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

11.08.10

Microsoft is Stockpiling and Also Buying More Patents While Microsoft’s ‘Buddy’ Finjan Extorts McAfee With Software Patents

Posted in Microsoft, Patents, Security at 11:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Victoria and Disraeli cartoon

Summary: Microsoft’s new direction continues to include “enforcement” (as in aggression) with software patents and Finjan, which Microsoft partly owns, is just attacking companies with software patents because it’s failing as a real business

MICROSOFT is having real problems which we wrote about this morning [1, 2, 3]. The company needs to find new sources of revenue and patent racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] is just one possible source that would render Microsoft a “patent troll” if or when it gives up on Vista Phony 7 [sic] for example.

A Microsoft-sponsored site from Seattle says that Microsoft has just acquired 44 patents that could be applied in the mobile phones market (where Microsoft is said to have just around 5% market share):

Microsoft’s agreement to acquire Canesta Inc., confirmed late last week, will give the Redmond company 44 patents and about two dozen patent applications covering various ways of enhancing a computer’s senses — including gesture recognition, depth perception, and real-time camera and sensor calibration. Taken as a whole, they show how Microsoft could give users new ways of interacting with future versions of its PC and mobile operating systems.

This would enable aggression against rivals even if Microsoft quits this market (or never explores it at all). Microsoft need no longer feel ashamed of being viewed as a parasite. The company is already perceived that way among those who know better and having funded SCO, it is clear that Microsoft also feeds some other parasites. Speaking of parasites, the other day Groklaw wrote about one of Brian Proffitt’s articles: “If Oracle yearns for the title of Community Parasite, formerly held by Caldera, now SCO, they can follow this course. But how well is Oracle’s Linux doing? It’s really hard if you are used to thinking in proprietary ways to see the value in sharing, but there is value.”

“Microsoft need no longer feel ashamed of being viewed as a parasite.”Oracle is also said to be agitating HP at the moment, after Oracle hired Hurd who had been ousted by HP [1, 2, 3, 4], only to be replaced by a possible Microsoft mole, Apotheker [1, 2].

Techrights will be writing more about Oracle in the future. As long as Oracle still maintains and distributes some valuable Free software projects like OpenOffice.org and VirtualBox, however, Techrights prefers not to slam Oracle more than reasonably (what’s absolutely necessary). When it comes to patents, Oracle is a problem only when it comes to Android. The case is quite unique though and no claims are made about Linux in Android. Compare that to Apple’s and Microsoft’s patent lawsuits against Android distributors. A few days ago we wrote about the ITC taking Nokia's side over Apple's and argued that it can be good news for Android (ensuring it’s safe from embargo).

Microsoft’s own patent attack on Linux/Android/Motorola is now reaching review stages at the ITC, say several publications [1, 2, 3, 4] and an older article titled “Redmond’s Anti-Android Patent Trap” gets reposted by ECT. IDG’s Paul McNamara meanwhile blogs about “Microsoft patents ‘record button on a computer system’” (we covered it in [1, 2]) and he argues that “at least one patent expert says such muttering may be unwarranted in this case. (Unlike with Microsoft’s patent on a “butt hinge with integrally formed butt straps,” which proved to be not only funny but erroneous.)”

“The matter of fact is that some years ago Microsoft recruited the likes of Marshall Phelps to help the company mooch other companies just like IBM does.”These apologetics are expected from IDG. The matter of fact is that some years ago Microsoft recruited the likes of Marshall Phelps to help the company mooch other companies just like IBM does. Microsoft wants to make money without producing quite so many products and it even promoted Horacio Gutierrez, a leading person in Microsoft’s extortion crusades (including those against GNU/Linux). Microsoft is now employing the meta-industry not of engineers but of lawyers like this group which built a business model around patent litigation. How appalling. To Microsoft, it’s about quantity, not quality.

It is not too shocking that even Microsoft buddies like Finjan [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] (Microsoft connection to Finjan was last covered here a long time ago and it’s still a major shareholder) are resorting to just patent lawsuits, the latest of which was won by Finjan and forces McAfee to pay Finjan $13 million (for code that Finjan has absolutely nothing to do with). As Fahmida Y. Rashid put it last week, “Federal judges deny McAfee’s appeal to overturn the verdict in the patent infringement lawsuit with Finjan which would require it to pay more than $13 million in damages.”

Why is the company just suing? Well, according to Wikipedia (maybe not be accurate in this case due to lack of citations), “In 2001, the company ran into financial difficulties and Touboul [founder] was asked by the board of directors to rejoin the company as CEO. Touboul realigned the company’s strategy, moving away from developing only software solutions to combined hardware and software security appliances; additionally, the company moved to a channel sales model. But in 2005, following disagreements with the board, Touboul left again and started a new company Yoggie Security Systems.” The company was just sold last year. It probably helps show how patents are a loser’s game and everyone in this game loses, except lawyers perhaps.

There is more in Bloomberg and the official court documents.

Welcome to a world of software patents — a world where money can be made without writing a single line of code or shipping a single product. This is apparently the type of world that Microsoft and its ilk hope to thrive in. They can’t play fairly. Microsoft never could.

“That’s extortion and we should call it what it is. To say, as Ballmer did, that there is undisclosed balance sheet liability, that’s just extortion and we should refuse to get drawn into that game.”

Mark Shuttleworth

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. Ahead of Supreme Court Decision, the Patent Microcosm is Trying to Scandalise PTAB

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which defends many businesses from bogus patents and patent trolls, comes under fire from protectors of the trolls (or those who profit from patent Armageddon/legal chaos)



  2. Benoît Battistelli's Misbehaviour Condemned the UPC to Death

    Press coverage regarding the cause for Germany's decision to halt UPC ratification, with suspension pending in part owing to the serious abuses in Munich and Berlin



  3. The Patent Microcosm is Pushing Hard to Weaken Alice and Revoke PTAB's Authority Using an Upcoming Supreme Court Case

    Patent profiteers (not inventors) continue their shameful campaign against Alice and PTAB now that software patents are in shambles and many get invalidated without them being used litigiously



  4. News About Patents Dominated by Patent Trolls/Aggressors, Their Press Releases, and Sympathisers

    A collection of news items from yesterday, demonstrating just to what degree the narrative of patent trolls (or aggressors) is being spread by paying for distribution



  5. Amazon's 1-Click Patent Continues to Tarnish the Image of the USPTO and of Patents in General

    Public ridicule and scorn over the shallowness of patents granted in the US is inevitable (Amazon has a patent even on white background in photographs), demonstrating that patent maximalism does nobody a favour, only a great disservice to both patenters and the public at large



  6. Bristows LLP Tries Hard to Maintain the Illusion That UPC is Alive, Using Media Placements and Paid Plugs

    Ever-so-desperate efforts to keep the Unitary Patent (UPC) in headlines, even though nothing is happening and nothing is likely to happen any time soon



  7. Links 22/8/2017: Linux 4.13 RC6, Mesa 17.1.7, Wine 2.15, Android O

    Links for the day



  8. IRC Proceedings: July 2nd – July 29th 2017

    Many IRC logs



  9. IRC Proceedings: June 4th – July 1st, 2017

    Many IRC logs



  10. IRC Proceedings: May 7th – June 3rd, 2017

    Many IRC logs



  11. IRC Proceedings: April 9th, 2017 – May 6th, 2017

    Many IRC logs



  12. Patent Scope Recognised as Essential For Patent Quality, But Software Patents Continue to be Granted

    Patents that are toothless, clawless lions are being accumulated by companies that should know various courts would scrutinise these enough to rule them invalid



  13. Litigation and Patenting Versus Research and Development

    reminder of who's 'stealing' jobs from engineers and who it is done for (who benefits from mass taxation rather than actual production)



  14. The Federal Circuit Has Become the Go-To Place For Patent Appeals Arising From USPTO Errors

    Patent appeals that come to CAFC as a result of bad Patent Office decisions now outnumber the appeals coming from district courts (an extraordinary situation)



  15. The Truly Odd Concept of Design Patents, Which the US Supreme Court Might Crush Very Soon

    The epidemic of shallow patents, which has already resulted in patents on mere designs, be soon end; but not before an unprecedented gold rush for such patents



  16. Quality of European Patents Has Sunk, Value Diminished

    The trouble associated with declining patent quality at the European Patent Office and early warnings about it from the staff union



  17. The Notorious 1-Click Buying Patent Expired Rather Than Invalidated

    As proof of the fact that many bogus patents (typically on software) are worthless but not invalidated, we now have Amazon's patents reaching their end of life



  18. PTAB Crushes Software Patents and Patent Extremists Are Not Happy About It

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), a legal facility which invalidates many software patents, still faces opposition from those who profit from software patents (not software developers)



  19. Software Patents and Patent Trolls Are Almost the Same Problem (Still)

    Apple just got sued again, Microsoft-connected patent trolls continue serial litigation against Microsoft's competitors, and a bike shop gets sued using software patents



  20. Links 20/8/2017: KStars 2.8.1, Fedora Design Interns

    Links for the day



  21. Lack of Independent Judiciary Under the Unitary Patent (Like Boards of Appeal Under Battistelli, in Defiance of the EPC) Will Possibly Kill the Unified Patent Court

    Germany, a key player in UPC negotiations (most patents at stake), cannot proceed to ratification and Britain's expected exit from the European Union further restricts any progress



  22. The Staff Union of the EPO Has Long Warned About Declining Patent Quality

    The quality of granted European Patents (EPs) has been declining sharply and the EPO's staff representatives have warned about it for a long time, only to find themselves severely reprimanded for telling the truth



  23. The EPO's Management Needs a Perception of Security Crisis

    The EPO follows that familiar pattern of writing about every Islamic terror attack in Europe (and in the US too) while media in Munich tells a story where facts are yet uncertain



  24. Links 18/8/2017: Wallpaper of Plasma 5.11, Oracle Liberates Java EE a Bit

    Links for the day



  25. Links 17/8/2017: Krita 3.2.0, New Raspbian GNU/Linux OS

    Links for the day



  26. Corruption at the European Patent Office and Systematic Bullying That Leads People to Suicide/Bankruptcy

    A look back at 3 years of intensive EPO coverage and what's coming up next (suppression of truth behind closed doors in the courtrooms)



  27. Supreme Court Decision on TC Heartland v Kraft Food Brands Group Already Vacates the Eastern District of Texas

    Patent trolls are losing their mojo as patent lawsuits drop 21% in the Eastern District of Texas and this collapse is expected to accelerate



  28. Media Dominated by the Patent Microcosm Spreads Myths and Defends Patent Trolls, Collectors

    Popular culture myths, such as Edison being a prolific inventor, and what we all ought to know about an actual patent epidemic (vast increase in the number of patents granted, bringing the total to over 10 million in the US)



  29. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board Squashes Many Software Patents (Abstract) and §101 Seems Safe From Lobbying by the Patent Microcosm

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), together with the Alice-inspired §101, is an efficient eliminator of bogus patents on software and there is no end to that in sight



  30. Ericsson Hired From the World's Largest Patent Troll and Became a Massive Troll in Europe

    Ericsson's patent aggression campaign (even in Europe) carries on; it turns out the person behind this strategy came from Intellectual Ventures


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