EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.29.12

Sony, Part of a Microsoft and Apple Patent Cartel, Attacks Android With Patents

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Patents, Samsung at 6:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SCOny defined, following SCO and SCOracle tactics

End in washing machine

Summary: Despite using Android itself, Sony helps Apple against Samsung, using patents

Sony reserved the right to sue and we finally see why reservations as such are trouble. Let’s start with some background from this week’s news.

Samsung has begun retaliating for Apple’s aggression more strongly then before (stopping supply of components), with lawsuits that go both ways as well as deterrents:

Seeking to head off Samsung argument, Apple shortens a patent term

Apple agreed to limit the term of one of the patents it used to win a $1.05 billion jury verdict against Samsung. The company filed a so-called “terminal disclaimer” with the patent office today. It limits the term of patent D618,677, a patent that 12 different Samsung phones were found to infringe.

Samsung says something along the lines of “Without Us, There Is No iPhone”:

A Samsung executive laid it out: Without the Korean company’s patents there can be no iPhone, at least not one that works. Shin Jong-Kyun, President of Telecoms and IT at Samsung, told reporters in Seoul that the truth will out, and that Apple couldn’t make the iPhone without using Samsung’s patents.

This is getting ugly and it’s bad for Apple. Sony, part of the cartel formed around Nortel’s patents (inclusive of Apple), is striking and hacking away at Samsung now. Sony has a lot of patents, including a lot of hardware patents. Pamela Jones writes: “More stupid smartphone patent warfare. Ericsson is, of course, part of Rockstar Consortium’s Gang of Five (Apple, Microsoft, Ericsson, RIM and Sony) who bought Nortel’s patents.” Here is the article she cites and here is more:

Ericsson has filed a suit against Samsung for patent infringement.

The Swedish telecommunications equipment maker said today that it launched the lawsuit after the two companies were unable to reach an agreement about renewing patent licensing deals.

Samsung previously licensed Ericsson’s patents in 2001 and renewed terms in 2007, but licenses have now expired. According to Ericsson, Samsung refused to renew the licensing agreements for its patents on FRAND terms. FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms are used by industry groups to set standards for technology and products, and are aimed at encouraging competitiveness without allowing rights holders to abuse their position, and create a setting for patent holders to receive royalties.

No licensing deal was forthcoming “despite two years of negotiations”, Ericsson said in a statement, so the company decided it “must take action to support a crucial system for technology sharing that has helped create today’s mass market communications industry.” Consequently, Ericsson decided to take legal action, filing a complaint in the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Here is an expert reporter on patents:

Samsung is already embroiled in a worldwide patent fight with Apple, but the company will now face a patent attack from another direction. Swedish telecom giant Ericsson sued Samsung today, saying the Korean company wouldn’t renew a patent cross-licensing agreement after two years of negotiation.

Samsung refused a deal on terms that the rest of the industry has accepted, Ericsson representatives said today. The specific terms offered weren’t disclosed, but documents show they were “Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory,” or FRAND. Just what constitutes a FRAND rate is very much in dispute right now, however, with multiple US federal courts and the US International Trade Commission considering the issue. Samsung licensed Ericsson’s standards-essential patents in 2001 and again in 2007, but its license has now expired. “Samsung’s refusal to pay a FRAND rate gives it an unfair competitive advantage over its competitors who have licensed Ericsson’s patents,” write Ericsson lawyers in today’s filed lawsuit.

Walters Consulting and I exchanged some mails about this lawsuit. He thinks Sony may be liaising with Microsoft and Apple here, based on this latter post:

Let’s take a look at some not-so-recent history… as is well known, Sony is, and has long been, a media and entertainment giant. They helped to develop the standards for the MPEG, MP3, and MP4 file formats decades ago, and also developed the software processes that administer digital rights media (DRM) on all sorts of platforms, from Microsoft’s Windows Media Player to Apple’s iTunes. As such, they collect royalties and licensing fees from Apple and Microsoft for using their patented software solutions for digital rights media management, and they continue to be a gigantic player in the music and movie industries. Just ten years ago, Sony entered the mobile phone market by partnering with existing mobile-phone-maker Ericsson to create a mobile technology joint venture in Sony-Ericsson. They operate very heavily upon a traditional business model, just as Apple and Microsoft do, which demands that information always comes for a price.

Now, some more recent history… Early on in 2009, Sony-Ericsson made a decision to design all of their new smartphones based upon Google’s Android, rather than continuing to use their own UIQ versions of Symbian (as opposed to Nokia’s S60, S80, and S90 versions of Symbian) and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile. Sony-Ericsson had been very successful through about 2006 or 2007, but had seen a severe decline in sales after that. In 2011, Sony agreed to buy out their partner Ericsson’s share of the joint venture, and Sony-Ercisson became just another part of Sony. Rebranded and remodeled, Sony’s mobile division began to immediately see improvement, and new pending phone designs were given an extreme fashion makeover. Despite Sony’s use of Android, Apple, for some reason, clearly gave Sony a pass. In fact, when Apple went to court to ask for a ban on sales and import of Samsung’s Android-based products, they were asked to show examples of competitors’ products that did NOT violate their patents-in-question… they produced a Nokia Lumia 800 with Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, and an Android-based Sony Xperia ion, to fulfill the judge’s requirement.

Whether you see this as hypocrisy or not, there is an excellent reason for this behavior. Apple and Microsoft need an inside ally, and Sony is a very good one. Not only that, but Sony has clear aspirations to join the technology giants in the mobile space. In a way, Apple and Microsoft are already somewhat beholden to Sony over cheap access to DRM patents, especially in a world where digital entertainment is drawing ever more unrealistically extravagant profit margins. The ultimate software industry threat to both Microsoft and Apple is a robust open-source Linux following, and the freedom and popularity of Google’s Linux-based Android is a huge threat if unchecked.

Sony is no friend of Linux. It is just opportunistic about it, more so than Samsung. The FSF’s founder called for a boycott of Sony (or at least demotion thereof) long ago. Now it’s more justified than before.

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

A Single Comment

  1. Michael said,

    November 29, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Gravatar

    Your conspiracy BS knows no ends. Wow.

What Else is New


  1. Microsoft Crowd Rocks the Media With Misleading Claims and Deliberate Lies About GNU/Linux, Vista 10, and Free/Open Source Software

    A roundup of rigged press coverage, intended purely to serve Microsoft's agenda



  2. Links 31/8/2015: Linux 4.2, LXLE 14.04.3

    Links for the day



  3. IRC Proceedings: August 9th, 2015 – August 29th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  4. “Conservative” Site Responds (Yet Again) to Misguided “Conservative” Efforts to Derail Patent Reform in the US

    Patent trolls throw stones in glass houses, contributing to their own unpopularity, but some influential “Conservatives” continue to defend (conserve) them



  5. Increase in Lobbying for Software Patents in Europe and Its Trojan Horse, the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The relentless campaigns to bring software patents into Europe have not stopped and so-called 'unification' -- much like so-called 'trade' deals -- serves to support them



  6. Microsoft Technology Crashes Financial Markets, Again

    SunGard, which is a Microsoft shop, is clearly failing to provide what it calls mission-ciriticaal [sic] solutions



  7. Alice v. CLS Bank (Alice/§101) Comes to Squash Software Patents Even in Eastern District of Texas

    The crackdown on software patents is coming along nicely and the Alice case is now being utilised even in the capital of patent trolls



  8. Apple's Patent Cases Against Android Are Falling Apart, as Acknowledged Even by the Anti-Android Lobby





  9. Links 29/8/2015: NetworkManager 1.0.6, Systemd Merges “su” Command Replacement

    Links for the day



  10. Microsoft Loves Linux to Death and Still Tries to Kill GNU/Linux

    Microsoft's relentless attacks on GNU/Linux and Free software in general (even if it runs on Windows) are so evident that claims of 'love' remain laughable at best (if not infuriating)



  11. Censorship, Self-Censorship and Intimidation Now the Modus Operandi at EPO

    The European Patent Office has ceased even trying to pretend that it respects human rights, including the right to free speech



  12. Patent Practitioners: "The Unitary Patent Might be Able to Open the Floodgates for Software Patents in Europe"

    The EPO-backed Unitary Patent scheme threatens to bring software patents to Europe and along with them a lot of patent trolls from all around the world (especially the United States)



  13. Microsoft Lies About Vista 10 and Increases Microsoft Surveillance (Even Beyond Vista 10 and Into Android, Vista 7/8)

    Windows surveillance expands retroactively, making its way into platforms other than Windows and also expanding to predecessors of Vista 10



  14. Another Suicide at the EPO, Fifth by Our Count

    Yet another EPO member of staff has just committed suicide, leading to the inevitable question: how many people need to die before Battistelli and his minions are out of the Office for good?



  15. Links 27/8/2015: ownCloud Desktop Client 2.0, Red Hat Downgraded

    Links for the day



  16. Microsoft-connected Mesosphere Threatens to Eliminate Free Software in the Datacentre

    Hiding behind a misleading 'open' label while actually backed by Microsoft (and based on new rumours may join Microsoft), Mesosphere wishes to eradicate Free and back doors-free software in large datacentres hosting a lot of physical and virtual servers



  17. Microsoft Aggression Against GNU/Linux Amid Vista 10's Failure

    A look at the recent assault on GNU/Linux in Munich and the likely cause for this assault (in such a timely fashion, too)



  18. Message to LinuxCon Regarding Microsoft: “It is Necessary to Get Behind Someone in Order to Stab Them in the Back.” -Sir Humphrey Appleby

    Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, helps Microsoft gain influence in the Foundation after payments are received



  19. Market Share Estimates Confirm That Vista 10 Failed in a Major Way

    Confirmatory evidence that Vista 10 is failing in the market about a month after its much-hyped (paid coverage) release



  20. When Microsoft, the Master of Patent Trolls, Complains About Trolls

    Possibly the world's biggest patent abuser and monopolist, which also creates many patent trolls (including by far the biggest one), takes on a far smaller abuser in Court



  21. Letter Signed by Two German Officials Becomes a Microsoft Weapon of Propaganda

    Microsoft and its minions refuse to leave Munich alone, even though the vast majority in Munich are perfectly happy with Free/libre software



  22. Links 25/8/2015: Linux Kernel 4.2 Final RC, KDE Ships Plasma 5.4.0

    Links for the day



  23. Sabine Pfeiler and Otto Seidl Should Take Note as Russia -- Like China -- is in the Process of Banning Microsoft Windows for Security Reasons

    A look at a strange suggestion, signed by Sabine Pfeiler and Otto Seidl, who suggest going back to Microsoft which is basically a spyware company now



  24. Microsoft Windows Leads to Espionage and Blackmail: Latest Examples

    Another news overview, detailing high-profile examples of high-cost Windows deployments (including the cost of litigation and settlement)



  25. Links 23/8/2015: BcacheFS Benchmarks, Blackphone 2

    Links for the day



  26. Links 22/8/2015: Chromebook Gains, GNOME 3.18 Clues

    Links for the day



  27. Alice v. CLS Bank (the Alice Case/§101) Continues to Crush Software Patents in the United States

    Patent scope in the United States continues to be narrowed down as more software patents get their wings clipped



  28. Company of Hype and 'Fanbois' Continues Its Patent Attacks on Android/Linux

    Apple's attacks on Android (using bogus patents) may be soon be escalated to the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS)



  29. EPO Corruption of Patent Boundaries: Business Methods and Algorithms Patented

    How the European Patent Office (EPO) not only turns a blind eye to European law while patenting or granting patents on software but also openly advocates this now



  30. Who's Obsessing Over Patent Trolls in Latest 'Reform' Efforts? Larger Patent Trolls Such as Xerox

    Response to claims that the patent problem is being tackled by focusing on patent trolls and their favourite courts in the Eastern District of Texas


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