Bonum Certa Men Certa

On Intellectual Ventures, Nathan Myhrvold, and Other Patent Trolls

Trolls abound, system abused. OIN to the rescue?

A month ago we mentioned a patent troll bigger than Acacia, which had just been identified. The Microsoft connections to Acacia's are too hard to dismiss [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9] and the following troll-to-be is no exception.

In two consecutive days, The Wall Street Journal presented two different answers. The first is not surprising: Intellectual Ventures, the brainchild of ex-Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold. It's now out "to raise as much as $1 billion to help develop and patent inventions, many of them from universities in Asia."


It is curious that universities outside the US are mentioned. Japan seems to have accepted software patents, but it is one among very few countries to be on that boat (probably the only one in Asia). Mexico has always been edgy. Groklaw discovered a very interesting newsletter from last year and it speaks about the Mexican patent legislation.

Besides, CAFTA also requires the acceptance of any patents granted by the US Patent Office, including patents on ideas applied to software, mathematical algorithms, living matter and so on, and extends the copyright monopoly to at least 70 years past the death of the author.

An interesting topic to review regarding FTAs [Free Trade Agreements] is how, in several cases, signing such an agreement places the legal norms in a country in check. For example, in Mexico today there is an important confusion regarding software patents that did not exist before the FTA: Mexican patent legislation explicitly states that computer programs are not patentable (just like corresponding legislation in Argentina and Brazil). Nevertheless, the Mexican Patent Office has been granting software patents, in accordance with the FTA with USA, which brings a major uncertainty to the Mexican community.


There is a coordinated attempt to successfully push for similar confusion and mess in other countries [1, 2, 3]. There is heavy lobbying involved and some software patents actually 'trickle' through the European legal system. Consider Britain With new laws established, scaring businesses outside the United States, for example, would be easier. Remember accusations of a 'patent terrorism' culture. It's all about fear (perception).

Related articles to consider:

What if this ever become global phenomenon?

Microsoft's appointed 'patent terrorist' recently quit his role in the company. This came just a year after Martin Taylor, the man behind the "Get the Facts" propaganda, escaped the company abruptly (and without even giving a reason).

Upon Bill Hilf's departure from his position, let's recall some of his 'greatest hits'.

Here is what he said about ODF/OOXML (article pulled after a long time, probably because of Microsoft's pressure, which Hilf himself talked about at the time).

Hilf accused his former employers, IBM, of starting a standards war simply because they wanted a part of the Office market


Does Hilf endorse the OOXML frauds that we still see? Does he approve sabotaging the typically-peaceful process of standards body in order to pass proprietary formats as though they were 'open'?

Hilf did not shy away from the cameras when Microsoft attacked GNU/Linux and OpenOffice.org with baseless FUD and accusations. Among the things he said at the time:

"We would like to strike similar patent deals with all the Linux vendors, but we had to start somewhere," said Bill Hilf.


No Patents in Linux



He then wondered why people hated him.

Hilf’s response was... priceless. “I get a lot of e-mail.” “People like to subscribe me to crazy newsletters and spam.”


Hilf is no longer at that position which he held. All I can personally say is: good riddance. Remember the article from the Bangkok Post (article pulled):

"The Free Software movement is dead. Linux doesn't exist in 2007. Even Linus has got a job today." Controversial statements from the head of Microsoft's Linux Labs, Bill Hilf.


”OIN is intended to make the whole broken patent system collapse, as it should.“A regular reader of this site, having read some articles on the assorted patent trolls [1, 2, 3], wrote to inform us about a techdirt.com article. The article discusses Intellectual Ventures, on which he has commented. Since IANAL (neither is he, I assume), we wish to know whether organisations like OIN (Open Innovation Network) can use the method he has described to protect GNU/Linux entities from patent trolls such as Intellectual Ventures.

My own answer is that it's interesting scenario. Can OIN ever be counter-sued at all? Therein lies the strength of patent trolls which have patents but no actual products. They are like an amorphous malicious spirit. You can't take a swing at them because there is no physical entity (product).

A friend recently told me about an idea which OIN supporters have in mind. OIN is intended to make the whole broken patent system collapse, as it should. Patent trolls don't want it to collapse. OIN, on the other hand, wants patent trolling to end. If shattering the system is the means, then so be it. It renders the system obsolete and pointless.

Comments

Recent Techrights' Posts

Backlash and Negative Press After Microsoft Tells Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) People to DIE
Follow-up stories
Microsoft's Bing Falls to Fourth in the Europe/Asia-Based Turkey, Share Halved Since LLM Hype, Now Only 1% (Sometimes Less)
Turkey (Eurasia) is another example of Microsoft failing with LLM hype and just burning a lot of energy in vain (investment without returns)
Censorship as Signal of Opportunity for Reform
It remains sad and ironic that Wikileaks outsourced so much of its official communications to Twitter (now X)
 
Red Hat's Official Site Yesterday: Promoting 'Secure' Boot in Machines You Don't Own or Control Anyway
"To be clear, CentOS Linux no longer exist"
Links 18/07/2024: ORG Complaint to ICO About Facebook, Korean Double Agent Unmasked
Links for the day
Joel Espy Klecker & Debian on Joe Biden's health and Donald Trump's assassination
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, July 17, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Links 18/07/2024: Hostname Pedantry and Retro Coding
Links for the day
Fedora Week of Diversity (FWD) 2024 Attracting 0.01% of the IBM Staff "Was a Success"
They expect volunteers (unpaid slaves) to do the PR for them...
African's Largest Population (Nigeria) Approaching 80% Android "Market Share" Amid Steady Monthly Increases While Microsoft Has Mass Layoffs in Nigeria
Microsoft- and Apple-sponsored Western (or English-speaking) media chooses to ignore that or treat it as irrelevant (a racist disposition in its own right)
[Meme] The Warlord's Catspaw
Thugs that troll us
Microsoft Misogyny Will be the Fall of Microsoft (Covering Up for Misogynists is a Huge Mistake and Highly Misguided Short-term Strategy)
Microsoft's undoing may in fact be its attitude towards women
Red Hat Keeps Behaving Like a Microsoft Reseller (for Proprietary Stuff!), Microsoft Employees as Authors in redhat.com
In some ways this reminds us of Novell
UEFI 'Secure Boot' Once Again Bricking PCs and Fake Security Models Are Perishing in Geminispace
Let's Encrypt has just fallen again
Links 17/07/2024: New Attacks on the Press, European Patents Squashed Even at Kangaroo Court (UPC)
Links for the day
Gemini Links 17/07/2024: Proponents of Censorship and New Arrivals at Gemini
Links for the day
Links 17/07/2024: School Budget Meltdown and Modern Cars as Tracking Nightmares
Links for the day
This Should Certainly be Illegal, But the Person Who Helped Microsoft Do This is Still Attacking the Critics of It
perhaps time for an "I told you so post"
[Meme] A Computer With an Extra Key on the Keyboard Isn't Everyone's Priority
(so your telling me meme)
The World Wide Web Has Been Rotting for Years (Quality, Accuracy, and Depth Consistently Decreasing)
In the past people said that the Web had both "good" and "bad" and that the good outweighed the bad
Comoros: Windows Plunges to Record Low of About 6% in Country of a Million People (in 2010 Windows Was 100%)
Many of these people earn a few dollars a day; they don't care for Microsoft's "Hey Hi PC" hype
Africa as an Important Reminder That Eradicating Microsoft Doesn't Go Far Enough
Ideally, if our top goal is bigger than "get rid of Microsoft", we need to teach people to choose and use devices that obey them, not GAFAM
Billions of Computers Run Linux and Many Use Debian (or a Derivative of It)
many devices never get updated or even communicate with the Net, so exhaustive tallies are infeasible
The Mail (MX) Server Survey for July 2024 Shows Microsoft Collapsing to Only 689 Servers or 0.17% of the Whole (It Used to be About 25%)
Microsoft became so insignificant and the most astounding thing is how the media deliberate ignores it or refuses to cover it
[Meme] Microsoft is Firing
Don't worry, Microsoft will have some new vapourware coming soon
More DEI (or Similar) Layoffs on the Way, According to Microsoft Team Leader
What happened shortly before Independence Day wasn't the end of it, apparently
Windows Down From 98.5% to 22.9% in Hungary
Android is up because more people buy smaller mobile devices than laptops
Microsoft Windows in Algeria: From 100% to Less Than 15%
Notice that not too long ago Windows was measured at 100%. Now? Not even 15%.
[Meme] Many Volunteers Now Realise the "Open" in "OpenSUSE" or "openSUSE" Was Labour-Mining
Back to coding, packaging and testing, slaves
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, July 16, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, July 16, 2024
Microsoft Windows "Market Share" in New Zealand Plunges to 25%
Android rising
[Meme] Ein Factory
A choice between "masters" (or "master race") is a false choice that results in mass exploitation and ultimately eradication (when there's little left to exploit)
Links 17/07/2024: Open Source Initiative Lies and Dark Net Thoughts
Links for the day
SUSE Goes Aryan: You May Not Use the Germanic Brand Anymore (It's Monopolised by the Corporation)
Worse than grammar Nazis
Media Distorting Truth to Promote Ignorance
online media is rapidly collapsing
Gratis But Not Free as in Freedom: How Let's Encrypt is Dying in Geminispace
Let's Encrypt is somewhat of a dying breed where the misguided CA model is shunned
Android Rises to New Highs of Almost 80% in Cameroon
How many dozens of nations will see Windows at under 10% this coming winter?
Links 16/07/2024: TikTok Ban in Europe and Yandex Split
Links for the day
Gemini Links 16/07/2024: On Packrafting and on Trump Shot
Links for the day
[Meme] Firefox Users Who Think They Know Better Than Mozilla
Enjoy Firebook
Firefox Used to Have About Half the Market in Switzerland, But It Doesn't Stand a Chance Anymore (Chrome Surging This Summer)
Mozilla has managed to alienate some of the biggest fans of Firefox
Microsoft's Biggest Losses Are in Europe This Summer
Microsoft's ability to milk a relatively rich Europe is fast diminishing
How to Make Software Suck and Discriminate Against People at the Same Time
ageism glorified
Bing Was at 2.6% in Russia When LLM Hype Started. Now It's Down to 0.8% (for 3 Months in a Row Already)
The sharp fall of Bing may mean that exiting the Russian market won't matter to anybody
[Meme] Microsoft Seems to be Failing to Comply With WARN Act (by Refusing to Announce Mass Layoffs as They Happen)
since when does Microsoft obey the law anyway?
Microsoft Layoffs Are Still Too Frequent to Keep Abreast of and Properly (or Exhaustively) Classify
The "HR" department knows what's happening, but whistleblowers from there are rare
Bahamas Joined the "5% Windows" Club
statCounter only traces back about 1 in 20 Web requests to Windows
Links 16/07/2024: Salesforce Layoffs and Microsoft's DMARC Fail
Links for the day
Antenna Abuse and Gemini Abuse (Self-hosting Perils)
Perhaps all this junk is a sign of Gemini growing up
Possibly Worse Than Bribes: US Politicians and Lawmakers Who Are Microsoft Shareholders
They will keep bailing out Microsoft to bail themselves out
The Software Freedom Conservancy Folks Don't Even Believe in Free Speech and They Act As Imposters (Also in the Trademark Arena/Sense)
Software Freedom Conservancy was already establishing a reputation for itself as a G(I)AFAM censor/gatekeeper
Djibouti Enters the Windows "10% Club" (Windows Was 99% in 2010)
In Africa in general Microsoft lost control
GNU/Linux Share Doubled in the United States of America (USA) in the Past 12 Months
Or so says statCounter
Even in North Korea (Democratic People's Republic Of Korea) Google Said to Dominate, Microsoft Around 1%
Google at 93.26%
[Meme] The Red Bait (Embrace... Extinguish)
They set centos on fire, then offer a (de facto) proprietary substitute for a fee
Shooting the Messenger to Spite the Message
segment of a Noam Chomsky talk
[Video] Boston Area Assange Defense (Yesterday)
It was published only hours ago
Guinea: Windows Down From 99.3% to 2.7% 'Market Share'
Guinea is not a small country
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, July 15, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, July 15, 2024
What's Meant by "Antenna Abuse" (Gemini)
syndication is not a monopoly in Gemini and if one doesn't condone political censorship, then one can create one's own syndication service/capsule
Microsoft Layoffs and Entire Unit Termination: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
What an announcement to make just before Independence Day
Links 16/07/2024: Old Computer Challenge and One Page Dungeon Contest
Links for the day