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Nokia Claims Apple Does "Legal Alchemy" To Mask IP Theft

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the better-than-illegal-alchemy dept.

Iphone 294

CWmike writes "Nokia asked a federal judge last week to toss out Apple's antitrust claims, saying the iPhone maker indulged in 'legal alchemy' when it tried to divert attention from its infringement of Nokia's intellectual property. The filing was the latest salvo in a battle that began in October 2009 when handset maker Nokia sued Apple, saying the iPhone infringed on 10 of its patents, and that Apple was trying 'to get a free ride on the back of Nokia's innovation.' Apple countered in December with a lawsuit of its own that not only claimed Nokia infringed 13 of its patents, but that Nokia also violated antitrust law by legally attacking Apple after it declined to pay what it called 'exorbitant royalties' and refused to give Nokia access to iPhone patents. 'These non-patent counterclaims are designed to divert attention away from free-riding off of Nokia's intellectual property, a practice Apple evidently believes should only be of paramount concern when it is the alleged victim,' Nokia charged in the motion. Apple is on a legal roll, having also recently sued the maker of Google's Nexus One, HTC, for patent infringement."

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294 comments

I hope Bilski invalidates them all (5, Interesting)

linuxrocks123 (905424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31486522)

Hopefully the Bilski decision will come out and invalidate software patents. Then these companies can get back to competing on innovation.

Some of these are hardware patents. (-1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31486604)

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Re:Some of these are hardware patents. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31487288)

Stop using the title to write your comments and you will be fine.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31486610)

Hopefully the Bilski decision will come out and invalidate software patents. Then these companies can get back to competing on innovation.

Note that the patents Nokia are using against Apple are not Software patents, but real technology patents. The fact that Apple has nothing but software patents to respond with is a signal about how fragile Apple in fact is, with no real "valuable" intellectual property.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (4, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31486666)

Wait a minute... they do have a patent on the "Steve Jobs reality distortion field", don't they?

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (5, Funny)

klingens (147173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31486966)

That's a trade secret. For a patent, you have to show how it actually works. No one managed to dissect His Holiness Steve yet.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (-1)

nawitus (1621237) | more than 4 years ago | (#31486724)

Nokia has already paid off its research costs many times over from the sale of cellphones, so it doesn't make sense to pay anything to Nokia. If you read "Against Intellectual Monopoly" it's clear that patents are not needed for innovation, and actually slow it down. Of course, Apple is also wrong to sue companies, but I'm not sure if it's for defense in the case of HTC.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31486860)

Oh.. so, Nokia patents are, well, not really required. Apple patents, er, you are not really sure? Then WTF are you saying? Looks like just another fucking apple fanboi to me.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (5, Insightful)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487004)

Nokia has already paid off its research costs many times over from the sale of cellphones

Sure, for those specific innovations. But R&D is an expensive, time consuming process that leads to many dead ends and few profitable results (if done in the Bell Atlantic method). So they do need to capitalize on the relatively few innovations that are profitable to pave the way for the vast number that are directly profitable (Consider that Bell invented basically DLP way back in the 1970's. Sure, it's a good innovation, but it never paid them profits, because it didn't become economically feasible for decades later).

I think personally software patents are stupid, because the barrier to entry into such a field are so small that it's very hard to realistically say "I'm the first one to ever come up with this idea" and prove it (After all, it could have been part of some student's senior research project in the 70's, but was never "published")... With technologies with a large barrier to entry (especially large barriers to research), patents offer some protection to companies that they can recoup their research costs. Consider the example of someone building computer algorithms for file system interaction. How many man-hours does it take to do that? Sure, there could be a fair number, but probably not man-decades... How many non-human resources are involved? Sure, you do have a few computers/servers/etc, but my guess is MAYBE $10k... Now, consider research into radio protocols for cellphone data. How many man-hours are involved there? Potentially many decades (if you have more 2 or 3 working for any significant amount of time). How many non-human resources? LOTS. FCC licenses, transmitting equipment, diagnostic equipment, potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions of dollars). All dedicated (for that particular time at least) to the research. That's why patents exist... To give companies an incentive to do non-trivial innovation... The fact of the mater is (IMHO) for a large number of the software patents that I've seen, the innovation is trivial at best (If not already common knowledge)...

Just my $0.02...

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487962)

Do you think Apple has actually invented much of the hardware in the iPhone? of course not, it's off the shelf parts. So why is Apple the target? it sounds like to me this is a software patent argument. The people supplying the chips to Apple are the people infringing.

Nokia may have a case if and when Apple produce their own cell silicon, the radio part of the phone.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (4, Insightful)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487092)

"Nokia has already paid off its research costs many times over from the sale of cellphones, so it doesn't make sense to pay anything to Nokia."

Except that whether or not they've made their money back is entirely irrelevant to anything. It's Nokia's patented technology, and if someone wants to use it, they have to pay up.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (3, Interesting)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487366)

And Apple want to pay up - they just don;t want to pay more than other cellphone companies to use the GSM patents. Nokia is obliged (not by Apple) to licence those patents equally to anyone who wants them, not to strongarm anyone it chooses if it fancies some of the IP the company holds. Apple here is claiming that Nokia is unfairly leveraging its GSM patents (the standards) to get more in return than it should really be asking for (by the terms of its obligation to licence them).

Apple isn't trying to *not* pay - it just wants to pay what other cellphone makers pay.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31487750)

So Apple should be allowed to pay what they think is a fair amount?

Nokia is obliged (not by Apple) to licence those patents equally to anyone who wants them

By who? I like the sound of that. It should extend to all licenses. Because Microsoft has given Windows away for
free before we all should be entitled to a free copy.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (5, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31488078)

By RAND terms - in exchange for the GSM patents being included in the standard for cellular communication, Nokia agreed to licence them under RAND terms. Otherwise, they would not have been included in the standard: it's a way to ensure that there is still profit in allowing others to use your work, and enable a standard (which is handy for a large radio communication network)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reasonable_and_Non_Discriminatory_Licensing [wikipedia.org]

Read the wiki page - it even uses the GSM patents themselves as an example. Bonus.

It has nothing to do with licensing copies of Windows, which are not covered by RAND conditions.

Wow, troll mod for mere information... (0, Troll)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487778)

Where's the trolling in my post? I am merely pointing out what seems to be being left out of these discussions - the actual nature of the cases.

I guess there's someone with a serious axe to grind against Apple with mod points. Shame.

Re:Wow, troll mod for mere information... (1)

joggle (594025) | more than 4 years ago | (#31488132)

You certainly aren't trolling but are you correct? I don't know whether Nokia is required to offer Apple reasonable license rates for GSM technology. I thought the whole point of patents is to allow inventors to have a time-limited monopoly to their idea. But as far as I know the only restriction to their invention is the time they are given exclusive rights to it--ie, there is no requirement that they sell rights to their invention to whoever wants to use it.

I'm certainly not a patent attorney so I don't know if you are correct or not.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31488062)

> Except that whether or not they've made their money back is entirely irrelevant to anything

Patent monopolies are a privilege, not some intrinsic right. If their purpose is to allow innovators to recoup their R&D investment - one of the many lies trotted out by the antihuman psychopaths who support patent monopolies - then patents should terminate when that investment is recouped.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (0, Redundant)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 4 years ago | (#31486844)

Note that the patents Nokia are using against Apple are not Software patents, but real technology patents. The fact that Apple has nothing but software patents to respond with is a signal about how fragile Apple in fact is, with no real "valuable" intellectual property.

Would you care to explain how Nokia's patents are not software patents when they are implemented by software? Care to explain how Nokia has a right to now claim that all of Apple's product line is infringing when Apple has "licensed" WiFi from the standards group? How can Nokia make claims against a company that has legally licensed Wifi technology?

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (-1, Offtopic)

X.25 (255792) | more than 4 years ago | (#31488040)

Would you care to explain how Nokia's patents are not software patents when they are implemented by software? Care to explain how Nokia has a right to now claim that all of Apple's product line is infringing when Apple has "licensed" WiFi from the standards group? How can Nokia make claims against a company that has legally licensed Wifi technology?

You are retarded.

Apple is shit, their products are shit, and their "users" (zealots) are even bigger shit.

This has nothing to do with WiFi, but you're so much obsessed with iShit, that you can't even read properly anymore.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (1)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#31486974)

The fact that Apple has nothing but software patents to respond with is a signal about how fragile Apple in fact is, with no real "valuable" intellectual property.

Apple holds plenty of hardware patents, like the multi-touch feature of the iPhone.

Multi-touch prior art from 1985, more from 1991 (3, Interesting)

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487100)

Multi-touch has been invented many times. It was even publicly documented in 1985:Multi-touch prior art [swpat.org].

Re:Multi-touch prior art from 1985, more from 1991 (3, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487240)

Apple hasn't and can't patent an idea, which multitouch is. They have a specific implementation implemented, via buying up Fingerworks years ago which was started by two University of Delaware professors.

I have no clue if the implementation touches on prior art, but it's like saying engines have been designed many times before, hence an engine can't be patented. The idea of an engine can't be, but it could be a fundamentally new design that executes things different and perhaps better.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (3, Informative)

prockcore (543967) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487794)

Except that Apple doesn't hold any multitouch patents. They *license* them from Synaptics

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (4, Insightful)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487152)

Hopefully the Bilski decision will come out and invalidate software patents. Then these companies can get back to competing on innovation.

Note that the patents Nokia are using against Apple are not Software patents, but real technology patents. The fact that Apple has nothing but software patents to respond with is a signal about how fragile Apple in fact is, with no real "valuable" intellectual property.

Another problem here is it says that when Apple counter sued for the 13 patents, they also admitted they are violating Nokia's patents because they didn't want to pay the royalty rates and cross-patent usage. Just because Apple didn't want to pay the rates and patent usages doesn't give them the legal right to use and profit from Nokia's work for free.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (4, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487408)

They want to pay the *fair* rate - which Nokia is obliged to give them. They are claiming that Nokia is attempting to charge them more (in terms of cash and cross licenced patents) than they are allowed to charge.

They want to pay what other people pay. Nokia is not allowed to charge more to whoever it chooses.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487926)

They want to pay the *fair* rate - which Nokia is obliged to give them. They are claiming that Nokia is attempting to charge them more (in terms of cash and cross licenced patents) than they are allowed to charge.

They want to pay what other people pay. Nokia is not allowed to charge more to whoever it chooses.

What about the cross-patents they are licensing with other company's? The royal rates may work on a more sliding scale based on the usability of the patents included in the trade and since the iPhone is only 3 years old, its possible the patents they had to offer didn't add up financial as the could have meriting (in Nokia's eye) to a high royalty rate.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487958)

the complicating factor is that nokia has patents on GSM and 3G, are the "higher rates" the combination of both?

considering recent history with the two companies, i would default to trusting nokia unless they were shown to be dishonest.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31488170)

I don't know who to trust here. Apple may be litigious, but it's not stupid - if it was a simple case, they would have settled it by now. Their GSM hardware isn't even unique - they use off the shelf chips, which other phone makers have been using for a long time with no issues (unless they paid up over the odds under the threat of Nokia's legal stick and didn't tell anyone).

It shouldn't be this hard to pay up for the use of GSM and other wireless patents that are covered by RAND, and it's unlikely to be something Apple has overlooked.

I think it is probably more likely that Nokia wants something equivalent in cash value from Apple, and there is a disagreement over just how much Apple's patents are actually worth, but I am only guessing.

It's almost certainly *not* that Apple just flat out refuse to pay for the use of the patents - they're using 3rd party hardware that other people use, who do pay Nokia. It's something else.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487524)

I hope Bilsky will not invalidate this beautiful Patent Troll Patent [ow.ly]; so these Patent Trolls will have to pay up to a Patent Troll for their Patent Trolling. Imagine this, a monopoly of Patent Trolling!

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (1, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487550)

Another problem here is it says that when Apple counter sued for the 13 patents, they also admitted they are violating Nokia's patents because they didn't want to pay the royalty rates and cross-patent usage. Just because Apple didn't want to pay the rates and patent usages doesn't give them the legal right to use and profit from Nokia's work for free.

Actually, Apple didn't want to agree to Nokia's non-licensing of the patents. Apple is willing to pay, but Nokia doesn't want RAND license fees like everyone else wants to pay. Instead, Nokia wants Apple to pay more than everyone else. Apple wants to pay, Nokia doesn't want to accept the terms that Apple is paying under.

Apple knows of the patents - they have to pay as part of standard agreements, which is why they're all licensed under RAND (reasonable and non-discriminatory) principles. So they're willing to pay Nokia the same fees that every other cellphone maker pays them. Nokia, though, sees potential in what Apple is doing, and demands that they pay more simply because Apple has something Nokia wants, and Apple has no choice but to pay Nokia anyways.

In a car analogy, Nokia is selling engines for cars. Everyone who wants to build a car has to buy a Nokia engine, and they all pay $5,000 for it. Since Nokia is the only company that can sell engines, they agreed to sell anyone who makes cars an engine for $5,000 (RAND). Apple comes along, builds the iCar, and wants to buy the Nokia engine. Nokia sees that the iCar has a nifty dashboard widget, and wants that for their cars. So Nokia charges Apple not just $5,000, but $5,000 plus the dashboard widget.

In this case, no one has clean hands nor is completely innocent.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (4, Interesting)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31488094)

In a car analogy, Nokia is selling engines for cars. Everyone who wants to build a car has to buy a Nokia engine, and they all pay $5,000 for it. Since Nokia is the only company that can sell engines, they agreed to sell anyone who makes cars an engine for $5,000 (RAND). Apple comes along, builds the iCar, and wants to buy the Nokia engine. Nokia sees that the iCar has a nifty dashboard widget, and wants that for their cars. So Nokia charges Apple not just $5,000, but $5,000 plus the dashboard widget.

In this case, no one has clean hands nor is completely innocent.

Yes, but it's not just royalty rates involved in this case. Its patents and royalty rates. With your car analogy: Nokia is selling engines for cars, everyone who wants to build a car has to buy a Nokia engine up $5000 and offer up say $10000 worth of patents. Along comes Apple, a new comer to the field and wants to make the iCar with it's nifty dashboard widget. They only want to pay the $5000 everyone else pays but when it comes to the patent end, they only have $5000 worth of patents they can use, leaving a $5000 difference between what they want to pay and what everyone else is paying. (iPhone is only 3 years old so it's possible on that level). Now you have everyone paying a total of $5000 cash + $10000 patents value to make a total value of $15000. Apple offers only $5000 cash (like everyone else) + $5000 in patents = $10000, $5000 less then anyone else. That leaves Apple getting the unfair deal in their favor. Looking only at the cash value, yes that is horribly unfair of Nokia to want that extra $5000 from Apple, but it's only higher cash because the patent options lacked compared to what they normally charge.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (1)

diamondsw (685967) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487776)

Actually, it does. As part of a standard, Nokia is bound to license these patents on fair and non-discriminatory terms. If it turns out they were charging exorbitant fees to Apple as opposed to other manufacturers, it would be illegal and they would face sanctions (from who and in what form, I'm unsure).

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31487604)

Legal Alchemy! Another word for Reality-Distortion Field!

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487650)

And we can expect to see iPhone work-alikes in 3.. 2.. 1..

Seriously, I find this rather funny. We might soon be able to call it the tarnished halo effect?

What makes you think they're software patents? (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#31486682)

Nokia has a huge R&D organisation. Everything from software down to silicon.
 

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31486770)

Hopefully the Bilski decision will come out and invalidate software patents. Then these companies can get back to competing on innovation.

Um, from what I've read of the patents, Nokia's patents seem to be (at least partially) for hardware while Apple's patents (in both suits) are about the software (frameworks and the like) on the phones. Nokia's patents seem to focus on the devices that implement standards. While it will reduce the number of patents covered for royalties, I don't think a negative Bilski decision will immediately cause all charges to be dropped ... rather they would just figure out a different angle of attack.

Personally, I think software patents are complete and utter bullshit but you have to respect the hardware patents ... that's heavy R&D to get the hardware on phones where it is today. You should get your reward for figuring that crap out. I think it's too long of a patent term but you gotta start somewhere.

This whole patent portfolio charade reeks of a prison scene where when you enter a market you either make someone your bitch or become somebody's bitch. You're telling me that these two companies couldn't have respected each other enough to have worked this crap out before they turned it into a public mud slinging spectacle? Grow up.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (0, Troll)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487306)

How is the hardware R&D any more valid than software R&D? I have a hard time figuring out this distinction. So far as I can tell, if you're against software patents, you're either against all patents, or you're a hypocrite.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (3, Interesting)

Nathanbp (599369) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487446)

How is the hardware R&D any more valid than software R&D? I have a hard time figuring out this distinction. So far as I can tell, if you're against software patents, you're either against all patents, or you're a hypocrite.

In typical Slashdot form, I present a car analogy.
Software patents are like patenting the idea of an engine (I put gas in and it makes the wheels turn). Once you've patented your software, no one else can make engines without your permission.
Hardware patents are like patenting a specific kind of engine (I put gas in and it does this and that and the wheels turn). Other people can still make engines without paying you royalties as long as their engines don't work exactly the same way as your engine.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31487572)

Hardware R&D often has significantly larger barriers to entry. This means that

1) there are smaller costs to recoup in the first place, and
2) the costs of paying a patent lawyer are smaller relative to everything else you've got to do to perform research in the field.

If you consider these significant, then you can be in favor of hardware patents, opposed to software patents, and not inconsistent in your reasoning. It wouldn't quite be hypocrisy in any event.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (2, Interesting)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487678)

Software patents are less meaningful usually. You've heard 'you can't patent an idea'?

That is often what software patents boil down to. Something interesting like a type of encryption/compression maybe should be patentable. This also relates to obviousness, many software patents are obvious... but patents are annoying to get. This results in big corporations which have people to deal with patents just patenting everything. Which slows progress.

Next is cost. If you think that patent laws are important to encourage innovation not to make random people rich then this is an issue. A patent for something created in a lab may cost many millions to get working. Think about the money sunk into creating better computer parts each year. In software however most of the patented things were created in a minutes to days.

And there is compatibility. In the carbon based world not too many things need to work together, maybe wipers with cars and lights in sockets. In the computer world there is an incredibly complicated interconnected ecosystem of crap. Winamp talks to messenger, web server, windows, certain games and so on.... and that is just one piece. The problem is that many patented technologies causes needless fragmentation which slows progress. Think of all the crap oss people have had to build not because they wanted a better system but because of legal barriers.

They are also unnecessary because software is so opaque. It is unlikely anyone is going to copy your software's patentable bits since it isn't available to them. So each time someone creates say ogg over mp3 they are actually creating it from scratch anyways, showing that what was patented was an idea. In all othercases of software ripping-off copyright will be more than sufficient, there is no need for two overlapping laws.

In the end all you need to ask is this: "Do software patents help or hinder a healthy programming environment?" Most people think not.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (1)

c++0xFF (1758032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487910)

I've wondered the same thing, if only because digital circuits can be created in much the same way as software (VHDL, verilog, etc).

If you can take software and implement it in hardware, and then patent it ... is that OK? What about patentable hardware that is reimplemented in software?

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 4 years ago | (#31486880)

that would apply ONLY to apple, not nokia who holds real patents and deservedly asking apple to pay up.

Re:I hope Bilski invalidates them all (1, Interesting)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487430)

No, they are asking (according to Apple) more than they are allowed to - Apple wants to pay what everyone else pays for the GSM patents. Nokia is obliged to charge them that rate. Apple claims Nokia is strongarming them unfairly to get access to other patents that Apple holds.

Sick to death of the obviousness of it all (2, Interesting)

MrDoh! (71235) | more than 4 years ago | (#31486598)

It's a bunch of phones.
You press buttons, make calls with them to other people. Thank goodness that's not a patentable idea or we'd all be shafted.

The tweaks on how to make these calls really seem.... unimportant apart to the lawyers.

Re:Sick to death of the obviousness of it all (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31486716)

You mean phones still make phone calls? OMG! I thought that feature was dropped years ago in the era of pictures, videos and text messages.

Re:Sick to death of the obviousness of it all (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31486734)

I wouldn't have noticed much...I think the most minutes I've used up in a billing cycle in the last two years was 35 :/

Re:Sick to death of the obviousness of it all (3, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487090)

The patents for tip-and-ring landlines expired long ago. There was a fight, even then.

According TFA, this also about GSM, UTMS, and WiFI-- and Nokia has intellectual property claims in all three; and those are what the litigation against Apple is all about.

Let's see: cells and wireless. No, not about phones. Bridging GSM lines for data... no, not about phones. WiFi switch-off.... no, not about phones again.

Not about software either. Hmmmm.

This doesn't speak to Bilski, this doesn't have anything to do with that. This, notwithstanding to the madness of patents in general.

Re:Sick to death of the obviousness of it all (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487378)

Its hilarious because you know - making phone calls was patented - look up 174465. Sure its old, but there you go.

On cell phones I'm sure Motorola patented the hell out of the original Dynatac as well.

I'm with Nokia (3, Interesting)

improfane (855034) | more than 4 years ago | (#31486690)

After being screwed by Microsoft in the past, it's pretty obvious why Apple is so aggressive nowadays. It's taking taking some pages from Microsoft.

I am with Nokia because they're quite nice with Qt and they are definitely rightly responsible for a lot of technology that no doubt Apple just implemented without permission. I think the fact that about 40 firms* paying royalties is evidence enough.

I will not buy an iPhone and never will be part of that monopoly. iPods, iPhones are engineered to fail and you paying ~£30 for the privilege to do very little.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8321058.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:I'm with Nokia (0, Flamebait)

Exception Duck (1524809) | more than 4 years ago | (#31486802)

I've said it before and I'll say it again.

On face value, Large american company vs. large Finnish company - I'll guess that the Finnish is probably in the right. Less greed in the society there.

Come on, how could somebody called Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo be in the wrong

Re:I'm with Nokia (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487334)

How could somebody called Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo be in the wrong?

I'll get working on your question once I'm able to pronounce the name correctly.

Re:I'm with Nokia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31487370)

Fantastic expert analysis, dip shit.

Re:I'm with Nokia (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487786)

Since we are blaming whole countries for the acts of a few people .... Sweden seems nice too, but then ikea is the biggest 'charity' tax dodge on earth.

Silly, but predictable (3, Insightful)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 4 years ago | (#31486744)

As long as there is profit in suing for such things, a lot of companies will keep doing it. After a few decades of stealing from each other, software and hardware companies are waking up, looking around and realizing there is money to be made from suing each other for practices they have all engaged in... damn near all the patent infringement lawsuits I have read about seem on the surface, to be frivolous... it really is time for patent reform

Corporate Wars (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 4 years ago | (#31486872)

They are much less exciting than REAL wars. When will Apple and Nokia build up militias and shoot each other to death while I watch it on my major news source in night vision?

Re:Corporate Wars (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31487022)

Nokia already has a military product line.
They produce communications and encryption devices for army use. For example sanla [google.com].

RAND (2, Interesting)

danaris (525051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31486902)

Now, someone else may have more recent information that contradicts this, but...

My understanding was that Apple tried to license these patents from Nokia. They are part of the GSM specification, which no GSM phone can function without. Because they are part of the standard, they must be licensed under Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory terms.

But Nokia wanted more from Apple for these patents than they did from anyone else.

What, exactly? I don't know. Either the articles I've read didn't say, or I've since forgotten. I think it was cross-licensing with some of the specific patents on the iPhone, but as I say, I'm not sure.

Either way, if Nokia isn't licensing the original patents under RAND terms to Apple, then they should be burned to hell and back for this. They knew the price when they put patents of theirs into the GSM spec, and now they have to live with it.

Dan Aris

Exactly - it was cross-licences (0, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487144)

But Nokia wanted more from Apple for these patents than they did from anyone else.

What, exactly? I don't know

Nokia demanded in addition to the money that Apple let them use, royalty free, a number of Apple patents.

As you note, this is not exactly "non-discriminatory" since Nokia makes no-one else do this.

That is why in the end the Nokia suit will be dismissed, and as you note they may well face additional punishment from the standards body they claimed to offer the patents under RAND terms to.

Re:Exactly - it was cross-licences (1)

robmv (855035) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487590)

I do not believe what Apple says. if Apple requested Nokia licensing for the GSM standard related patents, and they refused to provide them in RAND terms, Apple should have gone to the standard body and tell them Nokia wass not doing what they must do.

Apple has no right to implement them just because Nokia refused RAND terms

Re:Exactly - it was cross-licences (1)

Dtyst (790737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487626)

Especially when Apple is not part of RAND and therefore Nokia has no obligation to give Apple their patents for RAND prices.

Re:Exactly - it was cross-licences (3, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31488018)

If Apple wants to use GSM hardware, Nokia is obliged to licence it to them under RAND terms. RAND is not an organisation (in this sense, although there is a non-profit called "the RAND corporation", but it has nothing whatsoever to do with this) it means Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory licensing; which applies to the GSM patents Nokia holds. They are required to licence them fairly and equally to anyone who wants to use them, in exchange for the patents being part of the standard for cellular communication.

Apple doesn't need to be part of anything to be able to licence the patents. You could set up your own mobile phone company in your basement and Nokia would be obliged to licence the patents to you too - at the same rate that everyone pays to use them.

Re:Exactly - it was cross-licences (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487916)

This is what the court case is all about. Apple's GSM hardware is all third party, and used by other cellphone makers. The procedures for paying the licences are well understood. It seems (according to Apple) that it was only further into the process that Nokia decided to change the game up.

Apple went to the standards body when Palm started spoofing Apple's USB Vendor ID - that went well for them, right?

Apple must pay the RAND terms for the use of GSM patents. Nokia must allow them to pay in those terms. It cannot ask for more. Where it may get fuzzy is just what "fair" is - if Nokia is attempting to put a cash value on some of Apple's IP and claiming that as payment equal to the RAND terms, and Apple is claiming that it is worth more than that.

Either way, this is not simple - Apple is not foolish enough to launch a phone filled with stardards-based (3rd party driven) GSM and other cellphone radio hardware without paying to use the patents involved.

Re:Exactly - it was cross-licences (1)

robmv (855035) | more than 4 years ago | (#31488122)

so you advocate "make justice with your own hands"?

Apple violate patent laws (if this history of no licensing by Nokia is true) just to prove Nokia is evil and must RAND license the patents?

If Apple version is true, why not sue Nokia because they do not license with RAND terms as they "must do" because they added their patent to the standard before using the patents?

Wrong (5, Informative)

Too Much Noise (755847) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487846)

You keep posting these 'facts' about cross-licensing. You're basically wrong. RTF Filing. From Statement of facts, p 4-5

In late 2007, Apple and Nokia began negotiating a potential license agreement for Nokia's patents essential to the ETSI standards (id. 86). Apple admits that, at the start of the negotiations, and again in September 2009, Nokia offered license terms to Nokia's essential patents that did not require Apple to grant any license back to Apple's non-essential patents (id. 86, 91).3 Apple acknowledges its rejection of Nokia's "standard" license terms (id. 85, 91, 92). Apple's unhappiness about these offers seems only to be that Nokia was asking for what Apple considered too much money for Nokia's essential patents (see id. 91).

Apple also admits that "Nokia defined both a portfolio rate and an average per patent royalty rate" that did not require any
license-back of non-essential patents
(id. Answer to 44). Once again, Apple's only problem with these offers is the amount of money involved (id. 91).

Again, according to Nokia's filing, there was an offer to cross-license, but it was Apple that first made it.

Apple further admits that it was willing to grant Nokia a cross-license to certain Apple patents that are not claimed to be essential to any of the standards listed above (id. 87). Apple avers that, in Spring 2008, Nokia made another license offer, proposing Apple expand its prior offer to give Nokia the right to pick a limited number of Apple non-essential patents that would be licensed (id. 89). Apple states that it rejected the proposal (id.).

But hey, don't let facts get in the way of righteous anger.

Re:RAND (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31487180)

Unless it can be shown that Apple had access to these supposed "technological wonders" from Nokia, then it can't be theft. It was a clean-room implementation of similar features.

Re:RAND (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31487406)

... which is still in violation of patent law, if it happens to work the same way.

Isn't licence pricing usually kept quiet? (4, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487202)

But Nokia wanted more from Apple for these patents than they did from anyone else.

Really? So, exactly how much did Nokia want from Apple?

And exactly how much did the other licensees pay?

 

Re:RAND (5, Interesting)

kylant (527449) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487208)

Have you ever considered that both sides of the story might be true?

Apple has a rather unusual model to sell its phone: From what we've heard Apple demands not only a one-time sales price from the operators (as most other mobile manufacturers do) but also a part of the monthly fee paid by iphone-customers. If Nokia licenses its patents for a percentage of the sales price (a common practice) they could also have asked for a percentage of the monthly fee (and justly so, if you ask me, as Apple just spreads out the sales price over a longer period of time). Apple on the other side might object to being the only GSM-manufacturer that has to pay a monthly fee.

Re:RAND (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487578)

Apple demands not only a one-time sales price from the operators (as most other mobile manufacturers do) but also a part of the monthly fee paid by iphone-customers.

while no one out side of Apple and the carriers know for sure, it has been assumed based on information from the minimal disclosures that Apple has made that Apple had this model when they launched the first iPhone, but then changed to a standard subsidy model with the launch of the 3G iPhone.

One point of confusion for analysts is that Apple uses subscription accounting for iPhone sales. So assuming they get about $360 for AT&T for each phone sold, they recognize that revenue over 24 months, or $15 a month. It's in here [apple.com] somewhere.

Re:RAND - *IF* you developed it... (5, Informative)

GuyFawkes (729054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487436)

RAND terms only applied IF you developed and contributed to the standard.

RAND terms SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDED everyone who came along afterwards and wanted to use / licence GSM.

Apple DID NOT help develop GSM.

Apple REFUSED to accept non-RAND GSM licencing terms.

These are the facts. These are ALL the facts.

Re:RAND - *IF* you developed it... (1)

Dtyst (790737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487594)

Yes, that is true. Apple is not part of RAND, so RAND term do not apply to them.

[citation needed] (1)

danaris (525051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487622)

That goes counter to how I've always understood the whole point if RAND to be. If you're correct, then no company that ever wanted to use a GSM chip, but was unable to have participated in the creation of the standard due to, oh, I don't know, not having existed at the time or some other equally lame reason would be effectively excluded from being able to make use of this standard in any practical way.

I suspect you're thinking of more normal cross-licensing agreements. Because that's what you've described. If not...extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.
Dan Aris

Re:[citation needed] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31487952)

Incorrect.

They can still use the technology. The only difference is that they cannot expect to pay under the RAND agreement.

Re:RAND - *IF* you developed it... (5, Informative)

diamondsw (685967) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487860)

RAND terms only applied IF you developed and contributed to the standard.

Um, wrong much?

From everyone's favorite source [wikipedia.org]:
"companies agree that if they receive any patents on technologies which become essential to the standard then they agree to allow other groups attempting to implement the standard to use those patents and they agree that the charges for those patents shall be reasonable"

There is absolutely nothing involved in being part of the standards body to receive RAND terms. If you're part of the standards body you have to extend RAND terms.

Re:RAND (1)

Dtyst (790737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487512)

How I heard the story: When Apple announced the iphone, Nokia started negotiations with Apple and asked them to pay the same patent fee as everyone else in cell phone business. Apple did not want to pay. One year after the release of IPhone Apple still didn't agree to pay. As Nokia noticed some of Apples UI multi-touch patents were quite good, Nokia said ok, give us right to use your patents instead. Apple said no. Nokia sued Apple as they have been using Nokia patented technologies for years and haven't paid Nokia a dime. Now Apple is trying to twist story that Nokia is just after their patents. That is a lie. Nokia offered Apple same as everyone else from the start.

Re:RAND (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487694)

My understanding is that the cross-licensing agreements protects both companies from a patent war. In this case, however, Apple didn't have a lot of cellphone technology to cross-license. So Nokia wanted their non-cellphone tech. Apple said no. It would be interesting what Nokia charged some cellphone makers that don't bring a lot of innovation. For example some of the Asian manufacturers that don't really invent new technology but figure out ways to make it cheaper. What did Nokia charge them?

Re:RAND (1)

chowdahhead (1618447) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487738)

Nokia offered to license the patents to Apple on a per-patent fee or one fee for the whole portfolio; the amounts of those fees have not been disclosed. Apple rejected this offer. I can't find any information about cross-licensing in the Delaware complaint. Without more information, we can't be certain if Nokia is being unreasonable or not, but Apple can't just refuse to license Nokia's IP because they don't like the terms.

Re:RAND (4, Insightful)

X.25 (255792) | more than 4 years ago | (#31488162)

Now, someone else may have more recent information that contradicts this, but...

My understanding was that Apple tried to license these patents from Nokia. They are part of the GSM specification, which no GSM phone can function without. Because they are part of the standard, they must be licensed under Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory terms.

But Nokia wanted more from Apple for these patents than they did from anyone else.

What, exactly? I don't know. Either the articles I've read didn't say, or I've since forgotten. I think it was cross-licensing with some of the specific patents on the iPhone, but as I say, I'm not sure.

Either way, if Nokia isn't licensing the original patents under RAND terms to Apple, then they should be burned to hell and back for this. They knew the price when they put patents of theirs into the GSM spec, and now they have to live with it.

So, let me see if I got this right:

You don't know WHAT Nokia wanted from Apple, but you KNOW that Nokia didn't license the original patents under RAND terms?

I am sorry - could you try to explain this to me again? You know that Nokia wouldn't give Apple the patents under RAND terms, but you don't know what Nokia was asking for?

I am at the point where I am annoyed more by Apple appologists than by biggest Microsoft fans.

And that is really really hard to achieve...

criteria for software and patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31486914)

If the invention isn't something that could one day be plausibly taught in computer science classes which are academically oriented (as opposed to training for a specific platform, language, application suite, etc.), at either the undergraduate or graduate level, then it shouldn't be patentable. A similar test could be devised for hardware patents.

It's that simple.

1984 ad (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31487078)

Remember when Apple resembled the androgynous athlete more than the creepy old Big Brother dude on the TV? I do...

Link to the full motion to dismiss (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31487228)

Digital Daily's posted Nokia's Motion to Dismiss in its entirety: http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20100315/nokia-appl-follo/

Alchemy? (3, Funny)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487260)

Legal Alchemy? iPad Magic?

Is this Cupertino we're talking about or Hogwarts?

Re:Alchemy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31487522)

Fool, everybody knows that Jobs' Reality Distortion Field is not only powered by magic, but also allows it as a matter of course.

The RDF is also powered by Black Turtlenecks, smug, and Unicorn Penis. That last one seems entirely unnecessary from the schematics I've seen, but Jobs INSISTS it's a really great, truly marvelous part, and is a part of the RDF 'experience'.

Obligatory Jefferson quote : (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487670)

jefferson as in thomas jefferson

It has been pretended by some that inventors have a natural and exclusive right to their inventions, and not merely for their own lives, but inheritable to their heirs. But while it is a moot question whether the origin of any kind of property is derived from nature at all, it would be singular to admit a natural and even an hereditary right to inventors. It is agreed by those who have seriously considered the subject, that no individual has, of natural right, a separate property in an acre of land, for instance. By an universal law, indeed, whatever, whether fixed or movable, belongs to all men equally and in common, is the property for the moment of him who occupies it, but when he relinquishes the occupation, the property goes with it. Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society. It would be curious then, if an idea, the fugitive fermentation of an individual brain, could, of natural right, be claimed in exclusive and stable property. If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property. Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from anybody. Accordingly, it is a fact, as far as I am informed, that England was, until we copied her, the only country on earth which ever, by a general law, gave a legal right to the exclusive use of an idea. In some other countries it is sometimes done, in a great case, and by a special and personal act, but, generally speaking, other nations have thought that these monopolies produce more embarrassment than advantage to society; and it may be observed that the nations which refuse monopolies of invention, are as fruitful as England in new and useful devices.

he basically says patents are bullshit.

Economic feasibility (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487720)

The lawyers are happy, and everyone is paying lots of money. At this rate, at some future point it will hopefully become unaffordable to litigate over software patents, and all companies who do so will go the way of SCO.

Same Story, Different Name (1)

Surasanji (938753) | more than 4 years ago | (#31487908)

Apple, Microsoft and every other company in the business seems to do this pretty often. Did Apple sue Microsoft on the Window's GUI way back when- something they both stole from Xerox?
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