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[News] The Absurdity of Apple's Bullying with Software Patents Explained

  • Subject: [News] The Absurdity of Apple's Bullying with Software Patents Explained
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2010 10:36:29 +0000
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.3.1
Hash: SHA1

There's Nothing New Under the Sun

,----[ Quote ]
| What Schwartz's wonderful anecdotes remind 
| us is that every piece of software borrows 
| from its predecessors, just as every artist 
| learns from the artists that created before 
| him or her. And that's to be expected, 
| because software is a combination of art and 
| science, and both gain much of their power 
| by building on what went before, and then 
| sharing that for others to build on in their 
| turn, for the wider benefit of everyone.
| The insane fad for trying to stop that 
| sharing, and to turn those ideas into some 
| mythical âintellectual propertyâ is now 
| reaching its inevitable conclusion, as 
| patent thickets everywhere mean companies 
| spend more and more time and money defending 
| themselves against patent lawsuits, and less 
| time getting on with their main business. 
| There is only one solution: get rid of 
| patents completely, and let the companies 
| that innovate obtain their rewards from 
| *using* that innovation to become leaders, 
| not from trying to stop others from 
| following belatedly in their footsteps.


Patent Litigation Weekly: Digging Beneath the Surface of Apple v. HTC

,----[ Quote ]
| So while its partner HTC may be the "perfect 
| target" for a patent attack, this is clearly 
| a proxy war with Googleâa company that has 
| made clear that it's determined to push into 
| the cell-phone market. That makes Apple's 
| gambit a truly risky one.


The Patent War of All Against All

,----[ Quote ]
| In the context of free software patents are 
| problematic.  In the ideal world patents on 
| software wouldnât exist and there wouldnât 
| be a problem.  However, they do exist.  
| Moreover, part of the reason they exist is 
| because of a variation of mutually assured 
| destruction â many businesses believe they 
| need to acquire patents in order to defend 
| against other patents.*  Jonathan Schwartz 
| sets out some of the sad, tawdry 
| circumstances in which this logic plays out 
| here.
| I think it is a non trivial problem to find 
| wording which preserves just the defensive 
| potential of patents (which, is actually 
| their offensive potential limited to 
| specific circumstances of exercise)  while 
| preserving freedom when licensing software.  
| Some of the more detailed free software 
| licences attempt this.   It is, I think, a 
| more difficult problem to craft such wording 
| to apply to standards â because standards 
| purport to be agreed by some collection of 
| people, while freedom requires that everyone 
| be permitted to pursue their own goals.   
| Thus, any âpromiseâ or âcovenantâ** which is 
| limited to an agreed specification must 
| necessarily be inconsistent with freedom in 
| a way qualitatively different to a patent 
| clause in an open source licence.   
| Moreover, any wording which applies to a 
| particular version of a specification will 
| be inconsistent with the evolution of that 
| specification.  In short, promises made in 
| relation to specifications are likely to 
| always be problematic (the best to hope for 
| is a disclaimer  â per W3C).



Apple Ready to Rumble with Rival Smartphone Makers


What Apple's and Microsoft's patent threats mean for start-ups


Pointless Stats: Number Of Patents Held By Apple, Google And HTC

,----[ Quote ]
| A bunch of news sites have been playing up
| a minor item in a Deutsche Bank note to
| clients about how Apple has a lot more
| patents than Google or HTC. I have to say,
| this is one of the most meaningless bits of
| data out there, and it's getting way too
| much attention for its import. First of
| all, it looks like the report counted
| overall patents -- not even patents just in
| the spaces where these companies overlap.
| Second, the number of patents one holds is
| absolutely meaningless when it comes to
| actually being able to enforce the patents.


iPhone developer license lets Apple kill apps at any time


EFF posts Appleâs Iphone SDK licence terms

,----[ Quote ]
| How did the EFF get its hands on the
| licence agreement when developers have to
| sign in blood not to reveal any details?
| EFF spokesman Fred Von Lohmann wrote, "When
| we saw the NASA App for Iphone, we used the
| Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to ask
| NASA for a copy, so that the general public
| could see what rules controlled the
| technology they could use with their
| phones. NASA responded with the Rev.
| 3-17-09 version of the agreement."


Apple owns your soul, warns human rights group

,----[ Quote ]
| The outfit had its lawyers give the
| Agreement the once over and thinks that
| people would be crazy to sign it. The
| agreement is not supposed to be made
| public, which is a sure sign that something
| is wrong with it.
| Fortunately  NASA wrote an app for the
| iPhone and the the EFF was able to use the
| Freedom of Information Act to ask the space
| agency for a copy of the license agreement
| dated March 17, 2009.
| Apple insists that the agreement âprohibits
| developers, including government agencies
| such as NASA, from making any âpublic
| statementsâ about the terms of the
| Agreement.â   So it prevents developers
| telling the world+dog how bad it is.


The First Rule Of Developing For The iPhone Is: You Do Not Talk About Developing For The iPhone

,----[ Quote ]
| We've certainly covered many different
| practices by Apple that harm its
| developers, from arbitrarily choosing what
| gets approved to arbitrarily shutting down
| apps with little or no explanation. Now,
| the EFF has used a Freedom of Information
| Act request to NASA (who recently released
| an iPhone app) to get a look at the
| amazingly one-sided agreement that Apple
| forces developers to sign. The reason that
| the EFF was forced to file an FOIA request
| to see and post the document is that part
| of the agreement itself is that you won't
| make any "public statements" about the
| agreement itself, a la fight club.


Why I donât use Apple products

,----[ Quote ]
| 1.  Appleâs software is not open-source.
| [...]
| 2.  Apple is not open-anything.
| [...]
| 3.  They are even closed about other
| software you can install.
| [...]
| 4.  The final straw.  Not only does Apple
| control exactly how you can use any Apple
| device, they now want to take away your
| choice to use any other device as well.
| This week they brought a lawsuit against
| HTC, the developer of the majority of
| Android phones, alleging 20 Apple patent
| violations.  Many of these patents seem to
| be comprised of trivial ideas that should
| be non-patentable and/or ideas Apple itself
| stole from other companies.  It is clear
| that Apple is scared of the consumer choice
| that competition brings and is scared of
| the innovation that is possible within the
| open Android framework.  Patents were
| intended to promote independent innovation
| by protecting small inventors from being
| scooped by large established corporations.
| Apple is hijacking the patent system to
| protect the interests of their large
| corporation against any competition at all.
| This is an incredibly dangerous precedent
| to set that could stifle innovation for
| many years to come.
| [...]
| In the important realm of science,
| technology and ideas, I believe that the
| continual conversion of ideas and
| development effort into the private
| property of companies like Apple is a great
| threat to continued free innovation.


Apple talks tough to handset makers

,----[ Quote ]
| Citing "industry checks," Reiner writes
| that:
|     "Starting in January, Apple launched a
|     series of C-Level discussions with
|     tier-1 handset makers to underscore its
|     growing displeasure at seeing its
|     iPhone-related IP [intellectual
|     property] infringed. The lawsuit filed
|     against HTC thus appears to be Apple's
|     way of putting a public, lawyered-up
|     exclamation point on a series of blunt
|     conversations that have been occurring
|     behind closed doors.
|     "Our checks also suggest that these
|     warning shots are meaningfully
|     disrupting the development roadmaps for
|     would-be iPhone killers. Rival software
|     and hardware teams are going back to
|     the drawing board to look for work-
|     arounds. Lawyers are redoubling efforts
|     to gauge potential defensive and
|     offensive responses. And strategy teams
|     are working to chart OS strategies that
|     are better hedged."
| [...]
| Why pick on HTC? Reiner speculates that as
| the earliest and most aggressive user of
| Android, HTC was the perfect proxy for
| Apple's real target: Google (GOOG). It
| helped that Apple and HTC didn't have any
| supplier relationships that could be
| disrupted by a protracted legal battle.


UPDATED: All Your Apps Are Belong to Apple: The iPhone Developer Program License Agreement

,----[ Quote ]
| The entire family of devices built on the
| iPhone OS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) have
| been designed to run only software that is
| approved by Appleâa major shift from the
| norms of the personal computer market.
| Software developers who want Apple's
| approval must first agree to the iPhone
| Developer Program License Agreement.
| So today we're posting the "iPhone
| Developer Program License Agreement"âthe
| contract that every developer who writes
| software for the iTunes App Store must
| "sign." Though more than 100,000 app
| developers have clicked "I agree," public
| copies of the agreement are scarce, perhaps
| thanks to the prohibition on making any
| "public statements regarding this
| Agreement, its terms and conditions, or the
| relationship of the parties without Apple's
| express prior written approval." But when
| we saw the NASA App for iPhone, we used the
| Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to ask
| NASA for a copy, so that the general public
| could see what rules controlled the
| technology they could use with their
| phones. NASA responded with the Rev.
| 3-17-09 version of the agreement.


Apple, Siemens and Sisvel patent infringement leads to CeBIT booth raid

,----[ Quote ]
| Mama always said that some folks just never
| learn, and we reckon there's plenty of
| wisdom to be had from that very statement.
| Year after year, German police are called in
| to raid select booths at CeBIT (and IFA, to
| be fair), and yet again we've seen a booth
| cleared out at the request of powerful
| lawyers from a few companies you may have
| heard of. Word on the street has it that
| Apple, Siemens and Sisvel were all kvetching
| over patent infringements made by an unnamed
| company exhibiting at last week's show, and
| within an hour or so of the fuzz showing up,
| the whole thing was stripped and a hefty
| fine (â10,000) was levied. Unfortunately,
| the exact details of who was violating what
| remains clouded in mystery, but for whatever
| reason, we get the feeling that something
| extremely similar will be going down in
| Hannover next year. We blame KIRFers
| determination.


Apple calls in the German police for CeBIT raids

,----[ Quote ]
| WHAT DO YOU get when you cross Apple,
| Siemens and Sisvel with the German police at
| CeBIT? Raids of course, with lots of police,
| lawyers, and people stripping booths clean
| of everything electronic.
| Walking around Hall 17 at CeBIT a few hours
| ago, there were several German police
| walking hurriedly through the crowd, talking
| into walkie-talkies. Where police are
| agitated, stories are likely to be found.
| Sure enough, when the police got to their
| destination, there were about 15 more of
| their colleagues surrounding a 5 by 10 meter
| booth of a netbook and e-reader manufacturer
| who explicitly asked not to be identified.


Apple vs. HTC: Itâs About Chrome

,----[ Quote ]
| You have likely heard about the lawsuit
| Apple has filed against HTC claiming patent
| infringement. Kevin offered a good analysis
| of the suit and how it claims HTC is using
| Apple technology from the iPhone. Basically
| Apple doesnât like what HTC is doing with
| Android on the phones it is selling in the
| U.S., as they claim it uses various
| technology developed in Cupertino for the
| iPhone. Much has been said that the real
| target of Appleâs suit is Google Android,
| as the smartphone OS is growing at a fast
| clip. I suspect that is true, but I think
| Appleâs fears go even deeper. I think the
| scheduled appearance of the Chrome OS later
| this year has Apple tied up in knots.
| Chrome OS is the operating system based on
| the Chrome browser that has generated a lot
| of interest from both enthusiasts and
| companies producing hardware since the
| Chrome OS announcement. It is intended to
| be an alternative OS for cheap netbook-like
| devices, and is aimed squarely at the
| mainstream consumer. Google expects to
| capitalize on its familiar brand, and use
| the Chrome OS to push its online services
| into the device category.


Apple Suing the âGreat Artistsâ of HTC

,----[ Quote ]
| There is no doubt that Google is a big
| reason Apple has gone after HTC.  In our
| eyes, this shows us that Apple views
| Android and the coming wave of smartphones
| as a threat to their business.  Will there
| be a counter suit against Apple?  Probably.
| HTC has been making smart phones of their
| and likely has a few patents they could
| dust off.


Google Most Likely Apple's Real Target in HTC Lawsuit

,----[ Quote ]
| When Apple filed suit against HTC Tuesday
| for infringing patents Apple owns on
| technology used in the iPhone, it wasn't
| clear which particular HTC devices were at
| issue in the case. Observers surmised the
| Google/HTC collaborative effort known as
| Nexus One was somewhere in the mix, but
| Google isn't named in the suit.


Patently Stupid

,----[ Quote ]
| Apple's multitouch lawsuit is both dumb and
| dangerous.


Lawsuit stokes Apple, HTC fans' passion


The Apple/HTC Lawsuit: All About Chrome OS?


Google Backs Its Boy, HTC, In The Apple Lawsuit Ring


Announcement concerning Appleâs lawsuit regarding alleged HTC patent infringement


Apple patent case 'could affect all android phones'


Apple vs. Google: The smartphone smackdown


An Explosion of Mobile Patent Lawsuits


Apple's HTC attack is a very dangerous game


What is Apple up to?

,----[ Quote ]
| Then I read this article in CNET that says
| Apple wants to cut a deal with the
| entertainment industry to store all their
| content on Apple servers. There's a
| chilling comment in the middle of the story
| saying they want to get rid of hard disks.
| That, my friends, is Hollywood's dream. The
| real culprit, the real cause of their
| economic problems isn't the Internet, it
| isn't the wires that connect computers.
| It's the under-$100 terabyte hard drive.
| With a terabyte you can store hundreds of
| hours of movies and TV shows. That enables
| you to do your own programming.


Popularity is killing Android

,----[ Quote ]
| AS ANDROID SWEEPS across the smartphone
| market like a wave of locusts over a land
| that is strewn with Windows Mobile devices
| cast by the wayside, Google's idealistic
| open source, embrace all attitude is
| starting to look naive.


Would 2010 Steve Jobs Sue 1996 (Or 1984) Steve Jobs Over Patents?

,----[ Quote ]
| ...Steve Jobs noted how Apple was
| "shameless about stealing great ideas."
| But in the announcement about the HTC
| lawsuit, he has a different perspective:
| "competitors should create their own
| original technology, not steal ours."


Eversheds comment: Apple sues HTC for patent infringements

,----[ Quote ]
| Commentators suggest that this action by
| Apple is actually targeted at Google's
| open source Android operating system,
| rather than relating just to HTC's
| smartphones. HTC is one of the most
| prominent handset manufacturers globally
| to have developed products based on the
| Android operating system, using it in its
| Hero and Nexus One phones.


Steve Jobs, 1996: "Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal"

,----[ Quote ]
| Oh, hello! A trip to the YouTube wayback
| machine shows that 1996's Steve "Great
| Artists Steal" Jobs might have taken issue
| with Steve Jobs 2010, and his patent
| lawsuit firebombing of HTC. Irony!
| The comment was made during a 1996 PBS
| documentary called "Triumph of the Nerds,"
| and looks a smidge hypocritical in light
| of today's events. As does this one...


Steve Jobs: Good artists copy great artists steal


Apple Goes Offensive On Patents: Sues HTC

,----[ Quote ]
| It's usually a sign that a company is
| worried that it can't keep up with the
| competition.


An Open Letter to Steve Jobs Concerning the HTC Lawsuits.

,----[ Quote ]
| But when you sue someone for doing
| something you do yourself, you become one
| of the bad guys. Can you name a company
| you admire that spends its time enforcing
| patents, instead of innovating? Remember
| the pirate flag you flew over Apple's
| headquarters when you were building the
| Mac? Is Apple part of the Navy now?


Steve Jobs and Rupert Murdoch: Letâs Sue the Internet

,----[ Quote ]
| So Apple is suing HTC, the premier
| manufacturer of Android-based phones,
| including Googleâs Nexus One. And Rupert
| Murdoch is suing Googleâor so he says.
| [...]
| Itâs a Steve thing. Not just a temper
| tantrum. But an operatic one. Itâs Steve
| Jobsâ signature: pride and paranoia.
| Behind it, too, is the motivation of all
| great competitorsâthey really donât want
| to compete, they want the market for
| themselves. Now itâs Google, rather than
| Microsoft, copying him. Itâs Googleâs
| phone heâs out to get. Heâs pissed off:
| Google controls the Internet and all he
| controls is his rotten phone.


Apple sues HTC over phone patents


Apple sues HTC for patent infringements in Android phones


Apple Goes After HTC In Lawsuit Over 20 iPhone Patents

,----[ Quote ]
| Apple is using its strong patent portfolio
| to fight iPhone competitors in court. Its
| latest target is HTC. Apple has filed a
| patent infringement lawsuit against the cell
| phone manufacturer. The suit involves â20
| Apple patents related to the iPhoneâs user
| interface, underlying architecture and
| hardware.â
| Steve Jobs is quoted in a press release
| saying: âWe can sit by and watch competitors
| steal our patented inventions, or we can do
| something about it. Weâve decided to do
| something about it. We think competition is
| healthy, but competitors should create their
| own original technology, not steal ours.â
| The lawsuit itself is not available yet
| online. Weâve asked Apple for a copy.


Apple Taps ITC to Kneecap Google

,----[ Quote ]
| Apple has enlisted the patent court and the
| U.S. International Trade Commission in an
| effort to kneecap Google. The company this
| morning filed a lawsuit against HTC â which
| makes Googleâs Nexus One, among other
| Android handsets â claiming the Taiwanese
| manufacturer has infringed on 20 of its
| patents ârelated to the iPhoneâs user
| interface, underlying architecture and
| hardware.â But the move may have more to do
| with Androidâs rapid growth than actual
| patent sins.


Apple Sues HTC For 20 Patent Violations In Phones

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