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Microsoft, Apple, EMC, and Oracle Form Patent Bloc 113

Posted by Soulskill
from the axis-of-prior-art dept.
An anonymous reader writes "When Novell finally sold itself, part of the deal included the sale of 882 patents to a consortium backed by Microsoft. Thanks to a tip from Florian Mueller, it turns out that Microsoft's partners are Apple, Oracle, and EMC, which raises questions about where these companies are heading and what it means for the rest of the industry."
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Microsoft, Apple, EMC, and Oracle Form Patent Bloc

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  • by Jerry (6400) on Friday December 17, 2010 @12:07PM (#34588302)

    Microsoft tried to fight Linux with its "253 Patents infringed by Linux" portfolio, even supplying instructions on how to attack Linux in court to a would-be buyer. But, the cockroaches scurried away into the darkness when their plans came to light.

    The entire purpose of this group's combined patent portfolio will be to fight Linux and FOSS, with a goal of doing what SCO failed to do: gain "ownership" of the Linux kernel.

  • Re:Ahh... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) on Friday December 17, 2010 @01:17PM (#34589344)
    More than AOE -- Apple, Oracle, Microsoft, EMC, and Novel are A OMEN. Great for conspiracy theorists, in spite of the bad grammar. Throw in a pentagram and your are on your way to an urban legend.
  • Re:What it means (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 17, 2010 @01:59PM (#34589892)

    no because it's been done for decades

    That's only a half-truth. All examples that you give are application- or field-limited: the WiFi alliance only issues and collects patents for wireless networking, MPEG-LA only licenses video codec implementations, JEDEC only holds DRAM storage/bus technology.

    This consortium does not appear to have a clear goal, other than complete dominance over "computing" in the broadest sense. And without a mission statement (their current mission statement is "patents"), I guess that is exactly what this will be used for. I mean, having a gun in your house "for self-defense" is fine, but when you combine that with the corporate mindset of limitless entitlement and the non-accountability as demonstrated by the outcome of most anti-trust probes, it becomes very tempting to just shoot everyone that walks on "your" street.

  • by zQuo (1050152) on Friday December 17, 2010 @03:43PM (#34591392)
    This is a excerpted from http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1678028&cid=32489738 [slashdot.org] (not my post) which I think is very relevant.

    Before the United States government forced aircraft manufacturers and patent holders into the Manufacturers Aircraft Association [wikipedia.org] there was a patent war that resulted in lots of litigation in the United States but no aircraft manufacturing or innovation once the patent war started.

    When a real war broke out, WW1, the United States had to buy aircraft from France because the United States business ventures were more interested in lawsuits than making aircraft.

    After ending the patent war by forcing everyone into a patent pool the aircraft industry in the United States took off.

    There are other similar cases that plainly show how the patent system has been a failure from the beginning in serving the Constitutional requirements. To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts [wikipedia.org].

    Note that the aircraft industry had to be forced into a patent pool by the US Government. This is another patent pool, but unfortunately controlled by a few giants. It's totally necessary to get business done, but excludes everyone else.

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