Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 17:19 UTC
Legal In a statement released today, Apple announced it is suing HTC, claiming the Taiwanese phone maker infringed upon 20 of Cupertino's patents related to the iPhone. After Nokia and Apple suing one another a number of times over the past couple of months, this is the next high-profile patent lawsuit in the mobile phones business. Engadget has the filings, and it seems that Apple wants to avoid angering Microsoft, but has no qualms about taking on Google. Update: Engadget analyses every single patent in the claim.
Order by: Score:
Apple vs MS
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 17:32 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

Potential reasons for avoiding MS:

1) Previous cross licensing legal agreements between the two may cover some technologies.

2) Past experience in litigation with MS. (aka once bitten, twice shy)

3) Not wanting to wage war in an arena where MS has been active longer, thus probably has a patent war chest to counter attack.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Apple vs MS
by Blackadder on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 17:45 UTC in reply to "Apple vs MS"
Blackadder Member since:
2010-02-03

It also helps to beat up the small(er) guys first, establish "validity" of patents in court and then with that precedent take the big guys to the court.

Edited 2010-03-02 17:55 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Apple vs MS
by melkor on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 06:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Apple vs MS"
melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

That's cos Apple is nothing but a bully.

Dave

Reply Score: 3

RE: Apple vs MS
by hurdboy on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 17:59 UTC in reply to "Apple vs MS"
hurdboy Member since:
2005-09-02

4. Microsoft Office for Mac.

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: Apple vs MS
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 22:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Apple vs MS"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yeah, that too. iWork ( other than keynote) stinks.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Apple vs MS
by Laurence on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 18:16 UTC in reply to "Apple vs MS"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

3) Not wanting to wage war in an arena where MS has been active longer, thus probably has a patent war chest to counter attack.


HTC have been active in the smart phone arena longer than Apple

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Apple vs MS - Apple
by jabbotts on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 19:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Apple vs MS"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I don't think the comparison is between HTC and Microsoft but rather Apple and Microsoft.

Microsoft has been active in the arena longer than Apple so if Apple started something, Microsoft may have more patents draw on then Apple.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Apple vs MS
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 22:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Apple vs MS"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

True enough, and I'd imagine they'll claim Apple has violated some of its patents as well. Still with HTC, its like a tactical border war rather than the nuclear holocaust of going toe to toe with the entire MS patent arsenal.

Reply Score: 2

Also, WinMo was out long before iPhone.
by MollyC on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 19:49 UTC in reply to "Apple vs MS"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Apple can't really argue that WinMo violates iPhone patents. And they likely won't argue it for WinPhone 7 Series, since that looks unlike anything in the phone market.

Regarding the alleged Android infractions against iPhone, I wonder why Apple doesn't go after Google directly rather than going after HTC (as far as the Android issues are concerned); and why Apple singled out HTC amongst all makers of Android phones.

Reply Score: 4

There are some very old patents involved.
by MollyC on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 21:24 UTC in reply to "Apple vs MS"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"Old" being relative to speed of tech world advances; i refer to patents issued in the mid-90's wrt classic MacOS and even a patent originally filed by NeXT. Things like a patent for "Object-Oriented Graphics System" and "Object-Oriented Operating System". Now, IIRC, in the 90's Micrsoft and Apple agreed to a total cross-licensing of all technologies, which would explain why Apple can't go after Microsoft for those older patents, and why WinMo is in the clear.

The patents are absurd, though.

Reply Score: 2

tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

"Old" being relative to speed of tech world advances; i refer to patents issued in the mid-90's wrt classic MacOS and even a patent originally filed by NeXT. Things like a patent for "Object-Oriented Graphics System" and "Object-Oriented Operating System". Now, IIRC, in the 90's Micrsoft and Apple agreed to a total cross-licensing of all technologies, which would explain why Apple can't go after Microsoft for those older patents, and why WinMo is in the clear.

The patents are absurd, though.


Don't forget the Taligent Patents in there as well.

Those patents are hardly absurd. But I don't expect someone eating for free to care about the time and efforts for the work involved.

Edited 2010-03-02 21:27 UTC

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Are those hardware or software and if software, why would copyright not provide a more applicable protection?

Reply Score: 2

uggg
by poundsmack on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 17:34 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

daily tech has this covered too: http://www.dailytech.com/Apple+Claims+Invention+of+MultiTouch+Phone...

one of the noticable things i saw and laughed at is Apple claiming to have invented multi touch... Multi touch concepts and even working systems (rare, but out there), have existed for teh better part of 10 years.

Also, HTC's custom UI's (Sense and TouchFLO 3D) have been around a lot longer than apple's iPhone OS and the iphone has some elements that existed prior in those UI's.

over all everyone of the mobile phone companies might as well just sit down, forming a circle, and just pass the money continuously to the left. with all the patents everyone infrenges on at least some dumb little thing,

"Ok, Apple hand the money to Nokia, Nokia hand the money to THC, etc..."

Reply Score: 8

RE: uggg
by Laurence on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 18:28 UTC in reply to "uggg"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Meanwhile the only people winning are the lawyers

Reply Score: 7

RE: uggg
by tupp on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 19:42 UTC in reply to "uggg"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

one of the noticable things i saw and laughed at is Apple claiming to have invented multi touch... Multi touch concepts and even working systems (rare, but out there), have existed for teh better part of 10 years."

You ain't going back far enough -- try 28 years (multi-touch first appeared in 1982):
http://www.billbuxton.com/multitouchOverview.html

In our world, multi-touch started two years before the original Mac. In the RDF, multi-touch was born with the Iphone.

Edited 2010-03-02 19:57 UTC

Reply Score: 10

v RE[2]: uggg
by jackeebleu on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 08:08 UTC in reply to "RE: uggg"
RE[3]: uggg
by Soulbender on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 09:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: uggg"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Using an existing technology on a new device does not make you the inventor of said technology.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: uggg
by tupp on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 13:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: uggg"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

Um, if multi-touch was so obvious and existed 20 years prior, then why oh why wouldnt all the smart phone vendors that for years had users navigating phones with jog wheels and sticks have used it.

First of all, fully touchscreen phones already existed long before the Iphone -- no sticks nor jog wheels needed.

Secondly, the concept of multitouch on a touchscreen phone was obvious, but required miniaturization to develop to a point in which it was feasible. In such instances, the vendor with the deepest pockets often comes out with the first version.

Additionally, manufacturers were skeptical of the value of multi-touch on a phone, relative to the expense/risk of being the first to implement it.

Furthermore, many still question value of multi-touch, in general.


Apple innovated. They brought multi touch to the phone and did it in an intuitive manner. Or did that not happen?

Apple was not the first to formally suggest the use of multi-touch on a phone. Synaptics (an Apple supplier) did so before Apple: http://www.synaptics.com/about/press/press-releases/synaptics-and-p...

Here's an article acknowledging that Synaptics was there before Apple: http://www.getusb.info/is-apple-iphone-synaptics-clearpad/

In addition, Nintendo was granted a patent for use of multi-touch on a hand held device prior to the release of the Iphone (the patent was applied for in 2004): http://www.joystiq.com/2006/02/26/patent-application-reveals-ninten...

So, Apple did not innovate (invent) the multi-touch phone -- they were just the first to get one into production.

In regards to Apple's multi-touch implementation being intuitive, to do things as simple as cut-and-paste on the Iphone requires a lengthy tutorial: http://www.butterscotch.com/tutorial/Cut-Copy-And-Paste-With-IPhone...

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: uggg
by poundsmack on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 17:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: uggg"
poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

"Um, if multi-touch was so obvious and existed 20 years prior, then why oh why wouldnt all the smart phone vendors that for years had users navigating phones with jog wheels and sticks have used it."

Following your line of logic, here are a few others things we should be using instead of existing tech regardless of limitations that make it practical at the time:

1). They have nuclear powered submarines, why is my nuclear powered laptop?

2). OLED has existed for a while now, where is my 52 inch OLED tv?

3). I take vitamins in pill form that have most of the nutrients I need for a day in one serving. Why isn't all my food in pill form?

4). I have a universal remote and it can control all the devices in my house. When I go outside some times the sun hurts my eyes. Where is my universal remote for adjusting the physical properties of the world around me with mere button clicks?

...i was going to go on and on and on but you get the point. Just because a tech exists doesn't mean it would be simple to implement or practical to implement. It's just the way it is. otherwise we would have have fiber based internet to our houses, graphine would have replaced silicon, and quantum computers would be our overlords and force us to build mighty pyramids to ensure future generations of human slaves know whos boss....

Reply Score: 3

Begun the patent wars have
by Praxis on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 17:36 UTC
Praxis
Member since:
2009-09-17

It seems like more and more companies are firing off patent lawsuits these days, you have Apple/Nokia, Xerox/Google-Yahoo, Kodak/Apple-Rim, and now Apple/HTC. And I'm sure HTC will fire back with their own suit. This one appears a little different than the rest though. The others seem to be plays for cross-licensing deals or just plain cash, but this one seems more like a get HTC banned from selling there stuff suit.

Doing a quick look through of the patent claims a lot look like bullshit software stuff, but I'm not an expert. I really hope that the Supreme Court case on software patents comes through with a win for freedom, that would shut a lot of these suit up fast. Sadly I don't have much faith. We will have to rely on our great and wonderful congressmen to fix this through swift and effective legislative action....who am I kidding we're boned.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Begun the patent wars have
by phoudoin on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 18:53 UTC in reply to "Begun the patent wars have"
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

Meanwhile, HTC (and Google) is welcome to more focus on Europe market, where patents like those have no value (yet).

Apple, we've heard your message.

Reply Score: 5

Hilarious
by Soulbender on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 17:46 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

"We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."

That statement by Jobs made me shoot coffee out of my nose. You couldn't make irony like this up.

Reply Score: 17

RE: Hilarious
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 17:52 UTC in reply to "Hilarious"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

That's preaching to the choir. Apple fanatics eat that stuff up. Let him enjoy commanding his own army of imps.

As for the suit itself - I hope all of these companies suffer major financial blowbacks because of this nonsense. Nokia, Apple, I don't care.

Oh, and LOL:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW0DUg63lqU&feature=player_embedded

Edited 2010-03-02 17:54 UTC

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: Hilarious
by Ikshaar on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 18:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Hilarious"
Ikshaar Member since:
2005-07-14

Thx Thom for video... quite telling.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Hilarious
by bralkein on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 18:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Hilarious"
bralkein Member since:
2006-12-20

Okay, that video is hilarious. It would be fantastic if Nokia brought that out in court. I have no idea if it would help their case or not, I just think they should do it for the lols!

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Hilarious
by Gone fishing on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 19:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Hilarious"
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

Thanks great link.

Confirms my opinion about Apple being a shameless hypocritical company and Jobs being a shameless hypocritical ****.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Hilarious
by tupp on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 19:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Hilarious"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

Thanks for the link to the video interview of Jobs.

Jobs misquotes Pablo Picasso when he says, "Good artists copy, great artists steal."

Picasso actually said, "Bad artists copy, good artists steal." The Picasso quote has a different connotation than Jobs' misquote.

Jobs/Apple do significantly more copying than "stealing."

By the way, decades before Pablo Picasso's quote, T.S. Elliot stated: "Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal..."

In the same video interview, Jobs makes this statement about Microsoft and "taste": "The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste..., and what that means is... they don't think of original ideas." ( http://youtube.com/watch?v=upzKj-1HaKw )

Interesting. Especially when that quote is juxtaposed with another Picasso quote: "Ah, good taste! What a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness." (Anderson, SC, March 24, 1957)

The juxtaposition of these two quotes exemplifies the philosophical dichotomy between those who are truly creative/original and those who try to seem creative/original. I tend to side with the brilliant, pioneering artist, rather than the snobby, self-deluded CEO.

Of course, this dramatic difference in creative philosophy (and in quote interpretation) didn't stop Apple from shamelessly exploiting Pablo Picasso's image in its advertising: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdxVIyuO4OU

Reply Score: 9

RE[3]: Hilarious
by Oliver Weichhold on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 19:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hilarious"
Oliver Weichhold Member since:
2009-06-06

God help us all if Apple ever manages to get as Big in terms of market share as Microsoft is now. That's going to be a new dark age and people will cry themselves into sleep wishing MS would return. And I don't MS at all.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Hilarious
by jimmystewpot on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 22:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hilarious"
jimmystewpot Member since:
2006-01-19

I really agree with you. But I think that time has already come in some areas.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Hilarious
by Soulbender on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 11:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Hilarious"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I was going to write something here but nothing I could write could be better than this most wonderful irony.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hilarious
by Laurence on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 18:20 UTC in reply to "Hilarious"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I wrote a very brief article on this myself.

It reads like this (and pardon the flame-bate, but Job's comments hit a nerve)


Once again, Apple chooses to lead by hypocrisy and sue a technology giant that has been building iPhone-like handsets long before the iPhone was even a message from God *ahem* Jobs.

In a statement published by the BBC, Apple boss Steve Jobs said: "We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it.

"We've decided to do something about it," he said. "We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."

So I'll be expecting Apple to concede to Nokia's demands in their patent trial then....

Reply Score: 5

Haha
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 18:09 UTC
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

Haha look at this one:

"The '599 Patent, entitled "Object-Oriented Graphic System," was duly and legally issued on October 3, 1995 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the '599 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit I."

Ha, Apple patented the object-oriented graphical operating system.

Or this one:

"The '721 patent relates generally to a means of allowing computer programs running one process to access objects that are located within a different process."

*blinks*.

What the fcuk, that's like one step away from just flat-out patenting the operating system. I'm sorry my American friends, but your patent office is fcuked up.

Reply Score: 13

RE: Haha
by Laurence on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 18:19 UTC in reply to "Haha"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

*deleted*
wrong thread. sorry

Edited 2010-03-02 18:20 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Haha
by griffbrad on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 18:34 UTC in reply to "Haha"
griffbrad Member since:
2006-04-27

While I generally agree with you, it is important to remember that the meat of a patent is its claims, not its title. The title is almost always as broad and as vague as they can get away with, but then as you read through the claims one by one, the scope should get progressively more narrow.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Haha
by Ikshaar on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 19:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Haha"
Ikshaar Member since:
2005-07-14

I have not read those ones in particular, but I read some other in IT field and some are as empty as their title.

The patent office has become the absolute opposite of what it was supposed to be, allowing patent of "possibility" (and not real invention) to kill the emergence of any possible competitor.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Haha
by Praxis on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 18:35 UTC in reply to "Haha"
Praxis Member since:
2009-09-17


What the fcuk, that's like one step away from just flat-out patenting the operating system. I'm sorry my American friends, but your patent office is fcuked up.


At this point I think they just approve everything by default and let the courts sort every thing out.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Haha
by dylansmrjones on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 18:36 UTC in reply to "Haha"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Hmm... makes me wonder about OS/2 and WPS in particular.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Haha
by phoudoin on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 18:42 UTC in reply to "Haha"
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

I wonder who patent the idea of a pattent office...

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Haha
by Cody Evans on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 00:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Haha"
Cody Evans Member since:
2009-08-14

I wonder if anyone has patented the Reality Distortion Field...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Haha
by Caveman2 on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 05:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Haha"
Caveman2 Member since:
2010-01-06

I wonder who patent the idea of a pattent office...


Probably Apple,lol Seriously,Apple is nothing but a joke,but sadly a joke people buy.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Haha
by clhodapp on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 18:42 UTC in reply to "Haha"
clhodapp Member since:
2009-12-04

These are prime examples of the problem with software patents: the concepts being patented are always too obvious or too broad (or, though it's not applicable here, too mathematical i.e. algorithms). Also, as you point out, our patent office has significant trouble figuring out that the idea being patented has already existed and is commonplace (admittedly, sometimes it isn't at the time the patent is filed for, but grows to the point of being such before the long patent approval process is complete). What ends up happening is that people just ignore the especially dumb ones, I guess. Then this (i.e. a several-years-late lawsuit) happens.

Separately, how the HECK can you patent multitouch? It is pretty much the most obvious incremental improvement over single touch. Maybe a particular method for doing capacitive multitouch?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Haha
by cb_osn on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 19:23 UTC in reply to "Haha"
cb_osn Member since:
2006-02-26

I'm sorry my American friends, but your patent office is fcuked up.

No, Thom. Fcuked up would be an improvement. There isn't a foul enough series of words that is sufficient to describe the USPTO. Because of this, I find that I almost always tend to side with the defendant/respondent in patent cases, particularly those involving software.

So while I support Apple in the Nokia/Apple case (since Nokia initiated the action there), in this case, I'm fully behind HTC.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Haha
by Dubhthach on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 20:42 UTC in reply to "Haha"
Dubhthach Member since:
2006-01-12

Haha look at this one:

"The '599 Patent, entitled "Object-Oriented Graphic System," was duly and legally issued on October 3, 1995 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the '599 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit I."

Ha, Apple patented the object-oriented graphical operating system.


Surely the Xerox Star using smalltalk had an object-oriented graphical OS back in the late 70's? What's even funnier in a way is that you could argue that Nextstep is prior art against that patent (patent was lodged by Apple while Next still existed)

Reply Score: 2

Web search engine, Apple?
by phoudoin on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 18:48 UTC
phoudoin
Member since:
2006-06-09

I wonder when Google will decide to filter/blocks iPhones to *promote* that Apple create his (very, like always) own original Web search engine instead of *stealing* Google's.

Thanks again (and again) Apple to remind me near every week why I will never bought any of your product.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Web search engine, Apple?
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 18:51 UTC in reply to "Web search engine, Apple?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I'd say it is not entirely unlikely that, seeing how Apple's case is mostly about Android, HTC and Google will both counter-sue. I'm pretty sure HTC is already in talks with Google about this one.

I certainly hope so.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Web search engine, Apple?
by lemur2 on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 10:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Web search engine, Apple?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I'd say it is not entirely unlikely that, seeing how Apple's case is mostly about Android, HTC and Google will both counter-sue. I'm pretty sure HTC is already in talks with Google about this one.

I certainly hope so.


It does seem to be about Android.

Tech Crunch agree:
http://techcrunch.com/2010/03/02/the-complaint-apples-patent-lawsui...

If I were HTC or Google, I'd simply join the OIN (if they haven't already).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Invention_Network

The Linux Foundation could then help out by counter-suing with the Commerce One Web Services Patents - basically threatening to prevent Apple from being able Apple to offer business services over the web ... an iTunes take-down if you will.

Some patents of IBM, Novell, Philips, Red Hat, Sony, NEC and Oracle also might be able to brought into play here.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Web search engine, Apple?
by VZsolt on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 19:21 UTC in reply to "Web search engine, Apple?"
VZsolt Member since:
2008-10-31

"Stealing" Google's web search?
Do you really think there's no money involved at all?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Web search engine, Apple?
by robcj on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 06:32 UTC in reply to "Web search engine, Apple?"
robcj Member since:
2007-10-11

Why in the world would Google want to block iPhone users from Google search? You know Google makes money displaying ads to search users, right?

It's been rumoured that Google actually pays Apple over $100 million per year in revenue sharing in exchange for Google's position as the default search engine on the iPhone. That should tell you that Google makes a lot of money off of iPhone users. It's well known in the advertising industry that people are much more likely to click on mobile ads than they are on desktop ads, at least for now.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Web search engine, Apple?
by phoudoin on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 10:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Web search engine, Apple?"
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

Yeah, right, like if iPhone's default search engine was not Google, users wont reclaim it.

Google needs iPhone users more those needs Google!?
Talk about Reality Distorsion Field!

Edited 2010-03-03 10:57 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Comment by Gone fishing
by Gone fishing on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 19:06 UTC
Gone fishing
Member since:
2006-02-22

Everyone can see it's stupid, everyone can see that this can end in disaster, just like everyone could see the banking disaster coming.

The tech companies are forming alliance blocks just like Europe before WW1. Companies like Apple are seeing how far they can push it. At some point someone will push it to far and we will have war to the detriment of all but a few teams of lawyers.

People will loose jobs economies will be hurt. Why can't sense prevail? The patient system was suppose to encourage innovation not create cartels and opposing power blocks. Some things are obviously insane 20 years for software patent surely even politicians can see that’s mad.

I just hope the greedy and selfish get their finger burnt and this serves as a warning to the rest but I'm not hopeful.

Reply Score: 8

Blocking move
by Morty on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 19:08 UTC
Morty
Member since:
2005-07-06

The important part is not really the filing of the patent lawsuit itself, but the filing of it at the US International Trade Commission. It's about blocking a Taiwanese competitors access to the US market. Currently HTC is the biggest competitor in the US smartphone market, having a big growth rate. As long as they manage to tie HTC up in a patent lawsuit, they may get ITC to block access to US market.

Edited 2010-03-02 19:11 UTC

Reply Score: 9

v Fear
by phoudoin on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 19:09 UTC
RE: Fear - they are in third place
by jabbotts on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 19:57 UTC in reply to "Fear"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

From what I recall of the latest market figures, Apple is still in around third place in the phone market. In the smartphone market segment, Blackberry is number one I believe.

Reply Score: 2

phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

Agreed, but in the smartphone market, they're the #1 to kill in the mind of... everybody.
This place them in an defensive position, one that they're not used to.

And it shows.

Reply Score: 0

The endless story...
by zhuravlik on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 19:41 UTC
zhuravlik
Member since:
2009-08-24

Until the quality of products be the only criterion in market competitions, patent wars continue.

Patents only restrict public ideas and lead to monopolies. It's not the fair market play, it is a capture of markets.

Reply Score: 1

Pantienting anothers invention
by Phalanger on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 19:42 UTC
Phalanger
Member since:
2010-03-02

Steve Jobs is saying Apple has a patent for the use of multi touch. Just one little thing...

Someone else invented the multi touch screen (the actual hardware)!

So how can you patent the use of someone else's invention?! This has to be the most ridiculous patents of all time, and then the fact he wants to tell them off for using "their work" is just amazing to believe, when it's just what he is doing. Gestures were in many mouse pads, this is also not new.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Pantienting - patent it first
by jabbotts on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 23:49 UTC in reply to "Pantienting anothers invention"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

That's how messed up the patent system is. It's not who invented a thing but who filed for patent on it first.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Pantienting anothers invention
by mkone on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 00:00 UTC in reply to "Pantienting anothers invention"
mkone Member since:
2006-03-14

So how can you patent the use of someone else's invention?! This has to be the most ridiculous patents of all time, and then the fact he wants to tell them off for using "their work" is just amazing to believe, when it's just what he is doing. Gestures were in many mouse pads, this is also not new.


Apple bought the company that owned the patents! So, assuming the patents are valid, then they own them.

Reply Score: 1

bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Basically that means that apple can legally control the entities that make multi touch hardware.

And yes this is absurd. Only the folks who figured out the method to do multitouch in the first place in hardware should hold the patent.

Reply Score: 2

mkone Member since:
2006-03-14

Basically that means that apple can legally control the entities that make multi touch hardware.

And yes this is absurd. Only the folks who figured out the method to do multitouch in the first place in hardware should hold the patent.


That wouldn't make sense. What if the guy who patented the technology didn't have the means to bring it to market. Selling patents is fine. As long as the original inventor gets compensated for it.

And yes, if a company that Apple bought held valid patents on multi-touch technology, then everyone shoujld pay Apple to use the patents. They also had the opportunity to buy Fingerworks. If they didn't then they obviously didn't foresee the technology's potential, and only realised it one Apple brought a product to market. Apple took risks and deserves the reward.

Reply Score: 2

dates?
by l3v1 on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 19:43 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

It would be interesting to see the market appearance dates of the mentioned HTC phones in relation to iPhone release dates. E.g. if I remember correctly, the TiltII came out around the same time as the iPhone in 2007. While it might not count - who knows when the mentioned patents were submitted/granted - it might shed some light on real issues here.

All in all, this is no surprise, I think everyone&dog have already got used to such parades around patents.

One way or the other, money will change hands, and everyone always settles.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by motang
by motang on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 20:07 UTC
motang
Member since:
2008-03-27

So I am guess the popularity of Android is really gotten Apple noticed.

Reply Score: 3

multitasking
by Ikshaar on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 20:53 UTC
Ikshaar
Member since:
2005-07-14

omg... they have a patent for multitasking... and sue HTC/Android for something the iPhone cannot do... lol

Reply Score: 5

if you cant beat them
by viator on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 20:59 UTC
viator
Member since:
2005-10-11

Apples new slogan if you cant beat em sue em. They fear the up and coming ANDROID OS. And HTC phones have been getting better and better. What better way to thwart your enemies innovation than with frivolous patent lawsuits. Makes me sick and just adds to the ever longer list (added to daily it seems)of reasons i wont buy ANOTHER apple product in the future!

Reply Score: 3

Nokia patents
by vivainio on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 22:17 UTC
vivainio
Member since:
2008-12-26

Isn't this pretty much the same set of troll patents Apple is trying to use against Nokia?

Reply Score: 3

FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

I read the first one about non-constant scaling translations. Aren't patents supposed to be non-obvious?

This is just a special effect. Are special effects patentable? Can you patent their use in a movie?

Can't wait for someone to patent reality tv.

Reply Score: 3

Just goes to prove...
by corbintechboy on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 22:20 UTC
corbintechboy
Member since:
2006-05-02

Our justice (?) system is so screwed up. Unlock feature on a touchscreen patented by Apple? Give me a break!

Who can really patent a motion with a finger? This is patenting the way I move, software aside.

I think waaay to many companies get to go out and claim "I invented it first" and remove the logic of ease of use on other companies. Logically, if you have a touch screen device the easiest way to unlock that device is from the screen.

I think that they should stop patenting software! Maybe make the code itself hold some legal ground, not the feature of the software.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Just goes to prove... - copyright
by jabbotts on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 00:00 UTC in reply to "Just goes to prove..."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"Maybe make the code itself hold some legal ground, not the feature of the software."

Code itself is protected by copyright.

Reply Score: 3

corbintechboy Member since:
2006-05-02

That is true and I realize that. Why can't copyright alone be the protection for software?

If logic is logic, what form of innovation can simply come from simple logic? There is no sense in trying to re-invent the wheel when the wheel works fine.

My wife has an LG Chocolate touch and it uses a slide touch unlock feature, why is Apple not suing LG? No threat! On the other hand, HTC has a chance to put a dent into the profits of Apple... SURPRISE... We (Apple) rather not innovate to make our product better and more appealing to the masses (like those of days gone by have done in the face of losing customers), let's just sue...

American justice at work! All about the bottom line!

Reminds me of my children arguing over a toy! I really did believe we lived in a country with free enterprise, not a country dictated by what others do? Our legal system really needs help!

Edited 2010-03-03 03:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

That is true and I realize that. Why can't copyright alone be the protection for software?


Because certain types of software can't be protected from copyright due to reverse engineering. It can take millions in research to come up with a solution that can be reverse engineered by a competitor in a weekend.

But the system clearly needs to be reformed. Mouse gestures should not be given the same patent status as as a chemical analysis algorithm.

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Would putting the "secret sauce" code in a rom or firmware chip protect it from reverse engineering? Competition would have the inputs and responses from the chip but wouldn't be able to run binary analysis against the raw compiled code blob.

Also, they would have to implement the duplicate solution in a way that did not breach the original solution's copyright. Either the first company provides the most efficient solution or competition delivers a more refined solution to the customer; the natural market forces work.

In the case of things like GPU drivers; put the firmware blob on the hardware in a flash chip and provide a generic driver interface - problem solved. The secret sauce code remains closed while the driver code can be opened up resulting in benefits that a single company has yet to match.

Would these approaches not work while resulting in a healthier more innovative software market?

Reply Score: 3

Obvious, but not expensive
by Zifre on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 22:50 UTC
Zifre
Member since:
2009-10-04

Let me just start by saying that I absolutely hate software patents and pretty much all patents in general. However, I am not going to debate that. Patents are here to stay, and so are software patents, probably.

One of the qualifications for receiving a patent is that it must not be obvious. I think this needs to be changed. It needs to be replaced with "expensive to develop".

For example, see this patent: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d...

This is one of the patents that Apple is using. It covers the scrolling behavior where scrolling past the end of the document causes it to "bounce" back when released.

I would argue that this patent is not obvious. The obvious behavior would be for the document to stop scrolling when the end is hit. However, it did not take thousands of dollars of R&D to invent this. Most likely, some Apple engineer said, "Hey guys, we can implement this behavior and it would look cool!" and proceeded to implement it in one hour.

Something that I would argue could be patentable, is something like MP3 (as I saw someone post earlier on some other article). A group of experts got together, did testing, and determined how to compress audio without sacrificing much quality. It was definitely not obvious how to do this, and it was quite expensive to do it. Those people should be paid for there efforts. But when someone just implements some simple way of doing something, patents it, and tries to stop everyone else who just happened to do the same thing, they should not get paid for their invention.

Edited 2010-03-02 22:52 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Obvious, but not expensive
by bnolsen on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 14:14 UTC in reply to "Obvious, but not expensive"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

I sort of see your point, but mp3 is just a bunch of algorithms. By this argument you could say that my company should be patenting certain rigid body dynamics operations using geometric algebra -- theres some foundation of concrete discovery combined with some hand wavey heuristics that seem to work. That was a lot of work. But how would that be so different from patenting "pi"? I have no problem with the above being held as a trade secret, though.

Reply Score: 3

Stock Price
by John Blink on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 23:12 UTC
John Blink
Member since:
2005-10-11

After Apple told the press and hasn't served HTC yet, how is Apple stock price ;)

Reply Score: 4

Here be unicorns
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 23:44 UTC
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

After all this I am convinced OSNews LLC can patent "Method for displaying crazy bullshit on a computer display". We could sue teh entire intarwebs and buy unicorns.

Reply Score: 2

gloves are off
by cycoj on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 23:59 UTC
cycoj
Member since:
2007-11-04

It's interesting to see how in a market where the big guys didn't sue each other suddenly the gloves are off. I'm talking about software companies not hardware (those guys have been suing each other before). Somehow most of these suits involve Apple. I think this is going to be a real test for the patent system and hopefully it will show how ridiculous especially software patents are. I think if this continues we'll see the patent system fall apart (hey I'm an optimist!).

I think it's also confirms another thing, that I've said for quite a while now; Apple is going head-to-head with Google. They want to become a distributor of information, it shows with Itunes, the app store and with what they are doing with the Ipad. In a way they want to circumvent Google who is trying to make everything web-based.

BTW Patent #7,383,453, which was granted in 2008 WTF!! ARM has been doing this stuff for how long? You'd think they would hold several patents for this.

Reply Score: 2

General
by computrius on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 00:39 UTC
computrius
Member since:
2006-03-26

These things are so general I am almost afraid to code anything. One could probably get sued for making "Hello World!".

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ballmerlikesgoogle
by ballmerlikesgoogle on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 00:40 UTC
ballmerlikesgoogle
Member since:
2009-10-23

This is getting sad......

The patent system in the US is crap, millions out of work in the US (more crap) Apple does all their manufacturing work for their products overseas when there are people here dying to do the work. (even more crap) Apple which was more respected in the past is just becoming another monopolistic sadistic corporation.

That adds up simply to being simply:

Crap.

Or how about:

ICrap.

Reply Score: 0

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

The U.S. patent system isn't crap. A ton of innovation has come from it.

The problem is that software patents are given out too easily. User interface patents should probably be dropped or at least expire quicker.

Complex algorithm patents like MP3 make sense but not something like scroll behavior.

But with that said I think this is pretty low of Apple. HTC can't replicate the app store so it isn't as if Apple's profits are really being threatened. This is just lame. Coke does just fine with knock-offs on the market, so can Apple.

Reply Score: 4

Apple will need deep pockets
by r.j.l on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 04:16 UTC
r.j.l
Member since:
2009-08-15

At the moment Apple is going to be spending some dollars on lawyers to say the least.

When will these companies realise that the only people that win by this litigations are the lawyers.

Time to review patent laws I think, this whole scenario is just purely dumb. Spend the dollars innovating and not hiring lawyers.

If they pursue these issues too far they run the risk invalidating their patents, so will they settle for cross-licensing ?

We are in for some interesting events on the phone front

Reply Score: 1

Misuse of patenting system
by kajaman on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 08:00 UTC
kajaman
Member since:
2006-01-06

There is industry, where innovation was really strong during last few years. I speak about mobile phones, smartphones etc. We saw iPhone, we saw great Symbian phones, and, finally we saw Android phones. Hardware gets better and better and so does software.

Now, a patenting system, that is meant to promote innovations is going to kill that.

Is patenting system working right? You answer.

Reply Score: 3

Morons granting patents?
by wojnicki on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 08:25 UTC
wojnicki
Member since:
2009-06-23

I went through the engadget story. Bottomline: how could the patent office grant them in the first place? Such solutions, which Apple holds patents for (especially those granted recently), have been broadly used and there are numerous applications in different devices from vast number of manufacturers in the market. It's just in sane!

Reply Score: 1

Ok
by aliquis on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 12:08 UTC
aliquis
Member since:
2005-07-23

Looks like I have to change my idea of Apple from:

1) Good UI-interfaces for real humans.
2) Mediocre software.
3) Crappy hardware.

Into:
Patent troll.


So absurb, I guess they sue on software patents and design, atleast Nokia have patented real stuff which cost money to develop.

I also guess they see how they can have more patents in the area than Google but be more equal with Microsoft.

Poor acting, Apple suck.

Reply Score: 1

ignoring the US
by wanker90210 on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 14:10 UTC
wanker90210
Member since:
2007-10-26

Now that the US is being marginalized and of diminishing importance I wonder how long it will take until the rest of the world says "sod this, piss off USA" and simply ignore them. If they have nothing to offer to the rest of the world other than patent fees, what is the purpose dealing with them?

Historically a military superior country that is getting poor never led to anything nice. The boxing rebellion in China would be the most ironic example.

Reply Score: 2

WTF?
by Drunkula on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 14:14 UTC
Drunkula
Member since:
2009-09-03

I looked at a summary of the claimed infringements. Have they gone completely whacko? But then again the patent system allows this BS to continue. ;)

Reply Score: 1

lol
by Ikshaar on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 16:47 UTC
Ikshaar
Member since:
2005-07-14

I like that the ads most often inserted in OSnews is for ... HTC Nexus one ;)

Got my Nexus 2 days ago, and I know why Apple decided it was time to try to buried HTC with suits - it's a damn nice phone. Android/HTC phones are a serious threat to Apple revenue for sure.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by JeffS
by JeffS on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 19:03 UTC
JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

Apple truly is playing with fire, and they are going to get burned. I'm sure Google has an arsenal of patents, and Google is not going to like this latest idiocy one single bit. Not to mention HTC might counter sue with it's own patents. Let's not forget other Android partners (Motorola, others), all of whom have big patent portfolios. And oh yeah, Apple's already in patent war phone giant Nokia.

Apple's going to start a full on Armageddon patent war against all the other players in in the smart phone market, and get crushed in the process.

I think this really shows major weakness on Apple's part. They are now officially worried about competing, since they evidently can't innovate anymore - just look at the iPad, a worthless, pointless, overpriced, piece of crap, joke of a product.

Also look at iPhone competing products - Droid, Nexus One, etc, which blow iPhone out of the water in terms of features, performance, quality, and price.

Steve Jobs' mojo is now gone. He and Apple can't innovate anymore, so he's going to try to stop his competitors through the courts. Good luck with that, buddy.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by JeffS
by mkone on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 22:21 UTC in reply to "Comment by JeffS"
mkone Member since:
2006-03-14

Apple truly is playing with fire, and they are going to get burned. I'm sure Google has an arsenal of patents, and Google is not going to like this latest idiocy one single bit. Not to mention HTC might counter sue with it's own patents. Let's not forget other Android partners (Motorola, others), all of whom have big patent portfolios. And oh yeah, Apple's already in patent war phone giant Nokia.

Apple's going to start a full on Armageddon patent war against all the other players in in the smart phone market, and get crushed in the process.

I think this really shows major weakness on Apple's part. They are now officially worried about competing, since they evidently can't innovate anymore - just look at the iPad, a worthless, pointless, overpriced, piece of crap, joke of a product.

Also look at iPhone competing products - Droid, Nexus One, etc, which blow iPhone out of the water in terms of features, performance, quality, and price.

Steve Jobs' mojo is now gone. He and Apple can't innovate anymore, so he's going to try to stop his competitors through the courts. Good luck with that, buddy.


And you got this without using the product at all. I wouldn't trust geeks with predicting what will be popular. Geeks hated the original iMac, thought very little of the iPod and wrote off the iPhone. All incredibly successful products. Geeks also loved the Apple Newton!

So when did Steve's mojo go. Yesterday? The company that has recently had record profits, record revenues and record sales. I think he still has his mojo and he is allowed to make a few errors before anyone is entitled to call him 'over the hill'.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by JeffS
by JeffS on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 23:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by JeffS"
JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12



And you got this without using the product at all. I wouldn't trust geeks with predicting what will be popular. Geeks hated the original iMac, thought very little of the iPod and wrote off the iPhone. All incredibly successful products. Geeks also loved the Apple Newton!

So when did Steve's mojo go. Yesterday? The company that has recently had record profits, record revenues and record sales. I think he still has his mojo and he is allowed to make a few errors before anyone is entitled to call him 'over the hill'.


The record profits were due to changes in accounting/reporting, which Apple admitted (but only under the covers), and the stock analysts were quick to point out.

And sorry, the iPad simply underwhelms - it's simply an iPod Touch that's bigger (and more expensive). It lacks multi-tasking (seriously? really? yagottabekidding!), has minimal storage, doesn't support flash, and on and on. For it's form factor, you might as well get a Netbook, and get much, much, much more for much less money. Really, some the Netbooks coming out are pretty well powered machines. Or you might as well go the other way and get the more portable iPod Touch.

But I digress, that's a topic that's been discussed to death. Long story short, the general public, including even the Apple cult, reacted with a collective yawn, in spite of the hype.

And yes, I've been shopping around for a smart phone, and looked at what friends and coworkers have, and of the ones I've seen (Blackberry, Android based devices, iPhone) the most unimpressive is the iPhone.

Sorry, but the coolness is fading.

And this lawsuit is very strong evidence of that. Apple is afraid, no terrified, of Android.

Reply Score: 4

you got that right!
by viator on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 22:32 UTC
viator
Member since:
2005-10-11

^5 JeffS my thoughts exactly.I think nokia motorola htc google etc should form a patent group that protects each other and allows for innovation.
Maybe a community/group to look for prior art can be formed. Have a bounty system to reward whoever finds the prior art. Ill throw in the first $100.00

Reply Score: 1

no real winners
by jimmystewpot on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 22:37 UTC
jimmystewpot
Member since:
2006-01-19

In these types of scenario we see that the the only real winners are the lawyers. The consumer is going to be the looser in the long run and all these disputes really just disrupt innovation.

Its a sad time for the consumer and a great time for lawyers.

Reply Score: 1