07.08.17

Patent Trolls Are Still a Problem, But Microsoft Remains One of the Biggest Patent Trolls (Non-Practicing in Mobile)

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 5:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: Patent Trolls of Microsoft and Ericsson Are Trying to Tax Everything, Especially Linux Devices

Summary: How Microsoft, together with non-practicing entities such as Intellectual Ventures and the nearly-defunct Nokia, continues to tax Android/Linux using patents — even in areas where Microsoft does not operate anymore

Patent trolls are still using as their principal source of ammunition patents granted by the USPTO. Most of these patents are software patents. Their arsenals vary in terms of size, but since nobody can sue a troll (nothing to sue over), one patent may be enough for the trolls to operate without risk of retribution (notably countersuit). Use of patents in bulk, moreover, overwhelms the defendant with “targets”, raising the cost of a legal fight and rendering out-of-court settlement more attractive an option (see Microsoft v Samsung in 2015). That’s just what Microsoft does to discourage legal challenge. Sometimes Microsoft simply attacks indirectly, via some well-funded, e.g. by Microsoft and Bill Gates, patent troll (it has plenty of such tentacles, including an in-house one).

“It’s a global problem because many businesses operate in the US, even if they’re not based in the US. This makes them susceptible to lawsuits.”The problem of US patent trolls isn’t compartmentalised. It’s a global problem because many businesses operate in the US, even if they’re not based in the US. This makes them susceptible to lawsuits. That includes companies in the far east — just about as far as it gets from the US.

There are many articles about trolls, but not about software patents. We’ll soon cover some of these articles and add our remarks on them. A new article, this one behind a paywall in Australia, says that “Patent trolls trawl for business” and starts as follows:

What better way to start the new financial year than with a cautionary tale about vexatious litigation.

There’s only one thing I fear more than getting the facts wrong and that’s getting embroiled in legal action, which I’m sure is the same for most professionals.

I have heard of quite a few companies that suffered from patent trolls. There are many thousands of such companies out there; some don’t speak about it for fear of retribution from trolls. They just pay the ‘protection’ money and try to move on. They also don’t want to signal that they’ll willing to shell out cash for trolls, as that too can make them an attractive target.

“Microsoft is trying to impose bundling (e.g. of Microsoft ‘apps’ inside Android) using patent threats, with forced sales of patents to soften the appearance or the nature of additional payments.”When the term “patent troll” is used many typically think of small entities, but not giant trolls such as the Microsoft-connected Intellectual Ventures or even the Microsoft-connected Nokia, which Microsoft now uses to relay patents to relatively big patent trolls. Microsoft is trying to impose bundling (e.g. of Microsoft ‘apps’ inside Android) using patent threats, with forced sales of patents to soften the appearance or the nature of additional payments. We wrote about it some days ago in relation to Nokia and a couple of days ago we stumbled upon the obligatory revisionism from IAM (the voice of patent trolls) — the same sort of revisionism it repeated endlessly after Microsoft had done it to Xiaomi. Regarding patent shakedowns by Nokia and Microsoft, this is what IAM wrote:

In last year’s Microsoft agreement, the 1,500 patents transferred quickly became the deal’s headline figure, an indication that Xiaomi wouldn’t shy away from major acquisitions as it sought to catch up to more established smartphone companies. It was seen as a measure that might allow the Chinese company to move ahead in its timeline for introducing mobile devices to the litigation-heavy markets of North America and Europe.

All that really happened was, Xiaomi paid Microsoft and in addition to that it was compelled to preload Microsoft ‘apps’. It was, as we explained at the time, yet another patent ‘settlement’. It was extortion. Microsoft was trolling. But it keeps embellishing the story (PR) over time….

We need to start recognising that patent trolls don’t need to have size as a criterion; rather, it’s the nature of their behaviour. In that sense, Microsoft is one heck of a patent troll these days. Its mobile business is virtually non-existent, so Microsoft just goes preying on companies that distribute Android. It wishes to make billions of dollars by just threatening companies with litigation.

“…Microsoft is one heck of a patent troll these days. Its mobile business is virtually non-existent, so Microsoft just goes preying on companies that distribute Android.”Not too long ago an article was published about the “growing disparity between NPE [trolls] and practicing entity patent damages” — an article based on a so-called ‘study’ from PwC, a paid liar for Battistelli*.

Can we trust anything PwC says about patent trolls (referred to by euphemisms)? “PwC’s 2017 Patent Litigation Study highlights a number of interesting US trends,” Managing IP wrote, “including the increasing gap between NPE and practicing entity damages and the top 10 awards ever…”

Well, by criteria such as “practicing”, Microsoft now qualities as a patent troll because it’s not practicing in the area of mobile. What will it take for more people to recognise that Microsoft too has been reduced to “patent troll” status (and a profitable one at that)?
_______
* There is a lot to be said about the above, including the fact that EPO apologists keep referring as an authority to an EPO-funded ‘study’ which we repeatedly wrote about in the following past articles:

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

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. Showing Solidarity With FSFE Survivors

    What does justice look like?



  2. IBM is Throwing Away Red Hat's 'de Facto Standard' Status in Servers, Wrongly Assuming People Can't (or Won't) Go Elsewhere

    This new video is over half an hour long and it’s a discussion of IBM’s self-harming (shot-in-the-foot) move, which it already seems to regret



  3. Why 6 Screens and 6 Virtual Desktops

    An explanation of how I use computers and how I distribute tasks (across screens and across virtual desktops)



  4. Red Hat Developer Network Promoting Microsoft's Proprietary Software, Sometimes by Mass-Mailing People

    Red Hat is doing a disservice to people who subscribe to E-mail newsletters; those people are almost never into Microsoft's proprietary software, which they want to get away from



  5. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 26, 2021



  6. Links 26/1/2021: Mozilla Firefox 85.0, Tails 4.15, Zentyal Server 7.0, GNOME 40 Alpha

    Links for the day



  7. Instead of Making Access to COVID-19 Solutions Easier Bill Gates Has Made It Harder (Patent Profits)

    Counterproductively — and at a great cost to human civilisation — Bill Gates has once again put profits and monopoly ahead of global goals such as collective health



  8. We Need More Documents Leaked to Know Intel (From the) Inside

    We invite more leaks from the belly of the beast "chipzilla", seeing that it is becoming a drone of Microsoft again, yearning for the "Wintel" days instead of moving on to a world dominated by GNU/Linux and Free/libre software



  9. Why GNU/Linux Users (and the Public at Large) Should Support Leaking/Whistleblowing Sites (Including Wikileaks)

    To demonstrate the value of "scientific journalism" (a term apparently coined by Wikileaks) we take a look at Red Hat's response to embarrassing leaks (demonstrating what a scam their certification and examination programmes really are)



  10. EPO President António Campinos is Still Not Listening, According to Internal EPO Documents

    Increasingly arrogant and unaccountable management of Europe's second-largest institution (EPO) has left staff disillusioned but still defiant; there's clearly unsuitable or unfit-for-purpose management at the EPO, self-selecting based on nepotism/loyalty so as to cover up abuses



  11. Why You Should Give Falkon (the Web Browser) a Chance on GNU/Linux, BSD, or Windows

    In this crazy new world where advertisers are the real customers and Web users ("audiences") have been reduced to mere products we need a browser that isn't controlled by a company; try Falkon



  12. Kluwer Patent Spin and Distortion of Facts (Regarding UPC and More)

    Kluwer Patent Blog disgraces the firm that puts its name on it; instead of sticking to facts they're distorting the facts and the sole/principal goal is to manipulate/mislead the public and public servants



  13. Links 26/1/2021: 4MLinux 35.1, GParted 1.2, Gnuastro 0.14

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, January 25, 2021



  15. It's Wrong to Assume Red Hat Competes With Microsoft

    The community ought to stop pretending that one monopoly seeks to replace another despite close partnerships (some would say "collusion") between the two



  16. EPO Staff Representation Complains That EPO Management Exploits Pandemic and 'House Arrests' to Overwork Staff, Lower Quality

    The EPO keeps breaking its promises to workers; not only are key employees seeing their net salary cut (inflation factored in) but pensioners too are being robbed and in the meantime the total time spent on work is increasing



  17. Fake News is Not a 'Wing' Thing

    The two-party corporate-led system (and media) would have us obsess/bicker about accuracy of news based on some binary/dual system of blind loyalty rather than underlying facts and priorities



  18. Links 25/1/2021: Huawei on GNU/Linux, NuTyX 20.12.1, Whisker Menu 2.5.3, Lutris 0.5.8.3, Linux 5.11 RC5

    Links for the day



  19. Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) in ZDNet is the Norm

    ZDNet continues to emit lots of garbage 'journalism', in effect Microsoft PR and what's known as "black PR" for Linux; just like Bleeping Computer, which ZDNet hired this writer from, there's no adherence to facts, just smears and innuendo



  20. Truth Tellers Aren't an Enemy of Free Software

    There's a perpetual attack on people who speak out against actors and corporations in positions of great power, however subtle and indirect those attacks may seem on the surface (they don't wish to be held accountable for defaming activists)



  21. The Linux Foundation, With Over 124 Million Dollars in Annual Revenue, is in Trouble Because of the Pandemic, So It's Trying to Reinvent Itself as Training and Certifications Outfit

    With mountains of cash and a Public Relations (PR) or marketing business model the so-called 'Linux' Foundation became reliant on travel, lodging, booths and speeches on sale; COVID-19 is a great risk to that business model



  22. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 24, 2021



  23. Our Move Further Away From the World Wide Web, the Browser Monopolies, HTTP, and HTML

    The World Wide Web (WWW) is going down a bad path and a clearly regressive direction; the solution isn't going 'retro' but exploring more sophisticated systems which are robust to censorship (localised or globalised) and downtime (related to censorship) while reducing surveillance by leveraging encryption at the endpoints



  24. Important Issues Not Entertained in the Community, Especially Critics of the Status Quo

    here's corporate infiltration inside communities (for oligarchy hunts volunteer, unpaid labour) and those who speak about that as a threat to our cause and objectives are painted as misguided outcasts who must be ignored



  25. Internet Origins of the Mob

    Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock



  26. When Proprietary Software Users Dictate the Freedom-Leaning Communities

    Fedora doesn't care about software freedom and its steward (or parent company) is sometimes imposing proprietary software on staff; they've quit caring



  27. In 2020 Onwards 'Open Source' is Just a Marketing Ploy of Monopolies, Unlike Free Software

    More people are nowadays seeing or witnessing 'Open Source' for what it truly is; the term has become a misleading marketing term of proprietary software firms looking to rebrand as "ethical" (e.g. by sharing some code with other proprietary software firms, over proprietary platforms such as GitHub)



  28. Microsoft: The Year After We Bought GitHub There Was a Significant Decline in Number of New Projects on GitHub

    Microsoft has just admitted that in 2019 GitHub saw a very significant decline in number of new projects (and users, which it is conveniently miscounting by adding 'phantom' ones) on the site. Just what we had heard before they confirmed it (and they foresaw this effect of the takeover, hence the lies about "loving" Linux).



  29. Social Control Media is a Passing Fad, We Should All Go Back to Blogging and Subscribing to RSS Feeds

    The whole "social control media" phenomenon has been oversold or promoted using lies; in reality, as a mountain of evidence serves to show, it's a way to manage society at a macro scale



  30. As Andrei Iancu Removes Himself From the Patent and Trademark Office All Eyes Are on Biden's Next Nomination

    Patent zealots and their front groups already lobby Joe Biden to put one of them in charge of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; we'll soon see if Joe Biden "means business" or simply means monopoly/large corporations (and their law firms/departments)


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

Recent Posts