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

02.26.13

Uniloc is a Nasty Patent Troll and It Attacks Android/Linux Developers (Updated)

Posted in Patents at 5:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Reading

Summary: The troll which had gone after Microsoft (for cash) also went after Android developers based on a new report

THE Uniloc troll turns out to have attacked Linux already, even if indirectly. The article “Android developer fights evil patent troll” says the following:

Katie sez, “The video profiles software developer Austin Meyer, who is the target of a patent troll lawsuit involving a company called Uniloc, which owns a patent for the “System and Method for Preventing Unauthorized Access to Electronic Data.” Meyer’s flight simulator app X-Plane, like most paid applications on the Android market, uses the authorization system. Uniloc purchased the patent in question at a bankruptcy proceeding. Despite the enormous risk, and the enormous cost just to defend against a patent suit, Meyer is resolved to do so. The broader point of the video is that something needs to be done to stop patent trolls from simply buying patents in order to intimidate innovators into paying them a settlement. Patent trolls are a huge tax on innovation and add nothing to the marketplace.”

Reason.com, quite a popular Web site of alternative thinking, writes about “How Patent Trolls Kill Innovation”. It says:

“My statement to someone that is the victim of a patent troll lawsuit is that you are completely screwed,” says Austin Meyer, who is himself the target of a so-called “patent troll” lawsuit.

Meyer is a software developer and aviation enthusiast. His two passions intersected in the ’90s when he created a flight simulator called X-Plane, which quickly grew in popularity, outlasting even the once-popular Microsoft Flight Simulator. As many software developers do, Meyer made his application available on mobile devices like the iPhone and Android. And this is where he first ran into trouble.

What we must recognise, however, is that not only trolls are the problem; scope of patenting is a problem too. But since patent trolls usually use software patents (correlation was demonstrated before) a path in the right direction would be to eliminate software patents. In some sense, trolls are a symptom of software patents.

Update: I have just found an E-mail that Uniloc had sent me through a PR proxy to whitewash its shameless activities. It said:

Roy,

Good afternoon. I saw your article on Techrights entitled “Apple’s and Microsoft’s Robbery of Knowledge Using Patents, i4i Case Might Reach SCOTUS” and found it extremely interesting. As you know, Sony Corporation, McAfee, Activision, Quark and two other companies have been sued by Uniloc USA for patent infringement. The suits stem from a massive case against Microsoft (in which Uniloc initially won $388 million in damages – the 5th largest award for Software infringement ever) and the suit is remarkable because of its potential reach: the technology in question became so popular as to be virtually ubiquitous today. The case against Microsoft is currently on appeal.

The lawsuit mentioned below follows closely on the heels of a wave of other suits by small businesses against goliaths (including two filed last month – Ebay was sued for $3.8 billion by XPRT and Apple, Google, Microsoft and others were sued by NTP, as you know, over patented smartphone technology), indicating small businesses are becoming more aggressive in fighting for their intellectual property rights.

By way of background, in 1992 software companies were losing billions to casual software copying. Uniloc was the first to combine the concept of product key and Hardware ID, and using both they created an airtight registration system (before this invention, most software relied on just a product key that Tom, Dick and Harry could take to college, give to their girlfriends and before you know it – millions of dollars in lost sales). For the first time, Uniloc’s invention locked software to a specific computer, making this casual copying next to impossible.

After patenting the invention in the early 90s, Uniloc commercialized the product through a licensing deal with IBM, and then began talks with Microsoft. Microsoft signed a non-disclosure agreement to not reverse engineer the product. But, as Microsoft’s own internal documents show – that’s exactly what they did, then used the software in Windows XP. Microsoft is a bellwether for significant trends in the software publishing industry, many other companies – including the ones named in the lawsuit – observed their success and took the information that Microsoft had made public to pursue or develop their own software activation systems.

Please let me know if you would like to speak with Brad Davis, CEO of Uniloc USA; I’d be happy to coordinate a conversation.

Thank you for your consideration.

Best,

Kelsey

Kelsey Nason

Account Executive

Hellerman Baretz Communications LLC

1325 Avenue of the Americas, 28th floor

New York, NY 10019

212.763.8582 Office

212.763.8304 Fax

646.673.0944 Mobile

knason@hellermanbaretz.com

www.hellermanbaretz.com

My reply was:

Hi Kelsey,

Will it be possible to do a short interview with Mr. Davis via E-mail. I
would love to hear his side of the story.

Kelsey’s reply was:

Roy,

Thank you for your interest in hearing Brad’s side of the story. I will check with Brad to see what his availability for today or tomorrow looks like for a short interview via email. When is best for you? Also, would you first email Brad directly?

Thanks again.

Best,
Kelsey

Suffice to say, seeing that he would have to face some hard questions, Brad was never giving an interview. To trolls, justifying what they do is hard.

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. Links 24/4/2014: OpenPower Foundation, Core Infrastructure Initiative

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft's and Bill Gates' Biggest Patent Troll (Intellectual Ventures) Suffers Setback and Nokia is Dead While Patents Scattered to Microsoft Patent Proxies

    Microsoft's patent collectors (trolls) are to have a feast with Nokia patents while Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's largest patent proxy, continues to attack companies including Motorola



  3. Patent Racketeering Continues With Nadella: Motorola the Latest to Join the FUD Campaign

    Nadella continues Ballmer's campaign of intimidation and alienation, showing that nothing has changed at Microsoft, not even the FUD



  4. Links 23/4/2014: GNOME Maps Application, LG in Headlines

    Links for the day



  5. Links 22/4/2014: More GNU/Linux Gains, Syria Updates

    Links for the day



  6. Links 21/4/2014: New Games for GNU/Linux, Some NatSec Politics

    Links for the day



  7. Site Focus for The Remainder of the Year

    What we plan for the rest of 2014 and why



  8. Links 20/4/2014: EFF FOSS, Easter Drone Strikes, Copyright Industry Fear of Google

    Links for the day



  9. Links 19/4/2014: Slow Easter News Day

    Links for the day



  10. Links 18/4/2014: New KDE, Kubuntu, and More

    Links for the day



  11. Some Perspective on Heartbleed®

    Our views on the whole Heartbleed® bonanza, which seems like partly a PR stunt (for multiple stakeholders)



  12. Microsoft is Leaving Windows -- Including Vista 8.1 -- Vulnerable to Non-Government Crackers, Not Only to NSA

    Microsoft makes it ever more evident that securing users of Windows is not at all a priority, and perhaps not even a desire



  13. Links 17/4/2014: Android RDP, New Ubuntu, RHEL 7 Milestone

    Links for the day



  14. Racing to 1984: Mass Surveillance, Cracking, 'Targeted' Assassinations, and Illegal Torture

    Links for the day



  15. More Microsoft Subsidies to Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures

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



  16. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  19. 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



  20. 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



  21. 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



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

    Links for the day



  23. 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



  24. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  27. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  30. Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

    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