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back to article Apple and Google ramp up proxy war

Apple and Google might not be facing each other across a courtroom, but they're fighting just the same, with the Chocolate Factory wielding Motorola against the fondleslab-maker. Motorola has filed another half dozen patent infringements against Apple, this time in Florida (Texas is probably full). Apple's iCloud is accused of …

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Anonymous Coward

Objectives

Motorola's objective with this litigation isn't really for "Apple to leave it alone" since they sued Apple first back in Oct 2010, a good while before Google got involved in their business.

In those "early days" Apple was in a legal wrangling with HTC, Nokia and smaller skirmishes with Kodak and others, not Motorola or even Samsung yet.

Back then Motorola made three complaints with the ITC and in courts in Northern District of Illinois and the Southern District of Florida (which seems to be Motorola' s favourite, nothing to do with Texas being full)

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/10/06/motorola_sues_apple/

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Terminator

Oh, Florian

"Google must have consented to this action because" just doesn't pack the same punch, does it?

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Anonymous Coward

JUST LIKE TWO

Children fighting over a toy, they both need a good spanking.

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Gimp

In Florida;

I wonder exactly where in the Southern Florida Court District? Fort Lauderdale? There is (or was, 10 years ago) a really big Motorola engineering/manufacturing plant there. That might make for quite a friendly court too.

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Bronze badge

The Southern District of Florida court is based in Miami, but according to US Marshal Service's webpage there is a courthouse in Fort Lauderdale.

from http://www.usmarshals.gov/district/navigation/fl.html:

"The Southern District comprises the counties of Broward, Dade, Highlands, Indian River, Martin, Monroe, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie.

Court for the Southern District is held in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Pierce, Key West and West Palm Beach."

Yes, Motorola had a plant in South Florida near Pembroke Pines and Fort Lauderdale in Broward County. I think they still do actually but its mostly to compete with Harris, which is headquartered in Melbourne in Brevard County (by the Space Coast), in the Military Radio and Signal Interception equipment market segment. Their phone division is separate, but it may just be their law firm and legal department's familiarity with the Court in the Southern District of Florida.

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g e
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"Google's side wants Apple to leave it alone"

Though if a court happened to hand down a judgement that seriously jiggered up Apple I'm sure they'd not mind so much...

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FAIL

Apple really brought this on themselves.

by claiming patent rights on anything square with a screen.

Karma.....

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Devil

A lexicon containing nicknames and definitions is required.

While reading this article, I noted that while I have been reading El Reg for years the newb might be a little confuzled by El Reg's "British" propensity to establish nicknames for everything. I find it endearing, but maybe a lexicon should be established - maybe call it The Rexicon or The Regicon or The Bloody Freaking Primer for Humor-Deficient, Ignorant Residents Across the Pond. (Yes, I'm American.)

(e.g.: "Chocolate Factory" = A large marketing firm manned by oompa loompas and founded by lifestyle partners Larry and Sergey for the express purpose of collecting every personally identifiable and marketable detail about all residents of Earth. Sometimes refered to as Google).

Is it possible we could change the fruity nickname to Crapple? Why? Well because I just like saying it.

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Anonymous Coward

Bloody Merkins always trying to tell us how to behave.

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See, it's just like the Cold War.

By your spelling, this legal battle is obviously taking place in a "hard-to-pronounce country".

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Go

have to agree

A little explanation of the origin of the nick-name would also be nice.

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FAIL

Software Patents are Stupid

Software patents are damaging (perhaps fatally) the West's ability to compete in the post globalisation world.

It goes without saying that they are bad for consumers.

We need to get rid of patents for everything except basic inventions that no one has thought of and are unlike anything else ever done. Even then they should just apply for the same length of time as with pharmaceuticals. For everything else there is copyright and trademark law.

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Software Patents are Stupid ...

and it is not entirely clear that the others are really very bright (or beneficial). Consider:

http://www.dklevine.com/general/intellectual/against.htm

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Mushroom

It's only a matter of time

It's only a matter of time before all the other phone companies get totally sick of apple and openly join forces for a war against apple, throwing everything they have as a team against apple.

I forsee in the next 12 months Apple being unable to licence all required patents required to be able to sell it's products and being forced to pull every product from the market, while possibly being required to put money to cover damages into escrow, effecively ending the company as a trading entity.

However I put it at about 50-50 that in under 2 years we will have a situation where ALL smartphones and tablets have to be pulled form the market, as no-one can licence all the required patents, and there being a shortage of smartphones for at least a 6 month epriod.

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Trade war

Or possibly we'll see a trade war open up (though some may say we're already there) between East and West as governments back their favourites by biasing the results of patent conflicts. iPhones and Nokia / MS phones will be the only ones you can buy in the West and LG, Samsung, HTC, Sony, and the upcoming Chinese companies will sell exclusively in the East. Think I'll move to South Korea.

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FAIL

Re: It's only a matter of time

Sorry to spoil your wet-dream, but I suspect that if "...all the other phone companies (...) openly join forces (...), throwing everything they have as a team against apple," that there would not be a court/international trade organization in the world that wouldn't see that as an illegal cartel engaging in restraint of trade. There are, basically, four significant smartphone platforms today: iOS, WinPhone, Android, and BlackBerry OS. Any attempt to convince a court/ITO that reducing that ecosystem by 25% would be good for consumers would face a MAJOR uphill battle -- vis., the AT&T/T-Mobile acquisition debacle of recent memory.

As a separate issue -- Apple is currently being fairly targeted in their lawsuits; aiming at what they presumably believe to be (relatively) easily-winnable cases. Do you honestly believe that Apple's management would be content only to DEFEND the company if they were suddenly the target of a concerted campaign by every other phone manufacturer in the world...?

...A campaign that put Apple's very existence at stake...?

They certainly would not. Rather, going on the theory that the best defense is a good offense, the targeted approach would go out the window and the street sweeper would come out -- shotgunning EVERY lawsuit even MARGINALLY (by THEIR definition, not yours!) defensible at everyone who is attacking them, tying them ALL up in courts all over the world for many very expensive, profit-draining years. In "The Art of War" Sun-Tzu warned against putting your enemy in a position from which he has no chance of escape; putting his survival at stake will strengthen his resolve and, while you MAY win,, you are likely to fatally weaken yourself in the process.

...And in the midst of this battle, should they be foolish enough to start it, which of the temporary allies wouldn't be looking at the others and asking "Who among us is going to weaken himself enough that I can I push him under the bus en passant...? If I weaken myself too much, will *I* be next...?"

No. Sorry. Not gonna happen.

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Trollface

Sorry Mike

But just because you get sued by numerous companies does not make that group a cartel, it makes you [Apple] foolish for thinking you could carry on bullying everybody without consequences.

Let's meet back here in 12 months and see what happens :)

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Devil

Just me...

Or did anyone else read the last line of TFA with John Williams' Duel of Fates in their head (from The Phantom Menace)?

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Pint

Sure

Everyone else will bury Apple and Apple will have to stop selling products because they can't license any patents. In your dreams pal. Apple has a license to print money and more than any other company out there, can withstand this patent suit nonsense. At some point, all of these companies will come to their senses when they realize that they are making lawyers rich with money they should be making for themselves selling great products and all will go back to beating each other with R&D and great products. All these lawsuits are just expensive pissing contests and ego flexing. It can't go on forever and in the next year, they will likely all end so everyone can get back to work making products we all want to buy. Neither side can bury the other because both sides are needed to have competition for both. Neither side can be allowed to exist exclusively without the other. Don't think so? Did AT&T merge with T-Mobile. That is why. Competition is the only way to insure choice among consumers.

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Anonymous Coward

Google is becoming increasingly desperate.

It is increasingly clear that Google has become so desperate after there 12 Billion Dollar Motorola Acquisition that they are suing in the hope to make some money via royalty charges. The fight between Apple vs Google will not going to hold very long for a simple reason, google Ain't gonna win this war anytime soon. Apple is rich enough to stay long until the last moment. Google on the other hand in there corporate battles are just too involved to win this battle and want to compete so hardly that they are going to loose big time. Specially when they are so desperate and they have to answer there investors too. The fight is affecting other google products, this is exactly the right time for competitors to produce the goods to compete against google because google now has single minded focus and blurred vision and too much at stake to loose. If they loose they loose a lot more than they think they would. Apple can afford to be in battle because they are making money, google still has to reap the benefits of there toil. The odds against google ate too high, only winning the android war wont make google rich. Because they still have to figure out how to make money out of it. If they are thinking of making money by selling motorola handsets, then if they loose too much to loose along with face value in the market, which directly effects there market position and faith as a enginnering problem solver. Also google is sevearly loosing some of its traffic to amazon , siri apple and microsoft bing search. So yes googles as is on fire from all sides.

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WTF?

Holy Fucking Hillbillies, Batman!

... unless that was an elaborate parody, in which case, well done!

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Anonymous Coward

@AC

Thanks for the good laugh.

My bleeding eyes don't thank you though.

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FAIL

Nobody likes a bully

Google gives Motorola more ammo, and yes, it's war by proxy. How ironic that Motorola chips powered the first Macs and now with Intel as the supplier, Apple has turned on them.

Orlowski's missive is misdirected. Tablets are emminently interchangable, as are smartphones. Apple got first mover advantage (and has an excellent marketing department) and took the protectionist route. It just works. But it only works with Apple. Patents are its chosen protectionist method and their vaguaries mean it doesn't need to lobby further. The MPAA et al do all the lobbying for it needs. Apple creates "look and feel" rather than inventing things, but then it uses distribution deals with the content providers to try to give its hardware an edge.

Apple needs to destroy Android because it shows up Apple's current way of creating value. It creates artificial scarcity and then sells a solution. Open solutions destroy (or according to Orlowski, "fail to create") these markets.

Apple deserves to have done well with its devices but it has gone from creating a beautiful walled garden in which you can choose to reside, to burning everyone-else's fields. Hence the suspension of draconian IP laws as long as you live in its garden, but outside the garden, no Samsung Tabs can be allowed to exist. When Apple started its recovery it was all "Rip, Mix, Burn" and now it's all about non-Apple content being licensed for Apple devices only. The last thing Apple wants you to remember is that everyone else just flouts the daft laws. I'm not talking about just MegaUpload & TPB, I'm talking about the fact that you may not legally rip music from CD to ipod in the UK and the illegality of using VLC to play DVDs under the DMCA. Backed by international treaty or not, there are serious issues with the IP laws.

I suspect Apple knows that the ipod-iphone-ipad bonanza which made its billions is probably not repeatable and has a limited lifespan. Using its vertical integration, Apple can attack either the software (Google) or, more easily, hardware (Samsung, HTC etc) vendors one at a time at a time, cross-subsidising to drive competition out.

The whole scenario shows the fragility of using a system designed to protect inventions to protect visual design. By embedding the design in custom hardware Apple hoped to conflate design with invention and get patent protection. It hasn't worked. Last time MS ate their lunch with Windows. This time, its Android munching away.

I really hope Apple can get past this and keep up innovating in design, but it doesn't look as though they want to do that, which is a shame. Apple had made billions even before it went to war - it really doesn't need to fight, it just needs to innovate. Otherwise it will end up back in the wilderness of the between-Jobs years.

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