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Apple Transfers Patents Through Shell Company To Sue All Phone Makers

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the hand-in-cookie-jar dept.

Patents 422

New submitter dell623 writes "A patent lawsuit (PDF) by patent licensing firm Digitude Innovations curiously targeted all mobile manufacturers except Apple. A TechCrunch story has revealed that the patents used were transferred from Apple via a shell company to DI, and appear to cover features found in virtually all smartphones. The lawsuit even extends to companies that don't make Android phones, like Nokia and RIM, and to Android OEMs that Apple have not directly sued yet, like Sony. The business model of DI clearly implies that Apple would benefit financially from the lawsuit as a company that contributed patents to DI's portfolio."

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Why now? (4, Interesting)

NabisOne (2426710) | more than 2 years ago | (#38328836)

If this is true why did they wait until now to do this?

Re:Why now? (4, Funny)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 2 years ago | (#38328870)

This is the Jobs "Doomsday Device". ....And I will just say hello,
To the folks that you know,
Tell them you won't be long,
They'll be happy to know that as I saw you go
You were singing this song.

We'll we'll meet again,
Don't know where, dont know when.
But I know well meet again, some sunny day.

Roll Credits.

Re:Why now? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329380)

Jobs doesn't strike me as a President Merkin Muffley, more like a Johnson or Roosevelt (Teddy, not Frank.)

Re:Why now? (2)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329476)

Is this more of a Dead Hand system [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Why now? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38328878)

Because they were getting a lot of bad press lately...

Suing more companies would get them even more bad press.

Re:Why now? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38328912)

They probably got the idea from Google [linuxfordevices.com] .

Re:Why now? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329168)

They probably got the idea from Google [linuxfordevices.com] .

The difference of course being that Google gave patents to HTC to help mount a counter-offense against the already pending lawsuit from Apple. Whereas Apple gave the patents to a patent troll to start entirely new lawsuits against Apple competitors.

Otherwise, yeah, exactly the same.

Re:Why now? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329346)

This has been going on for quite a while. Here is another example [reuters.com] with Microsoft and Nokia.

MS and Immersion (5, Interesting)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329612)

It didn't involve giving patents, but when Immersion sued Sony and MS over controller rumble, MS settled with Immersion, giving them money to fund their lawsuit against Sony on the condition that Immersion pay MS from the profits from that lawsuit and took part ownership. It was to remain confidential.

Later MS sued Immersion for not paying MS their money from the lawsuit. No honor among thieves I guess.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/08/27/microsoft_settles_with_immersion_again/ [theregister.co.uk]

Re:Why now? (3, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329042)

I think they've been watching Microsoft rolling in the dough from all the android sales and they want in on the fun too. Why not? It's the way things are. Apple can continue to sell iPhones and make money and everyone else can make android phones and Apple can make money. It's nice to see them copying Microsoft's innovation for a change.

Re:Why now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329278)

As opposed to MS copying Apple's innovations? If you're referring to MS stupidly using buzzwords instead of facts, yeah, I'd say that's one innovation they stole.

well done apple (3, Insightful)

phreakv6 (760152) | more than 2 years ago | (#38328850)

this is a smart way to avoid negative publicity. 'apple sues xyz' makes apple sound like an evil company. 'digitude innovation sues xyz' is a way protecting the brand

Re:well done apple (4, Funny)

CruelKnave (1324841) | more than 2 years ago | (#38328944)

"Well, now we have a firm grasp of the obvious."

Re:well done apple (5, Insightful)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329024)

So Digitude Innovation is the new SCO, which makes Apple the new Microsoft.

Re:well done apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329256)

Close. SCO was out to harm Linux; Digitude Innovation is more of a parasite, sucking profits off them to transfer to Apple. Microsoft wanted Linux dead; Apple wants to exact money from Android the same way that Microsoft already is.

But, yeah, so close that for all intents and purposes it's the same thing. DI : Apple :: SCO : Microsoft. Abbreviation in these cases means "shell company," and the number of letters in the abbreviation corresponds to the number of syllables in the parent company name.

Re:well done apple (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329050)

In this day and age where information is so freely available, does anyone still think this works? What's more, the term "shell company" has bad enough connotations that it's like admitting guilt of some sort of wrongdoing to most people. Odds are there's more important strategy behind it than just PR.

Re:well done apple (1)

Spodi (2259976) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329240)

In this day and age where information is so freely available, does anyone still think this works? What's more, the term "shell company" has bad enough connotations that it's like admitting guilt of some sort of wrongdoing to most people. Odds are there's more important strategy behind it than just PR.

"Think" it still works? I know it still works. It works wonders on the highly-opinionated individuals that do not look deep into the story before making up their mind. In this case, it also works very well with those who know little about business. That is a very large chunk of the population. "X does Y" is directly tied to X, and it is hard to deny the facts. "Z, a shell company of X, does Y" lets plenty of room for deniability in there.

Re:well done apple (4, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329272)

Yes.

Tim Cook has learned much from Steve Ballmer, on how to make money from cell phone makers and OEMs. iOS isn't going to run on any of them, so they make no direct enemies. Microsoft 'taxed' a few of their OEMs, but OEMs are used to being picked off by patent trolls.

Bad move, Apple. You lose friends a handful at a time. Then there are no more handfuls.

Re:well done apple (3, Interesting)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329224)

So what happens if they lose? Spin off another company, "sell" them the patents, and sue again? Is this a lather, rinse, repeat situation - or is it one where, if the case is defeated, the patent is nullified?

Re:well done apple (1)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329652)

They will keep filing new patents on every little idea that comes out of brainstorming sessions. It will cost competitors more to get the patent struck down in a court of law than it would do to sign a royalty contract.

Re:well done apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329388)

Now its "wholly Apple owned shell corporation Digitude Innovation sues xyz'

It now sounds even slimier.

Re:well done apple (3, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329614)

this is a smart way to avoid negative publicity. 'apple sues xyz' makes apple sound like an evil company. 'digitude innovation sues xyz' is a way protecting the brand

Yes it's also smart from a defensive standpoint. If Apple were to sue, then it's simple to counter sue, eventually they'll cross license the patents in question. However, if Apple is only seeking to be anti-competitive instead of competitive, they'll use the shell company. This way, since Digitude makes NOTHING the folks they sue can't exactly use their own patent portfolio against Digitude.

The interesting thing is, now that the cat's out of the bag, expect suits to be filed against Apple in hopes they'll call off their trolls. However, unless the same shell corp tactic is used they'll end up looking like the bad guys in the press.

Moral of the story? Set up your corporation today. File the taxes, pay the dues, you don't have to do anything else with it. Later, you can sell them to the big guys who are looking to do some shady shit, OR to the new guys who want to seem like they've been in good standing for much longer than they have. Invest Now! These fake paper people are actually appreciating in value!

This sounds familiar. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38328852)

Do we have to argue Automatic Radio v. Hazeltine Research and Zenith v. Hazeltine Research all over again?

Re:This sounds familiar. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329062)

It's not about winning arguments; it's about gaining and exercising power. The yap flapping is just there to give it apparent legitimacy.

Fuck Apple (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38328854)

People who buy their shit are noobs and suckers.

Maybe Steve was trying to kill patents? (-1, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#38328868)

It sure seems that way, I can't imagine they expect to get anywhere. Even if they own the patents and have the right to sue everyone else out of existence, theres absolutely 0 possibility of it happening. There is only slightly (not worth mentioning) higher chance that they'll get everyone to pay them money.

This sort of thing will eventually fall apart in court, they'll probably be some people hurt along the way, but the silliness here will eventually get stopped. It just makes me think they're being so insane about it in an attempt to force a change. I know thats not Apple's MO, but its the only logical reason for doing it.

They can not possibly expect to basically be able to shutdown every other manufacture in the US or extort them for fees, its just completely unrealistic.

Re:Maybe Steve was trying to kill patents? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38328948)

Whomever modded parent insightful, do you also believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy? Or are you just an Apple fanboi thru-and-thru?

Re:Maybe Steve was trying to kill patents? (5, Insightful)

prehistoricman5 (1539099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38328966)

Are you so blind as to think that this is some brilliant plan by Apple to end the patent wars? If that's the case, then why didn't Apple sue everyone directly as they have done in the past? Why does Apple continue to litigate against anyone who even comes close to their designs? Why hasn't Apple simply used it's massive pile of cash to buy a few senators and congressmen and make them pass a law crippling the patent trolls? This is nothing more than a monopolistic power grab by Apple.

Re:Maybe Steve was trying to kill patents? (4, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329298)

No, I really doubt that Apple is trying to wreck the patent system. Take a look at the lawsuits they've filed of late, specifically the immediate effect they've tried to have: broad suppression of competing products in whole markets-- Samsung's Galaxy tablet in Australia, for example. So far the bans have eventually been overturned, but that's still a win for Apple: a market that wants a particular technology isn't going to complain very much about selection; someone who is dead set on (say) a Galaxy is going to import one or wait for the courts to come to their senses, and they wouldn't have been a potential customer anyway.

These temporary monopolies give Apple a huge head-start on their competitors: the typical consumer isn't going to buy multiple tablets or smartphones, and if they are then they'll be more inclined to purchase ones that they know will be interoperable. When the time comes to replace equipment, they'll be more likely to go with a brand that they're familiar with. Even if this sparks patent reform (which it almost certainly won't), Apple solidifies its grasp on lucrative markets.

Re:Maybe Steve was trying to kill patents? (5, Insightful)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 2 years ago | (#38328984)

OMG. Yep, our god Steve could never do anything wrong. He must have been trying to do something altruistic. Yep, never mind the fact that Apple outright sued several other companies over phone patents already. This time they must have been doing something good. I'm not sure why he would try to do this good deed secretly so as not to draw positive attention to the company, while at the same time doing the not-so-good deeds very publicly and drawing negative attention, but I'm sure he has his reasons. All hail Steve.

Re:Maybe Steve was trying to kill patents? (1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 2 years ago | (#38328986)

I don't think so. When the iPhone was announced they also said they patented all their innovations and were ready to sue. That doesn't sound like someone trying to fix a broken system.

Re:Maybe Steve was trying to kill patents? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329108)

Of course that bull since they only targeted their direct competitors. Money is NOT the only outcome of patent suits, blocking products is another outcome and is something Apple is directly aiming for.

The logical reason? Simple, GREED. ALOT of damage can be done before those patents are nullified, assuming they even will be. You make it sound as if lawsuits doesn't benefits the company suing when in fact it does immensely. Otherwise, patent trolls and massive lawsuits wouldn't be so common place.

As for shutting everyone down, they don't have too. They only need to delay products and damage the companies enough for Apple to run away with more profit. Block basic features from competitors, block/delay products, and weaken the companies; even a partial success is still a success to a company.

Think Different (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38328874)

Truly this is American Innovation at work.

Re:Think Different (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38328886)

Yes, and clearly shows how Patents rewards the Inventor and Stimulates Innovation.

collusion ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38328906)

this is not collusion? How many of those patents area valid.. what if all the phone manufacturers stand united, and bring the patents the own (motorola patents, nokia, ericcson, etc) and start a legal war.. ?

Altough, i must said, the article is vague and not clear about the action.

Re:collusion ? (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38328924)

The thing about NPEs is that you can't countersue them. If Apple were suing them, that could work, but it's not Apple suing.

Re:collusion ? (2)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329022)

The patents necessary are available under FRAND [wikipedia.org] , but Apple chose not to license them..

Congratulations Apple. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38328920)

With business practices like these I can only wonder how long it will take for the us government to bring on charges of monopolistic practices and force a breakup of Apple's business portfolio. One can only hope.

Re:Congratulations Apple. (1)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | more than 2 years ago | (#38328982)

"government to bring on charges of monopolistic practices" perhaps at one time they would, but don't hold your breath now.. Our government is in the pockets of the big corps. The politicians won't bite the hand that feeds them.

Re:Congratulations Apple. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329076)

What monopolistic practices? Aren't we constantly reminded about how Android has the majority of the smartphone market share?

Re:Congratulations Apple. (4, Informative)

teg (97890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329102)

With business practices like these I can only wonder how long it will take for the us government to bring on charges of monopolistic practices and force a breakup of Apple's business portfolio. One can only hope.

IPhone is pretty far away from being a monopoly... of the more than 1 billion cell phones sold in 2010, Apple sold less than 50 million.

Fuck Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38328922)

Did they think we wouldn't find out?

They've finally become Microsoft (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38328936)

Using shills an shell companies to perform their dirty work. Yup, MS MK2.

Shitface company procession: IBM -> Microsoft -> Apple -> [you are here] (Oracle | Google) -> (Facebook | Twitter)?

At some point... (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38328950)

At some point this stops being about mere offensive lawsuits and goes into being plain evil.

Re:At some point... (0)

Renraku (518261) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329630)

It isn't evil. Corporations exist to make money. Therefore, they'll make money however they can. This is entirely allowed by our patent system and isn't evil at all. Neither is faking a pass and then running the ball right down the middle.

Dickish? Sure. Deceptive? Absolutely. People won't think Apple were the ones suing all the Android manufacturers. But wouldn't YOU like to get paid for all the sales your competitors get? I would. But therein lies the reason I'm not a business man: I don't have the balls to pull stunts like this and profit at any cost.

iPhone is on the way out (4, Interesting)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 2 years ago | (#38328956)

... or at least that's how I read it.

When they spend this kind of money and go through this sort of effort to essentially go Nuclear then it is quite clear that iOS/iPhone/iPad is on the way out -- or at least is so severely threatened and Apple has no clue as to what to do for a competitive recourse.

Seem to me that this money could have ben much better spent on R&D in increasing their product line and innovating -- but maybe the innovation at Apple died with the Steveness.

Or (2)

arcite (661011) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329140)

Apple just has so much cash that they are indifferent to paying hundreds of lawyers and suing everyone they can. Most of these companies have less cash on hand combined than Apple!

Re:iPhone is on the way out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329158)

You are absolutely right on the money ( no pun intended ).

DI == new SCO puppet && Apple == new Microsoft ( Puppeteer ).

This will not end well for either of them ( Just ask dear darrell ;) ).

Re:iPhone is on the way out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329234)

Want to short my Apple stock?

Re:iPhone is on the way out (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329160)

Are you on crack? Apple is growing revenues at 60% year over year. If that's "on the way out", I'll take some of that kind of failure. Have you been by an Apple Store lately? They're packed, so packed that it's hard to find a sales rep to take your money. The iPhone 4S is the fastest selling electronic device ever. They're selling 100K of them every day. That's $650,000,000 in revenue per day. At this rate, Apple will have more than 5x Google's annual revenues and almost 3x Microsoft's revenues. In fact, within 6 months Apple will have more revenue (they already have far more profit) than Samsung, GE, and VW (that includes Porsche & Audi).

Re:iPhone is on the way out (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329212)

The bottom line is then:

"WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS SHIT THEN?"

If not out of fear?, do enlighten since you seem to quote big numbers from somewhere ( perhaps your arse? ). It would make no sense for an up n up company to go all out war ( financial and business suicide anyone? ).

Good one piss off the masses. or perhaps the truth is your a Apple / Jobs fanboy.

Re:iPhone is on the way out (3, Insightful)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329360)

The bottom line is then:

"WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS SHIT THEN?"

1. Because they can
2. Because they will earn more money this way

Re:iPhone is on the way out (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329454)

The bottom line is then:

"WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS SHIT THEN?"

If not out of fear?, do enlighten since you seem to quote big numbers from somewhere ( perhaps your arse? ). It would make no sense for an up n up company to go all out war ( financial and business suicide anyone? ).

Good one piss off the masses. or perhaps the truth is your a Apple / Jobs fanboy.

I think the answer is more "to appease shareholder greed" than "because they are failing".

Look at it this way: Apple now has a pretty steady profit, and has a lot of money in reserve. How can they increase revenues to increase shareholder profitability, based on what they already have?

Answer: If they just start suing everyone, they'll be counter-sued, and it'll come out as a wash. However, if SOMEONE ELSE starts suing everyone but them, this means that they can afford a) smaller margins than everyone else and so make more relative profit on their current offerings, and b) to "innovate" in ways that everyone else can't, as others are currently tied up in lawsuits regarding the IP so can't legally move forward in those areas.

Of course, this also completely demolishes the old "defensive patent portfolio" argument, as it shows that everyone can protect themselves from return fire by using shell companies to sue in the first place. The only way around this is for the others to say "call them off Apple, or we'll sue YOU in the same way." But Apple has a large enough war chest that they could probably just laugh that off from most other companies.

Re:iPhone is on the way out (2)

froggymana (1896008) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329392)

Are you on crack? Apple is growing revenues at 60% year over year. If that's "on the way out", I'll take some of that kind of failure. Have you been by an Apple Store lately? They're packed, so packed that it's hard to find a sales rep to take your money. The iPhone 4S is the fastest selling electronic device ever. They're selling 100K of them every day. That's $650,000,000 in revenue per day. At this rate, Apple will have more than 5x Google's annual revenues and almost 3x Microsoft's revenues. In fact, within 6 months Apple will have more revenue (they already have far more profit) than Samsung, GE, and VW (that includes Porsche & Audi).

I'm sure they'll manage to keep growing at that rate too... [xkcd.com]

But we are not looking at just one data point (0)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329490)

We have years of data that shows Apple grows consistently, not a single data point from which we derive that conclusion.

Furthermore Apple still has a pretty small share of the overall phone market. So on what basis do you think the rate of growth will slow down? Even with Android doing VERY well (which I am sure it will continue to do) Apple could easily continue 60% growth rates year after year just from the growth the phone ALONE can give them - never mind other iOS device like the iPad/touch...

Re:iPhone is on the way out (2, Funny)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329186)

NO, the hugely successful iOS products will shortly convert the whole industry into copy cat knock offs; some of which will surpass it in various ways (depending on what certain customers want, not what 1 product Apple offers.)

Apple can own the various physical techniques which the others have worked around alternatives already (or pay apple or sony... unless there is a 3rd form of touch screen tech out there own by another already.)

I'm 150% behind Apple on this-- PLEASE use software patents to foobar the industry!!

Somebody PLEASE patent online campaign fund raising using software! We need a lot of horrible examples to get this beast slain.

Re:iPhone is on the way out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329618)

Quite clear, eh? And what data do you base that on? Sales? Nope. Customer loyalty? Nope. Profits? Nope. % Returns? Nope. Hardware failures? Nope. Available software? Nope. The iPhone wins on all fronts compared to the shitty phones running Android. OK except screen size. BFD.

Apple has a huge profit margin and cash flow and can engage in protecting patents as well as R&D. Cheap-ass phones from crappy Korean and Taiwanese companies may sell to cheap-ass customers who don't care about quality, but they don't make much profit.

When patents attack... (5, Informative)

webanish (1045264) | more than 2 years ago | (#38328964)

FWIW, "This American Life #441: When Patents Attack" [thisamericanlife.org] lays out the problem with patents very clearly. Apple is just ONE company.

Patents should be like trademarks (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 2 years ago | (#38328976)

Upon being granted a patent, you must immediately sue any infringer that you are aware of or risk losing said patent.

Additionally, you should be unable to give preferential licensing to any company.

Congratulations Apple! (2)

mark_reh (2015546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38328978)

The decision to pay lawyers instead of engineers is never an easy one, but Apple, you made the calculations and made your decision and with it you've taken the crown from the former Symbol-of-all-that-is-wrong-in-America, Microsoft. Congratulations! I look forward to the future that you will allow to happen...

Isn't rent seeking..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38328994)

supposedly the hallmark of a society in it's final stages of decline?

Re:Isn't rent seeking..... (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329216)

I'm pretty sure that "clever" slogans brought about by a minority opposition to a system only masquerade as wisdom...

i said it after .... (0)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329012)

After Job's died I said Apple is gonna start to slip cause without job's apple wouldn't be here and without him its only a matter of time.

Re:i said it after .... (4, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329134)

After Job's died I said Apple is gonna start to slip cause without job's apple wouldn't be here and without him its only a matter of time.

Not sure what your point is. This strategy of using a patent troll to harass competitors was planned and started under Jobs. Jobs must have signed off on the idea.

Re:i said it after .... (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329344)

This is a more intense version of what Jobs was already doing. If there's a difference, it's that now they are a faceless corporation.

Apple (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329014)

Apple what a shit company, worse than even the worst Microsoft.
Bill Gates should have given the finger to Jobs instead of rescueing Apple. The biggest mistake ever in the history of computing.

Re:Apple (1)

znerk (1162519) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329290)

Except that by rescuing Apple, Microsoft was able to later claim they were not a monopoly.
It is also worth pointing out that at the time, Microsoft was making more money selling software to Apple users than Apple was making selling products to them in the first place.

On the other hand, I agree with your statement about Apple's corporate composition.

Re:Apple (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329432)

For the sake of facts....MicroShit NEVER rescued Apple. Once and for all. MS INVESTED 150 Million Dollars in Apple shares while Apple had 1 BILLION dollars cash left over. Those 150 Million where a drop in the ocean. Plus they promised to develop software for Mac. That's all. (the shares were sold just 3 months later...)

If MS would have not made this deal, Windows would no longer exist. So, yes it was the worst mistake, as we would have freedom of Windows today.
Apple would still exist.

Read on for more : http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/RDM.Tech.Q1.07/592FE887-5CA1-4F30-BD62-407362B533B9.html

Re:Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329534)

Apple was kept alive by Microsoft (eitther through $ or software developed for the Apple platform).
So yeah in the end Microsoft made the biggest blunder of its history by helping involutarily create a monster.

OMA (3, Interesting)

Fizzl (209397) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329016)

Fucking apple. Why can't they just join Open Mobile Alliance [openmobilealliance.org] like everyone else and share the patents. In return they would get access to the whole pool of patents from the other companies [openmobilealliance.org] .

Re:OMA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329110)

Because it's not about licensing, it's about resorting to legal tactics to try and harm the competition when you've no longer got any new ideas that allow you to compete on your innovative merits.

The iPhone is fucked, Apple didn't release the iPhone 5 this year and only some half arsed non-factor upgrade, they just don't know what to do now. They're fresh out of ideas.

Re:OMA (2)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329264)

I can understand, from the outside looking in, hating the patent wars. I can even sort of understand preferring that people don't like Apple, although it requires an emotional commitment I can't summon in myself. What I don't get is the attitude that Apple is somehow "fucked" or "out of ideas" when it's pretty obvious they're doing just fine.

If you seriously hold that belief, you're allowing irrationality to prevent you from clearly understanding reality, and in the end, you only hurt yourself. If you just proclaim that belief as some sort of religious mantra... I don't know what to say. That's weird.

Re:OMA (4, Interesting)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329202)

Because the OMA is a confederation of the losers? Because its a cartel devised to give network operators a veto on applications and platform innovation? Google isn't a member, either.

Re:OMA (2)

Ryxxui (1108965) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329294)

Every important organization in this business is listed on your second link except for Apple and Google. And, Google is purchasing Motorola Mobility, who is listed as a "Full Member". Many of the organizations listed on your second link make phones using Google's operating system, which cannot be said of Apple. Basically: in what way is this an organization of losers except for the fact that Apple is not on it?

Re:OMA (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329314)

Umm, because unlike Apple, Google (as a brand) doesn't *manufacture* any phones?

Really though, that point is moot. Google owns Motorola Mobility. Motorola Mobility is a member of the alliance. Ergo, Google has "a seat at the table"

Re:OMA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329426)

Google is not a member because Andy Rubin is both an asshole and a hypocrite.

--
I'm an arrogant asshole [mailto] , so I work for Google now.

Re:OMA (1)

Spodi (2259976) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329252)

Why share the cake when you can have the whole thing to yourself?

Re:OMA (3, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329292)

You know the world is fucked up if "groups of companies sharing patents" is seen as a good alternative.
"No patents" should be the alternative.

Re:OMA (2)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329556)

Fucking apple. Why can't they just join Open Mobile Alliance like everyone else and share the patents. In return they would get access to the whole pool of patents from the other companies.

Ah, I see that Microsoft is a (sponsor!) member of the OMA. That must mean they can't sue other members like Samsung, HTC and Huawei.

Why Not Sue Apple Too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329058)

So Digitude Innovations owns patents and is suing all mobile manufacturers except Apple.
If they own the patents, why not sue Apple as well?
Hmmm, so if the patents were sold/transfered with a clause not to sue Apple that would seem like a valid reason to invalidate the patents.

Re:Why Not Sue Apple Too? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329144)

Most likely they were transferred along with a permanent license for Apple. Not a "do not sue clause", the transfer agreement would have made sure there was nothing to sue for - it would have given Apple licenses to all of the patents. Depending on how they set it up, it might also grant them some share of any winnings too.

Apple the patent troll (0)

compucomp2 (1776668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329100)

So the great Apple company resorts to patent trolling, through a shell company to obfuscate their intentions. Where is the Slashdot outrage over this? Or does the hivemind still think that Apple can do no evil?

Re:Apple the patent troll (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329316)

There might be noticable outrage if this surprised us a great deal. The standard amount of outrage is felt, but it's not much different from what we normally feel. One thing is true though -- Apple has graduated into a fully-formed patent troll and its fans, if they don't deny it entirely, will have less to be fans about.

But to be clear, I would like to hear about who the owners of this new company are and if any of them are actually Apple. I mean after all, to give/sell your patents to a troll with the agreement that "they never sue us" is not quite trolling -- it's more like giving a treat to a dog and then saying "sic'm!"

Re:Apple the patent troll (5, Insightful)

znerk (1162519) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329362)

The outrage is right here - or are you missing the large number of comments calling out Apple for the crooked, non-innovating, patent-abusing company they have turned out to be?

I am reminded of the parable with the snake and the turtle - the turtle doesn't want to carry the snake across the river because he is afraid the snake will bite him, but the snake convinces him to do so anyway, with the comment "Why would I bite you in the middle of the river? I would drown!"
The turtle agrees to carry the snake across the river, and the snake bites him halfway across.
"Why would you do that?!?" the turtle cries as he sinks.
The snake replies, "I'm a snake, what did you expect?"

The big problem with massive corporations is that they are designed to acquire profit. When we expect them to act in a fashion that is anything other than self-serving and greedy, we are expecting the snake not to bite.

Be Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329116)

But through a shell company so know one knows!

Re:Be Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329494)

Why do you bring up Google?

Just one question : (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329220)

I'd like to know why you Slashdot people cannot make web pages render consistently
in Safari 5.1

Do I have to use a different use agent in order to see the page render properly, in order
to compensate for your incompetence ?

Re:Just one question : (2)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329384)

If /. doesn't render right in your browser, it's your browser that is the problem. /. as far as I can tell seems to be valid HTML.

Fuck apple and the fucking heard keep'n'em in biz (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329320)

Fucking litigation happy motherfuckers. Patenting obvious bulshit and trying to enforce bulshit UI implementations. Can't wait till the fucking heard moves on to another fad company to see apple die a fucking slow death.

Shame those guys!!! (2)

no-body (127863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329338)

It always goes in company name, here "DI" and whatever entities there are.
The missing link is people, it's all individuals having those great ideas.
Something like that: http://whoarethe1percent.com/ [whoarethe1percent.com] (kinda crude but useful).

This whole patent/copyright happening is so sick - who are the one-dimensional folks dreaming it up and going for it?
that;s one of them:

http://www.yatedo.com/p/Ed+Gomez/normal/faa10cb30a48fd79dc8ed3f41ff78228 [yatedo.com]

With a picture, how cute!

Co. seems to be a major patent troll - hope they burn in hell!

http://www.burnsvillelocal.com/category/technology/ [burnsvillelocal.com]

DeaFening silence from Gruber (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329342)

Why is it that whenever an Apple-centric story like this hits /., there is almost never any acknowledgment on what is arguably the most widely-read Apple-centric blog (Daring Fireball)?

If Gruber can figure out a way to spin the issue to make Apple look less obnoxious, or at least to argue some sort of "yeah, but... $SOMEONE_ELSE_IS_DOING_IT_TOO" excuse, he'll do it. Which would be OK assuming such a counter-argument were there to be made. But in those cases where there's really no way to defend Apple's conduct, well, ... crickets. As if it never happened.

Man, is that guy arrogant.

-Fred

moral (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329352)

This is starting to be a form of terrorism against progress and market development

Anti-Apple Patent alliance (1)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329368)

All other mobile device manufacturers ought to join up and use their combined patent pool to put Apple's shenanigans down for good.

"Well, look here dear Apple, if you sue one of us, we'll drop this 10 ton Patent hammer in your groin, repeatedly"

Obviously lawyers have no sense of humour and the language of that message would be somewhat less funny.

Smartphone LA? (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329474)

Digitude is a new kind of patent investment vehicle because it seeks to team up with strategic players that can invest in Digitude not with money, but by contributing patents. The contributing entity would then get a license for all of Digitude’s patents, [Digitude Chairman Robert] Kramer says.

That doesn't really fit the modus operandi of a "patent troll". It sounds more like they're setting up a patent pool similar to MPEG LA.

Personally, I'd love to see these smartphone-related patents in the hands of a neutral party, rather than their current owners: manufacturers constantly trying to screw their competitors.

Let's just assume all bloggers are correct (1)

NameIsDavid (945872) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329500)

An individual site doing its own investigation and coming up with a conclusion that they don't know exactly what's going on (and even stating that their speculations don't fully make sense) is hardly a reason for people to get all upset. Withhold judgment until there's an actual story to judge.

Live by the sword, die by the sword... (4, Insightful)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329570)

How many of the companies being sued HAVEN'T used patents as an offense rather than a defense? These days, legal departments are profit centres, and are more important than engineering departments; engineers' jobs are being outsourced and offshored while lawyers are rubbing their dirty little hands and laughing all the way to the bank.

I suspect most of the 'victims' of Apple's attempted sleight-of-hand are simply reaping what they've sown. The whole litigious nature of doing business today has gotten out of hand, but I can't say I feel terribly sorry for any of the players involved.

A society that believes lawsuits are the path to riches, and rewards people for spilling hot coffee on themselves or not watching where they're walking, can't help but devolve into this kind of crap. In the end it's a zero-sum game, and a tremendous drain on our resources. I'm surprised it's taking us so long to figure that out.

Let me get this straight... (4, Insightful)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329606)

Apple via DI just picked a fight with pretty much every player in the mobile phone market?

This reeks of desperation. Something tells me the recent rulings against them around the world from Germany to the US to Australia are a major blow to their ego and they're lashing out like the cool kid who is suddenly being abandoned by all his friends...

It will be interesting to see if Apple can survive a fight with Microsoft (who are obligated to help due to agreements with Nokia and WP7), Google (Own Motorola), Sony, Samsung, RIM, LG, and Amazon...

DejaVu? (2)

Cybrknight70 (750325) | more than 2 years ago | (#38329608)

I had absolutely no idea that Darl McBride started work at Apple.

Companies need to join forces. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38329632)

It would be great if all these companies joined forces for one major suit and blow Apple out the game. Apple are no better than the patent trolls themselves. Worse! They use money and loopholes in U.S . laws to stifle competition and try to limit innovation to serious tech companies.
They can't innovate themselves so sue everybody who can.
Apples whole range is nothing more than other peoples ideas which they put in a trendoid package and sell to their flock for ridiculous profits. Compare the latest iphone to the original - small rectangular block with a little 3 1/2" touch screen! Apples great innovation over the last 5 to 6 years! 6 Models of minor updates!
All this is going to do, I hope, is set off a patent war, Apple versus the real tech companies. Lets truly hope for all tech future that Apple loses badly, so innovation can again be part of modern technology, rather than companies like Apple flogging off minor updates as innovative new devices and limiting choice to consumers.

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