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Apple's Patent War Against Android May Lead to Settlements Under Tim Cook's Influence

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Bloomberg Businessweek publishes a cover story on the ongoing patent war between Apple and Android, outlining the history of the disputes between Apple and Android manufacturers such as HTC, Samsung and Motorola.

The report notes that Apple has actually experienced only limited success in its legal efforts, suggesting that Steve Jobs' vow to wage "thermonuclear war" against Android may be backfiring somewhat with Apple's soaring legal costs and retaliatory actions from its targets subjecting the company to risk while the benefits remain meager.

Photograph by Jochen Seigle/Polaris
Corroborating claims from earlier this month regarding Apple's willingness to settle with the Android device manufacturers it has filed suit against, Bloomberg Businessweek reports that Apple and Samsung have "communicated lately" about settlement possibilities. The report suggests that settlement has become a more feasible option now that Apple is led by Tim Cook.
People familiar with the situation, however, note that top-level executives at both Apple and Samsung have communicated lately about potential settlement options. Apple CEO Tim Cook does not seem to share his predecessor's passion about laying all foes to waste. Cook appears to view litigation as a necessary evil, not a vehicle of cosmic revenge.
Stanford University law professor Mark Lemley notes that the patent war has cost Apple and its opponents over $400 million over the past few years, and it is unclear just what benefits they have received for that massive sum of money. Lemley predicts that there will eventually be a major cross-licensing deal to bring the majority of the legal disputes to an end, but in the meantime the war continues to escalate as all sides continue to file new suits.

Article Link: Apple's Patent War Against Android May Lead to Settlements Under Tim Cook's Influence
 

AJH1993

macrumors regular
Oct 26, 2011
154
0
These patent wars are really old. Not just from Apple. Why can't we all just get along?
 
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Dwalls90

Contributor
Feb 5, 2009
5,012
2,998
These patent wars are really old. Not just from Apple. Why can't we all just get along?

And that is why you are not a business person :)

Being nice rarely generates revenue, and allowing people to freely steal ideas hurts competition which hurts the end user.
 
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gpat

macrumors 65816
Mar 1, 2011
1,002
1,304
Italy
Steve Jobs was a genius and there was no doubt that he led Apple to being what it is today, but you have to recognize he was very short-sighted in some things, like having to destroy Android. I have to agree with Tim here, settling for licensing patents can be beneficial to both Apple and the Android OEMs.
 
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matteusclement

macrumors 65816
Jan 26, 2008
1,144
0
victoria
Mr Cook sees the long term and knows Apple is just going to win in Sales. What other companies are innovating? Everyone just seems to continue copying apple. IE- next year other tablets will have retina displays... wow. :eek:
 
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IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,889
1,478
Palookaville
Hardly anyone really "wins" these patent lawsuits, they are nearly always settled. Fights to the death are always unwise unless you are 100% certain that you will be the one left standing.

The dirty little secret of cross-licensing agreements of the kind talked about here is that they can have the effect of locking other competitors (and potential competitors) out of markets.
 
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thekeyring

macrumors 68040
Jan 5, 2012
3,441
2,075
London
Two problems with Android, meaning Apple will still win, even if this never gets settled.

1) Your new phone doesn't always work with a new release of Android. We know the iPhone 4S, and can assume the iPhone 4, will work with iOS 6.

2) If Android are copying Apple, you may as well stick with the people doing it first. :)
 
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Eduardo1971

macrumors demi-god
Jun 16, 2006
1,326
726
Lost Angeles, Ca. usa
Tim Cook is really blazing his own trail at Apple. Good for him. I'm sure he will leave a long lasting and positive imprint (just like Steve Jobs).

Very exciting times for Apple!
 
Comment

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
In the long run, one benefit of Apple fighting (up to a point) is to make sure they’re not seen as a “soft target.” Even if competitors take their ideas and (sometimes) get away with it in the end, at least they’ll know it’s not simple to get away with. Maybe some future “thefts” won’t happen as a result, and we’ll see more real innovation and originality in the market than we would if Apple just sat there and made only token efforts to defend itself.

Of course it’s only worth fighting up to a point.

Also remember that as of about a year ago (and I’ve seen no numbers since), Apple was the most-sued tech company. These battles include a lot of things that seem absurd on the surface, and plenty of them are absurd when fully understood, too—but it’s how the game is played, and Apple can’t be the lone company unwilling to use all available legal tactics. The “war” is a game Apple didn’t invent and can’t choose not to play.
 
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basesloaded190

macrumors 68030
Oct 16, 2007
2,693
5
Wisconsin
Tim Cook is really blazing his own trail at Apple. Good for him. I'm sure he will leave a long lasting and positive imprint (just like Steve Jobs).

Very exciting times for Apple!

Couldn't agree more. I like what he has been doing so far and I think he is making is mark on the company and leading it down the same direction but maybe on a slightly different route than what Steve would have chosen.
 
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IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,889
1,478
Palookaville
Tim Cook is really blazing his own trail at Apple. Good for him. I'm sure he will leave a long lasting and positive imprint (just like Steve Jobs).

Very exciting times for Apple!

Absolutely, and that's the other significant thing going on here. For better and for worse, Jobs ran the company like it was a messianic campaign. Cook is a lot more pragmatic by all accounts and this is probably a good thing for the company at this stage of its evolution. My confidence in Tim Cook's leadership grows daily.
 
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carlgo

macrumors 68000
Dec 29, 2006
1,806
17
Monterey CA
They will agree on the more hazy patents, but all will defend patents that they consider clear and important.

Adults in charge. This is going to be good for Apple.
 
Comment

radiohead14

macrumors 6502a
Nov 6, 2008
873
42
nyc
Mr Cook sees the long term and knows Apple is just going to win in Sales. What other companies are innovating? Everyone just seems to continue copying apple. IE- next year other tablets will have retina displays... wow. :eek:

give credit where it's due... Samsung for your retina displays

in addition.. Samsung has already demoed their hi-res displays last year as well:
http://www.phonearena.com/news/Samsung-demos-two-2560x1600-pixels-10-displays-production-of-one-to-start-next-year_id23296
 
Comment

StarHunter

macrumors newbie
Oct 14, 2011
23
6
Looks like Tim is really following Steve's last bit of advise:

"Never ask what I would do. Just do what's right."
 
Comment

CFreymarc

Suspended
Sep 4, 2009
3,969
1,149
These patent wars are really old. Not just from Apple. Why can't we all just get along?

Just another sign that this second post-Steve Apple does not have the passion and fire that Steve had to make it great. In the high tech business, being reasonable can lead to a slow death. With Apple's massive cash holdings and Steve's product plans going out four years, be interesting to see what Apple is in come 2020.
 
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swingerofbirch

macrumors 68040
What's interesting is that these battles didn't benefit Apple in the 90s either, and by the time Steve Jobs came back to Apple his mantra was that for Apple to win, Microsoft didn't have to lose. When he introduced the iPhone, though, I remember him saying, "we patented the hell out of this thing." I suppose it was rather personal to him having had Schmidt on the board of directors at the time and then go and "be inspired" by the iPhone.
 
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Doc750

macrumors 6502a
Aug 11, 2010
803
4
this is a slap in the face of Steve Jobs legacy.

Being complacent and getting along with competitors is not how you blaze a trail that others are falling over each other to catch up on.

just another nail in Apples coffin

you can only ride the coat tails for so long ...
 
Comment

Torrijos

macrumors 6502
Jan 10, 2006
383
21
While I don't know what Tim is going to do, I don't care either way, but I question the logic advanced by some "journalists".

While 400M$ isn't pocket change, even for Apple, the lawsuits have also caused a burden to the others manufacturers and real statistics have shown which player is earning the lion share of the PROFITS.

So Apple has the cumulative weight of the lawsuits it launches but the others players do attack themselves and most of the android players ended-up paying Microsoft some royalties, in the end all of them are hurting and Apple is by all real economic accounts the one getting away unscathed.

A big victory for Apple would be to get the FRAND patents it uses to be set at a fixed value (which is the logical way), and get royalties from its own patents. Since Apple mostly occupy the high end with market with only a couple of models they end up pushing less total devices that their competition, probably ending getting more cash that they would pay in the patent war.
 
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Koodauw

macrumors 68040
Nov 17, 2003
3,943
180
Madison
While I am not saying this is either good or bad, this is not the Apple I have come to know and love.
 
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