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Apple Loses Patent Case For FaceTime Tech, Owes $368 Million

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the we-invented-the-transmission-of-data dept.

Patents 139

beeudoublez writes "Apple was ordered to pay $368 million today to a software company named VirnetX over patents related to Apple's FaceTime technology. Apple engineers testified they didn't pay attention to any patents when building FaceTime. 'The jury, which had sat through the five-day trial, ruled that Apple infringed two patents: one for a method of creating a virtual private network (VPN) between computers, and another for solving DNS security issues. ... It's not the first time VirnetX has won a payout from a major tech firm: the company bagged $105.7m from Microsoft two years ago, and it may not be the last either. VirnetX has a separate case against Apple pending with the International Trade Commission and it has court cases against Cisco, Avaya and Siemens scheduled for trial next year.'" It's not all bad news for Apple today, though — according to Ars, they've won a new patent for a rounded rectangle (D670,286).

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So f*cked up (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41911323)

The Patent Office should be dismantled (along with the TSA)

Re:So f*cked up (4, Insightful)

pecosdave (536896) | about 2 years ago | (#41911363)

As much as I dislike Apple - for being patent trolls and bullies - it makes me sick to my stomach this happened to them. I mean I enjoy the suffering and all, it's just a really bad thing for the tech world in general. The patent trolling, not Apple suffering.

Re:So f*cked up (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41911483)

Apple suffering over this, means *we all* suffer. To Apple, this is just raising the bar to market entry. $368 millions is peanuts to them. Effectively, this just means a steep artificial fee at the troll gate, which effectively supports the dinosaurs just fine. They don't care that they're sucking the life-blood of the economy. So if reform should start somewhere, it should start with the law and financials.

Re:So f*cked up (5, Insightful)

pecosdave (536896) | about 2 years ago | (#41911547)

In this particular case Apple suffering may help us all.

Remember the famous patent troll of recent past Amazon? Now Amazon is actually starting to suggest patents are going overboard and trolls need to be shut down. If Apple gets on the losing end of enough of these battles they may actually join hands with Amazon and *gasp* Samsung when they've had enough to lobby to fix the problem.

Until then troll them and the other patent troll companies until they have a change of heart.

Re:So f*cked up (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 2 years ago | (#41911719)

Do you know what a patent troll is? A patent troll is someone who owns a patent BUT DOES NOT MAKE ANYTHING WITH IT. It sounds like this applies to VirnetX. But Apple makes things with the technology they have a patent for, thus they would not be a patent troll.

Re:So f*cked up (4, Informative)

pecosdave (536896) | about 2 years ago | (#41911807)

Fine.

Patent abuser then.

Let the trolls attack the abusers.

Re:So f*cked up (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#41912729)

Bullshit. Apple uses their patents to prevent competition by refusing to license them even though they are for ridiculous things like rectangles and such. If you're preventing innovation by using patents for your own commercial gain, you're a patten troll. There are many ways to do this, apple is very good at their brand. VirnetX is very good at theirs. The fact that 2 patent trolls are battling it out doesn't make one the good guy. The sad state of affairs is that our system is so broken its turning companies that really don't want to be a part of this nonsense into trolls themselves. It's getting to be the only way to do business anymore.

Re:So f*cked up (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41913867)

Incorrect. A patent owner is under no obligation to license. In fact, the whole point of the patent is to give a limited term monopoly. The revenue source of a patent troll is through legal actions based on forced licensing or settlements of patents it has acquired. This is not the same as pure IP companies that develop technologies for others to license but do not produce any products or services themselves, such as ARM and MIPS.

Re:So f*cked up (3, Informative)

greg1104 (461138) | about 2 years ago | (#41915135)

Patent troll [wikipedia.org] is only applicable to companies who lobby patent suits but don't make things; usage stretching behind that is sloppy terminology. The reason for that distinction is that patent troll companies are normally a non-practising entity (NPE), which lets them sue without fear of a counter-suit. That's what makes them so troublesome. When Apple and Samsung battle, ultimately both have products covered by patents held by the other. While Apple may not like licensing their patents, it's possible for them to be forced into cross-licensing with another company that builds real products, or both companies can be deadlocked and unable to sell. That possibility isn't there on a true patent troll company. They only sue for infringement and never need to license to cover their own products, because they don't have any.

Re:So f*cked up (2)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#41913783)

Do you know what a patent troll is?

Let's clear that up right now. The proper technical term for what Apple and Amazon do is "Patent Thuggery". Let's not get sidetracked on issues of whether they practice their patents or not, but whether or not they are thugs.

Re:So f*cked up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41911753)

Yeah come back to me when Amazon put's the 1-click patent into the public domain. Then they'll have the moral ground.

Re:So f*cked up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41913399)

In this particular case Apple suffering may help us all.

Remember the famous patent troll of recent past Amazon? Now Amazon is actually starting to suggest patents are going overboard and trolls need to be shut down. If Apple gets on the losing end of enough of these battles they may actually join hands with Amazon and *gasp* Samsung when they've had enough to lobby to fix the problem.

Until then troll them and the other patent troll companies until they have a change of heart.

Thats the dumbest thing I read today.

You make it sound like patent trolls somehow ruin the world and we should all ban together to erradicate them like roaches.

You dont even know what a "patent troll" is. Its not a negative thing at all. Problem is internet nerds gave it a seedy name because they dont know what they are talking about and spread all this negative stuff because they want to sound intelligent and savvy when they are just on a bandwagon of ignorance and stupidty.

Patent trolls own the patents but they arent making money on it. So say someone puts a patent on something yet they are trying to gather resources to use it, maybe they are trying to sell it to someone else, maybe they just had a great idea but no immediate use for it and stashing it away till they can use it, or something else like that. But if that person sues someone else for stealing their patent then the internet (including you) starts bad mouthing them and calling them patent trolls when you have absolutely NO idea what is really going on.

So shut the fuck up about patent trolls. You dont know what your complaining about and youre blaming someone for suing for something they own the patent to? Are you fucking stupid?

Re:So f*cked up (0)

elashish14 (1302231) | about 2 years ago | (#41913873)

I agree that there's a growing opinion in the industry that things need to change, but I don't think this is the solution. If lawmakers form their policies by only observing the words and actions of major corporations, they will in turn enact policies that favor the same large organizations while in the meantime, the small businesses and start-ups that don't have the capital to start out will get drowned out. In effect, we'll be back where we were in the 90s and early 2000s (if it hasn't even yet stopped) where Microsoft for example would buy up small start-ups that threatened their business, not to utilize and promote these new ideas and technologies, but to simply make these same things go away. Patents will become another weapon that large companies use against smaller ones to make sure that their businesses aren't threatened.

It's great that we see all the chaos that's prevailing, but really the only true victory will be if the patent system is reformed such that it serves its original business - to protect small companies and new ideas from being shunned out - whereas today it does the opposite. I know that it's impossible, particularly in the US where there are no voices without a monied interest behind, but I want to caution us all against falling into the arms of these greedy, monied interests who have no legitimate appreciation for values or fairness.

Re:So f*cked up (2)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#41914019)

Loosing end 'enough'? Have you seen Apple's litigation history? Apple couldn't litigate themselves out of a wet paper bag 99% of the time.

Re:So f*cked up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912209)

$368 millions is peanuts to them.

Assuming they didn't copy, add in the cost of developing duplicate technology from scratch.
And lawyer fees for the case.

Re:So f*cked up (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41913337)

Apple suffering over this, means *we all* suffer. To Apple, this is just raising the bar to market entry. $368 millions is peanuts to them. Effectively, this just means a steep artificial fee at the troll gate, which effectively supports the dinosaurs just fine. They don't care that they're sucking the life-blood of the economy. So if reform should start somewhere, it should start with the law and financials.

Its always hillarious when I see people on the internet try and give some grade school armchair comment and it just falls completely flat and makes absolutely no insight at all. Its just a bunch of blubbering that somehow sounds intelligent, savvy and informative in their heads while to everyone else its not much more than charlie browns teacher could muster.

And for the record, if you think ANYONE anywhere in the world regardless of how rich or poor they are would say "360 million? Thats peanuts" then you are a complete fucking imbicile. If your some gas station cashier or bill gates 360 million dollars is a lot of fucking money. There isnt a person alive who would lose that much in court and just say "eh its peanuts".

not quite (3, Interesting)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 years ago | (#41911635)

live by the sword, die by the sword.

Patent trolls suck, but apple has no defense against being victimized for it when they're trying to do the exact same thing. In fact, apple is worse because they have billions of dollars to shut down entire companies with. A troll does not.

Re:not quite (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#41911709)

Of course, the problem is that pretty much every major company has to get involved in patent lawsuits.

Microsoft has been in and out of litigation for decades. Motorolla is in there playing.

I'm pretty sure if you started a new company to make a product, you wouldn't get anywhere in a lot of cases, because you'd be sued as soon as you started making any money.

It's hard not to see this as general stupidity of the whole system -- and I no longer care if they're supposed to be the good guys or the bad guys. They all do it, and it mostly just serves to divert a lot of time and money to lawyers on either side.

I'm quite certain I've seen stuff that's now patented that we discussed when I was in university, and other things we all were thinking "wouldn't it be cool if".

The entire patent system seems like a horrible joke these days, and unless you've got vast amounts of money to play this losing game.

This discussion over if Apple deserves this or not is irrelevant (mostly because it's about how people feel about the company) -- instead we should be focusing on why the patent system is granting patents for ideas, or for things which other people have already done for years.

Re:not quite (0)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 years ago | (#41911789)

Of course, the problem is that pretty much every major company has to get involved in patent lawsuits.

No, they don't. It's a perception, which has been proven wrong by courts almost continually, if people read what courts actually say.

Whether it's potentially lucrative in the short term only? Yes. Have courts basically disallowed it in general? Also yes.

I'm staying out of development when it comes to technology because I know any ideas I have will make me be sued off my ass before I can even start a business.

Re:not quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41913605)

Agree: innovation fail. America Invents indeed.

Re:not quite (2)

elashish14 (1302231) | about 2 years ago | (#41913929)

Name one lawsuit that has been initiated by Google?

Re:not quite (0)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 2 years ago | (#41911761)

I believe the word you are looking for is extortion. VirnetX is trying to extort money from Apple, Cisco Systems, Astra Technologies, and NEC Corporation....they are in no way trying to stop Apple from making products, nor is Apple.

This company would still be suing Apple, if Apple decided not to sue Samsung.

Moron.

Re:not quite (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41912093)

they are in no way trying to stop Apple from making products

If the sum of the royalties due to all the different patent holders exceeds the difference between wholesale and cost of goods sold, then yes, they are trying to stop Apple from making products.

Re:not quite (1)

Applekid (993327) | about 2 years ago | (#41912181)

Apple isn't competing on price, and arguably never have. If the costs were raised $XX per unit to cover some license, they'd pass it along, and I don't think I'm being unrealistic in that most people in the market for an Apple device would not change their mind. While, yes, customers do like a deal and would grumble about paying more, but if Apple customers were shopping on price, they would have turned towards more commodity-priced hardware alternatives.

Royalty as a percentage of wholesale (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41912309)

If the costs were raised $XX per unit to cover some license, they'd pass it along

Unless the royalties are a percentage of a product's wholesale price. If enough patent holders come out of the proverbial woodwork to bid up the royalty total to 90 percent of wholesale, it'll be kind of hard to pass along a tenfold price increase.

Re:So f*cked up (-1, Flamebait)

wfolta (603698) | about 2 years ago | (#41911961)

Patent trolls don't make anything. They simply hold patents and sue others to make 100% of their profits. This keeps their overhead down, and ensures that they can't be counter-sued by their victims who might want to use their own patents to strike some kind of cross-licensing deal.

Apple isn't a patent troll.

Say what you will about Apple, but without them we'd still be the slaves of the cell carriers, who kept cellphones painful for decades. Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, et al, deserve a pox on their houses for going along with the carriers all that time. Finally, Apple stood up to the carriers and now people expect to get phones that work conveniently and do a lot. Google, by way of contrast, doesn't make products for consumers but rather makes Android for manufacturers and CARRIERS. And Google doesn't fight real patent trolls because Google doesn't make products: they make all of their money by spying on you, so there's nothing for patent trolls to gain injunctions against.

We haven't even gotten into the other kind of patent abuser (Samsung, Motorola -- now Google) who get their patents inserted into international standards which everyone is required to use. They promise to charge reasonable (small) fees and not use the patents against other companies, but those are the patents that are being thrown at Apple in an attempt to force Apple to cross-license its patents that no one is forced to use. Yeah, that's bullying.

Re:So f*cked up (2)

Lithdren (605362) | about 2 years ago | (#41912511)

Apple is hardly clean of any of this as well with the way they've been throwing their weight around as well.

If anything, everyone involved needs to be dragged into the street and told to knock it off before kneecaps start getting busted. Sadly there's too much money to be made, by all involved, for that to happen.

But dont pretend Apple is innocent in any of it, just makes you out to be a shill instead of having some kind of actual point.

Re:So f*cked up (2)

greenbird (859670) | about 2 years ago | (#41914359)

Say what you will about Apple, but without them we'd still be the slaves of the cell carriers

You must live in an alternate universe or something. You can get Apple phones from where? Huh, only place I can find is from the same carriers you seem to be claiming Apple freed someone from. They had the Apple fans enslaved exclusively to AT&T for quite a while. The only thing Apple is doing is adding another layer of enslavement to Apple.

Lets see. I can get unlocked Google, Samsung and Motorola phones from all over. I can get phone service for many of their phones from Ting where they even have a forum devoted to helping people root their phones.

Re:So f*cked up (2, Insightful)

interval1066 (668936) | about 2 years ago | (#41911983)

That Apple completely ignored absolutely legitimate tech patents but "invented" a rectangle with rounded corners makes you sad for Apple? I think I'm sick to my stomach...

Re:So f*cked up (4, Informative)

tricorn (199664) | about 2 years ago | (#41912189)

That's a design patent, which really has little to do with "real" patents. It's closer to a trademark than a normal patent.

Re:So f*cked up (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | about 2 years ago | (#41914169)

So true. The fact that they ignore the patents of others while completely ignoring those of others should honestly have a negative impact on their case when they attack other companies. Sad that it hasn't....

Re:So f*cked up (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#41914399)

It is THIS, this right here, that just blows my damned mind, this "ballclub mentality" when it comes to large multinational corps. name the company, Apple, Google, MSFT, and I can provide link after link of SERIOUSLY douchebag behavior from these companies, yet there is a large section of the populace that if it is "their" company will go "la la la, can't hear you!" and root for them like its the fucking Cubs, I just don't GET that.

Is it some sort of fucked up variant of buyer's remorse, where they have to root for "their" product because God forbid they made a wrong choice? hell if i know but I think it deserves further study, because how somebody can root for some faceless megacorp they don't even have stock riding on is just beyond me.

Re:So f*cked up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912395)

As much as I dislike Apple - for being patent trolls and bullies - it makes me sick to my stomach this happened to them. I mean I enjoy the suffering and all, it's just a really bad thing for the tech world in general. The patent trolling, not Apple suffering.

And yet none of these multinational tech corporations lobbies for patent reform. It should make you think.
I have no sympathy for any of them, they get what they deserve. Pay 300 milion $, 1 bilion $, 10 bilion $ it doesn't matter.
If they pay it means it's worth the cost. And therefore patent reform stays dormant.

Re:So f*cked up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41914529)

On the other hand, If I wanted this to happen to any company, it would be Apple. Nobody deserves this more than them. Fuck'em.

Re:So f*cked up (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41911379)

I don't think the patent office should be dismantled. But there needs to be some reform.

All we see here on Slashdot and the rest of the media are large corporations and law firms abusing the system. We don't see any stories about the lone inventor working in his garage, patenting his invention, starting a company, and creating lots of jobs while getting rich. Dean Kamen comes to mind as an example of the patent system and the American Inventor dream working - as far as I can tell.

So, please let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Re:So f*cked up (1, Insightful)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | about 2 years ago | (#41911465)

Nobody at the patent office appears to have any expertise with a functional system for promoting invention and avoiding all the piles of crap that are stifling innovation, clogging the justice system, etc. so I think it's perfectly reasonable that the patent office been dismantled.

All patents older than 20 years should be eliminated along with the office, and a new agency put in place with sane rules to review the rest (invalidating many of them) and new ones going forward.

Re:So f*cked up (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41911569)

Don't patents already expire after ~18 years now, or was it extended?

Re:So f*cked up (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | about 2 years ago | (#41911607)

My bad on that, I was thinking of copyright.

Your plan for reform. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41911637)

All patents older than 20 years should be eliminated along with the office, and a new agency put in place with sane rules to review the rest (invalidating many of them) and new ones going forward.

Currently patents have a life of 20 years for those who are reading this and don't know.

As far as the parent: I agree. BUT how to select folks who will follow the "plan"? And guidelines?

Fire all the patent examiners and fill the place with whom? Us Slashdot guys? *oy!* Pharma?! *double oy*

Who then?!

Definitely NOT me! I am the most unqualified person to review these things.

Re:Your plan for reform. (0)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about 2 years ago | (#41911729)

Require the patent holder to swear an oath that there is no prior art and that the patent is valid when registering the patent. Then if it is invalidated, imprison him.
That should cut down on the number of applications.

Re:So f*cked up (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41912073)

All patents older than 20 years should be eliminated

Since patents only last 20 years, all patents older than 20 years have already been eliminated.

Re:So f*cked up (1)

greg1104 (461138) | about 2 years ago | (#41915165)

"A functional system for promoting invention and avoiding all the piles of crap that stifle innovation". Add a block diagram and it sounds like you've got yourself a patent right there.

I've always wanted to file a business process patent for patent trolling, and then sue all the patent troll companies for violating it.

Re:So f*cked up (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about 2 years ago | (#41911869)

....except when it rules in favour of Apple, then you should send them gift baskets and puppies. I am sure you wanted to say.

Apple and their patent wars (3, Insightful)

mrbluze (1034940) | about 2 years ago | (#41911345)

is like throwing stones in a glass house. It's too early to say whether Apple is heading for a wall, as many predict, but relying on patents to protect their markets instead of functionality, interoperability and build quality (which have been Apple's strengths recently) is a flawed approach.

Re:Apple and their patent wars (4, Insightful)

pecosdave (536896) | about 2 years ago | (#41911389)

I took this picture while I was in Manhattan this summer [google.com] . I took the picture due to that saying, there was a part of me laughing hysterically at the glass houses thing.

Re:Apple and their patent wars (1)

StuartHankins (1020819) | about 2 years ago | (#41911409)

It would be nice if enough stones get thrown that everyone's glass houses are broken. Apple has the cash to survive it, and we need real reform with patents to move forward. Let Apple be one of those who start this process of breaking down the current system.

Re:Apple and their patent wars (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 2 years ago | (#41911781)

Yeah because Apple decided to stop making iPhones, iPads, and Macs and live off their patents....oh wait....

Re:Apple and their patent wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41911797)

Yeah because Apple decided to stop making iPhones, iPads, and Macs and live off their patents....oh wait....

Replace "making" with "innovating", and you've got a true statement...

Re:Apple and their patent wars (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#41913231)

Apple has another motivation to protect their patents. All their competitors have valuable technology related patents, many of them essential for implementing mobile phone standards. Apple only has a bunch of design patents that it doesn't really want to license anyway and may be invalid, so are basically worthless to anyone else. That leaves them vulnerable to paying huge amounts of cash for the use of standards essential patents.

Re:Apple and their patent wars (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#41913845)

It's too early to say whether Apple is heading for a wall, as many predict...

I don't think it is too early at all. Just scan the comments to media articles on Apple's recent product introductions. They are just full of comments of the form "I am an Apple fan, I have apple products X, Y and Z, I love them but I am not going buy this Apple product because I disagree with their patent suits, their profiteering on the backs of oppressed workers, and thumbing their noses at EPEAT." Oh, and "this thing costs too much". And "but I just bought the iPad 3, I'm so upset". Easy to verify, you don't need to believe me.

Schadenfreude? No so fast... (5, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 2 years ago | (#41911351)

Yes, it's good to see a patent pest get what's coming to 'em, but consider... the plaintiff was nothing more than a patent troll.

Personally, *ALL* software patents should die.

Good luck getting anyone in power to agree to that, though. :(

Re:Schadenfreude? No so fast... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41911421)

If only Nortel and RIM had leased all their patents to these trolling companies. Maybe they wouldn't be so small today.

Re:Schadenfreude? No so fast... (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41911925)

Good luck getting anyone in power to agree to that, though.

How about this strategy:
1. Get major tech companies losing big bucks to patent cases.
2. Major tech companies bribe^H lobby congress to change the law so they won't lose big bucks again.

The effect of the trolls has been that there are now organizations with lots to lose, previously kept in check by Mutually Assured Destruction, that now have to actually deal with the patent concept that had previously been used only to smack down start-ups that refused to play nice with them.

Re: Robin Hood ? (1)

epSos-de (2741969) | about 2 years ago | (#41913615)

The Patent Troll is the Robin Hood in this case. Apple is not a friendly business. Microsoft is far from being it too. I wish the EFF would make up trivial stuff and patent it for suing evil corporations later on. So that they could give the monis back to the developers.

Re:Schadenfreude? No so fast... (0)

Chewbacon (797801) | about 2 years ago | (#41913689)

I think all of these cases should be thrown out unless you are actively manufacturing, selling, or perhaps supporting the said patent. Other than that, you are blatantly stifling innovation. And as to Apple's defense: we didn't know? Seriously?? I hope more companies use that one on them.

Re:Schadenfreude? No so fast... (1)

blind biker (1066130) | about 2 years ago | (#41914023)

Yes, it's good to see a patent pest get what's coming to 'em, but consider... the plaintiff was nothing more than a patent troll.

Sorry man, but I just don't have it in me not to be happy about this turn of events.

This is, indeed, poetic justice. We should hope for more it.

Trolls war. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41911397)

Sounds like a trolls war, why should I worry..

Re:Trolls war. (3, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 2 years ago | (#41911487)

First they came for Facetime, but I said nothing because I don't use Facetime...

Re:Trolls war. (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#41913905)

After we get done with laughing at Apple we will help them fight the patent trolls. After all, we don't need help from patent trolls to defeat thug Apple, Android is doing it nicely.

Re:Trolls war. (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 2 years ago | (#41911625)

Sounds like a trolls war, why should I worry..

Because a growing portion of your goods' retail prices are going to pay for this madness.
. ...or did you think that the corporations would simply eat the cost w/o passing it on?

Re:Trolls war. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912493)

I hope at some point even Apple will stop trolling. Cases like this just make it more obvious. Something has to be done with the patents system, and the sooner the better. As a developer I'm interested in that. But currently we have only growing trolling industry with Apple being the biggest troll ever (Jobs idea?). Anyway, don't think they will learn anything.

PS: I don't care about Apple products price, have none.

Re:Trolls war. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912807)

Apple does stuff with their patents, ergo not a patent troll.

Come on Obama! Patent reform! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41911451)

Do some real business reforms and make everyone happy.

Re:Come on Obama! Patent reform! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41911467)

That would require pissing off the people who paid for his reelection campaign, though he can't be reelected again so he might as well do something useful now.

Hell, Bush didn't give a fuck during his second term and it showed. I'm just hoping Obama actually cares a little bit and doesn't send us further down the shitter.

Re:Come on Obama! Patent reform! (2, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 2 years ago | (#41911685)

Do some real business reforms and make everyone happy.

Fat chance of that happening.

At risk of sounding trollish, and no matter what your personal ideology on the matters, Obama got re-elected by pushing for as many niche issues as he possibly could - gay marriage, abortion, unions, you-name-it.

He's got enough to do towards keeping those constituencies happy (even though he's lame-duck, his party isn't), and isn't going to have much time towards doing anything beyond that and the day-to-day stuff.

Re:Come on Obama! Patent reform! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41911947)

How can you call President Obama a lame duck president? He won re-election. He's about to start a new term of another 4 years. If he had lost and Mitt was going to be the president next term then Obama would be considered a lame duck president.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lame_duck_%28politics%29
http://www.davemanuel.com/investor-dictionary/lame-duck/
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081109005714AAhM2Xu

Re:Come on Obama! Patent reform! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912851)

As soon as you can no longer be reelected, you're a lame duck. Just happens he's now a lame duck for 50 months instead of 2. (You know, that whole 2-term limit we have now after FDR).

Re:Come on Obama! Patent reform! (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#41913101)

Obama got re-elected by pushing for as many niche issues as he possibly could - gay marriage, abortion, unions, you-name-it.

How are any of those niche issues? Anyone who works has an interest in unions. All women and most Christians have an interest in abortion. 5% of the population is gay and again a large number of Christians seem to care about it.

Re:Come on Obama! Patent reform! (1)

sootman (158191) | about 2 years ago | (#41915037)

> All women and most Christians have an interest in abortion.

My favorite old saying: "If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament."

Patents work! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41911477)

I can see all sorts of innovation coming out because of this... /wrists

Per an Ars comment (3, Informative)

arekin (2605525) | about 2 years ago | (#41911507)

"Design patents are extremely narrow - you have to do your level best to copy them exactly in order to be found in infringement. Plus, they specifically cannot cover functionality - that has to be covered by a utility patent, if it's going to be protected. This design patent only protects a "portable display device" (that's the wording in the Patent itself), and only one with those specific design elements that are shown in the Patent Figures."

With this being the case I would imagine that you shouldn't see a lot of battles about this design patent unless someone is deliberately making counterfeit iPads (and by shouldn't I mean "but probably will").

Re:Per an Ars comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41911693)

And queue up round 2 of Apple vs Samsung Galaxy Tab!

Re:Per an Ars comment (3, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 2 years ago | (#41911851)

Did you notice though, that the only part of the drawing that wasn't dotted lines was the shape? The speaker, the button, the I/O ports, even the depth were drawn in dotted lines, meaning those features weren't part of what was being patented. The only thing patented by the new patent was the basic shape of the top surface of the device. Once you consider that screen aspect ratio is going to dictate device ratio, and the fact that no one wants a 90 degree corner jabbing them in the thigh, you're pretty well guaranteed to be infringing if you make a tablet in that size range.

Re:Apple's also has a supply dilemma (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41911767)

Say what you like about market share, but it doesn’t appear there’s any dimming in demand for Apple's [AAPL] brand-new iPhone 5, with manufacturer Foxconn admitting it’s having a tough time meeting global demand for the world’s best smartphone.

Fuck that guy. Here's a much shorter and far less douchey summary. [cultofmac.com]

Re:Apple's also has a supply dilemma (1)

Applekid (993327) | about 2 years ago | (#41912295)

I'm curious, Apple's got enough cash and not paying dividends to buy up Sharp now, and probably on the cheap when they fold, so why wouldn't they let that happen? I'm sure they would like to get their panels at cost and liquidate the rest of Sharp.

Are there any business majors in the house?

Re:Apple's also has a supply dilemma (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#41913963)

You don't need to be a business major to see that a high margin business buying up a low margin business means lower margins. Never mind that Sharp doesn't make the best displays. But I'd love to see Tim Cook do this, to extend his string of blunders.

Re:Apple's also has a supply dilemma (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41914447)

Man, Sharp makes great displays. I had a 32" and it stunk like solvent which was a massive failure, but it was so fantastic I got rid of it and got a 52". What do you have against Sharp?

Re:Apple's also has a supply dilemma (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912407)

Computerworld reports difficulty with Sharp screens...

Well duh. That's why Apple patented rounded corners.

VirnetX is a real company (2)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41911731)

look it up, they have a few patents part of the LTE- Advanced spec where all voice will be data. their part of the patent pool is security for SIP

Re:VirnetX is a real company (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912105)

Yes, it does seem to be a legitimate company with some history in non-consumer industries. The patents also seem to be in the name of the technical director, so its probably not fair to try to tag them as patent trolls. This could turn out to be a real problem for Apple unless they can get the patent(s) invalidated ... which I presume is something that M$ tried or at least considered. Of course the claim that the apple engineers didn't look into patents is just a bs argument to avoid triple damages. As long as they don't get called out on that, good luck to them. It could get interesting.

So I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41911755)

Does VirnetX actually do something useful too as a company?

Legal Depo? (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about 2 years ago | (#41911777)

What is the point of a legal department if patents keep getting violated. I don't care what the formal role of the legal department is but if I'm going to work on a new project for a company they better make sure it's not going to violate a patent first, other wise I don't need them.

so sorry but... (4, Interesting)

CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) | about 2 years ago | (#41911805)

Sorry but I just don't feel any pity for Apple at all...not after the $1Billion law suit they brought against Samsung for patents on trivial things like rounded corners and icon grids. What goes around, comes around.

No matter who won (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 2 years ago | (#41911839)

What matters is that we all lost.

Please stop calling "design patents" "patents". (4, Informative)

John Hasler (414242) | about 2 years ago | (#41911905)

They are really more a kind of trademark registration. They deal only with appearance and never with utility.

Ahah (2)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | about 2 years ago | (#41911915)

In your FACE!!

rounded rectangle (2)

zeroryoko1974 (2634611) | about 2 years ago | (#41911981)

Has there not been a television or lcd monitor before with rounded corners? How could they get a patent for that

Ironic that the patent claim has gfx in Quicktime (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912051)

Didnr realize that QUicktime Format for graphics was acceptible. THis is getting about as ugly as Steve Jobs iYacht.

Open-source Facetime (2)

SeaFox (739806) | about 2 years ago | (#41912283)

Suddenly, it's becoming more clear why Apple did not, as they promised, release the information needed about the protocol to make third-party Facetime clients possible.

They didn't truly own the rights to the methods for the connection.

Re:Open-source Facetime (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912647)

Is there a coherent explanation anywhere of the "invention"? Their marketing fluff talks about secure-dns-vpns or some such nonsense, but none of the Facetime protocol analyses I've read found anything DNS or VPN related.

(Even the "demo" video on their website only had some handwaving b.s. about automatic-secure-dns-vpns and their multi-billion dollar licensing potential.)

Obvious to one skilled in the art (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912415)

This is ridiculous. The fact that the Apple engineers developed FaceTime without looking at any patents should be proof that the patents do not reflect anything patentable. If another engineer independently invents the same technique, it clearly demonstrates that the invention is not non-obvious.

The patent holder should be required to demonstrate how these patents are not obvious to one skilled in the art, with the presumption being that separate invention invalidates the patent.

What? No apology? (1)

abirdman (557790) | about 2 years ago | (#41912419)

380 million is nothing to Apple. At least they weren't forced to apologize [thenextweb.com] again. Mea culpa!

Re:What? No apology? (1)

ImprovOmega (744717) | about 2 years ago | (#41914033)

They aimed too high as it is. $380 million will buy a *lot* of lawyer time for appeals and suchlike. If it was $10-$20 million it might not be worth Apple's time, but $380 million assures *years* of appeals.

FTC to sue Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912435)

In other news, FTC staff have formally advised the government to sue Google for anti-trust violations in its licensing of FRAND-patented technology.

Re:FTC to sue Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912489)

Yeah, no.

A rounded rectangle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41913281)

I suppose there's never been one of those! How brilliant!! How could I have ever lived without the round awesomeness that surrounds every textbox including the one i'm writing in right now??

All of you are retards. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41913455)

You bitch and complain about patent trolls. You treat them like roaches that need to be stomped out. You rant and rave everytime someone mentions patent troll and jump on a bandwagon to mindlessly argue about them.

Even amazon is guilty of it. They started bitching when they got charged during a patent suit. But they didnt complain about it till they had to pay up because they knew there is no such thing as a patent troll but once they got hit then suddenly they say they are bad.

Patent trolls own the patents but they arent making money on it. So say someone puts a patent on something yet they are trying to gather resources to use it, maybe they are trying to sell it to someone else, maybe they just had a great idea but no immediate use for it and stashing it away till they can use it, or something else like that. But if that person sues someone else for stealing their patent then the internet (including you) starts bad mouthing them and calling them patent trolls when you have absolutely NO idea what is really going on.

So shut the fuck up about patent trolls. You dont know what your complaining about and youre blaming someone for suing for something they own the patent to? Are you fucking stupid?

If a person owns the patent and sues someone else for using it then whos fault is that? Oh thats right, its the person who stole the patent and NOT the person doing the suing. But you all love to use buzz words and jump on the train of the current trendy thing to complain about with no thought dont you?

Re:All of you are retards. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41914745)

A lot of the hate against patent trolls around here is conflated with the hate against patents in general and software patents in particular. The idea that your company has to pay for the right to use software you have personally developed from first principles, just because someone else did something vaguely similar (with similarity measured in patent-lawyerese) before, is abhorrent to software developers.

The idea of patents is that patents is supposed to be that legal protection serves as an incentive for inventors to publish their inventions, so that society benefits from the publication of new ideas and the inventor benefits financially from the legal protection. Let me tell you that absolutely no technical person in the software field follows new patents in order to find out new inventions - and why would they, patents are written in legalese by patent lawyers for patent lawyers. In reality new software is developed in order to solve real customer problems and the financial incentive is provided by the market. The patent publication process is worthless except for enriching patent lawyers and providing managers an opportunity to shut down competitors in the courts instead of on the market.

I need QuickTime to view the patent diagrams? (4, Interesting)

Impish (669369) | about 2 years ago | (#41913591)

To view the Apple patent diagrams on the US patent site my browser informs me I need to run Apple Quicktime? Why isn't the patent office using PNG images?
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