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. The United States Has Gotten Over Software Patents

    A roundup of new articles about software patents in the United States, 2 years into the post-Alice era (the US Supreme Court deeming patents on software too abstract to have merit)



  2. More Lies From President Benoît Battistelli and the EPO Crisis Which Continues to Deepen

    The European Patent Office (EPO), collectively speaking, is still wrestling with a Battistelli infiltration (a circle of high-level managers) which habitually lies and viciously attacks those who dare counter these lies



  3. Links 27/8/2016: Torvalds and GPL, “DOD Must Embrace Open-Source Software”

    Links for the day



  4. Links 26/8/2016: Maru OS Resurfaces, Android More Reliable Than 'i' Things, PC-BSD Becomes TrueOS

    Links for the day



  5. Good Job, David Kappos, Says the 'Boss' (IBM)

    Responses to the latest call against Alice (eliminator of many software patents), courtesy of the man from IBM (still paid by IBM) who was responsible for the policy that blindly approved a lot of software patents in the US



  6. Being for Patent Quality or Against Patenting Excess Does Not Make You Anti-Patents

    Like IAM, which tries to portray sceptics and critics of software patents as "anti-patents", IP Watchdog (or Watchtroll as we call it) is 'trolling' the Electronic Frontier Foundation, simply because it expressed an opinion that patent maximalists cannot tolerate



  7. Erosion of Patent Quality Enables Patent Extortion With Large Portfolios of Low Validity Rate

    Revisiting the EPO's vision of poor patent examination and the effect of discriminatory granting practices, favouring patent bullies such as Microsoft (which actively attacks Linux using low-quality and usually pure software patents)



  8. The EPO's Francesco Zaccà Presenting in Turin Alongside Patent Trolls (Like the Patent Mafia Sisvel) and Lobbyists/Front Groups for Software Patents, UPC

    Benjamin Henrion (FFII) on seeing the EPO alongside patent trolls and other nefarious actors, doing what they do best, which is undermining public interests and harming patent quality



  9. The EPO, USPTO, and Patent Microcosm Peddle Myths About Patents in Public Universities and Research

    Tackling some of the commonly-spread myths about patents as "saving lives" and "promoting research" (in practice leading to the death of poor people and promoting trolls)



  10. Large Corporations' Lobbyist David Kappos Disgraces Former Employer USPTO by Meddling in Their Affairs on Software Patents, Downplaying the Supreme Court

    The latest lobbying from David Kappos, who blatantly exploits his connections in patent circles to promote software patents and work towards their resurgence after Alice v CLS Bank



  11. Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice Calls the European Patent Office “Rotten”, Other Sources Scrutinise Recent Moves

    The patent office which was once known for being the best bar none is rotting under the Frenchman Benoît Battistelli, who made himself and his friends the main clients of the Office



  12. PTAB Emerges as Hero of USPTO Because Quality of Patents Improves, Software Patents Are Effectively Dead (or Dying Once Reassessed)

    With help from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) -- not just patent courts -- software patents drop like flies by the thousands



  13. Creative Technology, Now Operating in 'Patent Troll' Mode, Shot Down by the ITC; Jawbone Too Shot Down

    Some good news from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), which may have put an end to Creative's new war on Android (using old patents)



  14. Corporate Media in India Misrepresents Startups to Push for Software Patents

    A parade of misinformation as seen in Indian (but English-speaking) press this week as questions about patentability of software resurface



  15. Links 25/8/2016: Linux Turns 25, NetworkManager Turns 1.4

    Links for the day



  16. Links 24/8/2016: More From LinuxCon, Uganda Wants FOSS

    Links for the day



  17. Links 23/8/2016: GNOME 3.22 Beta, Android 7.0 Nougat

    Links for the day



  18. The Linux Foundation Gives Microsoft (Paid-for) Keynote Position While Microsoft Extorts (With Patents) Lenovo and Motorola Over Linux Use

    This morning's reminder that Nadella is just another Ballmer (with a different face); Motorola and Lenovo surrender to Microsoft's patent demands and will soon put Microsoft spyware/malware on their Linux-powered products to avert costly legal battles



  19. Not Just President Battistelli: EPO Vice-Presidents Are Still Intentionally Misrepresenting EPO Staff

    Evidence serving to show that EPO Vice-Presidents are still intentionally misrepresenting EPO staff representatives and misleading everyone in order to defend Battistelli



  20. Battistelli the Liar Causes a Climate of Confrontation in French Politics, Lies About Patent Quality (Among Many Other Things)

    Battistelli's lies are coming under increased scrutiny inside and outside the European Patent Office (EPO), where patent quality has been abandoned in order to artificially elevate figures



  21. The Collapse of Software Patents and Patent Law Firms Trying to “Overcome” Alice

    The United States continues its gradual crackdown on software patents (which are viewed as abstract and thus unpatentable), whereas in Europe things are murkier than ever



  22. Apple's Patent Wars Against Android/Linux Make Patent Trolls Stronger

    Apple's insistence that designs should be patentable could prove to be collectively expensive, as patent trolls would then use a possible SCOTUS nod to launch litigation campaigns



  23. Links 22/8/2016: Linux 4.8 RC3, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” KDE Beta

    Links for the day



  24. Links 21/8/2016: Apple and Microsoft Down, Systemd Spreading to Mount

    Links for the day



  25. Links 20/8/2016: Android Domination, FSFE summit 2016

    Links for the day



  26. Patents Roundup: Trolls Dominate Litigation, PTAB Crushes Patents, Patent Box Regime Persists, and OIN Explains Itself

    Another roundup of patent news from around the Web with special focus on software patenting



  27. The Cost/Toll of the 'New' EPO and Where All That Money Goes or Comes From

    The European Patent Office has become a servant of the rich and powerful (including large foreign corporations) and even its own employees now pay the price associated with misguided new policies (or 'reforms' as Battistelli habitually refers to these)



  28. Links 19/8/2016: Linux Mint With KDE, Linux Foundation's PNDA

    Links for the day



  29. The End of an Era at the USPTO as Battistelli-Like (EPO) Granting Policies Are Over

    The United States is seeing the potency of patents -- especially software patents (which make up much of the country's troll cases) -- challenged by courts and by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)



  30. Battistelli's European Patent Office Goes to the United States to Speak About the UPC and Software Patents

    The European Patent Office is showing its utter contempt -- not just disregard -- for the very fundamental rules that put it in its place and brought it into existence


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