EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Microsoft’s Hardware Business is Failing, So Microsoft Sues Rival for Patent Violation

Posted in Hardware, Microsoft, Patents at 3:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hardware circuits

Summary: Zune, Mobile, and Xbox are having a very hard time, so Microsoft starts suing companies (using patents) in what seems like unnecessary aggression

ALMOST everything that Microsoft tries in hardware inevitably fails pretty badly. Leading examples include Zune, phones, and Xbox. Microsoft is just losing a lot of money. Here is a new article about what happened to the Zune:

The Zune’s failure sent the company dow a very different path than Apple’s. Jobs & Co. were able to use the iPod’s success to launch the iPhone, and now the iPad. Microsoft’s mobile OS has struggled against the mobile operating system Apple uses, probably because Redmond never had a cell phone of its own to carry Windows Mobile as a follow-on product to the Zune.

When it comes to phones, Microsoft is just rebranding around the Vista 7 name. Further refinements are still being applied to the name, as if dropping the “Windows Mobile” name would save the dying platform from its rapid decline.

Microsoft is not very confident about the coolness of the name of its newest operating system for mobile phones named Windows Phone 7 Series. The coolest name would have been WP7S! But Microsoft has decided to chop the word ‘series’ from the ‘Windows Phone 7 Series’. The phone will now be called Windows Phone 7.

Microsoft is also patenting user interfaces (software) around “Windows Phone 7″ [1, 2, 3]. Is Microsoft preparing to sue like Apple did [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]? Based on its statement about the case [1, 2], it’s not impossible.

This brings us to Xbox. Microsoft has begun using patents aggressively. The monopolist is going litigious again (as it did against Primax and against TomTom for example). Here is some of the latest coverage:

Microsoft Launches Legal Battle Against UK-based Datel

Microsoft Sues Datel Over 360 Controllers

Microsoft Going After British Control Pad Company

Microsoft Sues Datel Over Game Controllers

Microsoft Sues U.K.-Based Control Pad Company

Microsoft Suing Datel For Copying Controller Design

Microsoft sues Datel for allegedly copying Xbox gamepads

Microsoft sues UK company over Xbox 360 controller

Microsoft suing Datel over controller design

Microsoft sues Datel for patent infringement on gamepads

Microsoft has filed suit (PDF) in a Seattle court and with the ITC against British gaming accessories maker Datel for patent infringement. Redmond claims the peripheral company stole various design patents from the Xbox 360 controller.

At first glance, Datel’s $30 TurboFire and $50 WildFire controllers obviously bear much resemblance to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gamepad, though minor aesthetics do vary. To be fair, plenty of other companies have similar clones, but they must have more than just trivial differences.

So it’s about appearance. As we showed earlier, Microsoft is patenting user interfaces too. It’s bordering on fashion patents, which are some of the most controversial out there. As Openbytes puts it, “MS looking for scraps off the table?”

Why should you invent anything when you can merely patent the idea and then wheel out your portfolio when you think the time is right? Readers to Openbytes may remember Microsoft’s holodeck which was reported here and now it seems Datel is next in line for an “attack of the drones” albeit Microsoft legal.

Datel is apparently infringing the following patents, D521,015, D522,011, D547,763, D581,422, D563,480, and D565,688 but in a nutshell its about Datel’s controller looking like Microsoft’s. – Is this an example of Microsoft settling for scraps off the floor because of the increase in popularity to alternatives of most of its product base? – If so I think we can expect more “spiteful” behaviour as Microsoft can’t be best pleased that they lost the appeal in the i4i case.

There is actually more trouble for Xbox right now. Firstly, we have witnessed serious security issues that resemble account cracking from a few years back (en masse hijacking). Victims now include a top Microsoft employee (the Xbox Live director):

Microsoft’s ‘Major Nelson’ Suffers Xbox Live Account Theft

A Microsoft representative confirmed that a group of hackers gained temporary control of the Xbox Live Account owned by Larry Hryb, the Xbox Live programming director who goes by the online handle “Major Nelson.”

Hacker targets Xbox Live director

Microsoft’s Major Nelson Has XBL and Gamercard Account Hacked

Microsoft Investigating Major Nelson Account Hack

OMG! Major Nelson falls victim to Xbox Live hack attack

Article: Major Nelson’s account hacked

Microsoft’s Major Nelson gets hacked

Xbox Live Director’s Account Hacked! (Are You Next?)

This probably confirms the stereotype that Microsoft cannot handle security.

Xbox 360 is also limited by design, just like Apple products. In the news we have:

Microsoft again says no browser for 360

Microsoft: Xbox 360 Isn’t Getting A Web Browser

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Will Never Have a Browser

Microsoft officially declares that the Xbox 360 will not be receiving a browser.

What a waste of hardware. It’s not even good hardware and it still receives immense public slapping for the defective components and overall design. Also in the news today:

When Microsoft posted the enhanced game update to the Xbox Live Marketplace on March 30, it made a fatal error by making the download available before the Call of Duty game itself was updated to accept the download.

As a result, the game crashed for hours for people who legitimately purchased the content, while Microsoft struggled to fix the problem that it had apparently never dealt with before.

With quality and service of this level, is it surprising that Microsoft loses billions in hardware?

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. williami said,

    April 6, 2010 at 5:34 am


    Boy, M$ would rather die fighting than just give up, even through their hardware products are failling, they still just want to get money by suing people for ridiculous reasons.

  2. Jose_X said,

    April 6, 2010 at 5:26 pm


    The patent system: Carving up the market ahead of time.

    The US patent system amounts to a “communist government leader” opening up an office and asking anyone that wants to control production of a class of products to write up a general description of those product characteristics they want to control.

    Out with competition and collaboration! The applicants each get 20 years of control.

    Other details: If two or more applicants file overlapping claims, then the first one gets control. Also, if an existing product already falls under one of these claim descriptions, then the definition/scope of the description is adjusted to bypass that specific product. Also, being awarded control requires payment of a very large fee.

    What an inefficient system this is! One person, not the most skilled either (and perhaps among the greediest and someone already wealthy), gets ultimate control for 20 years over all future innovation and creations that happen to fall within their territory. They can halt anything they don’t like and can divert income streams into their pockets. Other people’s superior or even pre-existing variations count for nothing in comparison.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    “[Y]ou’re creating a new 20-year monopoly for no good reason.”

    David Kappos (currently head of the USPTO) speaking about patents

What Else is New

  1. Leaked: EPO's Vice-President Willie Minnoye Saying the Unsayable, Then Threatening Anyone Who Keeps Record (Evidence) of It

    E-mail that would leave Vice-President Willie Minnoye bashful, as it helps show not only bad policy but also attempts at suppression of discussion about it

  2. Puff Pieces of the EPO-IPO (EPO+EUIPO) Have Begun to Appear Amid New Evidence of Brain Drain, Lowered Standards

    The grim vision of the EPO which is losing all its talent (over time), becomes more like a production line (quality does not matter), and produces propaganda for "media positioning" (or "placements") -- all under the guise of 'studies'

  3. Leaked: Minutes From the Administrative Council of the EPO Regarding the 'Reform' (Exile) of the Boards of Appeal

    Details of the relatively secret proceedings back in June (belatedly released only a short while ago), carefully abbreviated to demonstrate which delegations helped Battistelli crush the Boards of Appeal and which ones insisted on maintaining the status quo, as per the EPC

  4. No Promising Future For the EPO Under Battistelli (If Any Future At All)

    Pessimism becomes realism at the European Patent Office as units are being torn apart, patent quality discarded, "unified" patent courts dreamed of (more patent lawsuits, higher damages), and EUIPO (EU-associated, unlike Eponia) gets closer to the EPO

  5. Leaked Minutes From the EPO Reveal That Battistelli is Detached From Reality and Blames Everything on “Union Officials”

    Minutes of the Administrative Council's meeting reveal some truly bizarre rants from Battistelli, who simply refuses to accept that the European Patent Office is burning (without a future direction, only burnout and brain drain) under his poor and abusive leadership

  6. Tata/TCS is Still Pushing for Software Patents in India

    The obnoxious company that is promoting Microsoft and software patents in a country that needs neither makes the headlines again (Financial Express)

  7. Links 25/10/2016: Rackspace's Praise of FOSS, Chain Chooses the GPL(v3)

    Links for the day

  8. Links 24/10/2016: Linux 4.9 RC2

    Links for the day

  9. Battistelli Plans to Expand the Social [sic] 'Study' (Then 'Conference') Propaganda Until Next Month, Under the 'Workshop' Umbrella

    Milking his shameless propaganda (paid-for 'studies'), Battistelli wants to rewrite the record by all means possible, then pretend that EPO staff participates in it

  10. EPO and EUIPO Join Hands to Release Propaganda (for European Media to Parrot) Some Time Tomorrow

    EPO and EUIPO in collaboration for the promotion of the notion that they are both necessary (and reinforced speculations about growing overlap between them)

  11. UPC Preparatory Committee Puts the Brakes on UPC Amid Brexit and Growing Uncertainty

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) preparatory committee recognises that the UPC isn't going anywhere (any time soon) and false job advertisements -- or advertisements for jobs that will never exist -- are withdrawn

  12. Updates Regarding EPO and BoAC: Unrest and Injustice Carry on

    Some of the latest information which is publicly and privately available to us, in particular regarding the case of a suspended judge which represents unprecedented erosion of the appeal boards' independence (and hence lack of justice in the Organisation)

  13. EPO and the “Iberian Connection”: Patricia García-Escudero Márquez - Battistelli's Pet Chinchilla on the Boards of Appeal Committee?

    Why the Boards of Appeal Committee has begun showing prominent signs that it is anything but independent and capable of standing up to Battistelli (or his circle at the Office, which includes the “Iberian Connection")

  14. Links 23/10/2016: Alcatel's New Android Smartphones, Another Honorary Doctorate for Stallman

    Links for the day

  15. Open Letter Exposing the Farce Which Was Battistelli's 'Social Conference' Coinciding With Further (New) Attacks on EPO Staff Representatives

    A detailed letter reveals legitimate concerns expressed by staff representatives at the EPO ahead of the so-called Social Conference, in which we have highlighted severe factual flaws

  16. Translation of Latest Rant From French MP Philip Cordery About Benoît Battistelli's Abuses at the EPO

    Philip Cordery crosses horns with Benoît Battistelli, who has become a source of embarrassment for France with his autocratic tendencies and misguided policies that rapidly ruin the European Patent Office (EPO)

  17. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Leaked Document Shows PwC's Dishonesty and Misrepresentation of EPO Staff

    An in-depth analysis (but not comprehensive, just preliminary) of the so-called 'study' from PwC, which basically did what it was paid for (pay to say)

  18. Links 22/10/2016: Deus Ex for GNU/Linux, Global DDoS (DNS)

    Links for the day

  19. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Survey Comparison Shows Serious Deterioration and Efforts by PwC to Disguise the Truth

    The latest output from PwC turns out to be even worse than initially thought, indicating that not only did it find a degradation in the EPO but also attempted to hide/obscure it

  20. EPO Teaser - The "Iberian Connection" - Some Photos of García-Escudero and His Royal/Government Connections

    A look at the undeniably close connections between Mr. García-Escudero and the most powerful people in Spain

  21. Disruption to Site's Service

    A technical note about why Techrights has not been publishing many articles recently

  22. Links 21/10/2016: MPV 0.21, Mad Max for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day

  23. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's High Five

    Another cartoon about the sad state of the EPO

  24. Battistelli Ruins Not Only the EPO But Also the Whole of Europe By Ushering in Software Patents That Patent Trolls Love So Much

    Battistelli's bad leadership at the EPO threatens to bring to Europe all the ills and menaces of the patent system in the United States

  25. EPO Spokesman Lies to IP Watch in Order to Save Face and Save the King (Battistelli)

    Rewriting history (revisionism) regarding Battistelli and what was demanded amidst abusive behaviour from him

  26. Unitary Patent (UPC) is Dead, But 'Managing IP' and Selfish Patent Law Firms Still Try to Resurrect It

    The latest attempts to shore up the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court and who's behind it other than the usual suspects

  27. Links 20/10/2016: Linux 4.10 Preview, ONF and ON.Labs to Merge

    Links for the day

  28. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC 'Study': The Raw Outcome Shows Distortion of the Facts at the EPO's Notorious 'Social Conference'

    Results of the Staff Survey carried out by PwC, in order to provide some propaganda for Battistelli's expensive Social Conference

  29. Addendum: EPO's Alberto Casado Cerviño, WIPO's Francis Gurry, and EUIPO's Archambeau

    Photos taken as part of an IP event which took place in Riga (Latvia) in March 2015

  30. Worrisome Connections Between EPO VP2 Alberto Casado Cerviño and Patricia García-Escudero Márquez

    Exploring the potential conflicts of interests implicating the EPO's Boards of Appeal Committee


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time


Recent Posts