×

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

Thank you!

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

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

Microsoft, Apple and Others Launch Huge Patent Strike at Android

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the go-big-or-go-home dept.

Patents 476

New submitter GODISNOWHERE writes "Nortel went bankrupt in 2009. In 2011, it held an auction for its massive patent portfolio. The winners of the auction were Apple, Microsoft, Sony, RIM, and others, who bought the patents for $4.5 billion as a consortium named Rockstar Bidco. At the time, many people speculated those patents would be used against Google, who bid separately but lost. It turns out they were right. Rockstar has filed eight lawsuits in federal court targeting Google and Android device manufacturers. 'The complaint (PDF) against Google involves six patents, all from the same patent "family." They're all titled "associative search engine," and list Richard Skillen and Prescott Livermore as inventors. The patents describe "an advertisement machine which provides advertisements to a user searching for desired information within a data network. The oldest patent in the case is US Patent No. 6,098,065, with a filing date of 1997, one year before Google was founded. The newest patent in the suit was filed in 2007 and granted in 2011. The complaint tries to use the fact that Google bid for the patents as an extra point against the search giant.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

476 comments

so tell me again... (5, Insightful)

new death barbie (240326) | about 5 months ago | (#45299057)

... how is this a strike against Android?

Re:so tell me again... (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 months ago | (#45299077)

I striked against Apple yesterday when I bought a Galaxy Note 10.1 from Samsung. Now it seems that I got a bonus good feeling for free with the box.

Re:so tell me again... (0)

new death barbie (240326) | about 5 months ago | (#45299085)

okay, I caved and read the article. But the summary sucks, really.

Re:so tell me again... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299129)

Wouldn't it be cooler if the summary was a wiki?

Re:so tell me again... (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 5 months ago | (#45299145)

Oh, so very much yes.

Run it like mod points, with a stronger emphasis on metamod (metaediting?).

Re:so tell me again... (5, Insightful)

pegr (46683) | about 5 months ago | (#45299299)

No, I'd prefer an intelligent discourse of experts, perhaps moderated by a competent paralegal with years of experience researching such things.

PJ, this post is for you. We NEED you. Please reconsider.

Re:so tell me again... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 months ago | (#45299313)

You'd need a blame engine. That would allow you to select a piece to text and grade it and the blame would get assigned to the proper originator. Asking for such advanced functionality from people who haven't implemented UTF-8 yet is a low blow, though. ;-)

Re:so tell me again... (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | about 5 months ago | (#45299285)

The article (the one with the longest link, on Ars) sucks as well. It has several mentions of "nuclear", "defcon" and "wars", but says very little about the actual patents involved.

Re:so tell me again... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 5 months ago | (#45299329)

The article (the one with the longest link, on Ars) sucks as well. It has several mentions of "nuclear", "defcon" and "wars", but says very little about the actual patents involved.

clearly WOPR is the basis of their patents.

shall we play a game?

Re:so tell me again... (5, Informative)

Shag (3737) | about 5 months ago | (#45299137)

“I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.” - Steve Jobs

This isn't a surgical strike. This is an attack on Google's primary business model and revenue stream. Nobody makes much profit off Android - most players make no profit at all. Google's deep pockets are basically the only thing keeping Android a going concern. But this is, definitely, the "nuclear option," going after so much more than just Android.

Re:so tell me again... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299171)

Google's own patent bank, while not as large as it's competitors, is not insubstantial. We're about to see a legal mess of historic proportions. Law firms are going to make insane amounts of money.

Oh and consumers will be paying the bottom line, can't forget that.

Re: so tell me again... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299263)

The Motorola patents are worthless. Either SEPs that can't be used in litigation or outdated pager patents.

Re: so tell me again... (2, Interesting)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 5 months ago | (#45299479)

How do you come to that conclusion? Seriously - no snark. I'm not familiar w/ MMI's patent portfolio in detail, but they did a lot of important tech work on cell phones. Their business downfall was, like Nokia's, about choosing the wrong cell/smart phone fashion trends, rather than any technical shortcomings.

Meanwhile, what kind of important patents has Apple, for example, come up with? Rounded corners on rectangles? Small wonder they lose patent suits, and an obvious reason for them to buy into this patent extortion racket.

Re:so tell me again... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299303)

Google's own patent bank, while not as large as it's competitors, is not insubstantial. We're about to see a legal mess of historic proportions. Law firms are going to make insane amounts of money.

Oh and consumers will be paying the bottom line, can't forget that.

Government by the lawyers for the lawyers.

That's what the US really has...

Re:so tell me again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299365)

According to the Congressional Research Service 170 members of the House and 60 Senators are lawyers.

Out of a total of 435 U.S. Representatives and 100 Senators (535 total in Congress), lawyers comprise the biggest voting block of one type, making up 43% of Congress. Sixty percent of the U.S. Senate is lawyers.
Enough said. 37.2% of the House of Representatives are lawyers.

There are 81 Republican lawyers in Congress who list "lawyer" as their profession. There are 123 Democrat lawyers in Congress that list "lawyer" as their profession. Some may have not told that they had a law degree or practiced law, because they were doing something else, e.g., doctor, industrialist, teacher, real estate agent/broker, etc. It seems that the medical and real estate professions are also heavily represented in Congress

yep. pretty much.

Re:so tell me again... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299351)

Also the companies being sued have their own war chests of patents. MS, and Apple are about to end up with a large gang on them. Many of the ones they are suing are the same ones who sell them parts for their computers. They are the same ones who made their phones/computers in the past. MS is in a bad position as those same companies could say 'you know what your computer business is doing rather poorly anyway we will just go make other stuff oh by the way the patents we cross licensed? Yeah that ends with the exit clause in the contract'. Apple could find itself in a hard spot for a few key bits of its infrastructure parts.

What will this end up with? Everyone paying 2-5 dollars more per phone.

Also if they are going to go after search (which it looks like they are). Google may have 1 or 2 patents on that too. MS is in a bad position here. Apple has nothing really to lose.

It may end up with google swallowing up some other company's. Just to get more patents to fight with. Such as a broacomm or qualcomm. Coming up with 130 billion is not unheard of anymore (see verizion).

Re:so tell me again... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299253)

I would say that, if admissible, this "invention" (PDF [google.com]) completely prevents any company from displaying ads alongside search results, killing Adsense:

This invention relates to an advertisment machine which provides advertisements to a user searching for desired information within a data network. The machine receives, from the user, a search request including a search argument corresponding to the desired information and searches, based upon the received search argument, a first database having data network related information to generate search results. It also correlates the received search argument to a particular advertisement in a second database having advertisement related information. The search results together with the particular advertisement are provided by the machine to the user.

We claim:
1. A method of searching for desired information Within a data network, comprising the steps of:
  -> receiving, from a user, a search request including a search argument corresponding to the desired information;
  -> searching, based upon the received search argument and user profile data, a database of information to generate a search result; and
  -> providing the search results to the user
  -> Wherein searching the database includes correlating, as a function of a fuzzy logic algorithm, the received search argument and user profile data to particular information in the database, and providing the particular information as the search results.

Re:so tell me again... (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 5 months ago | (#45299269)

Which is so painfully obvious the phonebook is prior art.

You go look under plumber and with the listing you see advertising.

Re:so tell me again... (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 5 months ago | (#45299339)

I read a few of the patents. It's quite amazing that any of the ones I read were even considered non-obvious, or without prior art. These also don't seem related to just android. Any of Google's servers also infringe when supplying targeted ads as far as I can tell, even the one granted in 2011. The US patent office is obviously maintaining their quality level.

I think this would be a fantastic time to negate these patents, as well as the ones Microsoft has been using under NDA for their previous racketeering campaign.

Re:so tell me again... (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 5 months ago | (#45299409)

To prove prior art you are going to need to prove Lycos and WebCrawler had these technologies since the patents predate Google.

As for negating I agree. Google is in a wonderful position to negate since they don't depend on patents.

Re:so tell me again... (5, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 5 months ago | (#45299375)

"I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product."

Jesus. Young Steve Jobs was pretty cool [youtube.com]. Old, dying Steve Jobs was just an asshole whom young Steve Jobs would have mocked.

Re:so tell me again... (-1, Troll)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 5 months ago | (#45299537)

I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product.

So buying the company that developed it is "stealing"? Who knew Jobs was such a socialist.

If you can't be the best (5, Insightful)

Revek (133289) | about 5 months ago | (#45299067)

Sue the best.

Re: If you can't be the best (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299105)

It's very subjective who the best is.
For fandroids Google can do no wrong.
For Apple cultists Apple is superior.

Your claim is childish and wrong.

Re: If you can't be the best (3, Interesting)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 months ago | (#45299147)

Of course Google can go wrong, but they certainly didn't screw up Android. Certainly not to the level of being forced to delete inconvenient posts from their discussion forums [slashdot.org]

Re: If you can't be the best (-1, Troll)

jbolden (176878) | about 5 months ago | (#45299207)

Why do you find it necessary to misrepresent what happened? Apple forums openly talk about problems in their products and fixes. What Apple deleted was an attempt to organize a protest which would be expensive for Apple rather than work with Apple to resolve a problem in line with the terms of warranty. That is Apple deleted posts where people were engaging in a activities which arguably consisted of a conspiracy to defraud Apple.

Re: If you can't be the best (3, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 5 months ago | (#45299273)

Expensive for Apple in that it would publicize the true situation? They weren't dealing with the problems in a manner acceptable to most users.

Re: If you can't be the best (-1, Troll)

jbolden (176878) | about 5 months ago | (#45299347)

Generally when an installer fails the customer process is to resume installation and reinstall. That is a well established norm that users have found acceptable for many products. And there is no evidence what-so-ever that they did not find it acceptable in this instance.

What Lessig wanted to do was misrepresent the problem as a broken system that required a hardware swap, as a way to punish Apple. That's bordering on if not outright fraud.

Re: If you can't be the best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299309)

That's what he said. There were inconvenient posts that Apple was forced to delete from their discussion forums, because Apple screwed up to the level that such a protest existed (by breaking Wi-Fi), while Google has yet to cause such a signifcant breakage in Android. You claim misrepresentation, and go on to elaborate on the exact thing he's referring to.

Re: If you can't be the best (0, Troll)

jbolden (176878) | about 5 months ago | (#45299361)

The issue with the posts was not Apple's screw up. It was the unwillingness to do just do what people normally do when software installs fail. Reinstall and fix the problem. Instead Lessig wanted to treat this like it was a hardware problem and demand a warranty swap.

Re: If you can't be the best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299427)

Why do you find it necessary to misrepresent what happened? Apple forums openly talk about problems in their products and fixes. What Apple deleted was an attempt to organize a protest which would be expensive for Apple rather than work with Apple to resolve a problem in line with the terms of warranty. That is Apple deleted posts where people were engaging in a activities which arguably consisted of a conspiracy to defraud Apple.

Hah, heaven forbid Apple customers not keep the corporation's profits in mind with all of their actions! You are right, those pesky jerks might have done something like held Apple accountable for selling non-functional devices! Defraud? Like, selling something and days later taking a key feature out of it? How is it that the customers were not defrauded, and instead Apple is the saint for keeping their forums "clean of evildoers"? Oh that's right, you are posting this from atop Steve Jobs' grave, desperately trying to keep the reality distortion field alive.

Re: If you can't be the best (0)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 5 months ago | (#45299557)

Why do you find it necessary to misrepresent what happened? Apple forums openly talk about problems in their products and fixes. What Apple deleted was an attempt to organize a protest which would be expensive for Apple rather than work with Apple to resolve a problem in line with the terms of warranty. That is Apple deleted posts where people were engaging in a activities which arguably consisted of a conspiracy to defraud Apple.

How much does Apple pay you? Frankly, it's too much, because your astroturfing is so transparent.

Re: If you can't be the best (5, Funny)

somersault (912633) | about 5 months ago | (#45299237)

Your claim is childish and wrong.

So's your face.

Re: If you can't be the best (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299295)

Weak and silly comeback.

Ad hominem attacks are always a sign of infantility and/or lack of discussion skills.

Re: If you can't be the best (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299335)

Whoosh, donut-head!

Re: If you can't be the best (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299383)

It's very subjective who the best is.
For fandroids Google can do no wrong.
For Apple cultists Apple is superior.

Your claim is childish and wrong.

81.5% of consumers would disagree with you, since they have chosen Google Android based products over the competition. If this isn't a clear cut case of "lets get all the 50lb bonobos together and sue the 800lb gorilla so it doesnt eat all our tasty bananas" then I dont know what is.

Re: If you can't be the best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299505)

Here comes the rush to defend Microsoft, all three of their users.

Re:If you can't be the best (2)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 5 months ago | (#45299359)

If you can't convince, punch.

If you can't share, hoard.

and so on, and so on.

Everything humans do is based on finding something else harder.

wow. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299091)

Apple, Microsoft, and Sony (nobody cares about RIM), three of the biggest names in technology. Three of the most influential and powerful companies in the world. Three companies that have historically been in fierce competition with one another.

And they had to gang up on Google.

What does that say about how much they fear Google?

Re:wow. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299139)

Google were offered to be a part of the consortium but chose to bid on their own instead.

Re:wow. (4, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 5 months ago | (#45299247)

In other words, it's their fault that they chose not to be part of an anti-competitive extortion scheme.

Re:wow. (4, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 5 months ago | (#45299379)

Humans naturally cooperate. Competition isn't a religious edict - it's just that we have a fucked up society where everyone at the bottom is told to compete while everyone at the top plays golf together.

Re:wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299417)

It's Google's fault they chose not to share these patents with other members of a co-operative. A co-operative that would have effectively prevented many patent suits, and patent trolls, in the future.

Google certainly didn't offer to buy them because they liked the paper they were printed on. They would use these patents against others.

Re:wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299565)

Does Google have a history of doing that (in non-retaliatory situations)?

Re:wow. (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 5 months ago | (#45299517)

In other words, it's their fault that they chose not to be part of an anti-competitive extortion scheme.

So, you're saying they didn't want to be part of an anticompetitive cartel, they wanted to be king of the anticompetitive kingdom?

That said, their rep isn't bad in this area.

Re:wow. (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 5 months ago | (#45299191)

Perhaps Google will win as most of these patents are quite obvious. Of course, it will probably end up being handed to Lucy Koh, at which point, good luck with anything approaching fairness.

Re:wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299357)

Since Google tried to buy all of these patents themselves I doubt they can now claim that these aren't valid. They bid billions fot them for a reason, and that reason wasn't because they thought they should be challenged and/or invalidated.

Re: wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299477)

Would you have said the same about Koh if Samsung won? Of course not 'cause that's YOUR favorite company. Right? If Apple wins it's always wrong. If an Android company wins it's always right. Right?

And such people are calling themselves Nerds. It's embarrassing.

Anti-Trust (5, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 5 months ago | (#45299093)

Apple, Microsoft, Sony, RIM, and others, who bought the patents for $4.5 billion as a consortium named Rockstar Bidco

I presume it's not, but that should be illegal collusion and an anti-trust violation.

Re:Anti-Trust (5, Insightful)

bondsbw (888959) | about 5 months ago | (#45299121)

Ironically, the result of buying patents is now they have a legal monopoly.

Re:Anti-Trust (4, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 5 months ago | (#45299221)

True. That's the problem with the term "intellectual property" - it's male bovine manure. It's a government granted monopoly, not property in any meaningful sense like a car or a shirt.

Re:Anti-Trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299461)

The philosophy behind patents originates in a pre-industrial environment where very little was known about economics and the effects of policy on social welfare. Instituting monopolies was a lucrative way to generate government revenue. Issues like market collusion and ant-trusts laws were hundreds of years away.

While I do agree we need to stimulate innovation as opposed to a technological free for all (and ensuing standstill), I cannot but decry this one size fits all anti-competitive "bovine manure". We need a patent system for the 21st century that makes us richer, not poorer.

Re:Anti-Trust (4, Informative)

egarland (120202) | about 5 months ago | (#45299161)

I can't believe there wouldn't be a law somewhere on the books that would make it illegal for all your competitors to gang up together and buy patents to try and lock you out of the market. I'm assuming the laws exist, but they figure they've got enough legal mojo to fend off weak government anti-trust regulators.

Re:Anti-Trust (2)

jbolden (176878) | about 5 months ago | (#45299239)

It is perfectly legal for companies to work together to cooperate providing that the group of companies working together don't represent effectively all of the market. In the case of search the only possible monopoly is Google.

Re:Anti-Trust (3, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 5 months ago | (#45299297)

Prosecutors will charge old ladies playing bridge under RICO, but then again those old ladies don't pay protection^Wbribes^W^Wdonate to campaigns the way the big boys do.

Re:Anti-Trust (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 5 months ago | (#45299227)

What business are Apple, Microsoft, RIM in for which they can form a trust? Especially one related to search. Apple bundles other people's search they lose money on it and are a customer of both Google and Microsoft for search. RIM doesn't do search at all.

Re:Anti-Trust (1)

somersault (912633) | about 5 months ago | (#45299293)

They all make phone OSes. Google make an arguably better (or at the very least, more popular) phone OS. So they're trying to destroy Google's core market of search, to stop them making such a nice phone OS.

Re:Anti-Trust (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 5 months ago | (#45299525)

1) The patents aren't about phone-OSes they are about search more broadly
2) The combined marketshare of Apple + Microsoft+RIM falls well short of a complete market JavaVM is still larger then all 3 plus Android.
3) Even if you were to restrict to particular price points and thus exclude JavaVM, Google is the one who approaches a monopoly. It is legal to act in concert to prevent the formation of a monopoly.

So you would really have to argue that RIM+Microsoft+Apple are in collusion to drive Google out so as to form a trust... But how does winning this directly create a phone-OS trust? Even if Google were to stop being involved in search there is no reason they couldn't continue to produce Android and use other search engines. I don't think this is a makeable case.

Re:Anti-Trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299325)

Google tried to buy all these patents themselves. Are you saying it's OK for Google to own them exclusively but a collective - one that Google was invited to be part of - can't own them as a group? Isn't it fairer for more than one company to own them so all of the companies involved can use the patents?

If Google wasn't so greedy to want to own them exclusively then they wouldn't be in this position.

Re:Anti-Trust (1)

leehwtsohg (618675) | about 5 months ago | (#45299401)

Maybe they tried to buy them to prevent exactly this from happening?

Re:Anti-Trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299501)

Maybe they tried to buy them to prevent exactly this from happening?

If that were the case they would have joined the others in the group and all of them would owned the the patents together ... and paid much less than Goolge bid by themselves. The best and cheapest way to "prevent exactly this from happening" was to share the patents and the cost of acquiring them.

There was a reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299125)

There was a reason why Google bid $4.4 billion. They certainly thought some of the patents were valid. But that does not mean that these 6 patents are valid. That Google bid on the larger group, should be considered irrelevant.

Patent hell (5, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about 5 months ago | (#45299135)

Broken system. Too much politics, too much backstabbing, too much use of patents to tear down competitors instead of just arranging a reasonable fee.

Abolish software and "business method" patents. They're not *things*, just ideas. They're not what patents were *created* to protect.

Remember the old adage... (4, Insightful)

mishehu (712452) | about 5 months ago | (#45299151)

Those who can, innovate.

Those who can't, litigate.

Sorry, Apple, but the Woz was right when he explained concern over your company. And I've not really seen Microsoft innovate itself out of a paper bag in years... But that's ok, they'll make sure they're on the gravy train by attempting to collect royalties every Android device out there...

Re:Remember the old adage... (-1, Troll)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 5 months ago | (#45299167)

Those who can, innovate. Those who can't, litigate.

Then there are the ones like Google, who bought Motorola to sue Microsoft for four billion dollars, and get their ass handed back to them. So what do those who can't litigate do?

Re:Remember the old adage... (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 5 months ago | (#45299281)

Motorola (actually Motorola Mobility - it was only half of the original company) also has well established expertise in the design and manufacture of wireless products. What a strange company - they can actually produce something other than government writs of monopoly (a/k/a patents).

Re:Remember the old adage... (2, Insightful)

jbolden (176878) | about 5 months ago | (#45299257)

And I've not really seen Microsoft innovate itself out of a paper bag in years

http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/ [microsoft.com]

Re:Remember the old adage... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299411)

from that website:

Headlines

        You Can Live Forever! Digitally
        How Researchers Map The Future Of Innovation
        Keeping Teens ‘Private’ on Facebook Won’t Protect Them
        Audio: Microsoft's Baym Discusses Social Media Fundraising

WOW, that's some innovation right there. I can't wait for those innovations to become available to us.
Looking at the rest of the website, it's all about other people doing research with microsoft products.
Not microsoft doing research.

Re:Remember the old adage... (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 5 months ago | (#45299547)

Look more carefully. That's the research arm of Microsoft. Those people doing the research are mostly Microsoft employees or academics with research grants from Microsoft.

Re: Remember the old adage... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299413)

That's really a little separate appendix of Microsoft that almost by definition is outside the main body of the company and almost never consulted regarding the main direction Microsoft takes.

Re:Remember the old adage... (3, Interesting)

ausekilis (1513635) | about 5 months ago | (#45299353)

I was going to leave it at "Don't innovate, litigate!" but then realized there's more to this.

We all know Steve Job's hated android with a passion. It is still the iPhones biggest competition. They noticed that an open source platform, with it's hundreds/thousands of contributers is going to move and adapt much more quickly than whatever team they can afford to pay. Apple has a great think tank (though not as good with the passing of St. Jobs), but even they can't come up with something so fresh and new that the legion of android wouldn't be able to build a competitor rapidly... much more rapidly than their annual "yes, but this iDevice is 5% shinier!".

At first MS had the iPhone hate due it it whipping the pants off their Windows Mobile nonsense. They too see that a competitor has a massive market share, and their own offerings (with sub-par app choices) just can't compete. They still don't get that people use their phones in different ways than computers and their vendor lock-in with "yes, but we have office!" (on the surface/RT at least) just isn't going to get all those young adults/teens/preteens hot and bothered about Windows phone.

Then we can take a step back and look at what the competition is really like. Apple with their $600 "but it's shiny" iPhone and walled garden with plenty of apps. MS, with their handful of Windows Phone devices and (by comparison) tiny app market for reasonable prices, or Android that has plenty of apps, is more customizable (for those that do), and is cheaper to produce due to no licensing fees.

The market has spoken for itself, the "little guys" have run out of ideas to attract the populous, so now they are lashing out at their competitor. Little do they realize that the whole Apple/Samsung campaign tarnished that once golden sheen of Apple's doors. We can only hope that something like the Streisand effect kicks in and a negative public image for companies behaving like children starts becoming a deterrent for these kinds of tactics. Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of Google and their constant data mining on everything, but given the choices, I'd rather go with Android than the Reality Distortion Market or Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

Re:Remember the old adage... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299373)

Those who can't, litigate.

I'm reminded of an old song by Dire Straits "Money for Nothing". But I suppose they can see the writing on the wall, a couple of Slashdot articles below this one states that Android currently has an 81.3% market share. [[http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/13/11/01/0133203/smartphone-sales-apple-squeezed-blackberry-squashed-android-813]]

Lets make a brief list here.
1 Apple phones have nothing but glitches and problems, most of them by design.
2 Microsoft already collects royalties from Android. Microsoft phones are crap (Nokia makes good hardware, but they are hampered by a shit OS). Even Nokia admits this.
3 RIM used to be "THE" corporate phone of choice, but they cut their own throats when they started knuckling under to oppressive government surveillance demands.
4 Sony makes Android phones so they are no doubt just along for a free ride (or more likely got told to shut up by Apple and Microsoft).

Definition of patent (1)

Carnivore24 (467239) | about 5 months ago | (#45299157)

I thought patents were given out to people who invent things, not repackage or rename existing technology with one little thing changed?

Re:Definition of patent (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 5 months ago | (#45299279)

Google was founded September 4, 1998
Some of these patents were filed as early as November 21, 1996.

I doubt Nortel invented anything of note and so these patents are likely BS but you can't argue who got there first.

Re:Definition of patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299397)

I thought patents were given out to people who invent things, not repackage or rename existing technology with one little thing changed?

That was many years ago when the USPO actually checked for prior art. Now they just rubber stamp as many patents as they can in order to collect the application fee.

Motorola (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299159)

Everyone was asking if the motorola acquisition was worth it. Right now I'm guessing it is. Motorola had 17000 patents.

Go nuclear (3, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | about 5 months ago | (#45299173)

Google must have more than a few basic patents too, just all of block them in most of their products on internet/mobile and bring the whole industry to an halt until the legal system regarding patents stop being so badly screwed.

Justia link (4, Informative)

jbolden (176878) | about 5 months ago | (#45299181)

To save people the trouble of finding these:
http://patents.justia.com/inventor/richard-prescott-skillen [justia.com]

Re:Justia link (5, Funny)

amoeba1911 (978485) | about 5 months ago | (#45299543)

This invention relates to an advertisement machine which provides advertisements to a user searching for desired information within a data network. The machine receives from a user, a search request including a search argument corresponding to the desired information and searches, based upon the received search argument a first database having data network related information to generate search results. It also correlating the received search argument to a particular advertisement in a second database having advertisement related information. The search results together with the particular advertisement are provided by the machine to the user.

Yep... that's the "patent". Let's narrow this down a bit:

This invention relates to an advertisement machine which provides advertisements to a user searching for desired information within a data network.

Let's refactor this:
"within a data network" - where else is he going to search? What if he's in a car? and who cares where he's searching?
"user searching for desired information" - what other kind of information would he ever search for, undesired information? That's the whole point of "searching" is to find desired for information, so let's shorten that to "user searching" to get rid of redundancy.
"to a user searching" - Who cares what the user happens to be doing at the time? What if they're scratching their ass, and the machine serves ads to the user scratching his ass? What the user happens to be doing is irrelevant.
"machine which provides advertisements to a user" - what if the user is a web-crawler? Your invention will still work if it's a web crawler randomly pretending to be a user, so the invention is providing advertisements to not just a user, but to any client that connects. So we don't need to specify the "to a user" part either.
"This invention relates to" - this is the abstract for your invention, we know what you're talking about already, don't repeat.
"an advertisement machine which provides advertisements" - What else would an advertisement machine do? make coffee? By definition an advertisement machine is a machine that provides advertisements. Let's simplify this to "an advertisement machine"

After removing all the fluff, we're left with just:

An advertisement machine.

Good job! This patent would be awesome if you also invented a time machine, because ads have been around for a very long time.

Justice will be served! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299195)

About time Google gets called out for blatantly ripping off other peoples hard work. This self entitled freetard mentality has no place in the real world!

All the best, Apple, Microsoft, and all!

Re:Justice will be served! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299431)

1/10, because you made me respond.

not how patents should work (2)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 5 months ago | (#45299215)

I really have to wonder what the people who started the patent system would have thought of this kind of thing. Something tells me this is not what they had in mind. I thought the whole idea was to protect the inventors. If a company goes bankrupt, they really don't need protection, so the patent should go into the public domain. If an individual is granted a patent, they should either have to do something with it in the allotted time, or lose it. Patents were not meant to be used as a way to sue companies as a means of making profit. Nor should massive corporations be able to use them as an Armageddon device against their competitors. I know my post sounds naive and that it's not that simple. But this is just not how the system was intended to work.

Re:not how patents should work (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 5 months ago | (#45299393)

but it's unfair to creditors if the assets are not sold.
what do you think bankruptcy is for? for moving assets to your best buddy?

the only thing is to make it stricter to get patents, in the way that it has to be something OMFG smart thing to invent one.

I mean, fuck, say you're running a search engine. say you have a database of ads. how much of an invention is it to fetch data from the two databases instead of just one with the word?

Googled for more informatio (0)

cdrudge (68377) | about 5 months ago | (#45299219)

I tried to google for more information on this lawsuit, but searching for Apple, Microsoft, Sony, RIM, and others returns no hits. Weird.

Altavista (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299249)

And Altavista was doing everything this patent describes starting in 1995...

Google saw this coming (4, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 5 months ago | (#45299259)

I think it is safe to assume Google saw this coming. Which means they believe it will cost less than 4.4 billion to win (I assume their ability to serve ads, and android, both are not something they will willingly give up on).

This FP for GNNA.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299283)

and the Ba2aar

Um, Sony? (1)

challman1 (1647351) | about 5 months ago | (#45299319)

Maybe Google should have licensed the use of Android with an agreement that parties will not sue each other or Google over (questionable?) infringements. I'd guess that they're all sueing because if you add up all their market share together, you'd probably have 10% of the market. Sore losers. Just another reason why I'll never own a Microsoft, Apple, Sony or RIM phone.

sanctions (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45299323)

Benefit Sanctions Must Be Stopped Without Exceptions in UK?
Petition Calling For Benefit Sanctions To Be Scrapped Hits 5573 Signatures In First Few days
http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/benefit-sanctions-must-be-stopped-without-exceptions-in-uk

Anybody else wish Google would grow a mean side! (1)

madhi19 (1972884) | about 5 months ago | (#45299507)

And just block Apple and Microsoft sites index from search for a day and see how they like non existence.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

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

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

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

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...