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Apple granted preliminary sales ban of Galaxy Nexus (slashgear.com)
167 points by jtsai256 on June 29, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 190 comments

>According to Judge Koh, “Apple has articulated a plausible theory of irreparable harm” in its argument against Samsung and the Galaxy Nexus, because of “long-term loss of market share” along with “losses of downstream sales.”

This is not what "irreparable harm" used to mean. Apple's lawyers are celebrating tonight.

EDIT: If I plan to kill a cat, and you file a lawsuit to stop me, the judge may issue an injunction for me not to kill the cat until the lawsuit is complete. Humanity does not know how to unkill a cat, so if I did so while the lawsuit was pending, I would make the lawsuit moot and evade justice. That is "irreparable harm", at least if it's your cat.

On the other hand, if my actions are causing you mere monetary harm, we know exactly how to repair that: take money from me and give it to you. Injunctions should not be issued in such cases, because the plaintiff can always be made whole later on by simply receiving an appropriate amount of money.

Apple has managed to have a bogus patent issued - the patent, as far as I can tell, covers any sort of "search-as-you-type" system. Any sort. The Firefox awesome bar, Android search (every Android device that exists), Google Instant, any webpage with javascript autocomplete... you're all violating Apple's patent. And if Apple can find judges as friendly as Ms. Koh, all of these products can be taken off the market indefinitely.

And now they're grabbing up that stick and going to town with it.

It is irreparable harm considering they can't get back the monopoly/leading market-share effect at this very young stage of the tablet market.

i.e. Sales and profits now is a lot more important than Sales and Money later.

Doesn't that just mean more money though? I'd agree that the analysis of the damages would get pretty fuzzy at best if you're trying to account for such factors, but it's still ultimately just a loss of money.

That's the problem -- how do you calculate the lifetime value of that? It's not just lost sales, it's a substantial shift in the position of a huge corporation.

Here's another example -- Imagine how different things could be today if the AT&T lawsuits hadn't temporarily paralyzed the BSDs just as Linux was also emerging.

I can't even begin to quantify the cost of what could have happened if the lawsuit hadn't been filed by AT&T.

Can you tell some more detail about this AT&T lawsuit against BSD?


This stalled BSD development/adoption for 2 years while the legal status was in question.

Yeah, but AFAIK this economic model (and the Constitution) was supposed to work by trying to break monopolies, not encouraging them.

You do realize that a patent is a deliberately created, temporary monopoly.

Yes, and that's why I think (most) software patents are a crock of shit, same as most design patents. The very idea that someone can get a patent something like 'a tablet with a metal casing and rounded corners' is revolting.

But then, the whole patent system has been fucked up for umpteen years because of the way lawyers lay out the legalese on most patents. Something as specific as a new protocol to transfer data (say, SPDY) can be massaged into being a vague generic definition ("a binary transmission method designed to make HTTP-like data structures and operations possible in a more efficient manner") that could cover a lot of ground, giving the owner of the patent the power to halt innovation (ZeroMQ could very well fall under the umbrella defined of such 'patent') while giving exactly 0 benefit to anyone.

I'm just waiting for someone cheeky enough to come up with a vague wording for describing a 'wooden and/or plastic object designed with the purpose of holding items and or facilitating common household tasks' (i.e. a piece of furniture) and sue IKEA.

Where would Google be without the PageRank patent to give them a monopoly on search? Don't think many people have an issue with that.

Google has a patent on pagerank? If their algorithm was patented, it would be open for anyone to read and understand - just not to use. My understanding is their ranking is something they keep a closely guarded secret, and to apply for a patent on it would be silly.

Or was pagerank something they did early on and I'm mixing up two things.

You got it mixed up. They built Google on the (patented) PageRank algorithm, but have since improved upon it to such a degree that the what they currently use bears little resemblance.

I know less than little about most things, but wouldnt that m ake search engienes compete more, giving us, the users, better results?

I think there's a fine line where on one side inventors cant net a profit without a time-based monopoly but on the other side of this fine line it's just hurting competition.

Sort of. The average search results would have gotten a little better, but only because Excite/Altavista/etc would have poached some key early employees of Google and walked away with their algorithm, which was Googles key advantage back then. So the big incumbents would be able to use PageRank AND their pre-existing market share to destroy google easily. The huge leap forward in search (and it was a huge leap) would have never happened, because their would be no challengers who could match the purchasing power and market share of incumbents

what an absurdly wrongheaded statement, do you really think that Google depended on patent protection to stop others from using PageRank, and even if they did, how could it ever be conclusively proven that PageRank was used by somebody else?

What the hell? How is the PageRank patent not protection to Google? If Yahoo, LiveSearch and whatever other famous search engine just went ahead and ripped off Google then Google wouldn't be the Google we know now... Proving it shouldn't be any more difficult than asserting any patent. The defendant would have to show how they're ranking pages I would imagine, and if there's an infringement, they're found guilty.

"What the hell? How is the PageRank patent not protection to Google?"

Because it belongs to Stanford University, not Google.

Under exclusive license by Google. Basically the same as having the patent yourselves

Google's secret sauce has a lot less to do with page rankings and a lot more to do with how to do really cheap and efficient data processing.

So, if they had really crappy, but fast search results, they would be just as successful? That doesn't hold merit at all

Don't be silly. I'm not saying search results aren't important; I'm saying they're not difficult. The specifics of Google's algorithm have to stay secret to make it harder to game them, but the real "secret sauce" is the stuff they don't talk much about: custom built networking switches, smart power grids, and clever software like Map/Reduce. I bet R&D spends a lot more on that stuff than on figuring out how to improve ranking order.

But what you said was that the constitution was supposed to break monopolies. No it wasn't.

And the inverse, where Apple inflicts similar, irreparable harm to their competitors that are using "bogus" patents? Consider Apple is already a market leader, the implications are more damning in the opposite direction.

Your exact claim has been taken into account, just the opposite direction: "Apple was ordered to post a bond of $95 million to enact the injunction, which would be used to pay Samsung damages if the decision is later reversed."

Oh wow, interesting! Although of course if this really has such a definable cash value, why can't that just be part of the award if Samsung loses?

Damages are not symmetric: the damage to Samsung of a prophylactic injunction might be comfortably converted to a dollar value, while those to Apple might still be "irreparable".

> Apple has managed to have a bogus patent issued - the patent, as far as I can tell, covers any sort of "search-as-you-type" system

Is this from reading the claims, or from reading the introduction (whatever that's called)?

The patent in question:


I'm bad at legalese, but it seems to pertain to search-as-you-type amongst multiple libraries (songs, texts, emails, etc.)

So, basically what Launchy, Spotlight, Android's 'search' toolbar, even Google's homepage, have been doing for a decade now. Nice.

If you are correct, then Apple obtained this patent before any of these things you mentioned existed. I'd mention On Location as prior art though -- On Location was truly awesome.

Of course it is.

Apple can't get back lost sales and revenue as a result of patent infringement by their direct competitor.

You don't know anything about the law, but you felt you had to chime in, huh?

>Apple can't get back lost sales and revenue

Unless Samsung was, you know, required to write them a check. For damages. If they lost. Which is how such cases usually proceed.

Sure. If you naively assume that lost sales/revenue is just for the iPhone device itself.

But every lost sale of an iPhone is also one less person within the ecosystem. An ecosystem that plays off each of its elements to drive revenue e.g. iPhone user buys movies which they can only watch if they buy an AppleTV etc. It's borderline impossible to quantify all of the indirect revenue Apple would lose not just now but in the future.

How is it borderline impossible?

There's a technique pretty much every company that knows what's it doing applies to figure out exactly what you mentioned and it's called downstream impact analysis.

I'm absolutely 100% certain if you're an executive at Apple and you ask your finance department what the downstream impact is of an iPhone sale the finance department will come back with numbers for the profit variance when the customer wasn't already a customer, when they already were and a bunch of other scenarios.

I'm absolutely 100% certain that the analysis you speak of is an educated guess at best.

I think it is very easy to imagine irreparable harm being done.

In the words of the court, "The Court finds that the full extent of these losses would likely be unascertainable, difficult to calculate, and irreparable."

And I fully agree that the finance department would be able to calculate the expected profit per customer for today's products. But what about tomorrow's ? And the next year ?

Apple locks in the user at multiple points: apps, movies, TV shows, books, accessories etc.

You're using circular logic. "The court finds theory of irreparable harm to be plausible because the court finds that the full extent of these losses would be irreparable."

OP's entire argument is that the court's finding is incorrect and that's why its a victory for Apple's lawyers -- I think you're severely underestimating the forecasting techniques used, especially in a company as competent as Apple.

The OP did not address this argument, but merely asserted that no irreparable harm would be done because you could simply pay damages. The court has said that calculating damages is impossible.

It doesn't seem to me that incalculable implies irreparable but it's certainly a defensible position.

There is no such "technique". They can make educated guesses, but that's about it.

If the RIAA can sue Limewire for more than the GDP of this entire planet[1] for damages from file sharing, surely Apple can sue Samsung for downstream damages within their ecosystem.


Following from that logic, what about the harm that Apple is doing to the Android ecosystem by preventing the sale of these phones when they are supposed to be sold? If Apple can't prove what it claims, then what of the phones that are not sold in the meantime? Is that equivalent to the value of the bond? Where does that money go? Disclaimer: I am in no way a lawyer, but I think my familiarity with law is about the same as the familiarity of the judge with technology.

Samsung derived the bond amount which did seem awfully low at $96 million.

How many Galaxy Nexus devices do ou think Samsung is likely to sell? It's older hardware.

Of course it isn't.

It's easy to repair: Apple gets paid a fine.

This is almost a classic example of repairable harm.

The harm to Samsung is actually much worse (they are blocked, as opposed to just having to compete), yet the bond is supposed to make them whole.

I think it's unfortunate that taligent has been downvoted into the negatives, because he (or she) is correct.

How much is market leadership worth? How big of a check would Apple have to write RIM to restore their market advantage? How big of a check would Apple have to write Nokia to put them back where they were in the marketplace 4 years ago?

I'd argue that there is no check large enough to restore a lost market advantage. If Apple won their current market position through innovation, and Samsung is eroding it by taking advantage of that innovation counter to patent law, there's no reasonable amount Samsung could pay to set things to right.

Shouldn't the plaintiff though be the one to take on that risk?

If the damage of losing market share is truly irreparable, then the court would be doing irreparable harm to Samsung on the basis of Apple's unproven allegations.

As I understand it, a court ruling like this is based on an initial assessment by the Judge that Apple is likely to win, as the patent(s) are currently valid and it appears (to the Judge) that Samsung is violating them.

"If Apple won their current market position through innovation, and Samsung is eroding it by taking advantage of that innovation counter to patent law, there's no reasonable amount Samsung could pay to set things to right."

Let us say that first "If" is held by the judge as a given and that allows for him to deny the same rights to the other party. How does that work at all ?

When one of these gets overturned "there's no reasonable amount" Apple "could pay to set things"..."right.". How is that loss calculated ? Is it calculated at all ?

This automatic assumption after the cry wolf turns to nothing in the end and the plaintiff abused the law and the courts to retain commercial position while trying to cement its stand through jurisprudence.

This is a sad state of things and points to a needed overhaul, if not, it will just go on and on until it breaks in the end. Billions of dollars later, the "leaders" will have chocked everyone else not because of innovation but because of bad legislation that assumes too much at the preliminary stages based on incompetent assertions that cannot be equated like other parts of the law. Yet, here we are.

> I'd argue that there is no check large enough to restore a lost market advantage.

I think you're considering the status or intangible satisfaction of being the market leader. That is not what Apple's shareholders are interested in. They are interested in money. If Apple had the choice between getting a check for all the money they would ever earn for all their products and liquidating the company, vs. remaining in business, they would close their doors, cash the check and pop the champagne. And that check would be worth much more than a "lost market advantage."

Now they're probably not going to get such a check. But if not that's because the court will deem they don't deserve it. But the real reason they want this is that it will clearly do much more harm to Samsung than it will diminish their case against Samsung, better yet, they still get to bloody Samsung's nose even if the court eventually rules against them!

Apple hasn't innovated into market leadership for status or intangible satisfaction. They've done it because that's what you have to do to keep those "big checks" rolling in.

If Samsung gobbles up market share, a big check won't bring that back, and a check big enough to account for it would probably bankrupt Samsung (assuming you could ever calculate what that numer would be).

Let's pretend that Samsung drove Apple out of business by rapidly copying Apple's R&D and competing directly on price. Just how big of a check would be required to set things to right?

We can use an analogy instead of hypotheticals. Imagine I've stockpiled grain for the winter. Winter has arrived, and suddenly, so does the army. They commandeer my grain and promise to write a check for its market value. The next spring, I get the check in the mail. Unfortunately for me, my family already starved.

> If Samsung gobbles up market share, a big check won't bring that back...

This is just the point I'm trying to make. Apple doesn't want market share, so they don't care if it goes away for its own, sake, they care if it goes away if they lose money. That market share has a cash value to Apple that the jury could award them if they win their case.

> my family already starved.

Yes, exactly, that is irreperable harm. Whereas in this case, nobody is starving. Apple is losing some finite amount of money, and some finite potential for future earnings, which they are suing Samsung for and could be awarded in damages if the jury sides with them.

In the limit, imagine Samsung stole the whole market from Apple. The jury could award Apple the total market value of Samsung. That would literally be the value of whatever market share Samsung had "stolen" from them.

Unlike life, market share has a finite cash value.

Why are you bringing up such a hypothetical, when clearly Apple isn't anywhere near starvation at all from the impact of the Nexus? If they aren't near starvation, why should they recover the maximum "lost market advantage", if that would only increase the likelihood of them becoming a monopoly?

If there is real infringement, why not offer Samsung the option of licensing the patent at a court-determined price? And shouldn't economic/market-health considerations be taken into play? Current law might not allow for these two points, but maybe they should be considered.

> Why are you bringing up such a hypothetical, when clearly Apple isn't anywhere near starvation at all from the impact of the Nexus?

The analogy was intended to demonstrate that when you purloin (or commandeer) someone else's property, it's sometimes impossible to restore their previous hypothetical future, no matter how much money you throw at them.

Apple may not starve, but they may very well be irreparably harmed.

> If there is real infringement, why not offer Samsung the option of licensing the patent at a court-determined price?

See my grain commandeering analogy for why. Apple doesn't want to license these patents to Samsung, because Apple clearly thinks the temporary government-granted monopoly is worth far more than any reasonable licensing fee.

> And shouldn't economic/market-health considerations be taken into play?

The market seems quite healthy, currently.

> it's sometimes impossible to restore their previous hypothetical future, no matter how much money you throw at them.

And my point is, why should it be necessary under the law to restore their hypothetical future?

The law doesn't presume to restitute the full losses of people whose property is destroyed by others' acts. I don't have the impression the law generally aims to completely undo big violations of others' rights or contractual terms, only to punish or provide partial restitution after the fact; otherwise we'd be seeing big reversals and small startup Davids suddenly overpowering Goliaths who had unfairly crushed them out of existence.

Not that this even applies in this case; Apple is no small scrappy David, and it's relying on imo broken patents.

> Apple doesn't want to license these patents to Samsung, because Apple clearly thinks the temporary government-granted monopoly is worth far more than any reasonable licensing fee.

I meant that the court should compel Apple to offer the licensing option, not that it would benefit Apple to do this. Ideally, though, the court should simply overturn the patents (which I hope is done in the subsequent hearings). Patents on metasearch, linkification and slide-to-unlock simply threaten the rest of the industry.

I am absolutely going to persuade my mother to switch to an Android in a few months' time. And then recommend it to every friend of mine who's upgrading their phone, mentioning in passing that Apple has actually gotten Galaxy Nexuses and Tabs blocked in the US. I'm glad Android is actually good enough at this stage for me to do this.

The '604 search patent is a big hot mess of ideas thrown together to cover all sorts of "maybe-this-maybe-that" use cases and potential improvements. It basically means having a unified search system that relies upon "search heuristics" for multiple domains. Like the other allegedly infringing patents in the case, it's another broken patent that IMO shouldn't have been granted. Does anyone know of prior art (prior to Dec '04) for a search mechanism that obtains search results from multiple domains using sub-plugins and combines them into a list? That seems to be the core of the idea, and further ideas are thrown on top of it in the patent application thereafter.

Read it yourself at http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sec...

> Does anyone know of prior art (prior to Dec '04) for a search mechanism that obtains search results from multiple domains using sub-plugins and combines them into a list?

Google was doing this two months prior to Apple's filing: http://www.google.com/press/pressrel/desktopsearch.html

Well, in the mobile space everyone is suing everyone else. Google is using Motorola for that and are banning in Germany important parts of Apples e-mail and iCloud services.


Because of that and as a German I wont ever buy Android and also telling my friends.

> [..] in the mobile space everyone is suing everyone else. [..]

> Because of that and as a German I wont ever buy Android and also telling my friends.

So you won't ever buy anything ever again? As you say yourself it's the whole industry that is playing this game, so it seems unfair to take it out on just one company. Biased much?

There used to be plenty of search sites that were querying multiple search engines and showing a combined result set.

I hope that before doing that you will do a little bit more research who was trying to get ban on something and after that will save some money.

Apple is implicitly admitting Samsung is a huge threat to them.

Apple has intelligent people making these decisions. So they know in their heart of hearts that the patents they hold are overly broad to the point of bogusness. They know that the majority of the tech market is also intelligent enough to come to this same realization. They have an awareness that lawsuits exercising these quasi-bogus patents will have a negative impact on Apple's public image. Therefore, the only logical reason for going through with the lawsuits is because they have concluded that the alternative -- letting Samsung + Google have their way in the mobile market -- would be far more damaging to Apple.

Apple's interests aside, is this good for society at large? Doubtful.

You don't have to be a huge threat to be worth squeezing money out of. Huge threat? I don't think so.

Samsung is the only other player making any real profit in the industry, so they are definitely Apple's largest competition at this point. Unless MS does something crazy with Windows Phone 8. They're important.

But I don't agree with huge threat. At this point, Apple may be able to take a year off from releasing a new iPhone (despite not having true 4G) and not suffer significantly in the long term. It's not a good idea, but I bet they could.


Exactly right Apple is scared about this. The phone market is slipping through their fingers and they're willing to do whatever it takes to get their grip back.

It turns out their one-size-fits-all approach really doesn't fit all so they go patent nuclear on Android while borrowing a lot of Android's ideas along the way. I'd love to see Google sue the shit out of them for stealing their notification system.


“Yet Apple's iPhone and iPad business remains more lucrative. The Cupertino, California-based company earned $11.6bn (£7.2bn) in the January-March quarter, more than twice as much as Samsung, even though its revenue was about 10% less.”

Nope. But it's a great deal of (nasty) fun watching a former hundred pound weakling pulverizing three gorillas at once in the ring.

When Apple was a weakling, it wasn't even in competition with Samsung, and Google didn't exist.

It's not fun, imo, watching a gorilla (one might say the biggest one) pulverizing three others.

The -4 on my post argues you're right. :) But nonetheless, I'm popcorn.giffing over this whole kerfuffle.

Apple has descended into hell, rose again from the dead, ascended into marketshare heaven, and is seated at the right hand of Oracle the Litigant almighty. From there it will judge the clone and the KIRF.

I believe in the Holy Mothership, the holy Apple Store, the communion of Genii, the forgiveness of GSODs, the resurrection of the product cycle, and maddeningly ill-thought-out and sporadic iLife updates everlasting. Amen.

It's more like Samsung explicitly admitting that they cannot find a way to unlock a phone without the swipe gesture.

Well that's nearly impossible when a tap is a zero length swipe.

I'm starting to hate Apple more and more.

Apple: Are your products so terrible that you have to force people to buy them by preventing any other competition?

I think it may be time for high profile developers to boycott Apple till they stop acting like this.

Are your products so terrible that you have to force people to buy them by preventing any other competition?

Let’s say I invent and patent carbon fibre and start making bicycles out of it. My bicycles are vastly superior to lightweight steel, aluminium, and scandium framed models on the market.

Are my products terrible? Obviously not!

Now my competitors rush out to make carbon fibre bicycles of their own. I sue. Am I saying that my products are terrible and can’t compete? No, I’m saying my products are excellent and can easily compete against my competitors’ actual products.

But obviously I’m going to be less successful competing against my own product and my own inventions, which is what happens when my competitors simply copy my ideas.

This specific case is one where Apple alleges it is competing against its own innovations. It’s fair to argue that the competition didn’t copy them. But if we accept the court’s ruling that the competing products are infringing on Apple’s patents, then Apple is not making “terrible” products that can’t compete against its competition, Apple is making excellent products that are obviously going to be less successful competing against itself.

Except that isn't what is happening here. If you wanted a bicycle metaphor, apple has invented a wonderful carbon fibre bicycle that everybody wants. Then, despite the fact that bicycles have existed for a hundred years, they got patents on things like "using levers to shift" and "building a frame out of tube-like structures". And now, every time somebody starts to make a bicycle that is even remotely competitive, they get sued.

Do you really think that apple invented search-as-you-type? Did they invent the concept of using a date picker to set a meeting? Do they really deserve a patent on thin rectangular things? No, that is all bullshit and it is shameful that the courts are willing to be bullied (or bought) into playing along with this farce.

Those are fine arguments against Apple’s business strategies, but not arguments that Apple’s products are terrible and/or inferior. Especially not arguments that Apple’s products are inferior to whatever-it-was that its competitors were doing before Apple introduced the iPhone.

Nobody said its products are inferior. The argument _is_ against its business strategies, which is quite absurd, to say the least. I think the reason why ars advocated a boycott was as a 'protest' to show Apple that it must not partake in such activities. And please please don't give me the argument that Apple is a corporation that exists only for its profits etcetc. There are ways to maximize your profit without being so paranoid

I was replying to someone who said: "Are your products so terrible that you have to force people to buy them by preventing any other competition.”

I accept that you don’t say that their products are terrible. I certainly like their products while disliking the innovation-killing patent-circus. The eventual end-game is an oligopoly, and I think this is a net loss for humankind.

The sentence you quote is a question, not an assertion. It's also clearly a rhetorical question and the implied answer is "no".

I took the less literal meaning of the statement, as more of a "do you have so little faith in your product's ability to compete in the open market" though perhaps I'm being too generous.

I took it the same way, although as you can see from my response, my assertion is that Apple do have faith they can compete in the open market against their competitor’s original designs and products.

The open question concerns any company "competing in the open market" against companies that simply clone successful products without limitation or restriction. Essentially, the question asks Apple how much faith it has that its products can compete against its products.

You're trying to apply common-sense to law. That doesn't work. The court has to assume the patent is valid until it's proven otherwise. The patent was legitimately granted though it can and will be challenged. This is important because it explains why these patents are continuously being tested in the court. Apple is being offensively sued by various parties themselves. They need to have strong patents that have been validated by court rulings to defend themselves. Companies are less likely to sue Apple if they have a strong war chest of patents. The reason certain companies are able to get 'picked on' is the lack of a strong war chest to defend themselves. Samsung is a very rich company yet they are getting it from both Apple and previously Microsoft who simply offered licensing. Apple could easily find themselves in the same situation if they don't play by the absurd rules.

do you really think blatent patent trolling of competitors is all just a defensive move?

don't hate the playa, hate the game

none of these companies are leveraging truly novel patents in their lawsuits. few of these companies are even generating novel patents. they're all accumulating (likely bogus) patents to wield as a club against their competitors. the theory was mutual assured destruction would keep all parties in line but Intellectual Ventures pioneered tactical patent strikes that forced all players into an ever escalating cycle of violence. now they're all just scrambling trying to stay ahead. put simply, it's sue or be sued

it sucks, but until there's meaningful patent reform, it's how things are going to be

don't hate the playa, hate the game

That is by far the most despicable cliché I know. You choose which games to play and how to play them. The whole point of having principles is that sometimes you do things that aren’t optimal game strategies.

For example, you choose not to murder your business competitors. You choose not to sell products that kill your customers. Do we let tobacco executives off the hook because they’re just “playing the game?” How about the cocaine cartel?

A gentle way to put it is, “This is a false dichotomy. Hate them both."

This is more along the lines of you inventing and patenting carbon fiber, then winning an injunction against someone who built a frame made of spider silk and titanium on the grounds that you are the sole inventor of "lightweight, rigid bicycle frames".

When you go to court with patents like the 4 Apple is leaning on, the perception of playing dirty because you're losing "fairly" is logical, and probably reasonably apt.

Consider for a minute how much tech is in the iPhone that was not invented by Apple. They were standing on the shoulders of decades of telecommunications and computer science research, perfected an existing invention (there were touchscreen devices before) and patented the hell out of it. Should all other cellphone manufacturers suddenly be locked out of the industry? Shouldn't patents benefit society, instead of enabling one company to hold an entire industry hostage with dubious claims?

It always depend on how significant the "innovation" is.

Do you think "Slide To Unlock" or "Universal Search" is what makes the IPhone a great phone? I can't equate any of these patents to carbon fiber.

It doesn't really bother me that these trivial patents were granted to Apple. It is how Apple is using it to basically take out the competition.

I think that some people need to stop their blind love of Apple products and take a step back and look at how unethically Apple is behaving in some of these cases. Just because you think your gadgets are sexy and cool doesn't mean Apple can do whatever it wants. Competition exists for a reason, I know that most people here are smart enough to recognize that.

It's obviously a ridiculous patent, so Apple can not possibly claim their competitors are piggy backing on their expensive research in this case.

Also, let's ride with the carbon fibre example. Is it really desirable that the world will have to wait for 50+ years until carbon fibre bicycles can be made accessible to the mainstream? Let's not forget that it is the public, proxied by the government, who grants patents, so obviously they should only grant patents if it benefits the public. This is not the case with patent trolling, because it only stiffles innovation (basically you need an army of lawyers to do anything interesting) and drives up prices.


I don't think gp's point maximizing Apple's gain but simply shaming Apple into better behavior. Sure, it's better for you if your competition isn't allowed to use any of your innovations. But why not show you are so good you don't need all the advantages you are legally entitled to?

Skilled developers defending software patents is shameful. You should know better.

"Skilled developers" need to understand the system as it exists today or they will fail. Raganwald wasn't defending software patents; he was explaining the fallacious thinking in the parent's comment.

Software patents are a horrible joke, but to stick your fingers in your ears and shout "I can't hear you!!!" won't result in a positive outcome for your company. As much as it makes my stomach turn, I'm forced to consider the ramifications of patent and IP (especially now that it's first to file instead of first to innovate) nearly every day.

I completely agree with you ars, Apple is getting totally out of hand. They are becoming what Microsoft was in the 90's and it absolutely sickens me.

Consumers have the right to choose what products they want to buy.

I have been slowly switching away from the Apple products I own. And this just reaffirms that I will never buy another Apple product.

"They are becoming what Microsoft was in the 90's and it absolutely sickens me." Once you become the dominant player your mentality shifts from cocky upstart with nothing to loose to fat cat incumbent that thinks of nothing but protecting your turf.

You might notice all of your friends who were liberal and poor in their 20's start voting conservative in their 40's once they have material wealth to protect - "less taxes! less government!"

"You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain."

Also, all the liberal social causes you believed in when you were in your 20's are now the status quo, and the new crazy social causes are inconceivable to you now.

So boycott Apple and do what. Jump over to Android ?

Would that be the same Android platform that has the main OEMs (Samsung, HTC, Google) under FTC/EU investigation for anti competitive behaviour due to FRAND abuses. Abuses which undermine the entire foundation of key IT/CE standards.

The fact is that nobody's hands are clean. It's a bloody mess that is only going to get worse.

Hard to feel sorry for "abuses" against the initial aggressors.

Florian, is that you?

Well dont buy from Samsung or HTC then, youre acting like Apple, Samsung, and HTC are the only options.

Theres many other companies like Asus or you can even go with Windows Phone which is pretty awesome these days, the main con about WP (it has no apps) that everybody says is pretty much invalid now since it had about 100,000+ apps.

While I share a similar sentiment of disliking Apple's litigious nature as of late, can you really blame the company for attempting to protect its intellectual property?

Yes. It has the choice not to (ab)use the law in this fashion and yet it does. Assuming free will - which is the only sane assumption to keep this conversation focused and tractable - then yes. I can blame them for their own actions.

Especially since Apple's long-standing mottos are think different/we do things differently to the rest of the pack.

They do.

Make no mistake - all the major smartphones out there are infringing someone else's patent. If this is the precedent, next thing we'll have iPhones banned for infringing on Motorola, and Windows Phones banned for infringing on RIM patents.

This is bad news for consumers, bad news for innovators.

Everyone loses.

I support your comment, but the lawyers are making a killing.

Infringing on patents pooled to create standards is different (viz Motorola). your patent goes into the standard in exchange for your agreeing to make it available for a reasonable price. This is obviously a Good Thing or standards would not be created or adopted.

Similarly, the price of simpy ditching patents would be the proliferation of trade secrets and obfuscated mechanisms.

For the last couple of years I have been trying to stay objective about this (I actually do quite a bit of iOS programming in my day job in addition to Android) and have always tried to be more pro-android than anti-Apple, but I am finally done trying to walk the fence. Enough of this bullshit. Its time for consumers to be aware that every time they buy an Apple product, they are damaging the software industry and the spirit of innovation. Its like buying blood diamonds. Sure they are pretty but the cost isnt worth it.

My question: Is there a central point for sending out this message? I would love to see someone setup a messaging page like "Say No to Apple" or something like that that I can link to. Some activity the level of the SOPA blackouts would be awesome (though probably not realistic, but hey, I can dream), with JavaScript popups for idevices etc.What about things like Twitter badges or sidebar widgets that we can install on our blogs, profile pages etc?

I think the normal folks (consumers) don't get how bad this is.

For all that time, Apple's iOS strategy has been reducing developers to sharecroppers and selling deliberately crippled appliances instead of human-worthy tools. The average consumer is fine with that; there isn't even a majority of hackers here somewhat troubled like you were. So why would this suddenly be objectionable to them?

Boy, they are getting a lot of mileage out of that regular expression "data tapping" patent, even though people were doing the same thing years before, including a NeXTStep app released with source and published on USENET in 1995 1 year before the Apple patent was filed


IBM Simon(1993/4) also had the same functionality[0].

Also, it seems that their main patent(8,086,604[1]) for this case describe a metasearch engine, something that have been around at least since the mid 90s(long before the patent was filled in 2004).

[0] http://youtu.be/wnFsJ9z_caY?t=1m57s (warning: terrible video quality ahead) [1] http://goo.gl/jjG1P

Is this kind of stuff not brought up in court? How can you possibly patent something that already existed?

IANAL, but as far as I my very limited understanding goes. Prior art isn't verified when a patent application is applied. Only after that, when someone files a suit trying to invalidate the patent. Which is a separate case from the injunction. So Samsung would have to file a separate suit to invalidate the patents. If then win that, then and only then, they'll be able to stop the injunction by saying Apple patents are invalid. Which of course, would cost Samsung a lot of money and time.

So you can file any bogus patent, the USPTO won't verify. They'll only check if all the paperwork is in order. It will only matter if your patents are bogus if someone tries to invalidate it.

Or am I talking crap? Please correct me where I'm wrong, I'd love to learn more.

IANAL either but I'd say you've basically got it right that the USPTO is happy to give out patents that a court will invalidate when someone with the money to shoot them down is involved. But I wouldn't go as far as to say "you can file any bogus patent, the USPTO won't verify". They're simply more forgiving with what constitutes novelty and non-obviousness.

I'd also think that the injunction could be removed if Samsung can show that they aren't causing irreparable harm, even if they are indeed infringing a legitimate patent.

iAnal so iCant help you...

In theory the Patent Office is supposed to check for prior art, but in practice the Patent Office's budget has remained constant for the last few decades while the number of patents they had to deal with increased exponentially. At first this resulted in a backlog, but then Congress passed a law saying that they couldn't have a backlog. So now patents are subject to less and less scrutiny.

The unfortunate thing is that our other laws assume that the Patent Office is able to do its job - patents are presumed to be valid unless you go through the legal hoops necessary to invalidate one. And being in the process of going through those legal hoops isn't a defense when the patent holder sues you for infringement, so there's really little benefit for you to go through them in the first place.

Does this kind of thing make anyone happy? Does anyone feel better about Apple the company because of this?

It would be nice if supposedly innovative companies could, you know, just keep innovating instead of worrying about copycats catching up on stale technology (in this case, I don't think it's even clear that there is any sort of copycat-like activity).

Apple makes a few excellent products, but this kind of thing lowers my impression of the brand overall.

Since everyone is suing everyone else I don't know why people want to single out Apple. They got hit pretty hard by Nokia a couple years ago. I think they learned a hard lesson about how the game really works. I don't know how to draw the distinction between Apple offensively suing Samsung and Motorola offensively suing Apple -- or for that matter Samsung counter-suing Apple. It's all the same game and everyone is playing by the same rules. It seems the biggest difference is Apple (and Microsoft via licensing) are having success while companies who were best known for selling microwaves 5 years ago are losing. I don't mean to mock Samsung because they do make pretty good devices but the time-line is simply on Apple's side here.

Actually, IMO the Nokia lawsuit is a great example of why everybody picks on Apple and how Apple has changed the rules of the game.

The old rules of the game were that

1) all the big guys cross-licensed each other's patents 2) the big guys got together to create standards and used patents to monetize these standards.

Note that the old rules of the game weren't particularly fair to the little guys, but at least they weren't the mutual destruction that Apple has started.

Apple is a big player in #2, receiving a fair portion of the MP4 licensing profits, for example.

But of course, Apple being a relatively new phone maker doesn't have any skin in the "phone standards" game, and has to license them from the older players like Qualcomm, Nokia & Motorola. The standards agreement force these guys to license in a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory fashion (FRAND).

Nokia said that a patent cross-license was FRAND. If Apple were good guys, they would have agreed -- they could get these phone-essential patents for less or even no money. However, they were reserving these patents for offensive purposes, so Nokia & Apple couldn't come to an agreement, essentially forcing Nokia to sue them.

What if you are the innovative company and somebody is coming along and stealing every innovation you put in front of the market? Since they are one step behind, they don't have to spend money on the innovations that fail, thereby having much lower costs than you do?

This is much more complicated than "Dude, Apple are such duches. They can't think of anything new so they just sue everybody."

IP protection in the US (and world, thanks to treaties) is seriously messed up. Apple is aggressive, but it is naïve to think any large company wouldn't be (and small companies need to recognize that!).

Well, yes, but the trouble here is the particular patent for which this injunction was granted. If they had used patents that were actually innovative things which their competitors were copying then I'd be sympathetic. But a really vague patent that covers search stuff? Really? Is that what makes the iPhone so great that Google skimped on R&D costs by simply copying?(I know Samsung is the defender here, but it's a software patent and the software was written by Google)

This just doesn't make sense. While I understand your point of view from a patents-in-general perspective, I simply cannot sympathize with Apple in this particular case. I concede that they are operating within legal bounds but I cannot give them the moral high ground of being poor oppressed inventors who are being copied.

It makes me happy. They're beginning their transition away from being a tech company to being IBM. 100 million is a drop in their bucket full of cash. However, 100 million is a few insanely great engineers and a product they're never going to build. because they're starting to move away from the "just be better" method of making stuff.

For all those "I am not buying Apple product anymore"—will you please also shut up about Apple then? Thanks. Because if you truly cared you would go for fixing situation with pattents.

Consumer boycotts against companies abusing the patent system might be a very effective way to start. Suddenly companies might be interested in fixing the system in order to repair their tarnished reputations.

Not that the idea of a boycott against Apple would ever fly.

It makes Apple happy. But fuck them. I will not spend a dime on their products anymore (iPod/iPhone 3/Iphone 4 owner).

I agree with you and I am feeling a little guilty for just having received my new Macbook Pro (had an old macbook white previously). I am just not being happy buying their products anymore in consequence of their actions. I am using Android phones for a few years and it just feels right to me, I think it is because my views are much more aligned with Google.

This is particularly sad because the Galaxy Nexus is a brilliant phone running stock Android. I've found the stock Android ICS experience to be much better than what you can find with a version of Android modified by the vendor (at least for the other phones I've seen). I'm pretty sure it's one of the best options for Android phones, period.

What other options have you tried? My experience with stock ICS (AOSP based ROMs) are terrible, the GUI is unintuitive, simplistic to the point of being ugly and rather limited in functionality as opposed to older versions of MIUI (not based on ICS). Sense is not only ugly, but slow too, I have not tried touchwiz to comment on that.

What A Patent Hell.

FYI: The patents held against Android:

1. A means of detecting and marking up data like a phone number or an e-mail address, and then initiating a phone call or an e-mail when the linked data is clicked

2. A means of searching multiple databases and sources for data.

3. A slide to unlock feature.

4. An autocorrect-type function that completes the word as a user types and allows the user to accept or reject the word.

This must be a joke!

Seems like the reason the US patent system is so fucked-up is the logical disconnect between the two following concepts:

* The USPTO approves most patents applications without the most cursory examination by a qualified person. * Patents granted by the USPTO are assumed to be valid unless overturned by a court of law.

You can't have it both ways and still expect a logical result.

And seriously, how the hell did #4 up there even get approved? Did the examiner rubber-stamping that mess seriously never in his entire life use Microsoft Word?

As to (4), patent attorneys earn the big bucks for writing the patents in as obfuscated a manner as possible. That lets them get the patent past the Patent Office by saying "Look how very narrow our patent is" and its granted on those grounds, but when they go to sue other companies they choose an interpretation that amounts to the text in the grandparent, so that they can sue the maximum number of people.

That is not the wording of the patents so your post is nonsense.

Judge Koh was a Silicon Valley patent litigator from 2000-2008 before being appointed a judge. Makes me wonder what companies she represented.

Rather than cast aspersions on her credibility I think this actually bolsters it to learn this. At least she has deep expertise in a (very flawed) system.

This pathetic innuendo is typical of so much of contemporary American debate. If you have something to say, say it. This "makes me wonder" style is just a gutless, moronic attempt at mud slinging.

The Galaxy Nexus is stock Android. Apple is suing Samsung because of stock Android software - not firmware, not hardware, but software.

Is there a legal reason Apple is suing Samsung instead of Google, or is it tactical / political?

Because Samsung is shipping a device with the software. Parent law does require that the patent be tied to a physical device. IANAL.

Indeed. Source code is speech, and speech cannot infringe patents. (Not saying this is logical, that's just what the case law says.)

That's why you can build an mp3 player from source without paying the license fee, but Debian can't ship you a compiled mp3 player.

So if shipping source only is perfectly legal, what's to stop OEMs from simply shipping infringing components as source only and compiling on first boot? Strictly speaking, the user initiated the compile (by powering on the device), so Samsung would be in the clear. Technically legal, but I have the feeling this wouldn't survive court.

> Indeed. Source code is speech, and speech cannot infringe patents. (Not saying this is logical, that's just what the case law says.)

Are you sure about this? So I could write any patent-infringing code I want, distribute source-only (or even write it in a purely interpreted language) and then nobody can complain that I've violated any of their patents?

This seems to be based on the most bogus of Apple's patents - things like "slide to unlock" (something used on physical door's for hundreds of years, moving it to pixels doesn't suddenly make it inventive) and auto-converting data to links (well documented back into the 90's.

It's a shame that the places where Apple really moved forward are not where they are exploiting their patents. It seems, those ideas were already beyond Apple's ability to patent, so instead they got a bunch of bogus stuff through and are using it anyway. It really besmirches their actual amazing record of inventiveness that they take rubbish like this forward. I hope these all get overturned.

Those who can compete, do. Those who can't litigate.

Given their profitability, Apple is just doing both.

So this actually _is_ about software patents this time, and clearly anti-innovation. I dare anybody to argue that the patent system as it is does not hinder innovation in software.

I don't think it's a software patent problem. But it is a ridiculous patent problem. Who could consider checking two databases is a significant innovation over consulting one.

Apple has clearly lost it. Whatever once made them cool and different is long gone and all that remains is a pseudo-legalese ganster, using its giant pool of money to hinder software development at the cost of everyone else.

You cannot be a software-developer and support this monster with your money. As a software developer there should be no way you can support this.

Apple is the SCO of this decade.

I guess not every judge can be an Alsup.

Koh was a patent litigator before becoming a judge, Alsup is a mathematician who served as a special counsel in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.

Her bias is showing. How embarrassing.

I really wish I hadn't read this just as I start the weekend. I've been irreparably harmed by the high blood pressure it has caused within me.

Ok, so I just went ahead and ordered a Galaxy Nexus phone. I've been meaning to do this for a while now to see if I want to port my apps to the Android platform, and here Apple just pushed me to do it. :/

This actually got me wondering if Google has ever sued someone in the same manner and it does not appear as if they have. I find that very interesting - does anyone have any links to the contrary?

Google (like many tech companies, I think?) promises their employees that patents will only be used defensively.

The only related example is that Motorola Mobility recently began a patent suit against Microsoft and then Google acquired them (in that order) so it's unclear whether that promise applies.

Irreparable harm seems to imply that this could hurt Apple in a major way.

But it's easy to see what game-changing technology is. Look at what people want in a phone:


There's tens of similar surveys published online. None of them include "search-as-u-go". In fact Apple doesn't seem to think that it's that big enough of a deal to promote. They advertise tens of features & this isn't one of them. And that's because it's expected (everyone uses it already) or it's not that important to a buyer when choosing a phone to purchase.

It's just not reasonable to assume that the "search-as-u-go" technology could give any sort of significant advantage to Samsung to be the cause of a shift in market share or something with similarly unascertainable consequences, which is precisely what the ruling of irreparable damage relies on.

How have we not abolished patents yet? This is ridiculous, and everyone appears to know it except that judge.

Especially sad considering how people in the tech industry use and promote Apple products. Sadly, I'm a user of MBP too. All of the "hackers" these days use Mac laptops to write in Javascript/Ruby/other_todays_hyped_language. All to satisfy the consumeristic needs of population. And frankly you can't do much with the platform anyway - Apple disallows JIT and other low level stuff on iOS. They move towards the same restrictions on MacOS X, starting with Mac App Store Apps. I wouldn't be surprised if in few years they disallow installing apps not through the app store. Fuck you, Apple! Your soul interest is to make more and more cash.

Apple Corp. sucks as a member of society. As one of the wealthiest and most successful companies on earth they continue to play dirty by abusing the patent system for their advantage. Most of the patents they are "protecting" are describing pretty obvious ideas that any group of good engineers working on this class of devices would bump into, and this behavior does not benefit society in any way. They are clearly protecting a virtual monopoly on tablets by fighting with patents rather than focusing on out innovating the competition. I hope their will one day be real competition in this space.

If Apple keeps pissing off all the vendors it needs to work with, pretty soon they'll have to start fabbing their own fucking chips for their phones.

This is getting out of hand. And I'm blaming Apple for most of the lunacy.

You are all way to biased about the whole thing. Thing about it. They just freaking copied Siri. Would you feel cool if someone else just copies your innovative product feature. Apple has all right to sue them and get them blocked.

You can hate my comment. You can down vote me. You can hate Apple as much as you like but all of you know before there was iPhone and iPad there was nothing close to any of it. So how can anyone say all other companies aren't copying? Eric Schmidt just stole every inch of the iPhone...

> They just freaking copied Siri.

This article is about the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which doesn't have any integrated voice assistant as far as I am aware.

> Eric Schmidt just stole every inch of the iPhone...

While it may be true that Android has "stolen" certain things from the iPhone, there are also plenty of things that the iPhone has also "stolen" from Android. Saying Android copies everything that Apple does while Apple continues to build everything from the ground up is completely unfair.

AFAIK you would voice assistant in Android 4.1 which is damn similar what Apple introduced with Siri. I really can't understand how some people can just ignore the fact that there happens a big stolen product here. How on earth will you argue that Google has now a similar voice assistant like Siri without copying Siri. You don't want to say it is coincendence, do you?

People always claim Apple had stolen from Android too but they never can give any evidence. What did Apple copy from Android which become a major selling factor? Copy paste? No. Multi touch? No. Multitasking? No. App Store? Hello no!

Please just tell me how entrepreneurs all seem to hate Apple because Apple just fighting for there right. The right to say: Hey if you want to make a product, but don't just copy our product!

Apple didn't sued Microsoft over WP7 cause they didn't just copy The iPhone. They found something new. Something different. But Android And Google just trying to copy the hell of iOS as much as possible.

EDIT: This has nothing to do with being a die-hard Apple guy. Everyone should have the right to fight copy cats. Or would like it that your product is getting copied and you as a the creator earn just nothing from it at all. Not even the respect that it was your idea and your product.

You can't own an idea. The idea of 'searching with your voice' is not something Apple can own.

They can own a specific implementation of searching with your voice, but that's it. The general concept of "doing this thing" is not something that is protectable.

Also, not that it is really relevant, but selling point Apple copied from Android? Notification center. A direct, 'slavish' copy (to use Koh's own terms), but you're not jumping up to defend Google's 'innovations' in the untamed wilderness of "use part of the screen to tell you what's happening".

5 years of iOS work and the only thing you can find is "notification center"? It's not even a copy. It's not close to what it is on Android.

I just stop here. It doesn't make any sense to argue about this anymore. I just hope this copying just stops and everyone can have it's own innovative feature and not copied crap!

Are you 6?

So, what else was stolen? And compare Android before iPhone anouncement and after.

I had voice search on my Android way before Siri was introduced. It could even perform basic actions, like telling it "Go to Wikipedia." Granted, it never pretended to be some kind of virtual assistant, but where exactly do you draw the line? Can I claim that Apple stole Google's idea by taking their voice search feature, adding some extra abilities and dressing it up with a fake personality?

Galaxy Nexus is a direct competitor to the iPhone, and Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a direct competitor to the iPad.

Now, if Apple goes after Nexus 7, we will know that they are planning a 7" iPad-mini.

Sounds like they managed to get a patent on machine learning 101.

I am sorry, but stuff like that just makes me despise Apple. Maybe the greater public will eventually catch on, too.

Slightly unrelated question: where does this "make you whole" language come from? It seems to be cropping up more and more recently, but I hadn't heard it before about 2 years ago. Perhaps it's a term of art that I just didn't know about?

It's a bizarre and clumsy piece of corporate-speak. Money can't make one whole. It could set things right, though.

It's a legal term of art. Search around for the "make-whole doctrine".

What is the effect of this ruling, if it is upheld? Will Samsung have to disable this functionality? I imagine that they are not doing that immediately because that seems like an admission of guilt. Will they be able to ship their devices without software and have users install the software in question?

I picked up my new Galaxy Nexus (phone) today. Loving it so far! Decided to go with the Nexus over the S3. Better price/performance ratio, and of course better support from Google on the pure Android experience. :)

This is starting to read like a Rod Serling original.

This is a sad news. One that feels me with disdain. The conceptual patent thing is such a farce.

Didn't google just reduce the price of this phone to $349. I am pretty sure it was not due to lack of demand. The phone is beautiful, feels different then previous versions of Android and looks different then Apple's iPhone. The judge involved here is the same judge who did the same thing to Galaxy Tab (which sucked anyway). But doing this to such a good phone which could have brought smartphone to life of millions of people is shameful. Its not the intellectual property , its a anti-competitive move.

Hope you felt good upvoting all those articles stating how ridiculous patent law is FROM YOUR DAMN APPLE DEVICES

Time to vote with your wallet is way overdue.

And while you're at it may think about the Sony stuff you own.

Sony may be evil, but they're much less insidious than Apple. Why? Simple: Apple is, whether we like it or not, popular. Sony isn't. The real problem is not just Apple's behavior, but also how many people like them despite their behavior.

Of course, I won't claim any moral superiority here. While I don't have any Apple devices, it's not because of moral reasons but simply because I am genuinely unimpressed with their efforts. Overrated, over-hyped and fashionable, but never practical or optimal.

A bit over 15 years ago, Sony was extremely popular.

  > Time to vote with your wallet is way overdue.
Damn right! So I will never buy anything from that court again. And from USPTO for that matter. And from US legislators.

As for Apple—I enjoy using their products and I enjoy developing for iOS. As for Google—as I get older I start to hate ads more and more. I want to pay myself for the products I buy and use. A little more privacy is a nice side effect of that. So yep, I will vote with my wallet.

That's a bit extreme, but totally fine. And will save you a lot since i know Apple pays well thanks to their hold on some markets.

Lots of people refuse to pay taxes for similar reasons.

just don't do it before trying other methods, like writing to your representatives and all that.

Well, I'm reading this from my GNex :-)

Do anyone here thinks that it will lead to rise in sales of Galaxy Nexus for remaining stock and it will sell very very quickly. Couple of my friends are already ordering one. If this patent battle turns out to be farce for Apple, this could be lightning in dark clouds.

Can Google not sue to invalidate that "Siri" patent because of prior art? I thought this kind of unified search existed back in the days of Google Desktop...

Back in the day of Copernicus if you want to go far enough (lol, I wonder how many people would actually get that reference... it was an old program that'd search for your terms in a bunch of search engines and display the results in a unified interface)

Maybe if a big enough amount of people gave them some bad PR they would stop doing this monopolistic and unethical actions. I propose to make #AppleIsAnUglyTroll a trend on Twitter (for the masses "Ugly Troll" is more appealing than "Patent Troll")

There is no abuse of the law, there is law, and there is not law. Using the law is not an abuse, regardless of what it may seem from the cheap seats where we are all sitting.

If you don't like it, fix the laws.

The law is intended, in the Constitution, to 'promote the progress of [technology]'.

Using the patent system to browbeat your competitors out of business by wielding bullshit imaginary software patents does not promote the progress of anything but Apple's business.

Therefore, it is clearly an abuse of the law.

Well, fix the courts then. They should make sure laws are applied as intendend, shouldn't they?

There is most definitely such a thing as abuse of the law. The law should be followed in spirit, not only in letter. The courts often underscore this, but unfortunately by that point it's already too late, as the abuse has been done.

Can you refer me to the amendment that states that law should be followed in spirit? Just curious, cause I don't recall seeing it.

I will never buy an Apple product again.

Their tactics are pathetic.

When will Anonymous take down Apple?

I got annoyed when this happened to HTC, but Samsung is a different story. Their entire business model is based on dumpster diving at 1 infinity loop. I agree that these patents look silly on their own, but when you add them all up you see a concerted effort to copy apples products, and in some cases deceive the ignorant.

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