Bonum Certa Men Certa

Linspire Has No Patents, So What Did Microsoft Pay Linspire For? (Updated and Corrected)

Having just taken a glance at Groklaw News Picks (which I help maintain), I could not ignore PJ's comment. It indicates that our initial assessment was correct. Just as we have seen before, a company (it's Linspire turn now) takes some money to eat the bait. This followed the route Corel and Novell had taken.

[PJ: Actually, I went to USPTO and did a simple search and I can't find any [Linspire] patents at all. So what kind of patent deal is this, and what precisely is Microsoft paying Linspire for? It can't be interoperability. You can do that with Linux anyway, without any need for an agreement. Yet, news reports are saying Linspire got some money. So if that is true, what was it for? And if it's a straight patent license, how is it not a violation of GPLv2, let alone v3?] -


The point of interest here is the endowment, the money. GPL aside, here you have a company that pays competitors to sell off their businesses and become victims of taxation. This is monopoly abuse and this aspect of it is covered in the following video. Many years ago, vicious monopolies found ways to make money regardless of which product is bought.

Mandriva, which is at the verge of bankruptcy, is now at the center of some questions and speculations. The Linux Foundation's involvement might actually be needed here. Mandriva, unlike Linspire and Xandors, has some decent userbase and it contributes code. It doesn't just repackage somebody else's work.

Let us return to Groklaw for a moment. Also in Groklaw last night, the new (and hopefully improved) patent processing system got some coverage and a careful first look. This has been muchly anticipated, but one wonders what happens to existing (old) patents. It's easy to shelf patents, but harder to get them cleaned up, eliminated on grounds of validity (e.g. prior art, "trivial"), or organised (e.g. duplication management). Is the USPTO just broken beyond repair? Have a look.

What the USPTO is also looking for is whether or not the application is sufficiently new and nonobvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art to qualify for a patent under current law. Trust me when I tell you that the USPTO has no clue when it comes to FOSS prior art. If you could have blocked Amazon's One-Click patent application so it never issued, would you have?


There are clearly some challenges ahead, but as long as the patent system is perceived as a farce (at least by some), the effect of IP FUD will be minimal. The last thing we need is a USPTO with credibility (and a sharp tooth, which it hasn't).

Update: Have a look at the following item which explains why Mandriva will not sign any patent deals with Microsoft.

Mandriva and Microsoft

So in conclusion from my ramblings, Mandriva would have nothing to gain while everything to loose by signing such an agreement.

By reading the speculations about this so far, it all seems like 99% FUD to me while the only valid reasoning behind the speculations being the fact that a few other vendors has already done so..


I have been saying all along that Mandriva, unlike Linspire and Xandros, has an open source spirit, so it won't be victimised. I apologise for an incorrect assertion (mistake pointed out by a reader), which I have just corrected.

Comments

Recent Techrights' Posts

[Meme/Photography] Photos From the Tux Machines Parties
took nearly a fortnight
SLAPP as an Own Goal
We have better things to with our limited time
GNU/Linux at New Highs (Again) in Taiwan
latest numbers
Dr. John Campbell on Gates Foundation
Published two days ago
How Much IBM Really Cares About Software Freedom (Exactly One Year Ago IBM Turned RHEL Into Proprietary Software)
RHEL became proprietary software
 
Links 23/06/2024: Hey Hi (AI) Scrapers Gone Very Rogue, Software Patents Squashed at EPO
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 22, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, June 22, 2024
Gemini Links 23/06/2024: LoRaWAN and Gemini Plugin for KOReade
Links for the day
Links 22/06/2024: Chat Control Vote Postponed, More Economic Perils
Links for the day
Uzbekistan: GNU/Linux Ascent
Uzbekistan is almost the same size as France
Independence From Monopolies
"They were ethnically GAFAM anyway..."
Links 22/06/2024: More Layoffs and Health Scares
Links for the day
Rwanda: Windows Falls Below 30%
For the first time since 2020 Windows is measured below 30%
[Meme] IBM Lost the Case Over "Dinobabies" (and People Died)
IBM agreed to pay to keep the details (and embarrassing evidence) secret; people never forgot what IBM called its staff that wasn't young, this keeps coming up in forums
Exactly One Year Ago RHEL Became Proprietary Operating System
Oh, you want the source code of RHEL? You need to pay me money and promise not to share with anyone
Melinda Gates Did Not Trust Bill Gates, So Why Should You?
She left him because of his ties to child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein
Fedora Week of Diversity 2024 Was Powered by Proprietary Software
If instead of opening up to women and minorities we might open up to proprietary software, i.e. become less open
18 Countries in Europe Where Windows Fell Below 30% "Market Share"
Many people still use laptops with Windows, but they're outnumbered by mobile users on Android
[Meme] EPO Pensions in the UK
pensioners: looks like another EPO 'reform'
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 21, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, June 21, 2024
During Fedora Week of Diversity (FWD) 2024 IBM and Its Subsidiaries Dragged to Court Over Discrimination at the Corporate Level
IBM is a deplorable, racist company
Workers of the European Patent Office Take the Office to Court Over Pension
pensions still precarious
Gemini Links 22/06/2024: FreeBSD vs XFCE and Gemini Bookmarks Syncing Solution
Links for the day
Links 21/06/2024: Matrimony Perils and US-Sponsored COVID-19 Misinformation
Links for the day
"A coming cybersecurity schism" by Dr. Andy Farnell
new from Dr. Andy Farnell
Links 21/06/2024: Overpopulation, Censorship, and Conflicts
Links for the day
IBM and Subsidiaries Sued for Ageism (Not Just for Racism)
This is already being discussed
UEFI is Against Computer Security, Its True Goal is to Curtail Adoption of GNU/Linux and BSDs on Existing or New PCs
the world is moving away from Windows
[Meme] Chat Control (EU) is All About Social Control
It won't even protect children
The Persistent Nature of Freedom Isn't About Easy Routes
Resistance to oppression takes effort and sometimes money
EFF Not Only Lobbies for TikTok (CPC) But for All Social Control Media, Irrespective of Known Harms as Explained by the US Government
The EFF's own "free speech" people reject free speech
Microsoft's Search (Bing) Fell From 3.3% to 1% in Turkey Just Since the LLM Hype Began
Bing fell sharply in many other countries
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 20, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, June 20, 2024
The Real FSF Lost Well Over a Million Dollars Since the Defamation Attacks on Its Founder
2020-2023 income: -$659,756, -$349,927, -$227,857, and -$686,366, respectively
The Fake FSF ('FSF Europe') Connected to Novell Via SUSE, Not Just Via Microsoft (Repeated 'Donations')
'FSF Europe' is an imposter organisation
Just Less Than 3 Hours After Article on Debian Suicide Cluster Debian's Donald Norwood Recycles a Fortnight-Old 'Hit Piece'
The fall of Debian is its attack on its very own volunteers