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Patents Desktops (Apple) Google Iphone Apple

Motorola Seeks Ban On Macs, iPads, and iPhones 446

Posted by Soulskill
from the another-day-another-patent-battle dept.
bonch writes "Google-owned Motorola is asking the International Trade Commission to ban every Apple device that uses iMessage, based on a patent issued in 2006 for 'a system for providing continuity between messaging clients.' Motorola also claims that banning Macs and iPhones won't have an impact on U.S. consumers. They say, 'With so many participants in the highly competitive Wireless communication, portable music, and computer market, it is unlikely that consumers would experience much of an impact if the requested exclusion orders were obtained.' The ITC has yet to make a decision."
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Motorola Seeks Ban On Macs, iPads, and iPhones

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  • Google, Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheSpoom (715771) <slashdotNO@SPAMuberm00.net> on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:00PM (#41391581) Homepage Journal

    Stop this bullshit and direct your lawyers to lobby to change the laws on software patents instead. Don't you think your money would be better spent on innovation?

    • Re:Google, Apple (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rainwater (530678) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:04PM (#41391627)
      Companies like Apple feel like the only way to maintain is to stifle the competition not to keep innovating.
      • Like who again? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SuperKendall (25149)

        Companies like Apple feel like the only way to maintain is to stifle the competition not to keep innovating.

        And yet now we find it is Google doing so, not Apple.

        Both are equally guilty of bullshit.

        • Re:Like who again? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:11PM (#41391719)

          I believe the consensus is that Google acquired Motorola largely for its patents so it could counter-sue Apple and anybody else who has been aggressively suing Android products as a more or less defensive measure. If Google won't show that it'll fight back, Apple and anybody else who wants to will sue Android, or Android manufacturers, into oblivion.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by BasilBrush (643681)

            Spot the confirmation bias" When Apple sues on patent ground it's attack. When Google sues on patent grounds it's defense.

            Sounds like any war, when acts of aggression and defense are interchangeable, depending on which side the opinion holder has taken.

            • Re:Like who again? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by mk1004 (2488060) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @06:10PM (#41393299)
              Generally, the one who fires the first shot is the attacker and the one who fires second is the defender. Opinion holder-neutral definition.
        • Re:Like who again? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Nethemas the Great (909900) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:12PM (#41391733)
          What would your response be to the bully on the playground? Bend over?
        • Re:Like who again? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:13PM (#41391749)

          Unless Google fights back, Apple will topple them. Pacifism is neat in theory, but it won't get you far in the business world. Google is guilty of nothing but self defense. If Apple stops trying to get Motorola phones banned and Google continues, THEN you can say they are guilty.

        • Re:Like who again? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by recoiledsnake (879048) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:19PM (#41391853)

          I am tired of this constant meme although I am not a big fan of Google.

          What Google is doing is perfectly right from a moral, legal and commercial perspective. Apple started suing Android makers first(though Motorola beat them to the punch by a few weeks with a lawsuit and request for a declaration that it didn't infringe certain Apple patents after talks broke down). If Apple gets an injunction against Motorola for their silly patents over multitouch etc., Motorola will have to either stop selling handsets or pay $30 per phone which will kill their phones. Why should they not retaliate so that they have a chance of a negotiated settlement if that happens?

          Also, big companies like Apple must be taught a lesson that if you start litigating, you should expect no mercy from the companies you're suing exploiting the exact same legal loopholes. If that's not done, other companies(except NPEs) will not think twice before suing competitors. Why should Google unilaterally disarm again? Just because they're your favorite company is for once on the receiving end of the same shit it is flinging all over everyone else? Motorola is not suing Samsung, HTC etc. here, but Apple is. Go figure out why

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by geekoid (135745)

          Looking at the history of the companies, can you present a alternative that would allow Google to compete against Apple when Apple keeps stifling innovation through abusing the patent system? The last 5 years have been full of Apple abusing patents to stifle other companies.

          Any in case, there motivation doesn't matter because this is win-win long term for the consumer.
          The are successful, and a lot of people start looking at the patent system.
          They loose, and future similar suits will be weaker.

    • by DragonWriter (970822) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:15PM (#41391787)

      Stop this bullshit and direct your lawyers to lobby to change the laws on software patents instead.

      Google is doing all of the following:
      1) Lobbying against the existing software patent regime,
      2) Working very hard (e.g., via amicus filings in cases to which it is not a party) to get the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to stop blatantly ignoring Supreme Court decisions (particularly, Bilski) limiting patentability under the existing patent laws, so that patents that are invalid -- under the standards set by the Supreme Court interpreting existing law -- don't keep getting upheld by the Federal Circuit, and
      3) Using its existing patent portfolio against Apple so long as the existing patent regime is in place, and given that Apple started the patent war against Android.

      Given the existing patent situation -- both the laws on the books and the way the federal courts apply them -- Google will be foolish not to aggressively use its patent portfolio against firms that are aggressively using their own portfolios against Google and Google partners, even while they are working to reshape the rules in a way which would eliminate or vastly reduce the opportunity for such warfare.

      • by mystikkman (1487801) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:27PM (#41391987)

        Not to take away from anything you said, but Google also very secretly invested in Intellectual Ventures(yes that Intellectual Ventures that Slashdot hates, founded by Paul Allen), which unfortunately for them, came out in a court filing

        http://gametimeip.com/2011/05/19/the-intellectual-ventures-investment-list-an-unwelcome-revelation/ [gametimeip.com]

        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:45PM (#41392285)

          Not to take away from anything you said, but Google also very secretly invested in Intellectual Ventures(yes that Intellectual Ventures that Slashdot hates, founded by Paul Allen), which unfortunately for them, came out in a court filing

          You didn't link the original source. Unfortunately for you I found it [patentlyo.com].

          For the most part, these tech companies appear to have invested in intellectual ventures as part of a licensing agreement. ... Google ...

          I wouldn't call a licensing agreement "very secretly invested". There's a list of the real investors too.

      • by TheSpoom (715771)

        Yeah, I know the situation is complicated, and I'm glad that (it sounds like) Google is doing something. The whole thing is just incredibly frustrating, and given that I want to start a business some day (possibly soon) and that the situation for a bit player is much grimmer if you happen to implement the wrong feature that's listed among the thousands of active patents in existence, I can't help but be a little angry about the whole thing. Were software patents not being granted, we could be years ahead

    • Can you think of a better way to lobby to get the laws changed than to ban all Apple products?

  • by jerpyro (926071) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:01PM (#41391601)

    Good to see Apple getting patent trolled. Sorry to all of the Apple fans out there but I hate today's Apple more than I hated '90s Microsoft.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by joeflies (529536)
      So patent issues are only evil if apple does it first?
      • by Splab (574204) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:09PM (#41391699)

        No, but they fired the first shot, now they are going to get hit by everything the other teams can find.

        • by Dupple (1016592) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:15PM (#41391791)

          Nokia fired first and Apple paid $600 million and something $20 a hand set on going

          Depends how far you want to go back though.

          Apple sued MS back in the eighties over look and feel and didn't win that.

          Samsung sued LG last month, but it hardly got reported. There are no saints and angels here

          http://www.devicemag.com/2012/09/11/samsung-sues-lg-for-alleged-oled-technology-theft/ [devicemag.com]

          • by _xeno_ (155264) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:55PM (#41392439) Homepage Journal

            Except that Samsung thing is about actual technology theft. As in, literally stealing technology from Samsung (via ex-employees).

            Apple, on the other hand, sued over rounded corners and icons in a grid. (You know, something my Samsung phone used in 2005. Long before the iPhone was released.)

            This is, yet again, about actual technology, and not rounded corners. From the patent brief it sounds kind of silly (it sounds like they're talking about being logged into a chat with the same account via multiple clients), but it's still actual technology and not just "we arranged icons that contain rounded corners in a grid and so did they." It's hardly the same thing as Apple is doing.

            I don't think anyone can out-evil Apple in this patent war. Apple hasn't invented a damned thing in the mobile space, but they've managed to patent the ridiculous since they're unable to compete on actual merit.

            Samsung suing a competitor over allegedly poaching employees to steal trade secrets isn't quite the same thing.

      • by CannonballHead (842625) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:17PM (#41391807)

        Until software patents are simply gone ... then this would be the correct response, I think. "Okay, Apple, if you want to start suing based on these silly patents, we'll sue you, too."

        Who started it *does* matter. Bully picks a fight in school? I would not stand there and be beaten to pulp. I would fight back. It *does* matter who started it, because actions based on unprovoked aggression vs. those same actions in self defense are significantly different.

    • by A10Mechanic (1056868) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:11PM (#41391729)
      The shroud of the Dark Side has fallen. Begun, the Patent War has! (You can decide which side is which...)
  • Why not (Score:4, Funny)

    by Iniamyen (2440798) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:02PM (#41391605)
    Can they seek a ban on skinny jeans for men, too? Because those are really annoying. Oh, and thick-black-rimmed glasses.
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by lgw (121541)

      While I support your platform, and you have my vote for president, I'd first like to see all existing apple products seized and shredded in front of their owners, just to see the sweet, sweet tears.

      Oh, and jail time for doing anything "ironically".

    • Yay! Obese, contact lens wearing owners of Android unite!

  • HAHAHHA.
    That's a great retort to Apples actions. IT's what Apple has asked for in theitr lawsuit(to shut down everyone else), and as a side note, I suspect this would change patent law.

  • by ocean_soul (1019086) <(moc.xmg) (ta) (tsluhrev.saibot)> on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:07PM (#41391669) Homepage

    the whole patent system is going to come crashing down. The way these companies are going, it will not take much longer before people start realizing the current system is no longer viable. Maybe a decade or so, but not much more.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by eWarz (610883)
      Not likely, eventually everyone will have judgements against everyone, and then everyone will cross license. Net effect: Lawyers win, everyone else loses.
      • by fnj (64210) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:55PM (#41392437)

        I humbly submit a correction. All the FAT PIGS with huge moneybags for legal combat will tend to end at a standoff, but all the garage innovators will be shit out of luck. That is not a desirable outlook for the economy. Small and micro business is the lifeblood of an economy, and represents the hopes and dreams of the individual.

    • The way these companies are going, it will not take much longer before people start realizing the current system is no longer viable.

      Google's position -- even before Apple started filing the lawsuits against Android manufacturers that were the opening shot in the Apple-Google patent war -- was that the current patent regime, particularly in regards to software patents, was harmful to innovation and unmaintainable.

      OTOH, Google -- as they are trying to run a business that has to operate in the real world -- d

    • by Bigby (659157)

      The Patent system is Federal. Good luck making that a talking point for candidates for Congress or President. They will snear at it and say they are going to focus on "jobs" or "national security" or how evil the other guy is. Completely ignoring how the patent system is costing us jobs and the eventual demise of small/medium businesses in America.

  • by Nethemas the Great (909900) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:09PM (#41391691)
    Best god damn soap opera going...
  • Karma... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CimmerianX (2478270) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:10PM (#41391711)

    Karma is a bitch.... isn't it Apple?

    How you like a taste of your own medicine?

  • Pledge to Obama (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tsa (15680) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:14PM (#41391765) Homepage

    Please Mr. Obama, when you are re-elected, please make all software patents invalid because they clearly don't work.

  • by iONiUM (530420) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:15PM (#41391795) Homepage Journal

    If this was "made public" today, why is there so [androidauthority.com] many [eweek.com] articles [appleinsider.com] from August 20th, when it was submitted? This is total bullshit, posted by Ars, just to try and get publicity with the iPhone 5 release tomorrow.

    And for the record, I am not an Apple apologist, and I own a Galaxy S3. But I mean, bullshit is bullshit.

  • Apple asked for it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:18PM (#41391831)
    Apple started this war. Eventually, Apple is going to get hurt.
  • by calzones (890942) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:19PM (#41391837)

    Really, not just IMAP... the whole notion that you might see the same messages everywhere is blazingly obvious once you have the concept of networked computing in the first place.

    but at the very least, IMAP should invalidate

  • by Dynamoo (527749) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:20PM (#41391861) Homepage
    This looks like the long-rumoured Google fightback against Apple. Google have come under criticism (rightly so IMO) for allowing its partners to be in the frontline against Apple's patent trolling. I think Google have several other Motorola patents that they can follow up with.

    Perhaps Apple will see sense and start to realise that it didn't invent the smartphone. The ideal solution is for everyone to stop suing everyone else and for fair licensing of real patents and an end to patenting the bleeding obvious. But somehow I feel that isn't gonna happen..

  • Global software patent mutual annihilation. And here I thought we had a few decades before 2077....

  • Even if you believed the patent was valid, then banning Macs? Instead of telling them to delete Messages?

    I think the Don't Be Evil is long gone, lost in parts from the Google Plus push, the cozying up to carriers where Apple dared to push back.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      I think the Don't Be Evil is long gone, lost in parts from the Google Plus push, the cozying up to carriers where Apple dared to push back.

      Don't Be Evil never existed.

      Remember Google history. Google needed a CEO, and who did they want? Steve Jobs. Yes, Jobs. Naturally, though, Jobs was involved heavily with Apple and decided it wouldn't be possible.

      Instead, what Jobs did was take the Google founders under his wing and teach them about how to be leaders. (Of course, when Google released Android, Jobs felt ba

  • by DarthVain (724186) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:27PM (#41391971)

    Both sides arm their lawyers with axes, maces, and bows. Meet on the field of battle. HAVE AT THEE! Televised of course with the proceeds going to the "iPhones for Orphans" or "Andriods for Amputees". No armor allowed, only 3 piece suits.

    To the winner goes the spoils!

  • It's the way business is done, nowadays. It's nothing personal.

  • by ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:42PM (#41392233)

    Motorola is saying, "Either Apple has such a stranglehold on consumer choice that to remove them is to remove the market, proving that they must be in an anti-competitive position OR removing them from the market wouldn't hurt the market because there are enough viable alternatives so don't judge this based on whether banning iDevices would harm consumers."

    I think that's a beautiful argument and I can't wait to see how the court weasels out of the proposed dilemma.

  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @05:14PM (#41392671)
    The patent tries to turn something obvious into something non-obvious by starting with a flawed implementation and then trying to remove the flaw. Here's their obviously flawed approach: Various devices connect to a communication server. Each device gives the communication server the user identification of the user currently using the device. When the user starts using a different device, the first device must be disconnected and then the second device must be connected to the communication server. And doing that is apparently worth a patent.

    However, it is obvious that it's not a device connecting to the communication server, but a user. And the user just temporarily uses some device, and tells the communication server which device that is, but can obviously at any point in time tell the communication server that they are now using a different device. Totally obvious.

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