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11.27.10

Intellectual Ventures and Other Microsoft-affiliated Groups Are Poisoning Linux With Patents

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, Ubuntu at 9:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nathan Myhrvold

Summary: New examples of patent trolls and patent boosters (possibly even lobbyists) putting a form of patent tax on the de facto universal platform which is free

Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures, which is funded and made with Microsoft’s investments (Myhrvold is Microsoft’s former CTO), is expanding the pyramid scheme by signing a patent deal with HTC. The Register says:

Mobile handset manufacturer and Google pal HTC has announced a licensing deal that gives it access to the more than 30,000 patents owned by Intellectual Ventures (IV), the IP-gathering outfit founded by former Microsoft chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold.

A joint press release from HTC and IV says that HTC will use the portfolio to “defend itself and its subsidiaries from potential litigation.”
Click here to find out more!

Last week, Intellectual Ventures announced a similarly sweeping pact with Samsung.

“[H]ey, please don’t feed the troll,” remarks Glyn Moody, who concentrates on many of these issues. HTC has also signed a patent deal with Microsoft, allegedly after Microsoft was preparing to sue HTC like it sued Motorola (one source suggested that Microsoft was just about to file a lawsuit against HTC).

It is sad to see Microsoft building an extortion scheme like Intellectual Ventures, which extracts even more money from companies that sell Linux-based products. Didn’t everyone see this coming?

According to the president of the FFII, Microsoft may still be lobbying for software patents in South Africa (where it is trying to accumulate such patents despite the law).

Free Market Foundation, another Microsoft o owns what in the Novell deproxy lobbying for software patents in South Africa?

Microsoft has been breaking the law in South Africa and now it is trying to legalise what it did. It is deceiving the public and sending its lobbyists there, e.g. CompTIA [1, 2, 3]. Watch out for all these proxies and front groups. The president of the FFII has also just found this forum from “IPThinkTank”, which may be just another way to push an agenda under the guise of open and frank debate.

According to this, Microsoft boosters are finding their way into Linux even via Ubuntu right now. Christopher Tozzi helps advertise Likewise and Centrify this week, even at the expense of Samba.

Unless you prefer the do-it-yourself approach to AD integration via Winbind and Samba, there are only two major players in this niche: Centrify and Likewise. The two companies offer a suite of similar products, available in both free-to-use and licensed versions, that “automagically” join Unix-based hosts to a Windows domain and share its resources.

For those who do not know yet, Likewise and Centrify [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] are proprietary with software patents (giving in to Microsoft). They should be avoided.

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