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

06.16.11

Microsoft Lobby Ups the Pro-Software Patents Propaganda

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 11:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nathan Myhrvold

Summary: Intellectual Ventures runs lobbying campaigns while Microsoft is working to ensure it can tax Android and Google is left defenceless

MICROSOFT is a major opponent of whatever it takes for GNU/Linux to win. It is easy to see why. Microsoft probably has the most lose. Just the other day we explained the point about CPTN as proof of Microsoft’s hypocrisy when it complains about Google patents (same party line as Microsoft Florian the lobbyist). “Fascinating to see Goog’s approach,” writes Smári McCarthy, “Microsoft whines about possible #swpat [software patents] bullying”

Glyn Moody published this excellent rebuttal which says:

I’ve written plenty about why software patents should be resisted where they don’t exist, and abolished where they do. But if I wanted further ammunition for my arguments I couldn’t hope for a better example of software patent madness than what is happening in the smartphone sector.

[...]

Clearly, what Microsoft fears here is that Google might acquire the patents, and then threaten to cancel the licensing deal with Microsoft unless the latter halts its legal action against companies using Android as the basis of their products.

For Microsoft to complain is pretty rich, of course. Here it is, using patents to attack companies employing Android in an attempt to slow down the uptake of that rival to its own Windows Phone smartphone system. That’s a clear abuse of the patent system to dissuade companies from signing up with a competitor (which, interestingly, it doesn’t attack directly), rather than to protect real innovation (an aim that was thrown out of the patent system long ago.)

[...]

I mean, let’s be consistent here: if you want to abuse the patent system, expect to be on the receiving end of similar abuse. On the other hand, rather more laudably, why not stop abusing, in which case you can take the moral high ground when others start abusing the system to attack you?

Microsoft is meanwhile trying to tax Android from many directions, not just Microsoft (directly). The goal is to make Linux more expensive than Windows. Intellectual Ventures, the world’s largest patent troll (which is incidentally derived from Microsoft), is part of the Android patents shakedown and Nokia is probably next, as we correctly predicted. Walter Byrd dropped us these quotes from Microsoft’s mole in Nokia, Stephen Elop. Following the deal with Apple [1, 2], which was also covered by the Bill Gates-funded BBC, Elop stated: “We are very pleased to have Apple join the growing number of Nokia licensees. This settlement demonstrates Nokia’s industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities” (and that comes just days after he named Android in relation to the iPhone). The Microsoft-controlled Nokia has turned into more of a patent parasite (maybe troll in the future) and Walter informed us that “Intellectual Ventures starts anti-reform campaign”. Representing the patent troll in its Windows-powered Web site is Microsoft’s former CTO. “Intellectual Ventures begins running radio ads equating patent reform with big bank thievery, on DC news radio. A new bill, HR 1249, called the American Invents Act, will scale back business method patents. Naturally, they are opposed (warning: PDF)” (We previously covered this joint lobbying for software patents, too). So… “radio ads equating patent reform with big bank thievery”… Microsoft got fined $40 million after it tried something similar. It was called “trial misconduct”.

Let us remember that Intellectual Ventures is behind the patent which is now used to attack and thus deter iPhone and Android developers. Even the New Scientist covered this and there is now a “Bounty set for invalidating Lodsys patents”. This patent from Intellectual Ventures leads lawyers to making a meme from Wilson’s “Enough is Enough”. Groklaw tackles this by hosting a post by Patrick T. Igoe, Esq. and providing further commentary while also showing that software patents which target Free software are in fact being revoked. Quoting Professor Webbink:

On May 19, 2011, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a Final Rejection [PDF] in the reexamination of Trend Micro’s U.S. patent 5,623,600 (the “’600 patent”). Groklaw has covered the story of Trend Micro’s assertion of this patent from early on, and many of our readers helped identify and contribute prior art relied upon in the reexamination. It strikes us as worthwhile to relay the history of this litigation and this reexamination as an object lesson of what can happen to a patent holder asserting a weak patent.

Trend Micro essentially attacked Free software at the time. There is no patents exemption for software just because it’s “open source” and as one person in Twitter pointed out yesterday, “PHP infringes on DuFresne’s patents (http://t.co/ng33kTs). Filed almost 1 year after PHP’s first release.”

In other patent news, Research in Motion has just been sued over patents:

Dolby has filed a lawsuit against Research in Motion for patent infringement, the audio technology company announced today.

One has to wonder what Nokia might do to Research in Motion, not just Google and/or Android distributors. Whatever it does, people are not foolish enough to forget that Elop is Microsoft’s mole who is still a top Microsoft shareholder. Under his leadership, Nokia is a Microsoft slave, not an independent company. We’ve warned about Nokia since 2007 because of its patent policy. Regulators are hopefully watching these abuses from Microsoft.

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

What Else is New


  1. Links 17/4/2015: Wipro and the Netherlands Want FOSS

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft's Multi-Dimensional Assault on Android/Linux: Extortion, Lobbying of Regulators, and Bribes

    Microsoft's vicious war on Linux (and Android in its current incarnation) takes more sophisticated -- albeit illegal (as per the RICO Act) -- forms



  3. Microsoft's Plot to Associate Windows with 'Open Source' is Proving Effective, Despite Being Just a Big Lie

    A look at the latest headlines which can lead to a false perception that Microsoft is now in bed with 'Open Source'



  4. Microsoft Windows Remotely Crashed, Remotely Hijacked, But Still No Logo and No Branding for the Bugs

    Windows maintains its reputation as a back doors haven, but the media is still not highlighting the severity of this issue, instead focusing on accidental bugs in Free software, even very old (and already fixed) bugs



  5. Black Duck's Latest Self-Promotional Propaganda (for Proprietary Software) Still Fools Journalists

    Under the traditionally misleading title "Future of Open Source" Black Duck expresses its desire for proprietary software sales, salivating over fearful managers who may get bamboozled into buying the patents-'protected' Black Duck 'product'



  6. Links 16/4/2015: Opera for 32-bit GNU/Linux, New Chromebook Site

    Links for the day



  7. Links 15/4/2015: Plasma 5.3 Beta, Docker's New Funding

    Links for the day



  8. Microsoft is Still Googlebombing the Term Open Source and Fooling Politicians Who Now Think Microsoft is Open Source

    Microsoft's attempt to assimilate (to confuse) bears some fruit and the Microsoft-linked media plays a considerable role in it



  9. Back Doors/Bug Doors in All Versions of Microsoft Windows Need a Name, a Logo, and Branding Too

    All versions of Microsoft Windows are found to have been insecure since 1997, but the bug responsible for this is not named as candidate for back door access, let alone named (with logo and marketing) like far less severe bugs in Free/libre software such as OpenSSL



  10. OnePlus (or OnePlus Customers) Should Wipe CyanogenMod From Existing Devices and Install Something Else

    A call for OnePlus to reconsider any future updates from Microsoft's Trojan horse, Cyanogen



  11. Links 14/4/2015: 3DR Dronecode, Z1/Z2 Tizen

    Links for the day



  12. Links 13/4/2015: Linux 4.0 Released; A Look at Antergos 2015.04.12

    Links for the day



  13. EFF Uses Alice v. CLS Bank Case to Pressure USPTO to Halt Software Patenting

    A look at recent patent policies and actions from the EFF, as well as increasing secrecy at the USPTO



  14. No, Panasonic Did Not Open-Source Anything (Another Example of Openwashing for PR)

    A dissection of media deception (or media being bamboozled) regarding the act of promising not to sue using patents, which in no way relates to Free/Open Source software



  15. Yes, Software Patents Are Dying, But Media Continues to Be Dominated by Those Denying it For a Salary

    The debate about software patents in this post-Alice era parallels the Net neutrality debate, where voices of people with vested interests contribute to confusion and meddle with largely-accepted views/consensus



  16. Links 12/4/2015: Linux 4.0 Imminent, Semplice 7 Reviewed

    Links for the day



  17. GNU/Linux is Crushing Windows, So Microsoft Leaps Ahead to X+2 Vapourware (Two Versions Ahead Into the Future)

    Microsoft continues to pile up bogus claims and empty promises in an effort to stall migrations to GNU/Linux



  18. The ITC's and US Media's Surprisingly Soft Treatment of Patent Bully Apple

    Despite Apple's history of initiating patent aggression against its competition (mostly Android-backing companies), the US corporate media treats Apple like a victim



  19. Microsoft Continues to Attack (and Tax) Linux Using Software Patents

    Microsoft stabs Linux in the back while it continues to insist that it 'loves' Linux



  20. European Unitary Patent Decision Due 5th of May

    The meta-industry of patent protectionism is debating and pushing forth the Unitary Patent Court, with or without endorsement from the European public



  21. Microsoft is Still Googlebombing 'Open Source'

    Microsoft's massive campaign of deception, obfuscation and misuse of the "Open Source" brand is still on, even a week after it was cleverly started by Condé Nast



  22. Links 11/4/2015: elementary OS Freya, Mageia 5 on the Way

    Links for the day



  23. Links 10/4/2015: Linux 4.0 Imminent, ZFS On Linux Improved

    Links for the day



  24. New Article Chronicles Suicides and Nervous Breakdowns at the EPO Due to the Management's Abuses

    Article from Le Monde translated into English



  25. Links 9/4/2015: SalentOS, Semplice Releases

    Links for the day



  26. The EPO is Becoming More Like the USPTO Under Benoît Battistelli's Greed-Driven Reign

    Recent articles about the EPO and the Unitary Patent are bundled together to highlight truly disturbing developments whereby those in power beget power through instruments of state-sanctioned power, such as the EPO (stateless entity within a continent-wide 'island')



  27. More Suicides Reported at the Staff-Hostile European Patent Office

    The EPO has become so rogue that it might as well be renamed the Euthanasia-Prodding Organisation



  28. Security FUD Against Free Software Resurfaces, Using Promotional Branding From a Microsoft-Linked Firm, So Red Hat Finally Responds

    Old news is 'new' again, as Microsoft-friendly media decides to keep knocking hard on the reputation of Free software, using words rather than substance



  29. The Anti-Free Software Movement Grows (Security a Common Attack Vector), Connections to Microsoft Noteworthy

    Black Duck ups the ante on Free software-hostile messages, embeds FUD in the media almost instantaneously



  30. Sadistic Microsoft Layoffs: Christians Fired on Easter Shortly After Microsoft Fired Many Chinese on Chinese New Year

    Very insensitive Microsoft layoffs show that it is Microsoft that's the greatest enemy of its own employees, not the company's competition or its critics


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