Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 3rd Aug 2013 20:34 UTC
Legal The Obama administration:

After extensive consultations with the agencies of the Trade Policy Staff Committee and the Trade Policy Review Group, as well as other interested agencies and persons, I have decided to disapprove the USITC's determination to issue an exclusion order and cease and desist order in this investigation.

Lots of talk about SEPs and FRAND in Obama's decree, which means that the Obama administration contradicts everything the ITC has said. To freshen your memory, the ITC ruled that not only was the patent in question not a standard essential patent, but Samsung's offer was actually proper FRAND:

Additionally, the Commission found that there were still disputed issues concerning the patent at issue was even actually essential to the standard (and therefore whether a FRAND or disclosure obligation applied at all).


The Commission analyzed the history of negotiations between Apple and Samsung (this portion is heavily redacted) to see if Apple showed that Samsung failed to negotiate “in good faith,” and found that Apple failed to do so. Notably, the Commission dismissed Apple’s arguments that (1) Samsung’s initial offer was so high as to show bad faith, and (2) Samsung’s attempts to get a cross-license to Apple’s non-SEPs violated its FRAND commitments.

In other words, the Obama administration threw out virtually everything the ITC has said in order to protect Apple. This effectively means that American companies can infringe on non-American companies' (standard essential) patents all they want, because the president will simply step in if they try to fight back.

So, I was wrong. I expected the Obama administration to be impartial and not give such a huge slap in the face of the ITC - as cynical as I usually am, I can still be naive. Protectionism is more important to the POTUS.

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RE[3]: Speak with your wallet
by Tony Swash on Sun 4th Aug 2013 22:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Speak with your wallet"
Tony Swash
Member since:


I very often disagree with what you say but this time I have to admit that most of your arguments make sense Give my just the possibility to add my 2 cents on a few points you didn't mention.

All what you described explains why people buy Apple products, not why they stay in line for hours in the rain to buy the last iWhatever sometimes even without knowing what in detail it is.

To all the rational points you gave you must add the fanaticism of a non negligible part of these followers.

Their Brand fidelity is sometimes close to a cult. I've never seen that in other domains (Except some HI-FI nerds).

Apple are a very, very successful brand, a brand that generates a very high level of loyalty, enthusiasm and affection. Apple deliberately built that brand and continue to build and support it. Having a brand like that is not accident, it's the result of a particular business model, a style of corporate communication and marketing, a particular corporate management system (built around functions and not product divisions for example) and a style and philosophy of product design.

Quite a few other products and other brands have had a similar degree of loyalty and enthusiasm, think of the lines for big game launches, a new Harry Potter, the lines that formed before the Windows 95 launch. Getting that sort of customer response is a precious commodity for companies but getting it is very difficult, some companies or products achieve it fleetingly, but Apple have managed to sustain it for years. That is not an accident nor is it some weird inexplicable phenomena as long as one is willing to pick it apart, analyse it and accept that it has real and material causes, that it is a result of a way of doing business and a way of making products.

There's another reason than satisfaction why some people continue to buy Apple products once they started.

It's anecdotal but it happened to not so few people I personally know.

The closed and fully integrated Apple ecosystem you praise is at the same time a great comfort when you use it but a big problem when you want to move to something else. Those people don't want to lose all they had to pay for, especially their multimedia files. They simply don't know how to transfer it to a more open system and stay prisoners with Apple.

That's true and that too is deliberate on the part of Apple but the degree of cost and inconvenience associated with leaving the Apple ecosystem when one has accumulated a contents or data library is mostly over stated, but it does have a cost. The fact of the matter is that if a large percentage of Apple customers were unhappy with their Apple products or really wanted to move onto new non-Apple products they would find a way to deal with the inconvenience of switching ecosystems but all the surveys show the same thing, Apple customers are more loyal to Apple products than other companies customers are too theirs. The costs of switching ecosystems is real but it's only a part of the reason, and not the determining reason, for people sticking with Apple. If Apple produced a line of bad products, unreliable, poorly designed, with poor customer support, they would lose their customer base pretty quickly and no amount of ecosystem lock in would prevent it.

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