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  • Microsoft owning many carputer patents

    Not sure if you guys have looked into carputer patents, but M$ has many for basically what we do. One patent is for a computing system used in a car, that runs applications in windows form.

    The patent reads something like that. I don't remember verbatim, but you should be able to find it through some mad searching....The patent is almost 10 years old by now, which is interesting.

    As many of us here, I was looking into selling systems back around 2000. When I saw the M$ patents, I decided to stear clear. I think it's interesting that people are pursuing selling carputer systems, especially running M$ operating systems, without looking into patents and rights first.
    Once M$ starts cracking down in this field, some of these small specialty businesses will get detroyed.....I prefer not to play with fire.

    Does anyone know much about patents? M$'s patents are very vague, and they can basically be applied to everything we do here, but how effective is that, for them to be able to come after us?

    Any info on this would definately be interesting, and good to learn from.
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  • #2
    Originally posted by SnyperBob
    Not sure if you guys have looked into carputer patents, but M$ has many for basically what we do. One patent is for a computing system used in a car, that runs applications in windows form.

    The patent reads something like that. I don't remember verbatim, but you should be able to find it through some mad searching....The patent is almost 10 years old by now, which is interesting.

    As many of us here, I was looking into selling systems back around 2000. When I saw the M$ patents, I decided to stear clear. I think it's interesting that people are pursuing selling carputer systems, especially running M$ operating systems, without looking into patents and rights first.
    Once M$ starts cracking down in this field, some of these small specialty businesses will get detroyed.....I prefer not to play with fire.

    Does anyone know much about patents? M$'s patents are very vague, and they can basically be applied to everything we do here, but how effective is that, for them to be able to come after us?

    Any info on this would definately be interesting, and good to learn from.
    I did a little bit of searching and from what I can see, Microsoft would have a hell of a time trying to use any patents it might have. I did not go into depth, but one term you can look for is AutoPC. A pet project at MS, it moved out about 6 years ago but since then the website went to Clarion (ain't that something)
    Also, searching for patents shows that people patented random applications of computers in cars as far back as 1983... and some of them are quite questionable to me. Either way, it does not look to me like car-based computers are lawsuit magnets. If they were, by extension a laptop in a car could be a problem.
    I have found you an argument; I am not obliged to find you an understanding.

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    • #3
      Doesn't really matter if they're vague. The US patent office doesn't really do any research before granting a patent (or understand what the hell they're doing half of the time, but I digress).

      The big thing is that if you want to challenge a patent, you have to do it in court. If you get into a ****ing match with some giant like MS, the problem is that the chances that you can fiscally survive a long drawn out court litigation are probably bad, a gaint like MS could keep going forever.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by rushnrockt
        Either way, it does not look to me like car-based computers are lawsuit magnets. If they were, by extension a laptop in a car could be a problem.
        Yeah, I agree.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by shotgunefx
          Doesn't really matter if they're vague. The US patent office doesn't really do any research before granting a patent (or understand what the hell they're doing half of the time, but I digress).

          The big thing is that if you want to challenge a patent, you have to do it in court. If you get into a ****ing match with some giant like MS, the problem is that the chances that you can fiscally survive a long drawn out court litigation are probably bad, a gaint like MS could keep going forever.
          Yeah, and the problem with them is, they'd do it just because they can, because they know they could win, and because they can set an example.....heh.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by shotgunefx
            Doesn't really matter if they're vague. The US patent office doesn't really do any research before granting a patent (or understand what the hell they're doing half of the time, but I digress).

            The big thing is that if you want to challenge a patent, you have to do it in court. If you get into a ****ing match with some giant like MS, the problem is that the chances that you can fiscally survive a long drawn out court litigation are probably bad, a gaint like MS could keep going forever.
            As bad as Microsoft is made out to be, I have not found any evidence of them actually suing someone "because they can." When they do flex their lawyer muscle, it is against companies they perceive as competitors.
            Also as I stated above, the "carputer" related patents I found did not belong to Microsoft. The initiative they had back in late 90's has moved out about 5-6 years ago and now possibly belonds to Clarion. Also, there are numerous patents from different years by individuals that are likely to precede MS patents (if there are any) in which case a lawyer or a dozen would be more than willing to do some work for free to milk MS of the money, if MS is to try anything.
            To top it off, consider the fact that Apple seems to be angling at the car market as well and MS still has Justice Department on its back... not a good combo.
            I have found you an argument; I am not obliged to find you an understanding.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by rushnrockt
              As bad as Microsoft is made out to be, I have not found any evidence of them actually suing someone "because they can." When they do flex their lawyer muscle, it is against companies they perceive as competitors.
              Also as I stated above, the "carputer" related patents I found did not belong to Microsoft. The initiative they had back in late 90's has moved out about 5-6 years ago and now possibly belonds to Clarion. Also, there are numerous patents from different years by individuals that are likely to precede MS patents (if there are any) in which case a lawyer or a dozen would be more than willing to do some work for free to milk MS of the money, if MS is to try anything.
              To top it off, consider the fact that Apple seems to be angling at the car market as well and MS still has Justice Department on its back... not a good combo.
              I agree, but timidly... cause M$ could always act erratically if a market were well cornered.... maybe not by apple though.
              I found one patent that I thought relevant : #6703926
              Its pretty vague, but it takes the carputer in a slightly different direction while being all encompassingly vague: it describes a hand-held input/output device (like a talking remote with a screen?) that can be taken out of the vehicle. it was too much to read, and I wanted to find better carputer related patents, but I give up for now.
              I wouldnt be too scared though, as rushnrocket stated they would have a difficult case against a laptop in a car.

              EDIT: that patent is not M$'s BTW....
              Carputer status: [-*---------]
              Im thinking laptop...

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              • #8
                Guys arent you overdoing it a bit? CarComputers are just computers. Like a Laptop, like a Desktop. Dont you think that there was a patent for the first Laptop? Now there are houndreds of companys making them, Car stereos....DesktopComputers etc. A pattent isnt exactly something CarPC makers have to worry about, UNLESS they use the SAME design. Now I dont I think that M$, 10 or 20 years ago, were using a M1000 for example for their design, or some similar components. Moreover, papents are not world wide, a US patent does not apply to the whole world, people could still get patents from another country and be legal.

                Now, who says where I should use my computer (Desktop, Laptop etc.)? I can use my computer anywhere I want, in my bedroom, office, in the Park or in my Car, anywhere. A patent consist of a design, if u use THIS design then you are against the law, however you cannot patent a idea or say "I am going to patent LCD projectors in Cars" and expect nobody else to use an LCD projector in a vehicle.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MaleBuffy
                  Guys arent you overdoing it a bit? CarComputers are just computers. Like a Laptop, like a Desktop. Dont you think that there was a patent for the first Laptop? Now there are houndreds of companys making them, Car stereos....DesktopComputers etc. A pattent isnt exactly something CarPC makers have to worry about, UNLESS they use the SAME design. Now I dont I think that M$, 10 or 20 years ago, were using a M1000 for example for their design, or some similar components. Moreover, papents are not world wide, a US patent does not apply to the whole world, people could still get patents from another country and be legal.

                  Now, who says where I should use my computer (Desktop, Laptop etc.)? I can use my computer anywhere I want, in my bedroom, office, in the Park or in my Car, anywhere. A patent consist of a design, if u use THIS design then you are against the law, however you cannot patent a idea or say "I am going to patent LCD projectors in Cars" and expect nobody else to use an LCD projector in a vehicle.
                  Unfortunately, you can indeed patent an idea. Here's a good example, MS trying to patent an ISNOT operator. ISNOT is !=, an idea, "not equal to".

                  Having said that, MS hasn't really done much bad enforcement (yet) of their patents. Though they did try and start to enforce patents on FAT some 20 years after everyone was using it.

                  There are much much worse examples than that provided, just popped into my head. Slashdot.org is great for this kind of stuff. Do a search any see how many hundreds (if not thousands) of articles you'll find.

                  The bigger concern are submarine patents. Basically you have hundreds of companies that don't do anything at all except buy patents. (Usually of ideas and things that were never actually made). Then they wait around and when something gets establish that could be considered falling under it, they strike. Like the PS2 Dual shock controller infringment. I think the company was awarded 90 million.

                  Now companies who aren't looking to squeeze money out of patents, need to patent every stupid thing to prevent someone from screwing them down the line.

                  The whole patent system is horribly broken.

                  My 2 cents.
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                  • #10
                    Yes, you are right about the IsNot, however due to my poor english, by idea I mean something else. I cannot for example patent the use of computers in cars, in my bedroom, in my kitchen. I cannot patent the idea of using computers or any other equipment in different places. A carcomputer is only a computer. Nobody can prevent u from building a computer and selling it. So where a computer is used by the buyer has nothing to do with patent.
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                    • #12
                      Lol
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                      • #13
                        Have you all heard about the m$ patent on the biocomputer or whatever?
                        http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,116655,00.asp
                        That is wierd wild stuff.
                        Carputer status: [-*---------]
                        Im thinking laptop...

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                        • #14
                          actually most patents are ideas. they include all designs, many computer programs, algorithms, etc. and many patented devices, actually have ideas patented.

                          but one requirement for patent is not obvious, that is, not everyone can easily get the idea and it's easily materialized. using laptop in a car is an example, everyone having a laptop can get the idea taking the laptop into a car. applying such a patent likely would get rejected.

                          however, if you have a specific method of how to use laptop in a car for a purpose, then you could get a patent.

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                          • #15
                            However, this still does not qualify carcomputer makers of being patent law breakers, since every carcomputer design isnt the same. Legaly, I am a lawyer, if you use even a single component, differently from the patented design, u are legal. That is the reason there are several makes of CarCD players, several different DVDplayers, several different Internet Browsing software etc.

                            For example. Do you all know, that people who make fake money, actually make them different in purpose? Thats because if they did it EXACTLY the same, they would be braking the law. Now if they do something different, even a tiny small bit, they are legal (in a way) and can claim that they produced the fake money bills for other reasons than real money.

                            This is however a different story, but the same principle. If I was an CarComputer maker, and if M$ sued me, I would state that I use another design, for other uses etc. Thats the main reason why M$ doesnt really sue companys for their patents. The isnot function and other patents that have seen the court may have details that we dont know!

                            Dont AMD and INTEL make the same product?
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