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Microsoft Patents Your Rights Online

Windows 7 Under Fire For Patent Infringement 241

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i'm-so-torn dept.
eldavojohn writes "A patent issued in 2003 called 'Method and system for demultiplexing a first sequence of packet components to identify specific components wherein subsequent components are processed without re-identifying components' is now owned by Implicit Networks, who has recently claimed Windows 7 infringes upon it with its Filtering Platform. This is used in Vista, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008. Implicit is seeking a jury trial and damages. A shocking turn of events; you actually want to cheer for Microsoft this time as Implicit is nothing more than a patent licensing company (troll) and has done battle with Sun, AMD, Intel and NVIDIA."
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Windows 7 Under Fire For Patent Infringement

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  • by Dadamh (1441475) <Dadamh@NospAm.gmail.com> on Thursday December 03, 2009 @09:32AM (#30309892)
    Seriously though, I dislike patent squatting.

    These folks delay technology advancement and don't actually produce anything themselves.

    I hope microsoft wins this. Of course, they will, because there's no one on earth they can't buy if they try hard enough.

  • Trust Me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OwMyBrain (1476929) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @09:35AM (#30309924)

    The only real winner is the lawyers.

  • Nope. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kingrames (858416) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @09:38AM (#30309954)
    Can't make me root for Microsoft. I hope they lose, and the jury awards the other guys an infinite amount of money. Maybe then we'll see some reform.
  • by dwiget001 (1073738) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @09:43AM (#30310014)

    -- this patent is bogus.

    De-multiplexing has been around for a long time (circa late 60s or early 70s).

    But, even with that out of the way, the patent is basically describing getting offset data after the de-multiplexing to then get at the data.

    Both have gobs of prior art in their own rights. As well as this being obvious to anyone skilled in the areas of communications and programming.

    The patent office needs a spanking.

  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Thursday December 03, 2009 @09:43AM (#30310016)

    Since it is only the lawyers (and trolls) who make money off of this, why aren't those companies banding together to kill software patents?

    I can understand copyrights on software.

    Is it because those companies see their profits from such patents as larger than the occasional cost of buying off a patent troll?

  • by Tim C (15259) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @09:46AM (#30310042)

    No, they need to win it - every company doing this sort of thing needs to lose, to send a clear message that sitting on a patent then suing people who independently discover the claimed invention is wrong and should not be considered a viable business method.

    I know how tempting it is to sit there and laugh and say "serves them right!" but every time a patent troll wins, the entire industry (and by extension, humanity) loses.

  • by the_womble (580291) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @09:48AM (#30310076) Homepage Journal

    No, its best if MS, and other big tech companies lose a few of these. Then they will start lobbying for better patent laws, and perhaps even an end to software patents.

  • by Sinning (1433953) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @09:49AM (#30310082)

    Is it because those companies see their profits from such patents as larger than the occasional cost of buying off a patent troll?

    Yes. Also, defending yourself from these types of patent issues discourages competition by greatly increasing the cost to enter the market.

  • The tomtom thing has nothing to do with this. Saying that Microsoft should lose for 'revenge' is just silly.
  • by nschubach (922175) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @10:08AM (#30310306) Journal

    It may be obvious, but in today's world: lobbyists make the laws and if you want to change patent laws... Microsoft losing is probably the best way.

    You are not going to scare away patent trolls by simply making them lose because some of them will win and provide enough incentive to continue.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 03, 2009 @10:12AM (#30310358)

    If you are one of those socialist Canadians, you should have seen that this would basically allow a company with lots of money to take over any smaller company.

    With enough money you can win almost any lawsuit, just by stalling and bleeding the opposite side dry. So just attack a company, drag out the process till they can no longer afford to defend themselves et voila: new aqcuisition.

  • by Concern (819622) * on Thursday December 03, 2009 @10:15AM (#30310400) Journal

    If they like this system so much, I'm sure they will have no problem paying out to all the patent-holders they infringe upon, according to the same idiotic legal principles they believe should protect their own works.

    Of course, if any more than a handful of crooks started following these rules, that would make the software industry impossible. Not even Microsoft could ever know what they infringe. Even if the baby jesus came down from heaven today and told them the four hundred thousand patents they infringe, they would be lost again tomorrow, when 10,000 more patents were filed.

    The only way this absurd system of legalized corporate mugging is truly going to end is when Microsoft and the other lobbyists behind it themselves lose Real Money (i.e. billions of US monopoly dollars) to other patent holders.

    I am wishing Implicit all the best in their bullshit lawsuit.

  • simmer down (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nomadic (141991) <[nomadicworld] [at] [gmail.com]> on Thursday December 03, 2009 @10:44AM (#30310824) Homepage
    A shocking turn of events, you actually want to cheer for Microsoft this time as Implicit is nothing more than a patent licensing company (troll) and has done battle with Sun, AMD, Intel and NVIDIA."

    Please don't tell me what I want to do.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 03, 2009 @10:56AM (#30311016)
    So... the exhaustive list of companies you provide which Microsoft has sued over patents consists of 'nobody', and your proof is an article whereby they provide somebody with Linux AND a pledge not to sue open source users...

    And, somehow, this bolsters your argument that Microsoft is sue-happy and deserves to lose to a patent troll...

    God I love Slashdot.
  • by Tony (765) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @11:02AM (#30311126) Journal

    In fact, I *don't* want to cheer for Microsoft. Or Sun. Or Apple. Or IBM. Or even Red Hat (much).

    Any company that holds software patents and has not worked to eliminate software patents is complicit in this fucked-up mess. This is especially true of any company that has attempted to enforce their software patents (I'm lookin' at you, Microsoft, IBM, Tivoli, Oracle, and any number of other companies).

    Yes, patent trolls are the scum of the earth, right there with spammers and people who use off-ramps and shoulders as passing lanes. But those companies that hold software patents and do not fight to eliminate software patents are part of the problem; those that hold software patents and have actively fought to maintain the current system are even worse.

    So fuck 'em both.

  • by morgauxo (974071) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @11:19AM (#30311414)
    "You lose, you pay - for everyone's lawyers fee's" This sounds nice when the plaintiff is Patent Troll Inc. The problem is when Little Innovative New Market Entrant Co. finds Big Incumbent Inc. stealing their ideas. Do they try to defend themselves with only truth and their modest legal team on their side against the best lawyers BI Inc can buy? Not if losing means they have to pay for BI's dream team. They would be broken! Thus yet another barrier to new competition in the old stagnant markets. Consumers will not benefit from this.
  • by wvmarle (1070040) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @11:26AM (#30311560)

    MS likes software patents because it keeps competitors from entering the market.

    MS has afaik only used them defensively, basically to be able to counter-sue claimants. E.g. IBM also owns many software patents, and I bet MS is infringing on some IBM patents and the other way around. The only solution: cross-licensing. So for MS to hold patents means they can get access to other companies' patents. This defensive use is not just for software patents, but a very common use of patents for larger companies.

    The problem here is the emergence of patent trolls: companies that own patents and employ a bunch of lawyers, with their only purpose being suing other companies for infringement. Not having an own product means they do for sure not infringe on the defendant's patents, so no cross-licensing deals. And this is afaict pretty much unique for software patents.

    Now to come back to the first statement: patents keep new entrants out of the market, as any new company making software is bound to infringe in some obscure way on some vague and broadly written patent, that this new company can be sued into oblivion or bought up cheaply. Those new companies do not have patents for themselves, so can not defend themselves and force cross-licensing deals. And that is the real reason for MS et. al to love software patents.

  • by Jake Griffin (1153451) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @12:16PM (#30312570)
    Not true. All the stalkers of those in the club would join, because they don't need to be told about it. Then all their stalkers. It's stalkers all the way down...
  • by wastedlife (1319259) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @01:03PM (#30313370) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft sued first, then TomTom filed a suit in retaliation. The speculation was that TomTom had notified Microsoft that it was infringing their map software patents, and Microsoft's response was to sue for infringing the FAT patent. I wasn't able to find any citations to prove that speculation, but here was the original Slashdot article about the TomTom suit:

    yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/03/20/0215215

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