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Microsoft Wants $15 Per Android Smartphone

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the pay-up dept.

Android 361

sfcrazy writes "Microsoft Corp has demanded that Samsung Electronics Co Ltd pay $15 for each smartphone handset it makes based on Google Inc's Android operating system. The software giant claims to own a wide range of patents used in the mobile platform. From the article: 'Samsung would likely seek to lower the payment to about $10 in exchange for a deeper alliance with Microsoft for the U.S. company's Windows platform, the Maeil Business Newspaper quoted unnamed industry officials as saying.'"

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361 comments

Microsoft Research (1, Troll)

cgeys (2240696) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673708)

You, Microsoft has a huge R&D division in the following subjects

- Algorithms and theory
- Hardware development
- Human–computer interaction
- Machine learning, adaptation, and intelligence
- Multimedia and graphics
- Search, retrieval, and knowledge management
- Security and cryptography
- Social computing
- Software development
- Systems, architectures, mobility, and networking
- Computational and Systems Biology

It's the largest one in the industry. They really do lots of research, and should enjoy the results aswell.

Re:Microsoft Research (4, Informative)

grub (11606) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673748)


You, Microsoft has a huge legal division expert in the following subjects

- Barratry
- Intimidation
- Patent trolling

ftfy

Re:Microsoft Research (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673916)

There used to be a website dedicated the the Microsoft 'Innovation' Hall of Shame, but it doesn't seem to exist anymore :-(.

Re:Microsoft Research (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674084)

I think I recall that site. It said that Microsoft's only innovation in user interfaces was the combo box -- which is a terrible design.

Re:Microsoft Research (4, Funny)

cjb658 (1235986) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674170)

I think I recall that site. It said that Microsoft's only innovation in user interfaces was the combo box -- which is a terrible design.

Like the one used to assign mod points? Oh, the irony!

Re:Microsoft Research (1)

Briareos (21163) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674278)

I didn't know you could type your own rating into the /. rating dropdown lists; if not it's no combo box but just a plain old dropdown list.

Re:Microsoft Research (-1, Troll)

digger1985 (2348002) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674004)

So when Apple sues Samsung, everyone cheers and claims Apple has every right to defend it's patents. But when MS tries to defend it's patents, everyone screams murder. The hypocrisy is outstanding.

Re:Microsoft Research (4, Insightful)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674086)

Yeah, because surely Slashdot doesn't have hundreds of thousands of unique visitors some of which hold the former view and some of which hold the latter. It's just one guy in his basement. And you. And me.

Re:Microsoft Research (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36674098)

But M$ doesn't state which patents are exactly... No body know them.

Re:Microsoft Research (5, Insightful)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674112)

No. No one has. Patents are a scam, a hindrance to innovation and the free market. They must be ABOLISHED.

Re:Microsoft Research (2)

tycoex (1832784) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674238)

I see a lot of people bashing Apple for patent trolling just as much as Microsoft. Sure there's a few Apple fanbois who think Apple can do no wrong, but it seems most people dislike Apple and Microsoft both.

Re:Microsoft Research (4, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674260)

So when Apple sues Samsung, everyone cheers and claims Apple has every right to defend it's patents.

Where was this? Around here the torches and pitchforks were waving about how you shouldn't be able to protect 'look and feel'.

There's plenty of hypocrisy here, you just found the wrong example.

Re:Microsoft Research (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674270)

Apple also is capable of turning a profit in the mobile space. They have devices that work well and sell on their own merits. Apple is not reduced to patent trolling to make money in wireless because they can actually make money the old fashioned way, by getting consumers to buy their products.

Re:Microsoft Research (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674158)

So does IBM but since they like Linux /. gives them a pass.

Re:Microsoft Research (4, Interesting)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674360)

I'm more inclined to believe Slashdot gives IBM a pass is because, unlike MS, they don't have an arrogant jackass for a CEO that goes around laughing at their competitors [youtube.com] and intentionally crashing competitor's products at trade shows [wikipedia.org]. The guy is a no-class buffoon. That's probably got a little something to do with why Slashdot seems to have a collective chip on its shoulder towards MS vs other mega-corps.

Re:Microsoft Research (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673762)

How many lawyers do they have in the legal division making up obfuscated obvious patents that probably won't stand up in court for the war chest, hoping to intimidate anyone without deep enough pockets to stand up to them?

It's possible MS has a case here, but that doesn't make them any less part of the problem.

Fuck Microsoft Research (5, Insightful)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673764)

If their R&D is so awesome, why can't they make their own products and not resort to ripping off other businesses to make money?

Re:Fuck Microsoft Research (4, Interesting)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673840)

You obviously don't understand business nor did you read the article. This isn't a research item this is a patent item. To a company a patent is an asset that can be used in trade or to beat a competitor over the head. Research doesn't necessarily lead to great inventions and what makes us think that Microsoft invented the inventions that they now own? Lots of companies buy and sell patents just like you or I would sell a used bicycle. I have four patents and one, from a job I had more than 15 years ago, has traded hands no fewer than 8 times. Did any of the interceding owners of that patent "invent" anything? No, but they owned the rights to that patent and presumably made money by selling it.

Re:Fuck Microsoft Research (2)

WitnessForTheOffense (1669778) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673930)

Thank you for pointing out what's wrong with the patent system again.

Re:Fuck Microsoft Research (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674030)

What, that they can be traded? Is that the problem with houses, cars and antique porn mags too?

Re:Fuck Microsoft Research (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674184)

But owning a house, car or skin mag does not prevent anyone else from making similar items. Monopolies are different.

Re:Fuck Microsoft Research (2)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674046)

Thank you for pointing out what's wrong with the patent system again.

Sadly, it's still better than copyrights. At least patents expire, even if it is after, what, 20 years now?

Re:Fuck Microsoft Research (3, Insightful)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674188)

I do understand business, but I couldn't care less about entertaining big business's patent trolling activities. I also understand that patents (and particularly software patents) have nothing to do with invention or innovation and need to be abolished -- something you illustrated perfectly in your comment.

Re:Fuck Microsoft Research (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36673852)

Hmmm, they do have few products in the market I believe, and they had mobile OS & platforms before either Android or Google even existed

Re:Fuck Microsoft Research (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673974)

They've got decent R&D combined with crap design, marketing and management. Not such an uncommon problem, actually.

Re:Fuck Microsoft Research (2, Interesting)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674008)

They do make their own products. Competing products in fact. Therein lies the problem. Patents exists to provide incentive to research, you get a temporary monopoly on something you develop, in exchange for having developed it. Whether or not that should apply to software in general is an important question, but as it stands today software is patentable. If MS research patents something they own it until the patent expires, and they get to licence it.

Now, one can argue if patents are too broad, to absurd to apply to software or the like. But if we use the steel analogy. MS is making steel, and came up with a new, better way to make more of it. They patent that technique. Samsung shouldn't be able to just waltz over, copy the design, and implement it themselves and leave MS research unrewarded for the work they did. All the a money (and time) spent on research has real value, and real costs - and if you spent all that money doing research it may take you longer to implement it than a competitor who didn't spend the money on research.

Make sense? there is a finite puddle of money available, even to MS. If a company spends money on research they own the results of that research and if you want to use those results you have to pay. Or else there would very quickly be a lot less researchers.

Microsoft has a lot more (or depending on how large you want to count Steve Ballmer, a lot less) wrong with it than mobile patents not capturing market share. WP7 seems to be decent, but late to the game, so you have to use what you can.

Honestly, if I was MS, I'd be saying 'pay us a licence fee *or* let it boot WP7 along with whatever else you want'. Then it's a matter of getting app makers on board, and giving them the tools to do awesome stuff you can't easily do on droid (which might be more about building one product for desktop and mobile easily than about some specific feature that you can't do on droid).

Re:Fuck Microsoft Research (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674362)

I thought competition was what provided incentive to research. You copy the competition and innovate to get an edge, the competition copies you and also innovates to get an edge over you, repeat forever. With patents, you artificially wedge a "wait 20 years" step between those statements. More profits for the monopoly holders? Yes. Promoting the progress? More like slowing it down.

Re:Fuck Microsoft Research (1, Interesting)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674202)

If their R&D is so awesome, why can't they make their own products and not resort to ripping off other businesses to make money?

You fail to understand that ripping off competitors is the new industry standard. No one really makes anything new anymore. They just copy ip and wait to get sued. Success is not measured by innovation but rather the skill of your legal department. Seriously though I'm having a hard time believing Microsoft has research in social computing. Does anyone remember the Kin?

Jerk - they were never allowed to enter telecom (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36673794)

" They really do lots of research, and should enjoy the results aswell"

They bought startups, who had had the ideas.

Jerk - they were never allowed to enter telecom. They were were considered a bully in the 90s and all the telecom giants at the time made sure that their efforts never got a foothold.

Now, the Microsoft telecom wannabees are back with even more money, a nivce set of freshly bought companies and wants to wrestle themselves into some sort of importance.

For now I hope Nokia will drown into oblivion, slowly, while using W7.

There is nothing charming about Microsoft.

Re:Microsoft Research (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36673802)

What do you mean by "should" and "the results?"

If you can demonstrate that their research was (a) non-obvious and (b) directly influenced the developers of Android, then there might be a case that Microsoft "should" be compensated. If you mean simply that we allow software patents, and we allow people to patent ideas, wait for someone else to independently invent them, and then sue, then that does appear to be the case, but it seems like a counter-productive legal regime.

Re:Microsoft Research (1)

sqldr (838964) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673806)

Also:

- shitty workarounds for 3 character hard-coded file extensions, preventing you from reading a standard format SD card without using their workaround which is the *only* solution.
- being able to back out of an upgrade after a mid-upgrade system crash, using the highly complex process of reverting the files
- patents on things which more describe the problem than the solution

As for the above list, they have proved countless times that they're not very good at it, and most of their patents are on obvious solutions to problems they created in the first place.

If they want to make money from their research, they should try putting the results of the "research" into "products" that sell. Writing software takes far longer than just "researching" how you're going to do it.

So (5, Funny)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673816)

They really do lots of research, and should enjoy the results aswell.

Why did they put these benefits in Android and not in Windows?
 

Re:Microsoft Research (2)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673918)

Which of the patents in question are both a result of something dreamed up in MSR and something not so obvious that it hasn't been co-invented multiple times elsewhere? Oh, you don't know. Because, the patents in question haven't even been revealed since the licensees are under NDA. So, basically, you just threw a bunch of blather on the screen as fast as your fingers could hit a ctrl-c and a ctrl-v. Or do you just have those combo's hotkeyed to your mouse or something?

Re:Microsoft Research (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674116)

You, Microsoft has a huge R&D division in the following subjects - Algorithms and theory - Hardware development - Human–computer interaction - Machine learning, adaptation, and intelligence - Multimedia and graphics - Search, retrieval, and knowledge management - Security and cryptography - Social computing - Software development - Systems, architectures, mobility, and networking - Computational and Systems Biology It's the largest one in the industry. They really do lots of research, and should enjoy the results aswell.

I don't have any mod points and I'm not sure if your comment is correct but I see nothing that merits a troll rating. Can someone fix this please?

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36673722)

Samsung, nail them. It is in everybodies best interest to hit MS hard.

Windows Phone (5, Interesting)

FrankSchwab (675585) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673778)

How much does Microsoft want to license Windows Phone OS? My understanding is...around $15.

So, $15 to license Windows Phone 7 with a bunch of software that Microsoft paid to develop and has to maintain along with patent licenses, or $15 to license Android that doesn't contain a single line of Microsoft code but needs the patent licenses? I'm sure their patents are worth something, but this seems a wee bit overpriced.

Re:Windows Phone (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36673904)

It seems more like the Windows Phone 7 software is being correctly priced... at $0

Re:Windows Phone (1, Interesting)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674176)

Spoken like a true person that has never used one, and someone who definitely has never used a WP7 running the upcoming Mango release.

Re:Windows Phone (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674324)

Does that release add support for out of market installation?
Add a grown up kernel underneath?

If so please do point me to the source tree, so I can build it.

I'm a troll... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36673984)

...and I love to party!

Re:Windows Phone (4, Interesting)

Locutus (9039) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673986)

I believe this is some of Barnes and Nobels defense. ie they are asking more than it costs to license their entire OS stack so therefore it is an unreasonable license fee and is designed to block use of the software( Android ). Blocking can bring them back into court for anti-trust. Remember, they are associating WP7 with both Xbox and other Microsoft services and software.

no doubt many have already decided to give Microsoft the money instead of fighting them and only a very few are fighting. Too bad those fights will be dragged out for years.

LoB

Re:Windows Phone (4, Insightful)

surmak (1238244) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673996)

I wonder if there are antitrust implications of licensing the patents for that same price that they sell the software for.

Re:Windows Phone (1)

oldfogie (547102) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674048)

The $15 is not to "compensate Microsoft for its development efforts."

The $15 is an attempt to kill Android.

Failing that, they will at least have a huge pile of money to weep into...

Re:Windows Phone (1)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674168)

That's the entire point. They want to A) say that Android isn't free, nor is it as profitable as a result. And B) show that for a similar licensing fee or less, you can (as a company) quit forcing your customers into a no-win upgrade cycle that Apple has gotten out of doing. Microsoft is almost certainly asking for $15 while aiming to be haggled down to around $10 with a stronger partnership negotiated for WP7, which follows Apple's one-year (or maybe they'll go to semi-annual) upgrade path. To be frank, Samsung's first offerings caused the majority of the problems for the WP7 upgrades due to buggy firmwares, so it's in Microsoft's interest to strong arm them into making better WP7 phones.

In Apple and Microsoft's perspective, this can enable phone manufacturers to gain higher profits by minimizing the number of handsets that they must make (the rat race that currently exists where they must one-up everyone else, including themselves about every quarter) as well create a more standard base, allowing each manufacturer (e.g., HTC versus Nokia versus Samsung) to become really good at something to be the reason to buy it (e.g., Nokia has the best cameras in phones, HTC throws the biggest screens in phones and Samsung has some of the most attractive screens with AMOLED).

To throw some reality into the mix, who hasn't questioned a purchase because of the rumored next release? My office mate recently bought the HTC Thunderbolt after literally half a year of bouncing between the latest Android handsets coming out. Sure, that's just one guy, but I know I've been in a similar boat and I'm sure most other people have too. More predictable release cycles benefit consumers and manufacturers with people like him and I, because we are much more likely to purchase something rather than wait, when there is a reasonable assurance that the next best phone being released won't be for awhile.

It's obviously win-win for Microsoft, but I actually think there is some advantage in the Apple approach for a business on that scale.

I have a patent on communcation. (1)

bodland (522967) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673786)

Pay me now.

Re:I have a patent on communcation. (1)

kakyoin01 (2040114) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673818)

Do you have a patent on misspelling things due to writing so quickly to get one of the first comments in there? No offense meant.

Re:I have a patent on communcation. (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673978)

I have a patent on his misspelling of communication. It conveys a particular angst or ennui concerning the futility of getting your point across.

Re: I have a master's in communication (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36673902)

Obligatory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMgyi57s-A4

Thickets of Patents all litigated in East Texas (4, Insightful)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673808)

Eventually this will wind up with either Samsung entering a "mutual" royalty agreement where undisclosed patents are licensed by guys in trenchcoats, on a bridge, in fog.

Or, they'll go into court and to to patentville USA Marshall TX where every scumbag patent thicket group brings their IP litigation. It's friendlier in East Texas y'all.

It's the cost of doing business I guess.

Stop this american madness, fight patents! (1)

emanem (1356033) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673824)

Stop this american madness... Samsung should start not paying and stop this madness of software patents!
Do it in a court or elsewhere but please please stop this human stupidity against progress!

Cheers,

Re:Stop this american madness, fight patents! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36673924)

This "american madness" is the reason why America is and will continue to be the most innovative culture this planet has ever seen.

Re:Stop this american madness, fight patents! (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674032)

hasn't Samsung already released product to other countries while not stating if or when the product(s) would ship to the US? And I'd heard there were complaints with the Motorola Xoom not supporting SD cards. Remember, one patent Microsoft always uses is the VFAT patent for memory devices and Motorola is also fighting back against Microsoft. It looks like the US is already getting hit because of Microsoft's misdeeds.

LoB

An Open Letter (2)

Eldragon (163969) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673832)

Dear Microsoft, you don't innovate by rent-seeking. This is why no one cares what you are doing anymore. You have become irrelevant, like the other tech giants before you.

Re:An Open Letter (0)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674078)

Obscure nobodies who think they are really sticking it to Microsoft by calling them "irrelevant" crack me up. It's like some obscure NBA forward saying Michael Jordan had "become irrelevant" in 1995.

You can claim they're many things, but claiming they're "irrelevant" just makes you look bitter and silly, or badly out of touch with reality.

Re:An Open Letter (1)

JWW (79176) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674198)

In the the world of mobile operating systems they have become very very irrelevant.

Mobile is one market space where they've failed to use their Windows Hegemony on the desktop to maintain a strong position.

Re:An Open Letter (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674216)

I guess it depends on how you look at it. Since we are talking about mobile here, what percentage of market share does Microsoft have in smartphones and tablets again? Less than 10 percent, I believe. People are making noise about RIM being irrelevant and they have well over double what MS has in this space. So, to the consumer, yes, MS is indeed irrelevant here. Now, of course, they are trying to gain relevance through these legal maneuvers. I can't see how this will succeed in the long term. It is inevitable that someone is going to realize that it is absurd to pay licensing fees for periphery patents on one mobile OS that are equal to the licensing fees in their entirety for the other mobile OS. I smell some legal repercussions coming. MS is picking too many fights and that won't go on forever.

Re:An Open Letter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36674140)

And you represent exactly how many people and what makes your analysis relevant? You must be really on top of things speaking for so many people.

Re:An Open Letter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36674242)

No one except for the 85-90% of the desktop market that they hold, that is. Sure, Microsoft is dead in the water for most of the phone market but their desktop and console sales alone dwarf anything Android out there. Once people finally see the Android tablet for the scam that it is and run back to Apple it'll all be over except for some fanbois. These are the same kinds of people running TRS-80s and acting like they're not missing anything by not switching to modern computing.

Dear Sirs, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36673858)

from the bottom of my heart; Fuck Off.

What exactly are these patents? (4, Insightful)

Archtech (159117) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673866)

Does anyone know exactly what Microsoft's patents involve? Without knowing that, it's hard to make sense of any of these stories.

Based on the published newspaper articles so far, though, I must say it looks as if patent law is being used to accomplish the exact opposite of its supposed intent. Rather than guaranteeing an inventor the sole enjoyment of revenue from its innovations for a period, it is being used by a company that is not a serious player in the market to impede others from selling their products - and to give it a substantial stream of wholly unearned revenue.

Re:What exactly are these patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36674100)

Probably none: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_patents_and_free_software#Infringement_claims (Follow-up for the one "case" they did have: http://www.osnews.com/story/21766/Linux_Kernel_Patch_Works_Around_Microsoft_s_FAT_Patents)

Ok so you extort manufacturers. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673910)

Then, what if i entitle myself to $15 worth of pirated microsoft products in return ?

Re:Ok so you extort manufacturers. (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673968)

Hey, I pay good money for Microsoft products. Do you have any idea how much broadband internet costs around here?

Re:Ok so you extort manufacturers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36674014)

But Microsoft hasn't made $15 worth of products yet!

Re:Ok so you extort manufacturers. (1)

isorox (205688) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674024)

Then, what if i entitle myself to $15 worth of pirated microsoft products in return ?

Then microsoft win again, as you're using their product rather than a competitor.

Re:Ok so you extort manufacturers. (1)

gabebear (251933) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674262)

Probably better to start lawsuits against MS demanding money for anything that's half legit(e.g. demanding your money back for the copy of Window that was bundled with your computer).

That is a lot of money for little value (1)

Necroman (61604) | more than 2 years ago | (#36673944)

Embedding an entire OS (WindRiver VXWorks) costs around $15 per system. Putting Java on a Blu-ray player or phone costs in a similar range ($5-15 I believe).

Microsoft contributed nothing to the development of this phone, except being the first ones to patent specific ideas. I'm all for protecting processes, but our patent system really needs to be fixed.

Re:That is a lot of money for little value (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674052)

Microsoft contributed nothing to the development of this phone, except being the first ones to patent specific ideas. I'm all for protecting processes, but our patent system really needs to be fixed.

Substitute "a small inventor in his garage" though...

A small inventor in his garage contributed nothing to the development of this phone, except being the first one to patent specific ideas.

Would he have a claim to force Samsung to pay up? Would you support him, or crap all over him?

Re:That is a lot of money for little value (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674120)

"Would you support him, or crap all over him?"

Can't I just IGNORE HIM??? Why do you present this FALSE DICHOTOMY???

"being the first one to patent specific ideas"

Unless you have something specific in mind, this is nothing more than a useless STRAW MAN ARGUMENT.

Please come back when you learn how to express yourself without falling into the most obvious logical fallacies.

Re:That is a lot of money for little value (1)

ShavedOrangutan (1930630) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674196)

Substitute "a small inventor in his garage" though...

The small inventor in his garage can't afford to defend his patent. A major corporation can violate it all they want and never pay a dime.

Re:That is a lot of money for little value (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674264)

Samsung would fight him and bankrupt him in court. The patent system is not for the little guy, never was.

Re:That is a lot of money for little value (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674206)

Before the iPhone or even the existence of Google, Microsoft was developing and selling millions of mobile devices and created many patents on them. Sure, most were nonstarters or even lame, but they showed a lot of people, including Steve Jobs, what might work and what to avoid. If Microsoft tries to recoup their investment, can you really blame them?

Sure you can!!! Have at it.

Re:That is a lot of money for little value (1)

Necroman (61604) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674286)

Before the iPhone or even the existence of Google, Microsoft was developing and selling millions of mobile devices and created many patents on them. Sure, most were nonstarters or even lame, but they showed a lot of people, including Steve Jobs, what might work and what to avoid. If Microsoft tries to recoup their investment, can you really blame them?

Not really. Part of me understands that capitalism needs this. But at the same time, the holders of the patents aren't sharing their technology, or charge absurd prices for simple ideas.

We really just need to reduce the length of software patents.

Ridiculous (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36673956)

That's completely ridiculous. Microsoft didn't contribute a single line of code to those phones. Any patents they claim are likely periphery, just as with the Nook [groklaw.net].

Some choice quotes from the Nook filing:

25. After sending the proposed license agreement, Microsoft confirmed the shockingly high licensing fees Microsoft was demanding, reiterating its exorbitant per device royalty for NookTM, and for the first time demanding a royalty for Nook ColorTM which was more than double the per device royalty Microsoft was demanding for NookTM. On information and belief, the license fees demanded by Microsoft are higher than what Microsoft charges for a license to its entire operating system designed for mobile devices,

43. Via the license price it demands and the onerous restrictions and termination provisions that would effectively require the negotiation of a new license each and every time a hardware or software update is made, Microsoft is leveraging the '372, '780, '522, '551, and '233 patents and its other patents to render the AndroidTM Operating System and other open source operating systems uncompetitive and unpalatable vis-a-vis Microsoft's own operating systems and force potential licensees to purchase Windows Phone 7 despite the fact that its patents claim only trivial and non-essential design elements, not an entire operating system.

And let's not forget that old chestnut the FAT patent. Nothing like rent charging your competitors just for being compatible. It's not like there aren't 100 other file systems they could use on flash cards, if just Windows supported any of them.
Note that when Barnes and Noble stood up to them, Microsoft didn't even have the balls to bring it out. It's pure mob tactics, and like true vampires they shun the light.

Outrageous! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36673980)

They deserve twice as much.

Fight! (1)

TopSpin (753) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674006)

Samsung Galaxy S II Astonishes With 3 Million Units Sold in 55 Days [christianpost.com]

So there is $45 million that Microsoft figures Samsung must owe at $15 a pop. At that pace Microsoft expects about $289 million a year.

I suspect, and hope, that Samsung will figure they can risk a fraction of that to fight the legal battle for a few years. Perhaps invalidate a mass of patents ah la Oracle/Google.

Re:Fight! (3, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674192)

Yes. This seems like a reasonable business choice. $15 is a ridiculous figure. I have heard that figure is what Microsoft charges for their own mobile OS. This certainly doesn't seem to be "reasonable and non-discriminatory" licensing. I say fight too. Also, it's a little entertaining to see all the crap go down as it has been. There seems to be a massive increase in [software] patent litigation and I have to wonder when everyone playing the game will finally realize we are all better off without it.

Welcome to Phase 3. (1)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674050)

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. - Mahatma Gandi

Why does google just sit idly by? (2)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674146)

One thing that makes me really sick is to see a [powerful] company like Google sit idly by and simply watch trolls like Microsoft smear the Android OS.

Does Google think Microsoft's actions elevate Android's profile?

This is what I would do if I were Google:

Change Android's licence to at least require that any patent agreement entered into by an Android licensee with parties like Microsoft particularly pertaining to Android's 'infringements' be made public at least as far as what patents are involved.

Is this too much to expect?

Re:Why does google just sit idly by? (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674182)

"require that any patent agreement entered into by an Android licensee with parties like Microsoft"

Bizarre way of thinking...

The only possible outcome for google in your scenario is that people will not bother to sign contracts with them.

Microsoft is at least claiming some sort of legal reason to restrain their customers, this... not so much.

Re:Why does google just sit idly by? (1)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674300)

Because they've nothing much to win from doing that?

Samsung's might be quite willing to pay $15 per device. They're probably not about to stop shipping Android because of it.

I've said it before... (1)

CrazyDuke (529195) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674156)

Even if you can amass a large enough of a consumer revolt against a large economic entity behaving badly, it will just rig the system so it gets your money regardless of whether or not you actually do business with them. It is not just the officially labeled government you have to be concerned with regulating the market to death for it's own advantage. Any entity with enough power and influence to significantly manipulate the "free" market is a threat to it, not just the turd flinging buffoons in the capital. Hell, some of you understand this on some level, referring to it as a (Corporate Entity's Name) Tax. It might as well be that or some kind of fine. You have to pay it even though you do not necessarily get something you value in exchange from the entity that it goes to. And, it's is not limited to any one company, bank, trust, or nation by any stretch.

"It’s a big club, and you aint in it. You, and I are not in The Big Club." ... "The table has tilted folks. The game is rigged, and nobody seems to notice." - George Carlin

"Rent-seeking" comes to mind...

So. (1)

eugene2k (1213062) | more than 2 years ago | (#36674228)

Microsoft is using Napoleon's tactic of dividing and conquering. Obviously the only way out for vendors is to unite and fight Microsoft's extortion attempts with their joint patent pool.

ooh! ooh! me too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36674248)

I want $15 per android smartphone too!

Legalized extortion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36674274)

When will something be done about unneeded, innovation blocking and extortion encouraging system?

Of course! Nothing.

I want 10 cents Per Android Smart Phone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36674320)

I want 10 cents Per Android Smart Phone.

Just because you want something does not mean you will get it. My kids wants XBOX, iPad, 60 inch TV in there room, etc. Not going to happen.

Even if there is patents involved I do not think the valuation for usage is even remotely fair. I see it just a monopolistic company, MS, exploiting this for its own benefit.

Samsung would be better off to spin off a third party company to supply the software and then drive that third party into the ground with costs and refuse to pay MS. When MS finally works its way through the courts just through that company into bankruptcy and MS can collect dick.

WTF!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36674322)

How the hell is this shit allowed to happen?

USA patent system is like italian mafia to me... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36674366)

The USA patent system is very similar to the italian mafia system to me...
Do you know that the graphene inventor didn't patent it?
And the motivation ?

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20101008/09595411336/why-this-year-s-physics-nobel-winner-never-patented-graphene.shtml

We considered patenting; we prepared a patent and it was nearly filed. Then I had an interaction with a big, multinational electronics company. I approached a guy at a conference and said, "We've got this patent coming up, would you be interested in sponsoring it over the years?" It's quite expensive to keep a patent alive for 20 years. The guy told me, "We are looking at graphene, and it might have a future in the long term. If after ten years we find it's really as good as it promises, we will put a hundred patent lawyers on it to write a hundred patents a day, and you will spend the rest of your life, and the gross domestic product of your little island, suing us." That's a direct quote.

I considered this arrogant comment, and I realized how useful it was. There was no point in patenting graphene at that stage. You need to be specific: you need to have a specific application and an industrial partner. Unfortunately, in many countries, including this one, people think that applying for a patent is an achievement. In my case it would have been a waste of taxpayers' money.

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