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02.25.13

Microsoft and the BSA Align With Oracle in Patent Fight Against Android/Linux

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents at 5:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Microsoft and a Microsoft front are trying to help Oracle tax Android

IT DID not take long for Microsoft to show its true face and intentions. Google and Oracle are back to the court’s procedures, exchanging all sorts of legal papers and the BSA shows its ugly face along with Microsoft. Here is how Groklaw put it:

Microsoft, BSA, Scott McNealy, others file amicus briefs in support of Oracle’s appeal against Google ~pj

Yesterday there were numerous amicus briefs filed all on the same day and all in support of Oracle against Google in Oracle’s appeal at the Federal Circuit. None of the briefs are posted publicly yet, but they should be available soon.

Microsoft has filed one, together with EMC Corporation, and NetApp, Inc. Scott McNealy has filed one with Brian Sutphin. Can McNealy be a witness for Oracle at trial, which he was [PDF], and also file an amicus brief? Well, he has. The Picture Archive Council of America, Inc. has filed one with the Graphic Artists Guild. Also there’s one from the BSA. And finally Eugene Spafford, Zhi Ding, and Lee A. Hollaar have filed an amicus in support of Oracle. Hollaar seems to file a lot of amicus briefs.

Susan Decker wrote the article “Microsoft Joins Oracle to Defend Software Patents Against Google”:

The top lawyers for Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Oracle Corp. (ORCL), saying software patents are important drivers of U.S. innovation and economic growth, pressed Congress today to reject calls to limit that legal protection.

Companies including Google Inc. (GOOG) and Facebook Inc. (FB) have said too many software patents are being used primarily to generate lawsuits instead of contributing to new products and services. Microsoft, the world’s biggest software maker, and Oracle say discussions of ways to curtail litigation shouldn’t become an excuse to limit the ability to patent software.

The partly Gates-owned Monsanto also got support from the BSA, as noted in the previous post and Microsoft is well aware of the BSA’s involvement in this latest move. Microsoft IPG ‏wrote in Twitter:

Microsoft to join @BSANews, @ShopFloorNAM in DC on Thurs to discuss #softwarepatents & innovation. http://bit.ly/WnDCyl

Here is a Reuters report:

Microsoft Corp is backing Oracle Corp’s bid to revive a billion-dollar copyright lawsuit over Google’s use of the Java programming language, according to court filings on Tuesday.

Oracle’s intellectual property battle against Google has attracted intense interest from software developers, many of whom believe the structure of a programming language should not be subject to copyright protection.

Last year a San Francisco federal judge found that Oracle could not claim copyright protection on much of the Java language that Google used on its Android mobile platform. Oracle has appealed.

For background on this case we have ECT’s article:

There appears to be little to encourage Oracle to believe it can win a reversal of the verdict Google won in last year’s bitter Java trial. Nevertheless, it has mounted an appeal, arguing that Google stole its intellectual property just as surely as fictional author Ann Droid plagiarized a Harry Potter book. Oracle might need to cast a spell on the appellate court to pull this one off, though.

In other Android patent news we have this update on Apple:

On February 14, Apple and Samsung met with the Hon. Lucy Koh, who is presiding over their current patent dispute in Apple v. Samsung II, in the very same courtroom where she presided over their first patent litigation in San Jose, CA back in August. The purpose was to go over the parties’ claims in the patents they say are infringed, explaining to her how the technology works. This is in preparation for the upcoming Markman hearing next month, where they will argue officially over what the terms in the claims mean. We had a volunteer in the courtroom, and we have that report for you.

Meanwhile, in Apple v. Samsung I, which is still going on, the parties will be arguing before the Federal Circuit on March 26, as both parties believe the magistrate judge is threatening to unseal too many documents in that case, and things are on hold until the appeals court decides who is right. So far, that is about the only thing the parties *do* agree on, that the magistrate has gone too far. Here’s Apple’s supplemental appeal brief [PDF] on that issue of sealing from Apple v Samsung I. William Lee of Wilmer Cutler will argue [PDF] for Apple on March 26, and Victoria F. Maroulis of Quinn Emanuel will argue [PDF] for Samsung. That’s at 10 AM on March 26 at the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC.

One ought to remember the undeniable personal tie between Apple and Oracle (whose CEO considers Steve Jobs to be his “best friend”). There is surely a conspiracy of companies liaising against Android.

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