12.06.08

OOXML is Patent Trap, Royalties Render it Obsolete

Posted in ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Patents at 7:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Microsoft corrupted many members of ISO in order to win approval for its phony ‘open’ document format, OOXML. This was so governments that keep their documents in a Microsoft-only format can pretend that they are using ‘open standards.’ The government of South Africa has filed an appeal against the decision, citing the irregularities in the process.”

Richard Stallman, June 2008

MICROSOFT OOXML remains a patent issue, as pointed out by the SFLC in the past. It is disappointing that ISO, as corrupt as it is (filled with and influenced by cronies), permits this to happen despite so many warnings. Andy Updegrove has a pointer to this bit of new analysis covering patent issues in OOXML and how these foolishly get neglected.

I am publishing this post almost three months later than my initial plan, mainly because the past three months were very complicated ones.

There are many “open standards” definitions, and this great amount of interpretations or views about the subject, allowed distortions to make possible that almost anything on IT market could be classified as an “Open Standard” by marketing departments.

For me, and certainly for many of you, an open standard must meet two basic requirements:

1. Have been developed and is maintained through an open and transparent process.

2. Have open licensing.

[...]

The second one, is the so-called RAND (Ressonable And non-discriminatory). One don’t need to “force the brain” to realize that this model is quite complicated to use in practice, because what is reasonable to me may not be for you and to believe that something can be non-discriminatory on our current world is a little bit difficult task, OK ? (if someone disagree with that, please explain me how a Cuban company may RAND license technology from an USA company ?). ISO accepts RAND licensing and OpenXML can be cited as an example of this type of licensing (indeed, if there is anyone encouraged to answer the previous question, please improve the response explaining me how Cuba – an ISO member – can get a RAND license to develop an OpenXML based software… ISO is really a complicated institution.). In other words, for the USA economic reality, a technology license that costs U.S. $ 500 K may be reasonable, but I can’t assure that this resonable in Brazil (same on other countries)… a value like that would be considered “reasonable”? Maybe the participation on international standardization process to latter offer RAND licensing of its IPR may be a good deal.

[...]

As you can see, an specification called as an “open standard” can be licensed by one of the three models mentioned above or be the victim of the fourth type and I write this text to warn everyone about this problem.

To those who believe that amid tough times these patents won’t be used, a quick look at the patent storm we so often cover here is probably required. To assume that rights — however imaginary and ludicrous they may seem — won’t be asserted is to forget that Microsoft is already threatening the whole world using patents. Here is a case of abuse of the patent system, which is characteristic of Microsoft's patent troll.

A few months ago, we pointed to Joe Mullin’s excellent article detailing how various patent attorneys were finding a lucrative side business in registering or buying their own patents and suing companies themselves. It’s just that much more lucrative. Mullin is back, describing two Silicon Valley patent attorneys, Dominic Kotab and Kevin Zilka, who have been registering or buying a bunch of patents, and have been quite active in both setting up multiple shell companies, and suing many different defendants.

More abuse of the system is highlighted in another related context that we touched on a week ago.

I’m long overdue on some promised posts concerning the patent system and the harm it does for the healthcare field, but it’s going to have to wait a little while longer. In the meantime, it’s good to see that more people (including those in a position to do something about it) are noticing this as well. While we often feel that the EU goes overboard in declaring monopolies or anti-competitive behavior, it’s finally realizing the one area where monopolies really do tend to be a problem: patents.

Those who are not willing to mess with patents and royalties should steer clear of OOXML. Germany is the latest country to put its weight behind ODF. Other countries are likely to do likewise. OOXML means you have to pay, and not just for Microsoft Office.

OOXML

NB: Speaking of patents, the FFII seems to be undergoing some self-improving organisational changes. Their agenda page states:

8.8. Setup new organisation (S. Uhlmann)

The proposed resolution is:

Set up a new association, transferring as many asserts of the FFII as possible to this new organization (when possible by law), allow it to act in the name of the FFII, ask supporters and members of the FFII to join it.

Justification:

The current problems with the tax office and the public benefit status are harming the FFII. Not only that it costs money. The unclear future and the possibility of unknown liabilities are blocking us. Also it creates friction between ourselves in discussing all these problems.

The idea is to set up another FFII 2.0. The old FFII 1.0 just fades out. The tax office can go after the old “empty shell” but all new activities are done under the FFII 2.0 umbrella. The liabilities will be isolated within FII 1.0.

The new organistion could be set up in another country where association law is more relaxed. May that be Belgium, Poland or even another German e.V. again (maybe with a different foundation place). That should be discussed.

The board of FFII 2.0 could be the same board as FFII 1.0 as a sign that this is not a split-up or separatist movement but only a legal/organisational measure to solve the legal/organisational problem and that we the FFII-people all stand behind FFII 2.0. That should be discussed.

The name of FFII 2.0 should make clear that this is the same FFII as FFII 1.0. E.g. by choosing the same name (if legally possible) or a similar name which is also abbreviated as FFII. That should be discussed.

All members of FFII 1.0 are encouraged to join FFII 2.0. I think it would not be difficult to explain them that this is just because of legal problems and our incompatibility with the public benefit status of German association law.

Everyone is invited to bring proposals for the new association including statutes to the GA.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2008/12/06/ooxml-patent-royalties/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

13 Comments

  1. jo Shields said,

    December 6, 2008 at 8:19 am

    Gravatar

    Why the Mono logo? What does it have to do with this “article”

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 6, 2008 at 8:23 am

    Gravatar

    Novell’s OOXML translator is a Trojan horse for Mono, i.e. more Microsoft patents.

  3. AlexH said,

    December 6, 2008 at 8:44 am

    Gravatar

    We should petition to have this dangerous patent risk removed from OpenOffice.org immediately.

  4. stevetheFLY said,

    December 6, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Gravatar

    Yeah, and tell SUN to remove their own OOXML-code, too…

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  5. stevetheFLY said,

    December 6, 2008 at 11:27 am

    Gravatar

    …and the code for opening and saving to .DOC, too, of course!

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  6. stevetheFLY said,

    December 6, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Gravatar

    How about voting SUN out of OOo altogether because they have sealed a patent-agreement with Microsoft?

    http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2004/apr04/04-02SunAgreementPR.mspx
    http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-22_11-5188082.html

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 6, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Gravatar

    Not about GNU/Linux and does not involve Mono/.NET and OOXML.

  8. stevetheFLY said,

    December 6, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Gravatar

    What’s the difference??!?, they’ve included the ‘OOXML-trap’ in the mainline code, and they have received millions of dollars from eeeevil Micro$oft!!!! ;p

    Let them feel the sacred wrath of righeous FLOSS crusaders like your humble self…

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  9. stevetheFLY said,

    December 6, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Gravatar

    I bet Jonathan I. Schwartz and Steve Ballmer take nude sauna sessions together!! Shameless treason! Flail them! We want blood! ;ppp

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  10. jo Shields said,

    December 6, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    Gravatar

    Novell’s OOXML translator is a Trojan horse for Mono, i.e. more Microsoft patents.

    You’re behaving more unhinged than usual. This is an impressive feat.

    Novell’s deprecated OOXML support for OOo 2.x (no longer needed, since Sun have their own support in 3.x) has never had the slightest thing to do with Mono. It doesn’t require it, or use it.

    And, for a change, your link has nothing to do with the point you’re making.

    Seriously, it’s gone past silly now. Are you on something?

  11. Sydney Sider said,

    December 6, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Gravatar

    Think rationally about this for a moment Roy. Is there a single case of Microsoft suing over a software patient? They moment they did most of their portfolio would be either toast or at risk.

  12. salvin said,

    December 6, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Gravatar

    Oh, don’t you try to be _rational_ with Roy; he doesn’t like that… ;)

  13. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 6, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    Gravatar

    Sydney,

    re Bilski has already done the trick.

What Else is New


  1. EPO: Fake Patents, Fake (Paid-for) Patent Coverage, and Fake Awards for Public Relations Purposes

    The media has been thoroughly corrupted, patent legitimacy has been severely damaged (far too many European Patents aren't in compliance with the EPC anymore), and Team UPC is trying to undermine the EPC and turn Europe into another Texas



  2. Changes in IRC and New Features Over Gemini Protocol or the World Wide Web

    We examine more closely some of the latest changes in the site and the capsule (Web and Gemini, respectively); we show that it’s possible to keep abreast of IRC using nothing but a text editor, a Gemini client… or even the command line alone



  3. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, June 19, 2021



  4. We Need and Deserve a Saner Patent System in Europe

    The laughing stock that the patent system, the patent law firms, and patent media became (over the past few years) must be replaced; at the moment we have a cabal connected to a bunch of criminals running the entire show and the public understandably grows impatient (at least people who are sufficiently informed; the criminals have already intimidated and bribed a lot of the media and they're still bribing more of it, as we shall demonstrate later today)



  5. [Meme] IRC Wars in a Nutshell

    In terms of large IRC networks, we’re in trouble (unless we self-host) because they seem to be dividing themselves along political lines rather than anything technical or something of an on-topic/relevant substance. Using networks for Free software projects/organisations to push one’s political agenda is not acceptable because it’s starting to seem like in IRC space, FN has become the Front Nationale (French) and LC is Liberal Coalition. Both FreeNode and Libera Chat have managed to turn from technical platforms into political parties, in effect using technical networks (intended for technical projects) to push someone's political agenda and thus misusing them for personal gain. There’s no free lunch. As it turns out, FreeNode’s new owner (Andrew Lee) has just outed himself as a huge Donald Trump supporter who speaks of “these fuckers who stole that shit” (he meant the election, which he insists Trump actually won in 2020).



  6. IBM Handles More Removals of Signatures From Its Hate Letter Against Richard Stallman

    Less than a day ago IBM processed a request for removal (from its hate letter); as someone put it in a letter to us, also less than a day ago: “When all of this started in 2019, the Red Hat GNU developers showed off their colours. The best way to attack an organisation is from the inside. Using GNU developers was a dead giveaway. Google and Microsoft are very much on the team with IBM. I believe they’ve made headway into the Free/Libre software community and have persuaded senior Debianties to go along with them.” That same message, from an anonymous GNU maintainer, said: “The strategy to target major distributions is clear and present danger. I’m not sure what arguments of persuasion are being used, but I’m pretty sure their main tool is currency. RMS needs a lot of strategic support from experts who will rally to the Free Software cause. He needs great lawyers, some corporate minds, and intelligence specialists.” Sometimes it seems or feels like by simply buying Red Hat (the staff) IBM infiltrated the GNU Project and now it is vainly making claims like 'GNU is IBM' and thus IBM et al can command/tell the FSF who should run FSF, not only GNU. Such entryism isn’t hard to see; “An open letter in support of Richard Matthew Stallman being reinstated by the Free Software Foundation” has meanwhile garnered 6,758 signatures. The opposite letter is only decreasing in support (signatures lost).



  7. Links 20/6/2021: Debian GNU/Linux 10.10 “Buster” Released and LF Revisionism Resumes

    Links for the day



  8. The EPO's Enlarged Board of Appeal Has Already Lost the Case in the Court of Public Opinion

    Personal views on the sordid state of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA), which by extension bodes poorly for the perception of independence in every Board of Appeal (BoA); the patent tribunals have been captured by patent maximalists who either stack the panels or intimidate judges into ruling in a particular way



  9. Virtual Injustice -- Part 12: Carl Josefsson – Down But Not Out!

    António Campinos still controls Josefsson, who controls all the judges, so in effect all the legal cases (including some about European software patents) are manipulated by the Office the judges are supposed to judge



  10. Links 19/6/2021: Wine 6.11 and Proton 6.3-5 RC

    Links for the day



  11. IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 18, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, June 18, 2021



  12. Virtual Injustice -- Part 11: Perceptive Comments and Caustic Criticism

    The EPO‘s management managed to silence a lot of the critical media (handouts and threats from Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos), but silencing comments is a lot harder; though we don’t know which ones were moderated out of existence…



  13. Links 18/6/2021: Mir 2.4, ActivityWatch 0.11, Microsoft Breaks Its Own Repos

    Links for the day



  14. [Meme] When the 'Court' Drops

    As the EPO sneakily outsourced courts to American companies and parties in dispute depend on their ISP for “access to justice” there’s a catastrophic impact on the very concept of justice or the right to be heard (sometimes you don’t hear anything and/or cannot be heard)



  15. The EPO's Virtual Injustice and Virtual ('News') Media

    A discussion of this morning's post (part 10 in a series) about the shallow media/blog coverage that followed or accompanied last month's notorious EPO hearing



  16. Links 18/6/2021: LibreOffice 7.2 Beta, Elementary OS 6.0 Beta 2, and Linux Mint 20.2 “Uma” Beta

    Links for the day



  17. The Self-Hosting Song

    Cautionary tales about outsourcing one's systems to companies that could not care less about anyone but themselves



  18. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, June 17, 2021



  19. [Meme] Swedish Justice

    The EPO‘s patent tribunals have been mostly symbolic under the Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos regimes; giving them back their autonomy (and removing those who help Battistelli and Campinos attack their autonomy) is the only way to go now



  20. Virtual Injustice -- Part 10: Vapid and Superficial Coverage in the 'IP' Blogosphere

    The media has come under attack by Benoît Battistelli; during the term of António Campinos most of the media critical of the EPO has mostly vanished already; so one needs to look carefully at comments and social control media



  21. Links 18/6/2021: RasPad 3 and Pushing Rust Into the Linux Kernel

    Links for the day



  22. Heli Pihlajamaa Promoting Software Patents to Patent Maximalists

    "Ms Pyjamas" from the EPO is promoting illegal software patents to a bunch of patent zealots (CIPA)



  23. The Lying by Team UPC, Led Again by Kevin Mooney

    Team UPC, or specifically Mr. Mooney, lies to the public about the prospects of the UPC; similarly, EPO and EU officials keep bringing up false claims about the UPC, so while the UPC itself has likely died for good the lies have not



  24. Links 17/6/2021: Cutelyst 3 and Lenovo Move Towards ThinkPad BIOS Configuration From Within Linux

    Links for the day



  25. Too Much Noise and/or Distraction and General Loss of Focus (on the Real and Urgent Issues, Such as the Ongoing Anti-FSF 'Coup')

    The media is full of Microsoft fluff and technical blog posts still focus on the Freenode fiasco, among other things that don't matter all that much; but we certainly need to talk about steps undertaken to undermine the FSF's power because long-term ramifications may be huge



  26. [Meme] The Enlarged Bored People With Presidential Decrees

    The laughable state of the EPO‘s EBA (or EBoA) is rarely commented on anymore, not even in so-called ‘IP’ blogs; maybe they’re just so eager to see patents on everything, even European software patents, so tyrants who destroy the courts (with UPC lobbying and removal of EBA independence) don’t bother them so much anymore



  27. Response to Misinformation From EPO Officials

    Opponents of European software patents are clearly being mischaracterised by EPO officials, who also use meaningless buzzwords to promote such patents; as an aside or footnote that relates to our ongoing series we’re making this quick video, which is days late



  28. [Meme] Tilting the Scales for Software Patents

    Shovelling up lots of patents, even worthless patents such as software patents, dooms the EPO (EPC violations, lawlessness), dooms European professionals, but the wrong people have been put in charge and courts are being intimidated by them



  29. Virtual Injustice -- Part 9: Heli, the EPO's Nordic Ice-Queen

    Team Campinos is full of people who instead of grasping and working to promote innovation are boosting the agenda of litigation (scientists are not being employed)



  30. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, June 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, June 16, 2021


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts