Apple's patent 'warning shots' prove disruptive for handset makers

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  • Reply 81 of 121
    asianbobasianbob Posts: 797member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    It is utterly unlikely that they will waste their corporate resources and legal talent to fight on someone else's behalf. No sensible company will do so. They will wait and see, and gather the arsenal for their turn, if/when it occurs. Maybe they'll go as far as filing a brief defending handset makers, that's about it.



    But as he pointed out, HTC is the largest manufacturer for smartphones utilizing Google and MS's OSs. They themselves do not make hardware and if they leave HTC out on its own and Apple wins both suits and the ITC bans all imports of HTC products, these two companies will be severly hindered in the smartphone market for some time.



    Any sensible company would know that if one of their biggest manufacturing bases was about to be taken out from under them, that they would join in to ensure the minimal of damages is done. The corporate resources would not be wasted on such help. It would be the exact some thing if Google decided to sue Foxconn. Don't tell me that Apple would let their manufacturer flounder out on its own.



    Plus it'll boost Google's mantra of "do no evil" in the public's eye. From what I've been reading, the majority of people view Apple as the "bully" here (note, this is Joe/Jane Consumer, not us "geeks" who read endless articles about this). Google helping out a buddy company in need would be a big win on the PR front.



    As lots of people and articles have said, this is just a proxy battle from Apple against Google's OS. Going after HTC gets all of the results and none of the deal-breaking and lesser impact on the PR front.
  • Reply 82 of 121
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wonder View Post


    One of the things Apple patented was the concept of multi-touch.

    That is the idea that using more than one touch point to carry out an action.

    As an example the pinch / zoom action using two fingers is an Apple patent.

    Not how the software does it, not the code, but the actual act of using two points to zoom in and out of an image / screen. Apple patented this, and if someone else does that then they break the patent regardless of the software used to do it. It is the same with the sweep of the finger to unlock the phone, it is an Apple patent, they came up with it first and therefore is another phone does it then they are stealing the idea.



    Jeez, when are you guys ever going to get it through your thick heads that Apple does not have, and will never have, a patent on "pinch to zoom".



    They have some extremely specific patents on some forms of multitouch, but nothing so general as pinch to zoom. And nobody else is even using any other multitouch gestures.
  • Reply 83 of 121
    masternavmasternav Posts: 442member
    First, is there anyone here who has actually reviewed the patent art in the Apple "golden 20" to see what it represents, or anyone who has actual patent litigation experience? I do turn to Groklaw from time to time as they seem to have a pretty good feel for these things in some of the more interesting technology litigations. I think it would be an interesting article for AI to turn out - a review of the Apple Golden 20. Hint.



    Second, is there anyone on here that is willing to put their vitae up against any of the Apple legal team? I mean, let's get real. While Apple is certainly capable of committing grievous faux pas legally as they have demonstrated in the past, I think it would be a serious error in judgement to turn a blind eye to the fact that they have to date demonstrated they have learned from past mistakes. With so much riding on the platforms they are producing, it would not be unusual for them to put a lot of effort into making sure they have a solid foundation from which to protect their IP. Which would also involve checking the past history of the Fingerworks IP, and whether the current IP is enough differentiated from the early work to maintain a defensible IP patent strategy.



    Third, IP litigation revolves around two basic but important principles - preventation of IP piracy and development of licensing strategies. There is a balance point between the two principles which is where each legal team looks to see if it is worth spending the money required to defend IP or to just simply license the other IP.



    Let's also remember that when we use the term multitouch we are using a term that is almost as broad as "electricity". There are many, many patents applied to implementation of some form of "multitouch" and when you discuss this or that implementation, it simply doesn't reflect necessarily on the other aspects, unless you can demonstrate otherwise. So to simply say - this or that company had multitouch before that other company, you are not being accurate enough to argue the point. Some companies don't ever announce to the public that they have implementations of one technology or another, so using the public announcement by a company, of this or that technology is not relevant to what is actually in existence out in the IP space in terms of who owns what.
  • Reply 84 of 121
    masternavmasternav Posts: 442member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AsianBob View Post


    But as he pointed out, HTC is the largest manufacturer for smartphones utilizing Google and MS's OSs. They themselves do not make hardware and if they leave HTC out on its own and Apple wins both suits and the ITC bans all imports of HTC products, these two companies will be severly hindered in the smartphone market for some time.



    Any sensible company would know that if one of their biggest manufacturing bases was about to be taken out from under them, that they would join in to ensure the minimal of damages is done. The corporate resources would not be wasted on such help. It would be the exact some thing if Google decided to sue Foxconn. Don't tell me that Apple would let their manufacturer flounder out on its own.



    Plus it'll boost Google's mantra of "do no evil" in the public's eye. From what I've been reading, the majority of people view Apple as the "bully" here (note, this is Joe/Jane Consumer, not us "geeks" who read endless articles about this). Google helping out a buddy company in need would be a big win on the PR front.



    As lots of people and articles have said, this is just a proxy battle from Apple against Google's OS. Going after HTC gets all of the results and none of the deal-breaking and lesser impact on the PR front.



    I would have to diasagree AB, most consumers don't even have exposure to this level of knowledge about what Apple and the rest are doing, and less interest in pursuing it. The cellphone space is pretty dynamic, and HTC is only one of a body of current players for both Microsoft and Google. I would tend to agree with anantksundaram that both will file heavy briefs either as interested parties or amici curiae to help defend HTC, but not much beyond that. All it would take is a really good contract with another handset maker and HTC is a former partner.
  • Reply 85 of 121
    asianbobasianbob Posts: 797member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by masternav View Post


    I would have to diasagree AB, most consumers don't even have exposure to this level of knowledge about what Apple and the rest are doing, and less interest in pursuing it. The cellphone space is pretty dynamic, and HTC is only one of a body of current players for both Microsoft and Google. I would tend to agree with anantksundaram that both will file heavy briefs either as interested parties or amici curiae to help defend HTC, but not much beyond that. All it would take is a really good contract with another handset maker and HTC is a former partner.



    On second thought, this does make a lot of sense as well. The general consumer is not really going to know who made their handset (nor would they really care), as long as it works. Ask any person on the street who makes the iPhone and you'll get Apple more than Foxconn.



    My thought is that HTC is a really well-known manufacturer in the industry circle and Google would like to keep its relations with them, instead of throwing them to the sharks. But as you said (in not so many words), the manufacturing world is filled with vultures ready to be the next HTC. Especially in China.



    Maybe I'm thinking too much into Google's "we'll stand behind our partners" comment. I personally would like to see Google actually leverage some financial/legal support, but we'll see what will happen when it happens.
  • Reply 86 of 121
    dhkostadhkosta Posts: 150member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    What if they came up with something more new and different instead? Sounds pretty cool to me. I think Palm could do it.



  • Reply 87 of 121
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by masternav View Post


    First, ...



    Second, ...



    Third, ...



    Let's also remember ...



    Thanks for the voice of reason.



    It would be quite interesting to be a fly-on-the-wall of Apple's legal team right about now.
  • Reply 88 of 121
    sdbryansdbryan Posts: 317member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Nonsense. Saber-rattling is non-credible unless you can back it up with action.



    'Gargantuan'? Who specificially?



    Apple's cash pile alone is more than the market cap of many of these 'gargantuan adversaries.'



    Obviously Google which has a market cap that is larger than Apple's cash pile and larger than Apple's market cap. With the imminent arrival of the next mobile OS from Redmond there will be an even larger potential adversary.
  • Reply 89 of 121
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,241member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tawilson View Post


    No worries, again from the way I understand it...



    I'll use an example for sorting. There are numerous ways in which you can go about sorting things.



    If I had a patent on Bubble-sorting, then nobody would be allowed to sort data that way without licensing it from me.



    How ever they would be free to implement there own completely different method of sorting.





    Searching is another example, forever people would search strings of text from the beginning which would involve checking every character.



    However, some bright spark figured out that it would be more efficient and a hell of a lot faster to search backwards, as you can then skip "upto" the length of the search term each time. If they'd patented that reverse search method, then nobody else could search that way without licensing.



    The exact code and end result are irrelevant, it's what the code does that is the important bit.



    Change your sentence to reflect the following:



    If I had a patent on a specific implementation of the Bubble-Sort algorithm, then no one would be allowed to use my specific implementation of Bubble-Sort without a specific license to do so.



    It's not what the code does that is important. It's how it's implemented within the product and it's non-obvious nature that makes it patentable.
  • Reply 90 of 121
    ljocampoljocampo Posts: 657member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    The thing I find most interesting about this information is that the day the patent suit was revealed, HTC said something to the effect of how they didn't see this coming, they were taken completely by surprise, had no idea, etc...



    If this report is true, then at least we know that was total BS.



    It's all BS. IMO I don't think software concepts should have ever been patentable. A software task is human intelligence programmed into a machine. With a billion plus people in this world, the odds that two or more people had the same software idea or concept, totally independent from each other, is probably 100%. Even the code could be verbatim with the small set of linguistics available to such a hugh population.



    Create it. Create it better and faster than the competition. Be the first on your block to actually make it work well. These principles are better suited to a free market. Just ask any Chinese businessman. He'll tell you so.
  • Reply 91 of 121
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by screamingfist View Post


    you really have issues. here is one article. read this. i am sure this will give you more to complain and act like an a$$ about.



    http://www.rcrwireless.com/article/2...S/902029978/-1



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by screamingfist View Post


    here is a more recent article. read on!

    http://industry.bnet.com/technology/...-shaky-ground/



    Well, those are certainly the opinions of an telcom analyst and a tech blogger. However, if the opinions of analysts and bloggers were definitive, Apple would have long since gone out of business.



    Given the breadth of internet musings, it's possible to buttress pretty much any opinion by citing some pundit or another. Myself, I'll be interested in seeing how it plays out in real life.
  • Reply 92 of 121
    grkinggrking Posts: 533member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by masternav View Post


    All it would take is a really good contract with another handset maker and HTC is a former partner.



    You both miss the point. You say that all it would take is a good contract with a new supplier and HTC is gone.



    However, what new company in their right mind would sign that contract.



    Let us assume you are right, and here is what happens.



    HTC is large phone manufacturer, and probably the main make of Android and Winmo phones. They get sued, and both Google and MS throw HTC under the bus with only minimal support (e.g., friends of the court briefs). HTC loses, and is no longer in business.



    Do I, as the next phone maker, really want to make an Android or Winmo phone. Why would I take the risk of making those phones when I could easily be out of business.



    Google and MS will support HTC, solely because of self-interest. Without HTC Android and Winmo are OSs without any hardware, and if Apple sues HTC out of existence, no company will take the risk of being another HTC, and hence Android and Winmo are really screwed.
  • Reply 93 of 121
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by grking View Post


    ...



    Do I, as the next phone maker, really want to make an Android or Winmo phone. Why would I take the risk of making those phones when I could easily be out of business.



    ..



    Isn't your point that prudence would prevail over the lure of profit? If it is, I'd suggest there'd be companies that would line up on either side.
  • Reply 94 of 121
    mark2005mark2005 Posts: 1,158member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post


    Apple are doing their best to hold back Android handsets. It reminds me of the tale of King Canute trying to hold back the sea.



    Samsung are featuring some new handsets with a feature they refer to as multi-touch. .



    Considering the proportion of Samsung components in Apple devices, anyone care to place bets that they don't take on Samsung over patent infringement?



    Separate from the patents, Apple has also trademarked the term "multi-touch" in the US. Given Apple's current state of mind, Samsung might want to be careful if they use the words "multi-touch" on a phone in the US.
  • Reply 95 of 121
    mark2005mark2005 Posts: 1,158member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sdbryan View Post


    Obviously Google which has a market cap that is larger than Apple's cash pile and larger than Apple's market cap. With the imminent arrival of the next mobile OS from Redmond there will be an even larger potential adversary.



    Really? Not that it matters much in this debate, but on this point, you are so wrong. Apple's market cap is bigger than Google's. Apple's cash pile is bigger than Google's. It helps to check the facts before you post.



    In terms of market cap, Microsoft is the only adversary larger than Apple. And by the time that next mobile OS arrives (if it ever does), Apple will likely be bigger in terms of market cap.
  • Reply 96 of 121
    grkinggrking Posts: 533member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mark2005 View Post


    Really? Not that it matters much in this debate, but on this point, you are so wrong. Apple's market cap is bigger than Google's. Apple's cash pile is bigger than Google's. It helps to check the facts before you post.



    In terms of market cap, Microsoft is the only adversary larger than Apple. And by the time that next mobile OS arrives (if it ever does), Apple will likely be bigger in terms of market cap.



    Probably true, but somewhat potentially irrelevant, depending on how Apple does this. If MS and Google, and Nokia, and Samsung all feel threatened, Apple does not have the market cap to take them all on at once.
  • Reply 97 of 121
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,241member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by grking View Post


    You both miss the point. You say that all it would take is a good contract with a new supplier and HTC is gone.



    However, what new company in their right mind would sign that contract.



    Let us assume you are right, and here is what happens.



    HTC is large phone manufacturer, and probably the main make of Android and Winmo phones. They get sued, and both Google and MS throw HTC under the bus with only minimal support (e.g., friends of the court briefs). HTC loses, and is no longer in business.



    Do I, as the next phone maker, really want to make an Android or Winmo phone. Why would I take the risk of making those phones when I could easily be out of business.



    Google and MS will support HTC, solely because of self-interest. Without HTC Android and Winmo are OSs without any hardware, and if Apple sues HTC out of existence, no company will take the risk of being another HTC, and hence Android and Winmo are really screwed.



    With the stock valuation of HTC nearly $270 Billion it is incumbent upon them to have a large IP patent portfolio for their hardware solutions. The fact they don't is a wonder how come they haven't been slammed earlier.



    Their board needs to invest several billion in R&D and Patent their works.
  • Reply 98 of 121
    jahonenjahonen Posts: 364member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post




    The latest 10Q, filed January 25, 2010 shows (p. 3):

    Cash $7.6B

    Short term marketable securities $17.2B

    Long term marketable securities $15.0B



    OK. The first two figures are precisely the figures in Forbes making 24B. So cash+short term is 24B and with those figures the comparison that I had seems relatively valid.The next question is: what are long term marketable securities and how can I find the same information for Google, Nokia and MSFT to make a comparison?



    You see why I used the Forbes figures? It makes it easier to compare (at least to me). But the ballpark was the thing I was looking for in this case. So for me it's irrelevant for the definition of "gargantuan" if Apple has 24B in cash or 40B in cash. No doubt, Apple keeps increasing it's cash reserves phenominally quickly and is "gargantuan" just as the beforementioned competitors are.



    Regs, Jarkko
  • Reply 99 of 121
    grkinggrking Posts: 533member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    With the stock valuation of HTC nearly $270 Billion it is incumbent upon them to have a large IP patent portfolio for their hardware solutions. The fact they don't is a wonder how come they haven't been slammed earlier.



    Their board needs to invest several billion in R&D and Patent their works.



    It has been reported on the board that the $290 billion is in Taiwanese dollars, which converts to about $80 billion US. Has anyone ascertained what HTCs patent portfolio looks like?
  • Reply 100 of 121
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by grking View Post


    It has been reported on the board that the $290 billion is in Taiwanese dollars, which converts to about $80 billion US. Has anyone ascertained what HTCs patent portfolio looks like?



    You're off by a decimal. Current conversion rate is 31.9, so the conversion is closer to $9B.
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