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Apple Chastised Even by Its Own Advocates for Suing Linux Using Software Patents

Steve Ballmer

Steve Jobs
Original photo by Matthew Yohe, modified by Boycott Novell

Summary: Apple's highly unnecessary lawsuit has the company suffer wrath and flak, including some from its own supporters

EARLIER today we wrote about Apple suing Linux phones using software patents. But Apple is using a bunch of very lousy patents (here is a detailed list of all the patents).

"My favorite is #7,657,849, filed less than a month ago, covering unlocking a device by performing a gesture," said the president of the FFII, who linked to this short article from CIO Weblog, aptly titled "An embarrassment of patents"

Bad as the patent system may be, it might be the only recourse available for Apple to justify the invention of such a device. There's no way, at least so far as I know, to patent the totality of a thing like that, and anyway such a patent must necessarily be excessively broad. But I find it hard to say that Apple should not be rewarded with some measure of exclusivity for creating this genre of smartphone. Twenty years, the standard term, seems to long in this day and age, but say five years, perhaps; certainly a killer product with a lock on the market can make its creation worthwhile in such a time span.

Matt Asay, usually a big fan of everything from Apple, does not defend Apple here. "I'm very consistent on this," he told me, "I hate using the law as a biz club. Legal recourse is a sign of failure"

When a bunch of lawyers, whose occupation is interpretation of words and patent legalese (this one is funny and new!), take precedence at the expense of engineers, then clearly we have a defective patent system and commercial paradigm that relies on it.

The most upsetting thing perhaps is that Steve Jobs himself describes Apple as an innovative victim. The reactions to this (from several hours ago) can be seen below.

Boycott Novell logo

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: March 2nd, 2010

-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[zoobab] Steve Jobs: We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it: 03 13:56
phIRCe-BNcTitle: Apple Sues Phone Maker HTC Over Patents - Bits Blog - .::. Size~: 74.22 KBMar 03 13:56
DaemonFCwhat did Apple invent?Mar 03 13:58
Diablo-D3nothingMar 03 13:59
DaemonFC"Cellphone makers have been playing catchup to the iPhone since it was introduced in June 2007"Mar 03 14:00
DaemonFCknee slapperMar 03 14:00
DaemonFCI'd rather not pay $500 for a phone with less features than the one I have :)Mar 03 14:00
Diablo-D3yarlyMar 03 14:01
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[zoobab] Most of the patents that Apple is using against HTC are software patents: 03 14:02
phIRCe-BNcTitle: Apple HTC Suit Gallery -  - Gizmodo .::. Size~: 75.34 KBMar 03 14:02
oiaohmWas anyone majorally using a linked app store before iphoneMar 03 14:02
Diablo-D3no, and no one is now! dooooohohohohohoho!Mar 03 14:03
DaemonFCwho cares?Mar 03 14:03
DaemonFCI need an app that farts when I push the buttonMar 03 14:03
DaemonFC(they have that in the app store)Mar 03 14:03
MinceRit's an interesting kind of "catchup"Mar 03 14:04
DaemonFCI need an app that turns my phone into a compass (because the ones at the dollar store have an annoying tendency to work all the time)Mar 03 14:04
MinceRsuch as releasing a pda/phone that does more than the hypePhone and costs less, before the first hypePhone was announcedMar 03 14:04
MinceRi'd love to play "catchup" that wayMar 03 14:04
DaemonFCApple has invented nothing, they've filed for patent troll style patentsMar 03 14:05
MinceRi wonder how many people use fart sounds as their ringtoneMar 03 14:05
DaemonFCMinceR, They need to make a ringtone that says "Follow the sound of my voice and stab the person holding the phone repeatedly"Mar 03 14:05
MinceRlolMar 03 14:05
DaemonFCand make sure you can't change thatMar 03 14:05
DaemonFCit would never go past the first ring :)Mar 03 14:06
Diablo-D3just change it to its a small worldMar 03 14:06
Diablo-D3wont get past the second stanzaMar 03 14:06
*oiaohm has quit (Remote host closed the connection)Mar 03 14:06
MinceRwon't "i'm a bitch of steve jobs" work as well?Mar 03 14:06
DaemonFCchange it that "I like big butts" songMar 03 14:07
MinceRthe visuals say so alreadyMar 03 14:07


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