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

08.16.13

Using Blackberry Patents Against Android/Linux Not a Far-Fetched Strategy in the Nation of Software Patents

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents at 1:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The demise of Blackberry is a growing patent-stacking threat to Linux and Free software

Blackberry

Summary: Identification of a looming threat to Android/Linux, especially from a company with history of Microsoft deals and a growing patent portfolio that’s being considered for sale

The United States, whose patent system is run by large corporations like IBM and Microsoft (the USPTO has long been operating outside the public interest), is a very threatening environment to Free/libre software. To distribute computer programs for free might not be legal there, but it only becomes a problem when distribution is of high volume and by a large company like Google. Microsoft even got large companies paying it for Linux, a widely used operating system kernel. This is unjust and the core cause is software patents.

“The first step to fighting patent trolls is to limit software patents to five years,” says this new article, which puts forth a sort of compromise which at least targets the real problem. To quote:

There’s a lot wrong with America’s patent system — it often serves to undercut innovation, limits competition, and rewards trolls. But there’s a relatively easy short-term fix: Cap software patents at five years from issuance, a position adapted from the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) Defend Innovation Project. While comprehensive legislation is needed to fix patent law, this first step is critical to reviving and protecting entrepreneurship, R&D, and technological progress in the United States.

20 years if far too long a lifetime for patents that should have never been granted in the first place. Watch how software patents are preventing the spread of voice recognition, motivating this lawsuit over reasonably out-of-date ideas:

As Nuance Communications Inc. and ABBYY Software House — two competitors in optical character recognition — brought their long-running case to a jury in U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White’s courtroom on Monday, their lawyers traded classic barbs of patent warfare.

Representing plaintiff Nuance, partner James Bennett of Morrison & Foerster described ABBYY in his opening statement as “a follower, not a leader.”

Coming to the Russian company’s defense, partner Gerald Ivey of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner suggested that Nuance felt threatened by a more nimble competitor.

This is just protectionism. That’s what patents are about. When some companies cannot rely on technical advantage alone they then resort to patent monopolies.

Android, which is growing rapidly and taking over the world as a de facto platform (on which most Techrights posts are composed by the way), is actually the target of protectionism from the ‘old guard’ — companies it is making less relevant over time.

It is being alleged right now that patents from RIM might get sold. One reader wrote to say: “If BlackBerry sell company… Microsoft will… get QNX which is UNIX like operating system and… patents and QNX technology and Linux?”

“Remember SCO,” he added.

Well, Microsoft could pay BlackBerry to later see RIM/BlackBerry suing Android companies. The Nokia and SCO strategy more or less…

Blackberry is of virtually no practical use to Android backers; when Google bought part of Motorola and grossly overpaid it was intended to prevent Microsoft and Apple from getting the patents (which they had reportedly bid for, just like with Nortel).

What if another CPTN member like Oracle bought this company? A new interview with Oracle’s CEO was rather revealing. He spoke of Microsoft as an enemy of an enemy (Google) and one author thinks that “Oracle (ORCL) [is] The Perfect BlackBerry (BBRY) Buyer” (for patents at least). To quote:

So BlackBerry (BBRY) has put itself up for sale while also considering a private equity move. Some pundits wonder if the Z10 smartphone maker will break itself up into a mobile service provider and mobile device company. But The VAR Guy wonders: Does a more surprising fate await BlackBerry — at the hands of Oracle (ORCL) CEO Larry Ellison? Before you dismiss Oracle potentially buying BlackBerry, consider this history lesson.

Microsoft has been publicly aiding Oracle’s litigation against Android, announcing collaborations other than CPTN (technical ones too) and filing together antitrust complaints. Here is more of what Oracle thinks of Google.

Speaking of Oracle, what about other CPTN members like Apple and Microsoft (to which Oracle is now very close)?

Apple has been fighting Samsung using patent-induced sanctions at the ITC, with support from Obama's government officials. The Against Monopoly Web site says:

ITC Allows Apple Imports That Violate Samsung Patents

The blog, Public Knowledge, argues that the International Trade Commission should consider the public interest in reaching regulatory decisions on patents. The Obama has so decreed when it overruled an ITC case and permitted imports of Apple phones that it had found to violate duly recognized patents of other companies, in this case foreign firms link here.

When I look at the mess in the whole patent system, I see a world of oligopolies and monopolies built on patents, supposedly designed to encourage innovation, but instead creating a self-perpetuating means to paralyze innovation.

Groklaw has been upset about this and the other day it covered Microsoft’s fight against Motorola, which now involves an injunction as well. To quote:

Judge James L. Robart has now ruled [PDF, 38 pages] on Microsoft and Motorola’s summary judgment motions, granting in part and denying in part.

The attacks on Android takes many different forms (also antitrust), but the main players behind this attack remain the same. Next week we will revisit the antitrust angle.

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. Who Kills Yahoo? It's Microsoft, Not Yahoo!

    The media should blame Microsoft, not Marissa Mayer, for what's going on (and has been going on for 7 years) at Yahoo!



  2. EPO Management is Trying Hard to Appease Its Critics While Pushing Forth Unitary Patent Agenda

    The European Patent Office and European Commission promote the agenda of large multinational corporations (at the expense or European citizens) and critics are being kept at bay



  3. Real Patent Reform Will Not Come From Biggest Backers of GNU/Linux, Not Even Google

    A look at the 'new' Google, the company which is hoarding patents (2,566 last year alone) instead of fighting for reform



  4. Microsoft's Troll Intellectual Ventures Loses Software Patents

    Intellectual Ventures is bluffing with software patents, but this time around it doesn't get its way



  5. Links 24/4/2015: Ubuntu and Variants in the News, Red Hat Developer Toolset 3.1

    Links for the day



  6. Links 23/4/2015: Ubuntu 15.04 is Out, Debian 8.0 Out Very Soon

    Links for the day



  7. Links 22/4/2015: Fedora 22 Beta, Atlassian Acquires BlueJimp

    Links for the day



  8. The Dying Debate Over Patent Scope (Including Software Patents) Replaced by 'Trolls' (But Not the Biggest Ones)

    The corporate media and Web sites or people who are funded by large corporations have essentially suppressed any debate about issues in the patent granting process, thereby guarding software patents and preventing criticism of large corporations' power grab



  9. The Patents Gold Rush Continues

    The morbid obsession with monopolising mere ideas still dominates the media, even increasingly in China



  10. 9 Millionth US Patent Tells a Story of Failure and USPTO Misconduct

    The USPTO, much like FISA (notorious court for surveillance/espionage authorisation), has become a rubber-stamping operation rather than a patents examination centre, as new evidence and old evidence serve to show



  11. HBO Helps Shift Debate Over Patents to 'Trolls' (Scale), Not Scope

    More of that awkward shifting of the patent debate towards small actors who are misusing patents, not large conglomerates like Apple and Microsoft which use patents to destroy competitors, crush startups, drive up prices, and so on



  12. Software Patents Are Still Menacing to Free Software: OIN Expands Scope, HEVC Adds to MPEG-LA Burden/Tax, Google and Facebook Give in on Patents

    A look at recent news about software patents and especially Free/libre software, which is inherently incompatible with them



  13. The Latest Developments Around Microsoft's Clever Attack on Android/Linux

    Microsoft's campaign of destruction, extortion, etc. against the most widely used Linux-powered operating system is revisited in light of new reports



  14. The Microsoft 'Community' is Maligning the Free Software Community

    Dishonest generalisations and baseless deductions portray the Free/Open Source software communities as a nasty place that leads to poverty and despair



  15. Googlebombing 'Microsoft Open Source' Even When Microsoft Shuts Down Its 'Open Source' Proxy

    A massive failure by the press to cover the most basic news, which is Microsoft putting an end to a supposedly 'Open Source' effort



  16. Links 22/4/2015: Calculate Linux 14.16, SparkyLinux 4.0 RC KDE

    Links for the day



  17. Links 21/4/2015: Project Photon, Ubuntu Touch Buzz

    Links for the day



  18. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish: How Microsoft Plans to Get Rid of Linux/Android

    Microsoft's sheer abuse against Android is laying bare for everyone to see now that Microsoft has paralysed Google's legal department with potential antitrust action in Europe



  19. Yahoo's Current CEO (Mayer, Formerly of Google) is Trying to End Yahoo! Status as Microsoft Proxy

    There are signs of relinquishing Microsoft's control over Yahoo! after Marissa Mayer worked to end the company's suicidal/abusive relationship with Steve Ballmer's Microsoft



  20. Repeating Microsoft's Lies Without Any Journalistic Assessment

    Poor fact-checking by relatively large media/news sites results in Microsoft's patently false claims being repeated uncritically



  21. Links 19/4/2015: New KaOS (2015.04), Manjaro Linux 0.8.13 Pre1

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/4/2015: ExTiX 15.2, RaspArch

    Links for the day



  23. Microsoft Tired of Pretending to be Nice to Free/Open Source Software (FOSS), Microsoft 'Open' Technologies Dumped

    Microsoft dumps its proxy (misleadingly named 'Open Tech') and other attacks on Free software persist from the inside, often through so-called 'experts' whose agenda is to sell proprietary software



  24. More Translations of French Article About the EPO

    German and Dutch translations of the Le Monde article are now available



  25. Links 17/4/2015: Wipro and the Netherlands Want FOSS

    Links for the day



  26. Microsoft's Multi-Dimensional Assault on Android/Linux: Extortion, Lobbying of Regulators, and Bribes

    Microsoft's vicious war on Linux (and Android in its current incarnation) takes more sophisticated -- albeit illegal (as per the RICO Act) -- forms



  27. Microsoft's Plot to Associate Windows with 'Open Source' is Proving Effective, Despite Being Just a Big Lie

    A look at the latest headlines which can lead to a false perception that Microsoft is now in bed with 'Open Source'



  28. Microsoft Windows Remotely Crashed, Remotely Hijacked, But Still No Logo and No Branding for the Bugs

    Windows maintains its reputation as a back doors haven, but the media is still not highlighting the severity of this issue, instead focusing on accidental bugs in Free software, even very old (and already fixed) bugs



  29. Black Duck's Latest Self-Promotional Propaganda (for Proprietary Software) Still Fools Journalists

    Under the traditionally misleading title "Future of Open Source" Black Duck expresses its desire for proprietary software sales, salivating over fearful managers who may get bamboozled into buying the patents-'protected' Black Duck 'product'



  30. Links 16/4/2015: Opera for 32-bit GNU/Linux, New Chromebook Site

    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