Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 21st Mar 2011 22:52 UTC, submitted by ephracis
Legal Since 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.
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RE: Patent Infringement
by WereCatf on Mon 21st Mar 2011 23:39 UTC in reply to "Patent Infringement"
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

Put another way, if you believe that GPL licensors have the right to enforce their license agreements through the courts -- and I'm fairly certain that most of you do -- then you are on Microsoft's side here. Without actually realizing it.


You are comparing apples and oranges. This case is all about software patents, but GPL license has nothing to do with such. GPL license is purely a copyright license. Ie. you can definitely be against software patents while still supporting copyright law.

Reply Parent Score: 13

v RE[2]: Patent Infringement
by tomcat on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:12 in reply to "RE: Patent Infringement"
RE[3]: Patent Infringement
by olefiver on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:41 in reply to "RE[2]: Patent Infringement"
olefiver Member since:
2008-04-04

You are not equating the issue of patents vs license agreements, but you are calling people that have no problem with copyright law, but disagree with software patent law, hypocrites.

Both patent and license issues in this case, and your example, are using the courts to enforce legal rights, but you are refusing to accept that people can agree with copyright law and disagree with patent law.

You ARE comparing apples and oranges.
Though both use The Law and The Courts to enforce their rights, one is routed in copyright, and one in patent law.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Patent Infringement
by lemur2 on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:41 in reply to "RE[2]: Patent Infringement"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"You are comparing apples and oranges. This case is all about software patents, but GPL license has nothing to do with such. GPL license is purely a copyright license. Ie. you can definitely be against software patents while still supporting copyright law.
I'm not equating the issue of patents vs license agreements. I'm saying that using the courts to enforce legal rights is what's at stake here. Ergo, you can't support GPL licensors' ability to sue transgressors without supporting Microsoft's right; unless you're a hypocrite, that is. "

You could argue that FOSS authors have a right to keep their own code open as they intended it to be. It is much harder to argue that Microsoft has a right to sue another party to try to collect rent over code which Microsoft did not write.

This is especially the case when you consider the weak nature of the patent claims, their obviousness, and the considerable prior art.

Given all this, it is obviously true that Microsoft is simply trying to quash competition. Google would have a very strong countersuit claim that Microsoft is interfering with its business relations with Barnes & Noble.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tortious_interference

Edited 2011-03-22 00:46 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Patent Infringement
by Dasher42 on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 09:00 in reply to "RE[2]: Patent Infringement"
Dasher42 Member since:
2007-04-05

I'm not equating the issue of patents vs license agreements. I'm saying that using the courts to enforce legal rights is what's at stake here. Ergo, you can't support GPL licensors' ability to sue transgressors without supporting Microsoft's right; unless you're a hypocrite, that is.


Yes you can. You totally can. You are in no way constrained to say "I accept the law, all of the law, every bit of it as much as the other", and roll over for it. If everyone agreed with that, anyone who could write the law would have absolute authority, and any push to change it would be out of line no matter what. What social progress would we have?

There are obvious qualitative differences between a license agreement and a copyright, versus a dodgy patent for things as obvious as displaying a page before its background image has fully loaded.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Patent Infringement
by JAlexoid on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 11:05 in reply to "RE[2]: Patent Infringement"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

I'm not equating the issue of patents vs license agreements. I'm saying that using the courts to enforce legal rights is what's at stake here. Ergo, you can't support GPL licensors' ability to sue transgressors without supporting Microsoft's right; unless you're a hypocrite, that is.


Well then, if you ever complain of some dictatorial regime using courts to punish dissidents I'll have a chance of calling you a hypocrite.

You know, they are using the legal system to enforce their regime. That what it boils down to... is it?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Patent Infringement
by lemur2 on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:31 in reply to "RE: Patent Infringement"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

" Put another way, if you believe that GPL licensors have the right to enforce their license agreements through the courts -- and I'm fairly certain that most of you do -- then you are on Microsoft's side here. Without actually realizing it.
You are comparing apples and oranges. This case is all about software patents, but GPL license has nothing to do with such. GPL license is purely a copyright license. Ie. you can definitely be against software patents while still supporting copyright law. "

You are absolutely spot on.

This patent lawsuit: Microsoft is suing Barnes & Noble hoping to get some rent money from code that Google wrote, all over some obvious ideas with copious prior art. This is essentially extortion.

GPL license violation lawsuits: Authors of FOSS code are trying simply to get other parties to follow the license terms for that code. Such cases are NOT about code that someone else wrote, and they are not about trying to extract rent from someone else. The FOSS authors are asking only that the code is published, it is their code and publishing it won't hurt the other party.

Chalk and cheese.

Edited 2011-03-22 00:35 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 10