DOJ probes Apple's interest in Nortel patents

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 99
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post


    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.



    Your first statement is idiocy. As to the rest, I believe Apple sued Kodak first, and also HTC. These are recent lawsuits, and when you add in the Samsung suit, it's no wonder the DoJ is taking a closer look.
  • Reply 42 of 99
    ddawson100ddawson100 Posts: 452member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post


    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.



    Wow. Mind blown. How do you come by this information? Do you mean to say that Google has curried favor with the current administration due to political contributions and that Apple, among others, is at a disadvantage for not having contributed enough to have the rights to these patents? Please say more.
  • Reply 43 of 99
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,451member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post


    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).



    I don't think there's any instance of Google proactively making a patent infringement filing against any competitor.
  • Reply 44 of 99
    realisticrealistic Posts: 1,138member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alienzed View Post


    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.



    Duh... If the patent became invalid once sold by the owner nobody would ever buy the patent. Using your logic once the patent is sold everybody else could then violate the patent without recourse. So why would any company buy a patent to start with?
  • Reply 45 of 99
    ltmpltmp Posts: 204member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post


    Anyone who thinks tax rates for the rich are too low doesn't understand the Laffer Curve. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laffer_curve



    The fundamental flaw with using the Laffer Curve is that it is over simplified. It assumes that if the tax rate is too high, people will have no incentive to keep working.



    If everyone had the same cost of living, and earned the same income, then it would be a much more useful tool.



    However, since many (working) Americans earn at subsistence levels, and others literally earn more than they could ever spend, the effects of equal taxation will have vastly differing effects on the taxed.



    As an example, if I make just enough money to support myself, a very low tax rate might make it untenable for me to report any income.



    If I make hundreds of millions each year, a substantial tax increase might not have any impact on my life at all.



    In fact, one could argue that allowing anyone to make more than they could ever spend removes the incentive to work.



    I am not well versed in economic theory, so don't hesitate to point out any errors in my logic.
  • Reply 46 of 99
    ltmpltmp Posts: 204member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Sorry... Didn't mean to come off like a sourpuss in my post -- upon re-reading, I may have sounded like one!



    Not at all. You politely pointed out a huge error in my post. Nothing sourpussy about that at all.
  • Reply 47 of 99
    ltmpltmp Posts: 204member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by elroth View Post


    Your first statement is idiocy. As to the rest, I believe Apple sued Kodak first, and also HTC. These are recent lawsuits, and when you add in the Samsung suit, it's no wonder the DoJ is taking a closer look.



    Kodak went after Apple first, Apple countersued.



    http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQueri...S&pq-path=2709
  • Reply 48 of 99
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LTMP View Post


    Kodak went after Apple first, Apple countersued.



    http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQueri...S&pq-path=2709



    That has generally been the case. Apple has only rarely started a patent war.



    Trade dress and copyrights? Yes. Patents? Not so much.



    WWGD (What would google do)? No way to tell. Google doesn't have enough patents to make it worth while to go after any of the big players. If they DO buy the patents and then sue, it will be further sign of their hypocrisy. They are very willing to violate everyone else's intellectual property, so their use of patents to protect their own would be hypocritical.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alienzed View Post


    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.



    So you don't have any concept of what PROPERTY means?



    Patents are property. They can be bought and sold like any other property. The ability to buy and sell patents actually fosters their implementation since many inventors do not have the resources (or the interest) in commercializing their invention. Do you have any idea how many millions of dollars you'd have to invest to commercialize an important automobile invention? Or a petrochemical refining invention? A small inventor can't do that.



    The way the system works is that innovative people can get a patent on their invention - and then sell it to the people who CAN implement it.



    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.



    You're not simply buying pieces of paper. You're buying the right to practice some novel invention. If you're willing to spend that kind of money, there must be some value that justifies it.



    Patents serve a useful purpose to society. While I can understand the sentiment that there is not enough research to weed out the stupid patents and even that it should be easier to overturn a patent when it is shown to be overreachingly broad, this sentiment that patents shouldn't exist and shouldn't be treated like other property is inane.
  • Reply 49 of 99
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,451member
    Apple has likely received DoJ attention with several different actions they've taken over the past year. The larger and more successful they've become, the more aggressive they appear to be getting in protecting their turf. IMO if the WSJ report is true, the DoJ is right to approach Apple and clear some things up in advance if they intend to bid on the Nortel patents.



    It's not just Apple suing HTC and Samsung, which is widely viewed as targeting Google itself. It's more the totality of Apple moves in just the past year.



    DoJ was already investigating Apple for "bullying record labels" to reject cooperation with Amazon on part of their on-line music sales plans according to several reports from last year.

    http://www.fastcompany.com/1652318/j...ls-boxing-out-

    http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/conte...6a894f7a55e1bd



    And another investigation was started when Apple decided that Adobe's developer software (using Flash) that would compile for both iOS and Android wasn't going to be allowed for Appstore development. Apple wanted exclusive titles and had no intention of making it easy for a developer to do an Android version at the same time.

    http://www.tuaw.com/2010/05/03/apple...nvestigation/4



    Yet another investigation of Apple practices is rumored with the film industry.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/busines...2kBNijBO2uP1kJ



    And Eu, DoJ and FTC preliminary looks at Apple's in-app purchasing plan.

    http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/20...scriptions.ars



    Now add in recent talk that Apple and Microsoft (enemy of my enemy?) may be cooperating to double-team Google, just as Apple may have originally hoped to use Google to blunt MS.

    http://mashable.com/2010/01/20/apple...soft-v-google/



    If you consider the Apple moves over the past year in total, it leaves the appearance of a pretty aggressive industry giant. The larger they get the more they've been looking like Microsoft, willing to use all the tools at their disposal to push any potential competitors off to the sidelines. I'm not making any claim that Apple is really a danger to the rest of the industry if they had the Nortel patents in hand. But the DoJ is certainly right to ask questions and get assurances in advance.
  • Reply 50 of 99
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,113member
    Gatorguy, yours is one of the few posts on this thread that makes some sense. Most of the other comments should be embarrassments to the people who made them.
  • Reply 51 of 99
    dimwitdimwit Posts: 29member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alienzed View Post


    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.



    If an inventor can't sell his/her patent, then you are depriving them of the very "incentive" to innovate that the system is intended to foster. Remember licensing is simply the sale of a "right to use". There is no way as the system currently exists to to keep someone from selling something that has value if they own it and choose to sell it.
  • Reply 52 of 99
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ddawson100 View Post


    Do you mean to say that Google has curried favor with the current administration due to political contributions and that Apple, among others, is at a disadvantage for not having contributed enough to have the rights to these patents? Please say more.



    It's called pay-to-play. That's how the DoJ has work in every administration since 1989 and, except for the Eisenhower administration, all of them from 1933 to 1974.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LTMP View Post


    The fundamental flaw with using the Laffer Curve is that it is over simplified. It assumes that if the tax rate is too high, people will have no incentive to keep working.



    No the Laffer Curve does not assume people will have no incentive to keep working. It only assumes that people will have less incentive to keep working if the government steals a bigger share. When you reduce incentives for a group, some stop and some don't stop. Everyone has their own threshold.
  • Reply 53 of 99
    magicjmagicj Posts: 406member
    Depends on how you look at things, I suppose... You could just as easily say these are part of the DoJ hounding Apple. For example...



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    DoJ was already investigating Apple for "bullying record labels" to reject cooperation with Amazon on part of their on-line music sales plans according to several reports from last year.

    http://www.fastcompany.com/1652318/j...ls-boxing-out-

    http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/conte...6a894f7a55e1bd



    In this case, Apple was promoting new releases for weeks ahead of time, and the record labels would then turn around and give Amazon a day head start selling the release. And for this the DoJ investigates Apple?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    And another investigation was started when Apple decided that Adobe's developer software (using Flash) that would compile for both iOS and Android wasn't going to be allowed for Appstore development. Apple wanted exclusive titles and had no intention of making it easy for a developer to do an Android version at the same time.

    http://www.tuaw.com/2010/05/03/apple...nvestigation/4



    This is probably the only one on this list that has merit.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Yet another investigation of Apple practices is rumored with the film industry.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/busines...2kBNijBO2uP1kJ



    Nothing in Apple's model prevents these content provides from providing their content to other devices. So why the investigation?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    And Eu, DoJ and FTC preliminary looks at Apple's in-app purchasing plan.

    http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/20...scriptions.ars



    Nothing going on with this one. From the link:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ars technica


    The investigation is said to be in the early stages and may not go anywhere. European regulators are also saying they are keeping an eye on the situation.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Now add in recent talk that Apple and Microsoft (enemy of my enemy?) may be cooperating to double-team Google, just as Apple may have originally hoped to use Google to blunt MS.

    http://mashable.com/2010/01/20/apple...soft-v-google/



    No investigation here.



    And as further examples of the left harassing Apple and Steve Jobs, we have...



    Central Laborers' Pension Fund calls for Apple to disclose CEO succession plan

    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...sion_plan.html



    Labor union votes against Steve Jobs' reelection to Disney board

    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...ney_board.html



    The model is very simple. Cough up the dough to the political machine, or you'll get hounded at every turn. This list of DoJ and Union actions doesn't refute that, it supports it.
  • Reply 54 of 99
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,570member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LTMP View Post


    The fundamental flaw with using the Laffer Curve is that it is over simplified. It assumes that if the tax rate is too high, people will have no incentive to keep working. ...



    This is one of those economic myths that has achieved urban legend status. It's one of those things that seem plausible if you completely ignore human nature and pretend that all human activity is driven by economic incentives. It's also one of those things that people start to believe because those who would like us to believe it repeat it constantly.



    In fact, it's a bit of pernicious nonsense. People don't act based on such simplistic economic motives. The reasons people work, once their earnings get past what's actually needed to live on, have very little to do with "economic" incentive and much more to do with things like money as power or simply because they are driven to do what they do for non-economic reasons.



    One could make just as plausible an argument that, because many people who are actually making lots of money by "working" are driven to do this simply because they want to accumulate as much wealth as possible, raising taxes on them will actually cause them to work even harder to make lots of money. They are like rats pushing a lever to get food. If they get food every time they push the lever, they only push the lever when they are hungry. If you change it so they only get food by pushing the lever multiple times (essentially a tax) they spend a lot more time pushing the lever -- in other words, the tax caused them to work harder.



    If we consider that money and wealth are essentially drugs to some people, and we replace the food with a cocaine injection into the brain of the rat, you can get them to spend their entire lives pushing the lever if you reward them infrequently.



    Based on this theory, which actually takes human nature into account, raising taxes is not only the fair thing to do, it's the best way to get the wealthy working harder.
  • Reply 55 of 99
    radjinradjin Posts: 165member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    So what. Several of those top donors won't be there in 2012 because they won't like the necessity of streamlining the Military, redundant health services, and especially the need to raise taxes on the wealthy to balance the budget.



    His Point: Since Google gave Obama more money, they have less of a problem with Goggle acquiring the patents than Apple who gave much less if anything.
  • Reply 56 of 99
    magicjmagicj Posts: 406member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    One could make just as plausible an argument that, because many people who are actually making lots of money by "working" are driven to do this simply because they want to accumulate as much wealth as possible, raising taxes on them will actually cause them to work even harder to make lots of money. They are like rats pushing a lever to get food. If they get food every time they push the lever, they only push the lever when they are hungry. If you change it so they only get food by pushing the lever multiple times (essentially a tax) they spend a lot more time pushing the lever -- in other words, the tax caused them to work harder.



    If we consider that money and wealth are essentially drugs to some people, and we replace the food with a cocaine injection into the brain of the rat, you can get them to spend their entire lives pushing the lever if you reward them infrequently.



    Do you have any actual studies to back this up, or is it a "Just So" story equating people who work to rats and drug addicts?



    Because the "Just So" story I'm familiar with is "If you want less of something, tax it".
  • Reply 57 of 99
    macrulezmacrulez Posts: 2,455member
    deleted
  • Reply 58 of 99
    magicjmagicj Posts: 406member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post


    And Al Gore is on Apple's BoD.



    Al Gore holds no political office.



    The point is not whether or not Steve Jobs is a liberal. He most certainly is and it's fairly safe to assume that most of the folks working in Apple's Bay Area headquarters are liberals.



    The point is Apple isn't a major political donor, whereas Google is.



    Corporatism isn't about supporting the political machinery with your heart. It's about supporting it with your wallet.
  • Reply 59 of 99
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,570member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by magicj View Post


    Do you have any actual studies to back this up, or is it a "Just So" story equating people who work to rats and drug addicts?



    Because the "Just So" story I'm familiar with is "If you want less of something, tax it".



    Read a psychology textbook, they are classic experiments. Do you have any actual studies to back up your "Just So" fairy tale? No, because there is no supporting evidence.
  • Reply 60 of 99
    Anyone who has read the recent book on Google ("In the Plex") will realize there are many ex-Googlers now working in the U.S. Government. Many were taken with Obama when he first ran and decided to join "his team".



    Considering Google's mantra of "doing no evil" is pure PR BS, it is ridiculous that the DOJ would look at and question Apple yet give Google a free pass and benefit of the doubt. Google has become the new Microsoft (infringe on others' IP, want their fingers in and to control everything, etc)



    Something definitely smells fishy and I would hope Apple would challenge this if it sees value in going after the Nortel patents.



    Just extract parts of the Google book to raise some questions and cause red faces in the U.S. Government.
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