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Motorola Sues Apple

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the sue-sue-sudio dept.

Iphone 176

rexjoec writes "Just a week after Motorola Inc. (MOT) itself became the target of legal action by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), it sued Apple Inc. (AAPL) for the alleged infringement of 18 of its patents. Motorola subsidiary, Motorola Mobility Inc. also filed patent suits against Apple in federal court in Illinois and Florida."

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Just great!! (5, Insightful)

udoschuermann (158146) | about 4 years ago | (#33859906)

This is great! If this madness continues, companies will spend 90% of their revenue filing or defending dozens of lawsuits, get nothing done anymore, and will clamor at the doors of congress to save them from the patent madness they once thought to be such a great idea.

Or maybe we're all doomed.

Re:Just great!! (5, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 4 years ago | (#33859976)

In the end we'll all pay more for phones because these companies can't learn to get along. Who knows, they may each have patents for the same things issued by the infallible USPTO.

Re:Just great!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33860530)

let me fix this

"In the end we'll all pay more for phones because patents are totally broken and companies need to make the lost revenue up somewhere"

Re:Just great!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33861006)

> by the infallible USPTO.

Pfft. It's spelt unfailable, y'know, cos they can't fail.

Re:Just great!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33861012)

In the end we'll all pay more for phones because these companies can't learn to get along. Who knows, they may each have patents for the same things issued by the infallible USPTO.

Tss, if anything really happened except the lawyers getting paid wouldn't phones like the iPhone cost more but the phones from say Motorola and Nokia cost less thanks to the fees from Apple!?
(No way that will really happen but anyway...)

Re:Just great!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33861684)

Tss, if anything really happened except the lawyers getting paid wouldn't phones like the iPhone cost more but the phones from say Motorola and Nokia cost less thanks to the fees from Apple!?
(No way that will really happen but anyway...)

No, the way it works is like this:

Apple infringes Motorola's patents, so Apple has to pay Motorola five hundred million dollars and Apple and Motorola have to each pay their lawyers a hundred million dollars.

Then Motorola infringes Apple's patents, so Motorola has to pay Apple five hundred million dollars and Apple and Motorola have to each pay their lawyers a hundred million dollars.

Which, at the end of the day, means that Apple and Motorola don't actually pay each other anything, but their lawyers take $400,000,000 out of your pocket.

Business as usual... (5, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 4 years ago | (#33859990)

I think we're seeing something different here. Company A gets sued by Company B, because B wants a revenue stream from a stupid patent (especially since it's rather obvious that B is struggling in the mobile market pretty badly). Company A, also struggling, doesn't want to have to pay for the eventual licensing out of its own funds, so it sues Company C to get a revenue stream that it will in turn use to pay B with (and maybe get a bit of extra besides). Eventually everyone is suing everyone else to, well, pay everyone else.

It all looks good on paper, though, and it'll confuse the hell out of shareholders enough to make them look profitable.

Re:Business as usual... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33860240)

Shareholders generally react negatively when a company is the target of multiple lawsuits. They generally have a "meh" reaction to a company filing multiple suits against others.

Re:Business as usual... (1)

McNihil (612243) | about 4 years ago | (#33860424)

or more concisely in the long run: "Passing the buck" with a helping heaping of "what goes around comes around."

Re:Business as usual... (1)

v1 (525388) | about 4 years ago | (#33860584)

It all looks good on paper, though, and it'll confuse the hell out of shareholders enough to make them look profitable.

Well at least somebody wins... (the lawyers)

Re:Business as usual... (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 4 years ago | (#33861040)

Well at least somebody wins... (the lawyers)

Banks and lawyers. Two totally unnecessary services getting the most money from everything for nothing?! Great! :D

Re:Just great!! (3, Interesting)

gtirloni (1531285) | about 4 years ago | (#33860034)

When things are just bad enough, nothing changes. I'm also in favour of complete madness. Perhaps when we hit the bottom, these companies will be the ones advocating against software patents or at least to reform the current system.

Re:Just great!! (2, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | about 4 years ago | (#33860282)

You think by then that the people with all of the money (ie the lawyers) are going to let these poor companies change the laws that made them all the money in the first place?

Re:Just great!! (1)

gtirloni (1531285) | about 4 years ago | (#33860974)

Or the people being exploited will resort to more radical action.

Re:Just great!! (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | about 4 years ago | (#33861762)

Yes. Between all of the big players there's more than enough money to buy off enough politicians to push through such a law. Just give them an election period.

Re:Just great!! (3, Insightful)

Bucc5062 (856482) | about 4 years ago | (#33860386)

You assume there will be intelligent or semi-intelligent people in position to construct a new structure from the ruins of the current system. Ha! The current crop of the body politic is on the fringe of being in touch with understanding the common sense view of the majority. Their primary concerns are about power as it relates to a political office, not the concerns of either the People, Constitution, or the corporate interest.

If the United States loses a centrist, reasonable approach to politics then little will fix the problem. Republicans cheer at the failure of our economy for they feel it will bring them into power and they will "fix the problem". Democrats (for disclosure, I am registered Democrats) will then perform that same acts so they then credit republicans with failure and as the two parties tear apart the country, the middle and lower classes will melt into something between indentured servitude or at the least, little chance at a comfortable life as less then 5% of the population enjoys "The Game".

To stop the madness of A suing B who sues C who sues A and B who sues ... would require the ability of government to respect the "right to fair trial" while revamping laws relating to patents and IP...

Re:Just great!! (1)

dan828 (753380) | about 4 years ago | (#33860492)

I think you have it a bit wrong-- Most Republicans don't cheer the economy tanking any more than Democrats cheered the war going badly in Iraq. Just because the party leadership cynically uses misfortune to their political advantage doesn't mean that they happy that it happened.

Re:Just great!! (1)

slriv (473167) | about 4 years ago | (#33860890)

I don't know about that. The average 'card-carrying member' won't cheer the downfall of the economy, but the folks in charge certainly do. Without the economy, they really don't have much of a leg to stand on, and even then most of the problems that created this mess are a direct result of their own policies.

Now, that all being said, I don't think politics will fix anything right now. The polarization in congress, the country and in general is ridiculous, and really needs to be sorted. The tea bagger people (although I personally think they are just an arm of the gop...) could have gathered so much more support if they had moved a little closer to the center instead of focusing entirely on hot button social issues. The truth is coming out, and the tea bagger candidates are being lambasted from both the right and the left as a result.

Oh, this was about patents... This whole mess sounds like derivative trading all over again. Good grief, it's not like these companies have nothing better to do with their money (like hire more people, build new product, change the world) and their cadre of retained lawyers.

Re:Just great!! (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | about 4 years ago | (#33860276)

Yup. I'm going out to buy more popcorn.

Re:Just great!! (1)

up4fun (602118) | about 4 years ago | (#33860322)

This kind of behaviour has at least some of the trappings of a ponzi scheme [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Just great!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33860574)

can we please make it anti competitive behavior to file a patent lawsuit.

Re:Just great!! (1)

Quothz (683368) | about 4 years ago | (#33860646)

companies will spend 90% of their revenue filing or defending dozens of lawsuits, get nothing done anymore

Except that giant corporations love time- and money-wasting processes, as long as everyone has to play. It limits competition by forcing startups to have years and millions of dollars handy just for idiot patent suits before they can even think about revenue.

Re:Just great!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33860716)

Alternatively, Apple could stop stealing other companies' hard work and cough up the appropriate licensing fees, or go away and try creating something themselves. Likewise for all the other thieving "tech" companies. Of course, if they did that, they wouldn't be able to eventually cross license all their collective patent portfolios to create a closed shop.

Re:Just great!! (1)

Randy Jian (1016059) | about 4 years ago | (#33860758)

companies will spend 90% of their revenue filing or defending dozens of lawsuits, get nothing done anymore...

Or maybe we're all doomed.

There are always very large budgets for the legal department of any company. I don't believe the over all operation would be effected by the spending on these lawsuits. If a technology gets blocked from use due to an certain ruling, that might really slow down development due to the extra procedures it will require to acquire the rights to use, or replacements of the said technology.

Re:Just great!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33861072)

Life imitates art (from "All you Need is Cash" aka. The Rutles):

"In December 1970 Dirk sued Stig and Nasty, Barry sued Dirk, Nasty sued Stig and Barry, and Stig sued himself accidentally. It was the end of a golden era, and the beginning of another one for lawyers everywhere. "

Re:Just great!! (1)

nomadic (141991) | about 4 years ago | (#33861364)

This is great! If this madness continues, companies will spend 90% of their revenue filing or defending dozens of lawsuits, get nothing done anymore, and will clamor at the doors of congress to save them from the patent madness they once thought to be such a great idea.

Actually, as someone who has been involved in large-scale litigation, while legal fees for these sorts of things seem huge, when measured against the operating costs of the corporation as a whole they're not especially large. I mean a single 30-second national TV ad costs a few hundred thousand dollars. For that you could get a month or two of steady work out of a top law firm.

Armageddon! (2)

mystik (38627) | about 4 years ago | (#33859908)

It's like the Mutually-Assured-Destruction scenario in the mobile/wireless world!

Re:Armageddon! (4, Insightful)

Carewolf (581105) | about 4 years ago | (#33860094)

No, it seems destruction is not assured, so it is not MAD, unfortunately it appears to be MAX - Mutually Assued Crosslicensing :(

Re:Armageddon! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33860916)

No. Destruction is not assured. It is not MAD; it is MAXL. Mutually Assured Cross-Licensing.

ftfy

Re:Armageddon! (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about 4 years ago | (#33861204)

How is that unfortunate? Would you rather have no mobile phone vendors, or lots of mobile phone vendors all able to produce phones with lots of useful features and good UIs?

Re:Armageddon! (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 4 years ago | (#33860390)

Begun, the patent wars have?

There was already a well-established patent Cold War, is this the end of it?

Re:Armageddon! (4, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | about 4 years ago | (#33860448)

Oh, if only this were true. If only Patentgeddon were finally here, and Mutual Destruction was truly Assured. If only the big players would unleash their full arsenals on each other, in wave after thoughtless paroxysm of retaliations, until the silos were all exhausted and the landscape were littered with piles of the bodies of slain lawyers. Perhaps then, the starving, horribly disfigured mutants who were never part of the original conflict, yet somehow managed to miraculously, accidentally survive, could try to eke out a peaceful subsistence living, at long last free of the Shadow of Mordor.

Or something like that.

Re:Armageddon! (1)

speculatrix (678524) | about 4 years ago | (#33860624)

mod parent up

Re:Armageddon! (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 4 years ago | (#33861096)

slain lawyers. The lawyers are like the house in poker they always win, regardless of who wins the hand.

Business as usual... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33859912)

Under this patent system anyhow.

Which makes it no less ridiculous.

thanks to most of the lawyers (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | about 4 years ago | (#33860118)

while foreign companies are busy producing products and generating jobs and revenue, US companies are busy suing each other.

Re:Business as usual... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33860588)

Under this patent system anyhow.

Hard time parsing this sentence.

Re:Business as usual... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33861844)

Suggest comprehension course.

Sustainable? (4, Interesting)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 4 years ago | (#33859946)

Is this really sustainable for the industry? It seems like every mobile company has patents that every other mobile company is either stepping on or tiptoeing around. I have to think that by this time next year all the major companies involved will have set up a meeting somewhere and agreed to cross license with each other. All these patent suits are just wrangling for a better position in the agreement that they all know is coming eventually. Of course, such an agreement would make it next to impossible for any new companies to enter the market, which I'm sure none of the current manufacturers would be sad about.

Re:Sustainable? (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#33860106)

It seems like every mobile company has patents that every other mobile company is either stepping on or tiptoeing around

Nope, most companies have cross-licensing agreements. Apple is in trouble because they didn't bother to set these up when they entered the market. Nokia fired first and now everyone else in the same position has decided that they can get some money from Apple, or force them out of the market.

Re:Sustainable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33860586)

Apple is in trouble because they didn't bother to set these up when they entered the market.

Apple values its dumb multi touch patents very highly. Cross licensing doesn't work when one party is pig-headed.

And apple did not invent multi touch. An Indian student in 1980s did it. At that point of time, USPTO did not grant software patents, or method patents (e.g. pinch and zoom multi touch.)

Re:Sustainable? (3, Insightful)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | about 4 years ago | (#33861144)

Motorola and Nokia have a distinct advantage over Apple too - as they (and their partners) invented the vast majority of the technology that makes cell phones work at all, and Apple never paid.

Re:Sustainable? (1)

Asten (674521) | about 4 years ago | (#33860158)

The thing is - MOST of them do this with MOST of the patents. The patents Motorola holds have been licensed to most everyone else. It's been stated that Apple and Motorola have been in licensing talks for some time. Apple does this over and over, so I don't find Motorola's stance to be a stretch. The one thing that seems to set this one apart from all the others is that these appear to be much less focused on silly software things...

Re:Sustainable? (1)

cowscows (103644) | about 4 years ago | (#33860296)

It'll eventually shake itself out, the industry will consolidate to just a couple big players, the barrier to entry will be too high for anyone new to enter the market, and us consumers will have fewer, crappier options. Booyah.

Re:Sustainable? (1)

mSparks43 (757109) | about 4 years ago | (#33860456)

I was wondering when I read about the MS v. suit how the hell patents still exist for any phone feature implimented in software. Then I remembered the US has sofware patents.
Perhaps the long term solution is for innovative companies to just not sell into the US market, its not like anyone in the US has any money these days anyway.

No matter who loses, the lawyers win (5, Informative)

macwhizkid (864124) | about 4 years ago | (#33859956)

A diagram in the Guardian from last week [guim.co.uk] nicely illustrates the insanity that is the mobile phone litigation business. With the vortex of lawsuits surrounding both hardware and software, it's amazing that anybody is able to innovate at all.

Re:No matter who loses, the lawyers win (1)

Skatox (1109939) | about 4 years ago | (#33860028)

That's oudated. Last week were like 3 more suits

Re:No matter who loses, the lawyers win (2, Informative)

themusicgod1 (241799) | about 4 years ago | (#33860796)

techdirt [techdirt.com] has this picture, together with 2 other much more complete and accurate ones.

It's way, way more tangled than the Guardian picture would lead you to believe

(Disclaimer - I help develop and support software that controls hardware made by pretty much all those companies, but my opinions are my own and do not represent them or my customers/etc)

Patent wars (4, Informative)

vagabond_gr (762469) | about 4 years ago | (#33859958)

It's pretty hard to keep the graph [nytimes.com] up-to-date.

Re:Patent wars (1)

bored_engineer (951004) | about 4 years ago | (#33860268)

I saw the chart for the first time last week, when (I think) it was just a day or two old. It was missing at least one brand-new lawsuit even then. At this rate, it looks like it could become somebody's full time job gathering information about these wireless lawsuits.

Re:Patent wars (1)

whyde (123448) | about 4 years ago | (#33861378)

No it's not, since it will eventually degenerate into an fully connected graph. Just find one on Wikipedia or Wolfram, and link to that picture instead.

Oodles of phone lawsuits (2, Informative)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | about 4 years ago | (#33859986)

Regarding the unfolding mess, here's what info I've gathered:

And if someone wants to get an article started on this new lawsuit, go ahead:
Motorola_v._Apple_(2010,_USA) [swpat.org]

In the words of Porky Pig... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33859992)

Here we g-ge-g-gh-go again! The patent system is like a bad Looney Tuners cartoon [well, no sduch thing really] - it needs to be ovehauled BADLY.

Th-t-the-t-th-the-th-that's all folks!

Re:In the words of Porky Pig... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 4 years ago | (#33860254)

The whole federal government is a porky pig. I'm not sure why you'd expect the USPTO to be different.

Cellphone Market Turning Ugly For Apple (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33860002)

Getting sued by other major cellphone makers for patent infrigment.

Dumped into third place in sales by Google and Android.

Defective hardware - botched antenna design, wonky proximity sensor, and glass casing problems.

iOS woefully behind Android in features and ease of use.

And Apple has stopped giving out their iPad sales numbers updates.

At least they are doing better than Microsoft's colossal failure with the dead Kin and Windows Phone 7 OSes.

 

Re:Cellphone Market Turning Ugly For Apple (5, Insightful)

RingBus (1912660) | about 4 years ago | (#33860082)

Apple still has an army of fans in the media who will proclaim every new product as 'innovative' and 'amazing' regardless of the actually quality which will help less the blow of Android dominance. However there is now an air of acceptance from Apple fans that the iPhone is on its way to a Mac like marketshare and quite a bit of revisionist history of "Apple never wanted to dominate the cellphone market" rationalizing going on.

Re:Cellphone Market Turning Ugly For Apple (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33860428)

Careful posting in Apple stories. There is an army of Mac/Apple zealots who will lash out with their mod points at anything remotely perceived as 'anti-Apple' and 'smite the unbeliever'...

Crazy to think Slashdot has turned into a hive of Apple fanboyism. No one would have believed you 10 years ago if you would have told them what was to come.

Re:Cellphone Market Turning Ugly For Apple (1)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | about 4 years ago | (#33860900)

Crazy to think Slashdot has turned into a hive of Apple fanboyism. No one would have believed you 10 years ago if you would have told them what was to come
Indeed, what a long strange trip it has been since, "No wireless, less space than Nomad, lame."

Re:Cellphone Market Turning Ugly For Apple (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33861060)

There's also an army of anti-Apple people who will up-mod anything tearing Apple apart. It's like a car with most of its weight at the front and back ends -- most of the time it balances out, but it does tend to go into a ditch a fair amount.

Re:Cellphone Market Turning Ugly For Apple (1)

koiransuklaa (1502579) | about 4 years ago | (#33861310)

AC uses a car analogy about slashdot posters... and manages to be insightful.

Bravo, sir.

Re:Cellphone Market Turning Ugly For Apple (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | about 4 years ago | (#33861398)

Best. Car. Analogy. Ever.

Re:Cellphone Market Turning Ugly For Apple (1)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | about 4 years ago | (#33861082)

Careful posting in Apple stories. There is an army of Mac/Apple zealots who will lash out with their mod points at anything remotely perceived as 'anti-Apple' and 'smite the unbeliever'...

As opposed to the army of those who modded you guys up? Yawn.

Re:Cellphone Market Turning Ugly For Apple (1)

Asten (674521) | about 4 years ago | (#33860290)

Kin: certainly a major failure. it's hard to consider WP7 as a failure or a success: it hasn't even gone on sale yet.

iOS is woefully behind on ease of use? (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | about 4 years ago | (#33861056)

Versus Android?

How so?

Re:iOS is woefully behind on ease of use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33861246)

I would say that the desktop on iOS sucks when you start having too many apps. You spend all your time reorganizing your apps. At least on Android you keep the most used one on the desktop and all of them stays in alphabetical order in the menu, which makes finding an app much more easier especially if you are not on your own device.
But of course this is a personal opinion, you can't prove that [insert OS name here] is easier to use.

Re:Cellphone Market Turning Ugly For Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33861088)

1. Been there, done that. Patent lawsuits are apparently part of companies' business models now.
2. They might be 3rd in sales, but they're highest in profit, by quite a wide margin. What matters in stories like this is money.
3. I'll give you the antenna, but the proximity sensor was a software glitch that's been fixed, and the glass is a non-story.
4. Calling a bluff. Have you used both iOS and Android? Or are you simply stating that to get a rise out of people? If anything, they have parity.
5. They only announce milestone sales numbers. There are no regular updates for any of their products, except during quarterly reports.
6. I fail to see how WP7 is a colossal failure. It was only officially introduced today; how could it be a failure?

Re:Cellphone Market Turning Ugly For Apple (1)

Reverberant (303566) | about 4 years ago | (#33861280)

You're joking, right? [forbes.com]

having trouble keeping up? (1)

ecklesweb (713901) | about 4 years ago | (#33860014)

A nice data visualization [amazonaws.com] will help

I thought it was bad before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33860024)

I thought it was bad before. I saw the graph on /. where all of the wireless companies are suing each other, but I thought: the graph isn't complete. You MUST have every node connected with with every other node (company) bidirectionally suing each other (to have a completely dense graph). My wish is coming true. We well have every node connected to every other node soon enough. All I can say is: if you want to be making major serious coin in the high tech industry today, become a lawyer and either work for the wireless phone companies, or for the media conglomerates (or... sparky for the really big money, work for a Washington lobbyist). Its

Laughable (4, Insightful)

Moby Cock (771358) | about 4 years ago | (#33860060)

These patents are absurd. We've debated the frivolousness of many patents here for a while, but a patent for "Receiver having concealed external antenna" is just laughable. It makes me wonder if there is a patent for have an non-concealed antenna.

Re:Laughable (1)

Asten (674521) | about 4 years ago | (#33860140)

Without looking at it, it's kind of pointless to speculate. It could be for some specific innovation to enable that, rather than just the concept. At least it's not as ludicrous as "slide to unlock"

Re:Laughable (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 4 years ago | (#33860302)

Maybe it's for a 'Receiver having concealed antenna that suffers poor reception when held the wrong way'?? That would be a little more specific (and a touch less obvious) ;-)

Re:Laughable (1)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | about 4 years ago | (#33861106)

Maybe it's for a 'Receiver having concealed antenna that suffers poor reception when held the wrong way'?? That would be a little more specific (and a touch less obvious) ;-)

Good thing that Apple avoided that with the iPhone 4 then.

Re:Laughable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33860402)

It makes me wonder if there is a patent for have an non-concealed antenna.

No, there couldn't be -- a non-concealed antenna would be obvious.

Re:Laughable (2, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | about 4 years ago | (#33860498)

Why?

For fifty years mobile phones had external antennas that drove people nuts.

Someone figured out how to make the phone actually work with an internal antenna.

They patented it.

That's the whole point of patents.

Re:Laughable (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 4 years ago | (#33860660)

For years, people have been storing digital photographs outside of a camera... Kodak found a way to put them inside!

Re:Laughable (4, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | about 4 years ago | (#33860672)

Except prior art of on internal antenna is at least 40 years. Its not an innovation. Its an EXISTING AND KNOWN feature but crammed in legalese and put in conditions like "cell based receivers" so that the patent passes without adding any innovation to the world. Its your typical "narrow enough to pass but broad enough to do damage" patent that these companies specialize in for the sake of litigious action against competitors.

The USPO's take on this is that the courts will work it out. Thanks guys for letting any patent go through and letting me, the end user of these phones, pay extra for all the laywering.

NO IT IS NOT (3, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | about 4 years ago | (#33860700)

The "whole point of patents" was to enable someone to come up with an idea and have a brief exclusivity period so that they could get the idea to market.

The whole premise of patents was that it ACTUALLY TOOK time to get ideas to market, and that an average person COULD GET THEM TO MARKET. Thus they would encourage INNOVATION by allowing small players a way to compete with already entrenched players, via innovation.

Patents were not created so that giant mega-corporations could use them to gain further market share, they were SUPPOSED to be there for the little guy.

The "whole point of patents" is totally meaningless in today's business world. Patents do not serve to encourage innovation, the limit it, because everyone and every company who has an idea has to spend enormous amounts of money just to see if their idea is already patented, and the only ones who can really afford it are the players who are already entrenched. It is not just software and IP patents that have this problem either. With facilities like mini-fabs and Alibaba.com, anyone who has an idea for a product can have it prototyped and have mini runs done of it overseas for very minimal cost. For many inventions It actually will cost more for you to get your patent investigated and filed, than it will for you to make your first 10,000 units and start selling them. How is this supposed to encourage rapid innovation again?

Re:NO IT IS NOT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33861018)

There is plenty of innovation in technology
just not in the USA, because of the broken patent/legal system
manufacturers are already skipping the USA market and heading straight for Africa, China, India
where they dont have to face the US lawyersteins and patentbergs leaving them free to "innovate" with relative freedom

Re:Laughable (1)

cowscows (103644) | about 4 years ago | (#33861174)

Well if they patented their actual working internal antenna design, then I can understand that. But if they're claiming to own the very concept of an internal antenna, then that's just silly.

Re:Laughable (1)

the_humeister (922869) | about 4 years ago | (#33860578)

As has been posted in another patent story, it's the claims that matters, not the title.

Re:Laughable - APPLE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33860708)

In other news...Apple Computer has filed a patent on the proper way to hold a cell phone.

Old resentment (2, Interesting)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about 4 years ago | (#33860110)

The transition from Motorola to Intel processors decided in 2005 by Apple may be another reason that encouraged Motorola to take legal action later on, when they could.

Re:Old resentment (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33860178)

@hcs_$reboot sucking off gay dick may be another reason you're a #homo

Re:Old resentment (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33860280)

Slashdot is not Twitter

Freescale != Motorola (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33860270)

The transition from Motorola to Intel processors decided in 2005 by Apple

...happened after Motorola had already spun off its semiconductor division as Freescale in 2004.

Long After IBM Dumped Apple As A Customer (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33860316)

Motorola was out of the picture by the time IBM had secured all three console's for its PPC/Cell chips and they dumped Apple as a customer.

This case certainly has nothing to do with that ancient history.

What? Not in the Eastern District of Texas??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33860374)

I thought that's where all patent lawsuits were filed these days!

I don't see how this is unexpected. (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | about 4 years ago | (#33860376)

I don't see how this is unexpected. Apple is a noob in the cell phone industry, that means the only patents they may have had were ones they bought from other company's or are paying License fees for. They just haven't been in the business long enough to have built up a cell phone patent war chest so there going to get sued by everyone.

With Insolvency Possible...Sue (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 4 years ago | (#33860564)

If Moto spent as much time truly innovating products that were on the leading edge of consumer demand, as they once did, they would not be looking like losers now.

Patents are only good IF YOU USE THEM IN YOUR PRODUCTS.

Patent trolls don't have ongoing brand value.

I loved the early Moto "flip phones" in the late 80s that were damn near indestructible, if bulky for a pocket.

Then when they started to miniaturize their phones, my experiences led me to believe that they lost the good designers, because of all the faults I saw in my phones (at rather inflated prices).

In an off the record meeting ... (4, Funny)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | about 4 years ago | (#33860664)

MS: You know, we could "misplace" the lawsuit MS has going against you.
Motorola: That would be great, but what would we have to do?
MS: Nothing much, just mess with Apple a bit. We could do it ourselves but it would attract the kind of attention we don't want right now.

First thing that when through my mind when I read the headline.

Wonder how long until ... (1)

ardeez (1614603) | about 4 years ago | (#33860704)

Wonder how long before there's winmo7 lawsuits as well.

MS & HTC, LG & Samsung seem to have cozied up nicely (since they're producing
winmo handsets), but that still leaves Nokia, maybe Motorola, Google and Apple

Although I kinda doubt Apple will enter the ring against MS on this one.

What a stupid industry (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | about 4 years ago | (#33860940)

The more things change, the more they never do. I'm reminded of nothing so much as the great IP battles of yore, like Lotus and Ashton-Tate over "pull-down menus" (and the inevitable "throw-up menu" jokes); and how everyone with an ounce of sense thought the whole argument pointless, petty and stupid. The whole Xerox Star interface, WYSIWYG, F1 for context-sensitive help, a million other things where one company said "hey, that was our idea" and another company (often Microsoft), or sometimes the whole industry, said "so what, it's an idea - and the users have come to expect it". But today, we have companies who have the ability to patent "pull-down menus" or whatever other lame-ass, self-evident idea that comes their way. Mobile smartphones/computing is going to be a stillborn, schizophrenic hodepodge as a result of this. No Compaq will ever arise in the smartphone space, no CUA [wikipedia.org] , no ISA [wikipedia.org] . In five years, smartphones/mobile computing will resemble nothing so much as computing circa 1966, the "IBM and the BUNCH" days - proprietary hardware, bundled, non-interoperable, proprietary software, aggressive inter-vendor hostility, etc. - not so much walled gardens as armed camps.

It's never ever ever going to get any better, and the reason is software/business process patents.

Cartoon Version of Mobile Patent Wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33861016)

http://noolmusic.com/comedy_central_videos/drawn_together_-_standoff.php

Waiting (1)

DaMattster (977781) | about 4 years ago | (#33861026)

You know, I was waiting for something like this to happen - a giant software patent circle jerk. The ultimate irony is that the major players are defeating their own goal of trying to render F/OSS moot. I'd wager the fear of patent wars might actually be helping the free, open source movement. For example, OpenBSD developed a router/firewall redundancy protocol called CARP which is patent un-encumbered, free, and arguably better than the Cisco VRRP. For one, CARP is simple to setup and troubleshoot, for another it is highly reliable. The University of Alberta uses several OpenBSD boxes CARP'd together and system admins have purposely pulled network cables during production hours to test and it works flawlessly.

Dinosaurs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33861198)

When is Motorola just going to get out of the phone market. The MotoQ was worse than most flip phones. "Smart" indeed. It has terrible compatibility and very few apps running on legacy Windows Mobile 5.5 and not compatible for upgrade. The MotoDroid lacks features of the incredible htc droid. Motorola heres to you find a new industry because your products are inferior the day they ship.

Does anyone still care about this? (4, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 4 years ago | (#33861214)

Suing is how you say "hello" in the cell phone business.

The whole system with fake patents has gone to far (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33861306)

Courts are supposed to fight crime, not help criminals extract money out of others.

Everyone knows that most software patents are not real inventions, THIS HAS TO END!

More nuisance lawsuits - it's a big game (1)

mrsnak (1818464) | about 4 years ago | (#33861458)

The customer is always the one who suffers in the end.
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