Google argues popular Apple patents are de facto standards essential

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  • Reply 241 of 275
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,885member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Jetz View Post


    I have long argued that this would be the outcome.


     


    When you can sue for one patent and ban a product that is compliance with thousands of other patents and that patent is for all intents and purposes essential to the success of the product in a given product category...well at that point, it's time to discuss whether those patents are de facto standards.


     


    Lawmakers will not and should not tolerate giving any company a de facto monopoly based on a single patent like slide-to-unlock....especially if the holder of that patent argues that a single press is a zero-length slide and that the patent is broad enough to cover any action on the lockscreen.  If the patent is going to be that broad, it should be licensed.


     


    This goes not just for Apple, but for Google, MS, etc.


     


    It will go along way towards reducing patent trolling and frivolous lawsuits.



     


    Utter nonsense. All Google, et al. have to do is change Android and their phones to not infringe. Should be a no brainer in the instance you cite. There's no monopoly, de facto or otherwise, just some lazy dishonest companies like Google who don't respect the law.

  • Reply 242 of 275
    jetz wrote: »
    I have long argued that this would be the outcome.

    When you can sue for one patent and ban a product that is compliance with thousands of other patents and that patent is for all intents and purposes essential to the success of the product in a given product category...well at that point, it's time to discuss whether those patents are de facto standards.

    Lawmakers will not and should not tolerate giving any company a de facto monopoly based on a single patent like slide-to-unlock....especially if the holder of that patent argues that a single press is a zero-length slide and that the patent is broad enough to cover any action on the lockscreen.  If the patent is going to be that broad, it should be licensed.

    This goes not just for Apple, but for Google, MS, etc.

    It will go along way towards reducing patent trolling and frivolous lawsuits.

    Except that's not what this is about. There's nothing de facto about slide to unlock or multi touch. These a not essential to the operation of a mobile phone, as evidenced by the fact that once upon a time, there were successful mobile phones that did not have these features. These things are only "essential" if you want to copy the look and feel of an Apple device.

    Apple defending itself against copycats is only "frivolous" if you believe that Google and others have the "right" to copy that look and feel with impunity. As mentioned in my previous post, I'm glad that's all out in the open and that we're debating the real issue: Google arguing that it is entitled to copy Apple's look and feel, against Apple's wishes. That's what it is: entitlement. Pure and simple.
  • Reply 243 of 275
    rtm135rtm135 Posts: 310member


    Of course it's broken.  The system is so frakked up, This American Life had to devote an entire show to the subject.


     


    http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/441/when-patents-attack


     


    You're probably one of the patent trolls we're talking about.  Or someone who represents them.

     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post




    Of course patent trolls don't exist. It's a silly made-up term used by people who don't understand patents OR business.

     

  • Reply 244 of 275
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post





    Except that's not what this is about. There's nothing de facto about slide to unlock or multi touch. 


     


    I have to disagree a little. in their most basic form I would say that they should be standards. But only in the most basic form of the idea. In other words, that you could use a gesture to unlock a device should be an open standard. That you could include tech that can tell how many points on a screen are being tapped etc should be an open standard. 


     


    HOW you achieve these things however is not open and I think shouldn't be. And yet it seems like Google wants Apple to license their way of doing it rather than coming up with a unique one. Which I disagree with completely

  • Reply 245 of 275
    fredaroonyfredaroony Posts: 619member
    freediverx wrote: »
    If someone invents a manner for interacting with a device using a touch screen they deserve a patent on that. If someone else comes along and invents a different and markedly superior way to accomplish the same thing with better results, then yes, I'd say they deserve a patent for it.

    For how many years did mobile phone manufacturers sit on their asses with no useful innovation beyond tacky variations on case design? Apple revolutionized the mobile industry with their first iPhone, which was ridiculed by all their competitors only to eventually be copied by them. These lazy, greedy and talentless companies don't have the right to just swoop in and blatantly copy Apple's innovations after years of contributing nothing of value to the market.

     


    Wow, thats quote a scary point of view. You must work in the US patent office then.
  • Reply 246 of 275
    jetzjetz Posts: 1,293member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post





    Except that's not what this is about. There's nothing de facto about slide to unlock or multi touch. These a not essential to the operation of a mobile phone, as evidenced by the fact that once upon a time, there were successful mobile phones that did not have these features. These things are only "essential" if you want to copy the look and feel of an Apple device.

    Apple defending itself against copycats is only "frivolous" if you believe that Google and others have the "right" to copy that look and feel with impunity. As mentioned in my previous post, I'm glad that's all out in the open and that we're debating the real issue: Google arguing that it is entitled to copy Apple's look and feel, against Apple's wishes. That's what it is: entitlement. Pure and simple.


     


    I'm not one to support all out look and feel theft.  I didn't support Samsung when they did it.  And I thought they deserved to get sued.  But when Apple starts arguing against the ICS lockscreen for example, that in my opinion is starting to approach patent troll levels.  They maybe in right in the letter of the law (thanks to an overly broad patent), but certainly not in the spirit of it.  And if the patent that they are pushing is really that broad, then I'd argue that companies like Google are right to suggest that the government look into declaring these as FRAND.  Come on.  Apple has basically argued that any lockscreen violates their patent because any connection of point A to point B is a pre-defined path.  As is a zero-length connection (icon press).  If the patent office is going to issue patents that say Apple has a patent to virtually any lockscreen on a mobile device, then it's time for lawmakers to discuss if such patents should be FRAND.


     


    And it's an entirely legitimate discussion.  There are many places, where such patents would not be granted to begin with.   So if they are going to be granted, lawmakers should be peridoically reviewing (as part of the whole patent system) whether the right balance is being struck being promoting innovation and stifling it.  This is essentially the starting discussion of patent reform that people keep saying they want to have.


     


    I'm using Apple as an example here.  But really, I take issue with this kind of crap from any company.  MS is even worse.  They don't disclose patents.  Threaten to sue unless companies sign licensing agreements sight unseen (on which patents they would enforce).  Somehow, I don't think the patent system was intended to make that kind of abuse of IP tolerable or even a routine practice.

  • Reply 247 of 275
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,424member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    The fact is that the patent system was created for the purpose of encouraging innovation by allowing inventors to benefit from their inventions as you've stated. So why should Google have the right to steal Apple's inventions? Why should a senile judge who admits that he's not an expert have the right to deny Apple's legislatively granted rights?

     


     


     


    Deleted the more asinine portions of your comment as they don't deserve a response...


     


    Now where did I state my position as defending Google or attacking Apple? My stance is that Apple is 100% right because their patents (with the rare exception) are valid and based on true innovations that they created or acquired and integrated into real shipping products. These patents benefit their millions of loyal customers and other companies who thrive within their ecosystem, not to mention returning handsome profits for the company and its shareholders. Furthermore because these are not, and have never been, agreed upon as standard-essential patents Apple is under no obligation to license them as such to clueless and lazy competitors.


     


    Contrast this with my criticism of the broken side of the patent system as exemplified by patent trolls like Intellectual Ventures who create nothing of value and who benefit no one but themselves and lawyers. No benefit to consumers, nor the state of the industry, nor the state of technology. And they do this via their collection of obscure patents that they never created, never brought to market, and never intended to bring to market. This misuse of the patent system is parasitic and enormously harmful to innovation, to consumers, and to the market as a whole.


     


    Therefore the patent laws need to be revised to continue to encourage companies like Apple (and yes also Google and Microsoft and others) to innovate while cutting off parasitic leeches like Intellectual Ventures.


     


    Now do you get it?


     


     


     


     


     

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  • Reply 248 of 275
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,424member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Well plenty of people think they were and that multi touch devices were inevitable, I guess never mind that Eric Schmidt in a Charlie Rose interview said that Apple invented the smartphone revolution and they should get credit for it.


     


    Apple didn't patent "multi-touch" interfaces. These have been around for some time, albeit poorly implemented. They patented a long list of innovations, some of which might involve multi-touch. 

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  • Reply 249 of 275
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,424member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post





    Does Apple have a notification center without Android?

    And yes...you can steal open source...


     


    But there are rules concerning monetization of products created using open source.

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  • Reply 250 of 275
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,424member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


     


    Because intellectual property is different. Intellectual Vultures is a patent troll, gaming the system with unimplemented patents. They are the poster boy for patent reform and mucking up what is a good thing for those who actually play by the spirit, not just the letter, of the rules. They contribute absolutely nothing to society in exchange for the grant of property, given for the purpose of advancing society. They are leaches, sucking the life blood out of innovation.



     


    I'm pretty sure we're wasting our time. jragosta seems to come from the extreme Libertarian school of thought that places the needs of the individual far above the needs of everyone else. He doesn't care whether a law, as implemented, benefits society or not, so long as someone can make a buck from it. He is unsympathetic to the notion that laws are created to benefit society as a whole.

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  • Reply 251 of 275
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,424member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by macarena View Post





    Totally irrelevant reply. If you steal my car, I can't use it anymore. If Google uses Apple's IP and is willing to compensate Apple for it, Apple can still use it's IP.



    The point is simply this - the whole point of the patent system is to encourage people to share their knowledge, so that further knowledge gains can be made. If not for this goal, everything could just be a trade secret and no one can build on top of others work. While it is legal to deny licensing, I believe that denying licensing is not a sensible strategy.

    Jobs said something to the effect of - I don't want your money, even if you offer $5B. Just stop copying my ideas. That is clearly denying licensing at any rate. Nothing wrong with it per se. But this is one of the reasons for the current mess.



    Read my post fully. What I said is that while Apple SHOULD license, the rate at which they license should also be entirely upto Apple. And if Apple chooses to license only at rates that are deterrent, then Apple runs the risk that people will go ahead anyway, in the hope that the outcome of the legal case would not be as damaging as Apple's fees. This is classic game theory.


     


    Congratulations on completely misconstruing the purpose of patents. There is nothing in patent law that states that patents must be licensed to competitors. NOTHING. There is no precedent for this concept, and nobody (aside from Googlerola) is pushing for this idea.


     


    Companies within industries sometimes come together and AGREE in advance to share what they consider to be standards-essential patents in order to create, you know, STANDARDS. They form a consensual, mutually beneficial agreement to create this standard and license the patents without bias and at reasonable prices.


     


    Apple has contributed many standards-essential patents to help create standards. So did Motorola years ago. But now Motorola, and by extension Google, wants to completely renegotiate the terms of those original agreements - after the fact. They are trying to charge ridiculous fees for the standards-essential patents in order to extort companies like Apple into licensing their NON-STANDARDS-ESSENTIAL patents, which was never part of the deal.


     


    Please go purchase a clue somewhere before wasting everyone's time with your uninformed opinions.

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  • Reply 252 of 275
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,352member

    First things first. In the 15 pages of Google's letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee there's no mention at all of Apple's touchscreen patents being a "de-facto standard". In fact there's no mention of ANY Apple technology being applicable in ANY way. 



     


    Google specifically mentions Active-Sync, a Microsoft product they're being sued over, as well as FAT, another MS development often used in litigation as examples. If you bother reading the letter itself rather than the "explanation" of it by AI, Google's thrust is clearly aimed at Microsoft, with Nokia a secondary subject. Apple barely gets a mention, garnering a comment in just 5 paragraphs in the entire 15 page letter, and none of them in regard to Apple-held IP. The touchscreen-is-de-facto-standard claim is one made up by an AllThingsD editor and repeated by AI, not anything said by Google.


     


    It looks to me as tho AllThingsD, along with AI, was deflecting attention from Microsoft by planting the idea that Google's letter was unfairly arguing some of Apple's iPhone technologies should be standards, and nothing else of interest was written. The problem that AllthingsD has is Google themselves doesn't make that argument. There's a few reasons I can think of for AllThingsD and/or AI to invent a storyline, and none of them would involve non-biased reporting of the facts IMO.


     


    In my opinion one of the two most likely reasons (the other being a simple effort to attract eyeballs) is to introduce a strawman so as to keep the focus squarely on Google rather than the arguments Google actually puts forth: 


    -   RAND standards and royalties claimed by Nokia and MS


    - "de-facto standard" patents (ie Active-sync) asserted by Microsoft


    -   Possible intent by MS and/or Apple to avoid negotiating a fair IP royalty.


    -   Royalty stacking on essential patents by Nokia.


    -   Loaning standards-essential IP to Non-Practicing Entities's (some call them patent trolls)


     


    The last one is particularly interesting. It was reported by a few blogs months ago that MOSAID (and their affiliated company Core Wireless) had acquired 1200-odd (F)RAND-pledged patents and 800 or so other assorted pieces of IP from Nokia/Microsoft. 



     


    What barely got mentioned was that the transfer wasn't a "sale" as such, with MS/Nokia retaining ultimate control of those standards patents. According to Canadian financial filings by MOSAID they can be taken back and placed for enforcement with a 3rd party if MOSAID fails to provide an adequate return to MS/Nokia in shared royalties, or otherwise fails to aggressively enforce those patents. 



     


    In essence they're on loan to MOSAID as long as they supply MS/Nokia a revenue stream meeting contractual revenue commitments. IMHO it's much more aggregious tho in the same vein as Google "transferring" patents to HTC as a defensive answer to Apple's suits.


     


    Google says another Nokia and Microsoft benefit to that group of patents "loaned" to MOSAID is it allows another royalty stream from IP already pledged to Nokia RAND-standards licensees for a net 2% of the finished device price. Essentially the royalty could now double that or more for the standards package licensee's thought they had licensed from Nokia, but now with some essential IP to be asserted by MOSAID in new royalty-bearing license negotiations and lawsuits if needed. Believe it or not even Apple is a lawsuit target for those "loaned" standards patents. 



     


    Perhaps there's a defensive suspension clause in the Nokia/Apple license agreement that might prevent Apple from using the Nokia RAND patent license agreed to just a few months ago in the MOSAID infringement claims against them now. Or maybe it's just not in Apple's interest to raise a stink about it for the time being, with Google and Android the more immediate problem. Perhaps better to avoid creating a distraction by getting into another public argument with Nokia and by extension their partner Microsoft. Even die-hard Apple fans must wonder why Tim Cook wouldn't mention Nokia going for another bite of the Apple.


     


    In any case, Google never wrote that ANY Apple IP should be considered as commercially essential or part of any other real or de-facto standard. IMHO it's a created strawman talking point that's meant to distract from the real discussion of what Google considers Microsoft's disingenuous arguments regarding RAND IP, along with some of the things going on behind the scenes that goes unreported. If you follow FOSSPatents or AI you've already heard plenty about Microsoft and Apple's letters and complaints. This might be the very first time some here have ever heard the other side of the story. Of course that would assume you're willing to hear it. I imagine some already had their receptors turned off and minds made up as soon as Google was mentioned.


     


    I heartily recommend reading the Google letter for yourselves, as well as any of the links in the document that interest you. It should be immediately obvious the letter wasn't all about Apple. For some reason that the AI/ATD writers found beneficial, there's no mention at all of the real points made in Google's letter to the Senate committee. Read it and then make up your own mind whether Google has any valid points that should be addressed rather than being pointed in a certain direction by writers with an agenda that may be less than clear. None of us are very good at avoiding all bias, so better to arm yourself with points from both sides of the argument if you want to get closer to the truth.

  • Reply 253 of 275
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    If you bother reading the letter itself rather than the "explanation" of it by AI, Google's thrust is clearly aimed at Microsoft, with Nokia a secondary subject. Apple barely gets a mention, garnering a comment in just 5 paragraphs in the entire 15 page letter, and none of them in regard to Apple-held IP. The touchscreen-is-de-facto-standard claim is one made up by an AllThingsD editor and repeated by AI, not anything said by Google.

    This is why we need your input. Thanks for the well thought-out post.
  • Reply 254 of 275
    muppetrymuppetry Posts: 3,331member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    gatorguy wrote: »
    If you bother reading the letter itself rather than the "explanation" of it by AI, Google's thrust is clearly aimed at Microsoft, with Nokia a secondary subject. Apple barely gets a mention, garnering a comment in just 5 paragraphs in the entire 15 page letter, and none of them in regard to Apple-held IP. The touchscreen-is-de-facto-standard claim is one made up by an AllThingsD editor and repeated by AI, not anything said by Google.

    This is why we need your input. Thanks for the well thought-out post.

    I'll second that.
  • Reply 255 of 275
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,352member


    Careful you two. I might expect you to have my back when the "regular responders" take aim.image

  • Reply 256 of 275
    gctwnlgctwnl Posts: 278member
    The interesting consequence of Google's argument is that if something patented is quickly copied by everybody else, it becomes a de facto 'essential' standard and thus looses its protection.
  • Reply 257 of 275
    gctwnlgctwnl Posts: 278member
    Google is smart enough to target Microsoft and Nokia first to establish a precedent, before moving to Apple based on that result.
  • Reply 258 of 275
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    gctwnl wrote: »
    The interesting consequence of Google's argument is that if something patented is quickly copied by everybody else, it becomes a de facto 'essential' standard and thus looses its protection.

    Exactly. The fact that Google didn't mention Apple doesn't mean that Apple isn't at least one of the targets.

    More importantly, this memo shows more of Google's lies. Read the memo carefully and they admit that Apple was discussing license fees with them. In a separate filing, they claimed that Apple would not even discuss license fees with them.
  • Reply 259 of 275
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,352member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    Exactly. The fact that Google didn't mention Apple doesn't mean that Apple isn't at least one of the targets.


    It doesn't mean Apple is one of the targets for de-facto standards arguments either, contrary to the AI story's premise. AlThingsD and AI did their jobs well tho, leading you and others to think that claim came directly from the Google letter. I don't think too many members bothered to read it before chiming in. If they had they would have come away with an entirely different understanding and avoided over 200 comments on a created storyline.

  • Reply 260 of 275
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gctwnl View Post



    The interesting consequence of Google's argument is that if something patented is quickly copied by everybody else, it becomes a de facto 'essential' standard and thus looses its protection.


     


    Not at all.  As pointed out, the All Things D reporter made up nearly his whole article.  Once you actually read Google's letter yourself, it becomes clear what they meant:


     


    Google was NOT talking about just "anybody's patents" or ideas that "become popular".


     


    Google was talking ONLY about patents that companies had licensed to everyone with the implied promise that they would always be available at a fair price.  E.g.  MS Exchange, Phillips CD standards, MS FAT file system.


     


    Those are patents that were not submitted through a standards organization, but which many companies and consumers had become dependent upon as de facto standards. 


     


    Google's suggestion was that such single-company standards should be subject to the same FRAND protection that multi-company standards have through standards organizations.


     


    In other words, MS should not be able to hold the world hostage for higher royalties for FAT systems on USB memory sticks, for example, by using multiple shell companies each with their own rate.


     


    Since Apple doesn't license its patents, they're not even a tiny part of Google's argument.


     


    We were all fooled by the article, which was clearly click bait of the worst kind.

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