Originally Posted by stelligent
I am a strong believer that holders of patents and IP in general are entitled to due compensation in case of clear infringement, or to the right of forcing the infringing party to cease their offense. Having said this, IP is a complex minefield nowadays. Any company entering a crowded field like the mobile industry cannot avoid employing someone else's IP. Sometimes, an equitable licensing arrangement is negotiated up front. Sometimes, this happens after the fact, when the two parties parry first in the courts and subsequently across the negotiating table. Sometimes, both parties turn a blind eye in order to avoid a complicated legal chain reaction.
Apple is not a stranger to infringing other companies' IP rights. Look at their recent history of settlements. Look at their history of usurping other companies' trademarks (iThis, iThat ...), only to negotiate the rights well after the fact.
So, what I don't understand is how Apple fans are able to find the high horse to ridicule other companies for doing the very same thing Apple does, over and over again?
How is it that many of you confuse loving a company's products with defending the company on all fronts, even on fronts where the company itself has admitted to having erred here and there.
Just enjoy your Apple products. No need to kiss Apple's butt at every turn. No need to belittle every competitor of Apple. Don't forget, without competition, Apple would not be what it is today.
Large companies, and small ones alike often come out with products that violate others IP. It's too difficult to do a complete patent search first. Generally, unless something is well known in the industry, there is no way to tell if something is patented or not. So what happens is that companies rely on the IP owner telling them if a violation occurs. Then, they negotiate. If the price is seemingly fair, it ends there. If not, it may end up in court. If the IP owner doesn't want to license, it may end up in court.
This is nothing special, and I've had it occur with my own companies a few times over the years. The same thing is true with copyrights and trademarks. There are even times when a search fails to turn up a result, even though it is there. That happened to the name of my second company (though I wasn't an owner at the time). After a search, we were notified by a company IN THE SAME CITY, that we had usurped their name. We agreed to change it, though it was expensive.
The problem occurs when companies know they are violating something important, and refuse to negotiate. Google has now taken IP from Sun, Microsoft and Apple. Certainly in the case of Sun, it was no error. They walked out of negotiations early on. The judge has stated that Google knew they were violating the IP. Google has only weakly protested that fact, and has been spending their time attempting to whittle down a possible settlement or ruling against them.
Their statements show us that taking IP is a matter of business with Google, and they think they are in the right. Apple has never made statements like that.
While companies often go to court over IP, they don't usually consider others IP to be fair game the way Google does.