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Apple's legal victory over HTC not expected to have a major effect

post #1 of 29
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Though the International Trade Commission has placed an injunction against HTC Android phones that infringe on Apple's intellectual property, the ruling is not expected to have a major effect on either HTC or Apple.

The ITC sided with Apple on Monday and placed an import ban on infringing HTC Android phones beginning on April 19, 2012. The ruling was based on Apple's patented invention for data detectors, which allow an operating system to recognize formatted data, like a phone number or e-mail address, within an unstructured document.

On Apple's iPhone and iPad, the invention allows users to see e-mail addresses and phone numbers as a hyperlink. Those links can be tapped to conduct a specific related action, like placing a phone call or composing an e-mail.

HTC has already responded on the ruling to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, and revealed that it will alter its designs to avoid infringing on Apple's patent. That's expected to allow HTC to avoid the ban set to take place in April.

Analyst Mike Abramsky with RBC Capital Markets said the ITC's decision on Monday was both a win and a loss for Apple. While HTC was found in violation of the data detector patent, which is U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647, HTC was not found to be in violation of the more encompassing U.S. Patent No. 6,343,263, entitled "Real-Time Signal Processing System for Serially Transmitted Data."

"While elimination of this feature slightly widens iPhone's differentiation vs. HTCs Android smartphones, it is a relatively small prize for Apple and a small dent against Android in the grand scheme of the smartphone patent wars," Abramsky said. "The ruling by itself may be disappointing to some investors hoping for a broader patent infringement ruling against Android."

Similarly, Brian Marshall with ISI Group said while the ruling could lead to a stronger position for Apple against other Android vendors, he doesn't expect the ITC decision to have an immediate impact on either Apple or HTC.

"We expect this ITC ruling will be appealed and won't be material to AAPL or HTC shipments in the U.S. through (the first half of 2012)," Marshall wrote in a note to investors, "but could lead to positive share shifts for AAPL over the immediate term should a ban take effect."



And citing industry sources in Taiwan, DigiTimes reported on Tuesday that the ITC ruling will have a "limited impact" on HTC, while the scope of the patent violation is "less severe than expected."

"It will not be difficult for HTC to come out with alternative designs to minimize the impact and risks before the ban takes place, the sources claimed," the report said. "Additionally, HTC devices including the HTC nexus One, Touch Pro, Diamond, Tilt II, Dream, myTouch, Hero and Droid Eris, of which Apple has previously accused of violating its patents, have almost run out of their product life cycles, the sources indicated."
post #2 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post

3) how difficult will this issue be to work around? Since pretty much every modern OS includes 'data detectors' that perform the same or similar functions to what Apple is claiming, I would suspect that it wont take much effort at all.

Likely there is an infinite number of methods to get that result. Likely HTC was unaware of the infringement. Likely Android will get an update to completely eliminate the problem.

Likely Apple will find something new to bitch about.
post #3 of 29
The way things are looking in the Patent Courts or even in the ITC, they really are not going to do much to Stop or Slow down Android.
Don't even think that Oracle's case against them will do it. Even though they have a lot of ammunition to use against Google. It will probably be a billion slap on the wrist again. (a lot of money yes, but for Google no).
They are not about to put a stop against the only real competition that Apple has at the moment.
But I really don't see it as a real big deal.
I think it will be better for Apple to show how they are different and better than anyone else.
Siri will be a huge differentiator that try as they may, it will take Google a little while to catch up. I believe at the moment, it will take Google or Microsoft licensing Watson from IBM to help in this regards. (at least for a few years).
Also this Anobit purchase is gonna be bigger than a lot of other people think.
One other thing that will separate Apple will be whenever they come out with a different look and feel for their devices with some LiquidMetal form factor.
You also have to believe that they have something Map wise that they can at least compare to Google.

Of course all this is just a race for users. Not for profits. There has never been any doubt there.
post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by juandl View Post

The way things are looking in the Patent Courts or even in the ITC, they really are not going to do much to Stop or Slow down Android.
Don't even think that Oracle's case against them will do it. Even though they have a lot of ammunition to use against Google. It will probably be a billion slap on the wrist again. (a lot of money yes, but for Google no).
They are not about to put a stop against the only real competition that Apple has at the moment.
But I really don't see it as a real big deal.
I think it will be better for Apple to show how they are different and better than anyone else.
Siri will be a huge differentiator that try as they may, it will take Google a little while to catch up. I believe at the moment, it will take Google or Microsoft licensing Watson from IBM to help in this regards. (at least for a few years).
Also this Anobit purchase is gonna be bigger than a lot of other people think.
One other thing that will separate Apple will be whenever they come out with a different look and feel for their devices with some LiquidMetal form factor.
You also have to believe that they have something Map wise that they can at least compare to Google.

Of course all this is just a race for users. Not for profits. There has never been any doubt there.


Apple isn't going to slow Google down, but Oracle probably has a good shot at it. Oracle will likely get a big one time payment, plus licensing revenue. Google doesn't make much from Android, so that will be hard to swallow. Any increased cost to hardware manufacturers, and they will look for ways out of Android. Microsoft indemnifies parties using Windows from lawsuits, Google does not.

As far as Apple changing the look goes, why does that matter when competitors are free to copy and Courts aren't willing to issue injunctions?
post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

As far as Apple changing the look goes, why does that matter when competitors are free to copy and Courts aren't willing to issue injunctions?

It is a huge problem. These IP laws are on the books to encourage innovation.

If they don't enforce those laws, Apple will stop innovating. It is inevitable. It is also too horrible to imagine.

Unless those courts get on the stick, Apple will stop coming out with new products.
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Brian Marshall with ISI Group said ..... snip.....
"We expect this ITC ruling will be appealed and won't be material to AAPL or HTC shipments in the U.S. thorugh (the first half of 2012),but could lead to positive share shifts for AAPL over the immediate term should a ban take effect."

Bright as fuckin' buttons, these analysts!
post #7 of 29
Really, all these victories doesn't mean much for Apple. Android and hardware makers are already on par or already surpassing iOS is many ways. 2012 will pretty much cement the software and hardware advantage for Google/Android and their partners. The writing is on the wall.. Too bad because Apple really did an amazing job jumpstarting all this.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

[...] Android and hardware makers are already on par or already surpassing iOS is many ways. 2012 will pretty much cement the software and hardware advantage for Google/Android and their partners. The writing is on the wall.. Too bad because Apple really did an amazing job jumpstarting all this.

Don't hold your breath.

On the other hand, in the pad space, you could say this:

"Amazon and their hardware partner are already on par or already surpassing vanilla Android is {sic] many ways. 2012 will pretty much cement the software and hardware advantage for Amazon and their partners. The writing is on the wall.. [sic] Too bad because Google really did an amazing job jumpstarting all this."

The battle for #2 in the pad computing space is over. Amazon owns the low end (AKA the "Android end") of the pad computing market now. Their closed, proprietary, forked version of Android 2.3 complete cuts Google out of the direct profits, the customer information and purchase history, and customers' product affinity data. That product affinity is crucial for more efficient marketing to customers. It's what the Facebooks, Apples, Googles, and Amazons are all fighting over. Amazon gets it all. Google gets zero from the Kindle Fire.

But even worse, from Google's perspective, is that Amazon controls all ads on the Kindle Fire. That last one really hurts. 96% of Google's revenue comes from ads.

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post #9 of 29
No major effect for Apple or HTC, but the lawyers are sure getting richer off all this.
post #10 of 29
Well, actually, Android has well known issues with its UI. This has been noted for some time, and it's not likely to be fixed because of the way Google implemented those elements. What this will do is to make that UI just a bit less friendly.

If Google had a way to do things that was as good as the IP they took from others, they would have done it that way. Now, British Telecom is also suing them on several patents that Google usurped. This seems to be a pattern with Google.

So sure, Google can possibly work around this, but the result won't be as good.
post #11 of 29
That is why Apple is closing the door on the copyist.
Anobit purchase will make it possible for some gain there. Same with Siri.
Also, if Ive can work his Magic with a different form factor out LM. It should be hard for others to copy that. Even if the Courts are not doing their jobs.
post #12 of 29
So this was more about how investors can make some capital gains in their investments than the actual substance.

"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Don't hold your breath.

On the other hand, in the pad space, you could say this:

"Amazon and their hardware partner are already on par or already surpassing vanilla Android is {sic] many ways. 2012 will pretty much cement the software and hardware advantage for Amazon and their partners. The writing is on the wall.. [sic] Too bad because Google really did an amazing job jumpstarting all this."

You could say that, but it'd be a lie. The Kindle Fire is woefully under-powered, isn't running the tablet version of Android (big fail for an alleged tablet device) and has some major parental-control/buying deficiencies which Amazon doesn't have much of an interest in fixing (cos they sell more stuff if it remains broken).

People will see the Fire for what it is, and go to the iPad cos they want a BETTER and more fulfilling experience.
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

Really, all these victories doesn't mean much for Apple. Android and hardware makers are already on par or already surpassing iOS is many ways. 2012 will pretty much cement the software and hardware advantage for Google/Android and their partners. The writing is on the wall.. Too bad because Apple really did an amazing job jumpstarting all this.

Really Android is on a par or surpassing iOS in many way. Such as?

Hardware specs don't matter (and iPad 2 slaughters anything currently out there anyway). And the OS on Android devices make them appear woefully under-powered compared to the hardware they are packing.

Hardware vendors are racing for high specs so that they can paint over the OS's cracks, just like happens with Windows machines.
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Well, actually, Android has well known issues with its UI. This has been noted for some time, and it's not likely to be fixed because of the way Google implemented those elements. What this will do is to make that UI just a bit less friendly.

If Google had a way to do things that was as good as the IP they took from others, they would have done it that way. Now, British Telecom is also suing them on several patents that Google usurped. This seems to be a pattern with Google.

So sure, Google can possibly work around this, but the result won't be as good.

You're siding with BT? The company that tried to gain a monopoly on hyperlinks? Really?

I get that they are suing an Apple competitor but let us be serious for a second here.

Also Apple's patent covers more than just Android devices...or Android period...it has become a rather intrinsic feature of the modern web...it was one of 10 patents they threw at HTC hoping something would stick...it stuck because technically it does belong to Apple...despite the fact that it is a modern web feature.

When it comes to software patents the source code for an implementation should be just as important as the implementation itself.

There are so many ways to design a mousetrap, door hinge, engine, etc etc etc and the patents on each implementation are required to be rather specific. With software the code should matter much more than "method and implementation for..."

I can patent an ingenious no wear door hinge and specify it so no one can copy MY door hinge...if someone else comes out with a no wear door hinge that isn't like my no wear door hinge and doesn't infringe upon my specific patent for it I cannot sue them simply because they made a door hinge that doesn't wear. In software I can patent "A method and/or apparatus whereby a door hinge can be used infinite times without any noticeable wear and tear by using blah blah blah..." In hardware I can't.

You give 100 engineers the same problem and each works independently you will have up to 100 different solutions to the same problem...the first guy to patent HIS solution will have a monopoly even if the other 99 solutions are coded different and go a different way to yield the same end result.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Apple isn't going to slow Google down, but Oracle probably has a good shot at it. Oracle will likely get a big one time payment, plus licensing revenue. Google doesn't make much from Android, so that will be hard to swallow. Any increased cost to hardware manufacturers, and they will look for ways out of Android. Microsoft indemnifies parties using Windows from lawsuits, Google does not.

As far as Apple changing the look goes, why does that matter when competitors are free to copy and Courts aren't willing to issue injunctions?

The Oracle case isn't as strong as people seem to think (from what I've read).

Hell their new claim is that Google has taken valuable marketshare from their phone, tablet, tv and computer Java OSes...

...what phone, tablet, tv, and computer Java OSes?
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

You're siding with BT? The company that tried to gain a monopoly on hyperlinks? Really?

I get that they are suing an Apple competitor but let us be serious for a second here.

Also Apple's patent covers more than just Android devices...or Android period...it has become a rather intrinsic feature of the modern web...it was one of 10 patents they threw at HTC hoping something would stick...it stuck because technically it does belong to Apple...despite the fact that it is a modern web feature.

When it comes to software patents the source code for an implementation should be just as important as the implementation itself.

There are so many ways to design a mousetrap, door hinge, engine, etc etc etc and the patents on each implementation are required to be rather specific. With software the code should matter much more than "method and implementation for..."

I can patent an ingenious no wear door hinge and specify it so no one can copy MY door hinge...if someone else comes out with a no wear door hinge that isn't like my no wear door hinge and doesn't infringe upon my specific patent for it I cannot sue them simply because they made a door hinge that doesn't wear. In software I can patent "A method and/or apparatus whereby a door hinge can be used infinite times without any noticeable wear and tear by using blah blah blah..." In hardware I can't.

You give 100 engineers the same problem and each works independently you will have up to 100 different solutions to the same problem...the first guy to patent HIS solution will have a monopoly even if the other 99 solutions are coded different and go a different way to yield the same end result.

it doesn't matter. Each issue is separate, and should be treated that way.

I kind of understand how patents work, as my company had 43 of them. And the way a patent works is key. You can indeed do the same thing 100 wayssometimes. If that 100 ways are all differently done, then there can be 100 different patents.

But sometimes, there's only one way to do something, at least at the current level of technology. When technology changes, other ways become viable.

It's normal to try to get as much value out of a discovery, so patents are applied for with a description that's as widely flung as possible. That's proper too.

If others think that a patent isn't viable, or doesn't apply to them, they can go to court. That's an accepted solution.

Of course, back then, there weren't massive companies as there are now, except for the government monopolies given, usually to trading companies, so everyone was on a somewhat even level. It's much harder today for the little guy to sue.

But we're not talking about the little guy, but rather large companies. So let them at it!

The problem is that technology is so complex these days, that the sheer number of items in any given product can result in dozens or even several hindered patents being needed. Sometimes patents are stepped on because no one knew they existed.
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

The Oracle case isn't as strong as people seem to think (from what I've read).

Hell their new claim is that Google has taken valuable marketshare from their phone, tablet, tv and computer Java OSes...

...what phone, tablet, tv, and computer Java OSes?

I haven't seen that new claim. Can you find it for us?

They still have enough to hurt Google is the rest of the case goes their way.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I haven't seen that new claim. Can you find it for us?

They still have enough to hurt Google is the rest of the case goes their way.

I had read the same just a day or two ago. I thought it might b either at PatentlyO or Groklaw but didn't see it right off.
More evidence here tho that Oracles' case is far from a slam-dunk.

http://www.groklaw.net/articlebasic....11129080612204
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post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I had read the same just a day or two ago. I thought it might b either at PatentlyO or Groklaw but didn't see it right off.
More evidence here tho that Oracles' case is far from a slam-dunk.

http://www.groklaw.net/articlebasic....11129080612204

I haven't seen that claim anywhere.

And yes, Oracle did lose one patent, but the case is still strong. We'll see when it's over.
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post

A few factors determine how much this affects HTC:

1) is this ruling limited to android versions 2.2 and prior?

That is my understanding. It is very possibly based on the detail that 2.2 was the current version at the time the suit was filed.

That said, if it was a violation in 2.2 and it is in 2.3 and beyond it will be almost certainly deemed a violation if it is exactly the same tech. Which means that Google etc would need to change it before said version goes public.

So given this, while this ruling might not have a noticeable impact on the items listed, it could cause delays with newer products and that will be an impact.

Quote:
Since pretty much every modern OS includes 'data detectors' that perform the same or similar functions to what Apple is claiming, I would suspect that it wont take much effort at all.

While this could be true, it is possible that those other companies licensed the tech from Apple and thus aren't at risk. It's also possible that their method of detection is different and due to this they are being left alone.
post #22 of 29
HTC already resolved this and vowed to continue to protect themselves with the help of Google of course. It's a losing battle for Apple. It's really too bad. Reminiscent of Windows vs Apple. We know who won that.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...nt-ruling.html
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

When it comes to software patents the source code for an implementation should be just as important as the implementation itself.

There are so many ways to design a mousetrap, door hinge, engine, etc etc etc and the patents on each implementation are required to be rather specific. With software the code should matter much more than "method and implementation for..."

Wrong, a patent (as long as it isn't a design patent) is about the "method and implementation" ONLY.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

I can patent an ingenious no wear door hinge and specify it so no one can copy MY door hinge...if someone else comes out with a no wear door hinge that isn't like my no wear door hinge and doesn't infringe upon my specific patent for it I cannot sue them simply because they made a door hinge that doesn't wear. In software I can patent "A method and/or apparatus whereby a door hinge can be used infinite times without any noticeable wear and tear by using blah blah blah..." In hardware I can't.

In hardware you absolutely could, besides a door hinge wouldn't be software, it would be hardware (physical), so you're wrong!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

You give 100 engineers the same problem and each works independently you will have up to 100 different solutions to the same problem...the first guy to patent HIS solution will have a monopoly even if the other 99 solutions are coded different and go a different way to yield the same end result.

Wrong, yet again! There have been cases where an actual implementation of a solution, while appearing on the surface to work the same, are actually implemented via a different method to get the end result. (BT's Hyperlink patent is a perfect example of where this happened.)

As long as the differences are in key necessary areas covered by the patent, there is no infringement.

I hate elements of software patents as much as the next guy (particularly their length of validity), but lets not distort things just to try and prove our point.
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

HTC already resolved this and vowed to continue to protect themselves with the help of Google of course. It's a losing battle for Apple. It's really too bad. Reminiscent of Windows vs Apple. We know who won that.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...nt-ruling.html

Makes you wonder why they didn't just do that in the first place, rather than copying?
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by tawilson View Post

Makes you wonder why they didn't just do that in the first place, rather than copying?

Perhaps because they didn't feel they were copying?
Apple dragged out 10 of their most applicable patents claiming HTC was stealing them all. The court dismissed 9 of them, and even several claims from the only one that still held up at the end. In essence HTC was overwhelmingly correct when they claimed they were not infringing on those Apple patents.

Surely you wouldn't expect HTC to remove the functions Apple claimed by all 10 patents simply because they said they applied. Now that it's clear what does need to be changed or removed, they will.
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post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

HTC already resolved this and vowed to continue to protect themselves with the help of Google of course. It's a losing battle for Apple. It's really too bad. Reminiscent of Windows vs Apple. We know who won that.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...nt-ruling.html

HTC was quoted as saying that they "removed the feature". If that's their way of doing it, then it will have an effect on them and Android as a whole, as they will all eventually be forced to remove it.

There's also this:

http://mobile.businessweek.com/news/...ion=highlights
post #27 of 29
EDIT:

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post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Perhaps because they didn't feel they were copying?
Apple dragged out 10 of their most applicable patents claiming HTC was stealing them all. The court dismissed 9 of them, and even several claims from the only one that still held up at the end. In essence HTC was overwhelmingly correct when they claimed they were not infringing on those Apple patents.

Surely you wouldn't expect HTC to remove the functions Apple claimed by all 10 patents simply because they said they applied. Now that it's clear what does need to be changed or removed, they will.

I think you're mixing up the ITC and the courts. The ITC didn't "throw out" 9 patents. It ruled that the case wasn't clear enough on those 9 to permit an injunction (which is what the ITC is responsible for). This case still has to go through the courts and that's where those patents would be deemed valid or invalid. Very big difference.
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post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by freckledbruh View Post

I think you're mixing up the ITC and the courts. The ITC didn't "throw out" 9 patents. It ruled that the case wasn't clear enough on those 9 to permit an injunction (which is what the ITC is responsible for). This case still has to go through the courts and that's where those patents would be deemed valid or invalid. Very big difference.

I was pretty sure that was a Judge that made that determination. Granted it was an ITC court, which won't be the final word.

Lots more to come folks.
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