Greg's bite: It's Monday, so let's sue Apple
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Greg's bite: It's Monday, so let's sue Apple

By Greg Mills

The Monday morning coffee at too many law firms is still brewing while the top legal minds are plotting a new law suit against Apple. Frankly, I get tired of reading stories about the new law suit of the day being filed against Apple, for whatever reason.  

Some of the lamest suits have been filed and dismissed in recent years. It is interesting to me that the filing of a suit and the dismissal of most of them are treated far differently by the press. With great fanfare the suite is filed' without even a blip on the screen the suite goes away. The hope of most of those filing suits is for an out-of-ourt settlement.  

At any given time, there are likely a hundred or more suits still pending against Apple. It takes a small army of lawyers to keep up on them all and not allow a deadline to pass without answering actions of the other side. Holding a portfolio of patents also costs a fortune and requires another division of lawyers to keep up on patent applications and the tortured processes at the US Patent Office. I have often wondered what the ratio of engineers to lawyers is at Apple.

Being a fairly jaded inventor myself, I both love and hate the patent process. The promise of protecting ideas is grand, but the reality is less so. In recent years the Patent Office has been transformed into a place that extracts funds in any way possible -- and at the end of the process gives you a patent, which is only a license to sue in Federal Court if you want to protect that idea. If you have a few billion in the bank and an army of lawyers on retainer, that is the way you do business. You sue and get sued by competitors.

Sometimes you settle and license the technology to further your product line and use ideas you like. Other times you simply buy the company to obtain their patent portfolio. Most of the time you simply do the legal process, knowing most of the time you can wear the opponent down or out spend them in the process. You bury them with paper. You know that even a valid claim will finally work out in the form of a deal to license and pay some amount for the technology.  

The vast majority of patent suits against Apple are "will it stick to the wall?" sorts of suits. The interpretation of patents can be broad or narrow. A lot of interpretation and argument is made before the courts to force a license agreement or dismiss a suit. Holding a lot of patents is like holding a bunch of cards you can use to trump a competitor who sues with similar technology to what you are using. Sometimes you simply engineer your way around a patent claim, sometimes you can't. Sometimes you argue the patent is invalid.

The patent portfolio is also the ammunition used for suing actual infringing companies who copy everything Apple does. It is possible with enough attorney power and a valid patent to actually get the system to work as advertised.  

It makes me tired just thinking about it. My experience is that, as an individual inventor, getting the Patent System to work to protect my ideas is sort of like trying to roll a large boulder up a hill. If you stop pushing, it will roll back over you. Deep pockets will prevail no matter how egregious the infringement. The Federal Court system is incredibly expensive, and it is always a crap shoot to sue.  

I am glad I gave up my plans to become a lawyer some years back, got right with God and got into honest work.... 

(Greg Mills is currently a Faux Artist in Kansas City. Formerly a new product R&D man for the paint sundry market, he holds 11 US patents. He's working on a solar energy startup using a patent pending process of turning waste dual pane glass into thermal solar panels used to heat water. Married, with one daughter still at home, Greg writes for intellectual web sites and Mac related issues. See Greg's web sites at http://www.gregmills.info . He can be emailed at gregmills@mac.com)

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

How to be a star in Britney Spears: Amer...
If you've ever wanted to be a star, baby, then you've probably already checked out Britney Spears: American Dream and are happily making your way up the charts. But fame doesn't come easy, and everyone needs a helping hand sometimes. So we've got... | Read more »
AppSpy is hiring a part time Staff Write...
| Read more »
How to save lives in ER Surgery Simulato...
A serious earthquake has struck a nearby town in ER Surgery Simulator - Emergency Doctor, and it’s up to you to save the victims. [Read more] | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a high score in G...
Ketchapp Games loves the endless runner genre. And its newest game, Gravity Switch, is no exception. Gravity Switch takes a fresh approach, though, as you move a block, suspended in zero gravity, safely through a maze of shifting pillars. If the... | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a high score in S...
Smash Fu is a high-paced tile-tapping game that requires quick reflexes and some practice. You’ll have to smash bricks with the skill of a seasoned black belt to get a high score. To raise the stakes a bit, you’ll also have to avoid tapping any... | Read more »
How to keep the ball rolling in Dropple
If you're new to the minimalist puzzler Dropple, you may find yourself struggling to make it beyond the first couple of steps before your ball falls into the endless abyss below. [Read more] | Read more »
How not to die in Traffic Rider
Traffic Rider, an Out Run-esque game in which your ride a motorcycle recklessly into trffic, might not seem particularly complicated. [Read more] | Read more »
How to adjust your chess game for Regici...
At first glance you might likenWarhammer 40,000: Regicide to Chess - and you'd be right. Regicideputs its own spin on the classic board game though, so some of your tried and true methods may not work quite so well here. [Read more] | Read more »
Rush Rally 2 (Games)
Rush Rally 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: -- Rush Rally 2 is the most authentic and thrilling rally simulation on your mobile, all running at an astounding 60fps. Console... | Read more »
Warhammer 40000: Regicide (Games)
Warhammer 40000: Regicide 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ++NOTE: Optimized for with iPad Air, iPad mini 2, iPhone 5 and up. ++ "“This game has no right to be as good as it... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Textkraft Professional Becomes A Mobile Produ...
The new update 4.1 of Textkraft Professional for the iPad comes with many new and updated features that will be particularly of interest to self-publishers of e-books. Highlights include import and... Read more
SnipNotes 2.0 – Intelligent note-taking for i...
Indie software developer Felix Lisczyk has announced the release and immediate availability of SnipNotes 2.0, the next major version of his productivity app for iOS devices and Apple Watch.... Read more
Pitch Clock – The Entrepreneur’s Wingman Laun...
Grand Rapids, Michigan based Skunk Tank has announced the release and immediate availability of Pitch Clock – The Entrepreneur’s Wingman 1.1, the company’s new business app available exclusively on... Read more
13-inch 2.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro (model #MF841LL/A) on sale for $1599 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP. Amazon also has the 13″ 3.9GHz Retina... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
Clearance 12-inch Retina MacBooks available s...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on leftover 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks with models now available starting at $999. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook... Read more
Check Apple prices on any device with the iTr...
MacPrices is proud to offer readers a free iOS app (iPhones, iPads, & iPod touch) and Android app (Google Play and Amazon App Store) called iTracx, which allows you to glance at today’s lowest... Read more
New 2016 13-inch 256GB MacBook Air on sale fo...
B&H Photo has the new 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air (model MMGG2LL/A) on sale for $1149 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Amazon has the 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Air 2s available start...
Apple has Certified Refurbished iPad Air 2 available starting at $339. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 128GB Wi-Fi iPad Air 2: $499 - 64GB Wi-Fi iPad... Read more
Accenture and Vatican Opera Romana Pellegrina...
Accenture has announced that the official mobile application for the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis has been built and launched by Accenture Mobility, part of Accenture... Read more

Jobs Board

ISCS *Apple* ID Site Support Engineer - APP...
…position, we are looking for an individual who has experience supporting customers with Apple ID issues and enjoys this area of support. This person should be Read more
Automotive Sales Consultant - Apple Ford Linc...
…you. The best candidates are smart, technologically savvy and are customer focused. Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley is different, because: $30,000 annual salary Read more
*Apple* Support Technician II - Worldventure...
…global, fast growing member based travel company, is currently sourcing for an Apple Support Technician II to be based in our Plano headquarters. WorldVentures is Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
Editor, *Apple* News - APPLE (United States...
Job Summary The Apple News team is looking for a passionate...a news organization. Description * Program Top Stories in Apple News * Post on Apple News Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.