05.02.10

Gemini version available ♊︎

“Those Who Can, Do. Those Who Can’t, Sue.” (Updated)

Posted in Apple, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 2:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Steve BallmerSummary: Microsoft may have actually threatened to sue HTC in order to sign a patent deal covering Android for unnamed patents

“Those who can, do. Those who can’t, sue,” said Canonical’s COO Matt Asay. Further he said: “This is the clearest indication of MS’s irrelevance: it’s now the hapless litigant” (whose products are being cancelled, Courier being the latest example).

He said pretty much the same thing about Apple when it sued HTC.

Florian wrote about Microsoft software patents in Europe, alluding to the bizarre new decision regarding FAT (at the core of the TomTom lawsuit).

Last week the Federal Court of Justice of Germany upheld a Microsoft patent related to the Windows file system named File Allocation Table (FAT). As H-Online mentioned in this context, European software patent critics dread the notion that rulings such as that one could elevate the status of software patents in Europe, where different national courts have different approaches to how to interpret the European Patent Convention and its exclusion of patents on “programs for computers [as such]“.

So Microsoft has just gone after HTC. Some articles suggest that there was a settlement and therefore a possibility that Microsoft threatened to sue in order to sign a patent deal (like in Melco’s case).

Some more thoughts about the HTC settlement have come from various influential GNU/Linux users, some of whom wait for software patents to be ultimately abolished.

I believe Bilski will be decided this year and software patents may be kicked into the garbage heap where they belong.

The other day we wrote about Klausner's latest round of patent trolling (against HTC). Here is another interesting perspective about what Apple and Microsoft did to HTC (and to Android by inference).

Microsoft claims that the Linux operating system infringes 235 Microsoft patents, and Android, which is Linux-based, violates Microsoft patents, too. Microsoft has convinced HTC to pay royalties for the alleged Microsoft technology in Google’s operating system.

Why would HTC do that?

Well, Apple is suing HTC for violating 20 Apple patents covering a wide range of technologies. One theory is that with both Microsoft and Apple claiming patent infringement, HTC has to pick sides. It chose Microsoft because the company also makes a wide variety of devices that run Microsoft operating systems. Because it has an extensive relationship with Microsoft, and none with Apple, choosing to work with Microsoft solves its Apple problem. In court, apparently HTC will be able to say that it’s already licensing the technology Apple claims as its own, but from Microsoft. That would imply that Apple’s beef is really with Microsoft, not with HTC. Case closed!

Can anyone confirm that Microsoft pressured and intimidated HTC (with a lawsuit) in order to sign that latest extortion deal [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]? Microsoft tried to paint it as something signed in good faith, but it’s beginning to seem doubtful.

Update: Florian wishes to correct that last reference by saying (via E-mail):

The “interesting perspective” you quote from the Datamation article on HTC is actually legally wrong. I’ve already contacted the author of that article and here’s the information for you as well:

Every patent stands on its own. Every patent is a little monopoly. So if Apple has some patents that read on HTC’s software, HTC can’t defend itself in court by saying it has a license from Microsoft. That’s legally impossible as a defense. Not only is it very likely that Apple’s patents read on different features (touchscreen etc.) than Microsoft’s patents (there may be some overlap but it’s just impossible that two such large players would have 100% overlapping patent portfolios), but even if that unrealistic scenario of both patent portfolios covering the same functionality that HTC needs was the case, then that still wouldn’t change anything about the monopoly rights connected to each single patent. If Apple has a patent on, say, selecting a menu on a touchscreen and Microsoft has one as well, and if there aren’t differences in the details of the “methods taught”, the fact that there are two patents on the same thing doesn’t mean you get a license to one of them and don’t need the other. Instead, it would have to be sorted out whether one of those patents is prior art based on which the other (newer) patent could be invalidated. Only in that case would it be sufficient to obtain only one patent license.

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.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 8/12/2021: FreeBSD 12.3, EasyOS 3.1.13, and WordPress 5.9 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  2. [Meme] EU Assurances

    The EPO‘s staff cannot be blamed for losing patience as elected public representatives completely fail to do their job (with few exceptions)



  3. Clare Daly (GUE/NGL) Does What Every Public Official in Europe Should Have Done About EPO Shenanigans

    There’s another (new) push to hold the EPO accountable, seeing that the overseers clearly do not do their job and instead cover up the abuses



  4. Links 7/12/2021: Firefox 96 Beta and Fedora 37 Abandons ARMv7

    Links for the day



  5. Links 7/12/2021: Plasma Mobile Gear 21.12 and Tails 4.25

    Links for the day



  6. All IRC Logs Now Available as GemText Over Gemini Protocol

    Today we've completed the transition from plain text over gemini:// to GemText over gemini:// for IRC logs



  7. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 06, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, December 06, 2021



  8. [Meme] Rowing to the Bottom of the Ocean

    The EPO‘s Steve Rowan (VP1) is failing EPO staff and sort of “firing” workers during times of crisis (not at all a crisis to the EPO’s coffers)



  9. EPO Gradually Reduced to 'Fee Collection Agency' Which Eliminates Its Very Own Staff

    Mr. Redundancies and Mr. Cloud are outsourcing EPO jobs to Microsoft and Serco as if the EPO is an American corporation, providing no comfort to long-serving EPO staff



  10. Linux Foundation 2021 Annual Report Made on an Apple Mac Using Proprietary Software

    Yes, you’re reading this correctly. They still reject both “Linux” and “Open Source” (no dogfooding). This annual report is badly compressed; each page of the PDF is, on average, almost a megabyte in size (58.8 MB for a report of this scale is unreasonable and discriminates against people in countries with slow Internet connections); notice how they’re milking the brand in the first page (straight after the cover page, the 1991 ‘creation myth’, ignoring GNU); remember that this foundation is named after a trademark which is not even its own!



  11. Links 7/12/2021: OpenIndiana Hipster 2021.10 and AppStream 0.15

    Links for the day



  12. Microsoft “Defender” Pretender Attacks Random Software That Uses NSIS for installation; “Super Duper Secure Mode” for Edge is a Laugh

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  13. Links 6/12/2021: LibreOffice Maintenance Releases, Firefox 95 Finalised

    Links for the day



  14. “Wintel” “Secure” uEFI Firmware Used to Store Persistent Malware, and Security Theater Boot is Worthless

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  15. No Linux Foundation IRS Disclosures Since 2018

    The publicly-available records or IRS information about the Linux Foundation is suspiciously behind; compared to other organisations with a "tax-exempt" status the Linux Foundation is one year behind already



  16. Jim Zemlin Has Deleted All of His Tweets

    The Linux Foundation‘s Jim Zemlin seems to have become rather publicity-shy (screenshots above are self-explanatory; latest snapshot), but years ago he could not contain his excitement about Microsoft, which he said was "loved" by what it was attacking. Days ago it became apparent that Microsoft’s patent troll is still attacking Linux with patents and Zemlin’s decision to appoint Microsoft as the At-Large Director (in effect bossing Linus Torvalds) at the ‘Linux’ Foundation’s Board of Directors is already backfiring. She not only gets her whole salary from Microsoft but also allegedly protects sexual predators who assault women… by hiring them despite repeated warnings; if the leadership of the ‘Linux’ Foundation protects sexual predators who strangle women (even paying them a salary and giving them management positions), how can the ‘Linux’ Foundation ever claim to represent inclusion and diversity?



  17. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part IX — Microsoft's Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot Sought to be Arrested One Day After Techrights Article About Him

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley has warrant for his arrest, albeit only after a lot of harm and damage had already been done (to multiple people) and Microsoft started paying him



  18. The Committee on Patent Law (PLC) Informed About Overlooked Issues “Which Might Have a Bearing on the Validity of EPO Patents.”

    In a publication circulated or prepared last week the Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO explains a situation never explored in so-called 'media' (the very little that's left of it)



  19. Links 6/12/2021: HowTos and Patents

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 05, 2021



  21. Gemini Space/Protocol: Taking IRC Logs to the Next Level

    Tonight we begin the migration to GemText for our daily IRC logs, having already made them available over gemini://



  22. Links 6/12/2021: Gnuastro 0.16 and Linux 5.16 RC4

    Links for the day



  23. Links 5/12/2021: Touchpad Gestures in XWayland

    Links for the day



  24. Society Needs to Take Back Computing, Data, and Networks

    Why GemText needs to become 'the new HTML' (but remain very simple) in order for cyberspace to be taken away from state-connected and military-funded corporations that spy on people and abuse society at large



  25. [Meme] Meanwhile in Austria...

    With lobbyists-led leadership one might be led to believe that a treaty strictly requiring ratification by the UK is somehow feasible (even if technically and legally it's moot already)



  26. The EPO's Web Site is a Parade of Endless Lies and Celebration of Gross Violations of the Law

    The EPO's noise site (formerly it had a "news" section, but it has not been honest for about a decade) is a torrent of lies, cover-up, and promotion of crimes; maybe the lies are obvious for everybody to see (at least EPO insiders), but nevertheless a rebuttal seems necessary



  27. The Letter EPO Management Does Not Want Applicants to See (or Respond to)

    A letter from the Munich Staff Committee at the EPO highlights the worrying extent of neglect of patent quality under Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos; the management of the EPO did not even bother replying to that letter (instead it was busy outsourcing the EPO to Microsoft)



  28. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 04, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 04, 2021



  29. EPO-Bribed IAM 'Media' Has Praised Quality, Which Even EPO Staff (Examiners) Does Not Praise

    It's easy to see something is terribly wrong when the people who do the actual work do not agree with the media's praise of their work (a praise motivated by a nefarious, alternate agenda)



  30. Tux Machines is 17.5 Years Old Today

    Tux Machines -- our 'sister site' for GNU/Linux news -- started in 2004. We're soon entering 2022.


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