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Apple engaging in shady deal with patent troll?

Apple engaging in shady deal with patent troll?
This is either sad…or really sad. According to a recent bit of investigative journalism Apple appears to be transferring some of its patents to a patent holding company, which is then turning around and suing everyone. Everyone except Apple, of course.

The company in question is Digitude Innovations, a company out of Virginia that is filing infringement claims with the ITC left and right. It’s asserting patents against HTC, Motorola, Samsung, LG, Sony, RIM, Nokia, and Amazon. But again, not Apple.

Digitude was formed in 2010, so all of its patents have been obtained from other companies. This last April Digitude announced they had formed a strategic partnership with a leading consumer electronics company, and then the sue-fest began.

The partner was unnamed, but of the four patents that Digitude is asserting two of them belonged to Apple earlier this year. The patents were transferred through Cliff Island LLC, a shell company that only exists on paper, and is run out of the same office as Digitude’s lead investor.

So something appears to be rotten in Cupertino. It’s unclear whether Digitude is an outright hired gun, or if Apple was initially threatened with a lawsuit from Digitude and decided to turn a negative situation into a positive one (for them) by paying them off in patents. Either way, Apple has transferred its intellectual property through a shell company to a patent troll, who is now creating even more chaos for Apple’s competitors. Handling the deal through shell companies has so far allowed Apple to avoid the publicity of launching another round of lawsuits.

Apple and Digitude have so far refused to comment, but perhaps with some public pressure they’ll think different about that.

source: Tech Crunch

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posted on 13 Dec 2011, 11:02 41

1. ZayZay (Posts: 548; Member since: 26 Feb 2011)


Another reason I don't care for Apple's products. Not feeding my money into this monster to crash companies like their trying to do. I guess they don't like competition.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 11:17 6

4. ardent1 (Posts: 1983; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


Apple LOVES competition. There's no greater joy than overtaking RIM or watching MicroSoft self implode with its Zune MP3 line. Or watching the initial Android 7" tablets become DOA or how BN or Amazon is currently running circles around Android OEMs as they discount their tablets by hundreds of dollars off the inflated MSRP. It's fun watching Samsung flop with their Galaxy Player MP3 line (didn't Samsung learn from MS' mistakes...hmmm).

Apple's competitors lose because Apple competes in software and uses their expertise in software along with an integrated hardware to win customers.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 11:22 22

6. jamrockjones (Posts: 345; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


Wow, how can you read that article and cheer about it. The whole article screams unethical!!! Boo to you ardent1, I'd give you 10 more thumbs down if it would let me.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 11:43 2

18. ardent1 (Posts: 1983; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


Because I am not cheering about the article. I am simply pointing out zayzay miss the point on hoe Apple loves to compete by bring out great consumer electronic products.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 11:26 26

8. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


Ardent I've thought this for awhile but that post just confirmed that you are a total moron.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 11:36 2

15. ardent1 (Posts: 1983; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


Sarcasm is typically lost on the android fanboys who have one track mind.

Android fanboys have no problem when HTC tries to buy a company solely sue Apple. Or how Google "gave" HTC access to patents so HTC can further sue Apple. Google, HTC et al engage in patent trolling BUT THAT OKAY in android fanboys mindsets.

All I am doing is call a spade a spade. When faced with facts that highlight the evil-doings of the android camp, the android fanboys engage in their typical flames.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 11:44 13

20. ZayZay (Posts: 548; Member since: 26 Feb 2011)


I don't think this is an android fanboy issue. I think your automatically assuming it is. Sounds like your one track mind (which you are calling everyone out on) to attack android users didn't derail. People are simply saying this is ridiculous for Apple to try and shut down all competition. No where in the first comment you replied to did it say android. I DON"T EVEN OWN AN ANDROID.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 08:49 1

77. ardent1 (Posts: 1983; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


Zayzay, LEARN TO READ, the android fanboy comment was directed at iamcc, jamrockjones et al who ARE CONFIRMED android fanboys.

I am sticking the FACTS when you stated "[Apple] don't like competition." and provided you numerous examples. So zayzay, why didn't you rebutt my argument? Does the cat have your tongue.

The FACT is android fanboys (in reference to iamcc) HATE it when the truth exposed on how Google and HTC engage in patent trolling but that's okay. It simply a double standard.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 10:07 2

87. ZayZay (Posts: 548; Member since: 26 Feb 2011)


The #1 patent issues come from Apple. This is another reason not to like them.

I think your reading to far into this and trying to over prove your right. Which in this case. NO ONE IS RIGHT.

See I can talk in all caps too! Hurray for me.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 12:52 9

42. protozeloz (Posts: 5328; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Hello Taco

again I think you are getting things wrong:

"Android fanboys have no problem when HTC tries to buy a company solely sue Apple. Or how Google "gave" HTC access to patents so HTC can further sue Apple. Google, HTC et al engage in patent trolling BUT THAT OKAY in android fanboys mindsets."

-HTC Android pones could be banned from selling what HTC did was simply try to scale to an even position SO their merchandise does not get banned from sales, of both end up holding dangerous win cases and entering an AGREEMENT witch cant be done when they are on a bad position

-Google Gave HTC patents to increase their chances if becoming even on the field, just showing that they CARE for their partners and ecosystem avoiding them from taking

-Google bought Motorola to beef up its arsenal in patent and PROTECT their system

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 09:00 1

80. ardent1 (Posts: 1983; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


protozeloz, thanks for the flame. Thanks again for showing what android fanboy do best -- they flame away as they avoid the debate.

Google and HTC colluded in a patent trolling behavior. Spin it anyway you want -- it is still patent trolling.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 18:47

67. denney (Posts: 98; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)


How many times did HTC sue Apple before Apple sued HTC?

If you were punched in the face at random no one would blame you for fighting back.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 11:32 9

11. ZayZay (Posts: 548; Member since: 26 Feb 2011)


From the looks of this article they don't like competition. They want everyone to shut down and everyone to have an apple product. How is that competition? Putting patents on a rectangle tablet? You have to be kidding me. Apple is a joke with these patents.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 11:40 2

16. ardent1 (Posts: 1983; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


Zayzay - do you even know the difference between a "design" patent and a "utility" patent. My patent is a utility patent.

What stopped other people or companies from filing that design patent in the first place. It's fair game and the johnny came too late are crying sour grapes! Apple paid Nokia for Nokia's technology and that's how the system is supposed to work!!

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 11:47 10

22. ZayZay (Posts: 548; Member since: 26 Feb 2011)


You putting everyone out to be a retard compared to your massive brain. You are the definition of Pedantic.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 11:52 10

23. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3515; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


No Apple was made to pay Nokia, there is a BIG difference. Apple stole Nokia's patents & got caught.

It was never like what you are implying. Apple lost in court & thus it needed to pay Nokia royalties.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 11:36 7

14. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1473; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


its not really competition is everything "flops" according to you and your flawed logic

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 11:41 1

17. ardent1 (Posts: 1983; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


If you compete and 'flop"; the flop is reflective of said competition. It's called a flop because it couldn't compete.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 12:13 10

26. hepresearch (unregistered)


... and if it doesn't flop, Apple will sue it out of existence.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 12:41 6

38. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1473; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


seriously if it loved competition it wouldnt sue or even make patents because its products are so godlike they sell themselves

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 17:31 3

66. ledbetterp3 (Posts: 466; Member since: 31 Aug 2011)


@ardent1 stfu.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 12:12 12

25. hepresearch (unregistered)


Apple loves competition so much that there will be no competition left when Apple is done with the market.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 08:52 1

78. ardent1 (Posts: 1983; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


That is correct, when a company can't compete, it's not competition.

It's not Apple's fault for setting the bar so high with the iPad that the android OEMs brought out 7" tablets with froyo that turned out to be DOA.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 09:03

82. hepresearch (unregistered)


When there is no one left to compete against, then there is no competition... goofball!

"Apple LOVES competition" - no, not really. There really is no competition now, and when anything that does sell comes around they sue the living crap out of it, so how can they love competition? there is no competition left to love... Apple is making sure of that.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 09:10 1

83. ardent1 (Posts: 1983; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


"when anything that does sell comes around they sue the living crap out of it,"

What another fine hyperbole (an extreme exaggeration) if there ever was one. Let's stick to facts.

Did Apple sue Sony over the Sony tablets? No
Did Apple sue HTC over the flyer? No
Did Apple sue Asus over the transformer? No.
I can go on and on.

Let's sticks to facts as opposed to facists views by the android camp.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 10:53 1

88. hepresearch (unregistered)


Facts:

- Apple HAS NOW sued, whether directly or via their proxy troll, every company that designs mobile devices... except for themselves.

- Steve Jobs declared aloud that Apple will go to figurative "thermonuclear" war with Google's Android and ALL OEM's that use it on their devices.

- Apple has not bothered to sue Microsoft over WP7.

You think I'm dealing in hyperbole? This coming from the guy who says that Apple LOVES competition, and yet also says that no one can compete with Apple, and that Apple is suing all these OEM's because... they all make crappy phones?

I can hear it now... "Apple is doing the world a huge favor by suing the crap out of... the crap!"

Fascist? In the Android camp? I resemble neither one of those remarks. I will soon happily be the subject of a fascist company when I upgrade to the iPhone 3GS... the iPhone works best for my current needs (which are few, and involve nothing like the modding and mobile coding I used to do) and is almost free on-contract ($0.99 is so close it is hardly debatable). Yes, I know I will be selling my soul, but I don't really care at this point... I have already been reduced to serfdom by life's circumstances, and I am now sufficiently humbled to live life in the role which has been hopelessly imposed upon me.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 13:15 3

48. RazaAsad (Posts: 100; Member since: 24 Nov 2011)


I do not wonder about your comment. One must have such mentality to be an apple fan.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 08:53 1

79. ardent1 (Posts: 1983; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


Razasad, thanks for the flame. The question remains, can you add something intelligent to the discussion?

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 12:44 16

40. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)


yes, they are not able to compete so they sue like a little baby

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 16:03 2

63. E.N. (Posts: 2218; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)


Didn't Google and Motorola do something similar? Just asking.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 16:29 7

64. Whateverman (Posts: 3162; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Yes! Google bought Motorola and it's patents...gave 3 to HTC, to DEFEND themselves and the Android platform from Apple's BS lawsuit. The difference is Apple is using this as an offensive strategy to bring down what appears to be every other platform that it competes with.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 09:02 1

81. ardent1 (Posts: 1983; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


"Yes! Google bought Motorola and it's patents...gave 3 to HTC"

It's still considered patent trolling. However, it's understood by the android camp that is acceptable patent trolling behavior under the guise of "defense". People aren't being fooled execpt the typical android camp.

posted on 16 Dec 2011, 01:49

90. hepresearch (unregistered)


Ah... but there IS a big difference! There is a difference between a company getting three patents from a bigger company so that they can protect themselves, and a company getting three patents from a bigger company so that they can attack their opponent and rip them up...

HTC is like a master Jedi with a light-sabre that has been handed to them by Google and Motorola... Apple is like the young padowan-learner who has just received their first light-sabre from the patent office, and they decide they want to use it to cut up everybody else just for fun. Hopefully, Apple's light-sabre is short and tiny, and they will go around slashing at everybody just to have HTC wisely wave the big MOTO light-sabre to knock the little thing out of the dumb kid's hand.

It is all about intent. If you get a patent, and you are all about the idea of going and slashing up everyone around you, then you are doing no one any favors. If you get a patent, and you are just out there to deflect the slasher from hurting you or other friendlies out there, then that seems fairly reasonable to me.

Apple has decided to go and slash everyone up. I hope that Apple's light-sabre is not as big as anyone else's, or else everyone is in big trouble...

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 08:29 1

71. ardent1 (Posts: 1983; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


What is good for Google is good for Apple. Google lost in its bid to acquire Nortel's patents and cried like a little baby. So what does Google do, it engages in patent trolling with HTC.

Yes, the android camp HATE when these facts are disclosed.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 14:34 5

56. cheetah2k (Posts: 739; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)


Looks like Apple are "trying" to resurrect some company image.

I guess they think that by transferring the patent trolling to another company will eliminate Apples name from the headlines and restore faith in the Apple brand..

Do they really think we're that stupid?

The "patent troll" image must really be damaging them for Apple to consider such a move

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 14:38 2

58. iKingTrust (banned) (Posts: 716; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)


Im sure it really is not.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 17:16 1

65. andro. (Posts: 1927; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


The worst part is ifans are either so under apples mind control or so oblivious to reason that they little drool the cash over to apple with out realizing it

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 11:11 19

2. Whateverman (Posts: 3162; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Making it even harder to respect Apple! They can't compete with Android, it obvious to everyone and there is simply no defending this kind of action. (I'm sure the loyal iOS fans will do it anyway). I have been a fan of Apple computers for years but this makes me want to look at other options for my next computer. I can't support this kind of behavior.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 11:32 18

10. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3515; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


This is so Apple's nature. They are the most bogus & desperate company ever. Android is dominating & instead of making better products Apple is lazy & takes the easy way out. Apple's solution sue everyone and their mothers.

Apple's iPhone was originally made through stolen patents from many companies most notably Nokia. That is why Apple pays Nokia royalties from every iPhone sold. Now if you take that into consideration, why is Apple aloud to have any patents is all? The patents Apple has now are a direct result of the patents they stole to make the iPhone in the first place. So why or how is Apple awarded those patents?

To me the system is warped & f’ed up. If Apple dishes money then companies like Digitude Innovations have no problem doing all the dirty work. Apple can manipulate or control any company with its cash flow. To me I have lost respect for Apple since 2009 & this is further proof that Apple doesn't care about anything but itself. Apple will sue everyone because they just can't compete in this cut throat market.

The iPhone 4S is a weak & sad product that can't compete with the likes of Android (Samsung Galaxy Nexus) & even the soon to be released Windows Phone 8 devices. Like Whateverman said, I can't support this kind of behavior from Apple. Apple is a scared company that has been reduced to suing instead of innovating.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 12:17 2

27. Hallucinator (Posts: 338; Member since: 24 May 2010)


So the fact that Google also did it is ok?

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 12:27 5

33. robinrisk (unregistered)


Google did what?

Google used code that was open source, that belonged to a company that got acquired and stopped being open source.

They had the technology implemented before it got closed.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 12:27 6

34. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3515; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Google did what? Can you please elaborate?

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 12:50 2

41. Hallucinator (Posts: 338; Member since: 24 May 2010)


Sure, they hand off patents to help in lawsuits against Apple. Most recently immediately following the acquisition of Motorola they gave patents to HTC to help fight Apple.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 13:12 9

46. Whateverman (Posts: 3162; Member since: 17 May 2009)


To DEFEND against and add LEVERAGE against Apple's lawsuits against every Android OEM it feels threatened by.

Try again.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 13:19

49. Hallucinator (Posts: 338; Member since: 24 May 2010)


I don't need to. This was a lawsuit between Apple and HTC. Not every Android OEM. Again, I feel Apple is definitely in the wrong here, but Google's nose is not so clean.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 14:36 5

57. gotphone (Posts: 10; Member since: 30 Jun 2011)


obviously hallucinating

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 13:51 8

54. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3515; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Well just so you know Google is helping Android not HTC. HTC happens to make Android phones. Since HTC is a huge threat to Apple with its Android phone sales, Apple needs to sue them to slow them down. What Google did is defend Android against Apple's BS tactics.

Google was forced to do that because Apple is flooding the mobile industry with lawsuits.

How you think it's the same thing that Apple is doing is beyond me. It seems to me that your grasp on the subject is mediocre at best.

Again like Whateverman said "Try again".

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 08:31 1

72. ardent1 (Posts: 1983; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


It's a double standard. It's okay for Google and the android camp turns a blind eye. When Apple is SUSPECTED of the same Google play, they becomes a lynch mob.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 11:36 8

12. Dmann (Posts: 165; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Feel the same here. I used to be a defender of a good product, regardless of brand. But Apple is making it harder to recommend Macbooks or iPads to other people.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 11:15 7

3. MalakiMills (Posts: 255; Member since: 15 Jun 2010)


A little surprised by this, we already knew that they were a low company for the lawsuits they already placed. And then to take it to this level is a little to much for me. But then again I never bought apple products in the first place.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 08:35

73. ardent1 (Posts: 1983; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


You are quick to judge before the facts are disclosed. In contrast, Google and HTC engaged in blatant patent trolling in the open.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 11:20 9

5. jamrockjones (Posts: 345; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


This is exactly why I don't like Apple. I like their products, I think they are well made, but I can't stand the way they do business. I don't own a single Apple product and I download my music from every other source before I use iTunes, and this is why. I don't want them to have my business because I hate the way that they run the company.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 11:24 8

7. LewsTherin006 (Posts: 140; Member since: 18 Nov 2011)


If this is true it seems that Apple is getting a bit desperate to keep its top spot. At least we know they are feeling the heat.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 11:31 7

9. Joker (Posts: 24; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


Rotten Apple's new motto: What's a better way to screw your competition? Sue them!

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 11:36 2

13. Hallucinator (Posts: 338; Member since: 24 May 2010)


I completely disagree with Apple's tactics here, however let's not act like Google has not done this as well. They have fed patents to other companies to go against Apple. It's wrong no matter who does it.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 11:44 8

19. Dmann (Posts: 165; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Yes, We can´t forget that many, if not all companys have some rottens.

Samsung had that CEO´s tax evasion problem.

We must be careful not to be hypocrites, after all, what all companys care about is money.

The main question would be, is Apple worse than the others?

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 11:47 4

21. Hallucinator (Posts: 338; Member since: 24 May 2010)


Well, I suspect that the majority of people that post here don't really fully understand business or know all to much other than what they read on the tech sites. So it probably will just be a matter of opinion. Android enthusiast will say yes and Apple enthusiast will say no.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 12:21 3

29. tacohunter (Posts: 408; Member since: 06 Nov 2011)


Agree

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 12:29 5

35. robinrisk (unregistered)


Actually, when you are defending yourself things are better justified.

Google transfereed those patents so other companies could either defend themselves in court or sue and get leverage on previous patents.

Stupid patents have not been used before apple to sue and get money, much less ban the competetition.

posted on 13 Dec 2011, 12:32 3

36. Hallucinator (Posts: 338; Member since: 24 May 2010)


Spoken like a true Blind Android fanatic. It's always justified by you guys when it's Google doing the dirty. It makes you look hypocritical and ignorant.

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