Summary: Using a proxy (patent troll), Microsoft’s patent cartel appears to be preparing for a legal war on Linux
AS POINTED out about an hour ago, Linux is winning in mobile platforms. There is evidence of this coming from different directions, so it seems irreversible. When GNU/Linux was winning on the server side, Microsoft paid SCO which back then launched the never-ending SCO case, so we know what Microsoft is capable of. Microsoft also tried (but got caught by the OIN) to sell some Linux-hostile patents to patent trolls [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. The biggest mistake one can make is assume that Microsoft is “dead” and therefore doing nothing more to harm GNU/Linux.
As we noted earlier in the week, Microsoft’s partner Attachmate now possesses UNIX, but not before Attachmate gave a lot of Linux-hostile patents to Microsoft (CPTN). As TechDirt points out, “part of the legal fight involved SCO claiming slander against Novell for telling the world that SCO didn’t actually hold the copyrights for UNIX. SCO tried to claim that this hurt its business, and Novell reasonably countered that the thing that really hurt SCO’s business was its own actions — and, as part of that, showed the jury a BusinessWeek article about how SCO was “The Most Hated Company in Tech.” SCO claimed this was hearsay, but the court didn’t buy it, noting that it was one minor image seen by the jury over a much larger trial, but, more importantly, noted that “there was repeated testimony and argument over the course of the trial pointing out the unpopularity of the SCO Source program.””
SCO is just a bad PR absorption proxy, it is being used by others to cause trouble to Linux. Look no further than those who funded SCO, either directly or directly. “Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system, explained Larry Goldfarb, a key investor in SCO who had been approached by Microsoft. “But Microsoft did not want to be seen as attacking IBM or Linux.”
Microsoft recently took over Nokia (senior Nokia staff claims this), which helps Microsoft “neutralise” MeeGo, to use the word the OIN’s CEO repeatedly used in his very long conversation with me. Some patents are now being passed to a patent troll, MOSAID, which is already attacking Linux companies (Groklaw covered this several days ago). The pro-Microsoft lobbyist is promoting this press release titled “MOSAID Acquires 1,200 Nokia Standards-Essential Wireless Patents and 800 Wireless Implementation Patents”. To quote a portion:
The patents and patent applications cover technologies used in a wide range of mobile communications devices and services. One hundred of the patent families, consisting of approximately 1,200 patents and applications, have been declared essential to second, third and fourth-generation communications standards, including GSM (Global Systems for Mobile communications),
Dr. Glyn Moody quotes “expected to generate income from lawsuits” and says that this is “totally sick”. Here is an article about it. “Nokia sees Canadian IP firm manage 2,000 of its patents in licensing and lawsuit push” says the headline. So Elop’s (Microsoft’s) Nokia is now using a proxy for extortion. Why? Because unlike Nokia, it cannot be sued back. It has no products. Here at Techrights we’ve warned about Nokia’s patents since 2007. We did this many times, even though Nokia was exploring Linux at the time. In other news today, “Google Chairman Eric Schmidt Weighs In On Patent Issues: They’re ‘Terrible’”. Who can blame him for saying that? To quote:
Eric Schmidt, Google’s Executive Chairman and former CEO, took the stage at the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco today to talk about a host of topics, including the success of Google Apps, his feelings about Steve Jobs, Google’s recent acquisition of Motorola, with the conversation with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff even ranging into Schmidt’s thoughts on the current landscape facing the U.S. patent market.
The executive chairman began by addressing the purchase of Nortel Networks’ roster of patents by a group of buyers that included some of Google’s rivals, including Microsoft and Apple. Fellow TechCruncher MG Siegler covered the back-and-forth between Google and Microsoft that unfolded in regard to the supposition that the group that bought the Nortel patents was effectively attempting to cut the legs out from underneath Android.
Also see the mew blog post “Patent Shill Attacks Google for Complaining about Patent Predation” and mind the new article “Apple Cries About Samsung and Motorola’s Patent ‘Monopoly’”. [via]
I. Apple Claims Android Phone makers are “Abusing” Patent System
Yes, this is the same Apple that has initiated a patent war  with these smartphone rivals. And it’s the same rival that has tried to remove competing products from the market, rather than agree to negotiate a licensing fee. And it’s the same company that patented multi-touch gestures 26 years after they were invented at a research university. And it’s the same company that allegedly doctored evidence in European courts  to support its lawsuits against Android.
Yet in Apple’s rose-colored glasses it is Samsung and Motorola who are bullies. Apparently Apple is irate about these companies’ countersuits, which rely largely on patents covering wireless communications.
Apple and Microsoft are waging patent war on Linux, through Android. Now they are using trolls to prepare for legal attacks that are harder for Google to counter. Where on Earth are antitrust regulators? This is sheer corruption. It is a cartel and it is a clear distortion of the market… brought to the world by Apple to Microsoft. They cannot compete on a technical basis, so they cheat, they extort, they intimidate, and they hide behind proxies like CPTN and apparently MOSAID. █