Patent Thug (Microsoft) Enters “Solution Linux” and Receives Mob Treatment; Durham Logistics Unmasked as Potential Intellectual Ventures Proxy
“I’ve killed at least two Mac conferences. [...] by injecting Microsoft content into the conference, the conference got shut down. The guy who ran it said, why am I doing this?”
Summary: “Solution Linux” has Microsoft “injecting Microsoft content”; OSBC features a software patents proponent from the corrupt Gartner Group; Microsoft’s patent troll seems prepared to sue/extort the mobile phones industry
FOR quite a few years now, especially ushered by Novell towards the start, Microsoft has participated in GNU/Linux events. We gave many examples like this one. Microsoft was not invited or anything like that, but Microsoft loves “injecting” itself into events in order to ruin them (see the quote above as it comes directly from Microsoft).
Microsoft’s constant bullying of GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] does not prevent it from entering those very same conferences that it opposes, surely looking to interfere with them, as Microsoft has done for several years now. The interferences can come in all sorts of forms that we have explained and shown before.
Over in France, Microsoft got heckled after it had entered yet another “Linux” event. “Free Software developers invade the Microsoft booth at Solution Linux, asking to stop software patents,” shows the President of the FFII, who links to this article in French and the following new video (we regret to say that they offer just Flash).
The automated translation from the article (a site based in France) says: “In a very schoolboy [fashion], members of the GCU gently heckled Microsoft’s Linux Solutions on Wednesday, March 17 at mid-afternoon. While the stand was completely closed by a large red ribbon to prevent contamination and a blood red writing “MS kill me” was scrawled on the walls of the pavilion, the Microsoft staff – always very professional – trying to work as if nothing had happened. A mission impossible as the cacophony was great.”
Microsoft wants people to perceive it as a friend of GNU/Linux while along with patent trolls like Intellectual Ventures (there is a new discussion at Slashdot about this megatroll) Microsoft makes it clear that it’s a PR lie for the cameras. Microsoft has already sued Linux using software patents.
Also in Slashdot we finally found the story about Miguel de Icaza admitting the problems Mono is having due to Microsoft patents [1, 2]. It cites this article which says: [via Slashdot, which has more discussion]
Microsoft has shot the .NET ecosystem in the foot because of the constant threat of patent infringement that it has cast on the system, Novell vice-president and Microsoft MVP, Miguel de Icaza, is quoted as telling the website, Software Development Times, recently.
Strangely, however, the article, headlined “Does Windows cost Microsoft opportunities”, which contains these quotes, written by one of SD Times senior editors, David Worthington, has disappeared off the site. It shows up in a search but only yields a 404 when one clicks on the link that comes up in the search.
The disappearance of this article was first spotted by Jason, who runs the the-source.com website.
Mono-based software continues to be spread and promoted in Ubuntu this week and we are truly concerned not just about Novell’s fate. Canonical’s current COO, Matt Asay, is a fan of software patents proponents like Prentice [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], whom he carries on citing in his CNET blog (Prentice is from a corrupt group known as Gartner).
“Novell has already made the mistake of hiring from Microsoft, even for some of the top positions.”Now, it’s unlikely that Asay still organises OSBC because he is busy with other chores, but given that Asay was the one inviting Microsoft to give a keynote on software patents in other OSBC events [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], we can only guess or suspect that this appearance of Prentice had something to do with him (however indirect). Prentice was invited to speak in favour of "open core" at OSBC. Amazing! Yes, he is not only a proponent of software patents and ODF basher, but also a proponent of the idea of “open core”, based on Savio Rodrigues from IBM.
We happen to have already noticed other sources of influence that give reasons for concern. We previously wrote about former Microsoft employees who are now advising "Open Source" companies and usually telling them to distance themselves from the GPL and other core principles that relate to Free software. Today we found more of it. These people are advising the Ubuntu community — not just the “open source” community — while other former Microsoft employees (who promote Mono) offer advice to Mark Shuttleworth (and he listens to them). If Ubuntu takes advice from former Microsoft employees who advocate Mono (and even hires some), how will Shuttleworth keep his company true to principles other than Microsoft’s (at least in part)? Novell has already made the mistake of hiring from Microsoft, even for some of the top positions. That only leads companies like Novell to playing along with software patents, in due time.
The issue here is not a future one. It’s a present one because Apple, for instance, has sued GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] and received Microsoft’s support [1, 2, 3]. Here is another patent troll that is said to be working for Intellectual Ventures (funded by Apple, Microsoft and Bill Gates to extort the industry) preparing to “Shake Up [the] Smartphone Industry”.
Is Durham Logistics a legitimate company? Is it an IP holding company for another entity? A patent troll? Who knows? But, it’s sitting on this patent.
Now, I’m no expert on intellectual property, but it’s worrisome to me that a patent as broad as this exists at all, let alone that it’s in the hands of some mysterious Vegas LLC we know nothing about. After all, patent #7,679,604 seems to apply not just to any smartphone with an accelerometer, but to any device that uses any method of measuring motion as a means of control. As one patent attorney told me, “It’s obscenely broad.” And it’s old enough to predate many of the motion-sensing smartphones currently on the market.
Watch the comment that says “Durham Logistics is an operating company for Intellectual Ventures.” This is also pointed out by TechDirt, which writes: “Hmm. The plot thickens. There’s some evidence that this may be one of Intellectual Ventures 1000+ shell companies. The shell company discussed here, Durham Logistics, is apparently owned by Memscom LLC, according to the Nevada corporations listings. Memscom’s address is the identical address (suite and all) to an Intellectual Ventures office. Could be a coincidence… but… certainly there’s some evidence that this patent is held or controlled by Intellectual Ventures. Why is IV controlling a patent created by Google and Apple inventors?
“Update 2: Thanks to some sleuthing in our comments and various others via email, it looks like the engineers in question both worked at Arraycomm back in the day when this patent was filed, but Arraycomm dumped some of its patent portfolio along the way, and somehow or another, this patent appears to have ended up with this company — almost certainly a part of Intellectual Ventures. Notice how far this patent is from any actual innovation. This is not how the system is supposed to work.” █