There’s been a recent spate of releases from Qualcomm about anticompetitive behaviour – not least this one, which is a responds-to-allegations kind of release. Today we saw the release “QUALCOMM Files GSM Patent Infringement Suit against Nokia” (not yet available on the Web). While this patent litigation in mobile device companies is not news, the release has to take credit for having one of the best lines seen in a recent release – “Patents that are essential to a standard are those that must necessarily be infringed to comply with the requirements of the standard.” Took me three goes before I could even understand what it meant…
But anyway, none of the device companies are having a particularly good time of it at the moment, but do they really have to descend to quite so much bickering? While there may be valid short term commercial reasons to do so, its surely not in anyone’s long term interests, least of all the end users of technology.
It reminded me to go check out the current SCO situation. While SCO made quite a hullabaloo about patents a year or so ago, it was rather more quiet about its near de-listing from the NASDAQ due to accounting errors. While any litigation may be rumbling on beneath the surface, SCO is now getting on with its core business – promoting its products – which has to be a more healthy way to spend its time. Not saying any of these things were connected, just that the majority of people don’t really want to know, to them its all so much dirty laundry.
Meanwhile, in the operating system world, we are starting to hear of companies using Linux more as a lever than as a strategy. More than once I’ve heard companies saying Linux was the best thing to happen to Solaris, and no doubt it has impacted SCO in the same way – meanwhile of course, Microsoft is having to modify its own strategies to ensure it is competitive with Linux. End result: everyone is better off, no vendor is complacent, companies are forced to innovate ever harder to keep their customers sweet.
Which is just as it should be.