Home > Legal > Apple Countersues Motorola Apple Countersues Motorola Thom Holwerda 2010-10-30 Legal 32 Comments Apple sued Motorola back. Who wants a Pop-Tart? Seriously, why don’t they sell Pop-Tarts in The Netherlands? Why do I have to jump through so many hoops just to get Pop-Tarts? Or root beer for that matter? I mean, come on. About The Author Thom Holwerda Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda 32 Comments 2010-10-30 10:27 pm vivainio As usual, these patents seem to be trivial software patents (that can probably be invalidated by Motorola et al). However, this is weird: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?patentnumber=7,663,607 Does Apple really own a patent for multitouch screen? 2010-10-31 3:27 am Elv13 Yes, there was a video when they registered the patent back in 2005 on Google Video (defunct?). They explained the patent. So they got one. I don’t know if there is prior art. 2010-10-31 6:50 am Neolander Yes, there was a video when they registered the patent back in 2005 on Google Video (defunct?). They explained the patent. So they got one. I don’t know if there is prior art. Well, there is prior art for resistive multitouch screens, I’m sure of that. Capacitive screens I’m not sure, but I can’t see where Apple could have done that amount of research in hardware. In most post-2000 Apple products, the brand’s contribution was in exterior product design and software, except for very simple tricks like the shuffle’s infamous idea of putting a remote on the earphone wire. In the first well-known use of capacitive sensing, the iPod’s clickwheel, it was Synaptics who worked on the thing. I can’t think of an example of Apple working on any other hardware than their product’s enclosure since ages ago, back in the days of Steve Wozniak and the original Macintosh project. If they actually came up with capacitive multitouch on their own, it’s a premiere in their recent history, and it’s impressive that they managed to do it right. Maybe they hired the inventor of the product in time, like with LLVM ? 2010-10-31 10:45 am Morty the shuffle’s infamous idea of putting a remote on the earphone wire. Remotes on the earphone wire was more or less standard on the mid-priced and more expensive portable CD players/diskmans of the ’90s, and it has forever been default on most wired phone hansdsfrees. Makin that a kind of Apple invention is rather far fetched. Any medicore engeneer with a little knowledge of portable electronics would specify such a solution. 2010-10-31 11:30 am Neolander Remotes on the earphone wire was more or less standard on the mid-priced and more expensive portable CD players/diskmans of the ’90s, and it has forever been default on most wired phone hansdsfrees. Makin that a kind of Apple invention is rather far fetched. Any medicore engeneer with a little knowledge of portable electronics would specify such a solution. On those MD and CD players, you had a special socket coupling a standard 3.5 minijack and some extra pins for remote use. When you didn’t have the remote, you just used the minijack without caring about the extra pins. When using the remote, you plugged it in the minijack *and* the extra pins, and you plugged your earphones on the remote. What Apple did with the iPod Shuffle 3G (I think it’s 3G…) is not exactly that. You have a 3.5″ minijack in which you plug the Apple earphones, and the remote is soldered on that wire, not allowing you to use it with any other pair of earphones. Remote and Shuffle communicate on the earphone wire via non-audible frequencies if I remember well. This basically forces the user to use the Apple earphones or shuffle3g-specific earphones made by authorized resellers, since you need that remote to do basically anything with the Shuffle 3G. And in case you wondered if somebody made an old-style remote for this Shuffle generation, bypassing this limitation : some DRM chip from Apple has been added to the remote, preventing non-authorized resellers from making remotes for the iPod shuffle 3G. (source : http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/reviews/entry/apple-ipod-shuffle-t… ) So making this required Apple a bit more engineering than simply copy-pasting existing remote technology… Though not much, indeed, that’s why I called it a trick. Edited 2010-10-31 11:42 UTC 2010-10-31 3:51 pm xeoron They have a bunch of multi-touch patents from buying the really cool gesture fingerworks keyboard maker 2010-10-31 4:06 pm Neolander They have a bunch of multi-touch patents from buying the really cool gesture fingerworks keyboard maker Okay, now I understand better… Thanks ! 2010-10-31 7:22 am ndrw Look at the list of references. Whatever was disclosed in these documents is not part of this patent (even if it managed to slip into some broad sounding claims). 2010-10-31 10:50 am WereCatf Does Apple really own a patent for multitouch screen? Yes, one of them. However I am quite sure there exists lots of prior art, well enough to invalidate that patent if it were ever taken to court. Thus it’s in Apple’s interests to threaten others with a large bunch of patents at once so as to get a settlement before the matter is taken to courts, otherwise they’d be in a high risk of losing several of their patents. 2010-10-30 10:29 pm Bill Shooter of Bul Thank God I live in the good o’le US of A: Producer of fine lawsuits and toaster pastries. 2010-10-30 10:57 pm rexstuff And what’s with the fixation on pop tarts, Thom? They’re really not that good. And you have stroopwafels. Seriously. This is like listening to a Scotsman complaining he can’t get Canadian whiskey. I have very little sympathy for you. 2010-10-30 11:13 pm Praxis Pop tarts I can leave, but no Root Beer? That just wouldn’t do. 2010-10-31 12:54 pm rft183 I agree completely. And whenever I go to a restaurant that doesn’t have root beer I ask for it every time. I figure they won’t know there’s a demand if nobody asks! 2010-10-31 1:05 am nt_jerkface In college I would purposely buy root beer so my European friends wouldn’t mooch it. They all agreed that it tastes like medicine. Smores pop tarts are pretty awesome. I suppose I could live without them but not root beer. Pizza with coke doesn’t always cut it. Gotta go snoopy style and get root beer. 2010-10-31 11:39 pm Mellin root beer tastes like toothpaste Edited 2010-10-31 23:40 UTC 2010-11-01 9:14 am Neolander root beer tastes like toothpaste LOL did you know that this sentence almost made it to Wikipedia ? If I butcher-translate Wikipedia FR, “For an European, root beer would taste pretty much like toothpaste, which explains the near-absence of this beverage in Europe.” (“Pour un europÃ©en, la root beer aurait un goÃ»t proche de celui du dentifrice, ce qui explique la quasi-absence de cette boisson en Europe.”) 2010-11-01 1:26 pm Mellin nope didn’t know that 2010-11-01 1:36 pm henderson101 In college I would purposely buy root beer so my European friends wouldn’t mooch it. They all agreed that it tastes like medicine. We used to get Rootbeer in McDonalds in the UK for years. It was before McDonalds used to sell Coca Cola (don’t aske me what it was before that time – “unbranded”.) Sometime in the mid 1990’s they stopped Rootbeer and went Coca Cola. We also had pop-tarts. I don’t know if we still get them, as they weren’t all that popular. Like a lot of things, unlike the US, we don’t tend to eat such high sugar breakfast cereals/products and so I guess they are probably gone. We had Lucky Charms at one point and they went away too. And Mountain Dew, though you can sometimes still find that. I love Rootbeer though! I always get Mug when I’m in the US or Canada. Edited 2010-11-01 13:38 UTC 2010-10-31 6:28 am Drumhellar Pop Tarts are disgusting. The reason why you can’t get them in the Netherlands is that not enough people over there consider fruit-flavored cardboard food, unlike over here in the states. They should never be confused for food, or for breakfast. 2010-10-31 1:21 pm kaiwai Pop Tarts are disgusting. The reason why you can’t get them in the Netherlands is that not enough people over there consider fruit-flavored cardboard food, unlike over here in the states. They should never be confused for food, or for breakfast. I second that, I had the unfortunate experience if trying them – I’d sooner eat the box it came in than the product itself. The only thing worse than that is American bread from the supermarket – over processed crap where you might as well be eating plaster board for all its worth. 2010-10-31 10:13 pm Drumhellar Not all bread is bad, but, it is hard finding good packaged bread at the grocery chains. 2010-10-31 11:01 pm Thom Holwerda Not all bread is bad, but, it is hard finding good packaged bread at the grocery chains. Over here, most supermarkets – even in my tiny redneck hometown in Noord-Holland – have their own in-store bakery. The bread (all variants) on the shelves is freshly made every morning, and throughout the rest of the day. 2010-11-01 9:05 am Neolander Over here, most supermarkets – even in my tiny redneck hometown in Noord-Holland – have their own in-store bakery. The bread (all variants) on the shelves is freshly made every morning, and throughout the rest of the day. Well, here around Paris supermarkets don’t bake bread themselves, but they have some truck bringing them fresh bread during the day. It doesn’t make it better, though. A good description would be tasteless foam in a friable cardboard-flavored shell. It’s good enough when all you want is something to put butter and ham on, and arguably much better than packaged sliced loafs of bread, but it’s not even close to bread from a good bakery. By the way, is bread price growing in other parts of the world too ? Here, in less than 2 years, the basic 250g baguette went from .80â‚¬ to .90â‚¬ Edited 2010-11-01 09:20 UTC 2010-10-31 12:13 pm pica I do not hope in the end Apple can not produce mobile phones and all others can not produce smartphones. pica 2010-10-31 2:16 pm thavith_osn I’m an Aussie so I didn’t grow up with Hershey’s Chocolates. I tried when I turned maybe 20 or so and couldn’t believe how disgusting it was. A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to try it again. I thought it can’t be that bad, after all, it is chocolate. Well, was just as bad as I remember. Here’s my questions. If you live in the US, do you like Hershey’s Milk Chocolate (I tried their dark chocolate and didn’t mind that). Just so you know, even though I love Vegemite, I totally understand anyone from anywhere else not liking it 🙂 I am wondering if Hershey’s is the same thing, if you grow up with it you like it… Oh, on topic, I don’t care about these patent cases anymore, I really don’t. Maybe I should, but honestly, who cares anymore… 2010-10-31 6:08 pm cefarix I like dark chocolate. 2010-10-31 6:11 pm Soulbender FYI, I’m a Swede living in the philippines and I do like Vegemite. Don’t even know wtf pop-tarts are though and root beer is not that great. 2010-11-01 2:11 am nt_jerkface Here’s my questions. If you live in the US, do you like Hershey’s Milk Chocolate (I tried their dark chocolate and didn’t mind that). I’ve only seen people buy the regular Hershey’s for smores or recipes. I would find it strange to see anyone over 10 choose one over a snickers or twix bar. Smores are considered a standard staple for camping which probably accounts for most of the sales. 2010-11-01 3:59 am thavith_osn Thanks for the responses, I really did wonder. It’s good to know. Oh, I tend to like Swiss chocolate the best, we have chocolate made here in Australia which is very nice, but I would pick Swiss, Dutch – actually most European chocolate over “ours” anytime. There is a company in Seattle that makes great chocolate too, but I can’t remember the name… 2010-10-31 6:16 pm Almafeta For what it’s worth, I looked into sending some root beer over there for the holidays. The only thing remotely affordable would be to send some root beer syrup and let you brew it yourself. How much is dry ice over there? Edited 2010-10-31 18:17 UTC 2010-10-31 6:57 pm jac_goudsmit Pop tarts and root beer? You’re kidding, right? Pop tarts are almost, but not quite, completely gross, and that’s BEFORE you toast them. The words “root” and “beer” shouldn’t be used in the same sentence, let alone in the same word. Making it into a root beer float (by dropping some ice cream in it) doesn’t make it any better. I’ve been in the USA for 10 years and I think most of the candy you can get here tastes like soap. Some medicine tastes better than candy – they make cough syrup taste like licorice and my theory is that that’s the reason why Americans don’t like licorice. An exception to the rule is things that you can get here as well as in the Netherlands: they taste the same but they get the names all wrong: American Milky Way = European Mars, American Three Musketeers = European Milky Way, etc. I agree with the other poster: Hershey’s is the nastiest chocolate I’ve ever tasted (it’s similar to Cadbury which I tried on a trip to England). I usually get German chocolate from import stores. I miss Verkade chocolate and I miss (Belgian) Palm beer… And don’t get me started about frikandellen, kroketten and frietsaus. I dream of those every night… You are LUCKY, Thom! 🙂 Anyway, what was the subject again? Edited 2010-10-31 19:07 UTC 2010-11-01 2:21 pm sorpigal As a long-time American, being here since birth, I can say that I and other americans generally have no problem eating hershey’s chocolate. This is the cheapest chocolate and it is readily available. Most americans will never eat a chocolate bar, pure chocolate, of any other brand! Having had the opportunity to sample a large number of european chocolates (german and swiss mostly) I find that there is no comparison: hershey is much worse! However, I still eat it without revulsion because it is a flavor I know and it’s cheap. Basically, given few readily-available (and cheap) options hershey’s is not so bad. If we all could get german chocolate as cheaply hershey’s would not be as popular (but it would take two generations to change). Your commentary on candy bars is interesting; I had not noticed this but I’ll be sure to compare the next time.