Apple and Google spent more on patents than on R&D for the first time in 2011

Apple and Google spent more on patents than on R&D for the first time in 2011
The patent system has gone out of hand. Even Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook admitted: “There’s some of this that is maddening. It’s a waste; it’s a time suck.”

And when what’s seen as the biggest patent bully admits that the system is wrong, this means it’s fundamentally flawed. Here are the facts:

- $20 billion were spent on patent litigation and purchase over the last two years, a sum that would have allowed us to sent 8 missions to Mars,
- last year, Apple and Google’s expenditures for patent lawsuits for the first time in history exceeded their R&D spending,
- not least Google spent $12.5 billion on Motorola mostly because of its patents.

The problem stems from the fact that the system was designed with the mechanical world in mind, and in the world of software, it turns out you can patents all sorts of generic concepts, blocking the way to business to smaller companies.

“There’s a real chaos. The standards for granting patents are too loose,” federal appellate judge Richard A. Posner, one of the people to form patent law, said.

We’ve seen it in the case of Apple, where Steve Jobs said the company would patent the whole iPhone, after earlier it struck the brick patent wall with its iPod, sued for $100 million by Creative Technologies. And paraphrasing Jobs, boy, have they patented it, with patents starting from elements like rounded square icons.

It’s clear that right now with the digital industry taking over, this is starting to grow bigger, and more significant. The New York Times has come up with an in-depth story around Apple and Siri, and also Vlingo and its unfortunate attempt to fight against patents with its better technology.

“We had the better product, but it didn’t matter, because this system is so completely broken,” Vlingo head narrates the story of the voice recognition app.

Check it out at the source below for the details, but in the meantime, do let us know - do you think we need patents, and should they change? How? It’s all you in the comments below.

source: NY Times

Apple and Google spent more on patents than on R&D for the first time in 2011



1. MeoCao unregistered

Thank you very much Rotten Apple.

3. PhenomFaz

Posts: 1236; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

Man its just a sign that innovation at Apple is dead!

19. Danre

Posts: 85; Member since: Sep 02, 2012

Well, This is Apple new invention sue others. In this I think Sony is best. No case at all.

27. ph00ny

Posts: 2002; Member since: May 26, 2011

If sony's handsets were selling like hotcakes, i don't think apple will leave them alone

6. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

... +1

9. eisenbricher

Posts: 973; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

Dear US govt, confiscate Apple's cash (it's stolen money anyways) and send 100 missions to Mars!!

23. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Apple and their Scorched Earth litigation...

2. hung2900

Posts: 966; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

4. PhenomFaz

Posts: 1236; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

and that's the reason they're the leader in smartphone sales this year. Take a cue Rotten Apple!

12. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

That's why GS3 and Note 2 are lighting years ahead of the selfish rotten apple.

21. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

They also opened a plant and some more offices in the US.

5. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

It's a shame companies are spending more money on patents than they are R&D. I mean, when the biggest patent troll of all says "It’s a waste; it’s a time suck.” It's time to stop. It's affecting the consumers, this needs to end.

7. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

dont blame "companies", blame just rotten Apple...

34. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

I have to agree here. The eco-system was perfectly fine because apple decided to go "thermonuclear" on android. Apparently Tim Cook doesn't understand the definition of irony. If he really felt this way, then he should stop all the stupid lawsuits....Just a thought.

24. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

In a depends on what you bought patents for. You can buy patents for innovation or just to use em, or you can buy them to help against lawsuits. You can buy them just to sue others. For defending lawsuits, we can lay some of the blame on Apple. I wonder where does Oracle fit in all this.

31. whysoserious

Posts: 318; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

All these are courtesy of the great Steve Jobs who started the "thermonuclear war" bullsh*t. He knew that the system for patent is broken and grabbed the chance to abuse it. And now the creator of this chaos is gone, they need to cease firing and make like a peace treaty.

8. Naitto

Posts: 50; Member since: Sep 15, 2012

Well maybe the courts should throw all these patents out the window, and that would leave the door open for new competition to startup.

17. No_Nonsense unregistered

Depends on what the patents are. Not all patents need to be thrown out.

25. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

This I agree with. Throw out the overly generic, broad ones.

10. abaza121

Posts: 17; Member since: Oct 02, 2011

Apple you made the world a worse place

28. mrochester unregistered

Personally I'm rather glad Apple kick started the smartphone and tablet revolution. I wouldn't like to think where we'd be if Apple hadn't entered either market.

11. Awaragardiyan unregistered

''innovation at apple is dead" , as if it existed

32. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

True. They just take what other companies have done and put it together, much like a Chinese KIRF or an electronics Erector set. Nothing new, just using the preexisting things and putting a different label on them

13. PowTheBowl

Posts: 86; Member since: Apr 19, 2012

Oh wow, Apple might patent patenting soon so Apple can sue other companies who patent.

14. eisenbricher

Posts: 973; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

lmao this all Apple conspiracy has changed me to Apple hater! Before this I was neutral. Also I never liked Sammy because of their designs but I'm starting to like the company due to its positive attitude. Also starting to like android :D Go Sammy and Google!!

15. Naitto

Posts: 50; Member since: Sep 15, 2012

Half of these patents are just stupid anyway, there is probably a dozen or more useless little common thing that have been done in other products before throughout history one way or another. Round corners, you should see my Toaster, Are they being sued?

18. No_Nonsense unregistered

Toasters aren't threatening Apple's iPhone or are they?

22. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Was it made by Braun?

16. timtimity

Posts: 196; Member since: Aug 13, 2012

Patent rules should be a lot stricter. Patenting round corners is pathetic. Now we've got a culture where companies are patenting absolutely everything they think of just in case someone else patents it in the future and sues them. It's more about protection rather than wanting to keep their ideas to themselves. Patents regarding the physical features of a phone should just be allowed so a company cannot copy the overall look of the phone but individual features such as round corners, the shape and placement of physical buttons, etc should be patent free and accessible to all. Think of what phones we could see if companies are not restricted by ridiculous patents and could spend more money on r&d rather than having to spend money on patents to protect themselves in the future.

20. eisenbricher

Posts: 973; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

Totally agree with you.. ultimately all of this just slows down the innovation and burdens the user wih additional consts incurred.

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