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04.19.13

Apple and Microsoft Just Focus on Patent Fees in Fight Against Linux/Android

Posted in GNU/Linux, Patents at 5:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Solicitors not allowed

Summary: Using patent trolls and expensive litigation, the old duopoly is targeting companies which ‘dare’ to vend Linux

Apple is getting some Linux file systems, which are technically better. “EXT support for OS X for a fee” called it iophk, but it is not due to patents. Contrariwise, Microsoft/Apple are using patents, including file system patents (notably FAT), to tax a free operating system and it is getting worse.

A good news site, Muktware, teaches us about new Apple patents on trivial ideas that are implemented in software. These are mere metaphors for the real-world equivalent:

Apple gets patents on folder creation on iOS, more trouble for Android

The competent USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office) has granted yet another patent to Apple related to folder creation and arrangement of icons. If you are an Android user you may be aware of the method also introduced by Google in Android where you can drag and drop any icon on each other which creates a folder. At the same time when you move more icons in a folder it rearranges other icons accordingly.

Meanwhile, says Pamela Jones, “Apple has filed several new documents in Apple v. Samsung — the trial that never ends. The main issue is whether Samsung’s request [PDF] for a stay in holding the new trial on damages should be granted. Apple votes no [PDF], again. It would prefer not to wait until the USPTO and the courts finish the reexaminations of two of Apple’s patents, preferring an immediate retrial.

“As correctly noted by Masnick’s site, Apple and Microsoft are copiers, who should not be entitled to brag about patents.”“Why? It means setting damages for at least one patent claim the USPTO just decided isn’t valid in a final office action and another patent that has been ruled preliminarily invalid, but this is Apple. It indicates it will appeal until it gets what it feels is the outcome it wants.

“But that’s not the real game. The real game is to get the appeals over with before the reexaminations plus all its appeals are finished, because, as Apple itself states, if a final invalidity ruling arrives after the appeals process is over, it doesn’t “disturb an earlier final court judgment awarding damages for past infringement of those claims.” So that’s Apple’s game. Take the money and run. It wants the damages trial to happen right away, so that the appeals process can get going quickly, to try to beat the timeline on the USPTO findings of invalidity. That way, even if the patents are ultimately found to be indeed invalid, Samsung will still have to pay the damages the deluded earlier jury sets.

“Do you admire Apple for angling for such an outcome? I don’t either.

“See what happens when a jury gets things so very wrong? They wanted to “send a message” but the message turns out to be that US patent law can be wildly unfair. Samsung can be forced to pay for invalid patents, because that’s how patent law in the US works currently. How do you like it? Think some reform might be in order? Add on top that these are software patents, which some, including me, think are not properly patentable subject matter, and it’s cringe-worthy to watch this case play out like this.”

As correctly noted by Masnick’s site, Apple and Microsoft are copiers, who should not be entitled to brag about patents. “Documentary On The History Of Apple And Microsoft Show It Was All About Copying, Not Patents” says the headline and here is a snippet:

We recently posted about an absolutely ridiculous NY Times op-ed piece in which Pat Choate argued both that patent laws have been getting weaker, and that if we had today’s patent laws in the 1970s that Apple and Microsoft wouldn’t have survived since bigger companies would just copy what they were doing and put them out of business. We noted that this was completely laughable to anyone who knew the actual history. A day or so ago, someone (and forgive me, because I can no longer find the tweet) pointed me on Twitter to a 45 minute excerpt from a documentary about the early days of Microsoft and Apple and it’s worth watching just to show how laughably wrong Choate obviously is.

Apple and Microsoft are also using trolls and cartels against Linux/Android, notably trolls like MPEG-LA and MOSAID*. As stated by Jan Wildeboer the other day, “STUDY SHOWS “PATENT MONETIZATION ENTITIES” [Patent Trolls] FILED 56% OF ALL FEDERAL PATENT LAWSUITS IN 2012, UP FROM 24% IN 2007″ (so it is a growing vector of assault and Apple/Microsoft fund the world’s biggest parent troll).
____
* Microsoft used an actual inventive company, Nokia, to feed MOSAID with patents. iophk says that Elop’s conquered (by Microsoft) company is “Falsely blaming iPhone instead of Elop” based on this article. “Nokia’s Linux sets were getting better reviews than iPhone and back then Nokia had the largest market share,” he adds. Here is the latest collapse of Nokia and some well-informed commentary.

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