Apple's iPhone network provisioning tech target of patent lawsuit

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 8
Apple is again in the crosshairs of Uniloc, with the patent aggregator alleging the process by which iPhone and cellular-connected iPad and Apple Watch models infringes on owned intellectual property.




In a lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas on Monday, Uniloc claims Apple infringes on an assigned patent detailing the configuration of a device when it initially connects to a wireless network.

Specifically, U.S. Patent No. 6,856,616 for a "System and method for providing service provider configurations for telephones using a central server in a data network telephony system," covers provisioning a "telephone" for use on a mobile data network using an identifying part number, or device identifier.

Once recognized by the wireless carrier via SIM card, the device is provided the address to a proxy server through which an initial configuration process is completed.

Filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2000, the '616 patent was signed over to 3Com that same year. Hewlett-Packard took control of the IP, and more than 1,500 other assets, in 2010 as part of its acquisition of 3Com.

The '616 patent changed hands to Uniloc's main Luxembourg arm in 2017 and was duly assigned to Uniloc 2017 LLC in May of this year.

Uniloc alleges all iPhone models from iPhone 5 through iPhone XS Max and cellular connected iPads including fourth- and fifth-generation iPad models, all iPad mini versions, iPad Pro, first- and second-generation iPad Air models and Apple Watch Series 1 through 3 infringe on multiple patent claims.

Uniloc seeks unspecified damages, reimbursement of legal fees and other relief deemed fit by the court.

Today's lawsuit arrives less than a week after Uniloc filed a complaint against Apple over AirDrop technology. The pair of suits breaks months of calm in what was a rapid-fire barrage of legal actions lodged last year.

In 2017 alone, Uniloc sued over Maps, Apple ID, remote software updates, AirPlay, autodialing, battery technology, device wake-up, step tracking, AirPlay, the Home app, the Apple TV Remote app and Apple Watch GPS capabilities. Many of those actions leverage IP from 3Com's patent trove.

Uniloc is one of the most active patent trolls in the U.S., leveraging reassigned patents or vaguely worded original IP against a number of tech firms including Activision Blizzard, Aspyr, Electronic Arts, McAfee, Microsoft, Rackspace, Sega, Sony, Symantec and others.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    "with the patent aggregator alleging the process by which iPhone and cellular-connected iPad and Apple Watch models infringes on owned intellectual property." I think your intro is missing some words...
  • Reply 2 of 21
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,046member
    I’ve never understood why Apple doesn’t search for these patents, and just buy them through some entity, as they do,with other things. That would cut the possibility of much of this out. When you consider how many suits there are, and how much is paid out, plus the legal costs, it might be cheaper in the long run.
    bshank
  • Reply 3 of 21
    melgross said:
    I’ve never understood why Apple doesn’t search for these patents, and just buy them through some entity, as they do,with other things. That would cut the possibility of much of this out. When you consider how many suits there are, and how much is paid out, plus the legal costs, it might be cheaper in the long run.
    The problem with that is so many patents (and I don't specifically mean this one) are/should not be valid/granted.  There's no way to buy all the patents.
    Downloading a configuration from a central server based on an identifier seems like something that has existed for a long, long time.  Now it's considered "new" (well new in 2000) just because it is "telephone in a data network" - which may or may not be valid.
    Rayz2016magman1979ronnloquitur
  • Reply 4 of 21
    anomeanome Posts: 1,118member
    melgross said:
    I’ve never understood why Apple doesn’t search for these patents, and just buy them through some entity, as they do,with other things. That would cut the possibility of much of this out. When you consider how many suits there are, and how much is paid out, plus the legal costs, it might be cheaper in the long run.

    It's possible they did search, but either decided there was no infringement, or that it wasn't worth it. Uniloc only bought the IP last year, and prior to that HP or 3Com probably didn't find it worth suing over it.

    jbdragonronnloquitur
  • Reply 5 of 21
    chasmchasm Posts: 838member
    For the record, it is SOP for companies to have a patent attorney do a search and present any possible conflicts in patents. The problem Apple (and all other tech companies) run into is that patents from 20-30 years ago are hopelessly vague, like "method to move air via electrically-induced circulation for cooling purposes" (aka "a fan") that was a pretty logical conclusion back when it was granted, and hopelessly obvious now.

    Any company that invents anything can be certain that a patent exists that could possibly be interpreted as describing something somewhat akin to their invention, particularly if the new invention is just an alternate method of accomplishing the goal or an extension (like adding video to audio calls) of an existing invention/technique.

    On top of that, courts long ago stopped defining "infringement" as strictly "stealing an already-known and patented technique/invention" rather than "we happen to have invented something entirely independently, but it is similar to an existing method/invention/patent." A stricter reading of infringement would cut down on the nonsense suits considerably, since it would require the plaintiff to prove that the company knew or should have known that they were infringing, but even that wouldn't be a panacea (lots of companies show Apple new tech they've invented that sometimes shows up again in a different form in a final product. Difficult to prove intent there).

    TL;dr -- the patent system is very broken and needs major reform. Also: there's nothing really new under the sun. :)
    edited October 8 jbdragonmagman1979ronnloquitur
  • Reply 6 of 21
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,398member
    Patent reform is probably a pipe dream but that’s the only way to fix this.
    magman1979
  • Reply 7 of 21
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,347member
    melgross said:
    I’ve never understood why Apple doesn’t search for these patents, and just buy them through some entity, as they do,with other things. That would cut the possibility of much of this out. When you consider how many suits there are, and how much is paid out, plus the legal costs, it might be cheaper in the long run.
    Supposedly that's why Google bought Motorola.   To get their patents which they extended to either Android licensees.

    Or maybe we don't hear about all the time android manufacturers like Samsung are sued .
  • Reply 8 of 21
    Any idea how much Apple has paid out from all these suits (not counting legal fees)?
  • Reply 9 of 21
    anome said:
    melgross said:
    I’ve never understood why Apple doesn’t search for these patents, and just buy them through some entity, as they do,with other things. That would cut the possibility of much of this out. When you consider how many suits there are, and how much is paid out, plus the legal costs, it might be cheaper in the long run.

    It's possible they did search, but either decided there was no infringement, or that it wasn't worth it. Uniloc only bought the IP last year, and prior to that HP or 3Com probably didn't find it worth suing over it.

    If they (being Apple) decided that there was no infringement then that decision could lead to triple damages for willful patent violation.

    If Unicom (or whoever) found out that Apple was trying to buy the patent, that could also leave them liable to triple damages.
    Several decades ago I had two patents in my name. I was told by the patent lawyers in no uncertain terms to NOT read any patents in the area I was working in. That was their job.

    UniLoc need to die a horrible death. They are not doing anything to further the development of technology. They are only after a lot of $$$$ for doing nothing.
  • Reply 10 of 21
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,046member
    purdueguy said:
    melgross said:
    I’ve never understood why Apple doesn’t search for these patents, and just buy them through some entity, as they do,with other things. That would cut the possibility of much of this out. When you consider how many suits there are, and how much is paid out, plus the legal costs, it might be cheaper in the long run.
    The problem with that is so many patents (and I don't specifically mean this one) are/should not be valid/granted.  There's no way to buy all the patents.
    Downloading a configuration from a central server based on an identifier seems like something that has existed for a long, long time.  Now it's considered "new" (well new in 2000) just because it is "telephone in a data network" - which may or may not be valid.
    They don’t have to buy them all. There are thousands of patents out there that could have something to do with Apple’s work. But just a few of them as similar enough to be concerned about.
  • Reply 11 of 21
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,046member
    k2kw said:
    melgross said:
    I’ve never understood why Apple doesn’t search for these patents, and just buy them through some entity, as they do,with other things. That would cut the possibility of much of this out. When you consider how many suits there are, and how much is paid out, plus the legal costs, it might be cheaper in the long run.
    Supposedly that's why Google bought Motorola.   To get their patents which they extended to either Android licensees.

    Or maybe we don't hear about all the time android manufacturers like Samsung are sued .

    chasm said:
    For the record, it is SOP for companies to have a patent attorney do a search and present any possible conflicts in patents. The problem Apple (and all other tech companies) run into is that patents from 20-30 years ago are hopelessly vague, like "method to move air via electrically-induced circulation for cooling purposes" (aka "a fan") that was a pretty logical conclusion back when it was granted, and hopelessly obvious now.

    Any company that invents anything can be certain that a patent exists that could possibly be interpreted as describing something somewhat akin to their invention, particularly if the new invention is just an alternate method of accomplishing the goal or an extension (like adding video to audio calls) of an existing invention/technique.

    On top of that, courts long ago stopped defining "infringement" as strictly "stealing an already-known and patented technique/invention" rather than "we happen to have invented something entirely independently, but it is similar to an existing method/invention/patent." A stricter reading of infringement would cut down on the nonsense suits considerably, since it would require the plaintiff to prove that the company knew or should have known that they were infringing, but even that wouldn't be a panacea (lots of companies show Apple new tech they've invented that sometimes shows up again in a different form in a final product. Difficult to prove intent there).

    TL;dr -- the patent system is very broken and needs major reform. Also: there's nothing really new under the sun. :)
    My company had patents. We sued two others for violation, and won both times, because they were valid patents, and they were violated.

    google hadn’t invented much other than software. They wanted those patents as a defense, particularly against Apple, if they, or their OEMs were sued. The problem was that Google was rooked by Motorola, as many of those patents were useless.

    often companies are sued, but haven’t violated the patent, and sometimes the patent isn’t valid. So, yes, we know all of this. But we also know that you do t find every patent you look for because patents aren’t neatly organized. If you don’t know that a patent exists, you may not find it. If you infringe, you infringe, and the courts will acknowledge that, and you will be in big trouble because of it. There are two different parts to infringement. One is infringement where the party wasn’t aware of it. They still have to pay for that, because it’s still taking rights from the patent holder they are not entitled to. The second is willful infringement, where the larty is well aware they are infringing. That’s worse, and the patents holder is entitled to triple damages. That’s proper.

    its certainly not true that a patent already exists for every “new” invention. I don’t know how you can think that. It’s not even close to being logical. In addition, patents last or only 20 years, unless you can get an extension by adding to it, that it. No 30 year period. Just because a patent is 18 years old doesn’t mean that it’s not valid, as a principal today. A lot of patents cover fundamental areas. These patents are so important that they are needed for any device being made to accomplish that task. Those get licensed as FRAND.
  • Reply 12 of 21
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,046member
    anome said:
    melgross said:
    I’ve never understood why Apple doesn’t search for these patents, and just buy them through some entity, as they do,with other things. That would cut the possibility of much of this out. When you consider how many suits there are, and how much is paid out, plus the legal costs, it might be cheaper in the long run.

    It's possible they did search, but either decided there was no infringement, or that it wasn't worth it. Uniloc only bought the IP last year, and prior to that HP or 3Com probably didn't find it worth suing over it.

    If they (being Apple) decided that there was no infringement then that decision could lead to triple damages for willful patent violation.

    If Unicom (or whoever) found out that Apple was trying to buy the patent, that could also leave them liable to triple damages.
    Several decades ago I had two patents in my name. I was told by the patent lawyers in no uncertain terms to NOT read any patents in the area I was working in. That was their job.

    UniLoc need to die a horrible death. They are not doing anything to further the development of technology. They are only after a lot of $$$$ for doing nothing.
    That’s rather strange. Companies buy related patents all the time. You can’t get in trouble because you buy a related patent. Not read other related patents? Nonsense. We all read related patents. We have to. Otherwise, how do we know what’s been done, and how? The best way to violate another patent is to not know about it, or to not read it if you do. I’d get other lawyers.
  • Reply 13 of 21
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,275member
    Any idea how much Apple has paid out from all these suits (not counting legal fees)?
    No one knows. Some are settled before a court makes a judgement. Some are sealed. Some never make it into the news in the first place. 
  • Reply 14 of 21
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,275member
    melgross said:
    k2kw said:
    melgross said:
    I’ve never understood why Apple doesn’t search for these patents, and just buy them through some entity, as they do,with other things. That would cut the possibility of much of this out. When you consider how many suits there are, and how much is paid out, plus the legal costs, it might be cheaper in the long run.
    Supposedly that's why Google bought Motorola.   To get their patents which they extended to either Android licensees.

    Or maybe we don't hear about all the time android manufacturers like Samsung are sued .

    chasm said:
    For the record, it is SOP for companies to have a patent attorney do a search and present any possible conflicts in patents. The problem Apple (and all other tech companies) run into is that patents from 20-30 years ago are hopelessly vague, like "method to move air via electrically-induced circulation for cooling purposes" (aka "a fan") that was a pretty logical conclusion back when it was granted, and hopelessly obvious now.

    Any company that invents anything can be certain that a patent exists that could possibly be interpreted as describing something somewhat akin to their invention, particularly if the new invention is just an alternate method of accomplishing the goal or an extension (like adding video to audio calls) of an existing invention/technique.

    On top of that, courts long ago stopped defining "infringement" as strictly "stealing an already-known and patented technique/invention" rather than "we happen to have invented something entirely independently, but it is similar to an existing method/invention/patent." A stricter reading of infringement would cut down on the nonsense suits considerably, since it would require the plaintiff to prove that the company knew or should have known that they were infringing, but even that wouldn't be a panacea (lots of companies show Apple new tech they've invented that sometimes shows up again in a different form in a final product. Difficult to prove intent there).

    TL;dr -- the patent system is very broken and needs major reform. Also: there's nothing really new under the sun. :)

    They (Google) wanted those patents as a defense, particularly against Apple, if they, or their OEMs were sued.
    The problem was that Google was rooked by Motorola, as many of those patents were useless.

    Not any more useless than the ones from Nortel that were eventually sold off for a fraction of the purchase price, but only after Rockstar failed at weaponizing them,  flailing them like a blunt sword. 

    All these patents had some value at least defensively, just perhaps not as much as everyone at the time thought, and certainly far less useful as offensive weapons than those here expected them to be. 
    edited October 9
  • Reply 15 of 21
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,046member
    gatorguy said:
    melgross said:
    k2kw said:
    melgross said:
    I’ve never understood why Apple doesn’t search for these patents, and just buy them through some entity, as they do,with other things. That would cut the possibility of much of this out. When you consider how many suits there are, and how much is paid out, plus the legal costs, it might be cheaper in the long run.
    Supposedly that's why Google bought Motorola.   To get their patents which they extended to either Android licensees.

    Or maybe we don't hear about all the time android manufacturers like Samsung are sued .

    chasm said:
    For the record, it is SOP for companies to have a patent attorney do a search and present any possible conflicts in patents. The problem Apple (and all other tech companies) run into is that patents from 20-30 years ago are hopelessly vague, like "method to move air via electrically-induced circulation for cooling purposes" (aka "a fan") that was a pretty logical conclusion back when it was granted, and hopelessly obvious now.

    Any company that invents anything can be certain that a patent exists that could possibly be interpreted as describing something somewhat akin to their invention, particularly if the new invention is just an alternate method of accomplishing the goal or an extension (like adding video to audio calls) of an existing invention/technique.

    On top of that, courts long ago stopped defining "infringement" as strictly "stealing an already-known and patented technique/invention" rather than "we happen to have invented something entirely independently, but it is similar to an existing method/invention/patent." A stricter reading of infringement would cut down on the nonsense suits considerably, since it would require the plaintiff to prove that the company knew or should have known that they were infringing, but even that wouldn't be a panacea (lots of companies show Apple new tech they've invented that sometimes shows up again in a different form in a final product. Difficult to prove intent there).

    TL;dr -- the patent system is very broken and needs major reform. Also: there's nothing really new under the sun. :)

    They (Google) wanted those patents as a defense, particularly against Apple, if they, or their OEMs were sued.
    The problem was that Google was rooked by Motorola, as many of those patents were useless.

    Not any more useless than the ones from Nortel that were eventually sold off for a fraction of the purchase price, but only after Rockstar failed at weaponizing them,  flailing them like a blunt sword. 

    All these patents had some value at least defensively, just perhaps not as much as everyone at the time thought, and certainly far less useful as offensive weapons than those here expected them to be. 
    The difference is that Google was indeed rooked. They paid $12.5 billion for Motorola on the day when its valuation was just $6.5 billion. They were convinced that the company was vastly more valuable that it actually was, which turned out to be much less than the $6.5 billion it was being valued at. Google was so desperate to buy Motorola that they deliberately paid far more than they should have, apparently convinced that they would be bid against if they offered a more realistic amount. Everyone scratched their heads over the purchase.
  • Reply 16 of 21
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,275member
    melgross said:
    gatorguy said:
    melgross said:
    k2kw said:
    melgross said:
    I’ve never understood why Apple doesn’t search for these patents, and just buy them through some entity, as they do,with other things. That would cut the possibility of much of this out. When you consider how many suits there are, and how much is paid out, plus the legal costs, it might be cheaper in the long run.
    Supposedly that's why Google bought Motorola.   To get their patents which they extended to either Android licensees.

    Or maybe we don't hear about all the time android manufacturers like Samsung are sued .

    chasm said:
    For the record, it is SOP for companies to have a patent attorney do a search and present any possible conflicts in patents. The problem Apple (and all other tech companies) run into is that patents from 20-30 years ago are hopelessly vague, like "method to move air via electrically-induced circulation for cooling purposes" (aka "a fan") that was a pretty logical conclusion back when it was granted, and hopelessly obvious now.

    Any company that invents anything can be certain that a patent exists that could possibly be interpreted as describing something somewhat akin to their invention, particularly if the new invention is just an alternate method of accomplishing the goal or an extension (like adding video to audio calls) of an existing invention/technique.

    On top of that, courts long ago stopped defining "infringement" as strictly "stealing an already-known and patented technique/invention" rather than "we happen to have invented something entirely independently, but it is similar to an existing method/invention/patent." A stricter reading of infringement would cut down on the nonsense suits considerably, since it would require the plaintiff to prove that the company knew or should have known that they were infringing, but even that wouldn't be a panacea (lots of companies show Apple new tech they've invented that sometimes shows up again in a different form in a final product. Difficult to prove intent there).

    TL;dr -- the patent system is very broken and needs major reform. Also: there's nothing really new under the sun. :)

    They (Google) wanted those patents as a defense, particularly against Apple, if they, or their OEMs were sued.
    The problem was that Google was rooked by Motorola, as many of those patents were useless.

    Not any more useless than the ones from Nortel that were eventually sold off for a fraction of the purchase price, but only after Rockstar failed at weaponizing them,  flailing them like a blunt sword. 

    All these patents had some value at least defensively, just perhaps not as much as everyone at the time thought, and certainly far less useful as offensive weapons than those here expected them to be. 
    The difference is that Google was indeed rooked. They paid $12.5 billion for Motorola on the day when its valuation was just $6.5 billion. They were convinced that the company was vastly more valuable that it actually was, which turned out to be much less than the $6.5 billion it was being valued at. Google was so desperate to buy Motorola that they deliberately paid far more than they should have, apparently convinced that they would be bid against if they offered a more realistic amount. Everyone scratched their heads over the purchase.
    Not everyone. To patent bloggers it made sense. Still does. Notice how quiet those patent-sabres rattling about threatening the Android platform became after that? I don't think the two are unrelated. 

    EDIT: Related story.
    https://gigaom.com/2014/01/30/google-paid-4b-for-patents-why-the-motorola-deal-worked-out-just-fine/
    edited October 10
  • Reply 17 of 21
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,046member
    gatorguy said:
    melgross said:
    gatorguy said:
    melgross said:
    k2kw said:
    melgross said:
    I’ve never understood why Apple doesn’t search for these patents, and just buy them through some entity, as they do,with other things. That would cut the possibility of much of this out. When you consider how many suits there are, and how much is paid out, plus the legal costs, it might be cheaper in the long run.
    Supposedly that's why Google bought Motorola.   To get their patents which they extended to either Android licensees.

    Or maybe we don't hear about all the time android manufacturers like Samsung are sued .

    chasm said:
    For the record, it is SOP for companies to have a patent attorney do a search and present any possible conflicts in patents. The problem Apple (and all other tech companies) run into is that patents from 20-30 years ago are hopelessly vague, like "method to move air via electrically-induced circulation for cooling purposes" (aka "a fan") that was a pretty logical conclusion back when it was granted, and hopelessly obvious now.

    Any company that invents anything can be certain that a patent exists that could possibly be interpreted as describing something somewhat akin to their invention, particularly if the new invention is just an alternate method of accomplishing the goal or an extension (like adding video to audio calls) of an existing invention/technique.

    On top of that, courts long ago stopped defining "infringement" as strictly "stealing an already-known and patented technique/invention" rather than "we happen to have invented something entirely independently, but it is similar to an existing method/invention/patent." A stricter reading of infringement would cut down on the nonsense suits considerably, since it would require the plaintiff to prove that the company knew or should have known that they were infringing, but even that wouldn't be a panacea (lots of companies show Apple new tech they've invented that sometimes shows up again in a different form in a final product. Difficult to prove intent there).

    TL;dr -- the patent system is very broken and needs major reform. Also: there's nothing really new under the sun. :)

    They (Google) wanted those patents as a defense, particularly against Apple, if they, or their OEMs were sued.
    The problem was that Google was rooked by Motorola, as many of those patents were useless.

    Not any more useless than the ones from Nortel that were eventually sold off for a fraction of the purchase price, but only after Rockstar failed at weaponizing them,  flailing them like a blunt sword. 

    All these patents had some value at least defensively, just perhaps not as much as everyone at the time thought, and certainly far less useful as offensive weapons than those here expected them to be. 
    The difference is that Google was indeed rooked. They paid $12.5 billion for Motorola on the day when its valuation was just $6.5 billion. They were convinced that the company was vastly more valuable that it actually was, which turned out to be much less than the $6.5 billion it was being valued at. Google was so desperate to buy Motorola that they deliberately paid far more than they should have, apparently convinced that they would be bid against if they offered a more realistic amount. Everyone scratched their heads over the purchase.
    Not everyone. To patent bloggers it made sense. Still does. Notice how quiet those patent-sabres rattling about threatening the Android platform became after that? I don't think the two are unrelated. 

    EDIT: Related story.
    https://gigaom.com/2014/01/30/google-paid-4b-for-patents-why-the-motorola-deal-worked-out-just-fine/
    What threats?
  • Reply 18 of 21
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,275member
    melgross said:
    gatorguy said:
    melgross said:
    gatorguy said:
    melgross said:
    k2kw said:
    melgross said:
    I’ve never understood why Apple doesn’t search for these patents, and just buy them through some entity, as they do,with other things. That would cut the possibility of much of this out. When you consider how many suits there are, and how much is paid out, plus the legal costs, it might be cheaper in the long run.
    Supposedly that's why Google bought Motorola.   To get their patents which they extended to either Android licensees.

    Or maybe we don't hear about all the time android manufacturers like Samsung are sued .

    chasm said:
    For the record, it is SOP for companies to have a patent attorney do a search and present any possible conflicts in patents. The problem Apple (and all other tech companies) run into is that patents from 20-30 years ago are hopelessly vague, like "method to move air via electrically-induced circulation for cooling purposes" (aka "a fan") that was a pretty logical conclusion back when it was granted, and hopelessly obvious now.

    Any company that invents anything can be certain that a patent exists that could possibly be interpreted as describing something somewhat akin to their invention, particularly if the new invention is just an alternate method of accomplishing the goal or an extension (like adding video to audio calls) of an existing invention/technique.

    On top of that, courts long ago stopped defining "infringement" as strictly "stealing an already-known and patented technique/invention" rather than "we happen to have invented something entirely independently, but it is similar to an existing method/invention/patent." A stricter reading of infringement would cut down on the nonsense suits considerably, since it would require the plaintiff to prove that the company knew or should have known that they were infringing, but even that wouldn't be a panacea (lots of companies show Apple new tech they've invented that sometimes shows up again in a different form in a final product. Difficult to prove intent there).

    TL;dr -- the patent system is very broken and needs major reform. Also: there's nothing really new under the sun. :)

    They (Google) wanted those patents as a defense, particularly against Apple, if they, or their OEMs were sued.
    The problem was that Google was rooked by Motorola, as many of those patents were useless.

    Not any more useless than the ones from Nortel that were eventually sold off for a fraction of the purchase price, but only after Rockstar failed at weaponizing them,  flailing them like a blunt sword. 

    All these patents had some value at least defensively, just perhaps not as much as everyone at the time thought, and certainly far less useful as offensive weapons than those here expected them to be. 
    The difference is that Google was indeed rooked. They paid $12.5 billion for Motorola on the day when its valuation was just $6.5 billion. They were convinced that the company was vastly more valuable that it actually was, which turned out to be much less than the $6.5 billion it was being valued at. Google was so desperate to buy Motorola that they deliberately paid far more than they should have, apparently convinced that they would be bid against if they offered a more realistic amount. Everyone scratched their heads over the purchase.
    Not everyone. To patent bloggers it made sense. Still does. Notice how quiet those patent-sabres rattling about threatening the Android platform became after that? I don't think the two are unrelated. 

    EDIT: Related story.
    https://gigaom.com/2014/01/30/google-paid-4b-for-patents-why-the-motorola-deal-worked-out-just-fine/
    What threats?
    LOL... You're not THAT old that you can't remember. 
  • Reply 19 of 21
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,046member
    gatorguy said:
    melgross said:
    gatorguy said:
    melgross said:
    gatorguy said:
    melgross said:
    k2kw said:
    melgross said:
    I’ve never understood why Apple doesn’t search for these patents, and just buy them through some entity, as they do,with other things. That would cut the possibility of much of this out. When you consider how many suits there are, and how much is paid out, plus the legal costs, it might be cheaper in the long run.
    Supposedly that's why Google bought Motorola.   To get their patents which they extended to either Android licensees.

    Or maybe we don't hear about all the time android manufacturers like Samsung are sued .

    chasm said:
    For the record, it is SOP for companies to have a patent attorney do a search and present any possible conflicts in patents. The problem Apple (and all other tech companies) run into is that patents from 20-30 years ago are hopelessly vague, like "method to move air via electrically-induced circulation for cooling purposes" (aka "a fan") that was a pretty logical conclusion back when it was granted, and hopelessly obvious now.

    Any company that invents anything can be certain that a patent exists that could possibly be interpreted as describing something somewhat akin to their invention, particularly if the new invention is just an alternate method of accomplishing the goal or an extension (like adding video to audio calls) of an existing invention/technique.

    On top of that, courts long ago stopped defining "infringement" as strictly "stealing an already-known and patented technique/invention" rather than "we happen to have invented something entirely independently, but it is similar to an existing method/invention/patent." A stricter reading of infringement would cut down on the nonsense suits considerably, since it would require the plaintiff to prove that the company knew or should have known that they were infringing, but even that wouldn't be a panacea (lots of companies show Apple new tech they've invented that sometimes shows up again in a different form in a final product. Difficult to prove intent there).

    TL;dr -- the patent system is very broken and needs major reform. Also: there's nothing really new under the sun. :)

    They (Google) wanted those patents as a defense, particularly against Apple, if they, or their OEMs were sued.
    The problem was that Google was rooked by Motorola, as many of those patents were useless.

    Not any more useless than the ones from Nortel that were eventually sold off for a fraction of the purchase price, but only after Rockstar failed at weaponizing them,  flailing them like a blunt sword. 

    All these patents had some value at least defensively, just perhaps not as much as everyone at the time thought, and certainly far less useful as offensive weapons than those here expected them to be. 
    The difference is that Google was indeed rooked. They paid $12.5 billion for Motorola on the day when its valuation was just $6.5 billion. They were convinced that the company was vastly more valuable that it actually was, which turned out to be much less than the $6.5 billion it was being valued at. Google was so desperate to buy Motorola that they deliberately paid far more than they should have, apparently convinced that they would be bid against if they offered a more realistic amount. Everyone scratched their heads over the purchase.
    Not everyone. To patent bloggers it made sense. Still does. Notice how quiet those patent-sabres rattling about threatening the Android platform became after that? I don't think the two are unrelated. 

    EDIT: Related story.
    https://gigaom.com/2014/01/30/google-paid-4b-for-patents-why-the-motorola-deal-worked-out-just-fine/
    What threats?
    LOL... You're not THAT old that you can't remember. 
    Apple and Samsung have had a big fight around the world, most of which Apple won. So, what else was on the table? Apple never sued google over Android, not that any of those patents would have helped if they did. The HTC case? Nope!

    so tell us exactly where those patents helped.
  • Reply 20 of 21
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,275member
    melgross said:
    gatorguy said:
    melgross said:
    gatorguy said:
    melgross said:
    gatorguy said:
    melgross said:
    k2kw said:
    melgross said:
    I’ve never understood why Apple doesn’t search for these patents, and just buy them through some entity, as they do,with other things. That would cut the possibility of much of this out. When you consider how many suits there are, and how much is paid out, plus the legal costs, it might be cheaper in the long run.
    Supposedly that's why Google bought Motorola.   To get their patents which they extended to either Android licensees.

    Or maybe we don't hear about all the time android manufacturers like Samsung are sued .

    chasm said:
    For the record, it is SOP for companies to have a patent attorney do a search and present any possible conflicts in patents. The problem Apple (and all other tech companies) run into is that patents from 20-30 years ago are hopelessly vague, like "method to move air via electrically-induced circulation for cooling purposes" (aka "a fan") that was a pretty logical conclusion back when it was granted, and hopelessly obvious now.

    Any company that invents anything can be certain that a patent exists that could possibly be interpreted as describing something somewhat akin to their invention, particularly if the new invention is just an alternate method of accomplishing the goal or an extension (like adding video to audio calls) of an existing invention/technique.

    On top of that, courts long ago stopped defining "infringement" as strictly "stealing an already-known and patented technique/invention" rather than "we happen to have invented something entirely independently, but it is similar to an existing method/invention/patent." A stricter reading of infringement would cut down on the nonsense suits considerably, since it would require the plaintiff to prove that the company knew or should have known that they were infringing, but even that wouldn't be a panacea (lots of companies show Apple new tech they've invented that sometimes shows up again in a different form in a final product. Difficult to prove intent there).

    TL;dr -- the patent system is very broken and needs major reform. Also: there's nothing really new under the sun. :)

    They (Google) wanted those patents as a defense, particularly against Apple, if they, or their OEMs were sued.
    The problem was that Google was rooked by Motorola, as many of those patents were useless.

    Not any more useless than the ones from Nortel that were eventually sold off for a fraction of the purchase price, but only after Rockstar failed at weaponizing them,  flailing them like a blunt sword. 

    All these patents had some value at least defensively, just perhaps not as much as everyone at the time thought, and certainly far less useful as offensive weapons than those here expected them to be. 
    The difference is that Google was indeed rooked. They paid $12.5 billion for Motorola on the day when its valuation was just $6.5 billion. They were convinced that the company was vastly more valuable that it actually was, which turned out to be much less than the $6.5 billion it was being valued at. Google was so desperate to buy Motorola that they deliberately paid far more than they should have, apparently convinced that they would be bid against if they offered a more realistic amount. Everyone scratched their heads over the purchase.
    Not everyone. To patent bloggers it made sense. Still does. Notice how quiet those patent-sabres rattling about threatening the Android platform became after that? I don't think the two are unrelated. 

    EDIT: Related story.
    https://gigaom.com/2014/01/30/google-paid-4b-for-patents-why-the-motorola-deal-worked-out-just-fine/
    What threats?
    LOL... You're not THAT old that you can't remember. 
    Apple and Samsung have had a big fight around the world, most of which Apple won. So, what else was on the table? Apple never sued google over Android, not that any of those patents would have helped if they did. The HTC case? Nope!

    so tell us exactly where those patents helped.
    You actually didn't read the article I linked for you or you would know even if you hadn't already. You really should read it rather than asking me what it said.

    As for what I see myself rather than relying on anyone else:
    --Apple and Google agreed to set aside all patent issues between them.
    --No new lawsuits against any Android licensees was initiated by Apple after that.
    --Samsung's place as an Android licensee was more assured with Samsung now seeing enough value in Google's massive cache of IP to agree to cross-license all of their applicable IP back to Google and avoiding legal issues between them.
    --LG and HTC doing the same.
    --Apple agreed to settle their differences with HTC and cross-license iPhone IP after being armed with some of the Google patents acquired from Moto.
    --Moto was no longer making vague threats of enforcing patents against other Android OEM's
    --Microsoft was cut out from following thru on their own veiled threats.
    --Google is now well-armed and perfectly capable of defending themselves from a whole lotta IP lawsuits targeting them and their licensees.

    And so now today you have dozens of companies agreeing to pool their IP to help protect all techs, especially the start-ups and smaller players. Even Microsoft this week did a total turnaround  and contributed a huge portion of their intellectual property free to use, no royalties whatsoever, to protect Linux! You didn't see that coming. The tech world is a better place with all the big players playing on equal ground and positions of strength, no longer attacking each other. 
    edited October 11
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