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Judge Invalidates 13 Motorola Patent Claims Against Microsoft 109

Posted by timothy
from the lucky-number dept.
walterbyrd writes "Microsoft scored a victory against Google-owned Motorola Mobility this week after a judge scrapped 13 of the latter party's patent claims in a years-long dispute over H.264-related royalties. Waged in U.S. and German courts, the battle involves three patents (7,310,374, 7,310,375, and 7,310,376) that Motorola licenses to Microsoft for several products, including the Xbox 360, Windows and Windows Phone. PJ is commenting on the case over at Groklaw.net."
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Judge Invalidates 13 Motorola Patent Claims Against Microsoft

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  • by mdm42 (244204) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @04:10AM (#42848789) Homepage Journal
    The patents were *not* invalidated.

    Some claims within the patents were invalidated.

    Go RTFA.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 10, 2013 @05:46AM (#42849047)

    Software patents are so problematic because if you expose your essential algorithm which uses code blocks then all someone has to do is code to it with different variable names.

    No that's copyright that covers variable names, and you'd have to do a lot more than just change variable names to make it an original work. Patents will cover the algorithm itself regardless of variable names or even implementation language.

    It is the same problem as why technology stagnated during the times before the renaissance and then industrial revolution, methods were kept secret by guilds. ... too much software is granted "a Royal Monopoly" like status. Because that status can then be horded we are headed for a technological dark age.

    What a load of bullshit. It was patents that opened up the guild secrets, by allowing guilds to make inventions known without competitors being able to take advantage of that. It's the lack of patent enforcement in China and the lack of software patents in most of the world that is keeping software like Google's locked up in the cloud. What's their current search algorithm? What AI breakthroughs do they secret away? We may never know because the inventions they value the most they don't even patent, they can't be used against them.

    Parent post makes no sense. If you work on closed-source code and you are against software patents then you are pro-guild, pro-dark ages.

  • by Rockoon (1252108) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @08:07AM (#42849363)
    HTC's problems werent from Microsoft.. HTC was the target of the opening salvo of mobile patent lawsuits, initiated by Apple.

    When the first wave of the mobile lawsuit armageddon geared up, the three companies distinctly absent from either end of these lawsuits were Google, Palm, and Microsoft (citation [nytimes.com].)

    To accuse Microsoft of being somehow a big offender is ignoring the history of these battles. Patent lawsuits wasn't how Microsoft operated, and to a large extent still isn't because nearly every lawsuit that targets Microsoft or is initiated by Microsoft ends in a (cross)licensing deal rather than a judgment and that includes Microsoft taking the short end of it (ex: licensing from Acacia Research.)

    I do understand that Microsoft is one of the only companies that have gone after Linux, and its probably unforgivable, but that doesnt make them one of the big offenders in mobile patent lawsuits. Making that claim just doesnt hold up to reality.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @08:48AM (#42849461) Homepage

    I consider Groklaw to be an extremely reliable source of fact, insight and opinion. The patents are NOT invalidated, but the claims cited within are. It's a software patent, after all.

  • by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @09:13AM (#42849527)

    HTC's problems werent from Microsoft.. HTC was the target of the opening salvo of mobile patent lawsuits, initiated by Apple.

    N.B. I'm not saying that Microsoft's patent attacks directly went against HTC. HTC's poblems seem to be largely from redirecting R&D in the direction Windows Phone. Have a look at exactly when the competitiveness of their phones went down and it's exactly the time when they must have been directing a large effort to porting Windows to their hardware. What I'm saying is that it was partnering with Microsoft that damaged HTC. That at least partly will have

    When the first wave of the mobile lawsuit armageddon geared up, the three companies distinctly absent from either end of these lawsuits were Google, Palm, and Microsoft (citation [nytimes.com].)

    A long time ago Microsoft even opposed patents. That attitude, however changed much earlier than people realise. Please remember that Microsoft v. TomTom [wikipedia.org] took place in 2009 noticably before Apple started suing HTC.

    To accuse Microsoft of being somehow a big offender is ignoring the history of these battles. Patent lawsuits wasn't how Microsoft operated, and to a large extent still isn't because nearly every lawsuit that targets Microsoft or is initiated by Microsoft ends in a (cross)licensing deal rather than a judgment and that includes Microsoft taking the short end of it (ex: licensing from Acacia Research.)

    Microsoft has repeatedly spun off or supported companies like intellectual vendors which are archetypal patent trolls. Microsoft funded SCO in several direct and indirect ways (see groklaw.net for details) and it doesn't seem to be a coincidence that soon after Microsoft funding SCO started talking of patents. Microsoft claimed in 2007 [cnn.com] that "Linux violated 235 of their patents" and it took years to prove that they were lying. They are circumspect; they do attempt to do most of their patent extortion behind NDAs. However that does not make things better. The opposite in fact. Microsoft is trying to use patents to set up a system where it alone has control of all software. Companies like Google which stand up to this should be seen as heroic.

    I do understand that Microsoft is one of the only companies that have gone after Linux, and its probably unforgivable, but that doesnt make them one of the big offenders in mobile patent lawsuits. Making that claim just doesnt hold up to reality.

    Microsoft extorted more from Android vendors than they charged for Windows 7 [osnews.com]. Most of this action was done under NDA and it wasn't until Barnes & Noble exposed this [groklaw.net] that it was clear how outrageous and ridiculous Microsoft's patent claims that they managed to get away with elsewhere are. Even then, Barnes & Noble were forced into selling off part of their E-reader business to Microsoft and investigating windows for tablets. Where Apple is a street punk, Microsoft is a mafia don. You hear more noise from Apple's legal action than Microsofts simply because the level of intimidation is lower and so people are more likely to stand up to them.

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