[TriLUG] Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted

Tim Jowers timjowers at gmail.com
Fri Oct 12 14:23:53 EDT 2007

Are they suing RedFlag? China? This is one real reason manufacturing is
leaving the country. Legal immunity. Lawsuits are filed here but not against
potential foreign entities. Probably RedFlag should be named as well and a
tariff of all goods from China levied if they lose the lawsuit and the
Chinese government fails to pay up.

Solution? Move all development to China? Brasil?


On 10/12/07, Tim Jowers <timjowers at gmail.com> wrote:
> *
> IANAL but here's what I can guess from looking at it:
> Filing date*: Mar 25, 1987
> *Issue date*: Dec 10, 1991
> How long is the patent period? When would it expire? Mar 2007 or maybe Dec
> 2008.
> Here's what googling showed:
> Current law: 14 years for a design patent. 20 for others. From date of
> application with a minimum of 17 from date of issue.
> But actually 20 years from date of filing or 17 years from date of issue
> for patents filed before 1995. So, why exactly are they even filing the
> lawsuit? I guess they want to impede RHAT for a year and a few months? But
> maybe this is a nuisance lawsuit since
> 1) RedHat doesn't make the UI
> 2) Probably the patent does not cover what Gnome and KDE actually do.
> Might be the realm of a windows manger even?
> 3) They did not file the lawsuit against the manufacturers of product said
> to infringe on their patent. AFAIK.
> 4) In 2005 I used a Windows XP computer to download Linux... does that
> mean Microsoft infringed on the patent then? They have as much
> responsibility as RedHat IMO.
> Also, some flaws in the logic in the abstract and some non-matching
> application (I suspect "different windows" of same application in more than
> one workspace is not the same as one window in one workspace).
> I'm following the Monopolysoft suing efforts after seeing the extremely
> embarrassing patents the USPTO has granted to them (is-not, file splitting,
> etc). For a company which supposedly hires 1/5 of all CompSci Ph.D.s they
> might have a hard time defending their patent activities since this sorta
> stuff was taught to me in my first Engr classes about 2 decades ago and
> taught to many people in the early 1980's! I can only guess their staff knew
> full well the patents they were filing were for existing techniques. This
> begs the question if Monopolysoft was willingly trying to manipulate the
> patent system? Clearly the USPTO acted irresponsibly in granting such
> patents.
>    I suspect a countersuit against Monopolysoft will be worth Billions to
> RHAT. I can imagine dragging in some old codger professor and asking them
> "In 1985 (1990, 2000 etc) did you teach about comparing pointers?" Codger:
> "yes". "What does is-not do?"  Codger: "compares pointers". "We call Person
> 1 and employee of Monopolysoft and former student of Codger to the stand.
> Person 1, what grade did you receive in this class which taught you about
> pointer comparison?"
> -- http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/02/22/1310232
>    Might even be able to wear them out by getting a very old copy of an
> assembler code which compares pointers. Absolutely ridiculous patent IMO.
> Would be funny to bring in some punch cards and say "This was common
> practice 35 years before you even filed your patent!". :-)
>    It is not inconceivable that a quorum of Linux and Open Source vendors
> will aggregate into a class action lawsuit against Monopolysoft. The taste
> of their own medicine could be a poison pill.
> Anyone who's ever filed a patent can tell you the actual invention and
> content mean zilch to the USPTO. It's a legal entity. All they care about is
> the paperwork is right. The examiner will have little to zero knowledge of
> the actual application and make little to no scientific analysis or
> comparison to existing technologies or patents. It's all process and no
> substance. But I've only every filed one. I'll never bother doing that again
> I don't think. I've filed numerous anti-patents! :-)
>   I can also imagine finding an ex-employee of the USPTO who will talk
> about fast-tracking or whatever they call it which allows the large
> companies to buy faster patent processing. Preferential treatment for a
> monopoly might be frowned upon when the jury is made of people mostly
> earning less than the median income! "This patent is supposedly worth
> "$100M; yet documents something which existed 35 years prior. The USPTO
> normally takes 6 years to process a patent application but processed yours
> in 2 years?"
> TimJowers
> On 10/12/07, Mike Shaw < mdshaw89 at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Looks like a new battle has begun?
> >
> > http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20071011205044141
> >
> > --
> > "Darn bushes yowling at me again." - Old Man Wickles in Scooby Doo 2:
> > Monsters Unleashed
> > --
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> >

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