Waste Of Money: Pro-Linux Group Has To Buy Microsoft Patents

from the instead-of-doing-something-useful dept

A bunch of folks have been submitting the news that the "pro-linux" group the Open Invention Network recently purchased some former Microsoft patents via a third party. A few quick thoughts:
  • It seems like a shame that money had to be spent by these groups just to protect themselves from lawsuits for developing useful software.
  • Microsoft apparently refused to let OIN bid directly on the patents, leading to the middleman. This seems rather petty. If Microsoft really doesn't want the patents any more and isn't planning on doing anything with them, why not sell them to a pro-Linux group?
  • If Microsoft had no problem getting rid of them, I'm guessing they're not among the couple of hundred patents Microsoft keeps insisting Linux violates, without ever actually naming any specific patents.
All in all, this is a pretty depressing story, showing money being wasted, rather than put to good use doing actual innovation.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Sep 9th, 2009 @ 6:08pm

    Heywaitaminute

    Surely this is an example of how patents promote open source...

     

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  2.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Sep 9th, 2009 @ 7:01pm

    patent this!

    Yea. spending money on helping Linux would be cool. Buying useless patents from Microsoft seems pointless. Now if they give the FSF control over the patents, maybe it would be okay.

     

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  3.  
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    Richard, Sep 9th, 2009 @ 7:02pm

    What are the odds that blinski will turn software patents into sharmen?

     

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  4.  
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    Me, Sep 9th, 2009 @ 7:03pm

    Re: patent this!

    Yeah right, so that everything in the patents can have Gnu stupidly inserted into the name?

     

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  5.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Sep 9th, 2009 @ 7:07pm

    Re: Re: patent this!

    Sure, why not?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2009 @ 7:33pm

    what they should do is use those patents to sue or counter sue Microsoft or anyone that accuses them or anyone of patent infringement. The OIN should release their patents under the license that the product that uses these patents must release all other patents under the same license allowing anyone to freely use their product and that if any company tries to enforce its patents on anyone else the OIN will enforce its patents on that company.

     

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  7.  
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    zcat (profile), Sep 9th, 2009 @ 8:46pm

    Re:

    Ummm, yeah

    That's basically how OIN works.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2009 @ 11:28pm

    Bottom Line?

    Microsoft HATES innovation. They avoid innovation on their own part, and they try to stifle it when it crops up outside their palace walls.

    When they see someone innovating, they buy them out if possible, only to kill the technology outright or incorporate the tech into their competing (yet un-innovative) products. They then mismanage the new hybrid until someone else comes along and makes the new product obsolete.

    Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

    Microsoft, you are a whore. A skanky crack whore. With an unattractive pimple on your nose.

    and BO.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    kyle clements (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 12:02am

    hmm

    So, now will we see linux become the next patent troll?

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 12:25am

    Tried to let someone else do the suing

    It's been suggested by Groklaw that Microsoft was trying to execute the maneuver of selling off the patent to patent trolls-- like what Interllectual Venture did.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 5:45am

    Re:


    We are suing techdirt to find out who you are !!! ...

    you called us "Skanky"

    We have precedent on our side

    /sarcasm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 6:05am

    It truly is a shame

    "It seems like a shame that money had to be spent by these groups just to protect themselves from lawsuits for developing useful software."



    It's also a shame that money has to be spent on these "Albums" to protect myself from lawsuits for copyright infringement.



    But of course, if this story didn't have the anti-Microsoft spin to it, someone else would have bought up the patents and sued the every living s*%# out of these very people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 6:51am

    Re: hmm

    Linux: the next patent troll.
    Doubtful. Which Linux is going to do it? The kernel devs? Debian? Red Hat? I mean come on. Their isn't a "Linux" that can pull this stuff, and most of just want to mind our own business and screw the bureaucrats. Patents are for idiots.

     

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  14.  
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    Richard, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 8:06am

    AS an OSSD

    All I can say is that.. We must overturn software patents. Its reached epidemic levels and I have seen several cases where the same patent was granted to 3 or more different companies simply because software is an abstract science.

    It's like owning PI or E=MC2 , everything under the sun infringes on these equations and thats why they were deemed un-patentable. There are no good software patents... period.

     

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  15.  
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    patrick, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 8:17am

    Money wasted, money earned

    I hate this stuff too. I think it's BS misuse of the patent system.

    However, every time you use the phrase like 'money wasted', there is another side to the story.

    As a Microsoft investor, it's 'money earned'.

     

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  16.  
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    Josh (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 9:38am

    Re: Money wasted, money earned

    Its a waste of money for Microsoft as well.

    You invest in Microsoft. Ok, so do you know how much Microsoft spends on patenting stuff? How much on lawyers fees to file the patents? How much on suing other companies using those patents that is not recouped in settlements or awards? How much on being sued by other companies with equally obvious patents that should not have been granted in the first place?

    Is a good use of their money patenting page-up and -down keys? http://techdirt.com/articles/20080821/033453.shtml Or what about adding .com to the end of something? http://techdirt.com/articles/20080626/0203581527.shtml (LOL, didn't an Isreali company just patent that as well, story yesterday) Or on patenting selecting 7 out of 10 things? http://techdirt.com/articles/20061220/091622.shtml Does what the spend and 'profit' from those useless patents make up for having to pay for suits like http://techdirt.com/articles/20090828/0140246031.shtml and http://techdirt.com/articles/20090811/2330285852.shtml and http://techdirt.com/articles/20090720/0256495602.shtml ?

    Unless you know that stuff, I'd say you missed a big step in researching your stock pick. All that money could have been spent on innovating their current products or developing new ones.

     

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  17.  
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    Jason (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 10:45am

    I call stinkbait!

    That 'pro-Linux' label is suspect, this does way too much in MS's favor to put a 'pro-Linux' stamp of approval on BS MS patents.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    W Klink (profile), Sep 11th, 2009 @ 10:40am

    When MS sold the patents, they got to keep a perpetual right to use the patent. They're not stupid.

     

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  19.  
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    W Klink (profile), Sep 11th, 2009 @ 10:44am

    Re: I call stinkbait!

    The pro-linux group exists to buy patents so that they can be freely shared. They did not buy them from MS but rather from another non-practicing entity that bought them from MS. And MS apparently was so kind when marketing these patents to document exactly how they could be used against Linux.

    BTW, these weren't even MS "innovations." They were picked up when MS acquired SGI.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    cook, Nov 8th, 2009 @ 7:35am

    Pls change these ppl...!!

    These ppl won't stop unless and until they make even opensource softwares costs.... Freaks....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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