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How come no one ever calls for a girlcott?
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73 comments
 
+1 for the use of the word girlcott!  lol
 
Brilliantly put Chris. It's the patent system which is at fault, not Apple. It's like blaming the entire American populace and not the politicians for the Iraq war.
Vijay V
 
Totally with you! Maybe +Google should give #Android entirely to the open source community and just develop their own phone & tablet using #Chrome 
 
+Vijay V MS still demands patent fees for Chrome. Besides, Chrome isn't mature enough.
 
+Arnab Das Yes and no. In reality, a legal system cannot and should not be expected to delineate every aspect of ethical behavior.

Apple and its CEO chose the petulant sociopath route, wilfully and with malice aforethought. They were not forced or required to behave in such a churlish manner.

Tim Cook & Co have no high ground here, moral or otherwise, and they do not deserve a free pass just because what they are doing is marginally within the law.
 
You are right. However, Apple still is exploiting the system. Its still shameful on their behalf. Just because its not illegal does not mean its right.
 
+James Karaganis I like that argument. Sane voice such as yours should speak out. Instead the whole boycott apple group is filled with people who are either android users who wouldn't buy an iPhone anyway, apparently disgruntled yet hypocritical apple users who continue to use apple products or people who have nothing else to say except 'fuck you' and 'fuck apple'. Hats off to you good sir.
 
While I agree that the patent system is horrendously broken, that doesn't alleviate my anger at Apple for knowingly abusing said system. A lot of companies could do this and choose not to. Apple just doesn't like other kids playing in the sandbox. Unfortunate really as Apple used to be a real contributor. Now they just sue. :(
 
They are NOT exploiting the system. They're using the system as it was intended to be used, and if you bothered to read anything beyond insipid hashtags, you'd know: https://plus.google.com/103583939320326217147/posts/gDyTw9WvezC
 
+Arnab Das Thank you. And I agree with your evaluation of our patent system. It is severely broken (and not by accident.)
 
+Chris Pirillo Apple lost billions to Windows because they didn't do what was necessary to protect themselves in court. So now every minute detail that makes their software or hardware unique from anyone will be defended.
 
the big question with the   #patentabsurdity   is: when is it fundamental, intuitive and at which point innovative. patenting round corners, something common in "modern" design, is kind of pitiable. Defending against a look-alike is something else. But , bitch please ~, the galaxy nexus has nothing in common with anything from apple. 
 
+Chris Pirillo Do us the favor of not assuming we are all idiots. While within ANY cause, you will find those who complain simply to complain without research, you will also find plenty who have done their due diligence and researched, perhaps even with an open ear. If this were truly a black and white issue, do you think one link would say it straight? People don't agree, and both sides have perfectly valid arguments.
 
Not defending your patents is not a valid argument - it's a valid way of losing your business.
 
+Chris Pirillo Google hasn't taken anyone to court over patents yet, and if they do, it will likely only be tit-for-tat or over something concrete rather than vague and indecipherable. So your argument doesn't hold water. It's possible to both succeed and not be an evil patent troll.
 
You're asking me, again, to prove a negative. Google is not going to let a patent get violated if it impacts business. Trust me, they care more about their shareholders than they do "open."
 
+Chris Pirillo Google has had ample opportunities to sue rivals for infringement and haven't, so it isn't a hypothetical. What you can't prove is that Apple is acting in good faith, because they're not, they're suing over B.S. and thank goodness for Judge Posner, obviously a far more competent judge than Koh, calling them on it.
 
Their business model isn't threatened.
 
+Chris Pirillo Contrary to what some patent ghouls... er, lawyers... think, there is no law against threatening a business model in and of itself.
 
+Eli Fennell - of course not, but there's patent law put in place to help protect companies who have a registered and approved claim. If you don't like it, push for patent reform. 
 
+Chris Pirillo That is not correct.  Patent laws were created to protect innovation, not to give companies (companies as we now know them didn't even exist in the States at the time, and what experience we'd had with them like the Dutch East India Trading Company hadn't been very positive) power to prevent competition in the market over minor components of a system.  Otherwise Ford would have had a 20-year patent on the steering wheel.
 
Let's move beyond the question of patents themselves... I doubt anyone would say patents are inherently evil... and look at one of the patents Apple wields most frequently:

Apple Patent US5946647: "A system and method causes a computer to detect and perform actions on structures identified in computer data. The system provides an analyzer server, an application program interface, a user interface and an action processor. The analyzer server receives from an application running concurrently data having recognizable structures, uses a pattern analysis unit, such as a parser or fast string search function, to detect structures in the data, and links relevant actions to the detected structures. The application program interface communicates with the application running concurrently, and transmits relevant information to the user interface. Thus, the user interface can present and enable selection of the detected structures, and upon selection of a detected structure, present the linked candidate actions. Upon selection of an action, the action processor performs the action on the detected structure."

If you can tell me in advance what does and does not constitute a violation of this patent, I will eat every one of my hats.  That is clearly not how patents were ever meant to be used.
 
+Eli Fennell That is not true Eli, because I invented the steering wheel... Just now. Time to get my muhf*ckin check! Lol :)
 
+Robert Elliot Exactly.  Some dude in Arizona recently was caught in an act of bestiality... but the laws didn't say what he was doing was illegal.  By the arguments presented here for not holding what Apple is doing against them, we shouldn't hold what that guy did against him.  He wasn't doing anything wrong... he was using the system exactly as it was set up.
 
If Google's snapping up patents, they're complicit. They're choosing to play the game, albeit differently - but they're playing the game, nonetheless.

I don't blame ANY company for defending what they are legally able to defend.

But don't pick and choose your battles, please. There are millions of companies you should be boycotting for this, that, and the other thing.

Most anti-Apple rhetoric seems to be coming from people who don't have any Apple devices nor would ever buy them, regardless of this latest flap against Samsung (which, according to a COURT OF LAW, violated registered patents).
 
Dammit. Again, not when your business (read: PROFIT) is at stake. You can't tell me, with a straight face, that Google (with all its shareholders) would take the moral high ground and pass on enforcing their patent in a COURT OF LAW if someone was using it without permission? Right.
 
Again, silly argument. If you buy an arsenal of guns and tell me you plan to kill me with them, and I buy an arsenal only to defend myself with them, we are not equally wrong just because we each claim a 2nd Amendment right to own those guns.

I would prefer neither side have any bogus patents at their disposal, but I will not tell the clear victims they must unilaterally disarm against their clear victimizers to prove some moral fortitude. It's Google, not Gandhi.
 
Lol and surely no... dun dun dunnn... COURT OF LAW has ever made an asinine/imperfect/erroneous ruling. Hehe actually in fact I'm sure it by all means could be perfectly legal... but then again I could legally argue for my right to piss on an electric fence... doesn't make it a good idea. ;)
 
The law is the law is the law - and if you don't like it, you can overturn it.
 
Again, you're resorting to a hypothetical. You have no proof Google would do that, and if they did I would oppose it. But they're not Apple is. We can oppose a flawed system and also object to those exploit it in fact, not hypothetically.
 
Also... Apple's loss of profits is the result of a bad business model, not ten patents, most of which are so vague that equally competent judges studying the same laws can render entirely contrary verdicts on the same patent claims.
 
Patents aren't hypothetical.

How Apple chooses to support their patents is up to them, just like Oracle - just like Google.

I certainly can't stop you from faulting Apple for wanting to remain profitable no more than I could stop you from claiming that Samsung had the rights to violate someone else's registered patent.

If you took a closer look at every single company and industry you support, I'm guessing you'd find other things to dislike / boycott.

Protecting one's business is not a silly argument. It's very serious.
 
+Robert Elliot - singling out a company for what they do when plenty of others do the same (or worse) is hypocritical. 
 
+Chris Pirillo No, patents are not hypothetical, but Google becoming a patent troll is. Apple becoming a patent troll is reality. I oppose every company exploiting vague patents, though if they do so only defensively or "tit-for-tat" (i.e. only against those who are currently attacking them in this way) I accept that as preferable to a "lay down and die" strategy. I actively condemn any company that acts, unprovoked, to launch B.S. patent claims.

Android's open model has proved superior so far in the market. Rather than accept this and adapt, Apple tries to sue the competition out of the market. Since they are the most egregious practicing company (excluding non-practicing entities, e.g. pure patent trolls), they are a logical target, much like it's more logical to protest a Wall Street bank than a guy who dabbles in stocks on etrade a bit.
 
+Chris Pirillo you are right in that, one must protect one's business, just like a country must protect its borders. But, that doesn't mean we attack our neighboring countries just because they have similar fences.

Please know I'm not a blind Google devotee... I'll give you an example. When Google served Cyanogen with a C&D letter over his Android mod because it contained the apks for the market, Gmail, Gtalk, etc, I was LIVID. I fumed and sputtered about "Open sourced my @$$" and all that, till I realized that they WORKED with him to find a workaround, then called it good. They didn't SUE, they didn't get his product banned or prevent him from doing it. I know it's not the same thing, but it's the mentality shift.

The patent system is absolutely at fault as well. One can not only patent a product, they can patent every single component of that product right down to GESTURES. Under that system, nobody is safe. But even so...If they have a legitimate case, Apple could license, then proceed to make their fine products and innovate further. Instead, they litigate, continue to make their fine products, and... play catch up? They are just not going to win back the market share by this.
 
+Eli Fennell Absolutely. I have said many times that I wish Apple would adapt, because they surely need to.
 
+Chris Pirillo Hahahahahahaha!  'Cause, ya know, NO ONE ever had the idea of multi-party video chat until those guys, right?  What a lame example.  You can't own a vague concept.  That's exactly the point.
 
+Chris Johnson Good example there with CyanogenMod... I would only point out that ANDROID is open source, not Google's apps.  Same way some company could make a non-open-source program that runs on Linux.  At least Google worked with them to make it possible.
 
+Chris Pirillo If true, absolutely not. Keep in mind this is far more specific then the convoluted patents Apple is claiming infringement on. Can't really argue a "Join Hangout" button. You'll notice I'm also not supporting CamUp or Google in this.
 
+Eli Fennell You are absolutely right. After I came to grips that is what I realized. Therein lies the (what I consider to be) superiority in Google's approach. They WELCOME the use of what they created, they want the expansion of it. Of course they make money off it, and so could Apple.
 
+Sean Sanders If you bothered to actually read my comments, I don't oppose patents. I oppose vague broad patents.
 
+Chris Johnson I'm not going to defend the rightness or wrongness of Google looking at a competing product called Hangouts, per se, but let's be honest: that's not a term you can really have much control over, because it's used in its proper context.  You could use the term Googleplex in its proper context... but not in reference to something clearly intended to ride on Google's success, because no one else ever used the term that way.  In the same way, you can't call a competing social network Facebook, but colleges had "facebooks" for years before Zuckerberg used it, so a college can have a "facebook" that isn't a social network.  But "hang out"?  It refers to an act that, in this case, was used in context, i.e. you're "hanging out" via video chat.  If you have a competing product, people will study it, and if you choose a generic term for what it does, it's all too easy to copy with no legal repercussions... and that's how it should be.  You can't patent an existing word being used the way everyone has always used it and sue for someone else using it that way.
 
+Chris Johnson Actually, after reading it, it wasn't even called "hangouts", it was called "watch with your friends".  So... unless Google actually copied copyrighted code, they didn't violate any laws, it's pretty standard practice for a company to study unique features of competing products and launch their own competing features.  Might as well say Facebook had no right to create Lists because Google had Circles.
 
Not if Google had met with Facebook to discuss using those features.
 
+Chris Pirillo The fact they met is irrelevant. If I meet with you because you're an author, and you say you've got an idea for a vampire book, and I turn around and write my own vampire book, but it isn't a copy of yours, i.e. doesn't violate your copyright, I have technically done nothing wrong. Ethically it might be questionable, but only "might" because I can argue that all I took from you was the vague and unoriginal idea of a vampire story. Which is entirely consistent with my point... you can't, or shouldn't be able to, copyright or patent an idea, only the specifics of how that idea was implimented, and even then only if it passes the "obviousness" test. Multi-party video chat with embedded movie player is an idea lots of parties have had since before most people even heard of the web. It may suck as a startup.., but if you think you've got a billion dollar idea, and some bigger competitor can just look at it for a while and make something like it without directly copying it, then you didn't have a billion dollar idea, or at best you had an idea that wasn't worth a billion to you but might be to someone else. Everyone and their grandma's startup has copied ideas from Google, and so have bigger companies (though there aren't many of those left now). They survived. So did Facebook. But most don't. Those are the breaks.
 
Right. Let companies do whatever they want with anybody's IP. Gotcha.
 
+Chris Pirillo No. Only grant IP on something specific... particular algorithms, a tangible invention of some sort, not a vague idea.
 
I'm going to patent "A Method for Deliberately Twisting Someone's Words to Suit the Agenda of Your Favorite Brand". Then I'll sue everyone who does something like misreading when I say "patents should be specific, not vague" to mean "don't protect IP at all.". I'll make a fortune.
 
I agree with you +Chris Pirillo. Plus Apple tried to meet with Samsung like a month ago... but no company would compromise... it's like the democrats and republicans... they all takes sides and there is no middle ground. 
 
+Robert Elliot Did Apple sue Microsoft for Windows Phone 8. NO! Because Windows Phone 7/8 look nothing like iPhone... no slide to unlock, grid of icons, a dock...ect. It's a fresh innovated idea.
 
+Chris Pirillo I'm a fan of technology. I'm not a fan of enriching patent lawyers. They're the only ones winning here. Do you honestly believe Apple's game of patent wack-a-mole with Android grows their market share? I promise you no meaningful number of people go, "Oh, gee, I can't have a Nexus... I think I'll buy an iPhone instead.". No, all it does is piss people off and make lawyers rich. Apple's good at both of those things. Too bad they're not as good at making products most consumers actually want to buy.
 
+Sean Sanders You are factually incorrect when you state that patent rights must be enforced or be forfeit. That is true only of trademarks, which fall under an entirely separate body of law. There is no legal obligation whatsoever to sue for patent infringement: the decision to seek redress is solely at the discretion of the patent holder. The application of a modicum of logic (or a quick Googling) would have told you that.

The unfortunate truth is that Apple is playing a very dangerous game, which will only last until Larry Page and Sergey Brin decide they've had enough of Apple's antics. That will happen, because Apple is forcing the issue. Understand that mobile is a huge part of where Google needs to be, so they cannot allow this to continue indefinitely. Apple is depending, in fact, upon Google's better nature: that may prove to be a grievous error.

Note also that Apple has not directly attacked Google over Android, as Oracle did. They have only sought injunctions against Google's allies, and there is a reason for that. It's called Motorola. In addition to its own portfolio, Google now owns the 17,000-odd patents in Motorola's library. Many of those involve some very basic cellular functionality.

Taking on Google at this point would be bringing a knife to an artillery barrage.
 
+Chris Pirillo Samsung has offered to settle with cross-licensing. Apple struck first, Samsung is pro actively defending itself. You bloody my nose unprovoked, I'll cut yours off... oldest principle of tit-for-tat. Let Samsung pass up a settlement offer that would end the patent war, as Apple repeatedly has, and we'll talk.
 
No-one is saying that one should never sue for infringement. I maintain some patent rights myself, and I would certainly go after an infringer.

BUT ... these are a very, very specific patents on a particular set of software, hardware and mechanical implementations. No vagueness, very narrow, no claiming rights to an idea or a broad class of products, as Apple often does.

At one point a British outfit began importing a version of their system that clearly infringed upon my patent. Upon being informed of this, they withdrew their product without complaint (the infringement was completely unintentional) and re-introduced a non-infringing version a few months later. They were given the option to license, but preferred a redesign. Their choice: we didn't care so long as they did it a different way.

That's how it's supposed to work.
 
Also note that, as +Eli Fennell pointed out, cross-licensing agreements are the norm in dealings between mega-corporations. All the big boys do it, because sharing is infinitely preferable to outright courtroom warfare. The problem here appears to be Apple's unfounded belief that they are entitled to own the smartphone market.

They're not, and sooner or later the other heavyweights will make that clear.
 
Patents are patents are patents are to be defended or used at the company's discretion.
 
Sure. My point is that it cuts both ways. Furthermore, when it comes to patents (especially patents on mobile technology), Apple is not the 800 lb. gorilla.

Mark my words, Apple is going to get bitch-slapped, and probably sooner rather than later.

Google is already making some of their library available to other handset makers (HTC for one.)
 
It's because girls are sissies  ;P
 
Love the way you put that: "The Internet is alight with outrage against Apple for winning..." Not outraged when they sued...but when they won. Seems to me this kind of outrage, if it must be expressed, should be expressed and the ones that made the decision and the laws upon which that decision was based. Besides, if one wants to keep one's patents and trademarks, one has to defend them, right?
 
+Mark O As others have already explained, you do not have to defend a patent, you can sit on it indefinitely and use it at any given time or never at all.  The "use it or lose it" rule only applies to trademarks, not patents.  And Apple won nothing... their patent lawyers, and only their patent lawyers, won anything meaningful.  Go into any store selling smartphones today, and Androids will still be everywhere (unless it's an Apple store or a Microsoft store).
 
I admit I didn't read previous comments. Too many already, so I didn't click. Thank you for correcting me on this.
And now that I read over my own comment to reply to yours, +Eli Fennell, I see a typing mistake I made... sigh
 
+Mark O I speak fluent typonese.  Or in their native tongue: I pseak lfeunt yptonees.
 
While I agree with this post I don't think that "...some would argue that Apple is simply playing the system and playing to win." should be an excuse for Apple. Just because the system is broken, doesn't mean Apple shouldn't have a moral obligation to not take advantage.

If an old woman falls down and I steal her purse rather than helping her up, feel free to punch me in the face... HARD!!!
 
+Kem Alimole I agree it's not an excuse (just re-iterating what some have said). I personally think they're being jerks. ;)
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