Reports on the Lala land of SCO-like patent trolls with Microsoft strings
Summary: Interesting new articles from well informed reporters at Groklaw
It appears we will soon be finding out a lot more about the Nokia-Microsoft deal and the Microsoft-Nokia-MOSAID agreement and the entire Microsoft patent strategy against Android.
The International Trade Commission has granted [PDF, 70 pages] Barnes & Noble’s request that the ITC recommend that Barnes & Noble be granted international assistance from the Ministry of Justice of Finland under Article 3 of the Hague Convention to obtain testimony from Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia, and other key executives of the company, as well as help to obtain certain documentary evidence, like the signed agreements between the three entities Microsoft, Nokia and MOSAID.
The ITC also granted Barnes & Noble’s request for permission to seek evidence from MOSAID Technologies, a Canadian corporation, via a letter rogatory. The Administrative Law Judge ruled [PDF] that it was evidence that is “reasonably necessary to investigate fully Barnes & Noble’s affirmative defense of patent misuse against” Microsoft, so he recommended to the US District Court for the District of Columbia that it issue the letter rogatory.
Why two different processes? You go one way if the country, like Finland, is a signatory to the Hague Convention, and another way if the country, like Canada, is not. Remember that these are both requests, not demands. Canada can say no. In theory, so can Finland, but given the treaty involved, it would seem it would be unlikely.
We saw that coming long before any major Web sites paid attention to the issue.
Also in the same site there is an update on Lodsys, which got patents from Microsoft’s patent troll. To quote a portion:
Although the Lodsys cases continue to remain in the early stages, with jockeying between the plaintiff and defendants, we are continuing to see shakeout. Most recently Trend Micro has been dismissed from the Lodsys v. Brother case without prejudice, and adidas, Vitamin Shoppe, and BestBuy have been dismissed from the Lodsys v adidas case without prejudice. In each of these instances, the dismissals have made reference to the defendant’s reliance on products/services from ForeSee (or in the case of BestBuy, ForeSee and iPerception). In other words, ForeSee (and iPerception) are moving into the position of indemnifying their customers from the Lodsys claims.
Microsoft is suing Linux by proxy and hardly makes denials anymore. It is in this light that we need to invoke antitrust and reform, which Pamela Jones is not too optimistic on because:
Groklaw had two eyewitness reporters, RFD and Webster, at the oral argument of Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories Inc. on Thursday at the US Supreme Court, and each provides impressions of the experience. I’ll show you in a minute. All the filings are at that link. The transcript is now available too, as is the audio recording, so you can follow along with as much detail as you’d like.
Readers have suggested that we keep the patent focus in this Web site, so we shall. But we do not do this from a lawyer’s (or paralegal’s) perspective as most of us are programmers. Maybe this makes Techrights more unique. █