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back to article Microsoft hoists ZTE onto the Android patent bandwagon

China's ZTE has become the latest firm to sign a licensing deal with Microsoft for its Android and Chrome patent portfolio. The firm, which is one of the world's biggest smartphone makers, has agreed to stump up royalties to MS for Android and Chrome stuff just a week after Hon Hai's Foxconn signed a similar deal. "The ZTE and …

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Anonymous Coward

Another anti-competitive win for MS by bullshit patents

I hope VirnetX takes MS for a few billion over Skype.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another anti-competitive win for MS by bullshit patents

"bullshit patents"

Some of the Microsoft patents here are already well tested in court, so nothing bullshit about them....

Do you really think all of these multi billion pound companies would be coughing up the dosh if it wasn't a valid claim?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another anti-competitive win for MS by bullshit patents

I am sick of freetards supporting theft of people's hard work and investment. By the way, I am all for FOSS and all that it represents, but that's all based on correct procedures being followed and mutual consent.

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Thumb Up

This made me smile...

"Redmond has successfully argued that Google's Android OS is full of Microsoft-owned technology and has bagged cash from major fandroid firms including Samsung, LG and HTC."

The beauty of the statement is that It says nothing.

'Successfully argued' could mean MSFT doesn't make any announcements about those that told it to fuck off when approached by MSFT.

RedHat told MSFT to go to hell and, AFAIK, MSFT hasn't issued legal proceedings against them.

Furthermore, the statement It doesn't tell us anything about what MSFT had to give up in the CROSS-licensing agreement.

I can only conclude that the firms who enter into these deals do so for 'nuisance value' only. They simply can't be arsed litigating and are happy to pay a few pennies to MSFT (and charge the customer for it) just to get them off their back.

The MSFT marketing machine, however, loves to laud it all over the press like the Emporer did with his new clothes.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 13:12GMT - Re: Another anti-competitive win for MS by bullshit patents

Care to mention one single patent that has been tested in court ? If not, at least one that has been specifically identified by Microsoft in their license agreements with any of the Android manufacturers ? "Some of" doesn't count as an example.

And by the way, who is saying they are coughing the dosh, the announcement lacks any specifics.

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h3
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Re: Another anti-competitive win for MS by bullshit patents

I don't get it the Barnes and Noble case showed that MS really doesn't want it to be in the open what they actually are so they can be worked around. I think at least some OEM's will have got a deal in exchange for selling Windows Phones.

If they just listed what they were then I wouldn't really have a problem with it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another anti-competitive win for MS by bullshit patents

"Some of the Microsoft patents here are already well tested in court"

How do you know - MS make everyone sign an NDA so no-one knows which patents are involved.

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Re: Another anti-competitive win for MS by bullshit patents

@AC: You're confusing FOSS with bittorrent.

Software patents are a bad thing for innovation.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another anti-competitive win for MS by bullshit patents

Its a matter of weighing up costs - if you don't take the licence then MS threaten you with court action... legal fees soon mount up. Or MS say - give us 1cent per 1000 units you produce and we'll say nothing.

Manufacturer coughs up the tiny bit of money and saves possibly millions on legal fees

Microsoft doesn't have to spend money on legal fees. MS gets a tiny bit of money. MS gets to crow about how Android infringes their patents.

Everyone is happy - apart from the people who know that its all bullshit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another anti-competitive win for MS by bullshit patents

"Everyone is happy - apart from the people who know that its all bullshit."

They're happy too - they have yet another excuse to berate Microsoft!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 13:12GMT - Another anti-competitive win for MS by bullshit patents

"Care to mention one single patent that has been tested in court " - the FAT file system patents for starters.

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Devil

License will be $0.01 per handset

…and less than the price of a lawsuit by two orders of magnitude…

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FRAND Licencing?

Whilst Microsoft talk the FRAND talk, I do wonder if its more of a FRAM agreement; Fair and Reasonably Mafiosa. "Give us your money or bad things might happen".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: FRAND Licencing?

These are generally NOT FRAND patents. Microsoft has no obligation to license them.

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Linux

Re: FRAND Licencing?

They are FRAND:

Fucking

Rubbish

And

Notworth

Dick

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Anonymous Coward

Re: FRAND Licencing?

Well they seem to be making Microsoft quite a lot of dosh! I think they make more from Android than Google do!

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Trollface

"...licensing is an effective way to share technology and build on each other’s work."

If by "share" you mean stifle and by "build on" you mean hamper.

Patent trolling is the new innovation.

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Re: "...licensing is an effective way to share technology and build on each other’s work."

Actually, used as they should be licensing your patented innovations IS an "effective way to share technology and build on each other’s work" while still being rewarded for the work you have done.

It is when the technology should not have been patented, or when a company refuses to license it, that the main problems occur.

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Not Android

These patents are not Android related. They are for accessories added to Android devices.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not Android

> These patents are not Android related. They are for accessories added to Android devices.

Do you have any evidence to back up that claim?

I'm not trying to be antagonistic, I would really like for any such evidence to be more widely known and reported.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not Android

"These patents are not Android related"

Not true. The FAT file system for one is a native part of Android.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 12:49GMT - Re: Not Android

Easy pie for you!

1 - ZTE is getting Android from Google and if Microsoft has a problem with that, they know where Google lives and they should go get them.

2 - ZTE's lawyers have been reading Android license carefully to make sure it gives them the right to get back at Google and sue them in case Android is tainted. So far none of the Android phone manufacturers have done that.

As for your wish, Microsoft would never want that to happen for their strategy to work. See the Barnes&Noble fiasco when they had to buy B&N silence and make sure the world at large doesn't find about this.

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Re: Not Android

Is it ? Nexus devices don't use it (Use a crappy MTP implementation instead which is still Microsoft tech but there is no fat on devices without an sdcard).

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Re: Not Android

I never did understand how they swung that one - FAT was clearly copied from existing file systems at the time.

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WTF?

Re: Not Android

"The FAT file system for one is a native part of Android."

Do you want to know how I know you are completely ignorant of how an operating system works?

No file system is "native" to any OS - they're bolt-on appendages, and Android can support many, of which FAT is but one.

FAT is a file system structure, of which there is a dazzling variety. Android and all other operating systems support FAT simply because it is a defacto standard, having been the original MS-DOS file system. So if you want to read and write files to a storage device, FAT is the "common denominator" format. It is in no way innovative or patentable, as there were many, similar file systems being used at the time it was chosen for MSDOS.

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Re: Not Android

when FAT was implemented in Seattle Computer Product's DOS86 that later became PCDOS 1.0, the alternative was CP/M's FCB based file system which worked fundamentally differently. FCB had no FAT, instead each directory entry linked up to 16 blocks of the file (and a large file required multiple directory entries). FCB as implemented in CP/M did NOT scale well, it started to groan on file systems of a few megabytes. Also a minor detail, FCB didn't even have sub-directories (but then, neither did FAT in PCDOS 1.0, this was added in MSDOS 2.0).

Also, FCB did not have a free space map written on the disk, instead it scanned the whole directory (remember, there was only one root directory) and built the free space map in memory.

FAT was designed so the file system APIs were totally compatible with CP/M.

Now, its very possible that FAT uses features from other preexisting 1970s technology, like any of the multitudes of now obscure minicomputer operating systems, like Decision DDOS, DG Nova RDOS, etc. its been too long, I've forgotten pretty much all of what I knew of those.

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Re: Not Android

It isn't FAT that Microsoft claims patents on (such patents would be long expired) but vFAT, the mangling of long file names to fit into an 8.3 format.

It probably deserves a patent, because it sure as hell isn't obvious to someone skilled in the art. No one in their right mind would invent such an abomination!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 12:49GMT - Not Android

"See the Barnes&Noble fiasco when they had to buy B&N silence and make sure the world at large doesn't find about this."

Barnes and Noble sold Microsoft a 17% Equity stake - and still had to pay to license the patents!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 12:49GMT - Not Android

"1 - ZTE is getting Android from Google and if Microsoft has a problem with that, they know where Google lives and they should go get them."

But damages are based on losses - until recently Google hasn't made any Android devices for Microsoft to claim as a licensing loss. However, now that they launched the Chrome Book, Microsoft are indeed going after Google....

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Facepalm

Microsoft Android claims ..

"Redmond has successfully argued that Google's Android OS is full of Microsoft-owned technology and has bagged cash from major fandroid firms including Samsung, LG and HTC"

Microsofts patent claims against Google have never been successfully tested in a court of law. Who knows one day there maybe an undisclosed balance-sheet liability in relation to the Android 'revenue'. There's a wiff of desperation about that whole strategy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft Android claims ..

"Microsofts patent claims against Google have never been successfully tested in a court of law"

But Microsoft's claims again a number of other entities regarding the same patents have.....

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Anonymous Coward

AC 13:14 - Re: Microsoft Android claims ..

Microsoft claims are not court decisions. Besides that nobody knows what those patents are and that's why Microsoft can't risk going in court. Eventually they will have to and I wait for that day because they will have to show their cards. Oh, and Google will ask for an extensive discovery and invite those Microsoft licensees to speak openly.

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Stop

Re: Microsoft Android claims ..

> But Microsoft's claims again a number of other entities regarding the same patents have.....

When was the court case? I must have missed that one.

While you're at it, perhaps you can list the patents that Microsoft are talking about.

That way can test the veracity of their claims.

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Hmmm

So MS have given another company some cash so they can say "We've licensed their patents". When will they ask me to licence their portfolio? I could do with the cash.

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Anonymous Coward

As a microsoft stockholder.....

With serious numbers of shares............and a former MSFT UK employee.... I am laughing my tits off at this announcement. Kerr farking CHING!!!

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Anonymous Coward

As a microsoft employee...

Minor (compared to the rest of MSFTs income) licensing agreements won't be pushing that stock value up very high, and certainly won't offset a longer term downward trend if they don't start making operating systems that people actually want to use.

Just a thought.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: As a microsoft stockholder.....

"As a microsoft stockholder.....With serious numbers of shares"

As a stockholder you should be concerned that Microsoft generates more revenue from its competitors mobile OS than they do from their own Windows phone ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: As a microsoft stockholder.....

"and a former MSFT UK employee"

Don't laugh too hard as the one share you earned as a floor cleaner isn't going to make you a billionaire.

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Windows

PocketPC 2003

Given I was managing a fleet of these things 10 years ago and only Palm were the competition, I'm not surprised MS has a large stack of patents. At least they made stuff unlike most of these trolls.

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FAIL

Re: MS the Patent Troll

So would this be any better if MS didnt hold the patents?

Or would it be better for some other company, like Apple, to hold them instead?

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@1Rafayal

Hold exactly which patents? Can you name them and tell us what they are, please?

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Re: @1Rafayal

If you have been following these articles you will have noticed this:

"...unspecified Microsoft patents on smartphones, tablets and TVs built by Foxconn that use Google's Linux-derived system software..."

So no, I can't. Sorry.

But I am sure that if you ask Microsoft nicely they will tell you what they are.

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MS the Patent Troll

Lmao, suck it Eadon, I'm sure this article had u throwing things all over your little troll hut wherever you are....how does it feel that MSFT is making money every time an android handset gets sold?

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@1Rafayal: MS paradox

But I am sure that if you ask Microsoft nicely they will tell you what they are.

Here, this is what everybody has been doing wrong, by asking Microsoft in the most impolite fashion.

Now ask yourself why keeping such secrecy about both the patents and the amounts being paid? Why not going against Google for those patents? Is it only Android, or Linux in general? Red Hat? millions of companies using Linux around the globe? No actual court hearings except for the celebrated B&N case, where again and again MS had to follow some very strange logic to award the alleged yet blatant thief, not to teach them some tough lesson?

Can you please ask Microsoft politely to tell us what the hell is going on?

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So why don't they use it?

"Redmond has successfully argued that Google's Android OS is full of Microsoft-owned technology"

If this is the case then why is Windows such a crappy operating system?

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Extortion

This is extortion, pure and simple. Microsoft is a huge bully and they need to be taken down.

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Extortion

So if you created or owned some technology and someone blatantly stole it then made millions from it you would not want to be compensated at all??? Hmmm

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Extortion

Your affirmation does not say anything about the merit of the creation (novelty versus obviousness etc.) so I'm not that convinced about compensation. Can you please give it another try?

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