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

12.11.12

‘Unitary Patent’ Helps Microsoft Extend Linux/Android Patent Extortion to Europe

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Spain co-opted by Eurocrats

Flags of EU and Spain

Summary: A company that spreads (in the distribution sense) Linux in Germany and the UK agrees to pay Microsoft for unnamed patents just as the European Parliament opens a potential door to software patents in Europe

HERE WE GO again. Patents that have no validity in Europe, at least based on the unclear rules (as such), are being used to harm Linux/Android and Microsoft is behind it, as usual. For those who are new to this site, in 2009 we showed how Microsoft extorted TomTom, a Dutch company, after a nearby German court had validated software patents on FAT. Microsoft has been pushing hard for software patents in Europe, more often not using proxies like ACT, which pushed hard for the predecessors of the Unitary Patent. Now that we see patent terrorists like Horacio Gutierrez in the news we are reminded of the great dangers of enabling software patents in Europe.

In recent years, Microsoft managed to find companies which willingly paid extortion money for ‘protection’, mostly in Japan and the US (or neighbouring countries) where software patents have more legitimacy. Today in the news we see this in action in Europe. The racket is expanding. As a reminder of news we covered earlier, Eurocrats let the passage for software patents be, as covered in the European Union’s Web site:

EU inventors will soon be able to get a unitary patent at last. After over 30 years of talks, a new regime will cut the cost of an EU patent by up to 80%, making it more competitive vis-à-vis the US and Japan. MEPs cut costs for small firms and tailored the regime to their needs, in a compromise deal with the Council endorsed by Parliament on Tuesday,

The BBC has just covered it as follows, not mentioning the opposition from Italy and Spain quite clearly, instead saying:

Italy and Spain suggest that as a result “commercial trade in innovative products will be favoured for undertakings which work in German, English or French”.

But a senior adviser to the European Court of Justice has advised that it reject their plea. A panel of judges has still to consider the case.

Software patents

Eurochambres – an organisation that represents EU countries’ chambers of commerce – called the vote in favour of the scheme a “breakthrough”.

“[It] will significantly reduce administrative burdens and boost European innovation,” it said in a statement.

However, April – a French free software-advocacy group – has warned the move could open the door to software-patent litigation on a scale recently seen in the US.

It says the European Patent Office (EPO) has shown itself willing to grant thousands of software patents – and worries the EU could end up with a system in which appeals against such judgements are decided according to the EPO’s own rules.

“MEPs voted in favour of a legally uncertain system that does not not provide any checks and balances against threats to innovation such as software patents,” said spokeswoman Jeanne Tadeusz.

“The European Patent Office will gain amazing powers, even though its governance has been highly criticised, especially with regard to its practice of granting software patents, against the letter and the spirit of European patent law.”

On the very same day we find this report about a European company paying Microsoft for unnamed software patents, too. To quote:

Microsoft has reached more patent licensing agreements with Android device manufacturers, closing a deal with Hoeft & Wessel, an IT and engineering technology group that specializes in ticketing, parking and mobile solutions in Germany and UK, and Cat brand owner EINS.

As usual, the exact terms of the agreements were not disclosed, but it provides Hoeft & Wessel and EINS with ‘broad coverage’ under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for the companies’ devices running the Android platform.

More specifically, Hoeft & Wessel builds and sells Android-powered handheld devices and terminals for the public transportation, logistics and retail industries across Europe, and will henceforth have to pay Microsoft royalties for the privilege. As will EINS, which manufactures Android tablets under the Cat brand in Germany.

Hoeft & Wessel and EINS have been added to our list of companies to avoid for their participation in the Microsoft racket. Novell was the first such company, which is also the company that helped legitimise and kick off the practice.

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

What Else is New


  1. More Microsoft Subsidies to Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures

    Microsoft hands money to Bill Gates' close friend who is the world's largest patent troll



  2. Aiding Microsoft Under the Disguise of 'Pro-FOSS'

    Not everything which is FOSS necessary becomes, by virtue of existence, a positive contribution, as we are constantly reminded by projects that help proprietary software and/or restrictions get a strong grip on FOSS



  3. Links 16/4/2014: Red Hat PR, Ubuntu LTS Imminent

    Links for the day



  4. Links 15/4/2014: Lots of PCLinuxOS Releases, Ukraine Updates

    Links for the day



  5. Apple and Microsoft Actively Lobbying Against Patent Reform in the US

    Apple and Microsoft are reportedly intervening/interfering with US law in order to ensure that the law is Free/libre software-hostile



  6. Lawsuit by Microsoft Shareholder Targets Fine for Crimes Rather Than the Crimes Themselves

    A new lawsuit by a Microsoft shareholder shows everything that's wrong with today's model of accountability, where those who are responsible for crimes are accused of not avoiding fines rather than committing the crimes



  7. Public Institutions Must Dump PRISM-Associated Software

    Another reminder that taxpayers-subsidised services should refuse, as a matter of principle, to pay anything for -- let alone deploy -- proprietary software with back doors



  8. GNU/Linux News: The Opportunities Amid XP EOL

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft Gets Its Money's Worth From Xamarin: PlayStation 4 Now Polluted by Microsoft

    The Trojan horse of Microsoft, Xamarin, is pushing .NET into Microsoft's console competitor



  10. After Brendan Eich Comes Chris Beard

    Having removed Brendan Eich using bullying and blackmail tactics, his foes inside Mozilla achieved too little as we have yet another man (coming from inside Mozilla) acting as CEO



  11. Healthcare News: Free Software in Health, Humanitarian Causes

    Links for the day



  12. Links 14/4/2014: MakuluLinux, Many Games, More Privacy News and Pulitzer Prize for NSA Revelations

    Links for the day



  13. TechBytes Episode 87: Catching up With Surveillance (NSA, GCHQ et al.)

    The first audio episode in a very long time covers some of the latest happenings when it comes to privacy and, contrariwise, mass surveillance



  14. Server News: KVM, ElasticHosts, Other GNU/Linux Items, and Open Network Linux

    Links for the day



  15. Hardware News: Freedom, Modding, Hackability on the Rise

    Links for the day



  16. Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

    Links for the day



  17. GNOME News: Financial Issues, Mutter-Wayland, West Coast Summit, Community Participation

    Links for the day



  18. KDE News: Kubuntu at the Centre Again KDE Applications Updated

    Links for the day



  19. Techrights Rising

    Effective immediately, Techrights will do what it takes to bring back old volume and pace of publishing



  20. Links: Surveillance, Intervention, Torture and Drones

    Links for the day



  21. Mobile Linux Not Just Android: Jolla, WebOS, and Firefox OS News

    Links for the day



  22. Google's Linux Revolution: New Gains for Android, Chrome OS (GNU/Linux)

    Links for the day



  23. Free/Libre Databases News: MongoDB, NoSQL, and MySQL Branches/Forks

    Links for the day



  24. Open Access on the Rise: Textbooks, Journals, Etc.

    Links for the day



  25. Finance Watch (Watching What's Not Being Watched): Economic Warfare/Class Injustice

    Links for the day



  26. Climate and Ecology Watch: News About a World Being Destroyed

    Links for the day



  27. Copyright News: DRM, Censorship, Megaupload, Hypocrisy, and Impact on the Internet

    Links for the day



  28. Sharing Works: Latest News Stories About Crowd-sourcing, Sharing, Transparency

    Links for the day



  29. Links 12/4/2014: Games

    Links for the day



  30. Links 12/4/2014: Applications

    Links for the day


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