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. The EFF Back to Tackling Software Patents, Not Just Patent Trolls

    Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyers start targeting large companies that exploit patents for intimidation and extortion, not just patent trolling



  2. Microsoft Wants to Devour the Competition (Linux), Devour People's Data

    Refuting the "new Microsoft" propaganda and some ludicrous concept that Microsoft is now "playing nice"



  3. Benoît Battistelli Thinks 'President' is Above the Law, Decides to Ignore the Court's Ruling

    Staff of the EPO is given yet more reasons to protest tomorrow at the British Consulate, for the so-called 'President' of the EPO reminds everyone of the very raison d'être for the protest -- a vain disregard for the rule of law



  4. Links 24/2/2015: Xfce 4.12 a Week Away, GNOME 3.16 Previewed

    Links for the day



  5. Links 23/2/2015: Ubuntu Kylin 14.04.2 LTS, Cinnamon 2.6 Previews

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: February 8th - February 21st, 2015





  7. The EPO's Sham 'Internal Investigation' of EPO Vice-President Željko Topić's Affairs

    The EPO never investigated the Željko Topić affair, it only pretends to have investigated (one small aspect, i.e. cherry-picking) using a Benoît Battistelli-controlled group



  8. Links 21/2/2015: GNOME 3.15.90, Google Wins Android Lawsuit

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft AstroTurfing War on GNU/Linux is Still Going On, But Hidden Better, Uses API as Instrument of Lock-in

    The corruptible press continues to describe blatant attacks (Embrace, Extend, Extinguish) against GNU/Linux and Free software as Microsoft 'embracing' Open Source



  10. Lenovo's Superfish Scandal is Spyware on Top of Spyware (Microsoft Windows), the Problem is Inherently Proprietary Software

    Shifting focus to the root problem, which is neither Lenovo nor its laptops but the non-free programs installed on hardware



  11. Benoît Battistelli Once Again Threatens EPO Staff That 'Dares' to Protest, Battistelli Exploits Terror Attacks to Pretend to Respect Free Speech

    The European Patent Office (EPO) President, Benoît Battistelli, reportedly started threatening -- as before -- staff that decides to exercise the right to assemble and protest against abuses, including the abuses of President Battistelli himself



  12. Links 20/2/2015: Android Studio v1.1, GDB 7.9

    Links for the day



  13. Links 20/2/2015: Bloomberg Joins Linux Foundation, ClearOS Community 6.6.0

    Links for the day



  14. The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys Slams the European Patent Office for Structural Failings

    An important letter which we overlooked while writing yesterday's 4 articles about the European Patent Office (EPO); yet another key stakeholder complains



  15. Links 19/2/2015: Hewlett-Packard on Cumulus Linux, Previews of GNOME 3.16 Beta

    Links for the day



  16. Techrights Under Attack Again, Shortly After Important EPO Articles

    Techrights highlights a pattern that is months old; Site faces availability issues shortly after reports about the European Patent Office and its abuses



  17. EPO Staff Protests Against Benoît Battistelli’s Lowering of Patents Quality (Scope Expansion and Software Patents for Profit)

    A protest in Munich in less than 6 days will target Mr. Sean Dennehey, who has helped Battistelli cover up his abuses and crush legitimate critics, whom he deemed illegal opposition as if the EPO is an authoritarian regime as opposed to a public service which taxpayers are reluctantly (but forcibly) funding



  18. Breaking: European Patent Office Sued by Its Own Staff in The Hague, Must Unblock Staff's Voices

    The crooked management of the European Patent Office (EPO) gets in legal trouble after repeated attempts to cover up abuses and suppress criticism



  19. Željko Topić's History in SIPO Leaves a Legacy of Alleged DZIV Vehicles (Bribes), Authorship Abuses, and Intimidation Against Reporters

    Another deep look at Željko Topić's background in Croatia, preceding his very notorious appointment to the EPO where he now serves as Benoît Battistelli's most controversial attack dog



  20. The Old Obsession With Patent Trolls Continues to Distract From Debate About Software Patenting

    A roundup of recent coverage about monopolies on algorithms in the United States



  21. Links 19/2/2015: 64-bit ARM Linux, Chinese New Year

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/2/2015: Linux Report, FlightGear 3.4

    Links for the day



  23. EPO Scandals: The Story So Far

    An overview of articles about mischief, misconduct and breach of laws at the EPO



  24. Links 17/2/2015: TripleO, Pivotal

    Links for the day



  25. Links 17/2/2015: SystemD 219, Frugalware 2.0 (Rigel) Released

    Links for the day



  26. Željko Peratović Slammed for Whitewashing Željko Topić After Publishing Important Piece on Behalf of Key Sources

    Response from Ivan Kabalin to Zeljko Peratovic's so-called "apology" which is both mysterious and seemingly inadequate as it does nothing to actually explain what was wrong (if anything)



  27. Benoît Battistelli Has Made Oversight of European Patent Office Absolutely Impossible





  28. Microsoft Already Killed Nokia, Don't Let It Kill Android Players Too

    Microsoft's strategy against Android mirrors the company's evil strategy that derailed MeeGo and Nokia



  29. Intel Continues to Attack Software Freedom Through UEFI

    The Trojan horse that Microsoft uses to cement its monopoly on desktops and laptops (making it hard or impossible to install and run GNU/Linux) is also being misused to block Coreboot



  30. Links 16/2/2015: Netrunner 15, Bridge Linux

    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