Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts Government Microsoft Patents News Your Rights Online

Microsoft Sued Over Patent Infringements 162

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the at-it-again dept.
Foobar of Borg writes "The Associated Press is reporting that Microsoft is being sued over alleged infringement of three patents held by Visto Corporation. The patents in question relate to the handling of information between servers and handheld telcom devices. Jack Evans, a Microsoft spokesman, has not commented on the case itself, but has simply stated that 'Microsoft stands behind its products and respects intellectual property rights.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Sued Over Patent Infringements

Comments Filter:
  • Nnnnyes.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Veneratio (935302) on Friday December 16, 2005 @09:11AM (#14271066)
    TFA: "Microsoft stands behind its products and respects intellectual property rights." Well they do, im sure. Right until they buy the company. "Heres , keep the change. All your IP are belong to us."
  • Patents (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pryonic (938155) on Friday December 16, 2005 @09:13AM (#14271070)
    I just don't get how this is meant to work. I don't blame Microsoft here, how are they to know an idea they comeup with has has already been patented? Or is this just the way modern business is going - money is made my sueing other people. I rarely stand behind MS, but i think this is all getting a bit silly now.
    • Re:Patents (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Oliver Wendell Jones (158103) on Friday December 16, 2005 @09:21AM (#14271108)
      how are they to know an idea they comeup with has has already been patented?

      There are these things called "Patent Libraries" that contain (now follow me here, it gets tricky) "patent information"...

      Where I used to work, we had a site license that allowed everyone to conduct searches against an online Patent Library - you could type in a few keywords and within seconds it would show you patents related to your keywords.

      I had a boss who was obsessed with getting his name on a patent, even if it had nothing to do with the companies core competencies, so any time anyone would blurt out something during a brainstorming session, he'd do a quick patent search and say "nope, someone already owns that idea".
      • Re:Patents (Score:2, Interesting)

        by pryonic (938155)
        That's kind of my point though. If I invent a new product such as a wind up radio, I would think to do a patent search to see if a similar patent exists. That's a tangible product with defined search criteria.

        Now, with software the boundaries are blury. What can you patent as in invention? The ability to skin an app? The ability to click a button on a website to initiate a purchase? The ability to increment a variable?

        Pretty soon we'll have to check every applet, function, line of code we write to see i

        • Now, with software the boundaries are blury. What can you patent as in invention?

          This also has a little to do with who is suing them as much as the patent itself. I submitted this story (rejected) with a bit more info - the patents in question are similar to those which NTP is using to put down RIM.

          As it turns out, the Slashdot posting [slashdot.org] regarding NTP licensing its patent library to start a RIM competitor was to - Visto.

          NTP, along with the licensing "agreement", also then bought an equity stake in -

          • I'm amazed (sort of) that the "ability to read eMail on an hand-held device" is patentable... I can read/write mail on my cell phone, PDA, laptop, etc. Similar abilities have been available since well before the Blackberry, the BB only made it more convenient. I seriously hope RIM's appeal about NTP's patent validity goes to RIM... AFAIK, simple aggregation is not patentable.

            Software patents are harmful and these cases are only the tip of the IP-warfare iceberg. Those jokes about IP enforcement creating mil
            • I've never understood why people say it creates more jobs... i would think that several small companies competing would make more jobs than one company.
              • IP and copyrights do create more jobs... at least for lawyers, judges, law enforcement and entertainment lobbyists.

                For the rest of us who have to solve real-world problems and produce stuff that is actually useful, the current trend towards wholesale IP warfare is a major hinderance.
      • Re:Patents (Score:5, Informative)

        by LaughingCoder (914424) on Friday December 16, 2005 @09:44AM (#14271202)
        There are these things called "Patent Libraries" that contain (now follow me here, it gets tricky) "patent information"...

        You are oversimplifying. First, there can be patents filed but not yet issued -- you don't have access to them until the issue. Second, doing a "real" patent search is an expensive proposition (I'm not talking about your boss doing a 2 minute google search on a few key phrases). No company can do that type of search on every little thing that comes along.

        Regarding submarine patents, I believe there have been changes made to the law to address this problem. Apparently the way submarine patents worked was the filer would stall the patent before it issued -- sometimes for many years. Then, once another company (with money) was clearly infringing they would push ahead to get the patent issued. There was no time limit on how long they could stall the process, and since the date of the original filing was the date used to decide first invention, the second company got "torpedoed" with no way of protecting themselves. The law change, as I understand it, is to now give the filer protection for 20 years from the date of filing, rather than 17 years from the date of issue.
        • There was no time limit on how long they could stall the process, and since the date of the original filing was the date used to decide first invention, the second company got "torpedoed" with no way of protecting themselves. The law change, as I understand it, is to now give the filer protection for 20 years from the date of filing, rather than 17 years from the date of issue.

          And this works better how? The second company is still going to find themselves modeling a very fasionable torpedoe up their bac
        • Re:Patents (Score:5, Informative)

          by Dr. Evil (3501) on Friday December 16, 2005 @10:04AM (#14271273)

          Submarine patents were worse than that. They'd file, then they were able to change the patent before it was issued.

          So...

          1. You file a generic patent on some new tech which is on the horizon. E.g. securely replicating web applications for mobile users. You don't know your own implementation, that doesn't matter.
          2. You wait for somebody to come up with a working implementation, filing "continuations" to your patent, stalling the issuing
          3. Somebody implements the idea
          4. You file continuations to cause your patent to match their working implementation
          5. You stop filing continuations
          6. The patent office issues your patent
          7. You sue the orignal inventor for rights to their own creation.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuing_patent_app lication [wikipedia.org]

          • I'm still a law student so this is not legal advice - do not rely on this as such.

            Your explanation may mislead people a bit here.

            No applicant, once their application is filed, can add new matter to the application and retain the same filing date. But they can add claims that are completely 'enabled' by the initially filed disclosure.

            That is, if the initially filed patent basically described the matter involved in a new claim the applicant wants to add (later during the prosecution), they can add the new cl
        • Re:Patents (Score:3, Insightful)

          by back_pages (600753)
          You are oversimplifying. First, there can be patents filed but not yet issued -- you don't have access to them until the issue.

          But of course, we all know that under AIPA all patent applications will be published within 18 months of filing, except in special circumstances where the inventors waive the right to claim priority in a foreign country to the US patent application. And of course, we all know that, because this is an extremely basic and well-known fact about patent systems around the world.

          Secon

          • Hire an expert or expect problems.

            You're seriously suggesting that every commercial software and IP developer on the planet should be employing a patent lawyer? You're insane.

            Great way to put the economy in the toilet.

            Pleading ignorance about patents is akin to pleading ignorance about taxes.

            No. It's akin to ignoring patent parasites. The patent mafia are trying parasitise the rest of society. Large parts of society are, quite reasonably, ignoring them.

            ---

            Scientific, evidence based IP law.

            • Unless you can afford a full time patent lawyer you *must* ignore all existing patents.

              Knowningly infringing is triple damages. If there's even a chance that what you're developing might infringe on *any* patents (eg. patent for moving a mouse, patent for drawing a cursor on the screen, patent for displaying a dialog, etc.) then it's imperative you *never* look at a patent library or have anything to do with them - make this documented policy. Not to do so could be extremely expensive.
            • You're seriously suggesting that every commercial software and IP developer on the planet should be employing a patent lawyer? You're insane.
              Great way to put the economy in the toilet.

              If you expect to operate a corporation and cope with all its inherent liabilities without any professional relationship with a lawyer, speaking from a purely objective point of view, you are an extremely stupid person.

        • Regarding submarine patents, I believe there have been changes made to the law to address this problem. Apparently the way submarine patents worked was the filer would stall the patent before it issued -- sometimes for many years....

          IANAPL but AFAIK...

          The US has fixed its laws to match the rest of the world to stop this "aquatic" practice. Once a patent application is filed there is an 18-month period before the application automatically becomes public. It may still take some number of years, however, befor
        • Doctrine of laches [findlaw.com] fixed this problem. No more submarine patents. Though there is a secret period while the patent is being prosecuted sometimes, the theory being we should not punish the patentee because the PTO is slow.
        • Second, doing a "real" patent search is an expensive proposition (I'm not talking about your boss doing a 2 minute google search on a few key phrases).

          you mean like this? [google.com]

          this guy said they paid a Site license (probally ~$25k/year) for unlimited access to search an online patent library. now, google can get you each and every patent application that has been filed with the us patent office for free, but it is true that already issues patents are another matter.

          still, your dubious point about nobody can sea
          • still, your dubious point about nobody can search every little thing that goes on is silly,

            Your language suggests that you have never participated in the patent process. Finding patents that *seem* to talk about the same thing you are considering is quite easy, but it's a LOOOONNNNNGGGG way from determining if your idea infringes. For that you must read, and understand, the various claims. You need to know if the claims are dependent or independent? You need to look at continuances. And it's mostly writt
      • Re:Patents (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Shakes268 (856460)
        Searching has been patented by the Lexus Nexus network. I'm sure your site license paid for the right to use the patented search technique, right?

        In all seriousness now, for every section of code that I write during the day - if I were to spend an hour searching patents to make sure I don't infringe on something that just triples(or more) 99% of all software projects I've ever worked on.
    • Re:Patents (Score:2, Insightful)

      by lixee (863589)
      That's what results from patents being legal for software. You people should really try to reform the system there. Europe got the point and luckily refused the proposal to legalise software patents. More info on http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/ [nosoftwarepatents.com]
    • You know what though, I prefer this to Microsoft suing smaller companies who can't defend themselves over questionable patent infringements. Yes, it is silly, but I'm glad to see the door swings both ways, so to speak.
    • I rarely stand behind MS, but i think this is all getting a bit silly now.

      Now, now. We all know that the patent system is working 100% as intended. If the patent system tells us MS is bad, it can't possibly be wrong.

    • Or is this just the way modern business is going - money is made my sueing other people.

      You hit the nail on the head, there. Just as the US economy transitioned years ago from an agrarian to manufacturing, then manufacturing to service-based industry, the new economy is moving from service-based to litigation-based.

      You can tell this is happening in my home town (Richmond, VA), as the old 42-floor "Wachovia" bank building had the signs pulled down and is now the "McGuire Woods" (law firm) building. You

  • by KiloByte (825081) on Friday December 16, 2005 @09:13AM (#14271071)
    'Microsoft stands behind its products and respects intellectual property rights.'

    Correction: this sentence lacks the second "its" (just after "respects").
  • Somehow I have a feeling Visto is just trying to "cash in" their patents by making out-of-court agreements to settle the deal.
    • The only purpose of software patents is to cash in. Patents were originally there to prevent ideas theft because it was expensive to develop ideas and manufacturing a product was expensive. In the digital world, it costs nothing to refine an idea and a mere half an hour to develop all but the most advanced software that you are patenting. If it's an idea you have, it will have been patented, especially with things like scrollbars patented, and not forgetting the patent on the idea of a menu. They're used by
      • Patents were originally there to prevent ideas theft

        Sorry, but this is wrong, because:

        1. Ideas can't be stolen. Period.
        2. Actually, patents were originally there to promote disclosure of useful ideas instead of keeping them forever as trade secrets.

        BTW, 2. really should be used as one of the criteria of patentability: the thing should be patentable only if it can be successfully kept as a trade secret. Trivially reverse-engineered or analysed things should not be patentable. If by looking at the thing I can
        • BTW, 2. really should be used as one of the criteria of patentability: the thing should be patentable only if it can be successfully kept as a trade secret.

          Excellent idea. If it can't be kept secret then the thing they're trying to patent is probably a minor variant of something copied from elsewhere anyway.

          This BS where parasites can get monopolies on ideas that require no investment has got to stop.

          ---

          Scientific, evidence based IP law. Now there's a thought.

    • It's what the bottom feeders always do. As much as I hate Microsoft, I really hope they win this case. Companies sit on crappy patents and then pull them out when a product is doing well. How's a developer supposed to know it's safe to continue? He can only wait till a product is successful to see if he'll be sued. - Free stuff without getting the referrals? http://referralaccelerated.com/ [referralaccelerated.com]
      • Microsoft did the same thing with the clickwheel. They patented it after apple came out with the ipod and then asked for license fees from apple. Apple told them go suck their balls instead and MS hasn't pushed it so far but they are probably readying a suit as we speak.

        I don't know what you definition of "bottom feeder" is but MS certainly fits my definition of it. I don't know how many times they have ripped off other companies ideas and then settled for millions (while making billions).
    • Of course they are. And isn't it amusing that Microsoft, which basically fought the U.S. Federal Government to a standstill in the court room, is now looking at being brought to their knees by a bunch of quick-buck con-artists masquerading as Patent Lawyers?

      Sure, they might buy out NTP. But once they pay out, the other Patent Lawyers will smell the blood in the water and start circling like the sharks that they are.

      You'd better believe that a lot of people are going to be looking at the big giants with

  • Too Many Patents (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mattygfunk1 (596840) on Friday December 16, 2005 @09:16AM (#14271080)

    The small guys try to get rich with patents suing the big guys, so the big guys get further patents to protect themselves.

    The system is fucked.

    __
    Funny video clips for Adults only! [laughdaily.com]
  • They thought they were going to pull a fast one on all of us Visto customers by calling their new product Vista. Microsoft must have figured if you cant beat the bootlegers, join them.
  • by tpgp (48001) on Friday December 16, 2005 @09:16AM (#14271085) Homepage
    From Visto's press release [visto.com]
    "Microsoft has a long and well-documented history of acquiring the technology of others, branding it as their own, and entering new markets," said Mr. Bogosian. "In some cases, they buy that technology from its creator. In other cases, they wrongfully misappropriate the intellectual property that belongs to others, which has forced them to acknowledge and settle large IP cases with companies like Sun, AT&T and Burst.com. For their foray into mobile email and data access, Microsoft simply decided to misappropriate Visto's well known and documented patented technology."
    Frankly, my take on it is that the more large comapnies that are sued over patents (especially submarine patents - although that doesn't seem to be the case here) the better.

    Nothing like a little pressure from industry giants to speed up much needed reform of the patent system.

    • by rolfwind (528248) on Friday December 16, 2005 @09:38AM (#14271183)
      I said it yesterday, and I'll repeat it - the patent system (bureacracy) needs to be, not fixed, but neutered.

      Bureacracies always reach out and try to take more power - once patents simply protected implementations - now the patent office is reaching out to get a stranglehold on stuff like "business methods" and algorithms (math) and essentially ideas - many of them common sense to the problem being solved.

      Patents are for society, not the individual. It's supposed to push progress forward by opening non-obvious ideas for everyone for a limited time. Not MONOPOLIZE obvious ideas for the benefit of one person against the rest of society.

      To fix patents, we don't need more patent clerks (federal employees), we need to:

      1. Go back to old way patents were done - which includes working implementation upon application. Thus ideas become unpatentable. Same with business methods. It will also render 90% all the unreadable legalese to obscure what you are patenting obsolete.

      2. Punish non-English application. No, I don't mean application in a foreign language, just the ones that read like they are. Plain english is a must. Jail time in Gitmo otherwise.

      3. Raise price to apply for patent to $10,000-50,000 (refundable only on recieving a patent) - while it may seem to screw the "little guy" it actually will kill corporations trying to patent every little thing. Even a little operation will be able to afford to patent 1 WORTHWHILE application, but will corporate America still be able to afford to apply for 10's of thousands of trivial patents?

      THE KEY
      4. Part of application fee (say 1/2) will go as a bounty to anybody who can disprove it - in other words show prior art, etcetera. This could be anybody - college students, professors, employees of another company.

      Why hire clueless clerks when you could flocks of knowleable people examining patents because of a profit motive to turn them down? They won't have the power to deny a patent, they bring the case against it.

      5. No renewable patents. Lower patent length from 17 years to 9 years or so. Back in the 1700's, business and the pace of life overall was slower, let's reflect that.
      • Here's a better alternative: as patents are inherently unfair (two people can independently invent something, spending the same amount of time and resources, and patents means the one who gets to the patent office first can use the fact this happened to destroy the second - and this isn't a bug, this is the fundamental definition of patents. We've always limited (until the early eighties) the scope of patents to machinery specifically because of this unfairness), let's get rid of them altogether.

        The aim o

        • The aim of patents is to encourage the creation of new inventions by rewarding someone who comes up with something new. However, it's notoriously bad at determining whether someone who created that "something-new" has created something that would have been come up with anyway.

          This is wrong, the aim of patents is to offer inventors an incentive to open up their knowledge (a patent application is just that - describing how it works) to society in exchange for a protection of that knowledge (that only they can

          • This is wrong, the aim of patents is to offer inventors an incentive to open up their knowledge (a patent application is just that - describing how it works) to society in exchange for a protection of that knowledge (that only they can use it or license it out).

            Well, yes and no. It's a part of the intent behind patents, indeed it's the "moral contract" that's used to stifle opposition to patents, but the primary purpose is to encourage invention of things that would otherwise be expensive to invent. That

      • Part of application fee (say 1/2) will go as a bounty to anybody who can disprove it - in other words show prior art, etcetera.

        Argh, you were doing well until that. You just doubled or tripled the cost of applying for a patent. In many cases there will be extremely fine differences between an actual patentable device, and a prior existing device. This will inevitably lead to court, since what is at stake isn't your five or ten grand, its the patent and the business that could grow from it. Also this cou

        • The Patent Office, not the courts, would be the judges to see if something is actually disproven. Actually, I would replace the deciding clerks (who have no clue in many areas) with committees of several experts in fields......

          I would expect relative expediency, especially as the # of patents applied for would be driven down. There would also be less need of appeals, as it's only a patent, not a death sentence on someone's life.

          You just doubled or tripled the cost of applying for a patent.

          Even these days,

          • How about this approach, wich would not crowd out the small, real inovators: Instead of paying the money up front for a rejected patent, have a $50K fee for any rejected patent. That way the small company just goes out of business (but without protection they would have anyway), while the big business is forced to pay, because going out of business would give up too much.

            Good luck getting that one passed!
            • I would envision that of the people/companies that run lawsuit mills (patent everything, including the ridiculous, sit on it until someone implements it, then sue them for big cash settlement, move on to next sucker) would set up a lot of schill/front corporations to apply for patents, if they get accepted the schill corporation passes it to the parent or another company for a small transferal fee. If it gets rejected, they declare bankruptcy and the people behind it are free to apply for another patent.

              A
      • I say everyone should sue the hell out of Microsoft. Make them annoyed enough, and maybe they'll buy some better laws^W^W^W^W lobby for patent reform as you describe.
    • Somehow big companies preffer to just deploy a fleet of lawyers, try to dodge the attack, and if not, just pays up and forgets about it.

      I've more hopes for the RIM case making a change since lots of government people use those. We all know that government guys are all about respecting the law, except when it affects THEM in a negative fashion.
  • by Noryungi (70322) on Friday December 16, 2005 @09:16AM (#14271087) Homepage Journal
    I remember a time -- I think it was around the release of Windows 95 -- when the dream of every little startup was to get bought by Microsoft.

    Now, they have strangled the competition so much that the dream of many little startups is to fold, hold onto their 'Intellectual Property' for a while, then sue the heck out of Microsoft.

    Which, by the way, is not a bad strategy at all, since Bill Gates & Co. have billions and billions of dollars in the bank and are very willing to buy their way out of legal troubles (monopoly problems with DoJ and all that).
  • 1. Microsoft is sued by Visto Corporation
    2. Microsoft buys Visto Corporation, inheriting all their patents
    3. ?????
    4. Profit as usual
  • Its the game... (Score:5, Informative)

    by zappepcs (820751) on Friday December 16, 2005 @09:20AM (#14271100) Journal
    According to what I read YESTERDAY (but the story was rejected on /.) Microsoft seems to be being targeted in a preemptive way. In order to protect its IP, Visto is asking that MS Mobile 5.0 simply be prevented from being bundled with other MS products. They apparently have IP to back this up, and I hope that Visto manages to hold their own, whether that is toe-to-toe until out of court settlements are made, or in just filibustering their way to leadership position on mobile email. By keeping Microsoft out of the game (so to speak) that leaves room for other options. One thing I know for certain, Microsoft will never be kind to a F/OSS option in terms of IP licensing... perhaps Visto will.
    • Microsoft will never be kind to a F/OSS option in terms of IP licensing... perhaps Visto will.

      NTP (the patent trolling company suing BlackBerry), just got recieved an equity stake in Visto (cannot find how much) like the same day Visto sues MS. OK, MS may not be the nicest to F/OSS, but you seriously think think a patent trolling company now owning a stake in Visto boads well for its contributions?

      Also, here are the patents Visto says are being infringed on. OK, I haven't read the patents in detail, but
    • One thing I know for certain, Microsoft will never be kind to a F/OSS option in terms of IP licensing... perhaps Visto will.

      There is nothing to license; you ought to be able to do push/pull E-mail without licensing anything.

      Even if there were anything to license, a patent shark and one of its allies aren't going to be favorably disposed towards FOSS either. However, they may simply not bother to sue FOSS because there is no money tomake.
  • ...die by the sword.
  • NTP (Score:3, Informative)

    by sangreal66 (740295) on Friday December 16, 2005 @09:29AM (#14271138)
    Now we know the real reason why NTP acquired a stake in Visto yesterday.
  • by penguin-collective (932038) on Friday December 16, 2005 @09:30AM (#14271139)
    Neither NTP nor Visto have contributed anything of importance to mobile E-mail technology; they have simply taken out patents on some of the obvious and trivial ways in which devices can get notified of server updates.

    Visto's argument that it is good to beat Microsoft with patents because of Microsoft's monopolistic practices is wrong. It is true that Microsoft is behaving monopolistically with Exchange and Windows Mobile, but that's an issue for regulators and the market to worry about. Allowing Visto's and NTP's bogus patents to stand only replaces a big monopolist with a little one.
    • Bad karma (Score:1, Troll)

      by Steeltoe (98226)
      Microsoft should be sued over patents simply because they are lobbying and sneaking patent-laws here in EU. In spite of democratic elections in the EU parliament rejecting the idea, the EU commision, which is not elected, is trying to force the laws through all the time in an unprecedented coup in the history of EU.

      There's no evil in this world. Just alot of ignorance, by which selfishness is the root.
      • Yes, perhaps microsoft will drop their support for software patents if they start biting them in the ass too much.
    • While you may consider it a bogus set of patents the good news your opinoin matters not. The patents have been issued and thus they have every legal right to defend them.
      • How is a bogus patent existing and screwing anyone a "good thing"?
        If you haven't infringed this one, you'll infringe another further down the line. Or not be in software. Either way, it leads to a stagnation of the industry.
    • MS patented the clickwheel after Apple came out with the ipod and attempted extortion for license fees from Apple. MS is a vocal proponent of patents. They love patents.

      If they are living by the sword then they should be prepared to die by the sword.
    • "It is true that Microsoft is behaving monopolistically with Exchange and Windows Mobile, but that's an issue for regulators and the market to worry about."

      Because they've been doing such a bang-up job so far, right?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Remember that this is the company that copied Stac Electronics' disk compression software, infringed on their patents, and lost the resulting lawsuit. The whole debacle ended up costing Microsoft hundreds of millions of dollars.

  • wild. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CDPatten (907182) on Friday December 16, 2005 @09:33AM (#14271161) Homepage
    It seems the new craze for companies is that when they are struggling, just sue a successful company for patent infringement. Look at creative suing apple over the iPod... they didn't care until apple kicked their ass in the market. Look at RIM.

    My point is that our corrupt politicians have allowed what should have been copyright law become patent law. Your code is a parallel to writing a book, not a parallel to creating the electric engine.

    The irony is that big corporation like Microsoft have shot themselves in the foot here. They pushed for this type of patent law out of fear that their software would easily be duplicated, so It is funny to watch them get slapped by so many frivolous law suites.
  • Visto and NTP (Score:5, Informative)

    by thebdj (768618) on Friday December 16, 2005 @09:34AM (#14271163) Journal
    I read this the other day and posted on a comment on the story about NTP signing a patent licensing deal. The small company involved was Visto and Visto has several patents (25 total). It is quite possible the two companies are cross-licensing, but NTP may not have any patents worth sharing when the re-examination process at the PTO is complete.

    Basically, Visto and NTP announced their deal Wednesday, the same day Visto filed suit against Microsoft. It also appears that NTP acquired a stake in the company as well, so they seem to have an invested interest in this case now as well. For those who have been hiding for the last while, NTP is the company who has become famous (or infamous) from their suit against RIM.
  • zero-sum? (Score:2, Funny)

    by pr0nbot (313417)
    I hope somewhere a bean counter is totting up two columns: "Revenues from patent litigation" and "Losses from patent litigation". Hopefully this will be roughly a zero-sum and will make people realise that everyone except patent lawyers loses from patent litigation.
  • Won't somebody please put a stop to these NTP vultures!
  • ...Microsoft Intellectual Property Protection? Get the Facts.
    Perhaps SCO can now fantasize about some obscure SCO IP protected code making its way into the Windows kernel. Oh the irony, Oh the sweet, sweet irony!
    • Canopy used to own 40% of scox, canopy bought dr-dos, used it to sue msft, then canopy threw dr-dos on the scrap heap. Arguably, canopy wanted to do the same thing with UNIX.

      SCOX's flagship product, OpenServer, is built on Xenix - which used to be owned by msft.
  • It seems that unless you have a patent lawyer founding a company, nobody will make any money. The case of NTP will pave the way for every lawyer in the land to stake a claim on a concept and squeeze the ligitimate inventor/investor who actually creates something, for their pound of flesh. Imagine how society would be better off if all of the smart people went to create real products instead of becoming a lawyer and launching a suit over an idea that they never brought to market.
  • by zaguar (881743)
    Meanwhile, in Redmond, a sound can be heard from the CEO office, along with the sounds of chairs crashing.

    "I'm going to Fucking BURY Visto Corporation! I've done it before, and I will do it again. I am going to FUCKING KILL Visto Corporation!"

  • NTP, the company that has so far successfully brought suit against RIM for its patents on "wireless messaging" (can you imagine a broader term?) bought an equity stake in Visto just days before this announcement. Sounds like a pretty lucrative business. More on my O'Reilly blog [oreillynet.com].
  • by MrCopilot (871878) on Friday December 16, 2005 @10:52AM (#14271539) Homepage Journal
    Hasn't this biz plan already been pateneted by EOLAS?

    Do they know about this?

    On aside note, its Good to see lawyers have work during this Holiday season. I always worry about them during the cold months.

  • Yes Im a hypocrite !
    Hurray for the US Patent office!
  • by Scratch-O-Matic (245992) on Friday December 16, 2005 @12:26PM (#14272197)
    "A system or method of bringing a computer to its knees after an authorized user attempts to execute factory-installed software. Following lock-up, the user is presented with a blue screen which may contain meaningless technical jargon.

    This patent includes a system in which, following lock-up, the user is presented with an animated hour glass.

    This patent includes a system in which, following lock-up, the user is presented with a mouse pointer that won't move.

    This patent includes a system in which, following lock-up, the user is presented with a mouse pointer that moves but won't click.

    This patent includes a system in which, following lock-up, the user is presented with a mouse pointer that moves and clicks on buttons that don't respond."

  • Round up all these patent lawyers..
    and throw them in a dungeon somewhere in Iraq....
  • "Microsoft stands behind its products and respects intellectual property rights."

    Just not at the same time.

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

Working...