back to article Microsoft sends in the tanks against Motorola, Android

Android has a new legal headache - Microsoft is playing hardball and suing Motorola over claimed patent violations in Droid. Microsoft claims the Droid X and Droid 2, along with other handsets, violate nine of the company's software patents. The patents cover functions Microsoft claims are "essential to the smart phone user …

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FAIL

I hate my droid

I wish I never bought one from Motorola. Here's what I have to deal with:

- crappy apps - most apps for the droid are miserably written I-Phone knock-offs.

- eats batteries

- ringer control on side on phone, where you hold it - easy to turn off ringer

- during calls, on-screen keypad disappears if the phone is moved even slightly - annoying when making calls to automated services.

- tries opening all pictures at once, no matter how many folders they are stored in. Can slow system to a crawl before the photo gallery app crashes.

- Horrible notepad apps - I wish I had MS Notepad back.

- map navigator function is messed up - it actually tried to send me in an infinite circle on a circular cul-de-sac road. I found this out when I saw the same dog being walked - three times!

- apps get too "friendly" with the other data on my phone - who knows who is writing those third party apps.

- browser has no flash capability - if the web site doesn't have a non-flash option, you're out of luck.

- calculator has no percentage - WTF ????

- battery cover comes off all the time - I'm going to lose it someday.

- totally flat keyboard - no space between keys. They had a much better keyboard on the Motorola Q phone.

In fact, the only two things the droid does well is make voice calls and it's voice recognition system, which is very smart. Unfortunately, these two saving graces are not enough to save the droid from itself. The Droid is an idiot savant - it can do two things very well, but it is otherwise useless.

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And your point is?

If you buy crap, don't complain here.

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Stop

Stop moaning..

This is your 5th post repeating the same thing over and over again! Ok - you don't like your phone - stop moaning about it and get a different phone!

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Troll

I thought is was the fanboys that can't take criticism?

Seems like fandroids are at least as touchy!

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Wow... what a troll... feeding time!!

Most of your points have nothing to do with the ANDROID O/S and everything to do with the folks who designed the hardware or wrote the apps. I count 1 possibly valid point out of the twelve made, this is;

1. On screen keypad disappears if phone is moved.

Even this is suspect because it might be something your carrier insisted on as a modification to the telephone interface. I'm using 2.2 on a nexus one and that keypad doesn't vanish unless I tell it to. Do you have an unlocked Android phone?

Everything else is either hardware or application developer dependent, nothing to do with Android itself.

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Anonymous Coward

Criticism welcome...

You know, criticism is one of those things that looks negative, but is generally positive. Stupidity, i.e. confusing applications with the O/S or industrial design of the hardware with the O/S is intolerable.

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A Microsoftie, obviously...

Bull-crap...

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WTF?

Microsoft - the thieving troll

Microsoft has, over the years, stolen so much IP from others it's like the pot calling the kettle black. They even stole the name Internet Explorer from another company/

I seem to remember that some other outfit is calling the whole bunch on e-mail. As for signal and voltage detection, there are many circuits that can achieve this without nearing a patent.

Your article suggested a reason why HTC is making Win7 - a quid pro quo deal between HTC and MS that gives HTC a break on patents if they bang out a losing WinPhone.

At the base of this whole mess is the US Patent Office as it has such a poor set of criteria to meet in order to gain a patent.

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Stop

Er...

"notifying applications of signal strength and battery power."

Every piece of hardware with a battery and antenna has the right to allow software to access this information!

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Go

Android must be AWESOME

Since all the big kids are coming out to beat it up.

I can't think of a better compliment than to say "we know we can't beat you in the marketplace, so we'll try litigation"

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Grenade

but..

If Android was to kill of iOS, where would Google get their ideas from?

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Best result would be...

...for both Google and Apple to carry on in genuine competition - that way we all gain through improved products and lower prices.

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WTF?

Patent

They're claiming that display battery capacity is patentable?

That's utterly absurd - my first phone did that, in fact if the (company) phone installed in my dad's car didn't then at least the brick of a handset we used to climb the hill to use in 1990 did.

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Troll

Question

So, the concept of making the emails you have on one's computer be the same list of emails you have on your phone, through a process called "syncing" is patented by Microsoft? Does this also cover the "syncing" of email on a email client and one's email "server" (IMAP) or prevent me from "syncing" with my laptop? Perhaps the language says "mobile phone devices" instead of just "mobile devices."

Mail/Calendar/etc syncing has been done and redone too many times to count. It's utter bullocks to patent such a thing. Might as well draft up my patent for having "code" on a "computer" that performs "operations" to generate a desired "output."

Troll, since that is what Microsoft is (and most companies that have papers with the USPO).

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Stop

Er...

"notifying applications of signal strength and battery power."

Every piece of hardware that has a battery and antenna has the right to allow software access to this information. :-\

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Anonymous Coward

Synchronising Email???

Surely that's covered by Google's agreement with Microsoft to be able to use the protocols for Exchange Push. Google do have such an agreement (i.e. in the same way Apple and Nokia have such an agreement) don't they?

Am I the only one who tires of the unending and relentless bullshit of corporate America?

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Flame

what a bunch of wankers

smart phones should be sold hardware only with standard phone application and other hardware feature api's integrated in the firmware (bios anyone?) so that i can boot it of a linux derivative image loaded on an flash card, and install the applications that i want if the hardware supports them. just like how i do on my laptop. no one left to sue than except maybe the end user. and just in case you're wondering steavie, my chair is bigger and heavier than yours.

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Linux

another example of why software patent is not for the best interest of the consumer.

if any thing, they seem to harm the consumer and limit their choices. As well as make companies collect money for others hard work, which will in turn increase the price that the consumer have to pay for the item.

software patents should be nullified.

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madness

Microsoft's unprincipled behaviour is irritating but the real blame has to lie with the courts and the US patent office. Most of the rest of world seems to understand that allowing businesses to patent ideas rather than inventions is laughable and dangerous. I feel like making a claim for running: "a technique for accelerating the motion of the legs and modulating the position of the feet in order to move faster from one point to a further point" - and then suing Nike. The rubbish will go on until a court has the courage to stand up and say what everyone else is thinking.

I happen to think that Win7 is the best OS on the market at the moment, so I'm not a kneejerk Microsoft hater, but this has demolished any faint thought I had of buying a Win7 phone, and for my general computing I'm watching Ubuntu's development with interest.

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Alert

Idea

I demand royalties for my idea of using a wheel ! Can I sue everybody since 5000 BC.

(Pedants apply elsewhere)

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Gates Horns

Old news

This is how M$ works.

Next, if they have little success with this a down and out company in this industry will find itself the recipient of a pot of money from an anonymous donor to try and carry a bad lawsuit to the bitter end in order to scare executives away from the competition.

Does Darl McBride own a cell phone company?

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Anonymous Coward

Android deserves a legal headache

Google is cynically exploiting open-source as a weapon against its competitors. Both Android and the WebM video codec are prime examples. Never forget - companies never provide goods or services with no expectation of a return or reward. For example, Microsoft did not invest significant resources in the development of Internet Explorer and then give it away just out of sheer excitement about the Internet. The pay-off was the destruction of Netscape.

Google isn't developing Android in a fit of generosity. Nor is it open-sourcing the WebM video codec because it loves freedom. The question is, what return or reward is Google anticipating from these actions? The answer is linked to their core business - advertising. Google wants to own the advertising market across the Internet, be it the desktop or mobile platforms. To control the market, you need to own the portals to it, and this is where Chrome, Chrome OS, Android, and WebM play a part. These are the 'oxygen' of many other companies, just as Navigator was to Netscape. Cut it off, and they suffocate.

It's sheer genius really - they can freely tap into (or copy) the R&D carried out by other companies whilst appearing to be generous and embracing. If other companies fight back, the open source community falls into line and shouts, "evil!" It's time to wake up and stop acting as Google's pawns.

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Fail hard

You seem to assume that patents presuppose that any "R&D" had to carried out and that companies can "freely tap or copy R&D" carried out by others.

Thank you for playing. Come back when you got out of first grade.

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Anonymous Coward

1234

and of course, Google have never written and release ANYTHING of value...

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Flame

Re: Android deserves a legal headache

Why would I, as a consumer, care if Google is the dominant player in advertising?

It's corporations exerting dominance over consumers that bothers me - so I find myself quite pleased to see power transition from the customer screwing Microsoft and Apple over to corporation screwing Google.

And as for the related perpetual whine that Google has too much info on us all, that, oh my god, we might find ourselves subjected to targeted advertising - do those whiners LIKE watching trash such as that inane GoCompare advert, clearly written primarily for the benefit of retards?

I'd rather see something less offensive to my taste, thanks.

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Anonymous Coward

Back to front

@crowley: "Why would I, as a consumer, care if Google is the dominant player in advertising?"

It makes all the difference in the world. If you buy something from Google, you may be a *consumer* but you are no longer the *customer*. Google's customers are businesses that want advertising space. Consumers come second, and their privacy will be trampled on as far as Google can get away with.

Conversely, if you buy from Apple or Microsoft, you are the customer. They don't survive if they don't provide what you want, and they spend a lot on R&D to that end. Google is just scraping up everyone else's efforts and stamping 'Google' on it - news, images, video, media, books, software, etc, etc. In short, Google is a parasite. I wouldn't be surprised if Google eventually find themselves the target of legal action from many businesses that are sick of seeing the fruit of their efforts siphoned off.

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FAIL

Title required? I cant do a polite one

"Patent infringement at this level is a fantastic notion. How can all these companies - HTC, TomTom, Salesforce - have been so clueless or so crafty to have been taking Microsoft's technology and hoping to get away with it?"

Nope, because m$ holds a patent on the PROCESS, not the the method used.

Which is why the US patent systems is such a broken crock of s**t at the moment

Imagine a piece of software that tracks changes made to the robot programming I do at the moment, so that any changes are saved in the program master database.

Is that not some sort of sync'ing operation? would that be a violation of m$ patents?

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Happy

Robots...

Software that records changes to the robot's programming - hmm, must remember that.

some time later.

Sorry, we did that one already, hand over the cash, or the T1000 will be arriving about 10 minutes ago.

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Seems to me...

...to be just one more reason to tear up most (all?) software patents. The only people who will suffer anything from this are the consumers. Either by being locked in to a single vendor, or having to pay higher prices to cover the legal bills.

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Flame

why are these mobile os firms so scared?

I thought android was just for geeks not the mainstream.

Oops, so did Microsoft, Apple, blackberry and Nokia.

That'll learn them to avoid innovation and simply use lawyers to sell more phones.

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Linux

Won't some rich person,

with a digestive tract, patent the production of shit?

That would close down Microsoft straight away,and quite a lot of other abominations unto Nuggan as well. Lawyers, advertisers, you name it...

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Happy

Upvoted

Purely for the discworld reference

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Great

So Mickey gets per-processor licensing in a new market that it doesn't even dominate. Software patents, eh?

-A.

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Flame

There is no irony here

Nothing particularly ironic. It is called "Nothing personal Frankie, just business".

Besides the i4i announcement, the Motorola announcement there is one more announcement from MSFT lately which is relevant to this. It said that it will charge license fees for Windows Mobile 7. It has to demonstrate what it is charging for. This is exactly what it is going on here. It has now showed the world and dog what you get in terms of essential IPR for that fee.

If it wins we may end up with the Deja Vu situation where mobile vendors buy a license for WinMo7 and put a different OS on top after that. Just like in PC land. Deja Vu all around.

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Joke

Air to be patented next

I've just patented air. Yes it's MY invention (no....not just an idea). You breath in this gas and it runs organic systems by supplying them with energy.

So either STOP BREATHING or pay up.

It's not just business it's bloody ridiculous. MS is stifling competition and preventing free speech/communication. If you know what email is (not MS's invention) then you know that at some point you'll need to sync it. Americas patent laws are a joke, And who keeps getting the back-handers for passing them.

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Palm them off

I would have thought that Palm had prior right to the ideas behind mobile/PC sync, given how long it's been around. It would have to be a pretty useless company to let Microsoft get away with...oh...

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Does anyone else find it interesting...

...Microsoft would announce that anyone who licenses Windows Phone 7 will be guaranteed indemnity from any litigation related to the OS, and then a fortnight or so later sue Motorola for infringing a number of mobile related patents they hold?

Seems to me that poor Motorola are the easiest target to pick a fight with as they've had a good degree of success and a *lot* of media exposure in the US with the Droid, but are still a fairly small fish in the smartphone market.

Microsoft have obviously decided that scaring manufacturers into signing up for their new, and from what I've seen decidedly uninspiring smartphone OS, is their best option. They're charging a license fee per handset (which in itself is entirely reasonable) but Android is essentially free, has built up quite a momentum, and had several major releases, each bringing major improvements and further stability. They're probably right, and it is their only option if they want people to sign up for version one of their "me too" smartphone OS.

Having the word Windows in the product name is only going to cause the same sort of confusion that Windows CE and Windows Mobile did - people assume that they'll be able to run desktop Windows applications and are disappointed to find that they're not compatible. In the smartphone market Microsoft's other products give them no advantage over any of their competitors, certainly not in the way their desktop OS does, and punters these days, especially those who are paying hundreds of pounds for a new phone, are generally pretty clued up about these things.

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Joke

How else are they going to pay...

the $290m in damages i4i or for their appeal against them?

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The four steps to victory

"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."

Mahatma Ghandi

This would be the third step then.

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A possible solution

If the USPO are this slack, how about we get together and patent patent-trolling? "A method whereby patents are filed for no basis other than to attack commercial competition."

The concept of being able to sue MS and Apple for suing others appeals to me.

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Re: A possible solution

Already done (and granted, I think?!):

http://ow.ly/1ghNr

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