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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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

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