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Netbook maker Acer accuses Apple of starting 'patent war'

post #1 of 147
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Manufacturers of Android devices continue to unite against Apple, with Acer joining the fray as the company's claims of patent infringement continue to threaten HTC.

Acer's chairman, JT Wang, said his company is ready to face any patent infringement challenges associated with adopting Android, according to a report Friday from DigiTimes. He also accused Apple of being an instigator with its legal action against HTC.

"As Apple's patent lawsuits against HTC have created concerns among market watchers, and have even strongly impacted HTC's stock price, Wang pointed out that the player, which started the patent war, wants either money or market influence and should consider any related losses as costs of doing business," the report said.

The comments are not the first time Wang has disparaged Apple. Last fall, he predicted that the iPad's share of the tablet market would plunge to less than a third because of the "closed platform" of Apple's iOS.

Acer has been a fervent defender of Android on tablets, as Wang said he believes Google's mobile platform "simply needs a little more time before it turns strong."

Acer's chief executive resigned from the company in April as the company looks to reorganize in an effort to take on Apple's market-leading iPad. At the time, it was said that the impact from successful Apple products was a "key reason" for the departure of Gianfranco Lanci.



The release of the iPad in 2010 had a major impact on the netbook market, of which Acer was king. Thanks in part to the iPad, Acer has seen its sales plummet drastically.

In the latest quarterly PC sales figures, Gartner found that Acer's shipments dropped more than 22 percent in the U.S. from 2010. Things weren't much better worldwide, where Acer's estimated sales also dropped more than 20 percent year over year.

Gartner's preliminary Worldwide PC market share estimates for the second quarter of 2011.

The collapse of the netbook market has led Acer to embrace Android on a series of tablet-style devices the company hopes will take on the iPad. Acer has also adopted Google's other operating system, Chrome, to build low-cost Chromebooks built for the Web-centric platform.

Acer's alignment with Google and Android makes it one of a number of manufacturers with a close eye on Apple's patent infringement suit against HTC. Earlier this month, a judge at the ITC gave an initial ruling that HTC has violated two patents owned by Apple.

Apple's initial legal victory has led some onlookers to suggest that other Android device makers could also be in trouble based on their use of Google's platform. It's also been suggested that Apple could collect a lucrative royalty rate from Android device makers, similar to the $5-per-unit fee Microsoft allegedly collects from HTC.
post #2 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Manufacturers of Android devices continue to unite against, with Acer joining the fray Apple as the company's claims of patent infringement continue to threaten HTC.

Acer's chairman, JT Wang, said his company is ready to face any patent infringement challenges associated with adopting Android, according to a report Friday from DigiTimes. He also accused Apple of being an instigator with its legal action against HTC.

"As Apple's patent lawsuits against HTC have created concerns among market watchers, and have even strongly impacted HTC's stock price, Wang pointed out that the player, which started the patent war, wants either money or market influence and should consider any related losses as costs of doing business," the report said....

Ah, Acer. Those guys are so clueless it's almost funny.

Wang is just spinning his wheels trying to prove that he was right and Lanci was wrong but Wang has never been right about any of this stuff, so why should we believe anything he says now?
post #3 of 147
Quote:
Manufacturers of Android devices continue to unite against, with Acer joining the fray Apple as the company's claims of patent infringement continue to threaten HTC.

What? Proof reader off today?

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post #4 of 147
Apple didn't start the patent war - the violators started the patent war.

Innovate on your own. How many years did HTC push out bland Windows smartphones and Acer pimp out bland MS tablets?

You want to be successful like Apple? Innovate! Pay attention to customers and the user experience instead of geek-oriented checklists and maybe people will be rabid fans of your products too.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black...
post #5 of 147
Apple does not want to commodize it's innovations through copying it's design. If someone wants to innovate and compete e.g., HP, MS, and RIM. Then go got it. If they think commodization is a good model, HP and Dell on PCs great.

So my bet is Apple is more interested in how and where it competes as it's motivation for lawsuits. This is how they eventually settled with Nokia. If Lenovo, Acer, etc., want to compete on commodization like they have done in PCs with HP and Dell great go for it, but they will be challenged by Apple based on it's huge and risky IP investments that don't always pay off, MobileMe and AppleTV yet.
post #6 of 147
Well, you know what they (companies that aren't Apple) say, if you can't beat them, whinge about it.
post #7 of 147
I'm beginning to understand what Apple plans to use their $76 billion pot of gold for. They could easily hire a thousand top notch lawyers and vigorously defend every single patent they have and still not put a dent in that pile. They might even make money at it.
post #8 of 147
i have never had a piece of technology worse then the Acer laptop I purchased. I hope they go out of business so no more people have to suffer.
post #9 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"As Apple's patent lawsuits against HTC have created concerns among market watchers, and have even strongly impacted HTC's stock price, Wang pointed out that the player, which started the patent war, wants either money or market influence and should consider any related losses as costs of doing business," the report said.

Is it just me or is there something vaguely Sopranos about that statement?
post #10 of 147
Whine, whine, whine.

Innovate, guys.
post #11 of 147
I wonder if Wang and his ilk realize how ridiculous they sound ragging on Apple for defending their IP. What a bunch of numb-nuts.
post #12 of 147
So apple is the bad guy for trying to protect its property? Just because these companies can't come up with there own ideas. They feel intitled to other people's.
post #13 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by kozchris View Post

i have never had a piece of technology worse then the Acer laptop I purchased. I hope they go out of business so no more people have to suffer.

+1

I had an acer laptop back in the day and it was the worst piece of shit I've ever owned.
post #14 of 147
So these companies are just handing over money to Microsoft and Apple has to sue to get it and Apple is the bad guy?

Sorry, but by paying Microsoft they already know Android violates patents and other IP !?

Nothing but a publicity stunt by these companies.


Apple doesn't need the money.

Apple doesn't need to step all over other companies to compete; the iPhone is the best selling smartphone in the world and iOS is the largest mobile platform in the world.

They are not on a downward spiral; they aren't selling less devices, they aren't losing user base, revenue, profits or mind share.

So the only reason they would need to sue, is that these companies are riding on Apple's coattails by letting Apple do all the real work and then coming out with me-too products, which is nothing new to Apple.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #15 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

Apple didn't start the patent war - the violators started the patent war.

Innovate on your own. How many years did HTC push out bland Windows smartphones and Acer pimp out bland MS tablets?

You want to be successful like Apple? Innovate! Pay attention to customers and the user experience instead of geek-oriented checklists and maybe people will be rabid fans of your products too.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black...

Google says Apple would rather sue than innovate after Google rips off huge amounts of iOS IP.

Samsung copies Apple's hardware, making near-identical clones just running second-rate Android and then not only complains when sued by Apple, but asks for a look at Apple's upcoming product pipeline.

Acer, HTC, ... these guys are all a friggin' joke. They can't innovate, they get into trouble for copying now, and they all sit around complaining that Apple is the bad guy.

It's like a car thief complaining about the person they stole the car from after getting arrested - why didn't they just buy another car for me to steal instead of sending the law after me?

As you say, do something that actually makes the customer experience better - WITHOUT just stealing the tech & design from Apple - and you're free to do as well as possible. What a bunch of wankers.
post #16 of 147
What Schmidt and Wang have shown us is that Apple has a much stronger IP claim then most of us thought and they are terrified.
post #17 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

Apple didn't start the patent war - the violators started the patent war.

Innovate on your own. How many years did HTC push out bland Windows smartphones and Acer pimp out bland MS tablets?

You want to be successful like Apple? Innovate! Pay attention to customers and the user experience instead of geek-oriented checklists and maybe people will be rabid fans of your products too.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black...

Exactly right. If they repeat it enough they might convince themselves but no one who has actually watched this occur.

The entire industry with very few exceptions was created around using Microsoft crap and cheap parts ... zero innovation for decades. Now MS is all but defunct they simply want a replacement which they thought they'd found with Android. Now that is discovered to be a rip off with patent liabilities they band together to defend it.
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post #18 of 147
To be fair, recent litigation has every appearance to me of being a patent war. Apple (add MS too) is trying their their best to litigate Android out of existence rather than let normal market forces rule. While Microsoft might be just as happy to license them to death, Apple isn't likely to agree to any licensing of tech that courts don't demand of it. They (and perhaps it's driven primarily by Mr. Jobs) just want them gone from the market by whatever means necessary IMHO. Just my 2 cents.
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post #19 of 147
It's nice to see a company with the strength to continually fight and defend its patents, such as Apple is doing. Too many times have I seen great products created and then shortly after another company comes out and sells cheap knock-offs.
post #20 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by kozchris View Post

i have never had a piece of technology worse then the Acer laptop I purchased. I hope they go out of business so no more people have to suffer.

My daughter was given an Acer netbook. She must have used it all of half a dozen time in the last year. It is slow, unbelievably cheaply made and the trackpad and button are so awful to use its not worth the bother. The 'brand new' machine now sits in its original box. I am wondering who to give it to without it looking like an insult.
post #21 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

It's also been suggested that Apple could collect a lucrative royalty rate from Android device makers, similar to the $5-per-unit fee Microsoft allegedly collects from HTC.

You know, based on history of android (its direction totally changed based on iphone from what it would have been, ie more of a blackberry competitor then market changer) I think android manufacturers should pay a royalty to apple for every device sold. Not even for technology, but for the vision that has allowed for android and other smartphone OSs to get off the ground in this fashion.
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post #22 of 147
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Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

What Schmidt and Wang have shown us is that Apple has a much stronger IP claim then most of us thought and they are terrified.

Schmidt & Wang.

Sounds ominous. Or funny. I keep switching back and forth.......
post #23 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

To be fair, recent litigation has every appearance to me of being a patent war. Apple (add MS too) is trying their their best to litigate Android out of existence rather than let normal market forces rule. While Microsoft might be just as happy to license them to death, Apple isn't likely to agree to any licensing of tech that courts don't demand of it. They (and perhaps it's driven primarily by Mr. Jobs) just want them gone from the market by whatever means necessary IMHO. Just my 2 cents.

If, and I repeat *if*, Google did steal IP to build Android, they Apple and others are perfectly right to sue them into submission. It's all well and good to say "innovate and compete, don't get legal" but when they're trying to compete with stolen property, they would deserve to be nuked out of existence. They can't claim competition when they're stealing the other teams playbook.
post #24 of 147
The "Blackberry-like" prototype so often mentioned here was only one of at least 5 different mockups Google showed around using different hardware setups and form factors, and produced by various mobile manufacturers. Among those 5 was at least one with a touchscrren interface rather than rocker or trackball.

EDIT: I'm reposting a timeline of Google mobile rumors and news here. Note that Google's first forays into the mobile space go back to 2001, with the initial rumors of a Google smartphone being heard as early as 2004, predating the iPhone release by three years, and well before Eric Schmidt arrived on Apple's board.

http://searchengineland.com/gphone-t...timeline-10996
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post #25 of 147
Hey Wang -- save it for your therapist. Nobody else is interested.

Oh, and Wang, what's with the pictures -- it's a parking lot!
post #26 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

The "Blackberry-like" prototype so often mentioned here was only one of at least 5 different mockups Google showed around using different hardware setups and form factors, and produced by various mobile manufacturers. Among those 5 was at least one with a touchscrren interface rather than rocker or trackball.

Never seen the other ones. Clearly google was gunning more for blackberry type use case. Even if there was a touch screen device we dont know if it was before or after google snooped out the iphone design. And even if before it shows that this was not the main direction they were going in or focusing on.

Keep in mind out of the 5 prototypes G1 was a touchscreen. So clearly apple's vision had a big impact on android as they chose to launch a form factor that had only 1 in 5 chance, instead of a design with 4 in 5 change of being first.
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post #27 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

What Schmidt and Wang have shown us is that Apple has a much stronger IP claim then most of us thought and they are terrified.

Best comment in this thread so far. I agree - they are telegraphing their discomfort level through the strident nature of their statements.
post #28 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benthic View Post

If, and I repeat *if*, Google did steal IP to build Android, they Apple and others are perfectly right to sue them into submission. It's all well and good to say "innovate and compete, don't get legal" but when they're trying to compete with stolen property, they would deserve to be nuked out of existence. They can't claim competition when they're stealing the other teams playbook.

A big part of the problem is what do you mean by 'steal IP'. Do you for example think that Apple stole IP from the playlist patent troll they had to pay recently? Did they steal IP from Nokia? From S3? From Kodak?

Every firm inevitably infringes on patents when they produce a new product, it's probably impossible at this point to avoid it because Patents have been allowed that are insanely broad or obvious in light of prior art.

This isn't an open/shut case of good firms and evil. This is all shades of grey.
post #29 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by tt92618 View Post

Best comment in this thread so far. I agree - they are telegraphing their discomfort level through the strident nature of their statements.

They're definitely terrified, but it's probably more down to the fact that they have zero IP of their own to use as leverage. Even HTC now has the S3 patents.
post #30 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

To be fair, recent litigation has every appearance to me of being a patent war. Apple (add MS too) is trying their their best to litigate Android out of existence rather than let normal market forces rule. While Microsoft might be just as happy to license them to death, Apple isn't likely to agree to any licensing of tech that courts don't demand of it. They (and perhaps it's driven primarily by Mr. Jobs) just want them gone from the market by whatever means necessary IMHO. Just my 2 cents.

I absolutely disagree. Normal market forces do not include the wholesale pilfering of intellectual property - if that were true than nobody would innovate because the cost of doing so would exceed the return on the investment.

Patents, and their enforcement, have a legitimate place and Apple has every right to defend its IP, regardless of what people have to say about it.

Listen, what HTC and these other guys are essentially arguing is this: you (Apple) should be ok with us stealing from you.

Would you be ok with the neighborhood thief saying that to you?
post #31 of 147
I think its hilarious that Apple's number one competition is whining about patents. I mean, the company innovated with the iPhone, and everybody played catch up. Now, here we are years later, the iPhone still doing very strongly and people are whining about Apple protecting its intellectual property. This on the back of Android and HTC losing the so called patent war. So what do these corporate giants do in the face of strong competition?

They whine, they complain that the company setting the pace for the technology industry is protecting its innovations. They complain Apple is starting a patent war because they are suffering from not being able to copy without paying royalties.

Is it time to put Android to bed? Or are we going to start coming out with new innovative products that are designed to be really great Android products? Not just something that is supposed to be like the iPhone.
post #32 of 147
Acer's Captain, JT Wang, should worry about his own ship. The last time I checked, it was taking on water.

Apple isn't an underdog anymore. They been there. They done that. They worked their way from contender to champion the old fashion way. Through hard work and innovation.

I don't blame Apple for finally protecting their innovation. The last time I checked, there's a HUGE mobile war going on. The time is now to break away from the pack. If they don't do it, someone else will. Apple needs to squash all these these pretenders and imitators.

My comments sounds harsh, but unfortunately, it needs to be done.
post #33 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by tt92618 View Post

I absolutely disagree. Normal market forces do not include the wholesale pilfering of intellectual property - if that were true than nobody would innovate because the cost of doing so would exceed the return on the investment.

Patents, and their enforcement, have a legitimate place and Apple has every right to defend its IP, regardless of what people have to say about it.

Listen, what HTC and these other guys are essentially arguing is this: you should be ok with us stealing from you.

Would you be ok with that?

They could have licensed the tech and avoid all this crap, but for some reason no one seems to be doing that.

Maybe we need some sort of software that checks you device against patents and tells you what you have infringed. Instead of reengineering you just pay a small fee and you are good to go.
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post #34 of 147
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Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post

I'm beginning to understand what Apple plans to use their $76 billion pot of gold for. They could easily hire a thousand top notch lawyers and vigorously defend every single patent they have and still not put a dent in that pile. They might even make money at it.

It's good to be a lawyer these days.
post #35 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by tt92618 View Post

I absolutely disagree. Normal market forces do not include the wholesale pilfering of intellectual property - if that were true than nobody would innovate because the cost of doing so would exceed the return on the investment.

So Apple, by infringing Nokia, Personal Audio LLC possibly S3, Kodak and more is doing something outside normal market forces? This is a more complex topic than you wish to make it.
post #36 of 147
Acer, innovate and stop copying and whining!
post #37 of 147
Wang has always been jealous of Apple's successes. And he thinks that saying something out loud about patent infringements (even if Acer is not being sued by Apple) will help push his junk products to consumers' hands.
post #38 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

So Apple, by infringing Nokia, Personal Audio LLC possibly S3, Kodak and more is doing something outside normal market forces? This is a more complex topic than you wish to make it.

I think it is simpler than you want to make it - as simple as the concept of ownership. If I own something, then I retain the right to allow you to use it on whatever terms I want to establish, or to not allow you to use it at all. Why? Because it is mine - it belongs to me. Your inability to come to terms with my ownership is not grounds for me to consider surrendering it.

And yes, it works both ways, and Apple faces the same dilemma with those who hold patents it may be infringing.

What you are arguing is, I think, that it might be a better strategic choice for Apple to allow licensure, perhaps because it would be preferable to being taken to task in those areas where they themselves may be guilty of infringement.

A few points to consider, though:

1) You don't know if Apple has offered licensing terms. For all we know, they have, and the other firms have elected to force litigation by refusing those terms.

2) Apple is the most sued company on earth, at the moment - so you are assuming that Apple is not currently being pursued for infringement by their competitors - perhaps they are. In that context, Apple's pursuit of patent infringement cases against competitors makes perfect sense.
post #39 of 147
I always find it amusing whenever I see anybody - phandroid, CEO, or whathaveyou - predict Apple's failure due to closure, considering Linux has been growing like wildfire* for the past 20 years.

*sarcasm, for those who missed it.
post #40 of 147
I wouldn't use an Android ACER/HTC/SAMSUNG/MOTOROLA device even if you PAY ME!

ACER = LOSERS

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