When you’ve got a device that’s as popular as the iPhone, and an operating system that’s as game changing as iOS, you prepare for war. A sales war is usually expected by consumers at some point, but when it comes to the continued success of an A-list product, a patent war usually takes place as well.
Someone, somewhere usually files a patent complaint. On occasion it’s a patent troll. Sometimes it’s someone who’s trying to stall future releases, and on occasion it’s a company who has a pretty legitimate claim. This week Apple’s going to be butting heads with Nokia Oyj before the International Trade Commission over intellectual property violations. But the battle isn’t going to end there. There’re battles that are also going to be fought against Motorola Inc. and HTC Corp in the future. It’s only a matter of time before we find out who the patent troll might be.
Apple’s game plan for the confrontation that’s about to play out in front of the ITC seems to be hiring more heavy-hitting lawyers. Not only do they already employ some of the world’s most rabid lawyers, but “Jobs, Apple’s chief executive officer, is firing back by recruiting lawyers who have fought for and against some of the world’s largest companies, including Microsoft, Intel Corp. and Broadcom Corp. Broadcom won a patent dispute with Qualcomm Inc. last year that ended with Qualcomm paying $891 million in cash over four years.” If you thought this patent fight was going to be a quick one, you may want to stick some popcorn in the microwave, because it’s more likely to be a long, drawn-out process.
Both Apple and Nokia have filed complaints against each other. Pundits have even gone so far as to suggest that the Motorola and HTC cases have more to do with Apple stopping Android in its tracks than it does Apple protecting their IP. Rob Enderle told Newsweek that ” The effort here is to stop Android through the trade commission.”
What do you think? Legitimate complaints or an attempt to stop the competition?
Article Via Bloomberg