Linked by umad on Thu 25th Aug 2011 22:51 UTC
Apple I thought OSNews would be a good forum to talk about a matter that has been weighing on my mind lately primarily because the site has been so focused on Apple's patents and litigation as of late. The news that HP, the largest PC manufacturer in the world is spinning off or getting out of this business is what really prompted me to write this article.
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RE[2]: Comment by _txf_
by atsureki on Fri 26th Aug 2011 20:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by _txf_"
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The big assumption in the article is that only Apple is innovating and everyone else is stealing from them. If that really was the case, I would understand their actions.

There's that word, innovate... already you can tell no one's going to agree on anything past this point.

A factor that may explain the level of aggression from Apple and Steve Jobs in particular is that they believe they "own" the phone market, that it is "their" market and Google is trying to steal "their" money (Steve Jobs said pretty much those exact words to Eric Schmidt in that famous lets-have-some-coffee meeting).

Apple owns the iPhone market. It is their market. You can make a phone that doesn't look and work like an iPhone -- WebOS, BlackBerry, WP7, and what Nokia's been doing with touch are all genuinely distinct user interfaces, and BB, Droid, and Pre are all distinct form factors -- but Samsung and Google aren't doing any of that. They're following the leader. You can argue that it's legal, but you can't argue that it's original.

In Reality (tm) however, no one owns any markets.

That's what the courts are for - to make reality conform to the legal arrangements. Patents are an exchange with the public: the publication of methods in order to secure the market for a time. If you have a patent, you own a market. If someone doesn't recognize your ownership rights, you take it to court.

An excellent essay on the topic:

And Apple, Google and everyone else copy a large number of ideas from each other. Just the fact that iOS5 borrows heavily from Android shows that ideas move in both directions.

Idea, singular. One very useful, very visible feature made its way back from the imitator to the innovator, just like the keynote where Apple (Steve, probably, but I don't recall) admitted that Windows had something great with fast user switching, so they were going to do it too.

If there was anything patentable about the notification tray, Google has every right to seek licensing fees and/or damages. But would they be so stupid, when almost everything else about Android is copied from the iPhone?

Which sort of justifies why Samsung did what they did, Apple copied a lot of ideas from them/Nokia/Ericsson/Motorola and they felt they were allowed to copy some stuff back.

So to summarize: Apple is not the victim here. Stop pretending that Apple owns the market and everyone else are thieves.

To summarize, everything is equal because you imagine it to be equal with no actual examples or other evidence. Everyone copies, and factors like how much they copy or whether what they were copying was patented at the time don't matter, because... well, that's the part I can't be sure of, but I'm going to guess that you like what anarchy does to prices. On the other hand, I don't like what it does to progress.

Quoted from what I linked above, an observation that continues to play out with every opinion I encounter: "One thing I feel pretty certain of is that if you're against software patents, you're against patents in general."

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