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01.31.13

Apple Uses Patent Law to Drive Down Wages, Block Linux, Inflate Prices

Posted in Apple, Patents at 4:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

President Obama with two ‘friends’

Obama and Jobs

Summary: Apple a manifestation of the anti-American dream and its cartel, shared with Microsoft, does real harm to everyone, even Apple customers and employees

Emory University School of Law (i.e. lawyers) has this new paper which says: “Since 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court has been extremely active in patent law. The Supreme Court not only is taking more cases but also is addressing issues at the core of patent law, such as the law of obviousness and the doctrine of equivalents and its limitations.”

Patents are a government-enforced favouritism-driven tool for corporations. Now, watch what happens to government-funded projects: “In 2003, the agency’s investment arm, DARPA, tapped the non-profit research institute SRI International to lead a five-year, 500-person effort to build a virtual assistant, one the government hoped might yield software to help military commanders with both information overload and office chores. Although it wasn’t the project’s mission, this helper, the Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes, or CALO, would ultimately provide the inspiration and model for Siri.

“The Defense Department’s financial backing, $150 million in all, united hundreds of top-tier artificial intelligence experts for an ambitious and uncertain endeavor that most corporate R&D labs could only dream of tackling: teaching computers to learn in the wild. The army of engineers at “nerd city” — one SRI researcher’s nickname for the lab — were tasked with creating a PC-based helper smart enough to learn by observing a user’s behavior, and all the people, projects and topics relevant to her work. The undertaking was “by any measure, the largest AI program in history,” says David Israel, one of the lead researchers on CALO.”

“Wait a second,” wrote Pamela Jones. “How does Apple get to sue people over Siri, if my tax dollars invented it? I don’t want my tax dollars used for fodder for patent infringement lawsuits.”

It is the same with NASA. Always remember the circumstances under which Apple snatched Siri. Apple also uses the patent system to drive wages down. Surely we covered this before, but here is some more.

Pamela Jones calls it “The smoking gun that supports what I’ve been telling you,” namely “that Apple (and Microsoft) are going after Android with patents not because they care about the patents but that they are using patent law as an anticompetitive club. The nice detail is that the class action lawsuit is happening in Judge Lucy Koh’s courtroom, just like the Apple v. Samsung litigations are, so she gets a peek at what’s really going on. Here’s the affidavit as PDF.”

Apple has been colluding with Microsoft for years, so for The Guardian to say this is rather curious:

Apple has one challenge to learn: do not become the next Microsoft.

Apple is already becoming like part of Microsoft. It is evident when it comes to patent blackmail, but sometimes they hide behind patent trolls. This new article recognises the issue. “The recent indications from the FTC, the DoJ and the PTO,” says the blog, “might reinforce the view that in the case of trolls, the public interest counsels against the issuance of an injunction. If a valid patent belonging to a troll is infringed, a royalty should be paid by the user but the threat of injunction produces some of the same anti-competitive effect that the DoJ and PTO identified for patents included in standards.”

Jones wrote:

How about patents that are de facto standards, meaning patents that cover functionality that the public expects to see in, for example, a smartphone. Why wouldn’t it be in the public interest to insist on no injunctions for those kinds of patents too? Apple and Microsoft have opened the door of our minds to many possibilities. If you can remove a property right, the right to enforce via injunctions from one set of patent holders, why not others?

The pathetic behaviour from Apple has its shares collapse. Apple tried in vain to block Android devices through the ITC. ITC is a misnomer. It’s not international, it’s imperialistic. All it does is, it blocks non-US products at behest of US companies, with few exceptions.

Apple boosters try to tell us, unlike the Korean press and more like dedicated Apple boosting sites, that Apple gets the upper hand. Jones has more objective analysis

Judge Koh Rules in Apple v. Samsung – No Willfulness, No Enhanced Damages for Apple but No New Trial Either ~pj

The presiding judge in the Apple v. Samsung litigation in San Jose, CA, the Hon. Lucy Koh, has issued four rulings on the parties’ post-trial briefs. No to a new trial for Samsung, as she views the trial as fair. No to more money for Apple. They failed to prove they were undercompensated by the jury, she writes without conscious irony. And she has ruled that Samsung did not willfully infringe.

Next stop, appeals court, where we will find out if they agree with Judge Koh that the trial was fair. Meanwhile, poor Apple will have to make do with a mere $1 billion as its jury award. We’ll see if that stands on appeal too. A billion dollars for infringement that was officially not willful. Your US patent law at work. How do you like it?

Apple has been making Europe a battleground too and the trend is disturbing. Steve Jobs used patent troll MPEG-LA against Ogg and WebM. The recently-disgraced (for Internet censorship) ITU now provides more patent ammunition against free codecs:

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has signed off on High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), a video compression standard expected to succeed the wildly popular H.264.

ITU-T H.265 / ISO/IEC 23008-2 HEVC, to give the new standard its full name, is seen by the ITU as “designed to take account of advancing screen resolutions” and “is expected to be phased in as high-end products and services outgrow the limits of current network and display technology.”

This was also covered here. Apple must be proud because it’s a big proponent of this.

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