Look out IP thieves! Here comes Apple’s killer location-services patent

“Apple has raised bludgeoning competitors with patents on key technologies to a fine art. (Just ask Samsung.) And now it may have a new blunt object to wield,” Erik Sherman reports for CBS News.

“A reissue of a patent originally dating back to 1998 — and that Apple got from Xerox — has delivered into CEO Tim Cook’s hands some serious, and scary, potential control over location-based services,” Sherman reports. “If you thought that Google, Samsung, HTC, and others were already depressed over the legal success Apple has had in fighting Android, it’s now officially worse.”

Sherman reports, “Even more, it could bring some important activities of other companies, such as Facebook and Foursquare, under Apple’s purview — which is another way of saying that Apple might be able to tell these companies to pay up if they wanted to use location services… This patent is so basic that it would be hard to get around it. Just about any location-based system at its heart has to transmit a local location and receive information in return. That leaves the question of what Apple will decide to do.. and to whom.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Don’t steal Apple’s IP and there’ll be no reason to fear being bludgeoned.


  1. Considering how much the Android UI, multi-touch, etc. is a rip-off of iOS, I reckon Apple are doing an absolutely pathetic job in their legal battles! They seem to be picking on insignificant little things instead of major things. Samsung have already managed to get around the issue that got them an injunction in Germany, but their stuff’s still full of the multi-touch goodness that I thought Apple had patented (either directly or by buying Fingerworks). What the hell’s going on?! At this rate we’ll all be dead and buried by the time Apple has done any well-deserved and long-awaited bludgeoning. Meanwhile, Android devices are selling in the tens of millions! I just don’t get it…

    1. Agreed. With all the talk about iPhone being patented to the gills and learning from past mistakes, what has Apple done to prevent IP theft from Android? Next to nothing. Lawyers get rich and IP continues to get stolen. Patents mean very little if they cannot be defended. I’m not excited about this one – Android and its vendors will find a way around it, as usual.

    2. It starts as ‘death by 1000 cuts’ but then (intentionally mixing metaphors) snowballs into avalanche that wreaks havoc as it goes, picking off first a few hardware manufacturers before getting to the underlying operating system … that is only if Android doesn’t destroy itself with its myriad versions for each model device from each different mfg.

    1. ‘….and probably should be considered as FRAND’
      Why? It’s not as though it is part of the GSM standard or any other essential industry related standard so why should it fall under FRAND licensing terms? Just because it appears to be implemented across the industry doesn’t mean Apple have to give it up cheaply.

    2. FRAND is only when you try to get your tech approved as a standard. Apple has no interest in making this a standard and therefore won’t be required to have it licensed under FRAND.

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