[svlug] Wheel Mouse Optical... Evil?

Rafael raffi at ark.linwin.com
Sun Jan 6 13:10:01 PST 2002

On Sun, Jan 06, 2002 at 03:07:55AM -0800, Jeffrey Siegal wrote:
> Rafael wrote:
> > On Sat, Jan 05, 2002 at 12:29:35PM -0800, Jeffrey Siegal wrote:
> > > Rafael wrote:
> > > > They bought or
> > > > licensed from those who designed that in the first place.
> > 
> > Majority of their mouse related patents are design patents.
> WTF?  You're replying to yourself.

So? Clarifying on the way to help you understand which you obviously 
did not.

> > > > Microsoft never invented anything, correct me if I'm wrong.
> > >
> > > You're wrong.  Microsoft has had thousands of smart people, including
> > > some *very* smart people in its research group, working there for years,
> > 
> > Perhaps I should say, they never invented earth shaking product or a
> > method for making things. [1] Inventions few, inovations many.
> Your terminology is askew.  An invention is something useful and novel. 
> It doesn't have to be earth shaking.  The vast majority of inventions
> are not.
> > Having smart people doesn't necessarily mean the company invented anything
> > extraordinary. Creating a distinctly shaped mouse is inovation rather
> > than invention.
> Inventions are not, in general, extraordinary either.

So tell me about one extraordinary invention that came out of MS?

> > I bet they can write hundreds of patent applications that relate to their
> > OS and it's relation to hardware. However, if they enforce their patent
> > portfolio we are in big trouble.
> Perhaps so.  If Microsoft invented things before others did, they're
> entitled to create "big trouble."  But that requires knowing *precisely*
> what the relevant invention is, which in general can not be determined
> by taking bits and pieces from the title or summary.   Comments about

Correct, that's why I bothered to read claims (!) and abstracts of 
patents I quoted.

> how we could boot SPARC workstations way back when are not relevant if
> there is some particular element of the Microsoft patent which is novel
> and inventive.  (This may mean, of course, that booting over a network
> the way a SPARC did would not violate the Microsoft patent at all, even
> if doing so slightly differently might.)

Select a new byte order streaming down a serial line to boot the system,
and you have an invention? We used to do that with paper tape readers in
1970's. It's called prior art.

> Nevertheless, there is a legal presumption that when a patent is issued,
> there has been *some* significant invention made.  Not necessarily an
> earth shaking or extraordinary invention, and not necessarily the first

That's what I was looking for. Something extraordinary since I know they
have many scientists on board. So far the products were not that

> invention in the general field described in the title and summary, but
> some sort of invention.  Some of the patants may be invalid, but it is
> unlikely that they all are.

I never claimed that all are invalid. However, most are not "strong
patents". They are mostly a tweak (innovation) on somebody else's 

Something like I had to do with a hard drive bracket, drill 4 holes, in
order to install the drives (bought at Fry's) in Dell computer because 
original; brackets don't have mounting holes. Perhaps I should patent that
innovation :-)

> > Unless you are prepared to challenge and successfully invalidate all of

No reason to waste my time that way. I have more important things to do 
than disprove something.

> their patents, your statement that Microsoft has never invented anything
> is both legally and factually inaccurate.  It's also stupid and entirely
> worthless Microsoft bashing.

OK, I repeat once more: they did not invent much, innovate some. Quick 
search did NOT impress me. I quoted some of their weak patents, you quoted 
none of their strong ones. Were are the facts?

Results of Search in 1996-2001 db for:
AN/Microsoft: 1819 patents. 
Hits 1 through 50 out of 1819

Now check how much money the following companies have for R&D and
marketing compared to MS for their IP portfolio.

Results of Search in 1996-2001 db for:
AN/"International Business Machines": 15475 patents. 
Hits 1 through 50 out of 15475

Results of Search in 1996-2001 db for:
AN/"Hewlett Packard": 4794 patents. 
Hits 1 through 50 out of 4794

Results of Search in 1996-2001 db for:
AN/"National Semiconductor": 1135 patents. 
Hits 1 through 50 out of 1135

Languages are not my specialty so I have to rely on dictionary for

- innovate, [L. innovatus, to renew, to alter, to remodel], to change or 
alter, to introduce novelties.

- invent, [L. inventio, a discovery, to come upon, discover], to think up, 

There is a difference and I go by those definitions representing 2 levels
of coming up with (new) ideas.

My definition:
- MS, The power of (marketing) myth and good at it.


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