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. Replacing Patent Sharks/Trolls and the Patent Mafia With 'Icons' Like Thomas Edison

    The popular perceptions of patents and the sobering reality of what patents (more so nowadays) mean to actual inventors who aren't associated with global behemoths such as IBM or Siemens



  2. The Patent Trolls' Lobby is Distorting the Record of CAFC on PTAB

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), which deals with appeals from PTAB, has been issuing many decisions in favour of § 101, but those aren't being talked about or emphasised by the patent 'industry'



  3. Japan Demonstrates Sanity on SEP Policy While US Patent Policy is Influenced by Lobbyists

    Japan's commendable response to a classic pattern of patent misuse; US patent policy is still being subjected to never-ending intervention and there is now a lobbyist in charge of antitrust matters and a lawyer in charge of the US patent office (both Trump appointees)



  4. The Patent Microcosm's Embrace of Buzzwords and False Marketing Strives to Make Patent Examiners Redundant and Patent Quality Extremely Low

    Patent maximalists, who are profiting from abundance of low-quality patents (and frivolous lawsuits/legal threats these can entail), are riding the hype wave and participating in the rush to put patent systems at the hands of machines



  5. Today, at 12:30 CET, Bavarian State Parliament Will Speak About EPO Abuses (Updated)

    The politicians of Bavaria are prepared to wrestle with some serious questions about the illegality of the EPO's actions and what that may mean to constitutional aspects of German law



  6. Another Loud Warning From EPO Workers About the Decline of Patent Quality

    Yet more patent quality warnings are being issued by EPO insiders (examiners) who are seeing their senior colleagues vanishing and wonder what will be left of their employer



  7. Links 19/2/2018: Linux 4.16 RC2, Nintendo Switch Now Full-fledged GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  8. PTAB Continues to Invalidate a Lot of Software Patents and to Stop Patent Examiners From Issuing Them

    Erasure of software patents by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) carries on unabated in spite of attempts to cause controversy and disdain towards PTAB



  9. The Patent 'Industry' Likes to Mention Berkheimer and Aatrix to Give the Mere Impression of Section 101/Alice Weakness

    Contrary to what patent maximalists keep saying about Berkheimer and Aatrix (two decisions of the Federal Circuit from earlier this month, both dealing with Alice-type challenges), neither actually changed anything in any substantial way



  10. Makan Delrahim is Wrong; Patents Are a Major Antitrust Problem, Sometimes Disguised Using Trolls Somewhere Like the Eastern District of Texas

    Debates and open disagreements over the stance of the lobbyist who is the current United States Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division



  11. Patent Trolls Watch: Microsoft-Connected Intellectual Ventures, Finjan, and Rumour of Technicolor-InterDigital Buyout

    Connections between various patent trolls and some patent troll statistics which have been circulated lately



  12. Software Patents Trickle in After § 101/Alice, But Courts Would Not Honour Them Anyway

    The dawn of § 101/Alice, which in principle eliminates almost every software patent, means that applicants find themselves having to utilise loopholes to fool examiners, but that's unlikely to impress judges (if they ever come to assessing these patents)



  13. In Aatrix v Green Shades the Court is Not Tolerating Software Patents But Merely Inquires/Wonders Whether the Patents at Hand Are Abstract

    Aatrix alleges patent infringement by Green Shades, but whether the patents at hand are abstract or not remains to be seen; this is not what patent maximalists claim it to be ("A Valentine for Software Patent Owners" or "valentine for patentee")



  14. An Indoctrinated Minority is Maintaining the Illusion That Patent Policy is to Blame for All or Most Problems of the United States

    The zealots who want to patent everything under the Sun and sue everyone under the Sun blame nations in the east (where the Sun rises) for all their misfortunes; this has reached somewhat ludicrous levels



  15. Berkheimer Decision is Still Being Spun by the Anti-Section 101/Alice Lobby

    12 days after Berkheimer v HP Inc. the patent maximalists continue to paint this decision as a game changer with regards to patent scope; the reality, however, is that this decision will soon be forgotten about and will have no substantial effect on either PTAB or Alice (because it's about neither of these)



  16. Academic Patent Immunity is Laughable and Academics Are Influenced by Corporate Money (for Steering Patent Agenda)

    Universities appear to have become battlegrounds in the war between practicing entities and a bunch of parasites who make a living out of litigation and patent bubbles



  17. UPC Optimism Languishes Even Among Paid UPC Propagandists Such as IAM

    Even voices which are attempting to give UPC momentum that it clearly lacks admit that things aren't looking well; the UK is not ratifying and Germany make take years to look into constitutional barriers



  18. Bejin Bieneman Props Up the Disgraced Randall Rader for Litigation Agenda

    Randall Rader keeps hanging out with the litigation 'industry' -- the very same 'industry' which he served in a closeted fashion when he was Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit (and vocal proponent of software patents, patent trolls and so on)



  19. With Stambler v Mastercard, Patent Maximalists Are Hoping to Prop Up Software Patents and Damage PTAB

    The patent 'industry' is hoping to persuade the highest US court to weaken the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), for PTAB is making patent lawsuits a lot harder and raises the threshold for patent eligibility



  20. Apple Discovers That Its Patent Disputes Are a Losing Battle Which Only Lawyers Win (Profit From)

    By pouring a lot of money and energy into the 'litigation card' Apple lost focus and it's also losing some key cases, as its patents are simply not strong enough



  21. The Patent Microcosm Takes Berkheimer v HP Out of Context to Pretend PTAB Disregards Fact-Finding Process

    In view or in light of a recent decision (excerpt above), patent maximalists who are afraid of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) try to paint it as inherently unjust and uncaring for facts



  22. Microsoft Has Left RPX, But RPX Now Pays a Microsoft Patent Troll, Intellectual Ventures

    The patent/litigation arms race keeps getting a little more complicated, as the 'arms' are being passed around to new and old entities that do nothing but shake-downs



  23. UPC Has Done Nothing for Europe Except Destruction of the EPO and Imminent Layoffs Due to Lack of Applications and Lowered Value of European Patents

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is merely a distant dream or a fantasy for litigators; to everyone else the UPC lobby has done nothing but damage, including potentially irreparable damage to the European Patent Office, which is declining very sharply



  24. Links 17/2/2018: Mesa 17.3.4, Wine 3.2, Go 1.10

    Links for the day



  25. Patent Trolls Are Thwarted by Judges, But Patent Lawyers View Them as a 'Business' Opportunity

    Patent lawyers are salivating over the idea that trolls may be coming to their state/s; owing to courts and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) other trolls' software patents get invalidated



  26. Microsoft's Patent Moves: Dominion Harbor, Intellectual Ventures, Intellectual Discovery, NEC and Uber

    A look at some of the latest moves and twists, as patents change hands and there are still signs of Microsoft's 'hidden hand'



  27. Links 15/2/2018: GNOME 3.28 Beta, Rust 1.24

    Links for the day



  28. Bavarian State Parliament Has Upcoming Debate About Issues Which Can Thwart UPC for Good

    An upcoming debate about Battistelli's attacks on the EPO Boards of Appeal will open an old can of worms, which serves to show why UPC is a non-starter



  29. The EPO is Being Destroyed and There's Nothing Left to Replace It Except National Patent Offices

    It looks like Battistelli is setting up the European Patent Office (EPO) for mass layoffs; in fact, it looks as though he is so certain that the UPC will materialise that he obsesses over "validation" for mass litigation worldwide, departing from a "model office" that used to lead the world in terms of patent quality and workers' welfare/conditions



  30. IBM is Getting Desperate and Now Suing Microsoft Over Lost Staff, Not Just Suing Everyone Using Patents

    IBM's policy when it comes to patents, not to mention its alignment with patent extremists, gives room for thought if not deep concern; the company rapidly becomes more and more like a troll


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