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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 testerguy on 7/15/2012 6:52:51 AM , Rating: 1
So how do you justify Apple suing people left and right with design patents? Except you can't. You are already intoxicated by that cyanide-flavored Apple Kool-Aid to see the difference.

How can you possibly be so retarded to not understand what a design patent is? A design patent prevents competitors illegally copying your work. Every company gets them and protects them.

If you have a valid design patent you are absolutely entitled to sue over it. Simple, obvious, logical.

With a FRAND patent, on the other hand, you are NOT entitled to seek bans over it.

Are you getting this yet?

Bullshit. Design patents are so overly broad, they can be applied on anything and everything. Getting Galaxy Tabs banned just because it's a tablet... that looks like a tablet. Gee, why haven't we banned every television screen out there? They all use inch-thick bezels, exactly what is being used on the iPad!

Design patents aren't necessarily broad. If they are deemed to be ACTUALLY 'too broad' by the legal system (who makes that call, not you) the patent wont stand. Simple. Self regulating. The Galaxy Tab* not Tabs* was banned because amongst other things, their own lawyer couldn't tell them apart. It was such a copy of the iPad that their own lawyer was unable to distinguish them. Do you think he'd be able to distinguish a television? Of course.

Does that make a mockery of your comment? Naturally.

What exactly are these workarounds? Do something different than Apple, thus ensuring they will fail commercially?

The exact minor workarounds that Samsung actually did, in real life, in creating the Galaxy Tab 10.1 N? A tablet which was deemed not to be infringing? Or the exact same differences which every other tablet manufacturer managed to already add to their devices and thus not invite legal cases?

All it took was a bit of minor innovation, Samsung failed on first time of asking, but their changed 10.1N tablet was found to be not infringing. That further makes a mockery of your comments about 'broad' and shows how silly your television claim is.

Yes I do know how they work. You don't. Apple's patent filings are so vague and ambiguous, they leave a lot to interpretation. Hence the goal posts.

See above for the simple and obvious education I provided you on how broad patents are not valid.

What valid patents? Design patents? Those are invalid.

You're so confused, it's adorable. Do you think 'Design patents' are invalid, by definition? Do you not realise that Design Patents are in fact every bit as legitimate as any other kind of patent? They are also far more powerful, legally, than FRAND patents. I am yet to see your 'fanboy' excuse as to why Motorola attempts to have devices banned over FRAND patents?

But keep arguing they are valid because you could not afford to lose arguments.

What I said (which is already a repeated comment):

provided said patents are valid (which I wont provide any opinion on )

Are you seriously so stupid to just fail to read that simple sentence?

1 - Sony did a wedge design on some of their laptops but did not file a patent on it. They don't see a need for it. 2 - Apple made their Macbook Airs look like a wedge and wanted to patent that. 3 - What are they gonna do next? Of course, sue every manufacturer under the sun for violating the wedge design patent! 4 - You cannot make something look like a wedge because it is patented by Apple. 5 - You cannot make something with beveled edges because it is patented by Apple. 6 - You cannot make something with rounded rectangles and inch-thick bezels because it is patented by Apple. 7 - Of course you think these are perfectly valid patents because Tim Cook says "Do or else". Apple plays as a victim when it is actually a bully. Copy features directly out of Android and call them "invented by Apple", but Google doing the same and you sue them for piracy.

1 - If the 'wedge' design you claim Sony came up with is the same, legally, as Apple patented, their patent wont be valid due to prior art. If not, it will.
2 - Apple set records for worlds thinnest laptops in the process, thereby most definitely not copying anything anyone else had created.
3 - Have they done this? No. Is your random guessing even worth responding to?.... [silence]
4 - You cannot create anything which infringes upon Apples patent provided said patent is valid. Their patent application did not simply say 'wedge'.
5 & 6 - Simply nonsensical non-truth. Thousands of devices have bevelled edges and rounded edges and are not infringing.
7 - For the fourth time, I'll try educating you and hope you realise that I've not provided any opinion on whether any patents are valid or not. Try, for your own sake, to grasp that this time.

Wrong, as Apple has already proven otherwise with its COPYCAT patents.

Did you somehow think that by writing COPYCAT I wouldn't notice the complete lack of any actual evidence in this claim?

What actually did happen is that Apple patented technology which had ALREADY been patented by someone else , and they proceeded to sue people who infringed upon that copycat patent after it was filed.

1 - In theory, you can't patent something if it's been patented by someone else. Feel free to provide an example.
2 - Even if you somehow got around 1 - the patent you filed wouldn't be valid so it's a self regulated industry. Prior patents are far more damning than prior art, it simply doesn't happen. You're basically talking complete nonsense because you don't understand the system.

Admission of guilt - you have confessed that whatever Apple's been doing in court is illegal. Therefore, what I said is completely relevant since it's what is happening.

How can you be so incredibly stupid to interpret a sentence which says that if a patent is successful, it's by definition NOT ILLEGAL as meaning that it's illegal? Seriously? Are you 12?

Please, before you embarrass yourself any further, Dailytech Monkey MK2 - try to actually learn how to read and understand my factual and logical comments.


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