Apple Launches Patent Nuclear Arsenal At Creative

from the fun-for-patent-lawyers-everywhere dept

We've talked in the past about how patents have really become the nuclear stockpiling of the software industry. Everyone feels the needs to stockpile as many patents as possible, not for the sake of innovation, but so they have a big patent portfolio any time anyone threatens them with patent infringement. This way, they can respond with an "oh yeah, well, you must violate one of ours..." and hopefully keep the patent lawsuits down to a minimum. This keeps the patent office and patent lawyers happy enough, though it's unclear what good it does for actual innovation. Of course, as with nuclear stockpiling, the result when someone launches can be a bit of overkill. Witness what's happening in the Apple/Creative lawsuit. Remember, Creative, who was unable to compete well enough in the market with the iPod decided to sue Apple over patents it held on user interfaces that involve a hierarchical categorization of music (as if no one had ever thought of that before). Apple has returned fire, throwing all sorts of patent infringement claims right back at Creative, claiming the company is "infringing three patents relating to using icons, and displaying and editing data." Once again, patent lawyers will be thrilled, but money that could have gone to actually developing new and better products gets wasted.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2006 @ 7:16pm

    Money could have gone to better things. This happens a lot. The war in Iraq for example; all the money spent there, what if we invested that amount in cancer research or something like that who knows the fact of the matter is it's already spent.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2006 @ 7:16pm

    Money could have gone to better things. This happens a lot. The war in Iraq for example; all the money spent there, what if we invested that amount in cancer research or something like that who knows the fact of the matter is it's already spent.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2006 @ 7:24pm

    RE: the last guy

    I agree with the OP but the arguement you just put forth is flawed - The US gov couldn't care less about cancer...

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2006 @ 7:30pm

    I'm sorry, I must have missed something. What does the war in Iraq have to do with patent lawsuits? Oh, and the federal government already spends millions of tax dollars a year on funding cancer research, so why don't you just climb down off your high horse before you look stupid. Oops, too late.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2006 @ 8:22pm

    #1 is right. Heck we should go after auto safety, heart disease, obesity, etc. with the same dollars for the war on and we'd save FAR more lives. Patents and wars on ideas waste lots of money, time, and innovation.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2006 @ 9:06pm

    Re:

    Hmm... use tax dollars to intrude on things solved by personal choice. I'd rather pay less taxes and have the choice to give to whomever I want. But that has nothing to do with the lawsuit overkill that has gripped everybody lately -- corporations and people alike.

     

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  7.  
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    Tim L., Jun 6th, 2006 @ 9:26pm

    This is sad people.
    throwing around patent infringments for things like hierarchical categorization of music, use of icons and 'displaying and editing data.' this is becoming like children fighting over the last ice cream cone. t6hey cant think of anything to do.. o what the hell lets kist sue someone. Maybe get our name out in the main stream media. Honestly, When companies even start to think about lawsuits over 'hierarchical categorization of music' what the hell? did someone just sit down and say.. I want to sue them, find me something that could get me some publicity.
    lets act like somewhat mature people here.

    And who ever got this thing going into the Iraq war... WTF? this has absolutly NOTHING to do with that. the only point of that was to cause arguments and more comments.

     

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  8.  
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    Jim Kartright, Jun 6th, 2006 @ 9:35pm

    Iraq

    Iraq,
    You might as well change your name to Dick Wolfe . The POS self serving Liberal coward who takes every chance to denigrate and humiliate the U.S. forces that are serving abroad. All of course with the disclaimer that his stories are ripped from the headlines but not actually true. WTF? How many US soldiers have died due to his continued jubilation at the daily death toll there. I am convinced that the DNC's embrace and downright celebration everytime there is negative news there only encourages and inflicts more deaths on US soldiers and Allies. During this conflict over 3 million Americans have died from Obesity , Lung Cancer, and Abortion. But these Stories do not sell papers to a nation of self indulgent fat fucks. Every Soldiers life is precious and every family mourns a loved one. But all you ever hear about is the failure of US policy there. These bitter Liberal scumbags are still counting chads while people continue to die and Al Gore is Inventing Global Warming tripe. While his own film cleary states that his Administrationwas the catalyst for this so called disaster.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2006 @ 10:13pm

    This is about patents. Not Iraq. He was using it as a broad comparison. While it was an obviously controversial comparison to use (used most likely with political undertones), it was just that--a comparison and people are as usual taking it too far. Good job.

     

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  10.  
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    Donald Duck, Jun 7th, 2006 @ 2:28am

    Don't let Disney find you drawing micky on a websi

    This is about Patents and MP3 players/Video watching devices. Infact I just reviewed these items the other night for a long period of time on wal-marts webpage and both companies have really nice products, both with video and the 'Creative Zen' kinda is like the ipod with video, but I believe it has more memory so you can listen to like a billion more songs and watch more video clips of movies.

    The Zen is almost $400.00 I think. I really liked it! In that webpage you can see the movie King Kong playing in the Creative Zen. I also like some of the other neat features in these products, there was several different companies on that site that had some really nice items! That cube one is really kewl looking! I personally need a mp3 player that can fit in my pocket. Because my walkman is just to big to carry in the summer time. I don't have any pockets in the summer that can hold my walkman, where as in the winter I have huge pockets in my coat.

    Now when it comes to the Iraq War, I'm sure Iraq back then would love to copy [ nice word for steal ] some of our good old american technology them selves! Infact there was a problem back when the xbox 360 came out because they could have used that chip inside the xbox or playstations for a mapping device to map the surface of the Earth for some type of missile.

    It could have been an Advanced Scud Missile with a Nuclear warhead payload on it's way to Israel, via a itune cell phone call from a General in the Iraq Army Head Quarters Building?

    How could Iraq get a Nuclear Weapon? Well if left alone back then, they could just call some one's cell phone in Iran and ordered one up? and make some anti jewish comments to boot? While doing all of this they could be listening to a mp3 player with stolen technolgy or an Patent Infringement device listening to some chant to Allah? with maybe some arabic music playing in the background, or 'We are the Champions of the World'? Or a ipod or Creative Zen made from scratch in CHINA lol you know what I mean. {a fake one} Maybe if left alone Iraqi's in army headquarters could have downloaded some thing from Fox news, watching innocent israelis getting cooked by their nuclear blast.

    If these scenarios happened I'm sure you would be posting how horrible it was for the United States to Nuclear Melt the nation of Iraq into the stone age? Let's get back to the story at hand here, the MP3's.

    Now we are also blogging about something that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, added to that is ads and deals from other companies that could total these items net worth in the billions.

    The American Dollar is almost worth as much as the Peso now day's, so the rope (euro dollar) and the yen also the dinar comes into play here, which makes these items worth billions more. So when thinking about the world market Europe, the Middle East and Asia are 'Key' markets and worth hundreds of billions more. With maybe more customers then in the States itself.

    Now if you really knew who really has the patent for the ipod it self. It is no other then 'Microsoft'. That's right Microsoft was the one that patent the ipod nine years ago - I'm serious. [ http://www.google.com/ search for that story] Apple went with it, maybe made their own product of this technology but microsoft realized how much mooula they was making and told the dudes at 'Apple HQ' what was up of course MS thought this was Patent infringement as well.

    I don't see any thing wrong with one company fighting another company over what is right. Case in point. 'Tivo' made an awesome recording technology device the 'DVR' and some other companies went out and did their own 'copy' with out 'Tivo's' approval and got sued for it. Tivo won that lawsuit recently this past week, but there is an appeal in the process I'm sure.

    I personally believe ideas of the one who really invented that item is theirs, to kept for their own, to make that unreal amount of money in the market place! For at least twenty five years and also if they allow some one else to make a copy of their product, they get a cut of the profit.

    For exmaple 'Palm' let 'Sony' make PDA's with 'Palm' OS software. If you bought an Clie or other Sony pda's your buying Palm software. Palm got some of the stash for the sony pda's sales. At the same time Palm was competiting against sony? Fun world of business, it has it's rules and some times you have to take matters in the court of law.

    Let me explain what I believe is simple economics. If you work for let's say 'Creative' and in your first few years at work you drove a old Honda with a caved in right fender. After the Zen came out maybe with some questionable technology whether it's their's or not. Your now driving a Viper, you live in a 80,000 thousand square foot home and you got Miss July to quit Playboy to become your private secretary. Inventions are worth fighting over even if it wasn't your's in the first place. I'm sure 'Creative' has insurance of some type if they lose a Patent case or vice versa with Apple. I suspose to some in the end it's all apples and oranges.

    Your's Truely, Donald Duck

     

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  11.  
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    Louis, Jun 7th, 2006 @ 6:25am

    Donald Duck

    Did you just copy and paste a blog into the comments section of Techdirt?

    You suck!

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2006 @ 6:43am

    Re: Don't let Disney find you drawing micky on a w

    You Sir, are a moron. Half the crap you spouted in that nonsense post is pure opinion. (the dollar being anywhere close to the value of a peso being the biggest one, since 1 American dollar is actually worth 11 pesos!) So get a life and stop acting like you know what the hell you are talking about

     

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  13.  
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    Thomason, Jun 7th, 2006 @ 7:33am

    More $ for research and Lawyers.

    Mikke wants more money spent on research "developing new and better products," rather than spent on enforcing patents that cover prior research, but if the money for legal enforcement went for more research, then that research would result in more patented inventions, and those patents would add to the "nuclear stockpile"; but why patent"new and better" products if you're not ever going to enforce those patents, but if you enforce them, then you're not spending that money on developing of a larger "nuclear stockpile" of patented new products....
    Mike, your analysis is well-rounded, even circular.

     

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  14.  
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    Mike (profile), Jun 7th, 2006 @ 10:37am

    Re: More $ for research and Lawyers.

    Mikke wants more money spent on research "developing new and better products," rather than spent on enforcing patents that cover prior research, but if the money for legal enforcement went for more research, then that research would result in more patented inventions, and those patents would add to the "nuclear stockpile";

    Huh? You make an assumption in there that is not at all what I was suggesting. I was saying that, rather than patent all these little improvements and obvious ideas, just focus on the market.

    So, no, the point is to focus less on patents, and more on PRODUCTS.

     

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  15.  
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    Donald Duck, Jun 7th, 2006 @ 9:36pm

    Re: Annoying Coward - Value lesson

    Nonsense? Please cut and paste the part of the made up non-sense, that I didn't already clearly pointed out as "what if's" in my posting. Every thing I typed in that posting could have happend if we all stuffer from some sort of agoraphobia llike you do!

    My Opinions? Isn't this the part of this webpage where the reader get's to share their own views? or are you just a complete imbecile and uncapable of understanding that?

    We all can post our feelings about the subject at hand 'mp3 players'? I mean it's a story about ipods, your not even on the same page to what the post was about in the first freaking place! Not even in the same book for that matter.

    I get a sense that you have some form of agoraphobia because you started the name calling from the first few words of your posting. You obvisouly have some sort of a left-wing kook ball agenda or just so predisposed with your anti-american views, values and templates and so full of hate that in a story about Apple Ipod's and Creative Zen's you go off the deep end about the Iraq war? I felt I had to share my 'opinions' because your rants was so out of placed and now they're just so immature.

    Let's get some facts straight, When I was younger 1 American dollar was like 107 Peso's, I recall a nightline story on that.
    Today according to even your self it's only 11 Peso's and the dollars worth is on yahoo and google, or ask.com what ever compared to any country. I know that the american dollar is losing a ton of value in this world market, which spells troubles for American companies doing business world wide. I mean if the United States Dollar is just a little bit more worth then the Mexico Peso, then we are in a lot of trouble.

    It's because of the national debt, 911 and every thing else, we have a horrible problem, with the global market, so companies make sure they can profit here and abroad, that means they have to have these nuclear stockpiles of patents in order to stay open for business.

    So any problems with ipods and mp3 players means that their lawsuits are about not just the North American market but the whole World. Our legal system protects those contents under US copyright laws, which Europe and other parts of the globe follow.

    Some foreign nations/businesses try to copy our technology and make it their own so they can have the billion dollar market share and take over our companies and close our plants doors.

    Patents are a valuable thing to have and Apple or Creative understands this and they both could have a partner-ship with an asian company or some european firm and make hundreds of thousands of these same items in a different name and the technolology isn't even theirs, and make freaking billions off of the device itself and the music and movie downloads and after-market sales, for batteries, power boosters and headphones, what ever.

    So there is indeed a great deal of value in these Patent Litigations. The history of the item, who really created the item in question. It's all good business common sense and understadable in a legal point of view.

    Let me again say something about the American Dollar this website I just found this story after reading your retard post about my post. Look at this story from 2004 in one of the charts it is calling the American Dollar the American Peso?
    Wonder why that guy thinks are dollar value sucks? I guess cause he has common sense and understands 1+1 = 2

    So I wasn't so far off trying to make a point that these companies have stockpiles of patents because there is a global market and it's right infront of our faces. The Personal Computer, for one it makes this world market a lot smaller. I mean I can order 1,000 ipod types made with Creative technology made in Hong Kong with a different name and resale them on the net for a profit around the world.

    So patents are worth the time and effort of course the money involed. Lawyers are going to get rich no matter if they win or lose these court cases but they have to be argued out or there is no point in making these types of laws.

    So my posting was for "Mike the Author of the Story" he's take and views of the stockpile of patents and I had to type something in here about your hammerhead megaphone illusage web illusionist idiotic views. (about the war? for god shakes on an MP3 story, I mean these people just come out of the wood works like in some horror film )

    Like we are all going to crumble in our believes of Freedom and Free men every where because you dear type a few words of stupidity about the war on a mp3 story, and like you get mad that others disagree with you? Your the idiot, get a life and start watching 24.

    http://www.economist.com/finance/displayStory.cfm?story_id=3445928

     

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