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Microsoft Patents The Courts Your Rights Online

Microsoft, Motorola Add 9 Patents To Ongoing Court Battle 61

Posted by timothy
from the who-blinks-first dept.
FlorianMueller writes "Patent suits are the IT industry's new Christmas cards: Microsoft and Motorola just added new accusations to their row. Motorola filed another suit in the Western District of Wisconsin, for the first time also attacking the Kinect. Microsoft threw in seven patents in Southern Florida. Two of them cover touchscreen technologies and two allegedly read on Motorola's DVRs. At this stage of the game, 35 patents are in suit between the companies. Afraid to lose track of so much peace and harmony? There's a visualization available (detailed reference material included)."
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Microsoft, Motorola Add 9 Patents To Ongoing Court Battle

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  • by goruka (1721094) on Sunday December 26, 2010 @10:07AM (#34670070)
    It's hard to believe how this insane patent war between the top technology companies was simply created by Google by releasing Android. It's like seeing two completely different business models and corporate visions clash against each other, like international politics did in the cold war era. Alternatively, we could go back even further and call it "Google Allies vs the Axis of Evil".
    • by Locutus (9039)
      This all happened because the smartphone, netbook and tablet are growing in feature sets and demand and are a threat to Microsoft's primary income base, MS Windows OS, MS Office and even the MS Windows Server side of the income stream. Microsoft used to have lots of control over what went on preloaded computers but once Apple let the iPhone out of the bag it's been a tinderbox ready to burst into flames. When Apple showed what a well executed OS strategy could provide users without using Windows it was ba
    • by HTH NE1 (675604)

      SHALL WE PLAY A GAME?

      Love to. Let's play Global Intellectual Property War.

      WOULDN'T YOU PREFER A NICE GAME OF OPEN THE SOURCE?

  • by mswhippingboy (754599) on Sunday December 26, 2010 @10:15AM (#34670086)
    2010 may well mark the beginning of the "Great Patent Wars" where the patent system will begin consuming itself in mutually assured destruction.
    • by hsmith (818216)
      Perhaps the "giving everyone a software patent" idea is working out. Companies can't sue one another because they both have "dirt" on one another.
    • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Sunday December 26, 2010 @11:14AM (#34670296) Homepage Journal

      I really do hope that the public wakes up to what is going on with patents and so-called "intellectual property" in general and the fact that it has degraded to the point that they are simply legal clubs to hit others over the head, but we are in such a state in this country. We've got a totally un-intellectual, shallow thinking populace in the U.S. that I doubt there is any way you can get the public to speak out about it.

      • by timeOday (582209)
        If big companies like Microsoft and Motorola ever decide change is needed, it will probably happen - regardless of what the public thinks (or ignores). But here's the problem, if the big boys get together and rewrite patent law, they'll probably find a way for it to entrench companies with thousands of patents while excluding little guys.
    • by Hasai (131313)

      2010 may well mark the beginning of the "Great Patent Wars" where the patent system will begin consuming itself in mutually assured destruction.

      You know, I was just thinking that. Well, as far as I'm concerned, let the MADness begin! ];)

    • by alvinrod (889928)
      Begun, the Patent War has.

      /yoda
  • 1: Don't pass a law
    2: Pass a law and then make the law look so outrageous that it get repealed and never comes back again.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    1. Start law suit;
    2. Acquire patent-full dying company;
    3. Add newly acquired patents to suit;
    4. Recover purchase amount from competitor;
    5. Profit!
    6. Optionally, thumb in nose at capitalism, while claiming to be pro-competition...

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Sunday December 26, 2010 @10:53AM (#34670240) Journal

    In this battle, MS and Apple are ad-hoc allies. Definitely a clash of Titans, but currently, the bigger warchest is stacked against Android. Don't forget Oracle's salvo against Java in Android.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by RazorSharp (1418697)

      I don't see what made you jump to this conclusion. Apple has never shown any evidence of seeking the top market-share position. If they did they would probably have more than one model of their phone or maybe sell iOS to hardware manufacturers. Hell, you can still only buy iPhones on one carrier! Apple seems to be doing what Apple has always done. Sell high-end/high-margin and make more money than higher volume, low-margin competitors.

      Given Apple's history between Google and Microsoft, and Google and Micros

      • by blind biker (1066130) on Sunday December 26, 2010 @11:21AM (#34670334) Journal

        I don't see what made you jump to this conclusion.

        Maybe it's my flu, but your ignorance is slightly irritating. Anyhow, here is your opportunity to educate yourself. [engadget.com] And educate yourself some more [mashable.com]
        More details [phandroid.com] and a good analysis of Apple's strategy against Android. [engadget.com]

        No need to thank me, but if you do, you're welcome. Always pleased to reduce ignorance.

        • Apple has a patent agreement with Microsoft which prevents such litigation between the two. That doesn't mean Apple wants to see Microsoft succeed. Even if Apple would prefer Android to succeed rather than the Windows phones, it also doesn't mean that Apple won't sue Android carriers when they believe there is infringement.

          Am I ignorant to the inner motivations of these company's CEO's? Yes, that's why my post was speculation. But unless you're actually Steve Jobs, you're just as ignorant. What made you bel

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I would assume the opposite. That Apple would love to see Google swipe the rug from underneath Microsoft because Google can play nice with others. Right now Apple's like European monarchs during the American Civil War: they're content to watch the north and south battle one another, they'd prefer the south to win b/c that would mean greater fragmentation and less tariffs, but they're not going to interfere because the war benefits them more than a victor on either side would.

        Seems you've missed quite a bit of Apple/Google animosity lately.

        Steve Jobs: "Make no mistake: Google wants to kill the iPhone. We won’t let them."

        "Mr. Jobs returned to the topic of Google several times in the session and even disparaged its slogan “Don’t be evil” with an expletive, which drew thunderous applause from his underlings."

        http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/technology/14brawl.html [nytimes.com]

        • by Locutus (9039)
          Jobs does have it out for Google that's for sure. What is interesting is that, we've never seen anything which would give that any shred of truth to it. Google has said that they want to see more and more Internet connected devices and that they want to see those devices on an open Internet. Why, because it means more users eyes on their customers ads. Wasn't it some FCC spectrum they were willing to spend billions on unless it was to be used for a more open network? They make most all their money from adve
    • by Microlith (54737)

      It's not necessarily Microsoft trying to kill Android. This is Microsoft punishing Motorola for not agreeing to release Windows Phone 7 devices. Microsoft can't have Linux-based OSes exist on their own, they need to either have Windows* based devices coming out from the same vendor on the same (or similar hardware), or they need (demand) patent royalties.

      It's just as abusive and anti-competitive, and the only end-result of this will be a nasty web of cross-licensed patents that ensure the mobile market is r

    • by Locutus (9039)
      there is not "Java" in Android because "Java" is a complete platform and Android is not "Java". The Dalvik virtual machine does not run Java bytecode and so it is not a "Java VM". Android does use lots of the Java class library definitions so tools used to write Java programs can be used to write Android programs if run through a bytecode converter for the Dalvik VM instead of the Java VM. This is where Sun, and now Oracle have a problem.

      From what I've seen, Sun split Java up much like how Microsoft splits
  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Sunday December 26, 2010 @11:07AM (#34670270) Homepage
    Microsoft has all these patents that are useful for mobile phones but they've never released a good mobile phone. Maybe it's time to give up those patents and save themselves the embarrassment that will come about from drawing attention to their awful phones.
    • by hedwards (940851)
      That's frequently the case. The patents are the result of research, much of which never sees the light of day. Creating a really good mobile phone is more than just having a list of patents, it requires putting them together in a way which makes sense and results in a quality product. And that part isn't easy.
    • Microsoft would never do that, 'cos that would allow others to be more innovative.
  • With the war right now that almost every big company in the smart phone market is battling I hope the judges make all patent claims valid and make all the parties either stop selling their products or to pay ridiculous sums to each other. Maybe then someone will awake and see how much patents really progressing technology.

    I would laughing so loud if Nokia, Motorola, Google, Microsoft, Qualcomm, HTC, etc. can't sell any products in the USA anymore because all patent claims would be find valid.

    • With the war right now that almost every big company in the smart phone market is battling I hope the judges make all patent claims valid and make all the parties either stop selling their products or to pay ridiculous sums to each other. Maybe then someone will awake and see how much patents really progressing technology.

      I would laughing so loud if Nokia, Motorola, Google, Microsoft, Qualcomm, HTC, etc. can't sell any products in the USA anymore because all patent claims would be find valid.

      Nah, they'll just settle and cross-license. Companies have these spats all the time, and realize that a long drawn out battle is in neither's best interests. It does put other companies on notice, however, that they may be next; and create uncertainty about competitor's products.

      Don't think of it as a war; but rather as large scale military maneuvers designed to show the other side what you can do; as well as warn smaller potential adversaries not to mess with you. No one really wants to fight as that i

  • Microsoft was convicted of committing monopolization in the PC arena. During the time frame of their illegal activity they surely submitted patents with ill gained money or people or knowledge. I think Motorola should bring this up in court. Its like a bank robber taking the stolen money and investing it. The bank robber gets caught and convicted... and spends some time on parole then ends up keeping all its ill gained investments along with interest. That this not right. The money and property obtain

  • we, the consumers, will simply pay more.
  • So I clicked on the URL for the Visualizations and noticed the Creative Commons license. Then I clicked the Download button--one must be a member of Facebook (and/or Scribd) before one can download it--a needless restriction IMHO. So no download for me.
  • Motorola filed another suit in the Western District of Wisconsin,

    How exactly does that work? Thats only 100 miles to the west of me, and I enjoy the bike paths along the Mississippi river, and the only upper midwestern cave that being the cave of the mounds, and ... uh ... thats about it for high technology in the western "half" of the state. Now don't get me wrong, Chippewa Falls was THE place to be technologically about three decades ago for obvious reasons and I want to visit the CFMIT someday, which is claimed to be better than Chicago's kid oriented museum of scie

    • by emmons (94632)

      Western District of Wisconsin's court is in Madison (right down town) and there's plenty of tech here - if you count biotech.

      Still don't know why they'd file in Wisconsin though. Motorola is in Chicago.. perhaps their law firm has an office up here?

    • Cases between large companies generally can be brought in any district, because the companies have a nationwide presence. A plaintiff might pick a particular district for a variety of reasons. One consideration will be how busy the calendar is for that district. A patent case is complex, with lots of depositions, discover, rulings from the court on claims interpretation, and other things before you even got to actually holding a trial. You want a district that isn't so busy that it will take forever for you

  • More silly proof that patent laws are broken, the folks at the patent office are overworked, and/or frequently the obvious is patented, re-patented, and the maybe patented by someone for later legal-lotto filings.

    When something is very old and always proven to be broken, maybe it cannot be fixed, maybe we all need to buy into a new economic model for patents, copyrights.... FORGET IT! Corporate welfare/socialism works better with a total economic FUBAR for US and EU.

    Some would say the "RU Boss Tweed" or "CN

  • I assume this was announced somewhere, and not just on the submitter's blog (where there are, oddly, no links to any sources of any kind)?

  • Who will win? Oh... I know! Humanity!
  • And here we see how the Microsoft chip interfaces with the Motorola chip through the WDWA, ITC, and SDFL processors. The Motorola chip on the other hand has to route through the ITC, SDFL, and WDWI processors. What does this do? Hell if I know, but lets patent it and sue em both!
  • I will defer to another posting [slashdot.org] of mine.

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