Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 21st Mar 2011 22:52 UTC, submitted by ephracis
Legal Since competing on merit is looked down upon in the computer and software world, companies in this business usually go for the blindfolded chick with the scale and sword. Up until recently, Microsoft didn't go for the whole patent litigation thing, but now that they've tasted some, they want more. They just sued Barnes & Noble, Foxconn, and Inventec for patent infringement because they use Android.
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v Patent Infringement
by tomcat on Mon 21st Mar 2011 23:26 UTC
RE: Patent Infringement
by WereCatf on Mon 21st Mar 2011 23:39 UTC in reply to "Patent Infringement"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Put another way, if you believe that GPL licensors have the right to enforce their license agreements through the courts -- and I'm fairly certain that most of you do -- then you are on Microsoft's side here. Without actually realizing it.


You are comparing apples and oranges. This case is all about software patents, but GPL license has nothing to do with such. GPL license is purely a copyright license. Ie. you can definitely be against software patents while still supporting copyright law.

Reply Score: 13

v RE[2]: Patent Infringement
by tomcat on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Patent Infringement"
RE[3]: Patent Infringement
by olefiver on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patent Infringement"
olefiver Member since:
2008-04-04

You are not equating the issue of patents vs license agreements, but you are calling people that have no problem with copyright law, but disagree with software patent law, hypocrites.

Both patent and license issues in this case, and your example, are using the courts to enforce legal rights, but you are refusing to accept that people can agree with copyright law and disagree with patent law.

You ARE comparing apples and oranges.
Though both use The Law and The Courts to enforce their rights, one is routed in copyright, and one in patent law.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Patent Infringement
by lemur2 on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Patent Infringement"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

You are not equating the issue of patents vs license agreements, but you are calling people that have no problem with copyright law, but disagree with software patent law, hypocrites. Both patent and license issues in this case, and your example, are using the courts to enforce legal rights, but you are refusing to accept that people can agree with copyright law and disagree with patent law. You ARE comparing apples and oranges. Though both use The Law and The Courts to enforce their rights, one is routed in copyright, and one in patent law.


You could also point out that Microsoft doesn't have any rights over code which Microsoft did not write, code which implements obvious ideas with plenty of prior art.

FOSS authors, OTOH, do have rights over code that they did write. FOSS authors do not try to extract rents in any event.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Patent Infringement
by tomcat on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Patent Infringement"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

You are not equating the issue of patents vs license agreements, but you are calling people that have no problem with copyright law, but disagree with software patent law, hypocrites.


Because they are hypocrites. You can't believe in using the courts for enforcement of legal rights, on the one hand, but then oppose someone else's use of the same mechanism, unless you're a hypocrite.

Both patent and license issues in this case, and your example, are using the courts to enforce legal rights, but you are refusing to accept that people can agree with copyright law and disagree with patent law.


Whether or not you agree with them is moot. The law is the law.

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: Patent Infringement
by lemur2 on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 01:13 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patent Infringement"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Whether or not you agree with them is moot. The law is the law.


There are also laws against extortion, racketeering, trying to prevent competition (antitrust) and intefering with other people's legal business relations (in this case between Google & Barnes & Noble). Why would you fail to acknowledge those laws?

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Patent Infringement
by tomcat on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 03:59 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Patent Infringement"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

" Whether or not you agree with them is moot. The law is the law.
There are also laws against extortion, racketeering, trying to prevent competition (antitrust) and intefering with other people's legal business relations (in this case between Google & Barnes & Noble). Why would you fail to acknowledge those laws? "

Talk about non-sequitors. I hate to break it to you but trying to equate enforcement of a patent with extortion, racketeering, and other illegal behavior is just completely off the rails.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Patent Infringement
by SReilly on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 15:41 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Patent Infringement"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Talk about non-sequitors(sic)...

Lol! You've got a whole lot of leg to stand on there Tomcat. I've been reading your inability to follow simple logic for years so stop being a hypocrite.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Patent Infringement
by molnarcs on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 07:21 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patent Infringement"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

Whether or not you agree with them is moot. The law is the law.


Well, there are laws in some parts of the world that virtually enslave women. Actually, the institution of slavery was codified in laws in some points in history (property laws, no less!). So I guess we can just stop protesting or criticizing anything that is ethically abhorrent if there is a law for it somewhere. As you say, THE LAW IS THE LAW!

Reply Score: 7

RE[5]: Patent Infringement
by ichi on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 09:17 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patent Infringement"
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

You can't believe in using the courts for enforcement of legal rights, on the one hand, but then oppose someone else's use of the same mechanism, unless you're a hypocrite.


So now believing in using the courts to jail a rapist while opposing stoning an adulterer to death is hypocrisy?

Sorry but your argument is BS.

Software patent laws are stupid, and taking advantage of them to squash competition is lame (although not unlawful, mind you, that's something no one has claimed).

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Patent Infringement
by lemur2 on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patent Infringement"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"You are comparing apples and oranges. This case is all about software patents, but GPL license has nothing to do with such. GPL license is purely a copyright license. Ie. you can definitely be against software patents while still supporting copyright law.
I'm not equating the issue of patents vs license agreements. I'm saying that using the courts to enforce legal rights is what's at stake here. Ergo, you can't support GPL licensors' ability to sue transgressors without supporting Microsoft's right; unless you're a hypocrite, that is. "

You could argue that FOSS authors have a right to keep their own code open as they intended it to be. It is much harder to argue that Microsoft has a right to sue another party to try to collect rent over code which Microsoft did not write.

This is especially the case when you consider the weak nature of the patent claims, their obviousness, and the considerable prior art.

Given all this, it is obviously true that Microsoft is simply trying to quash competition. Google would have a very strong countersuit claim that Microsoft is interfering with its business relations with Barnes & Noble.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tortious_interference

Edited 2011-03-22 00:46 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Patent Infringement
by tomcat on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Patent Infringement"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Yes, you're right. Suing over patent infringement is about quashing competition. But that's the point of patents: the government grants you time-limited monopoly status over a particular idea, and excludes others with the force of the law. That said, just because it's about quashing competition does't mean it's bad. Inventors deserve to be compensated for their inventions. You disagree, obviously, but so what. The law is on my side.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Patent Infringement
by lemur2 on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 01:10 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patent Infringement"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Yes, you're right. Suing over patent infringement is about quashing competition. But that's the point of patents: the government grants you time-limited monopoly status over a particular idea, and excludes others with the force of the law. That said, just because it's about quashing competition does't mean it's bad. Inventors deserve to be compensated for their inventions. You disagree, obviously, but so what. The law is on my side.


Here is a reasonable summary:

http://www.groklaw.net/comment.php?mode=display&sid=201103211720086...

From that opinion: "Hint - "Enable display of a webpage's content before the background image is received, allowing users to interact with the page faster" is something that anyone with a slow modem and Netscape 2.0 had no choice over - that's how it worked, and predates the patent application date.

The rest of the patents are equally silly. For example, the one about tabs and navigation is anticipated by any web page using frames. Also anticipated by lots of game interfaces.

Prediction: The patents will be show to be invalid, but in the meantime the usual suspects make all sorts of foolish noises."


If the patent claims get thrown out, as there seems at first galnce to be a very good chance, then Microsoft is a sitting duck for tortiuous interference and antitrust counterclaims.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Patent Infringement
by tomcat on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 04:04 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Patent Infringement"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

If the patent claims get thrown out, as there seems at first galnce to be a very good chance


These companies will no doubt mount a legal defense, and they'll have an opportunity to have the patents nullified. But I wouldn't bet on it.

... then Microsoft is a sitting duck for tortiuous interference and antitrust counterclaims.


Given that you're not a lawyer and what you've just typed is utter bullshit, I can only laugh at you. This is the equivalent of monkeys throwing shit against the wall in hopes that something will stick.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Patent Infringement
by lemur2 on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 04:39 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Patent Infringement"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"If the patent claims get thrown out, as there seems at first galnce to be a very good chance
These companies will no doubt mount a legal defense, and they'll have an opportunity to have the patents nullified. But I wouldn't bet on it. "

It may be cheaper for Barnes&Noble to simply do as HTC did, when faced with similar outrageous claims from Microsoft.

Doesn't make it right, only means it is cheaper for Barnes&Noble.

Microsoft are almost betting on this, because then Microsoft can take the "high moral ground" in their FUD PR campaigns. This would be the whole reason for Microsoft doing things like this claiming of extremely weak patents. Sooner or later it will turn aoround and bite them.

"... then Microsoft is a sitting duck for tortiuous interference and antitrust counterclaims.
Given that you're not a lawyer and what you've just typed is utter bullshit, I can only laugh at you. This is the equivalent of monkeys throwing shit against the wall in hopes that something will stick. "

http://271patent.blogspot.com/2007/10/oklahoma-jury-tags-patentee-1...

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=Pa3CK0ocxGgC&pg=RA1-SA5-PA31&lp...

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Patent Infringement
by Morgan on Wed 23rd Mar 2011 16:54 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patent Infringement"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

The issue I see with your position is, what exactly did Microsoft invent? Companies have been making device interfaces that do the things mentioned in their patents long before Microsoft got around to patenting their particular spin on the concept. It's called prior art. Hell, the guys who came up with the stage-prop LCARS interface in Star Trek way back in the 80s could claim prior art, just for "inventing" the concepts mentioned in the lawsuit, and they could even throw in things like haptic feedback and visual interfaces that change based on selections made. These are very broad, yet very patentable concepts according to US patent law.

Just because Microsoft was the first one to patent the concept doesn't mean they invented it. THAT is why patent law in the US sucks so bad; it rewards laziness and racketeering, and punishes poor inventors who can't afford to file until they have begun making money off their innovations.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Patent Infringement
by Dasher42 on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 09:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patent Infringement"
Dasher42 Member since:
2007-04-05

I'm not equating the issue of patents vs license agreements. I'm saying that using the courts to enforce legal rights is what's at stake here. Ergo, you can't support GPL licensors' ability to sue transgressors without supporting Microsoft's right; unless you're a hypocrite, that is.


Yes you can. You totally can. You are in no way constrained to say "I accept the law, all of the law, every bit of it as much as the other", and roll over for it. If everyone agreed with that, anyone who could write the law would have absolute authority, and any push to change it would be out of line no matter what. What social progress would we have?

There are obvious qualitative differences between a license agreement and a copyright, versus a dodgy patent for things as obvious as displaying a page before its background image has fully loaded.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Patent Infringement
by JAlexoid on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 11:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patent Infringement"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

I'm not equating the issue of patents vs license agreements. I'm saying that using the courts to enforce legal rights is what's at stake here. Ergo, you can't support GPL licensors' ability to sue transgressors without supporting Microsoft's right; unless you're a hypocrite, that is.


Well then, if you ever complain of some dictatorial regime using courts to punish dissidents I'll have a chance of calling you a hypocrite.

You know, they are using the legal system to enforce their regime. That what it boils down to... is it?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Patent Infringement
by lemur2 on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Patent Infringement"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

" Put another way, if you believe that GPL licensors have the right to enforce their license agreements through the courts -- and I'm fairly certain that most of you do -- then you are on Microsoft's side here. Without actually realizing it.
You are comparing apples and oranges. This case is all about software patents, but GPL license has nothing to do with such. GPL license is purely a copyright license. Ie. you can definitely be against software patents while still supporting copyright law. "

You are absolutely spot on.

This patent lawsuit: Microsoft is suing Barnes & Noble hoping to get some rent money from code that Google wrote, all over some obvious ideas with copious prior art. This is essentially extortion.

GPL license violation lawsuits: Authors of FOSS code are trying simply to get other parties to follow the license terms for that code. Such cases are NOT about code that someone else wrote, and they are not about trying to extract rent from someone else. The FOSS authors are asking only that the code is published, it is their code and publishing it won't hurt the other party.

Chalk and cheese.

Edited 2011-03-22 00:35 UTC

Reply Score: 10

RE: Patent Infringement
by JAlexoid on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:11 UTC in reply to "Patent Infringement"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

If Android infringes on its patents, I'm afraid that Microsoft is well within its rights to sue anybody that infringes, including the Android licensees.

Unless you're willing to actually do something about the state of patent law -- e.g. create a Political Action Committee to get US Congress's attention -- it doesn't do anyone any good to complain about people exercising their legal rights. It's like complaining about gravity. Or the price of oil.

Put another way, if you believe that GPL licensors have the right to enforce their license agreements through the courts -- and I'm fairly certain that most of you do -- then you are on Microsoft's side here. Without actually realizing it.


OK. Look here. I'm all for a reasonable copyright. But Microsoft is using US idiotic patent system to force everyone to pay for it. Yep, you heard it right.
I live in a country where software patents are explicitly forbidden. Yet when I buy an HTC device , which was not imported from US, was not produced or designed in US, I pay a licensing fee for patents that are valid only in US.
It's all fine and dandy if it's Motorola's or Microsoft's products, because those are American companies and they have to follow US law.
But WHY THE F*CK a Taiwanese company has to follow US laws for devices that are neither produced in US nor sold in US!?!?

Thom is not American, neither is submitter, so I doubt that Americans would like if he creates such a PAC.

EDIT: A bit angry about the issue, so needed to let it out.

Edited 2011-03-22 00:17 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Patent Infringement
by tomcat on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Patent Infringement"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

It's HTC's choice to license patents and pass along the cost to you -- because HTC decides where the products are being marketed. Don't like it? Don't buy HTC. It's that simple.

As for money and politics, I could care less who contributes and who doesn't. But if you DON'T contribute, don't pretend that you aren't aware that you don't have a voice.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Patent Infringement
by JAlexoid on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 01:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patent Infringement"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

It's HTC's choice to license patents and pass along the cost to you -- because HTC decides where the products are being marketed. Don't like it? Don't buy HTC. It's that simple.

As for money and politics, I could care less who contributes and who doesn't. But if you DON'T contribute, don't pretend that you aren't aware that you don't have a voice.


I actually didn't buy any HTC device after the deal was announced. So I am "voting with my Euros".
My anger is at the fact that that activity is possible. Because I am pretty sure, that I pay for other US software patents that I am not aware of.
(And Americans wonder why a lot of people "dislike" American foreign policies and foreign economic policies.)

I don't contribute, because I am not a citizen of US. I do a lot where my contributions have effect - my own country.

Edited 2011-03-22 01:22 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Patent Infringement
by lemur2 on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 01:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Patent Infringement"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"It's HTC's choice to license patents and pass along the cost to you -- because HTC decides where the products are being marketed. Don't like it? Don't buy HTC. It's that simple. As for money and politics, I could care less who contributes and who doesn't. But if you DON'T contribute, don't pretend that you aren't aware that you don't have a voice.
I actually didn't buy any HTC device after the deal was announced. So I am "voting with my Euros". My anger is at the fact that that activity is possible. Because I am pretty sure, that I pay for other US software patents that I am not aware of. (And Americans wonder why a lot of people "dislike" American foreign policies and foreign economic policies.) I don't contribute, because I am not a citizen of US. I do a lot where my contributions have effect - my own country. "

Via software patent aggression America is trying to collect bogus rent (actually extortion) from the rest of the world.

This is relevant:
http://www.networkworld.com/news/2011/032111-microsoft-i4i-patent.h...

The rest of the world does not owe America a living.

Edited 2011-03-22 01:47 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Patent Infringement
by snadrus on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 16:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patent Infringement"
snadrus Member since:
2010-05-04

These suits freeze innovation for Americans too, & forces great products to avoid America entirely (if that's enough of a market for them). The bad laws pushed through by the corporations (including non-American corporations) are the trouble.

"Blame America" = only Americans can fix the problem right to keep innovation going.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Patent Infringement
by demetrioussharpe on Wed 23rd Mar 2011 14:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Patent Infringement"
demetrioussharpe Member since:
2009-01-09

"If Android infringes on its patents, I'm afraid that Microsoft is well within its rights to sue anybody that infringes, including the Android licensees.

Unless you're willing to actually do something about the state of patent law -- e.g. create a Political Action Committee to get US Congress's attention -- it doesn't do anyone any good to complain about people exercising their legal rights. It's like complaining about gravity. Or the price of oil.

Put another way, if you believe that GPL licensors have the right to enforce their license agreements through the courts -- and I'm fairly certain that most of you do -- then you are on Microsoft's side here. Without actually realizing it.


OK. Look here. I'm all for a reasonable copyright. But Microsoft is using US idiotic patent system to force everyone to pay for it. Yep, you heard it right.
I live in a country where software patents are explicitly forbidden. Yet when I buy an HTC device , which was not imported from US, was not produced or designed in US, I pay a licensing fee for patents that are valid only in US.
It's all fine and dandy if it's Motorola's or Microsoft's products, because those are American companies and they have to follow US law.
But WHY THE F*CK a Taiwanese company has to follow US laws for devices that are neither produced in US nor sold in US!?!?

Thom is not American, neither is submitter, so I doubt that Americans would like if he creates such a PAC.

EDIT: A bit angry about the issue, so needed to let it out.
"

I'm an American & I support this post! In fact, I think that software patents should be illegal here, as well!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Patent Infringement
by mrstep on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 02:08 UTC in reply to "Patent Infringement"
mrstep Member since:
2009-07-18

If Android infringes on its patents, I'm afraid that Microsoft is well within its rights to sue anybody that infringes, including the Android licensees.

Certainly, or the Eastern District of Texas wouldn't be such a busy place.

Unless you're willing to actually do something about the state of patent law -- e.g. create a Political Action Committee to get US Congress's attention -- it doesn't do anyone any good to complain about people exercising their legal rights. It's like complaining about gravity. Or the price of oil.

Sure, or vote and hope it makes a difference. Hahaha.

Put another way, if you believe that GPL licensors have the right to enforce their license agreements through the courts -- and I'm fairly certain that most of you do -- then you are on Microsoft's side here. Without actually realizing it.

OK, now that makes no sense whatsoever. There have been laws that allowed all kinds of terrible things, and I'd be hard pressed to say I agree with those laws just because they were laws. It's like saying if you believe in property rights you're pro-slavery. Uh, what!?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Patent Infringement
by Soulbender on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 05:31 UTC in reply to "Patent Infringement"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18



Edited 2011-03-22 05:32 UTC

Reply Score: 3

...
by Hiev on Mon 21st Mar 2011 23:29 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

And Google will remain in silence.

Edited 2011-03-21 23:29 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Really??
by computrius on Mon 21st Mar 2011 23:34 UTC
computrius
Member since:
2006-03-26

"no choice but to bring legal action to defend our innovations and fulfill our responsibility to our customer"

Here they go again. Trying to convince us they are doing it for us.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Really??
by Stephen! on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 01:36 UTC in reply to "Really??"
Stephen! Member since:
2007-11-24

"no choice but to bring legal action to defend our innovations and fulfill our responsibility to our customer"


Microsoft actually has innovations?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Really??
by ricegf on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 02:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Really??"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

Microsoft actually has innovations?


Absolutely! They recently patented a business process whereby a former VP becomes CEO of an arch-rival phone company, yells "Fire!", and craters the company's stock.

What - you slept through February?!?

Reply Score: 9

RE[3]: Really??
by Nth_Man on Wed 23rd Mar 2011 01:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Really??"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

Here comes a Nasdaq summary of the last three months for Nokia, to see the effects of the 2/11:
http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/dynamic_charting.aspx?selected=NOK&symbo...

Edited 2011-03-23 01:26 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Not a way to win friends
by bornagainenguin on Mon 21st Mar 2011 23:35 UTC
bornagainenguin
Member since:
2005-08-07

It's a shame. Windows Phone 7 has major potential, but this patent troll behaviour is just sad.


Actually, I'd consider these filings as evidence that Windows Phone 7 is tanking and insiders at the company know it has peaked. This is their desperate gambit to somehow wrest a few pennies from a market that has completely passed them by. Seriously how badly do the various incarnations of [s]Pen Dos[/s] [s]Pen Windows[/s] [s]Windows for Handhelds[/s] [s]PocketPCs[/s] [s]Windows Mobile[/s] [s]Windows CE.Net[/s] [s]Windows Tablet Edition[/s] this crap have to fail before Microsoft will admit nobody wants their junk?

This is exactly the kind of thing that costs you customers day after day.

--bornagainpenguin

PS: When is OSNews.com going to get a strike-through code?

Reply Score: 11

Front page
by WorknMan on Mon 21st Mar 2011 23:55 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

We already have a page 2 item about this, but I think this is important enough to be on the front page.


Can't really agree with this sentiment. I am 99.9% sure that one of two things are going to happen as a result of this lawsuit (as are usually the results of such lawsuits):

1. The case will be thrown out
2. It will be settled out of court, and probably 'for an undisclosed sum'.

So how does this DIRECTLY affect you and me? Answer: it doesn't. In fact, I can't remember the last time I was impacted by a patent lawsuit in a way that I actually noticed it. Like, 'feature x was removed from this app because of a patent violation ...' If such a thing happens though, THAT is worthy of coverage. But if not, what's the point?

The only purpose this article (and others like it) serves is to point out that software patents are dumb. But since this is common knowledge to anybody who's reading this site, it is certainly not worthy of being posted twice.

Patent lawsuits are like Microsoft security bulletins; you can bet there's going to be a new one every week. Somebody is always going to be suing somebody else, so (IMHO) there should be a website set up just to cover these, for those that care about them, while tech sites cover news that actually matters.

Edited 2011-03-21 23:56 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Front page
by JAlexoid on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:15 UTC in reply to "Front page"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

So how does this DIRECTLY affect you and me? Answer: it doesn't.


Really? You think it does not? How are they going to write off the losses due to the lawsuit? I can't imagine that the investors will be OK in absorbing those costs without increasing margins on some things.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Front page
by tomcat on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Front page"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

"So how does this DIRECTLY affect you and me? Answer: it doesn't.
Really? You think it does not? How are they going to write off the losses due to the lawsuit? I can't imagine that the investors will be OK in absorbing those costs without increasing margins on some things. "

To some degree, you're right on that point. IF it's a publicly traded company -- and the ones being sued are -- then they would typically account for these sorts of losses on the balance sheet.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Front page
by WorknMan on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Front page"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Really? You think it does not? How are they going to write off the losses due to the lawsuit? I can't imagine that the investors will be OK in absorbing those costs without increasing margins on some things.


Well, it's also possible they would raise prices to compensate for a fire in some Chinese factory that destroyed a whole batch of their product, or a thousand other different kind of scenarios that affect their bottom line. Do you really care to know every time something like that happens?

Edited 2011-03-22 00:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Front page
by JAlexoid on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 01:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Front page"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Well, it's also possible they would raise prices to compensate for a fire in some Chinese factory that destroyed a whole batch of their product, or a thousand other different kind of scenarios that affect their bottom line. Do you really care to know every time something like that happens?

Unless insurance companies have policies for IP infringement losses, that is a different issue. I suspect that there is no such insurance policy for IP/patent infringement.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Front page
by WorknMan on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 01:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Front page"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I suspect that there is no such insurance policy for IP/patent infringement.


Of course there is. Just Google 'insurance ip infringement'.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Front page
by Nth_Man on Wed 23rd Mar 2011 01:10 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Front page"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

> > I suspect that there is no such insurance policy
> > for IP/patent infringement. [/q]

> Of course there is. Just Google 'insurance ip
> infringement'.

Well, this is basically what some huge companies are talking about: "all of you: if you give me money... you won't spend a bigger amount of money on trials. This is a good deal for you.". Although others call it "protection racket that customers pay in the end"

Reply Score: 3

RE: Front page
by allanregistos on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 02:52 UTC in reply to "Front page"
allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

"We already have a page 2 item about this, but I think this is important enough to be on the front page.


1. The case will be thrown out
2. It will be settled out of court, and probably 'for an undisclosed sum'.

So how does this DIRECTLY affect you and me? Answer: it doesn't. In fact, I can't remember the last time I was impacted by a patent lawsuit in a way that I actually noticed it.
"

Naive. You will be affected directly through *pricing*, note *pricing*.
For example, an ereader from them worth $100 SRP will be modified to accomodate the tax/royalty imposed by Microsoft to them. If MS will require B&N $5 for every device, then B&N will sell you the ereader for $105 or more instead of just $100. It is a modern and legal way of getting money from device manufacturers under the pretext of providing better services to investors and consumers, with only *saliva* (also known as lawyers) as their investment. This is a big insult to Android developers and Google.

This is exactly Microsoft telling you that they own the design of your Android phone, telling you that if you tap a tab in your phone just to view a web content, that wonderful experience was due to Microsoft's innovative technology, and you can't freely implement that without paying Microsoft since they *patented* it first regardless if that thing/experience is obvious. The worst thing is that MS here is directly extorting the consumers literally, since B&N would just pass the imposed royalty aka protection racket money to the consumers.

This will stifle innovation and increase the prices of Android gadgets.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Front page
by tomcat on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 04:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Front page"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

This will stifle innovation and increase the prices of Android gadgets.


It can also be argued that Android gadgets are priced below what the they should, if the claim that Google should have been compelled to license the infringing technology is true; or put another way, if Google infringed, the cost of the infringement came out of Microsoft's hide...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Front page
by WorknMan on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 06:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Front page"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Naive. You will be affected directly through *pricing*, note *pricing*.
For example, an ereader from them worth $100 SRP will be modified to accomodate the tax/royalty imposed by Microsoft to them. If MS will require B&N $5 for every device, then B&N will sell you the ereader for $105 or more instead of just $100.


A whole $5, huh? Wow, I'm gonna lose sleep over that one ;)

Note: I'm not saying it's not an important topic, but it's more of a political issue than a technical one. And too many people love to turn technology sites into political soap boxes, IMHO.

Edited 2011-03-22 06:19 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Front page
by JAlexoid on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 11:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Front page"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

A whole $5, huh? Wow, I'm gonna lose sleep over that one ;)

Then donate those $5 to some African school.
And it's $5, $10 there and some small innovative company has to increase the price of their goods beyond what market is ready to pay.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by fran
by fran on Mon 21st Mar 2011 23:57 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

Microsoft ironically is part of a big lobby to reform patent laws..Especially those involving the amounts of money that can be claimed....

As I see it..these big companies want the settlement for victory in these cases to correlate to actual provable losses....i.o.w Big companies can prove, just by the fact of there high product turnover that a specific patent infringement will cause it huge losses but for a smaller company this might not be so easy and not nearly so much money as the big companies can claim from a smaller one.

Patent reform that in effect mostly benefit big companies. Traditional garage startups has almost no chance anymore, in the USA at least.

Edited 2011-03-21 23:59 UTC

Reply Score: 3

the law is the law
by TechGeek on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 02:43 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

You know being a witch is illegal in a lot of places. You sound like a witch. Lets burn you at the stake. Cause after all, the law is the law, right?

Just because a law exists does not make it right or even Constitutional. Patents were never suppose to cover software and there is actually no law that says it should. All that exists is court interpretations. Furthermore there are laws dictating the scope and documentation that are suppose to accompany patent applications. The fact that these patents are so flimsy looking on the surface suggests that Microsoft didn't do its duty when applying for the patents.

So before you start chanting for equality, you should make sure Microsoft hasn't already side-stepped the law to get to this point.

Reply Score: 2

RE: the law is the law
by tomcat on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 04:26 UTC in reply to "the law is the law"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

You know being a witch is illegal in a lot of places. You sound like a witch. Lets burn you at the stake. Cause after all, the law is the law, right? Just because a law exists does not make it right or even Constitutional. Patents were never suppose to cover software and there is actually no law that says it should. All that exists is court interpretations.


Well, by that logic, we should disregard all current laws because they could theoretically be invalidated by some future action by the legislature/courts. Where does it end? Or is this really just about disregarding laws that you don't like?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: the law is the law
by Soulbender on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 05:52 UTC in reply to "RE: the law is the law"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Yes, we all wish the Boston tea-party had never happened.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: the law is the law
by tomcat on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 18:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: the law is the law"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Yes, we all wish the Boston tea-party had never happened.


You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world ...

But what are you geeks doing about it? Nothing. You're whining.

Reply Score: 3

RE: the law is the law
by Soulbender on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 05:36 UTC in reply to "the law is the law"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Patents were never suppose to cover software and there is actually no law that says it should.


Even more ironic is the reason why patents exist; to protect the little inventor from the big companies.
Yeah, that worked out really well...

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: the law is the law
by rhavyn on Wed 23rd Mar 2011 15:33 UTC in reply to "RE: the law is the law"
rhavyn Member since:
2005-07-06

"Patents were never suppose to cover software and there is actually no law that says it should.


Even more ironic is the reason why patents exist; to protect the little inventor from the big companies.
Yeah, that worked out really well...
"

Can you find some authoritative source that even alludes to that being the reason patents exist? Cause I'm pretty much 100% positive that you are incorrect.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: the law is the law
by Soulbender on Fri 25th Mar 2011 08:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: the law is the law"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

That's how I remember it but feel free to go and find a source that disproves me.

Reply Score: 2

microsoft is the hypocrite
by TechGeek on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 02:49 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

I might also mention that Microsoft is arguing against exactly this type of lawsuit before the Supreme Court right now in its case against i4i. Basically the gist is that companies get flimsy patents on just about anything and then use it against people trying to do legitimate business. Sound familiar?

Reply Score: 3

They know no shame
by Lobotomik on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 09:50 UTC
Lobotomik
Member since:
2006-01-03

They have shamelessly copied user interfaces invented by others (windows, menus, icons, and on and on), business models started by competitors (cloud computing, ad serving, online apps, media players, media stores, app stores, you name it). They have copied the applications they sell! The word processor, the spreadsheet, the personal database, the presentations program, the web browser, the web server, all of them, copied from their competitors.

And let’s not forget the mass of subjacent technology that they are also profiting of, for free: concepts like processes, threads, shared memory, memory protection, user management, virtual machines, compilers and interpreters, programming languages...

Their whole fortune is based on copying and polishing. But they have the nerve to patent simple concepts, and then use them as a roadblock to hijack the highway they should share.

They say they have to protect the billions they have invested, but these patents they are asserting have not costed billions: they are the sort of things that a good programmer can think up while having a coffee or taking a whiz. And many of these billions they talk about they threw away in making a piece of crap like Windows Mobile that nobody wanted (and which shamelessly copied features from all the competition). Now they want to protect the money they wasted by preventing others from becoming successful where they shamefully failed; and then, to do this, they use weapons which completely lack merit.

Copying and improving things that have been copied and improved is OK: it is evolution; it is standing on the shoulders of giants. What turns you into a scavenger is then trying to lock your competitors out of the very same things you profited from. There might be merit in protecting something which was completely your invention, but the proportion of invention over imitation in IT is extremely low (which is not bad – you must build on a growing base of enormous complexity which no individual can redo from scratch).

It is a shame that these vultures are allowed to proceed this way. It is more than time enough to blow the whole USA patent system out of the water. Shamefully it will not happen, because the unsurprising unending affair of Big Corporate and the US government. How sad that across the world we are all affected.

Reply Score: 4

RE: They know no shame
by Nth_Man on Wed 23rd Mar 2011 01:23 UTC in reply to "They know no shame"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16
Words of wisdom
by elsewhere on Wed 23rd Mar 2011 01:11 UTC
elsewhere
Member since:
2005-07-13

If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today.


- Bill Gates, 1991

Reply Score: 4

Sort it out!
by nillbug on Wed 23rd Mar 2011 03:42 UTC
nillbug
Member since:
2009-09-25

Settle it by making IP court litigation free of charge in the US. If necessary, create a tax to fund that. For the consumer its better that tax than to pay the ms tax.
The reason for all FUD and related economical distortion is due to the cost of legal expenses. Everyone knows it's not the IP law that rules. It's money and bluff. Governing international transactions on that basis, instead of the value of a product, will never be accepted worldwide.
Each country has to do its home work to oblige its companies to play fair.

Reply Score: 1