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Android Google Patents The Courts Your Rights Online

37 Android Patent Lawsuits 154

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the something-to-think-about dept.
An anonymous reader writes "37 lawsuits have been filed against Android in a little more than a year, the latest one of them being Microsoft's lawsuit against Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec. ReadWriteWeb says 'the number of patent lawsuits related to the Android operating system is unprecedented' and shows an infographic that is also available on Twitpic and as a PDF file, on Scribd. The first two suits were filed in March 2010 by Apple and MobileMedia against HTC. The original source of the chart, the FOSS Patents blog, says that Android's market share is only one factor, other reasons being that Google's patent portfolio is 'far too weak for what's undertaken in connection with Android'; that Google doesn't do 'inbound licensing' from trolls; and that Google tends to ignore patent issues because Google itself is rarely sued: in most of these cases, Android device makers are under attack."
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37 Android Patent Lawsuits

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  • by rufty_tufty (888596) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @12:18PM (#35588918) Homepage

    That is a poor and misleading graph for several reasons not least:
    There is no comparison to other software platforms
    The style chosen only escalates, the graph doesn't go down when the court case is resolved in either party's favour.
    Ambiguous because not all court cases are equal, some cases could be more valid than others.

    FUD, IMO

  • Re:Scare tactics (Score:4, Interesting)

    by poetmatt (793785) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @12:28PM (#35589056) Journal

    They will not even come close to succeeding, and here's the proof:

    how many of these lawsuits found anyone guilty of anything? How many have settled due to a judgment? Answer: zero.
    The only settlement to date, was a private one with samsung where samsung buckled to MS and did not go to court at all.

    Other than that, none of settled, and none have found conclusively on anything. That should tell you how well android is doing, that all we have is misinformation to "Scare people away".

    It's way too late to stop android, beyond of which that even if android is found "guilty", what are you going to do? Stop distribution? Ms aims to stop at the manufacturer level, but if they really wanted they could ship devices with nothing but firmware to let people flash the roms themselves. It's quite impossible to prevent distribution.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @12:35PM (#35589164)

    Funny how much people think Andriod is winning here like Charlie Sheen.

    http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2010/03/iphone-os-still-dominates-mobile-web-android-on-the-way-up.ars

    shows iOS still King...and andriod is still a long way off even with so many second ratr phone makers and fragmented store ....

    much bias here?

  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @12:53PM (#35589430)

    Well...

    Lets browse the tablet internet market for a second...

    For IOS, we have Apple's iPad. Strategy Analytics says that:
    IOS went from 95.5% market share of tablets in Q3 to 75.3% in Q4 2010.

    Then we have "everyone else":
    Android went from 2.3% in Q3 to 21.6% in Q4.
    "all others" went from 2.3 in Q3 to 3.1 in Q4.

    To me, this looks like android is spreading like wildfire in the tablet space. It snatched up more than 20% of market share in ONE QUARTER. While it is doubtful that growth like that is sustainable, even modest growth after a spurt like that could really put the screws to Apple.

  • by JAlexoi (1085785) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @01:04PM (#35589578) Homepage
    You know what's infuriating for me? As a citizen and resident of a country where software patents are explicitly forbidden, I still end up paying for those software patents...
    It's OK if the product was designed, manufactured in US or the company is American. But why do I have to pay for the software patents on devices that are neither targeted at US, not manufactured in US and the company is not based in US? All HTC Android devices have the license fee for those software patents included and forwarded to MS. That is the fucking loophole that I hate.
    Basically that is one of the imperialistic features of current US. Reminds me of stamp tax...
  • by IBitOBear (410965) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @02:17PM (#35590492) Homepage Journal

    It occurs to me that Google is approaching a perfect moment to strike against software patents utterly. Having very few of their own and having a clearly innovative product that is much in demand, they are in the perfect position to show that software patents are harmful to innovation "even for a large company like us.'

    Were they to now begin, in each of these cases, a concerted affirmative defense that software, when executing on a "general purpose computer" can not possibly be in violation of any patent.

    The argument would have to be two-fold:

    First, one can not make a "specific machine" out of a "general machine" by adding functionality. Just as putting a single copy of Moby Dick on a book shelf (or indeed filling a bookshelf with copies of Mobey Dick) does not divest the bookshelf of its bookshelf-ness and convert it into a "Mobey Dick location structural support machine", putting software on a PC or a phone doesn't reduce the nature of the PC or phone to convert it into a "specific machine".

    Second, the demonstration of excessive burden and harm that can be brought to bear on a individual device, and makers there of, when the "specific machine" theory is applied as is, given that the one "specific machine" is getting sued 37 times for more than one patent per time, because the individual android device(s) are apparently being forced into a quantum superposition [<==turn that into lawyer speech] where they are each individually transformed by software int dozens or hundreds of individual specific machines.

    The very fact that in each law suit the patent needs must read "what is described" is "a machine where" and yet it is sure as rain that the individual pantents don't reference one another in scope. (That is, two patents on say a automobile brake system can be inclusive of one another if one is for say, an actuator and the other is for a caliper, since both will mention the existence of the others collateral components; whereas a "web status update specific machine" would be exclusive of a "local document indexing specific machine").

    The fact that in each case Google can reference the other cases as demonstration of cumulative harm caused by the current misinterpration of the precident would give them perfect grounds to argue before the court(s) that software simply cannot rationally or legally be patent material, particularly under the "promote the useful arts and sciences clause".

    The ultimate goal would be to get a ruling that software running on, or that can run on, a general purpose computer can not, by definition, be in violation of any patent. Barring that, getting software classified the same as 'perpetual motion machines' as a 'we don't do that' clause of all patent law whoudl be just as ideal.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @06:44PM (#35593646)

    brainlessly hold a grudge and attempt to punish any post which mentions Microsoft in anything other than a negative light.

    Microsoft IS using a Reputation Manager (like RepuationDefender [reputation.com] to post and moderate on Slashdot. That distorts discussion and makes it nearly impossible to identify if your posts are sincere.

    If you don't want to be modded down for supporting a company which is attempting to destroy open conversation on Slashdot, then you need to work out how to differentiate yourself from their Reputation Managers. Better still, persuade Microsoft to stop treating our discussions as their property.

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