back to article Google loads Moto Mobility cannon, fires patent shells at Apple

Google's Motorola Mobility has filed a fresh patent infringement case against Apple over features on its phones, including the iPhone's voice assistant, Siri. Moto filed with the US International Trade Commission to try to get Apple's iDevices and Macs banned in the country over seven different patents that deal with location …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But surely

    You can only have products banned based on proper copyright grounds like "it looks similar to ours"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But surely

      Copyright was never the question, the whole argument has always been around design and utility patents and trade dress. These 7 Motorola patents will no doubt also fit into the first two.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Re: But surely

      Quite.

      This whole debacle should be called the Everyready wars - because they go on and on and on and on.....

    3. LarsG

      And what did

      Moto do with the tech they claim to be their patent?

      Nothing.

      1. Ammaross Danan
        Boffin

        Re: And what did

        Doesn't even matter if Moto used them or not (they may well have). Just ask Patent Trolls.

        On the article however, it digresses into the whole FRAND crap again at the bottom. These 7 patents do not appear to be related to FRAND in any way, and thus, Moto could extort $30/device licensing fees if they so desired (coincidentally, that's how much Apple wanted to extort from Samsung to use a rounded-corner rectangular form factor...)

  2. K Silver badge
    Mushroom

    This should be spectacular..

    Even got my 3D glasses to ensure I get the full effect..

  3. g e

    A fair price?

    Surely 30% would be a very reasonable figure, it's certainly someone's favourite number

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      Re: A fair price?

      It's everyone's favourite number when it comes to transactions as far as I can tell, but completely unrelated to licensing.

    2. wim
      Joke

      Re: A fair price?

      and everybody knows the answer is 42

  4. Big_Ted

    I know what I would love to see.

    A complete ban on all Apple 3G enabled items being imported to the US along with all other kit if possible for every possible reason.

    And then a ban on all items with Android on the basis of UI and look and feel and all other disputes.

    Ban all of them on every possible basis them tell them the ban stays until they sit down, sort it out and agree a final settlement on all current and future possible actions on all patents currently disputed in court and in other disputes, ie Moto or Samsung on FRAND with all others etc etc.

    Then maybe we can get back to innovation rather and spending so much time looking at each others kit for the tiniest reason to seek a ban.

    1. wowfood
      Holmes

      Re: I know what I would love to see.

      ban all apple and android phones.

      You don't work for Microsoft by any chance do you?

      1. dogged
        Meh

        Re: I know what I would love to see.

        With the patent licensing that pretty much every Android manufacturer has signed up to, that would probably hurt Microsoft's bottom line too.

      2. Big_Ted

        Re: I know what I would love to see.

        Had to vote this up.

        No I don't and don't want an MS phone any more than an iPhone due to walled garden approach.

      3. Schultz

        Microkia battle plan

        The secret battle plan becomes more obvious by the day: Get all competing smartphones off the US market and push Win8 down everybodies throat. Don't ask me how they got everyone to follow the script.

        The Evil Empire did it again! Should never count out a convicted monopolist!

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I know what I would love to see.

        Even if iOS and Android devices were banned, Microsoft would still not be able to get more than 2% of the market.

    2. Gil Grissum
      Pint

      Re: I know what I would love to see.

      I'm with you on that.

      That would force everyone's hand in Apple vs. Every Android vendor they've sued or who has sued them to get them into a conference room to hammer out licensing deals rather quickly. None of them would want to be banned for long from sale in the US, especially once Windows Phone 8 and BB become the only available products to buy. Consumers might get sour on both Apple and Android and Windows and BB could take advantage of being the only available mobes, if such an iOS and Android ban went into effect.

  5. P Saunders

    It's like watching someone play Battleships

    But with patents instead of ships and lawyers instead of cannon fire. Oh yeah, and the US courts instead of the ocean. And PR points instead of those little red plastic hit markers. And a jury instead of those little white miss markers. And a court stenographer instead of that tray that holds all the hit and miss markers. Actually it's not very much like Battleships after all. Sorry guys.

    1. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: It's like watching someone play Battleships

      You forgot to add that you can move your ships, or add more ships during the game. Oh and you can lie and say miss when they hit you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's like watching someone play Battleships

        You forgot one other thing too..... Battleships, unlike all this patent BS, is actually fun!

        1. Goat Jam

          Re: It's like watching someone play Battleships

          No it's not.

          1. Tom 13

            Re: No it's not.

            It is compared to watching this train wreck.

        2. Thorne

          Re: It's like watching someone play Battleships

          The real difference is Battleship ends as where this crap drags on and on.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am just glad so far the UK has been pretty reasonable on the design patent front...

    I am crossing my fingers the UK stays sensible, if we ban all devices that look like another, then innovation really will stifle, and Apple will have a virtual monopoly on the tablet front...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Correction

      If you ban devices that look like another.... you'll get devices that look different.

      Apple has a monopoly on the tablet front because they are nice to use, well supported and have a better tablet ecosystem that people actually want to use. Also because, unlike phones, the carrier subsidies don't distort pricing.

      It's not due to lack of competition, there's plenty of it.

      1. P Saunders

        If they banned devices that look like another

        The first car would have been the last, the first cola would have been the last, the first Hollywood movie would have been the last... See where this is going?

        1. Steve Todd
          FAIL

          Re: If they banned devices that look like another

          No, you've got that wrong.

          It was quite possible to make cars that looked nothing like the first Benz. For the first 20 years there were patented parts of its design that couldn't be used without licensing. There onward anyone could use them.

          The point is that patents are time limited, government backed monopolies. You get exclusivity ONLY for the life of the patent, after which the design becomes public domain.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: If they banned devices that look like another

            "For the first 20 years there were patented parts of its design that couldn't be used without licensing"

            Yes, but for this to be comparable, Benz would have needed to patent "A cuboid-ish cabin space with a wheel at each corner". I don't know if he did that or not, but I suspect not.

            This is actually a great comparison, because it would have required Benz to ignore all the prior art of horse-drawn carriages as well.

          2. Tom 13

            Re: If they banned devices that look like another

            Oh Gawd not another car analogy...

            Can't we get a chocolate bar analogy, or diamond necklace analogy, or anything but another car/truck analogy?

        2. Hans 1 Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: If they banned devices that look like another

          1. Cars all look reasonably different - you can often even see which make it is simply by looking at the design, no need to read the make sticker - this was the case for Apple kit as well, before ...

          2. Cola? From what I heard, the copies taste like shit - I think all Colas taste like shit. Still, nobody is stopping people from creating a phone/tablet. How can you compare phone designs to beverages ???

          3. There were smartphones before apple came into the market, all looked different to Apple's model back then, now new smartphones all look the same, like Apple's smartphone ...

          4. Most Hollywood movies are crap anyway ... how can you compare phone designs to movies ?

          Cannot see where you are coming from ...

          1. Chet Mannly

            Re: If they banned devices that look like another

            "see which make it is simply by looking at the design, no need to read the make sticker - this was the case for Apple kit as well, before ..."

            Garbage - if you can't tell the difference between tablets then get glasses, or switch the screen on. TV's are 100x more alike than current tablets and no one is claiming patents on a rectangle

            "3. There were smartphones before apple came into the market, all looked different to Apple's model back then:

            They all looked different to a phone that didn't exist? You don't say!!

            There were rectangular phones and PDA's made way before Apple even looked at the market

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      if we ban all devices that look like another, then innovation really will stifle

      If they all look alike another, how's than innovative?

      Surely innovation would be if they were all different?

      1. John G Imrie Silver badge

        OB Monty Python

        Yes we're all different..

        Er, I'm not.

        1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

          Re: OB Monty Python

          Yes we're all different..

          Eh, "individuals", surely? "Different" (like Apple?) might make some sort of vague sense, but let's not mess with the canon here.

      2. Medium Dave

        "If they all look alike another, how's than innovative?"

        So you're saying Apple haven't innovated since 2007? 'Cause the iphones all look pretty much the same.

        "Siri, why are you such an uninnovative waste of space?"

        "Fucked if I know, Dave."

    3. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Windows

      "if we ban all devices that look like another, then innovation really will stifle"

      Since when is copying a design innovation ? Do you work for Microsoft?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    What patents exactly?

    Would be nice to known instead of Google leaking incomplete info to the press on a late Friday evening.

    If it's anything like their previous batch they won't do much and the listed areas seem like something Apple can work around anyway.

    The whole announcement seems like a FUD op to me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What patents exactly?

      So much for Google not suing everyone.

      Funny how if it's Apple doing it then it's wrong but where are all the posts condemning Google? Probably why they bought Motorola, so they can sue without tarnishing their image.

      Perhaps they should go back to fixing all the problems with the Nexus 7 and provide some customer support?

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/jul/22/nexus-7-glass-complaints-google

      1. Steve Todd

        Re: What patents exactly?

        Interesting how the Nexus 7 could never run flash, and any version of Android is unable to download it now, but web sites assume Android=Flash and fail to even offer their HTML5 versions, telling you to download flash instead.

        1. Big_Ted
          Headmaster

          Re: What patents exactly?

          @ Steve Todd

          Its not Google don't do flash, its Adobe withdrawing it from the Play store.

          At least blame the right mega corp......

          1. Craigness

            Re: What patents exactly?

            Flash can still be downloaded on new devices, I did it myself at the weekend. 667290 so far, and still counting. And many websites serve html5 to Chrome.

        2. Trevor Marron

          Nexus7 and Flash.

          Funny how my Nexus7 is running Flash right now. OK, not in Chrome, but it works just fine in Firefox.

      2. Mr. Great Sage
        Stop

        Re: What patents exactly?

        Probably because Google is suing over technology, while apple is suing based off of icon colors and rounded corners.

      3. Chet Mannly

        Re: What patents exactly?

        "Funny how if it's Apple doing it then it's wrong but where are all the posts condemning Google?"

        They are filed with the posts condemning Samsung for counter suing Apple.

        Its pretty obvious that Apple has been gunning for Android all along - the Samsung one is just the latest in a series of suits aimed at stopping their competitor.

        I think a lot of people see this as a bully (hopefully) getting its just desserts....

      4. Chet Mannly

        Re: What patents exactly?

        "Probably why they bought Motorola, so they can sue without tarnishing their image."

        The patents belonged to Motorola, not Google genius!

  8. Martin 47

    ..... think I am going to need an extra large bucket of popcorn for this.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can this be allowed?

    Moto had better make sure their patents aren't rectangular with sharp corners.

  10. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Any one remember...

    "I Am The Judge" by Pigmeat Markham? Well worth a Youtube...

    "I want a big round table when I get there

    I won't sit down to one that's square

    I wanna lay down the law

    I will not budge

    I'll bust some heads

    Because I am the judge"

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Re: Any one remember...

      I might as well recommend looking up John Cooper-Clark's "Evidently Chicken Town." It's probably just as relevant (hint: not).

  11. Silverburn
    Mushroom

    F* me

    When will this patent bollox end? Isn't there a plague I can release which specifically only targets patent lawyers, and the people who hire them?

    1. Paul 135

      Re: F* me

      It will end once the US brings its protectionist software patent laws into line with the rest of the world I.e. By nullifying them.

      Either that, or crApp£€ to go bust first.

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