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08.12.12

Microsoft-Led Nokia Continues to Feed Patent Trolls

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 10:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Elop attacks by proxy, works by proxy

Stephen Elop
Photo by Luca Sartoni

Summary: Analysis of the latest patent troll that Microsoft/Nokia give smartphone ammunition to; a word about Digia

Microsoft has got Nokia by its sack, but in order not to arouse too much suspicion (keeping regulators at bay [1, 2) Microsoft has been using proxies. We shall come to that later and we will also mention SCO tomorrow.

“This has helped distract from a backroom deal that weaponises a troll.”So the big news right now is that “Nokia, the one time king of the mobile phone market, really seems to have no clue when it comes to open source. These are the same geniuses that killed MeeGo (and all its iterations) abandoning Linux in favor of Windows.”

This has helped distract from a backroom deal that weaponises a troll. It is an issue which we’ll come to in a moment. As many people point out, the orphaned Qt [1, 2] is being instantaneously passed to another entity, as Nokia made assurances long ago:

  • Digia To Buy Qt, Port It To Android

    For those you who are keeping count of Nokia’s mistakes, here’s another one to add to your list : Nokia plans to spurn of it’s Qt Business to Digia.

    Digia, a Finnish software company, had already acquired the Qt commercial licensing business from Nokia last year. It has now finally decided to go the whole nine yards and buy the entire Qt software business from Nokia.

  • Digia Committed to Thriving Qt Ecosystem

    Following the recent announcement that Digia will be acquiring the complete Qt business from Nokia, Digia has set out its plans in a letter to the KDE Community.

  • Digia Will Acquire All of Qt from Nokia

    Nokia, which ruled the mobile phone market only a few years ago, but made huge missteps in not executing quickly on criticial open source initiatives, is now selling off one of its only open source jewels. In 2011, the company began selling some assets related to Qt, a popular framework for mobile application developers, and now Digia is acquiring all of QT from Nokia. The sales serves as a denoument to Nokia’s recent woes in the mobile market, many of which came of not responding to open source trends quickly enough.

    In Digia’s statement on the Qt acquisition, Sebastian Nyström, head of Nokia Strategy, said this:

Some readers have asked us whether there is a link to Microsoft, but we could find none. In fact, the most prominent link we found between Microsoft and Nokia’s offshoots/proxies is patent trolls who immune Microsoft/Windows against litigation while exposing rivals like Android. As Slashdot puts it, “Nokia Feeds a Patent Troll” (that’s the headline).

Here is a decent report and here is a very atrocious headline, simply saying “Nokia sells 500 wireless patents to Qt software” (oh, really?).

This shows how the Qt news contributed to distraction. Based on this report, Nokia is assembling and arming another patent troll, perhaps this time too with Microsoft involvement (which Microsoft admitted to).

To quote the summary: “In case anyone missed the other Nokia news: on the same day they announced the sale of Qt to Digia, they also sold 500 patents to Vringo. Vringo, a video ring tone company, recently merged with patent portfolio company Innovate/Protect which includes Donald Stout, the founder of patent holding company NTP, on its board. Forbes refers to NTP as ‘a patent troll which milked Research In Motion for $612.5 million in a patent infringement settlement reached in 2006.’ As Eric Savitz writes in the article, ‘Vringo decided to basically turn itself into a patent troll.’”

“Sadly enough, Nokia is arming Android-hostile trolls and they too may be targeting Android, but “targeting” in another sense of the word.”Digia seems to be more benign than some readers have told us (worrying that it might be a liquidator or Microsoft proxy), but the patent troll sure seems troubling and oddly enough software patents foe Mark Cuban buys its stock. Is it another MOSAID in the making? Are Nokia and Microsoft spawning more and more Android-hostile trolls to elevate the cost of Android and create a burden for Google? Oracle lost its case, but the case continues, costing Google millions and acting as a deterrent against Android.

Based on reports of interest, “Nokia acquired Qt back in 2008 from its original developers, Trolltech. But since Nokia shifted its smartphone strategy away from Qt in favor of Microsoft’s Windows Phone, the future of the platform has been in question. Nokia last year denied that Qt was dead, but later said there would be no Qt for Windows Phone 7.”

It is said that Android will be targeted, so perhaps the Digia part has none of the same disturbing aspects that we find in the patent trolls. Sadly enough, Nokia is arming Android-hostile trolls and they too may be targeting Android, but “targeting” in another sense of the word. Android is, after all, the top dog now.

When Patent Litigation Reaches Billions of Dollars in ‘Damages’ Per Case

Posted in Patents at 10:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Monsanto - bones logo

Summary: How out-of-tune the patent system has become, based on some of the latest news

THERE is a real issue going on when producing companies like RIM face possible death due to patents on software. The pro-patents press named the issue some days ago [1, 2], but it lacked criticism.

One new article, titled “Software Patent Dispute Costs RIM $147 Million (NASDAQ: RIMM),” does decent work. To quote this article, “Research in Motion has been found liable for $147.2 million in damages for infringing patents held by Mformation Technologies. Mformation sued RIM in federal court in San Francisco in 2008, accusing it of infringement of two patents. Mformation is a maker of mobile-device management software. The software in question is called BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

“Mformation claimed that during licensing discussions, it had disclosed details of the technology to RIM. The company said in its complaint that after declining to take a license, the BlackBerry maker modified its software to include the patented systems. Jurors determined that RIM software that allows companies to manage their workers’ BlackBerry devices remotely infringed on Mformation’s patents. The verdict came after a trial that lasted three weeks.”

“This is lunacy and the amount of money is staggering.”The patent system is rotten to its core and it’s not just about software patents; patents on life are another notable example. Monsanto, for example, is grabbing billions by polluting fields and claiming a monopoly over altered life, as explained here: “We’ve had plenty of stories over the years of Monsanto’s incredibly aggressive stance when it comes to its “Roundup Ready” patents. The company has now been awarded $1 billion from Dupont for infringing on of these patents. Now, here’s a case where we’re talking about competing companies, so perhaps no big deal, right? Except there’s one tidbit here that makes this interesting: Dupont never brought the product in question to market. So the “damages” to Monsanto would seem to be minimal… except in a court of law apparently.”

Here are the lawyers covering this as though it’s acceptable. In another case, the one of Brocade (essentially killed by the same vulture who killed Novell), a victory is declared where vast amounts of money are involved. To quote: “Brocade Communications Systems Inc. was awarded $112 million in damages in its intellectual property trial against rival A10 Networks Inc. on claims that the latter infringed on patents related to server load balancing software and equipment.”

“What about the cost of unethical monopolists like Monsanto? The parasitical nature of the patent system goes beyond trolls.”This is lunacy and the amount of money is staggering. When penalties verge billions of dollars (see Oracle’s case against Android) real products have their liability compromised. Often this is done for the enrichment of mere parasites, such as patent trolls or dying companies which are unable to make or sell products. Take Nokia for example. We are going to deal with it in the next post.

Apple boosters are blaming trolls while ignoring Apple’s behaviour and NBC [1, 2] gives exposure to Bessen et al. with the figures on the cost of patent trolls. To quote: “Patent trolling got the academic treatment from the Boston University School of Law in a recent study. The sum total cost in 2005 was only $6.7 billion.”

What about the cost of unethical monopolists like Monsanto? The parasitical nature of the patent system goes beyond trolls. The system needs to be changed.

Links 12/8/2012: CDE Open-Sourced, Wikileaks Exposes TrapWire

Posted in News Roundup at 10:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • Levin: Decision not to prosecute Goldman Sachs shows weakness

      The U.S. Justice Department’s decision not to prosecute Goldman Sachs Group Inc for its subprime mortgage trades resulted from either “weak laws or weak enforcement,” the senator who asked for a criminal investigation of the firm said on Friday.

    • Yesterday Was “Relieve Goldman Sachs of Their Legal Exposure” Day

      I mentioned yesterday that Goldman Sachs got a rare “reverse Wells notice” from the SEC, when they were told that a mortgage-backed securities deal which they earlier heard they would face prosecution for would not net them any civil enforcement. But that was just the beginning. Later in the day, they learned they would not face any prosecution from the Justice Department for the misdealings brought to light in a Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report a year ago.

  • Censorship

    • Australian Gov’t Drops Plan To Snoop On Internet Use — For Now

      Australian Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has been forced to back down on her government’s unpopular plan to force ISPs to store the web history and social networking of all Australians for two years. The plan has been deeply unpopular with the public, with hackers attacking the government’s spy agency

  • Civil Rights

    • Confirmed: New Nationwide “Trapwire” Surveillance System Is Actively Recording, Monitoring Everything

      If you didn’t believe that everything you do is monitored before today, this latest confirmation should seal the deal. The information, of course, was not officially released, but when hackers gained access to highly secure emails at global analysis firm Stratfor earlier this year the cat came out of the bag.

      With New York recently launching an all-seeing domestic awareness system, many Americans who don’t live in Mayor Bloomberg’s police state believe they are safe from the watchful eye of Big Brother.

    • Wikileaks: CIA-connected private intelligence firm TrapWire watching Americans

      The latest WikiLeaks release has shone a spotlight on an alleged domestic and foreign surveillance program run with cloud-based software provided by Virginia company TrapWire, many of whose top leaders and employees are former members of three-letter American intelligence agencies.

    • WIKILEAKS: Surveillance Cameras Around The Country Are Being Used In A Huge Spy Network

      The U.S. cable networks won’t be covering this one tonight (not accurately, anyway), but Trapwire is making the rounds on social media today—it reportedly became a Trending hashtag on Twitter earlier in the day.
      Trapwire is the name of a program revealed in the latest Wikileaks bonanza—it is the mother of all leaks, by the way. Trapwire would make something like disclosure of UFO contact or imminent failure of a major U.S. bank fairly boring news by comparison.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • How YouTube lets content companies “claim” NASA Mars videos

        Lon Seidman knew he wasn’t going to get rich from his three-hour video discussion of the Curiosity rover landing on Mars. The local media entrepreneur did a live Google+ Hangout about the event and posted the resulting video to YouTube, expecting it would earn him a few bucks and attract some new readers to his site, CT Tech Junkie. During the discussion, Seidman played a number of NASA videos about the Curiosity mission. He knew he was on safe ground because works of the federal government are automatically in the public domain.

IRC Proceedings: August 5th-August 11th, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 3:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IRC Proceedings: August 5th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: August 6th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: August 7th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: August 8th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: August 9th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: August 10th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: August 11th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: July 29th-August 4th, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IRC Proceedings: July 29th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: July 31st, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: August 1st, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: August 2nd, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: August 3rd, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: August 4th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: July 22nd-July 28th, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 1:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IRC Proceedings: July 22nd, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: July 23rd, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: July 24th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: July 25th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: July 28th, 2012

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