Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 6th Jul 2011 14:00 UTC
Microsoft Well, paint me red and call me a girl scout, I totally did not see this one coming at all. This is so utterly surprising it made my brain explode. Hold on to your panties, because this will rock your world. After pressuring several smaller Android vendors into submission (and yes, HTC is still relatively small compared to other players), Microsoft is now moving on to the big one: Redmond is demanding $15 for every Samsung Android device sold. Samsung's choices are simple: pay up, or face another epic lawsuit.
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Software Patents are patently evil
by senshikaze on Wed 6th Jul 2011 14:50 UTC
senshikaze
Member since:
2011-03-08

How come Microsh!t (and, while I normally shy away from using derogatory terms for them, they deserve it now) doesn't file against Apple? Or Google? Is it because they know they don't have a leg to stand on? Is it because they can't compete on their product offering? Is it because no one is buying their phones? If I was these companies, I would tell MS to take a hike and not ship ANY ms products, ever. I wish consumers weren't complete idiots and stop buying products from abusive companies.

Edited 2011-07-06 14:54 UTC

Reply Score: 2

shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

The same reason mafia doesn't fight big opponents openly. Too big of a hassle and too much publicity. They prefer easy and dirty.

Edited 2011-07-06 16:59 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

mat69 Member since:
2006-03-29

Well Samsung IS a big opponent. It is bigger than Google.

Samsung is probably the biggest and most diversified opponent Microsoft could face.

Reply Parent Score: 4

MacTO Member since:
2006-09-21

How come Microsh!t ... doesn't file against Apple? Or Google? Is it because they know they don't have a leg to stand on?


In the case of Google, I'm guessing that it has more to do with business opportunities. First go for royalties, since it is cheaper to negotiate than litigate. Cell phone makers have the most to lose in this equation, so go for the instead of Google. If that fails, sue. It is risky, so Microsoft would probably have a few legs (patents) cut off in the process. But I highly doubt that every patent would be invalidated, so they would win the battle.

Reply Parent Score: 2

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Apple and Microsoft have broad based cross-licensing agreement in place.

Google, supposedly, can't be sued because they are giving their stuff away for free.

The bigger question is, why is Google not indenmifying its hardware partners against threats of suits wrt the software that Google provides them, like Microsoft does for its partners? (Maybe because Google knows that they are infringing on patents left and right, and don't want to pay the bill themselves.) Whatever the reason, Google's business model is to pass along the licensing responsibilities and related risks to their partners.

Reply Parent Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Apple and Microsoft have broad based cross-licensing agreement in place. Google, supposedly, can't be sued because they are giving their stuff away for free. The bigger question is, why is Google not indenmifying its hardware partners against threats of suits wrt the software that Google provides them, like Microsoft does for its partners? (Maybe because Google knows that they are infringing on patents left and right, and don't want to pay the bill themselves.) Whatever the reason, Google's business model is to pass along the licensing responsibilities and related risks to their partners.


IMO Molly Microsoft have not sued Google because Google's Android product is just software. Software itself is mathematics, it is not patentable subject matter (even in the US) under the "machine or transformation" test.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machine-or-transformation_test

In United States patent law, the machine-or-transformation test is a test of patent eligibility under which a claim to a process qualifies to be considered for patenting if it (1) is implemented with a particular machine, that is, one specifically devised and adapted to carry out the process in a way that is not concededly conventional and is not trivial; or else (2) transforms an article from one thing or state to another.

The form in which Google makes Android available to OEM's is not a form which is implemented in a specific machine.

So Microsoft can only try out their extortion tactics against people who sell actual devices, such as TomTom, B&N, HTC or Samsung.

In B&N and perhaps Samsung, Microsoft may have bitten off more than they can chew. These firms may decide to fight back. After all, if Microsoft are asking $15 per device for a few very dubious patent claims, and yet they charge about the same to OEMs for the entire WP7 OS, then if nothing else at least B&N and Samsung already have a slam dunk case that Microsoft are not being fair and reasonable.

IMO the same "machine or transformation" requirement under US law is the reason why Microsoft have not tried to directly extort Linux developers, or Red Hat or Ubuntu.

Edited 2011-07-07 00:46 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Microsoft offers indemnification because they know that they only company that can, in theory, sue for patent infringement in MS products is IBM.

Microsoft basically has all patents in the industry licensed. Through cross licensing or intimidation.

Reply Parent Score: 2

r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

I wish consumers weren't complete idiots and stop buying products from abusive companies.


< devils advocate > Do you have a list with completely trustworthy and non-abusive companies and can you guarentee they won't become abusive in the future? < /devils advocate >

AFAICT, every major corporation has some skeletons in the closet when it comes to anti-consumer shenanigans. If we really start to boycott everything that has a connection to these companies, we'll end up with a lot of cash in the bank account.

Reply Parent Score: 4

bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23


AFAICT, every major corporation has some skeletons in the closet when it comes to anti-consumer shenanigans. If we really start to boycott everything that has a connection to these companies, we'll end up with a lot of cash in the bank account.


Not in the bank account, since you would be boycotting the banks too...

Reply Parent Score: 3