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Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 09:41 PM EDT

IP Innovation LLC has just filed a patent infringement claim against Red Hat and Novell. It was filed October 9, case no. 2:2007cv00447, IP Innovation, LLC et al v. Red Hat Inc. et al, in Texas. Where else? The patent troll magnet state.

The first ever patent infringement litigation involving Linux. Here's the patent, for those who can look at it without risk. If in doubt, don't. Here's the complaint [PDF].

And now let's play, where's Microsoft? You know, like where's Waldo? Betcha he's in the tree's leaves somewhere if we look close enough. We had our first hint when Steve Ballmer said in his speech the other day that he figured other folks besides Microsoft would want Red Hat and FOSS to pay them for their patents. Remember? Is he a prophet or merely well informed? Or is there more to this? When I lay out all the research, you can decide.

The plaintiff is asking for an injunction, along with damages:

Plaintiffs IP Innovation and Technology Licensing Corp. claim to have the rights to U.S. Patent No. 5,072,412 for a User Interface with Multiple Workspaces for Sharing Display System Objects issued Dec. 10, 1991 along with two other similar patents.

Defendants Red Hat Inc. and Novell have allegedly committed acts of infringement through products including the Red Hat Linux system, the Novell Suse Linex Enterprise Desktop and the Novell Suse Linex Enterprise Server.

"Red Hat's and Novell's infringement, contributory infringement and inducement to infringe has injured plaintiffs and plaintiffs are entitled to recover damages adequate to compensate them for such infringement but in no event less than a reasonable royalty," the original complaint states.

The plaintiffs also allege that defendants received notice of the patents, therefore the infringing activities have been deliberate and willful.

Plaintiffs are seeking an injunction from the court, increased damages and other relief that the court or a jury may deem just and proper.

T. John Ward Jr. of Ward & Smith Law Firm in Longview is representing the plaintiff.

The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Leonard E. Davis.

You might recall the patent was used in litigation against Apple in April 2007, and Beta News reported at the time that it's a 1991 Xerox PARC patent. But ars technica provided the detail that it references earlier patents going back to 1984. Appropriately enough. If you use Google to search for "IP Innovation LLC 5,072,412" you'll find more. Note that it's IP Innovation, not plural. There is another company using IP Innovations. I gather Apple paid them to go away in June.

This patent has been pointed to as an example of the need for patent reform. Now, Patent Troll Tracker claims that IP Innovation LLC is a subsidiary of Acacia. More here. did a story on Acacia in February, "Extreme Makeover: From Patent Troll to the Belle of the Ball."

Well, well. Could this be Waldo? Groklaw reader dio gratia provided some links that you'll find of interest. Is this a coincidence or what?

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, D.C. Mr. Taub holds a B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

And lookee here:

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 B.A. 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

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, sues Red Hat. And Novell. So much for being Microsoft's little buddy.

I think SCO II has arrived. 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.

The Docket:

1 - Filed & Entered: 10/09/2007
Docket Text: COMPLAINT against Red Hat Inc., Novell Inc. ( Filing fee $ 350 receipt number 1290837.), filed by IP Innovation, LLC., Technology Licensing Corporation. (Attachments: # (1) Exhibit A # (2) Exhibit B # (3) Exhibit C# (4) Civil Cover Sheet # (5) List of Parties)(Ward, Thomas)

2 - Filed & Entered: 10/09/2007
Notice of Filing of Patent/Trademark Form (AO 120)
Docket Text: Notice of Filing of Patent/Trademark Form (AO 120). AO 120 mailed to the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. (Attachments: # (1) Form AO 120)(Ward, Thomas)

3 - Filed & Entered: 10/09/2007
Summons Issued
Docket Text: E-GOV SEALED SUMMONS Issued as to Red Hat Inc., Novell Inc.. (ch, )

4 - Filed & Entered: 10/11/2007
Notice of Attorney Appearance
Docket Text: NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by Eric M. Albritton on behalf of IP Innovation, LLC., Technology Licensing Corporation (Albritton, Eric)

Note that Exhibits A-C are the patent filing, if you wish to avoid it. Discovery should be fascinating. I'd say now is a good time to study. There's plenty of information on what constitutes prior art on the Peer to Patent website. I told you I thought that training might come in handy. Here are their tutorials. More resources on Groklaw's Patents resources page and on the Legal Research page. Oh, and don't forget to review the Supreme Court's new standard for obviousness. Here are the new USPTO guidelines on obviousness [PDF]. Next, let's sit tight for now, and see what will be most helpfu. So don't share yet anything. You can email me anything you think I might want to know.

Update: Here's a third ex-Microsoft employee, now a VP at Acacia. On the other side of the board, though, we have this nugget of information, that Acacia has sued Microsoft in the past also. I gather they sue everybody. It's their business model.

Update: The Acacia About Us page has changed since 2007, so the ex-Microsoft employees, Robert DePirro and Jacob Hawley, no longer appear, so I've altered the link to Wayback, so you can see how it looked back in 2007.


Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted | 1262 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
First Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Linux, Just Like Ballmer Predicted
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 09:49 PM EDT
This will die rapidly due to Prior Art and Public Domain. Look at the dates -
it's all old Xerox Parq development.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections Here
Authored by: ws on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 09:50 PM EDT
Please help PJ to be perfect.

[ Reply to This | # ]

[NP] News Picks Discussion
Authored by: Aladdin Sane on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 09:52 PM EDT
Discuss Groklaw News Picks here.

Please mention which News Pick you are commenting on.


One test is worth 1000 expert opinions.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Complaint link is broken
Authored by: PJP on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 09:54 PM EDT
404 - Not Found.

[ Reply to This | # ]

[OT] Off Topic Comments
Authored by: Aladdin Sane on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 09:55 PM EDT
Place Off Topic comments here.

Please avoid the use of 'tt' constructs greater than 80 characters across, so we don't have to scroll left-right.


One test is worth 1000 expert opinions.

[ Reply to This | # ]

First Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Linux, Just Like Ballmer Predicted
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 10:00 PM EDT
Why doesn't someone just trawl through the science fiction books and present the
ideas in court as prior art coz thats what it looks like this one did with its

Like what has an idea in 1984 got to do with current gui front ends

Man you guys need to get to copyright like we have over here

[ Reply to This | # ]

Prior art?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 10:02 PM EDT
At our office we got some HP-UX workstations in 1991. They had a GUI with
multiple workspaces. I didn't get the impression that the technology was new.
I don't know what the Sharing Display System Objects language is supposed to

[ Reply to This | # ]

Hmm - Just when you thought it was safe to go into the water ....
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 10:10 PM EDT


Here comes the 1st bite.


[ Reply to This | # ]

First Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Linux, Just Like Ballmer Predicted
Authored by: david_koontz on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 10:11 PM EDT

Note that IP Innovation and Apple settled (.pdf) .sometime in June, terms apparently not disclosed.

June 15, 2007
....announced today that IP Innovation, a wholly owned subsidiary that is part of Acacia Technologies group, has entered into a Settlement and License Agreement with Apple Inc. covering patents that relate to graphical user interface ("GUI") systems. The Agreement resolves patent litigation that was pending in the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas with respect to certain Apple products.
The implication being, that it freed them up to pursue bigger targets (ouch!).

[ Reply to This | # ]

Prior art is cited by this patent
Authored by: arch_dude on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 10:14 PM EDT
The patent cites several earlier patents, at least seven of which are more than
twenty years old. (i.e., prior to October 1987.) It is certainly not clear from
the abstract how this patent can possible be non-obvious based on the titles of
the cited patents, much less on any deeper reading.

What is the magic date for prior art now? 17 years? 20 years? I'm almost certain
that this patent's claims were already implemented in Xemacs and probably in
EMACS itself, in addition to a other early GUIs. Time to do some historical

[ Reply to This | # ]

First Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Linux, Just Like Ballmer Predicted
Authored by: sab39 on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 10:19 PM EDT
This would be counterproductive to Microsoft's apparent linux/patent strategy.

After all, their whole schtick is that if you buy from Novell you're safe from
patent attacks - in an attempt to coerce the rest of the Linux distributors to
line up for the same "pay MS protection money" deal.

Suing Novell just makes it crystal clear that everyone is in the same boat;
Novell is no safer than any other distro. It demonstrates quite clearly that the
"Novell is safer" emperor has no clothes.

This sounds like an independent patent troll who thinks that SCO's mistake was
just poor execution, and they can get rich quick by getting a cut of every Linux
sale. You'd think they'd learn... But I don't think Microsoft is dumb enough to
be actively working against their own strategy.

[ Reply to This | # ]

First Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Linux, Just Like Ballmer Predicted
Authored by: mrcreosote on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 10:20 PM EDT
How does this patent sit with the new SCOTUS obviousness test?


[ Reply to This | # ]

I don't get it...
Authored by: wethion on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 10:22 PM EDT
If a patent expires 20 years from the date of filing (May of 1987), and cannot
be renewed, is this not already out of date and hence moot?,072,412

Jon Postel, you are missed.

[ Reply to This | # ]

First Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Linux, Just Like Ballmer Predicted
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 10:27 PM EDT
A couple of questions.

1. What is the impact of the fact that RedHat and Novell are not writing that
code, but only distributing it? Multiple desktops are implemented in particular
programs in specific desktop environments. For example, KDE3 uses kicker to do
it. RedHat and Novell certainly did not create that, but the KDE team (in
Europe where there aren't software patents) did.

2. What are the issues of distros like Ubuntu (South Africa?) and Mandrivia
(France) distributing the same code via the internet?

3. What about Dell distributing Ubuntu on their systems?

I think I remember the Supreme Court taking a case about suing up and down the
line. That may well have an impact here.

4. Is this an opportunity to get software patents thrown out completely?

[ Reply to This | # ]

And there will be thousands of eyballs looking at this
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 10:29 PM EDT
Is this company and their lawyers not aware of the community's research

There will be a lot of people watching this case, and I'm pretty sure the
community will be able to come up with some very useful information (as they
have for SCO vs IBM).

PJ: Any chance of following this case and starting a prior art/information of
interest page?

[ Reply to This | # ]

I don't understand this
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 10:30 PM EDT
RedHat is based in North Carolina. How the hell can they sue in Texas???

[ Reply to This | # ]

Not a "Linux" lawsuit, exactly
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 10:32 PM EDT
I'd like to point out that it is quite possible to run Linux without any GUI
system or windows at all. Might be a relatively minor point, but this patent
appears to me to cover virtual window managers that implement multiple

I confess I don't quite exactly understand what the patent does and does not
cover because the language is so. . . abstract. But it definitely has to do with
graphical display systems.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Wishing for patent reform
Authored by: allthingscode on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 10:32 PM EDT
You know what they say about wishing for something (if not, well, I can't repeat
it here). In the mean time, looks like everyone will have to pull together and
show just how wrong this patent is.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Do you sue patents out-of-the-blue?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 10:34 PM EDT
When you sue someone over patent infringement, can you do it without warning, or
do you go through a process of asking the infringer to
cease-and-desist-and/or-pay-up first?

RedHat has been fairly pro-active about excluding patented stuff (e.g., MP3), so
one suspects that if they already knew about this patent, they've already
researched it fairly thoroughly and decided to ignore it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

First Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Linux, Just Like Ballmer Predicted
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 10:36 PM EDT
Consider Amiga, amigos. (GUI)

[ Reply to This | # ]

I remember this
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 10:44 PM EDT
Reading the patent - I remember this. My Amiga Computer did this type of
windowing - and used the exact same type of data structires to keep track of the
workspaces (you could have more than one and more than one screen - more than
one window - etc ..... )back in the 1980's .... Prior Art?

[ Reply to This | # ]

After reading the abstract several times
Authored by: wethion on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 10:45 PM EDT
I think I know to what they are referring. It's not a GUI, but rather a
windowing GUI, i.e. having several graphically represented tasks 'on the screen'
at the same time and being able to manouver between them. E.g. windows.

Jon Postel, you are missed.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Against Novells Patent portfolio, are they insane?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 10:47 PM EDT
Novell's patent portfolio is not something to trifle with.

And, since IBM made that statement a ways back about their patents

And, since IBM is a Novell partner in Linux,

And since IBM's is probably the largest on the planet

Let me just say this will be the result:

let's watch the big boys make this little patent troll go "squish"

I offer to clean the lawyers shoes for free!

[ Reply to This | # ]

finding waldo, er, um, Microsoft
Authored by: grouch on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 10:47 PM EDT
It's easy to find Microsoft, just follow the trail of buzzwords -- technology! innovation! intellectual property! licensing!

The density of those buzzwords in any given paragraph is a good indicator of 'getting warm' in your quest for the secretive, shadowy Microsoft. Microsoft-speak spills over from the public side to the undercover side. The recent judgment of the European Court of First Instance against Microsoft is overflowing, throughout, with those buzzwords.

Apart from the fact that Microsoft fails to explain what it means by ‘technology’ in this context, it would be extremely difficult to draw a distinction between ‘technological’ intellectual property rights and ‘non-technological’ intellectual property rights. Nor is it certain that the interoperability information at issue constitutes such technology, in particular if it represents what is a purely arbitrary convention without any innovative character.

-- JUDGMENT OF THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE (Grand Chamber) 2007-09-17, paragraph 683

(If you read the entire judgment, you might get the impression that neither the Court nor the Commission were overly impressed with Microsoft endlessly chanting those words as if sacred).

Every where Microsoft goes, it sprinkles liberal doses of those buzzwords as if they are magic fairy dust that will keep everyone who is exposed to them from noticing that (a) Microsoft doesn't innovate, except in licensing (b) even a hammer qualifies as "technology", (c) "intellectual property" is not a homestead, but rather castles built in air, and (d) ever more complex licensing schemes for the same old crusty code in new wrappers is not everyone's idea of rapture.

IP Innovation LLC? Oh, come on! Surely there is someone left in the bowels of Microsoft who could fit "technology" and "licensing" into that name. Maybe there is a Surreptitious Evangelism Department in which heads are rolling over that slip-up even now.

-- grouch

"People aren't as dumb as Microsoft needs them to be."
--PJ, May 2007

[ Reply to This | # ]

prior art
Authored by: jjock on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 10:47 PM EDT
While people are looking for prior art, don't forget to look at the
Amiga operating system, and even the Atari operating system (
TOS) . They date back to 1984, and the Amiga operating
system made the windoze look like it was designed in
kindergarten by kids with one hand tied behind their back. It
was a real graphics based system with the GUI so well
integrated that a person never really thought about the
underlying Unix, or most likely, BSD code.
I suspect the MS killed the system by forcing Gateway, who
bought the rights to the system, to shelve it if they wanted to
continue selling windoze.
I still have working Amigas and lots of the original manuals and
will be happy to help if I can be pointed in the directions I need
to search.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ballmer at work...
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 10:48 PM EDT
SCO failed, so now they send in the A-Team, a patent troll. More of Steve
Ballmer's handiwork. Unfortunately patent troll's are virtually bulletproof
against a counter lawsuit, they never build anything of their own. However, I
think these lowlifes will end up on the same trash heap as SCO.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Pior Art Cannot Hide From a Thousand Eyes...
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 10:58 PM EDT
Gentlemen (and ladies) start your search engines.....

[ Reply to This | # ]

First Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Linux, Just Like Ballmer Predicted
Authored by: Bill The Cat on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 10:59 PM EDT
Lets see about the patent... Issued 1991. Patents are good for a maximum of 12
years. Expired 2003. Infringement filed 2007 - 4 years after patent expired.

I didn't know you could do that.

Bill The Cat

[ Reply to This | # ]

First Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Linux, Just Like Ballmer Predicted
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 11:01 PM EDT
This doesn't look like workspaces, on first read it's embedded components in a
single application window, or am I reading it incorrectly? Am I reading this
right that this is an OLE suit? If so, and frankly that seems more of a
Microsoft lawsuit than workspaces (Wouldn't apple and everybody else have to
pay? ). However, I would think this would play to IBM. Haven't they been doing
that forever?

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Wigets? - Authored by: mtew on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 04:08 AM EDT
SCOSaga was just the prequel
Authored by: chaz_paw on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 11:08 PM EDT
I suppose the previous four years of learning about the law with PJ was/is? just
the beginning.

Hold on to your (Red)hats!

Proud Linux user since 07/26/04
Registered Linux user #422376


[ Reply to This | # ]

Prior Art?: 1985 Siggraph: Bitmap Graphics, 1st picture: windows on an ATT BLIT Terminal
Authored by: tce on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 11:17 PM EDT
Tutorial from ACM SIGGRAPH 1984:

Bitmap Graphics
SIGGRAPH'84 Course Notes
Rob Pike
Leo Guibas
Dan Ingalls (From PARC)
Copyright 1984 AT&T Bell Laboratories

Lots on Bit-boundary block transfer (Bitblt), bit mapped graphics, *overlapping
windows*, and so on.

Twenty six references from the 1970's and early 1980's, including user manuals
from SUN, Apollo, Lisp Machine, etc.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The only word that comes to mind
Authored by: kozmcrae on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 11:19 PM EDT
The way Microsoft used Novell and then cast them aside, makes Novell look like a
"gardening tool" (at least that's the way they pronounce it in


Coming soon: Signature 2.0

[ Reply to This | # ]

Time for OIN to sue Microsoft
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 11:20 PM EDT
This is a very, very, very bad move for Microsoft.

There's plenty of patents that can be used against them in retaliation.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OK, I'm stupid
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 11:21 PM EDT
Call me stupid. I don't follow the legal arguements, but obviously, someone at
this picnic is full of it. Obviously, I think that FOSS is in the right.

So, what can I, an average guy with a fine sense of what's right versus what's
leagel to do? Who do I send a small but heartfelt check to so that this insanaty
can be fought?

Anyone? I'd be most comfortable with an answer from MathFox or PJ (obviously),
but other trusted sources would be welcome. AC's should be avoided in case they
are not fightings the good fight for what is right...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Prior Art - Dec VT52/100
Authored by: arthurpaliden on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 11:21 PM EDT
I seem to remember that some of the old,pre 1980,Digital VT series of terminals
used to allow you to switch between work spaces. You could plug in 2 or more
serial lines and from the keyboard switch between multiple displays or 'work
spaces' if you will.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Nuclear war
Authored by: DannyB on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 11:23 PM EDT
Nuclear war may not start with the first shots being between superpowers.

The price of freedom is eternal litigation.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Acacia's symbol is ACTG
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 11:28 PM EDT
Yes, you can short this stock.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Info finding.
Authored by: MrCharon on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 11:35 PM EDT
One case IP Innovation lost so far.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
Authored by: kpl on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 11:44 PM EDT
Here is a brief time line (probably bits missing)
of the gui:


Latine loqui coactus sum

[ Reply to This | # ]

Nothing to do with linux
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 11:45 PM EDT
Linux is just a kernel ...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Quick!!! M$Windows users - wipe your harddisk!!!
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 11:51 PM EDT

From the patent's abstract:-

Single screen display system with multiple virtual display having prioritized service programs and dedicated memory stacks
System for electronically displaying portions of several different images on a CRT screen through respective prioritized viewports

These capabilities are available from at least (AFAICT) 1989 on Microsoft's(TM) Windows(TM) operating system.

AFAICT, again, the X windowing sytem (XFree86 and uses a different scheme from what is described in the patent abstract. I cannot say same about M$(TM) Windows(TM) coz I am not sure about its internals....

It is strange that the patent holder choose to remain silent though X code is available for public, unrestricted use for so long. They could have easily examined the X system and verified whether their patents were infringed. Clearly, this is a case of (at least) absence of due diligence and non-enforcement.

[ Reply to This | # ]

This patent is just...
Authored by: Marc Mengel on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 11:54 PM EDT
... the Model View Controller pattern. One of the earliest identified programming patterns.

Take one dose of Smalltalk Documentaton from 1987 and call me in the morning.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Early version of OLWM did this
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 11:58 PM EDT
OLWM is the Open Look Window Manager and it supported a larger "virtual
workspace" long before this patent existed.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 12:14 AM EDT
Hmm ... perhaps we're setting up a morality play here? Novell and Red Hat get
sued. White hatted Microsoft shows up with a web of IP agreements that bails
out the former, but not the latter. That would fit the FUD even better than
just the most recent threats.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why Red Hat and Novell? Because ...
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 12:28 AM EDT
... Microsoft will be able to come forward and indemnify Novell due to their
patent agreement with each other. There will be behind-the-scenes negotiation
with IP Innovation and Novell will suddenly be dropped from the case, leaving
... Red Hat on its own. Microsoft will then hit the press with, "See how
our agreement with Novell protected them, you should all sign here now. This
case proves that companies must sign patent protection agreements with us or
else." It's just a big setup.

[ Reply to This | # ]

DoubleDOS? Mac Switcher?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 12:30 AM EDT
The list goes on, and on, and on, and on....

[ Reply to This | # ]

Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
Authored by: tredman on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 12:33 AM EDT
Okay, I'm a little confused, being a novice to patent law. Their complaint
states that Red Hat and Novell have infringed on at least claim 1 of the '412
patent (62 claims total), at least claim 3 of the '183 patent (17 claims total),
and at least claim 1 of the '521 patent (27 claims total). To me, it doesn't
make sense that somebody could infringe on a patent just by infringing on 3
claims of 106 (between three patents). I always thought that the derivative
nature of most patents meant that some claims might naturally include pieces of
prior patents or other art, yet when considered as a whole, the patent was
unique and innovative in nature.

If I were to develop an invention made from Velcro that cures cancer and decodes
the human genome, my first claim might include "a system comprising two
pieces of fabric with hook and loop connectors". That doesn't mean that I
can go suing everybody that makes hook and loop fasteners for infringing my
patent, just because their respective products match claim 1. It's the totality
of the patent that defines my invention, so an infringing use should have to be
something that covers that totality.

Am I just completely ignorant of patent law, or am I just missing something

"I drank what?" - Socrates, 399 BCE

[ Reply to This | # ]

Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 12:35 AM EDT

What about the Microsoft Virtual Desktop Manager:

Virtual Desktop Manager: Manage up to four desktops from the Windows taskbar
with this PowerToy.


[ Reply to This | # ]

This Isn't Obvious!?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 12:36 AM EDT
The year is 1948.

It's tax time. And on my wooden desktop, I have my tax form, my cheque book
stubs, my bank statement, my calculator, and my investment forms. The latter
are all "OPEN" at the same time - in order to do the tax calculations.

Hundreds of millions were doing the above in the USA in 1948.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Be careful - analysis at this stage may be harmful
Authored by: tridge on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 12:41 AM EDT
Before everyone starts jumping on analyzing this patent, please be aware that
public analysis at this stage could be harmful to the defendents. The patent
troll has claimed that RedHat and Novell infringe this patent, but the complaint
does not give any justification at all for that claim.

At some stage IP innovation will have to specify very precisely what code
infringes, and exactly how it infringes. This is much harder than it may seem.
It is quite possible that their job will be a lot easier if they have a whole
lot of public analysis by members of the free software community to draw on.
That could, for example, allow them to tune their detailed complaint to avoid
any pitfalls that are found by public analysis.

So before we start on any detailed public analysis, we need some input from
RedHat/Novell on whether they actually need help with this analysis, or whether
they would prefer we all just bide our time.

It is quite possible that this troll doesn't have a watertight case, and they
filed this complaint hoping that the details of exactly what code infringes and
exactly how it infringes will be filled in by the free software community when
it goes public.

Anyone from RedHat/Novell like to comment? I'm sure the groklaw community can do
a really detailed word by word dissection and claim chart for you. Do you want
that help? Would it do more harm than good at this stage?

For those of you who haven't done patent analysis before, it is not a quick
process. It takes weeks of very careful work matching words to precise pieces of
code and functionality. A quick read and "that sounds like fooWM" is
not what is needed.

Cheers, Tridge

[ Reply to This | # ]

Very old patent - tried and failed already
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 12:43 AM EDT
IIRC, this is the same patent that SGI defended for it's workspace
implementation way back in '95. If I recall correctly, it was never challenged
in court due to the difference in the way SGI had implemented it's system and
the way that the patent had described the invention. Once the differences were
noted, they just walked away. There have to be some old SGI'ers around that
remember that one ?

[ Reply to This | # ]

How many of you remember desqview?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 12:56 AM EDT
Quarterdeck systems made a DOS based window switcher before the time of this

[ Reply to This | # ]

A cynical mind...
Authored by: cmc on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 01:01 AM EDT
A cynical mind would point out that prior art *MAY* be meaningless, depending on
the judge. Let's not forget the judge in the RIM vs NTP case. The USPTO was
re-examining and had issued a non-formal rejection of NTP's patents (they had
not yet filed a formal rejection), and the judge *STILL* forced RIM to settle
because he was sick of the case.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Let's look at this outside the square
Authored by: lannet on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 01:15 AM EDT
From what I am reading this is only a patent problem within the US, and it
certainly isn't a patent problem in the EU.

Now, the EU and other non-US markets are far bigger that the US market, so in my
mind, the best thing that RedHat and Novell could do would be to pack their bags
and leave the US and then work to set up their future where their true markets

Sure, this leaves Microsoft owning the US market with little if any competition,
but if the US want to support Microsoft then they can own them and suffer the
consequences - the real future is elsewhere.

When you want a computer system that works, just choose Linux.
When you want a computer system that works, just, choose Microsoft.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Prior Art
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 01:17 AM EDT
The Apple II (1979) used three different workspaces aka RAM-areas to represent
one 'giant' screen. There already have been clipping areas, view ports etc. And
the user hasn't had the slightest clue about the complex internals. So what's

[ Reply to This | # ]

Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 01:27 AM EDT
It would be real fun if someone discovered a money path from Ballmers pocket to
IP Innovation...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
Authored by: jacks4u on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 01:49 AM EDT
USPTO says IP Innovation LLC got these patents on 1-15-2005, from Xerox - is it
too late to file. And they had to know what they were buying. With due
diligence, these people should have known at the beginning there were
'infringements' - or perhaps, they acquired these patents because of this.
should they have filed suit at the time they first knew of this? can
redhat/Novel claim 'latches'? or similar?

I'm not a Lawyer, this is my opinion only. I may be wrong, but I don't think so!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 01:51 AM EDT
Case closed.

This patent requires computers and screens. The Supreme Court ruled that
software, in and of itself, was not a component of a patent in the recent MS v.
AT&T (I think) patent decision.

That should be a solid precedent for this case. If Red Hat and Novell are
shipping software that is not considered a component of the invention, they are
not infringing. Only their customers are by putting it on a computer, and
running it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

How did IP Inno/Acacia aquire this patent?
Authored by: AJWM on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 02:03 AM EDT
I'm curious - this patent was issued to Xerox, how and when did IP Innovations
acquire it? (They seem to have a collection of similar windowing/graphic
display patents, too.)

Don't big companies like Xerox usually hang on to their patents forever, and
just license or cross-license them? Why did Xerox sell them?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Patent issued 1991, they sue in 2007?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 02:49 AM EDT

Isn't there some legal objection to letting a patent sit for 16 years, during which time lots of people unwittingly develop "infringing" things and become dependent on them, before taking legal action?

[ Reply to This | # ]

texas / patents
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 03:10 AM EDT
Where does it come from that Texas looks differently upon patent cases, compared
to other states?

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Beginning of the End
Authored by: iceworm on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 03:35 AM EDT

In this war for world domination, we have seen the beginning of combat with the Caldera/tSCOG litigation. Recently we have seen the end of the beginning with tSCOG filing for bankruptcy. There was an indication of the next field of action, namely software patents, reported here quite some time ago. Finally, the other shoe drops. We were expecting it. It is somewhat frightening, but I am delighted to see the beginning of the end of the war for world domination. Freedom will win. It always has, although the struggle may be long and arduous.

[ Reply to This | # ]

This is a perfect situation, from M$'s perspective
Authored by: MDT on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 03:46 AM EDT
I've been thinking about this, and as much as I dislike M$, I have to admire the
chess-like strategy. Unless someone can directly (legally, criminally) link M$
to the Patent Troll, they can't lose. Here are the possibilities as I see them

1) Patent is Thrown Out for Obviousness -- Win M$, Redhat and Novell spent money
defending it. Roll out the next pawn.

2) RedHat & Novell win on Prior Art -- Win M$, RedHat and Novell spent even
more money defending it. Roll out the next pawn.

3) RedHat & Novell found guilty -- Win M$, RedHat and Novell spent money
defending, lost, paid up. FOSS Community gets a black eye, people rewrite the
code, roll out the next pawn.

4) RedHat & Novell fight based on Unpatentability of Software, and fail --
Win M$, RedHat and Novell spent a lot of money, Software Patents Validated by
Supreme Court, M$ still has enough money to buy off patent trolls ad infintum.
Roll out the next pawn.

5) RedHat & Novell fight based on Unpatentability of Software, and win --
Win M$, RedHat and Novell spent a lot of money, Software Patents invalidated
(which means no more Troll Headaches for M$). Roll out the next FUD idea.

It's sort of like locking your enemies in a room together and putting a bunch of
knives in there, and only one can of spam to eat. Eventually, one of them is
going to win, but either way it goes, you've managed to get one or both of your
enemies badly injured, if not completely eliminated. M$'s worse scenario is
status quo maintained.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Novell signs Patent deal, Microsoft sues by patent proxy!
Authored by: kawabago on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 03:47 AM EDT
We warned Novell not to trust Microsoft! Everyone at once on 3.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 03:51 AM EDT
Wouldn't the old Desqview program violate this patent? I can't remember the
dates but I know that Desqview was pretty early and the first task switcher
I played around with.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
Authored by: N_au on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 03:58 AM EDT
There is one way to squash this. If you don't make a product yourself to protect
then you can't sue someone else that has made a product from it. This would stop
the patent trolls. They don't have a revenue stream to protect from it so there
is no reason that they should be able to sue. A patent was created to give the
inventor time to make money from his invention before someone else could.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Red Hat Fighting Fund
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 04:13 AM EDT
Is there a Red Hat fighting fund?

There's not much more I can help, but if a million more like me donate a few
dollars, then we can help fight it.

I'm willing and ready to donate. Where can I do it?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
Authored by: cybervegan on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 04:25 AM EDT
I said it at the time, but I think it bears stating again:


Now they get to find out the true cost of the deal; let's see how they react. I
think it's time for Novell to start shipping GPL3 stuff as part of SUSE, maybe.

I think this might be the beginning of WW1 (Web War 1). This is the cyberspace
equivalent of the invasion of Poland.


Software source code is a bit like underwear - you only want to show it off in
public if it's clean and tidy. Refusal could be due to embarrassment or shame...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Window managers from the ancient past
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 04:49 AM EDT

We need to track down the source for the following X11 window managers.

vtwm ( twm with virtual desktops )
tvtwm ( another variant )

olwm ( sun's olgx based "openlook" window manager )
olvwm ( virtual desktop version of the same - sun had the concept of 'pinning'
items to the desktop. was my standard UI from 93 to 2003 when I gave up trying
to keep it compiling on modern distros. )

gwm ( lisp based virtual window manager )
dtwm ( digital ultrix window manager )

I used this in the early nineties - mostly all on ultrix

[ Reply to This | # ]

Possible Prior Art
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 04:51 AM EDT
Back in the days of MS-DOS and DR-DOS, the video BIOS actually had space for 8
virtual text screens but this feature was rarely used.

I have details of the Phoenix BIOS dated 1987 if this will help.

[ Reply to This | # ]

folllow the money ..
Authored by: emacsuser on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 04:54 AM EDT
It would be interesting to find out who exactly is 'investing' in these
companies ...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Interested Parties.
Authored by: Ian Al on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 05:02 AM EDT
It seems to me that there are more parties to this issue than just Novell and
Redhat (and, why Novell and not SUSE? Surely not because SUSE is European and it
would be considered an attack by Microsoft on European IT companies? Heaven
forfend). Anyway, I can see that joinder is necessary in this case because of
the widespread use of Linux and its windowing systems around the world. My
initial list is,

IBM, HP, Dell, Sun, Apple, Google, Yahoo, the State of Texas, the Ministry of
Defence and the Department of Homeland Security. If any of those are short of a
litigation penny or two I am sure those lovely FOSS folks would lend a lawyer.

I also have this nagging, worrying thought that the whole US legal system might
have to recuse itself from the case because of use of the litigated systems.

I was going to include SCOG for use of xwindows and windows managers in Unix,
but that would defeat the purpose by automatically staying the case for six
months and that would never do.

Ian Al

Linux: Genuine Advantage

[ Reply to This | # ]

Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 05:40 AM EDT
Well done. I thought the Novell-M$ deal was to protect Novell from being sued by
M$. However M$ is going forward behind an ugly mask, and Novell gets sued
anyway. I hope the Novell guys will soon see their fault dealing with the devil.
For USA, one alternative : reform the patent law, or finish being stuck with
MS-only software, under the DOJ umbrella and away from any inovation. The Rome
empire ended when they where so proud of themselves that they didn't see the
danger coming from outside. Beware, USA, your end is coming ! In Europe, grass
grows greener. PS: appologies for the mistakes, I'm French

[ Reply to This | # ]

Plus at this rate, I'll never get a vacation
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 05:42 AM EDT
Dear Pam,
I would not worry about that since we all know you are a
dept at IBM and so consists of a number of ghost writers.
Judging from the volume that comes out there are probably
at least three of you. So just take turn... :)

Of course you could always get one of those laptops with
the free wireless adapter (after signing up for whatever
period with AT&T.) That would at least get you mobile.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Prior art, WordPerfect Reveal Codes.
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 06:10 AM EDT
I am fairly certain that WordPerfect products prior to 1987 had the ability to
open a "Reveal Codes" window to show you an alternate view of the document. Is
this prior art or have we still misunderstood what was being patented?

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Nope. - Authored by: Cyberdog on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 09:15 AM EDT
    • Re: Nope. - Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 13 2007 @ 01:10 AM EDT
Extreamly interesting...
Authored by: Long time CNE on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 06:23 AM EDT see how Novell reacts.

According to their policy: any/policies/patent/

"In the event of a patent claim against a Novell open source product, Novell would respond using the same measures generally used to defend proprietary software products accused of patent infringement. Among other things, Novell would seek to address the claim by identifying prior art that could invalidate the patent; demonstrating that the product does not infringe the patent; redesigning the product to avoid infringement; or pursuing a license with the patent owner.

I've always kept the order of the alternatives as being relevant, meaning that pursuing a licence will only be used when all else have failed. In other words, they first have to defend the community from the aggregator. So this might be a good indication on Novells view of the Novell-MS deal. Weather they are puppets or actors.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Mysterious Case of the Patent Troll who DIDNT Sue!
Authored by: Cyberdog on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 06:38 AM EDT
I have skimmed through the patent. I live and work in the UK and do not do
software development involving graphics or windowing, so I am unafeared.

Yes, this is a basic ancient patent involving placement and content of windows
in a graphical windowing system.

*Assuming* it is valid and defendable and worth money, which I personally find
very hard to believe, why are IP Innovation *not* going after an infringer with
a lot of money? Just to choose an example at random, how about Microsoft, the
largest purveyor of windowing systems with a graphical user interface?

This is the question which needs to be asked loudly as soon as this story gets
reported by the usual victims (, VUnet, Enderle and so on and so on.)

Obviously the answer s to be found in the makeup of the board of directors, but
follow the money is a good rule.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 07:09 AM EDT
It's a direct response-to-response to Red Hat's "We are also aware of no patent lawsuit against Linux. Ever. Anywhere," ht tp://

[ Reply to This | # ]

Isaac Newton's spaceship patent
Authored by: Jude on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 07:18 AM EDT
1) A means of generating a force to accelerate the vehicle.
2) A means of controlling the magnitude of the force in claim (1).
3) A means of controlling the direction of the force in claim (1).
4) A means of choosing appropriate values for the magnitude in claim (2) and the
direction in claim (3) so as to achieve a desired trajectory.
5) A means of calculating a trajectory in (4) that ends at a desired

Isaac Newton could have written this patent. I'm sure he was clever enough that
he could have added quite a few more claims. However, we'd have been no closer
to space travel even if he had written such a patent. The devil is in the

The patent at issue in this case is just like the fictitious patent I described
above. It lists a bunch of things that are obviously necessary to achieve a
specified result, but it fails to say anything useful about how those things
might be constructed.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Geek Response
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 07:19 AM EDT
There are two approaches that can be followed to defeat this, legal and
technical. For those legally inclined and not associated with the firms being
sued Groklaw is the place to organize a coherent response strategy but all
should realize a legal response is NOT going to defeat the monsters but simply
hold them at bay for some duration of time. Defeat can only come about by the
second strategy and that is technically.

Several days ago I posted that I had down loaded and installed OpenSuSE 10.3 in
one of my computer systems with the biggest problem encountered being that I
fell asleep during initial installation set up, it was late at night, and I woke
up to early in the morning, downloads were not finished but were finished by the
time I had finished coffee. Anyone with the least technical ability can now
install OpenSuSE. Fedora is slightly more difficult. I would have had to had my
second coup of coffee which puts it in about the same realm as Mandriva and
Sabasian. Sorry I have not tried every distribution so can not comment on

From a desk top users point of view there is two potential hang up. First there
are different and in many cases inferior, sometimes drastically inferior or none
at all user programs. Apple’s Mac has the same issue. Many business programs are
written for MS Windows only. Second it is difficult to make Wine and its
derivatives work. That is difficult for the non technical inclined. For us non
geeks installation and operation of Wine is a !@#$%^ well lets just keep it
polite and call it difficult. If Wine is working correctly (set up by some geek)
most Windows users would find it impossible to install a program under Wine and
have it work. Hopeful this will shortly be corrected as this portion is really a
horrible experience.

For those of us that are neither legal or technical enough to be considered a
geek then all we can do is congratulate the geeks on the outstanding performance
hey have done. The very fact that Microsoft is stooping to this level to
maintain their world wide toleration monopoly is verification of the excellent
quality of Linux.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Geek Response - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 08:11 AM EDT
    • Geek Response - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 01:18 PM EDT
    • Geek Response - Authored by: kjs on Saturday, October 13 2007 @ 01:23 PM EDT
Is this going to take another 5 years?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 07:25 AM EDT

So, how long do patent cases last? Cam anyone familiar
with patent cases tell from the filing how long this one
will last?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Doesn't someone have a 4-wheel patent for cars?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 07:30 AM EDT

Multilpe windows? My goodness, someone should also have
a patent for four-wheeled vehicles.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Keep in mind this DIRECTLY affects IBM
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 07:32 AM EDT
Disclaimer: I be an IBMr

That being said, IBM boths sells and supports Redhat Linux. This will NOT go
down without IBM, guarunteed. IBM is very good about helping out its friends. In
this case, I would say IP Innovation better have a good law firm, as I can
assure you that Cravath will come into play very early.

Also, keep in mind that when it comes to patent portfolios, IBMs is by far the
largest on the planet. When it comes to patents, IBM's is not a door you want to
knock on if you didnt come to play. With IBM, OIN, and the FSF all looking
closely, I can see no other outcome but victory for Redhat. The prior art on
this one is already coming out, and some of it appears to be very strong, though
I guess that really depends on how you read the patent.

Someone grab the popcorn, lets get a seat. One earlier poster talked about 300
and Sparta. I have a feeling, this could be just as bloody come the end(ask SCO
as their blood is currently flowing through the Bankruptcy court).

[ Reply to This | # ]

Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 07:36 AM EDT
i think the title is wrong and should have been "...Just Like Mark
Shuttleworth predicted".
He has been talking about this already on his blog months ago.
<a href=""> link

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tinfoil hat time
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 07:46 AM EDT
All this has me wondering if MS has settled anything with IP Innovation
recently. I can see where they could cut a deal that MS would settle handsomely
if the next target was linux. It also leaves me wondering where Apple fits in
that puzzle. I don't see them as a friend of Linux either.

The other interesting thing I se is that it does not involve any of MS's
precious IP. Balmer must be clairvoyant.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: schaste on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 08:01 AM EDT
Did anyone else notice the mis-spelling in the quote? Is that in the original,
or did it somehow find its way into the article? If it's in the original, it
seems to imply these folks don't even know who they are suing...

Steve S

- Still working on a signature...

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Linex? - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 08:12 AM EDT
Tinfoil too
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 08:04 AM EDT
Just read the potential ban on HD imports

The patent appears to be for the tools that make the drives, not the drives.
All this leads me to wonder how long it will take for the US to learn it no
longer wags the dog. wanna see real panic, let China shut off the shipping
pipeline for a week. About this time of year would be right. All that
Christmas stuff you know.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Proxy War?
Authored by: UncleVom on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 08:30 AM EDT
Novell, RedHat.
These are IBM's two Linux distribution partners.
Microsoft is using a proxy to attack IBM?
Ain't that kinda dumb?

Don't Nazgul eat a voles as a between meal snack.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Novell and Microsoft's little buddy.
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 09:00 AM EDT
In the article PJ wrote "And Novell. So much for being Microsoft's little

Don't speak too soon.

I'm betting Novell will cave in and pay them off (with some of the cash
Microsoft gave them earlier in the year) - just so Novell salesguys can keep
spreading FUD about being the Linux who pays off the extortion rackets "for

[ Reply to This | # ]

Patents what Patents.
Authored by: ThrPilgrim on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 09:00 AM EDT
I see no Software Patents.

At least not on this side of the pond.

My I cordialyy invite you all to the UK, where we could do with more people to
buttress against the tide of MS beating against the Government.

PS to the Lawers. Move to Scotland. Scots law is fun. In Scotland you can be
Guilty, Not Guilty or the case can be Not Proven.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 09:11 AM EDT
This lawsuit is ridiculous. It sounds more like they want to sue GNOME, KDE, or
one of the other 100 window managers that sit on top of X. The last time I
checked, neither Red Hat or Novell were selling these, since they are open
source, included for free, and are not necessary parts of the
"products" that either sell. In reality, Red Hat, Novell, or any of
the other distributions are just selling graphics, an open source programs
aggregation, and technical support. One can easily run a complete Red Hat or
Novell "system" without even using the windowing program that is
included with it for free.

Get a life M$.

[ Reply to This | # ]

    Most obvious example of this - can you say "X-Windows" ?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 09:18 AM EDT
    If you read this right, it means X-Windows violates this patent too.

    and x-windows is OLD! definitely pre-dates this patent, probably by at least a

    Heck, I think DEC and so forth technically violate this from the late 70s! They
    had multiple workspaces back then.

    An old DOS application called "Desqview" likely violates this patent
    too, except, it too predates it (more than likely).

    Ohh, what about the Amiga? It's desktop had this functionality too!

    I'm pretty sure Q-Nix had this functionality that predates this patent.

    ohh, let's go back to the 80s for something that predates this, something called
    "GEOS" for the commodore 64

    Apples OS will also predate this, as they had it.

    I'll bet the Atari had something like it (though memory fails).

    Oh, IBM definitely violates the patents from the mainframe days, except that too
    predates the patent by decades. Ah I miss the 3270 emulations (not really)

    So do the old (pre-70s) OS like "Sentry-70" violate this patent too? I
    know the pdp-10's could give you multiple sessions, with graphics also from the
    mid 70's.

    Is prior art from the 70s good enough? or do we really need to go down the
    "X-windows" road and IBM mainframe path?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Speaking Of Judges - How Many Bought And Paid For?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 09:33 AM EDT

    "A Republican lawyer claims she was told that Karl Rove—while serving as
    President Bush’s top political adviser—had intervened in the Justice
    Department’s prosecution of Alabama’s most prominent Democrat. Longtime Alabama
    G.O.P. activist Dana Jill Simpson first made the allegation in June, but has now
    provided new details in a lengthy sworn statement to the House Judiciary
    Committee. The Committee is expected to hold public hearings on the Alabama case
    next week as part of its investigation of possible political interference by the
    Bush Administration in the activities of the Department of Justice. Simpson said
    in June that she heard a close associate of Rove say that the White House
    political adviser “had spoken with the Department of Justice” about “pursuing”
    Don Siegelman, a former Democratic governor of Alabama, with help from two of
    Alabama’s U.S. attorneys."

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Bring it on Ballmer and Gates
    Authored by: clark_kent on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 09:39 AM EDT
    It's about time. I actually feel a bit of relief. Hey Ballmer, just keep it
    coming. Will WILL get through all this and I expect your options will run out
    just before Bill Gates retires next year.

    You know, when Jim Allchin retired, he played it up like Vista was the next
    killer OS. He went out in glory. Then Vista basically died.

    And even if Linux dies, gears will shift and Free Software will continue. There
    are plenty of reserve options.

    Our gears are stronger than your Monkey wrenches and the Open Source movement
    can dodge your flying-chairs.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Are they even liable?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 09:52 AM EDT
    Since RedHat and Novell don't actually own the software, don't actually make
    money on the software, is there any damage or liability?

    RedHat makes money on service contracts, they NEVER transfer a license of the
    software in question, the actual license comes from KDE, GNOME, Xorg, etc.

    Can't RedHat say, "why are you suing us? It isn't our software!"

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Windows 3.1 Multi-Desktop Add-on
    Authored by: Alpha Prime on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 09:58 AM EDT
    Didn't Windows 3.1 have a 3rd party desktop add-on that would allow users to
    switch to multiple desktops. Seems like it was a very invasive piece of
    software, but, as I recall it came out in 1987 or so. That would be good prior

    Plus it would be good to use a Windows feature as prior art against the company
    funding the litigation.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Prior art
    Authored by: Jude on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 10:05 AM EDT
    Wasn't there a recent court ruling that merely using computers or electronics to
    implement a known process did NOT constitute a new invention? If so, doesn't
    this greatly expand the scope of what might be considered prior art for this

    Here's an example. Many years ago, large advertisements were individually
    hand-painted on billboards and other visible surfaces. If I wanted such ads for
    my products, I might very well hire a sign-painter and provide:

    1) The locations and dimensions of surfaces I had obtained rights to use (data
    structures describing windows).

    2) Pictures of my product(s) and the text I wanted displayed with the pictures
    (data structures describing objects to be displayed).

    3) Descriptions and sketches of how I wanted the pictures and text arranged in
    the ads (data structures describing the mapping of objects into the window
    display spaces).

    Isn't this the essence of the patent that this lawsuit is all about?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

      Standing to Sue?
      Authored by: StormReaver on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 10:07 AM EDT
      This question is probably too obvious to have any merit, but in the interest of
      leaving no stone unturned:

      According to the link to the patent provided in the article, the assignee of the
      patent is Xerox Corporation, not the company doing the suing (I don't want to
      use the company name since it's an unbearably false oxymoron). Isn't the
      assignee the owner of the patent, and therefore the only party with standing to
      sue over it?

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 10:30 AM EDT
      I seem to remember a system like this (or a very very similar idea) ages ago on
      UNIX workstations (1995).

      This patent dates from 1987 and validated in 1991. The question has to be - why
      are they suing now?

      Hey - has anybody patented the recycle bin?!?!

      Maybe I shouldn't mention that - might give somebody ideas....

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Isn't this basic frame buffering?
      Authored by: tinkerghost on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 10:36 AM EDT
      1. Build object off-screen
      2. Map object onto display buffer(1) with transform(1)
      3. Display buffer(1)
      4. Map object onto display buffer(2) with transform(2)
      5. Hide buffer(1)
      6. Display buffer(2)

      It's one of the basics of all graphical game programming. 1 Object mapped multiple times. I'm sure there are nuances in the patent claims that only a lawyer could love, but if it's a nuance - it's hardly innovative is it?

      As far as I can tell this is just combining basic graphical programing techniques with a 'desktop' & claiming innovation. I think Coliqueovision had a few games with split screens that might also be prior art, but it's been way too long since I've played any of them.

      You patented WHAT?!?!?!

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Is Novell a setup?
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 10:39 AM EDT
      Slipping into the "Gangster" mentality that Microsofts head bully
      tends to have.

      Wouldn't it be a lucky break if Microsoft just happened to walk in and
      "save" Novell, thus showing the value in being a member of the
      family.. Um.. I mean partner?

      "We'z can protects youz from any 'accidents' in the future, just like our
      little friend Novell"

      Classic mob threat tactics..

      Just a thought.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 10:42 AM EDT
      So MS has been building an army of patentbots. And from the appearance of the
      infiltration of MS personnel, Acacia/IP Innovation is a zombie in the MS
      patentbot army. [p] The targeting of Novell *and* RedHat by the zombie could
      serve to legitimize the Acacia/IP claim like this: Microsoft, shocked, shocked
      that its New Best Little Buddy Novell has apparently stolen figs from the Nice
      Man's tree, leans on Best Little Buddy to make nice with Acacia/IP. (Not too
      soon--the more money drained from the coffers of FLOSS interests and the more
      FUD generated, the better--but not too long from now, because having a big Linux
      entity admit IPP "wrongdoing" and/or settling with Acacia/IP would be
      the biggest FUD emission of all.) Any monies paid by Novell to Acacia/IP would
      just be Microsoft paying itself to use its own IP, with the PR value of money
      spent for such influence-laundering quite large. [p] Watch for other little
      IP-as-product companies the likes of Eolas to suddenly turn on FLOSS interests
      as well; Acacia/IP can't be the only zombie lined up in the MS patentbot army.
      Don't think Vole, think Hydra.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 10:45 AM EDT
      Actually, the patent quoted was applied for in 1987. It was granted in 1991.
      The earliest citation mentions the Xerox patent from 1984.

      The patent in question is basically a computer system with two desktops that has
      links to the same data on each desktop and that can exchange information across
      the desktops where the desktops are separate and distinct from each other. It
      actually looks to me to build on the 1984 patent (which looks to me to be
      multiple desktops). I cant think of any prior art for the multiple desktops
      patents, but the precursers of X might be able it be used as prior art for that
      as well.

      [ Reply to This | # ]
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 11:08 AM EDT
      Lets collect prior art in this wiki. This already worked great the last time
      when RedHat faced a patent infringement lawsuit in 2006 (against Firestar for
      those that do remember).


      Jan Kechel

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Toggle IBM
      Authored by: Stumbles on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 11:10 AM EDT
      Split screen is not that a novel thing. Convergent Technologies running their
      CTOS operating system back then and perhaps before 1987 was using split screens
      for their word processor called Write1 (IIRC the name).

      And I'm sure the military in some of their communication/satellite comm systems
      display units were using or could use split screens from the "big
      iron" days. That I know from first hand experience and it was IBM via their
      360 mainframe and 3270 terminals were doing it as far back as the late 70s'

      This company seems nothing more than patent trolls. Odd they would pick on
      Redhat and/or Novell, when Microsoft has a bank account worth billions more than
      both these companies combined. And I'm, sure Microsoft makes use of the same
      patent, if it is indeed valid.

      You can tuna piano but you can't tune a fish.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      OS2 Presentation Manager
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 11:15 AM EDT
      After examining the illustrations on the patent, I remembered where I saw
      similar tabbing and displays - and it really looks like OS/2 Presentation
      Manager. It's been quite a few years since I've worked with OS/2, but I can't
      shake the feeling I've seen this before.

      Ok, IBM. Dig deep into your treasure trove of patents and climb on board. It's
      time to get to work.

      PJ, if this patent violates an existing IBM patent, can IBM use it to
      countersue? Or am I hoping for an 800 pound gorilla to step in to protect
      Linux? :)


      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Apple's settlement
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 11:17 AM EDT
      According to reports, Apple was approached over the same patents and rapidly chose to settle. It is my assumption
      1. Microsoft and its proxies wanted this done quickly, to aid in its FUD and allow the attack to start on the real targets, the business-oriented Linux distributors.
      2. Apple was offered a really sweet deal, surely less than the legal fees of fighting.
      It is my understanding (IANAL) that the Apple settlement establishes a reasonable ceiling on fair and equitable license fees on the patents. I think it should be a priority to find out just how favourable a settlement Apple received. Although it goes against the grain, if the answer was $0.10 a copy, perhaps the smart tactical move is to publicly offer a settlement on the same basis. The message would be that companies built around open source are just as pragmatic as their proprietary competitors when presented with a reasonable settlement of patent claims. A further message is that being sued for patent infringement is no big deal anyway. Remember this patent expires shortly so it is not a long-term problem. I confidently predict the offer to settle would be declined, but this would surely strengthen the position of Red Hat and Novell as the case moves forward.

      I fear most in the FOSS community is going to treat any proposal other than global thermonuclear war as some kind of surrender or establishment of precedent. I hope we can be smarter than that.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      More Microsoft "look for Waldo" links
      Authored by: PolR on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 11:20 AM EDT
      Jacob Hawley, Vice-President of Engineering
      Mr Hawley joins Acacia from Microsoft where he held the position of Architect.
      Link (PDF) Please note that Acacia Technologies and Acacia Research Corporation are part of the same holding.

      Acacia is still pursuing streaming providers who it claims violate its patents, going after small firms while leaving the "big three"—Microsoft, Apple, and Real—alone. Acacia's Robert Berman defended the company's actions, but didn't address some of the most pressing questions.

      Acacia is notorious for its pursuing of video streaming providers. Why didn't they go after Microsoft like Eolas did? This may be a topic for research. See here.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Please RTFP
      Authored by: Liquor A. on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 11:27 AM EDT

      I'm seeing all sorts of comments that complain that multiple desktops should affect this patent: The usual IANAL disclaimers all apply here, and I am probably reading it wrong, but to me, it seems to only apply to a single item: Multiple views of the same object, POTENTIALLY, but not necessarily, on multiple displays or desktops.

      Examples for this type of subject are things like:

    • multiple editor windows (e.g. old EMACS, or most modern editors)
    • Old AUTOCAD and even older CAD software that allowed multiple views of the same object from different angles
    • Just about any MUD or MMORPG game (e.g. Everquest, World of Warcraft / Second Life)
    • Possibly it applies to programs similar to MS NetMeeting - any software that allows multiple instances of the SAME desktop or program window.
    • I'm remembering a CAD system I used in 1981 that had multiple workstations on a single machine, and could put use both stations to edit the same object. Unfortunately, this did not use a raster display, but instead had a vector graphic persistent display (i.e. the screen itself was the display memory, and making changes required a complete redraw, which took about 15 seconds) with a limited number of non-persistent lines for cursors, selection frames, and moved objects. I can't remember the name of the system, unfortunately, but some old SIGGRAPH docs might be useful here.

      I'm also getting the impression that this particular bullet (even if it is a dum-dum round) might be aimed at OpenOffice even more specifically than at linux in general. Especially since I believe that some new Microsoft functionality is associated with multiple simultaneous (remote) editors of a single document on a server.

      Liquor A.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      New Supreme Court case
      Authored by: nonlinear on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 11:29 AM EDT
      The Supreme Court has just agreed to look at a case that might be relevant. Even if not then its still interesting. The nature of the case is whether or not everybody in the supply chain from the manufacturer all the way down to the customer is liable for damages. In the case of Novell and RedHat it seems to me that they are in the middle of the supply chain since they didn't write the software and aren't the final user. See: ht tp://

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Mainframe text editorsmay be prior art to some claims
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 11:30 AM EDT
      Editors such as Xedit and the earlier (internal to IBM) Raleigh editor RED, in
      the 1970s, allowed a split screen approach in which the same file could be
      displayed in different ways (e.g. columns 1-80 of each line in text mode in one
      "Window" and columns 40-45 in hex followed by columns 1-20 in text
      mode in another "Window").

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 11:41 AM EDT
      Didn't the Commodore C-64 have a GUI called GEOS, which
      was released in 1985, and dealt with a very similar
      windowed concept.

      GUI's go a long way back, and it should be fairly obvious
      to invalidate some of all of the patent due to prior art.

      Here is an interesting site:

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      This patent's a joke
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 11:46 AM EDT
      It merely describes normal programming practice. Nobody invented anything, nor
      did they innovate in the creation of this so-called invention. It's a perfect
      example of the junk you get when you pack the courts and patent office with
      conservative wingnuts that break the law in order to issue patents to support
      their ideological belief that patents are always good for the economy.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      PJ, can you post a copy of the file wrapper, please?
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 12:04 PM EDT
      PJ, can you post a copy of the file wrapper for this patent, please? File
      wrappers can be big and expensive to obtain, but perhaps you can get one as a
      PDF file from someone involved in the case, if you know someone who is willing
      to give you that information.

      It is foolhardy to try to attack this patent's validity or even try to determine
      how the claims are to be interpreted from the standpoint of an infringement
      action without seeing the prosecution history in the file wrapper.

      In particular, without examining the file wrapper, we do not know how the
      examiner interpreted the patent claims to reach a conclusion as to their
      validity, what, if anything, the applicant had to give up to allow the patent to
      issue, what arguments the applicant had to make in order to overcome any
      rejections the examiner may have made, and whether or not there are any unusual
      events in the prosecution of the patent.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 12:08 PM EDT

      Thank You Pamela Jones for your continued groklaw reporting. The history of the
      IT movement will have lots of your website in it.
      Microsoft, SCO, etc, is really a form of 'legal' war not unlike terrorism.
      Asymmetrical attacks, very expensive and unstable effects to society. When are
      we going to grok the truth, that the biggest threat to USA image, productivity,
      etc, is POGO's statement, ...ourselves?
      The law in society is way past any good or common sense. I'm proud of those who
      work to dismantle this system, its just like an OSS movement against Microsoft.
      Punitive damages and other measures are not even enough to deter a Microsoft,
      which swallowed competition and essentially taxed the industry to death, until
      the OSS revolution came. What is needed, is the truth, of all the costs and
      damages they bring to society, just like war and terrorism.
      Perhaps society will understand than we must make things work, and better
      society, otherwise we end up as Rome did.
      USA, a lawless society, at war with itself, while the rest of the world laughs
      and is preparing the leapfrog game.
      Microsoft, etc, you are a clear and present danger to the USA stability. IT and
      data is what makes everthing work. As Cosmo said in the movie Sneakers,
      "Its all about the Information." People are starting to grok the
      truth, anticompetition destroys life and society. The USA is in decline. You
      do the math.
      Well, the information is out and is somewhat in the free and clear, the IT OSS
      movement has started and only gotten stronger, as self preservation now becomes
      Piss off Microsoft. Hard ball IT games might come your way sometime.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      HEY--THIS WAS FILED IN 1987!
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 12:10 PM EDT

      Hey folks,

      Don't patents expire from the time they're filed? That was my understanding. If that's true, then it's already expired!

      Inventors: Henderson, Jr.; D. Austin (Palo Alto, CA), Card; Stuart K. (Los Altos Hills, CA), Maxwell, III; John T. (Sunnyvale, CA)

      Assignee: Xerox Corporation (Stamford, CT)

      Appl. No.: 07/030,766

      Filed: March 25, 1987


      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 12:14 PM EDT
      Ethical considerations about user interface patents aside, this patent doesn't
      look all that bad for Redhat or Xorg.

      The claims of the '412 Patent seem to be quite specific, as the patent seems to
      have had to differentiate itself from a lot of prior art even back in 1987.

      The patent doesn't claim the concept of workspaces. It claims an outlandish,
      though specific implementation of that concept.

      The independent claims, which I think are claims 1, 21, 24, 38, 44, 49, 53, 56
      as well as 59 all refer to two "display objects", the second of which
      is made to be "perceptible as the same tool as the first display

      As "display objects" - in the way they are defined in that patent -
      are what a workspace is made of, and they are required to be spatially distinct,
      the word in X11 terminology for them would be "windows".

      So, this patent claims that two windows, each visible on two different
      workspaces, are made to look like one another, so that you mistake them to be
      one and the same Window if you switch between workspaces.

      More specifically, they are made to automatically look like one another, so you
      don't infringe if you just manually maximize two firefox instances (I'm not sure
      about that).

      This is not the way gnome or kde work. Basically, if you have two workspaces,
      you have three groups of windows, one belonging to workspace 1, one belonging to
      workspace 2 and one belonging to all workspaces, which your panels and transient
      windows belong to.

      So, when switching from workspace 1 to workspace 2, you hide windows belonging
      to ws1 and unhide those belonging to ws2, but don't touch those remaining in
      both workspaces.

      Less popular window managers should be examined for infringement, though.
      Perhaps some obscure, abandoned window-manager somewhere does something,
      anything, that resembles what is claimed in that patent.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Xerox Contribution to X-Windows; Possible License or Estoppel
      Authored by: rdc3 on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 12:14 PM EDT

      Did Xerox at any time provide a patent license to X-windows based implementations or make any statements implying non-assertion of this patent against such implementations?

      As noted previously, the patent is related to an article published in 1986.

      D. Austin Henderson, Jr. and Stuart K. Card, "Rooms: the use of multiple virtual workspaces to reduce space contention in a window-based graphical user interface," ACM Transactions on Graphics 5(3), July 1986, pp. 211-243.

      I assume that the article does not count as prior art against the patent because of the US rule that authors have one year after publication to make a patent filing.

      But I did a few searches to see if Xerox followed up in any way in possibly licensing or contributing technology to X-windows. It turns out that there is a helpful online bibliography of Xerox PARC publications that includes the following item among others.

      William C. Janssen. "xRooms: A multiple virtual workspaces window manager for the X Window System." In Proceedings of the 1990 X Window System Technical Conference, Boston, MA, January 1990.

      So my question is, what is the extent of Xerox contribution of this technology to X-windows and under what licenses or implied patent grant was the contribution made?

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 12:24 PM EDT
      IANAL, but as I read the patent I notice that it seems to define an extremely
      narrow set of requirements that must be met in order for something to be said to
      implement the patent.

      Or does infringement on any single claim count?

      If not, then we're all in the clear. A window in X, if it appears on multiple
      desktops (is sticky), does not have desktop-dependent size and shape.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Bad timing . . .
      Authored by: CraigAgain on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 12:26 PM EDT
      Had this come prior to SCO's attempt, they might have stood a chance. However,
      anyone who reads the comments above mine will realize that the community's
      muscle has increased geometrically from the spar with SCO. I suspect that open
      source and linux will only grow stronger from this.

      Thanks for giving me a front row seat, PJ!

      Don't change your dreams to fit reality. Change reality to fit your dreams.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Sprites, video games, and Macromedia's Director
      Authored by: jbb on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 12:32 PM EDT
      Sprites have been used in computer graphics (mostly video games) since the 1970's. MacroMedia's Director was using sprites and similar concepts since 1985.

      These might not count as prior art since they are not per se GUIs controlling other tasks. But they do a good job of showing how incredibly obvious the idea was. When you create a Graphical User Interface, it is only natural to take pre-existing graphics art and tack on a UI component.

      This patent could be the poster child for why software patents in general are bad. The main reason we have a free software movement and not a free mechanisms movement is that software inherently builds upon prior art, layer upon layer, much more so than would ever be physically possible with mechanisms. If people (corporations) are allowed to patent a single step in the process of software evolution, such as this case where a UI component is tacked on to the existing sprite framework, then almost no non-trivial piece of software will be free from multiple patent incumberances. Which seems to be exactly the situation we face today.

      You just can't win with DRM.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Gutenberg -- Prior Art?
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 12:34 PM EDT
      The word 'computer' doesn't appear in the patent claims anywhere. Is there the
      possibility of non-digital prior art?

      For example, the 'display' might be a 'book', 'workspaces' might be 'pages',
      'workspace data structures' might be sentences, words, letters...

      I tried to read the first claim with this in mind, but my head hurts from the
      language they used. Does anyone here have a thicker skull (or a higher pain

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 12:35 PM EDT
      It seems to me that this patent may have expired.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 12:40 PM EDT
      Hi Guys,

      look at this US patent about "Graphical user interface" by Thomas C.
      O'Rourke et al. This patent filed in 1991 and Issue date in 1994. what's worry
      with the patent system of the US :)

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Validation for RedHat...
      Authored by: vinea_mayhem on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 12:56 PM EDT
      Contrary to popular groklaw belief, patent trolls are not a MS invention. In
      fact, MS, Novell, Apple, etc. have been hit repeatedly by patent trolls.

      So I view this as a validation of Red Hat as a company that has made enough
      money selling Linux that they are worth trolling...and that is validation for
      Linux itself in an oddball way.

      Dell might get a letter to stop selling Ubuntu on their PCs which could be
      potentially more annoying than RH getting sued.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      It is useful to have an insider
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 01:17 PM EDT
      A rational question is to ask "why also Novell"? Yes, we all know
      Novell and MS are buddies and all so this is a reason to think MS is not behind
      this lawsuit.

      Imho what's going to happen is that Novell will be VERY collaborative and
      willing to accept to pay royalties for this BS patent, the game will be make Red
      Hat play alone. The expected aftermath (for MS-Novell) would be to make Red Hat
      look like a rogue company that does not respect IP. And yes, thanks to Novell
      the case will be much harder to solve for Red Hat than before, probably Novell
      will rush in making a deal so there's precedent...

      Laugh at the ridiculous theory all you want, I just hope Novell does not prove
      me right on this one. But if they do, then I hope nobody will argue to me whose
      side Novell is playing for.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      SunVIew and NeWS
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 01:34 PM EDT
      What about SunView and NeWS windowing systems? If I remember correctly atleast
      NeWS had multiple screens and there was someting for SunView. This should get
      us to the mid 80's if my memory is correct.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 01:35 PM EDT
      "X originated at MIT in 1984. The current protocol version, X11, appeared
      in September 1987." Linux essentially uses the methods from X, protocol,
      etc. So, either there was prior art (X11) that invalidates the patent, or only
      non-essential minor refinements to X11 could be a violation of the patent.
      Clearly the only point to this lawsuit is harassment.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Bas Burger on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 01:45 PM EDT
      What this all says is that the GNU/Linux has grownup economically to the point
      where people are going to take this seriously.
      There are 100000001 theories about economics but it all boils down to value
      perception and trust.
      Linux it's value was little mostly up till SCO started suing it by proxy against
      certain Linux distributors and old clients.
      This whole thing has caused a major overview by managers and clients that
      started to ask them selfs "This Linux thing must be worth, why else would a
      company like SCO wasting millions in litigation".
      Now managers are standing in 2 queues, one as buyers of service that come with
      Linux and the other as litigators.
      We will see what the future brings.

      No comments...

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Wanlass v. Fedders Corporation
      Authored by: Sxooter on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 01:57 PM EDT
      And Wanlass v. General Electric Company are both very interesting cases on patent law and laches.

      Link to article: Doctrine of Laches and Patent Infringement Litigation

      Basically, GE won because they made it quite clear that they were using Wanlass' design while Fedders lost because they tried to be sneaky and hide it. I.e. by being ballsy and basically telling Wanlass that they considered his patent invalid, and Wanlass taking > 6 years to take them to court, GE got a free ride. I think that definitely would apply here. Linux / Unix has hidden little or nothing, and the holder of this patent took too long to take anyone to court to enforce it.

      Plus the fact is that it's pretty much a worthless patent on something obvious and done with prior OSes at the time it was filed.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Who or what is the suit about.
      Authored by: Bill The Cat on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 01:57 PM EDT
      Hmmm I thought Linux was just an operating system. Distros come bundled with a
      lot of utilities, applications and extensions (drivers, etc.) A lot of which is
      not Linux.

      Novell, Red Hat, Suse, etc. all sell bundles of software -- a package, that
      includes the OS, extensions and such. You certainly don't need any windowing
      system to run a server although, it is nice. TTY can do most of what's needed
      to manage a web server, firewall, or print server.

      This suit seems to be like suing a library because a single book may have a
      copyright infringement. Wouldn't the proper approach be to sue the people who
      supplied the package?

      X11 came out a long time ago and even the early window managers had the
      capabilities being described here so I'm sure there is prior art involved.
      Patents need to list any other art that relates to them. A patent for a car
      would need to include the patents for tires, seats, engines, ...

      So, I'm confused. Isn't this suit like suing a library because a publisher put
      out a book that infringes a copyright? Shouldn't the suit go after the party
      that violated a patent and not the distributor?

      If this is allowed, then even CompUSA or Fry's or any other retailer could be
      sued for selling the software and the user for installing it. It would never
      end. You could sue the world and collect more than the national debt.

      Of course, we've seen weirder things happen with our legal system. It's a roll
      of the dice for sure. The only consistent thing about our system is its
      inconsistency ;)

      Bill The Cat

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Finding Prior Art
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 02:07 PM EDT ish.pdf

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 02:41 PM EDT
      Well, on the up side, PJ has job security!

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Enderle? Didio? OGara?
      Authored by: seanlynch on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 02:45 PM EDT
      • Enderle?
      • Didio?
      • OGara?
      • a new face?

      Who will be the first "independent" analyst or journalist to predict Linux's demise due to this patent suit?

      The winner who guesses correctly will win a hardy handshake!

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Any comments from the 'Inventors'
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 02:55 PM EDT
      The 'inventors' listed in the patent are:

      D. Austin Henderson, Jr.,
      Stuart K. Card,
      John T. Maxwell, III

      It would be interesting to hear what they have to say on the subject.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Happened to Apple
      Authored by: JamesK on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 03:19 PM EDT
      vs Apple

      There are 10 kinds of people, those who understand binary and those who don't.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 04:02 PM EDT
      Interesting. Looks like Microsoft applied for a similar patent in 2004.

      Microsoft Seeks Patent On Virtual Desktop Pager

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 04:15 PM EDT

      Google for: "window manager" "multiple desktops"

      First hit:

      The article has had a lot of revisions over the summmer.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: minkwe on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 04:53 PM EDT
      In my office I have three desks/workspaces corresponding to the three different
      tasks that I perform everyday.

      On each workspace, I have just the documents and folders that I'm using for the
      specific task. In fact I have an additional workspace where I eat my lunch and
      display my family's photos.

      I can easily transfer documents and objects from one workspace to another as

      If there is any patent that was actually violated here, it seems to be the
      "idea of using a computer as a desktop replacement".

      What exactly seems to be the invention here?

      "Corporate views on IP law might be described as similar to a 2-year-old's
      concept of who gets to play with all the toys regardless of who brought them" --

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Large companies need to make large choices
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 04:56 PM EDT
      At some point in time, microsoft is going to upset the wrong people. Imagine if
      IBM, Dell, HP, and Gateway reached a point where they would no longer sell
      machines that included windows.... or any operating system for that matter. If
      a swift move like that was organized. It would spell the doom of microsoft.
      Sure, people would still purchase windows separately, but not in the numbers
      they currently are. Pirating would go thru the roof, and MS would collapse. :)

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 04:59 PM EDT
      I'd like to review the patent, but am unsure exactly what constitutes tainting.

      Does anyone have a reasonable explanation? Not looking for legal advice, just a
      common-sense sumamry of the risks surrounding reading this (or other) patents.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      What I would like to see...
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 05:07 PM EDT
      I would like to see someone put together a list of every patent held by this company. I would like to see the community research every single one. I would like to see the community work together to get every single patent held by this company invalidated using the prior art produced by the community.

      By engaging in total patent war we could teach a lesson the world won't forget about going after Linux.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Can you sue for Patent Infringement with an expired patent?
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 05:07 PM EDT
      I'm sorry, but this was filed in May 1987. The patent should have expired May
      2007. When did IP Innovation file suit?
      Wouldn't it be a case of fraud or possibly extortion to try and sue now? This is
      a pretty weak patent to sue from. Is this the best you got Microsoft? You know
      back in the day, when I used Windows, I always ran Norton Desktop for Windows,
      which gave Windows multiple desktops. It also did the same thing for DOS.

      I know for a fact that NDW was in production prior to the granting of this

      November 1991
      Computers in Libraries archive
      Volume 11 , Issue 10 (November 1991) table of contents
      Pages: 27 - 28
      Year of Publication: 1991

      NY Times August 1991

      So, I think they're about 16 years late in sueing, don't you think?

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      I don't think IP Innovation and Technology have got the guts
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 05:37 PM EDT
      I don't think this ip-holding company want a multi-million lawsuit they will
      probably lose. Why did Apple pay them? To avoid the same. If Novell tough it
      out they can scare these guys off.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Microsoft uses proxy to get around promise to Novell
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 06:24 PM EDT
      An agreement that Microsoft wont sue Novell is only honored to the extent of the
      literal words but not to the intent that Novell depended on. Microsoft wants to
      destroy all linux based competition, including Novell.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      How many times was this patent filed, anyway?
      Authored by: DarkPhoenix on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 06:37 PM EDT

      While running a search for the history of virtual desktops and such, I stumbled across this: PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&r=1&l=50&f=G&d=PALL&s1=5533183 .PN.&OS=PN/5533183&RS=PN/5533183

      What is this? Why, it's the same patent, filed by the same group at Xerox, only in 1995. So it appears that one patent wasn't good enough; they filed the SAME APPLICATION multiple times, and so have the patent multiple times. Why in the world would you file the SAME PATENT TWICE?

      The best part, of course, is by 1995 the "Alternate implementations" section was out of date. Actually, it was out of date in 1987 (Amiga and MacOS both had something akin to multiple desktops), but by 1995 MOST UNIX systems had virtual desktops through X-Windows...

      Please note that sections in quotes are NOT copied verbatim from articles, but are my interpretations of the articles.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      USENIX 1990 - swm - prior art?
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 07:05 PM EDT
      Would 1990 be prior art? SWM had it in 1990 as per this pdf by Tom Strange who
      wrote both twm and swm.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      self-fulfilling prophecy
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 07:49 PM EDT
      It must be so nice to be a self-fulfilling prophet.

      Ballmer's pleasure never ends.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      IP Devolution LLC
      Authored by: The Mad Hatter r on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 09:07 PM EDT

      OK, I read the patent, and my conclusion is that this "technology" is
      present in products from every software company, and has been in common use
      since 1980.

      But IANAL. Nor am I a judge.


      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 10:36 PM EDT
      They will drop Novell to add value to the M$ deal.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Workaround; set WM to only 1 desktop
      Authored by: Walter Dnes on Saturday, October 13 2007 @ 12:06 AM EDT
      OK, maybe I'm an old fogy, or maybe I still haven't shaken off "the
      Microsoft way" of doing things. When I first tried linux, I had panic
      attacks when all my icons and open apps occasionally disappeared. In response
      to my emails, people asked me if this happenned when I pulled the cursor over to
      the edge. Yes? But why?

      That's when I found out about multiple desktops. So my next question was
      "HOW DO I TURN THIS (expletive deleted) "FEATURE" OFF???"
      Well, it turns out that WM's (Window Managers) usually have a setting somewhere
      for the number of desktops. I set mine to 1 desktop, and all was well. My open
      programs no longer disappeared when I moved the cursor out of the way at the
      edge of the screen. Running with "only 1 desktop" is perfectly normal
      for me.

      So my question is... can Redhat etal simply default their distros to 1 desktop
      on the gui, and tell the plaintiffs to pound sand?

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Who the Red Hat and Novell attorneys are facing
      Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 13 2007 @ 12:56 AM EDT
      Ward and Smith is apparently a very small law firm in Longview, Texas with a seemingly limited scope of practice, curiously including patent infringement. (I say "curiously" considering that the attorneys I have met who have been active in this area have all had sound technical backgrounds, the sorts of backgrounds which this firm doesn't appear to possess at all.)

      T. John Ward Jr. (Johnny Ward) signed the complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Marshall Division as attorney for the plaintiff. Please understand that I am not implying any unethical behavior on the part of the court or officers of the court, but there is another point which strikes me as unusual. Namely, there is a T. John Ward who is a judge in the same U.S. District Court in which this action is filed, though this is clearly not assigned to his docket.

      Anyway, I have the impression that this little firm would not have the expertise and staying power to go through a long battle on its own. For this reason, it will be interesting to watch who else might come to bat should Red Hat and/or Novell choose to engage in an aggressive defense.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Just another "on a computer" patent
      Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 13 2007 @ 01:38 AM EDT
      I don't have citations, but didn't a court recently rule that you cannot patent
      doing a real-world thing that cannot be patented for reasons of obviousness, if
      the only thing that is different is that now you are using modern electronics?

      Seriously, this patent is "having multiple workspaces" "on a
      computer". I think any old movie with a guy who has more than one desk
      would qualify as prior art.

      Heck, isn't "having more than one workspace" the fundamental idea
      behind the credenza? The little pull-out extra counter-thingy that desks have
      had for centuries?

      The very existence of the "innovation" as an "analogy" or
      "metaphor" (e.g. multiple _desktops_ etc.) points to the nature of the
      alleged innovation as falling into the direct realm of something un-patentable
      having been patented by adding "on a computer" to it.

      The other clear indicator is that it lists a bunch of things that exist and then
      a "for the purpose of" clause. That is, you can't say that patenting
      the building of a shelter for the purpose of keeping your bed dry is somehow
      different than patenting a shelter built for the purpose of keeping your couch

      The test that I would propose to the court for that a test for patentability is:
      if you can cross out the things that the patent does NOT purport to invent, and
      you are only left with conjunctions which combine (a) items performing their
      existing and well understood purposes (which isn't patentable as of 1957 or so
      q.v. putting a conveyor belt next to a cash register); or (b) statements of
      purpose (such as "to allow the user to organize" or any mention of
      "client" and "server" which is techno-geek for deviding an
      application into two parts to get them on separate machines, which is the
      division of labor, which is not patentable); or (c) words of metaphor; or (d)
      "with a computer" or "on the internet"; then you have
      something that is _NOT_ an innovation.

      Consider the one-click shopping. The patent claims to allow the user to create a
      relationship with the seller such that the seller knows how he will be paid and
      how the item will be conveyed to the buyer once the buyer locates the item and
      decides the price as offered is acceptable, and with this existing relationship
      in place the user can perform a single understood action (e.g. click one button
      on the web page) and the rest of the transaction will take place as understood.

      Once you "cross out" all the normal non-innovative things (establish a
      relationship, make standard arrangements for payment, make standard arrangements
      for delivery, select the item to be conveyed, understand and accept the price as
      offered) we are left with (a) the "single understood action" and (b) a
      bunch of stuff about "pushing the button on the web page using a

      Well, for centuries we have had the well-to-do "dispatching a boy" to
      get something from a vendor, Mr. Engles from his little house on the prairie
      walking into Lars' dry good, picking up an object, waving it and maybe even
      saying aloud "put it on my tab" if Lars isn't talking to little Laura.
      (interrupting them would be rude if they are talking 8-). and so on. In short,
      once we all know each other and the rules of our agreement, we often do
      "the short version" of the buying transaction.

      So having dispatched everything else, we are left with the browser, the
      computer, the world wide web, and indeed the "browser button" (none of
      which we are not claiming to invent), we are left with the two more things the
      test eliminates, the "obvious" "to make purchasing easier"
      (e.g. the statement of purpose) and "on the computer, on the

      we literally run out of words at that point.

      See the problem with patenting software is _not_ that "software is
      math", it is that software, by definition, is "mere aggregation".
      That is, the software cannot make the computer do something beyond what it and
      its aggregated components were designed to do. CPUs compute. Graphic
      Subsystems draw. Memory remembers. Disks store. All the rest is "for a
      particular purpose".

      We propose using the disk store to store a database, or we propose using a
      network to connect multiple machines.

      The people who invented the hardware already got the patent for that function of
      that device. The software is just saying "yah, do that thing you do, you
      know, that thing... but like now" (again and again).

      If I have a sweing machine that can automatically embroider a huge number of
      things at the turn of a control and the push of a button, nobody would accept my
      attempt to patent "using a sewing machine automatically embroider a pretty
      flower on a tee-shirt to make people happy." The sewing machine already
      does all the work and has the cams and patterns for the flower. Someone else
      invented the tee-shirt. someone else invented putting things on tee-shirts.
      someone else invented thread. All I am bringing to the table is the statement
      of purpose "to make people happy".

      Yea, that's all software is, mere aggregation, and all software patents are is
      dressing up what the machine is designed to do behind a curtain of intent and

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Prior Art
      Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 13 2007 @ 01:41 AM EDT
      Link to the Microsoft past.

      It's all in the game. One object, different viewports and different views. Can we expect that Ballmer will sue them?

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 13 2007 @ 01:44 AM EDT
      Sleazeball company hires sleazeball executives from Microsoft. And Microsoft is
      to blame for what the sleazeball company does.

      There are idiots and assholes everywhere. Microsoft hires many assholes.
      Apparently Groklaw has its share of idiots.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Discovery could be interesting
      Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 13 2007 @ 02:16 AM EDT
      Think of all of the Microsoft employees that could be deposed in a search for
      prior art.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 13 2007 @ 02:20 AM EDT
      How long have they known of this supposed infringement? Why have they waited so
      long to make a claim? I say they lost their chance years ago if they truly felt
      their patent was bing infringed. The court should throw it out.
      The first change in patent law should be that a patent infringement should be
      dealt with immediately. If someone sits on a patent waiting for the offender to
      make money then the patent is forfeit.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 13 2007 @ 02:52 AM EDT
      So can we have a jury trial on this next week ?

      This case is like a piece of 'unsolicited commercial email', or 'spam'. The
      sooner we finish it ,the sooner we can see what wreckage we have to cope with,
      and the sooner we can get on with the serious business of providing service to

      Surely Acacia do not intend to develop and market a product based on the patent
      they hold. Their customers would just go for Microsoft Windows or Apple OSX

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 13 2007 @ 03:41 AM EDT
      Surely (although a patent has been granted) this is a concept rather than an
      actual piece of code?

      Can you patent an idea and thus any implementation of an idea?

      Seems overbroad as a "patent" to me.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Is this specific to the USA now?
      Authored by: zander on Saturday, October 13 2007 @ 07:02 AM EDT
      I'm wondering if companies in Europe or Asia / Oceania are
      currently immune to this kind of attack do to their
      resitence to software patents in lawmaking.

      If so, then can we expect companies to move out of the USA
      (or at minimum Texas) to avoid frivolous stuff like this?

      And repeat that question for open source development;
      should projects put up a banner at their downloads "this
      product is illegal in the USA, you are only allowed to
      download this from other places."

      Thomas Zander

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 13 2007 @ 07:40 AM EDT
      Am I the only one who sees in this a very opportune timing to silence Red Hat's
      call for calm?

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Microsoft patent attack by proxy on Linux
      Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 13 2007 @ 08:56 AM EDT
      This is Microsoft's doing without a shadow of a doubt. In this news pick there is a relevant quote
      On Oct. 1, Acacia Research announced that it had hired Brad Brunell as a senior VP. Brunell joined the company from Microsoft, where he was previously the software maker's general manager for intellectual-property licensing.
      When will everyone else in the software industry realize that Microsoft is not to be trusted. They will do anything to try and safeguard their monopoly on PC software. Perhaps this will start to persuade the doubters that GPL V3 is the best license for all open source software if you want to help safeguard Linux against patents.

      Ironically the fact that Microsoft have allowed Acacia (and there must have been collusion) to attack Novell as well as Red Hat might help to cement closer relationships between the two companies and perhaps now the senior management of Novell (and possibly Linspire and Xandros) might not start to see the error of their ways (but I won't hold my breath).

      What is needed (perhaps) is some sort of punitive patent attack by companies that use Linux against Microsoft perhaps against one of their flagship products (perhaps a temporary injunction preventing sales of Vista, Office or SQL Server). It would be poetic justice to see Microsoft in court trying to argue against software patents but obviously this is just speculation.

      I do not think there is any real danger with this patent attack as there is so much (obvious) prior art but the very fact that Microsoft (via their proxy) are keeping the open source community busy in the courts is slowing down Linux adoption (which is obviously what they want).

      What do other people think?

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 13 2007 @ 10:40 AM EDT
      It might appear that Apple has licensed this patent in settlement of the suit brought against them earlier in the same District Court.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 13 2007 @ 10:55 AM EDT
      I state nothing here as being 100%, only my opinion
      based on my own knowledge:

      This lawsuit, it is very much like a SCO, read in the link below, to the point,

      ~"Until about 2000,"
      and a clue about RedHat in this lawsuit.

      as well as:

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent infringement insurance
      Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 13 2007 @ 12:07 PM EDT
      I see that a number of companies carry insurance against such a liability. A
      question which comes to mind is whether Red Hat and Novell carry such insurance.
      I gather that occasionally a significant determinant of whether a company
      engages in an aggressive defense in such a suit devolves into a business
      decision balancing costs and exposure. This is to point out that one or both
      defendants might opt to settle without regard to validity or applicability of
      the patent.

      I know that we would be unhappy with this sort of outcome. But it could happen,
      even though the pertinent code/functionality is demonstrably non-infringing or
      the patents are inapplicable or invalid.

      Let's hope that the Supreme Court continues to formulate decisions that squelch
      this predation.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Acacia Technologies Enters Into License Agreement With Novell
      Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 13 2007 @ 12:50 PM EDT
      Acacia Technologies Enters Into License Agreement With Novell (PDF file)
      Acacia Research Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTG) announced today that its Disc Link Corporation subsidiary, which is part of its Acacia Technologies group, a leader in technology licensing, has entered into a license agreement with Novell, Inc. covering patents relating to portable storage devices with links. The agreement resolves litigation that was pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas with respect to certain Novell products.
      The portable storage devices with links technology generally relates to products sold or distributed on CDs or DVDs that include a link to retrieve additional data via the Internet.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      1970's - SDMS
      Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 13 2007 @ 01:45 PM EDT
      Has any one heard of SDMS (Spatial Data Management System)? This thread
      suggests that is where the original idea came from.

      The thread is from MIT's The Electronic Broadsheet and a conversation with Tom
      LaStrange who wrote twm and swm. SWM was the first window manager to include
      virtual desktops, although commercially.

      > Where the original ide comes from can be disputed. In the Media Lab we

      > like to believe that SDMS (Spatial Data Management System) was first.

      Well I certainly never saw it but if it was done in the 70's I'd bet you were

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 13 2007 @ 01:50 PM EDT
      Hmm, if the patent was filed in 1991, why wait this long to enforce it? This technology has been in Linux since at least 1996 when I started using Linux. So why wait till now instead of 10 year ago or more when it was first introduced into XFree86?

      I know that Sun has this same technology in their windows system, so are they going to go after Sun next? Then who else?

      I'm all for patent reform, as I used to be a patent examiner, and there are many examiners who do not know what they are looking at when they get a patent application.

      Here is what I would change in patents: 1) All patents that deal with software ( in any form ) would be limited to 7 years after filing date; 2) Any patent that was in use for more than 3 years of usage and was not enforced for 3 years would be invalidated; 3) All other patents would have a life of 10 years from filing date instead of the current 20 years; 4) Software or hardware patents on technology that is used as a standard ( any thing dealing with 802.x or 801.x or any RFC or any w3c standard ) would be invalidated once they were approved as a standard if the patent holder submits them to be a standard ( this would mean that any patents that MS has on Word would be invalidated if they pushed their format as a standard and it was passed ).

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      The Amiga had MWB before the patent was filed....
      Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 13 2007 @ 03:11 PM EDT
      From the usenet archives, the MWB offered multiple
      workbenches on different screens, I assume this
      means that different workbench configurations could
      exist on different screens. Anyone with an emulator

      And this >update< to an already existing MWB was
      released 10 days before the patent was filed.

      4b"> REVISED MWB (Multiple-Workbench program)</a>

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 13 2007 @ 10:36 PM EDT
      You are correct. I've owned Amigas almost since day 1. There is only 1
      Workbench screen. However the Silicon Graphics(SGI) Indy had multiple workspaces
      as did BeOS.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: PhantasyConcepts on Monday, October 15 2007 @ 12:40 AM EDT
      I should be sleeping. I missed this article earlier, and will be reading up on
      the comments as soon as I can. That said, I did a google search on the "X
      Consortium", who actually created X Windows - or so it is widely held. I
      came across a fair timeline on Wikipedia, and I would be interested to know if
      anyone has similar results. If the dates are accurate, XWindows actually
      predates this patent's application by three years, and if I remember right, GEOS
      for the Commodore 64 and 128 predates the patent as well. Also, Windows 1.0 was
      initially sold in the early 80's, OS2 was sold in the late 80's, Windows 3.0 and
      3.1 which were the ones most people remember using first, were released in the
      mid-80's. All of these things sound like prior art to me. But yet, this
      company is suing Red Hat and Novell, NOT the group responsible for creating the
      GUI. All they are doing is going after companies that are selling Linux in
      hopes that they can curtail the sale and distribution of Linux, and eventually
      go after those who are using Linux at home. Oddly, I notice that they haven't
      targeted Sun or IBM, even though both Solaris and AIX run GUIs which would
      infringe upon this allegedly valid patent. In fact, they both run X.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Multiple X for Y
      Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, October 15 2007 @ 04:08 AM EDT
      Please is there anyone who patented an idea, that we can have
      "Multiple X for Y"? So called :universal patent for multiplying
      anything". For example multiple monitors, multiple CDROMs, multiple
      processors? Anything can be reasonably multiplied -- these patents for "We
      have a bombastic idea that multipying X can be cool." should be
      automatically cancelled.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      OSNEWS accusses PJ of going "black helicoptor"
      Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, October 15 2007 @ 07:58 AM EDT

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      X Built in (Obvious rebuke)
      Authored by: hamstring on Monday, October 15 2007 @ 09:00 AM EDT
      This is not something new, but rather built in to the X server. The Athena
      Project knew very well the implications of making the DISPLAY network based.
      The Nature of the Network is that data is shared. Unix also knew what it was
      doing when the TTY was designed.

      Several products use the DISPLAY in such a shared way. Hewlett Packard's
      "Shared-X" program is a very good pay for example.
      "Screens" is a very good open source example. These programs do NOT do
      the same thing, but work in the same way. Although these products do not do the
      same thing, nor do they use the same mechanism for doing things. However, they
      both can display data from a single source over an (possibly) infinite amount of

      # echo "Mjdsptpgu Svdlt" | tr [b-z] [a-y]
      # IANAL and do not like Monopoly

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: txwikinger on Monday, October 15 2007 @ 09:28 AM EDT
      Will the lawsuit be stayed while someone appeals at the
      Patent Office and shows it is an invalid patent? The prior
      art / lack of novelty seems prima facie.

      In anycase, the patent is already 16 years old... with all
      the litigations always taken years to finish, it will not
      be extendible anymore when the litigation is over.Or
      shouldn't really the filing date (1986) be counted, then
      it is already expired.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Is there a preexisting license?
      Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, October 15 2007 @ 02:11 PM EDT
      Long ago and far away I was an X consortium representative and I vaguely
      remember that the X consortium had a blanked license agreement with Xerox PARC
      for all of this stuff. Some one who was there at the should check into that.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      • Old DOS-Times ... - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, October 15 2007 @ 05:41 PM EDT
      A setup?
      Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, October 15 2007 @ 05:34 PM EDT
      Consider the situation, MS teams with Novell to protect customers against IP
      claims. Troll sues RedHat and Novell. Expected conclusion, MS protection saves
      Novell and RedHat pays. Result a big tub of FUD.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      What makes the USPTO think it can issue software patents?
      Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, October 15 2007 @ 11:56 PM EDT
      I was reading DIAMOND v. DIEHR, 450 U.S. 175 (1981)
      This case seems to be the one that the USPTO thinks allows software patents.
      The text:
      "While a scientific truth, or the mathematical expression of it, is not a
      patentable invention, a novel and useful structure created with the aid of
      knowledge of scientific truth may be." Mackay Radio & Telegraph Co. v.
      Radio Corp. of America, 306 U.S. 86, 94 (1939)
      seems to imply that code alone is not patentable. It can only be included as
      part of a whole patentable process when used to control the process. I am no
      lawyer but I think this case is where we need to start.
      Good article at

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, October 17 2007 @ 09:01 PM EDT
      Still, it would be prior art if it was a commercially available product that
      pre-dated the patent, and would thus invalidate the patent.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
      Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 18 2007 @ 09:59 PM EDT
      Xerox was the patent owner then when they modified the X-Windows under BSD
      Under the license, they granted use and modification of the technology.

      Redhat, Novell and the users already had a license to use the patented
      Therefore, the lawsuit will be dismissed in the future before trial.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

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