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Google, Motorola Ordered To Provide Android Info To Apple

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the and-put-some-mustard-on-it dept.

Android 240

snydeq writes "A U.S. judge has ordered Motorola Mobility and Google to turn over information to Apple on Google's acquisition in 2005 of Android, its development of the Android OS and the proposed acquisition of Motorola. According to Motorola, the information Apple seeks regarding Google's acquisition of Motorola and Android is not relevant to any damages asserted in the case." This comes alongside news that Apple has offered licensing deals to Motorola and Samsung that would resolve some of the patent litigation. Apple is reportedly asking for $5-$15 per device sold.

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240 comments

lame (-1, Redundant)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268757)

Oh shit. There goes the planet.

Re:lame (5, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268843)

Oh shit. There goes the planet.

There's nothing to worry about at the moment. Wait to start worrying until we have more details next year...
...Wait, you meant to reply to the asteroid story [slashdot.org] , right?

Paying Microsoft and Apple for Android ? (5, Insightful)

Lennie (16154) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268791)

So some manufacturers will end up paying Apple and Microsoft per device sold ? That's crazy.

Re:Paying Microsoft and Apple for Android ? (5, Insightful)

macshit (157376) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268887)

Yes, our broken patent system is crazy. It stifles innovation and harms society. That's why it should be significantly reformed (i.e., gutted).

That won't happen, of course, because companies like MS and Apple can afford to make it not happen. What's actually good for society is pretty much irrelevant.

Re:Paying Microsoft and Apple for Android ? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39268981)

You've got it exactly backwards. The patent system promotes innovation to society's benefit by ensuring that inventors reap the rewards of their efforts. If entries were legally allowed to copy the good ideas of others then and only then would innovation suffer because nobody would go to the effort to invent anything new.

Re:Paying Microsoft and Apple for Android ? (5, Insightful)

Capt. Skinny (969540) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269785)

That was the original intent, yes. But overly broad patents owned by litigious corporations with deep pockets have created a fear among inventors or potential inventors that any new invention will be labeled as infringing by some corporation owning some broad patent. As a result, only the litigious corporations with deep pockets dare take the risk of selling a new invention.

Re:Paying Microsoft and Apple for Android ? (4, Insightful)

Aryden (1872756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270025)

not when a company (Apple) can sue and win in court because a device has rounded corners and thus infringes on their patent (see Apple vs Samsung). I think the end result was, it couldn't be rectangular with rounded corners or have a "home" button of any sort.

Re:Paying Microsoft and Apple for Android ? (1, Informative)

chentiangemalc (1710624) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269081)

Google is just as guilty of this as anyone. They also have no desire to actually push for patent reforms; as they also rely on many patents for their search business.

Re:Paying Microsoft and Apple for Android ? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269361)

Google is just as guilty of this as anyone. They also have no desire to actually push for patent reforms; as they also rely on many patents for their search business.

please point out one lawsuit that had to do with a google search patent. In fact google openly provided map reduce framework on handling large datasets a key to their search business.

Re:Paying Microsoft and Apple for Android ? (1, Troll)

dumuzi (1497471) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270069)

A case [ecoustics.com] of Google abusing their patent repetoir. Though it is not a lawsuit involving a search patent, it does demonstrate the GP's point.

Re:Paying Microsoft and Apple for Android ? (5, Insightful)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270285)

I'm glad you found one case that was opened before Google acquired Motorola Mobility, where MM was actively defending against a troll in Microsoft. Microsoft accusing anyone of abusing patents is kinda like a black hole calling something dark. Seeing how the litigation between MS and MM has been going on since 10/10, I'm going to say your example isn't making GGP's assertion true. In fact, I'm willing to say that if that's the best someone can come up with, that assertion is absolutely false.

Your case is more an example of how Microsoft has been abusing its patent portfolio for seriously hideous patents. Most manufacturers just signed up to pay MS a cost of a Windows Mobile license to avoid litigation, and they passed the cost on to the consumer. You're thinking that deserves defense and benefits us? Apple wants a cut of the same action. They're proving that they're no better than MS, NTP and SCO in my book.

All this does is reinforce the idea that if you're a small time inventor, or even a big time manufacturer, who really wants to make a product that innovates, and gives people something they really want... There's no chance in hell in the US. MS, Apple, NTP, Honeywell or some other patent holding company will just kill you for making it remotely useful.

Re:Paying Microsoft and Apple for Android ? (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270085)

There doesn't have to be an actual lawsuit. The screwed up patent system creates its own FUD.

Re:Paying Microsoft and Apple for Android ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269389)

Seriously, why can't we just lynch everyone involved in these patent suits. From the greedy board of directors to the evil lawyers?

Hey megacorps, why not focus on... Oh I don't know... Making a better product? Think of all that R&D money wasted on lawyers. Just a shame.

Re:Paying Microsoft and Apple for Android ? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39270169)

Hey megacorps, why not focus on... Oh I don't know... Making a better product? Think of all that R&D money wasted on lawyers. Just a shame.

And when you create a product from all that R&D money and a competitor simply "clones" the product, isn't that R&D money wasted? Well from the perspective of the creator who spent the money, not the cloner who free loaded.

Re:Paying Microsoft and Apple for Android ? (5, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269447)

Yes, our broken patent system is crazy. It stifles innovation and harms society. That's why it should be significantly reformed (i.e., gutted).

I think patents should be eradicated outright, screw reform. Geniuses aren't special. There were two telephones in the PTO within hours of each other. Edison's 1880 Light-bulb patent came after Swan's 1878 UK patent for an improved incandescent lamp in a vacuum tube... Some of my teenage hobby source code is prior art that would invalidate many software patents held today (eg: VMware's saving & restoring VM state -- my Lisp VM did just that). Granting a monopoly over an idea because you made it to the patent office first is not valuable in today's society. The patent system has never worked as intended, it has always favoured the rich and established, not the basement genius.

I say we eradicate the patent system. The "no more innovation argumenteers" can argue all they want, but without testing the hypothesis it's all just untested conjecture. I say let's do the experiment. It's not like we can't re-instate whatever BS laws we want.

What if we sold the devices BLANK! Then you could by the Android OS firmware you want, or install your own separately installed via SD card. You know, like in the good old days, when you paid for hardware without being forced to pay for software too.

I've read lots of software patents and they all use a loophole: "Method and Apparatus for _____"
You see, the software is merely a binary description of the method, it's not an apparatus unless you consider the mind an apparatus... Neither can the blank general purpose computer AKA Apparatus by itself infringe a software patent.

So, the patent would only apply once the end user installs the software on the device and boots it, and eventually executes the patented instructions that implement the Method on the Apparatus -- if they ever do. Good luck suing all the end users, esp. when it's not clear that their machines executed the infringing code.

A patent application has a description of the patented process in it. That can be translated into Spanish, HTML, PDF, pseudo-code, etc. and it's not an infringement. OK, so what If It's translated into C? Still not an infringement, right? What if the C code is translated to machine code, or what if I actually manually translate the patent application into machine code (as I do occasionally, when I debug the compilers I make). I can execute those machine instructions on graph paper with a pencil, my mind is the Apparatus. So, this shouldn't be an infringement either.

You could sell the devices blank with only a PDF on them that actually describes the patented processes... right? I mean, downloading a PDF of a patent doesn't magically make my PC infringe the patent described therein. So, you could just as easily have placed the pseudo-code translation of said software patent claims on the otherwise blank device, still not an infringement, eh? What about C? Here's a device with a C code description of a patent in it. Is that an infringement? Nope. I'm having a hard time following the logical leap whereby the machine code translation of the patent claims creates an infringing use... eg: what if the device has the wrong firmware -- OR no power source -- That non-function device can't infringe a patent on a store shelf...

Well, let's say said device has a compiler present? If the C code isn't an infringement -- It's equivalent to a French or Pseudo-code translation of the patent -- then, you could simply compile the offending code yourself the first time the device is used. Wouldn't that "route-around" the distributor's infringing of said patents?

Seriously... this software patent crap has to stop.

Re:Paying Microsoft and Apple for Android ? (5, Insightful)

Capt. Skinny (969540) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270007)

I think patents should be eradicated outright, screw reform. Geniuses aren't special.

Innovation requires more effort than genius. There are few "Ah-ha!" developments that come to people in the middle of the night in a dream. Patents are intended to create a profit incentive for people to put in the requisite effort, thereby encouraging innovation for the public good.

Without a profit incentive, why should I spend years in my lab building a better solar panel, or heart valve, or internal combustion engine? As soon as my years of hard work pay off and I put my product on the market, countless other companies would be able to offer the same thing for only the cost of reverse engineering my product. I endured all the up-front development costs, yet I make the same profit as everyone else who starts selling it because I have to compete with everyone else. I'm a nice guy, but I'm not self-sacrificing.

Seriously... this software patent crap has to stop.

The crap, yes. Patents themselves, no.

Re:Paying Microsoft and Apple for Android ? (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270173)

If you would just f---ing quit referring to the issue as "software patent" (as in "software patents are bad"), and focus on the real issue of patents ... that they are ALL all bad (except those that meet the original patent justification of innovation that would never have happened were it not for the possibility of a patent), regardless of whether software, hardware, or anything else, then maybe we can actually start to get some traction on the issue. Instead, with people merely claiming "software patents" are what is bad, people just won't see the real issue (that 99.9% of patents are not innovation, and are just corporations trying to grab a government sanction to own something that can let them destroy competition).

Just because the rise of non-innovative patents is happening concurrently with the rise of software methods being patented (or rather, methods that are typically implemented in software), does not mean that software itself is the reason for something to not be patented. The few and rare cases of genuinely innovative ideas could very well be implemented in hardware or software, in many of those cases.

I'm not proposing the scrapping of the patent system. It's still justified. We just need to operate it strictly for the innovations that justify it.

Photo of phones before and after iphone (-1, Troll)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269637)

Everyone who whines about the design and interface patents that Apple is enforcing needs to look at this photo of "smart" phones before and after the iphone introduction:
http://boingboing.net/2012/02/24/photo-of-phones-before-and-aft.html [boingboing.net]

Now yes people may have had the odd feature that kinda sort looked like an iphone or worked a little like an iphone. but Seriously are you going to argue that apple did not set the standard as it were. Don't you think they have a right to profit from taking that risk, developing thier human interfaces over decades and applying those to the iphone to create such a seamless interface. If not then why did everyone copy it?

Re:Photo of phones before and after iphone (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269749)

Your picture is complete bullshit. How about pick phones that are actually a realistic example for the before and after? No, you can't do that, because it would completely destroy your point.

1. WAY too many dumb phones on there, which is completely irrelevant
2. Complete lack of the many phones that should be on the "before" image that actually look really damn similar to the phones on the "after" image.
3. It's fucking easy to make these pictures with a ridiculous bias, and this picture screams bias like a mother fucker.

Re:Photo of phones before and after iphone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39270205)

ya, you've got a nokia 8900 in that photo. i had that
phone in 1998.

Re:Photo of phones before and after iphone (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39270133)

Ahem [wikipedia.org]

Re:Photo of phones before and after iphone (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270221)

Touch screens replacing physical buttons is a whole LOT older than even this. I first saw them in use in other devices in 1989. Any patents from back then are run out now.

Re:Photo of phones before and after iphone (1)

SuperAlgae (953330) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270251)

Thank you. That is an even closer match than my Motorola example. Together they show a natural progression towards modern smartphones, not something spawned by Apple out of the aether.

Re:Photo of phones before and after iphone (5, Insightful)

SuperAlgae (953330) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270151)

A picture is worth a thousand words, but unfortunately there is no guarantee that those words are truthful.

Motorola had a very iPhone-like device (even with an app store) in 2006 before the iPhone was released...
http://www.quora.com/Why-was-Motorola-unable-to-capitalize-on-their-EZX-MotoMAGX-smartphone-platform-outside-of-China [quora.com]

Motorola hurt themselves with some bad decisions, but Apple did not single-handedly invent the modern smartphone. And I'm sure there are similar examples from other companies at the time. The fact that Apple executed better than their competitors has given them plenty of deserved success. It does not give them the right to hold a monopoly over the industry.

Re:Paying Microsoft and Apple for Android ? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268895)

So some manufacturers will end up paying Apple and Microsoft per device sold ? That's crazy.

That's pretty much the way it goes, everyone licenses patents from everyone else, for example Microsoft licenses a lot of patents from OpenWave and Apple licenses patents from Lodsys.

Re:Paying Microsoft and Apple for Android ? (4, Insightful)

zill (1690130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268975)

I used to think the patent licensing system was like racketeering. But I was wrong.

With racketeering you only have to pay one gang. With the patent system you have to pay multiple gangs.

Re:Paying Microsoft and Apple for Android ? (4, Funny)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269179)

Apparently, Apple and Microsoft are both counting on Linux to secure their retirement income.

Re:Paying Microsoft and Apple for Android ? (1)

slew (2918) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269901)

FWIW: Android != Linux

In a nutshell Android is a Linux based kernel w/ some power saving improvements (e.g, wakelocks for drivers) and that's pretty much where the similarities end.

Android ships w/o most of the standard libraries (e.g., Xlib), and includes lots of Android specific middleware and support Apache Harmony (java compatible libraries). Although most applications are often written in Java, instead of being compiled to java bytecode and run on a standard JVM, Android uses it's own Dalvik byte code and Dalvik VM, and Android only supports it's own SDK so standard Java apps that use standard class libraries often won't run.

Other than provide a stable OS to run Android w/ lots of device drivers, it's not clear how much of Linux is really required to run Android. I suspect that it could even be ported to a BSD based OS w/o too much trouble (if someone wanted to go through the trouble to make it a pure Apache style license)...

Re:Paying Microsoft and Apple for Android ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39270313)

In a nutshell Android is a Linux based kernel w/ some power saving improvements

So, Android is Linux, then. Gotcha, glad that's clear. Nobody cares about your favorite userland libraries.

Apple and Google pay Microsoft Exchange licenses (-1, Troll)

jmcbain (1233044) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269897)

Microsoft has a product that you may have heard of. It's called Exchange. Both Apple and Google pay a licensing fee to Microsoft to use Exchange ActiveSync. It mutually benefits all sides (seller and buyer). Now Apple has products that you may have heard of. They're called iOS patents, which are a proxy for the iOS features. Google and its minions should pay a licensing fee to use them. That is how capitalism works. If you think that's crazy, then I know where you stand, comrade.

So 5-15 to MS 5-15 to Apple, total $10-$30 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39268809)

So 5-15 to MS 5-15 to Apple, total $10-$30

Definitely going to force things to be more expensive than either MS or Apple does.

Re:So 5-15 to MS 5-15 to Apple, total $10-$30 (3, Insightful)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268839)

Neither company can innovate so they are leeching off those than can. And we suffer.

Re:So 5-15 to MS 5-15 to Apple, total $10-$30 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39268939)

What....wait a minute. Neither company as in Apple and Microsoft???

Microsoft has leeched for years off Apple. Google its todays Microsoft and they are leeching off Apple now. Get your story straight!! Google is stealing and now buying companies for their patents because Google can't innovate and create anything.

They are copying Apple, hopefully that is what you meant!!

Re:So 5-15 to MS 5-15 to Apple, total $10-$30 (0)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268989)

no they arent copying apple. geez.

Re:So 5-15 to MS 5-15 to Apple, total $10-$30 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269017)

lol...butthurt fanboy rage!

Re:So 5-15 to MS 5-15 to Apple, total $10-$30 (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269357)

What the hell does anybody Thule I'd wrong with buying companies for their patents?

Dear Apple... (2, Insightful)

fatalGlory (1060870) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268849)

People buy your products because they are original, innovative and useful. Litigation for profit is not original. Litigation for profit is not innovative. Litigation for profit is not useful. Please, oh please, just get back to doing what people love you for.

Re:Dear Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39268967)

As much as this is going to sound like a crazy conspiracy...

They're behind.
They've got the iPhone, and the iPad, but thats it. They haven't been working on the next thing, or aren't quite sure what to do now. So they're trying to buy time by slowing everyone else down.
</tinfoilhat>

Re:Dear Apple... (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269049)

Naw, this is just what happens when an Apple fanboy becomes a judge.

Re:Dear Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269921)

They've got the iPhone, and the iPad, but thats it.

Just ignore that every company on the planet would be more than happy with just that.

Should turn Android over (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39268863)

They should turn Android over to Apple...copying tards. While at it let Oracle have a piece as well for the stealing of Java code.

Re:Should turn Android over (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269061)

Yes, there should only be one smartphone choice. All turn our lives over to The Apple

Between Apple and Microsoft (1, Insightful)

JohnFen (1641097) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268867)

Between Apple and Microsoft, it's becoming impossible to own a smartphone without paying money to some truly awful corporation. I hope my current one won't have to be my last.

Re:Between Apple and Microsoft (2)

fizzer06 (1500649) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268917)

If you don't replace Android with Android and you hate Apple and Microsoft, what phone would you buy from?

Re:Between Apple and Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269337)

If you don't replace Android with Android and you hate Apple and Microsoft, what phone would you buy from?

webOS

Re:Between Apple and Microsoft (1)

fizzer06 (1500649) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270189)

WebOS on a phone? I thought it was just on tablets.

Re:Between Apple and Microsoft (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39270239)

How about a BlackBerry? Their mobile browser is one of the best on the market and very often first with new features. They have historically good multitasking (lightyears ahead of Apple) and the best security on the market one else even comes close)

Their new OS is far more advanced than anything Apple or Google is likely to put out in the next year -- all with a slick UI that makes iOS look like Windows 2.0.

It's getting really hard to ignore RIM. Their products are just too damn good.

Re:Between Apple and Microsoft (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269011)

I don't know how google, which is essentially a company that turns it's profits from spying and building a profile of every detail of it's users is not evil.

Re:Between Apple and Microsoft (4, Informative)

WankersRevenge (452399) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269079)

I feel the same way about game consoles. But with smart phones and tablets, I think both Microsoft and Apple see the writing on the wall.

Just for the record, I'm an iOS dev. I've avoided Android devices pretty much because I wasn't interested in the OS. Well, recently, I've been expanding my skillset and started branching out. I picked up a Galaxy Tab for a learning / development machine. I didn't like it at first but it became a slow burn and I found myself really enjoying the os (I find the back button for applications to be a brilliant os concept).

While I still prefer the overall experience of an iPad, it's painfully obvious that the "tablet gap" (cue strangelove) is being closed. I can't see Apple staying on top much longer and I'm guessing with their litigation spree, neither can they. It's literally Apple versus the world and those aren't very good odds.

If both companies manage to get a chuck of every tablet phone sale, they kind of win in a very shady way. The real thing to do is get rid of software patents or limit them to an ultra small window (a year at most). I don't see that ever happening unless we somehow divorce money from politics, but that's a whole different issue.

Re:Between Apple and Microsoft (4, Interesting)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269311)

I find the back button for applications to be a brilliant os concept.

True. It is a sensible API that has a natural interpretation: return to the context from which the current context was invoked, whether that be another application, an earlier frame of the browser chain or whatever. Now the obvious: forward is equally natural and is blatantly not there in Android. How many times have I hit the "back", ending up back in the application list or somewhere, and have to go hunting around to get back into the application context I just left? Which by the way is still running by the "apps never exit" rule. So obviously what I really want is a forward button, right next the the back button as is right and proper. Whenever that makes sense of course. Note to Android devs: quick, implement this before troll Apple claims to own the patent.

Re:Between Apple and Microsoft (1)

bgat (123664) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269459)

Hold down the Home key, and Android will present you with a list of running applications to choose from.

Re:Between Apple and Microsoft (2)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269717)

I know that. It is no substitute for the obviously missing "forward" button.

Re:Between Apple and Microsoft (5, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269097)

Buy a cheap knock-off China phone. It's the only ethical choice.

Re:Between Apple and Microsoft (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270305)

And get hit by the GPL violation.

Re:Between Apple and Microsoft (2)

crunch-banger (2589875) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269481)

Now that almost 50% of adults own smart phones I'm not sure we should call them smartphones anymore...

Can they sell OS free handsets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39268893)

Develop both Android and Windows Phone drivers for them.
Let us choose what we install, just like on bare-bones PCs.
The devices ARE computers after all!
Shouldn't it be more difficult to charge a premium for an open-source operating system that the user has to manually download?

Re:Can they sell OS free handsets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39268913)

And how would this avoid the patents?

Re:Can they sell OS free handsets? (1)

fizzer06 (1500649) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268933)

Warez, dude!

Re:Can they sell OS free handsets? (2)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268937)

What telco in their right mind would choose giving their customers choice over having to pay some license fees and passing on the cost to the customer in exchange for almost complete control of the hardware and softawre?

Apple becoming a patent troll? (2, Insightful)

rvr777 (1082819) | more than 2 years ago | (#39268955)

Why does Apple need to do this so badly? I understand that U$ 5 for every Motorola/Samsung Android phone/tablet is a hefty sum of money, but this hurts their image. specially for their customers, as it *could* be interpreted as having a difficult competing with Android. I'm very disappointed that they are going the same way as other patent trolls :(

Re:Apple becoming a patent troll? (5, Insightful)

Trolan (42526) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269093)

A patent troll is usually called that because they didn't produce anything using the patent in question aside from a lawsuit. Apple here is using patents they are actively using, and believe that are being infringed by Android. Considering Motorola is going for 2.5% of sale price of iPhones for use of standards patents covered by FRAND, this is at least a more reasonable figure. It's also quite possibly a means of leveraging a cross-licensing deal so neither side winds up paying the other a dime.

Ultimately, they're doing what most sane businesses would do. If you had a design you felt was innovative enough to patent and you spent a ton of R&D on, and you saw a company producing something that you believe is infringing on your ideas, would you just sit back and let them run with it? Or do you like doing free R&D for your competition?

Re:Apple becoming a patent troll? (2, Insightful)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269223)

So you endorse suing over software-patents then right? You are happy with Apple and Microsoft suing YOU for writing code right? Code that they did not write and have NOTHING to do with? So if one operating system has a menu bar can we patent that and sue every one to hell and back for implementing a menu bar in software with completely different code? Suing people for swipe to unlock and displaying text before an image in a browser is ok with you? So now you can't sit down at your computer and write code without an army of lawyers charging you a heap for the privilege to use your own fucking code?

Re:Apple becoming a patent troll? (-1, Troll)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269301)

Except that android is a blatant rip of apple from when schmidt was on the board. Pretty cool when you're a board member and have access to source code.

Re:Apple becoming a patent troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269401)

Source please. Demonstrate that it's a blatant rip off, specifically, as opposed to "obvious to those experienced in the art".

Re:Apple becoming a patent troll? (2, Insightful)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269405)

You are saying that Schmidt stole IOS code and put it in Android? That is bullshit. Total Bullshit and you know it. Schmidt was not privy to any Iphone info while on the board and definitely did not have access to any Apple source code. Stop spreading misinformation.

Re:Apple becoming a patent troll? (-1, Troll)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270219)

hey andydread or should I say android-head? if schmidt didn't get a DVD with the source code, how were they able to create android so quickly from scratch? how come so many of the features and API are the same word for word? and how come he used to be on the board, but was fired?

Re:Apple becoming a patent troll? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269435)

Except that Android was bought by Google as an existing work in progress before Apple was even around the market, and all Google did was pump more money into it...

Re:Apple becoming a patent troll? (1, Insightful)

nwoolls (520606) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269639)

Try Googling "Android before iPhone". Yes it existed. And it was a Blackberry clone. Only after the iPhone was released and a massive hit did they change course.

Re:Apple becoming a patent troll? (3, Informative)

crazycheetah (1416001) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269805)

Get better sources. [osnews.com]

Re:Apple becoming a patent troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269263)

Um, Apple did sit back and let them run with it... Android has been out for some time now...

Re:Apple becoming a patent troll? (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269345)

Apple: If it walks, talks, growls and stinks like a troll, it's a troll.

Re:Apple becoming a patent troll? (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270273)

If you had a design you felt was innovative enough to patent and you spent a ton of R&D on, and you saw a company producing something that you believe is infringing on your ideas, would you just sit back and let them run with it?

See, that is the flaw in your argument. You're supposing that any appreciable portion of patent law relates to something "innovative enough to patent" that somebody "spent a ton of R&D on." Especially as it pertains to companies the size of Apple or Microsoft.

There are a few such cases, to be sure. But the vast majority are incremental improvements slapped together, or something done for decades with "using a computer!" stuck on the back. There's no bar for innovation; every idea a company that size has ever had goes through the patent process because $10k to them is worth less than a sneeze. There are an estimated 250 million Android phones that have been activated[1], growing at a rate of about 700,000 per day. Let's ignore the existing install base (which Apple probably will not); at $5/device, they are asking for $3,500,000 per day. Do you see now why filing BS patents that took no thought and no effort at every turn in hopes that one hits the jackpot makes sense? $3.5MM can pay for 350 patent applications per day that never make a dime. (And you can be assured that many "make a dime," whether directly, as a patent bludgeon or simply as a boost to the company. Patents can be valuated and listed as a company asset on its balance sheets even if it is never licensed.)

Maybe this is one of the good patents that cost a billion dollars in R&D. I doubt it, but maybe. It still doesn't matter. The next one won't be, and there will be a next one.

And let's be honest here. There's no mobile patent worth $3.5 million per day.

[1] http://www.asymco.com/2011/12/21/how-many-android-phones-have-been-activated/ [asymco.com]

Re:Apple becoming a patent troll? (4, Insightful)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269147)

Why does Apple need to do this so badly? I understand that U$ 5 for every Motorola/Samsung Android phone/tablet is a hefty sum of money, but this hurts their image. specially for their customers, as it *could* be interpreted as having a difficult competing with Android. I'm very disappointed that they are going the same way as other patent trolls :(

Well a 'patent troll' is an entity that just holds patents and sues people that actually use the without licensing them but doesn't actually use them themselves, just suing over use of patents isn't 'patent trolling', so Apple isn't a patent troll. And wrt hurting their image for their customers, if the conditions and incidents at the factories that build their products don't turn off their customers i hardly think suing their competitors for using their innovations (which is of course how they'll spin it regardless of your point of view) is going to.

Re:Apple becoming a patent troll? (1)

rvr777 (1082819) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269353)

I agree with you about the definition about patent troll, I wanted to refer to the strategy of using the patents to hamper the innovation or squeeze some additional money from their competitors. About their image, most customers (sadly) don't care about the conditions and incidents at the factories, because it doesn't affect them; they want their device as cheap as possible, even if it means looking away from the company manufacturing practices. I hope more people would be concerned about this, but only a minority won't change anything.

Re:Apple becoming a patent troll? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269745)

I agree with you about the definition about patent troll, I wanted to refer to the strategy of using the patents to hamper the innovation or squeeze some additional money from their competitors.

I know there's no real way to say 'they've made enough' off a particular innovation, but you'd think they wouldn't need to be squeezing that money out of their competitors given their market position and financial situation. In fact competing and doing so well in the market without suing your competitors would certainly make them look good, and only respond to patent lawsuits with cross-licensing agreements.

About their image, most customers (sadly) don't care about the conditions and incidents at the factories, because it doesn't affect them; they want their device as cheap as possible, even if it means looking away from the company manufacturing practices. I hope more people would be concerned about this, but only a minority won't change anything.

Agree.

Re:Apple becoming a patent troll? (2, Insightful)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269403)

[blather]... so Apple isn't a patent troll

Only according to Apple apologists, fanbois, and spin doctors. For the rest of us, Apple is burning karma at an alarming rate and has already declined significantly in terms of respect for the corporate brand. Apple is doing its best to establish a reputation for rapaciousness over engineering excellence.

Re:Apple becoming a patent troll? (2)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269701)

Only according to Apple apologists, fanbois, and spin doctors.

Well given that i am none of those that disproves your theory, too bad for you. It also demonstrates that you ignorantly think that anyone that sues over patents is a 'patent troll', so you fail again.

Re:Apple becoming a patent troll? (0)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269807)

Only according to Apple apologists, fanbois, and spin doctors.

Well given that i am none of those that disproves your theory...

Wrong, your words "suing over use of patents isn't 'patent trolling', so Apple isn't a patent troll" qualify you nicely under both "apologist" and "spin doctor". Never mind the blatant logical fallacy.

Re:Apple becoming a patent troll? (0)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269847)

Wrong, your words "suing over use of patents isn't 'patent trolling', so Apple isn't a patent troll" qualify you nicely under both "apologist" and "spin doctor".

Fail again douchebag, selective quoting won't save you, nice try though.

Never mind the blatant logical fallacy.

Selective quoting will do that to you.

But i'm curious, what's your definition of a 'patent troll'?

Re:Apple becoming a patent troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39270029)

in your haste to brand someone an apple-lover of some kind it looks like you missed a pretty crucial bit

" just suing over use of patents isn't 'patent trolling', so Apple isn't a patent troll"

which is right. just because you bring a patent suit doesnt make you a patent "troll".

Re:Apple becoming a patent troll? (1)

rjames13 (1178191) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270175)

[blather]... so Apple isn't a patent troll

Only according to Apple apologists, fanbois, and spin doctors. For the rest of us, Apple is burning karma at an alarming rate and has already declined significantly in terms of respect for the corporate brand. Apple is doing its best to establish a reputation for rapaciousness over engineering excellence.

People only use the term "patent troll" in this context because they don't know what it means. They saw it used elsewhere and are so emotionally invested in what they are saying they don't check if it means what they think it does. Then other people misuse it as well and the cycle goes on.

Wikipedia has an ok definition of it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_troll [wikipedia.org]

Re:Apple becoming a patent troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39270289)

[blather]... so Apple isn't a patent troll

Only according to Apple apologists, fanbois, and spin doctors.

Actually it is according to the history of the term:

"make a lot of money off a patent that they are not practicing and have no intention of practicing and in most cases never practiced."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_troll [wikipedia.org]

Such that there is more to being a patent troll that just suing another company/person over patents.

The more I see Apple playing patent troll... (5, Funny)

BulletMagnet (600525) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269039)

The more I wish Gates would have pissed on Jobs back in 1997........

Re:The more I see Apple playing patent troll... (1)

ClosedEyesSeeing (1278938) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269265)

The more I wish Gates would have pissed on Jobs back in 1997........

That was in the other Pirates of Silicon Valley [imdb.com] movie.

Re:The more I see Apple playing patent troll... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269275)

Oh come on. I dislike the iPhone as much as the next Android user but you cannot deny that iOS made Android better. Without the iPhone Android would be another blackberry clone

Re:The more I see Apple playing patent troll... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269573)

Android would not be another Blackberry clone. Android was on a basic path, and it has continued that same path--which, if anything, is more of a Palm OS clone with pieces of Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and other phone OSs (including "dumbphones"...) combined with a bunch of new ideas. They learned from Apple in ways to make it better (and the touchscreen was not one of them... people, including Android, was starting to demo touchscreen use on phones before the iPhone was around at all), and Apple also learned from Android in ways to make iOS better. Neither would probably be what they are at their latest iterations without each other, but both also have completely distinct differences from anything that was before them.

Re:The more I see Apple playing patent troll... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39270001)

Not sure I've ever seen denial that blatant before.

Corporate Monopoly (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269091)

In the end, all the big corporations will end up paying each other royalties for all their patents. In essence, its a zero-sum loss because they get all their money back from different patents. This means any up and coming company will be sued out of existence if they don't have any patents to litigate with.

Re:Corporate Monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269571)

Blame IBM for this one. IBM is the company that popularized this tactic and they've benefits more than anyone else from it. It is well known in the patent industry where this tactic was refined to an art.

Re:Corporate Monopoly (1)

iiiears (987462) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270329)

In the end, all big corporations will limit how their competitors can innovate.

Typical /. response (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269113)

Android fanboys in denial till the end. Good that Apple is beginning to drop the hammer on iPhone clones. You lose all credibility when you play the "bad for consumers" nonsense.

Owned 4 ipods, 3 iphones (0)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269327)

Going from disliking, to hating, to detesting fucking Apple.
This company disgusts me, they need to be seriously dropped several pegs.

Never buying another Apple product, ever - working on convincing others, simply not interested in their shit and their attitude.

Re:Owned 4 ipods, 3 iphones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269797)

How many did you buy new?

If someone that didn't like a company bought SEVEN of their products, I find that a little disconcerting.

There was another AC saying "I hate Apple, I'm going to sell my iPod." That's somewhat self defeating. You stop using their product.... by pushing your market share on to somebody else. Perpetuating the brand. Voting with your wallet has a price. Man up and pay it, or don't.

Re:Owned 4 ipods, 3 iphones (1)

axlr8or (889713) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269989)

Why waste good press. I say he burns them in the middle of a pentagram. Puts it on youtube.

That's it. I'm selling my iPod. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269511)

Apple needs to follow its great leader and die.

Re:That's it. I'm selling my iPod. (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270277)

Better yet, crush it, or even shoot it. Put the video proof online.

unfortunate events surround us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39269827)

When you have that much cash, it's pretty easy to bribe people. We the people should have the ultimate say for anything that affects a majority of us, it's unfortunate that democracy is an illusion in the US. Law wich is pretty much in the pockets of companies always has the last say, never mind if it's immoral, a low blow tactic, out of greed. It really mocks us all. Can you really blame them though? i mean I hate apple, but if they came up to someone and said hey, here's a cool million to keep your mouth shut and do as I say, do you really think they're gonna say no? or if they are too incompetent to understand, that they will be smart enough to make the correct judgement?

I hate crapple. (-1, Flamebait)

axlr8or (889713) | more than 2 years ago | (#39269957)

So, with its endless war chest of digitized dead presidents, Crapple pursues the intent of A. Ruining the ability to have a choice, and B. Patent Trolling. RIP Steve, and thanks for GMOing a tree that grows great looking apples that are just plain rotten on the inside. You know what? That Judge didn't fall far from the tree, either.

Fuck Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39270087)

Seriously.

Re:Fuck Apple (3, Funny)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39270297)

Sorry, but they already have the patent on that.

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