Monday, July 18, 2011

Apple wins in Trade Commission case

Bloomberg reported on a ruling from the US International Trade Commission, that Android maker HTC was found in violation of 2 patents held by Apple. HTC plans to appeal. From the article:
Should the commission uphold the finding, the ITC may ban U.S. imports of some HTC phones that run on Google’s Android, the most popular smartphone operating system in the U.S. The HTC decision may serve as a barometer for other cases Cupertino, California-based Apple has against makers of Android devices, including Samsung Electronics Co. and Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc.
I'll admit that this is a somewhat-clever use of patents to block a competing product. But I don't think this is a good idea.

OSNews provides more details about the patents:
The patents in question are the following two software patents:
  • 5,946,647 - 'system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data'
  • 6,343,263 - 'real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data'
Even if you dive into these software patent filings, it still looks like incredibly generic crap we've been doing for ages, with tons and tons of prior art. Then again, and you may call me cynical, but I'm not exactly surprised; a bunch of random US judges, most likely with little to no technological expertise, ruling in favour of one of the largest US companies, against a relatively small Taiwanese company.

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