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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90 Comments

1. ZayZay

Posts: 571; Member since: Feb 26, 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.

4. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 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.

6. jamrockjones

Posts: 345; Member since: Oct 26, 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.

18. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 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.

8. iamcc

Posts: 1319; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

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

15. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 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.

20. ZayZay

Posts: 571; Member since: Feb 26, 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.

77. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 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.

87. ZayZay

Posts: 571; Member since: Feb 26, 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.

42. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 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

80. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 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.

67. denney

Posts: 98; Member since: Oct 20, 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.

11. ZayZay

Posts: 571; Member since: Feb 26, 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.

16. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 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!!

22. ZayZay

Posts: 571; Member since: Feb 26, 2011

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

23. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 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.

14. EclipseGSX

Posts: 1777; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

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

17. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

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

26. hepresearch unregistered

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

38. EclipseGSX

Posts: 1777; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

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

66. ledbetterp3

Posts: 467; Member since: Aug 31, 2011

@ardent1 stfu.

25. hepresearch unregistered

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

78. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 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.

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.

83. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 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.

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.

48. RazaAsad

Posts: 100; Member since: Nov 24, 2011

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

79. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

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

40. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

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

63. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

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

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