Apple and patents. Patents and Apple. Apple seems to think patents are only for their benefit.
We saw the long drawn out battle with Samsung over things as mundane as rounded corners.
We’ve seen Apple rush to file patents on technology other companies are already using.
And now we see that Apple has no respect for other entities patents.
Just this last week Apple was ordered to pay $533 million in damages to Smartflash for unlawful use of Smartflash patented technology. Apple’s response? They don’t want to pay.
“Smartflash makes no products, has no employees, creates no jobs, has no U.S. presence, and is exploiting our patent system to seek royalties for technology Apple invented,” said Rachel Wolf, spokeswoman for Apple. “We refused to pay off this company for the ideas our employees spent years innovating and unfortunately we have been left with no choice but to take this fight up through the court system.”
Apple is appealing the decision claiming Smartflash is a patent troll. And I believe they’re right about the nature of Smartflash. Yet, in today’s climate, that doesn’t exclude them from paying what is required. And someone really needs to explain to Apple the definition of innovation. Please. Someone. Soon.
Enter Ericsson. Who does make products, does have employees, does create jobs, and has a global presence. Apple doesn’t want to pay them either.
Ericsson was a true innovator, who created critical cell phone technologies. Tech that our phones simply wouldn’t work without today. Things like how phone calls are made and received, GPS functions, and Apple’s most important item, how some apps are controlled.
And yet Apple stopped paying.
Apple and Ericson did have a licensing agreement, that ended in January. At which time Apple just stopped paying. Ericsson states they have been trying to come to an agreement with Apple for the last two years, and Apple says they charge too much.
All over the Web are articles stating how Apple is making so much more profit than Android OEMs. So much more profit than everyone. And we know this is because they charge such a premium price for mid tier product. And one of those costs, is to license the technology that makes those app launchers work.
And Apple doesn’t want to pay for that.
Ericsson has filed 7 lawsuits in the US and 2 international lawsuits against Apple, and have requested a ban on the import of iPhones and iPads to the US.
In a shocking display of ridiculousness, Apple stated in its complaint to the U.S. District Court in California,
“Ericsson seeks to exploit its patents to take the value of these cutting-edge Apple innovations, which resulted from years of hard work by Apple engineers and designers and billions of dollars of Apple research and development — and which have nothing to do with Ericsson’s patents,”
Again, can someone define innovation to Apple? Please? Like now?
Perhaps Apple should just make iPhones and iPads without the Ericsson tech. As the release of iOS 8 has shown us, it seems most Apple users are understanding of their iPhones not working anyway.