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[News] [Rival] Microsoft Becomes a 'Front' for Patent Trolls

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Former Microsoft Exec to Release Patent Troll Study

,----[ Quote ]
| The funny part is that this former executive’s company makes its money by, 
| you guessed it, collecting patents. The firm has yet to assert any of its 
| rights in court, however.  


Backed by Microsoft and Gates (financially even) to represent the interests of
trolls and fund them.


Famed patent firm backs study on touchy subject

,----[ Quote ]
| That approach generally defines a firm as a so-called "non-practicing
| entity," though within the technology industry a more derisive term is often
| used -- "patent troll."
| Big technology companies such as Myhrvold's former employer have long
| complained that many non-practicing entities not only trade in patents
| without developing products, but also increasingly use them to target
| deep-pocketed companies with infringement lawsuits.
| While Intellectual Ventures has yet to assert its patents in court, it also
| maintains that litigation "is possible in any business," according to its Web
| site.
| [...]
| Intellectual Ventures would not make Myhrvold available to comment on this
| story.


Some Schools Welcoming Patent Firm, Others Wary

,----[ Quote ]
| "Intellectual Ventures (IV) will be setting up shop at the top of a Four
| Seasons this week as Headline Sponsor of the Ready to Commercialize 2008
| conference hosted by the University of Texas at Austin. It's the patent
| firm's 100th university deal, though some, such as Professor Michael Heller
| at Columbia University, warn against such deals. '... their individual profit
| comes at the cost of the public ability to innovate. The university's larger
| mission is to serve the public interest, and some of these deals work against
| that public interest.' It's a follow-up to the conference IV sponsored last
| summer for technology transfer professionals entrusted with commercializing
| their universities' intellectual property, and should help IV, a friend of
| Microsoft, snag even more exclusive deals (PDF)."


Nathan Myhrvold Now Capitalizing On Failed University Patent Intitiatives

,----[ Quote ]
| With so many university technology transfer offices losing money, IV has been
| going around and signing deals with universities. Basically, IV gives those
| tech transfer offices some money upfront, allowing IV to effectively add each
| university's patent pool to its own portfolio that it uses to go around
| demanding hundreds of millions of dollars from companies to "protect" them
| against any future lawsuits.


Patents & Financial Meltdown

,----[ Quote ]
| Brian Kahin draws the parallel between the financial/real-estate “bubble”
| with the still-expanding “bubble” in patents. As Brian suggests, combine that
| bubble with a Ponzi scheme (Intellectual Ventures) and you might have a real
| perversion."


Tech Guru Riles the Industry By Seeking Huge Patent Fees

,----[ Quote ]
| Millionaire Nathan Myhrvold, renowned in the computer industry as a
| Renaissance man, has a less lofty message for tech companies these days: Pay
| up.
| Over the past few years, the former Microsoft Corp. executive has quietly
| amassed a trove of 20,000-plus patents and patent applications related to
| everything from lasers to computer chips. He now ranks among the world's
| largest patent-holders -- and is using that clout to press tech giants to
| sign some of the costliest patent-licensing deals ever negotiated.


Controversial patent buyer to start Indian operations in Oct

,----[ Quote ]
| New Delhi: Individual inventors and research organizations here may find
| their patents turning liquid with the imminent entry of Intellectual Ventures
| Llc., a controversial company that owns an estimated 20,000 patents and is in
| the market for as many more as it can lay its hands on.
| The company has already entered into agreements to buy patents from the
| Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Indian Institute of Technology,
| Bombay, and is close to signing an agreement with the Council for Scientific
| and Industrial Research, India’s largest research and development
| organization, said a person familiar with the developments who did not want
| to be named.


Intellectual Ventures turns its attention to India

,----[ Quote ]
| Intellectual Ventures is moving into India says a report published this
| weekend. According to the Wall Street Journal’s Livemint Lounge, IV has
| signed deals to acquire patents from the Indian Institute of Science,
| Bangalore, IIT in Bombay, while it is close to signing an agreement with
| Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
| What the report does not say is whether this is a deal for Indian patents,
| for US patents or for patents internationally. My guess is that there is
| going to have to be a pretty substantial international element. On that
| front, it is worth noting that CSIR is by far the biggest Indian filer of
| international patent applications, filing over 350 in the US alone between
| 2005 and 2007.


Litigating against innovation: Legal attacks on Linux

,----[ Quote ]
| Patents and how they're controlled are damaging the way technology is
| developed - and the Linux case is a key example of this.
| [...]
| Litigation as a mode of business is fashionable in the current climate, but
| offers little or nothing of benefit to users or developers. Authorial
| copyrights in the US have been extended to 70 years after the author's death.
| The law that made this possible, the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act,
| was passed in 1998. Patent law, meanwhile, increasingly protects the
| interests of the powerful, encroaches upon notions of innovation and freedom
| to operate, and is used to inhibit competition. Both are in critical need of
| reform.


Memo to Microsoft: Put up or shut up on patent claims

,----[ Quote ]
| They have signed innumerable contracts based on the claims, contracts which
| assume the truth of the claims, and caused the production of products whose
| chief  selling point is that their makers admit the legitimacy of the claims.
| Microsoft seems in no hurry to change the status quo. They are not going to
| put up, in the form of a lawsuit. They are not going to shut up, either,
| given the commercial advantages they have created.


'PatentGate,' one year later: Microsoft against the open-source world

,----[ Quote ]
| "Claiming you have IP that folks are infringing isn't the same thing as
| proving it," wrote Pamela Jones, author of the open-source legal blog
| Groklaw.net, in an e-mail. "I think they [Microsoft] are in a weaker position
| because they did the [cross-licensing] deals. It makes them look needy,
| like they can't make it any more without Linux."
| "The [legal] threat [to open-source] is no greater" today than a year ago,
| wrote Mark Radcliffe, a lawyer with DLA Piper's Silicon Valley office and the
| general counsel of the Open Source Initiative, which oversees the approval of
| open-source software licenses, in an e-mail.
| Take Redmond's attempts to persuade vendors to sign cross-licensing deals
| that include protection from potential open-source patent lawsuits by
| Microsoft.


Feeling the heat at Microsoft

,----[ Quote ]
| If I ask you who is Microsoft's biggest competitor now, who would it be?
| Ballmer: Open...Linux.



Sun exec accuses Microsoft of 'patent terrorism'

,----[ Quote ]
| The efforts of Microsoft to pressure the Linux community over alleged and
| unspecified patents is akin to "patent terrorism", according to a local
| executive for Sun Microsystems.


Microsoft, the art of Corporate Terrorism.

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft, no longer the technological leader in the Computer Desktop
| market, is taking on a terrorist role in its attempt remain in power
| at all costs. (see the link to the CNN story below)
| The tactic is intended to frighten current, and would be, free
| software users away from products that Microsoft just can't compete
| with. It's not a new tactic, but for the first time desperation is
| beginning to show.


Convicted Monopolist Terrorizes Software Industry

,----[ Quote ]
| That headline is designed to grab your attention. Sensationalistic as
| it may be, it also happens to be true, if what you mean by 'terrorize'
| is to provoke fear.
| If you've been following the presidential race in the United States,
| you know the present crop of candidates have been exploiting the fear
| of the American people as they never have before in the history of
| the country.

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