EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

02.05.18

The ‘Microsoft Operandi’ of Vaguely Alluding to 200+ Patents to Blackmail the Competition is Now Being Copied by China

Posted in America, Asia, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 2:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft did this to demand payments for the use/distribution of Linux

Microsoft mouse

Summary: A look at Microsoft’s latest strategy for ‘monetising’ GNU/Linux and how giants in China now copy that strategy, exploiting a large pile of patents for saber-rattling and demands of ‘protection’ money

THE “NEW MICROSOFT”.

Yes, that’s still a ‘thing’, apparently. So is “Microsoft loves Linux…” (or “Microsoft loves [something FOSS]“)

“When it comes to patents, Microsoft changed the outward appearance of its approach, but the underlying approach is still the same. Microsoft drives up the price of Linux devices and tries to turn these devices into Microsoft cash cows. It’s a racketeering approach, no matter how subtle it may seem.”Smart people fall for neither of the two. Microsoft has not really changed.

When it comes to patents, Microsoft changed the outward appearance of its approach, but the underlying approach is still the same. Microsoft drives up the price of Linux devices and tries to turn these devices into Microsoft cash cows. It’s a racketeering approach, no matter how subtle it may seem. Today we present some evidence from the past week alone.

A week ago Managing IP ran a new series about patents. Watch who sponsors this thing. The patent microcosm does, and the first episode is directly linked to Microsoft through the law firm (Microsoft’s former chief and probably closest business partner). They hope to control the narrative.

“Microsoft is shaking down companies in China, using satellites that prey on Android/ChromeOS OEMs.”But that’s not the ‘smoking gun’. What’s more troubling was already covered here several times last month. Microsoft is shaking down companies in China, using satellites that prey on Android/ChromeOS OEMs. One specific example we gave from China was Nokia‘s taxation of Huawei and Xiaomi.

Nokia was reduced to a minuscule market share after Microsoft had destroyed Nokia and fed its patents to patent trolls. According to this (days ago), the market share may be somewhere around 1%. So Nokia is becoming a troll and/or is feeding trolls. It didn’t do this before Microsoft’s Elop took over.

“Nokia’s licensing team had a huge 2017,” IAM wrote, “but the company is predicting much more to come” according to this latest article, naming some of the affected OEMs:

In 2017 it signed a series of headline deals including with Apple, Huawei and Xiaomi – a run of success which saw patent business chief Ilkka Rahnasto crowned as our top market maker of the year.

[...]

Since Nokia sold its handset division to Microsoft in 2013 and went through an internal reorganisation which saw patent licensing become part of Nokia Technologies, the Finnish company has focused intensely on growing the return from its patent portfolio.

As we said last week, Nokia now goes after the OEMs which Microsoft was never able to shake down over Linux/Android (Microsoft’s patent advantage over Huawei, for instance, wasn’t strong enough). Microsoft is still stockpiling patents on the sorts of things it does not sell or barely ever sells. Its strategy is to just turn patents into a cash cow, helped by trolls and the likes of Nokia. They want a humongous ‘patent tax’ on everything Linux. It’s hardly even a secret.

“As we said last week, Nokia now goes after the OEMs which Microsoft was never able to shake down over Linux/Android (Microsoft’s patent advantage over Huawei, for instance, wasn’t strong enough).”As for Xiaomi, it turns out that it has resorted to a similar strategy, at least in China (for now). As one IAM writer put it the other day, “Jiang Chao tipping his hand here? IP team must have told him they have 200 patents that read on Xiaomi products…”

Microsoft deja vu. Remember those 200+ unnamed patents it claimed were infringed by Linux when it started the blackmail campaign in 2007? Giants in China now use their patents like Microsoft used them a decade ago, in order to bully and blackmail small companies like Coolpad. Here’s the latest:

Coolpad CEO Claims Xiaomi Violated Over 200 of Its Patents & Lawsuit Is To Create Awareness

[...]

The Chinese media was agog recently with news that Coolpad had sued Xiaomi before a Beijing court for patent infringement. Xiaomi had come out after that to deny the allegation and stated that it is yet to receive the court papers. The latest gist coming out of that story comes from Coolpad’s CEO Jiang Chao who revealed that Xiaomi’s infringement of its patents spans more than 200 patents. The CEO, however, stated that they decided to sue Xiaomi for just six out of the 200.

They’re ‘pulling a Microsoft’ here. Xiaomi is behaving like Microsoft but for the time being only in China. Yesterday we saw a report titled “Xiaomi Says Coolpad Didn’t Sue It For Patent Infringement,” refuting some false claims:

Xiaomi denied being sued for patent infringement by Coolpad, with the tech giant’s first comment on the matter claiming that it never received any official notice of such litigation being in the works, Chinese media reports. The statement was meant to reflect on recent reports that Coolpad is targeting several Xiaomi subsidiaries for infringing on a number of the company’s patents related to the Android operating system, though the smartphone maker says its only word of an upcoming legal clash came from those very same reports. It’s presently unclear whether Coolpad made a misstep in the process of filing for litigation or if the leaked lawsuit has yet to be filed in the first place. The supposed plaintiff refused to issue a more in-depth response to the allegations raised by the lawsuit as it said their details remain vague, making it unclear what exactly is Coolpad accusing it of.

Why would Coolpad even sue? It doesn’t have anywhere as many patents as Xiaomi, so in a two-way battle where both companies have products (unlike trolls) it’s only Xiaomi that can win.

“What’s noteworthy here is that we’re seeing US patents being reassigned to companies from China.”According to this, “Chinese smartphone maker Oppo back on the patent purchase trail as it seeks to expand into new markets.”

They know they need patents to avoid being hammered with lawsuits (like Coolpad above). The corresponding article shows that firms from China are now taking over US patents as well:

According to USPTO records, the Dongguan-based smartphone vendor obtained 37 US assets in one assignment on 17th January (the transfers were recorded on Sunday). All the patents involved were formerly owned by Intel, and they were assigned to an entity named Sky Royal Trading Limited before landing in Oppo’s possession. Sky Royal Trading is a Hong Kong registered company with no previous patent assignment record or other online footprint. It’s not clear whether it is a broker or a bespoke Oppo patent acquisition vehicle.

What’s noteworthy here is that we’re seeing US patents being reassigned to companies from China. We saw that before, albeit not often. It’s actually a defensive strategy. The Beijing Higher Court, according Lexfield Law Offices, continues to enforce all sorts of claims, but those are only applicable in China. IAM’s Jacob Schindler, in his latest magazine article, says that “[g]overnment bodies in Asia and beyond say that alternative dispute resolution is underutilised in disputes over fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licences.”

“That plays a role in the patents gold rush in China and helps explain why there are almost 1.5 million patent filings per year (as per last year at least).”Those are often patent pools, in which the only permitted participants (for free) are companies with loads of patents. That plays a role in the patents gold rush in China and helps explain why there are almost 1.5 million patent filings per year (as per last year at least). WIPO uses these insane numbers for propaganda purposes, neglecting to note that such numbers are MEANINGLESS without QUALITY being taken into account.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

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. Links 24/5/2018: RIP Robin “Roblimo” Miller, Qt 5.11 Released

    Links for the day



  2. Walmart, Bank of America, Allied Security Trust (AST) and the Rush for 'Blockchain' Patents

    The hoarding of patents on novel-sounding code has reached ridiculous levels; very large corporations and even patent trolls arm themselves with such patents, hoping to make returns by means of litigation or an 'arms trade'



  3. Stupid Blogs, Stupid Lawsuits, and Stupid Patents

    The stupidity of the patent microcosm, which would like to see everything in the world patented and which would gleefully smear or even sue its critics (the EFF was sued several times for libel over its "Stupid Patent of the Month" series)



  4. Perpetuating the Big Lie That Unitary Patent (UPC) is About to Kick Off

    The (in)famous old lie about UPC being "just around the corner" is still being circulated, mainly if not only by patent law firms which stand to benefit from a litigation Armageddon in Europe



  5. EPO Validation in Former French Colonies That Have Zero European Patents

    The strategy of the EPO seems to be centered around the interests of Benoît Battistelli and his political career rather than that of the EPO; validation deals and dubious 'Inventor Awards' seem to be part of this pattern



  6. Saint-Germain's Poisonous Legacy of "Toxic Loans": The Cautionary Tale of SIDRU and Its “Toxic Loans”

    The town where the EPO‘s President (Battistelli) is a deputy mayor has a track record of financial hardship and alleged financial misconduct, attributed to the same financial practices Battistelli has just implemented at the EPO



  7. Links 23/5/2018: DragonFlyBSD 5.2.1 and Kata Containers 1.0 Released

    Links for the day



  8. Masking Abstract Patents in the Age of Alice/§ 101 in the United States

    There are new examples and ample evidence of § 101-dodging strategies; the highest US court, however, wishes to limit patent scope and revert back to an era of patent sanity (as opposed to patent maximalism)



  9. PTAB's Latest Applications of 35 U.S.C. § 101 and Obviousness Tests to Void U.S. Patents

    Validity checks at PTAB continue to strike out patents, much to the fear of people who have made a living from patenting and lawsuits alone



  10. France is Irrelevant to Whether or Not UPC Ever Becomes a Reality, Moving/Outsourcing de Facto Patent Examination to European Courts Managed in/Presided by France

    Team UPC is still focusing on France as if it's up for France to decide the fate of the UPC, which EPO insiders say Battistelli wants to be the chief of (the chief, it has already been decided, would have to be a Frenchman)



  11. Saint-Germain's Poisonous Legacy of "Toxic Loans": The Emperor’s New Investment Guidelines

    Details about a secret vote to 'gamble' the EPO's budget on "a diversified portfolio managed by external experts"



  12. Saint-Germain's Poisonous Legacy of "Toxic Loans": Cautionary Tale for the EPO?

    Preface or background to a series of posts about Battistelli's French politics and why they can if not should alarm EPO workers



  13. Links 22/5/2018: Parrot 4.0, Spectre Number 4

    Links for the day



  14. Chamber of Commerce Lies About the United States Like It Lies About Other Countries for the Sole Purpose of Patent Maximalism

    When pressure groups that claim to be "US" actively bash and lie about the US one has to question their motivation; in the case of the Chamber of Commerce, it's just trying to perturb the law for the worse



  15. Links 21/5/2018: Linux 4.17 RC6, GIMP 2.10.2

    Links for the day



  16. The Attacks on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Have Lost Momentum and the Patent Microcosm Begrudgingly Gives Up

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), reaffirmed by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) and now the Supreme Court as well, carries on preventing frivolous lawsuits; options for stopping PTAB have nearly been exhausted and it shows



  17. Software Patenting and Successful Litigation a Very Difficult Task Under 35 U.S.C. § 101

    Using loads of misleading terms or buzzwords such as "AI" the patent microcosm continues its software patents pursuits; but that's mostly failing, especially when courts come to assess pertinent claims made in the patents



  18. António Campinos Will Push Toward a France-Based Unified Patent Court (UPC)

    Frenchmen at EPO will try hard to bring momentum if not force to the Unified Patent Court; facts, however, aren't on their side (unlike Team UPC, which was always on Team Battistelli's side)



  19. In Apple v Samsung Patents That Should Never Have Been Granted May Result in a Billion Dollars in 'Damages'

    A roundup of news about Apple and its patent cases (especially Apple v Samsung), including Intel's role trying to intervene in Qualcomm v Apple



  20. Links 20/5/2018: KDevelop 5.2.2 and 5.2.3, FreeBSD 11.2 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  21. Aurélien Pétiaud's ILO Case (EPO Appeal) an Early Sign That ILO Protects Abusers and Power, Not Workers

    A famous EPO ‘disciplinary’ case is recalled; it’s another one of those EPO-leaning rulings from AT-ILO, which not only praises Battistelli amid very serious abuses but also lies on his behalf, leaving workers with no real access to justice but a mere illusion thereof



  22. LOT Network is a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

    Another reminder that the "LOT" is a whole lot more than it claims to be and in effect a reinforcer of the status quo



  23. 'Nokification' in Hong Kong and China (PRC)

    Chinese firms that are struggling resort to patent litigation, in effect repeating the same misguided trajectories which became so notorious in Western nations because they act as a form of taxation, discouraging actual innovation



  24. CIPU is Amplifying Misleading Propaganda From the Chamber of Commerce

    Another lobbying event is set up to alarm lawmakers and officials, telling them that the US dropped from first to twelfth using some dodgy yardstick which favours patent extremists



  25. Patent Law Firms That Profit From Software Patent Applications and Lawsuits Still 'Pull a Berkheimer' to Attract Business in Vain

    The Alice-inspired (Supreme Court) 35 U.S.C. § 101 remains unchanged, but the patent microcosm endlessly mentions a months-old decision from a lower court (than the Supreme Court) to 'sell' the impression that everything is changing and software patents have just found their 'teeth' again



  26. A Year After TC Heartland the Patent Microcosm is Trying to 'Dilute' This Supreme Court's Decision or Work Around It

    IAM, Patent Docs, Managing IP and Patently-O want more litigation (especially somewhere like the Eastern District of Texas), so in an effort to twist TC Heartland they latch onto ZTE and BigCommerce cases



  27. Microsoft Attacks the Vulnerable Using Software Patents in Order to Maintain Fear and Give the Perception of Microsoft 'Safety'

    The latest patent lawsuits from Microsoft and its patent trolls (which it financially backs); these are aimed at feeble and vulnerable rivals of Microsoft



  28. Links 19/5/2018: Mesa 18.0.4 and Vim 8.1

    Links for the day



  29. Système Battistelli (ENArque) at the EPO is Inspired by Système Lamy in Saint-Germain-en Laye

    Has the political culture of Battistelli's hometown in France contaminated the governance of the EPO?



  30. In Australia the Productivity Commission Decides/Guides Patent Law

    IP Australia, the patent office of Australia, considers abolishing "innovation patents" but has not done so yet (pending consultation)


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts