Bonum Certa Men Certa

HTC-Microsoft Was Not an Agreement, It Was Apparently an Extortion

Extortion



Summary: More evidence that HTC merely settled (probably after threats) rather than be wooed for a patent deal as Microsoft would like to paint it

SETTLEMENT or mere agreement? That is the big question. In a prior post we showed the word "settle" or "settlement" coming up, which usually indicates legal action or a precursor. Microsoft has begun going after Android with explicit threats that it put in the press in order to find more extortion opportunities [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] or engage in 'pre-settlement' agreements, which still count as extortion that violates some laws in particular countries which designed rules to prevent racketeering.



The following new article from Glyn Moody mentions the word "settle", which considering the one-way flow of money indicates that an extortion almost certainly took place. [via]

Then, just to make things more interesting, poor old HTC was accused by Microsoft of infringing on its patents – except in this case, HTC decided to settle, so we don't know exactly what those patents were. Here's what Microsoft said:

Microsoft Corp. and HTC Corp. have signed a patent agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for HTC’s mobile phones running the Android mobile platform. Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will receive royalties from HTC.

Notice that it specifies “mobile phones running the Android mobile platform”, which seems an indirect way of implying that HTC has paid for “problems” with Linux, on which Android is based. Thus, a little more FUD can be spread about Linux's supposed infringement on Microsoft's monopolies, without actually making any real claim that needs supporting by facts.


Gavin Clarke, who is a Microsoft booster, spoke to Nokia about the subject and received the following response:

Ari Jaaksi, Nokia's vice president of MeeGo devices, told The Reg Tuesday that Intel and Nokia could "guarantee and promise" that MeeGo is safe from any and all patent claims because of the size and breadth of the companies' patent portfolios, and also because of the size of Intel and Nokia themselves. MeeGo is based on the Linux kernel and uses common components such as X-Windows and Gstreamer.

"Both Nokia and Intel have a huge patent portfolio and we have put our investment into the standard Linux-based platform. That's a guarantee and promise that it's safe for anyone to take this platform because we will look after your investment with our patent platform," Jaaksi said.

"With the big patent portfolios already backing up MeeGo as an operating system, that should make some of the concerns go away... we'll defend that with our patent portfolio."


Oiaohm calls it M.A.D. (mutually assured destruction) and argues that this is a "True nightmare for Microsoft's idea of making profit from patents on Linux. It had to happen at some point -- Linux protected by a M.A.D shield. Now, if Nokia and Intel can get others to join the M.A.D. shield it will just become that scary that no company that is sane will go anywhere near attacking it. Even a troll would have to watch it. They could really simply find themselves that their valid patents are worth less than the patents that are in the M.A.D."

Speaking of patent trolls, more coverage regarding Acacia continues to pour in. We also covered the ending of this case in:



Apple is bugged by Elan [1, 2, 3], which seemingly wants to ban Apple products using patents (it went for the ITC to exploit a loophole and apply pressure for quicker settlement, if any).

The US trade watchdog confirmed this week that it would investigate patent infringement allegations made by Elan Microelectronics against Apple last month.


The most effective solution would be to eliminate software patents. They do not promote science and development in any provable way.

Comments

Recent Techrights' Posts

Edward Brocklesby (ejb) & Debian: Hacking expulsion cover-up in proximity to Oxford and GCHQ
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Microsoft Windows in Nicaragua: From 98% to Less Than 25%
Operating System Market Share Nicaragua
[Meme] Debian's 'Cannon Fodder' Economics
Conflicts of interest don't matter
According to Microsoft, It's Not a Code of Conduct Violation to Troll Your Victims Whose Files You Are Purging
The group of vandals from Microsoft think it's "funny" (and for a "nominal fee") to troll Microsoft critics
Microsoft Inside Debian is Sabotaging Debian and Its Many Hundreds of Derivatives With SystemD (Microsoft/GitHub Slopware With Catastrophic Bugs is Hardly a New Problem)
What is the moral of the story about The Scorpion and the Frog?
 
[Meme] 12 Years a Fedora Volunteer
IBM gives me a 'free' Fedora badge as recognition
IBM Slavery: Not a New Problem
When IBM got rid of Ben Cotton it showed the world how much it valued Fedora
Why They Want to Abolish Master/Slave Terminology (Because This is What They're Turned Free Software Into)
It used to be about community; GAFAM turned that into exploitation and worse
Roy and Rianne's Righteously Royalty-free RSS Reader (R.R.R.R.R.R.) Version 0.2 is Released
They say summer "officially" started some days ago
Torvalds' Number Two Quit Linux a Decade Ago and Has Since Then Earned an Honorary Doctorate
Revisiting Fuzix and Alan Cox
GNU/Linux Reaches All-Time High in Tunisia
Based on statCounter
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, June 23, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, June 23, 2024
You Know the Microsoft Products Really Suck When...
"Qualcomm and Microsoft go 'beyond the call of duty' to stop independent Copilot+ PC reviews"
IBM and "Regime Change"
Change of regime is not the same as freedom
Techrights in the Coming Decade: The Community Angle
Somebody needs to call them out on their BS
Techrights in the Coming Decade: The Free Speech (Online) Angle
Free speech is a fundamental tenet of a free society
Techrights in the Coming Decade: The Software Angle
Gemini Protocol has just turned 5 - i.e. roughly the same age as our Git repositories
Techrights in the Coming Decade: The Patent Angle
Next month marks 10 years since we began covering EPO leaks
Wookey, Intrigeri, Cryptie & Debian pseudonyms beyond Edward Brocklesby
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] Choice Versus Freedom
So When Do I Start Having Freedom? Freedom is choice between the GAFAMs
Digital Liberation of Society at Times of Armed Conflicts and Uncertainty
We have technical contributions, not just written output
Links 23/06/2024: More Microsoft Cancellations, Growing Repression Worldwide
Links for the day
Gemini Links 23/06/2024: The Magician and the Hacker, tmux Tips
Links for the day
Links 23/06/2024: Twitter/X Wants Your Money, Google Reports a Billion DMCA Takedowns in Four Months
Links for the day
Digital Restrictions (Like DRM) Don't Have Brands, We Need to Teach People to Hate the Underlying Restrictions, Not Companies That Typically Come and Go
Conceptually, the hens should fear humans, not the farmer who cages them
Going Above 4% Again
Maybe 4% (or above) by month's end?
Conviction, jail for Hinduja family, Debian exploitation comparison
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 23/06/2024: Hey Hi (AI) Scrapers Gone Very Rogue, Software Patents Squashed at EPO
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 22, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, June 22, 2024
Gemini Links 23/06/2024: LoRaWAN and Gemini Plugin for KOReade
Links for the day
Links 22/06/2024: Chat Control Vote Postponed, More Economic Perils
Links for the day
[Meme/Photography] Photos From the Tux Machines Parties
took nearly a fortnight
Uzbekistan: GNU/Linux Ascent
Uzbekistan is almost the same size as France
SLAPP as an Own Goal
We have better things to with our limited time
Independence From Monopolies
"They were ethnically GAFAM anyway..."
GNU/Linux at New Highs (Again) in Taiwan
latest numbers
Links 22/06/2024: More Layoffs and Health Scares
Links for the day
Rwanda: Windows Falls Below 30%
For the first time since 2020 Windows is measured below 30%
[Meme] IBM Lost the Case Over "Dinobabies" (and People Died)
IBM agreed to pay to keep the details (and embarrassing evidence) secret; people never forgot what IBM called its staff that wasn't young, this keeps coming up in forums
Exactly One Year Ago RHEL Became Proprietary Operating System
Oh, you want the source code of RHEL? You need to pay me money and promise not to share with anyone
Dr. John Campbell on Gates Foundation
Published two days ago
Melinda Gates Did Not Trust Bill Gates, So Why Should You?
She left him because of his ties to child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein
How Much IBM Really Cares About Software Freedom (Exactly One Year Ago IBM Turned RHEL Into Proprietary Software)
RHEL became proprietary software
Fedora Week of Diversity 2024 Was Powered by Proprietary Software
If instead of opening up to women and minorities we might open up to proprietary software, i.e. become less open
18 Countries in Europe Where Windows Fell Below 30% "Market Share"
Many people still use laptops with Windows, but they're outnumbered by mobile users on Android
[Meme] EPO Pensions in the UK
pensioners: looks like another EPO 'reform'
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 21, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, June 21, 2024
During Fedora Week of Diversity (FWD) 2024 IBM and Its Subsidiaries Dragged to Court Over Discrimination at the Corporate Level
IBM is a deplorable, racist company
Workers of the European Patent Office Take the Office to Court Over Pension
pensions still precarious
Gemini Links 22/06/2024: FreeBSD vs XFCE and Gemini Bookmarks Syncing Solution
Links for the day