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12.10.18

A Month After Microsoft Claimed Patent ‘Truce’ Its Patent Trolls Keep Attacking Microsoft’s Rivals

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, OIN, Patents at 12:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A bird

Summary: Microsoft’s legal department relies on its vultures (to whom it passes money and patents) to sue its rivals; but other than that, Microsoft is a wonderful company!

THE company that spent decades committing crimes and is currently under investigation in the US for “bribery and corruption” nowadays “loves Linux,” according to itself. But does it really love GNU/Linux? Or is it just bribing people (and organisations and publishers) to say so or at least passively accept those who claim so?

About a month ago the Open Invention Network helped spread the "Microsoft loves Linux" lie; days ago it also added another member (“Printing Industry Leader Heidelberg Joins the OIN Community in Support of its Digital Future”) to its pact that is absolutely worthless in the face of patent trolls and other satellite entities. It can do absolutely nothing about those. It even admits so.

We have meanwhile also noticed that the Franklin Pierce Center at the University of New Hampshire School of Law brought in a person from Microsoft. He is still at Microsoft too; he’s Microsoft’s vice president and chief patent counsel, so he’s like an influencer through academia too (Microsoft does a lot of that). To quote these tidbits:

The Franklin Pierce Center at the University of New Hampshire School of Law has announced that Micky Minhas, vice president and chief patent counsel for Microsoft Incorporated, will join the faculty as the Franklin Pierce Distinguished Professor of Intellectual Property Practice. In addition to teaching in both the fall and spring semesters, Minhas will provide strategic guidance on cutting-edge IP curriculum at UNH Law. Minhas will retain his position with Microsoft. For more than six years, he has managed the Microsoft patent group that is primarily responsible for outbound and inbound intellectual property licensing, patent strategy, patent acquisitions and divestitures, and managing patent preparation and prosecution of patents. He is a frequent speaker on patent and patent licensing topics worldwide.

The term “patent licensing” is a euphemism for extortion. Failing that, litigation or other forms of retaliation. This is what Microsoft champions, having done that for over a decade.

Looking at Microsoft-centric news sites (with connections to Microsoft), GeekWire is still grooming Microsoft’s patent troll Nathan Myhrvold, whom Microsoft bankrolled for well over a decade. Intellectual Ventures is being painted as some sort of chef (“Hungry for new art in Seattle? Nathan Myhrvold’s Modernist Cuisine Gallery is a photographic feast”). Rovi, a patent aggressor that is connected to Intellectual Ventures [1, 2, 3], meanwhile brags about taxing Samsung using video software patents. So these trolls are definitely very active. There’s also this report about ongoing lawsuits of Intellectual Ventures. “Attorneys for Intellectual Ventures LLC and JPMorgan Chase & Co. debated a claim of IV’s cybersecurity software patent before a Federal Circuit panel Thursday,” Matt Bernardini wrote.

This “cybersecurity software patent” is just a software patent and it therefore invalid, as per 35 U.S.C. § 101. Just because the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted it doesn’t mean it’s legitimate.

And speaking of cybersecurity software patents, Microsoft’s patent troll Finjan (subsidised by Microsoft, partnered with Microsoft) is at it again. This truly malicious troll is filing its next lawsuit (among many) against Microsoft’s rivals in security. The latest target? Qualys. The press release is now everywhere (e.g. [1, 2, 3]. Finjan brags about it aplenty because its sole ‘product’ is lawsuits.

Microsoft claimed patent “truce” a month ago, but its patent trolls keep striking hard at Microsoft’s rivals. They’re being traded like a real company (latest financial reports disappoint despite higher trading) and the word “Sales” gets used as well as the word “Earnings”. They make a troll sound like it actually makes something. There are also new investors in nothing but these lawsuits; the troll is being propped up by BlackRock and by Seizert Capital Partners LLC. We don’t know if Microsoft is connected to these, but it’s widely known that Microsoft invested in this troll and it has already sued or blackmailed more than a dozen Microsoft rivals in this domain. Coincidence?

How about MOSAID (now known as Conversant), which Microsoft funneled tons of Nokia patents to? As expected, it then went after Microsoft’s rivals with patent lawsuits (as usual). Watchtroll wrote about the latest twist as recently as 5 days ago:

On Tuesday, November 20th, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a nonprecedential decision in Google LLC v. Conversant Wireless Licensing, which vacated a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to uphold the validity of patent claims owned by Conversant after conducting an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding petitioned by Google and LG Electronics. The Federal Circuit panel of Circuit Judges Kathleen O’Malley, Raymond Chen and Kara Stoll found that the PTAB erred in its final written decision by failing to consider the primary argument raised in the original IPR petition.

This is about the Federal Circuit (CAFC) and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). The Microsoft-armed troll attacked Google.

CAFC is nowadays more aggressive against these trolls than PTAB; CAFC epically stops Intellectual Ventures (in cases where Intellectual Ventures also sues Microsoft’s rivals in the security space, notably Symantec).

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