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Apple's (and MPEG-LA's) Fight Against Diversity

"[A] patent pool is being assembled to go after Theora and other "open source" codecs now." --Steve Jobs

Skyscrapes



Summary: An update on Apple's aggression with software patents and an update on the MPEG troll which Apple uses for protectionism

THE legal aggression from Apple led to a provisional ban, but it also led to a wave of calls to boycott Apple (the #boycottApple tag is trending). People are truly fed up and Samsung is appealing the ban. To quote Muktware: "Samsung has filed an appeal to overturn the preliminary Galaxy Nexus ban granted to Apple last week. US District Court judge Lucy Koh granted Apple ban on two Samsung devices within a week the old Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Nexus.

"Apple is unable to compete based on merit, so it wants to shoot the competition.""Apple has sued almost every Android company calling for bans on their devices fearing competition. Unfortunately the flawed patent system, where USPTO keeps granting patents, and the legal system enables compaines like Apple to stifle competition and discourage innovation."

There are competition issues at hand here. Apple is unable to compete based on merit, so it wants to shoot the competition.

Several years ago we saw NERO calling for investigation of the MPEG cartel, of which Apple too is a member (Steve Jobs used it to FUD several free multimedia formats). In a press release that appeared in some places, there was a mention of settlement. To quote:

MPEG LA, LLC and Nero AG have recently settled the litigation between them, which was pending in the Los Angeles Superior Court. MPEG LA and Nero are pleased that this has been resolved to their mutual satisfaction by agreement of the parties and that Nero will continue as a Licensee in good standing under MPEG LA’s MPEG-2 Patent Portfolio License, MPEG-4 Visual Patent Portfolio License, AVC/H.264 Patent Portfolio License and VC-1 Patent Portfolio License.


Here is more:

Nearly two years ago, German multimedia software company Nero filed an antitrust case against patent licensing body MPEG-LA. This organization basically licenses patent pools, covering essential patents required for use of the MPEG-2, MPEG-4 Visual (Part 2), IEEE 1394, VC-1, ATSC and AVC/H.264 standards.

That means pretty much any device or piece of software even remotely related to video needs a license from MPEG LA, which is an entirely private organization – for the record. Licensors include companies like Apple, Microsoft, LG, Dolby, Siemens, Sony, France Télécom, Samsung and others.

This morning, Nero and MPEG LA announced that they’ve settled the litigation between them, which was pending in the Los Angeles Superior Court, “to their mutual satisfaction”.


Apple continued collecting infamous software patents that got coverage from pro-Apple sites. Apple is not the exception, but Apple is the one which uses patents aggressively, unlike for example Nintendo and its patents that it gets while fighting against trolls only (they attack Nintendo quite frequently). Remember that we urged people to boycott Apple because while it generates high (but undeserved) profits it is attacking smaller companies, unprovoked, and tries to ban their products. It doesn't get any more arrogant than this.

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