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

03.31.13

Microsoft Publishes List of its Offensive (Weaponised) Software Patents While Google De-Weaponises Its Own

Posted in Google, Marketing, Microsoft at 11:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Two companies, two entirely different stories and strategies

GNU Google

Summary: PR moves from a patent aggressor and a notable patent victim which might be preparing for reactive lawsuits

A huge number of sites covered the news from Google, with the notion of ‘free’ software patents. How silly is that? Well, as put better by another site, “Google’s Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge: Don’t start nothin’, there won’t be nothin’.”

Microsoft, conversely, as a form of threat and PR did this:

Microsoft today launched a searchable list of its complete patent portfolio as part of its defense of the patent system, particularly software patents.

Now that mobile patents are extensively used in litigation and a quarter of issued patents are on mobile (Microsoft still aggressively patents mobile ideas), we expect this list to be used for extortion more than anything. It’s like an arsenal of nuclear weapons to be used to strike patent deals.

The newspeak of extortion as “transparency” is laughable. Watch the longtime Microsoft booster helping the PR by using this “transparency” buzzword in his headline:

Microsoft this morning published a searchable online list of its patent holdings — more than 40,000 patents held by the company and its subsidiaries in the U.S. and internationally — as part of its push for more transparency in the patent system.

What a load of nonsense. It is just hogwash.

Is Microsoft trying to steal Google’s thunder after Google followed the footsteps of Twitter, as we had urged it to do last year? The headline above is not an accurate headline, it is marketing. Here is another poor headline about the real news:

Google announced a “patent pledge” in which it will donate 10 patents related to MapReduce to protect the emerging cloud and big data industry from lawsuits.

The Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge is better than no pledge but not better than no patents. Here is more about it:

Google just announced the Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge, a new initiative whereby the company has promised not to sue developers, distributors, and users of open source software utilizing Mountain View’s patents “unless first attacked.” In introducing the good faith effort, Google is reiterating its passion and support for all things open. “Open-source software has been at the root of many innovations in cloud computing, the mobile web, and the Internet generally,” writes Duane Valz, Google’s senior patent counsel. “We remain committed to an open Internet — one that protects real innovation and continues to deliver great products and services.”

The company isn’t throwing its entire patent portfolio up for grabs, however. Quite the opposite: it’s starting small, contributing a mere ten patents to the pledge. Google claims these patents are already in wide use and that it will eventually expand the set of Google-owned patents that fall under the pledge.

The original announcement generated press not only in FOSS sites but also large news sites [1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23]. The smart folks at TechDirt correctly point out that this might be a prelude to patent lawsuits from Google (preparation and damage control in expectation of negative press), as outlined here. One of our readers asked, “OIN all over again?”

Here is one of the most cited articles about it. it’s from Wired:

Behind the scenes, just about all of the web’s biggest names are mimicking Google. That includes Facebook, Yahoo, eBay, Twitter and so many more.

All of these web giants rely on Hadoop, an open source software platform for crunching data across hundreds or even thousands of computer servers, and Hadoop is based on technology originally developed at Google. A little less than a decade ago, Google published two research papers describing some of the software that juggles data inside its data centers, including a platform called MapReduce, and in short order, a community of software developers — led by Facebook and Yahoo — recreated these tools with open source code.

Expect Google to sue more, but only against companies that sued first.

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

4 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    April 1, 2013 at 4:30 am

    Gravatar

    Symbolically this might be an ok thing to do. However, it appears to duplicate what the OIN is already doing. And neither of them are any defense against trolls. The trolls have nothing to counter sue over so there is no help from defensive patents, software or otherwise.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    And it is worth adding that, as we’ve seen before, any practising company can arm a patent troll/’enforcer’ to attack a rival with patents. Retaliation in the courts/deterrence is not possible. MPEG-LA, SIsvel, MOSAID, etc.

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    Yes, the real attackers spin off shell companies to attack their opponents. It gets worse, even the trolls spin off shell companies. Knock one down and another one is spun up in east Texas or somewhere similar. That makes it hard to get at the actual source company.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Webbink warned me about this a couple of years ago. Red Hat too seems to be targeted using these tactics. OIN dodges the issue/question.

What Else is New


  1. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  2. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  3. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  4. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  5. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  6. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  7. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  8. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court



  9. Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

    Links for the day



  10. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  11. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  12. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  13. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  14. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  15. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?



  16. Links 14/10/2014: CAINE 6, New RHEL, Dronecode

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft's Disdain for Women Steals the Show at a Women's Event

    Steve Ballmer's successor, Satya Nadella, is still too tactless to lie to the audience, having been given --through subversive means -- a platform at a conference that should have shunned Microsoft, a famously misogynistic company



  18. SCOTUS May Soon Put an End to the 'Copyrights on APIs' Question While Proprietary Giants Continue to Harass Android/Linux in Every Way Conceivable

    Google takes its fight over API freedom to the Supreme Court in the Unites States and it also takes that longstanding patent harassment from the Microsoft- and Apple-backed troll (Rockstar) out of East Texas



  19. Patent Lawsuits Almost Halved After SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Software Patents

    The barrier for acceptance of software patent applications is raised in the United States and patent lawsuits, many of which involve software these days, are down very sharply, based on new figures from Lex Machina



  20. Links 13/10/2014: ChromeOS and EXT, Debian Resists Systemd Domination

    Links for the day



  21. Links 12/10/2014: Blackphone Tablet, Sony's Firefox OS Port

    Links for the day



  22. Links 9/10/2014: Free Software in Germany, Lenovo Tablets With Android

    Links for the day



  23. Links 8/10/2014: A Lot of Linux+AMD News, New ROSA Desktop Is Out

    Links for the day



  24. Lawyers' Propaganda About Software Patents and a New AstroTurf Entity Called Innovation Alliance

    Patent propaganda and deception from patent lawyers (among other parasites such as patent trolls) continues to flood the Web, intersecting with reports that prove them totally wrong



  25. How Microsoft Handles Disasters: Grace Hopper Conference Has Been Infiltrated by "Microsoft Disaster Response"

    Free/Open Source software (FOSS) must be a disaster to Microsoft's bottom line because Microsoft is sending "Microsoft Disaster Response" to infiltrate and disrupt a conference about women in FOSS



  26. Links 8/10/2014: Gummersbach Moves to GNU/Linux, Docker Acquires Koality, KDE Frameworks 5.3

    Links for the day



  27. Links 7/10/2014: CAINE 6.0, PC-BSD 10.0.3

    Links for the day



  28. Benoît Battistelli's Balkan Standards in EPO: Part V

    How the European Patent Office facilitated the inclusion of previously-connected elements that are best known for misconduct and dirty politics



  29. Symptoms of Post-x86 Era: Even Intel Apologists Turn Against Bribes-Dependent Intel While Microsoft Continues to Deceive Journalists on Patents in Order to Create a Scare

    The Wintel press, which is bribed by companies that it covers, is challenged by prominent developers and Microsoft continues to plant its patent propaganda in the Wintel-centric (and paid) press



  30. Microsoft Reinforces Its Criminal Organisation Status by Bribing and Corrupting More Officials, Even in Europe

    More criminal activity from Microsoft in Romania and a new TV programme that sheds light on Microsoft's dirty assault on Free software in France


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