Summary: Microsoft mobbyists and people whom the company feeds material for attacks on the competition are especially afraid of OIN and Android
WE OFTEN state that objects and entities which Microsoft proponents target the most are those which worry Microsoft the most. This general rule usually proves to be applicable in a wide range of debates, including the recent one about codecs (more on that in a later post).
For those who have not been paying attention, Microsoft has been patenting a lot recently. A lot. New products hardly come from the company, but staff is very busy filling out paperwork and coming up with some of the most ludicrous ideas (if they can even be called that) and try to gain a monopoly on those, in order to scare competitors and have them pass ‘protection money’ to Microsoft. This is not business, it’s racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].
One resistor which piqued Microsoft’s curiosity is the OIN, where many companies pool their patents strictly for defensive purposes. Some make the claim that the OIN would render the patent system obsolete, but this is truly a stretch.
Techrights continues to stress that Microsoft has begun playing a reactionary game (or a reaction to OIN’s reaction) by setting up all sorts of entities, including CPTN [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], which puts a large lump of OIN’s patents in Microsoft’s own pool. Needless to say, it’s a cold war; it is unlikely that a war will erupt as it’s more like a bunch of lawyers flexing their
muscles papers and seeing who can be extorted in order to “maximise shareholders’ value” or whatever.
“Microsoft mobbyists even brag about the number of lawsuits against Android.”There is no need to hide the fact that Google uses Linux to win the mobile/smartphones war. Android has begun moving up the food chain (greater scale), so at stake here we have not just phones anymore. Microsoft understands this, which is why Microsoft and its shells or allies are suing Google — a trend we have been tracking and showing for many months. Microsoft mobbyists even brag about the number of lawsuits against Android. This mirrors exactly what Steve Ballmer et al. tell journalists. Google is a member of the OIN, which is still trying to find new ways to ‘hack’ the patent system and defend Linux from it.
There are all sorts of theories about CPTN and its purpose. The mobbyists try to spin it and mass-mailing journalists is one of their tools. As Gordon puts it in relation to an observation made here yesterday, “apparently in [Microsoft Florian's] world Microsoft are innovators, so there are other worlds than this it seems… lol, just noticed the “he’s been writing it since Jan 2010″ so a whopping ONE YEAR adventure then…”
The presence of Microsoft Florian in The Guardian also came under fire by Satipera, who wrote: “The Guardian is repeating Florian Mueller’s paid for propaganda word for word. #swpats #Guardiantechfail”
One line of propaganda is that Android is “risky” because of patents. Another line of propaganda from this mobbyist is that despite complaints from both Free software and open source entities, there is nothing wrong with the CPTN patents cartel (the mobbyist uses the European Commission’s response, which was mentioned initially by him, but later by the press and Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols [1, 2]). When there is some insider material about Microsoft (especially if it’s favourable to Microsoft), the mobbyist usually gets it first and leaked/exclusive documents from the past show us that Microsoft tends to feed those. How about those TurboHercules letters (Microsoft Florian got the “scoop”) which smeared IBM before it turned out that Microsoft owned part of TurboHercules? Someone is probably being briefed for lobbying purposes. Groklaw responds to it all as follows:
It also means that the EU Commission’s answer to a question on January 17 that “on the basis of the information currently available at this stage” it seemed unlikely the deal “requires a notification to the Commission under the Merger Regulation” or that “the mere acquisition of the patents in question by CPTN Holdings would lead to an infringement of EU competition rules” came prior to this renewed filing, which was filed not with the EU Commission anyhow but with the German Federal Cartel Office. That is who will decide the matter there, and the US DOJ will consider the matter in the US. No one has filed a complaint with the EU Commission that I know of, not that it couldn’t happen. There is a lot of subtle FUD in the air from the usual suspects, if I might say so.
Hopefully other companies and entities will express their concerns as well.
For those who insist that Microsoft Florian still deserves the benefit of some doubt, bear in mind that this week too the mobbyist links to Maureen O’Gara repeatedly (vice versa too) and still chats with Rob Enderle. These are some of the vilest, most dishonest and ethically-corrupt people who have attacked Linux for a long time. Microsoft Florian attaches himself to these people, amongst others of their type. He links to Mary Jo Foley, who links back to him. It’s like Club Microsoft. As we showed before, the mobbyist has been defending CPTN and smearing OIN; he talks to pro-Microsoft reporters and anti-Free software Internet trolls. People can draw their own conclusions and also realise that the attacks on OIN and Android do confirm that they are major threats to Microsoft. █