Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 4th Nov 2011 22:20 UTC
Legal This is probably not entirely surprising. The European Commission has announced that it is investigating both Apple and Samsung because they may have breached antitrust rules with regard to patents used as standard in the mobile phone industry - otherwise known as FRAND patents. While the EC states it's investigating both Samsung and Apple, it's likely the investigation focusses on Samsung.
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Comment by Tony Swash
by Tony Swash on Sat 5th Nov 2011 00:43 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

And let's face it - not a single consumer benefits from the two companies blocking each other's products from the market, or from the fact they're wasting money on this instead of on actually, you know, making products.

Let's hope the EC tears both companies a new one. I'm sick of this anti-consumer bull%$&#.


Apple's strategic aim is not to block anybody's products per se. Apple's aim is to retain differentiation of it's products through preventing what it sees as copying of elements of it's designs that it has patented or which it feels it owns.

Leaving aside whether one thinks Apple is correct in it's view or justified in it's actions the principle that companies cannot simply adopt another company's patented or copyrighted technology or designs or innovations without permission whenever they feel like doing so is a principal that supports innovation. If innovation never brings any advantage in the market place because one's innovation can immediately be stolen or copied then why bother? Allowing unlimited or unconstrained copying will kill innovation because innovation will no longer bring any market or business advantage.

It is surely essential for innovation that being innovative brings something other than fleeting advantage, something more than a momentary advantage that only lasts until your competitors can copy anything you have created or invented. Being innovative is difficult, costly and demanding. Innovation will only happen if it leads to some advantage.

I welcome the patent wars, there are always patent wars at moments of great change and inflection because it during such periods of intense change that innovation and invention become most valuable. Let them all fight it out, let's support the principal of the protecting of IP and let the courts, the lawyers and juries decide who has a case or who doesn't.

Edited 2011-11-05 00:44 UTC

Reply Score: -4

RE: Comment by Tony Swash
by Lazarus on Sat 5th Nov 2011 00:49 in reply to "Comment by Tony Swash"
Lazarus Member since:
2005-08-10

You make a spoon, and I'll make a spoon. I'll see you in court if yours looks or functions remotely similar to mine.

Reply Parent Score: 12

RE[2]: Comment by Tony Swash
by frderi on Sat 5th Nov 2011 16:14 in reply to "RE: Comment by Tony Swash"
frderi Member since:
2011-06-17

I'm Ford, I make a car design, patent it, and bring it to market. You're Hyundai, you see my car and you make a very similar one who's design only faintly differs from mine. Since you didn't have to prototype the design like I did, you were able to cut R&D costs to a great margin because I essentially designed it for you. So when you take your car to market you're able to undercut my profits. I take you to court. Let's see who wins.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by Tony Swash
by unclefester on Sat 5th Nov 2011 04:56 in reply to "Comment by Tony Swash"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Apple's strategic aim is not to block anybody's products per se. Apple's aim is to retain differentiation of it's products through preventing what it sees as copying of elements of it's designs that it has patented or which it feels it owns.


Totally wrong. Apple has adopted an ultra risky portable device strategy which is rapidly evolving into a potential catastrophe. Obviously Steve Jobs learned nothing from the original Mac fiasco.

Apple is now facing a slew of Android devices that cover every market segment from top to bottom.

In Australia at the moment the price discrepancy for similar products is huge.

- LG Optimus Spirit unlocked - $149
- Samusng Galaxy 5 unlocked -$99
- Apple 3GS unlocked -$ 429

- Motorola Xoom 32GB -$499
- iPad 32GB 32GB (wifi +3g) - $839

- Samsung Galaxy S2 unlocked - $549
- iPhone 4S unlocked - $899

Telstra - Australia's largest Telco - sells unlocked Telstra (Huawei) Smart-Touch Android phones for $79. This is cheap enough to give to a child.

Apple is panicking because they know they will get absolutely clobbered within two years (I predict much sooner). The lawsuits are merely the desperate actions of a company that suddenly realises they can't compete on price and have no compelling technology to attract buyers.

Edited 2011-11-05 04:57 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by Tony Swash
by kristoph on Sun 6th Nov 2011 18:25 in reply to "RE: Comment by Tony Swash"
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

Apple is the biggest company (by market cap) on the planet. It is the most valuable brand on the planet. It makes the most profit of any other company on the planet in handsets, tables, computers, displays, music, etc. It has the best customer service (as voted by actual customers) for an untold number of years. It has the strongest customer loyalty (especially in mobile devices). It makes the most money per retail square foot of any company on the planet. It commands 60% of mobile OS traffic.

I could go on here.

Clearly those are indicators of a disaster waiting to happen.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Tony Swash
by frderi on Mon 7th Nov 2011 01:03 in reply to "RE: Comment by Tony Swash"
frderi Member since:
2011-06-17

Android tablets have been a dud in the marketplace sofar. Have you ever used a Xoom? Its a piece of shit.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by Tony Swash
by Fergy on Sat 5th Nov 2011 06:31 in reply to "Comment by Tony Swash"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

It is surely essential for innovation that being innovative brings something other than fleeting advantage, something more than a momentary advantage that only lasts until your competitors can copy anything you have created or invented. Being innovative is difficult, costly and demanding. Innovation will only happen if it leads to some advantage.

Ipod and Iphone weren't popular because of innovation. They were popular because of the complete package. And that is how most products compete with each other.
Having a big touchscreen instead of buttons isn't innovative by the way it is completely obvious.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by Tony Swash
by unclefester on Sat 5th Nov 2011 07:27 in reply to "RE: Comment by Tony Swash"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

AFAIK the Star Trek Tricorder had a big touchscreen back in 1966.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Tony Swash
by frderi on Sat 5th Nov 2011 16:01 in reply to "RE: Comment by Tony Swash"
frderi Member since:
2011-06-17


Ipod and Iphone weren't popular because of innovation.


Sure it was. Have you ever used MP3 players from the time before the iPod came out? I have. If you had, you'd remember how awkward they were. The iPod was a delight to use in comparison. It had simple controls trough an innovative click-wheel which made navigating it a breeze. It held a lot more songs due to its unique tiny hard disk, and it was well built.



Having a big touchscreen instead of buttons isn't innovative by the way it is completely obvious.


If it was completely obvious, why didn't anyone else think of bringing it to market in the way as the iPhone did? Before the iPhone, almost all smartphones had buttons. Many executives laughed at the fact the iPhone didn't have any. Nowadays you'll be hard pressed to find an Android which still has a keyboard.

Its easy to state something is obvious after it has happened. People seem to forget that there actually was a time where we didn't have the current form factor and functionality in a mobile computing device.

Reply Parent Score: -1

RE: Comment by Tony Swash
by JAlexoid on Sun 6th Nov 2011 15:34 in reply to "Comment by Tony Swash"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

This is related to a rather public trial on a publicly visible issue within the EU. So whatever you might think, there is a lot of place for public comments. If you remember, the laws aren't created by labrats and handed down to us on tablets.


It is surely essential for innovation that being innovative brings something other than fleeting advantage, something more than a momentary advantage that only lasts until your competitors can copy anything you have created or invented. Being innovative is difficult, costly and demanding. Innovation will only happen if it leads to some advantage.

Sorry to break it to you, but innovation is not patentable by legal definition. In reality some insane patent offices issue patents for innovations and disregard the requirement for an inventive step, but that is another issue.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Tony Swash
by frderi on Sun 6th Nov 2011 17:34 in reply to "RE: Comment by Tony Swash"
frderi Member since:
2011-06-17


Sorry to break it to you, but innovation is not patentable by legal definition.


Practical designs are. An innovative product is characterized by a clever implementation. The Apple disk II was characterized by a clever design because it used fewer chips and so it ended up being cheaper to produce.

Reply Parent Score: 1