03.31.19

Microsoft ‘Bought’ the LOT Network Like it Did the ‘Linux’ Foundation and It’s Now, as a Result, Yet Another Microsoft PR Front

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 9:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The ‘business-friendly’ (run by the big businesses and patent trolls) foundations

Eating snake
It’s OK as long as "Microsoft loves Linux"

Summary: Microsoft is infatuated with “Linux patent tax”; it’s trying to characterise itself as the very opposite of that however, having found some cooperative or gullible ‘journalists’ and having paid groups which pretend to care about Linux

JUST before the weekend James Bottomley (formerly Novell) wrote about patents in relation to Free software1. It is encouraging to see the subject brought up because anyone with a clue knows too well that software patents and Free software are not compatible.

Over the past couple of years we’ve seen Microsoft trying to collect “Linux patent tax” through “Azure IP Advantage” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19] and we’re still seeing something similar.

“…this is what Microsoft now boils down to; it’s describing itself as the very opposite of what it is while continuing to attack GNU/Linux vendors with patents, even as recently as weeks ago.”Days ago it restarted with dedicated Microsoft propaganda sites (like MSPoweruser with “Azure IoT customers can now get access to 10,000 Microsoft patents“). This latest lie from Microsoft is a reversal of narratives (e.g. “Microsoft gives 500 patents to startups” — a bizarre spin on the word “give”). Then, citing the above, another site called it a “donation”. Looking a little deeper into it, it reinforces our asseration that Microsoft 'bought' LOT Network for PR purposes. Here they go:

“The LOT Network is really committed to helping address the proliferation of intellectual property losses, especially ones that are brought by non-practicing entities, or so-called trolls,” Microsoft Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Erich Andersen said in the report. “We want to help the LOT Network grow its network of startups. To provide an incentive, we are going to provide these patents to them.”

We’ve long been sceptical of LOT Network and at times vocal critics (even well before Microsoft even touched it). At SiliconANGLE News, a Microsoft-friendly writer then wrote “Microsoft to shield startups and IoT developers from patent trolls”; never mind if Microsoft is the one arming the trolls, siccing them on competitors.

Microsoft Corp. today launched an initiative to provide legal protection against so-called patent trolls for startups, as well as for larger companies that use its Azure cloud platform to power “internet of things” projects.

Patent trolls, or nonpracticing entities as they’re formally known, are an oft-discussed concern in the tech industry. They’re firms whose business model is to acquire technology patents and use them to launch lawsuits against other companies. Such litigation poses a particularly big threat for startups, which often don’t have the resources to engage in a prolonged legal battle.

This is a shameless lie. Yet it is very typical of Microsoft’s PR strategy these days. Consider how Microsoft funded the patent troll Finjan. Days ago it bragged about its lawsuits against Microsoft’s rivals. But this is what Microsoft now boils down to; it’s describing itself as the very opposite of what it is while continuing to attack GNU/Linux vendors with patents, even as recently as weeks ago [1, 2, 3].

References:

  1. James Bottomley: A Roadmap for Eliminating Patents in Open Source

    The realm of Software Patents is often considered to be a fairly new field which isn’t really influenced by anything else that goes on in the legal lansdcape. In particular there’s a very old field of patent law called exhaustion which had, up until a few years ago, never been applied to software patents. This lack of application means that exhaustion is rarely raised as a defence against infringement and thus it is regarded as an untested strategy. Van Lindberg recently did a FOSDEM presentation containing interesting ideas about how exhaustion might apply to software patents in the light of recent court decisions. The intriguing possibility this offers us is that we may be close to an enforceable court decision (at least in the US) that would render all patents in open source owned by community members exhausted and thus unenforceable. The purpose of this blog post is to explain the current landscape and how we might be able to get the necessary missing court decisions to make this hope a reality.

    What is Patent Exhaustion?

    Patent law is ancient, going back to Greece in around 500BC. However, every legal system has been concerned that patent holders, being an effective monopoly with the legal right to exclude others, did not abuse that monopoly position. This lead to the concept that if you used your monopoly power to profit, you should only be able to do it once for the same item so that absolute property rights couldn’t be clouded by patents. This leads to something called the exhaustion doctrine: so if Alice holds a patent on some item which she sells to Bob and Bob later sells the same item to Charlie, Alice can’t force Bob or Charlie to give her a part of their sale proceeds in exchange for her allowing Charlie to practise the patent on the item. The patent rights are said to be exhausted with the sale from Alice to Bob, so there are no patent rights left to enforce on Charlie. The exhaustion doctrine has since been expanded to any authorized transfer, even if no money changes hands (so if Alice simply gave Bob the item instead of selling it, the patent still exhausts at that transaction and Bob is still free to give or sell the item to Charlie without interference from Alice).

    Of course, modern US patent rights have been around now for two centuries and in that time manufacturers have tried many ingenious schemes to get around the exhaustion doctrine profitably, all of which have so far failed in the courts, leading to quite a wealth of case law on the subject. The most interesting recent example (Lexmark v Impression) was over whether a patent holder could use their patent power to enforce any onward conditions at all for which the US Supreme Court came to the conclusive finding: they can’t and goes on to say that all patent rights in the item terminate in the first authorized transfer. That doesn’t mean no post sale conditions can be imposed, they can by contract or licence or other means, it just means post sale conditions can’t be enforced by patent actions. This is the bind for Lexmark: their sales contracts did specify that empty cartridges couldn’t be resold, so their customers violated that contract by selling the cartridges to Impression to refill and resell. However, that contract was between Lexmark and the customer not Lexmark and Impression, so absent patent remedies Lexmark has no contractual case against Impression, only against its own customers.

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/2019/03/31/lot-network-microsoft-pr/

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. Blogging Pioneer Dave Winer: Pleading for Richard Stallman

    Reprinted from the original



  2. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 12: Internal Members: Ingo Beckedorf

    It remains to be seen what Ingo Beckedorf will say about António Campinos outsourcing the courts to another country and denying in-person hearings



  3. The EPO Has Slipped Out of Control and Now It's a Mass Litigation “Mafia” With Immunity

    While bullying bloggers, bribing publishers and besieging staff using an aggressive legion of lawyers the EPO's management grants many thousands of unlawful patents and flaunts diplomatic immunity; is this the best Europe has to offer?



  4. Links 18/5/2021: Istio 1.10 and KernelShark 2.0

    Links for the day



  5. António Campinos is Already Worse Than Benoît Battistelli and Maybe More Aggressive as Well

    The evil strategy of António Campinos, still surrounded by Team Battistelli (Bergot et al), is assured to destroy any future attempts to recruit top talent; the EPO has adopted a "scorched Earth" approach



  6. Links 18/5/2021: Steam Console and OpenPrinting Developing Upstream CUPS

    Links for the day



  7. Video and Transcript of Julia Reda's LibrePlanet Keynote Talk

    "A European Open Technology Fund: Building sustainable public funding for free software” — a talk by Julia Reda; transcribed by Techrights associate and ripped by Linux Reviews



  8. Video: “Unjust Computing Clamps Down” by Richard Stallman

    12 days ago the FSF uploaded the video above, in which current threats to software freedom are explained by the FSF's founder



  9. FSF Web Site Now Lists the Seven Voting Members, Including Alexandre Oliva, Former Acting FSF President

    The FSF is now in good and reliable hands, which we're told are all supportive of the decision to bring back the FSF's founder to the Board; Oliva remains involved as a voting member



  10. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 11: The Rapporteur Who Once Was Vice-President

    EPO‘s former Vice-President of DG3 will be the person to decide on the EPO’s (mis)conduct



  11. [Meme] Captured EPO

    Put the EPO back in the hands of people who do all the work and actually understand the real goals of a patent office



  12. An Urgent Need to Fix the EPO, Which is Becoming Rogue at Every Level (Even the 'Legal' Level)

    Helpless examiners are being put in a grave dilemma: violate the EPC or lose the job; it's meanwhile clear that internal appeals, including referrals to the Boards of Appeal, are also hopeless because these courts or tribunals obey tyrants, not the EPC, and moreover they cover up past abuses of the tyrants



  13. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, May 17, 2021



  14. 6,700 Signatures in Support of Richard Stallman's Return to the FSF's Board

    6,700 signatures will be secured any day now (maybe later today); we thought the graph is worth replotting again, even if only to remind people how badly the defamatory hate letter has backfired



  15. [Meme] The Real Gates Scandal is About Connections to Sex Trafficking (Epstein), Not Infidelity

    Some media is still trying to shift attention (some of the very same media that misdirected focus to Richard Stallman when a Gates-Epstein scandal unfolded at MIT), but people aren't gullible enough



  16. Links 17/5/2021: New GeckoLinux and Kdenlive 21.04.1

    Links for the day



  17. Richard Stallman Refers to Intel's Management Engine (ME) -- or a Back Door -- as 'Master', and the Processor Intel Lets Us Use as 'Slave'

    “The president and founder of the Free Software Foundation will speak about pressing issues in free software today, and will present the winners of the 2018 Free Software Awards,” says the summary (this was 3 years ago, i.e. before the purge of language, with a prominent role played by Intel)



  18. Links 17/5/2021: NetBSD 9.2 and Early Look at Bodhi Linux 6.0.0

    Links for the day



  19. Calle Josefsson as Living Proof That Attacking the Causes You Once Proclaimed to Stand for is Very Profitable

    Some thoughts on the situation of the Boards of Appeal in Haar; they're led by someone who receives a huge salary (a four- or five-fold increase) in exchange for an epic sellout and abandonment of principles; as a de facto legal slinger or imposter/poser he has already done incredible damage on several levels



  20. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 10: A Faustian Pact?

    Benoît Battistelli‘s rubber-stamping judge from Sweden saw his salary growing four- or five-fold and he has meanwhile lowered his public profile, fearing that people will see what he sold his soul for



  21. EPO Staff Representatives Not Amused to See an Office That Steals From Staff and Even From Pensioners

    The heist continues; the EPO isn't just a milking cow of Germany but also of EPO officials who keep the 'lid' or the 'cover' on this whole financial instrument, which would enrage member states if they truly understood what's going on



  22. [Meme] Virtual Prisons for Virtual Hearings (Haarings)

    Today’s EPO has a truly twisted notion of the “rule of law”



  23. President of the Boards of Appeal, the Star of the Haar Show

    It’s best in the metal version; burn in Hell, Lesley Gore



  24. Right To Repair: When You Don't Own What You Buy (and Cannot Even Repair It Legally)

    The second part of preliminary background regarding the Right To Repair; our associate who extracted the videos from YouTube says that both are relevant to “Freedom 0″ (as per the FSF’s definition of Free software)



  25. Right To Repair: What It's About and How That Relates to Software

    A short (less than one minute) video that offers some background or sheds light on the intersection between Software Freedom and the Right To Repair



  26. Brand as Distraction From the Core Issues Surrounding the Right To Repair

    Excerpt of a video from Odysee, in which an important point is explained regarding a very actual and relevant case, more so given a recent ruling that indirectly impacts software freedom, mostly in (but not limited to) the United States



  27. Virtual 'Courts' Aren't Courts and Aren't Suitable Substitutes, Either

    The cheapening of the concept of justice, even as the pandemic that serves to justify that cheapening is gradually being brought under control, is the real issue that should be debated in Haar (or from private homes, probably somewhere around Haar); whether it's compulsory or not ought to be a side question



  28. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 16, 2021



  29. Links 17/5/2021: Linux 5.13 RC2 and a Lot About Patents

    Links for the day



  30. (All-Time) Archive of Techrights Videos Contains About 1,000 Videos, All Listed in One Place Now

    We're improving access to old material in the site and right now the focus is ways to improve discovery of old video/multimedia files


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