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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Quietly Brilliant: Apple sues HTC to get to Google

Quietly Brilliant: Apple sues HTC to get to Google
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imitchellg5
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Mar 2, 2010, 03:32 PM
 
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This morning Apple decided to sue HTC. Well when I say this morning, it seems pretty apparent that Apple has been cooking this up for quite a while. What annoys me is that Apple is using this as a means to get to Google; at least that's how it seems. Nontheless, some of the patents that Apple holds have obviously been used by not only Google, but pretty much every touchscreen feature phone out there, not only smartphones. It'll be really interesting to see how this plays out.
     
glideslope
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Mar 2, 2010, 03:59 PM
 
Interesting look at it. I was thinking more of a side run distraction to gain traction with the Nokia stuff. I think Google needs to start considering just how large an entity they can become.
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olePigeon
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Mar 2, 2010, 05:05 PM
 
Might have something to do with HTC only mildly attempting to cover up all the UI components they stole from Apple.
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imitchellg5  (op)
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Mar 2, 2010, 05:07 PM
 
What UI components? As far as I can tell. the copyrights are all for UI components that are used in all Android devices.
     
TETENAL
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Mar 2, 2010, 05:21 PM
 
Those patents all sound like complete bullshit patents mostly. Another demonstration why software patents are evil.
     
slugslugslug
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Mar 2, 2010, 05:26 PM
 
^ I’m with TETENAL. Apple is smoking everyone with good ol’ competition & innovation (or as I like to say, Compevation™). They have a chance to show the world that if you’re good enough, you don’t have to go begging for a government monopoly to protect your business model, and they’re blowing it.
     
turtle777
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Mar 2, 2010, 05:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by TETENAL View Post
Those patents all sound like complete bullshit patents mostly. Another demonstration why software patents are evil.
Thirded.

-t
     
DrTacoMD
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Mar 2, 2010, 08:18 PM
 
I'll fourth that one. Hopefully we won't need too many more high-profile lawsuits like this before someone takes notice and the software patent system finally get some reform.
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Wiskedjak
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Mar 2, 2010, 09:43 PM
 
Fifth from me.
     
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Mar 2, 2010, 09:50 PM
 
I agree too!

(What am I agreeing to?)
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Wiskedjak
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Mar 2, 2010, 09:57 PM
 
I like my iThings as much as the next guy. But, I fully believe that if iThings will stop being innovative if Apple can ensure I continue to buy iThings simply by out-patenting the competition.
     
starman
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Mar 3, 2010, 12:39 AM
 

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imitchellg5  (op)
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Mar 3, 2010, 12:42 AM
 
Thanks for reading the OP
     
Hawkeye_a
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Mar 3, 2010, 01:52 AM
 
Didn't HTC mimic the iPhone OS's multi-touch and other features on the WinMo and other devices(as a layer of customization) they sold since 2007(post iPhone intro) ?

TETENAL, i'll be the first to disagree with your statement. While i agree that the process of approving patents needs review(thus eliminating the granting of 'ridiculous' patents), software patents are essential cause the code, structure, organization and interface(among other unique attributes) are invented and are, imho, intellectual property of the inventor. And those who invent those paradigms(no matter how obvious they might seem after the fact) need to be protected. Of course, enforcing those patents are at the discretion of the patent holders.

With regard to Google.....the defense could probably be....Google does not manufacture smart-phones. it would also be bad political move to sue Google imo.

Apple is not stopping competitors from exploring the infinitely many other possibilities of implementing a mobile device. And this could also be a warning to other manufacturers who sell products which infringe on Apple's patents. imo.
     
Doc HM
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Mar 3, 2010, 02:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by Hawkeye_a View Post
Didn't HTC mimic the iPhone OS's multi-touch and other features on the WinMo and other devices(as a layer of customization) they sold since 2007(post iPhone intro) ?

TETENAL, i'll be the first to disagree with your statement. While i agree that the process of approving patents needs review(thus eliminating the granting of 'ridiculous' patents), software patents are essential cause the code, structure, organization and interface(among other unique attributes) are invented and are, imho, intellectual property of the inventor. And those who invent those paradigms(no matter how obvious they might seem after the fact) need to be protected. Of course, enforcing those patents are at the discretion of the patent holders.

With regard to Google.....the defense could probably be....Google does not manufacture smart-phones. it would also be bad political move to sue Google imo.

Apple is not stopping competitors from exploring the infinitely many other possibilities of implementing a mobile device. And this could also be a warning to other manufacturers who sell products which infringe on Apple's patents. imo.
Copyright on code etc is perfectly valid. If a company or individual creates code to achieve an effect they should be (and are) protected against competitors plundering their code. Likewise any graphic elements of the OS (again covered by copyright law.

The issue seems to be patent law and the ability to say "Yeah I had an idea where you use a phone to call other people and they press a button to answer" etc. Which a lot of tech patents seem to fall into. The US patent office seems to have completely forgotten that patents that describe an obvious function are invalid. Maybe they just don't get technology and regard ANY technological innovation as patentable.

Protect innovation and investment via copyright law, save patents for obviously game changing ideas and let companies compete on innovation not how big their legal budget is.

The iPhone didn't really do anything that turned the technology world upside down it just did it through exceptional UI design and a great underlying OS, both fully protected by copyright law.
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Doc HM
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Mar 3, 2010, 02:48 AM
 
Also I think that if a company abandons a technology completely then the copyright etc should revert to some kind of open creative commons license. In this way OS's such as OS9 (and apps like Macromedia Freehand) could become open source, which may provide a spur to existing developers to keep their current code bloat free and both amazing and great (that's YOU adobe).
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Hawkeye_a
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Mar 3, 2010, 03:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
Copyright on code etc is perfectly valid. If a company or individual creates code to achieve an effect they should be (and are) protected against competitors plundering their code. Likewise any graphic elements of the OS (again covered by copyright law.

The issue seems to be patent law and the ability to say "Yeah I had an idea where you use a phone to call other people and they press a button to answer" etc. Which a lot of tech patents seem to fall into. The US patent office seems to have completely forgotten that patents that describe an obvious function are invalid. Maybe they just don't get technology and regard ANY technological innovation as patentable.

Protect innovation and investment via copyright law, save patents for obviously game changing ideas and let companies compete on innovation not how big their legal budget is.

The iPhone didn't really do anything that turned the technology world upside down it just did it through exceptional UI design and a great underlying OS, both fully protected by copyright law.
Yup, i know what you are saying. Code and graphics (actual work) are copyrightable.

But then how would you suggest something like the trash/recyclebin be handled ? It's an 'obvious' idea after Apple created it, so were things like the use of fonts. right ? So how does one draw the line between 'obvious' ideas and not-so-obvious ideas ? Maybe the patents need to specify the process in more detail ? (for example: user moves files/folders to this location before purging the data for trash) ?

I'm not sure how you'd handle that situation without patents. but i do think that Apple tries to create "organic products" which fit users needs in an as- 'obvious' -as -possible way. So should ideas of how to make technology 'obvious' not be patentable ? Personally that's precisely where i see value in tech products(and how i distinguish them) and companies which invest in it should be protected. Is it undoubtedly a competitive advantage for a company focused on the mass market as well.
( Last edited by Hawkeye_a; Mar 3, 2010 at 10:10 PM. )
     
Hawkeye_a
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Mar 3, 2010, 10:16 PM
 
A simple example....

If you come up with a design/process and implement it using WHILE loops and IF-THEN statements, and i see the design/process working and implement the concept using FOR loops and SELECT statements.....repackage my implementation and start selling it. Have i done something 'wrong'(ethically or legally) ?

I havent broken copyright law.... i didnt pirate the code(probably never even seen it).

There should be a review of the process when granting patents. But i thin patents exist to protect inventors and allow them to profit from their invention..... im pretty sure patents expire if not renewed and/or used in products, right ? Maybe that should be a requirement to prevent 'patent trolls'...that the patent should be implemented in at least one current product of the patent holder for the patent to be renewed ?

Either way, i do not like it when Apple or any other company, after-the-fact, uses something another company has come up with. either license it or come up with something better/new. (competition and innovation at work).
     
   
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