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11.22.19

Web Site Which Exposed Microsoft Crimes is Gone From the Web, But Copies Still Exist

Posted in Antitrust, Bill Gates, Microsoft at 12:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Comes v Microsoft
The Wayback Machine has some snapshots

Summary: Reputation laundering operations of Microsoft tell us that Microsoft is a ‘new’ and ‘reformed’ company; but Comes v Microsoft documents serve to show that little has changed

“iowaconsumercase.org has disappeared down the memory hole,” a reader told us. It used to host loads of material about Microsoft’s crimes.

“The only legacy people will remember of Bill Gates,” said the reader, “is self-serving BS such as this…”

“Recently Gates had the audacity to blame an Android (with Linux) takeover on “antitrust”; as if to say that Windows would dominate everything if it weren’t for attempts to punish him for his crimes.”“Notice they replaced the site with a ‘business and consumer news’ site,” the reader added. So now it has nothing to do with what it used to provide.

Well, our reader wanted to remind us of what Bill Gates said (that’s no longer accessible from the original source):

Dec 1998: “allowing Office documents to be rendered very well by OTHER PEOPLES BROWSERS is one of the most destructive things we could do to the company

April 1995: “our plans continue to underestimate the importance of an OPEN unified approach for the internet

April 1995: “the Internet is taking away our power every day and will have eroded it irretrievably by the time broadband is pervasive

Jan 1997: “With Netscape and Corel working together its nice that we organized ourselves so the group attacking Netscape and the group attacking Corel are under common leadership

Oct 1997: “I have a critical meeting with Intel a week from Wednesday. I want to convince them that they need to stay away from Oracle NCs and work more closely with Microsoft

These are all quotes from Gates himself.

Recently Gates had the audacity to blame an Android (with Linux) takeover on “antitrust”; as if to say that Windows would dominate everything if it weren’t for attempts to punish him for his crimes. That’s morally absurd. It’s like a bandit blaming the police for not becoming rich (from stealing) and therefore calling for abolishment of all cops/law enforcement. Such is the mind of the spoiled little brat, who nowadays runs away when people mention his close relationship with Epstein.

“He [Bill Gates] acted like a spoiled kid, which is what he was.”

Ed Roberts, Gates’ employer at MITS in the 1970′s (Atlanta Journal-Costitution, 04-27-97)

11.09.19

Helps to Have Connections and Operate at a Loss Just to Drive the Competition Out of the Market

Posted in Antitrust, Humour, Microsoft at 3:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: Azure Apparently Losing Money and Microsoft Lies to Shareholders, in Effect Breaking the Law

We don't cheat. We just have bigger budget.

Summary: Microsoft still uses the same anticompetitive tactics and outright illegal tactics such as bribery, but we’re supposed to think Microsoft is run like a charity

09.27.19

Somehow Microsoft is Always Everywhere Linux Gets Attacked by Lawsuits and Antitrust Actions

Posted in Antitrust, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 2:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft is in the shadows. This page has been removed since.

Patent troll with IV

Look more closely:

Patent troll with IV quote

Summary: Patent trolls with Intellectual Ventures (IV) ties won’t do Microsoft with its “Microsoft loves Linux” PR campaign any favours, especially now that these trolls are preying on GNU/Linux in the courtroom

AS we noted in the previous post, EU Parliament needs to make it very clear that software patents granted in Europe are not legal. The European Patent Office (EPO) pretends not to understand that and it terrorises its boards into acceptance, in effect nodding to this abuse. Similar things happen at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in order to ignore 35 U.S.C. § 101.

“Microsoft continues to attack GNU/Linux, albeit usually by proxy. Somehow we’re supposed to ignore this?”The profound damage caused by these patents isn’t just prospective; there’s already evidence of it at present. Days ago GNU/Linux came under attack from Microsoft-connected trolls (CCIA responded to this last night, citing it as a good case against Coons’ ‘reform’ and for Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs)). We’ve already covered several similar cases in the past — cases where European Free software developers came under fire from trolls; the outcome was, typically, removal from the Net (code taken offline).

Hardly to our surprise, increasingly corrupt (it takes bribes) corporate media will not bother pointing out the Microsoft link to this troll; it won’t quit parroting lies such as “Microsoft loves Linux”; just remember where the troll got patents from. Also remember the slimy tactics from Microsoft, which the Microsoft-funded SCO lawsuit helped highlight. These tactics extend to and include hiring (bribing) scholars for them to attack Google/Android without any disclosure of these payments. They tell us they “love Linux” (like BP loves solar power) and here’s a new report of interest:

The Texas attorney general’s office has hired three consultants for a multi-state probe it is leading into Alphabet Inc’s Google, including an economist who worked with some of the firm’s major rivals and a lawyer who is a Microsoft veteran.

How very typical. We’ve lost count of the times we saw similar stories. This is a form of regulatory entryism. We saw lots of this about a decade ago when Microsoft pressed for antitrust action against Android/Linux.

Microsoft continues to attack GNU/Linux, albeit usually by proxy. Somehow we’re supposed to ignore this?

07.14.19

With WSL Microsoft is Doing to GNU/Linux What It Did to Netscape

Posted in Antitrust, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 6:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Remember what Microsoft did to Netscape?

Netscape

Summary: Embrace, extend, extinguish. Some things never really change even if they become an old and repetitive accusation.

“Innovation has never been Microsoft’s strong suite,” said a Microsoft employee (antitrust trial evidence), “we’re much better at ripping off our competitors. For example we did not invent either ASP or IE – we bought them.”

Microsoft DOJ insider testimonies are quite powerful and they serve to remind us of things that never really changed.

Months ago we wrote about WSL, which we’re seeing more and more of in news feeds when searching for “Linux” (but WSL is actually Windows Vista 10).

“So Microsoft loves Linux. It says so anyway… it will love “Linux” even more when Linux just means Azure and WSL/Vista 10.”“We are going to cut off Netscape’s air supply,” Microsoft’s Paul Maritz wrote. “Everything they’re selling we’re going to give away for free.” His colleague Jim Allchin said that “Windows 98 must be a killer on shipments so that Netscape never gets a chance.”

“Microsoft’s business strategy is copy the products others innovate, put them into Windows so they can’t be unplugged, and then give it away for free,” Larry Ellison (Oracle) famously said.

Nowadays with UEFI ‘secure boot’ it’s already more challenging booting and installing GNU/Linux as a standalone (or dual-boot) operating system.

So Microsoft loves Linux. It says so anyway… it will love “Linux” even more when Linux just means Azure and WSL/Vista 10. The brand “Linux” is already being diluted (not that the Linux Foundation minds) and these tactics from Microsoft go a long way back.

“The fact that there’s some e-mail here at MS that says, ‘let’s go up and beat this guy’…there’s nothing wrong with that. That is capitalism at work for consumers.”

Bill Gates on Good Morning America, 11-11-98 (covered by The Daily Telegraph, November 13, 1998)

04.18.19

The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Once Again Pours Cold Water on Patent Maximalists

Posted in Antitrust, Courtroom, Patents at 3:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Small waterfall

Summary: Any hopes of a rebound or turnaround have just been shattered because a bizarre attack on the appeal process (misusing tribal immunity) fell on deaf ears and software patents definitely don’t interest the highest court, which already deemed them invalid half a decade ago

THERE is a lot of entertainment value — more so than actual importance or urgency — in watching American patent news these days. First of all, bad people get punished. The patent scam that a scammy patent lawyer/attorney threatened me over is finally lost. It’s finished. All options exhausted. SCOTUS finally rejects the case; there will be no appeal. SCOTUS isn’t buying this ludicrous idea that tribal immunity can be ‘borrowed’ for patents of some major pharmaceutical company that has nothing to do with tribes. It looked at the alleged grounds and briefs, but it wasn’t convinced. So the Supreme Court generally agrees (on the surface) with the findings of the Federal Circuit without necessarily looking into it in depth. Last year it also defended the inter partes review (IPR) process at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) although one new Justice, Gorsuch, brought forth talking points from Koch-funded 'scholars'.

“It often feels like our activism against American software patents was a success; patent courts aren’t tolerating these anymore.”We are relieved but not surprised. The CCIA wrote about it (SCOTUS Won’t Review Tribal Immunity To Inter Partes Review) and so did patent maximalists who had seemingly supported the scam (these stories are already in daily links where we shelve a lot of USPTO/US courts’ news).

Michael Shore will be remembered for nothing but a failure with a failed attempt to cheat the law, then SLAPP his critics (yours truly). Sadly, his clients will pay for this idiocy; he gets to keep the money from legal bills.

In other news, 35 U.S.C. § 101 (Section 101) is also safe. Janal Kalis wrote: “Yesterday, the Supreme Court Denied Cert. in TS v Yahoo. The Issue Was Whether a Dist. Court Could Invalidate a Patent under 101/Alice While Granting a Motion to Dismiss…”

If the Supreme Court won’t touch Section 101, as it has refused for quite some time, nothing will change. With a couple of new Justices there’s risk of a different position, no doubt, even though another decision to the same effect can actually strengthen Alice. But why take the chance?

We are still observing (from afar) blogs of patent maximalists. It’s the same old nonsense and it is getting ever more ridiculous over time.

The new Watchtroll editor, Eileen McDermott, continues in the spirit of her blowhard predecessor. She now uses Cheekd to promote the lie and delusion that patents (or ‘IP’) are needed for small firms/people rather than giants and their monopolies. Pure reversal of what’s happening. Their ‘religion’ requires this lie to be spread far and wide. The other day a famous GNU developer told me, “wait, doesn’t IP stand for Invalid Patent? ;-)”

That’s a funny one. We may borrow that. We’ve meanwhile also noticed that appointments at the USPTO come under fire from insiders. Months ago we wrote about Laura Peter joining Iancu, having already acquired some experience in patent trolling. Nowadays that skill is a “plus” because Trump flunkies like Iancu deny that patent trolls even exist or are a problem. They just want to make lots of ‘IP’ (invalid patents). The USPTO insider wrote: “I guess the new deputy director of USPTO, Lara [sic] Peter, is on a kick to promote females regardless of skills. I am not sure how she got appointed having actually never led anything….I hope the new CIO will not turn out to be an failure like the rest.”

A short time apart there was also this Office gossip revolving around abuse and nepotism: “So many of you are telling me that Debbie Stephens is now the new DCIO, and we did not believe it could get worst after Owens and Chiles. Rumors are that Patents no longer wants her and now the CIO will have a DCIO that can only micromanage and appoint other idiots that kiss her…”

This is starting to resemble some of the worst elements of the EPO — a subject we shall return to in our next post. We are trying to gradually reduce our coverage of US patent cases and instead focus on EPO and GNU/Linux. It often feels like our activism against American software patents was a success; patent courts aren’t tolerating these anymore.

07.25.18

Trump-Appointed Lobbyist (Delrahim) Comes Under Scrutiny and Criticism for His Stance on Patents and Antitrust

Posted in America, Antitrust, Patents at 10:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jorge L. Contreras‘s newest paper:

Jorge L. Contreras

Summary: Antitrust person (AAG) Makan Delrahim, who now forms the basis of key US policies, is becoming the target of much scrutiny, especially from academics rather than from patent maximalists

THE USPTO has long granted low-quality patents — a bad legacy which needs tackling. The SCOTUS, the Federal Circuit and Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) gradually tackle this legacy. But that’s not enough.

“The USPTO has long granted low-quality patents — a bad legacy which needs tackling.”Donald Trump has put a lobbyist, Delrahim, in charge of antitrust. A lot of people don’t agree with his policies or at least with the speeches he has given. Mark Patterson (Fordham, a pusher of patent maximlism, typically funded by Microsoft) said earlier this week that:

To put my cards on the table, I am largely in agreement with AAG Delrahim’s critics, though I did not sign either of their letters. I agree with Delrahim that it is reasonable to devote scrutiny to the patent “hold-out” problem that is his focus, but doing so does not require dismissing a well-established consensus on the validity and harm of patent “hold-up.” The most compelling evidence for hold-up, it seems to me, is the 100-to-1 ratio of royalty demands to royalty awards that have been seen in some cases. Perhaps that differential is the product of confused courts, but despite the calls of AAG Delrahim and his supporters for evidence or more evidence for hold-up, they themselves provide nothing to show that the courts are confused. Nor do they provide empirical evidence to demonstrate the claimed greater importance of hold-out.

[...]

I make no claim to the objective correctness of my annotations, which are only my immediate responses to various points made in the documents. But I have pointed out what I think are weak points in the responses by critics of Delrahim (despite my general agreement with those critics) as well as in his speeches. Also, some of my points in some documents are raised also in others, but I have tried to avoid duplication. Finally, the annotation approach might seem more argumentative than necessary, but I think it is warranted by the importance of the issues, the dramatic differences in the views expressed, and the unfamiliarity of some with these issues. This controversy deserves even more attention than it has already received.

There is also this new paper from Jorge L. Contreras (published on July 23rd and just promoted by him in Twitter) whose abstract states: “In November 2017, U.S. Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, chief of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division, gave a speech at University of Southern California provocatively entitled “Take it to the Limit: Respecting Innovation Incentives in the Application of Antitrust Law”. In this speech, Mr. Delrahim announced a new DOJ policy approach to the antitrust analysis of collaborative standard setting and standards-development organizations (SDOs) — the trade associations and other groups in which industry participants cooperate to develop interoperability standards such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4G and 5G, USB and the like. He explained that the DOJ had “strayed too far” in its focus on single firm conduct concerning standards, particularly the assertion of patents essential to the implementation of standards in technology products (“standards-essential patents” or “SEPs”), and that antitrust authorities should be more concerned with potential collusion by competitors within SDOs (i.e., an apparent shift in doctrinal focus from unilateral conduct under Section 2 of the Sherman Act to concerted action under Section 1 of the Sherman Act). One commentator described the DOJ policy shift announced by Mr. Delrahim as “a 180 degree turn” on SEP issues. The new policy also seems to put the enforcement priorities of the Antitrust Division at odds with those of the other principal U.S. antitrust enforcement agency, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This article analyzes the contours of the emerging divide among U.S. antitrust agencies, as well as reactions to the “Take it to the Limit Speech” by industry, academics and Mr. Delrahim’s subsequent public statements.”

“We’re repeatedly cited people who called that a “scam” and have received legal threats for it.”What we’ve seen so far, especially from the scholarly community (not people who make money from lawsuits), isn’t positive. They see Makan Delrahim, a former lobbyist, for what he truly is. Contrast that with lawyers-dominated coverage which promotes patent maximalism (example from yesterday) and lawyers’ sites which still insist that Mohawk folks should be "above the law", including patent law, in order to protect a massive corporation like Allergan. They repeatedly lose every case. We’ve already explained why it’s unlikely that this will ever go any further or the decision overturned (by SCOTUS). They’ve named “St. Regis Mohawk Tribe v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., Appeal No. 2018-1638, -1639, -1640, -1641, -1642, -1643 (Fed. Cir. July 20, 2018),” a clear case of monopoly abuse using patents and misuse of immunity from the Mohawk Tribe. We’re repeatedly cited people who called that a “scam” and have received legal threats for it.

The US AAG now actively defends this kind of behaviour.

07.21.18

Cisco v Arista Networks is a Stain on the Reputation of the US International Trade Commission (ITC) and It’s Beginning to Recognise This

Posted in Antitrust, Courtroom, Patents at 10:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Administrative Law Judge Photos
Reference: Administrative Law Judge Photos

Summary: Cisco is leveraging software patents which PTAB deemed to be invalid against a much smaller firm (revenue ~30 times smaller [1, 2]), demanding an embargo and bypassing the ordinary routes of justice by turning to the ITC

Sometimes companies want to bypass the ordinary courts (District Courts, Federal Circuit, SCOTUS) to just quickly issue an injunction, i.e. embargo, raids, prevention of import/sales and so on. It’s the kind of thing that the EPO is pursuing with its shameless UPC lobbying. The assumption that any patent granted by the USPTO is OK or should be presumed valid is a dangerous one and proper justice (due process, plus appeal/s, innocence until proof of guilt) isn’t assured anymore. It’s a leap towards extreme action. It’s not really patent justice but patent prejudice and maximalism. It’s like copyright takedowns (as per DMCA) where the accused gets censored without even a right/access to defense. Ripe for abuse? By design?

“It’s not really patent justice but patent prejudice and maximalism. It’s like copyright takedowns (as per DMCA) where the accused gets censored without even a right/access to defense.”Arista Networks uses inter partes reviews (IPRs) for the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to scrutinise the patents at hand; Arista Networks won the case/appeal, but the ITC then shockingly enough snubbed the ruling, having never previously ignored such rulings! There was a lot of commotion about this at the time (especially last year) and now we learn, courtesy of World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR), that the ITC will review the administrative law judge’s (ALJ) decision. To quote:

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) said yesterday it will review an administrative law judge’s (ALJ) determination regarding a patent infringement claim Cisco Systems brought against computer networking company Arista Networks.

The ITC said it will review the final remand enforcement initial determination (REID) that the ALJ issued in June, when it found that Arista did not violate a cease and desist order regarding one of the patents.

In January 2015, the ITC launched an investigation into Arista based on a complaint from Cisco.

Cisco alleged that Arista had violated section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 by importing certain network devices, related software and components that infringed six patents relating to software.

[...]

The ALJ’s investigation determined again that Arista did not violate the cease and desist order. Both parties filed petitions for review of the REID and filed responses to the other side’s petitions.

ITC staff must understand that the reputation of its judgments is on the line. It’s not only us who bring up these issues; sadly, however, the media is dominated by law firms (at least for this particular topic), so the voice of technologists is rarely heard. Many are unaware of the dispute or cannot follow the news, owing partly to legalese.

“Whose interest would be served by embargoes? Not the public’s, that’s for sure… Arista’s engineers have already been compelled to make their products intentionally worse.”Judges must take into account not the interests of law firms that profit from litigation/feuds but technologists who profit from actual innovation. Whose interest would be served by embargoes? Not the public’s, that’s for sure… Arista’s engineers have already been compelled to make their products intentionally worse. This is never a positive thing; in fact, Cisco’s legal actions have already put many companies like Arista at existential risk.

06.27.18

US Supreme Court Will Hear Helsinn v Teva, But What’s Needed Right Now is a Challenge to Patents Inside Standards (a.k.a. ‘FRAND’ or ‘SEP’)

Posted in America, Antitrust, Europe, Microsoft, Patents, RAND, Standard at 11:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Standards you can’t use (unless you’re rich)

Trapped

Summary: Antitrust/monopoly aspects of patents one cannot work around (to merely conform/comply with industry standards) are worth debating at the highest of levels rather than in forums full of lobbyists (sometimes hosted inside Microsoft’s very own premises!)

EARLIER this week we noted that SCOTUS would not reassess patent scope (e.g. Section 101). It was mentioned by Patently-O earlier this week and is now being mentioned by many other patent-centric blogs. Managing IP wrote:

The court in Helsinn v Teva appears likely to craft a bright-ruling on the issue of whether the confidential sale or license of a not-yet-patented technology or process qualifies as prior art under the America Invents Act

Gregory Sephton and Anna Schoenfelder said: “As a follow-up to our previous post “The Federal Circuit Has Its Final Say On the “On-Sale” Bar Under the AIA,” the Supreme Court has granted certiorari in the Helsinn v. Teva case, which concerns whether the America Invents Act (“AIA”) changed the longstanding “on-sale bar” rule. This means that at least four of the nine Supreme Court justices agreed to address this case.”

Watchtroll (Gene Quinn) also had to say something only hours after promoting an “ethical” troll, claiming that “iPEL has also defined a set of business practices that a Non-Practicing Entity can follow in order to call itself an Ethical NPETM.”

Ethical? That’s funny!

It’s like Patent Factory Europe (PFE). WIPR has since then done a puff piece for this troll’s PR campaign and it’s comical that those taxing everything with patents, harming small businesses the most, are trying to hide that fact by associating themselves with “Startups and Small Businesses” and “SMEs”. It is, at best, a googlebombing strategy. They wish to drown out the truth with press releases and lies.

The subject of FRAND has meanwhile resurfaced. The same people who push this PFE nonsense are best known for lobbying on FRAND in Europe. They front for large corporations, notably Microsoft. “I am reminded that FRAND worked its way into the ITU’s false definition,” a reader told us, linking to ITU’s definition of “Open Standards” after Microsoft lobbying/entryism (we covered this before).

Florian Müller, a FRAND proponent, has meanwhile ranted about Delrahim (lobbyist-turned-official), whose take on FRAND — related to standard-essential patents (SEPs) — he does not agree with. To quote:

This is a follow-up to last month’s post on an open letter that 77 former government officials and professors (of law, economics, and business) sent Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim in order to remind him of long-standing and consistent U.S. policies on standard-essential patents (SEP) under both Republican and Democratic administrations. I’ve meanwhile become aware of the AAG’s reply, which does not provide any indication that he’s on the side of innovation and fair competition.

To his response, Mr. Delrahim attached a letter dated February 13, 2018 from about a dozen academics and former government officials that support the statements he makes, which he describes as “the United States’ policies” (we’ll talk about that further below). With the greatest respect for those individuals, they do not collectively counterbalance the 77 signatories of the letter that criticized Mr. Delrahim’s statements. That’s not just a matter of numbers: for an example, there is no former FTC chairman among them.

Also, before the academics’ February letter, there was a very impressive industry letter to AAG Delrahim in January, signed by industry bodies such as CCIA, the Fair Standards Alliance, the Software & Information Industry Association (SIAA), and ACT | The App Association, but also by major tech companies such as Apple, Intel, Microsoft, Samsung, HP, Dell, and Cisco. It’s very hard to understand why neither of those letters appears to have given AAG Delrahim pause. Does he seriously think he can make his contribution to #MAGA by acting against the likes of Apple, Intel, HP, and Microsoft–and trade organizations that have such companies as Google among their membership?

This whole “MAGA” delusion aside (Müller is an avid Trump proponent), it’s not hard to see that several of the above groups are Microsoft front groups (at least 3 of them). But what ought to matter a lot more is the benefit to society at large, including small businesses. Maybe the Justices at SCOTUS will some time soon find an opportunity to look into the matter (instead of relying on corporations and front groups that set policies by lobbying Trump-appointed ‘officials’, or former lobbyists). We certainly hope so because we have written a great deal about this subject since our inception in 2006.

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