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, 18 Oct 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.

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