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Microsoft Android Cellphones Handhelds Patents Technology

Another Android Device Maker Signs Patent Agreement With Microsoft 203

Posted by Soulskill
from the better-safe-than-sued dept.
doperative writes with this quote from El Reg: "Microsoft has nailed a second Android device maker to a patent licensing agreement. The Redmond software giant announced on Monday that General Dynamics Itronix has signed a patent agreement that will provide 'broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio.' In other words, General Dynamics Itronix has agreed to licensing certain, unnamed Microsoft patents for use with Android-powered portables."
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Another Android Device Maker Signs Patent Agreement With Microsoft

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  • by unity100 (970058) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @08:38PM (#36606178) Homepage Journal
    What difference does this have from a robber baron waiting atop a bridge and asking tolls from passers ? no difference.

    baron may have a right to that bridge someone else has built, or, it may not even have the right to it, but it may be claiming it. the deal is, as long as you have less standing and resources than baron in the socio-economic ladder, you cant do anything about it, but pay. Only another baron equal or greater than his socioeconomic status can challenge him.

    ultimate end of capitalism, is feudalism. even if you have brief political freedom until it happens, it eventually happens - just like how it happened from roman republic to roman empire. mechanics are the same, end result is the same, just the names are different.
  • by AddisonW (2318666) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @08:50PM (#36606254)
    The fact that the entire mobile developer world is now doing Android IS the reason Microsoft has been reduced to this humiliating desperation.
  • by vivian (156520) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @08:57PM (#36606290)

    Does any other sector suffer as many patent lawsuits with supposed patent infringement as the software industry? I mean, I don't hear much about various
    manufacturer suing each other over mechanical design patents, for example.

    Dosn't the fact that there are so many cases like this indicate that the whole idea of software patents is very very broken? It's all but impossible to do a meaningful search for a patent that will help you solve a software problem, that could save you development time. Instead it is much more the ambush model - you go about your business developing something, oblivious to some obscurely written overly broad software patent that your software is supposedly infringing - then get ambushed by the patent holder.

    The patent has done absolutely nothing to shorten your development time or lower your costs to bring the product to market. Quite the opposite infact - if you want to write software that does not infringe on any other patent out there, the amount of research for existing software patents that your code might infringe on, would probably take more time than it does to actually write your software, even though you are writing it with no knowledge of the patents in question .

    We live in a democracy, and us developers are pretty much totally against software patents, as far as I can see. So why can't we fix this?

  • by LordLucless (582312) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @09:00PM (#36606312)

    ultimate end of capitalism, is feudalism. even if you have brief political freedom until it happens, it eventually happens

    You do realise that patents and corporations have nothing to do with capitalism, yes? Given that they are government-granted protections, you could argue that they're antithetical to capitalism.

  • by amiga3D (567632) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @09:15PM (#36606440)

    It is likely Microsoft is more frightened of Google's patent portfolio. That's the only way to thrive in the software world, you must arm yourself with thousands and thousands of vague, broad and obvious patents and then waylay all the smaller, more vigorous and innovative companies that are trying to compete with you. If you can use the courts and your patent portfolio to stifle them you can continue to make money without having to adapt to new markets.

  • by tripleevenfall (1990004) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @09:27PM (#36606498)

    It's humiliating in the sense that their floundering mobile platform isn't being seriously considered - by consumers for one, but by handset makers either.

    It's desperation because Microsoft totally reinvented themselves in the mobile space, replaced one crappy platform with another, and still is flatlined in this marketplace, unable to make money, watching the PC platform slip away - so they have to resort to running a protection racket.

    In my opinion that is in fact both humiliating and desperate - but I can't get a refund on my MBA as I'm not finished paying for it yet...

  • by gcnaddict (841664) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @09:44PM (#36606620)
    They legally fulfilled the requirements for protecting their own patents: they implemented them in production systems (i.e. they're making an attempt to use their patents to make legitimate money through sales of products based on said patents) and they see Android as infringing. Unpopular as software patents are here on slashdot, under current patent laws, they're completely justified, which is quite unlike the patent trolls slashdot is typically used to.

    The problem here is that Microsoft effectively made Android anything but free, which is exactly the opposite of what Google wanted to achieve with the OEM brand perception of Android as a platform, and that in and of itself is a fantastic business strategy. I can't even remotely justify it as either humiliating or desperate; it's well-played despite being immensely back-handed.
  • by mysidia (191772) * on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @10:34PM (#36606948)

    You do realise that patents and corporations have nothing to do with capitalism, yes?

    They have some things to do with the US implementation of capitalism. They increase the cost of certain resources that could otherwise be less expensive.

    They do have an effect of increasing the profitability of certain businesses.

    Also, "capitalists" lobby for these laws. Now it's also true that by nature, capitalism allows companies that arise in the system to lobby for laws that are actually anti-capitalist, for selfish reasons.
    Just because capitalism allowed a company to exist, does not necessarily mean it's in their best interest for the system to be pure capitalist; companies that form in a capitalist system will (by nature) try to get laws/regs that benefit them, which by nature, include laws that protect their hegemony and make it harder for a successful competitor to arise and take business.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @10:37PM (#36606962)

    You do realise that patents and corporations have nothing to do with capitalism, yes? Given that they are government-granted protections, you could argue that they're antithetical to capitalism.

    You could argue that, but you would sound pretty stupid. For starters, how does having a government and laws make you anti-capitalist?

    It's definitely not stupid. In capitalism, government has only one role, to protect property. Property includes your body (as in anyone else doing harm to your body). Therefore, government making laws is definitely is anti-capitalist if those laws have nothing to do with property protection. By this definition, most laws in the US are anti-capitalist. If you don't agree with this then you should hit the books and review exactly what is capitalism.

    You can't even have a stable monetary system without government-granted protection of the currency.

    This statement is exactly the opposite of what history has proven. The currencies of the world have been extremely unstable exactly because of government-granted protection (and manipulation) of the currency. In a truly capitalist system, the type of currency and the value of currency are determined by the market, and in such a system it would be literally impossible for the government to inflict the inflationary/deflationary cycle that occurs in fiat monetary systems.

    A corporation is a legal structure that codifies ownership of property. The corporation owns assets and conducts business; individual shareholders own portions of the total value of that entity. That is what you'd describe as anti-capitalist behavior?

    Similarly, patents grant ownership of implementations of ideas. There's that O-word again.

    Ideas do not constitute property, plain and simple. Property must be tangible, like land, a thing, money, or your body. The reason is that a patent allows one person to violate the personal property of another person. For example, if I create and market a phone with an OS that features a two-fingered-swirly gesture which you have patented, you can then come and take my money for "violating" your patent. By taking my money, you have violated my property.

    To say that an idea can belong to someone is simply incompatible with the notion of property in a capitalistic system.

    If you really think these ideas are socialism at work, I don't think you've talked to many real socialists.

    I don't think patents are particularly socialist, but in socialism property protection is not guaranteed and therefore patents are not anti-socialist.

    In the end, every tech company has to play this same patent game and on average, no one wins. The big winners in this system are the lawyers and lord knows, there are too many of those already.

  • by interval1066 (668936) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @10:59PM (#36607078) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft has proven to be unable to compete in the marketspace of mobile devices.

    What? Shoe-horning a huge, complicated, monolithic, & proprietary OS into the blossoming, new, mobile space didn't work? Imagine that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @11:43PM (#36607338)

    so nokia isn't a major handset manufacturer?

    The reason why Nokia is bending over for Microsoft is because Stephen Elop, the trojan horse from Redmond, is doing what he's supposed to do.

    No return to Meego, even if the N9 is a success
    http://nokiagadgets.com/?p=1897

  • Re:What about me? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by node 3 (115640) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @12:03AM (#36607434)

    You didn't pay MS anything, HTC did. And HTC paid Nokia, the US government (depending on the quality of their accountants), Chinese manufacturers, chip suppliers, Google (huh, I suppose it's ok to pay Google for the rights to use their properties, but not MS?), their employees, etc.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @03:12AM (#36608146)

    So why can't we fix this?

    Corruption and lobbyism.

    In Europe "we" the developers and citizens have been protesting against software patents for a long time. Again and again the issue has been delayed at best. Lobby organisations won't stop until they get their precious extortion patents. We as citizens cannot keep up with 24/7 paid and well-funded professionals that constantly influence politicians with illegitimate and often illegal means.

    Software patents are merely a symptom of a broken democracy.

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