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

10.24.12

Apple Attacks on Android (and Linux) Continue to Summon Patent Nemesis

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Patents at 7:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“FSF did some anti-Apple campaigns too. Personally I worry more about Apple because they have user loyalty; Microsoft doesn’t.”

Bradley M. Kuhn (SFLC)

Summary: Apple stories of shame and notable patent complaints relating to Apple litigation

THERE is improved realisation in the FOSS community that Apple is a threat and that software patents are Apple’s weapon of choice against FOSS. Torvalds, a proud user of Apple hardware, calls for the end of software patents again, perhaps not realising that he surrounds himself by some of the same companies that promote these most adamantly. To quote a subscribers-only new article:

Linux operating system pioneer Linus Torvalds has called for the US to abolish software patents…

This takes some guts. Why? Well, some backers of the Linux Foundation, such as IBM and Intel, promote software patents. We covered some examples as such before.

People who denounced me for what I wrote about Steve Jobs finally tell me I was right all along because it is him who made Apple an arrogant aggressor. He thought he had invented smartphones and managed to convince some people that he had. Only yesterday I heard this nonsense said by two friends in their fifties. Suffice to say, I rebutted.

“Well, some backers of the Linux Foundation, such as IBM and Intel, promote software patents.”Apple continues to collect software patents on obvious ideas that are merely old stuff “on a phone”. See this one new example: “Oh Sure, Now The Patent Office Realizes Apple’s ‘Rubberbanding’ Patent Is Both Obvious And Not New”

“We’ve expressed concerns in the past about the crappy job that the USPTO does in approving patents, when it’s clear that, the majority of times that the USPTO is asked to go back and double check its work, it is forced to admit it was wrong. This happens quite frequently in high profile patents used in lawsuits as well. And while some judges are willing to wait for the USPTO to admit its errors, too often the courts just rush through, assuming that the patent must be perfectly valid. Given all that, it’s worth noting that the USPTO has now issued a non-final rejection of all claims in Apple’s infamously ridiculous “rubberbanding” patent, over the ability for a page to “bounce back” if you scroll to the edge. The key claim in the patent was rejected for failing both standards for patentability. That is, the court found it to be both obvious and not new. Of course, if they had asked anyone who knew anything about programming, they could have told you that ages ago.”

Groklaw has covered this too. Apple’s bounce-back patent is also on its way out (caution: article quotes/cites paid spinner Microsoft Florian). But Apple continues to patent yet more nonsense (more quickly than old nonsense is nullified) and Samsung is moving forward with more features, which actually put Android ahead of anything Apple can offer:

Its accountants may be wringing their hands, but South Korean manufacturing giant Samsung is putting on a brave public face, despite being ordered to pay $1 billion in fines to Apple for copyright infringement. Samsung is forging ahead, with its new phones packed with innovative features continuing to gobble more of the domestic market share.

Although Samsung denies it, Apple is getting ditches by Samsung Display (maybe there is only some truth to it, e.g. prospectively) and Japanese courts throw out another case, just as they did Apple’s. Charles Arthur, here in the UK, provides an overview of key issues and Pamela Jones shows how evil Apple is being. To quote:

One of the exhibits Samsung has now made public tells an interesting tale. It’s the slide presentation [PDF] that Apple showed Samsung when it first tried (and failed) to get Samsung to license Apple’s patents prior to the start of litigation. While some of the numbers were earlier reported on when the exhibit was used at trial, the slides themselves provide more data — specifically on the difference between what Apple wanted Samsung to pay for Windows phones and for Android phones. The slides punch huge holes in Apple’s FRAND arguments. Apple and Microsoft complain to regulators about FRAND rates being excessive and oppressive at approximately $6 per unit, or 2.4%; but the Apple offer was not only at a much higher rate, it targeted Android in a way that seems deliberately designed to destroy its ability to compete in the marketplace.

Many sites including Groklaw took note of the new study on patents which impacts smartphones. Mike Masnick’s site says:

There Are 250,000 Active Patents That Impact Smartphones; Representing One In Six Active Patents Today

A few years back we created a graphic to highlight the ridiculous patent thicket around smartphones. It really just highlights some, though not all, of the litigation concerning patents related to smartphones.

Groklaw speaks of samsung legal strategy here:

Samsung Has Workarounds for All 3 “Infringed” Apple Patents; and Some Testimony on the ’381 Patent ~pj

Samsung has created workarounds for the three Apple patents that the jury ruled were infringed, the ’381, ’163 and ’915 patents. The ’381 patent is the one that the USPTO just tentatively rejected, due to prior art. But in any case, none of these patents are now being used by Samsung, according to a declaration [PDF] by Tim Rowden, VP of Product Management at Samsung, just filed with the court. It’s in support of Samsung’s opposition to Apple’s motion asking for a permanent injunction. Obviously, there is nothing to block if Samsung isn’t using any of the patents any more.

Amazon, one of the largest technology companies around, is among those who complain about the patent wars against Android:

It is starting to look like Amazon boss Jeff Bezos is right – patent wars are killing the tech industry.

Bezos, who famously encouraged his staff to file for controversial web patents on obvious ideas like “one click to buy”, appears to have had a change of heart and is turning into an advocate for patent reform.

Now new research, seen by InfoWorld and published as a consequence of the America Invents Act, supports Bezos’ worries.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has conducted a study on the effects of patent trolls on the economy by using figures squeezed from the Stanford IP Clearinghouse (now called Lex Machina).

Covering five-years from 2007 to 2011, the report identifies and classifies patent activities across all industries and uses a statistically significant sample to draw conclusions.

Let’s wait and see if anything gets done about it. Mike Masnick argues that ending software patents would be merely the start but not the solution because hardware patents may be next. As he puts it: “There’s been plenty of talk about software patents, and tons of discussions from people suggesting that perhaps the “solution” to problems with the patent system are to simply carve out software (and business method) patents, and make those unpatentable. There are plenty of reasonable arguments for why “software” should not be patentable (I tend to find the arguments that you can’t patent math, and that software is really math, the most compelling). However, I’d like to argue that while software patents are a large part of the problem, focusing solely on carving out software patents does not address the real problems of the patent system — and, in fact, could serve to paper over the real problem by solving for a “symptom” (i.e., an awful lot of “software” patent trolling cases).”

The debate about patents has shifted somewhat; some call for the end of all patents, not just software patents. Let’s keep involved in this debate. Difference is definitely being made, little by little.

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

4 Comments

  1. NotZed said,

    October 24, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Gravatar

    “Apple’s bounce-back patent is also on its way out”

    Oh god, I hope this doesn’t mean more applications start using it.

    It’s the most annoying feature on firefox/android, quite headache inducing.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Apple has US monopolies on some bad or malicious ideas, e.g. disabling a phone remotely to restrict filming.

    That’s the genius of Mr. Jobs.

  2. mcinsand said,

    October 24, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Gravatar

    Roy, one of the nicest features of your site, when I found it, was being allowed to crticize Apple without messages being deleted or having a warning show up in my account. Sadly, very sadly, too many of the FOSS community are finding out how wrong they were when they were looking the other way… when they assumed that ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend,’ and so any company that is not Microsoft must be okay. Even more sadly, I can say that I was right in that a company that is as evil as Apple can’t be ignored, just because it has/had a minor market share. Several times, I was told forcefully that the major market share offenders are the ones to worry about, and I kept spouting back that, if you don’t deal with a problem when it is small, then you will have a real headache if it grows larger. Apple is that problem. When it comes to evil, anticompetitive behavior, and when it comes to anti-FOSS principles, Apple is the pro, while MS is just a lucky amateur.

    In a good way, Apple is desperate, while, in a bad way, they know that they have to lash out with any weapon that they can muster. Apple cannot compete against Android on performance, so software patents, litigation, and injunctions are their only option. Again, they don’t mind taking and copying from FOSS, as we saw with Webkit, but they feel entitled to keep any benefit for themselves. Every one of us that purchases electronic hardware has a choice, and we need to stringently avoid anything with the Lemming-Logo on it… and I wish Mr. Torvalds would realize that pretty on the outside is ugly on the inside, especially when the purchase profits support evil. For people that value freedom, choice, and ethics, the Lemming-Logo should be anathema.

  3. Michael said,

    October 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Gravatar

    Not only is Apple not against open source, they make use of a lot and manage some large open source projects. The whole premise of this article is absurd.

What Else is New


  1. Links 1/10/2014: OPNFV Goes Public, PDF Reader Pullout

    Links for the day



  2. Links 29/9/2014: OpenDaylight Helium Release

    Links for the day



  3. European Patent Office Disorganisation: Problems With the Audit Mechanisms - Part IV

    A prelude to a long article about a thug called Topić, his controversial Battistelli-sponsored appointment, and the removal of auditory functions by Battistelli



  4. More Good News About Demise of Software Patents and Along With Them, Consequently, Patent Trolls

    A weekly roundup of news about patents in the United States and elsewhere, with special focus on software patents



  5. IRC Proceedings: June 22nd, 2014 – September 13th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  6. Links 28/9/2014: Moto X, End of OpenSUSE 11.4

    Links for the day



  7. CBS Continues to Get Heavily Occupied by Microsoft Staff to Spread Microsoft Propaganda

    The CBS-owned ZDNet continues to hire people who have worked or are currently working for Microsoft and unsurprisingly enough they use their newly-acquired positions to praise Microsoft and bash Microsoft's competition, usually with no disclosure of their conflict of interest



  8. Links 27/9/2014: Linux (Almost) Everywhere, Features Of Linux 3.17

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft Fakes 'Charity' and Uses Religious Groups to Acquire Lock-in in the Public Sector

    Microsoft's involvements with NGOs and with governments lead to more distrust, more surveillance, less freedom, and ultimately systemic corruption



  10. Bill Gates' Privatisation Crusade

    Mr. Gates, seeking to increase his huge profits and political power, reaches out to Catholic leaders and David Christian



  11. Tux Machines Under DDOS Attack

    Most of Tux Machines continues to work as usual, but some parts are temporarily restricted to keep the server running



  12. Links 26/9/2014: LibreOffice Celebrations, Betas of *buntu

    Links for the day



  13. Links 25/9/2014: KDE Roadmap, Bash Bug, GNOME 3.14 in Next Fedora

    Links for the day



  14. Links 24/9/2014: GNOME 3.14 Released, Bash Has a Bug

    Links for the day



  15. Links 21/9/2014: Fedora 21 Alpha

    Links for the day



  16. More of Bill Gates' Investments in GMO and Mass Indoctrination Under the Disguise of 'Donations'

    Microsoft's arrogant and famously corrupt co-founder is taken to task by those whom he is trying to bamboozle for monopoly, unlimited cross-generational power, and never-ending profit without risk



  17. Home Depot Confirmed a Victim of Microsoft's Bad Security, Microsoft Lays Off Security-Related Staff

    News reports circulate showing that Home Depot was knowingly careless with its Windows dependency while Microsoft lays off staff focused on security



  18. European Patent Office/Organisation - Suspicion of Improper Collusion Between EPO President and Chairman of the Administrative Council: Part III

    A preliminary look at Battistelli's reign and how regulatory powers got abolished, leaving the EPO reckless and largely unaccountable



  19. Links 21/9/2014: xorg-server 1.16.1, Linux Kernel 3.16.3

    Links for the day



  20. Links 20/9/2014: GNOME 3.13.92, Android L

    Links for the day



  21. Scanning Patent Troll Implodes; Is the Podcasting Patent Troll Next?

    MPHJ loses and Personal Audio LLC perhaps wins for the last time since software patents are quickly losing legitimacy in the United States



  22. If CAFC is Not Above the Law, Then it Should be Shut Down Now

    A long series of abuses in CAFC may as well suggest that this court has become broken beyond repair



  23. The Latest From Microsoft Patent Trolls and Patent Partners

    Microsoft-linked and Linux-hostile trolls continue their relentless attacks (albeit with little or no success) while patents as a weapon lose their teeth owing to a Supreme Court ruling



  24. Microsoft Proves That Its Massive Layoffs Are Not About Nokia

    Microsoft is laying off a lot of employees who have nothing at all to do with Nokia



  25. Links 19/9/2014: Another Red Hat Acquisition, Netflix Dumps Microsoft Silverlight and Brings DRM to WWW

    Links for the day



  26. Links 18/9/2014: Windows Copying GNU/Linux, Germany Moves to Security

    Links for the day



  27. Web Site 'Patent Progress' Now Officially 'Powered by CCIA' (FRAND Proponent, Microsoft Front)

    After talking a job at CCIA, "Patent Progress" and its chief author should be treated as dubious on real patent progress



  28. Articles About the Death of Software Patents in the United States

    Recent coverage of software patents and their demise in their country of origin, where even proponents of software patents are giving up



  29. The Death of Software Patents is Already Killing Some Major Patent Trolls

    VirnetX seems to be the latest victim of the demise of software patents in the United States



  30. More Microsoft Layoffs

    More Microsoft layoffs go ahead as the company is unable to compete


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