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Microsoft

Sendo Accuses MS of Stealing Smartphone IP 231

Posted by michael
from the pump-and-dump dept.
Nate B. writes "According this article in The Inquirer, it seems that Sendo, a UK based development house, has filed suit in Texas as of December 23 to recoup monetary damages for IP it claims Microsoft stole. From the article, 'The company's grievance is that after years of working closely with Microsoft on the development of Windows Smartphone 2002, the fruits of their endeavours were handed straight over to HTC, which manufactures the SPV handset for Orange.' The story also includes this cute footnote, 'When Sendo announced it was to receive funding from Microsoft, I and some other British journalists asked Sendo's Hugh Brogan at the press briefing, in the London Waldorf, whether he wasn't afraid that the company might just take its information and then dump his firm. He claimed then there was no possibility of that.'" Seems there was more to this story than originally thought.
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Sendo Accuses MS of Stealing Smartphone IP

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  • Well if the SmartPhone works as well as my Toshiba e740 PocketPC (crash crash crash) Sendo has nothing to worry about.
    • >
      if the SmartPhone works as well as my Toshiba e740 PocketPC (crash crash crash)

      It does crashes a lot, besides not installing unsigned apps, being slow and having several other problems.

      Looks like MS took an unfinished product from Sendo and launched it thru other outlets. I would not be surprised if Sendo had left it unfinished on purpose, either that or MS did not let them have access to the source code to fix it and them they called it quits.

  • Lesson Learned (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by syntap (242090)
    I guess you should stay and dance with the girl you brought to the prom!
    • Re:Lesson Learned (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Iamthefallen (523816)

      Yeah, but when you escort her home after the prom and find out the "girl" is really a man who now tells you to bite the pillow, this'll hurt a little, I think you have a right to be upset...

      • Re:Lesson Learned (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jridley (9305)
        Why are these being modded to offtopic? Do the moderators not "get" the analogy here?
  • I mean, M$ has this history of embrace and extend in technology, and embrace and nuke in corporate relationships.
    • by Ducky (10802)

      I mean, M$ has this history of embrace and extend in technology, and embrace and nuke in corporate relationships.

      Everything old is new again =)

      I'm absolutely amazed how many times, they've done this to corporate entities. And every single time, just as the ink is drying, someone asks, "So, are you afraid MS will take the tech and leave?" And they respond with, "No! That's impossible! They wouldn't do that to us!"

      I happen to work for a company where this exact thing transpired at one of their spin-offs a few years back. MS took all the tech and left the spin-off with nothing to productize. Fortunately for the employees, most were folded back into the parent company.

      Truely sad they can get away with it. That, and that others are so naive to sign up for this treatment with their track record.

      And people wonder why I have such a distaste for Microsoft. And before anyone asks, yes, I'm MS free both at home and at work. =)

      -Ducky

  • by hermescom (624888) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:23AM (#4960376) Homepage
    "We did get a little suspicious when MS representatives asked us to just hand over all of our research papers, but then Bill assured us that it was all going to be taken care of, and showed us the contract on his laptop asking us to click I Agree. The thing was so long and boring, and crammed into such a small window, that our lawyers just clicked "I agree" without really reading through the whole thing." Sendo Officials admitted early Thursday.

    "We're still looking over the contract to see the ramifications of the "we owe you nothing" clause."

    Microsoft officials declined to comment at press time.

  • and in other news (Score:4, Interesting)

    by slycer9 (264565) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:24AM (#4960380) Journal
    someone else sues M$oft for some kind of BBP (Bad Business Practices). Seriously, I'm not attempting to sound like a troll, or be overly inflammatory, but we've seen this over and over. M$oft does something bad, they waste time in court, nothing happens. Yep, they've got to include Java now, but what about all the other points of their recent suits which they've supposedly lost? Nothing's changed, they're still as big a monopoly as before, and do ONLY what they want to do, since they have to answer to ultimately NO ONE. If anyone really wants to affect M$oft, how about this........don't buy their products. A hit in the pocketbook is the only thing they'll ever understand, and that'll never happen until people quit buying their products.
    • This is going to be hard to achieve. The only way people will stop buying their products is if other viable alternatives are offered. I don't mean availible, I mean offered. When was the last time you walked into best buy or circut city and saw a machine with a competative OS ready to go. It's hard enough to find store's other than the Apple Store and CompUSA that carry apples now. There needs to be a large enough presense of alternatives on the shelves before a dent will ever be made.
      • Maybe I'm behind the curve here, but is there anything that's preventing OS X from running on ix86? I know that OS X is build on FreeBSD and FreeBSD can run on multiple platforms. As such, if Apple released OS X for ix86 wouldn't that _truly_ make a dent and expedite the [IMHO, inevitable] paradigm shift from windows? Granted Apple might lose _somewhat_ in hardware sales, but wouldn't they make much more in software sales of a superior OS?

    • The anti-trust case wasn't about breaking a monopoly, it was about preventing the use of the monopoly to leverage an unfare advantage in another market.
      • Indeed. I always got a strange feeling when I would read "illegal use of monopolistic power." Seemed to imply that the monopoly itself was not a problem.

        The White House stands in contradiction with itself when it claims that greed is a fundamental requirement of Capitalism (contrary to Christianity), and then expects corporations to play fair??
        • According to antitrust law, a monopoly is not illegal. However, attempting to maintain it is. Most economists support the theory that monopolies occur "naturally", but they shouldn't last forever unless heavily regulated to avoid abuse.

    • There's just no pleasing some people. If Microsoft prevails in a court case, you whine that they never get punished. If Microsoft loses, you whine about the other cases where they prevailed.

      Oh, and I haven't "bought" any Microsoft product since 1998.
      • Even though your post is offtopic I'll answer it anyway.

        If an entity (a person or a business) breaks many laws they should be punished for all of them. If they get away with one or two then justice is not served.
  • It's not stealing (Score:1, Insightful)

    by ACNiel (604673)
    They still have the IP, nobody took it from them, yadda yadda yadda.
    • by bwalling (195998)
      They still have the IP, nobody took it from them, yadda yadda yadda.

      take verb - to get into one's hands or into one's possession, power, or control

      steal verb - to take the property of another wrongfully and especially as an habitual or regular practice

      Just because Sendo still have a copy does not mean it was not taken or stoeln. IP is something that can be possessed by more than one party. That does not mean that it cannot be taken or stolen.

      Definitions taken from Merriam Webster
      • Obviously you've missed all the discussions on slashdot about Napster, open source, piracy, etc.

        He was clearly being sarcastic.
      • Re:It's not stealing (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cyberformer (257332)
        Many /. posters believe that intellectual property is a flawed notion, or at least has got out of conntrol over the last few years. However, claming somebody else's IP without permission is still a crime (except in the case of fair use), and Microsoft does not hesitate to use the law against comapannies or ididividuals that infringe on its IP by, for example, making illegal copies of Windows. It's only fair that Microsoft be held to the same standards as everyone else.


        If true, this is actually much more serious than most IP infringement, because it also involves plagiarism and industrial espionage. It's as if some other company hacked into Microsoft's servers, downloaded the Windows source code, edited it to remove all the copyright messages and other text that refereced Microsoft as the authors, then started selling its own version of Windows.

        Of course, Sendo could be lying. Even Bill Gates is innocent until proven guilty.

  • Are there any small companies that MS has had dealings with that they haven't royally screwed over? Either directly stealing their work or after working "with" them, coming out with a competing product (with borrowed IP) that severely undercut them?

    It just seems like the first day MS approaches you is the day you should start preparing the lawsuit against them.

    • by leandrod (17766) <{l} {at} {dutras.org}> on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:56AM (#4960511) Homepage Journal
      >
      any small companies that MS has had dealings with that they haven't royally screwed over?

      Not only small. IBM, Sybase, Orange... I think even Spyglass was not so small at the time.

    • I think Executive Software is still doing quite well. They had their NTFS disk defragmenter software bundled with windows 2000. I'm not sure if windows XP uses it. But the company still looks like its doing well and I havn't heard any complaints from them, although I havn't used it since I bought a mac. :)

    • by T-Kir (597145)

      Remember the old MS-DOS days and M$'s illegal bundling of Stac software (DriveSpace, DoubleSpace, whatever)... and in return for Stac's suit, they either bought them out or changed the software enough not to infringe further on the Stac IP (AFAIK, it was a long time ago, hence the details being rather sketchy).

      • Re:Stac? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by SN74S181 (581549)
        Microsoft didn't 'bundle' Stac's software. They reimplemented the algorhythm themselves, without permission. You know: kind of like the 'Software Patent' stuff that we all rant and rave about unless it involves Microsoft in a bad light.
    • Few years ago there was an Israeli start-up company who was working on a streaming video product - VDO.Net..

      Microsoft invested in them $18 million, and after a year Microsoft released a competing product and killed VDO.Net product...
  • Trusting MicroSoft (Score:4, Informative)

    by Col. Klink (retired) (11632) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:34AM (#4960438)
    I hope ajp is reading this. In the MS .net vs Mono [slashdot.org] article, he wrote [slashdot.org]:
    Microsoft has already written .NET for another platform (Rotor, for BSD.) And Microsoft has communicated with Miguel many times with regards to Mono. An interview with him on the topic is hosted on MSDN! This does not appear to be a prelude to a lawsuit.
    MicroSoft did a lot more than "communicate" with Sendo.
    • Yes, they did a lot more than "communicate" with Sendo. I'm not terribly familiar with the details of this issue as opposed to the issue I commented on: Mono. You'll note that I haven't posted with regard to Sendo. I have little use for internet cell phones and such nonsense.

      The rest of this post is cut&paste from the Mono FAQ. Maybe if you inform yourself of a few facts before posting you won't seem like such a zealous idiot. I'm not posting to convince people like you that Microsoft is a fantastic social force. I'm posting to provide a little bit of reality to these discussions. It just so happens that the MS topics are so often the ones in the worst need of a reality check.

      Question 35: Is Microsoft helping Ximian with this project?

      There is no high level communication between Ximian and Microsoft at this point, but engineers who work on .NET or the ECMA groups have been very friendly, and very nice to answer our questions, or clarify part of the specification for us.

      Microsoft is interested in other implementations of .NET and are willing to help make the ECMA spec more accurate for this purpose.

      Ximian was also invited to participate in the ECMA committee meetings for C# and the CLI.

      Question 36: Is Microsoft or Corel paying Ximian to do this?

      No.

      Question 37: Do you fear that Microsoft will change the spec and render Mono useless?

      No. Microsoft proved with the CLI and the C# language that it was possible to create a powerful foundation for many languages to inter-operate. We will always have that.

      Even if changes happened in the platform which were undocumented, the existing platform would a value on its own.

      • The point here is that Sendo and MS had a formal business relationship. When Sendo found it couldn't get what it needed from MS, they parted ways, only to find that MS had stolen from Sendo.

        The whole point of the .NET vs Mono article was that Mono faces an uphill battle. They don't even have so much as any formal working relationship, and (as the original article [zdnet.com] mentioned):

        Mono also implements parts of .NET that have NOT been submitted to ECMA and ISO standards. Those parts of Mono lack even the protection for IP infringement with re-implementation that ISO documentation licensing implies.
        Dealing with MS, even when you think you're getting some great deal, has consistently been proven to be dangerous proposition.
      • Maybe if you inform yourself of a few facts before posting you won't seem like such a zealous idiot.

        And with this ad hominem attack you have quickly disqualified yourself and your posts, in my eyes. If you attack the person instead of sticking to the issue, you show that you lack confidence in your own arguments. I have learned to trust this simple rule: if someone attacks the person (usually slandering him/her, like you did), his/her arguments are weak and the person attacked is usually right.
    • I hope ajp is reading this.

      Yeah, and I was one of the poor saps trying to convince him otherwise.

      Why go into a business relationship with Microsoft with (i) these kinds of legal unknowns and (ii) their record on the matter?

      Reminds of the Simpsons episode I saw a while back where Lisa is conducting an experiment; Which is smarter, Bart or a Hamster. The hamster tries to get at some food gets electrocuted twice and thus gives up. Bart continualy gets shocked but reaches for the food ad infinitum.

  • by Randolpho (628485) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:37AM (#4960447) Homepage Journal
    1) Make deal with Microsoft. 2) Get screwed by Microsoft. 3) ??? 4) Profit!
    • by bharlan (49602) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @11:04AM (#4960537) Homepage
      Here's something I wrote in 1999 that still seems to apply.

      If you are a monopoly, then everyone is a competitor. The key technology is the written contract, not software.

      • Any contract worth signing must have a booby-trap for the other guys.
      • Identify a hole in your market. Find a hungry company attempting to fill this hole, and let them have your exclusive endorsement for a few years. In return, they will sign a contract with a suicide clause. When you are ready to absorb this market into your own product line, you exploit the clause and they die.
      • If new technology moves too fast, then you must form a strategic alliance. Find other competitors with no interest in the new technology and get them to sign contracts endorsing your incompatible, vapor-ware alternative. You kill the new technology and burn the other competitors at the same time.
      • If a competing technology succeeds anyway, then remember that a monopoly has its privileges. Distribution channels must sell your weak products if they want the strong ones. Prevent the distribution of competing products. Such contracts are always confidential.
      • Non-disclosure agreements are an end in themselves. Anyone who asks about your long-term plans is a potential threat. Get such parties to sign agreements not to discuss the issue with anyone else. Tell them how you will vaporize all competing technologies they may have considered. They can't check your story with anyone else. They can't complain if they base decisions on misinformation.

      Amazingly, you can usually find companies to agree to these contracts for nothing. They'll sign just to be your friend.

  • also the register (Score:2, Informative)

    by DZign (200479)
    The Register [theregister.co.uk] also had an article about this on monday..
  • Yawn (Score:3, Informative)

    by webword (82711) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:43AM (#4960468) Homepage
    This is news? Microsoft is constantly battling people in court! This is Just Another Lawsuit, folks. By the way, if you are interested, take a look at Computerworld's excellent coverage of Microsoft's legal battles:

    Microsoft's Legal Battles [computerworld.com]
    • Re:Yawn (Score:3, Interesting)

      by NineNine (235196)
      Every Fortune 500 company is constantly in court. That's why "corporate lawyers" exist. I would guess that most companies the size of Microsoft have hundreds if not thousands of lawyers working for them full time. Jesus, not even the Wall Street Journal reports on every little piddling lawsuit that every single Fortune 500 company is involved in.
      • Re:Yawn (Score:3, Insightful)

        by leandrod (17766)
        Every Fortune 500 company is constantly in court.

        Yet bad companies do get sued more often than ones that still try to do good. That is, they would if there were still companies trying to do good, which I do not rule out but seriously doubt.

        ot even the Wall Street Journal reports on every little piddling lawsuit that every single Fortune 500 company is involved in.

        This is not any Fortune 500 company, but a high-visibility one.

        This is not only a high-visibility Fortune 500 company, but one with a bad enough history.

        This is also a mean, high-profile big company that happens to be in direct, ruthless, dishonest competition with the main public of Slashdot, that is, free software hackers, users and friends.

        • Re:Yawn (Score:2, Funny)

          by SN74S181 (581549)

          This is not any Fortune 500 company, but a high-visibility one.

          This is not only a high-visibility Fortune 500 company, but one with a bad enough history.

          This is also a mean, high-profile big company that happens to be in direct, ruthless, dishonest competition with the main public of Slashdot, that is, free software hackers, users and friends

          You're talking about Oracle?
          • >
            You're talking about Oracle?

            Could be. Could you elaborate?

            I know that Oracle wants us to forget about the relational model, its history and creators; and that it refuses to comply with ISO SQL. What other crimes they have on them?

      • True, but I don't think it's "news for nerds" when Mutual of Omaha or Razorblades, Inc. sues or gets sued.
  • Old vs New Advice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:52AM (#4960495) Homepage Journal
    Old advice:
    Talk softly and carry a big stick.

    New advice:
    Be huge, take IP, run the little guy down with your army of lawyers.

    Not saying this is happening, but it's certainly a familiar pattern with Microsoft.

  • by Tom (822) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @11:01AM (#4960523) Homepage Journal
    film at 11

    Why don't we just have a weekly "screwed by M$ this week" special, like the slashback? Would help condense a lot of stories, ranting and general anti-M$ flaming into a few places.
  • Hypocracy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by io333 (574963)
    Where are all of the "information wants to be free" folks now? What, anyone should be able to take and use any information any way they want so long as they are not Microsoft?
    • Re:Hypocracy (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hkmwbz (531650)
      Excuse me? Who is the hypocrite here?

      Should Microsoft be able to take and use any information just because they are big enough to get away with it? Should they be able to do it when they want all information to belong to them, and not be free?

      The "information wants to be free" people will accept free information for Microsoft the day Microsoft agree to share their information.

      Of course one shouldn't let Microsoft get away with this when they are in a situation where they basically dominate the desktop market and are trying to use this to take over other markets as well.

      So who is the hypocrite? The ones that want everyone to have the same possibilities, or the one who is wondering why the "information wants to be free" people aren't supporting the convicted monopolist who is using this for their own gain - as usual? The one who wants information to be made free for Microsoft so they can continue to screw over others?

      The "information wants to be free folks" support people who work to the best interest of everyone, sharing information. Of course they won't support a monopolist which tries to screw others to strengthen its own position in as many markets as possible.

  • by fermion (181285)
    On one hand this is nothing interesting. Companies enter into these type of agreements all the time, often with the intention of gaining expertise that will allow them, in the fullness of time, to compete. However, normally both parties are required to fulfill some obligation complete the contract. Several issues ago, Foreign Affairs has a very good article on this type of business practice and it's benefits to free enterprise.

    The interesting thing is that MS seems to be an expert at entering into these sorts of strategic alliances without incurring any burden of responsibility. In this case MS took the technology, took the manufacturing rights, and left Sendo with nothing. One would think the contract would have prevented this, or specified financial consequences if MS did such a thing. They certainly have a history of destroying partners, and it seems like prudent partner would take this history into account. The MS lawyers and sales people must be excellent con men if they can routinely negotiate deals like this.

  • the other night I had a problem with my routers IP... I called tech support and they had me /release and /renew it. maybe that would help. ((covers ears so as to not hear 1,000,000 geeks groan at once for such bad geek humor))
  • by spanky1 (635767)
    ...is like making a deal with the Borg. They will take advantage of you until you are no longer needed. Then you're screwed. The Bill Gates Borg picture started out as a joke but seems to be more and more fitting each day.

    Reminds me of that Voyager episode called "Scorpion" where the crew tried to make a deal with the Borg. Of course the Borg tried to screw them over in the end. The only good thing about it is it brought us Seven of Nine. :)
  • What's the beef? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mundocani (99058) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @11:23AM (#4960605)
    Not to be too quick to defend Microsoft (certainly not on /.), but the article didn't actually given any details on Sendo's complaint. What is it that Microsoft has "stolen" from them? For all we know right now, it's something stupidly obvious like "a method for simulating pushbuttons on an LCD" or "pressing talk without entering a number automatically redials the last number called". There's probably more to it than this, but all these posts are so quick to assume Microsoft's guilt without having any substantial information other than the fact that a suit has been filed. If I were Sendo, I'd probably claim Microsoft was oppressing me too -- hell, everyone assumes it anyhow so what's there to lose? Even the article's quote about the case "having merit" came from Sendo themselves. Well of course *they're* going to say that! I'd be much more impressed if somebody independent said the same thing.

    Yeah, Microsoft's business practices are shady at best, but we don't have any substantial information about Sendo's claims at all right now, so it seems foolish to forming opinions so prematurely.
    • Regardless of Sendo's complaint, it still falls under the count your fingers after shaking hands with Ballmer thread of Microsoft's past. Perhaps the claims are baseless, but you are still looking at another small company blasted by the Death Star.

      The flip side of this is how many of us would have heard of Sendo if not for this?? I'm starting to wonder if the next wave of tech start-ups shouldn't just keep suing each other to generate headlines with their names in 90 point helvetica.

      Perhaps these companies have been smoking too much of the wacky weed... I leave you with a quote from Frank Black:
      "alone with the beast and my skull choppers
      now i'm just a name dropper
      and i'm bust in these deep slumberweeds
      stone was in me"

      ~Hammy
  • The fact that Microsoft invested money in Sendo doesn't make this all clear cut. Especially given the reason why Microsoft invested money was nullified when Sendo dropped out of the market.

    I guess I'm just wondering if Sendo intends on giving the money back? If not, could not Microsoft simply consider it payment for the disagreement?
  • Sendo should have protected their intellectual property using Digital Rights Management technology. If only they had set the "Do not share with low-cost manufacturers" flag.
  • Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Quill_28 (553921) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @11:45AM (#4960695) Journal
    My company has had dealing with Microsoft, yet never had a sale. The reason:

    We commonly sell source code to our customers but they usually are limited to a specific product family.

    Everytime we deal with them they will not agree the code will turn up in other areas of microsoft, which we deem unacceptable and the deal is off. In our area, MS is not important so it's not a big deal.

    I haven't read the article but i wonder how many times, others business "have" to deal with MS overlook things like the above, realize they have been screwed and then sue. Or get greedy for the MS deal, get screwed and then sue. Or maybe just plained got screwed by ole MS.

    Or maybe it's all over my head and just business as usual. Yeah that's probably it.

  • Reuters story (Score:3, Insightful)

    by donutello (88309) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @11:48AM (#4960713) Homepage
    Here's [msn.com] the Reuters story on this from a few days ago which contains more information.

    "Microsoft's secret plan was to plunder the small company of its proprietary information, technical expertise, market knowledge, customers and prospective customers," the filing said.

    So now stealing "customers and prospective customers" is a crime for a competitor to commit? Sounds like a case of another company (hint, Sun) which can't achieve success through selling its product so hopes to achieve it through litigation.
    • Re:Reuters story (Score:3, Insightful)

      by buss_error (142273)
      So now stealing "customers and prospective customers" is a crime for a competitor to commit?

      It is if you, through contracts, IP sharing, and business ties, do so to the detriment of the owner of the information.

      It's one thing if you and I are in the consulting business in competition, and I get some of your customers by calling around and offering them a better price. It's quite another matter if I bribe your accountant and get a list of all your customers.

      What Sendio is saying is that MS invested in the company, signed contracts to develop and market cell phones. In exchange, MS promised Sendio that Sendio would make the phone and software, clear it with the cell system operators (no small task that), in exchange Sendio would get a partnership with MS and profits. Sendio says that instead of honoring that contract, MS gave all the work to Sendio's competitor, MS took a larger slice of the profits, and left Sendio to die because all their hard work was given away.

      If this is true, (and I don't know if it is or isn't), then MS has a big problem. If the court gets nasty, they could award Sendio millions and millions, list the phone as pirate technology (and WTO treaty partners would have to forbid importation of the phone), and other things that wouldn't make God Gates happy. In fact, if the court really got vendictive, they can say CE copyrights are null/void, and order MS to release the source code to CE. (Not that it will happen or that anyone would want it anyway.) As always, IANAL. IDEPOOTV. (I don't even play one on TV).

      • by jbf (30261)
        Unlikely that a copyright being void requires you to release the source code. More likely just means people can make copies of their existing files with impunity, within the jurisdiction of that court. Of course, IANAL, IJFLCE (I just frequent law.cornell.edu).
    • So now stealing "customers and prospective customers" is a crime for a competitor to commit?

      Not usually... but it's often breach of contract. At a company I worked for, a group of folks decided to take off and create their own competing company. Now, (1) most of the employees who left had a specific NCA clause in their contracts; (2) they actively recruited current accounts and employees of the original company; (3) they stole equipment and supplies from the original company to get started. In that case, yeah, what they did was definitely suitworthy.

      Haven't seen the Sendo contract, so I don't know if they had the sense to put that clause in there. Hopefully...
  • by Zenki (31868) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @11:51AM (#4960729)
    If Sendo had the brains to check out what microsoft does with PocketPC, AutoPC, etc, they would realize that MS is in these businesses to sell a uniform platform to people who build hardware that will support it. Eg, what's the real difference between the recent Toshiba PocketPC, Compaq Ipaq, and HP Jornandas? Pretty much nothing. They're all arm, all running PocketPC os, and there really isn't anything that distinguishes them other than some stylistic differences.

    MS must have made it clear to Sendo in their deal that they were going to develop a generic cellphone OS that other companies can just bundle in with their telephones.

    Anyhow, if Sendo had decided to sue the moment they decided to drop Smartphone, I would have given their lawsuit more credence. Right now, it looks like they're trying to hit up MS to get some $$ before they can get their phone design converted over to Symbian.

    Hell, someone should publish the contract that the two companies agreed too. It just a waste of energy to speculate on what happened.
    • MS must have made it clear to Sendo in their deal that they were going to develop a generic cellphone OS that other companies can just bundle in with their telephones.

      I'm sure that was the case. However, as I read the story, Sendo had first-to-market rights. The only way that they would lose those rights is if they couldn't put a product out and/or went bankrupt. That is what happened, because MS did not give them the OS in a timely fashion or usable form.
  • by Richthofen80 (412488) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @11:54AM (#4960739) Homepage
    Well, since most slashdotters don't believe in intellectual property, they should obviously side with microsoft.

    • Slashdotters who are against the privitization of IP would say that everyone should have access to the information.

      However, I wouldn't even claim that half of Slashdotters are against the protection of Intellectual Property, but rather what constitutes valid IP worth protecting. Is it valid to have non-competition clauses in your hiring contract only to be let go 3 months later? Is it valid (or fair) to call something that any shmoe in the computer industry can do on a pocket calculator IP? Is it valid if one owns certain IP to not allow others access to it at all (locking out the competition, rather than leasing / selling the technology)? How long should IP be protected for? Should it be treated like trade secrets? ... there are a lot of valid questions that just go unanswered.
  • Are IP's really so scarce that companies are resorting to stealing them to stay afloat?!

    It's obviously time for us to migrate to IPv6, before this escalates and we have our first full scale war over netblocks.

    Oh, sure, it's going to start with this sort of scuffle over a /32, but just you wait until we have our first nuclear exchanges over those last few /8's!
  • Sounds almost exactly like what happened to Go! Computers...
  • by Sj0 (472011)
    What was the reason Microsoft gave for avoiding the "pac-man like" GPL again?
  • of deja vu. You know, the feeling that you've seen something before? Something like Windows, in this case. Back in the days when Xerox PARC, Apple, and OS/2 were new and exciting.

Crazee Edeee, his prices are INSANE!!!

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