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Apple Wants To Block Some HTC Products From US Under Tariff Act of 1930 297

Posted by timothy
from the mmm-competition dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Days after filing another suit against Samsung, Apple took aim at smaller rival HTC, filling a claim with the International Trade Commission (ITC) to ban the sales of the competing smartphones and tablets. Apple said that HTC was infringing on 'groundbreaking' [technology] that Apple developed for its iPod, iPhone and iPad products."
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Apple Wants To Block Some HTC Products From US Under Tariff Act of 1930

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  • I might not be well informed but has this kind of move ever worked in the industry? Has any significantly big company ever stop selling their products because of moves like this?
    • Didn't some company stop Microsoft from selling Word in the US for a few weeks recently?
    • Re:Does it work? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Monday July 11, 2011 @10:52PM (#36729418)

      These companies have payed millions of dollars to buy patents. HTC didn't buy the IP therefore it has to pay a licensing fee.

      The goal isn't to actually stop the selling of products, the goal is to extract licensing fees to cover the costs of patent purchases in the past and internal R&D.

      The sales block just expedites the process by hitting the company much harder than insubstantial penalties (see Microsoft's fines in the 90s). It's one thing to fine them a few million a year, it's another to cut their revenue stream so that they can't afford the fines.

      • by AlfaMike (1902786)

        These companies have payed millions of dollars to buy patents. HTC didn't buy the IP therefore it has to pay a licensing fee.

        I'm not a hater so the point of my question wasn't that Apple's claim is baseless (I honestly don't have the knowledge to take a position here since I haven't done any research). I agree that companies should be rewarded for their innovations but the patent system is so messy with the trolls and everything that I naturally take this kind of news with a grain of salt.

        • Wasn't calling you a hater. Nor am I calling HTC a leech or Apple a patent troll. I was just trying to answer the question at hand. ;)

          Apple owns tech that they want license fees for. HTC wants to pay as few licensing fees as possible so they'll challenge as many patent disputes as possible and the quickest way to get someone to settle is to cut off their revenue.

          So to answer your question "does this ever actually happen?" No, because the offending party always folds and settles before it actually affec

          • by wgoodman (1109297)

            They didn't challenge Microsoft...

      • by erroneus (253617)

        "...to cover the cost of..."

        Really? And do they stop collecting fees when the R&D is paid?

        No, this is now called "competition" these days. It stopped being about "new and better things" back in the 70s. Now it's about extracting the most money.

        • Re:Does it work? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Pieroxy (222434) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @04:59AM (#36731020) Homepage

          It's all a matter of context I guess. Companies like MS, Apple, Oracle & co sit on treasure chests in the form of patent portfolios. The LAW makes it so. It would be foolish of them not to try and make money out of them.

          So they go against people that are obviously infringing their overly broad patents. But they have so many of them that it's becoming impossible to fight, unless you have yourself a huge patent portfolio.

          In that view, I don't understand why google didn't put everything they had behind the Nortel portfolio. They NEED it in order to make Android a sustainable product - from a commercial perspective.

          What is dead wrong in this system is that none of these lawsuits will ever result in a judgment. So all in all, the justice system is just a means to grab money and nothing else. And none of the players here want any of these lawsuit to go before a judge. Because none of them can afford to lose one of these lawsuits. They just move their pawns in court and then settle.

          In my view, a judge SHOULD be able to declare a lawsuit "non settleable." This way, those companies would think twice before starting such lawsuits because there would be a chance that one of them would actually go to the end of the procedure. Then it would be obvious to everyone (or at least to the DOJ) that the patent system is just here to benefit trolls and major patent holders, but hardly anyone else. And it should be obvious that ANY NEW PRODUCT will infringe millions of patents because everything has been patented many times already.

    • by jrumney (197329)
      Freescale were not selling certain BGA package ICs in the US for about 18 months because of a move like this (for a patent which was about to expire, so they decided to wait it out rather than pay up).
  • by RightSaidFred99 (874576) on Monday July 11, 2011 @10:28PM (#36729252)
    Contrary to Jobs' statements, they don't want competition and they learned their lesson back in the early Mac Vs. PC days when they got their lunch eaten by a bunch of nobody OEMs churning out cheap PCs. Apple's model is not sustainable, and it's even less sustainable when people aren't flush with disposable income. Any moron could have predicted Apple would be in trouble years ago - they're one company trying to make one model of phone (which is just an iPod with a 3G chip) versus numerous Android vendors each innovating.
    • It is quite accurate. Apple doesn't want competition. They have a real problem with Android in terms of their continued growth. Apple's massive rise has been due to its consumer electronics, not its computers. They could get rid of their computer division and still be huge.

      Well the iPod is secure, for a good while at least, because of branding and fashion. People don't buy MP3 players, they buy iPods. They are the fashionable thing to own. Fine, but it is also a fairly saturated market, and one that is hard

      • by ArcherB (796902) on Monday July 11, 2011 @11:20PM (#36729598) Journal

        Your post was right with the exception of this one part.

        What's more, the Android market moves much faster. Right now you can get Android phones with 4G, with dual core CPUs, with 3D screens. Now I'd say other than the first one that is not so useful, but it is new gadgets that people want.

        I own the phone you are talking about, the Evo3d. I wasn't too sure about getting this phone, even though I could get it for free (sold my Evo4G for $250 and picked up the 3D for $200. The extra $50 paid for taxes, fees and a new Zagg screen protector).

        I thought the 3D would take away from other things, like the fact that it only had a 5MP camera instead of the 8MP of the 4G. I also thought the 3D would be a gimmick. Well, it is a gimmick, but it's a really really cool one. Text messaging was a gimmick at one point. A camera was a gimmick at one point. I even remember when mp3 ring tones were a gimmick, much less an actual mp3 player. Of course, 3D cameras and screens won't become standard like text messaging, but it is still very cool. Go to a Sprint store, check it out and see how good it looks. I've taken 3D video and stills that will blow your mind, like a water skier with the rope close up and the skier far away or a simple coffee cup on a pier with the sunrise in the background. Awesome.

        The dual core processor is really handy. My Evo4G would become nearly unusable when installing or updating applications. My Evo3D can installs apps in the background without me even noticing.

        4G, of course, is pretty useful if, and only if, you are in an area with coverage and you are not going to venture out of it. For some reason, when the phone gains and loses 4G signal, the batter drains quickly.

      • Well the iPod is secure, for a good while at least, because of branding and fashion. People don't buy MP3 players, they buy iPods. They are the fashionable thing to own.

        Well, no. The The iPod was *the* fashionable thing to own... back in the first part of the last decade. But not anymore. The iPod market is starting to fade - both because people *do* buy MP3 players that aren't iPods, and because phones in general and Apple's own Touch are starting to replace the handheld MP3 player.

        • by kextyn (961845)
          The Touch is called the "iPod Touch". The iPod is STILL the fashionable portable music player. I can't remember the last time I saw someone working out with a media device that didn't have an apple on it. And if I were to mention a SanDisk product to most of my friends and coworkers they would give me a funny look. Just look at the list of best selling MP3 players on Amazon. You'll see a lot of iPods and down the list you'll start seeing SanDisk and extremely cheap devices like Coby.
          • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @08:52AM (#36732070)

            I don't know, around these parts, I see a lot more non-Apple MP3 players than I do iPods anymore. Most people in my circle have since stopped carrying a standalone MP3 player completely and use their phones as one instead. The few people that don't (due to the fact that they have "dumbphones") rarely have an iPod, and instead have a Samsung or SanDisk cheapo.

            Most of them probably couldn't even tell you the name brand of their MP3 player, but they're not concerned with brand names; they want a cheap MP3 player that holds a few hours of music for in the car or wen they're working out. I know a few people that deliberately went that route for a workout MP3 player because they broke their expensive Apple toys at the gym a few times and would rather be out $50 when they inevitably drop in on the treadmill and stomp on it then the $399 or whatever they paid for their iPod or iPhone.

            Now, 5 years ago I would have agreed, pretty much everyone carried an iPod. But today, I know very few people that, if they do have one, actually carry it around and use it. You can add me to that list, as my iPod is currently rotting in a drawer because the battery won't hold a charge, Apple wants to charge me $100 to replace it, and I can listen to all the same songs on my Droid. I bet a lot of them are sitting in drawers and glove boxes all over the country.

            To each their own...

      • by CodeBuster (516420) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @03:07AM (#36730578)

        It isn't like it would put them out of business, but it could shrink the profitability a lot and no company is interested in that.

        Take a look at the P/E ratio on AAPL [yahoo.com] of 16+, analysts' earnings and one (1) year target estimates; not exactly a bargain, considering the risks (Android is both a serious and viable competitor), if you ask me. Plus, if Apple fails to meet expectationsor worse starts missing on quarterly earnings because of Android then look out below because Apple has a long ways to fall, especially given the fact that its meteoric rise in recent years is due in no small part to the fantastically profitable iPhone. If you want to see an example of how quickly the markets and Wall Street can punish a tech company that fails to deliver on expectations, look no further than RIMM [yahoo.com] which some commentators now refer to as, "wasted research, downward motion". Research in motion is down 63% from its 52 week high; that's brutal if you were a buyer any time between then and now.

        I consider myself to be a fairly savvy investor, but the smart phone market changes quarterly and the pace of new handset releases, especially Android phones, is only increasing. There are many unknown variables, including killer apps or features, that are both disruptive and come out of nowhere on a regular basis. This may be good for consumers, but that level of risk and volatility, especially in a narrowly focused company like Apple with a healthy stock premium, is high risk and high stakes for all but the hardiest and best informed investors. I'm not a buyer of Apple, especially at these prices, because (a) the stock is expensive and (b) the risks in a disruptive and unpredictable business, like the smart phone business, with plenty of well informed insiders, are too high. In my opinion, most small investors would be well advised to steer clear of these rocky shoals. Alternatively, the telecoms have come down in price somewhat and all of those smart phone users are still paying $30+ per month, in spite of the jobless recovery, for their data plans.

      • This isn't a new idea they've had recently because of Android, this has been the plan of Apple all along. Remember the keynote when Apple announced the iPhone? Mr Jobs made very clear that they had patented the new 'technology' in the iPhone, and that they planned to defend it. Now it is what they are doing. We'll see how it goes.
      • by Mantrid42 (972953)
        Full disclosure: I have and love my iPhone.

        Android may be a threat in some ways, but Apple has the advantage of their App Store, and it's parallels. Parallels are the key. Many people that have an iPhone are tech-savvy. 9 out of 10 people I know who have iPhones have jailbroken (jailbreaked?) their iPhones, and have Cydia and Installous. The iPhone is a solid platform, and people want something for nothing, and the third-party software for the iPhone let's them get that something-for-nothing, and in a real

      • Looking back at the Nortel patent purchase, every company involved is an entrenched incumbent that has been around for years. They all see the writing on the wall: they can't compete with free. And I don't mean free as in beer, I mean free as in freedom. Every member of the open handset alliance is free to modify their phone as they see fit and that is the single greatest contributor to their success.

        Android has proven that money can be made on the First Mover Advantage alone. Every member of the Nortel
    • by fermion (181285) on Monday July 11, 2011 @11:26PM (#36729628) Homepage Journal
      This has been a back and forth. Traditional vendors are fighting Apple to keep the Mobile phone companies in control, and Apple is fight the traditional vendors to wrest control from the phone companies. It was not that long ago that we did not have the ability to make ringtones for free, or browse the web without exorbitant charges, or for that matter have a phone that we could update on our own without mobile phone limited our choices. Yes, Apple does limit choice, but because of Apple Google gave us android that often has fewer limits. Except when the mobile phone company limits choices. Phone companies limiting our choices is what will happen if Android and MS Windows Mobile becomes the standard.
  • *sigh* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Monday July 11, 2011 @10:28PM (#36729254)

    "We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it," Steve Jobs said at the time.

    In other news, Steve Jobs is seeking to have a new liver transplanted in along with whatever bodily organ it is that keeps a person from being a huge douchebag.

    If only he could rise to the ethical standards of 1990s Microsoft. Yeah, it's gotten that bad.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by pookemon (909195)
      In other news HTC has just applied for a patent on Liver transplants...
    • by drb226 (1938360)

      We really need to stop using the negatively spun word "steal" to refer to "Intellectual Property". Stealing implies a devastating condition: the victim no longer possesses that which was stolen. If people really "stole" Apple's inventions, that would mean that Apple suddenly would not be able to produce iPhones, iPads, or anything at all. Let's use the correct word for the actual condition: copy.

      We can sit by and watch competitors copy our patented inventions

      FTFY, Jobs. Sorry, it doesn't sound as horrible a

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Its actually a lot less then copy, a lot of Apple patents are based on prior art, i.e. a modification of something that has already been patented. Should Apple be able to patent touch screens when they have been around since the 80's?
        I think the patent system needs a good overhaul, is it right that a software patent should last for 20 years? I'd think that 3 years is reasonable, if you haven't made profit on it by then then you have only taken out the patent to stop someone else innovating.

      • by Pieroxy (222434)

        Sorry but you're wrong. Because you don"t OWN IP, you own copyright or patents, but you don't own IP.

        In this view, when someone copies your song over, they are depriving you of your property: the copyright grants you the right to distribute your IP as you see fit. Someone copying it over and distributing it over the internet is stealing allright, because then what was given to you by society - control over distribution - effectively disappears.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday July 11, 2011 @10:28PM (#36729256)

    The summary makes a big deal about the law being used dates back to the 1930's. But the part Apple leverages is simply the part that bans import on things that violate U.S. patent holders, by itself a perfectly reasonable rule no matter how long ago it was imposed.

    Now what MAY be unreasonable, are the patents in question. So what are they? It could well be THOSE are some of the absurd software patents we all know (and hate) so well, but it could also be some hardware related thing that is a perfectly reasonable thing to go after. The story by itself doesn't provide any help there...

    It sure seems nothing much usually comes of these injection requests so I hardly expect it to go anywhere. Perhaps Apple is looking for some kind of reciprocation behind the scenes for something else...

    • by scdeimos (632778)

      It sure seems nothing much usually comes of these injection requests so I hardly expect it to go anywhere. Perhaps Apple is looking for some kind of reciprocation behind the scenes for something else...

      HTC just bought S3 graphics (and its patent portfolio) from VIA [cens.com]. My guess is Apple is trying to get HTC banned from the US before HTC starts asserting their newly acquired patents against Apple.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by crackspackle (759472)
      Engadget has a fair description of each of Apple's claims [engadget.com] as well as links to each of the patents in question.
      • Thanks, mostly software as I thought, some seemed bogus to me... but there's a bit of hardware, including the patent for blocking input when you hold a touchscreen to your ear. That seems possibly reasonable, if there is no prior art to be found. I'll wait to see if anyone has an example...

    • Injunctions do happen, and the companies are prevented from importing devices. It happened to Qualcomm in 2007 [engadget.com]. Qualcomm quickly worked around it by implementing their chips in a way that worked around the patent. But don't think that this is an idle threat.
    • by Targon (17348)

      Wasn't there a lawsuit trying to ban imports of Apple devices from China over something similar? Remember, Apple doesn't make their products here in the USA, so HP(which bought Palm), could easily come up with a similar thing to block the importing of the iPhone into the USA. People don't remember, but Palm was the company that dominated the PDA market, and there are many patents surrounding their true innovations. All HP would have to do would be to point out how all the smartphones on the market

  • Must suck doing business these days if all you want to do is simply develop products for the end user without being hassled all the time. The time/effort/money wasted on the legal wrangling is getting ridiculous.

    • It's great if you don't have to invest in an R&D department and just use all of the innovation from other companies! Sure you'll get sued every now and then, but then you just pay a licensing fee and can use the best research from all the other companies who refuse on principle to use tech developed by their competitors.

      HTC is in a great place, pretty much everybody is willing to license their IP out but as an organization they can pick and choose whose IP is superior without feeling obligated to hold

    • by tsa (15680)

      I think it's childish too. Why not spend all that money on things like making better products, or, better yet, fighting the hunger in Africa?

    • by IrquiM (471313)
      Yes, it must suck doing business in the US. In the rest of the world, it kind of works.
  • by Virtucon (127420) on Monday July 11, 2011 @10:44PM (#36729368)

    If Apple were serious in their attempt to protect their business, then make their devices in the US and maybe their complaint could be taken seriously.
    They may do the bulk of their R&D in the US but it is all built offshore. I don't see how they can claim protection under these circumstances.

  • Told ya (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ArchieBunker (132337) on Monday July 11, 2011 @10:44PM (#36729370) Homepage

    Apple is the new Microsoft. Remember how Apple used to sue bloggers for just talking about an upcoming product? How about the kid who was selling white iphone skins, Apple shut him down in a hurry.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday July 11, 2011 @10:56PM (#36729444)

      Just nobody noticed because they were tiny. For a little while in the beginning they were a real techie company. I call that the "Woz Apple." However it wasn't long before they became more locked down and controlling than MS ever was. I've seen it time and time again throughout their history, but they were small, it only affected a small number of people, most of them fans who would forgive any transgression.

      They also got a pass from a lot of geek types since they were "against Microsoft." They figured anyone who opposed MS in any way, no matter how minor, had to be a good guy. They never looked in to it past that. The love of the underdog and the dislike of MS meant Apple could do no wrong and they needn't look deeper.

      Now Apple is massive, they are a consumer electronics giant. However this is not because of any change in their way of doing business, just that they found a market that they do well in. However because they are large, people are taking notice of what Apple does. They seem to think Apple has changed, and don't realize that only their visibility, and the effects of their actions have changed.

      • by sFurbo (1361249)

        They also got a pass from a lot of geek types since they were "against Microsoft." They figured anyone who opposed MS in any way, no matter how minor, had to be a good guy. They never looked in to it past that. The love of the underdog and the dislike of MS meant Apple could do no wrong and they needn't look deeper.

        A market with two power-hungry, totalitarian companies is slightly better than a market with only one. With the competition between the two, they are forced to make less locked down products than if there was only one. So it can make some sense to root for the underdog, even if he is as bad as the overdog. Not that the level of cheering for Apple among geeks was at that level.

  • ... pissed that he got ripped off of his monopoly again. I can picture it: A poorly shaven SJ sitting in a chair made of solid gold, with a whiskey bottle in his hand. Just mumbling....
  • ...that is, he watched Microsoft mop up the personal computer world at the expense of his OS in the 80s and 90s.

    I guess he did not enjoy watching that movie and that's why he's acting this way. Sounds reasonable to me...I mean, I would do the same thing.

    As the saying goes, "A wise man changes his mind, but a fool never will." Steve Jobs has decided to do something to stem the rise of Android.

    The better strategy though, would be to go after Google for without it, Android would be starved of the oxygen that f

  • by Hartree (191324) on Monday July 11, 2011 @11:10PM (#36729534)

    The Tariff Act of 1930 is better known by another name: The Smoot-Hawley Tariff.

    Most of that was repealed. How interesting to know that sections of it are still around.

    • by ThorGod (456163)

      How sad it is that so many of the programs and acts passed precisely because of 1929 are no longer around?

  • Apple's Weakness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Monday July 11, 2011 @11:23PM (#36729610)
    Too bad that Apple is admitting how they can't compete with their design and technology, so they will compete with lawyers instead.

    Sad.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Apple has always been hugely litigious. I guess you weren't around when they sued MS in 1985 over the Windows 1.0 interface, and again in 1989 over the Windows 3.0 Interface. Apple makes fantastic products. They're also obsessively controlling of their ecosystem and their intellectual property, and they've sued everyone from Apple Records (countersuit, actually) to Cisco over trademarks ("iPhone" was a Cisco trademark). It's a component of how they've always done business.

    • Too bad that Apple is admitting how they can't compete with their design and technology, so they will compete with lawyers instead.

      IANAL, but aren't they saying the exact opposite? Aren't they saying, "We have invented a superior technology and design because of these specific patents, which HTC illegally stole/copied/whatever"? I am not validating the patent system here, just trying to clarify the tactical stance.

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday July 11, 2011 @11:47PM (#36729752) Homepage Journal

    We are told that if we just get government regulators out of the way, the "free market" will sort everything out.

    Does this behavior on Apple's part indicate their desire to have a "free market"? Do you believe that any of the biggest corporations that are about to report record 2nd quarter profits really want anything like a "free market"?

    • No provider wants competition. Every provider wants a monopoly.

      It's no different from people. Everyone wants an advantage. No one wants to limit themselves or face barriers or face competition. Would you like to be the only male in the society that females would have the option of mating with. Of course :P

      But in real life, we have the 'free market' in love and you can't just go out there and murder your competition or make laws stating barring different people from mating or marrying.

      Of course this was

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        But in real life, we have the 'free market' in love and you can't just go out there and murder your competition or make laws stating barring different people from mating or marrying.

        No, it's highly regulated. If you're from an Evangelical family, let's see you marry a muslim girl. If you're a poor kid from a single family home, let's see you marry Paris Hilton.

        This is NOT the government making these regulations.

        Free markets do not exist. They have never existed. And if they could exist, we have no proo

    • by Solandri (704621)

      We are told that if we just get government regulators out of the way, the "free market" will sort everything out.

      I don't want a truly free market, but technically, patents and copyrights are regulation of a free market. In a truly free market, everyone could freely copy each others' ideas. But government decided that's bad for innovation, so regulates the market to give authors and inventors a "temporary" monopoly on their ideas.

      So in this case, Apple wants a tightly regulated market. In a truly free

  • Troll (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Windwraith (932426)

    I think Apple is just trolling the world at this point...

  • Oh the irony! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RandomStr (2116782) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @12:06AM (#36729864)
    What I find most amusing about this move by the a-word company, is that they are trying to take down the company that started this whole handheld revolution!

    Back in 2000(yes 11 years ago!), I had(and still have) a Compaq iPaq, with a PCMCIA sleeve, containing a GSM card and a IBM Microdrive, it made calls, could play mp3s and video, and surf the web and email, it was incredible! I wasn't the only person in the world at the time with a similar set-up, I'm sure, but seriously, how many years later did the a-word company release their devices?

    Todays devices are more compact, the battery life has been sorted and the screens are better too, but in terms of what could be done with them, even back then, it was a more capable, and less limited device; and guess who actually made it, that right HTC...

    So, apple copies HTC's ideas(and a few people who could 'see' the potential of such a device), claims that they came up with it, try's to prevent the guys who came up with the ideas originally from selling their products, all while trying to create monopolies around every service that some hard working kid proves works...

    What ever happened to free competition and regulators preventing monopolies, rather than helping them...

    Land of the free, my arse!
    How about, land of the lobbyist and advertising budget!
    • Well said. Sad that I had to scroll down so far to get to the question I asked myself when I first saw the story... what exactly is the "ground-breaking" technology? At the very least they are trolls for the very use of the words "ground-breaking" to describe ANY of the technologies in question.

      As far as I can see, Apple proves the so-called "free market" is all about who has the best marketing and lawyers, NOT about innovation or efficiency.

    • by Ixokai (443555)

      I had an iPaq. I was a big fan, I was super-into the PDA revolution, I saw the potential of it all, I watched HP, Compaq, Palm and others, and thought something really awesome was coming. I owned two different iPaq's, a HP PocketPC and a PalmOS device. I saw a lot of promise. I thought mobile computing would be great, something far more then just messaging for work and nerds -- something real people could get ahold of, could make their lives better with. I bought a lot of hardware, a lot of software, and in

      • by Ash-Fox (726320)

        but find me an Android review which doesn't mention the lag, choppy, hesistancy of thebasic operations at least on occassion

        I got my first Android phone a few days ago. A Google Nexus S, I really don't know what you're talking about with regards to lag, choppy, hesistancy of the basic operations, I really don't. I get pissed off when things freeze/lock up, but I haven't seen any of that - Being the tech I am, I am additionally running with full disk encryption, so wouldn't it be more likely I'd run into pro

    • but seriously, how many years later did the a-word company release their devices?

      About 7 years before the iPaq.

      The Apple Newton [wikipedia.org] was released in 1993.

      Of course, Psion nailed the personal organiser with the Series 3/3a some time before that, and its pretty much been downhill (but in color and with mobile internet) from there, but the Newton was pretty obviously the precursor of the iPaq/Palm type of device.

  • Its sad, there was a day I was proud to be an Apple employee, then a contractor on Wall Street, and then back as an OE and consultant with Apple when we were trying to do great things with Entrerprise software and tools. Now that Apple has migrated to a consumer electronics company and behaving as they are, it just stinks and I can't stand the company any more.
  • by Twinbee (767046) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @01:05AM (#36730118) Homepage

    These are good times for software patents. And by that I mean that all these companies are at each other's necks accusing each other of using their patented tech. Because of this, the whole thing will implode out of sheer exhaustion, and eventually the patent office won't be so quick to dish out patents to generic, uninspired ideas which sometimes a kid could think of.

  • Well, thank you very much for capitalism. I'll have my commie socialism back, since one was at least able to do business in those days, no matter how shitty it all was.

    These days you can't do business, you only practice law.

    Modern slavery :)

  • fuck apple!

  • If the US government goes for this, it would be a disaster for US exports, because that's just the kind of excuse they need to erect other trade barriers.

    But none of that really matters; Google should have bought the Nortel patents and sued the hell out of Apple. Instead, they and their partners are now going to be the targets of endless lawsuits by companies like Apple and Microsoft, companies that can't win through technology and instead need to rely on marketing, monopolies, and lawsuits.

  • The entire patent system was created to spur innovation. But it's not like anyone can churn out a quality phone anyways, so the patent is not really as valid of a barrier as it once was. Second, in fast moving tech, patents should expire much sooner, say 5 years. This way, either you move forward, or you die. No massive sell offs to patent trolls.

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