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 25/3/2017: Maru OS 0.4, C++17 Complete

    Links for the day



  2. Judge and Justice Bashing in the United States, EPC Bashing at the EPO

    Enforcement of the law based on constitutional grounds and based on the European Patent Convention (EPC) in an age of retribution and insults -- sometimes even libel -- against judges



  3. Looking for EPO Nepotism? Forget About Jouve and Look Closely at Europatis Instead.

    Debates about the contract of Jouve with the EPO overlook the elephants in the room, which include companies that are established and run by former EPO chiefs and enjoy a relationship with the EPO



  4. Depressing EPO News: Attacks on Staff, Attacks on Life, Brain Drain, Patents on Life, Patent Trolls Come to Germany, and Spain Being Misled

    A roundup of the latest developments at the EPO combined with feedback from insiders, who are not tolerating their misguided and increasingly abusive management



  5. It Certainly Looks Like Microsoft is Already Siccing Its Patent Trolls, Including Intellectual Ventures, on Companies That Use Linux (Until They Pay 'Protection' Money)

    News about Intellectual Ventures and Finjan Holdings (Microsoft-funded patent trolls) reinforces our allegations -- not mere suspicions anymore -- that Microsoft would 'punish' companies that are not paying subscription fees (hosting) or royalties (patent tax) to Microsoft and are thus in some sense 'indebted' to Microsoft



  6. Links 24/3/2017: Microsoft Aggression, Eudyptula Challenge Status Report

    Links for the day



  7. Bernhard Rapkay, Former MEP and Rapporteur on Unitary Patent, Shoots Down UPC Hopes While UPC Hopefuls Recognise That Spain Isn't Interested Either

    Germany, the UK and Spain remain massive barriers to the UPC -- all this in spite of misleading reports and fake news which attempted to make politicians believe otherwise (for political leverage, by means of dirty lobbying contingent upon misinformation)



  8. Links 23/3/2017: Qt 5.9 Beta, Gluster Storage 3.2

    Links for the day



  9. The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation Has Just Buried an Innocent Judge That Battistelli Does Not Like

    An innocent judge (never proven guilty of anything, only publicly defamed with help from Team Battistelli and dubious 'intelligence' gathering) is one of the forgotten casualties of the latest meeting of the Administrative Council (AC), which has become growingly complicit rather than a mere bystander at a 'crime' scene



  10. Nepotism at the European Patent Office and Suspicious Absence of Tenders for Big Projects

    Carte blanche is a French term which now perfectly describes the symptoms encountered in the European Patent Office, more so once led by a lot of French people (Battistelli and his friends)



  11. “Terror” Patent Office Bemoans Terror, Spreads Lies

    Response to some of the latest utterances from the European Patent Office, where patently untruthful claims have rapidly become the norm



  12. China Seems to be Using Patents to Push Foreign Companies Out of China, in the Same Way It Infamously Uses Censorship

    Chinese patent policies are harming competition from abroad, e.g. Japan and the US, and US patent policy is being shaped by its higher courts, albeit not yet effectively combating the element that's destroying productive companies (besieged by patent trolls)



  13. 22,000 Blog Posts

    A special number is reached again, marking another milestone for the site



  14. The EPO is Lying to Its Own Staff About ILO and Endless (Over 2 Years) EPO Mistrials

    The creative writing skills of some spinners who work for Battistelli would have staff believe that all is fine and dandy at the EPO and ILO is dealing effectively with staff complaints about the EPO (even if several years too late)



  15. EPO’s Georg Weber Continues Horrifying Trend of EPO Promoting Software Patents in Defiance of Directive, EPC, and Common Sense

    The EPO's promotion of software patents, even out in the open, is an insult to the notion that the EPO is adhering to or is bound by the rules upon which it maintains its conditional monopoly



  16. Protectionism v Sharing: How the US Supreme Court Decides Patent Cases

    As the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) starts delivering some decisions we take stock of what's to come regarding patents



  17. Links 22/3/2017: GNOME 3.24, Wine-Staging 2.4 Released

    Links for the day



  18. The Battistelli Regime, With Its Endless Scandals, Threatens to Crash the Unitary Patent (UPC), Stakeholders Concerned

    The disdain and the growing impatience have become a huge liability not just to Battistelli but to the European Patent Office (EPO) as a whole



  19. The Photos the EPO Absolutely Doesn't Want the Public to See: Battistelli is Building a Palace Using Stakeholders' Money

    The Office is scrambling to hide evidence of its out-of-control spendings, which will leave the EPO out of money when the backlog is eliminated by many erroneous grants (or rejections)



  20. In the US Patent System, Evolved Tricks for Bypassing Invalidations of Software Patents and Getting Them Granted by the USPTO

    A roundup of news about patents in the US and how the patent microcosm attempts to patent software in spite of Alice (high-impact SCOTUS decision from 2014)



  21. “Then They Came For Me—And There Was No One Left To Speak For Me.”

    The decreasing number of people who cover EPO scandals (partly due to fear, or Battistelli's notorious "reign of terror") and a cause for hope, as well as a call for help



  22. As Expected, the Patent Microcosm is Already Interfering, Lobbying and Influencing Supreme Court Justices

    The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is preparing to deliver some important decisions on cases with broad ramifications, e.g. for patent scope, and those who make money from patent feuds are attempting to alter the outcome (which would likely restrict patent scope even further, based on these Justices' track record)



  23. Intellectual Ventures -- Like Microsoft (Which It Came From) -- Spreads Patents to Manifest a Lot of Lawsuits

    That worrisome strategy which is passage of patents to active (legally-aggressive) trolls seems to be a commonality, seen across both Microsoft and its biggest ally among trolls, which Microsoft and Bill Gates helped create and still fund



  24. What the Patent Microcosm is Saying About the EPO and the UPC

    Response to 3 law firms and today's output from them, which serves to inform or misinform the European public at times of Big Lies and fog of (patent) war, revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetric patent warfare and lobbying



  25. Tough Day for the EPO's Media/Press/PR Team, Trying 'Damage Control' After Important Techrights Publications

    In an effort to save face and regain a sense of legitimacy the EPO publishes various things belatedly, and only after Techrights made these things publicly known and widely discussed



  26. Links 21/3/2017: PyPy Releases, Radeon RX Vega, Eileen Evans at Linux Foundation

    Links for the day



  27. In IAM, Asian Courts That Deliver Justice Are “Unfriendly” and Asian Patent Trolls Are Desirable

    Rebuttal or response to the latest pieces from IAM, which keeps promoting a culture of litigation rather than sharing, collaboration, negotiation, and open innovation



  28. At EPO “I Have the Feeling That Lowering Quality is Part of a Concerted Plan.”

    Growing concern about patent quality at the EPO -- a subject which causes managers to get rather nervous -- is now an issue at the forefront



  29. EPO Reduces the World to Just Seven Nations to Bolster an Illusion of Growing 'Demand' for European Patents

    The unscientific -- if not antiscientific -- attitude of the European Patent Office (EPO) continues to show with the arrival of yet more misleading 'infographics' (disinfographics would be a more suitable term)



  30. Letter to Angela Merkel Expresses Concerns About Impact of EPO Scandals on Germany and Its Image

    Dr. Angela Merkel, arguably the most powerful woman in the world, is being warned about the consequences of Germany ignoring (and hence facilitating) the abuses of Benoît Battistelli


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