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HTC Ready For Apple Patent War

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the one-bad-apple dept.

Patents 98

chrb writes "The BBC have an interview with HTC CEO Peter Chou. Last week, a judge at the International Trade Commission found that HTC had violated two of Apple's patents. HTC shares fell 7% on the news. Chou predicts that HTC will win an appeal against the ITC finding in December. He also reveals that HTC is preparing to fight back; it will soon acquire an extra 235 patents from its takeover of S3 Graphics — including two that Apple has already been found guilty of infringing."

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Obviously (-1, Flamebait)

The Dawn Of Time (2115350) | more than 3 years ago | (#36883206)

Apple should be forced to allow everyone to use their work for free. It is the only possible moral stance.

Re:Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36883244)

Which part of "including two that Apple has already been found guilty of infringing" is not clear?

Re:Obviously (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36883522)

Didn't you get the memo? Steve Jobs personally invented every aspect of personal computing, 13-proton nuclei, and the physical property of capacitance. HTC, by contrast, is definitionally incapable of doing anything except copying American Innovations...

Re:Obviously (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36885064)

Being an Asian company that is exactly true. All they do is copy/steal and mass produce cheaply.

Re:Obviously (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36891648)

But Steve Jobs was born in Hawaii (if you believe that obviously forged document), and is a Muslim. So doesn't that make him a non-American and probably a traitor.

(I may be getting my neo-fascist fucktard memes mixed up here. Slightly.)

Oops, I forgot to use twenty+ exclamation marks. But that would just disturb the Force of Slashcode, so I won't bother ; take them as read and insert randomly as you see fit.

Re:Obviously (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36885172)

Which part of that has anything to do with anything? Did that actually form a coherent rebuttal in your mind? Are you that blinded by anti-Apple rage?

Re:Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36883604)

I wish HTC all the best and hope upon hope that they prevail and that bunch of tossers apple are brought to their knees on a permanent basis they ARE patent trolls and need top pay the price , people that pay for apple products need to be fined as well for knowingly and wilfully funding a corrupt Organisation
YMMV mine is rock solid apple must die.

Re:Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36883804)

YMMV mine is rock solid apple must die.

Apple is just a symptom of the disease. Nothing would be gained if they died. As long as the patent system is such a giant turd, one patent troll less won't make a difference.

Right. (0)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 3 years ago | (#36883208)

I'm getting some popcorn. This should be fun.

Re:Right. (1)

Tasha26 (1613349) | more than 3 years ago | (#36883268)

The way those patent wars last, i think you'll need a really big bucket.

Re:Right. (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36883492)

bucket? the government should open the strategic popcorn reserves...

Re:Right. (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36884562)

Nah, a strategic reserve should be saved for dire strategic need, not for short term political gains. Once it's gone, it's gone. Hang on to that popcorn, we are about to live in interesting times.

Re:Right. (1)

jamiesan (715069) | more than 3 years ago | (#36884938)

Oh yeah?! Well, may YOU live in interesting times too buddy!

Re:Right. (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#36885258)

Probably more along the lines of a dump truck.

Re:Right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36883420)

It's a little early for popcorn. I'm going to eat some oatmeal and spank my monkey.

...Huh. (5, Insightful)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 3 years ago | (#36883234)

While I do hope Apple loses this patent troll suit...

"it will soon acquire an extra 235 patents from its takeover of S3 Graphics"

...I really hope HTC doesn't become tomorrow's patent troll.

Re:...Huh. (0)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36883308)

I don't really care if HTC, Samsung, Google - any of these become patent troll. It's still better than Apple who more and more looks like a whining bitch. Our Icons!! Our GUI!! Our user experience!!!

May be Nokia and Kodak should have done better job and fuck Apple in the ass to put them to bed for good.

Re:...Huh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36883704)

I feel similar. I'd like to see real competition, not lawsuits about some obscure (this on this... on a portable device, held in the left hand...) patent warring that determines what OS and what I can do with my device.

It also shows that Apple has is genuinely scared of Android -- too scared to want to play fair. It also shows Apple is afraid of HTC, because HTC has been making quality [1] devices for far longer than Apple has, and HTC has ceased to lock down devices, allowing the user to do whatever they desire.

My hopes is that Apple and HTC cross-license their stuff and things go back to competing on which product actually sucks less.

[1]: I've had a HTC WM phone last four years used daily, and the only reason why I'm not still using it is because the battery died, and I used that as an excuse to get a new phone.

Re:...Huh. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36883844)

That's pretty idiotic. All of these patent suits do nothing but hurt us the customers, and yet you're so blinded by your hate for Apple that you're really cool with technological progress being artificially slowed by any other company? Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid.

Re:...Huh. (2)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 3 years ago | (#36884622)

Uhh, Apple is the one continually stifling progress by throwing around patents. Are you new here?

Maybe having to take some of their own medicine will make them think a little differently. I mean they even have patents that now prevent the W3C, an organization they are a member of, from making progress on finalizing standards. How does that one work?

Not like I really like HTC either. If they both litigate each-other into the ground I'd find that massively entertaining.

Re:...Huh. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36884992)

Do you really think Apple is the only one stifling progress? That's my point, and that's why the GP's point is idiotic. All of these patent suits stifle progress and being in favor of other companies becoming patent trolls just for the sake of seeing Apple lose a lawsuit is idiotic.
 
Do you really think Apple losing a patent suit will make them against Apple. Are you new here? When Microsoft lost patent suits, did they go all out against software patents? When Apple lost previous patent suits, did they do it? You guys are so blinded by Apple hate that you're acting stupid.

Re:...Huh. (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36884310)

While I do hope Apple loses this patent troll suit...

"it will soon acquire an extra 235 patents from its takeover of S3 Graphics" ...I really hope HTC doesn't become tomorrow's patent troll.

This is how it works, unfortunately. It's not about who invents what, it's just ammo to be bought and hoarded in a destructive corporate war. It's this behaviour that gets rewarded, while companies who are against software patents get punished.

Re:...Huh. (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 3 years ago | (#36885596)

All of the big players have backed themselves into a corner with these patent disputes. It would help if the patents being fought over were actually certified as valid before they started suing each other but they seem to have skipped that step in favor of wasting a lot of money creating uncertainty which is slowing down the implementation of new technology. I am still having a hard time understanding how all of these java related patents were even declared patents in the first place. The majority of the Java related tech isn't anymore cutting edge and ground breaking now than it was 10 years ago. I am expecting to see a patent dispute any day now that involves BASIC. I am sure if you look hard enough you can find a couple of ideas used in BASIC that have percolated up into something recently. Android/Linux are both descendants of UNIX variants and while the developers did not clone or violate any licensing requirements by using any of the UNIX baseline libraries they did create alternative implementations to provide the same basic functionality in the end. Any of these big companies holding patents (valid or not) are being forced to defend them or lose them. Entire companies are being bought and sold just to gain hold of patent rights and the employees are the ones getting screwed. I am approaching this argument from a developer perspective so if the "end users" end up with a price increase but I can still have a job then I can live with that. I thought a few years ago that the industry was going to be sensible and build their patent libraries for use in negotiating cross licensing deals which would help ensure the tech would be out and everyone would get a share of the profits.

Re:...Huh. (1)

hazydave (96747) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901070)

The patent being granted IS certification of validity, legally and everything. Sure, it doesn't mean it even remotely ought to be valid, but that's how the patent law works...once granted, it's someone else's job to prove invalidity.

The reason many patents were granted... well, there are so many. A good number of software patents were granted because the examiners at the PTO in these cases didn't know squat about software development, and so had no basis for rejecting them (well, or understanding them..). By all rights, given that part of the original basis for a patent is that the invention can't be "obvious to one skilled in the art", than it ought to hold that, if the patent is granted without being examined by one skilled in the specific art(s) applicable, it has to be invalidated, or at least suspended pending examination.

Another reason is prior art -- the patent applicant is supposed to include all known prior art, but they don't often do this. The PTO's search for prior art generally begins and ends with a search of existing patents... unless the specific examiner happens to "just know" about something else.

Public peer review is the real answer, but until there's a mechanism in the USA to force this, there are only a few programs around that work based on voluntary submissions of patent applications. The IEEE has such a peer review group... but you can't expect anyone with known dodgy patents will be submitting them. The PTO did launch the "Peer to Patent" program (http://www.peertopatent.org) a few years back, but it's fairly small scale. And working with universities only will limit the quality of the review, just as review by examiners often does.

I think lots of companies initially begin building their patent portfolios for defense. That was IBM's approach long ago... they were so big, they worried about anyone dropping a couple patents, say, on the IBM PC for example. So they negotiated cross licensing agreements with everyone. Problem was, you can't license in-kind against companies with just a handful of patents, just wouldn't be fair. When I dealt with them, they weren't all that bad on the costs.. you'd pay a percentage for one, two, or three-or-more. So 1,000 IBM patents in a product wouldn't run you any more money than three.

However, by then (late 80s) their patent department had become a very successful profit center. It has started gaming the system... their lawyers knew just what the PTO would approve, how to get things through, and this was not long after the US PTO had started allowing software patents. So IBM was patenting thousands of things that had existed for years, maybe decades... but of course, were not covered by existing patents. Because, of course, patents couldn't contain software, previously.

And when IBM came after your company or product, they'd hit you with a stack of 20-40 or so patents. Many didn't apply, many could trivially be invalidated in court (but, at least then, you very much DID have to go to court... so it could get crazy expensive). And there was a very good chance that, if you made it though that stack, there's be another. And another. And another. So pretty much everyone paid.

And that was then. One patent IBM was granted, in 1984 (!) was "cut and paste between text buffers"... exactly as used in Emacs back in the 70s, and probably a bunch of other wordprocessors and text editors. Under today's mentality, they'd be suing Apple, Microsoft, Google... pretty much the entire computer industry.... for allowing cut and paste. Regardless of the fact that, if my cut and paste algorithm functions differently than theirs, their patent doesn't apply (a patent is for a very specific implementation of something, not a concept or idea... it only gets treated as covering that idea, according to the patent holder, once granted). Not to mention that such a thing is "obvious to anyone skilled in the art".

235 is nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36884360)

235 patents is nothing when nearly every dead obvious idea in computer science has already been patented. We are not talking about hundreds of patents -- we are talking about hundreds of thousands of patents.

Re:...Huh. (3, Insightful)

jader3rd (2222716) | more than 3 years ago | (#36884420)

...I really hope HTC doesn't become tomorrow's patent troll.

I think of patent trolls as those who don't produce anything (or anything of perceptible market value), yet sue over the fact that they hold a patent. HTC is actually producing products.

Re:...Huh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36885590)

I don't know if there is some official One True Definition of patent troll but I think it is safe to include anybody under that umbrella that uses frivolous patents egregiously in an attempt to extinguish competition rather than compete on merits. MS is having a field day doing this with Android. Despite the fact that they have their pathetic offering on the market (wp7), it's safe to say they are trolling Android with their patents. I mean, displaying the words before the pictures in a browser? That's trolling. Blame it on the USPTO, MS, Amazon (one click), whoever but a troll is a troll.

Re:...Huh. (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#36890220)

...I really hope HTC doesn't become tomorrow's patent troll.

I think of patent trolls as those who don't produce anything (or anything of perceptible market value), yet sue over the fact that they hold a patent. HTC is actually producing products.

As a fan of HTC (I've owned two HTC Android phones and would buy another if they release one with a physical KB) but am wary HTC becoming a patent troll. However producing something does not prevent someone from being a patent troll. Apple produces something but it's no longer able to compete effectively, so they are suing in an attempt to hinder their competition. I dont think HTC will do the same, but I wont ignore the possibility.

Re:...Huh. (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 3 years ago | (#36885068)

it will soon acquire an extra 235 patents from its takeover of S3 Graphics"

...I really hope HTC doesn't become tomorrow's patent troll.

One way or another, somebody is going to have them.

Re:...Huh. (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 3 years ago | (#36886994)

Fair enough I suppose.

Re:...Huh. (0)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 3 years ago | (#36887866)

Apple, by definition, cannot be a patent troll. Because they attack another company over patents for which they actually produced a product.

So no, Apple is not the next patent troll. And no, 235 patents aren't going to help HTC against the hundreds of thousands that Apple holds.

If only they'd make patents valid for one year (in software and in technology in general), all this would go away a lot sooner.

Re:...Huh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36888238)

Apple is a patent troll because they're patenting things that, if it weren't for legalese and unethical laws, shouldn't be patent-able.

Re:...Huh. (2)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 3 years ago | (#36888514)

Apple is a patent troll because they're patenting things that, if it weren't for legalese and unethical laws, shouldn't be patent-able.

Aaaaand, congratulations. However, that's not what we call a patent troll.

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

Re:...Huh. (1)

gmon750 (1216394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36888230)

Of course... because it's not like HTC would try to then sue the other makers of Android phones of violating their patents right??
HTC might be in the mood to start thinning the Android herd a bit.

Re:...Huh. (1)

Tasha26 (1613349) | more than 3 years ago | (#36890770)

Well, you know what they say about waking up a dragon...

Play with fire and get burned (2, Insightful)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 3 years ago | (#36883266)

I think it is very fitting, for companies who sue using patents to have said sued companies come back with even more patents and try to cause financial harm to them in the same manner.

There are too many people in the world for ideas to be the property of a single man. Companies still get first mover advantage if they are the first to do something.

Another round (3, Informative)

Quila (201335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36883660)

Apple paid the lion's share for the 6,000 Nortel patents purchased by the Apple/MS/RIM consortium.

And much of that isn't software patents and such, it's hard-core telecommunications patents, including many covering LTE.

Re:Another round (1)

d4fseeker (1896770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36883974)

While there might be some fodder for a new round of the patent war, I guess most of these have already been licensed.
So while it will bring Apple some strategic advantage, it will not necessarely bring disadvantages to it's competitors.

Re:Another round (2)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36885016)

It will bring definite disadvantage to any possible new competitors, since Apple et. al. will be able to handily keep them out of the market. In the mobile space, there will only be the incumbents. No new companies will rise, and this "Patent Axis" will make sure of that.

Anti-trust? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36887274)

Why isn't somebody trying to launch an anti-trust suit against such acts of patent "terrorism"? It won't make patent trolls go away, but it would help keep would-be patent monopolists, as Apple is threatening to become, from dominating the technology landscape.

Re:Another round (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36884004)

I'm assuming that those won't matter as far as the current disputes are concerned. Consider that HTC, and several other manufacturers have already released phones that use LTE networks. Either they've already secured the rights to use those patents through previous licensing arrangements and Apple can't do anything about it, or that they were utterly stupid blatantly used several patents without licensing them and were going to get sued regardless.

It's more likely that Apple purchased these to avoid having to pay licensing for their 4G products. Even if it's only a small amount per device, when they're likely to be making over 100 million devices per year, the costs add up over time.

Just die, Apple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36883276)

Apple has started it, Apple is going to end it by just going down one of these days.

Sure I can dream.

Re:Just die, Apple. (+Oracle) (0)

Tasha26 (1613349) | more than 3 years ago | (#36883322)

Amen!

Re:Just die, Apple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36883622)

Apple has started it, Apple is going to end it by just going down one of these days.

Sure I can dream.

Well, it happened once before.

Unfortunately, they've also resurrected once before, too.

Chess with patents? (5, Insightful)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | more than 3 years ago | (#36883388)

What a tangled game; what an impediment to society.

This is the ONE Patent (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36885264)

Rumor has it that Bill Gates has recently acquired the one patent to rule them all.

Re:This is the ONE Patent (1)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36889718)

The One Patent was forged from the fires of Mount Ballmer

Re:Chess with patents? (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#36886102)

Not chess, it's Global Thermonuclear War.

Care to play a game?

In all seriousness, the whole telecommunications patent system was in some ways held together by a MAD philosophy. Once one corporation thought they had an advantage and fired the first shot, the inevitable domino effect has pulled in every major company involved in the industry. Now granted, it isn't mutually assured destruction because it's a zero sum game, someone will come out ahead (though after you subtract out legal costs perhaps not), it's just not entirely clear who that is going to be.

Ready for War or Negotiation? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36883404)

(Posting as AC because I'm at work and I don't log into websites from work...)

According to Bloomberg, HTC is ready to negotiate with Apple. [bloomberg.com] Now, I know that's not as exciting as "HTC Ready for Apple Patent War" because there's just so much sensationalism in that, but why let facts get in the way of sensationalism, right?

Re:Ready for War or Negotiation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36883696)

Yeah, this article is all over the 'net -- and surprise! -- only Slashdot has listed with this angle. In fact, in the same interview Mr. Chou goes to great lengths to express how they want to settle with Apple. Guess the submitter didn't like that, huh? Big surprise. It's no wonder why Slashdot's traffic is way down (according to their own marketing materials distributed to ad networks).

Re:Ready for War or Negotiation? (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36886154)

in the same interview Mr. Chou goes to great lengths to express how they want to settle with Apple

Oh really? Where exactly in the interview does Mr. Chou say that?

Re:Ready for War or Negotiation? (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36886234)

It's perfectly possible to be "willing to negotiate" and "ready for war" at the same time. The two are not mutually exclusive.

why let facts get in the way of sensationalism

The BBC article has the headline "HTC is braced for Apple smartphone patent war: Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC has said it is prepared to wage a patent war against Apple." The summary says "HTC Ready for Apple Patent War". Are the two really so different?

Patent Poker... (0)

corecaptain (135407) | more than 3 years ago | (#36883434)

Here's 10 patents and I raise you 235 more...

What a god damn joke the whole system is.

anti-competition (4, Insightful)

SkunkPussy (85271) | more than 3 years ago | (#36883468)

How about we compete on innovation instead of on ability to lock a competitor out of a market?

Re:anti-competition (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36883592)

How about companies innovate instead of just coping apple?

Re:anti-competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36884024)

coping (with) Apple's copying of other company's designs you mean?

Right on! Well said!!

Re:anti-competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36886194)

Apples has the patents that means it's legally their invention.

Re:anti-competition (3, Interesting)

chrb (1083577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36884118)

That's what Mr. Chou wants: "We all have been living in this village for a long time, making smartphones. But one day this powerful man came in and said I invented this world, this world is mine. I don't think so. We have been making smartphones before the iPhone. This world belongs to all and nobody has a right to ask other people to leave. What it means is we don't want to copy anyone, we want to be a premium product. This world, this market is very big... is for all of us. Nobody should tell other people to leave and we should compete in the market place, let consumers decide... rather than in court."

Re:anti-competition (-1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 3 years ago | (#36884320)

Apple did in fact invent the PDA. It is undeniable. 5 years after they invented the device, they even invented the term. Most of the current patent violations from HTC go back to that time. (the patents are actually expiring soon).

To claim Apple had no role in the invention of the smartphone is absurd. All smartphones are simply different evolutionary successors to the newton.

It is also silly to call Apple a patent troll. People who were violatimg these patents for years were ignored when Apple was not participating in that market. They only sue over patents that are used in current products.

Re:anti-competition (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36884470)

Bullshit, the first PDA was by Psion, the Organizer II, in 1986. Apple only invented the term "PDA". That and five bucks will get Apple coffee at Starbucks.

Re:anti-competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36884638)

Apple only invented the term "PDA".

And it was introduced by John Sculley the man who saved Apple in the Eighties.

Re:anti-competition (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36885092)

The Newton failed commercially.

Re:anti-competition (2)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 3 years ago | (#36885004)

You realize Newton series was mainly just repackaged Sharp hardware, don't you? Granted they wrote their own software, but the hardware and most of the form factors came from other companies, who had been selling that hardware with their own ROM's before Apple even started. Sharp and Casio in particular started making "pockecon" [pocket computer] in 1980, the devices that would later be called PDA's.

Check it out, first sentence: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MessagePad [wikipedia.org]
For reference, most of the Newton devices were Sharp Zaurus (post-pokekon) hardware. The original Newton for example was a Sharp PI-7000 with the Apple ROM.

Re:anti-competition (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#36886028)

But Japan is in a different world from the rest of us. Maybe even 5 years or so in the future ;).

Re:anti-competition (2)

jareth-0205 (525594) | more than 3 years ago | (#36885094)

Of course, when Apple violates others' patents (eg well established valid ones from Nokia), they refuse to licence...

Re:anti-competition (2)

Calos (2281322) | more than 3 years ago | (#36886386)

Look at these tables, and ignore the rest, because it's Florian Mueller: http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011/07/these-tables-show-how-android-infringes.html [blogspot.com]

Patent troll? Yes. These complaints basically amount to "running a regex on an incoming text to look for things like addresses, and then making it possible for the user to interact with the recognized address by e.g. opening up Maps and having Maps search for that address," and claiming that no one can have an API which allows real-time interaction with a datastream, such as DSP effects on an audio stream.

Superfluous? Yes. Prior art? Yes. Patent troll? You betcha.

Re:anti-competition (1, Interesting)

BSDimwit (583028) | more than 3 years ago | (#36884398)

What do you think these patent lawsuits are if not competing on innovation? I know it's not popular slashdot groupthink but patents are a way of staking claim to your innovations and preventing others from taking advantage of it in hopes that the resulting product will be better than the competition's. Apple is not your run of the mill patent troll. They actually make products incorporating these patentable inventions and I can't fault them for wanting to prevent other competing products from using those inventions.

Now I agree that software patents are a "bad idea," but not every patent lawsuit is about software patents. We all remember that Nokia managed to get a licensing out of Apple, so why shouldn't Apple be able to do the same for things they invented?

Re:anti-competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36884834)

Because they're Apple and it's now cool to hate Apple. At least on Slashdot.

Re:anti-competition (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36885090)

What do you think these patent lawsuits are if not competing on innovation?

It's a war game designed to stake out territory and drive the barriers to entry up. The goal is to destroy competition, first and foremost.

patents are a way of staking claim to your innovations and preventing others from taking advantage of it in hopes that the resulting product will be better than the competition's

That is absolutely not what's going on here. This is about filing and buying as many patents as possible to ensure that your competitors are beset by legal challenges in the hopes that they go away or go under.

Apple is not your run of the mill patent troll. They actually make products incorporating these patentable inventions and I can't fault them for wanting to prevent other competing products from using those inventions.

Sure, but if Apple has its way, we'll only have products on the market from companies that Apple permits, and in that case we all lose.

We all remember that Nokia managed to get a licensing out of Apple, so why shouldn't Apple be able to do the same for things they invented?

What has Apple invented that isn't software that they are suing over?

Re:anti-competition (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36886296)

Apple is not your run of the mill patent troll. They actually make products incorporating these patentable inventions

So does HTC.

HTC could not be reached for comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36883540)

Their graphics cards couldn't render the RFC email...

The problem is... (4)

trum4n (982031) | more than 3 years ago | (#36883550)

If any of these were my patents, the judge would tell me to pissoff, and apple would keep using them for free. Then they would re-patent them, like they did with multitouch, magically have no prior art, then i would be sued for infringement.

Re:The problem is... (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 3 years ago | (#36884338)

Apple did not repatent multi-touch , they bought the company that had the patents.

Abolish patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36883610)

And the money flushed down the toilet on these stupid patent lawsuits can go into creating new and better products for people.

What a waste.

Patent wars, everyone loses. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36883684)

These constant patent wars are ripping the one precious resource that is in shortest supply: Time.

We are frittering away hours that could be used for so much more. We must streamline, cleanup and in general FIX this abomination called patent law.

Aliens vs Predators (2)

mu51c10rd (187182) | more than 3 years ago | (#36883772)

This seems very relevant to this article...

"No matter who wins, we lose"

All these patent lawsuits only result in settlements and royalties paid which then creates more costs to pass on to us consumers.

Re:Aliens vs Predators (1)

paziek (1329929) | more than 3 years ago | (#36883992)

Its not like you have to buy HTC or Apple. Or buy new phone each year. If its just voice and text, then phone from 10 years ago does this job just as good as current ones. Sure you don't have nice threaded view on SMS and touch interface, but battery holds for much longer.

Re:Palm vs Aliens vs Predators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36885672)

HP Palm Pixi for $41 bucks on amazon. All the goodies and costs practically nothing.

Re:Palm vs Aliens vs Predators (1)

ivaldes3 (175216) | more than 3 years ago | (#36886532)

Not trying to flog or sell anyone on the Palm Pixi but I have tried this. WebOS is good, runs Linux. You can get a root prompt directly from built-in terminal which is something. Does it seem to be relatively un-encumbered by patents and such? The price on it is amazing and the user interface is good... -- IV

Re:Aliens vs Predators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36886604)

haha, falling behind contemporary culture is a sure-fire way to win.

Re:Aliens vs Predators (1)

Arctech (538041) | more than 3 years ago | (#36887714)

Right now just about every major technology corporation in Silicon Valley have amassed large sums of software patents (most of which should never have been awarded or given credence in the first place) for the express purpose of either frivolous use in lawsuits, or the threat bringing suit.

Granted there are not many easy solutions to this gross misuse of the original intent of patent law, but the answer of "don't buy a smartphone" isn't really going to help much. It's a systemic problem widespread in the industry, and I'm doubtful it will go away without serious patent reform.

Bloomberg has another story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36883812)

While FTA article above mentions that HTC will fight apple now Bloomberg quoting HTC Cheif financial officer says "We have to sit down and figure it out,we are open to having discussions" is negotiating with apple for a licensing deal.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-26/htc-says-it-s-willing-to-negotiate-with-apple-over-patent-fight.html

I really hope that Apple loses this . It would be bad for HTC to lose and force into a patent licensing deal.

Buy HTC stocks now! (1)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 3 years ago | (#36884012)

If the HTC CEO says so, it must be true.
Now make those 7% recover please, or he won't get his bonus this month.

This American Life - "When Patents Attack" (4, Informative)

rcb1974 (654474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36884236)

NPR just aired a great story about the problems with some patents including software patents. It is nice to hear this stuff in mainstream media because it means more people are getting informed. That will hopefully result in more action to clean up this mess. http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/441/when-patents-attack [thisamericanlife.org] Check it out.

Re:This American Life - "When Patents Attack" (1)

frozenphil (1126291) | more than 3 years ago | (#36885274)

It's funny that you think NPR is mainstream media.

Re:This American Life - "When Patents Attack" (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36888862)

It's certainly more mainstream than Slashdot.

With NPR, at least it'll make other major media outlets aware of the issue and begin to run their own segments on software patents. Which stance they take depends on the network, but having it out in the open for discussion is better than nobody knowing that it is even a thing.

Re:This American Life - "When Patents Attack" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37009576)

NPR just aired a great story about the problems with some patents including software patents. It is nice to hear this stuff in mainstream media ...

NPR is main-stream media?

Who to Believe (1)

Cryophallion (1129715) | more than 3 years ago | (#36884250)

Within minutes of each other, we have one story here that says they will duke it out, and TechCrunch saying that they are now scared and are going to settle (http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/26/htc-warms-up-to-settlement-talks-with-apple/).

Seriously, there is way too much speculative journalism and hot shot CEOs all trying to put a good spin on where they stand.

In the end: Patents are killing everything, and we all lose. If it doesn't get under control soon, it will just be a big royal rumble cage match where everyone is covered in blood. And the cost of our devices will shoot through the roof due to lawyers fees.

Of course, it takes so long for Congress or the courts to do anything, that in the meantime, we all have to just duck and cover.

Re:Who to Believe (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 3 years ago | (#36884574)

In the end: Patents are killing everything, and we all lose.

Not if you're an inventor, or entrepreneur. The company I work for has 'invented' some pretty neat stuff - Patents ensure that we get revenue from our inventions - Others license rights to use our IP.

Re:Who to Believe (2)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#36885034)

Only if you don't actually try to make what you invent. If you do, then somebody else will come and sue you over twelve hundred "inventions" that they previously patented that are similar to some minor aspect of what you invented.

In the current patent climate, only patent trolls win. The only way to fix this is to shorten patent terms and limit transferability of patents from employees to their employers.

So if you invent a rotating screen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36885338)

So if you invent a rotating screen three years ago, Apple now owns your soul.

Please tell me how patents have helped your inventors.

Re:Who to Believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36886114)

In the end: Patents are killing everything, and we all lose.

Not if you're an inventor, or entrepreneur. The company I work for has 'invented' some pretty neat stuff - Patents ensure that we get revenue from our inventions - Others license rights to use our IP.

Until one of the Big Dogs gets interested. If you're lucky, they'll buy you. Otherwise, they'll inundate the courts with patent challenges, or more likely find one or more of THEIR patents that you're infringing.

It's amazing how un-level a playing field can become once your pockets are deep enough.

Re:Who to Believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36886800)

This. Also being a shareholder in Apple, which any person can be... I tend to like the result of this.

Also, the patent dispute itself doesn't matter... It's delaying HTC until they are no longer competitive that is important. And by putting the fear into other Android manufaturers that you can't just ape Apple and get away with it. They aren't really seeking to block HTC in the US... they are trying to knock them off their ass.

Apple will stall them for awhile ( 1 year say ) and then they'll let them settle for something or do a patent rights exchange.

HTC vs. Apple & Apple vs. HTC Score Card (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36884750)

HTC vs. Apple: Lawyers 1 - Consumers 0
Apple vs. HTC: Lawyers 1 - Consumers 0

Aggregate: Lawyers 2 - Consumers 0

Legal bills always end up in the retail price of the respective companies products.

Apple isn't the only litigeous bastard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36885056)

I'll get modded down for this, but I have to point out that Apple isn't the only company suing over patents in the mobile space... not by a long shot.

See http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/04/an-explosion-of-mobile-patent-lawsuits/ [nytimes.com]

Innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36885282)

Innovation Anyone?

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