Browse Source

adding improved version

svn path=/branches/test/; revision=21792
tags/stw2018
husovec 8 years ago
parent
commit
60292642ad
1 changed files with 18 additions and 10 deletions
  1. 18
    10
      nortel.en.xhtml

+ 18
- 10
nortel.en.xhtml View File

@@ -32,9 +32,17 @@
<li><a href="#4" name="TOC4">Android as a likely first target</a></li>
<li><a href="#5" name="TOC5">Two lines of attack</a></li>
<li><a href="#6" name="TOC6">Line of attack 1: Blocking distribution</a></li>
<li><a href="#7" name="TOC4">Particular concern: The Linux kernel</a></li>
<li><a href="#8" name="TOC5">Line of attack 2: Raising a tax on Free Software</a></li>
<li><a href="#9" name="TOC6">Attacks by Rockstar members on Android</a></li>
<li><a href="#7" name="TOC7">Particular concern: The Linux kernel</a></li>
<li><a href="#8" name="TOC8">Line of attack 2: Raising a tax on Free Software</a></li>
<li><a href="#9" name="TOC9">Attacks by Rockstar members on Android</a></li>
<li><a href="#10" name="TOC10">Further patent-based attacks: Lodsys vs app developers</a></li>
<li><a href="#11" name="TOC11">Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) as an anticompetitive strategy</a></li>
<li><a href="#12" name="TOC12">How will Rockstar members generate ROI at such a high price per patent?</a></li>
<li><a href="#13" name="TOC13">Is there a "red line" quantity of patents which can be transferred without harming competition?</a></li>
<li><a href="#14" name="TOC14">Transaction would strengthen existing dominant positions</a></li>
<li><a href="#15" name="TOC15">Conclusions</a></li>
<li><a href="#16" name="TOC16">Recommended course of action</a></li>
</ol>
<p></p>
@@ -209,7 +217,7 @@ While this may be feasible for some makers of high-end smartphones, paying this
</p>
<h2>Further patent-based attacks: Lodsys vs app developers</h2>
<h2><a name="10"/>Further patent-based attacks: Lodsys vs app developers</h2>
<p>
Another long-standing fear held by software developers recently turned out to be all too real when Lodsys, a non-practicing entity, threatened lawsuits against a raft of iOS application developers in May 2011.<sup><a href="#14">14</a></sup>
@@ -224,7 +232,7 @@ Around the same time, another US-based non-practicing entity called Macrosolve b
</p>
<h2>Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) as an anticompetitive strategy</h2>
<h2><a name="11"/>Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) as an anticompetitive strategy</h2>
<p>
These patent-based attacks cause some immediate damage, insofar as a company targeted in a lawsuit will usually either be obliged to pay damages, or -- more frequently -- will settle out of court. But these attacks also have the much broader effect of creating Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) around Android in particular, and Free Software in general. Both effects combine to form what amounts to a tax on the use of Android, levied by companies that had no hand in creating the system.
@@ -253,7 +261,7 @@ Given the fundamental nature of many of the technologies which we must presume t
Microsoft has every incentive to use this strategy in the various markets where its dominant position is threatened by Free Software competitors, such as office productivity software and workgroup servers; and in markets where it wishes to expand its market share from a low base, such as mobile phones. Allowing Microsoft to acquire Nortel's patents would thus both cement the company's dominant positions where it holds them, and let it acquire dominant positions where it does not yet hold them.
</p>
<h2>How will Rockstar members generate ROI at such a high price per patent?</h2>
<h2><a name="12"/>How will Rockstar members generate ROI at such a high price per patent?</h2>
<p>
The Rockstar consortium is an uncommon gathering of companies which have only one single trait in common: They are disrupted by a new competitor that offers valuable technology at a price of zero. From this point of view, this acquisition is akin to an exclusionary patent pool, an exclusionary one -- something which usually merits close antitrust scrutiny.
@@ -280,7 +288,7 @@ However, given the fundamental nature of some of Nortel's patents, the same stra
</p>
<h2>Is there a "red line" quantity of patents which can be transferred without harming competition?</h2>
<h2><a name="13"/>Is there a "red line" quantity of patents which can be transferred without harming competition?</h2>
<p>
From the above analysis, we conclude that the question of whether the Nortel deal poses a risk to competition from Free Software cannot be framed in terms of how many patents the members of Rockstar Bidco are allowed to acquire from Nortel. The Rockstar member companies would be liable to use any part of Nortel's patent portfolio to pursue either one or both lines of attack described above:
@@ -298,7 +306,7 @@ From the above analysis, we conclude that the question of whether the Nortel dea
The recent patent lawsuits against application developers by Lodsys vividly demonstrates that even a very small number of patents can be used to cause significant disruption in the market.
</p>
<h2>Transaction would strengthen existing dominant positions</h2>
<h2><a name="14"/>Transaction would strengthen existing dominant positions</h2>
<p>
Microsoft in particular already holds dominant positions in a number of markets, such as operating systems and office productivity. The company has a history of leveraging these dominant positions from one market to another. It likely to replicate exactly this strategy with Windows Phone 7, boosted by its recent strategic alliance with Nokia.
@@ -308,7 +316,7 @@ Microsoft in particular already holds dominant positions in a number of markets,
Given the recent steps taken by Microsoft and Apple to pressure manufacturers and distributors of Android-based devices into licensing agreements (covering software and devices which neither Microsoft or Apple had any hand in creating), it is likely that the attacks on Free Software will intensify -- first on Android (which from a Free Software perspective leaves much to be desired in terms of the freedom it offers to its users as a system<sup><a href="#19">19</a></sup>, then on any number of other Free Software programs.
</p>
<h2>Conclusions</h2>
<h2><a name="15"/>Conclusions</h2>
<p>
We can assume that many of Nortel's patents read on technologies which are fundamental to today's information technology. Allowing their sale without conditions to companies with a record of patent-based aggression would pose a considerable risk to Free Software, and to competition in the ICT market.
@@ -330,7 +338,7 @@ In sum, allowing the sale of Nortel's patents to the Rockstar Bidco members to p
There are some relatively simple steps which could be taken to neutralise this threat and prevent damage to competition.
</p>
<h2>Recommended course of action</h2>
<h2><a name="16"/>Recommended course of action</h2>
<p>
In consequence of the above considerations, we urge the competent competition authorities to carefully scrutinise the proposed acquisition of Nortel's patent portfolio by the Rockstar consortium members. In particular, we believe that it is important to carefully assess the intent of the Rockstar consortium members in acquiring Nortel's patent portfolio.

Loading…
Cancel
Save