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Patents The Courts Apple

Posner Dismisses Apple/Motorola Case, With Prejudice 146

whisper_jeff writes "Judge Posner has dismissed the patent case between Apple and Motorola, with prejudice (meaning they can't refile), putting an end to this patent dispute between the two companies. Posner wrote, 'Both parties have deep pockets. And neither has acknowledged that damages for the infringement of its patents could not be estimated with tolerable certainty.' I know many on Slashdot will be happy to hear Apple's lawsuit failed; I am happier to hear that Motorola has been prevented from abusing FRAND patents, a situation I feel could set a very bad, very dangerous precedent for the entire industry."
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Posner Dismisses Apple/Motorola Case, With Prejudice

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  • by rtfa-troll ( 1340807 ) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @02:20AM (#40419221)

    FRAND is just another patent cartel and we have no reason to care about it. FRAND standards organisations should be seen as a form of illegal cartel.

    Even funnier is that Apple and Microsoft, who have completely failed to get licenses for these FRAND patents go around attempting to mug people with knives and start crying like babies when companies like Motorola that have actually done some serious research in their lives pull out a combat shotgun. "Want to make my day?".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2012 @04:14AM (#40419517)


    So, when is apple going to stop using everyone elses technology?
    For example,all these radio technology patents?

    And really people, why do idiots seem to think apple has a stronger case with 'slide to unlock', roundtangles, and touch-to-launch than massivly complex radio standards that took decades of indepth research in to wireless systems to develop?

    APPLE are starting to play desperate here, as was inevitable when they decided they were going to 'own' an area of technology they had no positioning in..

  • by khipu ( 2511498 ) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @04:27AM (#40419539)

    It wouldn't be "proprietary" if it actually were required to be freely licensed.

  • by khipu ( 2511498 ) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @04:29AM (#40419543)

    For all their faults and inability to create decent software, Microsoft actually spends a lot of money on research. Apple, however, doesn't; Apple just "steals" other people's ideas and inventions (according to Steve Jobs himself).

  • by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @06:05AM (#40419827)

    It is Apple which abuses FRAND system, not Motorola, Nokia, etc.

    Seriously, I don't care what you think about Apple - hate them all you want - but they are not abusing FRAND patents. They are refusing to pay excessive licensing fees on FRAND patents, which is entirely reasonable given that excessive licensing fees do not adhere to the requirements of FRAND patents. Motorola (and Samsung) are abusing FRAND patents by demanding excessive rates from one specific company, which is directly in opposition of the intent of FRAND patent requirements.

    Seriously, please don't take my word for it - read Judge Posner's opinion and order and you will clearly see he feels that Motorola was asking for excessive (by a wide margin) licensing fees for their FRAND patents.

    You don't have to like Apple if you don't want to but don't let that dislike of Apple delude you into thinking that they are being wronged by Motorola (and Samsung). Just because they have deep pockets doesn't mean they should pay a higher license rate - that would be discriminatory licensing which is counter to the Non-Discriminatory part of FRAND.

    Go read Posner's opinion and order - don't take my word for it - take the judge's word for it.

  • by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @07:07AM (#40419989)

    This is up AGAIN???

    Screw it - I'm going to copy-paste a blog post I wrote back when this was making the rounds before.


    "Good artists copy; great artists steal."

    Now, obviously, this quote is thrown about in an effort to make Apple and/or Steve look bad and imply that they ripped off ideas from others. Well, the problem is the quote is actually a misquote which thus clouds the point, which is rare for someone of Steve's speaking elegance. Most people who know it's a misquote believe he's misquoting Picasso but the truth is he's misquoted TS Elliot. The actual quote is:

    "One of the surest tests [of the superiority or inferiority of a poet] is the way in which a poet borrows. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different than that from which it is torn; the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion. A good poet will usually borrow from authors remote in time, or alien in language, or diverse in interest."

    Now, when you compare Steve's misquote and TS Elliot's actual quote, you see they actually say basically the same thing but TS Elliot's full quote obviously puts the whole thing into context so the point is understood.

    And I agree with it.

    I have long believed that there are no more original ideas, just interesting takes on old ideas.

    Now, as with Steve's misquote, when expressed that simply, my point can get lost and often has led to people disagreeing with me, strongly. But my point is this - as we grow up, we are exposed to extensive amounts of information that becomes the background noise of our creative processes. As we write, paint, sculpt, compose, and otherwise create, we are influenced, in one way or another, by everything we've seen and heard up until that point. Sometimes the inspiration is heavy and obvious and other times it's subtle and we aren't even aware of it. But we're always influenced by what we've seen up until that point of creation. And good creators put an interesting spin or twist on their inspirations and come up with something that seems and feels new and original. But, at the end of the day, there are no more original ideas, only interesting takes on old ideas.

    While many toss around Steve's misquote in the hopes of painting him and Apple in a bad light, they fail to realize that, though he over-simplified a complex issue, he's right. As was TS Elliot before him. Great creators are inspired by what has come before them; they transform and mold and adapt their creation until its something new and wonderful while other creators simply copy without any of the finesse, simply regurgitating what came before.

    And, when viewed in the context of Apple, it is clearly relevant. Apple is often touted as being innovative and original by some while others quickly point out that they're just doing what others have done before them. And you know what, both sides are right, which shows that Apple is a "good poet" - they take something and make it into something better, or at least different. They weld the theft into a whole of feeling which is unique. Apple wasn't the first to market with a graphic UI, but they transformed the computer market with Mac OS; Apple wasn't the first to market with an MP3 music player, but they transformed the market with the iPod; Apple wasn't the first to market with a smartphone, but they transformed the market with the iPhone; Apple wasn't the first to market with an ultralight laptop, but they've transformed the market with the Macbook Air; Apple wasn't the first to market with a tablet PC, but they've transformed the market with the iPad. The list goes on and on - they may not be the first, but they transform a market when the enter it.

    You don't have to like Apple, but you'd be foolish to ignore that TS Elliot's quote is an accurate portrayal of the company's overall approach. And that'

  • by DeadCatX2 ( 950953 ) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @07:33AM (#40420065) Journal

    Yeah, and if I were to buy Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Portal, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, and Team Fortress 2 on Steam, it would also be more expensive than buying the Orange Box.

    Price of Individual Games: $35.96
    Price of Bundle: $19.99

    Imagine that. The sum cost of the games exceeds the cost of the bundle. It's almost as if there's a discount on buying the whole package, and buying just an individual game would therefore be more expensive.

    In fact, JUST HL2 is $9.99. This one game represents about 50% of the cost of the bundle of 5 games, which "exceeds the product of the percentage of the" bundle "and the value of the entire" bundle.

    Hmmm....what did I just find in the Judge's ruling? From page 16 of the ruling...

    But according to Donohoe’s declaration, the license fee for that single patent, if licensed on its own rather than as part of a package deal that comprised the entire portfolio, would be “up to” 40 to 50 percent of the royalty for the entire portfolio—that is, up to $350 million.

  • by Rich0 ( 548339 ) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @07:33AM (#40420071) Homepage

    Slide to Unlock - It's not apples fault it was patented, they're using the system that that's there to be used. It's a crap system, but it's the one their is and that isn't apples fault.

    The thing is, none of the other major vendors has been doing that with phones. I don't see vendors suing each other over having green call and red disconnect buttons, and so on. I'm sure one of the vendors had that first.

    Just because a system allows you to be a sociopath doesn't mean I can't call you one when you abuse it.

    There's some guy living in a home down the street. I have never met him and have no idea if he is a nice guy or not. I can probably ruin his day by filing a lawsuit against him right now for some creatively-devised offense. It probably costs me all of $50 to do it if I'm willing to put in the time, and it will cost him thousands of dollars to fight off. Oh, I doubt I'll get anything for it, but I can certainly ruin his day, and there isn't a thing in the world he can do about it, and it is perfectly legal.

    So why don't I do it, even if the guy cuts me off on the road? Simple, I'm not a sociopath. If I were to start acting like one then I'd expect those around me to call me out on it (well, if I really were a sociopath I might not expect them to, but they'd be just as right to do it).

    What is legal has nothing to do with what is right. Being evil is a choice.

  • by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @07:37AM (#40420083)

    Fine - you read it. I'll apologize for being (as you say) a tit about it. But, your claim that 2.25% (correcting for the typo) is "fairly standard" is absolutely wrong and Posner makes a pretty clear point of demonstrating that Motorola's requested royalty rates were excessive.

    I strongly suspect that, had Motorola requested fair and reasonable rates for their patents, Apple would have cut them the check. 2.25% is unreasonable by any logical measure. And, to me, this is a point that I am shocked more people aren't outraged by. Motorola requesting royalty rates that are unfair and unreasonable on standards essential patents is the biggest threat to competition within the industry because it means they can outright prevent companies from entering. This is why companies are required to agree to FRAND terms on standards essential patents.

    I realize Motorola's enemy is Apple and there's a strong hate-on for Apple right now on Slashdot but Motorola's actions are ... bad. I don't understand why more people don't recognize this, regardless of who they're doing it to...

  • by stewbacca ( 1033764 ) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @09:03AM (#40420355)

    I think your piece is even more relevant now than it was the first time you posted it. In the context of TS Elliot's quote, just look at all the "bad artist" imitators Apple has caused since the original iPod. Most anti-Apple folks will say Apple copied this or that, but if you stop and look back to the start of the iPod/OS X era, you find many more people copying Apple and very few examples of Apple copying the competition. The only area where Apple has dropped the ball in that regard is with iOS 4 to iOS 5. There were a LOT of features in iOS 5 that Android had had for well over a year. But, as you have eloquently suggested, there are a finite amount of implementations, and when "the best" implementation is discovered, you should implement some version of it. Microsoft, for example, sees other's implementations and decide to try to be different, instead of just being good. They have become the "different for different's sake" company and they are failing. People don't want different, they want good.

  • by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Saturday June 23, 2012 @11:16AM (#40421013)

    Like a true brainwashed Apple zealot, forbidding things that you have no defense for.

    Yes, Apple stole the GUI and the mouse, Yes, they stole the ideas for a personal computer, laptop, MP3 player, iPod interface, tablets, touchscreen smartphones and they even stole their OS from open source projects.

    You certainly have an amusing definition of "steal".

  • by Cow Jones ( 615566 ) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @02:14PM (#40422155)
    What people object to is not that Apple is taking good ideas and improving on them, but that they then turn around and try to prevent others from doing the same. "No, these are MY rounded corners. You can't have them. Even if our design was inspired by German industrial designers from the 60s." That's not just silly, it's dishonest and cowardly.

I am a computer. I am dumber than any human and smarter than any administrator.