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Apple is Sued for Anti-competitive Practices; The Court Sees Patent Lawsuits/Actions by Proxy

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Summary: The duopoly which is Apple and Microsoft faces new legal challenges while the patent assault heats up

APPLE'S growth is impeded by the rise of Android. The dead CEO vowed to destroy Android, so we have no sympathy for him or for the cult he created. In fact, we urge people not to buy from Apple until or unless it stops suing (to embargo) its competitors, notably Linux/Android.



In a new post from Muktware we read about the latest lawsuit against Apple, this time for anti-competitive behaviour (again):

Apple Sued For Anti-Competitive Practices



A federal antitrust class action lawsuit has been filed against Apple accusing the company of billing iPhone customers for voice and data services even after they cancel it. They also Apple of stifling competition and increasing prices for software apps by charging developers an annual 'application' fee.

The Courthouse News reports that lead plaintiff Eric Terrell accuses Apple of 'unlawful anticompetitive activities,' and claims that consumers did not contractually consent to Apple and AT&T's 5-year exclusivity agreement.


Fortunately, Apple's behaviour is likely to just drive people away to Linux and even the lawsuit from Oracle (perhaps in part motivated by Apple's CEO) won't be able to stop it. The Oracle case is just another SCO and the outcome might be the same, except for the bankruptcy.

Microsoft too has been flirting and collaborating with Apple's lawyers, according to recent reports. Microsoft engages in illegal tactics and conspiracy to harm a potent rival. Having been faced with a legal challenge,Groklaw claims that the plot is being unravelled and Microsoft's attack through Nokia becomes too hard to deny. To quote:



Nokia continues to struggle mightily to get free from Barnes & Noble's discovery requests. Barnes & Noble, you'll recall, succeeded in persuading the ITC to recommend that Finland help it to do depositions of some Nokia executives, including Stephen Elop, and also get its hands on some documents that Nokia isn't willing to provide voluntarily.

So the necessary request documents were sent to Finland, and then Nokia started going wild with efforts to block. And it continues to do so, telling the court all the steps it's taken, and asking ITC to quash the Barnes & Noble motion or in the alternative to advise Finland that it can't provide any discovery until the motion is ruled on. Nokia also has complaints about what it represents to both Finland and the ITC as being Barnes & Noble's misstatements about the case.

And now Microsoft has asked the court to quash a motion to depose Steve Ballmer. It's under seal, but I'm sure we can guess at its contents. After all, we've seen companies try to keep their executives from having to get involved in litigation before, and so far, they all had to testify. Remember SCO v. IBM? Sam Palmisano had to testify because he had "unique personal knowledge", or so the judge believed. If the CEO knows things other people don't, no matter how busy he is, he will likely have to testify. I'm sure Microsoft lawyers know that, so in the alternative, they ask that he be allowed to testify by videoconference.


We warned about this right from the start. It is good to see action being taken to expose this at the courts and set obstacle.

In other news, RIM, whose key executives leave, finds itself sued over patents again. Guess who's suing again?

Ottawa-based Wi-LAN Inc. has launched a patent suit against Research In Motion Ltd., adding to the challenges facing the troubled BlackBerry maker.


The mobile patent wars are becoming nasty and when Microsoft passes ammunition to patent trolls (proxies) there needs to be a lot more investigation. it's not as shallow as it may seem.

"On the same day that CA blasted SCO, Open Source evangelist Eric Raymond revealed a leaked email from SCO's strategic consultant Mike Anderer to their management. The email details how, surprise surprise, Microsoft has arranged virtually all of SCO's financing, hiding behind intermediaries like Baystar Capital."

--Bruce Perens



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