Boston University patent suit over Apple's iPhone 5 could net $75M

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 53
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by andrzejls View Post




    Since when?



    They are just commenting on how they THINK it should be, that's all.

  • Reply 22 of 53
    esummersesummers Posts: 953member
    The law should change. Apple shouldn't be the target of something they use instead of make. If they can sue use, then what is to stop a lawsuit against an end user for buying a product. It is the same thing. This is basically double dipping.

    It would be better if they could only sue the component maker. I think in an ideal world, Apple could directly license to avoid a ban on the component, but they should be immune from being sued because someone else infringed on a patent. That allows for two licensing models where the component maker is responsible in either case.

    I think they at least should have the legal requirement to sue the component maker first. If they win that suit, the can then sue Apple after Apple has had a reasonable amount of time to comply with the settlement or new licensing terms.

    Basically it would be nice if IP theft at least worked the same as physical theft. Under the current IP law, it would be like someone stole a brand new TV from a store and then sold it. Then the person who unknowingly bought the stolen TV would be charged with theft. That just doesn't make sense. Just like for physical theft, I think there should be a reasonable suspicion that something was stolen to be sued or charged.
  • Reply 23 of 53
    richard getzrichard getz Posts: 1,142member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post





    Buyers are legally required to insure that all legal license for use of the item is covered and if not to set up appropriate deals


     


    How so? If I go buy a part, I have to make sure all licenses are paid for? That is hardly the case. If I buy processors from Fry's to build computers for clients, why would I have to know anything about the patents involved? If I buy from the manufacturer, again, why would it? 

  • Reply 24 of 53
    solomansoloman Posts: 228member
    esummers wrote: »
    The law should change. Apple shouldn't be the target of something they use instead of make. If they can sue use, then what is to stop a lawsuit against an end user for buying a product. It is the same thing.

    It's not the same thing. Just like the lawsuit against Ford by the guy that invented intermittent windshield wipers. Ford probably contracted out the production of the windshield wipers assembly for use in their cars. Why should the manufacturer be responsible for the patent search?
  • Reply 25 of 53
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Soloman View Post





    Why? They took orders from Apple to build it. The due diligence is on Apple not them.


     


     


    How do you know? Many times a manufacturing supply company offers a product for sale. For instance, a type of RAM memory. A company buying that product should be able to assume the product is free of IP issues. Under your theory, I should be libel to Boston University for buying products from Apple using the allegedly infringing IP. Am I supposed to go investigate all the IP in a manufacturer's product before I buy it? That would be silly. 


     


    Moreover, it is impossible to investigate whether a product you want to build is completely free of licensing issues. Patents are purposefully made vague. Further, the reality is we do not know enough to determine who should be libel (if anybody). It is possible Apple is idemnified. 

  • Reply 26 of 53
    ash471ash471 Posts: 705member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by WisdomSeed View Post



    damn I am sick of patent suits.


    Communists got sick of real property rights and got rid of them.  Do you realize that 80% of the value of the S&P 500 is in intellectual property?  I'm always dumbfounded by the lack of understanding how much intellectual property raises the standard of living in the U.S.  


    You could always go live in Africa or the middle east.  No IP rights there.  Saudi Arabia has issued like 300 patents in the past 20 years.  Very little risk of being sickened by a patent infringement suit there.  

  • Reply 27 of 53
    solomansoloman Posts: 228member
    tbell wrote: »

    How do you know? Many times a manufacturing supply company offers a product for sale. For instance, a type of RAM memory. A company buying that product should be able to assume the product is free of IP issues. Under your theory, I should be libel to Boston University for buying products from Apple using the allegedly infringing IP. Am I supposed to go investigate all the IP in a manufacturer's product before I buy it? That would be silly. 

    Moreover, it is impossible to investigate whether a product you want to build is completely free of licensing issues. Patents are purposefully made vague. Further, the reality is we do not know enough to determine who should be libel (if anybody). It is possible Apple is idemnified. 

    Do you really think Apple is using 'off the shelf' parts?
  • Reply 28 of 53
    esummersesummers Posts: 953member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Soloman View Post





    It's not the same thing. Just like the lawsuit against Ford by the guy that invented intermittent windshield wipers. Ford probably contracted out the production of the windshield wipers assembly for use in their cars. Why should the manufacturer be responsible for the patent search?


     


    Different things.  It would be closer if Ford was sued for the type of metal or rubber the windshield wipers were made of instead of the design.  That should be in the realm of the manufacturer.  It is true this case isn't as clear cut, but similar lawsuits often happen with the manufacturer both designs and fabricates the chip.  In that case there should be no question it is the manufacturer.  Either way, they should only be allowed to sue one company in the chain for infringement or it is double dipping.  Perhaps it is for the courts to decide which company was the one infringing, but the manufacturer certainly could be the infringing party.


     


    To put it another way.  Lets say a vendor told you they could paint your product.  You should have a reasonable expectation that they own any patents for the painting process they will be using.

  • Reply 29 of 53
    ash471ash471 Posts: 705member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post



    This one seems serious. An institution like BU -- and its Board of Trustees -- would not remotely take something like this on as a trolling exercise. If patents have been infringed, Apple should pay, and move on. $75M is chump change (for Apple).


    Why should Apple treat BU any differently than anyone else?  


    This looks like trolling to me (under the definition most people give to trolling).  This patent is from 1997.  Its no coincidence the lawsuit just fired up now.  The patent expires in like 1.5 years.


    Universities never put up money for patent litigation. My bet is that someone found this patent and an investment group is funding the litigation for a piece of the action. 


    Don't get me wrong, I don't think there is anything wrong with trolling.  Patent owners have the right to enforce their patents and should get what they can out of them.  But Apple should aggressively defend this. If you ask me, $75M is outrageous for a 20 year old III-V semiconductor processing patent.  Apple should offer $2M and settle for $5. 

  • Reply 30 of 53
    esummersesummers Posts: 953member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ash471 View Post


    Why should Apple treat BU any differently than anyone else?  


    This looks like trolling to me.  This patent is from 1997.  Its no coincidence the lawsuit just fired up now.  The patent expires in like 1.5 years.


    Universities never put up money for patent litigation. My bet is that someone found this patent and an investment group is funding the litigation for a piece of the action. 


    Don't get me wrong, I don't think there is anything wrong with trolling.  Patent owners have the right to enforce their patents and should get what they can out of them.  But Apple should aggressively defend this. If you ask me, $75M is outrageous for a 20 year old III-V semiconductor processing patent.  Apple should offer $2M and settle for $5. 



    I think I have my own definition of patent trolling (If I think it is wrong, it is trolling).  I think the patent is legitimate regardless of how old it is, so it may not be trolling for that reason.  I just think they are either suing the wrong party or double dipping on licensing.  I would consider those actions trolling.

  • Reply 31 of 53


    The universities are finally teaching their students the future of making money

  • Reply 32 of 53
    ash471ash471 Posts: 705member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Soloman View Post





    Take a look at the guy that invented intermittent windshield wipers. Should that guy have started a car company in order for his patent to be valid?


    NICE.  That is the most succinct way I've ever seen someone illustrate the problem with requiring making a product.


     


    Intellectual Property rights are as fundamental to our country as real property rights.  We don't tell land owners what to do with their property.  Intellectual property owners should be free to do whatever the hell they want with their property.  That's why this country was founded on property rights.  The government guarantees the ownership and the individual exploits the right.  It has worked quite well for more than 200 years and it continues to work just fine.


    .


    TO ALL YOU PATENT HATERS: GO LIVE IN SOME OTHER COUNTRY.  

  • Reply 33 of 53
    ash471ash471 Posts: 705member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by esummers View Post


    I think I have my own definition of patent trolling (If I think it is wrong, it is trolling).  I think the patent is legitimate regardless of how old it is, so it may not be trolling for that reason.  I just think they are either suing the wrong party or double dipping on licensing.  I would consider those actions trolling.



    I don't know if BU is trolling.  However, pulling out a 20 year old patent just before its about to expire is a classic technique used by "trolls." 


     


    Just to clarify, when I was saying tolling, I was referring to what most people think is trolling.  My definition of trolling is very different and very very limited.  Trolling is when someone enforces a patent that they know is invalid or not infringed and they sue hundreds or thousands of defendants and settle for an amount that is too small to make it worth challenging the patent (usually in the $10,000-$100,000 range).  These people are bastards.


     


    It is somewhat difficult to say whether someone is trolling unless you spend the time and money to investigate. People often use the term trolling when they have no clue what true trolling is or whether what someone is doing it.  The term has become a nice short hand way to disparage almost all patent litigants.  

  • Reply 34 of 53
    ash471ash471 Posts: 705member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by andrzejls View Post




    And what you wold say to the patent for a "rectangular shape with rounded corners"?. I bet that the next patent will be for the circle, right?



    Agree with your argument.  However, I just want to point out that the iPad shape patents are stronger patents than people like to admit.  Importantly, they were design patents, not utility patents.  The problem is that most people don't really understand design patents.  Do you realize that the entire patent is just a drawing (usually 7 figures, six elevational views and one perspective view).  A design application protects the aesthetic appearance, not function.  In fact the classic blunder in a design application is to try and claim a functional feature.


      


    Apple got beat up over its design applications, but I think it was unjustified and mostly the result of ignorance on the part of the media and lay public. 

  • Reply 35 of 53
    macfandavemacfandave Posts: 603member


    Apple ought to counter-sue for fraud and defamation.  The manufacturer(s) of the components that use this film is (are) the legitimate target(s) of the infringement suit.  Clearly, BU is going after the deep pockets and a company that is sure to generate a lot of media attention.  This kind of abuse of the court system ought to be punished severely.


     


    Unless it can be shown that Apple instructed the manufacturers to use this film, then it is not their fault if their suppliers did the infringing.

  • Reply 36 of 53
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TBell View Post


     


     


    How do you know? Many times a manufacturing supply company offers a product for sale. For instance, a type of RAM memory. A company buying that product should be able to assume the product is free of IP issues. Under your theory, I should be libel to Boston University for buying products from Apple using the allegedly infringing IP. Am I supposed to go investigate all the IP in a manufacturer's product before I buy it? That would be silly. 


     


    Moreover, it is impossible to investigate whether a product you want to build is completely free of licensing issues. Patents are purposefully made vague. Further, the reality is we do not know enough to determine who should be libel (if anybody). It is possible Apple is idemnified. 



     


     


    You seriously think anything at Foxconn production-wise happens without Apple's express clearance? Dream on. The color of the protective gloves the workers wear most likely had to be cleared by Tim Cook first.


     


    As for your other questions, yes, that's exactly what companies are supposed to do. That's why they have legal research teams on their payroll. Though its highly unlikely they'll find all patents which their product may infringe upon. In most cases, the company who's patents are in question will go to the infringing company, and ask for a licensing fee. I say "most companies" because Apple NEVER licenses anything, whether they are actively using said patent or not. They are quite simply that greedy kid in class that hogs all the good toys and doesn't share. BU most likely did this, and Apple gave them the business version of "go piss up a rope," and hence we have a lawsuit.


     


    Do I feel bad for Apple? Not in the slightest, because expensive litigation is exactly what a company that patents a wedge shape deserves. Furthermore, I'm astonished at any post that directs ill will at BU for doing exactly what Apple would do and has done over and over again in recent years in regards to protecting their patents. This is the business environment Apple chose to live in and has done it's best to foster for many years through similar patent litigation. Why should anyone be up in arms about that now simply because what they hath wrought has come back to bite them?

  • Reply 37 of 53
    solomansoloman Posts: 228member
    Btw BU is also suing Amazon and Samsung.
  • Reply 38 of 53
    ash471ash471 Posts: 705member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post


    Apple ought to counter-sue for fraud and defamation.  The manufacturer(s) of the components that use this film is (are) the legitimate target(s) of the infringement suit.  Clearly, BU is going after the deep pockets and a company that is sure to generate a lot of media attention.  This kind of abuse of the court system ought to be punished severely.


     


    Unless it can be shown that Apple instructed the manufacturers to use this film, then it is not their fault if their suppliers did the infringing.



    What? Of course they are suing someone with money.  You think they should only sue people that don't have money.  That's pretty stupid.  


    BU doesn't want media attention. They want a payout.  You obviously don't know how this works.  


     


    I assure you Apple won't be hiring you as legal counsel.  Apple would get slapped with rule 11 sanctions if it tried to sue for fraud or defamation.  That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.  First, "fraud" requires an intent to deceive.  Where's the intentional deception?  Defamation requires making a false statement.  I suppose there is at least a color of an argument if Apple believes the patents are not infringed.  However, if defamation could be enforced in such a situation, it would mean that everyone that loses a lawsuit has defamed their opponent by arguing otherwise. Obviously that's not a tenable outcome. I'm sure this issue was resolved in the 1700s.   


      

  • Reply 39 of 53
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post


    ...


     


    This is the business environment Apple chose to live in and has done it's best to foster for many years through similar patent litigation. Why should anyone be up in arms about that now simply because what they hath wrought has come back to bite them?



     


    Do you believe that Apple sues other companies more than other companies sue Apple?


     


    Do you believe that Apple is the company that first started use of the patent system against competitors?


     


    Do you believe that Apple never came up with any worthy patentable ideas, which were then stolen?


     


    Do you believe that it would be possible for Apple's leadership to NOT play the patent game, if everyone else is playing it? Can they realistically opt out of the current (badly messed up) system?


     


    Do you believe BU has the right to pursue remedies for their own inventions? I do! That one I DO believe, and if Apple should pay up, then I hope they're required to do so! Not because of some "karma" for Apple being a force of darkness and evil. But because if the suit has merit (which none of us can say yet) then it should win.

  • Reply 40 of 53
    esummersesummers Posts: 953member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ash471 View Post


    I don't know if BU is trolling.  However, pulling out a 20 year old patent just before its about to expire is a classic technique used by "trolls." 


     


    Just to clarify, when I was saying tolling, I was referring to what most people think is trolling.  My definition of trolling is very different and very very limited.  Trolling is when someone enforces a patent that they know is invalid or not infringed and they sue hundreds or thousands of defendants and settle for an amount that is too small to make it worth challenging the patent (usually in the $10,000-$100,000 range).  These people are bastards.


     


    It is somewhat difficult to say whether someone is trolling unless you spend the time and money to investigate. People often use the term trolling when they have no clue what true trolling is or whether what someone is doing it.  The term has become a nice short hand way to disparage almost all patent litigants.  



     


    I think anything that sounds like abuse of the patent system is what many people consider trolling.  It is probably not the right definition though.  Interpreted literally, it is probably more like your definition.  Basically creating a lawsuit against random people/companies without any actual knowledge of infringement (or use of a broad patent that could apply to practically anything) to see what sticks. 


     


    I don't like to see what appears to be double dipping on licensing by legitimate patents either.  I'm not positive if that is the case here, but since they are also going after other companies, my guess is it isn't Apple designed silicon.  Particularly since it is a 20 year old patent.  They should have sued years ago if there was true infringement.  Sounds like they are trying to milk it before it expires.

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