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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RE[3]: Patents are patents
by lemur2 on Wed 6th Jul 2011 06:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patents are patents"
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

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.


There are essentially two huge problems with this argument.

The first objection is that every other field allows a different implementation of an "invention" that achieves some desired end. Take for example "headache tablets". The fact that one company invents, and then patents, the formula for paracetemol, shouldn't disbar another company from inventing ibuprofen. This is especially the case when you consider that both of these headache tablet formulae were pre-dated by aspirin. New implementations of an idea are NOT prevented by patents, as patents do not cover ideas, they cover "methods". Invetion of a new method is most definitely allowed under patent law, even if it does implement the same desired end function.

The second objection is more simple ... software patents are not being used in the manner you describe. Microsoft did not invent Android, nor did they write any of the code. There is a vast quantity of prior art in mobile phones, smartphones and Java language subsets on mobile phones via which to implement "apps". Where do Microsoft get off claiming that they "invented" any part of Android?

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: Patents are patents
by Not2Sure on Wed 6th Jul 2011 07:47 in reply to "RE[3]: Patents are patents"
Not2Sure Member since:
2009-12-07

The second objection is more simple ... software patents are not being used in the manner you describe. Microsoft did not invent Android, nor did they write any of the code. There is a vast quantity of prior art in mobile phones, smartphones and Java language subsets on mobile phones via which to implement "apps". Where do Microsoft get off claiming that they "invented" any part of Android?


Do you have some knowledge the rest of us do not of what it is Microsft is claiming or are you just pulling a Holwerda and alleging some bullshit in order to justify your commentary? Do you have copies of demand letters made by Microsoft on Wistron Corp? Can you give us a link so we can read them and decide for ourselves?

Because as far as I can tell, a manufacturer looking at putting a product using software components it did not create into the marketplace using Android saw some legal risk and sought indemnification. NEWSFLASH: Google offers, none, zero, nada, and that should tell you exactly how much Google legal really believes Android is unencumbered.

What a company's evangelists and PR hacks say is alot different than the actions taken by that corporation as a legal entity. If Google really believed as you do that Android sprang from the wells of creativity untapped and unencumbered by any legal entanglement then it would offer indemnification to the manufacturers. The don't and they most likely never will.

Microsoft/Wistron have formed a business arrangement. It is neither extortion nor criminal no matter what kind FUD bullshit the author of thread would like to color it with (his personal adolescent view of US law and the world notwithstanding). It's the same calculus that HTC used and boy, that sure has really screwd up their Android product lines hasn't it? It's really hard to believe how they even sell a single device given that consumers everywhere must cringe knowing they are paying extortion money isn't it?

Whatever.

Is it just me or is OSNews quickly sliding into the toilet bowl of tech erudition that is /.

Reply Parent Score: -1

RE[5]: Patents are patents
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 6th Jul 2011 08:15 in reply to "RE[4]: Patents are patents"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Do you have some knowledge the rest of us do not of what it is Microsft is claiming or are you just pulling a Holwerda and alleging some bullshit in order to justify your commentary? Do you have copies of demand letters made by Microsoft on Wistron Corp? Can you give us a link so we can read them and decide for ourselves?


And that's the problem, isn't it? Microsoft is unwilling to divulge which patents Linux is supposedly infringing, or which patents these Android vendors are infringing. This means that nobody can start developing workarounds - which, of course, is exactly what Microsoft wants. The secrecy ensures nobody knows how to avoid these patents, and it means the public at large can't try and help in invalidating these patents.

So, we'd love to have this knowledge you speak of... But Microsoft is too afraid to let the world know which patents it is using in its extortion campaign. If their patent claims really were as strong as some here say they are... Why is Microsoft being so secretive? I mean, they shouldn't have to be afraid of scrutiny, right?

Is it just me or is OSNews quickly sliding into the toilet bowl of tech erudition that is /.


Ah yes, the universal 'zOMG a viewpoint differs from mine site Xyz is going down the drain!1!!".

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Patents are patents
by lemur2 on Wed 6th Jul 2011 09:53 in reply to "RE[4]: Patents are patents"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"The second objection is more simple ... software patents are not being used in the manner you describe. Microsoft did not invent Android, nor did they write any of the code. There is a vast quantity of prior art in mobile phones, smartphones and Java language subsets on mobile phones via which to implement "apps". Where do Microsoft get off claiming that they "invented" any part of Android?


Do you have some knowledge the rest of us do not of what it is Microsft is claiming or are you just pulling a Holwerda and alleging some bullshit in order to justify your commentary? Do you have copies of demand letters made by Microsoft on Wistron Corp? Can you give us a link so we can read them and decide for ourselves?

Because as far as I can tell, a manufacturer looking at putting a product using software components it did not create into the marketplace using Android saw some legal risk and sought indemnification. NEWSFLASH: Google offers, none, zero, nada, and that should tell you exactly how much Google legal really believes Android is unencumbered.

What a company's evangelists and PR hacks say is alot different than the actions taken by that corporation as a legal entity. If Google really believed as you do that Android sprang from the wells of creativity untapped and unencumbered by any legal entanglement then it would offer indemnification to the manufacturers. The don't and they most likely never will.

Microsoft/Wistron have formed a business arrangement. It is neither extortion nor criminal no matter what kind FUD bullshit the author of thread would like to color it with (his personal adolescent view of US law and the world notwithstanding). It's the same calculus that HTC used and boy, that sure has really screwd up their Android product lines hasn't it? It's really hard to believe how they even sell a single device given that consumers everywhere must cringe knowing they are paying extortion money isn't it?
"

How hard is it to understand that Microsoft did not write even one line of Android software?

There is no Microsoft effort that has gone into the making of Android. None. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Zip. Diddly squat.

No programming effort that Microsoft has paid for has been "stolen" by Android.

Microsoft are claiming, without any proof, ownership rights over some of the mathematics concepts that Android uses. Microsoft is reportedly charging more for this tenuous claim of ownership than the entire cost of WP7 to OEMs. Most jurisdictions of the world (which is the marketplace for Android) hold that mathematical ideas cannot be owned in this way.

Why should companies using Android have to pay Microsoft anything, just because it is too expensive to argue the point in court? It makes no sense economically, and it clearly isn't right.

IMO it is extortion, pure and simple.

Edited 2011-07-06 10:00 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2