Microsoft Has Not Managed to Blackmail Huawei Over Android and GNU/Linux, But Its Trolls/Satellites Are Trying
If you don’t pay Microsoft the ‘protection’ fee, then watch out!
Summary: The story of Huawei gets more complicated, even though software patents are losing their teeth and notorious patent trolls are altogether losing their patents
Microsoft has successfully blackmailed all the big Android (and Chrome OS) OEMs except Huawei (whose headcount is almost twice that of Microsoft). Microsoft now attempts to paint patent settlements as "bundling" (the latest trick among more for taxing GNU/Linux and Free software). This does not, however, suggest that Huawei is safe because Microsoft has an army of “punishers” (or trolls), ranging from classic trolls like Intellectual Ventures to companies like Nokia and trolls that Microsoft passes Nokia’s patents to, e.g. MOSAID/Conversant.
Will Huawei bear the brunt of trolls for ‘daring’ to repeatedly refuse to sign a patent settlement with Microsoft (like Xiaomi did)? Ericsson, according to this new blog post from IAM, uses its already-notorious patent trolls (like Microsoft does) to taunt Huawei in the Eastern District of Texas. What we were not aware of, however, is that Nokia too — having become Microsoft’s patent bully after Elop’s infiltration/entryism — goes after Huawei. To quote: “Already embroiled in a standards licensing dispute with competitors Ericsson and Nokia, Huawei now faces battle on a new front after NPE PanOptis sued the Chinese company for alleged infringement of its standard-essential patents (SEPs).”
What we are seeing here is the sort of sordid mess that makes so-called 'smart' phones grossly overpriced and helps Microsoft compete on pricing terms while also extorting the competition (extracting so-called ‘royalties’ from projects and products it contributed absolutely nothing to).
We hope to see Microsoft’s trolling coming to a halt, but with the Linux Foundation being so paralysed by Microsoft cash we doubt a reprieve will ever come from there.
One way out of this mess is the weakening of software patents and perhaps their complete phase-out in the US. MPHJ, one of the world’s most notorious patent trolls, turns out to have just lost its software patents. As Patently-O has just put it:
Scan-to-Email Patent Finally Done; Claim Scope Broadened by Narrow Provisional Application
MPHJ’s patent enforcement campaign helped revive calls for further reform of the patent litigation system. The patentee apparently mailed out thousands of demand letters to both small and large businesses who it suspected of infringing its scan-to-email patents. The primary patent at issue is U.S. Patent No. 8,488,173.
Ricoh, Xerox, and Lexmark successfully petitioned for inter partes review (IPR), and the PTAB concluded that the challenged claims (1–8) are invalid as both anticipated and obvious. On appeal, the Federal Circuit has affirmed.