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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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  • Trusting MicroSoft (Score:4, Informative)

    by Col. Klink (retired) (11632) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @11:34AM (#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.
  • also the register (Score:2, Informative)

    by DZign (200479) <averheNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday December 26, 2002 @11:42AM (#4960464) Homepage
    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 @11:43AM (#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]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 26, 2002 @01:30PM (#4960861)
    Netscape ripped off the U of Illinois. Spyglass was formed to make sure that didn't happen again.

    MS signed a percentage royalty with Spyglass and then stared to ship IE for free.

    Spyglass eventually sued them and settled for $20M or so.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 26, 2002 @06:15PM (#4962779)
    You probably should read some articles describing the instances you are commenting on... in most cases you missed the actual beef. Here are the most obvious ones:
    • OS/2. Was originally a joint effort, but relationship soon turned sour, when Microsoft realised they could just as easily eat IBM's lunch in OS business (ie. improve Windows -- originally thought of as a stop-gap measure before OS/2), instead of working together. Microsoft then start edhuge FUD campaign against various versions of OS/2. Biggest one was before Windows 95 release: 95 was always "being released any day now" (starting from late 94), and it was supposed to do everything OS/2 could, and more. And, they claimed, companies were better wait for W95 instead of buying OS/2, at least so they could do "fair" comparison of products. This when they knew full well their vaporware product was months away, and competing product was a real danger. 95 was released very close to end of 95, without having many of OS/2's key features. MS also made sure OS/2 could not be made compatible with 95, unlike with 3.11; not by not supporting IBM but ensuring it was damn near impossible to support API.
    • Sun and Java. Nobody complained about C# looking like a Java clone (I'd consider that evolution, and MS' admission Java is a decent language). Complaints centered around MS' "embrace and extend" strategy, and with MS' refusal to include Java VM with their browser. I'm not commenting on merits of these accusations, just pointing out that you misunderstood the issue. Check out latest industry news regarding related lawsuits; Sun did win some preliminary victory in the case.
    • Sybase. My co-worker (a DB expert with 15 years experience) explained the whole story, but basically yes, MS and Sybase had close relationship (Sybase being afraid of Oracle), and MS pulled the good-old "give us your product and we'll steal it" stunt, just like with Stacker (see below) and others. And I understood this is just like what Sendo is claiming. The main issue (in addition to stealing IP) was that MS pretty much stole to Sybase customers. Of course looking back that was Sybase's mistake; Sybase agreed to stop directly selling their product on NT platform and let MS do marketing -- as they were supposed to be partners at that point -- but that, surprise surprise, later on after they split, MS pretty much "stole" the customer base altogether, having the distribution channel and acquired relationship. And based on those, they could rewrite software, keeping customers while rolling out a new product, and laughing all the way to the bank.

    Plus, there are some other well-known cases:

    • Stacker. "Disk doubler" that MS was to license, but that they actually wrote based on information they obtained from the smaller company. Can't remember details of the trial; perhaps MS paid them off?
    • DR DOS vs. MS DOS. Microsoft used lots of dirty tricks at OS level to try to make sure DR DOS could never be used as the DOS below Windows 3. This wasn't just 'accidental' incompability that happened to hurt competitor; it was active deliberate engineering (by perhaps just few engineers, who knows). This should be well documented (as it's the most popular of "MS using dirty tricks" case), check Google for details.

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