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08.27.17

Patent Aggression is Bad for Business

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Patents at 4:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FTC Charges Qualcomm

Summary: Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Virtual StrongBox are missing the point and relying too much on patents, failing to see the backlash that patent aggression typically entails

MANY people dislike all sorts of companies, but rarely do they campaign against them. The reason this site exists in the first place is Microsoft’s patent attacks on Free software. Microsoft, based on new headlines like these [1, 2, 3, 4], continues to stockpile patents. What will these be used for? We don’t know yet. Had Microsoft not been so aggressive with patents (and trolls), we would not protest. We published about 5,000 articles about Microsoft — all of them negative. Patents make enemies.

“Microsoft too learned it the hard way; nowadays it carefully attempts to hide legal action against GNU/Linux (Microsoft satellites are suing and Microsoft keeps the extortion behind closed doors).”For quite a while now Qualcomm has been receiving negative press because it uses software and hardware patents to bully a lot of companies and shake them down for ‘protection’ money. There’s growing resistance to it. Well, according to this (citing several other press reports), Qualcomm’s investors belatedly realise that being a patent bully is bad for business. The stock already collapsed several times. Florian Müller said:

About a month ago I shared the observation that Qualcomm’s approach to its FTC and Apple litigations was in part driven by investor relations (IR) considerations. That same day, Qualcomm delivered another piece of that particular puzzle by filing two German patent infringement lawsuits against Apple just before a quarterly earnings report–they can file lawsuits whenever they want, but that was hardly a coincidence.

Patent aggression comes at a high cost. Just look at Qualcomm’s performance. Microsoft too learned it the hard way; nowadays it carefully attempts to hide legal action against GNU/Linux (Microsoft satellites are suing and Microsoft keeps the extortion behind closed doors). As for Apple? When did it last file a patent lawsuit against an Android OEM?

“Patent aggression comes at a high cost.”What’s baffling, especially for it is tactless, is the number of companies that waste money promoting ‘news’ about patent grants rather than actual releases, products, etc. In this new press release from Virtual StrongBox, for example, they brag about a new patent. That’s just a software patent i.e. a totally worthless patent, a waste of time and money (as courts would not take it seriously). “For the fifth time in just over two years,” they say, “Virtual StrongBox, Inc. has received a patent, which covers its best-in-class, data-protection software.”

So what next? Patent lawsuits? And if not, then what’s the point of these patents? Totally pointless waste of funds. Who are they attempting to impress?

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