“If you were Sony or Philips and you found that Microsoft had been not just using technology that you invented to invade your markets, but had been giving it away, would you want to sue or negotiate? That appears to be the decision that confronts these and other Consumer Electronics giants, as they weigh up the information that the video codec in Microsoft’s Windows Media player rests on their own patents,” Faultline reports.
 
“If there is a legal action this time it will set the entire US trade effort at the throats of the rest of the world, chilling US-Japanese trade relations and potentially leading to Microsoft being unceremoniously ejected from the world of digital media,” Faultline reports. “Faultline has consistently pointed out that the bundling of Media Player, in order to force it as a standard, first on the PC world and subsequently the consumer electronics sector, was always in breach of the principles of antitrust law. But if it turns out that the bulk of the technology is stolen and not even attributed to its owners, then the crime goes up in magnitude by several notches… It’s not for us to decide whether Microsoft invented any of these techniques first, or whether Philips and Sony will actually file suits, but making the assumption, for now, that both of these events come to pass, we can look at how the future of digital media might pan out.”

Full article here.

[UPDATE: 5:55pm ET – fixed headline typo]