Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 16th Jun 2014 08:32 UTC

A list of hundreds of patents that Microsoft believes entitle it to royalties over Android phones, and perhaps smartphones in general, has been published on a Chinese language website.

The patents Microsoft plans to wield against Android describe a range of technologies. They include lots of technologies developed at Microsoft, as well as patents that Microsoft acquired by participating in the Rockstar Consortium, which spent $4.5 billion on patents that were auctioned off after the Nortel bankruptcy.

These are the secret patents Microsoft's patent mafia uses as a club to beat other companies into paying protection money.

Thread beginning with comment 590835
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[3]: Well...
by JLF65 on Tue 17th Jun 2014 17:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Well..."
Member since:

So what do you suggest, no patents at all? I'm sorry, but it simply doesn't work that way. If there is no patent system at all, then the small-time inventors would have no incentive to invent, since there wouldn't be a system in place to protect them from corporations stealing their hard work. Even with the current system, that kind of thing does happen, but at least there is a way to fight for their work.

I'd love to know what your idea of a working system would be, especially if it's patent-less. You've highlighted some of the worst aspects of the current, admittedly broken U.S. Patent system, but ignored the merits of it. Let's hear a better alternative.

No patents at all is much better. Don't believe it? How soon people forget, but no patents at all was commonplace until just recently. ESPECIALLY in software. Patents on software were uncommon and unenforceable until some time in the 90s. Bill Gates himself claimed that patents get in the way of software companies, and that MS only thrived when there were no software patents.

People will invent and create regardless of any "protections" - always have, always will. Patents and copyrights are merely a current fad that keeps unemployable lawyers off the streets. They might have brainwashed some idiots into thinking they are a necessary part of modern society, but any thinking person knows better. We continue to advance DESPITE IP laws, not because of them.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Well...
by Alfman on Tue 17th Jun 2014 18:33 in reply to "RE[3]: Well..."
Alfman Member since:


Bill Gates himself claimed that patents get in the way of software companies, and that MS only thrived when there were no software patents.

I had never heard that before, I found some references to this though:

PATENTS: If people had understood how patents would be granted when most
of today's ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry
would be at a complete standstill today. I feel certain that some large
company will patent some obvious thing related to interface, object orientation,
algorithm, application extension or other crucial technique. If we assume this
company has no need of any of our patents then the have a 17-year right to take
as much of our profits as they want. The solution to this is patent exchanges
with large companies and patenting as much as we can. Amazingly we havn't
done any patent exchanges tha I am aware of. Amazingly we havn't found a
way to use our licensing position to avoid having our own customers cause
patent problems for us. I know these aren't simply problems but they deserve
more effort by both Legal and other groups. For example we need to do a
patent exchange with HP as part of our new relationship. In many application
categories straighforward thinking ahead allows you to come up with
patentable ideas. A recent paper from the League for Programming Freedom
(available from the Legal department) explains some problems with the
way patents are applied to software.

It seems Gates was speaking out of fear that patents over basic functionality would get used against microsoft. He wasn't mistaken, but he became a hypocrite.

Reply Parent Score: 4