Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 6th Jul 2011 14:00 UTC
Microsoft Well, paint me red and call me a girl scout, I totally did not see this one coming at all. This is so utterly surprising it made my brain explode. Hold on to your panties, because this will rock your world. After pressuring several smaller Android vendors into submission (and yes, HTC is still relatively small compared to other players), Microsoft is now moving on to the big one: Redmond is demanding $15 for every Samsung Android device sold. Samsung's choices are simple: pay up, or face another epic lawsuit.
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Comment by Stephen!
by Stephen! on Wed 6th Jul 2011 14:21 UTC
Stephen!
Member since:
2007-11-24

It's not as if Microsoft is really that desperate for the money.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Stephen!
by judgen on Wed 6th Jul 2011 14:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by Stephen!"
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

Sadly their mobile division really do. No profits, that simple.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Comment by Stephen!
by zetsurin on Wed 6th Jul 2011 14:35 UTC in reply to "Comment by Stephen!"
zetsurin Member since:
2006-06-13

Except for the need for share price growth, which they haven't had in real terms for a long time. Microsoft have been floundering on the price/earnings front for as long as I can remember.

Any XBOX fanboys care to share a word or two? I know you are out there. For some reason, you've gravitated towards a plush, cuddly version of Microsoft that you imagined in order to spite evil Sony, without realising how stupid you have been by allowing your purchasing decisions to be influenced by your flawed personification of a tried monopolist.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Stephen!
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 6th Jul 2011 14:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Stephen!"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Any XBOX fanboys care to share a word or two? I know you are out there. For some reason, you've gravitated towards a plush, cuddly version of Microsoft that you imagined in order to spite evil Sony, without realising how stupid you have been by allowing your purchasing decisions to be influenced by your flawed personification of a tried monopolist.


I bought an Xbox because it was the cheapest of the two at the time (1999, I think) (I don't care about motion controls). In addition, I bought it specifically for Fallout 3, and at the time, only the Xbox360 version was supposed to get all the promised DLC (the PS3 only got the DLC much later).

Turns out this was a lucky choice, since the Xbox got a few exclusives the PS3 didn't get (Mass Effect and Left 4 Dead 1/2) which became my favourite games (still play L4D 1/2 a few times a week). I only missed God of War 3 on the PS3, but I borrowed someone's PS3 for that while they were on vacation.

I just got lucky there.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Stephen!
by zetsurin on Wed 6th Jul 2011 14:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Stephen!"
zetsurin Member since:
2006-06-13

Thom, buying the XBOX because it was the cheaper of the two doesn't make you a fanboy, so my comment wasn't really aimed at you per se ;) I just find it fascinating that people will still blindly defend Microsoft as being some kind of noble entity despite their actions over the years, simply because they secured the rights to Gears of War. I also find it equally fascinating that Sony Computer Entertainment (ie. Completely distinct from the rootkit entity) gets a much harsher rap.

Edited 2011-07-06 14:45 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by Stephen!
by Shannara on Wed 6th Jul 2011 18:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Stephen!"
Shannara Member since:
2005-07-06

Exactly, there are fanboys in all walks of life. Sony, Microsoft, Apple, Linux, etc.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Comment by Stephen!
by JThelen on Wed 6th Jul 2011 23:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Stephen!"
JThelen Member since:
2011-02-02

I'm a 360 owner and love the console & love the XBL service, but in no way am I so disillusioned as to not see Microsoft for the giant, hulking extortionist monopoly seeker that it is.

Edited 2011-07-06 23:19 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Stephen!
by Gooberslot on Thu 7th Jul 2011 06:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Stephen!"
Gooberslot Member since:
2006-08-02

You could have played those games on a pc and not bought an Xbox at all.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Stephen!
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 7th Jul 2011 06:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Stephen!"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You could have played those games on a pc and not bought an Xbox at all.


My PC is for work, not for play. I play games to unwind and relax, and I can't unwind behind a desk with a chronic WASD-claw. On top of that, gaming on the PC is a mess. You never know if stuff will run, lots of debugging and driver issues, the endless upgrade treadmill, mucking about with settings, and so on, and so forth.

I'm sure some people have the time for all that, but I don't.

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: Comment by Stephen!
by allanregistos on Thu 7th Jul 2011 08:01 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Stephen!"
allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

"You could have played those games on a pc and not bought an Xbox at all.


My PC is for work, not for play. I play games to unwind and relax, and I can't unwind behind a desk with a chronic WASD-claw. On top of that, gaming on the PC is a mess. You never know if stuff will run, lots of debugging and driver issues, the endless upgrade treadmill, mucking about with settings, and so on, and so forth.
"
Let someone do it for you, or you can contact me. Gaming in PC is the best experience than with consoles. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Stephen!
by bassbeast on Sat 9th Jul 2011 01:01 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Stephen!"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

I don't know when the last time you PC gamed but you really don't need to do that now. In fact one of my biggest selling points ATM is that folks can use that nice widescreen TV as a monitor so they don't have to sit hunched over a desk for...well anything. 1080P is 1080P and HDMI makes it plug and play simple. as for drivers both Steam and AMD will happily take care of the updates FOR you and I haven't seen a driver borkage in ages except for Crossfire/SLI setups and that is a pretty small niche that most won't need.

So you really ought to give it another look. Tigerdirect sells AMD triple and quad kits for dirt cheap, no skills required other than looking at pictures in a manual and following what you see, if your TV is from the last 3 years it probably has HDMI and VGA, and you can even use an X360 wireless if you prefer that over a wireless keyboard/mouse combo.

Finally I'd add the games are MUCH cheaper, both at launch and down the road than they will ever be on consoles. heck they are so cheap I often throw in a couple of RPGs or shooters at Amazon just so I can get some $19 order up to $25 so I can get supersaver shipping. Between Amazon, GOG, and Steam the amount of cheap PC gaming is just unreal, and a good gamer box can easily be built for less than $400 and last you for a decade with nothing more than the occasional $60 GPU card. Myself and several of my customers are running HD4850 cards which cost a whole $60 and which crank out the purty at 1080p just fine Thom, you really ought to give it another go.

Oh and checking your email and chatting on a 37 inch after a hard day's work? Nice...The only problem my customers who've switched have now is fighting their GFs/wives for time on the machine because they LOVE playing FB games on the big screen,LOL!

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Comment by Stephen!
by kaiwai on Sat 9th Jul 2011 01:57 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Stephen!"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Tiger Direct don't ship outside of the US - once again a US company fails to realise that us 'foreignas!' have money to and would like buy some of their merchandise to which they advertise on said website.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Stephen!
by vitae on Sat 9th Jul 2011 06:05 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Stephen!"
vitae Member since:
2006-02-20

less than 400? A 360 Slim is $200. And added on to the price of that almost $400 computer is the price of the video card...and the one you're going to need next year to replace it in order to play the latest and greatest. Except that THAT one might also require a new power supply to run it. Then you're gonna need a controller. And all this money you're spending doesn't guarantee you're not going to have problems on your particular hardware because they can't possibly test it on every conceivable mixture of parts. Witness:
http://forums.bethsoft.com/index.php?/forum/112-fallout-new-vegas-p...

With the console you never have to worry about that.

There is no way it's easier or cheaper to do PC gaming as opposed to consoles. PC gaming is an extortion racket meant to sell more hardware. The only advantage to PC gaming is mods.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by Stephen!
by bassbeast on Sat 9th Jul 2011 10:46 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Stephen!"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Actually you are falling for the classic "razor and blades" model which is how consoles operate. Both sony and MSFT have typically sold their consoles at a loss because they make it up by charging higher fees for games and licensing.

Let me put it THIS way...how many REALLY good games have you bought for $2? I have HL2 EP2, Batman AA, heck I got nearly all the Ubisoft games like Far Cry 2 for a whole $15 for the whole smash!

And another misconception is you have to constantly upgrade cards, which unless you simply want ePeen bragging rights is simply untrue, and we can thank the consoles holding back game engines for that. several companies like Id have already said they won't release their next engine until a console refresh because the current consoles are so far behind they wouldn't be able to run it!

And your big "proof" of problems is Fallout? The WORST game for bugs on release in recent years? the one they make Youtube videos laughing about? THAT game? Meanwhile the rest of us who don't buy buggy crapola enjoy "just works" and have for quite awhile now. And you seriously think consoles are better? Do the words "Bully" ring any bells? Or Duke Nukem Forever? Both of which played fine on the PC but royally sucked and crashed hard on consoles?

Look if you want to pay more for each game, have hardware more than 3 generations behind, have a machine that is pretty much ONLY good for gaming and videos, oh and pay for online play as well? The choice is yours, fool and their money and all that. But trying to claim PCs are these mad scientist crash boxes is as far behind the times as those Linux zealots that try to claim Windows spends all day BSODing. Oh and my PC will last a decade easily, and even after will be handed down to someone else who will continue to get use, such as the P4 I used in 2002 that my mom uses to surf now. My very FIRST gamer box BTW, a 100MHz with a 200Mb HDD is STILL running, it is the C&C lathe controller for a lumber company now. Who wants old consoles?

You get more usage, you get VASTLY more lifetime, and as I pointed out a DIY triple or quad is dirt cheap. You are paying $200 for now 6 year old tech. Heck if you want 6 year old tech a PC from that era is $30 on ebay.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Stephen!
by BluenoseJake on Wed 6th Jul 2011 21:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Stephen!"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Please don't call me stupid, I didn't call ps3 fans stupid when they couldn't play online for almost a month, so just sit down

Reply Score: 4

Good post Thom
by asharism on Wed 6th Jul 2011 14:34 UTC
asharism
Member since:
2005-06-30

This is why I keep coming back to OSNews.

Reply Score: 9

RE: Good post Thom
by sathishmls on Wed 6th Jul 2011 16:12 UTC in reply to "Good post Thom"
sathishmls Member since:
2005-11-13

Dont visit so many times a website. Who knows, we may have to pay M$ $5 for each visit ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Good post Thom
by ggeldenhuys on Thu 7th Jul 2011 07:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Good post Thom"
ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

Yeah, it will be a "congestion charge" - like what was done in London, UK. :-) [PS: that charge did nothing to curb the amount of traffic in London]

Reply Score: 2

Comment by OSbunny
by OSbunny on Wed 6th Jul 2011 14:36 UTC
OSbunny
Member since:
2009-05-23

Well I hope Samsung fights this. They certainly have no shortage of funds.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by OSbunny
by bnolsen on Wed 6th Jul 2011 14:43 UTC in reply to "Comment by OSbunny"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

And a stupid waste of money that gets flushed down the lawyer company. MS is playing a scorched earth policy. They aren't making money off the mobile market so they're using bullshit means to make sure no one else does either.

I really wonder how much longer the US will be a dominant market. Enough of this crap and it will become a third world market and stay there.

Reply Score: 13

RE[2]: Comment by OSbunny
by shmerl on Wed 6th Jul 2011 16:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by OSbunny"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

B&N were not intimidated. Someone has to kick those brazen trolls hard.

Reply Score: 4

xerox
by bob_bipbip on Wed 6th Jul 2011 14:41 UTC
bob_bipbip
Member since:
2009-04-28

xerox should sue everybody for everything. 'nuff said

Reply Score: 9

Google where are you?
by leos on Wed 6th Jul 2011 14:42 UTC
leos
Member since:
2005-09-21

I don't understand why google doesn't jump in here. This is a huge threat to Android and yet they don't lift a finger? Why don't they defend their hardware makers?

Reply Score: 7

RE: Google where are you?
by RaphaelJ on Wed 6th Jul 2011 15:42 UTC in reply to "Google where are you?"
RaphaelJ Member since:
2011-07-06

don't be evil, stay coward!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Google where are you?
by JAlexoid on Wed 6th Jul 2011 20:27 UTC in reply to "Google where are you?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Not even close. There is no threat from this patent trolling. Microsoft has sunk even lower for me and they have nothing to throw at Android at the moment.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Google where are you?
by pfgbsd on Wed 6th Jul 2011 22:07 UTC in reply to "Google where are you?"
pfgbsd Member since:
2011-03-12

It's rather a legal issue. Other than, perhaps, adopting an Apache License for some of their components, there's not much they can do.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Google where are you?
by Tony Swash on Thu 7th Jul 2011 12:06 UTC in reply to "Google where are you?"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

I don't understand why google doesn't jump in here. This is a huge threat to Android and yet they don't lift a finger? Why don't they defend their hardware makers?


If Google did jump in it would be break with their behaviour up until now. Google has resolutely refused to share any risk with anybody using their technologies. Why should they - none of the handset makers nor any Android device user is a customer of Google.

When thinking about Google it is easy to fall into a delusional view, partly because Google's business model is relatively unusual but also because Google are very very good at fostering a delusional view of their business with all their talk of open this and open that.

To understand Google think about the core questions:

Who are Google's customers?

What is Google's product?

Googles customers are those people and companies who actually pay Google. So its almost certainly not you or anyone reading this. It's not the Android device makers, they pay Google nothing. Google's customers are those who buy advertising from them. That's Google business and it's the driver of everything they do.

So what is Google's product? You might say it's advertising but it's not really. Google's product is you. You. Advertisers are Google's customer. What do they sell to advertisers? They sell you. Or, at least, they rent you out, or provide access to you.

Everything Google does is about making sure that everyone on the internet, anywhere is accessible to Google and its data collection systems. All areas of the net closed to Google is a threat and must be pried open, usually by the offering of free products (not Google's core product of course) to destroy other business models and force everyone everywhere to let Google in. Free stuff is great, I use Google's free stuff, but it comes with a price. You have to be happy to be sold.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Google where are you?
by Neolander on Thu 7th Jul 2011 20:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Google where are you?"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Any strategy based on financial gain maximization is often disgusting by its very nature.

Think insurance. Sure, it's convenient and all, but at the core these people essentially monetize one's fears.

Reply Score: 1

theosib
Member since:
2006-03-02

Of course, Microsoft knows that their mobile OS will never be as good as iOS or even Android, so they're going after all the Android phone makers in order to get them to raise prices. This will ultimately help Apple, who is likely giving Microsoft some kickbacks on top of the extra royalty money Microsoft is raking in.

In a couple of months, Microsoft will announce a native iOS port of Office, as well as full HTML5 compatibility for Office 365. Eventually, Microsoft will phase out Windows and switch to producing apps exclusively for Mac and iOS, which everyone knows will dominate the PC industry within the next 5 years.

(NB: I haven't been getting enough sleep.)

Reply Score: 1

jboss1995 Member since:
2007-05-02

No they are going after free. They can't nor do they want to compete with free. They are not going after iSO.

Also the other providers need to step up and help, if they don't there will be precedence and will lessen their chance of winning when M$ goes after them.

Reply Score: 3

theosib Member since:
2006-03-02

\southern_us_accent{That was a joke, son.}

Reply Score: 2

Software Patents are patently evil
by senshikaze on Wed 6th Jul 2011 14:50 UTC
senshikaze
Member since:
2011-03-08

How come Microsh!t (and, while I normally shy away from using derogatory terms for them, they deserve it now) doesn't file against Apple? Or Google? Is it because they know they don't have a leg to stand on? Is it because they can't compete on their product offering? Is it because no one is buying their phones? If I was these companies, I would tell MS to take a hike and not ship ANY ms products, ever. I wish consumers weren't complete idiots and stop buying products from abusive companies.

Edited 2011-07-06 14:54 UTC

Reply Score: 2

shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

The same reason mafia doesn't fight big opponents openly. Too big of a hassle and too much publicity. They prefer easy and dirty.

Edited 2011-07-06 16:59 UTC

Reply Score: 2

mat69 Member since:
2006-03-29

Well Samsung IS a big opponent. It is bigger than Google.

Samsung is probably the biggest and most diversified opponent Microsoft could face.

Reply Score: 4

shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

So I hope they'll not tolerate this stupid bullying.

Reply Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

They might have to.
Their laptops run Windows. Korea is basically a Microsoft Windows promised land.

But I believe this will force them to drop WP7 altogether.

Thom, I hope you have a non Samsung WP7. Because I fear that will be the end of updates for you.

Reply Score: 2

MacTO Member since:
2006-09-21

How come Microsh!t ... doesn't file against Apple? Or Google? Is it because they know they don't have a leg to stand on?


In the case of Google, I'm guessing that it has more to do with business opportunities. First go for royalties, since it is cheaper to negotiate than litigate. Cell phone makers have the most to lose in this equation, so go for the instead of Google. If that fails, sue. It is risky, so Microsoft would probably have a few legs (patents) cut off in the process. But I highly doubt that every patent would be invalidated, so they would win the battle.

Reply Score: 2

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Apple and Microsoft have broad based cross-licensing agreement in place.

Google, supposedly, can't be sued because they are giving their stuff away for free.

The bigger question is, why is Google not indenmifying its hardware partners against threats of suits wrt the software that Google provides them, like Microsoft does for its partners? (Maybe because Google knows that they are infringing on patents left and right, and don't want to pay the bill themselves.) Whatever the reason, Google's business model is to pass along the licensing responsibilities and related risks to their partners.

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Apple and Microsoft have broad based cross-licensing agreement in place. Google, supposedly, can't be sued because they are giving their stuff away for free. The bigger question is, why is Google not indenmifying its hardware partners against threats of suits wrt the software that Google provides them, like Microsoft does for its partners? (Maybe because Google knows that they are infringing on patents left and right, and don't want to pay the bill themselves.) Whatever the reason, Google's business model is to pass along the licensing responsibilities and related risks to their partners.


IMO Molly Microsoft have not sued Google because Google's Android product is just software. Software itself is mathematics, it is not patentable subject matter (even in the US) under the "machine or transformation" test.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machine-or-transformation_test

In United States patent law, the machine-or-transformation test is a test of patent eligibility under which a claim to a process qualifies to be considered for patenting if it (1) is implemented with a particular machine, that is, one specifically devised and adapted to carry out the process in a way that is not concededly conventional and is not trivial; or else (2) transforms an article from one thing or state to another.

The form in which Google makes Android available to OEM's is not a form which is implemented in a specific machine.

So Microsoft can only try out their extortion tactics against people who sell actual devices, such as TomTom, B&N, HTC or Samsung.

In B&N and perhaps Samsung, Microsoft may have bitten off more than they can chew. These firms may decide to fight back. After all, if Microsoft are asking $15 per device for a few very dubious patent claims, and yet they charge about the same to OEMs for the entire WP7 OS, then if nothing else at least B&N and Samsung already have a slam dunk case that Microsoft are not being fair and reasonable.

IMO the same "machine or transformation" requirement under US law is the reason why Microsoft have not tried to directly extort Linux developers, or Red Hat or Ubuntu.

Edited 2011-07-07 00:46 UTC

Reply Score: 3

allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

Then, how can you explain Oracle's case against Google?

Reply Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Microsoft offers indemnification because they know that they only company that can, in theory, sue for patent infringement in MS products is IBM.

Microsoft basically has all patents in the industry licensed. Through cross licensing or intimidation.

Reply Score: 2

r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

I wish consumers weren't complete idiots and stop buying products from abusive companies.


< devils advocate > Do you have a list with completely trustworthy and non-abusive companies and can you guarentee they won't become abusive in the future? < /devils advocate >

AFAICT, every major corporation has some skeletons in the closet when it comes to anti-consumer shenanigans. If we really start to boycott everything that has a connection to these companies, we'll end up with a lot of cash in the bank account.

Reply Score: 4

bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23


AFAICT, every major corporation has some skeletons in the closet when it comes to anti-consumer shenanigans. If we really start to boycott everything that has a connection to these companies, we'll end up with a lot of cash in the bank account.


Not in the bank account, since you would be boycotting the banks too...

Reply Score: 3

r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Touché!

Reply Score: 2

Comment by pablo_marx
by pablo_marx on Wed 6th Jul 2011 15:12 UTC
pablo_marx
Member since:
2006-02-03

Up until the mid-'90s, the US courts held the belief that software should not be patentable; it wasn't until 1998 that the courts ruled that a calculation which produced a "useful, concrete and tangible result" should be patentable (State Street Bank v. Signature Financial Group). Up until then, the USPTO refused to grant patents on software; after, they ceased resisting, and accepted software patents.

I'm pretty sure the USPTO granted patents on software prior to 1998 -- For example the QuickDraw patent (http://tinyurl.com/6gb6osm">US ).

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by pablo_marx
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 6th Jul 2011 15:16 UTC in reply to "Comment by pablo_marx"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm pretty sure the USPTO granted patents on software prior to 1998 -- For example the QuickDraw patent


Of course, it wasn't a 100% clear divide, but in general, the USPTO was not receptive to software patents, although the courts sometimes reversed USPTO decisions. The entire history is detailed here:

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

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by pablo_marx
by pablo_marx on Wed 6th Jul 2011 15:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by pablo_marx"
pablo_marx Member since:
2006-02-03

Your post makes it appear to be a 100% clear divide.

Up until then, the USPTO refused to grant patents on software; after, they ceased resisting, and accepted software patents.

(Where then is the 1998 court ruling).

The post should be updated so people who don't go read comments aren't mislead into believing software patents were only issued from 1998 onwards.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by pablo_marx
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 6th Jul 2011 15:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by pablo_marx"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The post should be updated so people who don't go read comments aren't mislead into believing software patents were only issued from 1998 onwards.


Yes, you're right. Let me update it to more accurately reflect what I'm trying to say.

The 1998 ruling is detailed here:

http://www.bitlaw.com/software-patent/history.html

"After the State Street decision, there is little doubt that computer software and data structures can be considered patentable subject matter in the United States. Certain steps are required to ensure that the software meets the examination guidelines of the USPTO, such as ensuring that the software or data structure is operated upon by a computer processor, or is stored on a computer readable media. However, these requirements are easy to meet when drafting the patent claims, and therefore are not a significant impediment to patentability."

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by pablo_marx
by TemporalBeing on Thu 7th Jul 2011 14:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by pablo_marx"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

However, that was a Federal Circuit decision - not a SCOTUS ruling. So I still would say it without clarity as the master court - SCOTUS - has yet to recognize the validity of software patents.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by pablo_marx
by pantheraleo on Wed 6th Jul 2011 18:00 UTC in reply to "Comment by pablo_marx"
pantheraleo Member since:
2007-03-07

I'm pretty sure the USPTO granted patents on software prior to 1998 -- For example the QuickDraw patent (US Patent 4,622,545).


Thom's claims about when software patents were first granted are completely wrong, but he refuses to admit it. Just a few examples that prove he is wrong:

- The first known software patent was granted in Britain on August 17, 1967 entitled "A Computer Arranged for the Automatic Solution of Linear Programming Problems"

- On November 20th, 1972, in Gottschalk v. Benson, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a software patent application was invalid because of prior art dating to the 19th century. However, in its ruling, it specifically stated it was only ruling against that particular patent, and NOT software patents in general. "it is said that the decision precludes a patent for any program servicing a computer. We do not so hold."

- On May 26th, 1981, the first known U.S. software patent was granted to Satya Pal Asija for a natural language interface program.

- In 1994, Stac Electronics successfully sued Microsoft over software parent violations regarding the DoubleSpace disk compression technology included in MS DOS 6.0.

In short, the claim that software patents were not granted until 1998 is clearly false.

Edited 2011-07-06 18:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by pablo_marx
by JAlexoid on Wed 6th Jul 2011 20:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by pablo_marx"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

I'm sorry... Did you actually read what Thom wrote there? Not granted is not really the same as resisted...

PS: Subject is USPTO and to my knowledge UK is not in USPTO jurisdiction...

Reply Score: 2

Microsys?
by guilhermefdc on Wed 6th Jul 2011 15:22 UTC
guilhermefdc
Member since:
2011-02-17

So, Microsoft is now moving towards their long-written destiny: the biggest, meanest patent troll.
Not much we can do about that, I guess... I'll do my best to not give them any money - I'll avoid phones by companies that settle with them and products they sell.
At least Apple is (was?) innovating while trolling.

Reply Score: 4

How about just selling without an OS ?
by Lennie on Wed 6th Jul 2011 15:27 UTC
Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

What if device makes sold devices without an OS ?

After all they could just make Android available as a download, right ?

Would they still feel threatened by MS ?

;-)

Reply Score: 8

uggla Member since:
2011-07-06

My thought exactly! At first boot you should be presented with different free mobile-OSes to download and install.

Reply Score: 2

cb88 Member since:
2009-04-23

My thought exactly! At first boot you should be presented with different free mobile-OSes to download and install.

And what OS will be providing that functionality? It'll be vunerable to patents as well.

Reply Score: 1

uggla Member since:
2011-07-06

Is a non commercial product (given away for free) vulnerable to patents? Can someone take me to court for serving homemade coca cola (or whatever) for free?

Reply Score: 2

unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

Is a non commercial product (given away for free) vulnerable to patents? Can someone take me to court for serving homemade coca cola (or whatever) for free?


I'm not sure Coke is covered by any patents, my guess is that the ingredients and how to mix them is a trade secret. In that case I guess you would be able to do it, at least as long as you don't call it Coca Cola.

If there are patents involved, that would not be possible, patents is all about not being the first having the idea. In other words you could see it as some form of limited monopoly on thinking, or at least on letting your thought take some more or less physical form, and I really can't see how this will be good for inventors or society.

If it was good for society how come the very people that are supposed to be experts on patent law, i.e. the lawyers don't use it on their own work. Just imagine how much the first lawyer using some form of insanity defence, could have made if he had had a patent on it. If he refused to license it he could take over all court cases where that type of defence was needed. If we can patent medical procedures why not extend it to legal procedures.

My guess is, the reason they haven't tried is that they realize that the legal system would fall apart if this was possible, just like the software industry is starting to do today.

Reply Score: 3

silix Member since:
2006-03-01

Is a non commercial product (given away for free) vulnerable to patents?
yes
it's not the price that makes something liable wrt patents, it's whether the product contains (parts of) inventions ("methods and apparatuses") whose patents have been (for the right or wrong) grsanted to someone else
If there are patents involved, that would not be possible, patents is all about not being the first having the idea. In other words you could see it as some form of limited monopoly on thinking, or at least on letting your thought take some more or less physical form, and I really can't see how this will be good for inventors or society.
not just an "idea"... patents are about (agan, sorry) "methods and apparatuses" devised to solve a specific problem in a specific application domain and based on mathematical or physical foundation
even in the case of a sw one, it needs a detailed functional description of the invention in order to apply for a patent..
If it was good for society how come the very people that are supposed to be experts on patent law, i.e. the lawyers don't use it on their own work.
because the patent law regards inventions, but is otherwise no different from many other law, which is conceived once, and then interpreted by those whose job is to find the most favourable interpretation for their clients, among plausible ones (it's not like there's an infinite amount of them, in addition to the one the regulator originally intended...)
My guess is, the reason they haven't tried is that they realize that the legal system would fall apart if this was possible, just like the software industry is starting to do today.
mine instead is, it would violate a fundamental principle - all applications of a certain law and all trials based on it, should be fair
if interpretations were patentable, court rulings couldnt be reused in subsequent affine trials on the same subject, and that would be no more

Reply Score: 1

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

yes, yes, yes,...

but isn't it also true that you have to pay the patent holder from the money you make with selling the product you make ?

If you don't make any money from it, do you still have to pay ?

And what I really meant was: the user installs a free OS. So it wouldn't be the hardware vendor.

Edited 2011-07-07 03:59 UTC

Reply Score: 3

unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

As I understand it you need a licence agreement with the patent holder to use the patented technology in any way. That agreement regulates under what circumstances, and how much you need to pay.

Reply Score: 2

mantrik00
Member since:
2011-07-06

I agree with the last part of your argument with regard to software patents. There is something wrong with the present intellectual property regime in the US. The patent system suits the American businesses who own all the intellectual property with little or no manufacturing capacity. Take the Apple Vs Samsung case... Like Microsoft, Apple has no manufacturing capacity... (it outsources all of its manufacturing) but has accumulated patents through outright purchases or coercive cross licensing whereas Samsung has end to end manufacturing capacity. Companies holding on to patents without real manufacturing capacity are nothing but trolls. Even worse is the area of software patents where the USPTO has been known to award fairly obvious patents to various companies. Perhaps, software should have remained solely under copyright protection and not under the restrictive patent regime which, in any case, was designed for the industries engaged in the production of physical products whose research & development costs are much higher and time consuming. Software (both embedded & embodied), on the other hand, is much cheaper to develop and is far less time consuming.

Reply Score: 4

Time to boycott Microsoft
by samyem on Wed 6th Jul 2011 15:31 UTC
samyem
Member since:
2005-10-03

If there is enough customer complain, Microsoft may want to re-think their position. Time to stop giving in to MS products or else they will keep going..

Reply Score: 2

RE: Time to boycott Microsoft
by yanik on Wed 6th Jul 2011 16:03 UTC in reply to "Time to boycott Microsoft"
yanik Member since:
2005-07-13

I've been doing it for the last decade. Not that hard actually.

Here's my MS free setup:

- Macbook Air for OSX
- Macbook 13" for Ubuntu
- Jailbroken Ipod touch
- Nexus One
- PS3

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Time to boycott Microsoft
by WorknMan on Wed 6th Jul 2011 16:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Time to boycott Microsoft"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I've been doing it for the last decade. Not that hard actually.

Here's my MS free setup:

- Macbook Air for OSX
- Macbook 13" for Ubuntu
- Jailbroken Ipod touch
- Nexus One
- PS3


LOL, you want to boycott MS, so you buy Apple, Google, and Sony products?

I weep for humanity. You might ask yourself which one of these companies is 'less evil', but that's like asking the same question about Ted Bundy or Jeffery Dahmer. In the end, they're all evil, so it doesn't really matter.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Time to boycott Microsoft
by SaschaW on Wed 6th Jul 2011 16:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Time to boycott Microsoft"
SaschaW Member since:
2007-07-19

Apple and Sony are not much better. Especially Apple these days is developing into a serious bully. ALL large corporations should be boycotted. Unfortunately, that would leave us with nothing :-(

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Time to boycott Microsoft
by yanik on Wed 6th Jul 2011 17:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Time to boycott Microsoft"
yanik Member since:
2005-07-13

Apple and Sony are not much better. Especially Apple these days is developing into a serious bully. ALL large corporations should be boycotted. Unfortunately, that would leave us with nothing :-(


I know and I agree. Never said they were any better. Just boycotting MS and putting my money where my mouth is.

Reply Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

LOL. As much as I dislike Apple's policies. Calling them a bully is a bit too much.

Reply Score: 0

ari-free Member since:
2007-01-22

How about this idea: buy from all companies instead of buying everything from one company?

Reply Score: 2

frajo Member since:
2007-06-29

Apple and Sony are not much better. Especially Apple these days is developing into a serious bully. ALL large corporations should be boycotted. Unfortunately, that would leave us with nothing :-(

I'm very comfortable with my eComStation and fedora machines. It definitely does not feel like "nothing".
Or do you mean smartphones? Well, I'm old enough to never have needed gimmicks like these. Poor youngsters who cannot survive without cell phones.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Time to boycott Microsoft
by fran on Wed 6th Jul 2011 17:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Time to boycott Microsoft"
fran Member since:
2010-08-06

If you have Apple products you might as well not boycott Microsoft.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Time to boycott Microsoft
by draethus on Thu 7th Jul 2011 05:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Time to boycott Microsoft"
draethus Member since:
2006-08-02

I've been doing it for the last decade. Not that hard actually.

Here's my MS free setup:

- Macbook Air for OSX
- Macbook 13" for Ubuntu
- Jailbroken Ipod touch
- Nexus One
- PS3


You do realize Microsoft owns Apple shares?

Why do you think Microsoft and Apple never sue each other?

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Time to boycott Microsoft
by bert64 on Thu 7th Jul 2011 15:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Time to boycott Microsoft"
bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

Nexus one made by HTC, who pay royalties to MS...

Pretty sure Apple pay them royalties for some things too.

Reply Score: 2

What about non-US sold phones?
by protomank on Wed 6th Jul 2011 15:33 UTC
protomank
Member since:
2006-08-03

Software patents are only applicable in Unidet States and other small number of countries, right?
Why should I pay in Brazil, a country that is against software patents, for a product that was manufactured here, using open-source software?

Reply Score: 3

ideas should not be patentable
by ourcomputerbloke on Wed 6th Jul 2011 15:40 UTC
ourcomputerbloke
Member since:
2011-05-12

Fortunately for the many thousands of people who over the years have patented concepts, both hardware and software, yet didn't have the resources at their disposal to produce their idea, this hasn't been the case. Hopefully it never will.

Reply Score: 1

Request *what* patents?
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 6th Jul 2011 16:37 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

Couldn't a company like Samsung request that the courts force Microsoft to publicly say WHAT patents are being violated? How can a company get away with such empty threats, and worse--so many companies actually listen to them and sign deals? Hopefully Samsung fights...

Reply Score: 4

RE: Request *what* patents?
by JAlexoid on Wed 6th Jul 2011 20:42 UTC in reply to "Request *what* patents?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

If it goes to court, then the patents will have to be disclosed. You can't play "Linux violates 234 of our patents" FUD game in court.

Reply Score: 2

Well, excuse my ignorance, but
by LB06 on Wed 6th Jul 2011 16:39 UTC
LB06
Member since:
2005-07-06

Couldn't Samsung just reimplement the pieces of software that are supposedly infringing upon those software patents if they want to avoid going to court?

Reply Score: 2

ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

The problem is that software patents used for troll-like behaviour tend to be things that are obvious and sometimes fundamental to programmers (and often have been quietly used for years) but non-obvious to patent examiners not versed in computer science.

Often, they're the programmer equivalent of "Microsoft patents oxygen-based metabolic processes". Sure, there are alternatives, but unless you're living in volcanic vents, they're possibly fatal.

(And court challenges are horrendously expensive, so prior art effectively doesn't matter once the patent is granted)

Reply Score: 5

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Even MS knows that at this stage. After their fiasco with i4i.

They all want easier patent invalidation procedures. Problem is, Microsoft wants them being easier for big corporations not everyone.

Reply Score: 2

allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

Couldn't Samsung just reimplement the pieces of software that are supposedly infringing upon those software patents if they want to avoid going to court?

No, even if Samsung will re-implement their software a thousand times, Microsoft will demand a payment of $15 a thousand times more. So it is going to be more expensive on the part of Samsung. By the way, software patent as I understood is about ideas, pieces of software is irrelevant.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Couldn't Samsung just reimplement the pieces of software that are supposedly infringing upon those software patents if they want to avoid going to court?

No, even if Samsung will re-implement their software a thousand times, Microsoft will demand a payment of $15 a thousand times more. So it is going to be more expensive on the part of Samsung. By the way, software patent as I understood is about ideas, pieces of software is irrelevant.
"

Patents are not awarded for ideas, they are awarded for methods.

As an example of what this means: you might be awarded a patent for inventing a new type of water pump, but you will not be awarded a patent for the idea of pumping water. Another inventor, with yet another new type of water pump might also get a patent later on.

Patents are awarded for new (and supposedly better than the existing) methods of doing things, and not for the idea itself of doing those things. To avoid existing patents, all that one needs to do is come up with a different way of doing whatever methods it is that are patented.

Reply Score: 3

allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

"[q]Couldn't Samsung just reimplement the pieces of software that are supposedly infringing upon those software patents if they want to avoid going to court?

No, even if Samsung will re-implement their software a thousand times, Microsoft will demand a payment of $15 a thousand times more. So it is going to be more expensive on the part of Samsung. By the way, software patent as I understood is about ideas, pieces of software is irrelevant.
"

Patents are not awarded for ideas, they are awarded for methods.

As an example of what this means: you might be awarded a patent for inventing a new type of water pump, but you will not be awarded a patent for the idea of pumping water. Another inventor, with yet another new type of water pump might also get a patent later on.

Patents are awarded for new (and supposedly better than the existing) methods of doing things, and not for the idea itself of doing those things. To avoid existing patents, all that one needs to do is come up with a different way of doing whatever methods it is that are patented. [/q]
Thanks for correcting and clarifying..

Reply Score: 1

Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

That description of patents is outdated. In software there is no difference between a method and an idea, and patents are generally formulated so generic they can cover an entire field. So patents are awarded for ideas. The best example of this is not even software patents, but business plan patents.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

That description of patents is outdated. In software there is no difference between a method and an idea, and patents are generally formulated so generic they can cover an entire field. So patents are awarded for ideas. The best example of this is not even software patents, but business plan patents.


Pure software patents and business plan patents are not allowed period.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machine-or-transformation_test

"In United States patent law, the machine-or-transformation test is a test of patent eligibility under which a claim to a process qualifies to be considered for patenting if it (1) is implemented with a particular machine, that is, one specifically devised and adapted to carry out the process in a way that is not concededly conventional and is not trivial; or else (2) transforms an article from one thing or state to another."


A piece of software is not patentable (even in the US) unless it is part of a specific machine (one specifically devised and adapted to carry out the patented process). Under this definition, for example, an application running on a general-purpose PC is not patentable (becaue the PC is general purpose).

In the EU, scientific discoveries, mathematics and software, aka as 'programs for computers', are all specifically mentioned as things which are not patentable.

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

In the EU:
The following in particular shall not be regarded as inventions within the meaning of paragraph 1:
(a) discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;
(b) aesthetic creations;
(c) schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business, and programs for computers;
(d) presentations of information.


Canada:
According to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) patents may only be granted for physical embodiments of an idea, or a process that results in something that is tangible or can be sold. This excludes theorems, computer programs per se, or business methods.


Edited 2011-07-11 00:23 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

lemur2,

"Pure software patents and business plan patents are not allowed period."

That doesn't mean they haven't gotten through.

"A piece of software is not patentable (even in the US) unless it is part of a specific machine (one specifically devised and adapted to carry out the patented process). Under this definition, for example, an application running on a general-purpose PC is not patentable (becaue the PC is general purpose)."

I really wish you were right, but the courts have permitted software patent holders to go after software developers. So long as this is the case, software patents are effectively valid in the US. It's one of the reasons unlicensed linux distros cannot directly include mp3 players (for one example).

If you read some of these software patents, you'll have to agree that software developers and their customers can infringe upon them. I don't like it any more than you do.

As far as I know congress has never said anything for or against software patents, and in the end it's up to them to overturn case law.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

lemur2, "Pure software patents and business plan patents are not allowed period." That doesn't mean they haven't gotten through. "A piece of software is not patentable (even in the US) unless it is part of a specific machine (one specifically devised and adapted to carry out the patented process). Under this definition, for example, an application running on a general-purpose PC is not patentable (becaue the PC is general purpose)." I really wish you were right, but the courts have permitted software patent holders to go after software developers. So long as this is the case, software patents are effectively valid in the US. It's one of the reasons unlicensed linux distros cannot directly include mp3 players (for one example). If you read some of these software patents, you'll have to agree that software developers and their customers can infringe upon them. I don't like it any more than you do. As far as I know congress has never said anything for or against software patents, and in the end it's up to them to overturn case law.


Patents awarded by the US Patnet Office are not necessarily valid. They are not shown to be valid until upheld in a court case.

A patent "getting through" does not actually mean that it is valid, it just means that the US Patent Office has awarded the patent. AFAIK this is like an "administrative stamp", it is not a legal approval.

There are many reasons why a given patent may not be valid, including prior art and obviousnesss, as well as not being a specific machine or transformation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer-to-Patent

There are literally thousands upon thousands of US patents which are routinely used to threaten people and extort royalty payments which have never actually ever been validated in a court trial.

Normally this occurs because it is cheaper for the party accused of violating a patent to simply pay the royalty that is being asked for than it would be to challenge the validity of the patent in court. There is an inherent unfair bias, a presumption that the patent is valid, that is built in to the "burden of proof" in patent cases.

http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2011/06/microsoft-v-i4i-supreme-cou...

They fact that royalties are being paid does not make the patent in question valid.

The rules, and the original intent, of patentablitiy are actually reasonably clear. Patents are supposed to "encourage the useful arts". That original intent of patent law could be further from the actual current practical outcomes of the law today, especially in the field of software development.

The case of "Microsoft Demands $15 for Every Samsung Android Phone Sold" is a classic example of how patents are being used today to PREVENT new products and innovation in the market rather than foster them, as they were originally intended to do. Microsoft did not write any of the Android software, and Android itself is FUNDAMENTALLY different to any software of Microsoft's.

Edited 2011-07-11 07:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

lemur2,

"Pure software patents and business plan patents are not allowed period. "

"A piece of software is not patentable (even in the US) unless it is part of a specific machine (one specifically devised and adapted to carry out the patented process)."

"There are many reasons why a given patent may not be valid, including prior art and obviousnesss, as well as not being a specific machine or transformation."


I've noticed that you often tend to project what you want to be true as fact. You seem to forget that this question went all the way to the supreme court just last year, and they were not in agreement with your view.


http://blawg.scottandscottllp.com/businessandtechnologylaw/2010/07/...

"The Supreme Court expressly rejected the machine or transformation test as the sole means to assess process patentability. However, other than identifying the test as a useful tool to make that assessment, the Court did not express any test or set of factors to provide any additional guidance on the subject."



Read their justification for yourself on page 2.

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-964.pdf

They ruled that unless congress amends patent law, it's not up to the courts to prohibit software patents.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I really wish you were right, but the courts have permitted software patent holders to go after software developers. So long as this is the case, software patents are effectively valid in the US. It's one of the reasons unlicensed linux distros cannot directly include mp3 players (for one example).


Actually, a number of Linux distributions do in fact directly include mp3 players, and DVD players for that matter.

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=mint

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=ultimate

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=pclinuxos

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=sabayon

All of these distribute software only, none of them distribute a "specific machine". None of them have ever been challenged.

The owners of mp3 patents may or may not be able to sue any individual in the US who installed any of this software on a specific machine, but I can't see how doing that would be worth their while. Even then, the owner of the machine can simply point out that it is a general-purpose machine, it is not adapted or modified in any way to specifically function as an mp3 player.

AFAIK, this project has not been directly challenged either, and it still is active:

http://lame.sourceforge.net/about.php

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

LAME is distributed by the project as source code only, but you will find binary executables of LAME on the Linux distributions listed above.

Edited 2011-07-11 09:47 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

lemur2,

"Actually, a number of Linux distributions do in fact directly include mp3 players, and DVD players for that matter."

Yes it's possible. My guess is that they're flying under the radar.

Are there any commercial distros which distribute unlicensed mp3 players in the US? I doubt it. If they do, then they are probably licensed.

In any case, it looks like even some of the distros you've cited have mp3 software disabled for the US.

http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=75161&p=436160&hil...

"The US & Japan edition doesn't include stuff like that by default for legal reasons, the regular one does. It is easy enough to install them afterwards, it just gives an install like Ubuntu, no mp3, no DVD playback etc"

Reply Score: 2

JoeBuck
Member since:
2006-01-11

... and they can counter by suing Microsoft for everything under the sun. In the end, there will be a cross-licensing deal, with both companies gaining access to each others' patents. Microsoft's tactics won't work against a major player, only a smaller outfit like HTC.

Reply Score: 6

Comment by vtolkov
by vtolkov on Wed 6th Jul 2011 16:52 UTC
vtolkov
Member since:
2006-07-26

Traditional "protection scheme", but the legal one. Why bother to develop something, if you can have the same money for competitor's products?

Reply Score: 4

kristoph
Member since:
2006-01-01

I bet Android will wind up contributing more to the bottom line of Microsoft and Apple/Others then it ever will for Google.

]{

Reply Score: 4

Comment by Gusar
by Gusar on Wed 6th Jul 2011 17:00 UTC
Gusar
Member since:
2010-07-16

Just today I asked myself why MS hasn't gone after Samsung yet. And well, here we are. This craziness needs to stop. All these companies, and those spared for now but who make Android products, should pool their legal resources together and fight. And make Google join in too.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Gusar
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 6th Jul 2011 17:02 UTC in reply to "Comment by Gusar"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I indeed wouldn't be surprised if something is a'cookin' somewhere between Android device makers and Google. They all appear so relatively calm that it's scary (see Google's bidding behaviour in the Nortel thing). Almost like they know something we don't.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Gusar
by bigdog on Wed 6th Jul 2011 17:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Gusar"
bigdog Member since:
2011-07-06

What do you think is " a'cookin' somewhere between Android device makers and Google"?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Gusar
by JAlexoid on Wed 6th Jul 2011 20:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Gusar"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

I just wonder why Sony jumped into the biding war on the side of MS. If they aren't planning on shipping WP7.

Reply Score: 2

Patents in point
by franksands on Wed 6th Jul 2011 17:05 UTC
franksands
Member since:
2009-08-18

Does anyone know which patents is Samsung infringing?

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Wed 6th Jul 2011 17:07 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

So patents let you make money on other people's work?

Reply Score: 3

Which patents?
by axilmar on Wed 6th Jul 2011 17:10 UTC
axilmar
Member since:
2006-03-20

Googling for Microsoft+Samsung+patent doesn't reveal much.

Reply Score: 2

Back to evil ways...
by mfaudzinr on Wed 6th Jul 2011 17:15 UTC
mfaudzinr
Member since:
2008-02-13

Well what can I say, conspicuously the Empire is back to its evil ways... Too much evil is going on in the world... And everyone of the bigwigs are trolling big time. What mad world this is turning into... At the end consumers are the losers :-(

Reply Score: 3

Comment by motang
by motang on Wed 6th Jul 2011 17:32 UTC
motang
Member since:
2008-03-27

Looks like MS has a good racketeering business going for itself!

Reply Score: 4

New parasitism
by siki_miki on Wed 6th Jul 2011 17:46 UTC
siki_miki
Member since:
2006-01-17

When Android was in google labs, noone cared. Yet now every company owning a patent remotely doing something related to Linux, Java, touch screen, wants a toll. I bet HTC got very good terms, therefore they accepted - hint: they do make WP7 phones. Samsung is a big fish however. They will countersue and we'll see a settlement without disclosing any terms. And max $5 per phone IMHO.

Also this seems to look as a kind of coordinated effort of Apple and MS. Too big to fail, they have power to affect (lobby) their legal system to serve them a purpose in extortionism.

One "unfortunate" thing: this only covers phones sold in USA due to US patents, and sw patents are mostly absent form other major economies with few exceptions. This is not some high luxury market where most of money comes from US - people use phones anywhere around the world, and that includes smartphones. Most are going to shell out enough cash to get one.

Do we even know what kind of patents MS has on Android?

Reply Score: 4

Needed: Incorruptible Uber patent
by fran on Wed 6th Jul 2011 18:00 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

There must be some UBER patent somewhere that the Linux foundation or Google can use to "cease and desist" others and basically ensure MAD (mutually assured destruction).

This uber patent should be some very simple but integral part of almost all software like a common UI feature or something.
The patent holder should be incorruptible even by with billion dollar settlement propositions.

We know this can happen. Remember the i4i xml suit.
Microsoft Word was pulled for a short time by the suit from i4i regarding xml in word before Microsoft settled.

In addition, for good measure they should do this with other patents as well by using a small troll company as a front. Like most of them do. Then a counter suit becomes very difficult. Because the troll company don't actually produce anything that infringe on your patents.

And dont feel bad...These companies live by the sword.

Reply Score: 3

Google sucks.
by Windows Sucks on Wed 6th Jul 2011 18:00 UTC
Windows Sucks
Member since:
2005-11-10

The thing out of all of this that gets me is that like with everything else (Like companies suing Android developers etc) Google is quiet! Microsoft has co-opted Android and Google has done nothing, said nothing and didn't indemnify anyone! Wow.

It's like they missed the last 20 years of the tech world where MS killed off almost everyone else doing the same stuff!

Did Google not plan for this at all or did Schmidt walk them over the edge? This is just crazy how quiet Google is.

And now Microsoft is pimpin Google for Chrome OS also. Yikes. Google might want to get back to what they do best and focus on that cause if Oracle wins Android will be a footnote.

Edited 2011-07-06 18:03 UTC

Reply Score: 4

It's offical OSNews is /.
by Not2Sure on Wed 6th Jul 2011 18:39 UTC
Not2Sure
Member since:
2009-12-07

1) Holwerda your knowledge and understanding of software patents is limited to a personal bias and a bunch of wikipedia reading. You are so wrong about it I would suggest rereading at least 3x before you hit that submit button.

2) Samsung approached Microsoft in this instance not the other way around. By all accounts they are negotiating the price not debating whether to pay. It is not extortion. Get a life. Face it, when all these companines start paying, they know something you don't (or alternatively the profit margin on smartphones is so insanely high they are all colluding to rip off consumers on a global scale).

3) Android infringes on many levels. If you continue to say it isn't so with all this mounting evidence then you're blind. Wait till Oracle starts getting their piece.

4) Google/Rubin have ensnared everyone (even the revenue from independent software developers writing apps for Android are in theory liable) with their Kool-Aid. Some of us pointed this out when this whole love affair ("We will revolutionize the mobile industry!") started and were largely ignored. Reap what you sow bitches. Personally, I think it's their strategy: "Judge, how can you patent air?" "Judge, how can you shut down the economy of our nation? Issuing an injunction when we refuse to pay is against national security interests" etc etc.

5) Google is attempting to become the Too Big To Fail of Silicon Valley. They will attempt to destroy software patents because they don't really care about making money from software, just ads and monetizing your privacy. The rest of you can fail, we are NOT evil, blah blah blah.

6) Consumers are idiots because they are led by a nonsensical media to support only two vendors in some Good v Evil mythology battle.

When I read the comments of all the "software developers" in this thread deploring the state of software patents, all I can respond is "Really?"

Did you not realize this is the industry in which you work? These were the rules of the game? Oh, that's right you're a bunch of cubicle drones and leave all the real thinking to the suits in the offices you deplore, or whatever. Seriously, step outside of the reality distortion fields and think about what you're doing. It's your life. This is your bread and butter we are talking about here.

It's like people in the oil biz or the gambling industries. It's sleazy and it's been that way forever. That's the way software works and is able to make money. The only person who has ever stood up for change and articulated an alternative business model is RMS. But we all know how most software developers think about his agenda.

Edited 2011-07-06 18:40 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: It's offical OSNews is /.
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 6th Jul 2011 18:59 UTC in reply to "It's offical OSNews is /."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

1) Holwerda your knowledge and understanding of software patents is limited to a personal bias and a bunch of wikipedia reading. You are so wrong about it I would suggest rereading at least 3x before you hit that submit button.


On which counts am I wrong? Could you elaborate? Be more specific?

2) Samsung approached Microsoft in this instance not the other way around. By all accounts they are negotiating the price not debating whether to pay. It is not extortion.


Got any proof to back up that claim? I'm interested, because I haven't seen it made anywhere else as of yet. I'd love to know if it's indeed true Samsung approached Microsoft.

However, even if they did, it doesn't really change anything about this being extortion. If I have a group of thugs beat up everyone in your town except you, and then the group of thugs stands in front of your house, waiting, hand-wringing - you'd try to work something out or fight back, right? Isn't that the same as extortion?

3) Android infringes on many levels. If you continue to say it isn't so with all this mounting evidence then you're blind. Wait till Oracle starts getting their piece.


I never denied that it did. I think few did. It's just that a majority - at least here on OSNews, and in Europe - think software patents should be illegal.

4) Google/Rubin have ensnared everyone (even the revenue from independent software developers writing apps for Android are in theory liable) with their Kool-Aid. Some of us pointed this out when this whole love affair ("We will revolutionize the mobile industry!") started and were largely ignored. Reap what you sow bitches. Personally, I think it's their strategy: "Judge, how can you patent air?" "Judge, how can you shut down the economy of our nation? Issuing an injunction when we refuse to pay is against national security interests" etc etc.


I honestly don't know what this rambling even means.

5) Google is attempting to become the Too Big To Fail of Silicon Valley. They will attempt to destroy software patents because they don't really care about making money from software, just ads and monetizing your privacy. The rest of you can fail, we are NOT evil, blah blah blah.


This I somewhat grasp through the clear issues you seem to have with Google. Heck, I don't like Google either, but if they manage to destroy software patents? Good on 'm.

6) Consumers are idiots because they are led by a nonsensical media to support only two vendors in some Good v Evil mythology battle.


Okidoki man.

When I read the comments of all the "software developers" in this thread deploring the state of software patents, all I can respond is "Really?"

Did you not realize this is the industry in which you work? These were the rules of the game? Oh, that's right you're a bunch of cubicle drones and leave all the real thinking to the suits in the offices you deplore, or whatever. Seriously, step outside of the reality distortion fields and think about what you're doing. It's your life. This is your bread and butter we are talking about here.


So, people are not allowed to complain about or fight against something they don't like just because they're part of it? Does this apply only to business and jobs, or also the government? Should I accept the sad fact that a right-wing extremist is in my government and just shut up about it because these are the rules of the game?

Fascinating view on life, there.

Reply Score: 7

RE: It's offical OSNews is /.
by jabbotts on Wed 6th Jul 2011 19:18 UTC in reply to "It's offical OSNews is /."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06


Android infringes on many levels.


I'd love to see a list of what patents Android is infringing on. It would be second only to seeing the list of what 400-some-odd patents the Linux kernel allegedly infringes on.

Until the patents infringed are listed for open discussion, this is all court room theater.

Reply Score: 7

Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

[i]I'd love to see a list of what patents Android is infringing on. It would be second only to seeing the list of what 400-some-odd patents the Linux kernel allegedly infringes on.

Until the patents infringed are listed for open discussion, this is all court room theater. [/q][/i]

I guess you have not been paying attention as of late because Microsoft has listed the patents they feel Android is violating in their cases against Moto and Barnes and Nobles.

http://www.unwiredview.com/2010/10/03/microsoft-vs-motorola-what-ex...

And the judge has supported MS patents in the first round of review (15 out of the 17 MS sued for) So to say that Android and or Linux does not violate any MS patents is just talk.

Only reason these have not been tested in the past is that everyone but Red Hat who has been selling Linux has patents and or money. Red Hat and Google both don't actually sell Linux so MS has not chosen to sue them cause I am sure Ret Hat will say we sell support and give away the software and Google will say we give away Android and make money off services.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I'll ignore the obligatory snide jab "guess you have not been paying attention" because I have indeed been putting my time and focus into more productive things.

Cheers though for pointing me towards the patent list. That will be an interesting read a bit later tonight.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: It's offical OSNews is /.
by reduz on Thu 7th Jul 2011 05:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It's offical OSNews is /."
reduz Member since:
2006-02-25

How can people still give merit to microsoft about this? ALL the patents they list are ridiculous/obvious/non-original. NONE of such patents were created with research, they are just obvious solutions to specific problems that any company making a similar product or device will solve in the SAME WAY.

If these kind of legal minefiels proliferate it's simply because the US has a completely BROKEN patent system, which was broken in purpose by lobbies so they could do this exact same thing.

Reply Score: 7

Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

The system has been broken since they first allowed software patents! Thing is you have to learn to work in the broken system, MS, Apple, IBM, Oracle the list goes on, have. Google has not!

I don't know what Google was thinking but this is a complete FAIL. They basically set everyone up!

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: It's offical OSNews is /.
by axilmar on Thu 7th Jul 2011 15:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It's offical OSNews is /."
axilmar Member since:
2006-03-20

What a load of crap patents! They have patented the obvious...what next? patenting pressing the keys of a computer keyboard perhaps?

Reply Score: 3

Lousewort Member since:
2006-09-12

I'd love to see a list of what patents Android is infringing on....


Just looking at the link reminded me how idiotic software patents really are:

Patents No. 5,579,517 and 5,758,352, both called “Common name space for long and short filenames”.

Say we have an array of struct{data with file info}; we can maintain two independent indexes, one on filename8-3, and another on filename256, both pointing to the same array address in memory. This implements a common namespace (the array element) for two different filenames. This is the obvious way to implement a dual namespace, and used by programmers for decades. Hardly patentable.

Patent No. 6,621,746 is related to the flash memory management techniques.

Dirty flags? Oh for crying aloud! let's patent that too.

Patent No. 6,826,762, called “Radio interface layer in a cell phone with a set of APIs having a hardware-independent proxy layer and a hardware-specific driver layer”

Ok, this is called an "abstraction layer", in particular, a device abstraction layer. Of course, it's patentable because its for the mobile radio interface. Who really believes that? Since when is an API patentable?

Patent No. 6,909,910 called “Method and system for managing changes to a contact database”

It's really strange, but my old Nokia N95 has a very similar contact management interface. Could that be because it's an _obvious_ way to do it????

Patent no 7,644,376 called “Flexible architecture for notifying applications of state changes”

Ah! a finite state machine driven event interface! Clearly no-one thought of doing this before Microsoft!

Patent No. 5,664,133 called “Context sensitive menu system/menu behavior”

lol! Context sensitive menus were around at least as early as 1990. The Apricot computer (around 1986) had context sensitive menus and quite a nice GUI as I recall.

Patent No. 6,578,054 “Method and system for supporting off-line mode of operation and synchronization using resource state information”

Ever heard of rsync?

Patent No. 6,370,566 called “Generating meeting requests and group scheduling from a mobile device”

...And this is different how, just because it's a mobile computer rather than a desktop one?

Reply Score: 2

Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

They are dumb!

Reply Score: 2

RE: It's offical OSNews is /.
by allanregistos on Thu 7th Jul 2011 07:42 UTC in reply to "It's offical OSNews is /."
allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

1) Holwerda your knowledge and understanding of software patents is limited to a personal bias and a bunch of wikipedia reading. You are so wrong about it I would suggest rereading at least 3x before you hit that submit button.

We should not cross the border and must stay in the field where we can be called the masters. ;) It is not the first time the author often talk about the subject he doesn't know about or the apparent lack of research. The result is we only entertain our own biases like this one:
http://www.osnews.com/thread?476942
Theology is a complex discipline.

Reply Score: 1

RE: It's offical OSNews is /.
by tomcat on Sat 9th Jul 2011 04:04 UTC in reply to "It's offical OSNews is /."
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Best comment e-ver. ;-)

Reply Score: 2

wow
by TechGeek on Wed 6th Jul 2011 19:49 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

Not2Sure: I dont know what you been smokin, but wow. You really need to lay off the drugs man.

I have seen lots and lots of people come and go saying "Linux infringes lots of patents." No one ever has anything that stands up in court. If you look at the patents listed in the B&N lawsuit, they are ridiculous. They won't stand a chance. They whole point that makes this work for Microsoft is that no one wants to incur the cost of fighting the battle. Even if they would win, they still lose.

You should do some reading on the whole Oracle vs Google thing. So far, 3-4 of Oracle's patents ave been thrown out. Their slam dunk case is looking weaker and weaker all the time.

As for Google getting involved, they may not be able to. Microsoft hasn't sued them. So while they make the software, they aren't distributing it so they aren't a party of the lawsuit. IANAL, but its at least a possibility.

And everyone is probably wrong about this not costing everyone. Microsoft in the past has not made exclusions for location of deployment. Their deals are usually for units shipped. So likely everyone with a phone is contributing to the Microsoft fund.

Reply Score: 6

RE: wow
by Windows Sucks on Wed 6th Jul 2011 23:58 UTC in reply to "wow"
Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

Not2Sure: I dont know what you been smokin, but wow. You really need to lay off the drugs man.

I have seen lots and lots of people come and go saying "Linux infringes lots of patents." No one ever has anything that stands up in court. If you look at the patents listed in the B&N lawsuit, they are ridiculous. They won't stand a chance. They whole point that makes this work for Microsoft is that no one wants to incur the cost of fighting the battle. Even if they would win, they still lose.


Interesting because so far MS is looking real good against Moto over those same patents. Also I could of sworn that Tom Tom got pimp slapped by Microsoft over Linux and Tom Tom settled.

In reality people are settling because they know what the end results are going to be. Better to pay $15 per phone now then a lump sum and $20 a phone or whatever later.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: wow
by r_a_trip on Thu 7th Jul 2011 13:07 UTC in reply to "RE: wow"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Also I could of sworn that Tom Tom got pimp slapped by Microsoft over Linux and Tom Tom settled.

If you would have followed that case, you would have known that Tom Tom caved, because they were financially very weak and did not have the resources to fight the absurdity of the ugly kludge MS has patented to make short and long file names possible in the ancient FAT file system.

That patent hasn't been thoroughly contested and the Linux kernel development team simply opted to forego the obsolete 8.3 naming convention and worked around the patent that way. Simple, cheap, effective.

I wouldn't point to Tom Tom as the poster child of strong, irrefutable proof that MS has a quality patent portfolio. Nor that Linux is toast.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: wow
by Windows Sucks on Thu 7th Jul 2011 13:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: wow"
Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

I don't think Linux is toast ether.

But as we are seeing now even companies like Samsung with a lot more money (And Google it seems) are not willing to stand up to Microsoft ether. I am sure a company like Samsung would not just cave to giving a nice chunk of their profits to Microsoft if they thought Microsofts position was weak.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: wow
by r_a_trip on Thu 7th Jul 2011 19:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: wow"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, I don't know if you were around during the SCO saga, but experience teaches me to wait until real suits are brought with the claims out on the table.

Unless this happens, my guess is that these big companies are making a calculated guess at what is cheaper. Paying up some peanuts (which is footed by the customers) or get in a protracted legal wrangling with MS (not even counting in the merits of such a suit).

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: wow
by _txf_ on Thu 7th Jul 2011 22:38 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: wow"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Unless this happens, my guess is that these big companies are making a calculated guess at what is cheaper. Paying up some peanuts (which is footed by the customers) or get in a protracted legal wrangling with MS (not even counting in the merits of such a suit).


Not to mention that while the suit is ongoing MS finds other ways to screw with them...

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: wow
by Windows Sucks on Fri 8th Jul 2011 12:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: wow"
Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

Well remember the SCO issues were never proven or disproven in court because Novell steped in and proved they still owned the rights to UNIX.

Reply Score: 2

RE: wow
by lemur2 on Thu 7th Jul 2011 00:27 UTC in reply to "wow"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

As for Google getting involved, they may not be able to. Microsoft hasn't sued them. So while they make the software, they aren't distributing it so they aren't a party of the lawsuit. IANAL, but its at least a possibility.


IMO Microsoft hasn't sued Google primarily because software itself is not patentable, even in the US now, since the "Bilski" case.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machine-or-transformation_test

"In United States patent law, the machine-or-transformation test is a test of patent eligibility under which a claim to a process qualifies to be considered for patenting if it (1) is implemented with a particular machine, that is, one specifically devised and adapted to carry out the process in a way that is not concededly conventional and is not trivial; or else (2) transforms an article from one thing or state to another."


As Google provides it, Android is just software. It is not "implemented in a specific machine" until someone like B&N, HTC or Samsung put Android on to particular devices and sell them.

Hence, because of the machine or transformation test for patentability, Microsoft might be able under the law to sue B&N, HTC or Samsung but not Google (since Google aren't selling machines).

Edited 2011-07-07 00:28 UTC

Reply Score: 3

v RE: wow
by Not2Sure on Thu 7th Jul 2011 07:07 UTC in reply to "wow"
Extortion
by saidge@yahoo.com on Wed 6th Jul 2011 20:38 UTC
saidge@yahoo.com
Member since:
2007-11-06

Could someone please explain when extortion became legal for companies? Surely demanding money under the threat of legal action is criminal extortion. It's not as if a any legal entity has ruled that Android does in fact infringe on Microsoft's patents, nor have many of Microsoft's patents had their validity properly scrutinized in a court of law.

Not that this is necessary under the current legal system, but from a moral and ethics perspective it is most certainly extortion.

I'm surprised no fortune 100 company has tried to patent the wheel in some obscure and complicated language with equally obscure diagrams depicting design, use, and functionality... and then threaten small-time roller skate manufacturers that don't have the financial means to defend themselves with legal action if they don't pay up.

Seriously. What happened to america?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Extortion
by MollyC on Fri 8th Jul 2011 18:48 UTC in reply to "Extortion"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

If "Surely demanding money under the threat of legal action is criminal extortion", then nearly all civil suits would be "criminal extortion".

Most patent disputes are settled out of court (you would call those settlements "extortion", I presume). The problem here is that Google respects no patents, violates them willy-nilly, and laughs because since they don't actually sell the software, they can't be sued. So their hardware partners bear the burden of licensing any and all patents that Google gleefully violates.

Google could enter into licensing deals with the patent holders but that's not their business model; so the patent holders have no choice but to go to Google's hardware partners to get the compensation that SHOULD be coming from Google. The other big companies (Microsoft, Apple, Samsung, Sony, etc) all license patents from other companies. Google does not. It's Google that is creating this particular situation.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Extortion
by Johann Chua on Sat 9th Jul 2011 10:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Extortion"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Wow. So you know for a fact that patents have been violated. Care to show your work?

Reply Score: 2

risky business
by fran on Wed 6th Jul 2011 22:43 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

Real risky business being a software developer in the US it seems.

When you go about writing some piece of code you are likely infringing some vague mundane patent that might come back to haunt you if you become a financial threat to big companies.

Some of the comments here are from programmers implying patentless software system create hungry programmers. This is not true and you can also argue the contrary. There are a lot of countries without software patents where the IT industry is flourishing.

Bill Gates himself said that he would not have been able to succeed if Microsoft where a startup today.

Anyhow have you also heard about the APPP party.
The Anti Powerpoint Party.
It came about when some really fed up Swiss calculated that powerpoint is costing it's country $2.5 Billion dollars a year.
Powerpoint with Apple's Keypoint cost europe about 110 Billion Euros.

This equals exactly the first Greece bailout package last year. 110 Billion Euros.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/07/05/anti_powerpoint_party/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8656649.stm

Reply Score: 2

Just plain a shame
by vitae on Thu 7th Jul 2011 00:35 UTC
vitae
Member since:
2006-02-20

I'd thought the idea was for these big companies to be putting all these patents out for DEFENSIVE purposes, so that they couldn't be sued by somebody else. Not so that already filthy rich companies would be trying to squeeze more money out.

And like some have said, shame on Google for not taking the hit on this.

Reply Score: 2

MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

DailyTech's article suggests that Microsoft and Samsung are negotiating, not just licensing of Microsoft patents that Microsoft thinks that Android infringes, but a broader licensing agreement whereby Samsung could use Microsoft IP as defense against Apple (Apple and Samsung are currently suing and counter-suing each other).

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=22079

Reply Score: 4

dvhh Member since:
2006-03-20

This is sure to bring me a new perspective on the story, as I' ve always presumed the the patent infringment was on the long file name format over FAT16/32 file system.

Reply Score: 2

Which patents?
by martini on Thu 7th Jul 2011 02:09 UTC
martini
Member since:
2006-01-23

Which Microsoft patents does Android has? (according to Microsoft)

Anybody know which patents MS is using to threat the phone maker companies?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Which patents?
by TechGeek on Thu 7th Jul 2011 03:32 UTC in reply to "Which patents?"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

If you look up the Barnes and Noble case on groklaw.net they will have a specific list of the patents. Others might all well.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Tractor
by Tractor on Thu 7th Jul 2011 08:58 UTC
Tractor
Member since:
2006-08-18

Just looking at the strategy used by Microsoft is enough to smell it stinky.

If they had any valid claim, they would display it, shout about it, show the patents much more openly, and make it sure it would go to court.

But they are doing exactly the contrary (and indeed this looks a lot like what happened a few years ago with Linux claims, which were all invalidated) :
sue small players, preferably non US companies that know they will lose on US soil, both for racism & protectionism reasons and for lack of knowledge how this specific extortion system works, and then use the blackmailed companies as "proof" that their undisplayed "patents" are legit.

I'm not an anti-Microsoft agent, i've never been a Linux fan, and like Apple even less than MS, but here, Microsoft is really going too far into the wrong direction. I can't support such company, and will now make sure i'll not contribute to their war chest in any way, neither directly nor indirectly.

Reply Score: 1

v OMG
by SonicMetalMan on Thu 7th Jul 2011 11:13 UTC
RE: OMG
by _txf_ on Thu 7th Jul 2011 11:36 UTC in reply to "OMG"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

What the hell are you talking about?

Of course it helps them. 15$ per handset sold...

Reply Score: 3

Comment by dacloo
by dacloo on Thu 7th Jul 2011 12:45 UTC
dacloo
Member since:
2006-07-22

Last article:
"Well, paint me red and call me a girl scout, I totally did not see this one coming at all. This is so utterly surprising it made my brain explode. Hold on to your panties, because this will rock your world"

Article before that:
"No, your eyes aren't deceiving you - we have actually have not one, but two news items on hobby/small operating systems on the same day! You thought the day would never come again, but hey, here we are. You're welcome. Now, what are we talking about"

And:
"This make me a sad little facepalming unicorn."

A few others:
"Well, this just got interesting."
"Well, here we have another attempt."
"Well,"


... Let's stop at trying to be funny, original or whatever, and stick with the facts? It's really annoying.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comment by dacloo
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 7th Jul 2011 13:05 UTC in reply to "Comment by dacloo"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

... Let's stop at trying to be funny, original or whatever, and stick with the facts? It's really annoying.


It's who I am. Sorry. I like to goof around. It's like asking Ferrari not to make red cars anymore.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by dacloo
by Lousewort on Thu 7th Jul 2011 20:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by dacloo"
Lousewort Member since:
2006-09-12

Of course, the bit I really enjoyed was (Freudian slip?):

"This is so utterly surprising it made my brain explode."

...closely followed by...

"Of course, this is hardly surprising to anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together."

Really nice article though, and I for one like your writing style.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by dacloo
by tomcat on Sat 9th Jul 2011 04:00 UTC in reply to "Comment by dacloo"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

... Let's stop at trying to be funny, original or whatever, and stick with the facts? It's really annoying.


LOL. Don't be a douche. Sometimes, humor is the only thing that you can salvage from some of these sad, sordid stories...

Edited 2011-07-09 04:02 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Difference between hardware patents
by Yamin on Thu 7th Jul 2011 17:12 UTC
Yamin
Member since:
2006-01-10

Look, I'm not going to debate the validity of software patents. But what I can't understand... I really can't... is the idea that there is something different about software patents as opposed to hardware.

"As I've said before, ideas should not be patentable. A patent should cover an implementation, but since with software the implementation comes in the form of code, the implementation is already protected by copyright. Hence, software patents are not only idiotic, they are simply not needed."

I mean really?
Software implementation comes in the form of code.
Okay, and mechanical implementation comes in the form of blue prints.

What is the difference here?

I personally think the only real difference is the vast majority of people in software don't have any experience in other fields and thus don't see how every field is affected by patents. I have family in both mechanical and chemical engineering... and they face the same issues of patents... obvious... broad patents.

That is the issue with patents. It is hard to classify them. But it's not unique to software.

It only comes up so much as
1. software is the 'new field'
2. The barrier to entry is so low that everyone can enter the market and thus violate patents. This is not as true in say the automotive market. There the established players are used to patents and licensing...

I really don't understand why people think software patents are different.

Reply Score: 4

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Yamin,

"Look, I'm not going to debate the validity of software patents. But what I can't understand... I really can't... is the idea that there is something different about software patents as opposed to hardware...I really don't understand why people think software patents are different."

I'll admit, that I'm against software patents because this is my field and I can see the negative effect for myself.

For software algorithms, it's about logic and math - these are purely intellectual. It is stupid to grant a private monopoly on such things.

Maybe patents are stupid elsewhere too, but I am biased because software is my domain.

Reply Score: 4

Yamin Member since:
2006-01-10

I think most patents are bad.

Most software patents aren't just generic algorithms for the sake of math. That's where the original objection to software patents came in.

Most of them boil down to something the same as hardware patents... a application.

Things like Amazon one-click. That's not a mathematical algorithm... but a specific application. Now it's obvious and silly... but it's just as silly as many mechanical patents.

But is it so silly. Consider the coffee cup sleeve. You know that piece of cardboard that goes around a cup to allow you to hold it without burning yourself. That was patented.

Now from a legal perspective... how are the two different.

Amazon one click VS coffee cup sleeve.

It's actually quite difficult to qualify it legally and precisely.

So I have a lot of sympathy for the patent office.
As long as we have 'hardware' patents it is extremely difficult to deny 'software patents' from a legal basis.

I remember one insane discussion I had with someone that went like this. I think it was in regard to Intel's patents.

They said electrical engineering patents were okay.
Then I followed... okay... so you have crazy circuit which does something innovative.
Now technology allows you to implement that same idea in an FPGA. Is that patentable. He says yes.

- aside... how is FPGA programming different from regular programming from a patent level? Yes it is a bit 'harder'... its not simple sequential programming... but its in regards to patents... its the same.

Now technology allows you to skip the FPGA and implement it in software using a general purpose processor.

Suddenly you throw a fit over it and claim software is non-patentable... yet the 'innovative idea' is the same progressing from the electrical stage through to FPGA through to software.


But yeah, I don't think we disagree. I think there are patent issues in all fields. I just really don't see this crazy logic that says software patents are bad but physical patents are good.

Reply Score: 3

vitae Member since:
2006-02-20

Wouldn't the answer be that throughout software development history, the sharing of ideas and code so extensive as to make patents a waste of time? Whether you're talking about AT&T and the BSD crowd, Apple and Microsoft, or whomever, can any of them pretend that with out the other guys' ideas, their respective OSes (for example) wouldn't be what they are today, potentially still look and function like Xerox's original GUI? Something like 4 decades of sharing information, and all of a sudden now they want to enforce patents? Regardless of the state of the patent system, the corporations themselves need to be realistic about all this.

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

vitae,

The problem is that more and more patents are filed with the intent of being used as legal weapons to take down other developers rather than being used to recoup one's own development costs.

In some cases, it's clear that more effort went into writing, obscuring, and filing the patent than into actually developing the "invention".

It's ass-backwards, but lawyers love it and they run the country.

Reply Score: 2

vitae Member since:
2006-02-20

True enough. But with the fact that most of these cases get settled with cash, even the infamous Apple vs. Microsoft one, there doesn't seem to be any real concern that actual intellectual property is being violated, and the patent system wasn't invented just so corporations could make more money through lawsuits. All I want to know is when does this come into play:

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

Reply Score: 2

Yamin Member since:
2006-01-10

Trying to find logic in the legal system are we?
Now who is is illogical ;)

Yes, most of it is not concerned with real intellectual property protection. I think on a grander scale it is done to prevent the 'race to 0' of making everything a commodity.

On this point I am a little sympathetic.

Back in the ATT days, a lot of R&D was funded by the reality that the telecom companies had a monopoly on telecom service. It's easy to spend money on R&D with a guaranteed cash stream. This is the era where C++ was born.

Then came the idea that monopolies were bad and we needed to separate the R&D and equipment part from the service provision. Well that cut off the constant cash flow to the R&D, and over time these areas filled with competition and shareholders...

Combine this with globalization and it's even increased. Combine this again with open source and it's increased more. The result is how to keep any kind of cashflow to keep your company afloat. You use the final means you have... the legal system, Apple style supply chain hoarding... That's where we are now.

I'm not saying we should go back to monopoly, but I am sympathetic to the realities of running a business. This field moves so quickly and this become cheap and a commodity so fast, it's hard to keep any kind of stable business.

Reply Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Yamin,

I think monopolies are extremely bad on all levels. Yet, I feel your post was excellent.

You mention that monopolies, with their hugely disproportionate cash flow advantage, may be able to do more for R&D than if the resources were distributed to many competing entities.

I guess this could be true, especially for things like cold fusion, or space programs, or certain medical cures, or other mega scale projects.

But I cannot think of a single software project where the resources demand nothing short of a full monopoly in order to build. Especially when we have ever more powerful computers in the home. There are fewer barriers to entry than ever before (ignoring software patents).

Many software giants tend to buy out much smaller companies for their low budget tech instead of deving it in house using their huge budgets. This seems to suggest that, at least for software, small companies can in fact beat the large ones at tech R&D, using far fewer resources.

Maybe you can provide a counter-example?

Reply Score: 2

Hey Thom
by twitterfire on Thu 7th Jul 2011 17:57 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

Now that you have pressured a slew of smaller companies into paying protection money, you have the basis to move on to the bigger fish. These bigger fish could, of course, take you to court - but then, Microsoft can claim the smaller companies validated the patent claims, even though they simply lacked the funds to take this to court.


This is how the amerikan legal system works? In EU (without Great Britain)and most of the world (without Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iran) we have a civilized legal systems.

Roman law not only seems to be much better from a theoretically point of view, but actually is much better than anglo-saxon law.

Reply Score: 2

Thank God
by twitterfire on Thu 7th Jul 2011 18:03 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

cus' I'm an EU citizen, not an US citizen. Law system is flawed in the US, government is corrupt and politicians care only about interest groups, some small ethnic groups (born in the Middle East), big corporations and "wise guys". They don't care about regular people.

This is only one of the small effects of the current state of facts in the US.

I'm glad I don't live there.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Thank God
by twitterfire on Thu 7th Jul 2011 18:12 UTC in reply to "Thank God"
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11

cus' I'm an EU citizen, not an US citizen. Law system is flawed in the US, government is corrupt and politicians care only about interest groups, some small ethnic groups (born in the Middle East), big corporations and "wise guys". They don't care about regular people.

This is only one of the small effects of the current state of facts in the US.

I'm glad I don't live there.


If you aren't at least a politician, big in media, actor in Hollywood, officer in a top 500 corporation, your last name isn't Goldbach, Goldstein, Goldenbaum, Epstein, Lagerfeld, Rabin or your first name isn't Yitzhak, or your willy is uncut, you don't matter really much as a person in US.

It's a sad thing.

Reply Score: 0

so tired...
by TomF on Thu 7th Jul 2011 18:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Thank God"
TomF Member since:
2010-01-22

I'm so tired of these Mafia practices...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Thank God
by vitae on Fri 8th Jul 2011 04:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Thank God"
vitae Member since:
2006-02-20

Uh, say, you wouldn't be from Germany, would you?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Thank God
by MollyC on Fri 8th Jul 2011 18:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Thank God"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

twitterfire wrote:

This is how the amerikan legal system works? In EU (without Great Britain)and most of the world (without Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iran) we have a civilized legal systems.

Roman law not only seems to be much better from a theoretically point of view, but actually is much better than anglo-saxon law.


Thank God - cus' I'm an EU citizen, not an US citizen. Law system is flawed in the US, government is corrupt and politicians care only about interest groups, some small ethnic groups (born in the Middle East), big corporations and "wise guys". They don't care about regular people.

This is only one of the small effects of the current state of facts in the US.

I'm glad I don't live there.


If you aren't at least a politician, big in media, actor in Hollywood, officer in a top 500 corporation, your last name isn't Goldbach, Goldstein, Goldenbaum, Epstein, Lagerfeld, Rabin or your first name isn't Yitzhak, or your willy is uncut, you don't matter really much as a person in US.

It's a sad thing.


-------------------------------

You say, "I'm glad I don't live there [the US]"?
After reading your racist garbage, I'm glad you don't live here too. Please, do stay in Europe.

Edited 2011-07-08 18:32 UTC

Reply Score: 2

If Android infringes, they've gotta pay...
by tomcat on Thu 7th Jul 2011 22:00 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

Why are some of your so concerned? The courts will resolve this issue. If it turns out that the products infringe, Samsung will settle.

Reply Score: 2

vitae Member since:
2006-02-20

Question is, why is it Samsung that has to pay, and not Google?

Reply Score: 2

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Question is, why is it Samsung that has to pay, and not Google?


Google will pay. Samsung and others won't license Android because it won't make financial sense anymore.

Reply Score: 2

Another view
by nillbug on Fri 8th Jul 2011 03:21 UTC
nillbug
Member since:
2009-09-25

It seems that the worst that can happen is that the US consumers will have an extra costs to buy an Android. But maybe its not only that.

A few points to note.

- No matter if Samsung pays 15 to Ms, or go to court, at the end, its the consumer who will pay the bill.

- In fact, if Samsung accept to pay MS the $15, Android devices will be sold in the US for the actual price, plus $15.

- If Samsung litigate, the cost will be higher and the Android price increase will also be higher. In this case, not only at the US market, for sure.

- Android has Linux, plus Linux with Google added code, plus non Linux code added by Google, plus code added by Samsung, be it based on Linux or not or in part. No one knows what of those pieces does MS consider to be infringing.

- What Google mean with Android is more people using the net as that increases their sales, if possible also more people using the Google search engine. It would have been very evil if Google added IP protected code in Android without advising the manufacturers, but at the end of the day that would not compromise Google main objective.

- What Mobile makers mean with Android, is to increase sales and profits. If they included IP protected code on the software added by them, on top of Android, they knew they have a contingency and may well have been adding an extra $$ on each Android phone sold since day one to provide for the (more than sure) extra costs. The same is true in case Google has informed them about IP contingencies on the code developed by Google.Big corporates will still get their big profits because the consumer will pay all the extra costs.

Finally, after all its Linux and the OSS who will suffer the highest damages (in its image, credibility and good name because that's the main purpose of MS, considering the way how they present it to the world.

... The big shame is that nobody (google, samsung, or any other) will ever care about that.

Reply Score: 1

American Courts?
by Barnabyh on Fri 8th Jul 2011 12:28 UTC
Barnabyh
Member since:
2006-02-06

As this is all about the US and American Courts, does this mean the $15 will not be slapped on devices sold in Europe or anywhere else?

Reply Score: 2

The Death of Android
by krreagan on Fri 8th Jul 2011 13:39 UTC
krreagan
Member since:
2008-04-08

If MS can do this on a wide spread basis, they will kill Android by ratcheting up the license fees so that Windows Phone OS will become cheeper and eventually succeed regardless of its technical merits. This will drive a lot of people to iOS devices because the type of people that use or develop for Android hate Apple less then they hate MS. If Google can't stop MS then no one can!

KRR

Reply Score: 1

MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04