Microsoft wants to make Android phones illegal.

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LordoftheMonkeys
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02 Oct 2010, 12:32 pm

Microsoft is suing Motorolla for making Android phones. They claim that Android infringes on nine of their patents. These patents include things like context-based menus and notifying applications of low battery power, features that are used in just about every modern operating system in existence. Basically, MS realized that they can't compete with Droid phones on the free market, so instead they want to make them illegal. It's extortion, and it defies the principle of the free market. Microsoft is exploiting the patent system in order to make it illegal for someone else to make a product that competes with theirs.

Here's a video that explains what I'm talking about:

http://ia331209.us.archive.org/0/items/ ... 50kbit.ogv

"That's the way the system works. Get over it," people will probably say.

Yeah, tell that to Martin Luther King, Mohandas Gandhi, and George Washington.

Please spread the word that the US patent system must be abolished. It was originally created as an incentive for inventors to develop new technologies and disclose their implementations to the public, but it has instead become a tool to exclude people from using an idea. Because of modern software companies' frivilous patent buyouts, it is impossible to create a new software product without the risk of being sued. The patent system only serves to stifle innovation, and put consumers and smaller businesses at the mercy of a handful of multibillionaire CEOs and top-level executives who have complete and utter control over the market and will gladly make life miserable for everyone else as long as it allows them to become even richer than they already are.

It is a truly messed-up system that will sacrifice progress in order to make the rich richer.


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iceb
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02 Oct 2010, 1:14 pm

A lot of people have never liked the idea of software patents!


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mcg
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02 Oct 2010, 1:16 pm

I agree completely. The patent system has to go. When you look at a patent at the most basic level, what it does is force a person who was going to buy another product (presumably because it met his or her needs better) to buy an inferior product. They benefit a select few at the detriment of the masses.

Intellectual property rights in general are complete bullshit. They are just a specific way that people are not allowed to use their actual real property.



t0
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02 Oct 2010, 1:22 pm

What is it with you guys and your "Microsoft wants xxx to be illegal" threads? Is there some unwritten rule on WrongPlanet that there has to be a new thread like this every week? The subject is incredibly inaccurate - even if MS were to win the patent argument, the judge wouldn't force Motorolla to stop making the phones. They wouldn't be illegal. They'd just force Motorolla (or Google) to modify the phone or software or pay royalties.

Besides, every technology company on the planet is doing this. I agree that it is wrong. It is not "the rich getting richer" - it is all the rich guys (including Microsoft, Motorolla and Google) fighting among themselves for control of the technology. They all figure that once they control the technology, they'll control us as individuals.



LordoftheMonkeys
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02 Oct 2010, 2:22 pm

t0 wrote:
even if MS were to win the patent argument, the judge wouldn't force Motorolla to stop making the phones. They wouldn't be illegal. They'd just force Motorolla (or Google) to modify the phone or software or pay royalties.


The thing is that the patents are extremely generic, and they describe basic functionalities of any operating system, which means they cover pretty much everything. Microsoft could probably use the same patents to sue Apple, RIM, and AT&T for making iPhones, Blackberries, and Symbian phones respectively, but at the moment Android is taking over the smart phone market, and it was largely responsible for the decline of WinMobile. Consequently, that is what MS is going after. But since the patents are so broad, they could easily destroy Android by depriving it of its basic functions, or they could demand a high licensing fee in order to get a bigger piece of the pie.


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Jono
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02 Oct 2010, 3:01 pm

t0 wrote:
What is it with you guys and your "Microsoft wants xxx to be illegal" threads? Is there some unwritten rule on WrongPlanet that there has to be a new thread like this every week? The subject is incredibly inaccurate - even if MS were to win the patent argument, the judge wouldn't force Motorolla to stop making the phones. They wouldn't be illegal. They'd just force Motorolla (or Google) to modify the phone or software or pay royalties.

Besides, every technology company on the planet is doing this. I agree that it is wrong. It is not "the rich getting richer" - it is all the rich guys (including Microsoft, Motorolla and Google) fighting among themselves for control of the technology. They all figure that once they control the technology, they'll control us as individuals.


The problem is that Android is an open source project. No open source project can agree to pay patent royalties because by definition, the project is no longer open source if they charge any per copy fee. Software patents have caused a lot of open source project to close down in the past and the only way to get around them is to either code your way around the patent or try to prove the patent to be invalid.



Asp-Z
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02 Oct 2010, 3:07 pm

This will never work since those features are in so many other products. My Mac tells me when the battery's about to run out, too.

BTW, Google is almost as big as Microsoft these days, they can fight them off in the courts just fine. Sounds like they just gotta dust that dirt off their shoulders :wink:



CloudWalker
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02 Oct 2010, 9:57 pm

t0 wrote:
What is it with you guys and your "Microsoft wants xxx to be illegal" threads? Is there some unwritten rule on WrongPlanet that there has to be a new thread like this every week? The subject is incredibly inaccurate - even if MS were to win the patent argument, the judge wouldn't force Motorolla to stop making the phones. They wouldn't be illegal. They'd just force Motorolla (or Google) to modify the phone or software or pay royalties.

I get the same feeling.

Jono wrote:
The problem is that Android is an open source project. No open source project can agree to pay patent royalties because by definition, the project is no longer open source if they charge any per copy fee. Software patents have caused a lot of open source project to close down in the past and the only way to get around them is to either code your way around the patent or try to prove the patent to be invalid.

That's not true. lame is open source, you can use it freely in your products, as long as you pay the royalties to the patent holders. Same for FreeType, if you want to enable the bytecode interrupter, you have to negotiate with Apple.



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02 Oct 2010, 10:05 pm

Inventors don't make money by inventing because someone can just take the idea make it faster and cheaper and then the inventor makes no money and doesn't invent anything anymore. That is the basic idea behind patents. If you get rid of them then yes Microsoft cannot sue but also smaller companies and individuals will be unable to protect the things they invent as a large corporation such as Microsoft will just outsource the product to China then sell if for $200 less than the inventing company or person thus making all that effort meaningless. Big companies can just sit around and take the ideas others make. Inventors have to have a way to make a profit on their creations that is secure if they don't they won't make anything because they know it won't turn a profit.


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RaceDrv709
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02 Oct 2010, 11:49 pm

That's just bull honkey. Microsoft shouldn't be doing this.


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03 Oct 2010, 7:58 am

Microsoft already make money off Linux distros (SuSE) and Android phones, Motorola is the only company that's fighting it.

KingofKaboom: There's a difference between patents and software patents. Software patents VAGUELY describe something. Software patents BLOCK innovation and research. You're looking at the bigger problem here, you can be sued for unknowingly using their code (which may be so vaguely described that they've effectively patented the only way to do the said thing). MPEG-LA is confident that ANY video format infringes on their patents and so far is collecting royalties. I can't describe how wrong you are here. Let me stress this some more: SOFTWARE PATENTS ARE NOT THE SAME AS OTHER PATENTS. THEY BLOCK THE WAY SOFTWARE WORKS.

Software patents are made to be ciphered and deciphered by patent lawyers. One man went to patent his software algorithm and the patent was so absurd that he couldn't understand it.

Microsoft has patented double clicking.



LordoftheMonkeys
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03 Oct 2010, 9:14 am

KingofKaboom wrote:
Inventors don't make money by inventing because someone can just take the idea make it faster and cheaper and then the inventor makes no money and doesn't invent anything anymore. That is the basic idea behind patents. If you get rid of them then yes Microsoft cannot sue but also smaller companies and individuals will be unable to protect the things they invent as a large corporation such as Microsoft will just outsource the product to China then sell if for $200 less than the inventing company or person thus making all that effort meaningless. Big companies can just sit around and take the ideas others make. Inventors have to have a way to make a profit on their creations that is secure if they don't they won't make anything because they know it won't turn a profit.


Okay, for one thing, most of the patents Microsoft owns are on things that they did not come up with themselves. For another thing, Microsoft pretty much makes their business ripping other people's ideas; if patents prevented large companies from copying smaller companies, MS would have collapsed long ago. Small companies are rarely helped by the patent system; it only makes it so that those who can afford to hire expensive lawyers can bully those who can't. I suggest you actually watch the video I linked to. It will explain what I'm talking about.


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KingofKaboom
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03 Oct 2010, 11:48 am

Sorry I was referring to physical patents I can see how software gets icky. Also most corparations buy up patents that may affect them adversely. Car companies buy new batteries so they can't be made for electric cars. Anyway they won't win the prevailing idea is to try so they can gum up the works on the android long enough to get a foothold in the market. If you ask me they have no business in the game market either and they steal Sony and Nintendo's ideas (everybody seems to steal Nintendo's though).


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04 Oct 2010, 6:15 am

t0 wrote:
What is it with you guys and your "Microsoft wants xxx to be illegal" threads?


Its not "you guys", its just LordoftheMonkeys doing it. He seemingly has an alarmist mindset and a weak concept of the difference between illegality and intellectual violation.


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Tensu
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05 Oct 2010, 4:12 am

that's because Nintendo is the only game company that actually has ideas. :wink:



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06 Oct 2010, 7:08 pm

I don't see why software inventors should get less protection than their physical counterpart. The idea is still the same, why would anyone invest their time and money on something that will be copied on a blink. If you invented something and wanted to give it free to the world, that should be an option not obligation.

If there's anything wrong it's the administration. Why are they granting such generic patents in the first place?