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01.11.17

Gradual Collapse of Microsoft’s Extensive (and External) Patent Trolling Operations

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 7:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Horacio Gutierrez

Picture contributed by a reader in 2008

Summary: 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

TECHRIGHTS has been writing about Microsoft’s patent attacks on GNU/Linux for just over a decade. It was the primary focus of this Web site.

The head of Microsoft’s “IP licensing operation” (i.e. patent extortion), according to this new report, is leaving, only months after Horacio Gutierrez left. As a bit of background IAM says this:

A Microsoft veteran who joined the company back in 1998, Psyhogeos’s most recent position prior to taking over the IP monetisation reins was vice president of OEM licensing, where he held overall responsibility for Microsoft’s licensing and pricing arrangements with its original equipment manufacturer partners worldwide. In November 2013, Psyhogeos was appointed general manager and associate general counsel of IP licensing by then-head of IP Horacio Gutierrez (now general counsel at Spotify) as part of a reshuffle in the wake of chief patent counsel Bart Eppenauer’s move into private practice (which also saw Minhas take over the chief patent counsel role). The following year, Microsoft span patent monetisation activities out into a separate entity, Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC, with Psyhogeos as its president.

When IAM says “patent monetisation” it means patent trolling. IAM is funded by some patent trolls, so it’s inherently biased and always sympathetic towards trolls, not just towards Microsoft (the site is purely Microsoft-based and Microsoft is habitually quoted as an ‘expert’, especially Bart Eppenauer).

“Microsoft officials made it clear that the patent war against Android was still on.”“Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC,” as the above puts it, “with Psyhogeos as its president,” is basically Microsoft’s PURE patent troll, which has engaged in patent blackmail against OEMs that sell ChromeOS (GNU/Linux), Android (Linux), and more…

What does the above mean for Microsoft’s patent troll? We don’t know for sure yet, but even after Gutierrez had left the company Microsoft persisted in patent extortion against Linux. Microsoft officials made it clear that the patent war against Android was still on. It’s just 'dressed up' a little differently (face-saving PR tactics), as we last saw in the Xiaomi settlement.

But wait, there’s more

“Is Detkin seeing the writings on the wall? What/how about Nathan Myhrvold?”After massive layoffs and financial issues at Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft’s biggest and most vicious patent troll (which habitually attacks Linux and Android device makers) we now learn that its founder moves on. We mentioned this earlier this week, but MIP has some further details. To quote: “Advisory firm Sherpa Technology Group has appointed Peter Detkin as senior advisor. This coincides with Sherpa Technology Group’s rebrand from 3LP Advisors. Detkin is a founder of Intellectual Ventures and holds more than 40,000 patents. He will remain involved with the company. Before founding Intellectual Ventures, Detkin was a vice-president at Intel Corporation, where he oversaw Intel’s patent, licensing and litigation departments. “We have decided to rebrand ourselves as Sherpa Technology Group to emphasise our role as an experienced guide that enables our clients to reach the peak and achieve their ultimate objectives,” said Ralph Eckardt, managing partner of Sherpa Technology Group.”

The founder of world’s largest patent troll (Microsoft-connected) did not finally leave Intellectual Ventures, but with one foot out one might suppose he is gradually walking out, sort of. It remains to be seen just how much trouble Intellectual Ventures will have now that software patents are collapsing. A few months ago Intellectual Ventures lost a major case at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC). Quite a few of its software patents got shot down by the judge, who extrapolated and clarified that software patents are a threat to free speech and are therefore in conflict with the pillars of US law. Is Detkin seeing the writings on the wall? What/how about Nathan Myhrvold?

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