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In Apple's view Android smart phone makers are oppressing it and trying to engage in anticompetitive tactics.

Meanwhile Apple is trying to ban Android smart phones and tablets from the market with lawsuits.  (Source: Google Plus)
Company says its rivals are being "anticompetitive" by trying to defend themselves with IP

In a scene straight out of Bizarro World, Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) lawyers are crying foul about Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (SEO:005930) and recent Google Inc. (GOOG) acquisitions Motorola's allegedly "anticompetitive" use of patents.

I. Apple Claims Android Phone makers are "Abusing" Patent System

Yes, this is the same Apple that has initiated a patent war 
[1][2][3][4][5] with these smartphone rivals.  And it's the same rival that has tried to remove competing products from the market, rather than agree to negotiate a licensing fee.  And it's the same company that patented multi-touch gestures 26 years after they were invented at a research university.  And it's the same company that allegedly doctored evidence in European courts [1][2] to support its lawsuits against Android.

Yet in Apple's rose-colored glasses it is Samsung and Motorola who are bullies.  Apparently Apple is irate about these companies' 
countersuits, which rely largely on patents covering wireless communications.

Many of these patents are governed by the "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" (F/RAND) principle, as they were developed as part of industry standards.  Basically the premise is that R&D companies are guaranteed to be paid, but generally have to license F/RAND patents to whoever wants to use them.

But given Apple's legal belligerence, the carriers have made a special exception when it comes to Apple.  And Apple, struggling in court, is growing increasingly frustrated.

The company's lawyers stated in a recent Motorola hearing, "By making false commitments that led to the establishment of worldwide standards incorporating its own patents and eliminating competing alternative technologies. Motorola [Mobility] has become a gatekeeper, accruing the power to harm or eliminate competition in the relevant markets if it so desires."

Apple takes issue with the fact that Motorola in its countersuit declines to differentiate the 7 F/RAND patents in its 18 patent collection.  In a previous case Finland's 
Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V) used F/RAND patents, along with other patents, to win a cross-licensing settlement with Apple.  However, apparently in that case Nokia differentiated the F/RAND patents in a special section of its court filings -- something Apple is supposedly okay with.

II. Apple Supporters Chime In

Apple has some allies in the F/RAND debate.

On Bloomberg TV the founder and CEO of a leading standards certifier M-CAM, Dr. David Martin, joined the attack, calling Motorola's patents "crap" and 
stating, "And the relatively best ones MMI has -- which wasn't discussed on Bloomberg -- are subject to FRAND commitments."

And pro-Apple patent blogger Florian Mueller 
comments, "[T]here have been completely off-base claims by some people that the 18 patents MMI is asserting against Apple are so powerful that they can protect Android as a whole (including other OEMs, such as Samsung, HTC and LG). [Google is] issuing statements that blow the strategic value of MMI's patents completely out of proportion. Googlorola won't help Samsung, as I explained before."

He quotes Apple's lawyers writing, "Samsung has unlawfully acquired monopoly power in markets for the technologies purportedly covered by patents which Samsung claims are essential to industry standards ('declared essential patents') by deceiving standards-setting organizations ('SSOs')... having obtained this ill-gotten monopoly power, Samsung has engaged in a relentless campaign of illegal and abusive assertions of its declared-essential patents to try to coerce Apple into tolerating Samsung's continuing imitation of [the iPhone and the iPad]."


Regardless of what Mr. Mueller says, it's hard to dispute that the "rules" of F/RAND are largely community dictated and ambiguous.  This is clearly a highly specialized case in which one company is using questionable claims (e.g. the ownership of all modern smart phone and tablet designs) to try to dictate its will on the market and grant itself a monopoly.  Whether the victims still have to bow down and offer their attacker F/RAND licensing is certainly debatable.

And Mr. Mueller's assertion that the IP won't help Motorola and Samsung's case seems disingenuous.  After all, if it were so inconsequential, why would Apple be so upset about it in court?

This isn't the first time that Apple has accused competitors over something it itself is doing.  
Apple chief executive and co-founder, Steven P. Jobs has bragged about his mastery of stealing ideas from others, stating [video], "Picasso had a saying - 'Good artists copy, great artists steal.' And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas."

But faced with large touch-screen competitors to his iPhone and iPad, the CEO and Apple's lawyers cried foul, accusing these rivals of "slavishly" copying the company's intellectual property.

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RE: Hey Apple
By Raiders12 on 8/31/2011 10:25:12 AM , Rating: 5
You're a good man! I love zune Pass, but I can see your choice of Google Music is justified.

iclowns will continue paying $1+ per song, while I enjoy any song for $15..hehe.

RE: Hey Apple
By cjohnson2136 on 8/31/2011 10:31:31 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah I actually use frostwire and upload my music that way. So free service + free music + service on any device = triple win

But I did love my zune pass + the 10 credits per month.

RE: Hey Apple
By drycrust3 on 8/31/2011 12:33:48 PM , Rating: 4
I just use the radio.

RE: Hey Apple
By bupkus on 8/31/2011 7:05:32 PM , Rating: 2
Were you actually voted down or did you post with a value of 1?

RE: Hey Apple
By Solandri on 8/31/2011 4:38:24 PM , Rating: 1
iclowns will continue paying $1+ per song, while I enjoy any song for $15..hehe.

This isn't rocket science. $15/mo * 12 months = $180/yr.

If you on average listen to more than 180 different new songs per year, you are better off with the $15/mo subscription service.

If you on average add fewer than 180 different new songs to your music collection each year, you are better off buying them at $1/ea.

I typically buy less than $50 worth of music a year, so I do the latter and use the radio/Pandora for my "random music" fix. Different strokes for different folks.

RE: Hey Apple
By Alexstarfire on 8/31/2011 4:50:36 PM , Rating: 2
That's not accurate in terms of the math. Since you can actually acquire, as in own, 10 new songs per month, assuming what I've read so far is true, it's far closer to something like $5 per month for whatever you listen to but don't want to own + $1 per song for 10 songs you do want to own. Of course, we both have some generalizations and assumptions in our logic. There is a tipping point but it's lower than 180 new songs a year. That'd be the max tipping point.

For me the iTunes approach would be far cheaper in the long run since I don't even add but a handful of new songs I'd like to own in a given year. That said, I just use Pandora.

RE: Hey Apple
By V-Money on 9/1/2011 7:03:17 PM , Rating: 2
A friend gave me that argument against zune (even though he spent much more than that on music) saying he preferred buying songs at a set price...I responded that the zunepass is an option, and you can buy songs at a set price as well. I never could figure out why people think additional options are a bad thing...

RE: Hey Apple
By firewall597 on 9/3/2011 6:53:01 PM , Rating: 2
This isn't exactly true.

First of all, you COULD buy a year's subscription at a discounted rate, like I do.

Second, you're only taking into account the songs you get to keep forever, which isn't nearly as important as the UNLIMITED downloads that you get to keep for as long as you're subscribing.

Then, once you stop paying and the dust settles, you at least get to keep a comparable amount of music to Apple's $1.29 songs.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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