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Push Email Suspended On iPhones In Germany

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the fine-grained-patent-sniping dept.

Communications 164

New submitter elashish14 tips this news, snipped from Ars Technica: "Apple has been forced to disable push e-mail delivery for iCloud and MobileMe users in Germany this week. The move is thanks to a recent injunction awarded to Motorola as part of the ongoing patent dispute between the two smartphone makers.... The patent at issue relates to older pager designs, but Motorola was able to convince a German court that it applied to Apple's implementation of push e-mail that syncs across devices via iCloud. The injunction went into effect on Thursday of this week, requiring Apple to disable push e-mail syncing in Germany."

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164 comments

Truce (5, Interesting)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 2 years ago | (#39156783)

Yet another way the consumer is being raped by this senseless patent war. Call a truce you loopy money hungry bastards..

Re:Truce (-1, Troll)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#39156907)

You read the patent, then?

Re:Truce (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39157149)

What is the point? You , me and everyone here has "read" the verbose, archaic, purposely overdone and almost obfuscatory text of some patent or another. We want to know what the patent does using the hallowed principle of "If it's quacks, it's a duck".

Automatically 'pushing' messages from one computer to another is something a "practitioner skilled in the art" (mostly anyone here) can do and consider obvious.

So no, while I could be wrong, I concur with the guy you're responding to. And I haven't read it either

Re:Truce (0)

grahammm (9083) | about 2 years ago | (#39157281)

Automatically 'pushing' messages from one computer to another is something a "practitioner skilled in the art" (mostly anyone here) can do and consider obvious.

Which is what email has been doing since at least 1982 when RFC821 was published.

Re:Truce (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#39157435)

Yes, but that's SMTP not any client side protocol. The client side is a different story.

I don't care about the outcome in this one. I only hope that it hurts badly for one side or the other. One thing seems to becoming obvious -- Germany is the new East Texas.

I just hope the families of various politicians are interrupted, annoyed or iritated by all of this so that attention to the issue. Politicians only care about what affects them and that's about the extent of it. They listen to the highest bidder after that and we already know who the highest bidders are. I only hope it "gets too stupid, even for the politicians to tolerate."

Re:Truce (0)

shoehornjob (1632387) | about 2 years ago | (#39157963)

Simple solution = Go to the cloud. LOL seriously why rely on something like pushing email to multiple devices when you can just log into your web mail site and get it there? Sometimes people just make things too difficult.

Re:Truce (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39158073)

For when you don't have internet. Enjoy your house made of glass.

Re:Truce (5, Informative)

zigurat667 (1380959) | about 2 years ago | (#39157445)

It's not about push e-mail but about status synchronization between multiple devices. See page 13 [espacenet.com] of the patent.

Re:Truce (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#39157745)

What is the point? You , me and everyone here has "read" the verbose, archaic, purposely overdone and almost obfuscatory text of some patent or another.

Yeah, whenever I read any patent, it reminds me of the faux contract [mschronicles.com] distributed with the amazing Guild of Thieves game by Magnetic Scrolls. :)

Re:Truce (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39156933)

It's sad that their paying customers end up taking most of the hits at the moment, but i think all these petty squabbles between massive corporations are the best way towards positive patent/copyright reform.

Courts the world over seem to be used not to settle wrongs but simply as a scoring system. Corporation A wins a couple lawsuits and injunctions in Europe, Corp B wins some in the states, Corp A fights back and gets some in Australia, Corp B then tries its luck in Asia. I don't have any figures, but i wouldn't be surprised if all these corporations put twice as much money in their legal department as they do in R&D. Which kinda makes me wonder if we can still consider them in the technology sector.

I can't believe some judge hasn't just said "enough of this shit" and sentenced the board members of all corporations involved to a mandatory year in pre-school.

Rulings like these, that disable features that many customers rely on, are guaranteed to annoy the regular mom&pop users (who generally consider copyright/patent related discussion to be irrelevant to them). Combined with the people in the tech sector who actually still try to develop things, the hippies and the nerd crowd that might create a large enough group to cause some uproar and start the process of redesigning the laws regarding IP.

IP laws prevent progress (4, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#39157021)

It was a huge matter of argument when it got written into the US Constitution. Allowing the copyright clause seemed a strategic compromise at the time, but seems now to be a fatal flaw as it has enabled a highly profitable industry determined to use the profits they've garnered thereby to destroy the rest of that document.

Re:IP laws prevent progress (4, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | about 2 years ago | (#39157141)

The constitution is nothing but a piece of paper. It is upon its readers to decide if they want to follow it or not.

Be sure that if it had said that copyright would not be possible and everything should be done under GPL, the industry would have found a way to do what it wants.

I can not even blame that industry for trying. I can only blame the people that voted for those who allow it.

Re:IP laws prevent progress (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39157489)

I can not even blame that industry for trying. I can only blame the people that voted for those who allow it.

I'm getting really tired of this cop-out. "You can't blame the company, they exist just to make money!"

Yes, I fucking well can. Companies are made of people, people have moral compasses; if dickheads want to try this shit then they should be lynched for being immoral (aka evil) bastards. This is the Nuremberg defense all over again, "I was just doing my job!" — guess what, asshat? Power comes with responsibility, you don't get to have your money/power and then ignore all the externalities you created.

It only takes one to make war (3, Insightful)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | about 2 years ago | (#39158287)

Your non-violence attitude is fine when all you care about is not starting a war yourself. Doesn't do squat when someone else starts beating up on you.

That's what's going on here. This particular spate of patent fights was triggered when St Jobs decided to go all holy war on Android and Google and won injunctions against phones which had rounded corners among other stupid patents. Motorola, Samsung, HTC, and other Android makers got caught in the cross fire and shot back. Don't get me wrong, Apple fan-boys: everyone plays the same game, it's just this particular mini-war which was started by St Jobs.

The fault is with governments that make money from issuing as many patents as possible and lawyers who make money from fighting as many patent battles as possible. It's quite evident that "obvious to anyone skilled in the arts" and "for a limited time" mean nothing. Patents would have a purpose if they were actually limited to innovative clever not-so-obvious features and there were only, say, one thousandth the number we have now.

But it's also obvious that governments and lawyers have an interest in not limiting patents to the truly innovative, and we'd be better off with no patents whatsoever. Innovative companies would always have a lead in clever designs, and early adopters would be glad to pay a premium for that and quality. Copycat companies would always be playing catchup and have to charge less for mass production.

The world would be a better place if all those patent lawyers and government bureaucrats had to find useful productive work instead of being parasites who gum up the works.

Re:Truce (5, Interesting)

Pf0tzenpfritz (1402005) | about 2 years ago | (#39157115)

The weirdest thing about this is, that there are no software patents in Germany.

I guess that said software patents might qualify as "regular" patents since there are phones involved.

Re:Truce (4, Informative)

sulimma (796805) | about 2 years ago | (#39157243)

You can patent the "push e-mail to device instead of polling" part, because it does not relate to software. You could implement it with manual labor and pidgeons and would still be violating the patent.

What you can't patent in Germany is algorithm, so a claim that says "push e-mail where the e-mail headers are processed via regular expressions" would no be valid.

what is stranger is that if the patent is very broad, it could be invalid because regular letters, faxes, teletypes, etc. have all been based on pushing the message to the receiver so there should be prior art.

Re:Truce (2)

Pf0tzenpfritz (1402005) | about 2 years ago | (#39157289)

I am not completely sure about that. AFAIK you can not patent anything involving only "pidgeons and labor" - as it would be quite the same thing as patenting a plain algorythm. What I know fr sure is that there needs to be an implementation in form of a machine or device which can then be patented. I think that's actually what the smartphone are considered in this case.

Re:Truce (1)

snowgirl (978879) | about 2 years ago | (#39157481)

Funny, the German wikipedia disagrees with you [slashdot.org] . To be clear, they don't say all software is patentable, but they do explain how computer-timed ignitions are patentable software.

Re:Truce (1)

Deorus (811828) | about 2 years ago | (#39157561)

Why are you linking to a Slashdot story while making claims about the German Wikipedia?

Re:Truce (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#39157835)

She malformed the link and when you do that slash code mangles it like that for you. It happens to all of us at least once eventually.

Re:Truce (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#39157853)

That's because these days, when browsers hide the protocol-colon-slash-slash part of the URI, it's all to easy to omit it while copying. The browser should add it again while copying, but that somehow seems to depend on the way you selected the URI. Happened to me a few times as well. Damn these browser dumbifications.

Re:Truce (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39157337)

In other news, self was patented many eons ago:

Every person is sole owner of their self, no person can do anything on behalf of another person or group of people without first getting their express self-given permission. ie. a country cannot go to war on behalf of it's people, a president cannot speak on behalf of the country's people, a corporation cannot make a purchase on behalf of it's employees... etc... etc. Anyone who engages in such activity, as ultimately the decision can always be traced back to one or a group of humans, what was done 'on behalf,' instead of being pegged to the selves of those it was done on behalf of, it will instead be pegged to the person or persons soul(s) who falsely authorized and executed 'on behalf' of others.

Re:Truce (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39157509)

Yet another way the consumer is being raped by this senseless patent war.

As long as it's Apple users I think there's no harm done.

Re:Truce (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#39158103)

Hell no! Let those assholes who managed to lobby some faulty software patents through reap what they have sown. Let them go nuclear and hurt each other as bad as they can. And perhaps if enough consumers get hurt some people might start to question how did this happen.

Don't worry (-1, Flamebait)

atari2600a (1892574) | about 2 years ago | (#39156795)

Once the German (parliament?) sees how software patents can have a direct impact on their lives they'll scrap the lot of them. That, or blame der juden...is Germany still doing that bit?

Re:Don't worry (3, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#39156909)

That, or blame der juden...is Germany still doing that bit?

No, Germany stopped doing that about 67 years ago.

Re:Don't worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39157091)

We now blame our stupid friends from the us...

Re:Don't worry (4, Insightful)

wzzzzrd (886091) | about 2 years ago | (#39157433)

There are no software patents in Germany. This is not a software patent. Also, it's "die Juden" not "der juden".

See, you just learned two new things! Knowing now how easy that was maybe it's time to fill out that school application and give education a try? It's never too late they say.

Re:Don't worry (-1, Offtopic)

Deorus (811828) | about 2 years ago | (#39157555)

This should be modded troll, not insightful. The above poster has not validated their claims thus retaining burden of proof and on top of that has not resisted the urge to insult the grandparent poster simply because their opinions don't match.

Following this, I'm re-enabling my willingness to moderate.

Less Pushin' for the Hessian (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39156801)

Sie hat dass gesagen.

In for trouble (4, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#39156819)

Motorola better hope their old pagers didn't have any rounded corners, or they'll get retroactively sued for predicting future designs.

Re:In for trouble (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 2 years ago | (#39157669)

See, what actually happened was Motorola engineers used faster than light neutrinos to retroactively prevent themselves from being retroactively sued, and thus nothing of the sort ever happened after it happened the first time it didn't happen.

Awesome! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39156825)

Companies that threaten freedom should be sued. Well done!

I wish (1)

aglider (2435074) | about 2 years ago | (#39156831)

the patent office and companies to focus on really new things, not just playing expensive games with patents.

Re:I wish (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39156939)

Patent office is more or less rubber-stamping anything (sufficiently difficult to understand).

Any obvious erroneous patent that is discovered is simply refereed to as an single unfortunate incident where the patent examiner granted the patent incorrectly. The problem goes a bit deeper than that of course, but as long as the patent office can avoid looking at the real problem, the longer they can take pay checks (without having to consider moral implications).

Patents, much like copyright are a deal between the author/inventor and the general public. Patents, much like copyright is supposed to be beneficial for the general public.

Re:I wish (3, Insightful)

Splab (574204) | about 2 years ago | (#39156971)

This is a really old and actually valid patent.

Just because you don't like it doesn't make it invalid nor wrong.

Re:I wish (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39157529)

Perhaps Apple shouldn't have tried to kill off its competitors with patent trolling.

Re:I wish (2)

Deorus (811828) | about 2 years ago | (#39157571)

Why is it valid in a place that does not recognize software patents when it's all about software?

How's this an insightful comment at all? Is it because it's anti-Apple? Because I don't see anything insightful here at all, just a completely unfounded claim.

Re:I wish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39157819)

> Why is it valid in a place that does not recognize software patents when it's all about software?

It isn't about software. It's about a concrete implementation, therefore it doesn't qualify as a "software patent". See the preceding decision on:

    http://depatisnet.dpma.de/DepatisNet/depatisnet?window=1&space=menu&content=treffer&action=bibdat&docid=DE000010232674A1

here:

    http://juris.bundesgerichtshof.de/cgi-bin/rechtsprechung/document.py?Gericht=bgh&Art=en&nr=51989&Frame=1

(previous links in german, sorry)

only hope? not really. (3, Informative)

mr_walrus (410770) | about 2 years ago | (#39156861)

invalidating the patent is not apples only hope.
they could, heaven forbid, licence the patent for actual money.

Re:only hope? not really. (1)

qmaqdk (522323) | about 2 years ago | (#39156867)

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I'm sure Apple had a bucket load of old Motorola pagers in the room when they were designed the push software for the iPhone.

Re:only hope? not really. (4, Informative)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#39156925)

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I'm sure Apple had a bucket load of old Motorola pagers in the room when they were designed the push software for the iPhone.

Unlike copyright law, patent law doesn't require that you knew the patent for it to apply.

Re:only hope? not really. (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about 2 years ago | (#39157167)

Neither does copyright. Google George Harrison, MY Sweet Lord, and subconscious plagiarism

Re:only hope? not really. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#39157367)

Well, even for subconscious plagiarism you must have (subconsciously) known the original. The whole concept of clean-room reimplementation rests on the assumption that if you have never been exposed to the original, you cannot violate its copyright.

Unless the courts start claiming telepathic copyright violation, of course. But in that case, you should counter-sue for precognitive copyright violation: The earlier version is actually a copy of your version which was subconsciously foreknown.

Re:only hope? not really. (4, Insightful)

Totenglocke (1291680) | about 2 years ago | (#39157169)

Ah, but you're assuming that Motorola would agree to license it. I'm not so sure they will since Apple's been hellbent on suing the competition out of existence instead of just beating them in the marketplace. I'm glad that the German courts are making Apple realize that karma's a real bitch.

Ya I don't think anyone is interested in licensing (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 2 years ago | (#39157261)

All the companies are just interested in making Apple sit down and shut the fuck up. None of this counter-lawsuit stuff started until Apple started to try and shut everyone else down. The other companies that made cellphones had occasional hissing matches with each other, as companies seem to like to do, but it would get resolved since they realized it was in their best interests. While they'd all like to be the one and only phone provider in the world, they know that isn't going to happen so they'll settle for cross licensing and so on.

Then in comes Apple who decides they can just sue everyone else out of existence. They think they should be the only company other than maybe RIM who is allowed to produce a smartphone or tablet. No surprise it has raised the ire of all the other companies and they are now striking back.

They don't want money, they want Apple to stop suing. I'm not sure Apple will though, I think they are real scared. Apple's rise to their current mega corp status has all been about getting in to markets that nobody else is really having any success in and making it cool. This lets them sell their stuff with a massive profit margin due to no competition.

They did it with MP3 players first. They weren't the first company to make one, but they made them cool, made them a fashion accessory. Now everyone had to have one, but not just any one, an iPod. That has waned quite a bit these days, but no problem, because then they brought smartphones to consumers. Blackberry's were always business toys. The US government loves the things but they didn't sell so well on the consumer market. The iPhone made smartphones a thing to have and they did well there. Then of course they made tablets the new toy to have. Most people have no idea why they want one, but they want one.

However they don't seem to have a "what's next" and unlike the MP3 player situation, people are moving in on phones and tablets quicker than they are ready for. Android went from more or less an experiment to an extremely competent competitor in just a few years and has been selling really well. They see their market slipping, and have nowhere else to go.

So they are going sue happy, to try and keep everyone else out. If they can't, they risk losing their place of prominence, and no company wants that.

Re:Ya I don't think anyone is interested in licens (1, Interesting)

Deorus (811828) | about 2 years ago | (#39157605)

However they don't seem to have a "what's next" and unlike the MP3 player situation, people are moving in on phones and tablets quicker than they are ready for. Android went from more or less an experiment to an extremely competent competitor in just a few years and has been selling really well. They see their market slipping, and have nowhere else to go.

This is incorrect. Android ate from Symbian's market, not iOS' (with RIM losing share to both). Not only that but Google has admitted in a hearing regarding its search monopoly that 2/3 of its mobile web hits come from iOS devices, and now InMobi is claiming that iOS has more mobile advertisement impressions than Android. For the first time iOS is actually in a tug-of-war with Android for market share, and it seems like iOS is winning, asn Android has actually been losing share whereas iOS continues to gain it.

Re:Ya I don't think anyone is interested in licens (4, Insightful)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 2 years ago | (#39157653)

You're not accounting for the usage habits of the buyers.

There are *no* ad-supported apps on my cell phone. None. Everything I have installed is either legitimately free, or it came with the phone. And I don't use mobile web at all. I'm on a flex data plan, and my usage is consistently in the bottom tier (25mb/mo). 100% of my data usage is e-mail, calendar, and contacts. I would not show up on either of those statistics. And yes, I have an Android device.

Considering that the iPhone is marketed as an internet-connected consumer device, specifically for the consumption of stuff on the web, I would be willing to lay odds that iPhone users consume more web, on average, than Android users. Sure, there will be aberrations on either platform, but ultimately I think the numbers will show that on the whole, iPhone users consume more data. That will naturally skew statistics that come from watching peoples' data use: that is, search hits and ad impressions.

Re:Ya I don't think anyone is interested in licens (0)

Deorus (811828) | about 2 years ago | (#39157983)

Well, there are a few facts that are being ignored here. First the iOS and Android shares don't overlap entirely: iOS is strong in the tablet world whereas Android is not; iOS is strong in the music player world where Android is not even present, but Android is strong in the former Symbian low-end market where iOS is not present, so in the end you have an Android share that is mostly comprised of people who don't actually care about what runs their devices, whereas all iOS users go for iOS precisely because of it. That's a really big difference, and I think it must be mentioned every time Android shares are mentioned. Where Android and iOS clash (the high-end phone and tablet markets), people show a very strong preference for iOS.

The problem, and what really doesn't make any sense to me, is that Android as a project is not justified if it performs worse when it comes to benefiting Google's core business than iOS does without Google's support. Imagine, for example, if it was Google powering Siri. Just think of the possibilities of every local business paying Google a little fee just to be mentioned by Siri when someone asks for an Italian restaurant in the neighborhood. What reasons do Google have to invent and insist in having its own platforms (Android, Google+, Chrome) even at a loss when they could collaborate with Apple for instant profit? In this case, the question as to whether iOS would more profitable for Google if Android did not exist doesn't even apply, because even with Android in the market, iOS is still more profitable for Google as a platform! So, again, what is the rationale for insisting on Android?

Apple is indeed controlling, a trait inherited from its former CEO, but at least they have a vision and are not blinded by unfounded beliefs. They have absolutely no problem partnering with others when it's best for both the company and its customers, they don't insist on unprofitable strategies to save face, they are perfectly happy to admit when they make mistakes, and they can tell when it's advantageous to share their patents with other companies such as Microsoft and Cisco (which Google, for some irrational reason, refused to do). That's what's best for both consumers and investors! That's what generates money! That's why Apple is currently worth more than Google and Microsoft combined!

I like Google and use some of their products, such as Search, Maps, and Google Apps. Those are great products, but Jesus, to hell with their unwillingness to play with others! What's their problem with Facebook? Couldn't they partner with Facebook to provide advertisement? That's their fucking business model! What's their problem with Twitter? If they're so eager to invest on businesses that don't make sense for their technology or patents or whatever (such as Motorola), why not Twitter? It's an excellent and actually tested worldwide notification gateway implementation! There are plenty of amazing things they could do with it beyond the realm of microblogging!

Re:Ya I don't think anyone is interested in licens (2)

Truedat (2545458) | about 2 years ago | (#39157641)

All the companies are just interested in making Apple sit down and shut the fuck up

So the only evidence you have of this is a timeline in which Apple made the first move? Go ahead and project your own bias onto it but the more likely situation is that they are all money grabbing bastards the same as each other, including googlerola. The board have sanctioned this move because they think there is a competetive advantage to be had, not because they want play bitch slappin high fives.

In fact I am rooting for apple not because I am a fanboy (which I am) but because I find this cross licensing consolidation, that is just a club for the big boys, slightly disturbing. And the support of it on slashdot even more so.

Re:Ya I don't think anyone is interested in licens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39157757)

However they don't seem to have a "what's next"

This is why they've implemented séances at the monthly board meetings. Tim Cook instructed the Apple development team to write an iOuija (c) (tm) app for the iPad, and they're busily communing with the spirit of the Master.

Re:Ya I don't think anyone is interested in licens (2)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about 2 years ago | (#39158035)

The other companies that made cellphones had occasional hissing matches with each other, as companies seem to like to do, but it would get resolved since they realized it was in their best interests. While they'd all like to be the one and only phone provider in the world, they know that isn't going to happen so they'll settle for cross licensing and so on.

Um. No.

http://flowingdata.com/2010/10/11/mobile-patent-lawsuits/ [flowingdata.com]

The _ENTIRE MOBILE INDUSTRY_ is suing each other like crazy right now. Stop pretending this is just Apple getting all up in everyone's faces and everyone pushing back valiantly against Apple - this is _THE ENTIRE MOBILE INDUSTRY_ going to war with each other.

And, for the record, it seems that Nokia is the most aggressive company out there, not Apple.

Please, for the love of gawd, if you're going to hate on Apple, at least base it on fact rather than made up garbage. Seriously.

Germany is (1)

TrueSpeed (576528) | about 2 years ago | (#39156943)

the new US District Court of Eastern Texas.

Re:Germany is (5, Insightful)

Forever Wondering (2506940) | about 2 years ago | (#39157081)

the new US District Court of Eastern Texas.

Actually, Moto has been negotiating with Apple over this patent since 2007--to no avail.

Generally, the German courts have been much more level headed than Eastern Texas.

In this particular case, the German court determined that Apple had been negotiating in bad faith, and thus, Moto was entitled to a special injunction (because of Apple's egregious/scofflaw behavior). When Apple saw the handwriting on the wall, they rushed to [the court to] "pay up", but the court said "too little, too late".

Considering how much of a patent bully Apple is, this is one of the few places where they've been properly spanked.

How could anyone? (4, Insightful)

macraig (621737) | about 2 years ago | (#39156953)

After observing the antics of Apple, Samsung, and Motorola in the past year, in particular, how could anyone wind up still believing that patents and copyrights promote creation or indeed help anyone but the assignees? When does the true reform begin?

When does the true reform begin? (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#39157045)

Since the vested interests involved have lobbyists to "educate" our lawmakers and potential lawmakers, pretty much never.

Re:How could anyone? (1, Interesting)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#39157311)

Patents do work, but not in the current form. If it were up to me, I would tentatively approve a patent, make it public and ask if there is any reason this should not become be a patent. Based on the response, the patent can be approved or rejected.

Re:How could anyone? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39157623)

The USPTO granted 247713 patents in 2011. That's 678 per day. The titles and abstracts are often purposefully formulated in a way that obfuscates their relevance. And correct interpretation of a patent often needs a patent lawyer. Who has the resources to check all of these patents if not the USPTO?

(AC because I have moderated.)

Re:How could anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39157877)

(AC because I have moderated.)

Not any more you haven't.

Apple begged for this (0, Flamebait)

samjam (256347) | about 2 years ago | (#39156977)

Apple are just new-boy idiots. Apple is claiming against Samsung for round corners, similar size, and a slide lock - that's the degree of apple innovation!

I can at least respect Samsung's patent somewhat as it actually does something and they might have actually been the first ones to do whatever they patented.

When apple lose more than they gained through this, we'll maybe start to see sense.

Re:Apple begged for this (0)

Deorus (811828) | about 2 years ago | (#39157621)

Apple are just new-boy idiots. Apple is claiming against Samsung for round corners, similar size, and a slide lock - that's the degree of apple innovation!

Oversimplification is, itself, a pretty idiotic thing to do.

I can at least respect Samsung's patent somewhat as it actually does something and they might have actually been the first ones to do whatever they patented.

This is not about Samsung...

Talk about being an idiot...

Re:Apple begged for this (1, Interesting)

samjam (256347) | about 2 years ago | (#39157807)

Iit is a summary judgement based on extended observation, not an oversimplification.

This post (not mine) says it better: http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2691519&cid=39157081 [slashdot.org]

This is not an isolated story, it is one in a series, and it jolly well is about Samsung as they are the ones who have been long term abused by apple with "not real invention" patents and it's nice to seem then able to wield muscle against apple.

Re:Apple begged for this (0)

Deorus (811828) | about 2 years ago | (#39158155)

Iit is a summary judgement based on extended observation, not an oversimplification.

This post (not mine) says it better: http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2691519&cid=39157081 [slashdot.org]

This is not an isolated story, it is one in a series, and it jolly well is about Samsung as they are the ones who have been long term abused by apple with "not real invention" patents and it's nice to seem then able to wield muscle against apple.

I fail to see what that has to do with anything, or why Apple would accept to be extorted for a software patent in the EU.

Due to your inability to think rationally, I strongly advise you to at least exert some caution when insulting others.

Re:Apple begged for this (0)

samjam (256347) | about 2 years ago | (#39158185)

> I fail to see what that has to do with anything, or why Apple would accept to be extorted for a software patent in the EU.

Your lack of vision is your own problem

> Due to your inability to think rationally, I strongly advise you to at least exert some caution when insulting others.

I think you find that many people agree with the rational conclusion I posted here.

What I have not done is demonstrate the rational reasoning behind it, I suppose that most readers are able to draw similar conclusions from their own observations. You admit that you cannot see to do this, and I accept your admission.

I am hoping that Apple do refuse to accept to be extorted; I'm looking for a long painful fight to dissuade anyone from taking the same path that they have taken.

Re:Apple begged for this (1)

Deorus (811828) | about 2 years ago | (#39158273)

Your lack of vision is your own problem

Being 95.2% disabled with a congenital open angle glaucoma, lack of vision is indeed my problem, but it doesn't affect my judgement in this case. ;)

I think you find that many people agree with the rational conclusion I posted here.

Appeal to popularity is a fallacy.

What I have not done is demonstrate the rational reasoning behind it, I suppose that most readers are able to draw similar conclusions from their own observations. You admit that you cannot see to do this, and I accept your admission.

But you still have burden of proof.

I am hoping that Apple do refuse to accept to be extorted; I'm looking for a long painful fight to dissuade anyone from taking the same path that they have taken.

They have deep pockets. $100 billion deep to be more precise, and their strategies have only brought them profit. You need to rethink your stance.

Companies will advertise with patents, not tech (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 years ago | (#39156983)

Soon companies will advertise their products with their patent folios, not their technology. As in:

"We do NOT have the best technology, but we have the BEST patents! So buy our phones, because if you buy from a competitor, we will shutdown their features, because we own the patents."

"And we own the Patent Office and the Courts."

Re:Companies will advertise with patents, not tech (1)

game kid (805301) | about 2 years ago | (#39157101)

"Only our sweetPhones(R) combine Call Waiting with our patented whizBang(TM) technology (because our unpatented whizBang(TM) technology would get us sued to our very own layer of Hades)!"

Enough! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39156999)

As much as I enjoy seeing how the bastards at Apple get the short end of the stick from time to time, I can't help being horrified at this patent mess.

And to the other idiot around here ("have you read the patent, then?") -- no, I haven't. A patent covering old pager tech with (possibly IP over) GPRS tech is general enough to be undistinguishable from "doing sumfink with combuda an radio wawes" (correction: possibly there ain't something worth being called a "combuda" in the pager).

When will this nonsense stop?

Re:Enough! (1)

robbak (775424) | about 2 years ago | (#39157327)

As soon as Apple agrees to a patent swap agreement with Google. Yes, actual invention patents, for rounded-rectangle-in-black patents, but Google is only interested in competing.

Re:Enough! (0)

Deorus (811828) | about 2 years ago | (#39157671)

What I find amusing about the whole Android fiasco is that it ended up being LESS profitable to Google's core business than iOS, which they don't even have to develop. Before Android came out I never thought Google could be that fanatic and go as far as to refuse sharing patents with the likes of Microsoft, Cisco, and Apple for nothing more than pride. It is perfectly clear to me now that Google does not play well with others, especially after trying to establish Chrome and Google+ as platforms. While it does indeed provide great services that as an iOS user I take full advantage of, such as Maps and Google Apps, it has been showing an extremely irrational aversion to collaborating with other companies without establishing itself as the dominant party, and I don't think that aversion has their customers' or core business' best interests in mind.

Re:Enough! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39158007)

Are you going for dumbest motherfucker on slash dot today? Or is this an experiment in stupidity bin packing?

Re:Enough! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39158123)

Are you going for dumbest motherfucker on slash dot today? Or is this an experiment in stupidity bin packing?

Nah, you already own that spot!

What a suprise! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39157063)

Apple acts like a douchebag company to everyone... Swings the lawyers at anything they can even imagine.
So everyone else is looking for ways to screw them over...

Gonna get worse before it gets better too. Especially for any apple users. Since apple hasn't really invented much of anything in a long time.

And they are sitting on a fat stack of cash just waiting for licensing or a settlement to be paid.

More money than sense.. Acts like a bunch of douchebags.. Yeah i'd be suing them too if i had any patents on anything i could even remotely dream might apply to an apple product.

Apple asked for this (4, Insightful)

gubers33 (1302099) | about 2 years ago | (#39157103)

Apple started making iPhone in 2007, then they tried to mess with a company that was making portable phones for over 30 years prior and were the main developers for the backbone all all the cellphone technology. Apple thought they were hot stuff and decided to kick a sleeping dog, they just didn't realize that dog was bigger than them in the cellphone business and would bite them in the ass for messing with them. Apple has a lot of good patents and a lot of bull crap ones, ie round corners on a rectangle. This one is an actual technology and doesn't apply to the 3G standards of FRAND so they are pretty much screwed on it. They asked for it though. Motorola left Apple alone, but Apple had to try to sue Motorola and every other Android phone maker. I guess their lawyers didn't think twice about suing the company that hold nearly every patent that involves the backbone of cellphone technology.

Re:Apple asked for this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39157493)

Motorola is not bigger than Apple. Motorola did not leave Apple alone, they have been after them about this since 2007. Stop spreading the typical anti Apple FUD on slashdot.

Re:Apple asked for this (-1, Flamebait)

Deorus (811828) | about 2 years ago | (#39157697)

It's karma whoring. Post anti-Apple crap and you're bound to be modded +5 regardless of facts. To make sure your karma is really maxed out after Excellent, disable the Karma Bonus Modifier before posting, so that people will mod you +4 instead of +3.

Re:Apple asked for this (4, Insightful)

chrb (1083577) | about 2 years ago | (#39157573)

I suspect Apple knew what they were doing. They are trying to deal with two huge problems:

1) Apple is a high-end consumer company, like with PCs they initially do rather well, but over time they end up fighting an ecosystem of other manufacturers who are constantly undercutting them and eroding their market share. That's capitalism, but as Apple won't join the fight for the low-end, they cede it to others. And over time, the low-end gets good enough for most people, and Apple's market share drops to single figures.

2) Apple had no worthwhile patents on the actual technology of the iPhone, which was already invented by 2007 (design patents don't count). Mobile browsers, email, etc. had already been done for many years, and all of the hardware was licensed and patented by others.

Apple's response to 1) was to go on the offensive, and try to use the handful of patents they did have which could be applied to smart phones, and use those patents to shut out competitive products (Android being the prime competitor). Apple's response to 2) is to argue that their patents from the last few years are the equal of those mobile patents that other companies have acquired in the last 20 years. i.e. if you want to make a modern smart phone, then you will need to do a deal to license Apple's patents, regardless of how many other patents you have. Apple can then try to use the license terms to negate the advantage of its competitors multi-decade mobile patent portfolios.

It is an interesting approach, they are playing for keeps in a very high value market. The worst case scenario for them is that they end up with global market share in the single digits, as happened with desktop computers, and their current strategy reflects this overriding concern. At best, they kill Android and regain their 90%+ of the smartphone market. What will probably happen is something in the middle of those two extremes.

Re:Apple asked for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39157607)

Motorola left Apple alone, but Apple had to try to sue Motorola and every other Android phone maker.

Nice exposé there, too bad the facts [wsj.com] don't back up your selective view of recent history.

Re:Apple asked for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39157687)

So, what do you suggest - because one company had been into making cellphones for 30 years, they should rule who will live or die? I'm not defending any particular patent bully regarding software patents, but some ideas worth protecting for limited time. Standards essential patents are different from design ones in significant way. While push messages are not standard essential, but bogus on first place, it allows for such "lawyers play" in the courts. The landscape of all claims is very messy and all these companies - Apple, Google, Microsoft, Motorola, Samsung, etc. make it to be like this - no one looks to clean the situation by pushing for clear definitions with reasonable outcome for everybody, small and big - now and into the future. With more and more cash put in legal disputes covered by acquisitions of patent pools, it is likely no one of these "players" to become a driving force for such a change, though.

A stick is still a stick (3, Insightful)

NGTechnoRobot (2560687) | about 2 years ago | (#39157117)

If I have a stick its just a stick, Currently I can patent throwing the stick, balancing the stick on my nose, throwing the stick, but it's still a stick. If I add some string to make it so I can throw it farther its now an enhanced stick worthy of a patent. Hardware is the key and should be the deciding factor when accepting a patent.

Re:A stick is still a stick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39157259)

I bet the monkey that patented eating bugs off a stick made a fortune!

Re:A stick is still a stick (2)

snowgirl (978879) | about 2 years ago | (#39157495)

I bet the monkey that patented eating bugs off a stick made a fortune!

Indeed, he had all the bugs he could eat...

Go Nuclear against Android said Jobs (4, Insightful)

Vapula (14703) | about 2 years ago | (#39157393)

The big point about having the Nuclear Bomb is to NOT use it...

Steve Jobs broke the truce and went nuclear against Android... Except that most of his nuclear missiles are rotten (patents on obvious things... didn't we have "swipe" in "Minority Report" for example... and rounded rectangle... no comment)

Now, it's beginning to backfire... Samsung, Motorola and other would probably not have sued Apple out of existence... But now, Apple has put them in a situation where it's probably the best move...

My guess is that they will sue Apple again and again until iPhone and iPad go to oblivion... And Apple is in a dangerous situation. It's share is bubbling up... which means that it's perceived value is probably much higher than it's real value... It also mean that the Apple share can drop suddently to levels well below it's real value (panic effect) when the bubble will explode... And market bubble always explode one time or another...

Re:Go Nuclear against Android said Jobs (1)

Deorus (811828) | about 2 years ago | (#39157723)

In which other case has it backfired for Apple. Motorola managed to get the iPhone banned based on standards patents, Apple managed to get the ban lifted and filed an antitrust complaint along with Microsoft against Motorola which could, if accepted, hold Motorola liable for all damages resulting from the iPhone ban in Germany. Now they're suing Apple using a software patent in the European Union, which Apple is very likely to invalidate in an appeal and may make Motorola liable for even more damage. With suicidal moves like these, Motorola is making sure there's nothing of value left for Google to collect once their acquisition is finished.

Samsung? What did Samsung get from Apple?

Google have purposely placed themselves in a position which may get them in trouble with Apple, Microsoft, and Cisco by refusing to share patents. How's this an intelligent business choice? Actually, how's standing FOR Android (which is LESS profitable for Google than iOS and is losing share to it) an intelligent business decision? The only explanation that I can find to the whole Android fiasco is fanaticism, and Google will drag everyone down with them, except maybe Samsung, because they're strong in other areas.

Push email? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#39157409)

If I want instant communication with someone, I'll run skype, or AIM, or an old-fashioned phone call. Maybe even just use SMS. Email was not supposed to be real-time.

Re:Push email? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39157689)

If I want instant communication with someone, I'll run skype, or AIM, or an old-fashioned phone call. Maybe even just use SMS. Email was not supposed to be real-time.

Are you from 1990?

On a mobile device (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39157729)

This injunction is stupid and the Motorola patent is not valid nor does it protect any innovating thinking by Motorola. It falls in the category of, take a technology (push notifications), tack on "ON A MOBILE DEVICE" and you got yourself a new patent.

Fuck Motorola (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39157755)

Fucking Shitorola idiots, don't you have anything better to do than piss off users?

this is not going to end soon... (0)

Yehat (13154) | about 2 years ago | (#39157771)

Everyone has opinion - about who is bastard, motherfucker, troll, bully, etc...
What's the point? Most every comment I read says "fuck you Apple, you've asked it". How this is going to change anything? Imagine there is no Apple, and before 2007 almost nobody ever considered Apple as the greatest evil on Earth, but these patent games surely are not from 2007. Are Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Motorola better I ask? What strikes me is that nobody is doing something else, all they saw the market created for mobile and is trying to get a piece of it without scruples. Not the thinnest even. As much as I'd dislike Nokia fate, they are the only company that not matter how good or bad they suffered, tried to start clean, and if they fail, I'm sure they'll admit it. Motorola, Samsung - also disgusting bitches - one that lives in the past, the other that want to suck as much blood from it customers as they can - the real parasites of technology today.
If everybody believes we'll be happy without Apple - I bet it will not be enough, having Google and Samsung take on us freely with "open" platform and everything else that simply sucks.

What the fuck? And I thought Germany was sane... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39157945)

Didn't Germany not recognize software patents? Or was that software copyrights? Either way...

Most of you are missing the point... (2)

sudden.zero (981475) | about 2 years ago | (#39158033)

This is the reason that Google purchased Motorola, because Motorola owns a crap-load (yes that's a technical term) of old generic patents that can be applied to almost anything in the mobile industry. Google has gotten tired of being the guy, with no patents, getting kicked by Apple and Microsoft. I for one am glad to see Google doing the kicking for once! At least Google finally got Linux on the map even if it is a Mobile OS! So I say "Hoorah, Google and Keep Kicking!"

SMTP is a push-technology (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 2 years ago | (#39158169)

Have these people not read RFC822 (updated by RFC2822)? Or is this just the usual incompetence of the patent office?

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