action is that the world will see M$ is a patent-troll and refuse to do business with them and the world will reject software-patents. They just make no sense. You don’t invent software. You figure it out step by step. You can obtain a patent on a particular type of door-latch but your patent cannot cover all door-latches and block out innovation by others. That’s what software-patents attempt to do. Given a particular goal a number of programmers can reach the same solution by any number of methods. M$ wants to define every possible goal of technology and block others from getting to it. That is wrong and this litigation must be fought tooth and nail or M$ will just become more dangerous. Technology in USA will become a backwater if they are allowed to stifle innovation this way.

The Microsoft boosters have little to offer in terms of coverage (they mostly refuse to denounce Microsoft) and OpenBytes twists a famous quote from “Field of Dreams” (the film) in order to describe what Microsoft is doing here:

“If you build it, they will sue”

Yes, Microsoft is at it again. Maybe worried by the lack of mainstream interest in their upcoming “creation” Windows Mobile 7? Its being reported that good old Redmond is now after Motorola (its already had a go at HTC and Samsung) and looking to suck a bit of revenue from the sale of Android, since in my view it seems doubtful they will get much from their own platform.

Very clever, Microsoft. The company’s failing mobile business leaves it with no choice but to merely become the class bully. According to this new report, the same companies which Microsoft has already got as paying sellouts (paying Microsoft for Linux) are willing to dabble in Vista Phone 7 [sic]. The title of the article is “5 Reasons the Windows Phone 7 Will Fail” (the are many new posts like that) and it says:

Samsung, HTC, and LG will manufacture the handsets, but so far there has only been speculation on what the phones will offer and look like. What we do know is that Microsoft has to make up a lot of ground if it expects to gain market share in an Apple, Android, and BlackBerry dominated world.

Prepare for the brainwash we have been warning about:

So far, we know that Microsoft is sinking $500 million into a marketing and advertising blitz and will be offering Windows Phone 7 first in Europe, three weeks before America.

Well, even Microsoft boosters are pessimistic about Vista Phone 7:

However, there’s at least one person who says this revolution ain’t gonna happen. Eric Bleeker, analyst over at The Motley Fool, reckons Windows Phone 7 might be humped before it even gets going. To quote the erstwhile Mr Bleeker, “I hate to sound dismissive of Windows Phone 7 before it even hits stores, but the deck is stacked against it. Regardless of Windows Phone 7’s features, it’s just too late in the game.”

According to this link we got last night, Vista Phone 7 is still primitive. To quote: “The parody says that Windows Phone 7 can?t copy and paste, can’t multitask, and can’t tether. All of these are true, but Microsoft said that these functionalities will become available soon after launch.”

“As annoying as the Motorola lawsuit may be, it is important to understand that it’s a sign of death for Microsoft in mobile.”It’s just about as bad with HP's Vista 7 tablet, which VentureBeat considers to be an embarrassment compared to Android tablets (they only name the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which Microsoft makes money from as well).

As annoying as the Motorola lawsuit may be, it is important to understand that it’s a sign of death for Microsoft in mobile. The company ran out of ideas. There has been a major executives exodus in this department (as well as others), so the main remaining risk is that of entryism. As the news put it some days ago:

Stephen Elop is said to have taken up as the CEO at Nokia Corp. Also Division President Robbie Bach is due to retire this year. Robbie Bach was handling included Microsoft’s mobile and games businesses, reportedly.

Don Reisinger, who only ever writes at CNET to provoke with bait, goes with the headline “Mobile woes slice Ballmer’s bonus in half” and CNET‘s partner site ZDNet helps Microsoft attack Android by giving Ed Bought a platform in which he stages a dumping of Android under “Why I dumped my Droid” (just to create some Microsoft hype in ZDNet ahead of the arrival of Vista Phone 7).

Lastly, remember this: Microsoft claims to be spending half a billion dollars just on marketing of Vista Phone 7. Lawsuits against Android distributors (and their timing) can be seen an just part of the publicity stunts.

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

What Else is New


  1. In the United States, the Patent 'Industry' is a Dying Breed and China Adopts This Destructive Force

    The decaying patent microcosm, or the pipeline of low-quality patents and frivolous lawsuits these entail, loses its grip on the US; China, much to the astonishment of people who actually create things, is attempting to attract that ruinous microcosm (which preys on real, producing companies)



  2. Microsoft and Nokia's Patent Trolls by Proxy: First Conversant, Now Provenance Asset Group Holdings LLC

    Microsoft's shell game with patents (passing Android-hostile patents to trolls) carries on and publishers funded by these trolls offer the details, albeit vaguely and with obvious spin



  3. Anonymous Professionals Speak of Benoît Battistelli's Destruction of the EPO, But Why Does the Media Turn a Blind Eye?

    Everyone in the circles of EPO staff and EPO stakeholders knows that dysfunction has become the norm; European media, however, remains suspiciously silent about what otherwise would be a major European scandal (bigger than FIFA or Dieselgate)



  4. The Darker Past of the Next President of the EPO - Part III: More Details About Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Former Employer of Campinos

    The side of Campinos which he prefers to conceal, or rather his association with a rather notorious Portuguese bank



  5. UPC Looks Like More of a Distant Dream (or Nightmare) as Germany Adds Another Two Months' Delay

    The likelihood that the UPC will be altogether scuttled is growing as delays keep piling up and more complaints are being filed by public interest groups (as opposed to Team UPC, which hoped to shove the UPCA down everyone's throats behind closed doors)



  6. Patent Trolls Roundup: BlackBerry, Dominion Harbor, IPNav, IP Bridge

    A quick review of recent news regarding patent trolls or entities which resemble (and sometimes feed) these



  7. Battistelli's Destruction of the EPO is Bad for Everyone, Even Patent Attorneys

    The collapse of the European patent system, owing primarily to Battistelli's totalitarian style and deemphasis on patent quality, means that "the war is lost," as one professional puts it



  8. Links 19/10/2017: Mesa 17.2.3, New Ubuntu Release, Samsung Flirts With GNU/Linux Desktops

    Links for the day



  9. Some of the USPTO's Most Ridiculous Patents Are Scrutinised by “Above the Law” While Dennis Crouch Attempts to Tarnish Alice

    Controversies over patent scope and level of novelty required for a patent; as usual, public interest groups try to restrict patent scope, whereas those who make money out of abundance of patents attempt to remove every barrier



  10. Microsoft's Software Patents Aggression in Court (Corel Again)

    Microsoft's tendency to not only abuse the competition but also to destroy it with patent lawsuits as seen in Corel's case



  11. The Spanish Supreme Court Rejects the EPO's “Problem and Solution Approach” While Quality of European Patents Nosedives

    European Patents (EPs) aren't what they used to be and their credibility is being further eroded and even detected as such



  12. Europe is Being Robbed by Team Battistelli and the UPC/PPH Would Make Things Worse

    The European Patent Office (EPO) has put litigation at the forefront, having implicitly decided to no longer bother with proper patent examination and instead issue lots of patents for judges and lawyers to argue about (at great expense to the public)



  13. Team UPC Continues to Promote Illusion of UPC Progress Where There's None

    The core members of Team UPC in the UK spread obvious falsehoods in the media, probably in an effort to attract 'business' (consultation regarding something that does not exist)



  14. António Campinos: A True EPO Reformer or More of the Same?

    More unfortunate reminders that Campinos and Battistelli don't quite diverge on the big issues, they're just more than two decades apart in age (but the same nationality)



  15. Juve Has Confirmed That António Campinos is French

    The relationship between Campinos and Battistelli has a nationality aspect to it, not even taking into account the interpersonal connection which goes a long way back



  16. The Darker Past of the Next President of the EPO - Part II: António Campinos at Banco Caixa Geral de Depósitos

    A look at the largely-hidden banking career of the next President of the EPO and the career of the person who competed with him for this position



  17. SUEPO to the Media, Regarding Campinos: “No Comment, It’s Too Dangerous”

    António Campinos, who is Benoît Battistelli's chosen successor at the EPO, as covered by German media earlier this month



  18. Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) Willing to Work With Campinos But Foresees Difficulties

    New message from SUEPO regarding Battistelli's successor of choice (Campinos)



  19. Links 18/10/2017: GTK+ 3.92, Microsoft Bug Doors Leaked

    Links for the day



  20. The Darker Past of the Next President of the EPO - Part I: Introduction

    Some new details about Mr. Campinos, who is Battistelli’s successor at the EPO



  21. Confessions of EPO Insiders Reveal That European Patents (EPs) Have Lost Their Legitimacy/Value Due to Battistelli's Policies

    A much-discussed topic at the EPO is now the ever-declining quality of granted patents, which make or break patent offices because quality justifies high costs (searches, applications, renewals and so on)



  22. Patent Firms From the United States Try Hard to Push the Unitary Patent (UPC), Which Would Foment Litigation Wars in Europe

    The UPC push seems to be coming from firms which not only fail to represent public interests but are not even European



  23. In the Age of Alice and PTAB There is No Reason to Pursue Software Patents in the United States (Not Anymore)

    The appeal board in the US (PTAB) combined with a key decision of the Supreme Court may mean that even at a very low cost software patents can be invalidated upon demand (petition) and, failing that, the courts will invalidate these



  24. IAM is Wrong, the Narrative Isn't Changing, Except in the Battistelli-Funded (at EPO's Expense) Financial Times

    The desperate attempts to change the narrative in the press culminate in nothing more than yet another misleading article from Rana Foroohar and some rants from Watchtroll



  25. The Federal Circuit Continues Squashing Software Patents

    Under the leadership of Sharon Prost the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) continues its war on software patents, making it very hard to remember the last time it tolerated any



  26. SUEPO Representatives Like Elizabeth Hardon Vindicated as Battistelli's Detrimental Effect on Patent Quality is Widely Confirmed

    Feedback regarding the awful refusal to acknowledge patent quality crisis at the EPO as well as the appointment of a President so close to Battistelli (who most likely assures continuation of his policies)



  27. Links 17/10/2017: KDE Frameworks 5.39.0, Safe Browsing in Epiphany

    Links for the day



  28. Judge Bryson Rules Against Allergan After It Used Native American Tribes to Dodge Scrutiny of Patents (IPRs); Senator Hatch Does Not Understand IPRs

    Having attempted to dodge inter partes reviews (IPRs) by latching onto sovereign immunity, Allergan loses a key case and Senator Hatch is meanwhile attempting to water down IPRs albeit at the same time bemoaning patent trolls (which IPRs help neutralise)



  29. Rumours That António Campinos Initially Had No Competition at All (for Battistelli's Succession) Are Confirmed

    Succession at the EPO (mostly French) shows that there's little room for optimism and Battistelli's people are too deeply entrenched in the upper echelons of the EPO



  30. EPO Stakeholders Complain That the New Chairman Does Not Grasp the Issues at the EPO (or Denies These)

    Some information from inside the EPO’s Administrative Council, whose Chairman is denying (at least to himself) some of the core issues that render the EPO less competitive in the international market


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