DoJ probe could cost Google $500M; Apple receives patent for horizontal docking iPad

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission by Google revealed Tuesday that the company expects to pay as much at $500 million in a Department of Justice probe into the company's advertising practices. Also, Apple has received a patent for an iPad design that features a dock connector port on both the bottom and the side of the device.



Google vs. DoJ



In a quarterly report to the SEC, Google retroactively lowered its first-quarter earnings by $500 million in anticipation of a settlement with the Department of Justice, the Associated Press reports.



The documents revealed few details about the nature of the DoJ investigation other than the fact that it involves how Google's automated system has been treating some unnamed advertisers.



The change, which drops Google's net income from $7.04 per share to $5.51 per share, affects what's already perceived as a disappointing quarter for the company. After rising expenses cut into Google's profits, Wall Street investors questioned co-founder Larry Page's new role as CEO. Google stock fell from $578.51 to $530.70 as a result, though it has since begun to climb again.



News of the unexpected costs could also cast a pall over the company's I/O developer conference in San Francisco, Calif. Google announced new music and movie services at the conference on Tuesday and previewed Ice Cream Sandwich, the next major Android release.



iPad patent



A design patent granted to Apple on Tuesday depicts an iPad-like device with an additional dock port for landscape orientation.



Described as "the ornamental design for a portable display device," the patent appears to be for a 3G iPad, as the device is shown with a SIM card slot next to the second dock connector port.







Notable inventors listed on the patent include Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Senior Vice President Jonathan Ive, as well as 13 others. The application was filed on Jan. 6, 2010, just weeks before the unveiling of the original iPad.







Apple has expressed interest in a horizontal docking solution for the iPad before. In a patent application published last year, the company filed for a dock that utilized inductive coils to allow docking in both portrait and landscape orientation.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60
    ameldrum1ameldrum1 Posts: 254member
    I can't help but think that some of these patents are just getting silly. There is nothing particularly inventive about this.



    It's a shame that the patent process appears to be degenerating into a race to simply register as many "ideas" (cough) as possible so that you can use them as ammunition to be traded in the next dispute with a competitor.
  • Reply 2 of 60
    moshemoshe Posts: 3member
    Maybe I'm missing something, but why not just design a dock shaped like a sideways "L" with the connector on the vertical member?
  • Reply 3 of 60
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Aperture Science. Now with 20% more smiley faces in patent filings.
  • Reply 4 of 60
    maccherrymaccherry Posts: 924member
    Google, beyond their great search engine and their click to get paid business model they are pretty lame.
  • Reply 5 of 60
    alanhalanh Posts: 70member
    "Horizontal docking" is a little misleading. Sounds like the iPad is docked while lying down flat in its back. A better description would be landscape docking as opposed to the present portrait.
  • Reply 6 of 60
    chabigchabig Posts: 640member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ameldrum1 View Post


    I can't help but think that some of these patents are just getting silly. There is nothing particularly inventive about this



    There doesn't have to be anything inventive for a design patent. It's a patent on the ornamental design, which simply means others can't copy it's appearance. This is not about function.
  • Reply 7 of 60
    Come on Apple, if you're gonna patent it, make sure you include docking from the top & bottom too, just to be complete. I mean if you can't cover all the angles what's the point. Should include docking in mid-air and underwater just for good measure.
  • Reply 8 of 60
    sprockketssprockkets Posts: 796member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chabig View Post


    There doesn't have to be anything inventive for a design patent. It's a patent on the ornamental design, which simply means others can't copy it's appearance. This is not about function.



    Meaning I can't put a port in the middle of a device on the long side now?



    If so, that's messed up.
  • Reply 9 of 60
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,034member
    This was a platent for the first iPad. It was thought that Apple would be coming out with a side connector on the iPad 2, but, as we know, that turned out to be u true. This patent, as far as I can tell, is a design latent, as has been mentioned. As such, it's for the entire device, and not for any one feature.





    As for Google's fine. These companies are all so rich these days, that the fines are just tempory set-backs. If a company wants to do something, they won't allow a fine to prevent them from doing it. Microsoft has been fined billions of dollars over the years from the US and the EU, but it hasn't prevented them from continuing to flout the rules.



    In order to prevent companies from doing these things, fines have to be even larger, or somehow tied to profits or gross sales.
  • Reply 10 of 60
    whozownwhozown Posts: 128member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Moshe View Post


    Maybe I'm missing something, but why not just design a dock shaped like a sideways "L" with the connector on the vertical member?



    that's exactly what I thought it was going to look like.
  • Reply 11 of 60
    rabbit_coachrabbit_coach Posts: 1,114member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AlanH View Post


    "Horizontal docking" is a little misleading. Sounds like the iPad is docked while lying down flat in its back. A better description would be landscape docking as opposed to the present portrait.



    Yeah, horizontal docking makes you rather think of reproduction processes than of patents for electronic devices.
  • Reply 12 of 60
    gordygordy Posts: 1,004member
    Anyone who stupidly bought the iPad keyboard dock can appreciate the need for a connector on the side of the device. Not having one there put mine on Amazon Marketplace in record time.
  • Reply 13 of 60
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,653member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    ... As for Google's fine. These companies are all so rich these days, that the fines are just tempory set-backs. If a company wants to do something, they won't allow a fine to prevent them from doing it. Microsoft has been fined billions of dollars over the years from the US and the EU, but it hasn't prevented them from continuing to flout the rules.



    In order to prevent companies from doing these things, fines have to be even larger, or somehow tied to profits or gross sales.



    Or, make it a criminal rather than a civil offense and put the CEOs in jail.



    That's not likely to happen, so, yes, the only way to stop this sort of illegal behavior is to make the fines so large that it would put a company out of business to pay them. This is also the problem with so called "tort reform". If for example, you cap damage awards, causing injury becomes just another calculated business expense. If you can save $1 Million dollars by making an unsafe product, and you calculate, based on the expected injury rate and award caps that it will cost you $750K in expenses, you can still count on pocketing an extra $250K, and maybe that only amounts to one extra death per thousand sold, so it's easy on their consciences too.



    To get unethical companies, like Google and Microsoft, to behave, the cost of breaking the law has to be staggering, or at least potentially and unpredictably so, something on the order of 1-5 years total revenues so that it can potentially bankrupt them.
  • Reply 14 of 60
    xsuxsu Posts: 401member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Moshe View Post


    Maybe I'm missing something, but why not just design a dock shaped like a sideways "L" with the connector on the vertical member?



    Well, patent it then.
  • Reply 15 of 60
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ameldrum1 View Post


    It's a shame that the patent process appears to be degenerating into a race to simply register as many "ideas" (cough) as possible so that you can use them as ammunition to be traded in the next dispute with a competitor.



    When has the patent process ever been about anything other than registering ideas first?
  • Reply 16 of 60
    xsuxsu Posts: 401member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    Or, make it a criminal rather than a civil offense and put the CEOs in jail.



    That's not likely to happen, so, yes, the only way to stop this sort of illegal behavior is to make the fines so large that it would put a company out of business to pay them. This is also the problem with so called "tort reform". If for example, you cap damage awards, causing injury becomes just another calculated business expense. If you can save $1 Million dollars by making an unsafe product, and you calculate, based on the expected injury rate and award caps that it will cost you $750K in expenses, you can still count on pocketing an extra $250K, and maybe that only amounts to one extra death per thousand sold, so it's easy on their consciences too.



    To get unethical companies, like Google and Microsoft, to behave, the cost of breaking the law has to be staggering, or at least potentially and unpredictably so, something on the order of 1-5 years total revenues so that it can potentially bankrupt them.



    That's right on. If I personally break the law, I get thrown in jail and have my life ruined, at least for the term of the sentence. A company, which is treated pretty much as a person in the eyes of the law, should have its life ruined as result of breaking the law. If ruining the company is too harsh for the employees involved, we should definitly make the managment personally liable for deliberate law breaking.
  • Reply 17 of 60
    xsuxsu Posts: 401member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    When has the patent process ever been about anything other than registering ideas first?



    It really should have been about particular implementation of an idea. Not just the concept itself, which the process have devolved into.



    In the old days, patents are granted on real product, not concept drawings. Return to that old standard would solve a lot of problems exist in patents these days.
  • Reply 18 of 60
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,171member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    As for Google's fine. These companies are all so rich these days, that the fines are just tempory set-backs. If a company wants to do something, they won't allow a fine to prevent them from doing it. Microsoft has been fined billions of dollars over the years from the US and the EU, but it hasn't prevented them from continuing to flout the rules.



    In order to prevent companies from doing these things, fines have to be even larger, or somehow tied to profits or gross sales.



    Mel and/or Anonymouse, what is the "thing" that Google did that they need to be prevented from doing again with this rumored 500K fine? I' haven't seen any clear indication that Google themselves did anything.
  • Reply 19 of 60
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xsu View Post


    It really should have been about particular implementation of an idea. Not just the concept itself, which the process have devolved into.



    In the old days, patents are granted on real product, not concept drawings. Return to that old standard would solve a lot of problems exist in patents these days.



    Wouldn?t that have made it impossible to patent, say, the concept of the telephone, only various implementations of the telephone, thus leading to very fractured telephone system design that would inhibit the growth of communication for generations to come?



    I have yet to hear a single fix for the patent system that isn?t itself riddled with countless pitfalls.
  • Reply 20 of 60
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,171member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    Or, make it a criminal rather than a civil offense and put the CEOs in jail.



    That's not likely to happen, so, yes, the only way to stop this sort of illegal behavior is to make the fines so large that it would put a company out of business to pay them. . .



    the cost of breaking the law has to be staggering, or at least potentially and unpredictably so, something on the order of 1-5 years total revenues so that it can potentially bankrupt them.



    Since the DoJ also has active Apple investigations in progress, how many years revenue should Apple lose if found in violation of US laws? There's claims that Amazon (and Google?) met resistance on securing record label deals due to heavy and illegal pressure from Apple on the record companies that already had deals in place on iTunes.



    http://www.tuaw.com/2010/06/03/doj-expands-apple-probe/



    http://www.mobiledia.com/news/71868.html



    EDIT: I suspect the lack of comments on this will be all that needs to be said
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