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HTC Sues Apple Using Google Patents

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the litigate-or-die dept.

Google 342

AlienIntelligence writes "Apparently to stay viable in the IP wars, HTC secured some patents from Google (who purchased them originally from Palm Inc., Motorola Inc. and Openwave Systems Inc.) on the 1st of September. The patents were used to fire a new salvo of shots across Apple's bow today, September 7th. HTC filed infringement claims against Apple in federal court in Delaware, suing based on four of those patents that originally were issued to Motorola. Additional complaints were filed with the U.S. ITC based on the other patents."

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Proxy wars (0, Troll)

bbqb (2456274) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334608)

It's funny how slashdotters always point out how Google doesn't sue for patent issues, but conveniently don't mention how they're having these proxy wars via other companies. Just like all the other companies.

Re:Proxy wars (3, Insightful)

pem (1013437) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334640)

Do you really think they would be doing this if Apple weren't?

Re:Proxy wars (0, Troll)

bbqb (2456274) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334646)

Why wouldn't they? Because they're "Google"?

Re:Proxy wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37334684)

You answered your own question. Just look at Google's history and you'll see.

Re:Proxy wars (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37334822)

Is that the freetarded white-washed version of their history where we still believe that they "do no evil" or the one in which they have routinely crushed smaller competitors or bought them out so that they didn't have any competion? Ironically, no different acting than Microsoft back in the 90s during their anti-trust days.

Re:Proxy wars (0)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335088)

Back in the 90's? Microsoft is still in full-bore embrace/extend/extinguish mode. In the early 00's they bought out nearly every mid-sized accounting package, and is tying them all together into one big product.

Re:Proxy wars (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334692)

Because of their history of operations, and the philosophy of the founders; where as Apple turned into the sue machine about a decade ago.

Re:Proxy wars (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37334840)

Because of their history of stealing other peoples work and calling it their own; where as Apple comes up with original designs

Fixed it for you.

Re:Proxy wars (3, Funny)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334894)

Funny, I've never seen Google misspelled as Apple. That's the craziest typo I've ever seen.

Re:Proxy wars (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335046)

Funny, I've never seen Google misspelled as Apple. That's the craziest typo I've ever seen.

The keys are like right next to each other

Correct (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335128)

Funny, I've never seen Google misspelled as Apple.

You are correct.

Re:Proxy wars (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335508)

"Your honor, my client never shot anyone before he bought that gun."

Re:Proxy wars (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37334712)

Google is defending Android. Not HTC. Google doesn't give a **** about HTC. Or not being evil. They have a product, and they will defend it. They weren't going to mess with Apple in the first place, because they don't care about them either.

Re:Proxy wars (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334716)

Because they didn't, until Apple started? If you don't do something, then you're the sort of company that doesn't do something.

Re:Proxy wars (0)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335542)

That's an excuse a six year old might use: "But dad, he started it."

Re:Proxy wars (0)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335036)

Glad some one brought that up... what's good for the goose, I say...

No, not an apple fanboy.

Re:Proxy wars (1)

dloose (900754) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335394)

No, not an apple fanboy.

...but I bet you read daringfireball [daringfireball.net] ... Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Re:Proxy wars (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335570)

Hey one out of thousands of industry news web sites agrees with me.

Re:Proxy wars (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37335396)

Google never has done anything like that.

Apple, on the other hand, has a long history of making bogus intellectual property claims, going back to the 1980's. If Apple had had its way, they would have been the only company to be allowed to create any kind of window system, even though they didn't invent the technology. And they are trying to put the same sleazy stunt with phones and tablets.

Re:Proxy wars (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37334970)

Uh . . . you neglect to mention that if Google weren't infringing like their lives depended on it in the first place, no one would have been sued. Boohoo, indeed. Google's 'history of operations' beyond their one and only innovation (search) is hardly anything to bring up as a defense. The sad thing is, as the market has proven, they likely would have done just fine if they had opted instead to go about their business consciously and ethically (i.e. seeking proper licenses for their projects etc.). It's like that old joke: First guy: 'Dammit, it's not fair, I got a ticket today, f****** cops.', Second guy: 'Oh yeah? Why'd you get pulled over?', First guy: 'Oh, because I was speeding.'

Generally speaking, the courts base their decisions in these matters on actual, witnessed and documented behavior and not on philosophical bromides, and if an entity hopes to protect it's own investment in its IP it has to legally defend said IP when their rights to it are infringed upon. Google themselves quite publicly sought the protection of the same system they have claimed to revile when Bing was being developed, for example. Don't fool yourself into thinking any corporation is your 'buddy', they exist to make a profit, and they will use you however they must to this end.

An absurd comparison for an absurd argument: Ted Bundy thought he was ok, too, until he realized he wasn't getting out of it this time. In other words, Google f***** up, big time, and by extension, is f****** its partners. What happens as a result is now for the courts to decide.

Re:Proxy wars (4, Interesting)

teh31337one (1590023) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334642)

Apple started it. To quote Gruber: "fair’s fair once you start shooting in a patent war, and Apple started the shooting in this one."

Re:Proxy wars (-1, Troll)

bbqb (2456274) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334680)

"but, but.. Apple started it!!" Well, boohoo. If your sister annoys you and you break her arm as a result, you're still doing wrong.

Re:Proxy wars (3, Insightful)

teh31337one (1590023) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334700)

Do you expect them to lie down while Apple try to systematically crush android OEMs?

Re:Proxy wars (1, Funny)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334702)

"but, but.. Apple started it!!" Well, boohoo. If your sister annoys you and you break her arm as a result, you're still doing wrong.

Have you met my sister?

Re:Proxy wars (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37334798)

I hooked up with your sister. Didn't respect in the morning (between you and me, I can't respect a girl that sucks you off *after* you go greek on her). Didn't call her the next day. Didn't pay for the abortion.

So, yeah, I'm probably why she's that way.

Re:Proxy wars (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37335154)

>Didn't pay for the abortion.

How did a coon-skinned negro like yourself figure out how to use a computer without trying to eat the keyboard or spray graffiti on the monitor?

Re:Proxy wars (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37335280)

I gots an eMachines, dawg. I tricked it out with subwoofers and hydraulics, yo.

Muh dick.

Re:Proxy wars (1)

rk (6314) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334706)

So, if Apple files patents suits, they're an annoying sister, but if Google (or its proxies) file patent suits, they're arm-breaking thugs?

Re:Proxy wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37334714)

You must be new here. This is Slashdot. Apple good, Google bad.

Re:Proxy wars (1)

conspirator23 (207097) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334796)

This is Slashdot. Apple good, Google bad M-W-F. Google Good, Apple Bad on T-TH. They get weekends off.

FTFY.

Re:Proxy wars (1)

Shoe Puppet (1557239) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334938)

Do you have empirical evidence on this?

Re:Proxy wars (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37335254)

Google is the 800000000 pound gorilla. They MONOPOLIZE the search industry and use the information to ATTACK and hurt Apple *all the time*. With all the money google makes stealing personal information on people they can afford endless lawsuits to harass Apple. THAT is why I will never use any google product, *EVER*. And I'm not alone! All of my freinds agree with me and we have all switched to bing for searching, and it gives better results too.

Re:Proxy wars (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334720)

What a stupid comparison. And I mean mind numbing, Fox pundit stupid.

If someone starts shooting at you, and you shoot back, you aren't doing 'wrong'.

It'snot like Google sent people who Apple HQ to break arms.

Re:Proxy wars (-1, Flamebait)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334786)

Except one party provoked the shooting (stole another's property), all the while saying they abhor guns and would never use them.

And now they're using them.

Re:Proxy wars (3, Insightful)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335198)

Calling these patent infringements on either side "stealing" is flat out silly. Though if you want to call it that, then apple stole from google and HTC, google+HTC (order kinda varies here, too much research to figure out what ridiculous patent was filed and infringed upon first) stole from apple, apple started shooting first then google gave HTC a gun to start firing back. Right now in the mobile phone industry, EVERY possible conceivable invention, and several inconceivable ones are covered by multiple patents owned by multiple different companies. The only way to defend in the industry is to respond back, oh I'm infringing on 4 of your patents, oh yeah well your infringing on 4 of mine also, we both break even with just a few billion down the drain in lawyer fees, any company must either do that, or just say oh my bad I'll stop selling phones. Just flat out dropping out isn't an option, they are in it way to deep, so all that can be done is to assist the companies making their phones by preventing them from getting steamrolled.

Re:Proxy wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37334730)

if by "sister" you mean "rabid boar with amazingly good marketing", then you might have a more viable analogy for apple.

Re:Proxy wars (2, Insightful)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334744)

I assume you are one of those apple consumers that has the religious parts of their brain activated when thinking about Apple.

Google is not trying to destroy apple, just trying to stop them destroying the smart phone/tablet market...which is their aim.

So in other words if you try to break my arm I am damned well going to break yours first if I can, or at least subdue you!!

Re:Proxy wars (-1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334814)

I assume you are one of those apple consumers that has the religious parts of their brain activated when thinking about Apple.

And I'll assume you're a troll for using such an absurd argument.

Google is not trying to destroy apple, just trying to stop them destroying the smart phone/tablet market...which is their aim.

Um, no. Apple is just telling Android handset makers to come up with their own stuff. Google, on the other hand, is trying very hard to legitimize their 'theft'.

So in other words if you try to break my arm I am damned well going to break yours first if I can, or at least subdue you!!

No one is saying Google doesn't have the right to "fight back". That's not the issue. The issue is that they are doing exactly what they said they never would do (and that so many Slashdotters like to reference in an attempt to make Google seem like saints).

Fanboy is the troll (0, Flamebait)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334880)

No point in agruing with Apple loving sycophants like Node3, for them Apple is always right. The funniest bit is his piss poor attempt at denying his blatant Apple can do no worng fanboyism in his sig.

Re:Fanboy is the troll (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335162)

Where did I say Apple is always right? All I ever say around here is that Apple isn't always *wrong*, which is what you jackasses here seem to think.

Re:Fanboy is the troll (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37335354)

Your presumption that Apple's case will win, whereas HTC/Google's case must lose, shows that you assume Apple is always right.

How do you know HTC/Google's case has no merit instead? If I am allowed to use the word 'steal' here like the legion of Apple fanboys emulating the RIAA...

Maybe Apple actually STOLE from those new Google patents instead?

Re:Proxy wars (2)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334972)

Um, no. Apple is just telling Android handset makers to come up with their own stuff.

That would be reasonable in a sane patent system. To make the obligatory car analogy, you and I both have dirty cars but own buckets, rags, water and soap. Both of us realize putting water and soap in the bucket, then using a rag to wash the car would get the car clean. You think of it a little bit before I do, or perhaps run off to the patent office first, and I now can't wash my car for the next 17 years, or have to pay you every time I do.

People would get much less bent out of shape if patent quality wasn't such absolute crap and getting crap patents overturned wasn't expensive.

Re:Proxy wars (0)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335184)

That would be reasonable in a sane patent system.

You work within the system you have, not the system you wish you had.

To make the obligatory car analogy, you and I both have dirty cars but own buckets, rags, water and soap. Both of us realize putting water and soap in the bucket, then using a rag to wash the car would get the car clean. You think of it a little bit before I do, or perhaps run off to the patent office first, and I now can't wash my car for the next 17 years, or have to pay you every time I do.

Yes, and that's exactly how it's supposed to work, assuming no prior art.

Why do nerds seem to think that patents are only supposed to cover things that no one else could possibly think of?

People would get much less bent out of shape if patent quality wasn't such absolute crap and getting crap patents overturned wasn't expensive.

*People* aren't getting bent out of shape. Nerds (a subset of "people" in general) are, and really just a subset of those.

Re:Proxy wars (1)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335326)

es, and that's exactly how it's supposed to work, assuming no prior art.

Are you _really_ suggesting apple should have the right to all things touch screen and square with rounded edges?

Nothing you ever come up with is completely original. It all builds from your prior experience with other things. This is how people learn and progress.

So you think apple and windows shouldn't have ever existed too? because xerox should have patented their display system and kept it locked down to extremely expensive business systems for 20 years?

People don't like your idea because it stifles progress by decades.

Re:Proxy wars (2)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335440)

You work within the system you have, not the system you wish you had.

Very true. I made that point myself in another post.

Yes, and that's exactly how it's supposed to work, assuming no prior art.

No, it's not. Patents are supposed to be non obvious. Let's go a step farther. You invent a car that can go to the store, buy your groceries, and put them away. You patent it, and all is well with the world. *I* rush off and patent washing a grocery-buying car with a bucket, soap, water, and a rag--something that has NEVER been done before (but is the obvious way to do it)! Patents are a completely artificial construct society built to encourage innovation. You invest time and money to build something and we'll give you exclusivity for a period of time. It's an incentive to innovate, not some natural right to deprive everyone else in the world the right to build something or perform a certain process.

See the problem? Your grocery-buying car is a REAL invention. It's not obvious. Mine wasn't. Mine is in the class of patents which get granted when someone takes a common idea and tacks "on the internet!" on the end. Patents were never intended to cover such things.

As to why "nerds" think such things, it's simply because we're practitioners of the discipline and are familiar with how to solve these kinds of problems. I don't presume to speak for everyone, but I don't have an issue with all patents, or even all software patents. I have a problem with patents which solve a problem in the way 90+ out of 100 competent developers would solve it. If they can, it is obvious and fails the patentability test.

Re:Proxy wars (1)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335444)

Hallelujah brother.

Please. I am not trolling. Just adding a humorous preface. (NB: humorous to non-apple fanboys)

PS: Steve Jobs for pres.

Re:Proxy wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37334774)

"but, but.. Apple started it!!" Well, boohoo. If your sister annoys you and you break her arm as a result, you're still doing wrong.

I want to smash your head based on how stupid, asinine and pathetic that analogy was. Here's a pro-top: Use a car analogy in your next stupid example.

Re:Proxy wars (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334932)

Having HTC have to settle the suit because neither HTC nor Google wants to lower themselves to Apple's level is hardly in the interest of anybody besides Apple and Apple's share holders.

It is perfectly relevant, it's a very different matter to use patents defensively than it is to use them for offensive purposes or rent keeping the way that Apple and MS do. Yes, it's less than ideal, but at the end of the day, we have patents and getting run out of the market for refusing to use them isn't going to help the consumers; or yourself make a profit.

Re:Proxy wars (1)

andydread (758754) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335484)

How in the world does your analogy fit into this discussion? Please elaborate.

Re:Proxy wars (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37334760)

Apple started it. To quote Gruber: "fairâ(TM)s fair once you start shooting in a patent war, and Apple started the shooting in this one."

When somebody drives their tanks onto your territory you start shooting. That doesn't mean you started the war.

Re:Proxy wars (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335076)

We can blame all of the tech companies for not trying to extinguish software patents and reform patent law. None of the software companies think they are using patents offensively, all of them believe they are simply defending what they came up with. Neither Google, nor Microsoft, nor Apple are without blame.

Re:Proxy wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37334674)

It's funny how slashdotters always point out how Google doesn't sue for patent issues ...

What? I think you're mistaken.

I >assume the majority of slashdotters have the opinion that even though Google may have not attack with their IP portfolio doesn't mean they wont with utmost vigor when it's the appropriate time. As you said, "Just like all the other companies".

Re:Proxy wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37335186)

Um, Google only just bought those patents very recently. Apple have been suing everyone and their grandmother for years, Google's actions are clearly a response to Apple's unreasonableness.

Re:Proxy wars (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335466)

More to the point, Apple has been using highly questionable design patents, not to mention some very questionable chicanery.to attempt to fool courts, but now finds itself against competitors in possession of real and meaningful patents on pertinent technologies.

Maybe Apple should spend less time trying to use the courts as its henchman.

Oh and the Apple fanboy posting here is a fucking useless retard.

Re:Proxy wars (1)

tonywong (96839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335242)

This is like the nerd version of reality television. Apple and Google are BFF until Jobs sees Schmidt making out with iPhone Joe. Then it's like OMGWTFBBQ and Google is no longer welcome in the house of fruit. Srsbzns means that hurt Jobs is going to stick daggers into Schmidts new BFFs, HTC, Samsung and Moto. Stuck and bleeding Moto threatens to turn on Samsung and HTC unless Schmidt makes Google tie the knot with Moto.

Then the surprise of next week, Jobs makes a quick exit because he feels totally ill and then drunk Apotheker shows up and announces that he is aborting his billion dollar baby. Mistress Rubenstein looks sheepishly at his shoes.

Meanwhile, HTC grabs some patents out of Google's drawers and waves them in front of Apple's face...

Re:Proxy wars (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335296)

It's funny how slashdotters always point out how Google doesn't sue for patent issues, but conveniently don't mention how they're having these proxy wars via other companies. Just like all the other companies.

Excuse me, but you come across as an Apple apologist. Hands up, everybody who thinks Apple is the good guy here.

Re:Proxy wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37335418)

It's funny how slashdotters always point out how Google doesn't sue for patent issues, but conveniently don't mention how they're having these proxy wars via other companies. Just like all the other companies.

Excuse me, but you come across as an Apple apologist. Hands up, everybody who thinks Apple is the good guy here.

Oh me, me! They're suuuuuuch innovators. Noooooone of their patents are a. Obvious, b. Very old ideas c. Not invented by them. d. All of the above. No way José, Apple is just all apple pie. They are the apple of my eye.

Re:Proxy wars (1)

dloose (900754) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335474)

Nobody comes out of this looking like the "good guys". The net result of this fiasco will probably be a cross-licensing agreement and a bunch of rich lawyers. (I don't begrudge the lawyers anything, btw... everyone's gotta make a buck)

Re:Proxy wars (1)

andydread (758754) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335468)

Please cite one instance of Google launching a patent infringement assertion against anyone without them or their partners being attacked first. Just one instance. If you cannot then your argument has absolutely no merit.

How the hell are they Google patents? (2)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334672)

"...HTC secured some patents from Google (who purchased them originally from Palm Inc., Motorola Inc. and Openwave Systems Inc.) on the 1st of September."

If HTC secured them from Google, how then are these patents Google patents?

A better heading could be:

"HTC acquires patents from Google then employs them to sue Apple."

How about that?

Re:How the hell are they Google patents? (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334728)

"...HTC secured some patents from Google (who purchased them originally from Palm Inc., Motorola Inc. and Openwave Systems Inc.) on the 1st of September."

If HTC secured them from Google, how then are these patents Google patents?

A better heading could be:

"HTC acquires patents from Google then employs them to sue Apple."

How about that?

That is far to many words for most people to understand. This is why so many have trouble reading the summaries, not to mention the actual article in question.

Re:How the hell are they Google patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37334762)

You're on the wrong site mate, try slashpedantic.org

Re:How the hell are they Google patents? (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334766)

Sure, that would be more accurate, but make no mistake, these patents are Google's in every sense but the legal one. Even if Google doesn't own them on paper any longer, Google is still using them to stage a proxy battle against Apple.

Re:How the hell are they Google patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37334812)

You could then make the argument that Palm is the true mastermind behind this proxy patent battle.

Re:How the hell are they Google patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37334830)

I do believe it's Apple that's staging the battle - Google is defending.

Re:How the hell are they Google patents? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335012)

-Every- tech company believes they are defending against the evil competition. Microsoft will say they only have software patents to protect against patent trolls and Google/Apple. Google will say they only have software patents to protect against patent trolls and Apple/Microsoft. Apple will say they only have software patents to protect against patent trolls and Google/Microsoft. No company believes they are the ones attacking with patents.

wow, way to pitch the microsoft shill card there (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335064)

The reality is that *every tech company* that has done so, does not include google. Putting google and microsoft in the same category is a known microsoft shilling technique.

In reality, google has yet to ever, offensively go after anyone with patents. Microsoft and apple on the other hand, have even gone as far as trying to do the ITC loophole, and trying to directly restrict competition in other countries. Not the same.

Re:wow, way to pitch the microsoft shill card ther (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335134)

If Google was serious about patent reform, why would they spend $12 billion to acquire Motorola Mobility to get their patents? Why wouldn't Google simply spend a couple more millions on lobbyists to stress the need for patent reform. And yes, Google has never used patents offensively yet, but the very fact that they don't spend more money attacking the root of the problem rather than treating some of the symptoms is quite worrying.

Re:wow, way to pitch the microsoft shill card ther (2)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335310)

If Google was serious about patent reform, why would they spend $12 billion to acquire Motorola Mobility to get their patents?

Because Google is not a majority of Congress. Being serious about patent reform does not mean being successful at patent reform. If it was as simple as throwing money at Congress, smoking would still be allowed everywhere, Joe Camel would be selling cigarettes to kids, and cigarette packs would warn you that smoking makes you dangerously sexy.

Re:wow, way to pitch the microsoft shill card ther (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335414)

Google has access to tens of millions of viewers. They can change their logo and the talk around the office cooler is about an obscure Polish artist's 208th birthday. Surely Google can do something like that about patent reform.

Re:wow, way to pitch the microsoft shill card ther (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37335182)

Instead they get their puppet companies to do so, leaving Google's hands clean (hence no Evil)...

Re:How the hell are they Google patents? (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335218)

I would like you to list 1 time google sued another company for patent violations, or aided another company in something that isn't a counter suit. So far my searches come back to 1, a patent troll for geolocation that made no product but was trying to sue 397 companies for patent infringement, which still falls into the countersuit category.

Re:How the hell are they Google patents? (0)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335318)

If Google /really/ cared about patent reform would they spend several billion dollars acquiring companies simply for their patent portfolio? Google has enough money and enough lobbyists to spark some serious debate about the patent system but they haven't done much of it.

Re:How the hell are they Google patents? (4, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334952)

Sure, that would be more accurate, but make no mistake, these patents are Google's in every sense but the legal one.

There is no other sense other than the legal one.

Even if Google doesn't own them on paper any longer, Google is still using them to stage a proxy battle against Apple.

Not really. Apple is already in a war against the Android, which is owned by the Open Handset Alliance, of which both Google and HTC are members. Google isn't "staging" it, and its not a battle between Google and Apple, its a battle between Apple -- which wants to dominate the mobile OS market and extract monopoly rents from it -- and everyone in the Android ecosystem, who have a shared interest in commoditizing mobile OS's so as to preserve their ability to derive revenue from lines of business which would be marginalized if anyone monopolized the mobile OS market.

Lots of people want to make this a simple Apple vs. Google story, but Apple's relation to iOS and the various i-devices isn't parallel to Google's relationship to Android (for which Google is the primary developer, but not the owner) and is even less parallel to Google's relationship to Android devices. HTC is more of a direct competitor with Apple in the mobile market than Google is.

Re:How the hell are they Google patents? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335152)

Either way in marketing terms Apple, the marketing engine is making itself look ugly, cheap and tacky. This kind of legal battle always cheapens a company image and for Apple that is a disaster and the longer it goes on the worse it is. The other companies aren't affected by it is much because of course they market themselves in a different fashion and not as a fashion concious, technology unconscious, digital accessory range.

So Apple is now looking to face the counter threat to what it was doing. Apple was not after money, it never believed it would win, it was aiming to keep other products off the market for as long as possible by creating a very long court battle, one they intended to run for years, all based upon legal bullshit. Now of course these counter suits will simply be used to gain legal relief from Apple's injunctions against trade, so years in court for an empty stale mate.

Re:How the hell are they Google patents? (1)

ShiftyOne (1594705) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334800)

Google did not give the patents to HTC for keeps, google is letting HTC use them as part of their fight. Other android device makers can use the patents as well if they get into a dispute with microsoft, rim, apple, or anyone else who uses wireless communication.

Re:How the hell are they Google patents? (1)

quarterbuck (1268694) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335094)

The article does not specify either (in one place it HTC obtained and in another place, "bought").
It could be that HTC got an exclusive license on that patent from Google or the right to collect royalty on those patents while the patents are still held by Google. It is not uncommon,for ex:in case of Novell/SCO, Novell held the copyrights but SCO had rights to collect royalty (or so it was alleged).

Live by the sword... (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334718)

About a year ago as the patent litigation really started picking up steam, I saw no reason for them to slow down until the situation reaches a critical time in which the courts or the legislative government calls for an end to all of it. It hasn't even gotten close to that critical moment yet, but I believe it will come. Meanwhile, we will have to see some serious consequences to the US economy before that happens... and it will happen.

Meanwhile, Apple should have realized that this would be a likely consequence. It's not like they were suing Franklin or another Apple-clone/compatible maker. They have exceeded themselves in this case and are behaving frivolously and made themselves a big giant target. They will lose and lose badly.

Re:Live by the sword... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37334908)

They will lose and lose badly.

...ultimately, it is the consumer who loses. HTC, Apple, Samsung, no matter what you buy (perhaps through signing up for a three-year contract), all of the legal cost will be recouped through end-user pricing.

Re:Live by the sword... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335322)

all of the legal cost will be recouped through end-user pricing.

That's not how commodity pricing works at all. HTC can't suddenly jack up the price of their Android phones and expect to get it - they'd have their clock cleaned by Motorola and Samsung. Apple has a little more room for price increases, I suppose, but even they would have to swallow most of any huge settlement or loss.

In other words, the phones are already priced for maximum profit - changing the underlying cost doesn't really change the whole supply/demand curve.

Re:Live by the sword... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37334934)

Some group needs to map out all of the patents related to wireless communications. Then we'll have a timeline of the changes. I'd even throw them some money.

It would be nice to see who made real innovations (revolutionary), who made improvements (evolutionary) and who filed (junk) patents with a flavor of "now on a cellphone!" or "over wireless!"

 

Re:Live by the sword... (3, Insightful)

Weedhopper (168515) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335008)

A part of me is hoping that this is a massive corporate conspiracy to drive the absurdity of current patent/IP law to the point where it becomes patently obvious to everyone that the system is fucking broken.

Re:Live by the sword... (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335040)

I'm not sure. The courts in the both US and Europe seem to be giving them every break. I'm very surprised how far they've got in blocking the sale of the Samsung tablet when prior art exists which the iPad looks nearly identical to.

Re:Live by the sword... (1)

greenbird (859670) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335096)

Meanwhile, we will have to see some serious consequences to the US economy before that happens... and it will happen.

*looks through headlines of worldwide economic doom* Wow, more serious than what pray tell?

I think I can predict the outcome of this battle (3, Informative)

fredmosby (545378) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334860)

The lawyers win, everyone else loses. Just like most patent disputes between large companies.

Re:I think I can predict the outcome of this battl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37334928)

Yep and we all pay 10-15% more for our phones.

Re:I think I can predict the outcome of this battl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37335052)

A bunch of monkeys flinging poo at each other... The clear losers are the unpaid interns cleaning up the poo. The clear winner is... the zookeeper?

Like angry bees with machine guns (1)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334892)

All the Android makers need to launch hundreds of patent lawsuits each against Apple. That's the recommended punishment for a company that actually makes something acting like a patent troll.

Re:Like angry bees with machine guns (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37335010)

Your recommended punishment is being shat upon by choleric monkeys for being a twat-waddle.

You shouldn't be able to sell a patent (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#37334922)

You shouldn't be able to sell a patent. Period.

Re:You shouldn't be able to sell a patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37335122)

You shouldn't be able to get a patent. Period.

Re:You shouldn't be able to sell a patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37335376)

Just replying for the +1

Re:You shouldn't be able to sell a patent (2)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335332)

You shouldn't be able to sell a patent. Period.

Why in the world not? All that would do is force people to set up dummy corporations around each patent, so that you are selling the "corporation" and not the patent.

Arms dealer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37334948)

Google sounds like an arms dealer. Not getting into the war itself and getting its hands dirty. Rather it is equipping the smaller players to fight its enemy for itself.

Re:Arms dealer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37335126)

Rather than the Apple-bias slant you put into your words, the analogy is more like:

Putting weapons into the hands of the manufacterers, after they were shot at by Apple. If we don't stand together on this, we will all go down, one by one.

Re:Arms dealer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37335192)

Sort of like a proxy war, like the involvement of the United States in Afghanistan when the Soviet Union invaded them in the late 1980s. The US sold tons of Stinger missiles among other arms to the Afghanis, and sent people to train them in guerrilla warfare, and well, some of them a decade or so later eventually became the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. I don't know if any of these companies Google is selling patents to will eventually turn into the equivalent.

In the future we'll all be buying patent 'folios (3, Insightful)

md65536 (670240) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335118)

In the future, the hardware will be free. The software will be free. You won't be able to use any of it though, because the patent portfolios will not be free, and they will not be cheap. We'll have to purchase separate patent license agreements from each of whatever handful of companies survives this apocalypse.

A: "Cool, what's that?"
B: "It's the iPhone 9."
A: "But... it's got color icons!"
B: "Oh, yeah... I downloaded the Samsung 'folio from the patent store."
A: "Doesn't that cost six trillion US yuan???"
B: "Nah I have a jailbroken patent manager!"
A: "Coooool. Color icons."

Cold war turns hot (4, Interesting)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335156)

For a lot of years all the tech companies, but particularly the phone manufacturers, have existed in a state of what they believed was mutually assured destruction. After all, the products did have to be compatible on at least a basic level for there to be a market at all. So almost all patents were either cross-licensed or available under RAND terms.

Apple has since entered the market and really kicked over the wasp's nest. They had no long term investment in past patents and gradual product development. So they came onto the scene with the iPhone 1, licensed all the basic standards and then refused to cross-license with anyone.

Because apparently they believe that the situation is not mutually assured destruction. So the war has gone from a cold one to a hot one.

It's arguable who started the actual legal battles. Nokia and Motorola were dicking around with patents that were supposed to be under RAND terms for standards reasons in order to try and force Apple to cross-license their patents. Apple has been on the warpath about their multi-touch and design IP.

It will be interesting to see if Apple can get out of this without some form of mandatory cross-licensing being imposed. If they can it should be a very interesting shake-up. It would be the first time in the phone industry that a major company would be using their patents to secure limited monopoly of developments instead of simply being a legal bargaining chip.

Re:Cold war turns hot (1)

tangent3 (449222) | more than 3 years ago | (#37335546)

It's like a third country getting nuclear capabilities to match the US and the USSR back during the cold war.

"Hi guys! I have nukes and ICBMs now! Give me one billion gadzillion dollars! No? What is this MAD thing you guys keep talking about? Ah who cares, I'm going to fire an ICBM at you and see what happens after..."

Google Patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37335256)

Is Google Patents a new service from Google; similar to Google Earth or Google Toolbar?

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