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  (Source: badjonni via flickr)
Apparently #winning is not enough -- complaints could come back to bite Apple, provide ammo for Android rivals

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) supporters hailed Chicago, Illinois Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals  Judge Richard Posner's ruling as a landmark in the gadgetmaker's case against new Google Inc. (GOOG) almost-subsidiary (pending Chinese approval) and top Android phonemaker, Motorola Mobility.  

Not only did uphold most of Apple's claim construction regarding Apple's asserted intellectual property rights, U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949 -- the infamous "multi-touch patent" -- it also admonished Motorola's counterarguments.  Supporters said that the strong victory could clear the way for something even they weren't sure if they were comfortable with -- a complete ban of America's current top smartphone platform, Android.

So how did Apple respond to this wonderful legal gift that Judge Posner handed it?

Apparently "complained" would be the proper term.  Astoundingly Apple filed a motion challenging some aspects of the Judge's Claim Construction, which it felt might weaken its "thermonuclear" quest to destroy all of the top Android phonemakers' sales.

But much like Napoleon's bold invasion of Moscow, followed by a ruinous retreat, Apple may have made a fatal miscalculation in angering Judge Posner who once appeared to be on its side.  Judge Posner called Apple's filing "troubling" and writes [PDF]:

Apple presumably spent a nontrivial amount of time drafting its order, and now I have done the same in responding to it. Yet it seems that Apple brought about this expenditure of scarce resources without first making a careful reading of the page or so of my order against which this motion is launched. Such inconsiderate sloppiness is unprofessional and unacceptable.

Judge Posner
Judge Posner's tone with Apple shifted dramatically. [Image Source: Appellate Lawyers Assoc.]

Given Judge Posner's strong reputation in U.S. Federal legal circles, his criticism of Apple's legal staff as "unprofessional" is very "troubling" for the Cupertino gadgetmaker, to borrow his term.  That criticism goes well beyond his harshest words to Motorola's lawyers to date.

Again, it's somewhat baffling why Apple would turn around and burn itself on the eve of its greatest triumph in U.S. Federal Court.  However, some grateful Motorola lawyers are surely thanking the heavens for this inexplicable turn of events.

An important note is that Motorola started the lawsuits with an Oct. 2010 filing against Apple claiming infringement of 18 patents.  However, given that Apple had just filed a lawsuit against HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) and had admittedly threatened both Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KS:005930) and Motorola with litigation, it appears this may have been a "preemptive strike".  Sure enough, Apple sued Motorola later that month.  So far Apple has done better in the U.S., though Motorola did get several key patents invalidated.

A non-biased observer could argue that Apple started the lawsuit war with Android, but Samsung and Motorola escalated it with new suits, and a host of international filings.  Likewise, such an observer might point out that a piece of the culpability lies with Windows Phone maker Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V) who kicked off the lawsuit wars in 2009, suing Apple over 10 patents and filing a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission seeking to ban iPhone imports from their manufacturing location in China.  That ban request was the first of its kind and would be echoed in later ITC filings by Apple and its Android rivals.  Wikipedia maintains an excellent timeline of the lawsuit wars.

Source: SBNation

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By retrospooty on 4/4/2012 3:52:30 PM , Rating: 5
The judge just learned that Apple behaves like a pre-teen spoled brat. The rest of the tech community already knew that.

Apple = Textbook example of a Napolean complex.

RE: Soooo.....
By Cobra Commander on 4/4/2012 4:02:03 PM , Rating: 5
You're not expressing yourself very well: they have the anti-Napoleon Complex of superiority, not inferiority.

RE: Soooo.....
By dark matter on 4/4/2012 5:16:48 PM , Rating: 2
I think people more than understood his point. Isn't that the very essence of language?

RE: Soooo.....
By michael2k on 4/4/2012 5:51:23 PM , Rating: 5
No; they didn't understand his point, they accepted his mistake.

Meaning, they just redefined "Napoleon complex".

RE: Soooo.....
By retrospooty on 4/4/2012 5:49:35 PM , Rating: 4
Actually I do beleive Jobs had a major napolean complex. He felt small, therefore tried to overcompensate.

Apple as a company does act like a child.

RE: Soooo.....
By Jeffk464 on 4/4/2012 9:21:41 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think he felt small, I think he was super anal retentive and lacked empathy for the people around him.

RE: Soooo.....
By vol7ron on 4/4/2012 11:27:30 PM , Rating: 2
I was under the impression that he felt big and cocky, like he was above everyone else, which is a superiority complex, but not a Napoleon complex. It would only be a Napoleon Complex he was actually (literally) small.

His particular situation was more similar to the Douchebag or Fratboy Complex, which seems to be more common in, but not limited to, the wealthier Californian areas. South Park, a worthy news source, did a good job reporting these types of people in an episode about smog and Prius drivers.

Please don't get mad over any of the above

RE: Soooo.....
By Samus on 4/5/2012 1:31:34 AM , Rating: 4
Apple will just say the lawyers filed it wrong...

RE: Soooo.....
By Natch on 4/5/2012 8:51:59 AM , Rating: 2
Or the judge interpreted it wrong. He should have gotten out his oiuja board, and contacted Steve Jobs in the afterlife, to find out how to interpret it correctly.

RE: Soooo.....
By vol7ron on 4/5/2012 7:59:30 PM , Rating: 3
When I did this... I asked Jobs about my iPad and he laughed about how much money iPaid.

Apple will be Apple
By lagomorpha on 4/4/2012 4:12:35 PM , Rating: 3
As long as Apple is trying to harm the rest of the industry with frivolous lawsuits, the best thing for everyone that isn't Apple or a fanboy is for the rest of the industry to sue Apple with every piece of IP they have. Eventually Apple will no longer be able to operate in the West and will no longer be such a nuisance.

RE: Apple will be Apple
By Cobra Commander on 4/4/2012 4:32:22 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, that's the litigious American society we all know and love so dearly!

RE: Apple will be Apple
By GotThumbs on 4/4/2012 5:39:00 PM , Rating: 5
I'm wondering why...Apple has not yet been sued over its extreme closed market access? No access to any music, video content without having to install their software...and no ability to sell in their market...without jumping through their hoops.

I want them to be taken to court for this....SOOOOOOOOO BAAAAAAAAAAD.

RE: Apple will be Apple
By RicheemxX on 4/4/2012 6:01:17 PM , Rating: 5
I've asked this for years and the only response I've ever gotten from Apple supports it to proclaim there is fair access elsewhere. Clearly there is something lost in the term "market". As I've always asserted Apple is a market on its own. How, or why, it has been allowed to place the sanctions it has on its own market is beyond me. If this was a reversal and it was MS back in the day consorting with suppliers and creating such a closed eco-system we would have seen all sorts of anti-trust concerns raised.

RE: Apple will be Apple
By Azethoth on 4/5/12, Rating: -1
RE: Apple will be Apple
By Invane on 4/5/2012 12:23:12 PM , Rating: 3
Did you seriously just accuse him of only wanting to see Apple's market system more open so he can pirate their IP?

Why do people immediately descend to personal attacks like this when someone does not share their viewpoint.

I agree with him and intensely dislike Apple's "walled garden" approach to their products. It stifles competition, much like their legal campaign against Android.

And why are you the one that gets to determine 'reasonable prices'? Perhaps some people do not agree that their prices are reasonable. I, for one, don't care as I don't purchase Apple products on principle. Some people will care and their opinions and views should not be discarded with derisive comments lacking any facts or constructive debate like yours.

RE: Apple will be Apple
By Theoz on 4/4/2012 5:50:49 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt any party can get a permanent injunction, so we're looking at years of litigation where each party is forced to pay a reasonable royalty (or potentially lost profits) for the other parties' inventions. All of this litigation could likely be obviated by a cross-licensing agreement up front.

RE: Apple will be Apple
By ilkhan on 4/5/2012 12:45:06 AM , Rating: 5
Apple doesn't want a cross license agreement, they want android dead.

This has been established time and time again.

RE: Apple will be Apple
By Pirks on 4/4/12, Rating: -1
RE: Apple will be Apple
By amagriva on 4/5/2012 7:24:35 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently you were molested by Jobs as a child and you LIKED IT!!!!.

RE: Apple will be Apple
By Tony Swash on 4/4/12, Rating: -1
RE: Apple will be Apple
By themaster08 on 4/5/2012 3:03:12 PM , Rating: 2
Most certainly not working at Apple, that's for sure.

From Judge Posner's response
By bodar on 4/4/2012 4:39:50 PM , Rating: 2
Only in the final passage of its motion does Apple make an argument that might not be talking past my order entirely: “The [next item and translation] commands also will be distinguished depending on the state of the underlying content. For example, in a photo album application, a horizontal swipe gesture will result in a transition to a different photo in a set of photos if the entire photo is shown on the display screen... But, if only a portion of the image is shown on the screen (in other words, the photo is sized to be bigger than the display screen), a swipe gesture is interpreted to move the photo in a horizontal, vertical, or two-dimensional direction.”

I still don't get how Apple can patent input interpretation (multi-touch or otherwise) within an application. Can anyone explain this?

RE: From Judge Posner's response
By fic2 on 4/4/2012 5:21:05 PM , Rating: 3
Broken/brain dead U.S. patent office.

RE: From Judge Posner's response
By Theoz on 4/4/2012 5:42:48 PM , Rating: 5
I am likely responding to one of the many anti-IP zealots on this site, but input interpretation clearly falls under 35 USC 101 which controls which subject matter is patentable and which is not.
Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefore, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.

I would consider this to be a method or a machine (touch screen, processor, memory, etc.) for carrying out the claimed algorithm. Hence this is clearly patentable subject matter. Presumably no relevant prior art (see 35 USC 102) was in front of the patent office and therefore they allowed the claim since they determined that the claim was novel and not obvious to a person having ordinary skill in the art at the time the patent application was filed (September 6, 2006). Everything looks obvious in hindsight, that's why the question is whether it was obvious on September 6, 2006 given the prior art.

RE: From Judge Posner's response
By Ringold on 4/4/2012 10:33:45 PM , Rating: 2
Very informative post, thanks. (Could've voted it up, but that doesn't show appreciation as much when a troll comes by 10 sec later and votes a good post down)

Like it or not, according to what you said and the date involved (I dont recall such phones in 2006, but would have to search around) I can see how the patent might stand, though I think it might be better for Apple in an anti-trust sense to license the patent to Android makers than try to shut them down entirely.

RE: From Judge Posner's response
By Iaiken on 4/5/2012 10:01:20 AM , Rating: 5
The problem is one that I have pointed out time and again.

There is a reason that the Canadian patent office told Apple to "go fly a kite".

"Multi-touch" and it's surrounding heuristics were invented at the University of Toronto in the 1980's. It was further expanded upon by researchers. Everything you see in the way that you interact with smart phones and tablets, you can find in these white papers. Apple didn't invent squat, they just patented/implemented someone else's invention and then claimed they changed the world.

Unfortunately, with the patent office changing from "first to invent" to "first to file", this prior art is simply irrelevant in the US. The judge in this case had reviewed these documents, but discarded them from evidence because the researchers never filed a patent. What is ironic is that the researchers never filed patents at the time because to them it was obvious technology at the time, literally dozens of major schools of computing were contributing to these papers every year.

RE: From Judge Posner's response
By Theoz on 4/5/12, Rating: 0
By prophet001 on 4/5/2012 11:45:43 AM , Rating: 3

you don't even try to dispute that apple in fact did not invent the multi-touch interface.

Ready to see Apple die a painful death.
By GotThumbs on 4/4/2012 5:35:29 PM , Rating: 5
I'm SOOOOOO over Apple and its pissy inability to work well with others and move forward.

Apples goal is to squash all competition...and rule the market with an IRON fist.

Just for S&G, Last night I tried to listen to a sample of music from both Itunes and Android Market (I don't like the name PLAY). Anytime I searched for an artist on Apples prompted me to install ITunes. I don't want to install a piece of software, just to listen to a bit of music I MIGHT purchase. Of Course, I was able to listen to pieces of every song on the artists album...all without being FORCED to install one single piece of software. I didn't try Amazon, but think it would also be possible.

Bottom line. Apple is EXTREME in its controlled environment. I'll NEVER own an Apple product or load one piece of Apple software on my computer. No quicklime...nothing.

I wish Apple had been buried along with Steve Jobs. I understand it's a harsh thing to say, but I'm just so Fed-up with how bad this company has gotten. "Your holding it wrong"

RE: Ready to see Apple die a painful death.
By Tony Swash on 4/4/12, Rating: -1
RE: Ready to see Apple die a painful death.
By LyCannon on 4/4/2012 11:26:01 PM , Rating: 3
Or people will finally reach the breaking point and stop buying their products. Back in the 90's, there wasn't much competition. It was IBM compatable or bust. Macs were very uncommon. With Android being the number 1 phone OS, you have a viable choice, you just have to exercise that choice.

RE: Ready to see Apple die a painful death.
By loboracing on 4/5/2012 8:01:21 AM , Rating: 5
For some reason every time I read one of your "speeches" I can't help but picture Hitler behind a podium giving a propaganda speech.

RE: Ready to see Apple die a painful death.
By Tony Swash on 4/5/12, Rating: -1
By AnnihilatorX on 4/6/2012 5:25:10 AM , Rating: 2
OT but Tony if we have a global scoreboard for comment ratings you must be a world record holder.

RE: Ready to see Apple die a painful death.
By elleehswon on 4/5/2012 10:43:59 AM , Rating: 2
Apparenly you've never checked the specs on a new macbook pro. oooh look, 2 year old hardware, and only $3000!! wow, this is way better than that Asus G74 that'll eat it alive for half the cost.

Why does the macbook pro suck? Easy answer: 65w Power supply. How do you expect to run that cpu full bore, power the gpu under load, ram, HDD, display, and sound? Ooooh, you just drain the battery while it's plugged in because the hardware that your precious apple gave you, sucks.

Run crysis on a macbook pro and see how much fun you have dialing down the graphics because your precious machine is throwing up all over itself.

Oh, it's cute that you have to pay an extra 35 bucks to be able to use HDMI.. I'm pretty sure most other laptop manufacturers just include the freakin' port.

while we're at it, lets cover where apple stands in the pack as far as what percentage of macbooks require warranty work? If you think they're at the top with the lowest percentage, i have some bad news for you. They're behind asus, sony, and toshiba.

Apple's smartphones are technologically behind, always have been, and always will be as long as they don't have to compete with the other manufacturers on account of their PR.

The only thing keeping apple afloat, as usual, is PR. They are the best(tech) at creating a desire in the customer to buy their product.

While we're at it, tony, where would apple be without microsoft bailing them about a couple years back?

Great tech company though. *golfclap*

RE: Ready to see Apple die a painful death.
By Tony Swash on 4/5/12, Rating: 0
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/5/2012 12:49:44 PM , Rating: 2
you will remain clueless and out of touch with reality
Coming from you...LOLOLOLOL...

By elleehswon on 4/5/2012 3:27:18 PM , Rating: 2
It is down to PR, Tony. You build a product that is technologically inferior, but catches people's eye, and create an environment of want for that product.

yea, buying the experience rhetoric, right? Sounds like you're the sucker. Oooh, well i can waste my time doing stupid little gestures that take 3x as long as hitting a hot key.

Hell, i can get the same free experience from a ubuntu 11.10 install and i can throw that on any machine i want!

By croc on 4/6/2012 8:40:03 AM , Rating: 1
Unfortunately for all of us, Bill Gates didn't really seem to want to control the world, at least not in the way that Jobs wanted to. Bill gates didn't try to control the porn, Jobs did. End of story.

We WELCOME our new overlords. We WILL have pure thoughts. We WILL NOT speak ill of our new overlords.

Anybody seen my Nembutol?

just a clarification
By fic2 on 4/4/2012 4:22:03 PM , Rating: 2
landmark in the gadgetmaker's case against new Google Inc. (GOOG) subsidiary and top Android phonemaker Motorola Mobility

Pretty sure Motorola Mobility is not part of Google yet since their stock (MMI) is still being traded (5.7M shares, $38.96). Probably should read "soon to be Google Inc. (GOOG) subsidiary".

RE: just a clarification
By JasonMick on 4/4/2012 4:26:58 PM , Rating: 3
Pretty sure Motorola Mobility is not part of Google yet since their stock (MMI) is still being traded (5.7M shares, $38.96). Probably should read "soon to be Google Inc. (GOOG) subsidiary".
Technically correct -- the merger has been approve by U.S. and EU regulators, plus sharedholders, the only hold-up is China --

So yes, you're technically correct.

RE: just a clarification
By Goty on 4/4/2012 4:59:42 PM , Rating: 5
The best kind of correct....

By Scratches16 on 4/4/2012 5:20:49 PM , Rating: 5
Oh. My. God. What is going on with that first sentence???

I've tried re-reading it 8 times now, and the grammar (or lack thereof?) throws my mind off the deep end each time, without fail. D: lol

So how did apple responded?
By rs2 on 4/4/2012 7:41:10 PM , Rating: 3
Seriously, do you proofread these articles even *once* before you post them? That one is just the most humorous sounding of about a dozen typos in the first half of the article.

A grammatical mistake every now and then is understandable, but when virtually every paragraph has some problem with it and some sentences are so garbled as to barely make sense anymore it's time to put more effort into quality control.

RE: So how did apple responded?
By muhahaaha on 4/5/2012 11:21:05 PM , Rating: 2
He was a bit tipsy when he wrote the article, give him a break. I like to write drunken late-night posts too :P

it's like....
By chµck on 4/4/2012 4:11:06 PM , Rating: 2
your ex-wife taking the dog too.

I gave up...
By JeBuSBrian on 4/4/2012 5:35:33 PM , Rating: 2
I gave up trying to read this article at the start of the second paragraph. I'm sorry, but if you guys don't have an editor, maybe you should hire one.

This article is disturbing
By Jackson_DKMG on 4/5/2012 1:33:47 AM , Rating: 2
I am actually amazed because it very much sounds like the judge may end up reviewing his initial ruling because, basically, he is now angry at Apple.

So in fact, he first took a decision beneficial to Apple because he just liked those folks, but now they pissed him off so he will favor their rivals from now on ?!

no subject
By Scabies on 4/5/2012 2:16:06 AM , Rating: 2
Apple? Arrogant? We must inform the masses!

I'm not following
By adiposity on 4/5/2012 2:57:42 AM , Rating: 2
So, the judge feels they were sloppy and unprofessional. Perhaps not the best thing to hear, but does it change his previous judgement in their favor? Probably not.

I'm not sure this does anything but make them feel bad.

He'll Soon...
By mmatis on 4/5/2012 5:38:37 PM , Rating: 2
be sucking Apple duck. You can be sure of that.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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