back to article Google's patents bid may prompt showdown with Microsoft

Google bid $900m for Nortel patents on Monday, as its defence against rising Android litigation. The search giant now needs to compete with Apple, Nokia and Microsoft in an aggressive intellectual property rights (IPR) power play. When Google emerged as the stalking horse bidder for Nortel's huge patents hoard, it indicated …


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  1. amehaye

    Software patents

    Remember that software years are very much like dog years. Given the ratio of 7-to-1 the term of software patents should be shortened to 3-4 years max, instead of the current 20.

    That will solve a big amount of the problems associated with the current system.

  2. WinHatter
    IT Angle

    Hope they'll choke

    to death on the patent bulimia.

    From progressive they all turn conservative, the only thing they are afraid of it someone else making monies out of one of patented snippets.

    That demonstrates only one thing : innovation is not the aim (money is).

  3. IT specialist

    Google doesn't need to worry about Windows Phone

    Microsoft is sufficiently inept in mobile that it has 100% chance of screwing up Windows Phone 7 to the point that nobody wants to use it.

    Microsoft will then have to become the patent monster, as its only way of getting revenue in mobile.

  4. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Why not just compete?

    If Microsoft wants to beat Google they need a better product, plain and simple.

    1. Anton Ivanov

      Because they cannot

      It is the Nethack Principle: YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.

      Even if you do not get a particular intrinsic property the first time you swallow something, you definitely will get it sooner rather than later.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Turning the tables...

        Microsoft should just set up a black-ops team to write viruses & trojans which target Android.

        1. Giles Jones Gold badge

          Or just make something good?

          Again, why do that when you can put more effort into making a better product?

          This confrontational style of business isn't doing anyone any favours. I don't see why technology businesses have to suffer this patent rubbish when the creative media generally doesn't.

          You wouldn't go to see film you knew was rubbish if the makers of that film managed to pull all the screenings of other similar films. So why buy a product you don't want or like just because the makers of it have canned everyone else's product?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, just IP blocks

      Microsoft will then have to become the patent monster, as its only way of getting revenue in mobile."

      They have.

      MS has probably made more money out of licensing to patents to HTC et al than they have out of WinCE.

  5. OSC

    words, language, nuance

    One of the big disappointments about Pamela Jones' decision to stop writing articles on Groklaw is that we will lose a big source of careful textual analysis so instead we will only have articles mixing and muddling the story.

    So here we have some reasonable assertion mixed with quite a lot of "if" (If I were Prince William I'd be marrying Kate Middleton, but I'm not and I'm not) conjecture and emotive language.

    So unnamed source say Google are giving priority to one set of chipmakers? What does that actually mean in practice? Was the unnamed source some bloke in the pub that makes it up as they go along? Does priority mean that chip maker A asked Google two weeks before chipmaker B and Google didn't say, I'm sorry I can't deal you with unitl chipmaker B is in the room? Does it mean that it didn't occur to chipmaker C to ask untl they heard about A&B and now they're kicking themselves and having to explain to someone else why they were asleep at the controls? I don't know either.

    All parties involved appear to be big and ugly enough to look after themselves but we, as users, (e.g., possibly as eventual parties to a consumer supercomplaint against someone), need:

    more analysis that clearly tells us whether there is going to more or less interoperability and more or less lock-in at the far end of all of this.

    less conjecture framed as though we were discussing our favourite football teams


    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Par for the course

      For a Wireless Watch piece then. This is meant to be a loss leader for a Rethink research subscription? These articles are not a compelling argument are they?

  6. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    @OSC - PJ's departure

    I've been a Groklaw follower almost from the beginning. She has done more than enough to earn her 'retirement'.

    I don't see any other person or forum that applies the same even-handedness, attention to detail and copious references. This is something we REALLY need.

    1. OSC


      No criticism of her decision intended. Eight years hard labour long enough for anybody, too long for most.

  7. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Black Helicopters



    By comparison, Nokia holds 57 and Ericsson 14.

    This should read

    By comparison, the Nokia division of Microsoft holds 57 and Ericsson 14.

    As has alreadt been commented, WP7/WP8 etc could very well be a monumental failure for Microsoft. If they are in 4th or 5th place in the Number of phone handset sold(note, not shipped) league table this must be regarded as a failure for someone who only thinks in terms of being No 1 in everything.

    If this is indeed the case I fully expect Microsoft to start rectifying the situation by issung lawsuits and FTC 'ban these illegal imports' suits against all those above them in the league table.

    Thankfully, much of this Lawyer fest will only apply to the US. The rest of the world will just get on with doing business and making money for their stockholders rather then their corporate legal teams.

    Black Helicopters... The ones used to ferry the Microsoft Legal teams into battle. Lets hope their IFF is faulty.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Nortel patent sale

    should be the final proof that patents do not in any way encourage innovation. How comes a company like Nortel sitting on top of an impressive stash of valuable patents went down like an old cart with squeaky wheels falling off ? How comes none of those patents materialized into a top class product/service helping them to become a prosperous player in the mobile industry ? And what are all those scavengers moving closer to Nortel carcass of IPR remnants going to do with all that valuable innovation in addition to fending off / hampering competition ?

    And we're talking here only about insignificant mobile phones (me personally I don't give a damn about them anyway) but how about all those really valuable patents hidden in the vaults of pharmaceutical companies without the hope of ever becoming valuable products that could save human lives ? Can humanity afford such a waste of creativity now when we're on the path of becoming an endangered species ?

  9. Turtle

    The Mountain of Money and Maximizing Pain

    It would be interesting to see Apple use that mountain of money on which they are sitting to either acquire the Nortel patents, or raise the price so much as to maximize the pain inflicted on Google if Google is so desperate that they want, and must have, those patents "at any price".

  10. The main man
    Thumb Down

    The real reason...

    For Microsoft taking Google to court is that she wants Google to feel her pain. After years of anti-trust and anti-competition lawsuits in America and the EU (choice of browsers in new PC's as a result of one of those lawsuits), the only way Microsoft can beat Google is guess what through the same way.. pathetic

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    a title

    Patents nowadays are what religion was in the dark ages, the biggest factor holding back innovations and developments...

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