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

01.02.12

Reactive Lawsuits Brewing Against Microsoft and Apple

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Patents at 12:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Lawsuits dance

Lawyer dances

Summary: News about patents with emphasis on the duopoly’s fight against Android/Linux

THE disdain for patents is growing much greater partly owing to the cases against Linux/Android.

To start with the good news, Oracle’s setback is now in the press, not just FOSS/technology sites. To quote:

Oracle’s Patent Claims Against Google Get Rejected

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected several patent claims being brought against Google by Oracle last week. Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) sued Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) last year claiming that Google owed it $6 billion for parts of Java software that were used in the Android operating system. Oracle initially claimed 132 infringements against seven total patents, but upon the judge’s request, the company has whittled down the list to just 50 complaints.

Here is the bigger piece of good news that we found today. Microsoft and Apple might soon be sued by Android makers to deter against those lawsuits that the duopoly launched:

According to Digitimes “A number of handset makers in China, including Lenovo, ZTE, TCL, Coolpad and Konka, has formed an alliance in preparation to counter possible patent infringement lawsuits to bring upon by international players, according to industry sources in Taiwan.”

It’s time for Android manufacturers to come together and create an alliance to fight Microsoft and Apple’s patents attack. If an alliance is formed it will bring an end to the new strategy of Apple and Microsoft — “why innovate when you can litigate.”

Here is another good new article:

Don’t mess with these tech giants or they’ll drag you to court! Apple and Microsoft have made it clear they will not tolerate any infringing of their patents. Both software companies have been awarded legal victories in separate court cases involving violation of their respected patents. Interestingly, both suits indirectly targeted the search engine giant Google.

Over at Wired, 2011 is proclaimed to have been a bad year:

2011: The Year Intellectual Property Trumped Civil Liberties

Online civil liberties groups were thrilled in May when Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), the head of the powerful Judiciary Committee, announced legislation requiring the government, for the first time, to get a probable-cause warrant to obtain Americans’ e-mail and other content stored in the cloud.

But, despite the backing of a coalition of powerful tech companies, the bill to amend the Electronic Communications Privacy Act was dead on arrival, never even getting a hearing before the committee Leahy heads.

In contrast, another proposal sailed through Leahy’s committee, less than two weeks after Leahy and others floated it at about the same time as his ECPA reform measure. That bill, known as the Protect IP Act, was anti-piracy legislation long sought by Hollywood that dramatically increased the government’s legal power to disrupt and shutter websites “dedicated to infringing activities.”

Apple is meaning accumulating more patents [1, 2, 3] on features that were implemented before by others while in the Indian press we learn that the patent question returns:

Erosion of privacy and personal freedom on online media drew worried mention at the just-concluded Fourth International FOSS (free and open source software) Conference-Kerala here (FOSSK4).

The declaration adopted at the end of the three-day conference called for appropriate legal measures to address increasing instances of this menace.

It also asserted the importance of FOSS in stimulating individual, collective and social creativity in a variety of domains ranging from culture, and the arts to music and digital content.

It voted with its feet for rejection of software patents as these tended to stifle innovation in software.

We wrote a lot about software patents in India quite a lot a few years ago when the issue was debated at a legislative arena.

The Irish press notes that patent lawsuits are “back in fashion”:

LITIGATION IS nothing new as a business tool – even the ancient Greeks had laws protecting trademarks.

But by any measurement, 2011 was an extraordinary year in terms of technology companies resorting to legal fisticuffs, particularly within one narrow sector: smartphones and tablet computers such as the iPad and Samsung Galaxy (which run on similar operating systems).

As in any brawl, usually just a few pugnacious characters start it. In this case, it has been Apple and Google aiming punches in disputes about patents involving Apple’s iPhone and iPad software, and Google’s open source Android operating system, which has found a home in an ever increasing range of mobile handsets and tablets in a market that Apple long dominated.

The British press says that Apple’s strategy against Linux/Android is not successful:

Jobs’ ‘nuclear war’ is not doing Apple any good – analyst

Apple’s patent wars will start to hurt shareholders if Apple continues to pursue its lawsuits against Samsung, HTC and Motorola, an analyst has said.

Kevin Rivette, a managing partner at 3LP Advisors LLC, told Bloomberg that even if Apple won its patent battles, it was playing a losing game. Legal fees aside, the “thermonuclear war” that Jobs launched against the Android manufacturers in a fit of rage circa 2009 isn’t stamping out Cupertino’s competition but the hostility engendered could stop Apple from getting access to new technology it needs.

Here at Techrights we made a call to boycott Apple until it stops suing like mad. We got some press for it, such as this:

Anti-patent group Techrights has called for a boycott of Apple products with the aim to get the fruity firm to drop its legal attack against both Linux and Android.

The organisation says that “The cult of Mr. Jobs loves to pretend that it invented the smartphones, CrunchPad-like tablets, and all things shiny.” This would be ok in some ways, but Apple of course has to act on these feelings, leading to attempts to not only sue organisations it sees as infringing, but to embargo as well.

The original post suggesting that Techrights boycott Apple products for the forseeable future, went on to say that this was an incredibly ballsy strategy for a company that “built itself on knockoffs.”

There was also coverage in other languages. SJVN writes about this status quo where competition becomes more about lawsuits and less about production. The corporate press carries on with “IP” propaganda and puts the issue among the top ten for last year.

A summary of 2011 controversies has this one listed:

Back in 2007, Microsoft first alleged that open source software infringes on at least 235 Microsoft patents. That allegation led to multiple companies including Novell (and now SUSE) signing patent deals with Microsoft.

In 2011, Microsoft’s patent focus seemed to sharpen on Android. Except for Motorola, Microsoft now has every major Android phone vendor in some kind of deal over intellectual property.

No, Microsoft did not pursue a ‘SCOsource’ type license going after individual Linux users or even distros. Microsoft has chased the money and gone after big consumer electronics vendors.Their ‘SCOsource’ is all about the big Android vendors.

In response to more Android FUD, Muktware writes:

I was not surprise when I saw a Forbes headline “Android: The Consequence Of Open” because Forbes is a known anti-Linux outfit. They were the ones who gave Microsoft the platform to spread the FUD that Linux infringes upon their patents which was blown away in a long article. I was not surprised when I found that Forbes story was based on a TechCrunch story written by an Apple fanboy called MG Seigler who writes made up anti-Android blogs when there is nothing good to write about Apple. Ironically both Todd and MG are contradicting themselves in a desperate attempt to attack Android.

There is a followup where Apple fans are blamed as well:

MG Siegler, the Apple columnist for TechCrunch, takes a pot shot on Android and Google when there is nothing good to cover about Apple. He tried to give Google a finger by posted a profile image with universally offensive finger. When Google gave him a finger by ‘allegedly’ removing the image, he went on war with Google. That was not enough, he supposedly started digging through tweets to find something to get some attention and found that one of the most popular tweets of Andy Rubin was missing. He created a hill out of a mole by writing a blog called “The Definition Of Open Is…Missing”.

[...]

This according to MG is against ‘open source’. Let me enlighten MG with the basic definition of open source. The primary definition of open source (I don’t know what MG mean by open!) is that a user must have access to the source and right to modify and redistribute it. How does deleting a tweet violates open-ness?

Anyway, since MG is clueless about how open source works let me tell you why Andy deleted the tweet. Because it was wrong. The command that Andy posted doesn’t work anymore. Since you can’t edit tweets the way you can edit your Google + post, the only sensible option was to delete it. A deleted tweet is far better than a wrong tweet.

Bilal Akhtar, one of the famous Ubuntu developers, commented on MG’s post, “Getting down to facts, +MG Siegler, Rubin deleted the tweet because that method doesn’t work any more. The commands are wrong, now that the Android source code isn’t hosted on git.kernel.org, but instead on android.googlesource.com.”

Over at the Bay area’s press, Apple’s strategy against Android is questioned:

Steve Jobs told his biographer that Apple would rather wage “thermonuclear war” with Google Inc. than make deals to share its technology with the maker of the Android operating system.

That was no empty threat. In the 18 months before Jobs died on Oct. 5, Apple sued HTC, Samsung Electronics and Motorola Mobility, the three largest Android users. It alleged that the phone makers stole Apple’s technology and asked courts to make them stop.

Apple is further criticised for more ridiculous patents:

Apple patent on “interface supporting application switching” = more evil monopoly

Matt Yglesias link here picks up a story on patents from Steve Landsburg link here.

The patent covers a “portable electronic device with graphical user interface supporting application switching”. The effect of the patent seems to preclude any other smartphone maker from doing the same thing.

The above is merely an accumulation of new articles. Soon enough we shall properly write articles on these issues. It’s likely to be our point of focus in 2012.

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

A Single Comment

  1. Michael said,

    January 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Gravatar

    Summary: When others sue Apple and MS for patent infringement it is because Apple and MS are evil monopolies… when Apple and MS sue for patent infringement it is because Apple and MS are evil monopolies. It does not matter who is suing whom or what the details are – Apple and MS are *always* in the wrong.

    When they sue each other the world explodes. :)

What Else is New


  1. Links 19/4/2018: Mesa 17.3.9 and 18.0.1, Trisquel 8.0 LTS Flidas, Elections for openSUSE Board

    Links for the day



  2. The Patent Microcosm, Patent Trolls and Their Pressure Groups Incite a USPTO Director Against the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Section 101/Alice

    As one might expect, the patent extremists continue their witch-hunt and constant manipulation of USPTO officials, whom they hope to compel to become patent extremists themselves (otherwise those officials are defamed, typically until they're fired or decide to resign)



  3. Microsoft's Lobbying for FRAND Pays Off as Microsoft-Connected Patent Troll Conversant (Formerly MOSAID) Goes After Android OEMs in Europe

    The FRAND (or SEP) lobby seems to have caused a lot of monopolistic patent lawsuits; this mostly affects Linux-powered platforms such as Android, Tizen and webOS and there are new legal actions from Microsoft-connected patent trolls



  4. To Understand Why People Say That Lawyers are Liars Look No Further Than Misleading Promotion of Software Patents

    Some of the latest misleading claims from the patent microcosm, which is only interested in lots and lots of patents (its bread and butter is monopolies after all) irrespective of their merit, quality, and desirability



  5. When News About the EPO is Dominated by Sponsored 'Reports' and Press Releases Because Publishers Are Afraid of (or Bribed by) the EPO

    The lack of curiosity and genuine journalism in Europe may mean that serious abuses (if not corruption) will go unreported



  6. The Boards of Appeal at the European Patent Organisation (EPO) Complain That They Are Understaffed, Not Just Lacking the Independence They Depend on

    The Boards of Appeal have released a report and once again they openly complain that they're unable to do their job properly, i.e. patent quality cannot be assured



  7. Links 18/4/2018: New Fedora 27 ISOs, Nextcloud Wins German Government Contract

    Links for the day



  8. Guest Post: Responding to Your Recent Posting “The European Patent Office Will Never Hold Its Destroyers Accountable”

    In France, where Battistelli does not enjoy diplomatic immunity, he can be held accountable like his "padrone" recently was



  9. The EPO in 2018: Partnering With Saudi Arabia and Cambodia (With Zero European Patents)

    The EPO's status in the world has declined to the point where former French colonies and countries with zero European Patents are hailed as "success stories" for Battistelli



  10. For Samsung and Apple the Biggest Threat Has Become Patent Trolls and Aggressors in China and the Eastern District of Texas, Not Each Other

    The latest stories about two of the world's largest phone OEMs, both of which find themselves subjected to a heavy barrage of patent lawsuits and even embargoes; Samsung has meanwhile obtained an antisuit injunction against Huawei



  11. The EPO Continues to Lie About Patent Quality Whilst Openly Promoting Software Patents, Even Outside Europe

    EPO patent quality continues to sink while EPO management lies about it and software patents are openly being promoted/advocatedEPO patent quality continues to sink while EPO management lies about it (the article above is new) and software patents are openly being promoted/advocated



  12. SCOTUS on WesternGeco v Ion Geophysical Almost Done; Will Oil States Decision Affirm the PTAB's Quality Assurance (IPRs) Soon?

    Ahead of WesternGeco and Oil States, following oral proceedings, it's expected that the highest court in the United States will deliver more blows to patent maximalism



  13. Links 17/4/2018: Linux 5.x Plans and Microsoft's 'Embrace'

    Links for the day



  14. The European Patent Office (EPO) Grants Patents in Error, Insiders Are Complaining That It's the Management's Fault

    The EPO has languished to the point where patents are granted in error, examiners aren't happy, and the resultant chaos benefits no-one but lawyers and patent trolls



  15. The European Patent Office Will Never Hold Its Destroyers Accountable

    With only one in seven EPO stakeholders believing that Battistelli's pick (António Campinos) will turn things around for the better, it certainly does not seem like people are happy and there's no real hope that Battistelli will ever be held accountable for his abuses after his immunity expires



  16. With Liars Like These...

    The European Patent Office continues to lie about the Unified Patent Court (UPC) amongst other things, still revealing its reluctance to say anything which is truthful or work to repair the damage caused by Benoît Battistelli



  17. Links 16/4/2018: Linux 4.17 RC 1, Mesa 18.0.1 RC, GNOME 3.28.1

    Links for the day



  18. IAM, Patently-O and Watchtroll (the Patent Trolls' Lobby) Try to Stop Patent Oppositions/Petitions (PTAB)

    In spite of fee hikes, introduced by Iancu's interim predecessor, petitions (IPRs) at the PTAB continue to grow in number and the patent maximalists are losing their minds over it



  19. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is Ending Software Patents One Patent at a Time

    At an accelerating pace and with growing determination, PTAB (part of AIA) crushes patent trolls and software patents; the statistics and latest stories speak for themselves



  20. Academics and Think Tanks for Patent Maximalism

    Right-wing think tanks and impressionable academics continue to lobby for patent maximalism, rarely revealing the funding sources and motivations; in reality, however, such maximalism mainly helps large (already-wealthy) corporations, monopolists, and law firms



  21. Killing Patent Quality and Encouraging 'Covert' Software Patents Using the Buzzwords Du Jour

    The epidemic of buzzwords and/or hype waves that are being exploited to dodge or bypass patent scope/limitations, as seen in Europe and the US these days



  22. Crisis of Quality at the EPO Extends to Staff (Notably Examiners) and Management as Institutional Integrity is Severely Compromised

    A rather pessimistic but likely realistic outlook for the European Patent Office (EPO), which seems unable to attract the sort of staff it attracted for a number of decades



  23. The 'Blockchaining' of Software Patents (to Dodge the Rules/Guidelines) Now Coming to Europe

    A lot of software patents are being declared invalid (or not granted in the first place); having said that, using all sorts of hype waves (like calling databases “blockchains”) firms and individuals manage to still be granted software patents and sometimes patent trolls hoard these



  24. Links 14/4/2018: Wine 3.6, KDE Elisa 0.1

    Links for the day



  25. East Asia Should Have Adopted the Patent Strategy of South Asia, Notably India

    China seems to be so interested in patent maximalism that it has lost sight of the effect on foreign investment, e.g. US/European/Taiwanese/Japanese/Korean firms operating/manufacturing in mainland China



  26. Samsung is the 'New IBM', Sans the Trolling With Patents

    The 'relic' company, IBM, loses its patent leadership (as measured using some yardstick) to Samsung, a company which is relatively calm when it comes to patent activity (unless/only when sued, as happens a lot nowadays)



  27. David Barcelou May or May Not be a Patent Troll, But He is Certainly a SLAPPing Bully and Watchtroll is Fine With It

    Like a thin-skinned person/entity (which many in the patent microcosm are), David Barcelou and Automated Transactions (“ATL”) SLAPP their critics and surprisingly enough it's Watchtroll, who has been threatened by WIPO, coming to the bully's rescue (double standards)



  28. Links 12/4/2018: Stable New Kernels, Neptune 5.1

    Links for the day



  29. The USPTO Has a Nepotism and Lobbying Problem That Jeopardises the Rationality of US Patent Law

    The influence games of Washington are spilling over to the US patent office and poisoning/harming its ability to conduct professional operations without corporate influence (from either side, both corporations and law firms)



  30. Patent Trolls in the United States Show the Importance of Stopping Software Patents (Trolls' Favourite) Worldwide

    The abundance of entities that exist for no purpose other than to initiate lawsuits is a contagious threat to real innovation (or science and technology being practiced); a new jury verdict (record-breaking $500,000,000) is a reminder of this


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts