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 29/7/2015: Akademy 2015 Ends, NetBSD 7.0 RC

    Links for the day



  2. MPEG-LA is Preparing New Patent Obstruction (Called DASH) Against Free Software, OIN Grows

    A new conspiracy against free multimedia software, set up by the MPEG cartel, is called DASH



  3. New Zealand's Media Gets History Wrong on Software Patents

    Setting the record straight on the fight against software patents in New Zealand



  4. Not Only Vista 10 Crashes a Lot, Any .NET Application Does Too

    Microsoft software is quickly becoming synonymous with crashes as any piece of software developed with Microsoft's tools, not just the underlying platform, crashes chronically



  5. The Government of Bulgaria Sells Out to Microsoft, Again

    Despite some promises and reassurances that Bulgaria will consider Free/libre software, the Bulgarian government hands out a lot more of taxpayers' money to the Mafia



  6. Corporate Media Finally Finds Out That Vista 10 Crashes a Lot

    Stability issues of Vista 10 are belatedly reported to be a major catastrophe, leaving it unusable for many early adopters



  7. Links 28/7/2015: Linux 4.2 RC4, New Logos and Bug 'Branding' for FUD

    Links for the day



  8. Patents Roundup: Technicolor, Alice, Voip-Pal, Fitbit, Marijuana Patents, and JDate

    A look at some of last week's patent news, with imperative responses that criticise corporate exploitation of patents for protectionism (excluding and/or driving away the competition using legal threats)



  9. Corporate Lobbyists Including Koch-Connected Front Groups Attack Real and Perceived Patent Reform in the United States

    Looking at some of the latest propaganda for and against a bill which is already too watered-down to actually fix the US patent system



  10. Patents in the Android World Further Complicate Freedom in This Linux-Powered Platform

    A survey of last week's news with special focus on Google and Android, which are trying to coexist and thrive in a world full of patent maximalists



  11. The 'Unitary' Patent Trojan Horse Rammed Down the Throat of Europe

    Under the guise of 'unification' or 'unity', existing patent systems are being abandoned and more power gets passed to corrupt EPO officials



  12. HEVC Cartel is Not News, Only the Names of Backers and the Costs Are New

    A few remarks on and a roundup of recent articles about HEVC, which we first wrote about in spring



  13. IRC Proceedings: July 12th, 2015 – July 25th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  14. Links 26/7/2015: Purism Librem and Freedom, Akademy Updates

    Links for the day



  15. Vista 10 (Windows 10) Has NSA Back Doors and Front Doors

    Vista 10 to bring new ways for spies (and other crackers) to remotely access people's computers and remotely modify the binary files on them (via Windows Update, which for most people cannot be disabled)



  16. Vista 10 Not Ready, But Released Anyway

    Despite severe technical issues in the rushed-out-the-door Vista 10, Microsoft decides to stick with the deadline, only days after reporting billions of dollars in losses



  17. Links 25/7/2015: Plasma Mobile, Linux Mint 17.2 OEM

    Links for the day



  18. Links 24/7/2015: openSUSE Leap 42.1, Intel With Rackspace for OpenStack

    Links for the day



  19. Links 24/7/2015: GNOME 3.17.4, Mozilla Developer Network Turns 10

    Links for the day



  20. Microsoft Has Run Out of Attempts and Vista 10 Will Definitely Fail

    As Microsoft admits billions of dollars in losses just days before Vista 10 is pushed as a 'free' upgrade, there is no concrete sign that financial recovery is imminent, for the bigger cash cow (Office) suffers a similar fate



  21. GNU/Linux Circles Ought to Stop Promoting Visual Studio, Which is Neither Cross-Platform Nor Free Software

    Media carries on openwashing Visual Studio and perpetuating the illusion that it is not tied to Microsoft Windows



  22. Spinning Proprietary Software Dangers as Dangers of Free/Libre Software

    News sites mislead their readers, teaching them that the biggest dangers associated with proprietary software are in fact problems exclusive to Free/libre Open Source software



  23. Links 23/7/2015: New RHEL Release, Capital One Releases Code

    Links for the day



  24. Terminology of Patent Lawyers and Pro-Patents Media Serves to Mislead the Public

    An outline of stories where the language used to describe patents is grossly distorted so as to bias the reality and mislead the audience/readers



  25. Amid Billions in Losses, Microsoft Tries to Conquer the Competition (Which Already Wins)

    The 'Embrace, Extend, Extinguish' strategy goes a few steps further as Microsoft looks to dominate developers, devices and servers that are running Free/libre software



  26. Microsoft Losing Billions of Dollars is Not News

    Few remarks on Microsoft's latest admission that it is losing a lot of money



  27. Links 22/7/2015: Kodi 15.0, MKVToolnix 8.2.0

    Links for the day



  28. The Technology Sector in the US Has Gotten Fed Up With Apple's Patent Aggression Against Android/Linux

    Apple is desperately trying to stop Android from increasing its levels of dominance (in phones, tablets, watches, and so on), so Silicon Valley is lining up against Apple, antagonising its misuse/abuse of patents for anticompetitive purposes



  29. Patents Regime in Europe: Mixture of Greed, Competition Abuses, and Propaganda

    A roundup of the latest patent news from Europe, focusing on Italy, the UK, Germany, and Hungary



  30. Patent 'Reform' in US Congress Still Under Attack by Patent Lawyers and Corporate Lobbyists

    The latest instances of assault on changes to the US patent system, demonstrated through an elaborative survey of the media (two days' worth)


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