Why the Patent Cold War needs to end
0. phoneArena 03 Aug 2011, 22:57 posted on
Lawsuits are flying around everywhere in the mobile space. Patent law has become big business, and nothing is being hurt more by that than the mobile space which is the fastest growing tech sector. Unfortunately, it could probably be moving faster if it weren't for litigation...
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1. ArmageddonX (Posts: 96; Member since: 11 May 2011)
Everyone has gone crazy with these patent lawsuits and this article says perfectly what any reasonable person should be thinking about this situation.
2. messiah (Posts: 438; Member since: 19 Feb 2010)
Hands down one of the best and articulate articles written for phone arena with zero bias. Great read.
3. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
Um, take David's editorial with a grain of salt/rice/whatever. He is basically whining because Google didn't bulk up on patents like Apple and MS did (along with many of the legacy technology companies). Now Google is paying the price (literally) for their opinion that patents don't matter.
If Google had developed the patents that MS, Apple and Oracle/Sun have, they would be suing the f*ck out of everyone else.
5. bossmt_2 (Posts: 448; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)
My issue isn't with patents per se, it's the vague patents like Apple's "using touch gestures "that should go away.
Personally I wonder how often patents get in the way of innovation cause someone holds a vague patent.
26. ChiquiKon (Posts: 58; Member since: 26 Jul 2011)
"Personally I wonder how often patents get in the way of innovation cause someone holds a vague patent." ........So do I my friend....so do I.
6. NeXoS (Posts: 287; Member since: 03 May 2011)
What kind of idiots are working at the USPTO? How the hell did they even grant a request for a patent like that?
7. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
Once again Michael strikes. He's right; the patent system is completely broken. The free market is on the verge of not existing in the technological world due to these ridiculous patents.
38. Uzzelien (Posts: 131; Member since: 22 Feb 2011)
The problem is Drummond has no right to bitch about them buying these. They were offered to join in on it and get "user rights" to them also. Google said no to it and that they wanted to use them to protect Google and companies such as HTC from lawsuits. IMO they can't bitch about them buying the patents.
8. Yeeee (Posts: 190; Member since: 02 Aug 2011)
I like the iphone but i hate apple cause of s**t like this. Also they should change their os a little like having the bottom 4 icons changed to 8 or 12. Some people have more than 4 really important apps.
9. PhoneLuver (Posts: 481; Member since: 05 Jul 2010)
Never knew Nokia sued almost every other OEM..
30. JS15278 (Posts: 13; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)
they sue them because they are the innovators
10. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)
Great non biased after along time...it needs to be sorted ASAP...touch to dial lol
14. PeterIfromsweden (Posts: 1230; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)
Touch to dial haha, that was funny.
i remember HTC made touchscreen phones with WinMo before the iphone, where you could touch the screen to dial : )
24. ChiquiKon (Posts: 58; Member since: 26 Jul 2011)
" Next thing you know, they will patent pressing a left arrow to move the cursor to the left. " To think that something like this could happen give me goosebumps >_<
11. Stuntman (Posts: 834; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)
The big picture here is how does the consumer benefit from these patent wars. Let's say that Apple, MS, et. al. manage to use these patents to destroy Android. Now Android is out of the picture. Obviously Android users do not benefit as they now have a dead end product. How does iPhone users or Windows Phone users benefit?
If you look at the latest iOS announcement, you will find a number of new features for iOS users that Android users already have for quite a while. If Android weren't around, would Apple really have as much of an incentive to include these features? The existence of Android pushes Apple to improve their products because of competition. Apple users and even the general consumer benefit because of better features in devices.
Why did you think that MS ditched WinMo and create Windows Phone? They realised that WinMo just can't cut it with the iPhone and Android around. Your slick WP device exists because competition pushed MS to create Windows Phone.
As an Android user, I indirectly reap the benefits of all of the innovation from different companies that existed before and while my phone is being made. If Apple somehow got crushed in these patent wars, it will stifle innovation from Google, HTC, etc.
As these patent wars escalate, all companies may end up having to spend more resources on litigation instead of product innovation. Seeing some of the patents that are under dispute, it seems that the lawyers are trying to push the envelope on what they can patent and sue rather than actually protecting something that I would consider to be innovation. Highlighting a phone number so I can tap on it to dial is not what I would consider to be something that should be protected. Next thing you know, they will patent pressing a left arrow to move the cursor to the left.
Unless something is done, I feel that the only winners will be the lawyers.
25. ChiquiKon (Posts: 58; Member since: 26 Jul 2011)
" Next thing you know, they will patent pressing a left arrow to move the cursor to the left. " To think that something like this could happen give me goosebumps >_
12. Roberto Lim (unregistered)
The patent wars have started, and instead of trying to win market share with innovative products, the smartphone wars will be a patent war also. HTC acquired patents from S3 which it probably does not need except to defend itself. Samsung (and Google and Apple) are not looking at InterDigitals patents.
Software protection should really have been limited to copyright which protects the expression of an idea. Software patents protect the idea itself. Patents are held by companies which never actually use them, until someone else uses the "idea". Remember Cygnus Systems Incorporated's lawsuit against Microsoft, Apple, and Google regarding a recently-awarded patent on a “system and method for iconic software environment management.
Tele-Publishing Inc, accused Facebook of violating its patent on "providing a personal page." Japan-based Mekiki Co Ltd sued Facebook for infringing on three of its US patents for a "human relationships registering system."
The problem is no one wants to compete anymore, they all want to be the sole provider. In the end, the consumer loses.
13. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)
Sorry Android uses, but in society, there exists something called intellectual rights. These patents are INTELLECTUAL RIGHTS. Stop trying to justify Google blatantly copying iOS in their faulty, buggy OS. They lost the Nortel patents, so now they're trying to whine to the gov't about it. Boohoo.
15. PeterIfromsweden (Posts: 1230; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)
Even though im not a android user (had android before and will never buy it again) I can not see where andorid has copied apple at all.
But i see that apple has copied Andoird with the pull down notification.
Oh and also apple copied the body of a samsung phone to make the first iphone...
20. the icrap destroyer (unregistered)
once again miz you prove how dumb an isheep can be and when i mean i sheep i dont mean peter cuz he is actually a reasonable person you on the other hand want to do is troll around with ignorant comments...oh by the way i dont care about the "feud" between apple and google, so whatever you say is pointless, because its hard for a waste a space to make a valid point, or a point at all.....are you crying yet?
22. bizwhizzy (Posts: 48; Member since: 04 Aug 2011)
Let's do a Miz impersonation!
The_Miz: Derp derp derp Apple derp derp Apple iderp. Errything else suuux!
16. Mad Iguana (unregistered)
I think it's quite important to distinguish between real patents and vapour patents.
In the diagram above, I think the majority of the lawsuits where Nokia are suing (as with the Oracle / Google issue) are real patents, related to technology that Nokia developed in the 90s (remember that the fundamental phone technology used in most handsets was developed back then, and largely by Nokia who were still market leaders in all mobile technologies); I would expect that the lawsuits by Kodak would be in a similar vein.
The vapour patents though, like the one mentioned above held by Apple, are just a joke. And with respect to these, then you're right that the patent system is a sham. But for the purposes of protecting true innovation (such as the technologies I mentioned earlier), there needs to be some patent protection.
As an aside, the diagram is out of date, surely, since Nokia and Apple have settled their case.
As another aside, the argument that people are "litigating rather than innovating" can be a misnomer, because in many cases, the litigation is being used to protect previous innovations.
17. danalmillan (Posts: 25; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)
I personally think that the "litigating rather than innovating" is very accurate because at the rate these lawsuits are going, some of the smaller companies may be driven out of business or have to revamp their products to a point that innovation is too costly. I am an android user and have also use blackberry, palm (hp), and toyed with iPhones and iPads. My personal opinion is that ALL phones will have to have some similarities to function. What should be being protected by the patents is the codes being used to reach a reaction and not the reaction itself. I also have to admit that I personally think Apple has went too far in the patent lawsuits and may even indirectly be the cause of the current patent war. Every time I turn around I am reading about Apple suing this company or that company over patents...
PLEASE GET THE PATENT SYTEM FIXED BEFORE THE CONSUMERS ARE LIMITED ONCE AGAIN TO FEATURE PHONES BECAUSE THE SMART PHONES ARE ALL BLOCKED BY ANOTHER COMPANIES PATENTS!!!!
27. Mad Iguana (unregistered)
I see your point to an extent, but if an innovative company can't protect its innovations by litigation, then there would be no point in innovating either.
It works both ways.
Again, the distinction is between real patents that protect real invention / innovation, which should be enforced and protected etc., and vapour patents that are only used to take advantage of the system.
19. tech_freak (unregistered)
I dont know why some people are supporting companies to have such ridiculous patent lawsuits...if u have innovated something its ok have it in ur name that u have invented it but why not let others use it and take up the challenge to bring more refinement or modifications to it n make others follow u..
Blocking useful innovations to self will is gonna hurt the customers more than anybody else..
21. grim excitement (unregistered)
There is some cheese in the fridge Sarah
23. gallitoking (Posts: 4718; Member since: 17 May 2011)
i just comment how on the picture.. Google went for the low blow on Steve Jobs...and how Steve dodge the malisious kick.. jokes aside.. the moblie indistry is moving at a speed of light and everyone wants a piece of the pie...one or way or another.... we as consumer will be the ones being hurt as the money will come out of our pockets..
28. rex1213 (Posts: 77; Member since: 29 Jul 2011)
I'm no Apple hater but I must say, Apple is the one exploiting the faulty system the most.
In short, Apple is the worst offender of the faulty system.
I never remembered someone else patenting for gestures or for stupid phone menu icons!
Lol, look! I am the first person to wake up from our house and so I am the first one to brush my teeth. Does that mean no one from our house has the right to brush their teeth after me just because I did it first or just because I thought about the idea of brushing my teeth way ahead than the others? I know it's a bit silly example but it relates to what Apple is doing. They're like, "Hey hey, I did it first. I should sue you for doing or thinking the same thing after me."
Funny world then!
29. So-Sayz-EYE (unregistered)
Patents are a double edged sword. The fact that Apple could patent a gesture or movement like me sitting on a toilet and reading a paper is not a fair use of patents. But now that I know they own that patent maybe I’ll switch it up and read a magazine might create innovation. Don’t get me wrong I still hate the fact that you can patent such an idea, but I can’t deny that in some ways it can lead to innovation. I don’t know the history of it, but Android Connect-The-Dot unlock screen might have been created in opposition to Apples sliding unlock.
I personally think that the US paten office has not caught up to the technology and that where the current problems stem from.
31. Lwazi_N (Posts: 205; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)
Actually, Peter, they copied LG. If you remember the LG Prada- Google it. But you never heard LG complain. That would be like GlaxoSmithKline suing Colgate because they also make toothpaste and that toothpaste is in a tube.
32. twenti7 (Posts: 152; Member since: 09 Jul 2011)
I sometimes wonder why the phone industry can't be more like the auto industry. If you oversimplify everything, most cars sold today are essentially the exact same concept, just with higher/lower grade parts and different packaging, depending on what sort of customer they are meant for.
There are hundreds of different cars available now, and dozens that are marketed at the same type of consumer. For example; Ford, Hyundai, Honda, Kia, and Mazda all sell a compact, 4 door car with an inline 4 cylinder engine and a 6 speed transmission. This is the same in every catagory of car as well, from econoboxes to supercars. But even tho, in concept, all the cars in a given segment are nearly identical, every single one looks, acts, and feels completely different, and because of that people will prefer one over the others.
Some of the patents held right now are as rediculous as if Chevy were to patent the V configuration of an engine, or using 2 overhead cams instead of one, etc.
33. andro (unregistered)
None of this patent war would be here if Apple werent such sore losers and sulking babies when a better more open and more popular os becomes available than theirs. They had complete mind control of the dumb masses with their pr techniques with the iphone for years but most are now awakening from their dark days and seeing the light.
Apple of course cannot accept losing draconian control and if they can't control the awakening public themselves they will try to do it by sueing and removing everything on the market besides their products
34. Leodrade (unregistered)
"the patent claims that Apple owns the idea that you can call a number on a touchscreen device by clicking it"
if anyone who has read this part and still suports apple should get punched in the face
35. Battleraiser (unregistered)
I have to agree with a statement that HTC said that these phone makers should compete in the market, not the courtroom.
36. JG01 (unregistered)
The technological advancements that the US use to hold over the world is gone. The number reason is the these lawsuites over patent infringements. This has very much limited the ability of the US people , thus allowing large companies to control what we do ( I don't know why no one sees this), this is the bigger picture and is the most concerning part. When someone comes up with good idea, the big six looks at it and if they feel challenged, they file a law suite to tie it up in court, for them to figure out how to copy or buy it! This a tactic is used to slow down the competition. The countires I look to for technological advancements is first Asia, then Europe......America last. Too much control and BS here. Remove these lawsuites and Amercia will be number 1 again.
37. Vegas89 (Posts: 51; Member since: 15 Mar 2010)
It's insane how much this reminds me of elementary school arguments of who made or who thought of what first, problem is there's no teacher to step in and put them all in detention