Yet Another Patent Infringement Lawsuit Over The iPhone

from the keep-'em-coming dept

Remember back when the iPhone was launched, and Steve Jobs hyped up the 200 patents the company had filed around the concepts in the iPhone? We found that pretty odd, since most of the technology had been seen elsewhere before -- Apple just put it together in a consumer package. And, indeed, all of those patents certainly haven't stopped plenty of other companies from claiming that the iPhone was violating some other patent. And, now we've got another one, as two (related) Scottish companies, Picsel Research and Picsel Technologies, are claiming that Apple violates their patents, and (of course) are whining about the millions of dollars they invested in the technology.

Of course, if Apple had really "stolen" their ideas, don't you think they would have spoken up, say, two years ago when the iPhone was first announced? Now, one of the ridiculous aspects of patent law is that independent invention isn't a defense -- meaning that even though it's quite clear Apple developed its technology independent of Picsel, it doesn't really matter for the sake of the case. But, at the same time, that also means that it's equally meaningless how much Picsel invested in the technology. So, unless they want to allow Apple to point out how much it invested in the same tech (perhaps long before Picsel ever did), it might want to stop the whining about money spent.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Feb 17th, 2009 @ 3:02am

    Apple is sued with reason.

    There is a difference between engineering and marketing savvy and being a true innovator. Combining others’ inventions into a product does not make one a true innovator.

    Apple has acquired a reputation in the inventor community for lacking the ability to produce significant inventions and for having a huge appetite for others inventions. We believe that Apple is well past their inventive prime, and that they are desperately trying to compensate for this by filing ever larger quantities of increasingly narrower incremental inventions. It would appear that Apple believes that quantity can be a substitute for quality.


    Clearly, this is only useful when cross licensing with similarly stagnant companies because Apple is constantly finding itself in the unfortunate position of needing other's patent properties to serve their customers.

    Has it occurred to anyone that Apple is being sued because they have a big appetite for other's patent property and a big ego that gets in the way of acquiring the rights to the patent properties they need to succeed in the market?

    Have you considered that Apple’s tactics make it prudent to sue them before starting negotiations?

    Or have you considered that Apple's membership in the Coalition for Patent fairness and PIRACY, aka. the Piracy Coalition is a good indication that birds of a feather do flock together?

    Some companies start as inventors, and some start as parasites on those who have invented. Eventually they end up alike, one group never being inventive and the second losing the ability to invent as they age. Both will try to substitute quantity in patent filing for the quality of inventions they are incapable of producing. It does not work.

    All Piracy Coalition members fit one of these profiles. Tech companies who are past their prime, insurance and banking interests who collectively have no shame!

    What they very good at producing is innovative media hype which obfuscates the reality of their existence. Their multi-million dollar “troll” campaign is a perfect example of this. They paint their victims as “trolls” while the courts are finding their conduct so egregious that they are handing down staggering judgments which are generally being upheld by higher courts. This is what happens to those who are caught lying, cheating, and stealing and no amount of public relations painting their victims as evil “trolls” can change the facts of these cases.

    Personally I think that it is a shame that Piracy Coalition members have failed to learn the lesson that inventors and the courts are teaching. It is all about conducting one’s business in an ethical manner!

    Ronald J. Riley,
    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.patentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    josh, Feb 17th, 2009 @ 4:55am

    apple thievery

    great story. how about let us know what patents are up for debate, nimrod!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Rob, Feb 17th, 2009 @ 5:33am

    Ron, you and your group both ........ are idiots.

    Nice fantasies you have there.

    Or have you considered that Apple's membership in the Coalition for Patent fairness and PIRACY, aka. the Piracy Coalition is a good indication that birds of a feather do flock together?

    What crack do you smoke? All of it? It's a Coalition AGAINST piracy, you dope fiend. You're citing an organization they are a member of and the name CLEARLY states that it's for patent fairness, then you try to imply that the other part of the name means that it is a coalition advocating piracy? What a maroon! What an unbelievable imbecile!

    Your entire organization is right up there with other idiots that refuse to think like MoveOn.org, RIAA, and Metallica. Get a grip.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Phillip, Feb 17th, 2009 @ 7:05am

    "Combining others’ inventions into a product does not make one a true innovator." I'm pretty sure your wrong by definition. in⋅no⋅vate (v): to introduce something new; make changes in anything established. And this is what Apple did: They made something new by making changes in established technologies to make then work together in a single product. Nice try though.

     

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  5.  
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    angry dude, Feb 17th, 2009 @ 9:18am

    Re:

    Hands off Ronald Riley, you, punk !!!

    For an average thoughtless and patentless techdirt lemming-punk you are I suggest reading other sources to get some perspective

    Mike Masnick writes with his ass

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Robb Topolski (profile), Feb 17th, 2009 @ 9:49am

    Picsel Actually Has Tech Here

    I used Picsel's mobile browser for years before the iPhone came out. I remember thinking that v1.0 iPhone's momentum "scrolly" UI model shown on the first TV ads wasn't "new" because Picsel has been doing that for years on Windows Mobile platforms.

    I have no idea which patents or ideas are in dispute here, but given the similar behavior, I wouldn't discount the possibility that Picsel might have a genuine claim in a world where software patents exist. (Whether they should exist is another debate.)

    Why it took Picsel so long to defend their tech is a fair question.

    Robb Topolski

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Feb 17th, 2009 @ 10:58am

    Re: Picsel Actually Has Tech Here

    Two years is not a long time to:

    1) Determine if there is infringement (i.e. reverse engineer).
    2) Determine if the value of the infringement will be great enough to make litigation economically viable.
    3) Try to negotiate a settlement with the infringer.
    4) Come to the conclusion that the infringer is not dealing in good faith.

    Those of who work in intellectual property have good reason to believe that it is best to first sue any member of the Piracy Coalition and then negotiate.

    I have used a number of Apple products from time to time and come to the conclusion that they have not produced a product which delivers fair value since the Lisa. Apple products are crippled by design, and all their limitations are engineered to lock customers to Apple and to extract excessive amounts of money for what is delivered.

    Apple is creative in two areas.

    1) In creating a cult like following who will blindly shower money on Apple.
    2) In producing lots of PR crap.

    Ronald J. Riley,


    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR act PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Ronald J Riley, Feb 17th, 2009 @ 11:08am

    Re:

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Feb 17th, 2009 @ 3:26pm

    Re: Re: Picsel Actually Has Tech Here

    I have used a number of Apple products from time to time and come to the conclusion that they have not produced a product which delivers fair value since the Lisa.

    Well, it's a good thing you've been appointed lord boss over all innovation and what is and what is not real innovation.

    Oh wait... I don't see that in your sig file.

    I guess we'll have to go with what the people who actually *matter* have to say on the issue. And the fact that they're buying the iPhones in droves suggests that, your opinion notwithstanding, you remain incorrect on the value of innovation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Ronald J Riley, Feb 17th, 2009 @ 4:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Picsel Actually Has Tech Here

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), Feb 17th, 2009 @ 4:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Picsel Actually Has Tech Here

    Apple has the right to produce a work around invention. If they did so they would be using our patent system in the way it was intended.

    What Apple and other members of the Piracy Coalition seem to do again and again is use anthers' invention without authorization. That is a big no-no.

    This is why they get sued.

    Apple most certainly has the resources to have their day in court. The reason they settle such suits is that they have no valid defense for their conduct.

    Maybe Apple and the cohorts in the Coalition for Patent Fairness should spend less of their resources on demonizing inventors as patent trolls and more money on producing the inventions they need to prevail in their market?

    Apple and other members of the Piracy Coalition are good at filing hordes of small incremental improvement patents and dismal at coming up with the blockbusters which they need to defend their turf.

    Aside from being a commercially successful inventor myself I have had the pleasure, no the honor of personally knowing many of our top inventors. There is NO comparison between their inventions and the largely insignificant crap which a company like Apple produces. market success, especially when such success is based on others' inventions does not excuse the conduct of Coalition for Patent Fairness members. There is nothing fair about the way these companies destroy American inventors and ship the prosperity their inventions would have produced for America to other countries.

    Ronald J. Riley,


    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR act PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Jame McAvoy, May 5th, 2009 @ 7:17am

    found this report

    http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/mostpopular.var.2505897.0.phone_staff_not_paid_for_3_months.php Pic sel's not been paying their staff for months. Knee jerk reaction maybe...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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