Patent Wars Return; Apple & Microsoft Owned Consortium Attack Google & Android OEMs

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    That metaphorical "thermonuclear war" the late Steve Jobs threatened over Android might have just kicked up to DEFCON 1 status. It seemed as if the patent wars had mostly died out a bit as they faded from the forefront of the news. Sadly it may have simply been the calm before the storm. A new weapon of mass destruction was fired against Google and several Android OEMs including Samsung, HTC and more. What makes this new patent lawsuit so insidious is that the Android team has very little way to defend themselves against it.

    A consortium of companies banded together in 2011 to create a proxy patent troll company called Rockstar Bidco. Rockstar's first order of business was to purchase a treasure trove of 6,000 technology patents from the bankrupt Canadian company Nortel. The sneaky thing is that this consortium is primarily owned by Apple and Microsoft, although BlackBerry, Sony and Ericsson are also members. This proxy war company just filed a patent lawsuit against Google, Asustek, HTC, Huawei, LG Electronics, Pantech, Samsung, and ZTE, alleging several different patent infringements. The attack against Google was separate and includes six patents related to serving ads in a search engine, described as “an advertisement machine which provides advertisements to a user searching for desired information within a data network”. The second attack against the Android OEMs includes a group of seven patents. These pertain to navigation through electronic interfaces or to an integrated message center.

    What makes this attack so difficult to deal with is that Microsoft, Apple and the other companies can simply claim that Rockstar acts independently of their operations. Furthermore, since Rockstar is only a patent holding firm and doesn't actually produce any products, Google and the Android team has no way to counter-sue. In fact, several ongoing deals are still in place between some of these companies which are at war with each other because of this. For example, Apple and HTC have a patent-licensing deal. Also, in case you didn't notice, Sony is part of the Rockstar group, despite the fact that it also builds Android products.

    Despite these odd alliances, the patent wars have just stepped up to a whole new level of nastiness. In the long run, these types of patent troll companies do nothing but hurt the industry and stifle innovation. At some point something needs to be changed as the system has become hideously broken.

    Source: Reuters
     
  2. cereal killer

    cereal killer DF Administrator Staff Member

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    This could devastate Google's revenue stream. This is some serious business right here. Thanks for sharing this one Stormy!!
     
  3. Sydman

    Sydman Premium Member Rescue Squad Premium Member

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    Makes me sad indeed. They are acting like the kids that couldn't take being beat at Super Street Fighter and would just turn off their SNES. Just because they can no longer innovate and create something people want to buy, does not mean they have to damage the company that can.

    Thanks for sharing, hope this does not affect Google too much and they can continue to come out on top.
     
  4. wicked

    wicked DF Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

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    So tired of this crap.
     
  5. cereal killer

    cereal killer DF Administrator Staff Member

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    In all fairness Google has been a pain in the arse when it comes to working with Microsoft. They've went out of their way to makes things more difficult for them. You keep snubbing people, eventually they will retaliate. It's unfortunate Google is going to face this but karma can be a beach. (if this is the case)
     
  6. xeene

    xeene Silver Member

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    Won't hold any water in court as patents are too broad worded.

    It's like making a patent for supplying air into a combustion engine. There are no details or specifics and will be thrown out of court.
     
  7. mountainbikermark

    mountainbikermark DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    It's like a "rectangular device with rounded corners". Look how that turned out.
    Samsung lost, used to to propel into the largest selling device manufacturer on the planet by using the broken system against itself.

    Support Our Troops!!!
    <><
    s pen aholic in Beast Mode (Notetoo)
     
  8. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    Except you have your karma in reverse there cereal killer. If you check your history, it was Microsoft who first started making things difficult for Google. I am not suggesting that two wrongs make a right, but I also don't think Google should have to modify their policies just to cater to a competitor who was and is actively trying to damage them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013
  9. MissionImprobable

    MissionImprobable Silver Member

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    Makes zero freaking sense, especially for companies like Sony who would suffer ill effects against their own Android-based phones, which as of now comprise their entire line-up. There have been discussions at length about how utterly ridiculous it is that there are companies that do nothing but hold patents and sue people who "violate" their vague, unearned intellectual property. Their sole reason for existence is to make money by filing suit against others. How does that even work? As always I will state that the patent system is ridiculously and utterly flawed. A company should not be able to hold the rights to a process or design when they have not invented said item or when it is an overtly vague and ambiguous descriptor being used.

    Shenanigans. I want to freaking smash my Windows PC, but it's already paid for so what good would that do? I can tolerate some of this mess, but Apple and MS have managed to once again stir me into an ire. Eff every iDevice, eff Windows phone, eff Sony, eff Blackberry's crippled butt. Pure freaking idiocy. I only wish I didn't have to keep this family friendly so I could really vent.
     
  10. MissionImprobable

    MissionImprobable Silver Member

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    From the article:

    When the Rockstar Bidco group purchased Nortel’s patents, the U.S. Department of Justice took a look at the deal, as part of a broader investigation into several large technology patent sales. The DoJ was concerned that patent attacks might somehow be used to knock Rockstar’s competitors out of the smartphone or tablet market. But in February, the DoJ closed its investigation, in part because Microsoft and Apple had promised to license many of their core wireless patents under reasonable terms to anyone who needed them.
    But the new company — Rockstar Consortium — isn’t bound by the promises that its member companies made, according to Veschi. “We are separate,” he says. “That does not apply to us.”

    So they basically circumvented exactly what the DoJ told them they could not do. I'm sure that will come into play in court.
     
  11. acousticshade

    acousticshade Active Member

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    Do they teach business ethics in college anymore? Sometimes I wonder.

    Also, maybe this will be the straw that breaks the camel's back. Aren't we all getting sick enough if this crap. I mean it's an effing shell corporation and those should be illegal. We need to start banding together, stop buying from these dirt bags and start classifying this kind of thing as criminal.
     
  12. Sydman

    Sydman Premium Member Rescue Squad Premium Member

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    Well unfortunately there will always be the sheep how don't care to notice the coyote in their midst.

    We have stopped buying from the people :-D

    Samsung, Moto all the way.
     
  13. acousticshade

    acousticshade Active Member

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    Unfortunately its only a small percentage of mostly technically minded people that boycott. I have a lot of friends who are apple diehards & they don't seem to care that they are supporting a bunch of evil dirtbags.

    Oh well, guess I will keep reposting stuff like this to g+ & facebook. Maybe someday I'll convince one or two.
     
  14. Sydman

    Sydman Premium Member Rescue Squad Premium Member

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    All we can do brotha. Keep fighting the good fight.
     
  15. New2u

    New2u DF Super Moderator

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    This is the whole reason that some of the patent troll legislation was created, we just need more because this is out of control.
     
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