Wednesday, June 1, 2011

$5 for every phone

Here's another example of settling over "software" patents. Microsoft gets $5 for every Android phone made by HTC. Unfortunately, the article doesn't specify which patents were involved:
The Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant is also seeking to sue other Android phone makers, the report says, and is aiming for "a $7.50 to $12.50 per unit license to settle alleged infringement of Microsoft patents."

Any settlements would bolster Microsoft's claim that Android infringes its intellectual property and could potentially squeeze the margins for Android-backed gadgets, making tablets and smartphones running on Microsoft's operating system more attractive, the report says.
That last bit (emphasis mine) demonstrates how "software" patents are being used for legal leverage, instead of protecting actual innovation. Suing over "software" patents may be a lucrative business model, but it's tying up our legal system.

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