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

Ubuntu GNOME 16.04.1 LTS Released but Still Doesn't Uses the GNOME 3.20 Stack

As we reported last week, Canonical published the first point release of its long-term supported Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system, offering users new installation mediums with all the updates made available since April 21, 2016. Read more

KDE Applications 16.08 Software Suite Is in Beta, Final Release Coming August 18

Now that the third and last maintenance update of the KDE Applications 16.04 software suite has debuted, it's time for us to take the Beta build of the next major KDE Applications release for a test drive. Read more

Android Leftovers

Lennart Poettering Announces systemd 231 Init System [sic] for GNU/Linux Distributions

Today, July 25, 2016, systemd creator Lennart Poettering has proudly announced the release and general availability of the systemd 231 init system for major GNU/Linux OSes. Bringing lots of fixes and numerous additions, systemd 231 is now the most advanced version of the modern and controversial init system that has been adopted in the last few years by more and more Linux kernel-based operating systems, including Fedora, Ubuntu, Arch Linux, openSUSE, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and many others. Read more