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04.09.13

Apple Sues Linux/Android Over Text Selection

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Patents at 10:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As Supreme Leaders Steve 'thermonuclear' Jobs would have wanted…

Steve Jobs
Original photo by Matthew Yohe, modified

Summary: Apple, the imitator that the press likes to glorify, is suing Android leaders with yet another ridiculous patent

A good column from the British Linux press reminds readers that Apple’s patent battles are completely hypocritical because Apple copies many designs and technologies. It concludes as follows:

The instrument for Apple’s war has been the acquiescence of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the US courts, ownership of scores of debatable utility and design patents, and its claims against Samsung and others of ‘trade dress infringement’. The good news in recent months is that some of these entitlements, such as Apple’s patent entitled ‘Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics’ and ‘the rubber band patent’ have come up for review and been found wanting by the USPTO. The bad news is that Apple still has a vast portfolio of debatable patents to draw upon.

Patents are not a defence of the rights of the innovator, but a weapon against competition and invention and the rights of the user. Android is no more a ‘rip-off’ or ‘stolen product’ than the iPhone itself, or the music of Stravinsky or poetry of Eliot.

Meanwhile, says this other article, Apple uses a patent on text selection to sue Android:

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd infringed a key portion of an Apple Inc patent by including a text-selection feature in its smartphones and tablets, an International Trade Commission judge said in a preliminary decision.

“Lord,” wrote Pamela Jones, “Text selection. Nothing obvious there. No prior art that you and I might think of off the top of our heads. Sigh. Anyway, it’s just preliminary. Time for some prior art searching, though.”

Watch patents crippling Apple’s OS:

After losing a patent dispute, Apple has modified the VPN behaviour of iOS 6.1. In a support document published last week, the company announced that the “VPN On Demand” feature will no longer initiate a secure connection by default, even if it is set to “Always”. Instead, the iOS VPN will behave as if it were set to “Establish when needed”.

Does anyone still believe that patents promote faster innovation and benefit customers? How many lawsuits against Apple will it take for Apple to walk away from this strategy which comes from Steve Jobs’ megalomaniac complex?

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