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07.07.12

Nokia Shies Away From Direct Patent Extortion of Android

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 10:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Old mobile

Summary: Nokia tiptoes around its allegations that Android products infringe on its patents, choosing instead to spread its standard-essential patents to patent trolls

TECHRIGHTS’ WIKI has just added this page about Nokia with the intention of providing a timeline of Nokia’s abduction (by Microsoft) and transformation into a patent troll.

Nokia is now leaving MeeGo for good — a move that would please Microsoft a great deal. There are still new calls for the sacking of Elop, but it is realised that the board too should be sacked. It’s like an army of moles after entryism. To quote Jean-Louis who is famous in the computing industry (he is not just some pundit):

“I think that Elop will have to go, but I also think that the board also needs to be renewed with people who have an understanding and working knowledge of the mobile industry,” Gassée told Computing in an exclusive interview.

Gassée built up HP in Europe during the 1970s before joining Apple in 1981, where he served as a senior executive from 1981 to 1990. He also founded operating system company Be Inc, and is now a partner at venture capital company Allegis Capital.

Nokia is already playing a game of innuendo against Android while it is feeding patent trolls. Here is Nokia’s damage control: “While Nokia hasn’t accused Google of violating any of its patents with its Nexus 7 tablet, it has noted that neither Google nor Asus, the tablet’s manufacturer, is under any license agreement with the handset maker. It could mean Google will opt to buy into Nokia’s good graces — or face yet another front in the ever-expanding worldwide patent war.”

“Nokia is already playing a game of innuendo against Android while it is feeding patent trolls.”Nokia will pass the portfolio to a proxy (or several) first and pray that antitrust regulators won’t cause issues.

Over at OSNews, the mobile patent wars lead to the realisation that this patent system is broken. “First,” says the author, “let’s identify the problems of the current patent system. Most of us here are aware of the problems inherent in the system, so I don’t want to go into too many details; we’ve covered it a million times before, as has the rest of the web.”

“On a point-by-point basis,” he notes, we have (to quote verbatim):

  1. Patents are granted too easily, even on trivial and obvious stuff.
  2. Patents are granted on ideas instead of actual implementations.
  3. The system allows for software patents to exist. Software patents are patents on math and language, which ought not to be patentable. Software already enjoys copyright protection.
  4. Patents are transferable, which leads to patent hoarding and patent trolls.
  5. Patent protection lasts too long, putting a huge damper on innovation and creating a truly massive collection of still-valid patents you have to take into account.
  6. Invalidation is too expensive, making it virtually impossible for small companies or individuals to do anything about aggressive large corporations. The result is that large corporations can easily crush small companies and start-ups.

That last one is important and it shows what the real purpose of patents became. It paralyses the industry, preventing change. Nokia is trying to use past glory to justify impeding Android. This is why Microsoft latched onto Nokia.

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