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Matt Asay is Wrong, Microsoft Does Sue (SLAPP Action), Doesn’t Just Threaten

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents, TomTom at 11:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In Soviet Russia, only Microsoft ever gets sued

Matt Asay

Summary: Misleading article helps portray the aggressor as a negotiator, using patently false claims that are easily disprovable

The notion of SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) is well understood in the legal world. If the cost of defending oneself in court is higher than the cost of settlement and the outcome at the court is not so crucial (e.g. if you make Android devices but not Android itself), then the legal system can be perturbed and radically manipulated. It enables people in suits to call ‘business’ what really is the direct equivalent of the Mafia demanding ‘protection’ money from local shops. It’s akin to what some label “financial terrorism”, evoking particular detrimental behaviour through economic strangulations.

“It enables people in suit to call ‘business’ what really is the direct equivalent of the Mafia demanding ‘protection’ money from local shops.”Matt Asay, whom we sometimes refer to as Mac Asay for his advocacy of Apple products and Microsoft apologism*, has this article titled “Microsoft’s Mobile Patent Strategy: Threaten, Don’t Sue” (untrue, see TomTom and others, as it was definitely neither the first nor last). The article comes from a site formerly (until very recently) managed by an inflammatory anti-Linux man.

SLAPP tactics are not taken into account by Mr. Asay, so his hypothesis is misleading. It makes Microsoft look quite soft. Asay cites this article from many years ago and says “Microsoft has never been one to sue. In its long history, the company has only taken someone to court a small handful of times, and itself has had to pay out more than $9 billion in damages. Perhaps because of how hard Microsoft has been spanked by the courts, it has taken a different tactic with Google Android.”

This is nonsense. Microsoft sued plenty of times. We covered many examples.

“As reported by Reuters,” he continues, “Microsoft now makes far more on Android patent royalties than it does on its own Windows Phone OS. (For some this might make Microsoft a patent troll, but we’ll leave that for a separate blog post.) In fact, by some estimates Microsoft will clear $3.4 billion in Android royalty fees in 2013, and is on pace to top $8.8 billion within the next few years.”

“Truthfully, given Microsoft’s business practices, it deserves no real opportunity in mobile devices and its executives should be trailed for racketeering, among other abuses.”No evidence for that, as we noted the other day. These are mere guesses and FUD that Microsoft just loves printed/echoed in the media (it leads to intimidation against Android adoption by companies). There are numerous other issues with Asay’s article. He doesn’t use facts properly. But it it is easy to agree with his closing words: “It’s time to give Microsoft the chance to prove itself in mobile, too, rather than collect fees on others’ hard work.”

Truthfully, given Microsoft’s business practices, it deserves no real opportunity in mobile devices and its executives should be trailed for racketeering, among other abuses.

Gutierrez, Smith and other top lawyers, even Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates to some degree, are behind the racketeering. There is a law against racketeering and it should be put to use at long last. It was put there for a reason.
* Asay, a former Novell employee, routinely communicates with Microsoft employees and he was also interviewed for a job at Microsoft at one point, later letting the company intrude the FOSS world via OSBC, OSI, etc.

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  1. Ian Waring said,

    May 14, 2013 at 2:53 pm


    While I’d totally agree with the sentiments of the article, you have mischaracterised Matt Asay totally. In my own experience, he is an Open Source Advocate and at no time a Microsoft apologist. He is a VP of 10gen, unashamedly an open source software company.

    I think your aims would be furthered by focussing on the subject at hand, and not picking on your own side with false assertions.

    So, when are the authorities going to bring the racketeering allegations to be aired in public?

  2. Ian Waring said,

    May 14, 2013 at 3:15 pm


    The source article contains a comment from Florian Mueller. Is that the same guy bing paid by Oracle to issue fud against Google during their Court Case a few months back? Credible source then!

    It did look like Barnes & Noble were going to “out” the Android licensing story, taking Microsoft and Nokia to places they felt very uncomfortable – until Microsoft agreed a strategic investment (and the case got dropped at that time). There was quite a commentary on Groklaw at the time.

    If the patents are genuine, it would probably be to everyone’s benefit (Microsoft in particular) if they were transparent and could show their tech being used authoritively. By going behind closed doors, there will always be a suspicion of playground bully demanding menaces…

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Florian Müller works for Microsoft and Linux foes. There is a lot of money invested in FUD.

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