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Apple claims Motorola discriminated on tech licensing, charged 12 times going rate - Page 2

post #41 of 51
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Originally Posted by rickag View Post

It might have something to do with the fact that Qualcom has 350 patents and Motorola only has … er um. …. wait let me check again … yup ONLY 16.

You do the math.

Not really having a clue at the patent situation -- but I'd like to remind people that; Quality != Quantity. It's about how important and enforceable the patents are.

 

However, rumor is that Motorola's patents are neither many nor strong. Having a FRAND patent is supposed to be great, but you can't control your price. Apparently, all this stuff is up for grabs because courts are corrupt and seem to ignore conventions on an ad hoc basis.

post #42 of 51
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Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcfa View Post

Ah, horsepoop! Apple has cross-licensing agreements with a variety of companies, and Apple contributed plenty of patents to standard-essential patent pools, e.g. media codec and media file container related patents.


However, no company in their right mind cross-licenses the crown jewels. For Apple, that's the GUI, user interface, software integration, etc. and none of these are standards-essential patents.


The people who violate the unwritten rules are Google
Good points. But the "crown jewels" as you call them are not NECESSARY to make phones and of course they are a competitive advantage -- though Samsung has proven that you can ignore sun if you want. The Cross-licensing is necessary for everyone to have phones that interoperate with each other. IF nobody could use FRAND patents -- then for every cell phone provider you'd need a special chip on every cell phone tower, and likely you'd have competing yet barely different tech for compressing and transmitting signals. In essence; you'd have a complete and expensive mess and either one monopoly or no cell phone system at all.

Cell Phones are wonders of modern technology and everyone is using everyone else's tech. Some of it is revolutionary, and a lot of it is "we specialize at making this component" -- so no point in everyone reinventing the wheel. Likely a lot of the cross-licensing is about "not worth being sued over" and everyone pays everyone else little fees such that it's probably a wash. However, some companies make more money licensing things to Apple than they make selling their own tech.

If Motorola gets away with arbitrary price-gouging on a FRAND patent -- then the entire system is in Jeopardy. If everyone did the same, cell phones would cost thousands of dollars in cross licensing fees or there would be too many non-standard parts and, again, we wouldn't have cell phones.

not sure why you quote my reply to someone else's post as if you were disagreeing while making essentially the same point I'm making...
post #43 of 51
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Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcfa View Post


The people who violate the unwritten rules are Google & Co. who try to leverage standard essential patents to get a grab on non-standard essential patents.

Motorola Mobility is not interchangeable with Google (even tho FOSSPatents loves to do so.)

Google has never asserted a standards-essential patent against anyone. Ever. Period. Until this year they hadn't asserted any patent of any kind against anyone. Ever. Period.

If you're curious about the only patent infringement suit Google has ever filed do a search for Google sues British Telecom.

The current infringement cases against Apple and Microsoft were started by Motorola well before Google showed any interest in purchasing them. Google's evilness? They didn't order MM to drop the lawsuits as soon as they purchased them last year, even tho Apple and Microsoft haven't indicated they'd be willing to do the same.

MM wasn't absorbed by Google. They are operated as a separate company with it's own management, in-house legal counsel and board of directors which is hardly unusual for any subsidiary, much less one the size of Google.
http://www.insidecounsel.com/2013/07/01/scott-offer-leads-the-way-at-motorola-mobility
http://mediacenter.motorola.com/content/default.aspx?NewsAreaID=1

Google is hardly in a possession to assert any patent claims for standard essential things, because half of Google's business is ripping other people off, and their solutions are software solutions that are either proprietary or based largely on open source work.
Main reason Google bought MM is so it would have the patents as a bargaining chip, and thus the continuation of MM's patent litigation is fully approved and intended by Google. While they are separate corporations, Google fully controls MM, and therefore things don't magically happen under Google's radar and without their approval, particularly something as visible and controversial as these lawsuits. If Google weren't 100% behind them, they would have been stopped.
Google is only smart and fights that war by proxy such as not to besmirch their brand name with bad press, well knowing that MM is a negligible part of the business only acquired for patents, so they don't mind if they go belly up in the process. Much like Iran isn't willing to fight the US directly and instead uses Hisbollah to kick the US' "dogs" Lebanon and Israel in a proxy war, so Google uses MM to do the dirty fighting for them.

MM being sued for using Android clearly got MM and Google talking before any takeover, and so given what's at stake for Google you can be virtually certain that the legal strategy MM started to pursue before the takeover was coordinated with Google.
post #44 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcfa View Post

Ah, horsepoop! Apple has cross-licensing agreements with a variety of companies, and Apple contributed plenty of patents to standard-essential patent pools, e.g. media codec and media file container related patents.

 

While true, my post topic was about ETSI FRAND negotiations.

 

With those, it was considered normal for companies who had little or nothing to cross-license in the way of radio patents, to instead cross-license their non-radio technology, such as a manufacturing method or UI patent.  That's one way that they got a lower rate.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

If that ever happens I would agree. Pretty much "same as it ever was" since the first CDMA standards were established over 20 years ago AFAIK.  Companies even then set their royalties to the cost of the device itself, not just the chipset used.

 

True.  Calculating license rates by device selling price was done partly to encourage phone makers to be reasonable with their prices, so that more people could afford one.

 
Going by price also makes royalties affordable to those makers who sell phones at incredibly low profit margins (2-5%). When they're only making $5-10 per device, they clearly cannot pay $30-50 royalties... whereas someone selling a device that gives back hundreds of dollars of profit, can.  Thus the license burden is fairly spread out over who profits most.
 
Without all the low profit phones, there would not have been the relatively quick worldwide mass adoption and network buildout that has allowed far more profitable smartphones to proliferate... including allowing a newcomer like Apple to make huge (45-60%) profit margins without having invested for decades in the infrastructure like the companies before them.
 
Most people don't know that the US DOJ approved this practice of royalties based on device price in their groundbreaking 2002 letter to the 3G3P, in which the DOJ agreed to stipulate that the proposed platform licensing plans being used worldwide did not violate US anti-trust laws.
 
Quote:
"In return for a Standard or Interim license, the licensee is obliged to pay the licensor a royalty based on a standard percentage rate applied to the licensee's net sales of licensed products". 
 
- Section C. The Licensing Process, DOJ letter
 

Edited by KDarling - 7/28/13 at 1:29pm
post #45 of 51
yeah, this is what happens when you keep suing others for "stupid" bounce back patents and
have no "real" intellectual property of your own. Totally worth it !!
post #46 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by illuminati View Post

yeah, this is what happens when you keep suing others for "stupid" bounce back patents and
have no "real" intellectual property of your own. Totally worth it !!

Yes, absolutely worth it.

The "stupid" bounce back patent is HUGE in terms of giving user feedback. In the absence of screen real estate gobbling scroll bars, you need an intuitive way of letting users differentiate between: "the device isn't reacting to my request to scroll" and "there's nothing to scroll".
The bounce back does that wonderfully: the screen reacts to the user input, but it shows you're past the edge of content, and then snaps back in a physically modeled fashion that therefore feels natural.

If it weren't worth it, why is everyone else trying to copy it?

Even if it didn't have a big significance for usability, and were just a marketing gag, even then it's totally worth it, because the "cool" factor sells devices, and is as such worth protecting, just as much as e.g. the brand name Apple.
post #47 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcfa View Post

If it weren't worth it, why is everyone else trying to copy it?

 

I don't think "everyone else" has used bounce back in over a year.  

 

Turned out not to be a big deal, functionally speaking.  Other methods such as flashing work just as well.  It also turned out to be not a big deal legally speaking, when it came to attempted injunctions.  Courts ruled that people didn't choose a device based on it.

 

However, it is admittedly cool looking, and it could make a come back, depending on the upcoming retrial.  The USPTO invalidated Apple's original bounce back claim that was used against Samsung in last year's billion dollar award trial, due to prior art.  (No, Apple was not the first to use the general idea).  

 

Apple rewrote the claim to be more specific, and now it's not clear if there's any infringement.  If not, then it wouldn't be too surprising if others started using it again.


Edited by KDarling - 7/29/13 at 4:59am
post #48 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcfa View Post

If it weren't worth it, why is everyone else trying to copy it?

I don't think "everyone else" has used bounce back in over a year.  

Yeah, because they were prohibited from doing so.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Turned out not to be a big deal, functionally speaking.  Other methods such as flashing work just as well.  

No, not really. Because scrolling, as a physical model, doesn't produce flashes of light, but it would produce resistance and potentially a pullback were it not just depicted on screen but a physical device one were interacting with. The point of an intuitive GUI is that it creates a immersive environment in which one suspends disbelief and interacts with the device as if it were a physical thing, not a flat screen that just shows pixels of various colors.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

It also turned out to be not a big deal legally speaking, when it came to attempted injunctions.  Courts ruled that people didn't choose a device based on it.

The law and legal process is often full of shit. What the courts do not look at, is that the whole is more than the sum of the parts, and that sufficient parts that all come together to create a consistent user interface very well are what makes people buy a device. Yes, there's no single feature that does that, but the sum of all these little details that create the whole that's bigger than the parts.
If it becomes legal for everyone to copy everyone's protected little inventions, then a platform will have a very hard time to invent a consistent feel without instantly being ripped off by the rest of copycat companies out there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

However, it is admittedly cool looking, and it could make a come back, depending on the upcoming retrial.  

The mere fact that it "could make a come back" shows it's worth protecting, because if the other replacement methods were equally good, why would anyone in their right mind even bother to go back and reinstate the bounce back after they replaced with something equivalent?
post #49 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by illuminati 
yeah, this is what happens when you keep suing others for "stupid" bounce back patents and
have no "real" intellectual property of your own. Totally worth it !!

Shut up and go away.
post #50 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcfa View Post

Yeah, because they were prohibited from doing so.

 

Not at the time. They chose to stop doing so before the trial, in case it turned out that it was infringement.

 

Remember, you can legally infringe without copying code.  Which is one reason why many countries were smart enough not to allow software patents at all.

 

Quote:
No, not really. Because scrolling, as a physical model, doesn't produce flashes of light, but it would produce resistance and potentially a pullback were it not just depicted on screen but a physical device one were interacting with. The point of an intuitive GUI is that it creates a immersive environment in which one suspends disbelief and interacts with the device as if it were a physical thing, not a flat screen that just shows pixels of various colors.

 

Ah, a Scott Forstall fan.

 

I don't think that GUIs don't have to emulate physical things to be intuitive.  In our field apps, for example, we use a thin red line at the end of a scrolling list.  Works just as well as an indicator.  Perhaps even better, since the user doesn't have to try to scroll first to see if they're at the end.

 

(For that matter, the dumbest thing Apple ever did was to get rid of the very useful constant scrollbar indicator and its thumb for quicker movement to any location... just because they added finger scrolling.  It was like throwing out the baby with the bath water.)

 

As for bounce back, I think you're talking about a skeuomorphic fun factor, which people do often like.  For example, I worked on a touchscreen casino system back in the early 1990s.  Our first incarnation of a digital slot machine had the reels just click to a stop.  It was okay, but something seemed to be missing.  So we added an emulation of physical reels with their bounce- back- into- position thing.  Everyone liked that better.  Like the first few seconds of this:

 

 

Oh, wait.  How about that. Almost exactly the action that Apple patented.  Maybe Apple programmers got the bounce back idea from visiting Reno and using the digital slot machines. 

 

Physical reality is not patentable, and emulating it should not be either.

 

Quote:
If it becomes legal for everyone to copy everyone's protected little inventions, then a platform will have a very hard time to invent a consistent feel without instantly being ripped off by the rest of copycat companies out there.

 

That's backwards.  If everyone can patent every little UI idea, then users will soon be faced with a myriad of differing UIs for no good reason.

 

Fortunately, Apple was not able to even try to patent things like fingertip scrolling or pinch to zoom, since such things existed long before they used them.  Unfortunately, they did try for other common actions like rotating a virtual knob.  Ridiculous.

 

Anyway, thanks.  Interesting discussion!

post #51 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcfa View Post

Yeah, because they were prohibited from doing so.

Not at the time. They chose to stop doing so before the trial, in case it turned out that it was infringement.

Remember, you can legally infringe without copying code.  Which is one reason why many countries were smart enough not to allow software patents at all.

Well, they were prohibited by the patent, and the fear of the enforcement thereof.
A patent prohibits IP theft even without the courts saying so, the courts only are there to enforce the patent after a party violates it, but the prohibition to use what the patent covers exists before any court action.
Anyone who thinks the patent has no standing has the right to challenge it in court, and if they succeed, use it after such success.
Unfortunately, these days, big business simply ignores patents (making them useless for small inventors), and wait until someone sues them, and if the counter party is small enough, it's cheaper for them to litigate them into bankruptcy than licensing the patent...
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Quote:
No, not really. Because scrolling, as a physical model, doesn't produce flashes of light, but it would produce resistance and potentially a pullback were it not just depicted on screen but a physical device one were interacting with. The point of an intuitive GUI is that it creates a immersive environment in which one suspends disbelief and interacts with the device as if it were a physical thing, not a flat screen that just shows pixels of various colors.

Ah, a Scott Forstall fan.

Far from. Skeuomorphism is good, when it comes to interacting with specific things, e.g. a web page, that can be considered a piece of digital paper.
It is however bad when EITHER
a) the UI metaphor limits the software to the same limitations the physical equivalent would have (e.g. Rolodex emulation, that limits an contacts manager to the simple things a card file can do without exploiting the many extra capabilities an electronic database can offer)
AND/OR
b) the skeuomorphism is simply decoration.

Forstall's design ideas fell strongly into the a) and b) cases above, which is why they were bad, not because skeuomorphism is bad in itself.
Things like buttons, etc. are all skeuomorphic in nature, and work very well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

I don't think that GUIs don't have to emulate physical things to be intuitive.  In our field apps
, for example, we use a thin red line at the end of a scrolling list.  Works just as well as an indicator.  Perhaps even better, since the user doesn't have to try to scroll first to see if they're at the end.

No they don't have to emulate physical things, they have to do what's intuitive, and there are many ways to achieve the objective, which is why it's so ridiculous that everyone copies Apple.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

(For that matter, the dumbest thing Apple ever did was to get rid of the very useful constant scrollbar indicator and its thumb for quicker movement to any location... just because they added finger scrolling.  It was like throwing out the baby with the bath water.)

If you're talking about MacOS, I couldn't agree more. It really was dumb, and I have enabled them in my preferences, everywhere. Unfortunately, the up/down scroll buttons, which allowed precise scrolling, are gone for good.
Similarly the "natural" scrolling, isn't natural when operating a scroll bar. it works for the "grab and drag" metaphor, but not for the "up or down within the visible document" metaphor, so that's turned off, too.
What works for touchscreens isn't the same as what works for a mouse/touchpad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Physical reality is not patentable, and emulating it should not be either.

Emulating something physical is quite different from the physical thing. Just think of all the virtual-analog synthesizers, or for that matter, the analog modeling synths, modern flight instruments that "emulate" old fashioned analog gages, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Quote:
If it becomes legal for everyone to copy everyone's protected little inventions, then a platform will have a very hard time to invent a consistent feel without instantly being ripped off by the rest of copycat companies out there.

That's backwards.  If everyone can patent every little UI idea, then users will soon be faced with a myriad of differing UIs for no good reason.

The good reason is there: IP.
The whole issue about software patents is a different one: they last too long. Patent life times were decided in an age when the technology life time was significantly longer, and market penetration considerably slower. Back then, something invented in Switzerland might take years before anyone in the US would even know about it, much less before it could be successfully marketed. And technology evolved much slower. Something 5 years old was as good as new.
With digital technologies, patents that are valid for decades are just a joke, by the time the patent expires people may not even know anymore what problem it tried to solve back then...

But whether or not we should have software patents, and if, what an acceptable duration for such patents should be, that's a different discussion.
Just because we may agree that the software patent system is flawed doesn't mean Samsung/Google/etc. can just willfully infringe. If they want to do something about it, they can lobby congress. But of course, they won't do that, because they only hate those particular patents that are in their way, while happily going after others with the patents they hold.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Anyway, thanks.  Interesting discussion!

Yup, always nice if a discussion doesn't end up in mud-slinging, which unfortunately occurs much too often around here, because some of the fan(atic)s can't handle any criticism of Apple, regardless of how justified it is. For them the world is shaped in the Bush mindset: either you're uncritically with us, or you're against us...
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