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 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

    Links for the day



  2. Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

    Links for the day



  3. Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  4. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  5. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")



  6. The Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past



  7. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  8. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  9. 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



  10. 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



  11. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  14. 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



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

    Links for the day



  16. 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



  17. 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



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

    Links for the day



  19. 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



  20. 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



  21. 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?



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

    Links for the day



  23. 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



  24. 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



  25. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  30. 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


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