Tag Archives | Legal Issues

Apple’s Lawsuit Against HTC: Bad for Consumers?

Apple’s lawsuit against Taiwanese handset manufacturer HTC is meant to prevent smartphones that resemble the iPhone from competing in the U.S. market, limiting consumer choice, but protecting Apple’s incentive to innovate, legal experts say.

Yesterday, news broke that Apple had filed suit against HTC with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and U.S. District Court in Delaware for allegedly violating a slew of iPhone related patents. HTC derives nearly half of its annual smartphone sales from the U.S. market, and the majority sold are Android phones, including Google’s Nexus One, according to UBS.

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Real Loses RealDVD Case

RealDVD, the DVD-copying software which I reviewed and sort of liked during the five minutes in 2008 it was actually for sale, is dead. Real has settled with the Motion Picture Association of America and a permanent injunction bars it from ever selling the software again.

Bad news for Real, and equally bad news for consumers. Bad news for copyright laws that aren’t kind of a joke, too: Real tried to make Hollywood happy and its product was sued into extinction, but with Handbrake alive and well, bootleg movies are at least as commonplace as bootleg hooch during Prohibition…


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Apple-HTC: The Grim, Dystopian Scenario

I promise I’ll stop talking about Apple’s suit against smartphone rival HTC until further developments warrant. But the more I think about it, the more I’m struck by the parallels to Apple’s 1988 suit against Microsoft and HP over Windows and HP’s New Wave interface.

Here’s a good story over at Low End Mac on the case, as well as Apple’s earlier threats to take Microsoft to court and the agreement between the two companies that postponed the courtroom battle for a few years. In the 1988 case, the role of the iPhone was played, of course, by the Mac. And Android phones like the models mentioned in Apple’s filing are played by Windows PCs.

(Actually, the parallels between Windows a couple of decades ago and Android right now are uncanny: Windows was nowhere near as slick and well-designed as the Mac, but it was good enough that Microsoft’s licensing strategy paid off hugely. Android is nowhere near as slick and well-designed as the iPhone, but it’s good enough that Google’s licensing strategy seems to be on the cusp of paying off hugely.)

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5Words: Being Sued is a Drag

HTC won’t enjoy Apple lawsuit.

A Palm Pre-like BlackBerry slider?

Daily Show, Colbert depart Hulu.

Twitter and Microsoft: crazy idea?

Analyst: Microsoft Palm buyout unlikely.

Twitter employee quits his blog.

Western Digital’s Solid State Drives.

Apple and Amazon’s music squabble.

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Eight Naïve Questions About Apple’s Suit Against HTC

I’m not a reflexive enemy of the U.S. patent system. But having spent the day mulling over Apple’s lawsuit against HTC over smartphone-related patents, it still feels like the move is bad for consumers, bad for any smartphone-related company that isn’t headquartered in Cupertino–and quite possibly bad for Apple, too.

Now that this shoe has dropped, you gotta think that lots of other shoes are poised to drop all over Silicon Valley and Asia. Here are some questions I’m scratching my head over tonight. I suspect some people will maintain that the answers are obvious, but they’re not (yet) obvious to me…

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Apple Sues HTC

I’m not a patent lawyer. So I don’t know what to make of the news that Apple is suing Taiwanese phone kingpin HTC over iPhone-related patents from a legal standpoint. It seems obvious, though, that the suit–which mentions the Nexus One and other HTC phones that run Google’s Android OS by name–is meant in part to put a chill down the spine of Google any company that makes Android phones, and maybe any company involved in the making of vaguely iPhone-esque phones, period. It’s not surprising given that Steve Jobs started bragging about Apple’s phone patents the moment he introduced the iPhone, and the company has specifically talked about suing infringing competitors.

The lawsuit follows Nokia’s suit against Apple and Apple’s countersuit against Nokia, and the more I think about it, the more I wish that everyone involve would just concentrate on making cool smartphones.

Back in 1988, Apple sued Microsoft and HP, claiming that Windows and HP’s New Wave user interface violated the Mac’s copyrights. Thatlawsuit didn’t seem to do much other than distract Apple from its real work: doing well in the market by making better products.

After the jump, for no other reason than that I like patent drawings, a few sketches from the Apple patents in question in its suit against HTC.

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