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Apple as bad guy
Yes, I know that not everyone is as exercised by the patent problem as I am. But I continue to be of the general opinion that software patents are vastly more trouble than they are worth, impeding both competition and innovation, directly against everything that the patent system was supposed to accomplish. They're destructive of the industry, and companies that use them offensively are The Bad Guys, far as I'm concerned.

The latest example comes from Apple, who are apparently trying to sue HTC into submission. They've filed a complaint alleging a host of patent violations, and it's possible that it's even true, but my sympathy for Apple is less than nil. People often defend software patents as purely defensive in nature, but so far I have no evidence that that's true here: this is simply Apple trying to squash their competitors through legal means, or force them to knuckle under to secret licensing agreements. Even Microsoft is rarely quite *this* blatant.

(Yes, I'm pissed off. I happen to be fond of the Android platform, and that appears to be what Apple is trying to indirectly crush here, by going after its primary manufacturer...)

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I'm in the same place...

I've got the HTC Hero, eagerly awaiting the 2.1 update, and any kind of restraining order on the release would seriously piss me off.

I'm optimistic, though.

Attacking HTC puts Apple head-to-head against Google. HTC might not win on their own, but with Google in their corner, I think Apple will get more than they bargained for.

What's the saying? Die a hero, or live long enough to become the villain?

Yep. It's why I find Google's "Don't be evil" mantra so interesting. As a company gets older and larger, that gets *hard*. So making an explicit company policy out of it is directly challenging this tendency. I look forward to seeing how they do over the next 20 years...

Interesting. I got an HTC Pure because I didn't like the iPhone AT&T was pushing (and because they didn't offer the Palm Pre). Any chance this will affect me directly, like say, requiring some HTC functionality to be disabled?

In fact, in beginning Japanese, when the instructor told me to say "I am a lawyer" because the Japanese word for "Technical Support Manager" was but much, I still said, "no, I am not a lawyer."

When Company A successfully sues Company B for infringing their patents, these things tend to go in one of three directions:

1) Company B has to pay a large licensing fee, and does so until they can make enough changes that they're no longer infringing.

2) Company A says no, no license for you. Company B has to remove content.

3) Company B fights and ties it up in court long enough that the damage is done, the tech has moved on, and has to pay a very large sum of money.

Of course, Company B could win, meaning no changes at all.

Either way, I can't see anything happening within the next 6 months.

My wife, she's the lawyer, and she gets to be Esquire. I think with the help and support I provided I should get a title, but no one seems to recognize Esquire Consort.

Re: I am not a lawyer.

Then there's 1a, a cross-licensing agreement. I don't know how much of a patent portfolio HTC has, though.

Isn't it the case that, if you win a patent infringement case, it's easier to get the next court to believe that your patents are valid? Maybe Apple is going after HTC because they think they can win quickly, and use that validation in their litigation with Nokia.

That's possible, yes. If so, that sort of cynical (but practical) tactic would strengthen the "bad guys" point...

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