EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

03.22.11

Microsoft is Suing/Extorting Android From Other Directions Too (E.g. Traul Allen, Apparently Nathan Myhrvold)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents, SCO at 4:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“…Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system. But Microsoft did not want to be seen as attacking IBM or Linux.”

Larry Goldfarb, BayStar, key investor in SCO approached by Microsoft

Summary: Microsoft is ‘pulling a SCO’ on Android and the Linux-supporting world responds, comparing the strategy to that of patent trolls or SCO

FOR anyone who doubts Microsoft’s behavioural “reform” that they keep raving about, the latest lawsuit comes at a convenient time to show us what "most ethical" must mean (yes, that’s satire). Brian Proffitt is one among many who respond to Microsoft’s latest assault on Android and Linux:

Microsoft’s attempts to bring down Android via litigation rather than innovation continued apace today, as the software giant filed another patent lawsuit against an Android client, this time top US bookstore chain Barnes & Noble, which sells the Nook e-reader. Meanwhile, Linux founder Linus Torvalds has his own comments on the separate issue of Android potentially violating the Linux kernel’s copyright, an issue raised last week.

According to Microsoft today, the Nook, which uses Android as its base operating system, violates five Microsoft-held patents on such innovative inventions like “Loading status in a hypermedia browser having a limited available display area” (Patent #6,339,780).

This lawsuit follows another similar lawsuit brought against device maker Motorola in October 2010, a case that is still in the early stages. Microsoft has also stated in public interviews that it has signed a patent licensing agreement with HTC, and will tell anyone who will listen that Android is not a free operating system, because it is obligated to Microsoft for patent fees.

The lawsuits against Motorola and Barnes & Noble are a clear message to anyone who thinks otherwise: pay up or get sued.

Today’s lawsuit also names hardware manufacturers Foxconn and Inventec as patent infringers.

There is no reason to think that Microsoft is doing anything other than trying to scare hardware distributors and manufacturers into either (a) paying Microsoft’s lawyers to make them go away or (b) avoiding Android altogether. The latter is more preferable to Microsoft, and as alternative operating systems for mobile devices continue to narrow (Nokia’s new partnership with Microsoft will take Symbian out of the mix eventually), manufacturers may feel that using Windows Phone as a platform may be the least painful route.

As my co-host Tim phrases it:

I remind readers of my comments from earlier this year:

…if Microsoft cannot make the products people want to buy, it’s quite happy to cream a little off the top of those that do.

Again I find myself making the observation that Microsoft’s future appears rather more in the courtroom than actual products on shelves. A rather sad state of affairs? Is Microsoft the dog that sits under the table in the hope that someone will take pity and throw it a scrap of food? I’ll let you decide.

Microsoft has an unreasonable sense of entitlement, as if given that its products are failing (rejected by the market) it is entitled to make money from its competitors.

The lawsuits against Android are not coming just directly from Microsoft. Several buddies of Microsoft, including Traul Allen, are suing as well (Groklaw has the latest details). It is said that Nathan Myhrvold, a Microsoft-funded patent troll, has also begun an extortion journey which is mostly silent. He is said to be targeting Android makers. Like a hydra with many heads, Microsoft is trying to bite Android from many directions and drive up the costs, as well as intimidate anyone who wishes to pick Android (while Microsoft Florian and other mobbyists amplify this whole Android FUD). The lawsuits- and trigger-happy bully is now targeting a predominantly Linux-powered space, namely E-readers. The Kindle from Amazon also runs Linux and it is already taxed by Microsoft for unspecified reasons. The latest lawsuits [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] show that Microsoft’s plan was about patents all along, just as we warned 5 years ago before it was so evident. Both Microsoft and software patents ought to be eliminated in order for Linux to succeed. Microsoft cannot live in harmony with Linux; it never wanted to. It is not Linux supporters who are intolerant of Microsoft; it’s Microsoft that’s intolerant of Linux, so the latter are being defensive and reactionary.

Matt Rosoff, a Microsoft booster who keeps pretending to be a professional journalist [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], says that “Microsoft’s Latest Legal Attack On Android Shows Desperation (MSFT)”. Well, despite the headline he bolsters Microsoft’s case (it’s in the wording) and adds: “The move means that any company who uses Android in any capacity faces a legal threat from Microsoft.”

“But apparently Microsoft will stop at nothing to stall Android adoption — or at least earn some money from every single Android device that ships,” he concludes.

“And I suspect the Florian Mueller FUD was getting the world primed for this event, to try to portray Android and Google as somehow disrespectful of “IP rights”. Just like SCO,” writes Groklaw. To quote more of that:

Microsoft steps out from behind the proxies and files its own patent lawsuit against Android, suing Barnes and Noble because it sells Nooks, which run on Android. GeekWire has the patents listed, if you are free to look at them, and the complaint [PDF]. (I have a local copy also, so we don’t melt anyone’s servers.)

Why not sue Google? Who knows? Well, this *is* Microsoft. It’s jungle ethics. Don’t go after the strongest in the field. Besides, they seem to be trying to make a point: what they seem to want is for folks to quit using Android in their products by scaring them with litigation. You could be next, is the message, so pay up. Microsoft says “we have established an industry-wide patent licensing program for Android device manufacturers.” Just like SCO. SCOsource II, you might say.

They want to make Linux cost, so they can compete. Just like SCO. So line up and bow down to Microsoft, y’all. Hardy har. Time for prior art, methinks.

SCO failed utterly, and I suppose one might see this as Microsoft deciding if you want a job done right, you need to do it yourself. I see Rob Enderle, SCO’s buddy, is already making hay for Microsoft, calling it the “hidden cost of Android” and I assume that is the point Microsoft would like you to get from this lawsuit, in case you can’t figure it out for yourself. And I suspect the Florian Mueller FUD was getting the world primed for this event, to try to portray Android and Google as somehow disrespectful of “IP rights”. Just like SCO.

In other patent news, “I4i claims patent backing against Microsoft” and “Apple, Nokia, others targeted in camera patent suit”:

A lawsuit filed last week in Texas by a group named Imperium Holdings claims that Apple along with Kyocera, LG, Motorola Mobility, Nokia, Research in Motion (RIM), and Sony-Ericsson are infringing on five patents related to the cameras and imaging equipment found in phones and other mobile devices.

Oddly enough, there is nothing about patents in their site. In fact, there is just about nothing in the site, so maybe it’s just some registered name which became a patent troll. Yes, well, a bit like Microsoft.

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

4 Comments

  1. girts said,

    March 22, 2011 at 5:14 am

    Gravatar

    The patents must be revalidated as soon as possible!

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    All software patents need to be invalidated.

    NotZed Reply:

    All patents are a drag on the economy, not just software patents. It’s just another private rent extraction mechanism.

  2. girts said,

    March 22, 2011 at 5:19 am

    Gravatar

    Sorry some corrections:
    Patents must be reviewed again investigated is they valid?
    Software patents is devil and this situation too!

What Else is New


  1. New Optimism in the Age of Doubt Over Software Patents

    As the tide turns against software patents, even in their country of origin, their opponents come out of the woodwork to celebrate



  2. Links 28/7/2014: New Linux RC, Plasma 5 Live in Kubuntu

    Links for the day



  3. Links 27/7/2014: KDE 4.14 Beta 3, KDE 4.14 Beta 3 Released

    Links for the day



  4. Apple and Microsoft Are Proprietary Software Companies and the Media Should Stop Openwashing Them

    New examples where proprietary software giants are characterised as FOSS-embracing and FOSS-friendly by gullible or dishonest 'journalists'



  5. Bloomberg's Microsoft Propaganda

    Bloomberg delivers 'damage control' and PR ahead of the layoffs announcement; Microsoft uses Nokia to hide it and Bloomberg helps Microsoft by radically modifying headlines



  6. Frequency of Browser Back Doors in Microsoft Windows is Doubling

    The vulnerabilities which Microsoft tells the NSA about (before these are patched) are significantly growing in terms of their numbers



  7. FUD Entities Entering the FOSS World

    Symantec enters the AllSeen Alliance and Sonatype is once again trying to claim great insecurity in FOSS due to software licensing



  8. Groklaw Back in the Wake of ODF in the UK?





  9. Links 26/7/2014: New Wine, Chromebooks Strong Sales

    Links for the day



  10. Links 25/7/2014: GOG With GNU/Linux, Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS

    Links for the day



  11. Links 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

    Links for the day



  12. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  13. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  14. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  15. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  16. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  17. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  18. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  19. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  20. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  21. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  22. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  23. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  24. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  25. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

    Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell



  26. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  27. Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

    Links for the day



  28. Microsoft's Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

    Microsoft boosters are preparing 'damage control' pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft



  29. Secrecy Allows British Government to be Manipulated by Microsoft for Spyware Behind Closed Doors

    Dependence on malicious software from NSA ally Microsoft is highly dependent, at least in Britain, on government secrecy and vain refusal to comply with Freedom of Information (FOI) requests



  30. Software Patent Applications Already Being Rejected in the US Owing to SCOTUS Ruling, Some Patent Lawyers Are Fuming

    Good news on the software patents front as the USPTO starts rejecting software patent applications, based on patent lawyers' words


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