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

02.25.12

While Attacking Android/Linux With FRAND and Lawsuits Apple and Microsoft Pretend to be the Victims

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, RAND at 10:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Chess game

Summary: Patents and new laws are being used by Apple and Microsoft in order to marginalise Linux, as evidenced by recent news

OUR focus on patents means that we will continue naming the culprits, wherever they are. There is more to it than Apple and Microsoft, but Apple and Microsoft are the prominent culprits.

Symantec with its spurious patent lawsuits joined the list of shame and FOSDEM looked broadly at the subject. To quote a new roundup:

On a legal aspect of the Free software issue I could see the presentation of the End Software Patent organisation. They militate to exclude software from patentability, claim for the EU to stay away of the temptation to give existence to software patent via court decisions and closely follow the interpretation of the judges when they come to decide what is patentable and what is not. There were concerned about the influence of patent lawyers from software patent owners on the courts decisions for their benefit, in particular in some court assessments in the US and in the UK , which recognise software patent and justify it by the need to follow the decisions from ”others” (experts from the European Patent Office- who is no jurisdiction-, or lower courts) in order to avoid controversy… Avoid controversy. What an arbitrary criteria! A higher court basically says: ”I decided this because others decided it so”. This seems to be a kind of negation of the independence and impartiality of the law. I am amazed this argumentation even appears in official case law documents. I have never seen something similar. Of course, Higher courts do sometimes follow experts and lower courts decisions but they always need to legally justify this by explaining why it was correct to do so. Then they talked about the future, possible unitary EU patent and the creation of the EU patent court. The project does not exclude software from patents and it gives substantial new legal powers to the European Patent Office, that is already delivering many software patents, see the concerns of Richrad Stallman. When End Software Patent warns against a kind of current risk of arbitrary ”expertisation” of patent law interpretation, to the benefit of software patent owners, we could be rather sceptical of the motivation behind such initiative.

There is also some new hammering [1, 2] from MPEG-LA, which is run by a patent troll. It is backed by Apple, Nokia, Microsoft, and several others. It’s merely a proxy like the MPAA or RIAA. When large companies risk being sued they band together under a sort of cartel that only large players are able to join. They are pooling ammunition in there. This includes companies like Apple, which while disrespecting trademarks (like in this new example) is also promoting a monopoly on media codecs. How convenient for a company with strong ties at the ‘entertainment’ industry. As a side note, ABC very recently did an appalling whitewashing report for its ally Apple — in this latest case it was revisionism over Foxconn (we won’t go into it now). Here is an Apple-funded (through advertising) Web site painting Apple as a victim of patents:

The voice mail system on Apple’s iPhone has once again become the target of a lawsuit from a company claiming infringement on one or more software patents.

Apple deserves this because Apple is perhaps the biggest aggressor right now when it comes to patents. It’s Steve Jobs' ugly legacy. There are a lot of software patents in the news [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], but nothing compares to the embargo war Apple has launched against Android/Linux.

Google may have some patents of its own [1, 2], but Google has no history of patent aggression.

While the patent buzz persists in the news we find that, based on Pogson’s interpretation, Oracle is not managing to make its patent case work against Google just yet:

The parties have now filed their joint statement on patent marking (721 [PDF;Text]), but it is hard to say they are any closer than before or that this entire exercise has substantially streamlined the issue of patent marking for trial. That’s the pessimistic view. The optimistic view is that they at least agreed upon a series of conditional stipulations, i.e., if Android is found to infringe, then the specified Oracle products also practice the patent and required marking. Perhaps that is the best they can do. In any case, there are clearly differences that remain as to how the claims are to be read and applied, and those issues will only get resolved at trial.

Here is more bad news for Oracle:

The parties filed a joint update with the court regarding the pending reexaminations of the asserted Oracle patents before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. (722 [PDF; Text]) Not surprisingly, Oracle has taken yet another hit. This time it is on previously reexamined patent number RE 38,104.

On February 16 the USPTO issued a non-final rejection of all of the claims of the ’104 patent that have been asserted by Oracle in this case. Oracle has until April 16 to file a response. Given the track record of Oracle’s responses in these reexaminations, don’t be surprised to see this reexamination result in a final rejection of all of the asserted claims of the ’104 patent.

Oracle takes a step back. As one journalist puts it, “Oracle has removed the last claim of one of the patents it has accused Google of violating, and downsized the amount of damages it estimated from Google’s alleged infringement of Oracle’s Java software.

“According to Groklaw, Oracle has withdrawn its claim against US Patent No. 6,192,476. The validity of the patent was in much doubt anyway after the Patent Office issued a final rejection of 17 of the 21 claims of the ’476 patent.”

“The Commission would remind the Honourable Members that the Unified Patent Court is envisaged to be established by a treaty between the EU Member States.”
      –Michel Barnier, patents maximalist
Apple is meanwhile pushing for FRAND along with Microsoft. It would impede Android through pricing. To quote: “Apple is attempting to stop the use of “standards essential” patents on 3G technology as legal bludgeons against smartphone competitors. To make its case, the company has gone directly to the standards body behind 3G wireless networking, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). In a letter to ETSI dated last November (but only recently uncovered by the Wall Street Journal) Apple suggested that patents offered as part of wireless networking standards should be governed by standardized royalty rates and barred from being used as the basis for legal injunctions.”

What this would mean is a patent fee. It is not compatible with Free software and Apple knows this. Over in Europe, the FRAND debate is very much alive right now and the unitary patent might play a role because it’s a form of treaty, expanding laws in one fell swoop. “EU will not be a contracting party to this treaty,” we learn from correspondence. “Consequently, the Commission does not comment,” quotes the FFII’ president who shows an unhelpful formal response. It says: “The Commission would remind the Honourable Members that the Unified Patent Court is envisaged to be established by a treaty between the EU Member States. The European Union will not be a contracting party to this treaty. Consequently, it would not be for the Commission to evaluate, recommend or decide on the possible candidacy of Milan for the seat of the central division of the Court of First Instance.”

How convenient for them. So while Microsoft lobbyists help Microsoft and Apple push for FRAND in Europe and Don Reisinger misleads with a wrong statement in the headline (“Microsoft sues Motorola Mobility, claims FRAND abuse”) we are led to believe that the Commission is not in a position to intervene. There is clearly an abuse here. After interference from the likes of Florian Müller it is not surprising that there is a FRAND push in the press, impacting Europe as well (it’s part of the propaganda from Microsoft):

Microsoft is the latest tech giant to take aim at Motorola Mobility–and thus, by virtue of its $12.5 billion acquisition, Google–in a FRAND (fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory) patent abuse claim.

The software giant today filed a formal competition law complaint with the European Commission against Motorola, arguing that the company is not offering essential patents on fair and reasonable terms. The complaint involves patents Motorola holds related to Web video and the way in which certain devices, like Windows PCs and the Xbox, access and play it.

The hypocrisy here is astounding. Essentially, the gangster calls its victim “rogue” in an attempt to justice its own abuse. As one good analysis puts it:

‘The crow calling the kettle black!’ as someone wrote in the comment section of the blog post of Microsoft where the company wrote about filing a competition law complaint with the European Commission (EC) against Motorola Mobility and Google.

Dave Heiner, Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Corporate Standards & Antitrust Group, Microsoft, says, “We have taken this step because Motorola is attempting to block sales of Windows PCs, our Xbox game console and other products. Their offense? These products enable people to view videos on the Web and to connect wirelessly to the Internet using industry standards.”

[...]

Nice job Microsoft when it comes to signing bogus patent deals with Android players its NDA but when an Android wants Microsoft or Apple to pay its FRAND.

Now, who should be crying foul here?

The regulators should investigate Microsoft’s racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], Google is merely the victim here. In later posts we are going to write more about Microsoft’s FRAND propaganda, which is paid for. It’s an ongoing lobbying/PR campaign.

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

What Else is New


  1. The EFF Back to Tackling Software Patents, Not Just Patent Trolls

    Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyers start targeting large companies that exploit patents for intimidation and extortion, not just patent trolling



  2. Microsoft Wants to Devour the Competition (Linux), Devour People's Data

    Refuting the "new Microsoft" propaganda and some ludicrous concept that Microsoft is now "playing nice"



  3. Benoît Battistelli Thinks 'President' is Above the Law, Decides to Ignore the Court's Ruling

    Staff of the EPO is given yet more reasons to protest tomorrow at the British Consulate, for the so-called 'President' of the EPO reminds everyone of the very raison d'être for the protest -- a vain disregard for the rule of law



  4. Links 24/2/2015: Xfce 4.12 a Week Away, GNOME 3.16 Previewed

    Links for the day



  5. Links 23/2/2015: Ubuntu Kylin 14.04.2 LTS, Cinnamon 2.6 Previews

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: February 8th - February 21st, 2015





  7. The EPO's Sham 'Internal Investigation' of EPO Vice-President Željko Topić's Affairs

    The EPO never investigated the Željko Topić affair, it only pretends to have investigated (one small aspect, i.e. cherry-picking) using a Benoît Battistelli-controlled group



  8. Links 21/2/2015: GNOME 3.15.90, Google Wins Android Lawsuit

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft AstroTurfing War on GNU/Linux is Still Going On, But Hidden Better, Uses API as Instrument of Lock-in

    The corruptible press continues to describe blatant attacks (Embrace, Extend, Extinguish) against GNU/Linux and Free software as Microsoft 'embracing' Open Source



  10. Lenovo's Superfish Scandal is Spyware on Top of Spyware (Microsoft Windows), the Problem is Inherently Proprietary Software

    Shifting focus to the root problem, which is neither Lenovo nor its laptops but the non-free programs installed on hardware



  11. Benoît Battistelli Once Again Threatens EPO Staff That 'Dares' to Protest, Battistelli Exploits Terror Attacks to Pretend to Respect Free Speech

    The European Patent Office (EPO) President, Benoît Battistelli, reportedly started threatening -- as before -- staff that decides to exercise the right to assemble and protest against abuses, including the abuses of President Battistelli himself



  12. Links 20/2/2015: Android Studio v1.1, GDB 7.9

    Links for the day



  13. Links 20/2/2015: Bloomberg Joins Linux Foundation, ClearOS Community 6.6.0

    Links for the day



  14. The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys Slams the European Patent Office for Structural Failings

    An important letter which we overlooked while writing yesterday's 4 articles about the European Patent Office (EPO); yet another key stakeholder complains



  15. Links 19/2/2015: Hewlett-Packard on Cumulus Linux, Previews of GNOME 3.16 Beta

    Links for the day



  16. Techrights Under Attack Again, Shortly After Important EPO Articles

    Techrights highlights a pattern that is months old; Site faces availability issues shortly after reports about the European Patent Office and its abuses



  17. EPO Staff Protests Against Benoît Battistelli’s Lowering of Patents Quality (Scope Expansion and Software Patents for Profit)

    A protest in Munich in less than 6 days will target Mr. Sean Dennehey, who has helped Battistelli cover up his abuses and crush legitimate critics, whom he deemed illegal opposition as if the EPO is an authoritarian regime as opposed to a public service which taxpayers are reluctantly (but forcibly) funding



  18. Breaking: European Patent Office Sued by Its Own Staff in The Hague, Must Unblock Staff's Voices

    The crooked management of the European Patent Office (EPO) gets in legal trouble after repeated attempts to cover up abuses and suppress criticism



  19. Željko Topić's History in SIPO Leaves a Legacy of Alleged DZIV Vehicles (Bribes), Authorship Abuses, and Intimidation Against Reporters

    Another deep look at Željko Topić's background in Croatia, preceding his very notorious appointment to the EPO where he now serves as Benoît Battistelli's most controversial attack dog



  20. The Old Obsession With Patent Trolls Continues to Distract From Debate About Software Patenting

    A roundup of recent coverage about monopolies on algorithms in the United States



  21. Links 19/2/2015: 64-bit ARM Linux, Chinese New Year

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/2/2015: Linux Report, FlightGear 3.4

    Links for the day



  23. EPO Scandals: The Story So Far

    An overview of articles about mischief, misconduct and breach of laws at the EPO



  24. Links 17/2/2015: TripleO, Pivotal

    Links for the day



  25. Links 17/2/2015: SystemD 219, Frugalware 2.0 (Rigel) Released

    Links for the day



  26. Željko Peratović Slammed for Whitewashing Željko Topić After Publishing Important Piece on Behalf of Key Sources

    Response from Ivan Kabalin to Zeljko Peratovic's so-called "apology" which is both mysterious and seemingly inadequate as it does nothing to actually explain what was wrong (if anything)



  27. Benoît Battistelli Has Made Oversight of European Patent Office Absolutely Impossible





  28. Microsoft Already Killed Nokia, Don't Let It Kill Android Players Too

    Microsoft's strategy against Android mirrors the company's evil strategy that derailed MeeGo and Nokia



  29. Intel Continues to Attack Software Freedom Through UEFI

    The Trojan horse that Microsoft uses to cement its monopoly on desktops and laptops (making it hard or impossible to install and run GNU/Linux) is also being misused to block Coreboot



  30. Links 16/2/2015: Netrunner 15, Bridge Linux

    Links for the day


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