03.26.13

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Opposition to Nokia is Building Up as Anti-Android/Linux Patent Agenda Gets More Pronounced

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Patents at 6:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patent stooges

Summary: Android, Google, and various related patent-centric news as seen by bloggers and reporters

Nokia has been attacking Linux-powered platforms after Microsoft took over, making it evident that patents were on the table. It is becoming more transparent now. Amid patent stacking with FRAND by the likes of Microsoft/Nokia and Apple we also see a lot of Galaxy S4 FUD (targeting by far the best selling Android phones series). Pranesh Prakash says “Samsung might be violating the GPL with it’s Galaxy 4″ based on this report, but it seems like an angle previously played up by Microsoft lobbyists. Now that Nokia won a patent case against Android we also see Microsoft allies acting lustily and trying to bring Google down, not just on the search front (a lot of the heat Google gets over privacy recently comes after orchestration by Microsoft allies).

Using the British equivalent of “jerkoffs”, Alan Lord slams Nokia when he writes: “#Nokia playing nasty with #swpats to try & invalidate the #Google / #MPEG-LA deal: Wankers… ”

Well, more people are calling for a Nokia boycott and some look for ways to defang Nokia:

It’s time to do a little prior art searching, don’t you think? Can you help?

Nokia just disclosed a list of patents that it claims VP8, the video compression format used by the WebM Project, infringes, and the way they filled in the form, the list looks as long and scary as it could possibly look, and just as the IETF was trying to reach consensus on VP8. But when you break the Nokia list down, country by country and then by patent, it’s not so impressive after all. As it turns out, there are just a few patents repeated over and over. I think it’s short enough that we can sensibly try to find prior art.

By the way, did you know that anyone, individual people I mean, can join the IETF mailing list and participate in the conversation? It’s free, and while individuals may have affiliations and most do, it’s not the kind of thing where companies or countries can dominate the way we watched happen in the OOXML affair, because unlike ISO or ITU, there are no national bodies to bribe influence, just individuals expressing their own opinions. The IETF is a completely open standards body. If you’d like to and feel you understand the technology, you can join the mailing list and contribute to the decision-making process. It works by consensus. No need to bring your wallet.

Don’t read on unless you are free to read patents, as usual.

Google said at an IETF conference the other day that sublicenses will be royalty-free, thanks to the agreement it just signed with MPEG LA, when up stands a Nokia representative to say MPEG LA isn’t the whole story and Nokia isn’t a member. Nokia believes it has patents that are infringed by VP8, and it’s not in the mood to license them. Here’s the video of the event. And here’s another talk at the same IETF conference, a slide talk on VP8-MTI by a Google guy. Notice the rude interruptions, by the way, if you are one of those who think Google is the evil one.

Here is one news report that we found about it:

Nokia said on Monday it is not prepared to license any of its patented technologies that might be essential to the VP8 video codec that is backed by Google.

Here is the latest Slashdot discussion about it. The discussion is titled “Free Software Camps Wading Into VP8 Patent Fight” and here is a notable essay. There’s more coming on this subject for sure.

Microsoft is meanwhile pushing pro-Microsoft and Android-hostile points of view in biased media circles. It’s more anti-Google FUD regarding codecs. Microsoft sued Motorola and sought action in the ITC, exploiting a Seattle court stacked with Microsoft boosters. Microsoft’s booster at the ‘Microsoft press’ (Kurt Mackie) covers the good news for Microsoft while — as usual — ignoring the rest. He says:

The case involves U.S. Patent No. 6,069,896, held by Motorola Mobility, a company that Google acquired in May. The patent specifies a peer-to-peer wireless invention, and it was the sole remaining complaint of five alleged infringements. The “final initial remand determination” by David P. Shaw, an administrative law judge acting on behalf of the ITC, was the result of an appeal.

We wrote about this case before. Microsoft is desperate,y trying to tax Google’s Android devices, using patents. MPEG has been one track. Motorola is merely defending itself by deterrence.

For those of us who just want to develop and buy products in peace without patent fees, here is an event to attend in the US:

If You’re An App Developer And Concerned About Patents (You Should Be), Here’s An Event For You

There are tons of app developers out there who are quickly discovering that there’s a major risk they face today: if your app gets even remotely popular, you’re a likely target for a bunch of patent trolls who are feeding off of the greater app developer ecosystem with incredibly broad patents for obvious concepts (even things like charging for your app). There’s a relatively new group called the App Developers Alliance that is putting on a series of patent summits across the US to discuss issues related to patents and app developers. I’ve had a few conversations with the folks putting these events together, and they look like they should be fantastic resources for those who can attend.

The Android ‘ecosystem’ of development has been hit hard by patent aggressors, not just trolls*. But some thing, such as de facto multimedia codecs, are universal and we must fight the likes of Nokia for trying to make life very expensive for everyone, even those just wishing to watch family videos.
___
* Not much of that receives press coverage. Some apps just die or settle quietly.

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