back to article German court turkey-slaps Motorola in patent case

A Munich court has determined that Motorola infringed Apple’s “overscroll bounce” technology and has ordered a recall of all tablets and smartphones containing the technology. The Chocolate Moto won’t have to move immediately, since it’s now up to Apple to post various bonds to cover enforcement. For a mere 25 million Euros, …

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Ahhhh...

Now that's what I call a *very* enjoyable article. And I am looking forward to reading *many* more like it. In the near future.

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Gimp

Re: Ahhhh...

Glad you can get your jollies from the successes of a multi-billion dollar corporate entity whose fortunes presumably (going by the fact you're here posting comments) have zero effect on your own. Mind you I suppose it must save you money on rent boys. Now off you pop and get yourself a pair of clean underpants, there's a good fanboy.

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Re: Ahhhh...

Motorola pushes a software patch. Job done.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ahhhh...

And while they are at it can they also push out some OS updates to the world outside the US for the phones that are capable of running it. At this point I'd be happy with an official ICS for my atrix, I've given up all hope of ever seeing jelly bean.

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Mushroom

Re: Ahhhh...

And I am looking forward to reading *many* more like this as well

Especially the one about HTC getting the iShiney 5 banned in merkinland

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@DF118

"Glad you can get your jollies from the successes of a multi-billion dollar corporate entity whose fortunes presumably (going by the fact you're here posting comments) have zero effect on your own. Mind you I suppose it must save you money on rent boys. Now off you pop and get yourself a pair of clean underpants, there's a good fanboy."

Oh, I see that I've touched a nerve there! I suppose you prefer to touch it yourself.

And thanks for the homophobia!

: )

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Anonymous Coward

@Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

You havent been following this story now have you?

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Paris Hilton

Re: @DF118

Duckie, if you had any idea of the quantity of sausage I've choked down in my time you wouldn't be saying that.

No, for comic effect I deliberately inferred from your original comment a certain soupson of sexual repression. That you took it to be homophobic says more about you than it does me.

Paris; I hear she is also a fan of the sausage.

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Holmes

The usual Florian Müller trolling shite, but apart from that...

...how are these patents enforceable in Germany in the first place? Isn't that a country of progress and staid innovation in which these kind of patent faggotry are not valid?

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Re: The usual Florian Müller trolling shite, but apart from that...

München = Bavaria = the butt of *many* jokes in Germany.

Germany has the same problem as the US: you can pick a court in a state that ....does things differently... Not quite outside the rules, but...differently.

And a basic part of Apple litigation strategy is Picking the Right Court for its' shenanigans.

This verdict, if enacted may well bite Apple in the backside, harshly.

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Anonymous Coward

And how are the German courts proposing to force users to give their Motorola devices back, so that the infringing technology can be removed/destroyed?

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"And how are the German courts proposing to force users to give their Motorola devices back, so that the infringing technology can be removed/destroyed?"

Sigh. I'm fairly sure that the devices which are to be removed/destroyed are those still in the channel, and that the reason why Moto is being forced to hand over sales data is so that they can be slapped for devices sold. Users will be able to keep their devices, it's not their fault that Moto sold them items which, according to the court, violated Apple's patents.

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So depending how much you pay...

... determines the outcome of your court case? At least they're up-front about it.

And that damn overscroll bounce is annoying as hell, at least on my Xoom. I spent 20 minutes figuring out how to turn it off. I am not unhappy they're getting sued over that crap.

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I'm insulted that they labled overscroll bounce as "technology". The correct term is cosmetic eye candy.

Motorola will just put out a software update to remove it. No need to destroy anything

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Stop

A fundamental problem

with modern patent cases is the presumption of validity of the patent. This was reasonable in the days when patent offices were a branch of government, staffed by skilled civil servants, whose role was to examined patent applications on behalf of the public. Once these organisations became effectively private agencies, needing to process greater numbers of applications to ensure their revenue, the only thing that they can be regarded as authoritative for is the date of filing. Patent Offices must now be regarded alongside patent agents, and lawyers as part of the patent industry, with a vested interest in granting more, and obscure patents, rather than as a source of authoritative, non-partisan expertise.

As the courts have become the arbiters of patent validity (a role abrogated by the patent offices), they should approach each case without any presumptions, and with regard to the statutory law and regulations at the time of filing the patent. Case precedent may have a bearing on subsequent damages, etc but should not be part of the examination for patent validity. Skilled patent examiners should be employed as expert witnesses to the court. If this seems expensive, it is the price we should pay in return for the "savings" gained by the privatisation of the patent offices.

The EPO has been particularly aggressive in abusing its position to grant dubious patent; particularly software patents, even thought they have been specifically rejected by the European Parliament. None of their patents should be regarded as valid per se. Manufacturers who have been harmed by wrongly granted patents should be able to claim damages from the negligent patent office. If a patent applicant misrepresents their case to the patent office, that should be treated in the same way as other fraudulent claims to e.g. government tax and benefit offices.

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Def
Bronze badge

Re: A fundamental problem

Maybe an alternative approach (which would keep the lawyers happy - unfortunately) would be to force patent applications through the courts *first*. If every patent application had to be proven valid by due process before being granted, perhaps then companies might think twice before filing for whatever the CEO dreamed up while taking a shit after breakfast last Sunday.

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Anonymous Coward

Android has far bigger patent infringement problems...

But only because now there are more patents out there than lines of code, and everyone sues everyone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Android has far bigger patent infringement problems...

Simple, just patent the first 64 numerations of an 8bit binary sequence, and just say your using your own patent over and over in your code "just in a different order each time". :P

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Facepalm

Just silly.

Is two finger zoom next? Or some other insignificant piece of UI frill?

I forsee an underground OS emerging that gives all the features a user wants, doesn't track users, has no fed backdoors and, maybe I'm just dreaming, just fucking works.

Sorry, rant over, it's been an allnighter.

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Re: Just silly.

A underground OS already exists that does exactly that, its called Linux.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just silly.

@mark l 2: "A underground OS already exists that does exactly that, its called Linux"

Android is Linux

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Thumb Down

Re: Just silly.

Linux? You missed one of the key requirements: "and, maybe I'm just dreaming, just fucking works."

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WTF?

Its just bloody stupid.

You should not be able to patent anything unless you can touch it or its a method for producing something solid.

Everything else should be under copyright laws, it would then be a simple process on all these, if what you have in the UI is something never done before seen before or your code has been coppied etc then you can seek compensation and the removal of the infringment, ie this bounce thing, if it was copyrighted and has never been seem before then Apple could seek damages for infringment and demand its removed from products via a software update.

It should not be possible to get kit banned from sale etc just over something as stupid as this.

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Honestly

I don't get the whole, "have you infringed it" before "is it valid" deal. One way they could cut a lot of the crap is, prior to an initial patent bout, the validity of the patent is is determined. This would make some companies think twice before going to court over those patents. As I've said before, right now patent cases are schrodingers cat.

People are being taken to court, and fined large sums of money over something which both exists and doesn't exist at the same time. Lets look at a fake case as an example. Pear releases the MiPhone and patent the ability for it to operate as a universal remote. A company releases a Cyborg phone with the same functionality. Pear then sues.

Several months, possibly a year or so later after deliberation, it is deemed that the cyborg phone did infringe on the patent and they owe a few million. Now that all those months of deliberation are over they now decide if the patent is valid. A week later they come back and declare that it isn't. Around a year of court time wasted thanks to a decision made in a week.

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FAIL

To be honest...

anything that gets rid of ridiculous 'end of scroll' bounce is fine with me. It's just a shame it needs these courtroom shenanigans to do it, rather than customer complaint.

Does anyone actually think 'I wonder how much longer the battery would last *without* all the eye candy animations'?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: To be honest...

It doesn't "need these courtroom shenenigans". There's an option to turn it off. Alongside most of the other eye candy. So no, people don't wonder about how long the battery would last, they turn these options off if it bothers them even remotely.

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Did anyone in the world actually buy a motorola device because it had a scroll bounce? Did motorola market it? How did that affect apple sales at all?

Seriously, whatever about copying exterior design or claiming to copy a UIs design, the scroll bounce is such an insignificant feature that nobody except Apple cares about it.

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Def
Bronze badge

I was originally thinking the same thing. Patents should be valid only if they give the owner a competitive advantage. Ie, Amazon's One Click clearly doesn't - you don't buy something from Amazon because you use fewer clicks, you buy from them because of price, availability, delivery costs, etc.

However, with something like 'bounce back', it's a lot harder to define. People *do* buy product A instead of product B because they find it more aesthetically pleasing, and regardless of the fact that this feature is in software, it is part of the aesthetics and the design. I remember when I first saw the original iPod touch (shortly before I went and bought one) and saw the bounce back in action, I did think 'oooh, that's a nice touch. Shiny'. While I might not have bought an iPod touch specifically for that feature, that feature did add to the overall design and appeal of the product.

But this is where current software patents (and patents in general to some extent) fall down. While I was suitably impressed with bounce back five years ago, I am not similarly impressed by it today. It's something that I still like as a feature, but it's not going to sway my purchasing opinion like it once did. There are newer cooler things in the world now.

So while I think that this patent should have been valid and protected 5 years ago, I don't think it should continue to be so for the next 20 years.

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Coat

Apple should be fucking ashamed of itself

I hope that the iPhone 5 is recalled and destroyed for LTE infringements.

...and that Google gets screwed over for forcing Acer to drop Alibabas software.

Mine is the one with two tin cans and a long piece of string in the pocket.

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FAIL

So, the teeny fact that this is part of the UI baked in with Android, and can be enabled/disabled by flashing an upgrade zip onto the ROM, means nothing to the court? (similar in fact, to, let's say, common sense?)

Let them try taking on Google directly, who provided the functionality as stock.....

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Bod

Prior art, blindingly obvious, in common use, etc, etc

Such a simple and obvious indicator and I'm sure I've seen it on mouse based scrolling long before Apple, and I've also seen it in a lot of individual apps that do it outside of the OS support. Do Apple go after each and every one of them? No.

In response though, German courts now need to ban the iPhone 5 for LTE patent violation. I doubt they will.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Prior art, blindingly obvious, in common use, etc, etc

How about they ban it for being boring as f**k

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Anonymous Coward

Yet another flo-job

Shame.on....

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Thumb Down

Correction

"Florian Mueller at Foss Patents says “Android has far bigger patent infringement problems than any piece of computer software has ever had in the history of the industry”."

"Florian Mueller has far bigger reputation problems than any so-called patent industry expert has ever had in the history of the industry"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Correction

Didn't you actually mean:

"Florian Mueller at Foss Patents says “My paymasters have told me to say 'Android has far bigger patent infringement problems than any piece of computer software has ever had in the history of the industry', and they pay me a lot so why should I disappoint?' And I l know The Register will reprint anything I say...."

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WTF?

While I don't agree that such a ridiculous thing can be patented I still don't see why they don't do it the overscroll glow effect like my samsung phone does which I much prefer to the bounce back anyway. Its bat shit crazy that a court can order devices destroyed for such a teeny tiny trivial piece of nonsense.

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Devil

Wow......

...the more you pay, the more severe the penalties? Why stop at forcing Motorola to destroy the offending tablets when, for a few million more you can request the senior executives to chop off their little fingers at the knuckle? I heard that, for another 50 million we can insisit on the CEO committing hara-kiri while for just 100 million Apple employees can eat the Motorola Management Board's first-born children in front of them with a nice crisp salad.

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Oh Dear the end of the world is nigh

i see this as a war against programmers, how many people in the 1980`s saw an idea and copied the effect by writing their own version of that code because they liked it.,

i wrote code that would parralax scroll myself. but now computing is out of the hobbyist`s hands the large companies are seeking to take over the technology from the people who actually were the innovators of the original ideas.

unfortunately for apple i will never buy a macintosh or a fondleslab both use stolen ideas made by the users.

be nice please i am trying to make a valid point not troll or be stupid :)

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I like Steve Wozniak...

From an interview with Bloomberg (here)

“I hate it,” Wozniak said when asked about the patent fights between Apple and Samsung. “I don’t think the decision of California will hold. And I don’t agree with it -- very small things I don’t really call that innovative.

“I wish everybody would just agree to exchange all the patents and everybody can build the best forms they want to use everybody’s technologies.”

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Thumb Up

Re: I like Steve Wozniak...

Thanks for sharing. Sanity from an ex-Apple founder. Guess that's why he is an ex-employee.

The Woz rules.

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