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Motorola Scores Patent Wins Over Microsoft, Apple

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the like-watching-a-game-of-tennis dept.

Patents 158

tlhIngan writes "This week is Motorola's lucky week; they've won twice in two separate patent suits. First, an ITC judge has ruled that Microsoft's Xbox 360 has violated 4 of 5 patents related to h.264. This is just a preliminary ruling (PDF) and both Microsoft and Motorola will face an ITC panel later this year. In the other case, the ITC judge has ruled Apple violates a 3G patent, one that a German court ruled that Apple didn't violate earlier this year. "

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COOL! (0)

gregstar (2614513) | more than 2 years ago | (#39787849)

Yes I was waiting for that the whole day.

Re:COOL! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39788361)

Motorola refusing to license FRAND patents under FRAND terms does no one any good. Hopefully Google won't fall into the same vein. The terms require that a patent be offered, and it should NOT require a company to offer up it's own IP in order to obtain use of a FRAND patent.

Re:COOL! (5, Insightful)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788711)

Maybe Microsoft and Apple should not have started the war by suing Android manufacturers.

Re:COOL! (2)

crutchy (1949900) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789675)

or android users

maybe microsoft and apple should team up against "googorola"

thn again, they'd never agree on "applesoft" or "microple"

actually, who cares, they'll all eventually be bought out by samsung anyway

Motorola refused to license patents? (1)

dgharmon (2564621) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789525)

Where did Motorola refuse to license patents related to h.264 to Microsoft to be used on the Xbox 360?

I mean it is Microsoft who is threatening Google downstream developers over their use of Android. Answer the first point first ..

Re:COOL! (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789705)

Motorola refusing to license FRAND patents under FRAND terms does no one any good. Hopefully Google won't fall into the same vein. The terms require that a patent be offered, and it should NOT require a company to offer up it's own IP in order to obtain use of a FRAND patent.

Yes, and Microsoft trying to extort both extreme license fees and an actual veto over future Android design features with absolutely crap patents does no one any good either.

Oh, excuse me, just how many shares of Microsoft do you own again?

Frand... (1)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 2 years ago | (#39787893)

Motorola Scores Frand Patent Wins Over Microsoft, Apple

It will be interesting to see if this will play into the EU investigation.

Re:Frand... (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790191)

Just because some of these patents are FRAND doesn't mean that they don't need to be licensed at all. Both of these companies are using Motorola's patents without even engaging in negotiation for rights. That's not allowed.

Re:Frand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39790355)

Actually thats slightly false, they did engage, they just never made a counter offer after getting an initial offer from Motorola, at least if your going to be biased, be slightly less informed.

FRAND does mean that they have to license it, even to non-members. Look it up on wikipedia.org.

  Good grief, slashdot is reading more and more like reddit, which is people posting half stories and leaving out parts that make there side look good...

Re:Frand... (3, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790737)

I can see why you'd like me to be less informed. The issue is that Motorola offered a license, which was declined. And these companies are now using the patented technologies without a license having been offered one. They have no license. You are not allowed to use patented technology without a license. They are breaking the law. The "F" in "FRAND" does not stand for "Free".

Software Patent Reform Anyone? (2)

Concern (819622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39787921)

And by reform, I mean, abolition?

Come on guys. It never works. The only people getting rich off it are the lawyers. The rest of the world is laughing at us over it.

Let's put those dollars towards creating jobs and innovating.

Hello, Obama? Anyone home? There's a campaign donation in it for you from a few big tech luminaries, I'm pretty sure.

Re:Software Patent Reform Anyone? (3, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788021)

Hello, Obama? Anyone home? There's a campaign donation in it for you from a few big tech luminaries, I'm pretty sure.

Sadly, that's not correct... most "big tech luminaries" happily use patents as cudgels to prevent little guys from entering their staked-out territories, or to push out anyone who gets in their way.

I'm not seeing any big tech corporation wanting to remove what is arguably becoming their biggest (and still legal) weapon to fend off or tame the competition.

After all, look at how much money Microsoft has managed to score from 'selling' Android to the manufacturers so far...

Re:Software Patent Reform Anyone? (4, Interesting)

Concern (819622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788227)

I think at this point a great many are over it (Google, IBM, and the entire FOSS industry) and if enough of the patent countersuits succeed against Apple and Microsoft (the most prominent non-troll offenders), there will be a time where even they are willing to stop throwing good money after bad.

I suspect many execs who would not publicly admit it are getting sick of the patent lawyers already.

Re:Software Patent Reform Anyone? (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789577)

Yes, the big tech luminaries were very successful at preventing smaller companies from taking over their territory.

Let's list some examples:

AT&T prevented the Cisco from replacing switched circuit POTS.

IBM prevented Intel/Dell from running them out of the hardware business.

Moto and RIM prevented Apple from running them out of the mobile telephone business.

NOT.

Don't forget that today's tech giant is yesterday's pip-squeek upstart.

Re:Software Patent Reform Anyone? (0)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788059)

And by reform, I mean, abolition?
Come on guys. It never works... Let's put those dollars towards creating jobs and innovating.

It's been working great, you can tell by looking at the neat blinky thing in front of you that you used to make that post.

You're thinking of class-action lawsuits.

Re:Software Patent Reform Anyone? (2)

Concern (819622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788193)

You have a wonderfully deadpan approach to sarcasm. Well played. :)

Re:Software Patent Reform Anyone? (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788769)

The rest of the world is laughing at us over it.

European lawyers are slavering over it. And Chinese lawyers. And Indian lawyers. And Bolivian lawyers. And even Lower Slobovian lawyers.

IP: the new tech product (1)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 2 years ago | (#39787933)

Isn't it interesting how the tech industry is increasingly about patents?

Does Moto even make phones anymore? But who cares? As long as they have good patents, they can make money.

Re:IP: the new tech product (2)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788135)

Isn't it interesting how the tech industry is increasingly about patents?

Not really. Technology requires an investment to develop. Once that development is done, it's easy to replicate just by observing the final product. For some reason people around here really don't understand that. I suspect sensationalist headline poisoning.

Oh, you are serious? (5, Interesting)

Concern (819622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788485)

OK. Here's how software patents work.

There are hundreds of thousands of them. None of them required any investment to develop. They simply memorialize things that everyone always did - commenting inside of curly braces, using tables for compression, having the "AM" flip to "PM" when you scroll the hours past noon, having plugins in web browsers and "one click purchase buttons" and so forth.

No one can ever know what their work infringes on. Not even Microsoft or Google, who have carte blance budgets for such things. They simply write code and wait to get sued.

Even if the software patent fairy came down and waved her little magic wand, and you could know exactly which hundreds or thousands of patents you infringed, it would be worthless by tomorrow. Thousands of new patents are filed every day.

The only effect that software patents can have is to make every piece of code a ticking patent time bomb.

The scam was supported by a few, like Microsoft, because they saw it as a way to prevent competition and hurt free markets. They need only send part of their multi-million dollar legal team to the patent mines and amass a "war chest" that would enable them to sue others, and countersue when they were, themselves, inevitably brought to court. This would have the effect of making it impossible for anyone to write software without having a multi-million (these days multi-billion) investment in patent lawyers.

The only reason the U.S. has a functioning software industry is that the practice of using these patents is so repugnant and ridiculous that most businesses and all individuals ignore them.

Unfortunately, in their haste, cupidity and basic ignorance of cause an effect, backers like Microsoft neglected to realize that they would create a new kind of company, called a patent troll. These companies would buy patents that Microsoft was violating, and sue them. But Microsoft's patent war chest would be unusable as a defense, because patent trolls are very careful to do absolutely no useful work of any kind. Their entire business is suing the people who do actually do useful work. MS has already had 9-10 figures in judgments come in against them from trolls and they have had a few close calls with actually having to pay out.

If you are wondering who created software patent law, the answer is, not congress. Some lawyers tried it, and it flew, and it's happened all on its own - a little power grab by the patent bar and the USPTO.

This is partly why so few industrialized countries other than the U.S. have a software patent regime the way we do, because it is so prima facie ridiculous. They have been rejected in Europe and Asia. We are an international laughing stock for having such an obviously corrupt practice.

Meanwhile there is very little basis for software patent law to exist even on this basis in the U.S.. The Supreme Court has already famously struck down patents on i.e. math equations, which are vanishingly similar. They came quite close to explicitly striking down software patents already in En Re Bilski. The whole game will be up before long - no one has any choice. The more the practice grows, the faster it chokes itself off.

Good day, sir. Respond if you like, I won't read it.

Re:Oh, you are serious? (1, Informative)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788683)

Good day, sir. Respond if you like, I won't read it.

"Don't bother trying to cure my ignorance!" Heh.

Look, I realize that you get your news from reading Slashdot summaries. But before you get to waving your torch and pitchfork, bear in mind that the patents this site covers are way more complex than the summaries allude to. That's hardly surprising, nobody reads the articles, let alone the patents themselves. And this site is, afterall, all about advertising, so you can expect a sensationalist spin to get you hitting the 'reply' button. Go read a few. Seriously, go find some Slashdot stories about software patents, then go read the actual patent. Yes, you'll find patent trolls, but you'll also find that many of them are obvious only in hindsight.

You won't necessarily change your mind about whether they should be abolished or not, but at least you will no longer have an extreme opinion on something you don't understand. You won't be posting any more nonsense like this: "There are hundreds of thousands of them. None of them required any investment to develop. They simply memorialize things that everyone always did... "

Ignore my advice at your own risk.

Re:Oh, you are serious? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39788903)

We've all read actual software patents before. Wooohooo. The links are always posted here. It's widely known how ridiculous they are. Most of us are, you know, actual software developers.

No one can possibly be as stupid as your post implies while managing to operate a computer at all.

Ergo, you cannot possibly believe the obvious and fairly trivial deceptions you have just written.

Conclusion: Go smoke a cock, you lying astroturf PR contractor.

Re:Oh, you are serious? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789101)

Hi Concern! Glad you returned, I was worried I wrote all that for nothing.

We've all read actual software patents before.

The comments around here have never indicated that. I have on numerous occasions checked up on the claims of prior art made on this site. In nearly all of these cases, the wording of the patent itself made it clear that the example of prior art did not apply at all. Not only were there numerous posts, but many of them were modded up, too. Amusingly, nobody was ever there to point out exactly what in the patent made it clear that the example of prior art didn't work. It happens ALL the time here. With that in mind, I will correct one of your statements:

It's widely known how ridiculous the one sentence description of the patent is. Most of us are, you know, eager to get the word 'insightful' to appear next to our posts.

Ah, much better. So, no, I do not believe you have read any of the patents, I certainly don't believe you routinely read them when these articles come up, otherwise we wouldn't be talking in generalities.

Conclusion: Go smoke a cock, you lying astroturf PR contractor.

Classy. Just think, if you were more educated on the topic, you wouldn't need to use responses like this! :)

Re:Oh, you are serious? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39789137)

Get lost, troll.

Re:Oh, you are serious? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789239)

I'm sorry I offended you, Concern, but I am giving you good advice.

Re:Oh, you are serious? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39789365)

You come off as ridiculously close minded, between these "people who disagree with me must be paid astroturfers", "I refuse to read people who hold different opinions than my own," and the "let's make a list where we can auto-ignore people whose political opinions are different than our own." Why do you bother even reading the news?

Re:Oh, you are serious? (1)

tyrione (134248) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789569)

We've all read actual software patents before. Wooohooo. The links are always posted here. It's widely known how ridiculous they are. Most of us are, you know, actual software developers.

No one can possibly be as stupid as your post implies while managing to operate a computer at all.

Ergo, you cannot possibly believe the obvious and fairly trivial deceptions you have just written.

Conclusion: Go smoke a cock, you lying astroturf PR contractor.

First, pull that smoke out of your own rear end. Grow up, get advanced degrees in Engineering, Computer Science, Pure and Applied Mathematics and study advanced research. Then work on those obvious algorithms and patents you profess to have understood and become the Consumer Reports equivalent of Ralph Nader to save the world from software patents. Otherwise, take your own advice.

Re:Oh, you are serious? (5, Interesting)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789327)

Parasites.
by John Carmack

I'm proud that there is "a relative dearth of patent applications for the video game industry, especially considering how technology-dependent the video game industry is, and given its size in terms of annual sales."

Before issuing a condemnation, I try hard to think about it from their point of view -- the laws of the land set the rules of the game, and lawyers are deeply confused at why some of us aren't using all the tools that the game gives us.

Patents are usually discussed in the context of someone "stealing" an idea from the long suffering lone inventor that devoted his life to creating this one brilliant idea, blah blah blah.

But in the majority of cases in software, patents effect independent invention. Get a dozen sharp programmers together, give them all a hard problem to work on, and a bunch of them will come up with solutions that would probably be patentable, and be similar enough that the first programmer to file the patent could sue the others for patent infringement.

Why should society reward that? What benefit does it bring? It doesn't help bring more, better, or cheaper products to market. Those all come from competition, not arbitrary monopolies. The programmer that filed the patent didn't work any harder because a patent might be available, solving the problem was his job and he had to do it anyway. Getting a patent is uncorrelated to any positive attributes, and just serves to allow either money or wasted effort to be extorted from generally unsuspecting and innocent people or companies.

Yes, it is a legal tool that may help you against your competitors, but I'll have no part of it. Its basically mugging someone.

I could waste hours going on about this. I really need to just write a position paper some day that I can cut and paste when this topic comes up.

John Carmack

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=151312&cid=12701745 [slashdot.org]

Re:Oh, you are serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39789549)

There are two major problems with this argument. First is that it does not cover the diversity gained from forcing developers to try another approach. We have seen interesting ideas come along as a result of having to re-think a design.

Second is that many patents are based on ideas that are interesting because they're intuitive. The problem with this is that when something is intuitive, it's very easy to combine it with hindsight and call it obvious. This happens all the time and people get upset about it. It did take time and energy to arrive at that design choice, but it doesn't seem like it because once we see it, we get it, and there's no forgetting it. This really skews the perceived value of the patent, plus as I mentioned before, the value of trying to find an even better approach is not measured.

Both of these points really need to be considered if there is going to be a real discussion about the abolishment of software patents.

Re:Oh, you are serious? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39789829)

The problem with this is that when something is intuitive, it's very easy to combine it with hindsight and call it obvious.

Intuitive. I don't think that word means [merriam-webster.com] what [merriam-webster.com] you think it means. If something is intuitive, that means it is obvious to one learned in the art.

Re:Oh, you are serious? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39790039)

From your own link:

readily learned or understood software with an intuitive interface

Also, the word 'obvious' isn't in there at all.

Re:Oh, you are serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39789775)

You're seriously defending $500,000,000 from the people who actually made the Blackberry work for the trolls that owned the "wireless email" patent and never built a damn thing?

Re:Oh, you are serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39789943)

I don't see any reference to the Blackberry or even to RIM.

Re:Oh, you are serious? (2)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789659)

They simply memorialize things that everyone always did - commenting inside of curly braces, using tables for compression, having the "AM" flip to "PM" when you scroll the hours past noon, having plugins in web browsers and "one click purchase buttons" and so forth.

[Citation needed]

Specifically, find a patent that claims one of those things, and then find a reference that pre-dates it showing someone doing that. Mind you, the reference has to show someone doing what the claims say, not just doing something similar to the title of the patent. There are tens of thousands of patents titled "wheel" or "engine"... They're not all claiming "wheels" or "engines".

No one can ever know what their work infringes on. Not even Microsoft or Google, who have carte blance budgets for such things. They simply write code and wait to get sued.

Yes, but the nice part is that you're not going to be responsible for damages until you do get notified that you infringe.

Even if the software patent fairy came down and waved her little magic wand, and you could know exactly which hundreds or thousands of patents you infringed, it would be worthless by tomorrow. Thousands of new patents are filed every day.

Your software that exists today cannot possibly infringe any patent that is filed for tomorrow, by definition. That magic wand analysis wouldn't be at all worthless.

If you are wondering who created software patent law, the answer is, not congress. Some lawyers tried it, and it flew, and it's happened all on its own - a little power grab by the patent bar and the USPTO.

You may have missed Congress passing the AIA. It's okay, it's pretty obscure and wasn't discussed on Slashdot or elsewhere.

This is partly why so few industrialized countries other than the U.S. have a software patent regime the way we do, because it is so prima facie ridiculous. They have been rejected in Europe and Asia.

Actually, Europe has exactly the same rules as the US on software patents: software, alone, is not patentable. A machine that executes software is patentable.

Meanwhile there is very little basis for software patent law to exist even on this basis in the U.S.

Software's not a method? That's a novel claim. Maybe you should patent it.

The Supreme Court has already famously struck down patents on i.e. math equations, which are vanishingly similar.

"Vanishingly," as in "the similarity you speak of is irrelevant." They didn't say that math was unpatentable because it wasn't a method. Rather, it had to do with preemption of an abstract idea, and really had to do with the fact that mathematical algorithms are really just abstractions of inherent laws of nature. Are you saying that all software is really just laws of nature? 'Cause if not, the fact that software - just like any machine - can be described in a mathematical algorithm doesn't mean that software is unpatentable, any more that it means that machines are unpatentable.

They came quite close to explicitly striking down software patents already in En Re Bilski.

Actually, they unanimously affirmed patentability of software, as well as unanimously affirming patentability of business methods.

Good day, sir. Respond if you like, I won't read it.

Yes, but hopefully it will slow down the spread of your FUD.

If you cant kick it (2, Insightful)

Anomalyst (742352) | more than 2 years ago | (#39787953)

Then the patent is invalid.
The world is ill-served by "imaginary Property"..

Re:If you cant kick it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39788539)

So a radio that transmits signals in a special manner, such that there's no interference, you think doesn't deserve a patent, just because radios exist, and waves cannot be kicked?

Re:If you cant kick it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39788617)

So you offer a hypothetical radio as your example, which you admit exists and can be kicked. By your own words, this radio exists. It is a physical object and can be kicked.

There ya go. Thought you might need a helping hand setting up the scenario. You should be able to re-read what was written and answer your own question now.

Re:If you cant kick it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39788781)

Maybe you need a hand with some reading comprehension next? Jesus fuck how could you possibly have missed his point.

Re:If you cant kick it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39788987)

While I don't entirely agree with idea of only patents on physical things. The radio example was quite bad. I don't think anyone is suggesting we patent the actual radio waves. Instead the patents are issued on the physical devices that manipulate, create, or receive the radio waves. In this case, Anomalyst is correct.

Re:If you cant kick it (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790357)

Four of the five involved in the fine summary above reference wifi patents, not software. The Apple one has to do with noise rejection on a radio signal.

OT: Broken patent system (1)

unique_parrot (1964434) | more than 2 years ago | (#39787967)

I think the patent system is fundamentally broken. Isn't it that patents should help you to give birth to a vision (not trivial things), without being stolen/copied from competition? So you get the patent, manage to produce the product and sell it, that's OK. But if you screw up your patent, you can't deliver, your company goes bankrupt, etc. it would be good to delete the patent and make it unpatentable, open for everybody ! NO SELLING, BUYING, SPECUTAION ! IMHO BTW: I thing Douglas Adams invented the iPad, Jobs just copied :)

h.264 (3, Insightful)

mugurel (1424497) | more than 2 years ago | (#39787997)

...violated 4 of 5 patents related to h.264

So this is the next standard for video on the web they're talking about?

Re:h.264 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39788041)

...violated 4 of 5 patents related to h.264

So this is the next standard for video on the web they're talking about?

Google, as the new owners of Motorola are obviously trying to destroy the H.264 standard because nobody wanted to use their WebM format.

Re:h.264 (2)

mugurel (1424497) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788147)

Google, as the new owners of Motorola are obviously trying to destroy the H.264 standard because nobody wanted to use their WebM format.

If they manage to do so by patent trolling, maybe it deserves to be destroyed, better sooner than later.

Re:h.264 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39788183)

Probably true, but regardless h.264 is a closed format which is excusable for a web standard. WebM is fine for now.

Re:h.264 (2)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789159)

Now that you mention it, it would be excellent to see troll patent standard H.264 destroyed by patents. In a perfect world.

Re:h.264 (3, Interesting)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789123)

A big sigh of relief from Mozilla I think. This is exactly why they wanted to keep out of h.264. It wouldn't be the patent payout for either licensing or fines, but the cost of lawyers that would cripple Mozilla.

I don't know why Mozilla didn't just "move" the development from the USA to a European country where software patents do not exist. Rich people do it with money to avoid tax, surely Mozilla could do it to avoid patents.

what does "fair and reasonable terms" mean? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39788007)

Ans. whatever the patent holder thinks the market will bear. In other words, it's an almost meaningless agreement.

The people who craft industry standards like H.264 need to do better than this.

Re:what does "fair and reasonable terms" mean? (2)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788809)

"Fair" in this context means we abuse all our victims equally.

Re:what does "fair and reasonable terms" mean? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39789051)

FRAND is really about non-discrimination. I can't force vastly different terms on a company just because I don't want to compete against them , for example. Usually, FRAND has some sort of patent cross-licensing involved with a small payment attached. The benefit to the original patent holder is that they gain security against being sued by their competitors. It is supposed to ensure that companies compete on products and not with lawyers over competing patents. I think the status quo has changed so rapidly with smartphones, tablets, etc. that the system has just broken down. If you are a company like Apple or Microsoft, without a lot of relevant IP to cross-license, then should you pay more than companies that have cross-licensed? If so, how much more? That is what many of these cases are about.

Re:what does "fair and reasonable terms" mean? (3, Insightful)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789177)

Usually, FRAND has some sort of patent cross-licensing involved with a small payment attached. The benefit to the original patent holder is that they gain security against being sued by their competitors.

Oh, how that smells like cartel.

Re:what does "fair and reasonable terms" mean? (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789899)

How is that a cartel? If a farmer goes to market to sell milk, and he runs into another farmer with eggs, he can swap some milk for some eggs. He then runs into another farmer with some potatoes, and he swaps some milk for some potatoes. Along comes a city guy, and the farmer asks what he has to swap, and the city guy says 'nothing'. The farmer says 'ok, I'll take cash'. Is that a cartel?

A cartel fixes prices and production. It has nothing to do with cross-licensing patents.

Motorola Mobility (2)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788067)

Note: This is Motorola Mobility, which ultimately means Google.

Re:Motorola Mobility (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788431)

Which means a cross-licensing agreement will be put in place ending the Microsoft tax on Androids. I guess that's a win.

Motorola Mobility is not Google (3, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789173)

Note: This is Motorola Mobility, which ultimately means Google.

Except that it doesn't. Google will inherit anything Motorola Mobility gets out of this if China approves the acquisition, but until then Google doesn't have management control over Motorola Mobility.

Happy to see Microsoft on the Short-End (4, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788103)

Given Microsoft's bullying of Android - an area where they don't even compete - I'm quite happy to see them coming out on the short-end of this stick. When I buy Android it's in part because I don't want to give my money to Microsoft or Apple. Now let's see a good strong Apple defeat such that Motorola (and other Android vendors) resolve these issues through cross-licensing instead of money.

Re:Happy to see Microsoft on the Short-End (2)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789555)

You do give your money to Microsoft when you buy Android. Microsoft gets a slice of every Android unit sold, due to patent chokeholds.

Re:Happy to see Microsoft on the Short-End (2)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790373)

Not if you buy it from Motorola.

Global Thermonuclear Patent War (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788125)

It's approaching quickly.

Joshua/WOPR: Greetings, Professor Falken.
Stephen Falken: Hello, Joshua.
Joshua/WOPR: A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?

--
BMO

Google Wins! (3, Interesting)

TheNarrator (200498) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788137)

So Microsoft and Apple both wanted to screw up web video by only supporting the heavily patented H.264 standard instead of Google's open Web-M standard. So Google went and bought Motorola Mobility and is now throwing their own patent strategy back at them. If they claim H.264 isn't patentable than they lose that way otherwise Google can charge huge royalties and make them pay for being so greedy.

Brilliant chess moves as usual by the Google team.

Re:Google Wins! (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788437)

The insane amount of money spent to buy Motorola might almost be worth it.

Re:Google Wins! (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789371)

Insane, yet it's only 12 Instagrams.

Re:Google Wins! (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789443)

If you weight it on a technology basis it's more like 10*9 Instagrams.

Re:Google Wins! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39790551)

It would have been less characters to just type 90 instead of 10*9. Probably meant 10^9.

Re:Google Wins! (1, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788779)

Cheering for Google winning patent lawsuits while criticizing competitors for trying to win patent lawsuits is an insane double standard. Has the discussion really been reduced to such blind fanboyism? You're portraying Google for being a champion of open standards even as they ship the closed source Flash plugin in Chrome and support MP3 and AAC audio playback, which are just as patent-encumbered as H.264.

What Google is brilliant at is being no different from their competitors yet convincing techies to side with them through populist rhetoric about openness. If Google was actually open, you'd be able to download the source code for the search engine.

Re:Google Wins! (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789429)

In my country we have a saying that's more or less like "a thief who robs a thief has 100 years of forgiveness". There's nothing hypocritical about judging differently someone who is bullying a bully.

Also, when exactly did Google claim it was an open company and /or that all their products were open? Fanboys might, but if I claim that e.g. Apple products are perfect, does that tell something about Apple or myself?

Re:Google Wins! (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790391)

It wasn't Google who picked a fight.

Re:Google Wins! (3, Insightful)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788853)

It's amazing how much the moral and ethical standards of Microsoft and Apple have converged, and it is not because Microsoft improved.

Re:Google Wins! (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789057)

MS doesn't seem to bad today compared to the past. At least they are not going all nuclear and killing every smartphone but their own through any means possible (like having rounded edges)like Apple. MS is even licensing their technology for affordable prices. Still I feel that part is wrong but MS is more interested in a defensive patent chest in case Windows Phone 7 takes off with Nokia and Apple turns their eyes on them.

Re:Google Wins! (4, Insightful)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789093)

Microsoft shaking down Android manufacturers with its most probably bogus software patents says that you are incorrect about Microsoft improving at all.

h.264 was a lot of work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39788219)

Many different companies employed video compression experts, which worked together to create the h.264 standard. These companies don't pay expensive engineers for the betterment of humanity. Hence, the patents on parts of h.264. Were it not for those corporations, there would be no h.264

Re:h.264 was a lot of work (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788865)

Waitasec, didn't Google just pay expensive engineers for the free and open VP8 standard?

Re:h.264 was a lot of work (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789763)

Google makes it's money selling ads. A free and open web is beneficial to them because they can use that free and open web to sell their product.

The other companies make their money selling hardware and software. To them, free and open means nothing but a race to the bottom, something which no-one wants.

Re:h.264 was a lot of work (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789023)

So was drafting the W3C standards and EMCA aka javascript. You do not see these organizations patenting everything to the wazoo do you?

In the old days companies worked together to create something for the mutual benefit to both companies and the industry. Everyone wins with little to no risk. PowerPC was such a project by Motorola, Apple, and IBM. Infact, Apple and IBM were competitors and they still worked together with software as well.

IBM of old had great leaders and did good things with the one exception of letting Bill Gates clone the IBM DOS for clone makers.

Today, everyone is just trying to get steal from one another and hurt the other guy rather than make money.

Re:h.264 was a lot of work (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789533)

Javascript was originally developed by Netscape, a company which no longer exists.

It is funny that you think companies worked together to benefit the industry, and use PowerPC as an example of that. PowerPC was not done for some altruistic reason like 'benefit the industry', it was done to hurt Intel. It failed at that.

It is even funnier that you think IBM of old had great leaders (I am guessing you are including the PowerPC decision in that greatness). The Apple-Motorola-IBM deal was done by John Akers, who led the company to it's near destruction. Hardly a great leader. On the other hand, their really great leaders were the Watsons, and they had several antitrust suits against them to force licensing of their patents. Today IBM has an enormous patent portfolio which they license as they see fit.

Re:h.264 was a lot of work (2)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789939)

Javascript was originally developed by Netscape, a company which no longer exists.

The fact that they no longer exist is probably the only thing that is keeping Oracle from suing them as well.

Re:h.264 was a lot of work (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790425)

Let's hope we don't see those Javascript patent suits. Microsoft just bought the Netscape patents from AOL.

Who am I kidding. They're probably herding up a horde of lawyers to sue The Internet right now.

Misleading Title? (1)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788229)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't the title be "Google Scores Patent Wins..."? When Google buys Motorola mobile division they take ownership, no? And yeah, what has been/will undoubtedly be repeated, retool this joke we call 'Patent Law'.

Accurate Title (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789221)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't the title be "Google Scores Patent Wins..."?

No, because Google doesn't own Motorola Mobility yet (and may never own it) since the Chinese government still hasn't approved the purchase.

When Google buys Motorola mobile division they take ownership, no?

Yes, if Google is allowed to buy Motorola Mobility, it will take ownership, but that hasn't happened yet, and might not ever happen.

Re:Accurate Title (1)

ppanon (16583) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790053)

The weight of the Chinese government is not to be underestimated, and Google is not exactly in their good books given past head butting over search and censorship. That said, since the US and EU have both given the go ahead, I wonder if Google/Motorola might decide to tell the Chinese gov. to go stuff itself if the answer is no. Losing the Chinese market and manufacturing facilities would hurt, but the main markets Motorola sells to these days are probably still Japan, S. Korea, the EU, and the US. Chinese labour costs have been rising and losing their advantage. Motorola could shift Chinese production to Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, etc. It depends on how much Google want/need Motorola's patent portfolio, but they may yet be willing to forego the Chinese market. They would be stupid to reveal their hand since it would only aggravate Beijing and ensure a rejection, but I would be surprised if they haven't discussed the possibility and looked at contingency plans.

Re:Accurate Title (1)

ppanon (16583) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790081)

Oops. That should have been "forgo the Chinese market".

Gotta love the consistency (2)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788265)

"In the other case, the ITC judge has ruled Apple violates a 3G patent, one that a German court ruled that Apple didn't violate earlier this year." The courts aren't an ass it's just where they keep their heads. How can anyone hope to abide by copyright rules when even the courts can't sort out the mess!

Re:Gotta love the consistency (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39788691)

How can anyone hope to abide by copyright rules when even the courts can't sort out the mess!

Because as it turns out, German and American courts abide by different laws.

Re:Gotta love the consistency (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789111)

+10 if I had the points.

Too many people assume that US law applies everywhere. Just because terms like "patent" and "copyright" are common amongst many nations of the world does not mean they follow the US interpretation.

Just look at Canadian's enshrined right to make backups vs. the US DMCA for an example.

Re:Gotta love the consistency (1)

lexman098 (1983842) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790085)

Their right to make backups is actually a concession for royalties paid on backup media (regardless of what it's used for). Canadians don't take no shit from the MAFIAA! (lol)

Re:Gotta love the consistency (1)

gparent (1242548) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788821)

You're right, they should've pushed for Earth's Court instead so they could rely on international law rather than the laws of the United States in the United States and those of Germany in Germany.

Re:Gotta love the consistency (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39789441)

Makes it sound as if we are all better for not moving under one big umbrella and letting the people of local governments decide the laws... funny how that works... funny how everyone seems to want centralized power.

Re:Gotta love the consistency (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789473)

This is about patents, not copyright. It's well known (at least, inside software development circles) that software patents rules are very different among countries, unlike copyright, which has more or less been unified by the Berne Convention.

Just because lawyers try to convince us that all "IP" is equal doesnt mean it's true.

Worldwide Patent War of 2012 (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39788325)

And so began the great Worldwide Patent War of 2012.

Motorola launched and scored a hit with their patent.
Apple and Microsoft panic and fire off their arsenal of patents. Facebook, Samsung, Google, IBM, etc. all get pulled into it.
Yahoo! takes the opportunity to launch a sneak attack at Facebook. The patent scores a critical hit with the assistance of a clueless judge setting a new precedent.
Patent trolls rejoice at this and proceed to crawl out of the woodwork to start flinging their own patents around...

The MPAA/RIAA become jealous that there is all these lawsuits going around and they aren't getting a piece of the action. So they sue all of the above companies for lost sales, since all the money they're spending on lawsuits would have been used to license music/movies through them.

So now Moto won't suck? (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788477)

Because for the last 20 years Moto has sucked as a company and generally failed at everything. Trying to save the company through lawsuits is a sure sign of that.

Re:So now Moto won't suck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39788653)

Seeing as how their Mobility division has been huge in tech world news lately, and you apparently somehow completely missed it, I'm not entirely sure you're in the best position to critique what Moto has been up to in the last 20 years.

Re:So now Moto won't suck? (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788713)

it is not really that hard to see why motorola has cratered as a company. Here, I will start with one reason. Iridium Feel free to list the long long list of other terrible decisions over the last 20 years.

Re:So now Moto won't suck? (4, Insightful)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789025)

Today Iridium is a healthy business with nearly half a million subscribers. Motorola may have got that one wrong, but not very far wrong. You know who really deserves to crater as a company for bad management? Microsoft. Kept going only by illegal monopoly control of PC manufacturers and evil software lock-in of the kind that got IBM sued nearly into oblivion in the eighties.

what is this fascination with patent lawsuits? (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788553)

OK, so any big company gotta have lawyers to deal with business issues but geez, I remember back in 20th century when Motorola made components (transistors, ICs), TV sets ("works in a drawer" I remember seeing the commercial then going to a friend's house to pull it out and see inside), and the best two-way radios. They were really ***expensive*** but damn them Mocom-70s can easily last 30 years, couldn't be narrowbanded but take the trunkmount units and be used as armor plating. And the HT-200s can chock a runaway railroad car or withstand a nuclear blast at 50 yards (OK so I made up the last two). Nowadays, I only hear about the Big /\/\ when they're suing someone or offshoring one of their enterprises.

Ha (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788973)

Only Microsoft and Apple supported h.264 in this version of the browser wars.

Couldn't happen to nicer people. This is why Google and Mozilla supported WebM because of BS like this. For those defending h.264 all I have to say is I told you so. Maybe next time do not be so gung ho on supporting patented technology as standards.

Re:Ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39789373)

A lot of people wanted H.264 to win, not because it's closed source and patented but because IT IS SUPERIOR to WebM given the same bitrate.

Also, almost everything already supports at least decoding of H.264 in HARDWARE, meaning better battery life.

Now that they seem to own it, if Google were truly genuine about their goals, they'd MAKE H.264 OPEN AND FREE instead of pushing their inferior WebM crap down everyone's throats.

Re:Ha (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790505)

Motorola patents are only a tiny fraction of those that make up the MPEG patent pool. Google can't make H.264 open and free. WebM on the other hand, Google owns all of that - and they already have made it open and free. They opened it under a permissive license as soon as humanly possible after they bought it.

It's the folks in the MPEG Patent licensing group that were making it impossible to do video on open and free platforms. I will not mourn their passing.

Kind of a win for Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39789913)

Even though apple must conceed it violates the patent, Motorola having been declared in judgment as a standard must now license to Apple with FRAND licensing.
Motorola has been trying for the better part of 2 years to prevent that and negotiate a superior deal with Apple.
This is the outcome Apple was really expecting.

And they'll appeal, but really I'm sure they're happy with the ruling. It puts a hard ceiling on what Motorola can charge.

All OS loyalty should be thrown out the window when looking at Google and Apple and Motorola, etc. They all make great products, but you have to step outside and look at the larger battle going on.

"Lucky week" - WTF? (1)

djlowe (41723) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790553)

Hi,

"This week is Motorola's lucky week;

Now, I know that Slashdot, despite its "slashdot.org" domain name [1] is a for-profit company, and I know that you need to make money to stay in business... but do you have to resort to trolling to do so?

My subscription is nearly up [2], and if you guys need money that badly, why not just ask?

Regards,

dj

Notes:

[1] Don't you think that it is about time that you reverse the DNS entries, and have slashdot.org point to slashdot.com, instead of the other way around? Let's face it, you're not a ".org", nor have you been, for a LONG time.Why not honor Internet conventions? Or,is this a way of saying that Slashdot is not making a profit?

[2] BTW, somewhere along the line, though I PAID for the privilege, I lost the magic subscriber star that every other subscriber gets, and I've not seen it for years now.

From my Subscriber page:

You have paid for a total of 25000 pages and so far 21550 have been used up (10 today). Thank you for supporting Slashdot! We appreciate your contribution very much.

So, basically, you've taken my money, and somewhere along the line deprived me of the benefits for which I have paid. I emailed once, asking about this, but got no reply. I'll try again, but I doubt it will help.

Re:"Lucky week" - WTF? (1)

djlowe (41723) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790575)

OK, you fixed it. Good for you!
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