Apple And Google Finally End Patent Nuclear War: Settle All (Direct) Disputes

from the about-freaking-time dept

Apple and Google have been fighting a long patent battle, often by proxy, over smartphones. It's long been known that Steve Jobs -- a guy who once said: "Picasso had a saying: 'Good artists copy, great artists steal.' We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas" -- was absolutely furious that Android smart phones looked so much like the iPhone. That resulted in a series of patent battles that have wasted hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees for lots of different companies. That money could have gone towards greater innovation and competing in the marketplace, but instead it went to lawyers.

In a surprise late Friday announcement, the two companies now claim they've settled all patent lawsuits directly between the two and will work together on patent reform (hmm...). They also note that "the agreement does not include a cross license." That last point is important, because it actually means that Apple's other lawsuits against Android device makers, such as Samsung, will continue.

This isn't a complete end to the smartphone patent wars, but it's at least a first step -- and hopefully a recognition on Apple's part that just suing everyone for patent infringement isn't, perhaps, the smartest strategy.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, May 16th, 2014 @ 5:52pm

    It's not April 1st still, is it?

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2014 @ 6:02pm

    Next step disarmament

    Clearly if patent nuclear war has proven so devastating they should engage in bad-patent disarmament and get the stupid ones taken off the list forever.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    wizz33, May 16th, 2014 @ 7:16pm

    youtube ext blocking

    it seems that youtube doesn't like any extension that could touch it.
    in kUbuntu 14.4 in chromium doesn't like any extension exept ghostery and session manager.
    in the last to months i had to disable every extension exept the to mentioned above.
    a smal list of the extensions i had to disable.

    Adblock
    adbock for youtube
    adblock +
    do not track
    flashblock
    flashcontrol
    tampermonkey
    youtube center
    youtube unblocker

    being autistic is this as far to go as i can think right now
    i live in the Netherlands (.nl)

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Pixelation, May 16th, 2014 @ 8:13pm

    Woohoo...

    another win for the lawyers! Couldn't get better...

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2014 @ 8:43pm

    That money could have gone towards greater innovation and competing in the marketplace, but instead it went to lawyers.

    Even parasites have got to feed.

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2014 @ 11:53pm

    Still means that Rockstar can get in on the action.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    David, May 17th, 2014 @ 1:27am

    Just shows that patents don't work

    Google/Motorola have good technology patents, Apple has good lawyers patenting rubbish. The former, thanks to what happened to patent laws and award processes, do no constitute an advantage over the latter.

    Now Google/Motorola don't exactly have bad lawyers either. But the difference in lawyer quality makes much more money than the difference in patent quality.

    Since the idea of patents was to provide an incentive for advancing science and technology and the current system rather advances lawyering, it would just be easier to cut out the middlemen and pay horrendous sums to the lawyers directly.

    In that manner, technology firms do not get caught in the crosswinds that are basically a lottery where money is distributed randomly and lawyers take a premium off the redistribution.

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Whatever, May 17th, 2014 @ 6:46am

    assumption

    " That money could have gone towards greater innovation and competing in the marketplace, but instead it went to lawyers. "

    I always laugh at this assumption. You are suggesting that there is some magic amount of innovation that hasn't occurred as a result. There is no support for this, rather it's likely that the money spent on lawyers would instead be sitting in their cash reserves or perhaps being used to build another overwrought artsy-fartsy workspace. Neither Apple or Samsung are particularly short of cash to operate and do all the things that they want. There is no indication that the marketplace suffers because lawyers get paid.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 17th, 2014 @ 7:29am

    Two evil corporations.

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Pixelation, May 17th, 2014 @ 10:27am

    Re: assumption

    "You are suggesting that there is some magic amount of innovation that hasn't occurred as a result. "

    It's the innovation that doesn't happen for fear of being sued into oblivion by big players with a trove of bad patents and expensive lawyers looking to prove how awesome they are.

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    broken, May 17th, 2014 @ 2:17pm

    Re: assumption

    Ah, but you don't call the advance in how to file tech patent lawsuits so creatively as Apple did and do not research and development? Surely, you would agree that those lawyers had to must all their research powers.

     

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

  12.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), May 17th, 2014 @ 4:01pm

    Re: assumption

    So I'm curious, are you under the assumption that research and development is free or something? That new technology and new adaptations of current technology just spring out of the air, no costs or effort required?

    All those millions upon millions of dollars in court and lawyer fees? All that is money that could have been used in R&D, but instead was flushed right down the drain and wasted in pointless legal battles.

     

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

  13.  
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    Ninja (profile), May 19th, 2014 @ 3:17am

    I was hoping on a full nuclear patent war till total destruction was achieved but hey, if they are realizing how stupid it is then I'm all for peace.

    In a surprise late Friday announcement, the two companies now claim they've settled all patent lawsuits directly between the two and will work together on patent reform (hmm...).

    May I second that hmmm?

     

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

  14.  
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    ArkieGuy (profile), May 19th, 2014 @ 8:13am

    Google or Motorola?

    I've seen some reports that say that Google and Apple settled and others that say that Motorola and Apple settled.

    If it is Motorola / Apple that settled, it really doesn't mean much as Google kept the "good" mobile patents. Besides, Apple might be hoping not to start a patent war with Lenovo (which has thousands of patents NOT related to the mobile world). Who know how many patents that IBM sold to Lenovo that Apple is worrying that it might be CONSTRUED as infringing.

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2014 @ 10:20am

    Re: assumption

    I guess your laboring under the mistaken impression that money 'sitting in cash reserves' is just under a mattress or something. It's not. It's being invested. Invested in something liquid mind you, like a money market fund, but invested all the same. Investments are a very productive market activity, certainly more productive than paying lawyers. (Ok that last part was just much subjective opinion but the rest of it's objective fact). So you can't just compare 'paying lawyers' to doing nothing because they're never ever doing nothing with their money.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    bobby b, May 19th, 2014 @ 8:42pm

    " . . . a series of patent battles that have wasted hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees . . . "

    Legal fees are never "wasted money."

    Money paid to lawyers is used by those lawyers to purchase goods and services from others. A dollar paid to a lawyer might then be paid to a yacht manufacturer (and thus support its workers), or to a luxury auto manufacturer (again, supporting its workers), or to a caviar packager, or to cocaine dealers, or to high-end restaurants, or to procurers of underaged sex workers, or to sellers of Viagra . . .

    The list is endless. Legal fees represent money that enters the economy and that will be re-spent by each successive payee, providing a huge stimulus to our worldwide economy.

    So, if you would like to do your part to help end hunger and poverty and deprivation, simply hire a lawyer, incur fees, and pay them!

    "Lawyers! Better Than Shovel-Ready!"

     

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


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