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Apple Worked A Broken Patent System
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ANON1241631011972
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ANON1241631011972,
User Rank: Strategist
9/1/2012 | 4:39:38 AM
re: Apple Worked A Broken Patent System
Not to mention that a foreign company defending itself in Silicon Valley, USA, with valley girls and boys on the jury all texting each other on iPhones, is dead meat.

I may have exaggerated some of that. However, the point is that Apple has a distinct home field advantage near the home of Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center where Apple's founders began their historic journey as the most successful and prolific thieves of computer user interface ideas and algorithms in modern history.
ANON1241631011972
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ANON1241631011972,
User Rank: Strategist
9/1/2012 | 4:25:30 AM
re: Apple Worked A Broken Patent System
You incorrectly assume that drawing the parallel indicates not understanding the difference. The difference is that "intellectual property" is a stolen idea where the crime has been aggravated by the perpetrator claiming the idea as an exclusive right. In every single one of these prominent cases, there is substantial prior art and the idea is, at best, a derivative work. You can't expect a patent lawyer to possess enough imagination to avoid a sense of abject admiration and awe when presented with the most minuscule adaptation of a well-established design concept. None of these look and feel patents are, in the immortal words of Dubya, "Rocket Surgery." Also, without exception, the human in whose brain the idea was adapted from that prior art, has not been compensated at even a small fraction of the value placed on the infringement in these lawsuits. There would be much less of an appetite to take these cases to court if there existed an unjust enrichment rule dictating that the original innovator was entitled to fair compensation as part of any corporate patent settlement. Can't you just imagine the proceeds of a billion dollar lawsuit having to be split equally with the genius brainiac who decided that rounding the corners of a graphic confined by a grid square would be more aesthetically pleasing!
smccarthy850
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smccarthy850,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/1/2012 | 2:33:25 AM
re: Apple Worked A Broken Patent System
I agree that this is "working the system" and the verdict should be tossed. As for Apple, as soon as my iPhone contract is up, I'll not buy or be associated with another Apple product. What they did smells big time. They are taking it in the shorts because they aren't innovating as well as Samsung, so they want to slow them down. I hope other people are like me and vote with their feet and pocketbooks!
Devil's Advocate
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Devil's Advocate,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/1/2012 | 12:04:58 AM
re: Apple Worked A Broken Patent System
A bigger joke is how the jury spent less than 23 hours in deliberations reviewing over 100 pages of jury instructions and addressing over 700 questions.
Melisab
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Melisab,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/31/2012 | 10:09:42 PM
re: Apple Worked A Broken Patent System
Thank you for this piece Charlie. It helped me understand the whole mess a lot better. I have to wonder how many people who agree that the verdict was a joke own an iPhone (full disclosure, I have a Samsung) and who would be willing to give it up. I definitely do not know enough about the law to make much sense, but couldn't Apple be sued for monopolization or impeding technological progress or even hoarding technology? I think there needs to be some sort of Eminent Domain for technology. If someone won't loosen their grip on technology and it impedes progress, we take it. Not saying I agree with Eminent Domain, just saying in this case, it would be handy. No one can argue how successful Apple is and how much their designs have changed the world, but history has shown that Americans have little love for megalomaniacs and dictatorial entities. It will be interesting to watch what happens next.
elambert303
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elambert303,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/31/2012 | 10:02:09 PM
re: Apple Worked A Broken Patent System
Excellent analysis, Charles
SubjectiveMind
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SubjectiveMind,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/31/2012 | 8:54:26 PM
re: Apple Worked A Broken Patent System
Integrity and ethics are realistic and practical in personal life, and when business is on a level playing field.

The reality is that in a global economy, in this day and age we must use every tactic in the arsenal (that we can live with) to stay profitable, and remain on top. Years ago, not being on top of the heap was ok; these days it is a death sentence... especially in technology.
twalkerm9w
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twalkerm9w,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/31/2012 | 8:34:22 PM
re: Apple Worked A Broken Patent System
This reminds me in some ways of the Selden patent(s) on the automobile, Henry Ford helped to break that fraud, again obviousness. As for Edison many of his inventions (products of the Edison labs) have evolved over the years and most of the time by other people, not Edison or his companies. In this fast changing environment most patents should be restricted to 3 or 4 years then expire and be unrenewable. I wonder what country Apple will turn its guns on next.
Eddie60101
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Eddie60101,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/31/2012 | 7:59:09 PM
re: Apple Worked A Broken Patent System
You DO understand that many forms of "intellectual property" are just an idea that has been patented, trademarked, copyrighted, or so on, right? The purpose of patent law is to benefit society (as mentioned in the constitution), not to maximize monetization of every single idea that every company has.
Gene Cavanaugh
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Gene Cavanaugh,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/31/2012 | 7:04:18 PM
re: Apple Worked A Broken Patent System
As an IP (aka "patent") attorney, I have a slightly different slant. Congress has mandated that the USPTO be "profitable" - spend a lot of money expanding, have a slush fund for Congress to dip into, etc.
To do that, the USPTO has to encourage "big spenders" to spend big. So they now have a "performance vs revenue" (translation, as little work (expense) and as many fees (revenue) as possible).
For that model to work, they have to allow the really big spenders to just tell them what they will be allowing. To be successful as an Examiner, you will have to ignore trivial things like prior art, obviousness, etc., and simply tell the "big spender" how much it will cost them for whatever it is they want.
So, Apple is evil, true. But their evil would not work without Congress forcing it on the USPTO. The real perpetrators are the members of Congress who are desperate to find more money to give the wealthy, so the wealthy will pay them.
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