“Yesterday, on Halloween, a consortium of companies including Microsoft, Apple, Sony, Ericsson, and BlackBerry filed lawsuits again Android manufacturers such as Samsung, HTC, LG, Huawei, Asustek, and ZTE, as well as other Android manufacturers,” Koetsier reports. “All the lawsuits target Google as well, if only indirectly, and one mentions the company by name, saying its core money-maker, Adwords, violates a 1998 patent.”
“The Google lawsuit cites United States Patent No. 6,098,065, won by Nortel originally, for “matching search terms with relevant advertising.” In other words, this is not just a fight against Android. Rockstar Bidco — and by extension Apple and Microsoft — are firing directly at the very basis of Google’s existence, its very lifeblood, and the source of all the revenue that enables it to build and give away the world’s best or second-best mobile operating system essentially for free: advertising,” Koetsier reports. “It’s genius, really. Why attack your enemy’s toes when you can go straight for the heart?”
“This is likely to be the definitive battle that shapes Android and the future of mobile technology in the U.S. and abroad. Google will likely strike back — every large enterprise has patents that just about every company could be conceivably infringing — and we’ll likely enter a long, protracted, messing, and boring sideshow of legal shenanigans that advance the world of technology not a single bit, but continue to enrich lawyers,” Koetsier opines. “And may, eventually, result in licensing fees on Android that will make the free operating system slightly less free.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Define “slightly.” Android isn’t free currently. At some point the whole charade simply tips over and becomes more costly and troublesome than it’s worth for the handset assemblers to deploy.
Koetsier doesn’t really get it. It’s simple: All of these years of myriad litigation are about Apple protecting their intellectual property from blatant thieves. Apple welcomes competition, but they do ask that competitors compete on their own merits, not with products stolen from Apple.
Apple-led Rockstar consortium sues Google, Samsung, Huawei over Nortel patents – November 1, 2013
Apple v. Samsung judge Koh weighs damages and – more importantly – running royalties – December 19, 2012
Microsoft and Samsung cross-license patents; Samsung to pay Microsoft royalties for Android devices – September 28, 2011
Analyst: HTC settlement worth up to $8 per phone for Apple; serve as model for future deals with Apple patent infringers – November 12, 2012