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

06.15.08

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 24/4/2018: Preview of Crostini, Introducing Heptio Gimbal, OPNsense 18.1.6

    Links for the day



  2. Patent Maximalists Step Things Up With Director Andrei Iancu and It's Time for Scientists to Fight Back

    Science and technology don't seem to matter as much as the whims of the patent (litigation) 'industry', at least judging by recent actions taken by Andrei Iancu (following a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee)



  3. Mythology About Patents in the East

    Misconceptions (or deliberate propaganda) about patent policy in the east poison the debate and derail a serious, facts-based discussion about it



  4. Patent Trolls Watch: Red River Innovations, Bradium Technologies/General Patent, and Wordlogic

    A quick look at some patent trolls that made the news this Monday; we are still seeing a powerful response to such trolls, whose momentum is slipping owing to the good work of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)



  5. Holding Benoît Battistelli Accountable After the EPO

    The many abuses and offenses committed by Mr. Battistelli whilst he enjoyed diplomatic immunity can and should be brought up as that immunity expires in two months; a good start would be contacting his colleagues, who might not be aware of the full spectrum of his abuses



  6. Links 23/4/2018: Second RC of Linux 4.17 and First RC of Mesa 18.1

    Links for the day



  7. The Good Work of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Latest Attempts to Undermine It

    A week's roundup of news about PTAB, which is eliminating many bad (wrongly-granted) patents and is therefore becoming "enemy number one" to those who got accustomed to blackmailing real (productive) firms with their questionable patents



  8. District Courts' Patent Cases, Including the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX/TXED), in a Nutshell

    A roundup of patent cases in 'low courts' of the United States, where patents are being reasoned about or objected to while patent law firms make a lot of money



  9. The Federal Circuit's (CAFC) Decisions Are Being Twisted by Patent Propaganda Sites Which Merely Cherry-Pick Cases With Outcomes That Suit Them

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) continues to reject the vast majority of software patents, citing Section 101 in many such cases, but the likes of Managing IP, Patently-O, IAM and Watchtroll only selectively cover such cases (instead they’re ‘pulling a Berkheimer’ or some similar name-dropping)



  10. Patents Roundup: Metaswitch, GENBAND, Susman, Cisco, Konami, High 5 Games, HTC, and Nintendo

    A look at existing legal actions, the application of 35 U.S.C. § 101, and questionable patents that are being pursued on software (algorithms or "software infrastructure")



  11. In Maxon v Funai the High 'Patent Court' (CAFC) Reaffirms Disdain for Software Patents, Which Are Nowadays Harder to Get and Then Defend

    With the wealth of decisions from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) wherein software patents get discarded (Funai being the latest example), the public needs to ask itself whether patent law firms are honest when they make claims about resurgence of software patents by 'pulling a Berkheimer' or coming up with terms like “Berkheimer Effect”



  12. Today's European Patent Office Works for Patent Extremists and for Team UPC Rather Than for Europe or for Innovation

    The International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) and other patent maximalists who have nothing to do with Europe, helped by a malicious and rather clueless politician called Benoît Battistelli, are turning the EPO into a patent-printing machine rather than an examination office as envisioned by the EPC (founders) and member states



  13. The EPO is Dying and Those Who Have Killed It Are Becoming Very Rich in the Process

    Following the footsteps of Ron Hovsepian at Novell, Battistelli at the EPO (along with Team Battistelli) may mean the end of the EPO as we know it (or the end altogether); one manager and a cabal of confidants make themselves obscenely rich by basically sacrificing the very organisation they were entrusted to serve



  14. Short: Just Keep Repeating the Lie (“Quality”) Until People Might Believe It

    Battistelli’s patent-printing bureau (EPO without quality control) keeps lying about the quality of patents by repeating the word “quality” a lot of times, including no less than twice in the summary alone



  15. Shelston IP Keeps Pressuring IP Australia to Allow Software Patents and Harm Software Development

    Shelston IP wants exactly the opposite of what's good for Australia; it just wants what's good for itself, yet it habitually pretends to speak for a productive industry (nothing could be further from the truth)



  16. Is Andy Ramer's Departure the End of Cantor Fitzgerald's Patent Trolls-Feeding Operations and Ambitions?

    The managing director of the 'IP' group at Cantor Fitzgerald is leaving, but it does not yet mean that patent trolls will be starved/deprived access to patents



  17. EPO Hoards Billions of Euros (Taken From the Public), Decreases Quality to Get More Money, Reduces Payments to Staff

    The EPO continues to collect money from everyone, distributes bogus/dubious patents that usher patent trolls into Europe (to cost European businesses billions in the long run), and staff of the EPO faces more cuts while EPO management swims in cash and perks



  18. Short: Calling Battistelli's Town (Where He Works) “Force for Innovation” to Justify the Funneling of EPO Funds to It

    How the EPO‘s management ‘explained’ (or sought to rationalise) to staff its opaque decision to send a multi-million, one-day ceremony to Battistelli’s own theatre only weeks before he leaves



  19. Short: EPO Bribes the Media and Then Brags About the Paid-for Outcome to Staff

    The EPO‘s systematic corruption of the media at the expense of EPO stakeholders — not to mention hiring of lawyers to bully media which exposes EPO corruption — in the EPO’s own words (amended by us)



  20. Short: EPO's “Working Party for Quality” is to Quality What the “Democratic People's Republic of Korea” is to Democracy

    To maintain the perception (illusion) that the EPO still cares about patent quality — and in order to disseminate this lie to EPO staff — a puff piece with the above heading/photograph was distributed to thousands of examiners in glossy paper form



  21. Short: This Spring's Message From the EPO's President (Corrected)

    A corrected preface from the Liar in Chief, the EPO's notoriously crooked and dishonest President



  22. Short: Highly Misleading and Unscientific Graphics From the EPO for an Illusion of Growth

    A look at the brainwash that EPO management is distributing to staff and what's wrong with it



  23. Short: EPO Explains to Examiners Why They Should and Apparently Can Grant Software Patents (in Spite of EPC)

    Whether it calls it "CII" or "ICT" or "Industry 4.0" or "4IR", the EPO's management continues to grant software patents and attempts to justify this to itself (and to staff)



  24. Links 21/4/2018: Linux 4.9.95, FFmpeg 4.0, OpenBSD Foundation 2018 Fundraising Campaign

    Links for the day



  25. As USPTO Director, Andrei Iancu Gives Three Months for Public Comments on 35 U.S.C. § 101 (Software Patenting Impacted)

    Weeks after starting his job as head of the US patent office, to our regret but not to our surprise, Iancu asks whether to limit examiners' ability to reject abstract patent applications citing 35 U.S.C. § 101 (relates to Alice and Mayo)



  26. In Keith Raniere v Microsoft Both Sides Are Evil But for Different Reasons

    Billing for patent lawyers reveals an abusive strategy from Microsoft, which responded to abusive patent litigation (something which Microsoft too has done for well over a decade)



  27. Links 20/4/2018: Atom 1.26, MySQL 8.0

    Links for the day



  28. Links 19/4/2018: Mesa 17.3.9 and 18.0.1, Trisquel 8.0 LTS Flidas, Elections for openSUSE Board

    Links for the day



  29. The Patent Microcosm, Patent Trolls and Their Pressure Groups Incite a USPTO Director Against the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Section 101/Alice

    As one might expect, the patent extremists continue their witch-hunt and constant manipulation of USPTO officials, whom they hope to compel to become patent extremists themselves (otherwise those officials are defamed, typically until they're fired or decide to resign)



  30. Microsoft's Lobbying for FRAND Pays Off as Microsoft-Connected Patent Troll Conversant (Formerly MOSAID) Goes After Android OEMs in Europe

    The FRAND (or SEP) lobby seems to have caused a lot of monopolistic patent lawsuits; this mostly affects Linux-powered platforms such as Android, Tizen and webOS and there are new legal actions from Microsoft-connected patent trolls


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts