Patents cut both ways for Microsoft
If I held Microsoft stock (which I don’t) I would be furious.
Here is Steve Balmer focusing on Linux, making the tired claim that there is so-called Intellectual Property in Linux that violates patents held by Microsoft. Meanwhile Microsoft gets hit with a hefty patent violation of its own; 1.5 billion (yes, that is a “B”) for the use of the mp3 patent without payment of royalties. It appears that patent obligations are for others, not for Microsoft to worry about.
But wait, you say, the current international patent system is a mess and this ruling is indicative of that, this is actually an unfair decision against Microsoft which will impact any number of companies, like Apple, who use mp3 based technology. Furthermore, you say, patent verdicts are often reversed upon appeal so we ought not to snicker gleefully in our beer just yet.