Apple blew $100 million on its HTC lawsuit, and all it got was this lousy post

January 23, 2012
27

Apple hates Android. With a passion. It hates Android as much as superfluous buttons and UI elements without gentle gradients. And if a rumor running around the legal circles of the tech industry can be believed, it hates Android enough to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees with barely anything to show for it. According to Newsweek's Dan Lyons, Apple spent around $100 million dollars in its latest design patent suit against HTC. The result? HTC designed around the patents, leaving Apple with a big bill and a feeling of superiority. Not that they didn't have that already.

When Apple petitioned the International Trade Commission to grant an injunction against HTC's devices , it came back with its ruling in December, stating that the mechanism that allows phone numbers to be automatically highlighted and sent to the dialer app in Android violates Apple's software patent. Facing a possible import ban, HTC simply disabled the feature (the only major function that Apple was able to successfully sue for) to comply with the ruling. After a series of software updates, probably costing HTC much less than its own legal defense fees, they're good to go.

Will this zero-sum outcome deter apple from further legal skulduggery? Yeah, right. Just last week they his Samsung with a lawsuit based on the slide-to-unlock feature on the Galaxy Nexus, with a call for a ban on ten more devices in Germany. Despite being defeated in similar lawsuits in Australia and the US, and being designed around on the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 lawsuit in Deutschland, Apple seems intent on crying foul to any court that will hear them. Keep it up, Cupertino - surely your rabid userbase will forgive your incredible profit margins, outsourced labor force and engineered obsolescence for another year or so.

[via BGR]


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  • Jnffarrell

    I’m in favor of engineering the future not fencing in the the past. Maybe Apple (Ceasar) can pull off a two way siege against Google (the Gauls) where Apple engineers can out fight the Google engineers outside their walls while starving out the old Android phones that are trapped inside siege walls by Apple lawyers.
    Hopefully, history does not repeat. Ceasar went on to massacre Gauls everywhere he found them.

    • The Android Antichrist

      Pardo my French, but your an A$$HOLE! Apparently you don’t know that the Roman Empire was embarrassingly crushe, severely defeated and left utterly penniless. 

      But how would you – brainless crApple twit.

      • Anonymous

        ROTFLOL
        Apparently, being an Android user reduces your tenuous grip on reality to the point where you see everyone else as a mirror of yourself – poor idiotic you.
        History is not your strength. The fall – if that’s what it was, rather than a drawn out transformation, took four centuries from the height of that civilisation and only refers to the Western Roman Empire, whereas in the east, the empire lasted for almost another thousand years until the fall of Constantonople. No huge defeats, no cataclysmic loss of huge influence over countries and tribes…just a slow decline.
        But let’s not let real facts get in the way of your delusion, which is of course the backbone of the Android Stepford posse’s denial.

    • http://twitter.com/BIGELLOW Bob Bigellow

      Not sure why you hate consumers so much. You must work for Apple, or maybe you’re just a fan.

      • Anonymous

        ..or just an idiot.

    • Anonymous

      Oh really?

      Excerpt from Wikipedia:
      The Sack of Rome occurred on August 24, 410. The city was attacked by the Visigoths, led by Alaric I. At that time, Rome was no longer the capital of the Western Roman Empire, replaced in this position initially by Mediolanum and then later Ravenna. Nevertheless, the city of Rome retained a paramount position as “the eternal city” and a spiritual center of the Empire. The sack was to prove a major shock to contemporaries, friends and foes of the Empire alike.
      This was the first time in almost 800 years that Rome had fallen to an enemy. The previous sack of Rome had been accomplished by the Gauls under their leader Brennus in 387 BC. The sacking of 410 is seen as a major landmark in the decline and fall of the Western Roman Empire. St. Jerome, living in Bethlehem at the time, wrote that “The City which had taken the whole world was itself taken.”[1]

      Some believe in Karma, or what goes around, comes around…

      To put it into context of Apple attacking everybody else first:

      First, HTC is small fry compared to Samsung. Now Apple has completely lost its mind as they have zero chance of winning against Samsung. Apple patents are a joke. Trivial, Artsy & Fruity; but nothing technically solid or without prior art. Only 850 of them worthless so called patents. Whereas Samsung has spent over USD $35 billion of pure R&D to develop their 13,000+ technical patents that made it into world standards, such as 4G/LTE (75Mbits/sec today, 1GBps tomorrow). Ever wonder why Apple remains in the prehistoric ages with no 4G phone?

      Second, Samsung can kill off Apple tomorrow by simply stopping all shipments of Samsung fabricated A4, A5 and A6 CPUs. Nobody else in the world makes them. No second sources. Fatal vulnerability on Apple’s part… In effect all Samsung has to do (to coin Steve Jobs thermonuclear meme) is starve Apple to death. Hard to make any sales on non-functioning products missing their most critical component the CPU eh? And the stock markets are fickle. They expect results, or else… The stock markets don’t care about history. They care about futures…

      Steve’s Reality Distortion Field can only go so far. That’s the main difference between hype & substance.

      Bottom line: Apple won’t be able to resist the tidal wave of progress by Android and others. Too bad. So sad. And there is absolutely nothing Apple can do about it to prevent it. Why? Because nobody can stop progress and evolution. Those who can’t adapt will just vanish into oblivion.

      Now who is really hunting who?

      ~~~~~~~~~~
      Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life.
      ~ Steve Jobs

      What you resist persists. What you embrace dissolves.
      ~ Carl Jung, 1875-1961.

      None of us is a smart as all of us.
      {Japanese Proverb}

      • Tek

        Unfortunately, the ability of anyone to sue anyone for patent infringement in the United States has led to the requirement for ANY company (not just Apple) to have to go to war right away, lest they set precedent that they don’t care or don’t see one particular company’s infringements as a non-issue (for example, if Samsung and HTC both copy Apple, and Apple only sues one of them, it could be considered that Apple are picking on a particular competitor). Bottom line is whoever holds patents has the right to go to court and prove those patents. The writing is on the wall – HTC basically validated Apple’s claims by working around the suit, and other companies will all do the same.

        Also, Samsung has no reason to stop selling processors and memory to Apple. Their IC and flash divisions have nothing to do with their handset manufacturing division. It’s in Samsung’s best interests to sell chips to Apple. In fact, they probably make more money off of the iPad and iPhones than they do off of their entire mobile division when you take R&D in to account vs Sales…

  • http://twitter.com/jrkangta Kang T.

    hurray for Apple! :)

  • Anonymous

    So that is why apple products are so overpriced – 25% of the price goes directly to useless lawjers. Apple fanboys must be happy :-D

  • http://twitter.com/kbconsulting Ken Berger

    You are crazy if think that Apple will not win many of the patent cases (not ITC which is not a full court evaluation of patent law) both in the US and Europe. And if you think this is simply a license deal you do not understand how the iPhone chained the industry (yes Android was around before the iPhone but it was a Blackberry clone before the iPhone came out).
    Android will have to change significantly over the next few years to not infringe on Apple’s IP, and if they can innovate new ways to do basic things then they will survive, but more than likely they will lose features and usability after the lawsuits.

    Android sales in the US are already on a slide down and usage numbers are even lower as most people who buy lower end Android’s phones don’t use them much beyond basic phone applications.  

    • Dan Kenyon 86

      if you have to lose basic features you expect in a phone and usability decreases then surely the company should never have been given the patent for that feature

  • Anonymous

    If HTC has stopped violating the patent by finding another way wasn’t that the whole point? Sounds like money well spent.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y4AJEC7WSC22KKCYIH6ANZ43CM Mile L.

    Android users are so bitter, they lost, Apple won, so learn to deal with it… Nobody wants an Android and never will.

    • Zack

      talk about ur self 

    • Vedlegion

      Nobody wants an android?
      Ok tell it to the millions of android users.
      apple is just CHEAP technology sold at RIDICULOUS prices.
      And before anyone says I’m upset because I can’t afford it.
      I have more money than my great grand kids will be able to count.
      Apple is like Microsoft, they hold technology and ingenuity back.
      They did not work hard for their money, their poor slave employees did.
      They realize that the only way they can force people into buying their garbage is by killing off the competition.

      • Puggsly

        Lets all get a little real. 

        Yes, many people like android. 
        Apple makes some of the most cutting edge technology sold and fair prices which is why NOBODY took out the iPod. It is why everyone has been trying for 2 years to take any serious market from the iPad and why the iPhone 4s is selling like crazy. Apple’s consumer products are not over priced or cheap.

        Now the only way for Apple to succeed and still hold back tech would be to be so far ahead of the competition they don’t have to bring their A game. I guess it is possible but that is a lack of quality competition and nothing more.

        Apple doesn’t employ slaves, and most Apple workers are amazingly satisfied with their jobs. 

        As for killing the competition, that is the goal of all companies. You may dislike that they do it with legal means but you also have to admit that although imitation may be flattering, it is also lazy on the part of your competition. 

        Look at phones 4 years ago. Read the tech industry’s assertion about the incredible design flaws of the iPhone. Not look at what phones look like today and see that Apple moved this industry, and they deserve to profit from their vision of the future. 

        Just keeping it real.

  • Anonymous

    WTF?

    So if Apple has to spend less than a PENNY of it’s $$$ BILLIONS in the bank to deliver a knock-out blow to Android competitors who have COPIED the look and feel of your iPhone & iPad, you think that’s a bad investment? The other companies have had to spend just as much money to defend themselves and they have a much SMALLER piggy bank!

    Steve Jobs would be a MORON not to go after them! It also sends a message to all the other companies that Apple will go THERMONUCLEAR WAR (legally speaking of course!) against them if they try to blatantly copy their designs. Samsung and HTC were making phones for years before Apple created the iPhone and suddenly ALL smartphone look and feel like iPhones? NOBODY was making a Tablet computer for $500 that did what an iPad does and suddenly everyone is trying to design an Android iPad Killer” that looks and feels like an iPad???

    On the near horizon, Google’s growing legal battle with Oracle over the stolen “Java Code” in Android could cost them a lot more $$$ than any legal problem with Apple over the iPhone and cause Amazon and other Android Phone & Tablet makers to switch to something else (Windows Mobile OS?) to avoid the high royalty fees or penalties. 

    Google’s last earnings took a big hit because of the growing competition for online Ad $$$ with Facebook and BING, while Apple has $80 + BILLION in the Bank and ZERO DEPT! Amazon is doing very well on the balance sheet too and makes a nice eBook reader, but iPad’s are only going to get FASTER, CHEAPER & more POWERFUL making it impossible for Amazon to beat them in Speed or Power. 

    Finally, even if Apple spends even more money it might not matter if they don’t deliver a knockout blow, because the time for ANY Android Tablet device to stop the iOS / iPad juggernaut is quickly closing! Just like the time when all the non-Apple mp3 devices (Zune, etc…) were suppose to end the iPod Music Player dominance for the past 10 years! 

    Google is looking more like the high flying 80’s & 90’s tech companies (HP, DELL, and Microsoft), where their best days are OVER, or will be soon! I’m sure Larry & Sergi will look back in 10 years and wish they had just stuck with SEARCH & Saving the World than piss off Apple, Oracle, and thumb their nose at Microsoft with Chrome! 

    Hopefully they end up better off than Jerry Yang of Yahoo!

    PEACE!

    • Freebird

      Steve jobs is dead sir, apple is next

      • Neil R.

        People have been saying that for 30 years, and Apple has never been stronger.

      • Blah

        People haven’t been saying that Steve Jobs has been dead for 30 years, you are a liar.

  • Jim

    Apple is right to do so.  Why should they have spent all the cash and time to develop a product, to have Samsung and HTC simply copy their designes.  I’d be pissed to.  The problem with android handset makers is that they are lazy and will do anything to make a profit.  Samsung is the only company making a profit from Android, and guess what, they are the company the most blatently copies Apple.  So cheers to Apple, eventually stealing Apples desings will catch up to Samsung.

    Secondly, Apple pisses $100M, its nothing when you consider that they have $97B cash on hand.

    Thirdly, Dan Lyons?? Really?  Nobody ever heard about, cared about and did not even consider listening to for technical opinions until he did something to change all that.  The guy is popular because he pretended to be Steve Jobs, that is the only reason people read his material.

  • Frando

    Does any of this copying suprise anyone.  Samsung is based in South Korea and HTC is based in Tiawan.  Where else does one go for cheap American knock-offs?  Take a guess.

  • Tek

    Wait, so Apple is the *only* company that uses outsourced cheap labor, has huge profit margins on electronics, and designs their products to be obsolete?

  • Etypeseries

    When will Apple learn that it’s right for Asian companies to just copy anything and patents mean nothing….just ask these Android fans

  • Brendansau

    caleb has a small d****

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  • Gartholameau

    Didn’t Apple also invent the single bite out of an apple