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Microsoft: Sheltering Oneself From Patent Litigation While Passing Patents for Trolls to Attack GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 12:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not a novel concept [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]

Viking shield

Summary: Another closer look at Provenance Asset Holdings and what exactly it is (connection to AST, part of the cartel Microsoft subsidises to shield itself)

THE latest anti-GNU/Linux (or anti-Android) strategy of Microsoft is to pass patents to trolls and tax OEMs that do not stock/ship/bundle Windows. We warned about such a strategy as far back as 11 years ago. When it comes to Nokia, Microsoft has already instructed Nokia to spread its patents, moving these to shells like MOSAID (now known as Conversant). Recently, thousands of Nokia’s patents also landed on the lap of a mysterious new entity known as Provenance Asset Holdings [1, 2].

“…Microsoft has already instructed Nokia to spread its patents, moving these to shells like MOSAID (now known as Conversant).”According to today’s blog post from IAM, there’s a connection to AST (Linda Biel) and Yahoo, another firm that Microsoft effectively hijacked just less than a decade ago. To quote: “AST has appointed former Yahoo! IP executive Ray Strimaitis as vice president, corporate development and global strategy. Although Strimaitis’s role looks like it will be broader, he is effectively replacing Linda Biel who left the defensive aggregator last month and has joined Provenance Asset Holdings, the new platform created by former AST head Dan McCurdy.

“They’re a form of “big boys’ cartel” which provides few companies shelter that small companies do not enjoy.”“Strimaitis will be responsible for recruiting members both in new industry verticals and new geographies. Although AST’s membership includes a range of major tech businesses, such as Google, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle, it remains relatively small when compared with defensive rival RPX and it has not been able to recruit many new members from emerging markets such as China or in the small to medium sized corporate market.”

We wrote about AST and RPX many times before. They’re a form of “big boys’ cartel” which provides few companies shelter that small companies do not enjoy. All in all, it acts just like a pyramid scheme which benefits only those at the very top. And speaking of shelters, The New Yorker is the latest to write about Allergan’s patent “scam” that made the Mohawks too look like scammers. This was published a few hours ago (ahead of next week’s edition) and to quote the writer’s conclusion:

Maneuvers like Shore’s rarely go unchallenged. Last month, a federal judge in Texas ruled that some of Allergan’s Restasis patents were invalid. (The company has said that it will appeal.) The judge also commented that “sovereign immunity should not be treated as a monetizable commodity.” On the same basis, some members of Congress, led by Senator Claire McCaskill, are so annoyed that they’re calling for the abrogation of Native American sovereign immunity in patent-claims cases. This is theoretically possible, because the sovereign immunity of tribes, unlike that of states, isn’t enshrined in the Eleventh Amendment. But Shore points out that such a measure would penalize Native Americans without actually closing the loophole. If Congress limits tribal immunity, he could easily shift the patent portfolios to state universities. Shore says that he’s in talks with several underfunded state-run historically black colleges and universities. As long as there’s money to be made gaming the system, he figures it’s desirable (and good P.R.) for some of that money to go to those who need it most.

Here is another key statement: “Soon, tribal leaders say, they will have a small portfolio of patents, covering other medicines and also computer software and hardware. No tribe members were involved in designing these products.”

“There’s lots of money allocated these days to the “Microsoft loves Linux” PR campaign.”This relates to Microsoft in the sense that it’s passing patents to entities which cannot be sued. They’re classic trolls whose sole purpose is to “monetise” (to use their euphemism) these patents. How can Microsoft get away with all this and still be called a company that “loves Linux”? Even when it’s corrupting officials in Munich in order for them to dump GNU/Linux? Well, there are corruptible journalists everywhere looking for easy cash (the publishers can offer that, Microsoft pays for ads). There’s lots of money allocated these days to the “Microsoft loves Linux” PR campaign.

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