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As world's most-sued tech company, Apple is forced to 'lawyer up'

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 
Apple, the most-sued technology company in the world since after the iPhone was released, is stocking up on lawyers for patent battles with rivals Nokia, HTC and Motorola.

According to Businessweek, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs is recruiting lawyers who have experience fighting for and against some of the world's largest technology companies. The legal battle is seen as an effort to stop Android, the competing mobile operating system from search giant Google.

"Apple has hired some of the nation's top patent lawyers as outside counsel," authors Adam Satariano and Susan Decker wrote. "They include Ropert Krupka of Kirkland & Ellis, who negotiated a 2005 settlement in which Apple agreed to pay $100 million to Creative Technology Ltd., maker of the Zen music player; William Lee WilmerHale in Boston, who successfully represented Broadcom Corp in its fight against Qualcomm; and Matt powers of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, who successfully defended the patent on Merck & Co.'s biggest product, the $4.7 billion-a-year asthma drug Singulair."

Apple's legal efforts are led by Bruce Sewell, the company's general counsel. It also added Noreen Krall, former chief intellectual property counsel for Sun Microsystems and IBM, as an in-house attorney this year.

The report also noted that Apple has been the most-sued technology company since 2008, a year after the iPhone hit the market, according to LegalMetric Inc.

Apple has been bombarded with lawsuits in recent years, facing 27 new patent infringement suits filed in 2009 alone. Apple has said that responding to those claims, regardless of merit, consumes "significant time and expense."

Apple and Nokia are engaged in a mutual legal battle in which each company has accused the other of patent infringement. Apple has argued that Nokia has infringed on 13 patents related to a variety of technologies, including graphical user interface and booting of a handset, while Nokia has accused Apple of 10 patent violations.

Apple is also engaged in lawsuits with Motorola and HTC, two hardware makers that create handsets running the Google Android operating system. Those complaints have largely been viewed as an Apple versus Android battle.

"We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it," Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said in a comment after the HTC suit was filed. "We've decided to do something about it."
post #2 of 67
If you cant innovate, litigate
post #3 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by zindako View Post

If you cant innovate, litigate

Agreed.

This is a really sad affair, as I think Android has become a pretty spectaular platform overall. While Apple might offer the most stable platform, they sure could learn a few things by emulating some of its functions (notifications, namely).

Not that it's so simple, but Apple should do as it's always done: beat the competition by simply being better.
post #4 of 67
Heh...if Apple can get enough of the top firms on board that should be pretty amusing from the perspective of locking up a big chunk of top talent to work on existing Apple litigation and unavailable to someone else wanting to sue Apple...
post #5 of 67
Well it's not like they can't afford to "lawyer up" with over 50 billion in the bank just sitting there waiting to be used.
post #6 of 67
Great time to be a tech lawyer. The more innovation the more litigation.
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post #7 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacrilegend View Post

Agreed.

This is a really sad affair, as I think Android has become a pretty spectaular platform overall. While Apple might offer the most stable platform, they sure could learn a few things by emulating some of its functions (notifications, namely).

Not that it's so simple, but Apple should do as it's always done: beat the competition by simply being better.

Clearly you ignore the 27 lawsuits against Apple, which includes MOTO, HTC and NOKIA regarding Android.

GOOGLE is in a world of hurt with Oracle and it knows it. It's hardware partners are flanking it against Apple [in a futile effort] but they can't help them against Oracle.

Oh and guess what? Larry Ellison cannot stand Eric Schmidt. He never could at SUN nor at NOVELL.
post #8 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacrilegend View Post

Agreed.

This is a really sad affair, as I think Android has become a pretty spectaular platform overall. While Apple might offer the most stable platform, they sure could learn a few things by emulating some of its functions (notifications, namely).

Not that it's so simple, but Apple should do as it's always done: beat the competition by simply being better.

A competitor steals your innovations for use in a competing product and you should do nothing.

Excellent point, sir.
post #9 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacrilegend View Post

Agreed.

This is a really sad affair, as I think Android has become a pretty spectaular platform overall. While Apple might offer the most stable platform, they sure could learn a few things by emulating some of its functions (notifications, namely).

Not that it's so simple, but Apple should do as it's always done: beat the competition by simply being better.

Completely agree with you.
post #10 of 67
Whoa... Never seen so many "agreed"s on one page on AppleInsider.

I hope you all will agree on this.
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post #11 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacrilegend View Post

Agreed.

This is a really sad affair, as I think Android has become a pretty spectaular platform overall. While Apple might offer the most stable platform, they sure could learn a few things by emulating some of its functions (notifications, namely).

Not that it's so simple, but Apple should do as it's always done: beat the competition by simply being better.

Are you suggesting that Apple is not beating the competition and/or is not being better?
post #12 of 67
This really is a sad state of affairs. Apple are very good at making products that are 'better' in a lot of people's eyes so why can't they just stick to this?

All this litigation is going to hurt everyone in the end. Even if apple successfully closes down the competition through litigation which let's be honest will never happen, then as consumers we are left with no decent competition. However much of a fan boy you are, if there was only apple then apple wouldn't be so 'good'

This just screams desperation on apple's part. This time next year apple will still be the most profitable smart phone maker but android will be in a much better position in terms of number of users and speed of growth.
post #13 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chintan100 View Post

Whoa... Never seen so many "agreed"s on one page on AppleInsider.

I hope you all will agree on this.

Trolls are like monkeys. They have no imagination. They just ape each other.
post #14 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Oh and guess what? Larry Ellison cannot stand Eric Schmidt. He never could at SUN nor at NOVELL.

Rumor has it that Larry's kendo dummy looks exactly like Eric.
post #15 of 67
I love the first paragraph, did an 8 year old write it?
post #16 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

Trolls are like monkeys. They have no imagination. They just ape each other.

Monkeys do have imagination. They dream like any other animal. What are you talking about?
post #17 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjw View Post

This really is a sad state of affairs. Apple are very good at making products that are 'better' in a lot of people's eyes so why can't they just stick to this?

All this litigation is going to hurt everyone in the end. Even if apple successfully closes down the competition through litigation which let's be honest will never happen, then as consumers we are left with no decent competition. However much of a fan boy you are, if there was only apple then apple wouldn't be so 'good'

This just screams desperation on apple's part. This time next year apple will still be the most profitable smart phone maker but android will be in a much better position in terms of number of users and speed of growth.

With all due respect, the notion that Android can be "shut down" simply because its innovative, and Apple is suing Android manufacturers, is a little simple minded. If there is a financial incentive to use Android other than "its free", then vendors WILL PAY to use various patents. Notice that this report talks about how many people are suing Apple. Reread that. Many of these should ALSO be suing Android manufacturers too (except in the cases where they ARE Android manufacturers). Let's be honest though... until this year, few IF ANY of the patent lawsuits against Apple have been from competitors. They've been from patent holders that could easily sue Android device makers as well.

So, again... let's acknowledge that this is a complicated issue. Apple can't afford to be sued by Nokia and Motorola and not have court validated patents in its arsenal. Look at the ORDER of who started suing who first. Apple sued HTC in order to strengthen its position against Nokia. People thought they would sue Palm for a good long time, and it never happened. Android isn't really threatening Apple yet... as Apple hasn't even been able to keep up with demand and Android is only beginning to attract the attention of patent holders. HTC is now paying Microsoft, and others are paying more and more as this crazy year continues.

Anyone wanting to cast the lawsuits this year as "Apple is frightened of Android growth" isn't reading the news right. If Nokia and Apple had settled this year, the HTC suit would never have happened. Moreover, if there is ANY COMPANY trying to sue Android into oblivion... its Microsoft, and their CEO has officially gone on record saying Android "isn't free" and that Android manfucturers will have to pay for patents. Moreover... Google has turned around and said that the mere existence of Windows Phone 7 is simply "political" and suggested Microsoft should just use Android (via Andy Ruben).

Apple is mostly offended by people that are attempting to create a false narrative in the media (from their perspective). Whether its "Thoughts on Flash" or an Earnings Call feature Steve Jobs saying 7" tablets are DOA. Apple has a strategy, and they're willing to map out their vision in the public, so people don't keep thinking they have their heads in the sand (they just have a different strategy).

Meanwhile, Google has a string of high profile failures other than its search engine and its Ad network. Google Wave is a failure. Google TV will be a failure. Android will live on, because it has neat features, but is so "open" as to present an apocalyptic fragmentation footprint beginning next year (when this years explosive growth takes it toll). I have no doubt, Google is trying to figure out how to spin next years' fragmentation crisis. By only measuring it by those able to access the Android Market (and filtering out everyone else who's unauthorized... official UA strings), I feel like Google is hiding a lot of data about its meta-platform.

~ CB
post #18 of 67
How many lawsuits are going on at once with Apple? Lawyer fees must cost a ton!
post #19 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeBarnes View Post

A competitor steals your innovations for use in a competing product and you should do nothing.

Excellent point, sir.

My post was undeniably worded poorly.

But let me be more specific.

While I think Google and the hardware manufacturers alike owe Apple a huge chunk of change, I have no interest in seeing the platform close down--which, as is evinced by the general disposition of this and other boards, seems to be the most popular course of action suggested by Apple fanatics (not to be confused with "fans," of which I consider myself a pretty good example).

I hope nobody would be blind enough to ignore the implementations of voice controls, notifications, cloud-computing, and other small but notable virtues of the Android platform. They are ideas--good ideas--that I would like to see in as many products as possible, chief among them, Apple's incredibly sexy hardware.

In short, of course I don't agree with others stealing your product. These companies should be funneling cash into Apple's bank account just as fast as they're throwing phone after phone into the market. But I don't agree with the attitude that they should be shut down -- which might be the case, if Apple refuses to license their patents to these companies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

Are you suggesting that Apple is not beating the competition and/or is not being better?

No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

Trolls are like monkeys. They have no imagination. They just ape each other.

Name-calling is not discussion. If you have a difference of opinion, why not expound on it, rather than behaving like the base simian creatures you accuse others of being?
post #20 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

Monkeys do have imagination. They dream like any other animal. What are you talking about?

You .....
post #21 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacrilegend View Post

My post was undeniably worded poorly.

But let me be more specific.

While I think Google and the hardware manufacturers alike owe Apple a huge chunk of change, I have no interest in seeing the platform close down--which, as is evinced by the general disposition of this and other boards, seems to be the most popular course of action suggested by Apple fanatics (not to be confused with "fans," of which I consider myself a pretty good example).

I hope nobody would be blind enough to ignore the implementations of voice controls, notifications, cloud-computing, and other small but notable virtues of the Android platform. They are ideas--good ideas--that I would like to see in as many products as possible, chief among them, Apple's incredibly sexy hardware.

You have mentioned 'notifications' a couple of times.

What do you see as Apple's problem with their solution, e.g., as outlined here http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-9964040-2.html ?
post #22 of 67
Many of these law suits would not be filed if the plaintiff had to pay the defendants legal costs should the courts not find for the plaintiff. Many of these cases are started on the speculation of having the defendant pay up as it is cheaper than fighting the charge. As a result we all pay while shysters grow rich.
post #23 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

You .....

Oh, I'm a monkey now?

If you don't like someone's opinion, that's your problem. It doesn't mean you need to call them names over it like a child.
post #24 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

if Apple can get enough of the top firms on board that should be pretty amusing from the perspective of locking up a big chunk of top talent to work on existing Apple litigation and unavailable to someone else wanting to sue Apple...

Yes, this is a well-known strategy.

Apple actually needs to utilize top talent (not just lock them up), though, because the Google situation is difficult to prosecute. For example, Apple has iPhone patents covering a combination of software plus somewhat-generic hardware, and Google only provides software. The sw+hw combinations that actually infringe on Apple's patents are manufactured by HTC, Motorola, etc. Google gets off by saying they provide free software, and this software could be used with other hardware that doesn't infringe on Apple's patents. It's potentially a loophole in the law (I am not a lawyer). Perhaps Apple can find a way to prove intent on Google's part to aid and abet handset manufacturers in infringing.
post #25 of 67
You have to protect your ideas when you are a leader in innovation. It's not like Apple doesn't have the money in the bank to protect their interests. Besides, we live in a litigation society and CEO's have to protect their stock prices and the public can be influences by rumors of wrong doing as much as anticipated products when buying stocks. I watched the movie "Micheal Clayton" last week and it is a great example of how far some Corporations may go to protect their image.
post #26 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomMcIn View Post

Many of these law suits would not be filed if the plaintiff had to pay the defendants legal costs should the courts not find for the plaintiff. Many of these cases are started on the speculation of having the defendant pay up as it is cheaper than fighting the charge. As a result we all pay while shysters grow rich.

None of these law suits would be filed if HTC and Motorola didn't manufacture devices that infringe on Apple's intellectual property.
post #27 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

You have mentioned 'notifications' a couple of times.

What do you see as Apple's problem with their solution, e.g., as outlined here http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-9964040-2.html ?

That article was from 2008. It is now 2010 and Apple's notification system has not improved much.

I think the biggest problem is that if you get a notification while you are in the middle of doing something important, you cant dismiss it and then go back later and see what it was.

Notifications lack a central unified app with a history.
I think one possible solution would be for all notifications to behave as SMS messages from iOS.
In the existing Messages.app Apple could add a sender named iOS.
All notifications from the iOS would appear like text messages.
post #28 of 67
This is ridiculous. Why is everyone making out that there is a team at google sitting with a spy camera on apple, looking to see what is coming next and then copying it. It does not happen like that.

Software patents are a complete joke when they are not to do with an industrial process, that's why they are not granted in the EU. All of these competitors are out to make great products not rip off the competition.
post #29 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjw View Post

This is ridiculous. Why is everyone making out that there is a team at google sitting with a spy camera on apple, looking to see what is coming next and then copying it. It does not happen like that. ...

True, they aren't just looking at Apple; they will copy from anyone with what seems like a good idea.
post #30 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

That article was from 2008. It is now 2010 and Apple's notification system has not improved much.

I think the biggest problem is that if you get a notification while you are in the middle of doing something important, you cant dismiss it and then go back later and see what it was.

Notifications lack a central unified app with a history.
I think one possible solution would be for all notifications to behave as SMS messages from iOS.
In the existing Messages.app Apple could add a sender named iOS.
All notifications from the iOS would appear like text messages.

This is one of the more intelligent ideas i've heard about this
post #31 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjw View Post

This is ridiculous. Why is everyone making out that there is a team at google sitting with a spy camera on apple, looking to see what is coming next and then copying it. It does not happen like that.

Software patents are a complete joke when they are not to do with an industrial process, that's why they are not granted in the EU. All of these competitors are out to make great products not rip off the competition.

Google hired former Sun engineers who divulged Sun's proprietary knowledge in the creation of the Dalvik JVM for Android. - Guilty.

Google doesn't have spy cameras they have photocopiers. They wait till Apple releases a product and then copy it. Look at Android pre-iPhone vs. post-iPhone. - Guilty
post #32 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjw View Post

This is ridiculous. Why is everyone making out that there is a team at google sitting with a spy camera on apple, looking to see what is coming next and then copying it. It does not happen like that.

Software patents are a complete joke when they are not to do with an industrial process, that's why they are not granted in the EU. All of these competitors are out to make great products not rip off the competition.

there is plenty of reason to think not only did Google have spy cameras, but they had a mole on the Apple Board.... but sadly it's google... it's either a beta (with a promise to update soon....sound like android anyone) or it's a shabby imitation. One has to look no further than GoogleTV and their unstable Android.
post #33 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Google hired former Sun engineers who divulged Sun's proprietary knowledge in the creation of the Dalvik JVM for Android. - Guilty.

Google doesn't have spy cameras they have photocopiers. They wait till Apple releases a product and then copy it. Look at Android pre-iPhone vs. post-iPhone. - Guilty

Are you a complete idiot or does it just come out on these forums? There was no google android pre-iPhone!
post #34 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by crift2012 View Post

there is plenty of reason to think not only did Google have spy cameras, but they had a mole on the Apple Board.... but sadly it's google... it's either a beta (with a promise to update soon....sound like android anyone) or it's a shabby imitation. One has to look no further than GoogleTV and their unstable Android.

That is so short sighted. Google have one product that competes with apple, which they do not directly make money from, the world over and one other just released in the US in google TV that is debatable whether is competes with apple.

If they were spying they would surely have copied more of apples 'great' innovations.
post #35 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjw View Post

This really is a sad state of affairs. Apple are very good at making products that are 'better' in a lot of people's eyes so why can't they just stick to this?

All this litigation is going to hurt everyone in the end. Even if apple successfully closes down the competition through litigation which let's be honest will never happen, then as consumers we are left with no decent competition. However much of a fan boy you are, if there was only apple then apple wouldn't be so 'good'

This just screams desperation on apple's part. This time next year apple will still be the most profitable smart phone maker but android will be in a much better position in terms of number of users and speed of growth.

Apple is not trying to close down the competition through litigation... they are simply protecting their innovation. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. In fact, they only started all this litigation because other companies got pissy and started suing them first!!

Don't make Apple out to be the bad guy in this scenario... they aren't.
post #36 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

You .....

You unnecessarily call people trolls and then do this.
post #37 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by zindako View Post

If you cant innovate, litigate

same unfounded comment, different poster, a little bit repetitive around here.
post #38 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjw View Post

Are you a complete idiot or does it just come out on these forums? There was no google android pre-iPhone!

http://www.handcellphone.com/archive...sdk-sneak-peek

Google acquired Android in 2005 and started work on a phoneOS long before the iPhone was announced.
Thing was Android looked just like every other phone OS that came before it.
That was until...the iPhone came out.
Google did a 180 degree turn and suddenly Android started looking just like iOS.

PS. Android's lead UI designer/engineer back then was the guy who gave us WebTV! No wonder it was so cutting edge.
post #39 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacrilegend View Post

Agreed.

(snip)
Not that it's so simple, but Apple should do as it's always done: beat the competition by simply being better.

Simply being better won't be good enough if they spend all the time and resources that are required for rnd and then not answer a challenge when someone comes along to take what wasn't theirs to take in the first place.
post #40 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Heh...if Apple can get enough of the top firms on board that should be pretty amusing from the perspective of locking up a big chunk of top talent to work on existing Apple litigation and unavailable to someone else wanting to sue Apple...

Retainers create conflict of interest. You don't have to actually hire them in order to deny access to those same law firms by your opponents.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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