Should Apple license out some of its patents?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by PracticalMac, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. PracticalMac macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #1
  2. Interstella5555 macrumors 603

    Interstella5555

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    Jun 30, 2008
    #2
    They have $76 billion cash on hand...how could this possibly be hurting them?
     
  3. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #3
    Exactly.
    I'm sure they're not hurting for money to do that.
     
  4. SporkLover macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Since Apple has cash on hand it is obvious they don't need to for another revenue stream, but the point one of the article is that they should because if they don't their competitors will just work around their patents, so they lose their value. With Apple going to war with their patent folio, they also open themselves up to litigation as well.... sapping their resources (albeit they have plenty).

    I personally think that the patent laws are sadly behind the times and that many patents out there are so sadly generic that many companies (apple included) don't deserve the some of the patents they have.

    One of the ones that dumbfounded me was the won the Apple won against HTC...... it had to do with the OS parsing information and software being able to take appropriate actions. The way it was written was so non-specific it really meant nothing and was soooo broad. So now HTC must find a new way to make addresses clickable links for GPS, Phone numbers clickable element so you can call..... etc...
     
  5. psonice macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    This argument is incredibly flawed. The value to apple is the fact that competitors *do* work around them. Simple illustration: Say apple owned a patent on touch screens. Competitors can work around that, by dropping the touch screen and having lots of buttons. The iPhone becomes the best phone available by default, dominates the top end of the market, apple charge a premium of $200 per phone and make a ton of money. Or: They license it, the iPhone gets lost in a sea of similar devices, sells a lot less and only gets a premium of $50, but they get $5 for every android device sold.

    Obviously they don't have such a patent, but they do have a *lot* of small but important patents. They could license the lot for a small fee, or they can keep those many small features. It's the many small features that make the phone great as much as the few big ones - this is what will keep the iPhone distinctive and 'better'.

    Totally agree that the patent system is seriously screwed, but maybe not in the way you think it is. Take that patent you mention: back when that was invented, it actually was a new concept, nobody had done it before, and nobody had thought of it. Back then a web page was just a page of text with a few images, and links that had to be specified in the page. Apple's engineers realised that you could scan this for certain bits of info like addresses, phone numbers, dates etc., and offer additional options. That was pretty clever, and they went ahead and built it into products back then too. (And yes, it does have to be non-specific, because there are so many kinds of data you can detect like this). This is a good patent.

    If you want to know why the patent system is screwed (particularly in the US) take this example: You patent something to do with websites. Doesn't matter what, anything that gets through the patent system is fine, even if it's worthless as a patent. Next, find some small businesses and sue them for patent infringement. They haven't infringed it, but who cares? If they want to fight it, it'll cost $50,000 just to get started. The actual court case is likely to cost $1m+. It's a small business, they don't have the money - so they have a choice of a) paying you or b) bankruptcy. (If you want to see this in action, search for 'Lodsys' - they target lots of small app developers.)
     
  6. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #6
    Sometimes being nice or accommodating is better then all the money in the world.
    Public perception.

    Apple is starting to be seen as Microsoft, an EVIL MEGA COMPANY, and one can spend billions in advertising to counter that.
     
  7. Interstella5555 macrumors 603

    Interstella5555

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    Jun 30, 2008
    #7
    You're right, they only have $52 billion on hand!!!! But let's get back to reality here, there's nothing to motivate MS or Apple to be "nice" or "considerate." they run businesses in capitalist societies, they're there to make money, not to be nice to each other. As other posters have said, why would Apple license, say, magsafe so everyone else can sell it? They developed it, they're known for it, so what's the reason to sell it? Or OS X on any computer? Sure, the fact that hardware/software being built for each other is one of the things that makes Apple great, but hey, it would help Dell sell computers, so they should probably go for it.
     
  8. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    Houston, TX
    #8
    Read my post, please.

    It's not about playing nice, but playing safe. Certain low value techs license out, key ones keep to self.

    Perception is Apple is not a greedy no share company, but one who will play ball if the money is right.
     

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