Bonum Certa Men Certa

Patent (In)Sanity - Recent Links

To those who have missed the recent events (myself included), here are some highlights.

Mark Webbink has joined the SFLC.

This is good news, that Mark Webbink has joined the board of the Software Freedom Law Center. Good news for the FOSS community. For him, I think the idea of a laid back, restful retirement is now just a dream.


Just hours ago he also published an article, Patent Sanity, in Linux Magazine. Subscription is needed for access to the full text, but you could forge HTTP headers and appear like a search engine, which then permits entry.

For years, many in the software industry have expressed concern over software and business method patents and the patent system.


Earlier this week, Mark Webbink's home base, better known to us as Red Hat, was among those hit by a software patent lawsuit.

Intellectual property licensing firms IP Innovation and Technology Licensing Corporation have filed a lawsuit against Red Hat and Novell for alleged patent infringements in their Linux distributions.


The Groklaw community was prepared for such developments. It jumped all over this one with a sea of comments. Result? This whole case seems to be virtually over before it even began. It's DoA based on at least one criterion. And there's another:

It's a 2005 case, so a lot has happened in the meantime. Oh, and if you are looking for prior art, the patent to look at first would be the oldest one of the ones IP Innovation has claimed in the Red Hat litigation. That is the one that I think needs to be knocked out either by prior art or by obviousness.


Then comes the Microsoft threat, which was implicit. It also had the Microsoft spinners (yet again) trying to do damage control after Steve Ballmer. It's a "good cop, bad cop" routine.

Those who were worried that the FUD would have a negative effect on adoption should worry no more. Linux isn't just unaffected, but it's actually gaining momentum, according to Dell.

The PC manufacturer says that Microsoft's patent-infringement claims have not affected sales of its Linux servers.


Some more analysis at eWeek says that this case is nothing out of the ordinary.

"Any impact would largely depend on who was the first mover. One likely impact of such a lawsuit, regardless of who sues, is that software companies may pay closer attention to patents," he said.


Red Hat points its finger in the same direction that it did back in May -- the "Deploy with Confidence" page.

The Linux Foundation dismisses Ballmer's threat as another "FUD attack."


More about this here.

Red Hat is taking a business-as-usual stance in the face of renewed rumblings from Microsoft's Steve Ballmer over the need for Red Hat Linux users to pay up.


As usual, Mark Shuttleworth comes out swinging.

For starters, Shuttleworth said, Ballmer is implying that open-source developers don't take IP seriously. Nothing could be further from the truth, he said.


SJVN does the Sopranos analogy.

Steve Ballmer, the Sopranos and the protection racket.

[...]

"Because they don't, Tony. Er, I mean, Steve. What you're doing is trying to set up an extortion racket."

"Oh, yeah? Who knows more about extortion, me or you?"

In this case, I think it's me.


There is still some extortion going on in Fortune 500 companies, according to Brad Smith, but companies don't want to admit this because of the wrath of developers.

There's also some activity in other patent harassment cases that occupied a lot of paper space recently, e.g.:

Vonage agrees settlement on Sprint lawsuit

Vonage Holdings, the internet phone company, agreed on Monday to pay $80m to settle a patent suit filed by Sprint Nextel, the third largest US mobile carrier.


Lawyers face sanctions in Qualcomm suit

Chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. dueled Friday in federal court with its hired attorneys over who shoulders the blame for what a judge called "gross misconduct on a massive scale" at a past trial.


Qualcomm Firms Meet a Stern Judge

It didn't take long Friday for a courtroom packed with grim-faced attorneys to sense where a magistrate judge stands on sanctioning attorneys involved in a huge discovery failure by Qualcomm Inc.

Southern District of California U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara Major came out swinging.


The cases above have helped illustrate the need for a patent reform. This is why they remain relevant, just like previous key rulings that were usually in favour of change and against a weak patent system.

Recent Techrights' Posts

Microsoft-Connected Sites Trying to Shift Attention Away From Microsoft's Megabreach Only Days Before Important If Not Unprecedented Grilling by the US Government?
Why does the mainstream media not entertain the possibility a lot of these talking points are directed out of Redmond?
[Video] Microsoft's Attack on Education
Microsoft's cult-like activities and overt entryism
Microsoft Windows Used to Have Nearly 100% in China and Now Google Has 50% (With Android)
Will China bring about a faster "fall" for Microsoft?
GNU/Linux Growing Worldwide (the Story So Far!)
Microsoft is unable to stop GNU/Linux
 
Links 22/05/2024: Pixar Layoffs and More Speculation About Microsoft Shutdowns/Layoffs (Ninja Theory)
Links for the day
Gemini Links 21/05/2024: Caesar II for MS-DOS and Reinventing the Assertion Wheel
Links for the day
Internal Memos/Communications Hinting at "a New, But Masked, Round of Layoffs" at Red Hat
A negative outlook heads of a long weekend
Nigeria: Windows Down to 6%, Android at All-Time High of 77%
Google is becoming the "new monopoly" in some places
[Meme] Money In, No Money Out (Granting Loads of Invalid European Patents)
EPO production?
Staff Representation at the EPO Has Just Explained to Heads of Delegations (National Delegates) Why the EPO's Financial Study is Another Hoax
Here we are again 5 years later
Canonical and Red Hat Are Not Competing With Microsoft Anymore
What a shame they hired so many people from Microsoft...
Links 21/05/2024: "Hating Apple Goes Mainstream", Lots of Coverage About Julian Assange Ruling
Links for the day
Gemini Links 21/05/2024: Losing Fats and Modern XMPP
Links for the day
Pursuing a Case With No Prospects (Because It's "Funny")
the perpetrators are taking a firm that's considered notorious
GNU/Linux in Honduras: From 0.28% to 6%
Honduras remains somewhat of a hotspot
Good News From Manchester and London, Plus High Productivity in Techrights
what has happened and what's coming
[Video] The 'Linux' Foundation Cannot be Repaired Anymore (It Sold Out)
We might need to accept that the Linux Foundation lost its way
Links 21/05/2024: Tesla Layoffs and Further Free Speech Perils Online
Links for the day
Gemini Links 21/05/2024: New Gemini Reader and Gemini Games
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 20, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, May 20, 2024
Red Hat Loves Microsoft Monopoly (and Proprietary Surveillance With Back Doors)
full posting history in RedHat.com
[Video] Just Let Julian Assange Go Back to Australia
Assange needs to be freed
The WWW declares the end of Google
Reprinted with permission from Cyber|Show
Gemini Links 20/05/2024: CMSs and Lua "Post to midnight.pub" Script Alternative
Links for the day
Windows Has Fallen Below 5% in Iraq, GNU/Linux Surged Beyond 7% Based on statCounter's Stats
Must be something going on!
Brodie Robertson - Never Criticise The Linux Foundation Expenses (With Transcript)
Transcript included
Links 20/05/2024: Protests and Aggression by Beijing
Links for the day
Can an election campaign succeed without social media accounts?
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Read "Google Is Not What It Seems" by Julian Assange
In this extract from his new book When Google Met Wikileaks, WikiLeaks' publisher Julian Assange describes the special relationship between Google, Hillary Clinton and the State Department -- and what that means for the future of the internet
Fact check: relation to Julian Assange, founded Wikileaks at University of Melbourne and Arjen Kamphuis
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Julian Assange: Factual Timeline From an Online Friend
a friend's account
Breaking News: Assange Wins Right to Challenge Extradition to the US
This is great news, but maybe the full legal text will reveal some caveat
Gambia: Windows Down to 5% Overall, 50% on Desktops/Laptops
Windows was measured at 94% in 2015
Links 20/05/2024: Microsoft Layoffs and Shutdowns, RTO as Silent Layoffs
Links for the day
The Issue With Junk Traffic in Geminispace (Gemini Protocol)
Some people have openly complained that their capsule was getting hammered by bot
Peter Eckersley, Laura Smyth & the rushed closure of dial-up Internet in Australian universities
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Brittany Day, Plagiarist in Chief (Chatbot Slinger)
3 articles in the front page of LXer.com right now are chatbot spew
Guardian Digital, Inc (linuxsecurity.com) Has Resorted to Plagiarism by Chatbots, Flooding the World Wide Web With Fake 'Articles' Wrongly Attributed to Brittany Day
busted
[Meme] Bullying the Victims
IBM: crybully of the year 2024
Ian.Community Should be Safer From Trademark Censorship
We wish to discuss this matter very quickly
Microsoft and Its Vicious Attack Dogs (Attacking Women or Wives in Particular)
Sad, pathetic, destructive people
Upcoming Series About the Campaign to 'Disappear' the Father of GNU/Linux
Today we have Julian Assange's fate to focus on
A Month From Now Gemini Protocol Turns 5
June 20
Colombia: From Less Than 0.5% to Nearly 4% for GNU/Linux
it's not limited to this one country
Rumour: Well Overdue Red Hat Layoffs to be Announced in About 3 Days
we know they've planned the layoffs for a while
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 19, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, May 19, 2024
Gemini Links 20/05/2024: Updated Noto Fontpacks and gemfeed2atom
Links for the day