Patent Holders Sue Microsoft, Claiming They Were Misled… Six Years Ago
from the took-their-time,-didn't-they? dept
Microsoft certainly has a reputation for copying (er… embracing and extending) the technology of other companies, but this latest lawsuit seems a bit suspicious. Engadget points us to the news that three patents holders are suing Microsoft for supposedly misleading them over its intentions in licensing their patent. They claim that Microsoft claimed it wanted to license their patent, related to digital video recorder technology, for strictly defensive purposes. The group agreed to license Microsoft the patent in 2001 with no royalty revenues attached… and a week later Microsoft announced its UltimateTV DVR offering. There are a few things that simply don’t add up here. If the deal happened in 2001 and Microsoft announced its product a week later, why did they wait until now to sue? More importantly, if part of the deal was that Microsoft would only use the patents for defensive purposes, why not put that into the terms of the license? This sounds like a pure money grab, and there might not even be that much money to grab, since Ultimate TV was eventually shut down as a failure early in 2002.
Comments on “Patent Holders Sue Microsoft, Claiming They Were Misled… Six Years Ago”
Who or what is Microsoft???
you know the courts...
maybe just maybe the courts FINALLY got to the case. We have death row guys sitting there for fifty years, i don’t see why a patent case shouldn’t wait six years
Re: you know the courts...
According to the article, the patent trolls just filed last January. Much as I don’t like Microsoft, I’ll have to side with them on this one.
knee jerk response and all
At first I thought the same thing, “why wait six years?”. However when you give it some thought, it does not seem unreasonable.
A company that a friend works for is involved in business litigation similar to this and the court date was just set now, 2 years from now.
I’m sure prior to filing there were “negotiations” with Microsoft and those likely took time.
it all adds up in the end...
Frankly I think that any stab at Microsoft is a small step forward. This is just another example (in hundreds, thousands?) of Microsoft eliminating competition through unfair practices. Had Microsoft developed through their own means the technology involved here it would seem less an issue.
On the other side of the fence however; how can you sue someone you legitimately licesensed your technology to?
Re: it all adds up in the end...
Yes, but I can’t see someone lowering themselves to that level as being a step forward. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth. If the anti-Microsoft crowd is to claim victory over Microsoft, they must maintain a higher ethical standard.
FTFA The inventors, who formed a joint venture company called IntellivisionIntellivision!? They can’t have that! Well they probably can, but still it confuses me and that’s just wrong. I want my Intellivision Baseball!
Also, if you read the article you’d see the motion was filed in January. As in 2007. So they’re, at least, 5 years out and trying to get money for nothing. While I’m sure the patent system and litigation has some merits here and there I think it might be best served for all to make a special court for only these items; a black hole perhaps.
If you need a well publicized example of the court
speedy process of the US Court System just look at “SCO vs. IBM et. al”. A case that argueably has little or no merit yet has waifed thru the US Court system for years.
I have posted Bond for folks who had their life in limbo for years until the Prosecutor brings case before a judge to be dropped for lack of evidence. Note: you can have anyone arrested for anything by simply swearing out a warrant.
But this is a case of stupidity, note:
“The group agreed to license Microsoft the patent in 2001 with no royalty revenues attached…”
Why would you sign away all of your rights to revenue?
Were the drinking Microsoft kool-aid(tm)?
You can’t shoot yourself in the foot and then blame the gun.
Shut up ,Mike,
Mike, stop misleading the general public about patent cases.
An average patent lawsuit costs 3-5 mil bucks just to start
It takes a while to raise this kind of money from investors, if you are a small guy
So just shut up, moron
Re: Angry Troll is more like it
Don’t feed the troll.
I don't agree with Microsoft often but
this is a case where Microsoft is clearly in the right.
Microsoft got the IP holders to sign away their rights: “The group agreed to license Microsoft the patent in 2001 with no royalty revenues attached”.
This has “oh waaa”, written all over it.
Maybe “the group” could get a Charitable Tax Deduction.
No, Microsoft is not a charity.
Microsoft are actually right! Why the hell six years ago! Blatant attempt at cash!
That is defensive use
Microsoft licenced it to defend themselves from the patent holder sueing them – a clear defensive use of the patent. It’s the patent holders own stupid fault they didn’t get a better deal for it.
Defending Microsoft….. that leaves a foul taste in my mouth. Can we please get rid of software patents allready? They clearly arn’t benificial to society.