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HTC Infringed Apple Patents, Says ITC's Initial Determination

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the why-rent-seekers-do-it dept.

Android 230

CWmike writes "A judge at the U.S. International Trade Commission has made an initial determination that HTC infringed two Apple patents, HTC said late Friday. If the judgment is made final, HTC could be banned from importing phones to the U.S. It's the latest blow to Google's Android operating system, which is being attacked by competitors including Apple, Microsoft and Oracle. The initial determination will now be reviewed by a larger panel of ITC judges, who can uphold or reject it. The two patents appear to be fundamental to Android, according to Florian Mueller, a patent expert. 'They are very likely to be infringed by code that is at the core of Android,' he wrote in a blog post. The same patents are also at the heart of a dispute between Apple and Motorola, he said."

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230 comments

Florian Mueller is a dick head. (3, Insightful)

sconeu (64226) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783138)

That is all.

Re:Florian Mueller is a dick head. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783410)

USA is a dick head.

That is all.

Re:Florian Mueller is a dick head. (1)

VisualD (1144679) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783536)

Didn't know you frequented /. Florian.

Re:Florian Mueller is a dick head. (1)

Rakarra (112805) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783592)

Didn't know you frequented /. Florian.

I doubt the AC was Florian Mueller, but Florian does have a Slashdot account and did post here: http://slashdot.org/~FlorianMueller [slashdot.org]. It looks like he stopped posting in June after everyone got sick of them.

Re:Florian Mueller is a dick head. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783682)

Seconded.

He keeps demonstrating that he is a shill for Microsoft yet people love quoting him and describing him as "a linux expert" or a "patent expert".

Let's be clear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783726)

Florian is an astroturfer and a shill and is suspected of being paid by MicroSoft. And CWMike is a spammer. And all the *world news sites are sensationalist tripe, and either timothy is lazy or they pay slashdot to post this stuff. I think both. With big stories like this surely other sites are reporting it and there used to be a time when slashdot linked to a variety of sites. Now its the same 5 or 6 with the same sensationalist spam. Dont think this is some conspiracy either -- 2 of the top 10 submitters of all time are openly ComputerWorld employees. And 4 of the current slashdot front page stories link to them. We need to demand an end to this crap. I know the firehose is hard to read with all the spam but c'mon timothy. I used to think all the ACs posting this kind of meta accusations about slashdot were just crazy or trolls, but it has gotten so bad in the past year Slashdot quickly moving to unbearably bad. It's turning into digg.

Re:Florian Mueller is a dick head. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783912)

BUt what they actually mean is Apple are patent trolls and thieving blagards but we ain't got the balls to do anything about them cus they are packing my back pocket nicely to go their way EFFING TOSSERS

What else is new. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783144)

So? Everyone is infringing everyone's patents, I bet all technology companies which create software for non-embedded tech is infringing on at least one patent. [google.com]

Re:What else is new. (5, Insightful)

JMJimmy (2036122) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783268)

Seriously. All computer software patents should be voided on the grounds that they are merely expressions of existing mathematical formulae and logic structures and prior art applies as a result. When it comes down to it it's all loops, conditionals, and math placed in an organizational structure or if you go even further.. 0s and 1s.

"My 0s and 1s were first, pay me millions!"

Re:What else is new. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783278)

All computer software patents should be voided on the grounds that they are merely expressions of existing mathematical formulae and logic structures

All patents should be voided on grounds that they are merely expressions of existing physical object combined in different ways.

What a load of crap. Whilst I don't support software patents, your logic won't help the cause, as it's absolutely invalid.

Re:What else is new. (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783352)

What a load of crap. Whilst I don't support software patents, your logic won't help the cause, as it's absolutely invalid.

Why? Hardware patents are only slightly less bullshit than software patents.

Re:What else is new. (1)

JMJimmy (2036122) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783358)

Not the same at all. In the case of software the algorithms at play are merely applications of well established math. Someone else figured it out years ago and they are merely applying it in their code.

In the case of physical objects you are creating unique parts or structures to serve a function. These structures cannot have existed before.

If you were to apply that standard to software then the unique way that you build the software to serve the function could be patented but it would not prevent someone else from creating another unique way to build the software to serve that same function. Instead the patents are patenting the function no matter how it was derived.

Re:What else is new. (5, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783578)

Exactly! It's worse in software patents. In hardware you can do something that a competitor does but do it with different hardware but in software if you do some function that a competitor does it doesn't matter that you did it with different code. It's the function that is patented in software patents not the code. The code is of course covered by copyright which renders the entire matter insane to start with. Lets just use copyright to protect software design! How simple! Not to mention fair. We can't have that though it would interfere with stifling innovation.

Re:What else is new. (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 2 years ago | (#36784140)

Yeah, so I suppose hardware patents should be invalid because people are just arranging atoms of materials that are available to anyone on Earth? lol.

Re:What else is new. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783596)

"My 0s and 1s were first, pay me millions!"

What's even worse is the overwhelming majority of them weren't even first, with prior art going back for years and decades.

Re:What else is new. (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783616)

By that logic all music, movies, broadcasts, and other works can each be reduced to a single number and so should not be protected in any way.

Re:What else is new. (2)

msclrhd (1211086) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783658)

Copyright and patents are different things.

You can copyright a particular work (be it a story, poem, song, film, function, class, application or something else) even if the underlying concepts have been around for ages -- for stories, film, tv and manga, just look at things like tv tropes. So you can copyright a particular implementation of an algorithm.

Patents are for unique inventions (something that has not been done before, either in a different form (over the internet! on a mobile phone!) or in a research/math paper prior to filing for the patent) that are not obvious to a practitioner that are meant to give the patent holder a limited period of exclusivity for the invention in exchange for revealing the information about the invention.

Re:What else is new. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783786)

What I dont understand is why no one sue Google about these?

If Google wrote the code what is infringing the patent, shouldn't Google be responsible to pay and not just OEM's who use the code what Google share?

Is it legal to share such code by free (F/OSS) if you dont take money from it to others?
So it is just illegal to use such code on own hardware if you take money from it?

Competition is good (1)

leoplan2 (2064520) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783150)

Honestly, for me is funny that the same people who wanted competition vs Google (WP7 fans, for example) are the same people who want Android dead... I thought competition was better for users, and eliminating it by brutal force is a long term pain, isn't it?

Re:Competition is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783242)

patents and the subsequent lawsuits aren't competition. Patents are a form of monopoly with a limited duration.

Re:Competition is good (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783400)

, for me is funny that the same people who wanted competition vs Google (WP7 fans, for example) are the same people who want Android dead...

Who are those fans that you speak of? I would prefer to see WP7 do good (though not quite a fan... it'd have to become better first), but I definitely don't want Android dead.

Re:Competition is good (0)

leoplan2 (2064520) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783432)

I should make a correction... MS shills and astroturfers ;-)

Re:Competition is good (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783468)

MS shills and astroturfers

I'm a Microsoft employee (though not in any official quality here, obviously), but I have an Android phone and an Android tablet. Do I qualify? ~

Patents (5, Interesting)

bazald (886779) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783160)

And the patents (from http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011/07/itc-judge-finds-htc-in-infringement-of.html [blogspot.com]) are:

U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647 on a "system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data" (in its complaint, Apple provides examples such as the recognition of "phone numbers, post-office addresses and dates" and the ability to perform "related actions with that data"; one example is that "the system may receive data that includes a phone number, highlight it for a user, and then, in response to a user's interaction with the highlighted text, offer the user the choice of making a phone call to the number")

U.S. Patent No. 6,343,263 on a "real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data" (while this sounds like a pure hardware patent, there are various references in it to logical connections, drivers, programs; in its complaint, Apple said that this patent "relates generally to providing programming abstraction layers for real-time processing applications")

I think I violated these patents just reading this article.

Re:Patents (2)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783178)

Hahaha, that first one won't stand up to scrutiny, the Blackberry was doing auto phone number recognition before the first iPhone was even conceived.

Re:Patents (3, Informative)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783198)

The first Blackberry phone came out in 1999. The patent was filed in 1996 and issued in 1999. I don't think it really matters when the first iPhone was conceived.

Re:Patents (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783250)

My WWIV BBS was auto recognizing and highlighting FIDO net addresses in 1991. My telix client auto recognized certain dowload types and could auto zmodem download with a simple keystroke, also 1991-1992ish.

Re:Patents (-1, Flamebait)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783656)

BBS != phone.

That distinction, though much maligned here, is actually good. Otherwise the patent would be absurdly broad instead of very specific. Then again, Im saying this to people who think patents are just six words long.

Re:Patents (1)

pmontra (738736) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783710)

The patent [uspto.gov] is not about phones. The Claim #1 is about "A computer-based system for detecting structures in data and performing actions on detected structures". Apple was not designing phones back in 1996.

Re:Patents (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 2 years ago | (#36784130)

Wait a sec. Filed in 1996?

Prior art, from 1993, from Apple themselves.

Newton MessagePad. (In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Apple simply filed that patent late and snuck it past the examiners.)

Re:Patents (2)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783212)

Yeah, and the Newton was doing auto phone number recognition before that.

See? It's a good thing Apple didn't spin off Newton...

Re:Patents (1)

dslbrian (318993) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783520)

It's a good thing Apple didn't spin off Newton...

It shouldn't matter if they spun it off, the Newton itself constitutes prior art. According to the timeline [wikipedia.org] it was out in 1993. You can't patent something 3 years after it hits the market.

Re:Patents (1)

itzdandy (183397) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783566)

Yes you can. Your own prior art doesn't disqualify a patent. You can patent something years after products including the concept are on the market if you produced those items.

Re:Patents (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783646)

only in USA. in euro, you show it and it's public. gotta start patenting before that.

Re:Patents (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783220)

Your post won't stand up to scrutiny either -- that patent was filed in 1996 before the first Blackberry was conceived.

Having said that, it seems like a fairly obvious patent? I can't say I read the whole thing though... I'm also surprised there's no prior art; the only similar thing I could personally think of was Microsoft Smart Tags and they don't seem to have arrived before ~2000.

Re:Patents (1)

JMJimmy (2036122) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783300)

The vertical service code system could probably be considered prior art. Think *69, the system receives data in the form of a phone number from a database and based on the user's input performs the action of dialing that number for the user or not. Those standards were developed back in the 70's

The programming abstraction layer patent is a joke.

Re:Patents (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783474)

The patent describes a system which takes a block of text, analyzes it, isolates revealed structured data such as a phone number or email address, highlights or otherwise indicates the structured data to the user, offers a choice of actions upon each item, and upon command executes the user's choice. Whether or not that is a patent-worthy invention is a different argument, but it is not the same as the system you described. Prior art, as well as any possible infringing implementations, would have to do all of those things. For 1996 that is a reasonably novel achievement.

Re:Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783598)

>For 1996 that is a reasonably novel achievement.

Bullshit. It's just regex plus some UI. Most email clients have been doing that for a long time with email addresses and URLs in plain text messages.

You want a specific example. Forte Agent, an email and usenet client did this back in 1994.

Re:Patents (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783248)

Apparently not. That first patent was filed in February of '96, long before the first BlackBerry came out. It would seem Apple has been planning to screw over the world through patent trolling for a very long time.

Re:Patents (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783312)

Or maybe they just wanted to protect the 1996 Newton's features. After all, they do occasionally make a product instead of litigating.

Re:Patents (1)

phonewebcam (446772) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783252)

Yeah, and regarding the second one - lets hope HTC's first touchscreen phone in 2002 wasn't doing any of the "real time serial signal processing" Apple say they invented and started using with their first phone in 2007. HTC are probably ok, since as everyone knows phones couldn't deal with real time signals before Apple's miracle, and users had to be content with being told they "don't need that" until its triumphant descent from the heavens to the earth.

Motorola, the actual inventor of the cellphone (first call 1973), must have a patent or two under its belt. Why doesn't this newcoming upstart try throwing its weight around with them? Its one thing to piddle about with UI stuff, but does their arrogance stretch beyond that to the actual guts of phones and networks of the kind widely in use way back even when Steve Jobs was lying in court [businessinsider.com] that he was a father? Oh, wait... they're American.

Re:Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783402)

Yeah, and regarding the second one - lets hope HTC's first touchscreen phone in 2002 wasn't doing any of the "real time serial signal processing"

And let's hope the judge has a keener eye for detail than you. The patent is from 1994. But don't let pesky details like that stop you from jumping to hare-brained conclusions, lest you begin resorting to ad hominem tactics.

way back even when Steve Jobs was lying in court that he was a father?

Oh. Too late.

Re:Patents (1)

sirlark (1676276) | more than 2 years ago | (#36784030)

My original nokia (forgot the model number) phone back in 1995 (before the patent) was doing this. I could receive an sms, and any string of digits was recognised and made available in the 'add to contacts' and 'call number' menus...

Re:Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783542)

What about smart tags?

Sounds quite like that feature M$ introduced to office ages ago. I doubt this patent will hold up against "prior art".

Re:Patents (1)

TyFoN (12980) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783850)

WTF..
The first patent sound like regular expressions.
If I was making these handsets (or any type of gadget) I might just discard the US market in all an leave them to the patent trolls and focus on the rest of the world.

Re:Patents (1)

queazocotal (915608) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783974)

'647
"A system and method causes a computer to detect and perform actions on structures identified in computer data.
The system provides an analyzer server, an application program interface, a user interface and an action processor.
"
Or in other words - a browser and X.
Analyser server = netscape
API = X
structures in data = html
UI = X

"The analyzer server receives from an application running concurrently data having recognizable structures, uses a pattern analysis unit, such as a parser or fast string search function, to detect structures in the data, and links relevant actions to the detected structures. The application program interface communicates with the application running concurrently, and transmits relevant information to the user interface. Thus, the user interface can present and enable selection of the detected structures, and upon selection of a detected structure, present the linked candidate actions. Upon selection of an action, the action processor performs the action on the detected structure. "

Re:Patents (1)

sirlark (1676276) | more than 2 years ago | (#36784044)

So let me get this straight re: patent #2; Apple says I can't create an API for accessing my sound card? So all sound card drivers are infringing too?

No problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783174)

Google will step in and shield HTC like it did most of its partners. Sorry this message is short, I'm too busy converting 10 years worth of video content to WebM to protect myself from royalties and get in on that Open action.

Sure they did. (0, Flamebait)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783206)

I wonder how much Apple paid them to arrive at that decision...?

Re:Sure they did. (3, Insightful)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783518)

They most likely didn't pay anyone. The problem is that Android DOES infringe on those patents. Now, are the patents legal and should they be is another question altogether. And is the patent system completely and utterly stupid is yet another question.

What puzzles me in this is that Google cannot do a thing to help their manufacturers because they have so few patents. Why they didn't buy Nortel's portfolio is well beyond me. This would have been over in a snap.

Florian Mueller a patent expert? Really? (5, Informative)

Lord Juan (1280214) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783238)

WTH?, Didn't we already established in about every single article written by him that he is a paid microsoft shill trying to create FUD around android? Most of what he writes is BS, as has been proven again and again. I am not saying that everything that we writes should be regarded as BS, although I would ignore it because he already lost all credibility to me, he may eventually write something of value, but to call him a patent expert is just, well, it is enough to get me into rant mode and come post in an article that I should be ignoring. /rant

And I am very sorry for the rant, as I will probably regret it tomorrow, I am off to sleep.

Re:Florian Mueller a patent expert? Really? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783284)

Sometimes it feels like the editors take pleasure in trolling Slashdot.

So how does this effect the rest of the world? (2)

nzac (1822298) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783266)

If this actually gets finalised (right now is just a PR thing) and HTC are forced to make changes does mean that the rest of the world will get a crippled android?
Will they distribute two versions of the software at added cost to them or keep is simpler. (I assume this is legal my internalization patent law knowledge is lacking.)

Could this be how software patents get overthrown when the general public and politicians realise that US sold phones are inferior to what you can get in the third world or china and everywhere else.

This could be a bleassing in disguise for HTC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783546)

They have an opportunity to 'fix' the problems with the Apple Software patent AND importantly the Microsoft ones as well.

They may well have to settle on the signal processing patent.

But and this is the irony, HTC can now honestly code around the Apple & MS patents and come to market giving two fingers (or one if that is your want) to them.
If they were to grab this bull by the horns they could have a very nice USP here.
No more $10 per handset to MS
No more $?? per handset to Apple.

If they did this then I'd probably ditch my ancient nokia 6310 for an HTC phone.
 

Re:So how does this effect the rest of the world? (4, Insightful)

horza (87255) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783644)

Not sure why you'd think it only affects android. The Patent 5,946,647 effectively says nobody can scan some text and when a pattern is detected offer options associated with that pattern in the display. First thing that springs to mind is that probably every email client in the world is in violation, as they scan the text and turn email addresses into links.

It's a pure software patent, and as such not valid in Europe.

Phillip.

Re:So how does this effect the rest of the world? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36784136)

the implications are much much wider that you think
have you ever seen an or tag?
being able to right-clicking on one and get menu option a violation of '647
all those "web-accelerators" promoted in IE? violating the patent

on the plus side, advert scripts randomly underlining words on a webpage and providing a links to related adverts are violating '647

Moving beyond a world of patents (4, Insightful)

SKPhoton (683703) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783272)

"It's amazing what can be accomplished when we don't care who gets the credit." -(I forget who originally said this, ironically enough...) :)

Re:Moving beyond a world of patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783528)

Hilariously enough, Ronald Reagan

Re:Moving beyond a world of patents (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783602)

Actually old Ronnie was pretty sharp. My favorite quote was "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

I am getting pretty sick of Apple (-1, Troll)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783288)

Its time we ban and boycott them. I never thought I would say this but maybe convincing our friends to use Windows instead of Apple products will be a step in the right direction. Microsoft is ethical compared to these mad men. Apple seems to want to stop all competition at all costs and is crazy! Didn,t they just fire their top lawyer because Samsung was allowed to still sell their phones?

I take it personally whe I pay $375 for a $150 phone so these a**holes can fill their their egos and buy more yatchs from their patent trolling. It is not profit Apple seeks but is marketshare. They want you to only buy an IPhone and NOTHING else and will stop at nothing to fullfil their mad vision. That is hostile and scary. I wish anti trust laws would stop this abuse.

In 5 years phone not from Apple will cost $50 to produce yet cost $800 retail. This assumes Android is still around. With no profit made on Google mobile due to Verizon using bing and billions and billions in licensing will put pressure on Google to leave the market.

Re:I am getting pretty sick of Apple (1)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783298)

It's interesting that your username is "Billy Gates". I'm sure it's totally unrelated to the content of your post, but still quite amusing.

By the way, I agree. Apple has totally gone off the reservation.

if 5 years we can print phones on our makerbots (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783320)

and steve jobs will try to figure out what happened.

Re:if 5 years we can print phones on our makerbots (1)

Goddeloos (2375496) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783422)

lol :) Sure hope so. Apple is even worse then M$ when it comes to patents... has been so since the early days (Next for example..).

Re:I am getting pretty sick of Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783470)

Who forced you to buy a $150 phone for $375?

Re:I am getting pretty sick of Apple (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783500)

cheering for one huge controlling company vs another vs another.

right.

there are no honest or morale companies once you get that big.

its a false choice. they ALL would screw you over - and enjoy it, all the while.

to think of an american mega-corp as 'good' - you guys must have some strong koolaid.

Re:I am getting pretty sick of Apple (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783668)

Heh. Im guessing you dream of one day posting at +2? And they say ths site has a low signal-to-noise-ratio.

Why we make (2)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783314)

The system has become so corrupt and so anathema to everything civilized, decent, and holy, that we make, on our own, in the darkness and safety of the night, purely to remind ourselves that somewhere, the human species has some hope for the future, and that the world is not completely controlled by the greedy and the ignorant.

And the only winners are... (1)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783334)

lawyers. Seriously, can we please round these bottom-feeders up and put them at the bottom of Yucca Mountain? Radioactive waste and each other are the only company they're fit to spend eternity with.

Re:And the only winners are... (4, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783344)

lawyers. Seriously, can we please round these bottom-feeders up and put them at the bottom of Yucca Mountain? Radioactive waste and each other are the only company they're fit to spend eternity with.

Good God, are you insane? Imagine the devastation if ten thousand years from now the storage vessel should spring a leak and the area become flooded with a mass of radioactive mutant lawyers.

Re:And the only winners are... (1)

mattOzan (165392) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783690)

lawyers. Seriously, can we please round these bottom-feeders up and put them at the bottom of Yucca Mountain?

I'm all for it, but I think we'll have to wait far too long before any radioactive waste actually ends up there. Let's just go with Chernobyl?

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Did Apple just lap Microsoft? (3, Insightful)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783406)

I think Apple's lapping Microsoft in the douche of the Universe Award. I mean, we still have the swimsuit competition... *shudder* Ballmer in a bikini...

Apple's been getting on my LAST nerve, well, since they went Intel. I'm seriously re-thinking my interest in anything Apple at all. Steve Jobs can sit and spin... The only reason Apple's doing this is because the real threat for their smartphone business is Android phones. I wonder how long it'll take before Apple and Microsoft go toe-to-toe in the smartphone arena...

This fiasco, folks, is why Software Patents are evil.

Re:Did Apple just lap Microsoft? (3, Interesting)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783608)

I think Jobs and co. look at the windows phones and laugh themselves silly. They look at android and think, "damn, if google pulls it's head out of it's ass this could be trouble."

Re:Did Apple just lap Microsoft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783916)

hey, at least we know which patents Apple are using to bludgeon HTC here ... has anyone got a good list of the ones that Microsoft is receiving royalties for yet?

Re:Did Apple just lap Microsoft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783970)

Patents that stop innovation are BAD. We should not allow them. It's not like a physical machine like an engine, or process to make chemicals. If something is a good idea in the software world and people like using it, we really should allow some idea to be 'absorbed' into a general public license. Don't get me wrong, people deserve credit but how much should relate to the time it took to develop.

The people that seem to love Apple seem clueless about what Apple have actually done... closed of a mini handheld computer so only software they endorse, can run. It's like a protection racket in a modern day world. Developers pay and can have their app removed without notice - legally. They have to pay for the ability to make software, pay to have it hosted and pay for every sale they make. APPLE really are SHAMELESS

The fact iphones don't even work most of the time (as a phone) is another matter.

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patent infringement infinite loop (1)

itzdandy (183397) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783570)

I suspect that all of these companies infringe on some of another companies patents. This is the beginning of patent wars that may lead to an eventual reform of patent law.

Re:patent infringement infinite loop (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783982)

They have all known this for a long time. That's why all these "defensive patent portfolios" were developed. They were nuclear deterrents. But then patent trolls emerged and destabilized. And things are only now getting started. Now patent litigation is becoming more profitable for some. Microsoft is making more money from Android than from its own mobile OS.

Ban on import? (1)

TouchAndGo (1799300) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783662)

Since when does patent infringement result in a ban on import rather than a fine and order to pay royalties for the patented item? Is it because HTC isn't a US company?

Re:Ban on import? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783752)

It is better to get competitor out of the market than to pay you. Especially when you have so deep pockets that you dont need money.
And now if they can say

RIAA, MPAA, USPTO? (1, Flamebait)

znerk (1162519) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783822)

I know I'm risking my karma with this, but this subject is just screaming for a rant.

If we can't legally have freedoms anymore, then we'll just have to have them illegally (at least those of us with the backbone to stand up for our rights). Maybe this will be the straw that breaks the patent camel's back. When it becomes obvious that corporations are simply using patents as big sticks to wave at one another and beat down competitors, it becomes just as apparent that patents need to be abolished, not just reformed.

I, for one, couldn't care less about patents... especially when they are used in direct contradiction to the purpose and concepts that originated them in the first place. Patents should not be used as a tool to inhibit technological growth, and if importing Android products becomes illegal, I predict a huge and thriving black market. Furthering that point, I would predict that at the point where personal freedom is infringed for every consumer, we will either all lie down and accept the boot of our masters on our heads, or we will do the same thing we did when they outlawed alcohol; We will ignore the laws, and do what we please... especially when you consider that this latest batch of kids is the "entitlement" generation, with no concepts like "accountability" or "responsibility" to impede them.

I know there's a baby in this bathwater somewhere, but I'm soaked to the skin, and the plug is so much easier to find...
--
"This is why we can't have nice things."

So sell a blank phone... (2)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783888)

If the software is a problem can't they just sell a blank phone without an OS and leave it up to the user to load an OS (which they can download from HTC's Russian website)?

I seem to remember reading that one of the very early 8 bit computers (might have even been the Apple) was having a problem getting it's PSU approved by the FCC or some authority so they sold it without a PSU and the user had to source one themselves.

OTOH... I believe the iPhone comes without iOS loaded and you have to load it via iTunes, so maybe Apple already has a patent on this concept too ;)

Re:So sell a blank phone... (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783960)

Replying to myself...

If the software is a problem can't they just sell a blank phone without an OS and leave it up to the user to load an OS (which they can download from HTC's Russian website)?

Or do what some games do - release the game without the disputed content then leak a patch (again, via a Russian website :) to put that content back in again.

Re:So sell a blank phone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36784014)

Just one, more like fifty. Apple have experience loss of business due to a sneaky employee that saw a way of copying without legally getting into trouble.

In the early days of home computing Apple was dominant. Them MS (Bill) ripped the idead of a icon based OS with pretty graphics and a mouse, and made Windows. Now most people with a PC are running Windows of some flavour, and people that don't know how a computer works use Apple Mac's. They are much more user frieldly as errors are generally in a more 'plain' english. Sure Apple have come back with the iPhone and iPad's but these are not that good a computing from what i've seen.

Apple know how valuable concepts are and they probably have as many skilled legal people trying to protect what they do, ignoring that fact that this may not even be protectable. I mean just change little aspects like Bill did (trash = recycle etc), surely the legal team at HTC can get around this?

Re:So sell a blank phone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36784148)

and people that don't know how a computer works use Apple Mac's. They are much more user frieldly as errors are generally in a more 'plain' english.

That's interesting, because in my circles, the people who know how computers work, and I mean really know how computers work, all use Mac's. These "most people" you are talking about are the ones who know (or think they know) how Windows works ... and a good portion of them want nothing more to do with it.

Apple to set up manufacturing in US (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783968)

Apple is in the process of burning a thousand bridges it would seem. Just as Microsoft set itself up as a company no one should trust, Apple is close in following. Suing its suppliers? No one else in that part of the world will want to do business with them either. If they keep this up, they will have to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. And if you think Apple is overpriced now...

Not so fast Florian (1)

sgrover (1167171) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783996)

I've seen a number of grand statements like this from Florian Mueller. I do believe that every single one (that I've read about at least) turned out to be putting the best possible spin on something for whoever has the most to gain by such spin. I've also seen Florian's reports dissected and rejected soundly (Google Florian, SCO, and Groklaw). I don't bother reading anything he writes anymore, as it is almost always fear mongering, FUD, and spin. I believe the term that applies here is "paid shill". Of course, all that is just my own opinion - read his writings with a grain of doubt and form your own opinion.

HTC just sold one more phone :) (1)

Torp (199297) | more than 2 years ago | (#36784108)

I was tempted to get the rumored 'cheap' iPhone if it surfaces in autumn... looks like i'll have to buy a HTC one instead when my current (Android) phone dies.

iOS has much better overall polish, but if they want to compete on lawyers instead of features, i'll vote with my wallet - for the underdog.

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