And the winners are.....
The Lawyers.....this really does just show that the patent system is broken.
HTC has fought back against Apple's patent suit with - you guessed it - a patent suit. "We are taking this action against Apple to protect our intellectual property, our industry partners, and most importantly our customers that use HTC phones," Jason Mackenzie, the company's VP for North America, said on Wednesday in a …
... isn't the entire justification behind the state endorsing a monopoly on behalf of an "inventor" that it somehow works out better for the public in the end? If so, how does this endless acrimony over utterly obvious "inventions" help?
I propose a new way of quantifying "obvious" for patents. If, when presented with the "problem" an invention purports to solve a small group of perfectly average 10 year olds can come up with the same "solution" the patent is thrown out. e.g.
Problem: Users can only move one thing around on the screen at a time
Kids: Just make it so they can move more than one thing at a time
Result: Goodbye to Apple's ludicrous multitouch patent
Problem: All the bits of a car don't talk to each other
Kids: Can't you put them all on a network like phones and computers and stuff
Result: Goodbye Microsoft's staggeringly stupid in car networking patent
This is yet more reason why software patents need to be scrapped and Patent rules in general need reworking.
If a company, Apple in this case, don't try to enforce the patent at the time they suspected infringement, the patent should become null and void and enter pubic domain.
Patents were supposed to give a reward/protect so you could profit from your original hardwork, if you can live without that reward (as Apple, HTC and Nokia all have done), then you don't need the patent protection.
I wonder if there is any relation between the recent "protection racket" style patent settlement between Microsoft and HTC - and this new offensive by HTC against Apple. Could the two events be related? I thought Microsoft and Apple were getting more chummy against the behemoth that is Google, but perhaps Microsoft dished some dirt to HTC against Apple, and/or some lawyer fodder (i.e. folding stuff) was offered to help HTC take this action?
I don't know for sure, just wondering!
...then Apple's tits are bigger than HTC's tats.
20 patents beats 5 patents. OK so patent law doesn't work like that, but it would be easier (and cheaper) for all concerned if it did. At the moment the entire idea behind these cases is that rather than defend yourself you counter sue in the hopes that your adversary will drop their suit. So why not formalize it? If X sues Y for 5 infringements and Y sues X for 4 infringements they simply ought to cancel out leaving X sueing Y for a single infringement. The lawyers wouldn't like it so it must be a good idea.
The patent system is broken. You built a fusion generator? That should be patentable. Designed an image compression algorithm using sine waves? Have a patent. "Invented" the concept of using a finger to point at something on a screen to "select" it? FAIL. Same with using "multiple" fingers to select edges and corners and use "gestures" to do some form of action. FAIL. Sure, the hardware to do it? Patentable. Perhaps even the code to cause it to happen, but NOT the IDEA itself. Rubbish. Maybe I'll patent the process of viewing symbols to derive some meaning based on the sequence of said symbols and call it "reading." I'll patent the symbols while I'm at it, and the concept of forming multiple "pages" of these "symbols" into a bound copy called a "book."