07.05.17

The Microsoft Operandi: Linux-Centric Xiaomi Pays Post-Microsoft Entryism Nokia for Patents

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 6:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Xiaomi patent settlement

Summary: The passage around of patents still enables Microsoft to drive up the price of Free/libre operating systems, which are also under attack from European authorities owing to Microsoft’s heavy lobbying there

THE effective or de facto takeover by Microsoft has turned Nokia into little more than a patent troll (or feeder of patent trolls like MOSAID/Conversant), which often turns against companies that distribute Android/Linux, never companies that are Windows shops. This shouldn’t be so shocking; we’ve predicted this for years.

“…so Nokia does to Xiaomi what Microsoft did to it and we view that as a form of blackmail.”One year ago Microsoft basically settled with Xiaomi when Xiaomi agreed to buy (i.e. pay for) patents from Microsoft and now we see the same thing with Nokia, i.e. double-dipping. Much of the media (starting this morning) described this as a “patent deal”, a “collaboration” or “cross-licence”, but pay attention to the finer details. “Under the new business agreement, Xiaomi also acquired patent assets from Nokia,” it says. Just like with Microsoft; so Nokia does to Xiaomi what Microsoft did to it and we view that as a form of blackmail.

“A lot of the media conveniently neglects to mention Microsoft’s well-documented role in antitrust action against Android in Europe.”Did Nokia pressure Xiaomi for this? A payment was made, akin to a settlement, not a cross-licence. In other words, Xiaomi paid Nokia. Like it did with Microsoft…

We have since seen this development covered in lots more sites; it’s widely covered today in mainstream media and also patents-centric blogs/news sites.

“Nokia and Xiaomi ink patent and equipment deal, Xiaomi buys Nokia patents,” says this headline, emphasising the part about purchase of patents. Much of the rest was almost as shallow as press releases.

“Don’t underestimate the dirty patent tricks of Microsoft. The company still hates Linux and Android with a passion; it fights these hard using patents and using satellites which include Nokia and patent trolls it instructs Nokia to pass patents to.”As we noted here back in May, Apple and Nokia settled their dispute too and we guess it means that Apple agreed to pay Nokia (again).

Don’t lose sight of the fact that Nokia always goes after Microsoft competitors (same as Intellectual Ventures).

As for Apple, it is still going after Samsung, which was (at the time the lawsuits began) the dominant Android player/OEM. The latest on this was covered by Florian Müller the other day; he retweeted Matt Marcotte as saying: “Busy summer for Apple and Samsung then. The parties are now going to have to lobby the DoJ again. Groundhog day, sort of.” In his personal blog he wrote:

As the docket overview now indicates, the Supreme Court of the United States has decided to ask for the views of the Solicitor General of the United States on Samsung’s petition for writ of certiorari relating to the second California Apple v. Samsung case. To be precise, this CVSG (Call for Views of the Solicitor General) is a CVASG–currently there is an Acting Solicitor General, Jeffrey Wall.

This means the Supreme Court’s summer recess will be a busy period for the parties–and other stakeholders–as they will both be lobbying the Department of Justice.

Just last week, a Reuters story had the following headline: “RPT-U.S. Supreme Court and top patent court rarely see eye to eye” It is true that the relationship between the Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit is, well, special. That Reuters article is about a rare case in which there was affirmance, but high-profile reversals, such as recently on patent exhaustion in the Lexmark case, are more common.

This is nice progress for Samsung. The likelihood of certiorari being granted has increased substantially.

If this case goes to SCOTUS, there will be a lot at stake for Android, which is reportedly (according to exclusive coverage from Reuters today) under antitrust attacks that Microsoft initiated against it, using all sorts of proxies several years ago. A lot of the media conveniently neglects to mention Microsoft’s well-documented role in antitrust action against Android in Europe. Revisionism by omission? We wrote dozens of articles on the subject over the years. Evidence is abundant. Groklaw covered this too.

Don’t underestimate the dirty patent tricks of Microsoft. The company still hates Linux and Android with a passion; it fights these hard using patents and using satellites which include Nokia and patent trolls it instructs Nokia to pass patents to.

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