If Google's purchase of Motorola was driven by a need to acquire more intellectual property, is the big G looking to protect its own innovations or jump on the patent troll wagon? How many patents is too much, anyway? Oh, and is Apple really just ripping-off blockbuster sci-fi movies with the iPad? And what happens when patent lawyers go wild?
Patent piling, space odysseys, and conspiring lawyers... it's another exciting week here at Law & Apple!
Another dizzying week for the Apple legal team. First they see an adversary's competitive product wiped from the entire continent of Europe (mostly), only to see the it rise again in every European country (mostly). What caused the teutonic change of heart in the Düsseldorf regional court? Perhaps some altered images that Apple submitted as evidence?
As the European battle rages on, a new front was opened in the United States, with Apple's longtime nemesis launching a massive salvo of lawsuits. The wish list of compensation being claimed includes barring the sale, manufacture and import of nearly every Apple product in the United States. And, the lawyers were good enough to request a jury trial. Wheeeee!
Apple COO Tim Cook once said, "We have a very simple view. We love competition, but we want people to invent their own stuff. And we’re going to defend our portfolio when we need to."
No kidding. Apple is currently embroiled in multiple lawsuits with companies like Motorola, HTC, Samsung. And by aggressively adding to that portfolio, the courtroom drama is heating up and isn't going to end anytime soon. Here are some legally juicy events from the last few days:
The dust has yet to settle on the first wave of patent disputes targeting iOS and Android app developers, but that isn’t stopping Lodsys, LLC from reloading and firing a second round, this time aimed squarely at the video game giants who hang their shingle on these platforms.
No Katy Perry this week, but the last few days weren't bereft of hot news stories involving everyone's favorite computer and phone maker and post-PC device thingie maker as patents played a big roll plus a little bad news for one of Apple's competitors. Get out your wallet, Sergey!
Lodsys recently attempted to get a percentage of transactional income from a number of iOS developers, citing a patent on in-app purchases. Apple has subsequently -- and loudly -- told Lodsys to go home, but the whole ordeal's left us with patents on the brain. Patent applications are filed for every single thing that could possibly be patented, so they can give you a glimpse into the future plans of your favourite company. This is done for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that if they don't patent it, a competitor -- or patent holding company/troll -- might file for, and be awarded, the patent, leaving a company in the unfortunate position of having to pay to use their own invention. When they announced the iPhone in 2007, Apple proudly boasted of filing for 200 patents for the device, promising to aggressively defend them.