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Apple Hardware

Via Files Suit Against Apple 262 262

crookedvulture writes "Add chipmaker Via to the list of companies filing legal suit against Apple. Via owns a number of fundamental technology patents inherited from Centaur, and it's already forced Intel to grant an ongoing x86 license. Via also has a vested interest; CEO Wenchi Chen is married to the head of HTC, which Apple sued for patent infringement last March."
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Via Files Suit Against Apple

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  • by syousef (465911) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @08:27PM (#37486566) Journal

    It seems during this economic downturn companies have started throwing caution to the wind in an attempt to ravenously feed on each others still warm carcasses. What you'll end up with is a period of heavily suppressed innovation and increasingly locked down and crippled devices, software and services no one will be willing to part with money for. It's all going to shit!

  • ARM (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @08:30PM (#37486590) Homepage

    Shouldn't they be suing ARM as Apple licensed it from them?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 22, 2011 @08:33PM (#37486622)

    Apple stirred a bee's nest. Now everyone's coming out of the woodwork to sting them. I'd like to imagine that these huge companies were enjoying a status quo, like an assured mutual destruction understanding. But Apple had to fucked things up.

  • There is a difference.

  • by mug funky (910186) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @08:50PM (#37486782)

    if they were worried about their IP being stolen, perhaps they should manufacture in their own country... it's not like the USA is in need of more jobs or anything.

    people pay enough for their iToys that it wouldn't hurt apple too much - it'd be slow and steady growth rather than meteoric rise and then sue-town for the next 50 years.

  • by node 3 (115640) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @09:11PM (#37486934)

    Apple did some great marketing with the iphone line, but they just can't keep up with the market anymore.

    Are you kidding? They're the market leader.

    They weren't suing when they had the marketing edge, but now that it is gone, and the rest of the flock has exceeded them technologically, the only thing left to them is sue.

    Except for the fact that they are the market leader. Name *ONE* mobile company doing better than Apple right now.

    They've only sued over things they believe they own, and the courts have agreed with them. They aren't trying to stop HTC or Samsung from making their own products, but they *are* trying to stop them from making products that are too much a clone of Apple's products.

    There are plenty of ways to make a multitouch phone and multitouch tablet. Apple chose their style. It's up to everyone else to choose their own as well.

  • by msauve (701917) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @09:38PM (#37487096)
    Apple is playing a dangerous game. With their very limited range of products, they're much more exposed than most companies. Sue Samsung? Android and tablets are a small fraction of Samsung's business, they'd hardly notice if they were gone - if Apple's iOS were shut down for patent infringement (iPods and iPhones), they'd be screwed. HTC is more dependent on Android, but still has more to fall back on (proportionally) than Apple does.
  • by Virtual_Raider (52165) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @10:11PM (#37487280) Homepage


    Most likely Oracle will fail, but only after Google starts using Python bytecode for their platform instead of Java/Dalvik.


    Damn, few things make yelp like a little girl but this one did :P

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 22, 2011 @10:15PM (#37487310)

    if they were worried about their IP being stolen, perhaps they should manufacture in their own country... it's not like the USA is in need of more jobs or anything.

    Is it sad or funny? Complaining about Apple not manufacturing, when Steve Jobs started Next which did high tech manufacturing in the US, making really, really awesome computers... which people didn't buy because they preferred cheap imported goods and because nobody cared if the DoJ enforced antitrust laws against Microsoft who was breaking the law and undermining competition to prevent innovative companies like Next from being successful. The US had its chance at innovative, US based manufacture and pissed on it. Jobs learned better and went with foreign component suppliers when Next was acquired by Apple.

    Learn your geek history.

  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @10:17PM (#37487320)

    Instead of competing in a free market, Apple files frivolous IP lawsuit all the time.

    Apple is scared to death of Android, and Apple is Tonya Harding tactics to compete.

    And Apple has been pulling this sort of crap for decades.

  • by russotto (537200) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @10:26PM (#37487366) Journal

    You left out Oracle.

    Oracle hates everyone, but is either leaving Microsoft alone for the same reason a barracuda won't eat a lawyer, or because they're waiting for the best time to stab them in the back.

  • by Tsingi (870990) <graham,rick&gmail,com> on Thursday September 22, 2011 @10:32PM (#37487396)
    I suppose that is all geek history. Beyond that it is a sad lot of unrelated crap that makes no logical point.

    It certainly has nothing to do with the fact that American companies do not support Americans. But then, they aren't really American companies any more, are they? Except for retail, and steadily shrinking R&D, they don't employ Americans, and they don't pay much in taxes, if anything at all.

    Rats deserting a sinking ship, going to where the pickings are better. Apple is no exception.

  • by Telvin_3d (855514) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @11:16PM (#37487666)

    Everybody but Google banded together. Google was invited to join the same group. The explicit idea was to get them out of the way so no one could use them to sue anyone else. Google is the only one who refused to play along and tried to gain them independently. Shows who is serious about trying to avoid patent fights.

  • by QuantumLeaper (607189) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @11:40PM (#37487810) Journal
    What Black Bezels and round counters, is verbatim?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 23, 2011 @12:32AM (#37488018)

    Okay, so throw in Samsung's excavator sales and your point is? That's what great about statistics, you can pick and choose which ones you throw out there to try to prove your point.

    Phone sales, Apple no
    OS sales, Apple no
    Phone OS sales, Apple no
    Smartphone sales, Apple no
    Smartphone OS, Apple no
    Smartphone and tablet OS, Apple yes

    Bingo, found one. Run with it.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday September 23, 2011 @01:20AM (#37488176) Homepage

    China also assumes Asia is one big China, so we're all in agreement on this point right?

  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday September 23, 2011 @01:26AM (#37488200) Homepage

    Oh please... why did you have to tell people this? For anyone who keeps claiming someone to have copied Apple Computers' stuff, let them point to evidence and THEN show them their evidence is a lie. This helps them get through their stages of grief faster moving from denial into anger and so on.

  • by tknd (979052) on Friday September 23, 2011 @05:07AM (#37488950)

    If everyone eventually ends this evil little war in a compromise, the consumer will win. I just hope all sides lose massive amounts of money in the process. Unfortunately, the lawyers will get rich(er).

    I don't understand how you come to this logic. Previously nobody was actively attacking each other with patent suits, Apple let the cat out of the bag, and now pretty much every player now has an extra line item called lawyer-ing up on their expense sheet as well as all future requirements having an additional risk item called "patent violation risk". Any engineer knows that the more requirements you tag on, the more expensive the product will get. But this one is a double-whammy because not only does the engineering team have to design in attempts to avoid/develop patents, but now the lawyer team gets bigger to defend against patent attacks.

    All this means is delayed products, less freedom for companies to develop products, and more stand-offs between companies. The consumer is never going to benefit. The products will be delayed or put off of the market. The next generation products will be more expensive. All future products will come with their own awkwardness just because of these patent wars.

    Consider this. The top two manufacturers for cameras, Canon and Nikon, don't name their "modes" identically though they should. Canon labels shutter mode "Tv". Nikon labels it "S". Additionally, the exposure bias meters are opposite. Nobody shares lens mounts. Each mfg makes their own. The result? You buy into a set of lenses and if you want to switch you have to sell all of your gear and go buy into a new set of lenses.

    Macs and Windows PCs had the same awkwardness too. ctrl+c for windows. cmd+c (alt key location for PCs) for macs.

    You can see this sort of non-sense going on everywhere in new technology. ebooks: Amazon kindle's only do kindle drm formats and pdfs, everyone else has their own drm format. All of the streaming video content services and random support with tvs and tv boxes (roku, boxee, apple tv, etc).

    It's a giant mess and the consumer definitely isn't winning. The consumer was in an awesome position back when we were still using vhs and cassette tapes. You could take that stupid tape and a gazillion different devices played it from that giant boom box, to the school's cheezy tape player, do your car radio. Same with vhs. These days? Fuck you.

    Apple knows this and they're trying to corner the market while they can. They don't want a race to the bottom but that's exactly what would benefit the consumer the most. While they certainly aren't the only company attempting this (sony and bluray, amazon and kindle, etc) they're certainly one of the most significant (ios apps).

  • by chrb (1083577) on Friday September 23, 2011 @07:25AM (#37489522)

    Google was invited to join the same group.

    The question is, under what terms? If Google had joined, would it have been able to use the patent pool to protect its Android partners from lawsuits? It seems very unlikely that Apple would've agreed to a situation where it has to back down on all of its anti-Android lawsuits, or that Microsoft would agree to a situation where it could no longer sue Android manufacturers. And if the patent pool wouldn't protect Android, then what motivation would Google have to join?

    The explicit idea was to get them out of the way so no one could use them to sue anyone else.

    Since the contractual terms between the Rockstar group members haven't been disclosed, it is impossible to know what the patents will be used for. It's a nice idea that they will only be used defensively, but history has shown that patents are often used otherwise.

  • by jo_ham (604554) < minus bsd> on Friday September 23, 2011 @08:58AM (#37490144)

    No, but that's not all that Samsung copied. They made the Galaxy look just like an iPhone 3Gs, right down to the UI and specific colouring and icon style.

    There are myriad ways to make a black bezel, rounded corner phone and not make it look like an iPhone 3G - just look at, oh, any other Android phone.

    When the tech press says of the Galaxy, before any hints of lawsuits were mentioned "it looks great, but it's awfully like an iPhone" you knew it was only matter of time.

    To repeat, it's not one single element that caused the lawsuit - it's all of them combined together.

    Making a phone with a black bezel and rounded corners of a specific radius: ok
    Making a phone with a virtually identical UI to the iPhone: ok
    Making a phone with a black bezel and rounded corners of a specific radius and adding that identical UI: lawsuit.

    The nonsense dismissal by slashdot that this is all about "patenting a rounded rectangle" just makes people look ignorant.

    I personally don;t agree with the lawsuit, since it just seems like a waste of resources, but I can certainly see why they decided to go for it, and why they seem to be making headway.

As of next Thursday, UNIX will be flushed in favor of TOPS-10. Please update your programs.