back to article Apple accuses HTC of iPhone tech theft (again)

Apple is pressing on with its scorched earth patent offensive against HTC, adding at least one new technology to its list of patents allegedly being infringed by the mobile phone manufacturer. In a complaint filed Monday, Apple accused HTC of infringing Patent Nos. 6,282,646 and 7,380,116. Although they are two separate …


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  1. windywoo
    Jobs Horns

    What next?

    Will Apple try to suggest they invented video conferencing? Oh wait...

  2. Anonymous Coward

    And one needs this feature in a phone because??

    Presumably because apart from the phone and its charger etc I would also be carrying along a hot pluggable video device from which I will stream video to the phone? It can't be talking about transfer of photo and video files because that is pretty much ubiquitous innit?

    1. Ivan Headache

      I think

      it may be the other way around.

      When I plug my iPod Touch into the TV (which I do frequently to watch iPlayer (or YouTube) in bed), the iPod knows it is connected to the TV and turns off its own display so that I can only watch on the TV.

    2. Simon_E


      I think it's the other way around - It seems to say we'll be plugging our iWhatevers into our Macs and using them as external/secondary displays.

      Hmm... Mac Mini + iPad?

  3. AC-This-Isn't-Facebook

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    Software patents shouldn't be allowed.

    They are counter-productive if anything in addition to being totally stupid.

    1. Doug Glass

      It Didn't Exist Yesterday,...

      ... it exists today because you created it; therefore, it's a new thing and it's rightfully patentable. If your logic is followed, nothing can be patented because its initial form is not hardware. Intellectual property is as real as it gets and those who say not are immature, undereducated and ill informed.

      The law is the law. If you don't like the law then get off the whiny sidelines and get into the fight to change it. Otherwise the pissers and moaners are nothing more than laughable buffoons.

      1. Rob Crawford

        I say prior art

        Slight problem, this is something that Apple didn't invent laptops have been managing such things since the 90s and I'm sure that Microsoft will have the same patent somewhere (HTC have an agreement with MS)

        Additionally Apple are claiming that the zoomed out 'helicopter view' is what infringes their IP, however I remember such zoomed out desktops on the Commodore Amiga & X Windows.

        There's a reason that the US patent system is broken and that because they allow the patenting of any old shit regardless of prior art or the fact that the new IP is an 'obvious' extension of an already existing artwork, process or algorithm

        Many US companys have patents of amplifiers even though they are directly lifted from RCA manuals written in the 1930s.

        So just be quiet because it's really embarrassing

        1. John 104


          Agreed. This is nothing new. Windows device manager, while not directly affecting the display immediately, detects changes and presents them to the user for use when they are ready. How is this any different?

        2. Rob Crawford

          I just remembered (hence replying to my own post)

          To push the prior art one step further.

          I was actually using displays which could be rotated between portrait and landscape mode back in 1989, you had to install a driver onto a Mac so the fruit based product could recognise the screen rotation and alter the display characteristics.

          So I suppose apple could do it but only because of the screen manufacturer both building the product and writing the drivers to make it work.

          So once again I say prior art.

          I also remember Xerox being involved in there somewhere, but then look at what Apple did with their ideas.

        3. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Technique, not apparent effect

          The text indicates that what is being patented is the technique for having three components interacting in a particular way. These are the OS, a device manager and a display manager, so it is not as simple as saying "my laptop did this 15 years ago". This could very easily have been the display hardware with no involvement from the OS, and I am not even certain that earlier versions of Windows had each of these functions as separate components.

          It is clear, however, that what Apple are trying to patent is the udev functionality from Linux when applied to display devices. I agree that the patent should have never been granted.

      2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

        Lambda calculus

        Patent law explicitly forbids me to patent mathematical equations. I invent new ones quite frequently, but cannot patent them. They are not even covered by copyright (in most legal systems). Every program can be expressed in Lambda calculus as a (very complicated) equation. Therefore, every prgram should be excluded from patentability.

        The core of this argument was put forward I think in IEEE Computer Magazine a few years back. Still makes sense to me.

      3. Anonymous Coward

        @Doug Teacup

        Yep, it didn't exist yesterday, and without all prior knowledge and human progress, they wouldn't have been able to develop it. Why do they get to make one change to the collective intelligence gained by *all* of humanity, and preclude anyone else from using that knowledge (even getting there on their own, just because they got there first)? Fuck the patent system. It's a profit protection scheme for greedy corporate bastards.

  4. Anonymous Coward


    Why doesnt he go and sue all the Chinese clone makers for all the f***ing patents & infringements he thinks he owns?

    They will tell him where to go, and St. Jobs/Americans thinks he is the ultimate capitalist?

    Now that would be interesting.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Why not? Because they are not American

      and he probably does not have Chinese patents that cover this. I do not believe that there really is something as simple as a World-Wide patent, it is only applicable to those countries that have signed up to WIPO. This is not the whole world.

      He may be able to get infringing devices blocked from being imported to the US, and maybe Europe, but that is all.


    apple tech theft

    is it me or are apple getten like Microsoft trying to be a dominant company trying to take over the world Microsoft im sure also sued companys or am i wrong. apple are greedy just like Microsoft there only picking on htc because they know htc has similar features as apples overpriced flash Heep of junk iPhone and there jealous of it now what would happen if microsoft copied apples desktops all the same except a windows logo where the apple logo would be apple would kick off big style wouldnt they damn right they would. its pathetic i hope htc fights this and wins cause it will shut fucking apple up good and proper im sick to death of apple and there iphone there just a overpriced flash pile of crap.

    1. Kar98
      Jobs Horns

      Nothing new really

      > is it me or are apple getten like Microsoft trying to be a dominant company

      > trying to take over the world

      Apple has always been like that; they just didn't have any weight to throw around until very recently.

    2. KnucklesTheDog


      Obtaining market segment dominance and defending it using legal processes over innovation appears to be the accepted norm.

  6. Si 1

    What the hell is that?

    A ridiculously vague and obtuse description counts as a patent-able idea now?

  7. boatman
    Jobs Horns


    i heard apple invented inventing, thus anything that has been invented will be liable to legal action from apple

  8. Anonymous Coward

    So let me get this strait

    Apple as not 1, but 2 pretty much identical pattents for finding out something changed about the display? That just there shows us how well the people handling pattents do the job ...

  9. Paul Swindlehurst

    Who grants these things?????

    This was granted in 2008, but I'm sure I remember windows xp providing this functionality in 2001.

    The USPO is a joke, and not a particularly funny one at that...

    1. Kevin 6


      I am pretty sure windows 98 provided that feature before XP

      My 1st laptop I had 98 on and I remember plugging it into monitors, and TV's and the display turning off on its own when it swapped. Don't remember if my laptop had special software running to do that though.

    2. MartinD

      A title

      I think its pretty obvious that no-one at the patent office understands what they are talking about, so they just rubber stamp anything that comes through their doors. If they did understand what they were looking at they would be in better jobs than the patent office!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Latest Apple patents...

    Easy, slick, clever, good-looking...

    They plan to leave nothing for the rest of us!

  11. blackworx


    Whoever first invented the windsor knot must be absolutely raking it in by now, what with all those lawyers paying their license fees.

    Oh no sorry, that doesn't happen does it? Because patenting a way of using something is A FUCKING IDIOTIC IDEA.


  12. Eddy Ito

    Prior art available I'm sure

    Oh look, a keyboard from a vintage laptop! It appears that if you interrupt the computer with a Fn+F7 keystroke you can shift to an external display. What's that? They tossed a tiny pull up resistor into the external display port to provide the same interrupt functionality! OMG, that's magical and revolutionary!!! Imagine a device manager that isn't part of the OS, why... it's almost like a... a... BIOS!

    $ umount /dev/display/sarcasm

  13. Gian


    guys, the Paris convention, the basis of all world patents states that:

    1. a patent must be NEW

    2. MUST SHOW AN INVENTIVE STEP (not be obvious..)

    3. be reproducible

    -> all patent offices forget that and grant evrithing to evryone

    also, Computer Programs can NOT be patented, but this is a method

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a joke

    From what i remember HTC was in the mobile phone market a long time before Apple, why cant Apple be satisfied with their massive market share and leave the competition to compete and keep the market place fair and open giving the consumer the choice they deserve.

    1. chr0m4t1c

      What does first have to do with it?

      I'm not sure that being in the market first is much of a defence, Nokia were in the market much, much earlier than HTC.

      All three of them are being sued by a company called ADC who aren't even in the market. They all end up in counter-attacks anyway.

      It's just the broken US patent system, they'll all end up in cross-licensing deals eventually and in the mean time every time Apple gets involved all the commentards can start frothing at the mouth and saying "See?! See?! Apple are evil b*stards!!!!".

      The only dispute that appears to have been really significant was NTP vs RIM back in 2002 when RIM lost a case that covered the core "push" technology that was (is?) their USP. RIM were hit with a massive fine and faced having to close down because their products would have been banned in the US - pretty much their only market in those days.

      1. Eddy Ito


        "every time Apple gets involved all the commentards can start frothing at the mouth and saying "See?! See?! Apple are evil b*stards!!!!"."

        The US patent system may be broken but going after HTC is a clear case of throwing patents around because they feel they can. They are hoping to crush a little competitor and perhaps scare off some of the bigger fish in the sea by showing some strength. Notice they don't go charging after Palm or Motorola even though the latter makes phones very similar to HTC with the same OS. They may claim they like fair competition as a pretext for going after HTC but they're fully aware that if they pulled the patent shit with the bigger kids in the pool, they'd themselves nose down at the bottom of the deep end.

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  15. Morpho Devilpepper
    Jobs Horns

    I wonder

    Under which patent did the JobGoblin patent black turtleneck with blue jeans and no hair? And how many have been sued for that? Or is it only infringement if the accused has his/her head up their arse as well?

    1. Miek

      Do we really need a title for our ranting?

      Steve Jobs "Style" is directly derived from Captain Picard. A little bit sad really.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Software patents, life patents, and 'companies being people' are stupid

    Gian is right. To a be a patent there has to be no prior art and no only that but the solution has to be 'novel'. A solution which is 'obvious' is not patentable. You can argue what 'obvious' is - but going by the description given above the solution seems to me to be about the most obvious it can be for the problem. Therefore not an enforceable patent.

    Being a smart arse I've got a few patents in my time - so I do know something about the whole patenting process.

    But not being a lawyer who knows what idiocy will come out of this. Pretty sad on Apples front.

    And I totally agree that software should not be patentable, and neither should life. It seems big companies like it this way. Why? Because it favors big companies. It also I'd argue stifles innovation.

  17. Piro Silver badge

    Oh Apple, you are scum

    HTC have been in the handset game far longer than Apple have.

    This patent? Total garbage. We've had display switching, even automatic display switching, on various devices, for a long, long time.

    Cry more, Apple.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      @Piro and others who attack Apple

      I hate patents - the whole system needs to be destroyed, no more patents.

      However, the world we live in patents are a big thing for corporations, so why are we faulting a company from playing by the (horrible) rules? Rather than attack Apple, pehaps channel that frustration into dismantling what is the most progress prohibiting feature of our broken society?

      Apple is just doing what corporates do. Mobile technology is the hot consumer device with big money to be made, and big money to protect. Every company that owns patents does it. Hell, IBM is the company with the most, more than most (all?) countries in the world outside the US.

      1. lurker

        @ Anonymous Apple Apologist

        Very true. However, of all of the companies mentioned, only Apple has based it's entire corporate identity on the idea that it is a supporter and facilitator of 'personal freedom and creativity'.

        It is the hypocrisy of this position - claiming to be 'holier than thou' while actually being one of the most sinister, orwellian and anti-freedom (of hardware, historically, and more recently of it's "platforms") companies in existence - which irritates many, including myself.

        1. Anonymous Coward


          You make no sense, and I wasn't apologising for Apple, I hate that they participate in the world of patents, but it's the world in which we *all* live so I can't fault them for playing by the rules we set out for them.

          Personal freedom and creativity? Is that why people buy Apple products? I always thought it was because they build devices with an excellent user experience. I think you attach these sorts of things to Apple so you can fault them for being the exact opposite in order to win your argument, which is that they are...

          Sinister, Orwellian, 'holier than thou' - you make me laugh. They are a greedy corporate, just like all the other ones. They are no better, no worse than any of them in that respect, they are just right now more successful than all but one.

          1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  18. Mage Silver badge

    Created = Patent?

    Creation doesn't mean a patent is needed. Patents are now given out too freely esp. in USA.

    Copyright or "registered Design" are what should be protecting most creative work.

  19. Jesse Dorland

    Silly Steve

    You'd think that boy would have learned by now! Recent flame against HTC is nothing more than paying for rivals ads. Perhaps it is this paranoia is driving Apple to sell unlock phones in some countries -- good for most of us.

  20. Bugs R Us
    Thumb Down

    Apples fear HTC, that's all

    Apple is going after HTC because it knows that HTC devices are the only serious threat to the iPhone, particularly Android units with Flash support. By embroiling HTC in patent wrangles, Apple ultimately hopes to negatively impact HTC's share price. Typical business bully behavior of a global brand. It won't work though. HTC has been doing handsets for far longer and will I'm sure have patents that Apple is infringing upon.

  21. Jerome 0
    Thumb Down


    Effectively, this is like me saying "hey, it would be cool if my monitor sorted itself out automatically when I plugged it in, instead of me having to mess around with a settings dialog". Then, provided I'm the first person who informs the patent office about my stroke of genius, no-one else is allowed to implement such a system without my say-so.

  22. D. M
    Jobs Horns

    I have a great idea and I'm going to patent it

    It's called sleep in every day word, but I going to dress it up, then everyone has to pay me or you cannot sleep.

    On serious side, I say F*uk all patents.

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