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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz View Post
    That wasn't Microsoft. That was Steve Ballmer. One person a company does not make unless that one person is the only one working there.

    Now, if the Microsoft bashing continues, I will have no choice but to lock this thread. The bashing is seriously off-topic and has no place here at SitePoint.
    1. Ballmer isn't just a person; he's Microsoft's official CEO.

    2. Ballmer isn't the only one who throws temper tantrums.

    3. Before you close this thread, could you tell us why my post was deleted, with no advance warning, no explanation, no nothing?

    As a newcomer, I don't want to be rude - and in fact I'm not being rude. But as a person who relishes both free speech and truth, I'm deeply bothered by two things...1) the undeniable fact that my post was deleted, and 2) the obviously preposterous statement made by the person who started this thread. These two items, combined with what appears to be some rather biased moderating and an apparent yearning to shut down this thread, makes me very, very suspicious.

    Is SitePoint a forum that welcomes different views, or is it just a front for Microsoft? If it's the latter, just be honest about it. There are plenty of other IT forums to choose from, some cheerleading for Microsoft others for Apple or open source and still others that are generally unbiased.

  2. #27
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    While Steve Ballmer may be the CEO, he's still one person. An employee that can be replaced any time the company wishes. (Especially in a publicly traded corporation, which is by law a distinct legal entity that among other things pays its own taxes.)

    As for others who may throw temper tantrums at Microsoft, I haven't seen any that do so publicly, and since I don't work there (nor do I even want to) I haven't been able to withness the acts happening with my own eyes -- if they even happened at all.

    With regard to the removed post, it's SitePoint's policy to discuss things of that nature privately with an Advisor, Team Leader or Administrator. We don't like publicly airing private matters for all to see.

    Finally -- and this is a two-parter, I made the warning about the possibility of locking the thread because it has gone so far off topic it's not even worth thinking about. The topic of the thread is about Microsoft being found guilty of patent infringement -- not its general business practices. And I will say this for the record; while there are pro-and anti-Microsoft factions among the community and staff, we strive day in and day out to be as neutral and agnostic toward Microsoft and other companies as we possibly and humanly can. After all, we don't want to see SitePoint get sued -- or get sued ourselves.

    Now... despite the issues surrounding Microsoft and its general business practices, can we please get back to the topic of discussing this lawsuit against the company on its merits? We may have our disagreements from time to time, but as I like to say on other forums I help moderate (not to mention the ones I own) plus others I participate on just to be a part of the community, "at the end of the day, we're all friends here."

  3. #28
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Innovayshun View Post
    But it isn't just patents. Who but Bill Gates would be arrogant enough to claim ownership of a common word like "windows,"
    Steve Jobs and Apple perhaps? Last time I checked, apple was a pretty common word.


    Another company tried to market an OS it named Lindows, but Microsoft sued them. So Microsoft can steal someone else's idea and the name for that idea and own and market it, but no one else can use a unique name like Lindows.
    Lindows, an operating system for computers, Windows, an operating system for computers.

    If you don't see the potential for confusion there for non-tech audiences and the obvious play on MS' trademark than you need to be pretty blind.

    Back on topic,

    Apparently the judge is well versed in both technology and legal matters.

    Judge Davis received his undergraduate degree in Mathematics from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1970, and his Master of Management Science Degree from Texas Christian University in 1974. Prior to entering law school he worked as a computer programmer and systems analyst.
    If a bit out of date... lol

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by tke71709 View Post
    If a bit out of date... lol
    Well, at least it is something! Maybe he kept himself up-to-date (I doubt it but...) It is interesting, though, that the judge has a certain knowledge and experience regarding the technical areas

  5. #30
    Mazel tov! bronze trophy kohoutek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz View Post
    That wasn't Microsoft. That was Steve Ballmer. One person a company does not make unless that one person is the only one working there.
    Well, I disagree with that entirely. The decisions made by a company's CEO cannot be abstracted from the company as a whole in my view.

    But, as you say, that's not the point of this thread.

    As for the initial point of this thread, I agree that it's absolutely silly. They're all silly.
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  6. #31
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Well I just saw an update today: http://www.nu.nl/internet/2065805/ka...zaak-word.html

    Microsoft betwist de geldigheid van dat patent: volgens de softwaregigant werd de technologie al toegepast voordat i4i zijn aanvraag deed...
    Het Amerikaanse patentbureau USPTO is dat met Microsoft eens, zo meldt Webwereld. Het verklaarde het patent 'voorwaardelijk ongeldig'. Dat betekent dat de kansen van Microsoft om de rechtszaak goed af te sluiten, sterk zijn verbeterd.
    Microsoft disputes the validity of the patent: according to the software giant, the technology was already in practice before i4i submitted its claim.
    The American patent agency USPTO agrees with MS, according to WebWereld[online news co]. The agency declared the patent "conditionally invalid". That means that Microsoft's chances to close the case in their favour have improved.


    I read on another news thingie that i4i had gotten some sort of award or praise for their original patent when it first went through, lawlz.

  7. #32
    SitePoint Member joejohnson's Avatar
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    I wonder what would be the outcome if Microsoft appealed this and won.

  8. #33
    From space with love silver trophy
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    I've just seen an update to this on the BBC News site. Microsoft lost their appeal.
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  9. #34
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    Good for Microsoft. Not that they didn't get the case thrown out -- I still hope this ridiculous patent is thrown out when it goes to trial -- but that they simply rewrote the bit of code the company claimed is infringing and produced new copies so that the whole case doesn't really matter even if they win. If it was so easy to write out that code, then even if the case were won, Microsoft could eat whatever the damages are.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Grossman View Post
    Good for Microsoft.
    Well, it's not like they're the innocents in this. They admit stealing GPL'ed code from an open source product recently and had to take the site down. Not that I agree with this patent case but MS is hardly a bastion of honest play.

  11. #36
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icantthinkofone View Post
    Well, it's not like they're the innocents in this. They admit stealing GPL'ed code from an open source product recently and had to take the site down. Not that I agree with this patent case but MS is hardly a bastion of honest play.
    They took full responsibility for a 3rd party contractor, hired by MSN China, itself a joint venture partially owned by Microsoft, giving them stolen code while under a contract forbidding it. They took full responsibility and made a clear apology with no legal doublespeak, and were praised in handling the situation as best as could possibly be asked of them even on geek-heavy communities like Hacker News.

  12. #37
    From space with love silver trophy
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    @Dan Grossman & icantthinkofone.
    The link is to a story about Microsft losing their appeal with regard to an XML patent and the use of XML in certain versions of their Word and Office products.
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  13. #38
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpacePhoenix View Post
    @Dan Grossman & icantthinkofone.
    The link is to a story about Microsft losing their appeal with regard to an XML patent and the use of XML in certain versions of their Word and Office products.
    I know, the last two posts are a tangent about other recent Microsoft news.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by kohoutek View Post
    Well, I disagree with that entirely. The decisions made by a company's CEO cannot be abstracted from the company as a whole in my view.
    Well the CEO is an employee just like anyone else (even if some forget who the important poeple are). They can do things of their own volition - in their own private capacity - which has thereofre nothing to do with the company they are CEO of. (It may ensure longevity of employent with that company though).

    As for the initial point of this thread, I agree that it's absolutely silly. They're all silly.
    It might be helpful at this stage to mention the other purpose of patents. if the main purpose is to obtain a government granted monopoly for 20 odd years so you can license it to others (if you choose to ), for financial reward, then thats the normal use I think. However, there is another interesting use for them.

    You gain a patent for the sole purpose of stopping someone else patenting it so you have freedom in your own company and don't have to pay someone to use their patent, which they may get if you don't. That it seems to me, is a possible explanation for some of these seemingly stupid patents that M$ seems to hold but don't chase up where it is used elsewhere - as others have already pointed out.

    If the patents were for making money, they surely would chase people who step on them. Ensuring someone doesn't tie you up in a patent related lawsuit is another reason to have them.

    OK so I am a bit off toipic in this next paragraph but i think it is connected.

    I wish there was a global patent system. In the UK you can't patent a process. It has to be 'novel', have 'technical effect', be 'not obvious' and I forget the fourth one. (I think it has to do with being viable or demonstrated as achieveable ie the drawings etc have to be done. You can't just think of inventing a new type of generator and getting a patent. you have to demonstrate the technicalities of it). Were that the global standard, a lot of silly patents couldn't ever get through the patent offices.

    Ahh got it back on topic

    bazz

  15. #40
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    Oh please, even if the patent system was through a global office it would do nothing to prevent stupid patents getting through the door, the fact of the matter is that the entire patent system is broken and damaged, the manner in which they test the viability of patents and check for any other potential conflicting variables is based on the decision of the person or people who examines the patent, and there is no guarantee that they have any idea about the technology claiming to be patented which means that either due to stupidity, human error or lack of resources things like this will continue to happen (I saw a documentary on how the patent system operated on TV and let me tell you it's terrifying). I have no faith in the patent system and would like to see it get replaced entirely, but I doubt that'll ever happen.


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