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Microsoft IP Ventures and Intellectual Ventures

Posted in Europe, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 7:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Intellectual property is the next software.”

Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft patent troll

Summary: Vultures of intellectual monopolies seek to turn a dying business model into one of racketeering

Microsoft has produced the world’s largest patent troll, Nathan Myhrvold [1, 2], whom Bill Gates supports financially. Bill Gates has his own patent-trolling firm [1, 2], but it is still a lot younger (although growing).

This is not something to be overlooked because GNU/Linux is hurting Microsoft financially and Microsoft is already suing Linux (“then they fight you”) while it's borrowing money and blackmailing the president.

Microsoft continues to show that it is devising a new business model where software patents are near the centre. So far we’ve found coverage in:

Microsoft IP Ventures launches new Irish tech startup

InishTech, a new startup formed through the collaboration between Microsoft IP Ventures and Enterprise Ireland, is entering the Irish market to relaunch Microsoft Software Licensing and Protection (SLP) Services.

The Dublin-based new startup has assumed the responsibility for the existing customer base, acquired all rights to SLP Services and licensed related intellectual property from Microsoft. It will continue to provide, expand and grow the service to independent software vendors (ISVs) and developers.

Microsoft spins out software-protection tech

Microsoft said on Tuesday that it is spinning out as a separate business a two-year-old effort that licenses its software-protection technologies to other companies.

In the past two years, Microsoft has signed up 120 companies to use the software activation and licensing technologies, including its own eHome unit. But it decided creating an independent company was the way to go.

The new venture, dubbed InishTech, will be based in Ireland. Microsoft will retain a stake in the company as well as an observer seat on its board of directors. Microsoft also plans to be a customer of the company.

Microsoft spins out intellectual property business

Microsoft has spun out an intellectual property business unit it acquired two years ago, apparently to control the company’s costs.

Microsoft spins off licensing business to launch new startup

Interestingly enough, it’s called “Microsoft IP Ventures”, which sounds awfully similar to the company’s offshoot, “Intellectual Ventures”. Microsoft thinks it has a plan. That’s why it’s working so hard behind the scenes to approve and legitimise software patents, even in Europe. The FFII has just spotted the following:

In its edition of IP Value 2007, the Intellectual Asset Magazine (IAM) was publishing an article about the Reform of European Patent System, where an expert (Alison Crofts from Dorsey & Whitney) mentions that the push for the EPLA is coming from the pro-software patents lobby:

The industry-based driving force behind the EPLA comes from the pro-software patent group as a way to ensuring that their software or potential software patents are fully enforceable across Europe.

This needs to be stopped. The EPO is not doing its job [1, 2].

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