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01.19.13

All Your Rectangles Are Not Apple’s

Posted in Apple, Patents at 6:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Steve Jobs with patent
Original photo by Matt Buchanan; edited by Techrights

Summary: Apple fails to guard insane monopolies on shapes and basic geometry — patents which it has used to ban Linux-powered and Open Source products

Lisa Shuchman says that “Design Patent Suits Becoming Less Prevalent in U.S. Courts”, but Apple, which gets knocked down by analysts as it cancels orders (Android eats its lunch), continues betting on design patents.

Apple patents boosters brag about new ones [1, 2] while another court kicks Apple the curb on this one. A Dutch-English version of this early report says:

The Galaxy Tab 7.7, 8.9 and 10.1 of Samsung do not infringe on Apple’s tablet design, the Hague court judges now in the main proceedings. Het kort geding ligt al bij de Hoge Raad. The lawsuit is already at the Supreme Court.

Samsung behaalt andermaal een overwinning in een juridisch gevecht met Apple om het uiterlijk van zijn tablets. Samsung achieves a further victory in a legal battle with Apple to change the look of his tablets. De Galaxy Tab 7.7, 8.9 en 10.1 vallen niet onder de beschermingsomvang van het Gemeenschapsmodel van Apple, een serie schetsen van een rechthoekig device uit 2004. The Galaxy Tab 7.7, 8.9 and 10.1 are not covered by the scope of the Community design from Apple, a series of sketches of a rectangular device in 2004. Dat oordeelt de Haagse rechtbank in een bodemprocedure die door Samsung was aangespannen. That considers the Hague court in proceedings by Samsung was filed.

Later came some reports in English. We have already explained why we prefer not to cite English-speaking press and courts, where it is common to assume Asian designs are borderline ripoffs at best.

Speaking of Apple, it was rumoured to be interested in buying the patent portfolio of Kodak, which had sued Apple for patent violations. Kodak is being compared to Openwave by Christine Hall, who writes:

While there’s been a feeding frenzy at Kodak, with a group of tech’s heavy hitters grabbing patents at fire sale prices, Ericsson has been busy making a deal with a troll to do their dirty work for them.

In the later case, the troll is Unwired Planet, a company that at one time, as Openwave Systems, was a major player in the mobile software world, credited with pioneering the Mobile Internet and being the original developer of HDML, a precursor to WML. Nowdays it appears as if the company has morphed into troll territory, having shed itself of most, if not all, of its software offerings to concentrate on licensing and enforcement of its portfolio of patents.

Patent trolls have a good chance at winning cases because no deterrence in the form of countersuit will ever be brought against them. They have no products. That’s why Microsoft, for example, likes arming patent trolls. Microsoft folks even created the world’s biggest patent troll.

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5 Comments

  1. mcinsand said,

    January 20, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Gravatar

    Apple may not own our rectangles, but, with patents like these, they might well own the best proof of how the patent system is brokenly disconnected from innovation… Well, well, apple has something in common with the USPTO!!

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I linked to some more (newer) design patents. Innovation?

    Michael Reply:

    Apple is in a tough position. Through their innovation and hard work and money and understanding of what it takes to make excellent products which earn such high user satisfaction ratings, they have repeatedly been the target of those who wish to copy them or otherwise use their work in unfair ways. Combine this with Jobs somewhat egotistical view of the world, which is likely still a part of the Apple management, and the absurd and very different laws in the world for global products (including laws which force companies to protect their work even against small problems or lose their rights), and the overall overly-litigagious nature of the industry and Apple’s massive success and you have a recipe for disaster. We are seeing this.

    Apple has been the target of outright copying in absurd ways (such as Samsung’s) and they have pushed to protect things in absurd ways (such as trying to claim ownership of the term “App Store”… absurd!).

    Apple, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, and others are all victims of this BS and also ones who push this BS… but you, Roy, try to make it seem as if somehow the companies you envy for their success are pretty much always in the wrong and the others are somehow the victims, no matter how much wrong they do. You have an extreme bias and it shows in pretty much every one of your posts.

  2. Michael said,

    January 20, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Gravatar

    1) Apple never has nor has tried to patent the rectangle or rounded rectangle.
    2) You avoid linking to sites where fact you wish to obfuscate are discussed.

    I sincerely wish you could be honest in your posts.

  3. Michael said,

    January 20, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Gravatar

    Just as a side note: the above does not imply I agree with (nor disagree with) Apple… it means I support honesty and truth. I wish you would join me in that… which also does not mean I think we need to agree on all things.

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