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. South Korea's Government Will Show If Microsoft Loves Linux or Just Attacks It Very Viciously Like It Did in Munich

    Microsoft's hatred of all things GNU/Linux is always put to the test when someone 'dares' use it outside Microsoft's control and cash cows (e.g. Azure and Vista 10/WSL); will Microsoft combat its longstanding urge to corrupt or oust officials with the courage to say "no" to Microsoft?



  2. Links 19/5/2019: KDE Applications 19.04.1 in FlatHub and GNU/Linux Adoption

    Links for the day



  3. The War on Patent Quality

    A look at the EPO's reluctance to admit errors and resistance to the EPC, which is its very founding document



  4. Watchtroll, Composed by Patent Trolls, Calls the American Patent System “Corrupt”

    Another very fine piece from Watchtroll comes from very fine patent trolls who cheer for Donald Trump as if he's the one who tackles corruption rather than spreading it



  5. Unified Patent Court Won't Happen Just Because the Litigation Microcosm Wants It

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) hopefuls are quote-mining and cherry-picking to manufacture the false impression that the UPC is just around the corner when in reality the UPC is pretty much dead (but not buried yet)



  6. Links 17/5/2019: South Korea's GNU/Linux Pivot, Linux 5.1.3

    Links for the day



  7. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 4: Happy Birthday to the Kötter Group?

    This year the Kötter Group commemorates the 85th anniversary of its existence. But is it really a cause for celebration or would a less self-congratulatory approach be more fitting? And does it create the risk that a routine tendering exercise at the EPO will turn into Operation Charlie Foxtrot?



  8. Links 16/5/2019: Cockpit 194, VMware Acquires Bitnami, Another Wine Announcement and Krita 4.2.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  9. The EPO's Key Function -- Like the UPC's Vision -- Has Virtually Collapsed

    The EPO no longer issues good patents and staff is extremely unhappy; but the Office tries to create an alternate (false) reality and issues intentionally misleading statements



  10. Stanford's NPE Litigation Database Makes a Nice Addition in the Fight Against Software Patent Trolls

    As the United States of America becomes less trolls- and software patents-friendly (often conflated with plaintiff (un)friendliness) it's important to have accurate data which documents the numbers and motivates better policy; The NPE (troll) Litigation Database is a move towards that and it's free to access/use



  11. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 3: “Ein kritikwürdiges Unternehmen”

    A brief account of some further controversies in which the Kötter Group has been involved and its strained relations with German trade unions such as Verdi



  12. EPO Had a Leakage Problem and Privacy of Stakeholders Was Compromised, Affecting at Least 100 Cases

    The confidentiality principle was compromised at the EPO and stakeholders weren't told about it (there was a coverup)



  13. Links 15/5/2019: More Linux Patches and More Known Intel Bugs

    Links for the day



  14. False Hope for Patent Maximalists and Litigation Zealots

    Patent litigation predators in the United States, along with Team UPC in Europe, are trying to manufacture optimistic predictions; a quick and rather shallow critical analysis reveals their lies and distortions



  15. The Race to the Bottom of Patent Quality at the EPO

    The EPO has become more like a rubber-stamper than a patent office — a fact that worries senior staff who witnessed this gradual and troublesome transition (from quality to raw quantity)



  16. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 2: Meet the Kötters

    An introduction to the Kötter Group, the private security conglomerate which is lined up for the award of a juicy EUR 30 million contract for the provision of security services at the EPO



  17. Links 14/5/2019: Red Hat Satellite 6.5, NVIDIA 430.14 Linux Driver and New Security Bug (MDS)

    Links for the day



  18. Links 14/5/2019: GNU/Linux in Kerala, DXVK 1.2, KDE Frameworks 5.58.0 Released

    Links for the day



  19. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 1: Urgent Shitstorm Alert

    Experts at the European Patent Office's (EPO) weather observation station have just issued an urgent alert warning about a major shitstorm looming on the horizon



  20. Patents That Were Gleefully Granted by the EPO Continue to Perish in Courts

    The decreasing quality of granted European Patents already becomes a growing problem if not a crisis of uncertainty



  21. Links 13/5/2019: ExTiX 19.5 and GNU Radio Conference 2019

    Links for the day



  22. The Microsoft Guide to the Open Source Galaxy

    Thou shalt not...



  23. Microsoft Would Kill the Goose for Money

    Microsoft is just 'monetising' Open Source by using it as 'bait' for Microsoft's proprietary software; those who we might expect to antagonise this have effectively been bribed by Microsoft



  24. Links 13/5/2019: Nanonote 1.2.0, OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 RC, and GNUnet 0.11.4

    Links for the day



  25. Professionally Incompetent EPO Management

    The EPO remains an awful employer, with top-level management largely responsible for the loss of talent and even money



  26. Links 12/5/2019: Linux 5.1.1, GDB 8.3, KStars 3.2.2 Released

    Links for the day



  27. Did Battistelli 'Steal' ~$100,000,000 Euros From the EPO?

    While enjoying diplomatic immunity the thug from CEIPI (who is back at the EPO as a jurist) passed millions if not billions (over the long run) in liabilities; this was done with total and inexcusable impunity, no effective oversight



  28. The Biased EPO Does Not Want to Hear From Anyone Except Those Who Pay the EPO

    The EPO's corruption and violations of the law are a threat to everyone in the world; the EPO only ever listens to those who pay for "access" or those who embrace the "religion" of the EPO



  29. Team UPC Has Run Out of Arguments, So Now It's Just Writing Anti-Brexit Rants With Testicles in the Headlines

    Nothing has worked for firms that crafted and lobbied hard for the Unified Patent Court (UPC); after necrophilia a new low is being reached



  30. Making the Patent System About Productive Actors (Again), Not a Bunch of Law Firms and Trolls

    The US patent system is going out of shape and out of tune, just like the EPO when Battistelli came to it, dismantling the rule of law and even judges whom he did not like


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

Recent Posts