Then lawmakers will be forced to actually overhaul the patent system.
Because judging from progress so far, it seems like only a meltdown would do it.
"Nobody innovate or we'll shoot!"
It's intriguing at first, but you can only keep it up so long before the plot line gets annoying because no one is doing anything (or innovating), or someone gets shot.
But it appears that something in the balance has changed, and I'm not really sure what. Are the lawyers just doing a bad job of agreeing on the licensing fees (i.e. penalty for having less cross-targeted bombs for a given opponent)? It's hard to know what to make of it all, putting myself in the shoes of an exec at one of these large companies. At least when I was at MSFT, we used to worry about this thing called "bad press" around lawsuits of this kind...
Google are trying to stop software patents by actually using the ones they have? Force a meltdown?
The broken patent system has created all the wrong incentives here. Hopefully lawmakers will take notice and fix the problem and we won't have to go on bickering about the symptoms.
No, and I'll tell you why: if Microsoft felt they could have made an UI that followed the new design language that is about to become canonical for smart phones, more consumers would be tempted to buy Windows Phones. If Microsoft were to make a comeback and become a dominant player it is 100% guaranteed to result in zero innovation. Microsoft NEVER innovates when in a dominant position.
So in a sense, Microsoft condemning themselves to irrelevance by having to desperately invent new designs that don't actually work IS good for the consumer. In a roundabout sort of way.
They also brought Windows from 95 to NT, 2000 and 7, with plenty of innovation, during the time that they had the dominant operating system.
1) Microsoft has a cross license deal with Apple. Samsung's license 'offer' from Apple included discounts when using licensed OSes and the example was MS provided OSes.
2) Said deal include terms requiring Microsoft to make products that aren't too similar to the iPhone although I'm not sure how that is defined.
Anyways, the "Google sues Apple" headline just seemed picked because it would draw more clicks rather than for accuracy.
The patent system is probably flawed (IANAL), but companies do need to have a way to defend their innovations. Apple did re-invent the smart phone in 07, and has been the design leader since then.
Android has followed in their footsteps - witness the design shift from their pre-iphone roadmap which consisted of blackberry-look-alike designs.
Further, there have been no bold re-imaginings of the smartphone in Android-land (sorry, a better notification system doesn't really qualify). They are taking Apple's innovations and applying a different business model to achieve success.
Google and Apple are both amazing companies, but I have a hard time finding fault with Apple's decision to sue Google's partners. If the tables were turned, and Google came out with an Android phone first, I would support Google suing Apple for the same reasons.
What Apple did do was market this newer form factor very successfully, effectively tying the iPhone form factor to their brand in view of public opinion, but it's revisionist to claim that they reinvented the smartphone into the design that we know and love today.
No, what Apple did was to bring its 20 years of experience making OSs to a mobile phone. Most of the iOS libraries are the same that in macOS.
Those are incredible low level-very efficient and smart work tested by millions of people on the real world for years, and very good designed.(Apple have really great designers not only on the outside)
The quality of this thing was(and is, Windows internals are sh*t, I had disassembled both, it always was about shipping fast and rough, fix later attitude) much bigger than anything else in the market at this time.
Google did the same porting Linux to mobile.
[Warning - Personal anecdote. #include<grain of salt>] Even in Nokia land, SonyEricsson land, what ever crap may have happened on the system you were ALWAYS able to attend phone calls. Even if the whole damn os came crashing down because of a rogue game, an incoming call was never missed or cut off. Once phone functionality became 'just an app', there are a lot more cases (personally) of the incoming phone calls flat out not responding because of some random rogue app. Both iOS and Android (early revisions) are equally guilty of this. Note, I'm not talking about dropped call or poor reception which may be a network issue. I'm specifically addressing the "code" part of the phone where functionality just did a 180.
I do despise how often my phone fails to act as an actual phone. I also despise the lack of hardware buttons to answer calls. The most frustrating aspect of a smart phone, is trying to answer a call while an app is going nuts, the screen won't swipe, or the damned buttons that aren't really buttons don't work.
Believe it or not, my first Android smartphone was only bought last year, and that too, because there weren't premium dumbphones. Most of them were cheap plasticky crap. Even Nokia seemed to have lost focus so I thought, "Hey why not?" and jumped in. It was hard to transition from blind messaging and blind dialing to actually giving a damn to what's going on, on the screen. I mean, it's just a slab of glass. They could've atleast had hardware Send and End keys like the HTC HD2... Otoh Google wants to go completely buttonless.
Marketing had a lot to do with it, but so did the quality of the OS.
Having gone through several iterations of Windows Mobile devices prior to the first iPhone, the iPhone was the first smartphone that I used that I didn't want to slam on the floor and stomp on repeatedly.
Is that enough justification for them to sue everyone else in an attempt to lock them out of the market?
To be clear, I don't agree with Apple's lawsuit, I think it's a waste of time/money related to one of Steve Job's personal grievances.
Keep in mind, however, that Apple is not suing everyone else. They aren't suing over Windows Phones. They didn't sue Palm/HP over WebOS. They also didn't sue RIM over the Playbook UI (although Palm should have sued them for knocking off WebOS). WP and WebOS do not look like knockoffs of iOS, unlike some of the disputed Samsung models.
Also remember that MS sued (and got lucrative settlements from) many of the same players that Apple is currently tangling with.
No, they're only suing their only serious competitor, which should tell you all you need to know about how much this is about protecting innovation vs locking out a legitimate alternative and reducing consumer choice.
I'm sure they could find plenty of bogus patents to use against MS and WebOS if they felt threatened by them at all.
WP and WebOS might be bit players, but they have novel UIs that are actually good and arguably better than iOS. In particular, WebOS had the best notifications.
WP and WebOS prove Apple's notion that it is possible to compete without an 'iPhone Skin'.
The only lawsuit Microsoft had against Android vendor was Barnes and Noble. Which was settled out of court (by investing into B&N to shut them up). Other vendors license things like exFAT and ActiveSync. Some vendors (notably Motorola and Sony) do not pay anything to Microsoft.
They are suing at least Samsung (the most successful Android vendor) all over the world.
There was only one lawsuit, and it was settled before information was leaked. Others license voluntarily, but we still don't know, what exactly. It is just educated guess that it is exFAT and ActiveSync, because exact licensing conditions are under NDA.
The reason this IS so important is because it re-enforces the "emergent technology" argument that many forget, which is the antithesis of what many argue...
Do you recall Knight Ridder had something looking almost the same as the iPad... In the video from 94, the speaker talks of emergent technologies enabling the future, not "first to market".
Society should outright reject any notion that emerge t technology is patentable, regardless if the "evil corporation" driving the insanity is Apple, Samsung, Google, etc
That just shows how little you know about Android. To take one example, Android's Intent system is amazing. It is one of the big things that makes Android so customizable and flexible. It enables wonderful features like generic sharing (and, impressively, replacing the share menu itself). Intents have worked so well that Google and Mozilla (among others) are bringing them to the web.
And letting other devs take a crack at improving some of the core functionality has helped Android leapfrog Apple in some very important ways. Just look at the innovation going on in third-party keyboards. After using Swype or Swiftkey going back to an iPhone keyboard is like pulling teeth. But Apple's paternalistic software model precludes this kind of thing which is why it's so important that they're not allowed to use the legal system to destroy competition in the smartphone space.
I'm sure there are examples of Apple following the pack. For example, an App Store is similar to apt (or other package managers) in Linux-land. Podcasts where included in iTunes after someone else invented them (I think). Apple produce Unix servers after other people were selling unix servers.
That's how the tech industry works, we all copy each other, to some degree.
Consumers lose - For example, I lost a very important feature on my phone due to a ridiculous patent threat by Apple (Universal Search).
Start-ups lose - I know atleast a couple of friends who were working on an innovative Adreno-Android based project that they left off only because of the fear of being sued (also,they were bootstrapping and they didn't have the money to afford a counter-suit, in case of a legal threat).
Now this is exactly the kind of behavior these patent wars are driving us to. Everyone is to blame here, but I personally have a heavy bias against Steve Jobs because he was a man who invented nothing useful except these patent wars. And boy, people keep praising him instead for his innovation...Seriously, we need more articles on how much innovation this man has ruined more he has contributed ever.
Can we try not to revise history.
I am grateful for the competition between both groups (Android and IOS). This competition forces organizations to compete on merit, or the market votes with its feet.
I have no "agenda". I'm an Android developer and I've owned one Apple device in my lifetime (and have no plans to buy new ones ever because of their business practices). I own multiple Android devices. I just realize that the iPhone truly did change touch devices forever because the UI was something new.
From the article,
The interesting thing here is that the release of the SDK with support for touch and large screens, as well as the release of this video and hardware reference design took place one month before the infamous photograph of the BlackBerry-esque device. This means that Google wasn't working with just one prototype, but several, which really shouldn't be a surprise at all, if you think about what Google wanted Android to be.
Android was never intended to run on just one form factor. Android runs on everything from candybar touch screen phones to qwerty-phones, and everything in between. Heck, there was a race to get Android running on laptops, and even before Android was well and ready for it, it was dumped on tablets.
Emphasis on blackberry and touchscreen appearing at the same time, and that Android was always intended to be form factor independent.
How does this equate to "in 2005, Android was blackberry"? Reference please.
That is where the "iPhone ripoff" claim comes in. Ripoff is too strong of a word, but it certainly had a huge influence on the direction of Android.
Apple refuses to license their patents - Samsung et. al. went to Apple and said "won't you please allow us to pay you to use your technology?" to which Apple emphatically answered "NO!". Here, Apple is using Motorola's technology and Motorola said "Apple, will you please pay us if you're going to use our technology?" and Apple's reply was the same: "NO!"
Apple is essentially doing the same thing that they're accusing Samsung of, except that Samsung really wanted to pay Apple, whereas Apple emphatically does not want to pay Motorola.
Samsung and all Android phone makers are fighting a losing battle as long as they keep such low profit margins. It's the failure of the licensing of one common OS for all phones. Nothing distinguishes these phones enough to allow one company to raise above the rest.
Samsung and the other Android phone makers can't count on anyone's loyalty. The Android user is only interested in the freest phone, regardless who makes it. Today Samsung, tomorrow X (fill in the mark).
Why does Apple have to support that?
Apple is fighting a losing battle trying to protect their exclusive, high-end slice of the smartphone world. They've already conceded the future (e.g. India, China and the rest of the developing world). Now they're just haggling over how long the present is going to last.
At the same time, patents were created as a mechanism to distort the free market in order to promote progress and innovation, not to be used as a weapon against it.
Apple's profit margins clearly demonstrate that these protections are not necessary for the kind of innovation that drives the mobile market these days.
Society doesn't need to support Apple's destructive war when it is working directly counter to the purpose of the patents used to wage it.
Perhaps it is time to force Apple to actually compete on free market terms.
If you invented a new approach to smartphones that became really successful and changed the industry, wouldn't you want to protect your hard work from others who copied it?
I won't dispute whether notifications was ripped from Android, but calling Notifications the "most fundamental" feature of iOS is an incredibly huge stretch.
If you ask 10 iPhone users what the most fundamental feature of iOS was, you'd probably get 6 or 7 different answers.
It was the first phone browser done right, and is still arguably the best. Outside of the phone operations, I would trade away every possible feature of iOS for Safari.
Notifications is an annoying piece of crap for a lot of people including me. That isn't to say the previous generation of alerts were not worse, they were.
But I highly doubt that many people think it is THE cornerstone feature. For some, like me, it's Safari. For others, it's FaceTime, others the camera, etc.
I think Safari still doesn't auto-highlight the text in the search box (my most used browser function besides actually scrolling a page), so annoying to start typing a new search time and realize it's just adding on to the last search time until I hit the x. I guess Safari now at least syncs tabs and bookmarks with the desktop version, but still it's a stretch to say it even competes as a top mobile browser IMO.
I think notifications are only annoying on older iOS versions. In Android they've always been unobtrusive, and with Android 3.0+ (and especially in 4.1) they've got a lot of added useful functionality.
But to get back to the point I would say the defining feature on iOS is proper group texting. So, yeah, that's a lot of quibbling words to basically agree with your point.
That should be enough of a reward.
Your view doesn't make sense to me. If you buy a nice car by working hard, should I be allowed to take it from you after you have had 'enough' time to drive it?
The patents being lobbed about like grenades don't fall into that category, IMO. No one would ever need to read a patent to see how to implement "slide to unlock."
The smartphone market is not zero-sum. There is plenty of room for multiple similar products.
But if you are planning on buying something, do it now. Soon you might not be able to buy anything.
As an Apple fan, I hope Google gets their way in the courts if not for a while. Why? Well if not only to get the Android people off their high horses in regards to legal issues and the companies behind them, but it would be the perfect way for an actual debate over software patents to be brought the forefront of public debate.
Reform on patents will only ever happen if people here feel the pain of the process. As it is we're too far removed still.
nuance at its finest
(In a Bizarro World, it's Siemens bringing back Symbian)
It is a dirty tactic but this is the system Microsoft and Apple and many other large tech companies lobbied for.
"Motorola Mobility unit said it filed a new patent-infringement case against Apple Inc. (AAPL) claiming that features on some Apple devices, including the Siri voice-recognition program, infringe its patents.
The complaint at the U.S. International Trade Commission claims infringement of seven Motorola Mobility patents on features including location reminders, e-mail notification and phone/video players"
Do you think that Lodsys suing to protect its intellectual property is also not wrong?
I don't buy the logic that doing the 'wrong' thing is okay because the other guy did it first.
Using force in self-defence is unacceptable?
A) Sufficiently complex. No more slide-to-unlock trivial bullshit.
B) Strict checks on prior art. Slide-to-unlock, again.
"Even if Motorola won an import ban next week, it would not affect the iPhone 4S and the new iPad 4G, nor the widely-anticipated iPhone 5, which is also expected to incorporate a Qualcomm baseband chipset."
IIRC, this discussion still needs to take place. I really, really hope that software patents are knocked on the head, unless there is true science, such as a complex algorithm, which should have a limited life of a few years AT MOST, otherwise my litmus test of "harm to society" is met.
Soon, there will be nothing left but a wasteland and some lawyers arguing over who gets to own half a dead cat while they warm their hands on oil drums full of burning currency.
*I can dream, can't I?
Well...here we go I guess.
2010, Oct 06: Motorola sues Apple over 18 patents, and files an ITC complaint against Apple over 6 of them.
2010, Oct 29: Apple sues Motorola over 6 patents, and files an ITC complaint against Motorola over 3 of them.
So far we've got Apple suing Motorola, Motorola suing back. Apple suing Samsung, and now Google suing Apple. Any others I've missed?
Here's one story about Sun shakedown in 80's
So far, Google and Samsung seem to be willing to talk about ending the mutual destruction and Apple is recalcitrant. When Apple is ready to talk, maybe things can improve.
In the past they seemed eager to talk rather than dispute because they had no weapons to defend themselves. Now that Google has acquired Motorola, they have the patents to go after anybody they want and that's exactly what they are doing.
Let's be clear: They've sued Apple, the one person who's been unwilling to cross-license their patents. They aren't suing Microsoft. They aren't suing Oracle. They aren't suing anyone else at this point.
Apple, on the other hand, has been suing every Android manufacturer under the sun with the full intention of destroying Android.
Is there any evidence to suggest that Google is unwilling to end this silliness, or are you just conjecturing based on their willingness to strike back while Apple remains unwilling?
The false equivalence that you and many other people continually try to draw in this thread and every other one like it has poisoned the well.
Nokia sues Apple over something? No big deal.
Apple sues Samsung over obvious copycat products? End of world.
Apple writes $10 bln check to Nokia without much fuss? Serves em right!
Samsung might owe Apple a couple billion? End of world.
There's a reason Apple sued Android first. and the consistent meme here that it's because Apple is the big bad is, frankly, total bullshit. Google et al. made conscious decisions to copy Apple's products.
Now maybe Apple also made a conscious decision to steal Motorola's tech. Maybe Apple's innovations are bullshit, obvious, non-new. OTOH maybe it isn't and maybe Motorola's is. In that case why should Apple cross license it's actual innovations to someone who wants to knock off their products? In that case, Fuck Samsung and Googlerola -- they can write checks just like Apple did to Nokia. Hardly the end of the world.
Point me to where I said anything about this case other than "Apple, on the other hand, has been suing every Android manufacturer under the sun with the full intention of destroying Android.", which I think is nearly inarguable at this point.
> Even Google's lawyers told Samsung to change their designs.
While Google did tell Samsung to change their design, I have no reason to believe that it was their lawyers (and thus had any legal weight, which is what "Google's lawyers" implies).
> The false equivalence that you and many other people continually try to draw in this thread and every other one like it has poisoned the well.
While I'm glad you've studied your rhetorical devices, can you explain what false equivalence I'm drawing? If it's Samsung v. Apple and Apple v. Samsung, see above. I didn't say anything about these cases, particularly about Samsung suing Apple.
I'll also note your response didn't contain any evidence of Google being unwilling to end this (or of Apple being willing to, but I didn't ask for that).
> Nokia sues Apple over something? No big deal.
Didn't mention this, please don't put others opinions in my mouth.
> Apple sues Samsung over obvious copycat products? End of world.
Didn't specifically mention this case anywhere.
> Apple writes $10 bln check to Nokia without much fuss? Serves em right!
Didn't mention this, at all. Anywhere.
> Samsung might owe Apple a couple billion? End of world.
Didn't mention this.
Please don't paint me with the brush of others. I make the comments in the context of my opinions, not others.
> Google et al. made conscious decisions to copy Apple's products.
Then why hasn't Apple sued Google directly? It's their software, yet Apple only goes after manufacturers.
> In that case, Fuck Samsung and Googlerola -- they can write checks just like Apple did to Nokia. Hardly the end of the world.
Again, show me that Apple has approached Google about licensing it's patents, or is even open to it. They aren't looking for a check, they're looking for the eradication of the platform. I'm going to ignore Samsung -- I'm not talking about them here, only you are.
It goes both ways and Apple can no longer claim to be the only princess on the block who everyone copies.
Hence why Google is being investigated for anti-competitive behaviour by ITC/EU. Given the important of FRAND in the standards process this is very much being evil.
Motorola, not Google, sued Apple and Microsoft over FRAND patents in April of 2011. It wasn't until August 2011 that Google even announced their intent to acquire Motorola Mobility, and it took until May 22nd, 2012 for the deal to actually close.
If you were referring to a different FRAND case, I apologize, this is the only one I'm aware of.
Evil is attacking the opponent with the new patents you just "bought" not even developed in-house
Well, when a company is suing all of the companies that use your software over your software, but don't come after you, what are you supposed to do to protect them? Because obviously the "trove" wasn't "big enough".
> Evil is attacking the opponent with the new patents you just "bought" not even developed in-house
So now companies aren't allowed to use the patents of the companies they've purchased? Should patents be invalidated once the original company is acquired? I'm against software patents in general, but to argue, under the existing system, that one of your subsidiary's shouldn't be allowed to use the patents they developed because you acquired them seems absurd.
It's just that one entity is under significant influence of the other. Doesn't change the fact, that yes, they are separate.