Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:17 UTC, submitted by Rahul
Legal Microsoft suffered a stunning defeat on Monday when a European Union court backed a European Commission ruling that the US software giant illegally abused its market power to crush competitors. The European Union's second-highest court dismissed the company's appeal on all substantive points of the 2004 antitrustruling. The court said Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, was unjustified in tying new applications to its Windows operating system in a way that harmed consumer choice. The verdict, which may be appealed only on points of law and not of fact, could force Microsoft to change its business practices.
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"but the most common version is modified heavily by Microsoft."

"Microsoft has added several extensions to its own SMB implementation."

Plenty of room for new patents there, I should say.

I've lost count of how many times you have repeated this falsehood about the current Microsoft SMB protocol being owned by IBM. Please stop. The current form of the protocol suite just isn't. No matter how much you would like us to think so.

"Heavily modified by" does not mean "invented by", nor does it mean "patented".

In this case, "heavily modified by" actually only means "obscured by". How do I know? Because the Samba team has largely reverse-engineered the obfuscation.

In order to have a patent, you must describe how an invention works on the patent application, and the invention must be new and innovative.
"A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to a patentee for a fixed period of time in exchange for a disclosure of an invention."

Since Microsoft "secretly obscured" IBM's SMB protocol to derive recent variations of Windows networking, then clearly neither of those conditions for a patent apply to Microsoft's obscuring modifications.

Firstly, they are clearly not innovative because SMB itself is IBM's invention, and because Windows networking itself is merely a latecomer to PC networking trying to usurp Novell's Netware (which it succeeded in doing).

Secondly, they are not disclosed on any patent application, because they are secret obscurations. Indeed, the whole outcome of this process in the EU was to get Microsoft to disclose the obscurations.

So, no matter how much you would like us to think otherwise, Microsoft can have no valid patent on its networking technology, and hence royalties cannot apply.

Oh, BTW, Microsoft already claimed "innovation" about their netwroking. The EU had experts look at it, and the outcome was that it is not innovative at all. Merely obscured.

Edited 2007-09-18 05:26

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