Apple and Google waited until the stock market was closed for the week to announce a formal end to its longtime patent battles — a move that could potentially pave the way for settling the feud between Apple and the search giant's partner Samsung as well.
Several months after Samsung's bungled entry into the world of smartwatches (and possibly months ahead of the appearance of Apple's so-called "iWatch), Google has announced its "Android Wear" system. Android Wear is designed to bring Google's mobile operating system to smart watches designed by other manufacturers, much in the way Android is designed for other manufacturers' smartphones.
A few days ago, Google and Samsung announced a surprising 10-year global patent licensing agreement. Mostly it was surprising because Samsung suing Google for patent infringement is about as likely as you suing your parents for patent infringement. So why bother? To attempt to make Apple look bad, and thereby prove the point that nothing is going to change anytime soon.
Google formed with an internal motto of "Don't Be Evil" in response to the perceived business practices of Microsoft, and then proceeded over the years to manipulate customer data (see what Google does when you search) and force software on users (see how you are already signed up for Google+) much like Redmond. Now the Mountain View company is taking hypocrisy to a new level with their latest lawsuit against the Apple- and Microsoft-led Rockstar Consortium. Ah, the irony!
Among Apple's many genius marketing decisions was the "Get a Mac" advertising campaign aimed at luring PC users into the fold. Now iPhone users are getting similar encouragement about switching to Android from one of Google's executives.
After years of targeting Google's partners with lawsuits, including going toe-to-toe against Google-owned Motorola, Apple has yet to square off against its Mountain View adversary in the courtroom... until now. And while we get ready to follow what could be the biggest trial of the Patent Wars to date, Apple also took a moment this week to effectively flip off the U.S. federal government and its seemingly neverending quest to collect user information from tech companies. Read on as we review one of the most interesting weeks in Cupertino's legal adventures this year.
When Tim Cook led the big Apple Event last month announcing the new iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, a lot of comparisons to his predecessor were made. Almost universally, it was declared once again that Tim Cook lacks whatever magic Steve Jobs had on stage. However, perhaps Tim Cook will do a better job of not breaking future patents with his lack of stagecraft; sometimes the ability to project a powerful "reality distortion field" has unintended consequences.
The so-called Patent War has been raging for years, since Steve Jobs described Google's Android operating system as "grand theft" and notoriously declared his willingness to "go thermonuclear war" to "destroy Android, because it's a stolen product." Those are fightin' words, make no mistake. Instead of calling out Google directly, however, Apple targeted the handset manufacturers. There have been dozens of lawsuits filed, and even more appeals, and following the headlines can get rather confusing. Some have even gone so far as to say no one is winning yet, but they are flat-out wrong. Without question, Apple has been simply dominating these Patent Wars, and here is why.
A basic rule of employment is that you pay your employees for the time your require them to be at work. Generally, courts don't look too kindly on companies that force you to stay at work and refuse to pay you for it. Especially if you're keeping them there, off the clock, just to make sure they're not stealing from you, which is apparently exactly what Apple's retail store policy does. Now a couple of former Apple employees are taking on the vaunted Cupertino legal team to make it right. A class-action suit representing over 42,000 employees could get pretty, pretty, pretty expensive. And if that's not enough for Apple to worry about, the company is back in the ring with Google, bickering about negotiating tactics. All in another week of Law & Apple!
Google went big when it dropped nine zeroes on a patent portfolio to use against Apple, but the portfolio has been a dud in the courtroom. Is this latest legal loss the one that convinces Mountain View to try something else? Also, when you download a song twice, you pay for it twice, the end. What you don't do is get a check from Apple for $5 million, right? Right. It is known.