Remember how Microsoft had lost that patent lawsuit against Alcatel-Lucent, while having yet another patent case between the companies dismissed? Well, it seems that Microsoft has now decided to strike back at Lucent-Alcatel for firing off so many patent lawsuits. It's claiming that Alcatel-Lucent is violating Microsoft's patents on unified communications and has convinced the U.S. International Trade Commission to begin investigating. This isn't particularly surprising. As has been clear for quite some time, for many big companies, patents have nothing to do with innovation, and everything to do with nuclear stockpiling. The idea is that if you amass enough patents in broad enough areas, others are afraid to charge you with patent infringement, because you'll just lob back patent infringement charges in their direction. Apparently Alcatel-Lucent didn't quite understand how that game worked, so now the situation has gone nuclear -- and the only winners will be the lawyers. Like the supposed cockroaches who can survive nuclear fallout, you can count on patent attorneys to make out wonderfully in a patent nuclear war.
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