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

04.02.11

Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold Find New Ways to Extort the Competitors, Using Patents

Posted in Bill Gates, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 5:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nathan Myhrvold

Summary: The world’s biggest patent trolls proceed to extorting Blackberry users/devices; more news about software patents, mostly those which affect Android and Linux

APPALLING. That’s what Microsoft appears to have given the world. First it put a tax on every computer sold, removing people’s ability to avoid this tax even if they want nothing to do with Microsoft. Now they want to force people to pay Microsoft a tax no matter which phone they buy. That’s right, and if it’s not Microsoft pulling those strings, then it’s the two co-founders of the company and their former CTO, who with funding from a Microsoft co-founder created the world’s largest patent troll, Intellectual Ventures. Watch how patent lawyer types try to white-wash the patent trolls’ role in industry and cover the fact that Gates and his buddy Myhrvold are extorting RIM for its phones, just like HTC and Samsung (for Linux), allegedly after Myhrvold did his blackmail routines. Here is how patent lawyers put it (subscription required):

RIM signs up with IV as RPX hits 80 http://is.gd/c7j7YP

The sources the Microsoft-apathetic folks cite describe this extortion as some sort of “protection” or “access to patents”. This is nonsense. It’s spin. To be fair, Myhrvold is not the only patent troll who is extorting companies for their phones and also passes patents for other trolls to sue companies which do not pay to enter his pyramid scheme. For example we have this in the news:

Turns out, that patent exists — and the company that owns it is looking to sue juuuust about everyone.

The patent in question was granted back in 2009, to a company called HW Technology. Now they’re taking on Apple and their App Store, Google and their Android Market, and RIM and their BlackBerry App World. Oh, and HTC, LG, and Nokia. Oh! And Amazon, eBay, Hotels.com, Buy.com, and Priceline, and 21 other entities.

The lawsuit, filed earlier this week, primarily targets anything that “allows users to complete a merchant transaction without the need to generate a voice call.”

As expected, the pro-Microsoft Richard Waters normalises this sick status quo, but the gory details (cited and quoted by Microsoft Florian) are hidden behind a paywall. To quote the publicly-visible portion:

More than two decades ago, soon after starting out in the mobile phone business, Nokia found itself on the receiving end of a massive patent infringement lawsuit from the company that had pioneered cellular communications: Motorola.

The Finnish group was in a vulnerable position. As a newcomer, it lacked enough patents of its own to counter-sue Motorola and fight it to a standstill.

Another Microsoft booster, Preston Gralla, makes erroneous statements to belittle Google (over patent issues) and only later corrects his IDG troll piece by adding an update (but not correcting the headline):

Update: The issue about Xoom WMA support isn’t directly related to Google and Android itself — it’s instead an issue with Motorola. As a commenter on this blog below notes, WMA and WMV support wasn’t baked directly into earlier Android versions. Instead, apparently Motorola added that support in its Droid, Droid 2, and Droid X. The company dropped it from Xoom.

For those who do not remember, Microsoft sued Motorola over Android/Linux, so no wonder Motorola evades this liability. That’s what happens when Microsoft decides to act like a patent troll and Motorola is actually one of the few companies (currently the only one) which stands up for Linux/Android against Microsoft’s patent demands. So well done, Motorola.

“That’s what happens when Microsoft decides to act like a patent troll…”The mobile space is becoming a sordid mess when it comes to patents and someone who pays close attention has noticed “Internet protocol (IP) phone with search and advertising capability”, which is yet another outrageous patent (joining the likes of “over the Internet” patents, this time being “on a phone” patent)

Michael Larabel, the revered editor of Phoronix whom I considered to be my online friend for years, is also recognising that software patents are becoming a huge problem for Linux. In his new and unusual post, “What Would Be Disastrous For Linux, Open-Source”, he writes:

Here’s a few that I thought of this morning. Feel free to share your Linux doomsday scenarios in the forums.

Patent trolls increasing their assertions against Linux and key open-source software. If the Linux market-share continues to rise, the frequency of patent attacks or free software projects being impaired by software patents will only continue to rise. Enough said.

[...]

Patent assertions against Mesa. Any direct legal attacks against the core Mesa (or Gallium3D) library would endager the Linux desktop. This would likely be the greatest threat to Linux user-space or in general short of claims against the Linux kernel. When it comes to graphics IP, this is a hot area and has already held up a number of features like S3TC support from being implemented in the mainline tree and other features that are protected by patents that will not expire for many years. This is preventing even core parts of the OpenGL 3.x specification from being implemented.

What makes this particularly dangerous is that there is no other open alternative for providing OpenGL support and hardware acceleration, short of starting over from scratch (or somehow salvaging ancient Utah-GLX code). Mesa is found installed on virtually every Linux desktop, whether it is used or not. If a project like GNOME or Compiz faced serious legal challenges, there’s still at least alternatives out there, but not for Mesa aside from installing proprietary AMD and NVIDIA drivers. Intel support though would then be killed off along with other obscure drivers. Even if GCC was attacked, there’s LLVM/Clang, Open64, and numerous other compilers out there, but when it comes to the user-space graphics, there’s really only Mesa.

[...]

The US government begins taxing open-source software. It’s actually not as crazy as it sounds and could actually happen.

Linux sites must wake up and start covering the software patents situation because it is the #1 barrier to landslide victory of Free software. Techrights was born from the need to fight back against Microsoft’s patent demands from Linux (Groklaw was created for similar reasons when SCO launched analogous attacks). Microsoft hires lobbyists to be dedicated to just beating the software patents drum. It knows why it’s doing that.

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

What Else is New


  1. The EFF Back to Tackling Software Patents, Not Just Patent Trolls

    Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyers start targeting large companies that exploit patents for intimidation and extortion, not just patent trolling



  2. Microsoft Wants to Devour the Competition (Linux), Devour People's Data

    Refuting the "new Microsoft" propaganda and some ludicrous concept that Microsoft is now "playing nice"



  3. Benoît Battistelli Thinks 'President' is Above the Law, Decides to Ignore the Court's Ruling

    Staff of the EPO is given yet more reasons to protest tomorrow at the British Consulate, for the so-called 'President' of the EPO reminds everyone of the very raison d'être for the protest -- a vain disregard for the rule of law



  4. Links 24/2/2015: Xfce 4.12 a Week Away, GNOME 3.16 Previewed

    Links for the day



  5. Links 23/2/2015: Ubuntu Kylin 14.04.2 LTS, Cinnamon 2.6 Previews

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: February 8th - February 21st, 2015





  7. The EPO's Sham 'Internal Investigation' of EPO Vice-President Željko Topić's Affairs

    The EPO never investigated the Željko Topić affair, it only pretends to have investigated (one small aspect, i.e. cherry-picking) using a Benoît Battistelli-controlled group



  8. Links 21/2/2015: GNOME 3.15.90, Google Wins Android Lawsuit

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft AstroTurfing War on GNU/Linux is Still Going On, But Hidden Better, Uses API as Instrument of Lock-in

    The corruptible press continues to describe blatant attacks (Embrace, Extend, Extinguish) against GNU/Linux and Free software as Microsoft 'embracing' Open Source



  10. Lenovo's Superfish Scandal is Spyware on Top of Spyware (Microsoft Windows), the Problem is Inherently Proprietary Software

    Shifting focus to the root problem, which is neither Lenovo nor its laptops but the non-free programs installed on hardware



  11. Benoît Battistelli Once Again Threatens EPO Staff That 'Dares' to Protest, Battistelli Exploits Terror Attacks to Pretend to Respect Free Speech

    The European Patent Office (EPO) President, Benoît Battistelli, reportedly started threatening -- as before -- staff that decides to exercise the right to assemble and protest against abuses, including the abuses of President Battistelli himself



  12. Links 20/2/2015: Android Studio v1.1, GDB 7.9

    Links for the day



  13. Links 20/2/2015: Bloomberg Joins Linux Foundation, ClearOS Community 6.6.0

    Links for the day



  14. The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys Slams the European Patent Office for Structural Failings

    An important letter which we overlooked while writing yesterday's 4 articles about the European Patent Office (EPO); yet another key stakeholder complains



  15. Links 19/2/2015: Hewlett-Packard on Cumulus Linux, Previews of GNOME 3.16 Beta

    Links for the day



  16. Techrights Under Attack Again, Shortly After Important EPO Articles

    Techrights highlights a pattern that is months old; Site faces availability issues shortly after reports about the European Patent Office and its abuses



  17. EPO Staff Protests Against Benoît Battistelli’s Lowering of Patents Quality (Scope Expansion and Software Patents for Profit)

    A protest in Munich in less than 6 days will target Mr. Sean Dennehey, who has helped Battistelli cover up his abuses and crush legitimate critics, whom he deemed illegal opposition as if the EPO is an authoritarian regime as opposed to a public service which taxpayers are reluctantly (but forcibly) funding



  18. Breaking: European Patent Office Sued by Its Own Staff in The Hague, Must Unblock Staff's Voices

    The crooked management of the European Patent Office (EPO) gets in legal trouble after repeated attempts to cover up abuses and suppress criticism



  19. Željko Topić's History in SIPO Leaves a Legacy of Alleged DZIV Vehicles (Bribes), Authorship Abuses, and Intimidation Against Reporters

    Another deep look at Željko Topić's background in Croatia, preceding his very notorious appointment to the EPO where he now serves as Benoît Battistelli's most controversial attack dog



  20. The Old Obsession With Patent Trolls Continues to Distract From Debate About Software Patenting

    A roundup of recent coverage about monopolies on algorithms in the United States



  21. Links 19/2/2015: 64-bit ARM Linux, Chinese New Year

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/2/2015: Linux Report, FlightGear 3.4

    Links for the day



  23. EPO Scandals: The Story So Far

    An overview of articles about mischief, misconduct and breach of laws at the EPO



  24. Links 17/2/2015: TripleO, Pivotal

    Links for the day



  25. Links 17/2/2015: SystemD 219, Frugalware 2.0 (Rigel) Released

    Links for the day



  26. Željko Peratović Slammed for Whitewashing Željko Topić After Publishing Important Piece on Behalf of Key Sources

    Response from Ivan Kabalin to Zeljko Peratovic's so-called "apology" which is both mysterious and seemingly inadequate as it does nothing to actually explain what was wrong (if anything)



  27. Benoît Battistelli Has Made Oversight of European Patent Office Absolutely Impossible





  28. Microsoft Already Killed Nokia, Don't Let It Kill Android Players Too

    Microsoft's strategy against Android mirrors the company's evil strategy that derailed MeeGo and Nokia



  29. Intel Continues to Attack Software Freedom Through UEFI

    The Trojan horse that Microsoft uses to cement its monopoly on desktops and laptops (making it hard or impossible to install and run GNU/Linux) is also being misused to block Coreboot



  30. Links 16/2/2015: Netrunner 15, Bridge Linux

    Links for the day


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