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. Links 21/9/2014: xorg-server 1.16.1, Linux Kernel 3.16.3

    Links for the day



  2. Links 20/9/2014: GNOME 3.13.92, Android L

    Links for the day



  3. Scanning Patent Troll Implodes; Is the Podcasting Patent Troll Next?

    MPHJ loses and Personal Audio LLC perhaps wins for the last time since software patents are quickly losing legitimacy in the United States



  4. If CAFC is Not Above the Law, Then it Should be Shut Down Now

    A long series of abuses in CAFC may as well suggest that this court has become broken beyond repair



  5. The Latest From Microsoft Patent Trolls and Patent Partners

    Microsoft-linked and Linux-hostile trolls continue their relentless attacks (albeit with little or no success) while patents as a weapon lose their teeth owing to a Supreme Court ruling



  6. Microsoft Proves That Its Massive Layoffs Are Not About Nokia

    Microsoft is laying off a lot of employees who have nothing at all to do with Nokia



  7. Links 19/9/2014: Another Red Hat Acquisition, Netflix Dumps Microsoft Silverlight and Brings DRM to WWW

    Links for the day



  8. Links 18/9/2014: Windows Copying GNU/Linux, Germany Moves to Security

    Links for the day



  9. Web Site 'Patent Progress' Now Officially 'Powered by CCIA' (FRAND Proponent, Microsoft Front)

    After talking a job at CCIA, "Patent Progress" and its chief author should be treated as dubious on real patent progress



  10. Articles About the Death of Software Patents in the United States

    Recent coverage of software patents and their demise in their country of origin, where even proponents of software patents are giving up



  11. The Death of Software Patents is Already Killing Some Major Patent Trolls

    VirnetX seems to be the latest victim of the demise of software patents in the United States



  12. More Microsoft Layoffs

    More Microsoft layoffs go ahead as the company is unable to compete



  13. ODF on the Rise

    Milestones for OpenDocument Format (ODF) and the launch of FixMyDocuments



  14. Links 17/9/2014: CoreOS, ChromeOS, and systemd

    Links for the day



  15. Italy is Cracking Down on Microsoft's Monopoly Abuse While Gradually Moving to GNU/Linux

    Italy is not only moving to Free/Open Source software but also to GNU/Linux while at the same time barring Microsoft from forcibly tying Windows to new PCs



  16. OpenSUSE's 'Assurances' Are Classic MBA School Hogwash

    OpenSUSE is not part of any commitment, except for SUSE's; the impact of the Novell/SUSE acquisition casts uncertainty on the project's future



  17. Links 16/9/2014: Firefox OS Smartphones in Bangladesh, “Treasure Map” of the Internet

    Links for the day



  18. The United Kingdom Should Dump Microsoft For the Sake of National Security

    The UK has issues of Microsoft dependency and Windows viruses; its migration to Free software and GNU/Linux is not fast enough to guard its autonomy in the age of digital imperialism



  19. CBS Hires Even More Microsoft Staff to Cover Microsoft Matters

    CBS continues to be infested with Microsoft staff past and present (this time Dave Johnson) and the bias in output is quite revealing



  20. Microsoft Has Just Killed Minecraft for GNU/Linux and the Possibility of Free/Open Source Releases

    Persson sells out to Microsoft and lets the abusive monopolist destroy the popular cross-platform game that a community has been built around



  21. Another Reason to Boycott Intel UEFI

    More anti-competitive aspects are revealed inside UEFI, which helps merginalise GNU/Linux



  22. Quick Mention: Novell and SUSE Passed to Microsoft's 'Partner of the Year', Microsoft Focus

    Novell is changing hands again, and falling into the hands of even more Microsoft-friendly actors



  23. Links 16/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC5, KDE Frameworks 5.2.0

    Links for the day



  24. Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Patent Office (EPO): Part II

    Part II of our look into the EPO appointment of Željko Topić and other matters showing the dubious integrity of the EPO



  25. Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  26. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day



  27. Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

    Links for the day



  28. Links 10/9/2014: Brian Stevens in Google, Ubuntu 14.10 Expectations

    Links for the day



  29. Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

    Links for the day



  30. Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

    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