Bonum Certa Men Certa

What Google Should Do Now That Android is Being Poisoned by Novell (With Mono) and Sued by Microsoft

Rock in lake



Summary: Why Google should toss Mono in the lake and also work to abolish software patents rather than acquire patents

THIS post is an unintended continuation of prior ones on the subject. It deals with Novell's promotion of Mono and Moonlight for Android , as recently covered by Paul Krill.



SUSE has failed to spread further since the Microsoft patent deal, so Novell uses other platforms as "hosts" by which to spread the disease. In Ubuntu, for example, there is a new Mono Trojan horde called Banshee (a Novell project), but according to this one blogger, removing Mono from Ubuntu 11.04 is maybe "intentionally easy". The blogger writes:

There are many people who are unhappy with Canonical Ltd's inclusion of Mono in Ubuntu and furthermore there are many who avoid using/promoting Ubuntu as a result.

Thankfully Ubuntu is not heavily dependent on Mono and removing it is easy, particularly in 11.04.


Compare that to the ravings of OMG Ubuntu, whose Mono contributors (they have tactlessly appointed Mono people to work among the authors) are launching off-topic personal attacks on yours truly this week. Here is more Banshee promotion from that site:

The new Banshee development cycle has official begun and within comes a number of big changes. Before you read any further, if you are currently using the Banshee Daily PPA now is probably a good time to disable it. With that said, let’s look at what is already in the tree now and which will be in the first development release 2.1.0 (currently listed on the Banshee calendar as landing on the 11th of May).


First we had the pollution of Ubuntu with Mono and now that a lot of people embrace Android there is also an increased focus at Novell -- focus that puts Android in a lot of Mono press releases. For shame. Google should know better, especially now that Microsoft and others try to use patents against Android. We already know that Mono is a patent liability. Brian Proffitt addresses one of the latest lawsuits against Google:

If there were ever a week where anyone could see just how remarkable stupid patent infringement litigation had become, this would certainly be it.

First, there was the $5 million jury decision against Google in the patent infringement case filed by Bedrock Computer Technologies, LLC.

The suit alleges that a patent that Bedrock owns, US 5,893,120, is infringed by Google and the other defendants in the suit (Yahoo! Inc., MySpace Inc., Amazon.com Inc., PayPal Inc., Match.com, Inc., AOL LLC, CME Group Inc, Softlayer Technologies, Inc., and CitiWare Technology Solutions, LLC) because such a method is employed by the Linux operating system and as major users of Linux, the defendants are liable for damages.


Microsoft is also attacking Google directly using patents. Well, it does not sue Google directly, but it is using its own legal department to sue Android distributors with patents that should never have been granted in the first place. Groklaw looks for prior art/research summaries while we continue to communicate with someone from MIT whose very broad tablet patent Microsoft seems to be interested in buying (more on that at a later date).

Check those dates, Barnes & Noble! No. I will do it for you. The patents that Microsoft hilariously claims are being infringed by Android were issued in the following years: 1998, 2002, 1999, 2005 and 2005 respectively. I am looking at my calendar. OMG. The year 1994 comes before all of them. My, my. That predates all of Paul Allen's patents too. Check out the video. I see a "Tell Me More" column. And it had a Personal Interest feature. It even had a touchscreen. Say, Google, are you aware of this? If not, here's a present for you and Android, I hope.

And here's the interesting part. I just checked Microsoft's patent No. 5,778,372, and I don't see this Knight-Ridder tablet listed as prior art. That, of course, is the issue Microsoft has raised in its appeal to the US Supreme Court in the i4i v. Microsoft case, what level of evidence is required to toss overboard a wrongly issued patent that was not considered by the USPTO examiner prior to its issuance. Talk about conflict. If this turns out to be relevant prior art, what will Microsoft want to happen now, I can't help but wonder?


Katherine Noyes has good coverage which also blames the system, not just the patent or Microsoft. Mike Masnick is meanwhile claiming that Google's strategy is unfruitful. The headline says "Unintended Consequences Of Google's $900 Million Nortel Patent Bid: Creating New Patent Trolls":

A few weeks back, Google got a ton of attention for offering a $900 million bid for a bunch of Nortel patents. Google made it pretty clear that it was seeking these patents largely to keep them out of the hands of someone else who might start suing everyone. However, there may be some unintended consequences. The publicity around Google's role and the size of the bid (which rumors say has already been surpassed by others) has drawn some renewed interest by some companies in "monetizing" their own patents. Greg Sandoval over at News.com has the story of a company called ReQuest, who claims to hold patents (7,577,757 and 7,136,934) on syncing -- and is now sending out letters to companies asking for licensing fees. The letters apparently make it clear that "patent lawyers" are interested in buying up the patents, which is a pretty transparent threat: license up or we'll sue.


We have already said why Google's strategy is misguided. Instead of legitimising and adding to the so-called 'value' of patents, Google should help fund groups like the FFII. It is possible that RIM will get those Nortel patents at the end, and maybe that would be for the better. RIM is a proprietary software company; the patent strategy for a company like Google ought to be antithetical w.r.t. patents. Here is a group of recent videos about WebM and software patents [1, 2, 3, 4]. Basically, the whole idea behind WebM is to dodge patent thickets that typically come with multimedia codecs. Google has done a good job there, so why be hypocritical with a massive patent purchase?

The patent system is broken. Google knows it, everyone else knows it, except the patent lawyers and the monopolists whom they serve. The latter group can just pretend and even convince itself that it is doing the right thing. Watch this latest Federal Appeals Court cock-up:

Among the fastest growing problems within the realm of malignant monopolies is the disturbing frequency of abuse that lawyers now use to try and keep court documents under seal and away from public scrutiny. This results in a monopoly of information that is often abused by corporate powers within the legal system.

It is gratifying to know that the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has sanctioned at least one attorney for abusing that process in the course of a patent infringement lawsuit.


Patents are not for the market anymore, they are for lawyers. To quote Bob Hauck from a few hours ago, "that is not the purpose of patents or copyright. The purpose as defined by the US Constitution is to "promote the progress of science and the useful arts".

"So patent protection should be offered only to the extent that the gains from offering it oughtweigh the costs of monopoly to society. It is not something inventors are automatically entitled to."

Google should help achieve some real patent reform; it oughtn't buy patents. It oughtn't accept patent traps like MonoDroid [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15], either.

Comments

Recent Techrights' Posts

[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/Photography] Photos From the Tux Machines Parties
took nearly a fortnight
 
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
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
Links 21/06/2024: Matrimony Perils and US-Sponsored COVID-19 Misinformation
Links for the day
"A coming cybersecurity schism" by Dr. Andy Farnell
new from Dr. Andy Farnell
Links 21/06/2024: Overpopulation, Censorship, and Conflicts
Links for the day
IBM and Subsidiaries Sued for Ageism (Not Just for Racism)
This is already being discussed
UEFI is Against Computer Security, Its True Goal is to Curtail Adoption of GNU/Linux and BSDs on Existing or New PCs
the world is moving away from Windows
[Meme] Chat Control (EU) is All About Social Control
It won't even protect children
The Persistent Nature of Freedom Isn't About Easy Routes
Resistance to oppression takes effort and sometimes money
EFF Not Only Lobbies for TikTok (CPC) But for All Social Control Media, Irrespective of Known Harms as Explained by the US Government
The EFF's own "free speech" people reject free speech
Microsoft's Search (Bing) Fell From 3.3% to 1% in Turkey Just Since the LLM Hype Began
Bing fell sharply in many other countries
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 20, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, June 20, 2024
The Real FSF Lost Well Over a Million Dollars Since the Defamation Attacks on Its Founder
2020-2023 income: -$659,756, -$349,927, -$227,857, and -$686,366, respectively
The Fake FSF ('FSF Europe') Connected to Novell Via SUSE, Not Just Via Microsoft (Repeated 'Donations')
'FSF Europe' is an imposter organisation
Just Less Than 3 Hours After Article on Debian Suicide Cluster Debian's Donald Norwood Recycles a Fortnight-Old 'Hit Piece'
The fall of Debian is its attack on its very own volunteers