Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Microsoft Wins US Import Ban On Motorola's Android Devices

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the sorry-about-your-luck dept.

Android 200

jbrodkin writes "The U.S. International Trade Commission today ordered an import ban on Motorola Mobility Android products, agreeing with Microsoft that the devices infringe a Microsoft patent on 'generating meeting requests' from a mobile device. The import ban stems from a December ruling that the Motorola Atrix, Droid, and Xoom (among 18 total devices) infringed the patent, which Microsoft says is related to Exchange ActiveSync technology. Today, the ITC said in a 'final determination of violation' (PDF) that 'the appropriate form of relief in this investigation is a limited exclusion order prohibiting the unlicensed entry for consumption of mobile devices, associated software and components thereof covered by ... United States Patent No. 6,370,566 and that are manufactured abroad by or on behalf of, or imported by or on behalf of, Motorola.' Motorola (which is being acquired by Google) was the last major Android device maker not to pay off Microsoft in a patent licensing deal. Microsoft has already responded to the decision, saying it hopes Motorola will now reconsider."

cancel ×

200 comments

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

Justice was fairly served (-1, Troll)

kdps (2642743) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046987)

Google has a long history of trying to weasel out of agreements and payments just because they're 'Google'. In turn, Microsoft spends billions an year towards their R&D (Microsoft Research [microsoft.com] ). They also work with the pioneer in the industry, Nokia, which has developed pretty much all the technology we base mobile phones today on. They deserve to be paid.

Not only do I see victory for justice, but a long term crackdown on Google's illicit business practices. It is time to step up and show Google the door. If you cannot do business honestly, don't do it at all.

Re:Justice was fairly served (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046999)

If you cannot do business honestly, don't do it at all.

Yeah, if Microsoft were held to that particular standard they would have been out of business a long time ago.

Re:Justice was fairly served (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047319)

If you cannot do business honestly, don't do it at all.

Yeah, if Microsoft were held to that particular standard they would have been out of business a long time ago.

Microsoft has hardly been an innovator. I wonder who they bought the patent from.

Re:Justice was fairly served (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40048381)

Wow, really? There might not be a large degree of innovation in their principal products, but have you even heard of Microsoft Research?

Re:Justice was fairly served (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40048607)

Don`t forget the first employe Microsoft paid in history was a lawyer... not a programmer...
So yeah, they steal innovation here and there, and pay with big bucks to block or buy others...

Re:Justice was fairly served (5, Informative)

DeadCatX2 (950953) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047031)

It is time to step up and show Google the door. If you cannot do business honestly, don't do it at all.

I'm not sure if you are trying to be sarcastic or not. I mean, remember, the other party to this suit is Microsoft.

And oh by the way Google doesn't own Motorola yet, and did not own Motorola when the devices in question were designed. But don't let a little thing like facts get in the way of your shilling or trolling or whatever it is that you're doing.

Shill vs Troll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047149)

this "shilling or trolling" has become so frequent and so blatant, that i'm starting to question whether its not just some loser somewhere with way too much spare time trying to be funny (ie. more troll than shill). Would a real shill be so obvious? Or is that just what they want us to think? mwhahaha!

Re:Shill vs Troll (-1, Offtopic)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047199)

Poe's law states that you can't really tell the difference between someone being serious and a troll.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Poe's_Law [rationalwiki.org]

Re:Shill vs Troll (-1, Offtopic)

phrostie (121428) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047267)

Cool, but is there a law to tell if they are astro-turfing?

Re:Shill vs Troll (-1, Offtopic)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048665)

Someone seriously trying to astroturf would do the same as someone attempting to troll successfully: neither actually wishes to be detected. Those who are obvious about engaging in either action aren't doing it correctly.

Re:Justice was fairly served (5, Funny)

andrew3 (2250992) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047047)

Yes, because we all know Microsoft invented the smartphone... wait, what?

Because we can all see how important Microsoft's smartphone inventions have been to the public, by the success of their phones. </sarcasm>

Shill Warning (0, Offtopic)

DeadCatX2 (950953) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047071)

Go look at kdps' profile.

This comment is the ONLY comment by kdps. Ever.

Geeze, the least you shills could do is make a few other comments to some other posts, so that it wasn't so fucking obvious.

Re:Justice was fairly served (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047077)

Motorola did probably as much work on mobile tech in the early days as Nokia/Ericsson.

When it comes to that really difficult work Microsoft brings nothing to the table.

(Barnes and Noble didn't pay either and got bought off to drop the case).

It is not justice really. MS didn't pay hardly anything at all for most of its early stuff. (To Dec etc).

They shouldn't be able to pull this type of crap. (I don't hate MS anymore due to the fact they have a few quite products now and Gates is trying to do something good.) - (I quite like WP7 / Xbox 360 / Windows 7) - (Prior to Windows 7 I used either Solaris / Freebsd or Linux exclusively from 1999 onwards but it less easy to work with the abominations that are the modern DE's - When e17 is finally released I will probably go back to a *NIX - I am hoping it is before Windows 8 - Due to the work of Samsung it is getting very close to release - (Might as well use the best thing I can when the end of the world happens (Duke Nukem Forever is released) so this is the final thing).

The patents that are held by the Original pioneers - Nokia / Ericsson / Motorola should in a civilised society be worth far more than any junk software patents.

Re:Justice was fairly served (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047693)

DNF2 you mean? While abortive, DNF DID get released.

Re:Justice was fairly served (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047097)

Love you shills. I hope you're paid, else you're a sucker.

Re:Justice was fairly served (0, Troll)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047215)

Google has a long history of trying to weasel out of agreements and payments just because they're 'Google'. In turn, Microsoft spends billions an year towards their R&D (Microsoft Research [microsoft.com] ). They also work with the pioneer in the industry, Nokia, which has developed pretty much all the technology we base mobile phones today on. They deserve to be paid. Not only do I see victory for justice, but a long term crackdown on Google's illicit business practices. It is time to step up and show Google the door. If you cannot do business honestly, don't do it at all.

Troll, do you have even the slightest idea what you are talking about?

No?

Well, okay then.

Re:Justice was fairly served (0, Troll)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047847)

Troll, do you have even the slightest idea what you are talking about?

No?

Well, okay then.

Best comment of the day.

Re:Justice was fairly served (-1, Redundant)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047353)

You are a damned liar.

Re:Justice was fairly served (5, Interesting)

man_the_king (1139561) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047523)

Story - Microsoft Wins US Import Ban On Motorola's Android Devices - Posted by Soulskill on Friday May 18, @05:38PM .
First comment praising Microsoft - a properly worded, properly paragraphed, properly punctuated, comment, with a link with description - all of this taking up a 100 words not including punctuation - Posted by kdps (2642743) on Friday May 18, @05:38PM .

Re:Justice was fairly served (4, Insightful)

TrueSpeed (576528) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047797)

Google has a long history of trying to weasel out of agreements and payments just because they're 'Google'. In turn, Microsoft spends billions an year towards their R&D (Microsoft Research [microsoft.com] ). They also work with the pioneer in the industry, Nokia, which has developed pretty much all the technology we base mobile phones today on. They deserve to be paid.

Not only do I see victory for justice, but a long term crackdown on Google's illicit business practices. It is time to step up and show Google the door. If you cannot do business honestly, don't do it at all.

Justifiably, you were marked for the troll that you are. Microsoft is a convicted monopolist (US vs Microsoft), a stealer of IP and code (Stacker, i4i), a saboteur of companies (Wordperfect/Novell) and a financial backer to SCO. They're also anti-open standards as evidenced by the people they tried to pay off to try and ratify their failed document format standard. As for their R&D - all I see from their labs are useless kinect experiments that have no practical or commercial value.

 

Re:Justice was fairly served (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40048059)

If ever there was a clearly defined example of how moderation flunked on /., kdps is it. It's very telling that he poses as a legitimate user -- and he is one! -- by registering.

It's because of such slimes that I'll never think about registering... what worth would come from being lumped together with such misfits? It doesn't matter if he's trolling. What really matters is that he lowers the value of the entire forum. Can you envision this happening on lwn? (btw, don't go saying it's a joke when everybody complains... that would be too convenient, wouldn't it?)

Now, to be ontopic, what's "US International"? Is it a US trade comission or an international one?

And... I thought Motorola was a US company... how can it be banned from importing? What if the same products are made in USA? Are they banned from making them, too?

(Of course, I'm against that kind of patents, if it's not clear from the above)

Re:Justice was fairly served (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40048227)

I guess Motorola added nothing to the cell phone industry, their just johnny come latelys? Wait that doesn't sound right, Oh yeah they started the whole fucking thing in 1973!

Re:Justice was fairly served (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40048237)

ACK they're not their. sorry sorry sorry

Microsoft scores own goal in Moto patent battle (5, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048505)

Let's look at what Microsoft won and lost here.

Eight of the nine patents in suit are rendered useless. As soon as the last one is worked around, nine of nine. Everybody will work now to avoid these litigious patents. Microsoft's licensing strategy is to not reveal the patents at all because they can be worked around.

They don't get the $15 per device license fees, in perpetuity, they wanted.

Moto has to pay $0.33 per device, and only on the few devices found to infringe, and might actually get that money back if they bother to try. But regardless they save $14.67 per device - and that's just starting now. They don't pay any back money for prior devices.

Moto and Google have probably already worked around this patent and the cure is in testing. Once it's applied the net cost to Moto goes back to zero until the next time.

By successfully suing Moto for using Microsoft's patented Exchange API, they've recommitted to a course of prevention of interopability in a core Office product some had claimed was behind them. Way to go! We get to bring this up every time someone tries to say things have changed, or you should use some Microsoft technology and it will be OK (Mono, C#, and so on).

They don't get to cross-license Moto patents, ever. Moto has a LOT of patents.

Moto gets to be bitter and sue them back over every single thing they can, like H.264 patents, wireless patents and so on. Microsoft has to drop the DVD codecs from Windows 8, for example.

Everybody else who's paying Microsoft for Android gets to see that it is more economical to fight than to pay. Moto gets a $15 per device cost advantage on their Android devices, the better to compete with.

In return Microsoft may have earned the princely sum of One MILLION dollars, less lawyer expenses. (Based on 3 million devices imported before the issue is sorted out.)

Way to go guys! That's how you win in the digital age. Keep doing stuff like this and you'll earn your just reward.

Generating meeting requests? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047019)

Are you f'ing kidding me? The inmates really are running the asylum.

Re:Generating meeting requests? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047063)

Please read the whole summary carefully:
from a mobile device

These 4 words let you rehash any old shit into a patent no matter how obvious.

Re:Generating meeting requests? (1, Insightful)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047171)

What if the androids can Generate Meeting Request From Their ASSES! The same place Microsoft is pulling these patent ideas from not to mention the idiots that make these feeble rulings.

Re:Generating meeting requests? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047223)

All devices are mobile unless they are constructed in place. Even then you probably could move them.

Re:Generating meeting requests? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048185)

All devices are mobile unless they are constructed in place. Even then you probably could move them.

Well, yes. Here's the classification:
- "highly mobile" devices
- portable devices
- transportable devices.

Can't wait the time one will only be able to generate meeting requests on-the-go using their Cray supercomputer in the back of their truck.

Re:Generating meeting requests? (2)

Indigo (2453) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047915)

This is brilliant, really. The old "(whatever)... on a computer!" junk patent space was getting a little played out, but now we can patent "(whatever)... on a mobile phone!" so life is good again! At least for patent trolls.

Re:Generating meeting requests? (2)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048699)

Just like Apple and "using a touchscreen." Microsoft's next course will be "using a gesture-tracking interface." As a bonus though, once Microsoft plays that one out it'll be hard for a future company to use the "using a holographic interface" line.

Re:Generating meeting requests? (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048867)

I have patented patenting things that are already patented (invalidly), on a smart phone. My lawyer will be calling Microsoft on Monday.

Glad they found something important to ban (5, Insightful)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047051)

Once again - Generating Meeting Requests? That's certainly a good reason to ban a product. That's all I use my phone for!

Re:Glad they found something important to ban (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047083)

Once again - Generating Meeting Requests? That's certainly a good reason to ban a product. That's all I use my phone for!

Yeah, me too. And you know, if it weren't for Microsoft, it wouldn't have even occurred to me to do that! They truly deserve credit for innovating such essential technologies that no one, not even Steve Jobs, could have seen coming.

Kudos.

Re:Glad they found something important to ban (1)

xyourfacekillerx (939258) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047133)

Once again - Generating Meeting Requests? That's certainly a good reason to ban a product. That's all I use my phone for!

Dude, that is just hilarious. I wouldn't call it a phone if it didn't have that functionality, anymore than I would call a body ogan an eye if its understood function weren't to "see" (to keep it brief).

The march towards an US of A free of smart phones (4, Interesting)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048149)

That's certainly a good reason to ban a product. That's all I use my phone for!

Use it while you still can. Next in line, Google and Apple dusting off some of their patents and banning each others phones, including the MS one.

Getting around the bans will be possible: except the smart phones won't be that smart anymore, each one will need to eliminate the "smartness" covered by the patents of the others.

Why the google hate? (5, Insightful)

firesyde424 (1127527) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047059)

Last time I looked(a few seconds ago), Motorola was being sued, not Google. Google was not even thinking about buying Motorola when those devices were made. So how is this Google hate even relevant?

Re:Why the google hate? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047091)

google had already purchased Motorola before the lawsuit.. the DOJ, FTC, hadn't given it their blessing at the time though

Re:Why the google hate? (1)

DeadCatX2 (950953) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047177)

This is called a Straw Man Fallacy.

Note OP said "when those devices were made". Note how your reply says "before the lawsuit".

Do you see how you altered firesyde's argument so that you could refute it?

Re:Why the google hate? (4, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047333)

google had already purchased Motorola before the lawsuit..

Google hasn't purchased Motorola yet, much less before the lawsuit.

the DOJ, FTC, hadn't given it their blessing at the time though

Approval from various government agencies is required before the purchase occurs (which is why it hasn't yet, as the Chinese authorities which have to approve it haven't.) So your statement that the purchase had occurred but hadn't yet been approved by the required government agencies is self-contradictory.

Re:Why the google hate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047113)

Oh, poor Google...I almost shed a tear.

Re:Why the google hate? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047285)

Why the Google hate? Because Google is a company that profits 100% from invading your privacy to sell you better to advertisers.

Re:Why the google hate? (2)

firesyde424 (1127527) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047361)

Wouldn't it be cool if there was a place I could go to look things up on the internet? You could type things into a text box and it would look through the internet and give me a ranked list of answers. If only there was someone who did that.... Perhaps they might even make money from selling advertisements based on the search terms. Yeah...if that existed, it would be so cool....

Re:Why the google hate? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40048143)

There is, it's duckduckgo.com. They do sell ads, but you are free to disable them. Search rankings do not suffer from any manipulation, marketing driven or otherwise.

Re:Why the google hate? (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047905)

So how is this Google hate even relevant?

I think I've gone back and re-read everything here about four times. What Google hate? Mentioning Google's trying to buy Motorola's Google hate?

They should also sue Google (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047067)

After all, I can use my iPhone's web browser to visit Google Calendar and send meeting requests from there.

And the solution is... (5, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047081)

...don't use Exchange. Then you don't have to have a feature on your mobile device that will generate appointments for it. Problem solved.

If you're currently using Exchange, perhaps now is the time to think about using a cloud service for email.

Re:And the solution is... (3, Insightful)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047547)

Or... put the exchange client on the Play Store, and make it like a simple install, when you try to add an exchange email account... then they aren't selling the device in a way that violates said patent. MS would then be entitled to a share of what that app generated $0 (because it was free).. or MS can come up with "Outlook for Android" which may be an idea... I'd be willing to use/buy it if it were similar to webOS' mail app, which is similar to Outlook's layout.

As for the patent suit, it's a ridiculous patent, and f*ck them... it's obvious.

Re:And the solution is... (1)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048207)

I don't know why anyone makes a fuss about this stuff. The majority of the large tech companies all feed the patent trolls, themselves, frequently enough that they get what they deserve.

If a company stood it's ground and began an advertising campaign centered around exposing dumb patents and stopping their own dumb patent litigation, I could respect the situation then.

Motorola should just do what has been done a dozen times now. Dig out some worthless patents of their own that they think they can stick in Microsoft's face and setup a cross-licensing agreement. If the patents were really worth anything, these companies wouldn't be trading and sharing them like baseball cards.

Re:And the solution is... (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048223)

The patent is not limited to Exchange - it covers any implementation of meeting requests on a mobile device. Exchange is only given as an example of the broader class of "personal information managers (PIMs)" that the patent applies to:

PIMs typically comprise applications which enable the user of the mobile device to better manage scheduling and communications, and other such tasks. Some commonly available PIMs include scheduling and calendar programs, task lists, address books, and electronic mail (e-mail) programs. Some commonly commercially available PIMs are sold under the brand names Microsoft Schedule+ and Microsoft Outlook and are commercially available from Microsoft Corporation of Redmond, Wash. For purposes of this discussion, PIMs shall also include separate electronic mail applications, such as that available under the brand name Microsoft Exchange.

Re:And the solution is... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048423)

The patent is not limited to Exchange - it covers any implementation of meeting requests on a mobile device. Exchange is only given as an example of the broader class of "personal information managers (PIMs)" that the patent applies to:

PIMs typically comprise applications which enable the user of the mobile device to better manage scheduling and communications, and other such tasks. Some commonly available PIMs include scheduling and calendar programs, task lists, address books, and electronic mail (e-mail) programs. Some commonly commercially available PIMs are sold under the brand names Microsoft Schedule+ and Microsoft Outlook and are commercially available from Microsoft Corporation of Redmond, Wash. For purposes of this discussion, PIMs shall also include separate electronic mail applications, such as that available under the brand name Microsoft Exchange.

Given that, wouldn't Blackberry (1999) or the Palm Pilot (1996) be prior art?

Re:And the solution is... (1)

Denogh (2024280) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048443)

The patent is not limited to Exchange - it covers any implementation of meeting requests on a mobile device. Exchange is only given as an example of the broader class of "personal information managers (PIMs)" that the patent applies to:

PIMs typically comprise applications which enable the user of the mobile device to better manage scheduling and communications, and other such tasks. Some commonly available PIMs include scheduling and calendar programs, task lists, address books, and electronic mail (e-mail) programs. Some commonly commercially available PIMs are sold under the brand names Microsoft Schedule+ and Microsoft Outlook and are commercially available from Microsoft Corporation of Redmond, Wash. For purposes of this discussion, PIMs shall also include separate electronic mail applications, such as that available under the brand name Microsoft Exchange.

Given that, wouldn't Blackberry (1999) or the Palm Pilot (1996) be prior art?

Filed: April 10, 1998

Blackberry, no.

I'm not familiar enough with the early generations of Palm's devices to say whether they had a network calendaring app pre-'98.

Re:And the solution is... (1)

reve_etrange (2377702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048817)

Can you or anyone explain to me how it happened that, with patents on machines, it is the method and process that is claimed, but with software it is the functionality itself?

My understanding is that two people can both build, say, a flashlight if the operating principle is different (e.g. shaken capacitor drives a LED vs. solar-charged battery powers an incandescent). But software patents seem to cover the very concept of meeting requests or search suggestions, etc.

Am I missing something?

Re:And the solution is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40048451)

If you're currently using Exchange, perhaps now is the time to think about using a cloud service for email.

As much as many of the small office sysadmins want to think, there really is no competition in the large enterprise market for email. No cloud IMAP doesn't cut it. Sadly... People demand tight auth, calendar, mail integration, Exchange handles this really well. (Unfortunately)

The patent (5, Informative)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047093)

Here's the patent in question:

http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=L-ELAAAAEBAJ&dq=6,370,566 [google.com]

The present invention includes a mobile device which provides the user with the ability to schedule a meeting request from the mobile device itself. The mobile device creates an object representative of the meeting request and assigns the object a global identification number which uniquely identifies the object to other devices which encounter the object. In addition, the mobile device in accordance with one aspect of the present invention provides a property in the object which is indicative of whether the meeting request has already been transmitted. In this way, other devices which encounter the meeting request are capable of identifying it as a unique meeting request, and of determining whether the meeting request has already been transmitted, in order to alleviate the problem of duplicate meeting request transmissions.

Is that really patentable? Assigning a unique ID to a meeting request to alleviate duplicate requests? How can that not be obvious to someone "skilled in the art"?

Is there any other solution that's more obvious? "Hey Joe, I keep getting duplicate meeting requests from your Palm Pilot. Oh noooooos! Hey, I know, I'll send each meeting request in a different color, then if you get two purple ones you'll know it's a dupe".

Re:The patent (5, Interesting)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047117)

Here's the patent in question:

http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=L-ELAAAAEBAJ&dq=6,370,566 [google.com]

The present invention includes a mobile device which provides the user with the ability to schedule a meeting request from the mobile device itself. The mobile device creates an object representative of the meeting request and assigns the object a global identification number which uniquely identifies the object to other devices which encounter the object. In addition, the mobile device in accordance with one aspect of the present invention provides a property in the object which is indicative of whether the meeting request has already been transmitted. In this way, other devices which encounter the meeting request are capable of identifying it as a unique meeting request, and of determining whether the meeting request has already been transmitted, in order to alleviate the problem of duplicate meeting request transmissions.

Is that really patentable? Assigning a unique ID to a meeting request to alleviate duplicate requests? How can that not be obvious to someone "skilled in the art"?

Is there any other solution that's more obvious? "Hey Joe, I keep getting duplicate meeting requests from your Palm Pilot. Oh noooooos! Hey, I know, I'll send each meeting request in a different color, then if you get two purple ones you'll know it's a dupe".

Better yet, it is so vague that probably every laptop and table is also in violation of it, well every laptop and tablet not running Windows (ie Apple). My old palm pilot is also probably in violation, too.

Re:The patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047587)

Apple probably pays for a license to "Microsoft Activesync" to sync with exchange accounts. Google probably implemented activesync by themselves, and motorola is the only one that didnt pay the microsoft protection racket.

Turns out; if you can patent "Synchronising information and avoiding duplicates with GUIDS - and then emailing them only once to others!" then you basically cant do synchronisation of calendar appointments.

Re:The patent (1)

Deorus (811828) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048353)

As I understand it, it was Microsoft that pushed for ActiveSync support on the iPhone, in order to keep themselves relevant against RIM's threat at the time. Don't take my word for it, though.

ethernet and predecessors (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047913)

Sounds like ethernet or any previous network device, just addressing people instead of devices.

Re:The patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40048063)

If you've ever used iCal you will know Apple does not run afoul of "Assigning a unique ID to a meeting request to alleviate duplicate requests".

Re:The patent (1)

arose (644256) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047201)

And just how would the implementation differ if it was not done from a mobile device but say from a desktop computer?

The claims (5, Insightful)

DeadCatX2 (950953) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047227)

FTFA: claims 1, 2, 5, or 6 of the United States Patent No. 6,370,566

FTFP:

1. A mobile device, comprising:

        an object store;
        an application program configured to maintain objects on the object store;
        a user input mechanism configured to receive user input information;
        a synchronization component configured to synchronize individual objects stored on the object store with remote objects stored on a remote object store;
        a communications component configured to communicate with a remote device containing the remote object store; and
        wherein the application program is further configured to generate a meeting object and an electronic mail scheduling request object based on the user input information.

2. The mobile device of claim 1 wherein the application program is configured to generate the meeting object with a global identifier property uniquely identifying the meeting object among a plurality of other objects.

5. The mobile device of claim 1 wherein the application program further comprises:

        a contacts application program configured to maintain objects on the object store indicative of contact information wherein the contact information includes address information indicative of a fully qualified electronic mail addresses for individuals identified by the contact information; and
        wherein the application program is configured to obtain the fully qualified electronic mail address of potential attendees identified by the contact information by interaction with the contacts application program.

6. The mobile device of claim 1 wherein the application program is configured to generate the meeting object and the electronic mail scheduling request object such that properties of the objects are compatible with at least a second application program associated with the remote object store and different from the application program.

Claim 1: A mobile device.

Claim 2: Using a GUID.

Claim 5: And an address book.

Claim 6: Which talks to a remote server.

...

We're fucking doomed.

Re:The claims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047603)

Why are we doomed? A device would have to infringe on all of those, not any of them to be injuctified.

Re:The claims (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047613)

We're fucking doomed.

Oh, but, no the system can't be irreparibly broken. That would be uncomfortable and put a damper on my chronological ethnocentrism.

Re:The patent (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047231)

Didn't PalmOS do this in the PalmPilot and Treo long before Microsoft thought mobile devices were interesting?

Re:The patent (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047519)

I don't quite understand any of it. Doesn't ActiveSync create a layer by which any software (regardless of the kind of device it may be running on) can insert objects into Exchange? Wouldn't it be Exchange itself which would be taking care of any duplication issues?

Or to put this in really simple terms, is ActiveSync not just an API that allows http(s) access to Exchange functionality? If that's the case, then the patent itself doesn't even actually describe what Motorola (and every other Android phone and iDevice does). Who the fuck cares what the patent says, all these fucking phones are doing is sending some nice little http encapsulated object off to an IIS server plugged into Exchange.

Re:The patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40048043)

"Or to put this in really simple terms, is ActiveSync not just an API that allows http(s) access to Exchange functionality?"

Not quite.

ActiveSync allows you to use RAPI to access your device, but there is no way for you to access Outlook-related stuff on it (all stuff stored in the PIM.VOL database-volume is unaccessible using RAPI. The file itself cannot even be copied, as its permanently locked)

Although it will allow you to sync items between a device running WM6 and a PC (a process you have no control over), it will only do so if Outlook (not the express version provided to every-man-and-his-dog) is installed on the host-PC too.

How about a telex machine (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048297)

This sounds like a telex machine, they were used by ships to schedule shipping (meetings of ship and cargo). Every message would have a unique id, mobile (by ship), used to schedule meetings, meeting requests created as objects (paper), determine if sent (you get a response when sent), used an address book (a routing indicator book).

That seems corrupt (4, Insightful)

Mirkman (1720140) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047115)

I would have thought a ruling by a judge would be needed to render something banned from import. So the power to regulate allows government agencies the ability to make profound and legally binding decisions without need for court systems or due process? I was not aware the ITC were experts on IP.

Re:That seems corrupt (4, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047249)

I would have thought a ruling by a judge would be needed to render something banned from import. So the power to regulate allows government agencies the ability to make profound and legally binding decisions without need for court systems or due process? I was not aware the ITC were experts on IP.

They're not, and you're right ... they just ban stuff because a lawyer makes a convincing argument to a bureaucrat who hasn't the slightest idea of what the subject matter is, or how it relates to the product class in question. This will still go to court, and ultimately I suspect the ban will be lifted. The ITC is where everyone goes to get fast action without any court time.

Re:That seems corrupt (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047571)

In this case, it's physical goods that appear to be in violation of a patent, and their import into the country. Legally, it's sound.. even if the suit is pending, and the patent is ridiculous, until the suit is done, you shouldn't be able to sell said items (which are likely in conflict).

I don't agree with this instance of a patent, but someone who is violating a worthy patent shouldn't be allowed to keep violating it while the suit takes place.

Re:That seems corrupt (2)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047975)

... but someone who is violating a worthy patent shouldn't be allowed to keep violating it while the suit takes place.

Why? What happened to the presumption of innocence? If it's determined that it infringes, assign damages.

Re:That seems corrupt (1)

chaboud (231590) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048735)

It's a civil matter, rather than a criminal one. You can only presume inanity.

Re:That seems corrupt (4, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047315)

I would have thought a ruling by a judge would be needed to render something banned from import.

Its not.

So the power to regulate allows government agencies the ability to make profound and legally binding decisions without need for court systems or due process?

"Government agencies" have very little in terms of inherent power. What they do have is the power conferred on them by Congress acting under its Article I powers, which often include the ability to make decisions of first instance in certain controversies. Due process is required in such proceedings by the 5th Amendment.

These decisions are, generally, subject to review, sometimes by special courts set up for review of agency decisions (Article I courts), and -- either initially or subsequently -- by the regular (Article III) courts.

I was not aware the ITC were experts on IP.

Since their role is narrower than that of, say, the regular federal trial courts, and IP is specifically central to it, there's far more reason to expect that the ITC members are IP experts than that the federal judges and juries that would hear cases in Article III courts would be.

Re:That seems corrupt (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048171)

A government that has the power to ban your competitor's products also has the power to ban your products. Perhaps, at some point, someone will get a patent injunction against some essential features of Windows or Office and then refuse to license the patent...

"If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today. The solution to this is patent exchanges with large companies and patenting as much as we can." - Bill Gates

Generating meeting requests (1, Informative)

kramerd (1227006) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047147)

Like an email list and a a send all message with a click to respond and a pop up reminder x minutes beforehand? Like I had when I used prodigy in 1998?

Normally I'm a fan of Microsoft, but this sounds unreasonable.

'generating meeting requests' (2)

AlienIntelligence (1184493) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047159)

Wow, remove it and continue to ship.

-AI

this week is awesome for patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047207)

... that shouldnt have been granted.

This and the whole HTC One X/Evo LTE situation just infuriate me. the evo lte a bit more, as i was hoping to go buy one today, but...

It really seems like a great example of why there needs to be some kind of application of the machine or transformation test to software patents. These two situations basically boil down to patents being granted on features, not on the actual implementation of said features. and that is really stupid. in addition to not really making me want to buy either an iphone or windows phone.

Practice makes perfect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047237)

The legal team at Microsoft has gained a lot of experience from the never ending stream of patent lawsuits they have been involved in. That probably gave them an edge in winning this one.

Re:Practice makes perfect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40048469)

If Motorola can nail Metro for infringing, Microsoft is fucked.

Re:Practice makes perfect (1)

chaboud (231590) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048743)

This is an ITC ruling. It's far from over.

Missing the point entirely. This is related to.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047245)

This patent is related to a larger Active Sync protocol which Motorola has not paid a license for. Apple has a license for Active Sync. It is up to each Android vendor to license Active Sync before including it in their product.

disgusting (4, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047255)

a Microsoft patent on 'generating meeting requests' from a mobile device

Roll that around in your brain for a second.

I really wonder why anyone would have one bit of respect for any intellectual property laws when they are being perverted in this way.

And they wonder why there is hostility toward our current economic system. Maybe it's because the people at the top of that system have completely broken the social contract.

Between this story and the notion that Facebook, a corporation that produces nothing, employs almost nobody, and whose users are not their customers is now worth >$100billion, and the fact that the young founder of Facebook is has greater net worth than the bottom 1/5th (!) of the entire US population, I think a picture of an economic system in its death throes starts to take shape. I can't see how it can last much longer, nor can I think of a reason why it should.

Re:disgusting (0)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047355)

Between this story and the notion that Facebook, a corporation that produces nothing, employs almost nobody, and whose users are not their customers is now worth >$100billion, and the fact that the young founder of Facebook is has greater net worth than the bottom 1/5th (!) of the entire US population, I think a picture of an economic system in its death throes starts to take shape. I can't see how it can last much longer, nor can I think of a reason why it should.

If today's incredibly disappointing trading is anything to go by, then we are about to see Facebook worth far less than the $100 billion amount that it is today, come next week when the underwriters are not forcing the price to stay at, or above $38 per share.

Did you sign the contract? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047803)

Maybe it's because the people at the top of that system have completely broken the social contract.

Sorry, but 'social contract' is a fairy tale that's told so you can pretend like you're not supposed to be getting screwed, but instead they're they're just breaking the rules. Bad boys, they need to be brought back in line.

The reality is that you getting screwed is the rule of this socio-economic system. Big governments and their corporate creations locked into a tight positive feedback loop. Hold on tight - these systems all halt eventually (visualize a pair of binary stars spiraling towards each other).

Can anyone reading this story (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047265)

not think that patents are utterly useless and absurd?

The "invention" in question is laughable beyond belief.

The defendent and plaintiff are mutlinational corporations. Not a little guy that needs protecting.

How do the lawyers whose lifework is this nonsense make sense of their lives? At the end of the day, in your old age, what is the value of your life's work? Did you make anything? Did you help anyone? Or did you shuffle words around a disgusting nonsensical argument foisted on some other lawyers for the sake of absurd privations? What a completely and utterly useless and despicable existence.

Why do we as a society tolerate this useless sideshow? Oh, because of all the money involved, right.

Re:Can anyone reading this story (1)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048141)

I believe you. However, here you are preaching to the choir. You may want to champion your beliefs at, say, IP Watchdog [ipwatchdog.com] .

I learned there that you should apply for software patents before any code has been written, and that thinking of the idea is the hard part. Coders just do what they're told -- that stuff is simple. It takes a really smart ass^H^H^H guy to come up with ideas like this patent.

Re:Can anyone reading this story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40048173)

I think for most people over the age of 25 their lives are defined by their families. Family is the one mark most folk leave on this earth. Lawyers can provide for their families, quite well in this case.

Enjoy being 25.

Re:Can anyone reading this story (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048437)

does that justify highway robbery? kidnapping? extortion? murder?

if something is wrong to do, it is wrong to do. that it might put food on the table is the only justification needed? ever hear of morality? civilization? fuck you you parasite

Patent portent (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047347)

These things should not be patentable per se (which isn't to say that particularly clever implementations couldn't be patented):

1. Doing something on a wireless, portable, or handheld computer that is already done on a desktop (and not covered by a patent there.)

Joins my old favorite:

2. Anything that exists in the real world, a simulation is not per se patentable. Again, unless the real world thing is patented, and subject to the "clever implementation" issue.

Can't wait for 2032 (1)

seyfarth (323827) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047669)

Just think in 2032 all these silly patents will have expired and software will be free from this legal nightmare. Unless -- the government extends the life span of patents to 40 years or there might be a whole slew of new patents for quantum computers or computers with monkey brain memory. You know in your heart that this is all non-productive and unfair. You also know that our corporatocracy will never give up any perceived monopoly powers.

Litigate, not innovate. (1)

lexsird (1208192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047827)

This is a sign of weakness and corruption when they can't just compete, but cheat with crooked bureaucrats and filthy politicians. First it was Apple being whiny punks, now M$ follows suit. (pardon the pun) Personally for their pathetic actions, I am boycotting both companies the best that I can. I will go back to smoke signals and an abacus before giving these bastards one worn out penny.

the world roots for NK and I? (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047873)

It's crap like this, that the world is going to start rooting for the Iranians and N Koreans just to put a thumb, or stake, in the US gubermint's eye. As a kid, I was glad some of my great grandparents left Germany decades before WWI and then the Nazis. Guess it's time to pay them forward.

Re:the world roots for NK and I? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40048219)

You sir, are just plain nuts. Please do in fact leave.

WooHoo Cheap Xooms for the 7 billion outside USA (1)

grege1 (1065244) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048029)

WooHoo Cheap Xooms for the 7 billion of us who live outside of the USA. A nice 32gb Xoom for about $200 - sounds good to me.

Patent office should be held responsible (5, Insightful)

Grieviant (1598761) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048035)

Generating meeting requests? Seriously, how the fuck is that an innovation that someone skilled in the art would not be able to come up with? It's time the patent office was held responsible for enabling patent trolling by lowering the bar to the ground. How about a system where any patent that ends up being overturned requires the patent office to pay the associated legal fees? You'd need a 3rd party to conduct the reexaminations to avoid conflict of interest, but it might do something to stem the tide of handing out junk patents like penny candy.

Patent patenting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40048147)

or perhaps patent being a bunch of fucking assholes, then sue Misro$oft for infringement, along with everyone else who has ever filed a frivolous bullshit lawsuit over some indescribably obvious patent...

I don't think anyone has ever used a phone as a shoehorn... or as a utensil to shovel food into his or her mouth... why not fucking patent that too?

Has anyone thought of a technique for using a phone (or several of them) in a sock as an improvised flail to beat over the heads of people responsible for making it impossible to do anything anymore without the threat of being sued over infringing some bullshit imaginary property?

No? Quick, patent that too!

I sometimes wonder how this doesn't cause people to resort to violence... I mean, I don't really give a shit because I'm not involved, but if I owned a company that came up with something new, and there was some obvious thing (like technology to invite people to meetings...seriously?) that someone used to hamper my business to keep from having to compete on a fair and level playing field with me and mine... I can imagine becoming livid with rage...

I wonder how much money from every purchase anyone makes goes to the legal protection money costs, of having potentially to defend yourself from litigation. This country needs an enema!

So they replace a few lines of code (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048703)

or disable the function or start paying Microsoft.

They'll be not importing for a couple of days while they implement their workaround, which has already been worked out in anticipation of the ruling.

ridiculous (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048761)

Fuck man - this is as ridiculous a patent as the round corners one from Apple.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

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

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