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

08.27.12

Apple Has Woken Up Opposition to Software Patents, Itself

Posted in Apple at 11:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Anti-Android camp cheers while the public boos

Summary: The decision in the high-profile case against Android leads to immense opposition not just to Apple but patents as well

THIS weekend brought out some initial feedback on the Apple vs. Samsung case. Friends of mine told me about it and at least one convinced his company not to buy anything from Apple (as the company had planned to), going of course for Android, instead. Apple is going to get a massive backlash for this. People at the Health Club this morning (it’s Bank Holiday) are talking about it; they really start to ‘get’ the problem with patents. It enables people like myself to show them how customers are affected (cost) and how dumb patents really are; some can be realised by a toddler, e.g. zooming strokes, device shape, and so on.

Apple may also end up buying patents from Kodak, as reports suggest that Apple wants those patents in its portfolio; being a patent bully, Apple deserves none of that. It has become more or less clear that Apple is just a branding (Samsung makes parts of its gadgets) and litigation company that collects silly patents while inventing just about nothing. The patent booster Dennis Crouch covered the ruling which lawyers generally like (a close friend tells me that many lawyers convert to patent law these days, it is a gold rush). Other large sites that covered the news concentrate on the number, which exceeds a billion dollars.

Apple boosters echo Apple’s talking points, whereas others give fairly fair coverage without obvious bias (except pro-patents bias, as expected, as opposed to pro-Apple).

Blogs got to the news early because most journalists don’t work over the weekend. The coverage has been decent in the sense that Apple got flak. The EFF chastised Apple and experts say it’s not over. Yes, more sites suggest that is is not over because Samsung won’t let go while it’s doing so well in the market.

Samsung has said: “It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners” (how true).

Here is another notable bit: “Jurors who zipped through more than 600 questions in three days to arrive at their verdict in the intellectual-property battle between Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) had as their leader an engineer with a patent to his name.”

This is an inadequate way to deliver a decision and several people already emphasise this. Groklaw‘s Pamela Jones says there is something wrong with this picture and Swapnil Bhartiya calls it “rushed job” and implies that it was not “a fair trial” . To quote; “The verdict in the Apple vs Samsung case came faster than expected. The jury seemed to be in a hurry (after having worked over time) and reached a verdict giving Apple a victory on a platter. Perhaps the jury did not want to spoil their weekend and handed their verdict which many have noted has several inconsistencies.”

The jury was expected to dismiss the case, so the decision surprised us somewhat. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is not worried. He writes: “The jury in Apple vs. Samsung, doubtlessly eager to be out by the weekend, rushed their way through the approximately 26 pages and 55 questions of their instructions and decided that Samsung did indeed violate some of Apple’s patents just over a billion bucks.

“Impressive? Not really.

“This is not the end. This verdict doesn’t even matter in the long run. This was just another clash.”

The jury is also biased because Apple is a US-based company and a glorified brand, whereas Samsung is “foreign”.

Pamela Jones says that $1,049,343,540 is too much and it’s lawyers who make money and brag about it the most. For them, it’s an idealogical victory, jutifying the leeching of society through software patents. Another one who is celebrating the outcome is an Apple-funded lobbyist whom we filed a complaint against. He turned blogging into a corrupt business model. But am I suggesting that this is AstroTurf? Of course not, why would the one-man business Müller Consulting do something that is against EU law and also a violation of US law that the FTC is cracking down on? Note the sarcasm.

When AstroTurfing disguised as “blogging” becomes mainstream the government does in fact crack down on it. Google did not pay anyone to do something similar. The services offered by Müller include mass-mailing journalists with talking points of said corporations, blogging with talking points and material handed in by the client using a blog run by Google, threatening opposition, etc.

The benefits of the programme Müller offers are that clients get to spam journalists and bloggers without getting flak; journalists quote the lies, attribute it to “independent source”; this is done by mailing rather than commenting (by finding otherwise-hidden E-mail addresses) to hide and ‘proxify’ the lobbying. We showed proof.

Anyway, leaving the AstroTurf aside, patents are granted spuriously and this whole case helped us all see that. In South Korea, both companies are said to have been infringing each others’ patents (the patent are too broad) and “Samsung, the biggest manufacturer of hand-held phones in the globe, did not duplicate Apple’s design, according to the Seoul Central Court in a new ruling.”

There is a lot of coverage about it, saying that “Apple vs. Samsung: S. Korea court rules iPhone not copied” (national biases are easy to see in Rupert Murdoch’s papers).

The coverage was more moderately decent and balanced in the UK, as neither company is British. Here is what Reuters wrote and here is an article that my cousin in Florida sent me: “After Samsung’s stunning $1 billion defeat in court at the hands of Apple , calling it a winner might seem awfully far-fetched. But that’s the argument some are making about the South Korean conglomerate.” (source).

The sure thing is, customers don’t win here. Apple claims to ‘own’ basic concepts and now it wants to tax people all around the world for enjoying rectangles with round corners. What would Moses have said?

A long time ago we called for an Apple boycott and some of my friends say I should do so again. My reply is, the people are already revolting and the boycott is far broader than us. Over the coming week, many journalists will slam Apple and patents. As Mr. Pogson put it, “Backlash Has Begun Against Apple…”

Engadget gives more interesting details and Dan Gillmor says that “A US jury has rubberstamped Apple’s exploitation of the patent system” (quoted from the summary).

That’s what it it: exploitation. We need not only to fight Apple by the USPTO as well, for being an enabler that Microsoft et al. share.

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

5 Comments

  1. Michael said,

    August 27, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Gravatar

    Ah, a friend of yours told you that Apple will lose business over being wronged and proving it in court.

    Have you told the Apple management team about this? They better learn to roll over the next time they are wronged so your friend will not report such things to you!

    As far as customers not winning – utter rubbish. Instead of just doing all they can to copy Apple, companies will now understand that it makes more sense to do what Apple does – spend time and money and effort on innovation and creativity. This will result in more choice and more diversity for customers. Right now we have 90% of smart phones that are sold being from Apple or the company that was doing all it could to copy them. I *much* prefer choice and diversity to such comparative lack of choice!

    Above you speak of Apple of holding a “monopoly”, but I do not think they do have a monopoly on creativity and innovation. I think others can *also* be innovative and creative and make excellent products. But it is cheaper to do as Samsung did and just copy others’ innovations, no matter how much this is morally wrong and harmful to the customer.

    This trial is excellent news – not just for Apple but for you and I and all other consumers. It is something anyone who is supportive of choice should be happy to see.

  2. George Hostler said,

    August 28, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Gravatar

    Roy, thanks for the links, I commend you for the well written info provided above. I enjoyed reading through these developments and agree with you.

    From the link you shared, Groklaw’s PJ gave what I surmised was a very thorough and thought provoking run down on the inconsistencies with the juror process. For example, she quotes, “As the legal blog, Above the Law expressed it: ‘Here’s the thing, ladies and gentlemen of the Apple v. Samsung jury: It would take me more than three days to understand all the terms in the verdict! Much less come to a legally binding decision on all of these separate issues. Did you guys just flip a coin?’”

    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2012082510525390

    She has a good point. How did the jury decide so quickly, especially without reading the instructions given by the judge? Especially since it would take a seasoned lawyer, a law expert several days to sort things out prior to deciding?

    This is not over by a long shot and Apple’s so called victory may be considered a short one.

    Michael Reply:

    It may be. But not likely. The appeal is likely to find a similar result, with at least most of the findings being maintained. The evidence against Samsung is just too powerful – was already very strong before the trial and the evidence that came out in the trial was just amazingly damning toward them.

    But this is good: it will mean more innovation and choice for consumers. As someone who supports open source ideals, I think this is great. Choice is a very good thing.

  3. mcinsand said,

    August 31, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Gravatar

    What has gotten me over the years is how people, including some at Groklaw, would understand how Apple’s practices are wrong, but look the other way because Apple only had a minority market share. Now, the world is waking up to how dangerous a company can be when problems are not addressed early on. As I have said repeatedly, and as some are only lately starting to realize, Apple has forgotten more about anticompetitive behavior and frivilous litigation than companies like Microsoft will ever learn.

    This has woken those that have failed to appreciate how broken the US patent system is, but it has also woken those that have had a bit too much faith in our court systems. As if Judge Koh had not given Samsung a red carpet for appeal by denying Samsung a chance to fully rebut Apple’s baloney, the jury foreman’s comments make public how he negligently, irresponsibly failed to carry out the most basic jury instructions. He was very much the Flo Müller of the jury pool, trying to present himself as a patent expert when he was really showing how completely he failed to comprehend the requirements for patents, prior art, etc.

    Even if the jury foreman could not be held, charged, and fined, the USPTO should be. In looking over the patents that Apple was suing over, as listed here. After reading these patents, I firmly believe that the USPTO and examiners that actually granted these should be fined for the cost of the trial, including all attorneys and experts. This is ridiculous and, especially as a US citizen, embarrassing.

    Then, there is another thing about these patents that weighs into the evergreen argument between thinkers and the cultmembers over whether Apple is an innovator. This was the best Apple had to bring for the trial. For the win, this is proof that Apple may be good at marketing, they may be good at gaming the USPTO, but Apple is no innovator. They may be good at marketing others’ inventions, such as LG’s brilliant displays, but Apple is merely a marketer, repackager, rebrander. Looking over what they brought to the trial, any trace of doubt is removed.

    Some Apple apologists are also starting to wake up to realize Cupertino’s evil. Apple is a bully, a terrorist in the technological community, and petty. The circumstances that allowed Apple to win this battle were so ridiculous that people have shifted to Samsung’s side. Sometimes, this is what is needed: a wake-up call. HTC has recently announced that they will not negotiate with terrorists, and I doubt that Samsung will, either. The more attention this gets, the more people will start to see Apple for the scum they are.

    Michael Reply:

    Challenge for you:

    1) Pick a year from the last 20 years.
    2) Do a Google search – or use any other common search engine – and search for “Most innovate companies” of that year.
    3) Look at the first 10 relevant links.
    4) See if Apple is listed in the top 5

    My bet: at least in 9 out of 10 they will be. The idea that Apple is not innovative is just silly. But do the test – see what you find. List the search engine so others can replicate your findings (no hand-picking or game playing, just find what you find).

    Those that claim Apple is not innovative are not in touch with the tech industry. Those that claim Apple has some sort of monopoly are just being silly – yes, they are innovative and customer focused, but you *cannot* have a monopoly on such things. Other companies can also come up with innovative solutions and products. Apple has no monopoly on finding ways to greatly satisfy users – others can known them down from their top spot as the company which almost always is shown to have the highest user satisfaction ratings. It is not a “monopoly” when Apple is almost always the highest in that category, it is simply a sign of how much the focus on making excellent products instead of focusing on, say a check box list of features or pushing the highest tech stats, as so many other companies do.

What Else is New


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

    Links for the day



  2. 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



  3. 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



  4. 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



  5. 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



  6. 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)



  7. 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")



  8. 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



  9. 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)



  10. 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



  11. 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



  12. 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)



  13. 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



  14. 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



  15. 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



  16. 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



  17. 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



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

    Links for the day



  19. 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



  20. 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'



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

    Links for the day



  22. 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



  23. 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



  24. 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



  25. In Microsoft's Lawsuit Against Corel the Only Winner is the Lawyers

    The outcome of the old Microsoft v Corel lawsuit reaffirms a trend; companies with deep pockets harass their competitors, knowing that the legal bills are more cumbersome to the defendants; there's a similar example today in Cisco v Arista Networks



  26. The Latest Lies About Unitary Patent (UPC) and the EPO

    Lobbying defies facts; we are once again seeing some easily-debunked talking points from those who stand to benefit from the UPC and mass litigation



  27. Speech Deficit and No Freedom of Association at the EPO

    True information cannot be disseminated at the EPO and justice too is beyond elusive; this poses a threat to the EPO's future, not only to its already-damaged reputation



  28. No, Britain is Not Ratifying 'Unitary' Anything, But Team UPC Insinuates It Will (Desperate Effort to Affect Tomorrow's Outcome)

    Contrary to several misleading headlines from Bristows (in its blog and others'), the UPC isn't happening and isn't coming to the UK; it all amounts to lobbying (by setting false expectations)



  29. The EPO's Paid Promotion of Software Patents Gets Patent Maximalists All Excited and Emboldened

    The software patents advocacy from Battistelli (and his cohorts) isn't just a spit in the face of European Parliament but also the EPC; but patent scope seems to no longer exist or matter under his watch, as all he cares about is granting as many patents as possible, irrespective of real quality/legitimacy/merit



  30. Andrei Iancu Begins His USPTO Career While Former USPTO Director (and Now Paid Lobbyist) Keeps Meddling in Office Affairs

    The USPTO, which is supposed to be a government branch (loosely speaking) is being lobbied by former officials, who are now being paid by private corporations to help influence and shape policies; this damages the image of the Office and harms its independence from corporate influence


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