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Microsoft Sues Motorola Over Android-Related Patent Infringement 199

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-license-for-you dept.
suraj.sun writes with this excerpt from Engadget: "Microsoft has hit up the ITC over a total of nine alleged patent infringements by Motorola in its Android devices, specifically relating to 'synchronizing email, calendars and contacts, scheduling meetings, and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power.' This should be interesting — will it result in a quick cross-licensing agreement, or a protracted court battle spanning multiple years?" The ITC complaint was accompanied by a lawsuit in US District Court. Microsoft's Horacio Gutierrez explained the company's reasoning in a blog post.
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Microsoft Sues Motorola Over Android-Related Patent Infringement

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  • Finally (Score:4, Insightful)

    by binarylarry (1338699) on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:21PM (#33764458)

    It's great to see the USS Microsoft sinking after all these years.

    On to bigger and better things!

  • Translation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:21PM (#33764460)

    Translation:

    We're no longer relevant in this market but we own some patents so we're going to screw as much money out of innovators as we can.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:21PM (#33764462)

    I still want to know how the fuck you can patent checking email or checking battery strength? Or well all this chit is just stuff a guy living in a bubble and suddenly told to make a wireless phone that goes on the internet would think to add himself if he wasn't a moron.. I mean..FUCK

  • Another Example (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sabs (255763) on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:23PM (#33764494)

    This is yet more proof that software patents are stupid.

  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:30PM (#33764602) Journal

    When it comes to the mobile market, Microsoft doesn't have time for subtlety... their mobile reputation has been circling the drain for years now, hype be damned.

    Thing is, unless there's an immediate injunction granted, Microsoft may not have time for the lawsuit to work its magic either... maybe they're just hoping to make off of forced royalties what they suspect they won't be making in voluntary licensing and/or sales? 'course, if that's their strategic move in mobile, their "technologies" are liable to become about as relevant as an LZW-compressed .gif file is to pictures online.

  • by FlorianMueller (801981) on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:30PM (#33764612) Homepage

    Microsoft will be around for a long time to come, and so will Google, despite all of this. So I wouldn't worry (or gloat) about them. The real concern is how all of this patent litigation will ultimately impact Android application developers. That's what I stressed in my first reaction to this [bit.ly]. App developers invest a lot of creativity, time, money and hard work in a platform. If Google doesn't step up now and make a really serious effort to work out deals with all those patent holders, Android as a platform may be in trouble and app developers would suffer.

    Google knew all along that smartphones (and mobile phones in general) are a field in which plenty of patents exist, and in which they are enforced aggressively. Google doesn't have a patent portfolio to match the portfolios of Microsoft, Apple or Oracle; so it doesn't represent a counterthreat. But it could try to negotiate license deals. That's what it must do now, not only for itself, not only for Android phone vendors, but above all for the application developer community its platform depends on.

  • Pot meet kettle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pop69 (700500) <billy AT benarty DOT co DOT uk> on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:36PM (#33764686) Homepage
    In the past Microsoft was the one screwing over its "partner" and stealing mobile phone technology

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sendo [wikipedia.org]

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/01/06/microsofts_masterplan_to_screw_phone/ [theregister.co.uk]

    So having based their smartphone stuff on stolen tech, they're now turning round claiming other people are stealing their tech ?

    Oddly enough, it looks like Motorola were the ones who ended up with the Sendo tech.
  • by StormReaver (59959) on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:37PM (#33764702)

    Microsoft's reasoning is simple: We're going to get our asses kicked by Android in the mobile market, so we're going to use our vast resources to try to destroy yet another superior product. This is standard Microsoft business practice. So shameful.

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:39PM (#33764724) Journal

    MS: Get our mobile OS - it's good, it'll protect you from lawsuits.
    All: Protect us? From who?
    MS: Us, mostly...

  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:39PM (#33764728) Journal

    It's interesting that you'd advocate for a quick and easy surrender, when in fact Microsoft may not even have a case (or even valid patents). Smells like FUD, circa 2003.

    If Google came out swinging, no sweat - the devs (like everyone else) will figure that it'll settle anyway, and barring injunctions (unlikely), business will continue as usual.

    You know? If IBM took the attitude that you're advocating, we'd all be paying some jackass in Utah $700/seat for Linux.

  • by pavera (320634) on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:40PM (#33764730) Homepage Journal

    It's because the lawyers are running the show, and they win every time this stuff happens, no matter which side wins, the lawyers still get rich.

  • by Motard (1553251) on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:41PM (#33764744)

    From the MS blog post...

    "Our action today merely seeks to ensure respect for our intellectual property rights infringed by Android devices; and judging by the recent actions by Apple and Oracle, we are not alone in this respect."

    Android threatens the iPhone perhaps more than Windows Phone 7 does at this point.

    Plus, an Apple proprietary device vs. a Microsoft operating system used by many manufacturers is a competition model that both Microsoft and Apple have been content with for a very long time. Google is an interloper.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:44PM (#33764768)

    from the linked Microsoft blog post:
            "we’ve spent over 30 years developing cutting-edge computer software."

      hmm... personally, I feel that they've spent 15+ of those years abusing a monopoly thus sabotaging competition and reducing innovation. If theirs can be called innovation it's only because they cut everyone else off at the knees with legal tactics and illegal marketing manoeuvres.

  • Re:Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Znork (31774) on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:53PM (#33764890)

    I got email delivered over a modem in the early 90's. The fact that it's now delivered over a GSM modem is hardly 'innovation', no matter what company tries to claim it as such.

  • by swb (14022) on Friday October 01, 2010 @04:05PM (#33765018)

    It seems even more desperate than that. I think the smell of death has taken hold at MS -- they're toast in search, Windows Mobile went from pervasive to MIA in very short time span, they actually had tablets out years ago and now Apple seems to have a massive lead (at least in mindshare).

    My guess is they figured they HAD to do this because a flop with WinMo7 would be highly embarrassing and possibly cost Ballmer his job.

  • Anti-capitalist (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Antisyzygy (1495469) on Friday October 01, 2010 @04:10PM (#33765076)
    Its interesting how companies spout out capitalist philosophy based arguments against laws when it benefits them, but are quick to use non-capitalist strategies to edge the competition out.
  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Friday October 01, 2010 @04:19PM (#33765186) Journal

    Some picking apart may be in order here...

    Apple sued HTC over hardware patents [docstoc.com], IIRC. Microsoft merely included their (and Oracle's) name to legitimize what they were up to in the eyes of their audience. Not sure I'd want the association with Oracle, though - that particular one smells/tastes like Ellison trying to generate some revenue off of his recent purchase of Java, not (as portrayed) as some aggrieved party sick of getting ripped off (remember, Oracle just bought the thing).

    Long-term, sure, Google will likely be vying w/ Apple for the #1 slot. OTOH, I don't think Apple cares if they ever quite reach #1 in the smartphone market, or any market. If they cared about market position, Verizon would be selling iPhones by now, and Dell and HP would be selling computers with OSX preloaded on them. OTOH, Apple has its own, not-so-obvious goals, mostly having to do with holding more money than the US Treasury and China combined, methinks.

    Finally, one last nitpick... I sincerely doubt that Microsoft was/is cozy at all with the iPhone coming out of nowhere and basically tearing it a new arse in the US smartphone markets (and I bet that Palm hated the whole episode even worse). Globally, Microsoft was drowned out by Nokia anyway. :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, 2010 @04:26PM (#33765268)

    Which begs the question: Why the hell does Ballmer still have his job? He's utterly buried that company. It's running on nothing but the installed user base of his predecessor's tenure, momentum, and fumes.

    What is his vision for the future of Microsoft? Anyone? "The Wow?" What happened to that?

  • Re:Translation (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, 2010 @05:03PM (#33765676)

    But whay exactly they claim as invented? Syncing information between two host????? I MEAAANNN REALLLY??????

  • by bobstreo (1320787) on Friday October 01, 2010 @05:14PM (#33765810)

    So apple/RIM/MS/Google/Motorola/HTC are all in lawsuits against each other?

    Why oh why didn't I get a law degree?

    In other words, the only ones who are going to win in all this stupidity are the lawyers.

  • Re:The Patents (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday October 01, 2010 @06:53PM (#33766682) Journal

    Just keep in mind that patent title can be "Masturbating fluffy bunnies" for all anyone cares, what it's actually about is in the claims. Patent titles are often very broad, much more so than what the patent actually claims. So don't be so quick to think that patents won't hold up in court.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday October 01, 2010 @07:01PM (#33766724)

    Windows Phone 7 is not the patsy that Windows Mobile was. It's a threat. Nobody with a Windows Mobile device is dreading an upgrade to a competitive phone.

    Businesses normally don't like spending money for no reason. Many of them that currently have Windows Mobile phone will not like having to spend money on new versions of their current apps. Also they cannot upgrade their current phones to Windows 7. So that gives them no incentive to stay with Windows. They have to buy new apps and get new phones so then it offers no advantage to Windows. That puts it on par with Blackberry.

    Couple that with the emphasis that Microsoft has put on Windows 7 Phone being a consumer not a corporate phone. So a brand new phone OS has fewer corporate features than their previous phone. While Blackberry is rolling out more corporate features. Gee, which one will corporations buy?

    Name me one other mobile provider that has corporate development support already built into major corporations.

    As I said before Windows 7 Phone is focused on the consumer market. It does not matter how much lip service MS pays to having a corporate development environment if corporations are not going to buy Windows 7 phones for their employees because it does not have the features that they need. At best only corporations that develop apps might be interested in Windows 7.

    Windows Mobile was a place holder. Windows Phone 7 is a game changer.

    So far the market the kept Windows Mobile alive has been the corporate market. And MS is throwing it away for the consumer market. But from what I've seen of Windows 7, they are years behind Apple and Android. Heck, they are years behind WebOS. What do you base this belief that they will be a game changer when the game passed them by years ago?

  • Re:Translation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hey! (33014) on Saturday October 02, 2010 @07:04AM (#33769494) Homepage Journal

    I like patent 6826762, in which Microsoft patents the use of hardware independent software drivers when applied to cell phones. What moron at the patent office approved that one?

    Or how about 6909910 "Method and System for Managing Changes to a Contact Database". The invention amounts to this: when the user wants to save the last phone call as a contact, you look to see whether that phone number is in the contact database. If it is, you bring that contact up for editing. If it is not, you create a new contact pre-populating the phone field with the last number called.

    Seriously. How in the world does the patent office grant such rubbish patents? Do they go out of their way to hire clueless people, or do they have a special training program?

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

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