Nokia....the new SCO?
Nokia is suing Apple for allegedly infringing ten of the company's patents in its iPhone device. The world's number one mobile phone vendor filed its lawsuit in Delaware's federal district court today. Nokia detailed ten patents in the case that relate to technologies "fundamental to making devices which are compatible with …
"Apple could not immediately be reached for comment at time of writing"
It's Apple, you're The Register... Apple will *never* be reached for a comment by you! So I'll do the comment for you....
"We at Apple will never infringe a patent, in fact if we find something we like we patent it ourselves even if there is prior art and stuff like that, but as we are Apple we can do no wrong and Nokia have not got a leg to stand on, because they are European and we're American and Steve Jobs is God! What do the Finnish have? Santa Claus? Which would you prefer, Santa or God? What do you mean Santa comes once a year and delivers the iPhones to little kids.... bugger.... lets settle this before Santa gets pissed and stops delivering the Jesus phone!"
Its taken them this long to figure out that iPhone infringes? Or perhaps just that they decided to wait and see if it was a threat first and that they could claim more in damages when theres a larger user base?
Nokia... "we can't make a phone thats better than the iPhone and we're losing customers by the day, what'll we do.
a) Use all our amazing research and design skills and produce a phone thats 100% better than the iPhone and all these other new fangled phone makers and the customers will come flooding in
b) Nothing other than sit in a corner and cry before going bust
c) Sue Apple.
tough choice huh?
Does it really take 2 years to determine if a product is patent infringing? Or does it only take as long as it takes to get out a potentially competing product, THEN hope to cripple the competition with a patent lawsuit?
The whole patent system, especially as implemented by the USA, is a joke. It was meant to encourage innovation. It's become another blunt instrument in either getting rich quick (the trolls) or STOPPING innovation (everyone else). How the hell is some inventor supposed to "profit from their invention" when, as soon as their invention starts getting used, they're hit for millions in just court costs by some troll who got rich off the LAST set of patents that were subsequently thrown out? We aren't all RIM who can afford 600 million payouts fighting invalid patent claims by trolls.
Any chance you could make use of these patents in your own phones?
Every time I get my mits on the latest Nokia device it's slightly worse than the previous model at getting a signal, in fact I think next year should see the launch of a phone that can't get onto the network at all judging by this 'ere N97.
Maybe if you win you should ask to be paid in OS code instead of money, perhaps you can then start with a working phone at launch and build on that instead of releasing an alpha test unit and trying to fix it before it gets to end of life.
I'm going to go and think calm thoughts now.
Let's face it, Nokia have been in the mobile business since the beginning. Apple were very late to the market after all the hard work had been done so it wouldn't surprise me to find they do indeed infringe the patents of Nokia and others. It wouldn't be the first time they have decided to steal something, repackage it and sell it off as their own and deal with the fine later. It worked well for them with the ipod, they made far more than what they had to pay Creative once the courts caught up with them.
A minor factual point, but one worth making in the light of various "Nokia have lead", "massive user base" comments.
Nokia are the market leaders in smartphones by a considerable margin (in fact, by factors over Apple) and are (as reported in El Reg) destined to remain there for some years to come.
Mine's the one with the n95 in the pocket, but I'm no fanboi of anyone.
I've not seen the patents in question, so I couldn't say whether or not they are being infringed by Apple.
However, evangelism in the name of the Church of Jobs, or comparing Nokia to SCO won't invalidate any patents they do hold, and you can be pretty sure that they DO hold a large number of telecommunications related intellectual property. It isn't beyond the realms of possibility that the iPhone does infringe one or more of these patents, and it wouldn't surprise me. After all, Nokia has been a consitent innovator in the field, and Apple has come along late in the day and joined the market. Either thay have re-developed all the existing prior art in the field, in complete isolation, which is unlikely to say the least, or they should be licensing the patented IP that they are using. Which sounds more likely to you?
While the cynicism is traditional, and possibly true (this recession is a bit harsh, who can we sue to balance the books?), there's no reason this couldn't be the result of a breakdown in negotiations.
This section of their press release:
"Nokia has already successfully entered into license agreements ... including virtually all the leading mobile device vendors ..."
implies to me that they've convinced everyone else to hand over some wedge, but talks with Apple have broken down, so they're heading to the courts.
"Nokia have lead the mobile market for decades, I'm sure they could have developed such a device but it seems the fresh thinking jobsian outfit has well and truly surpassed them at their own game!"
This is what I find odd based upon the information provided in the article. The crux of Nokia's legal claim is alleged infrigement on 10 patents derived from a "basic principal" of established standards - yet the direct quotes in the article infer that the legal claim is based upon infringement of IPR [intellectual property rights] in these "established standards" and not seemingly in the intellectual property of the 10 patents themselves.
Is there a legal basis for classifying standards as intellectual propety? Any design / product based upon such standards, yes - but the actual standards themselves?
Based upon the information, it definitely seems a case of sour grapes because Apple developed better design / product innovation from these "established standards" than Nokia.
Another point to note is whether or not there was any legal agreement constraining use of these "established standards" i.e. a royalty of some kind?
It will be interesting to see how "established standards" are defined in a legal context.
** For any affadavit, I've used a Steve Jobs icon after switching to the iPhone after 3 months (ab)use of the Nokia E71. Superb handset build ruined by S60.
--- Nokia detailed 10 patents in the case that relate to technologies "fundamental to making devices which are compatible with one or more of the GSM, UMTS and wireless LAN standards," it said in a statement.
Let me get this straight, any cell phone manufacturer which supports multiple wireless protocols will infringe on some of these 10 patents?
Why not sue Motorola, Blackberry, and all the other manufacturers, too!
It should have been a mutiple company lawsuit!
I bet Linux community, Microsoft, Symbian, Google, Palm, and other cell phone OS manufacturers will be watching the result of the suit...
Apple has a licence with InterDigital (up to June 2014) for the various GSM/etc. patents and even Nokia has to pay them royalties as they own at least one patent which is essential to inter-operation with a 3G network.
It would appear that Nokia themselves own essential patents for which Apple are not covered by their licence with InterDigital. The reason for the timing of the litigation may well be down to this result having only just become apparent.
In fact, that's exactly what it looks like:
I'm 100% sure the decision to sue apple was not taken lightly, and Nokia actually believes apple's patent portfolio is weak compared to nokias. Big companies usually crosslicense patents, the fact that this is ended up in public means that apple thought that nokia would't dare sue. Next, expect apple to countersue.
Intuetively Apple is holding the losing end of the stick - if they don't have licenses for gsm/3g patents, you are really in no business selling phones. Apple can ban nokia from selling multitouch cellphones, but Nokia can ban Apple from selling phones at all. Consumers lose, Lawyers win.
Expect Apple to buy motorola to get their hand in the cellphone patent pool (and existing crosslicensing deals of Nokia-Motorola)
Sweet, sweet irony for the patent happy Applists...
For the various Church of Jobbitologists here, please note that Nokia have been in the mobile market since time immemorial, and have been actively involved in developing the various standards of mobile technology, from GSM, GPRS, 3G onwards, as well as such mundane little things such as the spectrum used, the masts and infrastructure, the globalisation of the technology and the commonality of such systems - anyone else remember the days of having phones that didn't work in the US due to triband issues?
And for the record, I don't like any of the current Nokia stuff, in fact, the last decent phones were the 6210 series and the really tiny ones that came after. In fact, the terrible battery life (one day of light usage FFS!!!??!?!) and general flakiness of the 6500 classic have pushed me back to Sony Ericsson.
...since nobody listed them for us, but:
Apple's patent lawyers, and the processes they go through for due dilligence on new products, are TOP NOTCH, and few cases have ever gotten past them causing them to pay out.
At best, Nokia might have some obscure minor patents that do not effect the overall functionality of the iPhone that will either be licensed for small amounts of money later (consistent with what others pay only for those minor technolgies, plus some penalties), or Apple will simply code around them with little impact.
The chips that are in the device are solt to apple (as they are to RIM, Sony, Motorolla, etc) and Apple is almost certainly not the manufacturer of the infringing technology. So long as Apple has proper documentation and assumptions in that the distributors of this chipsets and components have appropriate rights to the technology (which I'm usre Broadcom and others do), then it realy boils down to software, and those patents are easy to work around provided Apple can in fact document due dillegence and effort to identify potential conflicts.
Hello European Competition Commissioner! This is what you get when you let cartels load up publicly mandated standards with patents.
In fact, Nokia love patents embedded in standards - it's the corporate doctrine - as do a bunch of other dirty telecoms and electronics companies who campaigned for software patents in Europe back in 2004. For all we know, the campaigning still goes on behind closed doors.
Standards should be open and not patent-encumbered. Favouring big corporations doesn't promote innovation in Europe - that's the usual excuse, as the corrupt Commission rubs shoulders with the CEO of the "captains of industry" - nor does it do so in any other market: it just lets those corporations shore up their positions while they screw over new entrants. And although Apple is itself quite dirty with respect to patents and consumer coercion, if you start getting everyone - even Apple - to pay patent fees over and over (on the components, on the assembled stuff, on whatever else), you destroy the competitive landscape.
So, Commissioner, make yourself useful!
Apple pays some company, Nokia sues some company and wins.
Apple has thrown money out the window to a company that didn't really have the right to license out the stuff.
Nokia contacts Apple to get their RIGHTFUL compensation, but Apple refuses so Nokia sues.
All the patents is invented and used by Nokia and is actually a case of when the patent system works sanely, it's not like Apples stupid software patents, but real invented hardware patents and simply a case where Apple got screwed by a company that didn't have the right to license what they sold Apple.
Why Apple doesn't pay, is confusing most people, because it's quite clear that Apple is going to loss the case. Maybe there is some economical advantage for Apple in delaying the years a complicated trial takes, because otherwise it seems like, to the industry at large, they are paying lawyers to loss a trial.
I seem to remember a BOATLOAD of bullshit IP and Trademark lawsuits aimed at anyone that dared to get remotely close to what Apple thinks belongs to them. Like that horseshit lawsuit against Woolworths in Australia.
I mean really, WTF? From a bit of research, I see that Apple is a very difficult company to negotiate with when it comes down to THEM paying royalties for someone else's IP. Their arrogant lawyers basically say, "Go ahead, sue us".
It appears Nokia was trying to do just that when they were told by Apple's arrogant lawyers to "Go take a hike". This is consistent with what I have read about Apple's behavior during IP negotiations.
It seems when Apple sues offending companies for IP and trademark violations no matter how ridiculous, the fanboys wholeheartedly agree. But when the tables are turned against Apple, the plaintiff's are labeled as monsters and patent trolls.
I think Nokia's problem is not so much that Apple has a better market share than them, but that Apple have gone from no market share to 11% in a little over two years. That is incredibly quick.
As for why the iPhone is doing so well. Well, the fanboi effect is probably part of it, but I would venture that Nokia has more fanbois than Apple..
I think one reason is that the iPhone has a logical user interface. Much more logical than any Symbian-based interface (and I am a Symbian fan). In my experience, even if my friends haven't used an iphone before, they usually find it easy to find options. This is not something that can be said of my old N95.
The N95 had options hidden on various menus (the settings menu was particularly badly organised), with no consistency and no apparent thought. The iPhone has a quite tightly defined user interface, so the menus are fairly consistent.
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win....
As a former owner of the dire box of crap that is the N97 and now having moved to an iPhone, I can say first hand that Nokia are in serious trouble. I still use my previous N95 as a spare phone/camera and it's still pretty decent even at over two years old. However, after using the flaky, unreliable, clunky and totally unfriendly (even for a seasoned Symbian user like myself) N97 they've lost me as a customer for life.
I'd love to know how these big companies reach their "Vista" points. The time when instead of innovating and refining they play copy-cat and as a result release a half baked, half functioning, half arsed product (like the N97) and push customers to the competition.
All I wanted as an upgrade was an N95 with a keyboard.... Instead, I've now moved on to greener pastures. From the above quote, Nokia could be one step from extinction in the smart phone arena - destined to be the low end brand for cheap disposable handsets. High volume, low profit. If they're going to play at being the new SCO, good riddance.
Actually it is not. The license fees for most of that are pretty much determined by the GSMA and other trade bodies. If Nokia asked an exorbitant fee Apple could and should have taken the case with the GSMA and the EU competition commission. If they have not, well sorry, can't help it, Lazarus Long quote on stupidity comes to mind.
...this is the first WE'VE heard of it, doesn't mean that Nokia haven't been in negotiations with Apple for the last 2 years about this.
Personally, knowing Nokia's patent portfolio - it wouldn't surprise me one bit if the iPhone infringes one or more patents owned by Nokia.
Here's hoping that they win and that Apple is forced to payout.
After all, the iPhone appears to value appearance over functionality every time (18 months to get MMS support and then it only supports pictures? Come on!!!)
Because Motorola and RIM are paying.
RIM in the early days had all of its GSM stack licensed from someone else. That someone else became too arrogant and demonstrated classic UK attitude to customers which made RIM rewrite the upper layers themselves around 2003, but they still peruse licensed low level silicon designs and they pay licensing.
That is how the mobile world works and that is why Symbian survived for so long. Until recently anything that was not free and not patent locked was simply not considered in the standards bodies. Granted, as a result of it becoming a standard the royalties are reasonable and should be level onto everyone. However, they are there none the less.
It is only with LTE that the major players finally slapped themselves on the forehead and realised that they have reached the idiotic situation where 50%+ of the cost of a low end phone are royalties.
Poor fanboys... Climb back off your apple carts...
Why has it taken 2 years, well maybe because the wheels of law turn so very slowly, and expensively. Maybe Nokia have been trying to get Apple to behave and pay up like everyone else has, and has finally given up waiting and had to push the matter.
As for Nokia not making a better phone than apple... They make plenty of better phones. What they don't make better are over-priced, over-heating, fashion accessory toys with a pitiful camera.
Now run along, I think you need to find your charger. On the way, remind yourself of what a litigious lot Apple are, and then look up the phrase "taste of their own medicine"
a lot of comments suggest that Nokia is suing Apple because Apple have a better product, something which Nokia was unable to think up and develop, when actually the contested patents involve wireless data, speech coding, security and encryption. Doesn't appear to me that it's because of competition by some superior product (that becomes quite inferior once you leave it in your back trouser pocket and sit down), when, judging by the numbers, Apple's fashion statement that can occasionally make phone calls too is hardly taking a nibble out of Nokia's market share.
It's just basic "You're using technology we developed, you pay us. Oh, you won't? Okay, the gloves are off then."
And no, I'm not a Nokia fanboi. Work foisted a N95 on me, which, because of various issues, I replaced with a 6300i. That one does the job the N95 was repeatedly failing at.
"Let me get this straight, any cell phone manufacturer which supports multiple wireless protocols will infringe on some of these 10 patents?@
"Why not sue Motorola, Blackberry, and all the other manufacturers, too!@
Standards like GSM etc often tend to end up running on the basis of cross licensing deals. If you can bring some useful technology to the party you get to trade the use of your IP for other peoples IP, and the likes of Siemens, Ericsson, Motorola et-al are probably covered by cross licensing deals on that sort of basis. One way or another late comers who can't, don't, or won't bring anything to the party may well have to pay.
...but surely the cost of patent royalties would be included in the cost of the relevant components?
Apple don't make their own GSM chips, CPUs or antennas. The component breakdowns published on the likes of ifixit show a bunch of mostly off-the-shelf components for the phone elements. (The multi-touch display is presumably their own IP.)
Why are Apple being asked to pay *again* for something that should have already been paid for?
Curious. I recall Nokia singing a wholly different tune when Qualcomm were getting all heavy with the lawsuits.
Odd how times change.
That said, Apple should just pay the damn license, unless they think they have Nokia over a barrel on some other technology, in which case both parties should just quit the public posturing and get back to the table.
Nokia has many patents, but even they cannot produce a phone based solely on their patents. In many cases, they bring their patents to the table and so do other companies, then they freely let their patents be freely used.
In the case of Apple, they clearly don't want to pay. So, while there are plenty of people here talking about why isn't Nokia selling others, that is because they already have agreement, see above. Once Nokia is done with Apple, expect to see others taking Apple to court. The legal woes of Apple have just begun.
Nokia lost its crown in a couple of Western European countries because of the iPhone.
We have to thank Apple for bringing something closer to customers' expectations.
Nokia made billions over the past few years. They did everything to maintain such cash cow and they deliberately delayed the launch of mobile handsets with similar computer tools and gateways with internet.
So they can sue Apple for the iPhone, but they should be blamed for not being to bring something similar before!
Without wishing to comment on this particular case, it appears that lots of people want to comment on this story without having the first clue how IP works in the cellphone industry.
Generally when you buy a component from someone which implements a standard, and parts of that standard require patent royalties, you have to take a license for that IP in order to sell a device with those components. The component manufacturer does not usually have a transferable license that they can sub-license to their clients.
There are some exceptions but since most of the cellphone makers have their own IP rolled into the standards too, they're quite happy with this situation since they can cross-license. Cellphone makers who don't participate in building the essential infrastructure have to pay.
This is why Nokia had to pay Qualcomm billions of $ lately after extensive (expensive) argument, it was decided in the court that Nokia's own CDMA chips infringed Qualcomm's patents. The end result is that current Nokia CDMA phones have a new radio architecture and Nokia have a license from Qualcomm to sell them. It's all business and the companies involved rarely take these issues personally once resolved.
In this case, these are alleged to be patents on the essential parts of GSM etc. and they will probably be available on standard RAND terms.
Complex legal situations like this are one of the reasons why the cellphone market is difficult for new entrants, among many other things like the huge complexity of devices nowadays.
They're coming out now with this because the iPhone is doing well. Like any patent holders, they do not start suing people until it has proved to be a success. This maximises their chance to get as much juice as possible.
Developing any product always has this risk. Yes the whole patent system is starting to get annoying particularly because when it was invented, globalisation is not to the stage it is today.
With more people, more companies = more patents, which also makes anyone developing new products a nightmare if you have to go through each patent to make sure you're not infringing first - yes I think the patent system should be scrapped. As always, if you want to keep something secret it is best to keep it to yourself.
In the end, yes, the small fries have no chance of survival, but think of it this way, the pyramid is only getting higher.
I like Apple, I use their products, but at the same time, this lawsuit may actually slap some reality back into the world, companies who diversify is starting as a newbie in the field cannot become the boss over night, if you get what I'm saying.
Almost all the above coments are along the lines of "nokia sue Apple because Nokia are crap...."
Did none of you think that nokia have been in discussions with Apple adn they have finally broken down.
I am guessing Nokia want to use the multi touch IP but Apple are refusing, so nokia will sue them over their IP.
Don't cover the royalties, always. Sometimes yes.
Qualcomm have a BOATLOAD of CDMA related patents, and 3G uses CDMA.
Also if you do your own ARM core ASIC or other Wonder Chip for Radio/WiFi/GSM/3G you need to pay royalties.
I wonder will Broadcom, Qualcomm and others be suing Apple next week.
Look at how long and expensive the Qualcomm/Broadcom and Qualcomm/Nokia spats were. Make SCO look like sunday school picnic.
"For the various Church of Jobbitologists here, please note that Nokia have been in the mobile market since time immemorial, and have been actively involved in developing the various standards of mobile technology, from GSM, GPRS, 3G onwards..."
So they didn't quite have enough time free from all this to manage to design a decent phone?
"Generally when you buy a component from someone which implements a standard, and parts of that standard require patent royalties, you have to take a license for that IP in order to sell a device with those components. The component manufacturer does not usually have a transferable license that they can sub-license to their clients."
So if company A manufactures chips which company B buys and uses as components in a handset which company C buys and installs their software on to sell to the end user then all three companies have to pay Nokia for licensing? Seems a bit crazy to me, like VAT being applied along each stage of a sales chain.
These patents shouldn't be allowed to last more than five years. I can understand the inventing company needing compensation for their R&D efforts but being able to charge for something that becomes a worldwide standard for decade after decade is plain ridiculous.
You want standards without patents? Why don't you fund the development of them then? The standards used in the mobile phone world have all cost companies like Nokia a significant amount of time and money to develop - you're suggesting that they should then give the results of all this hard work away to their competitors for free? And you don't see why they might not want to do this?
Allowing IP in standards to remain patented (and reasonably licensed) encourages interoperability between manufacturers, which last time I checked was a Good Thing(TM). The alternatives are that we have lots of different proprietary standards and the consumer loses or you have an independent body create the standards which since it won't be getting any return on any investment will be default be done on a shoe-string which will result in poorer quality of work and certainly less innovation. Once again the consumer loses.
..., and what is mentioned on other sites and in the linked press release, is that virtually all other mobile manufacturers already licence these patents. Nokia isn't trolling or targeting Apple because they're successful - it's suing because Apple are refusing to licence the patents which everyone else seems to agree are valid.
this essentially comes down to Nokai having spent the last two years negotiating with apple over licensing fees.
for some time now analysts who cover apple and nokia for investment companies have know about this and it will have no impact on share prices.
Apple does not agree to the the amount Nokia is asking for and has stepped away from the table, hoping to put it before a judge who will decide according to apple a reasonable amount for the license of said patents.
Point 1 - APPLE IS INFRINGING NOKIA PATENTS, tried and tested in previous suits
Point 2 - Nokia will clearly not get the extortionate amounts they are requesting
Point 3 - Apple will not have and injunction to stop selling icraps sorry meant iPhones
Point 4 - Apple will cough up the cash sooner or later
Point 5 - Things will rumble along.
Putonghua73 : "Is there a legal basis for classifying standards as intellectual propety? Any design / product based upon such standards, yes - but the actual standards themselves?"
BetaMax, VHS, CD's, DVD's BluRay.
They're all 'standards' used by many different companies but certain others hold the development rights to them. For many many years people and companies had to pay (Panasonic?) a royalty if you wanted to produce a CD or CD player. Don't know what the situation with that tech is now but i'm sure the legality of it remains.
"So if company A manufactures chips which company B buys and uses as components in a handset which company C buys and installs their software on to sell to the end user then all three companies have to pay Nokia for licensing? Seems a bit crazy to me, like VAT being applied along each stage of a sales chain."
It is more common that Company B (HTC, for example) will make their own software, or buy the software from Company C (Microsoft, for example) and sell the devices themselves, meaning that often only Company B will need licenses.
However your scenario is where the magic of licensing and IP law can take us. That probably would not be the case where standards bodies are involved since there is usually a requirement for RAND license terms, and you might decide that such an arrangement was not reasonable.
A similar situation can be seen in the PC world when looking at Intel chipset licenses and them being non-transferable when you purchase a company which holds one (sometimes). Logic need not necessarily apply here, if the contract disallows it.
There are also often basket license arrangements made especially when standards bodies are involved, for example MPEG-LA.
There are many thousands of these licenses involved in producing almost any electronic product today, and there seems to be no idea at all in the wider world just how complex it all gets. It is even more complicated by the fact that there may be no IP protection in the countries where the components are made and assembled, yet there is such protection in the markets where the end device is sold.
In the end, only the lawyers really win, but this is the law right now.
Sony/Phillips own the rights to CD's/optical media and receive, purportedly, 0.5 cents for every disk sold. Thats *every* disk, whether it's a blank or got something on it. The numbers go up *very* quickly.
The DVD Forum was set up because of all the standards patents that Sony/Phillips own, in a bid to stop another Beta/VHS format war, the DVD Forum was set up - the disk and reading mechanism covered by Sony/Phillips patents and the compression algorithm/security owned by (i think) Toshiba - it's the compression system that gives us the odd disk sizes (4.5 and 9 GB), it should have been 5 and 10.
These comments about Apple taking over from Nokia are nothing short of a major giggle. Last year Apple made $1b profit, last year Nokia spent around $30b on R&D alone, Nokia is able to spend more money than Apple has on R&D, but the fact is they are spending insane amounts of money on researching new tech, then along comes apple who thinks "hey, we don't have to spend $30 billion every year on R&D, we'll just steal the patents from Nokia!"
The iPhone is 3 years old now? (I have an iPhone btw, can't see the point of it, it sucks) so in that time Nokia would have spend $120b on research, Apple have a small share of the market in one segment, the Smart Phone (not that the iPhone is smart) which is rather insignifigant to Nokia who are switching from Symbian so expect the next generations of Nokia phones to do what everyone wishes their iPhone does. Now to go stick my iPhone on ebay.
And likewise with Blu-Ray, the patents belong to the BDA members (mostly Sony) and licence fees are paid to them.
The DVD Forum were actually behind HD DVD, again to avoid the format war, and wanted to see the same outcome as DVD where everyone would get together and produce a combined format. Which would have seen again Sony and Tosh mixing it for a common format with their own patents in the mix. Despite all efforts Sony refused and we have Blu-Ray with large licence fees and patent ownership that are skewed heavily in favour of Sony. It's still a "standard" thanks to the BDA saying it is, but doesn't mean it's a free for all. Which is why China said "stuff that" and made CBHD instead (essentiall HD DVD slightly modified and rebranded with low licence costs).
Nokia just lost the plot same as Motorola - they stopped caring. When their customers (including us business folks ) complained about lack of compatibility, poor migration & zero support we got that attitude you get in restaurants "that's the way we do it, we;re the market leader & no body else is complaining" Well my Communicator is sitting in a draw still it's box - never worked with my Mac, or Entourage and that's what I care about.
Now Apple are delivering a better communications platform, and are kicking their backsides as the 'must have gizmo' they're feebly thrashing around in the bath trying to get the plug back in. As for their appstore OVI 'pants'.
I'm not an Apple zealot, I'm a PC engineer, I just like things to work together seamlessly.
(Sheesh, everyone! Learn how to keep the topic, not change it to this @... stuff all the time!)
"You want standards without patents? Why don't you fund the development of them then? The standards used in the mobile phone world have all cost companies like Nokia a significant amount of time and money to develop - you're suggesting that they should then give the results of all this hard work away to their competitors for free? And you don't see why they might not want to do this?"
Nope. I'm suggesting that if people want to profit from their technologies being *mandated* as public standards - that is, everyone playing the game has to implement those technologies - then it shouldn't be like giving a bunch of companies tax-raising powers. That it takes an outsider to shake up the mobile business just shows how moribund it gets when a cartel gets to choose who can compete in the market.
Besides, it isn't usually just corporations doing the work. A bunch of stuff comes out of public organisations, too, although it's more often than not siphoned off to "spin-offs" these days - your tax money at work, there, that is. So, I am almost certainly funding standards development, in fact - I get the bill for this every year.
"Allowing IP in standards to remain patented (and reasonably licensed) encourages interoperability between manufacturers, which last time I checked was a Good Thing(TM)."
Interoperability is a good thing, but it is in no way predicated by any technology being patented. In fact, where there is a choice of standards, it's highly likely that those unencumbered by patents will be favoured - you don't have to be an award-winning economist to understand why this might be. Web standards are a reasonable example of interoperability through unencumbered standards. Although you could complain about Web standards not being followed properly by, say, Microsoft, that isn't really anything to do with people not having to pay each other patent royalties.
"The alternatives are that we have lots of different proprietary standards and the consumer loses or you have an independent body create the standards which since it won't be getting any return on any investment will be default be done on a shoe-string which will result in poorer quality of work and certainly less innovation. Once again the consumer loses."
The Web is a pretty decent counterexample: a bunch of people created something of value for a greater number of people instead of thinking about how they could nickel-and-dime everyone all the time. Just consider the failure that the Gopher technology was, and how an obsession with "monetizing intellectual property" can lead to nowhere. Had some government mandated Gopher for public information services you'd more or less have the cartel atmosphere that pervades mobile communications today.
Having patents on standards is like slipping some kind of earmark on legislation: it suggests corruption and nepotism of the form "we like these people, so here's a guaranteed revenue stream for them". Public standards, which is what GSM and UMTS have effectively become, should be all about interoperability and creating value for the public good - that's what we expect from our governments and legislators - not about appointing private gatekeepers for a given market, suppressing competition and propping up stuff that people would otherwise choose not to use.
Nokia have spent time and money on stuff. Well, if they're so "shit hot", shouldn't they be able to make better equipment than everyone else? You know, innovating? Or is it not just more likely that people with patents get accustomed to "corporate welfare" and expect monetary praise for their past efforts in perpetuity?
I've had almost every Nokia communicator. Unfortunately I gave my 9300 to my wife when I got my E90, and she won't give it back. The E90 is the last Nokia I will buy. I'd swear that my 9110 is a better phone (since I need two, I use both side by side).
I would've never got an iphone, but to be honest I've started using my ipod touch for email, web, calendar and apreciate that it does what it's supposed to. I could imagine me getting an iphone once I can get it on a network other that Movistar. I'm not keen on on-screen keyboards, but it's easier to use than the one on the E90.
Nokia should go back to making wellinton boots.
Im wondering, now Nokia has brought out their large touch screen device, if they are eyeing up some of Apple's patents and want to blackmail Apple into a reciprocal licensing deal.
The fact they have waited 2-3 years to do this is a bit of a joke. If your precious patents are being infringed then you stand up and say so - its not like they wouldn't have noticed within months of the iPhone being released.
In addition the timing of Apple's record stock price and Nokia's record loss just make them look like a desperate company.
Either way, fail Nokia.
"(I have an iPhone btw, can't see the point of it, it sucks)" Did you not play with it in store first? If it's that bad, why the fuck did you buy one in the first place!?! Are you one of these individuals with more money than sence that you troll like to frequently tell us about? What a ridiculous thing to say! In short, Bullshit! It's OK not like the iPhone, lots of people don't! As for the rest of your rant; I doubt very much that Apple thought "let's save a whole bunch of time and money by stealing from those hardworking chaps at Nokia!". I imagine that Apple spend quite a significant amount on R & D as well, being a tech company, that's what they do! As for the "market share" crap that you spout; Yes Nokia are currently leading this sector with an approximate share of 40%, which is down YoY 16%. Remember that is across several products, not just one device. The iPhone on the other hand has a share of approximately 10%, a growth YoY of 111%. For ONE device that, as you point out, is just 3 years old. Comparatively, Nokia have probably 6 or 7 "smart"phones on the market, which works out at about 5% per device, which isn't too bad. I'd ague that 10% for a single device in a market that is not the core business of the manufacture is far more impressive! Ask yourself WHY Nokia are moving away from Symbian too. Like it or not, iPhone OS has been a game changer. You can quarrel about its deficiencies 'til you're blue in the face, it's irrelevant, the fact remains that all the smartphone manufacturers are reacting to it, and websites like this one benchmark every new smartphone against it.
On topic. I agree with Adam T. Patent licenses are like bills, you don't pay them until you have to! Perhaps there are sticking points in negotiations. It happens with Apple A LOT! Or are Nokia using patents that *they* should be paying for? Not out of the realms of possibility! Also are they angling for a cross patent deal? Losing a big share in the fastest growing portion of the mobile phone market and less that stellar financial reports, I'd be surprised if they weren't after something more!
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