Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 5th Jul 2011 22:12 UTC
Microsoft "One of Microsoft's hottest new profit centers is a smartphone platform you've definitely heard of: Android. Google's Linux-based mobile operating system is a favorite target for Microsoft's patent attorneys, who are suing numerous Android vendors and just today announced that another manufacturer has agreed to write checks to Microsoft every time it ships an Android device. Microsoft's latest target is Wistron Corp., which has signed a patent agreement 'that provides broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio for Wistron's tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome platform', Microsoft announced." That's the reality we live in, folks. This is at least as criminal - if not more so - than Microsoft's monopoly abuse late last century. After the Nortel crap, it's completely left the black helicopter camp for me: Microsoft, Apple, and several others are working together to fight Android the only way they know how: with underhand mafia tactics. Absolutely sickening. Hey Anonymous, are you listening? YES I WENT THERE.
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Patents are patents
by gedmurphy on Tue 5th Jul 2011 22:33 UTC
gedmurphy
Member since:
2005-12-23

So you think legally licencing your patents is more criminal that violating patents?

Is it ok for Google to violate patents just because they're late in the game or because they feel like it?

Does patent violation become more acceptable because Android is open source?

Patents are patents and must be adhered to. Whether you like it or not, Microsoft are playing by the rules and using their IP to their advantage.

My company own quite a few patents for software we've developed, and you can be sure that we'd go after anyone who violated those patents without paying. I bet you'd do exactly the same.

Edited 2011-07-05 22:34 UTC

Reply Score: -2

RE: Patents are patents
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 5th Jul 2011 22:39 in reply to "Patents are patents"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I happen to be against software patents. They are pure evil. Software is properly protected by copyright. Patenting math is criminal.

Reply Parent Score: 18

RE[2]: Patents are patents
by leos on Tue 5th Jul 2011 22:49 in reply to "RE: Patents are patents"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

I happen to be against software patents. They are pure evil. Software is properly protected by copyright. Patenting math is criminal.


I'm also against it, but I can't fault Microsoft for exercising what they seem to believe are their rights. Not knowing anything about the patents involved I must assume they are valid and thus Microsoft is within their rights to go after people they think are violating them.

Of course it's a scumbag move, but the problem is the patent system, not the people legally using it. Maybe this kind of situation will force patent overhaul sooner rather than later.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Patents are patents
by Tom9729 on Tue 5th Jul 2011 22:58 in reply to "RE: Patents are patents"
Tom9729 Member since:
2008-12-09

Are you against patents in general? Can't basically any patentable idea be reduced to math? You say that it's illegal to patent math, but what about the patents on RSA (for example)?

I agree with the people saying that it's bogus to take an existing idea with lots of prior art, rephrase it to use computers, and apply for a patent. However I'm not completely convinced that denying someone a chance to recoup their investment in a new technology is a good way to encourage progress in a field.

Reply Parent Score: 2

v RE[2]: Patents are patents
by ourcomputerbloke on Tue 5th Jul 2011 23:37 in reply to "RE: Patents are patents"
RE[2]: Patents are patents
by MollyC on Wed 6th Jul 2011 04:33 in reply to "RE: Patents are patents"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

I happen to be against software patents. They are pure evil. Software is properly protected by copyright. Patenting math is criminal.


I take issue with the notion that software ideas/methods are nothing more than "math". Maybe the precise implementation of an idea/method is "math" (which I also question), in that the implementation is a sequence of 0s and 1s. But, as you said, the precise implementation is a copyright issue, not a patent issue.

As far as inventions of software ideas go, they aren't "math". And if the argument is that any idea or algorithm that can be described (note the word "described" rather than "implemented") as 0's and 1's is "math", then all ideas are math. All ideas can be described with natural language words and diagrams (at least, in order to be patentable at all), and those words and diagrams can be represented as a sequence of 0s and 1s, so all ideas can be represented as "math", whether those ideas describe digital things or tangible things made of atoms.

My stance on software patents (and any other kind of patent, for that matter) has always been that I have no problem with them as long as the patent holder offers licences to others to use the ideas covered by the patent for a reasonable fee. I don't approve of patent holders using their patents to block competing products from the market altogether, and I don't approve of patent holders asking for outrageous fees, and I don't approve of patent holders sitting on their patents and allowing some product that infringes on the patent to become huge in the marketplace and only THEN demanding that the product maker license the patent at extortion prices. Additionally, I'd reform patent law to say that if a patent holder doesn't make a good faith effort to produce and market a product that uses the patented tech in question, then the duration of the patent is cut in half.

Bottom line: if someone spends millions of dollars developing something then someone else simply copies it and sells it at a lower price or gives it away, then the original inventor deserves some compensation.

--------------------
Now to delve more into philosophy or metaphysics:
You assert "patenting math is criminal". As I said, I don't buy the idea that software ideas are "math", but even if I did, patenting such is clearly not "criminal", according to law.

And besides that, you provide nothing to back up or explain your assertion as to why it would be criminal or even wrong.

Let's move away from software ideas and methods, and let's take your assertion literally. Let's say some company did invent a new "math" (like Isaac Newton invented calculus, because the math at the time was insufficient for his purposes in dealing with physics). Let's say it took billions of dollars of research to invent (or even "discover", if that's the word you want to use) this new math, but once it was invented, that new math allowed the company to create breakthroughs in energy, artificial intelligence, medicine, and whatnot, and they created products that took advantage of those advancements and made healthy profits in the process. Is it really wrong to patent the math for a number of years, during which they could license the math to others for a reasonable fee? Or should others that did nothing be allowed to simply copy the new math and create competing products that undercut the company that spent billions of dollars to invent (or "discover") the new math in the first place? I don't see how allowing the inventor to license the math for a fee is wrong in any way.

As I said before, I wouldn't approve of the inventor blocking other company's products by refusing to liecense the patent. And I'd want the patent to expire after a number of years. But as long as the inventor is offering the patent for licensing by others (and doing so in good faith (i.e. not asking an impossible price)), then it's fine with me. More than fine, actually, it's GOOD.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Patents are patents
by bassbeast on Wed 6th Jul 2011 13:15 in reply to "RE: Patents are patents"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Well I'n against the drug laws but I can't walk down the street with a fatty hanging out my mouth and not get hauled to jail, can I?

Let us not forget that unlike certain OTHER companies...cough cough Apple cough...MSFT has been pretty good about offering the same RAND license whether you use Windows or some other OS. For example before TomTom gave them the finger MSFT offered them the exact same price they offered the flash OEMs, no discrimination because they weren't using WinCE and TomTom gave them the finger. Did you rail against them then too, even though FAT was written by MSFT?

Like it or not MSFT owns 10s of 1000s of patents covering just about every stage of OS functionality, similar to how you'd be hard pressed to make a codec that doesn't step on the MPEG-LA patents. Now if you want to give your product away that isn't the job of MSFT or any other corp to support your failed business model, which at looking at the roster of failed FOSS companies, Novell, Sun, Mandriva, etc I would argue you'd be hard pressed to not call the free as in beer model and overall failure.

MSFT paid good money, both in purchasing and in R&D in getting the patents they have and they offer RAND licenses no matter if you use their OS or not. But just as I can't advertise my business using Jimi Hendrix songs just because I don't believe in copyright lengths so too can't handset makers just ignore MSFT's copyrights because some think everything should be free as in beer.

The smart ones will accept having to license as a normal part of doing business (after all they ain't making Droid sets out of the goodness of their hearts) and the dumb? Well lets just say I hope they have a nice chunk of their operating capital set back for lawyers fees.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Patents are patents
by rdean400 on Tue 5th Jul 2011 22:49 in reply to "Patents are patents"
rdean400 Member since:
2006-10-18

Software patents act in contravention of their Constitutional purpose: to promote the useful arts. Too many mundane ideas have been patented, because someone virtualized a physical process. Simply tacking "on a mobile" or "on the internet" shouldn't meet anyone's definition of "novel" or "non-obvious".

It's not that all patents are bad. It's that there is an ocean of crap patents and a thimblefull of truly valuable ones.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Patents are patents
by ourcomputerbloke on Wed 6th Jul 2011 00:35 in reply to "RE: Patents are patents"
ourcomputerbloke Member since:
2011-05-12

Software patents act in contravention of their Constitutional purpose: to promote the useful arts. Too many mundane ideas have been patented, because someone virtualized a physical process. Simply tacking "on a mobile" or "on the internet" shouldn't meet anyone's definition of "novel" or "non-obvious".


Which is why there definitely needs to be patent reform, but the idea that software patents are totally invalid, or indeed evil :S, is ill-conceived by those who have clearly never invested significant time or money into the development of software concepts.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Patents are patents
by westlake on Wed 6th Jul 2011 05:13 in reply to "RE: Patents are patents"
westlake Member since:
2010-01-07

Too many mundane ideas have been patented, because someone virtualized a physical process.


Ideas are a dime a dozen. A successful, marketable, solution is rare.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Patents are patents
by lemur2 on Tue 5th Jul 2011 23:30 in reply to "Patents are patents"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

So you think legally licencing your patents is more criminal that violating patents? Is it ok for Google to violate patents just because they're late in the game or because they feel like it? Does patent violation become more acceptable because Android is open source? Patents are patents and must be adhered to. Whether you like it or not, Microsoft are playing by the rules and using their IP to their advantage. My company own quite a few patents for software we've developed, and you can be sure that we'd go after anyone who violated those patents without paying. I bet you'd do exactly the same.


Android is based on Linux and a managed language called Dalvik which uses Java syntax. Linux in turn is a written-from-scratch re-implementation of POSIX specifications (so it uses no UNIX code).

Microsoft technology is a VMS work-alike. If anything, .NET is a Java rip-off (and not the other way around).

They are chalk and cheese. Microsoft did not invent Android technology, and they did not write any of the code.

The only thing that Microsoft have is a large patent portfolio which they can pretend that Android violates here and there. It is too costly for smaller firms to contest Microsoft claims of infringement when Microsoft comes knocking on their door. It is cheaper to just pay Microsoft off.

This is extortion, pure and simple.

The very best indication of this lies in the fact that Microsoft refuses to name the patents it claims Android infringes.

Edited 2011-07-05 23:32 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 10

RE[2]: Patents are patents
by lucas_maximus on Tue 5th Jul 2011 23:51 in reply to "RE: Patents are patents"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Microsoft technology is a VMS work-alike. If anything, .NET is a Java rip-off (and not the other way around).


Minor Correction ... .NET is an innovation over the JVM.

The originally the JVM interpreted bytecode ... the CLR does JIT compilation on bytecode.

To address these issues the CLR uses an IL compiler. The CLR uses JIT compilers to compile the IL code into native code. In Java the byte code is interpreted by a Virtual Machine (JVM). This interpretation caused Java applications to run extremely slow. The introduction of JIT in JVM improved the execution speed. In the CLR Microsoft has eliminated the virtual machine step.


from here

http://www.codeproject.com/KB/dotnet/clr.aspx#_clr

the article is 2002 ... when the .NET 1.0 runtime was introduced.

JVM != CLR

It seems they copied ideas off of one another. It doesn't appear to be as black and white as you claim.

I find it strange that you are pro GPL aka sharing when it comes to code, but when someone implements the same idea for their own platform and improves it ... it is suddenly a problem when it involves Microsoft.

You almost make it sound like Sun should have patented the JVM ... a software patent with such a comment.

Edited 2011-07-06 00:03 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Patents are patents
by westlake on Tue 5th Jul 2011 23:38 in reply to "Patents are patents"
westlake Member since:
2010-01-07

So you think legally licencing your patents is more criminal that violating patents?


General Dynamics is the fifth largest defense contractor in the world.

It builds guns, tanks, nuclear submarines -

and the first NSA certified smartphone, among a great many other things.

But to hear the geek tell the story, it surrendered as meeky as a a lamb to the slaughter when it came to licensing Microsoft's patents.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Patents are patents
by Laurence on Wed 6th Jul 2011 07:40 in reply to "Patents are patents"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

So you think legally licencing your patents is more criminal that violating patents?

Is it ok for Google to violate patents just because they're late in the game or because they feel like it?

Does patent violation become more acceptable because Android is open source?

Patents are patents and must be adhered to. Whether you like it or not, Microsoft are playing by the rules and using their IP to their advantage.

My company own quite a few patents for software we've developed, and you can be sure that we'd go after anyone who violated those patents without paying. I bet you'd do exactly the same.

Your post could be summarised as: "Don't hate the player, hate the game." which, in my opinion, is a terrible attitude!

Reply Parent Score: 2

Lazarus Member since:
2005-08-10

So you think legally licencing your patents is more criminal that violating patents?

Is it ok for Google to violate patents just because they're late in the game or because they feel like it?

Does patent violation become more acceptable because Android is open source?

Patents are patents and must be adhered to. Whether you like it or not, Microsoft are playing by the rules and using their IP to their advantage.

My company own quite a few patents for software we've developed, and you can be sure that we'd go after anyone who violated those patents without paying. I bet you'd do exactly the same.


How heroic of you. Prosecute to the fullest extent of the law? Heavy penalties in some countries for messing up one's game of monopoly. Not always just a wrist slap or a year or so of prison.

Slavery was legal at one time too, and you bet there were those who were "playing by the rules and using their (Human) property to their advantage."

That doesn't make it _right_ or okay.

It may seem extreme at first glance, but I do in fact lump 'Imaginary Property' and its enforcement right along with slavery. They both put significant limits on the people subjected to such institutions, place severe penalties on anyone who gets in the way of the status quo, and like slavery, patents are just plain bad for Humanity.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Patents are patents
by JAlexoid on Wed 6th Jul 2011 15:32 in reply to "Patents are patents"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Ok. Let them adhere to patents. And let Microsoft adhere to borders where those patents are valid. Even Lodsys has a better standing in my opinion than Microsoft, because they ask only licensing in US.

Microsoft is using US market access as a tool to enforce the US patent laws on the rest of the world. And guess what? I'm pretty sure that they do that not only with Android related patents/products...
And I hate that to the bone marrow!

I personally adhere to US patent laws, because they are laws. So my apps on Android Market have a surcharge for US residents of 8%. (Lodsys got to eat, don't they?)

Reply Parent Score: 3