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Apple Sues HTC For 20 Patent Violations In Phones

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the sorry-about-your-luck dept.

Cellphones 434

eldavojohn writes "Taiwanese HTC is being sued by Apple for 20 patents regarding the many phones HTC manufactures. Steve Jobs was quoted as saying, 'We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We've decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.' Apple has similar patent litigation with Nokia and may be trying to scare the rest of the industry into licensing patents similar to the Microsoft-Novell and Microsoft-Amazon deals regarding patents covering Linux functionality."

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434 comments

Maybe Apple should pay their royalties first? (3, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331292)

Maybe Apple should pay Nokia's patent royalties first before they go bullying others? (you know, the company that spend billions for mobile technology R&D and who's technology it's almost all based on?)

Apple is just like a little kid trying to yell at the parents here. Too bad the mobile phone industry is a small one, everyone of the existing players cross-license between each one and ass behaving Apple is in serious trouble if the other companies stop licensing their technology.

Re:Maybe Apple should pay their royalties first? (4, Insightful)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331386)

Apple didn't invent the smartphone, and I'm sure there are a slew of fundamental patents held by other companies that can take Apple to the cleaners if they keep pulling this crap. HTC's been making smartphones for over a decade, so I hope they're able to fire back. Not to mention Google designed most of Android, so won't it be interesting if they join the fray?

I'll be interested to hear more about what specific patents Apple is trying to bludgeon HTC with, but I'll hardly be surprised if it's a bunch of trivial crap like basic UI elements.

Apple looks like a bully right now, and if that's the case, I hope the other kids on the playground gang up on Apple and teach them a lesson.

Re:Maybe Apple should pay their royalties first? (3, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331838)

Ahem.

"Apple reinvented the mobile phone in 2007 with its revolutionary iPhone®, and did it again in 2008 with its pioneering App Store, which now offers more than 150,000 mobile applications in over 90 countries. Over 40 million iPhones have been sold worldwide.

You heard them. Not 'invented', reinvented! And then re-reinvented! I think they omitted this, but Steve Jobs was quoted as saying "We would like other companies to compete by re-reinventing their own phones, not stealing ideas like a screen you can touch or a program you can download for local use. These innovations are clearly thanks to us."

Re:Maybe Apple should pay their royalties first? (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331958)

HP sold a touch screen computer in 1983 and people have been downloading programs for many years.

Obviously Apple couldn't follow Jobs' advice and re-invent their own phone since they didn't have one of their own.

Re:Maybe Apple should pay their royalties first? (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332144)

Whaaa? Next thing you will tell me is that the concept of using gravity to determine the proper up-down orientation of a device was invented a long time ago, or that the act of using more than one finger at a time isn't a novel new idea!

Re:Maybe Apple should pay their royalties first? (1)

F0RR (1464631) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331966)

Wow. So, Apple invented "a program you can download for local use." Now, that is interesting.

Re:Maybe Apple should pay their royalties first? (2, Insightful)

Marcika (1003625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332120)

Ahem.

"Apple reinvented the mobile phone in 2007 with its revolutionary iPhone®, and did it again in 2008 with its pioneering App Store, which now offers more than 150,000 mobile applications in over 90 countries. Over 40 million iPhones have been sold worldwide.

Steve Jobs was quoted as saying "We would like other companies to compete by re-reinventing their own phones, not stealing ideas like a screen you can touch or a program you can download for local use. These innovations are clearly thanks to us."

Yes, this phenomenon is known as Reality Distortion Field (or to use technical jargon, "lying scumbag executive").

A program you can download on your phone for local use? You mean like JavaME JAR files? Like the app store that GetJar [wikipedia.org] started years and years before Apple?

A screen you can touch? Like the LG Prada, announced before the IPhone, or like hundreds of other touchscreen kiosks in the last three decades?

Yup. Apple. Re-inventing marketing.

Re:Maybe Apple should pay their royalties first? (2, Insightful)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331418)

Maybe Apple should pay Nokia's patent royalties first before they go bullying others?

Is that still in litigation?

Too bad the mobile phone industry is a small one, everyone of the existing players cross-license between each one and ass behaving Apple is in serious trouble if the other companies stop licensing their technology.

This isn't aimed at HTC; it's aimed at Google. Don't kid yourself. To whom, is Google paying license fees?

Re:Maybe Apple should pay their royalties first? (1)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331486)

^Patent litigation seems to operate on principal of "The Devil Take the Hindmost." Go after the soft targets first to get them to cave, which gives you more ammunition when you take on the big guys. If Apple succeeds in bloodying HTC's nose, *then* they'll start going after the bigger boys like Google.

Re:Maybe Apple should pay their royalties first? (3, Interesting)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331598)

If Apple succeeds in bloodying HTC's nose, *then* they'll start going after the bigger boys like Google.

That's the point. Get a judgement against HTC, hit Motorola, then Google, using the judgement as leverage.

I also halfway wonder if some of this is at the behest of AT&T.

Re:Maybe Apple should pay their royalties first? (2, Informative)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331646)

This isn't aimed at HTC; it's aimed at Google. Don't kid yourself. To whom, is Google paying license fees?

The lawsuit is currently directed at HTC, so you would be quite wrong in this case. Though, I'm more than sure the plan is to stop Google's phone by attacking it from the ground up. I can understand why they are doing it because IMO (I have a Nexus One and my wife as an iPhone) the Nexus One is far superior to Apple's iPhone. Thats even with the few quarks that need to be worked out.

Re:Maybe Apple should pay their royalties first? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331836)

> Thats even with the few quarks that need to be worked out.

You might want to keep the charming quarks.

Re:Maybe Apple should pay their royalties first? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331426)

Apple has been thieves since nearly the beginning and probably still are, shoe being on the other foot is uncomfortable for Mr hypocrite, er, I mean Jobs.

Maybe you should stop endorsing blackmail? (4, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331620)

Maybe Apple should pay Nokia's patent royalties first

I think Apple would be happy to do so. The only problem is, unlike with every other company Nokia will not except ONLY money in the case of Apple - they also demand cross-licencing of patents (presumably similar to the ones in question).

Why do you think it's fair that Nokia can demand different terms from licensers of a technology, when Nokia supposedly set forth the licenses under the RAND construct? That stands for "reasonable and non-discriminatory". How is demanding specific patents from Apple non-discriminatory?

Apple has a lawsuit going there, demanding they be able to pay Nokia as per normal terms.

Re:Maybe you should stop endorsing blackmail? (4, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331774)

Because that's how everyone works in the mobile phone industry - they cross-license their patents. If the companies would stop licensing their patents to each other, no one could work in that industry as the technology is completely patented to different companies. If Apple wants to enter the market, they have to go by the rules.

By far they just ignored every patent and released their product anyway. And that doesn't call for a lawsuit?

Re:Maybe you should stop endorsing blackmail? (3, Informative)

RadioElectric (1060098) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332116)

From what I understand (having spoken to a patent lawyer about this) Nokia and Apple were both "infringing" each others' patents in a "turning a blind eye" way for a while. Behind the scenes, things will have been getting a little tense (obviously in this kind of situation both parties have a lot to lose if it comes to blows), before erupting in the public spat that we all saw.

It's how NO ONE ELSE works (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332160)

Because that's how everyone works in the mobile phone industry - they cross-license their patents.

Not in the case of the Nokia patents in question. They whole reason GSM is a standard across the industry is because the patent holders involved all agreed to license the patents under RAND - that is to say, that everyone gets to license them under the same terms. Oh wait, except for Apple, who must ALSO allow Nokia unlimited use of whatever patents they demand, otherwise you can't be a GSM phone. That's a shakedown no matter how you look at it and is bullshit in the world of standards based on patents.

Apple owns a patent for screen rotation? (5, Interesting)

gambit3 (463693) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331350)

Apparently, it seems to think so. From the complaint:

"The '381 Patent, entitled "List Scrolling And Document Translation, Scaling, And
Rotation On A Touch-Screen Display," was duly and legally issued on December 23, 2008 by
the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the '381 Patent is attached hereto as
Exhibit D.
40. Apple is the exclusive and current owner of all rights, title, and interest in the
'381 Patent, including the right to bring this suit for injunctive relief and damages."

Re:Apple owns a patent for screen rotation? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331444)

As much as I hate Apple, have never used or intend to ever use an Apple device. The blame on this should fall squarely on the patent office for handing out completely ridiculous patents.

Re:Apple owns a patent for screen rotation? (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331458)

There have been touch screen displays long before 2008. How much did Apply pay to get this patent?

This patent sound like rewording of showing stuff on a touch screen display. Which would have been thrown out. Besides displays do not translate anything. They show or display things. The patent office needs to higher people who know what technology is and can read through the 'fancy words' to see what is really being described.

Re:Apple owns a patent for screen rotation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331676)

It's hire, bub.

Re:Apple owns a patent for screen rotation? (5, Informative)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331686)

Besides displays do not translate anything. They show or display things

Oh brother. Translation, rotation, and scale are terms used to describe movement of an element in space. And yes, the iPhone display does this. All three are used to reorient the display when the phone's relation to 'down' is changed. So, yes, Apple's display 'translates' things.

Re:Apple owns a patent for screen rotation? (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331714)

There have been touch screen displays long before 2008. How much did Apply pay to get this patent?

This patent sound like rewording of showing stuff on a touch screen display.

There have been touch screens but how many of them automatically changed based on rotation?

I don't think the invalidness of the patent is as clear as you make it out to be...

That said, there HAVE been rotating displays in the past and it seems to me that the combination of a touchscreen (just another kind of display) with rotation is not really unique enough to patent. But perhaps there is more going on there.

In general I think pretty much all software patents are questionable, but Apple also does a good job thinking through hardware as well so it could be they have a number of perfectly valid patents.

Re:Apple owns a patent for screen rotation? (3, Insightful)

metamatic (202216) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331874)

There have been touch screens but how many of them automatically changed based on rotation?

Back in the early 90s, the Radius Pivot display [gifford.co.uk] automatically changed based on rotation.

Existing product from the 80s plus touch screen (and possible change of sensor technology *) should not equal patentable innovation, in my view.

[ (*) I don't know if the Radius display used a mercury switch or a mechanical switch on the pivot mechanism; either way, using a mercury switch to implement a pivoting display is obvious, given the idea of a pivoting display.]

Re:Apple owns a patent for screen rotation? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332078)

Back in the early 90s, the Radius Pivot display automatically changed based on rotation.

Right, but that wasn't a touchscreen.

I already noted earlier displays like the Pivot in my original post (in fact that was the one I had in mind, I'm actually not sure if there were others).

I also agreed that the mere combination of touch screen and rotation seemed like not enough of a leap to be patent worthy, but there were other things going on in that patent too...

Re:Apple owns a patent for screen rotation? (1)

mreed911 (794582) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331832)

Fancy words like 'hire,' and grammatical structures like "Which would have been thrown out." expressed as a sentence rather than a question?

I'm not defending patents for broad swaths of technology - not in the least. At the same time, requiring very specific patent applications requires the use of very detailed, technical language as part of the description. The patent suit problem is that patent approvals hinge on interpretation of descriptive language. It's the classic elephant problem - you and I describing the same thing but in completely different vocabularies.

Re:Apple owns a patent for screen rotation? (1)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331852)

Umm, the patent is for screen rotation, you know how the screen on iPhones rotates as you turn the phone to be wide instead of narrow, as you view it? The only evidence I can think of for prior art here is on non-touch screen Desktop monitors, but I haven't been following the phone industry that well. It wasn't obvious because before the iPhone, most phones that I had seen had much smaller screens, and the touchscreen was stylus driven.

[disclaimer] I am no Apple fanboi, the last Apple product I actually used for more than 10 minutes was an Apple IIe.

Re:Apple owns a patent for screen rotation? (1)

timster (32400) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331460)

As I'm sure you're aware, the patent's title doesn't really tell us what it covers.

Re:Apple owns a patent for screen rotation? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331606)

You mean now we have to RTFP too? There goes my lunch...

Re:Apple owns a patent for screen rotation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31332046)

Perhaps none of you understand patents. It doesn't matter how came first. If one of you invented you own phone with rotation and document scaling, and failing to patent it, Apple would have every right to sue you at this point.

Before people start writing comments they should actually do some thinking and learn a little bit. It shouldn't be a space for everyone to express their ignorance.

Re:Apple owns a patent for screen rotation? (1)

TheQuantumShift (175338) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332062)

So AMD, Intel, Microsoft and the whole open source community are just stealing from apple?
  • The '453 Patent, entitled "Conserving Power By Reducing Voltage Supplied To An Instruction-Processing Portion Of A Processor," was duly and legally issued on June 3, 2008 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the '453 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit H.
  • The '599 Patent, entitled "Object-Oriented Graphic System," was duly and legally issued on October 3, 1995 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the '599 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit I.

Both of those seem too vague to be valid (I'm sure there's reams of legal/technical details that totally validate them, but it's still bull to me). I would like to think that this would be an excellent opportunity to fix patent law. I know that won't happen, HTC will just pay license fees to apple. Once again, fat sacks of cash talk, common sense walks.

I actually don't see a problem here... (-1, Troll)

Fished (574624) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331354)

Without diving into the specifics, I don't see a problem here. The iPhone was hugely innovative, and there was a lot there that was genuinely new. While in general I'm not a big fan of patents (often the 'innovations' covered are trivial), in this case I think that Apple sort of deserves to profit from their R&D. Clearly, some of the HTC phones are knockoffs.

Re:I actually don't see a problem here... (2, Insightful)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331554)

Apple sort of deserves to profit from their R&D

And will Apple pay Xerox for inventing Graphical User Interfaces? Will they pay Nokia for developing cell phones and smart phones for years? Hypocrisy is the one of the most despicable traits imaginable. This lawsuit has that coming out of it's ears.

And as far is hugely innovative... I guessed the form factor in 2006. If I had a company built on the technology developed by others, maybe I could be the one running around like a greedy bitch pretending that I did it all on my own.

http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=193127&cid=15847027 [slashdot.org]

Re:I actually don't see a problem here... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Codger (96717) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331780)

Here [folklore.org] is the cure for your ignorance concerning the alleged theft by Apple of the Xerox GUIs:

As for Nokia, they are, as other posters have noted, trying to hit up Apple with more stringent terms than other companies. Apple wants to be treated fairly.

Re:I actually don't see a problem here... (1)

carbuck (1728596) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332004)

Folklore.com is an obviously biased site. Based on that article, MacOS and Windows are entirely different. Windows has no finder, no auto-eject floppies, a 2 button mouse, a taskbar. MS didn't employ ex-Apple people to build Windows, but Apple employed ex-Xerox people to build their OS. I'm not trying to start a pissing contest here, I'm just saying pick a more neutral site to draw your conclusions from.

Re:I actually don't see a problem here... (2, Informative)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332188)

I guess there's a reason they call their site "folklore.com". While the author may have worked at Xerox at one time (installing copiers perhaps) it's clear that he never used a Xerox Alto.

Nobody who worked with an Alto would say that Smalltalk "had a three-button" mouse. Smalltalk was just a programming environment, not hardware.

Re:I actually don't see a problem here... (0, Troll)

Graff (532189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331984)

And will Apple pay Xerox for inventing Graphical User Interfaces?

Erm, you DO know that Apple and Xerox had an agreement on the sharing of GUI technology?

Here's some of the history [lowendmac.com]:

Since its inception, Xerox had given other companies tours of PARC, showing off the highly advanced Alto workstation, which had a bitmapped display, an object oriented programming environment, was networkable, and was more powerful than most minicomputers of the day. (The researchers at PARC had since become leery of outsiders and stopped giving tours.)

Convinced that the technology at PARC could help Apple usher in the 1980s, Jobs offered Xerox a killer deal: Apple, which was privately owned at the time, would allow Xerox to invest $1 million in Apple, which was sure to soar in value when the company went public in 1981 - in exchange for two guided tours of PARC's technology. Xerox happily accepted and gave Jobs and a team of Lisa project engineers a tour.

Re:I actually don't see a problem here... (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332142)

Much later, in the midst of the Apple v. Microsoft lawsuit in which Apple accused Microsoft of violating its copyright by appropriating the use of the "look and feel" of the Macintosh GUI, Xerox also sued Apple on the same grounds. The lawsuit was dismissed because Xerox had waited too long to file suit, and the statute of limitations had expired.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PARC_(company) [wikipedia.org]

The Apple apologists are coming out of the orchard like cockroaches.

Re:I actually don't see a problem here... (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332094)

Apple sort of deserves to profit from their R&D

And will Apple pay Xerox for inventing Graphical User Interfaces? Will they pay Nokia for developing cell phones and smart phones for years? Hypocrisy is the one of the most despicable traits imaginable. This lawsuit has that coming out of it's ears.

And as far is hugely innovative... I guessed the form factor in 2006. If I had a company built on the technology developed by others, maybe I could be the one running around like a greedy bitch pretending that I did it all on my own.

http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=193127&cid=15847027 [slashdot.org]

That doesn't take into consideration that all of their devices run on a form of OSX ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osx [wikipedia.org] ) which is made from BSD (made by University of California, Berkeley http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bsd [wikipedia.org] ) and Mach Kernal (made by Carnegie Mellon University http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mach_kernel [wikipedia.org] ). Just because it was freely available doesn't make it theirs. They stood on giants and made it appear if it was their own, only geeks know that OSX is a mostly a cut-n-paste job, the public thinks its unique programming on Apples part. And while OSX was made from bits of Nextstep, Nextstep was made from the Mach Kernel.

Re:I actually don't see a problem here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331562)

everyone assumes from their popularity and aggressive marketing that they have invented everything they see in the product. apple is very good at polish and end user friendliness but most of the ideas are not new, only first to mass market

Re:I actually don't see a problem here... (1)

Mulder3 (867389) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331614)

Without diving into the specifics, I don't see a problem here. The iPhone was hugely innovative, and there was a lot there that was genuinely new. While in general I'm not a big fan of patents (often the 'innovations' covered are trivial), in this case I think that Apple sort of deserves to profit from their R&D. Clearly, some of the HTC phones are knockoffs.

Well, i see a BIG problem... Apple's cell phone patent portfolio is very small, the only thing they have is some UI/multitouch patents. On the other hand, companies like Nokia-Siemens, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericcson and Huawei have a huge amount of cellphone patents, if Apple doesn't cross-license its tech, they will be screwed for sure... Also, i bet HTC has more patents than Apple...

Re:I actually don't see a problem here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331964)

When you're done licking Steve Job's asshole, write an actual post. Stupid fanbitches.

Re:I actually don't see a problem here... (1)

jackspenn (682188) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332234)

By your logic, Apple should be paying Samsung huge amounts of cash for the huge innovations in the iPhone that mirror Samsung's earlier products.

Post is BS (1)

MikeMo (521697) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331364)

The lawsuit is not "similar to Microsoft's" patents over Linux functionality. They're over a competitor using patented technology. The post immediately denigrates the validity of the litigation by linking it to something that it is not. Why editorialize? Why can't the lawsuit just be about patent infringement instead of "scaring the industry"??

Re:Post is BS (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331712)

The lawsuit is not "similar to Microsoft's" patents over Linux functionality.

Well, the Apple patents are basically software patents [engadget.com] in relation to phones.

So, as the submitter, I saw a lot of similarities here. Basically when Microsoft entered the operating system market, they borrowed a lot of ideas and they innovated some as well. Then they patented as much software "methods" as they could. Now you see them demanding everyone to pay protection money who is using Linux.

Now, you have Apple entering the mobile phone market and borrowing ideas from around the industry and innovating some. Then they patent their software "methods" on these phones and wait for everyone to adopt them. How many tens of millions of units have they let HTC ship? And now they're basically suing Nokia (of all companies [slashdot.org]) and HTC.

The post immediately denigrates the validity of the litigation by linking it to something that it is not.

Considering the above, I'm not sure which case is more degenerative ... but they're both pretty despicable in my opinion.

I am interested in your view of how these two cases are different. I don't think pointing out that someone may just be flexing their software patent portfolio against the industry is "editorializing" or "BS" when it appears this is exactly what both companies are doing with different results.

Re:Post is BS (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331902)

Basically when Microsoft entered the operating system market, they borrowed a lot of ideas and they innovated some as well. Then they patented as much software "methods" as they could. Now you see them demanding everyone to pay protection money who is using Linux.

In the submission you compared Microsoft patents to Apple lawsuits. It seems that the difference there is the actual step of litigation. Has Microsoft done this? Wikipedia's article on Microsoft Litigation only shows suits against MS and countersuits where someone accuses MS of patent infringement and MS responding with, "no, you did it!"

I'd be interested in a list of patent infringement lawsuits filed by MS. A friend of mine has argued that MS generally patents software for defensive purposes because they get sued over software patents so much, but that sounds naive. Show me some facts.

Re:Post is BS (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332108)

I'd be interested in a list of patent infringement lawsuits filed by MS. A friend of mine has argued that MS generally patents software for defensive purposes because they get sued over software patents so much, but that sounds naive. Show me some facts.

There's one famous one and that's about it: TomTom [slashdot.org]. You'll note I didn't say they went after people. They don't have a reason to. Instead people have started paying them for reasons I don't know (and it's more widespread than you think [slashdot.org]). Maybe they're scared? Closed door negotiations don't leave me much but my imagination. It doesn't help when they say "we have so many patents Linux infringes on we don't have time to count them [slashdot.org]."

Apple and Microsoft are having different results. I assume both Apple and Microsoft approached their "infringers" and offered to settle. Obviously HTC and Nokia called Apple's bluff while Novell and Amazon probably negotiated something to make it more of a win/win for both parties but bad news for the industry. Right now I imagine it's not "if" Microsoft's Linux lawsuits start but "when." Probably not enough units shipped nor deep enough coffers to target for Ballmer to pick up his chair. Who knows? Maybe Microsoft is really good at patent negotiations? My biggest question: "Is this how the patent system is supposed to work?"

Re:Post is BS (0, Troll)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332042)

So, as the submitter, I saw a lot of similarities here. Basically when Microsoft entered the operating system market, they borrowed a lot of ideas and they innovated some as well. Then they patented as much software "methods" as they could. Now you see them demanding everyone to pay protection money who is using Linux.

Have you noticed that Microsoft hasn't sued anyone else?

At the time Microsoft went after TomTom, it was pretty clear that the suit was only because TomTom had threatened them with a lawsuit first. Microsoft took the offensive and filed their suit, to which TomTom responded in a matter of days with their own, clearly indicating they had the suit ready. Not only that, but TomTom had a history of going after others, such as numerous suits between Garmin, Toyota, and others.

The fact that Microsoft hasn't gone after anyone else seems to indicate to me that they were simply defending themselves, not "demanding everyone to pay protection money who i using Linux".

We think competition is healthy (1, Offtopic)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331372)

At first I wanted to laugh at this coming from Steve Jobs. Then I realized, I think that not drinking soda-pop is healthy *looks at all the cans of pop on his desk, including the opened and half drunk Coke*

OK. Yeah, we don't always do the healthy thing, even if we know what it is. I guess I can't criticize jobs here.

Re:We think competition is healthy (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331470)

Yeah you can. The way he said it implies that they believe in competition, which Apple clearly doesn't (hell, they've done stuff that would make Microsoft blush). That statement, coming from Steve Jobs, is the joke of the decade. Shame we had to reach that point so early, now there won't be any anticipation as we wonder what the decade's biggest joke will be!

Re:We think competition is healthy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331622)

Competition is healthy for the market as a whole, but often not for individual companies, especially not ones with large market shares or which think they can grab a large market share. The greatest threat to the free market is the company.

More Details & HTC Response (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331384)

Engadget just released more details [engadget.com] with a statement from HTC:

We only learned of Apple's actions based on your stories and Apple's press release. We have not been served yet so we are in no position to comment on the claims. We respect and value patent rights but we are committed to defending our own innovations. We have been innovating and patenting our own technology for 13 years.

Apparently some 700 pages were just filed and they aren't all in the court's record system yet. In addition some of the patents are pretty questionable. Crazy.

Re:More Details & HTC Response (1)

vijayiyer (728590) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331586)

So you agree that we don't know anything about this yet, but yet make a statement that the unknown disputed patents are questionable?

Re:More Details & HTC Response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331772)

Apple fanboi much?

That's what I thought.

Re:More Details & HTC Response (1)

b4k3d b34nz (900066) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332204)

The patents are known and have been brought up in the basic filing. About half of them are patents for previously created technology, or basic software processes that have been common for decades.

Re:More Details & HTC Response (3, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331900)

Apple put out a statement before HTC was actually served, then. Suggests this is more of a PR war than anything else, that they want to reassert the iPhone OS's primacy in the public eye before this year's big Android, WinMo and Symbian handsets get going. Nothing says "their product is a knock-off" like a patent infringement suit.

You know what would be funny? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331398)

It would be funny if Steve Jobs died of cancer.

Re:You know what would be funny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331526)

Mod parent up. I would laugh my ass off if this happened.

Apple is the new Microsoft (0, Troll)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331466)

Remember this day. This day marks the beginning of Apple's decline.

Re:Apple is the new Microsoft (5, Funny)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331492)

Remember this day. This marks the day that you were incredibly, horribly, enormously guilty of hyperbole.

Re:Apple is the new Microsoft (1)

bmecoli (963615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331594)

Man, I sure hope so. I seriously hope I see the day when apple goes tits up.

Re:Apple is the new Microsoft (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331610)

You think so?

Apple are well known for being litigious pricks, and for having a hard-on for dubious patents that just won't quit; but that doesn't seem to have hurt them much.

It would appear that the lesson that they learned from the "look and feel" lawsuit of the mid-90's was that everything is more fun with a giant pile of patents.

Re:Apple is the new Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31332110)

"Beginning"? Apple has been worse than Microsoft for quite some time. The only reason they haven't caused much damage is that they luckily do not have a massive monopoly. (Personally, I don't really see them getting a massive monopoly any time soon. Microsoft's business moves may have been dickish, but they were dickishly effective. Apple's are just retarded.)

Is this a joke? (1)

jonnale (1757032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331534)

"The ‘599 Patent, entitled "Object-Oriented Graphic System"

Seriously?

If anyone else here is a software developer, you know how crazy this is.

If this patent simply gives Apple the rights to the abstract idea of object-oriented graphic systems, that is INSANE. This is basically the equivalent of Apple suing the creator of C++. Almost every single graphic system is object-oriented. I don't know if it is even possible to not have an object-oriented graphics system.

"Object-Oriented Event Notification System With Listener Registration Of Both Interests And Methods"

Apple should sue the creators of Java as well for implementing action listeners.

[sarcasm] Seriously, I am scared to use object oriented programming because I might get sued by Apple. Time to uninstall g++. [end sarcasm]

Re:Is this a joke? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331792)

You actually need to read the patents not just their titles.

Re:Is this a joke? (1)

jonnale (1757032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331884)

I didn't read the patent (honestly, I don't care enough to read it), but I did look at the diagrams. The "Object-Oriented Graphic System" does have some hardware diagrams, but it also seems like they have some high-level software abstraction diagrams. How does Apple know that HTC is creating devices that work in the EXACT same way?

Re:Is this a joke? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331956)

For a non-oo graphic system just go look at open-gl, or the libraries used for gnome. All the old 2d sprite engines were non-oo, and written in C. calling get_pallett_at, sprite_start_anim(*sprite) etc.

So it is possible... but now-a-days...

I got one thing to say (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331556)

Fuck you Steve Jobs.

See Patent filing here. iphone copies everywhere (1)

acomj (20611) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331602)

They have a copy of the filing with patent numbers and short descriptions

http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20100302/apples-suits-against-htc-both-documents/ [allthingsd.com]

Not a huge fan of patents especially on software.

  Apple did spend years and years getting the keyboardless touchscreen phone developed. It was not a sure hit, especially without the keyboard. Now the iphone form factor is ubiquitous and as Apple also noted when it was released that they had a ton of patents on the device, so to maximize profits (as is required by corporations), they sue....

Ultimately these big companies usually end up with some cross licensing patent agreement and life goes own.

Re:See Patent filing here. iphone copies everywher (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331866)

Wow. I mean: wow.

The ‘849 Patent, entitled “Unlocking A Device By Performing Gestures On An Unlock Image,”

Maybe I can get the patent for "sending an email by performing gestures on a Send Email Image." If that one is already taken, maybe I can get the patent for "Emptying a trashcan by performing gestures on a Trashcan Image."

Sorry, but this so ludicrous that whoever issues the patent ought to be fired. Once you have event messages coming in, every fucking practitioner in the art, will use them. Not only is it not novel to use it, but it's obviously not novel.

Physical devices to digital shouldn't be patentabl (1)

acomj (20611) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331972)

Almost all those patents seem a weak (some I don't quite get...). Patenting a "lock switch" because you decided to put it on a screen more than a little suspect...Entering into the "Crazy!" area.

Patent reform can't come soon enough...

Apple vs. Google (5, Insightful)

kylant (527449) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331634)

Actually this might be the first salvo in Apple vs. Google.

Google does not build devices and is therefore harder to attack than a manufacturer/importer, who builds android devices. Google on the other hand might feel compelled to help HTC, if this is actually about Android.

Might be interesting to see how this plays out.

Multi-touch (2, Insightful)

vijayiyer (728590) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331636)

I was at a ski resort the other week, and I heard two people talking about iPhone vs. other smartphones. One person had an iPhone. The iPhone owner said something to the effect of "Does Android have pinch to zoom? If so, I will go check it out". The UI of the iPhone is Apple's invention and gives it a competitive advantage. Why is it wrong for them to defend that?

Re:Multi-touch (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331768)

Because they did not invent pinch to zoom, it had been used before. Furthermore it is obvious, and therefore should be unpatentable.

Re:Multi-touch (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331824)

> Why is it wrong for them to defend that?

They can't help but to violate patents of EVERY one of their competitors. That's why.

Re:Multi-touch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331858)

Multi-Touch is the target that I am thinking of as well. For the longest time they did not enable that feature on the Android phones officially (disabled in the kernel). However, the screen can support it. But if you work at it, you too can have multi-touch on your Android phone (for the apps that support it). It's ok (on my myTouch that is, Nexus1 I am sure if better performance), but honestly my iPod Touch renders it better and quicker.

Re:Multi-touch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31332000)

that's kinda like patenting keyboard layouts

Re:Multi-touch (2, Interesting)

hoooocheymomma (1020927) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332214)

"Pinch to Zoom" is a gesture. Why should it be possible to patent a hard-coded gesture? People have been writing gesture-based solutions for EVER. On a touch screen, all you have are gestures made up of touching and dragging. Does it make much sense to force users to use different gestures on different devices?

Yeah, pick on HTC... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331766)

Let's see you pick on RIM or Palm, Apple.

Go ahead. Then watch your ass being handed to you afterwards.

Good luck with that... (1)

Mark19960 (539856) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331808)

Some of these things they claim to 'invent' I have seen long before they got patents on them.
Considering Apple is a new player on the field they should really keep their mouth shut... they are fooling with companies that have 10,15 and 20 years on the playing field.

Now I have to hear the apple drones tell me that I am holding a 'stolen' invention (my Nexus one)
I did wonder why Google enabled the multi-touch thing (I don't use it)
Is it because they know the patent is bunk and were hoping to get sued?

Re:Good luck with that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331946)

I wonder how many patents Apple has left over from the Newton that can be applied to PDA's/Smartphones?

Not similiar (3, Insightful)

cstdenis (1118589) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331810)

"similar to the Microsoft-Novell and Microsoft-Amazon deals regarding patents covering Linux functionality."

MS: You might be infringing on one or more unspecified patents.
Apple: You are infringing on these specific patents listed in the suit.

Not really all that similar. One is an empty threat, the other is serious legal action.

User Interface patents (4, Insightful)

kylant (527449) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331842)

What I particularly don't like about this is that it appears that most of Apple's patents are about the user interface (pinch-zoom, ...), not about actual hardware inventions.

The difference is, that hardware patents can usually be worked around, as long as you can keep the user interface stable. Changing the user interface on the other hand means that the enduser must adapt, which he usually is reluctant to do. It is a form of monopoly.

Imagine, for comparison, that Alfred Vacheron had patented the steering wheel in 1894 and had been unwilling to license it to competitors. The outcome could have been that dozens of different ways to steer a car would have been invented and users would have troubles switching between manufactures. A serious hindrance to a competitive market.

Which link? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331848)

Do I click on to read the story? I have no damn clue. I guess I will hover each and every one and see what it points to. /. is f'n annoying when it comes to this, like one of those js link generator that adds 'news search' to ever noun in a web page. Who posts this garbage?

Yeah, pick on HTC... (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331850)

Let's see you pick on RIM or Palm, Apple.

Go ahead. Then watch your ass being handed to you, afterward.

Re:Yeah, pick on HTC... (2, Interesting)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332140)

HTC(8.13B) is considerably larger than Palm (1.05B), but are both dwarfed by RIM (39.42B). Apple's market cap is 190.34B.

Re:Yeah, pick on HTC... (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332178)

I'm thinking in terms of patent portfolios -- Palm and RIM have been in the smartphone game a bit longer than Apple!

Why is this shit patentable? (4, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332016)

There's a patent for screen rotation and scaling? That's nuts.

Patented inventions are supposed to be novel and require some genuine inspiration, not something that's obvious. The idea that you can use orientation sensors and linear transforms to make a picture that's always right-side-up and that's different sizes is laughable -- as soon as you decide you want to do it, the way to do it is obvious. Just because someone hasn't done it before doesn't mean that it required any patent-worthy cleverness to do it.

Patents are supposed to encourage invention and innovation by giving people who invent clever novel things a way to profit from them, not a way for some business to lock out competition. The screen-pinch-to-scale thing? Again, pretty obvious. (My eeepc has that on the touchpad, actually.)

As an example, suppose you wanted to make a mouse that could sense rotation/twist as well as translation. Any idiot would realize that an easy way to do this is to put two optical sensors (or balls) on it, one on each side, and do some simple math. Something like this shouldn't be patentable.

One rather ridiculous example is the Four Thirds imaging system. Olympus decided they'd like to use a different size CCD than other camera makers to make a digital SLR, and they actually patented it! They decided what size sensor, what size lens mount, what register distance, etc. to use, and then patented these engineering choices. There's nothing inherently different about the Four Thirds SLR's than any other digital SLR -- they work in the ordinary bog-standard way. (Patent absurdity aside, mine does take nice pictures.)

Patents need to be restricted to real inventions, not simple choices that anybody with a bachelor's degree could have come up with when faced by a problem. Fix this and you fix a lot of the problems with patent trolling.

Steve Jobs is a boner (2, Insightful)

jackspenn (682188) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332072)

Steve Jobs is a dick and the people who hang onto him are nuts.

This patent BS is a joke. Did HTC hack, steal or corrupt Apple's trade secrets? Not at all and nobody believes that. It is one thing if a company steals your stuff, it is completely different if they come up with a similar idea/process independent of you.

The part that makes this so laughable is that Apple is using the iPad name when two other companies already have claims to it. It is amazing to me that a company that bullies and takes from others with one hand has the balls to wave a finger at other companies (Especially ones that behavior better).

I love the iPad propaganda that says "you just do".

Really?

How do you "do" two apps at the same time? Who doesn't multi-task these days?

How do I "do" Java and Flash? I mean if it is the best way to browse the web, then I assume it supports key web technologies.

How "do" I drag and drop music and documents onto my iPhone/iPad from Linux and Windows? Am I free to not use iTunes?

How "do" I tether my laptop to my iPhone or ipad for internet access? Android has a wifi-tether app, is there an app for that on the iPhone?

How "do" people who don't have an Intel based Mac write apps? I can write Android and Blackberry apps without needed specific hardware.

How "do" I release iPhone apps, without giving away my intellectual property and source code? Does Apple allow me to protect my trade secrets like it does?

How "do" I not pay so much and have my choice of carrier? AT&T's network is cheap while the plans are expensive.

As Jobs himself said... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31332090)

"Good artists COPY.. Great artists STEAL"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4Tr0syhIIo

Guess you forgot about the good'ol times don't you steve?

The suit is targeting android phones. (2, Interesting)

grimmy (75458) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332104)

The OP should have RTFA lol It's in the update with the complaint.

[quote]
certain mobile communication devices including cellular phones and smart phones, including at least phones incorporating the
Android Operating System (collectively, “the Accused Products”)
[/quote]

Time to get out the iPad (1)

magarj (655710) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332128)

Apple is just a bit irritable and bloated, must be time to get out the iPad. As they say, when a company stops innovating, they start litigating. Apple is throwing stones while living in a glass house.

Xerox Parc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31332148)

So sayeth the man who stole so much from Xerox Parc.

First we kill all the lawyers...

Captcha: boxers

Looks like they had enough of SenseUI (3, Insightful)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332182)

Look, HTC builds H/W, they stick anything Linux or WinMo underneath and then slap a modular UI ontop (SenseUI)-- the UI is very portable and can mimic a lot. It's a great design-concept IMHO.

It's also becoming the best UI out there and seriously threatening Apple's bread-n-butter: its heavily advertised, "innovative" UI design (for the ipXXX's).

For one, this is a great marketing ploy by Apple to put a stick in the ground that they practically invented the mobile device UI (which it's "mainstream" customers like as it's branding and makes them 'feel' good buying an Apple product). And two, as SenseUI evolves, its design and Android's dev model allow it to evolve much faster than the iPhone UI. And we all know 2 independent dev teams will likely converge/create similar features overtime (think Gnome vs. KDE), since the user cases are the same! Hence, one can conclude HTC/SenseUI can claim [similar] newer UI features since they can release faster. Basically, Apple can't keep up. Hence suing will slow HTC down so Apple can release UI features before HTC does and claim it's a Apple "innovation".

Let's face it, patents aren't for protection anymore, they're tools for marketing strategy and engineering time-to-market, i.e. in other words, market control.
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