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ZTE Joins Long List of Android Device-Makers Licensing Microsoft Patents

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the invested-in-android's-success dept.

Cellphones 112

An anonymous reader writes "In its continuing march toward locking up deals with every major Android and Chrome device maker, Microsoft announced on Tuesday a patent-licensing agreement with Chinese manufacturer ZTE. This follows a similar deal last week with the parent company of Foxconn. Microsoft's Deputy General Counsel Horacio Gutierrez said, 'Much of the current litigation in the so called 'smartphone patent wars' could be avoided if companies were willing to recognize the value of others’ creations in a way that is fair. At Microsoft, experience has taught us that respect for intellectual property rights is a two-way street, and we have always been prepared to respect the rights of others just as we seek respect for our rights. This is why we have paid others more than $4 billion over the last decade to secure intellectual property rights for the products we provide our customers.'"

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If you can't innovate litigate! (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43540435)

Rent seeking is the new innovation at Microsoft.

Someone needs to stand up to these folks. Let's see these patents tossed out.

Re:If you can't innovate litigate! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43540795)

Better hope those patents actually do get tossed out.

Otherwise, the rent might go up.

ZTE probably gave in ... (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#43542371)

... after M$ found lots of pirated Windows software in ZTE offices

China is one of the world's top country in term of pirated software, and I won't be surprised at all if many computers in ZTE offices are running pirated M$ softwares such as M$ office suites and M$ operating systems

Re:If you can't innovate litigate! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43541067)

Wait a minute, if your software weren't a cheap copy of someone else's idea you wouldn't have to worry about patents. But let's be honest, it is easier to whine about the "gross unfairness of patents" then it is to create a unique and original work.

Re:If you can't innovate litigate! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43541205)

Since when are ideas patentable?

Re:If you can't innovate litigate! (2)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#43541603)

Wait a minute, if your software weren't a cheap copy of someone else's idea you wouldn't have to worry about patents. But let's be honest, it is easier to whine about the "gross unfairness of patents" then it is to create a unique and original work.

Really? Exactly what is innovative about the patents being licensed by Microsoft?
Oh, that's right, its secret. Every one of these deals is under an NDA, both as to the amount of money and the specific patents involved.
And apparently the secrecy is more important to microsoft than is the money. They are scared to death that someone will reveal exactly what is covered and which patents are involved for fear that they would quickly be found invalid.

Yet they dare not claim Google violates their patents because they know they will get their ass handed to them in court. So they pick on the weak, trying to build a wall of patent licenses to fall back on.

Re:If you can't innovate litigate! (0, Troll)

dhavleak (912889) | about a year and a half ago | (#43542723)

Yet they dare not claim Google violates their patents because they know they will get their ass handed to them in court. So they pick on the weak, trying to build a wall of patent licenses to fall back on.

Google doesn't own the infringing code. Google doesn't manufacture the devices. Google doesn't offer indemnity to any Android OEMs. So on that technicality, MS couldn't sue them. Therefore Google was free to rip off Apple and Microsoft's IP and incorporate it into Android, and face none of the consequences. They even had their CEO sit on Apple board to learn from them! Perhaps now you can understand how Google co-opted the language of Open Source to get all of the advantages, but bear none of the responsibility. And BTW, in the case of Motorola you can now say that Google does manufacture the device -- but there's already litigation in progress between Motorola and Microsoft, so Microsoft doesn't appear to be shying from a fight here.

I'm not sure why you are so confident MS will get their asses handed to them in court by Google. What is it about Samsung, HTC, Foxconn, etc. that makes you think they are "the weak" and were defenseless against MS's claims?

Re:If you can't innovate litigate! (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year and a half ago | (#43542925)

Oh please. Windows Phone is a lame duck. There is no comparison against Android. Android wins all the way.

Re:If you can't innovate litigate! (1)

dhavleak (912889) | about a year and a half ago | (#43543095)

huh?

Re:If you can't innovate litigate! (1)

TrueSpeed (576528) | about a year and a half ago | (#43543333)

Perhaps you've heard of Motorola? Yeah, Google does make phones now.

Re:If you can't innovate litigate! (1)

dhavleak (912889) | about a year and a half ago | (#43543413)

Reading is fundamental. Read my comment again.

Re:If you can't innovate litigate! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43543659)

if your software weren't a cheap copy

Ballmer, is that you?

Re: If you can't innovate litigate! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43543739)

Steve? I thought you were dead.

Re:If you can't innovate litigate! (4, Insightful)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#43541239)

Rent seeking is the new innovation at Microsoft.

You're being too kind. It's protection money.

Re:If you can't innovate litigate! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43541619)

companies like Barnes & Nobel have stood up to them but then Microsoft turns around and pays them millions in the name of some product agreement or something and the case gets dropped.

It is surprising how so often when a company has stood up to Microsoft they end up walking away with millions in their pockets yet so many others just cough up the money and hand it to Microsoft.

Re:If you can't innovate litigate! (1)

Eirenarch (1099517) | about a year and a half ago | (#43543911)

I like it how the /. crowd assumes that behemoth companies like Samsung and Foxconn would just pay protection racket to MS instead of fighting in court if they thought Microsoft were full of shit. But don't you worry Google (via Motorola) are standing up. IANAL but if I interpret the news pieces I am reading correctly it is not going very well for them even though they paid 12 billion for Motorola patents.

http://www.linuxadvocates.com/p/support.html (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43540459)

Dear Linux Advocate,

Money doesn't grow on trees. And, Linux Advocates is growing. Naturally, we anticipate operating costs and hope to be able to meet them.

But, any amount you feel you are able to donate in support of our ongoing work will be most surely appreciated and put to very good use. Your contributions keep Linux Advocates growing.

Show your support by making a donation today.

Thank you.

Dieter T. Schmitz
Linux Advocates, Owner

http://www.linuxadvocates.com/p/support.html [linuxadvocates.com]

Re:http://www.linuxadvocates.com/p/support.html (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43540561)

So spamming slashdot is your method of solving this?

Your cunning plan is not very cunning. People will avoid donating because of this behavior.

Re:http://www.linuxadvocates.com/p/support.html (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43540981)

Perhaps this is a false flag operation? For this reason?

Re:http://www.linuxadvocates.com/p/support.html (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43541047)

Damn those Czechs! How dare they bomb Boston!!

Re:http://www.linuxadvocates.com/p/support.html (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43542633)

I heard the Czech govt. has ties to Al-Queda and are being funded by selling pirated copies of Miguelsoft to young adults in Texas who would otherwise be unable to afford to pay their $1,000 tuition. It's all being funnelled through a Cypriot money-laundering site: panhandlers.com -- Help Out a good cause $1 at a time!

Re:http://www.linuxadvocates.com/p/support.html (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43541179)

I want to contribute money directly towards the abolition of IP. Where do I contribute?

Re:http://www.linuxadvocates.com/p/support.html (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43542675)

Try here: http://www.jewwatch.com/ [jewwatch.com]

What Microsoft told them... (5, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year and a half ago | (#43540479)

"Look, you can licence our patents, or we can sue you. It really doesn't matter if you're using our patents or not, well tie you up in court for YEARS. Your choice..."

Re:What Microsoft told them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43540609)

You are aware the consequence of this behavior is anybody holding copyright on any part of Linux kernel can now sue them for GPL violation, right?

Re:What Microsoft told them... (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about a year and a half ago | (#43540631)

How so?

Re:What Microsoft told them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43540645)

Sometimes participating in an on-line forum requires using your brain.

Re:What Microsoft told them... (2)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about a year and a half ago | (#43540687)

So the answer is you're just making shit up.

Re:What Microsoft told them... (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | about a year and a half ago | (#43541125)

So the answer is you're just making shit up.

Welcome to the Internet, it's what we do here.

Re:What Microsoft told them... (3, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43541367)

GPLv2 section 7:

If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues), conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not excuse you from the conditions of this License. If you cannot distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you may not distribute the Program at all. For example, if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.

Everyone who signs Microsoft's agreement and continues to use the Linux kernel is in violation of its license. As such, anyone who holds copyright on the code in the kernel could file suit.

Re:What Microsoft told them... (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year and a half ago | (#43541965)

False. Microsoft's patents are about "doing shit on mobiles" and is not an attack on the Linux kernel but rather an attack on Android. The patents in question do not apply to the Linux kernel and the rest of Android is not published under the GPLv2.

I think the licensees will be just fine.

Re:What Microsoft told them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43542555)

You sir are truly and wholly full of shit. Microsoft began this attack BEFORE android was even on the radar. Theyexplicitly said that Amazon is paying them for a License to run Linux servers. Buffalo, Konica Minolta, A-Data, Casio Amdocs [google.com] and others are among the device manufacturers that do not make Android devices. This is about Linux nothing more nothing less.

Re:What Microsoft told them... (1)

gottabeme (590848) | about a year and a half ago | (#43542289)

But does MS's agreement actually prohibit distribution? And do they actually admit to infringement by signing the agreement?

Re:What Microsoft told them... (1)

jrumney (197329) | about a year and a half ago | (#43542545)

Which would be playing into Microsoft's hands. Making it seem impossible to use Linux in a commercial product is exactly the outcome that Microsoft is looking for.

Re:What Microsoft told them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43543569)

You are a Troll.

Gotta be kidding me (3, Insightful)

Severus Snape (2376318) | about a year and a half ago | (#43540499)

"Much of the current litigation in the so called 'smartphone patent wars' could be avoided if companies were willing to recognize the value of others’ creations in a way that is fair." Most of the Android licensing deals have been based around FAT32, which has been around since Win95. What sort of credible value of that technology remains in 2013? Absolutely none.

Re:Gotta be kidding me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43540533)

Unless you want to be able to read that usb card that someone just plugged into it...

Re:Gotta be kidding me (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year and a half ago | (#43540637)

That's like someone standing outside of your house, refusing you entry unless you compensate him for the valuable service of getting out of your way.

Re:Gotta be kidding me (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43540753)

Actually these patent wars are leading to innovation: Samsung has an experimental fs called F2FS that is already in linux 3.8 which is specifically designed to replace FAT on flash storage. The next android version is pulling from 3.8 and I'm guessing at around 2013Q3 tizen will get released with it as well. Gparted already has beta support and I'm guessing a windows driver is just around the corner.

That is, unless Microsoft deliberately screw with the WHQL process...

But how soon will that be usable? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#43541023)

Lets say F2FS actually makes it to production.

The reality is that every camera in the world today formats flash storage as FAT. So for about ten more years, you're going to have to support FAT anyway.

Microsoft doesn't have to mess with anything, because the giant market with which you cannot be incompatible already forces many things to happen.

Re:But how soon will that be usable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43541157)

Smartphones are the hottest segment and also have a high turnover rate. So it may gain traction sooner than you think.

Re:But how soon will that be usable? (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year and a half ago | (#43542665)

So for about ten more years, you're going to have to support FAT anyway.

The maximum possible size for a file on a FAT32 volume is 4 GB, and the maximum partition size is 2TB. Those limits are going to bite far sooner than ten years.

Re:But how soon will that be usable? (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year and a half ago | (#43542947)

I guess you never heard of exFAT.

Re:But how soon will that be usable? (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year and a half ago | (#43543327)

Of course I've heard of exFAT, no need to be patronising.

Maximum size... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#43543189)

The maximum possible size for a file on a FAT32 volume is 4 GB, and the maximum partition size is 2TB

Large external disks do not really matter. I'm talking about the flash cards used by a variety of electronic devices that are not easily updated to support filesystems.

For flash cards, support for 4GB was overcome long ago. Look on Amazon, 16-32GB cards are common.

So again, FAT (well really exFAT as the other poster noted) is not going anywhere anytime soon, because it supports large enough storage sizes that it will last for a while as a standard (though RED is I think shipping small pluggable storage units that are custom)

Re:Maximum size... (2)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year and a half ago | (#43543345)

For flash cards, support for 4GB was overcome long ago. Look on Amazon, 16-32GB cards are common.

That's partition size, not file size.

exFAT is not backwards compatible with current devices. For future devices, there's no reason to choose it over other non-encumbered filesystems.

Re:Gotta be kidding me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43541253)

Except that it will never get mainstream or corporate adoption until the majority desktop OS supports it. Who makes that OS again? Oh yeah, Microsoft.
FAT has never been replaced because Microsoft have been, and still are, abusing their desktop monopoly to enforce a royalty-paying monopoly on consumer flash filesystems.

Re:Gotta be kidding me (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#43541773)

Nothing prevents releasing a file system driver for F2FS for the windows platform.
But to date, Samsung has only provided code for Linux under the GPL.

Re:Gotta be kidding me (1)

gottabeme (590848) | about a year and a half ago | (#43542309)

For internal flash there's no reason to not use F2FS or any other non-FAT filesystem. In fact there are several flash filesystems already available which could be used instead of FAT32, like NILFS.

For removable cards it's another matter. But internal flash may provide a stepping stone, especially if Samsung or someone else makes a free Windows driver.

Re:Gotta be kidding me (1)

snadrus (930168) | about a year and a half ago | (#43541665)

None of that is necessary. The Nexus S had no card slot and never emulated having FAT32 either. I doubt FAT32 libraries are even on the device.
Now F2FS is nice, but not for avoiding FAT32 patents. It doesn't even solve the real problem that an F2FS SD card won't be read by Windows ever.

Re: Gotta be kidding me (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about a year and a half ago | (#43543067)

What is to prevent Samsung writing a Windows driver for it?

Re:Gotta be kidding me (2)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year and a half ago | (#43542937)

From what I understand F2FS is meant as a replacement for EXT4 on flash devices. Not on memory cards and other devices which need to be shared. Those still use FAT. Why the heck didn't the industry band around an open standard like UDF instead of FAT for removable media is something which still eludes me to this day.

Re:Gotta be kidding me (4, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#43540655)

The specific patent is for creating 8.3 file names from long file names. Linux works around it by simply not creating 8.3 file names, which seems to be more or less compatible with Windows which is presumably the goal here too.

Those patents will expire soon. Maybe ZTE figured it would be easier to just wait them out and pay a little bit than it would be to fight them.

Re:Gotta be kidding me (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year and a half ago | (#43540727)

It's just not compatible with Windows 3.1/DOS 7 (?) and under, since 95 introduced long filenames.

Re:Gotta be kidding me (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#43541795)

The specific patent is for creating 8.3 file names from long file names.

You are a bit behind the times.
FAT/Fat16 patents have already expired.
Fat32 will fairly soon.
But ExFAT will be around for a long time, and you can bet when speeds or card sizes improve there will be another file system patent locking you in for another few consecutive lifetimes.

Re:Gotta be kidding me (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43540737)

What sort of credible value of that technology remains in 2013? Absolutely none.

Enough that every solid-state memory card comes pre-formatted thusly. Why not ext2? Or even NTFS? Because they aren't guaranteed to be readable EVERYWHERE.

Re:Gotta be kidding me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43541187)

Something happened in the world which was a bright piece of hope for man. Such a thing happens every few hundred or a thousand years: some genius rises a man takes a new step toward a better life, a better culture. There is a difference with Dianetics and Scientology. It has never happened before, in all of the countless years of time.

In this moment, we have our temporary chance for handling and continuing life. Clouds loom over this culture and planet. In this brief interval, in this one place, we have our freedom before us. We can arise above the decay, the final flash that will inevitably extinguish this planet. It is not our mission to save it, it is our mission to free you. You are an immortal being. Your life will not halt because this planet halts. You can go on.

Re:Gotta be kidding me (1)

gottabeme (590848) | about a year and a half ago | (#43542399)

Wow, I wasn't expecting to see that here.

I guess you've been brainwashed, or else you wouldn't be in denial of all the evidence that Scientology is a cult. Either that, or you're on the inside, a simple con artist.

But laying that aside for a moment, consider this thought exercise: two groups claim to have truth: one offers it freely, the other charges fees in a multi-step program of enlightenment. Which group makes money from winning converts, and which group makes nothing from winning converts? Which group is more likely to be offering truth, and which group is more likely to be a scam, making things up to trick people into giving up their money? "False dichotomy," you might say. Sure, it's just a thought exercise; it's only intended to get you thinking, not to prove anything.

So think about it.

Re:Gotta be kidding me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43542817)

You're starting that old free vs paid software debate again?

Re:Gotta be kidding me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43541311)

And you know WHY other filesystems aren't supported everywhere? Because Microsoft refuses to add support in Windows for any alternatives which they don't control (and hence gain revenue from).

Re:Gotta be kidding me (2)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#43541719)

Most of the Android licensing deals have been based around FAT32, which has been around since Win95. What sort of credible value of that technology remains in 2013? Absolutely none.

Much but not all.

Microsoft bought/brewed up MTP because FAT32 was expiring. Many smartphones use MTP to avoid having to put a true samba server or ftp server in the phones. There are also a few patents dealing with trivial user interface functionality.

With bigger MicroSD cards the phones also run afoul of the SD Association [sdcard.org] of which Microsoft is a member, and many other members are merely Microsoft sock puppets since Microsoft managed to get their proprietary file system declared the standard for MicroSD cards throughout the entire line:
SD card is formatted with MBR and the following file system:
For SDSC cards: FAT16 (patent expired)
For SDHC cards: FAT32 (still under patent)
For SDXC cards: exFAT (still under patent)

List of patents? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43540501)

Is the list of patents being licensed available or is this just more bullshit, like when they claimed Linux violated their patents and refused to say which ones?

Re:List of patents? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#43541061)

It's not even relevant. If they won't show which ones they're threatening with they should be charged with extortion.

It's worse than that. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43541811)

All these companies signing "secret" agreements with one another are colluding (and perhaps even forming a cartel) such that no one can enter the market without paying them. This has the direct result of setting a base line price below which *all* products in the market cannot be manufactured.

Re:List of patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43543221)

They will show you under NDA. If you want a lawsuit then you'll find out which patents they are. They're under no legal obligation to tell you exactly what patents you're violating before initiating the lawsuit.

Ob... (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year and a half ago | (#43540517)

They didn't get rich by writing a lot of checks!

Re:Ob... (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about a year and a half ago | (#43540767)

They didn't get rich by writing a lot of checks!

Buy 'em out, boys!

Running out of targets (2)

c (8461) | about a year and a half ago | (#43540523)

Eventually, they're actually going to have to tell Motorola/Google (and everyone else) exactly what the patents are...

Re:Running out of targets (1)

bogaboga (793279) | about a year and a half ago | (#43540675)

Eventually, they're actually going to have to tell Motorola/Google (and everyone else) exactly what the patents are..

I can't wait! But haven't they done so already by suing Motorola [wsj.com] ?

Re:Running out of targets (1)

c (8461) | about a year and a half ago | (#43540997)

I can't wait! But haven't they done so already by suing Motorola?

Well, you'd think, but I'm not sure. For a company that talks about how others are stealing their innovation, Microsoft seems pretty reluctant to tackle Google head-on over their supposed Android patent violations. And these periodic one-sided "Android maker licensed our stuff" announcements...

I can't quite put my finger on it, but I just get the feeling that Microsoft doesn't really hold the cards they're telling people they have.

Re:Running out of targets (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#43541077)

Based on the ones that were exposed when they screwed up dealing with B&N, the patents are pretty worthless.

Ah the good ole days (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43540545)

I had to license the patent for the licensing of singing the song "Happy Birthday"© at my Mom's birthday because someone owns the patent to licensing the singing of that song on that certain day of a persons life.

But no worries because I patented the licensing of the licensing of the patent for the licensing of singing the copyrighted song "Happy Birthday"© to other people in any setting. Hey, someone has to pay Mom for KTBLO. (Keeping The Basement Lights On).

See ya
- A.C. from 2101

Re:Ah the good ole days (-1, Flamebait)

Holi (250190) | about a year and a half ago | (#43540593)

If I could mod you to hell I would. That was the stupidest post I have ever seen on Slashdot. and yes that includes the GNAA posts.

Re: Ah the good ole days (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43540739)

I think someone hasn't heard about the horrors of impersonation through the hosts file!

Re: Ah the good ole days (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43540883)

Or APK arguing against himself.

Re: Ah the good ole days (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43543113)

Those weren't apk. They were Jeremiah Cornelius. Jeremiah Cornelius gave himself away http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3581857&cid=43276741 [slashdot.org] in that link as the one doing the spams/trollings about apk. That let the cat out of the bag. Jeremiah Cornelius obviously accidentally submitted as his registered username instead of his 100's of anonymous coward ones he did before and after that. Jeremiah Cornelius is clearly a troll. Imo, the only post in those recently where apk actually spoke in those exchanges was here and the links in it he pointed to http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3674733&cid=43530007 [slashdot.org] and the rest were Jeremiah Cornelius trolling by anonymous coward posts.

Re:Ah the good ole days (0)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#43540757)

I agree it was a stupid comment but I've seen so much worse around here. I'd only give it a 2 on the 1-10 stupid scale. 10 being the most stupid comment ever.

Against copyright and patents (-1)

Xeno-Genesis.com (2881649) | about a year and a half ago | (#43540595)

Patents and copyrights are immoral and anti-market. They create artificial monopolies, employing force to crush innovation and spread of ideas, culture and technology, victimless non-violent "offenses". From this perspective the words of Horacio sound very much like those of a gangster offering "protection" from themselves in exchange of money. Please reread the summary with this in mind.

Re:Against copyright and patents (0)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year and a half ago | (#43540741)

So... You're supposed to just make stuff and rely on everybody's good will to avoid having your ideas ripped-off, probably never to see a single cent?

Re:Against copyright and patents (0)

preaction (1526109) | about a year and a half ago | (#43540803)

No, the only reason I believe that patents and copyrights are "immoral" is because I've never had an idea worth stealing.

Re:Against copyright and patents (1)

gottabeme (590848) | about a year and a half ago | (#43542479)

Ah, the presuppositions!

1. What is an idea?
2. Is there even such a thing as an original idea?
3. Who really deserves exclusive right to an idea?
4. Can ideas even be owned?
5. Should they be owned?
6. Is anyone entitled to money just because he thought of something?
7. Is one who thought of an idea entitled to more money than the one who puts in the work to develop it, engineer it, and bring it to market?
8. Is it necessary for someone who thinks of an idea to receive compensation for it without continuing to do useful work?
9. Would it be wise or good for that to be the case?
10. Can an idea even be "stolen" or "ripped-off"?
11. Is it not possible for someone to "make stuff" (ideas, not goods), offer them freely, and still be compensated for his work? Are ideas worthless if offered freely? Is the thinker no longer useful after he explains his idea openly? (In a similar way, is a singer-songwriter obsoleted when others start singing his songs?)

I think that's enough. All of those are questions whose answers are implicit in your question; without all of those presuppositions, your argument evaporates. In other words, it's not even a real argument, just a cliche.

Re:Against copyright and patents (4, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#43540779)

I could debate this but choose not to. I disagree that patents and copyrights are immoral, I think they have their place but the problem is that greed has twisted and perverted the original purpose of these systems. I do believe that software patents are wrong as copyright should be sufficient protection for software.

Re:Against copyright and patents (1)

gottabeme (590848) | about a year and a half ago | (#43542419)

50% flamebait, 50% overrated. Not even a little insightful or interesting. Slashdot, I never knew ye. It's enough to make one wonder if the mega corps really are hiring armies of downmodders.

list of applicable patents Microsoft is using (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43540715)

For anyone curious, these are the 4 patents that Microsoft has been wielding like a club. Note: I've shortened it to list the basic claims below. Microsoft claims are repetitive legalize and go on and on repeating the same drivel over and over. Notice they are saying that they hold sole claim to the concepts of scheduling meetings, sending and receiving messages on a cellular network, storing file names in a file system, and pressing buttons. It would be laughable if they weren't successfully litigating the crap out of the entire Android industry. It's the dying screams of a company that no longer matters that has stopped innovating and wants someone else's success for themselves. Very sad and pathetic really. The truth is they could sue Apple, IBM or anyone else that even manufactures PCs out of existence with these patents if they wanted, they're so broad and there's so much prior art it's not even funny. The fact that they courts are upholding them is scary.

U.S. Patent No. 6,370,566 on "generating meeting requests and group scheduling from a mobile device" On May 18, 2012, the ITC ordered a U.S. import ban against Motorola's Android-based devices that infringe this Microsoft patent.

Claims: 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 this way, other devices which encounter the meeting request are capable of identifying it as a unique meeting request in order to alleviate the problem of duplicate meeting request transmissions. In accordance with another preferred feature of the present invention, an electronic mail application or calendar application on the mobile device obtains a fully qualified electronic mail address for the potential attendees from an abridged address book or directory stored on the mobile device itself. This alleviates problems associated with the storage capacity of the mobile device. In accordance with another preferred embodiment of the present invention, the mobile device creates the meeting object and the electronic mail meeting request object using a set of properties which are supported by a plurality of PIMs that may receive the objects. This provides compatibility with an increased number of devices which are likely to encounter the objects. In accordance with yet another preferred feature of the present invention, localizers implement a plurality of templates on the mobile device which are used in formatting the properties of the objects associated with the meeting request. A data stream representative of the meeting request is parsed by the mobile device and placed in pre-defined fields in the appropriate templates so that the text viewed by the user of the mobile device more closely conforms to local convention. In addition, time zone information is also included in one embodiment.

===

EP1304891 on "communicating multi-part messages between cellular devices using a standardized interface" On May 24, 2012, the Munich I Regional Court granted Microsoft an injunction over this patent against Motorola's Android-based devices. This was the first Microsoft v. Google decision ever. It came down only days after Google completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility. The ruling is already being enforced in Germany.

Claims: A method for facilitating an application sending multiple short messages fragments, the method for use in a cellular network that facilitates the transmission of messages between cellular computing devices, the messages being multi-part messages that consist of multiple short message fragments of limited size: [either compressed, encrypted or wrapped in XML.]

===

EP0618540 on a "common name space for long and short filenames" On July 27, the Mannheim Regional Court granted Microsoft a German patent injunction against Google's Motorola Mobility over this file system patent. It decided the infringement question in Microsoft's favor and did not find Google's invalidity arguments strong enough to order a stay.

Claims: A method of operating a data processing system comprising memory holding an operating system and a processor for running the operating system, the method comprising; [storing in the memory a first directory entry holding a short filename for a file, storing in the memory a second directory entry being associated with the first directory entry..., in case that the operating system permits only short filenames and said information is set to make said second directory entry invisible to the operating system locating the file by accessing said first directory entry...]

===

EP1040406 on a "soft input panel system and method" On September 20, the Munich I Regional Court granted Microsoft a German patent injunction against Google's Motorola Mobility over this operating system patent. This was already the third time a German court found a Microsoft patent infringed by Motorola Mobility's Android-based devices, and the fourth time worldwide. Microsoft is embroiled in litigation with only one Android device maker, while Apple is also suing Samsung and HTC. Relative to the number of adjudged patents, Microsoft has a higher hit rate than Apple.

Claims: A system for receiving user data input into a computer system having a plurality of application programs comprising; [ distinct input methods, defined interface sests, pluggable into other executable code that is capable of interfacing with the defined interface set, identify one of the inputer methods as a selected input method, activate the selected input method, communicate with the selected input method via the method's defined interface set, identify information about user data received by the selected input method, and, pass the information about the received user data to an active application program of the plurality of application programs.]

===

http://www.fosspatents.com/2012/09/android-devices-have-already-been-found.html

Re:list of applicable patents Microsoft is using (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43540805)

"ability to schedule a meeting request from the mobile device itself."

I don't schedule meetings - I don't participate in any kind of shared calendar. Can I have a rebate for my smartphone then?

Re:list of applicable patents Microsoft is using (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43540959)

Sure, just ask your carrier ... uh, point of purchase ... uh, provider ... uh, manufacturer .... uh, subcontractor ...

Re:list of applicable patents Microsoft is using (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43540807)

Note: Any misspellings were my fault, I was transcribing them by hand from images of the patents. I was unable to copy/paste any text. Anything in square brackets is my notes summarizing the claims listed, for which exist many pages that wouldn't have fit in this comment and which were repetitive anyways.

Re:list of applicable patents Microsoft is using (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year and a half ago | (#43541139)

http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?CC=EP&NR=1304891 [espacenet.com] has european patent text but you can only link to the abstract of the patent because they use some bullshit session system.

Also based on the claims of that patent (the automatic packet fragmentation patent) it looks like now that ON THE INTERNET is a done thing, ON THE CELLULAR NETWORK is the new hotness for taking things everyone already does and patenting them all over again.

Re:list of applicable patents Microsoft is using (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43541085)

"EP0618540 on a "common name space for long and short filenames" On July 27, the Mannheim Regional Court granted Microsoft a German patent injunction against Google's Motorola Mobility over this file system patent. It decided the infringement question in Microsoft's favor and did not find Google's invalidity arguments strong enough to order a stay."

This is used for the FAT32 filesystem, presumably. This patent dates from 1994. It's been 19 years. Thankfully it will finally expire in another year. I'll celebrate that day the same as the day the stupid LZW patents expired. There's too much prior art that is ignored and too many "obvious to those skilled in the art" patents.

Re:list of applicable patents Microsoft is using (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | about a year and a half ago | (#43541163)

At least we can still look forward to Patents that expire, unlike Copyrights.

Re:list of applicable patents Microsoft is using (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year and a half ago | (#43542971)

There is still exFAT. Which is increasingly going to be a problem as removable storage is getting too large for FAT32.

Re:list of applicable patents Microsoft is using (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43541737)

All of the patents you listed were from 1998 or earlier. In 1998 an typical phone was something like the Nokia 5110 [wikipedia.org] . In 1998, the concept of scheduling meetings using your phone was not obvious at all. Microsoft did a lot of work in the mobile/portable arena through the 1990s and this is one of many things they patented. They were granted a twenty year right to this invention. I see no problem with them being rightfully compensated for it.

http://www.paperwritings.com/ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43540721)

I like Android. As for me It's easy and good.

Good, Maybe they'll stop making software. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43540987)

After the absolute disaster that Windows 8 was it would be good if Microsoft got out of the software business and just made money off patents.

It's a theater (1)

chowdahhead (1618447) | about a year and a half ago | (#43541465)

The problem with these patent agreements with Microsoft is that the details are kept confidential. No one but Microsoft knows what the patents cover, the conditions or fees, and which patents Microsoft is licensing in return--which is more likely to be the case. Microsoft releases these puerile press releases announcing something that probably happens in the business world on a daily basis, yet only they feel the need to do this. I have my doubts that these agreements are as one-sided as Microsoft brags, especially since ZTE is a telecommunications giant in China.

Re:It's a theater (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43541931)

Doing shit on a phone was already fucking obvious by at least 1983: http://www.newlaunches.com/archives/apples_very_first_iphone_1983_never_seen_pictures.php

Legal Question (1)

puddingebola (2036796) | about a year and a half ago | (#43541859)

Has antitrust action ever been taken by the DOJ against a corporation on the grounds of patent abuse or the amount of intellectual property that a company claimed? Would there be any valid basis in the law for such an action? I imagine that the sheer size of Standard Oil, and the sheer size of its assets involved with oil production must have been a factor in the decision to have it broken up. Could such a situation ever arise with patents, since we seem to have entered an age when the largest tech companies hold huge numbers of patents? If the judiciary can't or won't do anything, what kind of legislative possibilities are there? Is there a lawyer in the house?

the art of patents (1)

ruir (2709173) | about a year and a half ago | (#43541865)

It is well known in the industry Microsoft likes to place artificial barriers to competitors. They either subside proxies to create precedents and vicious battles (hello SCO), or are eager to deal with patent trolls because they have deep pockets, and thus create precedents and problem for others.

OMFG (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43542709)

At Microsoft, experience has taught us that respect for intellectual property rights is a two-way street, and we have always been prepared to respect the rights of others just as we seek respect for our rights.

ROTFLMFAOWTIME! That is the funniest thing I've read in months! If respect for intellectual property rights is a two way street, Microsoft is an 18-wheeler that has jackknifed, flipped on its side, and is now on fire, belching flames and toxic fumes in every direction, blocking all lanes of traffic in any conceivable direction!

Wow! The sheer balls it must take to have written that shit... I'm in awe, really. Or perhaps the author didn't know he was writing that FOR MICROSOFT, or has been living in a cave for the last 30 or so odd years...

The list of Bogus Microsoft patents (3, Informative)

TrueSpeed (576528) | about a year and a half ago | (#43543325)

These are the list of frivolous, prior art ridden patents Microsoft used to try and extort money from Barnes and Noble. When the trial was about to go to court a magical partnership was established between Microsoft and Barnes & Noble and the lawsuit was dropped. It's a pity more companies don't stand up to these patent trolls.

Microsoft vs.Barnes and Noble

5778372
6339780
5889522
6891551
6957233

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5778372.html [freepatentsonline.com]
http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6339780.html [freepatentsonline.com]
http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5889522.html [freepatentsonline.com]
http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6891551.html [freepatentsonline.com]
http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6957233.html [freepatentsonline.com]

U.S. Patent No. 5778372 Remote retrieval and display management of electronic document with incorporated images. A browser remotely retrieves electronic documents from a remote computer network for viewing by a user. For enhancing responsiveness, the browser initially displays an electronic document without a background image so that the electronic document is initially displayed more quickly. The browser also prioritizes downloading of embedded images of the document by their incorporation in the currently visible portion of the electronic document. Further, the browser dynamically creates additional connections for retrieving resources incorporated into the electronic document from the remote computer network.

U.S. Patent No. 6339780 Loading status in a hypermedia browser having a limited available display area. Described herein is a portable computer having a limited display area. An Internet or other hypermedia browser executes on the portable computer to load and display content in a content viewing area. During times when the browser is loading content, the browser displays a temporary, animated graphic element over the content viewing area. The graphic element is removed after the content is loaded, allowing unobstructed viewing of the loaded content.

U.S. Patent No. 5889522 System Provided Child Window Controls. New varieties of child window controls are provided as system resources that application programs may exploit. The preferred embodiment of the present invention provides a dynamic link library (DLL) for implementing the new child window controls as part of an operating system. The new child window controls include a header bar control for providing header bars in application programs. The new controls also include a hot key control that allows a user to view and edit hot key combinations. The new controls further include a tab control for establishing tabs that differentiate amongst pages in user interfaces provided by application programs. An image list data type is defined and functions are provided for manipulating the image list data type. Image lists include multiple like-sized images that are stored efficiently in a single bitmap.

U.S. Patent No. 6891551 Selection Handles in Editing Electronic Documents. A computer system and method for highlighting and selecting elements of electronic documents is disclosed. In one embodiment, a selection area identifies an initial selection of data, and one or more selection handles appear on the selection area to allow dynamic resizing of the selection area to select a larger or smaller portion of data or number of items.

U.S. Patent No. 6957233 Method and Apparatus for Capturing and Rendering Annotations for Non-Modifiable Electronic Content. A system and method for capturing annotations for a non-modifiable document is disclosed. Once it is determined that an annotation is to be created, the system determines the file position of the selected object. The file position of the selected object is stored along with the created annotation in another file or a non-read only portion of a file storing the document. Using the file position, the annotation may be properly identified with the selected object without modifying the non-modifiable document.

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