Handouts from Microsoft
Summary: Software patents proponents share their wealth while companies that bring free/libre software to the market get sued
PATENT TROLL Acacia has been agitating Linux for almost exactly three years now and a few days ago it made a settlement announcement regarding Red Hat [1, 2, 3]. Microsoft paid Acacia some months ago and it’s paying it again based on Murdoch’s press and Mary Jo Foley who writes:
Sometimes it’s cheaper to head off a potential problem than fight — a stance the old Microsoft regime would repudiate, but one that the current one increasingly has been pursuing.
On October 7, Microsoft licensed 74 patents for an undisclosed amount with Acacia Research Corp. and Access Co. Ltd, the Japanese company that acquired PalmSource, the maker of the Palm operating system, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Notice the role of ACCESS in there. André Rebentisch from the FFII warned us last year about the patent pools ACCESS or LiMo were getting into. The company was pro-software patents and patent trolls are now using similar tactics to merely extort competitors. It’s a good thing that ALP is dead given the damage its staff was causing to software freedom. “Microsoft pays Acacia,” I pointed out to Glyn Moody, adding that “Groklaw perceives that as Microsoft rewarding those ex-Softies who work in Acacia and sue Red Hat et al.” Moody did not rule out the possibility of it being a factor.
“Acacia has been good to Microsoft as it helped generate Linux FUD for several years, just like SCO did.”Isn’t it fascinating how money can change hands through settlements? Microsoft did not even challenge this, it immediately paid. Acacia has been good to Microsoft as it helped generate Linux FUD for several years, just like SCO did.
In other news, now that Microsoft extorts Android, LG (with a Microsoft patent deal covering Linux) drops some of its Android plans and just a couple of days later initiates a Microsoft co-operation. A reader of ours from Latvia sent us this link. It turns out that some of those companies which signed Linux patent deals with Microsoft were actually quietly sued but settled before this was made publicly known. Melco is reportedly one of those. That’s just racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] and it’s where Microsoft seems to be going. █