Yesterday Microsoft took to the legal avenues of redress in an attempt to address what it alleges are patent violations by a variety of companies that use Android. It even filed a lawsuit against Barnes & Noble, which is already struggling to remain afloat in these economically challenged times. So not to show any partiality, Microsoft is also going after Foxconn and Inventec for their participation in making the company’s Nook e-reader. Many are seeing this as an attack on the Google Android operating system and claim Microsoft is doing this since it cannot compete against Android. Whatever the situation and whatever your feeling either in favor or against Microsoft, there is a far bigger problem that needs to be addressed.
The United States Patent Office has handed out patents for technology in which there is a high probability that the governmental agency did little investigation into the legitimacy of the claim. There is also a high probability that claims for a patent have been made by some companies even when there was sufficient proof in concept that the idea was developed by another. An example that patents have been issued for dubious technological claims is when Amazon secured its famous ‘Amazon “1-Click” Patent.’ Though the U.S. Patent Office granted the patent, the European Patent Office refused to grant it.
The lunacy in which patents were issued for claims on inventions not being fully invented by the person or company applying for the patent continues to be a thorn in the side of technology. With billions of dollars at stake for some of the technology companies located in the United States, it is easier to sue than try to compete against rivals when a company infringes on a perceived patent. One would think that our Congress is aware of the situation but has ignored revamping the U.S. Patent Office and conduct a reexamination of claims being made before allowing them to clog up the courts.
There is also one other minor issue. If Microsoft wants to go after Android, wouldn’t it make sense just to sue Google?
What do you think?
Comments as always are welcome.