03.14.13

Gemini version available ♊︎

Android/Google Under Patent Attacks, Calls for Other Companies to Stop the Patent Litigation Frenzy

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 1:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Some proprietary software giants are ganging up against Android/Linux

Soldiers

Summary: Some news of interest about patents and lawsuits that target Google and Android in particular

The patent war on Linux/Android, by far the leader of the mobile pack, is led by a bunch of proprietary software giants, one of which is Apple. Here is some interesting news that we overlooked earlier this month:

  • Apple Asks Judge to Dismiss Suit Alleging IPhone Monopoly

    Apple Inc. (AAPL) urged a federal judge to dismiss a consumer lawsuit alleging the company maintains a monopoly over iPhone applications.

    Attorneys who filed the suit in 2011 claim that a monopoly exists because an iPhone user who doesn’t want to pay what developers charge for applications available through Apple’s App Store can’t go anywhere else to buy them. Apple requires iPhone software developers to turn over 30 percent of what they charge for an application, increasing prices and excluding competitors from the iPhone “aftermarket” of applications, they claim.

  • Samsung’s Patent Spat With Apple Spurs U.S. Lobbying Push

    Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) has doubled mobile-phone sales in the U.S. since 2008. As the company faces anti-dumping measures and a protracted court battle with Apple Inc. (AAPL), its U.S. lobbying bill is growing even faster.
    Samsung boosted spending on lobbyists to $900,000 last year from $150,000 in 2011 as it tries to influence the federal government on issues ranging from intellectual-property infringement to telecommunications infrastructure, regulatory filings show. The company also hired Sony Corp. veteran Joel Wiginton to run a new government-relations office in Washington.

  • Samsung loses in UK in standards-essential patent claim against Apple

In other news, Microsoft too keeps up the pressure. Here is a report about it:

With that in mind, now take a look at the arguments Microsoft raises to try to rob Motorola of a jury trial. This litigation began as two cases. Microsoft started it by filing a breach of contract case in Seattle, this very one, #1823 [PDF], alleging that Motorola was breaching its contractual FRAND obligations by asking for too much for its patents. Then Motorola filed a defensive patent infringement action in Wisconsin, asking for a jury trial, and Microsoft answered with counterclaims that pretty much matched its breach of contract claims in Seattle. Then the two cases got consolidated. It’s actually a bit more complicated, but that’s the important part.

It wasn’t Motorola that wanted to consolidate in Seattle. It filed in Wisconsin after Microsoft filed in Seattle, so it was hoping against hope not to end up with everything being decided there. Nobody wants to go against Microsoft in its own backyard, I think we may assume. And watching this case unfold, I think you can see why. You can read the judge’s history of how it all happened in this order, #66 [PDF], which issued on May 31, 2011. In it, the judge notes that when Microsoft filed its answer to Motorola’s patent infringement claims, it filed more or less the same breach of contract issues as in its own contract case, and that’s why the judge in Wisconsin pushed them together into one case. And there they are.

Somewhere in that process of consolidation, Microsoft seems to think it has caught Motorola having dropped a stitch with respect to asking for a jury trial. Motorola wants a jury trial, and Microsoft doesn’t and Microsoft thinks it’s found a way to say it’s too late to ask for it now.

Google, in response to some of these dubious lawsuits, encourages companies to take action:

Google encourages companies to work together on patent licensing to stop patent trolls

Google has recently been taking a hard line on the US patent system, claiming that it over-rewards the work of coming up with an idea while taxing those who do the work of actually implementing it. The company also takes issue with excessive patent litigation from so-called “patent trolls,” and now Google is encouraging companies to work together to cross-license patents to help cut down on frivolous lawsuits. On a new site that Google launched today, the company outlines four different, royalty-free patent licensing agreements that it believes will help protect participants from patent trolls.

The royalty-free patent licensing, or elimination of patents, is imperative for the freedom of Free/libre software.

Here is evidence of Google’s hypocrisy when it comes to patents and here is a new article from Glyn Moody, who says that Microsoft is arming in alarming ways:

If Microsoft Shuts Down Google Maps In Germany, How Does That Benefit The Public?

[...]

As the claims make clear, it’s exactly what any half-way competent engineer would come up with given the task of providing certain kinds of information local to a geographical location. Moreover, it is of course implemented in software; given that Article 52 of the European Patent Convention explicitly excludes “programs for computers” from patentability, the fact that the EPO granted a patent here is an early example of how it circumvented that exclusion because a computer was used to run that software (well, doh.)

This is an example of rogue elements in the patent system.

Joe Mullin, a patent trolls expert, highlights this lawsuit over GUI, i.e. a software patent or design.

A patent appeals court has revived (PDF) one of the nation’s most controversial patent lawsuits—one that looked to be over in January 2012. Originally filed in 2007, Move, Inc. v. Real Estate Alliance Ltd. involves a patent that has become infamous in real estate circles: US Patent No. 5,032,989, issued to Mark Tornetta back in 1991. Tornetta and his lawyers say the patent covers just about any use of a real estate map online that has a “graphical interface” and “drill-down features.” Since online maps are ubiquitous in the real estate market, Tornetta and his lawyers believe they’re owed money by just about every real estate agent or service in the nation.
“It is a very broad-based patent,” said Louis Solomon, the attorney representing Tornetta. “We are seeking reasonable royalties that conservatively run into the hundreds of millions, plus interest. Given that the Federal Circuit has significantly expanded the liable parties, the damages will go up significantly.”
Litigation involving the ’989 patent began back in 1998 when inventor Mark Tornetta sued Microsoft, which at that time owned HomeAdvisor. Tornetta sued MapQuest that same year. Ultimately, he had to drop both lawsuits because he didn’t have the money to see the cases through.

Here is some new commentary about GUI patents in relation to Apple and Samsung:

The recent Apple v. Samsung litigation has consumed the media since August when a California Jury awarded Apple more than $1 billion for infringement. Of the three design patents involved in that judgment, one was for a graphical user interface (GUI). This landmark case is the first time that a U.S. court has considered infringement of a GUI design patent and may be just the tip of the iceberg beginning to emerge within the design patent landscape.

We are living in a time when everything from design to code — which copyrights already cover — are monopolised as concepts, not implementation. Google is rightly worried about it because everyone seems to be aiming at Android. Since Android is an Open Source project (whose head, Mr. Rubin, has just stopped down), it is not compatible with patents. The cartel of proprietary software companies is aware of it, hence the clear strategy that seeks to exploit FRAND and simply tax everything Android. It’s a case of patent stacking and it’s a collusion that should be ruled illegal. More people should speak out about it.

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. 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)



  2. 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.



  3. Approaching 100

    We'll soon have 100 files in Git; if that matters at all...



  4. Improving Gemini by Posting IRC Logs (and Scrollback) as GemText

    Our adoption of Gemini and of GemText increases; with nearly 100,000 page requests in the first 3 days of Decembe (over gemini://) it’s clear that the growing potential of the protocol is realised, hence the rapid growth too; Gemini is great for self-hosting, which is in turn essential when publishing suppressed and controversial information (subject to censorship through blackmail and other ‘creative’ means)



  5. Links 4/12/2021: IPFire 2.27 Core Update 162 and Genode OS Framework 21.11

    Links for the day



  6. Links 4/12/2021: Gedit Plans and More

    Links for the day



  7. Links 4/12/2021: Turnip Becomes Vulkan 1.1 Conformant

    Links for the day



  8. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, December 03, 2021



  9. Links 4/12/2021: EndeavourOS Atlantis, Krita 5.0.0 Beta 5, Istio 1.11.5, and Wine 6.23; International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on December 10th

    Links for the day



  10. Another Gemini Milestone: 1,500 Active Capsules

    This page from Balázs Botond plots a graph, based on these statistics that now (as of minutes ago) say: “We successfully connected recently to 1500 of them.” Less than a fortnight ago more than 1,800 capsules overall were registered by Lupa, almost quadrupling in a single year



  11. [Meme] António Campinos and Socialist Posturing

    Staff of the EPO isn’t as gullible as António Campinos needs it to be



  12. António Campinos as EPO President is Considered Worse Than Benoît Battistelli (in Some Regards) After 3.5 Years in Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    The EPO's demise at the hands of people who don't understand patents and don't care what the EPO exists for is a real crisis which European media is unwilling to even speak about; today we share some internal publications and comment on them



  13. Media Coverage for Sale

    Today we're highlighting a couple of new examples (there are many other examples which can be found any day of the year) demonstrating that the World Wide Web is like a corporate spamfarm in "news" clothing



  14. Links 3/12/2021: GNU Poke 1.4 and KDDockWidgets 1.5.0

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 02, 2021



  16. Links 3/12/2021: Nitrux 1.7.1 and Xen 4.16 Released

    Links for the day



  17. Links 2/12/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.4 Alpha, Qt Creator 6

    Links for the day



  18. The EPO's “Gender Awareness Report”

    There’s a new document with remarks by the EPO’s staff representatives and it concerns opportunities for women at the EPO — a longstanding issue



  19. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 01, 2021



  20. EPO Staff Committee Compares the Tactics of António Campinos to Benoît Battistelli's

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO talks about EPO President António Campinos, arguing that “he seems to subscribe to the Manichean view, introduced by Mr Battistelli…”



  21. Prof. Thomas Jaeger in GRUR: Unified Patent Court (UPC) “Incompatible With EU Law“

    The truth remains unquestionable and the law remains unchanged; Team UPC is living in another universe, unable to accept that what it is scheming will inevitably face high-level legal challenges (shall that become necessary) and it will lose because the facts are all still the same



  22. Links 1/12/2021: LibrePlanet CFS Extended to December 15th and DB Comparer for PostgreSQL Reaches 5.0

    Links for the day



  23. EPO Cannot and Will Not Self-Regulate

    The term financialisation helps describe some of the activities of the EPO in recent years; see Wikipedia on financialisation below



  24. [Meme] Germany's Licence to Break the Law

    Remember that the young Campinos asked dad for his immunity after he had gotten drunk and crashed the car; maybe the EPO should stop giving diplomatic immunity to people, seeing what criminals (e.g. Benoît Battistelli) this attracts; the German government is destroying its image (and the EU’s) by fostering such corruption, wrongly believing that it’s worth it because of Eurozone domination for patents/litigation



  25. EPO Dislikes Science and Scientists

    The EPO's management has become like a corrupt political party with blind faith in money and monopolies (or monopoly money); it has lost sight of its original goals and at this moment it serves to exacerbate an awful pandemic, as the video above explains



  26. Links 1/12/2021: LibreOffice 7.3 Beta, Krita 5.0, Julia 1.7

    Links for the day



  27. Links 1/12/2021: NixOS 21.11 Released

    Links for the day



  28. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 30, 2021



  29. Links 1/12/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and WordPress 5.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  30. [Meme] EPO Administrative Council Believing EPO-Bribed 'Media' (IAM Still Shilling and Lying for Cash)

    IAM continues to do what brings money from EPO management and Team UPC, never mind if it is being disputed by the patent examiners themselves


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