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DoJ ramping up antitrust probe of $4.5B Nortel patent purchase by Apple, others - Page 2

post #41 of 62
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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The big difference here is that Apple has not spent money to "influence" Washington the way Google has. I'm left with the impression that Google thinks that it can get away with anything if they spend enough money in Washington. A good portion of Googles operations these days are built around stolen IP.

And yes, Steve doesn't like to curry favor through lobbying ala Google. They lobby the minimum.
post #42 of 62
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Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

You do realize Apple is a very Pro-Democrat Corporation, right? Steve's not a Republican.

Apparently it's the lady wife who does the politicking

http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/n...&search=Search
post #43 of 62
Google is the new evil. They take all of our our data without our permission or compensation and sell it making billions. Then they release software that contains significant amounts of stolen IP and give it away for free so they can make even more money off our data. And now their powerful lobbyists are pressuring the government to overturn the sale, or severely restrict the buyers from enforcing their ownership rights. All the while claiming "open source" - the web should be free. So that they are the only one's making money. Evil I say. Evil. Evil. Evil.
post #44 of 62
I love it when google calls stealing others IP and giving it away for free "innovation".
post #45 of 62
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Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

Apparently it's the lady wife who does the politicking

http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/n...&search=Search

Work for the man twice like I have and if you still don't think he's a Democrat then you're mentally challenged.

His wife is politically active. He's a Democrat. He's too busy creating new paradigms to be an activist.

He also threw the best company party during the Holidays. He caters to no particular religion with his Eastern Philosophies influenced.

We had a Tarot Reader, a Numerologist, Psychic, Vegan, Vegetarian and Meat Eaters delight for the Christmas Party. We also had a Christmas Tree with Carolers, etc. It was a regular melting pot of fun.
post #46 of 62
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Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Google general counsel Kent Walker said this week that the Rockstar bid was "a sign of companies coming together not to buy new technology, not to buy great engineers or great products, but to buy the legal right to stop other people from innovating."

Problem is the sentiment won't hold up well in court. It is legal to sell IP, it is considered a resource. Worst case result here probably is that the Rockstar group cannot work together to sue, but if any single member sues DoJ really can't say much without breaking the entire IP law foundation. Just the statements that a patent prevents innovation flies in the face of the patent laws themselves, that won't fly in a lawsuit and if DoJ attempts to prevent Rockstar from exercising it's rights to stop illegal use of owned IP the courts will be all over DoJ to back off once a Rockstar company sues DoJ.

DoJ isn't allowed to pick a company a priori and say they get to violate some granted patent because they don't like who bought the patent. An IP violation is an IP violation, even when the IP violation occurs in the course of "competition". While DoJ will undoubtedly hold several high profile pressers over this, I expect it to end up all smoke and mirrors because here is nothing anti-trust here unless the patent laws are changed dramatically.
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post #47 of 62
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Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

The bankruptcy courts approved it, but the DoJ operates under a different set of principles, so they are entitled to examine it too.

It was always clear that they would, though whether they'll decide that they need to change the terms of the sale is less likely. This is a very different market from that in the Novell purchase
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I believe DoJ looked into this before the auction and gave the green light to Apple and Intel to participate. They are investigating again due to the circumstances during the auction. This is not so much an investigation about Apple but rather an investigation regarding Rockstar.
post #48 of 62
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Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

You do realize Apple is a very Pro-Democrat Corporation, right? Steve's not a Republican.

You do realize that Schmidt is buddy buddy with Obama.
You do realize that Schmidt worked at a high level on Obama's campaign.
Hell, it was rumored that Obama was going to name him commerce secretary.
post #49 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

Problem is the sentiment won't hold up well in court. It is legal to sell IP, it is considered a resource. Worst case result here probably is that the Rockstar group cannot work together to sue, but if any single member sues DoJ really can't say much without breaking the entire IP law foundation. Just the statements that a patent prevents innovation flies in the face of the patent laws themselves, that won't fly in a lawsuit and if DoJ attempts to prevent Rockstar from exercising it's rights to stop illegal use of owned IP the courts will be all over DoJ to back off once a Rockstar company sues DoJ.

If the DoJ gets sued over the IP law, that would just confirm that the IP law needs a change.

Though Rockstar suing the DoJ would probably lead to such a change.
post #50 of 62
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Originally Posted by Stupidhero View Post

If the DoJ gets sued over the IP law, that would just confirm that the IP law needs a change.

Though Rockstar suing the DoJ would probably lead to such a change.

It would only be a suit if DoJ improperly made some ruling contrary to IP law. I don't see a whole lot of gray areas here, and I don't see IP and anti-trust as conflicting laws. But it is possible that ill-considered regulatory action could result in a ruling that has internal conflicts. That wouldn't require IP or anti-trust laws to change, just remove the bad ruling that has no standing.

Like I said earlier, I expect this to be all smoke and mirrors because DoJ will want to appear like the are doing their jobs, but I think they will come to the realization that illegal use of registered IP cannot be protected via anti-trust laws. They will have to let the courts decide via lawsuits whether IP law is violated, and DoJ can concentrate on natural other anti-competitive issues.
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post #51 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

I believe DoJ looked into this before the auction and gave the green light to Apple and Intel to participate. They are investigating again due to the circumstances during the auction. This is not so much an investigation about Apple but rather an investigation regarding Rockstar.

Yep, as odd as it is to be agreeing with you. The weird thing is collectively, the Rockstar consortium's platforms have a minority position in the mobile OS platform marketplace and they are the ones being examined for potential anti-trust monopoly abuses. How the hell does that work when they are the minority?
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post #52 of 62
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post #53 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

You do realize of course that Apple's Board of Directors includes the former CEO of the world's fourth-largest defense contractor, and the former CEO of Genentech, which was so influential in the health care reform debates that the company's talking points made it into the official statements of several members of Congress during those debates. And then of course there's Al Gore.

That large companies would foster political connections is not an indictment of malfeasance.

I love the word *malfeasance* - so much more sinister than *wrongdoing*.
post #54 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

Yep, as odd as it is to be agreeing with you. The weird thing is collectively, the Rockstar consortium's platforms have a minority position in the mobile OS platform marketplace and they are the ones being examined for potential anti-trust monopoly abuses. How the hell does that work when they are the minority?

It's a good point - is it wrong for a band of *runner-up* mobile platform vendors to pool together to gain an IP advantage over the top company? More importantly, is it a bad thing from the US perspective? After all, a dominant Android markets share does not benefit any US handset vendor (unless Motorola can conjure up a distinctive advantage).

We also have to remember that an investigation is not a prelude to any conclusion. DoJ may have started this second investigation at the request of Google and or Intel (is this information available?). Based on history, Intel is as likely, if not more so, than Google to push its weight around. While the headlines are all about Google v. Apple, with MS angling to become a mentionable, Intel is the big outside elephant in the mobile industry and will likely fire on all fronts, from technical to marketing to legal, to squeeze its way in. Alternatively, DoJ may have started paying attention from the get-go and may have decided this is worth a follow-up investigation. It is a good thing that these transactions are not rubber-stamped.
post #55 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stupidhero View Post

If the DoJ gets sued over the IP law, that would just confirm that the IP law needs a change.

Though Rockstar suing the DoJ would probably lead to such a change.

What would Rockstart sue the DoJ over? Insofar as I know, they can't sue just because the DoJ is investigating - that's the purview and role of the government. They can perhaps challenge any unfavorable decision, but that's not the same as suing the DoJ. What are the precedents in such cases (where DoJ blocks acquisitions of IP or corporations)?
post #56 of 62
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Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Don't think for a moment that Google is trying to keep this "fair". They, along with any other company, including Apple will use the patent to keep out others. Like it or not, that's what the patent system - especially in mobile technology - is being used for.

What's the government going to do? Abort the sale and let Google buy it? How's about sell it to Lodsys? Guess what Google will do if they find out another player uses technology it has a patent for?

If their truly is a concern, the government should take the patents and put them in the public domain where anyone can use it. Not on my tax dollars though.

How's about if a company goes bankrupt, the patents automatically become public? They should not necessarily be allowed to be bought and sold like tangible property.

I think we're at a point now where there are so many patents causing so much overlap, one cannot innovate without violating some obscure patent.

Just my 2 cents. It's a mess.

Your 2¢ doesn't make sense. A company's ability to borrow money for growth or to survive a down period is directly related to a company's overall value. Patents make up a large portion of many companies value. If a bankrupt company couldn't sell their patents it would make all patents and the companies that own the patents much less valuable.

How much sooner would Nortel have gone bankrupt if is was law that patents could not be sold in bankruptcy proceedings?

Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

 

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete...

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Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

 

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete...

Reply
post #57 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Realistic View Post

Your 2¢ doesn't make sense. A company's ability to borrow money for growth or to survive a down period is directly related to a company's overall value.

Actually, a company's ability to borrow money is primarily related to the value of its tangible assets, particularly current assets and fixed assets. The overall value a company includes intangible assets (e.g. patents), which banks will not use to determine how much a company can borrow under normal circumstances.
post #58 of 62
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Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Actually, a company's ability to borrow money is primarily related to the value of its tangible assets, particularly current assets and fixed assets. The overall value a company includes intangible assets (e.g. patents), which banks will not use to determine how much a company can borrow under normal circumstances.

You could securitize the income stream I suppose, if the patents were producing royalties. Don't know if that's ever been done for Patents, but David Bowie did it with copyright.
post #59 of 62
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Originally Posted by inkswamp View Post

...If you think it's about competition, then why did they buy these patents with some of the very companies who are their competition? Hard one to answer, huh?
....If you're so concerned about stifling competition, perhaps you should worry about companies who don't actually compete by developing their own ideas, but rather, by cloning Apple products and stealing ideas.

Excellent points and spot on!

Sheesh, the people who call all patents bad remind me of people who criticize companies who make a profit. Neither concepts in and of themselves are evil - but they can be perverted.

The intellectually lazy and the "easy" way out is to just say "they are universally bad and we should toss them out" - but that's crazy and unrealistic. We need to target the aspects of software patents that are the most problematic (such as getting prior art more into the patent granting process) than just tossing them entirely.

What's to spur a company like Apple to innovate if someone like Samsung can just come in and ride on their coat tails with no repercussion? Why would they bother? Just because they are good guys? Give me a break!
post #60 of 62
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Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Weapons of mass disruption...

Somehow I think the iPhone itself is farm more disruptive than any of these patents
post #61 of 62
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Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

But the problem is patents are weapons. It is no longer about who makes the better products it is about who has the most weapons (ie who has the biggest patent portfolio). If you have a large portfolio you can copy another company's inventions because t will just end up as a cross licensing deal.

1) I think that is why you see Apple aggressively per suing patents like this. They are actively creating and they are actively positioning themselves to protect their innovation.

Also I doubt they will be cross-licensing tech they consider core like certain aspects of multi-touch.

Quote:
If you don't have a large portfolio it almost worth going to work in the mornings because it is virtually impossible not to fall foul of some patent and get sued.

Sure - but the converse is also true - the "little guy" who comes up with that really great insight or innovation can protect it and benefit. Yes, larger companies have more resources to do it - but at least it is possible to protect yourself with patents if you are an individual inventor. For all their foibles, without patents there would be NO hope for "the little guy" - just ask Robert Kearns.

Again, the concepts of intellectual property protection were considered so essential to the success of our country that it's one of the few things that the founding fathers wrote into the US Constitution. And despite what people think, especially given the size of our current federal government, there isn't much in the US Constitution. It's a pretty lightweight document when you get down to. If you haven't taken a look at it (whether you are an American or not), you really should - I think most people would be astonished at what isn't in the constitution vs. what is in there (Hmm, similar to Apple's approach for products - successful country, successful company - I wonder if there is a connection?!?)
post #62 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

While DoJ will undoubtedly hold several high profile pressers over this, I expect it to end up all smoke and mirrors because here is nothing anti-trust here unless the patent laws are changed dramatically.

Bingo! Well said.
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