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The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

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Anything the public can do to stop this? | 101 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Microsoft v. Motorola Trial - Everyone Involved Asks That the Public Be Excluded From the Heart of the Evidence ~ pj
Authored by: vadim on Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 11:08 AM EDT
Can't Groklaw submit a Friend of Court opinion on this subject?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft v. Motorola Trial - Everyone Involved Asks That the Public Be Excluded From the Heart of the Evidence ~ pj
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 11:21 AM EDT
If their is such a public interest, what is the vehicle tonotify the court/judge
of the reasons to weigh more heavily on the publics side. Does one contact the
EFF or write a letter or contact the newspapers?

Are there any more appropriate methods?

Shawn

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic Discussions
Authored by: cassini2006 on Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 11:26 AM EDT
Please put off topic discussions in this thread.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft & RIM
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 12:08 PM EDT
There have been rumours about a takeover, and they do partner on the Blackberry
software.
I can think of several reasons why the might not want to let others know about
3rd party deals.

Maybe a key piece of the BlackBerry is licenced rather than owned and it would
reduce their value if it was know that they just repackaged others work like
Apple's revolutionary screens that they buy from someone else.

Maybe they have some deals related to the new release and Windows phone is now
their closest competitor.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Trade Secrets
Authored by: hAckz0r on Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 12:59 PM EDT
What exactly is a "trade secret" as far as the legal system is concerned? Is this just a way of saying *everything*, or what us technical geeks might otherwise think. If it were by my definition then there would still be plenty to read after proper redactions are made, but PJ makes this sound hopeless to learn anything.

---
The Investors IP Law: The future health of a Corporation is measured as the inverse of the number of IP lawsuits they are currently litigating.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Completely Confused & Totally Ignorant...
Authored by: Jamis on Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 01:03 PM EDT
If this case is in a federal court, does this mean that there are no federal
laws or restrictions on all of this privacy in a public trial? If so, any
federal trial could become a sealed affair and our judicial system is at great
peril.

I still want to know who paid off whom in the Citizens United case.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Conduct of Judge Alsup
Authored by: nyarlathotep on Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 01:21 PM EDT
In the Oracle v. Google trial, the conduct of Judge Alsup
with respect to the ideals of our American legal system was
outstanding.

Unfortunately, this trial doesn't feel like it is living up
to the same ideal, and feels more like the standard that our
legal system has become... which is why the majority of
Americans place less faith and respect in our legal system
than we once did.

But, we do have an election coming up. When our legal system
fails, it is ultimately the fault of the American people.

The local elections matter too... especially judges.

[ Reply to This | # ]

How about obfuscated disclosure?
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 01:42 PM EDT
That is, there are enough agreements here that statistcs should apply, and
undoubtedly will apply. Therefore, let a special master "fudge" the
numbers
in these agreements, such that they retain their statistical properties, but
are not actually the true numbers.

This would allow the whole thing to be public, without jeopardizing the
interests of the non-parties.

(Christenson)

[ Reply to This | # ]

    Telecoms don't want people to know
    Authored by: kawabago on Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 01:56 PM EDT
    Telecoms don't want people to know exactly how much they are
    being screwed! Currently telecoms consider it their job to
    provide the least service for the most money. That is exactly
    the opposite of what we need to get out of recession in an
    information economy!

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Microsoft v. Motorola Trial - Everyone Involved Asks That the Public Be Excluded From the Heart of the Evidence ~ pj
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 01:57 PM EDT
    That's really really stinky,

    Sure there is a danger that each of these companies is going
    to take a beating in negotiations if others discover how
    much/little is being paid.

    What worries me more is just how stinky this really is.
    When someone looks for that level of opacity, it is *only*
    because they have something to hide from someone.

    I have always considered these cross licensing deals to be
    something of a circular investment program.

    All of these companies have vast patent portfolios, some are
    worth more than others, but this is a situation where
    A pays B who pays C who pays D who pays A and variations.

    In investment funds that kind of dealing/trading is
    specifically banned because it is (and has been) used to
    artificially inflate the value of the fund portfolio. It
    looks great till someone tries to liquidate their
    investment, get the money, at which point the downward
    spiral starts and accelerates very rapidly and another
    bubble bursts/market crashes.

    So that's one thing, at the other end, we all know just how
    rubbish most of these patents are and what value we would
    place on them, zero in most cases; but how much money do
    these companies book to these cross licensing deals for
    these worthless patents and then just how much corporate tax
    is lost due to these companies moving money away from the
    profit line with this trick.

    So you lose because your government doesn't get it's due,
    and you lose again because these guys are basically running
    a cartel that artificially inflates their costs so you are
    charged more for your goods.

    Starbucks recently got caught in the UK avoiding billions in
    tax, by 'licensing' it's own logo from itself for pretty
    much all of it's profit.

    Indeed avoidance is not wrong, as they said, they followed
    the rules, but it is just as stinky as politicians writing
    their own expenses claim rules and then claiming that they
    were only following the rules as they repeatedly dipped
    their hands into the till.

    Is it possible that Googles "do no evil" policy prevents
    them from joining in the game and may result in the cat
    getting out of the bag?

    IANAL or an accountant so I don't know.
    I do know it reeks.

    These people could have sat at a table and reached an
    agreement they decided to fight it out in a public place in
    front of the public.

    They should not now be allowed to change their minds and ask
    that it not be public, unless they choose to do so by
    settling the matter before it arises.

    I for one would like to see the corruption exposed.


    Just speculatin'

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    I'm not buying IBMs argument
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 02:22 PM EDT

    I get that they feel their lingerie draw is about to be made
    front page news, but their argument is that the license
    document motorola is going to use will "expose" their
    portfolio pricing method.

    but...but... is it not the case that IBM widely licenses its
    patent portfolio? so pretty much everyone involved has
    already got access to the same information in the form of
    their own licensing agreement , so what's the problem? maybe
    possibly they might be looking at slightly as a result of
    being in a weak negotitating position, everyone knows how it
    works.

    but..but...IBMs patent portfolio is a constantly shifting
    beast it expires, it expands, markets change, value
    perception changes, needs change, supply changes, demand
    changes every single day, so IBM has to change its pricing
    model every single day, so the document that resulted from a
    negotiation that took place 1 or two years ago is absolutely
    worthless when preparing for a negotiation that is going to
    take place tomorrow.

    It is a specious argument.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Anything the public can do to stop this?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 03:35 PM EDT
    Anything we can do to stop this? To ask the court to make those documents
    public? Anything legal we could do - like Reuters did with the Apple/Samsung
    case - as a third-party?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Wider implications
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 03:42 PM EDT
    These companies want their dealings sealed, that is, hidden from public view.
    Just what are the limits to public view?

    Supposedly these companies have boards and shareholders. Are the small
    shareholders among those excluded from knowing?
    What about institutional investors and THEIR share-/stakeholders (which could
    include say pension funds)?

    Shareholders are the owners and legally employers of boards. I they can't see
    the content of financial dispositions, only read the net result on the corporate
    statement, has the employer/employee relationship been turned on its head?

    This agreement amongst opponents to seal is worrying. It points to an unhealthy
    collusion between financial interests not in the interest of society.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Corrections here
    Authored by: BJ on Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 04:14 PM EDT
    While I myself note that the link behind
    "this declaration in support [PDF] of IBM's motion"
    is dead.

    bjd


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Everyone possible needs to file an Amicus
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 07:21 PM EDT

    Personally, as well as corporately. If the judge gets two or three thousand
    Amicus filings, I suspect he'll get a better understanding of the situation.

    I'm not going to suggest what you put into your Amicus. We all have
    different viewpoints as to what is wrong with this case. Also if we all file the

    same Amicus it will look like an attempt to AstroTurf the court, and w don't
    want to do that.

    We do howev want to be heard.

    Wayne
    http://madhatter.ca

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    If secrecy then the market is inefficient and there is no true market price
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 07:38 PM EDT
    Markets depend on information. Yes a commercial secret may allow one to get a
    temporary jump on the market and make a windfall profit, but that happens
    because the secrecy creates a flaw in the market and you can make a windfall
    profit by exploiting the flaw. There are no secrets in a perfectly functioning
    market. Markets can stand a little bit of secrecy, but too much of it and the
    market stops behaving like a market should. Without information there is no
    market and therefore no market price. What all these companies desperately
    imploring the court to hide every detail of their license agreements says to me
    is that there is no functional market for these licence agreements. And
    therefore there is no real market price.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Overturning FRAND is Opening a Can of Worms
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 07:48 PM EDT

    One of the problems which this case raises is that the judge wants to overturn the current understanding of FRAND and substitute something new that will benefit Apple. However, what about existing licenses, or licenses that will need to be renewed in future? If existing terms become exposed, it won't be just the public who find out about them, it will be all the licensees as well. They will then see just what a wild range of terms and rates are in effect.

    I can imagine that once a new FRAND precedent is set, some existing licensees will open up lawsuits claiming that they have been "wronged" because the license the were offered wasn't really "FRAND". They will be marching into this judge's court demanding new terms equivalent to Apple's under the "non-discriminatory" clause. If Apple succeeds, this could be just the beginning of a complete lawsuit melt-down.

    Oh where are the "FRAND is so wonderful in standards" pundits now?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Microsoft v. Motorola Trial - Everyone Involved Asks That the Public Be Excluded From the Heart of the Evidence ~ pj
    Authored by: joef on Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 08:47 PM EDT
    Given that the FRAND issue is generally considered to be unplowed ground, whatever the judge decides will be making law from the bench.

    In our system, any lawmaking of such consequences as are anticipated by the Groklaw commenters should go through the full legislative process, including public hearings with informed testimony. Such lawmaking should not be done from the bench in the context of a high-stakes adversarial battle.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Shout it from the rooftops, PJ
    Authored by: DCFusor on Monday, November 05 2012 @ 02:31 PM EST
    This is nuts. Yes, I understand things are complex, as IBM mentions - there are
    all these cross-trading agreements that make the value exchanged for a single
    thing hard to figure.

    Don't you dare give up on covering this, even if the secrecy is the main news -
    People might want to know who has something to hide.

    But that's no excuse for us to not find out how much say, an android maker who
    caved is paying MS.

    And it's not an excuse to keep these kinds of details hidden. Moto could be
    trying to gouge, or just get the best deal they can, who knows? We will never
    know if we don't make enough fuss, that's certain.

    An example that comes to mind was what Apple wanted Samsung to pay for
    non-essential patents, and how much huger that was than what Samsung wanted for
    *essential* patents. It made Apple look like the predator, - charging a ton but
    refusing to pay even a little, when cross licensing. I think we the public
    deserve to know who is doing the "sharp dealing" here (though of
    course, we can kind of guess).


    ---
    Why guess, when you can know? Measure it!

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    A different opinion
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 05 2012 @ 03:11 PM EST
    When IBM, etc., wrote their frand license agreements with
    the respective parties, I expect that there is a
    confidentiality clause. By Microsoft and/or Motorola
    deciding to take these individual contracts into court to
    use as evidence (of what I do not know), that
    confidentiality clause has been broken. What kind of mess
    is this going to make in the legal system? For the
    individual company's profit, to the cost of the product to
    the consumer?

    We the public do not need to know the value of each
    individual business contract. There are many variables that
    go into pricing a product, one of which is: is IBM going to
    sell more of this than RIM? If so, maybe IBM deserves a
    lower rate. If Apple pays $2 or $5 for frand licensing, it's
    probably not going to change the cost to the consumer. Now
    that Google owns Motorola I expect somethings to change
    regarding Android licensing as well. (I personally don't
    know if Android is free or licensed under frand terms.)

    Some of us expect that when something enters our public
    courts, all the information should be displayed to
    everybody. In this case I respectfully disagree. IBM
    didn't ask to have it's business contracts revealed, so they
    should not be. In fact the judge shouldn't allow them to
    enter the case at all.

    On this I will agree with most of you. The judge should sit
    them down in a conference room and make they come to terms.
    He/she should not set a price. No product leaves a
    warehouse until the terms of the contract are agreed to.
    Neither Apple or Microsoft can sit on millions of units of
    inventory very long without being allowed to sell anything
    in the US, or potentially world wide.

    To me, that's how this problem should get resolved.

    wjarvis, not logged in.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

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