Comments
Microsoft vs. Samsung, Explained
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Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
8/4/2014 | 3:50:36 PM
Win win
So Microsoft wins either way, whether Windows takes off as a moble platform or Android stays in the lead -- just so long as it's not iOS!
Michael Endler
IW Pick
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
8/4/2014 | 4:06:34 PM
Re: Win win
And with Office on iPads now, Microsoft is making a decent chunk of change on iOS too. It's rather nifty, for a company so woefully behind in mobile, to have engineered from its competitors one proven multi-billion dollar revenue stream, and another likely one.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
8/4/2014 | 7:24:35 PM
Re: Win win
Sounds like Microsoft can just sit back and rest on its royalties and licensing fees. Oh, wait, that's sort of how we got here.
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
8/5/2014 | 2:40:47 AM
Re: Win win
This could turn into a dangerous situation, Microsoft being a software company and Samsung being a hardware company, both with billion dollar assets ready to be deployed in a legal battle. The outcome might be unclear but if it does intensify, it could lead to a loss in market share with competitors deploying resources into the market rather than, the legal system.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
8/5/2014 | 7:43:48 AM
Re: Win win
I think that's a lot of what we're seeing now.  At first I assumed Microsoft was fighting because they were trying to gain market share with their older Windows phones.  Now we're seeing new fights and not a whole lot of movement from Microsoft on their mobile devices.  It seems like a fight over a revenue stream now.  Maybe this is the future of Microsoft, collecting fees from hardware manufacturers.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
8/5/2014 | 8:47:18 AM
Re: Win win
I guess if you can't beat 'em, make some money from 'em. Seriously though, why not do both -- try and get your own market share, while meanwhile grabbing what you can from competitors. 
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
8/6/2014 | 7:12:06 AM
Re: Win win
@Lorna Garey, I saw a map about a year ago with all the patents that companies own and who pays them to use those patents.  It was a nightmare so I'm not surprised that there are little tiffs now and then.  The recent past showed us how silly some of this was when Google bought Motorola for their patents but reports told us they didn't get what they thought they were getting and still had to pay the patent agreement fees to companies they were trying to avoid.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
8/6/2014 | 9:20:31 AM
Re: Win win
@SaneIT - Gotta give the lawyers something to do all day I guess. 
Steve__S
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Steve__S,
User Rank: Strategist
8/5/2014 | 8:59:03 AM
Typical Samsung
Honestly, is anyone really surprised by Samsung renegging on their contractual obligations?  Samsung's actions over the past few years are simply shameful.  I steer clear of their products because of their behavior.  
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
8/5/2014 | 11:30:35 AM
Billion Dollar Revenue Stream
The article claims significant income is at stake.  (I say income because aren't royalties pure profit?) Regardless, can someone disclose the rough math used for the article's assertion?  Is it something like Samsung sold 250M phones x $4 MS royalty = $1B in Microsoft Income?
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
8/5/2014 | 12:47:03 PM
MS has patents that apply to Android?
Am I the only one surprised by this? How does what MS does overlap with Android phones?

Just more evidence software patents are ridiculous. Especially since MS would not even exist if not for technology IBM was stupid enough to hand over to them. Strange world we live in.
Steve__S
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Steve__S,
User Rank: Strategist
8/5/2014 | 3:20:46 PM
Re: MS has patents that apply to Android?
You have to love it when people with no understanding or respect for intellectual property expect everything to be free.  Perhaps one day if you invest your own time and money in the development of a product, you might better appreciate why it's not appropriate for others to steal your work.
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
8/5/2014 | 3:39:01 PM
Re: MS has patents that apply to Android?
Dude, I write software for a living. Android is not a copy of Windows, XBox, Windows Phone, etc, etc etc.

What I have a problem with is someone who patents an idea like "click on this icon and program execution begins". I've seen some of these stupid patents, using the word "intellectual" is pushing it.

These people are gaming the system with specific intent of extracting royalties later, so they enter the most generic freaking algorithmic patent they can get away with.

That's not exactly the same as Thomas Edison inventing the light bulb, so get off your high and mighty horse. If someone can make one of these crappy phones last more than a day on a charge, now then you are talking about a real patent.
Steve__S
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Steve__S,
User Rank: Strategist
8/6/2014 | 8:53:31 AM
Re: MS has patents that apply to Android?
@TerryB:

"Dude"...  your comment makes sweeping, nonsensical statements that mean nothing.  What does writing software for a living have to do with the validity of intellectual property?  I also have a long career of software development and managing technical teams.  So what?  

Further, your blanket statement which suggests Android does not copy Windows is extremely broad.  Are you aware of all of the intellectual property associated with both operating systems?  Have you performed this type of patent search?  Do you even have the legal background to understand what you are reading?  No?  Well then STFU and stop offering opinions on topics where you clearly don't have a clue.

As for gaming the system, sure, that happens.  While I would agree that there are some number of patents that should never be granted, the answer to the problem isn't to simply invalidate all forms of intellectual property protection.  As you mentioned, there are very legitimate items that deserve to be protected. The system may not be perfect, but it's better than not having any form of protection at all.  Again, if your hard work could very easily be copied or stolen, you'd change your tune.
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
8/6/2014 | 10:21:59 AM
Re: MS has patents that apply to Android?
@Steve.  So you basically do same thing I do but you are an expert on patents and I'm not? You do understand the difference in copyright protection and patent protection, right? If I decided to commercialize the ERP system I've written for my company, it wouldn't be thru the patent system.

If you can't see the difference in Android and Windows, not much I can do to help you. You are entitled to your opinion that patents on obscure algorithmic implementations constitute a "product" that can have patent protection. I don't see it that way, period. The list of stuff @rradina named is a perfect example of what I'm talking about, obscure pieces that by themselves mean nothing.

If there was no patent protection on that stuff, just exactly how would another company reverse engineer that it existed and duplicate it? You are writing software for Company A and patent some algorithm you used. I'm working for Company B and independantly use same algorithm BECAUSE IT IS OBVIOUS to generate the needed function. Why in the heck should I have to pay you anything?

Now if I broke in to your office and stole it, that's a different story. If both products hit market, you have some competition to hold price down. If you get royalties because you got patent protection, or it suppresses the new product from entering market, then the consumer pays more.

You act like if Apple had no patents that everyone would be making iPhones. You think Apple is market leader because they have superior technology and the consumers recognize that thru diligent research?
Steve__S
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Steve__S,
User Rank: Strategist
8/6/2014 | 5:43:47 PM
Re: MS has patents that apply to Android?
@TerryB:

What I have found is that most people who complain about patents rarely understand the issues at hand.  Let's use @rradina's post as an example.  That post listed a number of very generic features.  Clearly, this individual is incapable of distinguishing a feature from a method of implementation.  There are also different types of patents such as design patents and utility patents.  Copyrighting software is almost meaningless as reverse engineering functionality is trivial.  Copyrighting simply prevents the actual same source code from being used.

Anyway, back to the point. People like @rradina attempt to oversimplify the details of a specific patent to make it seem so rudimentary that it applies to all devices.  That's just not the case.  Just pick one at random and see for yourself.  As an example, take a look at US 20060101293 which is what @rradina apparently considers screen dimming.  Read through the details, then realize that @rradina is either an idiot or is someone who is purposely being deceptive in a lame attempt to make a point.

As for patents that are obvious, I agree with you.  As I've stated, some patents should never be granted.  Of course, when challenged, most of these patents don't hold up in court.  Just because a patent is granted, doesn't mean it's the final word on protection.  Patent validity can and does get challenged all the time.  The system is far from perfect, but overall, it does work...  regardless of your personal opinion on the matter.

Finally, I'm not sure what your comment with Apple was about.  To your point, if companies were allowed to copy directly with impunity, that's exactly what many would do.  Take a look at behavior from companies like Samsung and Xiaomi and tell me how I'm wrong on that.
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
8/7/2014 | 1:15:20 PM
Re: MS has patents that apply to Android?
I hear you @Steve. I've obviously gone way too far wanting throw out the baby with the bath water. Just very frustrated with the current situation, as documented by Samsung paying Microsoft for Android use. If Samsung was paying Google, or even Sun/Oracle (from Android using java), then it would make sense. But you just don't equate MS and Android as a logical connection.

But if this doesn't stop, I don't know where it will all end. Litigating stupid patents sure isn't holding down prices on products, all that getting passed along to me and you in the end. And expecting our wonderful government to do anything about it is a pipe dream.

My Apple comment was meant to say I consider iPhone more a marketing success than a technical success. They created such a fever you just were not "cool" unless you had an iPhone. Well, at least until everyone's grandmother bought one too. :-)

Thanks for taking time to explain your thoughts.
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
8/8/2014 | 11:32:46 PM
Re: MS has patents that apply to Android?
Why not figure out what patents Android uses that Microsoft holds before you get upset and blather on about how it's ridiculous.
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
8/8/2014 | 11:29:59 PM
Re: MS has patents that apply to Android?
Hey Steve -- since you called me an idiot -- educate me.  Terry claimed:

 

" If someone can make one of these crappy phones last more than a day on a charge, now then you are talking about a real patent."

 

Tell me about the patents such a device would have that would preclude someone else from doing similar things?
Steve__S
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Steve__S,
User Rank: Strategist
8/11/2014 | 9:07:52 AM
Re: MS has patents that apply to Android?
"Hey Steve -- since you called me an idiot -- educate me. "

I didn't specifically call you an idiot.  My exact words were:

"People like @rradina attempt to oversimplify the details of a specific patent to make it seem so rudimentary that it applies to all devices.  That's just not the case.  Just pick one at random and see for yourself.  As an example, take a look at US 20060101293 which is what @rradina apparently considers screen dimming.  Read through the details, then realize that @rradina is either an idiot or is someone who is purposely being deceptive in a lame attempt to make a point."

Just picking one example...  I provided you with an actual Microsoft patent number which describes a very specific method and implementation for power management of computer displays.  A simple Google search will reveal that other companies also hold patents relating to power management on computer displays.  You've attempted to distill that very technical patent down to "-  Automatically dimming the display based on need".  Do you realize that there are dozens of patents from numberous companies such as Apple, Intel, Sony, nVidia, etc. that have patents which also fall into your generic description?  For this reason, I stand by my claim that you are either an idiot because you don't understand what you are reading (assuming you even bothered to review actual patents), or you are purposely being deceptive by characterizing actual patents in such broad terms.  It would seem that you've self identified with the idiot characterization.  If the shoe fits...  
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
8/6/2014 | 9:10:23 AM
Re: MS has patents that apply to Android?
So a phone that employs power saving concepts such as:

-  Throttling the CPU frequency based on need

-  Automatically dimming the display based on need

-  Disabling hardware unless it's being used

-  Implementing an improved WiFi chipset that adheres to updated standards that allow devices in power save mode to remain connected

-  Using a bigger battery

So all of these represent patents that other device manufacturers cannot use without paying a royalty?

Is the question regarding how Windows overlaps with Android rhetorical?  If not, that means you don't know.  If you don't know, how can you form such strong opinions?

Software patents have purpose and like any tool, they can be used for good and bad.  If you are willing to consider moderation, the world is full of many wonderful colors.


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