“Where are we on this Jihad?”
Summary: Microsoft sues three more companies for using the Linux-based Android whilst In Re Bilski reportedly invalidates computer system patent claims
MY WIRED INTERNET connection ought to be set up by midnight tomorrow, but there is not a moment even to rest before the miserable, unethical bully is trying to make money out of the competition. Microsoft wants the world to know that it owns Android and any Android user must pay for some unknown patents that are not even valid outside the United States and were never really brought to court (it all began with Novell’s secret patent deal in 2006). As the Motorola case shows, Microsoft wants to prevent such cases from leaving Android and Linux in the clear, so it puts up heaps of ammunition, trying to lead to mysterious settlements. It’s the SCO tactic, but this time Microsoft is litigating directly rather than fund those who already do. Barnes & Noble, Foxconn, and Inventec probably refused to pay Microsoft, so the arrogant monopolist is suing, as if it owns the entire industry, even its competition which is based on Free/libre software, where patents are rightly seen as antithetical. Microsoft is suing all three companies simultaneously (or at least announcing it in this fashion), which means it is trying to make them buckle under legal fees/burden and scare anybody else who uses Linux in a device. Here is the FUD from Microsoft:
Microsoft Corp. today filed legal actions in the International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Washington against Barnes & Noble, Inc. and its device manufacturers, Foxconn International Holdings Ltd. and Inventec Corporation, for patent infringement by their Android-based e-reader and tablet devices that are marketed under the Barnes & Noble brand.
This is fancy language for racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], trying to make the mafia look like a gentlemen’s club, as usual. Microsoft Florian is jubilant about it, as usual (celebrations in his blog, the clients must be happy!). But Microsoft will carry on telling the gullible ones that it “loves open source”, right? The OSI is not buying it.
To end this with a less negative tone, there is good news about the case of Bilski, which now invalidates “Computer System Claims”. To quote the primary source, “In an interesting opinion, DC District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer has ruled Alice Corp’s four asserted patents invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101 for failing to claim patentable subject matter. This case can be seen as flowing from the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Bilski v. Kappos, 130 S. Ct. 3218 (2010).”
“This hopefully validates our focus on the patent issues and on Microsoft, which is very unique in that regard.”This not the first such example of In Re Bilski killing CII-type patents. Here is one example that we covered. On the other hand, Microsoft has been trying to pollute Europe with software patents, as we last showed the other night. See the new tweet which says: “”algorithms”, yay #swpat #assuch http://j.mp/eTsswT · RT @EPOorg: Patent examiner jobs at the EPO: www.epo.org/examiner-fields”
Microsoft’s relentless lobbying is trying to make software patents go global, which harms not only Linux but just about any company that develops or even uses software. As far as Microsoft is concerned, the whole world can be nuked if it’s profitable for Microsoft. The latest story teaches us why Linux is winning (Microsoft cannot compete fairly), but software patents are an unjust element of the US industry — an element that must be eliminated. Additionally, it shows that Microsoft is no longer much of a producing company, it’s just a parasite which deserves to go bankrupt immediately, just like SCO. This hopefully validates our focus on the patent issues and on Microsoft, which is very unique in that regard. █