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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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RE: These guys are full of it
By spacemonkey211 on 10/25/2011 1:03:39 PM , Rating: 2
OR..... they don't want to spend billions in a long term suite that might put their production on hold until it is over (so no profit for years and in the hole) or instead spend millions that just cut into their profits a little now. Doesn't matter if they have a case or not... MS has deep pockets and it is in their best interest to keep the suite going for as long as possible.


RE: These guys are full of it
By stm1185 on 10/25/2011 8:14:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
OR..... they don't want to spend billions in a long term suite that might put their production on hold until it is over (so no profit for years and in the hole) or instead spend millions that just cut into their profits a little now. Doesn't matter if they have a case or not... MS has deep pockets and it is in their best interest to keep the suite going for as long as possible.


Which might be a good argument except that these companies MS has made licensing agreements with are known to not roll over and put up a strong counter fight. Like Samsung which does not back down from a legal fight, their ongoing global war with Apple shows that, and they would not have signed the licensing agreement with MS to just not have to litigate. These are not small companies here, they are mammoth international corporations, they don't just roll over because of some threat of a law suit unless they know for a fact they will lose.


RE: These guys are full of it
By Targon on 10/26/2011 5:37:44 AM , Rating: 2
So, why don't you go out and say what is really going on in the marketplace. Microsoft has valid patents that others are paying royalties to use, and Apple is making vague threats to companies in the effort to shut them down, not just get license fees from.

Microsoft has done MANY bad things over the years, but it has been quite a while since Microsoft has been obviously trying to put other companies out of business. Apple on the other hand is only trying to kill the competition, and all of the anti-Microsoft stuff SHOULD be put aside at the moment to go after the more evil companies that are out there.


"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone














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