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

03.22.18

Aggressive New Activities of Microsoft-Connected Patent Trolls: Finjan, Intellectual Ventures, and Dominion Harbor

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 5:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Trolls' harbour

Summary: The extensive group of Microsoft-connected patent trolls is still very much active; Microsoft funds them, arms them, and gives them instructions while offering people ‘protection’ from them (if and only if they choose Azure)

THE paid-for lie that “Microsoft loves Linux” is pretty pervasive. The Linux Foundation too helps promote/relay/disseminate this lie, more so (or more frequently) after Microsoft paid the Foundation half a million dollars with possibility/likelihood of annual renewal (provided the Foundation does what Microsoft wants). It should be noted that the Foundation pays roughly that same amount/sum of money to Linus Torvalds every year and his ‘boss’, Jim Zemlin, earns even more money than him (and he keeps repeating Microsoft’s lies, for his job is not technical; it’s just to keep this money coming). If Microsoft was to leave the Foundation, that would cost the Foundation more than Zemlin’s salary (north of $600,000 per annum). The Foundation is pretty tight when it comes to money as its expenses (as of 2015) account for about 90% of the money which comes in. This is all in the public domain.

“It’s a form of entryism or what’s better/epically known as “Embrace, Extend, Extinguish” (EEE).”The Foundation will never mention Microsoft’s patent aggression and Microsoft is nowadays clever enough to not attack Linux directly but via patent trolls, from which Microsoft offers ‘protection’ (provided you pay Microsoft monthly ‘protection’ fees, in the form of Azure subscriptions, accompanied by Microsoft’s “Azure IP Advantage”, as we explained in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15]). As grotesque as that may be, that’s where we are today. It’s a form of entryism or what’s better/epically known as “Embrace, Extend, Extinguish” (EEE).

The USPTO is not granting software patents as often as before (because of Alice); but those which it granted over the past couple of decades are still around and trolls rarely need to have these tested in a court of law. They engage in extortion rather than legal battles (settlement with the bully is often a lot cheaper than a legal challenge).

Techrights has spent the past 12 years tracking trolls that are connected to Microsoft; they’re connected in the sense that Microsoft funds them, arms them, and gives them instructions. We wrote about many hundreds of examples to that effect.

Techrights has spent the past 12 years tracking trolls that are connected to Microsoft; they’re connected in the sense that Microsoft funds them, arms them, and gives them instructions.”Trolls would find it hard if they actually had to assert patents in courts, first of all because of Alice and secondly because of TC Heartland. So a lot of their activity we never hear about; it’s done behind closed doors and secrecy is part of the deal. The press will never cover that (it cannot) and it’s estimated that approximately two-thirds of patent aggression never becomes public knowledge. At all. Citing TC Heartland LLC v Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, another patent case is forced to move out of a hostile court. “The court granted counterclaim defendants’ motion to dismiss for improper venue because defendants lacked a regular and established place of business in the district and ancillary venue did not apply,” the Docket Navigator wrote yesterday.

This may be good in cases where actual lawsuits get filed, but it’s of no solace to those who are victims of extortion. Microsoft still engages in extortion, but it’s rarely done directly; Microsoft relies on publicly-traded trolls like Finjan, which engages in patent extortion against almost every Microsoft rival in the security space. If they don’t pay, Finjan will then sue (using software patents). Microsoft is very much complicit in this extortion because for a very long time Microsoft has been a backer (over a decade).

“Trolls would find it hard if they actually had to assert patents in courts, first of all because of Alice and secondly because of TC Heartland.”The patent trolls’ lobby (IAM), which is also close to Microsoft (they still use Windows to run their site and regularly speak to Microsoft veterans), is cheering for this patent troll. IAM euphemistically calls it “NPE” and yesterday it wrote: “Finjan shares jumped yesterday on the news that the company had received the $65 million settlement payout from Symantec following the truce between the two businesses announced at the end of February. That sum, which is one of the largest received in settlement by an NPE in years, might increase in the coming years by a further $45 million. The settlement was announced after what can only be described as an epic litigation tussle between Finjan and Symantec business Blue Coat with two court cases, including a visit to the Federal Circuit, and a deluge of IPRs.”

Using this payment from Symantec Finjan will now go bullying yet more companies that compete against Microsoft. This troll is emboldened.

There are other Microsoft-connected patent trolls that are active. IAM has just written two articles about Dropbox [1, 2], noting that it takes patents from Microsoft’s largest patent troll, Intellectual Ventures. “Since 2012,” it says, “Dropbox has not only kick-started its own patent generation programme, USPTO records show, but has also been on something of a buying spree, featuring transfers from the likes of IBM, Sony and Intellectual Ventures.”

“Microsoft is very much complicit in this extortion because for a very long time Microsoft has been a backer (over a decade).”Finjan too got patents from IBM last year. As for Intellectual Ventures, it had passed literally thousands of patents to a patent troll called Dominion Harbor. Intellectual Ventures is known to have several thousands of satellites/proxies, as reported more than half a decade ago in corporate media. They even go 'hunting' for victims in China. Recently (just earlier this month) this troll received yet more patents from Intellectual Ventures, which had received additional financial support from Microsoft even a couple of years back (the connection there is still very strong and after some resignations it became even stronger).

Yesterday we saw David Pridham from Dominion Harbor (now run by this man-child, who is a chronic liar that not only defames me but has also defamed others) saying that “Google [...] publicly criticizes patents (especially software patents)” (no, it’s not against software patents in general).

“Using this payment from Symantec Finjan will now go bullying yet more companies that compete against Microsoft.”His hatred of firms such as Google is quite a giveaway; the same goes for other staff of this patent troll (whom we observe online).

According to this new press release [1, 2] from RPX, Dominion Harbor — known to be connected to Microsoft patent trolls like Intellectual Ventures — is suing again. Here are the details:

Monument Peak Ventures, LLC (MPV) has filed its first US lawsuits over patents acquired from Intellectual Ventures LLC (IV) as part of the former Kodak portfolio transferred to the Dominion Harbor Enterprises, LLC (DHE) affiliate in February 2017. The new complaints accuse Victor Hasselblad of infringing four of those patents and GoPro and SZ DJI Technology of infringing different sets of five, with two patents asserted across all three suits. The patents generally relate to various aspects of photography, with the post-processing software of GoPro (GoPro Studio Software), Hasselblad (Phocus) and SZ DJI (CineLight), as well as certain GoPro cameras and certain features of SZ DJI’s drone products, accused of infringement. In May 2017, MPV issued a press release announcing a licensing partnership with Swedish IP brokerage and consulting firm Parallel North IP AB as part of a “comprehensive global plan to commercialize” the Kodak portfolio.

So these are the patents that Dominion Harbor got from Intellectual Ventures.

“So these are the patents that Dominion Harbor got from Intellectual Ventures.”We don’t expect the Linux Foundation to ever (again) speak against software patents because many of the sponsors are in favour of them. We certainly don’t expect the Foundation to berate Microsoft for arming and funding the above patent trolls (there are more of them). But at the end of the day, should we really care about what this foundation says? It’s not a GNU/Linux advocacy group but a trade group which just happens to be the steward of Torvalds’ trademark.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Ask
  • Digg
  • Mixx
  • Slashdot
  • StumbleUpon
  • Alltagz
  • BarraPunto
  • blinkbits
  • BlinkList
  • Bloglines
  • blogmarks
  • BlogMemes
  • Fark
  • Gwar
  • Klickts

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 16/7/2020: FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report, LibreOffice Has Plans, FSF Warns Against 'Online' Voting

    Links for the day



  2. Links 15/7/2020: New PinePhone, GCC 10.2 Release Candidate

    Links for the day



  3. [Humour/Meme] Stop Shaming Free Software Geeks Over What They Wear While They're Coding and Testing

    The corporate media repeatedly shamed Linus Torvalds because he's not wearing a suit and sometimes works in a bathrobe instead; this is the sort of ‘cancel culture’ psyche that looks to remove geniuses and achievers (Torvalds made Linux and Git) based on dumb assertions and superficialities



  4. Free Software as a Tree (It's Hard to Cut Off the Roots)

    Free software is extremely difficult to ban or to eradicate; it's almost inevitable that, by one route or another, 'world domination' will be attained in many sectors



  5. Censorship is for Pussies

    The attempts to remove words that aren’t in any way racist (or even suggestive of racism) are misguided at best; they don’t solve actual problems, but they pretend to be making people feel good (like the activists who push for it; that gives them as sense of power and morality)



  6. Twitter in 2020 is Where Information Comes to Die or to be Corrupted

    Twisting words, lying about the cited articles, declaring people dead (who are still alive!) are just some among the many reasons to quit Twitter and not bother with that noise machine (except maybe in a write-only fashion, copying from elsewhere and never receiving (mis)information from tweets)



  7. Mr. Lovenstein-Derived Joke about Microsoft's WSL (an Attack on GNU/Linux)

    Mr. Lovenstein's cartoon (or someone's modified version of it) about WSL/WSL2 sort of nails it (credit MinceR for the pointer)



  8. [Humour/Meme] Code of Conduct and Language Wars: Another Tool by Which to Oust Community Voices and Poor/Opinionated People of Colour (Because War Must Go On)

    The coup against GNU/Linux isn’t hard to see; Intel and Microsoft viciously attacked poor people in Africa (because they had adopted GNU/Linux) and now they get a say on who to kick out from Linux (based on entirely nontechnical things, including cultural differences)



  9. Links 15/7/2020: Deepin OS Expansion, openSUSE Board Non-Confidence Vote

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, July 14, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, July 14, 2020



  11. Twist and Turn, Show Us Your Face

    A little poem about digital privacy



  12. The Race to the Bottom of Tech Rights

    Tech rights (not to be confused with Techrights the site) are going down the drain; people are made complicit using fear tactics, having been told a lot of lies about so-called contact-tracing borderline pseudoscience



  13. [Humour/Meme] OIN Wants Us to Make Peace With Software Patents

    The way things stand, OIN is really not interested in solving the patent problem the Free software way; rather, it's looking to impose its own way on the Free software community



  14. The Last Thing Open Invention Network (OIN) Needs Right Now is Public Association With a Patent Trolls' and Software Patents' Propaganda Site

    The Open Invention Network (OIN) seems to be choosing rather odd platforms; the above publisher, a judge-bashing software patents extremist, cannot possibly improve OIN's image (by association)



  15. The EPO's Misleading 'Studies' Are Just More of the Same Perception Management Routines

    EPO management pays sites to publish a bunch of EPO-controlled propaganda; and we've meanwhile noticed that almost everyone in the press team of the EPO has left (to be replaced by the President's confidant)



  16. Links 14/7/2020: More Laptop Models With GNU/Linux and WordPress 5.5 Beta 2 is Out

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft Has Not Changed at All (Only the Shallow Marketing and Control of What's Left of the Media Has Changed)

    Microsoft wants everybody to come closer so that everybody can be crushed; the tactics are largely the same



  18. The Founder of Black Duck Still Works for Microsoft

    Black Duck‘s founder, Doug Levin from Microsoft, isn’t doing a terrific job hiding his real loyalties and ‘masters’



  19. IRC Proceedings: Monday, July 13, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, July 13, 2020



  20. Links 14/7/2020: Claws Mail 3.17.6 and RSS Guard 3.7.0 Released

    Links for the day



  21. Microsoft Has Put the String “0xBIGBOOBS” Inside Linux (Kernel Driver for Microsoft's Windows-Only Proprietary Software, Formerly a GPL Violation); Reddit (Condé Nast) Bans You For Mentioning Such Things

    In this increasingly crazy atmosphere of mass sanctioning and permanent banning (removing everything or everyone that's perceived to be impolite) even "Linux" forums are banning people who point out Microsoft being a rogue corporation that's attacking GNU/Linux



  22. There's Apparently a New Boss (or Policy) at Red Hat/IBM

    The Fedora project doesn’t seem to care much about free speech, no matter one’s seniority in the project; as the person who relayed it to us has just put it, “they even eat their own.” (Longtime contributors) “He’s not a troll. He’s a contributor who rubbed some people the wrong way and now the banhammer is coming out. Fedora KDE was already collapsing and now it finally will.” (Note: Rex Dieter leads or led this project)



  23. There Cannot be Software Freedom Without Free Speech (Which is Nowadays Being Wrongly and Creatively Conflated With Racism)

    The time to speak out in favour of free speech is now; because the next phase typically involves removal (to be sold as "voluntary") of people whose political views are seen as professionally inadequate (recall what they did to Richard Stallman last September)



  24. [Humour/Meme] 'Offensive' Jokes

    Even humour itself is under attack now; people who cannot take/tolerate cartoons and banter are targeting the stand-up comedians, the cartoonists and so on



  25. The Media Does Not Like Talking About Linux (Which It Doesn't Understand Anyway). It Makes the News All About Linus.

    Just like back in May (or every other week) the news about Linux itself is being ignored and the subject is getting personified to make Linux seem rude and unruly



  26. Links 13/7/2020: Linux 5.8 RC5, Qt Creator Beta, Mexico Threatens GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  27. [Humour/Meme] Embrace, Extend, and Curl

    The Curl project, a high-profile prisoner of GitHub, is again being 'embraced' by Microsoft (which already controls the project through GitHub)



  28. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, July 12, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, July 12, 2020



  29. [Humour/Meme] Half a Decade Has Passed and EPO Management Was Never Held Accountable for Illegal Surveillance

    A lot of people may no longer remember it, but the EPO can break privacy laws — as it still routinely does — with no consequences whatsoever



  30. Cleaning the Code

    War must go on; but it'll be more diverse and inclusive


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

Recent Posts