Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 12th Oct 2007 14:16 UTC, submitted by walterbyrd
Legal Groklaw reports that a company called IP Innovation, LLC, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Novell and Red Hat. Groklaw goes into black helicopter mode, trying to find a tie between this IP Innovation thing and Microsoft - and it finds it too. A few ex-Microsoft employees now work at IP Innovation. Do with it as you please.
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"Do with it as you please."
by Almafeta on Fri 12th Oct 2007 14:26 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

"Do with it as you please." Or, in short, these forums are about to become unreadable and unbearable...

Reply Score: 8

RE: "Do with it as you please."
by flanque on Fri 12th Oct 2007 23:04 UTC in reply to ""Do with it as you please.""
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

It's newsworthy. It should be posted here. I tend to think the reason Thom feels obliged to say that is because he'll get attacked from every angle.

It's newsworthy. It should be posted here.

Reply Score: 2

reasonable former employment
by kurenai on Fri 12th Oct 2007 14:30 UTC
kurenai
Member since:
2006-01-24

Not to defend their actions in any way, but frankly Microsoft is a HUGE employer in the tech industry, particularly in the area of IP. That someone would go from MS to a patent holding company seems to me to be a fairly reasonable career move rather than conspiracy.

Reply Score: 5

RE: reasonable former employment
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 12th Oct 2007 14:33 UTC in reply to "reasonable former employment"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Not only that, but I would like to see the backgrounds on other employees at this Innovation thing too. I mean, what if one of them worked for the US gov.? Does that mean the government is involved??

Seriously now, Groklaw might very well be right - but the 'evidence' presented is extremely weak - at best.

Reply Score: 1

jjmckay Member since:
2005-11-11

Bluto: "It's my advice to you, start drinking heavily."

Reply Score: 2

v RE[2]: reasonable former employment
by Hiev on Fri 12th Oct 2007 14:49 UTC in reply to "RE: reasonable former employment"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Some of the folks in the discussions might qualify as that, but the site itself tends to be fairly lucid and on point. IMO, of course.

Reply Score: 6

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Naah.. there are no such things as coincidences.

July: A former Microsoft boss is hired.
Beginning of October: A former Microsoft boss is hired.
Beginning of October: Steve Ballmer, Microsoft, threatens to sue Red Hat over patents.
A week later in October. The company hiring two Microsoft bosses sues Red Hat over patents.

Oh well, it'll be fun to see the microserfs in here going in defense mode instantly. Including OSN-staff.

EDIT: Add to that the fact Microsoft sponsored SCO's suits against IBM, Red Hat and Novell. One can do whatever he wants to dismiss it as "coincidences" (though no such thing exists) - but there are an awful lot of these "coincidences" (again, coincidences do not exist - they are just a term for something that fits together too well and cannot be explained without having to accept an unpleasant truth).

Edited 2007-10-12 14:55 UTC

Reply Score: 35

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Try again. And this time without grammatical errors that renders your post meaningless.

Mm, Am ?

Who is defending the Open Source world? The patent troll company? Or Red Hat or Acacia Research Corporation (owner of the patent troll company)? Who is making more damage to the free world than MS itself?

Your post in unclear.

Reply Score: 1

Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

That's it, Edited only for you, feel free to read it again.

Edited 2007-10-12 15:02

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Aaah.. that's what you meant. I can say the same. I defend FLOSS from zealots with anti-MS agenda. At least some of the time. In the debate about the autoupdating of the Windows Update application I defended Microsoft - and got some flak for it (Friendly Fire is quite accurate, unfortunately).

OTOH, Microsoft generally have a problem with its behavior and it is the behavior I attack. Technologically Microsoft is doing better, which again is something I can respect. But this behavior of Ballmer and the bribing in ISO and the violation of Human Rights, and using illegal mafia methods, and bribing governments, and threatening governments (Microsoft threatened Denmark once - which sent Microsoft on the defensive in Denmark - they never managed to do a come back) is simply unacceptable.

Reply Score: 4

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

"Who is defending the Open Source world? The patent troll company? Or Red Hat or Acacia Research Corporation (owner of the patent troll company)? Who is making more damage to the free world than MS itself? "

George Bush and Dick Cheney?
Big Tobacco?
Global Warming?


MS might be a bunch of asshats that ignore antitrust laws and write overpriced mediocre software, but threat to the free world? Tone down the hyperbole a bit, the tinfoil is cutting my scalp.

Reply Score: 3

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Tone down the hyperbole a bit, the tinfoil is cutting my scalp.


I was merely quoting Hiev. He, and not I, used those words. I merely tried to figure out who he was talking about.

I never claimed MS was a threat to the whole world. Hiev claimed somebody was a bigger threat than MS itself. I asked who this "somebody" was.

Read the posts twice, before you reply.

Reply Score: 2

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

You're right, my bad.

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Oh well, it'll be fun to see the microserfs in here going in defense mode instantly. Including OSN-staff.


Oh, we're pro-Microsoft today?

Darn, I thought it was pro-Linux day today. I guess my calendar's off.

Reply Score: 3

fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually you're supposed to be pro-Amiga today, but it just didn't seem worth it...

Reply Score: 5

flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

Touché Thom, touché.

Reply Score: 1

Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

Your anti-Osnews... Now that didn't make sense.
It's always hard to try stand in middle ground since you got the punches from every direction, but keep it up.

Reply Score: 1

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

" Oh well, it'll be fun to see the microserfs in here going in defense mode instantly. Including OSN-staff. "

You may be right, but at this point, there is no evidence.

I worked at one university for 8 years doing tech support, now I work at another university doing tech support. Does that mean I am a spy? That I have taken secrets from my old employer and given them to my new one?

No it means I changed jobs. I need more evidence that what Groklaw is giving before I believe any of it.

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

No, it doesn't mean you are a spy, because no "coincidences" have taken place.

However, if you had worked at University A for 8 years and switched to University B and it was found that University A suddenly knew a lot about what was going on internally in the tech department at University B - then we'd have a "coincidence" centered around you.

But since there is no coincidence, your former work place is completely irrelevant.

Reply Score: 18

wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

There is such a thing as common sense, or Occam's Razor, or "if it walks and qualks like a duck..." and so on.

The fact that there are two ex-Microsoft employees working for IP Inovation is the least significant of the circumstances. People should read more than just the summary before they talk.

Microsoft has it in for open source and free software in general and Linux in particular. They are threats to its business and even more dangerous, its very business model, because they seek to empower the consumer and undermine all the techniques that are used to tie them in: vendor lock-in, software patents, monopoly tactics, obscuring formats and protocols, DRM, DMCA.

Microsoft has a long history of FUD attacks against anything having to do with FOSS.

Microsoft has tried to attack Linux under copyright pretexts by sponsoring SCO and making it do the dirty job for it.

The things are getting grim. GPLv3 is out and it limits anti-freedom business tactics even more than ever. Microsoft is having a hard time defending itself from monopoly suits, ODF is a menace on the entire business model of its Office suite, Vista's future is not clear, worldwide governments are asking for interoperability, open source and open formats.

Only days before, Ballmer goes on to state veiled threats against Red Hat. That after Microsoft has long now insisted that "Linux infringes on its patents".

And now the first patent lawsuit comes out, as expected, not from Microsoft itself, but from a patent troll. The target is Red Hat and Novell, which is very curious. Patent trolls act by buying patents and trying to extort money from companies with deep pockets. So why not Microsoft? Or IBM? Or Sun? They're much richer than Red Hat.

Why Microsoft isn't attacking directly is very clear. If this blows in their face, it helps if they can claim they had nothing to do with it (see SCO). And second, they can be counter-sued for patents, which would result in a stalemate; whereas IP Inovation are a patent troll and such trolls are careful not to infringe on anything, because they don't produce anything, they're just in it for the lawsuits.

The tendency is clear. Attack not the FOSS developers and groups, which are non-profit, but try to kill companies who make money from Linux. It will both get you money and will spread fear about using Linux comercially.

It's a duck, make no mistake.

Reply Score: 26

unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually, I don't think Microsoft would like lawsuits from patent trolls like these to be successful. If the trolls relizes that this is easy money, they may actually go after sombody that actually have some, i.e. Microsoft. Too frequent lawsuits like this will not only be a problem for free software, it could potentially damage the entire software business.

Reply Score: 3

Coral Snake Member since:
2005-07-07

I wonder why they aren't suing Ubuntu. Microsoft's OS business is still mainly DESKTOP preloads with large computer manufacturers like Dell and Ubuntu is the most popular distro on the desktop right now and the one being used by Dell and others for experimental alternative OS preloads.

Reply Score: 1

gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

That would be even more suspicious. They do not go after the really deep pockets (IBM), but the smaller ones (especially RedHat).

If they got after a non-profit, it would be clear that they don't do it for the money. And as a patent troll they should be after money.

Now there is at least some doubt left, if Microsoft has a hand in that. Not that I think Microsoft is innocent, not after Mr. Ballmers amazing crystal ball gazing.

Reply Score: 2

hamster Member since:
2006-10-06

Noone in their right mind would go after IBM without having a really strong case. My take here is that they know that their case arent to strong so they hope to get novell and red hat to pay so they have a stronger case against IBM.

Reply Score: 2

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

(again, coincidences do not exist - they are just a term for something that fits together too well and cannot be explained without having to accept an unpleasant truth).


http://skepdic.com/posthoc.html

Reply Score: 4

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

The post hoc fallacy does not apply to this situation, since the assumption is not merely based on sequence, but on the context and the details of each event.

The post hoc fallacy ONLY applies IF assumptions are made SOLELY on the basis of the sequence of events. Your use of the fallacy here is a fallacy in it self.

And no, coincidences do not happen. Coincidences are merely a term for events we either do not understand or do not want to understand.

Reply Score: 10

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

The post hoc fallacy does not apply to this situation, since the assumption is not merely based on sequence, but on the context and the details of each event.

The post hoc fallacy ONLY applies IF assumptions are made SOLELY on the basis of the sequence of events.


So in order for fallacious reasoning to be present in an argument, that *entire argument must rest on a single fallacy? That's not how it works - just because the argument contains additional fallacies (a conflation of correlation with cause, for instance) doesn't mean that the post-hoc fallacy isn't present.

Your use of the fallacy here is a fallacy in it self.


How have I used the post-hoc fallacy here?

And no, coincidences do not happen. Coincidences are merely a term for events we either do not understand or do not want to understand.


That's absurd - coincidences certainly do happen, barring a universe that is completely deterministic. Coincidences are simply "the occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection." And that's completely ignoring the subjectivity of whether a connection is real or imagined.

Reply Score: 5

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

"And no, coincidences do not happen. Coincidences are merely a term for events we either do not understand or do not want to understand."

I'm sorry, but you can't be serious here. Honestly, you don't really believe that do you? I'm confused here.

Reply Score: 2

Obscurus Member since:
2006-04-20

And no, coincidences do not happen. Coincidences are merely a term for events we either do not understand or do not want to understand.


Oh please, that is the most preposterous thing you have posted to date. This is a forum for discussing operating systems, not conspiracy theories, religion, quackery or humbug. Take your paranoid delusions elsewhere and take a course in statistics. You might then discover that the laws of the universe permit people and events to occur at the same time in the same place without any common cause or underlying pattern, and seemingly quite complex and bizarre coincidences are entirely normal.

Now, for the case at hand, it is entirely normal for organisations that are in the business of IP to defend their claimed IP. It is also entirely normal for IP professionals in a company, say Microsoft, to leave their employer to work for another company where they can apply their skills and experience. Unless you have hard evidence of impropriety on the part of Microsoft, IP Innovation or their respective employees, you are just wildly speculating and making allegations without any substance.

Stop reading too much into things.

I personally would suggest that MS or other companies put up or shut up about their claimed IP. If you own patents on software, prove it, and test it in court if needs be. If not, stop bothering everyone so they can get back to business.

Reply Score: 5

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Thank you, you put it much better than I did.

Reply Score: 2

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Unless you have hard evidence of impropriety on the part of Microsoft, IP Innovation or their respective employees, you are just wildly speculating and making allegations without any substance.


It *is* speculation, but by no means wild. And while coincidences exist, too many coincidences in a relatively short time can in fact indicate that there might be more a story than the official version. This is one of those times.

Stop reading too much into things.


Start reading more into them.

I personally would suggest that MS or other companies put up or shut up about their claimed IP. If you own patents on software, prove it, and test it in court if needs be. If not, stop bothering everyone so they can get back to business.


Others here have explained why MS can't sue RedHat directly, because it would start a devastating patent war where MS would be as much a target as its competitors. In such a context, it would be *much* safer for them to work through a proxy that doesn't actually sell any products that could be the target of patent suits, but owns patents - a Patent Troll, if you will. That way they achieve their objective (which is to make RedHat/Linux less attractive by appearing to be a patent minefield) without puting themselves in danger.

Just because it's not done in the open doesn't mean it exists. Just as in the SCO/Baystar deal, follow the money trail and you'll get to the man (monkey?) behind the curtain...

Reply Score: 2

Obscurus Member since:
2006-04-20

Touche

Even so, Red Hat could turn around and sue Microsoft anyway, so it still wouldn't make sense for Microsoft to use a proxy to do its dirty work. As soon as one entity starts suing another over patents, everyone will join in the fray. Software patents are an exercise in bluff and bluster - everyone in the know realises that they are ultimately worthless, but those who don't understand will be intimidated and will pay licensing fees on the basis of very questionable patents.

IP vultures exist on the basis that everyone settles out of court or pays licensing fees. The last thing they should want is for any of their patents to be tested in court, and any company that takes their claim to court and loses will open a Pandora's Box that will result in the end of software patents as we know them.

Reply Score: 2

CrazyDude1 Member since:
2007-09-17

dylansmrjones:

You seem to telling everything with so much confident as if you know exactly this happened. This is what I call guilty until proven innocent way of justice.

Sorry but I don't share your views. I don't believe that IP phone is suing Redhat because Microsoft funded it.

How do you even know that Microsoft's employee perceived this case and it was not one of the already working employees.

Edited 2007-10-12 16:56

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Oooh.. you integer has incremented. You used to be CrazyDude0. When were you incremented? And can I expect you to be more than 1 at some time in the future?

(Oh, not smoking as such. Drinking strong Java coffee - really good ;) )

Reply Score: 7

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Does that mean the government is involved??


How could the government be involved? EVERYONE knows that the government is actually controlled by a sinister cabal consisting of the Illuminati, the Knights Templar, the Reptilians and the International House of Pancakes. First they fake a moon landing, and now this!!!

Reply Score: 3

RE: reasonable former employment
by walterbyrd on Fri 12th Oct 2007 19:00 UTC in reply to "reasonable former employment"
walterbyrd Member since:
2005-12-31

>>Microsoft is a HUGE employer in the tech industry, particularly in the area of IP. That someone would go from MS to a patent holding company seems to me to be a fairly reasonable career move rather than conspiracy.<<

But there is more to it than that. Msft and the patent troll company just came to some sort of agreement last August. Also, this action immediately follows Ballmer's thinly veiled threats against redhat.

Furthermore, the editors of this site bashing groklaw about "black helicoptor mode" is not justified. PJ has been amazingly accurate, and honest, all along. Certainly PJ has more accurate than the standard tech-pop-media.

Reply Score: 6

Obscurus Member since:
2006-04-20

It is hardly unusual for a large company like Microsoft to have relationships with a number of other companies and to use their services or join forces to achieve common goals - this is pretty normal in the business world. It is also pretty normal for people in one company working closely with another company to decide that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence and to move from one company to the other - I've done this myself on occasion. And it is again quite common for one company dealing with another company to poach staff from the other.

This is not remotely unusual or suspect in the business world. Many organisations require staff to sign a declaration as to whether they have any perceived or actual conflict of interest if they move from one company to another which has or had a business relationship with their former employer. If an employee of IP Innovations owns shares in Microsoft (or vice versa), that would be a perceived conflict of interest, and most likely the organisation would require that employee to divest themselves of those shares (or at the very least declare their interest), or face termination.

MS and other companies who own (or claim to own) IP have a shared interest in pursuing organisations or individuals that they perceive as violating their IP. Sharing resources & personnel to do this is quite legitimate, and does not constitute a conspiracy in any nefarious or criminal sense. Corporations join forces all the time to fight common battles - this is normal.

If Red Hat has not done anything wrong, they have nothing to worry about.

Reply Score: 4

chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

This is not remotely unusual or suspect in the business world. Many organisations require staff to sign a declaration as to whether they have any perceived or actual conflict of interest if they move from one company to another which has or had a business relationship with their former employer.

We are not talking here of a conflict of interest we are talking about a community of interest.

Reply Score: 2

Remain calm.
by jjmckay on Fri 12th Oct 2007 14:32 UTC
jjmckay
Member since:
2005-11-11

Chip Diller: "Remain calm. All is well." - Animal House

http://www.tigersweat.com/movies/animal/house13.wav

Edited 2007-10-12 14:32

Reply Score: 2

Umm
by anevilyak on Fri 12th Oct 2007 14:36 UTC
anevilyak
Member since:
2005-09-14

How is this suit valid? The patent was granted in 1987 and I thought US patents last 17 years?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Umm
by hobgoblin on Fri 12th Oct 2007 15:18 UTC in reply to "Umm"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

i suspect there was a recent reform. and like when copyright is reformed, anything still protected under the old law gets protection under the new law...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Umm
by heron on Fri 12th Oct 2007 17:32 UTC in reply to "Umm"
heron Member since:
2005-08-07

No. There has been no recent reform that has extended patent terms.

The current law allows for you to sue people who were infringing prior to patent expiration.

In other words... if company A holds a patent that expired last year and company B released an infringing product two years ago (before the actual expiration of the patent) then company A can sue company B for damages.

Also entering into it is something called the "Doctrine of Laches." Laches states that, if a patent holder fails to press his/her patent rights against one infringer, then they may well have forfeited thier patent rights altogether.

The US has a complicated legal mess when it comes to software patents.

Full disclosure: I am not a lawyer, but I have done a fair amount of research on this subject. I am the author of one of the most prominent anti-patent petitions on the internet. Please find it by looking at the front page of www.gnu.org under "Take Action."

Later, GJC

Reply Score: 6

RE: Umm
by butters on Fri 12th Oct 2007 18:53 UTC in reply to "Umm"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

The patent was filed Mar 25, 1987 and issued Dec 10, 1991, so it expires Dec 10, 2008. I wonder if the judgment has to be issued before the time runs out or if the patent status is grandfathered by the filing date.

The patent could be liberally interpreted as covering any window manager that implements multiple workspaces. However, there's some more specific language that refers to particular kinds of data structures and such, so it's very possible that Xorg and the DEs/WMs aren't really infringing.

The major question is whether we can code around this patent if the legal threat is credible. I guess we'll have to wait for guidance from the FOSS legal arsenal (SFLC, EFF, Linux Foundation, etc.)

Here we go again! Just as soon as SCO goes away, a new challenger emerges. I suspect that when we defeat "IP Innovation", there will be new threats lined up. There certainly seems to be a coordinated effort to embroil Linux in constant IP controversy, and frankly, it doesn't really matter to what extent Microsoft is involved. What's important is that we get used to it as a community and learn to gracefully handle these allegations from the legal, technical, marketing, and public relations perspectives.

Further, I hope Novell has gained a greater appreciation for how monumentally stupid they are. Even if Microsoft is the ringleader behind these continued IP assaults, the legal actions are highly unlikely to ever come directly from Microsoft. The primary threat is clearly through patent trolls like SCO and IP Innovation. The Novell deal has not made any Linux vendor or user any safer. If anything, they are less safe because of it.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Umm
by elsewhere on Fri 12th Oct 2007 19:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Umm"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Further, I hope Novell has gained a greater appreciation for how monumentally stupid they are. Even if Microsoft is the ringleader behind these continued IP assaults, the legal actions are highly unlikely to ever come directly from Microsoft. The primary threat is clearly through patent trolls like SCO and IP Innovation. The Novell deal has not made any Linux vendor or user any safer. If anything, they are less safe because of it.


*sigh*

You had me up until this paragraph. This is getting ridiculous. Patent trolling existed long before Novell even entered the linux game.

If Novell has any fault in this matter, it is only due to generating a revenue stream from linux products, a "fault" shared by Red Hat even more so.

Just as Microsoft is ignoring the linux community at large in their ceaseless FUDing, this company is targeting only Red Hat and Novell. Why? Money. That's all this is. Even if MS is behind this, it's still about the enterprise companies.

Is there a threat to the linux community at large? Only in as much as the developers will have to find ways to code around the infringement *if* the patent holds and RH/Novell are found to be infringing. Even then it will be an issue localized to the US market, and not likely to harm Joe Average.

This is nothing new. The "community" has always said that they'll address patent concerns responsibly and work around them when necessary. And you can bet that a good portion of that development will come from Novell, as well as RH. Both organizations have committed to stand behind linux and address patent issues as they occur.

So now the buck has finally dropped. It was bound to happen, linux has reached a point where the commercial companies around it become tantalizing targets just as their proprietary counterparts have been for some time now. This is the first, no doubt there will be others. (The SCO case was about copyrights, not patents, but it too was similarly about money, which is why they started by going after IBM, expecting a quick settlement.) The "community" better get used to it and quit running around like a bunch of Chicken Littles every time it happens, it's simply the way things work in the US. Patents are obstacles, they don't necessarily have to be barriers.

This has SFA to do with Novell and the "deal".

Reply Score: 6

ianapl
by kurenai on Fri 12th Oct 2007 14:48 UTC
kurenai
Member since:
2006-01-24

Not a patent lawyer, but what if they're suing because during the time that the patent *wasn't* expired, it was being infringed by those companies? If yes, let's just fire everyone, declare bankruptcy at redhat, and start a new compared called Maroon hat. Maroon hat wasn't infringing on any patents in 2004! Problem solved.

Reply Score: 1

RE: ianapl
by wirespot on Fri 12th Oct 2007 15:59 UTC in reply to "ianapl"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

This isn't a game. You don't just throw away like that a company you've built over years and years.

Reply Score: 2

New Microsoft's plan
by Zolookas on Fri 12th Oct 2007 14:48 UTC
Zolookas
Member since:
2006-03-01

1. Tell that Redhat infriges patents.
2. Pay money to someone to sue Redhat and Novell.
3. Defend Novell and advertise their "protection".
4. Profit

Edited 2007-10-12 14:50

Reply Score: 17

RE: New Microsoft's plan
by Hiev on Fri 12th Oct 2007 14:50 UTC in reply to "New Microsoft's plan"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

Your theory holds no whater, MS doen'nt hold any patents related with what IP Innovations is demanding.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: New Microsoft's plan
by dylansmrjones on Fri 12th Oct 2007 14:52 UTC in reply to "RE: New Microsoft's plan"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

That's irrelevant. The company controlled by former Microsoft bosses holds the patent.

Reply Score: 13

RE[2]: New Microsoft's plan
by wirespot on Fri 12th Oct 2007 16:00 UTC in reply to "RE: New Microsoft's plan"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Your theory holds no whater, MS doen'nt hold any patents related with what IP Innovations is demanding.


Yeah, like we know for sure the exact extent of Microsoft's patent portfolio. Why are you so certain?

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: New Microsoft's plan
by Phloptical on Fri 12th Oct 2007 22:49 UTC in reply to "New Microsoft's plan"
Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

I agree, this reeks of advertisement, and of naming Steve Ballmer at the puppet master. You can almost picture Novell execs being ushered into a conference room at Microsoft days before this went down, and told, "Don't worry, this is what's going to happen, we're setting this whole thing up so more companies know what will happen if they don't take our deal."

It's classic mobster stuff....those who don't pay the protection money get their businesses blown up. Hasn't anyone watched the Sopranos in here?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: New Microsoft's plan
by graigsmith on Sat 13th Oct 2007 04:43 UTC in reply to "New Microsoft's plan"
graigsmith Member since:
2006-04-05

step 5 use the gpl 3 to offer the same protections to red hat lol.?

Reply Score: 1

v ...
by Hiev on Fri 12th Oct 2007 14:52 UTC
"Do with it as you please."
by newageman on Fri 12th Oct 2007 14:52 UTC
newageman
Member since:
2007-10-02

Usually people are complaining about inappropriate comments posted here,modding each other down to hell.
And now you handing everyone pitchfork like this?

Edited 2007-10-12 14:56

Reply Score: 1

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Perhaps it should have been phrases as "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."

Reply Score: 3

Hmm,
by siki_miki on Fri 12th Oct 2007 15:00 UTC
siki_miki
Member since:
2006-01-17

Looks like another possible proxy war by Microsoft. Maybe not at first, but they might "stimulate" them later in the process.
The patent seems funny, though and smells of prior art ;)

Reply Score: 6

albatross!
by hobgoblin on Fri 12th Oct 2007 15:18 UTC
hobgoblin
Member since:
2005-07-06

albatross, get your albatross here, albatross!

Reply Score: 2

AlexandreAM
Member since:
2006-02-06

Come on, people. What if (what I believe is more likely) Microsoft (as in Ball-less-mer) is just well informed on the situation going on Innovation LLC and decided to throw this rock at Linux on the beginning of the week ?

I think it makes more sense that Ballmer got his hands on the information that RedHat would be Sued and decided to make his speech, knowing that it would be "proved" in a few weeks/days.

Don't you think this is more plausible than: A) Microsoft has nothing to do with it; or B) Microsoft is behind all of it ?

By the way, if I had to choose between one of the two, (A) would be my first bet. I still think the time frame wrapping both happenings is suspicious, though.

Edit: re-writing a few words.... I'm pretty sure there is more words spelled wrong there, though. Just too tired to check.

Edited 2007-10-12 15:30

Reply Score: 3

Apple already bitten, as well
by elsewhere on Fri 12th Oct 2007 15:51 UTC
elsewhere
Member since:
2005-07-13

Well Apple was hit by these guys on a $20M suit for the same patent and they rolled over for an undisclosed settlement, as Apple often does, so this isn't just about linux.

I wouldn't be surprised if they had approached MS as their next target, and had the boys in Redmond say "Let's talk." MS signs a licensing deal for their IP, same way they did with for SCO, writes a big check with a wink and a nudge and suggests that they may want to head Red Hat / Novell's way.

I can't imagine why they'd be targeting enterprise linux, otherwise. The market in the US is relatively small, US patent laws can't extend past the borders and with the recent supreme court ruling, the patent trolls can't file for an injunction or hope for extraneous damages because they are not actually producing a competitive product themselves and are therefore not suffering material harm from the alleged infringement.

It simply wouldn't make business sense, particularly since Novell's legal department has acquired a considerable amount of IP-expertise; the trolls have to know that RH and Novell cannot settle and will have to fight, and any return in the event of a win would be relatively modest at best.

I don't think this is as ironclad a conspiracy as people seem to think, but given Microsoft's past behavior it's hardly a stretch to think that they've had some influence behind the scenes. Wouldn't surprise me a bit.

Reply Score: 11

I think this case will be educational.
by rcsteiner on Fri 12th Oct 2007 15:57 UTC
rcsteiner
Member since:
2005-07-12

My initial impression is that there is considerable prior art, but we will see.

Hopefully something constructive will come out of this action.

Reply Score: 2

chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

My initial impression is that there is considerable prior art, but we will see.

That was my hope but I am somewhat more dubious about that now.

The original patent which is due to expire in december 2008 was first filed in 1987. It deals with data structures that enable the representation of a window to exist on more than one workplace and how one can switch between them.

The first Unix window manager for X, with virtual desktops/workplaces, dates back to swm (derived from twm) which was released in 1990 and which had only a very primitive basis without the functionality described in the patent.

What may possibly infringe th patent is the ability to switch on and off the ability for a window to be visible on all workplaces as in Gnome and KDE. Even more likely to potentially infringe is the OSX expose function (Apple has already paid the troll off) and the similar functions in Compiz Fusion.

RH and Novell's defence will probably at the technical level be based on arguing that the functionality is not exactly equivalent and has been implemented in a different way. Also they can argue obviousness and that this patent adds nothing new and not obvious to prior patents by the same group at Xerox which are now expired.

They cannot put forward the argument that they are merely distributing software that was developed elsewhere and are not responsible for the content, as Gnome's Metacity WM was developed by Havoc Pennington at Red Hat and much of the Compiz work was carried out at Novell.

More importantly this is an opportunity to turn the whole case round at for them to put the whole patent system with respect to software on trial. IP Innovation want a jury trial. Well it might not work that well for them. Poor struggling innovative companies employing skilled programmers to develop innovative software to provide real goods amd services that help the economy grow versus parasitic piratical software trolls who produce nothing but live off the hard work of others like bloodsucking leeches who are in a RICO conspiracy with a convicted monopolist. You could even sell a jury on jury nullification in a case like this.

Reply Score: 4

Who actually READ the information?
by HeLfReZ on Fri 12th Oct 2007 15:58 UTC
HeLfReZ
Member since:
2005-08-12

Like one of the previous posters pointed out...this is not an attack against Linux.
#1 Linux is a kernel not an operating system.
#2 Tis is a lawsuit for using multiple desktops for goodness sake...hmm lets all count the number of products that using multiple desktops..Vista anyone?

I can't confirm off the top of my head, but aren't there version of wm that predate the patent itself? But none of this overshadows the fact that Microsoft will sell it as Us vs. Linux to the general public."nah nah nah naah nah...I told you so.." I give Ballmer 2days tops before he makes a press conference statement about it. I am banking on a Monday morning press release

Reply Score: 2

wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

They don't have to spin it as "us vs linux". Actually, Microsoft will do whatever it can to NOT get involved, lest the whole things blows up later.

Regardless, we all knew this day was coming and what's it's really about: corporate hatred for Linux as the most proeminent FOSS representative, hatred for companies that are proving that FOSS is commercially viable, and the fact that the US patent system is deeply flawed.

Reply Score: 5

logical progression
by JeffS on Fri 12th Oct 2007 16:38 UTC
JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

Two former MS execs go to parent company of patent troll, one being an exec that specializes in patent law.

Ballmer makes comment about Red Hat owing money to MS for it's patents.

Ballmer makes comment about other patent holders might be suing.

Patent troll company, a subsidiary of company that just hired former MS execs, sues Red Hat and Novell for "infringement" of what is evidently an ancient patent.

That seems like a very logical progression to me, and not black helicopter or tin foil hat stuff.

Certainly, it's not conclusive that MS is fully behind this latest nonsense.

But, there is an undeniable connection. There is at least indirect influence.

And on another related topic, I'm simply amazed that patent troll companies can even legally exist. Patent troll companies are exactly extortion racket businesses, nothing less, nothing more.

That's the first step to patent reform - the complete elimination of patent troll companies, including huge fines and long term jail sentences. After all, when mafia people get caught with racketeering charges, their sorry butts are thrown in jail.

The second step to patent reform is patent holder must be selling, in the process of developing for selling, a product directly related to the patent, otherwise the patent is invalid.

The third step is the patent must be publicly disclosed for the purpose of possible infringer's to cease and work around the patent, prior to any legal action.

The fourth step is the patent holder must prove that their is no obviousness to the patent, nor any prior art, in court, prior to taking any legal action against alleged infringers.

Now, on another related topic - This latest stupid lawsuit will probably initialize the action of the Open Invention Network, plus possibly bring down the huge patent portfolios of Novell, IBM, Intel, Red Hat, etc, on to this Patent Troll. Both Novell and Red Hat are very crucial players, and the code they are using is used by every other Linux player. In short, you sue a Linux company, you sue everyone, and everyone will fight back, as has been shown by the SCO lawsuits (and look at how that turned out for SCO). Maybe this whole thing will initialize the eventual demise of this Patent Troll IP Innovation LLC (which will be like scraping dog poop off your shoe).

The final point I'd like to make is this actually looks good for Novell. So many people have been mad at Novell for making the interoperability and promise not to sue each other's customers, pact with MS. Well, now Novell itself is being sued (possibly by proxy from MS itself), for patent infringement. This should clear Novell's name in the open source world, frankly.

Reply Score: 7

RE: logical progression
by MiliTux on Fri 12th Oct 2007 17:37 UTC in reply to "logical progression"
MiliTux Member since:
2007-05-16

Now, on another related topic - This latest stupid lawsuit will probably initialize the action of the Open Invention Network, plus possibly bring down the huge patent portfolios of Novell, IBM, Intel, Red Hat, etc, on to this Patent Troll.


Unfortunately, the very definition of a patent troll is that they don't actually do anything of value. They don't "innovate". So what are you going to sue them for? They won't be infringing on any patents that the OIN has.

Unless...

Does the OIN have a patent on being a patent troll? ;)

Edited 2007-10-12 17:39

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: logical progression
by Redeeman on Fri 12th Oct 2007 17:41 UTC in reply to "RE: logical progression"
Redeeman Member since:
2006-03-23

everyone does! the USPTO has a dispenser outside their HQ

Reply Score: 3

RE: logical progression
by wakeupneo on Fri 12th Oct 2007 17:43 UTC in reply to "logical progression"
wakeupneo Member since:
2005-07-06

"The final point I'd like to make is this actually looks good for Novell. So many people have been mad at Novell for making the interoperability and promise not to sue each other's customers, pact with MS. Well, now Novell itself is being sued (possibly by proxy from MS itself), for patent infringement. This should clear Novell's name in the open source world, frankly."

...and how much cash did MS hand over to Novell again? $240 million or so wasn't it...with an up front payment of $108 million? More than enough to help cover these pesky distractions anyway...

As usual, follow the money:
http://www.regdeveloper.co.uk/2006/11/08/microsoft_novell_money/

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: logical progression
by JeffS on Fri 12th Oct 2007 20:38 UTC in reply to "RE: logical progression"
JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

I'm well aware of that, and good for Novell. :-)

And, due to the GPL 3, which all of the GNU tool chain will use, and in order to stay relevant Novell will have to include it, MS will be distributing GPL 3 (the Suse certificates), legally binding them to the GPL 3, and in effect (although they vehemently deny it) legally granting patent amnesty to all users of Linux, not just SuSE.

So that's another good thing for Novell, where they are ultimately helping the entire Linux community. At the very least, the combination of the MS/Novell deal and the GPL v3 puts serious water on the Ballmer FUD fire.

Then again, I'm in a defend Novell mood this week, due to trying out openSuSE 10.3, and having it grow on me (I'm more used to Ubuntu/Debian), and really really liking it.

Reply Score: 2

v RE[3]: logical progression
by Almafeta on Fri 12th Oct 2007 21:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: logical progression"
SCO II - its a sequal
by Johnbon on Fri 12th Oct 2007 16:46 UTC
Johnbon
Member since:
2007-04-14

Remember the SCO thing .. and remember who was supporting SCO financially ... and who was to gain from the SCO thing back in the days .. yes MS ... here comes SCO II taking on linux .. in the interest of MS .. wouldnt surprise me if MS is supporting this financially in some untrackable way ...

Cheers,

Johnbon

Reply Score: 5

All this really is...
by systyrant on Fri 12th Oct 2007 16:49 UTC
systyrant
Member since:
2007-01-18

This is just another example of why our current patent system sucks.

Software patents are weapons and not tools. From where I view the technology landscape they appear to be more destructive than useful.

Reply Score: 6

"User Interface with Multiple Workspaces ..."
by l3v1 on Fri 12th Oct 2007 17:21 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

User Interface with Multiple Workspaces for Sharing Display System Objects

Ehh ? So let me just ask, which of them wrote the x server and/or which of them wrote the first desktop switcher/handler ? Novell ? RedHat ? Uhm, if I write an infringing junk and give it to John Doe, will you sue John Doe ?

Another thingie, so, how come they don't sue Microsoft as well for their revolutionary multiple desktop handling ?

contributory infringement and inducement to infringe has injured plaintiffs and plaintiffs are entitled to recover damages adequate to compensate them for such infringement

[clown mode]I'm curious, how can one adequately measure and count those damages caused by using an idea one never intended to exploit ? ;) Unless the idea was to exploit those exploiting your idea, which you can measure as a gazillion percent of the money of anyone who you let to use your idea for an adequately long period of time ;)

Reply Score: 4

irbis Member since:
2005-07-08

Yeah, the patents in question are actually quite ridiculous... Nobody should be allowed to have patents for such very basic technology that is used everywhere in the software world today. I cannot see how this case could have any future in court, at least in the civilized world.

<sarcasm> However, if it were possible, somebody should sue USPTO and the main US IP law promoters for creating and allowing a mess like the US software patent and IP system that hinders normal IT business and software development more than almost anything else today in the USA. </sarcasm>

Reply Score: 2

elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Uhm, if I write an infringing junk and give it to John Doe, will you sue John Doe ?


If John Doe has more money than you and represents the potential for a far larger settlement, then yes. Patent protections extend to use of patent-protected inventions, not just manufacturing and distribution of.

Another thingie, so, how come they don't sue Microsoft as well for their revolutionary multiple desktop handling ?


That is, frankly, the indirect crux of the matter and the cause of speculation.

I'm curious, how can one adequately measure and count those damages caused by using an idea one never intended to exploit ? ;) Unless the idea was to exploit those exploiting your idea, which you can measure as a gazillion percent of the money of anyone who you let to use your idea for an adequately long period of time ;)


Actually, that's one thing that supreme court has addressed, as well as the patent legislation revisions winding their way somewhere in the US legislative system. Previously you could make up a number and claim damages, as well as obtain injunctions as a method of inducing a settlement. The court has determined that injunctions are not warranted in cases where the plaintiff is not manufacturing a similar product and no competitive harm exists; the new legislation aims to smack down the way material damages are determined.

This will likely get dragged out through the courts, RH and Novell can't settle or license the patent because of the issues it would raise with FLOSS licensing concerns. And the patent trolls can no longer get an injunction to prevent the distribution of the infringing products.

If the patent trolls are legitimately trying to achieve some sort of financial resolution out of this, the only thing that would make sense is that they're hoping RH and Novell may elect to purchase the patent from them and hence make it available unencumbered to the FLOSS community.

I can't see that happening, and I think it would set a very dangerous precedent if it did. I suspect that RH and Novell will just pursue this through the courts and challenge the validity of the patents.

Reply Score: 2

bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

All good points brought up here, which make perfectly logical sense.

So the big question is:

who in their right mind would sue over such a weak patent with all the negative press this will definitely cause?

All this weird "calculation" makes it very very compelling to go search for other "motivating factors" for this particular lawsuit.

I know the original intent for the US legal system was that it not be used as a way to oppress other parties, especially by well monied ones. We'll see how this goes, but already I'm sure it's wasting critical novell and redhat resources. They'd be better off paying productive people instead of lawyers.

Reply Score: 1

My take
by PlatformAgnostic on Fri 12th Oct 2007 17:27 UTC
PlatformAgnostic
Member since:
2006-01-02

I've always advocated for pro-FOSS people to stop worrying about legalisms. I've also never been fond of ridiculous IP litigation, as is often applied against Microsoft. I uphold the same view when it comes to Open-Source, even though I am not enamoured with the culture that dominates it. IP Innovations should lose the case and be counter-sued by the defendants for an amount large enough to deter future adventurous forays into the patent field.

About "black helicopter mode," I think GrokLaw got it largely wrong about SCO. The SCO case was too cook-y and "hick"-ish to be indirectly sponsored by Microsoft. I'm inclined to believe that Microsoft just viewed the SCO suit opportunistically and bought that UNIX license just to continue the media circus a bit longer.

With IP Innovations it's probably a slightly stronger form of the same story. Microsoft doesn't mind to see this suit out there and doesn't really care if it goes one way or the other. Those senior execs from MS might have been recruited over because of their expertise in dealing with IP issues for one of the largest defendants in patent lawsuits. MS probably knows about the details of the proposed case through personal contacts between the two firms, but it's not like they're doing the litigation or providing significant material support. If IP Innovations wins, it's good for both them and MS. If they lose, it's bad for IP Innovations, but doesn't really affect MS. I personally hope they lose on this one in a way that sets precedents against such IP attacks by holding companies on established technologies.

Reply Score: 1

RE: My take
by borker on Fri 12th Oct 2007 17:50 UTC in reply to "My take"
borker Member since:
2006-04-04

please, Groklaw were right on the money time after time with the SCO case.

Reply Score: 10

RE: My take
by daddio on Fri 12th Oct 2007 18:33 UTC in reply to "My take"
daddio Member since:
2007-07-14

Microsoft was also instrumental in securing an enourmous amount funding for SCO through a company called Baystar Capitol. They didn't JUST purchase a unix licence by any means.

You may be correct that the scheme was not cooked up by MS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: My take
by MollyC on Fri 12th Oct 2007 20:59 UTC in reply to "RE: My take"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Please...
One guy at Baystar claims that two Microsoft execs acting on their own accord agreed to guarantee Baystar's 50 million dollar investment into SCO, such that if the investment went sour, then these execs would cover Baystar's losses. (The MS execs deny this.) Only, the Baystar guy admits that he did not get this deal in writing! So this Baystar guy is asking you to believe that he agreed to a 50 million dollar deal without getting it in writing! Please don't be naive enough to believe that.

Second, according to the Baystar guy, neither the execs nor Microsoft ever covered Baystar's losses, yet we've seen no lawsuit initiated by Bastar against these execs or Microsot to obtain the 50 million that was supposedly guaranteed. Why not? Could it be because the deal never took place?

As far as this patent troll lawsuit, has anyone stopped to think that just may be Red Hat (not Linux) is indeed violating the patent (or violated it for years before it expired)? These guys went after Apple for the same patent and Apple paid up. What makes you think Red Hat is immune from the same patent?

Edited 2007-10-12 21:01

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: My take
by dylansmrjones on Fri 12th Oct 2007 21:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: My take"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

What makes you think Red Hat is immune from the same patent?


A patent on "sticky windows"? Anyway, Microsoft and Apple are both primarily proprietary-software companies (though both have released FLOSS-products, even under (L)GPL) and their common business model is to pay whenever somebody show up with patents. It's usually cheaper and easier than fighting. Especially for a company like Microsoft that has a weekly profit around the size of the fines it receives in EU.

There is no doubt the patent is being violated (by everybody btw. - including Microsoft). The question is if the patent is valid.

Reply Score: 4

RE: My take
by walterbyrd on Fri 12th Oct 2007 19:39 UTC in reply to "My take"
walterbyrd Member since:
2005-12-31

>>I think GrokLaw got it largely wrong about SCO. The SCO case was too cook-y and "hick"-ish to be indirectly sponsored by Microsoft.<<

1) The scox-scam was certainly, directly, sponsored by msft. Why did else would msft suddenly decide a buy $17 million worth of er . . "licenses" which msft already owned and doesn't use. And would would the halloween email turn up the exact company that funded scox for another $50 million? And why were the same msft shill "journalists" all so strongly supporting scox?

2) Too cook-y and hick-ish for msft? Maybe you are not aware of msft's chair throwing braying jackass of an excuse for a CEO? There is absolutely nothing refined about monkey-boy ballmer. Ballmer is loud-mouth hot-head buffoon, and msft has been on auto-pilot since he took over.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: My take
by llanitedave on Fri 12th Oct 2007 21:00 UTC in reply to "RE: My take"
llanitedave Member since:
2005-07-24

>>I think GrokLaw got it largely wrong about SCO. The SCO case was too cook-y and "hick"-ish to be indirectly sponsored by Microsoft.<<

1) The scox-scam was certainly, directly, sponsored by msft. Why did else would msft suddenly decide a buy $17 million worth of er . . "licenses" which msft already owned and doesn't use. And would would the halloween email turn up the exact company that funded scox for another $50 million? And why were the same msft shill "journalists" all so strongly supporting scox?

2) Too cook-y and hick-ish for msft? Maybe you are not aware of msft's chair throwing braying jackass of an excuse for a CEO? There is absolutely nothing refined about monkey-boy ballmer. Ballmer is loud-mouth hot-head buffoon, and msft has been on auto-pilot since he took over.


I hate to post simple "me too" remarks, but this one was too right on for me to do anything but shout along.

Hit the nail on the head, walterbyrd. Groklaw has been right far more than it has been wrong about the SCO case, and I think it will cover this one with amazing insight as well.

Too many "open-source paralegals" for them to sweep anything under the rug.

Reply Score: 2

A clever side stepping of OIN
by borker on Fri 12th Oct 2007 17:48 UTC
borker
Member since:
2006-04-04

is what this would appear to be. (I'm also of the 'if it walks, quacks and throws chairs like a duck' persuasion, just to get that up front)

If MS did this directly, OIN would kick in with their patent arsenal, some of which are very strong (as far as software patents go) an which MS almost certainly breach and would have a hard time either invalidating or owrking around. This way, because these patent trolls don't actually do anything, that arrow gets left in the quiver.

Clever. Crappy and underhanded, but clever.

Reply Score: 4

The stock market doesn't seem to care
by JoeBuck on Fri 12th Oct 2007 18:18 UTC
JoeBuck
Member since:
2006-01-11

Red Hat is basically at the same price as yesterday. There was a short dip, suggesting that some were worried for about an hour and a half. Too bad; I made a bit of money the day Oracle announced that they were going to compete with Red Hat (buying on the brief stock drop).

Reply Score: 3

Massive moderation
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 12th Oct 2007 18:37 UTC
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

For the first time in ages, I have done some massive moderating in this thread (incl. my own comments) to get it back on track. This is a story about the patent lawsuit thing, not dylanmrjones' comment history or OSN itself. For complaints regarding anyone trolling, send us an email. For complaints regarding OSN, send us a mail.

Some innocent comments may have been axed too, my apologies for that. The moderation had no effect on anyone's score or trust levels, since the comments were hidden, not moderated. Please, do not reply to this comment, they will be hidden too.

Thanks.

Reply Score: 1

No surprise
by Bit_Rapist on Fri 12th Oct 2007 18:39 UTC
Bit_Rapist
Member since:
2005-11-13

I don't think there is any coincidence about this.

I think its a case of some MS people wanting to make big money and moving on to greener pastures.

MS is not a growth company anymore. You are not going to get rich working there. Those days are gone. You are just a cog in the machine.

MS is the place where you go for awhile and you build up your industry contacts, skills and experience. Then you jump ship to a small company where the potential to make serious money is available.

I think thats exactly what these *former* MS people are trying to do.

Reply Score: 3

this patent is ridiculous
by nalf38 on Fri 12th Oct 2007 18:47 UTC
nalf38
Member since:
2006-09-01

A patent on tabs? Multiple desktops? Jesus Christ, from reading it, you'd think it was a patent on flow charts. I can't believe it. Or maybe I can. How could anyone patent this? Sue your mom.

Reply Score: 4

Comment from Digg..
by Alex Forster on Fri 12th Oct 2007 19:16 UTC
Alex Forster
Member since:
2005-08-12

This is a comment directly from Digg by someone named harry8227. I'm posting it here because I would rather hear reactions from OSNews-ers than from Diggers...

Heres is an interesting idea, I am a big software company and I dont want to make my customers mad by outwardly forcing them to buy my product. I partner up with a smaller software company who is distributing some things that are in competition with me on some very small issues. Down the road I tell the smaller company I am going to sue you but dont worry about it its really bogus, all you really have to do is roll over and loose the court case so I can establish a precedent and we will continue to funnel money into you. Now I sue the smaller guy and another competitor just for grins so if I win in the courts I win big but I can still win by the one rolling over in court as well. ..... just an idea.....Even if they loose, some companies might say Novell rolled over maybe we should stop working on linux.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment from Digg..
by PlatformAgnostic on Sat 13th Oct 2007 00:24 UTC in reply to "Comment from Digg.."
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Too complicated. The easier interpretation is probably the right one: IPI is suing on their own initiative. They probably already did a licensing deal with MS already.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment from Digg..
by somebody on Sat 13th Oct 2007 17:50 UTC in reply to "Comment from Digg.."
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

This is a comment directly from Digg by someone named harry8227. I'm posting it here because I would rather hear reactions from OSNews-ers than from Diggers...

Roll over bull


Actually, completely wrong. Neither RH nor Novell can't roll over because of two reasons.

1. Linux is THE corner stone of their products (remember Novell recently moved all of Netware to Linux). So unless they don't terminate their companies it is a no goer.
2. Most of the code in Linux is GPL/LGPL. Which does not permit such roll over for patents. Well... they could, but at the same time, code they rolled over for would become unacceptable to distribute

But, it is quite possible that Apple was the company doing roll over for profit.

Reply Score: 2

legal action is a good sign
by buff on Fri 12th Oct 2007 20:57 UTC
buff
Member since:
2005-11-12

I think Microsoft is going after Linux more heavily now since they now see it as a threat. Early on they attempted to marginalize Linux pretending it wasn't a threat or that the quality was suspect. It is a good sign they are trying legal action now since that means it is seen as a viable threat. For the last couple of years I have seen a lot of inroads for Linux as a server and as a desktop solution. This could actually be a very good thing. The fact that I am writing this message on a desktop Linux station says a lot too about how popular Linux has become.

Edited 2007-10-12 20:59

Reply Score: 4

So why not ... Others
by de_wizze on Fri 12th Oct 2007 22:11 UTC
de_wizze
Member since:
2005-10-31

Does it state in there why only these specific companies are being sued?

Reply Score: 1

Bring out the big guns
by notig on Fri 12th Oct 2007 22:32 UTC
notig
Member since:
2006-10-07

"for a User Interface with Multiple Workspaces for Sharing Display System Objects issued "

I bet this patent can be nullified verbally. For instance... you can define them as multiple desktops.. but in reality it is actually the same desktop... with just multiple window bars. which means that in reality it is just virtual windows bars.. because it is the same desktop , the only difference are the window bars.

Reply Score: 1

What a laugh
by robertojdohnert on Sat 13th Oct 2007 00:29 UTC
robertojdohnert
Member since:
2005-07-12

If they found out Bill Gates 7th cousin 4 times seperated worked for IP Innovation, LLC they would say that there was a connection . Im just going to wait for discovery.

Reply Score: 1

Good thing for Novell
by jboss1995 on Sat 13th Oct 2007 04:42 UTC
jboss1995
Member since:
2007-05-02

Good thing for Novell that they bought those vouchers from Microsoft to protect their customers. No wait, did they make a deal with Microsoft? What company has ever got in bed with Microsoft and woke the next day. History, if you don't know it you will repeat it.

Reply Score: 1

Contrary to the conspiracies ...
by dindin on Sat 13th Oct 2007 04:47 UTC
dindin
Member since:
2006-03-29

Most of you guys seems to shoot first before even waiting for a little bit of the background for this. these guys have been doing this for years and that is their business.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20071013/tc_cmp/202402099;_ylt=Ai1agzb9...

Reply Score: 2

ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

"Most of you guys seems to shoot first before even waiting for a little bit of the background for this. these guys have been doing this for years and that is their business. "

But that takes out all the fun of making ignorant hyperbolic comments void of any fact, knowledge, or clue to how the world works!

Reply Score: 2

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

...hence the whole "Black Helicoptor Mode" comment. This whole thing is yet another reason why software patents are stupid, not some Machiavellian scheme orchestrated by microsoft (and possibly the Illuminati, who knows?)

Reply Score: 1

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Yes, because conspiracies are *never* true, right?

*cough*IranContraAffair*cough*
*cough*OperationPaperClip*cough*
*cough*Watergate*cough*
*cough*MKUltra*cough*

Granted, it's not because someone thinks of a conspiracy that it's true, but it's not something is deemed a conspiracy theory that it's false either. In this case, we have a motive, a link between the two companies, and coincidental threats by Ballmer just a few days before. It's say you have to be naive to dismiss it outright - naive or dishonest.

Reply Score: 2

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

This company exists soley to buy patents and sue over them. It has already sued apple over this patent (apple settled) It only makes sense that they would go after other operating systems.

As for coincidences and conspiracies, what I could have seen happening is they try and sue MS, MS pays em a bundle to go after red hat instead (since they already shook down apple). Although shadey, something like that is alot more oppertunistic then conspiratorial.

Reply Score: 2

Am I stupid
by kaiwai on Sat 13th Oct 2007 10:10 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

Am I the only person here who see's IP Innovation as nothing more than a patent harvesting company who contributes NOTHING to the IT industry over all.

It is nothing more than an organisation filled with bloody sucking roaches (Lawyers) who would otherwise working at McDonalds cleaning deep fryers at the end of each night. They couldn't make it in the 'real world' so they hide behind an organisation and vent their frustration through frivolous law suites.

Reply Score: 4

Would you kindly?
by ride01 on Sat 13th Oct 2007 10:22 UTC
ride01
Member since:
2005-09-23

Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?

'No!' says the man at MICRO$HAFT 'It belongs to us.'

'No!' says the man at Apple, 'It belongs to God.'

I rejected those answers; instead, I chose something different. I chose the impossible. I chose... LINUX, an operating system where the neckbeard would not fear the patent, where the Asberger would not be bound by petty usability...

Where the morbidly-obese would not be constrained by the able.

And with the sweat of your man-teats, LINUX can become your OS as well!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Would you kindly?
by nobody on Sat 13th Oct 2007 14:37 UTC in reply to "Would you kindly?"
nobody Member since:
2006-06-02

"No!" said the man at GNU. "It belongs to everyone."

Reply Score: 4

lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

These are some of the themes I keep hearing about the software development industry of late:

Proprietary: Restrictive EULA, CALs, DRM, WGA, lock-in, corruption of standards process, single vendor, US software patents, FUD, lawsuit, BSA license audit, patent troll, lack of interoperability, "ownership" of ideas, virus, malware, spyware, adware, ad-supported software, non-neutrality of internet traffic, censorship, forced upgrade, upgrade treadmill, anti-piracy, royalty, trade restriction ...

Open source: freedom, free, many eyes, auditable, open standard, interoperable, multi-vendor, choice, multi-platform, future-proof, secure, malware-free, innovative, collaboration, meritocracy, international standard, language support, rapid turnaround, help forum, inclusive, end-user rights guarantee.

The more people feel as though they are being pressured (especially pressured by "big brother") into a position where they "MUST use only THIS software", then the higher the resistance against that very pressure will become.

A quote from fiction to illustrate:
Princess Leia: "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

Reply Score: 5

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Add in

* These guys are probably the biggest patent trolls out there, and have been engaging in this nonsense for years now

* This is not the first time they have gone after an OS with this patent, Apple already paid up though

I know its not a popular opinion to have right now, but this is the thing these guys do. MAYBE MS jumped on the bandwagon and gave them money to go after redhat next, or something equally scummy. However, this is a patent litigation company, what they do is collect IP and then sue people over it.

Reply Score: 2

trenchsol
Member since:
2006-12-07

WIMP is a abbreviation for "windows, icons, menus and pointers". They may have a number of patents related to GUI systems. Everyone could be liable, Microsoft too.

Reply Score: 2

Gotta Hurry!
by h3rman on Sat 13th Oct 2007 14:39 UTC
h3rman
Member since:
2006-08-09

Everybody, quickly reduce your desktops to one! The Software Police is on its way!

.. right click..
.. preferences..
.. number of desktops.. 1
.. done

Pfwoey, that's quite a relief. Yours Truly ain't violating no patents no mo!
YEEHAW!

Reply Score: 3

RE: Gotta Hurry!
by BSDfan on Sat 13th Oct 2007 15:20 UTC
BSDfan
Member since:
2007-03-14

I'll keep my blackbox sessions rolling... damn arrogant Americans have no legal rights on Canadian soil ;)

Reply Score: 1

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

From the Boston Globe article:

"

Last year, Novell and Microsoft formed an alliance that included cross-licensing of each other's patents. Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer this month warned that Red Hat's failure to make a similar deal could force its customers to compensate Microsoft for use of its intellectual property. Ballmer added that small companies with patent claims would begin filing lawsuits against Linux distributors. The IP Innovation suit was filed the next week.
"

This seems to imply that, if anything, Ballmer was aware that IP Innovation (subsidiary of Acacia) would soon launch its lawsuit. That raises some serious questions. If MS is not involved, why did its CEO apparently know about the impending lawsuit?

I think in this case Ballmer got excited and spoke too much. I can't wait to see what comes up during discovery (I don't think Red Hat will pay up, that would open the gates to a barrage of suits, which would be exactly what MS wants).

Reply Score: 2

did microsoft orchestrate this? why?
by graigsmith on Sun 14th Oct 2007 15:37 UTC
graigsmith
Member since:
2006-04-05

Maybe microsoft DID orchestrate this event. and maybe they think they can defend novell AND redhat.

Maybe Microsoft hopes it can get rid of software patents all together. software patents loose Microsoft a lot of money do they not? if they could get rid of software patents AND make themselves look good in the process do you think they would?

or do you think they would prefer to turn this into a PR nightmare for their company and unsuccessfully try to stomp down linux, making people hate Microsoft even more.

Reply Score: 1

RE: "Do with it as you please."
by Donny_S on Mon 15th Oct 2007 15:53 UTC
Donny_S
Member since:
2006-12-22

This must be one of the missing chapters from 'The Turner Diaries'. Back in 1978 the industrial security unit at IBM in conjunction with the US State Department conspired to create a centralized software industry. Bill Gates and a few others with the right personality profiles were put in control while unsuitable types like Gary Kildall were dealt out. Software patents would be the tools by which these emerging American corporate ruling class tech firms would gain leverage over independent users of the internet where the ability to monitor and control their activities could be compromised.

Reply Score: 1

Occam's razor? ha!
by bandido55 on Mon 15th Oct 2007 20:42 UTC
bandido55
Member since:
2006-10-02

Thom, You are applying Occam's razor incorrectly because you are applying it to single steps and not the the entire phenomenon. If we follow Occam's razor, what would be the simplest explanation to IP Innovation lawsuit against RH that takes into account the "circumstantial evidence" that is available.

I propose (sarcasm, sarcasm) that the universe was created by an intelligent being since is the simplest explanation for all creation. << That would be Occam's razor according to Intelligent design proponents. You see, Occam's razor cannot be applied to every phenomenon as if it was a dogma.

Reply Score: 1

v Support Your Local Conspiracy Theorist...
by tomcat on Mon 15th Oct 2007 23:54 UTC
MS violated the same patent
by tzineos on Tue 16th Oct 2007 18:26 UTC
tzineos
Member since:
2007-01-22

When they released Microsoft Virtual Display Manager (MSVDM) for Windows XP.

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys....

Reply Score: 1