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back to article Paul Allen reloads patent attack against tech titans

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has hit refresh on his attempt to bring a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple, Google, Facebook and other tech outfits. Earlier this month a US District Court judge rejected a far-reaching complaint brought by Interval Licensing LLC – the patent arm of Interval Research – against Google’s …

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Stop

Just goes to show.

That even having over $1000 million doesn't stop him being a petty minded little bully.

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Anonymous Coward

Advocat

It is to be noted that Floraion Müller is an Open Sources activist but not an advocate.

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Anonymous Coward

Florian

On a couple of forums Florian is considered by some to be a Microsoft employee.

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Troll

So... is this patent trolling or not?

The article isn't clear how valid these claims may be...

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Troll

It is

The patents are of the type "Any stuff that allows you to do stuff with stuff."

For instance, one covers proposing a product related to what the user asked for. As in, "Would you like some fries with that."

Allen should sue McDonald's, they have been saying this for decades... Oh wait.

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Gold badge

Political

He's not suing Microsoft even though they're likely to be infringing too.

It all goes to show that this is just a way of trying to slow down and hinder competition to Microsoft.

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Some days it's hardly worth chewing through the straps

Bit different to the normal patent modus operandi - loads of big (US) companies getting together for a chat and all agreeing to do nothing except keep new entrants out of the market.

Let's hope that 2011 is the year that software patents are finally abandoned. Fat hope of that happening.

Still, at least it gives the big boys something to do and provides some quantitive easing for the poor beleagured lawyers. Pity it ends up as 'gadget inflation' for the rest of us; a tech tax.

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Alert

Needs some chemo.

Patents. They grow on the economy.

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Troll

"claimed ownership of four patents...

"[...] that have been staples of most websites for years."

Does this mean he's only just noticed, or only just decided that they're now valuable enough to make it worthwhile suing for...?

(Patent) Troll...

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Gates Horns

This is the guy...

that bought an OS to pass off as his own that was said to be a 'bug-for-bug' copy of CP/M. Now he's patent trolling. What a class act! Has he ever really contributed anything other than this and selling BASIC?

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Boffin

@AC 29/12/10 13:47

"Has he ever really contributed anything other than this and selling BASIC?"

Er..no.

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Linux

My only hope

Is that maybe 2010 is the year when the software patents problem would spiral out of control and people realize all over the place that software patents need to be eliminated and forbidden as they are a rotting cancer to the industry.

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Happy

is this the end of the American innovation as we knew it?

only ~200 years and it is coming to the sorry END!

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Gates Horns

Almost, but not quite.

On days like this, when a billionaire chooses to make a hobby out of having lawsuits thrown out of court, it almost makes you just wish the entire USPTO would go away, leading to a beautiful patent-free technology world where trade secrets and government-protected innovation are secondary to the implementation and execution of ideas, code, interface design, support and innovation.

It almost makes me dream of a world where the quality of your product is of superior importance to that of your ability to out-spend, out-research and out-lobby your competitors. When you can freely reverse-engineer the products of your competitors, and they can freely do the same to you, its what you create, how you create it and how you continue to evolve your creation that matters most. Industrial espionage is the greatest tool capitalism knows.

I say I "almost" want these things, because a completely free and unregulated system isn't the answer any more than the flawed and easily abused current system is. The system definitely needs to be more free, and it definitely needs to retain its ability to protect real innovation (of which makes up very, very few software/tech patents), but the real change will come when companies just accept the fact that doing business with the public means their competitor will always try and one-up them, most often by copping a feel of their good ideas.

As long as you dominate your market position fairly and don't quit innovating then you've nothing to worry about. As long as you respond to changes within the market and to attacks to your success by competitors then you've nothing to worry about. No one wants to be Microsofted, but what amazes me is how often people fail to recognize that, despite the fact that, yes, Microsoft did rip them off, Apple sealed their own fate by being appallingly incompetent. The current patent system encourages late 80s and early 90s era Apple style mismanagement. You could possibly even argue that it discourages real, actual innovation, but I'd say that has more to do with political lobbyists, regulatory bodies and ineffectual/corrupt enforcement of anti-trust legislation. That's a different tangent for a different article, however.

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Unhappy

If you research 'gesture' technology you will find it predates Apple filings

Just because someone scores a US Patent doesn't mean too much. With all the big money swilling around smartphone technology, the US courts will soon be a spectator sport that will stretch over several years.

And make sure you back up your OS in case some code has to be redacted!

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WTF?

Spam filtering

Apparently anti-spam protection where you compare new emails against old emails known to be spam violates one of these patents.

Its a total crock of shit, and it shows that the US Patent Office are incompetent and unfit for purpose - I suspect they just rubber stamp things and take the money and run.

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Thumb Up

Way to go Paul!

Welcome to America, Land of the "Free To Sue Any and All That Try to Innovate"!

Keep this type of BS up, and you guarantee that all future development in cutting edge electronics will be done in Asian, Indonesian, and even African companies, where they ignore all the "patent" nonsense of first world companies that'd rather sue than innovate!

(This really calls for multiple icons, such as "Troll", "Fail", "Flame", and even, "I one one welcome our new, innovative overseas tech masters", but I'll settle for an ironic "Thumbs up"!)

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Go

What's The Fix ? A Dumb, Minimal Phone Hardware Spec

MS, IBM, Apple and all the other big corpos could easily sue every upstart in the PC business. But the PC is a very minimalist hardware specification (mainly the x86 processor, some support chips, the BIOS, SATA, VGA, PCI, etc).

The Free Software Community built Haiku, BSD, Linux and much more around this minimalist specification. If the $$$-community sues us, we will simply distribute Linux in the Samzidat way:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samizdat

We blatantly copy their trivial patents and innovate in our bedrooms.

NOW: All we need is the same minimalist Phone Hardware Specification and then give the $$$-community the stinking finger (that's how he call it here in Teutonia).

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Flame

The Free Phone Starts Here

http://openbsc.osmocom.org/trac/wiki/BS11

http://bb.osmocom.org/trac/

Intercepting GSM now a breeze:

http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/27C3-Abhoeren-von-GSM-Handys-weiter-erleichtert-1159542.html

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Alert

A hoax?

The whole things sounds so ridiculously optimistic on Allen's part, I begin to wonder if this is going to eventually play out something like the Cage/Batt dispute 8 or so years ago.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-11964995

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"technology incubator"

Cool, another term for patent troll. I'll add that to the pile.

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Go

Open Source Mobile Telephone Development. Start Here.

https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/tutorials/l-openmoko/

Here is the hardware:

http://www.openmoko.com/freerunner.html

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Stop

So what?

Just because it's open source, doesn't mean it would be free from the attention of the patent trolls and it'll have a good deal less resources thrown at it to get around any lawsuits than Android will.

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Thumb Down

I don't need no stinking title!

When you can no longer innovate... litigate!

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