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Patents Iphone Sony The Courts Apple

iPhone Infringes On Sony, Nokia Patents, Says Federal Jury 166

Posted by timothy
from the orange-you-glad-I-didn't-say-samsung? dept.
snydeq writes "A federal jury in Delaware has found Apple's iPhone infringes on three patents held by MobileMedia, a patent-holding company formed by Sony, Nokia and MPEG LA, InfoWorld reports. The jury found that the iPhone directly infringed U.S. patent 6,070,068, which was issued to Sony and covers a method for controlling the connecting state of a call, U.S. patent 6,253,075, which covers call rejection, and U.S. patent 6,427,078, which covers a data processing device. MobileMedia has garnered the unflattering descriptor "patent troll" from some observers. The company, which was formed in 2010, holds some 300 patents in all."
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iPhone Infringes On Sony, Nokia Patents, Says Federal Jury

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:14PM (#42277591)

    . . . die by the sword. I hate Sony with the heat of a thousand suns, but would love to see them make Apple write an eight figure check.

    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:16PM (#42277633) Journal

      More than likely we'll just end up with a cross-licensing deal and an end to this particular patent theater of war. Frankly, I don't think Apple's expectation was ever to permanently ban competitors devices, it was simply to delay their release into major markets long enough to cripple sales.

      • by Neon Spiral Injector (21234) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:21PM (#42277723)

        A company that makes no products has no need to cross-license patents.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Kergan (780543)

          If the deal extends to its owners, who actually do make products, then it may have needs.

        • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @04:24PM (#42278851)

          A company that makes no products has no need to cross-license patents.

          The *point* of this company is cross licensing. Nokia, Sony etc could establish a complicated network of cross licensing deals, or they can put it into one pool and then take out the rewards relative to their contribution to the coalition.

          Apple can just pay the license fee, or contribute enough intellectual property to the pool such that it gets back a share equal to a share of the patent group.

          This is how the MPEG group works. MPEG is a collection of dozens of patents from tons of people. If you have something that can make MPEG better you can simply sell your patent to the group and make a nice little royalty. Or you can get your royalty and buy MPEG licenses gaining you access to the rest of the patents.

          This is how the patent system should work for complicated systems. You build a cell phone patent pool. Then if you want to create new OS you pay the license fee without having to negotiate with 50 different patent holders.

      • If you delay a product long enough, it becomes obsolete. You can then play catch up instead of innovating.
      • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@NOspaM.world3.net> on Thursday December 13, 2012 @07:36PM (#42281919) Homepage

        Apple doesn't have any valuable patents to cross license. That has always been their problem. They are up against companies that have been producing mobile tech for decades and own patents that are essential for many of the standards in use around the world. Apple has a bunch of design patents that can either be worked around or invalidated in court.

    • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:22PM (#42277737)

      My thoughts exactly. Yes, MobileMedia might be a patent troll, but Apple well deserves this lawsuit. I hope that Steve Jobs' thermonuclear approach to Android will backfire on an epic level: once the patent wars leave the shell of dead corporations strewn all over the landscape, people will huddle together and promise themselves "never again" And the only way to do that: no more patents.

      Either that, or we wisen up and make the patent system much more reasonable (working prototype, truly limited time, no patents on math or business methods, etc.). I wonder which one will happen first.

    • by ArhcAngel (247594) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:26PM (#42277819)
      Which Sony? They are so schizophrenic they frequently sue themselves. [upenn.edu]
    • by The Grim Reefer (1162755) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:45PM (#42278177)

      . . . die by the sword. I hate Sony with the heat of a thousand suns, but would love to see them make Apple write an eight figure check.

      Unfortunately the only real winners will be the lawyers.

    • by GodInHell (258915)
      Only eight? I think we're in the 9 figure range, no?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Alien Being (18488)

      They should both be writing billions of hundred dollar checks to pay back all the money they have stolen from consumers.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jo_ham (604554)

        They should both be writing billions of hundred dollar checks to pay back all the money they have stolen from consumers.

        I'm curious. What money have they stolen from consumers?

    • Re:links to patents (Score:5, Informative)

      by MachDelta (704883) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:43PM (#42278119)

      I get the second and third patents (even if they're blindingly obvious), but that first one....

      6,070,068 - In a communication terminal device, the connecting state of a call can certainly and easily be controlled without learning troublesome operating methods which are different depending on the connecting state of a call by providing controller for displaying processing items available to a call a display and controlling the call into the connecting state corresponding to the processing item which is selected and determined by the user's operation of an input unit, the user can control the connecting state of the call by merely selecting the desired processing item.

      ...seriously, what the fuck does that even mean?

      • by aevan (903814)
        *blink* "On-screen options to hangup or redial, instead of special buttons"...that's the best I can glean from it.
      • Re:links to patents (Score:4, Informative)

        by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @04:32PM (#42278987)

        I think it means providing a GUI button for hanging up. :P

      • Re:links to patents (Score:5, Informative)

        by floodo1 (246910) <floodo1@Nospam.garfias.org> on Thursday December 13, 2012 @04:51PM (#42279293) Journal
        The patent claims that before this awesome "invention" users had to hit either 1,2, or 3 on the keypad followed by the send button in order to manage the call waiting aspect of your phone. It also claims that you had to press a different number to control a given call waiting function (place on hold, hang up current call, combine calls into a three way call, etc) depending on what you were doing on the phone at the time, so this was confusing and cumbersome for users.

        So this Sony employee "invented" a simple menu system (though the patent seems to cover any sort of system, aka apple's buttons which pop up on screen when you get a call waiting type of call) which lets you (via a scroll wheel and button, in the example) select "Hold" or "Disconnnect" or what have you by scrolling and clicking. In this way the user doesn't have to remember whether they should press 1, 2, or 3 and instead can just click on words to do what they want.

        It's worthwhile to look at the images which contain samples of the menu system (as well as flow charts and block layouts of a typical GSM cell phone).

        TLDR: This extremely generic/broad patent is for a simple system to handle call waiting on a cell phone. A system which is novel because it's easier to use than the old keypad based system in use at the time.

        Consequently it's ridiculous.
    • by floodo1 (246910)
      Reading that first patent is quite interesting. They basically patented a system of on screen objects that you can select in order to handle call waiting functionality....which was a new invention compared to the old way of using the 1,2,3 and send keys, which was confusing for people (according to the patent).

      Highlights the ludicrousness of patents. "Hey man, this is groundbreaking stuff here, making a menu system with simple text labels instead of making people remember which number to press at which t
  • is all of this going to reach critical mass and blow up in their faces???

  • patent troll? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rgbrenner (317308) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:17PM (#42277655)

    is there really a debate about if MobileMedia is a patent troll?

    They hold patents. Check.
    Specifically formed to sue other companies for patent infringement. Check
    They don't make a single product or use their patents in any way. Check.

    Definitely a patent troll. There is no debate.

    I get it.. you hate Apple. But don't pretend like these assholes are suddenly good for everyone.

    • Re:patent troll? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by squiggleslash (241428) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:20PM (#42277695) Homepage Journal

      If they're owned by companies that actually make products, then presumably they're more of a consortium (like the MPEG LA) than a patent troll, per-se.

      I don't know, I hate software patents, but I like seeing companies that trying to destroy competitors products by abusing the patent system being themselves a victim of it.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:35PM (#42277961)

        Wealthy corporations consider patent litigation to be a cost of doing business. They are happy to accept the risk of being victimized by a patent lawsuit from another wealthy corporation, in return for the ability to squash any-and-every small upstart that might threaten their empire.

        Fellow wealthy corporations are generally not a threat to one another. Even when in the same market space, they just form cartel arrangements, pay each other licence fees, and jointly dominate the market. The only real threat they face are young individuals with novel ideas forming small/nimble businesses that totally upset the existing market landscape. The fact that the ability to build such businesses is the foundation of the American dream (and very good for the economy) means nothing. All they care about is protecting them and theirs from such threats, and patent law does an excellent job of that.

        To those who object that small businesses can get patents too: realize that having a patent means jack squat if you don't have the financial resources to afford the patent litigation. Small businesses never do, whether they own any patents or not.

        • Mod parent up.

          It concisely explains all the apparent inconsistencies about patents.

          The patent system is damn perfect as it is now, but for a different purpose than the one advertised.

        • by oGMo (379) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @05:25PM (#42279917)

          The only real threat they face are young individuals with novel ideas forming small/nimble businesses that totally upset the existing market landscape.

          Yes but let's not pretend Apple is a "young upstart" just trying to live the American Dream. They're the problem, as much as any other large corp. And unfortunately this is a clear counterexample to your "the only real threat they face" assertion. Apple won't play nice with the other megacorps. This is really a bigger threat, because it means your cartel-esque arrangements can't be made.

          I expect everyone else to band together and make an example out of Apple for any other megacorp who wants to try this in the future, which is what's essentially happening in this case.

          • by Eskarel (565631) on Friday December 14, 2012 @01:32AM (#42284371)

            The problem with Apple is that they are probably the largest abuser of the patent system going at the moment. They're not a young upstart, they're not "fighting the cartels", they're using patent law to form a monopoly cartel of one because they are even more greedy and evil than their competition. I hope people make an example out of Apple because they are working very hard on breaking the entire patent system and not in a "we're going to free this up for innovation" way, in a "no one will ever do anything at all in the mobile market if they're not us" way.

      • Who cares. This should be an illegal corporate structure no matter who owns them.

      • by jrumney (197329)

        then presumably they're more of a consortium

        Companies banding together for anti-competitive purposes is usually called a cartel, not a consortium, and is illegal. For some reason patents are different.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I am pretty sure Sony and Nokia make devices.

    • Re:patent troll? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Coolhand2120 (1001761) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:25PM (#42277797)
      They are jointly owned by Nokia and Sony. So the developers of the technology in question own the company. It is not simply a 3rd party that buys up patents to sue other companies. Because they are owned by the people who developed the technology, I wouldn't call them a patent troll.
      • They are a CORPORATION formed specifically to sue. I don't think the ownership is relevant.

      • Yeah, this is my feeling on the matter as well. Someone who buys up currently useless patents in the hopes that someday they will be useful is what a troll does. A group of companies pooling patents for things they all make sounds fairly reasonable - *especially* in the tech sector.

        I'll be interested to see the outcome of this. Given Nokia and Sony's current situations I don't think they will be too aggressive with Apple - I think their short-term need for cash from a licensing deal would exceed their risk

      • by knarf (34928)

        Definitely a patent troll, just a patent troll started by practising entities. The only reason they started this troll is to be able to use the common troll modus operandi: sue with bullshit patents without the risk of being sued because, troll as they are, they have nothing to sue over. This 'company' and its ilk is to the stated purpose of patent law as what high frequency traders are to the stated goal of the stock market: they are parasites.

        Pity it is not legal to use a jumbo-sized fly swat on this verm

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      is there really a debate about if MobileMedia is a patent troll?

      Not really. But there should equally be no debate about whether Apple is a patent troll. That is not their sole function, but it is one of their functions. They apply for and get bad patents and then use them to attack the competition when they cannot compete on fair grounds.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is ridiculous. Apple invented the patent! How could they infringe on one?

    • In fact, if you use all the letters from "Steve Jobs Apple Newton Lisa MobileMe", you get "patent". Coincidence? I think not.
  • by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:20PM (#42277703) Homepage

    U.S. patent 6,427,078, which covers a data processing device

    Is so broad as to cover everything like a computer, but smaller.

    From the actual patent:

    The object of the invention is a device for personal communication, data collection and data processing, which is a small-sized, portable and hand-held work station comprising a data processing unit (2); a display (9); a user interface (10, 11); a number of peripheral device interfaces (12, 17); at least one memory unit (13); a power source, preferably a battery (3); and an application software. According to the invention the device also comprises a camera unit (14). The camera unit (14) comprises a camera (14a), preferably a semiconductor camera, and optics (14b) connected thereto, which are placed in the housing (1) of the device. Alternatively, the camera unit (14) is fitted on a PCMCIA card (15) which can be connected to the PCMCIA card slot (16) of the device. An object of the invention is also a PCMCIA card (15) provided with a camera unit (14).

    I'm sorry, but that's Von Neumann architecture with some form of camera attached.

    Since it starts with the definition of work-station and then simply says it is hand held, it basically is one of those "with a computer" (or in this case cell phone) patents.

    I'm not going to go through each of the claims on the patent, but I'm not seeing anything in here that sounds like an invention -- just a description of a small computer with its own display. Which to me, means this patent should have never been granted.

    • by tsotha (720379) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:26PM (#42277811)
      Probably true, but Apple has been suing the hell out of everyone with the same kind of flimsy portfolio. Sauce for the goose.
      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Probably true, but Apple has been suing the hell out of everyone with the same kind of flimsy portfolio. Sauce for the goose.

        Maybe, maybe not.

        Unfortunately, with the way the patent system is structured, every company wants to/has to patent as many things as they possibly can. And every company wants to use patents to skew the market in their favor -- either by insisting on licensing of patents which are absurd, or preventing competitors from selling similar products.

        At a certain point, the lawyers do well

        • Maybe, maybe not.

          REALLY? Rounded corners? Who are you kidding? There's no "maybe, maybe not" about it. Get real.

          • by gstoddart (321705)

            REALLY? Rounded corners? Who are you kidding? There's no "maybe, maybe not" about it. Get real.

            You get real ... the fact is that, once the patent office granted someone a design patent [wikipedia.org], it's the same as any other patent, and enforceable.

            Do I think it's a good or sensible patent? Absolutely not. Does that change the fact that it was granted? Not at all.

            I think for the most part, patents don't work, are usually overly broad, and do very little to foster anything resembling real innovation.

            From there all ma

          • by samkass (174571)

            Maybe, maybe not.

            REALLY? Rounded corners? Who are you kidding? There's no "maybe, maybe not" about it. Get real.

            Really? Repeating the lie about Apple patenting "rounded corners" to justify defending a patent troll?

            Hint: Apple has never claimed to have a patent on rounded corners. That's an invention of the internet. They have a design patent on the overall iPhone design and have only sued the one company that blatantly (and admitted doing so in their own internal correspondence) copied it.

            • ...Repeating the lie...

              ...the one company that blatantly (and admitted doing so in their own internal correspondence) copied it.

              Nice

              Additionally, if you actually read the infamous rounded corner patent you will see it is definitely not an iPhone. Probably an initial mock-up of an iPad but even then it's not the same. What's more is they specifically point out what is and is not covered in the patent using solid vs. dashed lines. There's not much solid line other than those rounded corners.

              Claiming they don't have a patent on something because they have a "design patent" isn't exactly a strong argument.

            • by tsotha (720379)
              Do you think a patent should be granted based on aesthetics?
              • by Graymalkin (13732) *

                A design patent? Yes. As that is exactly what design patents are meant to do, protect aesthetic designs.

            • Repeating the lie about Apple patenting "rounded corners" to justify defending a patent troll? Hint: Apple has never claimed to have a patent on rounded corners. That's an invention of the internet. They have a design patent on the overall iPhone design and have only sued the one company that blatantly (and admitted doing so in their own internal correspondence) copied it.

              It is you who should take a hint and stop spouting off randomly about things you apparently have very little knowledge of. Apple was in fact granted a design patent for the "trade dress" of certain products in the EU. A german court granted Apple a preliminary injunction against Samsung tablets based on that design patent. Note: this was not a ruling on the alleged infringement, which has not been decided by the German court, but has already been rejected by a UK court. That does not stop Apple camp followe

            • by Eskarel (565631)
              Apple Patent on Rounded Corners" [uspto.gov]

              Note the dashed lines are not what is patented, just the solid rounded rectangle.

        • Maybe, maybe not.

          There is no "Maybe". It is definite. Rounded corners on a rectangle? A grid of icons? If those can be patented, why not just patent the wheel, which was invented thousands of years ago, and charge royalties to every automobile manufacturer?

      • by gutnor (872759)
        Yeah, so that makes it twice worse. It does not matter who win or lose with a shitty patent. At the end of the day a shitty patent is a net cost to all of us.
      • by toriver (11308)

        So basically all the posturing about "how the patent system is bad" was just pretending, covering up for run of the mill Apple hate. "We like the patent system now that Apple are getting hurt!" Grow the fuck up Mr. Anorak.

        • by dzym (544085)

          We don't LIKE the patent system, but we like abusers of the system even less. Hate the players AND hate the game.

    • Another obvious patent then. Wanting to make ANY device smaller goes back to the beginning of invension itself.

      We need a full fledged effort of some sort to invalidate patents. Maybe even a legal foundation of some sort. It's in the interest (at least for now) for every patent to be summarily accepted so you know the corporate controlled government will never fix it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Sarten-X (1102295)

      I'm not going to go through each of the claims on the patent, but I'm not seeing anything in here that sounds like an invention

      Likewise, I'm not going to open the book, but I'm not seeing anything in Moby Dick that makes it decent literature.

      The claims are the single most important part of the patent. Everything else is just to make the claims clear enough that somebody else can duplicate the invention. Not reading them is tantamount to judging a book by its cover.

      Actually reading claim 1, we see a patent for a handheld computer containing a camera, that uses a radio to transmit the pictures. In claim 2, this is specified to be the

      • by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:57PM (#42278369) Homepage

        Actually reading claim 1, we see a patent for a handheld computer containing a camera, that uses a radio to transmit the pictures. In claim 2, this is specified to be the cellular phone network. Now what's interesting is that the first cell-phone cameras came to market in the summer of 1997. Surely this is prior art, yes? And the whole patent is invalid?

        So, I ask you, before 1995 did we have the technology for a computer to transmit images of a camera over a network? The answer, of course, is in 1991 [wikipedia.org] someone had a webcam which showed the coffee pot.

        From the same link, the first commercial webcam was available in 1994, which is now a year before your lower bound. So by then we'd had cameras sending stuff over the network via a computer for years.

        So, now walk me through this one, since I'm apparently quite slow ... if I take something which is already being done "on a computer" and "using a network", which specific part of "hand-held computer" and "cellular network" causes this to be an "invention"?

        We already had desktop computers. We already had some inklings of hand held computers. We could already hook a camera up to a computer and send images over a network. And, by 1990 we had already reached the point of being able to generalize the concept of 'network' to include arbitrary transport mechanisms [wikipedia.org] (IP over Avian Carrier), so a cellular network is a specific variant of networking instead of something fundamentally new. The general problems of networking had been well discussed for years.

        So, given that several years before this patent was even applied for we had mechanisms to "allow a computer to transmit the output of a semi-conductor camera over a network" -- I find it awfully difficult to figure out how this represents anything other than taking several already common things, and putting them into a smaller device which uses a cellular network.

        Small isn't magic. Radio isn't magic. Cellular networks aren't magic. So to me, the first web cam of how much coffee was left covers almost all of the functional aspects of this patent -- except in a smaller box. And the last I checked "in a smaller box" isn't really sufficient to differentiate yourself as a distinct patent.

        If someone had shown me this patent in 1997, I would have said the same thing -- in what way is taking something you can already do, but on a different device something which merits a patent?

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by bws111 (1216812)

          Here is what US patent law says is patentable (this has been the language since 1793): any new and useful art, machine, manufacture or composition of matter and any new and useful improvement on any art, machine, manufacture or composition of matter. Emphasis mine.

          So, was the move from wired webcams on wired network computers to cameras on wireless devices new? Yes. Was it useful? Yes. Was it an improvement on an existing something? Yes.

          And remember, it isn't the idea of a camera on a cellphone that i

    • I'm not going to go through each of the claims on the patent...

      There's your problem.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... It's about time!

    Overall I detest patent trolls for their detrimental effects on innovation and the US economy, but it'll bet if Apple wasn't so aggressive in their own patent troll behaviour this suit probably would never have happened.

  • by Doctor Morbius (1183601) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:31PM (#42277901)

    IncomingNumber := GetIncomingCallNumber();
    RejectCall := SearchRejectedNumbersList(IncomingNumber);
    If (RejectCall)
            RejectIncomingCall();
    else
            AnswerIncomingCall();

    There I just wrote the code to reject incoming calls if the number is in the rejected numbers list. How is this patentable?

    • Enjoy your cease and desist notices!

    • by jittles (1613415) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:55PM (#42278341)

      IncomingNumber := GetIncomingCallNumber(); RejectCall := SearchRejectedNumbersList(IncomingNumber); If (RejectCall) RejectIncomingCall(); else AnswerIncomingCall();

      There I just wrote the code to reject incoming calls if the number is in the rejected numbers list. How is this patentable?

      Except that I don't think that is what the patent covers at all. First of all, the iPhone does not let you create a filter list that automatically rejects calls. At least not until iOS 6 (and I doubt the lawsuit was filed since the release of iOS 6 and has a judgement). Instead, I think this is a patent covering the ability to tell the cell tower to stop ringing your phone because you're not going to bother answering. That, at the time it was added to cell phones, was certainly novel as far as I know. I had never seen a POTS phone that let you reject a call instead of just muting the ringer. I didn't bother reading the patent, so I could be wrong. But my guess is the patent actually comes from the Erickson side of the house, and not actually from Sony as it existed at the time of the filing.

  • It's back by companies who actually use the patents.
  • Fanbois on both sides are about to hit this thread in 3, 2, 1, ... /popcorn
  • by roc97007 (608802) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:41PM (#42278077) Journal

    I want to side with Apple on this, the patents themselves seem ridiculous. But Apple has misbehaved in exactly the same manner, for the same absurdly ridiculous details. It's apparent that it's not about the individual patents, it's a full-on mud wrestle.

    • Shamelessly stealing from another post in another thread:

      It's like when Hitler went to war against Stalin. You want Stalin to win, but not by too much.

  • by zuki (845560) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:48PM (#42278215) Journal
    Given Apple's current stances on these very issues, I don't expect they're going to get a lot of sympathy here

    Yet beyond the mere satisfaction of seeing the bully take a couple, it does highlight how inherently flawed the patent system has become, and that whether copyrights, patents or trademarks, it's all become so lawyered up as to defeat the very purpose of these limited protections.

    That it arguably poisons the well for the rest of us and human innovation at large is something future generations are going to have to come to grips with; in the meantime as I don't see any short-term end in sight. Not a good time to be a start-up in that space.
    • by DCFusor (1763438)
      Mod parent up. Succinct statement of reality, rare.
      Actually, it's been bad to be a startup for awhile. You can't invent any one thing, then bring it to market without stepping on 100's of patents at least, if it is significant - and why bother if it's not? Your one measly patent has no hope against a well-lawyer armed adversary who wants to lawyer you into the ground and steal your one patent from you in bankruptcy. You need a portfolio of 100's to 1000's of patents to get them interested in cross lic
  • by Chas (5144) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @04:03PM (#42278493) Homepage Journal

    Because when someone else sues *Apple*, they're a "patent troll".

    But when *Apple* does the same thing in suing others, they're just "protecting innovation".

    Ow. Need to see an ophthalmologist now. I just rolled my eyes so hard I strained something.

  • MobileMedia has garnered the unflattering descriptor "patent troll" from some observers.

    MobileMedia licenses patents held by Sony, Nokia, and MPEG LA. MPEG LA in turn licenses tech developed by global giants in manufacturing and R&D like Cisco, Mitsubishi, NTT, Philips, Samsung, Toshiba and so on. It is idiotic to argue that these guys don't make product or that their contributions to the evolution of mobile technologies are trivial.

  • In regards to Apple and its own Patent Trolling: Those who live by the sword, die by the sword.
  • Patent was supposed to protect inventions that physically exist, not vapor and certainly not subtle variations on a product that has existed for a long time. I can't think of a single thing related to cell phones that could possibly be new enough to constitute an invention. Abolishing patent outright would be a good thing.

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