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[News] [Rival] Another Legalised Bribery (Lobbying) Disclosure from Microsoft

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Microsoft's 1Q lobbying program cost $2.6M

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft Corp., the world's largest software maker, spent nearly $2.6 
| million in the first quarter to lobby on competition in the online ad market 
| and other issues, according to an amended disclosure report.  
| [...]
| Microsoft also lobbied the federal government on numerous other issues, 
| including Internet security and crime, privacy, health technology, patent 
| reform, software piracy, immigration reform to help with recruitment of 
| highly skilled foreign workers, high-speed Internet service through use of 
| unoccupied TV channels, free trade and taxes.    


What's the Chairman running away from?

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates sells 3M shares

,----[ Quote ]
| Bill Gates, the chairman of software company Microsoft Corp., sold 3 million 
| shares of common stock, according to Securities and Exchange Commission 
| filings Friday.  



Compulsory lobby register moves closer

,----[ Quote ]
| The IT industry has had an often controversial role in lobbying European
| institutions. There was heavy criticism of dodgy campaigns in favour of
| software patents in 2005. In its battle with the European courts Microsoft
| drafted in big companies and even the US government to lobby on its behalf.


Jury finds for Finjan in patent suit against Secure Computing

,----[ Quote ]
| A U.S. District Court of Delaware jury has found that Secure Computing, and
| its subsidiaries CyberGuard and Webwasher, infringed three patents that
| Finjan Software created over the past decade.  
| [...]
| Finjan is partially owned by Microsoft, which purchased a non-exclusive
|           ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
| worldwide license for some Finjan patents last year.


Myhrvold Talks Innovation Past and Present

,----[ Quote ]
| Nathan Myhrvold, former chief technology officer of Microsoft... Myhrvold now
| leads Intellectual Ventures, a Bellevue, Washington, company, which he says
| fosters "invention capital" to help inventors get their products into the
| real world, but critics say it's a "patent troll," buying up patents so it
| can later sue companies that use them.


[ffii] McCreevy wants to legalise Software Patents via a US-EU patent treaty

,----[ Quote ]
| Brussels, 13 May 2008 -- European Commissioner McCreevy is pushing for a
| bilateral patent treaty with the United States. This Tuesday 13 May in
| Brussels, White House and European representatives will try to adopt a
| tight roadmap for the signature of a EU-US patent treaty by the end of
| the year. Parts of the proposed treaty will contain provision on
| software patents, and could legalise them on both sides of the Atlantic.
| "TEC talks are the current push for software patents. The US want to
| eliminate the higher standards of the European Patent Convention. The
| bilateral agenda is dictated by multinationals gathered in the
| Transatlantic Economic Business Dialogue (TABD). When you have a look
| who is in the Executive Board of the TABD, you find not a single
| European SME in there", says Benjamin Henrion, a Brussels based patent
| policy specialist.
| The Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) which comprises EU and US high
| level representatives put a substantive harmonisation of patent law on
| its agenda. Substantive patent law covers what is patentable or not. The
| attempt to impose the low US standards on Europe via the Substantive
| Patent Law Treaty (SPLT) process utterly failed at the World
| Intellectual Property Organisation. Also progress in the WIPO B+
| subgroup (without development nations) could not be reached.



Who is the world's biggest patent troll?

,----[ Quote ]
| In two consecutive days, The Wall Street Journal presented two different
| answers. The first is not surprising: Intellectual Ventures, the brainchild
| of ex-Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold. It's now out "to raise as much as
| $1 billion to help develop and patent inventions, many of them from
| universities in Asia."  

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