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Phonemaker plays both a bully and a victim amid countless lawsuits

If some tech readers tire of constantly seeing Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) name in the news regarding patent lawsuits, understand that those stories are hardly coincidence or the product of a newsperson's overactive imagination.  Apple simply is in a swirling, whirling, ever-growing maelstrom of lawsuits, some filed by it and others filed against it.

I. Some of Them Want to Abuse You...

According to consulting firm Kanzatec IP Group, 60 percent of active lawsuits in the mobile industry involve Apple.

These lawsuits generally fall into two categories.  The first category is suits filed against Apple by smaller intellectual property holders, such as Elan Microelectronics Inc. (TPE:2458) who successfully sued Apple for "stealing" its multi-touch technology.

As the world's most profitable company Apple is a juicy target for small IP holders.  And Apple's large all-inclusive hardware-software-sales ecosystem offers many levels to hunt for infringements.  
Apple patent lawsuit
A graphic by Kanzatec depicting who is suing who. [Image Source: Kanzatec]

Feisal Mosleh, a senior vice president at Kanzatec, comments, "I would speculate that Apple will continue to be at the center of the litigation map of large mobile IT companies for as long as it maintains its dominant place in the market"

II. ...Some of Them Want to be Abused

On the other hand, Apple has also been a student of these firms and take a page from their playbook, initiating suits with rivals.  When Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android moved into the passing lane, late Apple CEO Steve Jobs' feelings on the OS changed from it being a tolerable nuisance to being an intolerable "thief".

Despite his firm borrowing multiple innovations from Android -- true multi-tasking, notifications, copy and paste, etc. (innovations that were present in Windows Mobile, of course, long before that even). -- Mr. Jobs claimed that Android phonemakers were "stealing" his company's intellectual property.

Apple initiated a suit against top rival Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) in April 2011, after first suing smaller Android phonemaker HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) in March 2010.  Both companies have filed countersuits against Apple in several regions, claiming Apple stole their intellectual property.

Apple has also looked to bully now bankrupt Eastman Kodak Corp., the company that invented the digital camera.  Apple tried to stop a sale of the bankrupt firm's intellectual property.

Steve Jobs
Steven P. Jobs' dying wish of "thermonuclear war" with Android has been fulfilled.

Google has fought back against Apple, initiating a preemptive strike with subsidiary Motorola Mobility in Oct. 2010.  That barrage was countered by Apple, which sued Motorola the same month.  Those lawsuits appear to be dead in the U.S., following a landmark ruling by a veteran Chicago-area federal judge.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple also has been battered by lawsuits from Nokia Oyj. (HEX:NOK1V).  The veteran Finnish phonemaker successfully forced Apple into one licensing settlement and is actively pursuing a new infringement lawsuit.

Source: Bloomberg





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RE: Inexcusible
By Tony Swash on 7/11/2012 6:02:48 PM , Rating: -1
quote:
What people fail to understand is that Apple is in no way "innovative", "cutting edge" or "the standard". What they are is by far the best marketing company the world has ever seen. It's reached the point where even intelligent IT people get sucked into it.


I suppose in your world it's possible to become the world's largest and most successful technology company, to enter and then utterly disrupt three existing world markets, to build a business on a single new product that in just five years becomes on it's own bigger and more profitable than Microsoft's entire business, all based on just marketing but in the world of grown up thinking it's more complex than that.

As long people such as yourself delude themselves with simple but reassuring imaginings you will not be able to see the complex, and actually very interesting, real reasons why Apple so easily pisses all over the competition. And by positively and actively avoiding trying to understand the complexity of the transformations that are happening in the world of technology you slip into the dustbin of history.

It's safe and cosy inside the tiny club of Apple haters and Apple fearers, all telling each other the same stale tales, easy to convince yourself that you have an understanding of what is going on, unfortunately you have actually ruled that out by wilful self delusion. It's a shame really because we are living through a period of changing technology that is more profound and far reaching than the rise of the PC and he internet combined. And you are turning your back on it.

I am not saying you have to love or like Apple to understand what is happening but trying to reduce the drama of this period of transformation to simple stereotypes of evil and good, or to stubbornly refuse to see why Apple is crushing everyone means you cannot ask the important questions or even contemplate the interesting answers.


RE: Inexcusible
By retrospooty on 7/11/2012 7:47:48 PM , Rating: 3
"we are living through a period of changing technology that is more profound and far reaching than the rise of the PC and he internet combined."

ROFLMAO!!!

Your assertion that the current mobile revolution is bigger than the rise of the PC and the internet combined is just as far away from the truth as the those that think Apple did zero. The truth is right about in the middle.


RE: Inexcusible
By BZDTemp on 7/11/2012 8:11:06 PM , Rating: 2
So are you saying it is just fine what Apple is doing?


RE: Inexcusible
By ritualm on 7/11/2012 8:29:48 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
but trying to reduce the drama of this period of transformation to simple stereotypes of evil and good, or to stubbornly refuse to see why Apple is crushing everyone means you cannot ask the important questions or even contemplate the interesting answers.

In some places what you just said is reason enough for me to drill a hole into your temple and fill it with battery acid.

Apple's primary innovation to the industry = prevent everyone from producing anything with rounded rectangles, beveled edges, capacitive multitouch and a who's who of technological features Apple never invented.

Apple thinks it owns exclusive rights to anything that looks like a wedge and tablets that look like rounded rectangles with an inch-thick bezel. And it wants everyone else to not make any competing product that looks remotely similar.

Apple thinks it invented everything, including the Milky Way galaxy and Alpha Centauri, and everyone is violating its patents.

That is called bullshit.


RE: Inexcusible
By Tony Swash on 7/12/12, Rating: 0
RE: Inexcusible
By testerguy on 7/12/12, Rating: 0
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007













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