Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 15th Feb 2012 23:40 UTC
Legal "We learned on January 31 that Barnes & Noble had suffered a major setback in a patent-infringement lawsuit filed against the company by Microsoft. That day, an administrative law judge at the International Trade Commission had tossed out the company's key defense, that Microsoft was engaging in 'patent misuse' as part of a larger scheme to 'kill Android'. Today the full opinion has been made public." Microsoft's protection racket might be legal, but that doesn't make it moral. It's based on software patents, and is thus, by definition, morally reprehensible and sleazy.
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Software patents as usual
by vaette on Thu 16th Feb 2012 12:36 UTC
vaette
Member since:
2008-08-09

Very sensationalistic headline that would have been better phrased as "Software patents continue to exist". Having opinions about isolated cases is not very useful, the whole system needs to be reformed. If anything if Microsoft had somehow lost it would just have confused an important issue; the future of software patents and their relation to innovation and new enterprise. Also I don't think morality much enters into this, the law is mostly working as intended in this case. Microsoft is after all leveraging a lot of patents like the FAT32 file name resolving stuff, which they did invent and which Motorola is using since Android uses FAT32. Additionally Microsoft can't really do anything else, they are required by law to do what is best for their shareholders. On the other side of the coin they also pay vast sums in patent licensing themselves, so Microsoft is hardly on the benefiting side in a broader perspective.

The problem is not the interpretation of the as written law, or any lack of morality in the actors. It is the actual letter and even intent of the law that is at fault here.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Software patents as usual
by shmerl on Thu 16th Feb 2012 15:13 in reply to "Software patents as usual"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

I don't think morality much enters into this

I'd rephrase that - immorality enters into this. The worse the company is, the more it abuses the broken legal system.

It is the actual letter and even intent of the law that is at fault here.

Really? Wasn't the patent's law intent, and even letter directed to supporting new inventions? Where in the law do you find support for protection racket? No point in whitewashing Microsoft or any other patent troll. They can't dismiss their responsibility for acting immorally in this mess.

Edited 2012-02-16 15:16 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Software patents as usual
by Alfman on Thu 16th Feb 2012 16:54 in reply to "RE: Software patents as usual"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

shmerl,

"I'd rephrase that - immorality enters into this. The worse the company is, the more it abuses the broken legal system."

Yep, however it's been a while since corporations have held themselves accountable to real moral standards. Some would even claim that any action can be justified regardless of morality so long as there are no laws banning it. This mentality simply does away with the inconvenience of morality. "Hey, it's not our fault that we screwed you, go blame 'your' laws". Meanwhile, they'll aggressively lobby for and sponsor these very same laws which they're blaming for their actions. Hypocrites the whole bunch.

"Really? Wasn't the patent's law intent, and even letter directed to supporting new inventions? Where in the law do you find support for protection racket? No point in whitewashing Microsoft or any other patent troll. They can't dismiss their responsibility for acting immorally in this mess."

It's painfully clear that patents aren't being used today as they were intended. Corps have hijacked them to transition to lawsuit-based business models rather than to innovate. Patents were never intended to monopolize abstract software concepts and to treat them as physical goods. The worst part is that they now feel entitled to keep using the patent system to control software despite the fact that this nonsense has riddled the software industry with ridiculous lawsuits and endless overhead with no benefit to the public whatsoever.

Edited 2012-02-16 16:56 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Software patents as usual
by TechGeek on Fri 17th Feb 2012 00:04 in reply to "Software patents as usual"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Actually fat32 is NOT one of the 5 patents that Microsoft is suing B&N over. Of the 5, Microsoft withdrew 2 and the other 3 are likely to be overturned on blatant prior art (45 pages of citations). That they were even able to get the patents in the first place just goes to show you that everyone lies when it comes to prior art.

Reply Parent Score: 4