06.08.11

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New Reality Distortion, Same Florian Müller for Taxing Linux

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 11:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

United States on charts

Summary: A broken patent system from the United States is being championed and defended by Florian Müller, who lobbies for RAND and Linux tax in Europe where he lives and campaigns for profit (on behalf of unnamed/antisocial companies)

AGENTS of influence (or lobbyists) are at it again. Linux is gaining and Microsoft is running out of ideas, so just like its peon Facebook it is attacking Google with disinformation. It pays lobbyists to muddy the water. We sometimes refer to them as “mobbyists”.

There is an attempt to tax Linux from many directions, using software patents of course. Microsoft Florian has begun making noise about this type of reports:

Oracle sued Google last August, claiming Android infringes on seven of Oracle’s Java patents. Google has denied all wrongdoing.

Details of what Oracle wants in compensation have now emerged in a filing made Monday by Google in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The partially redacted filing targets conclusions made by Iain Cockburn, a Oracle legal expert on damages. Passages that appear to concern specific monetary figures are blacked out, but other sections provide a sense of the scope of royalties Cockburn says Oracle is owed.

If one actually checks the source of these claims, there is room for doubt. Florian is mass-mailing journalists (critical part of his business model) and plays along with this story whilst also smearing the OIN, which happens to have both Oracle and Google as members. It is true that the OIN is not a solution to the software patents problem. However, to think that Florian is against software patents is to ignore almost everything he actually says. To give an example of the OIN’s approach, it goes something like this (from a new announcement):

OIN simultaneously announced that it has acquired the underlying intellectual property, which includes nine patents and patent applications. The Distinguished Inventor Program is focused on entrepreneurial inventors, typically unaffiliated with large corporate entities, who have authored key technology patents.

This is not a solution, but it’s better than nothing. It’s IBM’s style of handling a problem in a way that helps IBM but hardly anybody else. We previously wrote about IBM's damage control and found it baffling that Florian apologises for/sympathises with IBM. It is probably because Microsoft Florian is being briefed by Microsoft PR agents, just like Maureen O'Gara, whom he is in touch with (as well as Enderle). Microsoft basically constructs stories against its competitors and then passes these to its attacks dogs. These so-called ‘IP’ attacks on Linux are coordinated and Twitter makes it a lot easier to see how it works (otherwise, Florian’s mass-mailing operation remains mostly hidden). Anyway, Pamela Jones took it upon herself to return to Groklaw and rebutted the latest nonsense from Microsoft Florian. It is a long and details post which states: “Because the oddest thing just happened. Redmond Magazine reveals that Microsoft sent it the news about a claims construction order from the ITC regarding a Microsoft complaint against Motorola, with some talking points, I gather, on what it thinks it means. And at more or less the same time, but slightly before, Mueller published an article on his blog with the same information about the same claims construction order and giving it the same meaning as Microsoft sent to Redmond Magazine. We know the timing because Redmond Magazine links to Mueller.

“But I can’t make the Redmond-Microsoft/Mueller math — which is highlighted in both articles as being significant — line up with the order itself. And while both articles opine that the order means that Microsoft’s patent claims against Motorola are going swimmingly, and hence Android is in trouble, the picture is a lot more complex, according to my research. It turns out there are several lawsuits between the parties, and in the patent litigation in district court, the most recent event is that Motorola motions to dismiss were granted in part and Microsoft motions to dismiss were denied. I’ll show you my research on all this.”

Watch how it concludes: “The last time there were some scary articles about a claim construction order, with some concluding that Oracle’s scoring points against Google in the number of claim construction terms the judge agreed with was a leg up for Oracle, I suggested that it was too early to tell what it meant and that journalists could save themselves embarrassment by just reading the filings themselves and not relying on Mueller or on any lobbyist for what they allegedly mean.”

People who really want software patents to end take the approach of the FFII or Fred Wilson [1, 2], who was on this panel about rejecting software patents the other day.

Last night during an Internet Week event at General Assembly, investors Fred Wilson, David Lee, and Chris Dixon took the stage to talk about a range of topics related to startups, including one that’s been a source of angst for many a startup: patents.

As a mobbyist, Florian has been effective because he pretends to be against software patents while in fact all he does its boost them and defame those who are truly against software patents. He also pretends to be a lover of Android. That’s what lobbyists tend to do for credibility. “I tried Linux, but…”

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2 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    June 8, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Gravatar

    Florian also managed to spin CWMike and Slashdot with his latest hype, so I added it to my Microsoft Florain Watch List, under Android/Google spin, “Sensationalized Oracle’s obnoxious demands for money as something that would “far exceed any money Google has ever earned with Android”, Google’s no cost, free OS.” The timing of publishing that PJ highlights proves that Florian is just another cog in Microsoft’s PR machine, if the things he says were not convincing enough. It is almost comical that the lie is already falling apart, Google asks for the estimate to be disqualified.

    Cockburn “seems to be arguing that Google’s advertising revenue from … mobile searches on Android devices should be included” in determining compensation theoretically owed to Oracle, the lawyers write, “though he never articulates or supports this justification.”

    While looking at this story, I fell into another Microsoft FUD sinkhole, Garbor Fari’s Twitter stream (language warning, not safe for work). Fari says he’s a researcher of some sort but his twitter stream was all invective and PR. He was encouraging Mary Jo Foley to buy and love Windows Phoney 7. What a world of ick.

    There are, actually, some very important stories out there. Gadflies like Florian distract from the important issues and actively subvert the software patent abolition debate we should be having.

  2. twitter said,

    June 9, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Gravatar

    Groklaw puts things in perspective.

    At least one so-called patent expert has been quoted extensively in the past few days asserting that the damages that could be assessed against Google could be astronomical and will wipe out Android. That strikes this writer as getting the cart before the horse. First, the Oracle patents will have to be found valid, either by the court or in reexamination [a coin toss]. … Second, after the claims are substantiated in some form and interpreted by the court, the question will be whether Android infringes those claims in their entirety. … Google, even absent the reexamination, already argues that Android does not perform all of the elements of the allegedly infringed claims …

    It would be easier if software patents were thrown out entirely, but Oracle has a long way to go before it is rewarded at Google’s expense. Given the fact that Sun engineers have openly mocked the patents they were forced to apply for, regularly holding contests for the dubmest ideas to pass, it is surprising that any of this is happening.

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