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

10.31.10

With Software Patents “Microsoft Claims to Own the Whole Field of Syncing E-mail Between a Cloud and a Device.”

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, IBM, Mail, Microsoft, OIN, Patents at 5:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ActiveSync logo joke

Summary: Microsoft’s sick strategy of pointing at other people’s code and claiming it to be its own (because of software patents) is revisited, Apple’s new anti-Linux lawsuit is analysed further, and IBM’s general response gets analysed too

LAST NIGHT we wrote about Apple's lawsuit against Motorola for its Linux-powered phones. Feedback in Identi.ca about this post was okay, but in Twitter the site was told off for not discussing Motorola’s lawsuit against Apple. For those who are new to this landscape, here is an older bunch of mobile patent lawsuits maps. It has become hard to keep track without one. After some discussion it was almost agreed that, even as a Microsoft-sympathetic mobbyist put it, “Motorola vs. Apple was a preemptive strike.” According to what we learned, maybe Nokia too sued Apple preemptively. Dana Blankenhorn, who entertains the ideas that Microsoft and VMware are the main companies/parties who matter in Fog Computing (it is easily disputable as several others cannot be realistically counted out) and would fight like Novell and Microsoft once did (VMware may soon buy SUSE), also wrote this new post about the “smartphone patent thicket”. He correctly pointed out that:

…Microsoft claims to own the whole field of syncing e-mail between a cloud and a device. NTP claims to own the whole idea of wireless e-mail.

How does this spur innovation? It doesn’t. You’re patenting the idea of killing mice. We can’t create a better mousetrap until your patent expires, and then we’re stuck with the first new patent to hit the door.

In a sane world of software patents, you patent your implementation of wireless e-mail, or e-mail sync. You publish your code and if someone goes at it in the same way, they know they’re infringing. The code is the design, and if you aren’t willing to publish that through the patent office it should be no patent for you.

There is this new post which takes an FSF (Free Software Foundation) perspective and concludes as follows: “Software patents are the cancer of the industry. It’s a big claim to make, I know, but how much longer will it take for governments to wake up and fix the problem? I encourage everyone to join in the fight by contributing to the End Software Patents wiki, and by helping organizations like the Free Software Foundation encourage governments to abolish patents.” The FFII, whose approach is similar, has found this very recent post from IBMIP.com (IBM intellectual monopolies) and it wonders:

IBM going to revive peer2patent?

Peer-to-Patent had a bit of a resurrection just days before that. Like OIN, this project is a legitimiser of software patents and thus not a permanent solution (hardly even a temporary one). A few days ago we found NBS Technologies getting a “Canadian patent for smart card personalization,” according to this press release:

NBS believes that this patent recognizes NBS as a clear leader in the Canadian marketplace for smart card personalization. NBS holds many software patents for card issuance and card production equipment in several countries throughout the world.

This is a Canadian company and not a patent troll. Why does Canada grant monopolies on algoritms? There is a bit of a debate about it these days [1, 2, 3, 4]. Regardless, Canadian software companies sometimes get granted software patents. One of these is conveniently and famously threatening Microsoft’s cash cash, but it’s no reason to be sympathetic towards Microsoft (which deliberately took the idea of the patent holder, i4i, and then used it to bury the company).

“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.”

James Eagleton, systems product manager for Sun Microsystems

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

7 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    October 31, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Gravatar

    Thanks for documenting Microsoft’s use of software patents to harm an innovative competitor. Microsoft knows that sync and input are critical to mobile device users.

    I’ve found a tenuous link between Microsoft and a previous patent attack on Palm which wrecked the PDA market a decade ago. Palm was forbidden to distribute Graffiti when they lost a software patent lawsuit by Xerox in 2001. Xerox was granted their patent in 1997, one year after the launch of Palm OS, and 120 years after the publication of moon type. As of 2005, Graffiti has been in the hands of the Microsoft proxy, ACCESS. [1][2] How intersting it is that a software patent attack that did so much damage to PDAs almost a decade ago would result in all of Palm OS being shuffled to a company that launched bogus personal attacks on Richard Stallman and worked to do other harm to free software. There are roughly seven years of Graffiti patent left where ACCESS can decide who gets to use it and who does not, and free software users will have to get it from outside the US.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I ranted about “Graffiti 2″ and Xerox patents long before I was active in the fight against software patents (around 2007). It only harms people’s work and productivity. So much for “spurring innovation”. My current PDA still has Graffiti (since before the dispute). Take that, ACCESS.

    twitter Reply:

    The result is obvious, everyone that respects US software patents were deprived of a useful input method and the market for PDAs collapsed. Neither Xerox nor ACCESS made use of Graffiti, until recently. ACCESS has licensed a Graffiti app for Android, finally. I wonder if they used the cumbersome Graffiti 2 that everyone hated. People outside of the US patent system are free to use single stroke input for portable devices. It would not surprise me if some kind of Microsoft mole at Xerox drove the whole thing.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    ACCESS gave Acacia patents and the patent which Acacia used to sue Linux in 2007 was from Xerox.

  2. twitter said,

    October 31, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Gravatar

    According to the Widipedia Palm OS page, Palm 2.0, released in 1998, had a network sync.

    I also remember Microsoft’s attack on Palm sync in 2002. I was a palm user at a Fortune 100 company which had drank a lot of Microsoft’s koolaid. Sometime around 2001, “security updates” broke sync between Palm and Outlook, which was the required email tool. With some effort, I was able to undo the damage, but I doubt many others would have bothered. Because a lot of scheduling comes by email, this was a crucial break that rendered Palm devices next to useless.

    These moves managed to destroy Palm but Microsoft has never been able to make a suitable replacement mobile system. The company is only able to retard and tax others.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Microsoft famously used games around trademarks to hurt Palm’s business. The same sorts of games were played against OpenOffice.org (twice, the second time against ODF).

  3. Ycvddf said,

    October 2, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    2011…

    Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem with your site in internet explorer, would check this… IE still is the market leader and a huge portion of people will miss your fantastic writing because of this problem….

What Else is New


  1. Microsoft Loves Linux to Death and Still Tries to Kill GNU/Linux

    Microsoft's relentless attacks on GNU/Linux and Free software in general (even if it runs on Windows) are so evident that claims of 'love' remain laughable at best (if not infuriating)



  2. Censorship, Self-Censorship and Intimidation Now the Modus Operandi at EPO

    The European Patent Office has ceased even trying to pretend that it respects human rights, including the right to free speech



  3. Patent Practitioners: "The Unitary Patent Might be Able to Open the Floodgates for Software Patents in Europe"

    The EPO-backed Unitary Patent scheme threatens to bring software patents to Europe and along with them a lot of patent trolls from all around the world (especially the United States)



  4. Microsoft Lies About Vista 10 and Increases Microsoft Surveillance (Even Beyond Vista 10 and Into Android, Vista 7/8)

    Windows surveillance expands retroactively, making its way into platforms other than Windows and also expanding to predecessors of Vista 10



  5. Another Suicide at the EPO, Fifth by Our Count

    Yet another EPO member of staff has just committed suicide, leading to the inevitable question: how many people need to die before Battistelli and his minions are out of the Office for good?



  6. Links 27/8/2015: ownCloud Desktop Client 2.0, Red Hat Downgraded

    Links for the day



  7. Microsoft-connected Mesosphere Threatens to Eliminate Free Software in the Datacentre

    Hiding behind a misleading 'open' label while actually backed by Microsoft (and based on new rumours may join Microsoft), Mesosphere wishes to eradicate Free and back doors-free software in large datacentres hosting a lot of physical and virtual servers



  8. Microsoft Aggression Against GNU/Linux Amid Vista 10's Failure

    A look at the recent assault on GNU/Linux in Munich and the likely cause for this assault (in such a timely fashion, too)



  9. Message to LinuxCon Regarding Microsoft: “It is Necessary to Get Behind Someone in Order to Stab Them in the Back.” -Sir Humphrey Appleby

    Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, helps Microsoft gain influence in the Foundation after payments are received



  10. Market Share Estimates Confirm That Vista 10 Failed in a Major Way

    Confirmatory evidence that Vista 10 is failing in the market about a month after its much-hyped (paid coverage) release



  11. When Microsoft, the Master of Patent Trolls, Complains About Trolls

    Possibly the world's biggest patent abuser and monopolist, which also creates many patent trolls (including by far the biggest one), takes on a far smaller abuser in Court



  12. Letter Signed by Two German Officials Becomes a Microsoft Weapon of Propaganda

    Microsoft and its minions refuse to leave Munich alone, even though the vast majority in Munich are perfectly happy with Free/libre software



  13. Links 25/8/2015: Linux Kernel 4.2 Final RC, KDE Ships Plasma 5.4.0

    Links for the day



  14. Sabine Pfeiler and Otto Seidl Should Take Note as Russia -- Like China -- is in the Process of Banning Microsoft Windows for Security Reasons

    A look at a strange suggestion, signed by Sabine Pfeiler and Otto Seidl, who suggest going back to Microsoft which is basically a spyware company now



  15. Microsoft Windows Leads to Espionage and Blackmail: Latest Examples

    Another news overview, detailing high-profile examples of high-cost Windows deployments (including the cost of litigation and settlement)



  16. Links 23/8/2015: BcacheFS Benchmarks, Blackphone 2

    Links for the day



  17. Links 22/8/2015: Chromebook Gains, GNOME 3.18 Clues

    Links for the day



  18. Alice v. CLS Bank (the Alice Case/§101) Continues to Crush Software Patents in the United States

    Patent scope in the United States continues to be narrowed down as more software patents get their wings clipped



  19. Company of Hype and 'Fanbois' Continues Its Patent Attacks on Android/Linux

    Apple's attacks on Android (using bogus patents) may be soon be escalated to the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS)



  20. EPO Corruption of Patent Boundaries: Business Methods and Algorithms Patented

    How the European Patent Office (EPO) not only turns a blind eye to European law while patenting or granting patents on software but also openly advocates this now



  21. Who's Obsessing Over Patent Trolls in Latest 'Reform' Efforts? Larger Patent Trolls Such as Xerox

    Response to claims that the patent problem is being tackled by focusing on patent trolls and their favourite courts in the Eastern District of Texas



  22. Links 20/8/2015: Fedora 24 Plans, Ubuntu Phones in India

    Links for the day



  23. Blackmail and Lies From the Press and the Government of New Zealand Attempt to Sell to the Public a Deal That Broadens Patent Scope

    Corporate conquest or takeover of New Zealand culminates in empty promises from government officials and blackmail against citizens of New Zealand, especially the country's dairy industry



  24. Vista 10 Turns PCs Into Zombies: Microsoft to Remotely Delete Software From Windows, Like Amazon Deleted Books From Kindle

    Microsoft allows itself to remotely delete software from Vista 10 (not just Microsoft's software), as revealed by the mainstream media not too long after the failed launch (poor adoption so far)



  25. Black Duck Still Destroying, Lying, Rewriting History

    Black Duck is still carrying water for Microsoft and pretends to be working for 'Open Source', despite doing it much harm and doing nothing that is actually Open Source



  26. Ashley Madison Disaster Apparently the Fault of Microsoft Windows

    New reports serve to show that Ashley Madison's data which got leaked includes complete dump of corporate Windows passwords



  27. After OOXML Propaganda, New Assocham Propaganda Calls for Back Doors, Spyware and Other Malicious, Self-defeating Traps Inside Government of India

    Assocham is showing its true colours yet again, lobbying for the interests of foreign companies and endorsing serious abuse or compromise of India's national sovereignty



  28. Links 19/8/2015: LinuxCon Everywhere

    Links for the day



  29. Links 18/8/2015: Linux 4.2 RC7, IBM's LinuxOne

    Links for the day



  30. Patents Roundup: Patent Reform, Google's 'Startups' Ploy, JDate, Fitbit, Cisco, and UPC in the UK

    A collection of news stories about patents, accumulated over the past week or so


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