Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Patent Claims Are a Red Herring, Microsoft Says

Filed under
Microsoft
Legal

Legal organizations scrutinizing the legitimacy of Microsoft Corp.'s patent on automatic IP address generation have an "anti-patent" agenda, according to Microsoft.

"This isn't the first time we've seen these groups [the Public Patent Foundation and the Software Freedom Law Center] make accusations about Microsoft patents," said David Kaefer, Microsoft's director of intellectual property licensing, in an interview with eWEEK.com.

"It's been the case before that people have offered misleading claims, primarily because those people oppose software patents but use issues like this one to sow uncertainty about the patent process itself."

The brouhaha broke Tuesday, after a lawyer for Kenyon & Kenyon brought to eWEEK.com's attention patent USP 6,101,499, filed in 1998 and issued to Microsoft in 2000.

The patent covers technology that bears "more than a passing similarity" to IPv6, one of the backbones of the Internet, according to the lawyer, Frank Bernstein.

Bernstein represents a company-whose name he declined to disclose-that offers open-source products, he said. Bernstein said he also brought the patent to the attention of legal organizations before contacting eWEEK.com.

At the crux of the matter are allegations that Microsoft failed to disclose prior work done by the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) on the technology in question when it applied for the patent in April 1998.

PubPat's investigations have uncovered several references to the technology that count as prior art to the patent, Ravicher said, including several RFCs (requests for consensus) from the IETF's IPv6 working group.

Several Microsoft engineers who were involved in the IETF working group also show up as inventors listed on the patent, Ravicher said-a circumstance that may rule out the possibility that Microsoft's left hand didn't know what its right hand was doing.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Debian-Based Robolinux 8.6 Adds Over 275 Important Security and Software Updates

The developer of the Debian-based Robolinux computer operating system announced the release of the sixth maintenance update to the Robolinux 8 LTS "Raptor" series of his GNU/Linux distribution. Read more

Linux Kernel 4.8 Lands October 2 as Linus Torvalds Outs Last Release Candidate

It's still Sunday in U.S. so Linus Torvalds has just published his weekly announcement to inform us all about the availability of the eighth and last RC (Release Candidate) development snapshot of the upcoming Linux 4.8 kernel. Read more

Desktop virtualisation kit-calculator goes open source

The tool has gone through a number of iterations over the years, extending its capabilities to assess the infrastructure requirements of ever-more virtual desktops along the way while also keeping up with changes to VMware's Horizon and Citrix's XenDesktop. But Leibovici says he's now sufficiently busy that “Unfortunately I find myself without time to maintain the VDI calculator, therefore I decided that the best outcome would be to open-source the app and let the community drive maintenance and innovation.” Hence its publication under an Apache 2.0 licence here on GitHub. Read more

LXQt 0.11.0 Desktop Environment Arrives After Almost One Year of Development

After being in development for the past eleven months, the next major release of the lightweight, Qt-based LXQt desktop environment has been officially released and it's available for download. Read more