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 17/1/2017: GIMP Plans, New Raspberry Pi Product

    Links for the day



  2. Resumption of EPO Propaganda ('Meet the President') Officially Starts Tomorrow

    Yet another one of these foolish 'Meet the President' stunts, scheduled to take place tomorrow morning



  3. Caricature: Battistelli's New Year's Resolution (More EPO Lies)

    The latest cartoon being circulated within the European Patent Office (EPO)



  4. Donald Trump Gives New Hope to Patent Aggressors and Patent Trolls

    Pessimism about the prospects of patent progress or patent reform in an age of staunchly pro-business Conservatives and glorification of protectionism



  5. More Fake News About the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Based on Lobbying Tactics From Bristows UPC and the Preparatory Committee

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) lobbying has gotten so bad that it now infiltrates general media outlets, where people are asked to just blindly assume that the UPC is coming and is inevitable, even though it's clearly in a limbo and is unlikely to see the light of day



  6. EPO Totally Silent for a Month, But Deep Inside There Are Serious Cracks

    The situation at the EPO seems to be pretty grim, even at the top-level management, and the EPO has gone into permanent silence mode



  7. Links 16/1/2017: Linux 4.10 RC4, Linux Mint 18.1 'Serena' KDE Edition Beta

    Links for the day



  8. 'Financial Director' Publishes Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Response to some of the latest UPC propaganda, which strives to misinform Financial Directors so as to enrich the author and his firm



  9. Independent and Untainted Web Sites About Patents Are Still Few and Rare

    Commentary about news sources that we rely on, as well as the known pitfalls or the vested interests deeply ingrained in them



  10. The 20% Rule: Patent Trolling Suffers Double-Digit Declines and Patent Troll Technicolor is Collapsing

    Significant demise or total catastrophe for the modus operandi (method) of going after companies with a pile of patents and threats of litigation



  11. US Supreme Court Did Not End Apple's Patent Disputes Over Android (Linux), More Cases Imminent

    An overview of some very recent news regarding the highest court in the United States, which has been dealing with cases that can determine the fate of Free/Open Source software in an age of patent uncertainty and patent thickets surrounding mobility



  12. Links 15/1/2017: Switching From OS X to GNU/Linux, Debian 8.7 Released

    Links for the day



  13. Number of New Patent Cases in the US Fell 25% Last Year, Thanks in Part to the Demise of Software Patent Trolls

    Litigation and prosecutions that rely on patents (failure to resolve disputes, e.g. by sharing ideas, out of court) is down very sharply, in part because firms that make nothing at all (just threaten and/or litigate) have been sinking after much-needed reform



  14. America Invents Act Improved Patent Quality, But Right Wingers Threaten to Make It Worse Again

    The past half a decade saw gradual improvement in assessment of patents in the United States, but there is a growing threat and pressure from the patent microcosm to restore patent maximalism and chaos



  15. PTAB -- Not Deterred by Courts -- Continues to Invalidate a Lot of Software Patents

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) continues to make progress reforming the patent system by eliminating a lot of patents and setting an example (or new standards) for what is patent-eligible after Alice



  16. EPO Abuses Come Under Fire From Politicians in Luxembourg

    Luxembourg is the latest nation in which concerns about the EPO's serious abuses are brought up not only by the media but also by politicians



  17. Constitutionality as a Barrier and Brexit Barriers to UPC Keep the Whole Pipe Dream Deadlocked

    The UPC is still going nowhere fast, but the demise (or death) of the UPC as we know it must not be taken for granted



  18. Links 14/1/2017: Wine 2.0 RC5 and AryaLinux 2017 Released

    Links for the day



  19. Links 13/1/2017: Linux 4.9.3 and Linux 4.4.42

    Links for the day



  20. Brexit Means No UPC (Unified Patent Court)

    Now that Jo Johnson, Boris Johnson's brother, is officially declared the new minister for intellectual property in the UK everything that Lucy Neville-Rolfe wrote is as solid as paper bag on a rainy London day



  21. Patent Trolls and Software Patents: CloudTrade, Patent Practitioners Density, and Via Licensing

    Software patents armament from a British company, charted concentration of the patent microcosm in the United States, and US-leaning patent trolls that prey on China



  22. Patent Maximalism -- Like Copyright Maximalism -- Relies on Misconceptions and Mass Deception

    The latest examples of discussions about patent scope, courtesy of those looking to benefit financially by pushing such monopolies to the max



  23. Software Patents Still Promoted by IBM and Its Lobbyist (and Former Employee) David Kappos, in Defiance of Much-Needed US Patent Reform

    While the corporate media celebrates IBM as though it's some kind of 'champion' for hoarding patents that it then uses to attack companies which actually grow



  24. Brexit/Trump Effect: Patent Systems With Institutional Corruption and Nepotism

    Rumours about Britain's head of patents (and copyrights etc.) being the brother of the Brexit campaigner and Foreign Minister; meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, rumours suggest that the corrupt judge Rader might be the next head of patents in the United States



  25. Links 11/1/2017: X.Org Server 1.19.1, GitHub's Atom 1.13

    Links for the day



  26. The Patent Microcosm is Already Sucking up to Donald Trump in an Effort to Enrich Itself at Everyone's Expense

    Four new examples of patent maximalists embracing/adopting the pseudo-populist slogan to advance their goals of increasing litigation (which they profit from) and undermining PTAB (which made patents great in the quality sense)



  27. Patent Quality in the United States Can Only be Assessed at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Courts

    The travesty of patent offices in the US and China, where the goal or the accomplishment is measured in terms of the number of patents rather than their quality



  28. Gradual Collapse of Microsoft's Extensive (and External) Patent Trolling Operations

    The President of Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC (patent troll) leaves and the founder of Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's largest peripheral patent troll, joins Sherpa Technology



  29. No End to Battistelli's Witch-hunts Against the Media, Against Staff, and Against Politicians

    Rumours about the fate of people who are (or have been) criticising Battistelli's reign of terror at the EPO



  30. Links 10/1/2017: Synfig 1.2, Kodachi Linux 3.7

    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