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37 Android Patent Lawsuits

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the something-to-think-about dept.

Android 154

An anonymous reader writes "37 lawsuits have been filed against Android in a little more than a year, the latest one of them being Microsoft's lawsuit against Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec. ReadWriteWeb says 'the number of patent lawsuits related to the Android operating system is unprecedented' and shows an infographic that is also available on Twitpic and as a PDF file, on Scribd. The first two suits were filed in March 2010 by Apple and MobileMedia against HTC. The original source of the chart, the FOSS Patents blog, says that Android's market share is only one factor, other reasons being that Google's patent portfolio is 'far too weak for what's undertaken in connection with Android'; that Google doesn't do 'inbound licensing' from trolls; and that Google tends to ignore patent issues because Google itself is rarely sued: in most of these cases, Android device makers are under attack."

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Bad news for Google (-1, Troll)

developer85 (2024404) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588674)

There are actually two issues here.

First, this is great news for Microsoft and Meego. When manufacturers will start to get really sued for all the patent issues Google ignores, they will look at other possibilities. HTC has always been both Android and Windows Phone 7 supporter, so they will drop Android and just make Windows Phone 7 devices. So will all the other manufacturers. Developers will also jump ship to Microsoft and WP7 when they see the development platform - it's free of all the malware, piracy and other shit that Android market and freeloader userbase is filled with. They will absolutely love to use Visual Studio and C# instead of that crap and slow programming language called Java. Developers matter and Microsoft takes care of them.

Secondly, this is also bad news WebM. It's clear, like the summary states, that Google doesn't care about patent issues and this shows it even more. This careless approach from Google is just going to make manufacturers, website owners and companies avoid WebM at all costs. This will lead them to take H.264, which is pretty much guaranteed not to have any legal issues. Google is destroying their other projects too, not only Android.

Re:Bad news for Google (2, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588838)

Where's the 'Astroturff' mod tag where we need one? I know it's in the list of requested mod options right below 'Asshat' and right above 'Bastard!'.

Re:Bad news for Google (3, Funny)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 3 years ago | (#35590566)

So; The grandparent arrives suddenly having never posted before, is spending enough time refreshing to get a first post. I think we find that suspicious. We think that accusing WrongSizeGlass of trolling must be unfair and outrageous

But then let's look at the moderation on this (if you don't have an account you will want to sign up for one to see this stuff).

Starting Score: 1 point
Moderation -2
70% Troll
30% Insightful
Extra 'Troll' Modifier

If the moderation is 70/30 then the only possible solutions are multiples of 7 and 3 so at least three insightful moderations have been given. Now, the first post has some interesting comment. It's definitely a reflection of Microsoft's paranoia. However, there are too many things which are wrong which have been covered too often on Slashdot for any serious mod to mod it insightful. In any case, almost all legitimate positive moderation shows variety (underrated / interesting / insightful).

Looking at the facts there seem to be two possible explanations; a) the GNAA has returned having learned to troll subtly, pretending to be Microsoft Astroturfers and never ever linking to Goatse whilst building an elite undercover uber-posting super-moderators who can afford to give them mod points without risking losing the ability to moderate b) Microsoft is an immoral deceptive company using publicity people to spread lies and astroturfing like mad.

Obviously b) which would mean we do need a way to mod astroturfers is untenable so only a) can be true. Microsoft is an upstanding tax paying pillar of society. They would never ever ever astroturf and lie and cheat. WrongSizeGlass's moderation as troll must be justified.

Re:Bad news for Google (1, Troll)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588866)

You're moderated troll, but I think you're just wrong on some things. Nobody is going to drop Android for Windows Phone 7, but it is an awesome platform for developers to work with. I got a Motorola Droid in November 09. When its time for my upgrade I will probably get a WP7 device just to make apps with it.

Re:Bad news for Google (1, Funny)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589946)

Why do I have to be moderated troll just because I like Microsoft products? I mean to be honest this is probably the only post I've made in a long time where I wasn't just trying to argue with people for the sake of arguing.

Re:Bad news for Google (2)

MikeDirnt69 (1105185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589234)

They will absolutely love to use Visual Studio and C# instead of that crap and slow programming language called Java. Developers matter and Microsoft takes care of them.

Please do not include me in your "they".

Re:Bad news for Google (4, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589282)

First, this is great news for Microsoft and Meego. When manufacturers will start to get really sued for all the patent issues Google ignores, they will look at other possibilities. HTC has always been both Android and Windows Phone 7 supporter, so they will drop Android and just make Windows Phone 7 devices.

Way to make the inferior product de-facto. Same old Microsoft, this is why we wanted them destroyed, remember?

Re:Bad news for Google (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35589812)

Way to make the inferior product de-facto. Same old Microsoft, this is why we wanted them destroyed, remember?

This IS Microsoft posting. They do this every single time an anti-Android news article comes up. Within the same minute of the news article, they've already got a "glory to the almighty Microsoft" comment ready to go, top of the page. Hell, they're faster than even the first post trolls, and they're expecting us to not notice this somehow.

Put simply, Microsoft is scared shitless that A) they missed out on the mobile market, B) their attempts to buy into it are failing badly, and C) they can't buy out the current smartphone market leaders (Apple, Google, RIM). They're confused and desperate, thus they've got their clumsy astroturfing FUD squad out in full force, because that's all they know how to do. They're just as divorced from the real world as the rest of Microsoft's engineers, marketeers, and managementeers are, only they're trying to directly interact with people.

Re:Bad news for Google (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35590014)

Hey cunt, why don't you troll elsewhere.

Scare tactics (4, Informative)

nicholas22 (1945330) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588760)

These are clearly scare tactics to try to curb the adoption of the platform. But will they succeed? Judging from how these types of things pan out with open source projects the answer is no, because there is little profit to be made. I say it is already too late to try and stop Android now.

Re:Scare tactics (4, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588880)

Or they're trying to litigate themselves a piece of a very lucrative pie.

Re:Scare tactics (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589288)

A way around that would be to declare the software is all free. It's just the hardware they are selling.

Re:Scare tactics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35589694)

I'm not sure how declaring Vista free would help. Ever.

Re:Scare tactics (1)

increment1 (1722312) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589772)

Unfortunately, even if the software is free, it does not absolve you from damages for distributing it. Only in the case where you negotiated a percentage only licensing deal would having a free product impact your royalty payments.

Re:Scare tactics (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35588892)

These patent suits won't kill Android - the open source project - sure. But it may well stop companies from putting it on their devices (or risk being sued and having to pay up), which could have a very bad impact on Android's momentum. I have no clue how bad thish could get, but I am worried :/

Re:Scare tactics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35588968)

I have no clue how bad thish could get, but I am worried :/

No, Florian, you couldn't care less, except about how it may affect your paycheck.

Re:Scare tactics (2)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589000)

Why worry? Bear bating can be fun - for spectators. Especially if the bear gets loose!

Expect some lawyers to make money, and a few trolls to get molested.

Re:Scare tactics (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589738)

I firmly believe that most companies that have jumped on the Android bandwagon know full well what risks they are taking. The Android bus has a very long route and is picking up more passengers all the time. The real question on my mind is what happens when the bus is full?

Re:Scare tactics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35590194)

I have no clue how bad thish could get, but I am worried :/

Thish? Is thish Sean Connery poshting as anonymoush coward?

Re:Scare tactics (4, Insightful)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589024)

Actually, there's a good deal of profit to be made. HTC already settled a suit with Microsoft and is now paying Microsoft royalties [linuxfordevices.com] for the Android devices they sell. Some of the companies that file them don't care if Android continues to be wildly successful because they'll still make money. If Oracle is successful in their suit, it's possible that Google or the handset manufacturers will owe some amount of money for every Android device sold. At that point it's in Oracle's interest to make sure Android keeps doing well because they make money off of it.

Re:Scare tactics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35590434)

HTC already settled a suit with Microsoft and is now paying Microsoft royalties [linuxfordevices.com] for the Android devices they sell.

Which is why my new phone will not be an HTC.

Re:Scare tactics (3, Interesting)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589056)

They will not even come close to succeeding, and here's the proof:

how many of these lawsuits found anyone guilty of anything? How many have settled due to a judgment? Answer: zero.
The only settlement to date, was a private one with samsung where samsung buckled to MS and did not go to court at all.

Other than that, none of settled, and none have found conclusively on anything. That should tell you how well android is doing, that all we have is misinformation to "Scare people away".

It's way too late to stop android, beyond of which that even if android is found "guilty", what are you going to do? Stop distribution? Ms aims to stop at the manufacturer level, but if they really wanted they could ship devices with nothing but firmware to let people flash the roms themselves. It's quite impossible to prevent distribution.

Re:Scare tactics (2)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589076)

Oh man, how did I miss this? From the article:

Mueller writes that for Google it could be a spell for trouble

Yes, that Florian. Why do people even bother printing articles from the man?

37?!? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588806)

Is there an Android app for following and tracking these lawsuits? I'd sure like the process to be just as easy as using an Android phone, because let's face it, these lawsuits wouldn't be pestering Android if they weren't a major force to be reckoned with in the smartphone market.

Re:37?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35589004)

Im sure one would be easy to make but you might get sued for it ;)

Re:37?!? (1)

Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589572)

Right. No lawsuits for MeeGo yet.

Re:37?!? (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589948)

Or users, for that matter!

Re:37?!? (1)

Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) | more than 3 years ago | (#35590138)

I would hope that after watching SCO, they would know better.

37 in one year? (5, Insightful)

cyberfin (1454265) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588814)

Google must be something right. In the sense that they're allowing manufacturers come up with ways of using technology that pisses off big patent holders. Whether they're wrong or right I think is irrelevant, just the fact that they're pissed off.

Re:37 in one year? (3, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589212)

I wish I had mod points. The poster is right on point.

One way to get rid of this ridiculous patent situation tech is in right now is for big, not-so-evil companies to innovate and let some of these suits happen. When these get to trial I think a lot of these patent holders are going to look ridiculous to judges. We need judicial review of the entire system by a good, non-corrupt judge. Too bad the non-corrupt judges are hard to find.

Re:37 in one year? (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589544)

We should coin a law about this: The products competitiveness and usefulness for the consumer in the United States is directly proportional to the number of lawsuits filed against it to keep it off the market.

Re:37 in one year? (1)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589778)

We should coin a law about this: The products competitiveness and usefulness for the consumer in the United States is directly proportional to the number of lawsuits filed against it to keep it off the market.

Er, wait, doesn't that mean that i4i's suit against Microsoft makes OOXML a "good" thing?

I think this "law" needs some refinement.

Creating a Perfect Moment to Strike (4, Interesting)

IBitOBear (410965) | more than 3 years ago | (#35590492)

It occurs to me that Google is approaching a perfect moment to strike against software patents utterly. Having very few of their own and having a clearly innovative product that is much in demand, they are in the perfect position to show that software patents are harmful to innovation "even for a large company like us.'

Were they to now begin, in each of these cases, a concerted affirmative defense that software, when executing on a "general purpose computer" can not possibly be in violation of any patent.

The argument would have to be two-fold:

First, one can not make a "specific machine" out of a "general machine" by adding functionality. Just as putting a single copy of Moby Dick on a book shelf (or indeed filling a bookshelf with copies of Mobey Dick) does not divest the bookshelf of its bookshelf-ness and convert it into a "Mobey Dick location structural support machine", putting software on a PC or a phone doesn't reduce the nature of the PC or phone to convert it into a "specific machine".

Second, the demonstration of excessive burden and harm that can be brought to bear on a individual device, and makers there of, when the "specific machine" theory is applied as is, given that the one "specific machine" is getting sued 37 times for more than one patent per time, because the individual android device(s) are apparently being forced into a quantum superposition [<==turn that into lawyer speech] where they are each individually transformed by software int dozens or hundreds of individual specific machines.

The very fact that in each law suit the patent needs must read "what is described" is "a machine where" and yet it is sure as rain that the individual pantents don't reference one another in scope. (That is, two patents on say a automobile brake system can be inclusive of one another if one is for say, an actuator and the other is for a caliper, since both will mention the existence of the others collateral components; whereas a "web status update specific machine" would be exclusive of a "local document indexing specific machine").

The fact that in each case Google can reference the other cases as demonstration of cumulative harm caused by the current misinterpration of the precident would give them perfect grounds to argue before the court(s) that software simply cannot rationally or legally be patent material, particularly under the "promote the useful arts and sciences clause".

The ultimate goal would be to get a ruling that software running on, or that can run on, a general purpose computer can not, by definition, be in violation of any patent. Barring that, getting software classified the same as 'perpetual motion machines' as a 'we don't do that' clause of all patent law whoudl be just as ideal.

Give it a rest Florian (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35588834)

enough with the FUD already

Florian (5, Informative)

MikeKD (549924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588868)

More crap from Florian Mueller [google.com] ?

Yes [google.com] .

Re:Florian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35589610)

Was their any doubt? Odds are about 98% that the anonymous submitter is Florian himself. The world would be a much better place if everyone just stopped paying attention to his ignorant rantings. It is an embarrassment, and I'm incredibly surprised to see this junk on Slashdot: This nonsense is better suited to anti-Android fandroid sites.

Re:Florian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35589712)

Isn't this Florian Mueller behind the no software patents movement? I would have expected better.
And what is his beef with Android anyways? It's almost as if he's got a vendetta against Android or something:
http://asktechman.com/?tag=florian-mueller
What exactly does the Xoom trademark have to do with FOSS patents? Maybe he's just mad that he got made a fool of over the whole Android code thing?

Yet more FUD (5, Informative)

messagelost (1989296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588884)

Why does slashdot keep posting Florian Muller's inane anti-Andriod ramblings? Surely if there is such a looming threat, someone besides a repeatedly discredited hack has to be writing about it.

Re:Yet more FUD (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589066)

Because we keep getting trolled into commenting and getting them more ad revenue, that's why.

Re:Yet more FUD (3, Insightful)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589122)

Why does slashdot keep posting [INSERT-PERSON-AGAINST-COMPANY-X] inane anti-[INSERT-COMPANY-X-PRODUCT] ramblings? Surely if there is such a looming threat, someone besides a repeatedly discredited hack has to be writing about it.

All fans of company X and their products, please copy and store for future use. You're welcome.

Re:Yet more FUD (2)

messagelost (1989296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589478)

Why does slashdot keep posting [INSERT-PERSON-AGAINST-COMPANY-X] inane anti-[INSERT-COMPANY-X-PRODUCT] ramblings? Surely if there is such a looming threat, someone besides a repeatedly discredited hack has to be writing about it.

All fans of company X and their products, please copy and store for future use. You're welcome.

Now that you're done with a sarcastic response, perhaps you'd actually like to respond to the issue. Florian Muller has, in the last week alone, tried to scare up a bogus "serious Linux copyright threat [slashdot.org] " and got roundly slapped down as inane. He clearly no understanding of copyright law, patent law, Linux or Andriod. Why slashdot keeps posting his blog as if he was an expert on these is baffling.

Re:Yet more FUD (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589184)

Well, the summary at least brings up an interesting and important point. We all know that Google is a major innovator, but for a such a technology driven company they have relatively few patents. It may be that it simply doesn't take the throw the crap against the wall and see sticks approach to patenting. That's a good thing for society, but maybe not so good for Google.

Just because you ignore abusive patent practices doesn't mean those practices ignore *you*. One of the reasons companies amass huge patent portfolios is as defensive armor. You threaten to tie me up with BS lawsuits and I'll return the favor.

Think about that. Under the system of software patents we have now, you have to abuse the system to protect yourself from abuse of the system.

Re:Yet more FUD (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35590076)

Yet, every time Google patents something stupid, Slashdot is full of posts saying "So much for 'Don't be Evil'....", regardless of the fact that Google doesn't abuse it's portfolio and still doesn't have a large enough one to fend of attacks.

Re:Yet more FUD (2)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 3 years ago | (#35590514)

This is a very good point actually. Thank you AC.

It looks to me like Google is hoping someone decides to step up sue them. I'd be willing to bet it'd be a great show... We might finally get that patent reform we've all been asking for.

Re:Yet more FUD (1, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589470)

One has to wonder if there are some shenanigans going on. Android is spoken of in glowing hyperbolic terms, often asserting that the development team were superheroes, but they did not appear to actually have a product, and were quite quick to sell out to Google, indicating that they might have had known that the Android tech was not something they could get onto the market themselves. Certainly the Danger tech had little success, and has become part of MS.

For Google to get android out so quickly it had to copy the iPhone and other existing model instead of innovating. The one innovation on the smartphone, the open model to the end user, and the keyboard, are not roaring successes. The end user does not have right to keep Apps on the Android if Google wants to delete them, mobile phone vendors are locking the phone, and many models do not have the keyboard. Multitouch with is an non-obvious innovation was lifted from Apple instead of created independently.

This is not to say that the lawsuits are good or bad, just that HTC had a relationship with MS that could have lead to some IP contamination, and Apple clearly has some traction in assertion that it invented a device with others are using without permissions. In this case, neither Apple or MS are patent trolls since they both have unique products that they market. OTOH, the android devices are neither unique or innovative.

Re:Yet more FUD (3, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589886)

Because even a broken clock is right twice a day? We have seen from the lawsuits over their book scanning that Google DOES play fast and loose with the rules, then add in the fact that Google refuses to indemnify their OEMs that use Android or WebM and the fact that while Google makes the money on the searches they take NONE of the risks that the OEMs are facing spells BAD NEWS in my book.

Well Google be able to pull it off? Who knows, balls and a lot of money have gotten many people very far in the past. But one has to ask how long the usually VERY risk averse OEMs are gonna be willing to have their asses just hanging in the breeze ready to be hit by patent trolls while Google rakes in the cash while not stepping in to their corner to share the burden.

Sorry but I believe the first poster was right, this will be good for MSFT, Meego and H.264 and bad with a capital b for Android. You can go WinPhone and be indemnified by MSFT or Meego and be covered by Intel. MPEG-LA doesn't indemnify but with their patent portfolio anybody that makes anything to do with video or audio would be suicidal to step in the ring with them. Go Android and you better have some good lawyers on retainer. Now if you are a risk averse OEM, which would you choose? Free as in beer isn't so free if I have to pay lawyers to constantly fight lawsuits now is it?

Re:Yet more FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35590052)

Florian submits this garbage as Anonymous and the editors always put it on the front page. I've stopped even bothering to login any more because of this and the slashvertisements.

Legalese into obvlivion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35588894)

Are any of these lawsuits really founded, or is this just backlash from an industry that is hellbent on making sure an ~open OS handset does not become cemented at a time when wide-scale High-Speed cellular is about to be unleashed ( at least, marketed...)?

Curious what this says exactly for the 'free market' chaps, since shouldn't the consumers decide rather than the bean-counters and legal hounds? With the pending AT&T-TM merger lingering, I guess having a 'free market' in the US is somewhat of an oxymoron.

It seems the redefining of terms has leaked into the tech sector. NN is bad, but good. Cellular pricing is good since there's competition, but bad if you're a consumer. I'd better make sure up is still up, and whether dogs are living with cats now...

Re:Legalese into obvlivion? (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589240)

Most "free market" chaps in the U.S. are only pro-free market when it the market is deciding in their favor. When the market is NOT in their favor all of a sudden they are for "crippling" government regulation.

Re:Legalese into obvlivion? (2)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589864)

I think a lot of corporations are horrified about the open nature of android. It is dangerous specifically because it is generally not open to the end user (rooting, and a few models from google aside).

The fact that it is open allows companies to really modify it (blur sucks, but sense is good), and do so cheaply. Generally the end-user does not care about openness, they can't code anyway, but the OEM that is trying to sell a locked product gains much from the openness. The open platform on closed hardware is new, and could really kill some margins, and it is in a market where the openness has true impact for the consumer (being the OEMs).

when R&D won't do. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35588904)

When billions spent on R&D just doesn't cut the mustard anymore, sic your lawyers on your competitors' customers. That'll stop your competitors in their tracks...

Re:when R&D won't do. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35589370)

Correction: when competitors steal your legally-protected ideas that came from billions in R&D, sic your lawyers on them.

Re:when R&D won't do. (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589446)

First of all, there is no stealing. Also, if the patents being infringed by android took billions in R&D to make, then perhaps you need to change your R&D strategy..

Re:when R&D won't do. (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35590090)

First of all, there is no stealing. Also, if the patents being infringed by android took billions in R&D to make, then perhaps you need to change your R&D strategy..

Or lower/eliminate the cost of Patent Filing ...

Or sue your lawyers for wasting your fees with irrelevant frivolity ...

Or reform Patent Law so you can not file for algorithms, which is in large part all most computer programs are.

Re:when R&D won't do. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35590060)

Unfortunately, those "legally-protected ideas" are pretty trivial.

This is clearly what a new OS in the patent abuse age has to deal with.

Similar for iOS? (1)

getNewNickName (980625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588912)

Aren't there lawsuits against iOS too? Patent lawsuits are just a cost of doing business these days.

Re:Similar for iOS? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589166)

There was a Nokia->Apple lawsuit, but that was over GSM (i.e. hardware), not iOS. I don't recall any lawsuits about the OS itself.

Re:Similar for iOS? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589442)

There are plenty of others, usually from patent trolls, though. Earlier this month, there was one over smartphone camera functionality [appleinsider.com] .

FOSS Patents and Florian Mueller? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35588916)

Seems kind of.. sketchy?
Using FOSS in the name seems a bit misleading. And who is this Florian Mueller "Forbes" guy? Is he trustworthy to be a spokesman for FOSS issues?
Forbes and FOSS doesn't seem to match.

Poor Graph, D+ at best (5, Interesting)

rufty_tufty (888596) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588918)

That is a poor and misleading graph for several reasons not least:
There is no comparison to other software platforms
The style chosen only escalates, the graph doesn't go down when the court case is resolved in either party's favour.
Ambiguous because not all court cases are equal, some cases could be more valid than others.

FUD, IMO

Re:Poor Graph, D+ at best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35589596)

Also - it doesn't start at zero in the interests of looking 'taller'
It's colored scary red.

Re:Poor Graph, D+ at best (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35590282)

What? You don't believe there were negative six lawsuits in January 2010?

FOSS Patents Blog is a troll against FOSS (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35588940)

Who pays Florian Mueller to say this? Microsoft? Apple? Unisys? SCO?

He pretends to be an advocate of free software yet he speaks constantly against free software.

His blog is nothing more than spreading FUD against free software.

Re:FOSS Patents Blog is a troll against FOSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35590444)

Apart from his recent Linux header copyright brouhaha (which, to be fair, has still not been properly addressed by the appropriate parties), his writings are pretty accurate, and he does have a much greater knowledge of patent matters than the random slashdotter or AC. I see no FUD if he keeps pointing out how patents affect free software, especially since he is talking about actual lawsuits in progress.

Unsurprising and not abnormal (3, Informative)

Dan East (318230) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588948)

Never has an operating system had so many challenges to its intellectual property in such a short time period as the Google operating system has had in the last year.

That's because an operating system never gained such popularity in such a short time period*. I expect if the number of patent lawsuits were charted against the number of users, we'd see that the ratio for Android would be normal (or less) compared to other operating systems. It's just that typically these things are spread out over several years, which is how long the OS takes to really become popular.

* Yeah, I just made that up off the top of my head.

Android is a threat (2)

ilsaloving (1534307) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588952)

I can only guess that all these big companies see android as a big threat. And they're probably right. Android is vacuuming up the mobile and tablet markets, both of which are the biggest growing sectors right now. If the trend continues as it has been, then the current big players are going to find themselves locked out almost entirely unless they do something to stall Android's advance.

Re:Android is a threat...really? (2)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589144)

Android is vacuuming up the mobile and tablet markets...

I think you know Android is not vaccuming up the tablet market...or is it? Where is the proof?

Re:Android is a threat...really? (5, Interesting)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589430)

Well...

Lets browse the tablet internet market for a second...

For IOS, we have Apple's iPad. Strategy Analytics says that:
IOS went from 95.5% market share of tablets in Q3 to 75.3% in Q4 2010.

Then we have "everyone else":
Android went from 2.3% in Q3 to 21.6% in Q4.
"all others" went from 2.3 in Q3 to 3.1 in Q4.

To me, this looks like android is spreading like wildfire in the tablet space. It snatched up more than 20% of market share in ONE QUARTER. While it is doubtful that growth like that is sustainable, even modest growth after a spurt like that could really put the screws to Apple.

Re:Android is a threat...really? (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35590024)

To me, this looks like android is spreading like wildfire in the tablet space. It snatched up more than 20% of market share in ONE QUARTER. While it is doubtful that growth like that is sustainable, even modest growth after a spurt like that could really put the screws to Apple.

You're kidding right?

There wasn't really a tablet market of measurable size until the iPad.

The growth of Android in Q4 is other manufacturers getting into the game and offering alternatives (a good thing for the consumer).

I'm actually more surprised that Apple has managed to hold onto ~75% of the Tablet market. If Apple can hold onto 60%-70% of the market, then they are doing Just Fine and have nothing to complain about as the market grows and heads toward saturation (at some point in the future).

Re:Android is a threat (1)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589204)

Well, to be brutally honest, Android is leading the smartphone market and it is almost non-existent in the tablet market.

I wish they would... (0)

nitsew (991812) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588996)

Shut down all of the law schools for 10 years. This is getting ridiculous.

Re:I wish they would... (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589918)

Lawyers would love it even more, imagine how much they could charge.

"makers under pressure to address IP infringement" (5, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589010)

Beg the question much? Are we really saying "they are infringing, now let's see how much it costs them"?

Android is a collection of almost entirely free software, born out of the best ideas that could be packed into a phone. It is disgusting to think that Apple has a claim for a patent on "touching a screen with more than one finger" or that Microsoft is the only one that is ever allowed to use "a specifically designated key that initiates a search function". These ideas are so blatantly obvious, and yet the IP system in the US is rolling over to credit anyone who patented any ridiculous thing, and award them huge settlements.

I dont know whether to be disgusted because this is basically only useful as a make-work project for lawyers and courts, or because it means that real innovation will need to happen outside the borders of the US if it's going to happen at all.

Re:"makers under pressure to address IP infringeme (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35589164)

Funny how much people think Andriod is winning here like Charlie Sheen.

http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2010/03/iphone-os-still-dominates-mobile-web-android-on-the-way-up.ars

shows iOS still King...and andriod is still a long way off even with so many second ratr phone makers and fragmented store ....

much bias here?

Re:"makers under pressure to address IP infringeme (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35589314)

An article... from a year ago. Which just shows how fast Android rose to be top dog in the smartphone market.

Re:"makers under pressure to address IP infringeme (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589500)

Ah... So a year old article is very much appropriate... Good job!

That chart's a year old! (1)

pem (1013437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589510)

And ad views are notoriously tricky data in any case.

You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts, and the fact is that in phones, Android is kicking some serious iOS butt at the moment.

Re:"makers under pressure to address IP infringeme (1)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589836)

Funny how much people think Andriod is winning here like Charlie Sheen.

http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2010/03/iphone-os-still-dominates-mobile-web-android-on-the-way-up.ars

shows iOS still King...and andriod is still a long way off even with so many second ratr phone makers and fragmented store ....

much bias here?

Here's an update from the same website:

Android tops everyone in 2010 market share; 2011 may be different [arstechnica.com]

Re:"makers under pressure to address IP infringeme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35590280)

http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2010/03/iphone-os-still-dominates-mobile-web-android-on-the-way-up.ars

shows iOS still King...and andriod is still a long way off even with so many second ratr phone makers and fragmented store ....

Perhaps that may still be the case now, but answer me this...
If you look at those two line charts and pretend that each platform's line represents its stock value, which one would you invest in for the future?

Re:"makers under pressure to address IP infringeme (3, Interesting)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589578)

You know what's infuriating for me? As a citizen and resident of a country where software patents are explicitly forbidden, I still end up paying for those software patents...
It's OK if the product was designed, manufactured in US or the company is American. But why do I have to pay for the software patents on devices that are neither targeted at US, not manufactured in US and the company is not based in US? All HTC Android devices have the license fee for those software patents included and forwarded to MS. That is the fucking loophole that I hate.
Basically that is one of the imperialistic features of current US. Reminds me of stamp tax...

Re:"makers under pressure to address IP infringeme (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35590296)

That's more of a question of how effective is it to make a "US-only" device and an "Everyone Else" device. HTC could very well make a phone using just the open sourced version of Android, thank Google with a nicely worded letter and nothing more (instead of being a premiere partner in AOSP, OHSA, etc. and paying activation fees to Google for every handset) but what would be the point? Do you really want an Android replica with no actual ties to Google? No app market? No one-stop activation?

Google + Android vs. Handset Maker? (2)

powerlord (28156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589050)

and that Google tends to ignore patent issues because Google itself is rarely sued: in most of these cases, Android device makers are under attack.

This is probably the single most important bit. Not whether it is correct or not, but for what is implied in the statement.

I imagine if a phone distributing Win-WOMPIT (Whatever Our Mobile Platform Is Today) gets sued, MicroSoft would probably be target #1, or at least an often named Co-Defendant. With the iPhone the manufacturer of the handset and OS are the same, and Apple has (and is/will) field these sort of things on its own.

With Android, if people are going after the Handset manufacturers independent of Google, then they might feel it opens them up to too much individual liability (wether or not it is true). If that happens, then no one will want to make Android devices, since they will just cost more in legal fees.

Maybe this is yet another reason for Google to buy out T-Mobile instead of AT&T. Let them take over a Cell Carrier, open up their air-waves, and provide a "foundation" to start actually making 'native' Android phones for their own network?

Re:Google + Android vs. Handset Maker? (1)

Elimental (2013582) | more than 3 years ago | (#35590178)

Or what can happen (heaven help Apple and Microsoft if it does) is when all this Android hardware manufacturers + Google pool their patent portfolio's and use that to fight back.

I seriously don't want only one phone in the market, Microsoft Desktop OS taught me that, we need at least 3 or 4 equally sized markets.

obligatory reference (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589068)

37 lawsuits have been filed against Android

In a row?

Re:obligatory reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35589336)

Mod +1 Clerks Reference.

Or alternatively, Mod +1 An Adventurer Is You.

IBM to buy Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35589104)

IBM should buy Google. Lack-of-Patents problem solved. IBM likes Linux, and Android is Linux, right? And IBM has been left out of the mobile race. So buy Google. Or merge. Or make a deal of some kind. Etc.

---
I type this every time.

Should have bought Sun... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35589114)

Sun learned this lesson long time ago, number of patents == power, Google's portfolio is too weak. Having Sun's patents would be a different story.

That'll teach 'em (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589130)

It doesn't pay to write free software that's any good.

Thanks, Patent Office!

FUD: Nothing to see here move along.. Move along (1)

wizkid (13692) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589194)

The patent trolls are taking over slashdot. Microsoft must be happy now. Sigh

Why oh why are tech patents given for so long now? (1)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589208)

I understand physical items, the time required to design and develop a physical, I can hold deal and the longer lengths of time required to develop.. but software? Plus there's more than one way to write code to obtain the same outcome.. Why aren't the terms shortened so progress and such can actually happen?!

Re:Why oh why are tech patents given for so long n (1)

yurtinus (1590157) | more than 3 years ago | (#35590216)

It's not so much the term lengths - software can have just as long a development time as hardware as well as decent longevity (compare say the age of your favorite text editor with the age of your cell phone...). The problem is the abundance of pretty obvious innovations that get patented coupled with potentially huge consequences for infringement.

Re:Why oh why are tech patents given for so long n (1)

msclrhd (1211086) | more than 3 years ago | (#35590512)

Exactly. 12-15 years is too long in the software world (think Windows 95 vs. Windows 7).

Patents are supposed to help benefit society by having inventors document their invention and getting a limited time exclusivity right for it. There is no reason why this cannot be true for software, but limited to 2-3 years (e.g. multi-touch).

Shhhhh quiet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35589252)

I smell nerds....

Goatse

FIX IT !!! (0)

martiniturbide (1203660) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589402)

USA !! Fix the Patent System.. don't you geek are in charge there? ; )

Why doesn't Google buy Novell's patents? (1)

arman0 (754993) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589416)

CPTN Holdings-a Microsoft-led group that includes Apple, EMC, and Oracle is in the process of buying 882 of Novell’s patents. Given the recent patent-related legal action by MS and Oracle against Android/Google, why doesn't Google bid on Novell's patents? Wouldn't it put Google in a much better defensive position?

Depressing for Softies (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35589520)

For the (how many are there, these days?) folks at Microsoft who actually do invention and implementation as opposed to managing various marketing, licensing and litigation schemes, this must be pretty embarrassing, sad-making. Can't seem to compete by getting useful and compelling products into the hands of consumers, so fight in the courts? Pathetic, really.

Hardware independance (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589548)

Wouldnt this problem be bypassed by handset makers selling phones with a vary basic(featurephone like) custom OS. Let the community develop Android for specific models, but make the phone hardware in such a way that it is easy for the community to develop for and customise.Then users can install Android on their own. Provide a backup ROM like some GPU makers provide to prevent bricking.

Somewhat like selling laptops without an OS

ATTN: Microsoft Trolls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35589728)

I like how pro-microsoft people come on here all like "see gaize, microsoft not evil, microsoft good... microsoft like open source! FIRE BAD! GOOGLE BAD! GOOGLE EVIL! hnngggrrrrrrrrrrrrr..." ...and yet they are strangely silent when instnces like this come up. Truly fascinating.

(and too be sure, Google is a for-profit money driven entity, and all of their actions should be thoroughly examined and questioned, but generally Googles hands are cleaner than Microsoft and Oracle. Nevertheless...)

OH NO!!! Let's run and hide under a rock! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35589982)

OH NO!!! CLEARLY we should abandon the Android platform. What were we thinking? I guess we should ignore its benefits and open architecture and open marketplace in favor one that removes apps because people don't like their anti-gay message.
Get real folks. Android has taken market share for a reason in its lifespan that is half of its competitor's.

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