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

02.20.09

Patents Roundup: Linux, Acacia, Microsoft, Samsung and More

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, Google, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat, Samsung at 8:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Linux

IN some of our previous roundups we looked at Red Hat and Acacia [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], whose patent case is reappearing because Red Hat looks for prior art. Someone who goes by the alias “stickster” put it in OSNews and Slashdot:

Didn’t Groklaw garner about 500 comments at the time (towards the end of 2007), some of which suggesting that there was prior art? Readers provided examples. Here is some coverage from around that time [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11] and here is Acacia’s very latest extortion, which it brags about to its investors.

Acacia Subsidiary Enters into Settlement and License Agreement with NetScout

EWPORT BEACH, Calif., Feb 17, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) —-Acacia Research Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTG) announced today that its Diagnostic Systems Corporation subsidiary has entered into a settlement and license agreement with NetScout Systems, Inc. covering a portfolio of patents that apply to rule-based monitoring.

“Enters into Settlement” is an understatement. Those who invest in such a company, which only ever does what’s akin to racketeering with stuff it buys solely for this purpose, should be ashamed of themselves. This is very different from being a company that actually develops a technology or owns its creation, thus making these patents self-derived, e.g. (from the news):

1. CyberLink signs License Agreement for Macrovision’s IPG Patents and TV Guide Data Solutions to Enhance TV on the PC Experience

innovative solutions provider for the connected media lifestyle, announced today that it has entered into an agreement to license Macrovision’s interactive program guide patent portfolio and its TV Guide Data Solutions for use with CyberLink’s TVEnhance and PowerCinema software.

So TV guides are patentable now?

2. IDTELi Announces Agreement with Piedmont Credit Union of Danville VA

IDTELi LLC is an authorized distributor of the GUARDED ID® keystroke encryption software to the financial services industries

That would be keystroke encryption. Patentable? Well, at least they own it.

What’s with this mentality of Acacia then? When will it actually develop something? Or patent something rather than just acquire and coerce?

Need it be said that there is overlap — in terms of staff’s background — between Microsoft and Acacia? Well, they think alike and Microsoft is investing in even bigger 'Acacias'.

Microsoft

Microsoft is a classic hypocrite when it comes to patents. It lies with ‘honesty’ about the need for patents while pretending that dissenters are worthy of labels like “communist”. One person reposts a classic old article from Richard Stallman who rebuts this perception.

Today’s Microsoft is a megacorporation with thousands of patents. Microsoft said in court that the main competition for MS Windows is “Linux,” meaning the free software GNU/Linux operating system. Leaked internal documents say that Microsoft aims to use software patents to stop the development of GNU/Linux.

[...]

Mr. Gates’ secret is out now – he too was a “communist;” he, too, recognized that software patents were harmful – until Microsoft became one of these giants.

A survey of the company’s patenting carries on in Patently-O. It’s part of a series.

However, only about 20% of patents that discuss Microsoft are actually assigned to the company.

In reference to the Brother patent deal (involving Linux), Matt Asay adds that Microsoft intends to force IP into IT talk. He should say “patents” really, not “IP”.

Microsoft convinced Brother recently to license its patents so that Brother can run Linux drivers in some of its devices. Did you catch the oddity in there? Microsoft doesn’t make drivers, Linux-based or otherwise. What intellectual property of Microsoft’s did Brother need to license?

Only Microsoft knows, and it’s not telling, despite repeated requests for Microsoft to open up on the patents it alleges that Linux violates. It’s fine for Gutierrez to claim that intellectual property is the foundation for competition and cooperation, but when Microsoft is only willing to cooperate behind closed doors, it smacks of extortion, not partnership.

That last sentence is key. For prior information about the Brother deal:

  1. Microsoft Distorts the Linux and Virtualisation Markets
  2. Boycott Brother Industries
  3. Microsoft: Deal with Brother Similar to Novell’s
  4. Patents Roundup: Apple, Microsoft Trolls, and Linux

Speaking of extortion, although it’s not directly related to patents, here is an interesting new report.

According to Dilger, Microsoft has orchestrated a behind-the-scenes attack on Android, using its considerable leverage with manufacturers up and down the supply chain to discourage them from promoting Android devices too enthusiastically.

The article above refers to the essay titled “Did Microsoft kill Android at Mobile World Congress 2009?”

Android is clearly a threat to Microsoft’s plans for Windows Mobile. After all, how does one sell an aging mobile operating system lacking the multitouch sizzle of the iPhone and the addictive messaging savvy of the BlackBerry in a world where Google is butting in with a free, open source alternative that allows manufactures to freely customize it as they like?

We don’t fully agree with Roughly Drafted because many Linux-related announcements — Android included — were made at the event (we assembled them among our daily links in Boycott Novell). But there are other things to ponder.

Does Samsung Pay Microsoft for Android?

And what about LG?

Samsung, like a few other companies including Linux phone maker LG, compromised Linux when it signed a patent deal with Microsoft. It was quite similar but not identical to the Brother deal. The news this week says that Samsung is to unleash 3 Android (Linux) phones.

Reuters reports that Won-Pyo Hong, Samsung’s head of product strategy, confirmed at least three Android smartphones and at least a Linux one, which will all be outed by the end of 2009.

This is also covered here

Samsung’s Android Linux Handsets Coming Soon

[...]

Those who thought Samsung was on a mobile phone spewing spree so far at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), here’s more news for you.

Since Samsung pays Microsoft for Linux, what does this mean to Android/Google? Google recently paid Microsoft for patents on a technology, so it’s worth exploring or at least watching more closely. Speaking of Samsung, also in the news we find that this company, which is corrupt, has resorted to an embargo strategy against Bill Gates' latest darling (Kodak).

Samsung asks U.S. panel to ban Kodak camera imports

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd [...] asked a U.S. trade panel to block imports of Eastman Kodak Co’s digital cameras [...] alleging mobile phones and other wireless devices by Samsung and home rival LG Electronics Inc infringed on patented Kodak technology [...]

How does this promote consumers’ needs?

EU Propaganda Watch

One of our readers turned our attention to this new video of the event where, as we noted a few days ago, a Microsoft employee was among people in the panel. It’s a pro-patents forum and the guy in the video says that “whoever speaks against it speaks against Europe.” There is a lot of cronyism — some from Microsoft — inside Europe, comprising maximalisms of centralised (as in personal) wealth and monopolies. They have hired guns. Here is the latest examples where one of Microsoft’s paid shills, Jonathan Zuck [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], is used to further the agenda of illegalising Free software.

The existing intellectual protection (IP) system – under which companies have to file a patent in every EU member state – is “a telling example” of the Union’s fractured regulatory framework, argues the study presented at an IP Summit in Brussels.

To bypass the EU regulatory framework, many innovative companies and especially SMEs end up skipping the European market by applying for a patent in the US. Jonathan Zuck of the Association for Competitive Technology said: “For the EU to even consider catching up with the US and Japan, a single IP-protection must be put in place.”

USPTO Broken

In light of all this chaos, some people call for the dumping of Intellectual Monopolies, altogether. [via Digital Majority]

Time to rethink intellectual property laws?

[...]

Conversely, there is widespread anecdotal evidence that the act created a mind-set among many researchers that their knowledge represents a potential goldmine not to be shared with potential competitors (i.e. those working in other universities) – at least until it has been protected by a patent application.

Similarly, the act has led to a flood of “upstream” patents on basic scientific knowledge, leading to what some commentators describe as a virtually impenetrable “patent thicket” blocking small-scale inventors from marketing their products. For example, restrictive software patents limit further development and commercialisation in the field of information technology.

TechDirt shares a couple more embarrassments for this existing system:

1. Nokia, Qualcomm Move Forward With Non-Patent-Fight-Based Relationship

Qualcomm and Nokia have been involved in a long-running series of patent disputes over chips in mobile phones. The two companies settled the bulk of their disputes last summer, with Nokia throwing a chunk of change at Qualcomm and the two making nice.

2. Patent Hoarding Firms Discover The ITC Loophole

We’ve been discussing the ITC loophole, that allows patent holders to get two cracks at charging a company with infringement over the same patent (using different rules) for a while now. Patent holders can sue in court and they can complain to the International Trade Commission, which has the power to issue an injunction, barring the import of any “infringing” products. Even worse, the ITC doesn’t necessarily need to follow the rules set forth by the Supreme Court over what is and what is not infringing.

So Much ‘Innovation’

Looking at the past few days’ news, we truly find a lot of evidence of the glaring problem, so hereby we present some exemplary stuff to be used as ‘ammunition’ against the status quo.

Here is a company that ‘innovates’ noise cancellation and another which ‘innovates’ mapping barcode to a URL (patent here). Delta is sued by a company that ‘innovated’ Wi-Fi on a plane (for background see this).

Theft protection too was ‘innovated’ (not ‘stolen’, to be a tad sarcastic), with details of the embarrassment for the USPTO right there.

Here is another patent hoarder in action:

General Patent Corporation (GPC), a leading patent licensing and patent enforcement firm, announced today on behalf of its client, Renhcol, Inc., that four additional licensing agreements for the “Web-Based Prediction Marketplace” Patent have been finalized as a result of settlements in a patent infringement lawsuits with patent infringement lawsuits with Pregame, LLC (Las Vegas, NV), 1402487 Ontario Limited (Toronto, ON), IGC Entertainment Corporation (Vancouver, BC) and National Sports Services (IGC), Inc. (Las Vegas, NV)”

“A leading patent licensing and patent enforcement firm,” it calls itself. Nice name for an extortion firm. Look at the actual patent. This is ridiculous.

There are other bizarre picks from the news, e.g.:

When will this end? Or rather, when will the USPTO be ended? With stuff like this abound, it’s only reasonable to demand that it’s reformed or shut down. This current, dysfunctional USPTO does not promote any innovation at all. It’s a marketplace so ripe for abuse where both patent examiners and the abusers make a lot of money, not to mention all which is gained by lawyers.

Some of the big advocates of this state of affairs are lawyers, monopolists, and patent trolls, none of whom are scientists or engineers. They are mooching off other people’s hard labour and brains.

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. Some US Patents' Quality is So Low That There's a Garden Clearance/Fire Sale

    Rather than shoot worthless patents into orbit where they belong the Allied Security Trust (AST), collector of dubious patents, will try to sell them to gullible opportunists and patent trolls (even if the said patents would likely perish in courts)



  2. When Amplifying the Message of 'Global Innovation Index 2018' IP Watch Sounds Like WIPO and IP Watchdog (Watchtroll)

    In addition to senatorial efforts and misleading debates about patents, we now contend with something called “Global Innovation Index 2018," whose purpose appears to be similar to the debunked Chamber of Commerce's rankings (quantifying everything in terms of patents)



  3. Erosion of Patent Justice in Europe With Kangaroo Courts and Low-Quality European Patents

    The problematic combination of plaintiff-friendly courts (favouring the accuser, just like in Eastern Texas) and low-quality patents that should never have been granted



  4. Mafia Tactics in Team UPC and Battistelli's Circle

    Mafia-like behaviour at the EPO and the team responsible for the Unified Patent Court (UPC); appointments of loyal friends and family members have become common (nepotism and exchange of favours), as have threats made towards critics, authorities, and the press



  5. Australia Says No to Software Patents

    Rokt is now fighting the Australian patent office over its decision to reject software patents; Shelston IP, an Australian patent law firm (originally from Melbourne), already meddles a great deal in such policies/decisions, hoping to overturn them



  6. Links 19/7/2018: Krita 4.1.1, Qt Creator 4.7.0, and Microsoft-Led Lobby Against Android in EU

    Links for the day



  7. IAM is Pushing SEPs/FRAND Agenda for Patent Trolls and Monopolists That Fund IAM

    The front group of patent trolls, IAM, sets up an echo chamber-type event, preceded by all the usual pro-FRAND propaganda



  8. “Trade Secrets” Litigation Rising in the Wake of TC Heartland, Alice, Oil States and Other Patent-Minimising Decisions

    Litigation strategies are evolving in the wake of top-level decisions that rule out software patents, restrict venue shifting, and facilitate invalidation of patents even outside the courtroom



  9. The EPO -- Like the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent System -- is an Untenable Mess

    The António Campinos-led EPO, nearly three weeks under his leadership, still fails to commit to justice (court rulings not obeyed), undo union-busting efforts and assure independence of judges; this, among other factors, is why the Office/Organisation and the UPC it wants to manage appear more or less doomed



  10. Links 18/7/2018: System76's Manufacturing Facility, Microsoft-Led Lobby for Antitrust Against Android

    Links for the day



  11. What Patent Lawyers Aren't Saying: Most Patent Litigation Has Become Too Risky to be Worth It

    The lawyers' key to the castle is lost or misplaced; they can't quite find/obtain leverage in courts, but they don't want their clients to know that



  12. Software Patents Royalty (Tax) Campaign by IBM, a Serial Patent Bully, and the EPO's Participation in All This

    The agenda of US-based patent maximalists, including patent trolls and notorious bullies from the United States, is still being served by the 'European' Patent Office, which has already outsourced some of its work (e.g. translations, PR, surveillance) to the US



  13. The European Council Needs to Check Battistelli's Back Room Deals/Back Door/Backchannel With Respect to Christian Archambeau

    Worries persist that Archambeau is about to become an unworthy beneficiary (nepotism) after a Battistelli setup that put Campinos in power, supported by the Belgian delegation which is connected to Archambeau, a national/citizen of Belgium



  14. PTAB and § 101 (Section 101) Have Locked the Patent Parasites Out of the Patent System

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) have contributed a great deal to patent quality and have reduced the number of frivolous patent lawsuits; this means that firms which profit from patent applications and litigation hate it with a passion and still lobby to weaken if not scuttle PTAB



  15. Patents on Computer Software and Plants in the United States Indicative of Systemic Error

    The never-ending expansion of patent scope has meant that patent law firms generally got their way at the patent office; can the courts react fast enough (before confidence in patents and/or public support for patents is altogether shattered)?



  16. Yesterday's Misleading News From Team UPC and Its Aspiring Management of the Unified Patent Court (UPC)

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) enthusiasts — i.e. those looking to financially gain from it — continue to wrestle with logic, manipulate words and misrepresent the law; yesterday we saw many law firms trying to make it sound as though the UPC is coming to the UK even though this isn’t possible and UPC as a whole is likely already dead



  17. Time for the European Commission to Investigate EPO Corruption Because It May be Partly or Indirectly Connected to EU-IPO, an EU Agency

    The passage of the top role at the EU-IPO from António Campinos to Christian Archambeau would damage confidence in the moral integrity of the European Council; back room deals are alleged to have occurred, implicating corrupt Battistelli



  18. Links 17/7/2018: Catfish 1.4.6 Released, ReactOS 0.4.9, Red Hat's GPL Compliance Group Grows

    Links for the day



  19. Links 16/7/2018: Linux 4.18 RC5, Latte Dock v0.8, Windows Back Doors Resurface

    Links for the day



  20. Alliance for US Startups and Inventors for Jobs (USIJ) Misleads the US Government, Pretending to Speak for Startups While Spreading Lies for the Patent Microcosm

    In the United States, which nowadays strives to raise the patent bar, the House Small Business Committee heard from technology firms but it also heard from some questionable front groups which claim to support "startups" and "jobs" (but in reality support just patents on the face of it)



  21. 'Blockchain', 'Cloud' and Whatever Else Gets Exploited to Work Around 35 U.S.C. § 101 (or the EPC) and Patent Algorithms/Software

    Looking for a quick buck or some low-quality patents (which courts would almost certainly reject), opportunists carry on with their gold rush, aided by buzzwords and hype over pretty meaningless things



  22. PTAB Defended by the EFF, the R Street Institute and CCIA as the Number of Petitions (IPRs) Continues to Grow

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) come to the rescue when patently-bogus patents are used, covering totally abstract concepts (like software patents do); IPRs continue to increase in number and opponents of PTAB, who conveniently cherry-pick Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions, can't quite stop that



  23. IAM/Joff Wild May Have Become a de Facto Media Partner of the Patent Troll iPEL

    Invitation to trolls in China, courtesy of the patent trolls' lobby called "IAM"; this shows no signs of stopping and has become rather blatant



  24. Cautionary Tale: ILO Administrative Tribunal Cases (Appeals) 'Intercepted' Under António Campinos

    The ILO Administrative Tribunal (ILO-AT) is advertised by the EPO's management as access to justice, but it's still being undermined quite severely to the detriment of aggrieved staff



  25. Asking the USPTO to Comply With 35 U.S.C. § 101 is Like Asking Pentagon Officials to Pursue Real, Persistent Peace

    Some profit from selling weapons, whereas others profit from patent grants and litigation; what's really needed right now is patent sanity and adherence to the public interest as well as the law itself, e.g. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions



  26. BT and Sonos Are Still Patent Bullies, Seeing Patents as a Backup Plan

    The companies seeking to complement their business (or make up for their demise) using patents are still suing rivals while calling that litigation "research and development" (the same old euphemism)



  27. Jim Skippen, a Longtime Patent Troll, Admits That the Trolling Sector is Collapsing

    Canada's biggest patent troll (WiLAN) bar BlackBerry doesn't seem to be doing too well as its CEO leaves the domain altogether



  28. From East Asia to the Eastern District of Texas: XYZ Printing, Maxell, and X2Y Attenuators

    The patent aggression, which relies on improper litigation venues, harms innocent parties a great deal; only their lawyers benefit from all this mess



  29. Links 14/7/2018: Mesa 18.1.4, Elisa 0.2.1, More on Python's Guido van Rossum

    Links for the day



  30. Number of Oppositions to Grants/Awards of European Patents at the EPO Has Skyrocketed, Based on Internal Data

    The number of challenged patents continues to soar and staff of the EPO (examiners already over-encumbered by far too much work, due to unrealistic targets) would struggle to cope or simply be compelled to not properly deal with oppositions


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