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Microsoft Copyrights –> Patent Dominance

As reported by TechCrunch, Microsoft Fighting To Ensure Google Does Not Gain Patent Leverage, Deterrence, google is bidding for 6,000 Nortel patents. But Microsoft is objecting:

Specifically, Microsoft is objecting to Google being able to purchase the over 6,000 patents without recognizing Microsoft’s existing licensing agreements on the patents, Reuters reports.  As we noted a week and a half ago, these licensing agreements were precisely why Microsoft was the one obvious bidder not competing for the patents — they didn’t think they had to. But the current terms for the winner of the auction doesn’t back up that argument. As of right now, the company that wins the bidding would be able to terminate existing agreements.Microsoft says that’s unfair. And while they don’t specifically mention Google, it seems pretty clear who they’re thinking about when they write that a termination of existing licensing agreements “would result in considerable disruption in the development and enhancement of various existing technologies and give the prospective purchaser an unfair competitive advantage”.

In other words, “we don’t want the company that we have under our patent thumb to be able to turn the tables”.

So let’s get this straight. First, Microsoft acquires a huge monopoly and billions of dollars in cash due to the unjust copyright system (which protects software). Then Microsoft uses these unjust profits to acquire and purchase thousands of patents, and to license thousands of others, so that it can further cement its dominance and use its patent portfolio against potential competitors–like Google. And now that Google wants to acquire these 6,000 patents, which it could use defensively against Microsoft to ward off an anticompetitive patent suit against the Goog by Microsoft, Microsoft is going apesh*t, because it would soooo unfair for Google to have a shield to use against Microsoft’s patent aggression. Why, it’s just not fair if your victims are armed, now, is it?

See also Patent Cross-Licensing Creates Barriers to Entry.


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To the extent possible under law, Stephan Kinsella has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to C4SIF. This work is published from: United States. In the event the CC0 license is unenforceable a  Creative Commons License Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License is hereby granted.