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Apple Sues Samsung In Germany Again

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  • Goose and gander (Score:5, Interesting)

    by srussia (884021) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @02:39PM (#38727598)

    It isn't just Apple that Samsung has a tendency to "draw inspiration" from. (...) So before the usual anti-Apple rhetoric starts a-flyin', keep in mind that Samsung is one of those companies whose business is centered on making commodity knock-offs of popular products. I don't blame Apple for suing to protect Jonathan Ive's design work, because if one of the knock-offs is low quality or problematic, it can end up hurting Apple's brand.

    So if say, Apple (ahem) "draws inspiration" from an inferior product and makes it higher quality, then would the "inspirer" not have grounds to sue since it can only enhance its brand?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @02:45PM (#38727694)

    It's all Apple has left: patents and lawsuits. Without Steve Jobs at the helm, what else did you expect them to do? Innovate new products? Please, even with Steve leading, all Apple has ever done is scoop up companies doing actual innovation and copy them. (It's become cliche to point out that Apple stole the Mac GUI from Xerox. Even more cliche is pointing out that they "licensed" it without realizing that the point is that they claimed it as their own without giving any credit to the people who actually designed it.)

    Have you seen iOS 5? All the new features were either stolen directly from Android (notifications, Siri, iCloud if we're honest) or ... um... actually, I think I listed all the new features.

    Have you tried Mac OS X Lion? It's this weird bastard child of Windows and iOS. And, yes, I mean Windows. They flat-out stole quite a few things from Windows and added them to Mac OS X. Even the style changes from Snow Leopard to Lion makes it look more like Windows Aero. Why they went that why?

    Well - this is Apple, post Steve Jobs. All they've got left is copying other people and then suing them.

  • by forkfail (228161) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @03:11PM (#38728022)

    Well, perhaps it is cliche.

    Regardless, it seems like quite a number of companies (not just Apple) are saying, "To get here, I stood on the shoulders of giants. And by God, I'm going to make damn sure no one else does."

    This doesn't spur innovation; quite the opposite, really. Especially when you consider that pretty much all commercial works these days are derivatives of something else. And for the most part, if you want to learn/build something new, you need billions of dollars and a particle accelerator.

  • by WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @03:17PM (#38728130)
    Let's be clear about one thing- IP lawyers are succeeding in creating a parasitic lifestyle on our industry and on our lives and futures. They impose themselves as non-value producing entities on an industry and then begin siphoning off money from that industry. They do not add value, they remove value; they do not promote progress, they retard progress. There are so many dollars being thrown off from any given product, and lawyers have conspired to insert themselves into that revenue stream, directly and negatively effecting your bottom line. This parasitic lifestyle is as good an example of the 1% staging a systematic assault on the 99%. In fact, The imposition of a software patent regime is as clear cut a case of the 1% consciously organizing to cut off economic opportunity from the 99% as you're going to find outside of a smoke filled room in Texas. There are about the same percentage of software developers who favor software patents as there are climatologists who don't believe in global warming. 98% of software developers want to write software, create a product, and add value. Precious few look at the patent troll lifestyle with envy and wish to pursue a career litigating over simple minded applications of middling value. But for those that do favor software patents, just exactly how do you propose to win at this game? That the realistic cost of acquiring a software patent starts at 15-30k and goes well north of there. http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2011/01/28/the-cost-of-obtaining-patent/id=14668/ [ipwatchdog.com] although note that one IP lawyer comments that "In Los Angeles it is not unusual for partners to charge in excess of $600/hour which makes your estimates on the low side." which is more than you're likely to make from your patent: The cost of patents is greater than the revenue they generate. ÃoeAbout 97 percent of patents generate less revenue than the patent costs." Return on patent costs. How much does it cost to patent an invention? (Andy Gibbs, CEO of PatentCafe.com Inc., quoted in Celia Lamb, ÃoeNew program at Sierra College aims to help would-be Pre Plastics,Ã Sacramento Business Journal, February 7, 2003) But never mind that, now that you have spent more than your likely savings on your one single patent, exactly what is it you're thinking about doing with this patent? Licensing it? Do you think that licensing is automatically negotiated and enforced by the government? No, you're going to pay a lawyer an hourly rate which is two to ten times what your own hourly rate is to approach, approach and then re-approach company after company none of whom are even slightly sympathetic to your request for a taxation on their profits and will, in fact, do everything they can to resist any kind of licensing deal, including using the tactic of exhausting the rent-seeker's financial ability to pursue rent. Oh so let them use your "intellectual property" you'll sue! For millions! Well, good luck with that. Because you're sure as hell not going to be doing that on your own unless you're in the 1% or can find some subset of 1% who are sympathetic to your quest to join their ranks via litigation. The cost to sustain an infringement claim starts at one million US and goes to 5 million and beyond. So unless you're befriended by some part of the 1%, you're not going to be enforcing your "intellectual property rights" anytime soon. So what do we have, really? We have a system which has the net effect of imposing an impossibly high barrier- call it a poll tax- upon the most vibrant and valuable form of economic participation our economy has - starting a company. And who created that barrier? Highly paid (1%) lawyers working for highly compensated (1/10 of 1% ) CEOs. And what does that barrier do? Discourages people of normal to modest means (99%) from starting companies at all. For those with the temerity to do so, it enables anyone in the 1% or with the backing of the 1% to deal them (the 99%) a fatal blow at will
  • by Nethemas the Great (909900) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @03:35PM (#38728382)

    Apple was first to market with a well packaged MP3 player and a business model to support it. Everything else has been largely riding on those coattails with incremental improvements. After the rest of the electronics manufacturers woke up they came back hard with mass quantities of spaghetti flying at all manner of walls. Often times the products featured superior aspects sometimes not. But, for one reason or another they played second fiddle to the comparable iDevice. Recently Apple has been losing ground. In part simply because of the sheer number of competitors with near equivalent products. It is causing the devices to look more like a nearly indistinguishable commodity than a specialized product. Also, in part because Apple is having a hard time out-innovating their previous generation product and their competitors are keeping in pretty close lock-step with them now.

    Given that environment, and add to that the fact that the products from companies such as Samsung and HTC meanwhile are really starting to shine in their own right it is making Apple very nervous. When businesses get nervous they tend to play dirty. Often this means breaking out the patent lawyers. They'll come up with any and every excuse to bring lawsuits against their competitors. Not so much because they believe they have a legitimate case (usually they don't and they know it) but because it makes the shareholders of their competitor nervous which drives down share prices and ultimately hurts the business. When businesses can't out innovate they try to out litigate and this is what's going on now with Apple and it is very telling of their future.

It is better to give than to lend, and it costs about the same.

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