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The i4i-Microsoft Appeal - HP and Dell Ask to File Amicus Briefs in Support of Microsoft - Updated
Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 10:51 AM EDT

HP and Dell have asked the court to allow them to file amicus briefs in support of Microsoft's Emergency Motion to Stay Permanent Injunction Pending Appeal in the i4i patent litigation.

I can't show you the documents yet, as they are not yet available electronically. I'm sure you could write them in your mind quite readily, though. They will say their businesses will be deleteriously affected if they can't ship Word, and the world as we know it will halt if the judge doesn't turn this around and block the injunction at least until the appeal can be heard.

Actually, for them as businesses, it could indeed be very disruptive. If you recall, Microsoft's motion says they will be, so they are confirming it, presumably. End users aren't particularly going to be affected, because i4i told the court it won't go after users for prior infringement, only future, but vendor partners of Microsoft certainly could be affected. I guess they could install OpenOffice.org instead of Word. Hey. Why not?

That's if Microsoft is being accurate, and it's not possible to just send out a patch and fix the customXML problem that way by the deadline. Partnering with Microsoft is a bit of a gamble, if the allegations of i4i are eventually upheld on appellate review. Much as I personally despise software patents, and methods patents, the fact is patent law is designed to protect the victim of infringement. And if you infringed, you can expect massive disruption. Remember the Blackberry litigation? The idea is you shouldn't have infringed in the first place.

The issue here is whether to stay the disruption until all appeals are heard, so as to avoid damage to Microsoft that may prove unnecessary. Watching patent cases is like watching ping pong. Appeals are common, and often they work out. All that matters is the final judgment in a case after all appeals are fully exhausted, and that's the absolutely right word. Patent litigation is exhausting. Also expensive, because appeals are so common. But Microsoft is asking for a lot. Patently O explains:

Stay of Injunctive Relief Pending Appeal: Unless otherwise ordered by the court, a permanent injunction is not stayed during an appeal. In Hilton v. Braunskill, 481 U.S. 770 (1987), the Supreme Court outlined a four factor test used when determining whether to stay enforcement. The factors are essentially the converse of those used in determining whether to grant a preliminary injunction. These factors include: "(1) whether the stay applicant has made a strong showing that he is likely to succeed on the merits [of the appeal]; (2) whether the applicant will be irreparably injured absent a stay; (3) whether issuance of the stay will substantially injure the other parties interested in the proceeding; and (4) where the public interest lies."

Patent Reform on this Issue: In 2006, patent reform legislation introduced in Congress would have added an automatic stay of permanent injunctions after a showing that "the stay would not result in irreparable harm to the owner of the patent and that the balance of hardships from the stay does not favor the owner of the patent." Patents Depend on Quality Act of 2006, H.R. 5096, 109th Cong. §8 (2006) (proposing to amend 35 U.S.C. 283).

I have a better idea for patent reform: let software and patents get a divorce. It's massively disruptive, and who benefits in this picture? If you just must have them, devise a way to distinguish between software patents and pharmaceuticals. Trying a one-size-fits-all patent scheme can never work for them both, unless you tailor the law for types of patents. What drug companies need isn't at all the same as what software vendors and programmers need. FOSS, of course, needs patents to get out of its innovative way. Sharing what you know is the essence of FOSS; patents are all about secrets and many years of protection, when in software, nothing lasts as long in the market generally as the patent does. So it's not a good fit. Patently O also has an article today on the relevance of the pending reexamination of the i4i patent:
Pending Reexamination: Microsoft has submitted its motion for a stay of injunctive relief pending the outcome of its appeal to the Federal Circuit. Oddly, the first sentence of Microsoft's introduction begins with a statement that the PTO "already had provisionally rejected upon reexamination as anticipated and obvious." By 'provisionally rejected' Microsoft means that a non-final office action has been mailed out in the ex parte reexamination that it requested in November 2008 (the litigation was filed in March 2007).

The opening is odd because of its irrelevance. The vast majority of third party requests for ex parte reexaminations are granted (over 95%) and then 'provisionally' rejected (83% of those). That usual course is simply the beginning of a typically long reexamination process. Even amongst reexaminations that received a non-final rejection - most resulted in a reexamination certificate that confirmed the patentability of at least one original claim. Of course, the final resolution of the reexamination is likely years away.(The figures are based on my own study of 5,000 ex parte reexamination file histories).

The opening is also odd because, to my knowledge, the Federal Circuit has never placed any weight on the fact that a co-pending reexamination has been provisionally rejected.

He says we can expect a ruling by October 10.

The judge in the lower court said i4i is being damaged every day that there is not an injunction, and it wasn't found guilty of anything, so he tilted toward protecting i4i, ruling that Microsoft would not be irreparably harmed but i4i would be. So now, up step two Microsoft partners, saying, one assumes, that they will be, even if Microsoft can endure it. So that sets the stage for you.

The only documents currently available electronically currently are the notices of appearance by the lawyers who will be representing the parties. I can show you the docket entries and the schedule of what happens next. And as the more substantive documents are posted, which I expect will occur, we'll have them for you. Here are the deadlines that matter next:

Briefing schedule revised to extent that i4i Limited Partnership's brief is due 9/8/09 and Microsoft's reply brief & joint appendix must be served and received by the court no later than noon on 9/14/09.
As for the attorneys, it's essentially Weil, Gotshal & Manges for Microsoft, and Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow for i4i. Microsoft also has in-house counsel, of course, and being the 800-pound gorilla in this picture also has another firm on the case, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Their lead attorney is Matthew Powers at Weil, a highly respected patent litigator. Here's an article about him in AmLawDaily, mentioning the judge's sanctions but also a major win in another large patent case that same week, where Powers represented Merck:
Given the huge stakes in both case--and the different outcomes for Powers--we called to ask what his week's been like. (Sort of like if the guy from the old "agony of defeat" commercial got up, put his skis back on, and proceeded to win the race.) Powers kept his cards close to the vest when we spoke to him Thursday. He said he was "pleased" with the Merck decision, but he declined to address Judge Davis's charge that he made improper arguments at the Microsoft trial....

We asked for a preview of how Powers intends to address Judge Davis's accusations. He again demurred. "It will all be addressed in the brief," Powers said.

See how truly skilled lawyers are? They don't schmooze much with the media. And they don't tell you everything they know. They speak in the courtroom, where it matters.

Finnegan has every right to be proud of their accomplishment in this litigation so far. But all that matters in litigation is winning at the very end. Even this appeal may not be the very end. There is too much at stake.

Microsoft recently lost another patent case, one that reminds me a bit of this one, as reported by Jon Brodkin of ComputerWorld:

According to Davis, Microsoft approached Uniloc in the 1990s, looking to either purchase the company or get an exclusive license to its technology. Several years later, Uniloc noticed Microsoft using "something awfully similar" in its product activation systems for Windows and Office.

Last month, in a federal court in Rhode Island, a jury ordered Microsoft to pay $388 million to Uniloc after deciding Microsoft was guilty of patent infringement. Microsoft said it was disappointed in the verdict and plans to appeal.

Microsoft, if it is guilty of such conduct, might need to revise its business model. If not, if this keeps happening, partners may find themselves at least factoring it into theirs, or at least I would.

If you can't wait for the appeals documents, and you're in the area and wish to go to the court (US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit) and get copies for us, that'd be grand. Call the court first, to make sure they will be able to help you out. Or email me and I'll tell you how to do it.

Update: PC World's Mark Hachman has a reaction from i4i:

For its part, i4i characterized Microsoft's appeal as indicative of its "hostile attitude". "The appeal brief filed by Microsoft is an extraordinary document," Loudon Owen, chairman of i4i, said in a statement that was emailed to reporters on Wednesday. "It captures the hostile attitude of Microsoft toward inventors who dare to enforce patents against them. It is also blatantly derogatory about the Court system."
He also quotes from the HP and Dell amicus brief, but he doesn't provide the document. So you can read about it, but you can't read it for yourself. And the court doesn't provide the document digitally.

*****************************

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit


I4I V MICROSOFT

2009-1504

The following documents, filed after 8/13/07, are available for download:
official caption, entry of appearance, certificate of interest.
No other case documents are available electronically.



Date History
8/25/2009 Due BLUE BRIEF
/ / Appellant Principal Brief Filing Date
/ / Appellee or Cross Appellant Principal Brief Filing Date
/ / Appellant Reply Brief Filing Date
/ / Cross Appellant Reply Brief Filing Date
/ / Appendix Filing Date
9/23/2009 Oral Argument Date / Calendared
/ / Disposition: ; by
/ / Mandated on
>> Please Note: The briefs above are only the most current.


MOTIONS AND OTHER ENTRIES
>> Please Note: Motions are listed first. Entries are listed last.
8/24/2009 MOTION: Entry 22 :by Amicus - Motion by Hewlett-Packard Company for Leve to File a Brief as Amicus Curiae in Support of Defendant-Appellant's Emergency Motion to Stay Permanent Injunction Pending Appeal. [confidential and nonconfidential versions accompanied by a brief] SERVICE : by Mail on 8/24/2009

8/24/2009 MOTION: Entry 21 :by Amicus - Motion by Dell Inc. for Leave to File a Brief as Amicus Curiae in Support of Defendant-Appellant's Emergency Motion to Stay Permanent Injunction Pending Appeal. [confidential and nonconfidential versions accompanied by the brief] SERVICE : by Mail on 8/24/2009

8/24/2009 MOTION: Entry 19 :by Appellant - Emergency Motion to File enlarged briefs. SERVICE : by Hand on 8/24/2009
ACTION: Entry 20 :Motion granted. Filed: 8/24/2009

8/18/2009 MOTION: Entry 2 :by Appellant - Emergency Motion to Stay Permanent Injunction Pending Appeal (with exhibits) [confidential and non-confidential versions]. SERVICE : by Mail on 8/18/2009

>> Entries for Case Number: 2009-1504
Entry 18 : 8/20/2009 : NOTICE OF CALENDARING mailed to parties. PANEL 0909H on September 23, 2009.
. SERVICE : by Court on 8/20/2009

Entry 17 : 8/20/2009 : Ordered: Briefing schedule revised to extent that i4i Limited Partnership's brief is due 9/8/09 and Microsoft's reply brief & joint appendix must be served and received by the court no later than noon on 9/14/09. By: Motions Panel. Judge Prost.
. SERVICE : by Court on 8/20/2009

Entry 16 : 8/19/2009 : Entry of Appearance for Jason W. Melvin as counsel on behalf of Appellees, i4i Limited Partnership and Infrastructures for Information Inc.
. SERVICE : by Mail on 8/19/2009
. DOC : I4I 2009-1504 (8.19.09 EOA MELVIN).PDF

Entry 15 : 8/19/2009 : Entry of Appearance for Don O. Burley as counsel on behalf of Appellees, i4i Limited Partnership and Infrastructures for Information Inc.
. SERVICE : by Mail on 8/19/2009
. DOC : I4I 2009-1504 (8.19.09 EOA BURLEY).PDF

Entry 14 : 8/19/2009 : Entry of Appearance for Erik R. Puknys as counsel on behalf of Appellees, i4i Limited Partnership and Infrastructures for Information Inc.
. SERVICE : by Mail on 8/19/2009
. DOC : I4I 2009-1504 (8.19.09 EOA PUKNYS).PDF

Entry 13 : 8/19/2009 : Entry of Appearance for Donald R. Dunner as principal counsel on behalf of Appellees, i4i Limited Partnership and Infrastructures for Information Inc.
. SERVICE : by Mail on 8/19/2009
. DOC : I4I 2009-1504 (8.19.09 EOA DUNNER).PDF

Entry 12 : 8/19/2009 : Ordered: Microsoft's opening brief due 8/25/09. i4i Limited Partnership's brief due 9/7/09. Microsoft's reply brief & joint appendix due 9/11/09. Case will be heard 9/23/09. (See order for details) By: Motions Panel. Judge: Prost.
. SERVICE : by Court on 8/19/2009

Entry 11 : 8/19/2009 : Ordered: 1) Response of i4i Limited Partnership et al. to Microsoft's motion for a stay, pending appeal, is due August 25, 2009. Microsoft's motion for an "administrative stay" of the injunction is denied. By: Motions Panel. Judge: Prost.
. SERVICE : by Court on 8/19/2009

Entry 9 : 8/18/2009 : Entry of appearance for Minodora D. Vancea as counsel on behalf of appellant Microsoft Corporation.
. SERVICE : by Mail on 8/18/2009
. DOC : I4I 2009-1504 (8.18.09 EOA VANCEA).PDF

Entry 8 : 8/18/2009 : Entry of appearance for Amber Hatfield Rovner as counsel on behalf of appellant Microsoft Corporation.
. SERVICE : by Mail on 8/18/2009
. DOC : I4I 2009-1504 (8.18.09 EOA ROVNER).PDF

Entry 7 : 8/18/2009 : Entry of appearance for Kevin Kudlac as counsel on behalf of appellant Microsoft Corporation.
. SERVICE : by Mail on 8/18/2009
. DOC : I4I 2009-1504 (8.18.09 EOA KUDLAC).PDF

Entry 6 : 8/18/2009 : Entry of appearance for Isabella Fu as counsel on behalf of appellant Microsoft Corporation.
. SERVICE : by Mail on 8/18/2009
. DOC : I4I 2009-1504 (8.18.09 EOA FU).PDF

Entry 5 : 8/18/2009 : Entry of appearance for Matthew D. Powers as principal counsel on behalf of appellant Microsoft Corporation.
. SERVICE : by Mail on 8/18/2009
. DOC : I4I 2009-1504 (8.18.09 EOA POWERS).PDF

Entry 4 : 8/18/2009 : Official caption.
. SERVICE : by Court on 8/18/2009
. DOC : i4i 2009-1504 (8.18.09 CAPTION).pdf

Entry 3 : 8/18/2009 : Preliminary notice of docketing issued.
. SERVICE : by Court on 8/18/2009

Entry 10 : 8/18/2009 : Entry of appearance for Matthew D. McGill as counsel on behalf of appellant Microsoft Corporation.
. SERVICE : by Mail on 8/18/2009
. DOC : I4I 2009-1504 (8.18.09 EOA MCGILL).PDF


  


The i4i-Microsoft Appeal - HP and Dell Ask to File Amicus Briefs in Support of Microsoft - Updated | 336 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections Here, Please
Authored by: TheBlueSkyRanger on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 10:56 AM EDT
Dobre utka,
The Blue Sky Ranger

[ Reply to This | # ]

Newspick Discussion Here, Please
Authored by: TheBlueSkyRanger on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 10:57 AM EDT
Dobre utka,
The Blue Sky Ranger

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic Here, Please
Authored by: TheBlueSkyRanger on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 10:58 AM EDT
Dobre utka,
The Blue Sky Ranger

[ Reply to This | # ]

Public Interest
Authored by: rsteinmetz70112 on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 11:04 AM EDT
It seems Microsoft is staking its claim on public interest.

If RIM couldn't get a stay from millions of users going dark and the patent
office invalidating a lot of the patents, it seems a big stretch to say using an
old version of Word, OpenOffice.org, Symphony or Google Docs is causing the
public damage.

---
Rsteinmetz - IANAL therefore my opinions are illegal.

"I could be wrong now, but I don't think so."
Randy Newman - The Title Theme from Monk

[ Reply to This | # ]

Dell is practically a subsidiary of Microsoft
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 11:09 AM EDT

- so it's no surprise that Dell is weighing in on Microsoft's side.

But HP? They should stay out of it, other than maybe lobbying for abolition of software patents.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I'm going to have to disagree with P.J. on one point!
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 11:10 AM EDT

Partnering with Microsoft is a bit of a gamble
Err... from what I've observed over the last 20 years, partnering with MS is a huge gamble for the "non-MS partner".

But... that's just my humble opinion. Too many repeated instances of MS entering a partnership, dual-developing the product on the side, and pushing it out before the partnership can get the combined product to market. In short, MS' product is first to market while the partnership is disolved and the combined product fails.

Dell is in a unique position compared with other partnerships in that MS has not quite yet decided to put together a division that will build and distribute pc's.

But again, just my humble opinion.

RAS

[ Reply to This | # ]

MS asked for expedited appeal
Authored by: hardmath on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 11:18 AM EDT
MS asked for an expedited appeal, such that their arguments had to be briefed
yesterday and putting i4i on notice to have their brief filed in time for MS to
respond, all ahead of a scheduled Sept. 23 hearing.

So the motions by HP and Dell to file amicus briefs is a bit of extra leverage
for MS, if they are looking to load up the burden on relatively small firm i4i.

Although I oppose software patents, I also oppose stealing the products
developed by ones competition. That is what MS has done repeatedly, leveraging
their effective monopoly on desktop operating systems and office applications to
destroy innovating businesses.

Triple damages for abuse of monopoly should be the rule.

regards, hm


---
"Mail-order schools lure fledgling code jockeys with promises of big bucks and
excitement. But a new survey finds hirings are rare." Computerworld, 12/11/95

[ Reply to This | # ]

of course
Authored by: nola on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 11:27 AM EDT
One big issue for Dell and HP is that they have lots of PCs
already built with trialware versions of MS Office on the
hard drives.

They don't want to go back and redo them all.

Nor do they want to mess with all the images they have
for putting on to any new systems.

And especially they do not want to do this when they are
making changes to go to Win 7. This is a "perfect storm"
scenario for them.

[ Reply to This | # ]

blackberry?
Authored by: sumzero on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 11:41 AM EDT
didn't ntp end up having most of the key patents in the case invalidated, but
only after rim was forced to settle?

iirc, rim turned up undisclosed prior art during discovery which led to a
separate reexamination of the patents in question. rim was left with no other
choice than to settle based on the pronouncements of the judge in the case.

i'm not sure why you include the blackberry case here except as an example of
how a patent troll with questionable patents can hijack your business with the
help of the legal system.

sum.zero

---
48. The best book on programming for the layman is "alice in wonderland"; but
that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.

alan j perlis

[ Reply to This | # ]

The i4i-Microsoft Appeal - HP and Dell Ask to File Amicus Briefs in Support of Microsoft
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 11:44 AM EDT
Both Dell and HP sell computers with mainly Windows as a primary OS. Anything
else (Microsoft 'Bloated' Office, How To Get Rich in 30 days, How To Start a
Baseless Lawsuit, etc.) is just one of the many add-ons that is not absolutely
required to buy a computer. Ever.

Surely, Dell and HP as well as others would like to squeeze extra cash from the
potential customers but I can't imagine their business will suffer greatly due
to their inability to bundle Microsoft Word with a computer purchase. Their main
thrust is to sell computers. Period. (OK, I didn't mention support, but...)

Not good enough. Not anywhere close enough to block the injunction, IMNSHO.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Patents are not about secrets
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 12:09 PM EDT
patents are all about secrets and many years of protection
Patents are indeed about many years of protection for the inventor of a patent, but that protection is received in exchange for making the ideas behind that invention publicly available. Once a patent application is filed it is public information, and is no longer a secret.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Are HP and Dell willfully infringing i4i product (distributing)
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 12:20 PM EDT
Are they liable because they know that they are distributing someone else's
stolen IP

[ Reply to This | # ]

The i4i-Microsoft Appeal - HP and Dell Ask to File Amicus Briefs in Support of Microsoft
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 12:40 PM EDT
Presumably not only HP and Dell would be affected, but any company that builds
PCs. (Even Apple will be affected. They won't be able to tell a buyer that
they can install MS Office on their shiny new Mac. Or wait, maybe it won't be
an issue. I heard somewhere that Office for Mac couldn't open .docx files, or
was that before the latest release? Hard to keep track.) Funny thing is, if
you buy a new machine at a big box store, the MS Office you get with it is only
the trial version anyway, not the real MS Office. So, how does this affect Dell
and HP? Is it because they will have to pull the trial version? Or is it
because after the trial version customers won't be able to install the real
version? What about the Student Version? Does that have the Custom XML stuff?
Didn't they say that most users do not need the Custom XML? Or is it all those
enterprise systems that Dell and HP sell with pre-installed software? Isn't MS
Office a purchased add on?

Somehow, for Dell and HP not to be able to pre-load a particular trial package,
does not upset me.

On the other hand, it didn't dissuade me from buying this Netbook with XP
pre-installed. Haven't run Windows on it yet, will probably get around to it
some day, after I get all the firewall and anti-virus and backup software for
it.

Found the easiest way to create the "Live CD" boot image on a memory
stick was to download the Ubuntu 9.04 .iso on another machine, cut the CD, then
boot the CD on that other machine. Ubuntu 9.04 has a nice little command line
utility usb-create that does everything you need to create the boot usb drive.

After that it was simple to install the boot memory stick on this netbook. An
Acer Aspire, works great.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Pharmaceuticals? - The i4i-Microsoft Appeal - HP and Dell Ask to File Amicus Briefs in ...
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 12:46 PM EDT
"If you just must have them, devise a way to distinguish between software
patents and pharmaceuticals."

The issue is to separate a device with an embedded computer where the software
is an intrinsic part of a device, and software in general. The General Purpose
Computer threw a monkey wrench into the works. The problem is with the law and
the legal system, where the scope of the issue should have been very narrowly
defined, and instead has been expanded to where you can patent the not function.
Stupidity raised to the infinite power.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The i4i-Microsoft Appeal - HP and Dell Ask to File Amicus Briefs in Support of Microsoft
Authored by: Ian Al on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 12:56 PM EDT
Yes, of course. If all those suppliers of OpenServer and UnixWare lost the
ability to sell and service Microsoft Word then the US would not be able to
launch their missiles and aircraft. And, the US economy might be brought to its
knees.

Off course, I might be mixing up two court cases, here.

---
Regards
Ian Al

Linux: Viri can't hear you in free space.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Two more companies added to my personal blacklist!
Authored by: tiger99 on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 12:57 PM EDT
Small-minded managers have decided to support the Monopoly in yet another of their illegal actions, instead of realising that there could be competitive advantage in being able to provide a free and complete office suite to all of their customers.

The last Dell I bought came with a "free" (not free at all, it must have inflated the price of the hardware, for something I did not want or need) version of Monopoly Works, which included Word and a cut-down set of other apps which were utterly useless, as they were totally incompatible with the full programs like Excel. OOo is far more compatible, and costs precisely nothing.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft's Business Model
Authored by: TemporalBeing on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 01:03 PM EDT
Microsoft has a long history of this kind of conduct; it's surprising anyone is still willing to partner with them since it's typically Embrace (accept someone as a partner), Extend (integrate their work into Microsoft's), and Extinguish (drop them as a partner, and ruin their business).

Perhaps the Groklaw community could do research to show this behavior, and submit an amicus brief in favor of i4i (with notes that while we don't like software patents) to outline this behavior and call out that someone needs to stop Microsoft from continuing this behavior, even if it were to substantially harm them - after all, that is what they've done to numerous other companies over the years.

If only a judge/community/etc. stopped them the first time it happened, they wouldn't be in this mess today, and their business model wouldn't be a problem. They'd likely have better F/OSS relations too.

P.S. Not trying to defend in this; but their behavior has to be dealt with.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Not to be obnoxious...
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 01:41 PM EDT
...(well maybe).

But who cares whether or not Microsoft or Dell or HP will be "deleteriously
affected" if they are not allowed to continue to steal from i4i?

I'd love that defense if I was arrested for stealing someones Lexus.

"But your honor, restoring the Lexus to the rightful owner and putting me
on trial would cause me to be "deleteriously affected."

"You're right, son, you can keep the car, at least until the appeal is
over. And since jail time is inconvenient we'll forgot about that too."

[ Reply to This | # ]

Outrageous
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 02:38 PM EDT
Imagine if you owned a pawn shop and you complained to a judge that locking up
an armed robber would disrupt your "business" because a significant
portion of your profits are made on his "services."

Granted, patent infringement isn't quite the same as robbery, but you can see
where I'm going here. If your business relies on wrongdoing, then you *deserve*
to lose business.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Outrageous - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 03:41 PM EDT
  • Actually - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 04:43 PM EDT
Disruption needs to happen, to get Congress's attention
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 02:48 PM EDT
The demise (?) of Microsoft Office is necessary to abolish software patents, to
show their absurdity. Congress doesn't care about minor patent disputes, but
killing Microsoft Office would be noticed. And, maybe, it might also nudge the
Supreme Court when it gets around to Bilski.

Of course, this assumes that Congress will actually respond to absurdities --
not something one can take for granted.

But I suspect Microsoft, if it loses, will license the bathwater rather than
throw out the Office baby -- at least in the short term while it comes up with a
workaround.

It also shows Microsoft's example of the American private sector's disease of
cutting corners. XML is already written, proven code, and they only have to do
some minor extensions. Now, they have to actually write original code, and we've
all seen how good they've been with that in recent years.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Is CustomXML required for OOXML
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 03:30 PM EDT
As standardized, is the functionality at issue a required part of the ECMA
standard?

Does this now mean the even Microsoft can not deliver a standards-compliant
product?

Not that the current product line was ever producing standard-format output, but
at this point, with the injuction, is MS out of the running for those contracts
that require open standards?

--Jpvlsmv (not logged in)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Whoever wins - Everybody loose
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 03:35 PM EDT
Whoever wins this case; everyone will be a looser.

The best happening is that software patents are gone because it is negative to
the general public.

(Oh. And btw. The Berne convention explicitly says that software cannot be
patented. Some peeps wanting to make a buck created some newspeek to that to
show that it does not mean what it really does.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

And the judge cares about HP and Dell because?
Authored by: MDT on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 04:29 PM EDT
Seriously, they can file all the amicus briefs they want. They are not parties
to the litigation, any losses they have because Microsoft violated someone
else's patents is utterly irrelevant. i4i has no moral or fiduciary
responsibility to help any other company that is profiting from it's patents
being used by Microsoft illegally. If HP and Dell are not happy, they need to
file a suit against the company that put them in this situation, namely,
Microsoft, who sold them illegal software.

Note that I do not approve of software patents, but if do have them, they apply
to everyone, even M$.

---
MDT

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Drug patents
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 05:50 PM EDT
"What drug companies need isn't at all the same as what software vendors
and programmers need."

This makes it sound like drug patents are somehow more "necessary"
than software patents. They are not.

The claim that new drugs would not be developed without patents is provably
false. Early, commercially successful drugs were not patented; none of the
inventors thought they could be. Contrary to misinformation spread by
Republicans, Penicillin (the molecule) was NEVER patented.

No software patents. No drug patents. No DNA patents. None of these are needed.
None of them increase innovation. It can be successfully argued, in fact, that
patents ALWAYS hurt innovation, in EVERY field in which they are applied.

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The i4i-Microsoft Appeal - HP and Dell Ask to File Amicus Briefs in Support of Microsoft
Authored by: dio gratia on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 06:19 PM EDT

I guess they could install OpenOffice.org instead of Word. Hey. Why not?
There's also IBM's Lotus Symphony updated to version 1.3 on 10 June 2009. Available for Windows, Mac OS X, and various Linux distributions, similarly at no charge and also using ODF. There are also various Plug-ins to provide some of the functionality Word or OpenOffice users have grown accustomed to. It's also supported by IBM Software Services.

One would suspect the actual impact is on profit margins in selling a commodity into a captive market. The reason HP or Dell might file amicus briefs is the likely disruption in business resulting from a supply issue. You'd think Microsoft would be at fault if they can't deliver product to fulfill any contractual obligation with HP or Dell. Otherwise the vendors have perhaps assumed wrongly that Microsoft is as reliable as the inundation of the Nile notwithstanding Microsoft's apparent willful patent infringement.

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Is past conduct considered?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, August 26 2009 @ 06:56 PM EDT
Microsoft has a long history of willful patent infringement.
Will/can/must the judge in this case take their past behavior into
consideration?

Tom

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How to patch Word in 2 easy steps
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, August 27 2009 @ 01:56 AM EDT
Simple solution for Microsoft - disable saving as OOXML, make ODF the default.
But, that solution would still require MS to pay damages. When in doubt, follow
the money.

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Who would benefit...?
Authored by: wvhillbilly on Thursday, August 27 2009 @ 12:22 PM EDT
>>I have a better idea for patent reform: let software and patents get a
divorce. It's massively disruptive, and *who benefits in this
picture??*<<

Who benefits? Why, patent attorneys, of course

Who else? Nobody.

---
Trusted computing:
It's not about, "Can you trust your computer?"
It's all about, "Can your computer trust you?"

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Third-party impact?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, August 27 2009 @ 01:13 PM EDT
I haven't seen anything here discuss the problem end-user customers of Microsoft
may have (not HP or Dell, THEIR customers).

If you take MS at its word (lower case 'w') that it cannot quickly fix Word (and
I think the judge will have to assume this), then what happens to a company
whose business processes have standardized on Word when they need to expand
their footprint?

They're pretty much up the creek until this is sorted out.

Realistically, it is simply not feasible for a large multi-national to swap out
an embedded tool such as Word quickly, it will be costly, and running a mixed
environment will have issues too. Not being able to supply new copies to new
offices/employees/replaced hardware will cause business issues.

I think MS is going to win the stay on this point alone. Unfortunately.

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i4i original suit included NET and Vistsa which is now called Cough Windows 7 Cough
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, August 27 2009 @ 01:29 PM EDT
Click here I did not know that the original suit included NET and Vista which is now called Windows 7. Ars say's It could have been worse; the original suit also claimed that .NET and Vista infringed the patent. The injunction does allow Microsoft to sell a version of Word that strips out all the XML elements, or one that loads the XML as plain text.

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  • Fixed link - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, August 27 2009 @ 01:46 PM EDT
Microsoft Appeal Brief [PDF]
Authored by: clemenstimpler on Thursday, August 27 2009 @ 04:07 PM EDT
I've stumbled over a link to Microsoft's ap peal brief [PDF] (via www.golem.de).

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The patent is clearly invalid
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, August 27 2009 @ 08:17 PM EDT
I just read through the patent. It is clearly and obviously invalid.

1) The invention is not described in sufficient detail for it to be reproduced.
2) The invention does not advance the state of the art.
3) That part of the invention that is described is obvious to any competent
programmer. The flow charts and diagrams are textbook stuff that could
represent almost anything.

Too bad judges and patent examiners are so easily fooled.

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Hmm, I wonder if Microsoft indemnified their customers....
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, August 28 2009 @ 05:13 AM EDT
Why do I get the feeling the answer is "No"?

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