Oh My, M$’s Patent Pool is Shrinking/Sinking

M$ has sued Barnes and Noble over software patents. B&N’s search for prior art to discredit these so-called inventions is voluminous, 45 pages just to list them.

The reason B&N can do that so easily is that there is rarely anything new in software. The machines limit the possible steps to what will fit in storage. Anything is possible and if you know how to do X and Y, you automatically know how to do X+Y. It’s obvious and so unpatentable. It’s so hilarious. At one point, B&N even lists IE 1.0 as prior art preventing an invention being patentable. It’s true. M$ filed a patent application for something it had already inflicted on the public. Patents may only be issued for something novel. No matter how many hundreds of patents M$ claims Linux violates, Linux violates nothing because it’s all been done before M$ even existed and patents if any from the good old days have long since expired.

Good for B&N. When they win, M$ will be a toothless old dog with a bark much worse than its bite. I do not expect M$ to be able to buy off B&N to hide things in Non-Disclosure Agreements. That’s why B&N fought while others paid up. B&N does not make its living primarily from software and can survive without M$’s stuff or Google’s stuff. M$ is not a threat to B&N, just an annoyance. Further, a big win by B&N will call into doubt all software patents. I expect M$ will drag this issue all the way up the food-chain to SCOTUS and lose there once and for all, freeing GNU/Linux from a ton of FUD. M$ can bluff many times but the first time their bluff is called publicly the whole house of cards that is software patents will fall.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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3 Responses to Oh My, M$’s Patent Pool is Shrinking/Sinking

  1. oiaohm says:

    Spyglass that made Mosaic is a company MS screwed over to make internet explorer 1.0 and 2.0 what is the company name today of Spyglass and the owner of all Spyglass Mosaic IP there answer is a company called OpenTV http://www.OpenTV.com.

    Anyone who says that patent system is not bust just needs to read the document here and take note of how many patents are prior art to the MS patents.

    There are major cases of a patent being granted many times for the same invention. Patents working correctly that would not exist.

    Interesting enough neither OpenTV or Mozilla Foundation was mentioned thinking both hold prior staff from Spyglass and Netscape. I guess Barnes and Noble is being nice and allowing them to choose if they want to enter the battle or not.

  2. M$ started the FUD about patent liabilities in Linux many years ago. When the FUD value wore off, they started suing people to promote the patent-troll business. Now they are going to get slapped the same way SCOG did. What will be the reputation of an IT company that sues businesses, extorts licensing fees and then has its patents invalidated by a book-seller? Pretty low, I would say, but in my estimation their reputation has been low for a long time. The hole they are in will be wider and deeper. I just hope someone fills it in to restore the landscape.

    SCOG v World lasted far too long, partly because judges were snowed that someone making such allegations could be doing it on puffery and partly because SCOG hid in bankruptcy court. M$ has nowhere to hide. The world is onto their tricks and they are nowhere near bankruptcy.

  3. Kolter says:

    B&N pointing to IE1.0 as prior art = me choking on my tea.

    The irony on that is over 9000.

    Not only to I wish B&N all the best in their endeavor to defend against the ridiculous, but once they win, to strike back at MS for crimes against humanity.

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