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Aussie inventor's $445m Microsoft windfall wiped out

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posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 04:04 AM
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Aussie inventor's $445m Microsoft windfall wiped out


www.smh.com.au

An Australian inventor, who was set to reap the lion's share of a mammoth $US388 million ($445 million) damages award from Microsoft, is now set to get nothing after the US judge hearing the case decided to ignore the jury's decision and hand victory to Microsoft.

Ric Richardson, who divides his time between Northern Rivers in NSW and California, is the founder of Uniloc, which sued Microsoft in 2003 for violating its patent relating to technology designed to deter software piracy.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 04:04 AM
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The company alleged Microsoft earned billions of dollars by using the technology in its Windows XP and Office programs.

In April, a Rhode Island jury found Microsoft had violated the patent and told Microsoft to pay the company $US388 million, one of the largest patent jury awards in US history.

But on Tuesday in the US (today Australian time), US District Judge William Smith "vacated" the jury's verdict and ruled in favour of Microsoft.


Something stinks to high heaven about this case. I have been following it on and off over the course of the cases history and I believe this man should get what he deserves. He invented the technology and Microsoft clearly stole it. He makes a point of saying it is not about the money, it's about the ethics of it.

Something tells me Microsoft has been in the judges' ear on this one.

www.smh.com.au
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 30/9/2009 by Kryties]



posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 04:07 AM
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This reeks of foul play! I cannot believe a judge would do this. Blatantly disregard a jury like that.


+5 more 
posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 04:09 AM
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Hrm, so that makes the score:

The people: 0. Big business: 93482090909234802390482039898976

Mod Edit: Shortened number for page formatting.

[edit on 30-9-2009 by Gemwolf]



posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 04:29 AM
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I wish there were more details in the article but from what little is there it sounds like he got screwed. Makes me think of the Percy Schmeiser - hope I spelled his name right - case where the Canadian Supreme Court sided with those evil bastards Monsanto. Totally unsurprising because the corporations tell the governments what to do.



posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 04:44 AM
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I strongly suspect that this judge will be getting a large "inheritance" in the near future.

Does the verdict of a jury count for nothing any more ?



posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 04:50 AM
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Welcome to the Corpratocracy my friend, were the only vote you get to have is when you are a shareholder in a Corporation at an AGM - that sets your countries policy through payoffs ( Political Donation ).



posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 04:56 AM
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I quickly skimmed through the Judges reasoning for overturning the ruling, and I would say that he has a good reason to. I have used both shareware unlocking keys, and Microsoft Registration Keys, and they do not operate in the same way. Besides this, I know that Microsoft has been using Registration Keys since at least Windows 95, well before Unilocks Patent. When you install a Microsoft product you receive full functionality, but you only receive updates if you have a Valid Key that matches in their database, that is completely different then Unilocks Key which generates the Key and unlocks the full functionality of the software.

Either way Keys have been in existence for a long time, well before either of these companies used them. AutoCAD had a Key back in the late 80’s, software I used on the Amiga or Commodore Both had unlock keys. Trying to claim that he invented software registration keys in the late 90’s is rather humorous. This might be akin to the Australian guy who recently patented the wheel:


Wheel Patented

An Australian man has been issued with an innovation patent for the wheel after setting out to test the workability of a new national patent system.
John Keogh was issued the innovation patent for a "circular transportation facilitation device" under a patent system introduced in May 2001.



posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 04:57 AM
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Anyone read the patent?

You are correct Defcon5



[edit on 9/30/2009 by abecedarian]



posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 05:11 AM
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This is shocking, I hope they can overturn this somehow because otherwise they just set precedent to disregard the peoples voice.

Oh wait a minute...... they do that ona daily basis.

Never mind back to the MSM to tell me the truth =D



posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 05:31 AM
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reply to post by defcon5
 


From what I can understand and from what I read in the patent, the issue is not about software licensing keys unto themselves. The patent is actually for the type of system used to allow FULL VERSION PROGRAMS to be run in TRIAL MODE with a key then provided to unlock the full version.

Example: You download Adobe Photoshop from the website. During install it gives you the option to install the Trial version or the Full Version. If you install the Trial mode it still installs the Full Version but with limited functionality.

The patent issue here is specific algorithms and coding used to enable a Trial and Full version of the software to be located within the same install file.

[edit on 30/9/2009 by Kryties]



posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 05:51 AM
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reply to post by Kryties
 

Microsoft products that I have seen grant full access with or without a valid key, or they do not install at all. The only thing that the key does is allow you download support updates. Please name me one Microsoft product that allows partial features without a key, because I cannot think of one? If this is the case, then how is that the same thing?

Here is the way I see it…

I used to write software, and it falls under a Copyright, not a Patent. In order to show a Copyright Infringement, Microsoft would have had to almost exactly duplicate his Code, and/or Key Generation Algorithm. As he patented it, it looks to me he is patenting a process not the software. Since Microsoft does not follow his process, he has no grounds. The Jury most likely does not understand how software development works, and to them it looks similar so they found in his favor.

In his process, you have to call in the software, pay for it, and then a key is generated. In all the Keys I have put in for Microsoft Products over the years, I have yet to speak with anyone at Microsoft on the phone, so we are already departing from his registration process. Besides this, he is hardly the first person to write Key Generation Software Protection, as I mentioned above. Heck we used to be able to buy products that did this for use when we wrote software for Windows for Workgroups back in the early 90’s.

So, exactly what is he patenting here? Because if we want to get real technical about it, he might be opening the doors for a lot of previous software writers to turn around and sue him for infringing on their Copyrights. You may not be aware of this, but once you write something unique, including code, you automatically are granted a Copyright on your work without even applying for one. Heck even your posts on ATS here are Copyrighted, if you have not noticed… ---->

[edit on 9/30/2009 by defcon5]



posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 06:02 AM
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reply to post by Kryties
 


What is the point of having a jury if the judge is going to give his own ruling anyways??

It does smell fishy and my guesses are that the judge has just recieved a nice amount in some offshore account



posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 06:11 AM
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This is bad news for any independent out there who wishes to develop a great idea. I have also been following this case. It was recently covered on Australian Story (ABC). I had a feeling something like this would happen.

The actions of this apparent judge are very suspicious to say the least. One can only wonder if he's getting a kick back from Microsoft somewhere down the line. Makes me think he or someone in his family has shares in the company... or soon will at a bargain price. Hmmm

I hope this doesn't end here!

IRM


[edit on 30/9/09 by InfaRedMan]



posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 06:28 AM
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Here's the Wiki entry for the Judge in question here:

en.wikipedia.org...

Judge Smith received his bachelor's degree from the Georgetown University in 1982 and his Juris Doctorate cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center in 1987.

He was in private practice in Providence, Rhode Island from 1987 until 2000. From 1993 until 1998, he was also a part-time judge in the town of West Warwick, Rhode Island. Judge Smith was the staff director of the Rhode Island office of U.S. Sen. Lincoln Chafee from 2000 until 2001. From 2001 to 2002, he returned to private practice in Providence.

From 2001 to 2002, Judge Smith was an adjunct professor at Providence College.

Judge Smith was nominated by President George W. Bush on July 18, 2002, to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island vacated by Ronald R. Lagueux. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on November 14, 2002, and received his commission on the next day.


What worries me most is the next entry regarding his nomination by our favorite tyrant, George W.....


Smith was nominated on December 6, 2007 by President George W. Bush to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit vacated by Judge Bruce Marshall Selya, who took senior status on December 31, 2006. Rhode Island's two Democratic senators, Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, both of whom had been cut out of Smith's selection by the White House[1], issued a lukewarm joint response to the nomination: "Before giving someone a lifetime appointment to the federal bench we need to carefully review their record. We will be sure to give Judge Smith’s nomination thorough and independent review." Previously, Whitehouse had suggested in September 2007 that the Senate should not consider any Bush appointment for the First Circuit that late in the president’s term.


To me, it says a lot about the Judge and his character and raises serious questions as to how and why he got the position he is in, and his motivations for being there.

[edit on 30/9/2009 by Kryties]



posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 06:39 AM
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Microsoft have access to mind control technologies, so i wonder what happened here, lol.

MS are scum and they are destroying anyone that ever tries to tell the truth about them.



posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 07:51 AM
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Sounds like a judge got a fat paycheck to me.




poor get poorer,
rich get richer
bankers and lawmen just get thicker.



posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 07:58 AM
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The only thing I hate more than a large corporation feeding off of the wealth of the people is the leech attempting to feeding off of the large corporation.

Jon



posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 08:20 AM
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Originally posted by defcon5
I quickly skimmed through the Judges reasoning for overturning the ruling, and I would say that he has a good reason to. I have used both shareware unlocking keys, and Microsoft Registration Keys, and they do not operate in the same way. Besides this, I know that Microsoft has been using Registration Keys since at least Windows 95, well before Unilocks Patent. When you install a Microsoft product you receive full functionality, but you only receive updates if you have a Valid Key that matches in their database, that is completely different then Unilocks Key which generates the Key and unlocks the full functionality of the software.

Either way Keys have been in existence for a long time, well before either of these companies used them. AutoCAD had a Key back in the late 80’s, software I used on the Amiga or Commodore Both had unlock keys. Trying to claim that he invented software registration keys in the late 90’s is rather humorous. This might be akin to the Australian guy who recently patented the wheel:


This is not the same as serial number. If I understood correctly it is like this:

1 - You install the software. it will work in "trial mode"
2 - software generate a special and unique serial number (using your computer specs: motheboard serial + HD serial id + other hardwares serial ids)
3 - you contact the softwarehouse and give the special serial number generated by the software
4 - softhouse generate another serial number that will only work in your computer.
5 - now the software is in full mode



[edit on 30/9/09 by blackcube]

[edit on 30/9/09 by blackcube]



posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 08:29 AM
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I wonder what it was the Jury heard in the case that we didn't.

I understand that we here can look at the abstract facts, but the jury must have access to that and more. So what made them decide that MS was at fault? I'm sure many will speculate endlessly about it, but we don't know.




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