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Facebook Purchases 650 AOL Patents From Microsoft

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the patent-rent-to-own dept.

America Online 93

eldavojohn writes "Not two weeks after Microsoft purchased 925 patents and patent applications plus licenses to AOL's portfolio for $1 billion, Facebook has now acquired 650 of said patents and patent applications for $550 million to which Microsoft retains a license. So, was Microsoft's $450 million worth it? According to their press release: 'Upon closing of this transaction with Facebook, Microsoft will retain ownership of approximately 275 AOL patents and applications; a license to the approximately 650 AOL patents and applications that will now be owned by Facebook; and a license to approximately 300 patents that AOL did not sell in its auction.' Will the patent-go-round continue, or has Facebook loaded up for a good old-fashion Mexican standoff?"

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93 comments

W00t (3, Insightful)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about 2 years ago | (#39774169)

Now facebook can monitor you even more effectively.

Re:W00t (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 2 years ago | (#39776869)

Now facebook can monitor you even more effectively.

No, it's just the Axis partners aligning themselves for another battle.

Microsoft and Facebook have formed gang to beat on Google. This time, Microsoft paid for the ammunition, but Facebook will be pulling the trigger. Interestingly enough, there are hints that Apple may be piling on too.

http://lauren.vortex.com/archive/000850.html [vortex.com]
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/some-of-the-anti-google-tea-party-is-astroturf/6496 [zdnet.com]
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-12/facebook-enlists-pr-firm-burson-marsteller-to-pitch-google-privacy-story.html [bloomberg.com]
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/google-deflects-pr-firms-attack-gmail-privacy/story?id=13566971#.T5XZdFRUTrE [go.com]
http://www.nytimes.com/1996/03/13/business/seeking-to-fix-damaged-image-apple-hires-burson-marsteller.html [nytimes.com]
http://www.burson-marsteller.com/Innovation_and_insights/blogs_and_podcasts/harold_burson_blog/default.aspx [burson-marsteller.com]

I bet $100... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39774237)

...that no-one can find a single AOL patent which isn't obvious or had prior art.

But this isn't about buying patents. This is about transferring funds to AOL for *some reason*.

Re:I bet $100... (5, Funny)

OakDragon (885217) | about 2 years ago | (#39774467)

Sorry, you are in violation of my patent "placing a wager on an Internet forum". My lawyers will be in touch.

Re:I bet $100... (3, Funny)

Ihmhi (1206036) | about 2 years ago | (#39775017)

Sorry, you are in violation of my patent "requesting a lawyer or lawyers to communicate to a third party that the third party is in violation of a patent or parents and humorously notifying the third party of this fact." My lawyers will be in touch.

Re:I bet $100... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39778013)

Sorry, you are in violation of my patent "carbon based replicant lifeform". My lawyers will be in touch.

Re:I bet $100... (3, Insightful)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about 2 years ago | (#39774705)

I'm sure AOL (for all its failings) never did a single thing in its entire existence that was patent-able while it ran (held captive?), for a time, nearly the entire online world.

Re:I bet $100... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39775147)

Don't forget that AOL also owned all Netscape patents, which covered basic web infrastructure things like cookies and SSL (and even various tags such as HEAD).

Re:I bet $100... (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 2 years ago | (#39775803)

You have a +1 Funny phrasing, but I gotta believe the company that spawned its own Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan Movie had to have been innovative enough to have a few real doozy patents. But ya know? Of all the scuttle I remember about them, it wasn't vicious IP wars. We bitched about their Coaster Marketing, and Eternal September, sure, but Patent Wars? Surprisingly little that I heard of. (Maybe I didn't hear much, but nothing on today's scale.)

Gurr... Patents Bad STOMP! (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#39775165)

This looks like normal business to me.
For most businesses they don't see patents so negativity. For the most part if they know about the patent before hand they normally work to either buy it, or purchase a license to use it. Now they could fight it (to invalidate the patent), but that usually happened after they asked for it and they said no. You are looking at the Patent Case between Apple and Samsung or Google and Oracle, but those are more the exception then the case. I am willing to be that Apple and Samsung Google and Oracle agree and share patents and license them to each other for a lot more cases then the ones they fight over.

Further Alignment (4, Interesting)

alphatel (1450715) | about 2 years ago | (#39774245)

Google has already staked their company on G+. Does Microsoft gain an edge by helping Facebook even if there is no direct payoff?
The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
See where this is going?

Re:Further Alignment (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | about 2 years ago | (#39774277)

Google has already staked their company on G+.

What are you talking about?

Re:Further Alignment (5, Interesting)

alphatel (1450715) | about 2 years ago | (#39774485)

Is this your first visit to /. ?
Page re-aligns Google [yahoo.com]
"When he took over as CEO, Page quickly made his top priority clear by moving Google's executive offices into the same building as the team working on Google Plus. Page also tied a portion of employee bonuses to the success of Google Plus and eliminated what he considered to be unnecessary distractions by closing more than 20 of the company's less popular services.
"Larry is driven by his paranoia about Facebook. Clearly, these are two companies at war with each other," said Ken Auletta, who got to know Page while writing his book about the company.

Re:Further Alignment (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39774575)

Making a product a priority and betting the companies future on a product are not the same thing. I very much doubt they will get significant revenue from G+ anytime soon.

Re:Further Alignment (1)

PCM2 (4486) | about 2 years ago | (#39776791)

Making a product a priority and betting the companies future on a product are not the same thing. I very much doubt they will get significant revenue from G+ anytime soon.

How could you tell how much revenue Google gets from it? Google's entire business is based on capturing eyeballs in order to offer greater value to advertisers. Do you honestly think G+ is not designed to do that? And yet, the revenue Google captures from these moves will be reported in the advertising portion of its business. You're not going to see any "Google+ revenue" figure on its 10-K.

Re:Further Alignment (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 2 years ago | (#39777103)

"Re-aligning" and "staking your company on" are two different things.

McDonalds aligns it's advertising to the McRib sandwich every time it comes out. They do not stake themselves on the McRib though. They spend a lot on advertising that one sandwich each time, but if they don't sell any, McDonalds is not going to declare bankruptcy.

Google is putting a lot of effort into getting you to use google plus, and maybe all the top people over at google are trying to beat facebook at the social media game, they are aligning to that. The front page has google plus tie ins. This does not mean they're putting all their eggs in google plus's basket. If google plus never goes anywhere, we'll still be using google maps, gmail, and google search, and they'll still be getting a lot of money for adsense based on just our searches, e-mail, and map searches.

Staking the company on google plus would probably look like "In order to use google search, gmail, or google maps, you MUST BE SIGNED INTO GOOGLE PLUS." Which would be a stupid move and I'd be surprised if anyone working at google would be dumb enough to suggest it.

Re:Further Alignment (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39774339)

I could care less about either company. I'm just hoping between this and the recent Apple patent trolling, more people will realize just how broken our patent system is.

Re:Further Alignment (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about 2 years ago | (#39774731)

This will have no impact whatever on the structure of the patent system. Perhaps one in one thousand of the general public could even explain what a patent is.

Re:Further Alignment (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#39775011)

I could care less about either company.

ARGH! Fighting... grammar... nazi... tendencies...

Re:Further Alignment (2)

gnick (1211984) | about 2 years ago | (#39775839)

ARGH! Fighting... grammar... nazi... tendencies...

I think you meant to say, "I am fight grammar Nazi tendencies." But that's fine. For all intensive porpoises, their the same. Too different ways of getting your point acrossed. I could care less. =)

Re:Further Alignment (1)

Nyall (646782) | about 2 years ago | (#39774551)

No direct payoff? Microsoft put 240 million into facebook in 2007.

They are merely protecting an investment.

Re:Further Alignment (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about 2 years ago | (#39774749)

Wait - Microsoft invested $240 million into facebook, and in return Microsoft... sold facebook $650 million worth of patents to 'protect an investment'?

Who is investing in who?

Re:Further Alignment (1)

zlives (2009072) | about 2 years ago | (#39775243)

the pre-ipo circle jerk continues

Re:Further Alignment (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 2 years ago | (#39778853)

Exactly right. Facebook paid M$ nothing for 650 patents. M$ who already owns a chunk of Facebook, helped to create the illusion of wealth by accepting $? worth of Facebook junk shares prior to IPO. Seems like M$ is going to bail on it's investment of Facebook not long after the IPO, it's working to fatten the calf for the slaughter that follows.

These stories should make a clear distinction between paying for somehow with hard cash and making junk share payments prior to IPO. What is the SEC asleep at the wheel again, this kind of pre-IPO marketing tactic is really pushing the bounds of acceptable behaviour.

Re:Further Alignment (1)

Nyall (646782) | about 2 years ago | (#39775681)

First its $550 million. And yes it looks like microsoft has so far made a 550-240=310 million profit. But I can also see an advantage in facebook having their 900lb gorilla buddy microsoft being the one to go to AOL and negotiate for these patents. Namely if it was FB doing the negotiating that would have tipped their hand, then the patents might have been costlier.

Also microsoft has a billion to throw around, while I'm not sure facebook has that pre-ipo.

Re:Further Alignment (2)

blind biker (1066130) | about 2 years ago | (#39774567)

Yes, in principle I agree with you, but there is a caveat: I suspect that Facebook cannot further crush G+, since they, in essence, aren't competing against each other anymore. What I mean is, those that prefer the G+ style of doing social networking, won't leave G+, and those who prefer Facebook haven't joined and never will (or maybe joined for a brief moment, looked around and left). G+ won't grow much, I think (I'm a G+ user, BTW), but it doesn't really have to. Don't get me wrong, I am sure Google would love to see G+ grow much larger, but they aren't exactly sad even with a smaller social network - the users are loyal enough, and some profit can be created.

I think G+ is the Linux of social networks: sure, there aren't many users of it, but those that are there don't care about the number of users. And some company (Red Had) can still make a profit off Linux.

Re:Further Alignment (1)

PCM2 (4486) | about 2 years ago | (#39776809)

G+ won't grow much, I think (I'm a G+ user, BTW), but it doesn't really have to.

I'm not a huge fan of G+, but I think you might be wrong. It's just that G+'s growth will probably come at Twitter's expense, rather than Facebook's. That's just my gut feeling, though.

Re:Further Alignment (1)

blind biker (1066130) | about 2 years ago | (#39784555)

It all depends on how you define "grow much" - I agree that there will be growth in numbers for G+, but not more than a couple million users from now till the end of this year, and steadily slower growth after that. That it will be on the expense of Twitter... well, it makes sense. Plus, I've met more than just a few such people who moved over from Twitter to G+, and almost nobody (very, very few) who moved over from FB.

Re:Further Alignment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39774689)

I don't think Facebook needs to worry about anything. The Vic Gundotra asshole single handedly ruined Google+ with his stupid 'Real Names' policy, despite receiving extensive internal and external feedback suggesting that it was a terrible idea.

--
Looking for software engineering work in the Atlanta area. Sundar Pichai's incompetence resulted in me losing my job.

Re:Further Alignment (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39774803)

I'd say yes, MS gains an edge, Google has staked too much on G+, so hitting them there hurts more than hitting them anywhere else. Given Google's anti-competitive games, and seeming immunity from anti-trust probes have made them a fair amount of enemies, taking them down a notch or three is a boon to pretty much everyone else in the industry, in every sector Google tries to invade.

Who'd have thought, evil proprietary corporations cooperating for the greater good.

Re:Further Alignment (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 2 years ago | (#39775081)

See where this is going?

If you keep clicking on links, sooner or later you'll end up on an adult website?

Re:Further Alignment (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#39775747)

Microsoft has been "partnered" with Facebook for several years now [fastcompany.com] . Nothing new here. It's also probably why MS doesn't have its own social network and such, but adds Facebook integration to many of its products (Windows Phone has it out of the box, for example, and so does Xbox).

Re:Further Alignment (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#39780523)

Microsoft DOES have its own social network, they have single sign on and they have forums and messenger. But nobody particularly wants to use it; normal people don't want to use it because it sucks and nerds don't want to use it because they have to trust Microsoft to run scripts on their computer to even log into anything Windows Live any more. That means I can't even look up most forum posts about Halo Reach. Consequently Microsoft has had to go afield to find social networking users.

Re:Further Alignment (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#39782261)

Microsoft DOES have its own social network, they have single sign on and they have forums and messenger.

That does not make for a social network.

Re:Further Alignment (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#39782835)

That does not make for a social network.

You can make people your friend and follow their output, just because it's a shitty social network doesn't mean it isn't a social network. They also have Xbox Live, although that is fairly specific. That's an even more limited social network because it only permits real-time socialization, but it still is one. (You can leave messages, too, but they're not public. You can, however, publish some content to the network publically.)

Re:Further Alignment (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 2 years ago | (#39779751)

Google has already staked their company on G+. Does Microsoft gain an edge by helping Facebook even if there is no direct payoff?

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
  See where this is going?

Alignment with the galactic center. Film on 12-21-2012.

Re:Further Alignment (1)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#39780683)

Microsoft invested in Facebook very early on. Politically it's hard to see Facebook and Microsoft as a separate entity, they seem almost identically aligned in this respect, they've been scratching each others back for a long long time now to the point it's really impossible to consider whether an action by Facebook against a competitor of Facebook was really an independent action at all. Microsoft's opinion seems to hold a lot of sway at Facebook, and vice versa to a lesser extent. I'd argue the companies are perhaps the two most closely aligned of the major tech companies in Silicon Valley nowadays.

You insens1tive clod.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39774295)

rac1st? Ho3 is

Greater Fool Theory (2)

McGruber (1417641) | about 2 years ago | (#39774299)

All this means is that Zuckerberg is a greater fool than Balmer. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_fool_theory)

That is to be expected, since youth and talent are no match for age and treachery.

Re:Greater Fool Theory (2)

interval1066 (668936) | about 2 years ago | (#39774365)

All this means is that Zuckerberg is a greater fool than Balmer.

I don't buy that for a second. Some college kid creates 2 billion dollars in his dorm room (never mind whatever swindling and conniving he did along the way for a secod), and buying some AOL patents suddenly makes him a fool? I don't think so. Something else is afoot.

Re:Greater Fool Theory (1)

bbbaldie (935205) | about 2 years ago | (#39774403)

Peter Principle. Zuckerberg hit his peak as a swindling conniver in college, it's all downhill from here.....

Re:Greater Fool Theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39775547)

Considering Facebook has roughly 450 million daily users and is still growing exponentially, I'm going to go ahead and say you are full of shit.

Re:Greater Fool Theory (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39774685)

It's the Law of Unsuccessful Douchebags.

People who aren't wildly successful often become hostile douchebags to anyone achieving success. Douchebaggery usually includes negative caveats (eg, the aforementioned, 'Baaaw, swindling!') or trendy hatred ("Facebook sucks because everyone on an Internet forum agrees with me!") without any actual knowledge surrounding the acquisition of the target's success.

I've noticed it usually affects my fellow Americans more than other cultures; be that as it may, it's a truly worldwide phenomena.

Re:Greater Fool Theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39774859)

It's the Law of Unsuccessful Douchebags.

People who aren't wildly successful often become hostile douchebags to anyone achieving success. Douchebaggery usually includes negative caveats (eg, the aforementioned, 'Baaaw, swindling!') or trendy hatred ("Facebook sucks because everyone on an Internet forum agrees with me!") without any actual knowledge surrounding the acquisition of the target's success.

I've noticed it usually affects my fellow Americans more than other cultures; be that as it may, it's a truly worldwide phenomena.

I have actual knowledge! I saw "The Social Network"!

Gearing up for IPO.. (2)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | about 2 years ago | (#39774323)

Once FB goes public they will be lawfully required to turn a profit by any "lawful" means necessary, suing everyone over patent infringement is just another revenue stream, and makes them more "desirable". The problem with them holding all the cards is we don't know what those cards and if they are even worth anything.

Re:Gearing up for IPO.. (1)

PickyH3D (680158) | about 2 years ago | (#39774621)

I would suspect that that's one reason for the patent purchase, but I would also expect that the other is because Yahoo is already suing them for patent infringement.

Re:Gearing up for IPO.. (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#39775239)

It's probably a bit of both. Once they have to make (more) money they have to start doing things which make money beyond just showing some sketchy adds on the side of the page. That runs the risk of headbutting into patents that people do, or did use to make money (think amazons 1 click), and suddenly you're at risk for very expensive legal fights. The one click thing is a good example, because even though the patent is up in the air, and under discussion several places, if it is granted (in the EU for example), or if some part if it is upheld that you're infringing on you could be in deep shit fast. Facebook needs a defensive portfolio.

Re:Gearing up for IPO.. (3, Interesting)

Pope (17780) | about 2 years ago | (#39775273)

Once FB goes public they will be lawfully required to turn a profit by any "lawful" means necessary

There is no such law.

Re:Gearing up for IPO.. (2)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | about 2 years ago | (#39776777)

Read "lawfully required" as "forced by shareholders and external parties through lawful (legal) means".

Maybe there is no statute that says they are required to turn a profit, but there are piles of statutes, case law, regulations, SEC requirements, and "guidelines" which can be used as the basis for a lawsuit and other punishment.

If you sell public stock, you have to try to be successful or you may suffer all kinds of wrath. Shareholder lawsuits against the board of directors are probably the most common, and they can force a decision on the board, and therefore the company.

Departing CEO severance package too big? Sue the board for over-spending. Takeover opportunity missed? Sue the board for malfeasance.

Read a bit at lexis-nexis, and read a bit more if you really want to know what you're talking about [google.com]

Tech Version Of The Cold War (3, Insightful)

blcamp (211756) | about 2 years ago | (#39774349)

This is not terribly different from different countries on the map lining up with either the US or the Soviets... or going non-aligned.

It's a good old fashioned "military alliance"... just with patents and lawyers instead of nuclear warheads.

Re:Tech Version Of The Cold War (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39774477)

Well kind of, it's only really damaging to the companies that play by the rules.

A sweep of patent-violating fly-by-night operators are going to make a mint.

Re:Tech Version Of The Cold War (1)

bgarcia (33222) | about 2 years ago | (#39774479)

I think in this case, I'd prefer to be on the side of the 1000 lb patent gorilla - IBM.

Hopefully all of the companies involved are happy with a standoff, but if things ever escalate, my money's on IBM destroying all enemies with its portfolio.

Re:Tech Version Of The Cold War (2)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 2 years ago | (#39776373)

IBM is laughing all their way to the bank, while everybody pays them for the benefit of standing on their side. (In fact, that is not a new strategy for them)

Don't bet on they destroying anybody.

Re:Tech Version Of The Cold War (1)

pegasustonans (589396) | about 2 years ago | (#39774509)

This is not terribly different from different countries on the map lining up with either the US or the Soviets... or going non-aligned.

It's a good old fashioned "military alliance"... just with patents and lawyers instead of nuclear warheads.

So, we wait until one of the sides goes bankrupt and Ronald Reagan takes credit?

Re:Tech Version Of The Cold War (2)

H3lldr0p (40304) | about 2 years ago | (#39774813)

This isn't the first time this has happened.

It also happened way back when with the start of the airline industry. Back in 1903, the Wright Brothers started one [wikipedia.org] over the way one controlled a plane. Long story short, WWI started and seeing as how planes were a cool new war toy, the US government stepped in and made them make peace or else no one would get the patent money.

I have to wonder what's it going to take to get that to happen this time around.

In Soviet Mexico... (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | about 2 years ago | (#39774427)

Will the patent-go-round continue, or has Facebook loaded up for a good old-fashion Mexican standoff?"

In Soviet Mexico, we just call them "standoffs".

They're going to have free patent exchanges (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | about 2 years ago | (#39774491)

At some point the world is going to wake up and notice that the U.S. forces it's patent and copyright laws down everyone's throats while all the big U.S. companies have agreements to ignore each other's IP.

Basically they're forcing everyone to adopt IP law while they don't (hypocritically obviously) but also telling them that it's for their good while not doing it themselves.

Re:They're going to have free patent exchanges (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39774993)

At some point you'll realise that this is the status quo. Russia doesn't give two shits about US intellectual property, nor do China or India, but they do defend their own. Everyone knows what the US is doing, because they all do it too, the key difference is that the Western powers try to hide the fact, while the Eastern powers don't.

"Realising" what the US is doing won't bring forth the end I presume you're hoping for (abolishing intellectual property), however, the US reversing its position and playing nice with foreign IP will motivate foreign powers to play nice with US IP. Not that it matters, in the current system, anyway, the onus is on the copyright or patent holder to register their IP in various jurisdictions, ideally, there would be global IP, where IP registered in one jurisdiction is valid in all jurisdictions.

With all this constant patent reselling (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about 2 years ago | (#39774525)

How exactly do you know whose patent you're potentially infringing on? Do searches on the US patent website return correctly updated info?

Re:With all this constant patent reselling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39774671)

I guess the same way you are supposed to know if you are breaking the law at any moment.

not knowing about a law is not an excuse.

Social what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39774661)

I don't care about any social media. I refuse to use any of it. I consider myself a technological hermit, and proud to be one.

Re:Social what? (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | about 2 years ago | (#39774801)

I don't care about any social media. I refuse to use any of it. I consider myself a technological hermit, and proud to be one.

Slashdot is the first and leading social media destination for technology professionals and IT decision makers. Slashdot’s highly engaged community of IT influencers share and socialize hundreds of pieces of content every day, including news, analysis, peer questions, and professional insight. Slashdot is a website of Geeknet Media, a wholly owned subsidiary of Geeknet Inc. (Nasdaq:GKNT).

link [webpronews.com]

makes sense (1)

w_dragon (1802458) | about 2 years ago | (#39774907)

Facebook is a great, big, popular walled garden. AOL was a great, big, popular walled garden. There's probably at least a few patents in the bunch that FB steps on that they would prefer to own, even if they are half way to expired by now.

Cartel business (1)

Sla$hPot (1189603) | about 2 years ago | (#39774931)

Besides all the privacy concerns.
When dominant businesses deal patents back and forth, effectively sharing control of the market shouldn't it be compared to cartel business.
I'm wondering what the patents are worth them self, without the actual deals being made.
Perhaps this is just a clever way to fool the DOJ.

Yahoo? (1)

RedDeadThumb (1826340) | about 2 years ago | (#39775095)

Perhaps there is something in this bunch that helps FB against the Yahoo suit. That is still on, right? Such silly games we force companies (and people) to play.

Failbook is in bed with M$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39776143)

I have said it once and I have said it again Failbook is in bed with M$. Support Failbook and you also support M$ and non free software.
--
Friends don't help friends install M$ junk
friends do assist M$ addicted friends in committing suicide.

Tangled Web (1)

ohb1knewbie (2184600) | about 2 years ago | (#39777333)

Oh, the tangled web They weave. When Patent Guilds Conspire as thieves. Patents today have become like some magic amulet from D&D. You only have to possess it for a short time to impart its magical protection to you forever. After that, you're free to pass (sell) it on to the next troll who needs to up his powers. Does anyone really believe that MS will not, as a term of the sell, keep an eternal license to the patents just as AOL likely did in its sell to MS? Patents must DIE.

Facebook donates $550M to MS (1)

Trogre (513942) | about 2 years ago | (#39778373)

Given that software patents are 100% worthless, I hope Microsoft enjoys their donation from Facebook, and AOL enjoys their cool billion.

Eeeasy money.

Re:Facebook donates $550M to MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39780341)

>> Given that software patents are 100% worthless

????

Tell that to Google. Or Oracle. Or IBM. Or Hercules. Or Microsoft. Or Apple.

There is big money and big power in having them. Sadly.

So basically patents... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39779363)

are a giant card game, where your hand is unlimited, cards cost millions, and the only people who lose are users and innovators without money to buy stake in the game. Fun.

Capitalism's last days (1)

jodido (1052890) | about 2 years ago | (#39780639)

Capitalism used to be based on producing value through the manufacture of commodities (or mining coal and similar processes). Now what do we have? Buying and selling of useless paper. It's over.
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  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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