Microsoft And Motorola Go All In With Patent Nuclear War

from the war-games dept

For years we've pointed out that among big tech companies, patents represent more of a nuclear stockpiling strategy, where they build up a bunch, and if anyone else sues them they can sue back. In theory, this should prevent a lot of patent lawsuits, but patent nuclear wars do break out every so often. These days, it seems like the whole smartphone patent thicket is leading to quite a few nuclear blowups:
smartphonethicket(3)
We've seen patent suits and countersuits involving HTC and Apple as well as Nokia and Apple. Apparently we can now add Motorola and Microsoft to the list. We had already covered how Microsoft had sued Motorola for its use of Android. Things escalated when Microsoft sued Motorola again arguing that the royalties Motorola was charging for certain patents licensed, for use in the Xbox, were inflated.

In response, Motorola quickly spun around and countersued Microsoft, claiming that Microsoft infringed on 16 of its patents. The countersuit took all of one day to go out, suggesting Motorola certainly had it ready. In the end of course, the lawyers will make plenty of money and products we all buy will be more expensive. Just the way the patent system was supposed to work, right?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    darryl, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 5:14pm

    Well its confused you Mike, probably not anyone else !!!..

    Geeezzzz Mike, you might want to consider getting a life !!!.

    How many hours did it take you to create that wall of rubbish.

    Its good to see that you are spending your time doing things that are actually constructive.

    But that looks like a very good representation of what patents and business works in your mind.

    A confused mess, that you diagramed perfectly. At least we know that very few people could be so confused over something so simple.

    But if that diagram is a indication of your level of understanding, (which it looks like), then ofcourse its a confused mess.. job done..

    You have not told us how the "patent thicket" is, you have just documentated you're massive lack of understanding, and knowledge of the patent system.

    If thats is how you think the system 'works' you have no place in making comment about patents.

    As that diagram clearly shows, you dont have a clue !!!..

    But if you just created that diagram to make you look stupid, and ignorant than you have achieved your goal.

    We all understand, you are 'unclear' about the patent system,, so say the least.. !!!.

    Ofcouse, Mike, while your waisting your time, and destroying any remnents of your reputation, why dont document the diagram for military technology advancement and the interconnects between the different 'interest' groups ?

    Ah, you would not want to do that, for one, you have even less understanding of military technology as you do about patents (or the real world for that matter).

    I have a 10 year old neice that has a better grasp of patents and business than you do Mike..

    Mike do you actually read anything apart from slashdot ??

    Do you even have an original idea?, or do you rely on /. and BN for your 'dirt'.. ??

    You are always raving on about patents, at the same time displaying little or no knowledge of the subject.

    I guess you have been doing this for years, what have you achieved ? anything ?

    (made a pretty picture, that means nothing).. apart from a FUD graphic, when have you proposed, what reforms have you spearheaded?

    Apart from whine here, and leech of Google adds, what have you done to advance technology, to develop something new, or to improve things for anyone ??

    How many crystal balls have you sold ??

    Why is it that even though your 'crystal ball' is a "PAYWALL" you 'hate' paywalls.

    Sure, you hate them, except when they make you some money !!.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Winston Pennypacker, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 5:17pm

    Microsoft had it coming

    Microsoft asked to be counter-sued after they sued Motorola for the second time. They like to push competition around but this time their bullying ways might come back and bite them in the ass.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 5:29pm

    Re: Well its confused you Mike, probably not anyone else !!!..

    I'm still waiting for a better explanation instead of an endless rant...

    Mike could have added more arrows and arrowheads by my count. It's completely ridiculous that companies have to navigate that in order to do business. It keeps small companies (and therefore, innovation) from the marketplace.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 5:30pm

    Re: Well its confused you Mike, probably not anyone else !!!..

    Obvious troll is obvious. /rant

     

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  5.  
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    abc gum, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 5:33pm

    It's on like Donkey Kong !

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Quevedo Redivivus, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 5:43pm

    I'm pretty sure this is true. Anyone want to fact-check?

    I heard from an anonymous source that Microsoft wants to cross-license Motorola's patent portfolio so it can break into Motorola's elusive Pager and Beeper market.

     

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  7.  
    icon
    harbingerofdoom (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 5:49pm

    Re: Well its confused you Mike, probably not anyone else !!!..

    +1 funny.

     

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  8.  
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    Chargone (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 5:58pm

    Re: Well its confused you Mike, probably not anyone else !!!..

    good lord. how many different ways do you need to say the same non-thing?

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    bigpicture, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 6:25pm

    Re: Well its confused you Mike, probably not anyone else !!!..

    A very constructive e-mail indicating your idiocy by implying that someone else is an idiot. It is a nuclear war, in the mobile space there are billions of dollars of future revenues, probably more that was ever in the PC market. This is all about Preemptive First Strikes (PFS) and Mutually Assured Destruction. (MAD) Get the Pun?

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Gwiz, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 6:28pm

    Re: Well its confused you Mike, probably not anyone else !!!..

    I have an idea darryl - if you object to everything Mike posts why don't you go find some other blog to read and stop posting long babbling comments here on TechDirt since I (and probabally most others here) really don't care what you have to say about anything anymore.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Mabmoro, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 6:29pm

    Re: Well its confused you Mike, probably not anyone else !!!..

    Seems to me like he was getting all the 'arguments' out of the way, so the useful comments wouldn't get overwhelmed with them.

     

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  12.  
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    Palmyra (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 7:05pm

    And sitting in the background is the 15,000 pound T-Rex better known as IBM waiting to pounce.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 7:06pm

    two companies who can't make any decent products anymore, obviously all that's left for them to do is patent troll

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    DL, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 7:11pm

    The Lawyer's reaction to the diagram

    They see that diagram and say "What ever you do don't thrown me in that brier patch!" ... Now only if we could find a Tar-Baby for them...

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 7:32pm

    Re: Well its confused you Mike, probably not anyone else !!!..

    Seems like no one understands what darry was trying to say.
    Below you will find What Darry Should Have Said to Make His Point Clear (WDSHSMHPC)

    darryl: Geeezzzz Mike, you might want to consider getting a life !!!.
    WDSHSMHPC: I am a looser and need to get a life

    darryl: How many hours did it take you to create that wall of rubbish.
    WDSHSMHPC: I wish I could get paid for blogging!

    darryl: Its good to see that you are spending your time doing things that are actually constructive.
    WDSHSMHPC: Everything I do is a waste of time

    darryl: But that looks like a very good representation of what patents and business works in your mind.
    WDSHSMHPC: reminds me of my twisted up thoughts

    darryl: A confused mess, that you diagramed perfectly. At least we know that very few people could be so confused over something so simple.
    WDSHSMHPC: Why am I posting here again? I am so confused

    darryl: But if that diagram is a indication of your level of understanding, (which it looks like), then ofcourse its a confused mess.. job done..
    WDSHSMHPC: I ran out of arguments after my first sentence, time to pull straws.

    darryl: You have not told us how the "patent thicket" is, you have just documentated you're massive lack of understanding, and knowledge of the patent system.
    WDSHSMHPC: It would be great if I could document my thoughts as well as Mike, maybe then people would understand what I am saying.

    darryl: If thats is how you think the system 'works' you have no place in making comment about patents.
    WDSHSMHPC: I hope no one realizes I do not know how this patent system works.......

    darryl: As that diagram clearly shows, you dont have a clue !!!..
    WDSHSMHPC: An neither do I, thats why I keep making these comments that have no substance!


    darryl: But if you just created that diagram to make you look stupid, and ignorant than you have achieved your goal.
    WDSHSMHPC: Looks like I'm about as smart as Forrest Gump, stupid is as stupid does!

    darryl: We all understand, you are 'unclear' about the patent system,, so say the least.. !!!.
    WDSHSMHPC: Too bad I can not be clear in my rant.

    darryl: Ofcouse, Mike, while your waisting your time, and destroying any remnents of your reputation, why dont document the diagram for military technology advancement and the interconnects between the different 'interest' groups ?
    WDSHSMHPC: Maybe I can confuse everyone and make them think I am smart by bringing up off-topic ideas!, muwahahahaaaaaaaa!!!!


    darryl: Ah, you would not want to do that, for one, you have even less understanding of military technology as you do about patents (or the real world for that matter).
    WDSHSMHPC: I am smarter than Mike is, na na na na boo boo!

    darryl: I have a 10 year old neice that has a better grasp of patents and business than you do Mike..
    WDSHSMHPC: too bad she is smarter that me too!

    darryl: Mike do you actually read anything apart from slashdot ??
    WDSHSMHPC: I get all of my facts from the voices in my head.

    darryl: Do you even have an original idea?, or do you rely on /. and BN for your 'dirt'.. ??
    WDSHSMHPC: If it were not for Mike, I'd have no place to comment on my crazy ideas.

    darryl: You are always raving on about patents, at the same time displaying little or no knowledge of the subject.
    WDSHSMHPC: I am more like Mike than thought, heavy!

    darryl: I guess you have been doing this for years, what have you achieved ? anything ?
    WDSHSMHPC: Being an unemployed looser sucks, I hate successful people like Mike!

    darryl: (made a pretty picture, that means nothing).. apart from a FUD graphic, when have you proposed, what reforms have you spearheaded?
    WDSHSMHPC: I wish I could get people engaged in thats that I find important.

    darryl: Apart from whine here, and leech of Google adds, what have you done to advance technology, to develop something new, or to improve things for anyone ??
    WDSHSMHPC: Take that you evil Mike!

    darryl: How many crystal balls have you sold ??
    WDSHSMHPC: My crystal ball told me I am a genius!

    darryl: Why is it that even though your 'crystal ball' is a "PAYWALL" you 'hate' paywalls.
    WDSHSMHPC: It's a conspiracy to confuse me!

    darryl: Sure, you hate them, except when they make you some money !!.
    WDSHSMHPC: I like money and hate people who make more than me.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 7:33pm

    Re: Well its confused you Mike, probably not anyone else !!!..

    Congratulations Darryl, you have set the record for "most different methods of telling someone they are wrong without actually providing any evidence why they are wrong."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Jay, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 8:28pm

    Re: Well its confused you Mike, probably not anyone else !!!..

    No where in this incoherent rambling did I read anything even remotely close to making Mike look ignorant. Nor did I see anything indicating you actually know anything about patents. Everyone reading the article is now dumber for reading that post. I award you no points, and may god have mercy on your soul.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 9:18pm

    i miss TAM, his trolling was far more inflammatory and once a blue moon he might have made a point, I demand a better troll than darryl!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Bryan, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 9:21pm

    Innovation

    Is that graphic like one of those images where you stare at it long enough & cross your eyes just right, you can see the innovation?

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Bruce, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 10:31pm

    Patent nuclear war diagram

    Mike asked a sarcastic question, which got lost in all the ranting and counterranting and insults that seem so characteristic of Techdirt.

    "Just the way the patent system was supposed to work, right?"

    And, the answer is, actually, this IS the way the patent system works when patent pendency is too long and commercially important patent claims have to end up getting court interpretations rather than decent PTO determinations and deference by the Courts. Patent battle happen in areas of innovation of great commercial importance. The steamboat was the subject of intense patent battles. (Fitch was first but Fulton won because he had the commercially valuable invention.) The light bulb was the subject of intense patent battles. (Humphry Davy (an Englishman) invented it in 1809 but Edison won because his oxygen-free bulb in 1879 was the commercially valuable invention) The electron tube, oil well technology, the circuit board, bar code scanning, etc. were all subject to intense patent battles. The lawsuits sort out who has rights to the commercially valuable inventions and thus who should get rewarded for them, so that the value flows to the inventor of the valuable inventions so as to encourage valuable inventions. The suits come closer now (and hence a messy chart like that) because the pace of invention is faster today. The problem is not patents but that the system is broken because it takes so long to get a patent that industry adopts the invention before the patent covering the invention is published. We need a registration system with prompt publication and prompt post issuance examination so companies know first what is sought to be protected (so they have time to try to design around it) and second whether what is sought to be protected is going to be protected for commercially valuable inventions. That would give the patent system a shot at keeping up with the speedier pace of modern inventing so we don't have these expensive and protracted patent battles.

    There is a positive fallout to these expensive patent battles, --- it really encourages original creativity and design arounds and thus spurs creativity. The fast pace of inventing in the smart phone industry is unquestionably spurred by the desire of companies to get there first with the best ideas and lock them up with patents. Otherwise, the industry giants would just steal whatever technology they need and aim for lowest cost production by shipping jobs overseas to the lowest wage location, which we see in low technology low innovation areas like garments, utensils, and the many items you see at Dollar General, much of Wal-Mart, etc. That is what Mike's ideas will encourage and that is bad for the USA and other high wage countries and good for China and India. At least for now the Muslim countries are on an anti-modernism bent.

     

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  21.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 12:14am

    Re: Patent nuclear war diagram

    after 4 different replies that were all incredibly long, well written and lucid statements, i have eschewed them all for the following:

    are you trolling?
    or are you really that stupid?

    im kinda leaning towards the trolling idea but thats mostly because of the 'they took our jobs!' derp that you tossed out.

     

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  22.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 4:32am

    Re: I'm pretty sure this is true. Anyone want to fact-check?

    there is a pager and beeper market?

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 5:08am

    Re: Patent nuclear war diagram

    LoL

    Actually China and India will use IP laws to control America, you see IP laws don't give control to governments or people they give power to institutions that have no interest in being patriotic or whatever besides the numbers are against the U.S. just imagine what 6 billion people can come up with against 350 million.

    Oh and you are mistaken it is not low innovation areas that hurts America is the high tech industry that is moving out of the U.S., it is all those factories that are not producing anymore, that is because of a policy based on IP, if IP didn't exist other manufactures could have picked up that and try and compete, but right now big companies "secure" their IP and don't let anybody in.

    What the world needs is a new model based on cooperation and free ideas just like open source, I see people in places like Brazil offering local services but they sign on to paid offering to get help from places like Ubuntu and Red Hat when they find themselves in trouble, this is a better outcome even though Red Hat makes less money in other countries it gets the benefits of that network, this will never happen with IP crazy people and countries more, Asia beat the hell out of the West in their own game and putting in place stringent laws about fictional property only empowers them even more.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 7:12am

    Deadlock in technical innovation creates economic depressions. The days of the garage inventor are rapidly coming to an end. The very spirit of innovation is being squashed by patents.

    Patents, like copyrights have simply become a license to litigate. There is no real protection, simply litigation. Sad, to watch the greatest, most innovative country ever, become bogged down in lawsuits.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    staff, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 7:31am

    "where they build up a bunch, and if anyone else sues them they can sue back"

    Where they lack in quality they try to make up for in quantity.

     

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  26.  
    icon
    Sean T Henry (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 7:37am

    Re: Re: I'm pretty sure this is true. Anyone want to fact-check?

    Actually there still is but it is mostly doctors who do not want people to call them and give out there cell number.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Bruce, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 9:07am

    Re: Patent nuclear war diagram

    I take it the "harbinger of doom" legend means it is dangerous to be you and be limited to foolish one-liner insults and non-substantive quips. My recommendation to you is to take Abe Lincoln's advice: "Better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt." I am not a patent enforcement specialist, and last I checked my diplomas, I had an engineering degree, a law degree and a doctor's degree, a Mensa membership, ownership of 3 business firms, and have a number of patents of my own, all in commercial use. So, who is it again that's stupid? People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

    "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
    Albert Einstein

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 1:07pm

    Re: Re: Patent nuclear war diagram

    I don't think the point is that patents are useless, they do have a use. I think what this is pointing out is how the current patent system is failing to provide innovation (it is just creating this briar patch of lawsuits). I'm sure your patents are valid and do recognize some sort of innovation, but the should be a limit to the buffet (in the manner that your time and effort to produce the patentable idea is the admission price to eat at the buffet).

     

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  29.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Patent nuclear war diagram

    "There is a positive fallout to these expensive patent battles, --- it really encourages original creativity and design arounds and thus spurs creativity."

    Please provide evidence that this is true. You seem to be assuming that patents equal innovation - whereas my observations have been that the opposite is true. You see patents causing innovation - the only correlation I see is that because of the way laws are written patents come about after the innovation actually occurs. I can understand a layman making this mistake, but it seems especially troubling that a patent lawyer would make this mistake.

    "The fast pace of inventing in the smart phone industry is unquestionably spurred by the desire of companies to get there first with the best ideas and lock them up with patents."

    I would think that the desire of the companies in the smart phone market is to make money. They only care about patents so that they can make money. Thank you for admitting that the purpose of a patent is to lock an idea up - something which hinders innovation and competition.

    "Otherwise, the industry giants would just steal whatever technology they need and aim for lowest cost production by shipping jobs overseas to the lowest wage location, which we see in low technology low innovation areas like garments, utensils, and the many items you see at Dollar General, much of Wal-Mart, etc. That is what Mike's ideas will encourage and that is bad for the USA and other high wage countries and good for China and India. At least for now the Muslim countries are on an anti-modernism bent."

    Wow. Just wow. So you're saying that the smart-phone patent thicket ensures that new smart phones are built in the US? Just where was yours made? If you don't know, let us know the make/model and I'm sure we can find out. Mine's a HTC Evo and is manufactured by a Taiwan based HTC, although parts were likely manufactured in a dozen different cities. The rest of your comment was just anti-foreign bigotry. For first complaining that Techdirt is full of insults, that seems pretty hypocritical to me.

     

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  30.  
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    BearGriz72 (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 5:53pm

    Re: Re: Well its confused you Mike, probably not anyone else !!!..

    +3 for Billy Madison Reference!

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Let Me Ask You, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 3:04am

    India and China

    Let's all ask ourselves something. Can you reach inside your screen and grab anything you see? Can you physically own anything inside your screen???? How can anyone own the internet???????????????? You can run a server, sure. You can network together to x-boxes also.
    Who owns the internet you use? What do you use your internet for?
    Hello!!!!!!!!!! People it's not about who's suing whom, it's about who OWNS whom. Corporations are fighting for some control in a market with uncle sam holding the reigns.

    Lawsuits? Maybe the people who are using the phones that are causing brain cancer should sue the irresponsible idiots that are producing the killers. Ooops, I forgot it's okay for cancer to kill you, after all, you just got it out of thin air... No one was responsible for your illness...
    California is the only state that requires them to post labels on their products to tell people what it will do to them...

    Yet let's focus on who's suing who over some nonsensical patent, the bottomless pit of greed is upon us.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 11:43am

    while nobody was watching

    i recently patented the concept of patents and of patent lawsuits.
    payup folks.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    123, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 11:46am

    yo momma!

    i patented the *practice* of patent lawsuits. so, all you can do is imagine a patent lawsuit. ha!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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