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Microsoft Files EU Antitrust Complaint Against Motorola Mobility 148

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the evil-fighting-evil dept.
judgecorp writes "Microsoft has filed a complaint with the European Commission complaining that Motorola Mobility is charging too much for use of its patented technology in phones and tablets. The complaint follows a similar one by Apple last week, and will need to be resolved by Google as it takes charge of Motorola Mobility."
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Microsoft Files EU Antitrust Complaint Against Motorola Mobility

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  • That's rich (Score:5, Insightful)

    by damicatz (711271) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:04PM (#39127383)

    This is coming from a company that makes a business out of extorting Android phone makers for money.

    • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:06PM (#39127405) Homepage

      This is coming from a company that makes a business out of extorting Android phone makers for money.

      Oh, that's just a hobby. :-P

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dupple (1016592)

      MS currently licence 2,300 patents relating to H.264 for 2 cents per unit. Google/Motorola want $22.50 for the remaining 50 patents it holds, per unit

      Microsoft have entered cross licence deals for non FRAND patents with Android manufacturers.

      That’s right. Just 2 cents for use of more than 2,300 patents. (Windows qualifies for a volume discount, but no one has to pay more than 20 cents per unit.) Motorola is demanding that Microsoft pay more than 1,000 times that for use of just 50 patents. And that is

      • Re:That's rich (Score:5, Informative)

        by damicatz (711271) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:30PM (#39127757)

        Microsoft charges Android phone makers $5-$15 PER PHONE for only a handful of patents.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          And those fees are for non-FRAND patents.

          Seriously, understanding the FRAND portion of these stories is very important to understanding why Motorola is in the wrong. Regardless of what you think of Microsoft, Motorola is abusing FRAND patents which is wrong.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by damicatz (711271)

            Sorry but I still don't see a problem. Microsoft and Apple are simply getting a taste of their own medicine. It's just desserts as far as I'm concerned.

            • Re:That's rich (Score:5, Insightful)

              by recoiledsnake (879048) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @02:04PM (#39128235)

              The problem is that if this is allowed, all the companies will start suing each other over technology that they previously added to the standard on the promise of FRAND.

              Eg. Look at the large number companies in the H.264 patent list. http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/avc/Documents/avc-att1.pdf [mpegla.com]

              Don't forget that MS has patents in the patent pool and a zillion other patents not in it. They can easily turn around and sue everyone in sight for exorbitant amounts for implementing standards.

              And it will happen not just with H.264 but everything else too.

              Imagine Nokia suing Motorola and Apple for $50 per phone for implementing LTE (a standard). You'd expect Apple and Motorola to rollout their own 4G network and towers?

              Or MS suing Google over patents on Google docs importing MS Office documents (OOXML).

              • by symbolset (646467) *
                All these companies are in all-out patent war with each other already anyway. I don't see why Moto should unilaterally disarm so Microsoft can kill them. Microsoft is upset because their Android mugging has been interrupted. Boo hoo.
              • by andydread (758754)
                GOOD. They should sue the shit out of each other over FRAND software-patents. Until standards consortiums disallow the use of software-patents for supposedly "open" standards then I will grab the popcorn. MIcrosoft had no problem suing the shit out of anyone producing any successful open source product and shaking them down for a "Linux license" Just ask TomTom, Buffalo, Amazon, and a litany of other victims trying to produce open source products or in the case of Amazon using Linux servers then later
              • by Solandri (704621)

                The problem is that if this is allowed, all the companies will start suing each other over technology that they previously added to the standard on the promise of FRAND.

                The flip side of this is that if those companies with F/RAND patents aren't allowed to use them to help them negotiate for better terms on non-F/RAND patents, then F/RAND is dead. No company in its right mind will want to license its patents under F/RAND. They will all want to negotiate each patent license individually, making standards v

            • Re:That's rich (Score:5, Informative)

              by UnknowingFool (672806) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @02:57PM (#39128941)

              The case with Apple is a little more complex. While Apple does complain about Motorola not offering FRAND terms, their contention is the licensing fees in their case (3G/LTE) were paid already as the functionality was part of 3G chips they bought from Qualcomm. The nature of these chips and the Apple-Qualcomm agreements are the factors to consider. If these chips were stock chips that Qualcomm sells to everyone, most likely this usage is covered by Qualcomm's license with Motorola. If they were custom chips, then the details of the Apple-Qualcomm agreement matter. As a parallel, the first two generations of iPhones used Samsung designed ARM processors. Most likely Apple did not have to enter into separate licensing agreements with ARM as Samsung's licenses with ARM would have covered it. The A4 and A5 processors designed by Apple and made by Samsung would require separate agreements.

          • by makomk (752139)

            They're for non-FRAND patents for technology required as a result of Microsoft's desktop monopoly, or at least the one that stands up to scrutiny best is.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        You may want to check those figures again.
        http://mobile.twitter.com/cdaffara/status/169836817376493568 [twitter.com]
        "B&N lawsuit: MS asks $7.50-$12.50 per Android device = 3.8%-6.3% of Nook price. And they contest Moto 2.25% request."

        http://www.geekwire.com/2012/judge-microsofts-android-tactics-hard-bargaining-patent-misuse [geekwire.com]
        • True, but H.264 is a standard and comes with a patent pool. Exorbitant costs to implement a worldwide industry standard is not a good thing.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by icebike (68054) *

            There are a lot of things for which MS has patents (allegedly, since every settlement is under NDA) and are using them to demand the $7.50 from B&N and all other Android devices. Standards that MS forced onto the industry, like Fat32, ExFat, MTP. The list goes on and on.

            Being a standard doesn't mean much when MS patent prices are argued. So why should it mean anything now?

            If you can't see thru this blatant attempt to sway public opinion while at the same time hiding its double dealing via holding for

            • Re:That's rich (Score:4, Interesting)

              by recoiledsnake (879048) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @02:11PM (#39128323)

              >Standards that MS forced onto the industry, like Fat32, ExFat, MTP. The list goes on and on.

              Microsoft did not promise patent immunity over Fat32, which became a defacto standard.

              Careful what you wish for, it may be granted.

              This will open a Pandora's box on technology used to implement standards.

              Nokia has the most patents on LTE which are deemed standards essential.

              http://www.itproportal.com/2012/02/22/nokia-samsung-qualcomm-hold-most-lte-patents-claims-study/ [itproportal.com]

              What if they sue Apple, Motorola for $50 per device based on Motorola getting away with this?

              Will they roll out their own towers with their own 4G technology around the world?

              • by makomk (752139)

                Microsoft did not promise patent immunity over Fat32, which became a defacto standard.

                It became a de-facto standard as a result of Microsoft's monopoly in the desktop computing market, which they have a history of abusing.

            • There are a lot of things for which MS has patents (allegedly, since every settlement is under NDA) and are using them to demand the $7.50 from B&N and all other Android devices. Standards that MS forced onto the industry, like Fat32, ExFat, MTP. The list goes on and on.

              First of all, a lot of Microsoft's patents have been seen because they have not always been settled and have gone to court. While Microsoft may have some reasonable patents, but from what we have seen of the ones listed in court they have a lot that are complete crap too.

              Secondly, FAT32 and ExFat are not standards. Only FAT is a standard. FAT32 is a patented extension to this, and ExFat is a proprietory file system. MTP Basic is a proposed standard, and is available royalty free.

              • by icebike (68054) *

                Sorry, but once the SD association adopted Fat32 and exFat, its a standard by any useful definition.

                https://www.sdcard.org/consumers/sdxc_capabilities/using_sdxc [sdcard.org]

                The exFAT file system used for SDXC is available on Microsoft Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP (SP1 or later) with exFAT file system update (KB955704) available from the Microsoft Download Center.

                Any SD card / MicroSD card over 32gig requires SDXC, which is exFat. So an entire line of hardware is tied to a Microsoft Patent. An ENTIRE LINE OF STORAGE DEVICES!!!

                • Sorry, but once the SD association adopted Fat32 and exFat, its a standard by any useful definition.

                  I can see how you might think that, but Microsoft have always promoted the filesystem as a proprietary licensable format. That it was chosen to be part if the SD spec does not change this. Rather, it just makes SDXC format a proprietary based system.

                  In fact, the use of ExFat format was noted as a compatibility problem in the wikipedia entry for SDXC [wikipedia.org]:

                  SDXC cards are pre-formatted with Microsoft's proprietary and patented exFAT file system, which the host device might not support. Since Microsoft does not pub

                  • by icebike (68054) *

                    What?

                    Your own quote pretty much admits there is a standard. Accepted by the manufacturing association, documented on wiki, and yet you hold out because the word "standard" followed by some random digits does not appear?

                    What makes a standard? An act of law? A UN declaration? Or simply because people start acting like it exists?
                    Your Clue: Its the latter.

                    You will note I said "its a standard by any useful definition". Which it is. Precisely because of the situation you've documented.

                    Lets face it, Microso

                    • Your own quote pretty much admits there is a standard.

                      No, it did not. Here is the test: do you have to pay to license the exFAT file system? Yes. Do you have to pay to license the SD format? Yes. Does the author of the file system call it a standard? No, it calls it "our exFAT file system". [microsoft.com]. If Microsoft did proclaim it as a standard, would that be good enough for the Slashdot community? No. We tend to like our standards to be maintained by a standards body, not an individual company and especially not Microsoft.

                      But as I said before, I can see your argument as

                    • by dolmen.fr (583400)

                      The word "standard" may be ambiguous.
                      But I agree with Icebike that it is common to associate it by default with the "de facto standard" definition on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org].

                      Disclaimer: english is not my native language.

                • by exomondo (1725132)

                  Any SD card / MicroSD card over 32gig requires SDXC, which is exFat. So an entire line of hardware is tied to a Microsoft Patent. An ENTIRE LINE OF STORAGE DEVICES!!!

                  No reason you can't reformat it to a different filesystem, in fact if you want to use it in something like a Pandora you must reformat it to use ext3 (or something else Pandora supports). So no, they aren't tied to a Microsoft patent.

                  • by icebike (68054) *

                    And then what? Put that in your Cellphone/mp3 player and you get nothing!

                    Some Android devices will handle NTFS, but that puts us right back in Microsoft's pocket.

                    The entire line of SD products are, by one means or another, tied to microsoft patents. Simply hand waiving it away doesn't make it so.

                    • by exomondo (1725132)

                      And then what? Put that in your Cellphone/mp3 player and you get nothing!

                      Not if you have a cellphone/mp3 player that supports ext3, no reason you can't mount it on a rooted Android phone, or an N900. If your cellphone/mp3 player doesn't support ext3 that's their problem.

                      Simply hand waiving it away doesn't make it so.

                      Simply ignoring the fact that there is no reason devices cannot just support filesystems like ext3 in which case you don't have to have anything to do with Microsoft doesn't mean they are tied to MS patents.

                    • by icebike (68054) *

                      Oh please stop being such a troll.

                      Your mom is going to root her android phone, or buy one not even sold in this country to avoid the Microsoft Tax?

                      Face it, you are arguing absurdities. Microsoft OWNS SD card space. Period.
                      How do you get your camera to read/write ext3?
                      Just stop please, you've already made an idiot of yourself. Anything further would be pointless.

                    • by exomondo (1725132)

                      Oh please stop being such a troll.

                      Presentation of basic facts is clearly not trolling, moreover if you really believed i was a troll the obvious thing that would be done by anyone with any intelligence would be to not reply, however you continue to reply so you're characterization of me as a troll is obviously you just lying, even you don't believe it.

                      Your mom is going to root her android phone, or buy one not even sold in this country to avoid the Microsoft Tax?

                      I didn't suggest that, fool. Read the post, i said there is nothing to stop companies using ext3 instead of exFAT, you having trouble understanding that?

                      How do you get your camera to read/write ext3?

                      That depends on whether your camera sup

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Your post is meaningless without context. What is the quality of the 2,300 patents vs the 50 that Moto holds? One of Motorola's patents could be worth 10 times all of the 2300 patents MS has put together. Just going by raw numbers is disingenuous.
        • One of Motorola's patents could be worth 10 times all of the 2300 patents MS has put together.

          They are not Microsoft's patents, they are the patents that Microsoft pay 29 companies to use - although I am sure that one of those companies is Microsoft, so they effectively pay themselves! From the article:

          As it turns out, there are at least 2,300 other patents needed to implement this standard. They are available from a group of 29 companies that came together to offer their H.264 patents to the industry on FRAND terms.

      • Re:That's rich (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:42PM (#39127925)

        MS currently licence 2,300 patents relating to H.264 for 2 cents per unit. Google/Motorola want $22.50 for the remaining 50 patents it holds, per unit

        This is unjustifiable on Motorolas part

        Not all patents have equal value. Numbers alone do not tell the whole story.

        And I find it completely justifiable on Motorola's part, given Microsoft's treatment of them.

        • Good point on the license cost. For MS to claim that Motorola is being unreasonable, there has to be a direct comparison to other licensees. If Motorola is charging MS much more than other licensees without justification, then MS is right. If Motorola is charging about the same, then it should be a non-issue.
          • by oxdas (2447598)

            This can be difficult to ascertain. Take, for example, the spat between Apple and Nokia last year. Apple approached Nokia about licensing their FRAND patents. Nokia responded that its FRAND prices were based on patent cross-licensing deals (after all, to Nokia cross-licensing and market stability is the reason for contributing to FRAND in the first place). Since Apple didn't have any relevant patents, they would accept Apple software patents in lieu of hardware patents. Apple responded that that Nokia

            • by exomondo (1725132)

              but nobody knows how to value a software patent compared to a fundamental hardware patent.

              It all boils down to logic, you could implement the software process in hardware if you really wanted to, it's generally not practical, but you could. Just like the way in which apple has built hardware for audience's logic into their iphone4s processor.

              • by oxdas (2447598)

                I should have limited myself to this specific situation. Apple is a disruptive technology in smartphones. It's disruptive not because it is a new idea, I can't think of a single element of the Apple ecosystem that didn't exist prior to the iPhone, but rather because they are an industry outsider (which took the idea of the smartphone and did it better than the insiders). From the perspective of a company like Motorola, FRAND is good because it causes all their competitors to swap patent agreements and pr

          • by exomondo (1725132)

            Good point on the license cost. For MS to claim that Motorola is being unreasonable, there has to be a direct comparison to other licensees. If Motorola is charging MS much more than other licensees without justification, then MS is right.

            No, that's the 'ND' in FRAND, non-discriminatory. The topic of whether they are being unreasonable falls under the Fair (EU mostly) and Reasonable, which you can read about here [wikipedia.org].

      • Re:That's rich (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jdgeorge (18767) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:43PM (#39127937)

        Microsoft is an MPEG LA licensor [wikipedia.org]. Motorola is not.

        MPEG LA claims that Theora and VP8 infringe on its members' patents, and implies it will take legal action [zdnet.com] against users of those codecs.

        • by msobkow (48369)

          Both Theora and VP8 were developed in the open, with source available.

          MPEG-LA should have been approaching the developers when the patent violations were first found, so they could be licensed or the infringing code removed/rewritten.

          Now that they're moving forward and taking a significant share of the market, MPEG-LA wants to rewrite history and claim patent infringement at this late date, now that there is money to be sued for.

          Too bad.

          As with a trademark, if you don't defend it in a timely fashio

      • by aepervius (535155) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:43PM (#39127949)
        I am guessing MS only ask for 2 cent, because out of those 2000+ patents most are trivial. Now the question is are those 50 patent on motorola mobility trivial ?
      • by poetmatt (793785)

        What the fuck do you make up? Go back to microsoft-imaginationland please. This is not how it works.

        http://www.groklaw.net/articlebasic.php?story=20120213092754823 [groklaw.net]

        Microsoft's FRAND terms and apple's on firewire have already been found discriminatory - kinda rich for them to be going after google for not asking for FRAND, which isn't compatible with open source.

        • Microsoft's FRAND terms and apple's on firewire have already been found discriminatory - kinda rich for them to be going after google for not asking for FRAND, which isn't compatible with open source.

          Isn't the licencing of patents the way Motorola is doing also incompatible with open source?

      • Re:That's rich (Score:4, Insightful)

        by kelemvor4 (1980226) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:54PM (#39128111)

        MS currently licence 2,300 patents relating to H.264 for 2 cents per unit. Google/Motorola want $22.50 for the remaining 50 patents it holds, per unit

        Microsoft have entered cross licence deals for non FRAND patents with Android manufacturers.

        That’s right. Just 2 cents for use of more than 2,300 patents. (Windows qualifies for a volume discount, but no one has to pay more than 20 cents per unit.) Motorola is demanding that Microsoft pay more than 1,000 times that for use of just 50 patents. And that is for a $1,000 laptop. For a $2,000 laptop, Motorola is demanding double the royalty - $45. Windows is the same on both laptops, and so is the video support in Windows.

        This is unjustifiable on Motorolas part

        If moto owns the patent they can charge whatever they like for it (so long as they charge everyone the same). They don't have to justify the price to anyone. If MS or Apple decides the price is too high, they can opt to not license the patent (and of course not use whatever is the subject of that patent). Just because MS and Apple may have decided to make their mobile phone business dependent on someone else's tech does not mean that other tech must be a particular price.

        OTOH If MS wins this one, I may file suit against BMW because I think that the 6 series convertible should be closer to $200.00 than what it is today. I'll keep my eye out!

        • by jader3rd (2222716)

          If MS or Apple decides the price is too high, they can opt to not license the patent (and of course not use whatever is the subject of that patent).

          So you think that they should not implement the standard and roll their own solution?

          • If MS or Apple decides the price is too high, they can opt to not license the patent (and of course not use whatever is the subject of that patent).

            So you think that they should not implement the standard and roll their own solution?

            I didn't say that, but that is certainly one of their options.

        • Re:That's rich (Score:4, Informative)

          by maccodemonkey (1438585) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @04:04PM (#39129771)

          No they don't. The patent is a FRAND patent. A condition for Motorola entering their patents into the 3G standard is that they have to become FRAND, which means they can't charge whatever they want. If they wanted to charge whatever they wanted, they shouldn't have put the patents into the 3G pool.

          That's what all the arguing and suing is about. Microsoft (and Apple) are arguing that Motorola is ignoring their FRAND/3G pool obligations and attempting to charge more than they previously promised when they made these patents part of 3G.

          Antitrust comes into the picture when Apple and Microsoft argue that Motorola is abusing FRAND patents that they had previously agreed on a price for to try to force everyone out of the 3G market illegally. And given Motorola's current decline, it's not all that unreasonable to think they might make their last stand as a SCO-esk patent troll.

        • by exomondo (1725132)

          If moto owns the patent they can charge whatever they like for it (so long as they charge everyone the same). They don't have to justify the price to anyone.

          You're not aware of what the 'R' in FRAND stands for?

      • by tragedy (27079)

        2,300 patents on H.264? I'm pretty sure you can implement H.264 in less lines of code than that.

      • Does the number of patents matter as much as their relative importance? If the 2,300 patents are similar to the ones MS was trying to strongarm B&N to license, they're not worth even the 2 cents. But if the 50 patents are for key technologies, they might even be worth more than $22.50.
      • by andydread (758754)

        When you start a patent war with open source and players in that game have something at stake you shouldn't be surprised when they bite back. Microsoft has vowed to use software-patents to drive open source out of the marketplace [wikipedia.org]

        Now, when you cut through the BS and look at the math....
        According to B&N for 3 software-patents Microsoft is attempting to charge them anywhere between $5-15 per device. Motorola is charging 22.50 for 50 software-patents. So lets do the math shall we. Let's start with

      • by dolmen.fr (583400)

        This is unjustifiable on Motorolas part

        That's just the patent game. That's not fair to say the system is good when it is good for you and say it is bad when it is bad for you.
        If you don't want to lose, don't play.
        WebM is free, H.264 is not.

      • by Nyder (754090)

        MS currently licence 2,300 patents relating to H.264 for 2 cents per unit. Google/Motorola want $22.50 for the remaining 50 patents it holds, per unit

        Microsoft have entered cross licence deals for non FRAND patents with Android manufacturers.

        That’s right. Just 2 cents for use of more than 2,300 patents. (Windows qualifies for a volume discount, but no one has to pay more than 20 cents per unit.) Motorola is demanding that Microsoft pay more than 1,000 times that for use of just 50 patents. And that is for a $1,000 laptop. For a $2,000 laptop, Motorola is demanding double the royalty - $45. Windows is the same on both laptops, and so is the video support in Windows.

        This is unjustifiable on Motorolas part

        Does Motorola own the patents they are selling licenses to? And they want to charge whatever they want? I thought that was the capitalist crap that America is so great for? Do we have laws saying that you can't charge what you want?

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      It's even coming from a company that charges 3x as much for it's "patented technology" and claims it covers all technology without outlining what "all technology" is defined as.

  • ... don't sell the rights to anyone, at any price.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:24PM (#39127655)

      The concept of an industry standard FRAND patent is that they are _REQUIRED_ to license the patent to _ANYONE_ at a Fair Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory rate. They agreed to that when their patent was accepted as part of an industry standard. If they didn't want to be bound by this restriction (and thus have control over who they licensed the patent to and who they didn't and at what rates they charged), they shouldn't have submitted the patents for inclusion in an industry standard technology.

      You can't have it both ways - attempting to have it both ways leads to anti-competitive lawsuits...

  • Pot, meet Kettle. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Severus Snape (2376318) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:08PM (#39127435)
    I started to read the blog Microsoft wrote, I got as far as reading the title "Google: Please Don’t Kill Video on the Web" and couldn't read any more. Do Microsoft really think all of our memories are that short?
  • by JAlexoi (1085785) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:08PM (#39127445) Homepage
    And I suppose they think that MS is seen as a trustworthy by the EC. There is a big conflict between EC and Microsoft that was never resolved, even though the oversight is over.
  • Perhaps a little negotiating is in order. Hmm?

    I've always said the consumer benefits when these companies cooperate on technology, perhaps saner minds will triumph and all these idiotic lawsuits (and patents) will be pused to the wayside.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:10PM (#39127473)

    It sounds as if these are patents that Motorola never undertook to license on FRAND terms. Does anyone know whether that's accurate? It's hard to see why just becase a bunch of other people want to create a standard and license their own patents on FRAND that that should mean that everyone else has to as well. (Of course the patents themselves, like most such patents, are probably crap but that's another matter.)

  • by Tastecicles (1153671) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:14PM (#39127525)

    ...Pot or Kettle today?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:16PM (#39127551)

    (Posting AC because I'm at work)

    Motorola overplayed their hand. They are abusing FRAND patents and they are going to be taken to task for it. It might take years to play out but it will end poorly for them. And, frankly, everyone on Slashdot should hope that is the outcome because the thought of any company with FRAND patents being able to abuse them as Motorola has been doing is a terrifying thought - it would stifle entire industries. It is anti-competitive in the very worst sort of ways. Anyone who thinks that Motorola should get away with this just because of who they are or who their opponents are isn't thinking this process through...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...and I'm picking up the prediction that Googel will be more than happy to put their patents away, if only MS does the same...
    I guess the folks at Redmond can dish it out, but they can't take it...

  • Great timing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by viperidaenz (2515578) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:22PM (#39127629)
    Just as Google takes control.... Haven't Motorola been selling these licenses for like 10 years? Why is it only anti competitive now? Did they increase the prices more than inflation? My guess is the price is the same as it was years ago so they're effectively cheaper now and Microsoft, Apple and Google just hate each other.
    • Re:Great timing (Score:5, Interesting)

      by viperidaenz (2515578) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:30PM (#39127767)
      So After reading TFA, This is about H.264. Wasn't Microsoft a backer of H.264 a few year ago? When Google was promoting their free WebM codec back in the whole HTML5 Video thing? Something along the lines of "If you use a non-free codec in HTML you will kill video on the web". All this before Google tried to buy Motorola.
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:39PM (#39127893)

    Oh boo hoo Microsoft. No sympathy here. Your extortion of Linux users, Android users, USB drive users, and pretty much everyone else in the computer industry for some of the most questionable patents earns you no sympathy here. And that's not to mention your threats where you won't even list the patents allegedly infringed that you're threatening over. And even that's not to mention how questionable some of these patents are. And that even further not to mention that patent trolls you've enabled when you haven't wanted to get your own hands dirty. And still not to mention how your licensing terms give you control over future hardware design decisions for devices that you don't even manufacture yourself (thank you Barnes & Noble Nook) And now you cry foul? You are pathetic!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      So it's ok for Motorola to anti-competitively abuse an industry because Microsoft acted poorly in the past and you don't like them? I do believe that's about as succinct a summary of the short-sighted opinions that are flowing in this thread...

      • So it's ok for Motorola to anti-competitively abuse an industry because Microsoft acted poorly in the past and you don't like them? I do believe that's about as succinct a summary of the short-sighted opinions that are flowing in this thread...

        I believe that you are succinctly correct, although I needed details to make my case, hence an initial lack of succinctness.

        But I also believe that you are wrong about deeming any of this short-sighted. The best corrective action for bad behavior on the part of any one player is to receive it back in return in spades. And let them become an object lesson for everyone else who wants to play this game as well.

        Yes, I think that succinctly sums it all up.

  • by js3 (319268) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:42PM (#39127933)

    I've been reading the comments, and there doesn't seem to be any talk about the argument at all. Just "taste of your own medicine" "deserves it" "that's rich". Are we too blinded by fanbiosm to even have a valid discussion anymore?

    • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @02:02PM (#39128193)

      I've been reading the comments, and there doesn't seem to be any talk about the argument at all. Just "taste of your own medicine" "deserves it" "that's rich". Are we too blinded by fanbiosm to even have a valid discussion anymore?

      I think that the valid discussion is: Live by patent extortion, die by patent extortion.

      Also, FRAND said "Fair and Reasonable". Who defines "fair" and "reasonable"? The seller, or the buyer?

      Once upon a time in the automobile industry all of the existing patent holders got together to pool their patents and prevent any new competitors from being able to enter the industry. The government finally put a stop to that. I'd say that, for the good of everyone else, the government needs to do the same here.

      (Note: I don't support government intervention often, but the overall good of everybody is tied into our technological devices today in the same way that it once was in a fair market for automobiles.)

      Enough discussion?

      • by animaal (183055)

        Note: I don't support government intervention often, but the overall good of everybody is tied into our technological devices today in the same way that it once was in a fair market for automobiles.

        I would have thought that the concept of patents and copyright are instances of government intervention. The government creates the legislation that grants temporary(!) monopolies to holders of these patents.

        Lack of government intervention would mean that no such monopolies could be enforced.

        • I would have thought that the concept of patents and copyright are instances of government intervention. The government creates the legislation that grants temporary(!) monopolies to holders of these patents.

          Lack of government intervention would mean that no such monopolies could be enforced.

          I find that more of government encouragement of rewarding the effort to go out and improve things that benefit us all -- usually.

      • Also, FRAND said "Fair and Reasonable". Who defines "fair" and "reasonable"? The seller, or the buyer?

        I believe it is a case-by-case basis, but even so, typically the seller (e.g. the one who holds the patents).

        And, I believe someone (Groklaw?) pointed out that there is no definition what is "fair" or "reasonable" for FRAND by anyone.
        Thus, if the seller ultimately determines that the only "fair" and "reasonable" price is $1Billion USD, then even if no one wanted to pay that, that's what the price woul

    • by Sez Zero (586611)

      Just "taste of your own medicine" "deserves it" "that's rich". Are we too blinded by fanbiosm to even have a valid discussion anymore?

      I was deservedly blinded by the taste of my own rich medicine.

      In other words, you have pretty high standards for a Microsoft v. Google article.

    • by evilviper (135110)

      This isn't a court. We don't NEED to discuss the merits of the case. If discussing how ironic it is proves to be more apropos, then that's quite alright. This is just another patent lawsuit after all, between rich companies who CAN pay the fees, so the outcome has no significant sway upon the world, UNLESS it does turn into the giant corporations turning on the patent monster they created, fed, and used (when it suited their purposes).

  • Looks like Microsoft is at least discovering that H.264 is patent encumbered, and that this can hurt business. Hey, just use WebM!

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