Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 13th Feb 2012 19:26 UTC
In the News The first big hurdle has been taken by Google and Motorola Mobility. The European Union has given the green light for Google to proceed with its acquisition of Motorola Mobility. The EU will, however, monitor the deal and its outcome for potential patent abuse. Update: And there we go, the US DoJ has approved the deal as well. Update II: The just-linked DoJ report also approves the Nortel patent sale to Apple, Microsoft, and RIM. I'm hoping for lots of fireworks here so the patent system blows up in Google's, Microsoft's and Apple's faces, so we can point and laugh about all the money they wasted.
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RE[8]: Huh?
by jared_wilkes on Tue 14th Feb 2012 06:15 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: Huh?"
Member since:

I think we are far from agreement — I merely used one of your own statements at one point that I thought actually expressed my own view point better than I think it expresses your own.

I think you are very much missing worse case scenarios. I agree, in general, that all disagreements likely move towards equitable solutions (which is why I have little problem with the current legal frameworks for IP), but...

1. In Germany, the law requires that infringement be determined and remunerated PRIOR to considering the legal obligations of standards-essential commitments which eliminates your stepwise progression through your (1) and (2).
2. The patent owner does not have to cooperate with agreements it formally made. In the example, Motorola could refuse to cooperate and force competitors to either not be able to participate in the standard (at least for a time until it is properly adjudicated) and/or the standards body could be forced to re-architect the standards to eliminate the incorporated patents which aren't being offered as FRAND.

Secondly, I actually find the resolutions to your (3) quite reasonable:
a. The patent is deemed not patent worthy and is thrown out, or
b. The patent has value which the infringer determines is either valuable enough to pay for, or at least less costly than the warfare, or
c. They determine it is not needed for a successful product and they design around it, or they think it is needed for a successful product but still find a successful workaround which accomplishes the same thing.

I happen to find our systems relatively reasonable as to produce few enough problems for its destruction, but I also find the actors on the stage wholly unreasonable. And, again, I find my (2) far worse than my (a), (b), or (c).

I don't follow your final comment: my quoted statement is toward's the unreasonable actors i.e. Motorola can keep dragging Apple into court over one or more standards-essential patents until they are exhausted or the system makes them behave reasonably just as anyone else can keep taking another party to court over non-essential patents. Yes, I wholly expect the system to essentially tell them they can't do what they are trying to do; that doesn't change the fact that they can try and they can destroy standards and double-dip and keep harassing until they are made to behave reasonably. In other words, the threat of repeated lawsuits is little diminished whether or not it is standards-related or not.

Yes, in the end, I expect reasonable, workable solutions — not the destruction of our current legal system. But, again, I find the possible destruction of standards (which could easily happen while preserving our current legal system) far worse than a company needing to pay for something it deems valuable or not being able to use something that it isn't willing to pay for.

Edited 2012-02-14 06:22 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[9]: Huh?
by cfgr on Tue 14th Feb 2012 13:45 in reply to "RE[8]: Huh?"
cfgr Member since:

The outcome of (3) is most likely: (d) the patent has legal value but is completely and utterly obvious - which is the case with Apple's photo gallery animation patent. Furthermore, Apple can make completely unreasonable demands for such a useless patent, like blocking competitors. That is the threat here.

Well that, and the fact that there are many more suits about those obvious patents that cost 30 seconds of research than about FRAND terms being violated.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[10]: Huh?
by jared_wilkes on Tue 14th Feb 2012 14:23 in reply to "RE[9]: Huh?"
jared_wilkes Member since:

I don't find it completely unreasonable to ask competitors to pay for it or not use it. In fact, HTC claims as much and removed it.

Again, you are now moving from a legal matter to a personal opinion — you don't like a particular patent, you don't like the law that allows such a patent, you think it's hugely damaging (when it is not).

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[10]: Huh?
by jared_wilkes on Tue 14th Feb 2012 14:25 in reply to "RE[9]: Huh?"
jared_wilkes Member since:

Also, I agree that the best argument presented so far in this entire thread that non-standards-essential patents are a larger problem than standards-essential patents is a question of volume. I disagree that this makes it worse than standards-essential patent "abuse," but this is the most logical and persuasive argument presented so far for such a belief.

Reply Parent Score: 1