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12.15.08

Microsoft Xbox Sued Again, This Time for Software Patent Infringement

Posted in Courtroom, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 7:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gamer
Gaming the system

Yesterday we wrote about the latest Microsoft XBox lawsuit. Microsoft deserved that for its arrogance and negligence, but it has just been sued again, this time over patents that are allegedly infringed on. [via Digital Majority]

MS therefore break the patent because they pay nothing to Paltalk for use of the technology with their Xbox Live service, which stretches right across the world. And a quick word of warning to anyone in the UK, since Paltalk have one registered there too. It seems like Paltalk, who run an Instant Messaging service similar to that of Microsoft’s own MSN, are doing this to simply boost their reputation. Live has been up for four years in November. Could they not have pointed it out to Microsoft at the time, before it got huge? Or did they simply “forget” that they had filed the patent until now?

This is yet another example of the reasons why Microsoft should join a coalition against software patents, as oppose to using them to terrorise competitors who stand up for Freedom. For those who are hoping for a patent reform, don’t hold your breath.

…[D]espite plenty of hand-wringing and tons upon tons of evidence of harm done by the current patent system, nothing is going to change any time soon.

Google is being abused by this broken system as well, but although it dislikes the system, it carries on feeding it.

Eric Goldman has an amusing patent lawsuit filed against Google for alleged violations of two patents by Google Reader. The two patents (one and two) have to do with information “coordination and retrieval” with one of them dating back to the late 80s.

[...]

Specifically, the filing suggests that the inventor really, really doesn’t want to file a patent infringement lawsuit, and is really hoping that Google doesn’t think it’s litigious or get upset about it. Instead, the inventor claims that legal precedence forced him to file the lawsuit rather than negotiate.

For Microsoft and Google to be taken seriously by Free software advocates, they must begin by combatting software patents. But it won’t happen any time soon and it’s far from sufficient.

“Software patents are a huge potential threat to the ability of people to work together on open source. Making it easier for companies and communities that have patents to make those patents available in a common pool for people to use is one way to try to help developers deal with the threat.”

Linus Torvalds

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2 Comments

  1. mpz said,

    December 16, 2008 at 6:42 am

    Gravatar

    Just a normal cost of business to them I guess.

    After all, all they have to do is pass the costs onto consumers anyway – lets face it, they’ve been paying enough all these years already.

    And what price do you think they put on killing their only potentially viable competitor, or ensuring none can arise? Quite a lot I would imagine. A few nuisance lawsuits are quite a small price to pay.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 16, 2008 at 9:09 am

    Gravatar

    “They [Microsoft] have the deepest of pockets, unlimited ambition, and they are willing to lose money for years and years just to make sure that you don’t make any money, either.”

    Robert X. Cringely

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