posted by Thom Holwerda on Mon 21st Mar 2011 22:52 UTC, submitted by ephracis
IconSince competing on merit is looked down upon in the computer and software world, companies in this business usually go for the blindfolded chick with the scale and sword. Up until recently, Microsoft didn't go for the whole patent litigation thing, but now that they've tasted some, they want more. They just sued Barnes & Noble, Foxconn, and Inventec for patent infringement because they use Android.

We already have a page 2 item about this, but I think this is important enough to be on the front page. We're looking at a set of software patents here that ought to boil the blood of those of us (all of us, I would hope) who detest software patents with a passion for the innovation and progress-killing corporation-favouring nonsense that they are. These are patents covering "natural ways of interacting with devices by tabbing through various screens to find the information they need; surfing the web more quickly, and interacting with documents and e-books".

“The Android platform infringes a number of Microsoft's patents, and companies manufacturing and shipping Android devices must respect our intellectual property rights. To facilitate that we have established an industry-wide patent licensing program for Android device manufacturers,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate VP and deputy general counsel for We Can't Compete But Still Want Free Monieslolwut Intellectual Property & Licensing, “HTC, a market leader in Android smartphones, has taken a license under this program. We have tried for over a year to reach licensing agreements with Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec. Their refusals to take licenses leave us no choice but to bring legal action to defend our innovations and fulfill our responsibility to our customers, partners, and shareholders to safeguard the billions of dollars we invest each year to bring great software products and services to market.”

It is further evidence of the fact that Android is getting ever huger. Microsoft has failed in attracting any serious interest from device makers, and now it's trying to spread 'fear, uncertainty, and doubt' about the Android platform in an attempt to mafia device makers into paying protection money to Microsoft - protection money which probably is round and about just a little more than the price of a license to Windows CE or whatever.

It is the lowest of the lower forms of doing business. It is the business of a patent troll, and Microsoft is becoming one of the biggest patent trolls in the mobile industry. All the positive things the company has done over the past few years were based on building good products - Office 2007 and 2010 and Windows 7 - but in the mobile space, they're resorting to tactics that are despicable.

It's a shame. Windows Phone 7 has major potential, but this patent troll behaviour is just sad.

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