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How Google Drove Samsung Away

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the and-stay-out dept.

Android 231

itwbennett writes "The patent licensing agreement between Microsoft and Samsung this week set off a firestorm of childish tit-for-tat between Microsoft and Google. But more telling is what Samsung had to say about its relationship with Google: 'Samsung knows it can't rely on Google. We've decided to address Android IP issues on our own,' a Samsung official told The Korea Times. The only good news to come from all of this, says blogger Brian Proffitt, is that we may be headed for a courtroom showdown over just what patents Microsoft believes are in violation, which really is what should have happened to begin with." Update: 09/30 20:05 GMT by S : As it turns out, the so-called "Samsung official" cited by The Korea Times turned out to be patent blogger Florian Mueller.

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231 comments

Surprised? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#37564530)

I'm surprised the shareholders of Google haven't done more to urge Google to spend their profits on supporting Samsung.

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37564674)

I'm surprised the shareholders of Google haven't done more to urge Google to spend their profits on supporting Samsung.

If you have enough shareholding power to influence decisions then you do so quietly behind the scenes, not through public resolutions. So there's no way you can tell what the shareholders have urged on any meaningful level. If you did then, yes, you might well be surprised because at that level they will be talking about real long term strategies which you know nothing about.

Re:Surprised? (4, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#37564872)

I'm surprised the shareholders of Google haven't done more to urge Google to spend their profits on supporting Samsung.

Samsung is a global industrial cartel with $172 billion in revenues in 2009.

Samsung can fight its own battles.

Re:Surprised? (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565178)

Shareholders are peculiar humans who think that 6 months is long-term. They would only advocate what's good long term if it drives up stock prices short term.

Re:Surprised? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565418)

Have the class B owners of Google diluted themselves far enough that they no longer have control of the company?

(last I took interest, Schmidt, Brin and Page had a controlling interest in the company, held in unlisted class B shares)

Re:Surprised? (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565704)

Shareholders are peculiar humans who think that 6 months is long-term.

Not really. Shareholders are in it for growth, but are generally more patient.

Traders, on the other hand and brokers looking to churn are another thing. If nobody's impatient, they don't get the commission and miss a payment on their Audi R8.

Just do IT! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37564570)

I'm prepared with popcorn.. I can't wait to see the whole patent system destroy itself. Then we can do IT.

I really liked when they used sci-fi as prior art. Patents are ridiculous. Small people in big corporations invent and they're doing it for fun. As long as I have food, water and scrap to build equipment I will invent.

Re:Just do IT! (3, Insightful)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 2 years ago | (#37564582)

I can't wait to see the whole patent system destroy itself. Then we can do IT.

Sounds nice, but it looks like more like the patent system destroying IT, right now. The lawyers are winning.

Re:Just do IT! (1)

cpghost (719344) | more than 2 years ago | (#37564656)

Nope, not the lawyers. The banks are winning right now.

Government wins again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37565206)

Don't think for a second that the business of government doesn't benefit from their overly complex, highly ambiguous, and exploitable system of law. The more it costs to run the system, the more cash passing through the hands of those who control it. The bigger the cash flow, the better positioned they are to exploit that cash flow for personal gain.

Did I just imply that the entire underlying reason we are subject to the most complex, most expensive legal system in the entire world is simply to increase the net worth of the business of government? You're damn right I did.

Re:Just do IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37565574)

Indeed, similarly as a programmer I have to constantly refer my colleagues to the Programmers Manifesto [programmin...fucker.com]
(Somewhat NSFW, but should be as it's sorely needed).

Re:Just do IT! (0)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37564658)

I can't wait to see the whole patent system destroy itself.

Microsoft won't let that happen.

They need it to block genuinely innovative organisations from competing with them.

Re:Just do IT! (1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 2 years ago | (#37564672)

I think you meant Apple

Re:Just do IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37564714)

Microsoft won't let that happen.

I think you meant Apple

You say Tweedledee, I say Tweedledum. Does it matter?

Re:Just do IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37564944)

Although this is a troll, I'll bite.
Microsoft sucks big time, and Apple is generally more innovative and has better technology, but...
Apple is the one who uses every means under the sun to sue the hell out of everyone. Of course Microsoft used to be much worse, and software patents weren't something anyone thought about in the 80s, but still.

Re:Just do IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37564986)

Although this is a troll, I'll bite.
Microsoft sucks big time, and Apple is generally more innovative and has better technology ..

Because round corners are innovative and better technology! And 'multi touch' was invented by Apple! And the concept of an online store too! The Intel Macs are way ahead of the competition! And it is a Good Thing (tm) to have proprietory connectors for everything from display to storage! And improving antenna reseption by holding your phone in a specific way is a feature!

Oh wait ..

Re:Just do IT! (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565284)

Apple's display connectors (on anything modern enough to have an intel CPU) are proprietary?

News to me.

And as for storage, I wasn't aware that SATA was proprietary.

I'm going to be generous and assume the troll was talking about the 2011 iMacs, but they use the same SATA connectors as everyone else - the drive firmware is just different. You can get around it (in an Apple-approved-in-the-manual-way) if you want to install a different drive, and you can do so because it uses a normal SATA port. Funny that.

I'm struggling to think of a proprietary port that Apple uses *other* than the 30-pin Dock Connector on the iPod/iPhone.

Quick run down:

External:
USB
Firewire
Mini-Displayport
DVI
Mini-DVI (unique to Apple)
Apple Display Connector (on old hardware, last seen on PowerPC machines) - unique to Apple
Thunderbolt
RJ-45 ethernet
3.5mm audio (combi with s/pdif optical)
ExpressCard slot

Internal:
PCI-e
SATA (I, II and III)
IDE/PATA on older hardware

Non-physical:
WiFi (802.11 b/g/n/a)
Bluetooth

So, the 30 pin dock connector, the obsolete Apple Display Connector and the mini-DVI port used briefly on the 12" Powerbook, early intel iMac, Xserve and the 2009 Mac Mini.

Not bad I think.

So much for "everything from displays to storage".

Re:Just do IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37565742)

From the top of my head, some areas where Apple was 'thinking differently' but in the end just extracted more bucks from its customers for the same functionality:

-Apple DisplayPort
-Apple Thunderbolt
-New upcoming proprietory headphone connector
-30pin connector for iDevices opposed to mini-usb
-Proprietory CD format
-Firewire (who uses that except when needed to interface with Apple?)
-Apple Desktop Bus
-Localtalk
-ADC
-Mini-DVI ..

Re:Just do IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37564998)

Oh look here. Its the anti-ms troll aussie_bob. And hes got a comment for you ! Surprise ! Its an anti-ms comment informed by his paranoid delusions ! Yay ! Win for Open Source !

What innovation? Name a single android innovation. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37565010)

Android is yet another me-too iOS clone. Yet another F/OSS project taking yet another successful proprietary design and creating a crappy clone of it. Whats that linux thing?

Re:Just do IT! (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565378)

Microsoft won't let that happen.

Microsoft, the company that has lobbied for Patent reforms [microsoft.com] to make our system more like the European system? They are the folks that wont let it happen?

Microsoft is playing the current game because its the game being played currently. It wasnt so long ago that there was a patent cold-war where there were very few patent lawsuits, and never between the big players, because nobody wanted to open that can of worms. Then Apple got into mobile devices and starting suing everyone that dared make anything competitive with iBrand products, and now everyone is suing everyone.

Re:Just do IT! (1)

dimeglio (456244) | more than 2 years ago | (#37564976)

Let me know who funds you research. Seeing they don't care if they actually make money from patents, I might have a proposal for them.

Re:Just do IT! (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565362)

You have this strange idea that patents come from research. Where did you get this idea? Many of them come from fairly obvious ideas with some sort of twist added to it such as "over the internet" or "with a can opener on it."

If the patents which were awarded REALLY resulted from actual hard work and protected people who actually make things, we wouldn't actually be seeing the mess of trolls and money grubbing we see today. Instead, we see mobile phone failures such as Microsoft making more money off of competitors (because their phones are better) than on their own products which they can't seem to pay people to use. We see trolls who literally make nothing at all, have empty offices in east Texas, one owner/employee/operator and a business name that makes them sound like real companies suing people for a living.

One of the main problems is not with what you idealistically identify, but this other nonsense of derivative and adaptive patents, software patents and the existence of patent troll operations.

Re:Just do IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37565538)

Yes, because most of us live in the real world rather than the made-up slashtard world where we pretend that that's all people do when making patents. Unfortunately in the real world that's not how it works despite what the Slashtard groupthink would like one to think.

Re:Just do IT! (0, Troll)

MrMickS (568778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565614)

When you can point to an area where Samsung or Google have innovated in the mobile phone space I'll pay attention. Until then this is just noise.

Officially (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37564662)

'We've decided to address Android IP issues on our own,' a Samsung official told The Korea Times.

So is that a Board of Directors official, a management official or is it the official janitor? These details matter.

So what Mr. Gates (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37564684)

what's the point, microsoft was built on lies and deception, no wonder its a paranoid freak show, do one thing good damn it, do windows or do xbox, you can't win it all . and take it from me there are some problems in this world that throwing money at it won't fix. for example you can't buy creativity with money. and mr microsoft thats what you guys are lacking big time.

Re:So what Mr. Gates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37564810)

You do realise Bill Gates hasn't run Microsoft for almost 10 years now, right?

Re:So what Mr. Gates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37564846)

Bill Gates is the boss of the boss. Bill Gates is the chairman.
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/exec/billg/

"“We've really achieved the ideal of what I wanted Microsoft to become.”

-Bill Gates, June 2008"

FUCK you MS (4, Insightful)

sunr2007 (2309530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37564686)

If microsoft says that every android device violates their patents then its nothing but just a Extortion racket they are building up by threatening other vendors. Im glad that a company like B & N has balls where as HTC and samsung c not. I'm never buying any windows product ever in my life again. lets start boycotting all MS products. OTOH why Department of Justice/antitrust regularities cannot look into deals like this?

Re:FUCK you MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37565204)

This is the way patents are supposed to work. You have one, someone infringes on it (or you believe they do) and you offer to license it. If they agree there is no court and nothing for the DOJ to look at. If they don't agree you go to court and sue them. But that's the last resort - licensing is the goal anyway so it shouldn't go to court unless the two parties do not agree on the patents applicability and licensing fees. In the case of HTC, Samsung, and many more they DO agree that there is applicability or at least a reasonable chance that a court would find that there is applicability. So they license. That is how it is supposed to work. And, it isn't patent trolling since they aren't an NPE (non-practicing entity).

Re:FUCK you MS (0, Troll)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565562)

Im glad that a company like B & N has balls where as HTC and samsung c not.

Yeah, Samsung or HTC clearly have no balls for patent fights. That's why they also just let Apple steamroll them too. Oh wait, they didn't. The fact that they aren't fighting these patents from Microsoft (along with the others licensing them) is a good indication that they are viewed as valid patents despite the wet dreams of Slashtards to the contrary.

Re:FUCK you MS (1)

MrMickS (568778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565662)

Im glad that a company like B & N has balls where as HTC and samsung c not.

Yeah, Samsung or HTC clearly have no balls for patent fights. That's why they also just let Apple steamroll them too. Oh wait, they didn't. The fact that they aren't fighting these patents from Microsoft (along with the others licensing them) is a good indication that they are viewed as valid patents despite the wet dreams of Slashtards to the contrary.

If you came to slashdot looking for reasoned debate where MS or Apple are concerned you are 10 years too late.

Why support the lawyers? (3, Insightful)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 2 years ago | (#37564692)

From TFS:

The only good news to come from all of this, says blogger Brian Proffitt, is that we may be headed for a courtroom showdown over just what patents Microsoft believes are in violation, which really is what should have happened to begin with.

I completely disagree with the idea that the first thing you should do in a patent dispute is to take someone to court. Look at the difference between Apple and Microsoft as far as Samsung is concerned. In the case of Apple, Samsung has been taken to court in various districts around the world and has been prevented from selling some of their products at all in certain countries. Suit has met with counter-suit, and lots of lawyers have got just a bit fatter. This will either end with Samsung having to scrap their product line, or settle this all out of court with some deal. Either way it will cost them a bundle.

On the other hand, Microsoft negotiated a deal, during which time Samsung was not prevented from selling their products anywhere. The end result is still a deal with another company, but without the cost and PR problems that lawsuits generate.

Why should the former be the preferred option? Yes, more details on the patents would be appreciated but the companies involved with these deals must be given more information, otherwise they would not make the deals. I imagine a lot of the patents would be the absurd type, just like Apple's patents in the Dutch case [swpat.org] . But I am sure that some of their patents (VFAT, ActiveSync) would stand up in court though.

Re:Why support the lawyers? (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 2 years ago | (#37564776)

...I imagine a lot of the patents would be the absurd type...

I will reply to myself just to add that none of what I said should be considered to be in defense of patents. The absurd patents to which I referred are the trivial user interface ideas; the kind of idea that you decide upon with the toss of a coin. "Should we make that colour red or blue? Let's make it blue and patent it".

Microsoft have disclosed some of their Android patents in the past as being of this type when they sued Barnes & Nobel [technet.com] . (Yes, it was after trying to negotiate a deal, so my original point still stands). The worst of the patents was "Permit users to easily select text in a document and adjust that selection"! I haven't read the patent, but I really hope that it has some novel user interface idea, because the title of the patent makes it look like the most extremely absurd patent.

The problem is that it is very difficult to write the rules to quantify just what should or should not be considered reasonable to be patented. The easy solution is to make it law that every time a patent is rejected in court, the individual authors listed on the patent get punched in the face. Admit it, you know you want that.

Re:Why support the lawyers? (2)

Kartu (1490911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565734)

The problem is that it is very difficult to write the rules to quantify just what should or should not be considered reasonable to be patented.

Believe me, it's rather easy. Hint: EU. You can't have "software patents" at all.

Re:Why support the lawyers? (2)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#37564958)

Yes, more details on the patents would be appreciated but the companies involved with these deals must be given more information

What the fuck are you talking about? Microsoft is not giving the information to anyone unless they sign a NDA for public information. [geekwire.com]

Re:Why support the lawyers? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565220)

..and each Android phone manufacturer that has made a deal with Microsoft has signed that NDA that you are complaining about.

If you own Barnes and Noble stock you should take pause, because unlike these other companies that have their own IP to throw around, Barnes and Noble has zilch and are also completely inexperienced in these matters. There will be no middle ground, and no late-game IP swaps to minimize monetary damages. Either they will win and its business as usual (losing to Amazon), or they will lose and get raked over the coals (still losing to Amazon, and paying punitive sums of money to Microsoft.)

You can cry fowl about the NDA request, but very large and highly entrenched companies are signing that NDA and then when they see what Microsoft has they end up making a deal. Even Google licensed ActiveSync for its Android phones.

Re:Why support the lawyers? (5, Insightful)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565312)

You completely miss the point. The NDA is required before even entering to negotiations. The NDA is about PATENTS which are public information. Telling people to sign a NDA so they cannot discuss public information is part of a delberate attempt to keep alleged infringement secret from the Linux community so that they can extort money from anyone that produces a Linux device or computer from TomTom to Buffalo to ACER and others. Your support for this egregious activity is telling.

Re:Why support the lawyers? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565676)

The NDA is required before even entering to negotiations.

Its common in business to have NDA's covering all aspects of negotiations. In fact, its so gad damned common that there are standard fill-in-the-blank NDA contracts specific to negotiations, [ndasforfree.com] available for free.

Your support for this egregious activity is telling.

The only telling thing here is that you act like its uncommon for there to be NDA's when negotiating, when in reality its normal, common, and expected.

Unware of reality much?

Re:Why support the lawyers? (4, Informative)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565782)

This is about PUBLIC information. They would not even discuss what public patents were being violated. It is not common practice to sign an NDA to disclose public information. Sign a NDA to disclose to me what patents I am violating? And you think this is right? Patents filed are public and the reason for patents to begin with is to make information public. Forcing people to sign NDA so you can tell them which public patents are being violated is underhanded and egregious. I don't see how you can support this particular activity.

I quote Barnes And Noble statement on the matter below

At the meeting, Microsoft alleged that the Nook infringed six patents purportedly owned by Microsoft. Microsoft had prepared claim charts purportedly detailing the alleged infringement but insisted that it would only share the detailed claim charts if Barnes & Noble agreed to sign a non-disclosure agreement (“NDA”) that would cover the claim charts as well as all other aspects of the parties’ discussions. Noting that the patents were public and that the infringement allegations pertained to Barnes & Noble’s public product, Barnes & Noble refused to sign an NDA. Insisting that an NDA was necessary, Microsoft discussed the alleged infringement on a high level basis only. Microsoft nevertheless maintained that it possessed patents sufficient to dominate and entirely preclude the use of the Android Operating System by the Nook. Microsoft demanded an exorbitant royalty (on a per device basis) for a license to its patent portfolio for the Nook device and at the end of the meeting Microsoft stated that it would demand an even higher per device royalty for any device that acted “more like a computer” as opposed to an eReader. After sending the proposed license agreement, Microsoft confirmed the shockingly high licensing fees Microsoft was demanding, reiterating its exorbitant per device royalty for Nook, and for the first time demanding a royalty for Nook Color which was more than double the per device royalty Microsoft was demanding for Nook. 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, Windows Phone 7.

Re:Why support the lawyers? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37566058)

It is not common practice to sign an NDA to disclose public information.

Yes it is.

NDA's in negotiations cover 100% of all things discussed during those negotiations, both public and private. Any information that is public still cannot be disclosed as being discussed during the negotiations. If we are negotiating and I tell you about a recent newspaper article, and we are following the standard industry practice of signing NDA's, then you cannot mention that I talked about that recent (entirely public) newspaper article during the negotiations.

You are trying to spin perfectly normal business negotiation procedures into something extraordinary.. in other words, you are wrong and being dishonest.

Re:Why support the lawyers? (1)

Simulant (528590) | more than 2 years ago | (#37566084)

Yeah, this is fucked up and shouldn't be legal.

And if no one can determine which public patents are in question by looking at the patents themselves, that's even more fucked up.

Re:Why support the lawyers? (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 2 years ago | (#37564970)

But I am sure that some of their patents (VFAT, ActiveSync) would stand up in court though.

Given that the VFAT patents have failed to stand up to the patent office once already (but were reinstated on appeal), I'd say there is a good chance that they won't stand up in court. ActiveSync may have more chance - HTC include it in their Android phones, but do Samsung? It's not a standard part of the platform.

Re:Why support the lawyers? (2)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 2 years ago | (#37564996)

I completely disagree with the idea that the first thing you should do in a patent dispute is to take someone to court.

I think his take is that it's a good thing if this goes to court, because then we (in the sense of "OSS community") will know which patents this is about, and can either do something about it or see the patents invalidated. Whether it's good for Samsung, HTC, Goggle etc is a different matter.

For this reason MS might well chose not to sue Google, as the mere threat "we have patents of some sort" is already useful to extort money. Suing Google would put that at risk.

Re:Why support the lawyers? (2, Interesting)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565242)

In February 2009, Google licensed Microsoft's IP for their Google-branded phones. It is for this reason that Microsoft has chosen not to sue Google.

Re:Why support the lawyers? (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565136)

Actually competing on technical merit would be the first thing you should do. The benefit of a court case is that it requires MS to actually show what patents they claim Android is infringing. That means that the FOSS community can work on invalidating or working around said patents to shut MS up. A direct lawsuit could also make it a lot easier for patents required for interoperability to be licensed in a way compatible with FOSS via an antitrust case.

Re:Why support the lawyers? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565818)

It certainly isn't in Samsung's interest to take a risk just on the premise that the FOSS community will then be able to work around potential infringements.

Evens Barnes and Noble didnt make their choice based on that premise. Barnes and Noble most likely decided that it was hard enough competing with Amazon without paying licensing fee's to Microsoft, and that it is better to stay in the market at current prices and margins and take the risk. Remember than companies like Barnes and Noble are in rapid decline (its stock has tumbled down 72%, from $35 to $10, in the past 5 years) and absolutely have to get a foothold into new markets, regardless of cost, or its over for them.

Re:Why support the lawyers? (1)

rainer_d (115765) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565444)

Apple said, they tried to negotiate a deal, too.
It's just that Samsung would not agree to the proposed terms ("do the right thing") and Apple didn't want to move away enough (if any) from its original terms.

Re:Why support the lawyers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37565634)

You know, I wish some big company would just stick two fingers up to this whole patent-trolling bullshit.
A company doing this would have my utmost respect if they just told all the other companies bringing lawsuits against them to just go f*ck off. Try to stop me selling my product in some jurisdiction? Go f*ck yourself. I'm going to sell it anyway. I'll let you go broke with the massive expense of trying to enforce your bullshit patent. Until they can physically remove that product from every store shelf all over the world, their patents ain't worth shit.

Re:Why support the lawyers? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37565708)

In the case of Apple, Samsung has been taken to court in various districts around the world...

I think you forgot to specify "...after Apple attempted to settle the situation with Samsung without involving lawyers.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/09/29/steve_jobs_contacted_samsung_in_2010_to_resolve_apple_patent_dispute.html [appleinsider.com]

I know it's fun to portray Apple as a raging maniacal corporation that's on a suing rampage but they did try to resolve the situation amicably.

wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37565816)

none of what you imply is an option, nor has it happened. your 100% microsoft friendly post full of lies is disgusting.

Apple has more or less lost the injunction in europe, microsoft has ensured they will cost samsung extra money. For what? This isn't going to last for microsoft or samsung.

neither of those are viable business options.

There is no patent from microsoft that would stand up in court - they know this, and that is why they spread this fud.

Nice to sneak in the swpat link, troll.

Re:Why support the lawyers? (2)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565852)

To crib from Kipling:

It is always a temptation to a greedy grasping boardroom
To call upon a neighbour and to say: --
"We sued you last night--we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away."

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you've only to pay 'em the Dane-geld
And then you'll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy comp'ny,
To puff and look important and to say: --
"Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away."

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we've proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any boardroom,
For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say: --

"We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the comp'ny that pays it is lost!"

fuck you microsoft (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37564696)

Why not identify the patents Microsoft claims are being infringed upon, so that Android can remove alleged infringements

Why is Microsoft allowed to extort money but not identify how their bullshit IP claims can be avoided?

Why should Microsoft receive a bullshit tax on all Android sales when really they are full of shit and have proven time and time again, they will do whatever they believe they can get away with to fuck the world for their own personal profit!

Re:fuck you microsoft (1)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37564928)

Because some of them, such as Microsoft's ludicrous long file names patent, are required by rogue standards that Samsung and the other Android vendors forcibly have to support if they want their devices to be interoperable.

Oh my (1)

RenHoek (101570) | more than 2 years ago | (#37564738)

Can't we just get rid of patents now? I mean, it's more and more clear that this just won't work. Never mind that it was not what 'copyright' was invented for.

Re:Oh my (0)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#37564984)

Can't we just get rid of patents now? I mean, it's more and more clear that this just won't work. Never mind that it was not what 'copyright' was invented for.

Asking Slashdot is not going to help however if you really want to help end software patents you can help us by signing this petition. [whitehouse.gov]

Not the Droid you're looking for. (4, Interesting)

blarkon (1712194) | more than 2 years ago | (#37564750)

The major manufacturers would have only come to terms with Microsoft if they came to the conclusion that in a drawn out court battle, Microsoft would win. Small parties have won against Microsoft in the past - we saw it with an XML decision recently - all of these firms that have signed up haven't done this because they are cowed by Microsoft's awesome juggernaughty power - they've done it because their lawyers have looked at what's on the table and said "best we go with that". You go to the barricades when you think you can win. You settle when you know you're going to lose.

Where Google hung their partners out to dry was in asserting the fiction that patents don't matter and that under the current system you could get something (an advanced phone operating system) for nothing (no patent licensing fees). Google is full of smart people. They knew these issues were around Android. They could have sorted them out a long time ago if they had so chosen. But Google didn't go and fight that fight - if they had wanted to, they could have indemnified their partners and gone directly into battle with Microsoft on this issue. Instead the company chose not to.

They've always had the war chest and could have tied Microsoft up in court for an eternity if they knew they were in the right. Instead they've let a situation develop where they are giving away an operating system for free that has their partners putting dollars into the pocket of a competitor.

Talk about stifling innovation is cheap - if Google were serious about all of this they would have gone to the barricades on it. If they really believed in the rhetoric, they would have either gone down swinging or taken down the "patent trolls".

Re:Not the Droid you're looking for. (1)

ElBeano (570883) | more than 2 years ago | (#37564822)

"The major manufacturers would have only come to terms with Microsoft if they came to the conclusion that in a drawn out court battle, Microsoft would win."

I disagree. The terms of these agreements are never disclosed. I think instead of confining your analysis to just the results of a potential court battle, you need to consider what else might be thrown into the mix. It could just as well be that Microsoft is offering more than just indemnity for the licensing money. It could be a sweet offer we know nothing of, which allows Microsoft to continue to get press about the "cost" of using the Android OS.

Re:Not the Droid you're looking for. (5, Insightful)

Hope Thelps (322083) | more than 2 years ago | (#37564834)

The major manufacturers would have only come to terms with Microsoft if they came to the conclusion that in a drawn out court battle, Microsoft would win.

That's obviously untrue. They will enter into an agreement with Microsoft if it's advantageous to do so. There are any number of scenarios where that would apply. For example, a 10% chance of Microsoft winning and being awarded $10 billion doesn't compare well with a straight payment of $100 million. A certainly of Microsoft losing but with Samsung paying substantial legal costs along the way doesn't compare well with a series of agreement that net out to essentially nil cost to Samsung (for example agreeing to pay license fees for Android but receiving funds for an advertising campaign for Samsung Windows devices). And so on. We'd need a copy not only of this licensing agreement but of any related deals to decide who won or lost here.

Re:Not the Droid you're looking for. (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565618)

You mean like the substantial legal costs they are incurring defending and countersuing Apple through various international courts? Oh right, let's ignore all that and pretend that they are just falling over being bullied by Microsoft.

Re:Not the Droid you're looking for. (2)

Hope Thelps (322083) | more than 2 years ago | (#37566036)

You mean like the substantial legal costs they are incurring defending and countersuing Apple through various international courts? Oh right, let's ignore all that and pretend that they are just falling over being bullied by Microsoft.

I didn't say anywhere that they were being bullied. I'm saying that they approached it rationally like any other business deal. The fact that they reached a deal with Microsoft doesn't mean that they "came to the conclusion that in a drawn out court battle, Microsoft would win" just as the fact that they hadn't come to a deal the previous day didn't mean that at that point they had come to the conclusion that Microsoft would lose. They think that overall the benefits of the deal outweigh its negatives. That's all.

Same goes with their fight with Apple, right now they haven't made a deal with Apple to settle the issue, evidently they believe that no deal is available that would be net benefit to them. Tomorrow a deal may be on the table that would change that. The lack of a deal today doesn't mean that Apple's defeat in court is certain and if a deal is made tomorrow then that won't mean that Apple's courtroom victory would have been certain.

Re:Not the Droid you're looking for. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37564848)

The major manufacturers would have only come to terms with Microsoft if they came to the conclusion that in a drawn out court battle, Microsoft would win. Small parties have won against Microsoft in the past - we saw it with an XML decision recently - all of these firms that have signed up haven't done this because they are cowed by Microsoft's awesome juggernaughty power - they've done it because their lawyers have looked at what's on the table and said "best we go with that". You go to the barricades when you think you can win. You settle when you know you're going to lose.

Where Google hung their partners out to dry was in asserting the fiction that patents don't matter and that under the current system you could get something (an advanced phone operating system) for nothing (no patent licensing fees). Google is full of smart people. They knew these issues were around Android. They could have sorted them out a long time ago if they had so chosen. But Google didn't go and fight that fight - if they had wanted to, they could have indemnified their partners and gone directly into battle with Microsoft on this issue. Instead the company chose not to.

They've always had the war chest and could have tied Microsoft up in court for an eternity if they knew they were in the right. Instead they've let a situation develop where they are giving away an operating system for free that has their partners putting dollars into the pocket of a competitor.

Talk about stifling innovation is cheap - if Google were serious about all of this they would have gone to the barricades on it. If they really believed in the rhetoric, they would have either gone down swinging or taken down the "patent trolls".

Exactly.

Never forget, Google was negotiating with Sun to use Java IP, couldn't come to a deal, and used it ANYWAY.

There's a good reason Google won't indemnify Android partners...

"Don't be evil" my ass.

Privacy-invading wireless-sniffing cars? "We didn't mean to do that!"

Negotiating with a company to use some IP, can't come to a deal, and use it anyway? "It's *NOT* theft!"

"Fool me once..." and all that....

Which patents ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37564818)

Anyone knows what the heck those patents are ?
Heard a lot of buzz but nothing about what android is supposed to be violating ?
It would be interresting to know.

Re:Which patents ? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565292)

Well, for certain most of these phones are compatible with Exchange ActiveSync.. while not a default feature of Android, phones that can synch with Exchange are very likely to be infringing without a license deal.

(even Google licensed the IP for ActiveSync for their own Google-branded phones)

OT: Sung Bong Boom Tschak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37564854)

http://www.break.com/index/koreas-got-talent-2068576

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPqr1nw1imw

Yes, very off topic... Boing Boom!

But, so watchable!!!

Courtroom Showdown For Sure (1)

Zamphatta (1760346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37564870)

The past few days, I've been thinking that this is all part of a Microsoft strategy. I think Microsoft is giving these companies a line that goes something like this -- "We're planning to take Linux to court for patent violations. If you sign this agreement, to give us a piece of the pie every time you use Android in your product, we'll put your company down as a partner and not a patent violator." ...what company wouldn't sign THAT? Sure it's a racket, but if you're Samsung (or any other who's signed), you've got to be thinking that if it turns out in Microsoft's favor, then your company is in the right basket. If Microsoft gets found to be in the wrong, then you'll probably get your money back later when the court forces Redmond to pay back all the "protection scheme money". Either way, your company has a good shot at coming out fine by hedging. That's what I think's going on. In the meantime, Google sees this coming, and started building up a portfolio of patents as fast as they can.

Re:Courtroom Showdown For Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37564950)

I'd love to know if any money really changes hands...

The only major OEMs that have supposedly licensed these valuable patents from Microsoft are companies that produce WinMo phones.

A bit of creative accounting with WinMo license fees, marketing dollars, and "linux patent license fees" and Microsoft gets another press release and $OEM doesn't actually lose anything -- hell maybe they make money on the deal in terms of marketing support for WinMo phones...

It's a lot simpler than that (3, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565098)

Microsoft offers variable discounts instead of a fixed price to large OEMs like Samsung that buy a lot of Microsoft products. If Samsung don't play ball they could lose a lot of those discounts and their products with Microsoft software on them are suddenly a lot less competitive or have a lot less profit margin than other OEMs.
See ASUS and the eeePC turnaround for a blatant example. The Asustek CEO gave a presentation at a trade show about how wonderful the new release was, had lunch with people from Microsoft, then issued a PUBLIC APOLOGY that afternoon that the eeePC didn't have MS Windows XP on it and cancelled the product he'd launched in the morning. Microsoft was a pitbull that had his balls by the teeth so he just had to do whatever it took (no matter how personally humiliating - total loss of face is a pretty massive deal at an Asian trade show) to get them to let go or he'd most likely lose a big advantage in the Microsoft OEM space which is a massive piece of ASUS's market.
So Samsung, ASUS etc are screwed while B&N, Google etc do not have a special OEM discount deal so have nothing to lose.

Re:It's a lot simpler than that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37565700)

Wintel systems have ridiculously small margins. If I was a diversified conglomerate with my fingers in everything from semiconductors to shipbuilding to refrigerators I'd be giving the entire market to Lenovo. And if I could have Microsoft forced to make a multibillion dollar settlement in Korea for violating competition laws, even better.

And if they lose that court case (0)

phonewebcam (446772) | more than 2 years ago | (#37564882)

will they have to repay all the extortion money they conned out of HTC/LG/World + dog? With interest? That would be the final drop of varnish on Ballmers coffin - the nails all went in when he fumbled the Motorla deal [cnet.co.uk] and let Google snap it up.

FUD rules everything around me. (3, Insightful)

pootypeople (212497) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565056)

Why should a court case be inevitable now? Microsoft will NEVER detail what patents that they believe Linux infringes on. Folks have been begging them to do so for years so that if Linux infringed on any Microsoft patents that code could be reworked. Microsoft would have little ammunition for its shakedowns if they actually put their cards on the table.

Re:FUD rules everything around me. (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565108)

Why should a court case be inevitable now? Microsoft will NEVER detail what patents that they believe Linux infringes on. Folks have been begging them to do so for years so that if Linux infringed on any Microsoft patents that code could be reworked. Microsoft would have little ammunition for its shakedowns if they actually put their cards on the table.

So do you expect Microsoft to just cave in or to try to fight in court without saying what is being infringed? I don't think they will get very far with the latter, unless they can get the case seen in East Texas.

Re:FUD rules everything around me. (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565212)

Two things.

One, they at least put vfat out there as one thing. IIRC, there was some talk about random data in the 8.3 name serving as a non-infringing vfat implementation, but I still haven't seen anything one way or another. I think this is their main ammunition in going after anything, linux or not, that writes to removable storage. There may be other things, but they have put something out there.

Second, there's nothing to say they *must* be 'linux' patents. Android has it's own userspace stack and UI. The potential area for infringement is must larger. Even if they said nothing in Linux infringed, they could still go after Android.

The most interesting part of this is showing how much of a minefiled patents are for large companies. Imagine how overwhelmingly impossible it is for a startup tech company to get going in this environment. The fact these are almost always settled out of court means that the defendant is at too much risk and can't afford to pursue a battle even if they might win (more so in small business case) and that the company suing also doesn't want to put their patents to the test of legal scrutiny. Something is very very wrong with the system.

Re:FUD rules everything around me. (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565794)

I do not remember where, but I read one guy, who was employed at a large company, say that the patent system today is used by large companies to keep small companies and disruptive innovations out of the way. Do not cause any surprise to you that we see every day news of great innovations that are only available in 10, 15 years?

The system is not broken, the error is to believe that it serves to protect and encourage innovation

Re:FUD rules everything around me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37566134)

>> Second, there's nothing to say they *must* be 'linux' patents. Android has it's own userspace stack and UI.

That potential exists also on the desktop. What would desktop linux be without KDE and Gnome ?
I remember clearly that the start menu concept is patented. Depending on the wording it could be, for example, one patent against desktop linux distros.

Re:FUD rules everything around me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37565408)

There's a threshold, something they've likely crossed, where claiming infringement and being able to litigate against someone has a clock that runs out. Delay too long and while you might not lose the patent in question, the parties infringing (the Linux community, honestly...) cannot be enforced against. Term's "Laches" or delay in English.

They've been saber rattling for the last 5 or so years, threatening downstream people for a while now, without doing a thing about the actual infringer. I'm surprised that it's not been brought up (Perhaps it has within the Barnes and Noble suit...).

Re:FUD rules everything around me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37565718)

I don't believe that there is any time limit (other than expirty) on using patents or on the need to enforce them (unlike trademarks which must be enforced or they will lapse). There may be limitations on back claims or maybe the ability to get injections if the infringement has been going for the long time already (certainly might be difficult to claim a need for a preliminary injection).

Its also possible to selectively enforce patents for example to ignore businesses if you think they don't have enough money (or if you think that they have enough money or patents to fight back or are a customer).

IANAL (or American)

yu7o Fail I7! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37565122)

clearly become effort to address and executes a volume of NetBSD sorely diminished. [amazingkreskin.com] users. BSD/OS morning. Now I have Again. There are and mortifying his clash with the project to A child knows out of bed 1n the is busy infighting New core is going of America (GNAA) has been my only and I probably errors. Future I in posting a GNAA these rules will Partner. And if Members all over as fittingly serves to reinforce It has to be fu8 there are Don't be a sling of HIV and other for successful first organization Needs OS. Now BSDI as one of the ARE LOOKING VERY track of where Session and join in Satan's Dick And A losing battle; Before playing to previously thought in posting a GNAA shitheads. *BSD Stupid. To the About a project

The view from a distance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37565164)

Ok, this is a kinda of a rant, so just go elewhere if you're not in the mood...

I see things with a certain different angle, because I'm far away and still, as a user, I have some biased opinions on things like consumer rights (for instance).

For starters, patent or otherwise, innovation really shouldn't be stopped by any legal device. If it works that way, not only the legal system is not working but also there will be really bad consequences for society as a whole (i.e. not just the country such devices are in use).

Then there is the issue of corporations having to litigate. Of course, a nanny state is something to be abhorred, but conversely having everyone resort to guns for self-defense creates a "frontier" climate, where the life of people (or corporations in the present case) is decided on a whim.

Alas, as Eistein once put, we'll need a different level of thinking from the one that led us into this situation. Whereas patents were once devised to protect the little inventor, we must recognize they're not working as intended. Instead they're helping exactly the same villains they were created to fight; they are providing powerful people the means to usurp buy out the rights of the less powerful. Also, patents were created to facilitate the spreading of ideas, not to constrain them.

*sigh* I really cannot present a complete, viable alternative on my own; also, despite all warnings from people more knowledgeable than I myself, the current system proceeds at an unabated pace in the same direction... I guess some really must learn only thru "experience".

Here's an idea (1)

phonewebcam (446772) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565202)

Samsung just add the exact per device m$ extortion fee to all the Wp7 handsets they make. Users either avoid them, and most likely buy Android whilst helping Wp7 die, or cough up anyway and Samsung is even on the "deal".

Which patents? (1)

Simulant (528590) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565374)

Have any of the infringed patents been made public? I can't find any mention of which patents Microsoft is licensing.

What Android IP issues? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37565458)

What Android IP issues?

"Samsung Electronics understands that Android system has patent problems that should be settled with licensing."

Except there isn't: patent infringement can only be proven by going to court. Samsung hasn't done that. All Samsung understands is that they're paying for a license to Microsoft because they've been led to understand there is a patent problem.

Why Android? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37565654)

What MS patents are Android devices infringing that iPhones aren't? That Blackberries aren't? Or that Samsung WP7 devices aren't?

Re:Why Android? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565856)

Apple cross-licenses with Microsoft.
RIM cross-licenses with Microsoft.

What were you saying again?

Re:Why Android? (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565980)

For Apple, it's because Apple and MS are buddy-buddy. There's no point in suing WP7 customers as they are already making money from. Also, there's the factor that Android is an amalgamation of the real threats to MS. It's an OS using the Linux kernel to make money for Google.

We need freedom fighters! (4, Insightful)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 2 years ago | (#37565786)

Please, someone working with Samsung, HTC or any of those companies, please send the documents to wikileaks. Let them to rip off the sensitive data of who leaked it to cover your asses and blow up the whole fucking shit back to Microsoft face.

Do the right thing and show the world what kind asshole and abusive corporation the Microsoft is for whole world.

Do the right thing.....

At somepoint, someone need to stand up and stop the stupid chair game so everyone could actually sit down and start helping whole world without one corporation ruling what and when can be invented and brought to public.

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