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HTC Is Paying Microsoft $5 For Every Android Phone

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the they've-reached-step-3 dept.

Android 261

jcarr writes "According to Citi analyst Walter Pritchard, HTC is paying Microsoft $5 for each Android phone it makes. This may be related to a report from last year: MS and HTC sign patent deal. So now we can't even write a free OS?"

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Software Patents. (5, Insightful)

bbqsrc (1441981) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272466)

Software patents need to be abolished internationally, it's that simple.

Re:Software Patents. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36272498)

I guess the side effect which will be seen as beneficial to some is that over the coming century as more and more of the "real world" moves into structures in cyberspace all property will essentially be communal property.

Re:Software Patents. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36272530)

Software patents need to be abolished internationally, it's that simple.

What a ridiculous idea. if that was the case then what protection do small developers have for revolutionary ideas?
How do you think Larry page & Sergey Brin would have fared against Altavista and the like had their PageRank system not been patent protected?

Instead Patents should be easier to obtain and research.

Re:Software Patents. (4, Insightful)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272610)

How do you think Larry page & Sergey Brin would have fared against Altavista and the like had their PageRank system not been patent protected?

Better because of the need to hire less lawyers and less payouts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google [wikipedia.org] Count how many times the word court appears.

Re:Software Patents. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36272736)

The system may have been better due to the fact anyone in the world could develop it, however Larry & Sergey would not be credited with it as they would have no rights to the code. So in short less lawyers in short run, less money/praise in long run. Hmmm what to chose?

Re:Software Patents. (5, Insightful)

hawkinspeter (831501) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272770)

I think you're confusing patents and copyright. They'd still own copyright on the code. Other people would then have been able to write their own implementations which may have been better or worse. It's kind of how the free market is supposed to work.

Re:Software Patents. (2)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273348)

The system may have been better due to the fact anyone in the world could develop it, however Larry & Sergey would not be credited with it as they would have no rights to the code. So in short less lawyers in short run, less money/praise in long run. Hmmm what to chose?

That's your problem. You don't understand the issue. Copyright isn't what we want to abolish, it's software patents.

The code that your write, or pay someone to write on your behalf, is yours. You own it. No one can directly copy that code without your permission. That is copyright.

Software patents are more like this... Someone develops a piece of software that highlights a link when the user mouses over it. They patents this behavior as a part of their web based business. You also run a web based business and you think that it would be nifty to have links highlighted when a user mouses over them. You write, or pay someone to write on your behalf, a piece of software to do this. Your code is pristine. You or your agent wrote it from scratch, you didn't copy any of the other person's code. But, he has a patent on that behavior. He sues you and you have to pay him thousands of dollars and lawyer fees because you had the same idea but he patented it first.

LK

Re:Software Patents. (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272828)

8?

Re:Software Patents. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36272652)

PageRank is a great example of something which could have been protected by a trade secret instead of by publishing and patenting.

Re:Software Patents. (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273038)

+1 on that. If PageRank was a trade secret, they would need to patent it and therefore it wouldn't be published.
On the other hand, Altavista could have implemented PageRank secretly... It's virtually impossible to identify the infringement if the software is not publicly available... I bet Bing uses some very similar algorithm, that probably infringes on PageRank patent
And Google became popular, not because their PageRank was/is better. Their interface was much cleaner and usable.

Re:Software Patents. (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272710)

There needs to be no "protection." As it stands, if small developers need protection, it would be protection from being sued and C&D'd by larger companies and IP holding firms for their revolutionary ideas.

Fact is, every revolutionary idea is build on other ideas that came before it and chances are that someone has a frikken software patent on the revolutionary idea's "dependencies."

Intellectual property is not property. It's thought to be a "we thought of it first" claim but in reality that's really not the case. It just doesn't happen that way.

And let's take another path in the same argument. SCREW SMALL DEVELOPERS who do not do what they do for the love of doing it. If you are doing it to get rich, then you're doing it wrong and you are pollution in the community. Go get a law degree and make money that way -- it would probably suit you better anyway.

Re:Software Patents. (4, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272868)

Copyroght protects specific software implementation. Patent protects the way you make your idea work. There is no need for software patents, as they grant far more protection to software-based ideas then other ideas.

There should always be a right to implement the same idea in a different way legally. Normal patents work this way. Software patents, for some insane reason (read - corruption in US government that allowed creation of software patents), do not.

Re:Software Patents. (2, Insightful)

scrib (1277042) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273122)

Perhaps they wouldn't have protection for their own revolutionary ideas, but they wouldn't be prevented from sharing it with the world because any implementation required the use of someone else's revolutionary ideas. As it stands, the price of a revolutionary idea is getting sued out of existence...

There's a phrase: "standing on the shoulders of giants." The price of building on the vast knowledge that came before you should be that someone else gets to build on yours.

Re:Software Patents. (0, Troll)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272558)

Writing FOSS that is actually innovative and not a carbon copy of what commercial software did 10 years ago and better would be an alternative.

Re:Software Patents. (3, Insightful)

solidraven (1633185) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272618)

It's hard to write new software that doesn't violate some US patent considering how broad they often are.

Re:Software Patents. (2)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272620)

Well, yeah. That's more a problem of the US patent system - and especially the US patent litigation systems - than of patents in general, though.

Re:Software Patents. (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273054)

That's a problem with software patents in general. Proper patents require a schematic, software patents should require source code. And if they would require source code, then it would make software patents as narrow as copyright, that is why "people" are fighting for broader patents.

Re:Software Patents. (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273372)

No patent requires documentation to the detail level that would equate source code, how do you get that idea?. The source is not inventive, that's just a particular implementation.

Re:Software Patents. (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273114)

It's hard to write new software that doesn't violate some US patent considering how broad they often are.

And when you do.. *bam*, innovation.

What did Microsoft invent? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36272634)

Trouble is HTC are paying Microsoft for inventions Microsoft didn't make. HTC interface is not the crappy Microsoft one, and the underlying OS predates Microsofts entry into the handset market.

So what exactly is HTC paying Microsoft for?

Protection money? That's what it comes down to, MS has convinced them that Microsoft can make everyone's life so difficult that HTC can gain an advantage simply by paying the fee.

But the B&N challenge shows Microsoft has nothing in its patent portfolio but bluster and vague threats covered with NDAs. That's why MS isn't trying to go after Google directly, rather picking off smaller players.

Re:What did Microsoft invent? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36273066)

Trouble is HTC are paying Microsoft for inventions Microsoft didn't make. HTC interface is not the crappy Microsoft one, and the underlying OS predates Microsofts entry into the handset market

Android predates neither WinMo, nor WinCE, sorry.

That's what it comes down to, MS has convinced them that Microsoft can make everyone's life so difficult that HTC can gain an advantage simply by paying the fee.

More likely they're paying for a license to use patented Microsoft tech, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's sad really, they sue and they're the bad guy, they play nice and approach infringers, offering a chance to negotiate a license peacefully, and they're still the bad guy. You don't want to deal with patents, avoid infringing on them and innovate.

. That's why MS isn't trying to go after Google directly, rather picking off smaller players.

Is it really? Microsoft really doesn't have much of a history of litigation, and even less one of frivolous litigation, besides that the challenges doesn;t actually show anything, as far as I can tell, there's been no judgment on the case, and therefore all any of this really says is that Microsoft says B&N is infringing, and B&N says they aren't.

For all we know, Google has a license for the same patents. And where do you get "picking off" from? They're not even being the slightest bit hostile, the patents in question are available under RAND, and they tried for a year to negotiate with B&N (which is the opposite of "picking off") , they're asserting their IP, and being nice about it.

Not everything they do is outright malicious.

Re:Software Patents. (3, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272660)

Innovation and patents in software are totally separate. You can get patents for things which are obvious, nebulous or even already patented by others. No innovation required.

Conversely, you can make a carbon copy of a lot of things without necessarily stepping on the patents involved.

Another one falling for the FUD (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36272758)

It seems your nickname is very apropos. Infringing on a patent doesn't necessarily mean that you carbon-copied anything, but simply that you stumbled upon the same idea (sometimes because it's just TFOTTD -- The Fucking Obvious Thing To Do). Have a look at Amazon's one-click patent to know what I mean. And keep in mind that this was challenged, so it wasn't passed by the PTO just by accident.

Remember: patents, copyrights and trademarks are quite different beasts, although the Intellectual Property Gamblers want them to be the same as Real Property.

Re:Software Patents. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36272826)

"Software patents" is an oxymoron IMHO. I also have the impression that on most countries, patents for software cannot be issued (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_patent for a deeper view).

HTC would be very dumb to pay $5 for phones sold all over the world; I hope they've made an agreement limited to markets where they could be sued.

Nonetheless, the gigantic market the US has makes possible to corporations to command such kind of "deals"; the same happens, I believe, in "patent scaring" hardware makers from including ogg players in their devices. Since ogg is better than e.g. mp3, we consumers lose in quality of life (music seen as improving it).

In the famous, wise words of Duke Nukem: "This sucks!"

Re:Software Patents. (1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272942)

IANAL, but I wouldn't be surprised if they could be sued in the US over patent violations of products sold in Europe.

Re:Software Patents. (2)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273074)

Obviously they couldn't sue. What they could do is not license the patents at all and demand US ITC to block imports of HTC devices. So obviously Microsoft is abusing the US patent system to enforce it's patents globally.
That would be OK, if HTC was an US based company or the devices were manufactured in US.

Re:Software Patents. (1)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272874)

Indeed. As do all other sorts of patents as well.

Re:Software Patents. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36273026)

please watch Flash of Genius and then tell me you think patenets is a bad idea.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1054588/
dang kids

Re:Software Patents. (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273018)

They should, but here we see an absolute abuse of one country system to impose it worldwide. I don't care if the Americans pay extra $5 for HTC phones it's an American law, as long as I don't pay for a patent that is not valid where I live!
That is why I don't bother paying for MS licenses, I already paid for them with illegal taxes.

Re:Software Patents. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36273168)

s/Software patents/Banal software patents/

Defining banal as "something that a programmer with 1 year experience can come up with in three days".
 

Don't sign dumb deals (1)

lakeland (218447) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272480)

Assuming this is correct, it's because HTC chose to sign the deal. That sounds to me as a spectator like a dumb business decision, but it was HTC's to make. I understand some companies paid $699 for a Linux license not long ago - does that mean we can't write a free desktop OS?

Re:Don't sign dumb deals (4, Insightful)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272512)

Precisely. HTC probably decided that it was worth $5 per handset to indemnify themselves from litigation.

Whether the fee is paid to MSFT or gobbled up by patent lawyers seems like a morally neutral thing. It's not like one group is significantly less sleazy or sucks less scum than the other.

Re:Don't sign dumb deals (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273092)

worth $5 per handset to indemnify themselves from litigation.

That sounds exactly like protection money to me. I guess it sort of makes sense for HTC to just build this in as a running cost, rather than face ongoing and open-ended legal bills, but I would be happier if they had just told Microsoft to get professionally fucked.

Re:Don't sign dumb deals (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36273102)

Remember that for every patent attorney working for a patent troll, there is a patent attorney defending against them.

Everybody hates lawyers until they need one.

Re:Don't sign dumb deals (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36273256)

I need a lawyer. I have a lawyer. I still hate them.

Re:Don't sign dumb deals (4, Interesting)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272578)

Assuming this is correct, it's because HTC chose to sign the deal. That sounds to me as a spectator like a dumb business decision, but it was HTC's to make. I understand some companies paid $699 for a Linux license not long ago - does that mean we can't write a free desktop OS?

Several points:

With current patent law, free has nothing to do with weather or not you infringe on a software patent. Until the law is changed, a free OS could still be open to an infringement claim.

It may not be a bad deal for HTC - it removes the threat of litigation which may make their phones more popular amongst carrier since they don't have to worry about being caught in a lawsuit, and if MS agreed to defend claims, based on MS' patents, against HTC arising from possible infringement it further protects HTC.

No one knows if HTC cross licensed patents - it's possible HTC is also getting money from MS for HTC patens so the deal has a revenue impact but in reality no cost.

Re:Don't sign dumb deals (3, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272742)

Until the law is changed, a free OS could still be open to an infringement claim.

Even changes in the law wont stop *claims* and the hope the little guys just folds due to the cost of defending oneself.

Just having some sort of reimbursement for winning if you are sued would go a long way to help out the little guys and stop a lot of the nonsense.

Re:Don't sign dumb deals (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273412)

Of course you can change the law to that end. Limit litigation fees, slap a ceiling on lawyer fees and there you go. Outrageous litigation costs that allow big business to bully the small players due to their inability to pay for trial is pretty much an American specialty. Works way better in other countries.

Re:Don't sign dumb deals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36272788)

htc and ms have a _long_ business relationship. htc wouldn't exist otherwise. they were paying for the stuff in different license quises before already.

and htc cross-licensing? sure, but this is htc we're talking about.. soooo: HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH \n HAHAHAHAAHAHHHAHAHAHA. they got nothing to cross license, don't live in a dream world. they bought chips and socs from others, glue some plastics on them and then sold them with winmo. that's how htc functioned for a decade and now they did a switcheroo to android. their winmos had totally open bootloaders & shit, but that was just because they didn't know how to lock them down(they also sold their stuff to other brands back then).

if weather widgets hadn't existed on desktop long before gprs came to town, they might have that.

besides, now they're covered, sort of, from more litigation on some stuff, if they were an oracle java licensee they'd be set, almost perfectly protected. not many android manufacturers can say that.

Re:Don't sign dumb deals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36272984)

It's called protection money, no matter how you spin it.
"It may not be a bad deal for HTC", that's what the mafia says too, it's not a bad deal, however, after a time, they'll do the mafia thing and increase the taxes, and then increase them some more.
In the long run it's not really worth it, other companies will fight and win, and HTC will have an even tougher time to get out from current agreements, let along fight off new bad ones.

Re:Don't sign dumb deals (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273086)

It removes the threat of litigation from Microsoft only. As seen by the Apple vs HTC suit. And in general, I bet they did it to have easy access to WinMo and WP7.

Dumb business decision? (3, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272662)

So their choices were basically:

1 - Stand up to their principles and spend millions in court fighting someone that could buy them outright. And risking injunctions that would prevent them from selling.

2 - Agree to a pretty minor 'tax', that they can pass along to the consumer and be done with it. Most consumers wont even know its there and wont care even if they did.

So, its a bad choice for them again why?

Re:Dumb business decision? (3, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273058)

just pay the mafia what they ask. its just a tax; just a cost of doing business. right?

RIGHT?

Re:Dumb business decision? (3, Interesting)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273400)

The fiduciary duty of the decision makers in this organization is not to bankrupt their company battling in court the deepest pockets they can find so posters on /. are satisfied for the moment. Their duty is to maximize shareholder wealth.

Re:Dumb business decision? (1)

isorox (205688) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273130)

So their choices were basically:

1 - Stand up to their principles and spend millions in court fighting someone that could buy them outright. And risking injunctions that would prevent them from selling.

2 - Agree to a pretty minor 'tax', that they can pass along to the consumer and be done with it. Most consumers wont even know its there and wont care even if they did.

So, its a bad choice for them again why?

Sort of like a Fee, for Protection from things like "accidents"?

Re:Don't sign dumb deals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36272888)

No doubt because it was less expensive than litigation. I've worked with wealthy companies who who simply litigate the opposing side out of money. That is how they win, the courts are irrelevant.

Not if the US dollar free falls (1, Troll)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272918)

If the US$ falls to sad ass levels, $5 might be worth less than 1 resistor or 1 blank cdrw disk.

In this case, the flat $5 fee might be bad today, but nothing in the future.

Re:Don't sign dumb deals (4, Insightful)

Shadowmist (57488) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273006)

Important thing to remember, HTC phones aren't Android phones. They're "Android plus extras, and some of those extras come from Microsoft.

So we now we can't even write... (0)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272482)

Can someone please fire the editors, there is absolutely zero point in having them on staff. They are a waste of money. A retarded monkey would notice that mistake. I mean FFS there's 3 sentences and one of them is wrong. Voice recognition software from the 90s had higher accuracy than this!

Re:So we now we can't even write... (2)

AkaKaryuu (1062882) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272728)

I'm not so sure about that, according to Google Voice my girlfriend is my daughter.

Re:So we now we can't even write... (4, Funny)

toriver (11308) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272802)

according to Google Voice my girlfriend is my daughter.

Try again without that Kansas dialect.

Re:So we now we can't even write... (4, Funny)

Alien1024 (1742918) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272884)

Or maybe Google detects you're in Alabama and makes an assumption.

Re:So we now we can't even write... (2)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273070)

I used to think the same thing, but not any more. I can see several good reasons for the editors leaving story submissions intact, including leaving in the obvious typos and grammatical faux pas (and since this *is* a story about the legal problems of IP, this post is actually sort of on-topic)

1. The notice at the bottom of every page: "Trademarks property of their respective owners. Comments owned by the poster." Slashdot benefits from a "safe harbor" by not editing comments. The same is true for story submissions.

2. Editing it, even by one word, might change the meaning. "Woman and child" is a lot different than "Woman with child", for example.

When the US and the Russians were going at it head-to-head, one Russian leader said something, and his translator "cleaned it up." The Russian noticed they didn't react as expected ("We disagree" is not the same as "We will f*ck you and sh*t on your grave"), and ordered "Now, tell them EXACTLY what I said."

Words make a difference. Editing them, without getting the original posters' agreement that that is what they actually submitted, can cause problems.

3. If anything, not editing a submission with bad grammar is more a reflection on the submitter than on the editors. If you don't want to look like an ignorant /(bas|f*ck|re|slash)tard/, it's not that hard - after all, you HAVE to hit preview at least once before you can submit a story.

Re:So we now we can't even write... (3, Insightful)

Rennt (582550) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273150)

So - if we accept that editors shouldn't actually "edit" anything - why don't we just replace them with a shell script?

More than Windows Phone (5, Funny)

leromarinvit (1462031) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272508)

In related news, they are making more on Android sales than on Windows Phone 7. [asymco.com]

Re:More than Windows Phone (4, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272528)

Imagine if they just started selling Linux directly...

Re:More than Windows Phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36272852)

Imagine if they just started selling Linux directly...

Linux with a Microsoft touch brrr..... no thanks.

not every phone (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36272564)

just the phones sold in the USA, Microsoft patents aren't valid anywhere else (95% of the globe)

Re:not every phone (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273106)

It seems that they pay "per device manufactured". That is, without regional diversification.

Re:not every phone (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273268)

> Microsoft patents aren't valid anywhere else (95% of the globe)

Agreed.

> just the phones sold in the USA

I dunno, where does it say that? It would be a very Microsoft thing to do, to negotiate a US based tax on all phones sold worldwide.

Only $5? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36272572)

I'd happily pay $5 to avoid having to put up with Windows Mobile 6.5 or Phone 7.

Open source will always be behind (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36272584)

As long as we have software patents. Look at the h264/Theora/WebM fiasco. Also the font hinting patents that are expiring that caused Linux to have difficulty with fonts, and then there was GIFs until 2004.

As future operating systems from Apple/Microsoft get ever more complex, Open sources operating systems will have to wait decades to get the good features. That's why Linux market share is so low due to so many patented goodies that are essential for modern computers.

Re:Open source will always be behind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36273160)

Open sources operating systems will have to wait decades to get the good features

Or they could, you know, innovate. Apple and Microsoft are both able to develop their own systems (which they, in turn, copyright and patent). your argument essentially boils down to not being able to copy other people's work hurts Linux so patents are bad. If nothing else, you're part right, the market share sucks because of waiting for patents to expire rather than innovating and producing something new that people want.

The worst part is that nothing stops commercial entities from licensing patents, and it's exactly what both Microsoft and Apple do (with codecs, for example, or Apple bundling Helvetica (which is neither free, nor cheap) with OS X, for example). Sun's VM patents didn't stop MS from doing .NET either. (this is of course, raises the issue of where one is going to make money to recoup absorbing those costs on a free product, as Red Hat had said years ago, Linux on the desktop is a dead end in that regard).

This "beggars of the tech industry" mentality hurts OSS as much as the nutjob zealots do.

This has been known (2, Interesting)

Eirenarch (1099517) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272638)

This has been known for some time now. The only new thing is the estimate how much they make. HTC signed the deal when Apple sued them. I guess it is not stupid decision to pay instead of get sued by both Apple and MS at the same time. They chose to fight Apple and make peace with MS.

While I agree that software patents are bad for everyone that makes real products (including Apple and MS) I am disgusted by the fact that Google act as if patents somehow don't apply to them. It is one thing to fight for a change in the law and it is another thing to act as if the law does not apply to you.

Re:This has been known (2)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272818)

Any examples of how Google acts as if patents don't apply to them? You made the statement as if it's self-evident.

Re:This has been known (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36273056)

What the hell are you even talking about you jackass? You think MS doesn't act like the law doesn't apply to them as well? Did you just forget the whole anti-trust thing and the buying iso thing? Eat shit, mouthbreather.

How does this relate to the RICO act (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36272650)

Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act link [slashdot.org]

see also:

barratry n . creating legal business [thefreedictionary.com] by stirring up disputes and quarrels, generally for the benefit of the lawyer who sees fees in the matter.

Protection (3, Interesting)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272654)

It's a protection racket, plain and simple. "Pay us or we'll break your legs and burn down your store"...well in this case it's "we will sue you into bankruptcy." Of course since lawyers are involved it's legal.

Corporate welfare (2)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272682)

Yeah, pretty much... you pay them some money so they're not so desperate as to rob you of your livelihood. If we give them enough resources, they should be able to afford to live comfortably and quietly innovate to themselves in Redmond without getting in anyone's way. At least that's how the theory goes :-P

I look at this as a good thing (4, Interesting)

voss (52565) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272664)

The Android version of Linux is so popular that Phone manufacturers prefer to pay microsoft to not have to use windows phone.

Microsoft does have an interesting strategy btw: Microsoft does not seem to want to kill linux anymore because they can make
easier money just with licensing fees from companies with deep pockets.

It also says something that the phone makers would rather pay the $5-10 per phone than use windows phone 7.

 

Re:I look at this as a good thing (4, Informative)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272812)

An "interesting strategy", huh? The problem is that HTC and others aren't going to let this dig into their own pockets -- we as the consumers have to pay HTC an extra $5-10 per phone so they can give it to Microsoft. And what did Microsoft do to deserve that money? It's because they have a bunch of useful patents such as:

- Give people easy ways to navigate through information provided by their device apps via a separate control window with tabs;
- Enable display of a webpage's content before the background image is received, allowing users to interact with the page faster;
- Allow apps to superimpose download status on top of the downloading content;
- Permit users to easily select text in a document and adjust that selection; and
- Provide users the ability to annotate text without changing the underlying document.

This is the Microsoft tax all over again, in the form of a multi-billion patent troll. Others can't innovate around Microsoft because Microsoft is the anti-competitive assclown it's always been. Regulators and legislators take notice!! Get rid of software patents already.

Re:I look at this as a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36272880)

The Android version of Linux is so popular that Phone manufacturers prefer to pay microsoft to not have to use windows phone.

Microsoft does have an interesting strategy btw: Microsoft does not seem to want to kill linux anymore because they can make
easier money just with licensing fees from companies with deep pockets.

It also says something that the phone makers would rather pay the $5-10 per phone than use windows phone 7.

What a nonsense HTC has Windows Phone 7 phones. Plus as a HTC Desire (with Android OS) owner I have to admit the WP7 look pretty good.

Re:I look at this as a good thing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36273124)

I have to admit the WP7 look pretty good.

Hahahaha. You say this, yet wp7 devices are collecting dust on retailers' shelves worldwide. Listen, Windows Phone Vista isn't going anywhere. Period. More Android units shift in 4 days than the wildest speculative numbers of wp7 phones in its entire 6 month fucking history. MS is actually losing market share since wp7 came out. You are a pathetic shill and wp7 is a sad joke. Fuck you, fuck Microsoft and their protection racket. Eat shit.

Re:I look at this as a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36273108)

you mean CONSUMERS would rather pay extra rather than use windows phone 7

Just the life and death cycle for businesses (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36272684)

Don't worry, a few years after Ballmer is gone Microsoft will be purchased by Cisco or Oracle. TFA is about typical actions often taken by companies that have nothing more to sell, or no longer have any creative spark.

Years ago Bill Gates said he wished Microsoft could have a near-death experience like Apple did because of its rejuvenating qualities. Well, It's going to get one but, unlike Apple, it won't pull out of the dive.

Software distributors paying Microsoft patent tax (1)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272732)

Sad to see giants fall... (4, Insightful)

w13rdo (1639415) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272764)

Microsoft, now relegated to the position of worlds most prestigious patent troll.

Re:Sad to see giants fall... (1)

Zhiroc (909773) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273090)

Actually, MS is a bit player in the cell phone wars. Take a look at this chart [designlanguage.com] .

Isn't Apple trying to claim ownership of the word (abbreviation) "app"?

So we're kicking puppies now (3, Funny)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272768)

Don't forget beating up on microsoft is like kicking a puppy. Open Source software has won in the server space and so criticising microsoft is like beating up a puppy. Poor little harmless microsoft wouldn't hurt mean old open source software. Everyone who has a copy of linux should pay microsoft something for not using a microsoft operating system. microsoft have never done anything bad in the past and anyone who says so is just making up stories to make microsoft look bad.

We should look into making a real microsoft tax that people pay to make sure we get the benefit of microsoft in our lives, everywhere. After all microsoft invented logic and the concept of on or off being a 1 or a 0 so go and pay microsoft 10cents for every light switch in your house because it's the right thing to do and because they *need* you money more than you do. Microsoft Everything for Everyone Forever

We don't need anything else because microsoft is like the standard on computers. Poor microsoft and those mean open source thieves who steal microsofts ideas by volunteering their time to writing freed software. If they had any morals they would pay microsoft to volunteer to write open source software because microsoft invented software and the idea of software so we should pay them.

Now get of their lawn, because only they can shit on it.

Re:So we're kicking puppies now (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273118)

I just wish they'd quit shitting on my lawn. Or at least bring a pooper scooper.

get ready for the future (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36272792)

All you so called Microsoft loving developers take note
  This is what you better expect from a common thug that Microsoft loves to be seen as. Submit to MS or be prepared to have your knees broke. After the Skype deal Microsoft proved their new business model, forget competing, just gobble up market share

Fight the power and call them for what they are: a has been corporation that lost control due to their contempt for their own users and developers

Sure you can write a free OS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36272862)

Just don't do any of the things done by existing software.. Simple, really.

Re:Sure you can write a free OS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36273100)

Just don't do any of the things done by existing software.. Simple, really.

Still not good enough since everything that existing software doesn't do is sitting in the patent office inbox.

Correction (1)

ks9208661 (1862000) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272890)

In the end, the HTC phone buyers are paying Microsoft $5 for every HTC Android phone they bought.

Typo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36272926)

Seems like we now we can't even write a summary?

seems like the old days where dell and others (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272934)

Back then they payed M$ per system for windows even if you go a system with OS/2 or BEOS or dos or NO os on it.

So we now we can't even... (0)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 3 years ago | (#36272950)

...edit for basic grammar?

consumer pays not HTC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36272962)

the cost is transferred onto the consumer. in regards to a free OS. nothing is free, get over it.

And they wonder why I hate MS (4, Insightful)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273002)

And they wonder why I hate MS... These assholes are abusing the faulty US patent system to effectively enable it worldwide. Why are they paying $5 for EVERY phone, even those that are not destined for US market.
HTC is NOT an American company. The phones are not manufactured in US. I don't live in US. Why does the US patent law apply to me when I buy an HTC Android phone?!?!?!?!?!

Re:And they wonder why I hate MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36273036)

That's because they're operating under other nation's faulty patent laws. The US does't have a monopoly on 'em. You have heard of "international patent law," haven't you?

Re:And they wonder why I hate MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36273120)

And they wonder why I hate MS...!

Actually, no one was wondering why you hate Microsoft.

Re:And they wonder why I hate MS (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273206)

Yeah... I'll tell that next time I have lunch with my country's Microsoft country manager and MS tech evangelists...

Re:And they wonder why I hate MS (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273132)

Pay up bitch!

MS IP TROLL

Re:And they wonder why I hate MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36273214)

Just don't buy from HTC, and maybe tell them why.

Nothing lasts forever, so... (2)

LongearedBat (1665481) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273360)

I wonder how much of this sort of behaviour must happen before the tide starts turning against the patenting system.

It's unlikely that US lawmakers will stop supporting it, as it is an important tool for ensuring US income. But perhaps other parts of the world eventually decide it's no longer worth putting up with.

The US is an important part of the world, and always will be, but there are now several centres of the modern world (the post war era is long gone), and at some point other nations might decide that US trade threats (such as the patenting system) can fairly safely be ignored as there is plenty of good trade to be done amongst each other, especially if the US can no longer can pay its debts and plays by unfair rules.

and that is why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36273068)

I will never buy from HTC

Re:and that is why (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273142)

There's always the iPhone. I wonder when they'll try on apple for size.

WP7 (2)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273104)

If android infringes on Microsofts IP I can't help but wonder why WP7 sucks so hard. It seems that they are saying that Google took Microsofts idea and implemented it better.

Buying HTC (2)

ArcRiley (737114) | more than 3 years ago | (#36273190)

I currently own an HTC phone, and due to the bootloader being locked down I swore I'd never buy another. The recent announcement about future phones bootloaders being unlocked actually had me looking at the phones they'll have available in a few months. We're already paying roughly $10 a phone for all the media codec licenses; MP3, h.264, etc (none of which I actually use on my current phone), but paying Microsoft an extra $5 feels dirty.

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