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Old 09-20-2012, 10:57 AM   #1
ScotiaBurrell
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MSFT Wins German injunction over Motorola/Android

Cannot just give away a mobile OS for free, it appears.

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Google just suffered a strategically very important defeat at the Munich I Regional Court
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Judge Dr. Guntz explained that "the Android operating system" infringes the invention protected by claim 23 of EP1040406 on a "soft input panel system and method".
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Absent a stay, it may have to temporarily pull out of the German market or do what Microsoft has been proposing to Motorola for years: take a royalty-bearing license to the industry's leading operating system patent portfolio.

Except for Motorola, all other leading Android device makers are already paying for a patent license from Microsoft and don't have to worry about the possibility of this patent being enforced against them.
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Today's ruling is further validation of Microsoft's claim that Android infringes many of its patents.
http://www.fosspatents.com/2012/09/m...njunction.html
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:14 AM   #2
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The patent covers a software architecture that allows applications to flexibly receive input from sources between the user may switch, such as an on-screen keyboard and voice input, without requiring the app itself to worry about the underlying functionality that provides this level of abstraction. Out of the hundreds of thousands of Android apps that exist, many if not most make use of the related operating system functionality.
Emphasis mine. Abstracting* different forms of input by an underlying engine and exposing them in a uniformed way to a higher level object has been done repeatably for quite a long time. Consider pretty much any game engine will have such functionality to abstract keyboard,mouse,joystick,HMD and a host of other input devices and provide a uniform event to the "app". Although the "app" and "os" would be considered monolithic it's a trivial step to consider a split with IPC making it a true OS/App split, which I do not see as an innovative step.

*disclaimer: I've only skimmed the actual patent so apologies if there's actually much more to it than that blog post touched on or if I've misread what the patent actually applies to, sure any mistakes on my part will be pointed out shortly

tl;dr <insert any old rant about software patents here>

Last edited by JoeD; 09-20-2012 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:18 PM   #3
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Lots of judicial heat directed at OSS these days:
http://lwn.net/Articles/516736/
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