Apple Preemptively Sues 'Patent Troll' to Address Threats Over USB-Related Power Patents

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Apple on Tuesday filed suit against Fundamental Innovation Systems International (FISI), preemptively asking a California court to declare that Apple has not infringed upon a number of USB power patents held by FISI.

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    FISI, described by Apple as a patent assertion entity formed for the sole purpose of generating revenue through patent litigation, acquired a portfolio of charging-related patents from BlackBerry that it has asserted against several tech giants, including LG, Samsung, and Huawei, who are now listed as FISI licensees.

    Apple believes it could be sued next and is seeking a declaration of non-infringement in advance, according to the complaint:
    The former BlackBerry patents generally relate to USB-based charging protocols, systems, and methods dating back to the early 2000s.

    Apple believes none of its products violate the patents, including its power adapters. One of Apple's consistent defenses throughout its complaint is that its devices and power adapters rely on its proprietary Lightning connector rather than adhering to the USB 2.0 protocols described in the patents.

    Apple has demanded a jury trial in the U.S. District Court of Northern California. Beyond a declaration of non-infringement, Apple is seeking legal fees and any other relief which Apple may be entitled to as deemed appropriate by the court.


    Article Link: Apple Preemptively Sues 'Patent Troll' to Address Threats Over USB-Related Power Patents
     
  2. G5isAlive macrumors 6502a

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    Lawyers are a necessary evil, but one does get tired of this type of instance where no one wins.
     
  3. genovelle macrumors 6502a

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    I love it! They should set aside 10% of their extra 200 billion in cash to a strike first legal fund and make it known they will control the conversation by ensuring it is fought in their turf in California.
     
  4. cmaier macrumors G5

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    Someone will definitely win
     
  5. tzm41 macrumors regular

    tzm41

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    The lawyers win
     
  6. cmaier macrumors G5

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    No we don’t.
     
  7. The Don Onez macrumors member

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    So if a company sees another company about to fail, and decided to purchase their portfolio to make money off their patents, they are considered patent trolls?

    Sounds like a great business decision.
     
  8. scrapesleon macrumors 6502a

    scrapesleon

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    Exactly they still get paid win or lose
     
  9. cmaier macrumors G5

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    A patent troll is an entity that asserts patents but does not engage in business using its patented technologies.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 6, 2019 ---
    No, they often do not.
     
  10. kironin macrumors 6502a

    kironin

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    Yes, definite patent trolls.

    It's not the purpose or intent for which patents exist. Really there should be a process in which these patents go in to the public domain after a company fails and is no longer intent on making use of these patents in a productive manner.
     
  11. Mcmeowmers macrumors 6502

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    Maybe you should make the distinction between the different types of lawyers and the ones that are more at risk to not getting paid instead of claiming they don't.
     
  12. cmaier macrumors G5

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    Where in the constitution, which is where patent rights emanate from, does it say that isn’t what patents are for?
    --- Post Merged, Feb 6, 2019 ---
    Lawyers representing plaintiffs (patentholders) often only get paid if they win.

    Lawyers representing accused infringers typically get paid either way.
     
  13. BootsWalking macrumors 6502a

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    And if that doesn't work Apple can proactively sue FSI for copying the round corners of their connectors :)
     
  14. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

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    This sounds like Apple may be doing more for the parties currently being sued. I bet something like this causes the patent trolls to drop all cases.
     
  15. The Don Onez macrumors member

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    "Should" but that's not the case today.

    I don't understand why a patent should go into public domain after a company fails. If their assets are sold off, then the new buyer should be able to pull a profit. Evidently the patents are still useful, or they wouldn't be used.
     
  16. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

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    Yes, if they bought the company for the patents and have no intent of actually using them expect for suing people.
     
  17. mi7chy, Feb 6, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019

    mi7chy macrumors 603

    mi7chy

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    Apple sued for rectangle with rounded corners so they shouldn't be complaining about charging technologies. They are part of the problem.
     
  18. The Don Onez macrumors member

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    That can't be right. A company that comes up with a patent for better fuel efficiency for cars, don't really have to be in the car manufacturing business.
    I may be missing the problem with a company only making money due to patents that they hold.
     
  19. cmaier macrumors G5

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    There is no problem. And the definition is right. No one is saying you have to use your patents. You are allowed to be a patent troll. It’s just an epithet people use.
     
  20. The Don Onez macrumors member

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    Anyone know why big companies don't see this before the smaller "patent trolling" companies buy these up and use them for lawsuits.

    I know LG, Samsung, Apple, ... have more money than some of these trolling companies.
     
  21. cmaier macrumors G5

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    Sometimes they buy them. Sometimes protection businesses like RPX buy them. Often they decide they aren’t worth anything. And sometimes they just don’t know about them.
     
  22. trusso macrumors 6502

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  23. Naraxus macrumors 6502a

    Naraxus

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  24. jdiamond macrumors 6502

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    As someone with experience in the tech field and patents, I would be greatly in favor of abandoning ALL patents. The reason is that the few cases in which a patent describes something that's truly novel and non obvious is so small as to be not worth even considering as a factor.

    However, a good intermediate step for those who still see a point to patents would be to disallow ANY revenue from patent ownership from any party that (1) isn't the original inventor of the idea, or (2) isn't actively producing a product incorporating the idea. The purpose of patents is to spur innovation, not make people rich or commoditize ideas. For all those with the knee jerk reaction of "why would people make anything if they couldn't patent it" IMO has never been part of a technical job, in which everything you do, every day, is more sophisticated than most patents. Often it's how you end up using them - the total package - that has the real value. And that's not patentable.
     
  25. tridley68 macrumors 6502a

    tridley68

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    What's next Apple getting sued for making a phone with a rectangle power button.
     

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