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Apple CEO Tim Cook says America's IP environment needs more work

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
In the midst of a larger discussion with U.S. senators on international corporate taxes, Apple CEO Tim Cook took an aside to discuss another area of regulation where the iPhone maker would like to see changes: the United States' intellectual property protection environment.

coooooook


Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) broke from the larger topic of discussion to talk intellectual property with Cook during Tuesday's Senate hearing on taxes. Asked by Ayotte about the intellectual property benefits of running a company based in the United States versus those in other countries, Cook responded that, actually, the U.S. system could use improvement.

"I actually think," Cook said, "that we require much more work on IP in this country."

The Apple chief's response appeared to take Ayotte aback, as she had been asking on intellectual property in the context of China, where bootleg Apple Stores have occasionally been known to spring up.

Cook specifically pointed out the slowness of the U.S. court system, which can take years to resolve or even come to trial. The process, Cook said, is ill-suited to deal with the realities of the technology sector, which can move through several cycles in the time it takes the court system to resolve one case.

"The U.S. court system is currently structured in such a way," Cook said, "that it's currently difficult to get the protections a technology company needs, because the cycle is very long."

Cook no doubt was referring to Apple's ongoing struggles with a variety of manufacturers making devices running Google's mobile operating system, Android. More specifically, the Apple head likely referred to South Korea's Samsung, which leveraged close knowledge of Apple's operations to turn itself into the world's largest smartphone manufacturer in terms of units sold.

Apple won a $1.05 billion verdict against Samsung when a jury found last year that Samsung had infringed numerous Apple patents. That decision, though, is currently wrapped up in the appeal process, and part of the verdict has been set aside, possibly for an entirely new trial.

Aside from that first verdict, Apple also has another suit in the U.S. against Samsung. Apple recently sought to add Samsung's newest flagship smartphone to that suit, alleging that the South Korean phone maker continues to infringe Apple patents. That suit, though, isn't scheduled to begin until 2014, underlining Cook's point on timing and cycles.

"For us, our intellectual property is so important to our company," Cook said. "I would love to see the system strengthened to protect it."
post #2 of 58
Quote:
"For us, our intellectual property is so important to our company," Cook said. "I would love to see the system strengthened to protect it."

A small correction. I would love to see the system strengthened so that Samsung would get necked out of this country.

post #3 of 58
On top of the time issue there's all the suits by patent holding companies and things like how difficult it has proven for Apple to step in against Lodsys going after developers who are, according to Apple, covered by a patent exhaustion agreement paid for by Apple when they licensed the IAP tech from the previous owners. As soon as Apple said that the courts should have frozen all cases, barred Lodsys from starting anymore or doing any settlements while Apple's claim was validated. IF Apple was proven wrong then Lodsys could have at it.

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post #4 of 58

Have to say that Cook did a very good job in dealing with the senators who really are looking for sound bites to show how strong they are against corporate america.  He maintained his cool, and did not rise to the bait that they tried to get him to so they could look good.

 

Rand Paul's comment about "why are we even having these hearings on apple" made me reassess Paul in a much more favorable light.  Plus it was funny.

 

Like bank robbers congress will go where the potential money is, and right now that is apple.  

post #5 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

On top of the time issue there's all the suits by patent holding companies and things like how difficult it has proven for Apple to step in against Lodsys going after developers who are, according to Apple, covered by a patent exhaustion agreement paid for by Apple when they licensed the IAP tech from the previous owners. As soon as Apple said that the courts should have frozen all cases, barred Lodsys from starting anymore or doing any settlements while Apple's claim was validated. IF Apple was proven wrong then Lodsys could have at it.

Cook wisely did not bring that up - because it's a ridiculous argument.

There's nothing illegal or immoral about patent holding companies suing (What Lodsys did is somewhat different). The so-called 'patent trolls' serve a useful place in helping to manage US IP.
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post #6 of 58
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
coooooook

 

That's the smarmiest frownsmile yet! That's the frownsmile of a man who knows he's absolutely in the right.

 

Tim Cook, showing Congress how to look smug.

 

 

That's some bush league smug there.

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post #7 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

That's the smarmiest frownsmile yet! That's the frownsmile of a man who knows he's absolutely in the right.

That was Tim contorting so as not to roll his eyes and sigh as he has no doubt been training for weeks not to do.
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post #8 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Cook wisely did not bring that up - because it's a ridiculous argument.

There's nothing illegal or immoral about patent holding companies suing (What Lodsys did is somewhat different). The so-called 'patent trolls' serve a useful place in helping to manage US IP.

 

The "so-called" patent trolls might, but the actual ones don't. Yes, we know you are a denier, but your position is entirely untenable, and we all know there are companies who hold patents solely for purposes contrary to the purpose for which they are issued, or authorized by our constitution. We've been over this dozens of times here on these forums, and the argument that there are no patent trolls, or that they are actually good, has never held any water.

post #9 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Cook wisely did not bring that up - because it's a ridiculous argument.

There's nothing illegal or immoral about patent holding companies suing (What Lodsys did is somewhat different). The so-called 'patent trolls' serve a useful place in helping to manage US IP.

Agree completely.  The reason trolls are necessary is because of the slow and expensive legal system.  Large companies that rip off technology (Google, Samsung, Microsoft, etc.) use legal costs to prevent legitimate patent holders from suing for patent infringement. A big company like Google or Samsung can make a patent lawsuit cost 2-5 million dollars.  How many small inventors do you know that have 2-5 million to roll the dice and find out if their patent is valid and enforceable.  The trolls buy up these patents and average out the risk that one of them loses. 

post #10 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

That's some bush league smug there.

THAAAAANKS!

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post #11 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

 

The "so-called" patent trolls might, but the actual ones don't. Yes, we know you are a denier, but your position is entirely untenable, and we all know there are companies who hold patents solely for purposes contrary to the purpose for which they are issued, or authorized by our constitution. We've been over this dozens of times here on these forums, and the argument that there are no patent trolls, or that they are actually good, has never held any water.

I just articulated a well-reasoned argument for why trolls are necessary and good and that their existence is the consequence of bad behavior by large corporations. (see post 9)  Please try replying to Jragosta's comment (post 5) with an argument that has rational underpinnings.  Your use of "denier" and "never held any water" are just a cover up for a lack of persuasion or reasoning. 

post #12 of 58

As a patent attorney and inventor, I can assure you that the issue Cook raised is a HUGE problem.  Patent lawsuits are a horrible game of bury the patent holder with endless filings, depositions, summary judgement motions, expert testimony, etc. etc. etc.  Most of the time spent on a patent case has no legitimate purpose other than to waste money and delay.  There are rules that are intended to prevent abuse of the legal system, but they are very difficult to enforce.  

 

I'm glad to see Cook addressing this issue.  For Apple, the issue is delay, not cost.  However, the same tactics are used to increase cost, which has the effect of preventing small inventors from enforcing their patents and results in patent trolls picking them up for pennies on the dollar.  It is a huge injustice to small inventors and legitimate large companies trying to enforce a patent at a critical juncture in market development. 

post #13 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by applecider View Post

Have to say that Cook did a very good job in dealing with the senators who really are looking for sound bites to show how strong they are against corporate america.  He maintained his cool, and did not rise to the bait that they tried to get him to so they could look good.

 

Rand Paul's comment about "why are we even having these hearings on apple" made me reassess Paul in a much more favorable light.  Plus it was funny.

 

Like bank robbers congress will go where the potential money is, and right now that is apple.  

While I agree about Cook's class today, I disagree with everything else...

- These Senators are not 'anti corporate', but merely posturing to get corporate taxes lowered from 35% (which none of them pay) down to nothing. Stick us with the bills for the infrastructure that makes their profits possible.

- Rand Paul is merely railing against taxes in general... the king of the 'Free Lunch Republicans'. He wants no infrastructure investments, no taxes, no safety net, just Somalia. He's a truly dispicable excuse for a human being.

post #14 of 58

Infringers like Samsung profit enormously from their actions and leverage those profits to reap ever greater profits. There's no going back in time with the present legal system.

There's a reason Samsung spends so much on advertising: Samsung products are inferior to Apple and Samsung has the ill-gotten gains with which to do so.

post #15 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

On top of the time issue there's all the suits by patent holding companies and things like how difficult it has proven for Apple to step in against Lodsys going after developers who are, according to Apple, covered by a patent exhaustion agreement paid for by Apple when they licensed the IAP tech from the previous owners. As soon as Apple said that the courts should have frozen all cases, barred Lodsys from starting anymore or doing any settlements while Apple's claim was validated. IF Apple was proven wrong then Lodsys could have at it.

Apple has used holding companies, so I don't think they would criticize that specific point without acknowledging their current function.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ash471 View Post

As a patent attorney and inventor, I can assure you that the issue Cook raised is a HUGE problem.  Patent lawsuits are a horrible game of bury the patent holder with endless filings, depositions, summary judgement motions, expert testimony, etc. etc. etc.  Most of the time spent on a patent case has no legitimate purpose other than to waste money and delay.  There are rules that are intended to prevent abuse of the legal system, but they are very difficult to enforce.  

 

I'm glad to see Cook addressing this issue.  For Apple, the issue is delay, not cost.  However, the same tactics are used to increase cost, which has the effect of preventing small inventors from enforcing their patents and results in patent trolls picking them up for pennies on the dollar.  It is a huge injustice to small inventors and legitimate large companies trying to enforce a patent at a critical juncture in market development. 


I've always wondered why those things weren't handled by arbitration.

post #16 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

 

That's some bush league smug there.

 

That is some Liberal league spin there!!

 

You know he is a Democrat, right? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Levin

post #17 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


THAAAAANKS!

 

Carl Levin is a Democrat

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Levin

post #18 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

That's the smarmiest frownsmile yet! That's the frownsmile of a man who knows he's absolutely in the right.



Tim Cook, showing Congress how to look smug.



That's some bush league smug there.

Fixed.



post #19 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post

Carl Levin is a Democrat

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Levin

I have no idea what your reply has to do with mine. Mine is a direct reply to the word smug with the South Park snapshot from Smug Alert. Even TS's comment is about him looking smug. I'm pretty sure both Democrats and Republicans are capable of looking smug.

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post #20 of 58
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post
That is some Liberal league spin there!!

 

You know he is a Democrat, right? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Levin

 

Why do I care?
Why does it matter?

If you're trying to discern my "political" leanings from making fun of complete idiots, the only conclusion you'd come to is that I'm a member of no party, including the "no party" party. lol.gif

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post #21 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Why do I care?
Why does it matter?

If you're trying to discern my "political" leanings from making fun of complete idiots, the only conclusion you'd come to is that I'm a member of no party, including the "no party" party. lol.gif

 

I dunno, why did you make such a stupid comment then? 

It only matters in the fact that you tried to associate Bush with smugness by pointing to a Democrat. Why did you not just say political smugness? So it is a bit funny you were trying to make a point against Bush and him being smug while pointing to a Democrat. Typical Liberal.  

 

I was not trying to discern, but rather you made the reference to Bush rather than politicians in general. You called yourself out on that one. 

post #22 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I have no idea what your reply has to do with mine. Mine is a direct reply to the word smug with the South Park snapshot from Smug Alert. Even TS's comment is about him looking smug. I'm pretty sure both Democrats and Republicans are capable of looking smug.

 

Oh, South Park, that answers it clearly then... 

 

I'm sure both are smug, but then why not just point to politicians rather than to Bush? Again, the fact that someone points to a Democrat and calls out a Republican's smugness is odd at best. You saying Thanks was indication that you agreed, therefore my reply. 

post #23 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post

I dunno, why did you make such a stupid comment then? 
It only matters in the fact that you tried to associate Bush with smugness by pointing to a Democrat. Why did you not just say political smugness? 
I was not trying to discern, but rather you made the reference to Bush rather than politicians in general. You called yourself out on that one. 

He made a reference to a person which I took to refer to physical characteristics that make each look smug. I don't see how you've conceived this notion that either Republicans or Democrats can look smug but not people from both parties. I don't see how or why you'd even try to make this partisan.

Do you honestly think when people draw a comparison to Senator Mitch McConnell looking like Droopy dog that they are suggesting that Droopy Dog must be a Republican in order to make the visual comparison, they are against Republicans, or against people from Kentucky seeing similarities? Do you think if he was a Democrat that comparison wouldn't have been made?
Edited by SolipsismX - 5/21/13 at 3:46pm

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post #24 of 58
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post
It only matters in the fact that you tried to associate Bush with smugness by pointing to a Democrat. Why did you not just say political smugness? So it is a bit funny you were trying to make a point against Bush and him being smug while pointing to a Democrat. Typical Liberal.  

 

I was not trying to discern, but rather you made the reference to Bush rather than politicians in general. You called yourself out on that one. 

 

Have you honestly never heard the phrase "bush league" in your entire life, or are you just putting me on?

 

Were I referencing President Bush, I would have capitalized the word, anyway.

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post #25 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Have you honestly never heard the phrase "bush league" in your entire life, or are you just putting me on?

 

Were I referencing President Bush, I would have capitalized the word, anyway.

 

Nope, had to look it up. Sports, not into it, sorry. 

 

If that was the case, I apologize

post #26 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


He made a reference to a person which I took to refer to physical characteristics that make each look smug. I don't see how you've conceived this notion that either Republicans or Democrats can look smug but not people from both parties. I don't see how or why you'd even try to make this partisan.

Do you honestly think when people draw a comparison to Senator Mitch McConnell looking like Droopy dog that they are suggesting that Droopy Dog must be a Republican in order to make the visual comparison, they are against Republicans, or against people from Kentucky seeing similarities? Do you think if he was a Democrat that comparison wouldn't have been made?

 

LOL hardly, but when you call out Mitch looking droopy then you called out Mitch, not someone else. To point to one person and to call out another is suggesting that the second person is they one the derogatory comment is being made towards. So if he said that is Carl smugness then your argument would have merit. 

post #27 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post

I dunno, why did you make such a stupid comment then? 
It only matters in the fact that you tried to associate Bush with smugness by pointing to a Democrat. Why did you not just say political smugness? So it is a bit funny you were trying to make a point against Bush and him being smug while pointing to a Democrat. Typical Liberal.  

I was not trying to discern, but rather you made the reference to Bush rather than politicians in general. You called yourself out on that one. 

He wrote bush league not Bush league. Big difference.
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post #28 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

- These Senators are not 'anti corporate', but merely posturing to get corporate taxes lowered from 35% (which none of them pay) down to nothing. Stick us with the bills for the infrastructure that makes their profits possible.

 

So you assume that the vague "infrastructure" to which you refer can only be paid for through taxes?

You also assume that businesses customers are not the ones who really pay the corporate income taxes?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

- Rand Paul is merely railing against taxes in general... the king of the 'Free Lunch Republicans'. He wants no infrastructure investments, no taxes, no safety net, just Somalia.

 

The Somalia reference is straight from the anti-libertarian talking points. It is also ill-informed.

 

Again, though, I ask: You assume that the vague "infrastructure" (and "safety net") to which you refer can only be provided and paid for through taxes?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

He's a truly dispicable excuse for a human being.

 

Why is that?

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post #29 of 58
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post
Nope, had to look it up. Sports, not into it, sorry. 

 

No worries; neither am I.

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post #30 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post

LOL hardly, but when you call out Mitch looking droopy then you called out Mitch, not someone else. To point to one person and to call out another is suggesting that the second person is they one the derogatory comment is being made towards. So if he said that is Carl smugness then your argument would have merit. 

Even if he was referring to George W Bush he's still comparing to ONE person. ONE! No where did he mention the GOP, Republicans, or any other party. You grossly misinterpreted his comment and intent and then reacted poorly to it. Admit you you wrong or just go away, either way you've lost here. THAAAAAAAANKS!!!!!!

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post #31 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


He wrote bush league not Bush league. Big difference.

 

Yep, and I apologized for jumping. I did not know the reference "bush league". 

post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Even if he was referring to George W Bush he's still comparing to ONE person. ONE! No where did he mention the GOP, Republicans, or any other party. You grossly misinterpreted his comment and intent and then reacted poorly to it. Admit you you wrong or just go away, either way you've lost here. THAAAAAAAANKS!!!!!!

 

Hello! I did apologize to Tallest for jumping. 

post #33 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post

Yep, and I apologized for jumping. I did not know the reference "bush league". 

Yea I saw that after I posted. Btw whenever I hear 'bush' the ex President is the last thing I think of. 1wink.gif
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post #34 of 58

Mr. Cook hit the right notes in a civilized manner. He sent a message to Samsung and all the other copycats.

post #35 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

That's the smarmiest frownsmile yet! That's the frownsmile of a man who knows he's absolutely in the right.

Do you know the meaning of the word smarmy? Is that really what you meant?

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post #36 of 58
I'm not all that familiar with tax code in general or patent law and Intellectual Property, but it sounded as if Levin's argument at the end was that Apple is escaping taxes from the profits of IP they sold from Apple inc., to the Irish subsidiary(ies). Based on the hearing and a report airing on NPR's ATC, there was not much of a clear distinguishing of what the shifting of IP overseas actually meant. All Things Considered made it sound like Apple was sheltering their domestic profits overseas. Cook and the rest of them were rather clear that all income from domestic sales are fully taxed in the US. Am I correct in understanding that the REAL CRUX OF THE ISSUE is that the profits from royalties and other licensing of the IP (researched and developed in the US) is being collected and taxed in Ireland at 2% and not brout back to the US?
post #37 of 58

Levin has an ass-face.

post #38 of 58
Don't worry, the world economy is going to soon sputter when the natural resources which are non re-knew able and commercialized become economically impractical to drill or mine. Then those billions, no, trillions stashed overseas will get jacked by governments real quick.
In the meantime, I can't effing wait for the retina iPad mini!!!!!!
post #39 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by ash471 View Post

As a patent attorney and inventor, I can assure you that the issue Cook raised is a HUGE problem.  Patent lawsuits are a horrible game of bury the patent holder with endless filings, depositions, summary judgement motions, expert testimony, etc. etc. etc.  Most of the time spent on a patent case has no legitimate purpose other than to waste money and delay.  There are rules that are intended to prevent abuse of the legal system, but they are very difficult to enforce.  

I'm glad to see Cook addressing this issue.  For Apple, the issue is delay, not cost.  However, the same tactics are used to increase cost, which has the effect of preventing small inventors from enforcing their patents and results in patent trolls picking them up for pennies on the dollar.  It is a huge injustice to small inventors and legitimate large companies trying to enforce a patent at a critical juncture in market development. 

I take your points!

But realistically when you need a lawyer...you're already f*cked.

Job's had it right, In tech, you have to be 10 years ahead of everybody else.

To rely on gov. to protect u is a mug's game. Unless, of course, ur big oil, banking or the dairy industry! Or Goldman sucks!
post #40 of 58

It's an excellent point of Tim's. There's no point having tough IP laws if it takes two years to enforce them, and by then he has a toehold in the market.

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