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10.08.12

Misconduct in Apple Litigation Against Android Discredits Patents, Courts

Posted in Apple, Patents at 11:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

William Sydney Porter, who coined the phrase “banana republic”

William Sydney Porter

Summary: The ugly details about a pro-Apple verdict and some related news about a decaying system controlled by multi-national corporations

Articles about misconduct in Apple’s trial against Android say that “Samsung Seeks New Trial, Accuses Foreman Hogan Of Implied Bias” and “Samsung claims foreman lied about his past to get on Apple v. Samsung jury”. Jury of cultists?

“This is what happens when litigation becomes a business strategy.”Groklaw, an in-depth research site, looks closer at “More Unredacted Documents… Re Foreman, “Proof” of “Copying” That Isn’t” and this seems likely to become horrible PR for Apple and for the legal system. Jones writes: “The judge in the Apple v. Samsung case ordered more documents unsealed and unredacted, and so there is another mountain of filings that previously were redacted and are now publicly available in full. When you see “Filing is Sealed” on them, you can ignore it. It’s no longer the case. And while many of the new filings are dated as filed this month, if they say “Unredacted”, they are actually older documents now being refiled in an unredacted state, so a lot of the discovery arguments you’ll see on the list are already ruled on. We also learn some new details about the foreman from his bankruptcy that raise additional questions in my mind.

“As for what’s new, the parties are, as usual, going at each other in every possible way in every nook and cranny of the post-trial motions. Samsung points out that the judge told the parties to restrict their filings regarding a permanent injunction and enhanced damages to 30 pages. Apple instead helped itself to extra pages, Samsung says, by attaching a gazillion exhibits and declarations. The motion for enhancements was filed under seal originally, but you can read the public version [PDF], and if you go to this page, you’ll see for yourself all the exhibits attached to docket number 1982 and the declarations in support that follow, numbered from 1983, which has more exhibits, to number 1986. Samsung has a point. And so Samsung wants some portions of the declarations cut, and it presents a list of proposed cuts, also asking for expedited briefing.”

Apple is meanwhile getting more software patents and getting sued for violating some [1, 2, 3]. This sort of hypocrisy was covered here before.

This is what happens when litigation becomes a business strategy.

“Sony has many patents, so going to patent war against it would not be wise.”Andy Oram, a proponent of software patents (but whose opinion might be changing on this), spoke to Keith Bergelt, who then says that “OIN has spent millions of dollars to purchase patents that uniquely enable Linux and open source and have helped free software vendors and developers understand and prepare to defend against lawsuits.”

This is not the solution. It might be fine for giants like Sony, but what about SMBs? To quote Reuters, “Sony Mobile, which uses Google Android software for its smartphones, has not seen much impact from patent problems of the software platform.”

Sony has many patents, so going to patent war against it would not be wise.

Google is patenting software as well. Bad stuff, but business as usual in the US. Software patents are granted there without shame [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. It’s a bragging right. Newspapers treat it like a national sport as if monopolies are trophies. Never mind if it is a monopoly on ways to save lives.

Michael J. Miller says that “Software Patents Mean More Litigation, Less Innovation” (in IDG and also in other networks) and disdain of the patent system as a whole becomes very publishable (we omit many such articles that criticise the patent system because of Apple alone).

The legal system as a whole suffers a PR crisis after juror misconduct in the case against Android. Let’s not forget this other important case: “I suppose that “any and all other orders and rulings adverse to Oracle” language might be an umbrella intended to include the denial of its JMOL motion, actuallly, now that I’m reading the wording carefully. But what they really care about is getting a ruling that Java APIs are copyrightable, including “structure, sequence, and organization of the accused 37 Java API packages”. That was their claim against Google, that it infringed those interfaces. Here’s the order Oracle didn’t like on that point (Docket No. 1211).

“Appeals matter, as you can see.

“The legal system as a whole suffers a PR crisis after juror misconduct in the case against Android.”“I hope you also see why politicians are currently trying their best to stack the courts with judges who see things their way. People who want to win no matter how, and who believe in might-makes-right, view it as a great solution. But I hope you see why it is so important to keep politics out of the courts. What is the point of having a judicial system where you get rubber-stamped, political results, rather than results based on the facts of your case? It makes a mockery of the concept of blind justice, not to mention Constitutional principles, meaning not looking at who the parties are but just evenly treating all comers, based on the law and the facts.”

See? Even a legal site like Groklaw is fed up. Professor Larry Lessig recently gave a major speech about how the occupation of lawyers became tied up to corporate interests (working for companies) rather than people. It’s a systemic corruption. He too calls it “corruption”. As apocalyptic as it may sound, perhaps the best chance for elimination of software patents in the US is a serious collapse of the whole system.

Boies Versus Microsoft

Posted in America, Microsoft, Novell at 10:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

David Boies

Image by David Shankbone

Summary: The comeback of one who almost became synonymous with Microsoft antitrust

Many people oppose Microsoft not because of jealousy but because of reason. Some people are just better informed than others. One person who fought against Microsoft for its crimes is Mr. Boies and Groklaw says that in the Wordperfect case he will help show how Microsoft broke the law. He sure knows the history. To quote Jones: “In the appeal of the Novell v. Microsoft case, the one about WordPerfect, Novell has hired David Boies and Stuart Singer of Boies Schiller, adding that firm to the team. After watching and writing about Boies Schiller’s fancy dancing in the SCO saga, where it did a belly flop from the high dive, I assume you can imagine my reaction when I got the news. But, as Dylan sings, people are crazy and times are strange … I used to care, but things have changed. When Novell did that toxic patent deal with Microsoft, it was a sea change. I hope my inner thoughts prove unfounded. But to tell you the truth, they usually are on the money. It will not amaze me if Novell loses now, but it’s fine if I am proven wrong.”

Novell is a sellout, just like Miguel de Icaza. But the ‘old’ Novell has a fight to finish. To this date, Boies continues to serve in cases against Microsoft [1, 2].

Miguel de Icaza on Microsoft ‘Embrace and Extend’ of JavaScript

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 10:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft apprenticeship

Summary: FOSS-flavoured marketing of Microsoft lock-in, courtesy of the likes of Miguel de Icaza

The Microsoft MVP who helped Microsoft against Java (under the guise of ‘FOSS’) promotes more Microsoft tools and languages, just like Moonlight and all that WPF garbage such as Popfly [1, 2, 3]. Never mind continued promotion of Mono with funding from sources close to Microsoft. The monopolist is openwashing something that “embraces and extends JavaScript,” as Simon Sharwood put it.

“Mr. de Icaza is being used by Microsoft in exchange for money.”As everyone must realise by now, de Icaza helps enemies of FOSS. He is a faker like Florian Müller, but journalists are sometimes ignorant enough to be bamboozled by shallow pretence.

A reader of ours found this quote from last month. It says: “Ten years ago in an editorial in LinuxFormat I called Miguel de Icaza a “sell-out” and have yet to be proved wrong. His Quisling-esque career would be resigned to the /dev/null of Linux history except for all the damage he has done. Now he serves as a cautionary tale.”

Mr. de Icaza is being used by Microsoft in exchange for money. He is constantly being groomed by the ‘Microsoft press’ and many of the company’s boosters, staff, and veterans. They know why they do this. He has been very effective at nuking FOSS from the inside. In many people’s terms, he is a sellout. He doesn’t seem to care as long as he profits from all those activities. We are going to set up a wiki page to help counter this and show people who this guy really is.

Patent Trolls Slammed by Inventors

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Patents at 10:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rainbow troll

Summary: Jacques Mattheij speaks about multimedia and streaming trolls

THE other day we found this article about a developer who lashes out at patent trolls. “TasMot points us to a recent blog post by Jacques Mattheij,” writes Masnick, “who developed one of the earliest, if not the earliest version oft browser-based streaming video back in 1995, about his experience with patent trolls. There’s an initial experience with an attempt by patent trolling giant Acacia to try to shake him down, which failed mainly because Mattheij’s company was mostly based in the Netherlands, making it difficult for Acacia to go after them (and, Mattheij notes, that patent was eventually invalidated… but not until 2009, by which time plenty of damage could have been done). However, he notes that a more recent troll has popped up on the scene, named Joao Control, who has apparently been busy suing a bunch of companies, including some online video operations like, Sling Media and WebcamNow, as well as a bunch of auto companies (including Hyundai, Ford, BMW, Mercedes, Toyota and Honda). You can read through the cases if you’d like, but they all seem pretty ridiculous. Joao appears to argue that it has patented “systems for remotely controlling video systems.”"

We previously wrote about Burst as well [1, 2]. These are all software patents, a troll’s best friend. For multimedia there is already a troll called MPEG-LA and a Microsoft booster now promotes the same for mobile phones. “Two years ago,” he writes, “Dolby subsidiary Via Licensing started getting together with companies that would be interested in creating a “one-stop shop” for paying for patents that cover LTE, or Long-Term Evolution, a newer, faster type of cell phone data transmission. Now, the pool has formed, and Via is eager to sign patent licenses on behalf of the 10 companies it represents—but the question remains as to whether anyone will sign up.”

“These are all software patents, a troll’s best friend.”This would work against no- or low-cost software such as Android. The Apple-Microsoft alliance knows this, hence their promotion of a codecs cartel. It’s about restriction, barriers, and overall a fear of competition. People should be penalised for resorting to this nonsense of monopolising ideas, not rewarded for it. As CNET puts it, “TalentBin has added the U.S. Patent Office’s database to its tool for matching employers with job prospects. Don’t be frightened.” The USPTO is not about employment, it is about protectionism, which often correlates with being unable to compete based on merit. In turn, patents limit the number of competitors (down to zero), thus eliminating jobs.

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