Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 13:36 UTC
Legal "One of the exhibits Samsung has now made public tells an interesting tale. It's the slide presentation that Apple showed Samsung when it first tried (and failed) to get Samsung to license Apple's patents prior to the start of litigation. While some of the numbers were earlier reported on when the exhibit was used at trial, the slides themselves provide more data - specifically on the difference between what Apple wanted Samsung to pay for Windows phones and for Android phones. The slides punch huge holes in Apple's FRAND arguments. Apple and Microsoft complain to regulators about FRAND rates being excessive and oppressive at approximately $6 per unit, or 2.4%; but the Apple offer was not only at a much higher rate, it targeted Android in a way that seems deliberately designed to destroy its ability to compete in the marketplace." Eagerly awaiting the 45 paragraph comment explaining how this is completely fair and not hypocritical at all. Bonus points if it includes something about Eric Schmidt being on Apple's board, and, double bonus point if it mentions one of the QWERTY Android prototypes. Mega Epic Bonus if it somehow manages to draw a line from Edison, Tesla, to Jobs.
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Dubious argument
by flypig on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 14:14 UTC
flypig
Member since:
2005-07-13

I'm absolutely no fan of the way Apple is throwing its weight around in the patent space, but this article seems to present a number of dubious arguments to me.

First, the discount for using a Windows OS is based on the fact the patents are already being paid for in the Windows licence. All Apple are doing is offering not to double-charge Samsung. I'm not sure it's reasonable to claim this is a bias towards Windows over Android. It may be the incorporated cost of the patents in a Windows licence is less than the $12 Apple wants to charge for these, but since we don't know the cost breakdown of a Windows licence, it's impossible to know.

Second, it seems odd to suggest that because Google makes the best mapping software, it's okay for Google to push everyone else out of the market. I'm no expert in competition law, but I'm fairly sure the argument goes something like this: if Google have a monopoly they'll no longer have to compete, so there'll be no reason for them to improve their services. It's important therefore to remove barriers to competition, so that even if Google is the best, someone else can come along with a better product at any time.

I'd be happy to see an article about the validity of a capitalist approach in a free-service economy, but I'm not convinced this was really what the article was driving at.

I'm sure there were some excellent points made elsewhere in the article and I'm happy to be corrected, but these two arguments seemed to stand out as unconvincing to me.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Dubious argument
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 14:19 in reply to "Dubious argument"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm sure there were some excellent points made elsewhere in the article and I'm happy to be corrected, but these two arguments seemed to stand out as unconvincing to me.


Yeah, that part wasn't particularly convincing. I cared about the FRAND stuff, though - I'm glad authorities are keeping close tabs on a company as large and possibly dangerous as Google.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Dubious argument
by TechGeek on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 14:27 in reply to "RE: Dubious argument"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

I wouldn't be quite so upset if I actually could see some harm from Google being #1. Google spends an enormous amount of money creating maps. Why should they not get to dominate the market. No one is stopping anyone else from spending millions to make better maps. I also see search results as an opinion. No matter how Google gets its results, they are Google's opinion of the top results. I may rank things differently. As such, opinion is a form of speech and to be protected at all costs.

Edited 2012-10-22 14:28 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Dubious argument
by flypig on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 14:58 in reply to "RE: Dubious argument"
flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

I cared about the FRAND stuff, though

Yes, same here. Although Apple's patents aren't technically FRAND (I don't think), the discrepancy between what they were demanding, and what they claim is fair, does seem hypocritical.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Dubious argument
by kwan_e on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 14:24 in reply to "Dubious argument"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Second, it seems odd to suggest that because Google makes the best mapping software, it's okay for Google to push everyone else out of the market.


First, That was not the suggestion at all. Second, Google isn't doing anything anticompetitive against other map makers, at least not in the same way Apple and Microsoft are.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Dubious argument
by Hiev on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 14:48 in reply to "RE: Dubious argument"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

What about the vandalism to Open Streeth Maps? Google never came out with an explanation, till now, they are still "investigating" the issue.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Dubious argument
by flypig on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 15:15 in reply to "RE: Dubious argument"
flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

First, That was not the suggestion at all. Second, Google isn't doing anything anticompetitive against other map makers, at least not in the same way Apple and Microsoft are.


Apologies if I misread the article. My understanding of the accusation is that Google have been using their dominance in search to unfairly promote their other products. Whether or not Google's other products are better is surely independent of whether Google have "cooked anything" in their search results?

If Google's services are getting promoted due to an impartial algorithm because they happen to be the best services, then I'd hope an investigation would vindicate them.

By the way, I'm not accusing Google of doing anything anticompetitive, and I'm not saying the accusations aren't themselves business-motivated. I really wouldn't know!

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Dubious argument
by majipoor on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 20:09 in reply to "RE: Dubious argument"
majipoor Member since:
2009-01-22

Tell that to Skyhook.

Reply Parent Score: 3