08.03.09

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Microsoft Sued Melco Group Over Linux and Microsoft is Likely to Lose Another Patent Case (VirnetX)

Posted in Courtroom, Microsoft, Patents at 6:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Processor.com indicates that the Melco deal was a result of Microsoft suing; Microsoft gets slapped by VirnetX

A FRIDAY report from Bloomberg suggests that Microsoft may be poised to lose in the patent dispute with VirnetX.

U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis in Tyler, Texas, yesterday sided with VirnetX in the defining of key terms in patents it claims are infringed by Microsoft.

Despite it being located in Texas, the trial does not involve a classic patent troll, but all that VirnetX seems to be doing is licensing patents. The “Products” page talks about nothing but patents, so there is no tangible output.

Increasingly, Microsoft becomes more like VirnetX because it uses patents as a racketeering tool, most recently against Melco [1, 2, 3] (this was mentioned briefly also in [1, 2]). It’s a way of leeching off someone else’s products. Here is the latest mention of the Melco betrayal.

As the result of a lawsuit settlement, Microsoft will get an undisclosed sum from Melco Group, which manufactures Linux-based networking tools. Melco Group is paying the amount to ensure indemnity for its Buffalo brand network-attached storage devices and routers. The suit is a result of Microsoft’s complaints that parts of the Linux operating system infringe on Microsoft’s patents, although the company has yet to identify which patents are at issue. The Linux community strongly denies that its operating system violates any patents and has publicly challenged Microsoft to name which patents are being infringed upon.

This is major. So Microsoft not only sued TomTom; Microsoft may be systematically suing and extorting vendors of Linux. Since no patents are being disclosed, this may be in violation of the RICO Act. Microsoft should be reported to the authorities.

“Microsoft is asking people to pay them for patents, but they won’t say which ones. If a guy walks into a shop and says: “It’s an unsafe neighbourhood, why don’t you pay me 20 bucks and I’ll make sure you’re okay,” that’s illegal. It’s racketeering.”

Mark Shuttleworth

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