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05.05.11

Microsoft’s Three Musketeers (Gates, Allen, Myhrvold) Still Assault the Market With Patents

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 11:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Intellectual property is the next software.”

Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft patent troll

Nathan Myhrvold

Summary: An overview of patent activity against Linux with particular focus on Microsoft-derived shells and lobbying

Gates and his buddies are lobbying for worse patent laws, but they are not alone (no wonder the USPTO gets stuffed with the wrong people). They are also cooking lawsuits — a subject we currently research via E-mail (more on that later this month).

Since Microsoft is a rogue company increasingly unable to compete, core people from this company created profitable entities outside of Microsoft and their impact on the world is immensely damaging for reasons we explained before. They want more and more patent monopolies in every walk of life — from the environment to agriculture and even software, obviously. It is about restoring scarcity in the age of Internet-enabled abundance and equality.

According to this new article which was cited by Groklaw:

“Everyone is worried about the Windows numbers,” said Brent Thill, an analyst at UBS AG in San Francisco. “That’s the cash cow and everyone is worried the cow is running out of milk.”

Groklaw then cites this one which says “Microsoft confirmed Thursday its Windows cash machine is under threat.” (warning: behind paywall)

Reading further down the article, Groklaw remarks: “Let’s define our terms. What does it mean that “Microsoft can limit the speed of such incursions”? How exactly? What does the Wall Street Journal mean by that? Using litigation? What?”

That’s rhetorical. And as we have shown before, Gates, Allen, and Myhrvold are all extorting and suing Linux, amongst other entities or efforts. That’s their next big plan for making money. They can disguise it all they want using expensive PR campaigns, but people are not dumb enough to fall for it. An increasing number of bloggers and publications speak openly about the truth, which places Gates, Allen, Myhrvold down at the bottom alongside villains like Edison and Rockefeller (he too has been trying the whole PR spiel).

“What does it mean that “Microsoft can limit the speed of such incursions”? How exactly? What does the Wall Street Journal mean by that? Using litigation?”
      –Pamela Jones, Groklaw
Over at Groklaw, Pamela Jones links to some whitewashing of Microsoft and notes that her friend “Todd Bishop wonders why so little attention is being paid [to Microsoft antitrust/oversight expiry]. I think it’s because the compliance required is to the Final Judgment, not to any other issues since. If you look at page 11 of the PDF, the status report, you’ll see that. It says, “As of April 18, 2011, Microsoft had received 32 complaints or inquiries since the March 2011 Joint Status Report. None of these complaints is related to any of Microsoft’s compliance obligations under the Final Judgments.” So this is old stuff. The court isn’t about anything that wasn’t ordered by the Final Judgment. The world has moved on. And the second reason no one cares is we’ve seen this court at work, and our expectations are low for anything meaningful.”

Todd Bishop is still promoting Microsoft in his new site, GeekWire. At his previous employer, the Microsoft-paid TechFlash, there is some more Microsoft PR, this time in HTC flavour. Jones quotes the following from an HTC interview:

So are patents good or bad for the industry? It’s a difficult balance, I think, between protecting the hard work that people have done to design innovative products and, of course, offering the best products and experience to customers. I think there probably does need to be some reform in the way patents are granted, the way the patent office works, but I’m not a lawyer.

According to one source that we found at the time, Microsoft was about to sue HTC for using Android, but HTC decided to avoid the lawsuit and instead it made it look like it had signed an amicable patent deal with Microsoft, agreeing to pay Steve Ballmer and fellow thugs for Linux. Later on HTC also agreed to pay Myhrvold. The threat of the burden of litigation was a weapon. It’s called racketeering, blackmail, or extortion when this type of thing is done. That’s the ‘New Microsoft’. It’s worse than ever and regulators ought to step in.

Microsoft’s co-founder Traul Allen has become a patent troll. Woz (of Apple fame) defended him at one stage, but he apparently regrets the stance, based on this highly-cited Rik Myslewski report which says:

Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak has no love for the US patent system, and prefers split-pea soup to “that patent-troll thing” as practiced by Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen in his current patent-infringment lawsuit against Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, and others.

“A lot of patents are pretty much not worth that much,” Wozniak told his keynote audience at the Embedded System Conference Silicon Valley (ESC) taking place this week in San José, California.

“In other words, any fifth-grader could come up with the same approach.”

When asked about patent-trolling, Wozniak had two personal stories to tell: one about Allen, and one about an early experience that soured him on patents held and enforced by deep-pockets companies.

Dr. Glyn Moody added: “confused? he was, you will be”

Jones wrote about the same article: “I recall Justice Stevens in the i4i v. Microsoft oral argument asking if it was a really big problem or a little one. What someone should probably do is make a list of really stupid patents that have already issued. You’d need to explain how and why it’s silly, of course.”

Microsoft is not against software patents. It opposes only software patents which can be used against Microsoft. Meanwhile it is bragging about taking payments from Volkswagen and guess what for:

Microsoft licensing patent over “Quick Filename Lookup Using Name Hash” to VW

Sounds familiar? It ought to. Microsoft uses filename lookup to extort the most popular kernel, Linux. Yes, Microsoft is completely distorting the market with its lawsuits, patent trolls, and lobbyists. To quote a well-known critic of zealous intellectual monopolist: “CNET News reported that Google was asked to pay $5 million for the infringement, a relatively small amount for the internet search and video giant. But a Google spokesperson remarked that the company would “continue to defend against attacks like this one on the open-source community,” and that “the recent explosion in patent litigation is turning the world’s information highway into a toll road, forcing companies to spend millions and millions of dollars defending old, questionable patent claims, and wasting resources that would be much better spent investing in new technologies for users and creating jobs.”

“Google profits from making things abundant and available to everyone; Microsoft is the exact opposite and only one can be described as a democratising force.”That’s what makes Microsoft so unique and by no means a scapegoat; what a disgusting company it must be in comparison to Google, for example. Google profits from making things abundant and available to everyone; Microsoft is the exact opposite and only one can be described as a democratising force.

Watch what “Microsoft IP&L” (The official Twitter account for Microsoft’s Intellectual Property and Licensing at Redmond, WA) is doing in Twitter right now. This is what these people publish: “Tips for prosecuting a successful IP Portfolio: set goals for creating patent hits; invest more $ in High level patents & watch your plan”

Microsoft is “creating patent hits”. Impressive, eh? Who would defend such abusive attitudes and litigious minds?

Well, Microsoft Florian is promoting Windows phones and bashing Google this week (linking to Microsoft TEs like the slimy Michael Gartenberg [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15] for the purpose), then promoting puff pieces about Intellectual Ventures, the world’s largest patent troll, by linking to promotional nonsense and troll PR. It ought to be added that this Microsoft troll even bought some of Linus Torvalds’ patents from Transmeta (these are hardware patents, for microprocessors developed at Transmeta). Mike Milinkovich of Eclipse fame has also just denounced Intellectual Ventures, and quite rightly so. He wrote:

There is something seriously wrong with any business model that requires 12% of its market to go to litigation

Microsoft now relies on attacks from proxies, which is why it passes Linux-hostile patents [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

Peer To Patent, just like OIN, is trying to address the problem one patent at the time and abolitionists like the FFII’s president are sceptical, as usual.

Be the first to share your knowledge on this application! #patent #priorart http://fb.me/YRNnRiS8

In order to stop Microsoft’s attacks on Linux (in addition to the attacks it has other companies launch against Linux) we must get rid of software patents altogether, as a whole. Tacking patents one by one is not the best approach to deal with the issue. It’s mostly ineffective in fact, just like a nuclear ‘defense system’ which is easily defeated by increasing the number of simultaneous targets.

“Fighting patents one by one will never eliminate the danger of software patents, any more than swatting mosquitoes will eliminate malaria.”

Richard Stallman

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