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

06.29.11

Microsoft’s Behaviour Provides More Reasons for All Countries to Reject Software Patents

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents at 2:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hat in the cold

Summary: Due to software patents in the United States, Microsoft can act like a thug and extort rivals, making money out of code it never wrote at all

So, another company got sued and entered the racketeering operation set up with Microsoft’s funding, according to this report. Yes, the world’s biggest patent troll has gotten more revenue out of companies which actually make something and another Microsoft patent troll, Paul Allen from Interval, files for more legal action:

In a not surprising move, Interval Licensing has filed a motion [PDF, text below] with the court to reconsider the stay in the proceedings the court just granted two weeks ago. The court will need to consider this motion, and it is worth considering the arguments that Interval advances for reconsideration.

BlueCat is not the only victim of patent trolls and neither is “the world”, as Groklaw puts it (in reference to Allen’s lawsuit). Even large companies like Nortel might become trolls’ feast, based on this report:

We have devoted a lot of digital ink at Washington Legal Foundatoin’s blog, The Legal Pulse, to the parasitic activities of so-called “patent trolls” – entities which use their patents as litigation swords rather than empowerment devices for innovation (see, e.g., here and here). With federal patent reform finally a real possibility, trolls’ abusive practices have attracted the attention of policymakers as well as leading civil justice reform advocates. We hope they will also be cognizant of today’s auction of over 6,000 patents owned by bankrupt telecom equipment company Nortel. The triumphant bidder will control a formidable patent portfolio which could fuel billions of dollars worth of offensive patent lawsuits or offer solid defenses against future patent litigation. See this post for a great FAQ on the auction.

We have also just learned that Microsoft might be after Nortel’s patents, after it lobbied against Google buying them. What a hypocrite.

Microsoft itself would be a terrible place for these patents because it continues to extort companies with patents while journalists stand by idly. Microsoft probably briefed some of them because the aapologists are prominent among the search results (i.e. those publishing early) and we have Microsoft boosters like this one at the top of Google News results. This extortion was covered here before and the Microsoft boosters have a lot of fun with it. Microsoft Nick has an article that at least admits bad behaviour by quoting that:

[B&N]’s counterclaim, filed April 25 with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle, described Microsoft as repeatedly arguing that its patent portfolio would “entirely preclude the use of Android Operating System by the Nook,” and mentions that both HTC and Amazon have entered into patent-licensing deals with Redmond.

“Microsoft is misusing these patents as part of a scheme to try to eliminate or marginalize the competition to its own Windows Phone 7 mobile device operating system posed by the open source Android operating system and other open source operating systems,” it read at one point. “Microsoft’s conduct directly harms both competition for and consumers of eReaders, smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile electronic devices, and renders Microsoft’s patents unenforceable.”

We wrote about this at the time. ECT wrote out this too:

…Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) and Motorola (NYSE: MOT), are fighting Microsoft in court.

“Microsoft’s under threat, and part of the threat is that Android is a free operating system, while Windows Phone 7 is not free,” Joshua Greenman, president of Mercury Development, told LinuxInsider.

“Microsoft’s trying to do the same thing with Android that it’s been trying to do with Linux — make the argument that there’s a high cost of ownership for these platforms — and back up its claims with patent lawsuits,” Greenman said.

Microsoft spokesperson Annie Truong declined to discuss the issue.

All in all, this whole affair demonstrates abuse with software patents and moreover Microsoft’s exception in that regard. What we need to do is remove software patents from the United States before these spread further. Sadly, however, SCOTUS Has had disappointing rulings recently (we gave examples), ones that empower monopolies at the expense of people and arguably validate software patents. According to this from Groklaw (it also links to the
Bessen study), not much is being improved and the FFII’s president looks back at Bilski/SCOTUS days with disappointment. To quote:

The primary winners from all this are the patent lawyers. Not only are there few restrictions on what can be patented, but the high court’s failure to articulate a clear rule means even more litigation. All is not lost, though. Justice Stevens is retiring, but Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, and Sotomayor all signed onto his opinion. If Justice Kagan sides with her fellow liberals, then they’ll need just one more vote to restore some sanity to patent law. As the patent system continues to inflict damage on the IT industry, the need for reform will only get more obvious. Hopefully, the next time the Supreme Court has an opportunity to fix the problem, Justice Scalia will get off the fence.

Prof. Webbink (Groklaw) looks at the major legal case against Android (seeking billions in damages). To quote:

Last week we began a tracking table on the various reexaminations filed on the patents that Oracle has asserted against Google in their dispute over JAVA-like code included in the Android operating system. Another office action [PDF] has been issued by the USPTO, this one on the ’520 patent, and in this instance Oracle fared a little better. Out of 22 claims subject to reexamination, only eight were rejected.

Fighting against software patents one and one like this is the type of game Webbing might prefer playing because he is into Peer to Patent and all that jazz. But it does almost nothing towards eliminating all software patents. In some ways, it makes things worse, for reasons we gave on several occasions before. Countries must reject software patents as a whole, not on a one-by-one basis .

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 1/5/2016: Wine 1.9.9, Devuan Jessie 1.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  2. The US Patent System: Where One Wastes Years in Court and Spends $8,000,000 in Lawyers' Fees Fighting a Bogus Patent

    A roundup of news about software patents in the US and what they have led to, owing in part to the USPTO's declining patent quality (leaving others to clean up its mess)



  3. The European Patent Office Still Silently Abusive, Will Pay $15,000 in Compensation to Female Worker After Belated ILO Judgment

    The International Labour Organisation (ILO) issues a judgment on a case of abuse by the EPO and notes "excessive length of the internal appeal proceedings."



  4. [ES] Alice Continúa Quebrando Patentes de Software Asi Que los Abogados de Patentes, Cabilderos de los Monopolistas, Etc. Ahora Atacan a la Corte Suprema por Hacer Esto

    los cabilderos Corpórativos y abogados de patentes están tratándo de poner a Alicia en la tumba, por su impacto en las patentes de software que es muy profundo y así hasta ahora casi indetenible



  5. [ES] ¿Cómo Salvar la Reputación de la EPO?: Crear Más Jurados de Apelaciónes en Europa y Abolir la Malgíada/Malintencionada Fantasía de la UPC

    Una crítica evaluación de lo que ocurre en la Oficina Europea de Patentes (EPO), la que rápidamente se está yendo para abajo (y degradando sobre todo) a el nivel de los sistemas Chinos, en conjuntamente con corrupción, los abusos, y la bajísima calidad de las patentes



  6. [ES] La Corte de Apelaciónes del Circuito Federal (CAFC) Acaba de Ponerse a Favor de los Trolles de Patentes

    la tristémente célebre CAFC, que manifestó las patentes de software en los EE.UU, acaba de dar un regalo a los trolles de patentes quienes típicamente usan las patentes de software para extorsión enc complicidad con los jueces del Este de Texas



  7. [ES] Análisis de los Últimos Datos de Lex Machina Acerca de la Litigación de Patentes Muestra Como está Declinándo

    el Professor Mark Lemley de Lex Machina resalta las tendencias en litigation al colectar y analizar datos relacionados con patente y concerniéntes a monopolios intelectuales en general; actualmente muestra una sequía de litigaciones (muestran que ha disminuído)



  8. [ES] India Patentes de Software

    El gigante de software que es la India continua enfrentándos ea la cruel y agresivo cabildeo de Occidente, haciéndo que este controle a la India por patentes que no deberían de existir en primer lugar



  9. [ES] Microsoft Dice que Continuará Extorsiónando a Compañías Que Distribuyan Linux, Usando Patentes de Software Usuallmente

    La guerra de Microsoft contra Linux, una guerra que es peleada usando patentes de software patents (por ganancias y/o por chantáje con arreglos empaquetados), todavía continúa a pesar de todas las tácticas de relaciónes públicas de Microsoft y sus sócios



  10. Alice Continues to Smash Software Patents So Patent Lawyers, Monopolists' Lobbyists Etc. Now Attack the Supreme Court for Doing This

    Corporate lobbyists and patent lawyers are trying to put Alice in the grave, for its impact on software patents is very profound and thus far almost unstoppable



  11. How to Salvage the EPO's Reputation: Create More Boards of Appeal in Europe and Abolish the Misguided UPC Fantasy

    A critical evaluation of what goes on at the European Patent Office (EPO), which is quickly descending down (and overall degrading) to the level of Chinese systems, along with the corruption, the abuses, and the low quality of patents



  12. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) Has Just Sided With Patent Trolls

    The notorious CAFC, which manifested software patents in the United States, has just given a gift to patent trolls that typically use software patents for extortion down in Texas



  13. Analyses of the Latest Data From Lex Machina About Patent Litigation Show Some Litigation Declines

    Professor Mark Lemley's Lex Machina highlights litigation trends by collecting and analysing data related to patents and pertaining to intellectual monopolies in general; now it shows litigation droughts



  14. India is Having Another Taste of the Dangers of Western Patents, Must Learn to Reject Software Patents in the Face of Great Pressure

    The growing software giant which is India continues to face cruel and aggressive lobbying from the West, enabling the West to control India by patents that should not exist in the first place



  15. Links 29/4/2016: GNOME 3.21.1, Fairphone

    Links for the day



  16. Microsoft Says It Will Continue to Extort Companies That Distribute Linux, Using Software Patents As Usual

    Microsoft's war on Linux, a war which is waged using software patents (for revenue and/or for coercion in bundling deals), is still going on in spite of all the PR tactics from Microsoft and its paid partners



  17. Australia Might be Next to Block Software Patents If Commission's Advice is Followed

    Australian advice against software patents, which can hopefully influence Australian politicians and put an end, once and for all, to all software patents in Australia



  18. [ES] ''Si la Forma de Pensar de la EPO fuese Seguida, Guantánamo Sería Posible en Suelo Alemán.”

    La EPO está todavía bajo fuego, pero mucho de ello pasa detrás de las cortinas y envuelve abogados y/o burócratas



  19. The European Copy-Paste Office (EPO)

    This morning's example (not the first) of how the EPO uses 'social' media



  20. Links 28/4/2016: Fedora 24, EE Goes Open Source

    Links for the day



  21. Amid Referendum “the New European Unitary Patent System is Likely to Collapse Before It Started”

    The Unitary Patent Court (UPC) vision seems like it may be just one month away from its gradual death, depending on British voices amongst other key factors



  22. USTR is Trying to Shame and Bully India Into Introducing Software Patents in India

    Lobbying body of the US (corporations-led) is trying its usual dirty tactics against India's sound policy which excludes software/algorithms from patent scope



  23. No, Visual Studio is NOT Open Source and Xamarin Openwashing is NOT News

    The latest example of Microsoft openwashing, courtesy of confidants of Microsoft and those who got bamboozled by them



  24. Latest Black Duck Puff Pieces a Good Example of Bad Journalism and How Not to Report

    Why the latest "Future of Open Source Survey" -- much like its predecessors -- isn't really a survey but just another churnalism opportunity for the Microsoft-connected Black Duck, which is a proprietary parasite inside the FOSS community



  25. If EPO “Form of Thinking Were to be Followed, Guantanamo on German Soil Would be Possible.”

    The EPO is still under fire, but a lot of it happens behind the scenes and involves lawyers and/or bureaucrats



  26. Links 28/4/2016: Tomb Raider for GNU/Linux, Proxmox VE 4.2

    Links for the day



  27. [ES] La Departura de la Readidad de la EPO Y Su Entrada en la Esféra Industrial China de Propaganda

    La deceptiva trampa del maximálism de patentes, donde se asume que artficialmente aumentando el número de patentes otorgadas traerá el resultado esperado



  28. [ES] Una Fársa de Sistema: ¿Cómo la SIPO, USPTO, y cada vez más la EPO se Convierten en Llenado de Patentes (No Se Requiere Propia Examinación)

    Una crítica al decline en la calidad de patentes en algunas de las más grandes oficinas de patentes del mundo, donde aspiración parece ser neo-liberal en el sentido económico



  29. [ES] Microsoft ‘Asalto con Todo’ Contra Android, Java, y GNU/Linux, Usando la Clásica E.E.E. Táctica de Nuevo

    Otro recordatorio de la realidad que Microsoft está muy activo en el frente E.E.E., not no sólo contra GNU/Linux pero también Android y Java



  30. [ES] Más Rumores y Llamadas Acerca de Prospectos de Microsoft Vaya a Comprar Canonical (Ubuntu con todo y Zapatos)

    Teniendo en cuenta los últimos movimientos de Canonical, algunos expertos piensan que es posible que Shuttleworth elija el dinero a Microsoft sobre principios sino también inste para que esto ocurra


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