Today Apple made it abundantly clear that they have noticed all those iPhone-esque smartphones, and filed a patent-infringement suit against HTC claiming the company has cribbed 20 of their iPhone-related technologies in their own Android and Windows Mobile phones.
The theme among these 20 patents (see them all here in a gallery, via Gizmodo) isn't 100 percent about hardware; it's more about user interface, like flick-scrolling, pop-up calendar and message alerts, and swipe-call-answering. Elements that, in fact, are not specific to HTC. Problems that, in fact, are about the operating system HTC uses.
Bottom line: Apple's got a problem with Google's Android, its strongest smartphone rival. While Windows Mobile phones are included in the suit, the majority of the disputed infringements are found in HTC's numerous Android phones, from the original G1 to their current offerings.
Should Apple have a problem with Android? Of course, they should. The widening adoption of Google's platform is a threat, and a real one--especially if companies like HTC keep creating attractive and highly customizable user interfaces like their Sense setup. Sure, Apple may have "reinvented the mobile phone," as the press release announcing the suit boldly claims. But if one insists on being a trend setter, other companies are going to follow suit.
But the problem just isn't with little ol' HTC. Why not Motorola? Why not Google? Because when you want to make a point without picking a fight with the big kid, you aim your first shot as his scrawny friend to get the big kid to turn his head. "Watch out, pal; 'cause the next one's comin' at you!"
Smart money is that this is only the tip of the iceberg--that Apple is sharpening its claws for an eventual showdown with Google. Will future versions of Android borrow less from Apple? Or is The Goog ready for a fight? It may seem like legal trivializing, but the future landscape of the most important computing platform--smartphones--is most certainly at stake.
The gallery portion of this article is reposted from Gizmodo, the world's most fun technology website, focused on gadgets and how they make our lives better, worse, and more absurd.
Wow , I really hate apple .
I have hated them ever since my mom who was a teacher came home with a computer back in my childhood years . I was so excited to finally be able to catch up to all my friends who were playing space quest , police quest and other great dos based games .
She brought home a MAC classic 2 and my life was never the same .
The iPhone sucks , the HTC magic I have is the best phone I have ever had .
I hope Google crushes Apple .
Looking at the patent drawings that are at issue , Damn those are some pretty generalizeed stuff in there. And I can't believe its patentable in the first place
I agree. This kind of stuff infuriates me.
Apple, way to go.
I agree. This kind of stuff infuriates me.
Apple, way to go.
@ steve28. I hope you realize without Apple, who you hate so much, your precious HTC magic would not even be a concept yet.
As for the law suit... well it's Apple's perogative. I don't see alot of critics of Nokia and Kodaks suits against Apple for other potential "infringments" yet to be determined.
Patents kills everything.
Apple patents something that they doesn't even do, and, also, they make some general patents to screw all the world.
I mean, what the ****, they even patented that your mobile can go into your pocket, seriously... that's so stupid, and I hope Apple goes to bankrupt or gets owned by patents stuff.
I can't figure out what I am more mad about. Apple filing suits on generic patents that really should never have been given in the first place or the fact that our patent system is so stupid. I mean heck some of those patents could transfer to darn near any technology out there even ones they did not invent or do first.
Isn't this like saying some one copy righted double clicking on a mouse?
That’s stupid really.
I can see copy righting hardware and software but you can't copy right an action. that is raelly going way to far in my view and I hope Apple loses because of that fact.
Name one thing that Apple invented that somebody else hasn't made 10 times better . If there were restrictive patents on everything all we would have would be junk because the patent prevents people from improving on the designs that didn't make the thing in the first place .
Stop Bashing Apple. How would you like it if you invented something, and someone else stole your idea? Granted, maybe this is a little far, but Apple has the right.
I wonder when Palm is going to jump in on the action.
Name an alternate for everything Apple has created that is "better" and you will have a list of things that wouldn't exist without Apple creating the market/demand for such items.
This is no more stupid than Kodak's suit about previewing an image on a screen before capturing it.
I agree with ncheek and eRok, after Ford invented the idea of a "car" no one else, including GM/Toyota/etc should have been allowed to do the same thing. Those stealing companies should have been forced to think up their own new form of transportation.
Likewise with smartphones, since Apple clearly came up with the first smartphone, no one else should be allowed to make them.
How long does Apple have on their patent? Maybe HTC and Google and everyone should have waited unti the patent was up before they released their phones to market. While Apple is being a little douchey, like others on here have said it's their prerogative.
Just learned about this in one of my classes, that a guy patented having the internet on a mobile device. Some companies infringed and he got money, or they took the smart route and bought the license to use that idea. Sucks for the other companies that Apple thought of it first.
APPLE you are a bunch of scared crybabies... I have always flicked my eaten apples into the trash , before Apple patented flicking...
STUPID GENERIC PATENTS
I can't wait for Microsoft's windows 7 phone comes out and dominates both Google's phone and apple's. Then there's also project Natal, Microsoft is finally getting back on it's feet.
Oh yes and Apple is an overrated piece of crap company.
"@ steve28. I hope you realize without Apple, who you hate so much, your precious HTC magic would not even be a concept yet"
Uh yea right, that's why I had my HTC Wizard for a full year and a half before Apple finally ANNOUNCED their iphone, which STILL doesn't do everything my wizard can do.
Apple makes me sick, this is nothing more than an intellectual land grab... Perhaps I should patent the idea of putting a phone in your pocket, because nobody has bothered to patent that particular use yet.
Everything Apple "innovates" has been done already.
So much fail in this post and comment section.. I don't even know where to begin.
People also seem to forget the existence of touch screen PDAs since green screen times.
I agree that apple makes me sick too. And for the love of god don't say "if it wasn't for ___ you wouldn't have ____" You cannot predict alternate realities!! And most of the time, 2 or more companies work on the same thing, competing to patent/create something first. Stealing an idea is NOT the same thing as improving on one. Why do people still believe in the methodology "if I can't have this cow, I'll shoot it so you can't have it either."
P.S. If it wasn't for windows, you wouldn't have Apple. (see what i did there?)
Thank god apple didn't exist during the time of Albert Einstein.. who knows how many patents that man 'stole' ideas from.
Many of these appear to be what are called 'design patents', and everybody uses them. Basically thay are saying that you can't make your design look like my design.
Otherwise patents have to meet criteria of uniqueness and not obvious from the current technology.
Goog may fire back however, because some of them, e.g. reducing power consumption by cutting power to some non critical elements, would seem to be fair game.
Everything that can be invented has been invented.
Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. patent office, 1899
Will I guess Mr Duell has never met Mr Jobs. Everything is his for the taking and or patenting.
A little advice to live by from, Kenny Rogers.
Son I've made a life out of reading people's faces
and knowing what the cards were, by the way they held their eyes. So if you don't mind my sayin', I can see you're out of aces.(Because the ipad ,as cool as it is, is just an oversized ipod).
You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
Do you really need this headache over generic patents, just consider it open source and walk away.
Apple already isn't making enough money, so they have to file a lawsuit against their best competitor? I mean really how ignorant can a company be?
Bad Apple! Very bad!
Maybe the patent office should review it's rules on general patents... again.
Object-oriented graphic system (Image 8 of 20)
U.S. PATENT NO. 5,455,599
-- This should not be patented --
Kodak has filed a complaint against Apple...
Perhaps Apple has turned around and is trying to recoup some of the money they've lost (or stand to lose) due to this complaint from Kodak.
While I like Apple, I'm no fan boy. It has its place in the world, but so do Windows and Linux based PCs.
I've owned two HTC phones, I should have learned my lesson with the first one. They(HTC)could make a phone look similar to the iphone,but they sure as hell cant make one that operates like it. Apple, I would say your still king of the hill. Damn you iPHONE!!!!!!
Apple, the New IBM
Pretty silly on Apples part. That's about the same as saying Logitech Keyboards were infringed upon by MS Keyboards. Keyboards are the same for a reason. How dumb would it be if a company had to rearrange the qwerty configuration because some one else claimed infringement. Or, rearranging the number sequences because your phone looks like mine. If droid and i-phone looked and worked the same, except the name, yes, I would say infringement. Apple needs to get over it.
"" Ford invented the idea of a "car" "
No, Ford didn't invent the idea of a "car".
The automobile was based on "prior art" i.e. the horse-drawn carriage.
Which was likely based on the Roman Chariot. Which was likely copied from somebody else, maybe the Hittites.
Apple, on the other hand, DID invent the idea of a hand-held PDA, with their invention of the Newton.
And so they've got patents on the books that go back a long way.
LONG before HTC ever existed.
Bottom line who cares. Apple and its fans have long poked at other companies because they control market share blah blah. Now it asserts itself in the exact same method. So they are in fact no different than Microsoft. They control to much just like Bill Gates did. Soon we can all hate them for being a power monger too. Mostly I dislike apple for the elitist pricks that are fanboy to it. Not to mention they over price their crap.
Aside from that if there is no competition allowed then growth becomes limited. That is why they broke up ma bell years ago. I see this patent thing as just another force out the competition thing.
Aside from that my android smoke my friends iphone.
Jkirk3279, You may be correct about the automobile, but are wrong about the PDA. Xerox PARC did the inventing of the PDA long before Apple was out of the Apple IIC. As for touch screen... Curry Corp patented that back in about 1978. It was used in the Xerox 5700 Printing System (Touch to Begin) in the early 1980s. Apple has stolen many ideas from many companies without paying royalties. Remember the GUI and the Mouse, and laser printer, and of course, Ethernet? All Xerox PARC. Apple does make quality products today. By their own good work and marketing. But they are "idea thieves" none the less. I would like an iPhone, but the carrier that the majority of my family is on does not offer it. I do hope that they adopt the the HTC manufactured Google Phone. I'm waiting.
OK people I like the fight between the two GIANTS because I benefit from it as a consumer. Regardless of who wins, I know I will get a better product from one or the other. Competition is what makes the world go round for the consumer. I could care less about the fight itself by picking sides. I’m for whatever benefits me the consumer. There it is I told the truth, so hopefully it catches on. Apple is trying to lock down the market they control every aspect of their product it sucks but there are always work around. I have an unlocked Iphone I also have a BB and a nexus one. I switch at my leisure whatever works for me at the time. I have an apple iPod love it. Whatever is the best. So why are we fighting let them do it. Sit back and wait for the smoke to clear and I guarantee we will benefit