Bonum Certa Men Certa

Should We Organise an Apple Boycott?

Apple wants embargo on Linux devices


Summary: A roundup of more news about Apple and why it might be reasonable to pressure the company to drop its lawsuits strategy, e.g. by means of boycott

APPLE continues to trouble the Linux/Android world with lawsuits and false allegations, even doctored 'evidence'. The cult of Mr. Jobs loves to pretend that it invented the smartphones, CrunchPad-like tablets, and all things shiny.

Apple fan sites celebrate Apple patents, too. To name the new example:

On December 23, 2011, Apple filed for the trademark and icon for "Available on the App Store" under applications 302118690 in China and 010520054 in Europe.

That's right, Europe as well. Over here, Apple has been working hard to embargo -- not just sue -- the competition. Apple disregards the notion of fair competition, which takes a lot of nerve for a company that built itself on knockoffs (e.g. Xerox PARC).

Over at there is a community post which says: 'Former Apple chief executive Steve Jobs, who died in October, ardently believed Android copied much of Apple's patented design elements, including multi-touch, swiping and its apps arrangement, according to Walter Isaacson's "Steve Jobs." Jobs told Isaacson he would "spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong."'

"Yet More Patent Idiocy" called it a columnist at Mother Jones, who noted:

Looking for yet more reasons to feel an all-consuming contempt for software patents and the POS companies that try to enforce them? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Apple Computer's jihad against the rest of the world's smartphone makers...

Given the latest actions from Apple we cannot help recommending that people buy nothing from Apple. Boycott the company for being a threat to the IT landscape and also to common sense.

Apple used to be a lot more benign and I even used a Mac at work. But when Apple started the legal assaults (starting with HTC) it made it clear that it was a frantic embargo company and not a producer. Based on a very recent ruling, Apple somehow managed to get a 'victory' against HTC, but how much of a victory is it when you become reliant on lawsuits? Here is some more coverage of this. The Telegraph uses Christmas Eve to attack Google with Microsoft/Apple accusations and general smear campaign (the Microsoft lobbyist is cheering this on) and to quote the opening part of the aricle with an inflammatory and reckless headline:

Google’s executive chairman should know. Android, his firm’s smartphone operating system, which is up against Apple’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone, is under heavy fire from all sides. The best-selling software – along with the Samsung, HTC and Motorola hardware on which it runs - is accused in courts worldwide of plundering the original ideas of others.

There is also an interesting article in CNN and Edward J. Black writes for the Huff & Puff that "Patent Balance Needed to Help End the Smartphone Patent Wars". To quote: "Smartphones are at the center of a new series of "patent wars," in which technology companies are spending billions to stockpile patent arsenals. Consumers are the biggest losers in this war, as tech companies focus on costly litigation strategies instead of innovation. Some are acquiring patents to attack competitors, while others are trying to bolster their defenses."

"The goal here is to defend, not to offend."In this age when software patents are under constant legal scrutiny we regret to see Apple using those sorts of patents in anti-competitive ways. Apple does not always get its way and to quote the latest example: 'Apple loses one in its iPad tablet war On ZDNet, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols gives an update on the company's battle with Samsung. "All I really know is that while it looks like the idiotic tablet design war may be coming to an end, with patents like the one Apple got, we can count on software patents getting in the way of true programming, design and engineering innovation for decades still to come," he writes. What's your opinion?"'

What are our readers' opinions? Boycott Apple? Perhaps with an ultimatum tied to litigation? The goal here is to defend, not to offend.

"FSF did some anti-Apple campaigns too. Personally I worry more about Apple because they have user loyalty; Microsoft doesn't."

--Bradley M. Kuhn (SFLC)


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