Can We Just Admit That It's Insane When Microsoft Has A 'Licensing Program' For Someone Else's Products?

from the just-saying dept

There have been a string of similar "deals" announced recently (though we do wonder about the details), but Microsoft has announced that Qanta is the latest company to "license" its usage of Android and Chrome. Here's Microsoft's quote on the subject:
"We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Quanta, and proud of the continued success of our Android licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome devices in the marketplace."
Let's sit back and consider the sheer insanity of this entire effort. Microsoft is going around, trying to get lots of companies to buy licenses to Google's products, when there is simply no evidence that those products infringe on any Microsoft patents. And, notably, Microsoft has never sued Google over those products.

I'd be interested to see if anyone can explain how a system that allows a company like Microsoft to set up a licensing business on someone else's products without any proven legal basis other than the implied threat that they might sue, is a functioning system? It's a huge joke.


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  1.  
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    AdamR (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:31am

    "Microsoft patents. And, notably, Microsoft has never sued Google over those products"

    What's stranger is Google's response. Which as far as i have seen been little or nothing. Maybe they have inside information on those deals and see them as no threat and just PR spin from a desperate company.

    i also don't understand the lack of bashing that Microsoft is taking on these types of deals. Microsoft is basically admitting that its products inferior and they can not compete on a level playing even thou the have these so called patents of said technology.

    I have this feeling that this is going to come to head at some point in the near future and nobody's going to like the outcome.

     

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    AJ, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:06am

    Re:

    "What's stranger is Google's response. Which as far as i have seen been little or nothing."

    "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."
    Napoleon Bonaparte

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:10am

    Under the wire

    I got myself a new android phone last week. I felt the need to rush to do it because I wasn't willing to have any money go to Microsoft for this shakedown. I had to act while there were still some manufacturers who weren't paying Microsoft's protection money.

    I'm glad I did. Of course, this might be the last smartphone I buy unless Microsoft is reigned in.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:10am

    These are discussions between two commercial businesses. Of course relevant information between them will be held out of the public eye.

    Why this site keeps trying to create an issue out of all of licensing negotiations between Microsoft and others eludes me.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:15am

    Re:

    Microsoft is shaking down other companies for products that they had no hand in making. That is akin for me shaking you down for what ever form of transportation you use because I am the great grandson of Henry Ford.

     

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  6.  
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    Charles (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:17am

    Re:

    Because, other than the patent system, Microsoft has been the biggest enemy of innovation in the world.

    http://www.groklaw.net/staticpages/index.php?page=2007021720190018

     

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  7.  
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    Dan (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:17am

    Why Care?

    If Google or the government don't care, why should I? Google obviously doesn't feel like it's loosing any money. Mike often makes the claim [indirectly] that economics isn't a zero sum game. Here's an [albeit strange] example. It doesn't matter how bizarre the licensing is, if the final price to the consumer is competitive.

     

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    AdamR (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:23am

    Re: Re:

    "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."
    Napoleon Bonaparte

    "Never over estimate the stupidity of your enemy" *
    AdamR

    * copyrighted, trademarked, patent pending

    Also willing to cross licensee stupid and funny phrases, hallucinations, and nightmarish IT stories / jokes.

     

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    iamtheky (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:29am

    ASCAP and BMI forces the licensing of pretty much every audible sound just in case it might violate.

    Microsoft forces the licensing of the O/s just in case it might violate.

    so....Microsoft licensed Android devices should make Microsoft liable to ASCAP and BMI for the music they may potentially broadcast because of the flaw that allows audio out.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:30am

    Microsoft's "business model" always been tax computer users.

    Not exactly news. -- It's not this or that insane practice that's the problem, it's "capitalism", where nothing matters except money and power. Microsoft and especially Bill Gates profited more from the computer industry than ALL the scientists, academicians, engineers, and technicians who built it did. The "system" of unlimited rewards for being in right spot at right time to cash in is the overarching insanity. You're just chipping around the edges, as usual, Mike.

     

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    AdamR (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:31am

    Re: Why Care?

    "It doesn't matter how bizarre the licensing is, if the final price to the consumer is competitive."

    Sorry to say its not, the extra cost will be passed down to the consumer. Why try to innovate if your going to get hit by lawsuits and have to strike massive cross licensing deals with company's that offer no products or benefits to consumers.

     

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    Brad Hubbard (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:31am

    Re: Why Care?

    I've struggled with this as well. There's obviously not "no evidence" as Mike claims - otherwise these companies wouldn't be settling. There might not be strong evidence, or legally tested evidence, but there's clearly some.

    MS isn't going after tiny devs. These are giant companies with huge legal budgets, they looked at MS's evidence and decided a settlement that both companies felt was fair.

    Would you prefer the Apple approach? Sue in every country, blocking competitors from entering the market, harm consumers, submit fraudulent evidence to courts?

    There are so many other issues in the patent system and tech companies being sleazy, why focus on this so hard? Let it go - you don't need to be angry on the behalf of two companies that are entering into a mutually beneficial business deal.

     

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  13.  
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    Brad Hubbard (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:41am

    Re:

    Microsoft isn't in the habit of suing open source projects, even if they're backed by commercial entities.

    For example, MS never sued Open Office, despite making the assertion it violated 45 patents (many of which may be invalid). Now, if companies like HP started building Open Office-based school machines? Well, MS might step in.

    I think this will be tested when/if the Motorola + Google deal closes, if the existing Motorola + MS license deal doesn't carry forward.

    Source for MS on FOSS Patent Violations: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/microsoft-free-and-open-source-software-violates-235-microsoft-p atents/436

     

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    anonymous, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:46am

    if there is any evidence, why isn't it submitted? i think this is just Microsuck doing it's usual thing. ripping people off for as much money as possible, for giving as little (if anything) as possible.
    as for the 'two companies that are entering into a mutually beneficial business deal'. nothing wrong with that at all, as long as the company selling something is legally able to do so. if Microsuck are allowed to do so, where is their evidence of that?

     

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    Ninja (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:47am

    I didn't know Microsoft became Google's sales and marketing department. How could I miss something major like that?

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:48am

    Re: Microsoft's "business model" always been tax computer users.

    as for me, ill just overgeneralize and blame it on something faceless like "capitalism". Because if my blanket covers, i dont know, everything; then I don't have to leave its spacious confines while my arguments follow their nonlinear path.

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:48am

    Also...

    Has anybody else noticed how all the "New" features of Windows is stuff which had been done in Linux a year of 5 previously?

     

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    Another AC, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:49am

    Re: Microsoft's "business model" always been tax computer users.

    lol

    Even when you agree with Mike you have to get a dig in. Good Grief.

     

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  19.  
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    AdamR (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:50am

    Re: Re: Why Care?

    "Let it go - you don't need to be angry on the behalf of two companies that are entering into a mutually beneficial business deal."

    These manufactures are not the ones who made the OS, its Google. Why has Microsoft ignored Google?

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:55am

    Re: Microsoft's "business model" always been tax computer users.

    Why is this not news? I am myself very interested to learn about how and why Company A is demanding license money from Companies B-Z for Product Y, when Company A doesn't actually own or control Product Y.
    The scientists and whatnot who built Windows and all the other Microsoft products were employees of Microsoft. Get it? In exchange for a salary as well as benefits/perks if any, they built products for Microsoft. So what if Bill Gates profited more?
    As for unlimited rewards...isn't that the problem with copyright? Like how Harper Lee still gets paid for work she did in the 1960's (FYI, I'm talking about the sole book she's written, To Kill a Mockingbird).

     

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    Scooters (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:56am

    It's a huge joke confirmation:

    Are you sure it's a huge joke?
    Yes No Cancel

    If there's anything I've learned working in this industry, it's that all the laws to protect consumers against unfair business practices does not include those who distribute digital goods (software, music, movies).

    So be sure to click "Cancel" and hope...

     

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  22.  
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    amber, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:59am

    The us legal systems functions perfectly, for those that define justice as 'use legal tools to do things that are illegal, immoral, and unethical. There always will be a number of judges in the us --- especially on the supreme court that are bought and paid for, to rule in favour of what generates the most cash to lawyers first, and plaintiffs secondly. The law, ethics, morals, and justice are completely irrelevent in the united states court system.

    What Google is doing, is starting to detonate the equivalant of several thousand nukes, in the surreal world of patents. When they finish, if your patents are not physical objects, about a million of them will be worth as much as one Vietnamese dhong. If the patents are for physical objects, they will be worth about a dhong each.

     

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  23.  
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    Renee Marie Jones, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:03am

    Microsoft "Licensing" of Google's Products

    Ya. It is sick. We have a system where companies can run a legal protection racket by threatening to sue. This is what happens when companies are allowed to file baseless lawsuits, and where innocent parties can be forced to pay huge legal fees to defend against baseless accusations.

    There needs to be a way to force an accuser to demonstrate that he has a legitimate claim before filing lawsuits, and that the lawsuit is aimed at the party actually committed the act. For example, the SCO case should have been thrown out the first time they refused to answer the question "where is the infringing code." In the case of Microsoft, if they can't point to a specific patent, and a specific part of Android that violates that patent, then they should be charged with running a protection racket and jailed.

     

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    tammy, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:05am

    hardware patents

    What makes you think the patents are for software? M$ has made hardware for years.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:05am

    Re:

    These are discussions between two commercial businesses. Of course relevant information between them will be held out of the public eye.

    And yet it massively impacts the public and innovation. You may not mind getting screwed over. But I care.

    Why this site keeps trying to create an issue out of all of licensing negotiations between Microsoft and others eludes me.

    You don't find it odd that a company has a licensing program for someone else's products?

    You must be a lawyer. And not a good one.

     

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  26.  
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    tammy, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:05am

    hardware patents

    What makes you think the patents are for software? M$ has made hardware for years.

     

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  27.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:06am

    Re: Why Care?

    If Google or the government don't care, why should I? Google obviously doesn't feel like it's loosing any money. Mike often makes the claim [indirectly] that economics isn't a zero sum game. Here's an [albeit strange] example. It doesn't matter how bizarre the licensing is, if the final price to the consumer is competitive.

    But it's not. You now have monopoly rents included in the equation, which jacks up the consumer price at no societal benefit. Why would you ever support such a system?

     

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  28.  
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    Ninja (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:08am

    Re:

    I get this feeling too. It seems to me that Google is trying to undermine the patent system credibility by taking the flaws to the mainstream media. Motorola's acquisition might have been the masterpiece in this process, at least it felt that way. Not that they will be effectively using Motorola's patent portfolio to sue, I think it was yet another move to get the patent system down in pieces and force its reform.

    If they succeed many companies will be in deep trouble and panic. And I'll become a Google fanboy.

     

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  29.  
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    Matt N, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:09am

    It's important to consider that, in all likelihood, this "license" was granted for no money. Chances are that Microsoft is the one who asked Quanta to take the "license" in exchange for a discount on other products or services. Microsoft would do this so they could publicize it and then try to legitimize the licensing scheme.

     

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  30.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:11am

    Re: Why Care?

    Yeah, because ethical considerations play no role in purchasing decisions.

     

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  31.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:14am

    Re: hardware patents

    Because the "licensing" is for Android & Chrome, which is software.

     

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  32.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:15am

    Re:

    Various licensees (but not all of them) have stated what the royalty was. It varies a bit, from $5 to $10 per unit.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:18am

    Re:

    Typically they make around $5 per android phone. The details of some previous licensing deals have been leaked on the internet.

     

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  34.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re: Why Care?

    Actually, there really isn't any evidence. Merely assertions from Microsoft. When asked for the evidence, or at least some indication of exactly what Microsoft thinks is offending, Microsoft refuses to answer.

    The other companies settle because it's cheaper to kick Microsoft a few bucks per unit than to go to court. Also, it's more likely they'll get favorable treatment from Microsoft for other things if they play along.

    But evidence? There's exactly none.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re: Why Care?

    Why bother trying to innovate if someone is just going to steal your idea and market it as their own - only cheaper because they invested less in the development of "their" product? You see it works both ways, there are pros and cons to IP protection.

     

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  36.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re: Why Care?

    Oops, I forgot:

    "Would you prefer the Apple approach? Sue in every country, blocking competitors from entering the market, harm consumers, submit fraudulent evidence to courts?"

    Yes, I absolutely would. Bring this out into the light of day.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re: Why Care?

    monopoly or Monopoly? Are you talking about the game or a company that has cornered the market? Microsoft is far from a monopoly in the phone OS market. In fact, they are a very small player in terms of market share (2% of the market according to Gartner Research).

    Furthermore, if Google had a rock-solid legal standing why haven't they acted to protect their customers? I think we all know the answer to that - Microsoft most likely does own patents which are infringed upon by the Android platform.

     

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  38.  
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    sarvinc (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    "Why bother trying to innovate if someone is just going to steal your idea and market it as their own - only cheaper because they invested less in the development of "their" product?"

    Because ideas are cheap and execution is actually what's important. Also, I'm not really sure one can "steal" an idea. I come up with ideas all day long; no one owes me a damn thing.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:42am

    Re:

    The issue exists a priori, this site just reports on it.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    Monopoly do not necessarily exist on a convenient and easy to understand market levels like 'complete phone OS.' In this case it's referring to having a monopoly over the functionality supposedly covered by the patents. Next time try searching for phrases you don't understand on google before responding.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:52am

    Re: Why Care?

    It doesn't matter if the final price is 'competitive' if it's higher or doesn't buy as much functionality as it could otherwise. Let's not forget that this licensing system is heavily biased toward incumbent hardware manufacturers. I wouldn't want to be a new smartphone builder with Android phones with Microsoft and Apple lurking around every corner. So this creates very real barriers to entry into the market that are significant beyond mere current pricing.

     

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    redwall_hp (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:55am

    Don't forget: they do it with Linux, too. Anyone remember the Amazon shakedown, where Microsoft demanded licensing fees and threatened with a patent suit?

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100222/1816398260.shtml

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:56am

    Re: Microsoft's "business model" always been tax computer users.

    It takes a very special (short bus special) kind of troll to suggest that a situation that exists because of a government sponsored monopoly is proof that 'capitalism' is the problem. It's like you pride yourself on never properly applying the c-word.

     

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  44.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    Doesn't matter if Microsoft doesn't have a monopoly in the phone OS market, they have a monopoly in the OS market. They're using the power they gained as a monopoly to scare smaller companies into paying for something Microsoft doesn't own.

    Think about it. If a representative came up to you and said you owe them $1000 and if you don't pay they're going to sue you for millions. You know they don't have a case, but you do know they have the money and lawyers to bankrupt you proving it. Then the nice Microsoft man says that he'll settle for only $500. What would you do? Pray to god you can get it thrown out before the bank forecloses on your house?

     

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  45.  
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    Gold, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Under the wire

    So what model phone did you get? Most manufacturers already have deals in place like this. :/

     

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  46.  
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    The eejit (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry, Buster, but you just infringed on Rt. Hon. Emperor Napoleon's authorial rights. You now owe him a Full Nelson, a signed copy of Waterloo and three guillotines, each stamped with the arterial gore from your beheading.

     

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  47.  
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    BoredSysAdmin (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 12:22pm

    FAT

    Unless someone tells me otherwise, I'm going to assume it's same old issue. None-MS OS devices using some soft of FAT emulation to connect to PC (Mass-storage), but depite the fact FAT file system is "ancient" it's still not free and guess who the owner is ;)

    Any device maker who uses Mass-Storage is liable to pay MS unless we user say - enough - we are ready to install some drivers to our PC and the hell with MS patented fat

     

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  48.  
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    PRMan, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Microsoft "Licensing" of Google's Products

    We need "loser pays lower of two legal fees". In this case, if a large company sues an individual or small company and the defendant is successful, they get their legal fees back.

    If an individual or small company sues and is wrong, they have to pay their legal fees again to the large company. It doesn't bankrupt them, but they will certainly think twice about filing frivolous lawsuits when it costs them double legal fees.

     

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  49.  
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    NullOp, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 12:42pm

    What?

    Not enough info is given/known to even be able to guess at what's going on here. I suggest all parties sue each other simultaneously, forge evidence and try the case on TV as a pay-per-view!

     

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    crade (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 12:44pm

    Yeah, it's a complete scam. Too bad it's too hard and expensive to fight and expose. Oh well, all it costs us is progress and a free market.

     

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  51.  
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    JMT (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    "Why bother trying to innovate if someone is just going to steal your idea and market it as their own..."

    In case you missed it by not reading the article properly:

    "Microsoft is going around, trying to get lots of companies to buy licenses to Google's products, when there is simply no evidence that those products infringe on any Microsoft patents."

    So who stole whose idea again?

     

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  52.  
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    crade (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Also...

    Yeah, but unfortunately, it's all the worst things that Li did 5 years ago. They still can't even manage a basic symlink decently.

     

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  53.  
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    crade (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    um, cuz you can sell stuff.. They only applied for the patents on that crap as an afterthought in hope that they can double dip.

     

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  54.  
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    abc gum, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    What was stolen and by whom?

     

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  55.  
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    Willton, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: Microsoft "Licensing" of Google's Products

    We need "loser pays lower of two legal fees". In this case, if a large company sues an individual or small company and the defendant is successful, they get their legal fees back.

    If an individual or small company sues and is wrong, they have to pay their legal fees again to the large company. It doesn't bankrupt them, but they will certainly think twice about filing frivolous lawsuits when it costs them double legal fees.


    First of all, the system already sanctions plaintiffs for bringing frivolous lawsuits by making them pay the defendant's attorney's fees. The problem is that you clearly have a much looser definition of "frivolous" than the legal community does. Second, a "loser pays" system will place a chilling effect on plaintiffs who have legitimate legal claims against tortfeasors. That, in my view, is bad policy.

     

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  56.  
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    abc gum, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Re: Why Care?

    "There's obviously not "no evidence" as Mike claims - otherwise these companies wouldn't be settling."

    This is a sad attempt at rationalization. Amongst its obvious flaws is the fact that evidence or lack thereof has little meaning outside a court of law. The mere threat of an impending law suit can have deleterious effects upon companies both large and small. As past history has shown, one does not need any evidence in order to extract monetary payments.

    "These are giant companies with huge legal budgets, they looked at MS's evidence and decided a settlement that both companies felt was fair."

    Now this is complete BS. I would guess that many four letters words were used to describe this "settlement".

    "Let it go - you don't need to be angry on the behalf of two companies that are entering into a mutually beneficial business deal."

    And more BS. Customers never get upset about price gouging now do they?

     

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  57.  
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    Charles (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Re: Why Care?

    As has been discussed here before and elsewhere, it is cheaper to settle than to fight a patent lawsuit.

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    You're getting the monopoly wrong, and so is the AC you're replying to. The monopoly is the [supposed] patents. MS has patents, so they extort the monopoly rents on those patents. It doesn't matter if they have 0 or 100% OS or mobile OS market share, they [supposedly] have a patent, which grants them government granted monopoly control over that [supposed] patent. What they are using is the fear of costly litigation against a government backed monopoly.

     

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  59.  
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    abc gum, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 1:07pm

    $699 ?

     

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  60.  
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    JMT (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re: Why Care?

    "These are giant companies with huge legal budgets, they looked at MS's evidence and decided a settlement that both companies felt was fair."

    "Fair" is any interesting word to describe this. There are countless examples where companies have settled because the cost to litigate, even if completely successful, would be much higher than the settlement cost. That's the whole reason companies like MS do this, they know the legal system is stacked in their favour. "Fair" it ain't.

    If you have any evidence that this case is different, please share it with the class.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 1:12pm

    Patent Free

    This makes me wonder what the issue of the day might be if there were no patents. I am sure corporations would be fighting about something...but what?

     

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  62.  
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    lucidrenegade (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    Because Google would most likely curb stomp them?

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    [voiceover voice]Straw man tactics...When you can't argue the facts nitpick the details[/voiceover voice]
    Companies cross-license techonolgy all the time, Google should have cross-licensed with Microsoft before releasing Android. By not doing so they may have exposed their customers (phone manufacturers) to potential litigation.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

    and Google is the one somehow participating in the sort of Anti-Competitive behavior that the DOJ needs to go after, right?

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, he infringed on R. Hon. Emperor Napoleon's privileges, but now he must pay me the money, just like everyone must pay Microsoft every time someone infringes on Google in the OP.

     

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  66.  
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    crade (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Patent Free

    market share?

     

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  67.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    and he owes me all that other stuff you mentioned as well, none of it should go to Emperor Napoleon. That's just how our legal system works these days.

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    "Furthermore, if Google had a rock-solid legal standing why haven't they acted to protect their customers?"

    Litigation is expensive. and even if Google doesn't have a solid legal standing, that's irrelevant here since it is partly the legal (patent) system itself that is being criticized and questioned here.

    "I think we all know the answer to that "

    Litigation is expensive.

    "Microsoft most likely does own patents which are infringed upon by the Android platform."

    and one thing we often complain about is the fact that the USPTO passes a bunch of ridiculous patents that it should not. So even if M$ owns such patents, what's your point? Many of those patents should likely be invalidated and should have never been issued in the first place. and a court should likely not enforce many of those patents (now the question of whether or not a court will is a different question).

     

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  69.  
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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 1:43pm

    The Toddlerís Creed

    ďIf I want it, itís mine.
    If I give it to you & I change my mind later, itís mine.
    If I can take it away from you, itís mine.
    If I had it a little while ago, itís mine.
    If itís mine, it will never belong to anybody else, no matter what.
    If we are building something together, all the pieces are mine.
    If it looks like mine, it is mine.Ē Anon


    http://edukidsinc.wordpress.com/2010/05/03/290/

    Being selfish and egotistic is a normal part of toddler development. You just need to lock up the important and delicate stuff so they don't break it.

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    No, you're getting it wrong. A patent is not a monopoly, the government frequently requires patent holders to grant licenses to technology specifically to prevent monopoly situations. In this case, Microsoft is not trying to get companies to stop manufacturing phones, they are requesting licensing fees for potentially infringing upon their patents.

     

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  71.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 1:48pm

    Re: Re: Why Care?

    "they looked at MS's evidence and decided a settlement that both companies felt was fair."

    "that are entering into a mutually beneficial business deal."

    One company using a broken legal system to extort money out of another company is not a mutually beneficial 'agreement'.

    That's almost like saying, if someone was taken for ransom and asked someone else for a million dollars to return that person back, the paying of the ransom in return for the person is a mutually beneficial agreement because both parties decided on a settlement that they both thought was fair. No it's not. Not all agreements are necessarily mutually beneficial or fair.

    "Would you prefer the Apple approach? Sue in every country, blocking competitors from entering the market, harm consumers, submit fraudulent evidence to courts?"

    Two wrongs make a right?

    When our legal system is misused to facilitate one sided, non-mutually beneficial agreements, then it becomes everyone's business.

     

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  72.  
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    The eejit (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    Look at Apple: they used to innovate and steal others' ideas all the time. Odd that they now choose to litigate after making some of the most simplistic and intuitive UIs you'll ever see.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 2:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    You THINK you would be happier without patents but the world would be much different today if patents didn't exist.

    The mentality that people should invest time and effort into developing new technology "for the good of society" is not reality. The truth is that publicly traded companies which spend hundreds of billions each year on R&D would not do so without IP protection. Without patents the innovation well would quickly dry up.

    Cures for innumerable diseases would never have been developed, wireless phones would not exist, digital cameras would never have been developed, etc... You were probably taught that academic research is the holy grail of innovation, but the vast majority of technological advancements occur in the business world.

    Why would a business invest time and money to develop some new technology that anyone can pick up (without spending any money or time) and undercut the price? There would be no incentive for investment because there would be no protection from theft of the techonology.

    We can argue the details, such as the "obviousness" test, but you cannot with a straight face argue that the world would be much less advanced without IP protection.

     

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  74.  
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    The eejit (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    Why? We have literally no evidence from MS of where Android infringes on their patents. Moreover, last time I checked, potentially infringing wasn't against the law. Extortion (as this appears to be) is.

     

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  75.  
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    The eejit (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 2:20pm

    Re: hardware patents

    Why should Microsoft use hardware patents against software supposedly infringing? Last time I checked, software patents didn't exist.

     

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  76.  
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    The eejit (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 2:21pm

    Re: Re: hardware patents correction

    should read ~"shouldn't exist", not "didn't exist". Stupid fingers running away from Brain.

     

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  77.  
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    Willton, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    Why? We have literally no evidence from MS of where Android infringes on their patents. Moreover, last time I checked, potentially infringing wasn't against the law. Extortion (as this appears to be) is.

    What does it matter what we have or don't have? MS is not asserting an infringement claim against you. Just because evidence of infringement is not being made explicitly clear to the general public does not mean that such evidence does not exist. It is entirely possible that if there is such evidence, Qanta does not want it public either.

     

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  78.  
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    al, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 2:35pm

    MS Agreements

    1. We don't know ANYTHING about the agreements. I doubt anyone would sign if the terms were draconian.
    2. I see these agreements as a way for some mfrs to make some money, while the Android stuff drags thru the courts.
    3. We don't have ANY info on communications between Google and the mfrs in question.
    Until or if we get more info, it's useless to speculate. We know MS likes to do their dirty work thru proxies. They prefer FUD to an actual court showdown. There must be a reason why they haven't gone after Google directly. Perhaps, after SCO, and after Oracle, things will calm down a little.

     

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  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 2:41pm

    Re: Re: Why Care?

    "Let it go"

    I got a better idea. If you have nothing useful to add then let this thread go and don't input your worthless comments. If it's not worth it then why do you bother?

     

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  80.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    "You THINK you would be happier without patents"

    There is no good reason for me to think otherwise.

    "but the world would be much different today if patents didn't exist. "

    Sure, it would be a much better place.

    "The mentality that people should invest time and effort into developing new technology "for the good of society" is not reality."

    The mentality that patents are needed is not reality and it's not evidenced. Much of the reason that the technology sector flourished, for example, is exactly because patents weren't very well enforced in this sector. For example, see

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ka4L0jGF_-Q

    The U.S. pharma industry, OTOH, has had patents for the longest and it's one of the least, if not the least, innovative industries, partly because of the fact that patents are so deeply engraved in it.

    "The truth is that publicly traded companies which spend hundreds of billions each year on R&D would not do so without IP protection."

    That's just your, mostly unsubstantiated, opinion.

    "Without patents the innovation well would quickly dry up."

    No evidence behind this and most of the evidence suggests otherwise. For example see

    http://www.dklevine.com/general/intellectual/against.htm

    "Cures for innumerable diseases would never have been developed, wireless phones would not exist, digital cameras would never have been developed, etc..."

    Provide evidence that none of this would have been developed without patents. If you want to make a claim, the burden is on you to substantiate.

    "You were probably taught that academic research is the holy grail of innovation, but the vast majority of technological advancements occur in the business world."

    Which says nothing about the utility of patents.

    "Why would a business invest time and money to develop some new technology that anyone can pick up (without spending any money or time) and undercut the price?"

    This is called a false dilemma. The fact that you must use poor logic to argue your position only emphasizes the weaknesses in your position.

    "There would be no incentive for investment because there would be no protection from theft of the techonology."

    Except plenty of innovation has occurred in the past without IP and it will continue without it. The fact is that there is little to no evidence to suggest that IP encourages innovation, almost all of the evidence suggests otherwise. So you're wrong and your unsubstantiated false dilemma is wrong.

    "We can argue the details, such as the "obviousness" test, but you cannot with a straight face argue that the world would be much less advanced without IP protection."

    I am arguing that, and I have the evidence on my side.

     

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  81.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    "Why would a business invest time and money to develop some new technology that anyone can pick up (without spending any money or time) and undercut the price?"

    If the business doesn't innovate, other businesses will. The business knows it. and those other businesses will innovate them out of the market. Businesses get a first mover advantage by being the first to market and innovating again before your competitors copy you. and you assume that copying is easy and cheap this is not always the case. If something is easy enough to copy then it's often easy enough to develop in the first place.

    and patents don't have R&D value since applying for a patent after spending money on R&D runs you the risk that you won't be granted the patent after the fact (ie: someone else may already have a similar patent or they may apply before you) and hence you can get sued by someone else with a similar patent. So what companies do is they simply acquire as many patents as they can to avoid getting sued with those patents. That does nothing to contribute to innovation.

     

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  82.  
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    crade (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 3:34pm

    Re: MS Agreements

    1. Yeah we do. We know they are agreements to android software. The agreements aren't "draconian", they are simple "we won't make your life hell if you give us a paltry 50$ and let us tell everyone it was for our patents"

    2. If they were decent, they would be for microsoft software.
    3. We don't need to speculate. Microsoft is charging for stuff other people made.

     

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  83.  
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    crade (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 3:42pm

    Re: Re: MS Agreements

    4. If they had an honest claim on the patents, there is nothing stopping them from making that claim, thats a whole different issue unrelated to their extortions.

     

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  84.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    Liberty and the actor who did it was Microsoft.

     

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  85.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 3:55pm

    Re: MS Agreements

    People don't need to know the details when they know the history of a company or individual.

    Microsoft leader is not known to be a guy who let go of things and he already told everyone that he doesn't like Google, they dropped things against FOSS for some reason and claim that Google and Apple are now their first priorities, you also forget how Microsoft got to the top, they are extremelly skilled in the art of forcing others to comply, remember Dell?

    This is a nightmare, it is the tool that will be used to keep everyone out of the market place and that includes the little guy eventually.

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 3:58pm

    Re: MS Agreements

    People seem to think this is about 2 giant corps, it is not, it is about the tools they are using to fend off each other if they can do that to each other imagine what they could do to the little guy.

    Microsoft just turned into collection agencies, but different from them they only need to pay themselves.

    It is crazy that those who work need to pay others that don't.

     

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  87.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 4:14pm

    like it or not, Microsoft has almost single handedly created the entire tech economy. If it wasnt for hardware and software developers building and writing for pcs there would be no google

     

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  88.  
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    Matthew Giampapa, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 4:18pm

    Re: Under the wire

    Microsoft is always going to get some of your $$$ because Google licensed ActiveSync as the mobile email protocol used by Gmail on Android devices.

     

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  89.  
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    abc gum, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 5:17pm

    Re:

    "Microsoft has almost single handedly created the entire tech economy."

    The "entire tech economy"?
    Ha ha ha ha
    What a load of crap.

     

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  90.  
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    delabole, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 6:38pm

    I know something about cellphone patents having been in a semiconductor business that built chips for cellphones. So why doesn't MS sue Google?

    1. Because the patents probably pertain to cellphones (or at least computing devices). So Android doesn't violate those patents because it is an operating system not a cellphone. Yes, a cellphone running Android might, but that is different. MS could do a deal with Google (if Google was willing) and then let them sublicense the Android licensees but...

    2. You always go after the last part of the chain. It is a lot easier to get $1 from a guy selling a $200 smart phone than from a person building a $5 chip or licensing a $0 operating system. Even chips we built that violated patents only did so once in a phone (after all we never powered them up) but more to the point, why go after us when you could go after the people using the chips who have a much higher priced device.

     

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  91.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 8:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    That's another problem with our patent system. I thought patents are supposed to be about transparency. Yet here we have M$ potentially abusing the patent system with no public oversight.

    When the government is used to grant a monopoly privilege, the public should have the right to know how those laws are being used to help us better assess the utility of those laws and any changes that might need to be made. Could it be that M$ is hiding these patents from the public because it knows that it either doesn't have a strong case or that it's suing over ridiculous patents and that its actions are not publicly beneficial or desirable? M$ should not be allowed to hide which patents it's using, especially since patents are supposed to be about public transparency and since patents are a government granted monopoly.

    If M$ doesn't like it, then they can choose not to use our legal system to exercise its monopoly privileges.

     

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  92.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 8:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    I also think this is tribute to how obscure some of these patents are and the fact that patents are often unclear. Why can't we simply and easily infer what patents are being used here based on comparing the product with the patents. Patents are supposed to help the public better build future products, but if no one can even connect the patent to the product (because the patent is so general and ambiguous and can be interpreted like most alleged prophecy, to cover anything and everything) then how are these patents useful? If the public can't even connect any of these patents to any of the products that are based on them, then those patents are effectively useless in providing for transparency and helping us create better designs.

    Wasn't a patent supposed to assist us in better knowing how a product is designed and providing for transparency? All the public has here is that, "This awesome and revolutionary new computer mouse here violates some patents somewhere, nobody really knows which patents it violates". How does that provide us for transparency in how to build this awesome new mouse? Wasn't that the whole purpose of the patent system? So that when a company releases a product, the public gets to know how that product is built and so that the information required to build the product doesn't remain a secret? We don't even have that. All we have is, look, there are a billion patents out there and this product infringes on some of them. Which tells us nothing about how that product was made. It doesn't help future generations out much and it provides for very little transparency.

     

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  93.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 8:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    "Just because evidence of infringement is not being made explicitly clear to the general public"

    Not making this explicitly clear to the general public undermines part of the purpose of having patents. Part of the purpose, that I've seen IP maximists here harp on, is the need for product transparency in providing the public with valuable information on how a product is made. It's to incentivize companies not to keep their valuable secrets hidden from the public. We don't have that here.

     

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  94.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:00pm

    Re: Why Care?

     

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  95.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    M$ basically wants to have their cake and eat it too. They want to exercise a government granted monopoly privilege without providing the public with the public information that those privileges are supposed to provide the public with. You can't have it both ways. If you want to exercise a publicly granted monopoly privilege, you should be publicly transparent in how those privileges are being exercised. The public should know how they're being exercised, it's our right. That means no private, behind closed door agreements and dealings and secretive agreements whenever exercising a publicly granted monopoly privilege.

     

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  96.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    You seem to accept at face value the statement that there is "no evidence". The execution of licenses between Microsoft and other companies suggest otherwise.

     

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  97.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    Perhaps you would care to elaborate on what it is about this specific matter that represents a misuse of our legal system and facilitates non-mutually beneficial agreements.

    More data, please.

     

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  98.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:18pm

    Re: MS Agreements

    Sorry, but one should never let the absence of relevant facts get in the way of forming opinions that depend upon the absence of facts.

     

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  99.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    Why can't they just you know launch it one their products and let the market decide which one is better?

     

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  100.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    So it is a monopoly then, granted and regulated by the government no less.

     

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  101.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:28pm

    Re: Re:

    Perhaps it is too much to ask, but might you be able to cut back on pejorative comments that add nothing to a discussion? They seem to be cropping up with increasing frequency.

     

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  102.  
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    whitebrow (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:29pm

    Linus Torvalds chimed in on this sometime ago.

     

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  103.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Microsoft "Licensing" of Google's Products

    Depends on the definition of "tort" of course.

    Copying others and stealing ideas should never be a tort ever!

     

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  104.  
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    whitebrow (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:32pm

    Re:

    http://www.informationweek.com/news/199600443

    "So the whole, 'We have a list and we're not telling you,' itself should tell you something," Torvalds said of Microsoft's stance in the Fortune story. And for good measure, he added: "Don't you think that if Microsoft actually had some really foolproof patent, they'd just tell us and go, 'nyaah, nyaah, nyaah!'"

     

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  105.  
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    btrussell (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    It is always cheaper to fight than to settle?

     

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  106.  
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    Any Mouse (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    Without evidence, the statement 'there is no evidence' is the fact. That the execution of licenses suggest otherwise is the opinion.

     

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  107.  
    identicon
    Willton, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    Without evidence, the statement 'there is no evidence' is the fact. That the execution of licenses suggest otherwise is the opinion.

    Incorrect. The fact that you have not been presented with evidence is not the same as there being NO evidence. MS is under no obligation to make the facts underlying its business dealings and dispute resolution available for public consumption. Just because you cannot see it does not mean that it isn't there.

     

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  108.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:13pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Will do as soon as you stop asking stupid questions.

     

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  109.  
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    Willton, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    MS is not hiding its patents. All patents are public. You are free to look up every patent that MS owns on Google Patents or on the USPTO's website. You can even do keyword searches to find which of MS's patents pertain to the technical subject matter of your choosing.

    The only thing that MS is concealing is its opinion as to which of its patents MS believes that Quanta infringes, and the only party that can really force MS to make that opinion public is Quanta. Until MS files a complaint in court, you have no basis for making MS divulge its opinion.

     

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  110.  
    identicon
    Willton, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    Not making this explicitly clear to the general public undermines part of the purpose of having patents. Part of the purpose, that I've seen IP maximists here harp on, is the need for product transparency in providing the public with valuable information on how a product is made. It's to incentivize companies not to keep their valuable secrets hidden from the public. We don't have that here.

    How do we not have that here? All of MS's patents are available to be read on the USPTO's website and on other sites such as Google Patents. You are free to look them up at your leisure. The only thing keeping you from finding out what technology MS developed and patented is your own laziness.

     

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

  111.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    The fact that M$ has been called out to produce alleged evidence and continues failing to do so should be all the evidence you need.

     

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

  112.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    Qanta does not want it public either.

    Bulls***. Of course M$'s deal includes Qanta signing an NDA not to talk about it so they can keep on their scheme letting simple-minded people like you think that there actually must be something to their allegations.

    How naive can you be (given their track record)?

     

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

  113.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    Without patents the innovation well would quickly dry up.
    Yeah, right. Cause people will just accept all the problems they face instead of doing something about them.

     

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

  114.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Oct 18th, 2011 @ 1:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    It's like the SCO fiasco (greatly simplified)...

    SCO: "Linux has infringed on thousands of lines of code, give us money"
    IBM: "Erm, prove it in court"

    (years of discovery enabling MS and others to spread FUD about OSS and Linux, and preventing any opportunity to "fix" what might have been infringing)

    SCO: "Erm, did we say thousands? Here's 40 lines of code, most of which aren't copyrightable"
    Novell: "Oh, and even if Linux had been infringing, those copyrights weren't yours anyway"

     

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

  115.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 18th, 2011 @ 2:03am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Perhaps it is too much to ask, but might you be able to cut back on pejorative comments that add nothing to a discussion? They seem to be cropping up with increasing frequency.

    Ha! You have a long history on the site of making some of the most ridiculously pejorative comments around, so, honestly, if you can't take it, perhaps you should stop dishing.

     

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

  116.  
    identicon
    JAMES LAST, Oct 18th, 2011 @ 4:57am

    NOIT IS NOT!

    NO it is not insane

    this is U.S.A.

    ANY THING GO

     

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

  117.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Oct 18th, 2011 @ 4:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    The fact that you have not been presented with evidence is not the same as there being NO evidence.

    OK then, no evidence available. Does that satisfy you?

     

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

  118.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Oct 18th, 2011 @ 5:07am

    Re: What?

    They should settle it with a game of Quake.

     

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

  119.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2011 @ 5:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    "All of MS's patents are available to be read on the USPTO's website and on other sites such as Google Patents."

    That's just a list of things that others can't independently invent without being sued. and many of those patents can be very broadly interpreted to cover a lot of things. That doesn't do anyone any favors. It's useless and provides engineers with nothing of value. It's only good for lawyers.

    "The only thing keeping you from finding out what technology MS developed and patented is your own laziness."

    Since most patents never make it to market, that's not a list of technology that M$ developed and patented. That's just a list of things that M$ can prevent others from making. The public has no assurance that M$ has developed any of what it patented. It doesn't tell us how any of Microsoft's products are made, all it tells us is that this is a list of things that Microsoft can stop others from making. That's not helpful and it provides for no product transparency. It doesn't serve the purpose of what patents were allegedly supposed to do, to tell us how a product is made. We can look at any of Microsoft's products and still have no clue how any of it is made. All we know is that it might be covered by one or more of Microsoft's patents. That's not helpful and that defeats part of the purpose of having patents. Future generations are left with nothing useful. They can look at past products and not know how they were made.

    We need a if you don't use it, you lose it patent clause. If your patent isn't being used for something, then you lose the patent. and you must publicly specify what your patent is being used for and how. Patents are supposed to be about product transparency, they're supposed to tell us how a product works. They're not doing that. They've turned into a method of tyranny, only a way to tell others what products they can't make. That doesn't help anyone beyond the patent holder and the lawyers and only a naive fool would think otherwise. In order to have a monopoly on something, you must disclose to others that which you have a monopoly on (and Microsoft is arguably not even doing that here). That's just a way to tell others what not to do by disclosing to them what they can't do. That's not a form of product transparency, that's a form of dictatorship. Little different than what a dictator of a country does. It does no one any favors.

     

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

  120.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2011 @ 5:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    "MS is not hiding its patents."

    Which isn't the argument being made.

    "All patents are public."

    Which does no one any favors beyond telling them that you can't do x.

    "You can even do keyword searches to find which of MS's patents pertain to the technical subject matter of your choosing."

    Which misses the point. All that is is a list of things that others can't do. It doesn't tell us how any of anyone's products were made. It provides for no product transparency, it only provides for a list of things that others can't do. It's much different than the patent system of 100 years ago, where the product that the patent covered was known. Now it's simply turned into a list of things that you can't do and they're not tied to any product in particular. The inter-workings of a product are still kept secret, Microsoft gets both a bunch of government sanctioned monopolies without even disclosing to the public how any of its products work.

    "The only thing that MS is concealing is its opinion as to which of its patents MS believes that Quanta infringes"

    Which doesn't do the public any good. It provides for no product transparency. They are taking from the public while giving us absolutely nothing in return.

    "and the only party that can really force MS to make that opinion public is Quanta."

    Which is why the law needs to change.

    "Until MS files a complaint in court, you have no basis for making MS divulge its opinion."

    Which, again, is why the law needs to change.

     

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

  121.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2011 @ 5:38am

    So, basically, the argument that patents provide for product transparency is gone. Companies can still obtain government sanctioned monopolies without disclosing to the public how any of their products actually work. They get to have their cake and eat it too. Why disclose to the public how your product works to gain a government established monopoly when you can just gain that monopoly without disclosing anything more about your product?

     

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

  122.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2011 @ 5:43am

    Re: Re: Re:

    and who are you that we may judge your past comments? At least we can judge Mike's. Now that there is anything wrong with being anonymous, but it leaves open the possibility that you don't practice what you preach. Perhaps you shouldn't preach standards on others when you refuse to provide evidence that you yourself meet those same standards. It makes it hard for others to take you seriously.

     

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

  123.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2011 @ 5:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not that there is anything wrong with being anonymous *

     

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

  124.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2011 @ 5:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    "You can even do keyword searches to find which of MS's patents pertain to the technical subject matter of your choosing."

    So I can simply declare that no patents are being infringed upon here. That's a falsifiable statement. Falsify it. Prove me wrong.

     

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

  125.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2011 @ 5:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    He means copyright/patent artificial monopoly. Some ppl have serious reading comprehension problems.

     

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

  126.  
    icon
    Dan (profile), Oct 18th, 2011 @ 6:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    I agree completely Sar. The that argument is the very reason for our over reaching and damaging IP law in the first place.

     

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

  127.  
    icon
    Dan (profile), Oct 18th, 2011 @ 6:22am

    Re: Re: Why Care?

    I never said the costs wouldn't be passed down. But if the final price is still competitive with the surcharge included, it won't matter. The argument you are making is a moral one, not an economic one.

     

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

  128.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward Nth, Oct 18th, 2011 @ 6:36am

    Simple Answer

    This is exactly what George Bush Jr. learned from his mother...

    You can sell something you do not own.
    But, you can always sell someone else does not own.

    This is what the Occupy Movement is about - if you did not figure it out.

     

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

  129.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2011 @ 7:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Very well, then. If I have made slanderous comments directed at you personally, please let me know so that I can apologize.

    In the meantime, I have never stated anything even remotely along the lines of "you disgust me" and the like.

    If I happen to challenge something you write relating to substantive law, it is because I happen to believe that what was said was in error. If I disagree that something is "obvious", it is because obviousness is an issue that does not admit to casual observation. Etc.

     

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

  130.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2011 @ 7:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "If I have made slanderous comments directed at you personally"

    So wait, suspecting someone of being a lawyer is slander now? Are you admitting that being a layer is a bad thing? Are you a lawyer?

     

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

  131.  
    identicon
    JBDragon, Oct 18th, 2011 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    Well if your Ideas were worth anything, and you Patented them, then people would owe you! If you like giving away your ideas for free, that's your right, but others don't have to. You end up staying poor, with SUCKER stamped to your forehead.

     

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

  132.  
    identicon
    Willton, Oct 18th, 2011 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    Since most patents never make it to market, that's not a list of technology that M$ developed and patented. That's just a list of things that M$ can prevent others from making. The public has no assurance that M$ has developed any of what it patented. It doesn't tell us how any of Microsoft's products are made, all it tells us is that this is a list of things that Microsoft can stop others from making. That's not helpful and it provides for no product transparency. It doesn't serve the purpose of what patents were allegedly supposed to do, to tell us how a product is made. We can look at any of Microsoft's products and still have no clue how any of it is made. All we know is that it might be covered by one or more of Microsoft's patents. That's not helpful and that defeats part of the purpose of having patents. Future generations are left with nothing useful. They can look at past products and not know how they were made.

    You are free to correct me if I'm wrong, but I imagine most of MS's patents are directed toward methods, processes and systems, not products. For instance, linked below is a patent owned by MS that is directed to "A method for displaying electronic mail messages in a conversation grouping". Have a look:

    http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=FsTPAAAAEBAJ

    Your primary complaint appears to be that the patents owned by MS do not explain how to make MS's products. If so, perhaps you should explain what kind of information you are looking for that is not already disclosed in the patent linked above.

    I will tell you this much. Patents are not about product transparency; they are about invention transparency. All a patent has to do is describe the invention in sufficient detail to allow a person having ordinary skill in the art to make and use it. And quite frankly, I don't understand why anything more than that is necessary. If a particular invention embodies only a small portion of a particular product, I don't see why a patentee should have to explain how the entire product is made unless such explanation is necessary in order to make and/or use the particular invention.

     

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

  133.  
    identicon
    Willton, Oct 18th, 2011 @ 3:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    "All patents are public."

    Which does no one any favors beyond telling them that you can't do x.


    Something tells me that you've never actually read the disclosure of a patent. I can assure you that patents explain far more than what you claim. Read one sometime.

    Which misses the point. All that is is a list of things that others can't do. It doesn't tell us how any of anyone's products were made. It provides for no product transparency, it only provides for a list of things that others can't do.

    No? You sure about that? Did you actually read the disclosure of any of MS's patents? They're free to read if you like; all it costs you is time. Perhaps you would think differently if you actually had read the contents of a patent.

    It's much different than the patent system of 100 years ago, where the product that the patent covered was known.

    If you're talking about mechanical inventions, I can assure you that patents to such inventions still exist and are being prosecuted today (medical devices being a huge field of such inventions). So this clearly isn't a problem with how patents applications are drafted now compared to the past. It appears to be a problem with the level of technical understanding one must have in order to understand patents directed to computer processes and systems, as they are not easily broken down into pretty little pictures.

    "The only thing that MS is concealing is its opinion as to which of its patents MS believes that Quanta infringes"

    Which doesn't do the public any good. It provides for no product transparency. They are taking from the public while giving us absolutely nothing in return.


    Of course it doesn't do the public any good. But then again, it's also not really the public's business to know. MS's opinion as to whether Quanta infringes its patent portfolio is merely that: their privately held opinion. Until MS decides to use public resources (i.e., the court system) to resolve its dispute with Quanta, the public does not have a legitimate interest in finding out MS's opinions regarding its patent portfolio.

     

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  134.  
    identicon
    Willton, Oct 18th, 2011 @ 3:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    The fact that M$ has been called out to produce alleged evidence and continues failing to do so should be all the evidence you need.

    Called out by whom? You? What interest do you have in MS's dispute with Quanta? What business do you have in demanding that MS produce anything? Why should MS divulge confidential information at your beck and call?

     

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

  135.  
    identicon
    Willton, Oct 18th, 2011 @ 3:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    OK then, no evidence available. Does that satisfy you?

    No, that also implies that no evidence exists. You do not know that. All you know is that no evidences has been provided to you. But, once again, just because you cannot see it does not mean that it does not exist. And last I checked, MS has no duty to disclose evidence of Quanta's supposed infringement to someone like you.

     

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

  136.  
    identicon
    Willton, Oct 18th, 2011 @ 4:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    So I can simply declare that no patents are being infringed upon here. That's a falsifiable statement. Falsify it. Prove me wrong.

    What is "here"? Provide the facts and then maybe we can make a determination of infringement.

     

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

  137.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Oct 18th, 2011 @ 4:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?


    No, that also implies that no evidence exists.


    No, it really doesn't. If I say "with the money available I can only buy two candy bars" doesn't imply there isn't any other money anywhere. Similarly, stating there is no evidence of Microsoft's patent claims publicly available doesn't imply there is no evidence at all.

    With the absence of available evidence, do you take Microsoft at their word that they have valid patent claims? Or do you treat the claim with skepticism? Consider their financial stake in the situation.

     

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

  138.  
    identicon
    Willton, Oct 18th, 2011 @ 8:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    With the absence of available evidence, do you take Microsoft at their word that they have valid patent claims? Or do you treat the claim with skepticism? Consider their financial stake in the situation.

    I would be skeptical, but then, I have not been presented with any evidence, nor have I done any investigation on my own. I find it unlikely that MS never presented any evidence to Quanta, and I can assure you that Quanta did its own investigation of MS's patent portfolio against Quanta's products.

    The TechDirt commentariat here has not done any of their own investigation either; they want the investigation done for them and have all the information resulting therefrom presented to them on a silver platter. If such information is not so presented, the TD commentariat presumes the worst of the party they disfavor. I view that as objectionable.

     

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

  139.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Oct 18th, 2011 @ 9:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    I would be skeptical

    Glad to hear that.

    The TechDirt commentariat here has not done any of their own investigation either;

    How much spare time do you think people have to put into this stuff?

     

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

  140.  
    identicon
    TaCktiX, Oct 18th, 2011 @ 9:59pm

    Re:

    Because IBM, Oracle, Apple, and a slew of chip manufacturers would never have started without Microsoft. Right...

     

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

  141.  
    identicon
    Willton, Oct 19th, 2011 @ 6:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Care?

    How much spare time do you think people have to put into this stuff?

    I'm not asking anyone to do any investigation; I'm asking them to recognize that they don't know all of the facts here.

     

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

  142.  
    icon
    mhenriday (profile), Oct 24th, 2011 @ 11:37am

    Functioning system ?

    ęI'd be interested to see if anyone can explain how a system that allows a company like Microsoft to set up a licensing business on someone else's products without any proven legal basis other than the implied threat that they might sue, is a functioning system?Ľ Seems to function for Microsoft, does it not ? The question is not whether a system functions, but for whom. Pecuniam non olet....

    Henri

     

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


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