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MacRumors
Mar 28, 2007, 02:42 PM
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Bloomberg reports (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601101&sid=aba7x1sdhmOg) that Apple Inc, Dell Inc, Sony Corp and five other technology companies were added to an ongoing lawsuit over patents covering Bluetooth technology.

The suit threatens the ability of the computer and device makers to deliver wireless capabilities to customers. The companies are accused of infringing four patents covering technology that lets users exchange data among mobile phones, personal computers and other devices without using cables.

The suit is being brought by Washington Research Foundation, a non-profit organization. The suit is specifically aimed at CSR, the maker of the Bluetooth chips used in Apple's computers. CSR believes the "suit is without merit in relation to CSR's Bluetooth chips and CSR will defend its products rigorously."



Superdrive
Mar 28, 2007, 02:44 PM
If they are non-profit, what are they suing for anyways? ;)

Hopefully, this won't stifle Bluetooth transfers etc., at worst it should just be an additional cost.

iamcrazyed
Mar 28, 2007, 02:50 PM
AH! I just pulled a muscle while rolling my eyes. GEEZ! One more stupid lawsuit like this and I'll need corrective surgery.

johnee
Mar 28, 2007, 02:55 PM
i hate to say this, but without patent protection, there would be very little innovation. many people say the open source movement is great and would suffice, but that's not true. patents help create a micro-economy within the industry, making many of the products you enjoy possible.

Peace
Mar 28, 2007, 02:55 PM
If CSR makes the chips why are they suing Apple et.al. ? :confused:

princealfie
Mar 28, 2007, 02:56 PM
i hate to say this, but without patent protection, there would be very little innovation. many people say the open source movement is great and would suffice, but that's not true. patents help create a micro-economy within the industry, making many of the products you enjoy possible.

I hope that you are kidding seriously.

Corporate innovation are being stifled by patents honestly. That's why we have less innovation because people want to earn money off the same dang invention from 10 years ago.

So disagreement here.

TheBobcat
Mar 28, 2007, 03:13 PM
I think I might sue Apple. It seems to be the thing to do these days.

I'll do it when they announce Mac OS X: Bobcat.

twoodcc
Mar 28, 2007, 03:15 PM
If they are non-profit, what are they suing for anyways? ;)


my thoughts exactly......

hopefully this won't become a big deal....

Gasu E.
Mar 28, 2007, 03:16 PM
If CSR makes the chips why are they suing Apple et.al. ? :confused:

It's legitimate to do this. However, typical boilerplate technology licensing agreements require the the licensor to assert that they fully own the intellectual rights and agree to indemnify the licensee in case of suits such as this.

Gasu E.
Mar 28, 2007, 03:18 PM
If they are non-profit, what are they suing for anyways? ;)


They are suing on behalf of the universities and other research organizations from Washington State that they claim to represent.

TheBobcat
Mar 28, 2007, 03:18 PM
If CSR makes the chips why are they suing Apple et.al. ? :confused:

Because suing CSR wouldn't get you headlines. Suing virtually every big player in Bluetooth technology will however.

epochblue
Mar 28, 2007, 03:19 PM
If CSR makes the chips why are they suing Apple et.al. ? :confused:

This is exactly the question I have. If Apple isn't knowingly infringing on the patent (CSR is), then why sue Apple? Deeper pockets?

killmoms
Mar 28, 2007, 03:21 PM
This is exactly the question I have. If Apple isn't knowingly infringing on the patent (CSR is), then why sue Apple? Deeper pockets?

Duh.

This is just like Creative waiting 5 years to sue Apple over the iPod's interface, or the content industry waiting until Google bought YouTube to sue over infringing content on the YouTube website. They only sue when there's enough money that they can get a fat settlement ('cause these things rarely go to court).

clevin
Mar 28, 2007, 03:27 PM
law is there, judge will decide, after all, they invented bloothtooth, they deserve the money, if they want to sue, fine, there is law, isn't there?

Gasu E.
Mar 28, 2007, 03:34 PM
i hate to say this, but without patent protection, there would be very little innovation. many people say the open source movement is great and would suffice, but that's not true. patents help create a micro-economy within the industry, making many of the products you enjoy possible.

Patents are a flawed system. In contradiction of patent law, patents are often given to "inventions" that are obvious, not innovative. Patent inspectors are often not competent to tell the difference. Patents issued to obvious ideas creates an artificial barrier to competition and serves as a tax on consumers and the economy in general. Patents can be useful to incent true innovation, but only if the "burden of proof" of innovation on the applicant is high, and the period of exclusivity is not onerous.

IEatApples
Mar 28, 2007, 03:38 PM
This is exactly the question I have. If Apple isn't knowingly infringing on the patent (CSR is), then why sue Apple? Deeper pockets?I'm thinking "PUBLICITY!" ;) :rolleyes:

killmoms
Mar 28, 2007, 03:46 PM
law is there, judge will decide, after all, they invented bloothtooth, they deserve the money, if they want to sue, fine, there is law, isn't there?

No, they didn't invent Bluetooth. In these cases it's usually that some company or consortium has patented an obvious IDEA and never brought it to market. They just sit on the patent for "a method or means of relaying computer input data wirelessly" (as an example), and then wait for other people to come up with an actual product that falls into that purview. Then they sue to profit off someone else's actual work.

Small White Car
Mar 28, 2007, 03:47 PM
Corporate innovation are being stifled by patents honestly.

You should point this out to Apple. I'm sure they'll jump on the chance to release their patent on the iPod's click-wheel once you just explain to them how that will help their innovation!

Maccus Aurelius
Mar 28, 2007, 04:03 PM
God sues Apple Inc. and Apple Corp. for naming their companies after a product he invented millions of years ago. Apple countersues claiming it's God's fault that PC's comprise well over 90% of the market. Apple Corp countersues accusing God of gross negligence with regards to John Lennon. Cisco sues all three to make an obscure product known.

TheBobcat
Mar 28, 2007, 04:04 PM
You should point this out to Apple. I'm sure they'll jump on the chance to release their patent on the iPod's click-wheel once you just explain to them how that will help their innovation!

While I know it doesn't legally matter, I support companies that actually make a product and contribute to the advancement of technological markets in patent cases over patent hoarders and squatters that produce nothing but lawsuits.

The iPod pushed the MP3 market to new heights, and Apple had a lot of key innovations in doing that, and those should not be able to be simply copied to another player. But these firms that just collect patents and wait for an applicable technology and manufacturers with deep pockets to appear so they can sue them, is in my opinion killing innovation.

Maccus Aurelius
Mar 28, 2007, 04:10 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't bluetooth technology been included with macs before the Intel models? I could've sworn I saw a bluetooth icon on my friend's powerbook toolbar. This is a pretty damn long time to suddenly decide to sue. Also, who builds and provides the bluetooth chips for the computers anyway?

corywoolf
Mar 28, 2007, 04:17 PM
I wish this would end bluetooth and kick-start wireless high-speed USB. We have the technology, but first the leading company will want to charge an insane amount for the wireless high-speed USB. Bluetooth is overrated, I am glad Apple never released wireless BT headphones. Which makes me wonder BTW, how will the headphones connect to the iPhone and where does the SIM chip go? :confused:

corywoolf
Mar 28, 2007, 04:18 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't bluetooth technology been included with macs before the Intel models? I could've sworn I saw a bluetooth icon on my friend's powerbook toolbar. This is a pretty damn long time to suddenly decide to sue. Also, who builds and provides the bluetooth chips for the computers anyway?

Good point, it has been in macs since around early 2002 I believe.

Rocketman
Mar 28, 2007, 04:32 PM
Lawsuits are public documents. Where's the raw data? If the suit is being amended to add Apple, there have been motions leading to this. Where's the docket?

Rocketman

wildmac
Mar 28, 2007, 04:38 PM
No, they didn't invent Bluetooth. In these cases it's usually that some company or consortium has patented an obvious IDEA and never brought it to market. They just sit on the patent for "a method or means of relaying computer input data wirelessly" (as an example), and then wait for other people to come up with an actual product that falls into that purview. Then they sue to profit off someone else's actual work.

This, or, a group of lawyers buys up those patents for pennies on a dollar, and then proceeds to sue the daylights out of anyone and everyone.

It's easy to fix this system. The originator should be the only one able to sue, not one of these "holding companies", AND the "method" patents need to be disallowed. Actual technology should be required. Otherwise you could patent "toast" regardless of whether you use a toaster, and oven, or a Bic lighter to make your toast.

Counterfit
Mar 28, 2007, 05:07 PM
Patents are a flawed system. In contradiction of patent law, patents are often given to "inventions" that are obvious, not innovative. Patent inspectors are often not competent to tell the difference. Patents issued to obvious ideas creates an artificial barrier to competition and serves as a tax on consumers and the economy in general. Patents can be useful to incent true innovation, but only if the "burden of proof" of innovation on the applicant is high, and the period of exclusivity is not onerous.

Patent law does specify that obvious ideas are not generally patentable. Otherwise, we'd have to pay license fees for using a wheel.

wildmac
Mar 28, 2007, 05:11 PM
Patent law does specify that obvious ideas are not generally patentable. Otherwise, we'd have to pay license fees for using a wheel.

But for recent technologies, the patent clerks aren't qualified to recognize the next "wheel". Thus this bluetooth lawsuit.

BornAgainMac
Mar 28, 2007, 05:40 PM
Time to develop a new standard in wireless. Yellowtooth perhaps.

msandersen
Mar 28, 2007, 09:02 PM
Time to develop a new standard in wireless. Yellowtooth perhaps.Considering it's named after the legendary Danish king Harold BlueTooth, maybe the next version should be named after his son, Sven Forkbeard; Forkbeard Wireless!

Abstract
Mar 28, 2007, 09:52 PM
I think there should be a law which states that you need to sue a company soon after they release a product that infringes on your patent, not 5 years later when you know you can get more money. I'm sure people knew that laptops and phones and such were using Bluetooth a long time ago. Sue then, not later.

Also, if you bring up other companies into your lawsuit even though they didn't infringe on a patent (and only bought a product that may have infringed on a patent), you should be fined.

Supa_Fly
Mar 29, 2007, 12:50 AM
But didn't Ericsson create the technology & name it Bluetooth?!

Also didn't they produce the first bluetooth chips and the naming convention of BT Stacks for 1.0/1.0b initially and with 1.0b combine global uptake or 'globalization' of Bluetooth with companies like Nokia & Red-M? Long before Palm ever released a BT device or even other manufacturers ERICSSON was at the forefront.

First device using BT was the Ericsson T36 - phone.
http://www.mobic.com/oldnews/2000/06/ericsson_unveils_the_first_bluet.htm
(press release copied/archived but date is around 2000 early 2001 this didn't fully ship in Europe as the R520m was the true first to ship worldwide - Triband phone - with BT then the T39m).

First headset using BT Ericssson HBH -something the big "HONKER" of a device.

First AP utilitizing BT is by Red-M I think. Their also the first to setup a scatternet using BT in a public space along as being the first to incorporate WiFi 802.11b (even in its infancy) with BT in one device (an Access Point) also the first to use it in a public environement when BlueFish worked with Palm for m500 sleds & Vx sleds utilizing BT ALL done even though technologist/press reporters and so called wireless experts defuncted WiFi & BT on the 2.4Ghz range together as non do-able.

Well my point ... the technology and its hoping scheme and radio frequency along with Stacks is ALL the same for each version & the most recent 2.0+EDR specific chips are NO different because their standardized by the Bluetooth qualification board. So HOW does one company sue for using the technology in its chips that other company's are using if they've paid to use those chips???

BIZARRE & unfounded says I.

synth3tik
Mar 29, 2007, 12:56 AM
God sues Apple Inc. and Apple Corp. for naming their companies after a product he invented millions of years ago. Apple countersues claiming it's God's fault that PC's comprise well over 90% of the market. Apple Corp countersues accusing God of gross negligence with regards to John Lennon. Cisco sues all three to make an obscure product known.


So wonderfully put.

whooleytoo
Mar 29, 2007, 07:57 AM
AND the "method" patents need to be disallowed. Actual technology should be required. Otherwise you could patent "toast" regardless of whether you use a toaster, and oven, or a Bic lighter to make your toast.

I don't think this is practical.

Most of the innovation in this industry comes from small companies (Apple is more of a "very early-adopter" of new technologies, than an innovator), who wouldn't be able to implement their concepts as fast as larger companies. So the small companies would create the concept, and the larger ones would implement, patent and own it.

It's ironic that these small companies who provide the innovation in this industry are the least able to afford to protect it. Remember, you need a separate patent for every country, and while the cost of the application is chicken-feed for a company like Apple, it's a non-trivial cost for a small start-up, especially in markets where there isn't much venture capital. Plus, if you don't have the funds to fight the court case, you might as well not have the patent in the first place.

whooleytoo
Mar 29, 2007, 08:04 AM
Patent law does specify that obvious ideas are not generally patentable. Otherwise, we'd have to pay license fees for using a wheel.

It does, but the definition of "obvious" is objective. The Amazon one-click patent being a case in point.

If patents are awarded for very specific, non-obvious IP, they can do precisely what they're intended to - prevent copycat products which due to the lack of R&D can undercut the original innovator.

If patents are too easily awarded, they have the opposite effect. They can be used for IP squatting for profit, or as a cheap 'n' easy way of gaining and holding a monopoly.

johnee
Mar 29, 2007, 08:10 AM
Patents are a flawed system. In contradiction of patent law, patents are often given to "inventions" that are obvious, not innovative. Patent inspectors are often not competent to tell the difference. Patents issued to obvious ideas creates an artificial barrier to competition and serves as a tax on consumers and the economy in general. Patents can be useful to incent true innovation, but only if the "burden of proof" of innovation on the applicant is high, and the period of exclusivity is not onerous.

I understand your point. I have been granted a patent, and have a few more being reviewed, so I am fully aware how they can be abused :D. True, i would say about 80% of patents are unwarranted. However the remaining do need patent protection.

If I have a truly breakthrough technology that is innovative, and cost me a lot to develop it, I need to be protected for my hard work and expense. If I release my invention and some shmo reverse-engineers it and starts cranking it out, the price is reduced because they are standing on my shoulders, stealing my hard work and profiting from it. Why would I even consider inventing if my hard work wasn't protected? I would just give up because it isn't worth it. I have to eat...

patent law is like democracy, it's not the best system, but it works (sometimes)

whooleytoo
Mar 29, 2007, 08:12 AM
God sues Apple Inc. and Apple Corp. for naming their companies after a product he invented millions of years ago. Apple countersues claiming it's God's fault that PC's comprise well over 90% of the market. Apple Corp countersues accusing God of gross negligence with regards to John Lennon. Cisco sues all three to make an obscure product known.

And in other news, Apple is also being sued by humanity, for naming their product Mac - which means "son'. Humanity have backed up their claims, by providing several billion examples of "prior art".

pilotError
Mar 29, 2007, 08:14 AM
I personally like "Snaggle Tooth"! Fits in with the cat theme lately.

Sounds like they are testing their patents applicability. The probably asked for royalties and everyone told them to jump in a lake.

Isn't there a high speed Blue Tooth protocol making its way through the standards committee? I wonder how this will affect that issue. Maybe Apple is looking to get rid of the iPod docs and use it in some future generation of Mac.

Maccus Aurelius
Mar 29, 2007, 01:48 PM
And in other news, Apple is also being sued by humanity, for naming their product Mac - which means "son'. Humanity have backed up their claims, by providing several billion examples of "prior art".

Apple, forced to rename their long lived computer moniker, enters the Stevie Wonderbox era. In financial news, Apple Inc. (APPL) stock plummets.

suneohair
Mar 29, 2007, 05:54 PM
I wants me some Forkbeard Wireless. :D

EagerDragon
Mar 29, 2007, 05:55 PM
i hate to say this, but without patent protection, there would be very little innovation. many people say the open source movement is great and would suffice, but that's not true. patents help create a micro-economy within the industry, making many of the products you enjoy possible.

Before there were pattents people inovated and invented products and processes. Not having patents is not going to keep companies from creating somwthing that they can sell, they just have higher risk.

The ones that lose big time if there are no patents are the laywers, and I do not think at this time they are a protected species.

EagerDragon
Mar 29, 2007, 06:01 PM
This is exactly the question I have. If Apple isn't knowingly infringing on the patent (CSR is), then why sue Apple? Deeper pockets?

You bet, bluetooth has been around for a while, they wait until those infringing are making big money, then they demad payment or sue. It is all about greed.

ACW
Mar 30, 2007, 03:29 AM
I wish this would end bluetooth and kick-start wireless high-speed USB. We have the technology, but first the leading company will want to charge an insane amount for the wireless high-speed USB. Bluetooth is overrated, I am glad Apple never released wireless BT headphones. Which makes me wonder BTW, how will the headphones connect to the iPhone and where does the SIM chip go? :confused:

The iPhone has a 3.5mm jack and I guess the Sim chip must have a slot.

ericblr
Mar 30, 2007, 11:53 AM
law is there, judge will decide, after all, they invented bloothtooth, they deserve the money, if they want to sue, fine, there is law, isn't there?

I could have sworn IBM invented this technology almost 10 years ago.

Oh... wait... I am partially wrong...

According to the wikipedia entry...

"In 1998, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, and Nokia, formed a consortium and adopted the code name Bluetooth for their proposed open specification. In December 1999, 3Com, Lucent Technologies, Microsoft, and Motorola joined the initial founders as the promoter group. Since that time, Lucent Technologies transferred their membership to their spinoff Agere Systems, and 3Com has left the promoter group."

Could someone pleeeeease explain to me where this so called, Washington research fits into this?