Bonum Certa Men Certa

Patents Troll, Bully, or Both? (External Sources)

We would like to present several among a heap of reactions posted around the Web. Hopefully these will support our stance.

The first talks about a change in character.

Microsoft: A law firm pretending to be an army pretending to be a software company

SCO failed, so now Microsoft has to do the heavy lifting itself to undermine open source software's legitimacy. Actually, Microsoft prefers to undermine Red Hat's legitimacy. Or OpenXchange's. Or your company's.


Here is another.

Microsoft Acting Like a Patent Troll?

But Microsoft has not given any further details, such as the exact patent numbers and the features or programs that infringe. Were Microsoft to provide those details or to actually file a patent infringement lawsuit based on them, things would get interesting. Without that information, there's nothing but FUD here.


Jono Bacon has a nice little scoop.

"One (unnamed) Microsoft employee once told me that most of the people on the ground, doing development out with customers really do get-it but Microsoft have suffered from a disconnected management clique. I am beginning to see where this person is coming from."


See how Microsoft became a victim of exactly what it tries to achieve here. Vague and unspecific infringements were being claimed quite recently.

Microsoft sued over VPN patents

In its suit, VirnetX said that Microsoft is infringing on its two patents, but does not list which specific Microsoft products it says are infringing.


Here's a reality check from Stan Beer.

Microsoft running scared from Linux

Speak to anyone outside of Microsoft who knows anything about Microsoft's claim that Linux software violates 42 of its patents and most of them agree - Microsoft is running scared. Many believe that Microsoft's public announcement smacks of desperation and is a risky move by a company that has run out of ideas.


Further analysis from a bright mind:

The Microsoft Open Source Patent Gambit

First, to reiterate, as a customer I am completely uninterested in buying something from a vendor, and then paying every other vendor in the space a license to their possible additional but unproved patents. I'm not even interested in licensing their PROVED patents. Patents are vendor to vendor discussions. To make sure the license wonks in Microsoft Legal and Corporate Affairs understand what I mean: As a customer, when I buy my Xerox copier, I do not intend to additionally license patents from HP, Canon, Epson, or ANY other copier manufacturer. I buy solutions from my vendors, and I expect value for money. I am uninterested in your protection shakedown. Move on. The bullying of customers stops now.


Here is a bold analogy.

Microsoft, the art of Corporate Terrorism.

Microsoft, no longer the technological leader in the Computer Desktop market, is taking on a terrorist role in its attempt remain in power at all costs. (see the link to the CNN story below)

The tactic is intended to frighten current, and would be, free software users away from products that Microsoft just can't compete with. It's not a new tactic, but for the first time desperation is beginning to show.


And let us not forget the argument made by Linus. Microsoft is under great litigious threat as well. It goes both ways.

LXer 'classics': 101 patents Microsoft may infringe

A new database ("counterFUD") was released in 2005 at LXer showing patent numbers where parts of Microsoft might infringe upon.


Lastly, check out IBM's extensive patent portfolio. Microsoft will never wish to mess with Big Blue on the grounds of intellectual property.

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