Apple, others hit with lawsuit over '90s Ethernet patents



  • Reply 61 of 67
    Originally Posted by sheff View Post

    How many macs are in business? Outside of xserve I doubt many of today's macs even use the ethernet ports. I know that close to 100% of students on my campus use wifi, and even iMacs in computer labs are on the wifi connection.

    Hey dumbass, what do you think the WiFi routers are connected to? Next time read the article, every computer manufacturer that uses Ethernet is named, not just Apple.
  • Reply 62 of 67
    Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post

    Wait, so what the hell now? They're suing because of an ethernet patent from the fricken 90's?

    What, did these people just climb out of a suspended animation chamber or something?

    Exactly! These idiots in Texas are now just realizing computers have had Ethernet ports built-in since the 1990's? These patent suits are all full of BS.
  • Reply 63 of 67
    Originally Posted by red_skittles View Post

    I love how this whole thread has been derailed by one person who apparently doesn't see the use of ethernet. There really is no need to reply to him. I'm sure any logical person will see why he's wrong plus the 20+ replies restating the same thing are getting a little tiring to read.

    That one person is too stupid to understand how WiFi gets its data from. He should buy a wireless router and look at the back of it so he can admire all the ETHERNET ports. He should also call Cisco and ask them if they still use Ethernet in all their network products. What a dumbshit.
  • Reply 64 of 67
    What would be funny to me is if Apple came up with the specific documentation on their Ethernet chipset to show that all the technology used on it is already licensed from 3Com or other appropriate companies.

    eg, if the chipset was made by Intel using technology that Intel licensed from 3Com.

    Didn't Cisco buy 3Com (after 3Com bought US Robotics)? I would have expected whatever sale to include IP.

    I may be mistaken, but I think that any patent issued in 1994 had a 17 year lifespan from date of issue vs the current 20 years from application. So this suit is just two years before becoming moot unless you get some sort of additional "statute of limitations" type of time period to file a claim.

    Also to answer a prior post, there was some tort reform that was intended to rid the system of frivolous suits by requiring the loser to pay the winner's legal fees. I think there are some limitations to that though. For example, if you showed that your suit had merit, then that rule doesn't apply.


    Also, everyone uses Ethernet! Duh!
  • Reply 65 of 67
    To summarize several points:

    U.S. Ethernet is likely a patent holding company, which is basically a shell company set up by a major corporation to manage their intellectual property. These do a number of things, including enforcement of the patents and securing licensing. Large corporations don't like to directly pursue these claims, since most of them are the companies that are crusading against patent trolls (see Google, Cisco, Apple, etc). Many of these companies want to set up open-source-like patent associations to combat the accumulation of patents by trolls and then subsequent enforcement.

    Also, the Eastern District of Texas, along with the Eastern District of Virginia, and more recently the Western (?) District of Wisconsin, are what is called "rocket dockets". These districts have earned this nickname due to the speed at which cases fly through them. These judges are well-versed in patent cases, and adhere to strict deadlines and procedures. Plaintiffs (the suing entities) love getting a case to stick (since defendants will almost always try to move the case out) since the classic strategy of delaying the case indefinitely doesn't fly here.

    Hope that clarifies some points.
  • Reply 66 of 67
    We really need judges to issue massive smackdown on these "companies" (I use the term loosely; these companies seem to be created to do nothing but leech on industries that actually MAKE stuff). You know, the sort of smackdown that not only bankrupts the company, but brings charges against the owners for abusing the patent system.

    Once this happens a few times, we'll see these trolls go away, as the personal risk will be too high to be worthwhile.

    These troll companies sicken me; all they do is raise the cost of business for real, legitimate companies that actually design and manufacture things; whether the legitimate companies win or lose is not relevant as they still have to pay to mount a legal defense, so we all suffer increased prices as a result.

    Death to patent trolls. They are all scum. If they want to make money they should contribute something positive.
  • Reply 67 of 67
    amdahlamdahl Posts: 100member
    Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post

    Death to patent trolls. They are all scum. If they want to make money they should contribute something positive.

    I agree, especially when it concerns Mac software things like Expose...

    But 3Com invented Ethernet. Or, 3Com founder Bob Metcalfe invented Ethernet. So 3Com has a lot of patents on Ethernet, most of which are very likely legitimate.

    Since Ethernet has gone from being an add-on card in the 1990s, to being a built-in feature on some chipsets in the 2000s, and from being made by US companies (3Com, Intel, etc) to being built into a Chinese-made motherboard, there is a very high probability that someone refused to license the proper patents.

    Since Chinese courts don't really give a darn, it is up to the US Courts to hold the American companies that sell the Chinese product accountable. Whether the lawsuit is by 3Com, or by a company that has bought the patents, or a company owned by 3Com, is irrelevant. There is genuine American technology here, and it should be paid for.
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