EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

03.06.10

Apple Uses USPTO/ITC Protectionism to Fight Desktop GNU/Linux

Posted in Apple, Courtroom, DRM, GNU/Linux, Google, Patents, Ubuntu at 5:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Green-red apple

Summary: Apple shows its true colours and reminds people that it’s a fundamental threat to the Free desktop not because it competes but because it stampedes

Apple’s nasty attack on Linux made use of software patents [1, 2, 3, 4] rather than any technical merit. Based on this analysis, desktop GNU/Linux is also affected, not just Android. [via]

You have likely heard about the lawsuit Apple has filed against HTC claiming patent infringement. Kevin offered a good analysis of the suit and how it claims HTC is using Apple technology from the iPhone. Basically Apple doesn’t like what HTC is doing with Android on the phones it is selling in the U.S., as they claim it uses various technology developed in Cupertino for the iPhone. Much has been said that the real target of Apple’s suit is Google Android, as the smartphone OS is growing at a fast clip. I suspect that is true, but I think Apple’s fears go even deeper. I think the scheduled appearance of the Chrome OS later this year has Apple tied up in knots.

Chrome OS is the operating system based on the Chrome browser that has generated a lot of interest from both enthusiasts and companies producing hardware since the Chrome OS announcement. It is intended to be an alternative OS for cheap netbook-like devices, and is aimed squarely at the mainstream consumer. Google expects to capitalize on its familiar brand, and use the Chrome OS to push its online services into the device category.

Chrome OS is based on Ubuntu; if anything, it’s a simplified, stripped-down version of Ubuntu, so if Apple gets an upper hand here, it would do nothing to help GNU/Linux. It’s not just about HTC by the way. IT Business Edge put it like this:

Google Most Likely Apple’s Real Target in HTC Lawsuit

When Apple filed suit against HTC Tuesday for infringing patents Apple owns on technology used in the iPhone, it wasn’t clear which particular HTC devices were at issue in the case. Observers surmised the Google/HTC collaborative effort known as Nexus One was somewhere in the mix, but Google isn’t named in the suit.

As a side note, we have always been critical of Groklaw’s obsession with helping Apple in court; Apple has its share of corporate lawyers (it needs no help from a community) and Apple is no friend of the Free desktop. This latest lawsuit is proof of this, as there was no provocation to justify this (although everyone is suing everyone in this area of computing).

Slate, which has connections with Microsoft [1, 2], calls Apple’s action “Patently Stupid”

Apple’s multitouch lawsuit is both dumb and dangerous.

“Apple’s HTC attack is a very dangerous game,” says the leader of ZDNet UK. Apple’s hypocrisy is also mentioned in Android Web sites. It becomes somewhat of a fight between Google supporters and Apple supporters, but little is said about Linux, as opposed to the big brands which lead the reputation charts.

There is no doubt that Google is a big reason Apple has gone after HTC. In our eyes, this shows us that Apple views Android and the coming wave of smartphones as a threat to their business. Will there be a counter suit against Apple? Probably. HTC has been making smart phones of their and likely has a few patents they could dust off.

Glyn Moody says that this article is “another indication this is iPhone vs. Android” and HTC will fight back with Google’s support.

In other interesting news, Dave Winer covers what Apple is up to. Get a load of this:

Then I read this article in CNET that says Apple wants to cut a deal with the entertainment industry to store all their content on Apple servers. There’s a chilling comment in the middle of the story saying they want to get rid of hard disks. That, my friends, is Hollywood’s dream.

Let’s remember that Apple has connections in Hollywood and Apple is big supporter of DRM. It’s not just the company’s stance on software patents that makes it a disaster to software freedom.

“Apple is fighting against powerful and fundamental economic forces. In the short term, Apple’s technological and industrial design prowess can help to prop up dying business models.”

Timothy Lee

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

7 Comments

  1. dyfet said,

    March 6, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Gravatar

    I think some have nostalgia for the Apple that actually never was, which incidentally is not the Apple of Steve Jobs, but rather of Wozniak. In truth Apple has also actually already gone out and “embraced” BSD in a manner not very much unlike how many people have suggested Microsoft would one day “embrace” GNU/Linux and create a “Microsoft Linux”. Yet, Apple gets a lot more love, which I agree is strange.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I think it’s because they are perceived as “choice” and “not Microsoft”.

    your_friend Reply:

    This is why the focus has to be on freedom not “choice” or even “open source”. A choice of masters is not a very good one and non free software can be open source in the sense that people can look at parts of the source code without being able to do anything practical with it.

  2. Will said,

    March 6, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Gravatar

    A lot of people, fed up with Microsoft over the last decade or two, will eagerly jump to try things that are “not Microsoft”. So far, the best efforts of both Apple and Microsoft to convince people that the only thing out there that’s “not Microsoft” is Apple has done much for Apple and it’s image. Case in point: I’m a Mac, I’m a PC ads. No mention of a third choice there.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Novell has done something to change this.

  3. Agent_Smith said,

    March 6, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Gravatar

    Well, i’ve just seen screenshots of Ubuntu Lucyd… And… Guess what ??? I guess crApple will sue Canonical over the appearance of Ubuntu 10.4.
    If they are all out to battle Linux, in desktop and in phones (and tablets, too…)

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I have to admit the wallpaper was a silly choice. They make it seem like building cheap Mac OS X.

What Else is New


  1. Links 10/12/2019: Kubernetes 1.17, Debian Init Systems GR

    Links for the day



  2. 'Cancel Culture' as 'Thoughtpolice' Creep

    Richard Stallman spoke about an important aspect of censorship more than 2 decades ago (before “Open Source” even existed); it was published in Datamation (“Censoring My Software”) 23 years before a campaign of defamation on the Internet was used to remove him from MIT and FSF (censoring or ‘canceling’ Stallman himself)



  3. Microsoft Still Hates GNU/Linux and Mark Shuttleworth Knows It (But He is Desperate for Money)

    We're supposed to believe that a PR or image management (reputation laundering) campaign alone can turn Microsoft from GNU/Linux foe into friend/ally



  4. Actions Against EPO Corruption and Unitary Patent (UPC) Injustice/Lobbying

    The EPO is apparently going on strike again and an action against the UPC is scheduled for later this week (protest in Brussels)



  5. “The Fifth Freedom as a Meme”

    The issue with systemd (or SystemD) has provoked or at least stimulated discussions about the limits of the famous Four Freedoms



  6. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 09, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, December 09, 2019



  7. Demonstration Against Unitary Software Patents, Thursday 12 Dec in Brussels

    FFII's call to demonstrate against the UPC



  8. Links 9/12/2019: China on GNU/Linux, Canonical Wants Help to Improve Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  9. Links 9/12/2019: Linux 5.5 RC1, EasyOS Buster 2.1.9

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 08, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 08, 2019



  11. Mandatory Education for Those Who Use and Misuse Buzzwords Would Go a Long Way

    In an age of substitution — where marketing terms replace meaningful words and concepts — it has gotten more difficult to have honest debates, for example about the scope of patents



  12. Once Upon a Time Banter Was Allowed on Mailing Lists

    Hours ago Torvalds announced RC1 of the next Linux (kernel) release; it has been a while since he last said something ‘controversial’ (following his month at the penalty box); free speech deficit can make us weaker, not stronger (advantage to those who work in the dark)



  13. Links 8/12/2019: Debian Init Systems GR, NomadBSD 1.3

    Links for the day



  14. Can We Quit Celebrating DRM in GNU/Linux?

    Over the past couple of days various news sites and "Linux" sites expressed great satisfaction [1-5] over the passive embrace of Disney's DRM ploy (Disney+), even when Disney itself rejects DRM, seeing the harms practically caused by it [6,7]



  15. You Know WSL is Bad for GNU/Linux Because Anti-Linux People, Microsoft and Its Propagandists, Want People to Use That

    Microsoft and its boosters (and media partners) haven’t grown tired of spreading falsehoods to stigmatise and take control of GNU/Linux by creating their own versions and traps for it



  16. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 07, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 07, 2019



  17. 5 Years Ago the Linux Foundation Turned Linux.com Into a Non-Linux Site

    One can leverage the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine to better understand how, over time, the Foundation called “Linux” deviated or diverged away from its mission statement for the sole purpose of raising corporate funds and selling influence to corporations (passing the community’s hard work to them — a form of tacit privatisation)



  18. Microsoft Redefining Ownership and Identity of GNU/Linux

    The idea that “Microsoft loves Linux” is as insane as it gets; but the lie which is “Microsoft loves Linux” is a powerful enabler of Microsoft entryism, e.g. if Greg steps down, does a Microsoft employee become the deputy of Linus Torvalds?



  19. Things That Cannot Be Said

    The limits on what we can say are mostly defined by what sources permit us to say publicly (for the sake of source protection)



  20. Fake European Patents (on Algorithms) Leading to Fake Embargoes

    Law firms have gotten their way in Germany; instead of supporting the productive workers the patent system is nowadays promoting the litigation 'industry' and it ought to be corrected



  21. From Moderate Advice to FUD and Misinformation: The Case of a VPN Vulnerability (CVE-2019-14899)

    What should have been a trivial bugfix in a variety of operating systems and bits of software — both proprietary and Free software — somehow became anti-Linux FUD, clickbait and worse



  22. Dangerous Thinker

    Society oughtn't be alarmed by people who say unusual things; it should be wary and sceptical of those corporations ever so eager to silence such people



  23. Unitary Patent (UPC) Died Along With the Credibility of Managing IP and the Rest of the UPC Lobby

    It is pretty astounding that Team UPC (collective term for people who crafted and lobby for this illegal construct) is still telling us lies, even in the absence of underlying supportive facts, and pressure groups disguised as "news sites" latch onto anything to perpetuate an illusion of progress (even in the face of a growing number of major barriers)



  24. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 06, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, December 06, 2019



  25. Links 7/12/2019: Fedora 31 Elections Results, Lots of Media Drama Over VPN Bug

    Links for the day



  26. Links 6/12/2019: DRM in GNU/Linux and Sparky Bonsai

    Links for the day



  27. The EPO Rejects Innovation

    The EPO ceased caring about the needs of scientists whose work involves invention; instead, EPO management crafts increasingly lenient guidelines that yield illegal European Patents (not compatible with the EPC) that heavily-besieged EPO judges are unable to stop



  28. Startpage CEO Robert Beens in 'Damage Control' Mode, Trying to Get Startpage Relisted After Selling to a Massive Surveillance Company

    PrivacytoolsIO is being lobbied by the CEO of Startpage to relist Startpage, based on no actual refutations at all



  29. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 05, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 05, 2019



  30. Links 5/12/2019: qBittorrent 4.2.0, Expensive Librem 5 and OpenBSD Bugs

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts