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 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  2. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  3. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  4. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  5. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  6. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  7. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court



  8. Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

    Links for the day



  9. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  10. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  11. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  12. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  13. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  14. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?



  15. Links 14/10/2014: CAINE 6, New RHEL, Dronecode

    Links for the day



  16. Microsoft's Disdain for Women Steals the Show at a Women's Event

    Steve Ballmer's successor, Satya Nadella, is still too tactless to lie to the audience, having been given --through subversive means -- a platform at a conference that should have shunned Microsoft, a famously misogynistic company



  17. SCOTUS May Soon Put an End to the 'Copyrights on APIs' Question While Proprietary Giants Continue to Harass Android/Linux in Every Way Conceivable

    Google takes its fight over API freedom to the Supreme Court in the Unites States and it also takes that longstanding patent harassment from the Microsoft- and Apple-backed troll (Rockstar) out of East Texas



  18. Patent Lawsuits Almost Halved After SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Software Patents

    The barrier for acceptance of software patent applications is raised in the United States and patent lawsuits, many of which involve software these days, are down very sharply, based on new figures from Lex Machina



  19. Links 13/10/2014: ChromeOS and EXT, Debian Resists Systemd Domination

    Links for the day



  20. Links 12/10/2014: Blackphone Tablet, Sony's Firefox OS Port

    Links for the day



  21. Links 9/10/2014: Free Software in Germany, Lenovo Tablets With Android

    Links for the day



  22. Links 8/10/2014: A Lot of Linux+AMD News, New ROSA Desktop Is Out

    Links for the day



  23. Lawyers' Propaganda About Software Patents and a New AstroTurf Entity Called Innovation Alliance

    Patent propaganda and deception from patent lawyers (among other parasites such as patent trolls) continues to flood the Web, intersecting with reports that prove them totally wrong



  24. How Microsoft Handles Disasters: Grace Hopper Conference Has Been Infiltrated by "Microsoft Disaster Response"

    Free/Open Source software (FOSS) must be a disaster to Microsoft's bottom line because Microsoft is sending "Microsoft Disaster Response" to infiltrate and disrupt a conference about women in FOSS



  25. Links 8/10/2014: Gummersbach Moves to GNU/Linux, Docker Acquires Koality, KDE Frameworks 5.3

    Links for the day



  26. Links 7/10/2014: CAINE 6.0, PC-BSD 10.0.3

    Links for the day



  27. Benoît Battistelli's Balkan Standards in EPO: Part V

    How the European Patent Office facilitated the inclusion of previously-connected elements that are best known for misconduct and dirty politics



  28. Symptoms of Post-x86 Era: Even Intel Apologists Turn Against Bribes-Dependent Intel While Microsoft Continues to Deceive Journalists on Patents in Order to Create a Scare

    The Wintel press, which is bribed by companies that it covers, is challenged by prominent developers and Microsoft continues to plant its patent propaganda in the Wintel-centric (and paid) press



  29. Microsoft Reinforces Its Criminal Organisation Status by Bribing and Corrupting More Officials, Even in Europe

    More criminal activity from Microsoft in Romania and a new TV programme that sheds light on Microsoft's dirty assault on Free software in France



  30. Links 6/10/2014: Linux 3.17, OpenELEC 4.2.1, FreeBSD 10.1 RC1, Debian 8.0 Beta 2 Released

    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