01.24.18

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Microsoft Financially Backs Patent Trolls That Attack Its Competitors

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 4:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“[Microsoft's] Mr. Emerson and I discussed a variety of investment structures wherein Microsoft would ‘backstop,’ or guarantee in some way, BayStar’s investment…. Microsoft assured me that it would in some way guarantee BayStar’s investment in SCO.”

Larry Goldfarb, BayStar, key investor in SCO

Summary: Corporate media continues to ignore the elephant in the room, which is Microsoft’s deep involvement in arming patent trolls and using them against rivals, including GNU/Linux

THE 12-year Microsoft push for 'patent tax' on GNU/Linux persists in a new form. It’s occasionally mentioned in the media, e.g. that Microsoft would sic patent trolls on AWS customers, but we can’t help wondering if editors are shooting down attempts to mention that this is also an anti-Linux plot. How many millions (not even billions) has Microsoft spent (‘invested’) for the media to spread the lie that it “loves Linux”? We are occasionally being asked (having researched this) regarding Microsoft’s patent strategy against Linux, yet nothing gets published at the end. In this example from yesterday it comes across almost like Microsoft marketing with lots of Microsoft talking points, as if everything Microsoft says must be true. I had been contacted by the author, but nothing I said was included in this article. I did explain, for example, that Microsoft instructs Nokia to pass its patents to trolls. This is well documented. The article actually states that “if Microsoft sells a patent, it still can’t be used against Azure customers.” But only against them. Got it?

“We’re very disappointed to see the media persisting with the “Microsoft loves Linux” lie, but seeing also the publicity stunt (court case) which has Microsoft portrayed as “fighting for privacy” we are dismayed and bound to accept that money buys the media and thus buys narrative.”Paid-for trolling (paid by Microsoft) is not new; here’s a reminder from this week. It’s about Finjan. Microsoft-backed patent trolls like Finjan receive extortion money from Microsoft’s rivals, noting a “175% year-over-year increase in revenue to over $50.0 million” (that’s just ‘protection’ money).

Don’t expect Microsoft to be vocally involved. Microsoft has funded patent trolls, this one included, and now it can better hide it. Same for SCO. The use of proxies for such litigation was highlighted by OIN a long time ago. Their CEO said that Microsoft would attempt to attack Linux through proxies to which it can slip patents (directly or indirectly). It’s going to get harder to see it, based on rulings such as this:

The court denied defendants’ motion to compel the production of documents regarding plaintiff’s communications with litigation-funding organizations that plaintiff withheld as privileged.

We’re very disappointed to see the media persisting with the “Microsoft loves Linux” lie, but seeing also the publicity stunt (court case) which has Microsoft portrayed as “fighting for privacy” we are dismayed and bound to accept that money buys the media and thus buys narrative.

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