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Motorola Wants 2.25% of Microsoft's Surface Revenue

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the just-scratching-the-surface dept.

Google 278

An anonymous reader writes "On the opening day of a patent trial between Microsoft and Google-owned Motorola Mobility, Motorola filed a brief (PDF) arguing that the WiFi tech central to the case is also critical to Microsoft's new Surface tablet. Motorola says royalties totaling 2.25% of all Surface revenues is a good starting point. They wrote, 'Microsoft's new Surface tablet will use only 802.11, instead of cellular or wired connections, to connect to the internet. Without 802.11 capability, the Surface tablet would be unable to compete in the market, because consumers can readily select tablet devices other than the Surface that have 802.11 capability.' Microsoft, of course, says this figure is outrageous, given 'Motorola's promise to standards bodies to offer access to the "standard essential" patents on fair and reasonable terms.'"

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Google Proxy War (-1, Troll)

DevTechb (2772901) | about 2 years ago | (#41979283)

Why does Google get so low that they need to have proxy patent wars with Microsoft? Why can't they leave MS alone or at least sue them themselves?

Re:Google Proxy War (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979333)

And Microsoft NEVER EVER did that... Right? Microsoft needs to go away because of all the horrible things they have done.

Re:Google Proxy War (3, Interesting)

Bumbles (2573453) | about 2 years ago | (#41979645)

Then, by extension, Apple, Google, and a few hundred more companies should also go away because of their histories or their recent and current activities. Once you are for profit you become a dirt bag. Once you grow to a certain large size, you become even worse. That is just how it is.

Chair throwing ability (0)

lord_rob the only on (859100) | about 2 years ago | (#41979815)

There's something only Microsoft can patent on their Surface. It's the chair throwing application. Works like a charm. This patent can be used to attack both their competitors, if they (Microsoft) lose on the legal side.

Re:Google Proxy War (1, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 2 years ago | (#41980045)

Once you grow to a certain large size, you become even worse. That is just how it is.

There's been a concerted effort to make it appear that way, but it's not true. Companies like Microsoft, Apple, Oracle etc have been far more predatory than most.

Not every company is a bad corporate citizen, and we should recognise that with our purchasing choices. You do us all a disfavour by pretending they are.

Re:Google Proxy War (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#41979353)

It was Apple and Microsoft that started this war. Google is only winning the war that was brought to them. As they always have. It was Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer who said "I'm going to fucking kill Google. I've done it before and I can do it again." Back then Google was 1/30th their current size. Today it's more of a fair fight, as the two companies are about equal in market cap, but back then it was more of an existential real threat.

Even today Google only sues back other companies that picked a fight.

Re:Google Proxy War (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979453)

And how much did want patent troll called Motorola Mobility (anyone buys that Chinese crap?) for their FRAND patents?

Re:Google Proxy War (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979599)

Keep going, that phrase almost made sense. It has "words" at least.

Re:Google Proxy War (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979817)

So we're back to the MS Shills getting first post again, are we?

Doesn't matter anyway, 'cos 2.25% of fuck-all is still fuck-all. And that's what Google's going to get from Microsoft because nobody'll buy their massively overpriced piece of shit tablet.

Re:Google Proxy War (1, Insightful)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41979475)

It was Apple and Microsoft that started this war.

That's a stupid justification. If you're going to claim something is wrong if the side you dislike does it, then it is equally wrong if the side you like does it. Otherwise you're nothing but a hypocritical fanboi.

Re:Google Proxy War (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979533)

So, is your solution to give up and die or what?

Re:Google Proxy War (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979701)

It was Apple and Microsoft that started this war.

That's a stupid justification. If you're going to claim something is wrong if the side you dislike does it, then it is equally wrong if the side you like does it. Otherwise you're nothing but a hypocritical fanboi.

If putting bad guys in their place is wrong, I don't want to be right!

Re:Google Proxy War (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979793)

That's a stupid justification.

Bull-shill-shit!

Re:Google Proxy War (5, Insightful)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#41979825)

That's a stupid justification. If you're going to claim something is wrong if the side you dislike does it, then it is equally wrong if the side you like does it. Otherwise you're nothing but a hypocritical fanboi.

If someone walks up to you and punches you, that's assault. If you hit him back while he's attacking you, that's self-defense.

Apple and Microsoft have been using their patent portfolios aggressively. Google has been using its in self-defense and defense of its allies (Samsung). That's a substantial difference.

Re:Google Proxy War (2)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about 2 years ago | (#41979871)

That's a stupid justification. If you're going to claim something is wrong if the side you dislike does it, then it is equally wrong if the side you like does it. Otherwise you're nothing but a hypocritical fanboi.

Or perhaps, like many here, you believe in the right of self-defense [wikipedia.org] . If you come out to attack me, you cannot complain when I hit you back. If you come at me with a sword, and I have a gun, you also can't complain when I use the gun.

Microsoft and Apple sent a very clear message that they intend to destroy everyone else in the IT industry. Everybody else has the right and, in fact the imperative to fight back. Bullies who are left alone just get stronger.

Re:Google Proxy War (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979953)

It was Apple and Microsoft that started this war.

That's a stupid justification. If you're going to claim something is wrong if the side you dislike does it, then it is equally wrong if the side you like does it. Otherwise you're nothing but a hypocritical fanboi.

No, in context is a perfectly valid justification. The patent system is broken and can be played (Google didn't had much interest for patents until Apple started suing everyone over Android).
Being a system that's imposed to them by law, they have to play the game or be eaten alive (or, more likely, their partners in Android start jumping ship, because that was one of the things people accused Google of doing - or not doing - that was to defend Samsung, HTC and everyone on the Android boat against said attacks). Getting some leverage and forcing at least those attacks to stall is only normal.

So, as long as the system continues to be in the state it is, it's not hypocritical to follow the rules of engagement but still advocate for change in that system. Hypocritical is to sue against innovation (but in the name of protecting innovation, go figure) while copying stuff from the competition (and I have no problem against a company of taking some ideas from the competition... if it's better and it's obvious, please do! Ideas shouldn't be patentable - abstract or not).

Re:Google Proxy War (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 2 years ago | (#41979989)

Killing is wrong, but if people are trying to kill you then killing them to protect yourself is not considered wrong. It is the same thing. MS and Apple are trying to kill google. Google does not like patents or patent wars, but will use them to defend themselves.

Re:Google Proxy War (-1, Troll)

Toreo asesino (951231) | about 2 years ago | (#41979487)

Yes, Google can do no wrong. Any instances of where they seem to be the bad guys is because you haven't understood it right.

Re:Google Proxy War (4, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#41979569)

is because you haven't understood it right.

I dunno, that sounds more like something Apple would say...

Re:Google Proxy War (5, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#41979491)

They also deserve anything they get with the ongoing extortion of Android/Linux 'patents' that they insist on NDAs to even discus. How that's considered remotely legal is beyond me, and I'm very disappointed with anyone paying them for that kind of extortion.

Re:Google Proxy War (4, Interesting)

tgd (2822) | about 2 years ago | (#41979511)

It was Apple and Microsoft that started this war. Google is only winning the war that was brought to them. As they always have. It was Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer who said "I'm going to fucking kill Google. I've done it before and I can do it again." Back then Google was 1/30th their current size. Today it's more of a fair fight, as the two companies are about equal in market cap, but back then it was more of an existential real threat.

Even today Google only sues back other companies that picked a fight.

I think that's only partially correct -- I'd bet the real motivation (relatively to the devices in question) is the fact that most of the large Android manufacturers have cross-licensed patents with Microsoft, but a few haven't, and I'd bet Google is getting a lot of pressure from them. Telecommunication patents are a VERY deep thicket, and its a very expensive market to be in if you don't have a competitive portfolio so you can even-steven cross-license with everyone else. Apple and Google both do not have portfolios that deep, and have to fight with their smaller portfolios, rather than cross licensing. There's enough history (and existing licensing) between Apple and Microsoft that they just worked it out. Apple is then very selective about their direct attacks against Google-related properties (Samsung, etc) Google, on the other hand, bought Motorola for its IP portfolio and appears to think going after Microsoft will be better than going after Apple in the middle of the Samsung mess. (Likely rightfully so, best not to get sucked into that quagmire by association...)

IMO, its a risky move by Google. Microsoft's patent portfolio is VERY deep in a lot of areas critical to Google, and this could backfire badly on them.

Of course, anyone who has negotiated anything always starts way higher than you actually will settle. I bet they won't, though -- deep down this is a proxy battle over the things that really matter to Google. They critically need people using Android, Chromebooks and the ilk to keep eyeballs looking at their ads. They haven't knocked Apple down a notch in tablets, so I think they're trying to pre-emptively do so before the tide of web-to-app usage shifts far enough that their revenues completely dry up. And Microsoft is hitting them online with Bing and in devices now.

Re:Google Proxy War (4, Informative)

Formorian (1111751) | about 2 years ago | (#41979777)

Are you really saying that Google with Moto doesn't have a deep portfolio folder in communications?

I think you have the 2 confused. MS has barely any in the communication area from what I understand. MS is getting Android with other patents (I think 1 is the Fat 32). MS has none in the communication field. Moto has many, Moto cross licenses with many others who do, so taht 2.25% is much less for those other companies.

Since MS has none in this area and I bet Google thinks the patents MS has are software/prior art and not standard essential, Google feels OK. Now MS did get a judge in their backyard who is rulling in their favor (look at same Lawsuit between Moto/Apple in Wisconsin what happened there, and this judge saying he can overide Germany rulings).

You also say about negotiating starting High, MS didn't even negotiate, they got the letter and immediatedly went to ITC/Judge. How is that negotiating in good faith. At least the Judge in Wisconsin saw Apple's ploy for what it was. Wish this judge wasn't so MS biased.

Can you please point out to me MS patents that are critical to Google?

Hidden agenda? (1)

brunes69 (86786) | about 2 years ago | (#41979369)

Maybe now that they have their own warchest, Google's gambit is to flood the system with as many of these kinds of patent lawsuits as possible, hoping to spark some change in Congress?

Re:Hidden agenda? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979531)

Apple could be doing the same with their 'frivolous' cases, but you'd never se it that way would you. In your eye's google can do no wrong

Re:Google Proxy War (0)

somersault (912633) | about 2 years ago | (#41979379)

I'll answer your retarded questions with another question. What low things do MS constantly do that they need to pay people to create hundreds of Slashdot accounts to post whiny little comments to try and improve their public image?

Re:Google Proxy War (2)

tgd (2822) | about 2 years ago | (#41979581)

I'll answer your retarded questions with another question. What low things do MS constantly do that they need to pay people to create hundreds of Slashdot accounts to post whiny little comments to try and improve their public image?

Why do you think it was a bad question? Its clear based on everything Google has been doing that it is, in fact, utilizing Motorola IP as a proxy for corporate Google attacking Microsoft. That's not related to a whiny little comment or improving any public image. Its a valid discussion point. You can be assured that Google (just like any company taking an action like this) has a great number of lawyers who have been formulating the strategy.

The lawsuit, as it is, doesn't make a damn bit of sense. They'll go at 2.25%, and it'll probably settle out at 1/4 of that, if they win at all. They'll spend a lot more money on lawyers than they'll ever get out of it. By any measure the multiple on costs of a lawsuit like this isn't high enough to warrant the risk of loss (or worse yet, a judgment that impacts other licensing agreements!)

I think the GP is quite correct -- why is Google using a wireless patent as a proxy? What is their motivation?

It seems to me its probably a few things:
- Sabre rattling, although this is probably dangerous given Microsoft's patent portfolio. (The patents around computing technologies are more significant to Google than anything related to mobile)
- A small enough actual cost to Microsoft that they'll pay it, and Google can use that as leverage in subsequent lawsuits.
- They could be close, but not close enough, in existing patent cross-licensing discussions that they're trying to force Microsoft's hand and sweeten an offer.
- An overzealous business unit manager decided to unilaterally take the action without considering the potential impact to the rest of Google.
- Motorola wants to exercise their IP portfolio prior to closing the deal with Google. I can't figure out if the deal has actually closed yet -- best I can tell, it hadn't as of a month or two ago. If it hadn't, maybe they want to take the action while its still "safe" to do so with regard to the rest of Google's business?

In either case, your dismissal of a valid question seems to be a lot more puzzling than the question itself being asked.

Re:Google Proxy War (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979641)

a) Motorola is already Google's, so calling it "proxy" is a bit strange, but leaving this aside
b) MS went around shaking down Android vendors over patent issues like FAT long names
c) Said shakedown did raise quite a few questions like "What's Google doing to protect their partners?"

Under which rock did you sleep?

Re:Google Proxy War (2)

somersault (912633) | about 2 years ago | (#41979807)

Okay, I'll respond to the questions then (though someone else has already done a better job than I will, it seems).

Why does Google get so low that they need to have proxy patent wars with Microsoft?

How is it "low" to go via the division that owns the patents? The majority of the tech world knows now that Motorola Mobility = Google. It's a whole lot more straightforward than the Microsoft/SCO shenanigans that were going on.

Why can't they leave MS alone or at least sue them themselves?

"Leave them alone"? Seriously? Google are bullying Microsoft are they? By asking them to license technology for which they have the patents? It's not like they're trolling either - they make products that utilise these patents, and many other businesses license the patents too. And again, what is the difference if Google sues directly, other than the hassle that it would take to transfer the patents over to Google. For one thing if they did that, it might make the staff at Motorola Mobility rather skittish and apt to move on because it seems like they are being sucked dry of their assets in preparation for shutting them down, or something along those lines.

Re:Google Proxy War (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 2 years ago | (#41980079)

Do you understand what a proxy is? How does a patent act as a proxy for a company. How does a company act as a proxy for itself.

Re:Google Proxy War (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | about 2 years ago | (#41979483)

they own the company, mostly for the purposes of having these patents. Not really a proxy war anymore.

Re:Google Proxy War (5, Insightful)

Formorian (1111751) | about 2 years ago | (#41979503)

Um MS started this. Read up at Groklaw. Basically Moto sent a proposal around 2010 I think, I forget exactly. They wanted 2.25% (as a starting point for negotiations, esp since MS doesn't have any FRAND patents, normally companies license at a much lower rate but that lower rate is due to cross licensing of standard patents or other patents essential to the device from both sides).

MS didn't enter negotiations, they went to ITC and complained, and then alleged that Moto is not metting it's FRAND obligations. Then Moto sued in Germany. Germany ruled in their favor initially and imposed a ban. MS went to a seattle judge, who basically says he can overrule the Germany court, lifted the Ban, and says He'll set a fair and resonable price. I believe he ruled this way because his case started before the Germany case. I still think he's on Crack that he can overrule a foreign country judge, but w/e.

Now I wish this judge wasn't as biased and would be like the judge in Wisconsin. Apple did the same thing against Moto against these Frand patents. The judge in Wisconsin saw that Apple was just using the lawsuit for leverage or if didn't agree with the price the judge set, use that price as a negotiating price after the lawsuit. She dismissed with prejudice. MS is doing the same thing. Yet Seattle judge, back yard to MS, blah blah blah.

But Moto didn't start this war. They wanted to negotiate first, MS didn't want to pay/negotiated.

Re:Google Proxy War (4, Informative)

gmuslera (3436) | about 2 years ago | (#41979517)

You mean that Microsoft company that taxes each android device with their FAT patent?

Re:Google Proxy War (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979573)

That's priceless... and clueless!

Who started the whole war, really?! Wasn't Google that's for sure.
And about proxy wars, you must be really really young for you not to remember the whole MS/SCO arrangement trying to destroy linux. Guess what, MS is the one with a long history of doing it.

Re:Google Proxy War (2)

JWW (79176) | about 2 years ago | (#41979577)

Microsoft supposedly gets x% cut of all android phones.

Turnabout is fair play.

The patent wars are a horrendus, hideous thing. My only hope is that they bring all the big tech companies so much pain that they eventually clamor to have the ridiculousness that is software patents eliminated.

Re:Google Proxy War (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | about 2 years ago | (#41979665)

Several, Samsung being one of them, would already like patents gone. They've spoken about this, but they can't really clamor because they NEED some form of patent system and the current one is so broken no one has a good way to fix it.

Re:Google Proxy War (5, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | about 2 years ago | (#41979609)

Why can't they leave MS alone or at least sue them themselves?

Actually, since Google have acquired Motorola Mobility fully; it is Google vs Microsoft.

MS is the one not leaving Android alone. They are threatening Android OEMs into patent licenses for their ridiculously stupid patent portfolio. Many top OEMs like HTC recently, Barnes and Noble etc. have succumbed and are paying more money to Microsoft than to Google for using Android.

So Google decided to acquire Motorola Mobility and take Microsoft head-on to prevent further damage to the Android ecosystem.

Re:Google Proxy War (-1, Offtopic)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | about 2 years ago | (#41979675)

Because IE10 is better than chrome. Seriously. Try it.

Re:Google Proxy War (1)

sturle (1165695) | about 2 years ago | (#41979695)

Why does Google get so low that they need to have proxy patent wars with Microsoft? Why can't they leave MS alone or at least sue them themselves?

Google can't sue Microsoft for breaching a patent held by Motorola. Neither can Google's owners (their shareholders). Motorola has to do that. Do you really think Google should spend valuable time and effort to transfer all patents and patent licences from Motorola to Google first, just to have their name on the plaintiff?

Re:Google Proxy War (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 years ago | (#41979751)

How is this a proxy war at all? Microsoft, apple, oracle and SEO competitors have been suing companies working with google in conjunction - that's a proxy war. This, however, is a process that should *NEVER* be in court in the first place. The only reason it is, is because Microsoft sued Motorola , not the other way around.

The question is: why is Microsoft trying to avoid paying for FRAND patents and trying to use the court as a sledgehammer to do so in the exact same way as apple, when there is a process already defined?

the answer already exists by the way: they want to stop android/google from competing.

Re:Google Proxy War (4, Informative)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#41979757)

Why does Google get so low that they need to have proxy patent wars with Microsoft? Why can't they leave MS alone or at least sue them themselves?

Hmm maybe because Microsoft is doing the SAME THING except suing manufacturers of android handsets rather than Google its-self. Then after the lawsuits were done they are charging a license fee to companies selling android. I'm guessing this suit is really intended to either offset that cost or get MS to agree to a cross license agreement.
Here you go, since you seem to have a selective memory: https://www.informationweek.com/windows/microsoft-news/microsoft-gets-android-phone-makers-to-p/231901481 [informationweek.com]

2.25% of nothing (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979291)

unless someone shows good sales numbers for the surface

Re:2.25% of nothing (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#41979321)

Microsoft is purposefully only selling the Surface in their own sales channels - own stores and online - explicitly so others can't report data about how it's doing. They want to tell us it's "sold out". They knew they had to do this in advance, or you would buy the thing at Target and Target would tell you that it's not selling.

Re:2.25% of nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979519)

Gosh. That must be why Apple does it too!

Re:2.25% of nothing (1)

organgtool (966989) | about 2 years ago | (#41980117)

I was wondering why I couldn't find it at any retail stores and your explanation makes sense. However, it is this very process that is killing the chances of the Surface having any success - most people want to play with the device before they commit their hard-earned money on it. It's a shame: for once Microsoft puts a lot of thought into the design and usability of a device and then uses a distribution method that guarantees it won't gain any traction.

The Surface: two and half years late, limited app availability, high-end pricing, and virtually impossible to try before you buy. That's a formula for success!

But if GOOGLE does it (-1, Troll)

kiriath (2670145) | about 2 years ago | (#41979293)

It's alright.

If anyone is on Google's side in this, you're a bloody hypocrite.

"This is different, blah blah" yeah shut up.

Re:But if GOOGLE does it (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 2 years ago | (#41979327)

I agree, I'm usually on Google's side, but this time I'm very disappointed that they're sinking to MS and Apples level of stifling "innovative" products, if you could call the surface that.

Although I'm sure they're doing it as a "when in Rome" situation because they've been burned so many times by Apple and MS suing them over patients.

Re:But if GOOGLE does it (0)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#41979433)

"I bought the iPad when it first came out but found the user interface unintuitive and am appalled by the greedy accessory sellers and Jobs' "walled garden". I sold my first and second generation iPads on eBay and a Kindle Fire and netbook too so I might have the money to buy a Surface with the innovative TouchPad cover."

Is that what you meant to say? It rings as true.

Re:But if GOOGLE does it (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 2 years ago | (#41979607)

Something along those lines.

I've never owned an iPad, a Kindle or a netbook and I have no interest in the Surface. Sometimes I wouldn't mind owning an android tablet, but really have no use for it other than to use it as an e-reader, which my android phone does nicely anyway.

I think you've summed up the consumerism and how loosely the term innovative is thrown around these days. "But judge our product has rounder corners, it's innovative", "I know let's attach a keyboard as the cover instead of a kickstand.... Funny it looks like a netbook with a detachable keybard... that's supper crazy extra monkey balls innovative!!!! "

Re:But if GOOGLE does it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979683)

Give me a break, who started suing who? Microsoft AFAIK already sued Google, Motorola, Barnes&Noble and others over Android. Several others settled without going to court (HTC, Samsung, etc).

You see them as sinking to MS and Apple level, I see getting some leverage against trolls.
You sure didn't see Google filling suits or having much patents before Apple and MS started suing left and right over android, only then did they acquired Motorola Mobility (and they took their sweet time).

  Apple and MS should lose bad with all this. Maybe then they'll start behaving.

Re:But if GOOGLE does it (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#41979339)

Microsoft sued Android first, Google is just defending.

Re:But if GOOGLE does it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979417)

Not true. Microsoft sued Motorola Mobility (well known patent troll) because of FRAND patents.

Re:But if GOOGLE does it (3, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | about 2 years ago | (#41979457)

Not true. Microsoft sued Motorola Mobility (well known patent troll) because of FRAND patents.

You are the one making untrue statements. Motorola Mobility has competing products in the market, hence it is not a troll by any stretch. They are offering their WiFi patents in a FRAND compliant manner at 2.25% to ALL licensees.

Re:But if GOOGLE does it (1)

tgd (2822) | about 2 years ago | (#41979595)

Microsoft sued Android first, Google is just defending.

Android isn't a company. That isn't how patents work. Microsoft cross licensed patents with other handset manufacturers, just like every one of them did with all the others. Google can't defend anything, because they weren't the licensee or the target of any legal actions with regard to that IP.

Re:But if GOOGLE does it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979361)

But Android is open and Google is my friend! Sure they may thrive on violating everyones privacy but they give us summer of code!

Apple are evil jerks. They sue everyone. Their walled garden is ruining the world!

Re:But if GOOGLE does it (0)

jkrise (535370) | about 2 years ago | (#41979385)

Before you get your panties in a twist; consider this: Apple and Microsoft are extorting about $20 to $30 for rounded corners and filename conventions.

But both companies have the same intention: To crush Android; because it is FOSS and neither can compete fairly with FOSS.

Motorola brings much more valuable technology to the table, and common sense would indicate it is more valuable than rounded corners.

In this specific case, I feel the ends justify the means.

Re:But if GOOGLE does it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979525)

In this specific case, I feel the ends justify the means.

Well enjoy the fallout that comes from this. If Motorola wins by trolling with FRAND patents you can be sure other parties will turn around and do the same back at them and Android.

Re:But if GOOGLE does it (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#41979463)

No.. this is bullshit no matter who does it, and I like google tech.

If this isn't a patent on wi-fi itself then putting wi-fi on a computer-based device is obvious even to a lay person, and it's a bullshit patent. I hope they get their ass handed to them.

Re:But if GOOGLE does it (1)

somersault (912633) | about 2 years ago | (#41979721)

If you check the PDF linked in the summary, you'll see that it's something like 11 patents covering the implementation of Wi-Fi. Though since they make it sound like in many cases there are no other sensible ways to implement the standard, it seems kind of crappy to me that they're allowed to patent those implementations..

Re:But if GOOGLE does it (1)

HCase (533294) | about 2 years ago | (#41980153)

Because they were developed as part of a standard, the patents have to be licensed under terms that are fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory(FRAND) terms. Microsoft is claiming that the amount of money they are requiring is not meet the FRAND requirement. And at 2.5% of Surface revenues, Microsoft is probably right.

Re:But if GOOGLE does it (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41979539)

If anyone is on Google's side in this, you're a bloody hypocrite.

If Google is spending money to keep the patent system going, that makes me mad. But if Google is using the patents it holds to attack people who are attacking it with patents they hold, that's called fighting back, and they would have to be fucking stupid not to do it. In addition, they're only attacking people I hate. There are lots of other people "infringing" on the painfully obvious patents they hold, but does anyone here really believe Google is going to go full patent-troll and attack them too if they succeed with their present lawsuits? I sure don't. But I do believe that Apple or Microsoft will.

This is different, and it's different until they behave otherwise. Motorola hasn't exactly been a saint in the past, so I'm willing to reserve judgment until this whole flap is over to see what they do next, but there is nothing inconsistent about Google's actions, nor is there anything inconsistent about rooting for them while they counterattack, and your bald assertions that there is does not make it so.

Re:But if GOOGLE does it (0)

kiriath (2670145) | about 2 years ago | (#41979643)

Hey man, My assertions are as hairy as they come.

Bald assertions... pssh.

Re:But if GOOGLE does it (0)

kiriath (2670145) | about 2 years ago | (#41979741)

And yes, I stand by my statement. You can't whine about patent wars in one thread and praise a patent war in another, hypocrisy reigns supreme. (Not you personally, just you in general)

All parties are guilty in all situations, when everyone realizes that and stops picking on any particular company as the 'bad guy' I'll be a happy camper.

Re:But if GOOGLE does it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979689)

so you are saying it is fair that MS gets paid a royalty for every android phone sold, but suddenly google is evil when MS is using their patents but not paying?

you do realize MS gets x% of every android sold?

Re:But if GOOGLE does it (1)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about 2 years ago | (#41979981)

I dunno... I have difficulty finding fault. Or at least, I'm not at all surprised that they're becoming aggressive.

If you were walking down the street, and every day the same couple of guys came up to you and mugged you, how many times would you allow that to happen before you're finally fed up and decide to fight back?

Google is not going around trying to shake down 3rd parties to line their pockets. They're not going around saying, "We're going to CRUSH them! Raaaaah!" Ballmer, however, is famously quoted for saying just that. So is Steve Jobs.

What I see is Google standing up to bullies, and I wish them luck.

Fair != Cheap for one party (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979305)

Microsoft, of course, says this figure is outrageous, given 'Motorola's promise to standards bodies to offer access to the "standard essential" patents on fair and reasonable terms.'"

They have - they offered access to the patents for 2.25% - all they have to prove to the court is that this is their standard opening offer to show that it is non-discriminatory and fair.

If Microsoft want to play, they should offer back some of their FRAND patents to get the rate lowered. That's how the system is meant to work. Oh, but wait, Microsoft is fairly new to this type of hardware so probably hasn't got a lot to offer in this category.

Re:Fair != Cheap for one party (1)

jabuzz (182671) | about 2 years ago | (#41979367)

I am quite sure that Microsoft don't even need to offer FRAND patents to get the rate lowered. Other patents such as say those on say FAT would probably work as well :-)

Re:Fair != Cheap for one party (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979663)

That would work but they probably are not in the mood to do that, since other phone makers will want their deals adjusted.

Re:Fair != Cheap for one party (3, Informative)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 2 years ago | (#41979649)

We can be pretty sure that Google isn't charging everyone else 2.25%. Google only holds a couple of significant 802.11 patents while organizations like CSIRO hold a larger number of more important patents. If 2.25% was the base rate for just Google's share, you'd be losing 10%+ of your revenue just to 802.11 patent holders.

This is just Google taking the screws to Microsoft to make a point. They've already tried this once before with H.264 (another tech that they hold only a few patents), going after Microsoft for 2.25% of Windows and Xbox revenue.

Re:Fair != Cheap for one party (4, Informative)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#41979863)

We can be pretty sure that Google isn't charging everyone else 2.25%. Google only holds a couple of significant 802.11 patents while organizations like CSIRO hold a larger number of more important patents. If 2.25% was the base rate for just Google's share, you'd be losing 10%+ of your revenue just to 802.11 patent holders.

Almost everyone else cross-licenses to get a lower rate (or no royalties at all, if their portfolio is big enough). MS and Apple don't have any FRAND patents of their own to cross-license, so they are obligated to pay full freight (2.25% per device).

It's 2.25% for Apple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979963)

Indeed, it really IS 2.25% for everyone.

Payment in kind is also acceptable.

But it is 2.25% to everyone.

So it is Non Discriminatory.

mmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979335)

They should just give Motorola the $60 and have done with it.

Patent for the obvious. (3, Interesting)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#41979371)

It sounds like Motorola has patented using Wi-Fi on tablets.

Are we really handing patents out for this?

What if the tablet has a video connector, or a USB port. Who patented that?

Can I be the guy who patented having a power connection on electronic devices? I'll sit back and let everyone else do the work for a change.

Re:Patent for the obvious. (2, Informative)

jkrise (535370) | about 2 years ago | (#41979427)

It sounds like Motorola has patented using Wi-Fi on tablets.

Are we really handing patents out for this?

Yes, indeed. Motorola has got patents on WiFi technology on pretty much any device. But consider: Apple has patents on the external shape and icons of the iPad. That is infinitely much worse; and even worse is that Apple feels that 'innovation' is worth $20 per device copying the rounded rectangular shape.

Re:Patent for the obvious. (3, Insightful)

teg (97890) | about 2 years ago | (#41979707)

It sounds like Motorola has patented using Wi-Fi on tablets.

Are we really handing patents out for this?

Yes, indeed. Motorola has got patents on WiFi technology on pretty much any device. But consider: Apple has patents on the external shape and icons of the iPad. That is infinitely much worse; and even worse is that Apple feels that 'innovation' is worth $20 per device copying the rounded rectangular shape.

Actually, I think extortion on standard essential FRAND patents are far worse than trying to prevent someone from almost xeroxing the device. There are many ways to create devices (cell phones and tablets looked really different before the iPhone), but a standard is just that... a standard. And to get your patent included in a standard, you make promises that should be upheld.

Re:Patent for the obvious. (3, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | about 2 years ago | (#41979747)

There are many ways to create devices

Do you have a circular television or a triangular radio? What is so innovative about a rectangular shape that is slightly rounded at the edges? My Casio calculator 30 years ago had the same shape.

Re:Patent for the obvious. (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 2 years ago | (#41980119)

Say what? First how are the promises not being upheld. The promises are defined in the contract, not by MS. There is not a specific rate that must be offered, and negotiations are allowed as part of that promise.

Also something does not have to be part of a standards body to be a standard. At this point certain shapes that have been known to work best are defacto standards, and not using them means inferior products.

Re:Patent for the obvious. (1)

somersault (912633) | about 2 years ago | (#41979461)

Yes, they really hand out patents for useful inventions. Just because everyone uses the invention, doesn't mean that there can't be a patent on it.

Re:Patent for the obvious. (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#41979699)

I'll also add that we hand out patents for useful inventions to the people who worked out the invention's problems (or at least we try to). No, putting a power connector in an electronic device isn't patent-worthy. Designing a physically-tiny connector that's capable of transferring significant (charging) power, resistant to accidental damage, also usable for data transfer, and durable through millions of use cycles to boot, is something that is definitely worth a patent, but it'll cost you hundreds of hours of planning and testing time to get it.

Re:Patent for the obvious. (2)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about 2 years ago | (#41980135)

In general, I agree with you. However I find it to be 'distasteful' that so many patents are not intended to recoup cost and earn money on the invention, but are instead used to block out competition on tangential products.

Inventing a new Wodidgit and patenting it, then demanding royalties from anyone using the new Wodidgit is one thing. However, patenting the interface to the Wodidgit and then preventing anyone from producing compatible support products is one aspect of the patent system I hate.

When I worked for a major defense contractor, one of the biggest draws for acquiring a new contract wasn't that the contractor would be able to produce 30,000 vehicles and earn money on the sale of them. What had them giddy was the fact that they were planning on patenting everything down to the shape of the door hinge so that no one else could EVER support that vehicle except for the original prime contractor. In 20 years, that vehicle would be replaced, and the supply/repair/service market would be dead from the perspective of the original design. In the meantime the original Prime contractor would have a stranglehold on any new 'competitions' because they OWNED the design of the vehicle. Who could submit a bid if they then would have to purchase from the original Prime the designs/models/licenses.

Again, I have no issue with people earning a royalty for their patents, but I think that there should be an exception for support/access/interfaces to that patented object.

In the corporate world with things like the new Apple connector its annoying because it fragments the market and I don't get to choose from ALL of the speaker docks, etc. Instead I get to choose my phone, and then I get to choose from a subset of docks which never seem to have the features/look I want. It divides up the engineering/design world for no good reason.

In the government contractor world, it's really annoying that the government doesn't demand rights to designs/interfaces/etc and provide them back in competitions as GFI. (It never reaches the competition stage many times, because the sole source justification will often state 'xyz company owns the design of abc therefore there is no competitor'.

Bugs the hell out of me.

Re:Patent for the obvious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979687)

Check out what's related to a hdmi connector :)
http://www.google.com/patents/USD574779?dq=hdmi&hl=en&sa=X&ei=XqSjUNS7EaeU0QXvioDIAg&ved=0CEIQ6AEwAw

Nice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979373)

Even more ammunition for the ITC and EU case against Motorola/Google for FRAND abuse.

If (IF!) found guilty by TWO governmental entities on TWO continents : would those GooFans please stop defending/cheerleeding their "Do-Not-Evil"-BS-company? thx. Google is no less evil than every other public tech company. I'm so tired by the notion, in particular on /., that Google is the saviour of all geeks and people in general.

PS : Remember : no other company mentioned. Don't play the blame game.

Re:Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979799)

FRAND abuse? I wonder if you think the "F" in FRAND means "Free" because if you do you're quite wrong. It means Fair.

With that said, being an EU citizen, I really can't picture Google being arsed much over this. It's way less of a stretch for Google to get in trouble over the ad revenue and media debacle then with this (and that's not EU related, but related to some states - namely France - in the EU).

Oh, and the ITC.... yeah, short term memory? Even the courts in the US dismiss (with prejudice) those claims.

2.25% is fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979381)

It is near enough the standard default request in case there are no patent exchange.

Re:2.25% is fair (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about 2 years ago | (#41979407)

Fair indeed. 2.25% of (small) is (even smaller) </bad joke>

$15 per Android device (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979387)

Well, Microsoft were claimed to be receiving $15 per Android device. Ar $600 for a device, 2.5% would be $15.

So what's the problem? Microsoft made claims that Android infringes just 6 dodgy patents. 802.11 is a core patent.

http://www.groklaw.net/pdf2/MSvB&Nanswer.pdf

Patents such as : "Loading Status in a Hypermedia Browser Having a Limited Available Display Area."
Or "“Selection Handles in Editing Electronic Documents.”,

I don't see the problem with this, they dish it out but they don't take it? Their sales of Surface devices will be far less than Android devices, so they'll pay a lot less.

imagine if tcp/ip was patented? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979445)

how is some essential shit like wifi so burdened with patents? god damn.

Re:imagine if tcp/ip was patented? (0)

jkrise (535370) | about 2 years ago | (#41979485)

how is some essential shit like wifi so burdened with patents?

Worse shit like rounded rectangles, and locations and shapes of icons have been awarded patents. Besides, Motorola did not sue first; they are merely defending the unfair pitched battle against Android.

Re:imagine if tcp/ip was patented? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#41979739)

Because it was invented by people rather than having existed for millions of years in nature. And it's less than 20 years old so there are likely valid patents on some of the basics.

Karma is a bitch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979837)

Well sucks and all, but I bet a lot of the protocols for Wifi and its implementation are patented. A lot of these standards should have been pooled at deep discount rates but weren't. A lot of them are derivative and should have been disallowed and weren't.

But I don't see the problem as Motorola (aka Google) are simply seeking the same fee Microsoft supposedly gets for a bunch of garbage patents from Android devices. I recall Microsoft attacking TomTom over Fat32 filenames just as it was raising more cash from the stock market, and TomTom being forced to settle to avoid litigation while it was raising the capital. So I find it difficult to have any sympathy for Microsoft. No that's too mild, I think Microsoft and everyone who works for them are scum who fully deserve all the ill will they receive.

Karma dude, and Microsoft has a lot of negative karma to balance out.

Oh and I mistyped 2.5% in to my calc, the fee would be $13.5 at 2.25% a little less for the $599 Surface, than Microsoft is supposedly getting for Android devices.

How Surface doing? 'Modest'?

Re:imagine if tcp/ip was patented? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 2 years ago | (#41980063)

Essential shit like cellphones [slashdot.org] is even more burdened with patents.

Good for Motorola. (2)

kurt555gs (309278) | about 2 years ago | (#41979505)

Microsoft has devolved into a corporate raider (Nokia) and patent troll. (HTC, et al). A little of their own medicine is good for them.

BFD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41979537)

I want microsoft to buy me a pony.

That's not going to happen either.

No need to get the lawyers involved.... (5, Funny)

sdo1 (213835) | about 2 years ago | (#41979603)

Motorola Wants 2.25% of Microsoft's Surface Revenue

So give them a couple hundred bucks and be done with it...

-S

Re:No need to get the lawyers involved.... (5, Interesting)

samjam (256347) | about 2 years ago | (#41979783)

You just struck gold.

MS don't want google to know how many surface tablets they are(n't) shipping, and that may be the reason to avoid the per-device payment.

hah hah

FRAND Patent Abuse (-1, Troll)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about 2 years ago | (#41979673)

Anyone who supports this FRAND patent abuse because its Microsoft and, you know - fuck Microsoft, they deserve it, is being horribly shortsighted and a hypocrite. This is gross abuse of FRAND agreements and sets a dangerous president and, just because its Google vs Microsoft doesn't make it ok.

Abuse of FRAND patents is abuse of FRAND patents regardless of who does it and to whom it is done.

Re:FRAND Patent Abuse (2)

thaylin (555395) | about 2 years ago | (#41980147)

Nice try redefining abuse. Abuse is not something you dont like happening. Abuse of an FRAND patent is defined in the contract that the holder has with the body. That contract Motorola is following. If they were failing to uphold that contract and actually abusing then the standards body would be chiming in as well.

fair and reasonable (1)

l3v1 (787564) | about 2 years ago | (#41979725)

Of course it all hangs on the definiton of "fair and reasonable", which is not exactly something easy to do objectively. If I were to require such licences, I'd say zero would sound very reasonable :) If I would to provide such licences, I'd go for as a high price I could get out of you. They will fight this out and come to terms, one way or the other, and both will say the resulting sum is neither fair nor reasonable :) Well, life is unfair, live with it.

Re:fair and reasonable (1)

js3 (319268) | about 2 years ago | (#41980015)

fair and reasonable is actually quite simple. If you're charging everyone .5%and then charging a particular vendor 2.25% it's not fair and reasonable.

The one loser is ... You (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41980025)

I've been called a Google fanboy many times, but I don't support Google here.
Yes, Microsoft are charging a $5 tax per Android device (unethical).
Yes, Apple think they deserve $1bn+ for "bounce back" (unethical. laughable if it wasn't so disgusting)
So Google join the games too., and people support Google playing similar games because?..

There is one loser in all of this, and it isn't Microsoft, Google, or the lawyers (cui bono - dear lawyers, cui bono). No, it's YOU, because you pay an extra price for that product because someone discovered something and has Carte Blanche to generate an obscene amount of money for an equally obscene amount of time, which bears no relation to the cost of the R&D to "discover" such a discovery.

I would respect Google more if their actions were principally in the interest of society. Do no evil? My ass.
Oh, obligatory middle finger salute to Microsoft and Apple for being the leaders of the tech pack in frivolous IP claims. Also feel free to tell me how "bounce back" is worth $1bn+ and how this corruption and perversion benefits society.

Payback is a bitch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41980057)

Payback's a bitch isn't it?

M$ extorts money from android vendors, because of bullshit patents.

Now the big daddy comes back the M$ wanting a cut of their tables.

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