Bonum Certa Men Certa

Apple Does Malicious Stuff With Patents as More Courts Sidle With Linux/Android

Back to the basket for the bullies from Cupertino

Basket of apples

Summary: A roundup of news about Apple's patent wars (against everyone) and a bit of good news, arriving just before Christmas

AS we return to covering the patent issue we regret to say that there is mostly bad news. Being aware of the news, however, is regretfully essential.

The subject we chose to tackle last is Apple. This company is fast becoming just as much of a nuisance as Microsoft has been. The Inquirer (British tech tabloid) has a nice way of covering Apple stories and it is filled with subtle humour that cushions the blow of horrible news. Recently it covered the news about Apple getting sued for caller ID patents. Previously, a caller ID app for Android was killed this way, demonstrating the terrible state of the patent system.

"Apple's behaviour with patents is not just harming Linux or Android users; it is harming everyone and even Opera is complaining, noting that Apple patents undermine open standards."Apple the patent bully might learn to dislike software patents if it gets sued by them quite a lot. So in a way the above news can be classified as good news.

Apple's behaviour with patents is not just harming Linux or Android users; it is harming everyone and even Opera is complaining, noting that Apple patents undermine open standards. Mike Masnick put it like this and "going for leadership in evil" wrote Glyn Moody (via Jérémie Zimmermann).

Let us recall Apple's support for MPEG-LA. Apple promotes video tax in yet more ways based on this new report which says:

Royalty-free web vid spec sets sail with Apple's help

A proposed standard to stream video online smoothly, regardless of network conditions, has been pushed forward with some rather unexpected patent-holder help.

MPEG-DASH was approved in a vote by ISO national member bodies as a way to stream media over HTTP. Publication of the standard is expected "shortly".

MPEG-DASH could supersede a raft of proprietary and royalty-protected technologies, developed by tech companies to stream media to mobile devices in particular - which are at the mercy of varying network speeds and connectivity conditions.

To Hell with Apple for helping those patent trolls. Another person who helps them is Microsoft Florian, who has pushed their agenda since last year. Florian no longer tries to endorse Microsoft in public because people already know that Microsoft pays him. That would further discredit this deceitful lobbyist.

"Florian no longer tries to endorse Microsoft in public because people already know that Microsoft pays him."Looking at what Apple does to Linux/Android, here we have a report on "Apple's first major legal win against Android," which is "no slam dunk" because despite attempts to remove Linux devices from the shelves, Apple is not quite there yet. But to quote Reuters: "Patent firm IPCom said on Tuesday it had asked top German cellphone retailers to stop selling phones of HTC, threatening them with legal action, as HTC has not complied with a court ruling on injunction of its sales."

FOSS-hostile patent lawyers write about Apple's embargo attempts in the US and Murdoch's fake news claims that HTC phones are "banned from store shelves" although it's not quite true in practice. As the FFII's president puts it:

Laughing loud on Apple's patent "tap on a phone number or address contained in an email to immediately call the number"

Due to this kind of stupidity "Apple May Get To Remove Obvious Features From Android". Here are some of the details:

Apple May Get To Remove Obvious Features From Android


Copying an idea and building on it is not "stealing." And if Apple had to build its devices without building on the ideas of others, it wouldn't have very much today. This whole thing is a joke, and it's rulings like this that make engineers have even less respect for the patent system.

Apple brings is bullying to Britain now, i.e. it comes to new countries where software patents are in principle not permitted. Slashdot tells us that "Apple Transfers Patents Through Shell Company To Sue All Phone Makers 422". We covered this some days ago, but here is the summary which has a huge discussion at the end:

"A patent lawsuit (PDF) by patent licensing firm Digitude Innovations curiously targeted all mobile manufacturers except Apple. A TechCrunch story has revealed that the patents used were transferred from Apple via a shell company to DI, and appear to cover features found in virtually all smartphones. The lawsuit even extends to companies that don't make Android phones, like Nokia and RIM, and to Android OEMs that Apple have not directly sued yet, like Sony. The business model of DI clearly implies that Apple would benefit financially from the lawsuit as a company that contributed patents to DI's portfolio."

Slashdot shows another ridiculous patent from Apple and notes that:

"Apple has had quite a week in patents for the iPhone, and it's only Tuesday. First was the victory at the International Trade Commission over HTC. And now there's a shiny new patent on switching to an app during a live phone call (#8,082,523). There may be non-infringing ways of doing something similar, but they probably will be clumsy in comparison."

Supporters of Apple's ways should take a moment to objectively assess what Apple is doing here.

Here is how Muktware put it: "In a nutshell its about how you can switch between call and an app. Almost every touch-based phone uses this 'process' and potentially infringes upon this patent. It will be a challenge for Apple competitors to find other ways to do the same thing. Yet another example of the software/process patent mess that the flawed US patent system is creating."

Google has been getting its own share of ridiculous patents, but it has no history of using patents offensively. This ought to invalidate concerns about Google getting more patents. Bloomberg says:

European Union regulators suspended their antitrust review of plans by Google Inc. (GOOG), the biggest maker of smartphone software, to buy Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. after requesting more information about the deal.

The antitrust authority will continue the review after it has obtained “certain documents that are essential to its evaluation of the transaction,” said Amelia Torres, a spokeswoman for the Brussels-based European Commission. The commission temporarily stopped the review on Dec. 6, according to a filing on the regulator’s website today.

The patent angle need not be of concern because Google is not offensive with patents, contrary to claims from the Microsoft lobbyist (Florian). If anything, it can make Motorola more patents hostile and thus reduce altercations. According to this new article, patents are becoming more and more of an issue to Google because:

● Is the cloud the new front in the tech patent wars? A company headed by the founders of peer-to-peer networks Kazaa and Morpheus have reportedly banded together to sue Google,, VMWare and others, alleging patent infringement on cloud technology. The website of the plaintiff, PersonalWeb, says the company owns 13 “fundamental pending and issued patents,” and that it is “developing ground-breaking technologies and products,” including StudyPods, an online learning platform that’s in beta. But a patent-law specialist quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald points out that PersonalWeb filed the lawsuits in a Texas court that’s the “preferred venue for so-called patent trolls.” The eight patents in question include those related to “content addressable storage and/or distributed search engine technologies,” according to the SMH.

Going back to Apple, the company is trying to restrict designs based on ideas that it never came up with itself. To quote Slashdot:

"In a public legal brief (PDF), Apple offers numerous design alternatives that Samsung could have used for its smartphones and tablets to avoid infringing on Apple's patents. Basically, as long as competitors' smartphones and tablets bear no resemblance to smartphones and tablets, everything's cool."

To finish this with some good news (for a change), Apple lost a case in Germany and that rectangle with buttons on it will therefore be legitimate for sale, even without an apple-shaped logo:

Apple Lost Germany, Court May Allow Samsung To Sell Galaxy Tab

After Australia Apple has lost another 'patent' post, this time its Germany. A German court earlier banned the sale of Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany owing to 'controversial' design patents. The same design patents were rejected in a Dutch court. To respect the verdict, Samsung modified the design of its Galaxy Tab (which in fact enhances the user experiences as the speakers now face the user) and called it Galaxy Tab 10.1N.

Or as SJVN put it:

Take a long look at the two versions of Samung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 on the right. One, says a German court, violated Apple’s iPad intellectual property (IP) design and thus couldn’t be sold in the European Union (EU). The other one is fine and dandy and can be sold. Can you tell the critical IP differences? Try to work it out before this story’s end.

As you may recall, Apple managed this summer to get the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 banned from being sold in the EU (European Union) because its design looked too much like an iPad. That was a dumb decision. Any tablet has to look pretty much like any other tablet. Now, though, it appears that the tide has turned against Apple. The German court has preliminarily decided that Samsung’s revised design no longer violates Apple’s iPad design.

We are probably going to hear a lot more about it next year. Until then, let us savour the taste of this small victory.


Recent Techrights' Posts

A Lot of Technological 'Progress' Has Been Nothing But Buzzwords
Free software does not try to excite people people over nothing
Proprietary Software: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
Proprietary software has an entirely different mindset, revolving around business models rather than science
Web Hostnames Down to Lowest Number in More Than 7 Years!
the number of hostnames is falling rapidly (they hide this by choosing logarithmic scale)
Over at Tux Machines...
2 days' worth
Stop Begging Companies That Don't Value Your Freedom to Stop Pushing You Around
That's not freedom
The forbidden topics
There are forbidden topics in the hacker community
Malware in the Ubuntu Snap Store, Thanks to Canonical Bloatware Mindset
Reprinted with permission from Ryan Farmer
Gemini Rising
There are 3523 capsules
Richard Stallman Gave a Talk Yesterday, Will Give Another Talk Today, and Will Give Two More Talks in Germany Later This Week
Those cover at least 2 different topics
Beware the Microsoft Sharks
We won't forgive and forget
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, September 30, 2023
IRC logs for Saturday, September 30, 2023
Don't be Afraid of the Command Line, It Might Even be a Friend
There's a tendency to think that only graphical interfaces were made to simplify usage, and any declarative interface is by design raw, inherently unfit for usage
One Positive Note About GNU/Linux Coverage in 2023 (Less Microsoft)
GNU/Linux users do not want this, with very rare exceptions
Snaps Were Never Good at Security, But the Media Coverage is Just Appalling
The media should focus on culling Windows, not making a huge fuss over minor things wrongly attributed to "Linux"
Better Footage of Richard Stallman's Talk Last Week: “Freedom in computing, forty years after starting to really protect it”
Richard Stallman speaks about the cancer situation early in his speech
Links 30/09/2023: A Government Shutdown and More Blizzard Layoffs
Links for the day
Links 30/09/2023: Bing Almost Offloaded Due to Failure/Losses, Nvidia Raided
Links for the day
Community is the Lifeblood of Freedom in the GNU/Linux World
Removing or undoing the "cancerd" (systemd) is feasible but increasingly difficult
Richard Stallman Says He Will Probably Live Many More Years
"Richard Stallman has cancer. Fortunately it is slow-growing and manageable follicular lymphona, so he will probably live many more years nonetheless. But he now has to be even more careful not to catch Covid-19."
Quitting 'Clown Computing' and GAFAM is Only the Start
The Web and the Net at large became far too centralised
They Say Free Software is Like Communism When They, the Proprietary Software Giants, Constantly Pursue Government Bailouts (Subsidies From Taxpayers)
At the moment Ukraine is at most risk due to its dependence on Microsoft (inside its infrastructure)
Social Control Media Has No Future, It Was Always Doomed to Fail (Also Promoted Based on Lies)
Recent events, including developments at Twitter, meant that they lost a lot of their audience and then, in turn, sponsors/advertisers
They're Been Trying to 'Kill' Richard Stallman for Years (by Mentally Tormenting Him)
Malicious tongue wanted to do him what had been done to Julian Assange
We Temporarily Have Two Gemini Capsules
They're both authentic and secure, but they're not the same
Consumerism is Lying and Revisionism
We need to reject these liars and charlatans
Links 30/09/2023: Open VFS Framework, CrossOver 23.5, Dianne Feinstein Dies
Links for the day
Security Leftovers
GNU/Linux, Microsoft, and more
Microsoft Down on the World Wide Web, Shows Survey
down by a lot in this category
IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 29, 2023
IRC logs for Friday, September 29, 2023
A Society That Fails Journalists Does Not Deserve Journalism
It's probably too later to save Julian Assange as a working publisher (he might never recover from the mental torture), but as a person and a father we can wish and work towards his release
Almost Nothing To Go With Your Morning's Cup Of Coffee
Newspaper? What newspaper?
Techrights Was Right About the Chaff Bots (They Failed to Live up to Their Promise)
Those who have been paying attention to news of substance rather than fashionable "tech trends" probably know that GNU/Linux grew a lot this year
Selling Out to Microsoft Makes You Dead Beef
If all goes as well as we've envisioned, Microsoft will get smaller and smaller
Curation and Preservation Work
The winter is coming soon and this means our anniversary is near
Mobile Phones Aren't Your Friend or a Gateway to Truly Social Life
Newer should not always seem more seductive, as novelty is by default questionable and debatable
Links 29/09/2023: Disinformation and Monopolies
Links for the day
iFixit Requests DMCA Exemption…To Figure Out How To Repair McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines
Reprinted with permission from Ryan Farmer
Jim Zemlin Thinks the World's Largest Software Company Has 200 Staff, Many of Whom Not Technical at All
biggest ego in the world
Microsoft GitHub Exposé — In the Alex Graveley Case, His Lawyer, Rick Cofer, Appears to Have Bribed the DA to Keep Graveley (and Others) Out of Prison
Is this how one gets out of prison? Hire the person who bribes the DA?
Richard Stallman's Public Talk in GNU's 40th Anniversary Ceremony
Out now
Links 29/09/2023: Linux Foundation Boasting, QLite FDW 2.4.0 Released
Links for the day
Red Hat Does Not Understand Community and It's Publicly Promoting Microsoft's Gartner is basically lioning a firm that has long been attacking GNU/Linux in the private and public sectors at the behest of Microsoft
A 'Code of Conduct' Typically Promoted by Criminal Corporations to Protect Crimes From Scrutiny
We saw this in action last week
Objections to binutils CoC
LXO response to proposed Code of Conduct
Conde Nast (Reddit), Which Endlessly Defamed Richard Stallman and Had Paid Salaries to Microsoft-Connected Pedophiles, Says You Must Be Over 18 to See 'Stallman Was Right'
Does this get in the way of their Bill Gates-sponsored "Bill Gates says" programme/schedule?
Techrights Extends Wishes of Good Health to Richard M. Stallman
Richard Stallman has cancer Still Going, Some Good News From Canada
a blow to software patents in Canada
The Debian Project Leader said the main thing Debian lacked was more contributors
The Debian Project Leader said the main thing Debian lacked was more contributors
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 28, 2023
IRC logs for Thursday, September 28, 2023
Links 28/09/2023: Openwashing and Patent Spam as 'News'
Links for the day