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Apple Files Suit Against Motorola Xoom In EU 181

Posted by samzenpus
from the when-in-doubt-sue dept.
CWmike writes "Apple isn't just going after the Samsung Galaxy Tab in Europe, it's also attacking the Motorola Xoom. Apple's lawsuit, which was filed in Germany and led to Tuesday's injunction barring sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Europe, makes reference to a separate complaint against the Motorola Xoom. Patent expert Florian Mueller, who told Computerworld on Tuesday that the mounting patent cases could cast a cloud over Android licensing, found the original lawsuit, filed in Dusseldorf, Germany, and pointed out the Motorola action. The reference in the suit says that Apple has also filed a complaint over the design of the Motorola Xoom, which runs the Android operating system. But it's unclear if Apple is seeking an injunction that would immediately prevent Motorola from importing the tablets into Europe."
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Apple Files Suit Against Motorola Xoom In EU

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  • Apple (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Is an Arsehole. You are the Apple of my Arsehole.

  • by phonewebcam (446772) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @05:30AM (#37053506) Homepage

    It's one thing to bully johnny foreigner about like HTC, Samsung etc. Motorola made the first mobile call [wikipedia.org] in 1973, 3 years before Apple existed [wikipedia.org] (well, that's if you are talking about the Apple with the same name as the Beatles record label which hates copying so much). Motorola has thousands of patents going right back through this peroid. You can only imagine how many of these relate to fundamental baseband radio tech. So these newcomers whining about the shape of the corners on their toys don't seem to realise the established guys quite literally have their finger over the button when it comes to radio comms. Let's see how many tablets/phones they sell when they can't make airtime connections.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)

      Motorola has thousands of patents going right back through this

      No they don't. Any patents from then will have expired in the '90s. They will, however, have a lot of patents from the '90s that may still be relevant now...

      • by MacTO (1161105)

        I don't know how many of these are relevant, but Motorola has thousands of patents with the keyword radio since 1991:

        Results of Search in US Patent Collection db for:
        ((AN/motorola AND radio) AND ISD/19910101->20110101): 7329 patents.

    • by Issarlk (1429361)
      Motorola ? Meh... I think our only hope is that Oracle start selling rounded corner tablets.
  • Bad for everyone (Score:5, Insightful)

    by myurr (468709) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @05:31AM (#37053520)

    I know the Apple fanbois will be out in force to defend this as they believe Apple should be the only player in the market place, but Apple's new litigious dream of being the only player in the market is bad for everyone. Apple didn't invent the smart phone or the tablet, so if monopolies of these devices were allowed then Apple wouldn't have been able to make their beloved iDevices in the first place.

    The reason Apple themselves are doing this is because they want to control the way everyone consumes media. They want to replace the PC, newspapers, magazines, and ultimately the TV putting them all under their control and charging their 30% fee for allowing access to content producers to their public. For this strategy to work long term, especially in the face of free competition from Android where large corporates can set up their own channels and distribution mechanisms, they need 80+% market share (20 - 40% just isn't enough to command the fees Apple want to charge). They've seen how their early lead in the smart phone marketplace has been eroded and now surpassed by Android, and they fear that the same will happen with the iPad.

    This isn't about protecting intellectual property or Apple wanting just reward for their 'innovation'. This is a land grab aimed at capturing and locking in market share through litigation. Apple *are* scared of Android, and especially these latest tablets like the Samsung, not because they're currently outselling the iPad but because they will most likely be the first steps to Android gaining momentum in the tablet market and establishing itself as a viable competitor. Once that happens it will only be a matter of time as Apple cannot keep up with the huge variety of products their competitors will release - exactly what happened in the smart phone arena.

    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @05:56AM (#37053640) Journal
      Actually, I think it's great news. A big company, with a product that's already so successful that they don't need any extra protection, is using the legal system to batter the competition. Those of us who wanted a clear and unambiguous example of the harm that current IP law does now have one to show our elected representatives.
      • What make you think the elected representatives are on your side?

        • Well, my MEP is an active campaigner for the FFII. This is exactly the kind of thing she needs as a case study for her colleagues. My MP won by a very narrow margin last time so is looking to spend this term, at least, proving to his constituency that they should vote for him.

          Why, are your elected representatives not on your side? Have you talked to them, or just assumed that they aren't? And if you have, what are you doing to prevent them from being elected again next time?

    • by Shivetya (243324) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @06:14AM (#37053702) Homepage Journal

      and my Macs maybe close behind. I am not going to support a bunch of assholes like what Apple has become. I have used a friends Galaxy and found it a bit slow but Android does have features iOs sorely lacks. While I don't think the current tablet implementations are all that wonderful I believe they are good for getting people to rethink how to write and use applications. Apple apparently thinks they invented all of this and considering how the patent office works they could probably buy history to be on their side.

      Very disappointing to see this. Spend your money innovating not suing Apple. Be an ideas company, not one that stifles anyone else having them.

      • I have never owned an Apple device. After the moves made in German courts this week by Apple against Samsung and Motorola, I never will. I hope many others will join me in a boycott of any and all Apple products.

        • by AJH16 (940784)

          I wish I could not buy Apple products. Unfortunately as a developer, I have to develop for the platform and that involves having to have a Mac Mini (the cheapest one I could get) for building, which was actually a business purchase that I didn't make with my own personal money, but beyond that, I have not purchased Apple products in a long time (the only other things I ever bought were iPods when there were not better alternatives at a similar price, now I don't even use them as I prefer Rhapsody on my Gal

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Americano (920576)

          "Join the Apple boycott now, and win a free iPad 2!"

      • by jez9999 (618189)

        I just bought an HTC Desire S, my first Smartphone, instead of an iPhone - mainly because I have a moral problem with Apple. I actually thought the experience would be a little worse than an iPhone.

        Actually, I'm finding this thing smoother, more open, and NICER than my brother's iPhone! And, it's obviously cheaper than the iPhone 4 (what isn't?) I'm ultra-glad I didn't go with Apple now. Muahahaha.

      • by paimin (656338)
        Because all the corporations in the Android ecosystem are not litigious assholes. They are kind, generous, and deeply care about the geeks and the hackers. :-|
      • Except that motorola is on record as condemning the type of behavior asserting in the lawsuit. Back in 2005 or so Motorola successfully prevented an Asian company from selling phones that looked vaguely liked the Razr. The phones were only sold in Asia and were not called a razor. They were cheap knockoffs that did not appear to violate any trademarks. So if you want to ditch you iPad, you can't go to motorola.

        Furthermore it is unclear if Samsung is not a thief, after all they paid nearly a billion a

    • I know the Apple fanbois will be out in force to defend this as they believe Apple should be the only player in the market place, but Apple's new litigious dream of being the only player in the market is bad for everyone. Apple didn't invent the smart phone or the tablet, so if monopolies of these devices were allowed then Apple wouldn't have been able to make their beloved iDevices in the first place. The reason Apple themselves are doing this is because they want to control the way everyone consumes media. They want to replace the PC, newspapers, magazines, and ultimately the TV putting them all under their control and charging their 30% fee for allowing access to content producers to their public. For this strategy to work long term, especially in the face of free competition from Android where large corporates can set up their own channels and distribution mechanisms, they need 80+% market share (20 - 40% just isn't enough to command the fees Apple want to charge). They've seen how their early lead in the smart phone marketplace has been eroded and now surpassed by Android, and they fear that the same will happen with the iPad. This isn't about protecting intellectual property or Apple wanting just reward for their 'innovation'. This is a land grab aimed at capturing and locking in market share through litigation. Apple *are* scared of Android, and especially these latest tablets like the Samsung, not because they're currently outselling the iPad but because they will most likely be the first steps to Android gaining momentum in the tablet market and establishing itself as a viable competitor. Once that happens it will only be a matter of time as Apple cannot keep up with the huge variety of products their competitors will release - exactly what happened in the smart phone arena.

      I am a MAC user and I approve this message.

      • by 605dave (722736) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @07:17AM (#37053970) Homepage
        If you were a Mac user you wouldn't write it MAC.
        • Read the comments above...
        • I've had more Macintosh computers than most people and I don't regard calling it a MAC offensive. The evolution of the brand is kinda funny. There was a time when the word "Macintosh" was printed on the bezel, then they Apple re-branded the entire line as Mac.

          What is a Mac? I don't even know anymore - the only difference between them these days is the software and proprietary code to lock people out from running that software on identical Dell/HP/Lenovo etc hardware.

          • I've had more Macintosh computers than most people and I don't regard calling it a MAC offensive.

            It's not offensive, just confusing. A Mac is a computer made by Apple. MAC is an up scale Canadian line of cosmetics. Use the wrong one without context and people will start to think you are a cross dresser.

          • Depends on what you mean by offensive.

            I'm a long-time Macintosh developer. When looking at job postings and the like, if I saw an advertisement looking for a MAC developer, I knew the company "didn't get it" and it's probably not a company I'd like to work for. If I saw "Mac" or "Macintosh," they were worth checking out.

            It's like calling it "Mac Oh-Ess-Ex" instead of "Mac Oh-Ess-Ten" or, arguably, "lynux" instead of "linux."

    • by Bongo (13261)

      Yes it is a land grab. But it is land nobody else seems to have known existed. People said "the iPad is just a giant iPhone, what's the point?? LOL!!". Well it turns out that if you make something very much like an iPad it can sell really well. Really, nobody should want an iPad, nor an Android tablet (no real keyboard for a start). These companies should just ignore the iPad, after all it is just a fad. /sarc I don't know how much control and power Apple or any company ought to have in fairness legally for

      • by AJH16 (940784)

        "(no real keyboard for a start)" - See Asus Transformer. It is the one and only reason that I bought in to the tablet market and is also the case for 4 of the other 8 tablet owners I know. 3 of the others are raging Apple fan boys and the 4th has a Xoom from before the Transformer came out that he got to investigate iPad alternatives.

        As for a monopoly, yes, if someone legitimately can do so much better that they can force a standard, that is good, but that doesn't require a monopoly. Google has done just

    • I find Apple a funny little company.
      A few years ago, maybe a couple of decades, they were nobody, on their way out. Microsoft gets hit with a lawsuit and gives Apple life again.
      Perhaps it is time Apple gets smacked. I think all other cellular makers need to hit Apple with a join lawsuit as a message to stop. Perhaps if they get everyone to nail Apple to the wall their lawyers will be so busy trying to defend they will stop attacking one company after another.
      Apple Competitors, stop waiting for your
    • by boorack (1345877) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @01:24PM (#37059132)

      I think Apple is becoming desperate. As their market capitalization approached (and even surpassed for a moment) Exxon-Mobile market cap, they're now officially in bubble terrirory. At first glance it does not seem like a bubble as their P/E ratio isn't so high (around 14 as we speak), but their current profits is clearly a bubble thanks to fat profit margins. Most of their profits come from iPhones and iPads - all remaining revenue sources pale in comparison to these two. As they're getting more and more real competition in market they've created, they'll have to compete and they'll experience significant margin compression. In other words, if any real competition emerges, they'll lose support for their insanely high stock price. Don't get me wrong - I don't predict any kind of doom for Apple - I just say that their current stock price is unsupportable in long term.

      My take is that they'll fight teeth and nail to keep any meaningful competition out of the market - legally or not. In Samsung case they've got too far - now it appears that they've managed to get injunction without even notifying Samsung about this, so Samsung lawyers had no chance to even respond. This is propably illegal, but it seems that Apple is prepared to pay very high fines/damages in order to keep monopoly on tablet market.

      It also strikes me that previously they've always managed to get ahead of competitors in terms of new, better products and now they started using lawyers on grand scale. Why is that ? Is it because of Jobs' deteriorating health their product/innovation pipeline is shortening ? If the only person capable if envisioning a new product in this company is Steve Jobs, then they're a kind of one-time wonder.

      • Is it because of Jobs' deteriorating health their product/innovation pipeline is shortening ?

        I'm not sure I'd go for Steve's deteriorating health.

        Some of it is just plain ol' competition. When the iPhone first came out, everybody was in awe. This was seen as being head-and-shoulders above everybody else. By the time the iPhone 3G came out, Android was getting started and was a bit flaky but the hardware parts had been figured out. By the time the iPhone 4 came out, the Android hardware was easily there and the software was catching up fast. When the next generation iPhone comes out, it will sp

    • by erroneus (253617)

      I think they should present this in some form at every public court hearing of every case initiated by Apple. I'm pretty sure that the legal doctrine of estoppel doesn't fully apply here, but it certainly gives one a little pause.

  • I'm really happy I managed to get an HexoPC a few month ago. In a near future anything looking like more or less like an iPad will not be allowed to be sold any-more, this is getting ridiculous. If you plan to buy any kind of photo frame (digital or not) buy them now... we don't know what Apple will do next since anything flat with a screen seem to in the line of sight of the Apple troll lawyers.
  • "Patent expert"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by naich (781425) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @05:33AM (#37053530) Homepage

    He's not much of a "patent expert" if he can't tell that this case is not about patents. Maybe "clueless troll Florian Mueller" would be more accurate?

    • by sunr2007 (2309530) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @05:44AM (#37053576)
      He never confirms or deny (reveal)that that the blog is funded by apple and microsoft to create about FUD about Android . Double Agent Florian Mueller.
      • by gnasher719 (869701) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @08:01AM (#37054334)

        He never confirms or deny (reveal)that that the blog is funded by apple and microsoft to create about FUD about Android . Double Agent Florian Mueller.

        If you keep track of what he does, he is clearly paid by Microsoft. Google is enemy number one. Apple, Linux, IBM are secondary enemies. In a case like this where a secondary enemy sues a primary enemy, he sides with the secondary enemy, but he will and has attacked Apple, Linux and IBM as well. And usually, as seen here, gives nonsense arguments. The case Apple vs. Samsung and now Apple vs. Motorola has nothing to do with Google at all; it only has to do with the shape and looks of the Samsung and Xoom devices and packaging over which Google has no control or influence.

    • The man who drove the no software patents project in the EU and kept them out for years is not a patent expert according to you ?

      • by naich (781425)

        What he did in the past doesn't change the fact that he seems to have turned into a troll, repeating the same untruths over and over again like a broken record.

  • It's interesting that they seem to just be going after the 10" tablets. Samsung make 7" tablets too, why did Apple not get an injunction on those too? Or is that basically they do not want anything that could compete with an Ipad be sold?

    • by xnpu (963139)

      In one of the keynote speeches Steve said (in different words) that 7" is just a bad choice. Who knows, maybe they expect customers to regret 7" purchase choices and decide that Samsung suck for selling it to them.

      • by SirJorgelOfBorgel (897488) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @08:37AM (#37054682)

        I am a developer, so I have quite a bit of hardware lying around. I have several 10" and 7" tablets. I strongly prefer the 7" ones. While a 10" is really nice around the house, when you're mobile a 7" is just so much more preferable. And you don't really miss the size at home either. The great advantage of the 7"-ers is that you can comfortably hold them in one hand for long periods, something you cannot do with the 10" tablets.

        Then again, that will depend on what you do with it. However, I find 7" being "a bad choice" in general complete bullshit.

    • by MrDoh! (71235)

      I guess it'd be hard to justify going after the 7inchers as they did exist in greater numbers before the iPad was even officially announced. (sure there were some 10inch tablets before the iPad was announced, shame the JooJoo tablet can't counter sue Apple for THEIR look and feel!)

      As to the shape/design of the iPad, we've seen there were devices that had that bezel shape before Apple used it too. This is all reeking of desperation from Apple; as others have commented above, they're seeing the market for t

    • Maybe Apples patent only covers 10" devices. You know, size matters. :-)

  • Blatant anti-competitive practice. You can't buy up companies to kill competition, cause you'll get an anti-trust suit, so you just sue them out of the market and the government has to back you up.
  • Apple will sue any company building anything similar to any iThing.
    Both Samsung's and Motorola's products are very similar to the Apples'.
    Nonetheless there's a clearly visible logo on them showing they ARE NOT APPLES'.
    While I do understand that a design is something to be protect somehow, you should not go the Apple way.
    Apple should focus on the meat (superior hardware, better software, funnier user experience), not on the skin.
    What if I build a pad with squared or polygonal corners?
    And what if unbran
  • "Patent expert Florian Mueller".

    All the warning you need that this is lame. ... yawn. On to the next story.

  • Prior art design (Score:5, Informative)

    by zebslash (1107957) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @06:10AM (#37053680)

    Samsung is now showing to a court in Netherland 20 cases of prior art in tablets, such as this one from 1994: the Knight Rider http://rossdawsonblog.com/weblog/archives/2011/04/tablet-computers-as-seen-from-1994.html [rossdawsonblog.com] As seen on these videos, this looked exactlty like an iPad! You may follow the courtroom debates thanks to Andreas Udo de Haes https://twitter.com/#!/andreasudo [twitter.com] and on OsNews: http://www.osnews.com/ [osnews.com]

    • As seen on these videos, this looked exactlty like an iPad!

      Except that it doesn't.

      Now, don't get me wrong..
      I think 90% of the tablets out there look like each other; a large screen with a bezel with rounded corners and rounded-corner icons laid out on a straight grid (I so do wish Microsoft would have continued their hexagonal grid, it was refreshing).

      I also think that Apple are silly for complaining about a competing tablet looking rather much like the iPad.

      However, I certainly see more of a resemblance be

      • by zebslash (1107957)

        Now, don't get me wrong..
        I think 90% of the tablets out there look like each other; a large screen with a bezel with rounded corners and rounded-corner icons laid out on a straight grid (I so do wish Microsoft would have continued their hexagonal grid, it was refreshing).

        But that is the point of these court hearings. Apple does not use patents or copyright, but merely aspect or design. They got an injuction on the basis that they filled a device drawing that is rectangular and black. This existed long befor

        • I agree that it is the point, but while media likes to focus on the drawings of rectangles (which is indeed ludicrous and worth a chuckle until you realize that it could viably be used as an argument in proceedings in Germany), it does stack up from the rectangle almost all the way up to the iPad's actual design.

          Samsung not being notified or having an opportunity to defend their case is par for the course for German proceedings. Think of the court cases that can be filed by any third party with no relation

    • From the early 90s:
      http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5144094928842683632 [google.com]

      There are NeXt videos from the late 80s which still have some features that we haven't picked up today. the NeXt system fostered amazing stuff for the 90s which we are still seeing as "new" today its like it rubbed off on other companies who used it... the 1st web browser etc all were done on there. The dock was on there... before the windows crap bar. etc. When Steve left Apple he took the really great people with him; Apple was

  • by Ant P. (974313) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @06:52AM (#37053844) Homepage

    How much are ComputerWorld/ITWorld paying to get this Mueller FUD campaign to the front page?

    I hope it's worth all the subscriptions they cost you guys.

    • by stevew (4845)

      You are COMPLETELY correct about this guy. You can't trust ANYTHING he says - here is an example of what he said concerning PJ and Groklaw being paid by IBM back in the middle of the SCO lawsuits. He his completely unreliable as a reporter. He has an agenda that is transparent.

      http://techrights.org/2010/08/06/record-straight-on-groklaw-ibm/ [techrights.org]

      Maybe there IS a lawsuit between Apple and Mot in Germany. As others have mentioned, Mot is a BIG company and can take care of themselves. They do have fundamental techn

  • by worf_mo (193770) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @07:32AM (#37054064)

    Reminds me of a blog post [wordpress.com] by Sun's Jonathan I. Schwartz:

    In 2003, after I unveiled a prototype Linux desktop called Project Looking Glass*, Steve called my office to let me know the graphical effects were “stepping all over Apple’s IP.” [...] If we moved forward to commercialize it, “I’ll just sue you.”

    My response was simple. “Steve, I was just watching your last presentation, and Keynote looks identical to Concurrence – do you own that IP?” Concurrence was a presentation product built by Lighthouse Design, a company I’d help to found and which Sun acquired in 1996. Lighthouse built applications for NeXTSTEP, the Unix based operating system whose core would become the foundation for all Mac products after Apple acquired NeXT in 1996. Steve had used Concurrence for years, and as Apple built their own presentation tool, it was obvious where they’d found inspiration. “And last I checked, MacOS is now built on Unix. I think Sun has a few OS patents, too.” Steve was silent.

    And that was the last I heard on the topic.

    And further down:

    I understand the value of patents – offensively and, more importantly, for defensive purposes. Sun had a treasure trove of some of the internet’s most valuable patents [...] so no one in the technology industry could come after us without fearing an expensive counter assault. And there’s no defense like an obvious offense.

    But for a technology company, going on offense with software patents seems like an act of desperation, relying on the courts instead of the marketplace. See Nokia’s suit against Apple for a parallel example of frivolous litigation – it hasn’t slowed iPhone momentum (I’d argue it accelerated it). So I wonder who will be first to claim Apple’s iPad is stepping on their IP perhaps those that own the carcass of the tablet computing pioneer Go Corp.? Except that would be AT&T. Hm.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 11, 2011 @08:34AM (#37054644)

    Hey Slashdot, if you insist on continuing to use the Microsoft Borg icon, then it's only fair that you use this icon [amazonaws.com] for Apple.

    • I've been supporting this for a couple of years now. Also the MS logo need to have Steve Ballmer in it, Bill Gates doesn't even work there anymore.

  • by dogmatixpsych (786818) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @09:27AM (#37055284) Homepage Journal
    Motorola sued Apple in October 2010 over a number of patents: http://mediacenter.motorola.com/Press-Releases/Motorola-Mobility-Sues-Apple-for-Patent-Infringement-344d.aspx [motorola.com].

    I'm not saying I'm supporting all this patent fighting but if you go after Apple, Apple will go after you.
  • Does anyone here read German? All of the news stories about it quote each other with no independent confirmation. I mean unlike Groklaw which actually gets a copy of the lawsuit filing, can that be done in Germany? The other thing is it isn't clear if Apple is suing Motorola for design patents like they are Samsung. Also I wouldn't necessarily believe Florian Mueller. He always has spun everything negative that isn't Microsoft.
  • i dont understand why they are picking on different countries and not the US
  • English translation:

    Apple: "The Xoom is also better than the iPad 2."

  • either on android or any apple platform, performed visual techniques that mimic things on the apple products..things like the dock, where icons would zoom in or out(or grow larger or smaller) when scrolling horizontally or vertically, page layouts etc etc. Basically I am working on a graphics engine for my mobile apps that are being written in OpenGL for these special efftects. I wouldn't think and don't think that it would be an issue - obviously my implementation of any visual technique is going to be dif
    • Apple does have a patent on bouncy scrolling. They may have patents on other interactions too.
      • what about icons sliding across the screen? or a set/page of icons? if they had a patent on every little iconism then no one could write their own implementation. I hadn't planned on imitating an icon bouncing when opening an application. I was more referring to the fluidity of icons on pages, between pages, etc in response to mouse or touch interactions and as far as i know, no one has patents on touch interactions, with the exception to their respective implementations. I dont see any reason why i cannot
  • So is this the official turning point of Apple from a product innovator to a run of the mill "I'm going to sue anyone and everyone so I don't have to put money into R&D to make better products!" company?

    Seems like it... when was the last time Apple came out with something innovative? iPad 1 I'd say. iPhone 5 is shaping up to be more of the same, iPad 2 is more of the same. Macbooks, more of the same... Can't think of anything recently that Apple came up with that others aren't doing already or doing

  • Can you please stop quoting and independent blogger with no credentials and bias toward FOSS, who has been often exposed by Groklaw as FUDester. Use real news sources or experts. You guys are turning that troll into a legend. Please stop that.

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