Tag Archive for 'sue'

Microsoft “licenses its patents” to Android manufacturers, sues if they don’t agree

There’s never been any evidence that Microsoft goes after Linux based products, right? Hog wash.

Well, now it’s just Tom Tom all over again. So, we know that Microsoft has numerous patent licensing programs in place, including exFAT, FAT, .NET (Novell), and now Android. We know that Microsoft claims that Linux violates a few hundred of their patents. We know that as a part of these licensing agreements, companies sign a Non Disclosure Agreement so that they can’t let everyone else know the details. We know that if companies don’t agree to this extortion, Microsoft sues them.

Despite all this evidence, people still think .NET technology in Linux is not a risk. Wake up and smell the bananas, you morons.

Microsoft states that Android infringes on their intellectual property:

The Android platform infringes a number of Microsoft’s patents, and companies manufacturing and shipping Android devices must respect our intellectual property rights.

Microsoft has a patent licensing program in place for Android, which companies like HTC have signed:

To facilitate that we have established an industry-wide patent licensing program for Android device manufacturers. HTC, a market leader in Android smartphones, has taken a license under this program.

Microsoft is suing Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec (link above) because they did not take a license.

Microsoft Corp. today filed legal actions…against Barnes & Noble, Inc. and its device manufacturers, Foxconn International Holdings Ltd. and Inventec Corporation, for patent infringement by their Android-based e-reader and tablet devices that are marketed under the Barnes & Noble brand… We have tried for over a year to reach licensing agreements with Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec. Their refusals to take licenses leave us no choice but to bring legal action to defend our innovations and fulfill our responsibility to our customers, partners, and shareholders to safeguard the billions of dollars we invest each year to bring great software products and services to market

You know what will happen now. They will settle and Microsoft will continue this racket.

-c

Google should just BUY Oracle

Stupid Oracle. They’ve just gone and sued Google over their use of Java.

An Oracle spokesperson said in a statement:

In developing Android, Google knowingly, directly, and repeatedly infringed Oracle’s Java-related intellectual property. This lawsuit seeks appropriate remedies for their infringement.

I guess it’s mostly over Dalvik, Google’s Java Virtual Machine, rather than using Java itself. We’ll see.
Update: It’s much more than Dalvik! It even goes to the core of basic computing like initializing variables. There’s a copy of the complaint on scribd.

If you were all wondering how Oracle would treat its new open source acquisitions, now you know. OpenSolaris is all but dead and they’re “suing over Java” (whatever that really means). Perfect fodder for the pro-Microsoft .NET camp, no doubt.

If only Sun had put Java under the freakin’ GPLv3 in the first place, we could avoid mess like this.

In actuality, Google should utilise the Tridge defence and show that they simply do not infringe those patents. Where they might be, work around them. Problem solved, case thrown out.

It’s time to beat the tom-toms

If you’ve been following the news of late, you’ll be aware that Microsoft is suing Tom Tom (maker of GPS devices which ship with Linux) over claimed patent infringements, which include the FAT filesystem.

You really should read this article on ZDNet which discusses Microsoft’s reasons behind doing so, thanks to a comment made by Samba guru Jeremy Allison. Essentially, Microsoft has been getting companies to sign NDA agreements over patent deals with FAT. This is forbidden under Section 7 of the GPLv2 which means those companies are then not allowed to distribute Linux.

Jeremy Allison says,

Tom Tom are the first company to publicly refuse to engage in this ugly little protection racket, and so they got sued. Had Tom Tom silently agreed to violate the GPL, as so many others have, then we’d only hear about a vague “patent cross licensing deal” just like the ones Microsoft announces with other companies.

Make no mistake, this is intended to force Tom Tom to violate the GPL, or change to Microsoft embedded software.

Let’s hope the Free Software World can rally behind Tom Tom and help win the case. It would be a shame to see Microsoft continue to get away with this sort of behaviour. Did we not see this coming?

-c