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.

Filed Under: android, chrome, licensing, patents
Companies: google, microsoft, qanta

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 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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