Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 17th Sep 2007 15:17 UTC, submitted by Rahul
Legal Microsoft suffered a stunning defeat on Monday when a European Union court backed a European Commission ruling that the US software giant illegally abused its market power to crush competitors. The European Union's second-highest court dismissed the company's appeal on all substantive points of the 2004 antitrustruling. The court said Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, was unjustified in tying new applications to its Windows operating system in a way that harmed consumer choice. The verdict, which may be appealed only on points of law and not of fact, could force Microsoft to change its business practices.
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sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
In this case, "heavily modified by" actually only means "obscured by". How do I know? Because the Samba team has largely reverse-engineered the obfuscation.
"""

Senseless drivel. I believe that the Samba Team objects to the term "reverse engineering" when applied to their work. But a patented method that is reverse engineered by a third party is still a patented idea. You can't get around it.

I'm in a position to observe a couple of "patents pending" going through the process right now. And let me tell you, lemur2, you have a charmingly naive view of what it takes to obtain a patent.

Hint: The USPTO does not have a tenth of the credence in Wikipedia that you do. And neither does the patent attorney I've sat in on meetings with. ;-)

Reply Parent Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Senseless drivel. I believe that the Samba Team objects to the term "reverse engineering" when applied to their work. But a patented method that is reverse engineered by a third party is still a patented idea. You can't get around it.

I'm in a position to observe a couple of "patents pending" going through the process right now. And let me tell you, lemur2, you have a charmingly naive view of what it takes to obtain a patent.

Hint: The USPTO does not have a tenth of the credence in Wikipedia that you do. And neither does the patent attorney I've sat in on meetings with. ;-)


The case in the EU looked at this very question. Microsoft even got to nominate the expert that looked at it.

The conclusion? "There is no innovation here". Literally.

USPTO notwithstanding. Lawyers do not understand tech.

The killer point in all this? Microsoft did not argue patents at any time in the EU case. Even during the appeal. There are no patent numbers on the table.

Ergo, no royalties apply.

Edited 2007-09-18 05:39

Reply Parent Score: 4

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
The killer point in all this? Microsoft did not argue patents at any time in the EU case. Even during the appeal. There are no patent numbers on the table.
"""

Patents are not trademarks. You don't lose them when you fail to defend them. When the time is right, one can take them out, dust them off, and file suit against anyone violating them. (Hey, Samba!)

All this pretending that we are innocent... after years and years of actively ignoring the whole patent issue... is not doing us any good. You are advocating that we keep the blinders on... rather than dealing with the issue.

Edited 2007-09-18 05:55

Reply Parent Score: 2