Print 54 comment(s) - last by croc.. on Apr 6 at 8:40 AM

  (Source: badjonni via flickr)
Apparently #winning is not enough -- complaints could come back to bite Apple, provide ammo for Android rivals

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) supporters hailed Chicago, Illinois Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals  Judge Richard Posner's ruling as a landmark in the gadgetmaker's case against new Google Inc. (GOOG) almost-subsidiary (pending Chinese approval) and top Android phonemaker, Motorola Mobility.  

Not only did uphold most of Apple's claim construction regarding Apple's asserted intellectual property rights, U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949 -- the infamous "multi-touch patent" -- it also admonished Motorola's counterarguments.  Supporters said that the strong victory could clear the way for something even they weren't sure if they were comfortable with -- a complete ban of America's current top smartphone platform, Android.

So how did Apple respond to this wonderful legal gift that Judge Posner handed it?

Apparently "complained" would be the proper term.  Astoundingly Apple filed a motion challenging some aspects of the Judge's Claim Construction, which it felt might weaken its "thermonuclear" quest to destroy all of the top Android phonemakers' sales.

But much like Napoleon's bold invasion of Moscow, followed by a ruinous retreat, Apple may have made a fatal miscalculation in angering Judge Posner who once appeared to be on its side.  Judge Posner called Apple's filing "troubling" and writes [PDF]:

Apple presumably spent a nontrivial amount of time drafting its order, and now I have done the same in responding to it. Yet it seems that Apple brought about this expenditure of scarce resources without first making a careful reading of the page or so of my order against which this motion is launched. Such inconsiderate sloppiness is unprofessional and unacceptable.

Judge Posner
Judge Posner's tone with Apple shifted dramatically. [Image Source: Appellate Lawyers Assoc.]

Given Judge Posner's strong reputation in U.S. Federal legal circles, his criticism of Apple's legal staff as "unprofessional" is very "troubling" for the Cupertino gadgetmaker, to borrow his term.  That criticism goes well beyond his harshest words to Motorola's lawyers to date.

Again, it's somewhat baffling why Apple would turn around and burn itself on the eve of its greatest triumph in U.S. Federal Court.  However, some grateful Motorola lawyers are surely thanking the heavens for this inexplicable turn of events.

An important note is that Motorola started the lawsuits with an Oct. 2010 filing against Apple claiming infringement of 18 patents.  However, given that Apple had just filed a lawsuit against HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) and had admittedly threatened both Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KS:005930) and Motorola with litigation, it appears this may have been a "preemptive strike".  Sure enough, Apple sued Motorola later that month.  So far Apple has done better in the U.S., though Motorola did get several key patents invalidated.

A non-biased observer could argue that Apple started the lawsuit war with Android, but Samsung and Motorola escalated it with new suits, and a host of international filings.  Likewise, such an observer might point out that a piece of the culpability lies with Windows Phone maker Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V) who kicked off the lawsuit wars in 2009, suing Apple over 10 patents and filing a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission seeking to ban iPhone imports from their manufacturing location in China.  That ban request was the first of its kind and would be echoed in later ITC filings by Apple and its Android rivals.  Wikipedia maintains an excellent timeline of the lawsuit wars.

Source: SBNation

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RE: Ready to see Apple die a painful death.
By Tony Swash on 4/4/2012 7:24:07 PM , Rating: -1
Here is the thing. In the coming years, and probably for at least a decade, Apple is going to be the dominant and biggest force in the tech world. It will have achieved this by being the one large tech company that most clearly saw what was coming with the rise of mobile devices, moving the fastest, have the most far sighted and joined up strategy, and being the most determined to transition it's business to the new model and the new markets. It is likely that Apple, in the coming decade, will be as big and as dominant as Microsoft and Intel were combined in the 1990s. Almost nothing can stop this happening.

So the issue for those who don't like Apple, don't like their dominance and who are perhaps fans of other companies or products is how to cope with this unpalatable reality. One way is to live in denial, another is to seethe constantly with anger and outrage. Having tried both options back in the 1990s when I had to live through the ghastly dominance of Microsoft I can definitely say that both approaches are piss poor personal strategies. All that will happen if you live in denial or splutter with rage is to make yourself feel bad and get ever more out of touch with the exciting reality of what the development of technology will bring. The best option is to just accept it and carve out a space you can feel good in. That won't be easy, it wasn't easy for Mac fans back in the 1990s but back then if you gave up fretting about Microsoft it was perfectly possible.

Not liking, or deliberately choosing to not participate in, the dominant tech paradigm of the age will mean that at times life will be awkward. There is nothing you can do about that. You may be forced to use Apple technology in the coming years, your children will almost certainly have to, you may have to adjust the way you do some things to fit into the the 'Apple Way'. That's just the way it will be, it will probably piss you off, but letting go of the rage and the juvenile wish fantasies will really help. Good luck.

RE: Ready to see Apple die a painful death.
By LyCannon on 4/4/2012 11:26:01 PM , Rating: 3
Or people will finally reach the breaking point and stop buying their products. Back in the 90's, there wasn't much competition. It was IBM compatable or bust. Macs were very uncommon. With Android being the number 1 phone OS, you have a viable choice, you just have to exercise that choice.

RE: Ready to see Apple die a painful death.
By loboracing on 4/5/2012 8:01:21 AM , Rating: 5
For some reason every time I read one of your "speeches" I can't help but picture Hitler behind a podium giving a propaganda speech.

RE: Ready to see Apple die a painful death.
By Tony Swash on 4/5/12, Rating: -1
By AnnihilatorX on 4/6/2012 5:25:10 AM , Rating: 2
OT but Tony if we have a global scoreboard for comment ratings you must be a world record holder.

RE: Ready to see Apple die a painful death.
By elleehswon on 4/5/2012 10:43:59 AM , Rating: 2
Apparenly you've never checked the specs on a new macbook pro. oooh look, 2 year old hardware, and only $3000!! wow, this is way better than that Asus G74 that'll eat it alive for half the cost.

Why does the macbook pro suck? Easy answer: 65w Power supply. How do you expect to run that cpu full bore, power the gpu under load, ram, HDD, display, and sound? Ooooh, you just drain the battery while it's plugged in because the hardware that your precious apple gave you, sucks.

Run crysis on a macbook pro and see how much fun you have dialing down the graphics because your precious machine is throwing up all over itself.

Oh, it's cute that you have to pay an extra 35 bucks to be able to use HDMI.. I'm pretty sure most other laptop manufacturers just include the freakin' port.

while we're at it, lets cover where apple stands in the pack as far as what percentage of macbooks require warranty work? If you think they're at the top with the lowest percentage, i have some bad news for you. They're behind asus, sony, and toshiba.

Apple's smartphones are technologically behind, always have been, and always will be as long as they don't have to compete with the other manufacturers on account of their PR.

The only thing keeping apple afloat, as usual, is PR. They are the best(tech) at creating a desire in the customer to buy their product.

While we're at it, tony, where would apple be without microsoft bailing them about a couple years back?

Great tech company though. *golfclap*

RE: Ready to see Apple die a painful death.
By Tony Swash on 4/5/12, Rating: 0
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/5/2012 12:49:44 PM , Rating: 2
you will remain clueless and out of touch with reality
Coming from you...LOLOLOLOL...

By elleehswon on 4/5/2012 3:27:18 PM , Rating: 2
It is down to PR, Tony. You build a product that is technologically inferior, but catches people's eye, and create an environment of want for that product.

yea, buying the experience rhetoric, right? Sounds like you're the sucker. Oooh, well i can waste my time doing stupid little gestures that take 3x as long as hitting a hot key.

Hell, i can get the same free experience from a ubuntu 11.10 install and i can throw that on any machine i want!

By croc on 4/6/2012 8:40:03 AM , Rating: 1
Unfortunately for all of us, Bill Gates didn't really seem to want to control the world, at least not in the way that Jobs wanted to. Bill gates didn't try to control the porn, Jobs did. End of story.

We WELCOME our new overlords. We WILL have pure thoughts. We WILL NOT speak ill of our new overlords.

Anybody seen my Nembutol?

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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