Feeds

back to article Apple's patent insanity infects Silicon Valley

Spotting a patent troll used to be easy. They were the ones who sold lawsuits, not products. Companies like Intellectual Ventures picked up the title "patent troll" from critics as they went beyond buying and licensing patents to suing companies like Dell and Hewlett-Packard over claimed violations. That is, until the industry …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Megaphone

Re: Invention != Innovation

Innovation is the creation of better or more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas that are readily available to markets, governments, and society. Innovation differs from invention in that innovation refers to the use of a better and, as a result, novel idea or method, whereas invention refers more directly to the creation of the idea or method itself. Innovation differs from improvement in that innovation refers to the notion of doing something different (Lat. innovare: "to change") rather than doing the same thing better

From Wikipedia

0
0

Re: Invention != Innovation

Hear, hear!

0
0
Trollface

Re: Absolutely Wrong

Look inside your iPad - quelle surprise! Samsung parts.

0
0
Trollface

Re: Absolutely Wrong

*grabs LG Prada*

0
0

Re: Absolutely Wrong x2

Nokia had an app store years before Apple even produced a phone.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Absolutely Wrong

threw away all the existing bad phone interfaces...

oh and the ability to make calls as well!

apple are clearly the worst offender (your holding it wrong etc etc etc)

but all smartphones as far as i can tell are pretty piss poor phones!

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Absolutely Wrong

i agree with your point except that facts :-)

clearly you are american, cos yank cars are well known to be badly designed, badly built, with these shortcomings addressed by putting a massive v8 lump in the front. (cornering??? you ever been to montana boy?)

and for the record my nissan drinks petrol like it's got shares in opec.

regarding innovation, apple dont do it. tablets, smartphones all featured in sci-fi movies decades before these devices being made (think uhura with her early 60's BT earpiece) these things are merely logical (captain) and as such, like the car with 4 wheels and 4 doors clearly not a patentable thing.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Absolutely Wrong x2

made apple the most valuable company

only cos cocaine produders arent quoted on the stock exchange...

and your point was?

The value of the company has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with what the company does. it's just the price of a share multiplied by the number of shares. its a beauty contest, nothing more. just look at FB... it's the same company today as it was on the issue day as it was a year before.

exxon is, i believe, the second most valuable, so does it follow that exxon are more inovative than say Mclaren racing? somehow i doubt it.

1
0

Re: ' the iPhone and iPad were the greatest innovations of the last 10 years'

(One other nitpick - the original iPhone did have a camera)

My daughter had an LG Prada phone. It scored massively on the style front. It was less than brilliant on the usability front. It worked well enough for the time, but was definitely a phone on a par with the others around at the time. It felt like a feature phone which happened to have buttons that were invisible.

When the original iPhone was announced, it felt like something completely different from all other phones that were around at the time. It's primary competitors at the time were probably Handspring and Palm. At any rate, it was enough for me to move away from SonyEricsson feature phones - previously I would never have even considered a smartphone. I had used a Nokia Communicator for work, and found the experience less than inspiring.

The technology was not important to me at the time. The usability of the whole was.

It is true that there wasn't an app store. However, although I had been able to buy java apps for the feature phones, I would never have considered doing even that. I am in a very different place now to back then.

0
0
WTF?

One group that's behind all this..

Lawyers

2
0
Facepalm

Tried to rate article 11 out of 10

Couldn't.

1
0

Re: Tried to rate article 11 out of 10

That's because Christopher Guest holds the patent on that.

5
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Tried to rate article 11 out of 10

But is it FRAND?

:)

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Tried to rate article 11 out of 10

iPlayer volume control goes to 11, does he know about that?

0
0
Bronze badge

Apple Certainly copied one thing

Nothing is more easily or rapidly sure to give me the pip than *(&^%$££"! (cr)apple. It is even faster than and far less enjoyable than the real fruit.

1
1

Disingenuous reporting

Apple are far from the most litigious, Apple is subject to many more cases than it has brought. But its easy and lazy to trot out the same myth about Apple being a troll and get the same mindless responses from anyone who has the faintest dislike of apple.

2
16
Silver badge

Re: Disingenuous reporting

..or you could try actually reading article ?

9
1
g e
Silver badge

Re: Disingenuous reporting

Why? When the pictures are so pretty...

2
2

Re: Disingenuous reporting

I read it, you clearly didnt. Look, even the title reads - "Apple = patent troll"

1
11
Silver badge

Re: Disingenuous reporting

"I read it, you clearly didnt."

Well, I did - and nowhere did I see anyone accuse Apple of being the "most litigious" as you said. Matt does say he wished a number of companies, Apple included, would carry on with the good work they have done and stop indulging in so much troll-like behaviour - fair comment IMO, and hardly singling, or anyone else, out. From the article

"Apple is great because Apple has embraced (copied) and extended others' ideas. The same is true of every other technology company. There is no such thing as pure ex nihilo innovation. Everyone builds on the shoulders of those who came before them..."

"The technology industry seems to have forgotten this, and great brands like Apple and Google are sullying those brands with patent troll-like behavior. They should stop and get on with their real business: selling devices, selling ads, selling things."

That's hardly disingenuous in my book.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Last year I was on holiday in Cornwall and visited a restored steam pumping engine at one of the old tin mines. They were running the engine that day and the man in charge of it was discussing the history of the development of steam engines with some other visitors. Suddenly he started talking about patents - James Watt had patents on his steam engine and spend most of the latter part of his life taking other people to court for infringing his patents (though interestingly, apparently, someone else had patented the crankshaft so that Watt had to use a less efficient "planet gear" to convert the linear motion of the cylinder into circular motion on a drive wheel). He even persuaded parliament to pass a new patent act to extend the length of protection on his patents. But the comment that hit home to me was that due to Watt taking to court anyone else who tried to further develop the steam engine the result was that the main take off of the industrial revolution was probably delayed by 20-30 years until he died/his patents lapsed when other people were able to come in and develop further improvements that generated the power needed for railways etc.

In 200 years time will people be looking about at the start of the 21st century saying that the "electronic revolution" was delayed by 20-30 years because everyone sued everyone else?

28
1
Bronze badge
Windows

Triodes

Patent pooling and nationalised industry: US was different in 1920s

http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/scott.radio.industry.history

All good fun.

0
0
Silver badge

No - because fortunately we have an entire continent where US patents can be widely ignored !

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Were there really no smart phones before the iPhone? I am convinced there were, possibly suffering from reality distortion. Reckon a couple of space cakes from the Silk Road should fix that right up!

3
4
Silver badge

The sad thing about all those patents is that they are about the things I hate about mobile phones. Just build one without all those missfeatures and you'll get a near perfect device.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Well you could start by looking at anything with Symbian, Series 60, UIQ , Quartz ..... the grandaddy of them all was probably the Ericsson R380, followed by Motorola P800 ......

" In December 1999 the magazine Popular Science appointed the Ericsson R380 Smartphone to one of the most important advances in science and technology.[4] It was a groundbreaking device since it was as small and light as a normal mobile phone.[5] It was the first device to use the new Symbian OS.[6]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ericsson_R380

http://books.google.com/books?id=8qSgh_Q-YOkC - you'ļl be wanting page 60, although there seems to be an early super-curvy plastic-fantastic iMac laptop (iBook) in tangerine on page 61,

and a Handspring Visor on page 62 ..... with stand and clip-on fullsize keyboard - deja vu!

Or the venerable Nokia Communicator 9210 ...... landscape clamshell phone , Symbian ...... querty ...

0
0
Silver badge

we'll be left with BlackBerrys. Again. Heaven help us

Oh come on, they aren't that bad. RIM was one of the few companies with no arrow pointing outwards. Nokia's only one was a settled suit with Apple. Although now M$ have their claws firmly embedded that may change.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

I'll just leave this TED talk here

It's worth a watch for anyone interested in this subject... IMHO of course.

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DVoyJmxh97Bk&v=VoyJmxh97Bk&gl=US

I would have linked to TED directly but according to the comments they have a sound issue going on with their player

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Proof that TED is for morons

TED: where the brain dead go to get laid.

http://www.tnr.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/105703/the-naked-and-the-ted-khanna

0
2
Silver badge

Good example

Since all the patents here about fashion, not technology. Strictly speaking they should not have been granted.

4
0
Silver badge

In fact, some even thrive because they are so open to copying.

Remind me - wasn't that exactly how the IBM PC design became so popular? Not only was it open to copying, it was actively encouraged, with the exception of the BIOS...

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: In fact, some even thrive because they are so open to copying.

Yup, which nearly killed Apple, when they were "Apple Computer"

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Matt, meet graphene.

"There is no such thing as pure ex nihilo innovation"

But there IS innovation: new processes, new methods, and new substances are invented every day. We want more innovation like this, and patents are STILL the best and fairest way we have of encouraging it.

Better patent examiners and quicker enforcement to help the little guy are badly needed.

You want to opt-out of the patent system? Cool, Matt, hand over your gadgets and take the first bus with "Destination: Unicorn Land" written on the front. Let us know how you get on in twenty years.

1
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Matt, meet graphene.

You conveniently forgot to mention we should stop patenting ideas, methods and mathematics all of which happen to be components of software.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Sorry to contradict you, Mr. Asay

but Intellectual Vultures remains the greatest patent troll of all times. They didn't stop suing companies over patents, it's just that they outsourced the dirty job to a long list of 1200 shell companies they have spawn.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/08/12/the_secret_life_of_the_patent_troll/

You don't seem to read El Reg much, do you ?

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Sorry to contradict you, Mr. Asay

Don't be so apologetic, his analyses are always completely off the mark. Sounds like he's a bit lost, much like his recent job history.

2
2
Thumb Up

Common Sense

Sadly common sense seem in short supply these days.

Remember the consultants/lawyers motto:

"If you are not a part of the solution, there's good money to be made in prolonging the problem!"

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Matt Asay is such a troll

Matt Asay clearly loves to blame Apple for industry-wide problems, then roll around on the floor, laughing at the nonsense comments that the Android and Apple camps proceed to hurl at each-other.

1
7
Happy

Re: Matt Asay is such a troll

Agreed, wouldnt it be nice if we could all just get along and agree to disagree. I mean seriously, I really don't care what phone or tablet you CHOOSE to use, it's your decision and presumably they do the things you require of them.

My phone / tablet isn't better or worse than your's it's just the one I CHOSE.

Where would the fun be though, the foaming mouthed rants at least make me smile from time to time :-)

0
0
Bronze badge
Mushroom

Standing on the necks of Giants

Where it used to be "If I have seen further it is by standing on ye sholders of Giants". Now I guess it's more important to stand on their necks, to prevent them from being able to "see further".

2
0
Silver badge

Encourage Innovation

Patents were originally intended to encourage innovation by providing inventors with a bit of control over their ideas (and so give them chance to make some money) in return for making them public.

I would argue that the current patent regime, especially the US flavour, coupled with lazy patent offices that grant patents with minimal checking and let the legal system do their work for them, is stifling innovation Therefore, the system should be abolished or some other restriction placed on exploitation of patents.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Encourage Innovation

Ideas are not patentable matter. Also when you have to deal with 10000 patents a day written in such a dense legalese language that will make Klingon self-explaining then I guess, then yeah you might become a little bit lazy.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Not the Apple stole from PARC rubbish again.

Xerox wanted to invest in Apple! They invited them to PARC and were compensated for the priviledge: "Xerox granted Apple engineers three days of access to the PARC facilities in return for the option to buy 100,000 shares (800,000 split-adjusted shares) of Apple at the pre-IPO price of $10 a share"

At the IPO Apple's shares netted $22, more than doubling Xerox's investment (this was back in 1980). Today's value of that stock would be over 500 million dollars, if Xerox had kept it. Not bad for 3 days' access.

Xerox also had no clue or interest in how to to make their GUI technology accessible and affordable to people, that was all Apple.

3
4
Anonymous Coward

@Metavisor - I still don't see in your post

that Apple didn't pick (or blatantly copied, depending on whose side you are) some of Xerox ideas.

2
1
Anonymous Coward

I've said it before and I'll say it again

http://forums.reghardware.com/post/1507604

0
1
Bronze badge

Re: I've said it before and I'll say it again

Stated in the link: [The patent system] may have had a purpose once ...

An earlier post in this thread (about Watt and the steam engine) suggests things might have been no better 200+ years ago, and that the purpose then may have been essentially the same as it is now.

I have not seen a detailed analysis proving that the first mover advantage, which Apple has in abundance with the iPhone and even more so with the iPad, is insufficient to enough to reward inventors.

0
0
Bronze badge

Jobs is gone

There will be no more innovation. Apple is trying to hang on to what it has.

0
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Jobs is gone

But Mr Ive is still alive ;)

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@Paul Hovnanian - Re: Jobs is gone

Except for litigation where the innovation continues. They should hurry up and register the iLegal trade mark before somebody else is doing it.

0
0
Silver badge

If intellectual property rights are so vital..

Shouldn't Hollywood be allowed to patent things?

If you can patent rounded corners or putting a rectangular screen on the front of a device - then surely you can patent always having the car explode when it runs off the road or having the girl realise that she really loved the nice guy all the time?

Then increasing the number of patent trolls would decrease the number of formulaic movies!

Well actually it wouldn't but they would have to base them on Shakespeare and Austen instead of last months other blockbuster.

2
0
This topic is closed for new posts.