EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Trend Micro Soft Patent Against Lower-cost Competition

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Red Hat at 5:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Is it not cheating if the law is broken?

There is clearly a trend here. Companies that are unable to compete with superior and more affordable competition go beyond just dismissal using stereotypes. They start to attack. How so? Using software patents, which were never supposed to be valid in the first place (they are still seen as illegal by the vast majority of the world).

The same type of dilemma and response chracterises the music industry, which still tries to transform business models using new laws and defective ‘feature’ (anti-features), whose purpose may be to turn a purchasing model into a renting model much to the consumer’s disappointment and the middleman/merchant’s delight.

A couple of days ago, Groklaw identified a Web page that spoke about Microsoft’s plan for Novell. It also gives insight into other strategies for ‘competing’ against Free software (using law, not technical merit). Microsoft is prepared to use RAND, which is absurd for being a mechanism designed only to secure a monopoly. Here is some text of interest, which is deliberately brought second-handed from Digital Majority:

Microsoft patenst in these protocols will be made available on RAND terms at very low royalty rates Covenant not to sue open source developers for development and non-commercial distribution of implementations of these Open Protocols.

It should be obvious then that when Microsoft talks about “Open Protocols” (both capitalised) it does not mean free-to-use protocols. It’s neither libre nor gratis. It’s another fine example of Microsoft bending or misusing the word "open". Remember what Microsoft thinks of the word “open”:

“I am constantly amazed at the flexibility of this single word.”

Jason Matusow, Microsoft

Eventually, Microsoft is likely to just dilute the word “open” until it has no valuable meaning whatsoever. It serves it well.

“It should be obvious then that when Microsoft talks about “Open Protocols” (both capitalised) it does not mean free-to-use protocols.”The mighty sting that enables visibility of APIs to mean no free access is of course the notion of intellectual monopolies, which are recognised only in a handful of nations. Microsoft is not alone when it comes to such strategy, whose core principle is extraction of money from one’s own competition. Trend Micro tried this too. And look where it ended up:

  1. Trend Micro patent claim provokes FOSS community, leads to boycott
  2. Call for action: Boycott Trend Micro

The CEO of the company, who is also one of the ‘geniuses’ behind the bad business plan, is currently doing some ‘damage control’. First they attack and then they apologise and pretend to be clueless.

Trend Micro may have received more than it bargained for in its software patent dispute with rival Barracuda Networks. In the past few months Barracuda’s cause has been taken up by free software advocates, who see Trend Micro’s patent claims as a threat to the open-source ClamAV antivirus project.


Chen: In the patent, we are not claiming that we invented the antivirus scanner. We are not claiming that we invented the proxy server. But the concept of using these two together so that you can stop the virus during the transition is new. Like I said, I’m not a patent specialist, but at that time it was awarded as a patent. And then later on even IBM themselves exchanged their patent with us, and so there was some recognition of that as a valid patent. And then later on it was litigated.

Software patents are always very controversial. It’s not about open source; it’s about how you define the patent.

Here is what Bruce Perens said about it:

Eva Chen, CEO of Trend Micro, currently suing Barracuda over Trend’s patent on an anti-virus scanning gateway, was interviewed in PC World. She says “It’s not about Open Source”, but she manages to sound rather short of a clue in this interview, and makes a poor case for this sort of patent being issued at all.

PJ at Groklaw said this: “Here’s the article about prior art referenced in the article. If you find any more, it’s still not too late. The case, in my view, in unequivocally about open source.”

It ought to be clear by now that software patent attacks come not only from patent trolls (empty shells without even a product) but also directly from companies that want to ‘negotiate’ using terms like RAND, “settlement”, and ‘interoperability’. All are just a case of putting lipstick on a pig. Pamela Jones has already said that Microsoft will be the next SCO Group.

Software patent abuse is an abuse; it should be called for what it is. Red Hat too was a victim of those that need to be eradicated. Tolerance towards this might only encourage more of the same and, as Trend Micro shows, IBM’s cross-licensing did no good, let alone its filing of silly patents. At the end of the day, programmers don’t want patents. Copyright are far more than sufficient. But.. who are they to decide when the likes of Microsoft are run by lawyers, MBAs, investors and marketing people?

The article reports the results of a survey on the optimal legal way to protect developers’ rights to their intellectual property in the US. Two groups were incorporated: software developers and attorneys. The majority of both groups favor copyright as the legal method, but attorneys prefer patenting with a longer protection period.

Lawyers should not be setting the rules for the software industry. It’s an obtrusive perversion by those who only think of money.

“Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New

  1. Links 23/10/2016: Alcatel's New Android Smartphones, Another Honorary Doctorate for Stallman

    Links for the day

  2. Open Letter Exposing the Farce Which Was Battistelli's 'Social Conference' Coinciding With Further (New) Attacks on EPO Staff Representatives

    A detailed letter reveals legitimate concerns expressed by staff representatives at the EPO ahead of the so-called Social Conference, in which we have highlighted severe factual flaws

  3. Translation of Latest Rant From French MP Philip Cordery About Benoît Battistelli's Abuses at the EPO

    Philip Cordery crosses horns with Benoît Battistelli, who has become a source of embarrassment for France with his autocratic tendencies and misguided policies that rapidly ruin the European Patent Office (EPO)

  4. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Leaked Document Shows PwC's Dishonesty and Misrepresentation of EPO Staff

    An in-depth analysis (but not comprehensive, just preliminary) of the so-called 'study' from PwC, which basically did what it was paid for (pay to say)

  5. Links 22/10/2016: Deus Ex for GNU/Linux, Global DDoS (DNS)

    Links for the day

  6. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Survey Comparison Shows Serious Deterioration and Efforts by PwC to Disguise the Truth

    The latest output from PwC turns out to be even worse than initially thought, indicating that not only did it find a degradation in the EPO but also attempted to hide/obscure it

  7. EPO Teaser - The "Iberian Connection" - Some Photos of García-Escudero and His Royal/Government Connections

    A look at the undeniably close connections between Mr. García-Escudero and the most powerful people in Spain

  8. Disruption to Site's Service

    A technical note about why Techrights has not been publishing many articles recently

  9. Links 21/10/2016: MPV 0.21, Mad Max for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day

  10. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's High Five

    Another cartoon about the sad state of the EPO

  11. Battistelli Ruins Not Only the EPO But Also the Whole of Europe By Ushering in Software Patents That Patent Trolls Love So Much

    Battistelli's bad leadership at the EPO threatens to bring to Europe all the ills and menaces of the patent system in the United States

  12. EPO Spokesman Lies to IP Watch in Order to Save Face and Save the King (Battistelli)

    Rewriting history (revisionism) regarding Battistelli and what was demanded amidst abusive behaviour from him

  13. Unitary Patent (UPC) is Dead, But 'Managing IP' and Selfish Patent Law Firms Still Try to Resurrect It

    The latest attempts to shore up the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court and who's behind it other than the usual suspects

  14. Links 20/10/2016: Linux 4.10 Preview, ONF and ON.Labs to Merge

    Links for the day

  15. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC 'Study': The Raw Outcome Shows Distortion of the Facts at the EPO's Notorious 'Social Conference'

    Results of the Staff Survey carried out by PwC, in order to provide some propaganda for Battistelli's expensive Social Conference

  16. Addendum: EPO's Alberto Casado Cerviño, WIPO's Francis Gurry, and EUIPO's Archambeau

    Photos taken as part of an IP event which took place in Riga (Latvia) in March 2015

  17. Worrisome Connections Between EPO VP2 Alberto Casado Cerviño and Patricia García-Escudero Márquez

    Exploring the potential conflicts of interests implicating the EPO's Boards of Appeal Committee

  18. Site's Infrastructure Under Attack and Upgrades Ahead of Major New Publications

    Protections for the Web site have been improved and capacity increased in order to avoid or at least prepare for another week of abusive/spam traffic

  19. Team Battistelli's Conspiracy Theory: SUEPO is Behind Everything, EPO Management is Trying to Tell the Media

    Attempts to blame SUEPO, the staff union of the EPO, even though SUEPO has nothing to do with articles that are critical of the EPO while many thousands of EPO employees are disgruntled

  20. Links 19/10/2016: Canonical Livepatch Service, Plasma Plans

    Links for the day

  21. The 'Sarah Sharps' of Microsoft: Not the Kind of Scandal the Media Cares Enough to Write About

    Another example of the large (industrial) scale of sexual discrimination at Microsoft -- a company that tries to advertise itself as diverse or tolerant and stigmatise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) as intolerant and/or not diverse

  22. EPO Caricature: EQE Questions

    The latest EPO cartoon, this time about European qualifying examination (EQE)

  23. The Long History or Seeds of Control by Fear and Punishment at the EPO

    The latest hogwash from Team Battistelli (Pinocchio), the latest instance of software patents promotion by EPO Principal Director, and an old (decade-old) nugget of information from the Forum for Principal Directors

  24. Subject of the European Patent Office's Abuses Raised in European Parliament by Ulrike Müller (ALDE)

    A local copy of a bunch of questions asked less than a month ago by Ulrike Müller at the European Parliament, regarding the unacceptable state of affairs at the European Patent Office (EPO)

  25. French Article About the EPO "Crisis"

    Le Monde, which covered EPO suicides and nervous breakdowns a year and a half ago, revisits the subject

  26. Battistelli Wants Us to Believe a Patent Office in a Freefall (EPO) is “Stronger and More Sustainable”

    Still in denial (or self-deluding for self indulgence), Battistelli writes about the EPO as though everything is rosy and people are happy

  27. Leaked Documents Shed More Light on What Happened to Alison Brimelow and How Battistelli Rose to Power

    How Battistelli's (almost) all-male (and all-white, mostly French) management came into being, not too long after Ms Alison Brimelow got elbowed out the Office

  28. Leaked: Outcomes of 149th Administrative Council's Meeting at the European Patent Organisation

    The raw details or a summary thereof, based on the above which serves to confirm what we wrote about several days ago, right after the quarterly meeting had ended

  29. Danish Press Coverage of the European Patent Office and the Problems Explored by Techrights

    Jesper Kongstad does virtually nothing to deny the arguments (or "accusations") and instead alludes to the style of the writings about him

  30. Links 18/10/2016: Release Candidate of Leap 42.2, Looking Ahead at GTK4

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time


Recent Posts