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This passes for news!? Write much?
as news... not. as really awesome point on lame reality with apple and patents. more than definitely.
apple is pro patents when suing someone for them and against when they are being sued. instead of fair competition, they are just big bunch of whiners who can't decide on which side they belong
No Thom made it very clear in other articles he does not support software patents.
He meant, I think, that Apple should find a different way than software patents to combat their competitors.
Like improving products, lowering prices or who knows maybe even innovation.
"Combine the advertising budget of Google, HTC, Samsung, etc with the I'm getting one of these because everyone else has one of those mentality of young people"
But don't discount the fact that apple advertises very heavily also.
"I hate Apple's walled garden so I'm getting one of these group, and you have a pretty clear answer to the rise of Android. It's got absolutely zero to do with quality, price (except at the junky low end) or innovation."
Well, you could include quality problems like the iphone grip of death...but I'm just pulling your leg.
The apple walled garden is a legitimate reason for customers to avoid apple. If this is causing apple to loose market share, then maybe they should change their offering to align with what more people want.
Apple as a single company is growing the fastest of the lot. But they can't compete against a whole industry for market share.
That said, patents exist exactly to protect invention IP. The real question is whether they should apply to software - and the real answer to that is easy. Software is written, often iteratively, not invented. It already gets copyright protection (and a kind of defacto trade secret protection too), which is more than adequate. It doesn't also need patent protection.
I don't know what Thom's thoughts are, I was trying to be helpful.
are you seriously suggesting that android users have more of a herd mentality than apple users?
that IS funny.
Going by the number of factual inaccuracies you've posted, I'm getting the distinct impression that you're either a touch biased on this subject or haven't properly research your subject.
Sorry for the lengthy post, but there's a lot I should challenge you on:
Don't waste your time As noticed before by someone else (twitterfire IIRC), ourcomputerbloke is mrhasbean's new incarnation. He won't read nor reply. Edited 2011-07-12 15:51 UTC
Their success or lack of success in the marketplace is not an excuse for their messed up stance on patents. It doesn't matter if they are winning or losing, they're still trying to cheat. Just like Nixon, they're miserable when out of power, paranoid when in power and always looking to get any advantage regardless of the legality of it.
Android saw light of day 2005 and in the same year was acquired by Google. The first iphone saw light of day 2007.
The other day I heard a TV presenter on a major news channel spoke about iphone being thee revolutionary device. ..The first real smart phone that everyone is copying. This is not true.
Although iphone is a great product it was not the first of its kind and there was a host of features Android had other mobile os's only recently got or still don’t have.
About your blanket statement about android devices being bad quality..This is false.
Android comes in many jackets and from many companies. Hell even the US army is planning Android devices.
You don’t have to use the Google on Android and you don’t even have to use the Google browser on it, you can install Opera Mini or a host of others. Android does not restrict you in this way. The add aspect is also very low profile. Gmail for example has very low profile add serving. Other free email clients I saw had lots of big slow loading banner adds that is irritating.
Google is an advertising company but an unusual one.
An advertising company that is enabling people and sponsoring open source and other projects in a big way.
I've read some of your comments over time, and your degree of hatred seems unusual. I can only hope that you become open to reason.
Google is the nr. 1 advertising company but it does not force you to use it's search engine.In the end there was going to be a add market leader. Better it be Google. Edited 2011-07-12 16:27 UTC
Thom is one of the most pro-apple writers on here, look at his previous posts.
Apple whining about software patents when they're a key member of MPEG-LA is just laughable though.
1) If they don't feel threatened, why are they fighting with HTC? Suing you competitors is a sign of weakness. Though I can understand the trade dress lawsuit against Samsung.
2) Are you a shareholder? Who the *** cares about how much Apple makes. It's great that they make more off their customers. That means they have a good business. Nothing else. Retire that argument, it's useless...
3) And yet Android results in 11% more than iPhone still... And it's not falling.
They are whiners because when they get hit with patent infringement lawsuits, you can't stop hearing how bad the patents are. But when it comes to their own...
Calls for objectivity fall on deaf ears here.
For some, their preferred provider of products is almost like family. Attacks against Microsoft/Google/Apple/IBM is like an attack towards a family member and receives an appropriately biased, aggressive response (albeit from the safety of an anonymous blog like OSNews).
Whenever I read Apple related articles, especially on OSNews, I start to wonder about the attitude towards Apple, why things "seem worse" when its Apple at the wheel. Your point is spot-on... it is rare that a corporation does not take the stance of whatever is good for "me" is good. Actually, publicly traded companies may have an obligation towards that attitude. So why does it seem worse to people when it's Apple?
I'm guessing that, like with most things, it's a combination of factors. I think that part has to due with the image that the company projected at the beginning and for a while. If you take that image statement at face value (silly, yes, but not unfair) than there actions of late seem more than just hypocritical, they take on the aspect of betrayal.
I think that there is also the "hipster" stereotypes that have become associated with the brand: happy, multi-ethnic plastic looking people advertising type of shit... black turtleneck, Starbucks trolling pretentious types prefering the brand. If you belong to such a group that is, of course, OK - but these types of things do make many people angry, for various different reasons. I think that some of this carries through to the brand*.
Finally, I think that a lot of the policy decisions over the last couple of years have been poor ones and even worse when measured from a PR perspective. I won't say that they're setting the bar, but they are certainly partaking in their fair share of loathesomeness. It gets to their point where, nice product or not, consumer culture or not, you begin to want these guys to fail on general principle. Maybe others are far more evil and far less visible - I can only say point them out to me and I'll condemn their actions as well.
Interestingly, all of these positions have some validity in a discussion of principles. But I agree with you that it becomes silly to come to expect anything better of a corporation. And by that, I do not intend to advocate a position of resignation and especially not endorsement. Merely expectation - it should not be all shocking that Apple does the same hypocritical, antisocial and morally-objectionable-but-technically-legal things that coprorations are famous for.
* On a side point and BTW- people that use an Apple computer or device and do not fit one of these stereotypes really ought to chill out when these points get brought up. The fact that you do not belong to the subset that obviously must exist in some capacity does nothing to invalidate the association or image that the Apple brand has picked up like herpes. Get out the Venn diagrams if you require help with this concept. And in this case, I have seen the types of people described with Apple computers in Starbucks. I know that they exist. I also know plenty of people that use an Apple computer and don't fit the bill. I tease them pretty badly about it all - especially when they ask me to fix the dman thing.
Personally, I think all large companies have a tendency to become greedy and overzealous. When they become so large that they can dictate how customers should do things instead of listening to us, that's a sign that they are becoming a crappy company.
It doesn't matter if it's microsoft, apple, google, or whoever...after a certain size, they start focusing on market control strategies rather than customer needs. They become inconsiderate of customers and give no regard to ethics. Current society rewards these mega corps by making them evermore powerful even as they become less customer-friendly.
I agree. Its a shame, probably the inevitable endgame of the ideas behind the "corporation" and exacerbated heavily by public trading. Is there *no* way to structure things so that people are encouraged to just do "good business." Yes, I know, laws. But that seems to leave to the letter/leave-out-the-spirit of-the-law adherance game. It's hard to concieve of a solution that doesn't involve the inpractical and messy business of tearing everything down (I mean everything) and starting from scratch. And a lot of people won't like this.
I've been advocating delisting and going private again to anyone that will listen at the company that I work for. It wouldn't solve everything but it would be a great start. It seems impossible to trade publicly and not slowly become evil. We were better off as a private LLC and we don't actually NEED investor capital for what we do. Not that I deal with anyone of consequence or that anyone would listen to little ole me.
OK - I'm taking off the Pollyanna hat now. You can breathe again :-)
So what company are you working for?
Don't want to lose my job after badmouthing them on the internet! :-)
Government is supposed to keep the playing field level, but corruption kind of screws that up.
It's possible. You would have to have a long term consumer and innovation focused domestic policy. Right now, our domestic policy heavily favors big business, because Americans believe big business is benevolent. I'm not really sure where this comes from. I could be remnants from the time when people could be company men, or it could be from the Cold War where we hyped up capitalism, which has created drones chanting slogans. Either way, the reverence for big business is detrimental.
Oh, I don't know, I used to work for a fairly evil, but small company.
Need a new hard drive for our product?
Here's a five year old stock used hard drive for $500 plus shipping. Thanks for being lazy enough to call us instead of going to best buy.
Agreed! All corporations, and also people, are whiners and hypocrites. I don't really see a lot of people admitting their hypocrisy though...
#1 Where is the lawsuit against everyone else? You know, since it helps in competing... When you're not sure what to throw at your competitor, you load up the lawyer catapult.
#2 - He didn't even mention competing. So I reiterate my point - retire that argument because it's irrelevant. When we'll be talking earnings calls and profits, then be my guest and use that argument.
#3 - Who said they are not competing? Didn't I say that they are running a very good business? Or the pseudo-religious anger blinded you to see only the criticism?
Thank you for proving my point from another post - all people are hypocrites, but some have convinced themselves that they are not.
I don't hate business. I hate corporations, just because at the end of the day you can't really blame them for anything bad they do. Corporations are the epitome of communal responsibility - no one is really responsible for anything. Thankfully not all businesses are corporations.
"I don't hate business. I hate corporations, just because at the end of the day you can't really blame them for anything bad they do."
I largely agree with your stance on the ridiculousness of software patents in general. It has everything to do with a corporate land grab and nothing to do with innovation.
But I'm not understanding your distinction between business and corporations. Don't all legal businesses either incorporate or form an LLC (in the US)? Maybe you are using a definition of corporation which I am not familiar with?
Can I assume that you mean a public corporation owned by shareholders who consider themselves to be isolated from the immoral actions of their company?
I didn't say Apple can't compete. Of course it can. I disagreed with your numbers. Fact is, we simply quote different sources for our numbers. Example: I provided a direct link to Korean market share figures, where you can very clearly see that iOS marketshare is around 4-5%. You cited a NIELSEN survey that says it's 30%. Now we play the "my facts are better than your facts" (provided they are facts at all) but refrain from name calling and whining about moderation.
Reading your other posts you seem to accept litigation as part of doing business. I disagree with that point. Even if most companies litigate (there's no evidence for that) it is still something I abhor, especially when they use software patents to stifle innovation. I'm against software patents, and defended my position ad nauseum, don't want to open that can of worms again. As long as there are companies that prefer competing on the merit of their products/services (Google comes to mind) instead of litigation, there is a place for criticism, whether you like it or not.
"Also I think it should be pretty obvious looking at this thread that anyone who doesn't follow along with the OSNews mindshare (Apple bad, Android good, patents bad) gets moderated down, someone who agrees gets moderated up...The sooner the average OSNews poster accepts this, the sooner they may be able to start making sense of what's going on."
So what if many of us are against software patents?
You yourself said "Accepting that something is true and agreeing with it are different". So why is it that you claim stereotypical osnews posters are unable to make sense of what's going on instead of merely disagree with what's going on?
Contrary to what people say, Android really is not free when HTC has to pay legal fees because Google refuses to indemnify its OEMs.
Meanwhile, noticeably absent from the list of devices Apple complains about are any Windows Phones.
Android handset manufacturers have to pay any legal costs regarding patent claims. Microsoft guarantees legal protection from such claims to their OEMs.
You might want to re-read Kaiwai's (admittedly, hypothetical) question. I was trying to make a point. I'm too busy to elaborate, but it should be pretty obvious.
nice bargraph - take a look at the lines. we are not talking about current market share, we are talking about trends. And looking at the trends, the future does not look very bright for iOS. In a few countries, iOS grows as fast as Android. In most markets, iOS grows slower. And again, in some markets, Android wiped the floor (or is about to) with iOS. The reason this is cause for alarm for Apple is that this is the juicy bit of the high-end market, precisely the one they are interested in.
Years ago everyone predicted that Android will flood the market with cheap Chinese handsets. However, it appears now that high-end Android handsets (some more expensive than Apple's offerings) are chewing at their marketshare. I'm pulling this out of my ass, but I would bet that 95% of Android growth is due to units sold in Apple's price-range (about $500 non-subsidized). Apple wouldn't mind a 80% Android marketshare if it was on the low-end. They are not interested in the low-end. Unfortunately for them, Android's eating Apple's high-end lunch. Hence the litigation.
What happened in June 2010? iPhone 4. When was it widely available? Late June, early July. When was the last Apple hardware refresh? June 2010. When was the last Android hardware refresh? Yesterday, pretty much... if not yesterday, certainly last week. What will be the REAL interesting point, the REAL indicator is what happens after the next iPhone hardware refresh. If that shows a similar decline, I'd have to then agree with you. As it stands, Worldwide, Android is still quite a way behind and iOS fluctuates depending on which regions get what hardware (due to the staggered worldwide release schedules that Apple seems to cling to.)
Essentially - yes, I saw the line graphs, no I do not take them at face value as telling the whole story. That is why looking at the bar graphs is also telling. It shows you how far Android is still behind iOS, despite the rapid growth and over 10:1 ratio of handsets manufacturers. Edited 2011-07-13 09:41 UTC
Change your graphic to line, and you will have a surprise...
The bars do now show the current trend.
Which means NOTHING given it doesn't take into account the ability and willingness to spend money on applications/games - there is study after study showing that Android users have the lowest rate when it comes to willingness to purchase games/applications. Sorry, a platform longevity cannot just run on scented clouds of loveliness but whether it attracts applications to enhance the platform from merely a phone into a hand held device that has phone capabilities along side a whole host of others.
2008 called, they want your argument back.
The Android Market is PACKED with applications. Your argument is invalid.
Oh how cute; how about checking the study just recently in regards to the 'Angry Birds' creator - oh thats right, anything that shakes your convictions that Android will steam roll the market you simply ignore in favour of whining about iOS and the 'evils' of the 'walled garden'.
...as opposed to your incessant whining about money?
The cold and harsh facts from reality are this: despite years of talk from Apple fanboys about how the Android Market would never reach the levels of popularity the iOS App Store has, the fact is that the Android Market is incredibly packed - App Store-like profits or no.
Your argument is theory. My argument is reality.
Isn't it ad-supported?
Would I talked to him personally statement suffice? His comments are much more positive than your's.
- work with consumer mobile technologies?
- are a consultant in consumer mobile space?
- own a consumer oriented mobile tech company?
If neither, than I suggest you read a bit of what VentureBeat has to say and I am seeing first hand - selling apps is a dead end business already. Thanks to Apple for driving the mobile app price down into the gutter.
Do you realize this only applies to US, south corea and one or two contries more, right?
Here in Brazil, for example, Apple can't use their mafia payment tatics, as there are no such thing as software patents. SO Samsung, HTC, and others can sell their phones here without paying any extra money to Apple or Microsoft.
So what? The legal costs are extraordinarily high in just those countries alone. Plus, the resulting damages should they actually infringe on any of the patents in question would be staggering.
Hence why HTC and other Android OEMs are Microsoft patent licensees. Meaning Microsoft makes money for every handset sold globally, for patents in the United States.
So they are not insulated from the thread of patent litigation simply because it is a United States law.
My point is; that Android is not free if they have to:
A) License patents from Microsoft (and given the fact that HTC and others have done so, they've decided that the risk isnt worth the reward of dragging it out in the courts)
B) If they DONT settle, then they need to pay exorbitant legal fees, and even more in damages should they lose.
Android is not free, there are hidden costs everywhere. Thats just one of them.
Since it's a cost of doing business in US. I suggest that all those expenses are paid by US customers.
Am I the only one tired of hearing about this site's (let's be real... Thom's) opinion that software patents and those whom defend theirs should be taken down a few pegs.
No you're not. Though, we might be for different reasons: I am still waiting for a valid reason why James Watt's separating of the condensation chamber from the piston in steam engines was patentable, why pharmaceutical molecules extracted from the bark of tropical trees are patentable, why changing the proportion of cement in concrete is a valid basis for a legitimate patent but anything software is not patentable. Maybe that there's been a patent granted for the pad that serves as a brake on strollers. Why are these patentable and software isn't, I haven't been able to figure it out.
I didn't read the entire linked content but I wholly agree that algorithms are nothing more than math formulas. I even taught program correctness using Hoare's logic.
However, and this is why I posted the previous examples of patentable things, especially the James Watt example, many patented "things", be they methods, appliances, or "items" (if I can put it that way), are just as trivial as in software. Note that some things aren't trivial by nature, and the light bulb is one example of genuine inventions that comes to mind.
Someone on this site once posted an example of a patent about linked lists... I agree, it is shocking! Someone else also gave this reason for software to not be patentable: "it's math and math is in the nature, it's not invented, it's only discovered"... not sure I would agree if I were Andrew Wiles. So is any non-totally-artificial molecule. In that respect, Aspartame is patentable, quinine isn't (more correctly, should have never been - if it ever was-). After all, quinine is found in the bark of a tropical tree.
Now if we could list all patented molecules, I'm sure we would find that many of them (e.g. ephedrine) can be found in the nature. So why are pharmaceutical companies patenting molecules left and right?
My argument for the patentability of software is that we shouldn't remove software from the realm of patents "just" because there are instances of granted software patents that are downright stupid patent granting, like the linked list one. That kind of quirks also exist in other fields, including ones where things are not really "invented" in the strictest sense, but "discovered". The changing of the size of gravel in concrete is one of those trivial things. Watt's moving the condenser away from the piston to avoid heat loss is another.
But in the end, I agree with Thom's argument I've read a few days ago that one can't patent ideas, only implementations and as such, software always being an implementation of (an) idea(s), it is already covered by copyright. That, despite ignoring the economic side of patents, is a true argument, which other args aren't to me.
I don't agree that math is in nature. Math, and numbers themselves, were invented by man. Numbers are abstract symbols, sometimes denoting amounts of something ("3 peanuts"), sometimes standing as symbols of themselves ("3"). And math itself is an abstract concept, sometimes applied to a concrete situation ("2 peanuts and 3 peanuts gives you 5 peanuts") and sometimes remaining purely in the abstract realm "2 + 3 = 5").
There's nothing in nature about "math". Sure, a water molecule consists of 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom, due to the way physics works, but it was man that assigned the symbol "2" to denote the amount of hydrogen atoms involved; nature couldn't care less about that. And it was man that created math and created equations that describe the laws of physics, but nature doesn't care about those equations. The laws of physics existed in nature before any intelligent race created equations to describe them.
So I disagree with the notion that "math is in nature", unless one goes down the road of "man is in nature, therefore anything man does is in nature, and man created math, therefore math is in nature - Q.E.D.", at which point every idea, thought, dream, or fantasy is in nature, including every invention and every invention idea, whether those inventions are made out of atoms or made out of bits.
However that doesn't rule out the "discovered" concept. Isaac Newton invented calculus, and I'd argue that calculus didn't "exist in nature", but one could argue that it did already exist in the "abstract", waiting to be "discovered" by a member of an intelligent species probing the abstract realm. But that could be said of any invention, be it software or physical.
As for "ideas shouldn't be patented", I don't agree with that as a general principle (though I agree with it in particular instances). If the idea isn't obvious (and particularly, if the idea took a large amount of resources to come up with and develop), then why not?
And if we say, "only implementations (not ideas) can be protected (via patents, copyright, or other mechanism)", then how similar does implementation B have to be to the original implementation A in order to say that B infringes on A? Does changing the order of program instructions in B free it from infringment charges on A, even if changing the order of those instructions doesn't affect the "output" of the program? Does B's using a linked list whereas A used a binary tree free B from infringemnent charges on A? Or in the physical (non-software) world, if an invented device is made from brass and someone makes a copy of it using steel, is the copy freed from infringement charges because it's a different "implementation"?
At one extreme is "B infringes A only if B is an exact copy of A" and at the other extreme is "B infringes A if B implements the same idea as A, even if the implementation is totally different". I'd disagree with both of those extremes, generally speaking. I'd judge on a case-by-case basis whether B infringes on A, depending on the "idea" itself. Most software patented "ideas" describe, not just a general concept, but the implementation as well - not the exact source code, but an "algorithm" (that could be implemented by an infinite number of source codes), or more broadly, a fairly well-defined method, that could be implemented by numerous "algorithms", but those algorithms would all look quite similar to one another. The "idea" that is patented is typically the concept PLUS the described method (and sometimes the two are intertwined and unseparable). And if implementor B alters the "method" enough (that is, enough to be considered of some significance (not something like using a hash table rather than a tree)), then B can be free of infringement charges on A.
But I don't think these things are black-and-white. Apple does push the envelope with its "look-and-feel" claims.
Really? Math isn't nature? What we write down is abstract. The letters we use is an abstract. The symbols we use is an abstract. But math is not symbols.
Problem is that software "inventions" staggeringly lack the inventive step.
I would agree to software patents under one* major provision - either patents or copyrights. Need be, the inventor could choose one or the other. But the patent should have the implementation source code in public domain.
* - And obviously enforcement of state of the art, inventive step(see why EPO said no to 1Click), public disclosure and prior art.
Good One Thom !!!
Guys, it seems that you don't understand anymore how the patents are being used. Please remember this classic article (March 9, 2010) from Jonathan Schwartz (ex SUN CEO)
Patents are being used to threaten the competition. If you see you competition has similar (or bigger) guns.. you just chicken out and play like nothing happened.
The system is so screwed up.
Which makes me wonder whether there should be a limit of 3 months - you have 3 months to file a claim against a company and their products whom you think have violated their patents, failure to do so means that you're not allowed to sue that company. Then add onto of that products must ship within 6 months of the patent being filed and the failure to do so will mean said technology goes into public domain (people who generate patents that don't result in products in the marketplace will cease milking the system).
Those two I believe will resolve the issue but I doubt it'll happen. Edited 2011-07-12 07:04 UTC
It won't happen because it's not practical:
1- you can't know everything of all products that may infringe upon your patents, even with the best will and the best "watchers" monitoring the industry's, activities, publications, releases, product launches, etc.
2- afaik, the time needed for having a patent granted after the filing is not constant and as such, it can't be predicted when the patent will be obtained. Thus, you can't reckon with that filing-granting time and plan product shipping ahead.
3- even if reason 2 could be dismissed/solves/bypassed/or else, the time to market a patented "thing" might take more time than the six months you suggest: what about very small teams in startup companies? Think about a brand new technique for frequency decomposition invented by one person. Finding the funding, raising money, convincing investors, hiring people, coordinating developments into a product with a high-enough quality to not look like crap in these ever-demanding times we're living in... that would take more time than a few months, probably years, even with an unlimited supply of money. The situation might well be even more complicated in case it takes a prototype or working artifact to apply for a patent (can someone confirm this?)
Well... Be prepared for scrutiny of your invention.
But you'll see. Either your application will be overly technical or it will be transformed by the lawyers into something you would never recognise.... But I bet you'll be violating quite a few of some of the obvious patents. Well... That is the cost of doing business in US.
At least someone is making Apple pay with their own currency.
"At least someone is making Apple pay with their own currency."
However, like in the MS-i4i case, I still am against software patents even when they're used against the very corps which support the broken patent system.
My comment for that case is: Payback is a bitch.
Other than that, i4i should have filed for copyright infringement, since they worked on the product with MS.
Here´s the real story why this is happening:
Straight from the article:
"Apple, once best known for its Mac computers, now relies on its iPhone for about 50 percent of sales and the iPad tablet for 12 percent, according to first-quarter figures compiled by Bloomberg."
Of course,Steve Jobs is SO smart that he is doing exactly the same thing he did to the Mac, wait for it to become a fringe product because he has to have absolute control over the platform.
Had he released the software to other manufacturers, Mac OS would today rule supreme. But the unchallenged assumption that integration is only good if the software and hardware come from the same company will eventually lead Apple to where it is today in the PC business, relevant but small. Maybe that´s the way Steve likes it.
It´s clear that hardware manufacturers know how to put a good product and have known so for a long time: look at Samsung, HTC, Nokia, etc. Then, Android came along and offered an innovative product that they can all ship. Of course , they are going to do so.
I really hope that manufacters had the corage to say no to Apple mafia tatics and that the trade comission starts blocking imports of phones. This would make the US market to be almost 100% of Apple, prices would rise to heavens (an iPhone would cost 5.000 $) and inovation would be simply.. well, none.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world, without this pathetic software patents, would just enjoy cheap, faster, and better phones running open-source software.
I really wanted to see that!
Greed makes Apple and MS become patent trolls.
Some people would burn you for putting MS and Apple in the same bag.
But this move really shows how Apple is desperate to protect its market share by instilling mistrust into the android platform.