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Apple ordered to pay Samsung legal fees for 'misleading' UK notice - Page 3

post #81 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slang4Art View Post

 

You may philosophically disagree with me, but again, I'd like to see you take your own advice and demonstrate why I should even bother to explain myself to you, given the utter lack of respect you've shown here today. Even if my understanding of the case is ignorant, you should remember that my only intent today was to give users an avenue to express their dissatisfaction with the rulings. Why that perturbs you to such an extent is beyond me, but all of the pompous chest beating in the world isn't going to sway me in the least.

Good to see that you've at minimum taken a cursory glance at the court's reasoning. So I'm wrong. You have put some thought into it. 

 

My apologies

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post #82 of 118

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


I'm still not clear on the intent they keep talking about. They have said on numerous occasions that the case is not about the iPad, it is about the patent, which doesn't look like the iPad but why force Apple to advertise about that?
What exactly is the point in making it clear to the public that Samsung hasn't infringed on a design patent that looks nothing like the iPad and that the public have not been aware of? It seems clear to me that they are trying to create a damaging impression that Samsung hasn't wilfully copied the iPad design. The media is not restricting their reporting to be about the patent:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/oct/18/samsung-galaxy-tab-apple-ipad
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18895384
http://www.itv.com/news/update/2012-10-26/apple-website-publishes-samsung-did-not-copy-ipad-statement/
The headlines are:
"Samsung Galaxy Tab 'does not copy Apple's iPad designs'"
"Apple ordered to run Samsung 'did not copy iPad' adverts"
"Apple website publishes 'Samsung did not copy iPad' statement"
That's not what the court case decided and it looks like these headlines are the true intent of the ruling, which is false and damaging. Apple has tried to create the impression that Samsung copied the iPad, which Samsung did. Anybody can see that. At no point did Apple try to convince the public that Samsung copied the patent so the public were under no false impression about the patent so the advertisements are not justified.
If it's possible to do, Apple should take action against these judges because they haven't justified their reasons for forcing the advertisements. They haven't at any point in time shown that the public were even aware of this patent let alone confused by it. Either these judges are taking it personally or want the publicity but it's distasteful that Apple is made to suffer for it despite being the victim here.
I'd like to see a company do the same to Samsung. C'mon Amazon, just call the Kindle Fire the Kindle Galaxy and design it exactly the same except for the back and undercut them in price. Then we'll see who innovates instead of litigates.
At the very least, Apple should ask the court 2 simple questions:
1. What was the intent of the ruling?
The answer will be that it was to clarify to the public that Samsung doesn't infringe on their patent. So then they should ask:
2. What evidence is there to suggest that the public at large was aware of the patent and confused about whether or not Samsung's product infringed on it?
There is no evidence for this and Apple never advertised the patent so this will show they had no justification for the ruling. Then they can hopefully take action against them.

 

Marvin,

 

Your repeated use of the word patent suggests you haven't read the rulings. It is actually a 'community design registration' which is different to a patent. There is no "iPad patent" as far as I know. The rulings are worth the time it takes to read, as are post #15, post #22 on here and there is a really clear post in timeline format on Mac Rumors (floating like a beacon amidst a sea of trolls)…
 
Your 2 questions become irrelevant when you consider Apple had been publicly making statements that said Samsung's devices were infringing Apple's intellectual property. The case was instigated by Samsung to stop Apple doing this. Apple have been spreading the idea that Samsung's products could be pulled from the market any day & may in fact be illegal clones /ripoffs (as happened in Germany, but not for the registered community design discussed in this case).
 
Apple could try taking even more action against this court decision but since this is judgement is effective across the entire European Union it could face having it's products banned from sale (or other sanctions) across a region that makes up a significant part of it's income. I think the UK alone is 2nd or 3rd in profit by country.
(An aside: this is part of the reason Apples 'double Dutch with an Irish sandwich' Tax dodging scheme bugs me).
 
Samsung won this case back in June, Apple appealed & lost and continued to make public statements claiming Samsung had copied & infringed their IP, despite losing the case which was intended to clarify that Samsung didn't infringe Apple's IP. The court brought Apple back in after Samsung raised the matter again. 
 
Apple was then ordered to put the notification of the ruling on it's site & pay to advertise in the UK press with the intent of clarifying Samsung haven't been found to infringe the community design. The ruling on the 9/11/12 breaks down the issue concisely, Apple put up 5 paragraphs of text linked from the homepage, parts of the text was from the court but the majority was composed by Apple from the judges comments & other patent disputes around the world. Apple added the irrelevant nonsense about the iPad patent victory in the US & the ban on Galaxies in Germany, it was never in the court's intent to include the iPad - The iPad was not part of this court case. The additions to the notification by Apple were later found to contain 'false innuendo', be 'misleading by omission' and was 'calculated to produce huge confusion'. 
Your post makes it clear Apples last tactic worked incredibly well :^)
Maybe the Reality Distortion Field is back from beyond the grave, Apple are still bending facts to convey their own version of events …hmm I miss Steve. 
 
With regard to the press releases you cited. The media have got things wrong too, it's hardly surprising when you step back & look at all the spin that has been added to this case - it was NEVER about the iPad or about patents, even Apple knew the iPad design wasn't close enough to the registered community design, I don't think they used any iPad as evidence in this case (the June or October court notes will indicate if I'm recalling correctly).
 
Back in June Apple could have simply said 'we disagree and will appeal the ruling and pursue the intellectual property issues with other cases', instead it kept digging a hole by making the same 'Samsung copied us' statements. 
 
Apple are now being penalised (costs with indemnity) because they have effectively wasted the court time by not following the instructions, being slow to release the newspaper/ magazine advertisements and continuing to spread F.U.D. about Samsung's products. They made a mockery of the courts intent with the notification, added childish javascript to push the notification off the bottom of the homepage (this doesn't seem to be mentioned in the judgement so maybe it was to hide it for a few hours after the change). Apple claimed that it would take 14 days to change the notification text on the server, the judges gave them 48 hours or Apple could bring in a 'note from mom' explaining why it was so hard to make the change. The judge even pointed out Apples lack of integrity in dealing with this issue. 
 
It is difficult to understand the case until you start to consider that Apple actually have been manipulative, devious and downright childish.
It is very easy to see design similarities between Apple & Samsung devices, but actually proving that in a court is another matter. 
 
 
If you are a moderator you should at least have an understanding of the case, sometimes people who sound like rabid Apple haters are actually sane and telling the truth :)
post #83 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droid 
Your repeated use of the word patent suggests you haven't read the rulings. It is actually a 'community design registration' which is different to a patent.

It's commonly referred to as a design patent, even in the ruling:

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/1882.html

I just shortened it to 'patent'. I don't think it changes things using one term or the other.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droid 
Apple appealed & lost and continued to make public statements claiming Samsung had copied & infringed their IP

And rightly so because Samsung have been found guilty of it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droid 
Apple added the irrelevant nonsense about the iPad patent victory in the US & the ban on Galaxies in Germany, it was never in the court's intent to include the iPad - The iPad was not part of this court case.

With regard to the press releases you cited. The media have got things wrong too, it's hardly surprising when you step back & look at all the spin that has been added to this case - it was NEVER about the iPad or about patents, even Apple knew the iPad design wasn't close enough to the registered community design, I don't think they used any iPad as evidence in this case (the June or October court notes will indicate if I'm recalling correctly).
 
The iPad has been brought into the case:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/jul/09/samsung-apple-cool-ipad-tablet

That's why it's confusing when they are now claiming it has nothing to do with the iPad.

- if it's not about the iPad, why was it compared to the Galaxy Tab and why does there need to be a clarification to the public about the design patent when Apple claims the iPad is being copied?
- if it is about the iPad, there's no justification for the advertising because that court case didn't find that Samsung didn't copy the iPad, it only found it didn't infringe on the design patent.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droid 
It is difficult to understand the case until you start to consider that Apple actually have been manipulative, devious and downright childish.
It is very easy to see design similarities between Apple & Samsung devices, but actually proving that in a court is another matter.

In a US court, documents were found showing that Samsung had painstakingly gone through every detail in Apple's products with the intention of modifying their products to liken them to Apple's.

You can say Apple is being manipulative, devious and childish but in making the ruling, the judges have been too. They are forcing Apple to advertise about the design patent but knew exactly how it would be received by the press who have gone beyond that to claim the Galaxy Tab doesn't copy the iPad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droid 
sometimes people who sound like rabid Apple haters are actually sane and telling the truth 1smile.gif

I agree and accurate information is welcome no matter which side it supports.
post #84 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droid View Post

Marvin,

Your repeated use of the word patent suggests you haven't read the rulings...

(remainder of rant)
 

You truly aren't the droid we're looking for.
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post #85 of 118

Sorry this forum tool is a pain to do the quoting, especially from other sites… hopefully this is clear.

 

Point 8 of the original court hearing.

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/1882.html

 

"Apple did not contend that either of its famous iPad products should be used as concrete examples of the Apple design. Neither the original iPad nor the iPad 2 are identical to the design. Whether either of them is or is not within the scope of protection would be a matter of debate. To use either as an example of the Apple design would be to beg the question of the true scope of Apple's rights."

 

Apple were not in court to talk about the iPad & it wasn't used as evidence, but when they left court they were still saying Samsung copied their design for the iPad, which was in opposition to the verdict. Apple could have said Samsung infringed other IP at this time.

 

The appeal also clarifies this in points 3 & 4

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/1339.html

 

"Because this case (and parallel cases in other countries) has generated much publicity, it will avoid confusion to say what this case is about and not about. It is not about whether Samsung copied Apple's iPad. Infringement of a registered design does not involve any question of whether there was copying: the issue is simply whether the accused design is too close to the registered design according to the tests laid down in the law. Whether or not Apple could have sued in England and Wales for copying is utterly irrelevant to this case. If they could, they did not. Likewise there is no issue about infringement of any patent for an invention."

 

"So this case is all about, and only about, Apple's registered design and the Samsung products. The registered design is not the same as the design of the iPad. It is quite a lot different. For instance the iPad is a lot thinner, and has noticeably different curves on its sides. There may be other differences - even though I own one, I have not made a detailed comparison. Whether the iPad would fall within the scope of protection of the registered design is completely irrelevant. We are not deciding that one way or the other. This case must be decided as if the iPad never existed."

 

 

Read points 23 & 24 of the final ruling discussing Apple's first statement version on Apples site…

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/1430.html

 

"The second sentence reads:

A U.S. jury also found Samsung guilty of infringing on Apple's design and utility patents, awarding over one billion U.S. dollars in damages to Apple Inc.

That is misleading by omission. For the US jury specifically rejected Apple's claim that the US design patent corresponding to the Community Design in issue here was infringed. The average reader would think that the UK decision was at odds with that in the US. Far from that being so, it was in accordance with it. "

 

"The third sentence reads:

So while the U.K. court did not find Samsung guilty of infringement, other courts have recognized that in the course of creating its Galaxy tablet, Samsung wilfully copied Apple's far more popular iPad.

This is calculated to produce huge confusion. The false innuendo is that the UK court came to a different conclusion about copying, which is not true for the UK court did not form any view about copying. There is a further false innuendo that the UK court's decision is at odds with decisions in other countries whereas that is simply not true."

 

The 'design patent' aka 'registered community design' was also lost by Apple in the states, but they did win with the other patent issues, so you are incorrect stating… 

Quote:

 

Originally Posted by Marvin 

And rightly so because Samsung have been found guilty of it.

 

Samsung have been found guilty of OTHER infringements, but not this design patent.

 

Points 17 & 20 of the same document highlights that the registered design was not like the iPad, Apple were defending the images in Annex A

of the October hearing.

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/1339.html

The design looks remarkably like a ModBookPro to my eyes.

 

The requirement to display the statement is not an advertisement as you say. It is just a statement of fact the current page on http://www.apple.com/uk/legal-judgement isn't an advertisement, Apple is simply being forced to display that the case happened & to acknowledge the fact that there is no injunction in the EU for that registered community design.

Apple could have opted to announce the statement on the news or display it in various UK based magazines & newspapers. It is intended to remove the doubt that Apple have been sowing by making consumers think Samsung's product could disappear soon. The UK & EU law doesn't agree.

 

The Guardian are usually accurate (unless you ask where Tel Aviv is - see Wikipedia :^) ) but since no media reports have clarified that the case is not actually about the iPad, but about a drawing that looks a bit like an iPad I'm having a hard time believing them. There reporting does not tie in well with the court records. 

Primary, secondary, tertiary… who you gonna believe?

 

I suspect this won't convince you anyway, but I'm weirdly fascinated by this car crash of a case. It could have been over several months ago, it makes me wonder if the Apple board overruled the lawyers & took too much control from the people who new how to handle it.

The lawyers would understand the EU courts mean business when the same court has the power to stop companies selling products? Apple just took so long to realise that one fact, which is why the website & press statement looks like it is forcing someone to wear a dunces cap. They were really left with not many other options, when Apple got that statement wrong though they get handed the bill as well. 

 

post #86 of 118
I thought it was normal practice for the looser of a law suite to pay for all legal fees. Hmm maybe that's just the US. I just want this silly thing to be over.
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post #87 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droid 
Apple were not in court to talk about the iPad & it wasn't used as evidence, but when they left court they were still saying Samsung copied their design for the iPad, which was in opposition to the verdict.

How could saying that Samsung copied the iPad oppose the verdict when the case had nothing to do with the iPad? Unless it really did and the judges are lying about it to cover their true motives.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droid 
"the US jury specifically rejected Apple's claim that the US design patent corresponding to the Community Design in issue here was infringed. The average reader would think that the UK decision was at odds with that in the US. Far from that being so, it was in accordance with it."

I can partly agree with this as Apple didn't specify that it was 'other patents' but nothing they put in their original statement was false and no more misleading to the public than what the court forced Apple to do. The public has been led to believe that the Galaxy products don't infringe on the iPad at all, which is not the case.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droid 
"the UK court did not form any view about copying."

This is another lie, there's a huge document online showing that the UK court has formed a detailed opinion about the iPad vs the Galaxy products:

http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/samsung-apple.pdf
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droid 
The requirement to display the statement is not an advertisement as you say.

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/11/revised-apple-statement-on-ipad-copying-appears-in-uk-papers/
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droid 
it makes me wonder if the Apple board overruled the lawyers & took too much control from the people who new how to handle it.

Their marketing department must have been involved at some point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droid 
I suspect this won't convince you anyway

I think the judges made an unfair verdict and Apple responded in kind. Samsung has been found guilty of infringing Apple's products and Apple is not giving up making the public aware of this. The UK court wanted to deceive the public into thinking that only a US court could find Samsung guilty by forcing Apple to publish a misleading statement about a design patent the public at large weren't aware of that doesn't look like the iPad.

Google even thought Samsung was ripping off Apple:

http://bgr.com/2012/08/16/apple-samsung-patent-trial-ipad-copy-google/
post #88 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

This is another lie, there's a huge document online showing that the UK court has formed a detailed opinion about the iPad vs the Galaxy products:
http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/samsung-apple.pdf

I think you're confused.  That document does not compare the iPad and Tab at all, only the Tab and the community design in question.  In fact, the word "iPad" only appears 5 times in the document and that isn't to compare it with the Tab.

Quote:
Apple did not contend that either of its famous iPad products should be used as concrete examples of the Apple design. Neither the original iPad nor the iPad 2 are identical to the design. Whether either of them is or is not within the scope of protection would be a matter of debate. To use either as an example of the Apple design would be to beg the question of the true scope of Apple’s rights.

 

Quote:
A designer wishing to make a thinner product has to choose to put fewer components inside the casing but that is another example of the trade off between function and aesthetics. A designer could choose to trade lower functionality (say shorter battery life) for aesthetics (say a thinner device). I imagine it would have been practically impossible to build a device as powerful as the Galaxy tablets in 2004 with the same profile but that is a function of the capabilities of the particular tablet devices. The design corpus is not limited to powerful tablet computers with all the functions of a Galaxy tablet or an iPad. In 2004 the design corpus included designs which are thicker than or the same thickness as the Apple design and some which are even thinner, including item 35, the AIPTEK tablet.

 

Quote:
Even if the designer wishes to give the display the ability to turn from landscape to portrait format or vice versa, there is no need to avoid orientation features on the front. Samsung submitted that the TC1000 had this capability. Assuming it does, albeit in a slower and less elegant manner than the Galaxy tablets (or the iPad for that matter), it shows an example of a device with that change of format capability but also has detailing on the front which distinguishes landscape from portrait orientation such as the brand name (Compaq) and other indicators.

 

So three of the occurrences are stating Apple did not contend the iPad should be used as an example of the design.  The other two occurrences are used as general reference to tablets.  Not once is the iPad compared with the Tab.

post #89 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post
How could saying that Samsung copied the iPad oppose the verdict when the case had nothing to do with the iPad? Unless it really did and the judges are lying about it to cover their true motives.

 

This community patent is Samsung's best guess for the 'IP' that Apple will use against them to claim 'copying of the iPad'.

Part of a pre-emptive strike chosen somewhere they think they can stand to make their case. It is also a jurisdiction that Apple basically slandered Samsung with the copying illegally accusations.

 

Apple had used this design patent in the US (& lost that part of the case). The German case may have included it too, ultimatley in Germany it wasn't the design patent that caused the injunction on Samsung.

 

The court here found Samsung to not infringe this community design, the court has no other IP to consider, in their eyes this proves Apple's IP is not strong enough to say the Samsung designs infringe. If Samsung don't infringe the community design & this is the best IP Apple have it's apparent that Samsung can't be proven to infringe. 

 

The documents also attempt to point out that copying is not the same as infringing a community patent.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marvin View Post
This is another lie, there's a huge document online showing that the UK court has formed a detailed opinion about the iPad vs the Galaxy products:
http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/samsung-apple.pdf
 

The document … 

http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/samsung-apple.pdf

 

Is the from the first court case IIRC & the word 'copy' appears 3 times, once in an irrelevant reference to a spanish case, point 114 (not relevant to the idea of S copying A) & twice in this part.

 

Point 59

"Finally it bears recording that it was common ground before me that copying is irrelevant to the issue of infringement of a Community registered design. Samsung submitted and Apple did not disagree that considering whether a product was produced by copying an article made to the registered design was irrelevant."

 

Hardly damming proof that Apple have been copied by Samsung, huh Marvin? Seems like the judge is saying both parties agreed the case wasn't about copying? Do you still think I'm lying?

 

The later documents go on to explain how the publicity surrounding the various cases is muddying the water, e.g. spreading mode FUD about Samsung illegally copying Apple's iPad. It leads to the judges being more & more emphatic about the case not being about copying the iPad.

 

The court ordered display of the statement in a newspaper is technically 'an advertisement' (that is what buying space in a printed publication is called), but is is not an 'advert for Samsung' & it is is not an 'apology from Apple to Samsung'. It is simply informing the public that Apple acknowledges this case & ruling. It's just pointless semantics to really argue about it. The word ADVERTISEMENT is displayed in some UK press adverts to prevent companies placing adverts that look like newspaper articles and creating the impression that the paper supports that product.

 

The original problem that got Apple into this case was telling everyone that Samsung illegally copied the iPad. Creating FUD around another competitors products doesn't stand in the European Community.

 

Apple should put up (the damming evidence & the huge list of copied patents/ designs etc) or shut up (eventually the court attempted to make Apple look foolish because it wouldn't stop spreading FUD that contradicts this ruling).

 

The judges also said that Apple can continue to spout their opinions elsewhere (and risk libel cases etc), but on the statement page is not the correct place, hence the legal fees on an indemnity basis.

 

The overall community design that Apple has doesn't hold up in court in this instance. If they have 'Patented the heck out of the iPad' that is great - win the legal cases first, reap the damages money & then start the badmouth campaign.

 

As for Google's opinion, perhaps they should try Apple, maybe they will come up with a more favourable verdict? 

 

This war isn't over by a long stretch, I have to wonder how getting 6 top intellectual property judges to question your integrity is a win for Apple, surely they intend to bring other cases in the EU, which will involve the judges reading the case history. Perhaps future cases will leave Apple with no leeway to comply with the decision.

 

 

p.s.

I think I'm coming down with a cold, ugh  :^( it's been fun anyway.

post #90 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yojimbo007 View Post

This judge is on a mission to make a name for himslf... But the fact that he can get away with these kinds of calls. Is mindbogglening and absured.

This is just one of a series of abusive and denigrating statements by people who know next to nothing about either the law or the case or the judge.

 

I do find it telling that so many people resort to invictive and name-calling.

 

For one thing, Robin Jacob is one of the most distinguished judges in the UK and without doubt the foremost authority on IP law. He is a recognized international expert and a member of the IP Hall of Fame.

 

He stands so far above the mob here that he would need a telescope to see you :-).

 

Actually it is somewhat surprising that he even agreed to adjudicate on this matter, which is so utterly trivial that it is rather a waste of the time of the court.

 

BTW: "Is mindbogglening and absured" speaks volumes to your level of literacy.

 

It is a sorry statement on the quality of this forum.

post #91 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by reefoid 
That document does not compare the iPad and Tab at all, only the Tab and the community design in question.

Except when he says things like:

"Overall it has undecorated flat surfaces with a plate of glass on the front all the way out to a very thin rim"

you'd have to assume he can tell from the drawing that it has a plate glass surface and not plastic, it doesn't mention what it's made of. There's always the hint he is referencing the product and not the drawing. You're right though it does say 'Apple design' throughout and that was intended to mean the design in the drawing, not the design of the product. That was misinterpreted by almost every news publication:

http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/09/uk-judge-says-galaxy-tab-not-as-cool-as-ipad-awards-samsung-w/

The headline should really be that the Galaxy Tab wasn't as cool as Apple's drawing, which makes no sense at all as it's a drawing. It's bad enough that the iPad is cooler but Apple's line art? Geez, get it together Samsung.

It also still doesn't explain why they have to advertise about the patent trial verdict when the public was never under the impression that Samsung copied the patent and not the iPad. The public was always under the impression Samsung copied the iPad. The judge said clearly he didn't think the drawing represented the iPad so they didn't in any way prove Samsing didn't copy the iPad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droid 
It is also a jurisdiction that Apple basically slandered Samsung with the copying illegally accusations.

Except they didn't because they didn't contradict the verdict. Samsung has been found guilty of infringing Apple's patents. Are we forgetting the small matter of the $1b fine? This isn't going to be thrown out for juror misconduct as much as I'm certain you and others think it will be.

Facts:
- Samsung has been found guilty of infringing on some of Apple's patents and fined $1b
- Samsung has been found not guilty of infringing a design that doesn't look like the iPad

Conclusion:
- Samsung copied the iPad
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droid 
Seems like the judge is saying both parties agreed the case wasn't about copying?

That's right but the case wasn't about the iPad either so what does that prove?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
For one thing, Robin Jacob is one of the most distinguished judges in the UK and without doubt the foremost authority on IP law. He is a recognized international expert and a member of the IP Hall of Fame.

That's fine and I agree with the verdict that Samsung's tablet doesn't look like the drawing and neither does the iPad. I think the decision to force Apple to make a public statement was underhanded, unnecessary and deliberately misleading to the public who have been led to believe that Samsung hasn't copied the iPad as comments in this thread have shown. Having a good track record doesn't excuse people from being held accountable for bad decisions.
post #92 of 118

See http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/2049.html

Point 13 seems to be where the need for the statement on Apple's site & in the press solidifys.

 

Mr. Hely publicly made another statement saying Samsung copied Apple AFTER this case had been decided.

Quote: Mr. Hely 
"It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad. This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we've said many times before, we need to protect Apple's intellectual property."

 

 

It's common practice in these cases of infringement for the infringer to be required to publicly confirm they infringed. The converse is also true, as the judge goes on to rationalise why Samsung are correct - Apple should post the statement to confirm they didn't infringe.
Points14-30 Samsung wanted an injunction too, but the judge didn't think it was appropriate, 'gagging orders' rarely go well for courts.
 
Point 40 
Apple's lawyer doesn't disagree that the court has the right to force a 'non-infringement' to advertise the decision.
 
Point 46 seems key to the need for the statement.
Overly simplified by me: The more loudly Apple said Samsung copied in public the more need for the statement to clarify. Hely's statement was after Apple had lost this case.
 
That is why I say Apple were 'basically slandering' - it has nothing to do with the remarks about the US case Apple added to the contested statement. Apple contradicted the court's outcome by continuing to tell the press Samsung copied before the statement was posted.
 
I have no idea if the $1bn will stand or fall on the basis of Velvin Hogan's behaviour, but according to point 23 of the November case (where the Apple additions to the statement were heard).
 
Quote:
For the US jury specifically rejected Apple's claim that the US design patent corresponding to the Community Design in issue here was infringed. The average reader would think that the UK decision was at odds with that in the US. Far from that being so, it was in accordance with it.
 
This design patent ultimately has failed everywhere Apple have used it in court.
Perhaps Apple have been holding back the 'really damning designs' or the patents that Samsung infringes because this 2004 "rectangular, biaxially symmetrical slab with four evenly, slightly rounded corners" is not an iPad or a Galaxy Tab.
post #93 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droid 
Point 46 seems key to the need for the statement.
Overly simplified by me: The more loudly Apple said Samsung copied in public the more need for the statement to clarify. Hely's statement was after Apple had lost this case.

That's fair enough but Apple hasn't in the past actively advertised to the public that Samsung is a plagiarising mofo. They sued them, which they are entitled to do. The press is doing the rest.

The court decided to get their own back on Apple by making it clear they'd lost the case and make it seem that Samsung hadn't copied the iPad - there's been no clarification required by the court to inform the public that the case does NOT mean that Samsung hasn't copied the iPad. The clarification is that Apple lost the case, which the public already believe is about the iPad when they should be aware that Samsung's product is nothing like the drawing, which is irrelevant because the public doesn't care about the drawing.

By forcing Apple to declare it on their website is tantamount to forcing them to admit their legal action is unjustified in the eyes of the public. Except, they've got a 1 billion reasons coming as to why it ain't and Apple just tried to let the public know that and I think they were right to do it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droid 
This design patent ultimately has failed everywhere Apple have used it in court.
Perhaps Apple have been holding back the 'really damning designs' or the patents that Samsung infringes because this 2004 "rectangular, biaxially symmetrical slab with four evenly, slightly rounded corners" is not an iPad or a Galaxy Tab.

Yeah, they got one recently:

http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/16/apple-granted-new-patent-for-original-ipad-design/



There are some elements that differ between the Tab but that looks a hell of a lot closer than the other one.

I'm not sure if I'd like to see them pursue it though. On the one hand, I feel like they've been treated badly by the non-US courts. On the other hand, all this legal stuff is really dull and having to prepare for court appearances and things must affect senior staff. At this point in time, the Galaxy S3 is a unique enough design IMO. The Galaxy Tab is selling poorly so not a big threat. Android is a bit of a rip-off but I still like it that it's Google/Unix/Open Standards and not a worse alternative.

The public can see the copying happening and how each company feels and can make their buying decisions. I don't think it requires a strong offensive from either side any more. I'd even be inclined to suggest that Apple offers (on condition of toning down the legal action) that Samsung doesn't pay them $1b and rather gives them a reduced rate on their components ($5 per chip on 200 million iPhones) and in return, they will conitnue to use them as a supplier. Samsung make good quality components and the consumer suffers using suppliers which can't keep up demand or don't have the same quality control.

And all the companies need to stop throwing around the word 'innovation' whenever they make a public statement and start delivering on it. I'm still using a keyboard and mouse, we still don't have heteregoenous computing, we still don't have a proper fully multi-touch desktop UI, we are still paying for phones calls and using numbers to dial each other. With so much work to be done, there are better ways to spend time than with these trivial legal matters.
post #94 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post
That's fair enough but Apple hasn't in the past actively advertised to the public that Samsung is a plagiarising mofo. They sued them, which they are entitled to do. The press is doing the rest.
 

 

Apple helped the press along by giving statements like the one mentioned in Point 11.

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/1223.html

Quote: Mr. David Angus Stone (a Samsung Witness)

…he refers to a report in the Daily Mail on 10th August 2011 that Apple spokesmen had said:

 
"This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas'."

 

There is mention of an article in the Financial Times in 2010, and another for PC World in 2011. Apple had been telling anyone who would listen in the UK/EU media, it was the reason for the case, then after loosing they continued, got slapped with the statement, they added three paragraphs to the statement & hoped that would be OK, despite being given the text in in court.

 

It does seem weird that this case was about infringing the registered design but Apple's FUD was explicitly about copying the iPad. It only makes sense if Apple don't have any better designs to hit Samsung with copying the iPad in court. Either Steve misjudged it when he said 'Boy have we patented it' or Apple legal have some explaining to do.

 

Apple could have been quiet in the press & unleashed a whirlwind of cases that makes it clear Samsung copied, but the various attempts to block Samsung sales in the EU have failed. Maybe now it will start again & Apple will demand the same statement for Samsung to display.

 

If anyone else made something like that image on Engadget I'd agree that they should be sued into oblivion if the design is registered. 

 

I think your final 3 paragraphs are a marvellous idea, licence the various patents to each other & behave like adults. I have a horrible feeling Apple is going down the line of owning every part of production & will continue fighting.

If that is the case we'll see more fragmentation (like no Blu-ray because 'the licensing is a mess'). I wonder if these two giants will get into a death spiral whist MS gets its act together & steals the market from under them. I'd quite fancy a Surface if I could run Mountain Lion on it :^)

 

post #95 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post
Yeah, they got one recently:
http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/16/apple-granted-new-patent-for-original-ipad-design/

There are some elements that differ between the Tab but that looks a hell of a lot closer than the other one.
I'm not sure if I'd like to see them pursue it though.

Marvin, did you take a few minutes and actually look at the design patent claims? Remember that details outlined with dotted lines are not included in the patent. Only those things described with solid lines matter. It makes a huge difference.

 

ArsTechnica had an article on it just a few days ago, as did TheVerge:

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/11/apple-awarded-design-patent-for-actual-rounded-rectangle/

http://www.theverge.com/2012/11/7/3614506/apple-patents-rectangle-with-rounded-corners

 

Yup, Apple has finally succeeded in patenting the rounded rectangle.

melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #96 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


ArsTechnica had an article on it just a few days ago, as did TheVerge:
http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/11/apple-awarded-design-patent-for-actual-rounded-rectangle/
http://www.theverge.com/2012/11/7/3614506/apple-patents-rectangle-with-rounded-corners

Yup, Apple has finally succeeded in patenting the rounded rectangle.

Don't hate the player, hate the game.

;-)
If you value privacy you can now set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine in iOS and OS X.
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If you value privacy you can now set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine in iOS and OS X.
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post #97 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post


Don't hate the player, hate the game.
;-)

I don't fault Apple at all. You're absolutely correct, it's the game...

melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #98 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droid View Post

Apple's FUD was explicitly about copying the iPad. Either Steve misjudged it when he said 'Boy have we patented it' or Apple legal have some explaining to do.

How would you explain the fact that Samsung lost a court case in the US? That's not FUD. Apple patented a lot of things and some of the competition has licensed it, Samsung just copied it without paying. Even Microsoft licensed it:

http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/13/microsoft-licensed-apple-ipad-iphone-design-patents/
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droid 
If that is the case we'll see more fragmentation (like no Blu-ray because 'the licensing is a mess').

Blu-Ray isn't an example of fragmentation. Even one of Sony's execs said Blu-Ray was dead in the water and Apple doesn't stop you buying a Blu-Ray drive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy 
Yup, Apple has finally succeeded in patenting the rounded rectangle.

Samsung is in serious trouble then. It is interesting is that this patent was filed in November 2010. The Galaxy Tab was introduced in Septmeber 2010. I wonder if it was filed as a response to it. Maybe they can't use this against Samsung given that their product came out before they filed it.

I don't see how only the unbroken lines can represent the design though - figure 4 and the front page show the outline as a broken/dotted line. There has to be something wrong with the scanning. Every line in the following drawing is broken:

post #99 of 118
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post
I don't see how only the unbroken lines can represent the design though - figure 4 and the front page show the outline as a broken/dotted line. There has to be something wrong with the scanning. Every line in the following drawing is broken:

I think the real genius in this patent is that Apple has managed to create a closed geometric shape with two right angles and three sides. 😉

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #100 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidjl View Post

 

 

Can they make payment in the form of iTunes gift cards.

 No because the UK gov will earn nothing from it given that the itunes servers are based in the low corp tax, high VAT "haven" of ireland

post #101 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by reefoid 
That document does not compare the iPad and Tab at all, only the Tab and the community design in question.

Except when he says things like:

"Overall it has undecorated flat surfaces with a plate of glass on the front all the way out to a very thin rim"

you'd have to assume he can tell from the drawing that it has a plate glass surface and not plastic, it doesn't mention what it's made of. There's always the hint he is referencing the product and not the drawing. You're right though it does say 'Apple design' throughout and that was intended to mean the design in the drawing, not the design of the product. That was misinterpreted by almost every news publication:

http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/09/uk-judge-says-galaxy-tab-not-as-cool-as-ipad-awards-samsung-w/

The headline should really be that the Galaxy Tab wasn't as cool as Apple's drawing, which makes no sense at all as it's a drawing. It's bad enough that the iPad is cooler but Apple's line art? Geez, get it together Samsung.

It also still doesn't explain why they have to advertise about the patent trial verdict when the public was never under the impression that Samsung copied the patent and not the iPad. The public was always under the impression Samsung copied the iPad. The judge said clearly he didn't think the drawing represented the iPad so they didn't in any way prove Samsing didn't copy the iPad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droid 
It is also a jurisdiction that Apple basically slandered Samsung with the copying illegally accusations.

Except they didn't because they didn't contradict the verdict. Samsung has been found guilty of infringing Apple's patents. Are we forgetting the small matter of the $1b fine? This isn't going to be thrown out for juror misconduct as much as I'm certain you and others think it will be.

Facts:
- Samsung has been found guilty of infringing on some of Apple's patents and fined $1b
- Samsung has been found not guilty of infringing a design that doesn't look like the iPad

Conclusion:
- Samsung copied the iPad
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droid 
Seems like the judge is saying both parties agreed the case wasn't about copying?

That's right but the case wasn't about the iPad either so what does that prove?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
For one thing, Robin Jacob is one of the most distinguished judges in the UK and without doubt the foremost authority on IP law. He is a recognized international expert and a member of the IP Hall of Fame.

That's fine and I agree with the verdict that Samsung's tablet doesn't look like the drawing and neither does the iPad. I think the decision to force Apple to make a public statement was underhanded, unnecessary and deliberately misleading to the public who have been led to believe that Samsung hasn't copied the iPad as comments in this thread have shown. Having a good track record doesn't excuse people from being held accountable for bad decisions.

It's perfectly OK to disagree with the judges. All 5 of them. I don't agree with your innuendo which implies some kind of ulterior motives on the part of the judges, but I am perhaps a little more familiar with the EU Law on which it is based, and perhaps can appreciate the subtleties which escape some people.

 

What I was particularly trying to point out is that the level of invictive and abuse by some of the participants in this forum is entirely inappropriate and, to put it bluntly libellous and probably sanctionable in the UK.

 

I would much prefer to see a level of discussion that is distinguishable from the gutter. It doesn't enhance the credibility of AI, which I personally think is a pity.

 

There are other forums which stand in stark contrast to AI with respect to the level of discussion. One of the better ones is Groklaw, which is an award-winning site dedicated to the truth and accuracy in their reporting and to ethical and behavioural standards which is a refreshing contrast to AI. They even manage to accommodate divergent opinions in the discussions without continually descending to personal abuse.

 

It often seems to me like abusing Einstein as an idiot because you don't understand the mathematics of general relativity.

 

Just for fun:

 

One can argue that copying is in fact the foundation of human social and economic progress. Even Steve Jobs once remarked that he shamelessly steals great ideas. Basically all progress is based on copying and innovation on the copied subject matter, of stealing great ideas and developing further on the work of many brilliant people. As a scientist I could give thousands of good examples, and in general I think its actually a good thing. Limits exist with respect to patent violations, but it does well to remember that the original purpose of patents was to promote innovation by publishing inventions in return for a time-limited monopoly. Unfortunately the patent concept has been turned to its opposite and is largely being used to block and prevent innovation and competition in order to enrich a few at the cost of the greater good for society. In the US one can argue that this has been taken to an extreme and potentiated by the vagaries of the legal system to the point that it will kill innovation in the US. Software patents are an extreme example.

post #102 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
It's perfectly OK to disagree with the judges. All 5 of them. I don't agree with your innuendo which implies some kind of ulterior motives on the part of the judges

Assuming that you believe their intention was to clarify the case had nothing to do with the iPad and therefore nothing to do with the Galaxy Tab not infringing on the iPad, how well do you think they pulled it off?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
I would much prefer to see a level of discussion that is distinguishable from the gutter. It doesn't enhance the credibility of AI, which I personally think is a pity.

There are other forums which stand in stark contrast to AI with respect to the level of discussion. One of the better ones is Groklaw, which is an award-winning site dedicated to the truth and accuracy in their reporting and to ethical and behavioural standards which is a refreshing contrast to AI.

It often seems to me like abusing Einstein as an idiot because you don't understand the mathematics of general relativity.

The law is nothing like mathematics, it's a system of rules based on human behaviour - you just have to look at the laws that were enforced a few decades ago. And Android fans sure as hell aren't the equivalent of Einstein.

Some forum members can be overly harsh on people with an opposing point of view but officially any reasonable discussion is welcome. A far worse situation would be one where only a single-minded point of view is tolerated and that is not the case here. Places like Groklaw where comments like:

"I think the reactions of the rabid Apple fans, and such retractions they might
conceivably make will be interesting. Or the lack of reaction.

But they are sounding more and more like Microsoft, spoiled brats who are
unhappy that they can't get their way."

are where you find uninformed, abusive comments. That sort of thing isn't productive. Some people find abusive comments about Apple and their fans comforting and rational and claim the suppression of that is unjust and narrow-minded. There is normally misinformation and abuse from all sides in any interesting discussion, it's just the nature of it. Placid discussions are ones nobody cares about. There's a balance and I think the members of this forum do a good job maintaining it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
One can argue that copying is in fact the foundation of human social and economic progress. Even Steve Jobs once remarked that he shamelessly steals great ideas.

I assume you'll be able to easily point out the inspiration for all of Apple's iconic products. Before you think about mentioning Xerox and Braun, you might want to consider that a lot of these things have been regurgitated and dismissed many times over the years so try to wander onto some new ground.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
Basically all progress is based on copying and innovation on the copied subject matter, of stealing great ideas and developing further on the work of many brilliant people.

And what happens when you miss out the 'developing further' part? Doesn't that just drain profits from the people putting in the effort and divert it to the people who don't?

Give me a quick run-down of things Samsung, HTC, Microsoft, Google, Nokia, RIM, Sony (by all means lump them all together) have done in the last decade that has significantly changed mobile devices.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
Unfortunately the patent concept has been turned to its opposite and is largely being used to block and prevent innovation and competition in order to enrich a few at the cost of the greater good for society.

For all those who are quick to dismiss Apple being the first to do anything, I would hope the same is true of their patent enforcement. This has been going on for a long time and didn't start with Apple and I agree it holds things back but until it is fixed, it's going to keep happening. Just saying Apple shouldn't be allowed to do it but then cheer when people win trivial patent lawsuits against them isn't a solution.

You can't throw out all patents because people would be reluctant to spend money on R&D they can't protect and the opposite is what we have now so it has to be somewhere in the middle. The arguments are just over where that is. I think timeframe is the most important factor. The period listed on Apple's patent is 14 years. All patents should expire 5 years from the date of issue. If you can't profit from an idea in 5 years then you shouldn't have exclusivity over it.

The complexity/specificity of patents is going to become a pain way down the line because there's going to be so much cross-referencing that it would have to be a full-time job to write an enforceable patent. This will harm startups/small businesses. They should practise transparency like Google did with their privacy policy. Put it in a small document that isn't full of obfuscated rhetoric. Just say what's new and that can be checked if it exists. Without this, we'll end up with patents covering ridiculous situations:

- our patent is for someone using a smartphone in a particular orientation in the bathroom only after they have had a curry from a local restaurant. We reference prior patents for people who have had other types of food holding the smartphone in a slightly different orientation and our situation is like totally new and we want to own it for 14 years.

We're obviously getting close to this the more minimal improvements to electronics become but drawing a line is going to be unfair to one party over another. Do you allow Samsung a patent for a basic manufacturing technique that lets them double memory capacity but deny Apple a basic design patent that improves usability tenfold? Human beings have to decide and human beings are flawed. We are all biased and have different goals.

Apple wants to protect their work from unfair competition, Samsung wants to compete with them unfairly, the lawyers agree with both of them. Conflict is everywhere and we'll always end up somewhere that doesn't please everyone.
post #103 of 118

@Marvin,

 

I think you make some interesting arguments but I won't take up the matter of commenting on things I didn't actually say or that were not actually related to the point I'm trying to make.

 

As for patents being necessary for R&D to be attractive. I actually disagree with that most emphatically. In almost all the history of science this has not been the case at all. In the course of my career I have had the privilege of working and brainstorming with no less than 5 Nobel Prize winners in Medicine, and not one of these leading researchers was motivated by financial benefit. Quite the contrary. I remember clearly a conversation I had with Cesar Milstein, the inventor of the process to develop monoclonal antibodies (and joint winner of the Nobel for Medicine for this) and I actually asked him precisely this question ... why he didn't patent the method. His answer was that he was interested in the science, not the money, and "gentlemen don't do that". Which is actually a widely held view in a number of scientific disciplines. At least in the area of modern science, motivations other than financial benefit have largely prevailed. 

 

I currently work in the Pharmaceutical industry (generics) and there your argument is more relevant, but it is an area where R&D efforts at the single product level are enormously expensive. (Where the "D" is actually more costly than the "R"). It costs around $1 Billion these days to actually bring a new drug to market, so patent protection is indeed quite important. Although this is ONLY true because the industry is private enterprise. One could argue that certain essential medicines should be made available at affordable prices ... which is only possible if society will bear the R&D costs. No company will do that without a financial reward ... ie Profit. This is incidentally the reason that certain medicaments are in short supply in the US (and possibly elsewhere). It is simply not profitable enough to interest the pharmaceutical companies to manufacture and distribute.  This is a discussion that is interesting, but out of scope of AI. 

 

What I am getting at is that one should not lose sight of the, in my view indisputable fact, that copying of Ideas is perfectly legitimate in the majority of situations. Patent infringement is one of the lines which defines the limits and legitimacy of "copying" in a particular legal context. In my view, Software patents are entirely inappropriate and socially disruptive. 

 

While I understand to some extent the wish of any US company to protect their commercial interests, it seems to me that some companies (patent trolls, but also Apple) have gone overboard and are using trivial patents (e.g. the rubber-band scrolling patent) to block competition, to keep competitors out of the market and to keep small entry-level companies, which are often highly innovative, out of the market at all. This is a criticism that has been made, for example, against FRAND patents ... that they are discriminatory against not-for-profit software developers and effectively an instrument to keep them out of the market.

 

Like many things, this debate is not black-or-white, but I think it is silly, unrealistic, and counter-productive for society, when the idea of "Copying" is used as a kind of moral indictment without recognition of the role of "Copying" in human development as a whole.

 

The key issue in my view is that there are social aspects to these debates that should not be ignored. 

post #104 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
I had with Cesar Milstein, the inventor of the process to develop monoclonal antibodies (and joint winner of the Nobel for Medicine for this) and I actually asked him precisely this question ... why he didn't patent the method. His answer was that he was interested in the science, not the money, and "gentlemen don't do that".

That point of view is always admirable but as you point out, different areas have different sources of funding and costs. I have absolutely no doubt that a lot more people in the world would feel the same if they had a sustained revenue stream separate from their work. I don't think true artists or engineers have much interest in wealth; their lives are defined by their work but they aren't given the privilege to work separate from a source of need that coerces them to work for profit and nor should they be given that privilege because we can't always rationally assess the value of someone's work outside of a free market economy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
What I am getting at is that one should not lose sight of the, in my view indisputable fact, that copying of Ideas is perfectly legitimate in the majority of situations. Patent infringement is one of the lines which defines the limits and legitimacy of "copying" in a particular legal context. In my view, Software patents are entirely inappropriate and socially disruptive.

It's easy to decide that software patents are inappropriate when you don't make money from software. When people do make most of their revenue from software like Microsoft, it makes as much sense as any other industry.

Google had exclusive rights to a patent for their search engine blocking anyone else from using it and yet now they blast onto the scene claiming to be the freedom fighters and giving away hardware like the Nexus without profit and Android as open-source simply because they've monopolised the search engine market and have the entire world economy by the balls.

One basic fact of life is that money makes the world go round. It's not pleasant but the people who control the financial systems have made it so. You can't buy a house without credit/debt, you can hardly do anything without a bank account or fixed address. When your quality of life is made so dependent on that system, nobody has a choice but to work for profit. Those nobel prize winners don't beg on the streets for food, they get paid by someone and the money comes from somewhere. If the money supply stops, they can maintain their ethics but they will have to directly exchange their work for profit to survive.

It is a sad state of affairs that we no longer live in times where in order to survive you would exchange services and goods for other services and goods and everyone had to produce instead of hoard. Now we have money to abstract the value of everything and people running businesses solely on money itself. But unfortunately because of human nature, it seems to work better than anything else we've tried.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
While I understand to some extent the wish of any US company to protect their commercial interests, it seems to me that some companies (patent trolls, but also Apple) have gone overboard and are using trivial patents (e.g. the rubber-band scrolling patent) to block competition

That rubber-banding patent might be invalidated:

http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/23/foss-uspto-invalidates-apple-rubber-banding/
http://www.fosspatents.com/2012/10/patent-office-tentatively-invalidates.html

"Apple's rubber-banding (overscroll-bounce) patent is still going to go through a lengthy proces before it may or may not be invalidated. There can be more than one non-final Office action by the Central Reexamination Division. Even a "final Office action" is not final at all. It can be reconsidered by the Central Reexamination Division itself, and the last decision by that division can be appealed to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which used to be called the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) until recently and is like an USPTO-internal appeals court. Remands by the PTAB to the Central Reexamination Division cause further delay. When the USPTO is done with the patent, its decision can be appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. And theoretically, a Federal Circuit decision can be appealed to the Supreme Court, which doesn't hear many patent validity cases (but does take a look at important issues from time to time)."

That will actually affect the $1b Samsung ruling if it goes ahead but I don't agree that patent is trivial. IMO, that was one of the most impressive things about the iPhone when I first used it. Even now, I purposely overswipe things on iOS devices and I've never seen an implementation of that on a mobile device before the iPhone. The amount of time it takes to get the right deceleration, length of bounce, behaviour in different orientations and in respect to different gestures is not trivial. The time it takes to copy it is.

Nothing is then added to it by copying it. It's copied simply to give customers the impression of being the same and everybody else saves the R&D costs. How often do tech companies wait on Apple to move and then follow on. All-in-one computers, laptop designs/ultrabooks, smartphones, tablets, App Stores, music stores, retail stores. As Tim Cook said (this is a good example of his quote-worthiness that we usually saw in Steve Jobs):

"From our point of view it's important that Apple not be the developer for the world. We can't take all of our energy and all of our care and finish the painting, then have someone else put their name on it. We can't have that. The worst thing in the world that can happen to you if you're an engineer that has given his life to something is for someone to rip it off and put their name to it."

If the competition isn't improving things in a like manner to Apple, they have no right to look at what Apple is doing and simply replicate it. If the competition wants to declare that Apple should continue innovating instead of fighting, they need to step up and offer something themselves instead of constantly waiting for Apple to deliver and then rip them off and worse, to have the audacity to claim that most of it was obvious and yet never bothered to do anything remotely similar for decades.

Is it ok for an artist to setup and light a scene and paint it, present it in a gallery and have someone else come along and make a similar version from that reference but make a few adjustments and sell it side-by-side with the orignal? Most people would say no and yet when it comes to Samsung doing it, they say yes - they should be able to have the same UI and the same hardware shape and the same peripherals and the same box and the same store to give the same impression and yay, they are selling more units than the original. Why give Samsung a pass when people would criticise this in other scenarios? It's because it's Apple and people want to see Apple fail because they perceive them as arrogant. Let Apple do all the hard work and let everyone rip them off, that'll show them not to charge so much money for things people want. What kind of lesson is that?
post #105 of 118
A further issue to consider is that these patent cases focus on isolated elements. Companies like Samsung are quick to emphasise the triviality of each individual enforceable patent. When Apple made the iPhone, they didn't just take a phone and put a touchscreen on it. That's what LG did. They didn't just put rubber banding in the UI, they didn't just use a proximity sensor to disable the screen when you held the phone to your ear, they didn't just use slide to unlock, they didn't just use capacitive glass displays, they didn't just include visual voicemail, they didn't just include pinch-zoom and rotation gestures, they didn't just include data detectors, they didn't just make an App Store, they didn't just start using particular shapes, it was all those things and more combined into 3 products. They have nearly 1300 mobile patents, most filed after 2007:

http://ip-science.thomsonreuters.com/m/pdfs/iphone-report.pdf

The ideal scenario is that Apple could just hold up the iPhone and say how many elements have been replicated in competing devices as a direct result of its introduction but they have to go through features individually. To dismiss Apple's achievements by focusing on the individual elements that make up the whole or rather portray their enforcement of basic elements as unethical is muddying the real problem, which is that Samsung has gone out of its way to replicate the entire experience of owning an iOS device by copying the ports, the cabling, the boxes, the presentation, the shape, materials and UI.

Samsung wants everyone to believe that the only inspiration they took from Apple was a rounded black rectangle and of course their fans lap it up but it's so far from the truth. If Apple has no way to defend the whole, they have no option but to use the only legal measures that are available to send a clear message that the extent to which they've copied Apple is not ok.
post #106 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
I had with Cesar Milstein, the inventor of the process to develop monoclonal antibodies (and joint winner of the Nobel for Medicine for this) and I actually asked him precisely this question ... why he didn't patent the method. His answer was that he was interested in the science, not the money, and "gentlemen don't do that".

That point of view is always admirable but as you point out, different areas have different sources of funding and costs. I have absolutely no doubt that a lot more people in the world would feel the same if they had a sustained revenue stream separate from their work. I don't think true artists or engineers have much interest in wealth; their lives are defined by their work but they aren't given the privilege to work separate from a source of need that coerces them to work for profit and nor should they be given that privilege because we can't always rationally assess the value of someone's work outside of a free market economy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
What I am getting at is that one should not lose sight of the, in my view indisputable fact, that copying of Ideas is perfectly legitimate in the majority of situations. Patent infringement is one of the lines which defines the limits and legitimacy of "copying" in a particular legal context. In my view, Software patents are entirely inappropriate and socially disruptive.

It's easy to decide that software patents are inappropriate when you don't make money from software. When people do make most of their revenue from software like Microsoft, it makes as much sense as any other industry.

Google had exclusive rights to a patent for their search engine blocking anyone else from using it and yet now they blast onto the scene claiming to be the freedom fighters and giving away hardware like the Nexus without profit and Android as open-source simply because they've monopolised the search engine market and have the entire world economy by the balls.

One basic fact of life is that money makes the world go round. It's not pleasant but the people who control the financial systems have made it so. You can't buy a house without credit/debt, you can hardly do anything without a bank account or fixed address. When your quality of life is made so dependent on that system, nobody has a choice but to work for profit. Those nobel prize winners don't beg on the streets for food, they get paid by someone and the money comes from somewhere. If the money supply stops, they can maintain their ethics but they will have to directly exchange their work for profit to survive.

It is a sad state of affairs that we no longer live in times where in order to survive you would exchange services and goods for other services and goods and everyone had to produce instead of hoard. Now we have money to abstract the value of everything and people running businesses solely on money itself. But unfortunately because of human nature, it seems to work better than anything else we've tried.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
While I understand to some extent the wish of any US company to protect their commercial interests, it seems to me that some companies (patent trolls, but also Apple) have gone overboard and are using trivial patents (e.g. the rubber-band scrolling patent) to block competition

That rubber-banding patent might be invalidated:

http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/23/foss-uspto-invalidates-apple-rubber-banding/
http://www.fosspatents.com/2012/10/patent-office-tentatively-invalidates.html

"Apple's rubber-banding (overscroll-bounce) patent is still going to go through a lengthy proces before it may or may not be invalidated. There can be more than one non-final Office action by the Central Reexamination Division. Even a "final Office action" is not final at all. It can be reconsidered by the Central Reexamination Division itself, and the last decision by that division can be appealed to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which used to be called the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) until recently and is like an USPTO-internal appeals court. Remands by the PTAB to the Central Reexamination Division cause further delay. When the USPTO is done with the patent, its decision can be appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. And theoretically, a Federal Circuit decision can be appealed to the Supreme Court, which doesn't hear many patent validity cases (but does take a look at important issues from time to time)."

That will actually affect the $1b Samsung ruling if it goes ahead but I don't agree that patent is trivial. IMO, that was one of the most impressive things about the iPhone when I first used it. Even now, I purposely overswipe things on iOS devices and I've never seen an implementation of that on a mobile device before the iPhone. The amount of time it takes to get the right deceleration, length of bounce, behaviour in different orientations and in respect to different gestures is not trivial. The time it takes to copy it is.

Nothing is then added to it by copying it. It's copied simply to give customers the impression of being the same and everybody else saves the R&D costs. How often do tech companies wait on Apple to move and then follow on. All-in-one computers, laptop designs/ultrabooks, smartphones, tablets, App Stores, music stores, retail stores. As Tim Cook said (this is a good example of his quote-worthiness that we usually saw in Steve Jobs):

"From our point of view it's important that Apple not be the developer for the world. We can't take all of our energy and all of our care and finish the painting, then have someone else put their name on it. We can't have that. The worst thing in the world that can happen to you if you're an engineer that has given his life to something is for someone to rip it off and put their name to it."

If the competition isn't improving things in a like manner to Apple, they have no right to look at what Apple is doing and simply replicate it. If the competition wants to declare that Apple should continue innovating instead of fighting, they need to step up and offer something themselves instead of constantly waiting for Apple to deliver and then rip them off and worse, to have the audacity to claim that most of it was obvious and yet never bothered to do anything remotely similar for decades.

Is it ok for an artist to setup and light a scene and paint it, present it in a gallery and have someone else come along and make a similar version from that reference but make a few adjustments and sell it side-by-side with the orignal? Most people would say no and yet when it comes to Samsung doing it, they say yes - they should be able to have the same UI and the same hardware shape and the same peripherals and the same box and the same store to give the same impression and yay, they are selling more units than the original. Why give Samsung a pass when people would criticise this in other scenarios? It's because it's Apple and people want to see Apple fail because they perceive them as arrogant. Let Apple do all the hard work and let everyone rip them off, that'll show them not to charge so much money for things people want. What kind of lesson is that?

Once again I am going to limit my comments somewhat. I am not actually taking any particular manufacturer's "side" in this patent war and I don't intend to get side-tracked too far with issues that were not the primary focus of my original post.

 

But let me suggest that your view of the motivation/means for research seems to me to represent a particularly US view of the world. When I was active in research (admittedly a few years back now. I quit active research in '86) outside of the US the overwhelmingly greater proportion of basic research was in fact publicly funded (ie state or tax funded.) I think this is also largely the case in the US even now. (which incidentally is a criticism that has been levelled at Apple ... not paying significant taxes and therefore not actually supporting the education system and basic research.).

 

A major reason for the need for state funding lies in the fact that basic research (theoretical research) is notoriously difficult to channelize. Most of the commercially exploitable (and I use that term intentionally) results/discoveries are actually spin-off effects and unforseen. The contrary is also largely true ... most attempts to direct basic research in a commercially relevant direction fail.

 

Actually, you rather spoil your overall arguments which I personally feel have some substance by saying;

 

"Its easy to decide that software patents are inappropriate when you don't make money from software"

 

That argument is patently absurd. The mere fact that money can be made from an activity is no justification. But Columbian drug cartels and the mafia will probably applaud your view. ;-). There are much more substantive arguments against software patents. Software is provably mathematics. Mathematics is abstract ideas. You shouldn't (and theoretically cannot) patent abstract ideas, although lawyers have succeeded, and the 9th Circuit Appeals Court has aided and abetted punching big holes in that restriction. Less so in the EU I might point out.

 

But there are other reasons as well. The overbroad patents which seem to be issued as a rule rather than an exception by the USPTO. The almost impossibility (because they are abstract) of indexing and researching software patent claims, and a number of other reasons as well. Actually Bill Gates (shit, I never thought I'd end up quoting that man :-) ) actually conceded that MS would never have gotten off the ground if software patents had existed then as they do today. Or putting it in another context. It has been estimated that some 250,000 patents apply to smartphones, and that since each patent contains an average of something like 20 claims, then the total number of restrictions in the smartphone area alone is in the millions. It is just impossible to do due diligence on such a large and obscure number of claims. There are not enough patent attorneys on the planet. This is one reason Apple argued in the VirnetX litigation that they did NOT research the claims. (Another reason was to avoid treble damages).

 

Since you referred also to the Reuters Analysis of the Apple patent portfolio, I feel I must also comment on that. It is an interesting reference, but hardly relevant to anything. Among the reasons I say that are (1). It does not take into account in any way the patent portfolios of other contenders in the market.  (2) It does not say anything about the significance of the 1900 or so Patents at all. A high proportion of these may well be invalidated on the grounds of prior art or obviousness, .... and so on. 

 

Now of course, the quote from Captn Cook, reads good. No doubt about it. But it fails to address the problem that Apple violates, and "steals" the IP of other companies on a large scale. (All smartphone manufacturers probably do as well. See the 250,000 patent discussion above). But in the case of the Motorola FRAND patents this is particularly relevant because Apple does not in fact dispute the fact that they are using the FRAND patents without paying, and this gets to the objectionable part of Apples "thermonuclear war" or the Patent war. Putting it bluntly, its galling arrogance and unbelievable hypocrisy.  And they compound it by trying at this stage anyway to avoid any back payments at all. To many people this is morally and ethically reprehensible. One cannot claim against others for "stealing" and do the very same thing yourself. One law for all ??

 

What I privately hope is that in the US, Apple and Samsung and Motorola (and all the rest of the kids on the block) each win a blocking injunction against each other. Could happen. (But probably only in the US).

 

you might like this article on the subject of software patent insanity.

 

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20121116-phone-patents-an-absurd-battle/2

 

Finally, you do hit a very relevant and valid point on your comments on the "rubber-band" patent. It could be invalidated. The show's not over till the fat lady sings :-) ... also in ALL of the other litigation in the US. There is NO final judgement. A lot can happen before the end is reached. It would be prudent not to crack the Champagne too early (whichever side one may wish to support.) 

 

Makes the Apple-HTC ceasfire seem rather sensible to me.

post #107 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by reefoid View Post


Second, the whole reason Apple had to post the statement on their website is because they made the following statement after Samsung were ruled to have not infringed:.

Given the firm evidence that Samsung examined the iPhone etc that was presented in the US case, the statement is correct that it is not coincidence. Several notes all but blatantly said 'do it like the iPhone'. The only catch is that a UK court can't use evidence from a non UK case and Apple either didn't try or wasn't allowed to make the same claims and submit the same materials in the UK case.

And regardless of any of this, at no one did Samsung file a libel/slander charge against Apple. if they had and won the case then this punishment would make sense.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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

Reply
post #108 of 118

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20121116-phone-patents-an-absurd-battle/2

 

Oh the irony…

 

Quote: BBC Link viewed from a UK IP address
We're sorry but this site is not accessible from the UK as it is part of our international service and is not funded by the licence fee. It is run commercially by BBC Worldwide, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BBC, the profits made from it go back to BBC programme-makers to help fund great new BBC programmes. You can find out more about BBC Worldwide and its digital activities at www.bbcworldwide.com.

 

 

post #109 of 118

Rule Britannia !!!

post #110 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


Given the firm evidence that Samsung examined the iPhone etc that was presented in the US case, the statement is correct that it is not coincidence. Several notes all but blatantly said 'do it like the iPhone'. The only catch is that a UK court can't use evidence from a non UK case and Apple either didn't try or wasn't allowed to make the same claims and submit the same materials in the UK case.

And what has this got to do with anything?  You're confusing the matter by bringing the iPhone into it, which is exactly what Apple tried to do.  This case was about the Tab and an Apple community design.  Its totally irrelevant to this subject (as Apple found out).

 

Quote:
And regardless of any of this, at no one did Samsung file a libel/slander charge against Apple. if they had and won the case then this punishment would make sense.

Again, totally irrelevant.  They didn't have to file for any kind of slander, they just had to inform the court they didn't believe Apple were complying with the original order and let the court do the rest.

 

Case closed.


Edited by reefoid - 11/19/12 at 1:22am
post #111 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
The mere fact that money can be made from an activity is no justification. There are much more substantive arguments against software patents. Software is provably mathematics. Mathematics is abstract ideas. You shouldn't (and theoretically cannot) patent abstract ideas

A significant amount of work has to go into making a product though. Think of the example of H.264/H.265 - arguably the best video compression/decompression software. That takes a significant effort to make. Under your idealistic system, the mathematics behind it should be free for anyone to use. That's great but where is the reward for the inventors? Google, Netflix, Hulu profit by lowering bandwidth; and Microsoft, Apple, Adobe etc profit by having rich media tools for the web integrated with their software. The people making the algorithms can end up with no reward after doing lots of work. Maybe media codecs can get government funding but it's hardly comparable to the millions they make from licensing. You can't say they are unethical to work for profit.

The product has to be protected just like any form of work produced by manpower. It's not mathematics sitting at the keyboard. Just because Google makes their money from ads doesn't mean that all software should be free. Now you can say it doesn't have to be protected from other people developing the same IP but IP gets into other people's hands - Java found its way into the hands of Google. Andy Rubin used to work at Apple. Samsung builds Apple's processor designs. Just like the recipe for McDonald's secret sauce or the Coca-cola formula, if it gets out there, you need to have some protection.

There is a difficulty when it comes to algorithms being the only way to do things. Like in computer graphics, the equations that make digital content mimic real-life are based on physics. Sampling methods have been patented over the years but that's where short timeframes for coverage would come into play and there should be consideration over the level of variation possible. Other tablet manufacturers have managed to make their designs significantly different from Apple, Samsung chose not to.

Another difficulty is when it comes to the issue of ownership. If you think about land/property, someone owns it but at some point in time, nobody owned anything. A transition had to occur whereby people claimed things they had no inherent entitlement to, whether it was discovering land, a drug, an algorithm. We all meandre through life connecting things and creating unique stores of information that are based on systems that have preceeded us but we can't unfairly decide that some should be protected and others not.

Could you patent the chemical techniques/equipment that led to the discovery of Pencillin but not Penicillin itself?

I do think that Apple has been pursuing a wrong agenda as far as Android is concerned and this shows in their trial against Google:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303649504577496991190742010.html

"In this case, Apple claimed a patent on the idea of the sliding motion to unlock a device, arguing that Google's tap is a "zero-length swipe." Judge Posner ridiculed this as like "saying that a point is a zero-length line."

"He also ridiculed Google's counterclaim, writing, "'Going for broke' is the inescapable characterization" of its damage claim. Even if Apple infringed on a Google patent that involves a "standards-essential patent," there was no economic justification for a claim of about 1% of sales of Apple phones."

"In the technology industry, it's now clear the concept of 20-year exclusive use makes no sense for software or business processes."

"In bouncing this high-profile case, Judge Posner lays out a road map for Congress, patent regulators and other judges to re-establish the original purpose of intellectual property, which is to encourage both innovation and competition."

I don't think reformation will be easy and as I say, you have to assume some things can be protected and others can't. Where the line falls will unfairly favour one party over another. It will also have to be backdated because we are sitting here with a pretty big snowball and you can't suddenly say thousands of things will no longer qualify for protection and allow competition to maintain 10 year patents that give them the upper hand.

If the top IP experts around the world try to draw up a stricter set of guidelines, businesses and the lawyers who represent them will fight them every step of the way. Trying to find a balance between incentivising innovation and competition to it is going to be a very difficult task.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
The overbroad patents which seem to be issued as a rule rather than an exception by the USPTO.

I agree with that but who gets to decide what is over-broad? Would you say that a patent covering Samsung for adding a bridging mechanism in a manufacturing design that say improves processor bandwidth isn't overly broad but a patent that covers Apple for data detectors is? People instinctively assign levels of importance to things based on their own bias. Samsung doesn't show much respect for design but does for manufacturing - that's why they ask 'who's the real innovator, when we make most of the iOS device parts'. Apple has more respect for design and considers Samsung to be merely a supplier that can be replaced with alternatives like TSMC or LG.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
Since you referred also to the Reuters Analysis of the Apple patent portfolio, I feel I must also comment on that. It is an interesting reference, but hardly relevant to anything. Among the reasons I say that are (1). It does not take into account in any way the patent portfolios of other contenders in the market.  (2) It does not say anything about the significance of the 1900 or so Patents at all. A high proportion of these may well be invalidated on the grounds of prior art or obviousness, .... and so on.

But you can also say significant portions of the patent portfolios of contenders might be invalidated if they were looked at properly and Apple's might not be. You can't just dismiss Apple all the time under the assumption they are the only ones abusing the system. Apple is sued far more than they sue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
it fails to address the problem that Apple violates, and "steals" the IP of other companies on a large scale. (All smartphone manufacturers probably do as well. See the 250,000 patent discussion above).

That's a broad assumption and it doesn't address the real issue again, which is that if you look at the impact the iOS devices have made in the mobile sector, you can see that Apple's innovation here has been significant. It has redefined this entire industry. The patents on paper shouldn't be the relevant part at all but the implementation.

Some patent portfolios are owned are by NPEs (non-pracitising entities/patent trolls) who hinder progress by waiting for companies to produce and then profiting. Apple is stupidly referred to as a patent troll on many occasions but they are delivering on their ideas and the influence is clear for anyone to see.
post #112 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
The mere fact that money can be made from an activity is no justification. There are much more substantive arguments against software patents. Software is provably mathematics. Mathematics is abstract ideas. You shouldn't (and theoretically cannot) patent abstract ideas

A significant amount of work has to go into making a product though. Think of the example of H.264/H.265 - arguably the best video compression/decompression software. That takes a significant effort to make. Under your idealistic system, the mathematics behind it should be free for anyone to use. That's great but where is the reward for the inventors? Google, Netflix, Hulu profit by lowering bandwidth; and Microsoft, Apple, Adobe etc profit by having rich media tools for the web integrated with their software. The people making the algorithms can end up with no reward after doing lots of work. Maybe media codecs can get government funding but it's hardly comparable to the millions they make from licensing. You can't say they are unethical to work for profit.

The product has to be protected just like any form of work produced by manpower. It's not mathematics sitting at the keyboard. Just because Google makes their money from ads doesn't mean that all software should be free. Now you can say it doesn't have to be protected from other people developing the same IP but IP gets into other people's hands - Java found its way into the hands of Google. Andy Rubin used to work at Apple. Samsung builds Apple's processor designs. Just like the recipe for McDonald's secret sauce or the Coca-cola formula, if it gets out there, you need to have some protection.

There is a difficulty when it comes to algorithms being the only way to do things. Like in computer graphics, the equations that make digital content mimic real-life are based on physics. Sampling methods have been patented over the years but that's where short timeframes for coverage would come into play and there should be consideration over the level of variation possible. Other tablet manufacturers have managed to make their designs significantly different from Apple, Samsung chose not to.

Another difficulty is when it comes to the issue of ownership. If you think about land/property, someone owns it but at some point in time, nobody owned anything. A transition had to occur whereby people claimed things they had no inherent entitlement to, whether it was discovering land, a drug, an algorithm. We all meandre through life connecting things and creating unique stores of information that are based on systems that have preceeded us but we can't unfairly decide that some should be protected and others not.

Could you patent the chemical techniques/equipment that led to the discovery of Pencillin but not Penicillin itself?

I do think that Apple has been pursuing a wrong agenda as far as Android is concerned and this shows in their trial against Google:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303649504577496991190742010.html

"In this case, Apple claimed a patent on the idea of the sliding motion to unlock a device, arguing that Google's tap is a "zero-length swipe." Judge Posner ridiculed this as like "saying that a point is a zero-length line."

"He also ridiculed Google's counterclaim, writing, "'Going for broke' is the inescapable characterization" of its damage claim. Even if Apple infringed on a Google patent that involves a "standards-essential patent," there was no economic justification for a claim of about 1% of sales of Apple phones."

"In the technology industry, it's now clear the concept of 20-year exclusive use makes no sense for software or business processes."

"In bouncing this high-profile case, Judge Posner lays out a road map for Congress, patent regulators and other judges to re-establish the original purpose of intellectual property, which is to encourage both innovation and competition."

I don't think reformation will be easy and as I say, you have to assume some things can be protected and others can't. Where the line falls will unfairly favour one party over another. It will also have to be backdated because we are sitting here with a pretty big snowball and you can't suddenly say thousands of things will no longer qualify for protection and allow competition to maintain 10 year patents that give them the upper hand.

If the top IP experts around the world try to draw up a stricter set of guidelines, businesses and the lawyers who represent them will fight them every step of the way. Trying to find a balance between incentivising innovation and competition to it is going to be a very difficult task.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
The overbroad patents which seem to be issued as a rule rather than an exception by the USPTO.

I agree with that but who gets to decide what is over-broad? Would you say that a patent covering Samsung for adding a bridging mechanism in a manufacturing design that say improves processor bandwidth isn't overly broad but a patent that covers Apple for data detectors is? People instinctively assign levels of importance to things based on their own bias. Samsung doesn't show much respect for design but does for manufacturing - that's why they ask 'who's the real innovator, when we make most of the iOS device parts'. Apple has more respect for design and considers Samsung to be merely a supplier that can be replaced with alternatives like TSMC or LG.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
Since you referred also to the Reuters Analysis of the Apple patent portfolio, I feel I must also comment on that. It is an interesting reference, but hardly relevant to anything. Among the reasons I say that are (1). It does not take into account in any way the patent portfolios of other contenders in the market.  (2) It does not say anything about the significance of the 1900 or so Patents at all. A high proportion of these may well be invalidated on the grounds of prior art or obviousness, .... and so on.

But you can also say significant portions of the patent portfolios of contenders might be invalidated if they were looked at properly and Apple's might not be. You can't just dismiss Apple all the time under the assumption they are the only ones abusing the system. Apple is sued far more than they sue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
it fails to address the problem that Apple violates, and "steals" the IP of other companies on a large scale. (All smartphone manufacturers probably do as well. See the 250,000 patent discussion above).

That's a broad assumption and it doesn't address the real issue again, which is that if you look at the impact the iOS devices have made in the mobile sector, you can see that Apple's innovation here has been significant. It has redefined this entire industry. The patents on paper shouldn't be the relevant part at all but the implementation.

Some patent portfolios are owned are by NPEs (non-pracitising entities/patent trolls) who hinder progress by waiting for companies to produce and then profiting. Apple is stupidly referred to as a patent troll on many occasions but they are delivering on their ideas and the influence is clear for anyone to see.

I do agree with much you say, and as I mentioned I am not being particularly partisan when it comes to the frontline in the patent wars. What I don't like is the hypocrisy which seems to play an unfortunately large role. 

 

Regarding: software is math. That's not really up for dispute. There is a host of other problems with the implementation of the patent system, basically because of shifty lawyers and the political agenda of judges in the 9-th Circuit court of Appeals. ... like allowing a non-patentable business process become patentable by adding the words "on a computer" and suchlike. I think a great deal of the insanity may well be a result simply of bad patents being issued in the first place. This is a big factor in the "patent troll business model", which causes a lot of companies simply to cave in to the trolls because it costs on the average of $2.5 million to contest a patent even if you do win and get it invalidated. Makes business sense (up to a point) to pay up if the trolls are asking even slightly less than $2.5 Mil for a "license". Everyone knows that's just making matters worse for society as a whole, but only a few with big pockets are willing and able to fight it out through the courts.

 

But I am definitely not making the argument that Apple hasn't contributed significantly not only in the Smartphone sector, but also in others. We may differ on our views regarding the extent of the contribution, but not that it is significant. I am not so sure that Apple has redefined anything. I have done 1 to 1 comparisons on a number of occasions and it has always resulted in no clear winner. The problem is that we end-customers are paying the lawyers and basically getting nothing for it. The insanity will stop sometime, hopefully before the last software developer leaves the US.

 

I would argue and also tend to agree with Steve Wozniak that Apple is not innovating now in the way that it did in the past and has become merely a consumer device manufacturer. It has less and less focus on creative use, openness and many other aspects that actually made it great in the first place. The iPad 4 may be a good example. Just putting in a faster processor is no big deal, and definitely not innovative in any meaningful sense. In fact I would suggest that the "innovations" since the original iPhone are largely fine tuning, but not real innovation, based also largely on the R&D of other tech companies, and often eliminating choice on the part of the customers.   As long as the customers are satisfied, I don't see a problem with that. But the hype is excessive. I personally actually have to work quite hard for the dollars (actually Euros :-)) I spend on toys so I generally look fairly carefully for the "value for money" in purchasing. I think this applies to the vast majority of people. Any way you cut it, with a fixed disposable income there is a limit to how much "premium price" I am willing to pay for anything. The more I spend to purchase a toy, the less I have available for other things like paid content. (not that the latter plays a significant role for me personally.)

 

I could do with less aggressiveness and the negative competition tactic (badmouthing the competition, whining about "copying" etc, that seems to play a big role in the US (much less so in the EU). The real world is much less black-and-white than many partisans would like to believe regarding the patent wars. Apple is just one of a number of leading companies, and suffers the same QA problems as any other, both in HW and SW (whatever happened to "it just works" ??)

 

Unfortunately its not a perfect world, but I do prefer to live where I do.

 

But I very much appreciate your good arguments and the discussion !!

post #113 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
Regarding: software is math. That's not really up for dispute.

Except that you can make artwork with Photoshop but you can't with pages of algorithms that make up the software (unless you're good at origami I suppose) so they aren't quite the same. As soon as you combine the math with technology that can add so much value to it then that value distinguishes it from it on its own. You can carve out a disc and use it for a table but stick 4 of them on a box and you have a vehicle, which has an entirely different value. You can't assign the disc a value on its own and ignore the context it's used in. An aeroplane wing sitting on the ground is valueless but on the side of a plane, it isn't, yet the object hasn't changed.

A rounded rectangle on its own is valueless but when you construct a mobile device in that shape because you have put it in context of a usage scenario and you change the way we use computers then the value changes. That shouldn't prevent people using the shape but the patent has merit in that context:

http://www.google.com/patents/US4614320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
I am not so sure that Apple has redefined anything. I have done 1 to 1 comparisons on a number of occasions and it has always resulted in no clear winner.

The further we get away from the old T-9 keyboards, the easier it is to forget the shift. Pretty much all phones are now fullscreen, fully multi-touch with centralised app distribution. Tablets and palmtops were operated with styluses and didn't have rich operating systems. I class that as a redefinition of mobile computing - where we use computers the way we should have always used computers, with our fingers.

Give a Windows CE palmtop to a 3 year old and then an iPhone and you can see the difference. The only common outcome is they'll both end up covered in saliva and snot.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
I would argue and also tend to agree with Steve Wozniak that Apple is not innovating now in the way that it did in the past and has become merely a consumer device manufacturer. It has less and less focus on creative use, openness and many other aspects that actually made it great in the first place.

That sort of thing happened when Wozniak was long gone from the company. At the beginning it was all proprietary because there weren't enough sales to make a standard. They moved to unix software and USB/VGA/DVI instead of serial/ADB etc. Since iOS, they have locked down a few things again but that's more to do with the security. When you have 400 million units out in the world and they all run Flash, you're putting the security of 400 million people in Adobe's lap who might one day decide not to have your best interests at heart. It comes across as oppressive control until there's a problem and then people huddle under the blanket.

It reminds me of the speech in a Few Good Men:

"We live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You, Lieutenant Whineberg? You want me on that wall! You need me on that wall! I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it!"

Of course nobody wants the Code Red but there is always a compromise - Android is locked down too. You can't do certain things without rooting your device and loading a custom ROM and while you can get binaries outside Google Play, you are strongly encouraged not to. The whole OS is open source but as I said, Google gets their revenue elsewhere and they have used patents to create a monopoly. The difference is not so much in the ethics as it is in the business model.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
The iPad 4 may be a good example. Just putting in a faster processor is no big deal, and definitely not innovative in any meaningful sense. In fact I would suggest that the "innovations" since the original iPhone are largely fine tuning, but not real innovation

Apple (or at least the company they bought) designed their own processor for the iPad 4. To say it's 'just faster' again highlights how people ascribe different levels of importance to things based on what matters to them. If that processor goes on to replace Intel's processor and outperform the competition then it might be treated as innovative because people feel the change. Not everything that is innovative will have an immediate impact.

We also shouldn't expect innovation at all times when we don't hold anyone else to that standard. When was the last time any tech company other than Apple did something significantly innovative? Google, Microsoft and all the mobile phone manufacturers have spent the last 5 years catching up to Apple. As you can see from the tablet market, they are still trying. At this point Apple wouldn't warrant criticism even if they stood perfectly still.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
I personally actually have to work quite hard for the dollars (actually Euros :-)) I spend on toys so I generally look fairly carefully for the "value for money" in purchasing. with a fixed disposable income there is a limit to how much "premium price" I am willing to pay for anything.

And would you feel the same if someone said that about the product of your work? If you held the quality of your work to a standard and found that in order to meet that standard, you couldn't compete on price with someone in China working for 5c an hour will you lower your price out of kindness even though you keep getting called on for work because your quality is higher?

Products like the Nexus and Kindle are used to suggest Apple could be cheaper but they are making zero profit on them. Google and Amazon treat them as conduits for content they do make a profit on. It's just a different model. Value is also subjective. To many, Justin Bieber's music has value.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
I very much appreciate your good arguments and the discussion !!

I appreciate your input here too. It's always good to hear points of view expressed in a rational and concise way where agreement is not an ultimate requirement.
post #114 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
Regarding: software is math. That's not really up for dispute.

Except that you can make artwork with Photoshop but you can't with pages of algorithms that make up the software (unless you're good at origami I suppose) so they aren't quite the same. As soon as you combine the math with technology that can add so much value to it then that value distinguishes it from it on its own. You can carve out a disc and use it for a table but stick 4 of them on a box and you have a vehicle, which has an entirely different value. You can't assign the disc a value on its own and ignore the context it's used in. An aeroplane wing sitting on the ground is valueless but on the side of a plane, it isn't, yet the object hasn't changed.

A rounded rectangle on its own is valueless but when you construct a mobile device in that shape because you have put it in context of a usage scenario and you change the way we use computers then the value changes. That shouldn't prevent people using the shape but the patent has merit in that context:

http://www.google.com/patents/US4614320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
I am not so sure that Apple has redefined anything. I have done 1 to 1 comparisons on a number of occasions and it has always resulted in no clear winner.

The further we get away from the old T-9 keyboards, the easier it is to forget the shift. Pretty much all phones are now fullscreen, fully multi-touch with centralised app distribution. Tablets and palmtops were operated with styluses and didn't have rich operating systems. I class that as a redefinition of mobile computing - where we use computers the way we should have always used computers, with our fingers.

Give a Windows CE palmtop to a 3 year old and then an iPhone and you can see the difference. The only common outcome is they'll both end up covered in saliva and snot.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
I would argue and also tend to agree with Steve Wozniak that Apple is not innovating now in the way that it did in the past and has become merely a consumer device manufacturer. It has less and less focus on creative use, openness and many other aspects that actually made it great in the first place.

That sort of thing happened when Wozniak was long gone from the company. At the beginning it was all proprietary because there weren't enough sales to make a standard. They moved to unix software and USB/VGA/DVI instead of serial/ADB etc. Since iOS, they have locked down a few things again but that's more to do with the security. When you have 400 million units out in the world and they all run Flash, you're putting the security of 400 million people in Adobe's lap who might one day decide not to have your best interests at heart. It comes across as oppressive control until there's a problem and then people huddle under the blanket.

It reminds me of the speech in a Few Good Men:

"We live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You, Lieutenant Whineberg? You want me on that wall! You need me on that wall! I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it!"

Of course nobody wants the Code Red but there is always a compromise - Android is locked down too. You can't do certain things without rooting your device and loading a custom ROM and while you can get binaries outside Google Play, you are strongly encouraged not to. The whole OS is open source but as I said, Google gets their revenue elsewhere and they have used patents to create a monopoly. The difference is not so much in the ethics as it is in the business model.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
The iPad 4 may be a good example. Just putting in a faster processor is no big deal, and definitely not innovative in any meaningful sense. In fact I would suggest that the "innovations" since the original iPhone are largely fine tuning, but not real innovation

Apple (or at least the company they bought) designed their own processor for the iPad 4. To say it's 'just faster' again highlights how people ascribe different levels of importance to things based on what matters to them. If that processor goes on to replace Intel's processor and outperform the competition then it might be treated as innovative because people feel the change. Not everything that is innovative will have an immediate impact.

We also shouldn't expect innovation at all times when we don't hold anyone else to that standard. When was the last time any tech company other than Apple did something significantly innovative? Google, Microsoft and all the mobile phone manufacturers have spent the last 5 years catching up to Apple. As you can see from the tablet market, they are still trying. At this point Apple wouldn't warrant criticism even if they stood perfectly still.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
I personally actually have to work quite hard for the dollars (actually Euros :-)) I spend on toys so I generally look fairly carefully for the "value for money" in purchasing. with a fixed disposable income there is a limit to how much "premium price" I am willing to pay for anything.

And would you feel the same if someone said that about the product of your work? If you held the quality of your work to a standard and found that in order to meet that standard, you couldn't compete on price with someone in China working for 5c an hour will you lower your price out of kindness even though you keep getting called on for work because your quality is higher?

Products like the Nexus and Kindle are used to suggest Apple could be cheaper but they are making zero profit on them. Google and Amazon treat them as conduits for content they do make a profit on. It's just a different model. Value is also subjective. To many, Justin Bieber's music has value.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
I very much appreciate your good arguments and the discussion !!

I appreciate your input here too. It's always good to hear points of view expressed in a rational and concise way where agreement is not an ultimate requirement.

Yes. Once again I have to say you have some good points, but to many of them there is an alternative perspective. The idea of the software itself being a saleable product is not the only possible business model. As I mentioned somewhere earlier I come from a scientific background and the ENTIRE internet was actually "invented" by publicly funded programming and distributed free of charge. Similarly, the vast majority of scientific software was originally distributed on the universities network (in the pre-software patent days) for free among colleagues. Most of the unix developments were also created and distributed "free".

 

Then we have the whole open source development and the FOSS and Linux community which is also largely sponsored by private companies who provide programmers time and resources, together with privateers who do it for love of the challenge or whatever. So to take the view that software must be patentable is something that will kill small developers and even the commercially sponsored FOSS programmers and put ALL software firmly in the hands of the big players ... including Microsoft and Apple ... and many others. It is just not possible to program in a world where algorithms are patented ... particularly since the actual claims are more or less impossible to understand (which is NOT a coincidence. the patent lawyers know what they are doing and why.)

 

I think you may be overestimating one side of the topic, and underestimating the other.

 

Getting back to Woz. Actually I was an early adopter of the Apple II, which opened creative possibilities in scientific laboratory automation that was simply not affordable from the Big Iron manufacturers .. IBM, DEC, WANG and numerous others who have long since vanished. With its expandability and flexibility it was a real breakthrough. We even built wire-wrapped adaptors, 16-Bit AD Converters and the like from discrete components to do things that were never and will never be a part of the standard "sealed box" commodity products that Apple (and others) are putting on the market today. And believe it or not, MANY of the real breakthroughs in science come from scientists (Tim Berners-Lee) is a well known example, who do not shirk at the challenge of actually building technology that they need/want for their real scientific interests. This is now an area that is in grave danger from the side-effects of software patents. 

 

In the modern times, this may cost the US dearly. FRAND for example is an insurmountable barrier to garage-inventors and programmers. If you don't sell the product, you have no revenue for even cheap license fees for technology. So you are blocked out of the market entirely. The USPTO is, in my view, criminally negligent in scrutinizing patent applications. The high percentage of patents that are declared invalid (if a defendent is willing or able to fight it out at all in the courts) is telling. In the EU it is orders of magnitude less of a problem because the patent office is much more diligent and tends not to issue junk or obvious patents.

 

I also suggest it is worth remembering that technological development in the components industry is not exclusively for the smartphone market. Companies like Samsung and others who are innovating, for example, in screen technologies have much wider application areas in their cross-hairs, many of which are highly profitable on a per-unit basis. Aerospace, Industrial automation, scientific instrumentation, are all examples where faster processors, higher component density and other aspects are driving the development. My point is that these things are R&D projects IN THEIR OWN RIGHT, so the mere fact that a smartphone manufacturer discovers the technology and finds application areas, is NOT in my mind "redefining the market". ANY application areas where memory, cpu speeds, graphics displays and networking technology are equally "re-defining" the market when you look at it that way. Apply this idea to the iPad 4 and you will understand what I mean. Actually the AI review of the iPad 4 picked up this point. It is NOT a major innovation in its own right. Faster rendering is certainly cool, but the benefit is only relevant when the whole technological chain, including bandwidth and throughput is also at a higher level. Being able to render the output from a slow internet server faster, is not in itself going to give you a better experience until the data actually arrives to be rendered.

 

So these general considerations form largely the basis for my skepticism about Apples "thermonuclear war". In my view it is mutually assured destruction and it WILL hit Apple sooner or later if import bans become a permanent feature of the us market. Bet on it.

 

But my personal agenda has also a more socially oriented component. WE, the end users, are the ones paying the F*ing lawsuits. It is really horrid that more resources are going into litigation than into R&D. Everyone suffers, everything is MUCH more expensive, effectively blocking the financially underprivileged from the digital world. I think that is BAD for society in general. In the US it is getting out of control. I would like to see the poor kids in 3-rd world countries get access to the knowledge and learning resources of the internet. In my mind that is IMPORTANT. More important than setting up the market so that the wealthy few can enjoy their Cartier Watches, Armani Suits, Llamborginis, Diamond tiaras and whatever. 

 

So if Apple wants to stay a niche Player, and if their customers are happy to pay far too much for what they actually get, its fine by me. (incidentally I actually have a fairly high income personally by US standards, so to some extent I can also enjoy expensive toys where I choose to do so,) But I think the right to clean water, electricity and communications, basic health services, access to education and many other things, are fundamental human rights, which are actually being attacked by Apple, Microsoft and some other players using aggressive "IP Litigation".

 

Anyway you look at it, Apple is getting thrashed by Android in the world market, precisely because they have decided to be a "premium price commodity manufacturer".  As the world's "richest" company, they could make other choices. They don't. They chose to be greed-motivated. 75% of the world smartphone market is Android based. That is the reality. Steve Jobs was talking crap when he claimed it is "stolen from apple". He knew it, and their "stealing" of the motorola FRAND patents on communication technology is adequate proof as I have mentioned before. To claim there is some justification in demanding discriminatory licence fees for trivial technology for "Android" products, and simultaneously refusing to pay for the FRAND Technology that makes the iPhone possible AT ALL, is hubris. I don't say that BECAUSE apple does it. The criticism is equally valid for all players who try that crap. 

 

The Apple-Motorola FRAND litigation got tossed in 2 US courts already. It will be interesting to see what happens with the M$ Motorola litigation. My guess is that Motorola will get less than the 2.5% per device license that they claimed as a starting point for the FRAND license negotiations that both Apple and M$ refused to follow in good faith. But they will get MUCH more than the fractions of a cent that these two litigants are aiming for.

 

Now there is a good argument that FRAND patents should be cheap(er). But it is not OK to do this AFTER the fact. If the patent holders think that they will not get the ROI on their FRAND patents that make it worthwhile, then they will be more than reluctant to contribute to FRAND. That is happening already. I doubt that it is in the interests of the economy or society as a whole.  Its also worth remembering that ALL parties are entirely self-serving in their litigation arguments. Apple and Microsoft are no exceptions. But that is the whole point of FRAND. It is SUPPOSED to produce negotiated agreements based on a whole list of factors, including the "importance" of individual claims in the basket of Patents concerned. This is not a simple matter, and probably not one that the courts are well placed to resolve. In the end it is likely that its will turn out to be a no-win battle and Apple will also lose something valuable to them ... their profit margin. But the customers will pay. Count on that !

 

Just taking my industry (generic pharmaceuticals) as an example. My company is VERY quality oriented in the EU where I have first-hand direct experience. But the margins are low in the generics business (generic pharmaceuticals are off-patent products). Yet the R&D costs to bring a new pharmaceutical product to market lie at aroud $1 Billion per new chemical entity. (in laymans terms, new drugs). And the time-to-market often means that even patented products (and believe me, big pharma is good at patenting) may often not have much patent lifetime left by the time they actually come to the pharmacies. So from the 17 year patent lifetime, often only 2-5 years are left to recover the Billion in R&D. There is simply no comparison to a "rubber-band" or "rounded corners" patent. I hope we can all agree that the patients have a RIGHT to high quality pharma with proven effectivity and safety on the one hand, and manufacturing quality on the other. (BTW I don't want to get into a discussion of Pharma in general here in AI. It's just an argument to underline that software patents are not really comparable in any meaningful sense to utility or chemical patents. There are orders-of-maginitude differences in the real costs, but also in the stakes. Staying alive is something most of us place high value on.) Yes, you can also die if your smartphone fails, but that is an exceptional situation.

 

So from my perspective we have both technical and social aspects to consider before we can really take firm positions. I don't fundamentally deny or question the right to "for profit" motivations, and I don't think that any company is "ethical" in the sense that I use the word. But the misuse of the patent system, as is currently the case in the US, and which is exemplified by the Jobsian "thermonuclear war" is something that is against the interests of society, the customers and higher values in terms of human development. Profit is OK, often it is honest, but profit at any cost, or externalization of the costs (somebody else pays) is not defensible. We do not live in a black-and-white world. Nor do we live in a perfect world, but I feel we have a duty and obligation to society in general and the coming generations in particular to ensure that the world they live in is not worse than it could be if we make the right choices now. You may use the words "idealistic". Maybe it is. But a world without ideals and respect for fundamental human rights is not a world that I would be prepared to defend.

 

As an aside: in my area of current professional expertise (Privacy Law), there are also clear cultural divergences between the US and the EU. These take many forms, but the bottom line is that we do have incompatible expectations. (Incidentally in the EU and particularly in Germany, the right to privacy and to informational self determination are constitutional rights. In the US this is unfortunately not the case. So Americans often don't understand why we tend to get hysterical when the US infringes basic human and constitutional privacy rights (of EU Citizens), and Europeans don't understand why the Americans get hysterical when they perceive that Big Government is limiting the right to "make money". It bears reflecting on this. While we think we share certain basic views and beliefs. This is increasingly not the case. The sad thing is that the EU is becoming less relevant to the world than it used to be ... with the Chinese becoming the dominant power in all areas, and we share even fewer basic views on freedom and other basic human rights with them. Did you know that there are more chinese with IQ over 150 than there are inhabitants in the Americas, and that there are more chinese with an IQ over 180 than the US population, or that they are turning out around 10 times the number of technology graduates in China than in the US. ? 


Edited by Taniwha - 11/21/12 at 5:01am
post #115 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
The idea of the software itself being a saleable product is not the only possible business model. the ENTIRE internet was actually "invented" by publicly funded programming and distributed free of charge.

Sponsored by private companies who provide programmers time and resources, together with privateers who do it for love of the challenge or whatever.

There was a direct economic benefit for investors in the internet though. Look at examples that don't have a direct return like Wikipedia where they have to regularly put up banners begging people for money. You can't pay a mortgage and support a family with the hope that someone will offer you free money for an altruistic endeavour. I don't prefer the for-profit business model by any means, I just recognise that it's more often than not the successful model.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
So to take the view that software must be patentable is something that will kill small developers and even the commercially sponsored FOSS programmers and put ALL software firmly in the hands of the big players ... including Microsoft and Apple ... and many others. It is just not possible to program in a world where algorithms are patented ... particularly since the actual claims are more or less impossible to understand (which is NOT a coincidence. the patent lawyers know what they are doing and why.)

I think that some form of protection is a must. I agree that too broad a protection harms progress. The main reason given on the following site for why patents are favoured is because copyright just isn't working well enough:

http://otd.harvard.edu/inventions/ip/software/compare/

This goes beyond software - the legal system just hasn't kept up at all with the digital movement and the global economy and tech companies are using whatever means they can to protect themselves.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
We even built wire-wrapped adaptors, 16-Bit AD Converters and the like from discrete components to do things that were never and will never be a part of the standard "sealed box" commodity products that Apple (and others) are putting on the market today.

You can say that about cars too though switching over to electronic engine management systems from mechanical/electrical. Computers are much more advanced than they used to be - transistor count is in the billions instead of thousands. Even so, there's nothing stopping you making a USB or PCI device.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
the mere fact that a smartphone manufacturer discovers the technology and finds application areas, is NOT in my mind "redefining the market". ANY application areas where memory, cpu speeds, graphics displays and networking technology are equally "re-defining" the market when you look at it that way.

That would suggest that laptops have been significantly redefined over the years but nobody would say that. The clamshell design hasn't changed much in 30 years:

http://techland.time.com/2012/07/16/clamshell-the-history-of-the-greatest-computing-form-factor-of-all-time/

By contrast, the way we use mobile devices has changed entirely. Could a doctor effectively carry a clamshell laptop to a patient's bedside? Not really but now they can take an iPad or similar and access an entire world of information conveniently. You could say it's only because of advances in the components but it's not just that. The Apple Newton had a lot of the same core capability in 1993.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
WE, the end users, are the ones paying the F*ing lawsuits. It is really horrid that more resources are going into litigation than into R&D.

Perhaps but say Apple spent $1b between 2001 and 2007 developing the iPhone and then Samsung picks one up in a store for $500, picks it apart (there are court documents showing they did this) and doesn't have to make any of the hard decisions (a lot of the costs are in making the mistakes). They then implement it freely and make $6b with a fraction of the R&D:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20091505

Google analyses the software to go from this:

http://www.theverge.com/2012/4/25/2974676/this-was-the-original-google-phone-presented-in-2006

to what we have now, again without making the hard decisions over how to solve the problems. Is that fair? Would everyone feel the same way if it was Apple sitting doing nothing and waiting for other companies to make the mistakes, find a solution that works and then do it the same way?

Apple made a profit because the competition couldn't catch up fast enough (it took Google 2 years to get the software keyboard in Android) but if everybody had undercut them in price quickly by compromising on quality, the imitators profit more than the innovator. Of course in the short term, the customers applaud but what happens when the innovators stop putting in the effort?

We don't have to wonder, we all saw the rut the mobile phone industry got into. Apple changed it and everybody smacks their forehead saying 'well, obvious really' and proceed to deny them the credit for it. But further, say their terms aren't acceptable and support imitators with a different business model.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
Everyone suffers, everything is MUCH more expensive, effectively blocking the financially underprivileged from the digital world.

Apple making high quality products doesn't prevent the underprivileged accessing the internet. If that was all that was available it would but that isn't the case.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
if their customers are happy to pay far too much for what they actually get, its fine by me.

Off-contract iPhone 5 = £529
http://store.apple.com/uk/browse/home/shop_iphone/family/iphone5
Off-contract Galaxy S3 = £449 (launched at £499)
http://shop.o2.co.uk/mobile_phone/pay_monthly/init/Samsung/Galaxy_S_III_Marble_White

Apple could be more competitive on price in a number of areas but so could Sony, Volkswagen, BMW, Prada, Calvin Klein... If the customers won't stop buying from them, why would they? Apple can't keep up with the demand as it is. Perhaps that is what motivates people to encourage others not to buy from Apple but it should be done in equal measure for products lke the Galaxy S3, which are similarly 'overpriced'.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
I think the right to clean water, electricity and communications, basic health services, access to education and many other things, are fundamental human rights, which are actually being attacked by Apple, Microsoft and some other players using aggressive "IP Litigation".

I don't see how you link those together. Wouldn't patents on drugs affect people in poverty more than anything Apple does?

"The Gates Foundation has spent $6 billion on vaccine-related projects. That’s a lot of money, until you realize that the top-selling vaccine, Pfizer’s Prevnar 13, will soon generate that much revenue in a year. All told, the Gates Foundation has given away $25 billion so far. That is less than the National Institutes of Health uses in a year. Gates’ entire net worth is only twice the annual budget of the NIH. It might seem that America’s richest man can move any mountain, but he has to pick his battles. That’s why he put so much effort into figuring out how to get drug giants like GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Pfizer and Novartis to try to find ways to get their vaccines to the developing world. It would be great if wealth could just flow easily into making the health care systems of poor countries more robust."

http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2012/01/12/bill-gates-and-polio-victory-not-conspiracy/3/

Should we end the patents on drugs to prevent commercial abuse?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
75% of the world smartphone market is Android based. That is the reality.

That is the current quarterly sales ratio. Overall, Apple has sold 400 million iOS devices vs 500 million Android (these figures will vary by a few tens of millions since they were published).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
Steve Jobs was talking crap when he claimed it is "stolen from apple". He knew it

Why did Google offer to license their technology? It wasn't just stolen from Apple, Oracle sued Google and Microsoft now gets paid by manufacturers shipping Android devices.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
software patents are not really comparable in any meaningful sense to utility or chemical patents. There are orders-of-maginitude differences in the real costs, but also in the stakes.

What about viagra or restless leg lotion vs software that controls a pacemaker? What's more important? In terms of real costs, you can't say that software costs are always far less and therefore less worthy of protection, especially since if medical developents are mostly government funded, the inventors aren't at risk of losing their income. A single video game can take $20-100m to develop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
the misuse of the patent system, as is currently the case in the US, and which is exemplified by the Jobsian "thermonuclear war" is something that is against the interests of society, the customers and higher values in terms of human development.

I don't support their war against Android entirely but the legal system has obviously given them insufficient protection over their efforts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
a world without ideals and respect for fundamental human rights is not a world that I would be prepared to defend.

This is a common projection made from all sides. People claim that Google's and Facebook's models of offering services at low cost while compromising personal information to favour businesses is not something we should advocate. Likewise the motivation for ever-cheaper products leading to 'slave labour' in the 3rd world.

On the one hand, you'd say expensive products the poor can't afford harms them, others would say low profit products they have to build forces them to work for low wages.
On the one hand, you'd say Apple has a locked down for-profit business model that harms access to resources, others would say advertising supported services compromise individual privacy.

We should all aim to get as close to the scenario where we have affordable products, fair competition, fair labour, individual privacy and a thousand other good things but they have inherent conflicts that ensure we can only ever reach a compromise between them all. I will gladly fight for the most important ones and I don't place financial prosperity in that category but I feel creatives and inventors should be incentivised and protected, otherwise we are doing them a disservice.
post #116 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
The idea of the software itself being a saleable product is not the only possible business model. the ENTIRE internet was actually "invented" by publicly funded programming and distributed free of charge.

Sponsored by private companies who provide programmers time and resources, together with privateers who do it for love of the challenge or whatever.

There was a direct economic benefit for investors in the internet though. Look at examples that don't have a direct return like Wikipedia where they have to regularly put up banners begging people for money. You can't pay a mortgage and support a family with the hope that someone will offer you free money for an altruistic endeavour. I don't prefer the for-profit business model by any means, I just recognise that it's more often than not the successful model.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
So to take the view that software must be patentable is something that will kill small developers and even the commercially sponsored FOSS programmers and put ALL software firmly in the hands of the big players ... including Microsoft and Apple ... and many others. It is just not possible to program in a world where algorithms are patented ... particularly since the actual claims are more or less impossible to understand (which is NOT a coincidence. the patent lawyers know what they are doing and why.)

I think that some form of protection is a must. I agree that too broad a protection harms progress. The main reason given on the following site for why patents are favoured is because copyright just isn't working well enough:

http://otd.harvard.edu/inventions/ip/software/compare/

This goes beyond software - the legal system just hasn't kept up at all with the digital movement and the global economy and tech companies are using whatever means they can to protect themselves.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
We even built wire-wrapped adaptors, 16-Bit AD Converters and the like from discrete components to do things that were never and will never be a part of the standard "sealed box" commodity products that Apple (and others) are putting on the market today.

You can say that about cars too though switching over to electronic engine management systems from mechanical/electrical. Computers are much more advanced than they used to be - transistor count is in the billions instead of thousands. Even so, there's nothing stopping you making a USB or PCI device.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
the mere fact that a smartphone manufacturer discovers the technology and finds application areas, is NOT in my mind "redefining the market". ANY application areas where memory, cpu speeds, graphics displays and networking technology are equally "re-defining" the market when you look at it that way.

That would suggest that laptops have been significantly redefined over the years but nobody would say that. The clamshell design hasn't changed much in 30 years:

http://techland.time.com/2012/07/16/clamshell-the-history-of-the-greatest-computing-form-factor-of-all-time/

By contrast, the way we use mobile devices has changed entirely. Could a doctor effectively carry a clamshell laptop to a patient's bedside? Not really but now they can take an iPad or similar and access an entire world of information conveniently. You could say it's only because of advances in the components but it's not just that. The Apple Newton had a lot of the same core capability in 1993.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
WE, the end users, are the ones paying the F*ing lawsuits. It is really horrid that more resources are going into litigation than into R&D.

Perhaps but say Apple spent $1b between 2001 and 2007 developing the iPhone and then Samsung picks one up in a store for $500, picks it apart (there are court documents showing they did this) and doesn't have to make any of the hard decisions (a lot of the costs are in making the mistakes). They then implement it freely and make $6b with a fraction of the R&D:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20091505

Google analyses the software to go from this:

http://www.theverge.com/2012/4/25/2974676/this-was-the-original-google-phone-presented-in-2006

to what we have now, again without making the hard decisions over how to solve the problems. Is that fair? Would everyone feel the same way if it was Apple sitting doing nothing and waiting for other companies to make the mistakes, find a solution that works and then do it the same way?

Apple made a profit because the competition couldn't catch up fast enough (it took Google 2 years to get the software keyboard in Android) but if everybody had undercut them in price quickly by compromising on quality, the imitators profit more than the innovator. Of course in the short term, the customers applaud but what happens when the innovators stop putting in the effort?

We don't have to wonder, we all saw the rut the mobile phone industry got into. Apple changed it and everybody smacks their forehead saying 'well, obvious really' and proceed to deny them the credit for it. But further, say their terms aren't acceptable and support imitators with a different business model.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
Everyone suffers, everything is MUCH more expensive, effectively blocking the financially underprivileged from the digital world.

Apple making high quality products doesn't prevent the underprivileged accessing the internet. If that was all that was available it would but that isn't the case.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
if their customers are happy to pay far too much for what they actually get, its fine by me.

Off-contract iPhone 5 = £529
http://store.apple.com/uk/browse/home/shop_iphone/family/iphone5
Off-contract Galaxy S3 = £449 (launched at £499)
http://shop.o2.co.uk/mobile_phone/pay_monthly/init/Samsung/Galaxy_S_III_Marble_White

Apple could be more competitive on price in a number of areas but so could Sony, Volkswagen, BMW, Prada, Calvin Klein... If the customers won't stop buying from them, why would they? Apple can't keep up with the demand as it is. Perhaps that is what motivates people to encourage others not to buy from Apple but it should be done in equal measure for products lke the Galaxy S3, which are similarly 'overpriced'.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
I think the right to clean water, electricity and communications, basic health services, access to education and many other things, are fundamental human rights, which are actually being attacked by Apple, Microsoft and some other players using aggressive "IP Litigation".

I don't see how you link those together. Wouldn't patents on drugs affect people in poverty more than anything Apple does?

"The Gates Foundation has spent $6 billion on vaccine-related projects. That’s a lot of money, until you realize that the top-selling vaccine, Pfizer’s Prevnar 13, will soon generate that much revenue in a year. All told, the Gates Foundation has given away $25 billion so far. That is less than the National Institutes of Health uses in a year. Gates’ entire net worth is only twice the annual budget of the NIH. It might seem that America’s richest man can move any mountain, but he has to pick his battles. That’s why he put so much effort into figuring out how to get drug giants like GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Pfizer and Novartis to try to find ways to get their vaccines to the developing world. It would be great if wealth could just flow easily into making the health care systems of poor countries more robust."

http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2012/01/12/bill-gates-and-polio-victory-not-conspiracy/3/

Should we end the patents on drugs to prevent commercial abuse?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
75% of the world smartphone market is Android based. That is the reality.

That is the current quarterly sales ratio. Overall, Apple has sold 400 million iOS devices vs 500 million Android (these figures will vary by a few tens of millions since they were published).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
Steve Jobs was talking crap when he claimed it is "stolen from apple". He knew it

Why did Google offer to license their technology? It wasn't just stolen from Apple, Oracle sued Google and Microsoft now gets paid by manufacturers shipping Android devices.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
software patents are not really comparable in any meaningful sense to utility or chemical patents. There are orders-of-maginitude differences in the real costs, but also in the stakes.

What about viagra or restless leg lotion vs software that controls a pacemaker? What's more important? In terms of real costs, you can't say that software costs are always far less and therefore less worthy of protection, especially since if medical developents are mostly government funded, the inventors aren't at risk of losing their income. A single video game can take $20-100m to develop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
the misuse of the patent system, as is currently the case in the US, and which is exemplified by the Jobsian "thermonuclear war" is something that is against the interests of society, the customers and higher values in terms of human development.

I don't support their war against Android entirely but the legal system has obviously given them insufficient protection over their efforts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
a world without ideals and respect for fundamental human rights is not a world that I would be prepared to defend.

This is a common projection made from all sides. People claim that Google's and Facebook's models of offering services at low cost while compromising personal information to favour businesses is not something we should advocate. Likewise the motivation for ever-cheaper products leading to 'slave labour' in the 3rd world.

On the one hand, you'd say expensive products the poor can't afford harms them, others would say low profit products they have to build forces them to work for low wages.
On the one hand, you'd say Apple has a locked down for-profit business model that harms access to resources, others would say advertising supported services compromise individual privacy.

We should all aim to get as close to the scenario where we have affordable products, fair competition, fair labour, individual privacy and a thousand other good things but they have inherent conflicts that ensure we can only ever reach a compromise between them all. I will gladly fight for the most important ones and I don't place financial prosperity in that category but I feel creatives and inventors should be incentivised and protected, otherwise we are doing them a disservice.

 

Hi Marvin,

 

In the interests of not getting MUCH too long (and I don't even know if anyone else is interested in this particular thread) I'm going to be somewhat selective.

 

You make a lot of good arguments some of them even convincing. ;-) When I look at what we customarily describe these days as the "digital world" I tend to agree that this has come to be SO important for society in general that it invokes the need to look again at our priorities. In fact I think we largely agree on many points, albeit often from different vantage points. 

 

The sticking point seems not to be the basic agreement that it is a good thing for bright ideas to be recognized and receive some kind of protection. What is killing innovation in the us seems to be the low quality of patents on the one side, and the artificial need to acquire defensive patent portfolios in order to survive in business AT ALL in the high-tech market. In my view this is a very bad derailment of the fundamental idea of patents, namely to promote innovation for the good of society. Now its never going to be feasible to predict in advance what is going to turn out to be a milestone invention (leaving the software patent argument for the moment). Currently, with the ability of the patent holder to block development by restrictive licensing, the balance is skewed and the interests of society at large are not being protected at all.

 

BTW, Don't try to make Bill Gates look like Robin Hood. He wasn't and he isn't. He got to be obscenely rich by creating and abusing a monopoly power at the expense of society in general. Philanthropic activities, in the absence of a prison sentence, do not compensate society for that. No more than it would be acceptable to society to put the boss of the columbian cocaine mafia on the same pedestal simply because he distributes a small fraction of his ill-gotten wealth to a select part of society on terms that he determines.

 

An aside: even big pharma gives away some of its patented drugs. My company for example distributes an antimalaria drug free to the tune of $1.7 Billion to third world countries. It's just a drop in the ocean and probably more a matter of image than ethical concerns.

 

But as long as the patent system is capable of being abused and used to block both access to the digital world, and as an anticompetitive tool, then something is fundamentally wrong. As I mentioned a couple of times, this is a BAD coming mainly from the US and its legal system.  Your mention of the software controlling a pacemaker is amusing. As I understand the law, it would be theoretically possible to a patent-holder to get an injunction or demand money from an end-user as well. Some Trolls are already trying that (fortunately with limited success.) 

 

Nevertheless, with forum shopping, biased judges, manipulated juries, suppression of material evidence, I don't see much reason to believe that society is well served by the US legal system. On the other hand, I tend towards the view that participation in the digital society is so important in the meantime that one can probably regard it also as a fundamental human right. A growing number of people seem to be taking that position, and that does, in my view, require adequate protection which may, in particular circumstances, trump the right to make a buck. In some ways the idea of classification of patents, in rudimentary form in FRAND, may be a direction we need to consider. If ANY patent is essential or necessary for the common good, then it may be the case that the patent-holders rights to exploit may need to be restricted.

 

Leaving the smartphone arena for a moment: In the biomedical field this can get to be a life-critical issue. Can a patent-holder receive the right to withhold life-saving diagnostic or treatment based on a business method patent ? Or a software patent ??.  Is it ethically justifiable that natural gene sequences should be patentable ? The patent law would seem to say no to patenting nature, but the courts have punched a hole in that wall. Both of these would seem to me to be cases where unpatentability should in fact be agreed or at the very least be massively limited. I would even go so far as to say that a society does in fact have the right to assign certain kinds of patents to society. (Life-saving vaccines spring to mind) and if necessary to do this without, or with minimal compensation in emergency situations. (India and Brasil are already doing this). I agree that it needs to be controlled carefully, but it is a good example of where fundamental human rights are going to trump the profit motive. I think this is GOOD. But these may be situations where compensation may be more appropriate from the taxpayers, or in a package deal with some other benefits for the lost IP (limited tax-breaks or whatever.) I agree that the good for society may make it necessary to change the business model in Pharma. But really, there's no reason why drugs should only be developed by private enterprise. There is a good argument that this may be an area where the taxpayer needs to get involved. In the US that won't fly but in the civilized world (HeHe) it does have a chance.

I was personally well informed of the "behind-the-scenes" discussions during the "Influenza Pandemic" debate. Roche made a killing on Tamiflu (which cost the taxpayer x100 Million in Germany for stockpiling). As it turned out, that was in retrospect not a good idea, but if the pandemic had really gotten to be as bad as it could have, then the subsequent discussion on the costs of stockpiling drugs and vaccines would have been rather different. But even that "learning" experience has had a positive effect, in that the R&D efforts for a broad-band anti-influenza vaccine received a BIG boost in the industry, and I would guess that we will see that on the market "any day now" (based on insider information and some knowledge of the state of science in the field).

 

Returning to the SW patents: considering the difficulty of ranking sw patents in any kind of rational form, and considering the astronimical number of patents involved in a smartphone, its a no-brainer to see that if every single patent was to receive the "compensation" that Apple is demanding for some of its patents, then there would be NO SMARTPHONES. There would probably not even be dumbphones because the network and telekommunications patents would block those as well, IF EVERY PATENT received the same level of compensation. It doesn't make sense to me to allow blocking injunctions on trivial patents that play a minor role in a complex technological package. So far however we don't seem to have a better solution. But even the present solution is not viable if each of the 250,000 patents was to cost a dollar per device. Sure, Bill Gates could talk to Larry Ellison. So what.  So we need a different approach. And in my view, a stronger recognition of the interests of society need to play a much more central role than they do at this point in time.

 

 

 

You are spot on regarding copyright as a failed mechanism for protecting "inventors" rights. But maybe that may also hold a possible solution. Looking at the absurdity of the Oracle-Google argument, it may make sense to restrict software patents to a particular source code implementation, rather than allowing overly broad patents on the underlying algorithms. But then you would need to limit the patent life-span to a short (5 Years ??) period, or change the copyright laws to do it in that context.  

 

Getting to Facebook-Google. You seem to forget that in the EU, Facebook and Google don't "Own" the data they are selling. The data subjects "own" the data. So selling it without authorization is "theft" :-). As I mentioned, in the German Jurisdiction we have the concept of informational self-determination, which is a contstitutional right and cannot be signed away. 

 

I have recently (today) read that the UK border authorities are wanting to use a SAS profiling package to determine "risky travellers". You will one day come to understand how dangerous this thinking is going to become. On the other hand, Google has, in my view, become a quasi-monopoly BECAUSE of the value people place on their search capabilities. So here we have an interesting balance to find. How to keep the good and keep out the bad. Facebook in my mind is irrelevant. Its a fad and doesn't contribute to society at all. You could shut it down today and nobody would be worse off except the shareholders. How sad.

 

But the problem with Google is much more complex and important. The difference between it being a really good service to society, and a really dangerous antidemocratic weapon of oppression is basically simply a matter of two things. Who asks the questions and what are the questions they ask. If the Nazis had had google technology AND the database, there would be no jews. Period. Think about it.

post #117 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha View Post

 

Hi Marvin,

 

In the interests of not getting MUCH too long (and I don't even know if anyone else is interested in this particular thread) I'm going to be somewhat selective.

 

FWIW, I'm still following along with interest. 

post #118 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
What is killing innovation in the us seems to be the low quality of patents on the one side, and the artificial need to acquire defensive patent portfolios in order to survive in business AT ALL in the high-tech market. as long as the patent system is capable of being abused and used to block both access to the digital world, and as an anticompetitive tool, then something is fundamentally wrong.

In some ways the idea of classification of patents, in rudimentary form in FRAND, may be a direction we need to consider. If ANY patent is essential or necessary for the common good, then it may be the case that the patent-holders rights to exploit may need to be restricted.

The patent law would seem to say no to patenting nature, but the courts have punched a hole in that wall. Both of these would seem to me to be cases where unpatentability should in fact be agreed or at the very least be massively limited. I would even go so far as to say that a society does in fact have the right to assign certain kinds of patents to society. These may be situations where compensation may be more appropriate from the taxpayers, or in a package deal with some other benefits for the lost IP (limited tax-breaks or whatever.)

We do the latter already to an extent with public money in that we choose which services are essential and therefore publicly funded such as emergency services, healthcare, judicial systems, some transport services and so on. But then things like housing and food aren't for the most part.

There is a danger in creating an anti-competitive situation when trying to prevent one. If everyone decided to stand behind national healthcare for example, it makes it difficult for private companies to compete with that, even if they offer a better service. As a consumer, you then have little option of saying you are unhappy with the service and will take your business to the next competitor. But in this case, public funding has to be the better option solely on the basis that a business would make more profit by denying treatment in many situations.

If the profit motive of an essential service is contrary to the provision of the service, it is better to be publicly funded. The profit motive in the food and housing markets are not contrary to the provision of food and housing so that works in the private sector.

The provision of software is directly linked to profit so again there's no inherent need for public funding. Given that we have survived for millenia without this technology, it also can't really be viewed as a fundamental human right in its entirety. When it is viewed as a means to access the best forms of education, there is some basis for it being linked with human rights but it doesn't go anywhere near covering Apple's latest smartphone IP. At best, it would be accessing some sort of terminal hooked to the internet.

We also have to consider who we are talking about when using phrases like 'as a society' in the context of making decisions. It's not feasible to pass every patent round and let us all decide on what's essential enough that we should force the owner to hand it over. These decisions have to be made by a small number of officials who are able to abuse their positions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
considering the difficulty of ranking sw patents in any kind of rational form, and considering the astronimical number of patents involved in a smartphone, its a no-brainer to see that if every single patent was to receive the "compensation" that Apple is demanding for some of its patents, then there would be NO SMARTPHONES. It doesn't make sense to me to allow blocking injunctions on trivial patents that play a minor role in a complex technological package.

There are cases for injunctions like with Psystar - the company that tried to sell Mac clones:

http://appleinsider.com/articles/09/12/15/apple_wins_permanent_injunction_against_clone_mac_maker_psystar.html

They used a small piece of software to compete with Apple and there was never an outcome of reaching a licensing agreement.

Should Samsung be allowed to keep selling products that have taken ideas from Apple that Apple doesn't want them to keep using? The issue isn't money - they both have plenty. It's about protecting their brand. The following setup isn't acceptable:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/pda/2011/jul/21/fake-apple-store

But if the logo and products are replaced with Samsung's then it's ok?:

http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/samsungs-retail-store-inspired-by-apple-store/

If we assume injunctions shoudn't be possible for trivial things, what if a company uses a whole bunch of trivial things (like Samsung) or a trivial thing that enables an entire class of non-trivial things (like Psystar)?

In general, I'd agree that infringement of trivial elements shouldn't have serious consequences by definition but it's what qualifies for that label that's questionable - an icon layout, an icon design, a UI behaviour, a shape, a colour? The Apple logo is just a shape but it's unique. The iPad is just a rounded rectangle but it's also unique. If they'd shaped it like an apple there wouldn't be a problem but no, they had to pick a rectangle.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
it may make sense to restrict software patents to a particular source code implementation, rather than allowing overly broad patents on the underlying algorithms. But then you would need to limit the patent life-span to a short (5 Years ??) period, or change the copyright laws to do it in that context.

It's not quite enough though because software keeps changing and you can't copyright future modifications to copyrighted code so all someone has to do is change enough to avoid the copyright. This is a lot easier to do in software than in a book for example because software can be rewritten by a machine and still work but a book can't be rewritten by a machine and still make sense.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha 
If the Nazis had had google technology AND the database, there would be no jews.

Any searches for Matzah Ball recipes sure would land them in the scheiss. It gets really bad with mobile software because the app stores all have the IDs and profiles of everyone using the store and the contacts on phones can be accessed with apps. They also know buying history and interests.

That has some relevance in these legal disputes because these disputes will ultimately determine the success or failure of big companies. In the case of Microsoft, their ability to rip off the Mac OS allowed them to create a dominating presence in desktop computing, which severely hampered the adoption of web standards and open media formats. But if Apple had been able to protect the Mac OS with software patents, they couldn't have. But then Apple would be the only hardware manufacturer.

I don't believe Google will create the same scenario as Microsoft and that's why I'd rather they be Apple's main competition than anyone else but it does create a situation where Google is a controlling element in the lives of hundreds of millions of people. If they aren't to be trusted, allowing them the means to reach that status can't be in our best interests.

- software patents could have stopped Microsoft
- software patents can stop Google who already used software patents to create a monopoly

What would perhaps work better in all fields is to scrap patents (the ownership of concepts) as you've alluded to and instead only allow copyright of implementations but within a degree of well-defined variance. The copyright can last indefinitely though just as it does with a brand and the main issue would be over the variation allowed.

So people would be able to build capacitive tablets without licensing but they couldn't build them to the same Apple likeness that Samsung has. If a court finds that it doesn't infringe the variance in the copyright, that's the end of it but it has to account for the entire thing. The tablet hardware might pass but not when you account for the packaging, cabling, store presentation, OS modifications and so on that show an intent to mimic the original.
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