About | Buy Stuff | News | Products | Rants | Search | Security
Home » Resources » Rants

SCO II: Steve Ballmer's Intellectual Property Interoperability Framework

Week of 15 October 2007

Get It

Try It

So getting what I call an intellectual property interoperability framework between the two worlds I think is important.
 - Steve Ballmer

So in July one Microsoft executive arrives; then as of October 1 there is the second - a patent guy. October 9 IP Innovation, a subsidiary, sue Red Hat. And Novell. So much for being Microsoft's little buddy.
 - Pamela Jones

Steve Ballmer spoke in the UK on 1 October. Cheeky one.


It's a new (most likely abortive) plan to 'extinguish' open source and Linux. They know that in any intellectual property regime with patents used as weapons against innovation no one can compete with them, says Pamela Jones.

'They have all the money. FOSS is written by individuals who don't have a pile of gold under the bed to go to court and get a court judgement or pay a big check.'

But that was just the preamble. The sabre rattling. The main story begins a few days later when IP Innovation LLC file a patent infringement claim against Red Hat and Novell. Case 2:2007cv00447 filed 9 October. In Texas of course.

The patent is called 'user interface with multiple workspaces for sharing display system objects'.

The primary patent examiner was Heather Herndon. The 'attorney agent or firm' on the application was James Beran. The system was invented by Austin Henderson, Stuart Card, and John Maxwell and was filed on 25 March 1987. The patent was assigned to Xerox on 10 December 1991.

The following is the 'abstract' of the application.

Workspaces provided by an object based user interface appear to share windows and other display objects. Each workspace's data structure includes for each window in that workspace a linking data structure called a placement which links to the display system object which provides that window which may be a display system object in a preexisting window system.

The placement also contains display characteristics of the window when displayed in that workspace such as position and size. Therefore a display system object can be linked to several workspaces by a placement in each of the workspaces' data structures and the window it provides to each of those workspaces can have unique display characteristics yet appear to the user to be the same window or versions of the same window.

As a result the workspaces appear to be sharing a window. Workspaces can also appear to share a window if each workspace's data structure includes data linking to another workspace with a placement.

IP Innovation are wholly owned by Acacia Research Corporation. Since January 2004 they've filed 39 patent infringement lawsuits. They own patents for audio/video enhancement, credit card fraud protection, digital media protection, digital video production, interactive television, and user activated Internet advertising. They've secured at least eleven licences since 2005 and have existing licensing deals with Priceline, Nokia, RadioShack, IBM, and Apple.

But that's not where the connection ends. PJ digs.

Acacia Research Reports Second Quarter 2007 Financial Results
BUSINESS WIRE - July 26, 2007 04:00 PM US Eastern Timezone

In July 2007 Acacia Research Corporation announced that Jonathan Taub joined its Acacia Technologies group as Vice President. Mr Taub joins Acacia from Microsoft where he was Director Strategic Alliances for the Mobile and Embedded Devices (MED) division since 2004. Mr Taub developed strategic initiatives and constructed and negotiated agreements enabling MED to be Microsoft's fastest growing revenue division. He received a 2006 Heroes and Key Achievers award from Microsoft for negotiating strategic deals with Qualcomm and STMicroelectronics. From 2002 to 2004 he was Business Development Manager for Microsoft's Security Business Unit where he co-led Microsoft's anti-virus business strategy.

Prior to joining Microsoft Mr Taub was Director Business Development with Nortel Networks and was an intellectual property and corporate law Associate with Covington & Burling in Washington DC. Mr Taub holds a BS from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business and a JD from Harvard Law School.

She digs more - and as she does it gets better.

Acacia Technologies Names Brad Brunell, Former Microsoft General Manager, Intellectual Property Licensing, to Management Team
Monday October 1, 6:01 am ET

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Acacia Research Corporation (NASDAQ:ACTG - News) announced today that its Acacia Technologies group, a leader in technology licensing, has named Brad Brunell as Senior Vice President.

Mr Brunell joins Acacia from Microsoft where during his 16 year career he held a number of management positions including General Manager Intellectual Property Licensing.

Acacia Chairman & CEO Paul Ryan commented 'Mr Brunell is a great addition to our management team. His business strategy, licensing, and intellectual property experience will be extremely valuable as we continue to build our leadership position in technology licensing'.

Mr Brunell as General Manager Intellectual Property Licensing was responsible for inbound and outbound patent licensing. He created and managed a team of negotiation, financial, and legal experts which developed outbound intellectual property licensing programs and brought in intellectual property via acquisitions, strategic partnerships, and licensing.

Previously as a Senior Director he was in a strategy role focusing on digital media adoption which included key deals with Time Warner and the Walt Disney Company, leading the negotiating team for the settlement of the Intertrust patent litigation, and putting together the Content Guard ownership structure between Microsoft, Time Warner, and Thomson. He also served on the board of Content Guard, a digital rights management patent licensing company.

His earlier career responsibilities as a Group Manager included managing business groups responsible for Microsoft's Digital Rights Management technologies in the Windows client product group and business development for Core Audio/Video technologies within the Windows platform. Most recently he was a General Manager focused on incubation of new products and services.

Prior to Microsoft Mr Brunell owned a marketing company which he formed while earning a BA degree from the University of California Los Angeles.


The Acacia Technologies group develops, acquires, and licenses patented technologies. Acacia controls 81 patent portfolios covering technologies used in a wide variety of industries including audio/video enhancement & synchronization, broadcast data retrieval, computer memory cache coherency, credit card fraud protection, database management, data encryption & product activation, digital media transmission (DMT), digital video production, dynamic manufacturing modeling, enhanced Internet navigation, image resolution enhancement, interactive data sharing, interactive television, laptop docking station connectivity, microprocessor enhancement, multi-dimensional bar codes, resource scheduling, spreadsheet automation, and user activated Internet advertising.

Information about the Acacia Technologies group is available at www.acaciatechnologies.com.

'I think SCO II has arrived', laments Jones. 'Except it won't be just one. It will be one after another, just like Ballmer predicted. Until Linux gives up the ghost. In their dreams. Here's how to fix it: fix the patent regime as Ballmer calls it. Otherwise it will destroy all innovation and you'll be stuck in Vista. Eek. Plus at this rate I'll never get a vacation.'

Either that or contact Jack Handey and have him send over a new chocolate gun. And yet IT related patents aren't the only snag at the US Patent Office. Rixstep have uncovered a number of other assigned patents that are suspect.

  • A piece of square soft absorbent paper, perforated, on a roll, used for wiping one's backside after using a toilet, hereafter referred to as TOILET PAPER.
  • A short piece of wire bent into two rounded rectangles, used to clip pieces of paper together and afford easy removal, hereafter referred to as PAPER CLIP.
  • A transportable closet facility on wheels constructed in wood with a seat with a hole in the middle; under the seat which can be lifted up on hinges is a BUCKET; this bucket is removed from time to time by hired help and EMPTIED. On the one wall inside this closet is a dispenser for TOILET PAPER; known hereafter as CLOSET WITH NO WATER.
  • A system whereby a horse is attached to a carriage by means of leather straps known as REINS; a person sitting in the carriage can then encourage the horse to trot forward; this is known as a HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGE.
  • A system whereby a block of stone is honed and chiseled until it is relatively flat and has no corners on its outer edge but roughly speaking has the same radius from its centre to any point on its circumference; this is hereafter known as a WHEEL.
  • A means of removing a part of a wall and replacing it with a new section of wall with hinges on the one side; pushing this object from the other side affords the opening or closing of the device and thereby entrance or exit to the building for which the wall was constructed; hereafter referred to as a DOOR.
  • A process of alchemy whereby brains are substituted for shit in those who have shit for brains as for example clerks at the US Patent Office; process as yet has no name as it is considered impossible to achieve.

See Also
Eric Raymond: Halloween Documents
Radsoft: The Vulture and the Penguin
vunet.com: NASDAQ poised to delist SCO Group
vunet.com: Microsoft aim patent guns at Red Hat
Groklaw: Microsoft's Ballmer Reportedly Threatens Red Hat
Groklaw: Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted

About | Buy | News | Products | Rants | Search | Security
Copyright © Radsoft. All rights reserved.