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

12.03.13

Apple and Microsoft Claim Patent Tax on GNU/Linux, Red Hat’s Response Too Weak

Posted in Apple, Google, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat at 10:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Racketeering — like bank bailouts — increasingly seen like “business as usual”

Rob TillerSummary: GNU/Linux is said to be among the targets for illegal extortion, but even self-professed backers of GNU/Linux aren’t interested in addressing this problem

Apple and Microsoft are only alleged to be making money from Linux; nobody knows for sure, but analysts who are close to Microsoft (or Microsoft lobbyists) try to tell us that somehow they know what's behind NDAs, almost as if they relay the official party line on behalf of Microsoft. What’s probably most disturbing about it is lack of an effective response from the likes of Google and Red Hat. IBM is a lost cause because when it comes to patents IBM is more or less in the same camp as Microsoft (they cross-license and they lobby for software patents around the world, not just in the US).

Mr. Pogson, who tends to find interesting stuff every now and then, picked up this link from sec.gov and as iophk points out, “”commenter “IGnatius T Foobar” picked up on the fact that M$ is including income from Android patent extortion as Windows Phone revenue.

“Follow the link and scroll down to “Windows Phone, including related patent licensing; and certain other patent licensing revenue;” The only way I can think to interpret that is that it is income from extorting Android. Because that is a lot of money it can be hiding a really bad situation for Windows Phone, up to and including losses.”

According to this new report, “Apple’s secret deals with mobile operators are squeezing smaller companies out of the market and driving up costs even for those who don’t use their products, according to Register sources across the industry.

“”In my opinion Apple are in a grey area,” one legal expert with first hand experience of the contracts told us.”

If this is true at all (and evidence is still absent), then this is extortion and we need to bring it to light in order for legal procedures to follow. Some company needs to leak out information, potentially breaking an NDA. That’s how Edward Snowden helped hold the NSA and GCHQ accountable.

One would expect companies like Red Hat and Google (most affected by such extortion) to do something about it, but Google hired patent lawyers and is now accumulating software patents. Red Hat follows a similar trajectory and its lawyer Mr. Tiller keeps on talking about trolls rather than about giants like Microsoft and software patents in general. The other day he wrote: “With patent reform legislation moving forward, an impressive group of law professors weighed in last week in favor of reform. The group submitted a letter to Congress that effectively demonstrates the seriousness of the problem of patent assertion entities (PAEs) and supports pending legislation.

“This issue is timely, because the Innovation Act (HR 3309) was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on November 20 with a strong majority (33-5) in favor. There is a good chance that the full House will take up the bill this week.”

As iophk points out, Tiller is doing “[e]verything except removing the actual problem: software and business method patents. All those that write but dodge the question of software patents themselves just feed the problem. I’m disappointed that some choose not to look for the base cause and buy into the PR from the lawyers.”

We find more or less the same in FOSS Force, which writes: “We find it very heartening that some firms are now fighting back rather than rolling over when the patent trolls come knocking. We especially like the hardball route being taken by FindTheBest. After all, when we were growing up we were taught that the best defense is a good offense.”

Personally, I more or less gave up (for the time being at least) on the cause against software patents because the scene got abducted by large corporations and billionaires who fund laywers (even EFF lawyers) to tell us that the problem is “bad” patents or “trolls’. That’s not the problem, it’s just a decoy and the real debates are being crushed by this corporate hijack of grassroots movements against software patents. The real problems here are patents on algorithms (reducible to mathematics) and extortion/racketeering, which is of course against the law. Here we are dealing with very high levels of criminality, where companies are engaging in racketeering and nobody goes to prison, just as those same companies illegally spy on people in exchange for government contracts/favours. Back doors seem to become more common (home routers now have back doors), showing the high degree of collusion between government and business [1]. Never count on corporations to serve people’s interests; they serve particular people’s interests: shareholders and government officials (with a huge budget and an open door to favouritism). Red Hat too helps the NSA.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Stallman: Microsoft, Facebook Spying for US Government

    Famous computer programmer and President of Free Software Foundation Stallman says it’s so many years now that Microsoft and recently Facebook have been gathering the personal information of users in violation of the US constitution.

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

2 Comments

  1. saulgoode said,

    December 4, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Gravatar

    I remain skeptical that Microsoft derives any significant amount of income from patent licensing for Linux-based products. There is no evidence to support this, merely innuendo from Microsoft and speculation from everybody else.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    When so-called experts said that HTC paid Apple 5 dollars per device (right after they had settled) the CEO of HTC publicly debunked those ‘experts’.

    I already wrote (several times before) about why I think a lot of the speculations about Microsoft tax rates are bogus and unfounded; they simply serve Microsoft fear and lead more companies into submission.

    Remember that Microsoft paid B&N (yes, paid, or bribed) after B&N had refused to roll over or remove features from devices.

What Else is New


  1. Team UPC and CIPA Are Lobbying, Publishing Puff Pieces, and Rewriting the Law for Unitary Patent (UPC) Behind Closed Doors

    A collection of the latest news and views on the UPC, which is being lied about by those who stand to benefit from it and is probably going nowhere because Brexit means that the UK stays out, in which case it must be reset and pertinent ratifications done all over again



  2. China's Suffering From Patent Maximalism Has Europe Forewarned

    The parasitic elements inside China -- those that just want lots of litigation (even if from patent trolls) -- are winning over, much to the detriment of the Chinese economy, and Team UPC threatens to do the same in Europe with help from Battistelli



  3. Links 27/4/2017: Mesa 17.0.5 RC1, Git 2.13.0 RC1, and Linkerd 1.0

    Links for the day



  4. The Latest Expensive PR Blitz of the EPO, Led by Jana Mittermaier and Rainer Osterwalder Under the 'European Inventor Award' Banner

    The PR agencies of the Corsican in Chief, who appears to be buying political support rather than earning any, are very busy this week, as yet another reputation laundering campaign kicks off



  5. Links 26/4/2017: SMPlayer 17.4.2, Libreboot Wants to Rejoin GNU

    Links for the day



  6. PatentShield is Not the Solution and It Won't Protect Google/Android From Patent Trolls Like Microsoft's

    A new initiative called "PatentShield" is launched, but it's yet another one of those many initiatives (Peer-to-Patent and the likes of it, LOT Network, OIN, PAX etc.) that serve to distract from the real and much simpler solutions



  7. Patent Quality Crisis and Unprecedented Trouble at the European Patent Office (EPO) Negatively Affect Legitimate Companies in the US As Well

    The granting en masse of questionable patents by the EPO (patent maximalism) is becoming a liability and growing risk to companies which operate not only in Europe but also elsewhere



  8. Blog 'Takeovers' by Bristows and Then Censorship: Now This Firm Lies About the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Then Deletes Comments That Point Out the Errors

    Not only are Bristows employees grabbing the mic in various high-profile IP blogs for the purpose of UPC promotion (by distortion of facts); they also actively suppress critics of the UPC



  9. Links 25/4/2017: Kali Linux 2017.1 Released, NSA Back Doors in Windows Cause Chaos

    Links for the day



  10. Astoundingly, IP Kat Has Become a Leading Source of UPC and Battistelli Propaganda

    The pro-UPC outlets, which enjoy EPO budget (i.e. stakeholders' money), are becoming mere amplifiers of Benoît Battistelli and his right-hand UPC woman Margot Fröhlinger, irrespective of actual facts



  11. EPO Fiasco to be Discussed in German Local Authority (Bavarian Parliament) Some Time Today as the Institution Continues Its Avoidable Collapse

    Conflict between management and staff -- a result of truly destructive strategies and violations of the law by Benoît Battistelli -- continues to escalate and threatens to altogether dismantle the European Patent Office (EPO)



  12. In the US and Elsewhere, Qualcomm's Software Patents Are a Significant Tax Everyone Must Pay

    The state of the mobile market when companies such as Qualcomm, which don't really produce anything, take a large piece of the revenue pie



  13. In South Asia, Old Myths to Promote Patent Maximalism, Courtesy of the Patent Microcosm

    The latest example of software patents advocacy and patent 'parades' in India, as well as something from IPOS in Singapore



  14. Links 24/4/2017: Linux 4.11 RC8, MPV 0.25

    Links for the day



  15. Why Authorities in the Netherlands Need to Strip the EPO of Immunity and Investigate Fire Safety Violations

    How intimidation and crackdown on the staff representatives at the EPO may have led to lack of awareness (and action) about lack of compliance with fire safety standards



  16. Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part IX: Testament to the Fear of an Autocratic Regime

    A return to the crucial observation and a reminder of the fact that at the EPO it takes great courage to say the truth nowadays



  17. For the Fordham Echo Chamber (Patent Maximalism), Judges From the EPO Boards of Appeal Are Not Worth Entertaining

    In an event steered if not stuffed by patent radicals such as Bristows and Microsoft (abusive, serial litigators) there are no balanced panels or even reasonable discussions



  18. EPO Staff Representatives Fired Using “Disciplinary Committee That Was Improperly Composed” as Per ILO's Decision

    The Board of the Administrative Council at European Patent Organisation is being informed of the union-busting activities of Battistelli -- activities that are both illegal (as per national and international standards) and are detrimental to the Organisation



  19. Links 23/4/2017: End of arkOS, Collabora Office 5.3 Released

    Links for the day



  20. Intellectual Discovery and Microsoft Feed Patent Trolls Like Intellectual Ventures Which Then Strategically Attack Rivals

    Like a swarm of blood-sucking bats, patent trolls prey on affluent companies that derive their wealth from GNU/Linux and freedom-respecting software (Free/libre software)



  21. The European Patent Office Has Just Killed a Cat (or Skinned a 'Kat')

    The EPO’s attack on the media, including us, resulted in a stream of misinformation and puff pieces about the EPO and UPC, putting at risk not just European democracy but also corrupting the European press



  22. Yann Ménière Resorts to Buzzwords to Recklessly Promote Floods of Patents, Dooming the EPO Amid Decline in Patent Applications

    Battistelli's French Chief Economist is not much of an economist but a patent maximalist toeing the party line of Monsieur Battistelli (lots of easy grants and litigation galore, for UPC hopefuls)



  23. Even Patent Bullies Like Microsoft and Facebook Find the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Useful

    Not just companies accused of patent infringement need the PTAB but also frequent accusers with deep pockets need the PTAB, based on some new figures and new developments



  24. Links 21/4/2017: Qt Creator 4.2.2, ROSA Desktop Fresh R9

    Links for the day



  25. At the EPO, Seeding of Puff Piece in the Press/Academia Sometimes Transparent Enough to View

    The EPO‘s PR team likes to 'spam' journalists and others (for PR) and sometimes does this publicly, as the tweets below show — a desperate recruitment and reputation laundering drive



  26. Affordable and Sophisticated Mobile Devices Are Kept Away by Patent Trolls and Aggressors That Tax Everything

    The war against commoditisation of mobile computing has turned a potentially thriving market with fast innovation rates into a war zone full of patent trolls (sometimes suing at the behest of large companies that hand them patents for this purpose)



  27. In Spite of Lobbying and Endless Attempts by the Patent Microcosm, US Supreme Court Won't Consider Any Software Patent Cases Anymore (in the Foreseeable Future)

    Lobbyists of software patents, i.e. proponents of endless litigation and patent trolls, are attempting to convince the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to have another look at abstract patents and reconsider its position on cases like Alice Corp. v CLS Bank International



  28. Expect Team UPC to Remain in Deep Denial About the Unitary Patent/Unified Court (UPC) Having No Prospects

    The prevailing denial that the UPC is effectively dead, courtesy of sites and blogs whose writers stood to profit from the UPC



  29. EPO in 2017: Erroneously Grant a Lot of Patents in Bulk or Get Sacked

    Quality of patent examination is being abandoned at the EPO and those who disobey or refuse to play along are being fired (or asked to resign to avoid forced resignations which would stain their record)



  30. Links 21/4/2017: System76 Entering Phase Three, KDE Applications 17.04, Elive 2.9.0 Beta

    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