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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: It all come back to you
By JasonMick on 8/31/2011 1:42:19 PM , Rating: 5
It looks this round is for Samsung

Apple cannot try to protect themselves to the point where they want a different treatment in court. So if they fail protect their iDevices, then be it.

What is it??

However as a digital artist I can't never justify Samsung copying/stilling, etc and NO matter if Steve Jobs or someone else says so I don't respect stilling as an art expression. Although I like the Galaxy line and I can recognize a merit in them I can see to much of Apple's own design. Like it or not there are virtual infinite ways to approach a design. And to me there is no justification on the "Apple trying to monopolize the tablet design" argument. I bet in the next incarnations we will see more differentiated devices and equally winning designs from someone else. Come on!

First I'm not sure if Samsung was "stilling" from Apple, but common sense would say that at least they were NOT "stealing" from Apple.

If you're a graphic artist (I'm an amateur graphic artist myself), you should be able to recognize the striking visual differences between Samsung's devices and Apple's, which are as striking as any similarities.

Ultimately the center of every modern tablet is a touchscreen -- the near sole source of interaction. Thus you can expect designs to look slightly similar. This isn't "stealing" or "copying", it's the state of the art.

Apple makes the fallacy of comparing tablets from years ago to the designs presently available.

Until a few years ago, large multi-touch displays were manufactured by no one and the technology to mass produce them was still being worked out. In short, Apple's competitors didn't make a device that looked somewhat iPad like 10 years ago, because the technology to mass produce that kind of device DIDN'T EXIST.

Apple didn't develop and didn't patent that production technology.

Instead it filed general patents multi-touch interface technology, fraudulently passing off methods that were freely published in academic literature two decades prior as its own new "inventions".

Steve Jobs says Apple was great at "stealing" -- Samsung never claimed to be great at stealing. And indeed Samsung wasn't crazy/arrogant enough to try to claim ownership of multi-touch, something that had long ago entered into the public domain. Apple was, and thanks to its high priced legal team somehow squeaked the patent by incompetent reviewers at the USPTO and other international patent offices.

Also I don't understand why Apple haters want to defeat Apple is they end up with at least some of Apple taste in other devices. If you hate something try something different and don'r include in your diet the same ingredient you hate.

So no one can use the same components as Apple? I supposed HP and Dell should be banned from making computers with RAM and CPUs? And Intel should be banned from making chips with transistors? And Samsung, Motorola, and HTC should be banned from making smart phones.

If anything Apple imitated shamelessly. It copied from science fiction, it copied from academia, it copied from competitors. It merged these elements into undeniably slick packages (the iPhone, 2007, and iPad, 2009), and managed to get those packages out the door shortly before its rivals.

And then it had the audacity to claim its "inventions" were original, when in fact there was a tremendous volume of prior art THEY "stole" from.

RE: It all come back to you
By williamsck1 on 8/31/2011 2:29:41 PM , Rating: 2
Well said. Remember...Apple did create the Smartphone as Al Gore created the internet

RE: It all come back to you
By mritter1981 on 8/31/11, Rating: 0
RE: It all come back to you
By Alexstarfire on 8/31/2011 3:17:56 PM , Rating: 2
The metaphor was completely lost on you. We know Al Gore didn't invent the internet. That was the whole point.

RE: It all come back to you
By adiposity on 8/31/2011 3:45:15 PM , Rating: 2
Then, there is the issue that Al Gore never said he invented the internet...

RE: It all come back to you
By Alexstarfire on 8/31/2011 3:49:03 PM , Rating: 2
Whether or not it's true is irrelevant to the metaphor.

RE: It all come back to you
By Alexstarfire on 8/31/2011 3:50:40 PM , Rating: 2
Looking back at the OP I realize it's actually a simile, not a metaphor. My bad.

RE: It all come back to you
By adiposity on 8/31/11, Rating: 0
RE: It all come back to you
By JasonMick on 8/31/2011 4:11:18 PM , Rating: 2
Come to think of it, Steve Jobs never claimed to invent the iPhone...


He did claim that... he is listed as an inventor in many iPhone-related patents, including the all important "iPhone design patent" that Samsung supposedly "slavishly" violated...

RE: It all come back to you
By adiposity on 8/31/2011 4:26:59 PM , Rating: 1
Ok, fair enough. My point was really about Al Gore, I admit to not having checked on whether Steve Jobs "claimed to invent the iPhone."

Although, being one of 20 other people listed on a patent for a device is hardly "claiming to invent" it. At best, it means you claimed to partially contribute to its invention.

RE: It all come back to you
By Alexstarfire on 8/31/2011 4:41:49 PM , Rating: 2
This is a serious strawman since the OP didn't even mention Steve Jobs or iPhone but rather Apple and smartphone. Apple may not have directly said they invented the smartphone but they are certainly acting like it.

Since we somehow got into an argument over this simile I'll go ahead and explain it for you. The JOKE, important point, is that many believe Al Gore to have said he invented the internet when he did not just as many believe that Apple said, or acts if you prefer, that they invented the smartphone.

A joke does not have to be factually accurate and is why the accuracy of it is irrelevant. I suppose you would complain about all the dumb blond jokes or the "yo mamma" jokes?

RE: It all come back to you
By adiposity on 8/31/2011 5:15:32 PM , Rating: 1
I got the joke, I didn't have an issue with it. I was just saying, as long as you are going to pick it apart, the Al Gore thing was factually wrong.

And the Steve Jobs bit was a joke from me, I didn't even look to see that the original post technically mentioned Apple and not Jobs. My point was only that drawing comparisons to accusations that were false isn't the best way to mock someone.

Anyway, I feel deeply ashamed for rendering an xkcd cartoon accurate with my responses.

RE: It all come back to you
By Alexstarfire on 8/31/2011 10:33:27 PM , Rating: 2
Except you were the one picking it apart, no one else was.

RE: It all come back to you
By adiposity on 9/1/2011 12:34:23 PM , Rating: 2
I was referring to the post that tried to document how Al Gore did not invent the internet. As long as you are going to prove he didn't invent it, you might also mention that he didn't ever claim to.

RE: It all come back to you
By nocturne_81 on 9/1/2011 5:58:32 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, he kind of did.. x]

It was right during a nationally televised debate where Bush and Gore were having a bit of a back-and-forth about which of them were more 'tech friendly', and Gore got overly exasperated and exclaimed loudly, "well, I invented the internet!".

To his credit, though.. He was on the armed services committee at the time that the internet was turned over as a public utility, an action many do largely accredit to Gore.

RE: It all come back to you
By adiposity on 9/1/2011 6:05:07 PM , Rating: 2
RE: It all come back to you
By ipay on 8/31/2011 6:16:01 PM , Rating: 2
And indeed Samsung wasn't crazy/arrogant enough to try to claim ownership of multi-touch, something that had long ago entered into the public domain. Apple was, and thanks to its high priced legal team somehow squeaked the patent by incompetent reviewers at the USPTO and other international patent offices.

It hardly takes a crack legal team to get those patents. People have literally submitted patent applications for toasting bread and swinging on a child's swingset as jokes, and they were rubber stamped just like all the others. That's why any lawyer will tell you no patent is actually valid until it has been tested and won in a court case. The problem is that when major corporations like Apple are involved, they can tie you up in court for years and cost you millions no matter how stupid the patent is, and so many people just settle out of court without a fight.

RE: It all come back to you
By jecs on 8/31/2011 7:32:02 PM , Rating: 1
I read also Samsung failed in court with a 2010 Odyssey tablet argument because that device in the movie was a tv and not a tablet. But Apple Photoshoped Samsung's prototypes, right?. This looks bad both companies. And Apple already lost a lot of legal ground on the tablet side.

Again, I like the Galaxy tablet but as striking those differences may look to you I would also say it is an improvement and an iteration from the iPad. They are cousins, but the iPad was first to market. And this is legally very important for this dispute.

Also the Galaxy smartphones are very similar to the iPhones and this is something extremely conflictive for public perception.

Inside a court room this needs to be legally solved beyond anyone point of view, personal perception or opinion.

How close could 2 competing and successful products be in the market at the same time? Each country or market needs to establish this.

But did Apple had any knowledge on Samsung's tablet prototypes? Patents are given for prototypes too. Samsung can't deny the iPad or the iPhone came first to market before the Galaxy line. Why Samsung did not demanded Apple when the iPhone or the iPad launched. Is it because they are a friendly legal company? I am afraid that would be a very bad argument.

Samsung has powerful lawyers who know Apple business. Where are Samsung's patents for those prototypes? Legally it looks weak. Apple could also have different prototypes hidden and waiting. But when the iPad launched nobody demanded the iPad look or shape with a valid patent.

So. Is it that Samsung couldn't produce another design, or is it they did not really wanted to create a new product with a look clearly distinctive from Apple devices. Are they unable to produce different prototypes?

And yes there should be legal protection for some simple images, proportions, color, textures or shapes and in its simplest essential expression this is the legal company LOGO, or even a product. Would you think Mercedez is entitled to own a 3 point start shape inside a circle forever?

Who gets to be protected with the patent? Whoever comes first with a valid concept. It Is a well known system and valid for any side.

In art we learn to copy from the masters. But I disagree with Steve Jobs because this is acceptable for beginners or wannabes but not for true masters. In the present industry Apple and Samsung are both big global players.

RE: It all come back to you
By robinthakur on 9/6/2011 11:03:12 AM , Rating: 2
Well, someone clearly forgot the shockwaves caused by the iPhone to the entire industry when Apple entered it in 2007, instantly making everything else on the market look like an antique. Android most definitely owes the iPhone everything. All of their current success in the field comes from that wow moment when people first saw or used one. However, whether you can patent a revolutionary device's "wow factor" remains to be seen. Apple's sucess is due far more end-to-end, in actually packaging wonderful features in stunning poducts and getting them to market in a form understandable to regular members of the public by marketing them. They are incredibly efficient.

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

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