Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Attacks the Vulnerable Using Software Patents in Order to Maintain Fear and Give the Perception of Microsoft 'Safety'

While Microsoft sells 'protection' from itself and its patent trolls [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17]

Microsoft and trolls



Summary: The latest patent lawsuits from Microsoft and its patent trolls (which it financially backs); these are aimed at feeble and vulnerable rivals of Microsoft

THE whole 'new' Microsoft delusion clearly fails to impress/charm actual GNU/Linux geeks. They aren't buying any of it (example from today [1, 2]). Microsoft's patent attacks on GNU/Linux are being brought up as well. Based on US patent office records, in addition to Microsoft boosting sites, the gold rush for patents carries on and Microsoft has been busy attacking rivals using patents. Yes, this is the 'new' Microsoft -- same as the 'old' Microsoft. It's using patents on GUIs -- a subject we shall cover later this weekend in relation to Apple -- to go after competitors. A guest post by Sarah Burstein, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, was published some days ago to remark about the underlying patents:

Microsoft accused Corel of infringing five utility patents and four design patents. The four design patents all claimed designs for particular elements of the Microsoft Office graphical user interface (GUI).

[...]

Corel initially denied infringing these design patents but, early last year, it amended its answer to admit infringement and dismiss most of its defenses, stating that, “to properly develop and prove out those defenses will simply cost more than the damages could rationally be in this case.” By the time of trial, the only remaining issues were damages, whether Corel had pre-suit notice of three of the design patents, and willfulness.

In its Rule 50 motions, Corel argued that Microsoft was not entitled to recover its “total profits” under 35 U.S.C. €§ 289 because Corel had not applied the patented designs to any articles of manufacture.


We recently wrote quite a few articles about it. It's almost only one site that has been covering that (Law 360); somehow all the "tech" press doesn't seem to mind. Last weekend we argued that maybe that just doesn't fit the "Microsoft loves Linux" narrative they constantly foist if not impose on readers. Notice how, in order to win cases more easily, Microsoft targets relatively poor and weak companies, especially at times of trouble, e.g. TomTom; the last thing Microsoft wants is a lengthy legal battle that sees Microsoft's patents invalidated.

"...the last thing Microsoft wants is a lengthy legal battle that sees Microsoft's patents invalidated."Meanwhile -- while Microsoft sues rivals like Corel using lousy patents -- the patent trolls of Microsoft also attack Microsoft's rivals, who struggle in court because some software patent survived back in January. In Finjan, Inc. v SonicWall, Inc. (according to Docket Navigator):

The court denied defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's [Finjan] willful infringement claims for failing to sufficiently allege egregious conduct through defendant's licensing negotiations.


Remember that Finjan is financially backed by Microsoft and it has gone after pretty much all of Microsoft's competitors in the security space. Of course it doesn't go after Microsoft; the same goes for Nokia, whose latest words and actions we shall cover separately later this weekend.

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