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Top chipset maker VIA Technologies claims Apple ripped off its intellectual property to make the iPhone and iPad.  (Source: Hornberger Worstell)

VIA has aligned itself with the Android handset makers in their global patent conflict with Apple.
Apple could soon find itself in a similar situation to rival Samsung

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) is currently riding high on its victory over rival Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (SEO 005930) in Germany.  German courts sided with Apple and banned sales of Samsung's tablets, as they say Apple owns exclusive rights to minimalist tablet designs.  As reports indicate that Samsung is currently the only major Android company currently coming close to rivaling Apple in sales, Apple for now enjoys a court-enforced monopoly on the tablet market for the time being.

Now, Taiwanese motherboard, CPU, and chipset maker VIA Technologies, Inc. (TPE:2388) has just filed suit in U.S. Federal Court in Delaware, seeking to ban sales of Apple's iPad and iPhone, which it says infringe upon three of its U.S. patents.  VIA is also seeking damages and has asked for a trial by jury.

VIA writes, according to a copy of the complaint 
obtained by Bloomberg, "The products at issue generally concern microprocessors included in a variety of electronic products such as certain smartphones, tablet computers, portable media players and other computing devices."

The company seems in good position to see success.  The Delaware court is known as a plaintiff friendly region, akin to the Eastern District Federal Court of Texas.

For VIA the suit is somewhat personal, as the company has close ties to "patent poor" HTC Corp. (
SEO:066570), a recent target of Apple's intellectual property aggression.  VIA recently sold its S3 Graphics subsidiary to HTC for $300M USD.  VIA had already won a lawsuit against Apple for patents held by S3 -- HTC is now using that victory to try to force Apple to cross license the IP that would allow it to continue to sell Android tablets and smartphones in the U.S. and other regions.

Unlike with Samsung, HTC, Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V),or Google, Inc. (GOOG) subsidiary Motorola Mobility, VIA likely does not make any products that Apple can target in countersuits.

Apple started the patent war last year 
by suing HTC claiming infringements on various technology patents (such as interrupt-based processor undervolting) and its iPad/iPhone design patents.  Since then the war has swept the globe, reaching WWII-esque proportions.  On one side sits Samsung, Google, and HTC (and effectively, VIA); on the other side sits Apple.  

The Android team has been arming themselves.  Aside from the S3 acquisition, Google's
purchase of Motorola served to consolidate the manufacturers patents for use by the greater Android coalition.  And Google recently purchased 1,000 patents from International Business Machines, Inc. (IBM) to further aid in the defense of Android.

The escalation poses significant risk to Apple's bottom line.  While there's a small chance the company will be able to leverage the lawsuits to retain tablet market dominance and regain dominance in the smartphone sector, there's a strong possibility that the plan make backfire.  If the Android allies win their countersuits [
1][2], Apple may see its own products banned.  Furthermore, many have suggested that Apple's campaign may be hurting Apple's "cool" brand image.  After all, as one top blogger told DailyTech, "It's hard to seem cool when you're suing everybody."



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hmmm
By sprockkets on 9/22/2011 1:14:26 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
VIA had already won a lawsuit against Apple for patents held by S3 -- HTC is now using that victory to try to force Apple to cross license the IP that would allow it to continue to sell Android tablets and smart phones in the U.S. and other regions.


Cross license? How bout we treat apple like they treat everyone else, like douchebags?

HTC, ban the Macs.




RE: hmmm
By NellyFromMA on 9/22/2011 1:22:08 PM , Rating: 3
cause they actually want to win. only Apple could pull off such an upset judicial win. Via isn't exactly on the same popularity level. So, they'll go with a request that makes more sense based on the reality of things as well as typical precedent.


RE: hmmm
By NellyFromMA on 9/22/2011 1:23:18 PM , Rating: 3
My bad, fail read on my part. Still, HTC is no Apple, but at least the general population has a chance at knowing who the heck HTC is or what they make.


RE: hmmm
By kleinma on 9/22/2011 1:35:05 PM , Rating: 5
I was not aware that court rulings were popularity contests....


RE: hmmm
By MrTeal on 9/22/2011 1:40:18 PM , Rating: 4
In a trial by jury?

I wonder if VIA is going to try and compose the jury of people who don't own any Apple products. It would seem to be a CoI to have someone sitting on the jury to ban the iPhone if they own one.


RE: hmmm
By kingmotley on 9/22/2011 3:17:43 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. It would also be unfair to have anyone that owns something that has "microprocessors included in a variety of electronic products such as certain smartphones, tablet computers, portable media players and other computing devices" in them.

Now where can we find a jury of our peers that doesn't have the above?


RE: hmmm
By cjohnson2136 on 9/22/2011 3:23:42 PM , Rating: 2
hill billies from somewhere in deep deep section of wooded area, or Amish they don't have electronics.


RE: hmmm
By RjBass on 9/22/2011 3:54:42 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about where you are, but the Amish in my hood drive trucks and almost all the adult makes have iPhones.


RE: hmmm
By cjohnson2136 on 9/22/2011 3:57:15 PM , Rating: 2
You sure you are not thinking mennonites. But cause they dress very similar to Amish but they can have electronics.


RE: hmmm
By rameshms on 9/22/2011 4:26:03 PM , Rating: 4
cavemen ? Just ask GEICO were to find them..


RE: hmmm
By johnsmith9875 on 9/22/2011 3:28:12 PM , Rating: 5
I hope VIA wins, forcing Apple to make the IPAD3 a Circular tablet made up of old style transistors and hand cranked for power.


RE: hmmm
By idiot77 on 9/22/2011 4:07:14 PM , Rating: 2
I can see the ad now...

The All New RetroPad, with clockwork functionality, only found on an Apple!


RE: hmmm
By lightfoot on 9/22/2011 7:42:04 PM , Rating: 2
A steam punk iPad? That might actually sell well.


RE: hmmm
By phatboye on 9/22/2011 1:24:56 PM , Rating: 2
As much as I'd like to see that you have to remember that Via is a company and their number one goal is to make money. Since Via does not have sell products that directly compete with Apple's products it makes more sense to make money or strike a cross licensing deal instead of banning Apple products.


RE: hmmm
By invidious on 9/22/2011 1:54:52 PM , Rating: 2
I imagine that Google and Microsoft would be willing to compensate Via for the opportunity cost of the cross licence if it meant taking Apple down a peg.


RE: hmmm
By cjohnson2136 on 9/22/2011 1:57:30 PM , Rating: 2
Google and Microsoft wouldn't cross license because they don't make the phones. The phone makers of Android and WP7 would cross license.


RE: hmmm
By BZDTemp on 9/22/2011 3:23:13 PM , Rating: 2
Eh, with Google buying Motorola and the big deal between Microsoft and Nokia I'd say they are booth damn close to making phones.

(DT the text above was seen as spam, so I'm hoping adding this comment will make it go through).


RE: hmmm
By cjohnson2136 on 9/22/2011 3:25:23 PM , Rating: 2
Well if Google does start making phones because of owning Motorola Mobility then yes they would cross license, but Microsoft still wouldn't cross license, Nokia would...two separate companies.


RE: hmmm
By Fritzr on 9/23/2011 10:49:43 PM , Rating: 2
VIA could knock Apple out of the market and declare it a win in terms of sales ... The alternative hardware has to come from somebody after all. I am sure VIA has ideas about what will replace Apple in the US market :D


Yay Capitalism!
By johnsmith9875 on 9/22/2011 3:31:12 PM , Rating: 5
Thank god government doesn't work like a capitalist society, otherwise General Dynamics would be suing Northrop because their 500 pound bombs for the F-16 also will work in the B-2 without any special cross-licensed adapter hardware, and the Army would sue the Marines for wearing "similar" uniforms.




RE: Yay Capitalism!
By wordsworm on 9/22/11, Rating: -1
RE: Yay Capitalism!
By MrTeal on 9/22/2011 5:41:18 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
On the other hand, at least Apple isn't getting ready to launch tanks and fighter jets at their competition. Also, they don't drop agent orange on villages. They also don't put people in jail for smoking a little herb, even if that herb helps sick people feel better.


Yet.


RE: Yay Capitalism!
By mindless1 on 9/22/2011 6:44:10 PM , Rating: 3
... and they don't contract to a company that treats their slaves bad enough that they jump off buildings to end it all.

wait. Now there's nets. Everything is a-ok in Apple's world now.


RE: Yay Capitalism!
By Tony Swash on 9/22/11, Rating: -1
RE: Yay Capitalism!
By mindless1 on 9/22/2011 7:28:43 PM , Rating: 2
It's strange how your "actual data" is propping up a misconception.

I think you'll find that most people who commit suicide, don't opt to bother going to work to do it.

Also, you don't have data on how many Foxconn employees committed suicide but didn't do it at work! With the numbers already so close, 7 vs 9.9, it's almost a certainty that Foxconn employees did commit suicide at a higher rate.


RE: Yay Capitalism!
By Tony Swash on 9/22/11, Rating: -1
RE: Yay Capitalism!
By dark matter on 9/23/11, Rating: -1
RE: Yay Capitalism!
By mindless1 on 9/23/2011 3:34:30 PM , Rating: 1
Actually, the closer something comes to certainty, the less need there is for further data when we are only making generalizations.

Your supposed "data" supports my statement more than your own so for me to then provide data seems redundant.


RE: Yay Capitalism!
By DeluxeTea on 9/23/2011 2:07:12 AM , Rating: 1
Yet when you think about, 7 out of the supposed 9.9 suicides per 300,000 people came from Foxconn.


RE: Yay Capitalism!
By Tony Swash on 9/23/11, Rating: -1
RE: Yay Capitalism!
By acer905 on 9/23/2011 12:44:37 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that the problem requires much more data, specifically, the employment status of all those who commit suicide. How many people in the average are unemployed. How many work for other companies.

Yes, ignoring all other factors 7 is less than 9.9, but the world doesn't work that way. Its like the facts about marriage and divorce rates. People freak out about the "50%" divorce rate without ever looking at the rest of the needed info. The percentage of marriages that end in divorce include people who have been married any number of times.

Two people can have one lifelong marriage, while another two can have six all end in failure (2 people married 3 times each, all failing because the 2 people cannot be happy in a marriage). That leads to four people having an 85% divorce rate!

Got a bit off topic... but the point is valid. If everyone who commits suicide in China are unemployed, except those working at Foxconn, then there is a big problem with Foxconn.


RE: Yay Capitalism!
By Tony Swash on 9/23/2011 1:34:16 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The problem is that the problem requires much more data, specifically, the employment status of all those who commit suicide. How many people in the average are unemployed. How many work for other companies.

Yes, ignoring all other factors 7 is less than 9.9, but the world doesn't work that way. Its like the facts about marriage and divorce rates. People freak out about the "50%" divorce rate without ever looking at the rest of the needed info. The percentage of marriages that end in divorce include people who have been married any number of times.

Two people can have one lifelong marriage, while another two can have six all end in failure (2 people married 3 times each, all failing because the 2 people cannot be happy in a marriage). That leads to four people having an 85% divorce rate!

Got a bit off topic... but the point is valid. If everyone who commits suicide in China are unemployed, except those working at Foxconn, then there is a big problem with Foxconn.


The problem is that if someone claims that the Foxconn suicide rates are unusual the onus is on them to prove that or at least offer some data, a few facts perhaps, to back up such a claim.

Suicide data for China is hard to come by and scarce. The data I have found does not support the proposition that the suicide rate at Foxconn is unusually high. If anyone thinks it is unusually high then it's up to them offer some supporting evidence otherwise it just speculative piffle. I could claim that Elvis is alive and well and living in my loft and every time some argues against say ' but there is no evidence that my claim is false and I believe it strongly'. It's still speculative piffle.


RE: Yay Capitalism!
By acer905 on 9/25/2011 3:45:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The data I have found does not support the proposition that the suicide rate at Foxconn is unusually high.


The data that you have found does not support anything, other than the notion that Chinese people at times will commit suicide. Nothing else can be properly inferred from such limited data. Therefore, it has no basis on a discussion about whether or not the suicide rate at Foxconn is abnormal.

If the burden of proof is on the person making a claim that the rate of suicide at Foxconn is abnormal, the same is true for the person saying that its perfectly normal. Your data does nothing to prove this, because it must make the assumption that every suicide happens with nothing driving it but being an average Chinese person.

quote:
The data I have found does not support the proposition that the suicide rate at Foxconn is [or is not] unusually high [because it fails to include any variables related to Foxconn in the least]


RE: Yay Capitalism!
By mindless1 on 9/23/2011 5:43:28 PM , Rating: 2
... and yet, this is yet another way your thinking is wrong.

If the "general population" rate is 9.9, that would INCLUDE the Foxconn workers as part of the general population (you cannot subtract random company employees as they are comprising the population)!

It would mean 71% of all suicides were Foxconn workers. I do not think 71% of all suicides were Foxconn workers, but this does show just how contrary to your argument that your supposed "data" and speculations are.

It would not surprise me at all if some other nearby manufacturer had even higher suicide rates by %, but that is immaterial to the current argument we're wasting time on.


RE: Yay Capitalism!
By Tony Swash on 9/23/11, Rating: -1
RE: Yay Capitalism!
By mindless1 on 9/23/2011 11:12:06 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, I realize you have no idea WTF I am talking about.

You want to over simplify and that does not work when it ignores the relevant variables.

Your mistake was assuming that Foxconn employees are not ALSO a subset of the general population, that if you try to contrast their suicide rate, you also have to include that rate as part of the general population rate.

Believe what you like. Outsourcing aside, none of the companies I do business with have to install nets to try to save suicidal employees.

Ponder that.


RE: Yay Capitalism!
By Tony Swash on 9/24/11, Rating: -1
RE: Yay Capitalism!
By DeluxeTea on 9/23/2011 2:20:13 AM , Rating: 2
But seriously, Tony:

That is a gross misuse of statistics. You cannot just use the general populace suicide rate and compare it with the Foxconn suicides. It should be compared to the suicide rates of the pertinent demographic - working age people that are employed. If you want to be more consistent, all working age people that are employed in the factories of electronic manufacturers. Find out the suicide rates among the people covered by this demographic. After you have gotten this data, only then the comparison will hold weight.

Or simpler yet, find out the suicide rates of Hua Wei and ZTE and compare it to Foxconn.


RE: Yay Capitalism!
By Tony Swash on 9/23/11, Rating: -1
RE: Yay Capitalism!
By Tony Swash on 9/23/11, Rating: -1
RE: Yay Capitalism!
By Invane on 9/23/2011 12:29:29 PM , Rating: 2
This is absolutely correct. It is not an apples to apples comparison. This is also why you can make a statistical argument to support almost anything sound reasonable.


RE: Yay Capitalism!
By deathwombat on 9/23/2011 10:17:16 AM , Rating: 1
It's bogus to compare the suicide rate at Foxconn with the suicide rate of the general public. A significant percentage of the general public are poor and unemployed . 100% of Foxconn employees have jobs, and they ought to be good paying jobs relative to the Chinese job market. If you want to make a fair comparison, compare the suicide rates at Foxconn with other major employers in China, particularly in the high tech sector.


RE: Yay Capitalism!
By Bad-Karma on 9/23/2011 3:44:37 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Also, they don't drop agent orange on villages.
You left out the better quote....."Napalm, it sticks to kids!"


RE: Yay Capitalism!
By sorry dog on 9/23/2011 10:02:10 AM , Rating: 1
...but they do think it's their moral obligation to keep you from watching porn on the devices they sell to you.


RE: Yay Capitalism!
By Bad-Karma on 9/23/2011 3:50:05 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
nd the Army would sue the Marines for wearing "similar" uniforms.


Strangely enough the US Marines did put a patent on their current digital camouflage design. Apparently the globe and anchor is inked into the design every so often, but the pattern is off limits as well. Wouldn't even let the Navy use it. The US Navy wound up with the weird dark blue and black getup.


RE: Yay Capitalism!
By smokedturkey on 9/23/2011 11:03:56 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, it would be the Marine Corps suing the Army for infringing on the digital camo pattern... they came up with it first! I suspect the BDU in general as it stands as well.


The iSue
By Menoetios on 9/22/2011 2:10:01 PM , Rating: 5
Introducing Apple's latest magical innovation. Sparking a new trend in the technology industry. iSue.




RE: The iSue
By johnsmith9875 on 9/22/2011 3:23:30 PM , Rating: 2
Apple started the war on other tablet makers, they shouldn't complain when other patent trolls smell blood too.


RE: The iSue
By VahnTitrio on 9/22/2011 5:51:22 PM , Rating: 2
Purely retaliatory moves against Apple at this point, and nobody feels sorry for them. Don't pick a fight if you can't take some punches. Surely Apple isn't naive enough to think it'd score a 1 hit KO on all their competition...


RE: The iSue
By Natch on 9/23/2011 8:35:08 AM , Rating: 3
Yep....Apple's finding out that karma can be a real b*tch!


I want to be a patent troll
By viewwin on 9/22/2011 1:52:34 PM , Rating: 2
So could I patent a method of producing people by inserting an object into an orifice that results in the production of people. I could hit up every delivery room in America claiming patent infringement.




RE: I want to be a patent troll
By Denigrate on 9/22/2011 2:00:31 PM , Rating: 2
No, you are doing it wrong. You could then have a monopoly on sex. Anyone wanting to get down would have to pay you!


By VooDooAddict on 9/22/2011 3:52:14 PM , Rating: 3
Well, we are now a patent first instead of invent first nation.

<races to fill out the patent forms>


RE: I want to be a patent troll
By bupkus on 9/22/2011 4:59:48 PM , Rating: 3
Pimp?


Via who?
By undummy on 9/22/2011 1:13:43 PM , Rating: 2
Just kidding.

VIA, GO GET 'EM!!!!!




RE: Via who?
By MrBlastman on 9/22/2011 1:43:51 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't been a fan of VIA for years, ever since I gave up on anything made by them on my last AMD system I built back in 2007. I just had too many problems that were caused by their chipsets.

However, things change. As of today, I'm a fan of VIA again. Go VIA!

See, the problem with litigation is it always leads to more litigation. More litigation always leads to bad things--except in this case. Apple needs a beatdown. They started it, they need to get what is coming to them.


RE: Via who?
By JohnWPB on 9/22/2011 6:50:16 PM , Rating: 2
After all of Apple's lawsuits lately, I think their fan base is starting to thin out.

Make a good product, and people will love you for it, and continue buying it, as long as you say it's great.

But, if you start making waves by having courts ban their opposition, you are going to get noticed.

Apple had better start looking over their shoulders, as some heavy weights like Google, and Samsung bring a lot more to the fight than what Apple originally thought it was going to face.


WW2
By lagomorpha on 9/23/2011 9:16:54 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Since then the war has swept the globe, reaching WWII-esque proportions. On one side sits Samsung, Google, and HTC (and effectively, VIA); on the other side sits Apple.


With Apple playing the Nazis (vicious fanatics with trendy Hugo Boss uniforms)? Seems appropriate.




RE: WW2
By Da W on 9/23/2011 9:23:22 AM , Rating: 2
Oh Axis and Allies is such a good game. I miss the good old days.


Relief
By bottfish on 9/22/2011 6:41:19 PM , Rating: 2
Samsung does not have to struggle inventing rectangular tire.Apple sure rattled multiple bee hives.VIA seems sure one of early bee.




By tayb on 9/22/2011 7:18:09 PM , Rating: 2
These patent wars are going to end up as a win for consumers because there will come a time where every company is suing each other and people will FINALLY start to come to the realization that patent and trademark law need serious reform.

When the dust settles it will be good for us. Just hope companies aren't destroyed during the process.




I can see it now...
By unimatrix725 on 9/22/2011 7:49:58 PM , Rating: 2
"After all, as one top blogger told DailyTech, "It's hard to seem cool when you're suing everybody.""

Apple will make it look cool to sue everybody. So Cool means being rich, hustling, lying, cheating, stealing and suing everyone that stands in your way of becoming rich.

This saddens me as I am a Apple Fanboi. Linux is looking better all the time!




Apple methodology
By bottfish on 9/22/2011 8:59:26 PM , Rating: 2
Apple is not racing with genuine speed and throws out multiple obstacles on other racer's race tracts.




By faster on 9/22/2011 9:21:59 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, it warmed the cockles of my heart to see a corporation (VIA) coming to the aid of another corporation (HTC) against a common foe of innovation (Apple).

Apple certainy tacked an aggressive legal course when it set out to ban a competing product. Given the climate of cross licensing that had existed between technology corporations for technologies and patents developed through the course of product development, Apple's seeking to completely ban the sale of another's product has certainly offended the major technology players. No technology company is an island to itself. Apple is in bed with Samsung despite their competing legal actions. Apple is not able to produce their own products without the cooperation of foundries and other parts suppliers. It may seem like a good strategy for a company to ban its competitors, but ultimately it will only serve to create an isolationism that chokes their own supply chains. Plus, the biggest loser is the consumer who has less products to choose from and the lack of competition leads to price gouging (something Apple already practices).

I simply LOVE this development. The next piece of the puzzle is for Google to start bankrolling these litigations for their Android partners. The ultimate goal? TO REFORM THE PATENT SYSTEM SO IT DOES NOT STIFLE INNOVATION.

The development and protection of intellectual property is an important concept, but when the inventors stifle the creativity of the free market, then every patented idea that does not go into production actually becomes an inhibition to future innovation.

I SAY KILL THE APPLE!




This article was really awesome
By evo slevven on 9/22/2011 11:36:43 PM , Rating: 2
Because I own an Axis & Allies, Shogun and Fortress America board games! Good times and good memories! Too few people who remember old-school board games like A&A...




VIA
By Joz on 9/22/2011 11:59:09 PM , Rating: 2
I've personally been a longtime fan of VIA, my old K6-2 and its VIA was one of the most stable computers I ever experienced in those years. I've also had the chance to play around with a Nano and Nano x2 on nano and pico-itx boards in a project I did to upgrade my garage at home with some good ol' fashion google access for both workbenches. Fun project, and both systems are still running wonderfully. But thats a side story.

I've really admired VIA for the last couple of years for being a fair, and level headed company. But the fact that they are going after Apple makes me wonder if VIA is going to be releasing some product information soon. VIA lower power technology, in a pad? hmm, I'd buy that. As long as it comes in a color thats not black (gunmetal gray is fine.) and doesn't feel like I'd break it by hold it wrong (lol.)

hmmm, I wonder now.




Meanwhile....
By Tony Swash on 9/22/11, Rating: -1
RE: Meanwhile....
By retrospooty on 9/22/2011 6:06:58 PM , Rating: 2
Anything we can do to direct attention away from Apple's negative story here eh Tony?

What exactly is your agenda?

:P


RE: Meanwhile....
By Tony Swash on 9/22/11, Rating: -1
RE: Meanwhile....
By retrospooty on 9/23/2011 7:49:38 AM , Rating: 2
Your agenda is about as transparent as it can possibly be.

When is the last time you posted a comment on something that wasn't Apple related?


RE: Meanwhile....
By Tony Swash on 9/23/2011 10:55:47 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
When is the last time you posted a comment on something that wasn't Apple related?


8/31/2011

Here

http://www.dailytech.com/First+Circuit+Court+of+Ap...


RE: Meanwhile....
By retrospooty on 9/23/2011 11:58:46 AM , Rating: 2
OMG... One post in a whole month. That's more than I thought there were, but still does little to change the obvious fact that you are here on an agenda.

It's one thing to like a particular product and post about it and be open for discussion, but you are here strictly to defend every action Apple takes and every product they make. I understand why some people like Apple products, and I am glad for Apple's existence to make the rest of hte industry stay on their toes. But you ignore any postitive points about competing companies, and ignore any negative points about Apple while you ignore any negative points about Apple, and ignore any positive points about Competing companies.

You dont see a problem with this though do ya?


RE: Meanwhile....
By themaster08 on 9/23/11, Rating: -1
"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay














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