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Apple Wins a Round In Patent Battle With Nokia

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the surely-sequels-will-follow dept.

Iphone 90

An anonymous reader writes "Apple [Friday] won a battle in an ongoing legal war with Nokia over patents that touch on pretty much all of Apple's product line. Since 2009, Apple and Nokia have sued and countersued each other into oblivion. In one particular legal action from May 2010, Nokia filed suit against Apple with a complaint to the ITC (International Trade Commission) alleging that Apple's iPhone and iPad 3G infringe on 5 of Nokia's patents."

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Sued into oblivion? (4, Informative)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620302)

They may have been suing each other ad nauseum, but I assure you both Apple and Nokia still exist and are still considered rather relevant in their particular segments of the industry.

Re:Sued into oblivion? (3, Interesting)

pieterh (196118) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620372)

Nokia has suffered really badly from a split personality over the years, where its patent-driven business clashed with its open source business. The end result is that Nokia was unable to make use of open source in any real way, even though it had years to get it right. Consequence: Android easily beats Nokia. Now Apple is in a better position but it still has trouble making use of large chunks of the open source world, again because of conflicts with their patent-driven business.

So it may well still end in oblivion. It really does come down to sheer ability to compete and move rapidly, and patents don't help this, they are essentially a 19th century anti-competition anti-trade device aimed at giving a firm 20 years in which to not have to compete. Not an excellent strategy in the 21st century.

Any firm that has to resort to patent lawsuits is already dead.

Re:Sued into oblivion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35620456)

Amen brother!

Re:Sued into oblivion? (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620656)

Well since Nokia's evil ... and Apple's evil ... is it wrong to hope they sue eachother to death ?

Of course that would mean their money goes to lawyers ... or to politicians ... that's bad ...

Nope, still in favor of these 2 killing eachother.

It's about royalties (1, Interesting)

spheric_harlot (2004896) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620684)

The thing about patent lawsuits is that they result in licensing agreements. If you win the rights, the market turns into a win-win situation, either because even losing market share means you make money off the competitors' products, or because you can cross-license to get access to others' IP that YOU would have to pay royalties for on every device you sell.

Re:It's about royalties (1)

juasko (1720212) | more than 3 years ago | (#35636108)

Yeah, but looking at it you thought Nokia would sue over telecom tech. But over integrated camera in phones n stuff, not the real deal where they actually could have a case.

Common, for sure Apple would win such a case.

Re:Sued into oblivion? (3, Interesting)

Weezul (52464) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620708)

Apple is the bad guy using patents anti-compeditively in this case. Apple simply ignored Nokia's patents on real shit, but sues everyone over their unjust patents on user interfaces. Apple might have simply ignored Nokia while they pursued minor Android users, but Nokia had the grace to make Apple fight a big boy first.

Imho, the best case scenario would be Apple's patents all being torn down, and serious review of Nokia's patents as well.

An amusing scenario that'd showcase the stupidity of the patent system would be : Apple ends up unable to sell iPhone in Europe, while Nokia ends up unable to sell Windws Phone 7 phones in the U.S., i.e. your oblivion situation. Ain't likely though.

Also, Maemo was a far better & way more open operating system than Android.

Re:Sued into oblivion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35620790)

Also, Maemo was a far better & way more open operating system than Android.

Doesn't change the fact that they fucked it up. And through that I wouldn't mind if Nokia got screwed over.

Re:Sued into oblivion? (4, Interesting)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35621028)

Actually Nokia started this with Apple, not the other way around. From what I recall, Apple's countersuit against Nokia involved unreasonable licensing terms (Nokia wanted more from Apple than from others it had licensed the tech to including demands for generous cross licensing from the iPhone patent pool), and they also accused Nokia of pulling a Rambus (establishing a standard and then later coming in with submarine patents on their own designs).

From TFA:

In October 2009 Nokia sued Apple for patent infringement claiming that a number of Apple products used Nokia technology as it pertains to wireless connectivity and GSM networks. Never one to back down from a legal fight, Apple countersued and accused Nokia of infringing on 13 patents held by Apple.

An interesting read regarding the back and forth between Nokia and Apple:
[ref: http://www.engadget.com/2009/12/11/apple-countersues-nokia-for-infringing-13-patents/ [engadget.com] ]

Apple also says Nokia wanted unreasonable license terms for the patents, including a cross-license for Apple's various iPhone device patents as part of any deal, which Apple clearly wasn't willing to do. That's in stark contrast to what Nokia says it wants in its lawsuit -- all it's asked the court for is past due license fees on its patents. (Which is odd, if you think about it: Nokia wouldn't come to terms on a license that didn't include iPhone patents, but it'll spend the cash on litigation for past due fees? That seems silly.) Oh, and if you're just in this for the bitchy quotes, here you go:

As Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia's executive Vice President and General Manager of Multimedia, stated at Nokia's GoPlay event in 2007 when asked about the similarities of Nokia's new offerings to the already released iPhone:"[i]f there is something good in the world, we copy with pride." True to this quote, Nokia has demonstrated its willingness to copy Apple's iPhone ideas as well as Apple's basic computing technologies, all while demanding Apple pay for access to Nokia's purported standards essential patent.

Nokia wasn't interested in just getting fees for it's patents. They badly needed an 'in' into the smartphone market and they knew it. They also demanded the rights to cross license various iPhone patents as part of their lawsuit against Apple. They basically were shut out of the smartphone industry and Apple being the new guy on the block in the phone industry probably looked like their best chance at that.

Re:Sued into oblivion? (1)

DMiax (915735) | more than 3 years ago | (#35621396)

Yes, this is Apple's version. However it still remains to be explained why they went to market first instead of exposing Nokia immediately. That is if their story is true.

Re:Sued into oblivion? (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35621542)

Probably because the iPhone had already been on the market for three tears before Nokia sued Apple? You have to admit it doesn't reflect well on Nokia to have delayed as long as they did and they still ended up losing the case in court. They waited until their market share took a huge nose dive.

Re:Sued into oblivion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35621758)

There is no part of patent law that requires you to License under RAND terms. You are allowed to even just not sell to some folk if you want.

Re:Sued into oblivion? (1)

Graymalkin (13732) | more than 3 years ago | (#35623608)

This is not the case for patents submitted to the GSM spec. All companies submitting patents to be used in the GSM spec agreed to offer them under RAND terms.

Re:Sued into oblivion? (1)

illtud (115152) | more than 3 years ago | (#35626006)

Also, Maemo was a far better & way more open operating system than Android. [my emphasis]

Hey, don't write Maemo off yet, have you seen the price of second-hand n900s? Not bad for a 16-month old phone. And new ones (what little stock some people may have) are barely cheaper than when they came out (in the UK at least). Carphone Warehouse (big UK mobile seller, all carriers + unlocked mobile-only) had some on their website this week at £350 (really cheap for new). I rang them to check some details and they had 4 left in stock; by the time I had my card out and was ordering online, they were all gone.

Maemo lives on in Meego, and Nokia (despite what you've heard) hasn't given up on Meego:

http://meego.com/community/blogs/petermeego/2011/nokia-appoints-new-head-meego-efforts [meego.com]

Granted, it looks like one last roll of the dice, without strategic buy-in, but a clever company somewhere (probably out east) will be taking notice.

Re:Sued into oblivion? (1)

Weezul (52464) | more than 3 years ago | (#35630728)

I'll buy a MeeGo device that functions well as either a phone or an eink-like ebook reader. I'm not terribly interested in this whole netbooks without keyboards fad started by Apple. If I understand correctly, Nokia has stated their subsequent MeeGo devices will not be phones.

Re:Sued into oblivion? (1)

juasko (1720212) | more than 3 years ago | (#35636114)

Have you actually looked at the case at all?

And who sued who first. You believe nokia sued Apple over telecom technology. But read what it was about.

Re:Sued into oblivion? (2)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620988)

I disagree. All companies build patent portfolios to strengthen their positions and for bargaining power. I don't consider someone a patent troll unless that's all they do is try to profit off of a patent with no actual product, which applies to neither of these two companies. Both still have a large product line that they actively sell. While most folks on here assume all patents are leveraged for trolling purposes, I think this kind of wrangling is common among any companies that are long in the tooth with a long history of patented ideas. It basically makes those involved more willing to come to the table and make sane bargains, or if the opposing company is lacking in a strong portfolio, they end up weak at the table and end up making larger concessions. It's just business in most cases.

I don't particularly like what they've turned the patent system into, but I can see it's usefulness to any business.

Of the two businesses here though. I've got to admit that Nokia seems to be coming at this from weakness and huge loss of market share and profits. This seems more of an act of desperation to get them through the onslaught of Android and iOS. They started this back and forth when they started taking huge losses to the iPhone, which of course brought a response from Apple. On the surface, it appears that they panicked and weren't prepared for the beating they took. They have been one of the bigger losers in the Smartphone wars and were caught sleeping at the wheel so to speak. They have a strong dumb-phone presence but not so much on the smartphone market. Looking at their product line it still look rather dated compared to current offerings (ease of use, form factor, etc). Android in turn just made things worse for them and neither Apple nor any of the numerous companies selling Android based phones shows any signs of real letting up.

I don't think these patent wars have anything to do with Open Source other than their main competitor happens to use an open source OS. Android is a bit of an industry freak in that regard. It's become huge and is open source, but the entire market has been closed source for years and thrived. Androids success derives from it's similarity and close competition with iOS. The interface on both is strikingly similar (no flames please, just stating the obvious and not implying anything), and the fact that it has Google backing it which would be a boon to almost any product. I almost wish Google had dedicated time to a real desktop OS like they have with the mobile market. Linux could be huge (sorry, I'm wandering but I think about that missed opportunity every time this comes up). Cloud OS's are just not of interest yet in the mainstream. If they could get their hooks into a solid linux Distro they could clean house or at least shake up the desktop arena and the big players.

I agree wholeheartedly with your last statement. Nokia seems to have been so used to being top dog in the 90's and early 2000's that they lost that competitive edge they so easily held before smart phones emerged as the new bread winner. They just seem to be stumbling about at the moment. Patents aren't inherently anti-competetive. They actually do have a purpose, although it's been twisted over the years. I do believe it's necessary to give a company time to recoup it's research/investments and they can do that with patents, but the current and lengthy times that they can hold these now has throttle innovation. I still hope for a little sanity at some point but I suspect that won't happen in my lifetime.

Re:Sued into oblivion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35622218)

Quit being a pedant if you can't even spell properly, retard.

outcome (4, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620320)

In case anyone was wondering was the actual victory was, since the summary doesn't mention, I forced myself to read the article to find out. The ITC (International Trade Commission) ruled that Apple has violated none of the five patents. The rest of the court must agree with the finding before it becomes final. The article describes the patents in question:

The patents in question relate to technologies for enhanced speech and data transmission, using positioning data in applications and innovations in antenna configurations that improve performance and save space, allowing smaller and more compact devices

Yes, apparently Apple did not copy anyone else when they made their iPhone 4 antenna. And yes, there is a joke in there.

Re:outcome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35620470)

None? Come on. I expected Nokia to do their homework before continuing a patent war with Apple. Is the judge showing partiality or is Nokia just stupid?

Re:outcome (1)

juasko (1720212) | more than 3 years ago | (#35636154)

Nokia is a Finnish company, I'm from finland, and I know it's the latter part.

Finnish companies are old school, military hierarchy, but lack vision and has no steve jobs. And it's not only Nokia as a finnish company that suffers the same ill treatment form management, it's basically every major Finnish company.

Re:outcome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35620874)

US body protects US company.

News at 10.

Call me when we've had the decision from countries that are a bit more fair with their rulings and aren't known for gross protectionism like the US.

Re:outcome (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35624104)

I don't think that there *are* any countries that are particularly fair. (I could be wrong.) But there are many that don't have a horse in this race, would those do?

Re:outcome (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35636862)

I think that's a better way of doing things personally, Belgium seems to be handling the Sony PS3/Bluray patent case quite decently.

The GP may or may not have been trolling somewhat but I think he has a point, the US does have a history of protectionism against foreign companies whilst often hypocritically turning a blind eye to the wrongs of their own. See the record breaking BAE fine for example over the Saudi Eurofighter deal, despite the fact US firms including Lockheed and Boeing have done the exact same thing and BAE isn't even a US company, nor was the deal anything to do with the US, only the US was unhappy that it meant Saudi buying European kit over US kit. Amusingly they've now pledged to buy about $20bn of US kit as well- want to bet there was no equal wrongdoing in that deal?

In a dispute between a US and European company it'd probably make sense to have it ruled upon by a country like South Africa, Brazil, Iceland, New Zealand, or Canada.

Countries like Russia or China could be an option but I suspect they're too anti-US to do things fairly, and from what I've seen of Australia it's probably a little too pro-US (or at least it's government), so finding countries neutral enough to stand between both parties and not be influenced unfairly one way or another would be key.

apple product line (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35620326)

"that touch on pretty much all of Apple's product line."

get it

Infringement usually pretty clear (3, Insightful)

kanweg (771128) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620352)

Usually it is pretty clear whether there is infringement or not. Of course, there are the odd-ball cases where it is possible to quarrel over meanings of terms in the main claim (and that's what is usually done in court but if the arguments aren't good you're not going to win). But to imagine that Nokia's attorneys made 5 out of 5 wrong judgement calls is, well, strange.

Patent matters being handled in the US by non-specialized courts is not the best of things. If the ITC is equally competent then that is not the best of things too.

The reasoning behind the ruling is not yet available, according to TFA.

Bert

Wait an MS "Partner" in a proxy battle?!?! (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620390)

What a shock! Lemmies consult with my SCO buddies to decide the next approach.

Re:Wait an MS "Partner" in a proxy battle?!?! (2)

whisking (1181729) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620432)

The Apple vs. Nokia patent battle began far earlier than Nokia chose the MS sockpuppet as its CEO, which then led to Nokia becoming MS subsidiary.

Re:Wait an MS "Partner" in a proxy battle?!?! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35620530)

The Sith are always acting behind the scenes. Elop's rise at Nokia was merely the unveiling -- the Palpatine usurpation of the Emperor title.

patentdead badtoll continues, babys die (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35620426)

money, real estate, religion, fear, ego. any one of these 'features' can outweigh the right to life of many.

best bets; everyone (on our planet) voluntarily disarm yourselves. carry
on as it was originally intended for all of us. we instinctively know what
that is.

highly wagered longshots; eugenatics, weapons peddlers, kings/minions,
genetically altered mutants/hired goons. media decepticons, adrians,
religiously infactdead groanups, fake weather/induced seismicity
'scientists' etc...

hold on to your equatorial equilibrium.

Seems clear to me (4, Funny)

Reed Solomon (897367) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620434)

Apple clearly invented everything and Nokia didn't. Apple has existed since the 50's when they signed the Beetles then became a computer company in the 70's once John left the band. Nokia didn't start to exist until they invented Snake in the early 90's and coasted on that fame up until snake 2 and diminishing returns on their Snake based empire. I'm glad that lawyers exist to punish companies that aren't Apple for stealing from Apple.

Re:Seems clear to me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35620442)

Well played, good sir!

Re:Seems clear to me (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620474)

Apple clearly invented everything and Nokia didn't. Apple has existed since the 50's when they signed the Beetles then became a computer company in the 70's once John left the band. Nokia didn't start to exist until they invented Snake in the early 90's and coasted on that fame up until snake 2 and diminishing returns on their Snake based empire. I'm glad that lawyers exist to punish companies that aren't Apple for stealing from Apple.

For the few that care...

It's spelled Beatles.
The Beatles founded Apple Records, rather than that pre-existing label signing them.
Get off my lawn.

P.S. Snake rocks.

Re:Seems clear to me (1)

Reed Solomon (897367) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620556)

but everything else I said was 100% wikipedia accurate.

Re:Seems clear to me (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620602)

but everything else I said was 100% wikipedia accurate.

That may be true; but I was disappointed you didn't mention the imminent release of Snake Forever, which is expected to reassert Nokia's claim as the innovative master of true snakiness in a world currently filled with barely snake-like posers.

Re:Seems clear to me (2)

Gruturo (141223) | more than 3 years ago | (#35622076)

but everything else I said was 100% wikipedia accurate.

Or it will be in about 5 minutes, hold on...

Re:Seems clear to me (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#35622360)

but everything else I said was 100% wikipedia accurate.

Other than being more than a century wrong on when Nokia came into being (founded in 1865).

Re:Seems clear to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35625250)

With their mobile telegraph system?

Re:Seems clear to me (1)

juasko (1720212) | more than 3 years ago | (#35636176)

Well, no Nokia makes boots, why they boot the phone if it looses sim connection. They also made tires, and their winter tires are rather good.

But the only thing that remain nokia, is that they boot the phone if sim connection is lost. The rest goes under the name nokian. Which could mean similar to "it was nokias" or "it is nokias"

Re:Seems clear to me (1)

juasko (1720212) | more than 3 years ago | (#35636182)

Rubber boots to be precise, that is then also boots for cars.

Re:Seems clear to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35638164)

I think your sarcasm meter is broken.

Re:Seems clear to me (1)

tcr (39109) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620596)

They founded Apple Corps...

The only reason it's apple-anything is because of the lame pun. Apple Corps... Apple core. Geddit? Must have been funny in the Sixties, or something.

Re:Seems clear to me (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35620476)

I understand you were joking but at least you could try to get the facts right.
Nokia was a paper mill stablished in 1865 and was named Nokia Ab in 1871.
Check the full story here: http://www.nokia.com/about-nokia/company/story-of-nokia

Re:Seems clear to me (1)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620522)

If the facts were all right, it would not really be a joke then ha?

Good (1)

fredmosby (545378) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620472)

I support any decision that gives me more choice in what products I can use. Now all they have to do is invalidate Apple's claims against Nokia.

Re:Good (2)

Wovel (964431) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620792)

Which they would have never made if Nokia had just been reasonable and in fact treated Apple like every other mobile manufacturer on the planet. The fact that Nokia can no longer make a "free" phone that sells as many units as Apples "$200" phone, probably upset them.

Re:Good (1)

cryptolemur (1247988) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620864)

But now, according to this judge, Apple is not infringing, so there's nothing for the Apple to license, and thus nothing for Nokia to demand as payment!
And here we were thinking it was obvious Apple was using technology covered by Nokia's patents, it was just a question of fair licensing fees...

Nokia ARE being resonable. RAND. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35640586)

Nokia ARE being resonable. RAND. It is also a requirement for inclusion of your patents into the GSM spec if you want to get access to the GSM patent pool, but Jobs is far too important to agree to be equal with other handset manufacturers and ALL of Apple's UI and software patents are worth more than hardware patents because, unlike hardware patents, software patents are accepted in the USA and a few other countries. Hardware patents are merely accepted everywhere. See how common they are?

So, obviously, Apples patents are worth more.

Jobs says so.

And Consumers Get Their Ass Kicked (5, Insightful)

Shihar (153932) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620576)

If you want to know why smart phones are $600+ a pop, crap like this is why. The patent arsenals these companies amass are there to destroy competition and nothing else. It isn't like Apple or Nokia would stop innovating if suddenly they didn't have patent protection. What it would mean is that 600 Silicon Valley startups could also jump into the cell phone game and drive the price into the dirt and innovation through the roof.

Smart phones are red hot. Everyone and their dog should be making these things using Chinese foundries. The fact that you need to be a multi-billion dollar company that can buy up patents and create your own arsenal (as Apple did) to touch the market means that patent law has effectively made this something only massive companies can do... not because of any great competitive advantage, but just due to government created legal blocks. Hell, even the companies currently in the game right now couldn't be in if they were not all cross licensing this crap, effectively making sure that no nasty upstarts can jump in offer up competition.

I'm happy Apple didn't lose, but the problem remains. Anyone without a few billion to their name an arsenal of patents is prevented from even putting a toe in the market. What a horrible waste.

Re:And Consumers Get Their Ass Kicked (2)

SpockLogic (1256972) | more than 3 years ago | (#35621208)

Smart phones are red hot.

True, my iPhone 3GS got so hot that Apple replaced it for free even though it was out of warranty.

Re:And Consumers Get Their Ass Kicked (1)

frnic (98517) | more than 3 years ago | (#35621688)

You got your mod points and didn't have to do anything except bitch. How about proposing a solution?

Re:And Consumers Get Their Ass Kicked (1)

Shihar (153932) | more than 3 years ago | (#35623290)

Sure. Go to a system based upon trade secrets. Our current system is set up so that the first person to a tech, even if it is the obvious next step, gets to have a monopoly on it. To make matters worse, they don't even need to develop the tech, just get a rough outline and then they can declare a monopoly. In a system based upon trade secrets (which we already have laws in place for), the basic idea is that you can merrily reverse engineer all you want, or if the solution is obvious simply go out and do it. You still have laws in place so that you can't steal ideas directly, but once an idea is out, it is out.

If you have a novel idea and want to cash in on it, before you show it to someone they sign an agreement that more or less gives you patent protection from that company. We actually already do this in parallel with the patent system. So, if I show my widget, you can't use anything you see, and if you do, you get brutalized by the courts. That way, small companies can still act as incubators. You would probably want to toughen up these laws if you eliminate patent protection, but the basic idea is sound and already being done.

For everyone else, it is a merry free-for-all. Industrial espionage is still very much illegal and I would likely jacked up the punishment for that, but otherwise, as soon as you develop something you, better start using it because the competition is going to be right behind you.

The cell phone industry is a great example of where this system would kick ass and take names. Apple isn't going to stop innovating because they can't patent some piece of technology that is going to be outdated in a couple of years. They won't even notice anything has changed except that their legal fees have gone down. For everyone else though, it means an explosion in the market. Now, any Silicon Valley startup can design their own cell phone. They can design it in the states, order the parts off the shelf from wherever, and have it assembled in China. The market would explode, volumes would go up, innovation would get blisteringly hot as everyone battles to eat a piece of the market pie, and prices would plummet. Instead of getting one size-fits-all phones, you would have an infinite number to pick from that would be customized for what it is you find to be worthwhile in a phone.

The whole point of patent law in the first place was to keep medieval guilds from holding onto technology and get the technology to spread. It was a trade off for the guilds. They have to worry less about security and get their government enforced monopoly, and in return the technology eventually gets out and published to the world. We don't need this any more.

We don't live in a time when spreading information is hard. We live in a time where setting up road blocks to spreading and using information is by far the most destructive thing we can do. To a medieval guild, a 20 year patent might be a perfectly reasonable amount of time. In modern society though, it might as well be a government granted monopoly from now until the end of time. 20 years ago we didn't have the fucking world wide web and we were running 386s on 2400 baud modems. My smart phone would have been considered a super computer and its data access speed capabilities better than an entire ISP. 20 years might as well be forever. Should we really be granting monopolies on technologies forever?

Re:And Consumers Get Their Ass Kicked (1)

juasko (1720212) | more than 3 years ago | (#35636202)

That is not a patent problem that is the problem of a free market, which is the opposite of free competition.

Start govern the markets for free competition and your problem is gone.

Re:And Consumers Get Their Ass Kicked (1)

Graymalkin (13732) | more than 3 years ago | (#35623552)

Research at companies would dry up if they couldn't get some sort of protection for the stuff they come up with. If patent protections were abolished tomorrow you're correct in that hundreds of startups would start making knock-off phones (and whatever else). The problem isn't tomorrow's startups but the drying up of research the following day. Shareholders aren't going to allow millions or billions of dollars to be invested in R&D if a startup is just going to come in and undercut them using all of their own research. Those big companies won't be so big after a few years of being undercut by startups and a freeze in advancement in the market. Without the big companies acting as the startups' R&D departments the market isn't going to advance at all. The little companies will all just go out of business with lots of investment dollars wasted.

Now that isn't to say stupid patents aren't granted and that companies don't abuse the patent system. I'd love to see some reform in the abuse areas but it's really short sighted to complain about patent protection. The market short sighted and often times stupid. It will consume things at lower and lower prices until its saturated. No newcomers will be able to make money at the saturation point once you eliminate strong patent protections because any innovation will just be copied by everyone and no one will be able to differentiate in the market longer than a quarter or two. You end up back at the system you complain about now (which is a bit of hyperbole anyways) with no startups being able to enter the market.

Re:And Consumers Get Their Ass Kicked (1)

juasko (1720212) | more than 3 years ago | (#35636222)

That point is made from the views in a patent ruled world. But it does not hold water. They will invent where they see a need to do so. True inventing will be less attractive, and go the same route as "open source" instead, which though is less efficient, lacks initial quality but has quantity which in time will catch up.

Lawyers ain't cheap (1)

Slutticus (1237534) | more than 3 years ago | (#35623964)

If you want to know why smart phones are $600+ a pop, crap like this is why. The patent arsenals these companies amass are there to destroy competition and nothing else.

Not the root cause for $600 smartphones. Really, it's to pay all those lawyers to defend and prosecute those patents. I hate lawyers, until I love them.

Re:And Consumers Get Their Ass Kicked (1)

juasko (1720212) | more than 3 years ago | (#35636192)

You can, if you have the means and brains, all necessary technology is out there open to be licensed. So just start.

Re:And Consumers Get Their Ass Kicked (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#35640028)

If you want to know why smart phones are $600+ a pop, crap like this is why. The patent arsenals these companies amass are there to destroy competition and nothing else. It isn't like Apple or Nokia would stop innovating if suddenly they didn't have patent protection. What it would mean is that 600 Silicon Valley startups could also jump into the cell phone game and drive the price into the dirt and innovation through the roof.

You can buy phone modules from various companies (like Sierra Wireless) that are fully paid up on all the relevant telephony patents - they'[re roughly between $50 and $100 each in quantity. The patent license fees are built into the cost of the unit itself. You're free to integrate it into your smartphone project.

And no, smartphones do not cost $500 - the iPhone routinely costs about half what Apple is charging in parts, and the R&D work costs less and less as devices are sold. I'm sure they could cost $300 if Apple was willing to make very little money selling them. All it would take is Motorola or Samsung or LG to drop their contract-free Androids to such a price.

Cheap cellphones exist as well, many with a data connection that can be tied to a beefier processor to give you all the processing you need.

Nokia (5, Insightful)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620584)

Since Nokia has been turned into a puppet company for Microsoft does anybody really give a shit?

Re:Nokia (1)

LucidBeast (601749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620610)

I'm starting to wonder if anything actually comes out of this partnership or is one of them going to bail.

Re:Nokia (4, Insightful)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620680)

Considering how many people Nokia has already managed to alienate with this move (employees, business partners & customers) it's probably their only chance to survive. And for Microsoft it's cheaper than to buy smaller companies and use those to build a distribution arm for their phone products.

Re:Nokia (4, Interesting)

Znork (31774) | more than 3 years ago | (#35621096)

Still, with the amount of prestige that the board and executive have invested in this decision, I suspect they'd rather let the company burn than back out of the partnership. It's an interesting demonstration of just how badly a company can be run; backed in to a corner, chose the absolutely worst option conceivable and make sure there are no alternative strategies.

Unless some stockholders manage to get the board fired, I expect Nokia will collapse and get taken private.

Re:Nokia (2)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#35621134)

That's what I said. By now they no longer really have an alternative to bending over whenever Microsoft feels like it.

Re:Nokia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35621154)

speaking of companies quickly becoming irrelevant - Balmer needs to go, never thought I'd say I miss Bill, but without an equal, windows isn't going to have over 1/2 the market share in as little as 5 yrs I predict, and it will fall quickly after that.

Re:Nokia (1)

juasko (1720212) | more than 3 years ago | (#35636236)

Actually I find MS more attractive today than I ever did. But Balmer was there all the time with Bill so that is nothing different, same shit.

But MS has done a few things right lately, I hope they can keep it up, we'll see. Though history teach us MS will screw it up even when they started of good.

Laypersons Popularity contest (1, Interesting)

improfane (855034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620682)

There is NO way Apple has the patents to make a phone from scratch. If this judge has an iPhone, how likely is he to rule in Nokia's favour, even if Nokia's patent claims are correct? Who has more marketing support?

It's a popularity contest. Even a "professional" like a laywer or a judge is a layperson as far as computers are concerned. It's like trying to tell people Facebook is bad.

Re:Laypersons Popularity contest (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620872)

Because it's possible you could invent something and then not be able to use it because someone else invented something similar and patented it. I agree that it is unlikely Apple could make a phone from scratch. However i really don't know what apple has licensed to use legitimately to make their phone. It's possible they have a license to patents that cover similar ground as Nokia's patents. But that also sounds very unlikely. I'm currently lacking the imagination to come up with a reasonable explanation for Nokia using five bum patents against Apple.

Re:Laypersons Popularity contest (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35621046)

You do realize that Apple licensed any number of patents from I would imagine a large list of companies for the basic phone bits? You make it sound as if they just threw some tech in a box and sold it without a care. That just doesn't happen. Apple also built quite a list of their own patents related to smart phone technology in the iPhone.

This lawsuit was specific to 5 areas that Nokia felt Apple didn't properly license. Turns out Nokia was wrong according to the courts. Nokia also had no entries in the smartphone market, being primarily a dumb phone vendor. They were caught with their pants down and without a good product. Their huge market losses and these lawsuits just look like desperation to break back into the game.

Re:Laypersons Popularity contest (2)

tyrione (134248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35621142)

There is NO way Apple has the patents to make a phone from scratch. If this judge has an iPhone, how likely is he to rule in Nokia's favour, even if Nokia's patent claims are correct? Who has more marketing support?

It's a popularity contest. Even a "professional" like a laywer or a judge is a layperson as far as computers are concerned. It's like trying to tell people Facebook is bad.

Apple has accumulated > 3,000 patents of which 90% are related to iOS and iPhone/iPad/iPod hardware. You're not being very bright making lame ass comments. Apple was designing the idea for the iPhone [phone technologies] at around 1999, in-house. I guess you had to have been there.

Re:Laypersons Popularity contest (2)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35623266)

They didn't make a phone from scratch. They bought their iphone GSM radio from Infineon, and Infineon licensed the patents from Nokia (and others). So Apple already did pay Nokia for the phone portions. As for "small handheld device," remember Apple invented the Newton, so they have a lot of patents in that area. Also, maybe you are the type of person who would not rule against Apple if you are an iPhone owner, but I sure would. Be careful not to project your views on everyone else.

(PS. If you haven't already read it, might consider the Martian Chronicles).

And Infineon didn't buy a redistribution license. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35640910)

And Infineon didn't buy a redistribution license. you know all those complaints that copyright infringement for $750 a pop was not so bad because although you have licensed the music as opposed to bought it for $0.99, you haven't bought the right to redistribute.

Same here.

Infineon didn't pay enough to get a license they can sell on.

Re:And Infineon didn't buy a redistribution licens (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35640966)

You idiot, you are confusing copyright and patents. Go learn the difference, and you will understand why you are wrong. You can NEVER make an analogy between copyrights and patents and expect it to hold legal weight.

Re:Laypersons Popularity contest (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35623422)

They didn;t make one from scratch - there are lots of cross licenced patents going on inside - the GSM hardware is an off-the-shelf part, for example, as used by several other manufacturers. Same with things like memory chips and LCD screens etc.

Regarding your sig, have you checked out Peter F Hamilton? I'd start with Pandora's Star /Judas Unchained a 2 novel series set in his Commonwealth universe. Alternatively, you could try Neal Asher and his Polity universe (start with Gridlinked [book 1 in the Agent Cormac series] or The Skinner [part 1 in the Spatterjay series]).

Re:Laypersons Popularity contest (1)

juasko (1720212) | more than 3 years ago | (#35636242)

Pls read up what the patents where about first.

A usual nokia type would think it was telecom tech, but no.

Who cares. (3)

frup (998325) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620894)

Now that Nokia has given up on QT, Symbian and Linux and adopted Windows Mobile, fuck them to hell. May they die and may they destroy apple along the way. FOSS is the only way.

Re:Who cares. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35621730)

You may be surprised before the end of the year by some not-as-dead-as-you-think...

Re:Who cares. (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#35622374)

You may be surprised before the end of the year by some not-as-dead-as-you-think...

Indeed, there is life in RIM, yet! They will hold on for the foreseeable future as the third force in smartphones, against Apple and the Androids.

Re:Who cares. (0)

HiThere (15173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35624166)

Apple *IS* being destroyed. Steve Jobs has serious health problems. And we know what happened to Apple the last time he left.

Re:Who cares. (1)

juasko (1720212) | more than 3 years ago | (#35636254)

I really hope the same wont happen again, but then most managers are not visionaries but money hungry, never have interests in the company real faith.

So what you say is bound to happen, lets just hope that it wont happen immediately when jobs is gone.

Proof (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35621262)

that Apple can bully or buy anything it wants.

iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35621266)

I'll tell you ONE thing. Apple didn't come up with the term "iPhone". I used to use a program for the PC way back in 1995 called iPhone (same case characters too). It was the first VoIP app I'd ever seen. I used to use it to chat with people I don't know all over the world. I distinctly remember talking to people from Sweden (from the US). The iPhone application's "I" stood for "Internet".

Sorry Jobs... and sorry Nokia.... neither of you came up with that one!

Re:iPhone (1)

juasko (1720212) | more than 3 years ago | (#35636268)

Hmm cisco owned the iPhone name. Was it their product?

phuck apple. another microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35621468)

greedy bastards supported by clueless kool aid consumers.

Opposite is also true (1)

paugq (443696) | more than 3 years ago | (#35621572)

Apple vs Nokia ended in "Nokia did not infringe Apple's patents", too. Why is it not mentioned? http://www.osnews.com/story/23987/ITC_Staff_Sides_with_Nokia_in_Apple_Complaint [osnews.com]

Re:Opposite is also true (1)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 3 years ago | (#35621818)

Apple vs Nokia ended in "Nokia did not infringe Apple's patents", too. Why is it not mentioned?http://www.osnews.com/story/23987/ITC_Staff_Sides_with_Nokia_in_Apple_Complaint [osnews.com]

Probably because it doesn't come from a credible source. Please see Bloomberg [bloomberg.com]

For those who don't want to click the link, the ITC judge will make a ruling on whether Nokia violated Apple patents on June 24.

judge makes call (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35623800)

.. using his iphone. Does anyone here wonder if the judge could be biased towards apple, as apple is a us company and nokia is not? Also does the judge use apple products? Can a US judge be impartial? While I am sure someone will think this may be a troll comment, the reality is it is something that people should really be thinking of. A judges job is to be impartial, but can anyone really be impartial, when apple has products in just about everyone's home while nokia is mostly just a phone company.

US vs Non-US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35624774)

It seems to me like if the US-based company usually wins in these matters. Wonder why that is?

Re:US vs Non-US (1)

juasko (1720212) | more than 3 years ago | (#35636278)

Nokia has sued Apple in EU too.

great mobile companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35633900)

yeah that's a great battle between those great companies http://www.urstars.com/ [urstars.com] http://www.urstars.com/vb/ [urstars.com]
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