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


Microsoft Storms India with Patents, by Proxy

Posted in Asia, Free/Libre Software, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 7:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Intellectual property is the next software.”

Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft patent troll

Microsoft may be breaking the law in India, as we have already pointed out before, but more importantly, its surrogate Nathan Myhrvold with his shell company seem to resort to patent-mining in a land which makes software more of a commodity.

It’s a desperate yet somewhat successful attempt to digitally monopolise in a country that potentially suffered the most from such type of suppression, brought about in a colonialist fashion, so in light of the patent deform in the country [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11] Indians are urged to react.

The ‘meat’ of the claims comes from this article. It reveals that Nathan Myhrvold’s deals are kept secret not just in the United States. It’s akin to those secret patent extortions by Microsoft, for the use of GNU/Linux.

New Delhi: Individual inventors and research organizations here may find their patents turning liquid with the imminent entry of Intellectual Ventures Llc., a controversial company that owns an estimated 20,000 patents and is in the market for as many more as it can lay its hands on.

The company has already entered into agreements to buy patents from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and is close to signing an agreement with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, India’s largest research and development organization, said a person familiar with the developments who did not want to be named.

Software patents protest in India

There is some more detailed commentary in this subsequent article.

Intellectual Ventures is moving into India says a report published this weekend. According to the Wall Street Journal’s Livemint Lounge, IV has signed deals to acquire patents from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, IIT in Bombay, while it is close to signing an agreement with Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

What the report does not say is whether this is a deal for Indian patents, for US patents or for patents internationally. My guess is that there is going to have to be a pretty substantial international element. On that front, it is worth noting that CSIR is by far the biggest Indian filer of international patent applications, filing over 350 in the US alone between 2005 and 2007.

These patently-absurd escapades of IV have made it exceptionally unpopular and it shows.

Brian Kahin draws the parallel between the financial/real-estate “bubble” with the still-expanding “bubble” in patents. As Brian suggests, combine that bubble with a Ponzi scheme (Intellectual Ventures) and you might have a real perversion.”

This is not about a peaceful collection of patents. First comes the mining, later comes the extortion.

Millionaire Nathan Myhrvold, renowned in the computer industry as a Renaissance man, has a less lofty message for tech companies these days: Pay up.

Over the past few years, the former Microsoft Corp. executive has quietly amassed a trove of 20,000-plus patents and patent applications related to everything from lasers to computer chips. He now ranks among the world’s largest patent-holders — and is using that clout to press tech giants to sign some of the costliest patent-licensing deals ever negotiated.

Since Microsoft already rattles its saber, this isn’t something to be overlooked entirely. Digital Majority has found this page where Microsoft’s intentions, as confirmed by those 'ally analysts' it had ammassed, are clear for all to see. It’s incompatible with Free software and it’s no accident.

As a result of our investment in innovation, Microsoft has created a large, diverse portfolio of intellectual property (IP) that is now available for licensing. This portfolio includes source code, schemas, protocols, and documentation as well as associated copyrights, trademarks, patents and trade secrets. Our policy is to license this IP under commercially reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms.

The following post, “Software Patents and Microsoft,” explains why (and how) geographies matter a lot.

The US (and Australian) more liberal position on patents for software has traditionally differed from the UK where software patents are related to thought processes, which are not patentable. The Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) has allowed companies to patent computer programs if they can demonstrate some sort of innovative technical effect. This may for example be something like increased memory access.

The case law of the EPO Boards of Appeal is not binding on the EPO member states and different national courts acting on different cases may take a different view of patentability. The position on software patents in the UK has been recently considered by the High Court and UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO).

We will soon unleash another post that reviews the state of the patents systems in Europe and Australia. There’s unrest and there are evident problems.

As pointed out earlier today, Bruce Perens has at least temporarily joined the cause of fighting software patents and here are some portions from his latest article, which explains patents in the context of open source software.

Jacobsen’s case against Katzer is ongoing, although this most important appeal is completed. He has not yet convinced the judge that Katzer lied on his patent application, but what if he does? There has been no criminal prosecution of anyone for lying (“perjury”) on a patent application since 1974, when the patent office eliminated its enforcement department.

Contrast that to what the defendant in a suit brought by the holder of a bogus patent faces: between $3 and $5 million dollars in legal fees per case. Without the beneficent legal team that came to Jacobsen’s aid, winning such a case is so expensive that it’s really losing.

The current system of software patents in the United States makes it too easy for the Katzers of the world to come after others for big bucks, even when there is significant doubt regarding the validity of their own patents. The poor defendants have to spend millions just to prove that the patent being pursued against them isn’t valid, bankrupting themselves in the process.

The patent holders have little prospect of punishment when they game the system. That’s a system with no sign of balance. We need to restore justice to the patent system, and we also need to take a good look at the motivation for software patents, which many economists and others feel do more to hurt innovation than to promote it.

Microsoft is not the only foe here, but it’s the one which is poised to lose the most. Shielding the existing patent laws is very important where software patents are verboten.

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. The EPO's Balkan Express Keeps Chugging Along Despite Predictions of Derailment

    The latest part in the series regarding the reappointment of the two Vice-Presidents, Casado and Topić

  2. Advice to Journalists: Stop Repeating Propaganda of the EPO, a Serial Liar With a Track Record

    The EPO is weaponising its propaganda and pushing hard for media across Europe to repeat this propaganda while severely punishing anyone who 'dares' contradict it

  3. Leaked: Ljiljana Kuterovac Covering Željko Topić's (EPO) Back

    Leaked E-mail from June 2012 regarding Željko Topić, an EPO Vice-President who reportedly faces many criminal charges in Croatia

  4. Leaked: Budget and Finance Committee Outcomes That Jeopardise What's Left of the EPO's Future

    A look at the latest reckless step from the Budget and Finance Committee of the Administrative Council (chaired by Battistelli's pet chinchilla), which marginalises yet more oversight or a branch which facilitates patent quality control (thereby concealing the effect of Battistelli's ruinous sausage factory mentality)

  5. Links 27/10/2016: Major Changes in Unity 8, Nextcloud Targets Phones

    Links for the day

  6. 'Balkan Express' Teaser: EPO's Željko Topić, Kuterovac, Campinos, Gurry, Battistelli and the DKPTO (Kongstad)

    Various photos of Topić and Kuterovac. Some more photos with other IP "luminaries" such as Campinos of the EUIPO and Gurry of the WIPO.

  7. The United States Pressures India to Broaden Patent Scope and Other Monopolies

    The envoy of the US is trying to tell India how to run the country (stricter laws regarding copyrights, trademarks, and patents), as a condition for foreign investment by multinational corporations

  8. Budget and Finance Committee of the Administrative Council (EPO) Confirms Exile of the Boards of Appeal

    Crushing of highly-skilled staff, propaganda in the form of new press releases, and recruitment attempts that won't succeed because the world now knows what goes on inside the European Patent Office

  9. Links 26/10/2016: “softWaves” in Debian 9, Rust in GNOME

    Links for the day

  10. Leaked: EPO's Vice-President Willie Minnoye Saying the Unsayable, Then Threatening Anyone Who Keeps Record (Evidence) of It

    E-mail that would leave Vice-President Willie Minnoye bashful, as it helps show not only bad policy but also attempts at suppression of discussion about it

  11. Puff Pieces of the EPO-IPO (EPO+EUIPO) Have Begun to Appear Amid New Evidence of Brain Drain, Lowered Standards

    The grim vision of the EPO which is losing all its talent (over time), becomes more like a production line (quality does not matter), and produces propaganda for "media positioning" (or "placements") -- all under the guise of 'studies'

  12. Leaked: Minutes From the Administrative Council of the EPO Regarding the 'Reform' (Exile) of the Boards of Appeal

    Details of the relatively secret proceedings back in June (belatedly released only a short while ago), carefully abbreviated to demonstrate which delegations helped Battistelli crush the Boards of Appeal and which ones insisted on maintaining the status quo, as per the EPC

  13. No Promising Future For the EPO Under Battistelli (If Any Future At All)

    Pessimism becomes realism at the European Patent Office as units are being torn apart, patent quality discarded, "unified" patent courts dreamed of (more patent lawsuits, higher damages), and EUIPO (EU-associated, unlike Eponia) gets closer to the EPO

  14. Leaked Minutes From the EPO Reveal That Battistelli is Detached From Reality and Blames Everything on “Union Officials”

    Minutes of the Administrative Council's meeting reveal some truly bizarre rants from Battistelli, who simply refuses to accept that the European Patent Office is burning (without a future direction, only burnout and brain drain) under his poor and abusive leadership

  15. Tata/TCS is Still Pushing for Software Patents in India

    The obnoxious company that is promoting Microsoft and software patents in a country that needs neither makes the headlines again (Financial Express)

  16. Links 25/10/2016: Rackspace's Praise of FOSS, Chain Chooses the GPL(v3)

    Links for the day

  17. Links 24/10/2016: Linux 4.9 RC2

    Links for the day

  18. Battistelli Plans to Expand the Social [sic] 'Study' (Then 'Conference') Propaganda Until Next Month, Under the 'Workshop' Umbrella

    Milking his shameless propaganda (paid-for 'studies'), Battistelli wants to rewrite the record by all means possible, then pretend that EPO staff participates in it

  19. EPO and EUIPO Join Hands to Release Propaganda (for European Media to Parrot) Some Time Tomorrow

    EPO and EUIPO in collaboration for the promotion of the notion that they are both necessary (and reinforced speculations about growing overlap between them)

  20. UPC Preparatory Committee Puts the Brakes on UPC Amid Brexit and Growing Uncertainty

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) preparatory committee recognises that the UPC isn't going anywhere (any time soon) and false job advertisements -- or advertisements for jobs that will never exist -- are withdrawn

  21. Updates Regarding EPO and BoAC: Unrest and Injustice Carry on

    Some of the latest information which is publicly and privately available to us, in particular regarding the case of a suspended judge which represents unprecedented erosion of the appeal boards' independence (and hence lack of justice in the Organisation)

  22. EPO and the “Iberian Connection”: Patricia García-Escudero Márquez - Battistelli's Pet Chinchilla on the Boards of Appeal Committee?

    Why the Boards of Appeal Committee has begun showing prominent signs that it is anything but independent and capable of standing up to Battistelli (or his circle at the Office, which includes the “Iberian Connection")

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

    Links for the day

  24. 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

  25. 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)

  26. 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)

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

    Links for the day

  28. 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

  29. 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

  30. Disruption to Site's Service

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


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