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

08.12.13

Patent Aggression, Patent Trolls, and the Increased Visibility of Microsoft’s Role

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft, Patents at 4:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bill and Nathan

Summary: Antitrust violators from Microsoft continue trying to portray patents as charity, or mix the two in order to blur the massive difference

The Gates Foundation needs Intellectual Ventures (IV) to portray itself as “innovative” and Intellectual Ventures needs the Gates Foundation to portray itself as “charitable” (e.g. “helping scientists” or “helping solve the world’s problems”). The heads of these two patent-centric operations, Bill and Nathan, are very close friends and they’re only part of Microsoft’s strong affair with patent monopolies. Microsoft’s co-founder is unequivocally a patent troll with great notoriety.

Isn’t it just stunning that a lot of patent trolls are strongly connected to Microsoft, including the company’s founders? There are many examples of this.

The other day, Will Hill looked at the history of a Microsoft executive who had crashed a plane into a building. He wrote:

Looking Closer at Bill Henningsgaard

A former Microsoft executive crashed his airplane into a home in Connecticut killing himself and son in the plane and two children on the ground. A priest is with the mom. Another, more detailed story. This was not his first air crash.

He shows up in Microsoft anti-trust documents, as part of the team pressuring Intel to migrate to Windows instead of gnu/linux for chip design [pdf] , this 2000 team chest thumping like fascists about beating Sun, Novell, Unix, Linux, Notes, world, dog, etc., wrecking Word Perfect and OpenDoc[pdf] and trying to get more money out of Windoze and office by having partners like Dell lease them instead of selling them outright.

Of more recent interest was last business, Social Venture Partners, which is described as philanthropy in the same way the Intellectual Ventures patent troll is. The two are not unrelated, “Nathan Myhrvold, CEO and co-founder of IV, recently delivered the keynote address at the 2012 Social Innovation Fast Pitch in Seattle. Created by Social Venture Partners, the Social Innovation Fast Pitch offers coaching, mentoring and workshops for local innovators to hone their ideas”. Here is a branch in San Diego, which claims,

We specialize in analyzing and valuing intellectual property assets such as brands, patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Essentially we work with IP owners to enhance the value of their assets.

In fact, a Google search turns up branches in Arizona, LA and other places. SVC has partnered with the Gates Foundation and other Microsoft affiliated organizations to fund yet more groups, and advertise a way to donate to “vetted” charities. What’s charity got to do with patent valuation and why would you want such people to direct your money?

Another current business of his was Eastside Pathways, which “that aims to connect different service agencies and advocates for bridging the education gap in Bellevue schools.” which is strange because Belleview is wealthy and has good schools. Helping schools is a fine idea but cooperation with the Gates Foundation is a good way to ruin public schools. Perhaps by invading them with unqualified TFA teachers, unfair teacher evaluations and defunding public schools in favor of charter schools. Other people from Bellevue have been accused of pushing the Gates/Broad agenda this way,

We are, in the state of Washington, once again having the battle over charter schools. The good people in our state have voted it down three times but it has come up again due to the “let’s go around the voters” shenanigans of a former Republican turned Democratic Senator from the upscale suburbs of Bellevue who has determined what is best for the rest of us in terms of charter schools. These charter schools staffed with TFA temps would of course not be proliferating in Bellevue but in the Central District of Seattle, a place that I dare say Senator Tom rarely ventures.

It is difficult to say from a distance, but things mixed up with patents and Gates stink.

The Gates Foundation is very much close to patent agenda, which is also among its business models (not charity). So here again we have a familiar pattern of plutocracy portraying itself as defending the society it is actively looting.

Remember Lodsys, the IV-connected (hence Microsoft- and Gates-connected) patent troll which sues everyone but Microsoft? Well, they too try to pretend to be about charity, but not everyone is buying it. Here is how one writer sees it:

That this item being claimed for (essentially, a button to allow in app payments) is part of what Apple supplies to developers makes it all the more interesting. For of course this provides Lodsys with a vast database of people to sue: all those developing apps are on that potential list.

There’s much more on the background here and here.

But what we all really want to know is, well, how do we stop the patent trolls like Lodsys? How can we still have a system where the rightful owners of useful and valid patents get to protect their intellectual property and yet people with shaky patents of variable validity don’t get to sue the rest of the industry into bankruptcy?

Go back to the roots of it and find Microsoft folks, among others. Here is another take:

One app developer fought back with the help of some pro bono attorneys who gave up a $200k paycheck to help. They brought Lodsys to its knees in a settlement that ended up putting money in the hands of a charitable organization. Which is winning on every.single.front.

This is horrible because charity is increasingly being associated with corruption, thanks to the likes of Lodsys and some plutocrats.

Google is worried about trolls, based on it actions. Google stands behind none of them (never as a proxy, unlike Microsoft). To quote one article:

Google has added 79 patents to the list of patents for which it pledges not to sue any user, distributor or developer of open-source software, unless first attacked.

The issue we have is, companies try to portray patents as some kind of charity or contribution to society and Google plays along with this notion in its original post, “Google: More patents in the service of open source” (IDG did not use the word “donate”). This is an issue which we mentioned the other day. No patent can be “donated”, it is a distortion of concepts. Saying you won’t sue is not the same as you offering a gift.

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 21/9/2014: xorg-server 1.16.1, Linux Kernel 3.16.3

    Links for the day



  2. Links 20/9/2014: GNOME 3.13.92, Android L

    Links for the day



  3. Scanning Patent Troll Implodes; Is the Podcasting Patent Troll Next?

    MPHJ loses and Personal Audio LLC perhaps wins for the last time since software patents are quickly losing legitimacy in the United States



  4. If CAFC is Not Above the Law, Then it Should be Shut Down Now

    A long series of abuses in CAFC may as well suggest that this court has become broken beyond repair



  5. The Latest From Microsoft Patent Trolls and Patent Partners

    Microsoft-linked and Linux-hostile trolls continue their relentless attacks (albeit with little or no success) while patents as a weapon lose their teeth owing to a Supreme Court ruling



  6. Microsoft Proves That Its Massive Layoffs Are Not About Nokia

    Microsoft is laying off a lot of employees who have nothing at all to do with Nokia



  7. Links 19/9/2014: Another Red Hat Acquisition, Netflix Dumps Microsoft Silverlight and Brings DRM to WWW

    Links for the day



  8. Links 18/9/2014: Windows Copying GNU/Linux, Germany Moves to Security

    Links for the day



  9. Web Site 'Patent Progress' Now Officially 'Powered by CCIA' (FRAND Proponent, Microsoft Front)

    After talking a job at CCIA, "Patent Progress" and its chief author should be treated as dubious on real patent progress



  10. Articles About the Death of Software Patents in the United States

    Recent coverage of software patents and their demise in their country of origin, where even proponents of software patents are giving up



  11. The Death of Software Patents is Already Killing Some Major Patent Trolls

    VirnetX seems to be the latest victim of the demise of software patents in the United States



  12. More Microsoft Layoffs

    More Microsoft layoffs go ahead as the company is unable to compete



  13. ODF on the Rise

    Milestones for OpenDocument Format (ODF) and the launch of FixMyDocuments



  14. Links 17/9/2014: CoreOS, ChromeOS, and systemd

    Links for the day



  15. Italy is Cracking Down on Microsoft's Monopoly Abuse While Gradually Moving to GNU/Linux

    Italy is not only moving to Free/Open Source software but also to GNU/Linux while at the same time barring Microsoft from forcibly tying Windows to new PCs



  16. OpenSUSE's 'Assurances' Are Classic MBA School Hogwash

    OpenSUSE is not part of any commitment, except for SUSE's; the impact of the Novell/SUSE acquisition casts uncertainty on the project's future



  17. Links 16/9/2014: Firefox OS Smartphones in Bangladesh, “Treasure Map” of the Internet

    Links for the day



  18. The United Kingdom Should Dump Microsoft For the Sake of National Security

    The UK has issues of Microsoft dependency and Windows viruses; its migration to Free software and GNU/Linux is not fast enough to guard its autonomy in the age of digital imperialism



  19. CBS Hires Even More Microsoft Staff to Cover Microsoft Matters

    CBS continues to be infested with Microsoft staff past and present (this time Dave Johnson) and the bias in output is quite revealing



  20. Microsoft Has Just Killed Minecraft for GNU/Linux and the Possibility of Free/Open Source Releases

    Persson sells out to Microsoft and lets the abusive monopolist destroy the popular cross-platform game that a community has been built around



  21. Another Reason to Boycott Intel UEFI

    More anti-competitive aspects are revealed inside UEFI, which helps merginalise GNU/Linux



  22. Quick Mention: Novell and SUSE Passed to Microsoft's 'Partner of the Year', Microsoft Focus

    Novell is changing hands again, and falling into the hands of even more Microsoft-friendly actors



  23. Links 16/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC5, KDE Frameworks 5.2.0

    Links for the day



  24. Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Patent Office (EPO): Part II

    Part II of our look into the EPO appointment of Željko Topić and other matters showing the dubious integrity of the EPO



  25. Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  26. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day



  27. Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

    Links for the day



  28. Links 10/9/2014: Brian Stevens in Google, Ubuntu 14.10 Expectations

    Links for the day



  29. Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

    Links for the day



  30. Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

    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