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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 Khelder (34398) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @10:32AM (#30309888)

    I never noticed this flaw in US legal system before: one of these litigants has to win. If only *both* could lose...

    • Trust Me (Score:5, Insightful)

      by OwMyBrain (1476929) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @10:35AM (#30309924)

      The only real winner is the lawyers.

      • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Thursday December 03, 2009 @10:43AM (#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 Sinning (1433953) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @10:49AM (#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.

          • by SlowCanuck (1692198) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @11:02AM (#30310234)
            I suggest two reforms: 1): Company has to prove they actually used said patent in a product that they developed and was sold by their company sometime before the lawsuit, or patent is void and given to the party they are suing for infringement. This would be a stipulation on top of prior art, and should be easy enough to prove. 2): You lose, you pay - for everyone's lawyers fee's!! If company cannot pay fee's upon reasonable amount of time after judgment, then the losing company is then owned by winning company until it is either liquidated or all financial obligations are complete. Then again, I am one of those socialist Canadians!!
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              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 Zordak (123132)
              Then you would strip all universities and research institutions of the ability to survive by inventing new technologies and licensing them legitimately. Or do you believe that manufacturing is the only legitimate business model?
              • by agbinfo (186523)

                You may not agree with the SlowCanuck but there's obviously a problem when lawyers make more money from patents then the inventors.
                In my opinion, although lawyers are a necessary evil, the less they are needed the better the system.
                As it stands, laws are made so complicated that judges can't agree. Laws should be clear enough that you know what to expect before going in front of the judge.

                How would you suggest we fix the system with respect to patents?

                • by Zordak (123132) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @01:26PM (#30312748) Homepage Journal

                  I live and breathe patents every day, and I really don't think the system is as broken as its reputation. That's not to say there are no bad patents. I have personally defended several clients against patents that were almost certainly invalid, and that the clients almost certainly didn't infringe even if they were valid. I have been involved in some classic "patent troll" cases, and I think it's terrible that it's happened.

                  But I've also seen clients work hard on new ideas and then have others just copy what they did. So I've got a sort of double perspective: on the one hand, defending against patents, where the motivation is to limit them, on the other hand, writing patents, where the motivation is to want broad protection.

                  If we get too aggressive with the anti-troll backlash, we will throw the baby out with the bathwater. I think the only real answer is better examination in the first place, which means not only rejecting invalid claims, but rejecting them for the right reasons, and also allowing good claims (because both of those have been a problem). People on here complain about patents being rubber-stamped, but the reverse is actually true. There is HUGE incentive for examiners to reject, reject, reject. The problem is not that they're rubber stamping patents. It that they're issuing sloppy rejections on almost everything because that was the only way to keep their count up. And sloppy rejections means that you're usually arguing about the wrong stuff, which means bad patents. And it's not necessarily the examiners' fault. The whole system was broken.

                  I didn't vote for Barack Obama, and I disagree with him a lot, but I have to give him credit for appointing David Kappos to replace Jon Dudas, who was one of Bush's political cronies and was not even statutorily qualified for the position. That by itself was a major step forward.

                  • by agbinfo (186523)

                    I respect and agree with the motivations behind the patent system.

                    I also agree that if examiners did a better job then there would be fewer issues.

                    The biggest problem I see is that it's impossible, as far as I can tell, to define what constitutes an innovative invention. This means that two examiners are likely to come to different conclusions. Two companies, two lawyers and two judges as well.

                    This means that patents are high maintenance even when examiners do a great job.

                    I agree that abandoning an ideal be

                • by Zordak (123132) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @01:44PM (#30313064) Homepage Journal

                  As for me making more money on inventions than my clients, this is how it works. If you come to me with a real, legitimate innovation, a good business plan, a plan for raising capital, the motivation and energy to weather the storms that will inevitably occur, and maybe even a decent exit strategy, then your patent will be an investment in your business, and your profit just might dwarf whatever fees you pay me. But I will tell you up front that there is always risk. If it were safe and easy, we'd all be millionaires.

                  On the other hand, if you come to me with a "clever" little gadget idea and your only business plan is "I want to file a quick, cheap provisional patent application, and then sell it to Big Box Retailer(R) and sit back in my easy chair and collect royalty checks," then you maybe have a 1 in 20 chance of ever making any money at all, and what you do make will probably not be a lot. In fact, if anybody buys your patent it will probably be one of these patent trolls, and they will buy it at a fire-sale discount, flat fee, no royalties, after you've invested all the money to get it issued. You'll be lucky to break even.

                  If you're still willing to pay my fees after I give you that little lecture, I'll be happy to represent you, and I'll do my very best for you. But I will not promise you results. Clever little ideas are a dime a dozen. Good entrepreneurs aren't.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by morgauxo (974071)
              "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. Cons
          • by Bert64 (520050)

            More importantly for them, it discourages startups and individuals from entering the market...
            Microsoft know how to deal with commercial competition, they are big enough that they can drive them bankrupt or buy them out. Competing against open source is much more difficult for them.

        • Well for one if you get a reputation of fighting off the patent trolls successfully then you gain a reputation of being hard to sue and makes suing you a risky endeavor thus people will sue you less.
          Secondly if you get a reputation for winning patent lawsuits then people will be careful on infringing on your patents as well be open to more out of court settlements.

          Sure it is hypocritical in terms of ideals. But it is business and you expect business to do what will effect the bottom line. Fighting off tr

        • by poetmatt (793785)

          it's because if MS loses software patents, they have nothing to threaten OEM's with to prevent them from distributing linux or other OS's.

        • by Pulzar (81031)

          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?

          How would they kill them? The only way (for the software companies) to do it is for everybody to agree to stop using them... and then it only takes one rogue to cash in on the fact that others stopped patenting things.

        • Congress is made up of mostly lawyers. Infer what you will.

          • by morgauxo (974071)
            That voters like to vote for lawyers? Humans are intelligent and yet, when grouped in large numbers they are so stupid.
      • by Xuranova (160813)

        Doesn't MS own most of their lawyers?

    • Re:Legal System Flaw (Score:4, Interesting)

      by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @10:50AM (#30310094) Journal

      It's possible to have a "no winner" situation if MS can show prior art existed before the patent was issued, and then the judge will nullify the patent.

      • by JeffSpudrinski (1310127) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @10:53AM (#30310140)

        Personally, I would consider that a win for Microsoft in this case.

        On a side note: I refuse to say anything nice and/or positive about Microsoft in respect to this case. Everytime I have done so around here results in my being modded way down.

        Wait...will saying that get me modded down?

        -JJS

        • by es330td (964170) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @11:31AM (#30310634)
          The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club.
        • On a side note: I refuse to say anything nice and/or positive about Microsoft in respect to this case. Everytime I have done so around here results in my being modded way down.

          Consider every downmod you get as an equivalent of [citation needed] on Wikipedia, and adjust your posting style accordingly. Works for me (check out my profile and my karma).

    • Somehow I know *we'll* lose!

    • Re:Legal System Flaw (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @11:21AM (#30310468) Journal

      Actually, if you look up the AT&T v. BSD *nix lawsuits, both were found to have infringed on each other, forcing both parties to basically cross-license their stuff and call it a loss (which turned out to be a pretty solid win for those of us out here in Geekdom).

    • by Svartalf (2997)

      In this case, I wouldn't mind Microsoft winning...if they go about doing it by changing their position on in re Bilski. In other words, if they go for invalidating software patents in general. Otherwise, I would see both of them losing, not that this would be possible.

      • They have too much IP at stake to EVER be on the right side of software patents. In your wildest dreams, sadly.

    • by Zordak (123132)

      I never noticed this flaw in US legal system before: one of these litigants has to win. If only *both* could lose...

      That's really not true. I've seen plenty of cases where everybody loses, including the lawyers. (If you think that's not possible, it's because you've never had to try to collect legitimate fees from a broke client. I only wish I could get paid for 100% of my time.)

  • by Dadamh (1441475) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (hmadaD)> on Thursday December 03, 2009 @10:32AM (#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.

    • by V!NCENT (1105021) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @10:41AM (#30309980)

      "I hope microsoft wins this."
      I hope they lose. They trolled Tom-Tom for using the DOS filename patent. Tom-Tom navigation runs Linux and uses the 'patent'-code to read out SD cards... Needless to say Microsoft needs to lose this.

      What goes around comes around!

      • by Tim C (15259) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @10:46AM (#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 @10:48AM (#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.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by clone53421 (1310749)

            I’d have thought that just the process of being sued over absurd patents like this one would be enough to show the faultiness of the patent laws. It’s obvious to everyone else...

            • by nschubach (922175) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @11:08AM (#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.

              • Yes, well, that’s why judges need to make large enough settlements against obvious patent trolls to put them in bankruptcy or close to it. If I’m not mistaken, the judge could require the loser to pay the winner’s legal costs... it’s just not automatically done in the US legal system.

            • by mea37 (1201159)

              MS, or any large company, will rightly ignore any form of minor nuisance - including being sued for patent infringement - as long as it remains a minor nuisance. "Hey, we can either swat these flies one by one, or we can lobby for changes to the law and in the process lose the leverage we get with patents under today's system?" Guess which one they'll choose. Of course, they don't even necessarily have to win to keep the nuisance minor. They may well be able to pay the patent-holder off and be done with

              • Exactly (Score:5, Interesting)

                by Weaselmancer (533834) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @12:30PM (#30311636)

                MS, or any large company, will rightly ignore any form of minor nuisance - including being sued for patent infringement - as long as it remains a minor nuisance. "Hey, we can either swat these flies one by one, or we can lobby for changes to the law and in the process lose the leverage we get with patents under today's system?" Guess which one they'll choose.

                That's exactly it. The trial isn't about righting a wrong, it's about the patent troll being able to broadcast the strength of their hand. If it's a weak hand MS will prior art them. If it's a strong hand then the trial will continue. But only up to a point - MS will evaluate the probable damages and pitch them a settlement number based on the perceived strength of their position.

                The whole patent thing isn't going away any time soon. I'd love to see it die as much as the next /.er, but it won't. There is an insane amount of money in patent portfolios. That's a lot of cash to suddenly invalidate.

                For example, my last job.

                I worked at a company that made a widget. I'm not going to talk about the widget because that might attract unwanted attention. Nonetheless though - a widget. In a tightly controlled abusive patent space competing against maybe six other companies who make a similar widget.

                We would hold meetings to come up with patent ideas, to beat our competition over the heads with. Cross licensing was rampant just so anyone could put a widget - any widget - on the market. There was one famous event where our sales team got in a fist fight with another company's sales team at a trade show. Throwing punches. No kidding. Lots of hard feelings, lots of abuse of the system. And about $50 million in sales every year from our company alone hanging in the balance.

                So along comes this Megacorp. Our owner wants to retire, so Megacorp comes in and buys us. A few months pass...then they buy out our rival FistFight. And a couple others! They want to be the only company who makes this widget, and the easiest way to insure that is to purchase entire companies simply for their patent wealth.

                The problem? That's all they wanted. MegaCorp has sufficient manufacturing and engineering resources already, thank you very much. And despite reassurances that they intended the company to continue it was evident they did not. The companies were purchased, stripped of their IP, and closed down. Everybody loses.

                It's a cautionary tale about abusive patents, sure. But consider MegaCorp. They now own half a dozen companies purchased for God-Knows-What. My company was pulling in $50 million a year. I can only imagine what the sale price was. And half a dozen others. Probably half a billion dollars if I had to guess for the whole lot. Just to own the patents. And for no competition in that particular widget space. They actually got to purchase a monopoly. Think about that - the advantage they hope to gain with this move. And how much money that advantage is worth.

                Now imagine if someone comes along and kills software patents. Half a billion bucks spent and it - overnight - becomes worthless. The monopoly goes away like a puff of dust. Sure, they deserve it. They closed half a dozen engineering firms, fired people that had worked on assembly lines for 30 years (no kidding). They totally deserve this.

                But at the money they must have paid, I'm sure they'd fight this to the death. And that's just one company. Imagine the wealth tied up in patents from someone truly huge like IBM or Microsoft. No. This isn't going away anytime soon. God knows I'd love it if it did, but there is simply too much money that would go *poof* if that happened. It might even cause the kind of financial meltdown we had last year over housing. Really - there is that much money in this. Odd to think about but true.

          • by Pojut (1027544)

            Read the transcript to the recent Bilski v. Kappos arguments:

            http://www.supremecourtus.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/08-964.pdf [supremecourtus.gov]

            If the Supreme's repsonses are any indication, software patents do not have a lot of time left. This is a case where ALL SUPREME COURT JUSTICES WERE IN COMPLETE AGREEMENT. How often does that happen, eh?

        • Are you sure there is an invention buried in there somewhere? Can someone explain what they claim to have invented? The claims were so generic I could not find a there there.
      • by Abreu (173023)

        While a Patent Troll is a Patent Troll is a Patent Troll, I think you are right.

        It would be poetic justice for Microsoft to have to pay large damages for infringing on a trivial patent.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 03, 2009 @10:53AM (#30310132)

        "I hope microsoft wins this." I hope they lose. They trolled Tom-Tom for using the DOS filename patent

        ... right after TomTom tried to sue them for using navigation software to give directions. In the end, they both settled, and TomTom, the aggressor, didn't get its payday.

        And yet, Microsoft is somehow the bad guy in this. Yep. This is definitely Slashdot.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        The tomtom thing has nothing to do with this. Saying that Microsoft should lose for 'revenge' is just silly.
      • by kimvette (919543)

        TomTom first trolled Microsoft, so Microsoft dug into their portfolio and found a nuke they could use for mutually assured destruction. In that instance, Microsoft actually used their software patents as a retaliatory strike against TomTom. Microsoft wasn't the bad guy in that case, and they're not the bad guy in this one either.

        There is plenty to hate Microsoft for, but their suit against TomTom isn't one of them.

        • by DavidTC (10147)

          Yes, but that doesn't mean MS shouldn't still lose.

          Not because they're 'evil', or you 'hate' them, but because MS losing a few important and destructive patent battles might actually make it realize how dangerous software patents are, and lobby congress to have them removed.

          Someone need to teach Microsoft that MAD only works against companies with actual products. It doesn't work against companies that exist solely to sue others for patent infringement.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Yvanhoe (564877)
      There are too many educated people on earth for all of them to be contributive to the society. Some of them just become patent lawyers.
    • by Bert64 (520050)

      Microsoft need to get hurt by enough of these patent trolls that they put their weight behind doing something about the broken patent system that makes things like this possible...

    • by jimicus (737525)

      Seriously though, I dislike patent squatting.

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

      But where do you draw the line? You assume that anyone with a patent falls into one of a small number of groups:

      1. Doesn't make any effort to do anything useful with the patent.
      2. Works hard on products and, licensing or not, does a fair job.
      3. Licenses the patent to all and sundry so everyone can work on products based on the patent.

      What about 4. Refuses to license the patent, attempts to build a product based on it, sues anyone who infringes yet at the same time does an absolutely appalling job of co

  • by brenddie (897982) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @10:36AM (#30309930)
    hard to choose which is the less evil side
  • Nope. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kingrames (858416)
    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 tekrat (242117)

      I'm with you.

      Someone big has to lose BIG TIME for there ever to be reform.

      And I mean, damages in the multi-billions, enough to practically put MS out of business. Because only when MS's loss affects EVERYONE else who uses their software, will the media pick up on the story, and then it will finally reach the ears of the average joe, and the maybe we'll see some action to change the heinous laws that govern this mucked up form of facist-capitalism that rules this country.

    • by Concern (819622) * on Thursday December 03, 2009 @11:15AM (#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.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by wvmarle (1070040)

        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

    • by Sanity (1431)
      You are an idiot. If anyone is worse than Microsoft it is these patent trolls.
  • by jedidiah (1196) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @10:39AM (#30309958) Homepage

    There is nothing I hate worse than being forced to root for Microsoft because someone else is even more evil.

  • Patentable? (Score:5, Informative)

    by clone53421 (1310749) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @10:40AM (#30309970) Journal

    This doesn’t look substantially different from what any audio/video encapsulation format does, and plenty of those were around before December of ’99...

    Filing date: Dec 29, 1999

    What is claimed is:

    1. A method in a computer system for processing a message having a sequence of packets, the method comprising:

      providing a plurality of components, each component being a software routine for converting data with an input format into data with an output format;
      for the first packet of the message,
      identifying a sequence of components for processing the packets of the message such that the output format of the components of the sequence match the input format of the next component in the sequence; and
      storing an indication of each of the identified components so that the sequence does not need to be re-identified for subsequent packets of the message; and
      for each of a plurality of packets of the message in sequence,
      for each of a plurality of components in the identified sequence,
      retrieving state information relating to performing the processing of the component with the previous packet of the message;
      performing the processing of the identified component with the packet and the retrieved state information; and
      storing state information relating to the processing of the component with the packet for use when processing the next packet of the message.

    (...)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      LZ78. Dictionary header describing how to process the defined length subsequent sequential packets (nibbles, bytes, or double-bytes) in the decrypt mode, and in the encrypt mode, implementing the other portions of this patent. Itself patented quite some time ago. Nothing is new in computing.

    • Indeed - lets look at that: What is claimed is: > 1. A method in a computer system for processing a message having a sequence of packets, the method > comprising: > providing a plurality of components, each component being a software routine for converting data > with an input format into data with an output format; Every file convertor ever written does this part. Nothing new here. > for the first packet of the message, This is standard patentese - it does not mean anything > i
  • By fighting over the fact that the courts cant decide what to do about retarded laws and the scoundrels that scavenge there. Welcome to corporate ethics.
  • by dwiget001 (1073738) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @10:43AM (#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.

    • So bring some Prior Art into the equation, get the patent invalidated, then license the tech to MS for an insubstantial fee ($500k perpetual license including derivitives, for example).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 03, 2009 @10:47AM (#30310064)
    According to http://www.hometoys.com/htinews/apr00/interviews/becomm.htm [hometoys.com] Edward Balassanian founded BeComm Corporation in 1996. A privately held company, based in Redmond, WA, BeComm designs next-generation communications technology that focuses on delivering a broad range of Media Appliance solutions. The company’s vision is to create an operating environment that seamlessly manages the flow of media across disparate networks, processors, media types, applications and devices. Mr. Balassanian is responsible for the company’s long-term product, technology and marketing strategy as well as day-to-day operations. He also sits on the company’s board of directors. Prior to forming BeComm, Mr. Balassanian held engineering positions within Microsoft Corporation. He has over ten years experience developing networking software. Balassanian has a degree in Computer Science from the University of Washington. He has recently spoken to audiences at Princeton University, and was recently a featured speaker at DEMO 2000.
  • Legal Fee's - little company A tries to sue big company B, unless they are going to win - they don't even try because - In Canada - the loser pays for everyones lawyers, as well as the settlement. From what I understand, that is applies across the boar here in Canada. So unless I know I am going to win, hands down - I don't even bring a dog to fight. In the States you only pay your legal fee's - so if you lose, oh well!! That is why you have a guy who slips and falls at a concert, and sues like 100 busi
    • Yeah- that about sums the american legal system up. Here is isn't about who's in the right- its about who has the most money for lawyers.
    • by AP31R0N (723649)

      What if you lose not because you are wrong, but because the other side has a war chest and an army of lawyers and can bury you? Maybe Canada has better systems for that too, but here in the US, it's not about right or wrong, it's about legal firepower. The laws are designed by the rich to keep them rich and make them richer. Justice and morality occasionally find service, but it's rare.

    • In Canada, if a small company sues Microsoft for a legitimate infringement, Microsoft can just delay the case until the smaller company has no more money to fight. Then, there's a very cheap company sitting on the stock exchange, which they know about, that has a patent they could use.
  • My Idea (Score:2, Funny)

    by nsfw (803412)

    I knew the "Windows 7 was My Idea" thing would backfire on them

  • I do not hold grudges. I just want tech to advance. I hope microsoft wins this case. I always support the allegeded infringer in patent suits.
  • My Idea (Score:4, Funny)

    by Fred The Toaster (1428435) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @11:08AM (#30310308)
    I feel guilty now because Windows 7 was my idea...
  • Wonder how this could potentially impact on iptables and its state matching/helpers... a broad reading could infer that ipt is also in breach.

    • ipchains used to do the same thing and is old enough to act as prior art.

      • by Arimus (198136)

        I would also think, to be honest, Checkpoint, Cisco et al probably have some very good examples of prior art...

  • cheers (Score:2, Troll)

    by Tom (822)

    you actually want to cheer for Microsoft this time

    Please don't tell me what I want to do. Thank you.

    Some people deserve what they get, even if I wouldn't wish it on anyone else. Patent trolls are abominations, but so is Microsoft, and which of them is the worse one is strictly a judgement call.

    • One of them actually made something useful out of the ideas they stole.

    • by mea37 (1201159)

      EIther you believe in your principles, or you don't. If you believe in your principles except when ignoring them hurts someone you don't like, you are a hypocrite.

      The law protects everyone equally. It's not ok to steal from a bully. There is no "he needed killin'" defense (even in Texas). If it's proper to sue MS over this patent, then it's ok to sue anyone who infringes this patent.

      That may be something you hadn't thought of, by the way. If this patent is as broad as many are claiming (as I've posted

      • by DavidTC (10147)

        No.

        It's not a matter of principles. MS should be treated fairly under the law they themselves lobby for.

        And, eventually, they will lose horribly on some idiotic bogus patent (As the law itself is setup to do.), and reconsider their stance of software patents.

        It is not hypocritical to want everyone to get a pass under an unjust law....except the people who are pushing for said law. Who then presumably realize how dumb the law.

  • pop (Score:4, Funny)

    by ThaReetLad (538112) <sneaky@blueRABBI ... minus herbivore> on Thursday December 03, 2009 @11:34AM (#30310674) Journal

    *pop*pop*bang*hiss*BANG*pop*BOOM*pop*pop*pop*bang*hiss*BANG*pop*BOOM*pop*pop*pop*bang*hiss*BANG*pop*BOOM*pop*pop*pop*bang*hiss*BANG*pop*
    *BOOM*pop*pop*pop*bang*hiss*BANG*pop*BOOM*pop*pop*pop*bang*hiss*BANG*pop*BOOM*pop*pop*pop*bang*hiss*BANG*pop*BOOM*pop*pop*pop*bang*hiss*
    *BANG*pop*BOOM*pop*pop*pop*bang*hiss*BANG*pop*BOOM*pop*pop*pop*bang*hiss*BANG*pop*BOOM*pop*pop*pop*bang*hiss*BANG*pop*BOOM*
    *pop*pop*pop*bang*hiss*BANG*pop*BOOM*pop*

    The sound of 10000 slashdotters heads exploding as they try to figure out who to cheer for.

  • >you actually want to cheer for Microsoft this time as Implicit is nothing more than a patent licensing company (troll)
    Actually no, seeing as M$ does the exact same thing as they do, and have been know to force shut downs of companies that directly infringed on these patents, instead of giving them a possible pay out scheme.

    I say, M$ needs to get what they give, and learn a lesson from it, so I actually root for Implicit to win, but not because I think Implicit is right, but more so, because M$ is dead w

  • simmer down (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld.gmail@com> on Thursday December 03, 2009 @11:44AM (#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 rayharris (1571543)

    If they get a jury trial, every member of the jury should be required to hold at least a Master's degree in some form of engineering. That's the only way to ensure it's a jury of their peers.

    If they just pull twelve random people off the street, their eyes will glaze over in about 30 seconds and they'll vote like they were in the audience of American Idol.

  • I really dont (ever) want to cheer for Microsoft. I mean they jumped right onboard and we're one of the pioneers of the whole "patents as a weapon" thing. Actually I'm pleased they got hit. What goes around comes around.

  • by Tony (765) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @12:02PM (#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.

  • Congratulations MS, you are now getting your just deserts after what you pulled on Tom Tom.

  • That sounds so obvious, not only have I thought of it, I believe I've implemented it in software... several times. Surely a company with the vast resources of Microsoft should be able to find some prior art to fight this with!

FORTRAN is for pipe stress freaks and crystallography weenies.

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