Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 16:36 UTC
Legal Today's "the day after". The day after Apple started a patent war with HTC and Google. Today, we have statements from both HTC and Google, and a number of other people have weighed in as well as to the possible ramifications of Apple's lawsuit.
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RE[3]: Which history?
by cycoj on Thu 4th Mar 2010 07:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Which history?"
cycoj
Member since:
2007-11-04

@Thom
I understand perfectly what you are saying, I just disagree with you. There is a marked difference.

Apple's history in the PC market, with the Mac, bears no relation to today's smart phone market. (See Rim)
Apple's history in the PC market, with the Mac, bears no relation to the portable MP3 player market. (See 250 M iPods sold)

Apple is not suing HTC because their phones are cheap. Apple believes that HTC is using their patented technologies. Whatever you think about the US patent system, all the tech companies own numerous patents. Apple or Nokia or... anyone is within their rights to actively try and defend their patents.


Well the point is that almost all the big players so far have refrained from suing each other over software patents, because they know that they are infringing on each other. Hell looking at how broad almost all software patents are it is difficult not to infringe. Previously the only people suing have been patent trolls who had nothing to loose. The other things the big guys used software patents for (and it's actually very similar with hardware patents) is to prevent small newcomers from entering the market. There they usually don't sue but just knock on the door and wave the patents so the newcomer has to pay or goes broke, because they can't afford the battle.


"Apple is not offering either choice or cheap in the smartphone market" I agree. And in just over two years iPhone has gone from 0% to 17% of that market. Despite all the choice and cheap on offer. None of Apple's product lines could be labelled as providing much choice... or cheap.... and yet Mac sales growth has been higher than PC growth for a number of years and the iPod blew away most of the competition. Perhaps your understanding of the "consumer" is not quite as thorough as you think it is?

If Apple wanted to design and build as many smart phones as Rim (and offer more choice), then they could. If Apple wanted to sell cheaper phones (like HTC?), then there is nothing stopping them.

This latest case against HTC proves that Apple is willing to play a little hardball. It proves that Apple, either wants to stop HTC using Apple's tech (HTC simply has to prove it's not!) or it's a bargaining chip for some of HTC's (or perhaps Google's) tech. This case also proves that tech pundits and bloggers love injecting a little "fear" into their headlines. (I assume you have read Frommer's article via Gruber)


I don't know if fear is the correct word but Apple at least takes Android (this really is not about HTC) seriously, otherwise they would not be starting this "war".

It's also interesting to note that Apple is suing HTC and not Motorola or Google themselves. I think that this has two reasons
1. Motorola has probably a lot stronger Patent portfolio.
2. And I believe more importantly HTC is an Asian company. I think this case is also a lot about perceptions. Apple wants to be perceived as this terribly innovative company (and they have succeeded a lot of people associate Apple with innovation despite their relatively small R&D budget compared to a lot of the other players). Now suing an Asian company will be a lot easier to spin than an American company. I think we'll see the stereotype of the Asians who copy American innovation start popping up on sites soon, not officially from Apple but independent bloggers.

I think Apples PR is one of the best around, just look at the hype before the Ipad. Or when Nokia sued Apple, a lot of people got up and accused Nokia of being a patent troll because they could compete against the "innovative" Apple. Interestingly enough the same people deny that Apple is doing the same thing against HTC now.


What this case does not prove is that Apple is scared of anyone that offers more choice or a cheaper choice. Hell everybody is cheaper than Apple.

PS. Don't put words into John Gruber's mouth. He doesn't agree with what Apple has done but I can see no indication that he agrees with you.

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