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. CEN and CENELEC Agreement With the EPO Shows That It's Definitely the European Commission's 'Department'

    With headlines such as “EPO to collaborate on raising SEP awareness” it is clear to see that the Office lacks impartiality and the European Commission cannot pretend that the EPO is “dafür bin ich nicht zuständig” or “da kenne ich mich nicht aus”



  2. Decisions Made Inside the European Patent Organisation (EPO) Lack Credibility Because Examiners and Judges Lack Independence

    The lawless, merciless, Mafia-like culture left by Battistelli continues to haunt judges and examiners; how can one ever trust the Office (or the Organisation at large) to deliver true justice in adherence or compliance with the EPC?



  3. Team UPC Buries Its Credibility Deeper in the Grave

    The three Frenchmen at the top do not mention the UPC anymore; but those who promote it for a living (because they gambled on leveraging it for litigation galore) aren't giving up and in the process they perpetuate falsehoods



  4. The EPO Has Sadly Taken a Side and It's the Patent Trolls' Side

    Abandoning the whole rationale behind patents, the Office now led for almost a year by António Campinos prioritises neither science nor technology; it's all about granting as many patents (European monopolies) as possible for legal activity (applications, litigation and so on)



  5. Where the USPTO Stands on the Subject of Abstract Software Patents

    Not much is changing as we approach Easter and software patents are still fool's gold in the United States, no matter if they get granted or not



  6. Links 19/3/2019: Jetson/JetBot, Linux 5.0.3, Kodi Foundation Joins The Linux Foundation, and Firefox 66

    Links for the day



  7. Links 18/3/2019: Solus 4, Linux 5.1 RC1, Mesa 18.3.5, OSI Individual Member Election Won by Microsoft

    Links for the day



  8. Microsoft and Its Patent Trolls Continue Their Patent War, Including the War on Linux

    Microsoft is still preying on GNU/Linux using patents, notably software patents; it wants billions of dollars served on a silver platter in spite of claims that it reached a “truce” by joining the Open Invention Network and joining the LOT Network



  9. Director Iancu Generally Viewed as a Lapdog of Patent Trolls

    As Director of the Office, Mr. Iancu, a Trump appointee, not only fails to curb patent trolls; he actively defends them and he lowers barriers in order to better equip them with bogus patents that courts would reject (if the targets of extortion could afford a day in court)



  10. Links 17/3/2019: Google Console and IBM-Red Hat Merger Delay?

    Links for the day



  11. To Team UPC the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Has Become a Joke and the European Patent Office (EPO) Never Mentions It Anymore

    The EPO's frantic rally to the very bottom of patent quality may be celebrated by obedient media and patent law firms; to people who actually produce innovative things, however, this should be a worrisome trend and thankfully courts are getting in the way of this nefarious agenda; one of these courts is the FCC in Germany



  12. Links 16/3/2019: Knoppix Release and SUSE Independence

    Links for the day



  13. Stopping António Campinos and His Software Patents Agenda (Not Legal in Europe) Would Require Independent Courts

    Software patents continue to be granted (new tricks, loopholes and buzzwords) and judges who can put an end to that are being actively assaulted by those who aren't supposed to have any authority whatsoever over them (for decisions to be impartially delivered)



  14. The Linux Foundation Needs to Speak Out Against Microsoft's Ongoing (Continued) Patent Shakedown of OEMs That Ship Linux

    Zemlin actively thanks Microsoft while taking Microsoft money; he meanwhile ignores how Microsoft viciously attacks Linux using patents, revealing the degree to which his foundation, the “Linux Foundation” (not about Linux anymore, better described as Zemlin’s PAC), has been compromised



  15. Links 15/3/2019: Linux 5.0.2, Sublime Text 3.2

    Links for the day



  16. The EPO and the USPTO Are Granting Fake Patents on Software, Knowing That Courts Would Reject These

    Office management encourages applicants to send over patent applications that are laughable while depriving examiners the freedom and the time they need to reject these; it means that loads of bogus patents are being granted, enshrined as weapons that trolls can use to extort small companies outside the courtroom



  17. CommunityBridge is a Cynical Microsoft-Funded Effort to Show Zemlin Works for 'Community', Not Microsoft

    After disbanding community participation in the Board (but there are Microsoft staff on the Board now) the "Linux Foundation" (or Zemlin PAC) continues to take Microsoft money and polishes or launders that as "community"



  18. Links 14/3/2019: GNOME 3.32 and Mesa 19.0.0 Released

    Links for the day



  19. EPO 'Results' Are, As Usual, Not Measured Correctly

    The supranational monopoly, a monopoly-granting authority, is being used by António Campinos to grant an insane amount of monopolies whose merit is dubious and whose impact on Europe will be a net negative



  20. Good News Everyone! UPC Ready to Go... in 2015!

    Benoît Battistelli is no longer in Office and his fantasy (patent lawyers' fantasy) is as elusive as ever; Team UPC is trying to associate opposition to UPC with the far right (AfD) once again



  21. Links 13/3/2019: Plasma 5.15.3,Chrome 73 and Many LF Press Releases

    Links for the day



  22. In the Age of Trumpism EFF Needs to Repeatedly Remind Director Iancu That He is Not a Judge and He Cannot Ignore the Courts

    The nonchalance and carelessness seen in Iancu's decision to just cherry-pick decisions/outcomes (basically ignoring caselaw) concerns technologists, who rightly view him as a 'mole' of the litigation 'industry' (which he came from)



  23. Links 12/3/2019: Sway 1.0 Released, Debian Feuds Carry On

    Links for the day



  24. Microsoft is Complaining About Android and Chrome OS (GNU/Linux) Vendor Not Paying for Microsoft Patents (Updated)

    Microsoft, which nowadays does the patent shakedown against GNU/Linux by proxy, is still moaning about companies that don’t pay ‘protection’ money (grounds for antitrust action or racketeering investigation)



  25. Watchtroll Has Redefined "Trolls" to Mean Those Who Oppose Software Patents (and Oppose Trolls), Not Those Who Leverage These for Blackmail Alone

    The controversial change to 35 U.S.C. § 101 guidance is being opposed by the public (US citizens who oppose American software patents), so patent maximalists like Janal Kalis (“PatentBuddy”) and extremists like Gene Quinn (Watchtroll) want us to believe that the public is just “EFF” and cannot think for itself



  26. EPO's Latest 'Results' Show That António Campinos Has Already Given Up on Patent Quality and is Just Another Battistelli

    The patent-granting machine that the EPO has become reports granting growth of unrealistic scale (unless no proper examination is actually carried out)



  27. Links 11/3/2019: Linux 5.0.1, Audacity 2.3.1, GNU Coreutils 8.31

    Links for the day



  28. US Patent Law Currently Not Changing Much and Software Patents Are Still in Limbo

    Surveying the news, as we still meticulously do (even if we don't write about it), it seems clear that American courts hardly tolerate software patents and proponents of such patents are losing their voice (or morale)



  29. EPO Examiner: “I Have Been Against Software Patents and Eventually 3/4 of My Job is Examining Software Patent Applications.”

    Overworked examiners aren't being given the time, the tools and the freedom to reject patents, based on prior art, patent scope and so on; it is beginning to resemble a rubber-stamping operation, not an examining authority



  30. Europe Will Pay a High Price for Software Patents Advocacy by António Campinos in Europe's Patent-Granting Authority

    EPO President António Campinos — like Iancu at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) — is still promoting software patents in Europe even though such patents are clearly detrimental to Europe’s interests


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