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. Links 29/9/2014: OpenDaylight Helium Release

    Links for the day



  2. European Patent Office Disorganisation: Problems With the Audit Mechanisms - Part IV

    A prelude to a long article about a thug called Topić, his controversial Battistelli-sponsored appointment, and the removal of auditory functions by Battistelli



  3. More Good News About Demise of Software Patents and Along With Them, Consequently, Patent Trolls

    A weekly roundup of news about patents in the United States and elsewhere, with special focus on software patents



  4. IRC Proceedings: June 22nd, 2014 – September 13th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  5. Links 28/9/2014: Moto X, End of OpenSUSE 11.4

    Links for the day



  6. CBS Continues to Get Heavily Occupied by Microsoft Staff to Spread Microsoft Propaganda

    The CBS-owned ZDNet continues to hire people who have worked or are currently working for Microsoft and unsurprisingly enough they use their newly-acquired positions to praise Microsoft and bash Microsoft's competition, usually with no disclosure of their conflict of interest



  7. Links 27/9/2014: Linux (Almost) Everywhere, Features Of Linux 3.17

    Links for the day



  8. Microsoft Fakes 'Charity' and Uses Religious Groups to Acquire Lock-in in the Public Sector

    Microsoft's involvements with NGOs and with governments lead to more distrust, more surveillance, less freedom, and ultimately systemic corruption



  9. Bill Gates' Privatisation Crusade

    Mr. Gates, seeking to increase his huge profits and political power, reaches out to Catholic leaders and David Christian



  10. Tux Machines Under DDOS Attack

    Most of Tux Machines continues to work as usual, but some parts are temporarily restricted to keep the server running



  11. Links 26/9/2014: LibreOffice Celebrations, Betas of *buntu

    Links for the day



  12. Links 25/9/2014: KDE Roadmap, Bash Bug, GNOME 3.14 in Next Fedora

    Links for the day



  13. Links 24/9/2014: GNOME 3.14 Released, Bash Has a Bug

    Links for the day



  14. Links 21/9/2014: Fedora 21 Alpha

    Links for the day



  15. More of Bill Gates' Investments in GMO and Mass Indoctrination Under the Disguise of 'Donations'

    Microsoft's arrogant and famously corrupt co-founder is taken to task by those whom he is trying to bamboozle for monopoly, unlimited cross-generational power, and never-ending profit without risk



  16. Home Depot Confirmed a Victim of Microsoft's Bad Security, Microsoft Lays Off Security-Related Staff

    News reports circulate showing that Home Depot was knowingly careless with its Windows dependency while Microsoft lays off staff focused on security



  17. European Patent Office/Organisation - Suspicion of Improper Collusion Between EPO President and Chairman of the Administrative Council: Part III

    A preliminary look at Battistelli's reign and how regulatory powers got abolished, leaving the EPO reckless and largely unaccountable



  18. Links 21/9/2014: xorg-server 1.16.1, Linux Kernel 3.16.3

    Links for the day



  19. Links 20/9/2014: GNOME 3.13.92, Android L

    Links for the day



  20. Scanning Patent Troll Implodes; Is the Podcasting Patent Troll Next?

    MPHJ loses and Personal Audio LLC perhaps wins for the last time since software patents are quickly losing legitimacy in the United States



  21. If CAFC is Not Above the Law, Then it Should be Shut Down Now

    A long series of abuses in CAFC may as well suggest that this court has become broken beyond repair



  22. The Latest From Microsoft Patent Trolls and Patent Partners

    Microsoft-linked and Linux-hostile trolls continue their relentless attacks (albeit with little or no success) while patents as a weapon lose their teeth owing to a Supreme Court ruling



  23. Microsoft Proves That Its Massive Layoffs Are Not About Nokia

    Microsoft is laying off a lot of employees who have nothing at all to do with Nokia



  24. Links 19/9/2014: Another Red Hat Acquisition, Netflix Dumps Microsoft Silverlight and Brings DRM to WWW

    Links for the day



  25. Links 18/9/2014: Windows Copying GNU/Linux, Germany Moves to Security

    Links for the day



  26. Web Site 'Patent Progress' Now Officially 'Powered by CCIA' (FRAND Proponent, Microsoft Front)

    After talking a job at CCIA, "Patent Progress" and its chief author should be treated as dubious on real patent progress



  27. Articles About the Death of Software Patents in the United States

    Recent coverage of software patents and their demise in their country of origin, where even proponents of software patents are giving up



  28. The Death of Software Patents is Already Killing Some Major Patent Trolls

    VirnetX seems to be the latest victim of the demise of software patents in the United States



  29. More Microsoft Layoffs

    More Microsoft layoffs go ahead as the company is unable to compete



  30. ODF on the Rise

    Milestones for OpenDocument Format (ODF) and the launch of FixMyDocuments


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