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Re: Hints That Microsoft May Use IP Against Linux

__/ [ Rob Hughes ] on Sunday 26 March 2006 16:10 \__

> Erik Funkenbusch wrote:
>> On Sun, 26 Mar 2006 11:06:28 +0100, Roy Schestowitz wrote:
>>> http://www.no-lobbyists-as-such.com/florian-mueller-blog/ballmer-linux/
>>> ,----[ Quote ]
>>>| "In an interview with Forbes, Microsoft?s CEO Steve Ballmer stops short
>>>| of announcing patent litigation against Linux"
>>> `----
>> I knew it wouldn't take you long to post that.  If you actually read the
>> article, you find that what he actually said is nothing like that.  He
>> simply said that Microsoft needed a strategy, but didn't know what that
>> would be.  The author of the commentary is reading far more into what was
>> said than was actually said.
>> In fact, he doesn't even mention patents at all.  It's just a lot of
>> assumptions on the part of the commentor.  Microsoft has never inititiated
>> a patent lawsuit against anyone, much less Linux, and I find it very
>> difficult to believe they're going to start now.
> No, but he does say "intellectual property". And as the author points out,
> this is a nice, vague term used to cover patents, copyrights, and
> trademarks (it also covers trade secrets, though the author doesn't mention
> that). So tell us Erik, how would linux violate anything "owned" by MS
> other than patents? Do you think covert linux operatives have been working
> as programmers at MS in order to pass trade secrets to the linux kernel
> team? Do you think the MS strategy that Ballmer thinks he owes his stock
> holders will be to sit and watch F/OSS developers violate MS patents
> without penalty?

many such patents, which Microsoft have been accumulating are ludicrous.


,----[ Quote ]
| The FAT file system, a common means of storing files, was originally
| developed for Windows but is also employed on removable flash memory
| cards used in digital cameras and other devices. Some Linux- and
| Unix-related products also use the system to exchange data with Windows.

And along that tune:


,----[ Quote ]
| The European Commission has threatened to fine Microsoft up to 2m
| euros (£1.36m; $2.4m) a day until it gives rivals more access to
| its systems.

Needless to mention, the FAT file system is an adaptation of something that
existed beforehand. I couldn't find a key article which said that Microsoft
now file almost 10 times as many patents as many before, relying on them as
a weapon for future and lining applications up like cannonballs.

> Personally, I hope MS does launch a patent-based lawsuit against
> distributors and/or users. Once IBM and HP initiate suits against MS in
> retaliation, we would see, if not the end of MS, a much poorer MS. Compared
> to those two companies, the MS patent portfolio is likely little more than
> a bad joke, and would likely not serve MS well as a shield against either
> of those two companies.

When/if Microsoft take others to court (rather than be pulled into it),
expect many companies (HP and IBM are indeed good examples) to turn their
backs on Microsoft. So far, Microsoft has done that only using a puppet,
which we all know as SCO.

> Personally, I think every Justice that voted for software patentability in
> Diamond v. Diehr should've been taken out and whipped. It was stupid to the
> point of criminality not to see that companies would attempt to get
> government-granted monopolies on entire areas of software design through
> vaguely worded patent claims.

Sorry to squeeze in a personal, but I happened to write this only yesterday.


The Xeron-Palm case shows the detrimental effect of software patents.
Everyone suffers because some fsckwit invented typography.

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