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Android Businesses Google Microsoft Patents The Courts

Microsoft Continues Android Legal Assault 344

Posted by Soulskill
from the business-as-usual dept.
shmlco writes "According to an article on AllThingsD, Microsoft is continuing its legal assault on Android. On Monday the company sued Barnes & Noble, Foxconn International and Inventec over the company's Nook e-reader, alleging patent infringement. To quote Microsoft deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez, 'The Android platform infringes a number of Microsoft's patents, and companies manufacturing and shipping Android devices must respect our intellectual property rights. Their refusals to take licenses leave us no choice but to bring legal action.'"
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Microsoft Continues Android Legal Assault

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  • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Monday March 21, 2011 @04:51PM (#35564490)

    Does your statements equally apply to Apple? Just curious. Apple sued HTC and Motorola over Android for patent infringement..

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/02/AR2010030203916.html [washingtonpost.com]

    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/12/04/apple_adds_12_more_patents_to_lawsuit_against_motorola.html [appleinsider.com]

  • by theBully (1056930) on Monday March 21, 2011 @04:52PM (#35564508)
    The specific patent claims are not very well described in the article but of what I can tell they have some patent claims for widely used, basic GUI features. I feel this may affect more than Android if they're gonna win.

    They seem to act just like a patent troll in this situation. In my industry (Pharmaceutical) there's a company that has a patent on validating user input in web applications by verifying it at the server. They've been going around and threatening all EDC (Electronic Data Capture) makers with that. Of what I know, they have never won a single court appearance with this and never got a nickel out of it. It's just way too easy to patent something in the US.

    I hope Microsoft will not win anything here for the sake of the precedent it would set. It's bad enough some companies already settled with them over this. It's just what happened a while ago with their claims on Linux. Novell and RedHat cut a deal with them. Canonical never settled for their claims and nothing ever happened. It's a good example.
  • by poetmatt (793785) on Monday March 21, 2011 @05:03PM (#35564714) Journal

    Remember, the more litigious the company, the less innovative.

    Apple is not excluded and obviously neither is MS. The only time a company goes "nuclear" with the patent option is when they are betting that in the short term they can make a profit off extortion. Given the open source nature of the products and the sheer size of the companies MS is going after, this is so hilariously shortsighted I don't know where to begin, not to mention how easy it is to get around a patent with GPL'd software.

  • Re:USPTO problem (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ackthpt (218170) on Monday March 21, 2011 @05:05PM (#35564742) Homepage Journal

    This is the result of letting companies get patents that boil down to numbers and abstract generic processes. I think the only way to fix it is to reform how patents are granted, for what, and for how long. If USPTO simply can't handle the load they're under, then they should complain to their bosses for more resources, reform their practices, or change applicant's expectations.

    I'm just sick and tired of the intellectual property arms race/cold war that's been going on now for some time.

    Visualize this scenario: Alien civilization arrives on earth tomorrow. Wants to engage in trade, they desperately want food and what they have to offer is very advanced technology, much of which at some point infringes on IP held by Earth companies. We explain how the process works and they boggle, "The only way we ever were able to develop space travel was by rolling back IP laws - bar one: All processes or inventions are Fair Use after no more than 5 years (one of theirs is roughly equivalent to one of ours) with financial incentives to those who release their ideas to the public immediately.

    You people are still driving cars?!?

  • Re:figures (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tomhudson (43916) <.moc.nosduh-arab ... .nosduh.arabrab.> on Monday March 21, 2011 @05:43PM (#35565230) Journal

    They're attempting to make money in the smartphone market. Remember, they gave Nokia over a $billion. They also have the development costs, so say another $billion. And now there's the advertising blitz, half a billion and counting, that just doesn't seem to be working.

    You've got two and a half billion in sunk costs. How many handset licenses do you have to take in at $20 each to pay that off? 125 million.

    Keep in mind that MicroNokia - oops, Nokia - has said they won't be releasing Windows smartphones until 2012, and that the other manufacturers are NOT happy about the MicroNokia deal, which they see as Microsoft helping Nokia compete against them in the Windows phone market.

    WP7 might eventually earn back it's sunk costs, but it's looking pretty doubtful, especially since Microsoft leaked a WP8-based smartphone.

    So that brings us to another question. Why is Ballmer still at Microsoft? The answer is simple - remember how he dumped a bucket-load of stock? Look at the timing. That was a warning to the board of directors - dump me, I dump the rest of your stock, and the price goes through the floor.

    The pressure to call him on his bluff is just going to intensify, and someone's going to make a fortune shorting MSFT.

  • by tycoex (1832784) on Monday March 21, 2011 @06:07PM (#35565536)

    WE can't fix the problem. We are a minority group of intelligent people surrounded by morons. The only way that we could fix the problem is if we created a magical device that made everyone more intelligent.

    American voters would have to be willing to say, "I will not vote twice for anyone who accepts bribes, even if their platform matches my own." As it is now, people will vote for anyone who claims they agree with them on X issue, regardless of whether they accept bribes or not. Voters just turn a blind eye and say, "Well the other guy accepts bribes too, so I'll still vote for my party of choices candidate, even if I know he/she accepts bribes."

    The problem is people will vote for a Democrat or Republic without having any clue what that individual believes or has done in the past. Bi-partisanship and ignorant voting has ruined any sense of accountability for our government.

  • Re:Look who is sued (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pak9rabid (1011935) on Monday March 21, 2011 @06:39PM (#35565898)

    Look who is being sued -- Barnes and Noble and other companies that use android on their device. Correction, relatively small companies without large legal staffs that use android on their device. If android is the problem, then why isn't Microsoft suing Google for infringement? Oh, wait, Google has as much money and as many lawyers as Microsoft does. This is much like locking the drug user up in jail, but ignoring the pusher. If Microsoft really believes that android is infringing, then they should go directly after Google.

    Who's to say that Google isn't going to give Microsoft a taste of their own medicine and fund B&N's legal battle?

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