Print 112 comment(s) - last by grwww.. on Sep 20 at 10:14 AM

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.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Misdirection by omission
By amanojaku on 8/31/2011 11:20:15 AM , Rating: 4
A love the AppleInsider link:

At the bottom you see an image of Samsung phones and tablets before and after the iphone and iPad. Obviously, the idea is to lead you to thinking Samsung made smaller phones and tablets because of Apple, which is partly true.

But there are a few issues with the image. All of the Apple devices displayed are models from 2010 or later. The Samsung models run the gamut: the "after" models are from 2010 or later, but the before models are from 2006 or earlier. Tech has slimmed down and powered up significantly the in years between 2006 and 2010, in addition to dropping in price. Even the iPhone lost ~25% of its thickness from first to current generation, while doubling its processor speed. The original was bulky and slow, and don't pretend it wasn't.

Additionally, older tablets emulated PCs, badly. Current tablets are different in that they do not have a desktop OS, have simpler, less-functional APIs, lack extended connectivity options (Ethernet, various forms of removable storage, etc...), and basically are limited-function appliances. Fortunately, the functions they are designed for are pretty vast NOW, but it was virtually impossible to build an affordable, slim, 10", 10-hour video and gaming device back in 2005.

In fact, it still is. $500 for a friggin' tablet...

RE: Misdirection by omission
By sprockkets on 8/31/2011 12:33:44 PM , Rating: 3
It's an article written by Steve Job's personal hand job boy, Daniel Dildo.

He's quite one sided with everything.

Read about others who point out his hypocrisy all the time

RE: Misdirection by omission
By masamasa on 9/1/2011 10:59:39 AM , Rating: 2
Apple holds the patent that allows them to make slimmer, smaller, lighter tablets and devices while the competitors cannot. Doesn't anyone here know that? Jeez...

RE: Misdirection by omission
By Drkovrload on 9/5/2011 6:20:20 PM , Rating: 2
Idk if anyone else noticed, but even on Samsungs older devices they have a large screen with a square shaped main button centered under it(obviously with other keys because no touchscreen). I think appleinsider just made another point in Samsungs progression of design rather than "stealing".

"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki