Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Stacked Patent Panels, Front Groups for Patents, and Proxy Patent Trolls

Stringing



Summary: A roundup of Microsoft patent lobbying and aggression that go on mostly unnoticed

A stacked panel was described by Microsoft as "a stacked deck: it is packed with people who, on the face of things, should be neutral, but who are in fact strong supporters of our technology. The key to stacking a panel is being able to choose the moderator. Most conference organizers allow the moderator to select die panel, so if you can pick the moderator, you win. Since you can’t expect representatives of our competitors to speak on your behalf, you have to get the moderator to agree to having only “independent ISVs” on the panel. No one from Microsoft or any other formal backer of the competing technologies would be allowed -just ISVs who have to use this stuff in the “real world.” Sounds marvellously independent doesn’t it? In feet, it allows us to stack the panel with ISVs that back our cause. Thus, the “independent” panel ends up telling the audience that our technology beats the others hands down. Get the press to cover this panel, and you’ve got a major win on your hands." See the full Microsoft document [PDF] for more details.



We already know, based on prior incidents, that Microsoft loves to stack panels, e.g. for OOXML. Microsoft and its front groups are entering another forum, where just like the Gates Foundation agents they spread the pro-patents talking points. Gates has more political power outside of Microsoft and we previously showed what he and his new minions/'foundamentalists' do on the subject of patents. As one good journalist points out:

In short, Gates is a spent force. He says he will not lead Microsoft again as rumoured in some media outlets recently - but then it wouldn't matter even if he did.


Microsoft's MSN says that a "[s]oftware group spends $190k on lobbying in 3Q," but this number from a third-party source is far lower than the real amount and patent policy is part of the lobbying, with focus on the USPTO:

The Software and Information Industry Association spent $190,000 on lobbying on such issues as intellectual property in the third quarter, according to federal disclosure reports.

[...]

The group lobbied Congress, the Education Department, the Commerce Department, the State Department, the U.S. Copyright Office, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office


As we showed before, Bill Gates and his good friend who is the world's biggest patent troll have also spent money lobbying for worse patent laws. Microsoft lobbies on the subject from many different directions, usually using proxies that it sponsors. Contrary to propaganda about "protection", this is against the interest of citizens, but they just never get access to the ears of politicians, unlike for instance Microsoft's Mundie [1, 2, 3].

Craig Mundie Is lobbying for Microsoft again, based on Microsoft's own site. He lobbies on the subject of patents in Europe and the FFII's president claims that "Microsoft is using Barroso, the President of the European Commission, to push for more patents and "innovation" salad". In relation to the stack panel we wrote about earlier, he notes that:

IPweek: ACT, Microsoft and BSA discussing on the same panel, sounds like a Microsoft panel on its own


Mike Sax [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] is part of ACT (Microsoft front group) and Ronald Zink is from Microsoft. Here is another new example of:

Microsof's association of SMEs ACT calls for software patents via a central EU patent court


Microsoft's patent troll, Intellectual Ventures, is also busy doing its nasty things and "[t]heir pattern of behavior indicates they are acting as a proxy for Microsoft," notes this one poster. Quoting in context:

It should also be pointed out that Intellectual Ventures targets companies that are major competitors to Microsoft such as makers of Android phones. IV has over 35,000 patents and there is virtual certainty that every company that writes software is infringing on at least one of their patents but they are highly selective about who they extort money from. Their pattern of behavior indicates they are acting as a proxy for Microsoft. If Microsoft were to file suits they would be subject to counter claims but since IV produces nothing they are immune from counter claims of patent infringement.



Lodsys and its connection to Intellectual Ventures has just been mentioned by Timothy B. Lee, who spots a common misconception and rebuts it:

Software Patents and Barriers to Entry



On one level this just begs the question. Obviously, if software patents promote innovation, that’s a strong argument for allowing them. But if software patents actually discorage innovation, as I and people who’ve crunched the numbers have argued they do, then people who care about entrepreneurial innovation should be equally anxious to get rid of them. Rosen doesn’t really engage in the arguments that I and others have offered that software patents are bad for innovation. He seems to just take it as a given that patents promote innovation.

But since Rosen brought up Angry Birds, I’d like to zoom in on the specific case of mobile apps. Too often, the patent debate occurs in broad abstractions, so it’s important to pay attention to the actual innovators being harmed by software patents.

So let’s talk about Lodsys, a patent troll (with alleged ties to uber-troll Intellectual Ventures) that began suing independent mobile app developers for patent infringement earlier this year. Lodsys’s holds broad patents related to the purchase of digital content over a network, and claims dozens of firms have infringed its patents. Few if any of the defendants in these cases copied from the Lodsys patents, but they (allegedly) stumbled across the broad concepts in the patents and are now facing the threat of a lawsuit.


"Shuffling patents around among shell companies and suing the same company twice with the same patent" is another thing we are seeing covered as follows:

We've written about famed patent troll Erich Spangenberg and the variety of shell companies under his control a few times in the past. He's the guy who a court told to pay $4 million for shuffling patents around among shell companies and suing the same company twice with the same patent, despite a settlement the first time that precluded future suits. Spangenberg is also famous for his motto, "sue first, ask questions later," in part because he wants his lawsuits to take place in Eastern Texas.


A company that is headed by a lot of former Microsoft executives has just gone hostile with patents as well:

A lawsuit has been filed by Juniper Networks, which has accused Palo Alto Networks of allegedly infringing six of its patents relating to firewall technology.

In the lawsuit, filed 19 December in a federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, Juniper said that while the technology used in its next-generation firewalls were invented by the founders of Palo Alto Networks, the patents actually belonged to Juniper Networks.


To be fair, others do similar things by choosing aggression, but just because others are doing this does not make it acceptable. Microsoft is generally very unique in 1) its attacks on Linux and 2) its operation via proxies. Nasty yet evasive.

Recent Techrights' Posts

[Video] 'Late Stage Capitalism': Microsoft as an Elaborate Ponzi Scheme (Faking 'Demand' While Portraying the Fraud as an Act of Generosity and Demanding Bailouts)
Being able to express or explain the facts isn't easy because of the buzzwords
Microsoft ("a Dying Megacorporation that Does Not Create") and IBM: An Era of Dying Giants With Leadership Deficits and Corporate Bailouts (Subsidies From Taxpayers)
Microsoft seems to be resorting to lots of bribes and chasing of bailouts (i.e. money from taxpayers worldwide)
Daniel Pocock: "I've Gone to Some Lengths to Demonstrate How Corporate Bad Actors Have Used Amateur-hour Codes of Conduct to Push Volunteers Into Modern Slavery"
"As David explains, the Codes of Conduct should work the other way around to regulate the poor behavior of corporations who have been far too close to the Debian Suicide Cluster."
 
Microsoft-Connected Sites Trying to Shift Attention Away From Microsoft's Megebreach Only Days Before Important If Not Unprecedented Grilling by the US Government?
Why does the mainstream media not entertain the possibility a lot of these talking points are directed out of Redmond?
Links 18/05/2024: Caledonia Emergency Powers, "UK Prosecutor's Office Went Too Far in the Assange Case"
Links for the day
US Patent and Trademark Office Sends Out a Warning to People Who Do Not Use Microsoft's Proprietary Formats
They're punishing people who wish to use open formats
Links 18/05/2024: Fury in Microsoft Over Studio Shutdowns, More Gaming Layoffs
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 17, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, May 17, 2024
Links 18/05/2024: KOReader, Benben v0.5.0 Progress Update, and More
Links for the day
[Meme] UEFI 'Secure' Boot Boiling Frog
UEFI 'Secure' Boot: You can just ignore it. You can just turn it off. You can hack on it as a workaround. Just use Windows dammit!
The Market Wants to Delete Windows and Install GNU/Linux, UEFI 'Secure' Boot Must Go!
To be very clear, this has nothing to do with security and those who insist that it is have absolutely no credentials
In the United States Of America the Estimated Share of Google Search Grew After Microsoft's Chatbot Hype (Which Coincided With Mass Layoffs at Bing)
Microsoft's chatbot hype started in late 2022
Techrights Will Categorically Object to Any Attempts to Deny Its Right to Publish Informative, Factual Material
we'll continue to publish about 20 pages per day while challenging censorship attempts
Links 17/05/2024: Microsoft Masks Layoffs With Return-to-office (RTO) Mandates, More YouTube Censorship
Links for the day
YouTube Progresses to the Next Level
YouTube is a ticking time bomb
Journalists and Human Rights Groups Back Julian Assange Ahead of Monday's Likely Very Final Decision
From the past 24 hours...
[Meme] George Washington and the Bill of Rights
Centuries have passed since the days of George Washington, but the principles are still the same
Video of Richard Stallman's Talk From Four Weeks Ago
2-hour video of Richard Stallman speaking less than a month ago
statCounter Says Twitter/X Share in Russia Fell From 23% to 2.3% in 3 Years
it seems like YouTube gained a lot
Journalist Who Won Awards for His Coverage of the Julian Assange Ordeals Excluded and Denied Access to Final Hearing
One can speculate about the true reason/s
Richard Stallman's Talk, Scheduled for Two Days Ago, Was Not Canceled But Really Delayed
American in Paris
3 More Weeks for Daniel Pocock's Campaign to Win a Seat in European Parliament Elections
Friday 3 weeks from now is polling day
Microsoft Should Have Been Fined and Sanctioned Over UEFI 'Lockout' (Locking GNU/Linux Out of New PCs)
Why did that not happen?
Gemini Links 16/05/2024: Microsoft Masks Layoffs With Return-to-office (RTO) Mandates, Cash Issues
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 16, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, May 16, 2024
Ex-Red Hat CEO Paul Cormier Did Not Retire, He Just Left IBM/Red Hat a Month Ago (Ahead of Layoff Speculations)
Rather than retire he took a similar position at another company
Linux.com Made Its First 'Article' in Over and Month, It Was 10 Words in Total, and It's Not About Linux
play some 'webapp' and maybe get some digital 'certificate' for a meme like 'clown computing'
[Meme] Never Appease the Occupiers
Freedom requires truth. Free speech emancipates.
Thorny Issues, Violent Response
They say protests (or strikes) that do not disrupt anything are simply not effective. The same can be said about reporting.
GNU/Linux in Malaysia: From 0.2 Percent to 6+ Percent
That's like 30-fold increase in relative share
Liberty in Liberia? Windows Falls Below 10% and Below iOS
This is clearly a problem for Microsoft
Techrights Congratulates Raspberry Pi (With Caution and Reservations)
Raspberry Pi will "make or break" based on the decisions made in its boardroom
OSI Makes a Killing for Bill Gates and Microsoft (Plagiarism and GPL Violations Whitewashed and Openwashed)
meme and more
The FSF Ought to Protest Against UEFI 'Secure Boot' (Like It Used To)
libreplanet-discuss stuff
People Who Defend Richard Stallman's Right to Deliver Talks About His Work Are Subjected to Online Abuse and Censorship
Stallman video removed
GNU/Linux Grows in Denmark, But Much of That is ChromeOS, Which Means No Freedom
Google never designs operating systems with freedom in mind
Links 16/05/2024: Vehicles Lasting Fewer Years, Habitat Fragmentation Concerns
Links for the day
GNU/Linux Reaches 6.5% in Canada (Including ChromeOS), Based on statCounter
Not many news sites are left to cover this, let alone advocate for GNU/Linux
Links 16/05/2024: Orangutans as Political Props, VMware Calls Proprietary 'Free'
Links for the day
The Only Thing the So-called 'Hey Hi Revolution' Gave Microsoft is More Debt
Microsoft bailouts
TechTarget (and Computer Weekly et al): We Target 'Audiences' to Sell Your Products (Using Fake Articles and Surveillance)
It is a deeply rogue industry that's killing legitimate journalism by drowning out the signal (real journalism) with sponsored fodder
FUD Alert: 2024 is Not 2011 and Ebury is Not "Linux"
We've seen Microsofers (actual Microsoft employees) putting in a lot of effort to shift the heat to Linux
Links 15/05/2024: XBox Trouble, Slovakia PM Shot 5 Times
Links for the day
Windows in Times of Conflict
In pictures
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 15, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, May 15, 2024