08.05.12

How Microsoft Expands the Patent Racket Against Android/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 6:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Motorola phone

Summary: As another company aligns with Microsoft (under an NDA) we get to discover how Microsoft is setting up its patent extortion scheme against Android

MICROSOFT was recently seen hiding details in the Samsung case as these would otherwise weaken the extortion campaign and potentially expose Microsoft to prosecution by government authorities. B&N had filed formal (and federal-level) complaints, whereupon Microsoft decided to essentially bribe the firm to change its mind or course (money to control behaviour).

According to this report, Microsoft hopes to replicate the aforementioned corrupt strategy in another case that ended up in the courts. To quote: “MOBILE PHONE SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Microsoft is calling on Motorola to settle the firms’ patent dispute out of court, clearly hoping to avoid a high profile court case similar to that between Apple and Samsung.

“Microsoft’s patent spat with Motorola has been going on for months, with the firm claiming that the Android phone maker uses its technology, Activesync, without paying royalties. Motorola is also looking to get some cash out of Microsoft, claiming that the company uses its video and wireless technologies in its Xbox 360 console without a licensing agreement in place.”

Microsoft is clearly afraid that Motorola, recently bought by Google (for the relevant business division), will derail the entire extortion campaign. Google bought itself a case in which is gets to defend Android against Microsoft, so we expect Motorola not to give up, not even when offered a bribe like B&N’s. Bribing one’s way out of justice or out of the penal system is something Bill Gates is familiar with; as a rich young boy he had his affluent mom and dad bail him out after he got arrested on the road. Right now, using another trick, he’s painting himself as a saint rather than the criminal he was. We must understand that there are massive PR forces at play, acting as a stunt that changes public perception in the face of serious offences.

“Microsoft is clearly afraid that Motorola, recently bought by Google (for the relevant business division), will derail the entire extortion campaign.”Glyn Moody mentions the apparent bribe in his latest article which goes like this: “At the end of last year, I wrote about the great service Barnes & Noble had performed by drawing back the curtain on one of Microsoft’s patent lawsuits.

“One of the reasons that Microsoft has settled on patents as a way of attacking open source is that it can do so through innuendo. It doesn’t have to prove that Android, for example, infringes on any of its patents; it simply points at all the companies that have taken a licence from Microsoft based on the claim that it does, and then uses that as suggestive evidence that it must be true.

“But since we know nothing about the terms of those deals, it might even be that Microsoft is paying its licensees more for reciprocal rights than it receives. The net effect would then be Microsoft funding companies to go along with the “Android infringes on Microsoft patents” story in return for these kinds of deals. Indeed, companies would be crazy to refuse such an offer, so you can’t really blame them.

“That’s what made Barnes & Noble’s stand all-the-more remarkable. Even better was the fact that Microsoft somehow botched the NDA process, allowing Barnes & Noble to reveal which patents were being asserted against it (and they turned out to be risibly weak.)

“We must understand that there are massive PR forces at play, acting as a stunt that changes public perception in the face of serious offences.”“Barnes & Noble was obviously a real thorn in Microsoft’s side, so it came as no huge surprise to learn in April of this year that the two companies had formed a “strategic alliance” that saw Microsoft investing $300 million in a new subsidiary of Barnes & Noble. And then there was this:

“‘Barnes & Noble and Microsoft have settled their patent litigation, and moving forward, Barnes & Noble and Newco will have a royalty-bearing license under Microsoft’s patents for its NOOK eReader and Tablet products. This paves the way for both companies to collaborate and reach a broader set of customers.’

“It was another deal that couldn’t be refused – and further evidence of how desperate Microsoft is to try to buy friends in its battle against the open source world.”

Moody later concludes, quite correctly, that the extortion might have the following goal: “Microsoft is quite open to a settlement of patent litigation provided Google agrees that Android infringes. What Microsoft is “offering” in this “solid foundation” is actually the culmination of its approach over the last year or so: getting companies using Android to sign licensing deals that implicitly admit that the code infringes on Microsoft patents – without the need to prove that they actually do.”

“There is no point for Google to settle these cases; the idealists might say that Google should work to put Microsoft executives in jail for what they do.”Microsoft reportedly wanted $15 for each Android device sold by Samsung, so the claim from Moody may not be entirely factual even though it is clearly speculative. Microsoft has been separating the companies and using NDAs (also in Novell’s case) as a manipulative part in the racket. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach; Microsoft hides Windows OEM deals for the same reason. When there is investigation/case like Comes vs. Microsoft we get to see the truth.

It is unreasonable to assume that only Microsoft’s cases need to be fought against; Microsoft also uses patent trolls such as MOSAID to fight by proxy. There is no point for Google to settle these cases; the idealists might say that Google should work to put Microsoft executives in jail for what they do. In reality, Microsoft has so many government connections that it is unlikely to ever occur. In fact, while in Clinton’s term Bill Gates was breaking the law as a matter of routine, Clinton is now hanging out with Gates. It’s a case of fake it/break it till you make it. The law is all warped. It is shaped by the money interests.

Microsoft usually finds accomplices for its illegal activities; it recently recruited the phone spying firm called Amdocs (it does things other than spying, too) which is not really a victim but a collaborator. It’s more of a collaboration on FUD, as we found Microsoft trying to do with a large British company years ago (without success). We leaked some anonymised information that had been handed to us about it. Microsoft was willing to pay just for FUD, including a press release from the company that Microsoft wanted to say would pay for Linux.

Here is an article that helps validate our assertions. Christine Hall says: “Trying to understand the recent patent licensing deal between Microsoft and Amdocs is like watching a poker tournament, where you never know whether players are bluffing or if they have pat hands. In this case, it appears that Microsoft is bluffing when it comes to Linux. An inspection of the facts, as they are known, indicates the “Linux licensing” element of the story is only more Microsoft FUD–with Amdocs being a willing participant.

“This isn’t the story of an underdog being pressured by the Redmond giant into paying a bounty on some patents Microsoft claims are being infringed upon by Linux servers in Amdocs’s data centers. In fact, it appears as if Linux licensing isn’t really a part of this deal at all.”

Further, she says: “Like Microsoft, Amdocs is in the software business. It would appear the company sells its own stack and also acts as a reseller, most likely for products from folks like Oracle and Microsoft. As the company earns its keep by peddling proprietary software, it would be just as threatened by open source solutions as Redmond. So when it reached a cross licensing agreement with Microsoft covering a wide range of patents, adding some Linux FUD into the mix would be a no-brainer.”

And lastly: “In other words, it appears as if Linux had very little, if anything, to do with this agreement. Mr. Ballmer was just taking advantage of another opportunity to practice one of his favorite hobbies, the sowing of FUD. When they really have something, they’ll sue Red Hat, of that you can be sure.”

“Honeywell becomes another company to avoid for the fact that it helps Microsoft make Linux non-free.”By bribing all the right companies Microsoft tries to normalise (make acceptable) selling permission to something that’s not theirs, namely Android.

According to new reports, Microsoft found another willing FUD partner. To quote: “Thursday, Honeywell International Inc. (HON) became the 15th company to sign a patent-licensing agreement with Microsoft that covers Android devices. The deal coincides with the introduction of Honeywell’s Dolphin, a digital assistant for data capture, navigation and communication for field workers.”

The press release came from Honeywell and Microsoft boosters were quick to promote the FUD. To quote: “The move is tied to the introduction of Honeywell’s first enterprise digital assistant computing device, which runs on Android. (Microsoft contends that certain features of Android infringe on its patents.)”

Well, Honeywell becomes another company to avoid for the fact that it helps Microsoft make Linux non-free. “Extortion continues,” iophk remarks about it. “Again the terms of the patent extortion are kept under wraps.”

“Intellectual property is the next software.”

Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft patent troll

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

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. Censored EPO Publication: Staff Representatives Cannot Comment on the Survey Conducted by the Office's Management

    EPO management tried to muzzle EPO staff after the Office-wide staff survey turned out to be “nothing short of a disaster.”



  2. Censorship at the EPO is Counterproductive, Rendering the Censored Publications More Seductive and Censored People More Disgruntled

    The efforts to gag Techrights or to intimidate us have all been unfruitful; in a sense, they encouraged us to focus on EPO scandals even more and arguably invoked the 'Streisand Effect' at the EPO (most workers read this site, no matter what their bosses say)



  3. EPO Management Has No Plans Other Than Granting Loads of Invalid Patents (e.g. Software Patents) to Pocket Fees and Then Grift/Gamble With the Money

    The EPO does not know what the hell it’s doing; it’s more of that magical festival-like thinking, as if running a patent office is Eurovision



  4. Links 1/12/2020: KDE Plasma 5.20.4, GNU Octave 6.1, OpenZFS 2.0, and PinePhone KDE Community Edition

    Links for the day



  5. [Meme] Public Servants Who Only Serve Themselves and Their Predecessors (Who Gave Them the Job)

    The Benoît Battistelli-appointed António Campinos (an old friend of his) isn’t just covering up the EPO‘s financial scams but contributes to these; when will this house of cards (arse-covering) fall and will that take a special (independent) investigator?



  6. Censored EPO Publication: Battistelli Can Have His Multi-Billion Euro EPO Scam, So Why Can't Campinos Too?

    Mr. Campinos, seeing what Mr. Battistelli has managed to get away with (the Commission approves, having been infiltrated by friends of the ringleaders), piggybacks or follows the steps of his appointer by blasting almost a billion euros on a worthless project with no real purpose and the Central Staff Committee (CSC) warns it has "very high risk of mismanagement and fraud"



  7. Staff Representation of the EPO Explains to EPO Management That It's Breaking the Law, Robbing the Staff, and Lying to Staff

    Human rights, basic dignity and labour protections of EPO staff are routinely violated and the staff is also being robbed based on false pretenses; the staff representatives write to refute "[t]he Office’s report [which] has been made available on the Intranet"



  8. European Commission's Thierry Breton Covers Up EPO Corruption For His Friend Benoît Battistelli

    Thierry Breton is the sort of official who causes people to vote for Brexit (or similar exits from the EU); he’s enthusiastically defending EPO corruption and he also calls for constitutional violations in many member states — all in the name of patent maximalism (Team UPC’s coup attempt)



  9. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 30, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, November 30, 2020



  10. Links 30/11/2020: GhostBSD 20.11.28, Nitrux 1.3.5, Linux 5.10 RC6, GNOME Circle, Microsoft Collapses Again in Web Server Share

    Links for the day



  11. Alternatives to the World Wide Web, to HTML, to HTTP/S, and to the Internet

    Looking around the Web (yes, the Web) for alternatives to the Web (and the stack underneath the Web), we're finding that IPFS is mature and robust enough for our needs



  12. Management of the EPO Dragged to the International Labour Organisation Over Its Assault on the Right to Strike

    Opinion on strikes challenged by the Central Staff Committee of Europe's second-largest organisation; if strike rights are almost abolished there, what hope is there for the rest of Europe?



  13. [Meme] Management of the EPO Cannot Let the Staff Breathe or Smell Freedom

    Working for the EPO means giving up on one’s human rights; that’s the sort of conclusion many workers have reached



  14. “ViCo” is Nothing New (Not Even the Acronym), Done on 9/11 Last Year, Been Possible as Long as the EPO Has Existed

    Contrary to what many people are led to believe, the EPO isn't embracing innovation, it's just embracing COVID-19 and leveraging lock-downs (de facto house arrest to some) to impose an illegal practice on EPO staff and EPO stakeholders



  15. Release: Early Letters and Documents About Financial Hoax Disguised as EPO 'Study'

    It was over a year ago that staff representation at the EPO expressed concerns about what would later enrage workers — seeing that based on unscientific fabrications the EPO would take away what had been promised to them



  16. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 29, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 29, 2020



  17. Managing IP: Puff Pieces Galore for the EPO's Dictatorship (Complete With Buzzwords and PR Stunts)

    By giving a platform to notorious patent trolls and ‘engaging’ with the EPO‘s dictator (whom only 3% of EPO staff trusts) Managing IP is sort of giving away its real agenda, which isn’t journalism but conducting or assisting misinformation campaigns



  18. Links 29/11/2020: Genode OS Framework 20.11, Linux 5.11 Kernel Changes, and Latest in KDE Itinerary

    Links for the day



  19. Sincere Thoughts About Outreachy

    Outreachy's role in the Free software community and inclusion in the FSF's High Priority Projects, as seen from the eyes of a female coder from a minority group; she used to work for the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and she expresses concerns about what Outreachy has become



  20. Free Software Under Tyranny of Codes of Conduct as the Western Equivalent of Blasphemy Law (Corporations as the New Religion/Sponsors as Deities)

    The free speech crisis in Free software communities has enabled expulsion of opinionated people whose opinions truly matter; in their place we now have companies that bomb people, sometimes even kidnapping children and sterilising women because nothing says “Ethics” like naked fascism and corporate domination everywhere



  21. Release: 4 More Documents and Letters About the Financial Siege at Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    Documents disputing the accuracy of the "hoax" from António Campinos and the Mercers



  22. One Year Ago: The Last EPO Demonstration Before COVID-19

    About a year ago staff of the EPO apparently had its last protest (in front of the Isar building) before staff got ‘herded’ into homes, where workers became more isolated and even illegally spied on



  23. [Meme] Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) is an Attack on Europe and the European Businesses That Don't Do Litigation

    Litigation lawyers and patent zealots want to set Europe ablaze with legislation that they themselves crafted; thankfully, however, they face constitutional obstacles, no matter how many politicians they bamboozle and buy



  24. Reasons EPO Staff Decided to Go on Strike This Year (Before or Until Coronavirus Prevented It)

    An year-old letter from the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) to the President of the EPO; 7 reasons for going on strike are enumerated



  25. EPO Can Save Money by “Dropping Events Like the Inventor of the Year, Reducing the Number of Managers, Throwing Less Money at Consultants or Bringing the Boards of Appeal Back into Office Buildings.”

    Constructive suggestions from EPO staff, made just over a year ago and assembled into a letter to their EPO colleagues



  26. The Real Fate of the UPC 'Stunt' in Germany Will be Known Next Month (or Next Year) and There Are Substantial Constitutional Barriers in the Way

    Contrary to what Team UPC wants people to think, UPC(A) isn’t a “done deal” in Germany; they never actually addressed the substance of complaints and with help from Benoît Battistelli‘s friends in the Commission they’re just attempting a blatant coup



  27. Microsoft Removes Free Software From GitHub Again, This Time for Motion Picture Association (MPA)

    GitHub is proving to be more of a censorship site than a code-sharing site; with the GitHub takeover Microsoft became a 'censorship police' or force of occupation against its ideological competition; just weeks after the YouTube-DL debacle and further take-downs seeking to 'protect' broken DRM schemes (by banning code) we can see that Microsoft isn't defending developers at all; it's just protecting the interests of MPA, RIAA and other Biden circles from the interests of the general population, which sometimes circumvents perfectly circumventable 'DRM' schemes



  28. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 28, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 28, 2020



  29. Help Make Techrights (and Other Technology-Centric Sites) More Robust to Censorship by Setting Up More IPFS Nodes

    We’re trying to improve the site’s availability (ensuring it can never be offline) and make it more censorship-resistant; people who adopt IPFS can make that happen while tackling the “bloated Web” and “centralised Internet” issues — all at the same time



  30. Microsoft Loves Linux and Android Apps Running on Windows Instead of GNU/Linux and Android Devices

    Microsoft loves Linux, they say; but as Microsoft's former VP James Allchin put it: "If you're going to kill someone there isn't much reason to get all worked up about it and angry -- you just pull the trigger [...] We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger."


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

Recent Posts