07.05.07

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The Xenix Patent Front and Software Patents in Europe

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant, Patents, SCO, UNIX at 9:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Elaborating further on a recent discussion, there’s a little interesting piece in Server Watch. It is worth mentioning because it builds upon the arguments made in Groklaw.

Various theories are circulating as to why Microsoft has been so gung-ho about intellectual property enforcement lately. I have opined about it myself in other venues, basically putting forth the theory that the staff at Redmond is running a bit scared right now as they watch Linux slowly encompass the server market.

[...]

The document, submitted in The SCO Group vs. Novell trial, was a letter “that an outside attorney for Santa Cruz sent to the Department of Justice in 1996, complaining about a 1987 agreement between AT&T and Microsoft which [SCO] says it had inherited, with terms such that [SCO] found itself contractually compelled to include outdated Microsoft Xenix code forevermore in all its own Unix products and to pay royalties on the undesired and irrelevant code.”

[...]

It is not clear if the current incarnation of SCO, The SCO Group, is still entitled to pay Xenix royalties. But Microsoft still does a lot of business with The SCO Group, and if it could ever find a direct line between Xenix and Linux, it would make for a very powerful weapon to kill off Linux once and for all.

Let’s just remind ourselves that there is a financial relationship between Microsoft and SCO. Recall the recent McBride deposition where he admits trying to squeeze billions of out Linux using those bogus IP claims. Here is just a snippet:

But the SCO dream as I see it is simply this: they’d like those volunteer Linux programmers, who didn’t charge one thin dime for their wonderful code, to, in effect, support SCO for life, based on alleged, but not specified, “infringement” that no one is allowed to fix. Does it get lower than that?

This confirmed that Microsoft’s strategy has aligned with that of its close friend, SCO. To use some strong words, Novell and other companies are used as well-paid accomplices in this ethical crime.

In Europe, the software patent debate is has been reopened by the ‘new guy’. Do remember what was said the other day in a slightly different context (OOXML). Some people are appointed by certain companies in order to promote their own interests.

Incoming EPO president reopens software patent debate

[...]

New head of the European Patent Office (EPO), Alison Brimelow, has signalled her intentions early, calling a public meeting to discuss the policy vacuum left by the rejection of the Directive on Computer Implemented Inventions.

The Interview with Alison Brimelow isn’t much more encouraging. It was published very recently and one can only hope that nobody serves anyone’s agenda here. Selective quote:

The message from industry is very clear, they want a Community patent, but they don’t like what’s on the table. There are also voices which say that they are absolutely certain that EPLA is exactly what they want, and others who have real reservations. But you have to get on with what you can, whether it’s development of the European Patent Network or working more closely in the Trilateral with Japan and the US, and with the fast growing offices of China and South Korea.

Watch the movements of these companies and people. Please report if you see anything suspicious because there are certainly some ‘funny’ things coming.

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