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Microsoft Clarifies That Making Money in Mobile Market by Extorting Makers of Linux Phones is the Plan

Nathan Myhrvold



Summary: New signs that Microsoft's sheer aggression with unnamed patents against Linux (threats of lawsuits) is not a thing of the past but a plan for the future

MICROSOFT SOFTENS unspeakable acts of racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] using euphemisms like "respecting intellectual property" (it's neither to do with respect nor about intellect and physical property). The lawyers who keep bullying distributors of Linux and Android (reportedly Chrome OS too) are trying to make it look amicable for PR reasons. As this recent article puts it, "HTC has also been pressured into" a patent deal (involving Linux) with Microsoft just shortly before surrendering to Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's special patent troll. It's an extortion by "Club Microsoft" and Electronista says:



HTC has also been pressured into a licensing deal with Microsoft for Android-related patents that Microsoft allegedly owns but which won't be tested in court until Motorola defends itself.


Well, as we mentioned the other day, Murdoch's press (and its technology equivalent) continues to spew Microsoft patent propaganda from all sorts of sites and controversial Microsoft boosters like Paul Thurrott join the FUDfest. Microsoft-affiliated companies and trolls are also taking a shot at Android. An Android-based Huawei phone, for example, has just been sued by a patent troll called Helferich Patent Licensing, LLC.

Ina/Ian Fried, who recently joined AllThingsD (Murdoch site) to promote Microsoft, says in the headline that "Microsoft’s Plan B to Make Money in Phones: Patents" (that's after having a jolly good time with Microsoft's Smith). Recall what Microsoft recently did with Acacia and ACCESS [1, 2, 3, 4], which holds patents on mobile software/hardware.

“Recall what Microsoft recently did with Acacia and ACCESS, which holds patents on mobile software/hardware.”In other patent news, laws are being disrupted and rewritten to suit those who exploit counter-productive laws. As we showed 2 days ago, Microsoft is actively involved in this (also translated into Spanish) because it hires lobbyists to legalise software patents in all countries. An Israeli blog about patents potentially implies that there is an opportunity to sneak in a pro-Microsoft "fox" [1, 2] who will be more open to software patents in Israel and another notorious writer leads the patent lawyers lobbying for software patents in a blog. Yes, Steve Lundberg, a software patents booster who was celebrating the abduction of a country's law regarding software patents, is still at it in his blog. What a bunch of self-serving folks who contribute nothing but litigation and paperwork. There are other patent lawyer types who try to justify patenting software for personal financial reasons and not for scientific reasons. It is quite saddening also to see this coverage from Patently-O, a beehive of patent lawyers. Daniel Ravicher from the SFLC (now the Executive Director of the Public Patent Foundation at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law) is optimistic about SCOTUS planning to revisit software/BM patents, as hoped. In the Huff & Puff he writes:

Patent attorneys are generally too corrupted by being in favor of expansive patent policy (because that makes their services more valuable) and/or too fearful of retaliation to decry the CAFC and its practice of judicial activism. For better or worse, the net result has been that the Supreme Court has had to repeatedly step in and slap down the CAFC when its expansionist policy has gone too far. Cases like eBay, MedImmune, KSR, Quanta and many others from the 2000's are all examples of the Supreme Court having to take time away from other important issues of social policy to reverse the CAFC's judicially activist opinions (often unanimously). This is the right result, but not the most efficient process for society. So, it is with only slight satisfaction that I report the Supreme Court yesterday accepted another patent case. This is another instance where the CAFC went far beyond merely interpreting the patent statute in order to benefit patentees and harm the public. I am confident it will be another instance where the Supreme Court will correct the CAFC.


James Love, who also occasionally writes for the Huff & Puff, recently wrote that on February 25th, 2009 "President Obama announced the appointment of Gary Locke, the former Governor of the State of Washington, as the Secretary of Commerce. When appointed, Locke was partner at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, and had been a consultant to Microsoft."

Love also pointed out that: "Through its seat of the UNITAID board of directors, the Gates Foundation nominated a Microsoft patent lawyer to the founding board of the UNITAID medicines patent pool. The UNITAID board deferred action on all nominations."

As we showed many times before, the Gates Foundation is a big patents booster. It promotes patents (monopolies) in many areas and helps Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures along the way, even very directly. Government influence is only part it.

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