Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 09:37 UTC
Legal So let me get this straight. Nokia claims that the Nexus 7 infringes upon standard essential wifi patents, and that Asus does not have a license. How in the name of hell is it possible that Asus has been shipping a gazillion wifi-enabled products every year for god knows how long now, and only now does Nokia notice? Wait - of course. Silly me. If you can't compete, litigate. D'oh.
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v So?
by Nelson on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 09:50 UTC
RE: So?
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 09:54 UTC in reply to "So?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

They're standard essential patents which Nokia is willing to license on Fair, Reasonable, and Non Discriminatory terms (FRAND).


So, why not come to Asus in the past decade or so Asus has been shipping wifi products? Why now? And with an Android product specifically? After a Microsoft man takes over Nokia? I'm sure it's all coincidence!

Contrast this with Motorola who is actively seeking injunctions using FRAND patents and has landed them in hot water with the EU launching an anti-trust probe.


If you're defending yourself from patent trolls like Apple and patent mafia like Microsoft... It sucks they're using FRAND-stuff, but considering it's a defensive move, it's understandable.


And it's supposedly Nokia who litigates because they can't compete?


Let's see.

1) Nokia can't compete. The company is in a massive downwards spiral.
2) They are litigating.

So yes.

Reply Score: 12

RE[2]: So?
by AStubbs on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 10:11 UTC in reply to "RE: So?"
AStubbs Member since:
2012-07-03

Thom
I can't agree with your points because of two reasons.
1st We don't have enough information to draw a conclusion. Do you know for instance if having a Windows license when you sell a computer includes the wifi license? Do you know if ASUS has paid Nokia for wifi licenses on other products but not this one?

Secondly you say that Nokia is now choosing to litigate because it is failing in the market but Nokia has in fact consistently defending its patent portfolio for the last two decades.

I don't like all this patent disputes that keep cropping up but when your a company like Nokia who has spent more on R&D than the rest of the industry put together can you blame them for wanting to stop companies getting a free ride on their work and research? That is why FRAND exists.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: So?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 13:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So?"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

That's kind of a good point wifi is probably included in the windows license, if its a software patent. If its hardware, though... Thom's point stands.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: So?
by andydread on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 16:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So?"
andydread Member since:
2009-02-02

Standards should not be patent encumbered PERIOD. File your patents all you want but keep your shitty patents AWAY from standards. how about that. All this bullshit about FRAND is missing the point. patent encumbered standards BLOCK free products from the market place and they block open source from participating in that standard so all your cheerleading about FRAND is totally missing the point.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: So?
by cyrilleberger on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 18:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So?"
cyrilleberger Member since:
2006-02-01

Standards should not be patent encumbered PERIOD.


The alternative would be one of the following:
* pay a fortune to access the standard
* standard would not be able to use any patented technologies, so we would be limited to 1 B/s Wifi
* no standard at all, and gazillions of an incompatible Wifi (or video codec) solutions

The real alternative to FRAND is a mandatory patent pool with a fix price. Someone has to pay for the billions of euros/dollars that are spent by the like of Nokia (or Motorola) to develop those technologies, and that is exactly what patents are about, making it possible for companies which spend huge amount on R&D to be paid by companies which went to just use the technology.

That patents are used to protect trivial things does not mean that all patents are bad.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: So?
by Fergy on Thu 5th Jul 2012 14:14 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: So?"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

and that is exactly what patents are about, making it possible for companies which spend huge amount on R&D to be paid by companies which went to just use the technology.

First time on OSnews?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: So?
by Nelson on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 10:22 UTC in reply to "RE: So?"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


So, why not come to Asus in the past decade or so Asus has been shipping wifi products? Why now? And with an Android product specifically? After a Microsoft man takes over Nokia? I'm sure it's all coincidence!


Two things. First, they've made no indication they're actually going to sue. This is in response to questioning. They simply confirmed ASUS and Google are not licensees.

Second, Nokia has discretion to assert its patents whenever it feels like it. Why is Motorola waiting until now to sue over FRAND? Because it feels like it.



If you're defending yourself from patent trolls like Apple and patent mafia like Microsoft... It sucks they're using FRAND-stuff, but considering it's a defensive move, it's understandable.


Unbelievable that you can defend such an egregious abuse of software patents. You talk about the evils of software patents, well this is arguably the most nefarious.


Let's see.

1) Nokia can't compete. The company is in a massive downwards spiral.
2) They are litigating.

So yes.


They are not litigating. Motorola is. Your statement, and this article is inaccurate. Of course, I don't expect you to admit you're wrong. You never do.

Edited 2012-07-03 10:23 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: So?
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 10:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Two things. First, they've made no indication they're actually going to sue. This is in response to questioning. They simply confirmed ASUS and Google are not licensees.


They're not litigating, you're right. This is the first step though, as history has taught us. Pattern recognition: when a technology company is in a downward spiral, they start to sue. It's inevitable like the tides rolling in.

Why is Motorola waiting until now to sue over FRAND? Because it feels like it.


Because they have to deal with aggressive patent lawsuits and extortion by people who can't compete on merit. Motorola sued defensively, not offensively.

Unbelievable that you can defend such an egregious abuse of software patents. You talk about the evils of software patents, well this is arguably the most nefarious.


Right, a defensive lawsuit is more nefarious than Microsoft's long-filename bullshit or Apple slide-to-unlock nonsense.

Right. If somebody starts punching me in the face and I happen to have a bat in my hands, sure as hell I'm going to use it to defend myself.

Edited 2012-07-03 10:40 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: So?
by Nelson on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 10:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So?"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Its amusing to watch you defend something you can't stand because you refuse to admit youre wrong. It really is.

You were against software patents before you were for them. :-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: So?
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 11:06 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: So?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Its amusing to watch you defend something you can't stand because you refuse to admit youre wrong. It really is.


As usual, you really seem to misunderstand plain language. I made it quite clear that using FRAND patents sucks, but that I *understand* it because it's all in self-defense; the punch/bat example is pretty clear. Using a bat to beat someone is bad. Using a bat to defend yourself while you're being attacked is in essence still violence and thus, bad, but it's *understandable* considering the circumstances.

Really, this isn't rocket science.

You were against software patents before you were for them. :-)


1) Motorola's patents cover hardware as far as I know.
2) I'm against software patents, but when used defensively, it's entirely understandable. That doesn't mean I approve of it (re:bat example), but it does mean I can sympathise with the situation.

Again, these are all basic life lessons that can be applied across the board. Speeding is bad, but when you're trying to get a pregnant woman in labour to a hospital, it's understandable. Stealing is bad, but when you're starving and you steal bread, it's understandable. Violence is bad, but when you're being attacked, self-defense is understandable.

I could go on for bloody hours with these examples, but I'm getting the idea I'll have more luck telling a floortile to flip.

Reply Score: 12

RE[5]: So?
by andydread on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 16:10 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: So?"
andydread Member since:
2009-02-02

You are still missing the point. No one is going around launching lawsuits based on FRAND patents. everyone here is using their FRAND portfolio as a defensive measure except of-course Microsoft/Nokia. Motorola is using their portfolio defensively Apple Microsft and Nokia and their related trolls MOSAID(MS) and Digitude(Apple) are the aggressors here. You are either being disingenuous or willfully ignorant.

Reply Score: 7

RE[4]: So?
by allanregistos on Wed 4th Jul 2012 04:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So?"
allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

Like this one:
http://www.crunchdot.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/610a1ff994locke...

Apple innovates, yes, the picture shows that it's heavy and difficult to unlock that particular door, while Apple's design is very beautiful and easy to use, you only need to slide your finger, and lo and behold, you can use your cellphone.

Apple's argument must be:
Cellphone != House. Therefore arguing against them about "slide to unlock" prior art is nonsense.

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: So?
by lucas_maximus on Wed 4th Jul 2012 09:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So?"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

They're not litigating, you're right. This is the first step though, as history has taught us. Pattern recognition: when a technology company is in a downward spiral, they start to sue. It's inevitable like the tides rolling in.


From the article.

However, unlike Apple, it's doubtful that Nokia will seek injunctions against the Google Nexus 7. Instead, Nokia is more likely to request that Google or Asus obtain the proper licenses.


Lets see what happens.

I personally think the title is alarmist.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: So?
by Fergy on Thu 5th Jul 2012 14:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So?"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

It's inevitable like the tides rolling in.

tide goes in tide goes out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BCipg71LbI&feature=player_detailpag...

Edited 2012-07-05 14:19 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: So?
by JAlexoid on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 12:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Unbelievable that you can defend such an egregious abuse of software patents. You talk about the evils of software patents, well this is arguably the most nefarious.

Just a note: Moto's patents don't look like they are all software patents(even H264 can be interpreted both ways). Nokia's WiFi patents don't look like software patents as well.

Reply Score: 3

RE: So?
by _cynic_ on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 10:21 UTC in reply to "So?"
_cynic_ Member since:
2012-04-18

"...and only now does Nokia notice?"
It's MS that noticed. MS pointed the target and the lapdog attacked.

What a sad end for an amazing 130 years old company...

(and somehow Nelson manages to give a good spin(again))

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: So?
by adkilla on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 10:49 UTC in reply to "RE: So?"
adkilla Member since:
2005-07-07

I really wished the shareholders sobered up and kicked the board in the right direction. Nokia may not even last beyond December.

Too bad Anssi didn't make the cut.

Reply Score: 5

RE: So?
by dragos.pop on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 12:56 UTC in reply to "So?"
dragos.pop Member since:
2010-01-08

Normally I would take Nokia's side but...
This reminds me a lot of SCO, with MS backing.

Anyway I am a little bias towards Android.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Dekonega
by Dekonega on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 10:36 UTC
Dekonega
Member since:
2009-07-28

Don't blame Nokia, it's the Microsoft which is pulling all the strings behind the scenes here.

Edited 2012-07-03 10:48 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comment by Dekonega
by Nelson on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 10:39 UTC in reply to "Comment by Dekonega"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Nokia has always defended its intellectual property. Since before Microsoft or before Elop.

Reply Score: 3

It's a pleasure to live...
by dylansmrjones on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 10:57 UTC
dylansmrjones
Member since:
2005-10-02

It's a pleasure to live in a country without software patents. Now we just need that referendum on an EU-wide patent system-thingy and then we'll vote 'no' and keep the EU patent system fragmented so nobody (read: USA) can easily enforce software patents over here.

Reply Score: 7

The "contigency plan"...
by fatjoe on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 12:01 UTC
fatjoe
Member since:
2010-01-12

Ah, now we know the "contigency plan": become a patent troll


EDIT: i understand that Nokia needs to defend its patents. However as Thom puts it the timing is very suspicious. Also, Nokia does not have a product in the same segment, so there is no real harm done to their bottom line (which then makes you wonder if they are about to release a competing product)...

Edited 2012-07-03 12:05 UTC

Reply Score: 11

Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 12:08 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

Regardless of whether they're software or hardware patents, I would have thought that such things as the Nokia and the Motorola ones would be getting paid on a per-unit costing at the parts manufacturer end rather than the final assembly point. End of the day ASUS is merely an assembler - why doesn't Nokia go after the parts supplier failing to pay the necessary royalties on the hardware sold? from what it appears it would be like AMD making an Intel compatible implementation of a technology but Intel deciding to go after Dell or HP instead of AMD in regards to patents.

Edited 2012-07-03 12:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by gan17 on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 13:05 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

End of the day ASUS is merely an assembler - why doesn't Nokia go after the parts supplier failing to pay the necessary royalties on the hardware sold?

I've often wondered about this as well on numerous occasions. In this case, why not accuse Broadcom* who supposedly make the Wifi (+ Bluetooth) chipset?

Then again, I don't really know how this sort of thing works. Also, Nokia haven't really started any legal proceedings. Sure, a statement like this is usually followed by a bunch of overweight lawyers having a field-day, but let's just give Nokia the benefit of the doubt for now.

* according to the component analysis by Anandtech in their mini-review of the Nexus 7.

Edited 2012-07-03 13:06 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by Soulbender on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 13:17 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

why doesn't Nokia go after the parts supplier failing to pay the necessary royalties on the hardware sold?


Maybe Nokia uses the same parts suppliers as Google and Asus...

Reply Score: 2

Yep
by Drunkula on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 13:07 UTC
Drunkula
Member since:
2009-09-03

When I first read of this situation with Nokia and the Nexus 7, one phrase popped into my head. "Grasping for straws..."

Reply Score: 3

Comment by some1
by some1 on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 13:10 UTC
some1
Member since:
2010-10-05

I wonder if this is anything but FUD spread by Mueller, and everyone should do more checking before reposting this stuff:
- Mueller was the first to "pick" this up.
- There's no statement from Nokia that says anything about infringement.
- Everyone quotes "ASUS doesn't have our license". ASUS doesn't need a license, the WiFi chip is produced by Broadcom. Broadcom seems to have plenty agreements with Nokia, though I can't find anything specific in a minute.

And, of course, it just plain doesn't make any sense.

Reply Score: 11

RE: Comment by some1
by Soulbender on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 13:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by some1"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Yeah, now that you mention it it all seems a bit sketchy. Mueller's article also feels a bit..off.

I also don't understand what WiFi patents Nokia have. Searching for nokia wifi patents yields only articles about this case.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by some1
by gan17 on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 16:16 UTC in reply to "Comment by some1"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

Oh, seems Anantech's analysis was a bit off.

According to page 2 of iFixit's teardown*, the wireless module seems to be made by Azurewave. No idea if they're just a "re-packager" of Broadcom tech or design their own.

* http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Nexus-7-Teardown/9623/2

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by some1
by some1 on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 18:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by some1"
some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

Azurewave seems to be the manufacturer, but they're somewhat obscure. But while not a big name as Broadcom, Asus is already using their chips in a number of products like Eee Pc 1000, U56E notebook and Transformer Prime (see the image here: http://www.chipworks.com/en/technical-competitive-analysis/resource... -- the text is either inaccurate or they know something I don't know). So it seems unlikely that they don't have licenses for WiFi technology.

Reply Score: 1

transformer
by broken_symlink on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 13:53 UTC
broken_symlink
Member since:
2005-07-06

Its been more than a year since asus shipped the transformer wouldn't that also infringe on these essential wifi patents if asus and google are unlicensed?

Reply Score: 4

v Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 15:37 UTC
RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by _txf_ on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 17:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

More patent whining? ZZZZzzzzzz.


Someone whining about patent whining? ZZZZzzzzzz.

You obviously care enough to post a comment...

Reply Score: 7

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 16:02 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

Partnership with Microsoft obviously poisoned their brains. Dealing with dark empire doesn't go without consequences.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by shmerl
by lucas_maximus on Wed 4th Jul 2012 18:47 UTC in reply to "Comment by shmerl"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Sorry from the article

Companies who are not yet licensed under our standard essential patents should simply approach us and sign up for a license.


That is rather polite, and that is how one speaks to
other in a working environment when you are informing them when they have done something wrong.

I don't see anything with what Nokia is saying, it is threatening ... it is a polite request to do the right thing with their hardware patents.

i.e.

In future could you put the request through basecamp because that is how my output is monitored by management. I will do it this time as it is a small job.


If they don't keep on doing it, then become slightly more forceful:

I should remind you that this should be done requested through basecamp.


If they still don't:

I will not work on any requests if it isn't done through basecamp.


Then if they still do it, then and only when they still do it, you go to your boss.

I know it is cool to hate on Microsoft, but really this is Nokia making a polite request ... they aren't being dicks, they are just politely requesting.

Thom might say something about timing "blah, blah, blah" ... but IMHO, it is still speculation and the time to rant is when it actually happens.

Edited 2012-07-04 18:51 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by shmerl
by zima on Mon 9th Jul 2012 23:54 UTC in reply to "Comment by shmerl"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Partnership with Microsoft obviously poisoned their brains. Dealing with dark empire doesn't go without consequences.

Curious that your brain is poisoned here by BS coming from, of all the people, Florian Mueller... ( http://www.osnews.com/permalink?525111 )

Reply Score: 2

Responsibility to Share Holders
by Adurbe on Tue 3rd Jul 2012 16:59 UTC
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

Nokia has a responsibility to its shareholders to defend its portfolio. It might not be the the most popular choice, but as the law stands things like this is what any good company Should do.

As their price has plummeted recently any positive news/income to boost their price (in theory)

Reply Score: 1

shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Nokia has a responsibility to its shareholders to defend its portfolio. It might not be the the most popular choice, but as the law stands things like this is what any good company Should do.


This phrase sounds like a verbatim quote of usual nonsense talk of all patent aggressors. It's like saying "the government has responsibility for its citizens, so we need to attack the neighboring country to get some resources". Aggressors are aggressors. The notion that any good company would do thins is totally wrong. Good ones aren't acting as aggressive thugs.

Reply Score: 5

Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

How much Nokia is worth is directly linked to their share price.

Nokia is sacking people like there is no tomorrow. R+D costs MUST be recouped or its not financially viable to maintain the workforce doing it.

In your ideal world, Nokia spend all the money on the development of tech then allow everyone to use it for free? Great to say, but in practice if you worked at Nokia (and I know many that do) would you rather be employed or Nokia not pursue revenue?

I wont even start on how many normal people have their savings linked to this company

Reply Score: 3

shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Nokia is sacking people like there is no tomorrow.


Who is there to blame? Nokia's execs killed Meego for MS's bribe. Many technical experts inside Nokia told their execs that it'll basically spell doom for the company. Did they care? Wise people left Nokia right after Elop's burning platform memo.

Edited 2012-07-03 18:13 UTC

Reply Score: 4

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Who is there to blame? Nokia's execs killed Meego for MS's bribe. Many technical experts inside Nokia told their execs that it'll basically spell doom for the company.

I wonder how you'd know that...

Anyway, generally, stop living in fantasy world. Sure, maybe going exclusively with WP wasn't the best decision for Nokia - but the long-running, way over-schedule Maemo/Meego effort was, realistically, unlikely to change the fortunes of the Nokia behemoth at that point either.

Edited 2012-07-10 00:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

It's like saying "the government has responsibility for its citizens, so we need to attack the neighboring country to get some resources".


Personally I like the one where the government has a responsibility for its citizens to protect them from being robbed of their freedoms by commercial entities.

Reply Score: 3

JeeperMate
Member since:
2010-06-12

I just did a quick search on USPTO with the keywords "802.11" AND "Nokia" and got 1030 hits[1]. After reading some of them randomly, I am under the impression that Nokia's patents pertaining to WiFi are mainly about methods/techniques to improve aspects of said wireless standard.

I honestly never thought Nokia even has such patents.

[1] http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p...

Edit: This post was intended as a reply to 'Comment by some1'. I obviously clicked on the wrong link. But whatever...

Edited 2012-07-03 18:03 UTC

Reply Score: 2

some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

My point is that such patents are usually handled by parts manufacturers, so whether Google and Asus themselves have a license from Nokia is most likely irrelevant.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by ichi
by ichi on Wed 4th Jul 2012 05:59 UTC
ichi
Member since:
2007-03-06

So much fuss over a blog post by Florian Mueller with no actual facts to back it in any way.

It's pretty clear in Mueller's blog that not only didn't Nokia approach Asus or Google (or if they did no one actually knows so far) but also the answer he got from Nokia wasn't about whether the Nexus7 was infringing but rather about if Google or Asus had licenses for their IP.

Which is largely irrelevant as long as we don't find out if they actually need such license, or if it's Azurewave who deals with that.

I thought that after the Oracle fiasco no one would be paying attention to anything Mueller had to say... I guess I was wrong.

Reply Score: 5