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

03.14.13

Android/Google Under Patent Attacks, Calls for Other Companies to Stop the Patent Litigation Frenzy

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 1:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Some proprietary software giants are ganging up against Android/Linux

Soldiers

Summary: Some news of interest about patents and lawsuits that target Google and Android in particular

The patent war on Linux/Android, by far the leader of the mobile pack, is led by a bunch of proprietary software giants, one of which is Apple. Here is some interesting news that we overlooked earlier this month:

  • Apple Asks Judge to Dismiss Suit Alleging IPhone Monopoly

    Apple Inc. (AAPL) urged a federal judge to dismiss a consumer lawsuit alleging the company maintains a monopoly over iPhone applications.

    Attorneys who filed the suit in 2011 claim that a monopoly exists because an iPhone user who doesn’t want to pay what developers charge for applications available through Apple’s App Store can’t go anywhere else to buy them. Apple requires iPhone software developers to turn over 30 percent of what they charge for an application, increasing prices and excluding competitors from the iPhone “aftermarket” of applications, they claim.

  • Samsung’s Patent Spat With Apple Spurs U.S. Lobbying Push

    Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) has doubled mobile-phone sales in the U.S. since 2008. As the company faces anti-dumping measures and a protracted court battle with Apple Inc. (AAPL), its U.S. lobbying bill is growing even faster.
    Samsung boosted spending on lobbyists to $900,000 last year from $150,000 in 2011 as it tries to influence the federal government on issues ranging from intellectual-property infringement to telecommunications infrastructure, regulatory filings show. The company also hired Sony Corp. veteran Joel Wiginton to run a new government-relations office in Washington.

  • Samsung loses in UK in standards-essential patent claim against Apple

In other news, Microsoft too keeps up the pressure. Here is a report about it:

With that in mind, now take a look at the arguments Microsoft raises to try to rob Motorola of a jury trial. This litigation began as two cases. Microsoft started it by filing a breach of contract case in Seattle, this very one, #1823 [PDF], alleging that Motorola was breaching its contractual FRAND obligations by asking for too much for its patents. Then Motorola filed a defensive patent infringement action in Wisconsin, asking for a jury trial, and Microsoft answered with counterclaims that pretty much matched its breach of contract claims in Seattle. Then the two cases got consolidated. It’s actually a bit more complicated, but that’s the important part.

It wasn’t Motorola that wanted to consolidate in Seattle. It filed in Wisconsin after Microsoft filed in Seattle, so it was hoping against hope not to end up with everything being decided there. Nobody wants to go against Microsoft in its own backyard, I think we may assume. And watching this case unfold, I think you can see why. You can read the judge’s history of how it all happened in this order, #66 [PDF], which issued on May 31, 2011. In it, the judge notes that when Microsoft filed its answer to Motorola’s patent infringement claims, it filed more or less the same breach of contract issues as in its own contract case, and that’s why the judge in Wisconsin pushed them together into one case. And there they are.

Somewhere in that process of consolidation, Microsoft seems to think it has caught Motorola having dropped a stitch with respect to asking for a jury trial. Motorola wants a jury trial, and Microsoft doesn’t and Microsoft thinks it’s found a way to say it’s too late to ask for it now.

Google, in response to some of these dubious lawsuits, encourages companies to take action:

Google encourages companies to work together on patent licensing to stop patent trolls

Google has recently been taking a hard line on the US patent system, claiming that it over-rewards the work of coming up with an idea while taxing those who do the work of actually implementing it. The company also takes issue with excessive patent litigation from so-called “patent trolls,” and now Google is encouraging companies to work together to cross-license patents to help cut down on frivolous lawsuits. On a new site that Google launched today, the company outlines four different, royalty-free patent licensing agreements that it believes will help protect participants from patent trolls.

The royalty-free patent licensing, or elimination of patents, is imperative for the freedom of Free/libre software.

Here is evidence of Google’s hypocrisy when it comes to patents and here is a new article from Glyn Moody, who says that Microsoft is arming in alarming ways:

If Microsoft Shuts Down Google Maps In Germany, How Does That Benefit The Public?

[...]

As the claims make clear, it’s exactly what any half-way competent engineer would come up with given the task of providing certain kinds of information local to a geographical location. Moreover, it is of course implemented in software; given that Article 52 of the European Patent Convention explicitly excludes “programs for computers” from patentability, the fact that the EPO granted a patent here is an early example of how it circumvented that exclusion because a computer was used to run that software (well, doh.)

This is an example of rogue elements in the patent system.

Joe Mullin, a patent trolls expert, highlights this lawsuit over GUI, i.e. a software patent or design.

A patent appeals court has revived (PDF) one of the nation’s most controversial patent lawsuits—one that looked to be over in January 2012. Originally filed in 2007, Move, Inc. v. Real Estate Alliance Ltd. involves a patent that has become infamous in real estate circles: US Patent No. 5,032,989, issued to Mark Tornetta back in 1991. Tornetta and his lawyers say the patent covers just about any use of a real estate map online that has a “graphical interface” and “drill-down features.” Since online maps are ubiquitous in the real estate market, Tornetta and his lawyers believe they’re owed money by just about every real estate agent or service in the nation.
“It is a very broad-based patent,” said Louis Solomon, the attorney representing Tornetta. “We are seeking reasonable royalties that conservatively run into the hundreds of millions, plus interest. Given that the Federal Circuit has significantly expanded the liable parties, the damages will go up significantly.”
Litigation involving the ’989 patent began back in 1998 when inventor Mark Tornetta sued Microsoft, which at that time owned HomeAdvisor. Tornetta sued MapQuest that same year. Ultimately, he had to drop both lawsuits because he didn’t have the money to see the cases through.

Here is some new commentary about GUI patents in relation to Apple and Samsung:

The recent Apple v. Samsung litigation has consumed the media since August when a California Jury awarded Apple more than $1 billion for infringement. Of the three design patents involved in that judgment, one was for a graphical user interface (GUI). This landmark case is the first time that a U.S. court has considered infringement of a GUI design patent and may be just the tip of the iceberg beginning to emerge within the design patent landscape.

We are living in a time when everything from design to code — which copyrights already cover — are monopolised as concepts, not implementation. Google is rightly worried about it because everyone seems to be aiming at Android. Since Android is an Open Source project (whose head, Mr. Rubin, has just stopped down), it is not compatible with patents. The cartel of proprietary software companies is aware of it, hence the clear strategy that seeks to exploit FRAND and simply tax everything Android. It’s a case of patent stacking and it’s a collusion that should be ruled illegal. More people should speak out about it.

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. The 'Offenses' of EPO Staff Representatives Boil Down to Truth-Telling

    Dutch television examined the documents of the mock 'trials' against SUEPO leaders and concluded that whistle-blowing (i.e. exposing abuses by EPO management), not misconduct, is the reason for overzealous dismissals



  2. Rumours About Dismissal of Benoît Battistelli and New Letter From Union Syndicale Federale Blasting Battistelli's Behaviour

    hings have been heating up since the dismissal of staff representatives at the European Patent Office (EPO) and some even spread rumours about withdrawal/dismissal of the EPO's President



  3. VirnetX Case Against Apple Shows Not the Problem With Patent Trolls But With Software Patents

    What the media really ought to be talking about after the high-profile VirnetX case, rather than obsess about the status of Apple or patent trolls in the Eastern District of Texas



  4. Diápositivas de Nueva Charla Explican la Connección Entre la Corte De Patentes Unitarias (UPC) y Patentes de Software

    Benjamín Henrion habló el pasado Domingo acerca de las patentes de software europeas -una presentación que habla de la Corte Unitaria de Patentes, por la que la OEP aboga sin cesar y que es lo que significa para las patentes de software.



  5. Las Políticas de Microsoft Alienan Incluso a los Hinchas Más Acérrimos de Microsoft, Incluyendo Pro-Microsoft Web Sites

    El agresivo comportamiento de Microsoft y su BAJA CALIDAD DE PRODUCTOS dejan algunos de sus últimos restos de ´hinchas´ descorazonados y molestos.



  6. Links 6/2/2016: CoreOS Rocket 1.0, Scientific Linux 7.2

    Links for the day



  7. Maybe It's Time for Class Action Lawsuits Against Microsoft for Forced Vista 10 'Upgrades', Which Were Definitely No Accident

    The sheer arrogance of Microsoft, which silently changes the operating system on people's computers (without their consent), makes lawsuits imperative, not just a possibility



  8. Readers' Article: A Strange Conspiracy of Silence in the German Media (Part II)

    Željko Topić's allegedly dark background, which includes a suicide, a retreat of potential witnesses, German funds in Topić's private bank account and several more interesting bits



  9. Links 5/2/2016: Wine 1.9.3, Slackware 14.2 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  10. Links 4/2/2016: Red Hat Upgraded, Ubuntu Tablet

    Links for the day



  11. The Siege Continues: Patent Lawyers Want More Patents, Including Software Patents, In Spite of Alice

    Lawyers who make money from patent disputes make rather apparent their aspirations, which include patent saturation even in domains that are patents-exempt



  12. European Patent Office Pretends It's Business as Usual and Prepares New Vanity Pieces

    The PR strategy of the EPO, whose destructive patent strategy continues unabated (for now), latches onto Colombia and strives to manufacture mythology wherein the public, patent examiners and patent applicants are all very happy with the EPO



  13. The 'International' Trade Commission Imposes/Reinforces Software Patents to Establish Another Embargo

    The International [sic] Trade Commission is meddling in competition and allowing a US giant, Cisco in this case, to potentially block rivals (no imports from abroad) using software patents



  14. Readers' Article: A Strange Conspiracy of Silence in the German Media (Part I)

    The views of some of our readers regarding reluctance in the German media to challenge the EPO's violations of German law, probably because Germany benefits from being a host nation of the EPO



  15. Benoît Battistelli's EPO: From Show Trials and Mock Trials to a Self-Aggrandising Propaganda Event Later Today in Rijswijk

    A headsup from a reader regarding today's highly misleading event in Rijswijk (e.g. to mislead the media or seed positive media coverage in the Netherlands) and how it was set up



  16. Caricature of the Day: EPO President

    New caricature about Benoît Battistelli, his bodyguards, and the assault on free speech at the European Patent Office



  17. Company Known as European Patent Office Provides Tips on How to Patent Software in Europe

    The European Patent Office (EPO) uses its attendance at CeBIT, which is a corporate expo, to promote software patents in spite of the European Patent Convention (EPC)



  18. Links 3/2/2016: Dell GNU/Linux Laptop, Wine 1.8.1

    Links for the day



  19. The Most Detailed Explanation (Yet) of What's Wrong With the EPO

    The EPO's insistence that it remains above the law is not only coming under fire by the media but is also being challenged based on people who are familiar with the applicability of law to international organisations



  20. Angry Trolls: Rovi (of Angry Birds Fame) Helps Microsoft's Largest Anti-Linux Patent Troll, Intellectual Ventures (Corrected)

    nce known as a game maker and later made notorious for mass surveillance on gamers, Rovi now liaises with the world's largest patent troll



  21. Patent Invalidation Statistics and Cost of Patent Litigation (Even If Bogus) Show That Patent Scope and Examination Standards a Problem in Europe, Not Just the US

    Far too many bogus patents (patents that should not be granted in the first place) and spurious patent lawsuits that end up in favour of the defendant serve to show the external cost (or externality) when it comes to low-quality patent systems that strive to grant a lot of patents irrespective of merit



  22. Es Oficial: Por Medio de Entrismo, Microsoft Ha Convertido a la Pro-Linux Nokia en un Parásito de Patentes Anti-Linux

    Microsoft ha convertido a Nokia en un troll de patentes que ahora ataca a Linux y Android.



  23. Richard Stallman: Patentes Europeas de Software Regresan con la Corte Unitaria de Patentes (UPC)

    Debates acerca de la UPC estan siendo peleados por profesionales de software (entidades prácticantes) y elementos PARÁSITICOS como los abogados de patentes.



  24. SUEPO (EPO Staff Union) Appears to Have Launched a New and Improved Web Site After Attempts to Crush ('Decapitate') SUEPO

    SUEPO, the largest staff union of the European Patent Office, shows signs of strength rather than signs of weakness amidst attacks on the staff and a lot of media coverage, political interventions, and much more



  25. Links 2/2/2016: Chimpbox Quad Core, UNICEF Supports FOSS

    Links for the day



  26. Münchner Merkur Explains That EPO Staff is Defecting to SUEPO, Even The Council Distrusts Battistelli Now

    Press report from Munich, highlighting the crisis of leadership at the EPO, where the President is increasingly viewed as a villain



  27. Microsoft's Policies Alienate Even Microsoft's Biggest Fans, Including Pro-Microsoft Web Sites

    Microsoft's aggressive behaviour and low-quality products leave even some of its last remaining 'fans' disheartened and upset



  28. Slides of New Talk Which Explains the Connection Between the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Software Patents

    Benjamin Henrion's Sunday talk about European software patents -- a presentation which speaks of the Unitary Patent Court that the EPO lobbies for and what it means to software patents



  29. UEFI is Bricking PCs, Yet Again

    A few remarks about a new defect which is starting to attract media attention this morning, serving to highlight the lesser-discussed dangers of UEFI/EFI



  30. Under Battistelli's Regime the European Patent Office is Rapidly Rotting

    Technical problems, patent maximalism (in a desperate effort to artificially elevate patent-related figures) and other serious issues observed inside the European Patent Office (EPO)


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