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Print 52 comment(s) - last by theapparition.. on Oct 27 at 12:11 PM

Group complains that Microsoft's heavy handed license-or-sue approach to Android cries for reform

Mosaic Collateral Asset Management -- or M-CAM for short -- has released a scathing analysis of Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) license-or-lawsuit campaign [1][2][3][4] against Android.

The advocacy group, which calls for "ethical use... of wisdom traditions [patents]", comments:

It's settled. We've figured out Microsoft's costume for this year's Halloween party: Ralphie's pink bunny suit from A Christmas Story.  

Why?

Given its licensing program – and recently, its agreement with Quanta, Amazon’s Kindle Fire manufacturer – why not?  A look at Microsoft’s IP Licensing page tells us
the company “has entered into more than 700 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors
to access its growing, broad patent and IP portfolio.”

What a deranged marketing ploy.    It's like a creepy dude in an Easter bunny suit offering eggs, and them throwing them if the passerby refuses to take one.

They say that most companies license because merely out of lack of desire to try to clarify what exactly they violate or don't violate and the validity of the patents involved. M-CAM writes:

And this strategy is working because, really, how many manufacturers are going to look through not only Microsoft's 10,000 plus patents, but their own sizeable portfolios as well, just to determine which patents they may or may not be infringing? We doubt even Microsoft’s patent lawyers know what’s in their own portfolio, let alone what’s in their competitors’.   (Of course, they could always enlist the help of their old CTO Nathan Myhrvold, since he seems to have a good grasp on searching through a 35,000 plus patent pool to find assertion gems.)

(Microsoft's ex-CTO is co-founder of Intellectual Ventures, an infamous patent troll, which matains a host of shell companies with which to sue people.)

M-CAM reveals that International Business Machines, Inc. (IBM) seemingly holds the most Android related patents, though it thus-far hasn't visibly tried to profiteer off the operating system.  On the other hand, Microsoft sits in second place with over 2,300 patents that seemingly apply to Android.

The group warns that Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) -- a new Android device maker -- is at great risk as it has only 12 patents, far less than Microsoft's past victims.  But in the end it concludes that in reality everyone is at risk.

It comments on this and the recent ineffectual reform efforts, writing:

So should Amazon be worried?   Sure. Should every company selling a product be worried?   Sadly, a resounding yes.   Until actual patent reform happens – oops, did we just say the latest patent reform bill did nothing to meaningfully improve the system?   Yes, we did.  – and until the “more is better” stockpiling mentality dissipates from both the overcrowded patent law field and the upper echelons of the corporate tech world, every company large enough to receive attention over its technology is a participant in this cold patent war.

Regardless of your feelings on the accuracy of this colorful analysis, one has to admit that it's at least entertaining.

Source: M-CAM



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By Reclaimer77 on 10/24/2011 10:31:10 PM , Rating: 5
I don't even know what to say to this. The guy must have been paid off by Apple or somebody, that's the only explanation. Apple goes off on a megalomaniac legal ambush with vague and non-specific patent claims to, in Jobs' own words, "destroy" Android. And this dude is calling out Microsoft for legitimate licensing deals on specific and tangible patents representing major R&D by MS?

Something smells here.


RE: What is evil Microsoft doing with that fortune?
By NormM on 10/24/2011 11:26:24 PM , Rating: 1
The patent system is obviously a dysfunctional mess, and encourages big companies with lots of patents to extort money from everyone else. But if you're going to quote Jobs you should at least include context. He said that Android was a stolen product. It only exists because Google copied Apple. It's unlikely that Android copied anything from MS. It's just that MS owns so many ideas that any complex piece of software is going to reinvent some of them. Independent invention should be proof that the ideas were obvious, but it isn't. So Apple is suing over theft of ideas, and MS is exploiting pathologies of the patent system.


By Reclaimer77 on 10/25/2011 1:11:20 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
He said that Android was a stolen product.


Which is completely bullshit. You could even say TWO touch "gestures" Android "stole" from iOS. But the entirety of Android being something "stolen" from Apple? That's just nonsense! Google bought Android from Android Inc in 2005! Hello? The iPhone didn't come out until 2007.


By silverblue on 10/25/2011 9:54:07 AM , Rating: 2
Android, Inc., prior to the Google buyout in 2005, were amazingly secretive about their work. I think it's fair to say that only Google and past Android, Inc. employees will know exactly what Android looked like.


By spacemonkey211 on 10/25/2011 12:55:38 PM , Rating: 2
How many cars out there look the same... by the same I mean they have 4 wheels, a stearing wheel on the same side, seats in rows, an engine and storage, and some kind of body to hold it all together.

The car companies should sue each other for stealing their ideas!!!


By Reclaimer77 on 10/25/2011 3:01:03 PM , Rating: 1
Apple didn't invent the mobile OS or the concept of a mobile OS. So I'm not sure how you can make the leap that Google only developed Android to steal from and compete with Apple. Nor do I want to live in a world where idiots like you think one company SHOULD be the sole provider of such things.

What the fuck is wrong with you people?


By callmeroy on 10/25/2011 3:43:25 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Glad I'm not the only one that thinks that way.


By Etsp on 10/25/2011 9:48:34 AM , Rating: 2
He also said that Windows 1 was a stolen product.


By kleinma on 10/25/2011 10:06:04 AM , Rating: 2
iPhone came out in 2007, but how many years was it in development, with the head of google sitting on Apples board of directors?


RE: What is evil Microsoft doing with that fortune?
By nafhan on 10/25/2011 10:27:24 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah, but Android was totally different until Google saw the iPhone and stole all the ideas (like icons in a grid)! And THEN THEY ADDED IT TO ANDROID BECAUSE THEY ARE EBIL!!!!!$%$#%$!

...or at least that seems to be the current conspiracy. :)


By spacemonkey211 on 10/25/2011 12:16:34 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like Apple should sue Microsoft because my desktop's icons are in a grid.

What difference does it make that it is on a mobile device?


By theapparition on 10/27/2011 12:11:20 PM , Rating: 2
Pretty sure that was sarcasm.


RE: What is evil Microsoft doing with that fortune?
By NormM on 10/25/2011 12:22:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But the entirety of Android being something "stolen" from Apple? That's just nonsense!


He meant that the UI features that made the iPhone so successful were copied. Before the iPhone, Android was a Blackberry clone.


By sprockkets on 10/25/2011 1:19:59 PM , Rating: 2
And a full screen phone with navigator

http://asia.cnet.com/an-early-look-at-googles-andr...


By Targon on 10/26/2011 5:40:57 AM , Rating: 2
And Apple has been doing a "copy this feature and that feature" from every other product out there, and not even doing it all that well in many cases. If Palm had the marketing abilities that Apple has, then webOS would be the dominant OS right now and iOS would look like an old and stale POS.


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997














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