07.18.11

Gemini version available ♊︎

Microsoft Acknowledged Patent System is Broken, But Happily Uses it to Attack Rivals

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 3:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Two-edged sword and all that malarkey

Gun

Summary: The perplexing situation Microsoft is in when it comes to software patents, based on the i4i case and beyond; Apple’s case against Linux mostly falls apart for the time being

Several months ago (3 to be precise) Grant Gross claimed that the “U.S. Supreme Court justices questioned Monday whether they should side with Microsoft and weaken the legal standard needed to invalidate a patent, with some justices suggesting there are alternatives to changing established law.”

This was written in reference to the i4i case — “a case that could make it easier for defenders in infringement lawsuits to invalidate patents,” claimed the author.

“Microsoft, which lost a US$290 million decision in a U.S. district court, has argued that i4i began selling a product with the XML editor included ayear before it applied for the patent. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) didn’t consider this so-called prior art in granting the patent, but the district court should have, Microsoft lawyer Thomas Hungarargued Monday.”

So even Microsoft recognises that there is a problem within the US patent system, based on this kind of article, yet Microsoft is perfectly happy to exploit this system for anti-competitive purposes/reasons.

“Didn’t Microsoft sell their legacy products with disk formatting before patenting it?”
      –Anonymous
“Looks like another legal spin by the legal spin artists,” remarked on it someone in USENET. “So, if one sells an invention before they patent it, they are not entitled to the fruits of their labour?

“Ludicrous of course, if one were to consider the so called validity of software patents.

“Didn’t Microsoft sell their legacy products with disk formatting before patenting it?”

He added: “I would say that if someone copied such so called invention prior to it being patented, then yes, it is prior art.

“There is no need for SW patents as copyright law is all that is required,” added another person. “You will find prior art at some level in all SW and hence SW should not be patentable. The absurd patent litigation we are seeing today is, in the main, from companies who cannot compete on a level playing field.”

“Agreed,” said the former person, “hence I was being facetious. SW has no business being patented without being a unique integral component of a physical invention. That should exclude general operating systems like Linux and Microsoft Windows, to name a few.

“The smartphone market is a clear example of this. Microsoft, who aren’t able to produce a smartphone people want, resorts to extortion. Apple, who did produce the first truly smartphone, resort to patent suits because android phones are simply a better product and Apple cannot compete on a level playing field,” add the second person to whom the reply was: “Microsoft is nothing more than a monopoly maintenance machine with a large marketing and legal base. They can’t compete on the merits of their products, and thus must resort to other means for profitability.”

Apple and Microdoft are both resorting to software patents simply because they cannot win the battle, not with a long-term win anyway. As Mr. Pogson rightly explains, the real news is that Apple’s case against Android is crumbling in some ways while those behind Apple's patent strategy leave the company.

Some people see the glass half-empty. Others see it half-full. The case of Apple v HTC over Android/Linux is 80% empty and on shaky ground IMHO.

Apple charged HTC with violating 10 patents and the initial decision is that 2 were infringed… Imagine a citizen claiming a neighbour stole his 10 Rolls-Royces and the police notice that the complainant only owned 2… That would result in charges of mischief against the complainant where I come from. The two remaining patents are really shaky and also at issue in Apple v Samsung.

We wrote quite a lot about Apple’s case against HTC — more so than the subsequent litigation against Android because the HTC lawsuit was the first of its kind and it symbolised Apple’s assault on Linux as part of its alignment with that same patents cartel. Given enough time researching old programs and filing for more motions in the court, all of those alleged “patents that Linux infringes on” can probably be invalided or worked around. The case of Oracle against Google helps demonstrate this.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

A Single Comment

  1. twitter said,

    July 18, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Gravatar

    I’d say that the the crown for first smart phone can be passed back to the late 90′s. There was a phone module available for the Handspring Visor, for example and this was so much a part of the design that all units came with a microphone. These were followed on by the Treo, which was unfortunately crippled by patents that excluded the graffiti handwriting recognition method from the market. We can be sure that this obvious idea was pursued by others such as the maker of Danger.

    Apple’s brief rise and short dominance of the “smart phone” market was more a result of the exclusion of all others than it was any kind of innovation on Apple’s part. Groklaw is calling attention to the harm done to the US market by patents.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 9/12/2021: Pgpool-II 4.3.0 and European Commission Releases Free Software

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 08, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 08, 2021



  3. Microsoft Corporation is Still Protecting a Violent Criminal Who Assaults Women (Employing Him as Manager, Protecting Him From Arrest, Paying Him a Salary)

    Ahead of court and amid arrest warrant Microsoft still deems this a good idea? Then again, this same company works for ICE, helping to kidnap babies from their mothers...



  4. Links 8/12/2021: Linux 5.15.7 Out, Linux Mint 20.3 is Near

    Links for the day



  5. Links 8/12/2021: Zorin OS 16 Milestone and Calculate Linux 22 Released; Kubernetes 1.23

    Links for the day



  6. A Call for Sources and Whistleblowers From Microsoft's GitHub

    Remarks on our publications from this morning and a call for more leakers and whistleblowers, who know GitHub better than anybody else (including lots of fools who still outsource all of their hard labour to Microsoft through GitHub)



  7. [Teaser] Rape is Not a Joke

    Having just uploaded a police report, we’re starting to move the ongoing series to the next phase, which will still be — for the most part — weekly installments on Mondays (for months to come)



  8. [Teaser] Meet Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley (Updated)

    Alex Graveley, a serial abuser, has been protected by Microsoft; what does that say about Microsoft and about Nat Friedman, GitHub’s CEO whom Alex considers his "best friend"? Stay tuned as we have plenty more to show



  9. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 07, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 07, 2021



  10. Links 8/12/2021: FreeBSD 12.3, EasyOS 3.1.13, and WordPress 5.9 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  11. [Meme] EU Assurances

    The EPO‘s staff cannot be blamed for losing patience as elected public representatives completely fail to do their job (with few exceptions)



  12. Clare Daly (GUE/NGL) Does What Every Public Official in Europe Should Have Done About EPO Shenanigans

    There’s another (new) push to hold the EPO accountable, seeing that the overseers clearly do not do their job and instead cover up the abuses



  13. Links 7/12/2021: Firefox 96 Beta and Fedora 37 Abandons ARMv7

    Links for the day



  14. Links 7/12/2021: Plasma Mobile Gear 21.12 and Tails 4.25

    Links for the day



  15. All IRC Logs Now Available as GemText Over Gemini Protocol

    Today we've completed the transition from plain text over gemini:// to GemText over gemini:// for IRC logs



  16. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 06, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, December 06, 2021



  17. [Meme] Rowing to the Bottom of the Ocean

    The EPO‘s Steve Rowan (VP1) is failing EPO staff and sort of “firing” workers during times of crisis (not at all a crisis to the EPO’s coffers)



  18. EPO Gradually Reduced to 'Fee Collection Agency' Which Eliminates Its Very Own Staff

    Mr. Redundancies and Mr. Cloud are outsourcing EPO jobs to Microsoft and Serco as if the EPO is an American corporation, providing no comfort to long-serving EPO staff



  19. Linux Foundation 2021 Annual Report Made on an Apple Mac Using Proprietary Software

    Yes, you’re reading this correctly. They still reject both “Linux” and “Open Source” (no dogfooding). This annual report is badly compressed; each page of the PDF is, on average, almost a megabyte in size (58.8 MB for a report of this scale is unreasonable and discriminates against people in countries with slow Internet connections); notice how they’re milking the brand in the first page (straight after the cover page, the 1991 ‘creation myth’, ignoring GNU); remember that this foundation is named after a trademark which is not even its own!



  20. Links 7/12/2021: OpenIndiana Hipster 2021.10 and AppStream 0.15

    Links for the day



  21. Microsoft “Defender” Pretender Attacks Random Software That Uses NSIS for installation; “Super Duper Secure Mode” for Edge is a Laugh

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  22. Links 6/12/2021: LibreOffice Maintenance Releases, Firefox 95 Finalised

    Links for the day



  23. “Wintel” “Secure” uEFI Firmware Used to Store Persistent Malware, and Security Theater Boot is Worthless

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  24. No Linux Foundation IRS Disclosures Since 2018

    The publicly-available records or IRS information about the Linux Foundation is suspiciously behind; compared to other organisations with a "tax-exempt" status the Linux Foundation is one year behind already



  25. Jim Zemlin Has Deleted All of His Tweets

    The Linux Foundation‘s Jim Zemlin seems to have become rather publicity-shy (screenshots above are self-explanatory; latest snapshot), but years ago he could not contain his excitement about Microsoft, which he said was "loved" by what it was attacking. Days ago it became apparent that Microsoft’s patent troll is still attacking Linux with patents and Zemlin’s decision to appoint Microsoft as the At-Large Director (in effect bossing Linus Torvalds) at the ‘Linux’ Foundation’s Board of Directors is already backfiring. She not only gets her whole salary from Microsoft but also allegedly protects sexual predators who assault women… by hiring them despite repeated warnings; if the leadership of the ‘Linux’ Foundation protects sexual predators who strangle women (even paying them a salary and giving them management positions), how can the ‘Linux’ Foundation ever claim to represent inclusion and diversity?



  26. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part IX — Microsoft's Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot Sought to be Arrested One Day After Techrights Article About Him

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley has warrant for his arrest, albeit only after a lot of harm and damage had already been done (to multiple people) and Microsoft started paying him



  27. The Committee on Patent Law (PLC) Informed About Overlooked Issues “Which Might Have a Bearing on the Validity of EPO Patents.”

    In a publication circulated or prepared last week the Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO explains a situation never explored in so-called 'media' (the very little that's left of it)



  28. Links 6/12/2021: HowTos and Patents

    Links for the day



  29. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 05, 2021



  30. Gemini Space/Protocol: Taking IRC Logs to the Next Level

    Tonight we begin the migration to GemText for our daily IRC logs, having already made them available over gemini://


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

Recent Posts