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01.16.18

Microsoft’s Patent Racket Has Just Been Broadened to Threaten GNU/Linux Users Who Don’t Pay Microsoft ‘Rents’

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 12:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Racket“We’ll defend you from the very same patent trolls whom we feed”

“I’ve heard from Novell sales representatives that Microsoft sales executives have started calling the Suse Linux Enterprise Server coupons “royalty payments”…”

Matt Asay

Summary: Microsoft revisits its aggressive patent strategy which it failed to properly implement 12 years ago with Novell; it wants to ‘collect’ a patent tax on GNU/Linux and it uses patent trolls to make that easier

THE CONNECTION of Microsoft to patent trolls is very obvious. The world’s largest troll (Intellectual Ventures) came from Microsoft, Acacia (patent troll which habitually sues GNU/Linux vendors) has former Microsoft staff, MOSAID (another patent troll) received Nokia’s patents at Microsoft’s instructions, Microsoft’s co-founder has a patent troll (Interval Research Corporation) and Bill Gates himself is directly connected to several patent trolls (some of which he funds).

“What Microsoft’s patent strategists are doing these days is incredibly similar to what they did with Novell in 2006 and similarly called “Advantage”…”About a year ago Microsoft came up with a new plan [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]. We wrote many articles about it (nearly 20 in total) and we last wrote about it a month ago in relation to the Provenance Asset Group [1, 2]. What Microsoft’s patent strategists are doing these days is incredibly similar to what they did with Novell in 2006 and similarly called “Advantage” (as in buy SUSE, pay Microsoft, and lower risk of lawsuits from Microsoft and/or its proxies at the time).

Do not be misled by patent propaganda from Microsoft in tweets and in article form (examples from this week alone). Also do not be misled by shallow, poor coverage like this from a few hours ago. The headline euphemistically states “Microsoft extends patent protection shield on-premises,” but what really happens here is a lot simpler: Microsoft extends patent ‘protection’ racket, sends patents to patent trolls and then says, “come to us, we’re safe!”

From the article:

The company hoped that those efforts would let developers do what they do best in Azure, without having to worry about patent trolls popping up from under a bridge. Redmond didn’t offer the service as a perfect shield, but claimed the service was at least better than similar programs from other clouds.

In the pages of The Register lawyer Barry Sookman’s analysis of the program suggested the program’s real purpose may have been to make it hard for patent trolls to open up a new front against Microsoft by suing its customers for patent infringement. Sookman also said the protections offered aren’t super-useful to end-users.

And yet the author missed the whole point! He clearly did not seek to explore the commonly-understood interpretation of Microsoft’s strategy (already covered in various Web sites). So let’s look at the comments, shall we?

“So other people too are ‘getting’ it; they ‘get’ Microsoft’s thinking, unlike some journalists who overlook the real plot and portray this as some sort of goodwill gesture from Microsoft (which claims that it ‘hates’ trolls while actually passing loads of patents to them).”“Protection shield or racket,” says the sole comment on this article. “”It’d be really bad if something bad happened to you so consider joining our platform” says MS.”

So other people too are ‘getting’ it; they ‘get’ Microsoft’s thinking, unlike some journalists who overlook the real plot and portray this as some sort of goodwill gesture from Microsoft (which claims that it ‘hates’ trolls while actually passing loads of patents to them).

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