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
    Willton, 18 Oct 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.

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