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[News] Proof That Apple and Microsoft Are Hypocritical Liars About Software Patents

  • Subject: [News] Proof That Apple and Microsoft Are Hypocritical Liars About Software Patents
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 04 Feb 2009 09:47:03 +0000
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/0.10.9
Hash: SHA1

Apple's View On Patents Then And Now

,----[ Quote ]
| For all the talk among patent system defenders about how patents are most 
| necessary for young startup companies that need to grow, most tech startups 
| couldn't care much less about patents (other than as a bogus currency to 
| increase their valuation in talking to VCs). Startups are focused on actually 
| building a product and getting it out to the market. Instead, what we see 
| time and time again is that it's the big, more established companies that use 
| patents to stifle startups, rather than the other way around. Startups 
| innovate, while big companies litigate.        
| [...]
| The company was incredibly open in sharing ideas and concepts, and wasn't 
| going around threatening others for ripping off its IP (that did come 
| later... especially with the graphical user interface, which Jobs himself 
| admitted "ripping off" from Xerox... which had "ripped it off" already from 
| SRI). It's really only when you're afraid of competing in the marketplace 
| that you rely on patents. When you're young and innovative you focus on the 
| possibilities and opportunities in front of you, rather than on ways to block 
| others from innovating.       


Microsoft Claims Patent Holder Got A Job At Microsoft To Get Info Used In
Patent Lawsuits

,----[ Quote ]
| We see all sorts of strange patent-related lawsuits around here, but this one 
| probably qualifies for the most extreme attempt by a patent holder to come up 
| with info for the sake of a patent lawsuit. Apparently (and this is according 
| to Microsoft), Miki Mullor, CEO of a company called Ancora Technologies, 
| applied for a job at Microsoft while still working for Ancora.    



Latha Jishnu: The mouse that bit Microsoft

,----[ Quote ]
| Here’s what Gates wrote in an office memorandum in 1991. “If people had
| understood how patents would be granted when most of today’s ideas were
| invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete
| standstill today. . . I feel certain that some large company will patent some
| obvious thing related to interface, object orientation, algorithm,
| application extension or other crucial technique.”
| This was the year after Microsoft launched Windows 3.0, the first of its new
| operating systems that would become hugely popular across the world. Yet,
| three years down the line, Microsoft had changed from a kitten that was
| content with copyright protection to an aggressive patents tiger. In 1991,
| Microsoft had filed fewer than 50 patent applications whereas last year it
| was awarded 1,637 patents, almost a 12 per cent increase in the number of
| patents it received in 2006. According to IFI Patent Intelligence, the rise
| in Microsoft’s patents portfolio bucked the general trend in 2007 when the
| number of patents issued by the US Patents and Trademark Office dipped by 10
| per cent. Apparently several thousand of the company’s filings are still
| pending.
| All this may prompt the reader to conclude that there is indeed a direct
| correlation between IPR and growth — and wealth — as the company claims. Not
| true, says Mark H Webbink, a US Supreme Court lawyer who is a recognised
| voice on IT issues. Charting the company’s revenues, R&D spending and patent
| filings from 1985 onwards, he shows that the spike in patent filings occurred
| long after the Microsoft “had become well established and was being
| investigated for its monopolistic practices”. Webbink contends that patents
| did not spur the launch and rapid growth of the mass market software
| industry. On the other hand, patents have become a threat to software
| innovation, he warns.


The mouse that bit Microsoft

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