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 Death of Software Patents and Microsoft's Coup Against Yahoo! Made the Company Worthless

    A look at what happens to companies whose value is a house of software patents rather than code and a broad base of users/customers



  2. Munich Attack Mentioned by EPO But Not Ansbach

    The EPO does the usual right-wing thing (exploiting disaster/emergency for domestic crackdowns), but some bemoan the omission of the explosion at Ansbach (also in Germany)



  3. Kluwer Thinks People Are Clueless About the Unitary Patent System and Pretends It's Business as Usual

    Flogging the dead UPC horse at times of great uncertainty (enough to bring the UPC to a standstill)



  4. Almost Everything That the Government Accountability Office Says is Applicable to the EPO

    The Government Accountability Office in the United States produces reports which can serve as a timely warning sign to the European Patent Office, where patent quality is rapidly declining in order to meet 'production' goals



  5. Microsoft Says It Loves Linux, But Its Anti-Linux Patent Trolls Are Still Around and Active

    Highlighting just two of the many entities that Microsoft (and partners) use in order to induce additional costs on Free (as in freedom) software



  6. Links 26/7/2016: Microsoft Growing Desperate, Linux 4.8 Visions

    Links for the day



  7. Links 25/7/2016: Linux 4.7 Final, PostgreSQL 9.6 Beta 3

    Links for the day



  8. Leaked: Boards of Appeal Face 'Exile' or 'Extradition' in Haar After Standing up to Battistelli

    A look at some of the latest moves at the European Patent Office (EPO), following Battistelli's successful coup d’état which brought the EPO into a perpetual state of emergency that perpetuates Battistelli's totalitarian powers



  9. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comes Across as Against Software Patents, Relates to the EPO as Well

    Some analysis of the input from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) with focus on the EPO and software patents



  10. In the US, Patent Trolls Engage in Patent Wars and Shakedowns, Whereas in China/Korea Large Android OEMs Sue One Another

    Highlighting some of the differences between the US patent system and other patent systems



  11. Links 24/7/2016: Elive 2.7.1 Beta, New Flatpaks and Snaps

    Links for the day



  12. Links 23/7/2016: Leo Laporte on GNU/Linux, Dolphin Emulator’s Vulkan Completion

    Links for the day



  13. Links 22/7/2016: Wine 1.9.15, KaOS 2016.07 ISO

    Links for the day



  14. Haar Mentioned as Likely Site of Appeal Boards as Their Eradication or Marginalisation Envisioned by UPC Proponent Benoît Battistelli

    Not only the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) is under severe attack and possibly in mortal danger; the increasingly understaffed Boards of Appeal too are coming under attack and may (according to rumours) be sent to Haar, a good distance away from Munich and the airport (half an hour drive), not to mention lack of facilities for visitors from overseas



  15. EPO Attaché Albert Keyack Viewed as Somewhat of a Mole, Reporting From the US Embassy in Brazil Until Shortly Before the Temer Coup

    Public responses to the role played by Albert Keyack on behalf of the United States inside the European [sic] Patent Office



  16. EPO Insiders Explain Why the EPO's Examination Quality Rapidly Declines and Will Get Even Worse Because of Willy Minnoye

    Public comments from anonymous insiders serve to highlight a growing crisis inside the European Patent Office (EPO), where experienced/senior examiners are walking away and leaving an irreplaceable bunch of seats (due to high experience demands)



  17. Patents Roundup: BlackBerry, Huawei, PTAB, GAO, Aggressive Universities With Patents, and Software Patents in Europe

    Various bits and pieces of news regarding patents and their fast-changing nature in the United States nowadays



  18. Glimpse at Patent Systems Across the World: Better Quality Control at the USPTO Post-America Invents Act (2011), Unlike the EPO Post-Battistelli (2010)

    While the EPO reportedly strives to eliminate pendency and appeal windows altogether (rubberstamping being optimal performance as per the yardstick du jour), the USPTO introduces changes that would strengthen the system and shield innovation, not protect the business model of serial litigants



  19. Blockstream Has No Patents, But Pledges Not to Sue Using Patents

    Blockstream says that it comes in peace when it comes to software patents, which triggers speculations about coming Blockchain patent wars



  20. Links 21/7/2016: Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” Xfce Beta

    Links for the day



  21. Links 21/7/2016: An Honorary Degree for Alan Cox, Looks Back at DebConf16

    Links for the day



  22. EPO USA: Under Battistelli, the 'European' Patent Office Emulates All the Mistakes of the USPTO

    Conservative Benoît Battistelli is trying to impose on the European Patent Office various truly misguided policies and he viciously attacks anyone or anything that stands in his way, including his formal overseers



  23. Links 19/7/2016: ARM and Opera Buyout

    Links for the day



  24. Large Corporations' Software Patenting Pursuits Carry on in Spite of Patent Trolls That Threaten Small Companies the Most

    With unconvincing excuses such as OIN, large corporations including IBM continue to promote software patents in the United States, even when public officials and USPTO officials work towards ending those



  25. Battistelli Has Implemented De Facto EPO Coup to Remove Oversight, Give Himself Total Power, and Allegedly Give UPC Gifts (Loot) to French Officials

    Benoît Battistelli's agenda at the EPO is anything but beneficial to the EPO and suspicions that Battistelli's overall agenda is transitioning to the UPC to further his goals grow feet



  26. EPO Social [sic] Report is a Big Pile of Lies That Responsible Journalists Must Ignore

    A reminder of where the EPO stands on social issues and why the latest so-called 'social' report is nothing but paid-for propaganda for Battistelli's political ambitions



  27. Links 18/7/2016: Vista 10 a Failure, FreeType 2.7

    Links for the day



  28. Exploiting Perceived Emergencies/Disasters, Suspending the Rule of Law, and Suspending Judges: How Erdoğan is Like Battistelli, Except the Coup

    Pretexts for crackdown on law-abiding people or figureheads who are remote and independent the hallmark not only of Erdoğan but also the EPO's President, Benoit Battistelli



  29. The Impotence of Gene Quinn

    Attacking the enforcer of Alice v CLS because it's doing harm to his source of income, which makes him angry



  30. After the FTI Consulting-EPO Reputation Laundering Deal's Expansion in Germany Süddeutsche Zeitung 'Forgets' That the EPO Even Exists

    Relative apathy if not complete silence regarding the EPO at Süddeutsche Zeitung following reports of FTI Consulting's deal expansion (media positioning in Germany), with hundreds of thousands of Euros (EPO budget) thrown at the controversial task


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