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Preliminary ITC Ruling: Motorola Not In Violation of Apple's Patents

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the obvious-things-might-be-obvious dept.

Android 106

SpuriousLogic writes with a preliminary ruling in the ITC case between Apple and Motorola. Quoting eWeek: "Motorola is celebrating an initial triumph over Apple, after a U.S. International Trade Commission administrative law judge issued an initial determination (PDF) finding that Motorola Mobility has not violated any of the three patents listed in an October 2010 lawsuit Apple filed against the Droid maker. ... The determination isn't the final say ... in March, the ruling will be reviewed by a six-member ITC panel that will announce the ultimate ruling. However, according to Zacks Equity Research, it's unusual for the ITC panel, which has the power to block device imports, to contradict a judge's determination."

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Bribes? (-1, Flamebait)

HankMoody (2554362) | more than 2 years ago | (#38719906)

How shocking. How much Google paid for the judge for his "honest" ruling? It's clear that patents were violated. Not only does Google openly violate any and all patents they can and spend lots of money to buy their patent warchest to abuse and control the markets, they also violate copyrights of independant book writers and publishers and everything on youtube.

Re:Bribes? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38719922)

It's hard to be clear about patents when the patents themselves (never mind the patent system itself) are unintelligible.

Did a Google Streetview car run over your dog or something?

seems so (4, Informative)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38719938)

Did a Google Streetview car run over your dog or something?

or more likely, he is one of them 4-5 shill accounts which always end up having a first post against google/pro microsoft in all relevant subjects. someone was tracking them. i guess s/he will post in this thread too.

Re:seems so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38720188)

Where does Microsoft come into this? This is about Google and Apple. There'd be no point in Microsoft shilling this.

Re:seems so (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720212)

in THIS. there seems to be 4-5 accounts that that guy has identified, which go about having always the first post in all google/microsoft related stories. this is what i said.

Re:seems so (1)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720834)

I'll wager it's Bonch.

Re:seems so (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720294)

Hanlon's razor

Re:seems so (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38721966)

bonch (appears to be one of the subscribed accounts)
DCTech (2545590)
ge7 (2194648)
zget (2395308)
cgeys
*x**y*y**x* (not sure of correct spelling here)
InsightIn140Bytes
SharkLaser
HankMoody (2554362)
TechGuys (2554082)

(there are *at least* 4-5 more than that. it's been happening for over a year)

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/cdd1ea06-7cc0-11e0-994d-00144feabdc0.html [ft.com]

Facebook has admitted that it secretly hired a public-relations group in the US with the aim of generating stories critical of Google’s approach to privacy. ...
Burson-Marsteller, a WPP-owned PR agency whose clients also include Microsoft, contacted US newspaper reporters and opinion-piece writers with a view to securing coverage on Google’s alleged use of personal information from Facebook and other social networks.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2614186&cid=38654948 [slashdot.org]

It's the [...]Anti-Google astroturfer. The last one got killed because it he admitted he was a paid astroturfer for MS. This one isn't going to last very long either. Note for anyone who is wondering why I know (with >95% certainty) that DCTech is a paid astroturfer:
* brand new handle
* posts random Google is evil posts in the most unrelated topics
* does so within seconds of the article being up
* does little other than post Google is evil

Also:

* Will often praise Apple or RIM or another non-google company in a fake concession to hide the motive of the post
* Often will critisize Linux
* Will say things like "well, at least this is one thing MS/FB gets right, compare that to how evil Google is"
-------

Re:seems so (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38723278)

why dont we start beating up such people in back alleys ? the astroturfers i mean ? these people are being paid to deceive us. and they are getting away with it. if someone from our neighborhood did that, there would be a whole lot of mess.

Re:Bribes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38719984)

It's hard to be clear about patents when the patents themselves (never mind the patent system itself) are unintelligible.

Did a Google Streetview car run over your dog or something?

No, but it has some good shots of him soliciting a prostitute last week.

Motorola is in the cable industry and they can pla (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38719932)

Motorola is in the cable industry and they can play some real hard ball.

Hay apple good luck getting a tv service with NO Comcast / or NBC content.

Re:Motorola is in the cable industry and they can (5, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720790)

I hear Motorola invented this "cellular phone" thing that might prove popular some day. You should look it up on Wikipedia. But not Wednesday. Wednesday Wikipedia will be down.

Motorola should sue Apple back (3, Insightful)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38721024)

Suing Apple right out of business would be great. Although I'm sure that's too much to ask for.

I used to like Apple, before Apple became a thuggish, IP scam company.

Re:Motorola should sue Apple back (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38721086)

Nahhhhh - don't put them out of business. Just put a huge dent in their money bags.

Re:Motorola should sue Apple back (1)

Serpents (1831432) | more than 2 years ago | (#38722582)

Not sure if it's a good idea. Look at SCO as an example of what might happen. They used to count, but when their business started shrinking they just became a patent troll suing Linux right and left. Insignificant as they are now they managed to some damage. Apple probably has many more patents (some of them imaginary like the one for a rectangle with rounded corners) so the temptation to start living off litigations might so much more tempting

Re:Motorola should sue Apple back (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38722970)

I still miss NeXT. After they acquired Apple, their mission went from 'make the best computer possible with the current technology' to 'make a computer that doesn't suck quite as much as the competition.' In the race to the bottom, there doesn't seem to be a replacement for the old NeXT.

Re:Bribes? (2)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 2 years ago | (#38719942)

Really. You're making baseless accusations of serious crimes with zero evidence, and you're standing in judgement of ethics?

Hunh.

Typical Apple zealot (5, Funny)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38721038)

Apple is always right. Evidence, and logic, are irrelevant.

Re:Typical Apple zealot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38721300)

As opposed to the typical Slashtard that slams Apple at every opportunity.

Re:Typical Apple zealot (2)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38721838)

which is why half the stories are about Apple, and the other half about google. MS gets in there sometimes.

Re:Typical Apple zealot (1)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 2 years ago | (#38723588)

Apple is always right. Evidence, and logic, are irrelevant.

Really. You're making baseless accusations of sainthood with zero evidence, and you're standing in judgement of ethics?

Hunh.

(Still not quite sure why this was a reply to my post, but hey, might as well play along).

Mebbe Tim Kooks won't get the 378Million after all (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#38719956)

Hope that this will be the first of many many defeats Apple will face in the future

I've had enough of patent trolling, no matter if it comes from Microsoft or Apple

Re:Mebbe Tim Kooks won't get the 378Million after (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38720954)

Apple, unfortunately, escalated the patent cold war which turned them into a target for all other companies as pre-emptive defense.

Microsoft, despite its bluster, hasn't been willing to take an active role in suing other corporations, and is instead resorting to a less profitable extortion which keeps them in the black without dangerous risk. The companies they're dealing with also aren't willing to be the first to go into court about this and just pay off Microsoft.

Sure, Microsoft might be able to win in court for greater profits compared to their current extortion fees, but that also has the risk of backfiring as it did for Apple. Microsoft isn't willing to run the risk whereas Apple, in their arrogance, tried to prevent their competition from taking the field. And now Apple is paying for it.

I expect Apple to keep taking the hits for the next few years while Microsoft continues playing "nice" until a smaller company, with arrogant stupidity, decides to poke the sleeping lion. After which Microsoft will slaughter them and hang them out to dry before going back to playing nice with everybody else.

Of course, unless Microsoft actually creates something new enough to bring in the big bucks, they're going to slowly waste away while dragging everyone else down with them thanks to their chokehold on patents.

Re:Mebbe Tim Kooks won't get the 378Million after (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724204)

There is a big difference between MS and Apple and the way they do patents:

MS just wants their cut, you give them a fairly reasonable share, and go on your merry way with your devices. This is perfectly acceptable.

On the other hand, Apple wants your business dead. No negotiation, they want you out of the market, and they will attack you in US courts, as well as courts all around the world. Businesses at the wrong end of Apple's patent disputes find they either find a patent Apple is infringing and attack Apple (forcing a settlement), try to invalidate Apple's patent in a California court on Apple's home turf, or close their doors.

Patent litigation these days sucks, but at least MS, you just pay them what is owed and move on. Apple wants to shut you down so they can be the only game in town. (Ironic this because if MS did this, they would be hauled in front of the DOJ for monopolistic practice. Google is/has been investigated for the same. Apple just seems to have carte blanche in this arena.)

Re:Mebbe Tim Kooks won't get the 378Million after (3, Interesting)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 2 years ago | (#38721954)

To be honest, MS played the patent game a lot smarter than Apple did. MS just makes vendors pay to shut up, even though (true to form), they are utter sleezebags about it. Apple on the other hand was totally out of their minds when they developed their legal strategy (perhaps, once again, true to form). Did Steve Jobs really think he could sue other phone manufacturers out of existence? Did they actually think that they would be the only ones that should be allowed to make smartphones? His ego always was his downfall.

In any case, now I'd like to see someone do something about MS. Another Software Tax is a bad precedent for the industry...

Re:Mebbe Tim Kooks won't get the 378Million after (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38722982)

Microsoft got an ex-IBM person to run their patent strategy. There's an old story about when Sun was a startup. They got a visit from some IBM lawyers, who said 'we have these 7 patents that you infringe, and we'd like you to sign a cross-licensing deal with us'. The Sun guys looked at the patents and systematically demolished them. The IBM lawyers replied that, yes, these patents might be invalid, but asked if they were willing to bet the company on the fact that none of the other IBM patents were valid and covered Sun's activities. They weren't, and Sun signed the agreement, albeit with slightly better terms than were originally offered.

Microsoft originally built a purely defensive patent portfolio. It was there incase anyone sued them. Then they decided to adopt the much more lucrative IBM strategy...

Re:Mebbe Tim Kooks won't get the 378Million after (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38726046)

"Did Steve Jobs really think he could sue other phone manufacturers out of existence?"

Well he thought he could beat cancer with nothing more than a change in diet and a bit of willpower, to the answer to that may well actually be "yes". Look how the former ended for him though - it led him to delay treatment long enough that it was no longer survivable, perhaps these lawsuits are the same for Apple in general?

Re:Bribes? (0, Troll)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38719968)

I don't know, perhaps if Apple would actually innovate and create something new they wouldn't have to resort to patent trolling and could afford to buy judges.

Re:Bribes? (-1, Redundant)

inpher (1788434) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720438)

I don't know, perhaps if Apple would actually innovate and create something new they wouldn't have to resort to patent trolling and could afford to buy judges.

Oh my, and so spins the wheel and we are back at the seven hundredth flamebait thread about whether Apple invents or not... *sigh*

Re:Bribes? (4, Insightful)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720806)

Newton resolved this flamewar coupla hundreds of years ago, apparently said something about standing, shoulders, giants. And it was not Apple's Newton, mind you.

Re:Bribes? (1)

inpher (1788434) | more than 2 years ago | (#38721092)

Newton resolved this flamewar coupla hundreds of years ago, apparently said something about standing, shoulders, giants. And it was not Apple's Newton, mind you.

My point exactly!

Re:Bribes? (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724694)

Newton was crediting those that came before him, and sometimes contemporary to him, Apple OTOH seems to believe that they invented all sorts of things that they didn't.Smartphones existed prior to the iPhone and database driven UI existed in MP3 players prior to the iPod, but Apple believes in both cases to have invented them, or at least that's what their public face says.

Ultimately, Apple is with MS and any number of other patent trolls out there, trying to get a buck for something which they have no right to charge for.

Re:Bribes? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720854)

Oh my, and so spins the wheel and we are back at the seven hundredth flamebait thread about whether Apple invents or not... *sigh*

"The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again."

Re:Bribes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38720974)

And, like Apple, that series got old quickly. There's only so much aimless drivel that you can take before you catch on that it's just spinning wheels.

Re:Bribes? (3, Insightful)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720476)

Even moreso, it's Apple's goal of a means to enforce their ridiculously marked up prices and, on top of that, ensure that they're the only vendor allowing them to mark it up even higher. Even Apple knows that their pricing models are obviously unsustainable. Remember how the initial Iphone was $600? It would probably be even worse today if they had their way in the courts and crushed all of their competitors.

Thankfully, their model is a failure.

Re:Bribes? (1, Interesting)

inpher (1788434) | more than 2 years ago | (#38721066)

Thankfully, their model is a failure.

Record profits each year [wolframalpha.com] for the last seven years in a row. I wish I made failures like that!

Do you know what "inflation" means? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38723072)

n/t

Re:Bribes? (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724206)

Their business model is a success and from someone who thoroughly researches everything s/he buys (from electronics to socks), I have to say that I don't understand what the point of their markup is.

However, I was referring to their legal model as a failure, which thankfully, will keep their business model in check.

Re:Bribes? (1)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720820)

Bonch? Is that you? It's hard to keep up with your many /. accounts.

Re:Bribes? (3, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38721056)

It's clear to a shill that patents were violated.

Problem is, software patents are an oxymoron. Software is properly copyrighted, not patented. Until you can understand that point, we'll probably not agree on anything else.

If we ever get past that point, then we'll begin by discussing the concept of a squarish box with rounded corners that don't snag and cut you or your clothing, one face of which is the display, taking up all the room possible on that face. Good grief, there are patents aplenty for real innovation. Patents were never meant to stifle innovation. What did you want Motorola and the rest to do - make a spherical device instead of squarish?

Re:Bribes? (1)

Intropy (2009018) | more than 2 years ago | (#38721458)

Software is copyrighted. Algorithms are patented. I think when people talk about "software" patents they can be assumed to be referring to algorithms patents.

Re:Bribes? (5, Informative)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 2 years ago | (#38721982)

Slide to unlock

Showing pictures on a phone

Placement of status buttons and progress bars (on a phone)

These are all software implementations, not algorithms. They should all be thrown out as patents.

Re:Bribes? (5, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38721298)

How much Google paid for the judge for his "honest" ruling?

Did you really register as a Slashdot user just to post that?

I see that you registered your account when the story went "red" and made some random comment in another story while you were waiting for the Apple story to turn "green", so you could be the first post. This is well-known sock-puppet troll behavior. Around here we tend to not look so kindly on people who are paid trolls.

Which of the "New Media Strategies" companies do you work for, "HankMoody"? Don't they train you guys to do a little better job of setting up your sockpuppet accounts?

Are you going to make the Slashdot community embarrass you and your bosses or will you just come clean? Tell us who you work for and we'll go easy on you.

Look, we all know that it's hard to find a job these days, and a lot of people are doing all sorts of demeaning things to put a little bread on the table. I'm not unsympathetic to your situation, but you've got to understand that when paid shills like yourself start to overrun an online community, it corrupts everything. People no longer feel comfortable discussing serious topics when the user base is seeded with shills.

If you're effort is to undermine a thread about sleazy Apple behavior, when you post as a shill it just makes people hate Apple all that much more. And once you're outed, you're placed on a permanent pay-no-mind list and then your work is for nothing. We realize that you're only here to disrupt the free exchange of honest opinions and all of your efforts backfire. At worst you'll be outed and your minimum wage job as an internet shill will be over. It's happened before.

Now I'll ask again: Which of the new media strategies companies do you work for? Think carefully before you answer. Accept the fact that this "HankMoody" account is burned up. Your cover is blown. It's over. Might as well come clean. We'll be watching for you now, HankMoody.

Re:Bribes? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38722116)

Did you really register as a Slashdot user just to post that?

It's more likely that it's bonch, only his main account was finally modded down into karma oblivion where he belongs. I don't think there has been an Apple story in the last several months where bonch didn't have the first post - said first post invariably explaining in great detail how Google is bad and Apple is good.

Re:Bribes? (1, Offtopic)

slydder (549704) | more than 2 years ago | (#38722118)

AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

where are my mod points!!!!!!!

my kingdom for a mod point.

my right nut for a mod point. ...well...

maybe my left one.

Re:Bribes? (-1, Offtopic)

Truedat (2545458) | more than 2 years ago | (#38722758)

How much Google paid for the judge for his "honest" ruling?

Did you really register as a Slashdot user just to post that?

Hold on there, I too recently registered as a user specifically to post a "pro Apple" comment but that doesn't mean I'm a shill. In my case I'm getting fed up of all the unearned mod points that the apple bashers are getting, including the parent post that is nothing more than a backslapper, with circumstantial evidence at best.

The http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias [wikipedia.org] round here is getting way out of hand.

Re:Bribes? (0, Offtopic)

whosdat (2551450) | more than 2 years ago | (#38722804)

The http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias [wikipedia.org] [wikipedia.org] round here is getting way out of hand.

Eeeeyup, control your confirmation bias, man.

The fact is there are google bashers getting +5, MS bashers getting +5, apple bashers getting +5, fandroids getting +5, iFanbois getting +5, M$ $hills getting +5, but you chose one to meet your expectations.

Do you have statistics of pro-$company/anti-$company posts quantities, qualities and moderation? Thought so.

Re:Bribes? (0)

Truedat (2545458) | more than 2 years ago | (#38723260)

The fact is there are google bashers getting +5, MS bashers getting +5, apple bashers getting +5, fandroids getting +5, iFanbois getting +5, M$ $hills getting +5, but you chose one to meet your expectations.

emphasis mine.

So this is a second example, the parent is already getting modded up merely for asserting 6 facts without citing any references. The 7th implicit fact is that all these types of posts are somehow evenly spread, evidence of a healthy, vibrant debating community here on slashdot.

When it comes to "apple vs google" I beg to differ.

Re:Bribes? (1)

whosdat (2551450) | more than 2 years ago | (#38723416)

I feel like I had this discussion before [slashdot.org] .

First of all, why do you take my assertion of "there are all PoVs represented on /." as confirmation of your anti-Apple bias observations?

Second, accusation of "no references" are quite strange to hear from you, after your thoroughly based on not one, but two comments you consider anti-Apple getting modded up. If I find you 12 comments modded as I told, will it be reference enough for you?

Didn't I tell you what you can do? Crank together a bot, filter comments by Apple/Google/MS mentions, get people to rate them by intent. It will be interesting to see and it will give a definite conclusion to all confirmation bias talks at once.

Re:Bribes? (1)

Truedat (2545458) | more than 2 years ago | (#38725374)

If I find you 12 comments modded as I told, will it be reference enough for you?

I would love to see somebody gather some stats, but not in the way you have suggested. Better would be to take the last 10 stories and categorise those posts modded +5. I would be prepared to be proved wrong.

However I see I've been modded into offtopic oblivion, so this is falling onto deaf ears.

Re:Bribes? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38723470)

Hold on there, I too recently registered as a user specifically to post a "pro Apple" comment but that doesn't mean I'm a shill.

I'll be the judge of that.

Maybe you're just a better-trained shill. We'll just have to see....

Paging Florian Mueller (5, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38719972)

Florian Mueller to the white courtesy phone. One order of crow to go for Mr. Mueller.

Re:Paging Florian Mueller (0)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720846)

Lol That is a troll I haven't seen around here lately.

Re:Paging Florian Mueller (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#38722452)

Now now, trolls are never wrong, they just blame the guy who made their bridge.

Re:Paging Florian Mueller (2)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38722486)

To be fair, I doubt he cares, he did his shilling, and collected his pay cheque.

The real problem is that sites like The Register, the BBC and so forth allow people to make money like that, by repeatedly parroting their tosh, even after he's been heavily discredited and forced to admit he's in the employ of Microsoft.

Lying is only now a workable profession, because the media are happy to publish lies, so I'd personally blame the media.

Re:Paging Florian Mueller (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724484)

It's because the media doesn't employ experts itself, it employs journalists whose "skill" is to parrot tiny fragments of what people they think are experts are saying in a way that misleads the reader into thinking the story is worth something.

Re:Paging Florian Mueller (1)

PaladinAlpha (645879) | more than 2 years ago | (#38722666)

He'll do what he's done for any pro-Google or anti-Microsoft ruling -- conveniently stop following the case on his blog. (See Oracle vs. Google, any of the Galaxy Tab victories)

Seriously, he's not even trying. MS must be paying him a bundle. He doesn't even make a secret of it (read his boilerplate on his blog -- can't disclose current client, MS largest and most common client, you do the math)

Courts are becoming more efficient. (5, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720014)

I remember a time where companies would get 3 or 4 years of quality FUD out of a false patent claim. All Apple got were a few months and some Florian Mueller posts. I'd be asking for my money back, at least from Mueller.

Re:Courts are becoming more efficient. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720540)

Apple ought to have known better, I still remember the days when they were all "think different." Then they got those lame Mac vs., PC ads where all I wanted to do was beat the crap out of the Mac and probably steal his lunch money.

Apple used to mean something to people, but at this point you'd have to be a cultist to think there's anything special going on. There are a few things like Time machine that are kind of cool, but most of it is derivative and at best a refinement of things that have come before.

Re:Courts are becoming more efficient. (1)

microbee (682094) | more than 2 years ago | (#38721530)

This is ITC, not the ordinary court.

iLawyer 4G (5, Informative)

omganton (2554342) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720024)

The intellectual property lawsuits are getting out of hand. The constant litigation between Apple and [insert every other phone manufacturer] is not only holding back innovation, it's passing the costs on to the consumer. The amount of money these companies spend fighting over small print, legal wording, and patent technicalities is atrocious; in the end, we pay for their lawyers and court fees. Apple should be encouraging competition, not trying to crush it. Let the consumer decide if Motorola deserves to compete with Apple, not a court.

Re:iLawyer 4G (0)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720056)

The constant litigation between Apple and [insert every other phone manufacturer] is not only holding back innovation

Really? Because I see a whole bunch of new phones at CES. Do you have any evidence that innovation is being held back, or is this just a gut "but it must be so" feeling?

Re:iLawyer 4G (5, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720092)

The constant litigation between Apple and [insert every other phone manufacturer] is not only holding back innovation

Really? Because I see a whole bunch of new phones at CES. Do you have any evidence that innovation is being held back, or is this just a gut "but it must be so" feeling?

There are/were a bunch of countries with Samsung tablet unavailability because of Apple-requested injunctions. It's usually hard to point at the status quo and make a good case for what would have been if only something else had happened, so I think that's pretty solid evidence for the GP's claim.

Re:iLawyer 4G (-1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720282)

The constant litigation between Apple and [insert every other phone manufacturer] is not only holding back innovation

Really? Because I see a whole bunch of new phones at CES. Do you have any evidence that innovation is being held back, or is this just a gut "but it must be so" feeling?

There are/were a bunch of countries with Samsung tablet unavailability because of Apple-requested injunctions. It's usually hard to point at the status quo and make a good case for what would have been if only something else had happened, so I think that's pretty solid evidence for the GP's claim.

Not really - GP's claim was "holding back innovation." Now, if he had said, "constant litigation is holding back sales," then he'd be absolutely right. But those injunctions were issued because a judge agreed that Samsung wasn't innovating, but were copying. The litigation was a result of a lack of innovation, not a cause of it.

Furthermore, as I noted, the litigation holds back sales. Innovation is still proceeding, as shown by the phones at CES.

Re:iLawyer 4G (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38720422)

Isn't that the one where the judge decided that a rectangular near to edge screen display flat device with beveled edges and rounded corners as well as a black coloration was too close to the patented look of the ipads?

HOW THE FUCK CAN YOU PATENT THE BASIC APPEARANCE OF A PHYSICAL OBJECT ?!?!?!?

Honestly, other than it being black, pretty much everything else is engineering functionality of a page like handheld display device of our current technological capabilities.
As for black, that's one of the standard colors accepted by businesses, so even the color really isn't a choice, it's a necessity for anything that wants to be taken seriously by the business world.
White, Cream, Gray, and Black are really the only colors that business seems to like, and for that matter, white and cream seem to be out of style again with gray in a close lead to the bottom.

Re:iLawyer 4G (1)

Liam Pomfret (1737150) | more than 2 years ago | (#38721612)

I could actually understand being able to patent the basic appearance of something if that shape itself was a) Something intimately associated with the product/brand b) Not generic The iPad passes test a, but fails miserably on test b. The Coke contour bottle would be an example of something that could potentially pass both tests. While the idea of a bottle is itself fairly generic, it's also one that lends itself to many variations, unlike the basic rectangle of tablet computers. Patenting one very specific bottle shape doesn't really hinder competitors in any meaningful way, except to prevent copycats.

Re:iLawyer 4G (3, Insightful)

HJED (1304957) | more than 2 years ago | (#38722350)

No, because that's not an invention. It might be reasonable as a trade mark however.

Re:iLawyer 4G (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38722400)

Design Patents -- they were created by man, they're a half-assed overlap of utility patents and trademarks, most /.ers don't understand them, and they have a plan.

Oh, and the Coke bottle is one, in fact the canonical example.

Re:iLawyer 4G (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720930)

GP's claim was "holding back innovation." Now, if he had said, "constant litigation is holding back sales," then he'd be absolutely right.

Don't be a pedant. "Holding back sales" obviously holds back innovation, both by making the innovative improvements in the Samsung product unavailable to the market and by reducing by the expected amount of litigation expenses the financial incentive for prospective competitors to build innovative new products.

Re:iLawyer 4G (-1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38721250)

GP's claim was "holding back innovation." Now, if he had said, "constant litigation is holding back sales," then he'd be absolutely right.

Don't be a pedant. "Holding back sales" obviously holds back innovation, both by making the innovative improvements in the Samsung product unavailable to the market and by reducing by the expected amount of litigation expenses the financial incentive for prospective competitors to build innovative new products.

I disagree... Holding back sales of a non-innovative, infringing product like Samsung's doesn't hold back innovation at all, because there's no innovation there. Saying "Samsung can't innovate because they're too busy being sued over the product they copied because they weren't innovating" is merely a circular argument.

Re:iLawyer 4G (3)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38721368)

It is becoming apparent that the reason you think as you do is that you have no idea how patents work.

Do you honestly not understand that a product can simultaneously be highly innovative and allegedly infringe a third party's patent? Hint: Nothing is 100% new. Everything builds on what came before. You can have a product with a thousand innovative features and all it takes is a single one more that happens to have already existed and been patented by a third party to have it declared as infringing and removed from the market.

Not patents (0)

terminal.dk (102718) | more than 2 years ago | (#38722388)

Samsung was not made unavailable because of anything related to patents.

This is purely design copy rulings. We do not have software patents in Europe.

So if Samsung made their device ugly, they could put all their software patent infringing technology inside, as long as it did not look and feel too much like an iDevice.

Re:iLawyer 4G (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720116)

The constant litigation between Apple and [insert every other phone manufacturer] is not only holding back innovation

Really? Because I see a whole bunch of new phones at CES. Do you have any evidence that innovation is being held back, or is this just a gut "but it must be so" feeling?

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was due for an Australian release in October. Due to legal interference from Apple it was not released until December.

So yes, they are trying to hold back competition and by extent innovation. Just because they haven't been successful at it does not make it OK.

Re:iLawyer 4G (-1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720304)

The constant litigation between Apple and [insert every other phone manufacturer] is not only holding back innovation

Really? Because I see a whole bunch of new phones at CES. Do you have any evidence that innovation is being held back, or is this just a gut "but it must be so" feeling?

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was due for an Australian release in October. Due to legal interference from Apple it was not released until December.\ So yes, they are trying to hold back competition and by extent innovation. Just because they haven't been successful at it does not make it OK.

Sure, that litigation holds back sales and marketplace competition... But "and by extent innovation"? How does litigation over an existing product in any way affect innovation regarding new products? Can you logically support that extension you're proposing?

Not to mention the fact that the injunctions against the Galaxy Tab were because judges thought Samsung wasn't innovating, but were copying, so those suits are not really the best evidence for you.

Re:iLawyer 4G (1)

englishknnigits (1568303) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720602)

Are you really asking how holding back sales and limiting competition could affect innovation? What exactly do you think drives people to innovate? Apple doesn't innovate just because they like making neat things or because they love puppies and flowers. They innovate because it allows them to sell products and gives them an edge over their competition.

Apple does not innovate period (4, Insightful)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38721096)

The iPhone was a huge success, and that's great. But it does not mean that Apple invented the smart phone. And it certainly does not mean that Apple invented every technology included in an iPhone - such as color icons.

That is something that Apple, and Apple zealots, pretend they don't understand.

Re:iLawyer 4G (4, Insightful)

imnotanumber (1712006) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720612)

Sure, that litigation holds back sales and marketplace competition... But "and by extent innovation"? How does litigation over an existing product in any way affect innovation regarding new products? Can you logically support that extension you're proposing?

That is easy. How much time do you think it takes to develop a product if you have to pass several design aspects through the opinions of IP Lawyers and iterate until it is accepted?

If the fear of litigation exists because of what happened to previous products it is natural that new products will be delayed because you have to try to design around stupid patents.

Re:iLawyer 4G (4, Informative)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720622)

Sure, that litigation holds back sales and marketplace competition... But "and by extent innovation"? How does litigation over an existing product in any way affect innovation regarding new products? Can you logically support that extension you're proposing?

You mean besides the direct effect of asking for an injunction on any product that even might be better, simply because it competes.

Well it's designed to raise the cost of entry by increasing the risks. Smaller companies that can afford to be more innovative then Apple have a huge disincentive to release new products out of the fear of an expensive law suit that they would be unable to fight.

Reduction in innovation is a direct result of reduction in competition. Attempting to stop competition from releasing new products reduces the new technologies available on the market.

Not to mention the fact that the injunctions against the Galaxy Tab were because judges thought Samsung wasn't innovating

Wrong. The German injunction was over a design patent. Not an innovation and that was overturned. The Australian injunction was voluntary. Samsung agreed to it and the first Judge, Justice Anabelle Bennett's major complaint was against Samsung's Lawyers, not a judgement on the technology itself. This judgement was overturned by a full bench of the Federal court AND a full bench of the High court. This is a very clear indication that the injunction was wrong.

So when you learn the truth, they actually are good examples. Apple are using litigation to stop competition because they are unable to compete. As I said before, just because they aren't very good at it doesn't make it OK.

Re:iLawyer 4G (-1, Troll)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38721242)

Well it's designed to raise the cost of entry by increasing the risks. Smaller companies that can afford to be more innovative then Apple have a huge disincentive to release new products out of the fear of an expensive law suit that they would be unable to fight.

Actually, small companies that can afford to be more innovative have a huge incentive to release new products out of the interest in being bought by one of the big players, who can then litigate amongst themselves. You're seriously expecting us to believe that some inventor is out there saying "gosh, I'd love to innovate, but then someone will give me millions of dollars to retire on my private island, so I can't do that"?

Reduction in innovation is a direct result of reduction in competition.

Prove it, then - where's the reduced innovation? Are there fewer patent applications being filed now? Fewer white papers being published? Fewer Nobel prizes being awarded? Operating Systems with additional years between releases?

Wrong. The German injunction was over a design patent. Not an innovation and that was overturned.

Wrong.

Design patents are also innovations that have to be novel and nonobvious. They're merely non-functional innovations, but aesthetic ones. If you don't understand what design patents are, then maybe you shouldn't be throwing around pronunciations of who's "wrong".

Furthermore, the German injunction wasn't overturned. It is still in place, on the original Galaxy Tab 10... It doesn't apply to the 10N or the 7, but then, it was never intended to.

The Australian injunction was voluntary. Samsung agreed to it and the first Judge, Justice Anabelle Bennett's major complaint was against Samsung's Lawyers, not a judgement on the technology itself. This judgement was overturned by a full bench of the Federal court AND a full bench of the High court. This is a very clear indication that the injunction was wrong.

Then (a) why did Samsung agree to it and (b) how is that evidence that the injunction stifled their sales? Rather, Samsung voluntarily stifled their sales.

Furthermore, the high court overturned the preliminary injunction. Their ruling was expressly limited only to the preliminary injunction, and did not say that (i) Samsung did not infringe and was not liable for damages or (ii) that a permanent injunction later on wouldn't be reasonable. All they did was say that an injunction was premature at that stage in the trial. But that doesn't mean Samsung wins - the court expressly ordered them to keep records on all sales, advertising, etc., because if they lose the trial, they're liable for every single penny.

So when you learn the truth, they actually are good examples.

Actually, all we've learned is that you don't really know what you're talking about.

Re:iLawyer 4G (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 2 years ago | (#38725244)

The German injunction was over a design patent.

Also please keep in mind that getting granted an injunction in Germany, says very little about the validity of the case. Unless you very obviously don't have a case you'll get your injunction. This is balanced by the fact that you are then liable for damages if you later fail to win your case. So Apple getting an injunction merely means they felt sure enough of their case to risk it.

Re:iLawyer 4G (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720502)

At this point, the barrier to entry is so high that we'll probably never see another new phone company entering the market. You may see lots of competition among the companies that have lots of money to throw around (e.g. Samsung, Motorola, Sony-Ericsson, Nokia, LG, Amazon), but have you ever thought about the small companies that are getting crushed? I honestly don't have a clue how HTC survives, but if another of their ilk comes about amidst these stupid lawsuits, I'll eat my shoe.

Re:iLawyer 4G (3, Informative)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720756)

I honestly don't have a clue how HTC survives

Because they are the leading smartphone manufacturer in the US [canalys.com] (at least as of Q3 last year). That doesn't reflect worldwide numbers or revenue generated, but it's nothing to sneeze at either. My last 3 phones have been HTC and I'll continue to buy their phones. Their damn good phones, affordable, and are often hacker-friendly(er).

Re:iLawyer 4G (2)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 2 years ago | (#38722010)

True, but when you consider the strength of your legal team, what matters most is the amount of money you have to afford a crack staff. Also, I'm no businessperson, but I'd imagine that if they're not making good margins on each unit sold, then as a company, they're really not growing.

In any case, I really wish that Google would choose them to produce the Nexus line again. Samsung makes a good phone no doubt, but there's something to be said about a company that publicly unlocks all of its phone's bootloaders. If I get into hacking phones myself, then maybe I will get an HTC next as well

Re:iLawyer 4G (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38722132)

Samsung makes a good phone no doubt, but there's something to be said about a company that publicly unlocks all of its phone's bootloaders.

That's because in case of HTC, they were locked to begin with, so they had to release the unlock tool. Meanwhile, Samsung just didn't lock theirs. At this point, I don't see how either one is really more hacker friendly than the other, to be honest. Both have explicit policy to not lock the bootloaders on future devices.

In any case, since Nexus devices are always unlocked by design regardless of the manufacturer, it's kinda irrelevant. And I'm glad that they did go with Samsung for the latest Nexus, if only because I love that gorgeous OLED screen (and I don't think Sammy is selling it to anyone else at this point).

Re:iLawyer 4G (2)

englishknnigits (1568303) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720554)

You are confusing "holding back innovation" with "completely preventing any innovation". Seeing new phones at CES is only evidence that innovation is not being completely halted. Just look at the incentives. Constant litigation makes releasing products more expensive which reduces profits and thus removes some of the incentives to make and release new products.

Re:iLawyer 4G (-1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720574)

You are confusing "holding back innovation" with "completely preventing any innovation". Seeing new phones at CES is only evidence that innovation is not being completely halted.

Sure - but do you have evidence that innovation is being held back at all? Just look at the incentives. Constant litigation makes releasing products more expensive which reduces profits and thus removes some of the incentives to make and release new products.

Except that, on the other side of the litigation, those lawsuits are protecting profits and ability to recoup R&D investment. The lawsuits reduce the incentives to make marginally innovative products or direct copies, as in the Samsung suits, but increase the incentives to make highly innovative products. The greater the innovation, the more likely to defend an infringement suit.

Re:iLawyer 4G (3, Interesting)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38721128)

Except that, on the other side of the litigation, those lawsuits are protecting profits and ability to recoup R&D investment. The lawsuits reduce the incentives to make marginally innovative products or direct copies, as in the Samsung suits, but increase the incentives to make highly innovative products. The greater the innovation, the more likely to defend an infringement suit.

There is a whole list of flaws in your argument:

For one thing, no amount of innovation can eliminate or even substantially reduce the likelihood of litigation -- litigation comes from vague, numerous, overbroad patents. I assume the original iPhone was sufficiently innovative for your tastes, but that didn't stop them from getting sued by then-incumbents. As that example proves, creating a more innovative product may increase your chances of getting sued, because if the new product starts taking over the market then the incumbent players may turn to litigation out of desperation.

The sort of "innovation" you're talking about -- the kind that comes through a team of lawyers telling the engineers what they have to design around -- is nothing like the innovation that anybody wants to promote. It is nothing but a highly wasteful effort at reinventing the wheel. It directs the finite time and effort of engineering talent to doing the same thing in a slightly different way, rather than putting it toward actually doing something new.

In addition to that, the alleged increase in innovation on the part of the company initiating the litigation is nowhere in evidence. Apple continues to remain highly profitable notwithstanding the alleged copying, so there is no want for revenues to fund future R&D. More than that, the competition is what requires them to actually continue producing new innovative products -- if a company can keep its competitors' products off the market with patents then it doesn't need to spend anything more on its own R&D until the patents expire. Competitors continually producing better products mean that everyone has to keep R&D fully funded in order to stay ahead of the curve -- it forces innovative companies to stay innovative rather than innovating once and then litigating forever after.

You must be a lawyer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38720632)

The constant litigation between Apple and [insert every other phone manufacturer] is not only holding back innovation

Really? Because I see a whole bunch of new phones at CES. Do you have any evidence that innovation is being held back, or is this just a gut "but it must be so" feeling?

You must be a mad instigator to proffer such a lame proposition to the /. crowd. You need to listen to "When Patents Attack" before replying.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/441/when-patents-attack

Spend some time on groklaw.net while you are at it.

Re:iLawyer 4G (2)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38722484)

Really? Because I see a whole bunch of new phones at CES. Do you have any evidence that innovation is being held back, or is this just a gut "but it must be so" feeling?

Given that "innovation" is defined as delivering new inventions to end customers, this becomes, in a sense a stupid question. Blocking innovation is exactly what patents are designed to do. The Magsafe connector is a really neat idea. By now, if it were possible, at least one PC manufacturer would have an equivalent. The reason they don't is because Apple has a patent and they can use that patent to block innovation. This extends simply to include all of the Apple lawsuits against Samsung which held back innovation in the new phones from being delivered to Samsung's customers. In other words;

patents just do block innovation; that's their job; if your patent attorney isn't blocking your competitors innovation, fire him.

Where does the idea that patents "further the arts" etc. come from then? Well, one aim of patents is that inventors should record their innovations so that the ideas wouldn't be lost when they die. Also the idea is that whilst patents block innovation in one area, they further it in other related areas by forcing competitors to come up with different inventions which achieve the same thing in a different way. Thus patent supporters would predict for example:

  • There should be many magsafe competitors on the market using, e.g. mechanical connectors like old Nokia headphones or other methods of attachment - there aren't
  • The magsafe patent should tell you things about making a magsafe connector which you could never work out by just looking at one - it doesn't
  • It should reasonably easy to work around the magsafe patent by finding another different device which does the same thing - nobody has done this yet

That in its self is "evidence", but you might claim it's just a one off. It's definitely true that a number of innovations that nobody would hear of otherwise end up recorded in patents, for example very obscure and different kinds of mousetraps are continually invented [about.com] even though it's not clear that actually drives innovation [uh.edu] .

The patent apologist would answer that by claiming that "yes, in situation a, b and c the patent got in the way of innovation, but overall, taking into account all the different patents, the situation is better than it would be otherwise". It's almost impossible to answer that. Almost but not quite impossible.

Firstly we can compare places with weaker patents with those with stronger patents; we would expect to see innovation in the USA accellerating, due to it's broad patent protection, whilst China should be losing ground since patents are regularly ignored there. In fact we see the opposite.

Now, I'd like to separate out "software patents" from patents in general. I believe that if the system was reverted back to more narrow patents and lifetimes were more limited, patents on physical devices would be justified. Physical devices develop more slowly; have higher duplication costs against which patent costs are more easily justified and tend to have a much lower number of patents per device. Software patents are another issue.

As a second part of our statistical evidence there have been a bunch of different academic studies. AN EMPIRICAL LOOK AT SOFTWARE PATENTS from Besson et al [swpat.org] does a good examination of the effect of software patents. The conclusion is fairly clearly that software patents damage innovation. Another example of this academic research A GENERATION OF SOFTWARE PATENTS [ladoc.ffii.fr] ends it's abstract with the clear conclusion:

Given these findings, it is hard to conclude that software patents have provided a net social benefit in the software industry.

This is clearly "evidence" though you might hypothetically argue that it's not conclusive evidence. If you start to look through the clear other economic evidence [swpat.org] however, I think you will find it's pretty convincing. The authors of the various studies have called for more work in this area and that might be justifiable

What is important however is that patents, especially software patents, are a strong restriction on freedom and liberty. The impinge on the freedom of speech and action of people who are not involved in any way in the products of the companies that hold them. The duty to justify patents lies on the side of the people who believe they should exist. The current evidence is ambigous or bad. In that situation patents are not "advancing the arts" and should be seen as an illegal restraint on freedom of speech.

Hey Muslims! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38720026)

Go fuck yourselves in the ass. Your religion is a lie and you're a bunch of liars for keeping with it. And motherfucking thugs too. Punk ass bitches behead the unarmed? Is that really where you're coming from? Fuck you.
 
Fuck Mohammad, Fuck Allah, FUCK ISLAM!!!!!!!

Apple hasn't Lost Yet... (3, Insightful)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720104)

There's still plenty of time to grease some palms before the ITC makes its ruling.

Re:Apple hasn't Lost Yet... (0)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720770)

Evidently I ruffled some fanboy's feathers...

Re:Apple hasn't Lost Yet... (0)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#38722466)

Mmm, they're probably unclear on what "lobbying" really means. Like, you can say you're an "escort", but it's just a fancy word for disease ridden whore.

ITC usually reject, but a ban isn't the only goal (4, Interesting)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720440)

Almost all applications for an ITC import ban are rejected:

http://en.swpat.org/wiki/United_States_International_Trade_Commission [swpat.org]

But that's not the point. For a number of weeks or months, there's a cloud hanging over the target company and investors don't know if a device will ever be on sale in the USA. It's serious FUD, for free.

An actual import ban would just be monopolist icing on the FUD cake.

Re:ITC usually reject, but a ban isn't the only go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38720626)

Mmmm, FUD cake..

Do you think Apple gives a shi*? (-1)

Serenissima (1210562) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720700)

Apple (and other big companies) are inundated with ridiculous patent trolling lawsuits weekly. By all of these companies filing frivolous lawsuits, doesn't the precedence set by the rulings both for and against them mean that it makes it that much harder for patent trolls to win? Do you think a multi-billion dollar company like Apple could give two shits about whether or not it wins some dumb lawsuit as long as it can say to a judge "Well, the case of this patent troll currently suing us doesn't hold water because the rulings on this case, this case, and this case all show his point is invalid."?

Re:Do you think Apple gives a shi*? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38720916)

What are you talking about? Apple is terrified. Samsung just surpassed them, and is now the #1 smartphone manufacturer. Apple's tablet marketshare has been dropping dramatically, and now they'll be competing against brand-name $249 Tegra 3 tablets and the Kindle Fire. Smart TVs are set to be the Next Big Thing, and nearly every one at CES was Android.

They're trying to delay the inevitable with lawsuits, but Apple is quickly becoming the new Microsoft.

Re:Do you think Apple gives a shi*? (3, Insightful)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38721122)

If Apple doesn't care, then why is Apple constantly patent scamming?

BTW: I think you got the roles reversed. This is not about Apple being sued, it's about one of Apple's scam lawsuits failing.

Re:Do you think Apple gives a shi*? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38721392)

No, I understand that. I just think it seems win-win for Apple. If I'm Joe Schmoe and I just purchased some patent and I decide to sue Apple to get money. It seems like setting a precedent now on stuff that doesn't matter when they have money to burn on lawyers saves them a hassle later. They can say: "Hey Joe Schmoe, we have all these victories that prove your patent claim is false" or on the other hand they can say "We tried to make same claim Joe Schmoe, but as per all of these cases we lost, we can prove you have no claim either". I'm certainly no lawyer and I don't really give a damn; but I was just wondering if Apple (Or any big company with money to spend) would actually welcome lawsuits whether they win or lose simply for the act of setting a precedent to forestall future patent lawsuits.
And apparently I'm not logged in on the computer. So, my bad with the AC.

Ggle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38723196)

FTW!

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