Beta
×

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!

Motorola's Most Important 18 Patents

CmdrTaco posted about 3 years ago | from the i-heard-they-patented-sandwiches dept.

Patents 137

quarterbuck writes "Bloomberg has a story on Google's acquisition of Motorola and quotes IP lawyers who claim that 18 patents dating to 1994 are probably what Google is after. These patents cover technology essential to the mobile-device industry, including location services, antenna designs, e-mail transmission, touchscreen motions, software-application management and third-generation wireless."

cancel ×

137 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Okay, I give up. (5, Informative)

dtmos (447842) | about 3 years ago | (#37177050)

Which 18 patents are they? You'd think in a 23-paragraph article they would have found space to list them.

Re:Okay, I give up. (4, Funny)

tedgyz (515156) | about 3 years ago | (#37177092)

Details? We don't need no stinking details!

What would expect from a financial news site. The bean counters eyes might glaze over if they revealed such information.

Re:Okay, I give up. (0)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 3 years ago | (#37177532)

Or reveal insight as opposed to whatever they feel rings true with their own marketing belief.

Take Forbes...
Thinking Of Buying A $99 TouchPad? Don't [forbes.com]

Reasons for not buying a TouchPad, a more than capable piece of hardware that is perfectly functional, lets you browse the interwebs, run photo slideshows, play media files, etc. etc. so even if it's not exactly a Galaxy Tab it still makes for a kick-ass digital photoframe?

1. Hardware: Bulkier, lower battery life, just one camera.
2. Software: There's not as many apps for WebOS as there are for iOS or Android (note later adjustment*)
3. Not-an-iPad: If you already have an iPad, why bother?

When I read it, I didn't think he could be any more transparent in his love for the iPad and disdain for everything else - * but then I just looked up the article again for this post and he has adjusted it to glorify the iPad some more.

It's hilarious. I hope people get Android running on it, as he'll have to eat most of his words. But even if that doesn't pan out, at $99 it's still a steal. For a financial news site to have a staff member brush it off smacks of lack of insight. And if he really needed a financial gain reason, he need but look at the people selling their TouchPads on ebay, at > $99

Why buy a tablet with no support? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 3 years ago | (#37179956)

I was thinking about buying one.

But there's no good reason to do so. Lets break it down by use:

1) Use as normal tablet. The iPad has better hardware for the most part, and vastly better software. Even an Android tablet would serve you better software wise.

2) Use for a mix of hacking/normal tablet use. Essentially the same argument, only now you start to consider the hacking communities are greatly more robust for either Android / iOS.

So basically if you are about to buy one, stop and think - might you not be better off just getting a normal tablet?

The only people I could see this tablet making sense for are people on a seriously tight budget that they truly only have $100 for... otherwise in the long run it makes way more sense to spring more for another tablet with a lifetime of support ahead - and Apple is selling refurbished iPad 1 units of r$299 now (Ok, that went out of stock since the last I looked at it but they ave 32GB units as well for $100 more). That gets full iOS5 support...

Re:Okay, I give up. (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about 3 years ago | (#37177744)

What? I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you. I was being bombarded with too many ads to hear what you had to say about financial details. :>

Re:Okay, I give up. (2)

robthebloke (1308483) | about 3 years ago | (#37177112)

But that would ruin the surprise when the patent lawyer shows up!

Re:Okay, I give up. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37177116)

http://askville.amazon.com/bloomberg-cost-set-account/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=4786627

tomorrow's article (1)

statsone (1981504) | about 3 years ago | (#37177176)

need those ads impressions to rack up!

Re:Okay, I give up. (1)

Idbar (1034346) | about 3 years ago | (#37178106)

You wouldn't be reading TFA anyways. I see you also managed to actually read the summary before commenting! Outrageous!

Email transmission? (2, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 3 years ago | (#37177064)

How the hell can a 1994 patent cover email transmission?

Re:Email transmission? (2)

RobWalker (623706) | about 3 years ago | (#37177156)

Errr .. because email was around way before 1994. Maybe not in it's current form, and maybe not as prevalent - but it certainly existed way before then

Re:Email transmission? (3, Informative)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | about 3 years ago | (#37177194)

Errr .. because email was around way before 1994. Maybe not in it's current form, and maybe not as prevalent - but it certainly existed way before then

Outlook and Exchange weren't around in 1994. POP3 and SMTP most certainly were.

Email actually hasn't changed much at all since 1994.

Re:Email transmission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37177298)

Email actually hasn't changed much at all since 1994.

Which is why we need Facebook Messaging!

Re:Email transmission? (3, Informative)

Cyberax (705495) | about 3 years ago | (#37177362)

SMTP is described in RFC 822 dated August 13, 1982.

By 1994 e-mail was pretty much as it is right now. Maybe without current spam-blocking techniques.

Re:Email transmission? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 3 years ago | (#37177496)

Yep. It's amazing how little e-mail has changed since it was invented in the mid-sixties [multicians.org] . (Incidentally, that link also reveals to the young computer history student that unsolicited mass mailings date to 1971, and unsolicited commercial mass mailings date to 1978. Feel free to pick which one is spammier in your mind.)

it was a simpler time then... (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | about 3 years ago | (#37177602)

Maybe without current spam-blocking techniques.

because none was needed. until a pair of low life bottom-feeding douche bag lawyers [wikimedia.org] spammed usenet with their green card lottery spew (repeatedly,) and "inspired" millions of other bottom-feeders to copy their exploits (effectively destroyed usenet and e-mail as an useful communication medium,) spam was unheard of. (no, don't get me started on AoL'ers)

Re:it was a simpler time then... (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about 3 years ago | (#37179054)

Like almost everything that's been patented in the last twenty years, A) this wasn't really new, it was just new on the internet*, and B) it was obvious enough that someone else would have done it shortly thereafter anyway.

Doesn't make them less scummy though. =)

* Crap left in my door, bulk mail, and robocalls all predate this.

Re:Email transmission? (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about 3 years ago | (#37178670)

Remember....

The Web is not the internet - The internet is ~ 20 years older than the Web

Email is not tied to the internet, it is around 10 years older then the internet .... !

Re:Email transmission? (2)

Intron (870560) | about 3 years ago | (#37178716)

Junk mail predates SMTP. It's described as a problem in RFC 706 [ietf.org] , Nov 1975

Re:Email transmission? (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about 3 years ago | (#37177246)

Considering I wrote documentation for some software called "Pegasus Mail" for a university, I'm pretty sure e-mail was alive and well (as part of my high school co-op program no less).

Not available to normal pleabs maybe, but it was available mostly for education and government uses.

But your right, that was also the time I was still dialing into BBS's with a 2400 baud modem...

Re:Email transmission? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 3 years ago | (#37177270)

Why not? It's not like patenting something dcades after it was actually invented by someone else is unusual...

But not all the patents will be from 1994, just the oldest one (one would hope, since that's an expensive way to get some patents 3 years before they expire)...

Re:Email transmission? (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about 3 years ago | (#37177918)

Why not? It's not like patenting something dcades after it was actually invented by someone else is unusual..

Correct.

It's not 'performing the act' that's something that's considered "wrong" or "unethical" in patent-hungry individuals' minds, it's 'getting caught' that matters.

Re:Email transmission? (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | about 3 years ago | (#37178518)

Mmmm... Dare I even suggest that people read the claims of the patent before concluding that it was invalid?

Oh, right - the article didn't provide any useful details or a link to the patents, so all we can do is jump to conclusions.

Score: "Journalists" 1, Readers 0, Slashdotters -1.

(Yes, I'm in the last group. Mea culpa.)

Re:Email transmission? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 3 years ago | (#37179258)

Except that no conclusion about the patents validity was being made at all (well until you jumped in I guess).

Just that one person thought an email patent at that time is strange, and one person did not. Neither making any comment about the validity or not. And a comment on general patents, not on the ones in question.

Re:Email transmission? (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | about 3 years ago | (#37179720)

Really? I interpreted

Why not? It's not like patenting something dcades after it was actually invented by someone else is unusual...

as implying that the patent should be invalid because the invetion was decades old before the patent was granted.

In any case, I only suggest that it's hard to judge the validity of a patent without seeing the claims. Aside from arguments about the validity of patents in general, of course.

Re:Email transmission? (1)

Tsingi (870990) | about 3 years ago | (#37179276)

Why not? It's not like patenting something dcades after it was actually invented by someone else is unusual...

But not all the patents will be from 1994, just the oldest one (one would hope, since that's an expensive way to get some patents 3 years before they expire)...

Assuming that the patent lifetime does not go up in the next three years, which is not unlikely.

Can't have technology in the public commons, then anyone could use it!

Re:Email transmission? (1)

jesseck (942036) | about 3 years ago | (#37177310)

How the hell can a 1994 patent cover email transmission?

Well, the lawyers saw that "on the Internet" was already taken, but not "On the wireless".

Re:Email transmission? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 3 years ago | (#37177780)

Which would still be inapplicable, since there were Fidonet nodes that used shortwave radio to exchange mail with each other, and likely many other wireless transmission systems before that.

Re:Email transmission? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37177314)

There are RFC's for sending messages/mail over a network back in the 70's.

The original RFC for SMTP is from 1982 - http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc0821.txt

Re:Email transmission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37177466)

I feel old now. Thanks!

Re:Email transmission? (1)

SlippyToad (240532) | about 3 years ago | (#37177490)

What I'm wondering is . . . don't they have only like 3 years left on those patents?

Re:Email transmission? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 3 years ago | (#37177528)

Well, I guess blocking Apple out of the market for 3 years, or even just for two years, would be disastrous for Apple. So those patents can be an effective weapon even with only 3 years left.

Re:Email transmission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37177938)

Except the patents are almost certainly FRAND patents which means Motorola/Google is _required_ to license them for fair and reasonable rates.

Re:Email transmission? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 3 years ago | (#37178024)

That and countering MS on their patents as well. For as much as Apple and Google are at odds, MS is hurting Google's partners directly and financially.

Re:Email transmission? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 3 years ago | (#37179620)

Its still Microsoft's Patents vs Motorola's Android Devices. Google's purchasing of Motorola Mobility doesnt "counter" shit because Google doesnt have any relevant patents of its own.

If Google were to purchase ANOTHER portfolio of mobile patents that could be combined with Motorola's.. then that might have a chance at helping to counter the lawsuits.. as it stands tho, absolutely nothing has changed.

..and just to be clear, the pending lawsuits are against actual devices which run Android, they are not against Android itself.

It could very well be that a bare-naked Android install doesnt violate anyones patents. A fine example of this would be that a bare-naked Android install can't sync with Exchange. To be quite specific.. even Google paid Microsoft for Exchange ActiveSync licensing in order to support the feature in its own phones.

What the acquisition of Motorola Mobility does do is put Google in a much better position to cross-license with Microsoft (and others) later on.. but those licenses will never be applied to the generic "Android" but instead only to specific manufacturers that adopt Android. Android itself will continue to lack support for syncing with exchange, or any of the other "nice" features bolted on top of Android by the phone manufacturers.

Re:Email transmission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37177672)

How the hell can someone think that 1994 email is a "how the hell" thing? Are you a moron? Things haven't changed that much since 1994. Believe it or not.

Re:Email transmission? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37177764)

I just got the same feeling that my professor in Computer Languages 101 must have gotten (around 1994)
when I asked the following question after he
told us that he programmed the first compiler 196X...
I asked, but "what language did you use to program the compiler?"
"HEX, young (ignorant) man, we programmed it in HEX"

Re:Email transmission? (1)

jovius (974690) | about 3 years ago | (#37178176)

It was supposed to be femail transmission but they typoed it - and lived in solitude for ever after.

Re:Email transmission? (1)

IrquiM (471313) | about 3 years ago | (#37178814)

Maybe it's pressing the send button on a touch screen, using a flat device with rounded corner, and the screen placed in the middle of the device?

Doubtful (-1, Flamebait)

hsmith (818216) | about 3 years ago | (#37177148)

Google could have bought or licensed just those patents for a lot less.

It is clear: Google wants to get into the hardware business. They dropped serious money on this entity, not for 18 god damned patents.

Re:Doubtful (2, Insightful)

Splab (574204) | about 3 years ago | (#37177182)

If you only have a license for a patent you can't use it as leverage against trolls like Apple - by owning core patents they can fire back...

Re:Doubtful (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37177446)

Apple is NOT a patent troll.

You're using that term but you don't know what it means.

A patent troll is in the business of suing for patent infringement. Thy have no product other than patents. Apple is in the business of making computers and consumer devices. Their patent lawsuits are to protect their innovations. You may not like the fact that they are suing; you may not think that their innovations (or "innovations", if you prefer) are patent worthy; you may just not like Apple, but they are not in business to sue over patent infringement. They are NOT a patent troll.

Neither is Microsoft nor Oracle nor Google nor Samsung nor a lot of other companies. There are patent trolls at work and they are a serious problem so please make sure you actually know what you're talking about when you use the term.

Also, unless I'm mistaken, those patents are considered essential patents and thus Motorola is forced to license them at reasonable terms. If I'm correct, and they are considered essential patents, then they offer no defensive value at all (they are _required_ to license them - that was the issue Apple had with Nokia - Nokia wasn't offering to license their essential patents at fair and reasonable terms which is why that lawsuit happened).

Anyhow, again, Apple is NOT a patent troll. Please make sure you know what the term means before you throw it around.

Re:Doubtful (2, Informative)

Splab (574204) | about 3 years ago | (#37177522)

You might wanna pull your head out of your arse and look up the term yourself there matey.

Now, obvisouly, if you where so sure of yourself you wouldn't be hiding behind AC, but for others as confused as AC wiki, can as always send you in the proper direction: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_troll [wikipedia.org]

Now a patent troll is *often* someone without an actual product, but Apple is indeed a troll since they are using their patents to try to force other players out of the market *while ignoring* said players portfolio (and counter demands).

Re:Doubtful (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about 3 years ago | (#37177942)

...anonymous...

Connection with Apple, maybe? I'm just saying.

Even if you want to say something that's controversial, don't play the anonymous card. Own up and back your position.

Re:Doubtful (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about 3 years ago | (#37177966)

When I say that, I mean "own up and back your position, just like Splab". Posted too fast. D'oh!

Re:Doubtful (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37178714)

I'm posting AC because I'm at work and I don't log into website from work. Want to know who I am? whisper_jeff Feel free to do a search for me and add me to your ignore list if you'd like. I'm fine with it.

As for your definition, the first paragraph of your link: "Patent troll is a pejorative term used for a person or company that enforces its patents against one or more alleged infringers in a manner considered (by the party using the term) unduly aggressive or opportunistic, often with no intention to manufacture or market the patented invention."

And, further down in the article: "The metaphor was popularized in 2001 by Peter Detkin, former assistant general counsel of Intel, who first used it to describe TechSearch, its CEO, Anthony O. Brown, and their lawyer, Raymond Niro, while Intel was defending a patent suit against them. Detkin had previously used the term "patent extortionist" to refer to a number of companies who were suing Intel for patent infringement and who were trying to "make a lot of money off a patent that they are not practicing and have no intention of practicing and in most cases never practiced." After Intel was sued for libel, he came up with the term "patent troll" instead."

Just because people like you have decided to use the phrase when discussing actual companies who produce products but also sue to defend their innovations (*) is meaningless. The term applies to companies who buy patents and sue for patent infringement while making nothing. A patent troll's business model is "make money from patent lawsuits."

*Again, whether or not you agree that the item is innovative or patent worthy or whatever is a separate discussion - they were granted the patent for the innovation and they're defending it.

Apple is not a patent troll. Nor Microsoft, Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Nokia, or any of the other companies who are embroiled in patent lawsuits (and there are LOTS of them - I find it amusing that you singled out Apple but I suppose that's en vogue on Slashdot lately, right?) because they actually make something. Patent trolls do not make anything.

Sorry that you've decided to muddy the term's definition to include "companies who defend their patents that I don't like" but your personal preference matters for squat. Try using the right terms when discussing the subject.

Re:Doubtful (1)

froggymana (1896008) | about 3 years ago | (#37178984)

But I thought that I was whisper_jeff!

Re:Doubtful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37179846)

Interesting, except that Motorola sued Apple first.

Who was the troll again?

Re:Doubtful (0)

dokc (1562391) | about 3 years ago | (#37177568)

Apple is NOT a patent troll.

Oh, please, don't cry! No, darling, Apple is not a patent troll! Bad, bad Splab!!!

Re:Doubtful (0)

miffo.swe (547642) | about 3 years ago | (#37177642)

As Apple and Microsoft is using patents as a way of stopping or seriously hampering competition they are patent trolls. Apple just took a bunch of stuff invented elsewhere, slapped it all together and started the old Reality Distortion Field up on full power.

Apple is a patent troll. They suck donkeys ass for that and we all are beginning to hate them except the people in the Reality Distortion Field where Apple invents everything they copy and incorporate into their products.

Im waiting with amusement for the release of the Iphone 5 as all the stuff Apple copied from Android will suddenly be invented at Apple, and the best stuff in the world all of a sudden.

Re:Doubtful (2)

rufty_tufty (888596) | about 3 years ago | (#37177668)

"those patents are considered essential patents and thus Motorola is forced to license them at reasonable terms"
What is this concept of essential patents? The information i can find only applies to those made available to standards bodies, not sure how deactivating the touch sensor when next to a person's ear or data compression or any of the others mentioned in the article apply.
Please can you provide more information.

Re:Doubtful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37179140)

Has the list of patents being discussed been released. It was my understanding that the article doesn't even reference what patents they're talking about.

As for the concept, it's called FRAND patents. I'll let you google it to get a better definition than I can provide but the basics are "essential patents that must be licensed at fair and reasonable rates." Feel free to search for a more complete definition.

Given the importance that the article puts on these patents and how old they are, I suspect they (or at least most of them) are FRAND patents.

Re:Doubtful (3, Informative)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | about 3 years ago | (#37179778)

I'm actually on the board of a technical standards committee (The South African Bureau of Standards) that does all official standards for our country. FRAND (where I am anyway) *only* applies in cases of standardisation - where implementing a patent is the only way to meet a National Standard *and* the patent holder was part of the standardisation process.

Not sure where you get the idea that FRAND applies to anything that is widely used, or is a defacto/ad hoc standard. It applies only in a very narrow use-case.

I sincerely doubt that email is a National Standard.

Re:Doubtful (1)

Tsingi (870990) | about 3 years ago | (#37179344)

Apple is NOT a patent troll.

So says the AC.

Re:Doubtful (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | about 3 years ago | (#37177184)

It is clear: Google wants to get into the hardware business.

Or the patent troll business..... ?

Re:Doubtful (3, Insightful)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | about 3 years ago | (#37177244)

It is clear: Google wants to get into the hardware business.

Or the patent troll business..... ?

From what I've seen over the past few years, the two are synonymous. You can't be in the hardware business if you can't counter-sue.

Re:Doubtful (1)

Viewsonic (584922) | about 3 years ago | (#37177350)

This is so sad.

Re:Doubtful (2)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37178232)

From what I've seen over the past few years, [hardware and patent trolling] are synonymous.

I thought the accepted definition of "patent trolling" on Slashdot was the practice of a nonpracticing entity, or one that holds and enforces patents but doesn't produce its own implementation of the invention. This definition would disqualify hardware makers (e.g. Motorola) and blueprint makers (e.g. ARM and Fraunhofer) from "troll" classification.

Re:Doubtful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37177718)

Or maybe they just want to stay in business?

It's a pretty sad state of affairs, but without an arsenal of patents, the likes of Apple or Oracle could do serious harm to Google.

Re:Doubtful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37177220)

Google would hamstring Android if that was their intent. HTC, ZTE, and Samsung would go running, either to another OS, or to Microsoft.

MS may not have much market share now, but if Moto/Google drives them off by competing with them, WMP can easily become a dominant standard, similar to how WM was the top dog before the iPhone came out.

Android is still very young when it comes to being a reliable cellphone OS. It has no encryption of contents, nor does it have solid Exchange support. Those two things make it a useless toy when it comes to the corporate world.

Re:Doubtful (1)

bberens (965711) | about 3 years ago | (#37177344)

That's weird, I'm reading e-mail off our Exchange server on my Evo 4G as we speak. Never had a problem with it. I'm not sure about disk encryption but it certainly has remote wipe and all the other nonsense our IS department needs.

Re:Doubtful (1)

phonewebcam (446772) | about 3 years ago | (#37177378)

"Those two things make it a useless toy when it comes to the corporate world."

Thank fuck you blew your cred with "WM was the top dog before the iPhone came out", completely ignoring Symbian and Nokia. Why, if you hadn't done that you might well have got me there buddy.

Home country of Apple, Google, M$, and /. (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37178272)

Thank fuck you blew your cred with "WM was the top dog before the iPhone came out", completely ignoring Symbian and Nokia.

Then please allow me to rephrase: "WM was the top dog in the United States market before the iPhone came out." Nokia doesn't have much presence in the country where Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Slashdot are headquartered.

Re:Home country of Apple, Google, M$, and /. (1)

sarhjinian (94086) | about 3 years ago | (#37179472)

The top dog in the US market would have been RIM, not Windows Mobile and certainly not Nokia.

WM was the top dog among people who didn't want to spend effort developing real mobile applications (to the extent that you could do that on, say, BlackBerry OS or Symbian) and just shovelled Microsoft development tools and old code at handhelds because it was cheap and easy. In that sense, it owned certain vertical markets (warehousing, point of sale, courier) where it was used to run client applications. Web apps (and the iPhone app ecosystem) absolutely killed Windows Mobile.

It made sense back when there was a reason to use SQL Server CE and/or .NET CF. Now we don't just shovel VB apps onto phones any more.

This is a little similar to RIM, which owned corporate messaging back when data was hideously expensive and Exchange push sucked (or didn't exist). ActiveSync is almost as good now, and data is so cheap it doesn't matter as much. The difference is that RIM devices still hold a (slight) edge in manageability, whereas WM and Symbian are completely pointless next to iOS and Android.

Re:Doubtful (1)

Catnaps (2044938) | about 3 years ago | (#37177762)

I've been getting my work Exchange mail for months on my CM7 HTC Legend and it works just fine thank you very much.

Re:Doubtful (1)

bberens (965711) | about 3 years ago | (#37177354)

It is clear: Google wants to get into the hardware business.

Correction. Google is already in the hardware business. They are the world's 4th largest server manufacturer.

Re:Doubtful (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about 3 years ago | (#37178006)

What do you mean by "manufacturer"?

Manufacturing of actual hardware components (parts) or assembly of already-manufactured parts (components) on the whole-unit scale; hard drives, memory, power supp., etc?

Cite your statement and you may have a good pointer to something that's going big.

Re:Doubtful (1)

Slash.research_Kat (2195516) | about 3 years ago | (#37179148)

It looks like Google is heading towards creating ubiquitous computing experiences. They're not limiting to PCs but rather coming out with new products that people can take anywhere (mobile devices) to get any kind of information (personal, social, web, images, etc). I don't think it's just about Google wanting to dominate hardware manufacturing. Motorola has some important patents for data transfer, and for Google to continue their information retrieval in a new space, they need to be able to transfer information to users smoothly. Imagine you're out at lunch with friends and mention something you recently saw (i.e. on tv or youtube). You'd probably want to show it on your phone with your friends right then and there, right? Google is probably trying to position themselves in the market to offer the information you need at your fingertips

FRAND Encumbered Patents (2)

AwaxSlashdot (600672) | about 3 years ago | (#37177368)

Some of those patents are encumbered by FRAND : Fair, Reasonnable and Non Discrimatory.
Such patents are essentiel to a global normalisation in which participant have to disclose their related patents and licence them in a fair, reasonnable and non discriminatory way. You can use them to get royalties but you'll have a hard time using them to block someone.

Remember, in Nokia vs Apple, Apple settlement rather quickly. In Apple vs Motorola, the litigation is still pending. So it seems that Apple considers those patents are rather weak.

At last, remember, Google bought Motorola also because it threatened OTHER ANDROID licensees !!!

Re:FRAND Encumbered Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37177948)

Maybe so, but will it help them defend themselves against other entities. Sometimes patents are bought for their protective ability, not their licensing/blocking ability.

Re:FRAND Encumbered Patents (1)

AwaxSlashdot (600672) | about 3 years ago | (#37178346)

A FRAND encumbered patent can mostly allow obtaining licensing revenues. The only defense would be to enter a cross licensing deal where both party are avoiding paying licenses to each other.

There are 3 kinds of entities attacking Android :
- Apple wants Android blocked or at least some of its feature. Apple want to keep very distinctive feature to itself and does not intend to license them. A FRAND patent would help have Apple pay licensing fees, like it did for Nokia but it would not have Apple stop trying to block some features on Android phones.
- Microsoft wants to have revenues from Android so that device manufacturers would consider WP7 as a cheaper/same price alternative to Android. Here the MMI FRAND patents might help if Microsoft is found infringing those. However, Microsoft is handling the OS part : if MMI patents are related to hardware (like radio), those patents won't be able to provide revenues or cross licensing opportunities from Microsoft. Those are the kind of patent MMI would have leveraged against other Android licensees as it threatened to do.
- Patent Trolls or Non-Practicing Entities have no product to sell. No hardware. No software. So with FRAND patents or a plain vanilla patents, you can not retaliate by blocking its products or having them pay licenses.

In the end, only Microsoft kind of attack on Android might be curbed down by FRAND patents but this wouldn't affect much Apple and Patent Trolls.

Re:FRAND Encumbered Patents (1)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | about 3 years ago | (#37179868)

A FRAND encumbered patent can mostly allow obtaining licensing revenues.

Citation oh so badly needed! AFAIK, no one has yet come forward identifying any of those 17000 patents as FRAND. Last I checked, FRAND patents are few and far between - something on the order of 300k patents for every 1 FRAND patent.

Re:FRAND Encumbered Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37178072)

Sure, but they have acquired 17,000 granted patents and 7,000 pending ones.

Unless all the mobile ones are FRAND, it's a moot point.

Plus, it's a possible defence against players like MS gouging the likes of HTC. License fees can always be increased tit-for-tat.

IANAL though.

RTFATitle (1)

AwaxSlashdot (600672) | about 3 years ago | (#37178174)

RTFATitle : "Most important 18 patents" and the potential FRAND encumberance relates to those.

Re:RTFATitle (1)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | about 3 years ago | (#37179918)

RTFATitle : "Most important 18 patents" and the potential FRAND encumberance relates to those.

More BS - there are no FRAND encumberances. You've obviously got a fucking agenda here, spouting FUD. Do you get paid for this? Your employers should ask for their money back

(Yeah, I got a bone to pick with google as well (see recent posting history), but at least I've got legitimate gripes with them. I don't go making stuff up)

Only 18 of those 17k+7k used in court (1)

AwaxSlashdot (600672) | about 3 years ago | (#37178578)

If MMI thought it had stronger patents in its portfolio, it would have brought them to court agains Apple and Microsoft. But only those 18 were put forward.

Re:FRAND Encumbered Patents (1)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | about 3 years ago | (#37179844)

Some of those patents are encumbered by FRAND : Fair, Reasonnable and Non Discrimatory.

You're full of shit - I read the article and nowhere does it mention that. Have you *any* evidence that makes you believe that even one of those 17000 patents are FRAND patents?

Has Motorola... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37177432)

ever acted on these 18 patents to a significant degree? Because isn't there a chance they ignored these patents in the name of progress? Could Google end up using these to an abusive level? I'm wondering if we're going to see some evil applications by Google. Hopefully not.

Re:Has Motorola... (1)

gubers33 (1302099) | about 3 years ago | (#37177890)

It said in the article that it used the 4 of the 18 patents to recieve an undisclosed upfront payment from BlackBerry and is now receiving royalities from them when it forced a cross licensing agreement.

Re:Has Motorola... (1)

phonewebcam (446772) | about 3 years ago | (#37177984)

It will be interesting to see if Google allow the iPhone5 to launch. Clearly, when the situation is reversed, the whole product is banned [techradar.com] , but as we all know Google do no evil. Or is evil justified when it's the only way of dealing with the evil being done by another?

Re:Has Motorola... (1)

Tsingi (870990) | about 3 years ago | (#37179426)

ever acted on these 18 patents to a significant degree? Because isn't there a chance they ignored these patents in the name of progress? Could Google end up using these to an abusive level? I'm wondering if we're going to see some evil applications by Google. Hopefully not.

Mr. Anon Coward, how do you know that Motorola hasn't used the patents? I'd say that the chances are 99% that they have, or they would have been the target for patent trolls.

Patents are useful even if you don't go around suing people over them. They are useful to keep people from suing you. Which is why Google needs them.

Yeah that must be it (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 3 years ago | (#37177664)

It can't possibly because Motorola is a huge manufacturer of mobile phones and Google, as they have shown many times in the past, is interested in further diversifying their product line beyond software (well, really just ads) and expanding into the more difficult to get into but also much more stable field of hardware in order to deploy their Android platform in a more consistent manner, can it? No, surely it must just be for this patent portfolio. After all, patents are the only thing of value these days. Right?

Of course the patents aren't incidental to the purchase (protecting Android makers is clearly important), but somehow I doubt Google did this just for that.

Re:Yeah that must be it (1)

gubers33 (1302099) | about 3 years ago | (#37177956)

Obviously, getting into the hardware market was one of the driving forces to buy Motorola Mobility, but there is a reason they looked to buy the oldest mobile phone maker. They knew that if they were going to jump into the hardware market that they would be jumping off the sidelines and into the fire of Apple. The patents they acquired allow them to jump into the market while giving them the firepower to force Apple to stand down.

Maybe (1)

drolli (522659) | about 3 years ago | (#37177674)

so who will buy the HP Mobile business (formerly Palm AFAIU)?

Re:Maybe (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 3 years ago | (#37178366)

My understanding is that the talent at Palm left when HP took over, so it's not exactly an attractive proposition.

Re:Maybe (1)

exhilaration (587191) | about 3 years ago | (#37179598)

These companies don't care about talent. I bet the Palm division has a bunch of attractive patents related to touchscreen interfaces: the first Palm pilot was released in 1996 [wikipedia.org] . Honestly patents are worth so much these days that I doubt that HP would be willing to sell them.

Favorite quote in the article (2)

gubers33 (1302099) | about 3 years ago | (#37177836)

"Apple also filed a civil suit in March accusing Motorola Mobility of 'a pattern of unfair, deceptive and anticompetitive conduct' ". Does anyone else see this as a hypocritical statement considering what Apple has been doing suing the pants off anyone who makes a smart phone or tablet?

Re:Favorite quote in the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37178786)

"Apple also filed a civil suit in March accusing Motorola Mobility of 'a pattern of unfair, deceptive and anticompetitive conduct' ".

Does anyone else see this as a hypocritical statement considering what Apple has been doing suing the pants off anyone who makes a smart phone or tablet?

A corporation, being hypocritical? What new depths of depravity has Apple reached now? Apple has introduced hypocrisy into the otherwise blissful world of corporate law. I, for one, think this should be an article all its own. To think, a major corporation saying one thing and doing the opposite. For shame, Apple, for shame! Come on, Slashdot, let's get the word out!

I, for one, will not stand for this. I will deal only with non-hypocritical corporations, like...ummm...

The fact is, everyone is suing everyone [thomsonreuters.com] in the mobile phone market right now. Apple is being sued more than it's suing, actually. Hypocrisy doesn't even begin to cover it.

This site may encompass Google soon.... (0)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about 3 years ago | (#37178064)

Too bad they don't have a search function.

No, I'm not biased; this is posted to make a statement about the direction of Google, which is also not biased. Just observation.

http://facesoflawsuitabuse.org/ [facesoflawsuitabuse.org]

1994? I thought patents were 14 years max. (1)

quasius (1075773) | about 3 years ago | (#37178066)

I thought patents lasted for 7 years and could be extended to 14 if you could come up with a functional improvement. Has that changed?

Re:1994? I thought patents were 14 years max. (3)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about 3 years ago | (#37178126)

I don't know where you heard that... All I've heard is 20 years or 17 years, which is what's pretty well summarized here:

Quick quote from it:

For applications filed before June 8, 1995, the term is 17 years from the issue date or 20 years from the earliest claimed domestic priority date, the longer term applying.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_patent_law [wikipedia.org]

Patent maintenance fees (2)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37178354)

Perhaps quasius was confusing maintenance fees, reissues, and a lot of other obscure aspects of U.S. patent law that aren't discussed very often even on Slashdot. A U.S. patent lasts 3.5 years after issue, with three renewals [uspto.gov] available at extra cost. The first two renewals are 4 years each, and the third is to 20 years after filing or 17 years after issue.

Re:1994? I thought patents were 14 years max. (1)

Amouth (879122) | about 3 years ago | (#37178278)

believe it's 14 years for a design and 20 years for functionality

In English? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37178296)

Read painful to is English title the the in.

Cheaper? (1)

slapout (93640) | about 3 years ago | (#37178444)

If they only wanted the patents, wouldn't it have been cheaper just to license them?

Re:Cheaper? (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about 3 years ago | (#37179078)

You can't use a patent you've just licensed as a weapon in a patent dispute.

$510,204.08 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37179002)

$510,204.08

i thought motorola were cool once .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37179408)

well, until they started making cell phones... now they're in danger of becoming another generic, boring, shiny-goods firm ..
i mean .. mobile phones are hardly interesting devices.
the Android OS aint too bad, but Motorola .. please dont
become indistinguishable from xxx other far eastern
manafacturers .. let the boring, and/or toy companies make the consumerist cellphones.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

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>