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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]."

III. EDITORIAL: Our Take

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 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 (blog) on 8/31/2011 4:11:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Come to think of it, Steve Jobs never claimed to invent the iPhone...

WRONG.

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...

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PT...


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
"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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