×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Microsoft Continues Android Legal Assault

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the business-as-usual dept.

Android 344

shmlco writes "According to an article on AllThingsD, Microsoft is continuing its legal assault on Android. On Monday the company sued Barnes & Noble, Foxconn International and Inventec over the company's Nook e-reader, alleging patent infringement. To quote Microsoft deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez, 'The Android platform infringes a number of Microsoft's patents, and companies manufacturing and shipping Android devices must respect our intellectual property rights. Their refusals to take licenses leave us no choice but to bring legal action.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

344 comments

gay niggers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564192)

microsoft are gay niggers

Please don't say that. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564368)

It's an insult to the gay niggers!

Not Microsoft's Fault (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564196)

This is what happens when you institutionalize bribery in government. If our politicians weren't so easy to bribe, and the voters weren't so stupid this would not be an issue.

Garbage in, garbage out. And Americans vote for corrupt garbage.

Re:Not Microsoft's Fault (-1, Flamebait)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564428)

Yeah, and if women weren't so easy to rape then rape wouldnt' be an issue either.. it's clearly the women's fault.

Re:Not Microsoft's Fault (2, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564594)

Yeah, and if women weren't so easy to rape then rape wouldnt' be an issue either.. it's clearly the women's fault.

A 'rape' analogy is never appropriate.

What, you couldn't come up with "if cars weren't so easy to steal then grand theft auto wouldn't be an issue either ... it's clearly the car's fault"?

Re:Not Microsoft's Fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564804)

A 'rape' analogy is never appropriate.

Mrs. Godwin's Law.

Re:Not Microsoft's Fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564986)

I think it's an appropriate analogy when a bunch of guys hold you down and have sex with you against your will.

Re:Not Microsoft's Fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564656)

*Sigh*

Allow me to explain why your analogy is not relevant and your implicit accusation that GP is victim-blaming is baseless.

Bribery requires consent. One party must offer a bribe and the second party must accept it. For the misdeed of bribery to occur, then both parties must by definition have assented to it. Therefore, there truly are no innocent parties in a bribery.

Rape does not require the consent of one party. In fact, it requires the non-consent of one party. For the misdeed of rape to occur, then by definition there is a perpetrator and a victim. Therefore, there is always a victim in a rape.

Strawman fail.

Re:Not Microsoft's Fault (5, Insightful)

Merk42 (1906718) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564754)

Bribery does require consent between the two parties, but the third party (the consumer) is the one getting raped.

Re:Not Microsoft's Fault (2)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564704)

And Americans vote for corrupt garbage.

So, what, we solve this problem by voting for the dudes that say they're honest and working for the people?

Re:Not Microsoft's Fault (1)

soloport (312487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35565012)

"So, what, we solve this problem by voting for the dudes that say they're honest and working for the people?"

No. Just convince Glen Beck that patents are the spawn of the Devil. Congress will fix this inside of a week.

IF they hold the patents (4, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564216)

Why is it that if they hold the patents for what the android phones are doing, then why didn't they make a decent phone themselves to start with? How is it that google took their intellectual property they dreamed up and made something so much better than their own crap?

Re:IF they hold the patents (5, Insightful)

oGMo (379) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564304)

Ideas are easy, implementation is hard. MS allegedly has some pieces of paper that say "we thought of this first! you can't use my idea!" Google has an actual piece of software that works pretty well. If patents worked at all like they should, MS could only patent their actual implementation of something, not the mere concept itself.

Re:IF they hold the patents (4, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564528)

This is why patents are supposed to only cover implementations, not ideas.

Re:IF they hold the patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564556)

Ideas are easy, implementation is hard. MS allegedly has some pieces of paper that say "we thought of this first! you can't use my idea!" Google has an actual piece of software that works pretty well. If patents worked at all like they should, MS could only patent their actual implementation of something, not the mere concept itself.

Isn't copyright what implementation protection is about?

Re:IF they hold the patents (1)

SnapShot (171582) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564958)

Isn't copyright what implementation protection is about?

Yes, in that Frankenstein, for example, is Mary Shelly's "implementation" of a story about a the hubris of man and man's inhumanity to man. I don't think Microsoft is accusing Google (by proxy through companies with less resources to defend themselves.... I think Microsoft learned this tactic from Darl) of literally copying code or artistic elements so they have to rely on the U.S. broken system of software patents.

Re:IF they hold the patents (1)

Ciggy (692030) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564976)

Yes. And no.

Copyright protects one implementation - if you can create the same output for the same input without copying the actual implementation, then you're perfectly entitled to do it.

Patent protects all implementations [as far as I can see - regardless of whether the patentee actually though of the implementation or not].

Re:IF they hold the patents (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564682)

Ideas are easy, implementation is hard. MS allegedly has some pieces of paper that say "we thought of this first! you can't use my idea!" Google has an actual piece of software that works pretty well. If patents worked at all like they should, MS could only patent their actual implementation of something, not the mere concept itself.

Well, Apple had lot of functionality iPhone software before Google and Apple sued HTC and Motorola over. So you mean Apple has a valid reason to sue and stop Android?

Re:IF they hold the patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564322)

Polaroid v. Kodak would like a word with you.

Re:IF they hold the patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564328)

You don't even need to read TFA to see that's about e-readers, not phones.
And as much as you'd like it to be, the quality of their products is not relevant to their patents.

Re:IF they hold the patents (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564498)

Try reading to the end of the summary. Here, I'll help:

The Android platform infringes a number of Microsoft's patents, and companies manufacturing and shipping Android devices must respect our intellectual property rights.

Re:IF they hold the patents (2)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564626)

The Android platform infringes a number of Microsoft's patents, and companies manufacturing and shipping Android devices must respect our intellectual property rights.

Actually, I think the original Microsoft 'Bob' looked an awful lot like that cute little Android thingy. That's what this all must be about.

Re:IF they hold the patents (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564906)

read TFA to see that's about e-readers

In that case they have nothing to fear. I can attest to the fact that the NOOK Color is in fact an Android tablet with e-reader software. Just remove the e-reader (the user can install it themselves).

the quality of their products is not relevant to their patents.

Actually it's the quality of their patents most people have issues with.

Re:IF they hold the patents (2)

BearRanger (945122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564384)

Because those who can, do. Those who can't, litigate.

Re:IF they hold the patents (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564828)

Because those who can, do. Those who can't, litigate.

Those who can do.

Those who can't teach.

Those who can't do either litigate those who can.

Re:IF they hold the patents (4, Interesting)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564714)

Remember, the more litigious the company, the less innovative.

Apple is not excluded and obviously neither is MS. The only time a company goes "nuclear" with the patent option is when they are betting that in the short term they can make a profit off extortion. Given the open source nature of the products and the sheer size of the companies MS is going after, this is so hilariously shortsighted I don't know where to begin, not to mention how easy it is to get around a patent with GPL'd software.

SCO anyone? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564224)

SCO didn't die in vain, they were just sacrificed to make this kind of insane posturing and attitude of corporate entitlement seem normal. We got most of our shock at those tactics out of the way over the years McBride & Co attacked Linux, clearing the path for bigger fish, like Microsoft, to publicly act the same without as much backlash.

Good marketing effort. Idiots.

Re:SCO anyone? (3, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564706)

SCO didn't die in vain, they were just sacrificed to make this kind of insane posturing and attitude of corporate entitlement seem normal. We got most of our shock at those tactics out of the way over the years McBride & Co attacked Linux, clearing the path for bigger fish, like Microsoft, to publicly act the same without as much backlash.

Good marketing effort. Idiots.

I'm not sure it's that way. Microsoft put together the play book and placed it out there for someone to follow. SCO picked it up and ran with it. But not many others did. So the question then becomes whether SCO was the over-the-top publicity event to dull our senses or whether Microsoft is being forced to run their own plays since nobody else is.

Re:SCO anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564894)

Microsoft put together the play book and placed it out there for someone to follow. SCO picked it up and ran with it. But not many others did. So the question then becomes whether SCO was the over-the-top publicity event to dull our senses or whether Microsoft is being forced to run their own plays since nobody else is.

SCO was essentially acquired by MS but their strengths (which are: not being able to do anything useful and suing everyone else who was) aligned well with MS's core business and a reverse take-over took place, with MS's corporate culture and modus operandi increasingly becoming more like SCO's. Now MS is focusing on doing well what SCO was good at (no good and good for nothing).

Disclaimer: I may have a slight bias in favor of useless evil Microsoft.

Wow REALLY Bad Patents (5, Insightful)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564232)

While I am uneasy about patents, a case for truly innovative products can be made. But this is not innovation. This is patenting whatever one can. Like:

Enable display of a webpage’s content before the background image is received, allowing users to interact with the page faster;

You have got to be effen kidding me. That's a patent? Who was the bonehead that thought something like that is innovation?

Re:Wow REALLY Bad Patents (2)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564360)

From Microsoft's FUD^WNews Center [microsoft.com]

Their refusals to take licenses leave us no choice but to bring legal action to defend our innovations and fulfill our responsibility to our customers, partners, and shareholders to safeguard the billions of dollars we invest each year to bring great software products and services to market,” he added.

The patents at issue cover a range of functionality embodied in Android devices that are essential to the user experience, including: natural ways of interacting with devices by tabbing through various screens to find the information they need; surfing the Web more quickly, and interacting with documents and e-books.

This from the company that derided tabbed browsing as something that end users didn't want when Firefox had it and IE didn't.

They're doing a great job protecting their "great software products and services" - they're so protected that nobody's seen them.

This is what you do when your own product (WP7) can't compete on the merits.

Re:Wow REALLY Bad Patents (1, Interesting)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564490)

Does your statements equally apply to Apple? Just curious. Apple sued HTC and Motorola over Android for patent infringement..

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/02/AR2010030203916.html [washingtonpost.com]

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/12/04/apple_adds_12_more_patents_to_lawsuit_against_motorola.html [appleinsider.com]

Re:Wow REALLY Bad Patents (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564662)

Does your statements equally apply to Apple? Just curious. Apple sued HTC and Motorola over Android for patent infringement..

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/02/AR2010030203916.html [washingtonpost.com]

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/12/04/apple_adds_12_more_patents_to_lawsuit_against_motorola.html [appleinsider.com]

To me it applies as much to Apple as it does to Microsoft.

Actually I want almost if not all patenting ended. If you can't compeat with a better product then get out of business.

Falcon

Re:Wow REALLY Bad Patents (2)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564938)

Short answer: Yes.

Even shorter answer: 1

Fairly short answer: Software patents are a mistake, as are business patents. Software is written, not "built", and should only be protected by copyright or trademark law, not patent. Patents are for "things".

Re:Wow REALLY Bad Patents (3, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564554)

It's kind of funny that they think they can patent "natural ways of interacting" too..

Re:Wow REALLY Bad Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564494)

The simple answer is greed.

USPTO cares more about taking the $ for a patent application than actually performing their jobs. That is why they are so quota driven these days.

Re:Wow REALLY Bad Patents (3, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564510)

Enable display of a webpage's content before the background image is received, allowing users to interact with the page faster;

My old 14.4k internet connection and Netscape Navigator 2.0 are prior art.

Re:Wow REALLY Bad Patents (2)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564512)

Enable display of a webpage’s content before the background image is received, allowing users to interact with the page faster;

You have got to be effen kidding me. That's a patent? Who was the bonehead that thought something like that is innovation?

That's nothing. The really innovative patents are:
- Crashing web browser when background image finally loads
- Freezing device until USB device wakes up
- Dropping calls when most likely to jeopardise life or career
- Shutting down at most inopportune moment.

Re:Wow REALLY Bad Patents (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564610)

While I am uneasy about patents, a case for truly innovative products can be made. But this is not innovation. This is patenting whatever one can. Like:

Enable display of a webpageâ(TM)s content before the background image is received, allowing users to interact with the page faster;

You have got to be effen kidding me. That's a patent? Who was the bonehead that thought something like that is innovation?

It is innovation just not innovation in the 21st century, Microsoft filed a patents for tabbed browsing in 1997 and so the patent have expired yet they are still trying to get people to pay for protection to "Give people easy ways to navigate through information provided by their device apps via a separate control window with tabs"

Re:Wow REALLY Bad Patents (1)

snmpkid (93151) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564776)

One of the patents held by MobileMedia MPEGLA'S new troll organization is for metallic keys on a cell phone

Re:Wow REALLY Bad Patents (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564868)

While I am uneasy about patents, a case for truly innovative products can be made. But this is not innovation. This is patenting whatever one can. Like:

Enable display of a webpage’s content before the background image is received, allowing users to interact with the page faster;

You have got to be effen kidding me. That's a patent? Who was the bonehead that thought something like that is innovation?

I thought it was "Buffering Input" which precedes even Microsoft being in business.

Re:Wow REALLY Bad Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564936)

That's exactly how all web browsers worked in the old days. Anyone using dial-up with bouncing text will be able to tell you that. And MS were late to the table with their's.

Re:Wow REALLY Bad Patents (1)

Gnavpot (708731) | more than 3 years ago | (#35565026)

Enable display of a webpage's content before the background image is received, allowing users to interact with the page faster;

You have got to be effen kidding me. That's a patent? Who was the bonehead that thought something like that is innovation?

The worst part is that 12-14 years ago, IE was actually severely lacking in this area compared to Netscape. Netscape could load the page immediately and fill in the images as they loaded. With IE, you had to wait for all images to be loaded, before the page would show.

Admitted, that was images in the page, not background images. I don't remember how background images loaded in the two browsers back then.

Re:Wow REALLY Bad Patents (2)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 3 years ago | (#35565030)

That's a patent?

No, that's not a patent. If you knew anything about patents, you'd know that.

Redmond and tone deafness. (1)

phrackwulf (589741) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564264)

You would think well into the Post Gates era the folks at Microsoft would consider a little better how this type of thing looks? Nobody is going to win on this one. All parties involved could have met to negotiate on this and come to some type of agreement long before the legal firepower gets involved. I want to like Microsoft now that they've been taken to the woodshed several times by Google and Apple. Wil Wheaton says "Don't be a dick."

Re:Redmond and tone deafness. (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564766)

You would think well into the Post Gates era the folks at Microsoft would consider a little better how this type of thing looks?

Didn't you know we're in the Steve Ballmer era? This is a person who loves to throw chairs, and shouting out how he's going to kill Google.

"This is what happens when a great deal of intelligence is invested in ignorance" - Chairman of Bregna, Trevor Goodchild

But things are unraveling.
We're meant to die.

Falcon

List of these important patented innovations (2, Informative)

binkzz (779594) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564272)

The Microsoft-created features protected by the patents infringed by the Nook and Nook Color tablet are core to the user experience. For example, the patents we asserted today protect innovations that: â Give people easy ways to navigate through information provided by their device apps via a separate control window with tabs; â Enable display of a webpageâ(TM)s content before the background image is received, allowing users to interact with the page faster; â Allow apps to superimpose download status on top of the downloading content; â Permit users to easily select text in a document and adjust that selection; and â Provide users the ability to annotate text without changing the underlying document.

Re:List of these important patented innovations (4, Informative)

binkzz (779594) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564320)

The Microsoft-created features protected by the patents infringed by the Nook and Nook Color tablet are core to the user experience. For example, the patents we asserted today protect innovations that:

- Give people easy ways to navigate through information provided by their device apps via a separate control window with tabs;

- Enable display of a webpageâ€(TM)s content before the background image is received, allowing users to interact with the page faster;

- Allow apps to superimpose download status on top of the downloading content;

- Permit users to easily select text in a document and adjust that selection; and

- Provide users the ability to annotate text without changing the underlying document.

Sorry for not using preview :-"

Re:List of these important patented innovations (-1, Flamebait)

laktech (998064) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564676)

Wtf is android thinking? They are decades behind the OS technology and they think their entire platform is innovative? Yeah, right. Pay up buddy. Maybe Google should have bought Palm!

Re:List of these important patented innovations (1)

BabyDuckHat (1503839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564606)

Those were considered innovative enough to warrant a patent?

1. File patents for obvious ideas involving computers
2. Wait for someone else to implement the ideas and make money
3. Sue them
4. Profit!

(The lack of the ??? step is the truly sad part there.)

figures (1)

cshark (673578) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564280)

Classic legal stance from the losers. If having success in the marketplace alludes you, sue sue sue.

Re:figures (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564354)

Are you eluding to the difference between allude and elude? Also, your definition of "loser" is awfully strange. "Amassing billions and billions of dollars" makes one a loser, I guess.

Re:figures (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564404)

"Amassing billions and billions of dollars" makes one a loser, I guess.

How long can you continue 'amassing billions and billions of dollars' when your market is shrinking and your competitors own the new markets you want to get into?

Re:figures (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564436)

They did not make that money in this market place, they made it in the PC realm.

MS cannot compete in the smartphone market so they fall back to rent seeking.

Re:figures (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564526)

MS cannot compete in the smartphone market so they fall back to rent seeking.

In other words, they are making money in a market they have no significant products in? Sounds like a success story to me.

Re:figures (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564608)

Sounds like market failure to me. Rent seeking is not a good thing.

Re:figures (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564792)

Sounds like market failure to me.

Except that patents, a government-granted monopoly, are pretty much the antithesis of a free market.

Re:figures (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35565028)

Correct you are, I used the wrong term. I meant, it sounds like a market broken by these granted monopolies.

Re:figures (1)

imric (6240) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564628)

Competing through lawsuits isn't even innovation anymore. Its just pathetic.

Re:figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564434)

Those who can, can. Those who can't, sue.

!!! Fix the Patent System !!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564282)

!!!! USA !!!!! Fix the Patent System !!! Don't you geeks have the control over there??? ;)

Re:!!! Fix the Patent System !!! (2)

imric (6240) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564582)

If we did it would be a happier country.

Not perfect, maybe - but happier.

Oh look (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564318)

More bullshit from Microsoft.

I'm too busy kicking China's ass to do anything about Microsoft. Anyone else want to step up to the plate?

This discussion is missing something important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564372)

Alright, where are all the Microsoft astroturfers telling us why this is actually a good thing?

Re:This discussion is missing something important (2)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564618)

Alright, where are all the Microsoft astroturfers telling us why this is actually a good thing?

They're still in shell-shock from having their last piece of FUD (that Android has a "bigger problem than Java" because of the linux kernel headers) blow up in their face. That has all the appearance of a support operation for today's announcement, but they've clearly lost the momentum.

They'll be back ... right after the Beast from Redmond receives a new batch of chairs.

Uh.. (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564412)

There's a list of some of the patents in the article...

" Give people easy ways to navigate through information provided by their device apps via a separate control window with tabs;"

This is so vague even I can't understand what it is.

" Enable display of a webpage’s content before the background image is received, allowing users to interact with the page faster;"

Woah. The insight of this is truly staggering.

" Allow apps to superimpose download status on top of the downloading content;"

No idea what this means either.

" Permit users to easily select text in a document and adjust that selection; and"

. . .

" Provide users the ability to annotate text without changing the underlying document."

Could we take "Colour Markers", "Scribbling on a document" to be previous implmentations of this? Because then there's a lot of people you could sue.

Re:Uh.. (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564538)

Enable display of a webpageâ(TM)s content before the background image is received, allowing users to interact with the page faster;

Didn't Netscape 1.0 do this? You know, before the background attribute was added? So they have a patent on programmatic regression?

Re:Uh.. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564732)

I'm not sure about that, but I remember years ago learning HTML and it being considered best practice to specify dimensions on all images so that the browser new what space to reserve so that people could start reading whilst the pages loaded. It was relatively obvious back in days when it could take a long time for even a small page to finish loading.

Re:Uh.. (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564700)

There's a list of some of the patents in the article...

" Give people easy ways to navigate through information provided by their device apps via a separate control window with tabs;"

This is so vague even I can't understand what it is.

" Enable display of a webpage’s content before the background image is received, allowing users to interact with the page faster;"

Woah. The insight of this is truly staggering.

" Allow apps to superimpose download status on top of the downloading content;"

No idea what this means either.

" Permit users to easily select text in a document and adjust that selection; and"

. . .

" Provide users the ability to annotate text without changing the underlying document."

Could we take "Colour Markers", "Scribbling on a document" to be previous implmentations of this? Because then there's a lot of people you could sue.

With the exception of that download thing, my old Palm Pre did all of that with WebOS. I wonder why Microsoft isn't suing HP since their new tablet and phone also does all of this?

Re:Uh.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564762)

Not defending the lawsuit here, but it is worth noting that some of these patents are rather old and while they may be used for patent trolling-esque purposes now, some were probably innovative at the time.

While noting now-obvious behavior as obvious, it is worth realizing that some of these features were pretty substantial back when they came out.

Enable display of a webpage's before the background image... [google.com] was filed April 18, 1996.
Allow apps to superimpose download status... [google.com] was filed May 6, 1997. By the way, the actual title for this one is: "Loading status in a hypermedia browser having a limited available display area." It was a patent for displaying status on one of the original Windows CE devices.

Re:Uh.. (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564990)

I dunno. But given how quickly technology progresses, even if the patent was a great idea in 1996, shouldn't it be irrelevant by now?

Technology progresses too quickly for patents like this to stay there.

Re:Uh.. (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564992)

Yeah, because no competent programmer could have come up with those ideas by themselves. 'Oh look, my web page is taking a long time to display because I'm waiting for the background image to download. I can't think of any possible way I could avoid that.'

Re:Uh.. (1)

pla (258480) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564994)

"Give people easy ways to navigate through information provided by their device apps via a separate control window with tabs;"
This is so vague even I can't understand what it is.


I think it means something like the annoying Win7 rolodex-o'-apps that replaced the formerly clean-and-easy-to-use alt-tab behavior.


"Allow apps to superimpose download status on top of the downloading content;"
No idea what this means either.


Progress bars, nothing more.


Truly revolutionary stuff here, Microsoft. Did you run out of boolean operators (*cough* XOR *cough*) to patent?

USPTO problem (2)

grilled-cheese (889107) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564414)

This is the result of letting companies get patents that boil down to numbers and abstract generic processes. I think the only way to fix it is to reform how patents are granted, for what, and for how long. If USPTO simply can't handle the load they're under, then they should complain to their bosses for more resources, reform their practices, or change applicant's expectations.

Re:USPTO problem (2)

grilled-cheese (889107) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564468)

I'm just sick and tired of the intellectual property arms race/cold war that's been going on now for some time.

Re:USPTO problem (4, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564742)

This is the result of letting companies get patents that boil down to numbers and abstract generic processes. I think the only way to fix it is to reform how patents are granted, for what, and for how long. If USPTO simply can't handle the load they're under, then they should complain to their bosses for more resources, reform their practices, or change applicant's expectations.

I'm just sick and tired of the intellectual property arms race/cold war that's been going on now for some time.

Visualize this scenario: Alien civilization arrives on earth tomorrow. Wants to engage in trade, they desperately want food and what they have to offer is very advanced technology, much of which at some point infringes on IP held by Earth companies. We explain how the process works and they boggle, "The only way we ever were able to develop space travel was by rolling back IP laws - bar one: All processes or inventions are Fair Use after no more than 5 years (one of theirs is roughly equivalent to one of ours) with financial incentives to those who release their ideas to the public immediately.

You people are still driving cars?!?

Re:USPTO problem (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564844)

This is the result of letting companies get patents that boil down to numbers and abstract generic processes. I think the only way to fix it is to reform how patents are granted, for what, and for how long. If USPTO simply can't handle the load they're under, then they should complain to their bosses for more resources, reform their practices, or change applicant's expectations.

You ignored a fix, one that would encourage more progress. Get rid of patents altogether.

Falcon

Re:USPTO problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564884)

> complain to their bosses for more resources

The USPTO is funded by the fees. Most of the funds arise from granted patents. If they want more resources then these must be paid for from fees. There is no downside. Re-exam is done for a fee. Litigation over patents comes out of the court system and from defendant's pockets, with no effect on USPTO (except they get re-exam fees).

Best strategy for USPTO is to grant all patents with only a cursory glance for spelling errors. Sorting out what results is _not_their_problem_.

The Patent Stupidity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564480)

My only question is why Google doesn't have a counter-suit in the works. They should have been preparing for this sort of patent stupidity long ago. This is how the game is played in the phone market. Company X sues company Y for infringement on patents a, b, and c. Then company Y sues company X for patents i, j, and k. That's how it goes. If Google doesn't have patents i, j, and k then they are sol and it's someone's fault, and that someone should shape up or ship out.

Re:The Patent Stupidity (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564852)

I wouldn't be surprised if Google has a BSD implementation of Android.

Or better yet, maybe a new OS not based on any previous OS. Even Linus said he expects linux to eventually be replaced by something else.

The next OS:
small, fast (written in assembler)
self-modifying code with the correct privileges (why have jump tables when you can just update one address)

That last one is important if you want to start giving your core any of the characteristics of AI without the waste.

Ridiculous Redmon strikes again! (3, Interesting)

theBully (1056930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564508)

The specific patent claims are not very well described in the article but of what I can tell they have some patent claims for widely used, basic GUI features. I feel this may affect more than Android if they're gonna win.

They seem to act just like a patent troll in this situation. In my industry (Pharmaceutical) there's a company that has a patent on validating user input in web applications by verifying it at the server. They've been going around and threatening all EDC (Electronic Data Capture) makers with that. Of what I know, they have never won a single court appearance with this and never got a nickel out of it. It's just way too easy to patent something in the US.

I hope Microsoft will not win anything here for the sake of the precedent it would set. It's bad enough some companies already settled with them over this. It's just what happened a while ago with their claims on Linux. Novell and RedHat cut a deal with them. Canonical never settled for their claims and nothing ever happened. It's a good example.

Re:Ridiculous Redmon strikes again! (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564890)

They seem to act just like a patent troll in this situation. In my industry (Pharmaceutical) there's a company that has a patent on validating user input in web applications by verifying it at the server. They've been going around and threatening all EDC (Electronic Data Capture) makers with that.

Any pre-javascript web page login screen is definitely prior art.

In other words, this has been around since the first days of the web.

... and before, if you want to count logging in to a remote server (or even localhost).

Can you email me the name of the company?

Microsoft attacts Android (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564574)

Is this more MS FUD? Are we actually going to find out what MS patents are being infringed? Or is it going to turn out to be another SCO case? A bunch of lies but no proof?

Falcon

Re:Microsoft attacts Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564728)

I don't think this is direct FUD.

I think it is MS response because Barnes & Noble, Foxconn International and Inventec didn't accept the preliminary MS proposal (extortion) they offered for "regularize" their patents.

Enter: Microsoft the IP Company (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564622)

They can't make a decent media device or phone, so they hold IP and sue those who do make them.

What next? A counter arguement : Why shouldn't we use this idea, it's not like you had any clue how to properly implement it!

Look who is sued (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564660)

Look who is being sued -- Barnes and Noble and other companies that use android on their device. Correction, relatively small companies without large legal staffs that use android on their device. If android is the problem, then why isn't Microsoft suing Google for infringement? Oh, wait, Google has as much money and as many lawyers as Microsoft does. This is much like locking the drug user up in jail, but ignoring the pusher. If Microsoft really believes that android is infringing, then they should go directly after Google.

Promised not to do this? (3, Informative)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564664)

Didn't Microsoft promise not to use their patent portfolio in this matter?

Of course, i wasn't one that believed them and i know they are evil, but it would be nice if the media would pound them with being hypocrites.

Moral High Ground (1)

BabyDuckHat (1503839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564694)

"Android devices must respect our intellectual property rights"

I'm always amused when a corporation get's on it's intellectual property high-horse to try and claim some kind of moral superiority.

That's like a greedy sociopath who uses and abuses people suing someone for besmirching their good name.

"The little people I step on must respect my rights."

I am pissed (1)

DMFNR (1986182) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564774)

What happened to that friendlier Microsoft that was hiring an open source advisor and all that other bullshit. Look at the fucking patents they are trying to enforce, just fucking ridiculous. I can't believe this kind of shit doesn't get laughed the fuck out of court?! Software patents either need to go, or there needs to be some serious revamping to the system. According to those patents, Microsoft can put every fucking open source text editor, word processor, web browser, operating system, fuck, any interactive piece of software, out of fucking business. I AM FUCKING LIVID.

Re:I am pissed (0)

DamonHD (794830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564862)

And I'm distressed that you think that your profanity adds to the discussion at all.

Why is your deranged state of mind so important? Are you a CEO or President or respected scientist or commentator or indeed anyone with achievements and stature and a track record that would suggest that taking your emotional temperature would be of any value to the rest of the known universe?

I won't ask who's basement you're living in, even if this is /.

Rgds

Damon

is microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564850)

playing the pimp in the Open Source Software World? The story is the same as usual: By licenses (aka thin air) in order not to sue you. Go make something useful instead of pimping around biatches

Kindle? (1)

robmv (855035) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564902)

With rumors around about Amazon looking for Android developers on the Kindle division, I think this legal attack to B&N is some kind of warning to Amazon: "be prepared if you switch to Android, why do not pay right now?". Another market (ereaders) dominated by Android is not something MS wants

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...