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Microsoft, Apple and Others Launch Huge Patent Strike at Android 476

Posted by Soulskill
from the go-big-or-go-home dept.
New submitter GODISNOWHERE writes "Nortel went bankrupt in 2009. In 2011, it held an auction for its massive patent portfolio. The winners of the auction were Apple, Microsoft, Sony, RIM, and others, who bought the patents for $4.5 billion as a consortium named Rockstar Bidco. At the time, many people speculated those patents would be used against Google, who bid separately but lost. It turns out they were right. Rockstar has filed eight lawsuits in federal court targeting Google and Android device manufacturers. 'The complaint (PDF) against Google involves six patents, all from the same patent "family." They're all titled "associative search engine," and list Richard Skillen and Prescott Livermore as inventors. The patents describe "an advertisement machine which provides advertisements to a user searching for desired information within a data network. The oldest patent in the case is US Patent No. 6,098,065, with a filing date of 1997, one year before Google was founded. The newest patent in the suit was filed in 2007 and granted in 2011. The complaint tries to use the fact that Google bid for the patents as an extra point against the search giant.'"
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Microsoft, Apple and Others Launch Huge Patent Strike at Android

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  • by Shag (3737) on Friday November 01, 2013 @09:02AM (#45299137) Homepage

    “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.” - Steve Jobs

    This isn't a surgical strike. This is an attack on Google's primary business model and revenue stream. Nobody makes much profit off Android - most players make no profit at all. Google's deep pockets are basically the only thing keeping Android a going concern. But this is, definitely, the "nuclear option," going after so much more than just Android.

  • Re:Anti-Trust (Score:5, Informative)

    by egarland (120202) on Friday November 01, 2013 @09:05AM (#45299161)

    I can't believe there wouldn't be a law somewhere on the books that would make it illegal for all your competitors to gang up together and buy patents to try and lock you out of the market. I'm assuming the laws exist, but they figure they've got enough legal mojo to fend off weak government anti-trust regulators.

  • Justia link (Score:5, Informative)

    by jbolden (176878) on Friday November 01, 2013 @09:09AM (#45299181) Homepage

    To save people the trouble of finding these:
    http://patents.justia.com/inventor/richard-prescott-skillen [justia.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 01, 2013 @09:16AM (#45299253)

    I would say that, if admissible, this "invention" (PDF [google.com]) completely prevents any company from displaying ads alongside search results, killing Adsense:

    This invention relates to an advertisment machine which provides advertisements to a user searching for desired information within a data network. The machine receives, from the user, a search request including a search argument corresponding to the desired information and searches, based upon the received search argument, a first database having data network related information to generate search results. It also correlates the received search argument to a particular advertisement in a second database having advertisement related information. The search results together with the particular advertisement are provided by the machine to the user.

    We claim:
    1. A method of searching for desired information Within a data network, comprising the steps of:
      -> receiving, from a user, a search request including a search argument corresponding to the desired information;
      -> searching, based upon the received search argument and user profile data, a database of information to generate a search result; and
      -> providing the search results to the user
      -> Wherein searching the database includes correlating, as a function of a fuzzy logic algorithm, the received search argument and user profile data to particular information in the database, and providing the particular information as the search results.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 01, 2013 @09:17AM (#45299263)

    The Motorola patents are worthless. Either SEPs that can't be used in litigation or outdated pager patents.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 01, 2013 @10:31AM (#45300063)

    No. Jobs was referring to the fact that Android was planned as BlackBerry Clone and only after Eric Moleman Schmidt was on Apples board, with access to secret prototypes did Android evolve into a iOS clone. That's what nagged Jobs. Not the sheer existence of Android.

    It was Windows reloaded when Gates received 3 Macintosh prototypes to develop Mac software only to reverse engineer the OS into Windows.

  • Re:Anti-Trust (Score:4, Informative)

    by cheesybagel (670288) on Friday November 01, 2013 @10:37AM (#45300131)

    Google "Wright Brothers patent war".

  • Re:Patent hell (Score:4, Informative)

    by akozakie (633875) on Friday November 01, 2013 @01:35PM (#45301963)

    Bing. Microsoft is part of this consortium, remember?

    You underestimate human ability to adapt. If we lose what we use, we'll use what's available. Sure, there'd be a period of outrage and a bit of chaos, but then everything would stabilise. Business as usual while someone else reaps the profit.

    There's a Polish proverb: "If you don't have what you like, you like what you have".

Wasn't there something about a PASCAL programmer knowing the value of everything and the Wirth of nothing?

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