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ITC Judge: Motorola Mobility Infringed Microsoft Patent

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the let-the-suing-begin dept.

Android 141

chrb writes "An International Trade Commission judge has issued a preliminary ruling that Motorola Mobility infringed one of Microsoft's patents. The disputed patent covers storing a meeting request on a mobile device, and was rejected by the European Patent Office as being 'obvious.' The judge also ruled that six other Microsoft patents were not being infringed. Experts say that this will strengthen Microsoft's hand in collecting patent fees on Android. Microsoft recently claimed that it now collects patent fees on over half of all Android devices sold."

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141 comments

Truth (5, Insightful)

Simmeh (1320813) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455442)

The European Patent Office was right.

Re:Truth (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455464)

What? First post and not a troll? Damn... there may still be hope...

Re:Truth (4, Funny)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455752)

Non-trollish first posts are actually patented, which is why you don't see many of them, since not many people are willing to license the technology.

Re:Truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38457826)

Obviously.

-Posted from the EU

Re:Truth (1)

Maow (620678) | more than 2 years ago | (#38457880)

What? First post and not a troll? Damn... there may still be hope...

InsightIn140Bytes either has the day off or is still hurtin' from the smack-down PopeRatzo gave him yesterday.

Re:Truth (3, Insightful)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456730)

On the other hand the US courts don't seem to require the patent to even be valid. (e.g. the infamous NTP vs RIM lawsuit)

Re:Truth (2)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456734)

Right or not, the wording of the patent is pretty specific. It seems like it would be trivial to work around it.

This could be a way out... (3, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455468)

Let all those Android device makers under several patent assaults from the like of Microsoft and the like do this:

Remove the "infringing" functionality from your phones but create publicity that the features are available through an extension-like add-on like similar to Firefox or Google's Chrome browser.

Then let's see who these patent litigants will sue. How about that?

Re:This could be a way out... (2)

Trogre (513942) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455558)

Hard when one of those infringing features is a touch screen.

I have no idea if that is actually the case at the moment, but just illustrating that not everything can be provided by third parties.

Re:This could be a way out... (0)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455578)

Hard when one of those infringing features is a touch screen.

What are you talking about? Read the patent, nothing about touchscreens other than that the device on which this would be implemented preferably contains a touchscreen. No patent claims to touchscreens.

Re:This could be a way out... (2)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455806)

Wow, you clearly didn't read his entire post.

Re:This could be a way out... (3, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455894)

The point the pp was making is that " a mobile device which provides the user with the ability to schedule a meeting request from the mobile device itself." is about as ubiquitous and obvious as using touch screens on mobile devices.

The good news is that now that particular patent bullet has been fired, it won't be reusable for their standover team. One less round of ammunition for the rest of Microsoft's protection racket.

Re:This could be a way out... (5, Insightful)

Trogre (513942) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456688)

Fair comment. My point was that attempting to route around these silly patents is not the right way to go about it, because eventually some troll is going to come knocking on the door with a stupid patent for a core technology such as touchscreens, portable batteries or radio antennae.

The way to address these patents IMO is to fight the corrupt system that gave them validity in the first place. Yes, and I would like a pony.

Re:This could be a way out... (5, Interesting)

TrueSpeed (576528) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455650)

Let all those Android device makers under several patent assaults from the like of Microsoft and the like do this:

Remove the "infringing" functionality from your phones but create publicity that the features are available through an extension-like add-on like similar to Firefox or Google's Chrome browser.

Then let's see who these patent litigants will sue. How about that?

6 of the Microsoft patents were thrown out and only 1 was upheld. The more Microsoft patents that can be identified as worthless the better. And the ones that are found to be infringing on their generic and prior art ridden patents they'll just work around it with another implementation of the functionality.

You're Coming At This All Wrong (2, Funny)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455870)

The fact that Microsoft's cash register rings every time some "M$"-hating hipster buys a googlaphone because "It's Open and Free! Wheeee!" is friggin' hysterical.

Re:You're Coming At This All Wrong (2)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456262)

Translation:

"But our tapeworms are longer!"

Re:You're Coming At This All Wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38457104)

MS Hating hipsters buy iPhones.

Re:This could be a way out... (2)

kyrio (1091003) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456334)

I can't wait for all of Apple's patents to get thrown out, as well.

Re:This could be a way out... (4, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456512)

The problem is that this ratio still sucks, because there are thousands of patents in play. Thousands might be invalidated, but the ones that are upheld are still idiotic and still cost the industry and the consumer billions.

Re:This could be a way out... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38457842)

Then you go out and R&D your own shit and release it for public use... Yeah, I know you won't, dildo.

Re:This could be a way out... (2)

ACE209 (1067276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38458010)

Yeah like Microsoft did - I bet they spend years in the lab before they had the ingenious idea to schedule meetings from a mobile device.
Truly patentworthy. Doh.

Re:This could be a way out... (3, Informative)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38457744)

"6 of the Microsoft patents were thrown out and only 1 was upheld."

Yes, I'm not sure why some people are saying this ruling strengthens Microsoft's hand. The ruling only effects sales in America, and only applies to one patent. Companies aren't going to be willing to pay Microsoft as much for one patent only valid in the US as they would've been for 6 patents valid worldwide. If anything I think this will lessen the amount Microsoft will be able to get out of companies over Android - no one's going to pay what they were paying for just a single feature in the American market.

Sure it strengthens Microsoft's hand in getting other companies to license that patent, if they want it, but it doesn't strengthen their hand in the amount they can extort, it weakens their bargaining chip dramatically. Companies wont even be willing to pay Microsoft full stop for their patents on handsets sold outside the US, and they'll only be licensing at most 1 patent for handsets sold inside the US.

Re:This could be a way out... (3, Informative)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#38458110)

Then let's see who these patent litigants will sue.

The developer who wrote the "extension-like add-on" for creating it, Google for allowing it to be implemented, and everyone that distributes it. These are patent lawyers we are talking about. If they can think of someone to sue, they will sue.

Microsoft is now the cancer (2)

phonewebcam (446772) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455478)

How ironic [theregister.co.uk]

Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (3, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455496)

Given that the judge threw out most of Microsoft's patent trolling, how come the headline says "Motorola Mobility Infringed Microsoft Patent" and the text says "this will strengthen Microsoft's hand in collecting patent fees on Android"?

Both of those are evasions at best, and very ugly examples of media spin.

This decision is exactly the opposite of success for Microsoft.

Just another example of Slashdot astroturf from the acknowledged masters, I guess.

Re:Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (0)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455528)

Reread the first sentence then get back to us!

Re:Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (4, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455674)

Reread the first sentence then get back to us!

I'm back.

Some balance from the Wall Street Journal:
Motorola Mobility Claims Patent Win Against Microsoft
Judge rules in favor of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc on six of seven Microsoft Corp patents
http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20111220-716842.html [wsj.com]

Microsoft has had six patents invalidated and will be forced to provide clarity on patent 566 (sharing calendar events). That means other companies will be able to work around the patent without paying Microsoft's extortion fee. It's an excellent first step in pulling the fangs of their patent trolling.

Re:Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (1)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455954)

It's an excellent first step in pulling the fangs of their patent trolling.

Agreed. IANAL but we get a lot of lawyerly types on Slashdot saying that precedent is everything.

Re:Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38456182)

Microsoft has had six patents invalidated

Nope. The judge ruled the Motorola didn't infringe on six patents. He didn't rule then invalid.

Also of note is that Microsoft has brought suits against Motorola for over 30 patents, so this is just the beginning.

Re:Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (4, Insightful)

sub67 (979309) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455540)

That's not entirely true. Consider patent trolling is exactlu what they've done. Throw a bunch of vague loosely applicable patents at someone and hope something hits.

Well, one hit.

Re:Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (5, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455878)

How is it patent trolling? I was always told patent trolling is done by those that don't actually have a product and use patents simply to collect fees. Did MSFT get rid of WinPhone 7 and i missed the memo?

Frankly MSFT and Oracle and Intel and all these companies aren't to blame, its the USPTO for letting you patent any brain fart you can come up with so they can collect fees. After all every one they reject they don't get paid for. Instead it should be set up where they pay a set fee REGARDLESS of whether they get a patent or not, basically paying for the USPTOs time in the matter. Then they can take those fees, hire some experts in the fields, and throw a good 98% of these patents where they belong which is right in the round filing cabinet.

But you can't blame one company for pulling the same shit everyone else is doing, look at Apple and how many fangirls we had rush to explain Apple was simply protecting their incredible innovation because gosh, nobody could think up a square with pretty icons!

Re:Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (4, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455912)

Did MSFT get rid of WinPhone 7

Not many of them, no.

Re:Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38456252)

That's a damn shame. WP7 is a great OS and doesn't deserve to be made fun of. Frankly, I'd say that it is a MUCH better OS for the end user than Android is.

Does anyone on /. care about quality software, or is it just a bunch of fanboys rooting for their favorite software? because if it's just fanboys then what is the point of this site? It's not "stuff that matters".

The fanboy stuff cuts both ways (3, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456644)

I suggest you objectively compare even the N900 from a few years ago versus a current Nokia phone with WP7 and then get back to me about whether it is a great OS or not. It's a huge step backwards for Nokia let alone comparing it to other vendors.
Even the reviews that sing the praises of WP7 go on about how it "holds promise for the future" which looks to me to trying very hard to say something good about it without anything concrete to suggest.

Re:Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (2, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456116)

How many factories does Microsoft own? And, what physical products do they sell? In view of their vast financial empire, they own very few physical assets, and produce even fewer. The vast majority of Microsoft's "products" are Imaginary Property. Or, what elitists tend to refer to as "Intellectual Property".

I say MS is a patent troll, along with Apple, and a lot of other companies. They aren't quite as repulsive as some of those east Texas companies that have never marketed a damned thing in their history, but they are still patent trolls.

Re:Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (0)

kyrio (1091003) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456360)

Try reading the rest of his post. Stop posting if you're just going to echo other people.

Re:Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38457284)

So what? Google is not even a tech company, it's an advertisement company. Still, we do have thousands of their fanbois on /. who think they deserve some respect.

Re:Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (1)

tyrione (134248) | more than 2 years ago | (#38458128)

How many factories does Microsoft own? And, what physical products do they sell? In view of their vast financial empire, they own very few physical assets, and produce even fewer. The vast majority of Microsoft's "products" are Imaginary Property. Or, what elitists tend to refer to as "Intellectual Property".

I say MS is a patent troll, along with Apple, and a lot of other companies. They aren't quite as repulsive as some of those east Texas companies that have never marketed a damned thing in their history, but they are still patent trolls.

If you had half a brain and read Jobs Biography you'd discover that Apple has paid and built factories in China to have their products manufactured. How that does or does not validate their research is still your own idea of what is or is not engineering. Whip out your credentials and your patent portfolio or shut the hell up.

Re:Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456686)

The companies you mention are to blame. The USPTO, congress, and certain judges are to blame as well. Just because the law lets you be a complete asshole doesn't mean being a complete asshole is okay.

Re:Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (2)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455542)

It says:

ITC Judge: Motorola Mobility Infringed Microsoft Patent

Note the italicized part. Also, the text of the blurb appears to have been written by chrb, who himself is paraphrasing "Experts," referring to an ill defined 3rd party.

This decision is exactly the opposite of success for Microsoft.

Not at all. Microsoft doesn't need every patent to make it, they just need a handful. That's why these suits involve several patents, to increase the likelihood that something will stick. And now they have a patent they can press Motorola with and threaten other Android vendors over.

Re:Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (0)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455568)

It says:

ITC Judge: Motorola Mobility Infringed Microsoft Patent

Note the italicized part. Also, the text of the blurb appears to have been written by chrb, who himself is paraphrasing "Experts," referring to an ill defined 3rd party.

The "experts" seem well-defined to me (personally, I imply nothing about their degree of expertise). TFA:

"If the initial finding is confirmed, then this will put Microsoft in strong position to stop other smartphone manufacturers who have not licensed this US patent from importing phones with an operating system, and not just Android, which includes a calendar and which lets you send meeting scheduling requests by email," said Andrew Alton, European patent attorney at Urquhart-Dykes & Lord who has previously carried out patent work for Apple.

Re:Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (2)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456026)

It does them no good. It's like five minutes work to take the calendar out of Android and then make it a downloadable app. Problem solved. When Moto comes back after them with the patents on cellular wireless radio of voice and data, that's going to be harder to work around in a cellphone.

Re:Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38457506)

>Problem solved.
Not really. No one wants a phone where the features available by default on all other phones have to be installed.
Geeks will welcome such a solution, but Android is already way too popular among those, normal people won't.

Re:Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (5, Insightful)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456300)

Microsoft doesn't need every patent to make it, they just need a handful.

No. Microsoft needs the "valid" patents to remain unidentified, so they can be used as a vague threat. Once patents are identified, it is possible for Microsoft's enemies (all 7 billions of them) to focus on invalidating the ones successfully used in such litigation. With enough effort applied all such patents can be proven to be invalid -- the problem is, Microsoft, just like many other companies, owns shitloads upon shitloads of crappy patents, and no one has resources to track down all the reasons why they are crap, and sue Microsoft over each and every of them.

Re:Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456466)

The patents involved in Microsoft vs Motorola have been known since October of... get this.... 2010 [unwiredview.com]

But lets not let facts get in the way of your FUD. I just invalidated every single ignorant thought that you decided to dump on us.

No you didn't (5, Informative)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456884)

You totally miss the implications of his post (possibly because he forgot to add the phrase "all of" to "Once all of the patents are identified"). Just because Microsoft decided to use X numbers of patents against Motorola doesn't mean they don't have another Y waiting in line for the next court case. So your quoted source makes no difference.

Since there is no legal way to require Microsoft to reveal all of the patents they think might infringe on Android, his post is, rather than FUD, merely fantasy. The fact that it is fantasy showcases a major problem with the patent system. The law should be that if someone pays licensing fees, they can require the party they are paying to reveal all of their patents which they feel are infringed (by that particular technology), and any patents which are not revealed are automatically rendered toothless (against that particular technology), even against third parties. (Now I'm fading into fantasy... <sigh/>)

> no one has resources to track down all the reasons why they are crap, and sue Microsoft over each and every of them.

You also missed a second major problem with his post: there is no legal penalty for filing an invalid patent. Or at least, for all practical purposes.

Re:Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (2, Insightful)

dido (9125) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455614)

It's not like Microsoft gets really penalized for every patent suit that fails. From reading the article they managed to get one patent to stick, and that's all they need to collect royalties from whoever they sued. Sounds a lot like success to me. The only way that Microsoft or any other patent troll could really fail is if all their claims are thrown out.

Re:Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (1)

stabiesoft (733417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455868)

And that is the problem. Perhaps a rule should be added that says if I prove one of your patents is invalid, I get to pick one that has been validated that is now marked available to all for free.

Re:Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456798)

The patents weren't ruled invalid. The ruling was that Motorola didn't infringe them. Huge difference.

Re:Slashdot: now part of Microsoft (1)

pmontra (738736) | more than 2 years ago | (#38457222)

The same logic can apply: you accuse me to infringe one of your patents, the judge says I don't, I pick one of your patents and I can infringe it.

Preliminary (5, Insightful)

Seeteufel (1736784) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455646)

It is quite easy to get preliminary injunctions. But that doesn't mean a thing. Microsoft is trying to bully competitors into licensing of their trivial patents. A dying software empire.

Re:Preliminary (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456100)

Experts say that this will strengthen Microsoft's hand in collecting patent fees on Android.

I wonder who those experts were?

Re:Preliminary (3, Insightful)

iserlohn (49556) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456202)

Florian, maybe?

Re:Preliminary (1)

malacandrian (2145016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38457376)

A dying software empire.

Really? [redmondmag.com]

Revenue for the quarter, which ended on Sept. 30, 2011, was $17.4 billion, up 7% from last year's first-quarter revenue result. Net revenue was $5.7 billion, up 6% from the previous year's 1Q result. Microsoft met financial analyst's expectations on earnings per share, delivering $0.68 per share in the quarter.

Re:Preliminary (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38457952)

A dying software empire.

Really? [redmondmag.com]

Revenue for the quarter, which ended on Sept. 30, 2011, was $17.4 billion, up 7% from last year's first-quarter revenue result. Net revenue was $5.7 billion, up 6% from the previous year's 1Q result. Microsoft met financial analyst's expectations on earnings per share, delivering $0.68 per share in the quarter.

On Slashdot Microsoft has been dying (anytime soon now) for almost as many years as Linux has had it desktop breakthrough (any time soon now).

The ITU was foolish (1)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455666)

The ITU is hardly an authority on the validity of patents.

Re:The ITU was foolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455726)

In a sense they are... if the ITU throws it out it was *really* not valid :)

Patent trolls in the social networking age (4, Insightful)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455672)

MS and also Apple think their trollish patent practices will strengthen them, but it is already apparent this whole patent bullying of late is turning into one big PR nightmare.

It makes waves over at Facebook and Twitter. For example lots of former Apple drones and die-hard fans are now turning away from the once idolized company. Open and friendly competition is gaining traction (the green robot stamped devices come to mind) because of this bad behavior. You accumulate patents to prevent Texan patent troll to abuse you, that is fine, but you can't use them offensively to prevent market entry for others, specifically using broadly applicable text hyperlink patent or some other creepy software pantent, that is just plain evil.

Re:Patent trolls in the social networking age (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455984)

Please stop perpetuating the stereotype that Slashdot users have no idea what the word 'evil' means.

Re:Patent trolls in the social networking age (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456710)

Exactly. It's what Google's competitors do!

Re:Patent trolls in the social networking age (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456048)

For example lots of former Apple drones and die-hard fans are now turning away from the once idolized company

Clearly they're not dying fast enough or hard enough for management to notice.

Re:Patent trolls in the social networking age (-1, Troll)

kiwirob (588600) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456414)

Open and friendly competition is gaining traction

Google's product is Andriod users. Google's customers are it's advertisers. Andriod is gaining traction because it's given away free. There should be no surprise there. The big question really is how on earth do Apple get to charge more money for similar hardware and functionality and still not be able to manufacture enough devices to meet demand. I used to run FreeBSD with a KDE desktop for years and are was a big advocate of open source because I hated the virus and trogans the where fcuking up windoze computers. The problem now is the unfriendly scammers who are spreading malware on free software on Andriod app stores. Getting crap on my computer was my I dropped windoze and all the unfriendly malware getting into Andriod is a reason I can't consider something like the new Samsung Galaxy Andriod devices. Andriod is the new windoze when it comes to security and malware issues. Sorry to say by that walled garden without the malware is looking very good.

Re:Patent trolls in the social networking age (3, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456960)

Andriod is gaining traction because it's given away free.

Not to Android users, it isn't.

Android users are buying Android phones because they're nice toys/tools. Easy to use, clever and fun. Pretty much exactly the same reasons they'd buy an iPhone.

There's plenty of reasons they'd choose one over the other, but given that some Android devices cost as much or more than iPhones, the price of the OS is unlikely to be a factor..

Re:Patent trolls in the social networking age (3, Insightful)

517714 (762276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456990)

MS and also Apple think their trollish patent practices will strengthen them, but it is already apparent this whole patent bullying of late is turning into one big PR nightmare.

No, it is not a nightmare. If it were, the press would not be using the language it does to describe the situation. MS, Apple, HTC, Samsung, and a host of others have experienced no measurable consumer backlash as a result of these squabbles. The average citizen is blissfully unaware, and few technophiles give more than a fleeting thought about it when they buy their next bit of hardware.

For example lots of former Apple drones and die-hard fans are now turning away from the once idolized company.

That's an easy claim to make, but you do not provide any evidence, and I am sure that none exists.

Open and friendly competition is gaining traction (the green robot stamped devices come to mind) because of this bad behavior.

Competition that actually fuels this sort of behavior. MS gets royaltes from all Android manufacturers save one. So this bad behavior is being rewarded by Andriod, not punished.

You accumulate patents to prevent Texan patent troll to abuse you... 1) Few of the patent trolls are Texans, they simply file in East Texas. 2) That tactic has never been used, because patent trolls do not have a product to which a cross license may be applied.

If it's obvious, why not here? (2)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455680)

I know, it's probably deemed as a baited question but I asked it anyway. Why is the patent not overturned in the US when it's turned down in the EU as to obvious?

I'm not looking for the "Because they have money and can pay people off" answer, or the "they suck and are the Debil answer".

Should not the EU patent finding be valid evidence to the USPTO that the patent should be invalidated therefor Android vendors do not have to pay Microsoft any fees?

Really we need to get a movement together and get the issue ruled on by the Supreme court, and make it illegal as it was 30 years ago.

"I've had all I can stands, and I can't stands no moh!"

Re:If it's obvious, why not here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455780)

Should not the EU patent finding be valid evidence to the USPTO that the patent should be invalidated therefor Android vendors do not have to pay Microsoft any fees?

Why would a ruling on a matter of law in one country force a different country to come to the same conclusion?

Re:If it's obvious, why not here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455838)

The irony is that the USA want's that theirs court rulings be valid in other countries but not in the reverse...

Re:If it's obvious, why not here? (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456996)

It's not irony, and it's true of every nation.

Re:If it's obvious, why not here? (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456114)

because the USPTO already accepted the patent application it usually takes someone to trigger or maybe even pay to have the patent re-reviewed. The USPTO leaves it up to the patent owner and the courts to figure it out once they put their stamp on it. Although I have read some instances where they state they are reviewing a patent after they are shown prior art or some other trigger event.

The "obvious" ruling in the EU isn't going to trigger anything because the that is very subjective and a reaction from them would not be good business for them.

LoB

Re:If it's obvious, why not here? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#38457498)

Motorola's lawyers failed, there blunder was in how the defined what the patent really meant.

The real story here is that M$ was able to file a bullshit patent that basically patented calling a database base table a calender and a record an event, and using standard database query tools, when that database is accessed by a mobile device.

Basically what the US patents office has done here is set a precedent that every database schema imaginable can be patented, based upon table names, field and record names.

So well done the US patent office you have now made DBMS impossible to use lest you infringe someone elses table, field and record names and similary queries.

The other five (2)

jrumney (197329) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455682)

The article links to the patent that was found to be infringed. Personally, I'm more interested in the other 5 patents. Are the FAT patents among them? This could affect device manufacturers far beyond Android, smartphones and tablets that have been paying Microsoft for the privilege of not being sued.

Re:The other five (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456000)

Well it looks like the gotcha with regards to FAT patents is U.S. Patent 5,745,902 [google.com] which covers long to short file names in FAT and was filed in July of 92 so shouldn't it be dead by July next year?

The bigger problem is ExFAT which i'm already starting to see thumbsticks formatted in and wouldn't be surprised if before long memory cards and other NAND flash comes in ExFAT. Now with ExFAT since they have it patented up the ying yang and most of those patents are from the mid 00s you are looking at late 2026 or thereabouts before anybody that hasn't got a license can use them.

Re:The other five (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38456098)

Not an issue then. Its about 10 billion times easier to use a different file format than it is to pay 10 billion dollars. They can even call it OhSoFAT and use a Sumo as a logo for the file format.

Re:The other five (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38457000)

OhSoFAT, Sumo? That would never sell to the PC crowd.

Re:The other five (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#38457314)

I dont think there will be a problem - The evidence is that they've already had all the PC they can take!

Re:The other five (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38456630)

One of the patents was "a method for inserting a penis into CmdrTaco's asshole". As you might imagine, it was invalidated due to all the prior art (literally thousands of examples!), stretching back some 20 years.

BAD MICROSOFT !! BAD MICROSOFT !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455828)

So, what's so unusual about this ?? End around !! Pay up or Game over !!

At least Apple doesn't make Android ODM/OEMs pay !! That's because Apple has class, elegance, style, and all that jazz !!

Occultists are like fleas, and such is their power (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455924)

Who owns the patent on Microsoft's NSAKEY?

Well... (1)

cshark (673578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456018)

They are facing the very real reality that Windows 8 will flop. Tens of thousands of PC's are being replaced with ipads both at home, and in the enterprise. This trend is likely to explode in 2012, when a large enough portion of the non developer population will be using them to matter. Sure, they're doing extremely well in video games, but their own mobile efforts haven't panned out, and probably won't. If Microsoft loses the Enterprise to Apple, they will be effectively marginalized in their core business. So what do you expect them to do? Those that can't make an honest living litigate. If the entertainment industry has taught us nothing, it's that.

Re:Well... (4, Insightful)

tftp (111690) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456176)

They are facing the very real reality that Windows 8 will flop. Tens of thousands of PC's are being replaced with ipads both at home, and in the enterprise.

Windows 7 and Windows 8 are not going to disappear until desktops and laptops disappear. How likely is that?

Enterprise lives and dies by spreadsheets, MS Word documents, custom software tools, and expensive 3rd party applications. Those are not manageable on "mobile devices." Besides, why an enterprise would want its workers to work while mobile? Most of them are hired specifically to sit in cubicles and work, not to relax in bars. Most work can't even be taken out of the company.

Re:Well... (1)

pmontra (738736) | more than 2 years ago | (#38457352)

If companies realize that some 50% of the work can be done on tablets (all the email/meeting stuff) the working environment will change. This is how it might become (disclaimer: forecasts for the futures are unreliable).
You don't get your cubicle, you get some smaller shared space where you can sit with your tablet, talk with your coworkers, move around and make instant meetings. Nobody owns a specific chair or couch. You'll get some docking stations to do the heavy work with mouse and keyboard. You boss will still be there to watch you and make sure you don't slack off and yes, bosses up in the hierarchy still have their own office with their own desk and chair.
The company will be happy because they need less space, you bring in your hardware [personneltoday.com] (you pay for it, they don't), the working environment looks more cool and it's easier to hire younger people. The trend will start with smaller companies and move to the bigger ones.
Is that going to happen and be more productive than a standard workplace? I don't know but in some cases making it easier for people to meet and share thoughts improves productivity. In other cases people want to sit alone without nobody to disturb them. An environment that offers both opportunities should be the best one.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38457502)

They are facing the very real reality that Windows 8 will flop. Tens of thousands of PC's are being replaced with ipads both at home, and in the enterprise.

Windows 7 and Windows 8 are not going to disappear until desktops and laptops disappear. How likely is that?

Enterprise lives and dies by spreadsheets, MS Word documents, custom software tools, and expensive 3rd party applications. Those are not manageable on "mobile devices." Besides, why an enterprise would want its workers to work while mobile? Most of them are hired specifically to sit in cubicles and work, not to relax in bars. Most work can't even be taken out of the company.

They are facing the very real reality that Windows 8 will flop. Tens of thousands of PC's are being replaced with ipads both at home, and in the enterprise.

Windows 7 and Windows 8 are not going to disappear until desktops and laptops disappear. How likely is that?

Enterprise lives and dies by spreadsheets, MS Word documents, custom software tools, and expensive 3rd party applications. Those are not manageable on "mobile devices." Besides, why an enterprise would want its workers to work while mobile? Most of them are hired specifically to sit in cubicles and work, not to relax in bars. Most work can't even be taken out of the company.

Woof... the dog in the wolf pack is remote access. Given the fact that Ipad and Android can run Citrix with sudo dll interfaces to remotely access exchange servers things start to look a little more difficult for Microsoft to get a foot hold in the tablet and smart phone department. My prediction is that Citrix and Oracle Java will become the real targets for Balmer worshiping ballrogs or Redmond in the coming year. They have already sort of succeeded in spreading the (Screw Google) campaign fud all the way to the heart land of OSS ... which is /. and Sourceforge. The Next Step (pardon the OS pun) is to circumvent java and Citrix based interoperability.

Do not be surprised if very soon there is a huge hostile take-over by the shills who have money from MS to get the companys away from Ellison and Templeton. I can just imagine the size of the golden handshakes from the gold mine in Washington State.
I will take .00002 percent and be very happy ;-)

Re:Well... (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456736)

You may be right, at least for those people who only need a web appliance. But for those who need a computational device...

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38456738)

They are facing the very real reality that Windows 8 will flop. Tens of thousands of PC's are being replaced with ipads both at home, and in the enterprise. This trend is likely to explode in 2012, when a large enough portion of the non developer population will be using them to matter.

Did you even see Win8? You know, the one with the entirely new, touch-oriented UI, designed primarily - wait for it! - tablets.

Re:Well... (1)

nfras (313241) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456770)

They are facing the very real reality that Windows 8 will flop. Tens of thousands of PC's are being replaced with ipads both at home, and in the enterprise. This trend is likely to explode in 2012, when a large enough portion of the non developer population will be using them to matter. Sure, they're doing extremely well in video games, but their own mobile efforts haven't panned out, and probably won't. If Microsoft loses the Enterprise to Apple, they will be effectively marginalized in their core business. So what do you expect them to do? Those that can't make an honest living litigate. If the entertainment industry has taught us nothing, it's that.

Apple isn't going to win the enterprise space any time soon. Sure they will get companies who buy iToys for their employees, but let's face it, iPads are an unmanageable mess for an IT organisation. How do you effectively manage the data held on them, and the security on them? If big organisations can't control laptops, how do you think they will control iPads?
I know of a lot of large organisations who would like to use tablets but won't go near Apple because they don't understand corporates. Sure they're shiny and employees want them ("we'll be more productive" hehehe now get me Angry Birds) but controlling what is on them and who gets access to it is a nightmare. Even Apple know that this isn't even in their sights. Nobody who actually uses a PC for more than just email and presentations will use a tablet for core business use. You need to add a keyboard and a mouse and a bigger screen if you use it for more than a few hours, but wait, that's now a very expensive and underspecced laptop. Just wait for all the OH&S claims when people start complaining of eye strain or issues with handling the bloody thing all the time.

I don't agree with Microsoft suing over obvious and broad patents, but trying to say that Windows 8 will flop because Apple brought out a tablet is facile. Apple are even more litigous than Microsoft. In fact, one thing that constantly amuses me is the fact that all the reasons why Apple fanbois give to hate Microsoft, Apple are actually worse at (EULAs, screwing over competitors, screwing over customers, anti-competitive, vendor lock-in, etc).

Re:Well... (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38457062)

iPads don't hold very much information. IT departments like that they are thin clients with the calculations and data on a central server for most of what they do. If they can take the PC off your desk and replace it with a thin client they will be delighted to do so. I see the iPad as being the tip of the wedge that makes thin clients a reality for most office workers. And really, don't you think that management would love to get solitaire off of everyone's computer? The things you cite in the last sentence are why they will succeed.

Re:Well... (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38457290)

Tens of thousands of PC's are being replaced with ipads both at home, and in the enterprise.

I doubt a single PC has been replaced in the enterprise. Many things have been replaced, notepads (the paper kind), books, manuals, stock readers, PDAs, and special single purpose devices like GPS units and barcode scanners.

But until I see a receptionist cranking out 80wpm on a touchscreen, a stock broker staring at 4x iPads rather than 4x 23" monitors, an engineer preparing complex designs, or a drafter running AutoCAD I doubt you can claim the PC's place in the enterprise has been offset even in the slightest.

Even if you do get the occasional manager who decides to spend all day reading and replying emails on his iPad while micromanaging his workforce I'll bet you walk into their office there's a shiny new PC sitting at his desk depreciating patiently until the next upgrade.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38457416)

The great deal of employees at FMCG companies are sales force. And iPad is close to perfect for them.

It's a Meeting Request, But... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456208)

It's a meeting request, just like any other meeting request, but now we do it on your cell phone -- PROFIT!

Prior Art? (1)

nigelo (30096) | more than 2 years ago | (#38457080)

DEC's ALL-IN-1 had meetings (calendar management via email) in the 1980s.

It makes no sense (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456218)

Since noone has a patent (or can get one) on "Sending data via email" then no one should be able to patent "Sending ******** data via email"

Oh fuck it (2)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456294)

Why don't we just have Apple, Google & Co., Microsoft and all the mobile manufacturers just exchange a billion dollars with eachother every other week and just skip the lawyers. I didn't even read the article or the summary because I just don't care anymore. Everybody's wrong, software patents and at this point any patent dealing with mobiles or phones is bullshit, and the whole process of suing everyone who even approaches the market will just stifle innovation and kill good ideas.

Re:Oh fuck it (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456744)

Why don't we just have Apple, Google & Co., Microsoft and all the mobile manufacturers just exchange a billion dollars with eachother every other week and just skip the lawyers.

In this tough economic situation, we can't afford to get rid of jobs than Americans need so hard to make ends meet. ~

Re:Oh fuck it (1)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 2 years ago | (#38457436)

Zing! Nice one. And by some amazing coincidence the quote that is coming up at the bottom of the page as I type this is:
"Q: What do you have when you have a lawyer buried up to his neck in sand? A: Not enough sand."

Radical to max.

Re:Oh fuck it (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 2 years ago | (#38457598)

It's a classic example of the prisoner's dilemma. Even though it would be a net win for the industry to stop this nonsense, it is too attractive to each individual firms to try and use the current patent and legal system to gain an advantage to avoid it.

Re:Oh fuck it (1)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 2 years ago | (#38457646)

That is an amazingly accurate observation. I feel both enlightened to the reality of the situation and further depressed by the realization it's basically not going to end until everyone gets punished.

"Ultimately, that's a good path for everyone." (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38456380)

Where "everyone" == "the lawyers" and has nothing to do with either businesses or consumers.

Do people at Microsoft honestly believe they are better off in a litigious software hell than if software patents were abolished? I'm sure Microsoft's lawyers believe they are better off, but what about everyone else?

Re:"Ultimately, that's a good path for everyone." (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456720)

It's an expensive hell, and they have money

Get ready for more from M$ (1)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 2 years ago | (#38457414)

I think patent trolling is Microsoft's long term strategy in the mobile market. No one want Windows Phone 7. Or 8, or 9 or that matter. They aren't stupid in Redmond, just evil. I think planting Elop in Nokia is part one in the plan to first destroy Nokia's stock price, then either have Elop just sign over Nokia's patents, or buy Nokia cheap. Nokia has a truly giant war chest of mobile patents. Microsoft, once in control of those can just sit back and make everyone, Apple included pay them more that those companies make themselves. This would fit with Microsoft's general policy of intimidation and sneakiness, and makes sense given how horrid Window Phone Anything is. I know WP7 can't connect to the internet other than DHCP. I wonder if they even fixed the inability to copy and paste. In any case, M$ is not putting any money into that doomed ship. Extortion is much more of their style.

This is why they're pulling out of CES... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38457710)

This is why Microsoft is pulling out of CES. They're not going to invent anymore, just patent troll so they have no need to be at CES any longer.

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