Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Apple Sues HTC Again Over Patents

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the litigation-pie dept.

Cellphones 263

recoiledsnake writes "Apple is suing HTC again over patent infringement. Apple is adding two new patents to the 20 included in the earlier case while adding additional details to two patents included previously. Although Android is not mentioned in any of the court documents, many of the patent infringement complaints refer to the software rather than the hardware that HTC manufactures, leading to speculation that Google is the real target, especially considering that Android sales are surpassing the iPhone's. With HTC countersuing Apple, Microsoft siding with HTC over Android, and Apple trying to stop import of Nokia phones, it seems like Apple has set off a patent Armageddon in the mobile space."

cancel ×

263 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

*Grabs Popcorn* (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674526)

Oh man this will be a great show!

Google is unstoppable. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674530)

If we can pay for a first post on Slahsdot, we can pay to have your grandma assassinated.

Food for thought.

-- Page, Brin, and Schmidt.

Re:Google is unstoppable. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674668)

If we can pay Slashdot to have your first post fail, we can pay the USPTO to destroy you. And we will.

-- Steve.

P.S. No need for assassinations, those aren't allowed in the App Store.

Re:Google is unstoppable. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674670)

If we can pay for a first post on Slahsdot, we can pay to have your grandma assassinated.

Food for thought.

Looks like you wasted your money. My grandma already grabbed her popcorn, posted before you, and even managed to die before you could get her assassinated.

So all you're telling us is that you're slower than my grandma.

Food for thought.

Re:Google is unstoppable. (-1, Offtopic)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674674)

Link to your first post on this Slahsdot site you speak of?

in re Bilski (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674532)

Well, we can hope that when the Supreme Court hands down its in re Bilski decision, it renders software patents invalid...

Re:in re Bilski (3, Interesting)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674580)

Bilski is a computerised business method / mathematical algorithm patent. Invalidating that is a step in the right direction, but I don't think it will help HTC.

Re:in re Bilski (3, Interesting)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674638)

It depends on how the court rules. If indeed it does uphold the fact that math can't be patented and concludes that ultimately, all software is math, then all software patents go poof. This might not help for any hardware based patents (and I am sure there are a few in this case), but a lot of the ammo disappears.

Re:in re Bilski (0, Troll)

TheGeniusIsOut (1282110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674928)

If math cannot be patented, then digital logic, which is binary mathematics, cannot be patented, which makes hardware unpatentable as well. Of course, anyone so inclined, and with sufficient knowledge, can describe anything in mathematical terms, which by that logic would thus invalidate all patents. Certainly, since the one of the foundations of quantum theory is the many worlds hypothesis, which is mathematical in nature, states that all possibilities occur somewhere in the multiverse, all things are also prior art.

That doesn't make hardware unpatentable (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32675078)

That doesn't make hardware unpatentable, it only makes digital logic unpatentable. If you have a way of making a binary AND gate that isn't patented or prior art, you can patent the way you MADE that AND gate. What you CAN'T do is patent logical AND.

The genius was never in, it appears.

Re:That doesn't make hardware unpatentable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32675488)

http://df.magmawiki.com/index.php/DF2010:Computing

this could be done in real life, I think.

Re:in re Bilski (5, Insightful)

MarxMarvellous (1840976) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675234)

Certainly, since the one of the foundations of quantum theory is the many worlds hypothesis...

The many worlds hypothesis is NOT one of the foundations of quantum mechanics. It's an interpretation [wikipedia.org] of quantum mechanics - one of many. And that bit in your argument where you jump from the *concept* of digital logic being unpatentable to a specific *hardware* implemenation being unpatentable is really shakey too. How did this get modded +4 insightful?

It got modded to +4 Insightful (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32675360)

It got modded to +4 Insightful because it's defending

a) Apple
b) Software patents

There's a lot of astroturf and libertarian nuts in slashdot.

Re:in re Bilski (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675898)

Atoms are unpatentable. Everything is made of atoms. Therefore nothing is patentable.

Yeah, not sure how that works. My favorite hated patent was the rotating tray in a microwave oven. That patent made microwave ovens unaffordable until that patent ran out and it was such an obvious invention. But how is this math or digital logic? It's not. It's just a mechanical implementation of getting the radiation spread out more evenly. Just because something CAN be described in mathematical terms doesn't mean that it, in and of itself, is a mathematical thing.

If one were so inclined, I am fairly sure that someone could come up with a way to express everything in music (which some would argue is still math) but does that make everyone musical? I know that many words and meanings can be expressed in English, but does it mean everything is English? Maybe I have attempted this too many times. But you see where the failure of logic is don't you?

And the difference here is that software IS math. It's not that it can be expressed in mathematical terms. It's that it IS math. It's instructions and flows. It would be like patenting walking. It's just how things are done within the hardware mechanism.

I hope they win (5, Interesting)

YA_Python_dev (885173) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674562)

I hope every single fucking patent lawsuit for smartphones in the US succeeds. So HTC, Nokia, Apple, Motorola, all the Android phones and pretty much everyone will be prohibited from selling smartphones in the US.

Maybe it would be the time that you fix your stupid patent laws that allows software to be patented (most of the patents involved in this shit, especially to most wide-reaching ones and more difficult to avoid, are software patents).

Re:I hope they win (3, Informative)

Zorkon (121860) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674612)

Yeah, I gotta agree with this. Of course they're all suing each other - the only people to make money from this are their lawyers and why *wouldn't* they take advantage of the patent system?

Also: Apple didn't "set off a patent Armageddon in the mobile space", as the original poster suggests. Nokia started it in October 2009 - prior to that, Apple was a sleeping patent-giant.

http://www.engadget.com/2009/10/22/nokia-sues-apple-says-iphone-infringes-ten-patents/

Re:I hope they win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674624)

So, Nokia sues Apple, who kicks the dog (htc)?

Re:I hope they win (2, Interesting)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674720)

Though what supposedly "set off a patent Armageddon in the mobile space" isn't about software / concept patents. And generally seems a bit like something done on behalf of most companies behind cellular technology - it's just that Nokia has not only one of the larger contributions, but also probably the least to loose by any turmoil in the US market.

Re:I hope they win (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32675964)

The word is "lose", loose means something totally different, I may not be the best speller in the world but can people try real hard to get this simple world spelled correctly?

Re:I hope they win (0, Redundant)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674750)

Look at what you've gone and done - ruined a whole bunch of posts about how n900 owners are lilly white and don't make compromises to evil corporations.

I hope you're happy.

Re:I hope they win (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674770)

"Nokia started it in October 2009 - prior to that, Apple was a sleeping patent-giant."

At least Nokia's patents were proper *hardware* patents related to GSM technologies *they developed* (and everyone in the industry licenses them). Nokia really did *invent* that stuff (first on market with those, ever). So hardly the same as Apple suing ppl around with lame software patents.

Re:I hope they win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32675636)

Thanks for making that point. Also I'm amazed you have yet to be flamed by Apple zealots.

the fault lies with (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32675920)

all the stupid faggots who have ever given a fucking cent to apple. Look, we heterosexuals took homosexual sodomy off the law books so you homos could lick each others penises, so the least you faggots could do would be to quit sending apple your queer ass money.

Re:I hope they win (4, Informative)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674936)

Nokia did start the battle, but contrary to what Apple did they originally only asked the court to set the price for their patents(read the damn complaint, but this is ./ ...). Apple, however, went for the throat with plain patent violation lawsuit.

Re:I hope they win (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674626)

It's happened before, Qualcomm had a huge patent fight with Broadcomm, which actually did result in an injunction. Qualcomm managed to find a way to work around the patent technologically, thus allowing phones to come into the US still (in case you are unaware, most phones on Sprint and Verizon networks have Qualcomm parts inside). The workaround happened really quickly.

I am not about to investigate all the patents in question, but if they are of the calibre of typical software patents, it won't be hard to work around them. Just annoying.

Re:I hope they win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674830)

I keep reading that you guys want Software Patents to be revised, but what changes do you propose?
This isn't me saying this to be a smart-ass, but rather to invoke a discussion. What are your views, ideas and suggestions on how this could be achieved?

Thinking out loud, I think for me the restraints I would be happy with would be to allow all software patents through so long as:
  - No prior "developed" art exists,
  - At the time of application, you have an idea concept constructed with proof of ability to construct (to restrict patents from being filed before the required technology is available)
  - A working prototype satisfying all patented conditions is to be created and shown to the patent board within a reasonable time frame (six to twenty-four months?)

Agree? Disagree?

Re:I hope they win (5, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675136)

Do you know what a patent is?

It is a legal tool designed to reduce competition in some area of business, in exchange for documenting that specific knowledge so that future generations can reuse it.

So two questions. One, do we need such documentation for software, in the form of patents? One might argue that patents do document, for example, steam engines from the 19th century. Are patents conceivably a proper form of documentation for software knowledge?

Second question, is the stopping of competition worth this documentation? For example, patents on the GSM stack are why we pay so much for mobile data and calls. Patents allow a cartel (ITSUG) that controls prices, legally. The only justification for ITSUG's existence is that future generations will receive a neat stack of over 500 patent families documenting how to build GSM networks and phones. Is this better than, for example, the unpatented RFC stack which allows the Internet to function, without cartels, and at a cost that is as much as 1M times less?

If you can answer YES to both these questions, go ahead with ways to improve software patent quality. If either answer is NO, abolish all legal monopolies on trade in software knowledge.

There is no grey area here.

Re:I hope they win (5, Funny)

digitig (1056110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675248)

There is no grey area here.

Only becasue somebody has probably patented "A means of generating shading with an absence of color by setting the R, G and B elements of the shading to identical values between 0 and 0xFF, not including the boundary values themselves which are covered by separate patents".

Re:I hope they win (3, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675250)

patents on the GSM stack are why we pay so much for mobile data and calls

You...seriously...believe that?...

Re:I hope they win (4, Interesting)

pieterh (196118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675494)

Yes, it's pretty clear from (failed) anti-trust proceedings in the EU against the telecoms operators that patents are the underlying long term reason for high costs that even regulators cannot correct. Patent licensing makes legal a cartel that would be criminal in any other case. There are no technical reasons for high mobile voice/data costs. Landline costs are low. Internet costs are low. GSM infrastructure is now 10+ years old in Europe.

The cost of spectrum might be responsible for short term high costs but those licenses are long paid off.

ITSUG controls [newswireless.net] who can and cannot do business with GSM in Europe and USA. Competition is excluded, prices are defined between members, and anti-trust authorities are powerless to intervene because it's all legal, thanks to patent licensing.

It does not even matter what the patents actually say. They simply enable the cartel, that's their key role here.

Re:I hope they win (4, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675616)

I don't really share you observations. Perhaps you really want to look at a very small part of the issue (omitting how the 10+ year old infrastructure is in constant upgrade; or how exorbitant 3G licenses often were)...or apparently you don't realise how cheap mobile services have become here, in the EU, in some places (what, they have "patent moratorium"? Riiight...)

Yes, the cartel might be the problem. But if patents were behind it, no carrier would be able to get away and start a pricewar. Which does happen.

Re:I hope they win (2, Interesting)

pieterh (196118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675834)

Carriers do break away and start price wars, but it happens locally, in smaller countries. Clearly 3G licenses are not the factor since those break away carriers also paid expensive licenses.

Presumably the cartel agreements allow this kind of local flexibility, to satisfy national anti-trust issues. The French carriers were investigated for collusion and price fixing around 2000, iirc.

Do you have an alternative explanation as to why even the EU's anti-trust authorities have been unable to cut roaming costs, even though these are clearly harming inter-EU trade, and have no technical basis?

When a group of companies that effectively control a market maintain consistently high prices, this is illegal. It should have been broken up over 10 years ago.

Why do high roaming data and voice costs still exist? What actually stops the regulators from fixing this? You've not provided an explanation.

Re:I hope they win (2, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675888)

In larger countries too, I live in one such. Accidentally, a place where 3G licenses weren't insane... (and the carrier most rocking the boat was established long after the insanity with those 3G licenses)

There are at the least carriers giving the same rates while calling abroad, within the EU; I believe that also extends to roaming in some cases. Voice can be cheap, too.

And generally...whoa, you are supposed to present an evidence that any possible cartels are via patents; for starters.
Me - I'm only showing that pointing fingers at existence of any cartel at all is probably unfounded. Common interests at most, but without real colluding. And with cheap alternatives available. Which doesn't stop people from using, en masse, much more expensive carriers. Hell, differences in price of data transfers can be more than order of magnitude apart...and yet the more expensive offer is still widely used by people.
Why? I have no idea. But choice is there.

Re:I hope they win (1)

nukem996 (624036) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674860)

Thats been happening for years. The courts view all patents legal but both parties know they are using another companies patents so they cross patent. That way both of them can keep going on like normal. The real downside to that is if your trying to start a new smart phone company and have little if any patents the big boys use your screwed. The current system keeps lawyers rich and startups impossible.

Re:I hope they win (1)

noTimeAtAll (1212430) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675310)

Duh, patents should become extinct to avoid future monopolies. Let's encourage progress! ^_^

Not necessiarly (4, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675846)

The federal government doesn't have to wise up and fix the patent problem overall, they can just take away the patents in question. Since patents are a power specifically granted to the government, it also means they are theirs to do with as they wish. The government can revoke patents for various reasons.

Well, if smart phones were going to get banned, that would have national security implications. The government relies heavily on mobile phones for communications. National security is a reason they are allowed to revoke patents for.

This sort of thing was threatened in the RIM lawsuit, and is one of the reasons it settled. The federal government told the court that if an injunction was issued against RIM stopping their operations, it could have national security implications. They asked the court not to grant it, and it was strongly implied if it was they might just take the patent away. The court then strongly suggested to the parties that they might want to settle this shit.

Not saying that's what would happen, just saying it is a possibility. The government could basically say "Ok all the patents in question are gone now, anyone can use the tech. Problem solved, let's all go get drunk," and ignore the underlying problem with the system.

Appholes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674570)

Appholes.

lawl (1, Insightful)

Zixaphir (845917) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674592)

I love how competition works in a system that seems designed to make it fail.

Apple is flailing. (1, Interesting)

kuzb (724081) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674614)

It sees that in the long run, google's ecosystem is just better, so it's trying as hard as it can to stop it from succeeding before it gets too big.

I sincerely hope android destroys the iphone.

Re:Apple is flailing. (4, Informative)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674666)

I sincerely hope android destroys the iphone.

Looks like Cupertino might have given [gizmodo.com] them a hand [gizmodo.com] on that...not enough data yet to pull out the failboat, but it doesn't look promising...

As an aside, I will admit that the source above might not be the most objective; but I likely wouldn't link it if it were one person, one device, on each item so far...time will tell if we see other sites getting the same reports and all.

Re:Apple is flailing. (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674738)

So, when that source will nickname it iPhone Death [wikipedia.org] ? ;p

Re:Apple is flailing. (2, Funny)

notknown86 (1190215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675462)

'Tis simply the nature of magical devices, traveller. One must not lay hands on the precious without firm grounding in the mystic depths of the reality distortion field.

Re:Apple is flailing. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674718)

I don't. Not because I'm an Apple fanboy. I'm not. But because Google needs competition from something like Apple. Why? Apple make phones that are popular, and they're not popular because they have the best phone, but because they have the best marketing. Thus Google needs to have a significantly better OS to compete with that. And I think that ultimately benefits everyone in the mobile space.

Misinformation about Android sales beating Apple (3, Informative)

jmcbain (1233044) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674870)

The original posting cites a May report from NPD [engadget.com] that says that Android beat iPhone sales in Q1 of this year. However, that was now found to be erroneous: that survey was only for the consumer market [theregister.co.uk] . When business/enterprise sales were counted and reported in June by Nielsen, then iPhone beat Android by 3-to-1 [engadget.com] and is closing in on RIM. Furthermore, most likely the only reason Android beat out iPhone in Q1 for consumers was because people were already anticipating the newest iPhone 4 released today. Apple sold 600K iPhone 4 during pre-orders [crunchgear.com] , which as 10x the sales for the iPhone 3GS.

Re:Misinformation about Android sales beating Appl (3, Interesting)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675222)

Yesterday at the Droid X launch, the quote was of 160.000 Android phones being sold per day [engadget.com] . I assume that this number is global. So at any 4 working days Android (sales world wide) matches the iphone 4 (US) launch. How well do you think the sales between these two fare on a normal week world wide? Truth is, we both don't know.

I think that at the high-end price point, the iphone seems to sell a lot more. But the trick is that, world wide, not that many people have the disposable money. Android OTOH is present both at the high-end and at the mid-range.

Re:Misinformation about Android sales beating Appl (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675298)

Android OTOH is present both at the high-end and at the mid-range.

That's...probably going a bit too far. "Present both at the highest-end and at the high-end (entry-high-end?)" more accurately describes the situation. Especially since you're talking about the world.

Re:Misinformation about Android sales beating Appl (3, Informative)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675688)

In Thailand you can buy an android based WelCom A88 [thaimobilecenter.com] for around $277. That's about a months salary for someone making a really shitty salary here.

There is definitely a huge amount of variation in android devices from around the world and I bet you've only heard about the ones in the US.

Re:Misinformation about Android sales beating Appl (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675730)

Me hearing only about the ones in the US would be a bit weird considering I haven't really ever ventured even on the general Western hemisphere part of the planet...

That phone you link to is still at least two times more expensive than what can be comfortably called mid-range. Not far from an order of magnitude more expensive than low-end. And you know it.

Re:Misinformation about Android sales beating Appl (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32675326)

And the $99 iPhone doesn't exist? Last time I checked, it does.

Re:Apple is flailing. (3, Interesting)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674948)

I am an Android fanboy and develop for it. But I sincerely hope that iPhone doesn't die, but rather becomes more open so that everyone can win....

Re:Apple is flailing. (-1, Redundant)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675566)

WTF? Why is this flamebait? Seems pretty sane. I hope neither Android nor the iPhone die, but I'd love to see a mobile market where no single company has more than about 20% of the market share.

Re:Apple is flailing. (4, Insightful)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675088)

Why? So Google has less incentive to innovate? Competition is good. A healthy market is one where multiple systems compete against each other, constantly being forced to improve in order to gain an edge. A market where Google stands alone is neither competitive nor healthy. Of course there's still Microsoft (well, not if they continue down the path they are on), Nokia (small presence in the USA) and RIM (not very attractive for non-business customers) but as far as brand recognition goes it's currently iOS vs. Android.

Re:Apple is flailing. (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675180)

I sincerely hope android destroys the iphone.

I sincerely hope they both remain viable, popular platforms and thus provide competition for one another.

TT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674618)

I wonder at what point the courts will be completely fed up with these ego-companies serially accusing each other of infringements on what are no doubt petty patents.

Re:TT (2, Informative)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674698)

I'd venture to say there's enough left in the courts as far as going by the letter of the law that it will continue for quite some time, through various suits, appeals, and whatnot. The folks on the bench are there, ideally, to uphold the law, and unless the law has an obvious conflict with the Constitution--which, as far as I can recall, mentions naught about IP--it'd take Congressional action or SCOTUS making a decision on it.

Flawed though they may be, IP laws in the US are apparently the controlling factor in how these cases come about. Until these laws are changed or struck down, the enormous lawsuits will continue.

Re:TT (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32675368)

SCOTUS is looking into it (google "in re Bilski"), but no information is yet coming out: http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20100617102220583 [groklaw.net] .

captcha: vulture :-)

Apple getting told again (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674650)

Yellow screens, "difficulty" making white phones, can't even add a wallpaper to a "3G" phone, flash 10.1 released for all other phones. All this and they are screaming "patents" like SCO did for "copyrights" on Linux.

Looks like you applefags sure got told again [suregottold.com]

Re:Apple getting told again (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675412)

Ipad is the new Lisa,

The patent lawsuit is the new "look and feel" lawsuit.

Those who dont learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Apple has the same hubris that bought it down the first time, now MS has no impetus to save them this time given the fact that they are now a convicted monopoly and have no chance of losing that status.

Shackled Market Economics (5, Interesting)

freddled (544384) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674656)

I fondly remember the days when products lived and died on their fitness for purpose, not in the courts. So much for free market economics. What shall we call this? SHAckled Market Economics

Re:Shackled Market Economics (3, Insightful)

randomsearch (1207102) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675048)

"I fondly remember the days when products lived and died on their fitness for purpose, not in the courts. So much for free market economics. What shall we call this? SHAckled Market Economics"

You do? When was that? Some time prior to capitalism?

Re:Shackled Market Economics (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675958)

I was about to say, go research Tesla's life, and that alone is filled with patent issues, from Edison, to Marconi to Westinghouse getting hosed, then hosing Tesla. (although they were friends) Patents were how they made money.

The problem now is most software patents are obsolete before they expire, which completely denies the payoff that the public is supposed to get by allowing a limited time monopoly on the invention. It used to be that inventions belonged to the public, but the inventor was allowed a limited time to have the monopoly, but now it is treated as if the public has NO interest and it is "owned" by the inventor, forever.

Re:Shackled Market Economics (2, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675224)

I don't think you need that E for the acronym to work.

It should be noted... (1)

mldi (1598123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674728)

It should be noted that Microsoft is only siding with HTC because of their own game of patent roulette... to which HTC caved. So now every HTC purchase brings more profit to Microsoft. They don't wanna share the pie.

Re:It should be noted... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674758)

Not because HTC is an important partner of MS in bringing (for better or forse...) WinMob phones to the market?

Re:It should be noted... (1)

mldi (1598123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674976)

Not because HTC is an important partner of MS in bringing (for better or forse...) WinMob phones to the market?

Are Windows phones included in the list of "guilty" devices? Or will they include features listed in the supposed infringements?

I never understood (1)

iPhr0stByt3 (1278060) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674734)

I never understood how companies can get patents for "natural" progression in technology. I bet 99 out of a 100 technology "patents" are based on previous works and given the same situation I would have thought of the same idea in about.. mmm... 5 seconds. Patents should only be awarded for truly excellent and NEW ideas. ...as determined by me, of course...

Re:I never understood (1)

Torvac (691504) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674756)

you dont make money with common sense

Re:I never understood (3, Funny)

Kvasio (127200) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674858)

Yes, but you've got to buy license.

Patent #3928742023483: business method in which you make money without common sense
Patent #3928742023491: business method in which you make money without common sense with computers

Re:I never understood (2, Funny)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674968)

Don't forget:

Patent #3928742023561: business method in which you make money without common sense with computers on the internet

Re:I never understood (1)

Torvac (691504) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675460)

Patent #3928742023562: business method in which you make money without common sense with smartphones on the internet

YAWN (5, Insightful)

paimin (656338) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674784)

The iPhone vs. Android flamebait stories are getting real fucking boring, guys.

Re:YAWN (3, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675244)

So spice them up a bit!

"Apple iPhone used to bludgeon pensioner, HTC handset used as shield by rescuer!"
"iPhone used as canoe by 14 year old stranded after typhoon!"
"Beowulf Cluster of HTC phones used to cure cancer!"

See? It's like working for a News Corp company!

Re:YAWN (4, Funny)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675622)

"iPhone used as canoe by 14 year old stranded after typhoon!"

Yes, but apple didn't honor the warranty, since the hunidity indicators on the outside of the phone went red.

There's two issues here (5, Insightful)

Whuffo (1043790) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674798)

One issue is the corporate use of questionably valid patents to attack their competitors. This does nothing to advance science or technology and is a clear abuse of the patent system. I'm not talking about legitimate patents covering real inventions - I'm talking about all of those patents that cover pre-existing technology or obvious ideas. There's far too many of those and they're taking a toll on our economy.

The other issue is the free riders - those corporations that choose to copy other's inventions and profit from someone else's ideas. This is what the patent system was intended to address and it's not doing very well at that either.

Rather than point fingers and toss accusations, I'd like to offer this thought to my fellow Slashdot readers: think back to what cell phones were like before the iPhone came out - and what they're like now. Say what you will about Apple but they did cause a revolution in cell phone design. They provided the "inspiration" for all of the touch-screen Iphone wanna-be phones that are now being produced by numerous companies - including HTC. Who will win in this latest exchange of legal briefs? One thing is for sure: it won't be the consumer.

One thing you can depend on is that patent suits take time and money - huge amounts of money for both the winner and the loser. And these expenses will be passed on to you in the cost of your new cell phone and the price of the cell service - the corporations aren't in business to do anyone a favor and they'll always make a profit no matter how much it costs you.

Situations like this one clearly show that the US patent system is badly broken - it's not promoting science and the arts and it's not protecting those who invent useful technology. It's become nothing but a weapon that corporations use to beat up on their competitors legally. This needs to change, and change soon.

Re:There's two issues here (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674878)

In a truly free market, why shouldn't you be allowed to "copy other's inventions and profit from someone else's ideas.". Think it through.

That's what grates me, these people harp on about how they're love a free market, yet everything they DO says otherwise.

It's an odd sort of freedom where a clearly winning strategy is to be aritificially restricted.

Re:There's two issues here (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675722)

In a truly free market, why shouldn't you be allowed to "copy other's inventions and profit from someone else's ideas.". Think it through.

There is no "truly free market". In the presence of any regulation, the market is not "truly free", and in the absence of it there is no market, since people can simply take what they want by force.

"Free market" is an abstract economic concept which some people have elevated to the status of divinity - or would that honor go to the "Invisible Hand"?

That's what grates me, these people harp on about how they're love a free market, yet everything they DO says otherwise.

Most people who preach about free market are actually trying to weasel their way out of having any responsibility towards their fellow man or the society in general, but are either too cunning to reveal that to others or too spineless to admit it to themselves.

It's an odd sort of freedom where a clearly winning strategy is to be aritificially restricted.

Only if it's a winning strategy for someone else against me. If I have patents/copyrights/whatever, the system is good and just, if I'm trying to manufacture something, and patents get in the way, they're eviiiiil. It's all about me.

That, arguably, is the biggest problem facing us nowadays: our society rewards egomaniacs and in fact glorifies them, while any talk of cooperation is socialism and therefore evil.

Re:There's two issues here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32675790)

Hahaha. You're trolling, right?

YOU think it through. R&D wouldn't last and things would stagnate without some sort of protection. R&D costs millions and even billions of dollars. What incentive does a company have to put that kind of investment into something, if they think they can just rip it off of someone else for free?

Re:There's two issues here (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674966)

I don't believe that inspiration is patentable, or even copyrightable... Yes, they did cause a revolution in phone design, but they did not invent a lot with the iPhone(if they invented anything at all). Bringing existing technologies to the market is also not patentable.

Re:There's two issues here (-1, Flamebait)

Whuffo (1043790) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675152)

Inspiration - well, let's say design - is the heart of engineering and invention. All technological devices are built upon "current technology" and what an invention consists of is simply using existing technologies in a novel and useful manner. So if someone puts robotics technology and chickens together and creates a robotic chicken plucker then that's a patentable invention (as long as there are no pre-existing descriptions of this invention and some other legal mumble).

This is actually a good description of a patentable invention because there's a tangible machine that performs only this specific task: pluck chickens. Software and business method patents are pretty stupid (in my opinion) and that's not what I'm talking about here. Building a better mousetrap means that there are already mousetraps and also that you're going to have to work with the materials and technologies that are available to you. The invention would be a new and novel machine that traps mice and it would be patentable.

Remember that there's a difference between creation and invention - you could invent a new kind of recliner that makes nerds happy and even though it was built out of off-the-shelf materials and recliners had been built before - if it's unique then it's patentable - it's a legitimate invention.

The patent system is badly broken but it's also widely misunderstood. Saying that Apple didn't invent anything when they created the Iphone is like saying that Thomas Edison didn't invent anything when he produced the electric light. Glass wasn't new and neither was carbon or the other materials his bulbs were made from. It was the unique combination of those existing technologies that made the electric light an invention. In the world of cell phones - what Apple created and called the Iphone is very much an invention. You can argue the pedigree of the technologies used all you want but it's the unique combination of those technologies that make the Iphone a true invention.

Saying that inspiration isn't patentable or copyrightable misses the mark by a wide margin. Take these words I'm writing right now - I'm "making it up" as I go along and these words are copyrighted by law - the moment I "fix" them (hit submit) then the copyright comes into existence. By posting here, I'm giving Slashdot an implicit license to reproduce these words as they wish.

There's something about copyrights, trademarks, and patents that so many seem to be unclear on: it really doesn't matter if you agree with the laws or not, they still apply to you with the full support of the law. If you disagree, then work to make positive changes in the system. Posting messages on internet sites doesn't help at all; making a change means actually doing something. Until that day, try to understand the system as it is so you don't make unfortunate mistakes that could land you in court.

Re:There's two issues here (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675780)

Saying that Apple didn't invent anything when they created the Iphone is like saying that Thomas Edison didn't invent anything when he produced the electric light. Glass wasn't new and neither was carbon or the other materials his bulbs were made from. It was the unique combination of those existing technologies that made the electric light an invention. In the world of cell phones - what Apple created and called the Iphone is very much an invention.

IPhone is an invention in the same way that a lightbulb with a smiley face painted on the bulb would be. Or perhaps we should compare it to the infamous patent on swinging sideways? Or those innumerable "X... in the Internet!" -"inventions" that plagued dot-boom?

No, iPhone is not an invention. It has no features that some existing device didn't already have, or which wouldn't be obvious extensions of some existing features. Given a list of iPhone's features, any engineer could put it together. It's just a smartphone with Apple logo on it.

Re:There's two issues here (3, Interesting)

Vapula (14703) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674986)

Palm smartphones did exist BEFORE the iPhone...

iPhone, Android phones, ... are *NOT* Phones, they are "Smartphones" which are a mix between PDA and phone... And that did exists before... Palm had several of them which already had big touch screen

Keep in mind that most progress are improvements over something that already exists... And Apple marketting make you think they "invented" the technology...

Blueberry/Palm --- iPhone
Creative/Sony/... --- iPod
Xerox --- Macintosh GUI
Arm --- A4 processor (it's nothing more than common blocks put together, nothing new)
And so on... But with a good marketting, they make people believe they invented the wheel !!!

What they did create is the market for smartphones, not the smartphones... Before, smartphones were limited to a few CEO... Now everyone wants a smartphone (even if he has no need for it) And there are no patents protection for "creating a new market", only for creating a new product.

In this case, Apple IS the freerunner... Nokia holds most of the mobile phone patents (the technologies needed to connect to mobile networks). Apple made the iPhone without paying royalties to Nokia...

Re:There's two issues here (1)

asnelt (1837090) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675016)

Say what you will about Apple but they did cause a revolution in cell phone design.

An iPhone like design was inevitable. You need a big screen to display nice visuals and video. Controlling by touch is a natural extension for a device that is "all screen". Apple just put enough money into it to be ahead of its competitors in 2007.

Re:There's two issues here (4, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675086)

Yeah, "inevitable" in 2007...

Not a surprise really, since it was there in 2004: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_7710 [wikipedia.org]
(a bit sooner really via UIQ devices; and many others, really)

Oh wait, or was it 1993? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Simon [wikipedia.org]

Re:There's two issues here (1)

weicco (645927) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675138)

I bought SonyEricsson P800 [wikipedia.org] back in 2002. I loved the phone and its touchscreen. It was precise enough so that I could use it with my fingernails, even when drunk as a skunk.

Re:There's two issues here (1)

asnelt (1837090) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675676)

Totally agreed, Apple didn't invent the touch screen smart phone. As I understood it the parent referred to the form factor and capacitive touch for which you don't need a pen.

Re:There's two issues here (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675788)

I see, so you think one needs a pen for resistive touchscreen device... (and it's now also about the style of the casing? Well, not only other manufacturers don't necessarily follow it - Apple doesn't innovate much [gizmodo.com] )

Re:There's two issues here (1)

Psaakyrn (838406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675046)

I thought it's the implementation that patentable, and not the idea itself, or am I mistaken?

Re:There's two issues here (1)

Whuffo (1043790) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675174)

Nope, you're not mistaken. The idea drives the implementation but patents (should, used to) only deal with actual physical things. Ideas aren't protected because there's no way to determine what's in your head.

Re:There's two issues here (2, Informative)

James_Duncan8181 (588316) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675206)

You are; the whole concept of a patent is to prevent reimplementation of an idea for a limited period in return for documentation of that idea.

Re:There's two issues here (1, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675208)

...think back to what cell phones were like before the iPhone came out...

Hm, yeah; I can think of Ericsson R380 [gsmarena.com] , from 2000 (not a "true" touchscreen smartphone since one can't install apps; but by that measure iPhone wasn't one either, in 2007). Or similar one [wikipedia.org] from...1993. But if necessarily "true" touchscreen smartphone - SE P800 [gsmarena.com] does fine. Did in 2002, actually. Five years of difference (sort of six, if looking at apps)

Oh, I get it, you're talking about waiting until absolutelly every piece of "tech surroundings" is firmly in place for some time? Plus nice marketing in a visible, to you, market?

Re:There's two issues here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32675444)

What apple did that was unique, was that it was an American company that for the first time produced a decent phone, being American and also a favorite among journalists, is a very good starting point of re-writing history in your favor.

Re:There's two issues here (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675510)

"Rather than point fingers and toss accusations, I'd like to offer this thought to my fellow Slashdot readers: think back to what cell phones were like before the iPhone came out - and what they're like now."

There were prototypes of touch-driven phones back in 2002. I saw one at CeBIT in 2003, it even looked like iPhone and if I'm not mistaken it was finger-driven. Unfortunately, it was waaaaaaay outside of my salary at that time.

Then there was Palm Treo, they had grafitty-driven Phone-PDAs back in 2003.

So it's not like iPhone is an absolutely novel invention, it certainly used ideas from earlier products. They just found a combination of ideas that works really well.

Re:There's two issues here (2, Interesting)

LKM (227954) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675908)

The other issue is the free riders - those corporations that choose to copy other's inventions and profit from someone else's ideas. This is what the patent system was intended to address

Wait, is there general agreement that his "issue" should be adressed? Because I disagree. Profiting from someone else's idea is not a problem for society, it's how society progresses. Every book written in the history of mankind has profited from the idea of other people. Every movie made in the history of mankind has done so. Every product ever developed has relied on ideas from other people. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this; it's called "progress."

Re:There's two issues here (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675994)

There's a problem when free riders want their ideas to be protected, of course...

Android sales greater than iPhone sales? (1)

keeperofdakeys (1596273) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674884)

Did I miss something? I mean, I really haven't read anything about android sales surpassing iPhone sales. Don't get me wrong, it would be cool and everything, but I just don't see it happening.

Re:Android sales greater than iPhone sales? (4, Interesting)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674946)

First quarter 2010, there were more Android phones sold than iPhones. Also I was reading various articles on this, and a site (I wish I'd bookmarked it now - maybe someone reading knows which one it is) showed graphs for mobile browser usage - over a one year time span, May 2009 to May 2010, iPhone browser usage dropped 8% and Android browser usage increased 12%.

I had an iPhone 3GS from the day they went on sale until two weeks ago when I bought an Evo. I loved the iPhone at first, until all of it's shortcomings (virtually none of which have been fixed in the new version) became too obvious to stand. Android is a much better platform and you get a large selection of different handsets to choose from. Out of all the people I know, it's about 50/50 for iPhone vs Android ownership. However, I currently know no one looking to buy a new iPhone - but I know several people looking to buy a new Android phone and several who want to switch from an iPhone to an Android phone (but that's just my personal experience).

Re:Android sales greater than iPhone sales? (2, Informative)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674962)

Did I miss something? I mean, I really haven't read anything about android sales surpassing iPhone sales. Don't get me wrong, it would be cool and everything, but I just don't see it happening.

Kind of. Here's [slashdot.org] the article, but now that the iPhone4 is out its unclear whether this was a blip or a sign of things to come.

Android sales are surpassing the iPhone's. (-1, Troll)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675662)

Android sales are surpassing the iPhone's.

In your dreams.

Re:Android sales are surpassing the iPhone's. (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675878)

No. First quarter this year, more Android loaded phones were sold than iPhones.

How much is spent on litigating this? (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 4 years ago | (#32675988)

I have to wonder what percentage of your cell phone bill goes to pay the cost of stupid litigation like this...

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?