Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 29th Jul 2012 10:48 UTC
Legal Groklaw nails it: "In other words, [Apple and Microsoft] want to disarm the companies that got there first, built the standards, and created the field, while the come-later types clean up on patents on things like slide to unlock or a tablet shape with rounded corners. Then the money flows to Apple and Microsoft, and away from Android - and isn't that really the point of all this, to destroy Android by hook or by crook? The parties who were in the mobile phone business years before Apple or Microsoft even thought about doing it thus get nothing much for their earlier issued patents that have become standards. Apple and Microsoft can't compete on an even field, because the patent system rewards the first to invent (or now, after the recent patent reform, the first to file). Neither Apple nor Microsoft got there first. Samsung was there, since the '90s." To illustrate: Apple is demanding $24 (!) per Samsung device for design patents, while at the same time, Apple also demands that Samsung does not charge more than $0.0049 per standards essential patent per device. This is absolutely, utterly, and entirely indefensible. And then Apple and its supporters have the nerve to claim Samsung is ripping them off. Yes, this pisses me off, and no, that's not because it's Apple doing it (Microsoft is just as guilty). It's because this is plainly, utterly, clearly, and intrinsically unfair.
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What does Groklaw say about Google/Motorola
by MollyC on Mon 30th Jul 2012 03:48 UTC
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demanding 4 billion dollars a year in patent fees from Microsoft for four H.264 patents, which amounts to approximately one million times the going rate for the typical H.264 patent? Given Groklaw's well documented hatred of Microsoft, I bet they cheer that on. So I have a hard time taking their complaints regarding Apple's demands of Samsung seriously. Groklaw isn't exactly an objective source; their analyses should be taken with buckets of salt.

As for FRAND patents, I don't know if Groklaw is telling both sides of the coin on that. FRAND patents do have relatively low licensing fees (since they cover essential standards, without which nobody could implement anything). That would appear to suck for those that hold the FRAND patent, but the other side of the coin is that once a patent is declared as FRAND, it's pretty much unassailable. So while the holder of the patent can't gouge others, nobody can realistically challenge the validity of the patent either. So there's two sides: the patent holder can only charge reasonable fees, but the other parties (from a practical standpoint) have no choice but to license the patents (so it's a guaranteed source of revenue for the patent holder). Both sides win.

By contrast, consider the "design patents" that Apple is demanding - who really cares? Samsung doesn't HAVE to use those designs. I'm actually surprised that Apple is even offering $24 per device for their "design patents"; they usually offer "infinity" patent licence fees (i.e. offer no license fee at all, and instead demand that other products leave the marketplace altogether).

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