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View Full Version : The patent wars continue


Samsdad
24-04-12, 14:46
http://www.vgchartz.com/article/250084/preliminary-ruling-finds-the-xbox-360-infringes-on-motorola-patents/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17825580

Motorola is in the process of getting taken over by Google. Had it just been Motorola against MS I think Motorola might of had a chance to win the final ruling but now that it is getting to be a battle of the giants, the industry standards argument will probably win out.

voltz
24-04-12, 18:35
It's irony because M$ gets sued by just about everybody.

Sony got sued, even Nintendo got sued and they were trying to take the classic controller + remote off the market. I don't know how long patent squatters have been pulling his, but I wish someone would step up to the issue already.

Maybe these guys should get off the ball and start lobbying together?

Samsdad
24-04-12, 22:24
And then it is Apple's turn

http://www.vgchartz.com/article/250089/flatworld-sues-apple-over-touch-based-patent-infringement/

Good luck with this one.

Cochrane
24-04-12, 23:12
http://www.vgchartz.com/article/250084/preliminary-ruling-finds-the-xbox-360-infringes-on-motorola-patents/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17825580

Motorola is in the process of getting taken over by Google. Had it just been Motorola against MS I think Motorola might of had a chance to win the final ruling but now that it is getting to be a battle of the giants, the industry standards argument will probably win out.

The industry standards argument is irrelevant to the size of the company. When the H264 standard was created, Motorola officially committed to licensing these patents under Fair, Reasonable And Non-Discriminating (FRAND) terms. The Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG) would otherwise not have included their contributions in the final specification. This official declaration is the key here: If the final ruling agrees that Microsoft is infringing, then they can still say to Motorola "give us a license on reasonable terms", and Motorola is legally required to give them such a license. That means Microsoft makes slightly less money on every Xbox sold.

If Motorola had not made such an FRAND commitment (or if their FRAND commitment did not include these patents), or if Microsoft did not request such a license from Motorola, then they could actually shut down the Xbox. But that seems unlikely here.

And then it is Apple's turn

http://www.vgchartz.com/article/250089/flatworld-sues-apple-over-touch-based-patent-infringement/

Good luck with this one.

Seems like a patent troll. These guys have no interest in Apple not selling iPhones, they just want to be paid for every single phone that is sold. I expect that if they actually succeed to get money out of Apple (it is always hard to tell in advance), then they will move on to Googlerola and the other mobile phone and mobile OS makers in the market.

TR FAN 18
25-04-12, 08:10
Not again! I'm so sick of all these STUPID lawsuits! :hea:

Samsdad
02-05-12, 14:10
And on.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/technology/chi-court-bans-microsoft-products-from-german-market-in-motorola-patent-spat-20120502,0,5082693.story

Ward Dragon
02-05-12, 14:24
I think a lot of these patents are too broad and should never have been issued in the first place. If something is the industry standard then it shouldn't belong to one company. And it's ridiculous to patent an idea like drag-and-drop (unless I misinterpreted the article about the Apple touch screen complaint? :confused:)

Zelda master
02-05-12, 14:30
Patents in America are a joke, Sony actually asked for a patent on having people gather in a place to have a game meet-up. And I wouldn't be suprised if they actually got it :rolleyes:

Cochrane
02-05-12, 16:41
And on.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/technology/chi-court-bans-microsoft-products-from-german-market-in-motorola-patent-spat-20120502,0,5082693.story
Apparently patent law in Germany is the really, really weird one, with injunctions granted very easily and almost no FRAND defenses.

It's also weird that an american judge can order Motorola not to enforce an injunction received in and for Germany. While I think it is "morally" correct here (it corrects the excesses the german courts apparently allow when it comes to patent enforcement), it is still very questionable, legally speaking.

I think a lot of these patents are too broad and should never have been issued in the first place. If something is the industry standard then it shouldn't belong to one company. And it's ridiculous to patent an idea like drag-and-drop (unless I misinterpreted the article about the Apple touch screen complaint? :confused:)

Many of these patents get invalidated when the lawsuits start, but by far not all of them.

As far as I know, Apple has no patent on drag-and-drop. They do have some on slide-to-unlock (but they don't cover all implementations). Another one that they are very fond of is the overscroll bounce effect, where if you scroll to the end of a view, it scrolls past, showing an empty background, and then bounces right back up.

TR FAN 18
02-05-12, 18:35
Oh just go to hell Motorola! :hea:

Ward Dragon
02-05-12, 21:58
Many of these patents get invalidated when the lawsuits start, but by far not all of them.

As far as I know, Apple has no patent on drag-and-drop. They do have some on slide-to-unlock (but they don't cover all implementations). Another one that they are very fond of is the overscroll bounce effect, where if you scroll to the end of a view, it scrolls past, showing an empty background, and then bounces right back up.

The article made it sound the other way around (that another company claimed to have a patent on drag-and-drop and was suing Apple for patent infringement). Either way I don't think such a simple idea should be patent-able.

Cochrane
03-05-12, 18:44
The article made it sound the other way around (that another company claimed to have a patent on drag-and-drop and was suing Apple for patent infringement). Either way I don't think such a simple idea should be patent-able.

I've tried reading the patent. If anything, they have a patent on drag-and-drop as used on a touch screen, but as I understand the claims of the patent, the specific user interaction is that if a user drags an image away, it is replaced with a new one. That sounds similar to how you can swipe to a different image in a picture gallery app on the iPhone, but it's hard to say anything about a software patent without a lawyer.

To me, none of this patent seems truly innovative. There is no hardware innovation, and the user interaction seems kind of obvious. Similar gestures, but implemented with a mouse, have been around for a while, I think. But what a court will say is a very different question.

I think the world would be a lot better off without patents in particular on software. Or at least with significantly shorter durations for the patentability. They hinder innovation a lot more than they help it by protecting it.