05.15.18

Apple and Microsoft Are Still Suing Companies — Using Patents of Course — Which ‘Dare’ Compete (by Leveraging GNU/Linux)

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 6:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Steve Jobs threatened to sue me, too. [and also] Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. They’d flown in over a weekend to meet with Scott McNealy. [...] Bill skipped the small talk, and went straight to the point, “Microsoft owns the office productivity market, and our patents read all over OpenOffice.” [...] Bill was delivering a slightly more sophisticated variant of the threat Steve had made, but he had a different solution in mind. “We’re happy to get you under license.” That was code for “We’ll go away if you pay us a royalty for every download” – the digital version of a protection racket.”

Jonathan I. Schwartz, Sun

Summary: The vanity of proprietary software giants — as the latest news serves to reveal — targeting companies with patent lawsuits, both directly and indirectly

E

ARLIER today we wrote about Apple v Samsung because there’s an important ongoing case right now. It’s in the United States. For the second time this week Josh Landau (CCIA) wrote about this patent trial:

Opening arguments in Apple v. Samsung started this morning. While round six of the long-running case deals with smartphone patents, the potential impacts range much further. As I noted in my post yesterday, a rule of design patent damages that allows patentees to receive the total profits on the entire product even though the design is only applied to a small component of that product could have potentially negative impacts almost everywhere.

Let’s start with one area that impacts nearly everyone—the auto industry.

Parts Of A Much Larger Whole

Before becoming a lawyer, I worked for a Tier 1 supplier as an automotive engineer. Tier 1 suppliers primarily sell integrated components directly to auto manufacturers like Ford or Daimler, and their products typically include components from smaller suppliers (so-called Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers).

A typical car might include more than 15,000 parts, made by more than 20 different Tier 1 suppliers, which each source components from dozens of Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers. Even your cup holder might be composed of multiple molded plastic pieces and some metal to attach it to the vehicle structure. Most of those components have little to nothing, individually, to do with the decision to buy the car. A cup holder, however pretty, just isn’t worth buying a car for.

But each and every one of those thousands of components ultimately winds up in a vehicle selling for tens of thousands of dollars.

Apple now wants an extraordinary amount of money for a stupid design patent or a few — things whose level of sophistication may match the mental level of a person with single-figure age [1, 2]. To think that patents were granted on such things isn’t just laughable but outright insane.

Similarly, in Microsoft Corporation v Corel Corporation, the dispute was about some stupid designs and lawyers got paid possibly millions of dollars arguing over it. Microsoft just uses patents, exploiting deep pockets to sue its much poorer rivals, trying to bankrupt them still (so much for ‘new’ Microsoft). Here’s the latest on that, as covered some hours ago:

Following a jury trial, the court denied defendant’s renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law that plaintiff was not entitled to disgorgement damages under 35 U.S.C. § 289 for infringement of its design patents because plaintiff’s software qualified as an article of manufacture.

It’s not only Microsoft that’s suing for Microsoft (directly). There’s also Intellectual Ventures, the Microsoft patent troll which hoards patents and sues Microsoft’s rivals by proxy. It also passes patents by the thousands to other trolls, such as Dominion Harbor which was recalled some hours ago by IAM:

Since Intellectual Ventures started ramping up its rate of sales early last year, it has been clear that the secondary market for patents has a new and particularly deep well of assets shaping it. Among the large disposals, the firm has transferred a portfolio of almost 4,000 former Kodak patents and two big portfolios of legacy American Express and NEC rights, all to Dominion Harbor. Throughout its existence IV has always sold assets – and let others expire – but not at the rate of the last 12 to 18 months

Here we are in 2018 and Apple is still suing Android OEMs while Microsoft passes huge sums of money to patents trolls that attack/target GNU/Linux product producers. To pretend there’s some sort of “patent standstill” (as Red Hat prefers to put it) is to simply lie to oneself.

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

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2018/05/15/apple-and-microsoft-are-still-suing/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 2/8/2021: XEyes 1.2 and Fwupd 1.6.2 Released

    Links for the day



  2. Freenode is IRC... in Collapse

    Freenode is now down to just 13,194 online users, which makes it the 6th biggest IRC network. Months ago it was #1 with almost 6 times as many users as those below it. The graph above shows what the latest blunder has done (another massive drop in less than a week, with a poem and the all-time chart at the very bottom).



  3. Barrier and Synergy Can Work Together, Connecting Lots of Different Machines

    Barrier and Synergy can be configured to work properly in conjunction, though only provided different port numbers (non-default) are specified; in my current setup I have two computers to my right, working over Barrier, and two older ones on the left, working over Synergy; the video explains the setup and the underlying concepts



  4. Links 2/8/2021: Open Science in France and Zoom Pays to Settle Privacy Violations

    Links for the day



  5. It Almost Feels Like Battistelli Still Runs the EPO (by Extension/Proxy)

    The "Mafia" that destroyed the EPO is still being put in charge and is using the EPO for shameless self-promotion; it is never being held accountable, not even when courts demand remediatory action and staff seeks reparations



  6. [Meme] Vichyite Battistelli Committed Crimes and His Buddy António Snubs Courts That Confirm These Are Crimes

    Staff of the EPO is coming to realise (or reaching acceptance of the fact) that the spirit of Battistelli — not just people he left in charge of the EPO — dooms the Office and there’s no way out of this mess



  7. Links 2/8/2021: Linux 5.14 RC4 and 20% Growth in Steam

    Links for the day



  8. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, August 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, August 01, 2021



  9. Links 1/8/2021: LibreOffice 7.2 RC2 and Lakka 3.3

    Links for the day



  10. Was Microsoft Ever First in the Market?

    Confronting the false belief that Microsoft ever innovates anything of significance or is "first" in some market/s



  11. Links 1/8/2021: 4MLinux 37.0, IBM Fluff, and USMCA Update

    Links for the day



  12. Microsoft Knows That When Shareholders Realise Azure Has Failed the Whole Boat Will Sink

    The paranoia at Microsoft is well justified; they've been lying to shareholders to inflate share prices and they don't really deliver the goods, just false hopes and unfulfilled promises



  13. [Meme] Nobody and Nothing Harms Europe's Reputation Like the EPO Does

    Europe’s second-largest institution, the EPO, has caused severe harm/damage to Europe’s economy and reputation; its attacks on the courts and on justice itself (even on constitutions in the case of UPC — another attempt to override the law and introduce European software patents) won’t be easily forgotten; SUEPO has meanwhile (on Saturday, link at the bottom in German) reminded people that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos have driven away the EPO’s most valuable workers or moral compass



  14. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, July 31, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, July 31, 2021



  15. [Meme] When it Comes to Server Share, Microsoft Azure is Minuscule (But Faking It)

    Don't believe the lies told by Microsoft's charlatans and frauds; Azure has been a total failure and that's why there are layoffs as well



  16. [Meme] Mozilla Has Turned From Technical to Marketing

    Way back, long before Mozilla and Firefox got hijacked by politics (turning Mozilla into a VPN reseller that lies about its stance on privacy), geeks were driving the company, not corporate lawyers and spying/marketing people



  17. Over 1,500 (Known/Unorphaned) Gemini Capsules and Over 160,000 Page Requests in gemini.techrights.org During July

    Techrights is expanding at gemini:// (Gemini space) and over 1,500 capsules are reported to have been found (less than 4 months ago it was about 1,000)



  18. Links 31/7/2021: Kernel Additions and Linux Mint 20.3 Release Date

    Links for the day



  19. Microsoft Azure Stagnating

    Reprinted with permission from Mitchel Lewis, former Microsoft employee



  20. For 17 Days (and Counting) António Campinos Has Failed to Respond to Call for Compliance With the Law

    Team Campinos has been so arrogant and so evasive that there’s no indication (yet) that it will follow court orders (Willy ‘Guillaume’ Minnoye openly bragged about ignoring court orders and he's still cheering for the EPO's abuses); therefore, staff of the EPO takes collective action



  21. Raw: Elodie Bergot Breaking the Law by Threatening Against the Exercise of Fundamental Rights

    Over the years we saw a number of rude letters from Elodie Bergot, the grossly under-qualified spouse of a friend of Vichyite Benoît Battistelli; most of these we never published (we already have these and can always publish if the need arises), but those paranoid and insecure “Mafia”-like ‘cabal’ need to be exposed for the mobsters they are; for nearly a decade they’ve illegally bullied EPO staff in clear violation of the law (and for over 3 years António Campinos has kept those bullies on board); why does Europe do nothing and why is it never holding high-profile abusers accountable (only low-level facilitators)? Is it because the EU too is being infiltrated by them?



  22. Linspire Should Be Avoided in 2021 Just Like It Was Avoided 14 Years Ago

    The brand "Linspire" was brought back, but the agenda seems to be more or less the same, namely pushing proprietary software and serving Microsoft's commercial agenda (in 'Linux' clothing)



  23. The Death of Freenode Would Be Freenode's Own Fault

    Freenode is going dark and now it’s asking people to create accounts at IRC.com (just to get back into the network that they may have already occupied for decades) as if Freenode owns “IRC” as a whole



  24. Links 31/7/2021: KDE Progress and Activision Catastrophe

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Friday, July 30, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, July 30, 2021



  26. The Smartest Meter of All

    Yesterday a lady came over to take our power readings (electric/gas meter); secure these people's jobs as they help protect people's privacy (dignity) at home



  27. [Meme] A Web of False Dichotomies

    A reminder that Techrights is fully available (all blog posts and wiki pages) in gemini://



  28. Freenode Shrinks by Another Quarter and Gemini Continues to Grow (For Techrights at Least)

    Freenode continues to perish faster than we've imagined; it's a good thing that we've had contingencies set up; regarding the monopolised and increasingly centralised Web, we're still making baby steps towards weaning ourselves off it



  29. Links 31/7/2021: Wine 6.14 and Chrome 93 Beta

    Links for the day



  30. European Media Does Not Care About Europe's Second-Largest Institution Crushing Basic Laws and Fundamental Rights

    New video about the latest publication from SUEPO (the EPO’s staff union); it was published yesterday, seeing that the “Mafia” (what EPO staff actually calls the management!) hasn’t done anything to comply with a wide-ranging set of court rulings from ILO-AT; why has the media said nothing about this and what does that say about today’s media? The material is all in the public domain, in widely understood languages, and SUEPO spoke about it more than 3 weeks ago.


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