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10.18.18

IAM and IP Kat Are Still Megaphones of Battistelli and His Agenda

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 6:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

(The ‘new’ IP Kat (after Merpel 'died'), the one which deletes comments about Battistelli and António Campinos)

Battistelli revisionism

Summary: IAM reaffirms its commitment to corrupt Battistelli and IP Kat maintains its stance, which is basically not caring at all about EPO corruption (to the point of actively deleting blog comments that mention such corruption, i.e. ‘sanitising’ facts)

THE EPO said “goodbye and good riddance” to Battistelli almost 4 months ago. He has since then maintained a low profile except when French media approached him as he may be criminally liable but immune nonetheless.

Joff Wild of IAM, where the corrupt Battistelli writes on occasions (promoting software patents in Europe), is still whitewashing this man. This is the man IAM does revisionism for even in October. See the screenshot above.

Curiously enough, not only was the above behind paywall (which makes it harder for Battistelli’s critics to assess). It only appeared in searches more than a fortnight late. Why?

On the same day (Tuesday) Annsley Merelle Ward (Bristows LLP), who dominated IP Kat last year, returned for a change to carry on cheering for patent trolls in the UK. “One of the key issues on appeal from Mr Justice Birss’ decision,” she said, is basically whether companies can use their proxy patent trolls to shake down the competition.

“In conclusion, IAM is still (more than 3 months later) grooming Battistelli and IP Kat has no interest whatsoever in EPO scandals (which carry on by the way).”So a firm involved in the case uses IP Kat for its own purposes; “The IPKat team [i.e. Bristows staff quoting other Bristows staff] will be back next week to report on the key findings of the Court of Appeal, with analysis to follow,” she said.

What has IP Kat become? Aside from the fact that it doesn’t write as much as it used to (and several writers very recently left), watch what it published on the same day about “blockchain” (the usual patent hype) and then in “Standards and Patents annual conference returns to London”. IP Kat actively promotes an event in London that lobbies for software patents under the guise of “AI”, “FRAND” and other nonsense (even software patents inside standards).

Later in the same day IP Kat started celebrating patents on food; the comments are better than the post. Last but not least, on the same day IP Kat mentioned the EPO (at long last). But remember this is the Kat which deleted the thread (about 40 comments) about António Campinos, whose friends he already brings to the EPO (just like Battistelli did). What did the blog write about the EPO? Nothing. It just plugged in the EPO’s press release: “The Administrative Council of the EPO has appointed the next vice-presidents of the EPO: Stephen Rowan (UK), Christoph Ernst (Germany) and Nellie Simon (Austria). Find out more about the new vice-presidents here.”

In conclusion, IAM is still (more than 3 months later) grooming Battistelli and IP Kat has no interest whatsoever in EPO scandals (which carry on by the way). This cat got neutered…

10.16.18

‘Cloud’, ‘AI’ and Other Buzzwords as Excuses for Granting Fake Patents on Software

Posted in America, Deception, Patents at 5:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cloud on beach

Summary: With resurgence of rather meaningless terms like so-called ‘clouds’ (servers/hosting) and ‘AI’ (typically anything in code which does something clever, including management of patents) the debate is being shifted away from 35 U.S.C. § 101 (Section 101); but courts would still see past such façade

THE EPO and USPTO both have a bad new habit that they spread to other patent offices, such as KIPO in Korea. They use or misuse buzzwords. They try to make things outside patent scope seem so innovative that somehow this supposed innovation defies the rules (scope). Sometimes that manages to impress or at least confuse examiners and judges.

“So let’s start with this assumption that patent maximalists have come to accept Section 101/Alice renders software patents worthless and even overzealous, very large law firms (Finnegan is one of the biggest) insist that patenting has gone too far for practical purposes. Where do they go from here? Buzzwords.”It’s hard to patent software. So it’s not hard to see why patent maximalists would pursue such tricks. As recently as Sunday Watchtroll published this rant about Section 101/Alice — the basis (or legal framework) upon which most software patents become void. “This has prompted many to cast a grim prospect for the software patent industry,” Babak Nouri (at Watchtroll) wrote less than a couple of days ago, as if the patents themselves are the industry…

“A Realistic Perspective on post-Alice Software Patent Eligibility” is the headline and here’s a snide remark directed at the law itself: “Much of the havoc wrought in the software patent system by the landmark decision Alice v. CLS Bank International, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014) stems from the unworkable two-part patent eligibility test based on vaguely defined and nebulous Abstract idea and significantly more constructs. The High court’s reluctance or perhaps inability to precisely define these standards and the perceived lack of discernible consistency by the patent community in the way these standards have been applied in the compendious jumble of case law, has perpetuated a sense of uncertainty. This has prompted many to cast a grim prospect for the software patent industry.”

Who said this so-called ‘industry’ (it’s not even an industry) deserved to exist in the first place? Let coders write code. Most of them never dealt with lawyers and aren’t interested in lawsuits. It’s the lawsuits ‘industry’ looking to cause trouble.

A few days ago Elliot C. Cook and Jeffrey A Berkowitz (Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP) published “Successful Companies Don’t Just Patent Everything—They Make And Follow A Strategy”.

You can’t patent everything anyway. Sooner or later, as in the US with its courts, you realise that the lion’s share of your patents are fake, worthless, toothless. Or in their words: “In both of the above illustrations, the companies failed to develop and implement a patent strategy. Emerging companies should concentrate on building a patent monopoly covering the most commercially important aspects of their new technologies while making efficient use of their patent dollars and the precious time of their key inventors. In short, when companies formulate their business strategy, patents should play an integral role. Patenting too sparingly or recklessly is not strategic and is not a way to generate company value.”

So even a law firm that promotes software patents quite actively admits these downsides. In some cases, as in this new example of Swisscom and ASSIA, companies just cross-license and move on (wireless for the most part in this particular case/agreement, not algorithms).

So let’s start with this assumption that patent maximalists have come to accept Section 101/Alice renders software patents worthless and even overzealous, very large law firms (Finnegan is one of the biggest) insist that patenting has gone too far for practical purposes. Where do they go from here? Buzzwords. We already wrote dozens of articles to that effect and over the past week we saw several new examples.

Japanese blogger Satoshi Watanabe wrote about patent trolls or feeding a patent troll in Japan for blackmail purposes. “Patent utilization” is what he (or they) use as the newest euphemism (rather than enforcement, monetisation, assertion and so on). He also alludes to “artificial intelligence (AI)-based” at the end:

“Patent utilization” has been a buzz word in Japanese IP industry. There seems to be an increasing number of companies thinking that they should make effective use of patents that haven’t been used by themselves; i.e. monetize such patents by selling or licensing them to others. Actually, a client of ours has asked me what salable or licensable patents are like.

First of all, you may need to know when a patent transaction occurs.

[...]

It’s hoped that artificial intelligence (AI)-based solution will be developed.

That last part refers to how patents are managed, but it’s part of a recent (past year) trend. They keep bringing up “AI”. Some so-called ‘IP’ lawyers admitted to me that they don’t even really understand what it means, yet they keep using the term. It’s like a fashion.

How about this new article (4 days old) that speaks of “machine learning-base [sic] anomaly detection” in relation to new Anodot patents? George Leopold wrote about these bogus software patents being granted in the US. It’s incredibly hard to believe/imagine patent courts tolerating such abstract/mathematical methods being patented as a monopoly.

To quote from the article:

Anodot, which focuses on using machine learning techniques to spot anomalies in time-series data, announced a pair of U.S. patent awards this week covering its autonomous analytics framework.

The analytics vendor said Thursday (Oct. 11) it has been granted two U.S. patents for algorithms that allow users to apply machine learning-base anomaly detection. The algorithms are designed specifically to quickly identify the source of anomalies in large data sets, then perform root-cause analysis. The approach is promoted as faster than traditional business intelligence tools or dashboards.

[...]

Anodot was launched in 2014 when its co-founders realized there was an unmet need for fast and accurate time-series analysis.

Those are software patents. It’s algorithms, but they dress it all up in innovation- and novelty-sounding terms. Why did the USPTO grant such software patents? How about this new application from Apple? A lot of press about it this past week (dozens of articles), as is typical for Apple. But Apple will never sue with this patent/s, so we won’t see the courts lecturing Apple on why it’s patent-ineligible. If it ever gets granted in the first place…

Well, the patent office got its money anyway… and Apple got puff pieces about how it’s presumably combating spam.

In other ‘news’, this time from JD Supra (a press release), patent law firms (Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C. in this case) still try to figure out how to get bogus patents on software and nature, even if courts will reject these. From The Current State of Patent-Eligible Subject Matter:

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s Mayo and Alice decisions, uncertainty has surrounded what inventions are patent eligible in the United States. In Mayo and Alice, the Supreme Court developed a two-step test to determine patent eligibility. Step one determines if the invention is directed to a law of nature, natural phenomenon, or abstract idea. If so, the second step determines if there is an inventive concept sufficient to ensure the patent amounts to significantly more than the ineligible concept itself.[i] While this test has led to uncertainty in what inventions remain patent eligible, post-Mayo/Alice case law has begun to shed light on what is patent eligible in the United States. The current state of patent eligibility in the technology areas most impacted by the Mayo/Alice two-step are outlined below.

[...]

Software and Business Method Claims

Software and business method patents have faced significant challenges since the Mayo/Alice decisions. Software claims, are not per se ineligible, however software claims that merely gather, analyze, and output data are patent ineligible.[xii] Software claims can be patent eligible when they are directed to an improvement in the way computers operate.[xiii] Additionally, claims which recite specific limitations to overcome deficits or problems in the prior art have been found patent eligible.[xiv] Based on these holdings, to be patent eligible software claims must recite specific steps to obtain a desired result rather than recite merely the result itself.[xv]

After Alice and In Re Bilski we can pretty much assume things have changed profoundly. Sure, the patent office might still grant such patents. But what matters a lot more is whether those will be enforceable in court at any point before their expiry. The culture of patent embargoes and patent maximalism needs to end at the patent office too in order to preserve any presumption of patent validity. The USPTO continues to assess its performance using the wrong yardstick, e.g. number of patents granted. Patent maximalists are meanwhile pushing the lunacy which is computer-generated patents (we put the following articles in our daily links last week). Here’s what Law 360 and IAM are suggesting:

  • 4 Ways Advances In AI Could Challenge Patent Law

    Advances in artificial intelligence raise intriguing patent law questions, including whether AI breakthroughs are patent-eligible and whether AI that creates something can be an “inventor” entitled to a patent.

  • Artificial intelligence: a game changer for the patent system

    With the advent of powerful computers and the availability of unlimited storage capabilities, artificial intelligence (AI) has made its way into mainstream applications – heralding the fourth industrial revolution. While the notion of what ‘artificial intelligence’ means has undergone significant change since its introduction in 1956, today’s typical AI is broadly conceived to “perceive its environment and take actions that maximise its chance of successfully achieving its goals”. This may involve reinforcement learning, where goals can be set explicitly or implicitly by rewarding some types of behaviour and punishing others, or by a fitness function allowing for mutation and preferential replication of high-scoring AI systems in an evolutionary system. AI may be implemented in self-optimising software or hardware that regularly requires vast data amounts (known as ‘big data’) for training response behaviour.

So what they’re basically saying is, let a bunch of machines manage the patent system; as if that’s going to make matters any better…

Published a few days ago in the The National Law Review and another publication was this article of Christina Sperry (Mintz) and the litigation industry; under “Subject Matter Eligibility Under 35 U.S.C. § 101″ they admit that “AI” patents are just bogus software patents but promote these fake patents anyway. To quote the relevant part:

Subject matter eligibility for patent under 35 U.S.C. § 101 has been a particularly hot topic since the 2014 Supreme Court decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l. Section 101 patent eligibility has particular relevance to AI and digital health since they often involve computers and/or data processing whose mere presence, reference, or implication in claims frequently give rise to subject matter eligibility questions during patent prosecution as well as during litigation after patent issuance.

The breadth and gravity of current § 101 issues has been explored elsewhere and is beyond the scope of this article. In general, Alice and subsequent lower court decisions have made it more difficult to get patents issued with claims involving computers and/or data processing. It is therefore important to consider potential patent eligibility concerns under § 101 during the patent application drafting process in order to preemptively address these concerns as much as possible before the application faces any challenges during prosecution or during litigation as an issued patent.

To be quite frank, the abundance and overuse of the term “AI” by patent lawyers is a cause for concern. The only more worrying thing is seeing administrators at the EPO and USPTO adopting the term as well; they use that as a sort of synonym for software patents and we’re asked to believe that they grant such patents for the betterment of society or manage patents using “AI” (they just mean things like search and inferences) to expand human understanding rather than make staff redundant, only to be replaced by vastly inferior performance.

10.11.18

UPC Cowardice: Team UPC Uses Cloaks of Anonymity to Discredit Authors of Scholarly UPC Paper They Don’t Like

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 11:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Picking on people whose names are known (Matthias Lamping and Hans Ullrich), but hiding themselves behind pseudonyms because they know they lie so understandably prefer to remain unknown

Hazard

Summary: Team UPC has sunk to the bottom of the barrel; now it uses anonymous letters in an effort to discredit work of Max Planck Institute staff, in the same way (more or less) that ad hominem attacks were attempted against the filer of the constitutional complaint in Germany

IT is no secret that UPC’s leading proponents have been acting like a bunch of bullies intolerant of democracy, constitutions, reality, facts, technology and science. They’re very much compatible with Battistelli.

The very core of Team UPC is a truly villainous greedy bunch, a cabal of lawyers scheming or conspiring to spur litigation all over Europe while broadening patent scope or introducing more lenient patent courts (to accept software patents in Europe among other things), governed partly by corrupt EPO officials like Battistelli (still rumoured to be aiming at the role of UPC chief) and his successor of choice, António Campinos.

So apparently these people are getting rather desperate and they have given up trying to seem respectable. They’re becoming more like Internet trolls or an anonymous mob. There’s a new “analysis” out there by an incognito. The author likes to remain anonymous because liars do not wish to be held accountable for lying. The pro-UPC (litigation firm in Munich) “UPCtracker” wrote:

A reply to Max Planck impact study of Brexit on Unitary Patent & UPC – EPLAW. Interesting, though possibly not a model of unbiased and self-critical academic analysis (cf 2nd response) by an author who‘d rather stay anonymous. Food for thought nonetheless.

EPLAW is generally a front group of many Team UPC firms. We wrote about it quite a lot. It’s hardly an impartial observer in all this. Notice how Alan Johnson (Bristows) then shows up in the comments for support of the anonymous coward: “Congratualtions Atticus Finch: an excellent rebuttal to a paper which sees only problems (many either political in nature, or purely theoretical) but none of the practical solutions.”

Typical Bristows; they belittle the paper from the Max Planck Institute (they don’t even like to mention it), calling it "controversial" even though no controversy exists. This is what EPLAW wrote in its summary:

An anonymous writer, writing under the pseudonym Atticus Finch, has delivered a detailed reply to the study of Messrs. Matthias Lamping and Hans Ullrich, research fellows of the Max Planck Institute, “The Impact of Brexit on Unitary Protection and Its Court” written on 30 August 2018 and posted on 10 September 2018 which concludes that, after the Brexit, an extension of unitary protection to the UK and the UK’s continued participation in the UPC’s judicial system would create serious legal problems.

Chalk it up as the latest new low for ‘unitary’ patent (broader litigation scope) propaganda efforts. It’s now being supported/amplified by EPO-connected publishers that are in bed with litigation firms. A new article has just been titled “Max Planck paper is “new angle of attack” on UPC” because facts are an “attack”, apparently; in reality, Europe’s laws are under attack by the litigation ‘industry’ looking for more lawsuits (legal attacks) while disguising this as “for SMEs” (those standing to lose and be hurt most).

Patrick Wingrove now boosts an attack on authors who say UPC is kaput (because it is), even though this attack is anonymous and likely from Team UPC’s cowards, who are afraid to put their faces/names behind their lies (it would harm their credibility when the UPC is in the ashtray of history).

“A reply by an anonymous writer with extensive knowledge of UPC and EU law to the Max Planck Institute’s impact study of Brexit on the UPC has contended that parts of the study are based on the wrong assumptions and are attacking the project. The author tells Managing IP about the reply’s main arguments,” Wingrove wrote. So they have gone underground and now liaise with media organisations that set up pro-UPC events in an effort to discredit two authors who were not at all anonymous.

10.10.18

Open Invention Network is a Proponent of Software Patents — Just Like Microsoft — and Microsoft Keeps Patents It Uses to Blackmail Linux Vendors

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OIN, Patents at 6:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rerun of last week: Microsoft Uses LOT Network to Spread Lies and Promote Its Protection Racket

OIN loves Microsoft

Summary: OIN loves Microsoft; OIN loves software patents as well. So Microsoft’s membership in OIN is hardly a surprise and it’s not solving the main issue either, as Microsoft can indirectly sue and “Microsoft has not included any patents they might hold on exfat into the patent non-aggression pact,” according to Bradley M. Kuhn

A LOT of patents granted by the USPTO are bogus, bunk, fake. They should not have been granted (e.g. based on 35 U.S.C. § 101), but prolific applicants that are large corporations enjoy favourable treatment and can gather as many as a hundred thousand low-quality patents; a very tiny proportion of these will have been tested in court before expiry. This is a problem. IBM and Microsoft have many such patents, which they cross-license so as to avoid actually testing these in courts or by means of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs).

“IBM and Microsoft have many such patents, which they cross-license so as to avoid actually testing these in courts or by means of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs).”Last week when Microsoft announced some news about LOT Network (complete with familiar lies and incredible revisionism) we predicted that it was likely some ‘test run’ ahead of OIN membership. Observers must bear in mind that such a membership imposes no actual new constraints on them. People don’t need to panic or get excited about the OIN thing (we’ll come to it in a moment), partly because it was predictable. As if joining an IBM-led front group for software patents changes much…

It doesn’t. Nothing really changed. What happened?

  1. Microsoft is now an OIN member, but it’s an IBM-centric group that favours software patents (I spoke to their CEO for hours on the phone over the years). We disagree on quite a few things and he told me Microsoft uses FAT patents. As we shall explain later, those were excluded from OIN, which says quite a lot.
  2. IBM and Microsoft both still promote and lobby for software patents. We write about it a lot. So what kind of goodwill gesture does Microsoft offer? It’s part of the problem.
  3. Microsoft nowadays leverages patent attacks via patent trolls. OIN has no way of thwarting/dealing with such tactics. We constantly give examples of such attacks. Intellectual Ventures is one of many.

Regarding the OIN membership, it is more or less the same thing as last week’s LOT Network news, which we wrote about in great length. Like we said at the time, LOT Network is the same as OIN (more or less).

I first learned about the news because ZDNet had sought comment from me personally (for an upcoming article). “The whole article on ZDNet is full of words of love and cuddles from the tops of Microsoft to Open Source and Linux,” said one of our IRC regulars, “and claims that in the past they “had no bicycle” (a reference to Prostokvashino about a mailman who was grumpy before he got a bicycle)…”

“Microsoft nowadays leverages patent attacks via patent trolls. OIN has no way of thwarting/dealing with such tactics.”This was soon mentioned in Slashdot, Linux Today, and various other sites.

Recent Techrights articles on OIN have all been critical of OIN. We don’t like the direction they’ve been choosing. It’s that (big) corporations-friendly policy we also see in the Linux Foundation these days. Microsoft “loves/ing Linux” is a sort of lie they openly embrace. But Microsoft actually hates GNU/Linux. That’s why it fuels patent trolls (financing, passage of patents etc.) that attack Linux vendors in courts.

When I first heard of the news I decided to wait patiently and gather more information (as I have for the past 7 hours). I did not want to write about the very same things I said before, such as last week’s post (just swap “LOT Network” with “OIN” and it’s still all true).

“Microsoft “loves/ing Linux” is a sort of lie they openly embrace.”The ZDNet headline says “​Microsoft open-sources its patent portfolio,” which is pure nonsense. That does not even make sense. That’s like saying “Fred makes his thoughts purple” or “Jane is dreaming about afternoons”. There’s no such thing as “open source patents”; Tesla is an example of openwashing of patents, with 2018 examples, 2014 examples, and a 2015 example from Panasonic.

But I guess the term “open source” doesn’t mean anything anymore. So okay, whatever…

I’ve been patiently observing truly ridiculous coverage about Microsoft/OIN for 7 hours today. There’s more to come later this week, no doubt. Purely comedic. Classic. Have journalism outlets been reduced to mere PR? Do we need to be reminded that Microsoft “loves Linux” (like BP loves wind power and children love ice cream before it vanishes)? So we get it; everything Microsoft is “open” now, even its patents. Its software patents (that it passes to trolls) are “open source”, or so they say to us. Never mind if patents, by their very definition, are monopolies and thus an antithesis of Open Source.

“Have journalism outlets been reduced to mere PR?”As a reminder, all of Microsoft’s core products (software) are still proprietary and in reality, in this age of mobile devices, its market share (Windows) is down to 35% and it’s trying to avoid complete irrelevancy. It’s just trying to dominate the competition too. It used to be called EEE or entryism. It’s something to be wary of.

So now, on to some coverage and our response to it. ZDNet (CBS) published somewhat of a marketing video with LOT Network involved, growing their cartel of “non-aggression” (cross-licensing) and bragging about it. This is what the introductory paragraphs said:

Several years ago, I said the one thing Microsoft has to do — to convince everyone in open source that it’s truly an open-source supporter — is stop using its patents against Android vendors. Now, it’s joined the Open Invention Network (OIN), an open-source patent consortium. Microsoft has essentially agreed to grant a royalty-free and unrestricted license to its entire patent portfolio to all other OIN members.

Before Microsoft joined, OIN had more than 2,650 community members and owns more than 1,300 global patents and applications. OIN is the largest patent non-aggression community in history and represents a core set of open-source intellectual-property values. Its members include Google, IBM, Red Hat, and SUSE. The OIN patent license and member cross-licenses are available royalty-free to anyone who joins the OIN community.

It doesn’t do anything to tackle the patents themselves. As Bruce Perens said not too long ago, OIN exists to protect software patents from the community rather than protect the community from software patents. What an apt and succinct description.

“As Bruce Perens said not too long ago, OIN exists to protect software patents from the community rather than protect the community from software patents.”Erich Andersen, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, lies for the second time in a week. It is a similar kind of lie, too. He says Microsoft will “protect Linux” from patents while the company passes patents to patent trolls for such attacks. That’s as ridiculous as claiming that China “protects Tibet”.

We were disappointed but not surprised that Phoronix is among those relaying Microsoft’s lies about those patents in relation to OIN. Microsoft is not their friend, yet they use Erich Andersen as a main source, repeating the propaganda from the headline to the body, which says:

Microsoft has joined the Open Invention Network (OIN) to as they put it “protect Linux and open-source.”

Open Invention Network is the community of members ranging from Google to IBM and Red Hat now to Microsoft whereby when joining OIN you agree not to assert patents against Linux and related open-source software while in turn members can utilize OIN patents/licenses royalty-free.

OIN membership is an extremely low price to pay to gag (using money) rivals and at the same time buy the laughable illusion Microsoft hopes will help ‘rope in’ developers into EEE ambitions, e.g. reducing GNU/Linux to just an ‘app’ for Vista 10 (WSL).

“OIN membership is an extremely low price to pay to gag (using money) rivals and at the same time buy the laughable illusion Microsoft hopes will help ‘rope in’ developers into EEE ambitions, e.g. reducing GNU/Linux to just an ‘app’ for Vista 10 (WSL).”If enough people are bamboozled by it, EEE will become easier. We live in a “public relations” world…

Do they not realise that the managers from Microsoft have a long history of lying about their actions (patent extortion in this case)?

LWN uses Microsoft as a source, as did Phoronix, regarding Microsoft’s patent attacks on Linux. It quotes Microsoft itself, preceded only by:

Microsoft has announced that it has joined the Open Invention Network (OIN).

Well, as we saw in Google and Oracle affairs, OIN does not defuse attacks or properly protects OIN members, e.g. from threats including patent lawsuits (direct attacks).

“No, Microsoft isn’t “protecting Linux” as it is claiming in its headline (Microsoft’s own headline as well as lazy bloggers’/journalists’ who copied it); it does the exact opposite.”Gaming on Linux, which typically focuses only on computer games, wrote about the above whilst openly admitting that it’s off topic. The headline started with “Embrace, extend, and protect?”

No, Microsoft isn’t “protecting Linux” as it is claiming in its headline (Microsoft’s own headline as well as lazy bloggers’/journalists’ who copied it); it does the exact opposite.

Here’s what Liam wrote in Gaming on Linux:

Surprising is one word for it! Honestly, I’m in shock at this news. Does this mean we can firmly put the “Embrace, extend, and extinguish” phrase to rest and replace it with Embrace, extend, and protect? With Microsoft joining, they’re bringing with them around 60,000 patents.

Moves like that, makes me seriously think about how Microsoft have changed, especially since their previous CEO Steve Ballmer called Linux “a cancer”.

I think it also shows how far Linux has come as a platform for all things too, especially with Microsoft having a “Windows Subsystem for Linux” along with their support for running Linux on their Azure cloud computing platform.

“He even included a “Microsoft loves Linux” picture. Yes, that’s OIN. The staff of OIN actively spreads this lie.”GNU/Linux is still a “cancer” to Microsoft. Nadella is still bossed by Microsoft’s Board, which incidentally includes many of the same people, including Bill Gates. Nadella is being used as a sort of new voice and a new face. They have changed strategies and they aren’t being sincere about it. Outwards they need to seem “nice”; deep inside they just want to swallow and control (or devour, or extinguish) GNU/Linux. This is nothing new.

OIN’s Mirko Boehm wrote about it a few hours later (probably on behalf of himself, not for his employer). To him, apparently, getting together with the company that attacks GNU/Linux via patent trolls is great news. He even included a “Microsoft loves Linux” picture. Yes, that’s OIN. The staff of OIN actively spreads this lie. And a few hours ago even Microsoft Peter wrote about it, under the headline “Microsoft promises to defend—not attack—Linux”. Protect from whom? Itself? This is a lie, but Microsoft boosters perpetuate this Orwellian lie. With obligatory “Microsoft loves Linux” image again (the Big Lie). Notice how career Microsoft boosters disseminate this very same lie that OIN staff spreads in blog posts. Not a good sign. What has OIN been reduced to with Microsoft’s new membership money?

“What has OIN been reduced to with Microsoft’s new membership money?”Over at Linux Journal, Jill Franklin cites ZDNet and says: “Microsoft has joined the Open Invention Network (OIN), an open-source patent consortium. According to ZDNet, this means “Microsoft has essentially agreed to grant a royalty-free and unrestricted license to its entire patent portfolio to all other OIN members.” OIN’s CEO Keith Bergelt says “This is everything Microsoft has, and it covers everything related to older open-source technologies such as Android, the Linux kernel, and OpenStack; newer technologies such as LF Energy and HyperLedger, and their predecessor and successor versions.””

So OIN’s CEO says it “covers everything related to older open-source technologies such as Android, the Linux kernel, and OpenStack,” but what does that not cover? Ask Bradley M. Kuhn, who wrote about it in his blog and the Conservancy’s blog. He explains that Microsoft intentionally excluded from OIN patents it uses for blackmail against Linux (and sometimes via patent trolls of choice). To quote:

We know that Microsoft has done patent troll shakedowns in the past on Linux products related to the exfat filesystem. While we at Conservancy were successful in getting the code that implements exfat for Linux released under GPL (by Samsung), that code has not been upstreamed into Linux. So, Microsoft has not included any patents they might hold on exfat into the patent non-aggression pact.

We now ask Microsoft, as a sign of good faith and to confirm its intention to end all patent aggression against Linux and its users, to now submit to upstream the exfat code themselves under GPLv2-or-later. This would provide two important protections to Linux users regarding exfat: (a) it would include any patents that read on exfat as part of OIN’s non-aggression pact while Microsoft participates in OIN, and (b) it would provide the various benefits that GPLv2-or-later provides regarding patents, including an implied patent license and those protections provided by GPLv2§7 (and possibly other GPL protections and assurances as well)

OIN’s CEO personally told me that FAT patents, like those Microsoft sued TomTom over, were the main culprit. What good is Microsoft’s new membership if those patents are excluded (they should be invalidated either way)?

“OIN’s CEO personally told me that FAT patents, like those Microsoft sued TomTom over, were the main culprit.”Understandably enough, Microsoft does not like to talk about all those patents that it passed by the thousands over the years to patent trolls. Some of our IRC channels’ regulars names some of these trolls. Funny that Microsoft didn’t mention that in its announcement, right? That interferes with the Big Lie. I have been following this and covering it for over a decade, so I have a good record of most things.

The media will no doubt continue to write Microsoft puff pieces like “Microsoft makes its 60000 patents open source to help Linux” and “Microsoft Just Did Something Big With 60000 Patents” because facts are less interesting than fancy, incredible-sounding headlines.

“OIN is in many ways part of the problem which is software patenting; the solution it offers requires us to think whose problem it is trying to solve. Large corporations is the answer.”For those who actually trust OIN, just remember who it works for. See this EPO tweet from earlier today — a short message which says (calling the Open Invention Network “Open Innovation Network”): “Herbert Zech of @UniBasel_en, Keith Bergelt of the #OpenInnovationNetwork and Heinz Goddar, European patent attorney, discussed general strategies for protecting AI inventions at our conference on patenting #artificialintelligence.”

For those who have been following our EPO coverage recently it will be clear and obvious that “AI” is just the EPO’s new cover for software patents in Europe. So OIN’s CEO is basically helping them with this stunt, wherein applicants are advised to frame software patent applications as “AI” and examiners are pressured to then award such “AI” patents.

OIN is in many ways part of the problem which is software patenting; the solution it offers requires us to think whose problem it is trying to solve. Large corporations is the answer.

10.09.18

António Campinos Makes Excuses for Granting European Patents on Software in Spite of the EPC

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 5:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Empty rhetoric again from the ‘low-profile’ President in his third blog post (in more than 100 days)

EPO frame and shredder
Source

Summary: Continuing the horrid tradition of Battistelli, António Campinos sends patent quality — the one aspect which the EPO was once renowned for — down the drain (or down the shredder, for lack of a better and more timely metaphor)

THE quality of patents granted by the EPO used to be very high; examiners were given a lot of time to study applications and strictly assess every aspect; more than one examiner would deal with a given application, so there was opportunity for verification or peer review. Gone are those days because it’s all about “production” now, where “production” is directly harmed by the concept of quality control. What the Office nowadays calls “quality” is speed; by that definition, top quality would be INPI, i.e. immediate grant with no real scrutiny whatsoever.

“What the Office nowadays calls “quality” is speed; by that definition, top quality would be INPI, i.e. immediate grant with no real scrutiny whatsoever.”After being criticised for further lowering patent quality at the EPO António Campinos writes this fluff in Battistelli’s old blog (warning: epo.org link) — a blog which he hardly even touched. He again added an image of himself, the hallmark of Battistelli. As if it’s all about the person. I’ve almost never uploaded images of myself to articles in Techrights. Anyway, almost immediately the EPO promoted this blog post (as it had done for Battistelli, unlike for the site’s news section). And while António Campinos drones on about patent quality the EPO continues promoting software patents in defiance of the EPC. It does this on a daily basis and this latest example once again calls abstract patents “AI”. “Our Patenting #ArtificialIntelligence conference offered a discussion platform in view of the rapid evolution and spread of AI in the IP world,” it said yesterday.

In his blog post Campinos said that “later in December we are planning a conference on Blockchain to evaluate questions surrounding the patentability of this fast-evolving technology.”

Surely he knows these are software patents and hence fake patents. Software patents like these are null and void even in the US; they’re merely symbolic to actual courts. Here’s a new example from the news:

Chinese multinational conglomerate Alibaba has applied to patent a blockchain system with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The system, as explained in the patent application filed Thursday, would allow an intervention in a smart contract — computer protocol intended to digitally facilitate or enforce negotiation of a contract — in case of illegal activity.

Blockchain has unique features — openness, unchangeability, and decentralization — but it does not integrate certain practical processes that are usually associated with real-life transactions. For instance, the patent application explains there is real life “administrative intervention” activity, like “when a user performs illegal activities, a court order may be executed to freeze the user’s account.” This kind of an intervention with smart contacts cannot be carried out in the existing blockchain systems.

This is pure software. It should be rejected.

Sadly, however, the EPO no longer even pretends that it objects to software patents. As noted in Mondaq yesterday (article by Caroline Day, Joseph Lenthall, Matthew Howell and Natasha Fairbairn from Haseltine Lake LLP), the EPO just goes ahead with “Computer Implemented Inventions” (i.e. software patents in Europe through the EPO, albeit by another name). To quote “New Guidelines For Examination At The EPO”:

The Guidelines for Examination at the EPO have been significantly revised with the updated version due to come into force on 1st November 2018. The revisions relate to Computer Implemented Inventions, Inventive Step assessment in Opposition, Unity and more.

Haseltine Lake LLP wrote about the soaring number of oppositions at the EPO only months ago. SUEPO amplified them at the time.

It seems to have become a battleground wherein many fake patents are being challenged by outsiders nowadays. They don’t like what’s happening, so oppositions are being filed. Mondaq also published the following yesterday, under the headline “New EPO Guidelines Clamp Down On Scatter Gun Inventive Step Attacks In Opposition Proceedings”; Joseph Lenthall from Haseltine Lake LLP wrote about the EPO trying to curb oppositions to fake patents (just what Battistelli wanted) using the new guidelines (Campinos):

The EPO’s problem-solution approach for assessing inventive step of a patent includes determining the “closest prior art” as the first of a three stage approach. The obviousness of the claimed invention is then determined starting from this document. The closest prior art, therefore, plays a pivotal role in the assessment of inventive step at the EPO.

The current revision to the relevant section of the EPO Guidelines aims to curb Opponents arguing that several documents can be considered the closest prior art and making several inventive step attacks, each starting from a different document. Understandably, Opposition Divisions tend to see such a scatter gun approach as procedurally inefficient, as well as creating more work to review and make a decision on these attacks.

The Guidelines therefore now state that application of the problem-solution approach starting from more than one prior art document as the closest prior art is only required where it has been convincingly shown that these documents are equally valid starting points.

In principle, this is a noble attempt to focus opposition proceedings and the avoid many of the weak attacks from Opponents. However, it is not clear that this addition will provide much procedural efficiency. In particular, the Guidelines imply that the Opposition Division need not consider inventive step attacks from close (but not the closest) prior art documents. We can therefore anticipate that arguments over the selection of the closest prior art may be more detailed both in written and oral proceedings.

If the EPO continues to drift in this same trajectory, it will go down the bin of history. A patent office that disregards the quality of patents will grant fake patents that courts will reject, harming legal certainty.

As noted by Campinos yesterday, they are “planning a conference on Blockchain” by which to legitimise software patents that are disguised using such glorified terms. A few days ago EPO officials had met and then bragged with WIPO (huge proponents of any kind of patents and also serial violators of human rights); the EPO pushed it again in Twitter (late yesterday), having added a group photo with Lutz in it. “EPO fosters international co-operation during WIPO Assemblies,” it said and Banana IP’s “IP News Center” (pushed as press release/blog into Google News) added: “The main focus areas of the co-operation plan will include areas of patent law and patent examination guidelines, examination quality, data exchange, classification, search tools and machine translation along with a joint study on Computer-implemented inventions.”

Yes, a “joint study on Computer-implemented inventions.” (software patents)

This is the pattern. They try to completely legitimise patents on algorithms. The EPC is dead.

The EPO under Campinos may not be seeing as many protests (not as many as before), but when it comes to patent quality it’s more of a cesspool than ever before.

10.06.18

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is Obsolete for More Reasons Than the German Constitutional Court, But Team UPC in the UK Refuses to Give Up

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 3:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

UPC isn’t compatible with the UK’s current policy and UPC cannot happen without the UK

German shepherd dog

Summary: The German challenge to the UPC is only one among several big barriers to the UPC; media affiliated/associated/manned by Team UPC, however, would have us believe otherwise

THE EPO NEVER MENTIONS the UPC any longer. It’s like a policy; it’s like they prefer to say nothing about it. António Campinos has not mentioned it for over three months. The officials at the USPTO don’t mention it and neither do patent maximalists in the US (Watchtroll used to mention/advertise it, but not anymore).

“Media coverage about the UPC has always been a sham and that’s a shame. Nothing has changed.”Anyone who is honest to oneself would accept that UPC is a dead end. But following the release of a statement/document from the British government (there was a portion in a larger advisory publication about the UPC) we saw about a couple dozen articles about it, almost exclusively from patent law firms with stakes in the outcome. We wrote almost a half dozen rebuttals since that time and it stopped last week or several days ago (maybe 5 days ago). It’s curious that after almost a week of silence on this matter Managing IP brought it up again (the day before yesterday). Why does Managing IP only speak to the patent microcosm (“in-house and private practice lawyers”)? It’s behind a paywall, but we can imagine that Patrick Wingrove spoke to Team UPC in the UK (where he’s located) rather than technical companies with much at stake, e.g. fear of being sued by patent trolls. They speak of a recent paper that came out only to be smeared and belittled by Team UPC. As Wingrove put it:

A new paper has concluded that the UK cannot stay in the UPC after Brexit. Managing IP speaks to the author and in-house and private practice lawyers to unpack the important points of the research

Imagine this scenario. Next month, the German Constitutional Court considers the complaint against ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement and throws it out.

Why?

Wingrove repeats two misconceptions (or lies) again — ones that we keep seeing a lot. The first is that the UPC will happen and the only unknown is the UK’s participation in it; the second is that the German Constitutional Court will no doubt “OK” the UPCA and the only question is when. We won’t assume malicious intent from Wingrove because he’s surrounded by liars. These lawyers lie to him, giving him a false impression. Maybe Wingrove should consider speaking to the 99 percent or more in the UK who aren’t lawyers. Perspective might then vary widely. Having said that, the employer, Managing IP, is more like a think tank of the litigation industry — one that sets up UPC advocacy events in collaboration with Team UPC/EPO.

Yesterday IP Kat brought up the above paper as well:

Kat friends Matthias Lamping and Hanns Ullrich of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, have recently published two articles on the impact of Brexit on the unitary patent system and the unified patent judiciary: “The European Union’s Patent System after Brexit: Disunited, but Unified?” and “The Unified Patent Court, and How Brexit Breaks It”. A potentially sobering read. See here for IPKat commentary on the recent guidance note from the UK government on a impact of a no-deal brexit on the UPC.

Why did IP Kat not write about this paper but did write about “the recent guidance note from the UK government”?

Lies by omission? The typical pro-UPC bias of IP Kat, connected to CIPA and Bristows?

Media coverage about the UPC has always been a sham and that’s a shame. Nothing has changed.

10.05.18

Patents on Life and on Algorithms in Europe Will Doom the EPO

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 3:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Santorini cat

Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO) wrongly assumes that just granting as many patents as possible — irrespective of their merit and contribution (or lack thereof) to society — will magically make itself sustainable in the long run

THE rapidly-declining (to meet ‘targets’) quality of patents granted by the EPO isn’t really the fault of examiners but the rules which govern examination. We know who sets these rules; they’re not examiners but a bunch of tyrannical maniacs, typically unqualified in the fields they decide on (more so under Battistelli because of his cronyism).

“The EPO quit pretending to have any respect for the EPC — a fact which disturbs EPO insiders because that has a profound effect on their lives.”Back when technical judges were under attack from Team Battistelli (the Boards of Appeal have never regained their independence since then) the EPO was granting patents on Carlsberg and Heineken beer. The EPO has not reversed this course of action but found a mere ‘compromise’, as reported yesterday:

The European Patent Office (EPO) has decided to restrict the scope of a patent it previously granted to beer manufacturers Carlsberg and Heineken for a specific strand of barley.

But that does not mean that the patent/s got eliminated. As another site put it yesterday:

The patent covered conventionally-bred barley, its usage in brewing and the resulting beer. The patent originally covered all plants with reduced content of some undesirable flavours. Now the patent is restricted to plants with a specific mutation which can influence the content of these flavours. This genetic variation is considered to be an invention despite being random and the plants being the result of conventional breeding. No Patents on Seeds! plans to appeal the decision and is demanding that politicians take action.

“This decision is only a partial success for us. Despite legally binding rules, the EPO continues to grant patents on plants derived from conventional breeding. In 2018, patents were granted on petroselinum, cichorium, melons, tomatoes and lettuce,” says Erling Frederiksen for No Patents on Seeds! (Denmark). “As long as such patents are still being granted, we will continue to file oppositions.”

In June 2018, No Patents on Seeds! called upon European politicians to take an active role against seed monopolies such as those created by the Bayer takeover of Monsanto. Member states of the EPO will once again be reminded of their continuing responsibility to protect the common good.

“This decision is only a partial success for us,” they say. Because there are still patents on mere crops. Those are reminiscent if not related to GMO patents (Bayer/Monsanto no doubt pays attention), which are used to oppress poor farmers, controlling and ‘owning’ their food supply or ability to grow seeds/plants. Curiously enough, shortly after William New (head of IP Watch) met António Campinos and bragged about it in a public ‘selfie’ he came up with yesterday’s puff piece about “Building Respect for IP Division” (a WIPO indoctrination campaign in Africa). Such WIPO agenda was also served by Frantzeska Papadopoulou just hours apart at IP Kat — a blog in which UPC booster Eibhlin Vardy then promoted a software patents advocacy event of the EPO, entitled “Computer-Implemented Inventions” (CII, the EPO’s favoured term for software patents in Europe). To quote:

Hosted by Queen Mary University of London at Kilburn & Strode’s offices at Lacon London, the event involves presentations from the technical board of appeal responsible for examining appeals in the fields of computing and computer-implemented inventions. The board will present on recent case law developments and topics include “Debating the Line between Technical and Non-Technical Matter” and “Technical Contribution in a User Interface”. Q&A and drinks to follow.

This is an unprecedented (if short notice) opportunity to meet the entire EPO computer-implemented inventions Board of Appeal.

The EPO quit pretending to have any respect for the EPC — a fact which disturbs EPO insiders because that has a profound effect on their lives.

Yesterday IPPro Patents reporter Barney Dixon published this piece about new messages from Roberta Romano-Götsch, saying that these “reveal quality decline and ‘confuse’ staff…”

As a reminder, this is the same Romano-Götsch who recently liaised with patent extremists (Watchtroll) and lied about patent quality at the EPO. Honesty isn’t her strength; she was close to VP Minnoye (she’s part of Team Battistelli, close to Minnoye and Battistelli, having apparently drafted bogus letters in Battistelli’s support, based on several independent sources). She spoke for the EPO's Team Battistelli amid scandals covered by Italian media and we have been told many negative things about her servitude to the worst abusers. In any event, this is what she says now, albeit internally:

New messages from the European Patent Office (EPO) in relation to production targets and quality are “confusing”, according to the Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO).

Two emails, both from Roberta Romano-Götsch, COO Mobility and Mechatronics at the EPO, discussed production targets at the office.

The first, sent to directors and team managers in Mobility and Mechatronics, said that a recent decrease in production figures needs to stop.

She said: “If there is a general feeling that we can relax because the production has not become a priority, this is very naïf. We have a financial sustainability to secure and a rewards exercise coming up.”

“Please help me get the message right—we do not relax!”

[...]

Romano-Götsch said that the number of files checked per sector was too low to be able to have reliable data for Mobility and Mechatronics, but explained that she did “not want to wait for more quarters to take action”.

She explained: “I have asked Directorate Quality Audit about the areas of substantive examination where they see more frequently issues in Mobility and Mechatronics. This is the information I received: of the 75 non-conforming grants since January, 32 were considered to lack novelty—in many cases with respect to an X document is cited in the case. In 15 cases grants were considered in breach of Art 123(2), especially due to intermediate generalisation.”

Romano-Götsch added: “So: to reinforce the quality of grants, I ask you to explain in the votum why any document cited as X in the search report is not relevant anymore at the time of grant.”

“I am convinced that a well drafted votum allows you to have a final check on the patentability of your application. It is about content and not only form. We are also providing you with support on Art 123(2) through classroom training. The first ones are due in two weeks—no time to waste!

[...]

These latest emails from Romano-Götsch seem to provide contradictory information to the EPO’s official statements on quality at the office, and confirm the suspicions of many, including that of German law firms Grünecker, Hoffmann Eitle, Maiwald, and Vossius & Partner, that an “overreaching desire” for high productivity has led to a drop in quality and adequately assessed patents.

SUEPO says that these messages from Romano-Götsch are “confusing”.

[...]

According to SUEPO, this “relentless pressure” is “dangerous for the health, well-being and physical and professional integrity of staff, especially the weakest among our colleagues.”

“We have a financial sustainability to secure,” said Romano-Götsch after Battistelli had sent millions of EPO euros to his other employer and tied hundreds of millions of euros to potentially toxic loans.

Corrupt management is killing the EPO. They try to enrich themselves while killing it.

Microsoft Uses LOT Network to Spread Lies and Promote Its Protection Racket

Posted in Deception, Marketing, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat at 2:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

An aggregator (DPA) or a vision so shallow that even Microsoft can enlist

LOT Network: A WHOLE LOT OF SOFTWARE PATENTS

Summary: A Red Hat- and Google-centric aggregator of software patents adds Microsoft as a member even though Microsoft continues to arm and fund patent trolls; the main/net effect of this move appears to be promotion of “Azure IP Advantage” (protection from Microsoft’s trolls as long as one pays Microsoft monthly fees)

THE COMPANY of endless lies is at it again, having leveraged many US patents (software patents wrongly granted by the USPTO) against GNU/Linux.

“Microsoft loves Linux” is a lie. And now Microsoft wants us to think that Microsoft battles patent trolls. This too is a Microsoft lie, albeit one that corporate media is happy to play along with, e.g. with headlines such as “Microsoft joins the LOT Network to help fight patent trolls” (a lie, the latter part in particular).

Deducted from fact-checking is the abundant evidence which is widely available, such as Microsoft’s patent troll Intellectual Ventures, which is the world’s largest. We wrote about it as recently as yesterday. The dedicated Microsoft propaganda sites (these sites’ names give that away) promote the same fiction that Microsoft is against patent trolls. Just don’t let facts get in the way…

There’s also this batch of hours-old headlines about patents Microsoft can and possibly will use against Android OEMs [1, 2, 3]. Microsoft loves its patents and it actively uses them for litigation and shakedown purposes.

So what explains this lunacy we saw yesterday evening in the media? This press release [1, 2] from Microsoft started it. It is a lie because Microsoft actively contributes to patent trolls and their attacks, but the title of the press release says Microsoft wants to “Protect its Community Against Patent Troll Attacks” (whose patent trolls and which community?).

It didn’t take long for Red Hat to play along with this publicity stunt that misleads. Remember that Red Hat hires managers from Microsoft (it’s well documented), so Red Hat will defend its shareholders rather than the Free software community. Red Hat is also still applying for software patents while propping up LOT Network, which is not the solution at all. This is what Red Hat said about its beloved LOT Network:

We are excited to see Microsoft – a top 10 recipient of U.S. patents – announce today it is joining the LOT Network (LOT), a company we helped form. Since 2014, Red Hat and other top companies around the world have come to recognize LOT as an innovative response to patent assertion entities (PAEs). Microsoft is a welcome addition to LOT’s almost 300 members, which together hold more than one million patent assets.

[...]

Red Hat is committed to LOT’s mission and to broadening its reach. We believe that LOT is a significant tool in weakening the threat that PAEs pose to operating companies, including those that distribute free and open source software. We are pleased Microsoft has joined our ranks, and look forward to working with them to expand the reach of LOT.

As we explained a few months back, LOT Network had become somewhat of a joke because it is a proponent of software patents. It’s like its purpose is to protect software patents from the community’s scrutiny rather than protect the community from software patents. It is, in that regard, somewhat similar to OIN. Earlier this week [1, 2] we showed that Microsoft’s patent trolls are still attacking Microsoft’s rivals in new lawsuits, so how can the company pretend to have changed its strategy? Erich Andersen (Microsoft) says they’re “helping to lead the way toward addressing the patent troll problem” (but Microsoft actively contributes to this problem!) and yet LWN framed it as follows: “Microsoft has announced that it has joined the LOT Network, which is an organization set up to help thwart patent trolls by licensing any member’s patents to all members if they end up in the hands of a troll.”

But Microsoft itself does exactly that, e.g. passing Nokia‘s patents to this troll in bulk. Microsoft’s site, which LWN cites for its “facts”, says this:

We are pleased to announce that Microsoft is joining the LOT Network, a growing, non-profit community of companies that is helping to lead the way toward addressing the patent troll problem, an issue that impacts businesses of all sizes.

Microsoft has seen this problem firsthand. We’ve faced hundreds of meritless patent assertions and lawsuits over the years, and we want to do more to help others dealing with this issue. In most cases, the opportunists behind these assertions were not involved in the research and development of the ideas that came to be embodied in patents. Many do not even understand the technical concepts described in them. In the most extreme cases, we’ve seen mass mailings and campaigns to extract value from small businesses who are not equipped to understand patents. Although these problems are less acute in the US today than in the past, in part because of changes in the law, the challenge persists for many businesses. Entrepreneur magazine cited a recent study showing that 40 percent of small companies involved in patent litigation reported “significant operational impact” from those suits, which some described as a “death knell.”

It then mentions Microsoft’s protection racket [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21], known as “Azure IP Advantage” (same as the scheme Microsoft set up with Novell). There’s ‘special’ protection from trolls only for those who host with Azure. It’s like GNU/Linux users need to reach a patent settlement with Microsoft, paid in several installments (Azure subscription). With a host like Amazon/AWS one risks patent lawsuits, albeit not from Microsoft directly.

Mary Jo Foley, a career Microsoft booster (for well over a decade), perpetuates Microsoft’s misleading claims and promotes their extortion racket, which Andersen introduces as follows:

This also means we are continuing on the path we started with the introduction of the Azure IP Advantage program in 2017. As part of that program, Microsoft said that it would defend and indemnify developers against claims of intellectual property infringement even if the service powering Azure was built on open source. We also said that if we transferred a patent to a company in the business of asserting patents, then Azure customers would get a license for free. Our LOT membership expands this pledge to other companies in the LOT network.

So they’re basically saying, “host everything in Azure (even GNU/Linux) and you’ll be safer from trolls” (“even the trolls that we’re funding and arming”). This is, for the most part, just a marketing opportunity for Microsoft. It also helps distort the record, e.g. on Microsoft’s major role in sponsoring and giving patents to patent trolls. How long before Jim Zemlin congratulates Microsoft?

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