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PATNEWS: Senators want FTC after Microsoft; Trademarks to bust patents (fwd)
- To: antitrust@CPTECH.ORG
- Subject: PATNEWS: Senators want FTC after Microsoft; Trademarks to bust patents (fwd)
- From: James Love <love@CPTECH.ORG>
- Date: Mon, 30 Jun 1997 10:55:01 -0400 (EDT)
>From Gregory Aharonian's excellent PATNEWS newsletter.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 1997 00:13:19 -0400
From: Gregory Aharonian <email@example.com>
Subject: PATNEWS: Senators want FTC after Microsoft; Trademarks to bust patents
!19970630 Senators want FTC after Micrsoft; Using trademarks to bust patents
Dialog recently announced the availability of the full text of European
patents on their system.
Last Friday, a group of Republican Senators asked the Federal Trade
Commission to investigate Microsoft over anti-trust issues. The letter to
the FTC was signed by Senators Conrad Burns (Montana), Ted Stevens (Alaska),
and Craig Thomas (Wyoming), which prompted an opposing letter from Senators
Slade Gorton (Washington) and John McCain (Arizona) writing to their fellow
Senators to discourage any Senate action in this matter..
Burns et. al had contacted the FTC, despite the fact that anti-trust is
traditionally a Department of Justice matter. The feeling among many though
is that the DoJ has pretty much wimped out on investigating Microsoft. Even
though having the FTC investigate would require the FTC to encroach on the
DoJ's turf (a major nono in Washington), many in the software industry want
someone in Washington to be more aggressive. Not surprisingly, it is
thought unlikely that the FTC will act.
Microsoft dismissed this latest tactic of its competitors, with a
spokesperson issuing its typical deadpan humor - "Out competitors are
continually trying to enlist the government against Microsoft, instead of
competing on the merits of their products". The latter part of this is
so much economic nonsense to be grounds for an anti-trust investigation on
I don't expect much to happen because of this latest gesture. The
government will never do much against Microsoft/Intel/IBM, and their
competitors don't have a good enough grasp of us-versus-them to do anything
strategic. On a lesser scale, the same muddleness is exhibited in everyone's
software patenting strategies - the reactions are too little, too late.
Internet Patent News Service