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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Member since:

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.

Now it is my turn to say "Senseless drivel".

Microsoft had a huge daily fine imposed by the EU for anti-trust behaviour. Microsoft claimed "innovation" as a defense. The EU effectively said "OK, protecting your innovation would be a defense, so show us the innovation". Microsoft could not do it. Their own nominated expert said "there is no innovation here".

Tabling a valid patent at any point would have saved the whole show, once Microsoft had the EU agree that protecting innovation was a valid defense. Microsoft failed to table any patents.

Too late now. Sorry. Clearly, no patents apply.

If Microsoft were to attempt to bring out a vaguely related patent at this stage, estoppel would apply.

Clearly Samba does not violate any valid patent.

Software patents only apply in the US in any event. Microsoft cannot charge a worldwide royalty, even if (despite all the contra-indications) a valid patent were eventually found to apply.

Finally, given that Novell's Netware is the progenitor for virtually all PC lan networking methods & concepts, I would imagine that applicable patents are far more likely to be found here:

... than any that the latecomer Microsoft may hold.

Edited 2007-09-18 06:12

Reply Parent Score: 4

sbergman27 Member since:

Too late now. Sorry. Clearly, no patents apply.
Clearly Samba does not violate any valid patent.

I'm filing this away in my "I told you so" file for future reference. ;-)

Reply Parent Score: 2