OK so I am referring to a report of a report of a report, but this article on The Register makes it absolutely clear that racketeering is not only legal but a whole business strategy when you have software patents.
Microsoft claim, but have never put to the test, that they have software patents that are infringed by Linux. Without facts, we have just FUD. FUD is though that which you can threaten people with. Microsoft are now bullying and cajoling manufacturers of Android-based equipment into signing protection deals, sorry IP licences. Since Microsoft have no input at all into the development of the software that is the focus of the deal, there can be no maintenance contract involved. It must be purely to do with software patents. Yet there is no proof that the patents exist, let alone apply to Linux. And even then this would only apply in those jurisdictions in which the patents have been taken out and approved.
Microsoft are clearly executing a protection racket, there can be no other word for it. Yet this protection racket is actually legal since it involves state approved monopolies, i.e. patents. So what we have here is state sponsored crime. Should the US government be put on trial for sponsoring crime? Won't happen of course - patents are tools of business, not of crime, and it is these businesses that keep the politicians in their positions of power.
Perhaps the Mafia should invest in a portfolio of software patents and thereby make their protection racket operations entirely legal?
Endnote. This article on Groklaw is interesting. Further reasoning as to why software is mathematics. Mathematics cannot be patented - well not yet, I am sure some big business will start making inroads on this soon. Till mathematics can be patented it would seem software cannot be patented. On the other hand try telling that to the big business who are making shed-loads of money from either extortion relating to, or licencing of, software patents.