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Sendo Accuses MS of Stealing Smartphone IP 231

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

    by slycer9 ( 264565 ) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @11:24AM (#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.
  • Re:and in other news (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ignipotentis ( 461249 ) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @11:30AM (#4960417)
    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.
  • Hypocracy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by io333 ( 574963 ) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @12:02PM (#4960529)
    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?
  • by bharlan ( 49602 ) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @12:04PM (#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.

  • Re:Yawn (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @12:06PM (#4960543)
    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:It's not stealing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cyberformer ( 257332 ) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @04:47PM (#4962090)
    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.

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe