02.13.11

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Maneuverers of Microsoft in an Age of Software Patents

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 5:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Setback for Microsoft’s patent troll with the massive yacht

Two ships

Summary: Linux-hostile patent moves from Microsoft and further debates about the patentability of software

WE HAVE heard rumours which say that the United States may be the new centre of Nokia, which is a Finnish company almost 150 years old. There is risk that Microsoft might 'pull a CPTN' on Nokia and then use Nokia’s patents against those whom Nokia once worked alongside (e.g. Linux). According to Novell’s SEC filings, Blackrock is a massive Novell shareholder and “Blackrock reportedly is also the largest Apple shareholder,” writes Groklaw,”at 5.5%. Apple is also one of the members of the Microsoft-organized consortium seeking to purchase Novell’s patents, CPTN. Blackrock owns shares in Microsoft as well, although it lowered its stake in November to just below 5%.” For a quick reminder about CPTN, see the following:

Oracle and Microsoft are both in CPTN and there is a new obstacle to their plot against Android, suggests this piece about the Uniloc case:

Under the entire market value rule, a patentee may seek damages based on the value of an entire apparatus when the patented invention is merely a single component if three conditions are met: (1) the infringing component must form the basis for customer demand for the entire machine, including the parts beyond the claimed invention; (2) the infringing and noninfringing components must be sold together as a functional unit or be parts of a complete machine; and (3) individual infringing and noninfringing components must be analogous to a single functioning unit.

“If I were Oracle,” writes Groklaw, “I’d be worried about this with respect to the litigation against Google. And if I were Paul Allen, I’d be even more worried.”

Traul Allen and other friends of Microsoft has been trying to extort Android users. Mr. Allen engages in self praise right now while he is in fact being malicious and greedy. Over at Groklaw, his case has been analysed since last summer and to quote some of Groklaw‘s latest arguments: “Techdirt submitted a very thoughtful couple of comments on patents and indeed software patents are the single biggest issue working against innovation in technology. But I worry very much too about the DMCA, because it makes it really dangerous to do security research. I would hope that at some point someone would notice that, preferably before it becomes a serious security problem for the US.”

“Here’s an idea,” writes Groklaw on another occasion: “You get rid of software patents, and your backlog problem is solved.”

The Churchill Club Great Debate will focus on the patentability of software this coming Wednesday (February 16, 2011). The FSF will be there and coverage is guaranteed to follow.

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