What else could be going on? Maybe I have a cynical view of humanity, but I spent a few minutes digging to see if I could find anything on requirements for District Judges to release tax returns (as they are essentially public officials, right?). Couldn't find anything on that, but generic salary data is available: http://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/page/js_3.html
$175K is probably rather low when you're used to working in the high-stakes world of patent litigation.
It'll be interesting to investigate this with more depth. ( Another interesting / related read: http://articles.latimes.com/2009/sep/27/local/me-judges-pay2... )
Imagine if such a thing happens and is eventually exposed. What a scandal would it be. I don't think any large company, let alone Apple, would want to be involved in any such mess.
Individuals working at large companies do bribe people in a variety of situations.
2)You don't live in the US. So keep your hard-to-believe's to yourself.
3) Read 1) again.
Can you provide citation for the above?
As far as I know, neither Microsoft nor any of the Android H/W manufacturers have revealed any details on which patents are covered as part of the licensing agreement.
If we posit that these decisions are biased rather than just an effect of the broken US patent system, I think it's more likely that the ITC is merely pushing a protectionist agenda that is being enabled by having somewhat plausible complaints from US companies than that there's somehow corruption going on.
That's a big one.
Maybe Apple's case/patents are legally stronger than a lot of people are willing to admit?
Motorola contributed some patents to a mobile telecom standard; they made a commitment to license these standard essential patents in Fair, Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory terms to everyone who wants to build a "portable hand-held telephone device".
Motorola wants 2.25% of the sale price of each Apple device in which the standard is used.
Now, if each patent contributor to the standard demands the same rate as Motorola, the outgo will be above 100%.
Essentially, only those who have contributed to the patent pool can build a mobile phone. No one else can enter the market. How is that Fair, Reasonable or Non-Discriminatory?
That is why there is talk about EU & FTC in US investigating Google/Motorola for anti-competitive behavior.
Also, there is another interesting point here - all these patents are implemented in the baseband chip built by Qualcomm and used by Apple in its devices. Qualcomm has already paid the royalty for using Google/Motorola's patents. Now Motorola wants royalty from Apple also, for the same patents. Double-dipping anyone?
A patent owner can accept FRAND conditions and the patent becomes part of the standard. They then earn a steady stream of licensing money off the ensuing trillion dollar industry.
A patent owner can reject FRAND and their technology does not get included in the standard.
There is no third option.
You can't decide after the trillion dollar industry establishes, to renege on FRAND, because your patent was only made part of the standard -- and therefore only has value -- because of that promise.
But how much should they pay? In this special case of patents, Motorola is expected to charge Apple the same rates as other licensees. In fact, they have committed to do so.
But now, they are going back on that commitment and also trying to double dip.
FRAND (Fair, Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory) patent commitment is an essential part of standard setting process. If companies are allowed to abuse FRAND committed patents like this, there will be chaos. We'll go back to the digital dark ages when there were no standards or interoperability.
These "standards-essential" patents are under RAND terms because to do otherwise devalues the patent and provides incentive for the standard to "work around" the patent. If Motorola wants revenue from that patent, they must license it under RAND terms.
But now that there is significant investment in the infrastructure that uses these standards, what right does anyone have in threatening anyone else over their use of this patented technology? Judge Posner, presiding over Apple v. Motorola, which he has dismissed with prejudice, seems to feel the same way: That since Motorola has licensed their standards-essential patent under FRAND terms, they essentially lose their right to demand an injunction against Apple. (At least, that's my reading of his decision.) I.e., they are to negotiate reasonable terms or get no royalties at all.
The question in my mind is at what point these patents should be expired early due to their status as standards-essential; for without them, the standard must be redesigned, and with them, every participant must pay royalties to one incumbent. At no point is this fair, reasonable, or non-discriminatory.
Personally, I don't see the point of this run-around: These patents are not a reward for invention; they're cudgels with which to steal your competitor's lunch money. They should be invalidated or expired for that reason alone.
How generous of them to establish open standards like that eyeroll.
Can a corporation pick and choose what patents/royalties or whatever they are to pay for if you use them just because the corporation deems it to be unfair?
The specific patent that is being used to block these devices, which from what I've read relates to a very weak patent on live search-as-you-type from multiple sources, is a bad patent.
It is one thing to say "They are stealing our design." It is another to say, "We happened to get here and patent this first, even though everyone is pretty sure that given enough time and money the patent will be struck down... but we're going to sue anyways."
One is a economically sound, consumer benefitting action. The other is the opposite. Apple Legal is at odds with Apple Engineering, trying to litigate away the competition instead of innovating past them. No one benefits from a patent apocalypse, least of all patent holders. In this, many other companies have shown much more restraint.
But still, I sort of get it. Have you used an up-to-date android phone in the last 6 months? Perhaps even gotten to play with an Nexus 7 or a Galaxy S 3? The competition is fierce right now, and Apple has badly mismanaged its money (by not expanding their engineering capacity enough) so that they're in the awkward situation of having to litigate to try and keep up.
Apple has never pretended to have scruples in the legal department, so it's not out of character for them to twist the broken patent system to its very limits to get what they want. But we should call them on it. Maybe we should even inform our purchases with that knowledge, because their business strategy is not good for us as consumers.
I don't even... what do you expect Apple Legal to innovate? "Accept EULA to unlock?" They aren't at odds with engineering any more than having a good defense is at odds with having a good offense.
Have you used an up-to-date android phone in the last 6 months? Perhaps even gotten to play with an Nexus 7 or a Galaxy S 3? The competition is fierce right now, and Apple has badly mismanaged its money
That's really the heart of the matter. Patents were created to reward innovation by actually disadvantaging competitors that sat around and waited -- because the market by itself doesn't produce brand new things just by competition. Even though Galaxy-whatever today may be a better phone and the economy is hurt on a small scale by holding it back a bit, the economy is improved on a large scale by rewarding the big innovations.
The tech crowd doesn't get that a local meritocracy where the best phone wins optimizes existing things, like making a better keyboard or improved battery life, but it doesn't often lead to an iPhone or other revolutionary change. A pure merit-based market actually punishes innovation -- if you spend years and a billion dollars researching HCI, form factors, etc and your competitors just copy you then you are competing with a billion dollar hand tied behind your back.
Is this particular patent valid? Maybe, maybe not... it doesn't really matter. What really matters is that unless Apple's competitors need to compete much more effectively in order to make up for their lack of innovation then the market has failed.
Apple Engineering creates great products. Apple Legal pays private security firms and complicit local officials to storm journalist's houses. Apple Engineering is trying to create a reputation as a great place to work, Apple Legal is scaring away engineers left and right. Apple Legal plays dirty, Apple Engineering and Design talk about the nobility of great products.
> The tech crowd doesn't get that a local meritocracy where the best phone wins optimizes existing things, like making a better keyboard or improved battery life, but it doesn't often lead to an iPhone or other revolutionary change. A pure merit-based market actually punishes innovation -- if you spend years and a billion dollars researching HCI, form factors, etc and your competitors just copy you then you are competing with a billion dollar hand tied behind your back.
I'm not sure how Apple hasn't been rewarded for their efforts. What more, exactly, do they need? They've gone from 0 to a lead in smartphone marketshare, dictating the discussion and product form factors the entire time. The entire industry turns on the axis of Apple's release cycles. Their product, "iPad", is practically the "kleenex" name of the post-PC era. They have an incredible stockpile of money, goodwill, and clout in their local government.
Do they also get to make spurious patent claims left and right now, and expect everyone to take them seriously?
> Is this particular patent valid? Maybe, maybe not... it doesn't really matter.
I am pretty sure it matters a lot, as there's nearly $100m in bonds being laid out.
> What really matters is that unless Apple's competitors need to compete much more effectively in order to make up for their lack of innovation then the market has failed.
But they _do_. Please note how many big players in the market have simply been crushed because of their complete inability to adapt to the market forces Apple brought to bear. Nokia? Pif. Blackberry? Swirling down the drain.
Android is only where it is because the remainder of the industry banded together and formed some kind of freakish multi-headed alliance which barely works and has taken twice as long to even begin to compete. And it's taken a ton of money and engineering time dumped in by Google to keep the project from imploding.
The problem, ultimately, is that the patent system is broken. It should not be possible to patent such obvious variations on interface tropes as "search as you type... from multiple sources... also on a phone!" It _should_ be the case that Patent holders get punished for writing broad patents (so that more things qualify as prior art) rather than the current situation where patents receive almost no vetting at all and are seldom challenged.
I'm not sure how much advantage Apple should get for being the first mover, but at some point competition will exist. We've had years of Apple sitting on an epic pile of money and not hiring engineers while the entire valley of has been gobbled up by Google, Facebook, and others. If other companies are finally starting to outpace Apple, it's inevitable given Apple's oddball management decisions. These are the same bad management decisions–in my opinion, of course–that have led Apple to be so very weak when it comes to actually fielding software services. They've had nothing but a string of embarrassments in this field and most people I know in my field are extremely leery about considering employment with Apple in this capacity as a result.
Trying to litigate on weak patents and novel definitions of "irreparable damage (!!!™)" is bad for me, as a consumer. I am yet again disappointed in them, and I am furious at how broken our patent system for software and technical innovation.
What you are doing is looking at the success story and saying 'they already made 100x on their investment that should be enough!' but neglecting to consider the chance of failure. We don't have patents so that Apple can make 150x times their investment instead of 100x, we have them so that companies looking at 150:1 odds instead of 100:1 will try to make those big changes in the first place.
Do they also get to make spurious patent claims left and right now
Absolutely Apple should continue to get advantages over non-innovating competitors even though Apple already has gobs of money.
Incorrect. I'm saying that they have a big advantage and they have failed to capitalize on it.
> Absolutely Apple should continue to get advantages over non-innovating competitors even though Apple already has gobs of money.
The asinine accusation of non-innovation bured in this is worth pointing out, but not worth replying to otherwise. For shame, sir. For shame.
But hey, nice try at astroturfing.
Are you shitting me??? They just got two of their competitors' flagship products banned from sale over that bullshit patent, which will likely take years to invalidate.
What on earth makes you think it "doesn't matter"?
For blatant copying? Sure, knock that down, ban sales of it. But to say that the Galaxy Nexus is copying the iPhone is ridiculous to the extreme, and Apple is just using the weapons they have (these silly, over-broad patents) to try to limit competition. I mean come on, unified search? Google practically invented that.
Over two years ago, I argued that patent suits were how the licensing game was played among the existing players. It was considered an everyday cost of doing business by the incumbents, but Apple wasn't well prepared for this. (They've learned fast.)
This wasn't on consumers' radar because none of the fights were as interesting as the juggernauts of Apple v. Android which get framed in almost religious terms and taken personally by users who have chosen a camp.
The argument then was that Apple had not been actively litgating patents, but when Nokia (faced with dwindling profits, most of which appeared to be landing in Apple's pockets) started the fight, and Kodak piled on, Apple had to demonstrate that the patents it was using to counter these suits were patents that it was actively defending.
This pushed Apple to file against HTC, and eventually against others who, again, had all been actively (but boringly) suing one another before Apple got to the table.
If you assert that Apple sued HTC because Nokia sued Apple first, that does not make any sense whatsoever. Nokia isn't even an Android OEM.
Nokia started suing Apple in 2009. I do not consider them a smartphone incumbent. After some back and forth between the two companies Apple sued the first Android manufacturer (HTC).
Also, the U.S.A. is number 24 of around 180 countries on the Corruption Perceptions Index and appears below countries such as Bahamas, Chile or Qatar.
Dogs and Demons (A. Kerr) is filled with instances how corruption has contributed to massive misallocation of resources, coverups of environmental contamination, political favoritism, cronyism, etc. resulting in the paralysis which afflicts Japan.
I'd hardly say Japan is not corrupt--obviously, it is--but saying it must be more corrupt than the US isn't exactly a justified statement when all you're working off is a feeling.
I think the big knock on the US, deservedly, is the undue influence of PACs on our politics. That said, in Japan, PACs are less necessary because of the business <-> gov't relationship (i.e Japan Inc.)
But he didn't. The steps he took are worthless and don't deserve so much as a mention. This would be like me googling your username and some illegal activity, finding that I couldn't find your username on any forums dedicated to that illegal activity, "but still." Come on. The steps I took are worthless and aren't worth mentioning.
Not really. It may be unusual, but unheard of:
Well, after reading the comments in this thread here, and some of the comments over on Google+, I'm gonna have to say you got that prediction wrong. =)
But Reddit at levels 1-5 is almost indistinguishable from HN at levels 1-5. The only differences between HN and Reddit are topic diversity, collapsing, and limiting comment display to the top 100 or 500 comments.
That has me using HN less in recent months. It failed to account for the inevitable with display tools, so a thread that would be perfectly navigable on Reddit is unreadable on HN.
Facebook, twitter, stackoverflow, et. al. have all previously used the constantly-updating stream technique only to switch away to the "x new posts, click to view"
That is unusable.
~ Because the pause button is light gray on white.
~ Because scrolling down the page, which in almost every other scrolling interface prevents any updates from affecting your scroll position (terminal, chat, twitter, etc.) didn't help.
~ Because the page just moves in weird, small jumps and feels like it's broken not like new content is rolling in. (They're actually accounting for huge jumps! and chose instead of move it in tiny glitches...)
The button is black text on light grey background, yes. I think the parent poster is more pointing out that the light-grey-on-white-background, which isn't very noticeable.
(I didn't know there was a pause button until read this thread.)
Something else an injuction does is robs a manufacturer of any time-to-market advantage that they may have had releasing the product when they were actually trying to do so. Holding sales back by even a month can mean the missing of critical retail periods throughout the year. I'm not even arguing either way about the validity of the claims behind the injunction here -- if it turns out they are in the wrong, then they should certainly pay damages to Apple based on how much damage that they caused by doing the wrong thing (i.e. profits from sales).
How much the target of an injunction benefits from being allowed to sell their product is concrete and measurable. How much Apple benefit by preventing a competitor from placing a product on the market is, in stark contrast, essentially unknowable and thus difficult to compensate for if Apple turn out to be wrong.
The legal/patent system that allows this is broken, that's certain. But can we really blame Apple for using it to their advantage? It's sort of genius. Evil genius, but still...
I'd prefer to just leave the post at that, but to make a bit more of a contribution to discussion, fiduciary duty is a myth invented sometime in the 70s or 80s. No one has ever been sued for not maximizing the profits of the company the run. A corporation doesn't have to be evil, even if being evil were more profitable than being good. They can just choose to be less profitable and no one cares.
Given the choice, I'd much rather live in a mildly competitive, mildly cooperative capitalism where companies compete on things like price and quality (and salary!) without trying to burn the crops and salt the fields of the competitors the way Apple is now.
“The Court held that a business corporation is organized primarily for the profit of the stockholders, as opposed to the community or its employees. The discretion of the directors is to be exercised in the choice of means to attain that end, and does not extend to the reduction of profits or the nondistribution of profits among stockholders in order to benefit the public, making the profits of the stockholders incidental thereto.
Because this company was in business for profit, Ford could not turn it into a charity. This was compared to a spoilation of the company's assets. The court therefore upheld the order of the trial court requiring that directors declare an extra dividend of $39 million.”
The Wikipedia article notes that it's not considered 'current' law in the U.S., but this was decided in the early 20th century (~1920).
I just think we're fooling ourselves if we think that we can simply expect people to adhere to this with no tangible incentive, rather than build a system which has the desired result.
In other words, it's still the system that's broken. There are a lot of companies I'd like to boycott (and I certainly boycott and disagree with Apple's decision on this specific matter), but I don't blame the companies for trying to make money—regardless of "fiduciary duty" which is pretty irrelevant (I was just talking about the nature of companies to make money and dominate the market if possible; this would be true of any company, not necessarily just public companies with duty to shareholders).
This is a tough call, and I'm sure it was tough even for Apple's legal team. Is it worth tarnishing their image to attempt to hold a competitor from the market for another couple months? Looked at from a strictly logical standpoint, with profits enabling more technological developments and more production capacity, as well as more advertising and sales efforts, it just might be worth it.
You know that a whole team debated this and did dozens of calculations and eventually the call was made, but knowing Apple, this was no butt-hurt matter of principle. This was a market decision based on something they could do that would be beneficial for their company in the grand scheme of things.
Do I agree? Not really. I think the company's reputation is way more important than this injunction. But it's an exceedingly complex decision, based on many factors that I don't have information about, and they made a different decision. I honestly can't blame them for that.
It's easy to answer my question with a simple "yes." It hurts you. It doesn't feel right. Companies shouldn't be so impersonal. They should play nice. I know. We need to fix the system that allows despicable acts like this. But in the context, it makes perfect sense. "Blame" is not addressable here except to the system. (As is usually the case, but that's for another essay...)
The shareholders might.
What kind of ridiculous justification is this? "But I had the car! It was ready to sell! I had someone who wanted to buy it! It's not right to stop me just because the car didn't actually belong to me, the guy I stole it from doesn't even know it's gone!"
Secondly, I was simply saying that injunctions can disadvantage some people or organisations, and that they don't even have to be people directly involved in the injunction.
Let's try again: imagine there were a truck load of Android pads going somewhere but the truck got stolen. The thief quickly gets the pads to his story and sends out advertisement everywhere that he has the new Android pad for $1! People are lined up outside the store ready to buy but before he can open the police show up, shut the store down and recover the pads. The people only lost out on a sale that never should have existed. It's not the fault of the police for stopping the sale, nor the person who reported the crime. It's the fault of the thief.
Likewise, if this product infringes patent(s) then it should not exist. Any disappointment to the customers if the fault of the company that made the illegal product, not the ones who stop sale (the judge) nor the people who reported the infringement (Apple).
You mention first-mover advantage ... that is exactly what patents are supposed to grant, you invent something cool, you get a patent on it, and then YOU get exclusivity on that invention for X years so you can recoup your costs of R&D.
If company Y owns the patent and company X clones it and sells it for $50 cheaper company Y is now disadvantaged even-though it spent all of the money researching and developing it in the first place. Apparently the Judge agreed that company Y is in the right and that company X should no longer be allowed to sell their widget until the lawsuit is settled.
The patents Motorola is using are called standards-essential, because many companies got together to create a standard, for example, 3G telephony, they pool their patents together and promise to license them to any manufacturer who wants to create a device that uses that standard, in this example, any cell phone that uses 3G, be that Apple, LG, HTC, RIM, anyone.
Since they have now created what is essentially a monopoly on that technology, they could force any or all of these companies to pay them exorbitant license fees because anyone who makes a 3G phone must use these technologies, and therefore these patents. That does not mean the patents are themselves valuable.
For instance, Motorola may contribute an encryption patent. There are many hundreds of other methods of encryption, so that patent is worth very little by itself, once it is selected for the standard, it is the only method that can be used to interoperate. If an manufacturer wants to use an encryption method they invented, they cannot, because their phones won't work with the cell towers.
Here is where we find the current litigation, Motorola says their patents are worth 2.25% of the entire value of an iPhone. There may be hundreds of patents in the 3G standard, if they are all worth 2.25% and there are 300, then the 3G patents alone represent 300*2.25% of the value of an iPhone, or 675%. So everything else, all the other ideas, innovations, etc are worth nothing.
This makes no sense, and the courts have said that these patents must be licensed on a Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory basis (FRAND). That means they must license the patents for what they were worth the moment BEFORE they were added to the standard. in the Motorola-Apple case that might be .05% of the value of the iPhone. Motorola and Google are using standards-essential patents as a weapon against Apple to force Apple to either pay exorbitant rates for the patent, or, more likely, force Apple to allow android to violate apple's non-standards-essential patents.
Thus Motorola is using a restricted, standards-essential patent in a manner which is explicitly forbidden by law. Judge Posner is extremely unhappy with Motorola and Google about this behavior. See the FOSS Patents Blog for more detail.
It is entirely unlike apple's use of patents, it has never used a FRAND encumbered patent to sue a competitor.
This comment invalidates everything else you wrote.
Apple's investment in R&D for mobile handheld usability and devices predates even the existence of some of these litigants, and predates the "smartphones" by them.
It doesn't, and it shouldn't.
You might be mad if your team doesn't win the game, but you can't say the winner wasn't the better player. But I understand your frustration when the field has no rules and the referees are corrupt. Unfortunately, those factors are part of this game.
Its the paradox of choice, and how it makes people unhappy. If a shop sells peanut butter that is chunky, but also another brand that is extra spicy. Suddenly, we can imagine a peanut butter that is both chunky and spicy.
So, the choice already feels limited with both products on the market and is now even more limited, when their feature set may not overlap.
And as for the suggestion that these patents are the result of R&D. They are not. Not like some of the frand patents actually are.
Originally, the patent system was invented to encourage sharing secrets. But if you cant keep it a secret, because its just too obvious, you shouldnt be able to get a patent. Patents are now mostly used in an anti competitive sense.
The patent system, at least in these days, is counter productive. And the US will in time eat itself up. Because from China to Europe, we dont care about these ip laws to the same extent, and dont really serve our interests.
So, holland, my country, is likely in favor of IP because with our current portfolio, the export of IP minus the import, is profitable. This is not the case for any eastern european country, nor for some of the more traditional economies in western europe.
So beyond morality, for many countries, IP law just means opting in to pay other countries. And unlike traditional goods, you cant block the export or import of IP. You can only hope to compromize on some kind of compensation.
This statement is only true if (features that violate patents) == (all features of the product), which is obviously not the case.
I appreciate that a patent is a state-granted monopoly on your idea. I feel it to be a mostly unhelpful right to be granting in the consumer software and device market. Regardless of how I feel about patents, though, an injunction prior to trial presupposes (on some level) that the charged party is guilty enough to warrant forcing them not to trade.
Injunctions are often helpful in potential libel cases, where the release of libellous information may cause largely unmeasurable but generally irreversible damages. I really don't think they're helpful when the extent to which the charged party may benefit is able to be measured (i.e. profit on sales) and the tangible outcome of that benefit redirected to whomever wins the suit (via the court-ordered payment of damages).
Big corporations could pretty much shut down any start up if they wanted to.
The reverse is not true. Could Panic Software have sued Apple because of the Audion / iTunes story?
So what good is the patent law if it only benefits the powerful?
The patent system doesn't really benefit the small developer. I was listening to Build & Analyze and Marco Arment was asked if he would patent features of Instapaper and he essentially said that it is more pain than it's worth. They don't have time time and money required to enforce it.
Like it or not, patent trolling is just getting warmed up.
Lawyers working on this issue is the equivalent of Keynes' digging holes and filling them up again statement. It's what makes Keynesianism so short sighted.
Monetary stimulation buy the government or any entity that creates money is different from transferring money for unproductive uses.
Keynes point was that giving out money stimulates economic activity, dis-idling hands. The hole-digging argument was that, while handing out money for productive activity is best (it has two benefits: immediate production of value, plus money that stimulates trade), even handing out money for non-productive activity is still valuable for the stimulating effects.
The reason is that I have bananas you want, and you have oranges someone else wants, and someone else has dirt nobody wants, if the government prints money to buy the dirt guy's dirt, and the dirt guy buys oranges, and the orange guy buys bananas, and the banana guy has some money waiting for someone to make something he wants (maybe the dirt guy will make a cool cartoon about oranges), that is better in REAL terms than a pile of rotten bananas and oranges and dirt and nobody getting anything they want at all.
Even though the dirt guy got paid for worthless work, real wealth was created by better allocating resources.
Surely, efforts would be better directed against the broken system that is being gamed by those companies, instead of dividing consumer forces, you know: Apple fans vs Google fans vs Microsoft fans vs x Other fans....
It would be much better to have everybody in action vs Broken Patent System.
Microsoft strategy is more interesting: they dont block products but rather use liscense fees that are slightly less than the costs of going to court against Microsoft. Eventhough, their patents are hard to enforce, and likely wouldnt win, its irrelevant.
So, to compare the behavior to other industries: Microsofts strategy is racketeering Italian mob style "we own this town", while Apple is raging a full on war, with any competitor, much like how a mexican drug cartel operates.
Google on the other hand, behaves more like a community bank. The members get free tech, but also take most of the risk, yet if they succeed, end up making Google more profitable.
The notion that all three companies are equally abusive, is ridiculus. They are definately operating with different policies. Whether that is due to convience or moral convinctions, is up for debate, but when looking purely at behavior in this space, Google is the good guy...
They pledged to license certain patents in Fair, Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory terms, when they contributed them to Telecom & H.264 patent pools; but now they are not very keen on keeping their commitment.
Although i do want to emphasize that only offensive parties are being hit with the frand patents. I really do think thats the most relevant moral ground here.
Is Google/Motorola suing any party that has not first sued them or any of their partners for doing bussiness with Google?
Motorola filed the first suit.
Even in the article you have linked, the author says "...why my position is that Apple attacked Motorola even though Motorola technically won the race to the courthouse". Irrespective of what the author thinks went in the background, he admits Motorola filed the suit first.
Your own link states several times that Motorola was trying to pre-empt the attack and that Apple's attack was 'long awaited'. Do you really think Apple was not the patent aggressor in this case?
Why could it not be the other way around? Maybe Apple was preparing in secret, fearing a law suit by Motorola. That is equally plausible.
As an aside, Samsung's slavish cargo cult aping of Apple designs is unnecessary. They could come up with non look alike packaging or connectors, for example, but they are deliberately imitating down to the last detail, even in their TV commercials. This across the board play signals an intent, and may be influencing judges as much as the arguments. Could be why the coin flip court cases seem more often than not to land Apple's way.
Sure, one can argue that Samsung and Apple both look to a common ancestor for their ideas, but I think Samsung is more insidious than people are willing to admit here.
The Apple patent in question is obvious on its face. Off the top of my head, Google Desktop Search, which was released a month or so before Apple filed for the patent, is prior art. Nat Friedman's Dashboard project (http://nat.org/dashboard/) represents significantly more advanced prior art and predates Apple's patent filing by over a year.
Samsung may be insidious, but that's not the issue at play here. The judge ruled that Google's Quick Search Box violates an Apple patent that should never have been issued, and represents a toe hold to go after Android as a whole. This is a farce.
That is not how the law works. That shouldn't be the way any law works!
If you don't like how the game is played you have to fix the rules. You can't expect companies like Apple to just take this blatant rip off lying down because there is no way to sue for what was actually done wrong.
As much as I would like to embrace Google+ as a Facebook alternative, Google+ has still a very limited audience – and, of course, a very Android-focus audience …
EDIT: Downvoting my comment just because it isn't enthusiastic on Google+? Comm'on!
I doubt the 75 million people who use Google+ consider themselves a "very limited audience."
Regardless, not a reason for down-voting.
I'm sure that there are more rational ways to protest, instead of trying to boycott a company that actually delivers some of the best products. No company is perfect and Apple's case is just a tip of an iceberg in the whole industry.
http://www.dontmakemesteal.com/ is a good example. We know the movie industry sometimes uses intellectual property rights against their customers but there are good ways to fight back without disregarding the merit of the entire thing.
If this label of "evil ugly sociopathic corporation" were to stick they could end up in big trouble.
Check out this tweet: https://twitter.com/joeycmiller/status/219271776394412032
The guy's profile says he's a Marketing professor so he knows the angle he's spinning. But this is the kind of thing I would be really worried about if I were Apple.
Only problem: you actually have to care enough about an issue to risk getting arrested. I'd be surprised if anyone cared that much about Apple's patent trolling.
On a large scale, make something disruptively innovative to fight back.
#BoycottApple may work by alarming and reminding Apple of their unethical act (to the crowd). But the effect is small because it has nothing to do with Apple's product quality and customer service. If no one buys Apple products any more, we won't necessarily be better off.
That said, I think Apple seriously doesn't have to go this far. If they have the energy to continue innovating there shouldn't be any fear.
What we're trying to fix is that companies can even get injunctions for stupid reasons, and that patents are used as warfare rather than for encouraging innovation. Boycotting every single company that abuses patents is simply not going to fix the problem, especially since some of those companies don't even sell products.
Look at Righthaven -- a boycott would have been meaningless, but the right case came along and Righthaven lost its teeth. And this only involved two branches of the government! Imagine what you could accomplish if you could actually pass laws to fix the patent system...
Unbiased application of the law seems much more becoming of a judicial system than rewriting of it.
If you have your judiciary do the statute [re]writing then do you want your government doing that too?
Here is a proposal: https://defendinnovation.org
this is business and we people should just let it play itself out in court.
So I asked: do you think courts (alone) can fix it? I.e. really courts won't help, until the law is fixed.
I'd be okay if the patents in question were not trivial and something really innovative(like RSA).
Also, consumers should make decisions based on their convictions too. For example, I shop at CostCo instead of Sam's Club because CostCo treats their employees much better than Walmart(which owns Sams) does.
"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi
Consumers should take more of a note on issues of the companies and products they buy but I believe in this case it's irrelevant to them. I too choose CostCo over Sam's Club and Meijers over Wal-Mart because of the same thing you brought up. However, our choices are based on how they treat people and not patents on which a company clearly infringed upon. The basis on why they infringed or if it's wrong or not is not for us to decide but for the courts.
I don't like the current system either but it is the current system.
It's like "blood diamonds". They might be all nice and sparkling, but really stained in blood. Do you think it's enough to look just at the external value? It's not enough. It's good to vote with your wallet, boycotting companies which engage in unethical business practices.
I'm not following every single example, but when did Samsung exactly act as patent aggressor? Most cases that come to mind were in defense to others aggressive patent threats (namely Apple's). Apple doesn't hesitate to act as patent aggressor on the other hand. There is a difference between defensive attack, and outright aggression.
> Our choices should always be about how companies treat people
That's correct. That's why companies which promote lock in, stifle innovation with software patents abuse, and etc. cause damage to society. I.e. they treat people badly, for the sake of their profit.
It's right that it's hard to avoid buying any single product that sends money back to Nestle or PG or J&J or whoever but it's not hard to cut back practically. Search online for a list of the company's products and try to avoid them.
Like you said boycotting Apple [Computers] is very easy.
I don't think the parent understands how a boycott works. You don't say "I can't boycott company X because their coffee tastes nicer that company Y's"; unless having slightly nicer tasting coffee completely outweighs the moral wrong that you're trying to punish.
Us techies we tend to be more selfish and buy what we need more than what is trendy, what is not etc...
> Very few people I've met buy Andeoid because it's better
Hi, nice to meet you :)
Developers know which users and platforms pay out the best (iOS) and this is what guides their efforts. Not patent infringement, injunctions or boycotts.
When it comes down to it, the average employee wants to work on interesting things and be well paid. They want job security. They choose their jobs less from ideology and more on finances, work-life balance, quality of work environment, innovation opportunities. If ideology was a defining factor, then people would be lining up to work for non-profit organizations, which they're not. Some 2-bit boycott attempt by a bunch of hysterical Android nerds will not make a dent in anyone's universe, much less Apple's.
I doubt Apple is shaking in their boots over a silly hashtag on a social network only used actively by 89 people worldwide.
But the best people, who know they can get a position at any major tech company, will be weighing Apple against the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon. It's possible that Apple has an edge over those in money/environment/opportunity, but it isn't a clear or solid one. The thought of being looked down on by fellow nerds for working at a patent aggressor could turn the balance.
And building products with 98th percentile engineers instead of 99th percentile is a big deal. Look at Microsoft.
I don't think this will be the last of Apple's actions against Android. When Steve said they'd "patented the hell out of" the iPhone, I got the sense he really wasn't joking.
Standing on someone else's foundations isn't the best place from which to start a thermonuclear patent war.
This is not a good development, and we can wonder how long it will take before the bric countries choose a radical new direction towards IP.
The initial iPhone patents only have another ten years or so left in them, if that.
Gotta get more page views, and based on the comment count vs normal forbes posts, this is the right formula.
At least Apple use legitimate patents, unlike the use of FRAND patents of Samsung and Motorola. Nobody is going to make a #BoycottMotorola for using FRAND patents to ban Xbox 360 in countries like Germany?
I'm glad to see the US government blocking a South Korean product for once, if that is indeed what is happening.
I can do the work for you, South Korea for instance banned the sale of games inside the app store for a long time. I have a hard time finding examples where South Korea outright banned phones however.
Even if they did, why would you want the US to follow such bad examples. These policies are not healthy in the long term for a variety of reasons.
South Korea is a rather protectionist country, and drawing a line between the Chaebols (Huge conglomerates such as Samsung) and the government is often hard. By the way, this is not surprising considering South Korea was a US-backed and sponsored military dictatorship for a long time.
However, the iPhone 3GS launched in South Korea 3 to 4 months after its introduction to Europe and the US.
Nokia was active there for years.
Last time I was in Seoul, the new iPad launched to great fanfare.
I'm not American, but still I wouldn't mind seeing these South Korean chaebols get a taste of their own medicine.
Protectionism may reduce the overall efficiency of a system, but can be good for the individual actors within that system who implement it. I think Americans are more interested in their livelihoods than in the efficiency of world production. In fact total efficiency should never be our goal; that would make slaves of us all.
The original iPhone was blocked from South Korea for quite a while.
Here's more info on South Korean protectionism in relation to phones: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125367616595333125.html?mod=...
(It's the first time I've seen this comparison.)
Basically, you wouldn't confuse an iPhone with an F700, while Samsung seemed to design Touch Wiz specifically to do that.
Edit: Trying to understand the down votes. Would like to hear counter-arguments.
But MS suing Apple - I don't think my logic has any such implication or connotation.
As pointed out in Nilay Patel's article, TouchWiz is an attempt to mimic iPhone look & feel.
If Samsung had evolved their original design, which you had pointed out was not a copy, then it is a different story.
So there you go, an actual sale lost and I'll remember this for a long, long time
I find it amusing how emotional tech people get over these patent wars. Its one companies legal team versus the other over legalities and trivialities. If you looked at how often car companies sued each other over look and feel patents you would realize the whole thing is a non issue. If you want to change things start with the legal frameworks that allow it to happen. Complaining that companies are using every trick available is somewhat of a non surprise. You might want to start with the patent office and their granting of patents though.
But "I'll remember this for a long, long time", really? That is quite sad, evaluate technology for its tech, not for the companies legal team. But whatever.
Note: I'm not arguing for or against apple or google and their legal teams with this post at all.
No. Doing so means that I can become complicit in legal actions that ultimately hurt me as a consumer by providing companies like Apple with the revenue they need to fund such attacks. One must consider the legal actions, the social actions, etc. of a company when buying their products; it's part of being a responsible and long-term self-interested consumer.
Do you drive a car and fill it with gasoline or diesel? Then likely you're implicating yourself in the extraction of natural resources and disasters with this viewpoint. While I applaud the concept, it seems a bit restrictive. Note I'm not saying you should deny when companies do bad things like an oil spill disaster, but if we're going to glom on extra responsibilities for corporations that build devices we buy we're going down a very slippery slope that can only end with abandoning modern lifestyles.
Also another question, if patents are granted and being infringed, are you saying companies should not act upon infringement? If yes, then why would companies get patents?
As for the point about patents, I think that there's a difference between acting on infringement and actively seeking to expand their patents post-hoc to shut down competition. More broadly, I think that the USPTO needs to be much more selective about patents, to avoid precisely these kinds of problems.
I was just trying to find out exactly what it was that sparked your personal boycott and how that extends to other areas of life.
Personally I can't be arsed to care about tech company patent litigation since there are much worse things to worry about. In essence I'm referring to things like child labor/environment damage etc.... I'm not absolving tech companies, but on a scale of 1-10 as to ethical considerations its not that high on the list I would rank.
Basically that's my view in a nutshell, at work so I can't give a full reply, tschuss!
You didn't see Google suing Bing over the pagerank algorithm. I'm sure Google has patents relating to map-reduce but distributed computing is still taking off.
If the patent game were played out to its fullest without reform, all innovation would virtually grind to a halt, so a broad gentlemen's agreement is in place not to use patents. Apple don't care, they want to stop innovation so everyone buys their shit. Yes it's capitalism, but it's also marketing, and our consumption choices are the only votes we get in this game.
To play devils advocate here, maybe the entire tech press is much ado about nothing for pageviews. Which is largely what I think is occurring, there is less news in tech so there has to be something to fill in page views.
Also referring to Apples products as "shit" makes me question your general statements. Relax a little and don't take sides on what is inevitably a non-issue. The us versus them group attitude isn't necessary for this discussion.
Note, Google was rather mad at Bing about basically scraping their pages. That said its a different situation entirely and not analogous to the case at hand as they aren't similar in the least.
So I'll ask you the same as I asked before. Given that patents have been granted, should Apple enforce patents they see as infringing on other companies? If not, what determining factor should they use to apply patents? Also, if it wasn't patented by other companies before Apple, why did those companies not patent it? Why should companies only use patents for defense if others are infringing?
If your answer is to win in the court of public opinion I think you are ignoring the legal frameworks that patents sit within. Its a nice pie in the sky opinion, but I think its really shortsighted to imagine a company that is highly profitable to change its ways just to appease a bunch of tech journalists and nerds that often don't have domain knowledge (I'm in this camp as well) to give a true assessment of the situation.
Not that I like any of this, just saying Apple's hardly the only company that does this, they all do it.
The comments about "they're all doing the same" are extremely close minded. No, they're not all the same. Look up context and who is defending instead of attacking. If microsoft and apple didn't start this. We wouldn't be in this whole mess in the first place.
I personally don't buy many Samsung products, but if they released something that was a leader in its class (similar to how a Macbook is one of the best laptops you can grab) I know I'd buy it despite their current trend of mirroring Apple's designs.
You have news: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4187672
Google+ we know has a high percentage of technologically savvy users and in particular Android users. I would be surprised if it wasn't a popular topic on there. But it is no way reflective of (a) the general public or (b) the entire IT community.
EDIT : Care to explain why you down-voted this comment?
And I don't think there is anyone that doesn't agree that the patent system needs reforming. But where there is disagreement is whether Apple has the right to defend its work and to what extent.