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ITC Throws Out B&N Antitrust Claims Against MS 97

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the one-patent-to-rule-them-all dept.
N!NJA writes with an excerpt from a post by Florian Mueller: "Barnes & Noble's primary line of defense against Microsoft's allegations of patent infringement by the bookseller's Android-based devices has collapsed in its entirety. An Administrative Law Judge at the ITC today granted a Microsoft motion to dismiss, even ahead of the evidentiary trial that will start next Monday (February 6), Barnes & Noble's 'patent misuse' defense against Microsoft. [...] Prior to the ALJ, the ITC staff — or more precisely, the Office of Unfair Import Investigations (OUII), which participates in many investigations as a third party representing the public interest — already supported Microsoft's motion all the way. The OUII basically concluded that even if all of what Barnes & Noble said about Microsoft's use of patents against Android was accurate, it would fall far short of the legal requirements for a patent misuse defense."
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ITC Throws Out B&N Antitrust Claims Against MS

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @11:06AM (#38891951)

    Good thing Mr Gates decided to start investing in DC Lobbying infrastructure after the first round of anti-trust charges. Sure it costs millions of dollars a year, but think of all the abuses you can muster!!!

  • Florian Mueller? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @11:08AM (#38891965)
    People still take this guy seriously?
  • Key passage: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by forkfail (228161) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @11:21AM (#38892113)

    The OUII basically concluded that even if all of what Barnes & Noble said about Microsoft's use of patents against Android was accurate, it would fall far short of the legal requirements for a patent misuse defense. For example, Barnes & Noble claimed that Microsoft asked for excessively high patent license fees, but the OUII quoted passages from U.S. law (statutory as well as case law) that clearly said that patent law doesn't require a patent holder to grant a license on any terms.

    So, basically, it was game over before it got started.

    It's not about creation anymore.

    It's all about owning segments of possible creation.

    And those have been mostly divvied up, given the ridiculously broad areas of thought and ideas that we allow to be patented.

  • by chrb (1083577) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @11:40AM (#38892347)
    MS says: [technet.com]

    The Microsoft-created features protected by the patents infringed by the Nook and Nook Color tablet are core to the user experience. For example, the patents we asserted today protect innovations that:
    * Give people easy ways to navigate through information provided by their device apps via a separate control window with tabs;
    * Enable display of a webpage’s content before the background image is received, allowing users to interact with the page faster;
    * Allow apps to superimpose download status on top of the downloading content;
    * Permit users to easily select text in a document and adjust that selection; and
    * Provide users the ability to annotate text without changing the underlying document.

    Microsoft obviously thinks this is pretty advanced stuff. Adjust a text selection? Annotate a document? Tabbed controls? Woah. No wonder they want $30 per device (more than the cost of licensing WP7!).

  • Re:Key passage: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @11:43AM (#38892397)

    "To be fair though, all of this is the result of google taking shortcuts in developing android instead of building their own product. "

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the current situation:

    1. Microsoft refused to tell anyone what patents they claimed Android was infringing?
    2. When B&N finally got a list of the patents, they appeared to be trivial with plenty of prior art?

  • Re:Key passage: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by airfoobar (1853132) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @11:44AM (#38892407)

    To be fair though, all of this is the result of google taking shortcuts in developing android instead of building their own product. No wonder they were able to create an os so quickly, then turn around and sell it for free.

    You've got to be kidding. That sort of thinking not only undermines Google's effort of bringing a good product to market and making it so successful, it also undermines the very foundations of the OSS ideology.

    The problem here isn't on Google's part, it's on the parts of the patent system (for allowing patents of highly questionable quality to be used in this way) and Microsoft (for being anti-competitive asshats as usual).

  • by forkfail (228161) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @11:57AM (#38892583)

    ... and it's not a tax.

    Rather, Microsoft is a medieval style guild, and they collect dues from any who would practice their trade. If you don't pay, they come and burn down our house.

    And it goes way, way deeper than any "shortcuts". To put it another way, if we were talking about mechanical and structural engineering, not only would MS hold the rights to be the sole bridge builders in the land, but the very concept of a device or structure to facilitate the crossing of a body of water would be theirs. They'd own the rights to cables, supports, bolts; not only to steel but to alloys in general.

    With our technology, there is nothing that doesn't stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before at this point. We should still be in a rapid development cycle, spinning upward. Instead, we squabble over who gets to build anything at all.

    And eventually, we're going to absolutely destroy American technological innovation. First, by making it impossible for most everyone but the established players to build anything at all. And by doing so, we will lay the groundwork for the first other nation to surpass us to absolutely ensure that we are subject to the very idiotic laws that we are using to choke our own innovation.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @11:58AM (#38892601)

    Fact is that software systems other than Microsoft's run most devices available. BusyBox rules the roost, Android has a huge portable devices market and the rest of the know universe belongs to Apple with a smattering of odd ball stuff like Symbian. The United States patent office has been subverted by companies like Microsoft and the rest of the world is now becoming the source for real product innovation.
    Plain and simple the whole concept of an economy based more on IP than real products has backfired. The statements coming out of Washington about how IP has to be protected at all cost and how American "innovations" are more valuable than real products has led to this sad state of affairs.
    The rest of the world could care less, America is being miss lead by corporate junkies like Steve Ballmer and the economy is going to go down the tank because of corporations like Microsoft and the failure and shameful decline of real industrial innovation, education and leadership within the United States.

  • by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @12:00PM (#38892627) Homepage Journal

    He certainly has better qualifications than the average Slashdot armchair lawyer to be commenting on this topic.

    So does Lamar Smith and Jack Thompson.

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