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Patent Wars in Mobile Software

My latest article published in India Telecom Brief on the patent wars-

 

Patent Wars in Mobile Software

Why are Apple, Microsoft and Google spending billions to acquire patents? Recently Google, maker of the largest selling mobile operating system, Android decided to acquire Motorola Mobility for 12.5 billion dollars, giving it some 17000 patents with another 7500 patents pending.
Meanwhile some months ago, a consortium led by Microsoft, Apple and Research in Motion (maker of Blackberry) bought 6000 patents by Nortel Networks for 4.5 billion dollars.
These are only the defensive moves in these patent wars. In offensive moves, Microsoft has sued HTC, Barnes and Nobles, Motorola for patent infringement over them using Android operating system claiming some aspects are patented by it. Though Google does not earn any money directly from selling Android, ironically Microsoft is earning money from Android vendors including up to 5 dollars per handset from HTC.

Read the full article at http://www.indiatelecombrief.com/from-the-editors-desk/51839-patent-wars-in-mobile-software

 

Related-

A brilliant infographic  from George Kokkinidis at Design Language http://news.designlanguage.com/post/1473307539 sums all the absurdity up- where almost everyone is suing everyone. Truly a picture is worth a thousand words.

 

 

 

 

Credit Downgrade of USA and Triple A Whining

As a person trained , deployed and often asked to comment on macroeconomic shenanigans- I have the following observations to make on the downgrade of US Debt by S&P

1) Credit rating is both a mathematical exercise of debt versus net worth as well as intention to repay. Given the recent deadlock in United States legislature on debt ceiling, it is natural and correct to assume that holding US debt is slightly more risky in 2011 as compared to 2001. That means if the US debt was AAA in 2001 it sure is slightly more risky in 2011.

2) Politicians are criticized the world over in democracies including India, UK and US. This is natural , healthy and enforced by checks and balances by constitution of each country. At the time of writing this, there are protests in India on corruption, in UK on economic disparities, in US on debt vs tax vs spending, Israel on inflation. It is the maturity of the media as well as average educational level of citizenry that amplifies and inflames or dampens sentiment regarding policy and business.

3) Conspicuous consumption has failed both at an environmental and economic level. Cheap debt to buy things you do not need may have made good macro economic sense as long as the things were made by people locally but that is no longer the case. Outsourcing is not all evil, but it sure is not a perfect solution to economics and competitiveness. Outsourcing is good or outsourcing is bad- well it depends.

4) In 1944 , the US took debt to fight Nazism, build atomic power and generally wage a lot of war and lots of dual use inventions. In 2004-2010 the US took debt to fight wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and bail out banks and automobile companies. Some erosion in the values represented by a free democracy has taken place, much to the delight of authoritarian regimes (who have managed to survive Google and Facebook).

5) A Double A rating is still quite a good rating. Noone is moving out of the US Treasuries- I mean seriously what are your alternative financial resources to park your government or central bank assets, euro, gold, oil, rare earth futures, metals or yen??

6) Income disparity as a trigger for social unrest in UK, France and other parts is an ominous looming threat that may lead to more action than the poor maths of S &P. It has been some time since riots occured in the United States and I believe in time series and cycles especially given the rising Gini coefficients .

Gini indices for the United States at various times, according to the US Census Bureau:[8][9][10]

  • 1929: 45.0 (estimated)
  • 1947: 37.6 (estimated)
  • 1967: 39.7 (first year reported)
  • 1968: 38.6 (lowest index reported)
  • 1970: 39.4
  • 1980: 40.3
  • 1990: 42.8
    • (Recalculations made in 1992 added a significant upward shift for later values)
  • 2000: 46.2
  • 2005: 46.9
  • 2006: 47.0 (highest index reported)
  • 2007: 46.3
  • 2008: 46.69
  • 2009: 46.8

7) Again I am slightly suspicious of an American Corporation downgrading the American Governmental debt when it failed to reconcile numbers by 2 trillion and famously managed to avoid downgrading Lehman Brothers.  What are the political affiliations of the S &P board. What are their backgrounds. Check the facts, Watson.

The Chinese government should be concerned if it is holding >1000 tonnes of Gold and >1 trillion plus of US treasuries lest we have a third opium war (as either Gold or US Treasuries will burst)

. Opium in 1850 like the US Treasuries in 2010 have no inherent value except for those addicted to them.

8   ) Ron Paul and Paul Krugman are the two extremes of economic ideology in the US.

Reminds me of the old saying- Robbing Peter to pay Paul. Both the Pauls seem equally unhappy and biased.

I have to read both WSJ and NYT to make sense of what actually is happening in the US as opinionated journalism has managed to elbow out fact based journalism. Do we need analytics in journalism education/ reporting?

9) Panic buying and selling would lead to short term arbitrage positions. People like W Buffet made more money in the crash of 2008 than people did in the boom years of 2006-7

If stocks are cheap- buy. on the dips. Acquire companies before they go for IPOs. Go buy your own stock if you are sitting on  a pile of cash. Buy some technology patents in cloud , mobile, tablet and statistical computing if you have a lot of cash and need to buy some long term assets.

10) Follow all advice above at own risk and no liability to this author ;)

 

YouTube-Promoted Videos

While I covered Google Patents in October 2009, here are some video shots. A 22 sec video which can help you decide whether to go for getting a patent or not. By elimintaion prior art search costs, this can greatly reduce the cost and complexity for small entrepreneurs.

So go ahead, patent your R functions and algorithms ( The video shows one important tool) while using the tool at http://google.com/patents to search for prior patents.

Incidentally YouTube has a great feature for promoted videos only open for USD ( incidentally my 2007 email feature is listed as INR so I am still waiting for the free customer support at G Inc to reply that “hey,  I can now pay in USD so let me in”.)

Neat Concept, anyways!

I tried this

but got this instead

Google Patents

Now this may be old news, but in case it is not- here is the Google Patents Search

Screenshot-17

Just go and search at

http://www.google.com/patents

For example did you know that the PageRank Patent is assigned to Stanford ( which is the reason they have more money than err. many Universities combined…not a great football program though)

http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=cJUIAAAAEBAJ

Or you can see the Slidehshare.net version ( which is Ironic since Google Docs is not good enough to share the Pdf as of yet)

Inventor: Lawrence Page
Assignee: The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University
Primary Examiner: Uyen Le

Page Rank Patent of Google

View more documents from ajayohri.
. Hic

So the next time you have a bright idea on Sunday afternoon after some beers, check and see if you are the first one to think of it

SAP caught stealing patents: Pays $139 Million

Curt Monash was right. SAP does have questionable business ethics. It has been caught stealing ideas of as many as 5 patents and has been told to pay 139 Million $.

How many more patents does SAP have in it’s closet ( wink wink). By Funding Blogs, and Blog Communities how much time is SAP trying to buy, by raising prices aribitarily for locked in customers and using the one time gain to buy companies with better decision management pedigrees.

Don’t belive me, huh. Here is PC World or just google/bing for SAP, patent lawsuit

http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/170899/versata_wins_139m_damages_in_sap_patent_lawsuit.html

Legal Copyrights- Some history

Here is an interesting blog post on why software giants like google ,microsoft will be rich foroever. And ironically Microsoft has given away the maximum number of free programs, dlls, extensions,patches. When I mean free I mean really free, they did not sell your identity to advertisers .

Back in 1998, representatives of the Walt Disney Company came to Washington looking for help. Disney’s copyright on Mickey Mouse, who made his screen debut in the 1928 cartoon short “Steamboat Willie,” was due to expire in 2003, and Disney’s rights to Pluto, Goofy and Donald Duck were to expire a few years later.

Rather than allow Mickey and friends to enter the public domain, Disney and its friends – a group of Hollywood studios, music labels, and PACs representing content owners – told Congress that they wanted an extension bill passed.

Prompted perhaps by the Disney group’s lavish donations of campaign cash – more than $6.3 million in 1997-98, according to the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics – Congress passed and President Clinton signed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act.

The CTEA extended the term of protection by 20 years for works copyrighted after January 1, 1923. Works copyrighted by individuals since 1978 got “life plus 70″ rather than the existing “life plus 50″. Works made by or for corporations (referred to as “works made for hire”) got 95 years. Works copyrighted before 1978 were shielded for 95 years, regardless of how they were produced.

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