Bonum Certa Men Certa

Patents World: A World Morbidly Obsessed with Money

"'Human Greed Has No Bounds,' Says MSFT in Fee Dispute"

--Wall Street Journal



"During one of those last long nights working to deliver DOS 2.0 in early 1983, I am told that Paul Allen heard Gates and Ballmer discussing his health and talking about how to get his Microsoft shares back if Allen were to die. Maybe that's just the sort of fiduciary discussion board members have to have, but it didn't go over well with Paul Allen, who never returned to Microsoft, and over the next eight years, made huge efforts to secure his wealth from the fate of Microsoft."

--Bob Cringely



The quotes above are slightly alarming, but the first one is from 2007, whereas the second is from 2006. For actual information about "the fate of Microsoft", see this recent roundup. In any event, the purpose of this post is to show you how utterly sick the patent system has become. It doesn't relate to Microsoft or Novell directly.

Let us begin with this report about an ongoing patent war between ASUS and IBM. This time it's Asustek's turn to attack. What a wasteful use of energy.

One of the Asustek patents is for a method for providing remote storage for Internet appliances, while the other relates to servers. Asustek alleges the patents have been infringed by IBM in components, software and hardware related to storage area networking equipment and servers.


Watch people 'buying' knowledge. Perfect recipe and setting for patent trolling.

Internet, consumer patents rule at auction



[...]

A woman, taking commands from someone at the other end of her cell phone, had bid $750,000 on the patent portfolio he was selling at the Ocean Tomo IP Auction last week in San Francisco. The patents covered an online authentication system for consumers devised by his old company Catavault.


Gone are the days when people bought physical objects. Now they pay for the permission to use an idea. Speaking of which, this one is rather shocking.

Lawsuit Claim: Students' Lecture Notes Infringe on Professor's Copyright



[...]

But James Sullivan, Faulkner Press' attorney, says the suit isn't about money for the professors, it's about protecting its intellectual property.


Last but not least, our good old 'friend' (and Microsoft's intimate lover) Nicolas Sarkozy sees his plans rejected in Sweden.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to disconnect European file sharers from the Internet. The idea is already in the process of being realized in France, and will according to Sarkozy be a step toward “a civilized Internet” where ISPs watch the information that their customers exchange.


More recently we saw President Nicolas Sarkozy interfering with purely technical matters by batting for Microsoft's OOXML. How truly low.

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