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

05.17.11

It’s All Down to Patents Now

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 2:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Co-authored with G. Forbes

Summary: Why patents are worth treating as the principal barrier to Free software adoption

MICROSOFT has already lost the battle for technical superiority over its competitors. Without a legitimate advantage, all that is left for Microsoft to do is to struggle using legal battles enabled by broken patent legislation instead. We at Techrights have repeatedly driven this point home. After covering the Yahoo! case, Thomson Reuters has proceeded to cover Microsoft’s own cases against patent trolls (a rather ironic situation considering Microsoft itself is increasingly becoming a patent troll as we have demonstrated in the past). In this specific case, the troll is Uniloc [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]. It’s clear the case is not quite over yet:

A U.S. appeals court that specializes in patent disputes said on Monday that it would not review a decision to toss out a common method of calculating damages in patent lawsuits.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had said in January that Microsoft infringed a Uniloc patent to prevent software piracy but also tossed out the popular “25 percent rule,” which assumes that the company licensing a patent is due 25 percent of the value of the product.

Uniloc USA and its Singapore-based parent originally filed suit against Microsoft in 2003, accusing it of infringing a Uniloc patent to prevent unlicensed use of its Windows XP operating system and parts of its Office suite of software products.

Meanwhile, GNU/Linux sites are in celebration of the news that Mark Webbink is helming Groklaw now. Wasting no time, Webbink has already tackled the Bedrock case, following the news from Yahoo:

“There was a good deal of gnashing of teeth,” he writes, “just two weeks ago when Google was found to have infringed the patents of Bedrock Computer Technologies, Inc. with respect to caching in Linux. In terms of patent judgments, the award was relatively small, just $5 million. But it still raised issues with respect to other developers and users of Linux, many of whom were engaged in related infringement suits brought by Bedrock.

“Well, lo and behold, in the same court in the Eastern District of Texas this week Bedrock lost [PDF] on its infringement claim against Yahoo (related NewsPick), another defendant using exactly the same technology, albeit without executing the Bedrock code.”

Though Webbink’s appointment seems to have been a positive addition, there is a notable downside. As we feared, Groklaw seems to be switching focus more narrowly onto on patents and losing sight of the niche but critical area that is SCO. “Walterbyrd” has told us that “UnXis, Inc[,] Claims to Own The UNIX and UnixWare Trademarks”. He quotes:

“APPLICANT’S REPLY IN SUPPORT OF HIS COMBINED MOTION AND BRIEF TO RESUME OPPOSITION PROCEEDING AND RESET AND EXTEND THE SCHEDULE [...]UnXis, Inc. (‘UnXis’) SCO’s successor, now states it, not X/Open, lawfully owns the UNIX and UnixWare trademarks. SCO just completed the bankruptcy sale of its UNIX…”

Fortunately, it seems extremely unlikely that anything other than FUD will ever come out of this development. Groklaw has done so much to show that SCO (or TSG or UnXis or whatever it chooses to call itself) has no case. We do hope that Groklaw will continue to keep an eye on SCO in the future though.

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

5 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    May 17, 2011 at 3:44 am

    Gravatar

    So now it is more important than ever to clear out Mono from Ubuntu. Even those that cannot see the sloppy way of engineering that the Microsoft mindeset brings can at least see the patent threat to Ubuntu’s users.

    The previous generation’s run-in with patents was Unisys and GIF. The same applies now, but with the added harm of bad engineering.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Mono is not just a patent problem, it is an API problem. An hour ago the FSFE’s founder redented this: “Newsflash: The world is not desperately waiting for .NET for Android and iOS. Sorry, Miguel. > Too much Kool-Aid, I presume ;)”

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    Anything trying to re-implement M$ techologies is going to have problems. If Samba is an example, then Mono/.NOT (C#) will also get orders to make it difficult to work with other platforms. That practice apparently goes back years, if not decades:

    “We have to stop putting any effort into this and make sure that Office
    documents very well depends on PROPRIETARY IE capabilities.”
    p1. Plaintiff’s Exhibit 2991. Comes v Microsoft.
    http://groklaw.net/pdf/iowa/www.iowaconsumercase.org/011607/2000/PX02991.pdf

    M$ is not the answer, it is the question. “No” is the answer. .NET is .NOT a good copy of Java. Best to stick with Java instead.

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    “Maybe we could define the APIs so that they work well with NT and not the others
    even if they are open.” Plaintiff’s Exhibit 3020. Comes v Microsoft.
    http://groklaw.net/pdf/iowa/www.iowaconsumercase.org/011607/3000/PX03020.pdf

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    In the server room, Linux and FOSS rule (PHP, Java, Apache..), so Microsoft looks forward to transforming everything to ASP.NET, turning Linux and FOSS into a poor man’s choice.

What Else is New


  1. Links 4/5/2015: Many New Releases, Ubuntu Drone

    Links for the day



  2. Misplaced Focus on Patent Trolls and Patent Lawyers' Defence of Trolls

    Observations about media coverage and reactions to the focus on patent trolls, which distracts from desperately-needed reform around patent scope



  3. PATENT Act a 'Reform' for Big Corporations, Hence Does Not Address the Core Issues, Including Patent Scope and Massive Patent Aggressors

    Big corporations, including some of the biggest patent aggressors out there, successfully lobbied for what has essentially become a bipartisan bill to eliminate the thorn in their side



  4. Openwashing of Binary Blobs That Microsoft Uses to Attack Free Software and GNU/Linux From the Inside

    Media which is either willfully ignorant or complicit has successfully, based on volume of coverage, framed Microsoft's proprietary software as openness and nicety



  5. Microsoft Kills Netscape Again, This Time Removing It From the History Books

    Microsoft's embarrassing crimes against Netscape -- the ones that put Bill Gates on trial and nearly split Microsoft -- virtually forgotten as Netscape itself is made to 'disappear'



  6. Microsoft India's Unofficial 'Branch' Infosys is Torturing the Meaning of Open Source Software

    Infosys, which is best known for its promotion of Microsoft in India, is distorting the meaning of 'Open Source' and joins a non-profit that is supposed to promote programming, not binary blobs



  7. Microsoft Windows is Dying, British Government Should Spend No More Money on It

    Time for the Establishment in the UK to abandon the out-of-support Windows XP (from 2001) and join the next generation of computing, which increasingly revolves around GNU/Linux and Free/libre software, supported by truly British companies



  8. IRC Proceedings: April 5th - May 2nd, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  9. Links 3/5/2015: Black Lab 6.5 RC2

    Links for the day



  10. Links 2/5/2015: Robolinux 7.9.1, LibreOffice Numbering

    Links for the day



  11. Links 1/5/2015: HP Ubuntu Laptops, Arch Linux 2015.05.01

    Links for the day



  12. Links 30/4/2015: Plasma 4.4 in the Making

    Links for the day



  13. Microsoft Embracing, Extending, Extinguishing the Linux-centric Arduino and Raspberry Pi, Making Them Windows Devices

    Raspberry Pi and Arduino carry water for Microsoft as part of the publicity stunts for Vista 10, the operating system which Microsoft tells investors is "marketing"



  14. Microsoft Uses Ubuntu to Demonstrate and Promote Microsoft Lock-in

    Canonical's Ubuntu is now used as the bait by which to seduce developers in the GNU/Linux world into Microsoft dependencies, surveillance, and software patents



  15. The EPO's Tyrant, Benoît Battistelli, is Probably on His Way Out, Threatens to Resign

    The Napoleonic self-acclaimed 'president' of the EPO, who surrounded himself with loyal thugs and crushed all opposition to him (assuring reign by fear), reportedly threatens to fall on his sword if an independent mediator gets appointed



  16. Links 30/4/2015: Debian GNU/Hurd 2015, Microsoft Copies Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  17. Windows Recipes for Disaster (Met Police and Fukushima)

    Microsoft Windows mentality and strong dependencies continue to cause immeasurable damage that costs people a lot in terms money and in terms of health



  18. ‘Visual Studio Code’: Not News, Not Free, Not Open Source

    Another publicity stunt from Microsoft, this time going under the name ‘Visual Studio Code’, which is basically proprietary lock-in



  19. Microsoft's Patent Attacks on Android Not Covered in the Corporate Media, Only Microsoft as the 'Victim'

    Omission of important developments around Microsoft's war on GNU/Linux and Free software, notably against Android and ChromeOS as of late



  20. As Core Issues Still Not Addressed, Another Protest Against EPO Management Scheduled for Tomorrow in Munich, Germany

    On Thursday (tomorrow) yet another demonstration is organised in Munich, less than a week ahead of the UPC decision (May 5th)



  21. Pharmaceutical Patents and Hedge Funds: Evil Fighting Evil

    Revisiting the subject of patents on life or life-saving processes, plus a hedge fund's extortion-type attack on such patents (for quick profit)



  22. UCLA Foolishly Grooms Microsoft's Patent Troll Nathan Myhrvold (Intellectual Ventures), Who is Busy Attacking Android and Linux These Days

    More news about Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's and Bill Gates' anti-Linux tool, who lost a battle because of last year's SCOTUS ruling and is now groomed by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)



  23. Links 28/4/2015: Plasma 5.3, Cutelyst 0.8.0

    Links for the day



  24. Links 28/4/2015: More on Debian 8 “Jessie”, Fedora 22 Beta Walkthrough

    Links for the day



  25. Microsoft is Attacking Android Like Never Before, Qisda the Latest to Sign Patent Extortion Deal

    More blackmail and propaganda against Android, courtesy of the gentler, kinder, 'new' Microsoft



  26. Caution Needed When Microsoft Copywriters Flood the Media With Microsoft Propaganda

    Media actively subverted by Microsoft-sponsored agents of deception, whose goal is to change what people think of Microsoft and its software, even if by lying (they call it 'marketing')



  27. Gartner Staff That Worked for Microsoft and the Latest Nonsense from Gartner or 'Former' Staff

    Gartner waited until 2015 to declare FOSS fit for databases; another example spotted where Gartner staff comes from Microsoft or vice versa



  28. Links 27/4/2015: Debian 9 Named, Linux 4.1 Reaches RC

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft is Interjecting Itself Into GNU/Linux and Free Software News, Even Events and Foundations

    Microsoft's entryism strategy is proving effective as Microsoft successfully embeds itself inside the idealogical competition, subverting the competition's overall message and diluting the competition's focus on Free software



  30. The Unethical Business of Selling Fear of Free/Libre Software Bugs (Black Duck, Sonatype, and Symantec)

    The spreading of fear of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) is now a growth industry, so proprietary opportunists are eager to capitalise on it, even if by distorting the truth


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