Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 5th Jul 2011 22:12 UTC
Microsoft "One of Microsoft's hottest new profit centers is a smartphone platform you've definitely heard of: Android. Google's Linux-based mobile operating system is a favorite target for Microsoft's patent attorneys, who are suing numerous Android vendors and just today announced that another manufacturer has agreed to write checks to Microsoft every time it ships an Android device. Microsoft's latest target is Wistron Corp., which has signed a patent agreement 'that provides broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio for Wistron's tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome platform', Microsoft announced." That's the reality we live in, folks. This is at least as criminal - if not more so - than Microsoft's monopoly abuse late last century. After the Nortel crap, it's completely left the black helicopter camp for me: Microsoft, Apple, and several others are working together to fight Android the only way they know how: with underhand mafia tactics. Absolutely sickening. Hey Anonymous, are you listening? YES I WENT THERE.
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RE[3]: Patents are patents
by lemur2 on Wed 6th Jul 2011 06:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patents are patents"
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Let's move away from software ideas and methods, and let's take your assertion literally. Let's say some company did invent a new "math" (like Isaac Newton invented calculus, because the math at the time was insufficient for his purposes in dealing with physics). Let's say it took billions of dollars of research to invent (or even "discover", if that's the word you want to use) this new math, but once it was invented, that new math allowed the company to create breakthroughs in energy, artificial intelligence, medicine, and whatnot, and they created products that took advantage of those advancements and made healthy profits in the process. Is it really wrong to patent the math for a number of years, during which they could license the math to others for a reasonable fee? Or should others that did nothing be allowed to simply copy the new math and create competing products that undercut the company that spent billions of dollars to invent (or "discover") the new math in the first place? I don't see how allowing the inventor to license the math for a fee is wrong in any way.

As I said before, I wouldn't approve of the inventor blocking other company's products by refusing to liecense the patent. And I'd want the patent to expire after a number of years. But as long as the inventor is offering the patent for licensing by others (and doing so in good faith (i.e. not asking an impossible price)), then it's fine with me. More than fine, actually, it's GOOD.

There are essentially two huge problems with this argument.

The first objection is that every other field allows a different implementation of an "invention" that achieves some desired end. Take for example "headache tablets". The fact that one company invents, and then patents, the formula for paracetemol, shouldn't disbar another company from inventing ibuprofen. This is especially the case when you consider that both of these headache tablet formulae were pre-dated by aspirin. New implementations of an idea are NOT prevented by patents, as patents do not cover ideas, they cover "methods". Invetion of a new method is most definitely allowed under patent law, even if it does implement the same desired end function.

The second objection is more simple ... software patents are not being used in the manner you describe. Microsoft did not invent Android, nor did they write any of the code. There is a vast quantity of prior art in mobile phones, smartphones and Java language subsets on mobile phones via which to implement "apps". Where do Microsoft get off claiming that they "invented" any part of Android?

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