EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

10.27.11

Patents Roundup: Microsoft Patents PR, Red Hat/Groklaw’s Response, and Apple’s Slide to Unlock Thermonuclear War

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 3:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rainbow troll

Summary: Microsoft pays more lobbyists to encourage software patents, Microsoft Jack defends racketeering, and Apple’s lust for patents becomes a serious issue

WITH THE seminal goal of pointing out and countering FUD, we are still naming people whom people should watch out for because of their funding sources or agenda.

One publisher that we mention quite a lot is IDG (parent of IDC). It appoints Microsoft boosters to run an “open source” blog and it shows. Julie, for example, is their latest writer to do a Ubuntu FUD marathon, succeeding Tony in a sense (he did that some months ago for 30 consecutive days). Julie also runs the Microsoft blog and has run it for years. It’s where she comes from and where she still writes primarily. Not so long ago she trolled Jim Zemlin in her headline. We wish we could keep the credibility index up to date, but people whom we add to it choose to feel insulted and then smear us, which makes it a somewhat unwise strategy. Julie is not alone in this. The pro-Microsoft bloggers from IDG (pretending to be pro-FOSS) carry on bashing Ubuntu in another new IDG marathon of Ubuntu FUD and now Android FUD too (using patents against Android). Expect more of the same. We wrote about those writers before, One of those Microsoft boosters from the same network is now infecting Ars Technica. People who are unfamiliar with his past repertoire will not understand that there is bias there. Unsuspecting readers tend to be unaware of affiliations and they can only ever assume that a writer on a particular topic has no conflict of interest. It is bad enough when publication get misused for promoting one’s agenda; it’s even worse when these get misused to attack the opposition’s agenda, under the veil of “objectivity” or “journalism”. This applies to both sides and there is no hypocrisy here. Most people probably know that Intellectual Ventures, for example, is very much tied to Microsoft and also to Lodsys, whose attacks by proxy on Android are not being overlooked by Groklaw, whose new editor does have a little conflict of interest because of the funding sources of Peer to Patent. None of this is secret and in his latest post he tackles Lodsys’ attack on Android (among others), summarising as follows:

New York Times v. Lodsys

This case has been dismissed without prejudice by the consent of the parties and by order of the court. New York Times v. Lodsys (N.D. Ill.) (38 [PDF; Text]) The Eastern District of Texas case between these parties remains pending.

OpinionLab v. Lodsys

As with the New York Times case, the parties have stipulated to a dismissal with prejudice of this case, OpinionLab v. Lodsys (N.D. Ill.). (45 [PDF; Text]) The Eastern District of Texas case between these parties remains pending.

ForeSee v. Lodsys

Instead of a dismissal, in ForeSee v. Lodsys (N.D. Ill.) the parties have stipulated to a transfer of venue of this case to the Eastern District of Wisconsin where several other DJ actions remain pending against Lodsys. (45 [PDF; Text]) As a part of the stipulation, Lodsys has retained its right to seek a further transfer of venue to the E.D. Texas where Lodsys’s complaint against ForeSee remains pending. The other interesting point in this stipulation is that Lodsys has stipulated that ForeSee’s DJ action could have been brought in the Eastern District of Wisconsin, which should help the other DJ plaintiffs in that venue (Wolfram, RightNow).

LivePerson v. Lodsys

The one case still remaining in the E.D. of Illinois is the LivePerson declaratory judgment action against Lodsys.

Over in Europe, following the distasteful decision in the UK [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] there are British patent lawyers who smell the pounds and encircle software developers like vultures, saying:

This piece is not about what happens should you lose your mind and decide to perform a zany, dangerous practical joke at the Hearing Officer’s expense. No, the “mental acts” the IPKat is concerned with are those mentioned in Article 52(2)(c) EPC among the exclusions from patentability, which were recently considered in the Halliburton decision from HHJ Birss QC (reported here).

British patent lawyers will find new victims to leech in their parasitical ways. It is sad, but there is not much that can be done about it other than protest. The plutocrats still write the laws that govern our lives and if multinationals along with their lawyers (lawmakers and politicians are usually lawyers) decide to screw over 99% of the population, they will.

This is not pure speculation. Watch how Microsoft pays Microsoft Florian to help them bamboozle politicians, gaming the system for some money. Yes, Microsoft pays him to do this (a bit like passing a bribe for the work he has done, under the guise of “consulting contract”) and the same goes for the Business Software Alliance (BSA), which we now learn is lobbying again for software patents in Europe.

According to the president of the FFII, the BSA makes its move:

BSA lobbyist writing “studies” for the European Commission on software patents and standards ur1.ca/5i2it

The BSA is a Microsoft front group. There is also this subsequent update:

BSA lobbyist Benoit Muller writing “studies” for the European Commission on software patents and standards ur1.ca/5i2it

Microsoft Jack — just like Microsoft’s lobbyists — promotes Microsoft racketeering in blog comments in ZDNet right now. Apparently these people are not taught ethics in journalism school, so the cult of Microsoft comes first. We oughtn’t allow people like Microsoft Jack ‘normalise’ racketeering, making it described as a standard procedure in the “real world”. Some of those Microsoft lobbyists have a hard task of making crime seem like “business as usual”.

This is something that we wrote about earlier this week and last week. It’s like some sort of PR campaign and Jay from the 451 Group tries to look at the glass half full by writing this iffy response:

There’s been a lot of attention on the amount of money Microsoft is making from Android, including Microsoft’s own proclamations. Maybe it’s just that I’m more of a fan of Linux and open source software, or maybe I’m overly focused on the lawsuits and threats against Android, but I see serious downsides to all of those dollars for Microsoft from Android.

I believe Microsoft’s strategy to pursue patent licensing deals rather than sue, as we’ve seen from Apple, may prove to be a more effective strategy. Rather than limit or destroy Android, Microsoft is actually supporting its growth, meaning more Android devices and users in the market. Since it’s making so much money from Android, Microsoft may be less interested in limiting or attacking it, so that’s a benefit to Android. However, I do see some significant drawbacks to Microsoft’s Android strategy, all of which serve to limit Microsoft’s opportunity in the future.

Agree or disagree with Jay, what Microsoft does is extortion and it should be reported for the authorities to handle as soon as possible. This really requires US intervention because Microsoft is a US-based company. But need we hold our breath while the vast majority of Americans believe that money buys results and companies do whatever they want with their elected/appointed government?

We keep seeing patent promotion in press releases, vanity posts and announcements, realising perhaps that while the corporate press (with propaganda like this from Bloomberg) help reinforces an industry where ideas are”property” and are to be monopolised, then “sold” or “licensed”. This is the same corporate press which calls sharing “piracy” and refuses to accept that there is another perspective which is legitimate and even plausible.

There is news right now about Klausner (a patent troll) suing Oracle and HP over ideas. Red Hat is meanwhile sharing some thoughts on the software patents situation in the United States. Its blogger/staff writes:

Last week, I participated in a panel discussion at the Eastern District of Texas/Federal Circuit Joint Bench-Bar Conference in Dallas. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is the specialized appellate court for patent cases. My panel was on corporate counsel opinions of patent litigation and recent judicial and legislative patent reform. The discussion was moderated by Judge Richard Linn of the Federal Circuit. It was a great opportunity to present some views of the patent system, and to provide options for improvement to the very people who can enact judicial change.

In my remarks, I pointed out that while there have been some significant judicial changes over the last five years (regarding damages, injunctions, obviousness, indirect infringement, and willfulness), much is still needed. As my colleague Rob Tiller has repeatedly discussed software patents exact considerable costs to innovation in this country. Although we are still waging the war on patent coverage for software, other battles are also in play, which I present here.

Tiller and his colleague are sadly enough not proposing the elimination of all software patents. Maybe they just don’t want to aim this high in an event which is clearly affected by the cult of patents, to which Apple sites mostly subscribe (because the cult of Apple says so). Apple’s patents boosters still worship Steve Jobs’ patents while Android sites voice concerns about Apple’s “slide to lock” patent, arguing: “Using the words “convoluted” or “confusing” to describe the patent battles going on in the mobile space might be going a little easy on them. Everywhere it seems companies are suing one another over anything they can think of, while others collect license fees from device and software makers just looking to avoid ending up in court. Just about everyone owns a small number of the patents necessary to create a smartphone or a tablet, and they’re all constantly at war over them.

“But a new patent just awarded to Apple brings a whole new level of pain to the game. According to a story from ZDnet, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office just issued Apple a patent for a design feature that’s found on every iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, as well as just about every single Android device currently in existence: “slide to unlock.”

“This is the feature on touchscreen devices that requires users to “unlock” the device by sliding a thumb over a specific section of the screen, where it looks like they’re moving a button from one position to another. The slide feature has been widely adopted because it’s both simple and genius – it’s hard to accidentally unlock your phone in your pocket and start making inadvertent calls with the “slide to unlock” feature in place.”

Apple has gone too far and Techrights takes this very seriously because Steve Jobs’ made it his top goal to obliterate Android/Linux. For a guy who disowned his daughter by lying about being “sterile”, Steve Jobs is far too widely admired. His real legacy, as far as we are concerned, is a "thermonuclear" patent war that harms Linux.

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

A Single Comment

  1. Michael said,

    October 27, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Gravatar

    FUD:

    ITH THE seminal goal of pointing out and countering FUD, we are still naming people whom people should watch out for because of their funding sources or agenda.

    LOL! Really, the irony there is amazing. You might sometimes point out other’s FUD, but as I have documented quite well you post massive amounts of FUD. You then pretend to not be responding as you call me names and ask others to ignore me. The reason why is clear: you know I am at least mostly right. It is not as if you really believe your own claims. The only way it can be said that you “counter FUD” is if you fight fire with fire. Just silly.

    Take your above article where you just assume – with *no* support – that anyone who writes about Windows and Linux *must* have a Windows bias. Why? It makes no sense. Complete FUD. But it is what you do. Anyone who writes about OSS in a way you do not like *must*, in your view, be “pretending” to be pro-FOSS.

    I have been a target of this claim from you. I am very pro open source – if it is as good as or better than the competition I am all over it. I am happy Apple uses it in OS X and Safari and in other packages. I am happy to run my websites on Apache / Linux. I think open source software and the open source philosophy, as expressed by Linus Torvalds and Mark Shuttleworth is amazing and a huge benefit to technology.

    But I do not share your desire to attack Microsoft (in other words, I agree with Linus). And this, to you, somehow makes me anti-FOSS.

    It is insane. Paranoid. You have a very strong with-us or against-us view of the world. Black and white. People are placed in piles labeled “Good” and “Evil” in your world.

    PS: Roy has asked people to not respond to those who criticize him, so be aware that if you respond to this comment of mine Roy might place you in his “Evil” pile. If so, fine by me… I do not want all people to like me and would think less of myself if some people did. :)

    Heck, look at how Roy attacks Jobs’ personal life because, gasp!, he disagrees with a patent they were awarded. Something very, very sick to be in the same camp as Roy. Count me out!

What Else is New


  1. There is No 'New Microsoft': Under Nadella, Patent Extortion Against Linux/Android Carries on

    Kyocera is again being targeted by Microsoft, using patent aggression, with a secret settlement being reached whose negative impact on Android remains to be seen



  2. Patent Propaganda, Glamourisation, and Erosion of Citizens' Rights in the Process

    An overview of recent coverage about patents, demonstrative of inherent bias in the world of patent practitioners and the journalists whom they misinform



  3. Corporate Media Should Stop Grooming Black Duck by Calling it 'Open Source' and Repeating Its Lies

    Black Duck uses gullible (or easy to manipulate) journalists to spread its marketing talking points, which grossly overstate risks of using Free software



  4. Links 6/7/2015: Linux 4.2-rc1, YotaPhone Picks Sailfish OS

    Links for the day



  5. Microsoft Windows Unsafe at Any Speed, by Design

    More timely reminders that Windows is simply not designed to be secure, irrespective of version, status of patching, etc.



  6. After Moonlight Dies and Even Microsoft Abandons Silverlight, the Abusive Monopolist Keeps Pushing for Other Microsoft Lock-in, Injecting OOXML Traps Into Free Software (Moodle)

    Despite a long history of Microsoft formats being proven guarantee of digital obsolescence, Moodle allows itself to become Microsoft prey and a Trojan horse for OOXML in classrooms (for children)



  7. Links 4/7/2015: Mostly (Geo)Political Catchup

    Links for the day



  8. Links 3/7/2015: KDE Applications 15.04.3, Ubuntu-Flavored Compute Stick

    Links for the day



  9. Patent Lawyers and Their Firms, Still Desperate to Protect the Status Quo, Manipulate the Media

    Patent lawyers are besieged by gradual tightening of patent scope and recklessly fight back (e.g. by saturating the media) to secure their revenue sources, derived from (and at the expense of) actual scientists and true market producers



  10. Amid Controversy, Political Scrutiny and Increased Media Pressure Željko Topić and Benoît Battistelli Allegedly Cancel Today's Trip to Zagreb (Croatia) Where Topić Faces Many Criminal Charges

    The Croatian press comments on the recent declaration from the Council of Europe and Topić's not-so-sterling status in his home country, where he is wanted for alleged crimes



  11. Microsoft Gradually Embraces, Extends, Extinguishes Linux Foundation as a Foundation of GNU/Linux

    By liaising with (or hijacking) existing members of the Linux Foundation, as well as by paying the Linux Foundation, Microsoft turns the Linux Foundation into somewhat of a Windows advocacy group



  12. Microsoft India Still Lobbies and Lies About Free Software in Order to Knock Down Policy That Favours Free Software

    Microsoft continues to bully Indian politicians who merely 'dare' to prefer software that India can modify, maintain, extend, audit, etc.



  13. Patent Lawyers and Corporate Media Nervous About New Patents Barrier/Reality (Less Patents on Software and Business Methods)

    The rich and the powerful, as well as their lawyers (whose job is to protect their money and power by means of government-enforced monopoly), carry on whining after the Alice case, in which many abstract patents were essentially ruled -- by extension -- invalid



  14. Translation of Pierre-Yves Le Borgn' Speech Against EPO Management and New Parliamentarian Interventions

    More political fire targeting the EPO's management, adding up to over 100 parliamentarians by now



  15. Links 2/7/2015: KDE Plasma 5.3.2, antiX 15

    Links for the day



  16. Links 1/7/2015: OpenDaylight Lithium, OpenMandriva Lx 2014.2

    Links for the day



  17. Munich Press, Münchner Merkur, Slams the Munich-based EPO

    Pressure on Benoît Battistelli to leave (or be fired) grows as the cronies whom he filled his office with have become a huge public embarrassment to the decades-old European Patent Office



  18. The Shameless Campaign to Paint/Portray Free Software as Inherently Insecure, Using Brands, Logos, and Excessive, Selective Press Coverage

    Some more FUD from firms such as Sonatype, which hope to make money by making people scared of Free/libre software



  19. National Insecurity and Blackmail, Courtesy of Microsoft

    British members of parliament (MPs) outsourced their communication to the number one PRISM company and they are paying the price for it; The US Navy's systems continue to be unbelievably insecure (Windows XP), despite access to the world's biggest nuclear arsenal



  20. Microsoft Keeps Shrinking

    As the era of shrink-wrapped software comes to an end so does Microsoft, whose effort to become a 'cloud' company with online operations has been miserable at best



  21. They 'R' Coming: More Microsoft Money for the Linux Foundation

    The problem with having Microsoft in a Linux Foundation initiative, the R Consortium



  22. Speculations About the EPO's Possible Role in DDOS Attacks

    Readers' views on who might be behind the attacks on this site amid confirmation that it's on the 'targets' list of the EPO



  23. Links 30/6/2015: Linux Mint 17.2, OpenMandriva

    Links for the day



  24. Techrights Confirmed as a Target of EPO Surveillance, With Help From Control Risks Group (CRG)

    Unveiling the cloak of secrecy from long-term surveillance by the European Patent Office (EPO) and a London-based mercenary it hired, bypassing the law



  25. Google's Fight to Keep APIs Free is Lost, Let's Hope Google Continues Fighting

    SCOTUS refuses to rule that APIs cannot be considered copyright-'protected', despite common sense and despite Java (which the case is about) being Free/libre software



  26. Patent Trolls in the Post-Alice World

    A round-up of news about patent trolls in the United States, some of whom are are doing well and some of them not as well



  27. DDOS Attacks Against Techrights

    Information about some of the most recent DDOS attacks against this Web site and the steps to be taken next



  28. The Patent System Not What it Used to be, Large Corporations and Patent Lawyers the Principal Beneficiaries

    A look at some recent patent stories and what can be deduced from them, based on statistics and trends



  29. After Intervention by the Council of Europe Comes a Detailed Summary of the Situation in the European Patent Office (EPO)





  30. IRC Proceedings: May 31st - June 27th, 2015

    Many IRC logs


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