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Final ITC ruling clears Motorola of Apple patent infringement

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
After reviewing an initial determination that exonerated Motorola Mobility from claims of infringement on certain Apple patents, the U.S. International Trade Commission on Friday handed down a "finding of no violation" that effectively brings an end to the nearly year-and-a-half long investigation.

The six-member commission at the head of the ITC gave notice that it had finished a partial review of the case's initial determination (ID), and sided with the ruling of an administrative law judge who found that Motorola did not infringe upon three Apple patents, reports FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller.

Apple first filed the ITC complaint in October 2010 in response to a Motorola patent attack, alleging that the telecom giant's Droid, Droid 2, Droid X and other smartphones infringed on existing multitouch patents. The subsequent investigation concluded in January when an ALJ found that Motorola were not in violation of the asserted Apple patents.

The three patents asserted against Motorola were U.S. Patent for "elipse fitting for multi-touch surfaces," for a "multipoint touchscreen" and for an "object-oriented system locator system."

Friday's judgment is the result of Apple's final petition for review of the ALJ's ruling, which the company filed for in February.


Excerpt of Friday's ITC ruling that held Motorola in "no violation" of Apple patents. | Source: ITC (pdf document)


Apple has the option to dispute the decision in federal court, and Mueller believes this will likely happen considering the iPhone maker is appealing a partially-won ITC ruling involving Taiwanese company HTC.

The aforementioned ITC investigations were being closely watched by Google because the outcome of each directly affects either the Android OS or the online search monolith itself as Motorola Mobility is in the process of being acquired by Google for a reported $12.5 billion. The deal will net the Mountain View, Calif. company some 25,000 patents, many of which are related to wireless technology.

Mueller noted in February that Google filed public interest statements with the ITC regarding both the Motorola and HTC investigations as a self-proclaimed "non-party."

"Should the Commission enter an exclusion order, it will reward Apple for asserting patented technologies that are, at best, minor components of the accused products," Google wrote about the Motorola infringement case. The statement went on to say that ""Apple needs no protection from the forces of the market; it is the largest seller of mobile devices, with a record $46.33 billion in recent quarterly revenue and $13.06 billion in quarterly net profit."

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 61
Those patent descriptions were WAAAAY over my head...

Besides, I'm afraid I infringe on the "object-oriented system locator system" when I fumble for my lamp switch in the dark.
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #3 of 61
Oh well... Apple has plenty of other patents to clobber Googorola.

Motorola is essentially a dead $12 billion company being used as an ineffective patent weapon.
What a waste...
post #4 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

Oh well... Apple has plenty of other patents to clobber Googorola.

Motorola is essentially a dead $12 billion company being used as an ineffective patent weapon.
What a waste...

When everything else fails, at least we'll have denial.
post #5 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Should the Commission enter an exclusion order, it will reward Apple for asserting patented technologies that are, at best, minor components of the accused products," Google wrote about the Motorola infringement case. The statement went on to say that ""Apple needs no protection from the forces of the market; it is the largest seller of mobile devices, with a record $46.33 billion in recent quarterly revenue and $13.06 billion in quarterly net profit."

The ITC isn't the final arbiter. It will eventually be up to the courts to decide if the patents were infringed. Recent ITC rulings suggest that the ITC almost never rules a patent to be infringed.

In any event, the logic here is bogus.
1. "It was only a modest infringement, so it's OK"
and
2. "Apple has lots of money, so they don't deserve patent protection"

Neither one of those is a valid legal argument- and is further evidence that the ITC is not going to enforce any patents from anyone. The courts will decide.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
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post #6 of 61
What exactly has Apple gained from the Steve Jobs nuclear litigation strategy? Miscellaneous positive and negative ruling with counter-suits in various jurisdictions around the world resulting in a rather expensive stalemate. I would hope that Mr Cook and company would take a more rational view, and cut some deals with the big companies ala Google, Samsung, etc. Use the legal budget to defend against the never ending stream of patent trolls such Proview and sue those who make obviously copies of their products that any lay non-tech person (to include the Judges that make rulings) will readily understand, ala Pystar. If somebody starts making knock-off iPhones that run iOS, you probably have a good case.
post #7 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by markbyrn View Post

What exactly has Apple gained from the Steve Jobs nuclear litigation strategy? Miscellaneous positive and negative ruling with counter-suits in various jurisdictions around the world resulting in a rather expensive stalemate. I would hope that Mr Cook and company would take a more rational view, and cut some deals with the big companies ala Google, Samsung, etc. Use the legal budget to defend against the never ending stream of patent trolls such Proview and sue those who make obviously copies of their products that any lay non-tech person (to include the Judges that make rulings) will readily understand, ala Pystar. If somebody starts making knock-off iPhones that run iOS, you probably have a good case.

Agree with your comments and I think you will see some things being negotiated, especially now that Nortel 4G patent sale to Apple was approved. However I agree with the strategy Apple is using, not for "wins" but for deterrence - in fact they were slow to do this. Lets face it, the sheer numbers of patents each of these companies have, allows them to be in litigation for a very very long time. Apple needs to innovate, and it will. But the 'rip off' companies (you know who you are) will be a little more mindful of infringement, knowing Apple's response.
post #8 of 61
Google is truly the new evil. Apple is big so their patents shouldn't be honored is what Google is saying. And it's ok that we have stolen from them.

They truly are scumbags.
post #9 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by markbyrn View Post

What exactly has Apple gained from the Steve Jobs nuclear litigation strategy? Miscellaneous positive and negative ruling with counter-suits in various jurisdictions around the world resulting in a rather expensive stalemate. I would hope that Mr Cook and company would take a more rational view, and cut some deals with the big companies ala Google, Samsung, etc. Use the legal budget to defend against the never ending stream of patent trolls such Proview and sue those who make obviously copies of their products that any lay non-tech person (to include the Judges that make rulings) will readily understand, ala Pystar. If somebody starts making knock-off iPhones that run iOS, you probably have a good case.

Jobs didn't cut "deals" because it wasn't about money for him, it was about the principle of righting a wrong. Theft.
post #10 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by markbyrn View Post

What exactly has Apple gained from the Steve Jobs nuclear litigation strategy? Miscellaneous positive and negative ruling with counter-suits in various jurisdictions around the world resulting in a rather expensive stalemate. I would hope that Mr Cook and company would take a more rational view, and cut some deals with the big companies ala Google, Samsung, etc. Use the legal budget to defend against the never ending stream of patent trolls such Proview and sue those who make obviously copies of their products that any lay non-tech person (to include the Judges that make rulings) will readily understand, ala Pystar. If somebody starts making knock-off iPhones that run iOS, you probably have a good case.

Apple has gained a great deal - and I suspect that they're far better able to determine whether the battle is worthwhile than you are.

For example:
- Tab was kept off the market in several countries for a time and Samsung had to redesign it. That cost Samsung valuable time while Apple was taking control of the iPad market.
- Motorola and Samsung are going to be facing major problems with the European authorities for their abuse of FRAND.
- Increased awareness of intellectual property issues -and created a market perception that Apple is the innovator and everyone else is copying (of course, it helps that Samsung hired an attorney who couldn't tell the difference between the two products - which was a major, major PR loss for Samsung).
- Just a general "we need to look over our shoulder" attitude from all their competitors which probably slows them down - and possibly eliminates the most obvious copying.

So far, of all the wins and losses, the only thing Apple has lost is the ability to use push notifications in Germany - which their customers can easily work around. All the other issues haven't cost Apple a thing. For example, even if this ITC ruling holds up in court, it didn't hurt Apple - just slowed the competition down a bit.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #11 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

The ITC isn't the final arbiter. It will eventually be up to the courts to decide if the patents were infringed. Recent ITC rulings suggest that the ITC almost never rules a patent to be infringed.

In any event, the logic here is bogus.
1. "It was only a modest infringement, so it's OK"
and
2. "Apple has lots of money, so they don't deserve patent protection"

Neither one of those is a valid legal argument- and is further evidence that the ITC is not going to enforce any patents from anyone. The courts will decide.

Those arguments make sense for an ITC ruling, considering that it's not final. A minor potential infringement should not be a reason to block sales completely, and in the face of booming sales clearly no protective measures need to be taken immediately. It would have been different if the infringing product was affecting Apple's sales. Thus, no urgent actions by the ITC are needed prior to the decision of the courts.

In the end, some money will change pockets. Nothing that concerns the end user.
post #12 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by solsun View Post

Jobs didn't cut "deals" because it wasn't about money for him, it was about the principle of righting a wrong. Theft.

Jobs was brilliant in making money. Making it seem that he had other motifs was just another side of his genius.
post #13 of 61
Excellent.

Now they're free to continue their slide into irrelevance, unfettered.
post #14 of 61
Apple has GOT to stop filing these frivolous patent suits. It is unseemly, and is bad fot theri reputation.

They are getting known as sue-happy, and it looks like they use illegitimate means to compete, instead of innovating.
post #15 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

Jobs was brilliant in making money. Making it seem that he had other motifs was just another side of his genius.

If Steve J had truly wanted to go thermonuclear on Google then I believe that Apple should have bought Motorola. I had been saying that for a long time prior to the Google announcement. Then Apple could have skipped the courts and just put a heavy price on every Android phone made. If Apple had bought Motorola it would have just enforced what they already had, for Google it's a matter of survival.

I also said at the time of Google's buyout announcement that there is always a chance that this could go really bad for Apple. I'm still not convinced that it won't.
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post #16 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Apple has GOT to stop filing these frivolous patent suits. It is unseemly, and is bad fot theri reputation.

They are getting known as sue-happy, and it looks like they use illegitimate means to compete, instead of innovating.


Quote:
Originally Posted by markbyrn View Post

What exactly has Apple gained from the Steve Jobs nuclear litigation strategy?

Sending a clear message. Often, that's plenty. And it pays dividends.

With Apple's consumer base and mindshare, it certainly won't affect their sales. This is smart strategy by Apple. They have nothing substantial to lose here. For the past year we've learned a few important things about Apple litigation.

1) They have not had any injunctions worth anything placed against them, and whatever did get through, they sidestepped with relative ease (as we've seen, on the same day), while forcing a competitor to redesign their product.

2) Even when Apple was on the losing end of patent litigation, the cost to their sales was zero. They went on to enjoy record quarters. Consumers barely know about patent litigation, nor would they really care even if they did.

3) Apple is not afraid to test the legal waters, with a ridiculous amount of resources behind them.

The effect to the competition? It can vary, and they certainly have more at stake and more to lose than Apple. Google especially, given their tenuous patent position. Samsung might be ale to go toe-to-toe with Apple, though they've already demonstrated serious legal ineptitude.

Motorola is another example, though they're a lame duck anyway.

Quote:

http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/201...tigation-costs

Motorola Mobility’s Preliminary Sales Trail Estimates on Litigation Costs

Motorola Mobility Inc. (MMI), the phone maker that agreed to be bought by Google (GOOG) Inc., reported preliminary fourth-quarter sales that trailed analysts’ estimates, citing mounting competition and higher legal costs.

Sales were probably little changed at $3.4 billion in the period, Libertyville, Illinois-based Motorola Mobility said in a statement today. Bloomberg analysts had forecast revenue of $4 billion. Motorola, which recently won a German patent ruling against Apple Inc. (AAPL), cited higher costs from intellectual property litigation and an “increased competitive environment” in the mobile-device market in the quarter.

The handset maker said it shipped about 10.5 million devices during the period, of which more than half were smartphones.

The company said it expects to complete its transaction with Mountain View, California-based Google early this year. Motorola fell 0.4 percent to $38.30 in extended trading, after closing at $38.46. The shares rose (MMI) 33 percent last year. The company plans to report earnings on Jan. 26.
post #17 of 61
And the pendulum swings again. I can't see anyone scoring a total home run in this patent war. Everyone should put their iPeckers and DroidPeckers back in their pants and negotiate peacefully rather than pissfully.
post #18 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

In any event, the logic here is bogus.
1. "It was only a modest infringement, so it's OK"
and
2. "Apple has lots of money, so they don't deserve patent protection"

i think you forgot:
"The six-member commission... had finished a partial review of the case's initial determination..."

what's with the partial review shit?
post #19 of 61
done...another wast of time ends with no benefit. Apple just needs to let this stupidity go.
post #20 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by agramonte View Post

done...another wast of time ends with no benefit. Apple just needs to let this stupidity go.

Yeah, don't bother defending and protecting your stuff at all. That's pointless.

On an unrelated note, have you ever created anything? I'm in the market for ripping things off wholesale, and I'd like to get a jump on the proper stuff.

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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #21 of 61
I like it better when Slash Lane or DED writes these things. Instead of dry legal facts, he'll use terms like "war", "battle", and "troops"
</sarcasm-mode>

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #22 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by mac_dog View Post

i think you forgot:
"The six-member commission... had finished a partial review of the case's initial determination..."

what's with the partial review shit?

Likely a partial review was all that was necessary to determind that Apple had no case.

Either that, or they just reviewed the parts that Apple had appealed, rather than the stuff that apple thought had been properly decided.

If I were a betting man, I'd wager on the second.
post #23 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Yeah, don't bother defending and protecting your stuff at all. That's pointless.

He never said anything like that. That is black and white thinking - all or nothing. I think you brought that defective technique to the table, and not him.

How about "Pick your battles" instead? How about defend the stuff that is appropriate, and NOT go on wild goose chases where the result is likely to be negative? How about doing what is right, and NOT doing what is wrong?

There is no need for a shotgun "kill anything that moves" approach. Apple needs to take aim on reasonable targets, and keep it in their pants when the target is not reasonable.
post #24 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Yeah, don't bother defending and protecting your stuff at all. That's pointless.

On an unrelated note, have you ever created anything? I'm in the market for ripping things off wholesale, and I'd like to get a jump on the proper stuff.

Well, Google needs no protection from the forces of the market; it is the largest provider of online searches and makes billions of dollars. Plus they don't think it's bad when companies like themselves get their IP stolen. Why don't you steal their search algorithms?
post #25 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I like it better when Slash Lane or DED writes these things. Instead of dry legal facts, he'll use terms like "war", "battle", and "troops"
</sarcasm-mode>

Hehe
post #26 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


How about "Pick your battles" instead? How about defend the stuff that is appropriate, and NOT go on wild goose chases where the result is likely to be negative? How about doing what is right, and NOT doing what is wrong?

There is no need for a shotgun "kill anything that moves" approach. Apple needs to take aim on reasonable targets, and keep it in their pants when the target is not reasonable.

This is the most laughable post ever .... Coming from a poster who, more often than not, spouts the most negative and most often, inaccurate posts anytime the word Aple is mentioned in a story. listen, can you hear that? I think your Mommy is calling you for dinner. You should "practice what you preach" .
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See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
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post #27 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Well, Google needs no protection from the forces of the market; it is the largest provider of online searches and makes billions of dollars. Plus they don't think it's bad when companies like themselves get their IP stolen. Why don't you steal their search algorithms?

Actually Google doesn't really much care. They give away 99% of their stuff for free. And even with all of the patents they they have and those that they acquired from IBM etc, I have still yet to see them assert any aggressiveness over rival search makers.

I'm not saying thats how every company should be. Cause me myself, if I make a product and I think someone is infringing, then yes, I WILL use legal ways of trying to stop them. However, I must say, I will not patent things that I find trivial. My product is a rectangle, if someone else's is a rectangle, then so what? What right do I have over a black rectangle?

Something like multi-touch though. If i did indeed invent it with no prior art, I would defend the hell out of that.

But that's just my opinion.
post #28 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


How about "Pick your battles" instead? How about defend the stuff that is appropriate, and NOT go on wild goose chases where the result is likely to be negative?

Irrelevant. Apple does it because they CAN. For every "negative" result (all of which have had minimal impact) the potential positive result could be (and has been) quite substantial..

The more Apple flexes their legal muscle, the more other companies might think twice before stepping into the ring with them, and the more it may frustrate them - strategically and financially, such as we have seen with Motorola and their lousy outlook based on pressure from litigation with Apple.

When you are in Apple's position (especially given the industry's proclivity for ripping off all things Apple), it wold be stupid NOT to wade into the legal waters. It's all about consolidating their market position and forcing everyone to clarify their positions regarding patents and who owns and has rights to what.
post #29 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


When you are in Apple's position (especially given the industry's proclivity for ripping off all things Apple), it wold be stupid NOT to wade into the legal waters. It's all about consolidating their market position and forcing everyone to clarify their positions regarding patents and who owns and has rights to what.

Some might call that abuse of market power.

I stand by me previous statements.
post #30 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Some might call that abuse of market power.

I stand by me previous statements.

I call it putting everyone's patent claims and patent positions to the test.

Your statements don't fit with reality.
post #31 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Blah, blah, blah

Zither Zather Zuzz has GOT to stop posting these dumb ass comments (though it does show that he/she really is a dumb ass).
Quote:
How about "Pick your battles" instead? How about defend the stuff that is appropriate, and NOT go on wild goose chases where the result is likely to be negative?

Why even file patents if you are not going to defend them?
(from wikipedia)
Definition
"The term patent usually refers to an exclusive right granted to anyone who invents any new, useful, and non-obvious process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, and claims that right in a formal patent application. "
post #32 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by markbyrn View Post

What exactly has Apple gained from the Steve Jobs nuclear litigation strategy? Miscellaneous positive and negative ruling with counter-suits in various jurisdictions around the world resulting in a rather expensive stalemate. I would hope that Mr Cook and company would take a more rational view, and cut some deals with the big companies ala Google, Samsung, etc. Use the legal budget to defend against the never ending stream of patent trolls such Proview and sue those who make obviously copies of their products that any lay non-tech person (to include the Judges that make rulings) will readily understand, ala Pystar. If somebody starts making knock-off iPhones that run iOS, you probably have a good case.

The problem is here is that your thinking too short term, Apple is not in this for the quick decision there in it for the long haul. They have already had some decisions go there way and the copyists have had to change there devices, which really is what apple wants. The bounce feature at the end of pages for apple devices and the scrolling of picture content in photos. These features and a ton more are what differentiate apple products from the competition. If they don't vigorously defend those they just become another smart phone in a sea of vanilla phones. Steve Jobs said that when he came back to apple he and apple learned the lesson that if you sit and watch the world slowly copy your ip and do nothing pretty soon your products are vanilla too. He said that he would never let that happen again. He ingrained it into apples culture so well that they will not let that happen either and they have the money to do something about it.
post #33 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Some might call that abuse of market power.

I stand by me previous statements.

Who would call it that? Patents are legal monopolies.

Abusing market power involves leveraging your dominant market share in one market to enter another market and harm competition. Like what Microsoft did with IE and what Google may be doing with Google+.
post #34 of 61
So what happens now?

Back to square 1?

Winners: Lawyers laughing their asses off to the bank.

"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 #35 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Apple has GOT to stop filing these frivolous patent suits. It is unseemly, and is bad fot theri reputation.

They are getting known as sue-happy, and it looks like they use illegitimate means to compete, instead of innovating.

Apple isn't suing more or less than every company with IP. It just seems like it because the blogs didn't get the same hits from articles that don't mention Apple. And since hits are how they make money, they don't waste space on things that don't get hits

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #36 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Apple isn't suing more or less than every company with IP. It just seems like it because the blogs didn't get the same hits from articles that don't mention Apple. And since hits are how they make money, they don't waste space on things that don't get hits

It's a double edge sword aint it?

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

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post #37 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

Oh well... Apple has plenty of other patents to clobber Googorola.

Motorola is essentially a dead $12 billion company being used as an ineffective patent weapon.
What a waste...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

When everything else fails, at least we'll have denial.



It's sad that both sides are burning away so much resources into a patent war that's leading nowhere.
post #38 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

Who would call it that? Patents are legal monopolies.

Abusing market power involves leveraging your dominant market share in one market to enter another market and harm competition. Like what Microsoft did with IE and what Google may be doing with Google+.


Not really. You're referring to tying arrangements, which doesn't exist in Google's case. It's difficult to prove a this specific tying arrangement is illegal even if we were to call it one. Google isn't forcing people using Google to use Google+.
post #39 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Irrelevant. Apple does it because they CAN. For every "negative" result (all of which have had minimal impact) the potential positive result could be (and has been) quite substantial..

The more Apple flexes their legal muscle, the more other companies might think twice before stepping into the ring with them, and the more it may frustrate them - strategically and financially, such as we have seen with Motorola and their lousy outlook based on pressure from litigation with Apple.


Hate to break it to ya, but you're relying far too much on speculative benefits to Apple to reach your conclusions. The truth is there's no sign Android licensees are backing off. If sales numbers show anything, they've just gotten more aggressive. The lousy outlook, if there even is one, is not the result of lawsuits. I think you're seriously confusing cause and effect.


Quote:
When you are in Apple's position (especially given the industry's proclivity for ripping off all things Apple), it wold be stupid NOT to wade into the legal waters. It's all about consolidating their market position and forcing everyone to clarify their positions regarding patents and who owns and has rights to what.


Again, you're going off unproven assumptions to reach your conclusions.


Oh, if only patent law were such a simple field. Then again, who am I to question? Tons of teeny boppers on Apple Insider have suddenly declared themselves to be MBAs and patent lawyers.

post #40 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack99 View Post

Again, you're going off unproven assumptions to reach your conclusions.

Oh, if only patent law were such a simple field. Then again, who am I to question? Tons of teeny boppers on Apple Insider have suddenly declared themselves to be MBAs and patent lawyers.


Hey Insider members... what would you call these statements? Is this irony or is this just a pot kettle situation? Is there any other name for it?
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