Apple Pays $25 Million in Settlement Over Cover Flow, Time Machine Patents

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Apple will pay $25 million to settle a patent lawsuit with Network-1 Technologies' subsidiary Mirror World Technologies and license its patents, the companies announced today. The patent (No. 6,006,227) dates back to 1999, covering a system that stores documents in a stream ordered chronologically, similar to Apple's Cover Flow or Time Machine.

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    The technologies described in the patent were developed from the work of Yale University computer scientist Professor David Gelernter and his then-graduate student Dr. Eric Freeman in 1996. They then founded Mirror Worlds LLC, which began a long-running legal fight with Apple over the patent. In 2010, Apple was hit with a $625 million judgment over the patent. A year later, Apple won a reversal of the decision and the judge closed the case in Apple's favor.

    In 2013, Mirror Worlds was purchased by Network-1 and the company acquired Mirror World's patents. Network-1 describes itself as a company "engaged in the development, licensing and protection of its intellectual property and proprietary technologies." Last year, the company also reached a settlement with Microsoft for $4.6 million over the same patent.

    Article Link: Apple Pays $25 Million in Settlement Over Cover Flow, Time Machine Patents
     
  2. okboy macrumors regular

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    Mirror Worlds doesn't sound like a patent troll. But on the other had Network-1 does (correct me if I'm wrong). So perhaps Network-1 wasn't deserving of that win, but Mirror Worlds was. But to expect MirrorWorlds to spend all that time, money and energy fighting a legal battle is a lot. They're the little guy. So they took an advance and let the big guys, whom we don't like, do the fighting.

    Morally ambiguous.

    EDIT: Also, the link to the patent seems broken.
     
  3. Cartoonkid macrumors 6502

    Cartoonkid

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    #3
    Maybe not trolls, but patent hoarders, and the only way they make money is by suing others.

    Not saying they aren't justified since they own the patent. It's just a slimy business model.
     
  4. okboy macrumors regular

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    #4
    It seems like they were academic computer scientists coming up with innovative ideas. Not exactly my image of a patent troll but who knows.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 8, 2016 ---
    For those wondering Mirror Worlds LLC's compensation was

    "The consideration paid by Network-1 to Mirror Worlds, LLC for the Patent Portfolio consisted of (i) $3,000,000 in cash, (ii) 5-year warrants to purchase 875,000 shares of common stock of Network-1 at $1.40 per share, and (iii) 5-year warrants to purchase 875,000 shares of Network-1 at $2.10 per share.

    Recognition also received from Network-1 an interest in the net proceeds realized from the monetization of the Patent Portfolio as follows: (i) 10% of the first $125 million of net proceeds, (ii) 15% of the next $125 million of net proceeds, (iii) and 20% of any portion of the net proceeds in excess of $250 million."

    So they got $3 million up front, plus they'll get $2.5 million (10%) from this lawsuit + licensing.
     
  5. 997941 Suspended

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    #5
    Unless apple does it. Then its called protectiong intellectual property :)
     
  6. JosephAW macrumors 68020

    JosephAW

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    #6
    It's funny how they waited until the patent expired.
     
  7. DocPenguin macrumors member

    DocPenguin

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    #7
    You have violated my patent for a vessel that will hold a fluid substance containing molecules consisting of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. This vessel may be held to a users face at an angle from 280 degrees to 350 degrees causing the fluid to flow from the vessel into the user's mouth. This all to aid in the act of hydrating the user. Alternatively, other fluid substances beyond that which is mentioned above may also be contained and transferred within the aforementioned vessel.
     
  8. Cartoonkid macrumors 6502

    Cartoonkid

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    #8
    Except that Apple actually MAKES things protected by the patents they own, whereas, "Network-1 describes itself as a company 'engaged in the development, licensing and protection of its intellectual property and proprietary technologies.'"

    Or in other words, they don't make a damn thing.

    Granted, not every patent Apple has is for something they've brought to market, but if they stopped making iDevices and just sued companies that infringed their patents, I'd say the same thing about them.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 8, 2016 ---
    The original developers of the patent were academic computer scientists. Network-1 is anything but that.
     
  9. slapppy macrumors 65816

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    #9
    Seems like Apple has been busy copying rather than inventing or being creative these days. Sad isn't it?
     
  10. fastasleep macrumors 6502

    fastasleep

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    #10
    Sure, if it were true.
     
  11. thermodynamic Suspended

    thermodynamic

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    #11
    Define "troll" - like a company that buys out competing companies not for technology but to collect and hoard more patents? That's what some people would suggest, but there's no consensus. Should there be a consensus and official definition?
     
  12. MacCubed macrumors 68000

    MacCubed

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    #12
    Time Machine came out with OS X Leopard in 2007, and Cover Flow was actually designed by an artist named Andrew Enright. Apple purchased Cover Flow in 2006, and has appeared in subsequent iOS and OS X releases. Either way, these were both made in the Jobs era of Apple so it's not Cooks' fault (I think that is what you were inferring with your comment).
     
  13. thermodynamic Suspended

    thermodynamic

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    #13
    Easier to prove it is true. Look up the number of articles discussing how iOS copied Android, MacOS copying Xerox, Apple using open source (freebies) instead of developing its own OS X from scratch, and so on.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 8, 2016 ---
    If they buy a patent then they own the damn thing, as you so delicately put it.

    Pity the scientists as much as the open source developers who toiled for nothing as Apple and other companies took what they invented too.
     
  14. BrodieApple macrumors 6502

    BrodieApple

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    #14
    Apple has been using cover flow on their iPods from around 2005. Plus this is a dumb argument what do you want them to invent when going through files
     
  15. SgtPepper23 macrumors regular

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    #15
    and Cover Flow has been phased out of iOS and taken quite the backseat in OS X
     
  16. Cartoonkid macrumors 6502

    Cartoonkid

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    #16
    Except this article and the lawsuit has nothing to do with open source developers or software. So, what's your point?
     
  17. Smith288 macrumors 65816

    Smith288

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    #17
    So if I came up with a great idea but not enough capital to develop it, I shouldn't be able to "hoard" that intellectual property? Really? Companies should be able to come and take it without licensing it? Because, Apple? Please.
     
  18. xkmxkmxlmx macrumors 6502a

    xkmxkmxlmx

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    #18
    25 mil? That's like 5 million for each person that actually used cover flow more than once.
     
  19. macs4nw macrumors 601

    macs4nw

    #19
    Is that patent expired now in 2016, leaving Apple free to use it in future if they so desire, or will Apple have to renegotiate a new term if they want to continue to use Cover Flow in Time Machine from 2017 onwards?

    If they have continued non-exclusive license to use that 227 patent, I think Apple got a sweet deal, and I'd love to see Cover Flow back, here, there and everywhere, esp. in iTunes.
     
  20. jonnysods macrumors 603

    jonnysods

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    #20
    I'll settle with you for 25 million, because I'm so dang thirsty and I need to use your amazing idea
     
  21. JPSaltzman macrumors regular

    JPSaltzman

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    #21
    Well, now we know why "Cover Flow" disappeared, and a little bit of insight on why iTunes has only become progressively worse and soooo non-intuitive/user-friendly. (iTunes 12 is an unmitigated disaster and set a new low in Apple-designed software….. and you thought they couldn't get any worse than Photos!)
     
  22. cgillespie7060 macrumors newbie

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    #22
    I miss Coverflow. I even emailed Tim about it. And iTunes is such a jumblephuc now. Nothing intuitive about it anymore.
     
  23. slapppy macrumors 65816

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    #23
    Well um this news story proves it.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 8, 2016 ---
    Well, something that doesn't blatantly copy someone which ends up losing a lawsuit.
     
  24. Ferazel macrumors regular

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    Aug 4, 2010
    #24
    Software patents are impossible... but I don't like the functionality of either of these views (CoverFlow in particular). They are both super inefficient and overly flashy. Maybe this will convince Apple to no longer use them so that they don't have to keep paying patent royalties for them.
     
  25. MacTouch786 macrumors newbie

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    Aug 27, 2008
    #25
    Should be fixed now, thanks!
     

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