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04.14.19

‘Poor’ (Multi-Millionaire) Novell CEO, Who Colluded With Steve Ballmer Against GNU/Linux, is Trying to Censor Techrights

Posted in IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Ron Hovsepian, Site News, Steve Ballmer at 6:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Attorneys/lawyers for millionaires, muzzling the ‘little people’

Seinberg Law

Summary: Novell’s last CEO, a former IBMer who just like IBM decided to leverage software patents against the competition (threatening loads of companies using "platoons of patent lawyers"), has decided that siccing lawyers at us would be a good idea

A FEW DAYS ago, almost on the very same day an award-winning online friend and journalist was arrested for committing the act of journalism in the UK, this letter[PDF]came out of the blue from unexpected persons. It hasn’t even been a year since I last received ludicrous SLAPP letters and here they go again, hoping to suppress the record and twist history by means of omission. Censors. They think money can buy them anything they want.

“It hasn’t even been a year since I last received ludicrous SLAPP letters and here they go again, hoping to suppress the record and twist history by means of omission.”We have lots to say to refute this letter, but why bother replying to it directly? Just look at this utterly ridiculous and legally-invalid letter. The picture in question, of Mr. Hovsepian, was posted in tandem (next to the original) to ensure people knew it was satirical, but more importantly age does not in any way invalidate the claims made, supported by a lot of media references. He is wrong. What I wrote at the time was correct. Workers were fired. They told me. So he’s basically lying about what he did. This man probably has tens of millions of dollars (salaries and bonuses), yet here he is hiring a law firm to keep pestering publishers (maybe not only me). Here’s the full text from one of his two E-mails (he kept sending it to several accounts):

Fwd: Removal Request re: Ronald Hovsepian

Dear Dr. Schestowitz:

I sent you the following correspondence earlier today at a different email address, and received an automated reply that advised sending it here for quicker response. The earlier message now follows:

I have been trying to reach you since March 7 regarding an article that you wrote about my client, Ronald Hovsepian. The article is now fairly advanced in age, but it does continue to cause difficulties for Mr. Hovsepian. With this being the case, we are requesting its removal at this time.

Please see the original letter (copied in below) that I initially tried to route to your attention via an email address that may not have been ideal for such purpose.

I look forward to your response. Thank you for your attention to this matter, and best wishes for now,

Steven Seinberg


———- Forwarded message ———
From: Steve Seinberg <steve@seinberglaw.com>
Date: Thu, Mar 7, 2019 at 4:20 PM
Subject: Removal Request re: Ronald Hovsepian

March 7, 2019

VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL

Techrights

Re: Request to Remove Damaging Content

Dear Techrights Editorial Staff:

My firm has been retained to represent Mr. Ronald Hovsepian to address his concerns regarding the confusion and damage to his reputation that have been caused due to the following article remaining available on your website:

http://techrights.org/2010/03/03/ron-hovsepian-and-novl-bid/

As of this writing, nine years have passed since this article was originally published. Mr. Hovsepian left Novell less than a year later. Unfortunately for him, his reputation continues to suffer due to the negative portrayal of who you perceived him to be nearly a decade ago.

The image that grafts the lower half of Steve Ballmer’s face onto Mr. Hovsepian’s head is not especially helpful, but in a more significant objection, my client also maintains that contrary to what your piece reports, no SUSE employees had been terminated at the time the article was posted online.

While Mr. Hovsepian has of course secured subsequent gainful employment, such as his tenure as President and CEO of Intralinks, your article continues to cause him difficulties in the professional arena.

Due to the possibility that potential future business associates, partners, investors, and clients will also see and become influenced by this article, we respectfully request that you remove it from your website.

Please feel free to contact me should you wish to discuss this matter. We look forward to your prompt response.

Sincerely,

/s/ Steven A. Seinberg
Steven A. Seinberg, Esq.
Attorney at Law

The image in question is shown next to the original too (Steve Ballmer next to the Ballmer/Hovsepian crossover). There would no doubt in anyone’s mind that it was doctored for satirical purpose and there’s absolutely no legal basis upon which to request this removal.

“In the above example, from Steven A. Seinberg, what we have is lawyers from another continent trying to gag a site based in Europe. And on what legal basis? Nothing. Nothing at all.”Remember that it was also the French who came up with the utterly ridiculous concept of RtbF (Right to be Forgotten), which is basically saying criminals or even child abusers have a “right” to hide their past, even by forcibly censoring search engines. Will the likes of Battistelli try to leverage similar legal stunts, having already sicced several law firms at me (all based in London)? At the moment CEIPI helps him hide. People like him who leave office and lose immunity, which he once upon a time enjoyed at the European Patent Office (EPO), prefer keeping a lower profile to avert/avoid prosecution.

Let’s also remember that almost a year after António Campinos joined the EPO as President Techrights is still blocked. The EPO has blocked my site for almost five years (it’s still blocked right now). Not for being wrong. Not for being vulgar. But for being correct, for being credible and effective. Censorship in Europe is alive and well and it helps protect crooks from their critics and exposers. In the above example, from Steven A. Seinberg, what we have is lawyers from another continent trying to gag a site based in Europe. And on what legal basis? Nothing. Nothing at all.

02.17.19

Techrights’ Priorities Over the Years

Posted in Action, America, Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 7:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Or why we’ve dropped most coverage about US patents and patent cases

Priority

Summary: An old priority of ours, eliminating software patents in the United States, is no longer quite so relevant because such patents are perishing in US courts, with or without outside intervention such as activism

THIS site is turning 13 later this year. It started by focusing on Novell, but then it increasingly focused on Microsoft and GNU/Linux (related to Novell). Around 2010 we turned almost all our attention to software patents — a natural extension of our coverage regarding Novell’s patent deal. The common theme has all along been preserving the freedom of Free software although software patents pose a great threat also to proprietary software developers. So we’re generally for the interests of programmers, no matter if their code is publicly shared or not. Software development oughtn’t necessitate an army of lawyers and should not involve reading hundreds of thousands of patents. It’s beyond impractical and such patents aren’t even necessary, unlike copyright law.

“…we’re generally for the interests of programmers, no matter if their code is publicly shared or not.”Invaluable information about internal European Patent Office (EPO) affairs came through to us in 2014, perhaps based on our track record covering abuses at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and to a lesser degree the EPO (we hadn’t criticised the EPO much before that, except when it came to software patents in Europe). Seeing that António Campinos is not changing anything for the better, and moreover seeing that the SCOTUS precedence (notably Alice) secured 35 U.S.C. § 101 — something that the USPTO cannot change and CAFC as well as ITC must respect — a couple of months ago I decided to mostly drop USPTO coverage, which occupied entire weekends (all my time), turning again to GNU/Linux and Microsoft with the newly-availed time. Seeing that the UPC is rapidly dying (running out of time), several months ago we began also focusing, yet again, on software patents in Europe — a subject increasingly covered by Florian Müller as well. We used to be vocal critics of his writings, but things have changed since. He no longer takes money from Microsoft.

The EFF has, in our view, become somewhat alarmist lately. It says there's a comeback of software patents in the US and belatedly bemoans Iancu (we did so when the warning signs became apparent, based on what he had done and said in prior years). This morning we saw some articles from the patent microcosm (days-old posts) claiming that Iancu tries to pressure courts/judges/politicians to help him bring back software patents, but he lacks the authority to do this. He merely discredits the Office, that’s all. We’re still monitoring the matter and will leap back on the saddle if the danger materialises. It has not happened, at least not yet. Based on the latest figures from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the PTAB-hostile Anticipat (against inter partes reviews (IPRs)), decisions involving 35 U.S.C. § 101 still rise in number. Various tweets from patent maximalists are still obsessing over PTAB overturning examiners’ decisions, usually against software patents and only in rare cases (notable exceptions) the other way around. So there’s definitely no turnaround and the silence in many blogs speaks volumes. Some of them openly express pessimism and defeatism. Let it be so.

10.04.18

Microsoft’s Patent Trolls Are Alive and Well, Seeding Destruction Among Microsoft’s Competition

Posted in IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 5:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mono with teeth

Summary: Richard Lloyd shows that Intellectual Ventures continues to distribute its patents, sometimes to patent trolls from Texas (e.g. Dominion Harbor) and sometimes to others; Finjan, another Microsoft-funded troll, is fighting to salvage its software patents while suing Microsoft’s rivals in the security space

THE ABUSES of the EPO are only outweighed in severity by the protection racket of Microsoft; the latest incarnation of this protection racket of Microsoft is known as "IP Advantage". To receive ‘protection’ from Microsoft and its trolls one needs to pay monthly rental fees to Microsoft (Azure), even if one is a GNU/Linux user. Microsoft did something similar a decade ago with Novell. Back then too the marketing term “Advantage” was (mis)used spuriously.

“Microsoft did something similar a decade ago with Novell. Back then too the marketing term “Advantage” was (mis)used spuriously.”The phenomenon known as patent trolls has waned in the US, but it is not gone. Trolls’ booster Richard Lloyd (IAM) won’t say it in these words, but the trolls he covers (and loves, as some pay his salary) are losing hope, money, and morale. The US is finally nailing them.

Based on the latest update from Dallas (Texas), the USPTO continues to grant fake patents or software patents by the bucketloads (and Iancu makes these things worse). Some of these patents get granted to trolls and Microsoft’s patent troll Intellectual Ventures is imploding, having already passed thousands of its patents to other trolls in Texas. As Lloyd has just put it:

Intellectual Ventures is in the process of selling its third Invention Investment Fund, in a further indication of how the giant NPE is scaling back its business. IAM understands that the buyer is Micron. The sale has been confirmed to IAM by three separate sources, with a fourth identifying the US-based semiconductor giant as the buyer. IV declined to comment for this story.

For the iconic [sic] NPE, the sale is another step in its disposal programme which has ramped up significantly in recent years as it looks to whittle down a portfolio that at one point totalled over 35,000 individual patents. It is also a reflection of how much the climate has changed for IV’s investors – which for the third fund included Microsoft and Sony – with suggestions that several have become increasingly uncomfortable with a monetisation strategy based around assertion.

[...]

For its part, as well as upping its rate of disposals, Intellectual Ventures has also seen a significant amount of flux among its senior leadership with Van Arsdale, a key player in many recent deals, announcing last month that he is leaving the business.

While many in the patent community will seize on this latest news as another sign of IV’s decline, with a portfolio that still makes it one of the largest patent owners in the US and many of the assets being sold to assertion entities, it remains a potent force for now.

They also still target, sometimes with lawsuits, Microsoft’s competition.

Meanwhile, the Microsoft-backed and Microsoft-financed patent troll Finjan (last covered here yesterday) is trying to salvage its fake patents and here’s a new press release that they’ve paid to distribute through expensive wires to investors (there are actually shareholders willing to invest in trolls still). It’s about a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes review (IPR):

Finjan Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:FNJN), and its subsidiary, Finjan, Inc. (“Finjan”), today announced that the USPTO, Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) entered a decision on appeal (Appeal 2018-007444) in favor of Finjan, and reversed Examiner’s rejection of certain challenged claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,015,182 (the “’182 Patent”) on reexamination.

Based on 35 U.S.C. § 101 at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) many of Finjan’s patents are fake patents; Finjan is really afraid of them being tested. The Federal Circuit already squashed many of them (except one) and if Finjan is left with no patents it would be rendered worthless and maybe declare bankruptcy (at long last). Of course Finjan can always just ask other Microsoft trolls to sell it some new patents; Finjan got some dubious patents from IBM last year and Finjan has since then ramped its legal assault on Microsoft’s rivals.

Patent troll Uniloc was paid by Microsoft after long legal battles and nowadays it constantly goes after Apple, wishing for another pot of gold. Unified Patents fired back (files IPRs) and Apple continues to antagonise, resulting in another lawsuit as AppleInsider has just reported: (it happened yesterday)

Patent troll Uniloc returned to form on Wednesday after a months-long hiatus from lobbing allegations against Apple, this time challenging the company’s AirDrop file sharing technology with a 2006 Philips patent.

We pity the people who still believe or suddenly believe that Microsoft has changed. If anything, it has only changed for the worse; it’s more subtle in its attacks and is nowadays attacking less directly and infiltrating organisations it wishes to destroy. That’s what they must mean by the “new Microsoft”.

06.01.18

Three Years After Openwashing Its Patents Panasonic Gives These Patents to Patent Trolls

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Red Hat at 1:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A reminder of how worthless and futile patent pledges can be in practice

Panasonic

Summary: Panasonic has begun feeding large patent trolls and a Microsoft-connected law firm frames the victims of Microsoft’s patent trolls as the principal threat, not the trolls themselves

REMEMBER Novell’s promises regarding patents? Well, Microsoft has those patents now (they’re under CPTN). What about Red Hat, which claims to have established a patent “standstill” with Microsoft?

“Basically, all those patent pledges or promises are worthless; they’re a way of keeping one’s cake while eating it in the back room.”Well, Red Hat is still pursuing actual software patents at the USPTO. What does that tell us about Red Hat? Truth be told, the only way to ensure these patents don’t pose a danger is to altogether eliminate them, not make some pledges (mere words on paper that can be thrown away in case of a takeover, even if not especially a hostile takeover). Basically, all those patent pledges or promises are worthless; they’re a way of keeping one’s cake while eating it in the back room. They reserve the right to pass such patents around.

Not too long ago Panasonic was openwashing its patents. We were highly sceptical of Panasonic at the time and very critical of all the media which repeated the claims from Panasonic. It turns out that we were right because Panasonic finally gives a lot of these to patent trolls. Re-armament by Canada’s truly massive patent troll WiLAN has just been reported in this press release; the patents are handed over to a subsidiary (proxy) of the troll:

Wi-LAN Inc. (“WiLAN”), a Quarterhill Inc.(“Quarterhill”) company (TSX: QTRH) (NASDAQ: QTRH), today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Security Video Camera Systems, Inc., has acquired a portfolio of patents from Panasonic Corporation (“Panasonic”). The portfolio contains 34 patent families comprising 96 patents worldwide. The acquisition was made under WiLAN’s partnership program which features the sharing of revenues generated from a licensing program.

We wrote about Wi-LAN last month; Canada needs to get these thugs under control.

Meanwhile, as per this Microsoft-connected firm (Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. is the firm of Microsoft’s former patent chief), “Cloud Cybersecurity Solutions Under Siege From Patents, Again: Cybersecurity Companies Protect Customers From Malicious Attacks, But Can They Protect Themselves?”

Jonathan Barnard writes (at the very end):

Regardless of the outcome in this case, the question still remains–while companies like Symantec and Trend Micro continue to protect their customers from malicious cloud-based cyber-attacks, can they protect themselves from the continued onslaught of competitor-based lawsuits? Trend Micro may have an “easier” time protecting its cybersecurity solutions and IP as it’s currently only facing patent infringement litigation on one front from CUPP. The task may prove more difficult for cybersecurity giant Symantec however, since in addition to playing defense in a patent infringement lawsuit against Finjan, it’s also playing offense by enforcing several of its own web security, threat prevention, and antivirus patents against other cybersecurity competitors like Zscaler.

Funny how this Microsoft-connected firm neglects to mention the Microsoft-funded patent troll Finjan (in the same space, security) until the very end. They make some of the victims of this troll (i.e. companies that actually make something) seem like the biggest risk. Isn’t that an odd reversal? A self-serving one for sure…

04.22.18

The EPO is Dying and Those Who Have Killed It Are Becoming Very Rich in the Process

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 7:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We wouldn’t be surprised if Campinos became known/remembered as the EPO’s last President (ever), just like Ron Hovsepian at Novell

French patent office
The EPO is a French patent office. When quality does not matter it’s just another French patent office (like INPI), run mostly by French people who are connected to Battistelli.

Summary: Following the footsteps of Ron Hovsepian at Novell, Battistelli at the EPO (along with Team Battistelli) may mean the end of the EPO as we know it (or the end altogether); one manager and a cabal of confidants make themselves obscenely rich by basically sacrificing the very organisation they were entrusted to serve

THE EPO is so out of control that examiners must give up any genuine ambition of doing their job properly, as per the EPC.

A trusted source wrote to tell us about Battistelli’s “last present,” saying that he now decides to “make it two times harder to refuse applications.” This comes from a reliable source.

We have been hearing and reading similar things for quite some time, but it only seems to get worse over time. The vision of endless growth is misguided and it’s bound to cause massive layoffs some time soon. The Office and by extension the Organisation is in disarray. It cannot survive like this. But Office management has tenures and can just ‘move on’ when the Office implodes (probably after management rewarding itself with lots of massive bonuses) and the Organisation is occupied/dominated by people from national patent offices, so the death of the EPO might actually be good for them in the long run.

“A trusted source wrote to tell us about Battistelli’s “last present,” saying that he now decides to “make it two times harder to refuse applications.” This comes from a reliable source.”Are we seeing the end time of the Office? Do not be misled by the constant lies from Battistelli, who according to a recent poll has single-digit approval rates among stakeholders and his choice of succession (another Frenchman, Campinos) is cause for optimism for just 1 in 7 stakeholders. The EPO, to us at least, seems like the failed organisations we covered before. In 2006 until around 2010 we wrote thousands of articles about Novell right here in this Web site; Novell quickly imploded after it had signed a submissive patent deal with Microsoft. We now see the same symptoms at the EPO, with management granting itself humongous wages, pay rises, bonuses etc. while staff gets laid off and business runs dry. Prior to 2006 I was a huge fan of Novell and SUSE, but when a manager called Ron Hovsepian took over he rapidly destroyed Novell, wrongly assuming that patents would somehow save the company; at the end they got picked up by Microsoft. Wikipedia calls CPTN “a consortium of technology companies led by Microsoft that acquired a portfolio of 882 patents as part of the sale of Novell to Attachmate” and we we wrote a lot about it. Mr. Hovsepian became a very rich man while he destroyed the company; the same is true for Battistelli right now.

“An Office which controls the Boards of Appeal (like Battistelli does) is an instrument which totally lacks oversight.”Putting aside the Novell analogy (I dedicated 4 years of my life to covering that), how about IP Kat? It doesn’t even write so much nowadays (this year) and sometimes it seems like IP Kat is on the same side as patent trolls, more so after its founder (Jeremy) left. It’s like the blog is run by Bristows (Team UPC), which now does this multi-part puff piece about a Microsoft-connected think tank called Fordham IP.

Where’s their coverage of EPO matters? EPO scandals?

The Boards of Appeal at the EPO are complaining that they are understaffed, besieged, and even abused. IP Kat‘s Eibhlin Vardy managed to write something that overlooks all this, courtesy of lawyers from Kilburn & Strode:

The EPO is not this GuestKat’s natural habitat, and so she was glad to be reminded of the consultation on the new rules of procedures of the Boards of Appeal from Katfriend Gwilym Roberts of Kilburn & Strode.

Nothing has been said about the complaints from the Boards of Appeal (just a day or two beforehand). How come? The EPO wrote: “We look forward to receiving your comments on proposed changes to our appeal procedure.”

This is the sort of fluff that IP Kat is repeating. Well, the Boards of Appeal actually complain, but this is how the EPO framed it: “2017 was a year of growth for the EPO Boards of Appeal in terms of their overall quantitative performance.”

Growth?

Battistelli has shrunk them. They complain about understaffing.

At IP Kat (the way it’s run nowadays) the comments are, as usual, better than the posts. “A friend of the Boards” who is the sole commenter wrote:

It is a bit easy to complain that the boards are slow. They are slow due to the fact that the BA are dramatically understaffed, and everybody knows the cause of this understaffing. Even if from July 2018 onwards the staffing level may slowly get back to normal, so that the backlog can be brought to a decent level, this will take years. And here the BA are not to blame!

In the last three years the backlog has grown by 500 files/year. On the 31.12 of the following years the backlog was: 7907 in 2015, 8418 in 2016 and 8 946 in 2017.

In their present version the RPBA are in place since 2005, so it cannot said that they come as a surprise. Neither the fact that any request filed at the BA should be substantiated.

The bulk of the amendments proposed is simply to codify the recent case law of the BA in matters of procedure. But one stance which is established now for many years, will not change: it is fatal to wait to go to the BA to file requests which could have been filed earlier. Nothing new under the sun!

When one looks at T 2046/14, it is a prime example of how the attitude of an applicant can be detrimental to its interests by not being pro-active. In this case, it is no surprise that the patent has been revoked as the MR, AR 1 and 2, as well as AR 6-8 were all offending Art 123(2), reason for which the patent was revoked by the OD. AR 3-5 filed when entering appeal where not defended before the OD, and were filed without any substantiation as to why they would overcome the objections under Art 123(2). AR 9 was filed during OP when the decision had fallen that none of the preceding requests were not allowable and/or not admitted. AR 10-12, totally new requests, were filed when entering appeal and no reasons where given as to why they could overcome the objections. On top of it, they were divergent.

All those late filed requests were dealt with under the present RPBA, which already have enough bite.

As far as preliminary opinions are concerned, the vast majority of BA are already informing the parties about their opinion, but I doubt that they will ever become binding, or they will have to deal with all objections raised in the procedure.

Minutes of first instance are already playing an important role. For example the BA looks at them when an alleged procedural violation is brought in. In the absence of reaction of the party to the minutes, the substantial procedural violation is generally dismissed. But in any case, the BA cannot order an amendment to the minutes, and they have never done, for the simple reason they were not present.

However, this brings in a problem. The minutes of the OP before the first instance are not part of the decision as such, and hence not open to appeal. They are actually the property of the minute writer and of the countersigning officer. You may even request an OP for attempting to amend the minutes, but it is left to the discretion of the signatories of the minutes whether they want to amend them or not. As said the BA cannot force a change to the minutes. Looking at cases, most of the requests to amend minutes are not successful and the new rule will not change a lot.

An Office which controls the Boards of Appeal (like Battistelli does) is an instrument which totally lacks oversight. This is why Battistelli can keep looting the budget/coffers, grant lots of bogus monopolies (like a drunken maniac on a money-printing or patent-printing machine), hire friends and their family members, and nobody will say or do a thing to stop him, not even when helping himself to the cookie jar ('bonuses'). Those who attempt to say something can end up like Judge Corcoran or key staff like Els Hardon — a cautionary couple of tales for sure. The EPO is dysfunctional beyond repair.

“Those who attempt to say something can end up like Judge Corcoran or key staff like Els Hardon — a cautionary couple of tales for sure.”The modus operandi at play here is a rather familiar one; we saw that not only in Novell. It is very common in financial institutions where a manager or a small bunch of managers take massive risks (at the company’s or shareholders’ expense), e.g. toxic, high-risk loans. They know it’s a bubble that will inevitably implode, causing the business to collapse. But on this road to the collapse it seems like they bring about explosive quarter-to-quarter growth, so they give themselves many successive bonuses, probably stash these somewhere offshore and when the business goes bankrupt and all the staff gets laid off they just can’t care less; nobody will go after their hidden money or demand back these bonuses. They become obscenely rich/ridiculously well-defended by expensive and well-connected law firms and probably never have to pursue a job anywhere anymore. Generally speaking, destruction of an organisation for self enrichment is a widely known phenomenon with many known examples of it. Just to be clear, the way it usually works is, a person does not intentionally strive for destruction but simply prioritises making oneself (and friends/spouse/other) rich, so if that priority/priorities necessitates destruction, then so be it. This is why accountability or impartial audit structures must exist. The EPO deprecated these under Battistelli.

05.12.17

Our Assessment: Unitary Patent (UPC) Will Crumble Along With Battistelli’s Regime at the EPO

Posted in Europe, Novell, Patents at 6:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Better days will come, but it might be too late to save the jobs of examiners (and hence the EPO as we knew it, with some of the brightest minds of Europe)

Nice sunset
Keep hope…

Summary: A reflection and an opinion on where the EPO stands and what it means for the UPC, which doesn’t seem to be going anywhere (it’s all talk and lobbying)

READERS often ask what can be done to repair and redeem the EPO amid endless scandals and abuses committed by the management. Readers are almost always more pessimistic than us; we’re not overly optimistic but we are certainly seeing progress in the right direction (e.g. most member states voting in favour of ousting Battistelli, Kongstad being allegedly pushes out by the Danish government and more). It’s a long, tiring process that requires patience; I wrote many thousands of articles about Novell, for example, and eventually, after 4 years of activism, the company virtually died. Some prominent developers attributed the company’s demise to Techrights. I have already experienced this kind of process, which typically requires a lot of patience and eventually triggers departures (resignations, early retirements etc.) at the very top. It’s already happening at the EPO (Ciaran McGinley, Minnoye, Kongstad and so on) and Team Battistelli signals a run for the money, which is another symptom of collapse (people trying to secure their post-career savings, pensions and so on).

“It’s a long, tiring process that requires patience; I wrote many thousands of articles about Novell, for example, and eventually, after 4 years of activism, the company virtually died.”A translation of a Telegraaf report about the EPO was published today or yesterday by SUEPO. It’s the Dutch newspaper that accused Battistelli of "terror" half a year ago and here is a translation of this latest article, citing again those memorable accusations of “terror”:

Complaint against the State concerning problems at Patent Office

RIJSWIJK – The European Patent Office (EPO) in Rijswijk is the subject of discussion once again due to problems on the workfloor. Two trade unions at the international organisation, where a striking number of employees committed suicide in 2014, have submitted a complaint against the Netherlands. The reason: violation of the right to access to the courts.

At the EPO, which employs a few thousand people, there has been talk of a culture of intimidation by the management for years, resulting in serious damage to the working atmosphere within the organisation. “The management is also making it impossible for the trade unions to effectively represent the interests of their members,” says lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld. “Although an organisation like the Patent Office enjoys immunity from jurisdiction under normal circumstances, this does not apply if the trade unions have no effective legal remedy to raise the problems. In accordance with established case law at the European Court, a national court can adopt jurisdiction in this case.”

SEE ALSO: Concerns about ’terror’ at Patent Office

On Tuesday, Zegveld submitted a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights. “As a signatory state, the Netherlands is obliged to ensure that the European Treaty is guaranteed on its territory. Instead of this, violations of human rights are being covered up.”

The issue at the Patent Office is in fact being debated in the Dutch House of Representatives today.

The organisation has now been led with a firm hand for years by the French despot Benoît Battistelli. State Secretary Van Dam (Economic Affairs) stated at the end of last year that he would be keeping a finger on the pulse at the Patent Office.

We predict or project that Battistelli will only end his term if the delegates are ‘generous’ enough to believe it’s somehow acceptable to let him carry on because he’s already near the end of his second term. Having said that, he will never see the UPC come to fruition, meaning that 8 years at the helm will have ended up as a miserable failure.

“We predict or project that Battistelli will only end his term if the delegates are ‘generous’ enough to believe it’s somehow acceptable to let him carry on because he’s already near the end of his second term.”Based on comments received earlier today, EPO insiders have been exposed to more Kool-Aid than most. Who knows, maybe Battistelli ‘pulls a Flint’ and lets that Kool-Aid slip into the water supply of the Isar or even the Isar building. Either way, we are gratified to see more people (even former Kats) openly recognising that one side of the argument over UPC has been muzzled, left out, suppressed etc. Quite a few of these former Kats are not optimistic about the UPC compared to the Kats who virtually took over that blog. Some of them are too shy to speak about it publicly, but there is broad realisation that the UPC is sort of stuck. Found today [via Benjamin Henrion] was this podcast about “Insight Into Litigation Before the UPC”, a new UPC puff piece promoted by a law firm, and various responses to it (from Francisco Moreno too), e.g. explaining that we “could revert all those 10 reasons to support the UPC” (rewriting the lobbying-type headline from Withers & Rogers — a firm whose actions would harm British businesses).

“For UK businesses,” it claims, “there is a clear advantage to being able to litigate in one’s mother tongue. This will be possible at all UPC hearings…”

“The truth of the matter is, the UPC is built very loosely on a pile of lies.”First of all, the UK isn’t in the UPC (Brexit makes that pretty much impossible) but perhaps more importantly, not many British companies would pursue litigation abroad (where they don’t operate) and they would be very much exposed to more litigation from other countries (if not other continents). Funny how they don’t mention that…

The truth of the matter is, the UPC is built very loosely on a pile of lies. Some of the lies are truly incredible and are complete reversals of the truth! Here is Francisco Moreno highlighting the next UPC think tank, which claims “[d]iversity of views and opinion” (an utter lie. Battistelli and Team UPC clearly misportray their lobbying event).

As Henrion pointed out, “they never invite the critics. Yet another echo chamber with the usual suspects.”

“If anyone knows who is likely to replace Kongstad, please do get in touch with us as close scrutiny of the candidates would help guide the choice made by delegates (most of whom already want Battistelli kicked out).”See the screenshot. Yes, that’s Battistelli right there and the “Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court conference” in Munich will cost ‘only’ €600 for one single day! Talk about barrier to outside participation. With Battistelli in there, we are reminded of the fact that he is the person to blame for chaos inside and outside the EPO. He wanted to become the ‘face’ of UPC and instead he will be immortalised as a horrible dictator who crashed the EPO.

Will Battistelli manage to rewrite the rules to make himself eligible for another term (he was ineligibly even for the current term, due to his age and political activity)? Will he use the failure of the UPC as an excuse for buying more time? One sure thing is, the EPO’s management is crumbling right now. Minnoye is leaving soon (we’ll have a departure ‘gift’ for him), Battistelli’s popularity is at an all-time low (probably in the history of the EPO as a whole), and the Council is prospectively headless. If anyone knows who is likely to replace Kongstad, please do get in touch with us as close scrutiny of the candidates would help guide the choice made by delegates (most of whom already want Battistelli kicked out).

02.27.17

As Long as Software Patents Are Granted and Microsoft Equips Trolls With Them, “Azure IP Advantage” is an Attack on Free/Libre Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 3:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This definitely impacts GNU/Linux when Microsoft shamelessly passes Nokia‘s patents, for instance, to active patent trolls

Email cache proves Turkish oil minister’s links to Isis oil trade, WikiLeaks claims
Pay us or face the consequences? Terror tactics or Mafia tactics?

Summary: Microsoft is feeding enemies of GNU/Linux and Free/libre Open Source software (FLOSS) in order to sell its ‘protection’, which it names “IP Advantage” in a rather Orwellian fashion (same naming as back in the Novell days)

SOFTWARE patents are the most potent threat to Free/libre software. As we noted here just over a fortnight ago, Microsoft continues to use software patents to divide and conquer Free/libre software, essentially dividing it based on “safe” and “unsafe” (from litigation over patents). It’s that classic modus operandi that goes along the lines of, “pay us, or terrible things will happen…”

Corporate Counsel, a very popular site among lawyers, decided to write about Microsoft’s de facto attack (as above) but missed the main point. Having caught up with it nearly 3 weeks later, the summary (article’s body is behind walled gardens) says “Microsoft’s conversations with customers have led it to tackle an emerging risk through Azure IP Advantage, but others say the ‘umbrella’ program may not yet be legal necessity.”

“Microsoft can try to increase perceived and/or actual threat, making the only “safe” option for hosting of Free/libre software the option which is monthly payments to Microsoft (Azure subscription/veiled patent royalties).”Microsoft can send or unleash its many patent trolls (named here over the years, as recently as months ago) to make it more of a “legal necessity.” Microsoft can try to increase perceived and/or actual threat, making the only “safe” option for hosting of Free/libre software the option which is monthly payments to Microsoft (Azure subscription/veiled patent royalties). This strategy was last explained here two weeks ago and it shouldn’t be too hard to understand. It’s similar to what Microsoft attempted over a decade ago with Novell. We wrote literally thousands of articles on this topic. It doesn’t take a patent strategist to grasp it.

The threat of software patents is still very much real, in spite of Alice (whose impact can end as soon as SCOTUS under Trump revisits the matter, caving in to anti-§ 101 lobbyists).

“The threat of software patents is still very much real, in spite of Alice (whose impact can end as soon as SCOTUS under Trump revisits the matter, caving in to anti-§ 101 lobbyists).”Just in the past few days alone we saw patent maximalists from Greenberg Traurig promoting software patents [1, 2], among other things. They definitely want software patents back and they relentlessly work towards that goal, as we show here almost every day. They keep setting up more and more front groups for that purpose and they try to scandalise public officials whom they don’t agree with. They essentially try to oust reformers.

Software patents in the US are still being advertised; they are also still being celebrated in press releases, e.g. this new one (aside from that other press release about their activity in Texas) which says “Jigsaw, a leading provider of virtual training and education technology, recently became the first e-learning software to receive a patent for its game-changing, multi-dimensional learning solution. The patent, granted December 20, 2016, was especially noteworthy, as software patents of any kind are difficult to acquire and only infrequently approved by the U.S. Patent Office. Jigsaw’s proprietary technology proved itself unique not only among virtual learning tools, but among all software products.”

“Recall what, in the area of server-side security, the Microsoft-connected (financed, like Blackboard) Finjan had done until as recently as earlier this year.”They sound like another Blackboard-like entity, which probably intends to sue the competition, including Free/libre software (remember the sabre-rattling and patent lawsuits from the Microsoft-connected Blackboard).

Here is another new press release which speaks about newly-granted software patents:

IOMAXIS LLC, a leader in innovative computing and communication technologies, announced today that it has been granted two new patents for novel security approaches in the area of cloud-based computing by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The patents, which give the company ownership of two unique approaches to identifying threats in cloud-computing environments, serve as part of IOMAXIS’ new cloud security practice. The establishment of the new practice provides commercial and federal clients unparalleled protection from internal and external threats within cloud-computing environments.

Recall what, in the area of server-side security, the Microsoft-connected (financed, like Blackboard) Finjan had done until as recently as earlier this year.

“If they start to sue and shake down more of these companies, raising the temperature in the room and making managers sweat a little, will Microsoft then step in to offer “Azure IP Advantage” for “intellectual property peace of mind” (a term it used ad infinitum back in the Novell days)?”Let it be emphasised in case it’s not obvious. There are many entities out there, both large and small (as large as the world’s largest patent troll, Intellectual Ventures), which are strongly connected to Microsoft and are habitually threatening, using software patents of course, Free/libre software projects and companies that develop/distribute/deploy/support/maintain these. If they start to sue and shake down more of these companies, raising the temperature in the room and making managers sweat a little, will Microsoft then step in to offer “Azure IP Advantage” for “intellectual property peace of mind” (a term it used ad infinitum back in the Novell days)?

02.09.17

Microsoft Offers That Infamous “IP Peace of Mind” to Free/Open Source Software Users as Long as They Pay Rents to Microsoft

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 7:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Old tricks, new sheep’s clothing (don't change tactics, just market them better!)

Gates on SUSE

Summary: Having disguised Android and Chrome OS patent settlements as OEM "bundling" deals (preinstalling Microsoft spyware), Microsoft now comes up with a new way to market its “protection” (of FOSS it didn’t even develop) from patent trolls, which requires that people pay Microsoft a subscription fee

LAST NIGHT, just before midnight, people started sending links like this or the original from Microsoft. It is despicable and it “does not work against trolls,” as Benjamin Henrion pointed out to me. In short, a massive patent troll claims that it offers protection from trolls and it’s all over the news, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4] (a near-exhaustive list of articles is not needed because there are many articles like these that are puff pieces). Not all the above was composed by Microsoft boosters, but it started from Microsoft and then Microsoft boosters, who probably coordinated this with Microsoft’s PR agencies before or during the charm offensive.

“What Microsoft basically says here is, use only our services (and pay us every month) for using Free/Open Source software that we did not even develop — only threatened and occasionally attacked — then enjoy “IP Peace of Mind” (or else we and our patent trolls will sue you with software patents).”Microsoft has got some nerve doing this; the company operates its own in-house patent troll (plus peripheral ones); it regularly attacks GNU/Linux with patents, yet now it pretends to be “defensive”? Or pretends to combat trolls? It doesn’t get any more laughable than this. This is the same company that keeps expounding and repeating the lie that it “loves [GNU/]Linux” (while constantly attacking GNU/Linux, GNU/Linux vendors and GNU/Linux advocates behind the scenes — we still have some new stories about that on the way).

What Microsoft basically says here is, use only our services (and pay us every month) for using Free/Open Source software that we did not even develop — only threatened and occasionally attacked — then enjoy “IP Peace of Mind” (or else we and our patent trolls will sue you with software patents). Microsoft already did this with Novell a decade ago. It’s not a new trick. It perpetually said, buy SUSE (pay us for patents) or risk lawsuits. Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer even directly threatened Red Hat and its customers. He publicly said: “People that use Red Hat, at least with respect to our intellectual property, in a sense have an obligation to compensate us.”

“Just because Microsoft paid the Linux Foundation (slush funds; that’s all it takes to ‘join’) doesn’t mean that Microsoft suddenly “loves [GNU/]Linux” or that all is OK now.”Dozens of new (or “news”) articles about Microsoft and patent trolls are currently googlebombing (filling up the indexes for searches), distracting from Microsoft as the patent troll or a ‘puppetmaster’ of trolls such as Intellectual Ventures. If this wasn’t the real purpose of this PR charade, then maybe it’s a side perk. Incidentally, the other day Linux Journal published an article about Microsoft’s patent attacks on GNU/Linux. It started like this:

From vs. to + for Microsoft and [GNU/]Linux

In November 2016, Microsoft became a platinum member of the Linux Foundation, the primary sponsor of top-drawer Linux talent (including Linus), as well as a leading organizer of [GNU/]Linux conferences and source of [GNU/]Linux news.

Does it matter that Microsoft has a long history of fighting [GNU/]Linux with patent claims? Seems it should. Run a Google search for “microsoft linux patents”, and you’ll get almost a half-million results, most of which raise questions. Is Microsoft now ready to settle or drop claims? Is this about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer? Is it just a seat at a table it can’t hurt Microsoft to sit at?

Just because Microsoft paid the Linux Foundation (slush funds; that’s all it takes to ‘join’) doesn’t mean that Microsoft suddenly “loves [GNU/]Linux” or that all is OK now. From what we’re able to see, Microsoft is now trying to distinguish its offerings based on perceived protection from a problem that it itself created. People should be disgusted; nobody should praise Microsoft for this. Microsoft is again dividing the community; there’s the ‘protected’ option and the ‘under threat’ (of litigation) option.

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