Bonum Certa Men Certa

Rumour: Bill Gates Could Develop/Foster Yet Another Patent Troll, Maybe Lobby

"The government is not trying to destroy Microsoft, it’s simply seeking to compel Microsoft to obey the law. It’s quite revealing that Mr. Gates equates the two."

--Government official



PEOPLE who reportedly leave Microsoft aside tend to 'reappear' in other places. Bill Gates, for example, is actively fighting against Free software, albeit behind the scenes [1, 2]. Possession of governments enables this [1, 2] and pet charities can help too.



It is important never to forget the world's most greedy and already-aggressive patent troll, who is fueled by investments from Bill Gates himself -- the very genesis of its inception. There are rumours flying at the moment about the meaning of a new Bill Gates company, which public records label a “think tank.” Some people are guessing that it's a patent troll, but it's probably not. Based on one source:

Public documents describe the new Gates entity -- bgC3 LLC -- as a “think tank.” It’s housed within a Kirkland office that the Microsoft co-founder established on his own after leaving his day-to-day executive role at the company this summer.


As we showed before, contrary to common belief (or innocence), a lot of staff at Microsoft is working along the lines of a political movement [1, 2, 3]. Microsoft has actual engagements in the writing of national rules that affect it. It sometimes exploits think tanks.

“Microsoft has actual engagements in the writing of national rules that affect it.”Keeping an eye on Gates is important because he is still fully dedicated to helping Microsoft, largely using political means and diplomacy. Some time ago we also wrote about the departure of Todd Bishop, but we wondered where he would land? Well, it turns out that he never vanished; rather, he relocated.

Tracking the movement of key people is important in order to understand decisions that are made by companies. Novell, for example, may be oozing IBM influence [1, 2] and IBM seems like one of the main forces behind OIN and the Linux Foundation. It is a sad thing that OIN, just like IBM, does not participate in attempts to eliminate software patents. This has just been confirmed by Roberto Galoppini.

Initiatives like the world day Against software patents, or the stop software patent initiative, are definitely a good thing. Not the ultimate answer to the problem though, I am afraid.

Keith Bergelt, Open Innovation Network’s new appointed CEO, was clear telling me that OIN won’t collaborate with FFII or similar organizations to fight against software patents in Europe. OIN cares just about Linux, so far. That is a pity, considering that they are lobbying around Europe now.


The FSF does not participate enough in this either (maybe not as actively as before). On the other hand, it is clear what the views of the FSF and FSFE really are.

For those who are not aware of OIN's deficiencies, here is the gist of it.



GM: Typically, patent trolls don't have any products, so they are unlikely to be infringing on any of your patents. Isn't that a problem for the OIN approach?

JR: Very clearly there's not much we can do with regard to patent trolls. On the other hand, it's my belief that patent trolls go where the money is. They're after the big dollars. That's probably why they haven't, and not for a long time will, go after the open-source movement - that's not where the money is. Could it become a problem in the future? The answer is, sure it could.


Whatever happens, whereas OIN defends Linux, it does not protect the vast majority of GNU/Linux distributions. It is far from a solution. So, the patent watch continues.

“No less than Bill Gates himself said in a recent Fortune article that Microsoft competes better against Linux in China when there's piracy than when there isn't.

“So, Microsoft actively looks the other way as people pirate its software. It builds its market share that way, and lets people get used to the idea of having Windows at a certain price.”

--ECT, yesterday

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