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. Links 23/4/2019: Kodi 'Leia' 18.2 and DeX Everywhere

    Links for the day



  2. Code of Coercion

    Entryism is visible for all to see, but pointing it out is becoming a risky gambit because of the "be nice!" (or "be polite!") crowd, which shields the perpetrators of a slow and gradual corporate takeover



  3. António Campinos Would Not Refer to the EPO's Enlarged Board of Appeal If He Did Not Control the Outcomes

    António Campinos and his ilk aren’t interested in patent quality because his former ‘boss’, who publicly denied there were issues and vainly rejected patent quality concerns as illegitimate, is now controlled by him (reversal of roles) and many new appointees at the top are "yes men" (or women) of Campinos, former colleagues whom he bossed at EUIPO (as expected)



  4. Links 22/4/2019: Linux 5.1 RC6, New Release of Netrunner and End of Scientific Linux

    Links for the day



  5. USPTO and EPO Both Slammed for Abandoning Patent Quality and Violating the Law/Caselaw in Order to Grant Illegitimate Patents on Life/Nature and Mathematics

    Mr. Iancu, the ‘American Battistelli’ (appointed owing to nepotism), mirrors the ‘Battistelli operandi’, which boils down to treating judges like they’re stooges and justices like an ignorable nuisance — all this in the name of litigation profits, which necessitate constant wars over illegitimate patents (it is expensive to prove their illegitimacy)



  6. IRC Proceedings: January 27th, 2019 – March 24th, 2019

    Many IRC logs



  7. IRC Proceedings: December 2nd, 2018 – January 26th, 2019

    Many IRC logs



  8. Links 21/4/2019: SuperTuxKart's 1.0 Release, Sam Hartman Is Debian’s Newest Project Leader (DPL)

    Links for the day



  9. The EPO's Use of Phrases Like “High-Quality Patent Services” Means They Know High-Quality European Patents Are 'Bygones'

    The EPO does a really poor job hiding the fact that its last remaining objective is to grant as many European Patents as possible (and as fast as possible), conveniently conflating quality with pace



  10. A Reader's Suggestion: Directions for Techrights

    Guest post by figosdev



  11. Links 20/4/2019: Weblate 3.6 and Pop!_OS 19.04

    Links for the day



  12. The Likes of Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA), Team Campinos and Team UPC Don't Represent Europe But Hurt Europe

    The abject disinterest in patent quality and patent validity (as judged by courts) threatens Europe but not to the detriment of those who are in the 'business' of suing and printing lots of worthless patents



  13. The Linux Foundation Needs to Change Course Before GNU/Linux (as a Free Operating System) is Dead

    The issues associated with the Linux Foundation are not entirely new; but Linux now incorporates so many restrictions and contains so many binary blobs that one begins to wonder what "Linux" even means



  14. Largest Patent Offices Try to Leave Courts in a State of Disarray to Enable the Granting of Fake Patents in the US and Europe

    Like a monarchy that effectively runs all branches of government the management of the EPO is trying to work around the judiciary; the same is increasingly happening (or at least attempted) in the United States



  15. Links 19/4/2019: PyPy 7.1.1, LabPlot 2.6, Kipi Plugins 5.9.1 Released

    Links for the day



  16. Links 18/4/2019: Ubuntu and Derivatives Have Releases, digiKam 6.1.0, OpenSSH 8.0 and LibreOffice 6.2.3

    Links for the day



  17. Freedom is Not a Business and Those Who Make 'Business' by Giving it Away Deserve Naming

    Free software is being parceled and sold to private monopolisers; those who facilitate the process enrich themselves and pose a growing threat to freedom in general — a subject we intend to tackle in the near future



  18. Concluding the Linux Foundation (LF) “Putting the CON in Conference!” (Part 3)

    Conferences constructed or put together based on payments rather than merit pose a risk to the freedom of free software; we conclude our series about events set up by the largest of culprits, which profits from this erosion of freedom



  19. “Mention the War” (of Microsoft Against GNU/Linux)

    The GNU/Linux desktop (or laptops) seems to be languishing or deteriorating, making way for proprietary takeover in the form of Vista 10 and Chrome OS and “web apps” (surveillance); nobody seems too bothered — certainly not the Linux Foundation — by the fact that GNU/Linux itself is being relegated or demoted to a mere “app” on these surveillance platforms (WSL, Croûton and so on)



  20. The European Patent Office Does Not Care About the Law, Today's Management Constantly Attempts to Bypass the Law

    Many EPs (European Patents) are actually "IPs" (invalid patents); the EPO doesn't seem to care and it is again paying for corrupt scholars to toe the party line



  21. The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Once Again Pours Cold Water on Patent Maximalists

    Any hopes of a rebound or turnaround have just been shattered because a bizarre attack on the appeal process (misusing tribal immunity) fell on deaf ears and software patents definitely don't interest the highest court, which already deemed them invalid half a decade ago



  22. Links 17/4/2019: Qt 5.12.3 Released, Ola Bini Arrested (Political Stunts)

    Links for the day



  23. Links 16/4/2019: CentOS Turns 15, Qt Creator 4.9.0 Released

    Links for the day



  24. GNU/Linux is Being Eaten Alive by Large Corporations With Their Agenda

    A sort of corporate takeover, or moneyed interests at the expense of our freedom, can be seen as a 'soft coup' whose eventual outcome would involve all or most servers in 'the cloud' (surveillance with patent tax as part of the rental fees) and almost no laptops/desktops which aren't remotely controlled (and limit what's run on them, using something like UEFI 'secure boot')



  25. Reader's Claim That Rules Similar to the Code of Conduct (CoC) Were 'Imposed' on LibrePlanet and the FSF

    Restrictions on speech are said to have been spread and reached some of the most liberal circles, according to a credible veteran who opposes illiberal censorship



  26. Corporate Media Will Never Cover the EPO's Violations of the Law With Respect to Patent Scope

    The greed-driven gold rush for patents has resulted in a large pool of European Patents that have no legitimacy and are nowadays associated with low legal certainty; the media isn't interested in covering such a monumental disaster that poses a threat to the whole of Europe



  27. A Linux Foundation Run by People Who Reject Linux is Like a Children's Charity Whose Management Dislikes Children

    We remain concerned about the lack of commitment that the Linux Foundation has for Linux; much of the Linux Foundation's Board, for example, comes from hostile companies



  28. Links 15/4/2019: Linux 5.1 RC5 and SolydXK Reviewed

    Links for the day



  29. Links 14/4/2019: Blender 2.80 Release Plan and Ducktype 1.0

    Links for the day



  30. 'Poor' (Multi-Millionaire) Novell CEO, Who Colluded With Steve Ballmer Against GNU/Linux, is Trying to Censor Techrights

    Novell’s last CEO, a former IBMer who just like IBM decided to leverage software patents against the competition (threatening loads of companies using "platoons of patent lawyers"), has decided that siccing lawyers at us would be a good idea


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