My gut feeling is this is a private argument between two CEOs that has spiraled into the public eye.
Google comes up with a free high quality, highly customizable, open source alternative to iphone OS that can turn any phone to a good phone. So all phone manufacturers have to do is concentrate on making a phone that looks like an iphone.
I don't like that fact that Apple is being a patent troll, but at the same time I think manufacturers just copying iphone form factor is being a bit tacky.
Who wants to bet that when ipad ships (and if it is a success) tablet manufacturers will start making tablets that copies the form factor of ipad?
Edit: Relevant to what I wrote earlier - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8547230.stm
No they aren't... patent trolls don't produce anything or use the patents they sue over. Apple is clearly using their patent portfolio to produce products.
You can disagree whether or not they should enforce their patents, but don't call them a troll. It weakens your argument.
- Purchases a patent, often from a bankrupt firm, and then sues another company by claiming that one of its products infringes on the purchased patent;
- Enforces patents against purported infringers without itself intending to manufacture the patented product or supply the patented service;
- Enforces patents but has no manufacturing or research base; or
- Focuses its efforts solely on enforcing patent rights.
- Asserts patent infringement claims against non-copiers or against a large industry that is composed of non-copiers
I think in this case the fifth definition applies?
Isn't this what the case will determine? If that is the situation then nobody really knows if there is infringement until the courts decide. They have also only filed against one company right now.
I don't agree with the action, but I don't think they even remotely qualify as a patent troll.
If you stretch the fifth definition to include Apple, then you would brand any company trying to enforce any patent against anybody a patent troll.
The iPad's form factor is a tablet, so I'd say it's a safe bet to say that tablet manufacturers will keep on manufacturing tab... I mean copying iPads form factor ;)