Android 'stands on Microsoft's shoulders', says MS lawyer
And there is only a modest charge for doing so
A top Microsoft legal eagle has moaned that Android smartphones and the like are profiting from cash that his bosses have invested in research and development.
"These devices have moved from having a rudimentary phone system to being a full-fledged computer, with a sophisticated, modern operating system. In doing that, they have really stood on the shoulder of companies like Microsoft who made all these billions of dollars in investments," Horacio Gutierrez, deputy general counsel of Microsoft's intellectual property group, told the San Fran Chronicle.
Gutierrez was busily defending Microsoft's patent dispute onslaughts, including many against Android handset manufacturers that have resulted in licensing settlements with the Redmond firm. The latest Google buddies to pay up include Samsung, which signed a royalty deal with Microsoft for undisclosed payments on unknown patents in its phones and fondleslabs in September, and similarly Compal this month.
The disputes have led the Chocolate Factory to accuse the tech world of some sort of conspiracy against its smartphone OS.
Back in August, Google's chief legal officer David Drummond said in a blog post that "Android's success has yielded … a hostile, organised campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents".
Gutierrez said "Microsoft has invested for decades more money than anyone else in research and development directed toward the efficiency of operating systems", and it was these efficiencies that its patents relate to.
According to the lawyer, all the smartphone innovation is in the software now, so software ideas have to be a part of intellectual property.
"Many things that earlier were implemented in hardware - think of telephone switching and circuits - are now implemented in software," he said. "So the question of whether software should be patentable is, in a sense, the same as asking whether a significant part of the technological innovation happening nowadays should receive patent protection."
"It's not the idea or the final outcome that is patentable; it's the particular way in which the outcome is brought about. So two different means of getting to the same end would be independently patentable," he added. ®
A couple of quotes stand out
1/ "...stood on the shoulder of companies like Microsoft"
Yes, "like" MS. That is, companies like AT&T, Sun, HP, Xerox etc. i.e - companies that have, over the years, been heavily involved in Unix dev. MS is a large tech company "like" these; but it has done nothing to improve Unix (and hence Linux that Android is built on); in fact it has waged a very very long campaign to destroy it.
2/ "Microsoft has invested for decades more money than anyone else in research and development directed toward the efficiency of operating systems"
Microsoft? Efficiency of the OS? I never thought I would ever see these two phrases in the same sentence! Some sort of Halloween joke maybe?
"Microsoft? Efficiency of the OS? I never thought I would ever see these two phrases in the same sentence!"
I've seen them together before, connected with "NOT"
You can already you muppet, have you heard of FPGAs?
Yes kermit, I have, and I'm pretty certain our legal friend who I was taking the piss out of was not referring to FPGA's.
quite absurd and incorrect
"These devices have moved from having a rudimentary phone system to being a full-fledged computer, with a sophisticated, modern operating system"
Android is actually based on Linux derived from Unix an OS that I was working on in 1984 and existed earlier than that, at a time when it was already ahead of where MS Windows is today and before I ever heard of MS. I fail to have any idea what patents they can be talking about. Is it not true that Windows phone 7 has only just managed to handle multi-tasking? Apple Max OSX is also built on basically BSD Unix, is that two derived from MS? I was using Unix in 1984 on a computer that could handle 30+ students logged on at once, that is not a modern operating system, but one certainly more advanced than any MS has come up with. lol
Standing on MS's shoulders?
Soon they will be standing on their throat. Can't wait for that.