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04.05.11

Microsoft’s Refined Plan of Using Novell to Attack Competitors

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 4:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The Linux-hostile strategy at Microsoft evolves to get around regulators and further the patent agenda; Novell’s acquisition delayed until exactly one week from now

Microsoft remains a top patent threat simply because it is doing anything which deserves this label. It is not a scapegoat. Linux foes like Microsoft Florian seem to be part of the PR campaign which paints Google — not Microsoft — as the patent problem. Here is one recent rebuttal to Florian’s latest lies and distortions:

I’ve been sitting back watching the newest Florian Müller psycho babble play out. It always plays to the same formula. Florian Müller raises the alarm. The people who actually know what they are talking about explain why Florian is wrong. Again.

Let’s face it. Either Florian isn’t all that bright, or someone is paying him to make his statements. No one could be this consistently, stupidly, wrong. It’s just not possible. People learn. Learning is the basis of human existence.

[...]

The next day, Florian Müller starts off a blog post with the sentence Intellectual property issues continue to cloud Google’s mobile operating system. Do you see a pattern here folks?

[...]

He’s not a programmer. He’s not a lawyer. Just how does he have the skills to reach a conclusion? Is he even thinking?

In light of news like this (which we mentioned earlier) the inflammatory FUD machine of Florian is once again trying to incite people against Google, which has no history of patent aggression. The article says:

Hopeful of dissuading further patent lawsuits against its Android partners, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) went public Monday with its intention to bid on a patent library held by bankrupt telecom company Nortel and said it had been selected to open the bidding with a $900 million offer.

Tell the FUD machine that Google is at least not using patents offensively, at least so far. Microsoft Nick (the Microsoft booster Nicholas Kolakowski) joins the voices which predict trouble for Android (and therefore interest in Vista Phony 7, which is ridiculous). Microsoft’s partners at Ziff Davis [1, 2, 3] even put this stuff from Microsoft Nick in a Linux site while the scrupulous Sys-Con [1, 2, 3, 4] still makes room for SCO defender Maureen O’Gara [1, 2] (also a Microsoft booster/story ‘planter’ , who is still pushing the same agenda as she is boosting SCO, too). They are are eager to see Novell’s patents coming to Microsoft’s own extortions portfolio. There is reportedly some Microsoft-AttachMSFT interaction around patents and Microsoft booster Gavin Clark has this to say:

The Microsoft-led consortium of tech companies trying to hoover up nearly 1,000 of Novell’s patents is back in business.

CPTN Holdings re-registered with German authorities on Wednesday, according to the website of the German Federal Cartel Office. Plans to create CPTN as a German entity were withdrawn in December 2010.

CPTN is buying 882 of Novell’s patents in a deal with soon-to-be Novell-owner Attachmate. Apple, EMC, and Oracle are also members of CPTN, but it’s helmed by Redmond.

Everyone which we found covering this has some special relationship with Microsoft. That includes Microsoft Florian, who got access to inside information whose publication was beneficial to Microsoft. On a public level, Novell has this to say about CPTN (from its SEC filing):

The merger contemplated by the merger agreement remains subject to the satisfaction or waiver of certain closing conditions, including the closing of the sale of certain identified issued patents and patent applications to CPTN Holdings LLC (“CPTN”) pursuant to a Patent Purchase Agreement, dated as of November 21, 2010. Under the Patent Purchase Agreement, one of the conditions to closing of the patent sale to CPTN remains the expiration of applicable waiting periods under the competition laws in Germany and the United States.

With respect to Germany, on December 30, 2010, the CPTN consortium had voluntarily withdrawn its filed notification in order to provide the Federal Cartel Office (the “FCO”) with more time to review the proposed patent sale. On March 23, 2011, the CPTN consortium, following discussions with the FCO, re-filed the notification. The re-filing starts a new one month review period under the German Act against Restraints of Competition in the version of 15 July 2005, as amended, during which the FCO could clear the transaction at any time.

In the United States, the Company previously reported that, on March 4, 2011, each of the Company and CPTN certified as to its substantial compliance with the second request for information from the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) and that each of the Company and CPTN has agreed to provide the DOJ with additional time to review the patent sale and not to close the patent sale prior to April 12, 2011.

The Company remains committed to working with the DOJ and FCO as they conduct their respective reviews of the patent sale. The patent sale remains subject to the satisfaction or waiver of other closing conditions as set forth in the Patent Purchase Agreement.

This may soon be addressed according to other reports, e.g. [1, 2] from the news, including one report from the 11th of March (following an earlier report) that says: “Novell said yesterday the Department of Justice needs more time to investigate its sale of Linux patents to Microsoft.”

Maureen O’Gara and others name April 12th as the day to look forward to (or not to look forward to). The Microsoft camp would love to see Microsoft putting its hands on those thousand patents (or almost a thousand patents) for the purpose of patent manipulation. Novell has patents which relate to UNIX. Since Microsoft mostly sues companies which use Linux these days, what does that say about Novell’s decision to give Microsoft patents?

Ron Hovsepian begs Ballmer

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