DOJ probes Apple's interest in Nortel patents

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 99
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,105member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    However, the deal prompted criticism from open source advocates worried that the companies would use the patents to damage open source competitors. In April, the Justice Department forced the consortium to promise not to use the Novell portfolio to unfairly stifle competition. Microsoft was also required to license patents instead of buying them.



    This is incredible. While it's certainly within the realm of reasonableness for the DoJ to address actual anticompetitive behavior, preempting sensible business strategy by successful companies in the name of thwarting some vaguely-defined, potential behavior because of the caterwauling by self-described 'open source advcates' (whatever-the-heck that means -- how does one become an open source advocate?) is absolutely insane.



    This is the kind of nonsense that sometimes results in US companies having to compete in global markets with one hand tied behind their backs.
  • Reply 22 of 99
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,772member
    Maybe if they didn't grant idea patents so flippantly we wouldn't have this issue. They really should just put them in the public domain.
  • Reply 23 of 99
    magicjmagicj Posts: 406member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LTMP View Post


    I found the correct 2008 numbers (mean income instead of median) at http://www.census.gov/compendia/stat...es/11s0689.xls



    117,181,000 households

    Mean household income: $68,424 (incidentally, the lowest it had been since 1998)



    Total US income in 2008: $8,017,992,740,000



    *24% $1,924,318,260,000



    Sorry for my carelessness.



    What you really want is a precise definition of what politicians mean when they say "The Rich". Then figure out how much money "The Rich" make, and base your calculations off of that.
  • Reply 24 of 99
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,105member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LTMP View Post


    Well, no, I just need to learn to read.

    My bad.



    Sorry... Didn't mean to come off like a sourpuss in my post -- upon re-reading, I may have sounded like one!
  • Reply 25 of 99
    magicjmagicj Posts: 406member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    This is incredible. While it's certainly within the realm of reasonableness for the DoJ to address actual anticompetitive behavior, preempting sensible business strategy by successful companies in the name of thwarting some vaguely-defined, potential behavior because of the caterwauling by self-described 'open source advcates' (whatever-the-heck that means -- how does one become an open source advocate?) is absolutely insane.



    This is the kind of nonsense that sometimes results in US companies having to compete in global markets with one hand tied behind their backs.



    I think it was a bit confusing for AI to even reference the Novell patents in this article. They're separate from the Nortel patents.



    In the case of the Novell patents, I think there was a real beef. Microsoft used Novell and its patents as a pawn in an attempt to undermine Linux.
  • Reply 26 of 99
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    The DoJ is simply retaliating against Apple for not paying enough into Obama's campaign coffers. Apple have a long and consistent history of using patents only defensively to protect their right to participate in the market, never offensively to exclude anyone else from participating in the market (with the arguable recent except of Samsung, but Samsung's copying of the iPhone was egregious). This defensive-only use of patents is rare among large technology companies.
  • Reply 27 of 99
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,575member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by magicj View Post


    What you really want is a precise definition of what politicians mean when they say "The Rich". Then figure out how much money "The Rich" make, and base your calculations off of that.



    Take a look at the number of Americans who are leeches, in that they pay zero taxes. They are economical parasitic creatures, most of them vote for Democrats, and they're also the kind of people who support stealing money from working people and handing out your money to other people who don't deserve it. They don't call this thievery by it's proper name, they prefer a nicer term like wealth redistribution. Just like we're not really engaged in any war in Libya right now, it's a kinetic military action. That kind of sounds like something that Microsoft would release for the Xbox.
  • Reply 28 of 99
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by magicj View Post


    Sorry, not getting your point. Contributors to left wing candidate will not contribute to left wing candidate in the future because he wants to implement left wing policies?



    Not sure that's true, but also don't see how it ties in with DoJ (part of executive branch) not finding a problem with a company (Google) that has made large political donations, yet finding problems with another company that hasn't (Apple), despite the fact that the two are in exactly the same business with regard to these patents.



    Without getting into the politics, I do have to wonder why the DoJ thinks Google is so angelic? In fact, Google has the history of violating patents, don't they? Perhaps the DoJ thinks Google should have the patents thinking they'll make them freely available for open source folks to use. But then we get back into the political/economic motivations of the DoJ, an entity that should have no such motivations.
  • Reply 29 of 99
    bsgincbsginc Posts: 78member
    Yeah. It's really important to keep Apple from buying patents they might want to defend at some point. Obviously, it's far better to let a bunch of trolls who would sit on their patents, doing nothing, get those patents so they can defend them against innovative companies trying to bring new poducts to market.



    Viv' la troll! /snark
  • Reply 30 of 99
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Anyone who thinks tax rates for the rich are too low doesn't understand the Laffer Curve. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laffer_curve
  • Reply 31 of 99
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    I do have to wonder why the DoJ thinks Google is so angelic? In fact, Google has the history of violating patents, don't they? Perhaps the DoJ thinks Google should have the patents thinking they'll make them freely available for open source folks to use.



    The unofficial position at DoJ is that Google bought the right to those patents by paying tons of money to help elect Obama. If Apple had contributed more to Obama, then Apple would have the right to the patents.
  • Reply 32 of 99
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Beauty of Bath View Post


    Presumably Microsoft is banned completely because of its illegal track record?



    I think Microsoft already have access to all of these patents, so they aren't even bidding.
  • Reply 33 of 99
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post


    It has to be said, if this portfolio is so valuable, surely Apple can go over anyone's head with the bidding at this point in time. $50b in readies.



    I think Apple already own enough patents to guarantee assured mutual destruction in any patent case against them... Google, not so much.



    I'm sure Google want them more as a defensive measure. If Apple buy them it's going to be an offensive move, either to go after someone like Google, or prevent Google from defending themselves.



    So to me, they seem more valuable to Google than Apple.
  • Reply 34 of 99
    nanoakronnanoakron Posts: 122member
    Doesn't anyone else find it a bit obscene that under the current patent system you're allowed to buy patents from someone else for a hell of a lot of money if you outcompete the next guy. In this case let's imagine both Google and Apple put in bids for $1BN and one of them wins.



    Thats 6000 patents at $160k each.



    You can then use those purchased patents to sue the loser of the purchasing battle for many billions more dollars. For nothing you've innovated yourself, just purchased. Pieces of paper that last only 20 years.



    -Nano.
  • Reply 35 of 99
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    I think Apple already own enough patents to guarantee assured mutual destruction in any patent case against them... Google, not so much.



    I'm sure Google want them more as a defensive measure. If Apple buy them it's going to be an offensive move, either to go after someone like Google, or prevent Google from defending themselves.



    Not true. Google have been aggressively acquiring patents for ten years. Not Apple. Google have a history of using patents aggressively. Not Apple (again, with the arguable exception of the Samsung case).



    Steve Jobs hates patents and blocked the purposeful acquisition of patents until Bruce Sewell and others convinced him to bid for Palm. Apple obviously could have outbid HP, but Steve just wasn't that interested in Palm's patent portfolio.
  • Reply 36 of 99
    mrstepmrstep Posts: 446member
    What a joke - DOJ is afraid of these big companies using patents to 'stifle competition', which is exactly what the system is used for. The original purpose of granting patents was to stifle competitors from copying what someone had invented for, what, 17 years - sure, to let that person recoup their investment in research, but essentially it's to prevent competition with the thought being that it will encourage innovation.



    So a big company can afford to bid more for these and use that to shut out smaller companies... no kidding. So fix it - shorten the lifespan of the patents, stop granting software patents, obvious crap, etc.



    Anyway... and then on top of it, little Google with their Android smartphone market share doesn't raise any red flags? Are they kidding? Clearly ANY of the companies who can afford these patents are just going to buy them and then use them to try to stop their competition. If that's the concern of DOJ, then buy them and declare them available for use by everyone.
  • Reply 37 of 99
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NanoAkron View Post


    Doesn't anyone else find it a bit obscene that under the current patent system you're allowed to buy patents from someone else for a hell of a lot of money if you outcompete the next guy. In this case let's imagine both Google and Apple put in bids for $1BN and one of them wins.



    Thats 6000 patents at $160k each.



    You can then use those purchased patents to sue the loser of the purchasing battle for many billions more dollars. For nothing you've innovated yourself, just purchased. Pieces of paper that last only 20 years.



    The idea of patents is that they should encourage and promote innovation. The patent holder gets a temporary monopoly and the public eventually gets the know-how. Without patents, companies would rely much more on trade secrets.



    I don't find it obscene that patents can be bought and sold. I do find it obscene that the United States, unlike most of the world, allow software patents. I also find it obscene that patents can last more than 10 years. A hundred years ago, when technology was moving slowly and patents lasted 17 years, that might have made sense. In today's fast moving world, I think 3 to 5 years would be an appropriate life for patents. I believe 3 to 5 years of monopoly rights would be enough to foster innovation. An exception of 10 years for the pharmaceutical industry might make sense due to the huge R&D costs (about a billion) to bring a new drug to market.
  • Reply 38 of 99
    Way to go, DOJ! Let Lodsys buy the patents instead!
  • Reply 39 of 99
    alienzedalienzed Posts: 393member
    Aren't patents support to protect the inventors so that they have an incentive to innovate? Who in their right minds said that patents could be transfered? Doesn't that defeat the purpose?



    So OK maybe the inventor can benefit by selling his idea, thus giving him an incentive to come up with that idea, but then once it is sold, you're not protecting anyone anymore. Seems to me that once the original inventor is out of the picture, patents shouldn't mean a thing, IF the idea was to give incentive to inventors.
  • Reply 40 of 99
    orlandoorlando Posts: 601member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Beauty of Bath View Post


    Presumably Microsoft is banned completely because of its illegal track record?



    An article I was reading today said that the DoJ probably would block Microsoft if they were to bid because of the size of their existing patent portfolio (much bigger than Apple's). Of course Microsoft don't need to bid since they already have a license to use them.
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