04.14.12

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Apple and Google/Android Suffer the Wrath of intellectual Monopolies

Posted in Apple, Google, Oracle, Patents at 4:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: A quick roundup of legal news about the market leaders in mobile and tablets

Pamela Jones is back to tracking the SCOracle case on a more permanent basis (when she does not help Apple against Psystar and patent trolls). Jones is rightly concerned that copyright law may be putting programming languages in danger, so it’s not just a matter of patents anymore. Both Android and iOS are impacted by the patent troll she’s tracking and yet another patent troll is harming both sides:

PATENT TROLL Touchscreen Gestures has claimed that Apple’s Iphone and Ipad infringe its touchscreen patents.
Touchscreen Gestures seems to be nothing more than a shell company that has ownership of a number of patents that cover screen tapping and dragging gestures. The firm has also claimed that Samsung and Research in Motion (RIM) infringe its patents with their respective tablets.

In other news, Apple gets a taste of its own medicine in Europe. As one reporter puts it:

German Court Upheld Ban On iCloud, MobileMe

Apple needed to get a taste of its own medicine. The Wall Street Journal reports that a regional court in Mannheim (Germany) has upheld its ruling to ban Apple’s iCloud and MobileMe services. Motorola had accused Apple of infringing upon its patent EP0847654. The ban was enforced after the February ruling. Apple had appealed the courts decision challenging the validity of Motorola patent.

Apple and Android don’t get along because the spiritual leader of Apple declared war, but both share some similar problems. They really should work together against software patenting. What we meanwhile are left with is a system which is unfriendly to competition and innovation. Intellectual monopolies are of no benefit to society. They help some of the biggest corporations gain more power over society.

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3 Comments

  1. Michael said,

    April 14, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Gravatar

    The same rules should apply to all. If Apple is plagiarizing others then they should be held accountable.

    Big “if” there, just like there is a big “if” in if Android is plagiarizing iOS. *IF* the accusations against Apple or Google are true, though, then they should face penalties and the like.

    Would love to see comments of equal fairness coming from you, Roy.

  2. mcinsand said,

    April 16, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Gravatar

    Software patents are a lot like nuclear weapons, in that they trash the good like Google and the sleaze like Apple, alike. Granted, Google’s ‘good’ is primarily limited/protected by the GPL, which won’t let them close things up. Then there’s Apple, willing to take and proprietize BSD-licensed FOSS, while the lemmings and shills actually think that commercialization of others’ idea and products equals innovation.

    For the umpteenth time, if you’re a US citizen, write your senators and congresspeople to have patents restricted to the physical world!

    Michael Reply:

    You whine about Apple using OSS for the good of themselves and their customers as if it is a bad thing. This shows a pretty deep level of ignorance about how OSS is developed – the idea is that people can and should use it to benefit themselves and those they are serving. Without such, OSS does not grow.

    If you want patents restricted to physical property, what mechanism do you want in place to work against the plagiarism of IP, such as what Samsung did to Apple? Or do you think plagiarism is OK, at least in terms of IP?

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