11.20.09

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“Microsoft Seems to be Patenting Stuff Like Crazy”

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 10:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Face - extreme

Summary: Latest evidence that Microsoft is totally out of control as far as software patents are concerned

THE INQUIRER alleges that “Microsoft nicks another man’s patents,” which is a familiar routine.

SOFTWARE MONOPOLIST Microsoft seems to be patenting stuff like crazy.

Volish employees Samuel Chow Radakovitz, Adam Michael Buerman, Anupam Garg, Matthew John Androski, Matthew Kevin Becker and Brian Ruble apparently had a brillian insight one morning and got patent 20090282325.

eWEEK Europe writes about the intellectual monopoly ruling that bans Windows XP in China [1, 2, 3] and from ZDNet UK we have the following comment about the so-called “sudo patent” [1, 2].

As I read it, Microsoft have obtained the patent on Sudo itself but they have also added, or propose to add a GUI.

Either way, surely Sudo is protected by the GNU licence and prior art. Bolting on a GUI must, for sure, be an infringement of the licence. That is unless they continue to licence under the GNU.

Why do Microsoft want Sudo anyway, that’s an interesting question.

As one final item, here is a new post about an apparent rejection of patents at the World Wide Web Foundation, which is not to be confused with the ‘Open’ Web Foundation (OWF) we wrote about this morning.

As the head of the Jordan Open Source Association I have also asked with others, about the openness and royalty-free policy of the foundation. We got very assuring answers as well as plans to promote open content by the foundation, Stephane Boyera wrote:

Another key discussion was around intellectual property, and the importance of open source and free content, not only at the tools level, but also in the different materials and tools developed by the thousands of projects in the field. This is an area we will surely investigate further.

The World Wide Web has traditionally avoided patents as a matter of principle so as to keep the Web safe from proprietors. The World Wide Web Foundation will probably not change this, but there is reason for concern about the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which got occupied with Apple and Microsoft employees. Microsoft already poisons storage standards with its patents (see Tuxera for example [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]).

“One thing I find myself wondering about is whether we shouldn’t try and make the “ACPI” extensions somehow Windows specific.

“It seems unfortunate if we do this work and get our partners to do the work and the results is that Linux works great without having to do the work.

“Maybe there is no way to avoid this problem but it does bother me.

“Maybe we could define the APIs so that they work well with NT and not the others even if they are open.

“Or maybe we could patent something related to this.”

Bill Gates

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6 Comments

  1. williami said,

    November 21, 2009 at 12:11 am

    Gravatar

    Wow. Micro$oft is in what I’d like to call a “Hyperactive Patent Mood”. I mean, patenting free software tools like CRAZY!!!!!!!!! Hello, SFLC? I think we have a repeat GPL violator violating the GPL again, and this one’s going to be real familiar to you… Hint: It’s a very big company that makes windows.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Microsoft may be using its GPL violations to spread FUD about the GPL.

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    M$ has always stolen from competitors.

    You might also point to the cases where M$ has already been using patents offensively to stifle competition.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    This might be worth doing a Wiki page on. We don’t have that yet.

    See http://boycottnovell.com/wiki/index.php/Microsoft_-_Legal

  2. Yuhong Bao said,

    November 21, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Gravatar

    “One thing I find myself wondering about is whether we shouldn’t try and make the “ACPI” extensions somehow Windows specific.”
    MS did end up creating an ACPI WMI extension.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Microsoft needs to innovate above standard protocols

    –Halloween Memo I

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