06.22.11

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CPTN Members Oracle, Apple, and Microsoft Still Attack Linux With Software Patents

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents at 6:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: How the proprietary software cartel continues to harm adoption of GNU/Linux, mostly by aligning against Google

SHARING CULTURE is under attack. The companies that thrive in artificial scarcity just cling on to a retarded state of affairs. In a lawsuit that was mentioned here twice before [1, 2] (and also noted in Reader’s Picks earlier today), Redmond attacks BitTorrent using software patents. Prof. Webbink’s Groklaw has a more in-depth analysis of the case, starting with: “Peer-to-peer provider BitTorrent is somewhat familiar with being at the center of copyright controversies, but last Tuesday, June 14, it entered the realm of patent disputes when it was sued by Tranz-Send Broadcasting Network, Inc., a Delaware corporation, for infringement of Tranz-Send’s U.S. patent number 7,301,944 (the ’944 patent). The ’944 patent, entitled “Media File Distribution With Adaptive Transmission Protocols,” was filed on April 16, 1999, and issued November 27, 2007.”

More interestingly, however, Groklaw has begun addressing the Google case again, in light of reexamination attempts. Watch what Google is doing to basically jeopardise software patents again (not for the first time):

Oracle has experienced another setback in its assertion of its patents against Google. In the reexamination of U.S. Patent 6192476 the USPTO has issued an office action in which it rejects 17 of the patent’s 21 claims. The specifics of the office action are set forth below in text form along with an updated reexamination history. While Oracle has asserted seven different patents in its claims against Google, if this reexamination is exemplary of what Oracle can expect in each of the other reexaminations, Oracle will have a hard time finding claims that it can successfully assert against Google, and there lies Oracles conundrum. Oracle either has to agree with the court’s directive to limit the number of claims it will assert at trial, or it is likely the court will simply stay the trial until the reexaminations are complete.

The above case, being a case against Linux, is something that Microsoft Florian promotes passionately, even with his old friend Dana Blankenhorn, who still offers a platform to Florian’s lies and distortions. Does the bias not tell everyone who Florian’s latest client is aligned with? Remember that this guy is a lobbyist. He has been doing this for selected clients for quite a few years now. He is still working to shoot down Google’s acquisition of Nortel’s patents (for defensive purposes) and now we see that Apple too — not just Microsoft — is standing in Google’s way.

Nortel Networks Inc. has received significant level of interest in patents that can be used for smartphone technology. Accordingly, it postponed an action sanctioned by a bankruptcy court in the United States from June 20 to June 27, at 9:00 a.m.

Remember that Apple has two ongoing lawsuits against Android, one against HTC and one against Samsung. Oracle, Microsoft, and Apple are all patent aggressors; Google is not. Whereas the former 3 snatched Novell’s patents, Google has so far attempted to even crush software patents as a whole. So whose side should a Free software supporter take?

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3 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    June 24, 2011 at 6:51 pm

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    Microsoft boosters are trumpeting news of the start of an FTC investigation of Google. This idiot article seems to have all of the talking points. Blooberg inflates the issue too. Microsoft has been pushing for such an investigation for at least four years but is a huge hypocrite that should have been broken up a decade ago. An anti-trust lawyer has interesting things to say about the move:

    what many supporters of an antitrust investigation of Google do is to intentionally conflate the interests of consumers with the interests of competitors of Google. They are indeed distinct and separate; mistakenly intertwining the two to justify an investigation of Google is a fundamental twisting of facts and a misuse of longstanding antitrust law.

    According to the Supreme Court, antitrust laws exist not for the benefit of corporations, but for the aid of consumers. In one case, Spectrum Sports, Inc. v. McQuillan, the court stated this point clearly and powerfully:

    “The purpose of the [Sherman] Act is not to protect businesses from the working of the market; it is to protect the public from the failure of the market. The law directs itself not against conduct which is competitive, even severely so, but against conduct which unfairly tends to destroy competition itself.”

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I am staying out of this because Google is rich enough to handle its own cases. I am unwilling to do what Groklaw did for Apple (in the Psystar case) as we would lose valuable time fighting more urgent matters.

    Techrights contains at least half a dozen articles showing quite clearly how Microsoft lobbied for the above, often by proxy. Explaining this would be repetitive, an exercise in futility in a way. If someone (perhaps you) wishes to track how this story unfolds, please do send articles for publication. For now, I choose to focus on software patents, then Linux FUD (Google FUD is not quite the same, despite overlap). We also used to cover Microsoft’s lobbying for antitrust against Apple.

    twitter Reply:

    Thanks, I’ll keep an eye on it and stick them into daily links. The overlap is important because Google is showcase of free software use and a tremendous technical accomplishment. Microsoft fights this profitable use of free software as it fights all use of competing software. The issue might be repetitive but that’s only because Microsoft continues to do the same nasty things. It is not futile to call them out for it, or at least point to sources that get things right. Commercial use of free software is an important right and the one that scares Microsoft most. Microsoft’s ability to manipulate the US government has important implications as does the US government’s inability to act on software patents and Microsoft’s obviously anti-competitive behavior.

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