Cupertino and Espoo
Am I the only one who thinks these sound like poncey "designer" coffee?
Nokia has upped the ante in its patent-infringement battle against Apple by extending its accusations to cover "virtually all of [Apple's] mobile phones, portable music players, and computers," according to a statement by the fiesty Finns. For today, at least, Apple's Cinema Display and iPod Socks remain beyond Espoo's wrath …
I must admit, Espoo does remind me of "Kopi Luwak" which is coffee collected from the excriment of the Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus). I've never tried the stuff, but have been told it's quite good (but for 600 USD/lb it better be).
Frankly it always seemed discusting to me.
Aren't we sick of all this nonsense yet?
I'd like to see the judge slap the crap out of both parties.
How about a nice $900 million fine and lifetime ban on ALL future patents for both companies for being such shits?
Dear Nokia, make your phones and shut up.
Dear Apple, make your phones and shut up.
Perhaps we should be talking about Americans using finance to obtain a phone, which in turn helps drive the debt to GDP ratio off the cliff.
We can't go on like this.
Apple has a patent on cough, cough, Gaussian Shift Modified Keying - the modulation used in GSM and it filed a countercomplaint with that included. So Nokia frankly went nuclear too little too late.
If Apple wins, all GSM mobile phone manufacturers will be paying it royalties on all phones they ever shipped. So throwing a few measly and hardly relevant UI patents in a carpet bombing run will not get Nokia anywhere. Cupertino will shrug it off and press the big red button under the whole GSM industry.
As far as "intellectual property through the standards process" many of us will smile and applaud. We have seen one time too many how utter crap is railroaded by Nokia and mobile op friends. Not one and not two superior ideas where thrown aside by the steamroller from Espoo in it is time just because they were not invented there. Anyone making them pay back for the idiocy fest 3GPP has been unleashing on the IP world under the "mobile standards" brand is jolly welcome. Pity Apple does not have patents on the network bits of LTE (or maybe it does...now that will be funny...)
Boom... No boom today... Boom tomorrow... There will always be a boom tomorrow... Boom!
Meh. S.O.P. really. Sue, counter-sue, have lunch, cross license, get back to making stuff.
It's only the smaller outfits that don't have huge patent portfolios who tend to lose in this kind of game. The whole US patent system is completely broken, but it's so much more profitable that way that it'll probably just get worse rather than getting fixed. I understand the US is also putting a lot of pressure on the UK and EU to break their patent laws in the same way the US ones got broken.
* Haran, Onn
* Ilan, Haviv
* Kaufmann, Yaron
(All of these names are classic Israeli names, a little national pride there, sorry)
* Texas Instruments Incorporated
Last, I checked, TI and Apple are two different companies, so either I'm wrong about this, or you should make sure not to post "facts" that take exactly one Google search to disprove.
As I understand the US patent system they can be invalidated with examples of prior art. Considering Nokia were one of the very early companies involved with GSM In Europe (long before the US got on the bandwagon) I would be surprised if Apples patent occurred before the technology was in widespread use. If that is the case all Nokia have to do is show prior art to invalidate the patent.
As I understand it the patents Nokia are suing for are related to hardware and aren't vague software patents. Nokia has also been developing phones for decades with a lot of radical designs and idea's so I would be surprised if they couldn't take Apple to the cleaners.
The original lawsuit is quite valid, developing standards costs money expecting people to pay is only fair. To design a SD card device requires a $1000 licesne from Sandisk for example, Microsoft licenses the exFat filesystem to companies so SatNav's, etc.. can use memory cards, Blu-Ray is patented and licensed just as Philips License the CD standard.
Apple deserve to get creamed if they are valid of breaking the patent.
Beat what? Most of what the iPhoney can do was capable on phones released by Nokia back in 1997! I'm sure Nokia wants to license Multitouch and I'm sure Apple wants to keep it to themselves. You should really read the litigation documentation. Apple didn't approach Nokia at all and it was Nokia who told them they were using Nokia patents. Apple even admits that they are required to use GSM technology. If you read between the lines, after Apple rejected the first offer from Nokia, Nokia increased the royalty payment amounts by 2.5 times, so the first proposal was the standard going rate. Apple rejected and then complained that the 2.5 times was more than what other companies were paying. First, Nokia offered the standard rate and it was Apple who rejected. Second, Apple knew they needed to use those patents and NEVER went and asked to use them and it was the patent holder that had to ask for their royalty payments. Apple should have secured them long before they released the iPhoney.
How long did it take Apple to support MMS? That was part of the GPRS back in 1997! So, Apple releases a product a decade later and supports GPRS but doesn't support the full spec.
The only thing that Apple has that Nokia doesn't is multi touch.
"Beat what? Most of what the iPhoney can do was capable on phones released by Nokia back in 1997!"
So why didn't Nokia do it back in, er, 1997 then? Good UI design? They've heard of it.
"How long did it take Apple to support MMS? "
Forever. But you can't blame Apple for that. How many Mericuns use (or have even heard of) MMS?
Er, if they've a patent on that, they're barking up the wrong tree. Or, just barking.
The standard is Gaussian (filtered) Minimum Shift Keying. Guess just a typo, AC?
Patent wars will badly lose you geek-credibility points, quickly.
If you're ever going to win the "war" with Apple on the smartphone front, you'll need applications in your app-store, to write those you'll need developers -- because no matter how good your smartphones are, if there is no application libary to match Apple's you will eventually lose out.
Chasing the developers away with silly patent fights isn't a good step strategically.
"While our litigation in Delaware is about Apple's attempt to free-ride on the back of Nokia investment in wireless standards,..."
Is it just me or isn't that the way it's supposed to work? A Standard is developed to be shared and used by others to (hopefully) ensure interoperability and move the standard and the various adopter's projects forward. Standards bodies step in and sometimes things move slow as molasses but for the most part the standard matures and adoption increases which is usually a good thing. The important part is somewhere along the line even though many companies may invest a lot of time, money and resources to growing and developing a standard it's typically not owned by just one entity.
The point is you don't develop a standard and then sue the pants off anyone who tries to adopt it... That's a proprietary technology or Intellectual property and not a standard at that point. Such predatory behavior is not conducive to adoption by 3rd parties which is in my mind key to the adoption as a "Standard"....
Of course the possibility of the US District Court Judge understanding half of it are slim at best...
Mine's the one with the RFC toilet paper roll in the pocket....
Yes wireless standards involve paying but it's not about "suing anyone who tries to adopt it". The standards bodies stipulate that the tech has to be licensed at a fair price so innovation is rewarded while not putting barriers on adoption. It's not about making it prohibitively expensive - that would work against the whole idea of having standards.
The "old" comms players have had disagreements but they all cross license their technologies to each other. Nokia, Ericsson, Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, Motorola etc. are all involved in creating the tech and agreeing on the standards. It has served both purposes: innovation has been rewarded and our cell phones now work all over the world. Now we have Apple fans and anti-software patent fanatics jumping to conclusions. This is not about software patents.
A Standards Body will define a standard, but the method of implementing that standard may be non-obvious and not previously done - hence patentable.
Rare, I admit, but it is possible - and if you're blowing USD900m on it, are you likely to have found that occasion?
"Other companies must compete with us by inventing their own technologies, not just by stealing ours." - Err I think that Apple will find that Nokia had smartphones with touch screen interfaces long before Apple did. As for inventing technologies instead of stealing them, thats rich coming from a company that stole the GUI from Xerox...
if Apple have been infringing another company's IP then they should be brought to rights. Especially given that Nokia have actually been innovative over the years, whereas Apple... haven't. They've just been more fashionable in the phone market for a full err... maybe 2 years? During which time they've pioneered such amazing technologies as... errr... hmm... nope, that's a blank.
Multitouch screens, maybe. But that was taking another company's products and applying it to smartphones rather than an actual in-house development, so it doesn't count.
The mass-marketing of Helsinki syndrome? Yeah, I'll give them that one.
Sensible investors in Nokia wouldn't panic over something like this.
If they lose then meh, they've lost. No harm done except they'll briefly chew through cash defending themselves against wave after wave of easily defeated Apple countersuit. But overall it'll make very little difference to Nokia.
If they win, they'll get a big pile of cash from Apple and maybe even make the iPhone commercially unviable (depending on the number of patents infringed and the rates of remuneration demanded by Nokia), removing what could in a few years be a major player from the market. And after a show of power like that, their shares will vastly increase in value.
I don't think so.
Apple has assembled a phone from mostly pre-existing phone components. Nokia, Qualcomm, Broadcom, Motorola, Ericsson have designed these or the parents of them.
Apple has added a cut down version of OS X that can have no user background tasks and a pretty box, nice GUI. If you just want to make phone calls, then a traditional phone is better.
I built a ARM based no buttons touch screen VOIP only phone with minimal Lab and a budget under $3000 before iPhone was released. It was resistive touch screen, so though running Linux and Qtopia a bit like WinCE + Stylus to use. Apple didn't invent capacitive touch screen and multitouch. They just added it. Anyone else was likely to around the same time. Packaging Commodity parts isn't innovation.
You built an ARM based touchscreen phone yourself and you can even get facts straight about the iPhone? I find that hard to believe. The iPhone DOES allow background tasks, just not 3rd party background tasks. And if all you think the iPhone is repackaged commodity parts then you obviously are stuck on spec sheets and don't live in the real world. The iPhone was a HUGE innovation in mobile phones, and believe it or not they didn't have to have one new hardware feature to be innovative. You're going to have to dig a bit deeper into why the iPhone is a success because you obviously don't get it.
Apple's innovation is the App Store, tied to iTunes, and tied to your credit card on iTunes (i.e., a VIABLE micro- or mini-payment system). END OF STORY.
It is not about the freakin' phone - it never WAS about the actual hardware. It was about a widely acceptable method of DRMing and distributing handheld apps with a viable micro-/mini-payment system, with a guaranteed cut to developers and Apple both. They created the first VIABLE ecosystem for handheld developers and cut themselves in for a 30% slice.
I'm sorry, but THAT is the very definition of innovation, and one so deftly executed that everyone else has tried and failed MISERABLY to emulate it - especially Nokia, certainly MS, and even Google is struggling. And Palm can't even get out of the gate despite having nearly as good a phone and OS.
Ted Nelson wrote about micro-payments (for authors) back when he self-published "Computer Lib" in the '60s (I have a near-mint early edition that I paid the world for, but I can't be bothered to dig it up to check dates). It took nearly 40 years to make it happen commercially, despite it being common knowledge that SOMETHING like it would be needed at some point, and Ted's own repeated failures with Xanadu and micro-payments to text authors. But "Computer Lib / Dream Machines" was a West Coast-based flight of fancy by a true visionary, and I don't think too many copies got shipped to Finland...but I bet Steve Jobs read it many times as a teen...
My understanding of Patents (though, I admit I'm from the UK) is that if you don't seek license fees from another company for using them, or defend your patent against infringement in court, then you loose that patent? If that's the case in the US, then Nokia _have to_ sue Apple or face the loss of any future licensing revenue on their patented hardware designs.
Apple's GUI development team included some of the bods from Xerox, who simply helped to develop it further and hone it. Not sure Apple is guilty of "stealing" anything, at least not GUI-wise. Now Microsoft, on the other hand, has never been shy about, er, borrowing ideas from other companies. I'm happy to be corrected here, but I believe Apple called the desktop panes "Windows", and look who named their entire ghastly OS by the same name.
Beer icon because... Well, just because.
Having a quick look, it seems Nokia are going after Apple for 10 patents which are deemed essential for mobile phone use, in other words, a mobile phone can't work unless it has the patents from Nokia (and other members too). Nokia offered Apple a licence to use the patented patents on a fair basis, as well as reciprocation (Apple lets Nokia use some of its patents I guess) and Apple refused to pay what Apple *has* to pay.
There is no trolling involved either, Nokia hosted the first GSM call remember and have UTMS patents, Apple should be paying so when Nokia win this (and they will win) Apple will have to back date payment for all the iPhones sold worldwide and pay for future usage, which will have the effect of hiking up the price of the already overpriced iPhone.
"extending its accusations to cover "virtually all of [Apple's] mobile phones, portable music players, and computers,"
Wouldn't agree with that, the law suit only states iPhone, nothing to do with iPod or Mac's.
Wonder how badly Apples shares will tank when they are forced to pay Nokia billions.......
>"Wonder how badly Apples shares will tank when they are forced to pay Nokia billions......."
Were Apple a normal tech company, this would soon get settled for much less than billions, after some public posturing of course, but I fear Jobs might take this personally, in which case this theater could on for many years... but Apple will lose anyway.
Regarding the modulation patent that some see as Apple's ace, I'm pretty sure Nokia did their homework before firing the first salvo, and have some way to neutralize it. Nokia isn't exactly new to patent litigation (for example, remember the recently concluded epic struggle with Qualcom), so they have the required experience to pursue Apple.
Apple can easily pay the licence.
Their phone is overpriced and HTC manage to pay the royalties and make cheaper phones.
It's not as if the phones are expensively made in USA. It's one of the cheaper Chinese companies that makes them.
This won't hurt more than Apple's Ego when they lose.
One suspects there is something deeper here. Apple are not fools, and would not have gone into this without thinking the risks through carefully. It won't have been that the need to license various bits of the standards would have come as a surprise. Nor would the lawsuit. As pointed out above, this has nothing to do with software patents, nothing to do with the UI, and nothing to do with the usual and tiresome fanboi/antifanboi drivel that these stories are guaranteed to attract. Apple clearly believed from the start (where start is deciding to make the iPhone) that they would be able to defend themselves against this claim, and one assumes have long planned for it.
Nokia - fails to set the world on fire.
Apple - does something similar, but with better design, better interface, better marketing, better developer support, better integration, better... ...stakes over world.
Nokia - Hissy fit at own inadequacies, sues instead of getting its act together.
We can further assume that the patents are all a crock of shit as they were issued in the USA, which has a long and inglorious history for issuing such patents. I hope Apple win, not because I support Apple, but because the USA really needs to get a clue about patents and companies need to learn to stop reaching for their lawyers as soon as the get thrashed in the market place. If Nokia created a phone that was as easy to use and as integrated as the iPhone, you can be sure people would buy it.
Or perhaps they shoudl just open up. Apple lets Palm use iTunes, Nokia lets Apple off the hook; consumers get decent products, consumers buy more, economy recovers, lawyers go broke (yay!)
Disclaimer: I use a Nokia, I own not one iota Apple kit.
Apple could, having settled the back payment on royalties and any other monies to be paid to Nokia out of its strategic funds, admit that the iPhone has a premium on top of its actual cost and just keep the ticket price the same.
How expensive can the licensing of the patents in the various standards be, you can buy a mobile phone for only a few quid*
*quick research on Tesco site PAYG LG GB102 for £8.97, Samsung M150 for £25, etc.
About 15 years ago in the early days of GSM, I was chatting to my boss over lunch, and came out with a daft idea.
"Steve, as battery life on phones is improving, how about if an idle mobile in someone's pocket could become a repeater for someone else's active mobile?" Coverage then of e.g., Orange's network wasn't complete at that time.
Like I said, daft idea, and it wasn't even a liquid lunch.
He suggested I do the patent anyway, as he put it as a "blocking patent". Wouldn't forseeably be used, but years in the future, it might.
I looked at the procedure, ETSI/ANSI beurocracy, realised Nokia would only give me maximum £300 for it, and the weekends I'd have to put in to get my name in lights (free time, only).
Nokia would own the patent. I couldn't be arsed.
Wonder how many ideas have died a death for the same reason?
If the patents in question truly are essential for _any_ mobile phone to work, then it is hard to see how they could possibly pass the originality test - this whole fiasco just shows how bad the patent system is - imagine for a moment that _both_ parties had a full set of valid patents; in a month or two they would both be out of business as they couldn't sell any of their products!
Nokia's 'essential' patents are tied into the standards, therefore they are available to anyone under "FRAND" (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) licenses.
Apple were in negotiations with Nokia for the 'essential' standards related patents and the negotiations broke down.
This is how it all happens:
- Nokia want "more" from Apple since Apple: 1- have acquired a significant market share (at Nokia expense) and 2- have a number of desirable patents for Nokia to license. Consequently Nokia want a higher license fee than 'Cheapo Cell Phones Inc' pays and/or a cross license to Apple patents.
- Apple want just the license, at 'Cheapo Cell Phones Inc' rates (because, lets face it, the iPhone is nothing but an iPod Touch with a cheapo cell phone lashed on the back).
They cannot agree, so they go to court.
Nokia sue the only way they can, for infringement of their patents. Apple counter-sue with everything: invalidity of the Nokia patents, non-FRANDy type behaviour and for infringement of Apple patents.
In the end, there will be a decision in which Apple will pay Nokia a license, and possibly will license some of their own patents to Nokia.
Bottom line, its a negotiation fail, lawyers get rich, price of Nokia phones and iPhones goes up to pay their bills.
Nilay Patel over on Engadget has done a good write up of this when the story first broke about the NOK APPL rumble.
Nokia have a point regardless of this latest round. Otherwise they wouldn't be doing it. In terms of GSM tech, they are not the sole owners of the IP.
There will much more to this than what is reported.
2010 will be interesting!
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