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Microsoft joins Apple in FRAND patent fight against Motorola

post #1 of 60
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Microsoft has joined Apple in filing an antitrust suit against Motorola Mobility in the European Union for allegedly abusing its standard-essential patents.

Microsoft's formal competition complaint was filed this week and revealed by the company on Wednesday. It asserts that Motorola Mobility is attempting to illegally block sales of Windows PCs, Xbox game consoles and other products by leveraging patents that are obligated to be offered with fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing.

"Motorola has broken its promise," said Dave Heiner, vice president and deputy general counsel for Microsoft's Corporate Standards & Antitrust Group. "Motorola is on a path to use standard essential patents to kill video on the Web, and Google as its new owner doesn't seem to be willing to change course."

Microsoft's formal suit comes only days after it was revealed that Apple has also lodged a complaint against Motorola with the European Commission. Apple's antitrust suit also asserts that Motorola is not making its standard-essential patents available under FRAND terms.

In particular, Motorola seeks to obtain 2.25 percent of Apple's sales of wireless devices, including the iPhone, in exchange for a patent license. Apple has argued that Motorola's royalty sought for a standard-essential patent is unfair, unreasonable and discriminatory.

With lawsuits from both Microsoft and Apple against Motorola, the European Commission is now increasingly likely to investigate Motorola's alleged abuses, patent expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents wrote on Wednesday. He said witnessing Motorola's "aggressive litigation and enforcement activities in Germany" has made him understand the reasoning behind the complaints from Apple and Microsoft.




"If every owner of standard-essential patents behaved like Motorola, this industry would be in chaos, and grind to a halt," he wrote. "Just in the field of wireless telecommunications standards, there are hundreds of essential portfolios, and Motorola's assertions also include related technologies such as the H.264 video codec."

Apple and Motorola are currently engaged in a number of lawsuits across the globe, with each company accusing the other of patent infringement. Last week, Apple won an injunction against Motorola after a German court ruled that a number of its products infringe on Apple's slide-to-unlock patent.

Google announced last August that it reached a deal to acquire Motorola for $12.5 billion. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice approved the deal, but noted that Google was "more ambiguous" than both Apple and Microsoft in affirming FRAND licensing agreements for standard-essential patents.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 60


Oh, Google... $12.5 billion! Can you hear me now?!
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post #3 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft has joined Apple in filing an antitrust suit against Motorola Mobility in the European Union

As if Microsoft is blameless when it comes to Antitrust. Microsoft is a very sleazy company.
post #4 of 60
well, is sounds like google can no longer hide that they are " cutting" themselves, because after apple and microsoft starts fighting it-is-death-by-10-the-power-of-100 cuts...

(ok, my comment is a bit stretched; back in the day a "google" was 10e100)
post #5 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

As if Microsoft is blameless when it comes to Antitrust. Microsoft is a very sleazy company.

And it was rightfully punished.
post #6 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

And it was rightfully punished.

But not nearly enough. What they got was a telling-off, and a slap on the wrist.
post #7 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by plovell View Post

But not nearly enough. What they got was a telling-off, and a slap on the wrist.

Not at all. Microsoft run very differently these days.

There is a documented case about 5 years ago where some MS department did or said something that was anti competitive. For the life of me I can't remember which product or VP it was. But essentially, they said something dumb (eg anti competitive) and Steve Balmer personally intervened, and closed the department.

The point was that Microsoft are avoiding the bad old days as much as they can.

I for one would love to see Office on the iPad. Not that I'll buy it, but it'll give other software on the iPad a run for their money. Competition is good, as they say.
post #8 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinman0 View Post

The point was that Microsoft are avoiding the bad old days as much as they can.

No, they are avoiding the bad old days as much as they need to in order not to get caught again.

C'mon.
post #9 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinman0 View Post

Not at all. Microsoft run very differently these days.

There is a documented case about 5 years ago where some MS department did or said something that was anti competitive. For the life of me I can't remember which product or VP it was. But essentially, they said something dumb (eg anti competitive) and Steve Balmer personally intervened, and closed the department.

So you are saying, instead of throwing chairs on stage and performing the monkey dance, Steve Ballmer did actually some good thing in the past?

Every interview with him, that I see still gives me goose pimples and neck hair standing up.
post #10 of 60
There must be something to the lawsuit then, cause I thought it would be a cold day in Hell before MS and Apple agreed on something again.
post #11 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

No, they are avoiding the bad old days as much as they need to in order not to get caught again.

C'mon.

As opposed to doing things so as to get caught again? Is that what companies should do?

Do you have any specific knowledge of (even allegations of) Microsoft acting illegally on amy FRAND-related fronts? If not, do you think you're being fair? C'mon...
post #12 of 60
Awesome!

Just yesterday in a thread, I mentioned how Apple and Microsoft should join together and get Google!
post #13 of 60
I heard that Google has banned the word "don't" at their campus.

Which explains how a company that used tout "Don't be evil." as a mantra is now acting the way that they are now.

I also heard that Google is in talks with Hanna-Barbera to buy their new corporate mascot.

post #14 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinman0 View Post

Not at all. Microsoft run very differently these days.

There is a documented case about 5 years ago where some MS department did or said something that was anti competitive. For the life of me I can't remember which product or VP it was. But essentially, they said something dumb (eg anti competitive) and Steve Balmer personally intervened, and closed the department.

The point was that Microsoft are avoiding the bad old days as much as they can.


BS! How about all the Linux related FUD and Patent shakedowns? B&N is the only one standing up to Microsoft. Hopefully B&N wins and everyone Microsoft shook down sues Microsoft out of existence.
post #15 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

As opposed to doing things so as to get caught again? Is that what companies should do?

Keep the straw men out of it. I never suggested such a thing.
post #16 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by mknopp View Post

Which explains how a company that used tout "Don't be evil." as a mantra is now acting the way that they are now.

"But it's not legitimate in any way! It's just an informal motto! Google doesn't officially associate themselves with that saying!"

Paul Buchheit was right. "Once you put it in there, [it] would be hard to take out".

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #17 of 60
As far as I can see, there is only one way to sort out these patent battles.

CAGE FIGHTING!
post #18 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by haar View Post

well, is sounds like google can no longer hide that they are " cutting" themselves, because after apple and microsoft starts fighting it-is-death-by-10-the-power-of-100 cuts...

(ok, my comment is a bit stretched; back in the day a "google" was 10e100)

That would be a googol.
post #19 of 60
You guys crack me up. Even when MS do something in support of Apple you still bad mouth them. I am positive that if MS found the cure for all worlds diseases and gave it to the world for free you lot would have something bad to say.

Apple, Google and MS are companies not religions!
post #20 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by qualar View Post

You guys crack me up. Even when MS do something in support of Apple you still bad mouth them.

Your point being?

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #21 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by qualar View Post

You guys crack me up. Even when MS do something in support of Apple you still bad mouth them. I am positive that if MS found the cure for all worlds diseases and gave it to the world for free you lot would have something bad to say.

Apple, Google and MS are companies not religions!

MS only found the cure for all the worlds diseases, because they created them in the first place, to be able to make themselves look good when they "found" the cure.
post #22 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

As far as I can see, there is only one way to sort out these patent battles.

CAGE FIGHTING!

THUNDERDOME!

Two companies enter one company leaves!
post #23 of 60
Google paid 12.5 billion for a company that is losing money. It now appears their entire patent portfolio is tied up in industry standards. Add to this the fact that they are driving the largest Android maker to use their own OS, and I think it is pretty clear that it is one of the worst acquisitions in recent years.


google BOD meetings must use a clown car for transportation.
post #24 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Keep the straw men out of it. I never suggested such a thing.

Yeah, and shamelessly avoid the question I asked you.
post #25 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by qualar View Post

Apple, Google and MS are companies not religions!

No shit, sherlock.

Apple is way better than any religion. Apple is a company that makes the coolest and most innovative computer products and devices in the world. Apple brings joy to hundreds of millions of people every day. Apple is also a hugely successful business which generates a lot of cash for it's many shareholders.

You're damn right that Apple is not a religion. Religion is a bunch of crap which directly kills many people each and every day and is responsible for much of the suffering and conflicts taking place across the globe. Apple has a lot of devoted followers, not because they're brainwashed iSheep like some unintelligent people claim, but because Apple continuously releases one killer product after another.

Apple improves people's lives, unlike most religions.
post #26 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by qualar View Post

You guys crack me up. Even when MS do something in support of Apple you still bad mouth them. I am positive that if MS found the cure for all worlds diseases and gave it to the world for free you lot would have something bad to say.

Apple, Google and MS are companies not religions!

How is M$ doing anyone a favor here? Micorosoft continues to stiffle innovation, use underhanded/illegal tactics to undermine others (boy how quickly people forget about the MSOOXML ISO debacle, i mean why not just support a real standard in ODF?), use patent FUD to attack Linux, force their crappy services like Bing onto people unfortunate enough to be forced to use their horrid OS, etc... I could go on all day.

Microsoft gets bashed because they deserve to be bashed. To say otherwise is completely absurd...you either work for Microsoft or are paid to astro-turf forums.
post #27 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Yeah, and shamelessly avoid the question I asked you.

Perhaps Steve and I share an attribute.

http://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1...iw=863&bih=479
post #28 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Perhaps Steve and I share an attribute.

http://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1...iw=863&bih=479

You avoided it again.
post #29 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

You avoided it again.

Ask me the question straight out and I will answer it straight out.

If you refer to the fairness question, then my answer is that no, I do not give Microsoft the benefit of any doubt. That is not unfair, given their history.
post #30 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

As if Microsoft is blameless when it comes to Antitrust. Microsoft is a very sleazy company.

The irony from their standpoint is that if they got their asses kicked over this kind of behavior, why doesn't the next guy? I agree.

I don't like MS. But I grant that they of all people have a right to demand evenness in enforcement of that kind of thing.
post #31 of 60
I don't know enough about the matter at hand to formulate concrete opinions but based on what I've read I do wish Motorola(Google) would find better tactics to enact some sort of cross licensing
post #32 of 60
The issues aren't as cut-and-dried as Microsoft would have you believe either.

The W3C has been hard at work attempting to set standards (that FRAND licensing will then apply to) for the next gen web video standards under HTML5. So guess who is accused of obstructing those open standards? Not Google or even Microsoft, both of whom contributed to an initial standards doc published today
http://dvcs.w3.org/hg/html-media/raw...ted-media.html

It's Apple that's accused of standing in the way.
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201...standard.shtml

Rather than contribute IP that can't be worked around under the same terms as the other members of W3C, Apple wants to retain the right to sue others over those patents. In essence Apple wants the right to sue over standards patents. That's according to Florian Mueller at FOSSPatents.
http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011...-wide-web.html

Fair use of patents deemed essential to a standard? If it was Motorola doing this I imagine I know the answer here. In this case it's Apple. Still of the same opinion?

Granted neither the Motorola or Apple situation may be as clearly defined as some bloggers would make it out to be. Still, failure to adhere to your agreement to contribute IP the W3C has deemed essential so that FRAND licensing for the standards package can be put together doesn't sound like Apple is honoring the spirit of their agreement.

The web is more tangled than Apple and Microsoft want you to know.
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post #33 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

The issues aren't as cut-and-dried as Microsoft would have you believe either.

The W3C has been hard at work attempting to set standards (that FRAND licensing will then apply to) for the next gen web video standards under HTML5. So guess who is accused of obstructing those open standards? Not Google or even Microsoft, both of whom contributed to an initial standards doc published today
http://dvcs.w3.org/hg/html-media/raw...ted-media.html

It's Apple that's accused of standing in the way.
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201...standard.shtml

Rather than contribute IP that can't be worked around under the same terms as the other members of W3C, Apple wants to retain the right to sue others over those patents. In essence Apple wants the right to sue over standards patents. That's according to Florian Mueller at FOSSPatents.
http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011...-wide-web.html

Fair use of patents deemed essential to a standard? If it was Motorola doing this I imagine I know the answer here. In this case it's Apple. Still of the same opinion?

Granted neither the Motorola or Apple situation may be as clearly defined as some bloggers would make it out to be. Still, failure to adhere to your agreement to contribute IP the W3C has deemed essential so that FRAND licensing for the standards package can be put together doesn't sound like Apple is honoring the spirit of their agreement.

The web is more tangled than Apple and Microsoft want you to know.

Slanted Against Apple ____________________________________________ Objective ____________________________________________ Slanted For Apple

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #34 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Slanted Against Apple ____________________________________________ Objective ____________________________________________ Slanted For Apple
X

Every once in awhile Florian will take Apple to task. Those are the time's that are supposed to be ignored, right?
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post #35 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Every once in awhile Florian will take Apple to task. Those are the time's that are supposed to be ignored, right?

That's written by Glen Moody.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #36 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

That's written by Glen Moody.

Both of the links? I don't think so Solipsism. You must be rushed today and not taking the time to read the replies completely. You do see FOSSPatents on this link don't you?
http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011...-wide-web.html
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post #37 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Both of the links? I don't think so Solipsism. You must be rushed today and not taking the time to read the replies completely. You do see FOSSPatents on this link don't you?
http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011...-wide-web.html

Ah, yeah, mea culpa. I didn't read the third link. Just the first two. You lost me when I read Florian's name in the 4th paragraph that I actually forget I read his name and decided to stop reading at that point. By then I had formed an opinion about Moody's article.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #38 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post



Oh, Google... $12.5 billion! Can you hear me now?!

FRAND abuse... How they'll earn that back.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #39 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

The issues aren't as cut-and-dried as Microsoft would have you believe either.

The W3C has been hard at work attempting to set standards (that FRAND licensing will then apply to) for the next gen web video standards under HTML5. So guess who is accused of obstructing those open standards? Not Google or even Microsoft, both of whom contributed to an initial standards doc published today
http://dvcs.w3.org/hg/html-media/raw...ted-media.html

It's Apple that's accused of standing in the way.
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201...standard.shtml

Rather than contribute IP that can't be worked around under the same terms as the other members of W3C, Apple wants to retain the right to sue others over those patents. In essence Apple wants the right to sue over standards patents. That's according to Florian Mueller at FOSSPatents.
http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011...-wide-web.html

Fair use of patents deemed essential to a standard? If it was Motorola doing this I imagine I know the answer here. In this case it's Apple. Still of the same opinion?

Granted neither the Motorola or Apple situation may be as clearly defined as some bloggers would make it out to be. Still, failure to adhere to your agreement to contribute IP the W3C has deemed essential so that FRAND licensing for the standards package can be put together doesn't sound like Apple is honoring the spirit of their agreement.

The web is more tangled than Apple and Microsoft want you to know.


Big difference between using patents *already* part of an industry standard that is essential for use, and withholding a patent from being incorporated into a "free" standard. The former obstructs innovation (this Mueller's "beef", as he seems to be against the overuse or misuse of patents in general); the latter is a malicious effort to keep a specific hated competitor out of a specific industry, or extract heavy licensing fees that discriminate against said competitor.
post #40 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

Big difference between using patents *already* part of an industry standard that is essential for use, and withholding a patent from being incorporated into a "free" standard. The former obstructs innovation (this Mueller's "beef", as he seems to be against the overuse or misuse of patents in general); the latter is a malicious effort to keep a specific hated competitor out of a specific industry, or extract heavy licensing fees that discriminate against said competitor.

It's easy to claim you're committed to not seeking injunctions (first) for FRAND-pledged but infringed IP. Just don't honor your commitment to contribute patents deemed essential by the institutions you're a member of in the first place. Then you're free to sue over the IP essential to the standard while still honoring your pledge.

If this was an EU standards-setting agency then Apple could be compelled to contribute the essential IP whether they agreed or not. In the US they don't have the same rule apparently.

So yes, Apple has the legal right to withhold their IP (in the US) no matter what the commitment to W3C or how essential it is to the proposed standard. They can even use it to block the standards from ever being adopted if W3C can't have them invalidated. And there's the out. . .

Seems like the right hand is waving in the air, "look here!" while the left is under the table out of sight. At best disingenuous considering their claim of commitment to fair and open standards IMHO.
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