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Apple vs. Samsung Goes NUCLEAR!

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In the industrial world that's the whole patent game. They're used to form cartels to make sure nobody who isn't part of the club (or big enough to buy in) gets a seat at the table. If you have a warchest full of patents you get a cross licensing deal. If all you've got is a great product you get sued into oblivion. Samsung fully expected Apple to just buy in because that's the way the game is played. Steve Jobs thought he'd use patents the way they're supposedly intended and screwed up everything.

I've got no sympathy for either side. Steve Jobs was a brilliant CEO but also a whiny baby who was all for copying until he was the one being copied. Then it was theft. Samsung is a government backed anti-competition machine that suckers other companies into paying for their R&D as supposed partners. They break up a couple years later and Samsung gets the goldmine while their partner just gets the shaft.

Honestly they deserve each other. The problem is we don't.
-Vurbal (August 06, 2013, 12:12 AM)
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Yes! THAT! +1! ;D  :Thmbsup:  :Thmbsup:

^ Totally agreed!  Excellent summation and analysis!  :Thmbsup:

Nothing new here.

For an enlightening overview of how the same kind of Goliath vs. Goliath has played out over the last century and a half, I recommend reading The Creation of the Media: Political Origins of Modern Communications by Paul Starr.

Nothing new here.

For an enlightening overview of how the same kind of Goliath vs. Goliath has played out over the last century and a half, I recommend reading The Creation of the Media: Political Origins of Modern Communications by Paul Starr.
-xtabber (August 06, 2013, 10:37 AM)
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I haven't read the book (I'll have to add it to my long to-do list) but I've studied media and communications quite a bit. If you pay attention to the patterns in how the use the media you can actually see this playing out in real time.

It starts with a leak from Company A to some media organization that they're considering a lawsuit against Company B for patent infringement. Company B responds, usually with a leak of their own explaining how original their product is and implying if anything it's Company A's product that's infringing. This back and forth in the media goes on for a couple weeks or maybe a month or 2.

Eventually we learn that the companies are engaged in negotiations to avoid a protracted legal battle. There's usually some more rhetoric from both sides, typically in the form of more leaks. Most of the time there's a very public break down in negotiations followed by a furor in the media because they're on the brink of legal action.

Finally we learn both parties returned to the negotiating table. A short time later a cross licensing deal is announced, often with some kind of partnership between them to use each other's components. The media breathes a sigh of relief that disaster was narrowly averted.

What we really witnessed was nothing more than performance art. In fact the structure is basically the same as a 3 act play. In the first act the characters (products and companies) are introduced. In the second act there's conflict which brings the hero (whichever company you prefer) to the brink of defeat. In act 3 the conflict is resolved.

Along the way both sides get to advertise their products and brands through the press, disguised as leaks and legal arguments. Using so-called journalists as proxies ensures the public perceives it as credible news rather than PR. And of course supporters on each side are reassured their preferred company is reasonable and magnanimous while the competition is evil and greedy. It's brilliant but it's still bullshit.

Edit: If you look at the dispute between Microsoft and Samsung you'll see a textbook example of this. What threw them for a loop in the Apple case is when negotiations broke down Samsung thought they were just finishing Act 2. I'm sure it came as a complete shock when Apple started filing lawsuits for real.

More nuclear wars

Patent war goes nuclear: Microsoft, Apple-owned “Rockstar” sues Google

Canada-based telecom Nortel went bankrupt in 2009 and sold its biggest asset—a portfolio of more than 6,000 patents covering 4G wireless innovations and a range of technologies—at an auction in 2011.

Google bid for the patents, but didn't get them. Instead, they went to a group of competitors—Microsoft, Apple, RIM, Ericsson, and Sony—operating under the name "Rockstar Bidco." The companies together bid the shocking sum of $4.5 billion.

Patent insiders knew that the Nortel portfolio was the patent equivalent of a nuclear stockpile: dangerous in the wrong hands, and a bit scary even if held by a "responsible" party.

This afternoon, that stockpile was finally used for what pretty much everyone suspected it would be used for—launching an all-out patent attack on Google and Android. The smartphone patent wars have been underway for a few years now, and the eight lawsuits filed in federal court today by Rockstar Consortium mean that the conflict just hit DEFCON 1.
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