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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.
    • Re:Truth (Score:4, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:21PM (#38455464)

      What? First post and not a troll? Damn... there may still be hope...

    • 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 Fjandr (66656)

      Right or not, the wording of the patent is pretty specific. It seems like it would be trivial to work around it.

      • In fact, the patent is specific about using a unique id to transmit the meeting request. If you transmit the data it would seem that you are not infringing on any patents. That being said, using a unique id to represent a packet of data is already obviously prior use and obviously "obvious".

        But this is how Microsoft earns their money. They don't make good products, they have a large legal team.

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:21PM (#38455468)

    Let all those Android device makers under several patent assaults from the like of Microsoft and the like do this:

    Remove the "infringing" functionality from your phones but create publicity that the features are available through an extension-like add-on like similar to Firefox or Google's Chrome browser.

    Then let's see who these patent litigants will sue. How about that?

    • by Trogre (513942)

      Hard when one of those infringing features is a touch screen.

      I have no idea if that is actually the case at the moment, but just illustrating that not everything can be provided by third parties.

      • by exomondo (1725132)

        Hard when one of those infringing features is a touch screen.

        What are you talking about? Read the patent, nothing about touchscreens other than that the device on which this would be implemented preferably contains a touchscreen. No patent claims to touchscreens.

        • Wow, you clearly didn't read his entire post.

        • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob.hotmail@com> on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @10:47PM (#38455894) Journal
          The point the pp was making is that " a mobile device which provides the user with the ability to schedule a meeting request from the mobile device itself." is about as ubiquitous and obvious as using touch screens on mobile devices.

          The good news is that now that particular patent bullet has been fired, it won't be reusable for their standover team. One less round of ammunition for the rest of Microsoft's protection racket.

        • 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.

    • by TrueSpeed (576528) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:53PM (#38455650)

      Let all those Android device makers under several patent assaults from the like of Microsoft and the like do this:

      Remove the "infringing" functionality from your phones but create publicity that the features are available through an extension-like add-on like similar to Firefox or Google's Chrome browser.

      Then let's see who these patent litigants will sue. How about that?

      6 of the Microsoft patents were thrown out and only 1 was upheld. The more Microsoft patents that can be identified as worthless the better. And the ones that are found to be infringing on their generic and prior art ridden patents they'll just work around it with another implementation of the functionality.

      • The fact that Microsoft's cash register rings every time some "M$"-hating hipster buys a googlaphone because "It's Open and Free! Wheeee!" is friggin' hysterical.

        • by Alex Belits (437) *

          Translation:

          "But our tapeworms are longer!"

      • by kyrio (1091003)
        I can't wait for all of Apple's patents to get thrown out, as well.
      • 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 Xest (935314) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @06:33AM (#38457744)

        "6 of the Microsoft patents were thrown out and only 1 was upheld."

        Yes, I'm not sure why some people are saying this ruling strengthens Microsoft's hand. The ruling only effects sales in America, and only applies to one patent. Companies aren't going to be willing to pay Microsoft as much for one patent only valid in the US as they would've been for 6 patents valid worldwide. If anything I think this will lessen the amount Microsoft will be able to get out of companies over Android - no one's going to pay what they were paying for just a single feature in the American market.

        Sure it strengthens Microsoft's hand in getting other companies to license that patent, if they want it, but it doesn't strengthen their hand in the amount they can extort, it weakens their bargaining chip dramatically. Companies wont even be willing to pay Microsoft full stop for their patents on handsets sold outside the US, and they'll only be licensing at most 1 patent for handsets sold inside the US.

        • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

          The problem is, Microsoft almost certainly did not bring their whole war chest to the table. They only needed 1 patent to win. So they probably brought 2 of their strongest, and threw in a few others hoping they would survive.

          Now they can bring a suit against anyone else with that one patent, and a handful of others they aren't sure about. Even if they ultimately lose this 1 patent somehow, they can start over with a new batch.

          It's called throw something to a wall and see if it sticks. That's how they f

          • by Xest (935314)

            Well of course, but if they put forward 7 patents, presumably ones they felt were strong enough to hold at least some merit, and 6 were overturned, and one was validated in the US, but invalidated in Europe then do they really want to keep spending money on court cases that ultimately invalidate more of their patent warchest than it validates?

            I doubt they'd have gone in with weak patents from the outset, because if you're going to spend money on this sort of litigation you might as well go in with the inten

    • by sgt scrub (869860) <saintium@ y a hoo.com> on Thursday December 22, 2011 @07:58AM (#38458110)

      Then let's see who these patent litigants will sue.

      The developer who wrote the "extension-like add-on" for creating it, Google for allowing it to be implemented, and everyone that distributes it. These are patent lawyers we are talking about. If they can think of someone to sue, they will sue.

    • File thousands of silly patents, and sue MS right back. For major companies, like Motorola, that should not be a problem. Maybe several companies could sue MS at the same time - sort of MS, Apple, and Oracle, and suing Android companies at the same time.

      Maybe, when the court are completely clogged with silly patent lawsuits, the government will fix the broken system. But, frankly, that is unlikely. For US politicians, campaign contributions from MNCs are their life's blood.

  • How ironic [theregister.co.uk]

  • 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.

    • Reread the first sentence then get back to us!

      • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob.hotmail@com> on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:57PM (#38455674) Journal

        Reread the first sentence then get back to us!

        I'm back.

        Some balance from the Wall Street Journal:
        Motorola Mobility Claims Patent Win Against Microsoft
        Judge rules in favor of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc on six of seven Microsoft Corp patents
        http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20111220-716842.html [wsj.com]

        Microsoft has had six patents invalidated and will be forced to provide clarity on patent 566 (sharing calendar events). That means other companies will be able to work around the patent without paying Microsoft's extortion fee. It's an excellent first step in pulling the fangs of their patent trolling.

        • by mewsenews (251487)

          It's an excellent first step in pulling the fangs of their patent trolling.

          Agreed. IANAL but we get a lot of lawyerly types on Slashdot saying that precedent is everything.

        • 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.

          • by defile39 (592628)
            Well, the ALJ only gives recommendations to the ITC, so the ALJ didn't rule anything invalid/infringed. And Motorola stipulated that it infringed the single patent that the ALJ found infringed. But most importantly, some of Microsoft's really nasty patents (e.g., the FAT patents), the ALJ found invalid as obvious. In reality, this was a HUGE win for Motorola and for Android, and it could be the turning point in this patent war.
    • 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 hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...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 ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob.hotmail@com> on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @10:50PM (#38455912) Journal

          Did MSFT get rid of WinPhone 7

          Not many of them, no.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Runaway1956 (1322357)

          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 his

          • by kyrio (1091003)
            Try reading the rest of his post. Stop posting if you're just going to echo other people.
          • by tyrione (134248)

            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.

            If you had half a brain and read Jobs Biography you'd discover that Apple has paid and built factories in China to have their products manufactured. How that does or does not validate their research is still your own idea of what is or is not engineering. Whip out your credentials and your patent portfolio or shut the hell up.

          • 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.

            I think that several of those east Texas companies work for MS, like Acacia.

          • by rjames13 (1178191)

            How many factories does Google 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 Google's "products" are Imaginary Property. Or, what elitists tend to refer to as "Intellectual Property".

            I say Google 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.

            FTFY. See how dumb it sounds.

        • The companies you mention are to blame. The USPTO, congress, and certain judges are to blame as well. Just because the law lets you be a complete asshole doesn't mean being a complete asshole is okay.
        • by jedidiah (1196)

          > How is it patent trolling? I was always told patent trolling is done by those that don't actually have a product

          Welcome to the new era.

          We could try to come up with a new term for patent abuse but why bother. Patent Troll is the perfect metaphor. Why bother with inventing a new (and potential confusing) term when the current term accurately reflects what's going on?

          Some ugly creature lurks beneath a bridge that they don't own and then try to rob people by charging them a toll to cross the bridge. These

        • by horza (87255)

          Microsoft are still the same. Trolling, extortion, dirty tricks. Just because Apple have now become the most despised company in the world doesn't mean Microsoft has changed its spots. From funding SCO to close down Linux, to threatening potential Linux users with patent litigation whilst refusing to reveal a single one of their patents they believe may be relevant, to extortion on handset manufacturers via Android. The fact all but one of their patents were thrown out, and one accepted by the ITU but rejec

    • by Microlith (54737)

      It says:

      ITC Judge: Motorola Mobility Infringed Microsoft Patent

      Note the italicized part. Also, the text of the blurb appears to have been written by chrb, who himself is paraphrasing "Experts," referring to an ill defined 3rd party.

      This decision is exactly the opposite of success for Microsoft.

      Not at all. Microsoft doesn't need every patent to make it, they just need a handful. That's why these suits involve several patents, to increase the likelihood that something will stick. And now they have a patent t

      • by c0lo (1497653)

        It says:

        ITC Judge: Motorola Mobility Infringed Microsoft Patent

        Note the italicized part. Also, the text of the blurb appears to have been written by chrb, who himself is paraphrasing "Experts," referring to an ill defined 3rd party.

        The "experts" seem well-defined to me (personally, I imply nothing about their degree of expertise). TFA:

        "If the initial finding is confirmed, then this will put Microsoft in strong position to stop other smartphone manufacturers who have not licensed this US patent from importing phones with an operating system, and not just Android, which includes a calendar and which lets you send meeting scheduling requests by email," said Andrew Alton, European patent attorney at Urquhart-Dykes & Lord who has previously carried out patent work for Apple.

      • by symbolset (646467) *
        It does them no good. It's like five minutes work to take the calendar out of Android and then make it a downloadable app. Problem solved. When Moto comes back after them with the patents on cellular wireless radio of voice and data, that's going to be harder to work around in a cellphone.
      • 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 Rockoon (1252108)
          The patents involved in Microsoft vs Motorola have been known since October of... get this.... 2010 [unwiredview.com]

          But lets not let facts get in the way of your FUD. I just invalidated every single ignorant thought that you decided to dump on us.
          • No you didn't (Score:5, Informative)

            by Mathinker (909784) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @02:16AM (#38456884) Journal

            You totally miss the implications of his post (possibly because he forgot to add the phrase "all of" to "Once all of the patents are identified"). Just because Microsoft decided to use X numbers of patents against Motorola doesn't mean they don't have another Y waiting in line for the next court case. So your quoted source makes no difference.

            Since there is no legal way to require Microsoft to reveal all of the patents they think might infringe on Android, his post is, rather than FUD, merely fantasy. The fact that it is fantasy showcases a major problem with the patent system. The law should be that if someone pays licensing fees, they can require the party they are paying to reveal all of their patents which they feel are infringed (by that particular technology), and any patents which are not revealed are automatically rendered toothless (against that particular technology), even against third parties. (Now I'm fading into fantasy... <sigh/>)

            > no one has resources to track down all the reasons why they are crap, and sue Microsoft over each and every of them.

            You also missed a second major problem with his post: there is no legal penalty for filing an invalid patent. Or at least, for all practical purposes.

            • by Alex Belits (437) *

              No.

              If enough Microsoft lawsuits will fail, no one in his right mind would want to accept licensing fees or settle. Ex: SCO and its famous $699 licensing of Linux. Companies started to reject SCO demands long before the related part of SCO lawsuit ended, because SCO was clearly losing all other arguments, and there was a reasonable expectation that everything else is invalid, too.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dido (9125)

      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.

      • And that is the problem. Perhaps a rule should be added that says if I prove one of your patents is invalid, I get to pick one that has been validated that is now marked available to all for free.

  • 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.
  • The ITU is hardly an authority on the validity of patents.
  • 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.
    • For example lots of former Apple drones and die-hard fans are now turning away from the once idolized company

      Clearly they're not dying fast enough or hard enough for management to notice.

    • 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.

  • I know, it's probably deemed as a baited question but I asked it anyway. Why is the patent not overturned in the US when it's turned down in the EU as to obvious?

    I'm not looking for the "Because they have money and can pay people off" answer, or the "they suck and are the Debil answer".

    Should not the EU patent finding be valid evidence to the USPTO that the patent should be invalidated therefor Android vendors do not have to pay Microsoft any fees?

    Really we need to get a movement together and get the issu

    • by Locutus (9039)
      because the USPTO already accepted the patent application it usually takes someone to trigger or maybe even pay to have the patent re-reviewed. The USPTO leaves it up to the patent owner and the courts to figure it out once they put their stamp on it. Although I have read some instances where they state they are reviewing a patent after they are shown prior art or some other trigger event.

      The "obvious" ruling in the EU isn't going to trigger anything because the that is very subjective and a reaction from t
    • by rtb61 (674572)

      Motorola's lawyers failed, there blunder was in how the defined what the patent really meant.

      The real story here is that M$ was able to file a bullshit patent that basically patented calling a database base table a calender and a record an event, and using standard database query tools, when that database is accessed by a mobile device.

      Basically what the US patents office has done here is set a precedent that every database schema imaginable can be patented, based upon table names, field and record na

  • by jrumney (197329) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:58PM (#38455682) Homepage
    The article links to the patent that was found to be infringed. Personally, I'm more interested in the other 5 patents. Are the FAT patents among them? This could affect device manufacturers far beyond Android, smartphones and tablets that have been paying Microsoft for the privilege of not being sued.
    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      Well it looks like the gotcha with regards to FAT patents is U.S. Patent 5,745,902 [google.com] which covers long to short file names in FAT and was filed in July of 92 so shouldn't it be dead by July next year?

      The bigger problem is ExFAT which i'm already starting to see thumbsticks formatted in and wouldn't be surprised if before long memory cards and other NAND flash comes in ExFAT. Now with ExFAT since they have it patented up the ying yang and most of those patents are from the mid 00s you are looking at late 202

  • 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. This trend is likely to explode in 2012, when a large enough portion of the non developer population will be using them to matter. Sure, they're doing extremely well in video games, but their own mobile efforts haven't panned out, and probably won't. If Microsoft loses the Enterprise to Apple, they will be effectively marginalized in their core business
    • 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 pmontra (738736)
        If companies realize that some 50% of the work can be done on tablets (all the email/meeting stuff) the working environment will change. This is how it might become (disclaimer: forecasts for the futures are unreliable).
        You don't get your cubicle, you get some smaller shared space where you can sit with your tablet, talk with your coworkers, move around and make instant meetings. Nobody owns a specific chair or couch. You'll get some docking stations to do the heavy work with mouse and keyboard. You boss w
      • by sgt scrub (869860)

        Enterprise lives and dies by spreadsheets, MS Word documents, custom software tools, and expensive 3rd party applications.

        See. This is the irony from hell. Xwindows allows one to run GUI applications remotely. On a phone with XMPP the office application can be on the phone. A thin client with a big screen could connect to the phone, bring up the desktop version of the application, and the document is still living where all your other data is -- OTFP (on the f*** phone). If Linux phones with X would sta

    • You may be right, at least for those people who only need a web appliance. But for those who need a computational device...
    • by nfras (313241)

      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. This trend is likely to explode in 2012, when a large enough portion of the non developer population will be using them to matter. Sure, they're doing extremely well in video games, but their own mobile efforts haven't panned out, and probably won't. If Microsoft loses the Enterprise to Apple, they will be effectively marginalized in their core business. So what do you expect them to do? Those that can't make an honest living litigate. If the entertainment industry has taught us nothing, it's that.

      Apple isn't going to win the enterprise space any time soon. Sure they will get companies who buy iToys for their employees, but let's face it, iPads are an unmanageable mess for an IT organisation. How do you effectively manage the data held on them, and the security on them? If big organisations can't control laptops, how do you think they will control iPads?
      I know of a lot of large organisations who would like to use tablets but won't go near Apple because they don't understand corporates. Sure they're s

      • by 517714 (762276)
        iPads don't hold very much information. IT departments like that they are thin clients with the calculations and data on a central server for most of what they do. If they can take the PC off your desk and replace it with a thin client they will be delighted to do so. I see the iPad as being the tip of the wedge that makes thin clients a reality for most office workers. And really, don't you think that management would love to get solitaire off of everyone's computer? The things you cite in the last se
    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      Tens of thousands of PC's are being replaced with ipads both at home, and in the enterprise.

      I doubt a single PC has been replaced in the enterprise. Many things have been replaced, notepads (the paper kind), books, manuals, stock readers, PDAs, and special single purpose devices like GPS units and barcode scanners.

      But until I see a receptionist cranking out 80wpm on a touchscreen, a stock broker staring at 4x iPads rather than 4x 23" monitors, an engineer preparing complex designs, or a drafter running AutoCAD I doubt you can claim the PC's place in the enterprise has been offset even in the sligh

  • It's a meeting request, just like any other meeting request, but now we do it on your cell phone -- PROFIT!

  • Since noone has a patent (or can get one) on "Sending data via email" then no one should be able to patent "Sending ******** data via email"
  • by Kagetsuki (1620613) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @12:01AM (#38456294)

    Why don't we just have Apple, Google & Co., Microsoft and all the mobile manufacturers just exchange a billion dollars with eachother every other week and just skip the lawyers. I didn't even read the article or the summary because I just don't care anymore. Everybody's wrong, software patents and at this point any patent dealing with mobiles or phones is bullshit, and the whole process of suing everyone who even approaches the market will just stifle innovation and kill good ideas.

    • Why don't we just have Apple, Google & Co., Microsoft and all the mobile manufacturers just exchange a billion dollars with eachother every other week and just skip the lawyers.

      In this tough economic situation, we can't afford to get rid of jobs than Americans need so hard to make ends meet. ~

      • Zing! Nice one. And by some amazing coincidence the quote that is coming up at the bottom of the page as I type this is:
        "Q: What do you have when you have a lawyer buried up to his neck in sand? A: Not enough sand."

        Radical to max.

    • by N1AK (864906)
      It's a classic example of the prisoner's dilemma. Even though it would be a net win for the industry to stop this nonsense, it is too attractive to each individual firms to try and use the current patent and legal system to gain an advantage to avoid it.
      • That is an amazingly accurate observation. I feel both enlightened to the reality of the situation and further depressed by the realization it's basically not going to end until everyone gets punished.

  • Where "everyone" == "the lawyers" and has nothing to do with either businesses or consumers.

    Do people at Microsoft honestly believe they are better off in a litigious software hell than if software patents were abolished? I'm sure Microsoft's lawyers believe they are better off, but what about everyone else?

  • I think patent trolling is Microsoft's long term strategy in the mobile market. No one want Windows Phone 7. Or 8, or 9 or that matter. They aren't stupid in Redmond, just evil. I think planting Elop in Nokia is part one in the plan to first destroy Nokia's stock price, then either have Elop just sign over Nokia's patents, or buy Nokia cheap. Nokia has a truly giant war chest of mobile patents. Microsoft, once in control of those can just sit back and make everyone, Apple included pay them more that those c

  • He's just a bureaucrat issuing an administriative ruling. He can decide whether or not a patent is being infringed by an import but is not empowered to question it's validity. The ITC has a history of favoring protectionism. This decision can be appealed to a real judge in Federal court, of course.

panic: kernel trap (ignored)

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