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07.30.12

Microsoft Shows Up in Apple’s Jihad for Bans and Castrations of Android Devices

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 4:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Where are we on this Jihad?”

Bill Gates

“Now it’s getting interesting. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates’ father’s law firm, known as the firm that represents Microsoft, has just filed a Notice of Entry of Appearance and Demand for Notices and Papers [PDF] in the SCO bankruptcy on behalf of MSLI, Inc., otherwise known as Microsoft Licensing, one of the creditors on SCO’s list. In fact, one of the 20 top creditors [PDF], owed $125,000 or so. That would give them a seat at the creditors committee table, presumably, should they so desire, if a committee is formed later.

“I guess filing as MSLI instead of Microsoft Licensing is like putting on sunglasses, hoping no one will notice you.”

Groklaw in “Microsoft Slinks In – MSLI Appears in SCO Bankruptcy”

Hiding

Summary: Apple is losing to Android, is forced to apologise, shown to have copied Sony, and Microsoft shows up in its trials

Samsung has helped Microsoft make money from Linux and for that we never forgot the Korean giant. LG, the other Korean giant, did the same thing. But right now we rely on Samsung to defend Android from Apple.

Over at Groklaw, Microsoft is shown as involved in Apple’s case against Samsung. Quoting Pamela Jones:

Microsoft Files Motion in Apple v. Samsung to Hide Patent License Agreement Terms

There’s been a fascinating development in the Apple v. Samsung litigation. It is possible we’ll get to see the cross-license agreement between Microsoft and Samsung that the parties announced in this press release [PDF], which mentioned that it also covered Android. If we get to see it, it would be the first time we get to see exactly what are the terms of such an agreement, because Microsoft always insists on an NDA.

Of course, Microsoft’s hair is on fire about it, and so it’s asking the court [PDF] to seal it:

As explained in the accompanying declaration of Tanya Moore, Microsoft’s General Manager of Outbound Licensing, Exhibits 3A and 3B to the Teece Report contain sensitive confidential and proprietary business information from the Confidential Agreement between Microsoft and Samsung. The Teece Report summarizes sensitive portions of the Confidential Agreement, including the licensed technology, term of the license, royalty rates, and payment information, among other things. (Moore Decl. at ¶¶ 3-4).

Here’s the attorney declaration in support [PDF] of the Microsoft motion. This particular judge, Hon. Lucy Koh, has been insisting on making things public when possible, even spanking Samsung publicly for asking to seal materials and for not applying in the right way, writing “This standard may be exacting, but it is necessary in light of the Ninth Circuit’s direction that public access must be respected unless truly unwarranted.”

There is at least one complaint about Microsoft's extortion.

Well, back in May Samsung tried to evade patent traps because this trial can determine winners and losers in the mobile era (Samsung is the leading Android seller). Apple is trying to cripple devices if not altogether block them; watch this report which says “Samsung has disabled an advanced search function in an update to the international version of its flagship Galaxy S3 smartphone, following a patent dispute with Apple.”

Artificial crippling is bad for customers. Here’s more on that [1, 2]] and also a reminder that Google steps in to aid Samsung and others in this case. Google itself is collecting patents and since Google never sued anyone using patents we are far less concerned about it for the time being.

Sadly, not just Apple fan sites are boosting Apple’s patent ammunition that it already uses aggressively:

The headlines sounded the first signs of alarm (or glee, depending on which camp you’re in): “Apple Granted the Mother of All Smartphone Software Patents.” For Apple () investors, the news about the patent it has been granted that covers nearly every key aspect of the smartphone user inteface is very good.

This is also covered in [1, 2, 3].

Apple has already been penalised for lying as a “[c]ourt makes ruling after agreeing with Samsung that Apple’s false statements could have caused harm” (we covered this in July).

One other company that tried using the ITC against Samsung devices has changed its mind and as this schematic helps show, it is Apple that should apologise to Sony for “stealing” phone designs:

Apple Stole iPhone Design From Sony, Patented It And Sued Everyone Else

Ahead of the mega Samsung vs Apple court trial some internal Apple document shows that Apple’s design team stole the design of Sony’s phone to design the iPhone.

According to The Verge, “A recent court filing by Samsung reveals that in 2006 Apple industrial designer Shin Nishibori was directed to design an iPhone prototype inspired by Sony’s aesthetics after Tony Fadell internally circulated an interview with a designer from the company. An assortment of renders reveal his design, complete with a Sony logo — save for one where the logo has been modified to read “Jony,” presumably in honor of Apple’s Jony Ive.”

Apple’s case is growing ever more weak and new disgraceful tactics seem to be attempted instead:

Amid fierce smartphone competition between Samsung and Apple that has spilled into a multinational patent battle, it looks like Apple may have opened yet another front on the M&A side: it is buying mobile security company AuthenTec — which had only just signed a deal with Samsung for Android devices — for $356 million.

AuthenTec, among other things, makes fingerprint sensor chips that are used for security and identification purposes; these are embedded in computing devices. The news was first reported by Reuters; the full announcement was filed with the SEC.

Apple really struggles to stop the explosive growth of Android. The Linux-based platform is achieving domination. We need to protect it from the declining proprietary duopoly.

“Really, I’m not out to destroy Microsoft. That will just be a completely unintentional side effect.”

Linus Torvalds

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