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ITC Judge: Motorola Mobility Infringed Microsoft Patent 141

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-the-suing-begin dept.
chrb writes "An International Trade Commission judge has issued a preliminary ruling that Motorola Mobility infringed one of Microsoft's patents. The disputed patent covers storing a meeting request on a mobile device, and was rejected by the European Patent Office as being 'obvious.' The judge also ruled that six other Microsoft patents were not being infringed. Experts say that this will strengthen Microsoft's hand in collecting patent fees on Android. Microsoft recently claimed that it now collects patent fees on over half of all Android devices sold."
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ITC Judge: Motorola Mobility Infringed Microsoft Patent

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  • Truth (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Simmeh (1320813) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:17PM (#38455442)
    The European Patent Office was right.
  • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@@@hotmail...com> on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:26PM (#38455496) Journal
    Given that the judge threw out most of Microsoft's patent trolling, how come the headline says "Motorola Mobility Infringed Microsoft Patent" and the text says "this will strengthen Microsoft's hand in collecting patent fees on Android"?

    Both of those are evasions at best, and very ugly examples of media spin.

    This decision is exactly the opposite of success for Microsoft.

    Just another example of Slashdot astroturf from the acknowledged masters, I guess.

  • by sub67 (979309) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:32PM (#38455540)
    That's not entirely true. Consider patent trolling is exactlu what they've done. Throw a bunch of vague loosely applicable patents at someone and hope something hits.

    Well, one hit.
  • by dido (9125) <dido@im[ ]ium.ph ['per' in gap]> on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:45PM (#38455614)

    It's not like Microsoft gets really penalized for every patent suit that fails. From reading the article they managed to get one patent to stick, and that's all they need to collect royalties from whoever they sued. Sounds a lot like success to me. The only way that Microsoft or any other patent troll could really fail is if all their claims are thrown out.

  • Preliminary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Seeteufel (1736784) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:52PM (#38455646) Homepage
    It is quite easy to get preliminary injunctions. But that doesn't mean a thing. Microsoft is trying to bully competitors into licensing of their trivial patents. A dying software empire.
  • by muon-catalyzed (2483394) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:56PM (#38455672)
    MS and also Apple think their trollish patent practices will strengthen them, but it is already apparent this whole patent bullying of late is turning into one big PR nightmare.

    It makes waves over at Facebook and Twitter. For example lots of former Apple drones and die-hard fans are now turning away from the once idolized company. Open and friendly competition is gaining traction (the green robot stamped devices come to mind) because of this bad behavior. You accumulate patents to prevent Texan patent troll to abuse you, that is fine, but you can't use them offensively to prevent market entry for others, specifically using broadly applicable text hyperlink patent or some other creepy software pantent, that is just plain evil.
  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@ g m a i l.com> on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @10:45PM (#38455878) Journal

    How is it patent trolling? I was always told patent trolling is done by those that don't actually have a product and use patents simply to collect fees. Did MSFT get rid of WinPhone 7 and i missed the memo?

    Frankly MSFT and Oracle and Intel and all these companies aren't to blame, its the USPTO for letting you patent any brain fart you can come up with so they can collect fees. After all every one they reject they don't get paid for. Instead it should be set up where they pay a set fee REGARDLESS of whether they get a patent or not, basically paying for the USPTOs time in the matter. Then they can take those fees, hire some experts in the fields, and throw a good 98% of these patents where they belong which is right in the round filing cabinet.

    But you can't blame one company for pulling the same shit everyone else is doing, look at Apple and how many fangirls we had rush to explain Apple was simply protecting their incredible innovation because gosh, nobody could think up a square with pretty icons!

  • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @11:26PM (#38456116) Homepage Journal

    How many factories does Microsoft own? And, what physical products do they sell? In view of their vast financial empire, they own very few physical assets, and produce even fewer. The vast majority of Microsoft's "products" are Imaginary Property. Or, what elitists tend to refer to as "Intellectual Property".

    I say MS is a patent troll, along with Apple, and a lot of other companies. They aren't quite as repulsive as some of those east Texas companies that have never marketed a damned thing in their history, but they are still patent trolls.

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tftp (111690) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @11:35PM (#38456176) Homepage

    They are facing the very real reality that Windows 8 will flop. Tens of thousands of PC's are being replaced with ipads both at home, and in the enterprise.

    Windows 7 and Windows 8 are not going to disappear until desktops and laptops disappear. How likely is that?

    Enterprise lives and dies by spreadsheets, MS Word documents, custom software tools, and expensive 3rd party applications. Those are not manageable on "mobile devices." Besides, why an enterprise would want its workers to work while mobile? Most of them are hired specifically to sit in cubicles and work, not to relax in bars. Most work can't even be taken out of the company.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @11:37PM (#38456182)

    Microsoft has had six patents invalidated

    Nope. The judge ruled the Motorola didn't infringe on six patents. He didn't rule then invalid.

    Also of note is that Microsoft has brought suits against Motorola for over 30 patents, so this is just the beginning.

  • Re:Preliminary (Score:4, Insightful)

    by iserlohn (49556) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @11:43PM (#38456202) Homepage

    Florian, maybe?

  • by Alex Belits (437) * on Thursday December 22, 2011 @12:02AM (#38456300) Homepage

    Microsoft doesn't need every patent to make it, they just need a handful.

    No. Microsoft needs the "valid" patents to remain unidentified, so they can be used as a vague threat. Once patents are identified, it is possible for Microsoft's enemies (all 7 billions of them) to focus on invalidating the ones successfully used in such litigation. With enough effort applied all such patents can be proven to be invalid -- the problem is, Microsoft, just like many other companies, owns shitloads upon shitloads of crappy patents, and no one has resources to track down all the reasons why they are crap, and sue Microsoft over each and every of them.

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @12:45AM (#38456512)

    The problem is that this ratio still sucks, because there are thousands of patents in play. Thousands might be invalidated, but the ones that are upheld are still idiotic and still cost the industry and the consumer billions.

  • by Trogre (513942) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @01:22AM (#38456688) Homepage

    Fair comment. My point was that attempting to route around these silly patents is not the right way to go about it, because eventually some troll is going to come knocking on the door with a stupid patent for a core technology such as touchscreens, portable batteries or radio antennae.

    The way to address these patents IMO is to fight the corrupt system that gave them validity in the first place. Yes, and I would like a pony.

  • Re:Truth (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jd2112 (1535857) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @01:33AM (#38456730)
    On the other hand the US courts don't seem to require the patent to even be valid. (e.g. the infamous NTP vs RIM lawsuit)
  • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@@@hotmail...com> on Thursday December 22, 2011 @02:42AM (#38456960) Journal

    Andriod is gaining traction because it's given away free.

    Not to Android users, it isn't.

    Android users are buying Android phones because they're nice toys/tools. Easy to use, clever and fun. Pretty much exactly the same reasons they'd buy an iPhone.

    There's plenty of reasons they'd choose one over the other, but given that some Android devices cost as much or more than iPhones, the price of the OS is unlikely to be a factor..

  • by 517714 (762276) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @02:51AM (#38456990)

    MS and also Apple think their trollish patent practices will strengthen them, but it is already apparent this whole patent bullying of late is turning into one big PR nightmare.

    No, it is not a nightmare. If it were, the press would not be using the language it does to describe the situation. MS, Apple, HTC, Samsung, and a host of others have experienced no measurable consumer backlash as a result of these squabbles. The average citizen is blissfully unaware, and few technophiles give more than a fleeting thought about it when they buy their next bit of hardware.

    For example lots of former Apple drones and die-hard fans are now turning away from the once idolized company.

    That's an easy claim to make, but you do not provide any evidence, and I am sure that none exists.

    Open and friendly competition is gaining traction (the green robot stamped devices come to mind) because of this bad behavior.

    Competition that actually fuels this sort of behavior. MS gets royaltes from all Android manufacturers save one. So this bad behavior is being rewarded by Andriod, not punished.

    You accumulate patents to prevent Texan patent troll to abuse you... 1) Few of the patent trolls are Texans, they simply file in East Texas. 2) That tactic has never been used, because patent trolls do not have a product to which a cross license may be applied.

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