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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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RE: Yay Capitalism!
By Tony Swash on 9/23/2011 7:41:56 PM , Rating: -1
... 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.

I literally have no idea what the fuck you are talking about.

This my logic. Lets say the average figure for suicide numbers per 100,000 people is X

If you then take the number of suicides for any given 100,000 people from that population (say chicken farmers, exotic dancers, Foxconn workers, porn stars) you can say in each case that the number for every 100,000 of any of those sub-groups is either larger or lower than average for the population as whole.

So if X for every 100,000 of the general population is 10 and the figure for every 100,000 exotic dancers is 8 then you could say the average rate of suicide amongst exotic dancers if lower than the general average. Seems pretty straightforward to me but then I am not the one floundering around in a sea of fact free speculation desperately trying to talk up some damaging shit about Apple.

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
"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher

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