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Aussie inventor's $445m Microsoft windfall wiped out

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posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 08:37 AM
I feel sorry for the guy and think it is very unjust that he will not be rewarded for his hard work. I would not be surprised if Microsoft "made the call" to one of their connections and got this thing swept under the rug. The whole situation reeks of corruption. How could this guy even afford to take on Microsoft after a decision like this?

OTOH, while in principal this situation is very unjust and I sympathise with the victim I can't help feeling that he was a tad greedy in his request. $445m is almost half of one BILLION dollars! I think this was more than just compensation for the amount he was owed - and his own greed played a part of this.

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 09:11 AM

Originally posted by Voxel
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.


I agree with you 100%, this guy sounds like a patent troll to me. Of course Bill gates could be considered one as well since he setup a company to explicitly create as many patents as possible.

The real criminal here is the current patent system which is counterproductive and stifles innovation.

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 03:03 PM
All hail democracy and justice! Every man and women are created equal to each other shall follow the same set of laws!

But if you have more cash then the average joe, you can pick which laws apply to you. Its only fair.

Have a nice surrr.

(Note: This post is suppose to be sarcastic and i'm aware of how unfunny it is)

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 03:23 PM
I first used a code to enable software to work in 1984, it was for a game called Jet Set Willy.

What I can't understand is, why didn't M$ just pay him off in an out of court settlement. To save face they could have employed him as a 'consultant' , he might have even helped them. But instead they spend millions on legal representation.

Next they will be suing the guy for their legal fees and damages.

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 04:27 PM
The judge basically said to everyone, His opinion weighs more then 12 other peoples opinion. He's an arrogant ass & I'm sure he got a secret pay day from Microsoft.

[edit on 30-9-2009 by cloakndagger]

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 04:29 PM
I don't even care about the patent part of this story. The judge ignoring the verdict of a jury is far more important and unacceptable.

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 04:50 PM
reply to post by defcon5

"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? "

Think you are incorrect on this statement. You install XP or Vista and it asks for the key and it installs the operating system, however after so many days (30 I think) you must connect to Microsoft to "validate" your copy of Windows regardless if you want updates or not, otherwise functionality of the OS ceases to function. At least that has been my experience a number of times.

[edit on 30-9-2009 by nepafogo]

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 05:02 PM
reply to post by nepafogo

I read an article one time about Microsoft and one of the ways they "obtain" patents and products. It stated that Microsoft will have it's eye on a product or application and if they cannot buy it out what they will do is make an announcement of a new product they will be launching knowing damn well that the majority of consumers will await the MS version. This will force the other companies hand as they will lose sales and investors as very little product is being sold. It is quite an old business tactic and works quite well. In the end MS will either buy the company and patent for pennies or just launch something similar and call it theirs. Just like they did in this case.

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 05:02 PM
I think quite a few people here do not know how the US legal system works.

A court had already ruled in favor of Microsoft in this case back in 2007. This recent hearing is an appeal of that decision. (BTW, back then I don't recall hearing anyone shouting that a jury had decided in favor of Microsoft and why are we changing that decision).

People are now wrongfully stating in news articles that the judge ruled in favor of Microsoft. He didn't. The judge in this case felt the jury did not grasp the concept of the facts of the case and he VACATED the jury's decision. Basically that means this series of trials never took place and the guy from Australia can sue Microsoft all over again.

Sucks for everyone involved; huge waste of time and money.

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 05:10 PM
Well wga and oga cracks have been around for a long time and all there validation software is useless when somebody uses one of these cracks. So should the writer of those cracks be given half a billion dollars or fined a half billion dollars for the software they wrote.

So writing 394kb file is worth half a billion man am I in the wrong business.

[edit on 30-9-2009 by JBA2848]

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 05:19 PM
reply to post by defcon5

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.

Software and copyright is indeed a very muddy quagmire.

As of late, you can't patent software in Europe but you can in US

The main validity of any patent is claim one as it's the 'ring-fence' claim whereby all other claims fall from. I haven't read any of the aforementioned patents so can't comment.

It seems M$ and the judge probably found a syllable or adjective out of place and used their financial might to denounce any claim.

As an addendum, i would like to point out, the absolutely ridiculous nature of patents as M$ have recently (2008) managed to be granted a patent for page up/page down on the keyboard!!!!!!!!!

Amazing what money and obfuscated legalese buys 'ya.

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 05:24 PM
Gotta love how everyone was shouting "Microsoft is evil" when they clearly didn't even read the story fully.

The guy saying "it's about ethics, not money" is complete BS. He got a patent based on technology that already existed and Microsoft wasn't even using the same type of technology. He got that patent and went straight after Microsoft to make some money. Plain and simple.

This is why software patents are all BS and shouldn't exist. Anyone can create a software patent for something that currently exists then go after a company that uses the tech as if it was stolen from them. Even though it was being used years before the patent even existed.

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 05:29 PM
So microsoft didnt pay the guy that invented the stuff that makes sure you and i pay.

Got it.

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 05:30 PM
reply to post by nightmare_david

Anyone can create a software patent for something that currently exists then go after a company that uses the tech as if it was stolen from them. Even though it was being used years before the patent even existed.

Not really.

If your process is well defined, the code is obfuscated and there's good market penetration, then any patent troll would be a fool to try this backward engineered approach, as the all important priority date is more concrete.

Instead they just go for small-fry and with legal threats, it is indeed sad that some fall prey to the vultures as they can't afford $500p/h attorneys to refute claims.

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 05:30 PM

Originally posted by halfmanhalfamazing
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

My point is that after the jury came back against Microsoft, the judge vacated the jury decision and made microsoft the winner. So this tells me that the judge knew all along that he was going to find them innocent of anything. If it would have came back Microsoft was the winner from the jury, would the judge have said this is a good judgement and give his reason, no he wouldn't. Why didn't the judge throw it out of court after the both lawyers gave their closing arguments. If he thought it was a bad lawsuit, why wait all these months and maybe years to at the last minute to throw out the judgement and say thanks jury, but no thanks.

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 06:01 PM
Oh yeah baby!! Long live Microsoft!! Please put an end to patents that only apply to an idea, I use a similar methods in our shareware application which supports myself and family. I had never even heard of this guy and the approach was common sense at best. Screw this guy!

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 06:04 PM

Originally posted by craig732
People are now wrongfully stating in news articles that the judge ruled in favor of Microsoft. He didn't. The judge in this case felt the jury did not grasp the concept of the facts of the case and he VACATED the jury's decision.

I worry about how well a typical jury can understand the facts of a technology case. One reason for this is I sat through a jury selection process recently, and the first thing they seem to do is kick out all the smart people. Everyone with an MD, PhD, etc was gone in the first round of eliminations. Next was the people with masters level educations, I'm serious.

It seems like they wanted the least educated people they could find as far as I could tell, hoping that they might be more easily baffled with BS if they didn't have all the education to understand everything about the case.

So acully I don't find it that shocking a judge would vacate a jury's decision of they showed they didn't grasp the facts of the case. Maybe for technical cases, we need to come up with a way to select juries with the technical knowledge to grasp the facts of the case instead of perhaps trying to do the opposite and select the least qualified jurors.

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 06:08 PM
Judges vacate jury verdicts when juries arrive at conclusions outside of evidence presented, or their instructions. Generally, his order may be brought up for appellate review. I wish that more judges would have the backbone to vacate or modify many of the outlandish 'hot coffee' type jury findings and awards. The judge charges the jury. The judge explains the law to the jury as needed, and the judge monitors the jury to make sure that it complies with the law. As noted, the judge's decisions can often be appealed. There are checks and balances in the system. Fair or flawed often arises from the condition of one's ox, gored or goring.

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 06:25 PM
reply to post by JBA2848

The main purpose of the technology, was to prevent an outside computer from impersonating a host system, thus protecting against outside hackers.

Even if you had a computer that was exactly the same, you would never be able to duplicate the DNA profile. It goes FAR FAR FAR beyond hardware I.D.'s.

The technology Microsoft used, was just a small portion of this Patented technology.

Effectively, the only way to hack into a system, would be to sit right in front of it.
Goodbye, remote hacking and hello to true "Personal Computing"

[edit on 30-9-2009 by juzchilln]

[edit on 30-9-2009 by juzchilln]

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 06:36 PM
I grew up in Mafia central in Brooklyn, New York and let me tell you something... The Mafia has nothing over big business. I think Don Corleone said it best... and I'm paraphrasing "A lawyer can steal a thousand times more than a common hood."

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