Bonum Certa Men Certa

Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold Find New Ways to Extort the Competitors, Using Patents

Nathan Myhrvold



Summary: The world's biggest patent trolls proceed to extorting Blackberry users/devices; more news about software patents, mostly those which affect Android and Linux

APPALLING. That's what Microsoft appears to have given the world. First it put a tax on every computer sold, removing people's ability to avoid this tax even if they want nothing to do with Microsoft. Now they want to force people to pay Microsoft a tax no matter which phone they buy. That's right, and if it's not Microsoft pulling those strings, then it's the two co-founders of the company and their former CTO, who with funding from a Microsoft co-founder created the world's largest patent troll, Intellectual Ventures. Watch how patent lawyer types try to white-wash the patent trolls' role in industry and cover the fact that Gates and his buddy Myhrvold are extorting RIM for its phones, just like HTC and Samsung (for Linux), allegedly after Myhrvold did his blackmail routines. Here is how patent lawyers put it (subscription required):



RIM signs up with IV as RPX hits 80 http://is.gd/c7j7YP


The sources the Microsoft-apathetic folks cite describe this extortion as some sort of "protection" or "access to patents". This is nonsense. It's spin. To be fair, Myhrvold is not the only patent troll who is extorting companies for their phones and also passes patents for other trolls to sue companies which do not pay to enter his pyramid scheme. For example we have this in the news:

Turns out, that patent exists — and the company that owns it is looking to sue juuuust about everyone.

The patent in question was granted back in 2009, to a company called HW Technology. Now they’re taking on Apple and their App Store, Google and their Android Market, and RIM and their BlackBerry App World. Oh, and HTC, LG, and Nokia. Oh! And Amazon, eBay, Hotels.com, Buy.com, and Priceline, and 21 other entities.

The lawsuit, filed earlier this week, primarily targets anything that “allows users to complete a merchant transaction without the need to generate a voice call.”


As expected, the pro-Microsoft Richard Waters normalises this sick status quo, but the gory details (cited and quoted by Microsoft Florian) are hidden behind a paywall. To quote the publicly-visible portion:

More than two decades ago, soon after starting out in the mobile phone business, Nokia found itself on the receiving end of a massive patent infringement lawsuit from the company that had pioneered cellular communications: Motorola.

The Finnish group was in a vulnerable position. As a newcomer, it lacked enough patents of its own to counter-sue Motorola and fight it to a standstill.


Another Microsoft booster, Preston Gralla, makes erroneous statements to belittle Google (over patent issues) and only later corrects his IDG troll piece by adding an update (but not correcting the headline):

Update: The issue about Xoom WMA support isn't directly related to Google and Android itself --- it's instead an issue with Motorola. As a commenter on this blog below notes, WMA and WMV support wasn't baked directly into earlier Android versions. Instead, apparently Motorola added that support in its Droid, Droid 2, and Droid X. The company dropped it from Xoom.


For those who do not remember, Microsoft sued Motorola over Android/Linux, so no wonder Motorola evades this liability. That's what happens when Microsoft decides to act like a patent troll and Motorola is actually one of the few companies (currently the only one) which stands up for Linux/Android against Microsoft's patent demands. So well done, Motorola.

"That's what happens when Microsoft decides to act like a patent troll..."The mobile space is becoming a sordid mess when it comes to patents and someone who pays close attention has noticed "Internet protocol (IP) phone with search and advertising capability", which is yet another outrageous patent (joining the likes of "over the Internet" patents, this time being "on a phone" patent)

Michael Larabel, the revered editor of Phoronix whom I considered to be my online friend for years, is also recognising that software patents are becoming a huge problem for Linux. In his new and unusual post, "What Would Be Disastrous For Linux, Open-Source", he writes:

Here's a few that I thought of this morning. Feel free to share your Linux doomsday scenarios in the forums.

Patent trolls increasing their assertions against Linux and key open-source software. If the Linux market-share continues to rise, the frequency of patent attacks or free software projects being impaired by software patents will only continue to rise. Enough said.

[...]

Patent assertions against Mesa. Any direct legal attacks against the core Mesa (or Gallium3D) library would endager the Linux desktop. This would likely be the greatest threat to Linux user-space or in general short of claims against the Linux kernel. When it comes to graphics IP, this is a hot area and has already held up a number of features like S3TC support from being implemented in the mainline tree and other features that are protected by patents that will not expire for many years. This is preventing even core parts of the OpenGL 3.x specification from being implemented.

What makes this particularly dangerous is that there is no other open alternative for providing OpenGL support and hardware acceleration, short of starting over from scratch (or somehow salvaging ancient Utah-GLX code). Mesa is found installed on virtually every Linux desktop, whether it is used or not. If a project like GNOME or Compiz faced serious legal challenges, there's still at least alternatives out there, but not for Mesa aside from installing proprietary AMD and NVIDIA drivers. Intel support though would then be killed off along with other obscure drivers. Even if GCC was attacked, there's LLVM/Clang, Open64, and numerous other compilers out there, but when it comes to the user-space graphics, there's really only Mesa.

[...]

The US government begins taxing open-source software. It's actually not as crazy as it sounds and could actually happen.


Linux sites must wake up and start covering the software patents situation because it is the #1 barrier to landslide victory of Free software. Techrights was born from the need to fight back against Microsoft's patent demands from Linux (Groklaw was created for similar reasons when SCO launched analogous attacks). Microsoft hires lobbyists to be dedicated to just beating the software patents drum. It knows why it's doing that.

Recent Techrights' Posts

When Wikileaks Sources Were Actually Murdered and Wikileaks Was Still a Wiki
when Wikileaks was a young site and still an actual wiki
Why Virtually All the Wikileaks Copycats, Forks, and Rivals Basically Perished
Cryptome is like the "grandpa" of them all
Why the Media is Dying (It Sucks, No Mentally Healthy People Will Tolerate This for Long)
linking to actual news articles helps fuel the spam, too
 
GNU/Linux Growing at Vista 11's Expense
it's tempting to deduce many people who got PCs with Vista 11 preinstalled are deleting it, only to replace it with GNU/Linux
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, July 23, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, July 23, 2024
[Meme] Was He So Productive He Had to be Expelled Somehow? (After He Was Elected and Had Given Many Years of Work to Earn a Board Seat)
Things like these seem to lessen the incentive to devote one's life to Free software projects
GNOME Foundation is Causing Itself More Embarrassment With Secrecy Than With Full Transparency
It also arouses suspicion and hostility towards Codes of Conduct, which gave rise to 'secret courts' governed by large corporations
Links 23/07/2024: NetherRealm Layoffs and Illegitimate Patent 'Courts' (Illegal)
Links for the day
Gemini Links 23/07/2024: AM Radio, ngIRCd, and Munin
Links for the day
A Lot of GNU/Linux Growth on the Client Side is Owing to India (Where GNU/Linux Has Reached 16%)
A lot of this happened in recent years
Insulting Free Software Users in Social Control Media (Proprietary, Bloated With Opaque JavaScript) is Like Insulting Amish on TV
Why bother? Don't take the bait.
statCounter: Dutch GNU/Linux Usage Surged 1% in Summer
Microsoft is running out of things to actually sell
Microsoft's "Results" Next Week Will be Ugly (But It'll Lie About Them, as Usual)
Where can Microsoft find income rather than losses as its debt continues to grow and layoffs accelerate?
Julian Assange is Still Being Dehumanised in Media Whose Owners Wikileaks Berated (With Underlying Facts or Leaks)
Wikileaks and Free software aren't the same thing. Nevertheless, the tactics used to infiltrate or discredit both ought to be understood.
A Month Later
We're optimistic on many fronts
Links 23/07/2024: Downsizing and Microsoft and Still Damage Control
Links for the day
Gemini Links 23/07/2024: Friends and Solitaire
Links for the day
Censorship in Eklektix's Linux Weekly News (LWN)
Medieval system of speech, where the monarchs (Linux Foundation) dictate what's permissible to say
10 Years of In-Depth EPO Coverage at Techrights (Many Others Have Abandoned the Topic)
Listen to staff
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, July 22, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, July 22, 2024
[Meme] The Latest in the Microsoft Windows Blame Game
Microsoft found the culprit and came to everyone's rescue!
Links 22/07/2024: Overworking and Performance Issues From Europe
Links for the day
Microsoft Eliminates 67% of the Building Occupancy - That's Some Truly Massive Layoffs
Half a dozen floors? Microsoft cuts that down to two.
[Meme] Signs of a Dying Patent Office
"Bribe the media to say you excel"
This Month's General Consultative Committee (GCC) Webchat ('Meeting') Covered the European Patent Office's Attacks on Its Own Interpreters
The Central Staff Committee is currently circulating a report with appendices about the GCC meeting [sic] (webchat) that took place less than a fortnight ago
A Byzantine European Patent Office Where Staff Must Beg for Help With Contraception (Worse Than the Rest of Europe)
The Central Staff Committee (EPO staff representation) has just circulated a report
[Teaser] EPO Run by Children
"Daddy, why was I born?"
Let's Encrypt About to Fall Below 100 (Capsules) in Geminispace, It's Basically in a Freefall
The "self-signed" portion keeps growing
Gemini Links 22/07/2024: Spacewalk Dies and Old Computer Challenge in the Rear View
Links for the day
For the First Time Since May Linux.com (Linux Foundation) Published Something. It's All Spam.
Can we trust the Linux Foundation to look after anything at all? Look what it turned this once-thriving site into.
Honduras: Windows Down, Android Peaking Again
Honduras does not have many stakes in Microsoft
[Meme] Twitter (X) Will Reject the Concept of a Female President
Twitter (X) is controlled by misogynists, who socially control (or socially-engineer) their fake concept of "media"
Second Family Photo of Julian Assange Since His Release (First Since His Birthday)
His wife shows the 4 of them for the first time (2 hours ago)
Protesters in Kenya Need Software That is Free (Libre) and Supports Real Encryption in Order to Avoid Capture and Torture (Sometimes Execution)
There's more to fight over than economic issues
The Ludicrous Idea That GNU/Linux is a "Poor Man's" Operating System
Seeing the trends in countries such an Norway, it ought to be abundantly clear that adoption of GNU/Linux has nothing to do with poverty
Links 22/07/2024: Internet Optimism and Kamala Harris Policies Debated
Links for the day
Something is Happening at OFTC
It looks like it shrank by 20,000 users
GNU/Linux Usage in Guadeloupe Rises Closer to International Average, Based on Web Data Collected by statCounter
It should be noted that the estimates of GNU/Linux usage are now in 4.5% territories
The Impact of OFTC's Latest Changes on the Perceived Scale of IRC Globally
IRC is still one of the more potent alternatives to the social control media conglomerates
New: Why They Really Went After Assange
Uploaded by Chris Hedges
Links 21/07/2024: Health, Politics, and Kamala Harris in Focus
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, July 21, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, July 21, 2024
A Drop in Half (From 208 to 104): Sharp Decline in Number of Gemini Capsules That Use Let's Encrypt CA Since December
Gemini is increasing its independence from Certificate Authorities (CAs)