HTC Fires Back At Apple, Patent Nuclear Response Launched

from the and-here-we-go dept

With Apple and Nokia already locked in a patent nuclear war involving lawsuits filed back and forth and back and forth, it looks like the same thing may be happening now in the Apple-HTC dispute. The difference, of course, is that Apple initiated the lawsuit against HTC. But now HTC has responded in kind, claiming that Apple violates a bunch of its patents, while using the ITC loophole to get the iPhone barred from the US.

What we're really seeing is what happens when you get a patent thicket in a highly competitive, dynamic area. Suddenly, rather than focusing on competing in the marketplace, and continually outpacing each other by offering new innovations and benefits to consumers, companies start wasting millions upon millions of dollars trying to block competitors from doing the same thing. It leads to a massive net negative impact on society and consumer benefit. What a shame.

At the very least, it appears that HTC recognizes this:
"As the innovator of the original Windows Mobile PocketPC Phone Edition in 2002 and the first Android smartphone in 2008, HTC believes the industry should be driven by healthy competition and innovation that offer consumers the best, most accessible mobile experiences possible."
Either way, it's yet another nuclear war in the patent world, taking money away from actual innovation. What a shame.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    abc gum, May 12th, 2010 @ 5:10pm

    The stockholders should file suit against the respective boards for failure to met their fiduciary respnsibilities.

    In addition, the patent system should be revised in order to remove the incentives for such childish behavior.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Mr Big Content, May 12th, 2010 @ 5:46pm

    Ignore The Lawsuits

    Think of them as a test of your faith in the patent system. Be steadfast.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 12th, 2010 @ 6:00pm

    'taking money away from actual innovation'

    yet, without patents and without protection of ideas developed, most companies wouldnt put the money into them to start with. chicken and the egg mr masnick, you cant have one without the other.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 12th, 2010 @ 6:15pm

    .............

    Perhaps, just mayhaps, this will piss off enough important people with stock in these ocmpanies to push for reform of the patent office.

    No chance, I know. IP firms would fight it tooth and nail. total racket not just for the companies involved, but the law firms filing and defending patents as well.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 12th, 2010 @ 7:53pm

    Re:

    The stockholders should file suit against the respective boards for failure to met their fiduciary responsibilities.

    In addition, the patent system should be revised in order to remove the incentives for such childish behavior.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Shit out of my ass, May 12th, 2010 @ 7:58pm

    Patent war, maybe. However, HTC and Apple are still innovative companies producing innovative products and customers are still benefiting. The money spent on lawyers would not necessarily go to innovation, it could just as easily go to over-paid execs. Where's the proof that without patents these companies would be even more innovative?

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2010 @ 9:56am

      Re:

      "Where's the proof that without patents these companies would be even more innovative?"

      If you get an extra dollar you tend to save a certain amount, you spend a certain amount on x, a certain amount on y, etc... It gets apportioned to whatever provides the most marginal value at the time. Spending more money on R&D provides more marginal value, and more investment income, yes some will go to the executives, some will be spent by them, some will be saved, but the economics will not say that all of it will go directly to executives. Some will go to R&D. But when wasting it on lawsuits is more marginally valuable because you need to defend yourself from losing even more money from the loss of a lawsuit, then that money comes out of other sectors, it doesn't all come out of executive pay, some of it comes out of executive pay, some comes out of R&D research, some comes out of corporate capital, some comes out of employee pay. Econ 101.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Shit out of my asss, May 13th, 2010 @ 1:33pm

        Re: Re:

        Econ 101 is therory not fact. Based on your own post only some of "millions upon millions of dollars" spent on lawyers comes from R&D. In the case of Apple and HTC the impact on innovation is minimal. At the end of the day there will be a cross licensing deal and that will be that. Its not a "shame" that we have patents.

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2010 @ 9:02pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Econ 101 is therory not fact."

          Because your speculation is more factually based.

          "Based on your own post only some of "millions upon millions of dollars" spent on lawyers comes from R&D."

          None is better than some. Without lawsuits no R&D money goes to bogus lawsuits.

          "In the case of Apple and HTC the impact on innovation is minimal."

          A: How do you know this? and how do you reconcile your speculation with the plethora of evidence that disagrees with you?

          B: So you do admit that there is an impact.

          "At the end of the day there will be a cross licensing deal and that will be that."

          So at the end of the day the alleged purpose of the patent would be negated and the only true function of the patent would be to waste money, money that could go towards innovation instead. Why even grant such patents if they only result in cross licensing deals that defeat their purpose?

          "Its not a "shame" that we have patents."

          It's an atrocity that we have patents.

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            Shit out of my ass, May 15th, 2010 @ 7:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That is the whole point, we can only speculate how this patent war affects innovation. We have no facts. Its just as bogus to claim it hurts innovation as it is to claim it hurts over-paid executives. Also, innovation involves more than just R&D. The lawsuits affect the business but we, as outsiders, cannot measure exactly how. Bottom line, HTC and Apple are both innovative companies with competitive products and there are others too. Patents are not holding them back. These companies being assholes about their patents is complicating things. Its the folks making the decisions that are affecting the business, not patents.

             

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 12th, 2010 @ 8:41pm

    While #8's name may be a bit over the top, the point he/she makes is quite valid.

    I have never seen a so-called patent thicket interrupt the proliferation of new products wending their way into the marketplace.

    Perhaps others have experiences different from mine, but not once has anyone I have worked with sat back on their haunches in self-satisfaction and resting on their laurels because they now had a patent in hand.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), May 12th, 2010 @ 10:36pm

      Re:

      While #8's name may be a bit over the top, the point he/she makes is quite valid.


      Really? You honestly think that having to spend millions of dollars on patent infringement lawsuits doesn't impact the rest of the business?

      I have never seen a so-called patent thicket interrupt the proliferation of new products wending their way into the marketplace.

      No one said that it stops new products. But it's simply impossible to argue honestly that this is an efficient use of money. I mean, even you, a lawyer who makes your living off the system, has to admit that you know the difference between productive uses of capital and non-productive uses of capital, right?

      Perhaps others have experiences different from mine, but not once has anyone I have worked with sat back on their haunches in self-satisfaction and resting on their laurels because they now had a patent in hand.

      No one is arguing anything about resting on their laurels here. The question is how a company deploys its capital. And you really want to suggest that the most productive manner may be fighting off patent claims?

      No wonder you're anonymous.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Michael, May 13th, 2010 @ 5:03am

      Re:

      "I have never seen a so-called patent thicket interrupt the proliferation of new products wending their way into the marketplace."

      If the patents are not preventing new products from entering the market, why do we have them? Aren't they implicitly preventing Motorola from making an iPhone clone right now? If not, what good are these patents?

      Now, it may be argued that Motorola having the legal ability to create an iPhone clone would have taken away some of the incentive for Apple to create it to begin with, but you cannot, at the same time, argue that it does not prevent someone from doing so now. Take a side on that - they prevent new products from being brought to the market, or they don't.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 12th, 2010 @ 10:58pm

    Funny thing is that HTC is a quick jaunt from Microsoft. And literally stones-throw across the street from Expedia, which used to be a Microsoft Company that Melinda Gates ran back in the day.

    I wouldn't be surprised if HTC is working really closely with Microsoft, and perhaps even Nathan Myrvhold to suck Google's brains out before they all launch a patent war.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 12th, 2010 @ 11:01pm

    Funny thing is that HTC is a quick jaunt from Microsoft. And literally stones-throw across the street from Expedia, which used to be a Microsoft Company that Melinda Gates (Pre-divestiture, and pre-marriage to Bill) ran back in the day.

    I wouldn't be surprised if HTC is working really closely with Microsoft, and perhaps even Nathan Myrvhold to suck Google's brains out as they all launch a patent war.

    The best thing Google can do is develop their own hardware.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Doug, May 13th, 2010 @ 11:14am

    Actually, it's not taking any money away from development, I know you aren't that naive. Apple and HTC will both continue to spend BILLIONS on R&D, but as you are very well aware failure to report infringments of intellectual property rights leads to the surrender of those rights.

    Imagine if you wrote an entire book, spending thousands of dollars on research, countless hours laboring at the keyboard, exaustive time searching for a publisher. You finally find a publisher willing to print, promote and distribute your book, and in return you are paid based on the number of books sold.

    Someone reads the book, and likes it so much they copy the idea only making marginal changes (character names, places, etc..) Now both books are available from retailers but your sales are down because now there is an almost identical book for sale from a different author. This other author didn't have to do research, didn't come up with the creative plot line, he just copied your ideas.

    This is exactly like intellectual property. The company who invested the time and energy in developing the technology must have protection from copy cats. If not we just end up with no one willing to spend the billions of dollars necessary to create the new technology and there wont be any new technology.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2010 @ 12:33pm

    What a shame, what a shame.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    nasch (profile), May 14th, 2010 @ 7:43am

    RJR

    Why hasn't Ronald chimed in on this? Also it would be super cool to be able to get updates on a thread without commenting on it. Not that I'm complaining, the notification is a great addition.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This