Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 7th Nov 2013 10:04 UTC, submitted by mbpark
Microsoft

Microsoft is generating $2 billion per year in revenue from Android patent royalties, says Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund in a new note on the company.

He estimates that the Android revenue has a 95% margin, so it's pretty much all profit.

This money, says Sherlund, helps Microsoft hide the fact that its mobile and Xbox groups are burning serious cash.

Microsoft has not written a single line of Android code, yet rakes in the profits through scummy software patents. Crime does pay.

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majipoor
Member since:
2009-01-22


No, usually it is like this:
- a company creates something and runs into a problem, it finds a simple and beautiful solution,
- then another company comes and say: you know, we had a similar problem, found a similar solution, made it general, wrote a patent, and wait to get money for this.


"then another company comes" .. "we had" : you are mixing present and past tense which is quite clever but also (willingly?) confusing.

The patent holder must first find the simple and beautiful solution and patent it, otherwise the parent is invalid due to prior art.

That being said, I still don't understand the fundamental difference between hardware and software patents which would makes hardware patents acceptable and not software patents. Can anybody quickly explain me?

Reply Parent Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

That being said, I still don't understand the fundamental difference between hardware and software patents which would makes hardware patents acceptable and not software patents. Can anybody quickly explain me?


You cannot patent math. 1+1=2 cannot be patented. Software is math. Ergo, software cannot be patented.

Reply Parent Score: 0

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Oh god. This again.

There's math in software, but software is not math.

Reply Parent Score: 4

majipoor Member since:
2009-01-22

You cannot patent math. 1+1=2 cannot be patented. Software is math. Ergo, software cannot be patented.


OK, I see the point even if I indeed do not agree because it is not the software which is patented here but the feature and the way it works.

When patenting pinch-to-zoom, Apple did not patent a formula or a piece of code, but the feature and some details on how to track touch inputs etc.

So hardware patents are the same for me: why would you be able to patent a the technology used to build a chip when it is only a matter of physics and how electrons are moving in copper wires?

Reply Parent Score: 3

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Sorry Thom, software is not maths. Most of these large projects are Engineering ... thus the term software engineering.

Yes some of the theory is based on mathematical principles, so is other forms of Engineering but they aren't maths, they are the application thereof.

A lot of the effort in producing software has absolutely nothing to do with programming:

* Elicitation (finding out what you actually needing to build)
* Requirements Engineering
* Design (both visual and designing the system).
* Implementation (the actual coding)
* Testing (while TDD is driven by code, the tests are to prove that a component is doing what it is supposed to be doing).
* Release Management
....

I could continue, there is so much that is done on the human side, IMHO on most projects the code has been only a small part of the process.

Edited 2013-11-07 17:50 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

qbast Member since:
2010-02-08

And everything else is just physics. Ergo no hardware patents are valid.

Reply Parent Score: 1

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

You cannot patent math. 1+1=2 cannot be patented. Software is math. Ergo, software cannot be patented.

Physical objects can be described by mathematical equations; that's how physics and engineering work.

Are you arguing that physical objects cannot be patented?

Reply Parent Score: 2