back to article Microsoft's cash-leaking Nokia phones rip off patents, face import ban

A judge with the US International Trade Commission has ruled that Microsoft's Nokia handsets violate patents held by trolling outfit "non-practicing entity" InterDigital, adding to the software giant's ongoing woes in the mobile phone arena. Reuters reports that ITC Administrative Judge Andrew Essex found on Monday that Nokia- …

  1. LaeMing

    He who lives by the sword....

    1. Antonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Sauce for the goose...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Has MS forgotten to pay off the right Washington folks?

    Since it is hard to imagine the ITC has simply abandoned its traditional function of protecting big US corporates.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Has MS forgotten to pay off the right Washington folks?

      "No such action can be taken, however, before Judge Essex's ruling is reviewed by the full commission."

      No doubt the fix i$ in.

  3. thomas k.

    Only 12 cent per phone loss?

    Not very much really and easily made up in commissions on app sales Oh, wait.

    1. RyokuMas

      Re: Only 12 cent per phone loss?

      I've made more on the Windows Phone versions of my games than the Android versions... hell, I've made more on iOS with a single game ported to that platform than I have on my entire portfolio on Android.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Only 12 cent per phone loss?

        It's pretty tough to make any money on an app when there are a zillion free versions doing the same thing.

      2. Longtemps, je me suis couche de bonne heure


        I have seen your posts before and I have formed the view you are a Microsoft employee who is paid to put these kind of comments as near to the top as possible.

        Can you list me maybe half a dozen of your apps on each of the two ecosystems you mention, please? or even 1 of each.

        Thank you.

        1. RyokuMas

          Re: RyokuMas

          @Longtemps, je me suis couche de bonne heure

          Try "Galaxy Raiders", "Crack the Crypts", "Blade Force Rescue", "Magic Gem Kingdoms", "Bopscotch" or "Jump, Stinky! Jump!" - all available for both Android and Windows Phone, all free with ads - apart from Bopscotch, which is also the game which has made me more on iOS (yup, that's iOS from Apple, nothing to do with Microsoft) than the Android versions of all six of these titles.

          And just to make things clear, yes, I have more titles out for Windows Phone than Android, so please keep in mind that my original post refers to just the games I have on both (or, in Bopscotch's case all three) platforms - I find that a lot of people tend to have a selective eye for details on here, especially when someone is talking about their personal experience.

          Also, I think it's probably worth your while having a quick read of the comments guidelines, especially point 7... I've been burned by this before with a couple of ill-guided comments towards form of the more vocal of the Google faithful.

          1. Big Van Vader

            Re: RyokuMas

            I looked up one random game (I'm sure others are the same) - Blade Force Rescue


            It doesn't get great reviews (in WP store), lets be honest, with comments like Rubbish, S**t. Simple as that, Very rubbish idea of gaming. etc

            My observation is that you probably did make more on WP as they have very few apps and WP users are more likely to try your game, Android is full of up to date AAA games, so they are less likely to play lower rated games

            I think your comments say more about the poor state of the WP app store than the quality of your "games" ?

            1. RyokuMas

              Re: RyokuMas

              @Big Van Vader

              Great use of selective reading there! Yup, I'll admit that if look up Blade Force Rescue on the UK store, of the ten reviews that are displayed, five are one-star... and the others are five-star. But then I never said that my games are everyone's cup of tea... Similarly, I was not making a statement about the state of the WP app store - or did you miss the bit about my one iPhone game making a better return than all my Android games put together?

              My observation is that you probably did make more on WP as they have very few apps and WP users are more likely to try your game

              I'm sorry, but this is ridiculous. When was the last time you scrolled more than a couple of pages down through any search results or app store listing - unless you were looking for a specific result? The fact is that you have to scroll through several pages of games to reach mine on any platform, and believe me, I have no false illusions about the games I make for a bit of fun - I do not expect anyone to be searching for them specifically.

              Yes, Android may have more AAA games than Windows phone. But in my experience as a hobbyist game developer, what Android has a lot more of is poorly-made clones attempting to make a quick buck out of the latest craze - even the latest version of Android is joining in with a built-in Flappy Bird clone. It also has a lot more piracy and, by their own admission users who are not willing to pay for stuff.

              Simply put - my original post was merely a statement of my experiences. Someone then accused me of being something I am not and asked me to back up my claims, so I did. And I'm afraid your response to that reads like that of someone who cannot accept that someone else's experiences do not marry up with their ideals.

              1. Big Van Vader

                Re: RyokuMas

                "But in my experience as a hobbyist game developer, what Android has a lot more of is poorly-made clones "

                Whereas your app is.....................a poorly made clone................. of Choplifter..............:S

                "And I'm afraid your response to that reads like that of someone who cannot accept that someone else's experiences do not marry up with their ideals."

                Problem is your experiences are contrary to what most developers are finding, yes WP is prob OK for hobbyist devs, but the real developers go to ios and Android, you can't argue with the cold hard facts.

                1. RyokuMas

                  Re: RyokuMas

                  "Whereas your app is.....................a poorly made clone................. of Choplifter"

                  Yes, it was inspired by Choplifter. Call it a clone if you will. "Poorly made"... again, that's in the eye of the beholder, and like I said before, a sizable percentage of my reviewers enjoyed it. Since you're so fond of links, here's another one for you, explaining exactly what I was setting out to do with Blade Force Rescue and the other games of its ilk.

                  And once again, nice use of the selective reading: maybe I was asleep when it happened, but I don't recall there being a sudden craze for Choplifter-style games and a corresponding flood of them on the marketplace. But full marks for trying to quote me out of context.

                  I'd also like to know where you get these "cold hard facts" from about choice of platforms - I was of the opinion that these days, developers went for cross-platform tools and if a hobbyist like me can port between Android, iOS and Windows phone in a matter of a few hours, the idea that professional studios cannot and do not is crazy. The majority of games that I see played on mobile devices (and I commute on the tube every day) and recognise are available on all three platforms: Candy Crush, Subway Surfers, Free Flow, 2048, Minion Rush, Temple Run and more.

            2. coolcity

              Re: RyokuMas

              At the time your post was published there were some 700,000 apps available for Windows Phone. To put it in perspective, I you spent an hour a day every single day evaluating them it would take you around 30 years to assess them all.

              So to claim there are "very few apps" is in some ways hilarious in it's stupid naivety, but insulting to all those who tried to make Windows Phone a success. Because it's probably this misconception that has led to the platform struggling more than it deserves to, given that just about every review on the planet bangs on about the (perceived) "lack of apps.

              I've used a Windows phone for the past two years and missed none of the thousands of flashlight, calculator and fart apps. I've enjoyed using a unique, intuitive operating system and features many phones on Android don't have such as wireless charging and a USB-C port and easy syncing with my PC that Google or Apple just cannot match. I've also enjoyed features such as the brilliant Continuum that again reviews have played down, but if Apple had come up with it the same people would have been drooling over it.

              The thing is, at the end of the day if 700k+ apps isn't enough for people to find a few decent games to pass the time then they really need to get out more. Very little respect is given to the developers who give these away mostly free in the hope of a little payback in advertising revenue and people should bear this in mind when reviewing a game they didn't pay $50, or even 50 cents for. People's expectations are simply too high. Expect a little less for nothing and you might just enjoy it more.

        2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: RyokuMas

          I have formed the view you are a Microsoft employee who is paid to put these kind of comments as near to the top as possible.

          You may well have formed that view (as there is apparently no limit to how far people can leap when their destination is an unwarranted conclusion), but expressing it here is a violation of the rules. See item 7.

          Unfortunately this rule seems to be rarely enforced; but that does not absolve you of the duty of following it, which arises from your choice to post here.

          Edit: I see RyokuMas beat me to this. I'll leave the post, though, because I believe it's useful to have more than one person point this out, and because I hate that "this post was withdrawn" lacuna.

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Who's worse... patent trolls or MS?

    Just musing some... maybe shooting all the patent troll lawyers first would be a great start but it seems that there would be 2 more for each one that's shot.

    Maybe the companies' patent lawyers should be second but that' s a toss-up between them and ambulance chasers.

  5. Peter X

    [quote]That means it lost 12 cents per device it sold, on average.[/quote]

    It's probably worse than that in reality, because anyone buying a Windows phone would likely have otherwise bought an Android. And then MS may have collected their [strike]protection racket[/strike] patent licencing fee.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get Paid!!!!

    InterDigital is who? With absolutely no evidence given by the author of this article, anywhere, InterDigital is automatically a patent troll. Can't the author at least try to hide he's a Microsoft share holder...just a wee bit maybe? Shit, even the articles that ride Apple hard spit out a link or 2 as evidence as supporting evidence (or what it may be). However, there is six helpful www.../microsoft.../ links that you can read up on for Microsoft lovin'.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge

    "it would not be against the public interest to enact such a ban"

    Hell, it'd be difficult to find the blip downwards on the sales chart.

  9. bbob

    Study finance

    Before the author commented on MS financials he probably should take a finance class or two. Microsoft lost money on the P&L but earned cashed from the sales of phones. This is because they have around $5 billion in goodwill on the books from the purchase of Nokia phone business. This is the amount that is beyond the value of the assets. In the USA the tax requires businesses to write this down in the from of depreciation over a 30 year period or so. If that is the case MS would have written off 166 million last year. The problem is the IRS wants MS to take the loss today so that in the future they pay taxes. MS would prefer to take it over 30 years.

    Regardless of the tax implications the fact is MS actually generated positive cash flow from it's phone operations and at the author is mistaken if they believe that MS should abandon them

    1. coolcity

      Re: Study finance

      People also forget, or are blissfully unaware, that the likes of Samsung, Sony, LG etc. also make huge losses from their smartphone divisions, and much more than Microsoft might have lost (if indeed they lost anything at all) on the writedown of Nokia.

  10. Russle

    Microsoft writes off the entire purchase of nokia for 7 billion dollars, while hiding all profits into an offshore tax haven.

    worldcom microsoft madoff enron

  11. sweeme

    Microsoft shares surges today!

    Awesome! People are oblivious to its future earnings.

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