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07.30.19

The Linux Foundation: Openwashing as a Service (OaaS)

Posted in Deception, Marketing, Microsoft, Novell, VMware at 3:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SAP openwashing (image from Swapnil’s Web site)

SAP openwashing

Summary: The price of deception is high and some companies with billion-dollar marketing budgets are willing to pay that price for corporate reputation laundering; among the facilitators we unfortunately — and increasingly so nowadays — have the Linux Foundation

THIS has gotten almost depressing. The group which presents itself as the home of Linux turns out to be one of its greatest foes or threats. Its biggest Web site, LINUX DOT COM (Linux.com), contains anti-Linux FUD (poorly-selected news picks) and its sole editor, Swapnil, maintains Microsoft focus in the site’s front page. Here’s an example from several hours ago; he modified the original’s headline from “Microsoft buys a start-up whose software limits access to sensitive data” to “Microsoft Buys Open Source Data Privacy Company” (so desperate to keep openwashing Microsoft, which is still suing Linux using patents). He did the same for VMware (another prominent violator of the GPL) on the Foundation’s payroll in its Web site that offers “creative services” (PR). In the article he cites right now the term open source isn’t even mentioned until the third paragraph and it involves twisting the facts (pure Microsoft marketing); the acquired company has some .com Web site and is generally proprietary. But never let facts get in the way…

“Journalists are not the same as ‘journalists’ (the ‘corporate’ types) and we’ve noticed that some so-called ‘journalists’ conflate “having corporate access” with “success”. Having amicability from/with corporate high-ups means you’re a sellout, you’re PR.”Amid the SUSE-SAP tie-up Swapnil (SAPnil?) also did some more openwashing, for yet another proprietary software giant (see the image at the top) and yesterday these people wrote: “why not invest a coffee or tea break in listening to my discussion with Swapnil Bhatia [sic] of TFIR from this year’s SUSECON.”

More openwashing of SAP ‘aka’ SUSE (they’re increasingly the same). Journalists are not the same as ‘journalists’ (the ‘corporate’ types) and we’ve noticed that some so-called ‘journalists’ conflate “having corporate access” with “success”. Having amicability from/with corporate high-ups means you’re a sellout, you’re PR. Not journalism. These corporations fear people who are actually objective and inquisitive. Unlike those who just print what PR departments ask them to. Guess who’s paid by them. And the Foundation is a facilitator of these ‘transactions’.

“Having reviewed its IRS forms (the finer details) last weekend, the Foundation clearly doesn’t care about the image of Linux (spendings less than 2% of its revenue) but about the image of its sponsors, i.e. companies like Microsoft, VMware and so on.”We’ve long taken note of this Linux Foundation obsession — an obsession with calling proprietary software giants “Open Source”, rending the term “Open Source” increasingly void if not meaningless (everyone calling oneself “open”, itself a shallow and unenforced term). Recently we saw SAP throwing some code out there — similar to what Salesforce had done weeks prior. They then reled on shallow ‘reporting’ calling them “Open”; it’s the business model of deceptive PR. We have not forgotten Jono Bacon's openwashing of Microsoft, either. He too is on the payroll, this self-described champion of FOSS and “community”; yesterday he did this puff piece that boils down to PR. He’s like a PR agent for hire, still not finding his place in this world. It’s the business model is reputation laundering; some sort of “I’ll get you positive press for some cash”…

It’s sad to see that the Foundation is immersing itself in this underworld of PR tactics, borderline AstroTurfing. Having reviewed its IRS forms (the finer details) last weekend, the Foundation clearly doesn’t care about the image of Linux (spendings less than 2% of its revenue) but about the image of its sponsors, i.e. companies like Microsoft, VMware and so on. This is a problem.

The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for the Linux Foundation was, according to the Foundation, “Director of Public Affairs for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and General (Ret.) James Clapper.” We mentioned this in passing before (back in May). “If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good,” Bill Gates (in)famously said. The Foundation manages to take some of the most ‘difficult’ organisations and make them sound fun, just like "puppies". Is Clapper too a “puppy”? Would she say so, based on his physical apperance? Her colleague Angela Brown, who manages LF events, had only the following things to say about Microsoft (which Jim Zemlin compared to a puppy):

In 3 years that’s all she had to say about Microsoft. It’s all about Microsoft giving money (slush funds) to her employer. These "thank you" services (literally paying for thanks) wouldn't be unprecedented.

“After Novell sold out the community, the Linux Foundation wants another Microsoft partner to join up and participate in groups working on legal topics?”Pamela Jones, Groklaw

07.28.19

SUSE Said It Was Becoming Independent But Instead It Became Like an ‘Asset’ of SAP (‘German Microsoft’), Which is Hostile Towards Free Software

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Servers, SLES/SLED at 8:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: It certainly ‘feels’ like SAP ‘took over’ SUSE and it has been ‘long time coming’

A week ago the CEO of SUSE stepped down and there was a lot of media coverage about his successor, who had come from SAP, which is a Microsoft ally that was almost acquired by Microsoft at one point. The media, however, wasn’t paying any attention to what happened to SUSE’s official blog. Over the past couple of months it was almost ‘hijacked’ by SAP, as I pointed out repeatedly in social control media sites. I’d hate to use "tweets" as 'sources', but these mostly link to the originals from SUSE’s own site. Here we go, in chronological order:

07.11.19

Microsoft Putting Patent Traps Inside Linux While Blackmailing Companies Using Patents Associated With These Traps

Posted in Kernel, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Standard at 8:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I saw that internally inside Microsoft many times when I was told to stay away from supporting Mono in public. They reserve the right to sue”

Robert Scoble, former Microsoft evangelist

Summary: In an effort to make exFAT (a patent trap) the ‘industry standard’, even inside Linux, Microsoft now wants exFAT inside the very heart of Linux and people are pushing back

With food came the appetite and shortly after being allowed into a secretive circulation of flaw information — the kind of information former Microsoft employees use to come up with brands, logos, buzzwords and Web sites to hype up and profit from Linux and FOSS bugs (e.g. "VENOM" and “Heartbleed” [1, 2] — it’s already progressing even further. Suffice to say, corporate media isn’t interested in Microsoft’s bad history (it's just spamming us 24/7 with "Microsoft loves Linux" revisionism).

Michael Larabel has taken note (as recently as yesterday evening) of filesystem guru Ted Ts’o writing: “Personally, if Microsoft is going to be unfriendly about not wanting others to use their file system technology by making patent claims, why should we reward them by making their file system better by improving its interoperability? (My personal opinion only.)” (those last 4 words are an expression of fear of association, like bullying through one's boss/employer)

It was a discussion among some Microsoft people and former Novell people. They’re still up to no good. They’re not serving Linux; they serve Microsoft, which promotes Windows.

“It was a discussion among some Microsoft people and former Novell people. They’re still up to no good. They’re not serving Linux; they serve Microsoft, which promotes Windows.”Ted Ts’o is not a person who trusts Microsoft (never did!) and the same person who tried to portray Torvalds as sexist (back when the person was female, not male) Ted Ts’o was spun as a “rape apologist” based on some very old message — obviously taken out of context to make Ted Ts’o like an an abominable, unemployable person. We recently recalled and highlighted issues related to this [1, 2].

At the moment Microsoft charges patent tax through companies like Tuxera, so the point raised by Ted Ts’o is absolutely legitimate. But if Microsoft’s entryism inside Linux is working as expected/hoped, even senior and prominent developers like Ted Ts’o can be ousted or at least silenced somehow. Microsoft is now officially inserting patent traps into the kernel used on billions on chips. Sometimes it feels like the kernel is being ‘sold’ to Microsoft by Zemlin et al at the Linux Foundation (they became millionaires by doing so). It often feels, now with people like Cox gone, like the Foundation is nothing but the corporate cabal its Board has become (Microsoft, Oracle and so on). First they kicked out community members, then their journalists and editors. So what’s left? Peripheral PR people, 3 developers on the payroll and an operation that ‘sells’ (passes) Linux+FOSS code to surveillance companies. In this particular case they hope to impede ongoing efforts to replace exFAT with non-Microsoft things. What we see here is how Microsoft uses its ‘moles’ inside Linux (the kernel) to make Microsoft ‘the standard’. It’s not hard to achieve when one ‘controls’ both Windows and Linux, where the latter is a lot more widely deployed.

“There are lots of angry comments about this in Phoronix right now (almost 50, tenfold the usual/average).”Microsoft’s participation was all about pushing proprietary things of Microsoft. Just as one would expect…

Larabel brought up OIN, but even after joining OIN Microsoft is not only threatening but also suing using patents, claiming the usual claims. It demands billions of dollars for patents. And yes, it’s about Linux and Android.

EEE moves so, so very fast inside Linux. There are lots of angry comments about this in Phoronix right now (almost 50, tenfold the usual/average).

“He [Bill Gates] is divisive. He is manipulative. He is a user. He has taken much from me and the industry.”

Gary Kildall

06.29.19

The Campaign to Oust Linus Torvalds and Other Microsoft Critics at the ‘Linux’ Foundation

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell at 2:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft would rather have its longtime friend, Greg (from Novell), in charge of Linux

From LinuxCon & CloudOpen North America in New Orleans, LA. A roundtable discussion on the Linux Kernel from maintainers Tejun Heo, Greg Kroah-Hartman, Sarah Sharp and Linus Torvalds. The session is moderated by Ric Wheeler.
Source with context (video)

Summary: Things aren’t too rosy at the ‘Linux’ Foundation where Linus Torvalds is increasingly being marginalised (thanks in part to Microsoft-friendly media) and propped up to replace him are those who worked on Hyper-V (proprietary software for Windows) and similar Microsoft-centric projects at the Microsoft-occupied Novell

FAMILIAR tactics necessitate familiar reactions and responses. The corporate media keeps shaming Torvalds for exercising free speech while ignoring much worse words from Microsoft executives including Bill Gates (who bribes the media to paint himself as a Saint). Is there a well-planned strategy here? Just earlier today we wrote about Microsoft ousting critics by embarrassing them in front of their employers (or blackmailing the employers into firing them).

“This is Greg K-H (Kroah-Hartman) almost inviting Microsoft. He has been attacking various GNU/Linux vendors but not Microsoft.”Over the past decade or more Slashdot hasn’t been a friend of Linux (it was partly composed by Microsoft boosters) and we’re noticing a pattern there. Yesterday it said something about a Microsoft move “which if approved would allow Microsoft to tap into private behind-the-scenes chatter about vulnerabilities, patches, and ongoing security issues with the open-source kernel and related code…”

This is Greg K-H (Kroah-Hartman) almost inviting Microsoft. He has been attacking various GNU/Linux vendors but not Microsoft. We’ve mentioned this in our daily links after several articles about the matter, notably The Register’s and Slashdot’s (which links to it). In the Fediverse someone told me: “A glance at the changelog for the 5.0.15 Linux kernel is peppered with his sign-offs, often along with Greg Kroah-Hartman, a fellow at the Linux Foundation. It was therefore not surprising to see Kroah-Hartman vouch for Levin. Kroah-Hartman pointed out that Levin has full write permissions to the stable kernel trees, and applauded Microsoft’s application to sign up.”

“So GKH has ‘non-existent tolerance for #ZFS’ (licensed under a free licence!) but he’ll clap for Microsoft?”

He worked for Novell on Microsoft stuff, such as Hyper-V (proprietary software for Windows). He’s potentially trouble for reasons that we last covered some days ago. As one comment put it [1, 2]: “You’re assuming Microsoft has good intentions. Instead, they’ve decided it’s easier to suck the marrow from the bones if they can sneak inside the host under a flag of truce, like many other common parasites.”

A quick Google search shows that coverage has been mostly limited to the above sites and some readers wrote to us about it (after we had filed it under openwashing and chose to move on rather than dwell on character assassinations).

This was discussed yesterday in our IRC channels, as well. To quote a portion:


<__martin__> greetings, do you dr. roy think it’s meant to be a warm-hearted effort or eee smear tactic?
<MinceR> why do people still expect anything microsoft ever does to be benign?
<MinceR> i guess words speak louder than actions after all
<XRevan86> MinceR: It’s big. Inate trust in the authority.
<MinceR> who made those criminals an authority?
<XRevan86> * innate
<schestowitz> anyway, see the comments in The Register
<__martin__> cite: Just more infiltration, entryism. They try to sell Windows and Azure. See comments on this article, e.g.: “You’re assuming #Microsoft has good intentions. Instead, they’ve decided it’s easier to suck the marrow from the bones if they can sneak inside the host under a flag of truce, like many other common parasites.”
<schestowitz> I saw some yesterday
<__martin__> thx I see now (=
<XRevan86> MinceR: Money, money, money; always sunny, in the rich man’s world.
<schestowitz> people aren’t stupid
<schestowitz> but companies like Red Hat and Canonical are controlled by Microsoft cash now
<schestowitz> Zemlin PAC also
<schestowitz> Azure money and all


Curiously enough Slashdot decided to cover ‘news’ from one week ago. Hours ago it published “Tech Press Rushes To Cover New Linus Torvalds Mailing List Outburst” (that’s exactly what Slashdot does here as well, it’s “by EditorDavid”). Torvalds publicly complained that his interviews are being nitpicked by the likes of Slashdot for something insulting or ‘scandalous’ that he said (because such headlines ‘sell’).

Is this part of the effort to remove Torvalds? Look who wrote the two cited articles (the only ones we saw); they’re Microsoft boosters. Are they trying to sanitise the Linux Foundation for corporations like Microsoft, getting rid of charismatic people who simply, after provocation, say that unwanted code (for technical reasons) is like cow’s feces?

If that’s the intention, this isn’t a new strategy; but now with the CoC there’s more ammo with which to shame and even scare Torvalds. They try to lower his impact.

From Slashdot (this afternoon):

“The thing is,” reports the Register, “crucially, Chinner was talking in the context of specific IO requests that just don’t cache well, and noted that these inefficiencies could become more obvious as the deployment of PCIe 4.0-connected non-volatile storage memory spreads.”

Here’s how Chinner responded to Torvalds on the mailing list. “You’ve taken one single statement I made from a huge email about complexities in dealing with IO concurrency, the page cache and architectural flaws in the existing code, quoted it out of context, fabricated a completely new context and started ranting about how I know nothing about how caches or the page cache work.”

The Register notes their conversation also illustrates a crucial difference from closed-source software development. “[D]ue to the open nature of the Linux kernel, Linus’s rows and spats play out in public for everyone to see, and vultures like us to write up about.”

It’s very much slanted against Torvalds and so are the comments. The cited articles are from Linux bashers (with history to that effect). So Torvalds is bad because he mentioned poo, unlike Microsoft putting “boobs” inside the kernel (yes, Linux) — not even a sackable offense by Microsoft's exceptionally sexist standards.

“The LF case is very important,” one person told us. “I think it has driven home the problem of entryism. However, while all that was/is happening, the various FOSS projects are tied up with CoC fiascos.”

We recently mentioned Richard Stallman being silenced similarly [1, 2].

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…

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