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


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


  1. NotZed said,

    October 24, 2012 at 8:08 am


    “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


    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


    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 17/3/2018: Varnish 6, Wine 3.4

    Links for the day

  2. Deleted EPO Tweets and Promotion of Software Patents Amid Complaints About Abuse and Demise of Patent Quality

    Another ordinary day at the EPO with repressions of workforce, promotion of patents that aren't even allowed, and Team UPC failing to get its act together

  3. Guest Post: Suspected “Whitewashing” Operations by Željko Topić in Croatia

    Articles about EPO Vice-President Željko Topić are disappearing and sources indicate that it’s a result of yet more SLAPP from him

  4. Monumental Effort to Highlight Decline in Quality of European Patents (a Quarter of Examiners Sign Petition in Spite of Fear), Yet Barely Any Press Coverage

    he media in Europe continues to be largely apathetic towards the EPO crisis, instead relaying a bunch of press releases and doctored figures from the EPO; only blogs that closely follow EPO scandals bothered mentioning the new petition

  5. Careful Not to Conflate UPC Critics With AfD or Anti-EU Elements

    The tyrannical Unified Patent Court (UPC) is being spun as something that only fascists would oppose after the right-wing, anti-EU politicians in Germany express strong opposition to it

  6. Links 15/3/2018: Qt Creator 4.6 RC, Microsoft Openwashing

    Links for the day

  7. PTAB Continues to Increase Capacity Ahead of Oil States; Patent Maximalists Utterly Upset

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) sees the number of filings up to an almost all-time high and efforts to undermine PTAB are failing pretty badly -- a trend which will be further cemented quite soon when the US Supreme Court (quite likely) backs the processes of PTAB

  8. Patent Maximalists Are Still Trying to Create a Patent Bubble in India

    Litigation maximalists and patent zealots continue to taunt India, looking for an opportunity to sue over just about anything including abstract ideas because that's what they derive income from

  9. EPO Staff Has Just Warned the National Delegates That EPO's Decline (in Terms of Patent Quality and Staff Welfare) Would Be Beneficial to Patent Trolls

    The staff of the EPO increasingly recognises the grave dangers of low-quality patents -- an issue we've written about (also in relation to the EPO) for many years

  10. The EPO is a Mess Under Battistelli and Stakeholders Including Law Firms Will Suffer, Not Just EP Holders

    As one last 'gift' from Battistelli, appeals are becoming a lot more expensive -- the very opposite of what he does to applications, in effect ensuring a sharp increase in wrongly-granted patents

  11. The EPO Under Battistelli Has Become Like China Under Xi and CPC

    The EPO is trying very hard to silence not only the union but also staff representatives; it's evidently worried that the lies told by Team Battistelli will be refuted and morale be affected by reality

  12. Links 14/3/2018: IPFire 2.19 – Core Update 119, Tails 3.6

    Links for the day

  13. Links 13/3/2018: Qt Creator 4.5.2, Tails 3.6, Firefox 59

    Links for the day

  14. Willy Minnoye (EPO) Threatened Staff With Disabilities Said to Have Been Caused by the EPO Work Pressures

    Willy Minnoye, or Battistelli's 'deputy' at the EPO until last year, turns out to have misused powers (and immunity) to essentially bully vulnerable staff

  15. IAM and IBM Want Lots of Patent Litigation in India

    Having 'championed' lobbying for litigation Armageddon in China (where IBM's practicing business units have gone), patent maximalists set their eyes on India

  16. The Patent Trolls' Lobby (IAM) Already Pressures Andrei Iancu, Inciting a USPTO Director Against PTAB

    Suspicions that Iancu might destroy the integrity of the Office for the sake of the litigation ‘industry’ may be further reaffirmed by the approach towards patent maximalists from IAM, who also participated in the shaming of his predecessor, Michelle Lee, and promoted a disgraced judge (and friend of patent trolls) for her then-vacant role

  17. Patent Trolls in the United States Increasingly Target Small Businesses Which Cannot Challenge Their Likely-Invalid Software Patents

    South by Southwest (SXSW Conference/Festivals in Austin, Texas) has a presentation about patent trolls, whose general message may be reaffirmed by recent legal actions in Texas and outside Texas

  18. EPO Staff Union Organises Protest to Complain About Inability “of the Office to Recruit the Highly Qualified Staff it Needs.”

    Having already targeted union leaders and staff representatives, the EPO may soon be going after those whom they passionately represented and the staff union (SUEPO) wants the Administrative Council to be aware

  19. Battistelli Likes to Describe His Critics as 'Nazis', Team UPC Will Attempt the Same Thing Against UPC Critics

    Demonising one's opposition or framing it as "fascist" is a classic trick; to what degree will Team UPC exploit such tactics?

  20. Session in Bavaria to Discuss the Abuses of the European Patent Office Later Today

    The EPO shambles in Munich have gotten the attention of more Bavarian politicians, more so in light of the Constitutional complaint against the UPC (now dealt with by the German FCC, which saw merit in the complaint)

  21. Links 12/3/2018: Linux 4.16 RC5, KEXI 3.1, Karton 1.0, Netrunner 18.03, Debian 9.4

    Links for the day

  22. EPO Patent 'Growth' Not Achieved But Demanded/Mandated by Battistelli, by Lowering Quality of Patents/Services

    Targets at the EPO are not actually reached but are being imposed by overzealous management which dries up all the work in a hurry in order to make examiners redundant and many European Patents worthless

  23. Doubt Over Independence of Judges at the EPO Clouds Reason in Deciding Regarding Patents on Life

    With the growing prospect of a Board of Appeal (BoA) having to decide on patentability of CRISPR 'innovation' (more like explanation/discovery), questions linger or persist about judges' ability to rule as they see fit rather than what some lunatic wants

  24. Patent Academics and CAFC Make a Living Out of Patents, But Both Must Begrudgingly Learn to Accept That Patents Went Too Far

    A look at academic pundits' views on the patent system of the United States and where the Federal Circuit (a high patent court) stands on these matters after the US Supreme Court (highest possible court) lashed out at many of its decisions, especially those from the disgraced Rader years

  25. Patent Maximalists Cause a Crisis of Legitimacy for Patent Law

    The patent extremists who nowadays equate monopolies on mere ideas to "property" and "rights" gradually cause the public to lose respect for patents, more or less in the same way copyright maximalists (and copyright trolls) cause the population to seek alternatives (both legal and illegal)

  26. We Shall Soon Find Out Where Trump Appointees Such as Neil Gorsuch Stand on Patent Policies

    Staff shuffles at top-level roles will soon reveal what Donald Trump's changes mean to patent law and caselaw

  27. Trump's USPTO Changes Patent Designs, Changes Director/Deputy Director, and Anticipat 'Ranks' Patent Examiners Based on How They Deal With Section 101

    Today's USPTO isn't the same USPTO which was managed by Michelle Lee and anti-PTAB groups (proponents of software patents) have begun profiling examiners based on their stance on abstract/software patents -- a form of neo-McCarthyism

  28. Links 10/3/2018: Amarok 2.9.0, Debian 9.4, Sparky 5.3

    Links for the day

  29. Alice/§ 101 is Improving the Quality of Patents in the United States and Patent Law Firms Are Panicking

    Patent maximalists in the United States not only freak out over Alice but also distort the outcome of recent court cases (Federal Circuit) in order to make it seem as though Alice is going away

  30. Watchtroll is Back to Attacking Judges of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Because It Can't Tolerate Justice

    The attacks on judges at PTAB seem to be culminating again, perhaps mere weeks before the US Supreme Court delivers a decision regarding PTAB's patent review process (IPRs)


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


Recent Posts