Feeds

Android 'stands on Microsoft's shoulders', says MS lawyer

And there is only a modest charge for doing so

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.