Patent Wars Hotting Up

AnotherJoe

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So Apple sues Samsung for producing minimilist black rectangular gadgets with buttons saying it is the only company allowed to produce such devices, and seems to get inital wins in Germany, Australia.

Samsung fights back saying Apple is using its wifi/3g patents illegally. Apple claims they are available under Frand, and now the EU is investigating both Apple/Samsung for their patent complaints.

And now Motorola has won an injunction in Germany to stop Apple selling Ipads/Iphones for violating Motorolas wifi patents.

Apple seems to have started this off by trying to monopolise the market by claiming for the most part frivolous and obvious tech (most 'borrowed' from previous devices) as its own. Now all the other tech companies are starting to retaliate - and what happens to us - we all end up paying extra to subsidise a bunch of fat lawyers who are just getting richer on the proceeds.

Freedom to customise vs Walled garden.

People should be free to choose.
 

Paul.

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Edit: read the frand bit wrong methinks.

FOSS patents is a very dry read, but a great resource if you are interested in this stuff.

http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/
 

AnotherJoe

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why do u think i have read the frand bit wrong?

Apples defense is that Samsung patents are available to use under frand terms. Samsung disagrees, and says the patents are not part of FRAND.

Its worth noting the sort of company Apple is. Whilst the other tech firms are willing to cross-license, Apple is not willing to do this and is instead trying to use its muscle to get rival products banned so it can have the market to itself . They seem to think they have the right to be the only company allowed to sell minimalist tablet designs. It will be interesting to see if this gets referred to the anti-trust commission as well.
 

Paul.

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I edited my coment because I missread your comment, my bad, should have explained that better in the last post. :)

On to the new stuff!

Samsungs patents are part of FRAND, because any technology used in an international standard (3G, Wifi, LTE etc) must be. It stands for Fair, Reasonable and Non Descriminatory, means you cant charge different rates for different companies (and is required by the anti competition lobies for a technology to become a standard). The problem Apple has, as occured with Nokia, companies keep trying to use very week FRAND patents against Apples very strong proprietary multi touch patents.

Nokia tried to arange a cross licensing deal to gain access to the Multi Touch portfolio. They grossly overpriced their FRAND patents to try to strong arm Apple. Apple refused to give access and pay over the odds for the patents, and inevitably went to court. Apple now pay the FRAND rate (same rate that the rest of the industry pay) and Nokia gained no access to the Multi Touch patents. Interesting how Nokia jumped in to bed with Microsoft barely weeks after that court case ended, no?

Why would Apple cross license its strong patents with anothers weaker patents? All patent are not equal. It would be like me offering to swap my bicycle for your car.
 

AnotherJoe

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Apple had to pay Nokia around $1B in damages and around $11.50 ongoing for each Iphone sold after it lost the patent case earlier this year.

Apples patents are dubious at best - they are mainly design patents. From the ridiculous (blank rectangle with smoothed edges and button(s)) to software based effects like scroll back bounce, again which have around before Apple claimed to have invented them.

Apple is now trying to patent various gestures - which is absurd. There is already software on various devices that lets you define you own gestures and what action to perform for each.

In my mind companies like Samsung, Motorola, Nokia come up with technology patents vital to the operation of mobile devices - such as 3G/wifi and (for a fee) make them available to other manufacturers because you are not allowed to have a monopoly. Then along comes Apple, who get access to these VITAL patents for a licensing fee, but then try and BAN - these same companies from the market because of the shape/colour of their devices. This is still trying to get a monopoly and should be stomped on in the same way.

I would add Apple only gained patents on SOME mulitouch gestures, and only by the US patent office - and was denied the trademark on the term multitouch even in the US. As has been discussed widely on the internet - multitouch was around years before it was included in the Iphone, Apple as usual tries to rewrite history to its own ends. Just because you made an pre-existing tech more popular does not give you the rights to own it.
 

Paul.

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Read between the lines on Nokia, Apple fought to pay the FRAND rate, same as every one else. They were refusing to pay a higher fee or cross license and they got what they wanted. Nokia made plans to exit the OS game shortly after, jumping in to bed with Microsoft who have a significantly stronger UI patent portfolio. Nokia got a big payday sure, but they did not achieve their objectives.

Samsung, Motorola and Nokia are not forced to become a standard, they choose too because its the only way to make money in the phone biz. FRAND is the other edge of the sword. I don't deny this tech isnt important, but do you remeber how badly phones sucked before 2007? Like it or not, Apple was a catalyst of change in the Mobile industry. Doesnt matter who you atribute the ideas to, you can't deny Apple caused a rapid increase in useability across the entire phone industry. How many companies significantly stepped up their game after 2007?

I think you are under valueing and over simplifing Apples patent portfolio. Claiming these bans are about the shape of the devices is a drastic over simplification, bordering on a lie.

But hey, were not going to convince each other are we? Cake anyone?
 

oldric_naubhoff

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AnotherJoe said:
I would add Apple only gained patents on SOME mulitouch gestures, and only by the US patent office - and was denied the trademark on the term multitouch even in the US. As has been discussed widely on the internet - multitouch was around years before it was included in the Iphone, Apple as usual tries to rewrite history to its own ends. Just because you made an pre-existing tech more popular does not give you the rights to own it.

I'm completly on your side AJ with this patent disputes circus. I mean, I can't understand who and how allowed a company patent interface features or design details! I don't even want to comment on patenting design. and patenting multitouch gestures, namely the effect of implementing some soft or hardware solution is just silly. I sense some fat bribe in American the patent office. I can undertand that code was patented, but if some other company arrives at the same solution using different means this is quite right. just an example. imagine some century ago Diesel or Benz trying to ban each other out from the market (don't know which one was first to invent engine) only because they invented something that made the weells roll so it could be used in automobile industry.
 

Paul.

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oldric_naubhoff said:
I can't understand who and how allowed a company patent interface features or design details! I don't even want to comment on patenting design.

Sigh. I dont want you to either. Cake anyone?
 

AnotherJoe

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Paul Hobbs said:
AnotherJoe said:
Just because you made an pre-existing tech more popular does not give you the rights to own it.

Apple bought fingerworks back in 2005, so pretty sure they own it :)

Wayne Westerman co-founder of fingerworks acknowledges that multitouch was already around back in the early 80s - 22 years before Apple bought Fingerworks and 13 years before Fingerworks was even incorporated.

Apple's case against Samsung in Holland was specifically about the Samsung Tab looking like the Ipad. Apple even went as far to photoshop them images to make them look even more like the Ipad. Theres no way you should be able to patent a black rectangular shape with buttons. Eventually I expect Apple to lose this one, and compensate Samsung for pay damages,costs and loss of sales.

The idea of granting patents to software is a very dangerous idea. Most coding solutions to a problem can be seen as obvious.

Copyrighting specific software is fine - patenting I strongly disagree with.

Remember the example earlier in the year when the US patent office granted someone the patent to a modified linked list. An obvious programming structure dating back to the early 60s. Any addition to this (such as a secondary of tertiary transversal path) is again obvious, and indeed widely used - yet someone was granted this patent. The US patent office tends to give out obvious patents which are only retracted when someone challenges them in court. The onus should be on proving your ownership and invention of when applying for a patent.

Its also a sad reflection of the times when such a media fuss was made over the death of Steve Jobs, yet the death of Dennis Ritchie was hardly even mentioned.

Dennis Ritchie was of course a co-founder of Unix and the creator of the C programming language. His contribution to modern technology is orders of magnitude more important. Practically even modern OS since the 70s has been written in C, plus 1000's of applications. He truly changed the face of modern computing.

Plus he didnt try to patent his creation.
 

hammill

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AnotherJoe said:
Paul Hobbs said:
AnotherJoe said:
Just because you made an pre-existing tech more popular does not give you the rights to own it.

Apple bought fingerworks back in 2005, so pretty sure they own it :)

Wayne Westerman co-founder of fingerworks acknowledges that multitouch was already around back in the early 80s - 22 years before Apple bought Fingerworks and 13 years before Fingerworks was even incorporated.

Apple's case against Samsung in Holland was specifically about the Samsung Tab looking like the Ipad. Apple even went as far to photoshop them images to make them look even more like the Ipad. Theres no way you should be able to patent a black rectangular shape with buttons. Eventually I expect Apple to lose this one, and compensate Samsung for pay damages,costs and loss of sales.

The idea of granting patents to software is a very dangerous idea. Most coding solutions to a problem can be seen as obvious.

Copyrighting specific software is fine - patenting I strongly disagree with.

Remember the example earlier in the year when the US patent office granted someone the patent to a modified linked list. An obvious programming structure dating back to the early 60s. Any addition to this (such as a secondary of tertiary transversal path) is again obvious, and indeed widely used - yet someone was granted this patent. The US patent office tends to give out obvious patents which are only retracted when someone challenges them in court. The onus should be on proving your ownership and invention of when applying for a patent.

Its also a sad reflection of the times when such a media fuss was made over the death of Steve Jobs, yet the death of Dennis Ritchie was hardly even mentioned.

Dennis Ritchie was of course a co-founder of Unix and the creator of the C programming language. His contribution to modern technology is orders of magnitude more important. Practically even modern OS since the 70s has been written in C, plus 1000's of applications. He truly changed the face of modern computing.

Plus he didnt try to patent his creation.
Fully agree about Dennis Ritchie. Of far more importance than pretty boxes.
 

AnotherJoe

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In Australia, Apples ban on Samsung Galaxy tab overturned, Apple's appeal is refused, and Apple liable to compensate Samsung for lost sales.

Apple loses cases in Netherlands and USA trying to have the Galaxy banned.

Apple still has a ban on Samsung Galaxy Tab in place in Germany.

Motorola wins case against Apple in Germany over wifi patent infringement, Motorola to be awarded damages for previous infringment, may seek ban or license agreement with Apple going forward.

Apples case trying to ban HTC phones from US - judgement due wednesday.
 

Paul.

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Microsoft and Motorola have 53 pattents in suit across 7 different courts. I think everyone is involved somewhere.

The big desisions are all to be made next year however. Its all getting a bit too dry to keep up for me, so think I will start ignoring it all untill the Oracle V Google case finishes. The tech blogs are all reporting very badly, FOSS patents is excelent but bores the crap out of me...

The big question (the only question that matters) is when all the patent suits finish, how much will Android cost to use in licensing fees for the phone manufacturers? Will wait and see I guess.
 

ukdavej

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Paul Hobbs said:
rubbish eh? Didnt realise the lesser 'C' word was considered a swear.

you mean "cake"??? - which incidently, despite your very kind offer earlier in this thread, I still haven't received as yet. I may have to consider legal action
 

Paul.

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its the one that rymes with rap...

How very rude of me, have some cake...

4616191939_155546892d.jpg
 

ukdavej

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Mmmmm cake :dance:

BTW Mr Hobbs, now we're sharing baked pleasantries, going way off topic, who is the lady in your avatar - I've always thought (in a totally platonic fashion I hasten to add) it to be quite splendid picture of a most attractive individual :)
 

AnotherJoe

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Apple has essentially lost its case with the ITC to ban HTC smartphones from sale in the US.
HTC was found to only infringe 1 out of 10 of the patents Apple initially sued them for.

Unfortunately for Apple this patent is only applicable to certain, older low-end HTC handsets running Android 2.2 or older, and HTC says
It will have a workaround available before any potential ban which would start on April 19.
 

Paul.

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Oh I wouldn't listen to what HTC says, they are just trying to pacify its shareholders. This is an exclusion order not a cease and desist, which does not limit to one specific product. Although it was targeted at 2.2 (as that was what was available at the time of the litigation) it sets a powerful precedent to go after all implimentations of Android.

HTC have already revised their statement to say they will remove this 'small UI experience' from their phones, but I sure as hell wouldnt want to go back to copy and pasting phone numbers and addresses to the relevant application. We shall have to wait and see in Aprill what HTC do.

And do you actually think that Apple only has 10 patents with which to sue HTC with? Unfortuately thats not how patent cases seem to work, no body wants to show their cards untill the last play so to speak. This is not the end of the game, Apple are still battling the minions trying to reach their master at the end of the film :)

Just curiously, this is all sounding a little one sided, did you not notice yesterday that the worlds oldest telecoms company has jumped in to the fray to sue Android? Thought that would have had some relevance on a UK based web page...
 

The_Lhc

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Paul Hobbs said:
And do you actually think that Apple only has 10 patents with which to sue HTC with? Unfortuately thats not how patent cases seem to work, no body wants to show their cards untill the last play so to speak. This is not the end of the game, Apple are still battling the minions trying to reach their master at the end of the film :)

Not that you're feeling smug about it at all... You honestly believe that this is a good thing don't you? That this is how business should be conducted? Let's take the following case:

Just curiously, this is all sounding a little one sided, did you not notice yesterday that the worlds oldest telecoms company has jumped in to the fray to sue Android? Thought that would have had some relevance on a UK based web page...

First point, they aren't suing "Android", they're suing Google, for a wide range of services, most of which are not to do with Android (but may also be available on Android) including the following:

"The six patents involved relate to location-based services, navigation and guidance information and personalised access to services and content.

One example of an alleged infringement is Android's ability to allow a music download if a smartphone is connected to a wi-fi network, but to prevent it when the device only has access to a 3G data link.

Another example is Google Maps ability to make different information available at different levels of zoom."

Now, maybe I haven't been paying attention but I'm not aware that BT offer ANY location-based services, navigation service or have any kind of mapping service that offers different information at different zoom levels. They *may* own patents that broadly cover those things but if they haven't done anything with them then why should they be able to "protect" those patents?

This one in particular - One example of an alleged infringement is Android's ability to allow a music download if a smartphone is connected to a wi-fi network, but to prevent it when the device only has access to a 3G data link - is just insane, that's such an obvious thing to do it shouldn't be possible to patent it. I'm reasonably sure the BBC iPlayer app on iOS could did that as well initially, so presumably BT will be coming after Apple and the BBC for that as well?

Either way Paul your blinkered fanboy attitude towards this is becoming increasingly difficult to put up with, if you don't understand that the current patent "system" (and I'm using the word loosely as "system" implies something that works and the patent system increasingly doesn't) is all but going to destroy any ability to innovate then 1) I feel sorry for you and b) in a few years I hope you'll be happy when you're surrounded by Apple technology and you can't do anything at all without a payment to and approval from Apple. But I get the feeling you'll be not just happy, but also pathetically grateful to your Apple-overlords, probably because your iBrain implant will be telling you to feel like that...

Either way, you'll be pleased to know this is the last time I'm going to engage you in conversation, it's just too depressing dealing with such slavish devotion. It's worse than religious fanatics and I don't talk to them either.
 

Paul.

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The_Lhc said:
Either way, you'll be pleased to know this is the last time I'm going to engage you in conversation, it's just too depressing dealing with such slavish devotion. It's worse than religious fanatics and I don't talk to them either.

I think you missed the point of my post on this one, I was merely chalenging the doom and gloom Apple is failing atitude of this thread. Chill!
 

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