08.12.11

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The Patents Cartel Against Linux Brings Together Linux Allies

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Novell, OIN, Oracle, Patents at 12:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fiasco Cisco
Source

Summary: How the attacks on Android and on GNU/Linux merely bring large companies that compete against Microsoft even closer; another look at Apple’s abominable behaviour

Cisco joining the OIN is an important piece of news because of the scale of Cisco and Sean Michael Kerner claims, based on reliable sources, that Microsoft’s patent cartel (built in part with Novell and Nortel patents) is the driver of OIN’s growth:

The Open Invention Network (OIN) got its start in 2005 as an organization tasked with creating a patent commons to help Linux.

Over the years it has grown, and in the second quarter of 2011, the organization added 35 new member companies. That number is down from the 70 new members that the OIN added in the first quarter of the year.

As to why growth was faster in the first quarter, the reason has to do with an event that caused many organizations to consider their patent positions.

“The first quarter was somewhat extraordinary as there was the hangover from the Department of Justice’s investigation of the Novell patent sale,” Keith Bergelt, CEO of Open Invention Network told InternetNews.com.

It is nice to see that the OIN recognises threat in Novell’s patents. We have warned about this for almost 5 years. CPTN includes Oracle, Apple, and Microsoft, all of which attack Android.

Groklaw tracks quite closely the Oracle case [1, 2, 3] and Lodsys cases, which also affect Android. Apple is meanwhile trying to embargo more Android tablets (Motorola’s), but Motorola is not too nervous because it has its own large patents arsenal, just like Samsung.

Apple’s aggression and embargo attempts were covered here before and these come under yet more scrutiny, even from OS News. To quote:

Earlier this week, we learned that Apple managed to get a preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, barring it from being sold in the entire European Union – except for The Netherlands. The legal construct on which this injunction hinges was not a patent or trademark – it was something else entirely. It’s called a Community Design, was instated in 2002 and 2003, and, as I have learned, is far, far worse than anything the United States Patent and Trademark Office has ever come up with.
The Community Design was instated as part of Council Regulation No 6/2002. A Community Design is basically a trademark on the design of a product, whether it be software, hardware, or packaging. It is filed at the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), and once granted, is valid in the entire European Union. Initially it is valid for a period of five years, but it can be extended five times to reach a total of 25 years. Every member state has several Community Design courts, which are regular courts allowed to take on matters relating Community Designs. So far, nothing special.

Apple is meanwhile stacking up more patents it can attack with (e.g. touchscreen patents).

Murdoch’s press shows more prior art which weakens Apple’s story (this one is concrete, not some sci-fi from many decades ago) and more calls are made for resentment against Apple:

A huge win for anti-competitive practices, lawyers, and patent trolls.

A huge loss for consumers, choice in the market place, and free competition.

Muktware too has a string of strongly-worded posts, such as [1, 2]. One of these even breaches Godwin’s Law.

The bottom line is, those inside Microsoft’s cartel (notably Apple and Oracle) get some serious flak. They have become nasty and anti-competitive.

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