Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 2nd May 2012 11:46 UTC
Legal "Motorola Mobility has been granted an injunction against the distribution of key Microsoft products in Germany. The sales ban covers the Xbox 360 games console, Windows 7 system software, Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player. It follows a ruling that Microsoft had infringed two patents necessary to offer H.264 video coding and playback." But... But... The MPEG-LA, Apple, and Microsoft have been lying to us all this time about the safety of using H264 over WebM, with their supporters blindly parroting the party line? This surprises me greatly and deeply, and I dare say I have not seen this coming at all. Not at all. No sir. Not at all.
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Software patents in Europe?
by dsmogor on Wed 2nd May 2012 11:52 UTC
dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

I thought they weren't enforceable here...

Reply Score: 3

v RE: Software patents in Europe?
by MollyC on Wed 2nd May 2012 16:12 UTC in reply to "Software patents in Europe?"
ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

They're not here, in Sweden. People seem to forget that the EU is a collection of countries, each with its own set of laws.

Reply Score: 5

cyrilleberger Member since:
2006-02-01

They're not here, in Sweden. People seem to forget that the EU is a collection of countries, each with its own set of laws.


You mean unlike this one:
http://bit.ly/Js7Je9 "method and system for video on demand"

Random example from the Swedish patent database.

Europe does not allow pure software patent. But there is a way to write a software patent in a way that it looks like hardware. For instance, if you want to patent "1+1", you can do it by describing how the electricity flow in your CPU to get to do the operation. And then it becomes an hardware patent that in reality cover software.

Right now, it is true that the patent system is a jungle in Europe, with different regulation on what is patentable, while many countries (like France) explicitly disallow pure software patent, I don't know of any that disallow the loophole.

The illusion that Europe does not have software patent comes from the fight against the Community Patent, that should have brought a unified patent system to the European Union. The original text of the Community Patent did allow pure software patent. Which has lead to a strong "no-software" patent in the EU from the open source community with the support of many small software companies.

The Community Patent was rejected in 2004 by the European Parliament, and apart from some attempts to revive it (in particular, by the Swedish government ;) ), the discussions have not been reopened.

For some reasons, many opponents of software patents interpreted the 2004 rejection of the Community Patent has a victory. While in reality is just a stalemate, while there is no pure software patent, the loophole is still opened.

However, since it is such a grey area, with a decision pending one way or an other, companies have always been very careful in avoiding to sue with those patents, in fear that it would shift the balance toward a total ban of software patent.

I guess this is now changing with the patent war in the US becoming a World War.

Reply Score: 5

ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

It is just a translation of an EPO patent provided by PRV for full coverage of European patents; it's not a Swedish patent.

Edited 2012-05-03 07:20 UTC

Reply Score: 3

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

I didn'd do any research on it recently, but the stance expressed by professors at my university was clear: while EPO conditionally accepted algo patents there was no legislation that enforced them.
Two attempts to change that have been taken in recent year and taken down by EP. One of them, quite diligently reported on OS news.

Reply Score: 2

FRAND obligations..
by bert64 on Wed 2nd May 2012 12:00 UTC
bert64
Member since:
2007-04-23

As i understand it, Motorola are under no obligation whatsoever... They are not a member of the MPEG-LA group according to the site:
http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/AVC/Pages/Licensors.aspx

Nice to see MPEG-LA and MS getting a taste of their own medicine... Now let's hope all these patent lawsuits end up hurting the big players enough that they are motivated to do something about it...

On the other hand, the current patent system only benefits lawyers, and given that most politicians are lawyers i doubt they will do anything that cuts off such a revenue stream for themselves.

Reply Score: 10

RE: FRAND obligations..
by MollyC on Wed 2nd May 2012 16:07 UTC in reply to "FRAND obligations.."
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Except that Microsoft wants to license the patents in question, but Motorola is demanding 4 billion dollars per year. That's not a "taste of Microsoft's medicine", it's total bull.

Now what might happen is that Microsoft simply removes H.264 capability from the products in question, and the first time the user tries to play an H.264 video, a pop-up message box will appear, directing the user to one of many H.264 codec developers, where the user can pay the standard $10 fee to get the codec (that's what MS and Apple used to do years ago regarding MPEG2 functionality for Windows and Mac (Classic and OSX)).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: FRAND obligations..
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 2nd May 2012 17:33 UTC in reply to "RE: FRAND obligations.."
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

You're right its not a taste of their own medicine, its distilled payback and its a bitch.

Patents suck, but its kinda fun watching the carnage between the larger companies. Its like watching supervillans fight each other, there are no good guys but you root for every blow none-the-less.

Reply Score: 5

v Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 2nd May 2012 12:05 UTC
RE: Comment by MOS6510
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 2nd May 2012 12:11 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

So why doesn't Motorola Mobility get labeled a "patent troll"?


Because I'm anti-Apple and dedicate my life to fling poo at those poor old hardworking people at Cupertino who bring nothing but sunshine and happiness to the world.

Happy now?

Reply Score: 20

v RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 2nd May 2012 12:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 2nd May 2012 12:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

If MM doesn't get fried for abusing FRAND and Microsoft doesn't win its appeal millions of Germans will be robbed of a number of Microsoft products.


Except... These patents supposedly aren't FRAND at all.

You have been pointing the morality finger a lot lately towards companies, but you don't mind millions of customers losing out just so MM can score a victory over Microsoft.


How'd you figure? Where in this blurb am I happy about this news? Please, point me to it.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but it does appear you don't actually give anything about customers, only about your good guys vs bad guys list.


Perhaps I'm wrong, but I think you're just reading what you want to read to continue your crusade to make me out as some sort of specifically anti-Apple person, even though I'm quite clearly anti-anybody who abuses patents. *Including* Motorola.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 2nd May 2012 12:36 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12


Except... These patents supposedly aren't FRAND at all.


I know, but the article mentions:

However, Motorola cannot enforce the ruling until a Seattle-based judge lifts a restraining order.

The restriction was put in place after Microsoft claimed that Motorola was abusing its Frand-commitments - a promise to licence innovations deemed critical to widely-used technologies under "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" terms.


That is why I say if MM doesn't loses the FRAND bit and Microsoft loses its appeal then Germans customers will feel the effects. They already lost some jobs because of Microsoft moving its distribution center.


How'd you figure? Where in this blurb am I happy about this news? Please, point me to it.


I never said you were a happy person, I only asked why Motorola Mobility isn't labeled a patent troll by you, while certain other companies are even when they are not even related to the story.


Perhaps I'm wrong, but I think you're just reading what you want to read to continue your crusade to make me out as some sort of specifically anti-Apple person, even though I'm quite clearly anti-anybody who abuses patents. *Including* Motorola.


I haven't mentioned Apple at all. You keep bringing this fruitful company in to the discussion.

It is just odd that you label certain companies as patent trolls even when they are not related to the article, yet you pass no judgement on a company that is related. In this case Motorola Mobility gets no finger, yet the MPEG-LA, Apple and Microsoft are accused of lying.

The article you link to doesn't mention Apple or the MPEG-LA.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 2nd May 2012 12:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

In this case Motorola Mobility gets no finger, yet the MPEG-LA, Apple and Microsoft are accused of lying.

The article you link to doesn't mention Apple or the MPEG-LA.


I chose to focus on the H264 aspect of this story, yes, because this is vindication for a point I, and many others with me, have been making for years now - with people like Gruber and other Apple fanatics labelling us "tin-foil hat nerds".

Just as Apple isn't labelled a patent troll in every story it is mentioned, neither is Motorola.

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 2nd May 2012 12:48 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Okay, carry on.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510
by MollyC on Wed 2nd May 2012 16:20 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

But Motorola Mobility is owned by Google, and Google controls WebM. So the controller of WebM is using one of its puppets (specifially, demanding that someone pay 4 billion dollars a year to license 50 out of 6000 H.264 patents (the rest of the H.264 patents cost many orders of magnitude LESS to license, combined, than what Moto is demanding for its 50 patents)). So the controller of WebM, which you advocate for "Freedom" (quality be damned), is the patent troll in this case. You like to wield the "You're a patent troll!!" finger, but this time you should point the finger at one of the companies on your "heroes" list (that is, if you're interested in having your finger of accusation have any consitency or credibility).

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 2nd May 2012 17:05 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Motorola Mobility isn't owned by Google yet, they still need clearance to finalize the take over.

However Motorola Mobility agreed that it won't start any legal cases without permission of Google. So this suit is Google approved, unless it was started before the Google take over bid.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by MOS6510
by MollyC on Wed 2nd May 2012 17:58 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Correction to my above post.
Rather than there being 6000 H.264 patents, there are ~2500. (I think, more like 2300, according to comments I've read on TheVerge.) Apparently, Motorola is demanding a patent fee over 1.2 million times what the average H.264 patent goes for.

Microsoft pays 2 cents per computer for ~2300 H.264 patents.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by renox on Wed 2nd May 2012 12:48 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

Except... These patents supposedly aren't FRAND at all.


A US judge blocked Motorola from enforcing the ban as far as I remember, so I doubt that these patents are not FRAND, otherwise on which ground the judge would have done such preliminary ruling?

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 2nd May 2012 12:51 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

A US judge blocked Motorola from enforcing the ban as far as I remember, so I doubt that these patents are not FRAND, otherwise on which ground the judge would have done such preliminary ruling?


Microsoft has claimed Motorola's terms weren't FRAND, but Motorola is contesting that. Of course, it wouldn't surprise me at all if Motorola's terms were indeed not FRAND, considering the company isn't doing so well.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by Beta on Sat 5th May 2012 08:17 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

A US judge blocked Motorola from enforcing the ban as far as I remember

Holds no weight, US judges can’t block bans in European countries.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by kwan_e on Wed 2nd May 2012 12:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

but you don't mind millions of customers losing out just so MM can score a victory over Microsoft.


There's the short term, and then there's the long term. In the short term, the customers lose out on products. In the long term, the customer wins out on better competition.

Seriously, Mr Consumerism - can you try to survive without your next gadget high for a LITTLE while?

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 2nd May 2012 12:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I have no such restrictions, but my wife provides these for me. She made me put the new iPad back, which was a sad moment. I had it in my hands, I had looked at its screen and I had the money. I still have the original iPad, but my son keeps "lending" it to play Minecraft. He's only 9, but it turns out he can find images on Google and recreate them in Minecraft.

So I'm stuck buying retro stuff on-line. Today I received a calculator in the shape of a 3.5" floppy disk. It even includes a warning not to use it as a real one although now I'm a bit tempted to find out what happens if I do.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by Rugxulo on Wed 2nd May 2012 20:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
Rugxulo Member since:
2007-10-09

So I'm stuck buying retro stuff on-line.


The only problem with that is that such stuff breaks from old age (like my Atari Lynx 2, RIP 2004-6, sniff).

Today I received a calculator in the shape of a 3.5" floppy disk.


Heh. Was this it? http://www.commodore.ca/gallery/promo/disk_calc.jpg

It even includes a warning not to use it as a real one although now I'm a bit tempted to find out what happens if I do.


Um, yeah, I wouldn't do that, it'll just break something. ;-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 2nd May 2012 20:29 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Yes, that's the one! Only mine says 3M.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by BallmerKnowsBest on Thu 3rd May 2012 04:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

So why doesn't Motorola Mobility get labeled a "patent troll"?

Because I'm anti-Apple and dedicate my life to fling poo at those poor old hardworking people at Cupertino who bring nothing but sunshine and happiness to the world.

Yes, we know, but Apple isn't a part of this case, it's Motorola Mobility vs Microsoft.


Someone needs to have his sarcasm detector recalibrated.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Thu 3rd May 2012 04:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I was sarcastic too.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by nitro322 on Wed 2nd May 2012 14:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
nitro322 Member since:
2012-05-02

Because I'm anti-Apple and dedicate my life to fling poo at those poor old hardworking people at Cupertino who bring nothing but sunshine and happiness to the world.

Happy now?


I am. Thank you. I've been a reader and lurker for close to a decade, but I finally had to register just to respond to this.

Please keep up the good work. :-)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by ciplogic on Wed 2nd May 2012 12:11 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
ciplogic Member since:
2006-12-22

It is, so Motorola Mobility is a Patent Troll. What people agree is not the patent-troll status (which would apply for a very small entity that would litigate to get most out of a dubious patent), but also for the big companies that when they feel that someone enters in a market, they are attacked to not be able to compete in the open software ecosystem. Imagine the open Java but locked with patents, imagine your phone to not have a smooth animation because a fruit looking logo company patented it, and so on.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by DavidCollins on Wed 2nd May 2012 12:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
DavidCollins Member since:
2010-03-22

While it's a relatively new phrase and may not have a standard definition, many people (and Wikipedia) hold that a company that's a "patent troll" doesn't make anything or use patents for purposes other than taking legal action.
Motorola make a lot of stuff: phones, devices, etc, and most likely use the H264 codec in them. Hence, they are making use of their patents.

By that definition, they are not patent trolls.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 2nd May 2012 12:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

It's a definition I agree with, but Thom has his own very broad definition making almost anybody a patent troll. That's why I asked why Motorola Mobility isn't included on his list.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by bowkota on Wed 2nd May 2012 12:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
bowkota Member since:
2011-10-12

Well considering the Motorola Mobility merger with Google, I think many people will refrain from naming them a patent troll for their own personal reasons. The fact that they seem to be attacking companies left and right using FRAND patents doesn't seem to have any effect on them.

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by pgeorgi on Wed 2nd May 2012 15:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
pgeorgi Member since:
2010-02-18

The fact that they seem to be attacking companies left and right using FRAND patents doesn't seem to have any effect on them.

Are these FRAND patents if Motorola isn't even a member in the relevant patent pool?

That is, by which promise did Motorola force itself to license these patents under FRAND terms?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by cyrilleberger on Thu 3rd May 2012 06:52 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
cyrilleberger Member since:
2006-02-01

Are these FRAND patents if Motorola isn't even a member in the relevant patent pool?

That is, by which promise did Motorola force itself to license these patents under FRAND terms?


Being in a pool is not what makes patents FRAND. The patents become FRAND when Motorola took part in the standardisation process. FRAND is meant to be sure that everyone can implement a standard, what FRAND specifies is that Motorola has to give a license to anyone who ask for one, and for a reasonable price. The real question is what is "reasonable". And basically a patent from Motorola became FRAND when they came to the H264 committee and told them we have this patented technology that will be very useful for the codec, please use it.

Since the MPEG4 standard contains patents from a lot of different companies, if you want to implement it and pay a license for it, you have to go and ask each of those companies. Since it is not very convenient to do so, many patents holder have grouped themselves in a patents pool and specified a license price to get all the patents from the pool.

However, even if a company does not join the pool, it has to respect FRAND terms. If they did not agree with FRAND terms they should have stayed away from the standardisation process. And hope that their technology get accidently used in the standard, and then, they can freely troll anyone.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by Tractor on Wed 2nd May 2012 13:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
Tractor Member since:
2006-08-18

The difference is that this Motorola Litigation against Microsoft is an obvious retaliation.

And this is very different from attacking first.
Calling Motorola an "evil patent troll" on the ground that they strike back at Microsoft is like calling someone an "horrible violent man" on the ground that he is defending himself against an armed robbery.

There are situations in which it is completely wrong to say that both sides are "equivalent".
When there is a "wrongdoer" and a "defender", it is right to cheer up the defender, even if it has to use the same methods as the wrongdoer to be effective, and most of all, to teach him a lesson.

Don't forget that Motorola/Google has not been attacking about "anyone", just the major patent trolls which have attacked the Android Ecosystem lately. Which is "defense".

Reply Score: 7

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by Rugxulo on Wed 2nd May 2012 20:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
Rugxulo Member since:
2007-10-09

And this is very different from attacking first.
Calling Motorola an "evil patent troll" on the ground that they strike back at Microsoft is like calling someone an "horrible violent man" on the ground that he is defending himself against an armed robbery.


Good point. I was thinking the same thing. However, it's probably more complex than a silly blurb can explain. Sad, really, that we all have to worry about such things.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by Alfman on Wed 2nd May 2012 14:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

MOS6510,

It sounds like that definition was arrived at by manufacturers who want to distance themselves from other patent holders who's primary business model is suing real manufacturers for royalties. And that's fair enough, clearly one business model is much worse than the other.

However it's kind of absurd to say the bad behavior of patent trolling can be negated just because of how the patents may be used internally. The same behavior deserves to be called the same thing regardless of who does it, so both deserve the patent troll label.

Maybe we need two sub-classifications: Sue-only patent trolls versus sue-plus patent trolls?

Edited 2012-05-02 14:10 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 2nd May 2012 14:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12


Maybe we need two sub-classifications: Sue-only patent trolls versus sue-plus patent trolls?


Well, I'm an Apple person so I aim to simplify. So I'm not in favor of all different kinds of patent trolls, with different levels of nastiness.

We all know that there are these companies that do nothing put try to acquire patents and use them to sue, never to make any actual products. These companies we can all agree upon are patent trolls.

Apple using patents to hold down competition is wrong, Microsoft using them to collect money is wrong, Motorola Mobility trying to ban Windows 7/Xbox is wrong. Still none I do consider patent trolls, because it's just a side effect of what they do and the kind of environment they operate in.

It's easier to state that software patents are wrong, because the cause all these nasty effects and that companies who do nothing else but collect 'n' sue are patent trolls. I don't think making subcategories adds anything or clarifies the situation.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by Alfman on Wed 2nd May 2012 15:09 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

MOS6510,

I believe you are taking offense to the "patent troll" label itself, but frankly I think you should be more offended by the behavior it describes rather than the offensive label.

Let's change the example to help bypass the RDF. Say someone goes out every night killing people on the streets. He gets labeled by news commentators as a "murderer", after all this guy is clearly a murderer right? Ah but then it turns out this guy was a blood bank employee and was trying to solve a blood shortage by pumping out blood from the bodies and donating it to the blood banks. In light of this, one commentator SOM0156 suggests that his actions should not equate to "murder" because of his other actions.

Now, do you agree with SOM0156? Murder is not murder when it's done by a blood bank employee who uses the blood for good?

The whole example may be ridiculous but I hope it helps clarify why patent trolling is patent trolling regardless of who does it and why. Some may be better than others, but they still deserve to be called out for what they are.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 2nd May 2012 15:25 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

When you call a company a "patent troll" it kind of generalizes its entire business and existence.

If you mention to someone that company X is a patent troll and that person doesn't know that company, his next question would be if that company also makes any actual products that use their patents. This is what I object to, the need to make a distinction.

I see where you are getting at with the murdering business, but what about this. I am a human and a bark a few times a day (not really of course, but I can make a number of convincing animals sounds), does that make me a dog?

When you ask Jon Doe to describe what Apple, Microsoft, Motorola Mobility, Oracle, etc... do most likely they won't say they sue based on patents. Companies that do nothing else but sue based on patents can't be described as anything else.

People who know your murderer probably would describe him a a nice neighbor or bank employee. Nor was he born a murderer (although some DNA scientists may argue he was), while these real patent troll companies are.

I am in no way defending any companies that sue based on software patents or justifying it. I am against software patents, I just don't like the generalization followed by subdivision.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by MOS6510
by Alfman on Wed 2nd May 2012 16:33 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

MOS6510,

"When you call a company a 'patent troll' it kind of generalizes its entire business and existence."

Not really, you can't deny a business is patent trolling just because they also do other activities. If it makes you feel better to say that patent trolling is only a small part of apple's business, then go right ahead and say that.

"I am a human and a bark a few times a day...does that make me a dog?"

It makes you a dog impersonator, but the fictitious murderer was doing more than just impersonating a murderer, just as apple is doing more than just impersonating a patent troll.

"People who know your murderer probably would describe him a a nice neighbor or bank employee."

You might say his motivations were better than most, but he still committed murder.


We'll stop calling them patent trolls once they stop using patents offensively against competitors, that's what it all boils down to.

Edited 2012-05-02 16:41 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: Comment by MOS6510
by Neolander on Thu 3rd May 2012 07:03 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Perhaps then we can agree that the current meaning of "patent troll" is too restrictive, since it does not fully reflect the amount of software patent abuse that is performed daily by companies which are either specialized in it or just do it because it's in their best interest to do so.

Language changes over time. TVtropes even have a whole page on how it makes old works hard to understand sometimes http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HaveAGayOldTime

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by nej_simon on Wed 2nd May 2012 12:34 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
nej_simon Member since:
2011-02-11

Microsoft sued motorola first because they wanted Motorola to be a part of their android protection racket. I wouldn't call Motorola a patent troll because they're just giving Microsoft a taste of their own medicine in this case.

Reply Score: 8

Finally some patents reforms coming up?
by moondevil on Wed 2nd May 2012 13:40 UTC
moondevil
Member since:
2005-07-08

Maybe only when so many people get affected by such actions, the patent law finally gets reformed.

Reply Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

moondevil,

"Maybe only when so many people get affected by such actions, the patent law finally gets reformed."


That is what many of us hope for. Realistically, patent law will not be reformed for altruistic reasons. So, short of bringing about change for the right reasons, the alternative is just to encourage everyone to abuse the patent system so badly that it forces government to finally "fix it". Such a strategy produces casualties though, and as long as our governments remain pawns of corporate power, we have no assurances that the fix will be true reform or just a bandaid protecting strong players.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by Stephen!
by Stephen! on Wed 2nd May 2012 13:56 UTC
Stephen!
Member since:
2007-11-24

To some extent, It seems like it would only be a short-term solution, since Microsoft would likely modify Windows 8, before it's release, to prevent that being banned as well.

Edited 2012-05-02 13:57 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Stephen!
by daedalus on Wed 2nd May 2012 14:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by Stephen!"
daedalus Member since:
2011-01-14

And even if the ban lasts longer than a few days, they'll just have to release an update to Windows 7 and the various other products which circumvents the patent. Once that update is in place, sales will resume.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Stephen!
by tanzam75 on Wed 2nd May 2012 15:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Stephen!"
tanzam75 Member since:
2011-05-19

Don't the "N" editions of Windows already omit Media Player?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by Stephen!
by pgeorgi on Wed 2nd May 2012 15:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Stephen!"
pgeorgi Member since:
2010-02-18

Don't the "N" editions of Windows already omit Media Player?

That's for purposes of competition in the media player space. AFAIK they still ship the codecs (which are used in various other places).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Stephen!
by Neolander on Thu 3rd May 2012 07:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Stephen!"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Don't the "N" editions of Windows already omit Media Player?

Only if you consider hiding a link on the computer desktop and start menu to be the same as uninstalling a program.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Stephen!
by MollyC on Wed 2nd May 2012 16:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Stephen!"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Is there a way to implement an H.264 codec in a way that "circumvents the patent"? I don't know anything about the patents in question. Or do you mean to remove H.264 codec (forcing the user to download one on his/her own)?

Reply Score: 2

Patents
by ndrw on Wed 2nd May 2012 15:24 UTC
ndrw
Member since:
2009-06-30

I've recently watched a very interesting talk on patents and patent system in the US:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfH8iyNjpYo

Reply Score: 2

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Wed 2nd May 2012 15:27 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

Sweet justice - they are getting the taste of their own medicine. Let them learn it the hard way.

I'm not surprised though. Seriously, did anyone believe MS/Apple lies that H.264 is untouchable? They can claim all they want. Current patent system is so broken, that it reminds an old minefield. Basically no one is protected from sudden patent attacks, thus all that FUD from MS, Apple, MPEG-LA and co. was just to scare people off from WebM. H.264 has no "legal superiority" whatsoever.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by shmerl
by MollyC on Wed 2nd May 2012 16:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by shmerl"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

When did MS or Apple claim that H.264 was "untouchable"?

And I repeat what I wrote above (since you're using the "tast of own medicine" rhetoric that I responded to above): Microsoft's "medicine" is to license others' patents and get licensing fees for its own patents, and reasonable prices (or enter cross-licensing deals). Microsoft has indeed requested to license the patents in this case. But Motorola is demanding 4 billion dollars per year, which is absurd, and not the same "medicine" that Microsoft uses.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Wed 2nd May 2012 17:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by shmerl"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

I don't really care about numbers. Microsoft can claim their racket rates are "reasonable" (comparing to others), but in my perspective racket in unacceptable altogether. When some thugs come and say they offer "protection" for less money than other thugs (and thus they are "fair") - they are still thugs, isn't it?

Regarding H.264, you can check these articles:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2010/05/03/follow-up-on-html5-vi...

H.264 also provides the best certainty and clarity with respect to legal rights from the many companies that have patents in this area.


See also http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2011/02/02/html5-and-web-video-q... .

The basis underlying idea is - H.264 is established, protected and not risky, while WebM is too risky too adopt. Classical FUD which is nicely busted with this recent development.

Edited 2012-05-02 17:17 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by shmerl
by MollyC on Wed 2nd May 2012 18:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by shmerl"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Thanks for the citation.

I don't see where the "lie" is. They didn't know that Motorola Mobility (backed by Google) would start charging 1.2 million times what the average H.264 patent goes for. (Isn't it convenient that the entity that controls H.264's competing codec has one of its puppets poisoning the well for H.264 by demanding 1.2 million times what the average H.264 patent goes for? Seems a good way to turn people off of H.264 and make way for WebM to rule everything (which fits Thom's article to a tee), and Google can keep its hands clean by not "shoving WebM down everyone's throat" by flipping the WebM-only switch on YouTube. Instead, they can just have their puppet poison the well wrt H.264)

Anyway, what's your problem? Microsoft already said they will support WebM in IE10. So I don't even know what you and Thom are pissed about. Microsoft is going to support both H.264 and WebM (well, maybe just WebM now; as I said, very convenient for Google).

Edited 2012-05-02 18:12 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Wed 2nd May 2012 18:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by shmerl"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

It's a subtle lie. They basically argued that reluctance to use WebM (which hinders Open Web progress) is caused by legal WebM inferiority, while supposedly H.264 is legally superior and has low risk.

They didn't know that Motorola Mobility (backed by Google) would start charging 1.2 million times what the average H.264 patent goes for

That's exactly my point which shows how foolish MS argument is. In patent field you never know who will suddenly come up with what kind of claims. So inherently there is always risk, and thus using WebM is in no way worse than using H.264. Therefore real reason was just their animosity towards open codecs or whatever it was. I agree though that in codecs war (WebM vs H.264 and etc.) MS is not the main culprit, and now Apple is worse in that regard (i.e. Apple causes more damage to development of the Open Web).

Reply Score: 2

The WebM fanboys should be careful here.
by MollyC on Wed 2nd May 2012 18:37 UTC
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

There would appear to be an assumption that WebM violates zero of the ~2500 H.264 patents. I would find that hard to believe.

For the sake of argument, let's say that WebM does indeed violate a subset of the ~2500 H.264 patents. Those in the H.264 patent pool enjoy getting royalties based on those patents (granted those royalties are roughly a 1.2 million times less per patent than what Motorola is demanding for each of its 50 H.264 patents, but whatever...). If Microsoft is prevented from using H.264 in Windows and Xbox, then H.264 could very well be dead, and this would result in everyone abandoning H.264 in favor of WebM. In that scenario, do you think those in the H.264 patent pool will simply sit on their hands and do nothing as their royalties dry up (as a result of H.264 being abandoned in favor of WebM)? You think they might consider enforcing their patents against WebM in that case?

Also, Google should be careful that the EU doesn't see this as an an attempt to kill off H.264 to make way for WebM, as the EU approval of Google's purchase of MotoMobo was based on promises not to engage in such shennanigans.

Reply Score: 2

shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Let them come up with some patents first. Otherwise it's FUD. Making way for WebM is required in some form. So far Google betrayed their promise to drop H.264 from Chrome. I doubt they'll ever do it for Youtube in the near future. So if this is a blow for H.264 - it's good. So far WebM is way behind in market adoption.

Edited 2012-05-02 19:00 UTC

Reply Score: 3

ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

They won't come up with them because these patents are only useful as a scarecrow. They don't apply to WebM (as they deliberately designed it with this in mind), any overlooked patents have a big chance of being invalidated in case of any dispute. See the talk I've linked above.

The story with Motorola and h.264 is very different - h.264 was designed to *infringe* on that patents (and other patents in the pool). This makes it difficult to fight it as MPEG-LA would have to invalidate Motorola's patents, which would then put a big question mark on the value of patents in the pool.

Reply Score: 3

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

There would appear to be an assumption that WebM violates zero of the ~2500 H.264 patents. I would find that hard to believe.

I believe that people here fight the assumption commonly made by H.264 proponents that the problem does not exist on both sides.

Basically, software patents are like nuclear weapons : unless they are abolished, the best that can happen is that no one harms anyone out of fear from retaliation.

The difference, of course, is that flipping the switch on software patents is much, much easier than doing so for nukes, because it is simply a matter of rewriting laws, whereas bombs are physical objects.

Reply Score: 2

Re:
by kurkosdr on Wed 2nd May 2012 18:57 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

I 'd just like to point out some facts:

-The EU doesn't mandate soft patents to be enforced by it's members, but some countries may choose to enforce them (Germany is the most famous, NeroAG, a German company, pays royalties to MPEG LA). France and other didn't choose to enforce soft patents, in fact France has a clear law against software patents for interoperability purposes (check videolan.org) so France is a utopia for open source. There was a proposal some years back whether the EU will mandate soft patent enforcement for all member states, but some countries voted no and the proposal fortunately got down.

-WebM offers the same overall quality as H.264 -baseline.

Browser: Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.2.2; el-gr; LG-P990 Build/FRG83G) AppleWebKit/533.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1 MMS/LG-Android-MMS-V1.0/1.2

Reply Score: 3