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 19/12/2014: Robolinux 7.7.1 LXDE, Red Hat Thriving

    Links for the day



  2. Another Microsoft Partner Markets Linux FUD Using Logo, Name, and Lies

    Microsoft's partner Alert Logic is trying to label a feature of Linux a security flaw and even makes marketing buzz for it



  3. Redmonk is Spreading Black Duck's Anti-GPL Talking Points After Payments From Black Duck, Microsoft

    CBS' ZDNet spreads the GNU-hostile narrative which comes from Redmonk, funded by Microsoft and Black Duck, citing Black Duck, which also comes from Microsoft and is a partner of Microsoft



  4. 'Good' Software Patents From EA Show Cases Where DRM is a Patent Infringement

    Where two evils collide the public benefits, or how some software patents discourage the use of DRM



  5. Richard Stallman: What Does It Mean for Your Computer to Be Loyal?

    New article from Richard Stallman



  6. Links 18/12/2014: LinuxQuestions.org Polls, Fedora for POWER

    Links for the day



  7. Links 16/12/2014: Google and ODF, Civilization: Beyond Earth Comes to GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  8. Bill Gates' Pet Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as Founder Quits

    Intellectual Ventures founder leaves after an exceptionally large round of layoffs, despite [cref 77299 recent subsidies from Sony and Microsoft]



  9. Keeping Software Patents Out of Europe Following the Demise of Software Patents in the US

    Instability in the EPO seemingly prevents further expansion of patent scope, which is the subject of scrutiny of EPO staff



  10. Links 15/12/2014: OSI 2014 Annual Report, GPLv2 Court Test

    Links for the day



  11. Links 14/12/2014: Calligra 2.9 Beta, Krita 2.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  12. Software Patents Are Dying in the US, But Patent Lawyers Refuse to Admit It

    Patent lawyers continue to distort the reality of software patents' demise in the United States



  13. Links 13/12/2014: Android Wear “Lollipop”, European Commission and FOSS

    Links for the day



  14. Time to Take Microsoft Out of British Aviation Before Planes Crash Into Buildings

    London's mighty Heathrow Airport among those affected by a Microsoft-reliant air traffic control system which is not being able to properly recover from an outage, and not for the first time either



  15. News From France and Germany: Battistelli Under Fire, But Not Fired Yet, Just Firing His Opposition

    The régime headed by Benoît Battistelli and his criminal deputy continues to overthrow or pressure out everyone who is not 'loyal' to the régime



  16. Links 12/12/2014: Linux++, KDE Frameworks 5.5.0, Calligra 2.8.7

    Links for the day



  17. The USPTO is Broken: New Evidence Presented

    The scope of patents, as evidenced by some statistical figures and individual patents, shows that the USPTO is broken and must be reformed or dismantled



  18. US Patent Reform (on Trolls Only) More or Less Buried or Ineffective

    An update on efforts to reform the patent system in the United States, including the possibly imminent appointment of Michelle Lee to USPTO leadership role



  19. Software Patents in Canada Not Dead Yet

    Canada's patent status quo increasingly like that of the United States and Canadian giants like BlackBerry now pose a threat to software developers



  20. Dreaming of a Just Christmas: When a Third of EPO Walks Out to Revolt and European Judges Attack the EPO Over Abuses

    Information about the abuses of Battistelli et al. at the EPO are finally receiving wider coverage and increasing the strain on Battistelli's authoritarian reign



  21. Links 11/12/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 Beta, Firefox 35 Plans

    Links for the day



  22. Ubuntu Core Announcement is Not About Microsoft and Hosting Ubuntu on Azure is Worse Than Stupid

    The power of media spin makes the idea of hosting Free software under the control of an NSA PRISM and back doors partner seem alluring



  23. France Gets Involved in Battistelli's Abuses in the EPO - Part XII (Updated)

    The EPO scandal has officially spilled over to France, where a French Senator got involved and starts asking serious questions



  24. Rolling of Heads Likely Imminent at EPO

    The European patent system is shaking as management breaks the rules, staff is protesting against the management every week, and charges of corruption resurface



  25. Links 11/12/2014: systemd 218, Empire Total War

    Links for the day



  26. Links 10/12/2014: Fedora 21, Ubuntu Core

    Links for the day



  27. Links 9/12/2014: Fedora 21 and Torture Report Are Out

    Links for the day



  28. Exclusive: The Enlarged Board of Appeal Complains About Battistelli's Corrupt Management to the Administrative Council (Updated)

    Text of the complaint from the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) reaches Techrights, demonstrating just how rampant the abuse in Battistelli's EPO has become



  29. Protests Against EPO Corruption Approach 1,000 in Attendance

    EPO staff at all levels is revolting against the management of the EPO, whose dismissal seems to be only a matter of time



  30. Links 9/12/2014: Greg Kroah-Hartman Interview, Fedora 21 Imminent

    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