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Apple and Microsoft want to keep current proprietary duopoly - to stop FOSS getting market share | 297 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections please
Authored by: Tufty on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 12:27 AM EST
Hint in the title as always

Linux powered squirrel.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic
Authored by: Tufty on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 12:28 AM EST
Off tropic welcome 2

Linux powered squirrel.

[ Reply to This | # ]

News Picks
Authored by: Tufty on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 12:28 AM EST
Read all abaaarrrt it

Linux powered squirrel.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Comes Documents
Authored by: Tufty on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 12:29 AM EST
Keep the Comes coming

Linux powered squirrel.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Apple v. Samsung II Appeal Briefs - Do Patents on Features That Don't Drive Sales Merit Injunctions? ~pj
Authored by: N_au on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 01:31 AM EST
The stupid thing is if you ask most people about whose
product you would get to do search, Google or apple, most if
not all would say Google as that is what they are famous
for. But apparently someone else has a patent on it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Irreparable harm
Authored by: Ian Al on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 02:13 AM EST
As I understand it, an injunction would be awarded where continuation of the
activity (like selling smartphones) would cause further harm that could not be
made right by being awarded monetary damages.

What would the harm be? In this case, it would be sales of an infringing
smartphone that displaced the patent holder or licensee 'phone sales. If the
patent is not the reason for customers buying the infringing phone, what is the
irreparable damage done to the patent holder or licensee?

Any lost licence sales to the patent holder can be made good with money.

When it comes to monetary damages award, it is supposed to be the causal nexus
that links sales revenue for the infringing device to the provision of the
infringing feature. If that nexus is weak or zero then no damage has been
caused. The only remaining damage is the loss of licence fees. The justified
licence fee for a patented invention that does nothing to promote sales of the
infringing device must be vanishingly small.

So, I would have thought, an invention that allows a mobile phone to make mobile
phone calls would warrant injunctive relief and an invention that doesn't even
help to sell mobile phones warrants nothing.

Ian Al
Software Patents: It's the disclosed functions in the patent, stupid!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Bad analogy
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 04:49 AM EST
Apple's answer to the question as to why it should get an injunction, at least after infringement is proven at trial, is: because it's like any property. You don't get to walk across my lawn if I don't want you to, even if you aren't harming the lawn.
And does that mean that if I catch you walking across my lawn repeatedly, I can have the court order the amputation of your legs?

No. Any order I can exact is restricted to behavior affecting my lawn.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Apple and Microsoft want to keep current proprietary duopoly - to stop FOSS getting market share
Authored by: TiddlyPom on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 05:05 AM EST
Despite being bitter rivals, there seems to be an unspoken acceptance (or perhaps it IS an agreement) between Microsoft and Apple to keep the status quo in the market i.e.
  1. Microsoft has a monopoly on the low-end humdrum desktop/business market
  2. Apple has a monopoly on smart phones
Trouble is that free/open source software (FOSS) hurts this nice and tidy duopoly. Modern desktop Linux distributions (like Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora and Mageia) are easily as good as the latest Windows 8 car-crashes on the desktop (which Microsoft is trying SO HARD to make a proprietary locked-down environment) and Android has a higher market share than iPhone because, well, it's just as good, cheaper and gives you more freedom/choice and there are other contenders like FirefoxOS and Ubuntu-on-a-phone in the pipeline.

What are good (evil) monopolists (like Microsoft and Apple) to do other than use whatever backhand means they can to attack the free market/freedom of choice to stop customers from having a choice (like patents which do not affect sales revenues for instance)?

Support Software Freedom - use GPL licenced software like Linux and LibreOffice instead of proprietary software like Microsoft Windows/Office or Apple OS/X

[ Reply to This | # ]

Abuse it and lose it?
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 06:36 AM EST
Looks like Apple's strategy for destroying Android could hurt
all patent holders. It seems that when a privilege is being
abused (as in the case of Apple trying to using them to
destroy Android) the courts seem willing to take that
privilege away, or narrow it's effectiveness. And to me this
seems only right. Apple are not using injunctions to prevent
irreparable harm, they are using it to destroy a competitor.
And so all patent holders could end up suffering because of
Apple's greed. Let it happen.

[ Reply to This | # ]

then a lot of patents out there have issued that can't get injunctions. - OK... Next :-)
Authored by: SilverWave on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 07:04 AM EST

RMS: The 4 Freedoms
0 run the program for any purpose
1 study the source code and change it
2 make copies and distribute them
3 publish modified versions

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Apple v. Samsung II Appeal Briefs - Do Patents on Features That Don't Drive Sales Merit Injunctions? ~pj
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 08:06 AM EST
PJ, you had an admission that people did
buy iPhones to get Siri, but I don't think
that's even enough. This patent does not
cover all of Siri, it covers a small part
of one thing Siri does. People probably
bought Siri for the part that queries
Apple's servers in natural language, or for
the part that let's you perform actions on
your device, not for the part that lets you
find documents on both the internet and
your device at the same time. This patent
is not at all what drove consumer demand
over Siri, so Apple's survey doesn't seem
to mean all that much.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Merchant of Malice - public interest
Authored by: jkrise on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 10:46 AM EST
Until I read the details in Wikipedia, I was under the wrong impression that
Shylock was the merchant, demanding his pound of flesh. I also understood that
it is a common mistake which many people make.

Anyway, here we have a merchant selling smpartphones demanding that he should be
given his due as per the letter of the law. The merchant is not satisfied with
$1bn for past infringement; he wants his competitor be put out of business, as
per his reading of the patent law.

Although I was unsure about the judge, Hon. Lucy Koh in the initial stages of
the case, and in the recent denial of juror misconduct; I was truly impressed by
her remarkable clarity of thought when she denied injunction absent causal
nexus. To quote her exact words, from Groklaw:

"The public interest does not support removing phones from the market when
the infringing components constitute such limited parts of complex,
multi-featured products."

To overturn her well reasoned verdict would mean a literal reading of the letter
of the law, ignoring the fact that some companies have acquired 1000s of
questionable patents, and putting the interests of the patentee and its
shareholders, above the interests of the public; who are magnitudes of order
larger, and whose interests must therefore come first.

When the merchant of malice has clearly stated that he is not happy with even
$5bn; but wishes to resort to disproportionately violent means to destroy
competing products, it does not serve justice to merely judge as per the letter
of the law.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Merchant of Malice - numerosity of patents
Authored by: jkrise on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 11:14 AM EST
I posted earlier that Apple reportedly has 100s of multi-touch patents, and
1000s of other patents in the domain of smartphones. As I remember, only about 6
patents were asserted in this case. 2 of the 3 software patents were declared to
be preliminarily invalid on re-examination by the USPTO.

There were 20 claims in 1 of the patents which were reexamined. Every single
claim of the 20 were rejected. So basically, we have had 2 examinations of the
same patent - both performed by USPTO officials; the recent one rejecting all
the claims.

In between, the jury has not only upheld that the patents were valid, they also
found that they were infringed, and wilfully. Among the 12-odd members of the
jury, only 1 or 2 appeared to be reasonably knowledgable about the subject
matter of the patents, and 1 of the jurors applied erroneous knowledge and
interpretation to reach his opinion.

I feel that when salaried and fully qualified subject matter experts in the
USPTO themselves cannot be trusted to award only those patents which possess
merit; how can laymen be expected to do a better job?

The 2nd aspect is that even when gross blunders have been committed by the
USPTO, nobody can take any action against them. And yet they have issued 1000s
of patents on smartphones alone, and when so far 2 were reexamined, BOTH were
rejected on ALL the claims. How can it be fair to issue injunctions based on
jury verdict, as opposed to full and final USPTO review of asserted patents?

The possible remedies are:

1. Reject ALL software patents issued in the past - not going to happen

2. Fully review ALL asserted patents before trial, without restricting on the
number of patents that can be asserted - not going to happen

3. Deny injunctive relief absent causal nexus - the only reasonable way out,
considering the abysmal quality and astounding numerosity of already issued

[ Reply to This | # ]

Merchant of Malice - Philosophy
Authored by: jkrise on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 11:26 AM EST
As I understood, Shylock was compelled also to convert his faith, during the
judgment. In the present smartphone case as well, I see a conflict of 2
philosophies - the FOSS vs Closed philosophies.

I came across a huge patent verdict awarded to CMU vs Marvell; and wondered the
fallout if the UC Berkeley had likewise patented its contributions to BSD Unix;
in a Slashdot post. Some replies suggested that many of current Apple's
offerings still continue to feature large parts of BSD code.

So what Apple has done is to take away from a FOSS philosophy product, make
changes, and close the modified and enhanced version. Although legally fair,
ethically I feel Apple ought to confer the same degree of freedom to its
customers. At the very least, Apple should not completely shut out free
implementations of competing products.

Given that Android is largely FOSS respecting, and that Apple's current products
also feature a large volume of FOSS-respecting products; an injunction against
Samsung would imply an injunction against FOSS. Which in my opinion, is not in
the public interest, apart from reasons of philosophy.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 01:18 PM EST
The fact that there *are* 200,000 patents that can be asserted against a SINGLE
consumer product ought to prove to any rational person that the entire patent
system is insanely out of control and the most, if not all patents are totally

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Insanity - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 04:05 PM EST
  • Illegal - Authored by: Ian Al on Monday, January 21 2013 @ 02:14 AM EST
    • Illegal - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 21 2013 @ 09:05 AM EST
      • You forgot - Authored by: Ian Al on Tuesday, January 22 2013 @ 04:50 AM EST
        • Hmm ... - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 22 2013 @ 11:58 AM EST
U.S. Patent No. 8,086,604 - Unified Search
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 02:40 PM EST
The present invention provides convenient access to items of information that are related to various descriptors input by a user, by means of a unitary interface which is capable of accessing information in a variety of locations, through a number of different techniques. Using a plurality of heuristic algorithms to operate upon information descriptors input by the user, the present invention locates and displays candidate items of information for selection and/or retrieval. Thus, the advantages of a search engine can be exploited, while listing only relevant object candidate items of information.

While I don't want to make the mistake of claiming that the abstract defines the entirety of a patent, the above also sounds a lot like the "unified search" functionality in Ubuntu.

In Ubuntu, the feature is called "lenses", and you can install different lenses to search different things. The best known one is the "Amazon shopping lens", but there are others you can install. The Amazon lens by the way, is only installed by default in some locales. In other locales, a different default lens is installed. The Amazon lens was intended as a demonstration of what can be done rather than as an essential feature. Ubuntu want third party developers to provide different types of specialized lenses (search plug-ins). There are also third party lenses you can get do search Github, YouTube and other web sites that offer search features. In other words, a "lens" is a search plug-in (with the Amazon lens being one such example).

The default "home" search scope is to "search everything that is searchable", which will include the internet sites for which you have lenses. You can narrow the scope to just searching your local disk by selecting the "files" scope in the Dash, or you can expand it to search for particular types of files (e.g. music, movies, etc.) everywhere by selecting other scopes.

So, this is something that Ubuntu has now on desktops. I assume the feature is also in Ubuntu Phone. I would also assume that Canonical has looked carefully at the Apple patent and worked around it somehow. If so, then it ought to be possible for Samsung to do the same.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Apple II?
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 03:04 PM EST
I think I will wait for the IIe model.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Apple II? - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 06:59 PM EST
The Apple v. Samsung II Appeal Briefs - Way to utterly lose your cool factor
Authored by: DCFusor on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 05:06 PM EST
And that hip cool factor was the only thing they *had* going for them - they
haven't even caught up with Dick Tracey's wristphone with their

Someone remind me. Did apple invent any part of an iphone?
The computer? No. Ram, no. Displays, can't even make them themselves. BSD,
nope. Antennas that work no matter how you hold the phone? Nope, and too cheap
to license one that would at a few cents per phone.

Eye candy, off-shoring jobs to slave labour - they didn't even invent those!

They have finally ensured that even the stupidest person who hears about this
will never think of them as cool again.

Was('nt) nice knowing ya, AAPL. Shorting the stock on and off has been pretty
nice, though.

Why guess, when you can know? Measure it!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 10:31 PM EST
Apple is arguing that "comprising" is open-ended and has been
normally allowed. However, doesn't that lead to indefiniteness?
Is Apple arguing that its patent is invalid because it is "open

[ Reply to This | # ]

My brain does unified search.
Authored by: HappyDude on Monday, January 21 2013 @ 06:45 AM EST
Why was a patent for unified search ever granted in the first place? No way
should anything that we can do in our heads be patentable.

Just sayin.

What a mess.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Your answer - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 21 2013 @ 11:30 AM EST
  • Supremacy anyone. - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 21 2013 @ 12:00 PM EST
Apple should be careful what it wishes for
Authored by: DannyB on Monday, January 21 2013 @ 12:40 PM EST
If Apple wants trivial patents to be able to get injunctions, they should be
careful. Other parties than Apple an wield that same sword.

The price of freedom is eternal litigation.

[ Reply to This | # ]

A patent defense question
Authored by: DannyB on Monday, January 21 2013 @ 05:26 PM EST
First consider today's Dilbert cartoon.

Isn't it true that a patent can be invalidated if the list of inventors includes people who did not participate in the invention?

Is confirming the list of inventors on a patent a standard procedure for the defense in a patent infringement case?

What company or companies might Mr. Adams have had in mind when he wrote today's comic? Could this practice be the case at any companies whose name begins with "A" and ends with "pple"?

Just some questions.

The price of freedom is eternal litigation.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Prior art on searching multiple locations
Authored by: rocky on Thursday, January 24 2013 @ 03:07 PM EST
That patent on searching multiple locations has I'm sure many instances of prior
art that would invalidate it. The one that I remember having used was a search
engine called "Metacrawler". This was in the early 90's, before
Google. I liked it because it would submit the search terms to several
different other search engines and then return some combined top results.

[ Reply to This | # ]

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