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Google Handhelds Apple

Apple Claims Samsung and Motorola Patent Monopoly 381

esocid writes with a bit in Daily Tech about the ongoing spat between Apple and the rest of the mobile world. From the article: "Apple lawyers are crying foul about Samsung, and ... Motorola's allegedly 'anticompetitive,' use of patents. ... Apparently Apple is irate about these companies' countersuits, which rely largely on patents covering wireless communications, many of which are governed by the 'fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory' (F/RAND) principle, as they were developed as part of industry standards. ... Apple takes issue with the fact that Motorola in its countersuit declines to differentiate the 7 F/RAND patents in its 18 patent collection. ... Regardless of what Florian Mueller says, it's hard to dispute that the 'rules' of F/RAND are largely community dictated and ambiguous."
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Apple Claims Samsung and Motorola Patent Monopoly

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  • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @11:46AM (#37275648)
    We where just minding our own business, suing them, and then THEY SUED US for no reason!
    • by mvar ( 1386987 )
      Apple has been on lawsuit-rampage during the last 6 months, its nice to see at last some action from Google. This is going to be fun!
      • by node 3 ( 115640 )

        Apple has been on lawsuit-rampage during the last 6 months, its nice to see at last some action from Google. This is going to be fun!

        Define "rampage". They've sued Samsung in multiple jurisdictions for copying the iPad and iPhone. And they've got maybe one or two other suits, that aren't merely countersuits, against other companies.

        So, where's this "rampage" you speak of?

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:01PM (#37275816) Journal
      It's really very unfair. Here we were, just defending our rightful monopoly over all things rectangular with screens on the front, and these uppity bastards with their "patents" on "foundational RF technologies" that they supposedly "invented" are getting all touchy about it. WTF?
    • by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @01:58PM (#37277130) Homepage Journal

      I don't remember where I first heard this - possibly from a teacher in junior high school. "If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem." I'm another person who is sick of these patent wars. One day, you want to cheer this side, or the other side, the next day you want to cheer the interlopers who file those "friend of the court" briefs, then a week later, you want to see the real low-life trolls burnt at the stake. It's an endless drama among the lawyers trying to milk the techworld.

      And, I'm just sick of it. Apple hasn't been part of the solution, nor has Microsoft, or Samsung, or Motorola, or IBM, or - well, I could go on. Everyone who has ever filed a software and/or frivolous design patent like basic description of the Apple iPad is part of the problem. Most patents need to be done away with. I can't remember now what the numbers were, but apparently more patents have been granted in the past ten years, than were granted in all of patent history. It's ridiculous. Worse, it's insane.

      Idiots sitting at a corporate conference mull the need to patent a shape, because they might use that shape sometime in the unforseeable future. Preposterous.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01, 2011 @11:46AM (#37275654)

    So when Apple sues its competitors with overly broad patents it's "protecting its innovations"

    When the targets of Apple's anti-competitive lawsuits counter-sue Apple cries "anti-competitive" monopoly.

    Apple gets more evil every day.

    • by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:15PM (#37275950)
      Steve Jobs wouldn't have allowed this to happen. I blame Tim.
    • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:42PM (#37276230) Journal
      Apple (lawyers) are saying (lawyers don't actually get irate as long as they get paid and the court time lasts longer and longer) that the patents were part of a standard. That Motorola et al purposely made their patents part of a standard, and are now using them to extort concessions out of Apple. This is unfair, because there is no way to work around the patents: you can't use a GSM network without using Motorola patents. So when the standard was made, all players agreed to license their patents for a reasonable cost.

      This is different than the Apple patents, which theoretically can be worked around. Apple doesn't even want to license them, they want to prevent competitors from using the stuff they invented. Other people should go invent their own stuff. And legally, patents give them that right. It's great, isn't it? (sarcasm) But not hypocritical, unless you have no understanding of the issue.
      • I might be mistaken, but Microsoft tried to make their office document formats standard AND proprietary. In other words, extortion. "Comply with the standard, FOSS, but pay the oh so small fee for the patent."

        The Apple claim is still BS, though. Motorola could claim that GSM can be worked around by using wifi and software... which is about as effectual as working around a thin rectangular screen tablet by making it a circle (and some idiot actually suggested that on another forum).

      • by E IS mC(Square) ( 721736 ) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @02:04PM (#37277246) Journal

        So wait - Motoroal who invented something which is integral part of a mobile phone should not ask for any return on that from Apple and Apple should use such core technology for free, but Apple can charge anybody for rectangles and others should bend over and pay them???

        And also, Apple's lawyers do all this without Apple's wish?

        *head explodes*

        • No, Motorola and Samsung should be paid for their patents that are part of the GSM (and other essential wireless standards), no one has claimed they shouldn't be. What they aren't allowed to do is use those patents to coerce/extort Apple or others into granting rights to non-essential patents (those which aren't part of a standard required for compatibility or interoperability) held by the other party. Patents which are part of an essential standard must be licensed under terms that are fair, reasonable, an
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01, 2011 @02:23PM (#37277522)

        Most F/RAND patent licenses include retaliation clauses. A patent retaliation clause allows a company who is being sued over patent infringement to revoke licenses to its IP. I don't know about you, but generally when I sign a piece of paper I look at it what it says and think before I act because it may cost me.

        Not only that, Apple seems to think they own rectangular device with an LCD touchscreen. Most of these Apple patents shouldn't even be valid. They "Just want" their competitors not to make phones with touch screens or process phone numbers to link them directly to the call function, or use an "Object oriented messaging system". Take your pick, most of these patents are crap.

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      Maybe the judge will agree with Apple and abolish all the patents.


  • For Chrissakes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @11:47AM (#37275670) Journal

    Look, you pack of fucking navel-gazing fucktards. Put down the fucking guns, agree to pool your resources to buy sufficient hookers and Caribbean vacations for Congresscritters to have the existing patent system tossed out the door. We get it that you all sort of started out accruing vast numbers of patents, some good, some bad, some absolutely fucking moronic, in no small part to fend off attacks from each other and from evil little patent trolls, but look at how it's complicating your lives. You couldn't roll out a steaming turd without someone somewhere trying to claim you infringed on a patent they own.

    Apple, you're now one of the biggest companies around. If anyone can afford the required number of prostitutes, golf club memberships, or whatever it is those corrupted evil bastards in Congress have an appetite for. Google, come on, you could help out here, same with Samsung. Then you can, you know, compete on the quality of your products, rather than trying to stuff newspaper down each others throats in what can only be described as the bonfire of the idiots.

    • If anyone can afford the required number of prostitutes, golf club memberships, ..

      Sure Apple can do that- but so can Microsoft []

    • Given Apple's recent litigation history, which seems to have kicked the spat off, they would appear to want to have their cake and eat it too. They went and attempted to have Samsung's products kicked out of Europe for being too damn rectangular, and are somehow surprised that people with patents on actual technology are fighting back?
    • Really? You're asking Apple to help get rid of patents? There is no tech company I know of that likes patents more.
    • Re:For Chrissakes (Score:5, Insightful)

      by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:47PM (#37276294) Homepage

      Apple's "bigness" is pending their continued popularity. The moment they cease to be popular, they will implode. They are not diversified enough to sustain itself as the market changes. Given that they base themselves exclusively on the consumer market, there may never be such a thing as "critical mass" in any of Apple's market places.

      Critical mass is crucial to successful staying power. As it is, nothing that Apple offers is "necessary" and the cost of moving away from Apple at any point in time is trivial. Let's make the argument that Apple's iDevice apps have created something that resembles critical mass which I am sure many people would try to argue. Let's look at the money that users actually put into the software. $2 here, $5 there... $25? Unheard of for the most part. The numerous apps attract consumers to buy the iDevices, but the sunk costs aren't quite high enough to keep people married to them.

      Now if we were talking about serious enterprise investments, even those nickel-and-dime expenses could equal something big, but Apple doesn't market to the enterprise and I have yet to see an iPhone deployment in a business that resembles deployments like blackberry. The same goes for Apple computers. I recall one jerk who used Apple itself as an Apple enterprise deployment. Dear god... that simply does not qualify.

      Apple, I believe, has strategically limited itself so that it does not fall under various antitrust and other law/rules so that it can continue its "style" of business/abuse.

  • Pot, meet Kettle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kagetsuki ( 1620613 ) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @11:48AM (#37275678)

    Remember that little kid that hit the other kids, but as soon as another kid hit back he'd start crying? Apple is now that kid.

    • And Florian Mueller is the parent of that kid, attempting to defend their precious little snowflake, through misinterpretation and obfuscation.

      • by MrHanky ( 141717 )

        Sounds like one of those weird SF stories in which someone travels back in time, fucks their grandmother and alters history completely.

  • Coincidense? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mensa Babe ( 675349 ) * on Thursday September 01, 2011 @11:48AM (#37275680) Homepage Journal
    1. 1. Apple frivolously sue companies using Google's software [] using its bogus patents for rectangles [].
    2. 2. Google buys Motorola [] to use its patent portfolio defensively to protect themselves against such companies like Apple.
    3. 3. Apple attacks Motorola [] who used to be so great in the past (Apple would never use the inferiour intel CPUs, right?) and now it is Motorola that is being a problem with their patents?! Make up your mind, Apple. Make up your mind.
    • by dave562 ( 969951 )

      Here we go again. Perfectly insightful and on point analysis of Apple gets modded down. I sure hope this ends up in meta-moderation and someone fixes this abuse of the system. Or barring that, hopefully enough people reply to this with posts that are then modded up to keep it part of the discussion.

      Yes Apple, we know you have your fanboys here from the PR department with mod points to try to control the discourse. As Streissand learned, you can't control teh intarwebz. We all know how much your company

  • by YesIAmAScript ( 886271 ) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @11:48AM (#37275682)

    Apple's unyielding patent attack has to come to trouble for them eventually. It's bad enough MS wants $15 from every Android phone, but Apple just plain is trying to bar companies from competing.

    The industry will eventually respond with the only tool they have, more patent garbage.

    Perhaps this is the start of that.

    It's going to take a long time before Apple realizes they can't win this legal battle and they should have just kept competing in the marketplace instead. They're pretty good at that, I'm not sure why they want to try to turn the business into a web of red tape for everyone instead of just pushing forward.

    • This is a pretty similar trend as to what has happened in our economy.
      • 1. Innovate to become a world class company/economy
      • 2. Exhaust your innovative edge as your ideas stagnate and competition follows market trends
      • 3. Slow or stop all real innovation
      • 4. Find and innovative way to make more money instead of innovating the advancing the technology/growing your economy
      • 5. Give up on real innovation and use the courts/government/taxpayers to make your money for you

      The financial institutions came up with a lot of

    • by chrb ( 1083577 )

      The industry will eventually respond with the only tool they have, more patent garbage.

      This is exactly it. It was inevitable that, when faced with patent attacks, companies would acquire patents to defend themselves in a "Mutually Assured Destruction" scenario. Microsoft thought that they could charge a slice of every Android handset sold. Apple wanted HTC and Samsung phones and tablets taken off the market. What did they think was going to happen? That these companies would just shut up and die? Of course not. Instead, HTC acquired S3 for its large patent portfolio, and Google acquired Motor

      • apple suing for design patents, and then getting sued back for fundamental cell tech patents is more like bringing a knife to a bear fight.
        • well, the message Apple should be getting from this is "if you're going to be a dick and patent the only shape anyone is likely to use for a tablet and then sue everyone as if you're some great visionary then we're going to take our patents on something a bit more substantial and that we've so far been gracious enough not to ask you about and make you regret your decision."

          Apple is honestly convinced that the rules really don't apply to them because they are soooo cooool. They are ALWAYS the victim...eve
  • HAHAHAHAHAHA, ah, now my stomach hurts. Apple isn't playing nice in patents, and now they're bitching about others not playing nice? You know, I guess maybe Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field must have lasting effects.

    Seriously though they'd have a point if Apple wasn't acting like, well, a total and complete legal asshole. Keep in mind these are countersuits to Apple. Apple is basically using Motorola's good will, turning around and stabbing them in the back, and then complaining that Motorola doesn't ac

  • by sandytaru ( 1158959 ) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @11:49AM (#37275696) Journal
    Or the pot is calling the kettle black. Honestly, the only people all these lawsuits are really helping are the corporate lawyers. Why don't all the technology companies just agree to drop ALL the lawsuits and instead invest that money into R&D? We could have had the next iPad killer by now if they weren't wasting time and money on lawsuits!
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      We could have had the next iPad killer by now if they weren't wasting time and money on lawsuits!

      This is precisely what Apple doesn't want.

      • We could have had the next iPad killer by now if they weren't wasting time and money on lawsuits!

        This is precisely what Apple doesn't want.

        Not quite true. Apple will be happy for there to be an iPad killer—as long as it's the Apple iTable.

    • We could have had the next iPad killer by now if they weren't wasting time and money on lawsuits!

      And how would that be good for Apple?

  • Here's a tissue.
  • by poofmeisterp ( 650750 ) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @11:49AM (#37275704) Journal

    Apple is irate about these companies' countersuits, which rely largely on patents covering wireless communications, many of which are governed by the 'fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory' (F/RAND) principle, as they were developed as part of industry standards

    And yours are all artistic and nothing else, eh? The industry shouldn't use any of your mechanisms for compatibility or interchange, right?

    Grow up. You started the sh**, now deal with it.

    • Whats funny about this is that had they not tried to sue in the first place, they could have probably out-competed them in the marketplace.
      • well exactly. if you poke a hornets nest when it's just sitting there not hurting you, don't be shocked when you get stung. It's not that Apple wants to win, they want everyone else to lose. It almost seems Apple sees competition as "stealing" customers. The truth is the only way they'd have had these customers is if there was NO competition at all.

        Personally, I don't know anyone with an iPad that seriously considered another device and i don't know anyone that picked another device that seriously consi
  • Is it going to start throwing chairs?

  • Given that Apple is suing Samsung while at the same time using Samsung chips in their products, Samsung should halt all production of chips to Apple and see what happens. But of course nobody is that crazy...

  • Steven P. Jobs has bragged about his mastery of stealing ideas from others, stating, "Picasso had a saying - 'Good artists copy, great artists steal.' And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas."

  • Unusually lame and egregiously hypocritical, even for lawyers!

    Essentially, Apple's defense is: "our obvious patents on egg-sucking are valid, yours are invalid because they're F/RAND submarines".

    I had not heard any court invalidated patents as F/RAND and submarines still live (RAMBUS).

  • Apple produces nicely designed cases, and some of their UI design is tasteful and effective. Otherwise, they suck, but since they drink their own koolaid, they think everyone else sucks, AND that everyone else aspires to be Apple.

    if you believe you have designed the uberphone or uberpad (or uber-UI - remember the ancient war with MSFT), it is only natural that you feel threatened whenever someone else makes a vaguely rectangular tablet with, say, a front-facing display.

    Apple is letting its hired dogs (lawy

  • I find this extremely amusing. Apple tried to do the same thing with the iPad suing any company who also made a thin tablet. They made the mistake of going after people with bigger guns. Why Apple ever went after Motorola when they were making cell phones before Apple even came out with the Macintosh is mind boggling since Motorola probably has more patents relating to telecommunications than everyone else combined. Adding that Google purchased Motorola just adds more firepower. After that purchase it would
  • There is not enough faces to smack palms onto in the entire world for what I just read.
  • by DaleGlass ( 1068434 ) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:25PM (#37276040) Homepage

    The insanity of the software patents seems to be finally blowing up in an extremely public way.

    I really hope that the lawsuits against Apple result in very harmful for them consequences, ideally something ridiculous like forcing them to pull iPhones and iPads from the shelves.

    Why? Because if that happens, there's no way it will stand. It will be discussed all over the world, and everybody will agree it's a crappy state of affairs. Maybe then some sanity can be introduced by eliminating them.

    That might be a bit too optimistic, but still this is a perfect example of what's wrong with the system. At least it'll make a good explanation of why software patents are a bad idea, and should be kept out of the places that don't yet have them.

  • by X.25 ( 255792 )

    So, it's ok for them to sue someone because they think they own rights to rectangular shape with round corners, but when someone with real tech patent sues them back - they act like babies?

    I wish all tech companies would die.

  • The first link is a DailyTech Blog by Jason Mick, an author well known for factual inaccuracies in every post, and for continual Apple bashing. Consider the source, and double check all facts before drawing any conclusions from it.

    The second link includes an informative discussion of the actual issues. The core of Apple's argument, that Samsung is asserting that Apple is violating "standards essential" patents, for which Samsung has offered no F/RAND licensing, which is a clear violation of antitrust regula

    • And yes, I know that the second blog is by Florian Mueller, and I can't believe I'm actually agreeing with or referring to one of his posts as a an informative discussion of the issues. Still, that is the case in this instance.

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