Yesterday staff at the ITC said that Nokia wasn't infringing on some Apple's patents, but the war is far from over as the important ones had already been transferred out. The staff at the International Trade Commission were only expressing an opinion, a judge will still need to rule, but regardless of that the case only relates …
No-one will win...
...apart from the aforementioned patent lawyers.
Given the scale of the companies involved and the tendency for them to launch patent suits at all and sundry, wouldn't it be lovely to see the courts take a dim view of the whole thing at some point and say to them:
"Right, we're sick of you all playing silly buggers - as of today, all of the material under dispute is deemed to be in the public domain and none of you bloody idiots have any patents on any of it. Now sod off!!"
Don't get me wrong - I'm all in favour of patent and copyright protection when it protects the smaller scale and independent innovators from being ripped off by the corporate machine, but the glut of large company patent-trollery nowadays just makes me sick and leaves me wondering whether - in this case - getting rid of the whole concept might just be worth it, even if it does entail throwing some babies out with the bathwater.
I just love it when the single article rating is negative and is clearly from someone pissed off at the news itself rather than the quality of the article.
Hive mentality indeed.
Interesting . . .
. . . to note who Apple are suing.
Nokia - as the largest mobile phone maker in the world (more or less), not American and perceived to be on the ropes with shallow pockets
HTC - as the manufacturing making arguably the most in-roads into Apple's "style" territory, also not American and presumably also thought of as not having a lot of cash.
However, also interesting to note who they are leaving alone :
Sony - Huge multi-national with very large patent portfolios and likely to start looking more closely at what they could get Apple for
Microsoft - with it's well-known patent tom-foolery and very willing to use it's deep pockets to kill off the opposition and also happens to be American
Motorola - *really* don't want to piss off the company that can invariably tie them in knots when it comes to antenna patents and various RF stuff, also American
RIM - not sure why they'd be left alone, other than they are Canadian and one of Americas biggest trading partners
And so on . . .
On the topic of Motorola
Actually Motorola sued Apple over a number of patents, and Apple counter-sued with some other patents a few weeks ago, so at least one american mobile phone company is in a legal kerfuffle with Apple.
Another take on this
At informationisbeautiful.net Includes the reasons for the lawsuits.
The fact that the ITC has invalidated ...
some of Apple's patents is likely indicative of the quality of the rest.
Patently Apple < http://www.patentlyapple.com/ > makes interesting reading for those idle moments in the toilet.
Comparing their 'quality' to other titans in the electronics industries show to be more of a 'wish' type patent rather than a been there, done that type.
Illegal and immoral
Ideas don't belong to anybody, they belong to all humankind. Patents are evil and destructive.
Easy solution to all of this
Allow the hunting of patent lawyers (and ambulance chasers).
Either the hunting with guns as in the US, or chased down by a load of dogs and people on horseback in the UK.
"Nokia - as the largest mobile phone maker in the world (more or less), not American and perceived to be on the ropes with shallow pockets"
Actually Nokias pockets are pretty deep. It hasbeen profitable for the past decade apart for one quater when it did a pretty big devaluation of their NSN stocks. And even then only just in the red. The profit for each quater is in the neighbourhood of hundreds of millions. And the Nokia portfolio of patents is huge. They are one of the biggest spender, or the biggest, in R&D, and it shows in patent portfolio.
So Nokia isn't in the ropes, or have shallow pockets. It's the worst possible company for apple to tangle with as there really isn't any doubt that about every product apple sells will infringe some Nokia patent. The time for apple to blink is coming near. If apple doesn't do something soon it might face the ban on their products and at the same time the HTC is getting a free ride against apple. And at the moment HTC is hurting apple more than Nokia.
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