10.20.09

Gemini version available ♊︎

Patents Roundup: Microsoft Patent Tax, FireStar-Red Hat Revisited, US Patent Crisis

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, Hardware, IBM, Microsoft, Patents, Protocol, Red Hat at 6:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft uses ActiveSync to tax competitors; interesting details surface about FireStar’s case against Red Hat; the USPTO is challenged for its poor performance

BITS and pieces that appear in the news play a role in the adoption of Free software, even though they are legal issues rather than technical. This post takes an overview.

Microsoft

Microsoft has just found another ActiveSync victim from which to extract patent tax. With new licensing deals, Microsoft hopes to extract revenue out of patents and other imaginary products. We gave some more ActiveSync examples in [1, 2]. Microsoft basically charges for the use of protocols and even Android (Linux) is harmed by it:

DATAVIZ has made available a version of its Roadsync client for Microsoft ActiveSync via Android Market, allowing users of Android phones to link with Exchange email servers.

The Wall Street Journal has this new article about the patent bill. From the opening:

Twelve Republican U.S. senators on Thursday sent a letter to Senate leaders criticizing pending patent legislation, saying the bill “threatens to diminish the value and enforceability of U.S. patent rights.”

The Oct. 15 letter backs criticism against the legislation being levied by independent inventors and academics who argue the bills favor major technology companies. If approved the legislation would be the most sweeping rewrite of federal patent law in 50 years.

Critics say two similar bills now in Congress would broadly make it harder for individuals, universities and start-ups to defend their inventions against companies with deeper pockets.

Microsoft too is mentioned in the full article, which states that “Microsoft and IBM are two of the most active companies involved in filing patents.” IBM makes about a billion dollars per year from taxation of competitors and IBM is what the FFII calls a “fake” supporter when it comes to patents. IBM’s actions speak for themselves.

Law.com has this article about the Eastern District of Texas, which is known as patent trollville. Microsoft is mentioned also:

The story, of course, is also bigger than Powers and Davis. There’s the fact that Microsoft is signing off on both the trial strategy and the briefs being filed. That suggests that the big old software company is taking a more aggressive tack in the Eastern District these days, not just backing up its lawyer. After losing a couple of big cases there, it seems like the company is eager to show up a judge who it believes did it wrong. Sort of like in baseball when there’s a questionable call and the manager runs out on the field to jaw with the umpire: The purpose is not only to get the call reversed, but to make him think twice the next time.

Red Hat

The FireStar case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] may be old, but the Prior Art Blog has some interesting new details about those who were involved:

* In October 2006, in the lawsuit’s early stages, FireStar told Red Hat it wanted $100 million to settle its patent claims—and Red Hat said “there was nothing left to discuss.”

[...]

After the case was underway, FireStar apparently tired of the patent litigation game. The company was reluctant to make engineers available for deposition because, Foley’s brief states, they “were focused on product development rather than the Red Hat case and as a result were not sufficiently responsive.” By December 2007, the bankers at Amphion had agreed to take the suit off FireStar’s hands by creating DataTern, a shell company solely focused on patent enforcement that acquired the patent in early 2008. (Amphion also agreed to compensate FireStar for employee time spent on the litigation.) At about the same time, DataTern stopped paying Foley’s bills, and turned to IP Nav and its lawyers to press the suit.

Those lawyers—Texas solo Dan Perez and Michigan-based Patrick Anderson, both of whom frequently work for Spangenberg and his patent companies—quickly hammered out the $4.2 million settlement. The figure, Foley notes, was lower the total litigation budget it had agreed to with FireStar. If the plaintiffs were willing to settle for so little, Foley lawyers Michael Lockerby and Greg Neppl write, a deal could have been struck “without the expenditure of much in the way of legal fees.”

Patent Crisis

The following stories ought to speak for themselves:

EFF Challenges VOIP Systems Patent

As part of its Patent Busting Project, the Electronic Frontier Foundation claims it has discovered a prior patent and published reference material that should invalidate a patent granted to Acceris for implementing VOIP using analog telephones as endpoints.

USPTO Removes Rule Changes

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) published a final rule in the Federal Register in August of 2007 to revise the rules of practice for patent cases pertaining to continuing applications and requests for continued examination practices, and for the examination of claims in patent applications (Claims and Continuations Final Rule). The Office is revising the rules of practice in this final rule to remove the changes in the Claims and Continuations Final Rule from the Code of Federal Regulations.

Bits and Bytes

* I am teaching obviousness this week in my introductory patent law course here at the University of Missouri School of Law. The Justice Douglas concurrence in the 1950 A&P case always gives me pause:
o “The Constitution never sanctioned the patenting of gadgets. Patents serve a higher end–the advancement of science.”

Are Technology Patents Lost on Jurors?

Attorney Tucker Griffith brainstormed for months about how to best illustrate the inner-workings of his client’s patented technology.

[...]

“I’ve seen judges ask questions that show they’re confused,” said Menard, who works in areas of electromechanical technology such as hydraulics and pneumatics. “You have 48 minutes of hearings and the judge asks a question that shows they have no clue. Then the lawyers just look at each other and say, ‘That was a waste of time.’”

Change is still needed urgently. Can Kappos deliver?

David Kappos

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

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

2 Comments

  1. Mikko said,

    October 20, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Gravatar

    people call it ActiveStink

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It’s less malicious than ActiveHacks, which crackers are exploiting.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 27/10/2021: XOrg Server 21.1 and Makulu Shift Ubuntu Variant Released

    Links for the day



  2. Links 27/10/2021: Murena for /e/ and Red Hat Condemned for Its Nationalism/Racism

    Links for the day



  3. [Meme] EPO Presidential Surveys

    The 'social democracy' of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos as demonstrated by a controlled survey (controlled by the subject of the survey, EPO governance)



  4. 'Shaping the New Normal' Survey at the EPO Got 5,554 EPO Staff to Participate, But It Was Controlled by Liars With an Agenda

    Last year’s EPO ‘study’ (hogwash about “quality” and other unscientific junk) was likely biased by virtue of autocrats controlling it and exploiting it for nefarious agenda and brainwashing of national delegates. The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) has a new survey in the making.



  5. Many of the National Delegations (or Delegates) in the EPO's Administrative Council Have No Understanding of What They Vote on

    One must consider the possibility that ignorance or gullibility (which lack of qualifications may entail) possibly became a contributing factor — malice and bribery aside — in systemic failure of the EPO’s governance



  6. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXV: The Balkan League - Fresh Blood or Same Old, Same Old?

    We take stock of "captured states" that voted in favour of unlawful "Strike Regulations"



  7. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 26, 2021



  8. Beatriz Busaniche Speaks Up in Defense of Richard Stallman

    Beatriz Busaniche sent us this comment in July 2021. She wrote it originally in Spanish. Here are both the original text and our translation to English.



  9. Links 26/10/2021: SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.1 and Multi-Distro Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  10. Links 26/10/2021: Vulkan 1.1 Conformance for Raspberry Pi 4 and Tor Browser 10.5.10

    Links for the day



  11. [Meme] Sounds Legit

    When not cheating on the wife, the EPO‘s “doyen” cheats in the exams and makes it into the epi Council, in effect working “[t]owards a common understanding [sic] of quality” with “patent attorneys nominated as “assessors” by the EPO, epi and BusinessEurope” (notorious lobbyists for dictators, litigation, and monopolies, neither business nor science)



  12. [Meme] Mayoral Patent Office Chief

    As it turns out, political 'double-dipping' isn't just a thing in North Macedonia, Austria, and EPOnia



  13. Romania's Patent Office (OSIM): Nine Different Chiefs in Just Eight Years

    The Romanian State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (OSIM), being the equivalent of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in the sense that it covers both patents and trademarks, is a very flaky institution with no shortage of scandals; for our English-reading audiences we now have a summary of a decade’s worth of blunders and leadership changes



  14. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIV: The Balkan League - Romania

    Romania’s patent office has been in flux this past decade, occasionally led by people with no relevant experience, but rather political connections (like EPO President António Campinos) and sometimes forged documents and fake degrees



  15. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, October 25, 2021



  16. [Meme] “Social Democracy” at the EPO

    Some comments on the current situation at the European Patent Office from Goran Gerasimovski, the new EPO Administrative Council delegate for North Macedonia and Social Democratic candidate for mayor of Centar (a municipality of Skopje)



  17. [Meme] António Campinos Visits the OSIM

    António Campinos visits OSIM Director-General Ionel Muscalu in February 2014



  18. [Meme] [Teaser] Meet the President

    Later today we shall see what Romania did for Battistelli



  19. Links 26/10/2021: Latte Dock 0.10.3 and Linux 5.15 RC7

    Links for the day



  20. Gemini Protocol's Originator: “I Continue to Care About This Project and I Care About the Community That Has Formed Around It.”

    'Solderpunk' is back from a long hiatus; this bodes well for Geminispace, which grew fast in spite of the conspicuous absence



  21. Bulgarian Like Bavarian Serfdom

    Bulgarian politics seem to have played a big role in selecting chiefs and delegates who backed Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful proposals, which treat workers almost like slaves and ordinary citizens as disposable ‘collaterals’



  22. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIII: The Balkan League - Bulgaria

    Today we examine the role of Bulgaria in Benoît Battistelli‘s liberticidal regime at the EPO (as well as under António Campinos, from 2018 to present) with particular focus on political machinations



  23. Links 25/10/2021: New Slackware64-current and a Look at Ubuntu Budgie

    Links for the day



  24. Links 25/10/2021: pg_statement_rollback 1.3 and Lots of Patent Catchup

    Links for the day



  25. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part III — A Story of Plagiarism and Likely Securities Fraud

    Today we tread slowly and take another step ahead, revealing the nature of only some among many problems that GitHub and Microsoft are hiding from the general public (to the point of spiking media reports)



  26. [Meme] [Teaser] Oligarchs-Controlled Patent Offices With Media Connections That Cover Up Corruption

    As we shall see later today, the ‘underworld’ in Bulgaria played a role or pulled the strings of politically-appointed administrators who guarded Benoît Battistelli‘s liberticidal regime at the EPO



  27. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 24, 2021



  28. Links 25/10/2021: EasyOS 3.1 and Bareflank 3.0

    Links for the day



  29. The Demolition of the EPO Was Made Possible With Assistance From Countries That Barely Have European Patents

    The legal basis of today's EPO has been crushed; a lot of this was made possible by countries with barely any stakes in the outcome



  30. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXII: The Balkan League - North Macedonia and Albania

    We continue to look at Benoît Battistelli‘s enablers at the EPO


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